Smiley Family from Bearbrook


Family Reunion



Family Tree


The Morgan Clan from Pictou Nova Scotia


Fermanagh Co. Coat of Arms


Fermanagh Tartan



Smiley Family from Bearbrook, Ontario




My Smiley roots are from my Grandmother Ida May Poaps (Smiley) she was the daughter to Richard Smiley who married Margaret Wallace. Richard had a sister Susannah who married James Marcus Acon Aurelius McRae. One of Susannah children named William Peterson McRae wrote about "The Life of Susannah Smiley McRae. The following is documented in print written by William Peterson McRae.


The clan of Smiley, then spelled Smylie, came over from Scotland to Ireland, and a armorial ensign or coat of arms was conferred upon one valorous ancestor for very great bravery in about the 17th century. It was confirmed by the Crown Sir William Betham, Knight Deputy, King of Arms, in 1815, and duly recorded. The original document spelled the name Smylie: the confirmation document records it Smyly, but these forms, with Smilie, Smiley etc. are but English variations of the spelling the original Scottish name.

The ensign contains a chevron denoting military valor, a crest denoting special honour, an armed arm signifying courage or might, a wreath symbolic of a victor, and dart-heads indicating royalty or defence of Crown property. The colors of the ensign are as follows: Blue, denoting innocence, Black, dignity, White, purity, Red, courage. The Motto written thereon, "Viribus Virtus", means "Valor in Arms", or "Virtue with Power".

Susannah Smiley McRae was born October 23, 1836, in the county of Fermanagh, Ireland, eleven miles from Enniskillen, near Loch Erin and not far from Dublin. Her father was John Smiley and her mother, Angelina Bryens. They were both Godly people, her mother having been converted at the age of 18. Her father had one brother, Georeg, who had a son William. Her mother had a sister, Margery Bryens, who married Edward Bushell, and kept a store and carried mail between Dublin and Enniskillen. Susannah had five brothers, William, James, John, Richard and George, and two sisters, Jane and Eliza.

Susannah lived wither her father and mother in their beautiful home on the farm for eleven years. The home was situated overlooking Loch Erin in a most beautiful and inspiring natural setting and she used to watch the boats from the window, and run down to her uncle's Edward Bushell;s to watch them change horses on the coach that carried the mail from Enniskillen to Dublin.

When she was about ten years old, there were very hard times in Ireland, and almost a famine. One day, a women came to her home who had not had anything to eat for two or three days. Susannah's tender little heart was touched as the women fell fainting at their door. She told a sad story of the death of one of her children by the wayside with hunger, and how she had buried her in the ditch. Men would also come pleading for work and were willing to dig ditches for 10 cents a day.

These conditions continued until the parents decided to move to a more prosperous place. They had heard of the wonderful advantages to be obtained in Canada, and in May 1847, they left their native land and set sail for America. It was a long and tedious voyage, taking six weeks in a selling vessel. During that voyage, there was many an anxious hour.

As they were coming towards Newfoundland, there came up a fog, and they had to wait until it rolled away before setting sail.  The Captain had a long watch, and so gave orders to keep a close look out while he went to have a sleep.  Susannah's brother, William, was up on deck walking around when his keen eyes caught sight of something ahead.  He called the mate who saw a great iceberg.  Down went the sails and every available man did his best, but the boat went crashing against the icebergs.

What a panic a panic arose, and what a cry to God for help, some women shrieking, some crying and some praying and some leaving the boat and climbing on the rocks!  Susannah's father, a godly man, knew what to do.  He gathered his little family together into a group, committing them all to God, his Heavenly Father.  He said, "If we go down, we will all go together."  As they gathered together, they put their arms around each other, and lifted up their hearts to God in prayer.  They trusted in Him to do whatever was best.  There was no excitement in  that little group.  How peaceable, how calm they were, and how well prepared for death!  And none was more calm or peaceable than little Susannah.  Although young in years, she had great faith in her God who had so often heard and answered her prayers.

The boat was driven in among icebergs, with icebergs all around them, but upon examination, they found that it had not sprung a leak.  The difficulty now was to get into open sea again.  As they were near the coast of Newfoundland, after some time of waiting, there came along some fishermen who had heard their cry.  The Captain directed, and with a hard pull, they were on their way again.  Now the little group returned thanks to God for His care and protection.  It was not long until they reached Montreal, but their troubles were not yet over. 

Susannah's older brother, James, contracted a cold, and the authorities took him off to the hospital.  They were not allowed to visit him, so day after day passed as they anxiously waited.  For two weeks, no word came from from her beloved brother, till at last in desperation, the father went and found in the office register the record that the bou had gone to a better world.  It was a sad for Susannah as well as for the entire family, but they held the hope of meeting him again in Heaven.

The family came as far as Ottawa, then travelled east into the bush in the County of Russell, where they built a home.  During Susannah's early life there, church services were rare, but she was taught the ways of God in the Godly and happy home of her parents.  Her mother and father received the pioneer Methodist preachers gladly, who first visited the early settlement seeking the emigrants.  They united with the Canadian Wesley Methodist Church, forming a society at the village of Bearbrook, and for many years, nobly sustained the Methodist Church. 


Family Record

Susannah Smiley McRae, wife of James A. McRae, Born October 23, 1836, died July 27, 1921




Angelina Sarah, born July 16, 1858, died May 6, 1869

Mary Emma, born January 10, 1860, married Abram Olmstead


Esther, Howard. Mable (Mrs. Colpitts), A Wesley, W. Vernon, Percy

Jane Ann, born December 19, 1861, married L.R. Burch


Samuel Edward, Ann Bella (Mrs. George Dickenson). William G., Mary (Mrs. Lyle Humerson)

William Peterson, born February 28, 1864, married Lelia Bertha Moffatt.


Lottie S., WJ. Linton, Viloet G., (Mrs. Lloyd Gibson), Charles Edmund, Alida B. (Mrs. David Foubister)

Susannah, born December 15, 1985, married William James Stephenson.


J.Gordon, J. Roy, Edra (deceased), S.Elva, Clysta S., W.Ewart, Mary E. (Mrs. Sam Decker), C.Haddon, Alice Beatrice (deceased), Lena V. (deceased), Edna Constance, Mrs. (Rev.) W.E. Kuhnle).

Sarah Jessie, born February 20, 1868, married Thaddeus McLeod.

children: Wilfred E., Harold V., Myrtle Viola (Mrs. Harvey Dempsey).

Angelina, born December 16, 1869, married George Arthur Edwards.


John James, William C., Helen, Alva George, Ethel Catherine, Mable May, Douglas Arthur, Abram.

John James, born March 17, 1872, married Caroline, Elizabeth Fee.

children: John Howard, Rene Viola (Mrs. McCutcheon, deceased)., Grace (deceased), Ida Helena (deceased), Dorothy Beatrice, (Mrs. Robert Osborne), Kenneth James.

Elizabeth, born January 20, 1874, married Israel Robert Lawrence.

children: Ida Valletta, Olive Beatrice( Mrs. W. Sanford), Eva Mildred (Mrs. Carmen Gibson), Winona Pearl (Mrs. Gordon Stonehouse)

Isabella, born March 3, 1878, died April 10, 1881



John Smiley married Angelina Bryens


Susannah Smiley

William Smiley

James Smiley

John Smiley

George Smiley

Jane Smiley

Eliza Smiley

Richard Smiley married Margaret Ann Wallace

see picture below:  Richard Smiley not in picture I presume at the time the picture was taken he had passed away.

Smiley Family

Top Right, Ida Mae Poaps (Smiley) married Robert Alan Poapst my grandparents.
Top Center, Wesley Smiley
Top Left, Bertha LaBrocq (Smiley), married Rev. Phillip La Brocq from Montreal Bottom Right, Lila Randall (Smiley) Bottom Center, Margaret Ann Smiley (Wallace) married Richard Smiley from Ireland Bottom Left, Lucy Thompson(Smiley), married a Peter Thompson from Napenee

 The picture above is of my grandmother Ida May Poaps (Smiley) when she was younger.




The poem below was written by Bertha LeBrocq (Smiley) my grandmother sister in memory of Ida May Poaps (Smiley).





Bertha LeBrocq (Smiley) and Lila Randall (Smiley)



Jeannie Johnston famine ship at Dublin port

Jeannie Johnston famine ship at Dublin port

Special thanks to Alan Geraty for the above photographs of the (Jeannie Johnston famine ship), courtesy




Over the next while I will be adding pictures and information on the Smiley and Shillington line. I want to thank Julie, Susan and Ross for their help by providing documentation and pictures posted below.

  My grandmother's father was Richard Smiley and he had a brother named George Smiley who married Mary Jane Shillington.  When the Smileys arrived in Bearbrook George went out to western Canada at some point to make a life for himself.  He boarded the Manintoba Train see below listed source.  I guess the saying go west young man was true. 


Here is a family tree that consists of one of the children of John Smiley and his wife Angelina Bryens. (variant) George Smiley and his wige Mary Jane Shillington.



Smiley Memoriam