Ellen Phelan was born in 1826 in Ballyragget, Kilkenny, Ireland. She was the youngest child born to John Phelan and Susanna Whitaker. In approximately 1829, she travelled with her family to Canada. They settled in the Huron Tract, Stratford was their first home for a few short years. Most of the Phelan family later migrated further north and began the small community of Chepstow, Ontario. Around 1841, Ellen married James Stapleton and they settled on a piece of land just on the outskirts of Clinton, Ontario along the Huron Road. Ellen gave birth to her first child Margaret in 1842, Thomas was born in 1846, John in 1848, Susan in 1850 and Ellen in 1855.
According to a family story recorded many years ago, in the spring of 1856 after a storm had passed through the town and blew the roof of the shanty, James headed into Clinton for some wood to repair the structure. While James was in town, there was an accident; a boiler blew up, and James was killed.
Ellen Phelan Stapleton moved her children up to Chepstow, Ontario to live near her brothers and mother. It was here in Chepstow, in the fall of 1856 that she would give birth to her final child, son James.
I am still searching for the tombstone of her husband James Stapleton, 1810-1856.