Richard Toomath (1864-1959)
The Sash Our Forefathers Wore
Richard Toomath was born January 25th, 1864 in Maguiresbridge, County Fermanagh, Ireland to parents Christopher Toomath and Ann Munrow.
Richard was descended from Dutch ancestors who came over from Holland with King William III, Prince of Orange, landed at Carrickfergus and fought with the King at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Following the war his family was granted lands in Fermanagh, near Enniskillen. Richard was an only child. His father died before he was born. Following the death of her husband, Richard's mother went to Scotland where she later remarried. Richard was reared by his grandparents on his father's side. In 1892 Richard went to work for Messrs. John Milligan & Co. Ltd., coal merchants, in Belfast where, over a thirty year period, he worked his way up to manager. He subsequently started on his own account.
Richard married Anna Sinclair on May 7th, 1888 in Willowfield Church of Ireland. They had 14 children:
■ James (b. April 26th, 1889);
■ unnamed male (b. May 9th, 1890);
■ Agnes (b. May 7th, 1891);
■ William (b. November 2nd, 1893);
■ Richard (b. March 28th, 1895);
■ Samuel (b. 15 November 1896);
■ David (b. April 13th, 1898);
■ Mary (b. March 27th, 1900);
■ Anna (b. February 7th, 1902);
■ Joseph (b. March 18th, 1903);
■ Emily (b. October 1st, 1904);
■ Jeanie (b. July 17th, 1906);
■ Unity McManaman (b. September 11th, 1907); and
■ Evelyn (b. April 16th, 1909).
Anna Toomath passed away at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on December 18th, 1911.
Richard married Kathleen McPhie Kirkpatrick on August 1st, 1912 at St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland in Ballymacarrett, Belfast. They had one child:
■ Kathleen Dolly (b. September 21st, 1913).
Richard's wife, Kathleen passed away on September 21st, 1913 due to complications from child birth.
In April 1914 Richard organized shipping for 25,000 rifles and several million rounds of ammunition to arm Northern Loyalists determined to maintain Ireland's connection with the Empire. Lord Carson later presented Richard with an engraved rifle in recognition of "Toomath's heroic part in that memorable gun-running episode.
On August 6th, 1914, Richard married Annie Goudy in Dundonald Presbyterian Church. Richard and Annie had
■ Hugh Ernest Gowdy (b. May 12th, 1915);
■ Andrew (b. April 4th, 1916);
■ Margaret Letitia (b. September 28th, 1917);
■ Annie Watson (b. October 4th, 1918);
■ John Milligan (b. June 16th, 1920);
■ Maureen Alinia (b. March 5th, 1922);
■ Doreen Stewart (b. February 8th, 1924);
■ Rubina Ramsey (b. January 9th, 1927);
■ Sylvia Joan (b. January 4th, 1934); and
Prior to emigrating to Canada aboard the C.P.R. steamer Marburn in September 1923, Richard resided in Lisfannon, 5 Dundela Park, Strandtown. While residing in Belfast he took a keen interest in horse breeding, one of his favorite animals being Rigolina, which won races at the Curragh. He also sold several horses which did well in English race courses.
Richard married three times and fathered 25 children. Two daughters and one son from his first marriage died in infancy.
Four sons and one daughter served in the Great War. His first son James lost his life when the S.S. Eveleen was torpedoed in 1918 and went down with all hands.
Five of his children, three sons-in-law and one daughter-in-law served during the Second World War.
Richard was a devoted Orangeman all of his life. One of his ancestors belonged to Dian Loyal Orange Lodge No. 1, the first lodge in Ireland. Richard was first connected with Maquiresbridge True Blue Loyal Orange Lodge No. 450. Later he organized M'Calmont's True Blue Loyal Orange Lodge No. 525 in Belfast where he was Worshipful Master for 18 years. He also helped to organize St. Patrick's Church Total Abstinence Loyal Orange Lodge, Ballymacarret.
On going to Canada he affiliated with Victoria Loyal Orange Lodge No. 779, Hamilton, later transferring to the John Knox Loyal Orange Lodge in Toronto.
Richard was also a prominent member of the Masonic Order. He wrote poetry in his spare time and was named Canadian Father of the year in 1947.
Richard passed away on August 22nd, 1959. He was laid to rest at St. John's (Norway) Cemetery in Toronto, Ontario. His third wife, Annie Goudy, is buried next to him.
With information from toomath.ca and Ancestry.ca.
Willowfield Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland where Richard married Anna Sinclair in 1888.
Major Crawford (far left), Richard Toomath (far right), Benny Spiro (front row).
Richard and Annie's grave marker at St. John's Cemetery in Toronto.
Richard Toomath with his family at the Belfast Docks before emigrating to Canada in 1923.
Obituary of Richard Toomath in the Toronto Star
TOOMATH, Richard - At Toronto, on Saturday, Aug. 22, 1959, Richard Toomath, in his 95th year (member John Knox LOL 2996), Beloved husband of Annie Goudy, 1565 Queen St. E.; dear father of Adam, Pat, Nan, Marie, Doreen,Eileen, Ruby, Sylvia, Bill, Sam, Dave, Dick, Joe, Ernie and John. Resting at the Sherrin Funeral Home, 873 Kingston Rd. (at Beech Ave.), Toronto. Service in the chapel on Tuesday, at 11 a.m. Interment St. John's Cemetery, Norway.
Toronto Daily Star, August 25, 1959
Toronto Daily Star, August 25, 1959