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The Furlong Family in Newfoundland





From a series of letters written by (Mary) Ellen Morris (living in St. John’s Newfoundland) circa 1927 to Mary (Casement) Furlong wife to Harold Albert Furlong. This page contains information relating to both the FURLONG and the STEPHENSON Families.


"The Honorable James Furlong came to Newfoundland from New Brunswick and established a large business in Oderin, Placentia Bay. Here he made a considerable fortune, and while a young Man, retired from business and came to reside in St. John's (Newfoundland) Unfortunately he died soon after leaving a large family, the youngest an infant. However he left handsome means, and when the family grew up, the three sons, James, John and Lawrence, founded a business on Water Street under the name J,J and L Furlong.

The Honorable James Furlong was a member of the Legislative Council, a position always held by our best people.

The firm Furlong Bros. prospered for years but they later separated. Lawrence (O'Brien) Furlong entered the political life, he held many important positions and was for some years Speaker of the House of Assembly, them most honorable position here. Later he was appointed Manager of the Government Savings Bank.

John Furlong went to New York many years ago and he died there long ago.

James (Peter Furlong)the Father of Harold Albert Furlong (and Francis John Furlong et al) was appointed one of the Trustees of the now defunct Commercial Bank, this position he held when he died.

Of the Woman in the family, the oldest was a nun at Notre Dame, Montreal, Canada where she died long ago.

Another sister, Mrs. Susan Thain (Furlong) Aslop, a very charming Woman passed away years ago, her son holds an appointment in the Registrar of the Supreme Court. Another Aunt (to the writer Ellen Morris) , always delicate, is long dead. Mr. (Cartret) Alsop (Husband to Susan Thain (Furlong) Alsop) was in the Dept. of Mines and Agriculture, he is long since dead.

Grandmother (wife of Hon. James Furlong) Furlong, as everyone called her, was a very fine Woman, famed for her hospitality and kindness, and the soul of responsibility and honor.

Another branch of the family, included the late Martin W. Furlong the greatest legal mind in our Island. He was a brilliant Man, unfortunately to the great loss not only of his family, but the whole community he was early gathered to the grave.


The Stephenson Family in Newfoundland


Harold will have told you about his immediate family. I am sorry to say that one Brother, Frank (Father of Howard Furlong) (my Godson) was killed in France in The Great War, as you know Harold was also overseas.

Now I do wish you could have met Harold's Mother. She was before her marriage, Mary Ellen Stephenson, daughter of Sheriff (John) Stephenson, all her family were fine people. Her Mother, a clever, educated lady who spoke and wrote most beautifully, she was before her marriage Kate (Catherine) Meehan. She and my own dear Mother were sisters.

The Stephenson family in Newfoundland date back to 1804, as in that year Dr. George Major Stephenson was appointed Governor Magistrate at Burin. He came here as a Doctor in a Ship of War. He died and is buried in Burin.

After is death his family left here, except one son, John, Grandfather of Harold. He was for many years Sheriff of the Southern District Court and I will remember him as one of the old school perfect gentlemen. A brother of Sheriff Stephenson was a Doctor William Stephenson. He went through the Crimean War and was a Surgeon to the forces at Chatham, England. Later he practiced at Rochester, Kent, England.

The following were the brothers and sisters of Mary Ellen Furlong mother of Harold (and Francis John Furlong et al):

Major (Stepheson) (called after his father) he was in the Customs Dept. In Newfoundland, and every summer visited Labrador in the Revenue Cruiser, he died years ago, unmarried.

Rupert (Stephenson) went to New York, was many years in the employ of the Western Union Co. Is now dead.

Harry (Stephenson) was the Well Beloved, he worked for years in the Cable offices in St. Pierre Michelon, where he was liked and respected. Later he went to St. Thomas, West Indies, and there he died, he was Assistant Manager in their Cable Co., Harry was unmarried.

Belle (Stephenson) Harold's Aunt and his Mother's oldest sister married in New York, a Frenchman, Emile Montamat (Montamant?) She was a grand Woman both in looks and character.

(Another sister) Emily Stephenson married Judge Renouf. After his death she went to New York where she died a few years ago, she was the last of the Stephenson family. She had four children, all here in St. John's.

One other sister was a nun in the Convent in Burin, she died there. And now I come to Harold's Mother. How much I wish you could see her!


The Stephenson Family in Newfoundland con't


She was a very tall, a grand looking Woman. She has been called "Queenly" she was charming, kind and good, I loved her dearly, she died on July 22nd 1913. Her father was a fine looking man and she was like him.

Harold's father (James Peter Furlong) was the soul of kindness and hospitality, and was an imposing looking man. Harold's home was really beautiful on Monkstown Rd. There they entertained and I can remember all so happy and bright, before sickness and death entered in. Alas in this world of change "we must gather the roses while we may".

I think I have told you about both families. Harold will tell you anything that I may have left out.

My self, I am holding since 1898, the position of Librarian of the Legislative Library and I work in the Colonial Building. Unfortunately Library work in Newfoundland has had to suffer fires again and again, sad to say we have no public libraries in St. John's.

With all affectionate good wishes from Harold's old cousin

Ellen Morris


Page contributed by: Paul Furlong, June 2002
Page revised: October 2016 (Kevin Reddigan)

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