Peyton S.

London, Ontario

Thames Valley Regional Fair

The Donnellys

The murder that claimed the lives of five Donnelly family members has not been spoken about in 137 years is finally being revealed. In 1880, five members of the family were beaten and burned in their own home. Possible motives include petty quarrels, grudges and religion.



What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The most interesting thing I learned about my topic was that so many people wouldn't speak of it and after 137 years of not speaking the mystery is finally unravelling. When we went to Lucan, people were more open about the topic then they ever had been.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

The important lessons that I have have learned through my project are to not be afraid to speak up. So many people decided not to tell anyone what had happened out of fear as to what would happen to them. I also learned that there are two sides to every story and each side paints a different person as the "villain."

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

The quarrel between the Vigilante and the Donnelly family was religion-based, today we fight religious and racial battles everyday. Today we have laws and rules we must abide to, the Donnellys practically wrote those rules through the crimes they committed and the lack of punishment given.