Lecture: The 1815 Murder behind Toronto’s Oldest Ghost Story

On 24 June at 2pm EDT (7pm in UK/ROI) I will be giving a lecture for the Ontario Genealogical Society (Toronto Branch) on the 1815 demise of J.P. Radelmüller, royal servant and lighthouse keeper. His death, allegedly at the hands of soldiers, forms the basis of a famous Canadian ghost story. The talk is based on my past research on the case, which was nominated for the 2016 Heritage Toronto Awards and can be found elsewhere on this website.

Those interested may register for the talk, part of a four-part speaker series entitled ‘Unusual Lives’, by clicking the following link: https://torontofamilyhistory.org/unusual-lives-online/
A recording of the lecture, along with recordings of the other talks in the series, will be available to paid registrants until July 31, 2021.

See below for the lecture synopsis:

June 24, 2:00 pm EDT: The 1815 Murder behind Toronto’s Oldest Ghost Story – Eamonn O’Keeffe

The 1815 murder of J.P. Radelmüller, keeper of the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, forms the basis of Toronto’s most enduring ghost story. In this webinar, historian Eamonn O’Keeffe will share his research into the case, separating fact from fable. He will explore Radelmüller’s early life as a servant of royalty, consider the circumstances of his untimely death, and identify the soldiers charged with his murder. The webinar will devote extensive attention to the sources used to discern the truth behind one of Toronto’s oldest mysteries, ranging from court records and newspapers to British military muster rolls. By sharing his research methods, Eamonn will provide insight for genealogists and historians interested in researching the inhabitants of colonial York and life in early-19th-century Upper Canada more generally.

Speaker: Eamonn O’Keeffe, a Toronto native, is undertaking a PhD at the University of Oxford on military musicians during the Napoleonic Wars. He has published several academic articles and appeared as an expert on the BBC’s hit family history show “Who Do You Think You Are?” Eamonn has served as a trustee of the Society for Army Historical Research since 2016 and previously spent eleven years volunteering and working at Fort York in Toronto.

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