Touring the Upper Ottawa Valley: St. Joseph on Allumette Island, Quebec

May 21, 2012  was Victoria Day in Canada and because many businesses would be closed, I used that day for touring the area of Pembroke, Allumette Island, Chichester and Sheen Townships.  It would allow me to just sightsee and tour land where my great grandfather Archibald and his brother John McDonell (McDonnald) had settled. 

I made my way past Waltham and across the bridge to Allumette Island following Hwy 148 south. I was heading back to Renfrew the town where I had lodging.  I did not stop in Waltham and explore.  There are some cemeteries in this area like the Ivy Hill Cemetery and Our Lady of Perpetual Help R.C. Again the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group has publications for these cemeteries

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onrenfre/Cem_Pont.html

The Gravemaker Gallery is at this link: http://www.gravemarkers.ca/quebec/pontiac/index.htm

The photographs of the tombstones is great, but not complete, so you do need to look at a transcription publication to get as many of the burials as possible and then look at the local church records if they exist for that area.  If funeral home records are available that can also add more information.  Take time to note the date of the transcribing of the cemetery, the older the better.  Make a note of the date of the  establishment of the church and cemetery and that will help you target the time period for your ancestor.  The earlier the burial the harder it will be if you find it, if at all.  If the person had money they might have moved to a bigger city like Ottawa and Montreal and died check around.  They may have migrated to another location like Archibald and Mary McDonell who died in International Falls, Minnesota.

The OCFA (Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid) is also helpful: http://ocfa.islandnet.com/

This is also a useful cemetery cite:  http://canadianheadstones.com/

As you cross the bridge fromWaltham there is an area that was once the location of the first church on Allumette Island.  It was neglected and then the bridge was built and that destroyed it completely.  It was thoroughly searched several years ago and nothing was found of significance. 

As I was heading south I spotted the spire of the St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church.  I turned left onto the road by the church sign – Rue St. Joseph and pulled in front of the church.  There was no cemetery in sight? Hmmm….? 

St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Allumette Island, Quebec

I drove east a little further and saw the road sign for Chemin du Cimetière.  It was a gravel road that proceeded east in a straight line.  Well, why not give it a try?  So I drove along going slowly looking on both sides and spied what looked like a black iron fence in the distance.  It turned out to be a black chain link fence and there was the St. Joseph Graveyard nestled among some trees.  As you can see from the picture below it was a little ways down the road.

Looking west, the road to the cemetery

St. Joseph Graveyard, Allumette Island, Quebec

St. Joseph’s Cemetery – Overview

My day tour of the area was completed and it was time to get back to Renfrew and get some dinner and rest.  The next two days would be a visit to the Pontiac Archives in Shawville and more exploring on the Quebec side.

I will post more photos of the cemeteries I have visited as soon as I can get it done.  Use the links above to find more information about a cemetery in Pontiac County, Quebec.

UPDATE 7/8/2012:  Here is a complete set of the photographs for this cemetery.  These are overview photographs so you can get an idea about the location, size and care of the cemetery. 

St. Joseph RC Church & Cemetery

2 Responses to Touring the Upper Ottawa Valley: St. Joseph on Allumette Island, Quebec

  1. Linda Inch says:

    To Archie and Mary McDonald. My name is Linda. I’ts about Julie Ricard. Also most of the people in the Chapeau and Sheen area are related to me. I am also on ancestry and facebook and I too would like to share photos with you. Thanks you guys.

    • bonmac says:

      Hello Linda: Nice to meet you. I would love to share with you. Maybe you can help us figure out why Julia has so many names. Bonnie

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