The Author of this Blog

Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

This blog is about my father Keith’s life and his ancestors.  He was your average kinda guy, a little hokey because he grew up at the tail end of Vaudeville through the 1920′s, 1930′s and 1940′s and he liked silly stuff.  He loved airplanes and worked all his life among them.  Anything with an airplane engine in it was on his list of things to go see or do.  He was also a very curious fellow and I think I got that from him.

One day he mentioned to me that there was Mayflower in his family line and he was correct.  His sister Miriam also mentioned it in her notes that she sent to me about the family.  I started studying the family seriously back in 1998 and it has exploded ever since.  In the Overview (January 2010) post I gave a listing of the things we will cover in this blog.

Here is a list of surnames.  I will probably add to it as I go along:

  • MacDonald/McDonald/McDonell/Macdonell/Macdonnell/Mcdonnald
  • Barclay, Barkley, Barckley, Bartley
  • Boardman, Bordman
  • Brown
  • Ward
  • Spracklin, Spracklen and all other stranges spellings
  • Goss – They liked to do a long “S” that looks like and “f.”
  • Keller
  • Delano
  • Cooley
  • Wolcott
  • Hayward
  • Bliss
  • Vassall
  • Hopkins
  • Prescott
  • White
  • Andrews
  • Scott
  • Kendall
  • Richardson

Locations covered will be:  Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington State.   In Canada we have New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia.

I have made a great deal of progress on my own family.  Hopefully as I reveal the research I will be able to help others not make my mistakes, learn from what I have done and not done and make progress in their research.

I have several other blogs because the family is so big and they all relate to each other in some way.

The Barclays of Pine River, The Lives of George and Amarilla Barclay http://barclayspineriver.wordpress.com/

The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg, A Canadian Story: http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/  This blog is about my mother’s side of the family.

In my travels I have collected tombstone photographs and I really felt it necessary to share them.  So I created:  BJM’s Cemetery Discoverieshttp://bjmcemeterydiscoveries.blogspot.com/  You will probably run into a post on one of my blogs leading you to this one.

Back in 2008, I headed for Pennsylvania to attend the FGS conference in Philadelphia.  I decided to do a travelogue blog:  Pennsylvania Wanderings was about my Goss ancestors who migrated to Pennsylvania in 1769:  http://pawanderings.blogspot.com/   http://pawanderings.wordpress.com/

Massachusetts Meanderings and more… continued the story of the Goss Family by going back further into the Goss http://massmeanderings.blogspot.com/  http://massmeanderings.wordpress.com/

I also did some Barclay research while in Connecticut that I talk about on this blog.

The above two travel blogs will on day be incorporated into the blog:  Solomon Goss of Fearing Township in Ohio.  http://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/ 

Another interest of mine is travel.  The photograph above - can you guess where I am?  Well, it is the Forum in Rome.  I was so excited I walked it twice in two days.  First we walked around ourselves and then the next day our guide Sophie gave us the royal treatment.  I have a degree from the University of Washington in History.  My interest was ancient history.  So I was in heaven.

I have started a section under categories on each blog called: Updates and Corrections.  I strive not to make mistakes but it can happen for I have so much information that I have collected.  So check that on occasion.

You can find me at the Association of Professional Genealogists www.apgen.org or at the Puget Sound Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists www.psapg.org.

I am the retired Washington State Genealogical Society Newsletter Editor:    http://www.wasgs.org/ and  http://wasgs.org/mo_newsletter.php  They have a blog now:  http://washgensoc.blogspot.com/

To get a hold of me you can leave a comment or email me by cutting and pasting this email:  bjmcdonell@gmail.com

Please leave a comment or subscribe to my blog by filling out the subscription box, or follow me or contact me if you have a question or comment.  I would love to hear from you.   Bonnie

12 Responses to The Author of this Blog

  1. Ron cCrowley says:

    Enfin! I’ve spent three hours this afternoon on Ancestry with only Pittances” unearthed. I happend onto this message board. My g.g.granfather was John Crowley marrid to Bridget Walsh. Their farm was in Chichester, down near the Dunn and Vanasse farms. I got my genealogical start in the 1980 in corrspondence with the impressive Elaine Brown and her books, and research. I think I can relay some Burns stories, as my Dad, John gerald 1916) soaked up the stories of his Grampa, Patrick Edward Crowley who died at age 105 in 1929. Hope I can help. I live between Lindsay and Bobcaygeon. Ronald Gerald Francis Crowley:)

    • bonmac says:

      Ron: Sometimes Ancestry can be frustrating and not help much but at least you have eliminated those possibilities. Unfortunately, I don’t have Crowley’s in my database. I have a few Walsh. I have Ellen MacDonald who married James Walsh. Her father was Ronald McDonell and her mother was Janet McDonell. James and Ellen had Frank and Mary Catherine Walsh who married George Burns, Elaine’s family. I am afraid I get mixed up so you need to talk to her. I can get you in touch with her if you like. That is very impressive to live to 105 years old. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Linda Inch says:

    Hi Bonnie: My name is Linda. I left a comment/answer assuming Your name was Mary Mcdonald and (Archie) and I am going back to Sheenboro this Friday as the entire St Paul de Hermit and I mean it is all related through marriages. I beleive there is a photo of you standing in front of a tombstone of John mcDonald and Julia Ricard. My ancestor is Rose Ricard Thibeau. The St Alphonsus cemetary was split in two . I don’t know if you know where the other part is. Some of the Land from the church was sold to the city in order to build the Wilbert Keon School. So part of the other cemetary is a little further in the boonies. While I was there in 2011 for my second : Bones and Stones tour as I call it. My cousin and I took photos of the two Cemetaries so we have all the recent one. That took us two days. I love your website, you did wonderful in it. The St Paul de Hermit cemetary is the next one to be photographed as that cemetary is mostly the Brennan/Meehan, McParland, Downeys, Sullivans, etc that’s us. I also took photos that would be pleased to send to you. The road to Trout Lake apparently has roadside graves from people who came from Quebec to Trout Lake where some of the families died along the way. My Cousin Bill had a memorial for Trout lake put there and the Crosses and Shamrocks book has Billy and everyone in it. I hope to hear from you soon and if you are on facebook, I would be pleased to add you on as a friend. Who knows”? You may find more photos. My Brennans married into the Downeys also so I am quite famiiar with Hughie downey. My great great Grandma (Probably missed a couple of greats), is a Maggie Downey and the husband was James Brennan. Downey was also spelled Doughney

    • bonmac says:

      Hello again Linda: I did a little editing of your two emails removing your email from the content. One time is enough. Wow! I see that we will have to talk via email because I have a ton of questions. I think maybe you are correct in that I only did the St. Alphonsus Cemetery south of Chapeau and the older one off to the right and back by the school. I have more photos and will be uploading soon. So you are suggesting that there is another older one that I missed. Hmmm…?? I also did mostly overview photos of St. Paul de Hermit because I just didn’t have the time. I did not make Trout Lake, I believe that is up farther? I would be most interested in what you are doing in photographing these cemeteries. I would love to know more about Hughie Downey who is parents are? We will have to connect off line and via email. I will contact you shortly, today is July 4th, 2012 and we are celebrating our independence day, so I am relaxing a little. I saw that it was Canada Day the other day and was too slow to add it to the blog with links. Thank so much for the compliments. I really try hard to be accurate but it can happen. We will talk soon. Bonnie

      • Linda Inch says:

        I don’t blame you for taking some time to relax, my god you did such extensive work. I will be going back to Sheenboro on Friday with another relative. Hopefully I will have a chance to do St Paul de Hermit. At the moment the poor priest from chapeau is conducting masses once a week I beleive at the St Joseph’s Church, once in Sheenboro and the rest of the masses are at St AlpHonsus parish. I am also on Ancestry under the name Bobsyouruncleeh30. (Under the Brennan family) In that website, I posted a few photos of Sheenboro also. Anytime you wish, please use the email that you have to contact me anytime or if you do have ancestry, please feel free to help yourself to any photos you like.

      • bonmac says:

        Linda: The 4th of July is over, thank goodness, they were sounding off till well into the night and it was scarry. I am preparing an email and I am afraid I am too excited and over did it. HA! Have fun in Sheenboro it is very lovely there and peaceful. Bonnie

  3. Jane Burns Fitzthum says:

    Bonnie,

    Your work in genealogy is wonderfully impressive! Such dedication, quality and volume is admirable and inspiring. How am I connected to you? Very loosely if at all. My introduction to you came from Elaine Burns Brown. She and I have common Great-great Grandparents. Myrtaugh Burns & Sarah Greir who’s family settled in Pontiac Township, Quebec. When I first started seriously into researching my Burns/Wagner families I discovered Elaine. She is a delight, I hope you are able to meet her in person on your June trip.

    My Grandfather Wilfred/William George James Burns is the character that has inspired my research. He was a real character in life and in death. He left a fantastic scrapbook that contains a good share of his adult life. Also in my possession are hundreds of postcards written by “Professor Wilfred Burns” to his wife, Mary Elodia, (my Grandmother), as well as postcards to and from other family and friends. The scrapbook and postcards are some of my most treasured belongings.

    Both Grandma Elodia Wagner Burns and Grandpa Wilfred Burns were interesting people. . .a bit out of the norm in their time. Grandpa Wil was orphaned at a tender age, sent to live with family. Grandma Elodia’s Mother, Julia Duby Wagner, died when Grandma was about six. Her father remarried subsequently she was sent to live with her Duby/Dubois Grandparents. (Charles Duby/Mary Watson). Much to my family’s surprise I have found that Grandma Elodia was married prior to being married to my Grandpa Burns. She was married at age 14 to John Cary/Carey 1892 divorced by 1900 then married to my Grandpa Wil Burns in July 1900. She went on to divorce him using a FEMALE attorney! Her next two husbands died but her FIFTH outlived her by many years. A couple of mysteries there. In the 1900 Census she lists herself as divorced, having three children born, none living. We know with some confidence where she lived while married to John Carey but can not find any children living or dead by them. No divorce papers either. Still researching.

    Grandpa Wil? What a life he lead! After his parents (Bernard Burns and Mary Richardson) passed within a year of each other he was sent to live with an Aunt and Uncle along with his brother. There were two or three sisters who also were living with family. Grandpa and his brother were sent to a “School” to learn a “trade” but in reality they were sent to a working orphanage. Grandpa ran away a couple of times, I don’t know about the brother. The Aunt and Uncle would send him back. By the age of fourteen he ran away to the US. . . .He was very athletic, although small 5’4″ 144 pounds when an adult, and soon learned that he could earn his way using his talent. He taught ice skating for a time. He went on to learn acrobatics, ended up in late 1880′s in Hawaii! Eventually he and a Mr. Price joined to form the Price-Burns Pacific Circus. . .so much more. . .He also did hot air balloon assent-ions. Rising above the crowd doing trapeze work and then drifting down in a parachute! He traveled all over the world during his lifetime.

    Professor Wilfred Burns’ love of performing and wanderlust cost him his family. His Allumette Family, his inheritance from there, his wife and two sons. The newspaper clipping from when Grandma divorced him is humorous in our modern verbiage but I am sure it held no humor for her. She stated that he refused to quit his life style (then traveling with Ringling and also the Vaudeville circuits) as he had promised before and after they married. He refused stay home to take care of his responsibilities. I believe the divorce was in 1914. He resumed his world traveling at that time, Australia, New Zealand, India, Dutch East Indies, (Malaysia) Africa. . .

    In 1916 he was in Penang Dutch East Indies doing balloon ascensions when his parachute failed to open. He fell through the thatched roof of an apothecary seriously injuring himself . It was not the first fall he had experienced. However, it was the last. He did not die from the fall but from dysentery that he developed while in the hospital.

    You may have noticed that Mary Richardson was my Great Grandmother. I do not know if this is part of the Richardson family that you have listed as a branch of family that you are researching. I am a neophyte at genealogy, no training, just an interest in family and in writing. You may easily be able to say if Mary is connected to your Richardsons.

    A short note on Grandpa Will. . .All aeronauts/balloonists were referred to as Professor.

    If it is true that in each of us is a story, in each of us a book, I think my Grandparents are an epic example of such. It is my intention to bring them to life again in story. I only hope that I will be given the talent and perseverance to do them proud. AND not embarrass my living family!

    This summer I will be through Seattle three times on my way to visit the Olympic Peninsula where I was, for the most part, raised. Perhaps we can arrange to meet on one of those trips. I can share my maternal genealogy which traces back to the Standish and Alden’s of the Mayflower. A daughter and son of that union married starting the line that traces down the descendents to me. I live in Spokane but my heart knows I am home when I cross the Hood Canal bridge!

    Best wishes for a grandly successful trip to Ontario/Quebec. How I would love to go with you!!

    Shalom,
    Jane Burns Fitzthum
    (Kilmer~Howe~Allen~Rasler a few of the ancestral names)

    • bonmac says:

      Hello Jane: How nice of you to stop by. Yes, I will get a chance to meet Elaine for the first time in person on my trip. I am very excited for she helped me a lot when I was trying to find Archibald and Mary McDonell.

      What an amazing family you have. I am familiar with Elaine’s website and did do some inputing of the familiy of Burns into my Legacy database but alas I did not do much on Bernard and Mary Richardson except for their children but not the grandchildren. So I do not have your lineage at this time. So thank you for sharing. I have done some research for a project for my PS-APG (professional chapter) on some cards that featured the circus and it was a lot of fun searching the information out and learning about the connections and the circus people and life. These were the fancy cards they used in the 1870′s like we use business cards today. Some are very colorful. So the life of someone in the circus is pretty amazing. You are very fortunate to have the scrapbook.

      If you are coming to this, Seattle and the Olympic Penninsula, area at some time I would be happy to meet with you. The Olympic Pennisula holds a great many memories of my Dad and Mom. We went there to camp, explore and I am sure I have been to almost all the nooks and crannies except for the top of the mountains, HA! I do not remember how many times I have been to Hurricane Ridge? In September the WSGS Genealogical Society will have their conference on the 7th and 8th. I will be there in Port Angeles. So I seem to end up going back to it on occasion.

      I am off at the crack of dawn tomorrow to Ottawa and I am getting a little nervous, but that always happens when I head off into unfamiliar territory. I will make a note and contact you upon my return and in the meantime you can follow my travels on this blog.

      The Richardson Family I refer to is very old, New England 1600′s. I doubt there is a connection to Mary Richardson wife of Bernard because she is Irish but you never know. I will be getting to that in my other blog titled Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp. You can reach it by scrolling down the right side of this blog to the Blogs I like section. It is my Dad’s very old side through his grandmother Amarilla.

      Thank you for the compliments. They are appreciated.

      Thank you so much for sharing. Bonnie

  4. Love the site Bonnie. You are an amazing Genealogist.

    I am also a Kennedy/McDonell/McDonald descendant through Catherine Amelia Kennedy. Catherine Kennedy, illegitimate daughter of Alexander Kennedy & Mary Doolan/Dolan, married Edward Fitzpatrick, son of William & Ellen (Philips) Fitzpatrick on January 7, 1875 in Chapeau. Ed & Kate promptly left their life long hometown, Allumette Island, the next day for Ohio to start a lumber company. Two years and two children later, the family moved to Michigan and had six more children. Edward was in lumber industry his entire life and did extremely well.

    I spent months researching and indexing the birth, marriage, and deaths records, first by hand, of the Kennedy families of Pontiac County including their parents & godparents. Then I located most, if not all, of the families mentioned in the records. I assumed for the last few years that Catherine was Daniel Kennedy’s half sister (different mothers on their marriage records). After reading an ancestry.com post about Alexander Kennedy having two children but only one survived, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Shortly after, I received an email from Jim, validating my theory.

    By any chance, do you have any information on Mary Doolan/Dolan of Allumette Island. Jim, a wonderful family historian, said that Mary cared for Alexander, who eventually died of consumption 13 months after Catherine was born. I have an inkling that Mary died of TB and died shortly after. Catherine is listed in the 1961 Census with Daniel and her half-grandparents/godparents. From other research, I read that pregnancy aggravates TB. Any leads would be appreciated.

    Hope to chat soon.

    Deidre Erin

    • bonmac says:

      Deidre: Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for the kind comments. It does take several days to put a post together. The McD’s were my first so there is some housekeeping to do, HA! I am afraid I am not up on the Kennedy’s at all. Trying to track the McD’s has been a challenge. I love stories like this makes it all so interesting. I am not sure of the connection from what you present. I have a Daniel James Kennedy married to my cousin Jane Wilhelmina McDonell daughter of Angus John and Jennette Catherine McDonell who is the sister of my great grandmother Mary. Daniel and Jane had an Alexander Ernest Kennedy, is this whom we are talking about or am I all jumbled up??? Can you give me a little more detail as to who belongs to whom? You know the Kennedy’s better than me and I am afraid I am a little lost! What you see is pretty much what I have at this time. Lately I have been preparing for a trip to the area. Yes, I will be in Chapeau at the end of May. I will be going to Ottawa and traveling around visiting the archives/repositories and genealogical societies digging deeply into the history. I will post about my trip when I get there so you will want to follow along. I am sorry but I do not have anything on the Doolan/Dolan family. However, I would be happy to check for you when I do visit the UOVGG library and the Pontiac Archives, unless you have exhausted them already. I will be leaving some of my research with them. I hope you have contributed?? This is exciting to meet you and Jim both. Recently I have had a breakthrough and found a brother of my great grandfather Archibald McDonell, Mary’s husband. So I am very excited I did not think he had family in the area. Thank goodness for the Internet. When I first started this back in 1999 Canada was really not in good shape. They have changed so much. So what you see in the posts is pretty much what I have and it still needs more census and other work. Thanks so much for contacting me. Bonnie Jean

  5. Jim Gallagher says:

    Hello Bonnie

    I came across your site today. I am the son of the person you name as Mary Catherine Genette Poupore. She is still living and will be 96 on December 20, 2011. She married my father Ed (Edmund) Gallagher in 1945. They lived at Douglas, Ontario, where my father was a cattleman. He died in 2004 at 97 (almost). My mother’s third name was actually Janet, as opposed to Genette. Douglas is about 40 miles from Chapeau. My mother still lives there, on her own.

    What first caught my eye about your site was the page about Jennette McDonell, married to Angus and then to Thomas Payne. Jennette was my mother’s great-grandmother. Jennette’s daughter Jane married Daniel J. (James) Kennedy, as you have shown. Margaret Ethel Kennedy is my grandmother, married to Thomas Poupore.

    The reason I was sleuthing the Internet today is that I am researching the Kennedy family, which my mother is descended from. The Kennedys originated in Scotland, came to New York State in 1773, to Glengarry in 1784 and then to Allumette Island around 1830 or so. I am writing a book and hope to finish it early in 2012. I am including some information about Jennette and her life. After her marriage to Thomas Payne, she became known as Grandma Payne to everyone. She raised her own children and a bunch of her grandchildren.

    We can communicate sometime.

    Regards,

    Jim Gallagher

    • bonmac says:

      Jim: It is so nice to meet you! You are the reason that I am doing this blog, so that we can share. I see that he is Edmund not Edward. Thanks for clarifying her third name. This is so amazing. I am planning to visit the area – Chapeau and Chichester next year in May or June 2012. How wonderful that you know about the Kennedy’s. I am still trying to figure out where Archibald and the others came from. I am not surprised they were in NY. These blogs are my version of a book. I am impressed. Well apparently I didn’t get things too messed up. Please keep in touch. Bonnie

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