A Mystery – Roy Macdonnell?

June 30, 2011

In the last post Nellie and Miriam’s Archibald McDonald chart was featured but it raised questions about the parentage of Archibald. 

Miriam's version - Roy???

There are several possibilities regarding Archie’s father and his mother! 

Who is this Roy? Who is Alex Ban Cameron’s daughter?

1.  The first thought is the St. Alphonsus Church records are correct and John and Sarah McDonell are Archie’s parents.

Miriam's version - Roy???

2.  Another possibility is that Nellie didn’t really know and made a guess about her father’s parents.  She did not have the St. Alphonsus Church record of the marriage of Archibald and Mary McDonell.

3. If  John is Archie’s father, it could be John is his real name while “Roy” is a nickname or he is “John Roy” or “Roy John.”  Keith’s family used nicknames and middle names to identify family members.

4.  Since Nellie wrote out these charts in 1932 years after Archie’s death, she could not check with him to verifying information and we could be missing a generation and Roy is Archie’s grandfather and therefore Nellie’s great-grandfather.  John and Sara are her grandparents on her father’s side. 

One thing is clear finding Archie’s family in the Chichester area has been very difficult. 

A burial location for his parents in the area of Chapeau and Chichester has not been found but more research into the cemetery records of the area is needed. 

So far making a connection to even sisters and brothers has yielded little results.  The Canadian census microfilm for the area of Chapeau, Allumette and for that matter Pontiac County, Quebec  have been searched several times and nothing has been discovered to make a connection to Archie.

If the chart is correct and Archie is the youngest of the siblings in this family, then he probably would need to strike out on his own for the inheritance would have passed to his oldest brother?  The laws of inheritance for Canada in the early 1800’s follow the British rules for inheritance.    The lands in the Glengarry area of Ontario had already been divided up and settled by the time Archie reached manhood and even earlier. 

Here is a list of the children of Roy Macdonnell and Alex Ban Cameron’s daughter – see chart in the last post for reference and more details: 

1.  Ronald married a Williams.  He was a farmer.

2.  John married Julia (fr) Tebeau and was a shoemaker.  The chart lists descendants.

3.  Kitty was a spinster and a weaver.

4.  Angus was a blacksmith and married unknown and the chart lists descendants.

5.  Duncan a farmer and married unknown but has descendants.

6. Sarah married a Murphy and went to Denver, CO. 

7.  Archibald – the father of Ronald and grandfather of Keith and Miriam.

The St. Alphonsus Catholic church record states John and Sara McDonell are Archie’s parents.  See the post dated December 3, 2010 “McDonell and McDonell Marriage!”

Let us review Miriam’s notes:

MacDonalds

Miriam writes that she believes Roy Macdonell and Alexander John MacDonald arrived in Canada by 1800.  However when we review the 1861 Canadian Census in my post dated November 11, 2010 “Mary McDonell, Archie’s Future Bride – 1861!” In this post we find a Alexander John living in Chichester with Rachel, Mary and Duncan all living next to Archibald in the 1861 Census.  The census states that Alexander John was born in Upper Canada in 1795.  Upper Canada refers to Ontario not Quebec.   This means that at least one of the parents of Mary and Archie was born in Canada, not Scotland, and we go back even further in time looking for family in Canada.

Miriam goes on to write about her grandfather Archibald and that he grew up in Glengarry, Ontario (See the notes above and study the 2nd paragraph. Click to make it larger and use the back button to return).

Here is a link to the Glengarry GenWeb http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onglenga/

All the census for Canada 1861 to 1901 show that Archie was born in Canada.  His birth date and location vary with different census, death, burial and other information as much as 5-10 years.  So progress on this side of the family has been slow.

Archibald’s wife Mary McDonell’s side of the chart, which will be featured in a future post, is a treasure filled with families that have lived in the Chichester, Chapeau area and can be traced down to the early 1900’s and further through the St. Alphonsus Church records and in census.


McDonell and McDonell Marriage!

December 3, 2010

Keith’s grandparents, Archibald McDonell and Mary McDonell probably met in the Chichester area of Quebec in Pontiac County.  This town is across the Ottawa River in Quebec and north of Allumette Island.

On April 9, 1861 Mary and Archibald were married at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau.  Their marriage record is found in the records of that church.   Information on the films for these church records is found at the Family History Library.  I featured them in my post dated March 23, 2010 or find the category to the right  under “St. Alphonsus Catholic Church.”

A. McDonell & M. McDonell Marriage

As you can see by this marriage record both Archibald and Mary were “McDonells.”  This brings forward the question:  Were they cousins?  I do not know for sure.  There were many “McDonells” who settled in Canada.  It was spelled in many different ways:  McDonell, McDonell, McDonald, MacDonald and older versions were Macdonell.  The Catholic priests of the St. Alphonsus church would spell it McDonell and McDonnell etc.

Here is the transcription of this document, as best I can make out:

“St. Alphonse Allumette Island 9 April 1861 after the banns of marriage have beene once published at the [prone] for mass in this mission between Archibald McDonell of this mission son of age of John McDonell and of Sara McDonell on the one part and Mary McDonell of this mission daughter of age of Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson on the other part – a dispensation of two of the banns of marriage have been granted by us in virtue of a power accorded to us by his Lordship the Right Revd Doctor [Guignon] Bishop of Bytown and wherein no impediment have been discovered be the undersigned Priest of this mission have received their mutual consent to marriage and have giving them the mutual benediction at Saint Alphonse Allumette Island on this date aforesaids and on the presence of John McDonell and Rachael McDonell who have not signed.” [       ]Lynch, Priest.

The witnesses are Rachel and we know that name from the 1861 census as a possible sibling of Mary’s.  The other witness is John McDonell and I believe he is Mary’s other sibling but maybe even Archie’s sibling?  For now I will place John with Mary’s family.

I became curious as to the name of the Right Rev’d and found an “Archdiocese of Ottawa” website that has the history of the archdiocese at this link:  http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dotta.html  I cannot find any name at this website that clarifies the name written in the marriage record for the Right Doctor _____ Bishop of Bytown.  So it must be a mispelling?

This marriage record tells me the names of the parents of Archibald and Mary.  Archibald’s parents are named as John and Sara McDonell, while Mary’s parents are given as Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson.

You may be aware or not but “Bytown” is the old name for the city of Ottawa.  This is important when doing searches in the Canadian Census for the earlier years.

Here is an interesting website “Bytown or Bust:” http://www.bytown.net/

An there is also a museum at this link about Bytown:  http://www.bytownmuseum.com/EN/main.html  (this site can be read in French).

This Bytown  chronology looks interesting:  http://www.bytown.net/chronologicalbytown.htm

And of course Wikipedia has something to say:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bytown


Mary McDonell, Archie’s Future Bride – 1861!

November 11, 2010

Mary McDonell was living with her family in the township of Chichester in 1861 before her marriage to Archibald McDonell.

I was curious when the 1861 Canadian Census was enumerated and this explanation was given by Ancestry.com:

“In Canada East and West the census recorded the names of every person whose abode in the house on the night of Sunday, January the 13th, 1861. This included both residents and transient passengers. Individuals who were absent the night of the 13th were to be enumerated in the place in which they were usually resident.”

Source:  1861 Canada East Census, Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec, Dist. 415 through 430E, FH Microfilm #0517406, Image 127, Ancestry.com.  Ancestry has cleaner copies than the ones on the Family History film which were dark and difficult to read.

Line 36 Chichester Twp. Rachel McDonell, born L.C., Catholic, age 23, female. Line 37 Alex Jno McDonell, Farmer, born U.C., Catholic, age 66 male; line 38 Mary McDonell born U.C., Catholic, age 25, female; Line 39, Duncan McDonell, Laborer, born L.C., Catholic, age 19, male; Line 40, Finlay McDonell born L.C., Catholic, age 16, male.

I believe this to be Keith’s grandmother Mary McDonell in bold letters.  The age given is a little older than my documentation on Mary but the names of her father and siblings are the same as indicated on the charts Keith’s Aunt Nellie (sister to Ronald his father) created.  I will share those charts in future posts.  The older man Alex Jno. McDonell, age 66, is very likely Mary’s father and Archibald’s future father-in-law. 

If I calculate correctly Alex Jno. McDonell was born in 1795 in Upper Canada.  We may have found Keith’s great grandfather on his grandmother’s side. This will have an interesting impact on Keith’s sister Miriam’s family notes. 

If you look closely you see that one of the siblings Rachel is born L.C. age 23 and other siblings are also L.C. (Quebec), but Mary is U.C. (Ontario) and age 25 and so is Alex Jn.  This indicates the family moved about 1836, but from where and where is the mother and wife of Alex Jno. There is no mention of her in this census.


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