St-Alexandre Des Chenaux RC Cemetery…Clarendon Twp.

November 21, 2014
St. Alexandre Cemetery

St. Alexandre Cemetery

One of the notes on Duncan D. MacDonald’s charts about Alexander McDonell and Janet caught my eye before I headed out on my trip to Canada in September 2014.  He wrote that they were buried in Stark’s Corner.  It was on Sheet 2-A, Chart 13 of his Part IV Collection of charts book.

I was at the Quebec Family History Society in Pointe-Claire, Quebec looking at their cemetery records for Pontiac County, Quebec and the volunteer pulled this three page typed paper and I got real excited.  This society has a great collection of cemetery records for Quebec.

I have been all over the Stark’s Corner Cemetery records at the Ontario Genealogical Society and also at the Quebec Family History Society and there is no record of any McD’s in this cemetery located in Clarendon Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec.  This is also not a Catholic cemetery.

Source: Stark’s Corner Community Cemetery, including Stark Family Cemetery, Stark’s Corner United Church Cemetery also known as Stark’s Corner’s Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Recorded August 1991 by Robbie Gorr, Lot 20 A Range 3.  

Here is the link to the Grave Marker Gallery for Starks Corner with tombstone pictures.  There are no McD’s listed.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/quebec/pontiac/clarendo/starksco/index.htm

Well…when the volunteer at the Quebec Family History Society pulled this manuscript, I knew it was Alexander and Janet…

Source:  St-Alexandre Des Chenaux Roman Catholic Cemetery (also known as Ste-Melanie de Clarendon Roman Catholic Cemetery). Lot 24, Range 1, Clarendon Twp., Recorded May 1992 by Robbie Gorr.  The title is: The Lone Sentinel of the Past:

Try the Grave Marker Gallery for photos:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/quebec/pontiac/clarendo/stalexan/index.htm

This is a story of neglect and abandonment.  This cemetery was abandoned and subsequent owners have plowed up the area.  It is estimated that 100 wooden crosses were once there.  There is now only this one lone sentinel, obelisk left. As far as the article indicates there are no records.  The chapel that was there did burn down but the article states that a transfer of the church and cemetery to Portage Du Fort occurred, and Hwy 303 was built bypassing the area.

These are the grandparents of Janet, who married Ronald son of Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson.  This is the Lundie McDonald connection.

The east side reads of the tall stone reads:

Alex McDonell died Jan. 1, 1842 AE 88 Yrs

his wife Janet died Jan. 14, 1847 AE 84 yrs.

The south side reads:

Their Son Ranald drowned July 18, 1854 AE 68 yrs. 

This article reads:

In 1840 Alexander McDonell donated an eight acre plot of land for a Roman Catholic Chapel and cemetery to be built, the nearest at that time being at Calumet Island.”

The mission of Ste-Melanie continued to be served by the incumbents of Calumet until 1854 when Father Bouvier completed the construction of the stone church…at Portage Du Fort and opened a new cemetery. The log chapel and cemetery at Clarendon were abandoned…The chapel is said to have burned down…”

“When the chapel (finally) was built, it was alongside the road which ran from Aylmer to Portage Du Fort. That road was abandoned in favour of the present Highwy 303 which runs between Portage du Fort and Shawville, nearly a mile to the north of the chapel site, thus making the cemetery a long distance from any public road, out of sight from passerby and inaccessible on private land with the permission of the owners.

Another comment made in the article is the name was changed because of another St. Alexandre cemetery at Sandpoint?

I followed out one of the sources listed:

Lone Sentinel of the Past” by S. Wyman MacKechnie from Ottawa Branch News, Volume XIII, Numbr 1, January-February 1980.”

It is of course the magazine of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.  Family History Library had copies and I found the article in a very tightly bounded volume, FHL Book 971-384 D25o V. 13, No. 1, Jan/Feb 1980.  This is a reprint from the Shawville Equity, September 28, 1977 with minor changes by the author.

I found it interesting that in this version the Ottawa Branch News, it was a brother-in-law of Alexander’s that pooled his land with Alexander for the purpose of the chapel and cemetery, not just Alexander donating land as the 3 page manuscript suggests.  This individual received the land from his services in the Battle of Waterloo.  I would like to see the Shawville Equity Article just to see what was really written.

In 2012, when I was touring the Upper Ottawa area and driving from Renfrew city to Portage Du Fort to Shawville, I went right by there on Hwy 303 several times and could have sought out this tombstone. I was trying to identify cemeteries with McD’s in them in the area and I was all over the internet and cemetery books but this one I missed.  I have realized since I came home and did my 2nd tour of Canada that I did not extend my searches wide enough but then I didn’t have a lot of time.

Here are the other sources in the article and I have not been able to find online versions probably due to copyright:

Highways of Destiny, A History of the Diocese of Pembroke, Ottawa Valley Canada, by Rev. Wm. C. O’Dwyer, 1964.

Clarendon and Shawville, by J. Lloyd Armstrong, Dickson Enterprises, Shawville, 1980.

Lift Up Your Hearts, A History of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke, by Rev. Joseph C. Legree, 1988.

If anyone knows this cemetery, has photos and is willing to share, please contact me and leave a comment


Salt Lake City and the British Institute…

October 29, 2014

I am now home again and back from my trip to Salt Lake City.  It is nice to be home for a while and concentrate on the research.  I am behind having been gone all of September 2014 and then a week in October 2014.  I have yet to source my findings from my trip to Canada and so that needs to be done.  I have some things to add to my research from my work at the Family History Library last week.  So I am busy.

The class on Scottish genealogical research was excellent and I am pleased that I attended.  Our teacher Paul Milner is very knowledgeable and personable. He has a blog on WordPress and he writes about the sources for both Scottish and English research:   http://www.milnergenealogy.com/

Staying at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel which is right next door to the FHLibrary is really the best way to go.  I didn’t have to walk all over the place like last year when I was at the Howard Johnson.  Here is the website for the British Institute:  http://www.isbgfh.org/  Unfortunately, I am not use to the new Nikon I bought and my pictures of my Scottish class came out fuzzy, Sigh!

British Institute Irish Class

British Institute Irish Class at Salt Lake Plaza Hotel

DSCN0530

Stacks on B2 British Isles

DSCN0528

British Isles Floor FHL

B2 British Isles FHL

B2 British Isles FHL

City Creek Fountain SLC

City Creek Fountain SLC shopping center

Temple Square Sparkles

Temple Square Sparkles


Genealogical Education: Returning to the British Institute in 2014

October 13, 2014
Templegrds

2006 Temple Square SLC

Last year in October 2013, I took the Sources for Tracing Pre-mid-Nineteeth Cemetery Ancestors course offered by the British Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. http://www.isbgfh.org/

The course was excellent and one of my teachers appeared on an episode this last year of “Who Do You Think You Are?”  I was very excited when I saw Paul Blake on the show.  http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/who-do-you-think-you-are

I spent some of the time searching for my Spracklin ancestors in the Somerset and Dorset area of England.  It was very interesting.  My father’s grandmother was Amarilla Spracklin Barclay.  I was also trying to get more evidence for John Keller’s origins, he is a 3rd great grandfather.  I am also making slow progress on the McDonald side in the research and will be posting about those findings in the future.

Family History Library 2006

Family History Library 2006

This year in 2014, I will be attending the Institute again in Salt Lake City and taking Scottish Research: The Fundamentals and Beyond, by Paul Milner.  It is time for me to get serious about Scottish research.  So I am currently in the process of preparing to attend this course and getting ready for the trip to Salt Lake City.  I also plan to take advantage of the opportunity to do more of the family research at the Family History Library.  It will be a very intense week of classes and researching.  So I will be getting back to posting on this blog some time in November 2014 about my findings in Ontario and more.

The Line at opening to the Family History Library

The Line at opening to the Family History Library

This will be my sixth trip to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library.  https://familysearch.org/locations/saltlakecity-library  This library and their online website for their records has contributed greatly to my research successes.  https://familysearch.org/search  I do know of people who go there even more than six times.

2009 3rd Floor Family History Library

2009 3rd Floor Family History Library

At the National Genealogical Society Conference held in Salt Lake City in 2010 Family Search announced that they would digitize their whole collection and it would take 100 years but they had created ways to improve digital transfer so they could do it in 10 years.  I was amazed.  Every time I go to their website it changes and gets better and better and sometimes more complicated.

2013 British Institute

2013 British Institute getting ready…

2013 British Institute Class

2013 British Institute Class

Well it is time to get back to planning for this trip.  One of the requirements is to read a book on Scottish History, so I best go and get my two chapters in.

The History of Scotland,” by Peter & Fiona Somerset Fry, reprinted several times 1997.


New York Wanderings: Heading Home…

October 8, 2014

After my tour of Boldt Castle and the shuttle back to Alexandria Bay and the pier, I headed to my lodging at Bonnie Castle.  They had huge signs for Bonnie Castle but I didn’t see any mention of the office so turn to the left of the sign as you enter.  I parked and went in.  It took a good 20 minutes to get to the desk and get checked in, it was crowded with people.  Getting to my room was not easy at Bonnie Castle.  I was to park at the rock wall near the entrance to the pub and restaurant.  Turn to the right and up some short steps through a door, down a hallway to another door, turn right through another door to a courtyard and then up some short steps to another door and my room was 2nd on the left.  Needless to say I didn’t bring all my stuff into the room.  I did do two loads but mixed it up with dinner.

My room was awesome!  It was roomy, with a desk, large bed, two chairs and table, a kitchenette with a refrigerator but I don’t remember a microwave.  The bathroom was huge except the door blocked the toilet.

Mostly importantly, I had a great view of Boldt Castle, and the St. Lawrence River and a door to a small lanai with two chairs.

Boldt Castle in the distance

Boldt Castle in the distance

The lighthouse

The lighthouse

DSC09828

A brave boatman

The St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River

Sunsets at Boldt Castle

Sunsets at Boldt Castle and one last tourist boat…

Bonnie Castle has several restaurants but the main one does not open till 5 pm.  So I headed to the pub.  I settled in at the bar and got a hamburger. It was fun to sit there and enjoy the view through the window of the river and the castle.  There was a lot of activity in the pub because it was the only place where there was food.  They let me take a glass of wine back to my room so I could enjoy the lanai.  Lovely…

Morning came to Alexandria Bay and I noticed they had turned the lights out on the Castle.  They did have them on into the night.

Morning - Boldt Castle

Morning – Boldt Castle main restaurant view

It was Saturday, September 27th and time to head to Buffalo.  My flight to Seattle was the next day so I had some traveling to do.

Breakfast was served in the main restaurant at 7 am of Bonnie Castle so I headed through the labyrinth of hallways to the main area and with locked doors I had to find a new route.  Breakfast was a buffet and the room was not busy at all. I settled in to just eat, enjoy the view and the sun rising over the St. Lawrence River.  Breakfast is not included in the room and was good and not bad at $13.00.  I’ve paid more.

I gathered my things and packed up the car and headed out in search of a gas station.  It was not to hard to find and I was soon on my way and back on I-81. The drive south on this highway was pretty easy being early in the morning and having done it the day before. I stopped again at the restaurant I had been to before at Exit #32.  I needed to take a break because I would be on I-90 west for quite a while.  It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Exit #32, not bad.  The restaurant was Good Golly..something like that!  Sort of like a Denny’s but a little nicer.

I have traveled down the eastern side of the state of New York through the Adirondacks and up and down the western side which is very different.  I would be driving to Buffalo on I-90 west which is slightly above the middle of the state.  I mostly in the upper area of New York State.

I have never been to New York City. I have seen New York City from the New Jersey airport and that is the closest I have gotten.  I have always wanted to attend a Broadway show, sit in at the Rachel Ray TV show, and dangle my feet at the New York Public Library.  I had forgotten that I had poked around some in New York City genealogy for a friend of the family and was looking at immigration records in the early 1900′s.  I suppose I should add the Statue of Liberty on my list and Ellis Island as well and the Empire State Building.  I would not be going anywhere near NYC this trip.

In 1985 I gave to the Ellis Island Centennial Commission.  It was not much but they sent me a certificate of Charter Membership which was supposedly signed by Gerald Ford?  I got a membership card as well. A nice letter signed by Lee A. Iacocca, Chairman.  I occasionally go online to see if there is anything of interest in the records, but my family all came over so early that I rarely do.  http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/genealogy  It is probably time to donate again.

New York Counties

New York Counties

I-81 would take me to Syracuse and I really didn’t want to go through and deal with traffic in that city.  It turned out good because Exit 25A came up really quick and the lanes had gone from 2 to 3.  I turned off and came up to the toll booth, moving left to get into the correct lane and not the EZ pass lane. The man handed me a ticket and said “Have a good one.

I-90 is pretty straight and the only thing of real interest is the signage telling you what exit it is and where the service areas are.  It was very busy however, and that made it difficult to get around slower moving vehicles. Looking back in the rearview mirror and side mirror you would see a long line of cars trying to get around you.  I had a few bumper drivers on me and it was so odd because they had plenty of time to go around me but wouldn’t do it.  http://www.thruway.ny.gov/index.shtml  This is a 4 lane highway two lanes on each side with plenty of time to pass.

From Syracuse to Buffalo it was 130 miles.  I was not going into Buffalo but only to the eastern side of the airport at Exit 49.  I figured that meant I would only have 110 miles to go. Again the exits are far apart anywhere from 10 to 13 miles in between.  I came up to Exit 48 A & B and thought I would next get to Exit 49 but no I had the Ontario Service area to drive to and beyond.  I was getting impatient.

Finally, Exit 49 came and I turned off I-90…happily. I paid my $6.50 cents which surprised me and then had to get into the right lane but this red sport car was blocking me.  I wanted to go south on #78 to Genessee St. in Cheektowaga.  Yup I was in Cheektowaga!  Their website has some interesting links to a 1812 cemetery?

I stopped to fill up the car per the rental agreement and again tried to get the gooey stuff off the right side of the car to no luck.  This happened in Toronto at the Super 8.  Someone had put their milkshake or something gooey on my car and it fell and spilled all over.  It was mess.

Oh, one thing I did not mention, the Check Engine light had been on since Cornwall.  I had called the car rental company and they said I had about 1000 miles but they would spring for an oil change if needed.  If the light was steady and not flashing then I was okay?  So I had checked the oil several times and watched for overheating.  This is the second time this has happened and I really am not thrilled.  So far I have not had a flat or problems with a rental car.  The travel gods have been very kind.

I found the Quality Inn next to the Garden Hilton.  It was a funny designed Quality Inn and a little difficult to find among the other hotels.  They put me on the 3rd floor and the stairs were very steep. I was not happy but I walked over to the McDonald’s and had lunch. Food usually helps with the patience factor and on the way back to the hotel I stopped and asked for a lower floor and I got it. YIPPEE! So I moved the car, emptied it of my stuff which was a big job and had to re-pack all my things to fly home.  The room was a mess I had both beds covered but I got it all in.

Later I went over to the Garden Hilton and they had this nice restaurant in the lobby area.  This was my celebration dinner marking the end of my trip. It was a very nice steak and good.

Morning came quickly and breakfast at this Quality Inn had hot food so I was very happy.  They have a nice lobby and breakfast area.

Getting the rental car to the airport was not too bad.  The receptionist at the hotel said I could go either way when I left the hotel, left or right on Genessee.  I went left so I could turn right into the airport and followed it along. I was back at the car rental building which is on the airport grounds.

Buffalo Airport

Buffalo Airport the hotels are visible on the south side

I turned in the rental car and said goodbye to it!  I found the United counter and checked my bags.  Security was easy because I am Premier on United and so I get to go ahead.  I found the gate and settled in.  My flight was two hours away.  I had read about 3 novels this trip.  My Nook Ap and Nookcolor Reader store the books so I can reread a novel if I want.  I was content.

The flight out of Buffalo was very late and I was certain I would not make my connection in Chicago.  After landing at O’Hare, I found the Red Carpet Club for United and they told me about the Customer Service area which was down the F concourse so I stopped there and the man said “Can you walk fast you have 3 minutes.”  So I followed his instructions and once I started to recognize things I was okay.  I was moving really fast and Chicago O’Hare is not an easy airport to get from concourse to concourse.  I found B concourse and they were still loading thank goodness.  The Customer service man called to tell them I was coming.  I was huffing and puffing by the time I got to the gate. I made it to my seat and I was so happy.  The question is did my luggage, it did!  I am liking this Premier thing!

It was EPIC my trip.  My miles were 2011 the first time to Canada in 2012. This trip the total was 1964 miles.  It was a whole 47 miles less!  Still I think it was EPIC.  HA!

I was home and I was glad.  It was nice to see my hubby, my car, my cats and be in familiar territory.


New York Wanderings: Boldt Castle the grounds and the view!

October 7, 2014

Apparently, Louise Boldt found the Thousand Islands to be a place where she could relax from the stress of living in New York City and her husband’s career as a hotel man.   He managed the Philadelphia Club and later the Bellevue, and later the Bellevue Stratford Hotel.  Astor built the Waldorf Astoria and Boldt was its proprietor.  I guess George had to mediate a hotel war with the Astor brothers.  The Empire State building now occupies the site of this hotel.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Boldt

Boldt Castle rises out of the island and is surrounded by lovely landscaping and great views.  You can get right down to the water.  The pictures will show the Castle and the other structures on the island:  The Power House at the east end of the island, the Italian Garden, Alster Tower the whimsical tower, the archway, the Tower and the gazebo, views of Alexandria Bay, the Boathouse across from Heart Island.  I spent a happy 3 hours on the island.

This is a slide show so click on one of the photos and it will open, then go to the upper left corner find the x and click that to close otherwise you will close it all out and have to come back.

 


New York Wanderings: Boldt Castle…a sad story!

October 7, 2014

Why is it that a wealthy person builds something so amazing like Boldt Castle and never really gets to enjoy it?

George Boldt built the castle for his wife Louise Kehrer Boldt.  She died in 1904 and he abandoned it unfinished.  They think he never went back to the island.  So it sat exposed to the elements until 197 7 when it was purchased by the Thousand Island Bridge Authority and then they started to restore it.  They were not planning to finish it just restore it back to when George had abandoned it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boldt_Castle

Here are two more links to explore:

http://www.boldtcastle.com/visitorinfo/ and it is also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoldtCastle

George Boldt was a wealthy hotel man who knew the Astors, Vanderbilts and all the wealthy influential people of the time.  He liked the Rhineland Castles designs and that gives the style.  I thought it also had some whimsy to it and even felt like I might run into a troll or fairy if I was not careful. He and his wife had vacationed in the Thousand Island area and decided they like it there so it was a joint decision to build there.  He purchased the island changing the spelling from Hart to Heart.  If you look closely you will see a theme of hearts through the island.

This is not the only time I have been to a castle.  My hubby and I took all the tours at Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. I have them on my Facebook.  I probably should put them out on the web they are very cool.  George Vanderbilt built Biltmore as his home and he did get to live it in a while but not long.  He basically took a very destroyed piece of land and redesigned it with the help of the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.  I also toured the castle in Trieste, Italy called Miramare and it has a sad story.  Ferdinand went to Mexico to be their king but was shot by the Mexicans.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miramare_Castle

When you visit a home like Boldt  Castle you do have to read about the history of the persons who created it and the area around it.  I knew nothing about the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence River when I toured in 2012.  It was a big surprise to see the all the different sizes of the islands, some with houses and docks.  To find out that someone built this castle on one of them was too good to pass up.

On the 2nd floor of the castle up the grand staircase is a room with a movie that gives an overview of the castle history and of George and Louisa’s life. It was good, a little hokey, but worth sitting for about 10-15 minutes.

The following pictures are of the interior of the castle.  You will see the entrance, staircase, living room, dining room with original furniture, bedrooms, some unfinished areas on the upper floors and the roof area from a veranda.  The roof is very complicated.  This castle will never be finished because it was abandoned so you do get to see the structure of it.  Do notice the colors of the wall paint, one room is a vivid rosy color.

Just click on one of the photos and the slide show will open for you to scroll through.  To close look to the left upper corner for the X and use that to close the show otherwise you may close out totally.  Of course, you can stop by the gift shop at the entrance of Boldt Castle and by videos and books about Boldt Castle which would give you much more detail and professional photos…of do a Google search and click on images…

 

 

 

 


New York Wanderings: Getting To Boldt Castle

October 6, 2014

It was now about 1 pm and I had my boat shuttle ticket and was ready.  I had parked my car in a gravel parking area behind the main part of the town. There are signs for parking.  I had loaded myself up with cameras so I could just have fun.  The ticket booth for the shuttle boat to the castle was at the far end of James Street.  Notice anything?  NO FOG!

The Marina and Boats

The Marina and Boats

Docked Boats

Docked Boats

Well I least I knew where my lodging was going to be that evening.  Bonnie Castle was right across the bay.  This whole trip to see Boldt Castle was just a bit of whimsy on my part.  I had booked a riverside view room so it was not cheap but it was great!  Oh, they take your money when you reserve so be aware of that fact!

Bonnie Castle across the bay

Bonnie Castle across the bay

The shuttle boat on the right and some another tourist boat on the left.  You can do other tours, I just wanted to shuttle directly to Heart Island and back.  I was seated in the front of the shuttle boat on the right so I had a great view.  The bigger boat was very quick, it actually came back twice and moored for just a few minutes?

Shuttle Boat & Tourist Boat

Shuttle Boat to the right & Tourist Boat on the left

Heart Island is right across the St. Lawrence from Alexandria Bay.  If you lean a little over the wharf and around the building you could see it in the distance.

Heart Island & Boldt Castle

Heart Island & Boldt Castle

Heart Island Coming Up

Heart Island Coming Up – I believe this is the Powerhouse!

The shuttle boat takes you around the island going to the east.  On the north side of the island are the docks and Welcome Center.  It departs going to the west around the island.  This means you get a whole tour of the island on the water by the time your done.  Very lovely.

Tour boat is moored at the island.

Tour boat is moored at the island.

Boldt Castle rises above

Boldt Castle rises above

The welcome area

The Welcome area

 The Shuttle Boat

The Shuttle Boat

The Uncle Sam’s shuttle boat took about 10 minutes to cross from Alexandria Bay.  You spend more time waiting to get on it.  Here is the Entrance where you pay for a tour of the castle $8.50 and get hand stamped and they also have restrooms, a concession stand and a gift shop…of course!  I am a senior so I may be getting a discount.

The Entrance

The Entrance

Now for a tour of the castle and would you believe, you can take pictures!  http://www.boldtcastle.com/visitorinfo/

Note:  I have followed the St. Lawrence from Kingston to Montreal on the Canadian side 2012 and 2014.  I have been over the St. Lawrence (Champlain Bridge Montreal) and now on the St. Lawrence at Alexandria Bay in a boat. HA!  I have followed the Ottawa River on both sides in Pontiac and Renfrew County in 2012.  I have crossed over it at Pont Tachereau on my way to Montreal.  I followed the Ottawa River from Hawkesbury, Ontario to Ottawa.


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