Eddie’s “Collection of Junk” – Brother Gordy early 1920’s!

September 12, 2013

Eddie’s Collection of Junk scrapbook had a few artifacts that featured her older brother Gordy.  He was formally named Ronald Gordon McDonald and get’s confused with his father Ronald Sandfield McDonald.  He was always “Uncle Gordy” to me.

While Vivian was graduating from Cheney High School and attending the Normal School, Gordon was also growing up. Vivian was the oldest and Gordon followed her.  They were older siblings of Keith the subject of this blog.

I love this picture of Gordy, his hat and his outfit in the following photograph.

Gordon in the Spring of 1921

Gordon in the Spring of 1921

Miriam writes about her brother:

Gordon and Geometry

Gordon and Geometry

The following photograph shows Gordy in what I would call a football uniform and it was probably Cheney High School 1921. Gordon and brother Keith were built almost exactly alike.  They were both about 5 feet 4 inches tall and about 150 lbs. so they were not big men; however, they were stocky built.  Here we see Gordon with a full head of hair.  It wasn’t going to last, eventually, both brothers would become bald but not till the mid 1930’s.  If you look at the shadow in this photograph in front of Gordon it looks like a girl took the picture?

Apparently he was on the football team at Cheney High School

Apparently he was on the football team at Cheney High School

Eddie writes about the Athletic Letter in the photograph below.  I am not sure she was happy about it, but apparently brother Gordon interfered? More about Eddie’s involvement in sports in a future post.

Cheney High School Letters

Cheney High School Letters

Below is what looks like a graduation picture of Gordon.  I lean toward it being his Cheney High School graduation picture because he is younger looking.

Gordon's graduation photo probably Cheney High School about 1921

Gordon’s graduation photo probably Cheney High School about 1921

Eddie had a rusty button that she kept among her memorabilia.  From what I can determine the Older Boys Conference might have a connection to church activities.

Older Boys conference 1922 - Gordon McDonald

Older Boys conference 1922 – Gordon McDonald

This is the page of honor, page 71, where the above pin was kept.  It had fallen out of the “Collection of Junk!”

Page 71 in Eddie's scrapbook

Page 71 in Eddie’s scrapbook

Below are two pages from the Kinnikinick Yearbook in 1923 for the Normal School now Eastern Washington University in Cheney.  I do not know what the Senior B Class means but Gordon is listed in the 3rd column eighth one down.  I do not see him in the picture.

Gordon is listed with the Senior B's in 1923 Normal School Yearbook

Gordon is listed with the Senior B’s in 1923 Normal School Yearbook

This other page from the yearbook for the Normal School dated 1923 shows Gordy with the track team. He is in the front row second from the left, seated.  He was so serious in those days.

Gordon was part of the track team for the Normal School 1923

Gordon was part of the track team for the Normal School 1923 – click to open and use back button to return

Eddie had this ticket for entrance into a track meet in 1923.  It is not listed on the yearbook page above but it might be one that Gordy participated in or maybe they attended together?  It does mention High School and he was out of high school by about 1921.

Track meet Ticket 1923 Eddie's collection

Track meet Ticket 1923 Eddie’s collection

Eddie saved her brother Gordy’s graduation envelope, announcement and cards in her “Collection of Junk.”  This is from Gordon McDonald’s August 1923 graduation from Normal School.

Gordon's Graduation from Normal School 1923

Gordon’s Graduation from Normal School 1923

Gordon's Graduation from Cheney Normal School 1923

Gordon’s Graduation from Cheney Normal School 1923

Here we have a photo of Vivian and Gordon with parasol’s.  These parasols seemed to be a big thing in the early 1920’s.

Vivian and Gordon 1925 with parasol's.

Vivian and Gordon 1925 with parasol’s.

This photograph was taken in about 1925 of Gordon.  He is with someone who he seems to be very friendly with for he is smiling.  I am wondering again if this is not Claude Penglase?  Claude Penglase was to marry Mary Helena McDonald, Angus’ daughter.  Angus was Gordon’s Uncle.

Gordon with a friend in 1925

Gordon with a friend in 1925

In 1926 Gordy was living in Seattle, Washington which sort of strengthen’s the theory that the boy above is a Penglase. Gordy sent this postcard to his sister Eddie and she kept it!  It is addressed to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, so it shows the transition of the family from Cheney to Spokane by 1926.

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Gordon to Eddie in 1926

Gordon to Eddie in 1926 – click on the photos and use the back button to return

Tracking my Uncle Gordy has been a challenge.  Single men move around and he definitely was on the move in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Gordon did not marry till after 1950.  When his mother Grace died, Gordon became the older brother who watched over everyone.


Nellie McDonald becomes caretaker of Grace’s children!

March 1, 2013

Nellie or rather Ellen Elizabeth McDonald migrated with her parents from Chichester in 1900/1901 and lived with them in Bemidji till they moved to International Falls in 1905. She was living with her parents and brother Alexander in 1910 per the U.S. Federal census.

At the end of December 1911 Grace, the mother of Keith and his siblings, died of pneumonia and the effects of childbirth see the post dated July 18, 2010 “An Unexpected Tragedyhttp://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/?s=Tragedy. Nellie became their caretaker.

Nellie on the porch

Nellie on the porch

Just exactly when Nellie joined her brother Ronald in bringing up his six children is unclear.  I have not been able to track her clearly from 1910 to 1920.  I cannot tell if she was with him in Grand Prairie, Alberta.   I  think Nellie did not became the caretaker of the children till just before 1920 but I might be incorrect.  Until I find more information that can pinpoint when Nellie was with them I will have to speculate.  Her niece Miriam implied that she took over right after their mother Grace died, but so far the facts are not agreeing.

Miriam writes that they all moved to the Riverside Drive house after Grace’s death which implies Nellie was involved from 1912 onward? ( Just click on the photo and it will open up for you, remember to hit your back button or close a tab to return to this blog.)

Miriam’s Notes about Nellie!

The parents of Nellie and R.S. where Archie (1912) and Mary (1913) who were living in 1911 when Grace passed, so Nellie would probably not leave them because they were aging.  According to the above paragraph they moved into the Riverside Drive house and that would make sense.

I did find Gordon and R.S. in the Edmonton, Alberta 1916 census.  I did a thorough search of the Canadian 1916 census to try to find  Nellie with the rest of the children but I was unable to locate her or them.

An Ellen McDonald appears in the International Falls city directory of 1917-1918.  This person was a civil servant on 421 1st St., pg. 19.  I ponder if that is her?

I do know for sure that by January 1920, Nellie had joined the family and from 1920 to her death in May of 1947 in Yakima, Washington, she lived with her brother Ronald (R.S.) and followed him wherever he went from that point on.

Her niece, Miriam, held Nellie in high esteem and wrote that she deserved a place in heaven for taking on the momentous task of raising six children that were not her own. Miriam was apparently Nellie’s favorite.

As far as I can recall none of my aunts, my uncle, nor my father talked about Nellie much.  There could be reasons for that.  It may have made them sad, or it was a long time ago.

NOTE:  Please don’t be like me and not ask questions, I wish I had regarding Nellie and the family.


Ronald’s story Continues! Revisiting Grand Prairie, Alberta and mention of Albany, Oregon

January 3, 2013
Keith and his sisters

Keith and his sisters

It is time to pick up my grandfather’s story and follow his migrations. The post dated October 5, 2010, “R.S. McDonald Leaves International Fall, left Ronald or R.S. on his way to Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada.

The photograph above has July 4, 1916 written in the top left corner.  These are R.S.’s children.  The back row going left to right, we see  Miriam and Eddie.  The front row, from the left, is Jean and Keith.  They do not look happy and I do not recognize the house but then it is somewhat obscured.  Their older brother Gordon and sister Vivian are missing.  If the 1916 census (see below) was enumerated on June 1, 1916 then we have a mystery as to where Keith and his sisters were living when this photo was taken? Where they still in International Falls or somewhere else?

The time is about 1915-1916.  Ronald (R.S.) sold the house in International Falls, which he shared with my grandmother Grace. Remember, Grace had died in 1911 from pneumonia and child-birth complications.  See the posted dated July 18, 2010 “An Unexpected Tragedy!”

Why my grandfather left International Falls and headed back to Canada is unknown.  He had six children to care for and maybe the lumber industry was starting to wind down in International Falls and he would soon be out of work.  In any event his reasons are unknown.  To me grandfather’s decision to leave International Falls was a major one and set in motion events that led him eventually to Washington State where Keith his son took up residence and adopted it as his home.

A Quarry Lease appears among papers that his daughter Jean must have had in her possession and it ended up with her granddaughter who gave it to me.

Source:  Quarry Lease, #569, File #13764 Indenture February 22, 1915, #31282, in possession of the compiler.

Ronald Sanfield McDonald, of International Fall, in the State of Minnesota, USA, Lumberman ……does grant that certain parcel or tract of land situate, lying and being in the Province of Alberta, and comprising that portion lying to the West of Smoky River of the South East quarter of Section 17, in Township 71, Range 2, West to the 6th Meridian, containing an area of 28.60 acres more or less….lessee for the term of twenty-one years to be computed from the 22 day of February 1915.  Signed by a J.E. Gibson, the Deputy of the Minister of the Interior [     ], Ronald Sanfield McDonald Lessee and William V. Kane Witness.

I am not familiar with Canadian land descriptions which are probably similar the U.S., but it would be very interesting to pinpoint and identify this land in light of the 1916 Canadian census information given below.  This lease is months before the sale of the house on Riverside Drive in International Falls, Minnesota, which took place at the end of December 1915 which I feature in the post I mention above in the first sentence.

R.S. and his son Gordon appear in the 1916 Canadian Census in Edmonton, Alberta.  I was not able to find Nellie, his sister, and the other children. This census only covers Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Source:  1916 Canadian Census, Bezanson, Edmonton, Alberta, District #37, SSD#25, ED #25, 71/2/W6 Meridian, pg. 1.

line 23, 10/10 McDonald, R.S, twp 71, 2, 6, Bezanson, Head, M, W, age 46, born Ont., Roman Catholic, — Canadian, origin unreadable, yes, yes, —yes, yes, general merchant, E. general store. McDonald, Gordon, son, m. S, age 12, born US, Roman Catholic, 1916, Canadian, origin unreadable, yes, no — yes, yes, no occupation,

The location of Bezanson given in the census transcription, seems to be between Grand Prairie and Edmonton.  Apparently Ronald and Gordon had gone ahead to get things ready for the rest of the family.  It may be why Gordon does not appear in the photograph above?

There is evidence that his children:  Vivian, Gordon, Miriam, Eddie, Jean and Keith all went with him to Grand Prairie.  As I have mentioned before, they didn’t talk about the experience.  By the time I was born, they were all in their late 30’s and early 40’s so these past topics were over and done and I am sure it didn’t even occur to them to talk about them.

Eddie’s Postcard – Collection of Junk

Daughter Eddie (Edna Lorraine) had a scrapbook titled “Collection of Junk.”  Various items from her experience and time in the Grand Prairie area survived.  The postcard above was one of those items.  There was no writing on the backside.

The next item was a drawing:

A drawing by Clara Dahl 1918.

There was a comment made by Eddie but the item it refers to has disappeared or is the one I feature below.  This scrapbook had many things missing and loose that had lost their home.  It reads: Holy Card given me by Miss Kindervater, an invalid who once intended to be a nun. Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada 1918.  I am not sure if the card featured below is the one Eddie refers to.  The backside has various religious notations followed by Christmas well wishes.  It is just the kind of thing a potential “nun” might have?

Eddie’s memories 1918

Is this the one Eddie is referring too?

Is this the one Eddie is referring too?

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In the scrapbook is a grammar book from Eddie’s grade school days but she the name of the school written on the end page is difficult to read.  Click on the photo below and it will get bigger.  To return to this blog either close your tab or click your back button.  I cannot make out the handwriting.   If someone recognizes the name, please leave a comment.  It could be a school in Albany, Oregon (see the comments below) not in Grand Prairie?

Back page of the grammar book.

Back page of the grammar book.

Miriam sent me some notes about each of her siblings and in one of those notes she talked about her brother Gordon.  I share only a portion here but will go deeper when I post about Gordon, my uncle, in the future.  In the first sentences she mentions that Gordon was in grade school in Grand Prairie.

Comments about Gordon

Comments about Gordon

It is possible that R.S. did not go directly to Cheney, Washington after they left Grand Prairie because Eddie writes in her Grammar book that she started the booklet in Albany, Oregon and kept it “for no particular reason.”   This is a fairly recent discovery about the migrations of Keith’s family.  It means that I might be able to find them in Oregon and further pin down their experience.  The entry photo below is dated 1919.  This means that after they left Grand Prairie they headed to Oregon and then to Cheney, Washington?

Front cover of the grammar book of Eddie's

Front cover of the grammar book of Eddie’s

Eddie's comments about the grammar book

Eddie’s comments about the grammar book

An entry showing Albany, Oregon in 1919.

An entry showing Albany, Oregon in 1919.


John (Jack) Archibald McDonald & Sarah M. Burns

July 20, 2012

One of the goals I had on my trip to Ontario and Quebec, was to try to find any reference I could about the marriage of John (Jack) McDonald and Sarah Maria Burns.  Jack, as he was called, is a son of Archibald and Mary McDonell.  There are other John Archibald McDonell/McDonalds in the area so you do have to be careful to not confuse them.

They were still in Chichester in 1901 according to the Canadian Census that had an enumeration date of March 31, 1901.

In the 1901 Canadian census for Chichester, Pontiac County, Quebec we find Mary and Archie still living in the area along with their son John (Jack).

McDonald, Archie, farmer, 63 years old. Birth date is October [5,] 1837. Place of birth is Canada, which is written over with Quebec. Racial origin is given as Scottish, nationality is Canadian. Religion is Catholic. He can read, write and speaks English. His mother tongue is English. McDonald, Mary, birth date is March 13 , 1840, 60 years old. McDonald, John birth date is June 16, 1872, he is 28 years old. 

Source:  1901 Canadian Census, Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec CC Film #T6538, 1800 Pontiac, pg. 116.  

The marriage was 20 August 1901 as written in the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church Record.

John and Sarah’s Marriage

Source:  Ancestry.com, Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection) 1621-1967 database, Chapeau, Parish, St. Alphonse, Pontiac County, Quebec.  Registres Photographies  Aug Greffe De Campbell’s Bay, No. 17,  20 August 1901.

Another source is the Marriages Du Comte De Pontiac:

Source:  Marriages Du Comte De Pontiac 1836-1973: McDonald, Pub. No. 26, Editions Bergeron & Fils Engr’, Montreal, P.Q. FHL #971.4215 K29.

pg. 356 #6916 McDonald, John Archibald (Archibald McDonald & Mary McDonald) 8/20/1901 to Sarah Burns (Geo.Burns & Cath. McMahon).

I tried the Pembroke newspaper published abstracts for vital records, but didn’t find any article about this marriage.

Births, Marriages and Deaths from the Pembroke, Ontario Newspapers Vol I. 1900-1906, Compiled by Members of the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group, 2003.

Elaine (Burns) Brown writes that the wedding party probably…

“…celebrated at the home of Sarah’s cousin Ida Coghlan’s parents (Margaret) Ida Coghlan was the daughter of Ellen and James Coghlan.  Ellen was Catherine (McMahon) Burn’s sister.”  Ida is a witness to the marriage.

I was planning on looking at the actual Pembroke newspaper but didn’t have time to go to the Pembroke Public Library or at UVOGG.  I had made plans to visit Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, and had requested the Pembroke newspapers.  When I arrived on Monday, May 28th they had the other newspaper films I had ordered but for some reason the Pembroke newspapers were missing.  Elaine reports that there was a break in the Pembroke newspaper from August 16, 1901 to January 3, 1902.  That is the critical time frame that I needed.  When reviewing the LAC information for the Pembroke newspaper I see that this break is there.  Still I did not get any Pembroke newspapers at the LAC.

Pembroke Observer.
NJ.FM.1018 F 1, 1867- 1898; 1900- Ag 16, 1901; Ja 3- Ag 22, 1902; 1906; 1913 AN 7158329 and AN 6945397

I also tried the Renfrew published newspaper abstracts for vital records but did not find anything of interest.  LAC has a nice listing of the volumes for the Mercury:  http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/journaux-chez-bac/035005-2209-e.html#ontario-renfrew-002

I did not study the Shawville newspapers at LAC because they didn’t have the timeframe I needed.  I did look at the McDonell/MacDonald/McDonald genealogical files at the Pontiac Archives in Shawville and didn’t find anything on the marriage.

At the Arnprior Archives I checked the newspaper abstracts for the Arnprior Watchman which are listed here:   http://www.adarchives.org/publications.htm

By doing this review of the local newspapers I learn the focus of that paper and eliminate possibilities.

The ultimate goal was to place the timeframe that Archibald, Mary, Jack and Sarah left Chichester for Minnesota.  Archie went back to Glengarry per Miriam’s notes so I would think he would do that before winter set in.  Did he go there after the wedding in August 1901?

The following picture is of Sarah, an unknown young girl, and Jack (John Archibald McDonell).  It was taken in International Falls about 1913.  This photograph was shared by Elaine (Burns) Brown.   On the right side panel of this blog under “Family History Websites of Interest” is the link a link to Elaine’s website:  Welcome:  Burns, Hughes, Somerville, Gentle.

UPDATE:  January 9, 2013 The unknown girl is found.  Please refer to the comments below on this post to learn the identify of this young girl.

Sarah, Unknown Girl, Jack McDonald


Touring Glengarry: Glengarry Archives & the Sir John Johnson House

June 26, 2012

Ever since my Aunt Miriam wrote in her notes that Archibald McDonell, my great-grandfather, might have come from Glengarry, Ontario I have been fascinated.  So I have tried to learn as much as I can about the history and the area of Glengarry.   The information below implies that he grew up in Glengarry…hmmm?

Archibald & Glengarry, Ontario

I begin my tour with the Glengarry Archives which is housed in the Sir John Johnson House in Williamstown in what was Charlottenburgh Township and is now part of South Glengarry.  I had emailed and made an appointment at 10 am on Monday, June 4, 2012.  They are not open very many hours so it is wise to contact them before you go for a visit.   Here is their official website:  http://www.glengarryarchives.ca/

I began my tour from Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall.  There is a roundabout and then you have to watch closely or you might be on your way to New York and cross that big bridge.  I did good for my 1st time and made my way down 2nd Ave E. to Boundary Road (Hwy 44). Crossing Boundary Road, I was officially in Glengarry.  I turned right and came to Hwy 2 and drove along that amazing section of highway.

I think I fell in love with Hwy #2 in this area east of Cornwall. Do you think this is what caught the fancy of our ancestors?  This section of Hwy #2 is right along the St. Lawrence River?

The St. Lawrence and Hwy #2

I drove through Glen Walter and turned left at Summerstown heading north on Hwy #27.  The weather was a little stormy.  I turned onto Gore Road and immediately encountered a gravel road.  There were houses along this road.  There were fields stretching to my right and it was so green.  I could barely keep my eyes on the road because it was lovely.  The sky was dark and threatening and it was pouring rain.  I wanted to stop but I had an appointment to get too. I turned north on Kraft Road and it too was gravel.  It took me to Hwy #19.  I went to the right and came to Williamstown.

Williamstown welcomes you!

The book by Dorothy Drumbrille “Up and Down the Glens” truly came to mind.  I wish I had more time to absorb her stories and understand them. I obtained my copy at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  So far I have not found a copy online that you can read.  They are for sale at various online book websites.

Ms. Dumbrille wrote affectionately and romantically about Glengarry County in 1954.  Her book was charming and nostalgic.  As I drove through Williamstown I can understand now.  It is quiet, lazy, sweet and gentle. It is old and steeped in history.  I was charmed and delighted.

Looking southwest from the Sir John Johnson Manor

I made my way to the Glengarry Archives.  I followed the signs.  I turned onto Williams St. which lead me to the Sir John Johnston house. You enter from the rear of the house and drive around to a parking lot.  You could drive up to the front of house but something told me not too.

Sir John Johnson’s Home

It was about 10 minutes to 10 am so I just enjoyed the beautiful setting and read the presentation boards:

The plaque outside the Sir John Johnson House

Next to it was another presentation board with additional information:

A little more about Sir John Johnson

They also provided a map of the area explaining how it use to be (click the photo and it will enlarge, click your back button to return to this blog):

The area today!

At exactly 10 am a car drove up to the front of the house.  It was Penny.  She is the person who you email when you wish to contact the Glengarry Archives.

As usual when you first enter an archive it is a little disorienting.  I spent most of the time talking to Penny and explaining my family history.  I gave her a copy of my McDonald booklet.  At one point she consulted the Internet and found this blog.  I was touched.

For some reason when you tell a person that you are researching McDonell/MacDonald/Macdonnell etc. they laugh.  After awhile Penny started to shake her head at all the McDonell’s in my family line.  I was relieved that even she would find it all frustrating and confusing just like I did.  I usually get a knot in my stomach.  Well it was obvious that I had more work ahead of me to try to figure out about Archibald McDonell and his wife Mary McDonell (yes she was a McDonell too).  Mary’s parents Alexander John and Ellen (McPherson) McDonell.

I had left a seed and hopefully it will germinate and grown. I really didn’t expect them to give me a full family history.  It is not going to be easy to find that one piece of information that will connect my family.

Sometimes amazing things happen.  There was a map on the wall in their book area and I was coveting it.  Penny had found it at a real estate office and just pulled it off the wall and gave it too me.  WOW!  I love maps and this was wonderful because it would help me to tour Glengarry.  I have that map and will treasure it.  It reads:  Compliments of Royal LePage, M. Jean Cameron Real Estate Broker.  What a great idea, I never thought of a real estate office having maps.

I am grateful to Penny and Alicia for their interest and help and I thank them for their time.

I couldn’t believe that I had been there a full two hours but it was time to go.

What you see when you exit the Sir John Johnson Manor


Monday, May 21, 2012: A Tour of The Upper Ottawa, First Pembroke’s Marina

May 27, 2012

The time had come for me to visit the locations and towns that I had been first introduced to by my Aunt Miriam’s notes back in about 1986.  It was not until 1999 that I finally started the search for my family history.  I started with the McDonald’s in all its various spellings.

The goal for May 21st was to tour Renfrew County, Ontario and Pontiac County, Quebec.  It was Victoria Day in Canada so a lot of places would be closed.  It was sunny and muggy.

These two counties share the Ottawa River.  Renfrew is on the western side and Pontiac is on the eastern.  Here are the tourism websites for these two counties and they are very different in approach and information.  You are going to have to dig to find what you want on these websites.

http://www.bonjourquebec.com/qc-en/outaouais0.html

http://www.ottawavalley.travel/

I headed up Hwy 17 and took a detour onto to Sutherland Road.  I was curious about the McDonald Burying Grounds.  There is not much there according to online sources, probably about 4 stones left.  I didn’t find it.  Well I was to learn it was on the western side of Hwy 17 up Sutherland road to the hill so don’t turn right if you are heading toward Pembroke.

One of the volunteers at the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group is working to clean it up of the poison ivy and to get a memorial plaque and stone placed there.  There is a McDonald family buried there but they are Presbyterian not Roman Catholic something to keep in mind when you are researching.  They are Scottish not Irish origin another factor. In preparing for this trip I learned that a great many Irish came to this area and that includes Irish McDonnells. If you want to learn more about this cemetery contact the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group for information. (See side bar link to the right under Ontario links.

I was not going to dither in Pembroke long because I had a lot of ground to cover.  I would be back later in the week. I took the Greenwood Road into Pembroke so I could get a feel for the city.

The Ottawa River & Allumette Island in the distance

Albert Street is in the heart of the town and I turned right toward the river.  They have a park and a marina at this location.  It was my first introduction to the Ottawa River.  I had only caught glimpses of it as I drove up Hwy 17.

Off in the distance was Allumette Island.  According to my Aunt Miriam, Ronald her father and my grandfather grew up there.  So this was going to be great to finally see this island.

Pembroke’s Marina end of Albert Street

The Marina’s rock jetty and Allumette Island

Looking back towards Pembroke


A Discovery: Archie’s brother John McDonell, living next door in Sheen?

March 31, 2012

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Ontario, I am studying the records and searching in Pontiac Co., Quebec and other locations.

When I first started working on the family history back in 1999 you had to go to the National Archives here in the USA and use the microfilm readers.  Another option was to drive up to the Cloverdale Library in Surrey, B.C. to use their films in their wonderful genealogical department.  Still another other option was the Family History Library films and records.

The census for both Canada and the U.S. was not online back then, so I did the best I could in studying the census to seek out information on Archibald McDonell’s and his siblings.

Recently I took another try at the Canadian census to see what I could find in the online versions at Ancestry.com.  If I could find one more living sibling of Archibald it would give me a better chance of finding the origins of the family.

I believe I may have found a brother living next door to Archibald in Sheen township which is north of Chichester township.  He is John McDonell an older brother to Archibald.

According to Great Aunt Nellie’s chart for Archibald’s side the siblings were:  Ronald, John, Kitty, Angus, Duncan and Sarah.  I studied the chart and decided to try for John McDonald the 2nd child.  See post dated June 17, 2011 “Nellie’s Charts – Her Father Archie McDonell’s Family.”

John was supposed to have married a Julia (fr) Tebeau and they had Thresa, Sarah, Peter John, Ellen, Duncan, Angus and Julia.  So far I have not been able to find any Tebeaus in the area.  I have seen Tibeau, Thibeau and other variants with just a few in the Pontiac area.  So this slowed me down.

I studied Aunt Miriam’s version of the chart and saw that a daughter Theresa (note spelling change) had married a Hugh Downey and they had migrated to Saskatchewan.  They had the following children:  Boniface, Anna Mary, Gregory, Gertrude, Ethel and Thomas.

Since the other family members of Archie’s chart did not have the wives names and very little information, I decided to target this couple because of the name Downey and the name Boniface and headed for the Saskatchewan census.  I found them living there. My goal was to track backwards in the census to the parents.

I found Hugh Downey and a Theresa living in Humbolt, Saskatchewan in 1911.  The name Boniface helped and it wasn’t to hard to find them.

Line 3, 122/122 Downey, Hugh 35-21, M, Head, M, Feby 1870, 41, Que, Irish, Farmer, yes. Downey, Theresa, F, wife, M, Nov. 1869, 41, Que, [Scottish]. Downey, Annie, F, daughter, S, Feb 1898, Que, Irish, Downey, Gertrude, F, daughter, S, Dec 1898, 12, Que, Irish. Downey, Ethel, F, daughter, S, July 1901, 9, Que, Irish. Downey, Bonaface, M, son, S, June 1903, 7, Que, Irish. Downey, Gregory, M, son, S, July 1905, 5, Sask, Irish. Downey, Thomas, M, son, S, Dec 1907, 3, Sask, Irish. All Canadian and all Roman Catholic, all read and write and speak E except the last two babies. Children are in school except the last one.

Source:  1911 Canadian Census, Humbolt, Saskatchewan, pg. 12, Dist #209, ED#38, Twp. 35 R 21 Setion W2, enumerator Colin M. Nelson.  Ancestry.com.

The 1916 census showed them still living in Humbolt Co., Saskatchewan:

pg. 10, line 50, 99/102 Downey, Hugh, Twp 35, R21, Meridan 2, Ayr, M, M, 47, born Ont. R. Catholic, Canadian, Irish, Yes, No., French, yes, yes, Farming, OA, Farm, Ayr, Ont. pg. 11 Line 1 to 7: Downey, Therese, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, wife, F, M, 47, Ont, Scotch, yes, no. Downey, Annie M., 35, 21, 2, Ayr, daughter, F, S, 19, Ont., Irish, yes, yes, teaching, w, public school. Downey, Gertrude, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, daughter, F, S, 17, Ont., Irish, yes, no. Downey, Ethel, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, daughter, F, S, 15, Ont., Irish, yes, no. Downey, Boniface, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, son, M, S, 13, Ont., Irish, yes, no. Downey, Gregory, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, son, M, S, 11, Ont., Irish, yes, no. Downey, Thomas, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, son, M, S, 8, Sask, Irish, yes, no. All Roman Catholic, all Canadian, all speak English and they can all read and write.

Source:  1916 Canadian Census, Humbolt, Saskatchewan, pg. 10 and 11, Dist. #18, SD#19, enumerator John F. [Leverty].

This appeared to be the correct family.  I then found a cemetery record for the St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church showing that Hugh Downey, Theresea and Joseph Boniface were buried in the cemetery there.

  • Downey, Hugh 23 Feb 1869 – May 1945
  • Downey, Joseph Boniface 1903-13 Jul 1957
  • Downey, Theresa (nee McDonald) 19 Nov. 1868 – 19 Nov. 1938 wife of Hugh

Here is the link:    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansacem/leroy3.html  This is part of the Saskatchewan Cemeteries Project.  The research was done by a Rev. Rose.

The Best of Humbolt” index is online at: http://www.afhs.ab.ca/data/humboldt/humboldt_d.html  and on page 269 a young man named “Greg Downey born 23 July 1905, spouse Anne Rath.  His parents were Hugh Downey and Theresa MacDonald, children Edna, Yvonne and Eugene.”

Now we go back in time using the Canadian Census to see if I can find Theresa and Hugh.  Next stop is the 1901 Canadian Census and I do find Theresa but Hugh is not with her?

Line 33, 29/30 McDonald, Peter, M, W, Head, S, 30 April 1859, 41, born Q, Scotch. Farmer. McDonald, Julia, F, w, mother, W, 1 April 1833, 67, O, Scotch. McDonald, Angus, M, W, brother, S, 18 Nov. 1870, 30, Q, Scotch. McDonald, [ ] Julia, F, W, sister, S, 19 Nov. 1872, 28, Q, Scotch. Downey, Teresa, F, W, Lodger, M, 18 Nov. 1868, 32, Q, Scotch. Downey, Anne N, F, W, Lodger, S, 24 Feb. 1897, 4 Q, Irish. Downey, Gertrude, F, W, Lodger, S, 16 Dec, 1898, 2, Q, Irish. McCart, Mary F, F, W, Lodger, S, 8 Sept, 1872, 28, Q. Irish

line 41, 30/31, Downey, John, M, W, Head, M, 1 July 1867, 33, Q. Downey, Margaret S, F, W. wife, M, 8 Aug, 1878, 22, Q, Irish, Farmer. Downey, Michael M, W, Father, M, 24 Aug 1826, 74, O. All Roman Catholic.

Source:  1901 Canadian Census, Sheen & Ether, Pontiac Co., Quebec, pg. 4, SD #18 AN, Township of Sheen and Ether, enumerator Michael Foley, 18 April 1901?

Things are looking hopeful, even though Teresa is listed as a lodger rather than a member of the family.  We also have two of the children:  Anne and Gertrude.  We see that Julia is widowed.  Peter is the name of a brother for Theresa on Nellie and Miriam’s charts.  He is now Head of the family.

Back to the 1891 Canadian census and we find the Julia McDonald Family living in Sheen:

Line 23, W 1 1/4 /5, 94, McDonald, Julies, F, 60, Widowed, born Ontario, 1, France, Ireland, R. Catholic. McDonald, Peter, M, 32, S, Quebec, Mother and Father Ontario, R. Catholic. McDonald, Anges, M, 30, S, Quebec, Mother & Father Ontario, R, Catholic, Farmer. pg. 26 Line 1, McDonald, Elen, F, 26, D, Quebec, Father and Mother born Ontario, R.C. all, Teacher Com, School. McDonald, Terressa, F, 22, D, Quebec. McDonald, Juliann, F, 18, D, Quebec. Killeen, Mary, F, 28, L, Ontario, Teacher, com School.

Source:  1891 Canadian Census, Sheen, Aberdeen, Esher & Malakoff, Pontiac Co., Quebec, pg. 25-26, Dist# 176, SD W. Sheen, Aberdeen, Esher & Malokoff.  April 29, 1891 enumerated by Clarence Slattery.

 In the 1881 census they spell the name McDonnald which adds and extra “n.”

Line 16, 90/121, McDonnald, Julia, F, 46, French. McDonnald, Mary Jane, F, 24, Scotch. McDonnald, Peter, M, 22, Farmer. McDonnald, John, M, 19. McDonnald, Ellen, F, 17, School Teacher. McDonnald, Duncan, M, 14. McDonnald, Terresa, F, 12/ McDonnald, Angus, M, 11. McDonnald, Julia, F, 9. All born Quebec, All Catholic, the last four children are in school.

Source:  1881 Canadian Census, Sheen, Aberdeen, Esher & Malakoff, Pontiac Co., Quebec, pg. 29, Dist 98, SD#2, enumerator Lawrence Slattery.

The names are still fitting Nellie’s and Miriam’s charts for the siblings of Theresa and the name of her mother.   Julia is a listed as a widow in this census.

The 1871 Canadian census takes us back another decade and this time we find a Julia and a John McDonald and all the familiar names of the children:

Line 4, 28, 28 McDonald, John M, 42, born Quebec, R. Catholic, Scotch, Shoemaker & Farmer, M, reads and writes. McDonald, Julia, F, 39, born, Quebec, R, C. Scotch, M. McDonald, Mary Jane, F, 14, Quebec, R. C, Scotch. McDonald, Peter, M, 12, born Quebec, R.C., Scotch. McDonald, Sarah, F, 10, Quebec, R.C., Scotch. McDonald, John , M, 9, Quebec, Scotch, school. McDonald, Ellen, F, 7, Quebec, Scotch, school. McDonald, Duncan, M, 5, Quebec, Scotch, school. McDonald, Teressa, F, 2, Quebec, Scotch. McDonald, Angus, M, [6]/12 Oct. Quebec, RC, Scotch.

Source:  1871 Canadian Census, Sheen, Pontiac Co., Quebec, pg. 11, Dist #91, South Pontiac, M. Township of Sheen.

Apparently John died between 1871 and 1881.  I had made a note where I kept finding the name LaCour rather than the Tebeau name.  I pondered that Nellie and Miriam may have made a mistake about her name or guessed?  Remember the date on the charts is 1932 and Nellie had left the area in 1901.  Her parents had been gone 20 years when these charts were created.

Still back one more census to 1861.

Line 38, John McDonald, Shoemaker, born L.C., married 1856, R.C., 28, M. Julia McDonald, U.C., 1856 R.C., 28, F, M. Mary Jane McDonald, L.C., R.C., 4, F. Peter McDonald, L.C., R.C., 3, M. Sarah McDonald, L.C., R.C., 1, F. Mary McAdams, Governess, L.C. (Not sure if she is a member of this family) R.C., 21, F, S.

Source:  1861 Canadian Census, Canada East, Pontiac (Sheen) , Folio 6 Township of Sheen, Pontiac #236.

According to Nellie and Miriam’s chart John McDonald was a shoemaker.  Theresa is not in this census and that would be appropriate if she was born 19 Nov. 1868 per her tombstone.

John McDonald would have been born in 1833 in L.C. which is Quebec.  The 1871 census we see he is 42 and that means he was born in 1829?   So if Archibald was born in U.C. (still unclear) then this means the family moved around?

I was unable to locate this family of John McDonald in the 1851 Canadian census.  I was unable to locate Archibald as well in that census for the Pontiac Co., Quebec area.

There is a tombstone in the St. Paul the Hermit Roman Catholic cemetery in Sheen that is very interesting but confusing.  I think it is this couple!   Julia is now with the last name of Record and I am not familiar with the son named Charles who is not listed on Nellie’s chart.

It reads:  In Memory of John McDonald died May 11, 1872 aged 42 y’rs and his wife Julia Record, died May 11, 1904, aged 72 y’rs and their two sons John & Charles.  No. 7 at this link which are Steve Naylors tombstone photos that were moved after his death in 2011.  http://www.gravemarkers.ca/quebec/pontiac/sheen/page0003.htm  This is for Pontiac.

UPDATE These links have moved, try the Canadian Tombstone project in Google, 4/12/2013

http://gravemarkers.ca/quebec/index.htm – This is the home page

 http://www.gravemarkers.ca/quebec/pontiac/sheen/mcdonal7.jpg

I am still working on this family but I do believe I have found my great-grandfather Archibald’s brother John McDonald. In review, the children of John and Julia McDonald:

1.  Mary Jane McDonald born about 1857 and married an Isaac Moor in 1893.  (Cousin provided.)

2.  Peter McDonald born 30 Apr. 1859 in Quebec may have married a Mary according to the 1911 census.

3.  Sarah McDonald born about 1861 in Quebec married a John Brennon and had Minnie, John, Julia and Hillary and migrated up to North Bay, Nipissing, Ontario per the 1911 Canadian Census.

4.  John McDonald born about 1862 and died in Dawson City, Yukon Territory in about 1898.

5.  Ellen Catherine McDonald born about 1864 and married a Narcisse Frederick Perrault son of August Perrault and Elizabeth McCormac on 17 July 1893 in Sheen.

6.  Duncan McDonald born about 1866 in Quebec, married a Catherine Teresa Leahey

7.  Theresa McDonald whom I followed back in the census and gave information above.  They had Anna Mary, Gertrude, Ethel, Joseph Boniface, Gregory and Thomas.  They migrated to Saskatchewan.

8.  Angus McDonald born 18 Nov. 1870 in Quebec, married Ida Mary Perrault and had Elenor, Cecile and Andrew.  He is buried in the cemetry at St. Paul the Hermit in Sheenboro.

9.  Julianne McDonald born about 1873 and married Frank Malone.

I am finding some deaths,  marriages and births in the Drouin records for St. Alphonsus and Sheen and will be adding more to this family history.  Hopefully when I visit the Pontiac and Renfrew County in the Spring, I will learn more.  I have not found a marriage record for Julia and John McDonald in the area.


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