Touring Glengarry: Kirkhill

June 29, 2012

So far I had visited the historical townships of  Charlottenburgh, Kenyon, Lancaster but not Lochiel.

According to the locals it is pronounced “Laheel.”  It is the best way I can present it to you.

Remember that Charlottenburgh and Lancaster are part of the The South Glengarry municipality and their website does have some history of the area.  http://www.southglengarry.com/  Click the link “Visitors.”  They also feature their communities.  Kenyon and Lochiel are part of the North Glengarry site: http://www.northglengarry.ca/en/

I headed up Hwy #34 passed the sign for St. Raphael’s and through Green Valley and Alexandria and kept going north till the road started to curve at McCrimmon to the right.  I was still following Hwy #34.  The highway started to curve left and I turned right onto Lochinvar Rd.  I came to the Old Military Road and went south to the Laggan-Glenelg Rd. or Hwy #24. Apparently this highway has a jog in it because it was the same one for Dunvegan.

A view of Lochiel

Off in the distance were two spires and two churches.  It was…WOW!  My heart started to pump.  I am so glad I decided to tour more of Glengarry.  This was worth it.  Absolutely lovely.

Can you see the spires?

When I was in Pembroke and at the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group library I found a family history in which the writer wrote about the Roman Catholic and the Presbyterian Scots.  He two columns of names listing the Presbyterian Scots on one side and the Roman Catholic on the other.  Then he had arrows pointing to intermarriages.  It really hit home to me that you do need to consider both of these religious groups when you do your genealogical research in Canada.  I learned that Rev. Bethune did marry and baptize children in the Roman Catholic faith for he was the only one in the area for a great while.

St. Columba Church and the modern world

St. Columba Catholic Presbyterian Church is on the south side of Hwy #24.  I turned off Old Military Road and headed west turning left into the parking area.

St. Columba’s welcome sign

The church and cemetery.

UPDATE:  Please note that I mispelled the name St. Columbia.  It should be St. Columba.

St. Columba and its cemetery

The cemetery surrounds the church from the left around the back to the right.  A wooden stand located in the front of the church holds a copy of the St. Columba Cemetery Register publication inside it protected from the elements.  It is there on the honor system so please leave it for others to use.

The book of the cemetery inside this!

Many of the stones say things like this one.

All Natives of Glenelg, Invernesshire, Scotland

UPDATE 7/9/2012:  Below is a link to more photographs taken on this trip to this cemetery.  They are emphasizing McD*’s in the various spellings of the surname.  Most are overview photographs to give a sense of the location.  UPDATE:  1/9/2013 – I fix the title of the Picasa web album removing the RC from it.

St. Columba Church & Cemetery

Across the highway and a little further east is the Kirkhill United Church.

The Kirkhill United Church

A closer look at this church.

Kirkhill United Church

An overview of the cemetery.  They also have a stand that holds a copy of the cemetery book.  Please use it and leave it there for others.

Kirkhill United Church cemetery

I have more photographs of each of these cemeteries and will upload them when I finish posting about this trip to Ontario and Quebec.

UPDATE 7/09/2012:  Below is a link to more photographs of this cemetery.  These are overview photographs and some stones emphasize the McD* surname.

Kirkhill United Church & Cemetery

St. Columba in the distance from the Kirkhill United Church.

St. Columbia in the distance


Touring Glengarry: St. Andrews West (Stormont)

June 28, 2012

Hwy #18 heading west will eventually take you to St. Andrews West.  It is not in Glengarry but rather in Stormont.  I include it in Touring Glengarry because the people would move back and forth between St. Andrews Catholic Church and St. Raphael’s.  It is in the marriage records of the individuals in the Drouin Collection of Catholic records which is online at Ancestry and also Family History Library.

St. Andrew’s sign

When I first saw St. Andrews Catholic Church I was driving up Hwy #138 to Dunvegan and came up over this rise and there it was right before me.  WOW!  The following photograph is the closest I can get to what I saw that first time. 

Move over a little to the right and you are on the highway when you see this view

St. Andrews West is north of Cornwall on Hwy #138 when it intersects with Hwy #18.  The church is on the southwest corner of this intersection.

Behind Quinn’s and St. Andrews Catholic Church

Quinn’s Inn is on the northeast corner of this intersection.  I had dinner at Quinn’s.  There is parking in back.  You then walk through the doors in the back.  Quinn’s was busy the night I was there.  It is a restaurant but different.  It was a big room where the tables were but it was more like an old pub would have been like.  The hosts were a man and woman and they were the one’s serving us.  They were having a special on prime rib.  My dinner was $20.00.  http://www.quinnsinn.ca/

A little history of Quinn’s

There was a reason I was visiting Quinn’s.  It was because of John Sandfield MacDonald the first Premier of Ontario.  My grandfather was named Ronald Sandfield McDonald.  His brother Angus, named a son Lorne Sandfield McDonald.  Now, my dad’s sister Miriam said the name was given in honor by my great-grandfather Archibald McDonell.  She writes in her notes:

Name after John Sandfield MacDonald

I cannot ignore this use of the name Sandfield.  Even though Miriam thought it was to honor the Premier maybe there is a connection.  So far I have not figured it out.  I think I have to dig more into John Sandfield’s background.  His marriage and children are easy to find online but I believe I will have to go back further into this man’s family to see if there is a connection. 

There are two cemeteries.  The one on Hwy #138 is newer with an older section to the north.  There is a big field between it and the church. 

The newer cemetery on Hwy #138 St. Andrews West

The Old Burying Ground is right across from Quinn’s on the northwest corner.  Just watch as you cross for this intersection is very busy and there are many trucks taking Hwy #138 both north and south.

I was losing the light and it is almost impossible to get the whole church into a photograph the spire is so tall.

The Old Burying Ground and St. Andrews Church

In this Old Burying Ground is the tombstone of John Sandfield MacDonald.  If you look close enough at the photograph above you can find it and more.

John Sandfield MacDonald’s Tombstone

 Not to far from him is the tombstone of Simon Fraser, the man who went west and found the Fraser River, which I just recently saw on my trip to British Columbia.  I am somewhat fascinated with explorers and Simon Fraser has been one of them. 

Simon Fraser’s tombstone

 St. Andrews West water tower.

Almost in competition with the St. Andrews Church

I took many photographs of the two cemeteries and will upload them when I finish posting about this trip.  I am almost done.

UPDATE 7/9/2012:  Here are two links to additional photographs of the Old Burial Ground and the newer cemetery in St. Andrew’s West, Ontario.  I started in the southern part from the western side to the eastern (highway) of the larger cemetery south of the church and proceeded north to the older part of the cemetery by the field and then the church.  The Old Burial Ground is not photographed in any particular order and is not complete. 

 

St. Andrew’s West Cemetery & Church
Old Burial Ground, St. Andrews West

Touring Glengarry: St. Raphael’s

June 28, 2012

“Oh ye tak the high road, and I’ll tak the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye, for me and my true love will never meet again on the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.”  (Steven McDonald, CD “Sons of Somerled” and “Stone of Destiny”)  Mr. McDonald and are displaced Scots.

St. Raphael’s is surreal.  I walked the ruins and the cemetery and visited twice to make sure it will always be a part of my memory.   I approached the ruins from both directions.  My first visit was going west and all of a sudden you come out of the trees and there it is before you.  Following the road from the east you see what the photograph below shows you.

Facing east toward St. Raphael’s

The website for the ruins is filled with interesting information about the history of the site, photographs of the ruins being used for events, how to give or become a member, music and more.  Take a moment or two to study it before you look at my photographs. 

http://www.saintraphaelsruins.com/

My first visit I turned left off of Hwy #34 and headed west on Hwy #18.  The second visit was up Brookdale in Cornwall to Hwy #138 and turned right onto Hwy #18 at St. Andrews West.  Hwy #18 is very nice going east to west and you can go through St. Andrews West, drive through Martintown and come to St. Raphael’s and then to Hwy #34 which can take you north to south.  Along the way you can turn down Hwy #19 to Williamstown.  It is a beautiful drive to St. Raphael’s along Hwy #18.

When you first see St. Raphael’s, from the west, you are stunned by its stately manner. St. Raphael is on a ridge, at least that was my feeling.  There is a U-shaped driveway in front of the ruins so you can park easily. 

The front of St. Raphael’s rises so…

You cannot get it all in your photograph so you have to try various angles. 

From the eastern side – St. Raphael’s

I was so fortunate, both days I visited it was warm and sunny. 

From the side, it is so tall

This man in a truck parked and went into the interior of the ruins.  I waited till he had his turn before I entered.

Through one of the wrought iron gates.

Once he had finished his visit, I entered from the front.

Entering St. Raphael’s Ruins

I felt like I should whisper but instead I gently sang “Loch Lomond.” 

A very nice video of the song and lyrics is presented here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbb9aRSQpsY 

The other song was “Auld Lang Syne.”  Forgive me, but you must have some music when you visit.

Looking back to the front entrance, St. Raphael’s

To document my visit to St. Raphael’s I took a timed picture of me in the front of the church.

I really was there at St. Raphael’s

This is the functioning part of St. Raphael’s and the present part of the Parish of St. Raphael’s.

The church of today attached to the right side of the ruins as you face them

There are many plaques out in front one of which is commemorating the Glengarry Immigration:

The Glengarry Emigration of 1786

 A plaque in both English and French sharing information about Bishop Alexander Macdonell 1762-1840. It is on the brick pillar right in front of the church ruins.

About Bishop Macdonell 1762-1840

The plaque that features a brief history of the ruins.  There is a photograph of the church before the fire in the book:  Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry A History, by John G. Harkness on page 126 and a picture of the Bishop.

About the Ruins

This plaque is attached to the walls of the ruins and one is in French and the other in English: 

Attached to the wall of the ruins

The cemetery wraps around St. Raphael’s dominating the area behind the church. 

The cemetery behind the church ruins

The cemetery is also on the left side as you face the front of the church.  

Looking east toward the road and the cemetery

From the east looking west the cemetery spills down the hill much farther than I had expected or noticed on my first visit to the ruins. 

Looking west to the ruins and cemetery

 The welcoming sign of St. Raphael’s Parish and the cattle who were lowing as I visited.

The cattle were lowing during my visit

Remember to click on the photograph and it will open up in a bigger window.  Then click your back button to return to this blog.  I will upload more photos from my visit when I finish posting for this trip.

UPDATE 07/09/2012:  The link below includes additional photographs of the ruins and the area around it.  These are overview photographs.

 

St. Raphael’s Ruins & Cemetery

Touring Glengarry: Alexandria “The Centre of Glengarry”

June 27, 2012

Alexandria is spread over each of the four historical townships of Kenyon, Lochiel, Charlottenburgh and Lancaster.  It is now home to the North Glengarry Municipal Hall as of 1998.  You will not find any history at their website.  You will not find individual city identities.  There is other useful information however like a list of churches in the area.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Glengarry,_Ontario  Somehow I feel I have not really found the essence of Alexandria! 

Maybe some Christmas lights will help:  http://www.alexandriafestivaloflights.com/index.html

I left the Glengarry Pioneer Museum and headed east on Hwy #24 – Dunvegan Road.  The road was straight as an arrow meeting up with Hwy #34.  I turned south.  It was a good highway, my kind of highway.  The traffic was light and it gave me time to enjoy the scenery.  It is very beautiful, green and lovely.  I wanted to stop and take photographs but that might have been dangerous because of the trucks.  Trucks are good they mean commerce.  

Welcome to Alexandria

According to Yahoo Answers there are 40 cities in the world with the name Alexandria and others think that there were 70 at various times throughout history.  I usually think of the one in Eygpt.   Alexandria once named Priest Mills was given that title after the Right Reverend Alexander Macdonell according to John G. Harkness in “Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, A History, pg. 285.”

A proper water tower

I drove past the Sacre Coeur Catholic Church which is right on the main avenue through the town.  Someone was doing some maintenance on one of the bright red doors.   There is suppose to be a cemetery associated with this church but I did not search for it because of limited time concerns.  The church is lovely and amazing.  The spires in Ontario just make me pause with wonder. This is very nice: 

http://www.alexandria-cornwall.ca/diocese_sept_032.htm

Sacre Coeur Catholic Church

Across from it is the St. Finnan’s Catholic School but no sign of the church of the same name.  This confused me but then I did find the St. Finnan’s Catholic Church and cemetery at 70 St. Paul St.

St. Finnan’s Roman Catholic Church

This church is impressive. 

A side view of St. Finnan’s

A plaque of tribute to Harriet (Kennedy) MacMillan 1756-1839 in St. Finnan’s cemetery. (Click and it will open larger, then click your back button to return to this blog.)

In Memory of…

Broken stones by the side of the church, yet the grounds are so well kept.

Broken stones

The cemetery is very large so you need to have help in finding a tombstone like a transcription publication. 

The St. Finnan’s Cemetery

I will upload more photographs of this cemetery when I have completed my posts for this trip.  I will let you know when.  I was touched when I visited this cemetery. 

The cemetery at St. Finnan’s

UPDATE 7/9/2012:  The link below is to additional photographs for this cemetery.  Some are overview others are individual tombstones. 

 

St. Finnan’s RC Church & Cemetery

The entrance to the branch library that is in Alexandria.  It is part of the S.D.&G. County Libraries and is in the western part of the city over in an industrial complex. 

Alexandria Branch of the S.D.&G. Libraries

It is very nice inside.  The website for the S.D.&G. Libraries for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry:  http://www.sdglibrary.ca/   When you use their online catalogue you cannot ask for a specific location when you search, so you have to click on the Availability button under the title.  Once you do it will open and tell you where that particular book is housed and in what branch of this library system.  Some genealogical books are circulating books other are not.  I would start at the Cornwall Public Library in Cornwall and try the Cornwall History Room first where some of these titles are consolidated.  Otherwise, plan a lovely drive in the country to the branch library of your choice.

Alexandria’s Branch of the S.D.&G. Libraries

These photos are just for fun.  We all need storage and of course I would be interested in anything with Glengarry in the title.

A little storage Glengarry Style

And security: 

A little security Glengarry style.


Touring Glengarry: Dunvegan & The Glengarry Pioneer Museum

June 27, 2012

Looking south in Dunvegan, Pioneer Village to the left

My visit to the Glengarry Pioneer Museum was on Tuesday morning June 5 at 10 am.  I emailed them to make an appointment.  They hours are limited so you do need to plan in advance.

Here is their website: http://www.glengarrypioneermuseum.ca/gpm/

I left my lodging in Cornwall and proceeded to take care of some errands and as usual it takes longer than you think.  I drove up Brookdale Avenue and continued north on Hwy #138.  At Cornwall Centre Road this highway jogs for a little bit and then turns north again on St. Andrews Road. 

My mind was blown when I came up to the top of this rise in the road and saw for the first time the church and cemetery of St. Andrews West.  The light and the setting was amazing.  It would have been too dangerous to stop and take a photograph because of all the trucks.  I would be back!  This is lovely:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/rdb466/4809053720/ 

Or take a look at this picture, not bad of St. Andrews Church and the intersection in St. Andrews West:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:St-Andrews-West_ON.JPG

I turned at Monkland onto Hwy #43 and stopped at an Esso gas station.  Just when you are in a hurry you are faced with a customer asking for phone cards.  I gassed up the car and the exchange was still going on when I returned.  It was a bit of time before I was able to pay for my purchase. 

I was late, it was already past 10 am.  I focused on the road and turned left at Greenfield Road Hwy #30.  There is supposed to be the St. Catherine of Seinna RC Cemetery in Greenfield but I do not remember seeing it as I zoomed by.  Greenfield was a surprise with more buildings than I expected. 

Panic began to settle in and I thought I had missed Dunvegan but alas I was silly.  I saw a bunch of trees in the distance and there it was the Glengarry Pioneer Museum began to materialize as I came closer.  I was ticking off the roads like Kenyon Concession 7, and Kenyon Concession 8.  Dunvegan is in what called Kenyon Township but is now North Glengarry.  It was situated north of Charlottenburgh Township which is now South Glengarry. 

One stop shopping!  I LOVE IT.  The Glengarry Pioneer Museum on the southeast corner of Hwy #30 and Hwy #24 and on the opposite corner the Kenton Presbyterian Church and cemetery. 

The Glengarry Pioneer Museum and Village is a wonderful treat.  There is a parking lot on the east side of the visitor building.

Glengarry Pioneer Village Visitor Centre

You enter through the door on the right and they have a lobby area filled with books, maps and artifacts.

The lobby of the visitor centre – Glengarry Pioneer Village

The offices are up the stairs and so is the research area.  I was greeted by an enthusiastic young man who took me to the second floor an introduced me to everyone.  They led me over to the table in the back and showed me where the books were located.  They had looked at their family histories but didn’t have any McDonells?  So I gave them one of my McDonald booklets for their collection. They were all friendly and helpful.  I happily set to work looking through their collection.  I asked questions and one of the assistants made me a map so I could find the Bethune Thompson Manor in Williamstown.  I am most appreciative of their kindness and time.  Thank you.

I was particularly interested in

  1. The Churches of North Glengarry, by the North Glengarry Heritage Group.
  2. Lochinvar to Skye 1794 to 1987, by Madeleine McCrimmon and Donaldson R. MacLeod.

They have a great many books on sale.

Their books for sale

If you look closely you can see there is a space in the center of the bookcase.  It was a copy, one of four left, of the Dictionary of Glengarry Biography, by Royce MacGillivray, published in 2010 by the Glengarry Historical Society: http://www.glengarryhistoricalsociety.com/GHS/Welcome.html

It is copy #214 and signed by the author who lives in England.  Well it isn’t there anymore for I paid for it and brought it home.  It is very heavy and caused me problems because of it’s weight. Go here to learn about this book:   http://www.glengarryhistoricalsociety.com/GHS/Publications.html  There is a subject index at this link, just scroll down.  Apparently they are starting a reserve list for the 2nd printing. 

After I finished up with their collection, I wandered the village, which in my opinion is very good.  I have been to many of these kinds of pioneer villages and this was very well done.  It is much older about 1830 as I was told.  They kept offering to really show me around but I had many places to go and many things to see. 

The front side of the visitor center

The village and the cemetery

On the opposite corner from the village was the Kenyon Presbyterian Church.

Kenyon Church

Next to the church was the graveyard.  I have more pictures of this cemetery which I will upload when I finish posting for this trip.

UPDATE 7/8/2012:  Below is a link to more photographs of this cemetery.  These are overview photographs only because of limited time.  It is to help you get an idea of what the area looks like and what the church and cemetery are like. 

Kenyon Presbyterian Church & Cemetery

I was learning that it was not that hard to get around in Glengarry.  The roads are mostly straight, smooth and paved.  It was a beautiful, warm and muggy day.  Now which way should I go?

Shall I go left or right?


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


A Gem in the United Counties of S.D.& G: La Généalogie et archives SAINT-LAURENT Inc.

June 24, 2012

La Généalogie et archives SAINT-LAURENT was a great find in the Cornwall area.  Do you ever do a genealogical happy dance.  Well I did! 

Here is their website and do spend some time:  ttp://genealogieetarchivessaintlaurent.ca/

They are located at 124 Anthony Street in Cornwall.  You need to be either on 2nd St. E. or Hwy 2 to find Anthony St. Let’s take it from 2nd St. E.  Go east from the Cornwall Public Library about 16 blocks to get to Anthony Street.  Turn right and go south on Anthony Street past 1st St. E., Walton St. and almost to Easton Ave. 

This genealogical society is in housed in a school building and it is big. 

The Genealogical society – The Sign out front of the building they are located in

You enter these doors go straight ahead to the hallway and and turn left. 

Through these doors to the genealogical society

Continue down the hall and turn right:

Enter the Saint-Laurent genealogical society

I almost didn’t go and visit.  The minute I walked into the room I knew I had arrived in genealogical heaven! A very large room to the right and another to the left filled with records!

More Records to the left!

Me among their collection.  Notice how happy I am!

Me and their collection

Rick greeted me and pulled some items from the shelf.  Thank you Rick.

Lillian arrived and he introduced me.  Lillian gave me a tour explaining what they had in their collection and took this photograph of me.  Thank you Lillian.   Note that the Ontario holdings are right behind me on the bookshelves to the left in the picture above.  The rest I believe is Quebec and maybe a few other locations.

Lillian said they focused on French Canadian research but accepted anything about the local area.  I gave them a copy of my McDonald booklet based on this blog and they were very excited.  It does cover Pontiac Co., Quebec.

We took a little time to see if we could find the marriage of my great-uncle John McDonnald to Julia LaCour in Pontiac County, Quebec.  I was explaining the problem we were having with too many names for Julia. I described that the name “Record/Ricard” was carved on her tombstone.  My cousin and I knew her maiden name as LaCour.  It was even more complicated by a 4th potential maiden name of Tebeau.  Lillian said the name LaCour in French.  The sound she made in French makes it very possible that the name was misinterpreted by the stone cutter or mispronounced.  She studied these big blue marriage books for LaCour and they were only showing LeCour.  No luck for John and Julia which is what I have been getting in my searches.  It was worth a try.

Unfortunately my stay was not long enough.  I could see that I needed more time to dig into their holdings.  People were milling about and coming and going.  It was a lively place.  One man and woman were having quite the discussion in  French across from me.   It was great!

Please be advised that the Glengarry Genealogical Society and the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Genealogical Societies are no longer operating in the area.  They are a things of the past.  This is not a good situation.  However,  this society is specifically geared toward genealogical research. There is hope.

ATTENTION:  If you have family whether English or French Canadian who settled in this eastern area of Ontario or Vaudrieull and Soulange, then I ask that you consider giving a copy of your family history to this genealogical society? To be sure they will accept it, call or email first and ask.  I did and I am glad I stopped by for a visit.  

Here is their address again: La Généalogie et archives SAINT-LAURENT: 124 Anthony St., Cornwall, Ontario K6H 5K1 Phone: 613-932-1320 and their email: saintlaurent@cogeco.net

I would like to thank them for their time, interest and help.  Frankly, this was one of only a few organizations that gave me a tour and made me feel welcome on my whole trip to Ontario and Quebec.  GOOD JOB!


The Cornwall Public Library’s Genealogical & History Collection

June 24, 2012

Cornwall, Ontario, is home to the Cornwall Public Library and the Cornwall Room.  The library is on the northwest corner of 2nd St. and Sydney St.  It is a very large building and not to hard to spot.  If you enter from the front you have to walk this very long hallway to get to the main part of the library. 

Cornwall Public Library in Cornwall, Ontario

You can turn right onto to Sydney St. from 2nd St. and left into the parking area behind the library.  You will have to pay for parking but it is reasonable.  Make sure you have quarters.  Follow the signs and road over to the parking lot which is to the west as you enter with a little manuevering through the parking lot below.  There are one way signs and parking restrictions, so watch out.

The backside of the Cornwall Public Library

The library entrance is through the doors in the back of the building to the left of the loading area.   Go through the door and you come to a hallway that enters another hallway and then you turn to your right to enter the library.  The References desks are straight ahead. 

I stopped there and asked where they kept their genealogical collection and was lead to an area to the far side of the main floor.  There were study desks and tables along that wall.  She took me to the stacks where some books for genealogy were shelved.  It is good to know that some items are outside the Cornwall Room.

I inquired about a history room and was told it was only open certain hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 2 to 4 pm. Here is the library phone number if you have questions (613) 932-4796. 

It was Tuesday, June 5th!  So this meant I would have to rearrange my schedule and come back the next day.  The librarian was kind and wrote down the hours for me which I have shared with you.  These hours are not on the website. 

The CPL has a new website at:  http://library.cornwall.on.ca/  It is not working very well today.  To get to the CPL Archive area click on eResources and you will see Local Interest.  The only tab working at the moment is the SDG Online and the ones on top.  The CPL Archives and Surname List are giving me the page of death.  I actually had trouble with the older website when I first went to their webpage.  I have to admit the blog about Freddy the Bear is a riot and good for a laugh  http://cornwallyac.blogspot.ca/

I returned the next day, Wednesday and was early enough that I grabbed a book from the stacks in the Reference area shown to me the day before.  In the picture below they are the first two sections of the first bookcase.  There were some cemetery books, histories and more.

The Reference Section of the Cornwall Library, some possible genealogical titles

The book I removed was: “Bowering’s Guide to Eastern Ontario, A Cultural and Historical Companion.”  Whoa! This is a tour book and historical guide.  I made myself comfortable in some cushy chairs right in front of the Cornwall Room doors and began to review it.

The contents are:  The Perch Route, The Fur Trade Route, Glengarry Higlands Roads, Touring Cornwall, The Loyalist Front Route, The Lost Villages Adventure, the Apple-Cheddar Route, Armchair Traveling, Local Historical and Heritage Groups, Travel and Tourist Information Centers and an Index of Place Names.  By Quarry Press and published in 1992.  Certainly a lot closer to the present time than the “Up and Down the Glens” by Dorothy Dumbrille done in 1954.  I enjoyed her book and have a copy which I found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  I was overjoyed with this find and am in the process of ordering a copy to review in depth.  Too bad I didn’t have it before I visited Glengarry.  

The Cornwall Room, Cornwall Public Library

The Cornwall Room is at the front of the library in the corner.  You enter the library go up to the Reference desk turn left and head to the windows and you will find the Cornwall Room on the right in the corner.   

Much to my relief the volunteer arrived at exactly 2 pm and opened the doors.  I waited a few minutes to give her some time to settled in.  She was very nice and friendly.  I gave her a copy of my McDonald booklet to be added to the collection.   

Apparently you can enter the room, settle in at a table and pull books off the stacks and not have to wait for the attendant.  This I did happily.  The volunteer really should reshelve the books because one cemetery book was mislocated and it took her awhile to find it. 

She gave me a brochure: “Genealogy and Local History Material available at The Cornwall Public Library.  This brochure is a little out of date but it does have good information.

The brochure describes the collection in this manner:

  • CPL Computer Catalogue – all holdings are listed.
  • Cornwall Room:  has books, photographs, papers of a local or regional content and that require special protection. Access is restricted and requires the presences of an informed attendant during limited hours.
  • General Reference Materials are located in the Reference Collection area of the library and are open to use during library hours.
  • Microfilm and fiche readers and printers are availabe and it is best to make an appointment to use.  The limit is three hours per day per patron. 

Microfilm:

  • Census records from 1851 to 1901 for Stormont, Dundas and Glengary.
  • Paris registers from the S.D.&G region with differing dates.
  • Newspapers – Standard-Freeholder from 1883 to present and some of the Cornwall Observer and Reporter for dates about 1876. 

Microfiche:

  • Land Records from the Ontario Archives by family name and location of property dating from the mid 1700’s to the late 1800’s.

Books

  • Numerous holdings of compiled genealogies
  • Historical writings for S.D. & G. 
  • City statistics, documents etc. for municipal departments
  • Histories of local businesses, churches and organizations
  • City directories, telephone books and voter’s lists.

Vertical Files: 

  • Newspaper clippings about Cornwall and other areas of an historical nature.

Cemetery Listings/Obituaries

  • Recorded transcriptions of cemeteries in S.D. & G.
  • Copies of Obituary notices from local newspapers various dates

Local History Name Index

  • A partially completed indexing of un-indexed holdings in their collection.  Specifically related to the Local History and Cornwall Room Collections.  Listings are by family name with call number, page and book.

Example from one of my search: 

The Macdonell family in Canada – author Morice, A.G., Location: Cornwall Room, Publisher: Canadian Historical Review, Pub. Date 1929, Call Number LHCR929.2 MOR.

Then a list of names with pages:  G.M. Adam 18, Donald Aenas 27, etc.

Historical Maps

  • Several maps from the area from the late 1700’s into the late 1800’s.  Many show land owners and or occupants.

As you can see it is not real detailed yet it is a start.  The Stormont GenWeb site has this to say about the holdings at the Cornwall Public Library:  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onstormo/info-local-cornwallplib.html  Very close to the same information. 

So this means a thorough search of the CPU’s online catalogue on the subjects of your interest and with attention to the location of the item in the library.  This way you know what you can access at regular library hours and what you will have to plan to review when the Cornwall Room is open. 

I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA so calling International long distance is something I shy away from.  I would probably default to their email: generalmail@library.cornwall.on.ca  write in the subject line:  Inquiry from CPL website.  You might have to try several times to get a response.  They never answered my inquiry. 

I have not given specific source references, like books and cemetery compilations because  that could get really complicated.  There are many for Glengarry as well as Stormont and Dundas, not to mention Prescott and Russell. 

You can start with these two website to get an idea of what is published and then study library and archive websites to see what they hold:

The City of Cornwall website is amazing:  http://www.cornwall.ca/en/webadmin/publiclibrary.asp

While I was studying the Cornwall Room collection a lady entered who seemed very knowledgeable about the area.  She and the volunteer seems to know each other and were discussing a cemetery reading project.  It sounded wonderful what was happening in identifying graves at a local church.  I was to learn that she was from the Saint Laurent Genealogical Society (it really should be written in French) located in Cornwall.  I had visited this society several days before and will write about them in the next post. 

This conversation between the two ladies tells me that a big missing part of my visit to Glengarry is the personal connections with the people who know the history and genealogy of the area.  There is hope, for I did meet some really nice, helpful people.  I just needed more time.


An Overview: Dundas, Stormont and the city of Cornwall, Ontario

June 24, 2012

When the sign for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry appeared, I knew I was at the first part of the united counties and that was Dundas.  I was heading east so next would be Stormont and then Glengarry, then Quebec.  The sign on the left reads:  Marine Coast Station Road.  So we have at least an idea were the sign is located on Hwy #2.

Welcome to Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry

This timeline is courtesy of the Stormont GenWeb Page:

  • 1788 to  October of 1792:  The area was the District of Lunenburg
  • In 1792 it became the Eastern District and included the future counties of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott, Russell, Leeds, Grenville and Carleton.
  • 1800 the Counties of Leeds, Grenville and Carleton were separated and became the Johnstown District.
  • 1816 Prescott and Russell became the Ottawa District.
  • 1850 the districts were abolished that is when it became the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry up to the present.

    1885 Map of the United Counties

Trying to compare this map with a current maps is rather interesting.  The Ontario locater website might help.  It can tell you what cities and towns are in what areas:  http://www.geneofun.on.ca/ontariolocator/index.html

My fascination with the St. Lawrence River kept me on Hwy #2 and it took me through Iroquois, Morrisburg, and past the Upper Canada Village and just at the eastern boundary of that is the beginning of Stormont.  I only crossed through the southern area of Dundas and Stormont on my way to Cornwall.   I did not venture into the interior. 

Here is a link to the Dundas County Genweb site for more information, history, maps and sources.   http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ondundas/  Dundas was made up of townships.  Starting on the western side there is Mountain above Matilda which borders the St. Lawrence.  To the east is Winchester above Williamsburg which borders the St. Lawrence. 

The Dundas GenWeb site needs a host.  I am tempted but it would mean I would have to buff up on the area and I am lagging behind.  How about you, can you help by volunteering to host the Dundas GenWeb Site?  We all need to rally and preserve the history of our ancestors for there are forces working against that at this time.   

From there I traveled through the lower part of Stormont passing through the towns of Ingleside, Long Sault and on into Cornwall.  There is an interesting drive around Long Sault that might be fun, sigh!  Here is a link to the Stormont Genweb site for more information including history, maps and many sources: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onstormo/index.html 

The former townships of Stormont on the western side are Osnabruck next to the St. Lawrence and Finch northwest of it.  They are followed by Cornwall which touches the St. Lawrence River and Roxborough northwest of it.  This means I traveled along the southern parts of Osnabruck and Cornwall townships.

Be advised that all these former counties have had changes to their governmental structures in the past few years so if you are looking for these townships on a new map you might not find them.  It is now north and south Dundas, Stormont and Glengarry. 

The city of Cornwall would be used as my base of operations.  It was located on the border right next to my real target, the former Glengarry County.   http://www.visit.cornwall.on.ca/  I am still trying to learn more about the origins of my great-grandfather Archibald McDonell, his wife Mary and her father and mother Alexander John and Ellen McPherson McDonell.  My Aunt Miriam, my dad’s sister, believed Archie came from the Glengarry area of Ontario.  So I was in the area to learn what I could about the records and research. 

This is a major website for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and it takes you to the municipal pages and more:  http://www.sdg.on.ca/

As I traveled along the St. Lawrence there were several bridges across to New York.  Cornwall has its own very amazing bridge called the Sea Way International Bridge.  It is very impressive and if you are not careful when driving on Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall you can end up on it rather than on the streets of Cornwall that head to the downtown area.  The picture below is the beginning of the bridge and it is massive.

The Bridge to New York, in Cornwall looking north on Brookdale

I stopped by the Tourism center (Pitt and Water St. northside of the street) (613) 938-4748 or 1-800-937-4748 and it is right next door to the Cornwall Jail which was also the old Lunenburg District Courthouse.  Here is a better picture of the plaque than my photo can reveal:   http://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/2594296840/  This is just across the street from the big beautiful park.  The ladies in the Tourism center were very helpful. 

I got more maps of Cornwall:

  • Cornwall and the Seaway Valley Map 2012 Edition. 
  • United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry map which has maps of each of the towns in the area except Cornwall.  Love this one.
  • Cornwall and Seaway Valley Tourism map.  This map is helpful but thin in information. It is one of those that you tear off a pad. 
The Tourist Centre (left) and the Jail

The Lamoureux Park on the waterfront in Cornwall is very lovely but a little hard to figure out where to go and park your car.  http://www.cornwall.ca/en/recreation/LamoureuxPark.asp  

There are traffic lights along Water St. and left turn lanes if you are going west. I think it was York St. where I turned left into the parking lot for the Cornwall Community Museum.  Find the Clock Tower and go west till you see the museum and turn in.  You can also park in the Civic Centre area.  Just read the signs to be sure you are not in a restricted zone.  There is a map of the park on a board somewhere in the park giving the pathways and more.  I wish I had more time to explore it was very pretty.  This link gives some idea of how it is designed:  http://www.waterfronttrail.org/maps/wt-7_06.pdf 

The Park and the Bridge in Cornwall

Somewhere in this area near the Civic Centre,  Sir John Johnson and the Loyalists were supposed to have landed and proceeded to settle in the area, but so far I have not been able to pin that down.  Anyone have an idea?

UPDATE:  Try this site Plaque #21 – Location:  In L’ameurieux Park at the foot of Augustus Street, Cornwall “The Founding of Cornwall.”  You will have to scroll down:  http://www.cornwall-lacac.on.ca/

Cornwall’s Clock Tower on Water Street

In the next post I will describe my visits to several of the genealogical repositories of Cornwall. After that, I will write about my tour of the former Glengarry County. 

The St. Lawrence River from the park in Cornwall looking across to the reservation island


Brockville: A quick Visit!

June 22, 2012

Brockville is a town along the St. Lawrence that is quite charming.  The 1000 Island Parkway ends a little to the west of Brockville and if you aren’t careful you will end up on the major highway 401.

http://www.brockvilletourism.com/

I took Brockmere Cliff Drive just in time before I came to 401.  It is a right turn after E. Townline Rd. I almost missed it.  This road meets up with Hwy 2 and that takes you into Brockville. 

Entering Brockville

I found the Brockville Museum and parked my car and was surprised to find it open.  I didn’t dally because I had to keep moving.  My plan was to have dinner at the Upper Canada Village which closed at 5 pm and time was slipping by.  http://www.brockvillemuseum.com/museum/

The Brockville Museum

Next to the museum was the marina and a nice little park where I could watch the boats out on the St. Lawrence River.   Storm clouds are collecting!

Brockville Marina

Boats out on the river.

Boats out on the St. Lawrence

Geese were also enjoying the water.

The St. Lawrence next to the Brockville Marina

Downtown Brockville’s main square and I wish I had more time to explore!

The Main Square in Brockville, Ontario

Brockville was the home of Duncan Darby Macdonald and the MacDonald Research Centre.  Duncan did a great many books on Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and lots of charts and compilation of various families including McDonalds.  He died awhile back but his collection is with Global Genealogy.  A great many of his works are with the Family History Library and many other archives, libraries and genealogical societies.  They spell his name in a variety of ways and it can get confusing.

http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette/gazed/gazed139.htm

 

 

 


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