Ontario Wanderings: The Brockville Museum & Leeds Grenville Branch of the OGS

September 30, 2014

I came home on Sunday September 28th and still have much to share about the remainder of my trip.  So keep reading.

Canada’s Highway 2 is a wonderful road.  I get to see the country side.  I was contemplating taking 401 but decided “NAH” it was more fun to do Hwy 2.  So from Kingston I headed east on Hwy 2 to Brockville. This time I didn’t do the Thousand Island Parkway road after Gananoque which meant I would be more in the country and the road would not get close to the St. Lawrence till it got to Brockville.  I did take the Thousand Island Parkway when I went this way in 2012 so if you wanted to read about it you could do so on this blog and it is when I fell in love with the St. Lawrence River.

Once I found the Brockville Museum, I went in search of food and found Bud’s on the Bay.  I had a nice fettucine with Shrimp.  It was very good.  Bonnie was in Brockville at Buds on the Bay….giggle…Silly me.

The Brockville Museum houses the Leeds & Grenville Branch of the OGS and they were opened at 1 pm.  At the museum’s front door I went to the right and into the next room turning left and then another left down steep stairs into the small area that is the Leeds and Grenville room.  I was greeted by Patti and she had a surprise for me.  http://www.leedsandgrenvillegenealogy.com/

The Brockville Museum

The Brockville Museum

Entrance to the museum

Entrance to the museum

On the table was Part IV, Duncan MacDonald’s collection of genealogical charts.  See my blog post on this blog dated September 2, 2014 “Sources to use for Untangling McDonell, MacDonald, MacDonell & McDonald families…”  In this post I listed 5 books that Mr. Duncan Darby MacDonald created and here is the one I am most interested in.

4.  **A collection of genealogical charts  Part-IV, 3rd Edition, ISBN O-921133-39-1.  Much of the earlier work done by Daniel F. McDonald of Bristol, Conn and other members of his family at Bridgend (Stone Villa) Lancaster.  A second edition was published in 1988 and the 3rd in 1993.  FHL#971.37 D2, book only.   

Patti and I chatted for a while about how the immigrants got from Quebec City to Montreal to various areas of Ontario and she said they could disembark at Prescott, Brockville, Kingston and even Toronto.  The Loyalists would usually settle by regiment.  Another person had told me that if you know the lot and concession number that is another piece of the puzzle.

The family histories

The family histories

I did not have much time so I proceeded to study the pages I was most interested in Chart #13 and made a quick list of the other charts that where referenced.  Then I started looking for those charts in the book which is very thick and took pictures.  Now I am probably not done with the book because those new charts may have other references.  Therefore, when I get back home I will need to get busy and study all this information.  I left one of my McDonald Booklets based on this blog with Patti for the collection.

Part IV Genealogical Charts.

Part IV Genealogical Charts.

Around 3 pm I packed up and headed out.  When I was there the last time a storm was brewing so I took a few minutes to take some new pictures of the little park and marina near the museum.

The St. Lawrence River at Brockville

The St. Lawrence River at Brockville

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The main street in Brockville

The main street in Brockville

I took Hwy 2 again and I passed through Prescott, Johnstown, Cardinal, Iroquois, Morrisburg, past the Upper Canada Village, Ingleside and Long Sault.  I had driven this route in 2012 and kept hearing about the St. Lawrence Seaway and didn’t realize the impact that this had on the area.

Long Sault has the Lost Villages Museum http://lostvillages.ca/  The creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway flooded many villages and the inhabitants had to move.  The day was July 1, 1958 when the water was released.  The website gives a list of the cities and what happened.

The St. Lawrence Seaway: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lawrence_Seaway


Ontario Wanderings: Kingston Frontenac Library

September 29, 2014

The following morning, I gathered my things and loaded up the car.

Kingston in the morning

Kingston in the morning

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It was a short walk over to the Kingston Frontenac Library on Johnson Street.  It was just north of the Diocese offices.

Kingston Frontenac Library

Kingston Frontenac Library

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Their genealogy room is to the right at the far end on the first floor.

The announcement sign

The announcement sign

http://www.kfpl.ca/explore-online-resources/genealogy-resources

The Kingston Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society

http://www.ogs.on.ca/kingston/

The stacks and holdings

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This is a pleasant, and quiet place to do research.  There are tables to work on.  I spent some time studying the stacks but that is not all they have so use the links above to explore.

It was now time to head further east and this time my goal was the Leeds & Grenville Branch of the OGS – Ontario Genealogical Society library which is housed in the Brockville Museum.


Ontario Wanderings: Revisiting Kingston in Ontario

September 29, 2014

After I left St. Catharines, I headed west to Hamilton and visited that city briefly stopping at the Hamilton Cemetery.  The first part of this trip was emphasizing my mother’s side of the family and her Boardman, Brown and Ward lines. You can follow my adventures on the Boardmans and Brown blog where I headed west all the way to Michigan in Lapeer County where George and Esther Brown settled and are buried.   After visiting Lapeer I headed back to Ontario heading to Toronto where I visited the Archives of Ontario and the North York Library where the Ontario Genealogical Society has their holdings.  Although I was working on the Browns, Wards and Boardmans these two last archives can be of help to me on the McDonald side.  So visiting them was a good thing.  I continued with the Brown family by visiting Peterborough, and then revisiting Hastings County where I had been on my trip in 2012.

In 2012 when I came to Kingston for the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference, I had contacted Elaine Brown and we had lunch.  We had been emailing on occasion over the years about the MacDonalds and Burns connection and this was my first time meeting Elaine face-to-face.

The Wharf in Kingston

The Wharf in Kingston

This time I would be in Kingston for only a short time and I invited Elaine to dine with me at the Keg Restaurant.  I had been working on the Brown family at the Anglican Diocese of Ontario on Johnson Street.  It had been a good day of research.

The marina in Kingston

The marina in Kingston

Elaine compiled the book on the burials and deaths of the St. Alphonsus Church in Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec. I have referenced her book several times on this blog.  Elaine is a Burns and her family history has been her passion.

http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/

Here is the link to her book.

http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/alphonse.htm

Elaine and her hubby visited me in Seattle in July of this year, they had been on an epic road trip.  I traveled with them to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula and I took them up the Space Needle.  We had excellent weather…

We had arranged to meet at the Keg about 6 pm and I was there a little early just relaxing and enjoying the ambiance.  It was good to see her happy face and share some more.

View from my hotel window

View from my hotel window

Back at my room I watched the harbour of Kingston grow quiet as the night came to the area.


Ontario Musings: Brock University and the Loyalist Collection

September 16, 2014

On Monday, September 8, 2014 I visited Brock University’s Special Collections.  They have a Loyalist Collection there.  My goal was to seek out information on Solomon Goss, my 4th great-grandfather who, according to the Pennsylvania history books was held prisoner at Forty Fort but escaped? I was hoping that Lt. Colonel John Butler the man who was responsible for this attack on the valley of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania would shed light on this subject of prisoners.

My father’s side has the potential for Loyalists to be included in his family tree. I do know that some members of the Goss family were Loyalists but I will talk about that subject in future posts on my Solomon Goss blog.

Here is the link to the Loyalist collection at Brock: http://www.brocku.ca/library/collections/special-collections-archives

and

http://www.brockloyalisthistorycollection.ca/

http://www.brockloyalisthistorycollection.ca/collection.html  scroll to the bottom and click on the link and you will get a very nice list.

My lodging for the night had been the Heritage House Bed and Breakfast in St. Catharines.  It is about five minutes from Brock.  It is on Edmond Street between Catherine and George Streets. It has steep stairs so keep that in mind.  It was very lovely and breakfast was delicious. I was well cared for.  Make sure you get all you need from your car they turned the lights out and it was very dark and I did not have a flashlight.

Heritage House B&B in St. Catherines.

Heritage House B&B in St. Catharines.

My route was west on Welland and south on Ontario and then south on Glenridge Road. I parked in the visitor parking turning right at the Brock University main campus sign.

Main campus sign Brock University

Main campus sign Brock University

My destination was the Schmon Tower and the 10th floor.  Visitor parking is at the entrance near the sign so you do have to walk well into the main park of the campus.

Once you are at the building go into the entry way and you will find the elevators.  It is a little tricky to get to the 10th floor.  Go past the elevators and through the doors on the left and walk around to the other side of the elevators and then you can go up.  You cannot access the upper floors from the first floor. You can see the upper floor elevators through the glass but you cannot go through the locked door.  I was fortunate because I ran into Dave the Archivist of the Special Collections and he knew who I was from my email to him a month ago.  So he took me up to the 10th floor and got me started.

Schmon Tower Brock University

Schmon Tower Brock University

My main task was to look at the John Butler Papers by Smy.  It was a transcription/abstraction of the correspondence and was in four volumes with dates.  I targeted Volume II 1778 to 1779, which had the Wyoming Valley information.  Mr. Smy had abstracted and transcribed a variety of letters not just from John Butler but other individuals.  It was very interesting.

Smy's books and volumes

Smy’s books and volumes

Source:  “The Butler Papers: documents and papers relating to Colonel Butler and his corp of rangers 1711-1977″ in four volumes, by William A. Smy, 1994.

Special Collections 10th floor, Brock University

Special Collections 10th floor, Brock University

I had written down my list of books and documents to review but was required to write it all down on their form.  So be prepared to spend about 10 minutes getting your order ready. I suppose you could ask them to scan and email you the form in advance, it is at least worth a try?

Now I could have looked at microfilm of the Haldimand papers but I decided that Mr. Smy was probably comprehensive enough to tell me that I was not going to get any details from Lt. Colonel Butler.  Mr. Smy has the UE initials and he may have left something out based on his perspective but I think he was probably very thorough.  I did take photos of the pages that interested me and will discuss this at a later date on my Solomon Goss blog.

Lt.  Colonel John Butler was writing from the perspective of a soldier reporting to his superiors and he wanted it to look good of course.  He was not interested in personalizing the individuals he attacked in New York or Pennsylvania.  To him they where rebels and nothing else. Remember I did say one country’s hero is another’ villain?

Here are a couple of titles I took a look at, not all:

“The Burning of the Valleys, Daring Raids from Canada Against the New York Frontier in the fall of 1780,” by Gavin K. Watt was a nice book, a little late for my Goss family but very interesting.  They seemed to think that the area of the Susquehannah was a New York dispute about land.  My understanding is that it was between Pennsylvania and Connecticut?

“An Annotated Nominal Roll of Butler’s rangers 1777-1784 with Documentary Sources,” compiled and arranged by Lt. Col. William A. Smy, OMM, CD, UE. This listed the soldier and then gave information about them.  I was particularly interested in McDonell’s.

“Loyalists & Early Settler on the Niagara River Parkway,” by Gail Woodruff U.E., 1968.  This book was well done and I really liked the sources which can give you ideas for research.  Here is a brief list:  Crown land papers, books about the subject and specific locations, Haldimand Collection, 17th report of the report of the Dept. of Public Records Archives of Ontario, The Niagara Gleaner (newspapers), wills, Heir and Devisee Commission etc.

The U.E.L. Association also has a page listing sources and that is a good place to start: http://www.uelac.org/

For those researching the very early years of the Glengarry area (Eastern or Lunenburg districts).  The McNiff Map is a must see.  This is an index on CD Rom.

McNiff Index CD

McNiff Index CD

“Index to the 1786 McNiff Maps of the Townships of Lancaster, Charlottenburgh, Cornwall, Osnabruck, Williamsburgh and Matilda (The Loyalist Maps),”  This is a CD and it is very good and it also includes information from the book  “Lunenburgh or the Old Eastern District Its Settlement and Early Progress.”  This last book is at Internet Archive.

There is so much more that one could research in this Loyalist collection.  This is not the only collection for Loyalists.  I will mention them as I travel along.

I did ask about the submission papers that an applicant would prepare and give to a loyalist organization.  I wanted to know where they keep these applications and how do you access them?  The special collections attendants didn’t know but I have seen books that abstract these applications and I assume that there may be privacy issues.  I also assume you may have to be a member to access them?  I do know that some Loyalist were just given the letters as an honor to them whether papers of where submitted later I do not know?

I encourage you to visit them at Brock they where all very helpful and welcoming on the Special Collections floor.  The Visitor parking is small so get their early.  The person who gathered up my choices was efficient and helpful pulling items quickly and piling them up next to me as she found them.

Once I had gone through reviewing my choices it was time to move on.  I stopped by the student cafeteria and purchased a hamburger.  Sitting in a university student cafeteria always brings back memories of my college days at Central in Ellensburg and at the University of Washington which was a long time ago.

The view north from the 10th floor.

The view north from the 10th floor, St. Catharines, Ontario

 


Ontario Wanderings: Heritage Site, The Steward House

September 14, 2014
The Seward House

The Steward House plaque

The Seward House - Niagara-on-the-lake

The Steward House – Niagara-on-the-lake

Sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised.  I don’t post about the underground railroad but I have come across it in my travels specifically in Ohio.  I had not really thought about the Canadian side of this question.  The sign is on Butler Street about a block down from the main road.

This link has some interesting information.

http://www.heritagetrust.on.ca/CMSImages/be/beef58ca-f187-4930-89a3-67d62ffeed70.pdf

 

 


Ontario Wanderings: Loyalists and the Niagara Area, Part I.

September 12, 2014

My dad’s ancestry goes back into Pennsylvania and into New England.  The Goss family was in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania at the time of the Revolution.  I have been trying to find more proof that Solomon Goss my 4th great-grandfather was held prisoner than using the history books of the area which are not sourced.

As a result I have been a little determined to learn more about a man by the name of John Butler.  He was known in the Wyoming Valley as Captain but the Canadians have him listed as Lt. Colonel.  I will refer to him as Captain John Butler.

I refer you to my post dated June 12, 2012 “Revolution: Canada and the New United States:” I had some links in that post that are rather interesting.

http://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/revolution-canada-and-the-new-united-states/

After enjoying the sights of the Niagara Falls area I headed north to Niagara on-the-Lake where Capt. Butler lived and died.  I traveled up Hwy 100 to Hwy 55 and turned right to Niagara-on-the-Lake.  I didn’t go into the town instead I turned left onto Balmoral Lane.  Be careful, they like to name the streets on one side of the road one name and on the other another name.  It was Balmoral and Anderson where I needed to turn.  It was a residential area and there was construction going on so I was momentarily confused.  I stumbled upon the statue which is located on the land where his house was situated until it was burned down in the War of 1812.  He had long since passed on before that event.  http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio.php?id_nbr=1785

Lt. Colonel John Butler, Niagara on the Lake

Lt. Colonel John Butler, Niagara on the Lake

The other side of the statue.

The other side of the statue.

John Butler Plaque

John Butler Plaque

Find the Homestead

Find the Homestead

The Homestead

The Homestead

Contributors

Contributors

Lt. Colonel Butler was given a commission to organize a militia and he created Butler’s Rangers.  I am interested in this not just from the Goss family history side but because there were McDonalds enlisted in his Rangers.  http://www.iaw.on.ca/~awoolley/brang/brhist.html A Captain John McDonell was head of one of the units.  These two men went on to make contributions to the establishment of Canada.

If you are studying or trying to find a Loyalist ancestor you will have no choice but to learn about Lt. Colonel John Butler, he was very involved in the establishment of the Niagara area and an Indian agent.  He was very devoted to his country, Great Britain.

 


Second Trip to Ontario has Begun….

September 11, 2014

My second trip to Ontario and surrounding areas has begun.  I am on the trail of my Boardman, Brown, McDonald and other families.  I recommend that you head over to the Boardman and Brown blog and follow along on my journey through Southwestern Ontario and beyond.  http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/

Blogging while traveling is a challenge so I will switch from blog to blog if the topic is more appropriate for that blog’s subject.  I will probably not complete my trip while on the trip so when I get back home I will finish up. You have another option to get to my posts by going to the right panel of this blog and you will find the links to my other blogs.

First stop is Niagara Falls, New York, I had to check out that big waterfall that is so famous. Hey two natural wonders of the world in one year, The Grand Canyon last June and Niagara Falls.

First glimpse of Horseshoe Falls.

First glimpse of Horseshoe Falls.


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