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.


Alexander Thomas McDonald passes in 1955

November 22, 2012

I never met my great Uncle Alex.  He died with I was 7 years old and we did live quite a distance from each other.

Photo:  The following photograph is of Alexander visiting with his nephews, Keith is on the left and Gordon is in the middle.  This photo below is an interesting contrast between the photo of Keith as a little boy sitting on Alex’s knee for the Fireman’s conference in the post dated:  August 7, 2010 “Alexander Thomas McDonald, Fireman.”  Photo is probably circa 1930’s.  Keith was about 5 feet 5 inches so we can see that Alex was probably just a tad taller and solidly built.  The men may have been short but they were stocky in build.

Uncle Alex with Keith and Gordon

When I visited my cousin Mary, Alex’s niece, in 2000 and 2001 and she told me stories about Alexander.

Alex never married but he did have on occasion ladies he was fond of.  He used to go down to the Boston Cafe at the same time every day.  He was fond of Sadie Rule who worked there.  He also had fancy cars and use to take his girl Jean for drives. Jean was a nice lady. 

Sarah, her mother, used to have Alex over for Sunday dinners every week.  Alex lived with Mary for a time towards the end of his life when he started getting sick but he was too regimented a person and did not understand what life was like for a family.  Alex visited her in the hospital when she had her 2nd child and while he was sitting there he had a stroke (1952).  He died of pneumonia in 1955 with complications (throat cancer).”

In an article in the Fireman’s Centennial Book, International Falls, 1982 this appears:

“Gil” Louiseau retires 1982….Gil Louiseau retired from the International Falls fire department September 15, 1983 after serving 26 years…Gil’s wife Mary, is the former Mary McDonald, whose father Jack and Uncle Alex were early day fireman with the International Falls Fire Department. Uncle Alex served as relief driver and caretaker of the team of horses which were the only ‘horsepower’ the early day department had to haul the water wagon to fire locations within the city…”

Alex is mentioned on page 3 in the Volunteer Fireman listings of 1900-1992. On page 12 there is a photo of the horse team and both Alex and Jack are listed. On page 21 there is a picture of the firehouse were Alex was stationed.  

Falls Firemen 1917

Obituary found in the Daily Journal, International Falls, MN on November 4, 1955. This newspaper obituary notice was in the files of the Koochiching Public Library.

Alex McDonald, Falls Resident since 1904, Dies. Alex T. McDonald, 80, pioneer resident of International Falls, died late Thursday night at the Falls Nursing home, where he has made his home for several years. He had been confined to his bed for about a week. Born in Chichester, Que., November 25, 1874, he moved to Duluth in 1897. From there he came to International Falls in 1904 and has lived here since that time, except for a brief period spent in Western Canada. McDonald operated a dray line in the Falls for 11 years, and was city weighmaster from 1919 to 1947, a period of 28 years. He never married. A niece, Mrs. Gilbert Louiseau of the Falls, survives. Rosary service will be conducted at Green Mortuary Sunday evening at 8 o’clock. Requiem high mass at St. Thomas Catholic church is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Monday. Interment will be in the family plot of St. Thomas cemetery. Funeral arrangements were made by Green Mortuary.

Alex’s death certificate states the following:

Alexander died at the County Nursing Home, 2 miles south of International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota. Died Nov. 3, 1955, Male, white, never married, date of birth Nov. 25, 1874, age 80 years. City Weighmaster, ret’d, city employee. Born in Chichester, Quebec, Canada. Citizen of the USA. Father was Archibald McDonald and Mother was Mary McDonald. He did not serve in the US Armed forces, no SS#, informant was Mary C. Louiseau of Inter’l Falls. Died of pneumonia lober, 1.5 days. C. B. Will, M.D. Filed Nov. 22, 1955 by Registrar. Green Mortuary handled the arrangements.  Source:  Alexander T. McDonald, Certificate of Death #7718, Nov. 3, 1955 FHL#2139432.

Weighmaster definition: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-a-weighmaster-do.htm

Overview of the McDonald plot in St. Thomas Cemetery International Falls

Alex is buried with his father, mother, brother Jack and others in the family plot in the St. Thomas Cemetery in International Falls.  This cemetery is part of three cemeteries located east and south in the town of International Falls.  You will find a link on the right side of this blog to the Forest Hill Cemetery in International Falls where you will find a listing of burials for all three cemeteries.

Alex’s tombstone in St. Thomas Cemetery

NOTE:  Much to my frustration Alex’s birth is inconsistent and different dates are given on his tombstone, his death certificate, obit and from the St. Alphonsus Church records.  This is not unusual.  The question is which one is more reliable.  I think I lean toward the St. Alphonsus church records because the parents were alive at that time and knew the priest. The priest is still not directly involved in the actual birth but closer to the actual event. The parents are the ones who know the actual dates of birth but over time even they can forget.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

It is now time to behind International Falls and refocus on  R.S. (Ronald), my grandfather and his movements.  Remember that Ronald (R.S. ) left International Falls about 1915 and headed up to Grand Prairie, Alberta where he  established a store but lost it because a partner gambled it away.  The loss of the store was not the end of my grandfather’s troubles.  He was involved in a court case regarding about land in Koochiching County and I will share that in the next post.


Sarah M. (Burns) McDonald passes!

October 25, 2012

Sarah’s Tombstone

Jack had died in December of 1949 and Sarah, his wife, followed just shy of two years.  They are both buried in the St. Thomas Cemetery in International Falls.  This cemetery is part of the Forest Lawn Cemetery and there is a link to it under Minnesota Links on the right side of this blog.  They have the burials online.

Jack and Sarah appear in the 1930 U.S. Census living in International Falls, Koochiching County,  Minnesota with their daughter Mary C. McDonald.  It was Mary who cared for both of them at the end of their lives.

John and Sarah McDonald 1930 Census

Sixth Street, line 6, 903, 247, 271, McDonald, John A. Head, 0, $3000., M, W, 60, M. 32, no, yes, Canada English, Father and Mother Canada-English, English, 00, 43, 1901, NA, yes, Janitor, Public School, 6×44, w, yes, no. McDonald, Sarah, wife – H, F, W, 56, M, 28, no, yes, Canada-English, Father Northern Ireland, Mother Irish Free State, English, 00, 43, 1901, NA, yes, none. McDonald, Mary C., daughter, F, W, 17, S, yes, yes, Minnesota, Parents Canada-English, 64, 43 0, yes, none.

Source:  John McDonald Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota, Third (Part of) Block No. 56  lines 1-5, Block no. 55 lines 6 to 50. RD#36-21, SD#2, Sht #13A (154), enumerated April 11, 1930, Carl. V. Linsten.

Ten years later they are still a family of three:

Sixth Street, Line 56, 903, 49, 0, 2500, no, McDonald, John A., Head, M, W, 71, M, no, 4, Canada-English, NA, same house, blank for parents, yes – – – -, 60, Janitor, Public High School, GW, 52, 1800, no. McDonald, Sarah, wife, F, W, 65, M, no, 5, Canada-English, NA same house, blank for parents, no, no, no, no. H, o , o, no. McDonald, Mary, daughter, F, W, 27, S, no, H-4, Minnesota, same house, blank for parents, yes – – -, Bookkeeper, County Treasurer’s office, GW, 52, 932, no.

Source:  John A. McDonald Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota, Ward #3, SD# 12, ED# 36-198, Sht# 2B, enumerated on April 4, 1940, Dorothy P. Barkovic.

Here is the Death certificate for Sarah.

Sarah’s Death Certificate

Sarah was a resident for 50 years in International Falls, MN, died at the Falls Memorial Hospital, lived at 903 6th St., died Oct 25, 1951, female, white, widowed, date of birth Feb 18, 1874, age 77 yrs., housekeeper, owns own home, born in Canada, citizen of the USA. Father George Burns, mother Katherine Burns, spouse John A. McDonald #4201. Did not serve in armed forces, no SS#, informant was the Memorial Hospital in International Falls. Died of congestive heart failure and coronary sclerosis, no autopsy. Burial on Oct 27, 1951 at St. Thomas Cemetery in International Falls, MN, filed Oct. 27, 1951. Handled by Green Mortuary, International Falls, MN.

Source:  Sarah McDonald, Certificate of Death #7429, Oct. 25, 1951, Minnesota Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, FHL#2139363. 

Appearing in The Daily Journal, International Falls, Friday, October 26, 1951 is an article about Sarah.

Sarah Burns McDonald “Mrs. McDonald”

Sarah McDonald, City Resident Since 1904, Dies. Mrs. Sarah MacDonald, a resident of International Falls since 1904, died late Thursday in Memorial hospital following a year of illness. She was 77. Death was attributed to heart ailment. The deceased was the widow of J.A. (Jack) McDonald, one-time mayor of the Falls. One daughter,  Mrs. Gilbert (Mary) Louiseau —-Sixth St. survives. Funeral services are set for 8 am Saturday in St. Thomas church with Fr. Edward Lamontagne officiating. Interment will be in St. Thomas cemetery. The Rosary will be recited at 8 pm today in the Green Mortuary chapel. Mrs. McDonald, the former Sarah Burns, was born Feb. 18, 1874 in eastern Canada and moved to the United States immediately following her marriage in 1901. The couple lived in Bemidji before moving to the Border City. The late husband of the deceased served as mayor of International Falls from 1922-24 and was long active in municipal and fire department affairs. He was employed as engineer-custodian of Alexander Baker school for 32 years. Mr. McDonald died Dec. 11, 1949.

This is what Sarah’s daughter said about her mother when I visited her in 2000:

Her mother came from Pembroke, Ontario, Canada. She remembers going back to visit her grandmother Catherine who lived in a big brick house in Pembroke with her son whom Mary called “Uncle George.” Mary said that George was wealthy. Sarah was very social and she kept a good home and always had help around the house. Sarah was known as Mrs. McDonald, probably a gesture of respect. Her mother would cook and set a nice table. Jack and Sarah’s home was a social place for the town, people were always coming over and stopping by.

The spelling of Sarah’s middle name was shown as “Mariah” in the Koochiching County Courthouse records.

Sarah was a member of a very well-known and large family in the Pembroke,  Renfrew County, Ontario and Chichester, Chapeau areas of Pontiac County in Quebec.  They were the Burns family and my friend and almost cousin Elaine Burns Brown has featured them on her website at:  http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/  I also have this under my links specifically:  Family History Websites of Interest on the right side of this blog.  I highly recommend that you go there and study her website it covers Burns, Hughes, Somerville, Gentle and also McDonald and more.


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


In Reflection: My Trip to Ontario and Quebec!

June 30, 2012

Well, my trip was completed on June 9, 2012 and it has taken me three weeks to post all that I wanted to post about this trip to Ontario and Quebec. I can’t believe I did 2117 miles. 

It was a good trip, hard, complicated and very satisfying.  As always I can think of things I should have done and didn’t, photographs I wish I had taken and more.  I have learned a lot and saw many amazing places. 

I would like to thank all my followers for their support, it is greatly appreciated.  A big thank you to all the wonderful people I met along the way and their help and support. 

As usual I put my binder together of this trip with my collection of maps and pamphlets and sources.  

My next goal is to get the links to archives and more up on my side panel. 

Uploading more of the cemetery photos I took might take a little while because I need to identify get them ready.

UPDATE 7/19/2012:  I have uploaded the additional cemetery photos to the appropriate cemetery posting.  Go to the side bar of this blog and look at Categories and seek out the CEMETERIES and pick one you would like to look at.  The link is either in the middle or at the bottom to my Picasa Web Albums. 

Of course, I need to review my research and the sources I studied.  I will let you know if there is anything really great that I found. 

I need to post on my other blogs.  So this blog is back on schedule where I post about every two weeks. 

St. Lawrence River – 1000 Island Drive

Here are some AH Moments during the trip:

1.  Walking into the Pontiac Archive in Shawville.

2.  Seeing Allumette Island from Pembroke’s marina for the first time.

3.  Looking out across land in Chichester Township at Auberge Norfolk in Nicabeau.

4.  Standing before the St. Alphonsus church in Chapeau and looking back from the bridge to Chichester and seeing the spire in the distance.

5.  The Ottawa River and its many moods especially the Culbute Channel and from Calumet Island.

6.  St. Andrews Church in St. Andrews West for the first time.

7.  St. Raphael’s Ruins.

8.  Kirkhill and the two spires of the two churches in the distance.

8.  The Rideau Canal in the early morning in Smith Falls.

10.  The 1000 Island Drive along the St. Lawrence

11.  The St. Lawrence in the morning next to the Monte Carlo Motel in Cornwall.

I could go on but I think that is a nice list.


Ottawa and Gatineau Archives!

June 30, 2012

It was Thursday June 7,  2012 and I arrived in Ottawa around 5 pm.  My goal was the Albert House Inn on Albert Street just before Bronson. At the red light I managed to sneak this photo as I entered Wellington Avenue next to Elgin.  I have proof that this second visit was a beautiful sunny day and not a loud thunderstorm like on my first visit.

Wellington Street at Elgin

Getting to the Albert House Inn was not too hard till I got on Albert Street.  It is almost to Bronson and right before the Travelodge.  There is a little parking space at the front. I had to go around the block and when I came back I got my first and only honk from a local in Ontario or Quebec. HA!

Albert House Inn

Turning into their driveway is a little tricky for there is a big tree and it is narrow.  The parking is in the back and it is tight.  Fortunately a guest was just leaving so I got the best spot in the corner by the fence. 

The first floor

There is no entrance in the back to the inn.  You go to the front and up the very steep stairs through the front door.  Once inside the reception desk is to the right.  The attendant was very helpful and I was checked in quickly. She took me to my room on the 4th floor.  There is no elevator.  The staircases get shorter as you go higher.  She offered to help me bring my luggage in.  I took her up on it.  I also reduced the amount of luggage leaving my big piece in the car.  She carried the smaller one and put it in my room for me. 

My room was lovely with a big bed, a desk and a separate room for the toilet from the shower (tiny) and sink.  There was this very big screen TV in the room perhaps a little too big for the size of the room? They had one of the ductless heating and air-conditioners and I had to adjust it a little so it would not blow on me.  I had one window that was normal size and the other was 18 x 18 inches.  It had the best view.

My little window from my room on the 4th floor

Once I was settled in I headed out for dinner.  The Bay Street Bistro was just down the block on the other side of the street. I sat outside because it was a lovely warm day in Ottawa.  The next day it would be raining. While I was sitting there a large group of teenagers came to the entrance.  They had to send them through and by my table into the restaurant.  I think there were at least 30 of them.  My dinner was delicious and probably the 2nd best dinner on my trip. 

The Bay Street Bistro Al fresco

As I sat at the Bay Street Bistro, I noticed this cloud reflected in the building across from me.  

Reflections in glass

Breakfast was service in the basement of the Albert House Inn 5 levels down.  It is included in the room price. The first day Friday, the room was a little too crowded so I decided to get a cup of coffee and return to my room.  I did have breakfast later and it was delicious.  They do offer an assortment of food choices which is nice and they will cook you breakfast like pancakes or eggs.  Saturday the room was much better and I had a lovely chat with a man who was from British Columbia. 

Friday morning came and I had a decision to make. 

What archive would I visit?  There are more possibilities like cemeteries and church archives than the list below offers but it was what I was considering including a little sightseeing. 

1.  Library and Archives which was just a couple blocks away this time. I had been there for one day my first visit.  I could spend time in their Upper and Lower Canada land records microfilm which I believe is self-serve:  http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/index-e.html/

2.  The Ottawa Chapter of the Ontario Genealogical Society:  http://ogsottawa.on.ca/  They are at 100 Tallwood (near Baseline and Woodroffe). 

3.  The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa:   http://www.bifhsgo.ca/ I have yet to jump the pond (Atlantic Ocean) but this might give me ideas. Also at 100 Tallwood. 

4.  The Ottawa Archives for the city of Ottawa are also at 100 Tallwood in Ottawa.  http://www.ottawa.ca/en/rec_culture/museum_heritage/archives/index.html

100 Tallwood, Ottawa

5.  The Ottawa Public Library, Cornwall Room http://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/main/overview I could have studied their city directories for the other side of the family in search of Brown descendants.

6.  The Sir Carleton Branch of the UEL Association of Canada at 1547 Merivale Rd., Nepeau, Ontario. 

 7.  The Outaouais Regional Centre http://www.craoutaouais.ca/of the Bibliothèque et Archive Nationales Due Québec or as it is written on their website: Centre Régional D’Archives De L’Outaouais (CRAO) I have found that if I Google:  Outaouais Centre BAnQ it takes me to the main Bibliothéque et Archives Nationales Du Quebec website. 

8.  Société de généalogie de l’Outaouais (SGO):  http://www.genealogieoutaouais.com/

I decided to go to the Centre Régional D’Archives De L’Outaouais  in Gatineau and the Société de généalogie de l’Outaouais. Fortunately these two entities are at the same location and in the same room. 
 
It was not too hard to drive over to Gatineau.  I found my way by going around the block and north on Bay Street to Wellington to the Portage Bridge. Construction made it a little confusing as to the lane I was supposed to use. Once across the bridge you go under this very large building which I think is the government offices and proceeded north along the Blvd. Maisonneuve which turned into Blvd. Fournier and a little later on it became Gréber.  There was a blockage of construction and  I was forced to turn right onto Blvd. Maloney and Blvd. de la Gappe was one street over to the north. I believe I turned on Blvd. de “l’Hópital and right onto Blvd. de la Gappe.  I went east on de la Gappe till it ran out and turned left.  There are sign posts pointing the way. 
 
According to one website the building is called the Maison de la Culture de Gatineau. 

I had a little trouble online trying to find this archive but I can guarantee it is at this location.  If I recall there were several addresses for it and that is why it was confusing because I believe it moved.  The address: 855 boulevard de la Gappe, Gatineau (Québec) J8T 8H9, 819-568-8798 or 1 -800-363-9028.  Email: archives.gatineau@banq.qc.ca.   Time:  8 to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

The Centre and Society

The Centre Régional D’Archives De L’Outaouais (CRAO) is in the last building on Blvd. de la Cité to the left.  In other words, you go around the building to the north side.

There is a parking lot but you do have to park in certain rows (in the center) and obtain a permit if longer than 90 minutes (signs).  The SGO website has the form so you could download and fill it out to be ready. 

The building for the Outaouais Archive and more. From the parking lot looking toward Ottawa

When you enter the building do not go straight ahead or you will come to the public library for Gatineau-Bowater. 

The Archive is upstairs on the 2nd floor.  So go through the doors from the parking lot and turn left.  Proceed up the staircase or take the elevator to the 2nd floor.  Once on the 2nd floor go right and then left down the hallway.  Look for the two big yellow doors with the Room 211 sign.  There is a sign on the wall in the hallway but it is a bit confusing.  Go right.  The reader board in the lobby is confusing, go to the 2nd floor.

The Outaouais Archive of Quebec

This is when you need to make a decision.  To talk to the volunteer of the Société de généalogie de l’Outaouais or not.  It depends on whether you have French Canadian lineage or have English ancestors who settled in Quebec. My interests were anything to do with Pontiac County, Quebec.  

Apparently the man behind the large counter area did not speak English and he did have a sort of frightened look on his face when the lady who was helping me from the administrative offices took me to the Room 211.  I was confused as to where to go. She was very nice but also spoke little English. 

I was introduced to a volunteer for the genealogical society who had been seated at the desk in front of the big counter area.  

He started by telling me he did his “genealogy online and why was I there?” When I mentioned obtaining deeds he said “why?” I tried to talk to him but he just would not listen.  He didn’t realize that my McDonald booklet was for the archive so he left it on the desk.  When I approached the 2nd volunteer who had taken over later in the day.  I discovered this miscommunication and explained it was for the archive, he assured me it would be given to their president.  This means it was given to the society not the actual archive.  Since they share the space I am hopeful it will be available for access by all who use the facility?

How to use this facility to the best of my ability.

1.  Go here first.  It gives and overview description of what is at this archive and their partner the SGO: http://www.banq.qc.ca/collections/genealogie/ressources_documentaires_salle/centre_archive/centre_outaouais.html?language_id=1

2.  Study the database Pistard at BAnQ for what is at the Outaouais centre.  I do not know if the SGO’s collection is on this database.  http://pistard.banq.qc.ca/unite_chercheurs/recherche_simple

3.  Study the website links for CRAO and SGO which I gave above.

4.  Get your parking permit and make sure your car is parked correctly if you will be there longer than 90 minutes.

5.  Get a locker because you can’t take your computer case into the research room.  The lockers are in a small room outside the two big yellow doors of Room 211.   Do not loose your locker key.

6.  As them to give you a tour of the centre.  I didn’t do this and regret it.

7.  There are finding aids in the facility and they are located on the top of cabinets. 

8.  There are BAnQ brochures and I took even the French versions because they didn’t have any English out.  Again I should have asked if they had English versions somewhere. 

  • Guide du chercheur:  A square-shaped brochure has the facilities map in back.
  • Le guide de l’abonnement
  • Les services à distance
  • Bibliothéque et Archives Nationales du Québec
  • Les collections partimoniales et les fonds d’archives
  • This one was in English:  Guide to subscriptions

What follows is a map of the Outaouais Facility that is a little out of date but close to what was there. 

A map of the centre

You can only access the centre through the two big yellow doors at the bottom left of the map which is blue.  The locker room is labeled M.  It is outside in the hallway. 

Everything else is inside this centre – the blue area. Bathrooms in the hallway outside of the centre.

  • F is the audiovisual.  The door to the right is a hallway door to other offices?
  • E is the periodicals and magazines
  • A is slightly different and more circular now and has computers as well. 
  • This maps does not show the desk for the SGO.  It is right before the black strip in the corner beyond A on the bottom of the map.
  • C is the stacks of books. SGO’s collection is there and then the Archives is too but apparently they are in different locations in these stacks.  I was not clear about that.
  • D is where the family histories are.  The first row facing into the center of the room.  Also if memory serves they house the cemetery books?
  • B is the computers and desks.  I don’t remember the two tables between B and K.
  • Tables to sit at are over by the windows at the top a good 7 big tables.
  • G is a conference room
  • H is  Cabinets de Travail??
  • I Table lumineuse??
  • K is the maps and plans and table for consulting them
  • L is where the one and only copier is located.  Have change.  I don’t remember a copy card function.
  • J is the big microfilm and microfiche room with cabinets holding newspapers and more.
  • The big lime green area behind a big counter which is represented by the black strip in an L shape. In that is where the individual sits.  I believe he is the archivist or an assistant?  The other desks in the back I do not know what they are about. 

The SGO 2nd volunteer was very nice and pleasant.  He tried to help me find notary records on the stacks but he was not able to.  So that meant I had to wait for the archivist who had left and didn’t return for a very long time.  

When he did I asked him about notaries.  He did not speak English very well but I had written down what I wanted.  I figured he could read English.  He read my notes and was off to his desk to obtained a copy of an index of Notaries. It was a copy of a very large index book but only looked like it was the pages for this area. I will talk about this in a future post.

As I was copying a researcher was stacking books by the copier.  She spoke to me in French and I said I was almost done and she immediately apologized and said she didn’t realize I didn’t speak it.  She was very nice and I was tempted to ask her about the centre.

I studied their family histories in the D area and didn’t find anything on McDonald or is various spellings.

My visit was not the best but at least I had a visual idea of the archive and I could go from there.  I was tired and my level of patience was gone.  However, I do think that this centre needs to work on their customer service.

I headed back the way I came and found a McDonald’s on Maisonnneuve.  I ordered my lunch and the young lady who served me said something to me in French that I interpreted as “enjoy.”  It was not Bon Appetit.  I read the Ottawa paper in English while I listened to French radio and TV.  I was happy.

I targeted  the Parc Jacques-Cartier on Rue Laurier to see if I couldn’t get a picture of Ottawa from that side of the river.  I was right I could see Ottawa from their parking lot.

Ottawa from the parc in Gatineau

Another view a little more to the east.  The weather had improved.

Looks like a fortress

I returned to the Albert Street Inn, parked the car and headed to my room on the 4th floor. HA!  I was back out on the street in no time to go for a walk and find some dinner.  I really needed a good glass of wine. The Bay Bistro was a possibility but it was still a little damp from the day’s rain and I wanted to explore Ottawa one more time.  I headed for Slater Street part of which is a mall area.  I featured it in one of my posts of Ottawa.

I had not intended to go all the way to D’Arcy McGee’s but I did. So I decided to have my last dinner in Ottawa at this establishment and hoped that the rain would not send us scrambling. At first it was very cold and I thought I should go inside but all of a sudden the wind stopped and I was fine.

A threatening cloud over D’Arcy McGees

On the way back I went over to Wellington and walked along enjoying the Parliament buildings. This following picture is taken at that time.

The cloud was still making things very dark over the capital building.

This picture was taken several weeks ago when I visited Ottawa the first time.  The building on the right has scaffolding.  By the time I returned to Ottawa it was all the way to the top.  See the photo from D’Arcy McGees above.

The capital building the first visit to Ottawa

Saturday June 9, 2012 was my last day in Canada for now.  It was time to checkout, pack up and head to the airport.  

I did try to go to the Ottawa Chapter of the OGS but the building was closed for regular maintenance.  Well, I had changed my plans so you can expect this type of problem.  I was not that disappointed.  See the picture above for 100 Tallwood.

So I spent most of my time at Digby’s Restaurant on Bank St. below Heron waiting, relaxing and reading my NookColor.  The waitress was okay with my dithering and around 1:30 pm I paid my bill and headed to the Ottawa Airport via the Airport Parkway and started remembering leaving the airport my first day. 

I followed the signs to the car rental return.  They don’t have those gates with the big teeth on the ground.  I turned in the Dodge Caliber at Hertz and was told I had done 2117 miles.  This was a record. No wonder I was tired. HA!

At ticketing I had to adjust the weight of my large luggage bag it was 57 lbs. and she refused to accept it.  So I put some things in the smaller one and adjusted it and I made it but it meant I had to carry some items with me and that was going to be tiring.  Usually I ship things back home saving me this problem but I was a little afraid it was going to cost a lot. 

The next hurdle was customs.  No problem I was through in a snap.  I had made a list of the things I had purchased so I had something to work with.  Security was also easy and I was soon at the gate.  It is not that far to the gates at the Ottawa Airport. 

Ottawa Airport Gate area

The plane was not full from Ottawa to Chicago.  As we took off I said “Good Bye” to Ontario and looked forward to getting home to my kitties.  In Chicago they changed the gate 4 times and once from C to B for my flight to Seattle.  My sister picked me up at the airport and I walked in the door at 12 midnight.

Home Sweet Home!  I think I was homesick this trip!


Touring Glengarry: Lochiel, Glen Sandfield, Dalkeith

June 29, 2012

It was not easy to leave Kirkhill, I was enjoying St. Columba and the Kirkhill United Churches but I had to move on.  I went east on  Hwy #24 to the Old Military Road and south to Lochiel.

The Sign post in Kirkhill

As I came up to Hwy #21 there was no sign of a church spire?  So I turned onto the Lochiel Road and went west. If that didn’t work I would go the other direction till I found the cemetery and church.

Within a few minutes I came past some trees and there was a beautiful old red house on the left with gables and a round window at the top.  On my right was the church. St. Alexander’s Catholic Church.

St. Alexander’s Catholic Church

The long walk to the church.  This church was different from all the others, it was made of wood not brick.

The church of St. Alexander’s

The cemetery was in the back of the church through a gate, which I almost thought was locked but it wasn’t. The church is beautiful from this angle.

The cemetery in the back of the church

An overview photograph of this cemetery.  I have more pictures and will post them when I finish this trip.

A bench is provided for reflection

UPDATE 7/9/2012:  Here is a link to more overview photographs of this cemetery with some McD* tombstones and more.

St. Alexander’s RC Church & Cemetery, Lochiel, Ontario

Hwy #21 goes east and west, I headed east and did the job in the road to Glen Sandfield Road which took me into Glen Sandfield.  I had to visit if briefly this hamlet because of the name “Sandfield.”  My grandfather was named Ronald Sandfield McDonald.   So far I have not been able to find a connection to the “Sandfields.”

Glen Sandfield

Hwy #21 meets Hwy #23 and I paused at the 4 corners of Glen Sandfield then I turned north.

Four corners in Glen Sandfield

I was soon in Dalkeith.

Entering Dalkeith

Over the hill is the Dalkeith Library a branch of the S.D.&G. County Libraries.  It was closed opening at 4 pm to 8 pm.  To late for me.  http://www.sdglibrary.ca/index.cfm?Title=LibBranchDalkeith

This library is the home of the Dalkeith Historical Society:  http://acorn2011.com/

The Dalkeith Library, a branch of S.D.& G. County Libraries

A beautiful meadow near Dalkeith.

A lovely view near Dalkeith

Dalkeith was the end of my Tour of Glengarry.  It was time to headed to Ottawa.  I only had two days left of my trip and the next day I wanted to visit one more archive in the Ottawa area.  The next day I would fly home.


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