Sunday May 20, 2012: Renfrew County, Ontario

May 26, 2012

My plane touched down at about 4:20 pm Ottawa time.  There was the usual events that unfold when you depart an airplane such as baggage claim.  This time there would be a slightly different twist, because I had customs to go through.

The Ottawa Airport is southwest of the city of Ottawa.  It is about the size of the Columbus, Ohio airport and that surprised me.  It was easy to get around, not like Chicago which takes forever.

It was sunny and muggy.  The car rentals were across the departure and arrival avenue and it is always fun to pull all my luggage with me through heavy doors.  Of course, Hertz was almost the furthest down the long hallway of rental car booths.  They gave me a Dodge Cavalier - hatchback in black.  I was soon off and onto the highway called Hunts Club toward Hwy 416 that meshed into Hwy 417.  In Ontario you think east to west, not like at home which is usually north to south.

My goal was the town of Renfrew which placed me in the about the centre of Renfrew County for the next few days.  Now I do not yet know if I have family links in Renfrew County, Ontario which is on the western side of the Ottawa River.  My family settled in Pontiac County, Quebec which is on the eastern side of the Ottawa River but they are very interrelated so you need to study both counties.

Renfrew’s Water Tower is very friendly

An introduction to Ottawa Valley genealogy can be found here: “My Ottawa Valley Ancestors” http://ottawagenealogy.com/  The author has Kennedy’s on this website and some married McDonalds, but I cannot see a connection to my family, still it has a lot of good family names and information.

An interesting history of Renfrew Co.: http://www.ottawariver.org/pdf/31-ch5-3.pdf

You might want to study this website for the history of the Ottawa River: http://www.ottawariver.org/html/intro/intro_e.html

Renfrew County GenWeb:  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onrenfre/index.html

Renfrew County Gravemarker Gallery http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~murrayp/renfrew/index.htm

Renfrew County Government: http://www.countyofrenfrew.on.ca/

Renfrew Public Library:  http://www.town.renfrew.on.ca/library/index.php

Heritage Renfrew is the local custodian for historic documents and more.  You need to make an appointment on Monday or Wednesday between 10 am to 1 pm.  They are located at 770 Gibbons Road, Renfrew, Ontario.  They don’t appear to have a website.

The next day was Victoria Day in Canada and so it was a three-day weekend which means that many stores, government agencies and more were closed.  So I decided to use that day to tour both Renfrew County and Pontiac County.  I would then head for Allumette Island and Chichester and Sheen Townships and visit the sights and cemeteries in those areas.

Renfrew town is spread out and had 3 exits.  I spent most of my time on O’Brien Street till I learned about the northern exit on Bruce Street which goes right by the St. Xavier Catholic Cemetery.  If you spot a red picket fence going north you are almost there.  It is on the left with two stone columns and a long drive.  I did not have time to investigate.

Renfrew’s Clock


British Columbia, A Special Visit!

May 11, 2012

We returned from our excursion to British Columbia about a week ago and I have been blogging on my other blog The Boardman’s and Browns of Winnipeg, A Canadian Story about this trip.  My goal was to learn more about the Brown family, my mother’s side, before I headed to Ontario/Quebec. I also ended up looking at a nice stack of books and still had a nice vacation and time to visit with my cousin on the Brown side.

We stopped at the Cloverdale Library in Surrey, British Columbia which has a major genealogical collection.  I talked with the librarian and she also came to the conclusion that the dates of the Upper and Lower Canadian Land petitions on the Library and Archives website cut off to early for my research on Archibald McDonell and maybe his father-in-law Alexander John McDonell.  She suggested I call them and ask my questions.  I do have some copies of the Land grants but not the petition.  We will see.

Cloverdale Library, Surrey, BC

I turned my attention to examining their book collection and pulled the “Lochiel Parish” volumes.  These books are about the old Kirk, St. Columbus Church of Scotland and the Presbyterian Church in Glengarry County, Ontario.  They cover baptisms, marriages and deaths for the time period of 1820/1884.  There is an index.  This was done by Duncan Darby MacDonald. I reviewed them even though my McDonell’s were  Catholic. On page 131 he gives a “Division of the Burying Ground for McGillivrays, McMillans, McLeods, Camerons, McIntoshs, MacPhees and MacDonalds “2-Lots in the first range, north-end.”  I took photographs of some of the pages.

They had the new books both volumes of “Some Early Scotts in Maritime Canada,” by Terrence M. Punch.  Only one John McMurray was mentioned, my mom’s side.  The McDonalds were familiar, I have seen these names online. 

Some other books I gave a look at:  The Scotsman in Canada by George Bryce. “Index of Passengers who emigrated to Canada between 1817 & 1849,” compiled by John A. Acton.  I photocopied the Bibliography and several other pages.

They also had the “Parish Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths of St. Regis Roman Catholic Mission (Early Jesuit) 1784-1830 Part One, Two, Three,” so I studied those volumes as well.  “Includes earliest located records of St. Andrews West, St. Raphael’s, Cornwall, Indian Lands, Long Sault, etc. and some NY records up to 2000. Again compiled by Duncan Darby MacDonald.  It was a brand new publications done by Global Genealogy who has his collection.

Next stop was the Kelowna Public Library which houses the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society Collection on the 2nd floor.

Kelowna & District Gen Soc Stacks

I turned to their stacks and wandered.  I found the book “Municipal Records in Ontario History and Guide by Fraser Dunford.  Too big to photograph but very interesting.  Apparently published by the Toronto, Ontario Genealogical Society, 2005.

Pioneers of the Upper Ottawa and the Humors of the Valley” by Anson A. Gard.  This is the South Hull and Aylmer Edition which means there are others?  I of course need farther up Pontiac County. 

“The Upper Ottawa Valley, a glimpse of history,”  Pakenham, Ottawa Valley Village 1823-1860,” were two titles I reviewed.  They had a very old gazetteer for the Province of Ontario dated 1869 and I copied some of the Glengarry County sections taking photos.

St. Andrews West. (RC) Parish Register Part 1 (1804 to 1856) and part II (1836-1856).” again by Duncan D. MacDonald.  These were the old books not yet republished by Global Genealogy.  They are online at Ancestry.com under the Drouin Collection and at Family History Library online.  Still it is good to review these records in various forms to make sure you don’t miss something.  Mr. MacDonald writes some good information in the front of his books and even had a listing of the pews owned.   There is a marriage in this collection I am very interested in but I need to do more digging to see if it is the right family. 

The Marriage Registers of Upper Canada/Canada West Vol. 12: Eastern District 1801-1865,” compiled by Dan Walker & Fawne Stratford-Deval was interesting.

I then switched back to my Brown family on my mother’s side and looked at few titles they had in their stacks.  “Methodist Church Baptismal Records 1841-1888 Prince Edward County, Ontario.  By the Kingston Branch of the OGS.  There was some interesting possibilities in this book. 

Back to McD research: “Births, Marriages & Deaths, Abstracts from the Renfrew Mercury 1901-1910,” by Aldene and Les Church and other years as well.  Covered mostly Renfrew County of course, but still worth checking.

McNab-The Township,” by Peter Hessel, published 1988. Very well done.  I copied the section on Alexander McDonnell who came from Scotland in 1795.  He is buried in the Albert Street Cemetery in Arnprior and I am very curious about this man and his family and his six brothers who received large grants of land.  There is a mention of Perth as a place they went first?

Peter Robinson’s Settlers 1823 to 1825,” by Carol Bennett (male).  Again very well done.  Now these settlers came too early for my McDonell’s but the descendants are very interesting and have married into other families.  I was particularly interested in the Leahy family on pages 103 – 106.  I have a Leahy marrying into the my McDonell family. 

Back to the Brown Surname: “County Marriage Registers of Ontario, Canada 1858-1860 Vol. 5, Hastings County,” compiled by Elizabeth Hancocks, CG.  I took photos of the Brown and King surnames.

Wesleyan Methodist Baptism Records of Hasting County, Ontario 1840-1902,” transcribed and indexed by Linda Corupe UE.  Again I took photos of the Brown & King surnames.  The Browns were Anglican but if there isn’t a church nearby where they settle, then they might go elsewhere to practice their faith?

Surrogate Court Records of Ontario, 1859 to 1900 Vol. 2, Hastings & Prince Edward Counties,” compiled by June Gibson etc. 1988.  Very interesting.  This will need to followed up on when I get to Hastings County. 

Canada West’s Last Frontier, by Jean Turnbull Elford, A History of Lambton,” 1981 This has some Brown information contained within the pages.

Back to the McDonalds: “Soldiers of the King,” by William Gray was suggested by a person I hired to help me with my family research in Canada.  When I know more I may have to retun to review it.

As you can see I am jumping around between McDonell research and Brown research.  Now I have a list to add to as I prepare for my upcoming trip.  Some of these titles I have eliminated as sources, others are to be kept on the “back burner,” and others are to investigate further. 

The clock is still ticking as the trip draws near.  I encourage you to go and check out my trip to Kelowna British Columbia, which is not just genealogical but includes some fun excursions.   http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/

Harrison Hot Springs


Tick Tock! The Time Is Approaching!

May 2, 2012

       My trip to Canada is fast approaching.  First stop is British Columbia to revisit old memories and to learn about the other side of the family, my mother’s, which I feature in the blog:

The Boardman’s and Browns of Winnipeg: A Canadian Story

http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/

         If you live in the Pacific Northwest a good place to go and do some Canadian research is the Cloverdale Library in Surrey, British Columbia.  It is just a few hours from Seattle.  It is known for its Canadian genealogical collection. This is where I found my family the Browns and the Boardmans in the census, in Winnipeg several years ago.  Yes, this was before it was all put online.  I was scrolling through the census and there they were, both families living very close to each other.  I actually found the Browns first.  It was a very good day!  Little did I know that it would open a door for me and I would go from knowing little about this side of the family to what I do know today.

The Cloverdale Library Home page: http://www.surreylibraries.ca/location-hours/4684.aspx

The Cloverdale Family History page:  http://www.surreylibraries.ca/location-hours/4684.aspx

The library has a booklet about researching in Canadian that they have on sale at their website.  They will be republishing this year.  I have a copy and highly recommend it.   My version is 2007.  It is called:  Canadian Genealogical Resources. A Guide to the Materials held at the Cloverdale Library.

They also have printouts on various subjects and specific information printouts for the provinces on genealogical research tips.

At the Cloverdale Library in Surrey, BC, I talked to the librarian about the Upper and Lower Canadian Land Petitions at the LAC website.  We decided that the dates cut off before Archibald McDonell and that I was going to have to call them on their toll-free number and dig deeper.  I turned to pulling books off the shelf and reviewed them.  They had the Lochiel Parish book and St. Regis in three volumes. These are of course, regarding my McDonell line and I describe what I was doing in the Boardman and Brown blog.  So go and check it out at:  http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/


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

March 31, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still back one more census to 1861.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


World War I – My McDonald Cousins Serve!

March 15, 2012

Over there, over there!
Send the word, send the word, over there!
That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming ev’rywhere!
So prepare, say a prayer, send the word, send the word to beware!
We’ll be over, we’re coming over,
And we won’t come back ’til it’s over Over There!*

Angus and Louisa’s two sons George and Lorne both participated in World War I.  The two brothers served out of Alaska as indicated on their tombstones.  I will talk about the two brothers in this post. 

Alaska Draft WWI

Photo:  The photo was sent to me by an individual years ago.  He recognized one of the soldiers but unfortunately I do not know for sure if George and Lorne are in this photo?  I tried to seek permission from the person to post but they have not responded.  So I will post the picture and give the link here to more information.  The photo is the last one on the right of the website:  http://www.uib.no/People/hhiso/juneau/frontpage.htm

I also tried to find any other website that might have more information about this photograph but did not succeed at this time.  I have not done much digging in Alaska history but I do know they have a great archive. 

The state archive  http://www.archives.state.ak.us/ and their state library:  http://library.state.ak.us/

George W. McDonald

George W. McDonald

George William McDonald born 16 Dec 1892 in Ironwood, Gogebic, Michigan and died in Seattle, Washington on 2 November 1957.  Buried in Calvary Cemetery, Seattle, Washington 6 November 1957.   As far as I know George did not marry or had any children. 

World War I draft card - George McDonald

George’s World War I draft card is in two pieces.   

Page 2 of the WWI draft card - George McDonald

He does state that he was born in Ironwood, Michigan.  It was signed on Nov. 19, 1917.  How much actual service he participated in I do not know.  There is more research to be done on George’s life and maybe someday I will have the opportunity. 

Funeral Record

I have not taken the time to find an obituary notice on George as the above Funeral announcement suggests.  It might be very interesting to seek. 

Apparently George was a patient at Firland:

Firland Sanatorium, Seattle’s municipal tuberculosis hospital, opened on May 2, 1911, to help combat what was at the time Seattle’s leading cause of death. Firland was located on 34 acres in the Richmond Highlands area, 12 miles north of the then-border of Seattle (in 2002 this first Firland site falls on the Shoreline/Seattle border). The hospital served there until its move to a former Naval hospital (at 15th Avenue NE and 150th Street) in 1947, and continued to treat TB patients until its dissolution in 1973. A leading founder of Firland Sanatorium was the railroad magnate Horace C. Henry (1844-1928), whose son Walter had died of TB.”

This link at History.Link gives some very interesting information about Firland and pictures as well. 

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=3928

Lorne Sanfield McDonald

Lorne S. McDonald's tombstone

Lorne Sanfield McDonald was born 19 January 1894 in Brainerd, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota according to his World War I draft card.  I have been to Brainerd on several occasions to do research on my dad’s mother’s family the Barclay’s.  I refer you to the right side of this blog for the link to Barclay’s of Pine River.

As far as I know Lorne did not marry or have any children. 

Lorne S. McDonald Draft Card

Part two of the draft card:

Page 2 of Lorne's draft card

Lorne’s story is very sad.  He was one of many who died in World War I of the Spanish Flu epidemic.  It hit in several waves and killed more soldiers before they saw combat.  Lorne was one of those soldiers.  Aunt Miriam wrote about him in her notes:

Lauren died of influenza in boot camp during WWI.

When I first tried to research Lorne and the influenza there was nothing on the web at the time.  Now there are many articles and websites that discuss this pandemic.  It was world-wide and it killed 20-40 million people.  This website has some interesting links to survivor stories and more.  http://virus.stanford.edu/uda/  Just Google it and you will get hits by the thousands.  Here is another site:  http://1918.pandemicflu.gov/

We live in a world with treatments for these illnesses like pneumonia, tuberculosis and influenza but back then they did not.  Remember the flu is viral and requires different treatment.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza

George, the brother, apparently was assigned to go and retrieve Lorne’s body from Camp Dodge where he passed.  Rachel the younger sister wrote to my Aunt Miriam in a letter about the events surrounding Lorne’s death:

Jan 2, 1977 – Dear Miriam and Jean: Hope you wont mind if I make one letter both of you. I have tried to make note of dates you wanted but not to proud that I do not have more information. Several years ago Helena was leaving for Japan with her son and family and being born in Canada needed certain information. Well I went to customs as I knew Dad had taken out U.S. papers but because I was born here, I couldn’t get any news. Helena later found the information she needed, but I never knew.

My Dad was a restless man, never stayed in one place long, that is how we went to Juneau, Alaska. He had several good jobs finally was back in Seattle. My brothers went in the army – the 14th Infantry – went to Fort Seward, Haines, Alaska, then shipped out to Camp Dodge, Iowa, where Loren died of the flu in 1918. George was assigned to bring Loren home and buried in Calvary Cemetery. That was our first hard blow to all of us.

I think a gentlemen called at house to trace Dad’s “tree” so Dad told ___ – The man was so elated to trace back to some King – Dad just smoked his pipe and said – I don’t think the Kings credit would be worth a dam at our grocery story. So you see there was not much history to look up. If I have not given the info – you would need – let me know.

I have not seen Helena for several years – guess she & Jim thought Gerry and I were a couple of Hillbillies for settling here but we are happy here and we think this mountain town is beautiful. Today we had a little snow and we hope for more. I know this letter is a “jumble” but chalk it up to old age. I am just over the effects of a Swine Flue shot, and believe me I would rather have the flu. Three weeks of pain and misery. Must ring off and hope you girls will have a very good 1977….

Love Rachel.

I was very excited to find this letter among the papers of my Aunt Miriam.  Rachel tells me so much I already had determined about Angus’s personality and more about her brother Lorne.  She was living in Darrington, Washington at the time she wrote this letter.  I actually went up to Darrington to see if I could find out more about them.  I walked the cemetery there but didn’t find their graves till later.   There is more in this letter that verifies for me the family history but because of living descendants I will hold off.   The city website of Darrington has some wonderful pictures:  http://town.darrington.wa.us/

Camp Dodge was in  Iowa http://www.iowanationalguard.com/Museum/IA_History/BuildingCampDodge.htm

Another challenge with Lorne was the spelling of his first name.  I now go with what was written on his tombstone and draft card.  On his draft card he wrote that his name is “Lorne Sanfield McDonald.”  Again we have the reference to the name “Sanfield.”  Ronald his cousin and Keith’s father was “Ronald Sanfield McDonald.”  Miriam wrote they were named after the Premier of Ontario.  I am still keeping an open mind on that topic.

There is much more I could do on George and Lorne but as always time, money and focus can take you away.  I do know that they rest peacefully next to their parents in Calvary Cemetery in Seattle.

*World War I Music and Songs:  http://www.ww1photos.com/WW1MusicIndex.html


The Legend of Uncle Angus McDonald!

March 2, 2012

As a young girl I fancied that Angus was off in the woods somewhere. No one ever talked about him. Of course, my family never talked.

My Aunt Miriam called us “dour” Scotsman.

I know that Angus and his son George were longshoremen in West Seattle.  Angus was supposed to be involved in the organization of the longshoremen and things got a little rough so he had to leave town? 

My Aunt Miriam seemed to think he was involved in the assassination of the governor of Idaho back in the early 1900′s.  She told this tale to a family member as well as the one above about the organization of the longshoremen.  I share them with you now. Unfortunately, these two stories have not been proven.

Book Cover

The book: Big Trouble, by J. Anthony Lukas, Simon & Schuster, 1997, is about the assassination of Governor Steunenberg and the trial that followed. 

On page 538 it lists the jurors that were chosen for the trial: Thomas B. Gess, Finley McBean, Samuel D. Gilman, Daniel Clark, George Powell, F. Messecar, Lee Schrivener, J.A. Robertson, Levi Smith, A.P. Burns and Samuel F. Russell. No Angus McDonald is mentioned on this jury or in the book.

Another book: The Introductory Chapter to the History of the Trials of Moyer, Haywood, Pettibone and Harry Orchard, by Fremont Wood, Trial Judge NW-R 979.63 W85, Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, 1931, Spokane Public Library Northwest Room.

The above book stated that the labor unrest started in 1892 and went on till Haywood died in Russia in the 1920′s. Martial law was declared for all of Shoshone County, Idaho at one time. There were 10-12 miners sentenced to the jail in Ada County. Trials were held in the U.S. District Court at Coeur D’Alene in Kootenai County in August 23, 1897 and 1892.  It was a violent and difficult time.

Here are some very interesting links about this event and it is all quite fascinating: 

Idaho Public Television’s website has:  Assassination: Idaho’s Trial of the Century

http://idahoptv.org/productions/specials/trial/thetrial/steunenberg.cfm

This website is interesting:  “Famous American Trials – Bill Haywood Trial 1907:” 

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/haywood/HAYWOOD.HTM

This person is a great great grandson of Gov. F. Steunenberg and he has a very interesting blog:

http://steunenberg.blogspot.com/2009_06_01_archive.html

Is my Aunt Miriam right or wrong about Angus?  His grandson never knew anything of this story. So at this point I cannot answer the question of whether Angus was involved or not in the assassination of the governor of Idaho.  I would have to go to the Idaho State archives in Boise to see if I could find anything.

To try to get Angus in Idaho at the time of the assassination in 1905, I tried the U.S. Federal Census for 1900 and the Canadian for 1891. I cannot find Angus or his family members. Idaho does not have a state census. 

Remember Angus disappears after the 1881 Canadian Census where he is with his parents and siblings in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec.  He resurfaces when his daughter Helena Mary is born in Chichester in 1897 per the records of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau.  After her birth he  disappears again till I find him and his family in Seattle, Washington in 1910.    

The 1910 U.S. Federal Census:

Line 30, 534, 217, 230 McDonald, Angus L., head, Male, White, age 44, Married 1st, age 19 at marriage, born Canadian Scotch, parents Canadian Scotch, Engineer; McDonald, Louisa J., wife, Female, White, age 42 married 1, age 19, , born Wisconsin, father Norwegian, mother Swedish ; McDonald, George W. son, Male, white, age 18, born in Michigan, clerk grocery store; McDonald, Lorne S., son, male, white, age 16, singled, born in Minnesota, apprentice; McDonald, Helen M., daughter, female, white age 12, single, Canadian English, no occupation; McDonald, Rachel, daughter, female, white, age 10, single, born in Wisconsin, no occupation.

Source:  1910 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King Co., Washington, SD 1, ED 151, Sheet #11A, Ancestry.com.

1920 U.S. Federal Census

Line 53, 2nd Ave Street West, 401/84/290, McDonald, Angus (S?), Head 1, Renting, Male, White, 56 yrs., married, immigrated to US 1888, naturalized 1894, able to read and write, born in Canada, English, father and mother both born in Canada, parents speak English, able to speak English, Engineer, Steamer, working. McDonald, Louisa L., wife, female, white, age 54, married, able to read and write, born in Wisconsin, father born in Norway, Norwegian, mother born in Sweden, Swedish, can speak English, no occupation.. McDonald, George Wm., son, male, white age 28, single, able to read and write, born in Michigan, (see parents), can speak English, Electrician, Lineman, working. McDonald, Hellena M., daughter, female, white, age 22, single, able to read and write, unclear about birth maybe born in Canada, Furrier, Dept. Store. McDonald, Rachel, daughter, female, white, age 20, single, has not attended school since 9/1919, able to read and write, born in Wisconsin, stenographer, Real estate. Hanson, Albert H., brother-in-law, male, white, age 67?, single, naturalized 1858/1853, able to read and write, born in Norway, Norwegian, parents same as Louisa, able to speak English, Engineer, Locomotive, working. Hanson, Frank G., brother-in-law, male, white, age 52, single, able to read and write, born in Wisconsin, Norwegian, able to speak English, Carpenter, house, working.

Source:  1920 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle ,  King County, Washington, SD#1, ED 168, Sheet 9B, precinct 97, enumerated January 8 and 9th, 1920, by Edward P. [    ], Ancestry.com. 

1930 U.S. Federal Census 

Line 4, 3265, 349, 349, McDonald, Angus L., Head, 0, $3500, R, M, W, 64, m, 36, no, yes, Canada English, Scotland, Scotland, English, 60/43, V 1890 NA, yes, longshoremen, at the docks, 8880, w, yes, no. McDonald, Louisa J. Wife – H, F, W, 62, m, 24, no, yes, Wisconsin, Norway, Sweden, 63, 05, O, yes, none. Penglase, Helena, daughter, F, w, 31, Div. no, yes, Canada English, Canada English, Wisconsin, English 60/43, V, 1899, NA, yes, Milliner, Hat factory, 8864, w, yes. Penglase, George R., grandson, M, w, 8, S, yes, Washington, Michigan, Canada English, 96/43, 2, none

Source:  1930 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King County, Washington, Block 7506, ED 414, Sht. 27A, #155, T626-251, pg. 27A, Image 842. Ancestry.com.

The 1930 census is the first time Angus is listed as a longshoremen.  The ILWU website has a short history of the organization of the longshoremen on the Pacific Coast. 

 http://www.ilwu19.com/history/the_ilwu_story/origins.htm

The 1910 census lists him as an engineer and the 1920 lists him again as an engineer on a “steamer.”  My Aunt Miriam wrote in her notes that Angus could fix anything (click on the picture below and it will open, click back to return):  

Angus could fix anything!

According to the 1920 and 1930 census Angus came to the U.S. in 1886.  There is some disagreement on his dates of naturalization so that will make it more challenging to try to locate that information.   

Unfortunately my great-uncle died the following year after the 1930 census of pneumonia. 

Angus Lawrence McDonald died on 2 May 1931 in Seattle, King Co., Washington.  He lived in one of Seattle’s neighborhoods called West Seattle.  Angus was buried 5 May 1931 in the Calvary Cemetery in north Seattle. He shares the site with his wife and two sons. 

The area is one that has been a very big part of my life.  The Calvary Cemetery is near the University Village where I have shopped many times.  The University of Washington dominates the whole area and my life is tangled up with that school. 

I didn’t know Angus was so close till 2001.

FindAGrave has some of the burials for the Calvary Cemetery but not all. 

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&GSfn=Angus&GSiman=1&GScid=76728&GRid=73126272&CRid=76728&

The Calvary Cemetery in Seattle was very helpful when I visited and viewed the graves.  They are part of a group of Catholic cemeteries in the area:

   http://www.acc-seattle.com/cemeteries/calvary.html  

Angus L. McDonald of 3268 38th Ave. SW, died at Providence Hospital. He had been in the US 25 years. He had been married to Louisa Jane McDonald. He was Born August 5, 1865. He was 65 years 8 mos. and 26 days old at death. He was a longshoremen. He last worked in April 1931. He worked at this occupation 10 yrs. He was born in Canada. His father was Archie McDonald, birthplace was Scotland. Mother’s information unknown. George McDonald was the informant, from San Francisco, CA. Burial in Calvary Cemetery. Arrangement by Bonney-Watson. He had been sick from April 13 to May 2, 1931. He died at 6:45 pm of Lobar Pneumonia (Double). Signed by C.A. Anderson of 4704 California Ave.

Source:  Certificate of Death for Angus L. McDonald, May 2, 1931, Rec. No. #1577, Reg. No. 1641, Seattle, King Co., Washington Bureau of Vital Statistics, Washington State Board of Health.  The Family History Library has these death certificates on film. 

Angus and Louisa McDonald

There are two items on my wish list for Angus.  To find out if he was involved with the organization of the longshoremen.  The other is, was he really involved with the events around the Governor of Idaho?  Until then all will remain a mystery!


The Family of Angus McDonell, Eldest Son!

February 16, 2012

Angus Lawrence McDonell was the oldest living son of Archibald and Mary McDonell.  According to his brother Jack, who stated in a direct and simple manner:  “Angus left home!” 

From what I can figure from the Canadian Census he left home after 1881 and headed probably to Wisconsin.  This is where his wife Louisa was born.  

Angus was born in Chichester on 6 August, 1864 and was baptized 13 August 1864 at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau.  The priest wrote his name as Agnes in the records.  I believe it to be him because the date matches the date I have for his birth on his death certificate and from my Aunt Miriam’s notes.  I refer you to my past post dated January 29, 2011 “Archie & Mary’s children: Angus McDonell.”

Angus was one of my first attempts at genealogical research and it was so much fun that I got hooked.  Of course, one question answered lead to another and Angus was not easy and I still have big gaps in his research.

Keith, my dad, never mentioned or talked about Angus.  Angus was sort of  a legend to me as a child.  I always had this idea that Angus was in the woods somewhere sort of like “Paul Bunyan.”  I am not being mean, just a fancy of a child. 

Angus married Louisa Jane Hanson about 1891.  She was born 12 September 1866 in Scandinavia, Waupaca, Wisconsin.  I obtained this information from her death certificate and her obituary.  Her parents were Ole Hanson born in Norway and Lena who was born in Sweden.  She had at least two siblings:  Albert H. Hanson born about 1853 and Frank G. Hanson born about 1858.  This information is taken from U.S. Federal census. 

A Man and Woman - Angus & Louisa - Could this be them?

The photograph is a very big guess on my part.  I found it in my Aunt Vivian’s (older sister to Miriam and Keith) photo album.  I know that she visited her uncle in Seattle and that is where she met her husband Hilary McKanna.  I think it is Angus and that might be Louisa but she seems a bit older and that causes me to hesitate?  I tried to find the house but was not successful.  If I found the house I might be able to trace back to who owned it?  There was nothing written on the back or anything to indicate who these people are other than the context of the photographs and their position in the album. 

Here is the Collage showing the series of photographs!

Angus was not in the family portrait that was taken in Bemidji in 1904-1905. I have featured that photograph on this blog in the posted dated March 20, 2010 “Archibald and Mary McDonald’s Children.”

Angus and Louisa had at least 4 children:

1.  George William McDonald, born 16 December 1892 in Ironwood, Gogebic, Michigan.  He died  2 November 1857 in Seattle, King Co., Washington.  George served in WWI.  He died of tuberculosis in a home in Seattle.  The story is Keith, my father, visited him on occasion.  As far as I know George didn’t marry or have children.  

2.  Lorne Sandfield McDonald was born 19 January 1894 in Brainerd, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota.  He died of the influzena in WWI on 15 October 1918, at Camp Dodge, Polk Co., Iowa.  He never married. 

My Aunt Miriam talked about this family in her notes and spelled his name “Lauren.”  It is interesting that he had the middle name of Sandfield, like my grandfather Ronald.  Miriam said they were named after the first premier of Ontario:  John Sandfield MacDonald.  So far I have yet to find any family connection? I am keeping an open mind on this topic!

3.  Helena Mary McDonald, was born 19 August 1897 in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec.  She died on 31 August 1979 in Silverton, Marion Co., Oregon.  She was married 3 times.  First to Claude Penglase probably before 1920, Jack, and then a Grant Standford Capps who may have died on 24 December 1985 in Tacoma, Pierce Co., Washington but this has yet to be verified.   This means that Angus did go back to his birth home and visit the family. 

Helena Mary name seems to get changed around a lot.  She was called either Helena or Mary depending on the record.  She was never buried in a cemetery instead her ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean near Portland according to the funeral home listed on her death record.

Helena Mary had at least one son by the name of George Robert Penglase born 8 November 1921 in Seattle, King Co., Washington and died 31 January 1958.  He was buried on 19 February 1969 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon at the Williamette National Cemetery there.  He served in WWII and Korea and apparently his body was moved at some point.  This is why there is a different burial date.  George married a Lucy June Moen about 1940 in King County, Washington and that ended in divorce.  They had 3 children, 2 girls and 1 son who served in the military and past in 2005. There are living descendants of this family. 

4. Rachel McDonald was born in Brule, Douglas, Wisconsin 16 October 1899.  She died 3 March 1988 in Lynnwood, Snohomish Co., Washington.  Rachel married first to Otto Frances Berg born 17 January 1894 in Minnesota and died 21 February 1973 in Seattle, King Co., Washington.  They had one son Donald Frances Berg born 11 March 1924 in Astoria, Clatsop County, Oregon.  I had the honor to meet Donald and his family. He had suffered a terrible stroke and could only answer my questions with a nod of his head.  He did marry and have 4 children.  He died in 2005 and the funeral was a full military service with the gun salute.  I occasionally hear the sounds of guns and wondered what it meant.  Now I know! There are living descendants of this family in the area. 

Rachel remarried to a Gerald P. Jameson born 18 August 1899 and died 26 January 1986.  They were married about 1956. 

Donald, Rachel and Gerald are buried in the Holyrood Catholic cemetery in north Seattle, Washington just 5 minutes from my home.  

So you see when I did this research on Angus’ family I was total amazed that they were so close. I have a vague memory of my Dad and Mom talking about someone and I think it was George and maybe we did visit him? I was about 10 years old and kids hear things or events happen but it doesn’t always make sense?  

Why my family didn’t share all this or talk about this, well I have my theories? Aunt Miriam did give me notes but they were brief.  They did point the way. 

My advice is to encourage you to ask and ask now!  Be gentle and probe carefully but most of all be patient and maybe the family will open up.


Life in Bemidji!

February 2, 2012

Archie’s sons decided that their parents were getting too old and brought them down from Chichester to Bemidji after 1901.  Why they went to Bemidji instead of going to International Falls may have had something to do with access.  It was not easy to get to International Falls back then.  Taking the train was a rather circuitous route to International Falls and it was probably not big enough yet in terms of population.  Koochiching County would not break off from Itasca till 1906.  So International Falls was lagging behind Bemidji by about 5-10 years in development.  It also might have had something to do with E.W. Backus, the lumber baron, establishing himself in International Falls. 

Bemidji was growing and logging was big by 1900, according to online histories.  Bemidji is in Beltrami County, Minnesota in the northwestern part of the state.  It is spread out around two large lakes:  Lake Bemidji and Lake Irving. If you are coming from International Falls you enter the city on Hwy 71 and make your way to the center of town.  I have visited Bemidji twice and did a little more exploring each time.

A main street in Bemidji a very charming town!

The Beltrami County Genweb has a nice listing for sites and places to research.  They haven’t finished some of their projects like  a cemetery listing so check back periodically. 

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mnbeltra/

There were some interesting articles on the history of Bemidji around 1900 at this website, click on News Clips:

http://www.bemidjihistory.com/index.php

I visited Bemidji in 2000 and then I visited the Beltrami County Historical Society in 2000 and 2001:  http://www.beltramihistory.org/  They are located in the train depot that has been restored.   Very nice facility.  Always check hours before you visit.   They are at 130 Minnesota Ave. SW in Bemidji.  I found a very old city directory that featured my family. 

1904 Bemidji City Directory

 
It reads:
McDonald, Archie 1101 L.B.
McDonald Elmer E, res. 1287 Lake Boulevard, attorney Bailey & McDonald
McDonald, John 1215 Bemidji, employment office
McDonald, J.R. cruiser, bds Merchants hotel
 
Archie is of course, Keith’s grandfather and my great-grandfather.  John is probably “Jack” the son of Archie and Mary McDonell? I am guessing about that?  Elmer and J.R. are not known.  I checked the 1900 U.S. Census and the 1905 Minnesota State Census but I didn’t get any hits for Elmer.  I was curious to see if any information might come up.  It is interesting that John is listed as working at an “employment office.”  Apparently there were those men who would hire the men for the lumber camps so employment offices were frequent. There is no mention of Alexander, Nellie or R.S. McDonald in this city directory. 
 
On June 1, 1901 a lien was recorded in the courthouse in Beltrami regarding J.O. McDonald and R.O. McDonald.  I think this is R.S. and J.A. McDonald my grandfather and uncle “Jack?”  Remember I talked about a deed in which R.S. and Grace McDonald purchased a house near Lake Bemidji in the a lated post dated January 5, 2012?  Well this is the same lot, block and location!

Al [Granby], Plaintiff against J.O. McDonald and R. O. McDonald, defendants. Lein of $6.70 against the Lot 6, Block 1 Lake Park addition in Bemidji, Beltrami Co., Minnesota. [    ] 

Archie, Mary and Nellie were still in Bemidji according to the Minnesota State census for 1905, Ancestry.com.

#49 McDonald Archie, Lake Blvd, #1101, M., 70 years, white, born in Canada, lines thru parents birth with no data entered, location, resident 3 yrs., 9 mos.; same for district, occupation: retired.

#50 McDonald, Mary, Lake Blvd, #1101, Female, age 68, white, born in Canada, parents born in Scotland both, resident 3 yrs. 9 mos, same for district, retired.

#51 McDonald, Nellie, Lake Blvd, #1101, Female, age 30, white, born in Canada, both parents born in Canada, resident 3 yrs 9 mos., same for district, occupation: housekeeper.

By 1905, John (Jack), Alexander (Alex) and R.S. McDonald are living in Koochiching Twp., Itasca County, Minnesota which  International Falls is a part.  It would not be long before Archie, Mary and Nellie followed them.  See the post dated March 27, 2010 “McDonald’s Settle in International Falls,” for a comparison of the 1905 Minnesota State Census for the various members of this family. 

So for about 3 years and 9 months Archie and Mary McDonell were taking up residence in Bemidji and their daughter Nellie was with them?

During that time Archie and Mary became grandparents with the birth of their granddaughter Leola Vivian on May 12, 1902 in Grand Rapids, Itasca County, Minnesota.  She was a child of R.S. and Grace (Barclay) McDonald.  See the post dated June 5, 2010 “Darling Vivian,” for more information about this birth. 

They receive great news again on 3 May 1904 when Ronald Gordon McDonald another child of R.S. and Grace (Barclay) McDonald was born.   See the posted dated July 9, 2010 “Brother Gordy.”  

The family group portrait which I feature in the post dated March 20, 2010 “Archibald and Mary McDonell’s Children,” was taken in Bemidji about 1905.  It features Nellie, Mary, Jack, Archie, R.S. and Alexander but not Angus the oldest son.

The move from Canada to the United States was completed by around 1901-1902.  Archie and Mary would live the rest of their lives in Minnesota.  John (Jack), Nellie (Ellen) and Alexander (Alex) would remain in the United States.  R.S. ventured back to Canada for a short time from about 1915 to 1919 but eventually end up in the United States till his death.  The move from Bemidji to International Falls took place around 1905 to 1906.  Having lived in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec they all had knowledge of the logging industry and so they followed the lumber which would bring prosperity and other types of employment.

In summary so far:

In past posts the life of R.S. (Ronald Sandfield) and Grace (Barclay) McDonald has been featured.  R.S. being a son of Archie and Mary McDonell.  I talked about their marriage in 1898, their children and their lives in International Falls.  R.S. was employed with the International Lumber Co. and also was a commissioner in the area.  The death of Grace and the death of his parents Archie and Mary were also featured.  I stopped with R.S.’s decision to leave for Grand Prairie, Alberta in 1915.  At that time I stepped back in time and described the life of his parents, Archie and Mary,  in Chichester, Pontiac County, Quebec.  Sharing what I knew of the family and its origins.  Then I showed how they migrated to the United States by first going to Bemidji and then to International Falls.  Archie and Mary had siblings and family in the Pontiac County, Quebec and I described what I knew of their families based on Aunt Nellie and Aunt Miriam’s charts. 

My goal now is to talk about the other children of Archibald and Mary McDonell in more detail.  I have mentioned Angus McDonald, the oldest son, and that he left the family after 1881 and may have returned around 1898 only to leave again.  What happened to him?   John or rather Jack and his wife Sarah Burns whom he married just before leaving Canada in 1901.  What happened to them?  Jack was a very interesting man.  Nellie, she devoted her life to raising R.S.’s children after the death of Grace in 1911.  So she followed him wherever he went.  Alexander he remained in International Falls.  From there I will resume the story of R.S. McDonald  from 1915 to his death in 1947.  R.S. and Grace had eight children of which six survived to live out their lives to very advanced ages in some cases, all as United States citizens.

The spelling of McDonell changed to McDonald after the move to Minnesota. 

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

Note:  If you get a x where a picture was try clicking it and it will open into another window and show up.  Remember to hit the back around to return to the post.


Archie and Mary McDonell say goodbye to Chichester and head for Bemidji!

January 5, 2012

Archie was about 63 years old in 1901 and Mary, his wife, was about 61.   The story in my father Keith’s family, as told by his sister Miriam, is the sons of Archie and Mary decided it was time for their parents to retire from the farm.  As I have discussed in a past post Archie’s position as lock master had ended in the middle 1890′s.  Remember Ronald and Alex had already made the move to Minnesota and their older brother Angus he was gone, although I believe he came back and his daughter Helena Mary was born there 19 August 1897?  John (Jack) was quoted in later years as saying to his daughter Mary:  ” We (Sarah and Jack) didn’t like all of the king and queen stuff still going on in Canada.”   So the decision to immigrate to Minnesota was made for whatever reason or reasons. 

When did the move take place?

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. 

Note:  The birth year of John is questionable in this census.  His baptismal record has 3 June 1869 as indicated in the St. Alphonsus Church Records. 

The other interesting fact is that Ellen (Nellie) their daughter is not in this census?  We see that Alexander is also missing along with Ronald and Angus.  I cannot find Ellen, Ronald nor Angus in either the Canadian or U.S. Census in 1901 or 1900.  I have looked everywhere and have given it several tries based on what I know of their lives at the time. 

John (Jack stayed) was highly motivated to stay a little longer because he was about to get married to Sarah Maria Burns.  The 1901 Canadian census was supposed to be enumerated on March 31, 1901 and completed within a month.  Their marriage took place in August of 1901.  I wonder if this event is in the newspaper there?

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

Source:  Marriage Due Comte De Pontiac 1836 -1973, pg. 356 #6916, Pub. No. 26, Editions Bergerson & Fils Engr., Montreal, P.Q. FHL#971.4215.K29.  Other versions are on CD-Rom

Or the Drouin Collection at Ancestry.com

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.

What this means is the family didn’t leave Chichester, Pontiac County, Quebec until after this marriage took place.  Again, I refer you to Keith’s sister Miriam’s notes about Archibald and Mary and the family which I have shared before in a past post on Archibald.  (Click on the image to make it bigger and remember to hit the back button to return to this post. 

Miriam's Notes on Archie and Mary

 
Archibald, as the notes reads, went to Glengarry, Ontario where he grew up to visit after 40 years and had forgotten his Gaelic.  He was the youngest of seven children – five boys and two girls.  Miriam goes onto to say that the sons made the decision to move their parents. 
 
In preparation for the arrival of Archibald and Mary in Bemidji, their son Ronald (R.S.) and Grace, his wife, (Keith’s parents and my grandparents) bought a house right next to Lake Bemidji.  I had the good fortune to view and tour the house that my family lived in when I visited Bemidji in 2001.  The owner at that time, a very nice lady kindly gave me a tour.  They were renovating the home at the time.  The house is north of the Lake Watch Bed and Breakfast (may not be there anymore) where I stayed in 2000 when we passed through the first time.  The address is 1101 Lakeside Blvd., Bemidji, Beltrami Co., Minnesota.   I do have a photo of the house and remember the inside well.  It was several stories with an enclosed porch and had these old steep stairs to the upper floor. 
 
Ronald and Grace purchased the house from a Wm. Dibble on 29 January 1901.  I found this deed at the Beltrami County Courthouse in Bemidji.  They would not let me see the originals, so I looked at the film using the machine they had in the Registrar of Deeds office.  I will go into further detail on this deed in another post.   Since I cannot find my grandparents in the 1900 U.S. census, this deed is significant in that is places my grandparents, Ronald and Grace in Bemidji in the early part of the 1900′s.

Beltrami Courthouse in Bemidji


The Migration to Minnesota Begins for the McDonell’s!

December 23, 2011

Ronald S. McDonald, Keith’s father and my grandfather, appears in the Minnesota State Census for the year 1895.  He is living in Hennepin County, Minnesota.  He has been living in Minnesota for 4 years.  This may mean he might have left home right before the Canadian census for 1891 was enumerated?  He would have been 25 years old by that time and probably wanting to strike out on his own.  

McDonald, Ronald, age 29, male, white, born in Canada, 4 yrs in state, 4 years in dist, Lumberman, 12 mos. employed, parents of foreign birth – yes, yes, was not enumerated before – no. Source:  Minnesota State Census 1895, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, pg. 7.  Ancestry.com.

Note:  The counties around the area of the twin cities in Minnesota are Ramsey (St. Paul) and Hennepin (Minneapolis) so you do have to pay attention when doing research or check the documents for both counties.

Apparently, Ronald or better known as R.S. decided to become naturalized.  Naturalization is not easy to find in the early years before about 1906 when they changed the laws.  It is usually in the court where the person applied.  I made an educated guess and wrote to the court in Hennepin county and was very lucky. 

1. A.R. McPherson swears that he knows Ronald S. McDonald and that he has resided in the country for over 5 years and one year past and is of good moral character. Followed by Ronald S. McDonald swearing allegiance to the United States and the State of Minnesota and renounces his allegiance to the King of Great Britain. Ronald S. McDonald is granted citizenship and it is Signed by David T Simpson, Judge District Court, Dec. 16, 1901.

2. Second document stating that Ronald S. McDonald had appeared on the 15th Day of October in 1894 and made his declaration of intention at that time to become a citizen of the United States. Signed by the Clerk of the Court (unreadable) and the Deputy of the Court on Dec. 16, 1901.

Source: State of Minnesota Fourth Judicial District, Hennepin County, Minnesota #341-6, December 16, 1901, Witnessed by A. R. McPherson and signed by the Clerk of the court (unreadable).

One of the Naturalization papers for Ronald McDonald

This helps to place Keith’s father in the United States and Minnesota in and before October 1894 or earlier. 

My Aunt Miriam wrote the following about her father: 

Ronald McDonald Mini Bio

 
R.S. did know and worked for E. W. Backus the “last of the lumber barons.”  In the papers of the Minnesota Historical Society I was unable to find any actual employment records for my grandfather in E. W.’s files.  E. W. Backus can be Googled and you will find information about him.  I found many manuscripts and articles at the Koochiching County Historical Society. 
 
An email to the librarian at Grand Rapids, Minnesota inquiring about schools of the type mentioned in my Aunt Miriam’s notes informed me that the town was too small to support a school of this type.  So this means R.S. probably attended in one of several locations like Duluth, Minneapolis, or St. Paul which would make more sense for the time period. 
 
Brother Alexander was shortly to follow and from documentation it looks like he came into Minnesota about 1897 and was living probably in Duluth.   Single individuals are hard to pin down in the census and in city directories. 

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