A 1848 Group Land Petition from Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester

July 10, 2014

In 2012, when I traveled to Canada, I visited the Libraries and Archives in Ottawa for one day. Before I went, I of course studied the land petition indexes online at the Libraries and Archives website, and found a very interesting piece of documentation.

Upper Canada Land Petitions 1763-1865 Index:

  • Name:  Inhabitants of Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester
  • Place:  Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield, Chichester
  • Year:   1848
  • Volume: 540A
  • Bundle: W4
  • Petition: 172
  • Microfilm: C-2964
  • Reference: RG 1 L3

From this information I pulled the microfilm while in the research room and took a look and photos.

Apparently the inhabitants of the whole community at that time in 1848, banded together and signed a petition for a land patent.  I share this because I am trying to get back as far as possible in the Chichester, Chapeau, Sheen area with the inhabitants.

Unfortunately, the microfilm is dark, fuzzy and difficult to read and interpret.  It looks like there were two letters submitted and a decision by the council for 3 shilllings.

Here as at least one of them with the list of the petitioners and again I did my best:

Inhabitants petition 1848

Inhabitants petition 1848 – a portion of one of the letters written in the file

1482 Petition – Inhabitants of Sheen C. _______

For a reduction in the price of their lands  (some intials) 18th April 1848

To his Excellency the Right and Honorable ___ Everts of Elgin and _____Governor General of the British North America……

In Council.  The petition of the undersigned settlers of the Township of Sheen county of Ottawa Canada East Hunbley Heweth. 

That your petitioners generally, recently migrated from Great Britain and Ireland, that from the great depression in the Lumber trade, the partial and in many cases total failure of the potatoe crop, has plaud your petitioners with their large, and helpless families, into circumstances from which, many years of prosperity will not essace from their recollection.

That the land we now occupy has been surveyed during the past winter – the ___ discription of  soil in which it has pleased Providence to cast our lot, and the peculiar circumstances of our situation, in this remote section of the Province, combined with the fact that all the merchandable timber has, from time to time, been taken away, by lumbermen, and others, under our possessing of little value.  

That our petitioners would therefore suggest, and pray for a reduction in the price of land, your petitioners are of the opinion  3 k p acre is the utmost value of that which they ___and under the  made favorably circumstances, the utmost they will be able to pay.  And as in duly bound, your petitioners will even pray. 

I transcribed these names to the best of my ability but I could be incorrect.  Some names might be French and I am not familiar with them and the person who transcribed the names didn’t spell well. I am particularly interested in the Ronald Roy McDonald.

  • 1. James W. Juston
  • 2. Daniel Ferguson
  • 3. Patrick [   ] Flinn
  • 4. John Murray
  • 5. Alex McGilverey
  • 6. Jonathan Perrault
  • 7.  Thomas Maher
  • 8.  Edward Rennick Resnick
  • 9.  ______ Tracey
  • 10. Ranald Roy McDonald
  • 11.  Tim Crinaw
  • 12. H….S. __________
  • 13. David Ferguson
  • 14. ________
  • 15. John Ferguson
  • 16. John Downee
  • 17. Richard Michael Hayes
  • 18. Owen Levine
  • 19. Thomas Harington
  • 20. Ra___Oatchern Rafrared Oatchern
  • 21. John Ferguson
  • 22. John McCormick
  • 23.  David Ferguson
  • 24. John Sturis
  • 25. Charles Hutchison
  • 26. John Wall or Sewll
  • 27. Mathe Ryng
  • 28. Peter Costille
  • 29. Gory Mars
  • 30. Richard Mackey
  • 31. John Walchome
  • 32. James ____
  • 33. Patrick Kelly
  • 34. Richard O’Brien
  • 35. Bryan Goletere
  • 36. George McKnay
  • 37. Edward Kelly
  • 38. Rutt Patt Bray
  • 39. William ____________
  • 40. Patrick Matheson
  • 41. Michl Michelson
  • 42. James Walker
  • 43. Samuel Hutchinson
  • 44. Patrick Kelly
  • 45. Thomas Kelly

UPDATE 12/17/2014:  In September 2014, I was able to obtain another copy at the Archives of Ontario of this petition and have transcribed more of what was in the file.  See my 12/17/2014 posted titled:  Revisiting the Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester petition of 1848.  Note that anything in read is an an attempt at updating.  Unfortunately the actual petition is still difficult to read.  

If you would like a copy of this file, leave a comment and we can make arrangements for me to send you one.  It will be difficult to read.  On the other hand, if you know of this petition and have a better transcription I would be very interested.  Thanks.


The Migrations of Downeys and MacDonalds…

June 5, 2014

Before I launch into sharing about my dad, Keith’s, growing up and learning the craft of airplane mechanic in the Army Air Corp, I want to go back in time and share additional information that has come to light about his Mac/McDonald family.

This blog has brought me many wonderful experiences and among them are meeting new cousins and interested readers.  It has also increased my knowledge of researching in Canada. I have learned that I have to extend my search areas to a much larger view.

Two families that migrated where the Hugh and Theresa Downey family and the Ambrose and Mary Jane (McCarthy) MacDonald family.  They left Sheenboro and Chichester in Pontiac County, Quebec and headed for Saskatchewan.  They are buried in the St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery near Leroy.

Ambrose MacDonald was a son of Duncan and Elizabeth (Sauvé)McDonell.  I wrote about Duncan and Elizabeth’s family in this post on this blog: “Duncan McDonell and Elizabeth Sauvé,” November 10, 2011.  My cousins and I are still working on figuring out their children so don’t assume it is completely correct.

Ambrose would be a nephew of my great-grandmother Mary McDonell who married Archibald McDonell, yes they were both McDonells.  Duncan would be Mary’s brother if the lineage is correct.  I will discuss that tangle in a later post.  It appears that Duncan Darby MacDonald who did a lot of research on families in Glengarry, Ontario and my Aunt Nellie have a different take on the lineage in the family?

Switching over to the other side of the family, to Archibald’s side, I was able to determine with help from another cousin that the John McDonell who lived in Sheenboro and was married to Julia with the many last names was Archibald’s brother.  His daughter Theresa married a Hugh Downey and they migrated to Leroy, Saskatchewan.  Of course, I need to do further research to establish this relationship.

I wrote about this in my post for this blog dated March 31, 2012, “A Discovery: Archie’s brother John McDonell, living next door in Sheen.”

Today, I would like to share with you photographs taken by a descendant of Ambrose who has given me permission to share.  These are from the St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery near Leroy, Saskatchewan:

First, the Ambrose and Mary Jane MacDonald family:

St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery, Leroy, Saskatchewan

St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery, Leroy, Saskatchewan

Ambrose and Mary J.

Ambrose and Mary J.

Children of Ambrose and Mary

Children of Ambrose and Mary

Francis George MacDonald 1916 to 1916

Francis George MacDonald 1916 to 1916

Clarence MacDonald 1918 to 1920

Clarence MacDonald 1918 to 1920

Lorena MacDonald 1923 to 1925

Lorena MacDonald 1923 to 1925

UPDATE 6/27/2014:  I have been informed that Leo Clarence MacDonald is buried in Leroy at the Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery, Leroy, SK. This cemetery is right in the town of Leroy. Go here for more information on this cemetery:

  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansacem/leroy_rosary.html

Leo Clarence MacDonald 1921 to 1990.

Leo Clarence MacDonald 1921 to 1990.

Next is the Hugh and Theresa (McDonell) Downey family in St. Patrick Cemetery are:

Hugh Downey Feb. 23, 1869 to May 12, 1945.

Hugh Downey Feb. 23, 1869 to May 12, 1945.

Theresa Downey Nov. 19, 1868 to Nov. 19, 1938

Theresa Downey Nov. 19, 1868 to Nov. 19, 1938

Joseph Bonaface MacDonald 1903 to 1957

Joseph Boniface MacDonald
1903 to 1957

I was having trouble finding this cemetery on Find A Grave but I will go back and study it later.  They want you to use Saint not St. and it can get confusing.  Now what I need are obituaries for these people.

I did find this cemetery at the Saskatchewan Cemeteries Project:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansacem/leroy_patricks.html

Again, thanks to my cousin for taking and sharing these photos, it is so very cool!


Cheney High School Honor Roll 1924 & Basketball

March 20, 2014

The Eastern Washington University has a great newspaper archive and I found these items about the students at Cheney.

The February 1924 issue features Jean under the Biology section. Edna is under the English listings.  Miriam has graduated but here are a series of 1924 photos of the sisters except Vivian.

Miriam, Jean and Eddie Winter 1924

Miriam, Jean and Eddie Winter 1924

Eddie, Jean Nellie, Miriam and unknown girl. Winter 1924

Eddie, Jean Nellie, Miriam and unknown girl. Winter 1924

Jean, Eddie and unknown friend, Winter 1924.

Jean, Eddie and unknown friend, Winter 1924. Eddie has a camera in her hands

The March article you will find Jean’s name under Biology and Modern History.  Eddie appears under the English students.

Honor Students Feb 1924

Honor Students Feb 1924

Honor Students Cheney WA March 1924 & Basketball

Honor Students Cheney WA March 1924 & Basketball

A close up of the March 1924 article on Honor Students has a little article tucked in at the end about the girls basketball team receiving the honor of letters.  Eddie is listed.

Basketball March 1924

Basketball March 1924

“Twelve members of girls’ basketball teams at the Cheney high school have been awarded honor letters as follows:  Clare Bemi, Adelia Bacharach, Vivian Harmon, Alice Ewy, Edna McDonald, Alberta Victor, Theresia Burke, Virginia Nance, Genevieve Johnson, Gertrude Bechtel, Elizabeth Andrews, Juanita Eads.”


Nellie (Ellen Elizabeth) McDonald thru the Years!

March 14, 2013

Nellie passed in May of 1947 which was 12 months before I was born.  I never knew her.  It is well-known in our family that she took on the task of raising R.S.’s children after Grace’s death in 1911. Grace’s death was described as “things were never the same.”

My dad, Keith, really didn’t talk about her much although she was probably the only mother that he remembered.  Grace Barclay McDonald, his real mother, had died in December of 1911 when he was only 18 months old.  Eddie, his sister mentioned she died right at Christmas.  I really had not realized that because Eddie would celebrate that holiday along with the others.

I felt I knew more about the McD’ side than I did my Mother’s side.  Dad didn’t talk specifics but I did know some family history.  Technically my family was a what his sister, Miriam, would often repeat,  “dour Scotsmen.”

The Caledonian Mercury has a posting on the meaning of the word “dour.”  http://caledonianmercury.com/2012/04/18/useful-scots-word-dour/0032435

Nellie and a mystery cat!

The picture above is one of my favorites of Nellie.  The dress is rather fancy so maybe this was some special day?  The one below has her holding another cat with different markings.  She seemed to prefer wearing dresses even when she worked.  This is the one connection with her that I find, our love of cats.

Nellie with another mystery cat!

Nellie is sort of an enigma to me regarding her personality.  She was held in esteem by her niece, Miriam.  Miriam said that Nellie gave her whole life to her and her siblings after Grace’s death.  She never married, nor had children of her own.

By 1920 she is with R.S. (Ronald)., her brother and his children, in Cheney, Washington.  About 1925 she would follow her brother to Spokane so that Keith, my dad, could go to Gonzaga High School and Eddie could go to nursing school.  The move to Yakima was to take place about 1937 and it would be her final migration.  Nellie and Ronald  where aging by then so they followed Miriam to Yakima were Miriam took up teaching.   Nellie would remain in Yakima for the rest of her life.

Nellie will be mentioned in future posts and pictures, I just felt it was important to focus in on her because she became the “mother” to my dad, Keith.

In studying the photos in my Dad’s collection and his sister Vivian’s, I see a woman, Nellie, who wasn’t afraid of work, who was determined, was probably religious, was friendly to others, loved cats, read the newspaper, joined her family in many picnics and fun things.  Even though they didn’t talk about her much, she is featured in many many photographs by herself and with the family.

Nellie off to Church, maybe?

The photo above is another one of Nellie that I like.  She looks a little impatient but I love the coat and the hat.  She was probably very neat and tidy no matter what she was doing.

It was Nellie who wrote the original family history charts in 1932 followed by Miriam, her niece redoing them.  Here are the post dates and titles that feature Nellie’s charts.  They are what I used to try to find my family in Quebec.  Go to the Archives on the right of this blog and find the dates that fit.

July 21, 2011 – Nellie’s Charts – Her Mother Mary McDonell’s Family.

June 17, 2011 – Nellie’s Charts – Her Father Archive McDonell’s Family

Here she is in a lovely white dress with a hat.

Nellie in Summer

We have seen that she liked cats but here she is seated next to a dog:

Nellie with dog

This next photograph is very puzzling.  I do not know the lady on the left.  Nellie and the lady’s dress is of the same print material, although the style is different.  I am assuming Nellie must have belonged to a club perhaps associated with the church?  There is another photo with Nellie in the same dress, but I do not recognize the people and they are dressed very fancy.  I love the hat with the flowers.  Nellie is on the right reaching over to adjust a tea-pot?

Nellie and a friend dress in similar prints

Nellie is in the same outfit in this photograph and a man I do not recognize is on the right.  It was definitely some special gathering.  The location is probably somewhere near Mt. Rainier.

Nellie in the same outfit not in correct orientation

Corrected photo - flipped it and now the can reads correctly.

Corrected photo – flipped it and now the can reads correctly.

Updated:  March 15, 2013:  A comment was made about the photos and the mountain not being correct and so I examined the printed coffee can words and sure enough I had this photo reversed in the orientation.  My Rainier mountain family expert pointed it out to me and I am glad to get this fixed.  It is very easy to get a photo out of orientation when you do not know the subject matter.  So I do try to look for letters or something in the photo to help.  I missed this one.

The next photo has Nellie holding something in her hand.  If you zoom in you find a cigarette in a holder? She smoked cigarettes?  I do love the clothesline however which is very tidy.  The lady peeking out from behind is unknown to me.  (To enlarge the photo, click on it and then use your back button to return to this blog or close a tab.)

Nellie and a friend

Here brother and sister, R.S. (Ronald) and Nellie, work the wood pile:

Nellie & R.S. Work the Wood Pile

A little over the fence gossip.  I think this photo is wonderful.

A little over the fence gossip – Nellie and the Neighbor


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.


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.


Touring Glengarry: Kirkhill

June 29, 2012

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

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

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

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

A view of Lochiel

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

Can you see the spires?

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

St. Columba Church and the modern world

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

St. Columba’s welcome sign

The church and cemetery.

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

St. Columba and its cemetery

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

The book of the cemetery inside this!

Many of the stones say things like this one.

All Natives of Glenelg, Invernesshire, Scotland

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

St. Columba Church & Cemetery

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

The Kirkhill United Church

A closer look at this church.

Kirkhill United Church

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

Kirkhill United Church cemetery

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

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

Kirkhill United Church & Cemetery

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

St. Columbia in the distance


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