Ontario Wanderings: The Glengarry area…Again…

September 30, 2014

The highway that follows the St. Lawrence in Glengarry is one of my favorite places.  I like the gentle drive along the waterfront with the St. Lawrence on one side and the houses either on the water or set back.

The St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River

There are little docks, with boats. I noticed that the signs had been updated to reflect the South Glengarry township change.  I still think of it as Glengarry County with the townships of Lochiel, Kenyon, Charlottenburgh and Lancaster.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glengarry_County,_Ontario

The New sign for Glengarry

The New sign for Glengarry

Since I had viewed a copy of Part IV of Duncan’s charts, I didn’t have to go into the Cornwall Public Library and the Cornwall Room.  I had been there in 2012 so I knew what they had and given them a booklet of my McDonald’s side.  I do recommend the Cornwall Room for genealogical research.  http://www.cornwall.ca/en/webadmin/publiclibrary.asp  I do want to warn you that the library’s website it not real helpful but you can go to their local history link and do searches. The Cornwall Room has limited hours so make sure you know those hours before you head out to this library in downtown Cornwall.  Parking is behind the library and you do have to feed the meter. http://library.cornwall.on.ca/

You can read about my first visit dated June 24, 2012 “The Cornwall Public Library’s Genealogical & History Collection.

The Genealogical Society of St. Laurent has moved to the basement of the Cornwall Library and I could go in and see if they were open for business and it looks like they might be keeping Saturday hours. http://genealogieetarchivessaintlaurent.ca/

You can read about my first visit to them in 2012 at this post dated June 24, 2012 “A Gem in the United Counties of S.D.&G: La Genealogie et archives Saint-Laurent Inc.”

I decided I needed some downtime and to rest so I hung around my motel room.  Now I stayed at this motel one night on my trip in 2012.  It is the motel Monte Carlo and it is right on the St. Lawrence River just a little past the main downtown area of Cornwall.  Now it is not a fancy motel but it is so convenient.  It is just beyond St. Anthony St. and a bit before Boundary Rd. and right on Hwy 2.  She put me in room #4 again and fortunately, things had improved since my last visit.  So I was happy.  http://www.montecarlomotel1700.com/  Now if you want breakfast you have to go out.  They did have coffee but I would plan to bring your own just in case.  I did have a microwave and refrigerator.

Motel Monte Carlo

Motel Monte Carlo

The Wharf at the Monte Carlo

The Wharf at the Monte Carlo

Just east along Hwy #2 is the Blue Anchor Bar and Grill.  I had found this restaurant on my last trip and had sat out on their veranda watching the boats go by.  I forgot one thing and that is it was fall this time not spring and it was a bit cool out there on their veranda but I persevered.  http://www.blueanchor.ca/ They are also on Facebook.

Blue Anchor Bar & Grill

Blue Anchor Bar & Grill

The veranda was a little cold

The veranda was a little cold

I had made arrangements to meet with someone at one of the little historical societies in the area but it didn’t work out.   I had hoped to ask a ton of questions but it didn’t happen and I have had a discussion with myself about being more careful.

However, I did get a little drive through the Glengarry area and when I turned off of Hwy 34 onto Hwy 24 and saw these church spires I realized that it was the St. Columba and Kirkhill Churches that I had visited the last time.  I had come south on the Military Road and saw them in the distance and was just blown away.  They were still pretty impressive.

St. Columba Church & Cemetery

St. Columba Church & Cemetery

In Alexandria I wandered around and found this lovely lake and another cemetery The United Church Cemetery.

Mill Pond

Mill Pond

United Church Cemetery in Alexandria

United Church Cemetery in Alexandria

I stopped at Dimitri’s for an early dinner.  It was a little stormy and windy so I ate my early dinner inside   Dimitri is in Summerstown and right on the St. Lawrence.  I decided to try a Greek plate and it was very good.  They said they would be offering breakfast starting in October so you might want to check it out.  Dimitri’s is a little east of Hwy 27 in Summerstown.

Anything having to do with MacDonells is something that I will take a few minutes to stop and study.  There is a plaque on the Hwy 2 for Lt. Colonel John MacDonell (Abercalder).  It is on the south side of the road.  You can pull into Stone House Point Road and park and then walk over to the plaque.  It you get to Rae Road you are either past or just about there depending on which way you are headed.

Plaque for John MacDonell

Plaque for John MacDonell

 

The Plaque for John MacDonald (Abercalder)

The Plaque for John MacDonald (Abercalder)

There are supposed to be remnants of the house he built-in this area but it is all private property so I did not try to venture further.  I did try to peek over the bushes but I could not see anything in the area that might be ruins.  Google Earth just sees lots of trees in the area.

There are lots of historical plaques in the area and one could spend a lot of time driving around and finding them.

http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=13373

Try these links.

http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques_STU/Plaque_Stormont42.html or go here.

http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Locations/Location_DirectoryStormont.html

Here is a list of the posts and dates of my 2012 tour of the Glengarry, Ontario area.  You can find them using the archive box on the right of this blog.

  • At Last! Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry!, June 22, 2012
  • An Overview: Dundas, Stormont and the city of Cornwall, Ontario, June 24, 2012
  • The Cornwall Public Library’s Genealogical & History Collection, June 24, 2012
  • A Gem in the United Counties of S.D.&G: La Genealogie et archives Saint-Laurent, Inc., June 24, 2012
  • Cornwall Community Museum! June 25, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry:  Glengarry Archives & the Sir John Johnson House, June 26, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: The Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum, June 26, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry:  Williamstown, June 26, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry:  Dunvegan & The Glengarry Pioneer Museum, June 27, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry:  Alexandria “The Centre of Glengarry,” June 27, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: St. Raphael’s, June 28, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: Martintown, June 28, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: St. Andrews West (Stormont), June 28, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: Lancaster, June 28, 2012
  • Last Night in Cornwall, A Turn of Events and a lovely view!, June 28, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: Cornwall to South Lancaster, June 29, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry:  Kirkhill, June 29, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: Lochiel, Glen Sandfield, Dalkeith, June 29, 2012
  • Prescott, Russell, The Ottawa River & Ottawa!, June 29, 2012

Sources to use for Untangling McDonell, MacDonald, MacDonell & McDonald families….

September 2, 2014
St. Raphael's the 1st 50 years.

St. Raphael’s the 1st 50 years.

Mr. Duncan Darby MacDonald of the MacDonald Research centre in Brockville was the author of many books on Glengarry, Stormont and other counties in the Eastern area of Ontario.

Around 1999 and 2000, I emailed the MacDonald Research Centre about my family surname of MacDonald/McDonald/Macdonell and told Mr. MacDonald about the family and the births of my grandparents and their children in Chichester and Allumette area of the Upper Ottawa River.  I do not have a copy of the email anymore.  He growled at me, if you can growl in an email.  I tried several times to communicate but failed and backed off. I was very new back then to genealogy and that is not the case now.  I know a lot more about my family.

Mr. MacDonald passed away about 2006 and I have learned from an obituary notice that he was known as “Old Crusty.”  It is a very nice obituary for him at the Loyalist website:  http://www.uelac.org/Loyalist-Trails/2006/Loyalist-Trails-2006.php?issue=200647 You will have to scroll to the bottom.

You really cannot do any research on Glengarry County, Ontario without running into Mr. MacDonald’s works. I have seen them under Duncan Darby MacDonald, Darby MacDonald, William Harold MacDonald and other variations. He is probably better known for his church registers which you can find just about everywhere.

Here are two possible options using “Duncan MacDonald”

http://globalgenealogy.com/cgi-bin/htsearch  This gave me 50 hits.  Now Global Genealogy has taken over his estate where his publications are concerned so they can sell them.

With the use of “Darby MacDonald” or “Duncan Darby MacDonald”  in their search engine you get 25 hits.

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

Here is a list at the Family History Library there are 4 under Duncan Darby MacDonald and 56 under MacDonald, Duncan W. (Duncan William Harold) 1933.

The Toronto Public Library you get 137 hits on Duncan MacDonald, and 86 on Darby MacDonald.  http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/search.jsp?Ntt=Duncan+MacDonald  Most of these titles are at the North York Branch in their Canadiana room on the 6th floor.

The Cornwall Public Library in Cornwall, Ont.  – Cornwall Room and I get 16 hits on Duncan MacDonald and 11 on his full name.  The Cornwall Room hours are limited so you need to check with the librarian about the days and times.

The Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry County Library has 32 of his titles and they can be in different branches so you need to check their website.

The Ottawa Public Library has 27 of Mr. MacDonald’s titles.  They have their history room with restricted hours so check before you go.

Why am I telling you all this?  I am telling you this so if you need to find a copy to consult you have an idea of where to look and how to look for his titles.  I probably will be revisiting his books on my next trip to Ontario and Quebec this Fall.  Now these books are not the originals and you really need to go to the church records if you can and seek sources to support the charts.

Now he is not the only one, Alex Fraser is another who has compiled and written a lot of books you may want to consult:  http://www.glengarrycounty.com/awfrrbks.html

You can do the same with Alex’s titles and name as I did with Mr. MacDonald.  I believe the Lancaster Library in Lancaster, Ontario has a nice collection.

I actually used both Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Fraser’s books to design my visits to the various cemeteries on my Touring Glengarry posts on this blog.  I was pretty thorough but missed a few of the very small cemeteries.

In this post I want to concentrate on the genealogical charts Mr. MacDonald created. Truly they are a labor of love and dedication on his part.  I have tried to decipher them and have not been very successful.  Here is a summary of what I know.

There are several Volumes to the genealogical charts: They all have at the top this beginning:  Scotland’s Migrations to North America. Early Settlers to Upper Canada (Eastern Ontario) Stormont & Glengarry, by Duncan Darby MacDonald.  They all have a table of contents.

Part IV Genealogical Charts.

Part IV Genealogical Charts.

These were found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:

1.  A collection of genealogical charts, part I – covered only the MacDonell Families of “Leek,” “Cullachie,” and Abercalder,” as well as “Greenfield.”  Long out of print and updated in 3rd edition of Part – IV, see below.  FHL#929.271 M145m pt 1.  On 3 Fiche FHL#6049681  It is under the title of: The MacDonalds or MacDonells of Glengarry: and other genealogies in the Family Search Catalog and it says a digital version is available but it is not letting me view it.  I don’t have sufficient rights?

2. A collection of genealogical charts, part II, 1991 covers families in an around Cornwall, and St. Andrews (Stormont County), and a large section on MacDonell/MacDonald family. FHL#971.376 D2 Book form only.

3.  A collection of genealogical charts, part III, 1992 – Genealogies of families primarily from the counties of Stormont and Glengarry, Ontario.  FHL#971.37 D2m.  Additional descriptive information indicates this covers the families of Newington, Osnbruck and Cornwall with very few Scottish connections.  Also on FHL#1697932 Item 2.

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

5.  A collection of genealogical charts, part V was updated in a 2nd edition in 1989 and covers the families of MacMillan.   It is under The MacMillan’s: and other genealogies, FHL#929.271 M228  This one also says a digital version is available but when I click I get, not sufficient rights?  Also on microfilm FHL# 169771 Item 17.

Neil McGillis suggested I look at Duncan’s chart No. 13 page 724 sheet 3 we have the Lundie MacDonells. So I consulted my collection of Mr. MacDonald’s charts and found I did not have this chart #13, which turns out to be about 15 pages of charts starting on page 721 and going through to 735.  You will find these charts in Part -IV.

I shared about this specific chart in the post I wrote on August 26, 2014 titled: Revisiting:  Ronald (Ranald) and Janet McDonell – The Lundie Family Connection.  

The Janet who married Ronald is part of the Lundie Family through her father and mother John and Flora McDonell.  They appear on the chart.

I took it a step further and I found a copy of this book Part IV at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City in October 0f 2013 and there on Chart 13, sheet 5, page 73A are the names of my great grandparents Archibald and Mary McDonell, who I have posted about a great deal in this blog. Sigh…all these years and there it was…

I had wondered why my Kennedy cousin who gave me a copy of his chart when we had dinner on their outside street porch at D’Arcy Mcgee’s in Ottawa was so odd.  Well, as I gazed on this chart by Mr. MacDonald, I saw it was similar.

The 14 pages I copied have a lot more in them and it is pretty amazing. I am so glad I traveled both sides of the Upper Ottawa River back in 2012.  As I study Mr. MacDonald’s pages I have plenty to share in future posts.

Unfortunately, my grand Aunt Nellie’s chart on her mother Mary’s side does not agree with Mr. MacDonald’s and he has Mary’s parents as Angus and Janet rather than Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson.

Mr. MacDonald writes in his books comments like he placed in his Part IV, 3rd Edition at the beginning.

 “There will be errors and omissions and we look to other researchers and family members to bring these to my attention so that the records we leave for future generations will be correct.”

Apparently it was not meant to be for Duncan and me to connect.  However, I have met other researchers like Mr. McGillis and am so grateful to you all for going before me.  Thanks.  It is not easy to untangle McD’s heritage in Ontario, Canada.


Revisiting: Ronald (Ranald) and Janet McDonell – The Lundie Family Connection!

August 26, 2014

Today, I am revisiting one of the children of Alexander John McDonell and Rachel McPherson.  This child is Ronald McDonell (Ranald) who married Janet McDonell. According to Neil McGillis who found this blog, Janet, is a member of the Lundie McDonells.  It is a great day when you find connections.

I wrote about this couple in a past post dated September 29, 2011 and it was titled:

The Ronald McDonell & Janet McDonell Family.”

http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/2011/09/

Neil has kindly consented to my sharing the family chart he sent to me.  I  removed the last line of individuals below Catherine and Ed Gallagher because they are still living.

McDonell of Lundie Chart

McDonell of Lundie Chart

Janet was a child of John McDonell who married Flora McKinnon and also Flora W. McLellan (dau of Donald McLellan and Isabella McGillis).* The marriage to Flora took place about  January 1827 in Beckwith Twp.

Where is Beckwith Twp., it is in Lanark County, Ontario:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beckwith,_Ontario

This link is to the township site where they have some brochures and a book:

http://www.twp.beckwith.on.ca/history.aro

Beckwith: Irish and Scottish Identities in a Canadian Community. Looks like you can read some of this book here:  http://www.ourroots.ca/e/toc.aspx?id=6013 

To think I drove through the area in 2012 and stopped for gas in Carleton Place on my way to Hastings Co. I guess I should have dallied more in Lanark County, although I did enjoy Smith Falls and visited the Lanark County Genealogical Society. http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/lanark-county-smith-falls-ontario/  I knew there was more there because of the references to Alexander MacDonald who lived in Sandpoint along the Ottawa river having been there in Lanark and then in Glengarry County and then up to the Arnprior area.  I just did not know how he fit in.  I will share more about that in a later post.

John McDonell then migrated to Horton Twp. which is in Renfrew County, Ontario and onto Chichester which is in Pontiac County, Quebec and he died in Sheenboro Twp. on 13 February 1861.  I visited this area in 2012 and wrote many posts about my adventure on this blog under the title of the Touring the Upper Ottawa….I was in Renfrew County quite a bit on my trip in 2012 and also in Sheenboro.

John is not listed on the tombstones at the Gravemarker gallery  nor in the written online transcript as being buried in the St. Paul De Hermit Roman Catholic Cemetery graveyard.  I have visited this cemetery in person in Sheenboro, Pontiac Co., Quebec and there are lots of empty spaces even though it is well-tended.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~klf69/sheenboro/index.htm

In reviewing the above chart, and the family pages I list below,  we see that  John and Flora McLellan had the following children:

1.  Donald b. 1827

2.  Angus b. 1829.  He married Ellen Kennedy, 8 January 1867.

3. ** Janet b. 1831.  She married first Ranald (Ronald) McDonald 1827 to 1862 and her 2nd marriage was to Thomas Poupore [Sr.]

4.  Alexander 1833 to 1885.  He married Johanna Walsh.  After his death she remarried to a Peter Langan.  He died about 1896. She died about 1913.

5.  Duncan married Isabella.

6.  Allan b. 1835 a deaf-mute

7. Betsy b. 1840, she married Francis Walsh in 1867.

8. Louisa b. 1843 married Donald McGillis

JohnMcDonell&Flora McLellan

If the chart is to confusing try this:  Janet&Ronald  Please be advised that charts and outlines are subject to change at any time.

Neil gave me a link to a family website and I have tried comparing the chart above with a family tree online at Rootsweb titled:   French, Scottish, Irish, German and English families of James and Deborah McDonald,* by James Allan McDonald compiler.  He has information on this line of McDonells/Macdonells and takes Janet’s lineage way back.

Here is the link to John McDonell on this tree and you can see that he is named John Mor MacDonell. Just click on his name and it will bring you to his individual page.

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=REG&db=ranaldthecalf&id=I19362

I am still trying to read through this family tree and absorb it.  I am impressed with it but I am also a little wary of some of the sources. As I always say please verify the information yourself.

The above website at Rootsweb does not go into any detail about Flora McLellan.  You have to go back to the chart I have displayed above. It does list the children from John’s first marriage.

My information has Janet’s birth to be about 1833 so it makes sense that John married the second time to Flora McLellan before 1827.  If there is a record of that marriage, I would be glad to receive it.

John Mor MacDonell was born about 1781 in Scotland and lived in Glengarry Co., on the 6th Concession, Lochiel Twp. at about the date of 12 Jan. 1841. Unfortunately, there is no mention of the lot number but there is one listed for his brother Archibald as Lot 4 the north end of the sixth Concession in Lochiel Twp. for about 1845.  John died 7 February 1861 in Sheen Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec.

The website does give children for John and the 1st Flora as follows:  Mary 1811, Nancy 1810 in Scotland, Penelope 1813 in Scotland, Christine 1817,  and Donald 1826.  They may be other children – see my chart just click to open which is not necessarily in birth order.

JohnMcDonell & Flora MacKinnon

 

The website goes on to give the parents of John Mor MacDonell

–Alexander (Lundi) MacDonell b. Abt 1754 in Knoydart, Scotland and he married Janet (Barrisdale) MacDonell b. 1763 in Knoydart, Scotland.  He died on 1 Jan. 1842 in the snows near Allumette Island.   Janet was born about 1763 in Knoydart and died 14 Jan. 1847 in Stark’s Corners, Clarendon Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knoydart

Neil mentioned a 1815 list of enrollees to which you will find a transcription of those that came on the ships the Dorothy, Baltic Merchant, and Atlas:   http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/passengerlists/edinburghindex.shtml  Alexander is featured in the list for the Baltic Merchant. Lucille H. Campey in her book: The Scottish Pioneers to Upper Canada, 1784 to 1855 Glengarry and Beyond, has a combined ship summary of this list on page. 191, Appendix 1, “General List of Settlers, Enrolled for Canada under the Government Regulations at Edinburgh, 1815,” [PRO CO 385/2 ff 3-26].   PRO stands for Public Records Office and CO is Colonial office.   I guess it means I have to go to England to see the list. HA!

Alexander’s father was:

– Roderick (Rauri) MacDonell U.E. and he married Mary Cameron and they had:

1.  Alexander – John’s father

2. Ronald MacDonell b. about 1768

3. Roderick (Rory Og) MacDonell

4. Angus Mor MacDoneld b. in Scotland

–Roderick’s father is Angus (Lundie) MacDonell U.E.L.  and he died in 1783 enroute to Glengary Co. from the Mohawk Valley of New York State.  There is more but you can enjoy the links I have given and do your own investigating.

There is still more digging and studying to do.  Did you notice mention of the Mohawk Valley in NY, well, I am absolutely fascinated by the history of that area. A surprise to come if all goes well on my trip.  The other is the initials of U.E. and U.E.L. I guess it is time to start studying Loyalists records and not just dabble.  Of course the references to Sheenboro and Allumette just make me happy!

Neil took it one more step further and referred me to Chart #13, page 724 of the work of Duncan Darby MacDonald of the MacDonald Research Centre in Brockville, Ontario.  I have mentioned Mr. MacDonald in past posts.  He has written many books on Glengarry history, church records and charts.  Unfortunately, he passed away several years ago.  However, you cannot do research in Glengarry or areas nearby without coming across his works.  It is now time to dig in to the charts and there are about 5 volumes of charts.

Fortunately, the book below is the book we can target.  It is very thick and a copy is at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  I think it is very rare book and not many copies were published,  because I have not been able to purchase a copy for myself.  I do now that most of the estate went to Global Genealogy. They never did add more to this initial list of the titles.  http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette/gazed/gazed139.htm

Source;  Scotland’s Migratons to North America. Early Settlers to Upper Canada (Eastern Ontario) Stormont & Glengarry, a collection of genealogical charts by Duncan (Darby) MacDonald, Part-IV, 3rd Edition, 1993, ISBN O-921133-39-1.   

This book has many charts in it of many prominent families and Lundie MacDonells start on page 721 to 735, with mention of other charts to consult written on some of the pages.

Now when you search for Mr. MacDonald, he will be either Darby MacDonald, Duncan Darby MacDonald, William Harold and other variations of his name.

 


Jack and Sarah (Burns) McDonald Settle in Minnesota

August 16, 2012

Archie, Mary, Jack (John), Sarah and Nellie all settled in Bemidji, Beltrami Co., Minnesota first and lived there till about 1905. 

This is one of my favorite photos of Jack.  I do not know where it is taken but I think he looks very dapper.

Jack McDonald (John Archibald)

According to the Minnesota State Census for 1905, Jack and Sarah had relocated to International Falls, Minnesota.

Source:  Minnesota State Census, 1905, Village of International Falls, Twp. of Koochiching, Itasca Co., Minnesota, enumerated by Harvy Gale on June 30, 1905, Line 74, Sht#2, Image 269, Ancestry.com.

Line 74, McDonald, John A., male, age 36, born in Canada, both parents born in Canada, 4 yrs. in Minnesota, 8 months in International Falls, laborer. Line 75, McDonald, Sarah, female, age 31, born in Canada, both parents born in Ireland, 4 yrs in Minnesota, no occupation.

1905 Minnesota State Census for Jack & Sarah

Note:  Please note that Koochiching is not a county yet and it is part of Itasca County for about another year.  This means that if you are looking for records you need to consult Itasca County for the early years.

Meanwhile Archibald (Archie) and Mary McDonald, the parents, were still residing in Bemidji and their daughter Nellie was with them. 

Source:  Archibald McDonald Family, 1905 Minnesota State Census, Bemidji, Beltrami Co., Minnesota, ED#14, enumerated June 1, 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.

In my post dated March 3, 2011 I wrote about John (Jack’s) birth – Archie & Mary’s Children:  John Archibald McDonald.  

I also wrote more about Jack and Sarah in the posted dated August 17, 2010 “Jack McDonald and Sarah Maria Burns!”  In this post I described the children of Jack and Sarah McDonald that I am aware of.  We suspect that there were more babies that did not make it or perhaps miscarriages. 

Sarah with a baby?

I also wrote about Bemidji in the post dated February 2, 2012 “Life in Bemidji.” In this post I featured the Bemidji city directory that I found at the Beltrami County Historical Society.  The page featured Archie and John for 1904.  The picture above was provided by Elaine Burns Brown. 

In the last post dated July 20, 2012, I talked about Jack and Sarah’s marriage.  I was unable to find any news about this event in the local newspapers, therefore, I speculate that sometime after August 1901 and probably before the winter set in they went to Glengarry County first.  This was so Archie could revisit his childhood home.  After this visit they made that final move to Minnesota.  They first settled in Bemidji living there for about 4 years or slightly less and then heading for International Falls.  Jack apparently went ahead by 8 months and may have been in International Falls by 1904.

I wonder how they traveled from Chichester? Did they take the train from Waltham down to Ottawa and the go by coach to Glengarry County.  It is fun to speculate.

This was a big move. 

As far as I can determine by the census, Archibald, Mary, Ronald and Grace, Jack and Sarah, Alexander and Nellie were all living in International Falls by 1905 or after.  Angus disappears after 1897 after he came back to Chichester for the birth of his daughter Helen Mary in August of that year.  He reappears in the Seattle 1910 U.S. Federal Census.  What he did between 1897 to 1910 I have yet to figure out.   

My family left behind many friends, memories and more in Canada, and I am afraid the ties slowly began to disappear as they continued to live in the United States.  Later on Robert R. McDonald, a son of Duncan McDonald, Mary’s brother’s family migrated to Bovey, Minnesota. 

If you are familiar with International Falls it is right on the northern border of Minnesota and it takes just a few minutes to cross the bridge to Fort Francis and you are back in Canada.  So they really didn’t wander that far from their Canadian roots.

Wikipedia has an article about the town of Fort Francis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Frances

Here is information about the border crossing and a great picture of the bridge that crosses the Rainy River between International Falls and Fort Francis.  My hubby and I drove across that bridge when I visited there in 2000 meeting for the first time with Mary McDonald Louseau, Jack’s and Sarah’s daughter.  She was 87 years old at the time. 

http://www.ezbordercrossing.com/list-of-border-crossings/minnesota/international-falls-fort-frances/

Here is a picture that I took on our walk along the Rainy River.  I wanted to see what my Dad’s (Keith)  childhood might have been like and wondered if he played along this river.  There house was very close by.  He would have been very young, being born in March 1910.  Ronald left International Falls in 1915 and headed back to Canada ending up in Grand Prairie.  I have posted about these events in past posts.  My Dad might have played along this river being 4-5 years old at the time.  It is more likely that the older children like Gordon, Vivian, Miriam, Eddie and Jean had adventures along its shores.  I can see Gordon carefully holding his little brother’s hand as they walked along.  Yes, I am getting a little romantic in my musings!

Looking across the Rainy River to Canada


Ottawa: Libraries and Archives Canada!

June 16, 2012

After arguing with myself over this, I took a stand and said “DO IT.”  Just go and visit and see what the Libraries and Archives Canada has for you. If you don’t you will regret it.  So I poured over the website and catalogue and finding aids. 

Monday, May 28, 2012 was to be my first visit to Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC).  I was both excited and intimated. 

Library and Archives Building

These types of archives  are what I call “white glove” and have a great deal of the material carefully stored and it has to be retrieved.  This can be difficult when you have limited time.  Fortunately, you can order items in advance at LAC and I took advantage of that obtaining my authorization number via their online link. 

Just about the time I was preparing for this trip to Ontario and Quebec, the news hit that changes were coming to this great archive.  So it was twice as important that I did go and visit. 

The changes are not pretty and it is looking like this once great institution is being stripped. I have never seen anything like it.  Yes, there are threats of budget cuts here in the States, but not like what is happening at the LAC. 

Article:  “The Wrecking of Canada’s Library and Archives:”  http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/06/07/LibraryCuts/

Save Library and Archives Canada:  http://www.savelibraryarchives.ca/

Canadian Council of Archives has a handout that I picked up asking for support to save LAC.  Here is a link to their Immediate Action which includes signing a petition:  http://www.cdncouncilarchives.ca/action2012.html  I signed the petition.  Won’t you take a minute to do the same?

ALERT!! LAC has a new website?

Much to my confusion it appears that they have a new website at LAC? Try this:  http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/Pages/home.aspx 

Their blog which I found very helpful is also going through changes: http://thediscoverblog.com/

My Visit:  I arrived via taxi.  The traffic was thick so it took awhile and was a bit expensive.  I could have walked but I really wanted to arrive with some energy to spare, so I decided to walk back at my leisure and do some sightseeing. 

The Entrance to Library and Archives on Wellington St.

There is a drop off area at the LAC so that makes it easy to get to the front door.  There was a sign about parking for the LAC, another change. There was no one at the large reception desk but I noticed that everyone was gathering at the Security desk to the left.  I joined the line up. When it became my turn they took my driver’s license and went back to the main desk and found my paperwork.  I signed this and that and received a locker key and a plastic bag. They weren’t kidding about this ugly plastic bag.  It made a lot of noise.  I was told I had to fill out a photograph release form at some point. 

I found the locker rooms to the left, down the hall and then right again.  I removed what I needed and put my stuff into the locker and carefully put my locker key away. I saw that others were being checked by one of the Security guards and got “busted” for putting items in their plastic bag that they were not supposed to.  I was approved!  I have experienced this type of restriction on what you can carry before and know to read the rules before I arrive.  It helps not to drag what you don’t need into the archive.  Sometimes the lockers are small and you can’t get your big briefcase into them.  So I use a smaller lighter weight bag that has a shoulder strap.  These lockers were a good size.

The elevators were nearby and easy to access.  The lobby area of the 3rd floor has a desk with an attendant who seems puzzled when you ask a question.  There where two large rooms on either end and I decided to try the Genealogy Room first and starting pulling information sheets from the racks and orienting myself. 

Ah HA! stacks…books to access from a shelf!  So I was happy to see that they did have books available for browsing.  I did locate the Glengarry section.  The bookcases circled the room with a section of several aisles with more books toward the back.  There were omputers stations in the middle, plenty of tables and light. 

Okay now that my breathing was returning to normal, I headed to the other side of the building and entered the big room where many people were seated at many long tables looking at documents from carts loaded to the brim. To the right and behind was a room with two desks, two individuals behind two big glass doors.  People were lined up to talk to these persons? To the left was a big bookcase with microfilm and other items piled with alphabet letters.  I found the M’s and there were my films.  There was no explanation about the Butler Papers I had ordered?  There was the Cornwall and Glengarry newspapers but the Pembroke films were missing?

I asked the group of individuals lined up to ask their questions of the two behind the glass doors,  “Where it the microfilm room?  They all pointed to the other end of the big room where there was a door.  So I walked down to the end and through a small room filled with microfilm filing cabinets noting that this was self-serve and into another room where all the microfilm readers were located. 

My goal had been to utilize their wonderful newspaper collection and search the Pembroke,  Cornwall and Glengarry newspapers to see if I could not find evidence of an article about my great-grandfather Archibald McDonell’s visit to Glengarry before he migrated to Minnesota about 1901-1902 and to see if any obituary notice was placed for him in 1912 and a marriage notice about his son John (Jack) to Sarah.  It looked like I could have pulled the newspaper films myself .  It still was nice to have them ready.  

They had sent me a follow-up email about my advanced order but somehow I missed it. When I was filling it out on-line the website glitched and it dumped part of my order.  I only discovered this when I printed it out.  I suggest if that happens make up another advanced order.   It was okay it was a newspaper that I was not sure would be of use  from VanKleek. 

The microfilm room had dim lighting so that was good.  The readers were set up in rows and a variety of them available to use.  I did have a bit of trouble with the readers, one was broken, another was the button to move the film was not working to well.  So I had to move around a little to find one that would function.  My quest was a longshot since Archie had not been living in Glengarry for 40 years. 

I had used the Lower and Upper Canadian Land Records index and found one possibility regarding a group petition covering Chichester, Sheen and Waltham in 1848.  You can search by location at the index pages.  I found the film and the petition and photographed it after signing the form I mentioned.  Apparently Lower Canada was big on group petitions.  This means they could be under another name? The chance of finding Archie’s land petition was growing less likely by the minute.  Sigh!

I found a bookcase in the middle of the big room on the wall and set down the microfilm that I had used. The big room was filled now with lots of people with cameras on tripods and large carts filled with boxes.  It was really busy. I would have taken photographs of the layout inside of LAC but they had cameras everywhere and I was concerned I would get into trouble. I tried Google images but it was not getting me the inside pictures that I wanted.

I returned to the Genealogy Room and had a chat with one of the librarians.  The Upper Canadian Land Petitions cut off at 1867 and the Lower Canadian land petitions cut off at 1841.  I had searched the indexes online e but was not having any luck finding Archibald McDonell my great-grandfather.  I was looking for his petition for the Land Grants he had received in 1868 and 1883.  Her response was that there had been a fire in Hull in 1900 and a lot of the Quebec’s record had been lost to that and more.  I did find the 1848 group petition and she agreed that the Lower Canada Land Petitions were usually a group effort.  She said that a rich individual would put up the money and they would sell the land to the settlers from the actual location.  There are three groupings of Quebec Land Records:  Seignorial, Township, Cadastral.  The township version started about 1840-41 in Quebec.  Apparently you have to know which time frame your ancestor was involved with to access the records. 

I offered my McDonald booklet but was told I needed to give them two.  One for the stacks and the other for the storage.  This meant that if I only gave them one it would not be easily accessed and that was all I had with me for I was traveling light and had brought only what I needed.  I have read that they are no longer accepting family histories.  I will let you decide? 

The line to the librarians behind the glass door was empty so I waited till I was beckoned in.  I asked about the  Butler papers that were missing from my order (Smy, William – The Butler Papers Amicus No. 32561962).  She did a search on her computer and found that they were at the Brock University in St. Catherine’s.  Apparently I missed that small piece of information.  St. Catherine’s is near Niagara.  

Why was I wanting to look at these Butler papers, well he was the man who was involved with the Wyoming Massacre that took place during the Revolution in Pennsylvania at Wilkes-Barre.  He held my 4th great-grandfather Solomon Goss prisoner in Forty-Fort and I was curious if I could find out more information.  Online they say his papers were probably destroyed in the War of 1812.  Still I am ever hopeful. Yeah, I am a dreamer. 

On my way to the Ottawa Public Library on Saturday, I passed by the Valiants Memorial near the War Memorial about Wellington and Elgin Streets and there was the many busts of military people who Canada holds in esteem. 

I found him easily, Lt. Colonel John Butler.  Yes, there is a bust of this man.  I could not help myself.  I had to have a picture taken with me in it.  We had a very nice chat. 

Me and Lt. Colonel John Butler of Butler’s Rangers, Ottawa

I have written about this encounter with John Butler on my blog: Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp. in Ohio.  It fits there more appropriately.  The interesting part is that Butler’s Rangers has a regiment headed by a McDonald.  Is it possible, my Dad’s old New England roots were tangling with his Canadian McDonald cousins?  I can only speculate because I have yet to figure out Archibald and Mary McDonell’s parents and their origins.  Yup, I do have fun!


Ottawa: The Ottawa Public Library, Main Branch

June 16, 2012

One advantage of the majority of libraries is that you can access the records, books and films easily.  There are usually no restrictions except that certain books and items stay in the library so you do have to visit. 

The Ottawa Public Library has the Ottawa Room on the 3rd floor of the library and 180 degree turn from the elevators.  This means it is hidden in the wall and you might not see it till you get near the Reference desks.

The collection is heavily geared toward Ottawa and covers government records, history, families histories, maps and books by Ottawa poets.  The Genealogy Collection is described here at this link and does extend to the surrounding counties including Glengarry:

http://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/main/interest/learn/genealogy/resources/opl-collections.

Comment:  A libraries website can be hard to get around on, so be patient and search for the genealogy section, special collections and maybe it is under history.  Keep at it till you find what you need.  Also check out the links section that can be very useful.

The main library is located at 120 Metcalfe in Ottawa.  The hours are 10-9 Monday-Tuesday 10-9, Weds-Friday 10-5 and  Saturday is 10-12, 2-5.  So watch out they do close up on Saturday from 12 to 2 pm.   Closed Sunday.

Another reason to check out the local library is you might be able to access it on the weekend while other archives are closed.  Always check the websites or call to verify.

I walked to the library down Rideau St. going west past the business like the Rideau Bakery which I never made it to but they doing a brisk business, LCBO, Loblaws (groceries), Metro (groceries), Hudson’s Bay and various pubs and restaurants like the Highlander and an interesting used bookstore.  Yes, I did some sight-seeing along the way.

Ottawa’s Wellington Street

Fortunately the big marathon that was scheduled for this weekend did not close up the streets I needed to access and Wellington was free as was the downtown area.  I did find a website devoted to this marathon with route maps.  Later in the day there were people with the numbers on their persons walking around.  The whole weekend was devoted to this marathon.  So this was the reason I had trouble finding a room in Ottawa and why I was on the 2nd floor. http://www.runottawa.ca/races/register 

Make a note:  Check for major charity walks and sports events before going on a trip.  Try the city website for these events, not just restaurants and archive hours.

Canada’s Parliament Buildings

Wellington Avenue, Ottawa

I turned down Metcalfe and walked a couple of blocks and finally spied a building that looked very much like a library and sure enough it was the Ottawa Library. 

The Ottawa Public Library – Main Branch

I entered the library and it was vaguely familiar, reminded me of the temporary location of the Seattle Public when they were building the new library.  I take my time when I first enter a library to get oriented as to where things are and then I headed up to the 3rd floor and was not finding the Ottawa Room.  The reason is that it is a room off the main area tucked into the side of the building or at least it looks like it.  When I walked to the Reference Desk I spotted my destination. 

The Ottawa Room at the Main Branch

The librarian who cares for the Ottawa Room is very nice, friendly and helpful.  I left another McDonald booklet.  When I hand over my booklet I do give an explanation.  I assume they will forget but at least it gives a link to this blog. 

They had a copy of the Dictionary of Glengarry Biography by Royce MacGillivray so I took some time to look through it.  It is sponsored by the Glengarry Historical Society in Dunvegan.  It is not a cheap book but I have a signed copy by the author.  http://www.glengarrypioneermuseum.ca/gpm/  I will share my visit to this archive later in the posts. http://www.glengarryhistoricalsociety.com/GHS/Publications.html They are running out of copies and I believe I have one of four left?  By the way it is big and heavy. 

This is a PDF of the table of contents:  http://glengarryhistoricalsociety.com/GHS/Publications_files/DGB%20prelims2.pdf 

I am afraid that I only scratched the surface of the holdings at the Ottawa Room.  My focus was on Glengarry County, Ontario.  Here is a summary of the items I studied: 

1.  Surrogate Court Index of Ontario, Canada 1859-1900 Volume 7, Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Counties.

2.  They also had the Upper Canada Land Records Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 and maybe more.

3.  They had the Canadian Catholic Church Directory 2011.  A nice reference to be aware of it you have Roman Catholic ancestors. 

4.  The Bytown Packet and the Ottawa Citizen (Newspaper Abstracts) 1846-1879, Three Volumes – Birth, Marriage and Death Notices.  I firmly believe that our ancestors moved around a lot so keep and open mind and check the biggest city close by for information. 

5.  Father John’s Diary  if Deaths 1819-1866 and the 1839 Census.  I had seen a version of this but decided to revisit it.

6.  The Diary of Deaths of Rev. John MacDonald (R.C.) 1838 to 1866 and more.  I have seen this but it is good to see that they also have a copy.

7.  French-Canadian Sources – A Guide for Genealogists, was recommended by a Althea Douglas MA. CG(C) a respected genealogist of Canada. She has written several books on how to research in various areas of Canada.  “Finding Your Ancestors in English Quebec,” Heritage Productsions Book HC02.

8.  The card catalog in the Ottawa Room, Vital Records Index, Ottawa Journal (Dec 21, 1885 to Jan 10, 1922) Marriages:  M-Me.  Was not going back far enough but worth noting that they have this resource.

9.  Petitions, Land Grants & Land Petitions for the Counties of Glengarry and Stormont.  I had seen this source before. 

10.  St. Alexander Parish – Lochiel Book 1: 1863-1901, Book 2 1901-1932.  Don’t forget to check the front part of the book for clues and history and information provided by the author.  Duncan Darby MacDonald died a while back but his books and research are still a source.

11.  Soldiers of the King, The Upper Canadian Militia 1812-1815.  This was recommended to me.

12. An Index of Land Claim Certificates of Upper Canada Militiamen who served in the War of 1812-1814

13.  Loyalist Lineages of Canada 1783-1983. I believe this is in several volumes.

14.  St. Raphael’s The First 50 years 1804-1854

15.  Comte De Stormont – Marriages.  I know they have more of these compilations.

So you can see that they do have a nice collection of a variety of references.  You can consult the catalog online.  I  did a study of Alex Frazer and Darby Duncan MacDonald titles and compared it to the library in Cornwall, Ontario.  If you are familiar with these two individuals work on church records and cemeteries in the Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott and other areas then you will be happy to know that the Ottawa Library has a nice collection of their works. 

If they close up the Ottawa Room while you are there, grab some titles off the shelf to look at. The librarian will make a list of what you have removed.  There are tables outside the room and more books to look at in that area as well.  There are smaller bookcases filled with more references as well as tall stacks to search out. surrounding the tables in the center.  If you need something from the Ottawa Room, inquire at the Reference desk which is on the other side of the large pillar you see in the picture.   

The study area outside the Ottawa Room at the Main Library

The taller stacks outside the Ottawa Room


First Visit: Ottawa in the Rain!

June 15, 2012

My visit to Arnprior was too brief.  It would have been fun to explore the shops in the downtown area and find a nice place to eat but Ottawa was calling me.  I stopped at PJ’s and had some dinner before I headed for Ottawa.

When I landed on Sunday at the Ottawa airport I had gone directly to Renfrew and not dallied in the Ottawa area.  So this was going to be my visit to the capital of Canada. 

My intention was to travel the Ottawa River Parkway but I somehow missed the turn to get onto this byway.  I ended up on Somerset and made my way into the city.  In the long run it might have been a better idea because I was at once tossed into the diverse neighborhoods of Ottawa.  I drove under the arch in Chinatown.  Fortunately Somerset is not a fast-moving street because it is filled with shops, restaurants, people, cars and traffic lights. 

I had to quickly revise my plan and started looking for Banks St.  Once there I turned left and headed to Wellington.  Once on Wellington I was right where all the old castle like parliament buildings are found.  I couldn’t spend time sightseeing because the Ottawa drivers were communicating that there was no dallying here.  I almost got caught but I managed to move over two lanes to the right.  Apparently they come out of Elgin and there are two left turn lanes onto Sussex which leads to a bridge across the Ottawa to Gatineau.  At least that is what my theory suggests. My goal was Rideau Street.  I made it!

Ottawa – Rideau to Wellington

It was about this time that the sky opened up.  I had been hearing rumblings and thinking I was seeing flashes of light.  Well it was a mega thunderstorm.  I made my way down Rideau St. going east and learned not to argue with the Ottawa City buses and watch my right side for those sneaky drivers that took opportunity to use that as way to get around me. 

Econo-Lodge on Rideau Street

There was a man walking down the middle of Rideau St. apparently not in his right mind.  It was a dangerous situation.  I finally spied my motel, another Econo-Lodge, and turned into the parking lot just as the sky opened up and dumped a massive amount of water on me and the car and most of Ottawa.  I pulled into a parking spot and just sat there waiting.  It was coming off the car in sheets.  It was about 15-20 minutes later that I was able to get out of the car and go into the lobby by jumping across huge puddles to check in.  It continued to rain intermittently and occasionally hard but not as bad as that initial deluge.

My room was on the top floor next to the street and I was concerned about noise but that didn’t happen.  This Econo-Lodge was a bit worse for wear.  I liked it!  I loved my little room.  I had a desk, a full bed, a newly remodeled bathroom, WiFi an adequate TV and a view of Rideau Street so I could watch all the action! 

Rideau Street across from my window

I had made it to Ottawa and survived the city streets.  I settled in for the night and occasionally looked out my window and watched the activity on Rideau Street.  I was right across from the Korean Palace and it seemed like it was a very popular place.  There was a Shawarna Palace Restaurant next door and it also had a lot of activity. 

Shawarma Palace

The next day was Saturday and I had decided to visit the Ottawa Main Public Library and see what they might have.


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