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.


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


Archie visits Glengarry County?

January 19, 2012

Aunt Miriam’s notes suggested that Archie went to Glengarry County to visit before he headed to Minnesota. (See the post before this.)  Unfortunately, it is not known where Keith’s grandfather was born or even if he was born in Glengarry County.  There are many McDonald, Macdonell, MacDonald families who lived in that area and it is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Miriam’s notes read “he grew up.”  Does that mean he was born there in Glengarry County or does it mean he only lived there as a boy?  Why did he leave and head up to Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec?  Did he go with family or did he strike out on his own? 

At this time, his great-granddaughter does not have enough information to determine the answers to these questions regarding Archie.  Hopefully a trip to Ontario this Spring 2012 will open that door.  (See trip page at the top of this blog). 

A review of the Canadian Census and more for Archibald reveal the following:

1861 – born U.C. age 27 which means his birth year would be about 1834. 

1871 – born Quebec, age 39 this means his birth year would be 1832. 

1881 – born Ontario, age 45 this means his birth year would be 1836.

1891 – born Ontario, age 60 this means his birth year would be 1831

1901 has his birth date as October [5] 1837 in Canada written over with Quebec.

On his death certificate for Minnesota his birth date is listed as 1829 and that Archie was born in Quebec, by his youngest son Alex.

So we have a mess.  Then we throw in the spelling of McDonald, McDonell, Macdonell and it is means checking all forms of the name in research.  With all the border changes in Canada that also adds a challenge as well as Glengarry County’s changes. 

Glengarry - Archives Ontario

According to the St. Alphonse church records his parents were John and Sara McDonell.  His daughter’s charts have the name “Roy” as his father?  There was no mention in the record that they were deceased.  See the posts dated June 30, 2011 “A Mystery – Roy Macdonnell?” and June 17, 2011 “Nellie’s Charts – Her Father Archie McDonell’s Family. “

His siblings’ names were:  Ronald, John, Kitty, Angus, Duncan, and Sarah.  He was the youngest.  That side of the family has not been as easy to find as his wife, Mary’s which I discussed in past posts.  Keith’s sister Eddie said that “Kitty was a weaver.”

He spoke Gaelic at one time but had forgotten it by the time he visited.  All the above suggest he was born in Canada.  There is no indication that he spoke French even though he lived in Chichester, Pontiac County, Quebec. 

The visit to Glengarry took place about 1901 or 1902 and then Archie and Mary headed for Bemidji in Minnesota.  It is not known if Mary went with him? 

So many questions about the origins of Archibald McDonell who might have been Patrick Archibald McDonell. 

 


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


Glengarry in Ontario, Canada – Origins of Archibald McDonell?

July 8, 2011

Keith’s sister Miriam writes that Archibald went back to his birth location before he migrated to Minnesota from Canada in 1901.  This information has been shared before but it is worth repeating here:

Archibald & Glengarry, Ontario

Unfortunately, Glengarry, Ontario changed in size over the years so Archibald’s birth location could be very difficult to pin down.  His death certificate from Minnesota didn’t reveal any names for his parents.  No obituary was found in the International Falls newspaper at his death in 1912. 

To find a John and Sara McDonell in the Glengarry area of Ontario or for that matter a Roy Macdonell,  is like finding a needle in a haystack because of all the John McDonell/Macdonell/McDonald etc. spellings.

Keith’s sister Miriam was guessing about our MacDonell heritage.  She did do some research and here are some of her thoughts as she tried to understand the Scottish clan system:

Re: MacDonell

Miriam writes more on the Clan System:

The Clan System and more...

Miriam references Prebble.  This is a book by John Prebble titled “The Highland Clearances,” published by Penquin Books in 1963 and again in 1969.  Her niece found copies in a Scottish store in Annapolis, Maryland on a little road trip years ago. They also had Prebble’s “Glencoe” published first in 1966 and again in 1969. 

The Michael Fullar book was a little harder to come by but a copy was secured as well.  It is really called:  “Your Scottish Clan Heritage.” This large book was published in 1973.  It is almost like a coffee table book with big pages and wonderful photographs and maps. 

Miriam didn’t stop there and continues with yet more Notes:

Notes - The First Use of MacDonell...

Again she refers back to Michael Fullar’s book and to John Prebble’s “The Highland Clearances.”  She even tries to identify Scottish words and their meanings.

Miriam did her best and for that the family is grateful.  The origins of Archibald McDonell are still unknown but then genealogical research is never done. 

There were many forces that sent the people of Scotland to North America and beyond.  Since Miriam did her research back in the 1970’s and 1980’s more books have been written on this subject of the Highland Clearances and immigration of the Scots to Canada and for that matter to the Colonies and later the United States.  It is a big subject and would take years to study.   

Here are a few titles that might be of value in learning about the settlement of Canada by the Scots:

“A History of Glengarry,” by Royce MacGillivray and Ewan Ross, Mika Publishing Co., Belleville, Ontario 1979.

“The People of Glengarry, Highlanders in Transition, 1745-1820,” by Marianne McLean, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1991.

“A Dance Called America, The Scottish Highlands the United States and Canada,” by James Hunter, Mainstream Publishing, 1994

“The Highland Scots of North Carolina, 1732-1776, by Duane Meyer, University of North Carolina, 1957 and again in 1961. 

I have found the books by Lucille Campey to be very informative.  Here are a few of her book titles:

“The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada 1785-1855, Glengarry & Beyond,” Lucille H. Campey, Natural Heritage Books, 2005

“Fast Sailing and Copper-Bottomed Boats, Aberdeen Sailing Ships and the Emigrant Scots They Carried to Canada 1774-1853, Lucille H. Campey, Natural Heritage Books, 2002

“An Unstoppable Force, The Scottish Exodus to Canada,” Lucille H. Campey, Natural Heritage Books, 2008. 

Ms. Campey has a website:  http://www.scotstocanada.com/ She also has her books listed in more detail at her website.  She has added some lists of ships that came to Canada. 

Miriam did not mention another event and that was the subject of Loyalists.  That is a whole other topic.  Just be advised that a great many Scots who lived in the Colonies were loyalists and ended up in Canada after the American Revolution.  They came from North Carolina, New York and other locations and settled in places like New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and of course Glengarry in Ontario, Canada.

“Research Guide to Loyalist Ancestors, A Directory to Archives, Manuscripts, Published and Electronic Sources, by Paul J. Bunnell, F.A.C.G., U.E., Heritage Books, 2006.  Paul is a frequent vendor at major conferences like NGS, FGS and others.  Very nice man easy to talk to. 

Here are a couple of genealogical research strategy books for Canada:

“Finding Your Canadian Ancestors, A Beginner’s Guide,” by Sherry Irvine and Dave Obee.  Ancestry Publishing 2007.  I attended a lecture by Dave at a local genealogical society conference and Sherry is well known in APG which I am a member of.  Here is his website:  http://www.bunnellgenealogybooks.citymaker.com/page/page/994036.htm

“In Search of Your Canadian Roots, Tracing Your Family Tree in Canada, by Angus Baxter, 3rd Edition, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999.  This is getting a little old but it was a classic in its time. Since 1999 the Internet has opened up a lot in Canadian research. 

Hint:  Click on Miriam’s notes above and they will get bigger, remember to use the back button to return to this post.


A Mystery – Roy Macdonnell?

June 30, 2011

In the last post Nellie and Miriam’s Archibald McDonald chart was featured but it raised questions about the parentage of Archibald. 

Miriam's version - Roy???

There are several possibilities regarding Archie’s father and his mother! 

Who is this Roy? Who is Alex Ban Cameron’s daughter?

1.  The first thought is the St. Alphonsus Church records are correct and John and Sarah McDonell are Archie’s parents.

Miriam's version - Roy???

2.  Another possibility is that Nellie didn’t really know and made a guess about her father’s parents.  She did not have the St. Alphonsus Church record of the marriage of Archibald and Mary McDonell.

3. If  John is Archie’s father, it could be John is his real name while “Roy” is a nickname or he is “John Roy” or “Roy John.”  Keith’s family used nicknames and middle names to identify family members.

4.  Since Nellie wrote out these charts in 1932 years after Archie’s death, she could not check with him to verifying information and we could be missing a generation and Roy is Archie’s grandfather and therefore Nellie’s great-grandfather.  John and Sara are her grandparents on her father’s side. 

One thing is clear finding Archie’s family in the Chichester area has been very difficult. 

A burial location for his parents in the area of Chapeau and Chichester has not been found but more research into the cemetery records of the area is needed. 

So far making a connection to even sisters and brothers has yielded little results.  The Canadian census microfilm for the area of Chapeau, Allumette and for that matter Pontiac County, Quebec  have been searched several times and nothing has been discovered to make a connection to Archie.

If the chart is correct and Archie is the youngest of the siblings in this family, then he probably would need to strike out on his own for the inheritance would have passed to his oldest brother?  The laws of inheritance for Canada in the early 1800’s follow the British rules for inheritance.    The lands in the Glengarry area of Ontario had already been divided up and settled by the time Archie reached manhood and even earlier. 

Here is a list of the children of Roy Macdonnell and Alex Ban Cameron’s daughter – see chart in the last post for reference and more details: 

1.  Ronald married a Williams.  He was a farmer.

2.  John married Julia (fr) Tebeau and was a shoemaker.  The chart lists descendants.

3.  Kitty was a spinster and a weaver.

4.  Angus was a blacksmith and married unknown and the chart lists descendants.

5.  Duncan a farmer and married unknown but has descendants.

6. Sarah married a Murphy and went to Denver, CO. 

7.  Archibald – the father of Ronald and grandfather of Keith and Miriam.

The St. Alphonsus Catholic church record states John and Sara McDonell are Archie’s parents.  See the post dated December 3, 2010 “McDonell and McDonell Marriage!”

Let us review Miriam’s notes:

MacDonalds

Miriam writes that she believes Roy Macdonell and Alexander John MacDonald arrived in Canada by 1800.  However when we review the 1861 Canadian Census in my post dated November 11, 2010 “Mary McDonell, Archie’s Future Bride – 1861!” In this post we find a Alexander John living in Chichester with Rachel, Mary and Duncan all living next to Archibald in the 1861 Census.  The census states that Alexander John was born in Upper Canada in 1795.  Upper Canada refers to Ontario not Quebec.   This means that at least one of the parents of Mary and Archie was born in Canada, not Scotland, and we go back even further in time looking for family in Canada.

Miriam goes on to write about her grandfather Archibald and that he grew up in Glengarry, Ontario (See the notes above and study the 2nd paragraph. Click to make it larger and use the back button to return).

Here is a link to the Glengarry GenWeb http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onglenga/

All the census for Canada 1861 to 1901 show that Archie was born in Canada.  His birth date and location vary with different census, death, burial and other information as much as 5-10 years.  So progress on this side of the family has been slow.

Archibald’s wife Mary McDonell’s side of the chart, which will be featured in a future post, is a treasure filled with families that have lived in the Chichester, Chapeau area and can be traced down to the early 1900’s and further through the St. Alphonsus Church records and in census.


Nellie’s Charts – Her Father Archie McDonell’s Family

June 17, 2011
In a past post about Nellie (Ellen) McDonell, it was mentioned that there was a McDonell/McDonald descendants chart that Nellie created about 1932. This chart was in the possession of her niece Miriam, sister to Keith, until about 1967 when it was shared with Keith’s youngest daughter. This chart is actually a long piece of paper with both families written on it.  Archie’s family is on the left side and Mary’s on the right.  It was gently separated into two pages in order to scan it into the computer.(Click the chart to make it bigger and use the back button to return to the post).   
Archibald McDonell’s Family Chart by Nellie McDonald

Archibald died in 1912 about 20 years before Nellie created this chart which was about 1932.  This means she could not ask him for clarification.  Other documentation found indicate that the children of Archie really didn’t know as much about Archie’s side of the family as they did about their mother Mary’s. 

This chart seems less complete than the one for Mary which will be featured in a future post.  If you will remember Archie’s death certificate in 1912 (See posted dated September 8, 2010) showed that his youngest son Alexander didn’t know the names of Archie’s parents and therefore did not record them on the death record. 

A PUZZLE?  Who are Archie’s father and mother?  What happened to his siblings?

In the posted dated December 3, 2010 Archie and Mary were married in 1861 and it listed Archie’s parents as John and Sara McDonell.  Archie does appear in the 1861 Census and it was discussed in the posted dated October 20, 2010.   (To find these posts as reference see the right side archive section).

Take a close look at this chart by clicking it and you will see that the father’s name is “Roy Macdonell” not John?   Notice that the spelling of McDonald changes to Macdonell. 

Focusing in On Roy Macdonell

It reads “Roy Macdonell – Cameron (White Alex)??

We now add Miriam’s (Nellie’s niece) version of this chart:

Miriam's McDonald's version of Archie's Family

Let’s see what Miriam writes for Archie’s father:

Miriam's version - Roy???

Miriam writes “Roy Macdonell – Alex Ban Cameron’s daughter?”

If you study both charts you will see that there is very little difference between them.  Miriam’s handwriting is easy to recognize but it took awhile before it became clear that Nellie had done the original version. 

These charts have been in the possession of Keith’s youngest daughter since about 1967.  They have used as the foundation in building the McDonald family history.  

If you make a copy of these two charts, and use them in your research please give Nellie McDonald and Miriam McDonald credit for their work and in preserving them for future generations to use. 

Nellie McDonald at a picnic

Miriam visits her brother Keith - circa 1950's

So we are left with a mystery?

Who is this Roy Macdonell?  Who is Alex Ban Cameron’s daughter? 

Are John and Sara Archie’s parents as the St. Alphonsus records suggest? If so where did they live? 

The research into Archibald McDonell/McDonald’s past to find his family has been very slow going.  In the next post the origins of Archibald McDonell will be expanded on.  Miriam, his granddaughter suggests that Archie came from Glengarry, Ontario.

NOTE:  If you see any names or family groupings in this chart that are familiar and think you might be a cousin, please contact the writer of this post immediately by writing a comment or following the information in the Compiler page listed above next to home under the picture.  Love to hear from you!

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