Ottawa Lumber Kings — Alexander & Janet (Young) McDonell

December 6, 2014

Years ago Elaine sent me a newspaper from Chapeau and in that newspaper was a very interesting article about early settlers in the Chapeau and Chichester area.  Elaine would be interested in the Jewell Family and me, well I was interested in the MacDonnell Brothers that the article shared about.  Elaine is the author of the book about the deaths and burials of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau and a Burns descendant.

Early Settlers...

Early Settlers…

This article mentions MacDonnell brothers who had settled at Sand Point and I became curious.  In the article above it mentions Alexander MacDonnell at Sand Point, Colin at Birchell’s du Fort*, Rory on Calumet Island and John on Allumette Island.

So in 2012, I drove into Arnprior through all the construction and found my way to the Archives which are in the basement of the public library in the middle of town. Here is the post I wrote.

Arnprior, Renfrew County, Ontario: Archives,”June 15, 2012.

After I spent several hours gathering information, I headed out and visited the Albert Street Cemetery which over a few blocks towards the Ottawa River.  This is where Alexander and Janet (Young) MacDonell were buried. On his tombstone the name is spelled McDonell.

Arnprior: Albert Street Cemetery!” June 15, 2012

Arnprior-Braeside Archives: http://www.adarchives.org/index.html

I have learned that this cemetery may have been called “Inchbuie” cemetery in the past.

To find the graves in this cemetery you can go to the website of the Grave Marker Gallery for Ontario select Eastern Ontario then Renfrew County, and then scroll down to McNab and Braeside for those cemeteries and further for the Town of Arnprior  which has pictures for the Albert Street Cemetery and click on Block A.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~murrayp/renfrew/index.htm

Duncan Darby MacDonald in his Book of Charts Part IV, Chart 13 the Lundie MacDonells has the brothers listed in the above article as sons of the Alexander and Janet MacDonell (1754 to 1847 both lifespans) who are buried in the St. Alexandre De Chenaux Cemetery in Clarendon Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec that I posted about in the previous post on this blog!

To find this cemetery you need to go the Grave Marker website choose Quebec, then Pontiac and then scroll down to Clarendon Twp. which is across from Sand Point on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/quebec/pontiac/index.htm

Here is the source information for Duncan D. MacDonald’s book of genealogical charts.

Source: 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.  

There are 15 pages for Chart 13.  I refer to Chart 13, Sheet – 3 page 724, Sheet 3-A page 725, Sheet 3-B page 726, Sheet 3-C page 727 Ancestors and Descendants of Alexander & Janet MacDonell, Sheet 3-D page 728, Sheet 3-E, page 729.

In these pages Duncan has pictures of Alexander’s home in Sand Point. I have seen the beautiful brick house up against a hill overlooking the Ottawa River and was surprised it was set back so far.  Duncan further shares about Alexander’s businesses with photos and more stories.

Ottawa Region - Canadian Government

Ottawa Region – Canadian Government

The above map is the best I can do to capture the Ottawa River and the area we are talking about. Click on it and it will get larger.  You can find Sand Point at the bottom right, Sheenboro is at the top left behind the blue control which does not work on this map because it is a jpg.  If you look hard enough you can find Calumet Island by finding Bryson on the Quebec side and go northwest. Allumette Island find Chapeau and Pembroke.  This is a topo from the Canadian Government website.

These MacDonnell brothers were called the Otttawa River MacDonnells or Lumber Kings of the Ottawa River at Sand Point.

Once again we get variations in the spelling of the surname depending on the author: MacDonell, MacDonnell, and McDonnell so be aware.

Alexander MacDonnell who married Janet Young and settled at Sand Point (Renfrew County) is referred to as the King of the Four Rivers:

He would bring the lumber down these rivers to the Ottawa River or he did a great deal of exploring of the area and rivers for lumber. This Alexander and Janet are buried in the Albert Street Cemetery in Arnprior, Ontario (1795 to 1896 both lifespans).

According to Duncan Darby MacDonald his Chart 13, Sheet 3-A page 725 he writes:

“Of the 11 brothers 6 are reported to have gone to make their mark on the “Ottawa.””  

So Alexander and Janet MacDonell natives of Knoydart, Scotland (Inverness) had the following children according to Sheets 3 and 3-A, Chart 13, Part IV. There are differences between the two sheets like the order of the children.

Children:

  1. **Archibald, m. Anna MacMillan sheet 3-B, Chart 13
  2. Hugh m. Margaret MacLean, Chart 168, Sheets 4-12 also Chart 13, sheet 3.
  3. **Angus Mor had a son James.
  4. Ronald (drowned) – He is the one buried with them in St. Alexandre Cemetery but remember there are only 3 identified burials out of a possible 100, lost.
  5. Dougald
  6. Little Alexander – This might be Alexander Roderick who died in 1851 and is buried in the family plot of the Albert Street Cemetery?
  7. **James m. Christine MacDonald, see sheet 3 of Chart 13
  8. Rory
  9. John – see sheet 3-C and 3-E of Chart 13 Calumet and Allumette Islands. This would be the John who married Flora McKinnon and then Flora McLellan. Flora McLellan and John MacDonell were the parents of Janet who married Ronald/Ranald son of Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson see sheet 5, Chart 13 page 734.  This is the chart I dispute in my post dated November 6, 2014 of this blog regarding the parentage of Mary married to Archibald.
  10. Sam – Portage du Fort
  11. Coll of Colin – 1000 acres at *Birch’s Creek, Quebec of Les Chats
  12. Penelope m. Dr. John Judge – First doctor in Pembroke, see sheet 3
  13. Alexander and (Agnes) Janet Young – Big Alex – see sheets 3, 3-A, 3-C King of the Four rivers, buried in Arnprior.
**Angus, Archie and James stayed in the Glengarry area of Ontario per the sources I have. On another source a Mary and Janet are listed – total of 15 children?
The order of the children is also different based on the 1815 emigration information at this website:  French, Scottish, Irish, German and English families of James and Deborah McDonald:  http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=ranaldthecalf&id=I17291

There is disagreement as to how many sons there actually where, some believe there were 12; you can see that I have 13 children listed.

When I visited Arnprior in 2012, I collected articles about this Alexander MacDonnell who settled at Sand Point (above Arnprior) on the Ottawa River.

Source: History of Early Ottawa, from the Ottawa Journal dated Saturday, February 7, 1925, by a H.R. Morgan. Copied from a newspaper article in the files of the Arnprior & District Museum by James E. Isbester, 1987. About nine typed pages of which I only copied some.  

Sand Point – vanished and all but forgotten is the prominence which it enjoyed at the time when it was the western terminus of the Canada Central and Brockville and Ottawa Railroads, when it was the gateway to the Upper Ottawa region and when practically all the trade and traffic destined for that area passed through its depots and warehouses.”

Alexander McDonell and the family to which he belonged…where fishermen in their native Scotland…they emigrated in 1815 and established themselves in the Township of Drummond, not far from Perth. After the lapse of a few years, the great portion of the family left that neighborhood and betook themselves to Glengarry…whence the final move to Sand Point was made by six of the sons and two the daughters.

Alexander apparently did not take at all kindly to the primitive method of agriculture which obtained in Drummond and at an early age entered the lumbering trade upon the river Trent, when he drifted to the Ottawa. There he gained further experience and carried on a great deal of exploration. Perth was at this period the commercial metropolis of the district, and it was upon his visits to that town that he fell in with Chief McNab and the latter’s suggestion about the year 1824, accompanied him as guide upon his trip to the Ottawa to choose a site for his memorable colony of Highlanders.  This is not the Township of McNab.  http://clan-macnab.com/the-notorious-chief/

Entering the lumbering trade:

It was not long after this that Alexander McDonell embarked upon lumber in his own behalf and his first raft of red pine timber was made from trees cut down immediately in rear of the place which he had decided upon as his future abode. This was Sand Point where he cleared a farm, built a dwelling house and remained until the time of his death. 

This article goes on to describes his interactions with the Indians and the Hudson’s Bay Company to bring timber down the Bonnechere. His exploration of the rivers in the area. The article states the government introduced timber licensing and in 1826-27 McDonell made the first raft of red pine timber ever taken from Mud Lake upon the Bonnechere.

In 1830, in Montreal, Mr. McDonell was married to Miss Janet Young, sister of the Hon. John Young, and not long afterwards a new house was built. 

Here is another source I found that has some interesting information:

Source:  Sand Point, Ontario c. 1824 to 1994, by Dalton Appleby 6/4/1994. Not sure how many pages for this manuscript but it may be a good 10. I copied some but not all. 

What is presented here is a brief summary of the above source found at the Arnprior-Braeside Archives in Arnprior which is fairly detailed.

The village of Sand Point, is situated six miles west of Arnprior, at Concession XIII, Lots 18 & 19 in the Township of McNab, Renfrew County. It is on the south shore of Chats Lake on the mighty Ottawa River.

It got its beginning, long before roads, railways and telephones existed west of Ottawa, in the 1820’s. Alexander MacDonnell a Scotsman from Glengarry County, Ontario chose the location as his headquarters for exploring timber rights in the area. 

MacDonnell House in Sand Point

MacDonnell House in Sand Point

He built a temporary headquarters and later built a permanent complex on higher ground above the wharf in the 1850s. It consisted of a commercial, residential, entertainment complex (Chats Lake House), a long narrow office building and a large prestigious looking residence for himself, all faced with limestone blocks. The arrival of the railroad in the 1860s gave a tremendous boost to the expansion of the area.  It included boarding houses, a hotel, a school, two churches, two cemeteries, two grocery stores, a dairy, a stave factory, a powder factory, a limekiln, a shipyard, tenements, a cement ferry dock… 

MacDonnell donated the land for the Catholic church, the public school, the Presbyterian Church and no doubt other structures. 

34 The Youngs, of Montreal Harbour fame, and the MacDonnells were related by marriage. Alexander married Janet Young. Alexander entice the Youngs to come to Sand Point to help him to develop the village. 

35 MacDonnell enticed the McDonalds from Glengarry County, related by marriage to come and run his commercial enterprise in the 1860s. Catholic Scotsman Ronald McDonald, his wife Penelope and their two children Flora Ann born in 1859 and John Ronald (John R.) born in 1860 arrived in Sand Point some time after the children were born and before the 1871 census which lists them in McNab Township. They came from Lochiel, Glengarry Co,, Ontario. Ronald was born in Inverness Shire, Scotland in 1814 or 15….

John R. sister Flora married John Brennan and lived in the MacDonnell house. John R. married Ellen Toner of Portage Du Fort in the 90s. Her father Captain Toner used to doc at the wooden wharf…Ellen and John R. had at least five children: Patsy, Claire, Vita and Flora.

MacDonnell-McDonald Family tree

MacDonnell Tree

MacDonnell Tree

There is so much more about this man’s business interests and family in the sources above but not a lot about his family connections.

From the above sources there are a lot of places to start doing research on this family. Also, to widen the net of your research by expanding the geography of your search. Montreal is mentioned for the marriage and the Youngs apparently were prominent, The last article describes census for 1851, 1871, 1881, 1901 for McNab Township which might be interesting to take a look at. Of course petitions and land records for Renfrew and Pontiac (Quebec notaries).

Mr. MacDonald’s charts point to Beckwith and Drummond Twps. in Lanark, formerly the Bathhurst District and one could go back even further in the records of the area, if they exist?

My curiosity has been satisfied.  I was interested in this Lumber King Alexander MacDonell’s family connections. It seems I have at least found some sources that can lead to more research.

Keeping all this in mind, my interest now returns to my family and the origins of Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson and their daughter Mary who married Archibald MacDonell.  So I will be studying Chart 13, Sheet 5, Part IV quite a lot and disputing Mr. MacDonald’s lineages as necessary.

*Birchell Du Fort – where is this location in the Ottawa area? If you know please help me out and leave a comment.  It might have something to do with Chats Lake a part of the Ottawa River between Sand Point and Ottawa City?  Another variation on Mr. MacDonald’s chart was Birch’s Creek Les Chats Quebec.  Modern maps are not helping.

Ottawa and Gatineau Archives!

June 30, 2012

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

Wellington Street at Elgin

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

Albert House Inn

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

The first floor

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

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

My little window from my room on the 4th floor

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

The Bay Street Bistro Al fresco

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

Reflections in glass

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

Friday morning came and I had a decision to make. 

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

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

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

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

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

100 Tallwood, Ottawa

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Centre and Society

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

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

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

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

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

The Outaouais Archive of Quebec

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A map of the centre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ottawa from the parc in Gatineau

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

Looks like a fortress

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

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

A threatening cloud over D’Arcy McGees

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

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

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

The capital building the first visit to Ottawa

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ottawa Airport Gate area

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

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


Ottawa: A Pub and the Rideau Canal!

June 17, 2012

On Sunday night, May 27th I wandered down Rideau Avenue in search of the Highlander Pub.  While planning this trip I was studying the various restaurants and pubs in Ottawa and getting a big kick out of the names.  I was looking forward to seeing and experiencing the real thing.

The Highlander Pub, Ottawa

The Highlander is the first pub for another another mall area with more restaurants like The Dubliner and shops.  Souvenirs shops that had T-Shirts but they all had Ottawa stamped on them. I was looking for just Canada which would cover a lot of ground for my ancestors came from many areas of Canada.  

The Highlander is right on the corner of Williams and Rideau, the northwest corner.  They lead me to a seat in the back where I could view all the action and the comings and goings. http://www.thehighlanderpub.com/

My Aunt Eddie loved her Scotch so she would be very proud of me for at least visiting.  I know she would have sampled the menu, which is very detailed and amazing.  I was tempted to try some of their offerings but resisted the urge.  The bartender was wearing a kilt with a sporran.  Yes, I am telling the truth, honest, I checked.

Ottawa is indeed a very interesting and colorful city.  My walks along Rideau Street were always an experience for a people watcher like me.  I would return to Ottawa at the end of my journey and do a little more exploring.  It was time to move on.  I would be heading west and south to Smith Falls in Lanark County, Ontario. There was a large Scottish settlement in the area of Perth and I was curious to learn more about it. 

Inside the Highlander Pub

 The Dubliner is next door, maybe another time! 

The Rideau Canal is not too far from these two establishments and I did do some exploring after visiting the LAC.  The Rideau Canal and I would meet on several occasions as I journeyed through Ontario.  Too bad the Culbute Canal is gone and hard to reach, sigh!  Archibald McDonell my great grandfather was lockmaster for the Culbute which is located between Allumette Island and Chichester Township in Pontiac County, Quebec. 

The Rideau Canal travels from the Ottawa River down to Smith Falls and further down to Kingston.  It was built to connect the Ottawa River with Lake Ontario.  It is still in use today mostly for pleasure craft.  It is located where Elgin Street meets Wellington and meshes with the big fancy hotel that looks like a castle the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. I was tempted to go inside and see it and maybe have dinner there?  It would be expensive!  I had considered staying there.

The Fairmont – the west side is next to the Rideau Canal

In the photo above there is a  rectanguler structure and on the far side of the Fairmont is a staircase that leads to a balcony area were you can enjoy the view but the massive railing is too tall and I was having trouble getting good photos over it. It is where Wellington meets the Rideau Street:

A meshing of streets

They had a timeline display of Queen Elizabeth’s visits to Canada along the wall which is part of the Fairmont Hotel.  I believe it was in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee? http://www.thediamondjubilee.org/

The Queens Wall – A Timeline of her visits to Canada

There is the Bytown Museum right on the Rideau Canal.  It does have an archive you can visit by appointment:  http://www.bytownmuseum.com/en/main.html  To the right there is a trail for more exploring.

Bytown Museum & Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal where it meets the Ottawa

 

 


Ottawa: Exploring its Food, Pubs and Sights!

June 16, 2012

After finishing up at the Libraries and Archives I headed east on Wellington and came to Lyon’s Street.  There is this interesting arch across the street commemorating Veterans. 

Veterans Memorial, Ottawa at Lyon’s Street

Sparks Street is  mall area that went for several blocks.

A carving above a door:

A street lamp and flowers from Carmello’s Italian Restaurant while having a wonderful pasta dish with artichokes.

A bookstore: Canada for Sale!

A pub – D’Arcy McGees an Irish Pub!  I visited with my cousin Jim Gallagher who is researching Kennedys.

Tour buses gather by the war memorial.

A regal lion:

A bear with a fish:

A war memorial and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel in the distance. 


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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