The Cornwall Public Library’s Genealogical & History Collection

June 24, 2012

Cornwall, Ontario, is home to the Cornwall Public Library and the Cornwall Room.  The library is on the northwest corner of 2nd St. and Sydney St.  It is a very large building and not to hard to spot.  If you enter from the front you have to walk this very long hallway to get to the main part of the library. 

Cornwall Public Library in Cornwall, Ontario

You can turn right onto to Sydney St. from 2nd St. and left into the parking area behind the library.  You will have to pay for parking but it is reasonable.  Make sure you have quarters.  Follow the signs and road over to the parking lot which is to the west as you enter with a little manuevering through the parking lot below.  There are one way signs and parking restrictions, so watch out.

The backside of the Cornwall Public Library

The library entrance is through the doors in the back of the building to the left of the loading area.   Go through the door and you come to a hallway that enters another hallway and then you turn to your right to enter the library.  The References desks are straight ahead. 

I stopped there and asked where they kept their genealogical collection and was lead to an area to the far side of the main floor.  There were study desks and tables along that wall.  She took me to the stacks where some books for genealogy were shelved.  It is good to know that some items are outside the Cornwall Room.

I inquired about a history room and was told it was only open certain hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 2 to 4 pm. Here is the library phone number if you have questions (613) 932-4796. 

It was Tuesday, June 5th!  So this meant I would have to rearrange my schedule and come back the next day.  The librarian was kind and wrote down the hours for me which I have shared with you.  These hours are not on the website. 

The CPL has a new website at:  http://library.cornwall.on.ca/  It is not working very well today.  To get to the CPL Archive area click on eResources and you will see Local Interest.  The only tab working at the moment is the SDG Online and the ones on top.  The CPL Archives and Surname List are giving me the page of death.  I actually had trouble with the older website when I first went to their webpage.  I have to admit the blog about Freddy the Bear is a riot and good for a laugh  http://cornwallyac.blogspot.ca/

I returned the next day, Wednesday and was early enough that I grabbed a book from the stacks in the Reference area shown to me the day before.  In the picture below they are the first two sections of the first bookcase.  There were some cemetery books, histories and more.

The Reference Section of the Cornwall Library, some possible genealogical titles

The book I removed was: “Bowering’s Guide to Eastern Ontario, A Cultural and Historical Companion.”  Whoa! This is a tour book and historical guide.  I made myself comfortable in some cushy chairs right in front of the Cornwall Room doors and began to review it.

The contents are:  The Perch Route, The Fur Trade Route, Glengarry Higlands Roads, Touring Cornwall, The Loyalist Front Route, The Lost Villages Adventure, the Apple-Cheddar Route, Armchair Traveling, Local Historical and Heritage Groups, Travel and Tourist Information Centers and an Index of Place Names.  By Quarry Press and published in 1992.  Certainly a lot closer to the present time than the “Up and Down the Glens” by Dorothy Dumbrille done in 1954.  I enjoyed her book and have a copy which I found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  I was overjoyed with this find and am in the process of ordering a copy to review in depth.  Too bad I didn’t have it before I visited Glengarry.  

The Cornwall Room, Cornwall Public Library

The Cornwall Room is at the front of the library in the corner.  You enter the library go up to the Reference desk turn left and head to the windows and you will find the Cornwall Room on the right in the corner.   

Much to my relief the volunteer arrived at exactly 2 pm and opened the doors.  I waited a few minutes to give her some time to settled in.  She was very nice and friendly.  I gave her a copy of my McDonald booklet to be added to the collection.   

Apparently you can enter the room, settle in at a table and pull books off the stacks and not have to wait for the attendant.  This I did happily.  The volunteer really should reshelve the books because one cemetery book was mislocated and it took her awhile to find it. 

She gave me a brochure: “Genealogy and Local History Material available at The Cornwall Public Library.  This brochure is a little out of date but it does have good information.

The brochure describes the collection in this manner:

  • CPL Computer Catalogue – all holdings are listed.
  • Cornwall Room:  has books, photographs, papers of a local or regional content and that require special protection. Access is restricted and requires the presences of an informed attendant during limited hours.
  • General Reference Materials are located in the Reference Collection area of the library and are open to use during library hours.
  • Microfilm and fiche readers and printers are availabe and it is best to make an appointment to use.  The limit is three hours per day per patron. 

Microfilm:

  • Census records from 1851 to 1901 for Stormont, Dundas and Glengary.
  • Paris registers from the S.D.&G region with differing dates.
  • Newspapers – Standard-Freeholder from 1883 to present and some of the Cornwall Observer and Reporter for dates about 1876. 

Microfiche:

  • Land Records from the Ontario Archives by family name and location of property dating from the mid 1700′s to the late 1800′s.

Books

  • Numerous holdings of compiled genealogies
  • Historical writings for S.D. & G. 
  • City statistics, documents etc. for municipal departments
  • Histories of local businesses, churches and organizations
  • City directories, telephone books and voter’s lists.

Vertical Files: 

  • Newspaper clippings about Cornwall and other areas of an historical nature.

Cemetery Listings/Obituaries

  • Recorded transcriptions of cemeteries in S.D. & G.
  • Copies of Obituary notices from local newspapers various dates

Local History Name Index

  • A partially completed indexing of un-indexed holdings in their collection.  Specifically related to the Local History and Cornwall Room Collections.  Listings are by family name with call number, page and book.

Example from one of my search: 

The Macdonell family in Canada – author Morice, A.G., Location: Cornwall Room, Publisher: Canadian Historical Review, Pub. Date 1929, Call Number LHCR929.2 MOR.

Then a list of names with pages:  G.M. Adam 18, Donald Aenas 27, etc.

Historical Maps

  • Several maps from the area from the late 1700′s into the late 1800′s.  Many show land owners and or occupants.

As you can see it is not real detailed yet it is a start.  The Stormont GenWeb site has this to say about the holdings at the Cornwall Public Library:  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onstormo/info-local-cornwallplib.html  Very close to the same information. 

So this means a thorough search of the CPU’s online catalogue on the subjects of your interest and with attention to the location of the item in the library.  This way you know what you can access at regular library hours and what you will have to plan to review when the Cornwall Room is open. 

I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA so calling International long distance is something I shy away from.  I would probably default to their email: generalmail@library.cornwall.on.ca  write in the subject line:  Inquiry from CPL website.  You might have to try several times to get a response.  They never answered my inquiry. 

I have not given specific source references, like books and cemetery compilations because  that could get really complicated.  There are many for Glengarry as well as Stormont and Dundas, not to mention Prescott and Russell. 

You can start with these two website to get an idea of what is published and then study library and archive websites to see what they hold:

The City of Cornwall website is amazing:  http://www.cornwall.ca/en/webadmin/publiclibrary.asp

While I was studying the Cornwall Room collection a lady entered who seemed very knowledgeable about the area.  She and the volunteer seems to know each other and were discussing a cemetery reading project.  It sounded wonderful what was happening in identifying graves at a local church.  I was to learn that she was from the Saint Laurent Genealogical Society (it really should be written in French) located in Cornwall.  I had visited this society several days before and will write about them in the next post. 

This conversation between the two ladies tells me that a big missing part of my visit to Glengarry is the personal connections with the people who know the history and genealogy of the area.  There is hope, for I did meet some really nice, helpful people.  I just needed more time.


An Overview: Dundas, Stormont and the city of Cornwall, Ontario

June 24, 2012

When the sign for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry appeared, I knew I was at the first part of the united counties and that was Dundas.  I was heading east so next would be Stormont and then Glengarry, then Quebec.  The sign on the left reads:  Marine Coast Station Road.  So we have at least an idea were the sign is located on Hwy #2.

Welcome to Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry

This timeline is courtesy of the Stormont GenWeb Page:

  • 1788 to  October of 1792:  The area was the District of Lunenburg
  • In 1792 it became the Eastern District and included the future counties of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott, Russell, Leeds, Grenville and Carleton.
  • 1800 the Counties of Leeds, Grenville and Carleton were separated and became the Johnstown District.
  • 1816 Prescott and Russell became the Ottawa District.
  • 1850 the districts were abolished that is when it became the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry up to the present.

    1885 Map of the United Counties

Trying to compare this map with a current maps is rather interesting.  The Ontario locater website might help.  It can tell you what cities and towns are in what areas:  http://www.geneofun.on.ca/ontariolocator/index.html

My fascination with the St. Lawrence River kept me on Hwy #2 and it took me through Iroquois, Morrisburg, and past the Upper Canada Village and just at the eastern boundary of that is the beginning of Stormont.  I only crossed through the southern area of Dundas and Stormont on my way to Cornwall.   I did not venture into the interior. 

Here is a link to the Dundas County Genweb site for more information, history, maps and sources.   http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ondundas/  Dundas was made up of townships.  Starting on the western side there is Mountain above Matilda which borders the St. Lawrence.  To the east is Winchester above Williamsburg which borders the St. Lawrence. 

The Dundas GenWeb site needs a host.  I am tempted but it would mean I would have to buff up on the area and I am lagging behind.  How about you, can you help by volunteering to host the Dundas GenWeb Site?  We all need to rally and preserve the history of our ancestors for there are forces working against that at this time.   

From there I traveled through the lower part of Stormont passing through the towns of Ingleside, Long Sault and on into Cornwall.  There is an interesting drive around Long Sault that might be fun, sigh!  Here is a link to the Stormont Genweb site for more information including history, maps and many sources: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onstormo/index.html 

The former townships of Stormont on the western side are Osnabruck next to the St. Lawrence and Finch northwest of it.  They are followed by Cornwall which touches the St. Lawrence River and Roxborough northwest of it.  This means I traveled along the southern parts of Osnabruck and Cornwall townships.

Be advised that all these former counties have had changes to their governmental structures in the past few years so if you are looking for these townships on a new map you might not find them.  It is now north and south Dundas, Stormont and Glengarry. 

The city of Cornwall would be used as my base of operations.  It was located on the border right next to my real target, the former Glengarry County.   http://www.visit.cornwall.on.ca/  I am still trying to learn more about the origins of my great-grandfather Archibald McDonell, his wife Mary and her father and mother Alexander John and Ellen McPherson McDonell.  My Aunt Miriam, my dad’s sister, believed Archie came from the Glengarry area of Ontario.  So I was in the area to learn what I could about the records and research. 

This is a major website for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and it takes you to the municipal pages and more:  http://www.sdg.on.ca/

As I traveled along the St. Lawrence there were several bridges across to New York.  Cornwall has its own very amazing bridge called the Sea Way International Bridge.  It is very impressive and if you are not careful when driving on Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall you can end up on it rather than on the streets of Cornwall that head to the downtown area.  The picture below is the beginning of the bridge and it is massive.

The Bridge to New York, in Cornwall looking north on Brookdale

I stopped by the Tourism center (Pitt and Water St. northside of the street) (613) 938-4748 or 1-800-937-4748 and it is right next door to the Cornwall Jail which was also the old Lunenburg District Courthouse.  Here is a better picture of the plaque than my photo can reveal:   http://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/2594296840/  This is just across the street from the big beautiful park.  The ladies in the Tourism center were very helpful. 

I got more maps of Cornwall:

  • Cornwall and the Seaway Valley Map 2012 Edition. 
  • United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry map which has maps of each of the towns in the area except Cornwall.  Love this one.
  • Cornwall and Seaway Valley Tourism map.  This map is helpful but thin in information. It is one of those that you tear off a pad. 
The Tourist Centre (left) and the Jail

The Lamoureux Park on the waterfront in Cornwall is very lovely but a little hard to figure out where to go and park your car.  http://www.cornwall.ca/en/recreation/LamoureuxPark.asp  

There are traffic lights along Water St. and left turn lanes if you are going west. I think it was York St. where I turned left into the parking lot for the Cornwall Community Museum.  Find the Clock Tower and go west till you see the museum and turn in.  You can also park in the Civic Centre area.  Just read the signs to be sure you are not in a restricted zone.  There is a map of the park on a board somewhere in the park giving the pathways and more.  I wish I had more time to explore it was very pretty.  This link gives some idea of how it is designed:  http://www.waterfronttrail.org/maps/wt-7_06.pdf 

The Park and the Bridge in Cornwall

Somewhere in this area near the Civic Centre,  Sir John Johnson and the Loyalists were supposed to have landed and proceeded to settle in the area, but so far I have not been able to pin that down.  Anyone have an idea?

UPDATE:  Try this site Plaque #21 – Location:  In L’ameurieux Park at the foot of Augustus Street, Cornwall “The Founding of Cornwall.”  You will have to scroll down:  http://www.cornwall-lacac.on.ca/

Cornwall’s Clock Tower on Water Street

In the next post I will describe my visits to several of the genealogical repositories of Cornwall. After that, I will write about my tour of the former Glengarry County. 

The St. Lawrence River from the park in Cornwall looking across to the reservation island


At Last! Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry!

June 22, 2012

About the time I spotted the big tanker on the St. Lawrence I arrived at the sign announcing:  Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.  I had to walk back to the sign from where I stopped the car.  Look to the left and you can see it parked by the road…way down there.  It was a good moment. 

At Last, Stormont Dundas and Glengarry the sign!

Hwy 2 follows right along the St. Lawrence River.  Time was running out and my plan to have dinner at the Upper Canada Village was fast disappearing.  It was on the other side of Morrisburg past Crysler Park. It was now 4 pm and they are only open to 5 pm.  Oh Dear!

Not meant to be!

Well I made it by 4:20 pm and the sky opened up.  I turned right by the sign and followed the other signs to the parking lot which required a fee.  That was when the rain came down in torrents and I could barely see.  I decided it was not worth it because of the storm, the parking fee, the entrance fee of $15.00  and the lack of time to enjoy the village.  There were cars parked in the distance in the lot.  So I headed back to the highway. I have visited pioneer villages like this Upper Canada Village so I was not too sad but it would have been pleasant and I would have enjoyed it. 

Note:  I was informed by a person at a genealogical society I had visited earlier, that the archives at the Upper Canada Village have been closed.  Some of the holdings were photographed by a person who lives in Morrisburg. What happened to the collection is unknown to me? I have yet to investigate this, so please do your own investigating before you assume this is true.  

It was not long after I arrived in Cornwall where I found the Econo Lodge on Brookdale Ave.  It was another motel where I could park my car right outside  the door and also have access to the inside door to the hallway.  Much to my disappointment there was no coffee pot and grounds.  AUGH!  The idea of complimentary coffee in the lobby was really at breakfast with a pot of coffee on a warming plate and they closed the lobby till 6:30 am.  I have been known to get up by 4 or 5.  Their breakfast was terrible.  It was the oddest Econo Lodge yet. I did mention that they are not all created equal, well?  I have now purchased a beverage heater and will include that in my luggage.  Other than these few odd things it was okay. 

Brookdale Avenue – the Econo Lodge with the red roof

Down the block was the Aux Vieux of Duluth restaurant.  It was tasty with lovely decor but they kept interrupting me during dinner and it became very annoying.  My waitress was very nice. It was some others that were causing some problems.  It was convenient and a nice idea being only a block away from my lodging.  Hmmm…me thinks I was tired.

The next four days were going to be packed with visiting archives, museums, libraries and touring Glengarry and a part of Stormont.  So I retired to my room and relaxed.  I really had enjoyed my drive from Kingston to Cornwall.  I love rivers and the St. Lawrence didn’t disappoint me.  There are more joys to discover about this amazing river.


Prescott, another town on the St. Lawrence

June 22, 2012

Brockville serves as the seat for Leeds and Grenville United Counties, while it remains politically independent.  There are other villages on Hwy 2 as you make your way to Prescott. http://www.prescott.ca/  Which is also in Leeds and Grenville County.

Prescott’s welcome sign

There is the Grenville County Historical Society in Prescott and their website is at this location:  http://www.ripnet.com/sites/colonel_edward_jessup/UEL_Col_J/grenville_county_historical_soci.html

Is that Ogdensburg, New York in the distance?  You bet it is!

Ogdensburg, New York from the park in Prescott, Ontario

This ship was really moving and you can see the cabin portion in this picture right through the trees, just barely, look to the left of the shed.

A big ship on the St. Lawrence

Here is the big ship in full, moving so fast, I almost missed it.

A big tanker on the St. Lawrence moving fast


Brockville: A quick Visit!

June 22, 2012

Brockville is a town along the St. Lawrence that is quite charming.  The 1000 Island Parkway ends a little to the west of Brockville and if you aren’t careful you will end up on the major highway 401.

http://www.brockvilletourism.com/

I took Brockmere Cliff Drive just in time before I came to 401.  It is a right turn after E. Townline Rd. I almost missed it.  This road meets up with Hwy 2 and that takes you into Brockville. 

Entering Brockville

I found the Brockville Museum and parked my car and was surprised to find it open.  I didn’t dally because I had to keep moving.  My plan was to have dinner at the Upper Canada Village which closed at 5 pm and time was slipping by.  http://www.brockvillemuseum.com/museum/

The Brockville Museum

Next to the museum was the marina and a nice little park where I could watch the boats out on the St. Lawrence River.   Storm clouds are collecting!

Brockville Marina

Boats out on the river.

Boats out on the St. Lawrence

Geese were also enjoying the water.

The St. Lawrence next to the Brockville Marina

Downtown Brockville’s main square and I wish I had more time to explore!

The Main Square in Brockville, Ontario

Brockville was the home of Duncan Darby Macdonald and the MacDonald Research Centre.  Duncan did a great many books on Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and lots of charts and compilation of various families including McDonalds.  He died awhile back but his collection is with Global Genealogy.  A great many of his works are with the Family History Library and many other archives, libraries and genealogical societies.  They spell his name in a variety of ways and it can get confusing.

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

 

 

 


The St. Lawrence River and the 1000 Island Parkway!

June 22, 2012

When I was in high school, awhile back, I had a project that I was to do for history class.  I choose to do my project on the Great Lakes.  I used the flour and water to make a relief map on a piece of wood which did require much.  I then traced a pattern of the lakes and painted the whole map.  This relief map was placed in the lobby case for display at my high school for several weeks.  That was unfortunately the last I saw of it.  I didn’t think to take a picture.  Sigh!

Since then I have viewed Lake Superior at Chicago and from the south side of the lake when visiting my husband’s cousin’s home.   I now add Lake Ontario to the list.  I believe I have flow over the lakes many times on the way to Washington D.C. 

The Great Lakes http://www.yellowmaps.com/map/great-lakes-basin-regional-map-655.htm

Kingston is where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River.  It is the furthest east of the lakes.  This website is from the USA side but it is a lot more informative:  http://byways.org/explore/byways/2488/travel.html?map=St_Lawrence_River_Section

The St. Lawrence River 1000 Island Parkway

My goodness, trying to find a detailed map online of the area I was traveling has taken a good five minutes.  This should help.  It is from the Ontario Yours to Discover website.  This is their home page:  http://ontariooutdoor.com/index.aspx?language=en

This is the map:  http://ontariooutdoor.com/html/en/map_landscapes.html?id=1000

The St. Lawrence River and its many facets

I had a very nice brochure of the 1000 Islands which was very fat.  After traveling this parkway I have come to realize that you need to drive the Canadian side and also the New York side to really enjoy it all.   They featured in Sackets Harbor, NY the Old McDonald’s Farm.  I used to be teased with the song.  Boldt Castle is near Alexandria Bay, NY so I did not see it as I drove east for it was hidden behind the bigger islands in the St. Lawrence.  Boy do I love a castle.  Ever since my hubby and I visited Biltmore in Ashville, NC, I have been intrigued. 

One of many islands in the St. Lawrence

It was amazing.  I spotted mini island, middle-sized islands and very large islands. 

Another island with house in the St. Lawrence

Some of the islands were just tiny, even smaller than the one above, yet they had homes built on them and docks.  On the main land there were docks all along the road.  I was wondering how the real estate agents showed one of these many islands:  Speed boat and helicopter?

Looking east along the St. Lawrence River

This website has a great deal of information and pictures to enjoy. http://www.visit1000islands.com/visitorinfo/

What do you think, shall my hubby and I renew or wedding vows at Boldt Castle for our 10th in 2015? It can’t be anymore expensive than Biltmore  http://www.biltmore.com/  Of course there is the matter of water to cross.

Yes, those are storm clouds.  I am heading into them rather than running away.


Kingston and the Cataraqui Cemetery – A Special Visit

June 22, 2012

Kingston’s Water Tower

Before I left Kingston, I had to make a visit and pay my respects.  Since I don’t know what McDonald family I am related in Ontario, I do have to make sure I acknowledge all McD’s in all is various spellings.

My goal was to visit Sir John A. MacDonald at the Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston.  There are many websites that describe this man but I think I will send you here.  The Canadians call him Sir Johnny:  http://www.canadahistory.com/sections/politics/pm/johnmacdonald.htm

I entered the Cataraqui Cemetery from the side off of Sydenham Road.  I had a map of the cemetery from a newspaper handout I found at the OGS Conference - “Special Advertising Feature – Cataraqui Cemetery Celebrating 162 years as Kingston’s Historic Garden Cemetery.”  I passed Christ Church and followed the signs to his gravesite.  There is a sign on the opposite side of Oak Ave. pointing to the gravesite.  The map in the flyer had grave site as #9 and that helped.  It is a very large cemetery. 

Suggestion:  I came up Princess Street and went up Sydenham Road and entered the side of the cemetery.  I suggest you turn from Princess onto John Counter Blvd. then a quick left onto Purdy’s Ct. then right onto Purdy’s Mill Rd.  Then you enter from the front gate where the big stone Pillar’s are.  Follow Maple Ave and turn to the right onto East Ave and around to Oak Avenue.  The grave site is almost to West Ave.  Look for the sign below, remember I came from the opposite direction so it would be on your right if you come in the front gate.

The Entrance Sign to Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston

This is the sign pointing to the opposite side of the road toward his grave.

Sign pointing to the grave Sir John A. Macdonald, Cataraqui Cemetery

This is what you see as you approach:

Looking toward the grave site area – Sir John A. Macdonald

Sir John Alexander Macdonald’s tombstone which is surrounded by a black wrought iron fence.  I did not see where I could open the gate to get closer.  I suppose for many people could eventually cause damage. 

Sir John A. Macdonald’s Tombstone

Sir John A. Macdonald and me!

I will add more photos later and provide a link to them showing more of his gravesite when I get my posting done for this trip.  I am almost there.  I have to admit that I am and was affected.  I am not Canadian by birth but my parents especially my mother’s side came from Canada and on my father’s are his father’s family. 

An Overview of Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston

Earlier I had been in the downtown area of Kingston and had seen a historical plaque of another very well-known MacDonell.  The Bishop Alexander MacDonell 1762-1840.  Roman Catholic Bishop of the diocese of Kingston. The plaque was next to the house he lived in while in Kingston.  I did not stand back and take a photo for I was in a hurry to get to Anglican Diocese office for my appointment and still in my car.  This link below will explain the plaque better.

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMEJVM_BISHOP_ALEXANDER_MACDONELL_1762_1840_Kingston

Plaque for Bishop Alexander MacDonell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Macdonell_(bishop) I will be visiting other plaques and will come back to share more about this amazing man. 

The clock was ticking and it was time for me to head for Cornwall to the east.  I headed down the main street – Princess and through downtown Kingston.  

Princess Street, Kingston, Ontario

I crossed over the bridge taking Hwy 2 east.  The bridge is called the Lasalle Causeway Bridge and it crosses the Cataraqui River which is the southern part of the Rideau Canal:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Salle_Causeway 

I was soon driving through and under arches that were part of the Canadian Forces Base.  This was my first notice of anything military in Canada, although in Petawawa there is another Canadian Forces Base.  I did not venture from Pembroke up to Petawawa to investigate.   I think I saw Royal Canadian Airforce Signs.  My dad would have loved that, remember the title of this blog:  The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  Very impressive. 

My next milestone was the town of Garanoque where I would leave Hwy 2 for the 1000 Island Parkway.  It was time to become just a tourist.

UPDATE:  July 7, 2012:  Here is a link to more photos that I have taken of Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston.

Cataraqui Cemetery

Kingston: Anglican Archive, Visit with a Friend & the OGS

June 21, 2012

Friday June 1, 2012 was going to be a very busy day. 

My first appointment was with the Anglican Diocese office in downtown Kingston.  This was regarding my Brown family research.  The Browns were Church of England and I was hoping to find out more about William Brown my 3rd great-grandfather.  I was in luck I did find his death and burial information.  See the blog: The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg. for more information about this trip.  http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/

Anglican Diocese Building, Kingston

After I finished up at the Diocese office I headed back to my B&B and waited impatiently for Elaine to arrive. 

Years ago I was reading an online mailing list for the Upper Ottawa Valley and this person by the name of Elaine Brown was sharing information about the various churches and church registers for the area.  I learned that she had compiled a book covering the deaths and burials at the cemetery in Chapeau for the St. Alphonsus Church.  I emailed her and bought a copy.  It was with me on this trip.  We have since shared information and information on McDonalds and Burns families in the area.  My great uncle John (Jack) McDonell married Sarah Burns and she was curious about there marriage.  I visited their daughter on several occasions in International Falls and put Elaine in touch with her.  Sadly Mary died several years ago about two months before I made my third trip to Minnesota. 

Elaine’s family history website:  http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/burns.htm 

Elaine’s book:  http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/alphonse.htm

Aunt Lucy’s in Kingston & Rain

Elaine and I were going to have lunch together and meet for the first time face-to-face.  The Briar Patch was no longer offering lunch so she took me to Aunt Lucy’s.  We were together from 12:30 to 4:30 pm or so.  It was a rainy day in Kingston (just like home) but we didn’t care for we were busy talking and sharing and having a great time.  I had so much fun I had dessert.  Elaine really knows a lot about genealogy in Canada and so I am very grateful to her for sharing and caring about a stranger from that country to the south.  HA!  Thanks for lunch Elaine, my treat next time. 

St. Lawrence College – Location of the OGS Conference 2012

The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) Conference started at 5 pm with a barbecue and so I parted with Elaine but was feeling very happy and content. 

The rain had moved the dinner inside so we were all gathering in the cafeteria of the St. Lawrence College for the OGS Conference “Borders and Bridges 2012,”  Several ladies came and sat at my table and we chatted about the conference, our research and where we were from.  As usual people are all surprised when they realize that I am from the other Washington located on the western side of the continent. http://www.ogs.on.ca/conference2012/

Registration was open so I stopped by to get my bag of goodies and a USB drive of the syllabus:

Registration OGS 2012

The opening ceremonies were done with pomp.  They had a fully costumed town crier which I understand is an award wining town crier.

The Opening of the Borders and Bridges, OGS Conference 2012

The next day the conference was in full swing starting about 8 am with the opening address.  I didn’t get there till later and cruised the vendors.  I was happy to see the Quebec Family History Society, Lambton County Genealogical Society and more.  I was very strong and didn’t buy too many books.  I had a nice chat with Coleen Fitzpatrick the author of the Forensic Genealogy.  She was telling me about autosonal testing for women opening up more possibilities.  I have been really considering DNA testing. I have a family member whom I would like to test but so far there is resistance.  I purchased her book:  DNA & Genealogy.  http://www.forensicgenealogy.info/

Vendors about to open Saturday June 2, 2012 OGS Conference

The lectures started about 11 am.  I attended several lectures about newspaper research and each lecture gave me more information about sources I had not tried.  John D. Reid gave “Your Family History in Canadian and British Newspapers. He was explaining the OCR and why it was not yet to a place where it could read all the letters efficiently.  He explained that some websites had better OCR technology than others.  He said to take your time and try different searched.   Meldon J. Wolfgang III gave “Extra! Hear All About it! Exploring Some New and Less Familiar Pathways in Newspaper Research.  He had some really interesting sources to use.  He is the man in the picture below.  Evelyn Kolish also gave an excellent lecture:  “Court Records Across the Border: How to Find Your Way Among Quebec’s Court Records.”  Slowly I am gaining confidence with researching in Quebec. 

Lecture on Newspaper sources

Everyone was wondering where the banquet would be held.  Well it was in the cafeteria and it was sort of amazing to see how they transferred it into a festive affair.  We were told that over 500 people were in attendance.  The banquet room was filled to capacity.  Susan de Groot of the Ontario Chapter of the Association for Professional Genealogists was attending the conference.  Susan and I have met several times at various conferences and she remembered me.  She kindly invited me to her table.  She is the owner of Windmill Genealogy Services.

Those seated at the table were John Reid of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa was present.  He gave the one of the lectures on newspaper research that I mention above.  Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems sat with us.  She had been busy with lectures all day. Lisa had come all the way from California to attend the conference.  David Obee was present.  I have one of his books that he co-wrote with Sherry Irvine on Canadian Research.  The conversation was lively and interesting. 

Oh, yes they toasted the Queen and I found that very sweet. 

Banquet settings

The lectures started early Sunday morning, June 3, 2012 with the one I was looking forward to.  It was on Quebec land records titled “Digging up Genealogy Gems:  Quebec Land Records,” by Sharon Callaghan who I believe is also active in the Quebec Family History Society in La Pointe, Quebec:  http://www.qfhs.ca/  Her lecture was excellent and I was pleased. 

I decided to take another turn about the vendors and see what other things I could discover.  It actually took me a good hour and half to review them.  So it was almost time for lunch and since I had a ticket I decided to wait and get my sandwich.  When they set out the sandwiches I decided to stay and eat my lunch and again had a lovely conversation with several conference goers who sat down at my table.  I had my Nook Color reader with me, so I gave them an overview. 

Lectures would continue and then they would have a closing address later on in the day but I had to move on.  It was time to head to Cornwall and visit the Glengarry area.


Arriving in Kingston, Ontario

June 20, 2012

It was about 6 pm when I rolled into Kingston on Thursday, May 31, 2012.  I was there to attend the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference:  Borders and Bridge 1812-2012.  It was being held at the St. Lawrence College campus.

I had been touring in Hastings County to the west, visiting Mamora, Stirling, Trenton and Belleville and learning about their libraries and archives for research.  This was regarding my Brown family origins on my mother’s side.  I was not yet done because I wanted to visit the Anglican Diocese in Kingston for the Brown research.  I have described that experience and visit in my other blog: 

The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg:  http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/

My lodging was in a bed and breakfast called the Briar Patch.  Finding it was a little bit of trouble.  I left Belleville taking Hwy 2 to Tyendinaga, Napanese, Odessa, Westbrook and into Kingston itself. I was a little disappointed because I had hoped to see more of the Bay of Quinte on Hwy 2.  I guess you need to know where to go to see it?

I turned right and headed down Gardiner’s Road (Hwy 6) passed shopping centers.  I came to Bath Rd (Hwy 33) and turned left.  Then I got into trouble.  Bath is a very busy road. 

Hello Kingston

When I am tired it can get interesting.  I pulled into another shopping center and studied my maps.  I found Portsmouth which was to the west of this shopping center I had taken a break in.  I got back onto Bath and headed west past Portsmouth and just as I went past I saw the three numbers for the Briar Patch and pulled in.  It was shrouded in trees.  It was on the north side of Bath St. and there were islands in the middle of the road so it was not an easy place to get to.  They had a nice parking lot so I had plenty of room to situate my Caliber. 

My room was like a suite.  I had a foyer, a full bathroom, a sitting area and the biggest bed I have ever seen.  It took a little bit of climbing to get into it.  Sigh, no desk.  It did have a washer and dryer. Yippee, clean clothes! It was decorated with care and all the artwork and crafts you expect in a B&B.  There was an old door with a big flower wreath across from the bed.  http://www.bbcanada.com/8965.html?showpage=1 

I was greeted by Mark first and the Mary Jo gave me the tour.  She also helped me to figure out where to get some dinner and I chose the Red Lobster down the road to the west.  They accepted credit cards which was good.  Some do not and I didn’t need complication. 

I settled in for the night.  The next day I was to get a full breakfast and great conversation.  This is why I like B&B’s.

The Briar Patch


West to Marmora, Hastings County, Ontario

June 18, 2012

As I left Perth, I left behind the research on my McDonald family for a little while. I would resume my search for my McDonald origins in Ontario when I reached Kingston and headed to Glengarry County (Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry County). 

So it is time to switch over to my other blog:  The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg: A Canadian Story

The Brown family is the family of my grandmother Ethel Adella Brown my mother’s mother.  They came from Ireland.  The father, William Brown, and several of his sons to settle in Hastings County, Ontario sometime in the 1830′s.  Some stayed there and are buried there while others moved on to Lambton County, Ontario, then Lapeer County, Michigan and others headed for Manitoba.  I wanted to see if I couldn’t find out more about their time in Hastings County.  I also wanted to find out more about my 3rd great-grandfather William Brown. 

There was method to the madness and the real reason I stopped in Lanark County was to break up my trip to Hastings County, Ontario.  I probably could have skipped Lanark County but since there was a large concentration of McDonald’s settling there along with McPherson and Camerons I thought I best do a little checking.

Hwy 7 is a two lane highway and it was very easy.  I was out in the country now and it was going to take a good two hours and slightly more to get to Marmora in Hastings County, Ontario.  Traffic was not bad and the sun was shining so I had good weather. 

There are these low rock formations along the road that reminded me of mini versions of Utah’s monument valley and swampy areas with cat tails.  I actually saw a beaver house out in the lake, something I have not seen since my childhood. Hwy 7 reminded me of Minnesota.  There are lots of lakes and cabins with signs pointing the way and many many campgrounds.  http://members.shaw.ca/kcic1/beaver.html

I entered the county of Frontenac or rather the Central Frontenac area and drove through the middle of that county.  To the south was Kingston which is on the eastern part of Lake Ontario where the St. Lawrence River begins.  I would be there in a few days for the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference.  These counties along this area are long counties reaching north into the middle of the southern portion of Ontario.  They are like large rectangles and touch Lake Ontario.  Here is a great map with the townships that helps to get oriented.  Find Shabot Lake and that is the road I was on:  http://www.frontenacmaps.ca/pdfs/Accommodations.pdf

Shabot Lake a website: http://www.sharbotlake.com/index.html  I did feel like I was climbing but according to the map Hwy 7 is probably getting into the lower areas and to get higher I would need to go further north. 

The Digital Atlas website has a great map of 1880 showing the counties in Ontario:  http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/searchmapframes.php  Frontenac is #31, Hastings in #28 and #30 is Lennox and Addington.  You can click on the map of that county and do more exploring.  This is useful for studying all areas of Ontario at that time.

I arrived in Kaladar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaladar on Hwy 7 and it was not long after that I came to the sign for Hastings County.  I was very excited.  I never dreamed I would find my mother’s family and especially get as far as I have on the Brown surname.  I owe my cousins a great deal of gratitude for all their hard work in piecing this family together.   Go to this link to follow me on the Hastings County adventure:  The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg: A Canadian Story 

Entering Hastings County, Ontario


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