Archie & Mary’s Children: John Alexander McDonell

January 16, 2011

It must be terribly sad to lose two babies so quickly in a marriage.  This is what appears to have happened to Archibald and Mary.  A record for a second son was found in the church records and the child was named:  John Alexander McDonell.

The St. Alphonsus Church records show that he was born the 18th of April 1863 and baptized on the 26 of April 1863.  His burial location and death date are not known. 

Source:  Baptism, Marriage and Burial Index of the St. Alphonsus Church, 1846-1920, Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec. FHL#1029798, B31, John Alexander McDonell, St. Bridget’s Sheen, baptismal record.  

St. Bridgets Sheen, April 26, 1863. We the undersigned priest of this mission have baptized John Alexander born the 18th……of the lawful marriage of Archibald McDonell and Mary McDonell. The sponsors were John McDonell and Rachel McDonell who have not signed………..can’t read the name of the priest.

The witnesses of this birth are Rachel who is probably Mary’s sister.  John McDonell could be a brother to either Mary or Archibald?

Apparently the original church in Sheenboro burned down in 1918 and was replaced?  Here are links to the Archdiocese of Pembroke for possibly more information:

http://pembrokediocese.com/web/parish/alphonsus/

http://pembrokediocese.com/web/english/news/index


Archie & Mary’s Children: John McDonald

January 8, 2011
After their marriage, Archibald and Mary McDonell proceeded to raise a family.  Their first child appears to be John McDonell born 10 December 1861 and baptized on 12 December 1861.

Source:  Baptism, Marriage and Burial Index of the St. Alphonsus Church, 1846-1920, 4 microfilms, Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec. FHL#1029798, B101 John McDonell, baptismal record. Parents Archibald and Mary McDonell.  Sponsored by John Kennedy and Ann Doyle.   

John McDonell Baptism 1861

Apparently John did not survive because he does not appear with the family in the 1871 Canadian Census for Chichester which will be featured in a future post.  

A careful study of the St. Alphonsus Church graveyard records as compiled by Elaine Brown in her book on that cemetery in March 2000 does not reveal he was laid to rest in that cemetery.  You can order her book at the link below.

Source:  St. Alponsus of the Ligouri Chapeau, Allumette Island, Pontiac Co., Quebec, Cemetery Inscriptions and Burials, Compiled and Published by Elaine Brown of Kingston, Ontario. 

http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/alphonse.htm

The study of the St. Alphonsus records was conducted back in about 2002 and at that time you used the Family History Library films which happened to be on permanent loan at a FHC near the writer of this blog.  As of now they are online at Ancestry.com under the “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621 to 1967.” 

It is recommended that you study both the online search engine provided by Ancestry and then obtain the films and study them to be sure you do not miss anything.  On the right of this blog are Categories.  Click on the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, for more information.


Archibald McDonell’s Land

December 23, 2010

Archibald McDonell had several occupations.  He was a farmer and a carpenter.  As a farmer he had land in the Chichester area.  Chichester is in the county of Pontiac and in the province of Quebec. 

The land that Archie had was featured in the post dated October 29, 2010 – Archie McDonell as Farmer – 1861.  I had a copy of the 1861 Agricultural Census for the area and I give a list of the details that I could read.

The 1861 Agricultural census had: Concession or Range:  #3, Lot or Part of Lot: #43, acres 96.

If you compare that to the “Crown Land Grants for Quebec 1763-1860″ we find that there are two potential Crown Land Grant files that could be obtained.  They are highlighted in bold for Archie.  This list that follows is a summary of the booklet that I purchased:

Source:  Alphabetical Index to the Land Grants by the Crown, In the Province of Quebec from 1763 to 31st December 1890, Volume 12 – book “M.”  Reprinted by the Quebec Family History Society http://www.qfhs.ca/.  I ordered from the QFHS the “M” booklet for $10.00 years ago.  Click on the spreadsheet to make it bigger.

Archie's Land Grants

 The Family History Library has these booklets FHL#971.4 R2 Vols 1-9 and Vol. 10-22.   They also have two films of these land grants:  #413121 Argenteuil Co. to Hungingdon Co. and #413122 covering Joliette to Yamaska Co., Districts of Quebec and Montreal Alphabetical Index.  I chose film #413122.  I was interested in studying all of Pontiac County including Allumette Island, Chichester and other areas in search of Archie and Mary’s family. 

If you look closely you will see an Alexander and Alexander J. in Chichester and I suspect that is Mary’s father and Archibald’s father-in-law.

The next step is to try for the land files that are listed in these indexes. 

The Family History Library catalogue (online) has under Quebec:  Land and Property:

1.  Land records for the Province of Quebec 1788 to 1867 (Archives nationales due Quebec). 

2.  Land records, 1784 to 1857 (Upper Canada.  Heir and Devisee Commission 1st)

3.  Lower Canada land petitions and related records 1637 – 1842 (Lower Canada, Executive Council)

4.  Petitions for Land Grants and Leases 1791-1867 (National Archives of Canada)

The new wiki at Family Search has an article with more detail and based on the old handout about Land and property in Quebec.  Here is the link:  https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Quebec_Land_and_Property

In trying to determine how to locate the land records for Archibald the problem is that the dates for Archie given in my summary 1868 and 1883 of the Crown Land grants are beyond these films ending dates.  So at this point the research for Archie’s land comes to a stop till I figure out how to obtain these records from Quebec and later how to find the sale of his land when he leaves Chichester around 1901 for Minnesota.


McDonell and McDonell Marriage!

December 3, 2010

Keith’s grandparents, Archibald McDonell and Mary McDonell probably met in the Chichester area of Quebec in Pontiac County.  This town is across the Ottawa River in Quebec and north of Allumette Island.

On April 9, 1861 Mary and Archibald were married at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau.  Their marriage record is found in the records of that church.   Information on the films for these church records is found at the Family History Library.  I featured them in my post dated March 23, 2010 or find the category to the right  under “St. Alphonsus Catholic Church.”

A. McDonell & M. McDonell Marriage

As you can see by this marriage record both Archibald and Mary were “McDonells.”  This brings forward the question:  Were they cousins?  I do not know for sure.  There were many “McDonells” who settled in Canada.  It was spelled in many different ways:  McDonell, McDonell, McDonald, MacDonald and older versions were Macdonell.  The Catholic priests of the St. Alphonsus church would spell it McDonell and McDonnell etc.

Here is the transcription of this document, as best I can make out:

“St. Alphonse Allumette Island 9 April 1861 after the banns of marriage have beene once published at the [prone] for mass in this mission between Archibald McDonell of this mission son of age of John McDonell and of Sara McDonell on the one part and Mary McDonell of this mission daughter of age of Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson on the other part – a dispensation of two of the banns of marriage have been granted by us in virtue of a power accorded to us by his Lordship the Right Revd Doctor [Guignon] Bishop of Bytown and wherein no impediment have been discovered be the undersigned Priest of this mission have received their mutual consent to marriage and have giving them the mutual benediction at Saint Alphonse Allumette Island on this date aforesaids and on the presence of John McDonell and Rachael McDonell who have not signed.” [       ]Lynch, Priest.

The witnesses are Rachel and we know that name from the 1861 census as a possible sibling of Mary’s.  The other witness is John McDonell and I believe he is Mary’s other sibling but maybe even Archie’s sibling?  For now I will place John with Mary’s family.

I became curious as to the name of the Right Rev’d and found an “Archdiocese of Ottawa” website that has the history of the archdiocese at this link:  http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dotta.html  I cannot find any name at this website that clarifies the name written in the marriage record for the Right Doctor _____ Bishop of Bytown.  So it must be a mispelling?

This marriage record tells me the names of the parents of Archibald and Mary.  Archibald’s parents are named as John and Sara McDonell, while Mary’s parents are given as Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson.

You may be aware or not but “Bytown” is the old name for the city of Ottawa.  This is important when doing searches in the Canadian Census for the earlier years.

Here is an interesting website “Bytown or Bust:” http://www.bytown.net/

An there is also a museum at this link about Bytown:  http://www.bytownmuseum.com/EN/main.html  (this site can be read in French).

This Bytown  chronology looks interesting:  http://www.bytown.net/chronologicalbytown.htm

And of course Wikipedia has something to say:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bytown


Mary McDonell, Archie’s Future Bride – 1861!

November 11, 2010

Mary McDonell was living with her family in the township of Chichester in 1861 before her marriage to Archibald McDonell.

I was curious when the 1861 Canadian Census was enumerated and this explanation was given by Ancestry.com:

“In Canada East and West the census recorded the names of every person whose abode in the house on the night of Sunday, January the 13th, 1861. This included both residents and transient passengers. Individuals who were absent the night of the 13th were to be enumerated in the place in which they were usually resident.”

Source:  1861 Canada East Census, Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec, Dist. 415 through 430E, FH Microfilm #0517406, Image 127, Ancestry.com.  Ancestry has cleaner copies than the ones on the Family History film which were dark and difficult to read.

Line 36 Chichester Twp. Rachel McDonell, born L.C., Catholic, age 23, female. Line 37 Alex Jno McDonell, Farmer, born U.C., Catholic, age 66 male; line 38 Mary McDonell born U.C., Catholic, age 25, female; Line 39, Duncan McDonell, Laborer, born L.C., Catholic, age 19, male; Line 40, Finlay McDonell born L.C., Catholic, age 16, male.

I believe this to be Keith’s grandmother Mary McDonell in bold letters.  The age given is a little older than my documentation on Mary but the names of her father and siblings are the same as indicated on the charts Keith’s Aunt Nellie (sister to Ronald his father) created.  I will share those charts in future posts.  The older man Alex Jno. McDonell, age 66, is very likely Mary’s father and Archibald’s future father-in-law. 

If I calculate correctly Alex Jno. McDonell was born in 1795 in Upper Canada.  We may have found Keith’s great grandfather on his grandmother’s side. This will have an interesting impact on Keith’s sister Miriam’s family notes. 

If you look closely you see that one of the siblings Rachel is born L.C. age 23 and other siblings are also L.C. (Quebec), but Mary is U.C. (Ontario) and age 25 and so is Alex Jn.  This indicates the family moved about 1836, but from where and where is the mother and wife of Alex Jno. There is no mention of her in this census.


Archie McDonell as Farmer – 1861

October 29, 2010

The census enumerator wrote a very interesting description of the area at the end of the 1861 Chichester section on the FHL Film version of the Agricultural Census for 1861, Chichester, Canada East. 

This description was not included in the Ancestry.com version that I can tell.  The whole county of Pontiac is 288 images at Ancestry.com of which the Chichester township covers Images 125 to 136.  It was difficult to read the handwriting so this is the best transcription I can do.  The brackets are my best guess.

“With regard to roads in this Township the only leading road is the one laid out by government part of which runs through this Township to lot 37, 3rd range intended to run to Fort Williams or the mouth of Deep River – from 37 it is unfinished from the fact that the Colonization Grant already made for this road was insufficient to complete it, and the municipalities of [Shecu] and Chichester being convinced that the government would grant further aid from the same funds to complete the road through to Deep River as anticipated refused to apply the municipal labor to that purpose. I would remark trapsed thru the upper end of this Township with difficulty. There are two school houses and schools in this Township now in operation but from the unprecedented snow drifts the attendance this winter has been very small. There is no place of worship in the Township, the Church of Allumette which is Roman Catholic commands the attendance of the populace here.”

Archie or more formally Archibald had a farm in Chichester and he appears on the 1861 Agricultural Census.  I used FHL#0517406.  I am excited to see the Concession/Range and the lot numbers given.  Those will be of value in finding patent and deed records.

Line 38 – Archibald McDonell

Name of occupier:  Archibald McDonell

Concession or Range:  3

Lot or Part of Lot: 43

Number of acres of land – Held by each person or family: 96

Number of acres of land : Under Cultivation: 18

Number of acres of land : Under Crops in 1860: 18

Number of acres of land : Under Wood or Wild: 78

Column 10.  Cash Value of Farm: 100

Column 11.  Cash Value of furnishings: 18

Column 14.  Summer Wheat acres: 2-1/4

Column 15.  Summer Wheat bushels: 40

Archie has an 2 other crops that he is cultivating.  The poor readability of the pages makes it impossible to read the blackened headings to identify the type of crops so I only have the number of acres and the value. 

2 acres, 30 value

6 acres at 100 value but I am unable to read the crop names for they are blackened on this schedule.

Another set of numbers indicate a fraction [3/4] value 50. 

Keith’s grandfather was doing pretty well for a young man in 1861.  So does this mean it is time to go “a courting?” 

Interesting to note that listed above Archie in the agricultural census on the line above is a Alex Jhn McDonell.  This man was probably his father-in-law but we will study his entries and census findings in a later post.


Archibald McDonell Establishes Himself in Chichester!

October 20, 2010

Keith’s grandfather Archibald McDonell appears in the 1861 Canadian Census living in Chichester, Pontiac County, Canada East (Quebec).  He is living alone.

The 1861 Canadian census is on microfilm and was studied at a Family History Center back in about 2000.  This film’s condition was not good for  the names were blackened and hard to read; however, Ancestry.com now has this census in their collection and they have cleaned up the images so you can read them clearly.   

Source:  Archibald McDonald, 1861 Canadian Census for Pontiac Co., Canada East (Quebec) Page Starts with the name Angus (Augus) R. McDonald – page 135 (9), Image 133  (Chichester Township starts on Image 125 at Ancestry.com).

Line 28 Archie McDonnell, Carpenter, born U.C., Catholic, age 27, male, members of family 1, frame, number of stories 1.5, number of families, 1, second line – Log, one story 1, one family 1. Pg. 2 Quantity of Land attached 96, Carpenter, 12 months of labor, Value of business/manufacture 100.

The Canadian Government uses the following microfilm numbering system for this census as described by Ancestry.com.  I have used finding aids for the Canadian Census at libraries like the Cloverdale Library in Surrey, B.C. which has a wonderful Canadian genealogical collection.  Checking my notes indicate that film #C-1305 was used.

Ancestry.com’s description  – Canada. “Census returns for 1861.” LAC microfilm C-999 to C-1007, C-1010 to C-1093, C-1095 to C-1108, C-1232 to C-1331, M-1165 to M-1166, M-1168 to M-1171, M-556, M-874 to M-878, M-880 to M-886, M-896 to M-900. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

The Family History Library also has its own microfilm of these Canadian Census.  The film number list below is the same as what I have written in my notes and page 135.

Family History Catalog:  QUEBEC Pontiac -  FHL US/CAN Census Area [ 517406 ]

In order to understand more about the area we are identifying in the Canadian Census of 1861 I turn to Wikipedia to assist me. 

Wikipedia has an article where they give a description and maps of Allumette Island.  This article points out the different spellings for the island in French.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L’Isle-aux-Allumettes,_Quebec 

Using Wikipedia we find more information on Chichester which is across from Allumette Island.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichester,_Quebec 

We expand that to include the Pontiac municipality:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Regional_County_Municipality,_Quebec

Here is a Gazetteer for Pontiac County at Rootsweb: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onrenfre/gazetteer_Pont.html

The map below is from Microsoft Streets and Trips.  This map gives us an idea of what the area looks like where Archibald McDonell lived.  Click on the map to open it to a larger size for viewing.

Archie's Locations

This area will be of great importance in the family history and will include the town of Chichester and  Chapeau which is on Allumette Island.  The town of Pembroke is located south of Allumette Island in Renfrew County, Ontario.  The St. Alphonsus Liguori Church is located in Chapeau.


Mary McDonell Passes!

September 19, 2010

No sooner did Archibald pass than Keith lost his grandmother Mary.  I found a death certificate at the Family History Library on Film #2138530.  She passed on 8 September, 1913 #6084. 

Mary McDonald 1834 to 1913

Mary Elizabeth McDonald died in International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota, died on Sept 8th 1913, female, white, widowed, date of birth March 13, 1834, 79 yrs, 5 mos, 25 days.  Housewife, born in Canada.  Father’s name Alex McDonald born in Scotland, mother Mary McPherson, born in Scotland.  Informant was Nellie McDonald, International Falls.  Filed Sept 10, 1913.  Died of old age, signed by Robt. Monahau M.D.  Burial International Falls, MN on Sept 10, 1913.  

This time the informant was Nellie (Elizabeth Ellen) her daughter and Nellie seemed to know more about the family and who Mary’s parents were.  Nellie lists them as Alex McDonald and he was born in Scotland.  The mother is Mary McPherson but other records have the name as Ellen.  The doctor might be spelled “Monahan.” 

Fortunately the International Falls Press newspaper had an obituary notice for Mary, published on 11 September 1913, pg. 2.  Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul. 

Mrs. McDonald Passed Away 

On Monday night last Mrs. Mary McDonald quietly passed away at the home of her son Mr. R.S. McDonald where she has resided since the death of her husband, Mr. Alex McDonald about a year ago.  Mrs. McDonald has been gradually failing for the past few months and finally passed away in her sleep at the good ripe old  age of 79 years.  She was a good woman, of large and good family, true to her church, and people and helpful to all with whom she came in contact.  She is survived by five of her children Angus, who lives in Seattle, Wash. Ronald, S., Alex, John and Miss Nellie who reside in this city.  The funeral services were conducted at the Catholic church by her pastor Rev. Fr. Killeen yesterday and her remains were interred in the local cemetery by the side of her husband. 

As usual obituary notices are helpful and can have mistakes.  They list her husband as Alex and his name was Archibald.  

Mary is next to Archibald in the St. Thomas Cemetery which is part of the Forest Hill Cemetery grouping.  She resides with him in the plot with the large monument towering above.  She also has a simple stone plaque: 

Mary's Final Resting Place

The dates given for Mary are 1834 to 1913.  The obituary notice mentions her large family and this is true as we will come to learn in future posts. 

Keith’s father Ronald had lost his wife and now both of his parents.  It must have been hard times for the family.


Jack McDonald & Sarah Maria Burns!

August 17, 2010

Jack McDonald

Jack McDonald, brother to Ronald and Uncle to Keith, made his home in International Falls and lived a long life there.  His formal name was John Archibald but everyone called him “Jack.”  The photo of Jack was taken in his daughter’s home where she had it resting gently again a lamp in the living room.

On the 20 of August 1901 he married Sarah Maria Burns in Chapeau, Pontiac County, Quebec.  Sarah was part of a very large family that settled in the Chichester/Chapeau area on the Upper Ottawa River.  You can learn more about the Burns family and its connections at this website: http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/ You can explore more of the website and other surnames.  Click on the Byrns/Burns link and you will go to the detailed pages on the family with photos: http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/burns.htm  You will find the McDonald’s link. 

He migrated with his wife and his parents to Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota shortly after his marriage.  Jack and Sarah spent about 4 years in Bemidji before they moved permanently in 1905 to International Falls.  It is possible they had a child, maybe two, while living there and they did not survive.

Sarah and Jack McDonald - Int'l Falls

John (Jack) and Sarah McDonald’s children:

1.  George Archibald/Alexander who was born February 28, 1907 and died on March 2, 1907.  This information was taken from the birth register at the Koochiching County Courthouse in International Falls in 2000.

2.  There is a baby buried in the family plot at the cemetery in International Falls named Emma Loretta born September 3, 1911 and died that following October 16, 1911. 

3.  Mary Catherine Genofevan McDonald was born 3 January 1913 in International Falls and died in 2007 in Otter Tail Co., Minnesota.  Mary is buried next to her husband Gilbert Louiseau in the McDonald plot in the St. Thomas Cemetery that is a part of the Forest Hill Cemetery group in International Falls. Mary was 94 years old and I was very lucky to have known her.  Mary and Gil had 3 children who are living and grandchildren. 

Daughter Mary

Jack and Sarah made a good life for themselves in International Falls.  Jack became well-respected in the town and ran for political office.  There home was frequented by many friends.  He was responsible for keeping the children warm and seeing that the boiler at the Alexander Baker School had warmed the building before school began.  Jack was also a volunteer fireman with the International Falls fire department along with his brother Alex.


Archibald and Mary McDonald’s Children

March 20, 2010

McDonald Family 1905

This picture shows Keith’s grandparents and his aunt, uncles and father, Archibald and Mary McDonald’s family.  Starting on the left we have Nellie, Mary (seated), Jack, Archibald (seated), Ronald and Alex (seated).  Keith’s father is Ronald the one standing on the right next and behind Archibald. There is one person missing from this photo.  The oldest son Angus. 

Mary and Archibald actually had eight (8) children.  Five (5) children survived and lived to have full lives.  Two had descendants.  Jack had a daughter and Ronald and Grace had the 8 children listed in a previous post dated February 27, 2010. 

Their children were born in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec.  Their births and baptisms are recorded in the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church registers in Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec. 

The Children of Archibald and Mary McDonald are as follows.

1.  John McDonald born 10 December 1861, baptized 12 December 1861.  This baby must have died before 1871 for he is not listed on the 1871 Canadian census.  A death record nor burial location has been found at this time.

2.  John Alexander McDonald born 18 April 1863, baptized 26 April 1863 and died probably before 1871 for he is also not listed on the 1871 Canadian census.  This child’s death record and burial location has also not been found at this time.

3.  Angus Lawrence McDonald born 6 August 1864, baptized 13 August 1864.  He died 2 May 1931 in Seattle, King County, Washington of pneumonia, He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Seattle with other family members. Angus is listed as “Agnes” in the records.

4.  Ronald Sandfield McDonald born 22 July 1866, baptized the 26 July 1866. Keith’s father died on the 24 of July 1947 in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington of old age. He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Yakima, Washington with other members of the family.

5.  John Archibald McDonald (Jack) was born 3 June 1869, baptized 14 June 1869.  He died on 11 December 1949 in Moose Lake, Koochiching County, Minnesota of old age.  He is buried in the St. Thomas Cemetery (Forest Hill) in International Falls, Koochiching County, Minnesota with other family members.

6.  Ellen Elizabeth McDonald (Nellie) was born 26 November 1870, baptized the 26 November 1870.  She died on the 8th of May, 1947 in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington of old age.  She is buried next to her brother Ronald in the Calvary Cemetery in Yakima and with other family members. 

7.  Alexander Thomas McDonald was born 2 December 1872 and baptized the 17 December 1872.  He died the 3rd of November 1955 in International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota.  He is buried next to his brother Jack in the St. Thomas Cemetery (Forest Hill) in International Falls, Minnesota. 

8.  George James McDonald was born 22 July 1878, baptized 27 July 1878 and must have died before the 1881 Canadian census for he does not appear with the rest of the family.  A death record and burial location have not yet been found. 

I will give more details about the records of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in another post.  This church is located in Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec.  It is across the Ottawa River from Pembroke which is in Ontario. 

Here is information on the Catholic Diocese of Pembroke: http://pembrokediocese.com/web/english/directory/index.shtml


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