Jennette Catherine McDonell & Her Two Marriages!

October 20, 2011

Jennette was a challenge because the priests changed the spelling of last names of individuals according their individual preferences so there were many variations of the surname McDonell/McDonald,McDonnell, etc.  To make matters even harder they changed the spelling of Jennette’s first name as well.  You will notice different spellings for first and last names for individuals.  It is best to keep and open mind!! (See source summary at the end of this post.)

Jennette Catherine McDONELL was born about 1836 to Alexander John and Ellen (McPHERSON) McDONELL. She died 2 September 1916 and was buried 4 September 1916 in the St. Alphonsus Church cemetery in Chapeau (Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records…#A76, Row 3, pg. 4, and #1315, pg. 89).

 Jennette married twice, first to Angus John McDONALD and then to Thomas PAYNE.  

I.  Marriage No. 1:  Jennette and Angus John McDONALD were married on the 26th of September 1851 in the St. Alphonsus Church. Angus John’s father was Angus McDONELL (note the spelling?).

Sources for their marriage are:
1) FHL#1029797, #M10 St. Alphonsus Church Records.  
2) Marriage Du Comte De Pontiac 1836-1973 FHL Book#971.4215 K29.

Angus and Jeanette had (8) eight children during their marriage and many descendants. 

1.  Margaret McDONALD – may or may not be part of this family. 

2. Sara Catherine McDONALD – may or may not be part of this family.

3.  Jane Wilhelmina McDONALD was born 3 September 1852 in Chapeau and was baptized the 21st of September 1852. (#B83, FHL#1029797).  She died about 1902 and is buried with her husband in the St. Alphonsus Church cemetery.  (Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records… #A220, pg. 10).

Jane married a Daniel J. KENNEDY who was born about 1848 and died around 1923 in the Chapeau area.  He and Jane are buried in the St. Alphonsus Church Cemetery (Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records…,#A220, pg. 10). 

Jane and Daniel had a very large family of eleven (11) children: 

a) Mary Marcella KENNEDY (no birth information found) was married to John BUTLER on 19 July 1893 (#M6, page 136, FHL#1304675).  John’s parents were Patrick BUTLER and Mary HAYDEN.

Mary and John had five children: 

1) Joseph Herbert BUTLER was born 1 May 1894 and baptized 13 May 1894 (#B36, FHL#1304675).

2) John Cecil BUTLER was born 3 January 1896 and baptized 13 January 1896 (#B4, FHL#1304675).

3) Edward Leslie BUTLER was born 18 November 1897 and baptized 20 November 1897 (#B45, FHL# 1304675).

4) M. Francis Elsie BUTLER was baptized 16 October 1904 (#B70, pg. 242, FHL#2030662).  

5) Mary Ellen BUTLER baptized 19 January 1915 (#B5, FHL#2030662)

b) Kenneth KENNEDY – See Nellie’s chart.

c) Clara Anne KENNEDY (no birth information) was married to James S. RYAN on 22 August 1898 at the St. Alphonsus Church (#M12, FHL#1304675). James Ryan’s parents were James RYAN and Catherine McGUIRE.

Clara and James also had a large family of seven children: 

1)  Daniel James RYAN born 5 June 1899, baptized 9 June 1899  (#B46, #1304675)

2) Catherine Jane RYAN born 23 March 1901, baptized 31 March 1901 (#B19, FHL#1304675).

3) Elizabeth Ellen RYAN baptized 3 July 1908 (#B58, pg. 414, FHL#2030662).

4) Mary Helen RYAN baptized 27 December 1910 (#B96 pg. 491, FHL#2030662).

5) Maria Latita RYAN baptized 16 January 1913 (#B1, pg. 554, FHL#2030662). May have married a Barny Robshaw?

6) Patrick Joseph Edward RYAN baptized 18 July 1915 (#B36, pg. 8, FHL#2030662).

7) Rita Ethel RYAN baptized 12 May 1918 (#B24, pg. 44, FHL#2030662).

d) Edward Kennedy – See Nellie’s chart.

e) Alexander Ernest KENNEDY (no birth information found) married Mary Catherine KEARNEY on the 11th of September 1906. (#M15, pg. 327, FHL#2030662).

f) Lena KENNEDY – She may have been a nun.

g) Marg Ethel KENNEDY was born about 1878 (Cemetery Inscription and Burials Records…, #B98,Section B, Row 5, pg. 24) and died around 1961. 

She married a Thomas John POUPORE born about 1874 and who died around 1956.  The date of their marriage was 11 September 1901 (#M19, FHL#2030662). 

Ethel and Thomas had 4 children:

1) Lawrence Kennedy POUPORE born 19 Dec 1902 and baptized 25 Dec 1902 (#B91, FHL#2030662).

2) Ryburn Alexander POUPORE was baptized 1 April 1905 (#B19, pg. 257, FHL#2030662). Ryburn may have married a M. Mildred BURNIE per a note on his baptismal record.

3) Joseph Elmer POUPORE was baptized 17 Jan 1911 (#B8, pg. 493, FHL#2030662).

4) Mary Catherine Genette POUPORE was born 22 Dec 1915 (#B70, pg. 13, FHL#2030662).  She may have married an Edward Thomas Edmund Gallagher?  She was confirmed 13 May 1927. 

h) Angus Gordon McDonald KENNEDY was born 29 May 1882, baptized 11 June 1882, died 1903 (#B47, FHL#1304675). (Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records…#A220).  He is buried with his parents.  He may have drowned?  Interesting note:  Archibald McDonell was listed as a sponsor of this child.  He is my great-grandfather.

i) Elizabeth Anne KENNEDY was born 11 October 1885 and baptized 20 October 1885.  She may have been a nurse (#B104, FHL1304675).

j) John Allan KENNEDY was born 29 February 1888 and baptized 4 March 1888 (#B14, FHL1304675).  He married a Mary Teresa POUPORE on the 10th of October 1916.  Her parents were Andrew POUPORE and Marguerite VERNE (#M17, pg. 24, FHL2030662).

k) Mary Edna Loretta KENNEDY was born the 21st of April 1895 and baptized on the 28th of April 1895 (#B3, pg. 217, #1304675).  She married an Andrew KENNEDY on the 13th of September 1922 per a note written next to her baptismal record.

 4. John McDONALD born 22 March 1854, baptized 6 April 1854  according to his birth/baptismal records (#B14, FHL#1029797).  There is a burial record for a John McDONELL who died 18 March 1854 in the Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records book #1323 p. 89.  These dates don’t work but the parents are Angus and Jeanette?  Maybe the year is off?

 5. Ellen McDONALD born 27 November 1855, baptized 8 December 1855 (#B69, FHL#1029797). Ellen died 29 January 1900 and was buried 31 January 1900 (Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records book…#A61, 1313).

Ellen is stated to have married a James L. FERGUSON (Furgeson) and had six children by him.  They are listed on Nellie’s chart. 

1) Aneas FERGUSON

 2) John FERGUSON

 3) Jenny FERGUSON

4) Alma FERGUSON

5) Ellen Elizabeth FERGUSON born 20 August 1885, baptized 9 September 1885 (#B86, FHL#1304675).

6) Joseph Angus Alymer FERGUSON born 16 June 1888, baptized 11 July 1888, (#B62, FHL#1304675).  He died 22 July 1903 and was buried the 24 of July 1903 (Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial  Records…#587, pg. 65).

6.  Elizabeth Anne McDONALD was born about 1858 and she died 31 March 1882 and was buried 2 April 1882 (Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records…#1322, pg. 89).

Elizabeth married an Edward POUPORE (alternate spelling Edouard Paupare).  Edward was the son of William POUPORE and Susan McADAMS. 

Edward and Elizabeth were married on the 14 of July 1879 (#M5 FHL #1304675).  This couple is also listed in the Marriages Du Comte De Pontiac 1836-173 FHL Book 971.4215 K29. 

There seems to be some confusion regarding Elizabeth’s middle name.  I have seen “Jane” and “Anne” used.  I am lending toward the “Anne.”

The children were:

(1) Mary Ellen POUPORE who married a Daniel Joseph KENNEDY on 15 October 1907.  She might have had a nickname of “Mayme?” (#M23, FHL#2030662, p. 379).

(2) Elizabeth Anne POUPORE born about Mar 1882, died 8 August 1882 and was buried 9 August 1882 (Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records…#1336, pg. 90).

7. Elenar Catherine McDONALD was born 1 September 1860 and baptized 2 September 1860 (#B74, FHL#1029798).

8. Mary McDONALD born 9 March 1862 and was baptized 20 March 1862 (#B35, FHL#1029798).

Angus John McDONALD died on the 21 May 1866 and is buried in the St. Alphonsus Church Cemetery (Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records…#A76 Row 3, pg. 4, #1307).  

II.  Marriage No. 2:  Jennette remarried to a Thomas Payne and had one at least one child with him.  I did not find a marriage record for this couple.

1. O’Kane O’Kain Cameron PAYNE was born April 1869 and baptized 10 April 1869 (#B29, FHL#1029798). 

O’Kain married Catherine O’BRIEN b. about 1875 (no record found at this time) and had six children: 

(1) Mary Helen PAYNE was born 2 April 1901, baptized 6 April 1901 (#B22, FHL#2030662). She died 9 June 1917 and was buried June 1917. (Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records… #1565)

(2) Thomas Cameron PAYNE was baptized on 3 May 1906 (#B62, FHL#2030662).

(3) Lincoln John PAYNE was baptized 5 April 1908.  (#B21, FHL#2030662, pg. 396)

(4) Edward Allen PAYNE was baptized 9 January 1910.  (#B3, #2030662, pg. 400)

(5) Janet Catherine PAYNE was baptized 13 April 1913 (#B16, FHL#2030662, pg. 559)

(6) George O’Kain PAYNE was baptized 26 December 1920 (#B95, pg. 491, FHL #2030662).

Source:  1891 Canadian Census, Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec, T6413, pg. 1-30. Family 10, Payne, Thomas, 54 yrs. old, married, born in Ont., father born in England, mother born in Scotland, Roman Catholic, farmer.  Janet, female, 59 yrs old. married, widowed, born in Ont., father and mother born in Scotland, R.C.  O’Kain, male, 22 years old, not married, born in Quebec, parents both born in Ont. laborer. Mary Poupore, female 10 years old,  born in Quebec, parents born in Ont.

Update:  In the book:  “For Singing and Dancing and all Sorts of Fun,” by I. Sheldon Posen.  There is a picture of O’Kain Payne on the page between 62 and 63.  His name is spelled O’Kain by the author.

Thomas Payne was born about 1838 and died 6 June 1907 and is buried in the St. Alphonsus Church Cemetery (Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records…#A257, pg. 12).

Attached is a PDF of the descendants of Jeanette McDonell without the sources.  Please note that Thomas Payne was her 2nd husband and Angus McDonald was her first:  JennetteMcDonald2011

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Source Summary 

1)  Aunt Nellie’s Charts – see the post on this blog dated July 21, 2011 “Nellie’s Charts – Her Mother Mary McDonell’s Family,” to obtain a copy of Nellie’s chart.

2) Elaine Brown Descendancy Chart 2003.  Elaine’s chart had some differences but on the whole it was very close to Aunt Nellie’s chart for this side of the family.  Elaine shared this with me in private but I am sure she would be open to sharing with others if they contact here through her email at her Burns-Grier website at:  http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/burns.htm  Just let her know why you are contacting her. 

3)  Canadian Census found at the Family History Library (FHL) or at Ancestry.  Additional census research needs to be done on each of these family units. 

4) St. Alphonsus Church Records online at the Family History Library website.  Choose Quebec for location, go deeper to Pontiac County and choose church records.   

5) The post on this blog dated March 23, 2010 “Records of the St. Alphonsus Church,” gives details of this collection of church records from Elaine’s book and a little of my input. 

5) Ancestry.com’s Church Records collection (Drouin) for Quebec at their website. 

6) “Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records of the St. Alphonsus Church..,”  compiled by Elaine Brown available online for sale at: http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/alphonse.htm 

7) Marriage Du Comte Du Comte De Pontiac 1836-1973 in book or CD-ROM format.  World Vital Records online has a copy but they will charge you.  WorldCat may help you to locate a copy of this book near you in a public archive.  

NOTE:  Please be advised that I studied the St. Alphonsus Church registers up to about 1920 and stopped.  I was trying to establish that my Aunt Nellie’s charts were accurate and that these families did exist.  I was more interested in learning about Archibald and Mary McDonell my great grandparents who left Chapeau and Chichester about 1901 and migrated to Minnesota.  I went a little beyond the date of 1901 up to about 1920 to just see the possibilities.  When I first studied these films I did not do a great job of sourcing them to my Legacy database, so I have been spending the time cleaning up and hopefully, I have correctly assigned the sources to the person and the dates are correct.  I would suggest that if you are a descendant of Jennette and Angus John or Thomas Payne please review these films and sources carefully. 

Take the above information on these families as a guide only!

Oh, if you are a cousin, please contact me, I would love to meet you!!!


The Ronald McDonell & Janet McDonell Family

September 29, 2011

My trip to Ohio was successful and is now completed. See the blog:  Solomon Goss of Fearing Township in Ohio for a discussion about the Goss family and the  trip.

http://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/

I return now to discuss the children of Alexander John and Ellen (McPherson) McDonell who were the parents of Ronald McDonell born approximately 1825 in Upper Canada and died 15 September 1862.  He is buried in the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church Cemetery in Chapeau, Pontiac County, Quebec.

Ronald married Janet McDonald daughter of John McDonald and Flora W. McLellan.  They were married the 28th of June 1852 in the St. Alphonsus Church in Chapeau.  Family History film #1029797, #17.

Below is the burial information for Ronald.

Source:  Baptism, Marriage and Burial Index, St. Alphonsus Church #M17, FHL#1029797, Page 90, #1347, Burial Registrations.  The book “St. Alphonsus of Ligouri, Chapeau, Allumette Island, Pontiac County, Quebec, Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records,” by Elaine Brown features this transcription of the tombstone(s).

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

“B84, pg. 24 – My home is above/sacred/to the memory of/Rol. MCDONALD/died/Sep 13, 1862/AE 37 yrs/also/his children/John R./died/Sep 9, 1862/AE 7 yrs/3 mos/ John A./died/AE 2 yrs & 3 mos. and /Donald J./died/Sept 5, 1862/AE 9 mos. ”

I have not found Ronald, nor Janet in the 1861 Canadian Census, but then there are a lot of Ronald McDonell’s and he may have been out working in the woods and enumerated separately or missed?

Ronald and Janet had the following children:

  • Ellen McDonell born about 1853.  Ellen married a James Welch.  They had 2 children that we know about: Frank and Mary Catherine was born 20 July 1876 in Pontiac Co., Quebec, christened baptized 27 July 1876 at the St. Alphonsus Church and died 29 July 1913 in Pembrook, Renfrew Co., Ontario.  Mary Catherine Welch was the wife of George Burns.  I refer you to my friend Elaine Brown’s website about the Burns family for more information on this family.

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

  • John Ronald McDonell born 1855 and died 1862 (See above burial information) was born 6 July 1855, christened baptized 12 July 1855, died 10 September 1862 and was buried on September 11, 1862.  All recorded at the St. Alphonsus Church.
  • Alexander McDonell was born 19 January 1857 and christened baptized the 25 of January 1857 at the St. Alphonsus Church.  He was living in 1871 with his mother.
  • John Archibald McDonell was born April 1861, christened baptized 15 Apr 1860, died the 3rd of September 1862 and was buried the following day on 4 September 1862.  All recorded at the St. Alphonsus Church.  The name “John Archibald” is the same as the name given to Archibald and Mary’s son John who was usually called “Jack?” brother to Ronald my grandfather.
  • Donald James McDonell was born about 1862 and died on 5 September 1862 and was buried on 6 September 1862. Recorded at the St. Alphonsus Church.
  • Janet McDonell no information.

Some illness hit this family and apparently Ellen and Alexander were the only ones that survived of the children of Ronald and Janet.  Ronald died and his widow Janet continued to reside and live in the Chapeau/Chichester area.  I have no death date for Janet but I did find her living in the 1871 Canadian Census.

1871 Canadian Census for Quebec, Pontiac County, Chichester pg. 16, 51 and 52, Jenet McDonell age 38 born Quebec, R. Catholic, Scotish, labourer, widowed.  Ellen, F, age 17, Alexander, M, age 14. 

If you are a descendant of Janet/Jenet and Ronald McDonell, I would love to talk with you.  Leave a message by clicking on the comment button or contact me through the above Compiler tab.

UPDATE:  As of June 24, 2013 I have realized with a little help from a visitor to this blog that Janet married again after Ronald’s death.  I did not share that piece of information when I originally wrote this post.  She remarried about 1870 or 1871 to Thomas Poupore Sr.  This piece of information came to me from a manuscript about Ronald’s sister Jennette written by another cousin who is a Kennedy descendant.  I met him on my trip last Spring 2012.  Thomas Poupore Sr. son with Janet in 1874 was Thomas John Poupore who married Margaret Ethel Kennedy daughter of Daniel James Kennedy and Jan Wilhelmina McDonnell a daughter of Jennette Catherine McDonald and Angus John McDonald, another sister of Ronald and my great grandmother Mary McDonell.


Alexander John McDonell & Ellen McPherson’s Family

August 5, 2011

Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson are the great great grandparents of Keith.  They are his grandmother Mary’s father and mother.

Alexander John has been discussed in past posts.  He appears in the 1861 Canadian Census for Pontiac County, Quebec with several of his children: Mary, Rachel, Duncan and Finley.  In this census it states that he was born in Upper Canada (Ontario) and that he was 66 years old which means he was born about 1795.  This census also implies that Ellen, his wife, died before 1861 for she is not listed with the family?

The burial location of Alexander John McDonell and his wife Ellen McPherson is not known at this time.  They do not seem to appear in the St. Alphonsus church records.

Based on Nellie’s and Miriam’s charts featured in past post, they had the following children:

1.  Alexander McDonell was a hotel keeper and was born before 1825.  He married Margaret (Maggie) MacDonald and they had three children:  John, Winnifred and Duncan.  He does not seem to appear in the St. Alphonsus Church Records and the Canadian census for1851 and 1861 does not list him or Maggie for the Pontiac County area??

2.  Ronald McDonell was born about 1825 and died 15 Sep 1862 in the St. Alphonsus Church Cemetery and is buried in the church cemetery.  He married 28 June 1852 (St. Alphonsus Church records) Janet who was born about 1833 in Upper Canada.  They had 6 children.  In a future post this couple will be further discussed.

3.  John McDonell born about 1825 and died 22 January 1860 and is buried in the St. Alphonsus Church cemetery. He married Christiana on 7 October 1848 in Chapeau.   John and Christiana (Christy) didn’t have any children recorded in the St. Alphonsus Church records even though they were married 12 years before his death.  Marriage Source:  Quebec Baptisms, Marriages and Burial Index, St. Alphonsus Church Records, #M10, FHL#1029797 and also at Ancestry.com under the Drouin Collection.  A search of the 1851 and 1861 census does not reveal a John or Christiana in the Pontiac area?

4.  Hugh McDonell was born about 1834 in Upper Canada but his death is unknown.  He married 24 May 1858 (St. Alphonsus Church Records) to Ellen.  Ellen was born about 1835 in Lower Canada and died 20 June 1920 and is buried in the St. Alponsus Church Cemetery.  They had 5 children.  This couple will be featured in a later post.

5.  Catherine (Kitty) McDonell  was born about 1835.  She married a John Fraser 7 October 1855 (St. Alphonsus Church Records)  and they had three children:  William, Ella and Lincoln.  Ella married a Fred Fielder.  Again Canadian census information does not give much information on this family.  John’s parents were John Frazer and Mary Kennedy.  Marriage Source:  Quebec Baptisms, Marriages and Burial Index, St. Alphonsus Church Records, #M7, FHL#1029797 and also at Ancestry.com under the Drouin Collection.

6.  Jennette (Jennie) Catherine McDonell was born about 1836 and died 2 September 1916 buried on the 4th of September in the St. Alphonsus Church Cemetery.  Jennette’s story is very interesting.  She first married Angus John McDonald (Big Angus) and after his death she remarried to Thomas Payne.  Jennette will be discussed further in a future post.

7.  Rachel McDonell was born about 1838 in Lower Canada and died 8 January 1881.  She is buried in the St. Alphonsus Church Cemetery.  Rachel was listed in the 1861 census with her sister Mary and father Alexander.  Apparently Rachel did not marry.  Burial Source:  Quebec Baptisms, Marriages and Burial Index, St. Alphonsus Church Records, #1328, FHL#1029797 and also at Ancestry.com under the Drouin Collection.

8.  Mary Elizabeth McDonell, Keith’s grandmother.  Mary and Archibald are featured in many posts of this blog.

9.  Duncan McDonell was born about 1842 in Lower Canada (Quebec) and died 6 May 1910 and is buried in the St. Alphonsus Church Cemetery.  He married Elizabeth Sauve the 27th of February 1865 according to the St. Alphonsus Church records.  They had maybe 15 children?  Duncan and his family will be further discussed in a future post.

10.  Finlay McDonell was born about 1845 in Lower Canada (Quebec).  Nothing more is know about him.  It is possible he migrated further south into Ontario.  Note:  If the census was dated 1861 and he was born 1845 that means that the mother Ellen may have died between these dates?

The Canadian 1861 Census for Rachel states that she was born in Lower Canada.  Duncan and Finlay are indicated as being born in Lower Canada.  Mary McDonell (Keith’s grandmother) gives Upper Canada as her birthplace.  The information I have places her year of birth at 1840.  Her sister Rachel’s birth year is suspect?  Still this implies that the family moved or migrated about 1840 to the Chapeau, Chichester area?

In summary the sources are

More research needs to be done and more sources checked for each of these families such as a land, probate, newspapers, histories and more.  Maybe a trip to Canada is in the future!!!

Clarification:  I refer to Wikipedia’s articles on Upper Canada and Lower Canada to explain these political divisions and the time they were in existence in Canada. So there might be some confusion about birth location such as Duncan and Finlay because it then becomes Canada West and Canada East.  (See link to Upper Canada) Also understand the settlement pattern was very different then and not as expanded and developed as today.  “Upper Canada existed from 26 December 1791 to 10 February 1841 and generally comprised present-day Southern Ontario.”


Nellie’s Charts – Her Mother Mary McDonell’s Family!

July 21, 2011

Ronald’s sister Nellie prepared the family genealogy in 1932 almost 20 years after the death of her parents Archibald and Mary McDonell.  Nellie (Ellen Elizabeth) had not been to Canada since 1901 when she immigrated with her parents and brother John (Jack) to Minnesota.  So when you see these charts you will be amazed for her grand-niece thinks she did a wonderful job and the family is truly indebted to her for her efforts.

Nellie prepared a long piece of paper with the family descendants for both Archie’s family on the left and Mary’s on the right.  This piece of paper was too big to store without creasing it so it was scanned into the computer in 3 sections and gently separated into two. 

Some time after Nellie had prepared this chart her niece Miriam rewrote it creating two charts one for Archie’s side and one for Mary’s side of the family.  There are minor differences between the charts. 

So we started with Keith’s grandfather Archie’s side of the family presenting the chart by featuring it in the post dated June 17, 2011 and titled Nellie’s Charts: Her Father Archie McDonell’s Family.   In the following posts dated June 30, 2011 A Mystery – Roy Macdonnell and July 8, 2011 Glengarry in Ontario etc. there was a discussion about Archibald’s origins and family.

Now we will feature Keith’s grandmother Mary McDonell’s side of the family. 

Click on the chart below and it should open up larger for you to read.  Remember to hit the back arow to return to this post. 

If you are a descendant of Alexander John McDonald and Ellen McPherson please copy and enjoy but remember credit goes to Nellie McDonell (first chart) and Miriam her niece (second chart). 

Alex. Ban McDonell Family Chart

Miriam's Version of Alex Ban Chart

The research on the McDonell family has been based on these charts and so far on Mary’s side of the family the names listed and families can be traced in the Canadian census well into the 1900’s and probably beyond.   The challenge is the spelling of the name McDonell/McDonald which can vary greatly.

The focus of the research has been on tracing Keith’s grandparents Archibald and Mary and their life journey.  In future posts the siblings of Mary will be discussed as best we can.

Archie and Mary left the area of Chichester and Chapeau in 1901 and migrated to Bemidji, Beltrami Co., Minnesota, to be with their children.  The family story is that the children of Archie and Mary felt they were getting to old and convinced them to migrate to the United States.

The St. Alphonsus Church has many of these families listed in their records of marriages, deaths and baptisms.  There are films at the Family History Library for this church and the registers are on Ancestry.com.   See the post dated March 23, 2010 Records of the St. Alphonsus Church for more information.

The book compiled by Elaine Brown on the St. Alphonsus cemetery located at this church also lists many of these individuals.  http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/alphonse.htm

If you are descended from any one of these families by all means say at least “hello” by leaving a comment or contacting me through the compiler page listed at the top of this blog.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Focusing in On Roy Macdonell

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

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

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

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

Miriam's version - Roy???

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

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

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

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

Nellie McDonald at a picnic

Miriam visits her brother Keith - circa 1950's

So we are left with a mystery?

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

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

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

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

Archibald McDonell as Culbute Lock Master

June 9, 2011

Miriam, Archie’s granddaughter, wrote the following in her notes:

Archie the Lock Master

As you can see Miriam misspelled the name of the locks and that caused a bit of a problem.  Still she was on the right track.  It is spelled formally: Chenal de la Culbute.

Unfortunately the Archives in Ottawa did not know anything about these locks which are in the Ottawa River a little north of the Island of Allumette. 

Apparently the locks were built about 1870  and were in service in the area from that time to around 1894.  There appears to be some confusion as to when they were actually abandoned.  

The exciting news is that Keith’s grandfather Archibald is featured in a book as the Lock Master:

Source:  The Upper Ottawa Valley, by Clyde C. Kennedy, Renfrew County Council, Pembroke, Ontario, pg. 137-139, 1970 FHL Book#971.38 H2 (This is a book at the FHL and is not on microfilm.)

Culbute Locks:  “Dredging the shoals along the channel was completed in 1883, but in 1886 Archibald McDonell, Lock Tender, was writing in his report; “Last fall after water got low it was almost impossible to open them (the gates) then it took about half a day to get them opened.”  The inevitable decay and distortion of the timber structures had become serious and the end was in sight for the Culbute Canal.  The steam railways had extended into the Ottawa Valley and the steamboats were losing their importance, except for sight-seeing excursions (the tourist business began years earlier) and for towing booms along the great widenings of the Ottawa where the current was imperceptible.  Archibald McDonell reported for 1885 only 20 passages of the canal by steamers, six by scows and six by row boats.  The structures “…are rapidly becoming so completely decayed as to render some wholesale substitution for them inevitable,” wrote D. Stark, Superintending Engineer, Ottawa River Canals, Ottawa, in 1888.  “The expense of keeping them (the locks) in repair is annually becoming greater, and if they are to be maintained in existence at all, their replacement by structures of stone becomes the only practical mode of dealing with them.  The Culbute Locks were abandoned to the forces of the river and Nature’s wood-rotting agents in the fall of 1889 and only the excavations and relatively small portions of the timbers remain to indicate the changes that were made to the highway of the voyageurs.”

There appears to be more information on the Internet these days about the different locks that were constructed and used during this time frame including the Culbute Locks.

If anyone has additional information about the Culbute Locks and photographs I would be most grateful if they would be willing to share?


McDonell Family in 1881!

June 1, 2011

The year is 1881 and Archibald McDonell’s family is still prospering. 

Archie, Mary, Angus, Ronald, John, Ellen and Alexander are all alive and living in the Chichester area.  Unfortunately, no baby George is mentioned in this census.

Source:  1881 Canadian Census, Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec. Dist. 98 (Chapeau Village) Canadian Film #T13226, pg. 23.

Line 3 to 9: 82/85 McDonell, Archibald, Male, age 45, born Ontario, Catholic, Scotch, Lock Master, Married.  McDonell, Mary, female, age 42, born in O, Catholic, Scotch, Married. McDonald, Angus, male, age 16, born Quebec, Catholic, Scotch.  McDonell, Ronald, male, age 14, born Quebec, Catholic, Scotch.  McDonell, John, male, age 11, born Quebec, Catholic, Scotch.  McDonald, Ellen, female, age 9, born Quebec, Catholic, Scotch. McDonell, Alexander, male, age 7, born Quebec, Catholic, Scotch.  All children going to school.

This is the only time that all of the family are listed together as a whole in the Canadian census, after this the children begin leaving home.

There is an interesting piece of information on this census.  Archie is listed as the Lock Master.  There will be more on that topic in the next post.


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