A 1848 Group Land Petition from Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester

July 10, 2014

In 2012, when I traveled to Canada, I visited the Libraries and Archives in Ottawa for one day. Before I went, I of course studied the land petition indexes online at the Libraries and Archives website, and found a very interesting piece of documentation.

Upper Canada Land Petitions 1763-1865 Index:

  • Name:  Inhabitants of Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester
  • Place:  Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield, Chichester
  • Year:   1848
  • Volume: 540A
  • Bundle: W4
  • Petition: 172
  • Microfilm: C-2964
  • Reference: RG 1 L3

From this information I pulled the microfilm while in the research room and took a look and photos.

Apparently the inhabitants of the whole community at that time in 1848, banded together and signed a petition for a land patent.  I share this because I am trying to get back as far as possible in the Chichester, Chapeau, Sheen area with the inhabitants.

Unfortunately, the microfilm is dark, fuzzy and difficult to read and interpret.  It looks like there were two letters submitted and a decision by the council for 3 shilllings.

Here as at least one of them with the list of the petitioners and again I did my best:

Inhabitants petition 1848

Inhabitants petition 1848 – a portion of one of the letters written in the file

To his Excellency the Right and Honorable ___ Everts of Elgin and _____Governor General of the British North America……

In Council.  The petition of the undersigned settlers of the Township of Sheen county of Ottawa Canada East Hunbley Heweth. 

That your petitioners generally, recently migrated from Great Britain and Ireland, that from the great depression in the Lumber trade, the partial and in many cases total failure of the potatoe crop, has plaud your petitioners with their large, and helpless families, into circumstances from which, many years of prosperity will not essace from their recollection.

That the land we now occupy has been surveyed during the past winter – the ___ discription of  soil in which it has pleased Providence to cast our lot, and the peculiar circumstances of our situation, in this remote section of the Province, combined with the fact that all the merchandable timber has, from time to time, been taken away, by lumbermen, and others, under our possessing of little value.  

That our petitioners would therefore suggest, and pray for a reduction in the price of land, your petitioners are of the opinion  3 k p acre is the utmost value of that which they ___and under the  made favorably circumstances, the utmost they will be able to pay.  And as in duly bound, your petitioners will even pray. 

I transcribed these names to the best of my ability but I could be incorrect.  Some names might be French and I am not familiar with them and the person who transcribed the names didn’t spell well. I am particularly interested in the Ronald Roy McDonald.

  • 1. James W. Juston
  • 2. Daniel Ferguson
  • 3. Patrick [   ] Flinn
  • 4. John Murray
  • 5. Alex McGilverey
  • 6. Jonathan Perrault
  • 7.  Thomas Maher
  • 8.  Edward Rennick
  • 9.  __________________
  • 10. Ronald Roy McDonald
  • 11.  Tim Crinaw
  • 12. H….S. __________
  • 13. David Ferguson
  • 14. ________
  • 15. John Ferguson
  • 16. John Downee
  • 17. Richard Hayes
  • 18. _____ Levine
  • 19. Thomas Harington
  • 20. Ra___Oatchern
  • 21. John Ferguson
  • 22. John McCormick
  • 23.  David Ferguson
  • 24. John Sturis
  • 25. Charles Hutchison
  • 26. John Wall or Sewll
  • 27. Mathe Ryng
  • 28. Peter Costille
  • 29. Gory ____
  • 30. Ritchard Mackey
  • 31. John Walch____
  • 32. James ____
  • 33. Patrick Kelly
  • 34. Richard O’Brien
  • 35. _______
  • 36. George Mc___
  • 37. Edward Kelly
  • 38. Rutt Bray
  • 39. William ____________
  • 40. Patrick Matheson
  • 41. Michl Michelson
  • 42. James Walker
  • 43. Samuel Hutchinson
  • 44. Patrick Kelly
  • 45. Thomas Kelly

If you would like a copy of this file, leave a comment and we can make arrangements for me to send you one.  It will be difficult to read.  On the other hand, if you know of this petition and have a better transcription I would be very interested.  Thanks.


The Migrations of Downeys and MacDonalds…

June 5, 2014

Before I launch into sharing about my dad, Keith’s, growing up and learning the craft of airplane mechanic in the Army Air Corp, I want to go back in time and share additional information that has come to light about his Mac/McDonald family.

This blog has brought me many wonderful experiences and among them are meeting new cousins and interested readers.  It has also increased my knowledge of researching in Canada. I have learned that I have to extend my search areas to a much larger view.

Two families that migrated where the Hugh and Theresa Downey family and the Ambrose and Mary Jane (McCarthy) MacDonald family.  They left Sheenboro and Chichester in Pontiac County, Quebec and headed for Saskatchewan.  They are buried in the St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery near Leroy.

Ambrose MacDonald was a son of Duncan and Elizabeth (Sauvé)McDonell.  I wrote about Duncan and Elizabeth’s family in this post on this blog: “Duncan McDonell and Elizabeth Sauvé,” November 10, 2011.  My cousins and I are still working on figuring out their children so don’t assume it is completely correct.

Ambrose would be a nephew of my great-grandmother Mary McDonell who married Archibald McDonell, yes they were both McDonells.  Duncan would be Mary’s brother if the lineage is correct.  I will discuss that tangle in a later post.  It appears that Duncan Darby MacDonald who did a lot of research on families in Glengarry, Ontario and my Aunt Nellie have a different take on the lineage in the family?

Switching over to the other side of the family, to Archibald’s side, I was able to determine with help from another cousin that the John McDonell who lived in Sheenboro and was married to Julia with the many last names was Archibald’s brother.  His daughter Theresa married a Hugh Downey and they migrated to Leroy, Saskatchewan.  Of course, I need to do further research to establish this relationship.

I wrote about this in my post for this blog dated March 31, 2012, “A Discovery: Archie’s brother John McDonell, living next door in Sheen.”

Today, I would like to share with you photographs taken by a descendant of Ambrose who has given me permission to share.  These are from the St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery near Leroy, Saskatchewan:

First, the Ambrose and Mary Jane MacDonald family:

St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery, Leroy, Saskatchewan

St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery, Leroy, Saskatchewan

Ambrose and Mary J.

Ambrose and Mary J.

Children of Ambrose and Mary

Children of Ambrose and Mary

Francis George MacDonald 1916 to 1916

Francis George MacDonald 1916 to 1916

Clarence MacDonald 1918 to 1920

Clarence MacDonald 1918 to 1920

Lorena MacDonald 1923 to 1925

Lorena MacDonald 1923 to 1925

UPDATE 6/27/2014:  I have been informed that Leo Clarence MacDonald is buried in Leroy at the Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery, Leroy, SK. This cemetery is right in the town of Leroy. Go here for more information on this cemetery:

  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansacem/leroy_rosary.html

Leo Clarence MacDonald 1921 to 1990.

Leo Clarence MacDonald 1921 to 1990.

Next is the Hugh and Theresa (McDonell) Downey family in St. Patrick Cemetery are:

Hugh Downey Feb. 23, 1869 to May 12, 1945.

Hugh Downey Feb. 23, 1869 to May 12, 1945.

Theresa Downey Nov. 19, 1868 to Nov. 19, 1938

Theresa Downey Nov. 19, 1868 to Nov. 19, 1938

Joseph Bonaface MacDonald 1903 to 1957

Joseph Boniface MacDonald
1903 to 1957

I was having trouble finding this cemetery on Find A Grave but I will go back and study it later.  They want you to use Saint not St. and it can get confusing.  Now what I need are obituaries for these people.

I did find this cemetery at the Saskatchewan Cemeteries Project:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansacem/leroy_patricks.html

Again, thanks to my cousin for taking and sharing these photos, it is so very cool!


John (Jack) Archibald McDonald & Sarah M. Burns

July 20, 2012

One of the goals I had on my trip to Ontario and Quebec, was to try to find any reference I could about the marriage of John (Jack) McDonald and Sarah Maria Burns.  Jack, as he was called, is a son of Archibald and Mary McDonell.  There are other John Archibald McDonell/McDonalds in the area so you do have to be careful to not confuse them.

They were still in Chichester in 1901 according to the Canadian Census that had an enumeration date of March 31, 1901.

In the 1901 Canadian census for Chichester, Pontiac County, Quebec we find Mary and Archie still living in the area along with their son John (Jack).

McDonald, Archie, farmer, 63 years old. Birth date is October [5,] 1837. Place of birth is Canada, which is written over with Quebec. Racial origin is given as Scottish, nationality is Canadian. Religion is Catholic. He can read, write and speaks English. His mother tongue is English. McDonald, Mary, birth date is March 13 , 1840, 60 years old. McDonald, John birth date is June 16, 1872, he is 28 years old. 

Source:  1901 Canadian Census, Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec CC Film #T6538, 1800 Pontiac, pg. 116.  

The marriage was 20 August 1901 as written in the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church Record.

John and Sarah’s Marriage

Source:  Ancestry.com, Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection) 1621-1967 database, Chapeau, Parish, St. Alphonse, Pontiac County, Quebec.  Registres Photographies  Aug Greffe De Campbell’s Bay, No. 17,  20 August 1901.

Another source is the Marriages Du Comte De Pontiac:

Source:  Marriages Du Comte De Pontiac 1836-1973: McDonald, Pub. No. 26, Editions Bergeron & Fils Engr’, Montreal, P.Q. FHL #971.4215 K29.

pg. 356 #6916 McDonald, John Archibald (Archibald McDonald & Mary McDonald) 8/20/1901 to Sarah Burns (Geo.Burns & Cath. McMahon).

I tried the Pembroke newspaper published abstracts for vital records, but didn’t find any article about this marriage.

Births, Marriages and Deaths from the Pembroke, Ontario Newspapers Vol I. 1900-1906, Compiled by Members of the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group, 2003.

Elaine (Burns) Brown writes that the wedding party probably…

“…celebrated at the home of Sarah’s cousin Ida Coghlan’s parents (Margaret) Ida Coghlan was the daughter of Ellen and James Coghlan.  Ellen was Catherine (McMahon) Burn’s sister.”  Ida is a witness to the marriage.

I was planning on looking at the actual Pembroke newspaper but didn’t have time to go to the Pembroke Public Library or at UVOGG.  I had made plans to visit Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, and had requested the Pembroke newspapers.  When I arrived on Monday, May 28th they had the other newspaper films I had ordered but for some reason the Pembroke newspapers were missing.  Elaine reports that there was a break in the Pembroke newspaper from August 16, 1901 to January 3, 1902.  That is the critical time frame that I needed.  When reviewing the LAC information for the Pembroke newspaper I see that this break is there.  Still I did not get any Pembroke newspapers at the LAC.

Pembroke Observer.
NJ.FM.1018 F 1, 1867- 1898; 1900- Ag 16, 1901; Ja 3- Ag 22, 1902; 1906; 1913 AN 7158329 and AN 6945397

I also tried the Renfrew published newspaper abstracts for vital records but did not find anything of interest.  LAC has a nice listing of the volumes for the Mercury:  http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/journaux-chez-bac/035005-2209-e.html#ontario-renfrew-002

I did not study the Shawville newspapers at LAC because they didn’t have the timeframe I needed.  I did look at the McDonell/MacDonald/McDonald genealogical files at the Pontiac Archives in Shawville and didn’t find anything on the marriage.

At the Arnprior Archives I checked the newspaper abstracts for the Arnprior Watchman which are listed here:   http://www.adarchives.org/publications.htm

By doing this review of the local newspapers I learn the focus of that paper and eliminate possibilities.

The ultimate goal was to place the timeframe that Archibald, Mary, Jack and Sarah left Chichester for Minnesota.  Archie went back to Glengarry per Miriam’s notes so I would think he would do that before winter set in.  Did he go there after the wedding in August 1901?

The following picture is of Sarah, an unknown young girl, and Jack (John Archibald McDonell).  It was taken in International Falls about 1913.  This photograph was shared by Elaine (Burns) Brown.   On the right side panel of this blog under “Family History Websites of Interest” is the link a link to Elaine’s website:  Welcome:  Burns, Hughes, Somerville, Gentle.

UPDATE:  January 9, 2013 The unknown girl is found.  Please refer to the comments below on this post to learn the identify of this young girl.

Sarah, Unknown Girl, Jack McDonald


Pembroke, Ontario: The Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group & Library

June 15, 2012

It was Thursday, May 24, 2012 and the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Library was open from 12-4 pm (also on Tuesdays 12-4 and the 3rd Saturday of the month).  I had been looking forward to visiting this archive having been a member of the online list for many years.  It would be a special day because I would be meeting a McDonald cousin who happened to be the librarian at the UOVGG library. 

There sign that is out in the back when open!

The UOVGG is located on the southwest corner of Dickson and Maple Street in Pembroke.  They are housed in the basement of the Masonic Lodge which a big building that dominates the corner.  You have to go into the parking lot and look at the back of the building to see the double doors to enter.

The entrance doors to UOVGG

 

The big Masonic Lodge

I went down some stairs and through some doors into this hallway and then I turned right into a large room with tables and was greeted by my cousin Diane Burnett, Librarian.  She said “You must be Bonnie.”  I said “Yes, I am.”

The main research area of the UOVGG

It was not to long before we were talking away and chatting about research.  She is the one who encouraged me to dig further into a John McDonell in Sheen. This is her family.  She had found this very blog and made a comment and that is the beginning of our getting to know each other. 

As a result of her comment on my blog, I did a census study using John and Julia’s daughter Teresa who married a Hugh Downey and went to Saskatchewan.  I traced back and ended up with John’s family.  John is the brother to my Archibald McDonald.  See my posted March 31, 2012 “A Discovery: Archie’s brother John McDonell, living next door in Sheen?”  I had visited the grave of John and Julia McDonell at the St. Paul the Hermit Cemetery in Sheen and posted about it just recently.  Diane is very generous and has given me a print out of her research which will be devoured when I get the chance.

The Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group is awesome.  I was very happy there and realized I probably should have planned several days digging into their holdings but I would content myself with the hours available.  My the time I left I would have a better idea of what they had in their holdings, the knowledge of the volunteers and the visual experience. 

Here is their website which has a lot of information and is very helpful: http://www.uovgg.ca/

One of the volunteers is working diligently on rescuing the McDonald Burying Ground which is between Renfrew town and Cobden from Hwy 17.  It is to the west up the hill on Sutherland Road.  There are only a few stones left in this cemetery.  This website has photographs of the few remaining stones. 

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

At the UOVGG there is a bulletin board as you enter the main work area where they have placed articles and information and further research regarding the McDonald’s who are buried there.  This volunteer who is quite the character and was teasing me about east and west, has just received a grant that will allow him to place a commemorative monument at the site of this burying-ground and more.  I was interested in this Scottish McDonald family but learned they were Presbyterian and not Roman Catholic.  Which is a very important aspect of the research in this area. It will probably be a good six months before the dedication ceremony but I am sure you can contact UOVGG for further information. 

REQUEST:  If you have family that came from Renfrew and Pontiac County, please consider taking a few minutes to submit your family history to the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Society either by mail or via email as an attachment.  Their holdings emphasize Renfrew County but they do have holdings for Pontiac County and other areas as well.  I submitted my family history booklet of the McDonald’s that is a condensed version of this blog, so why don’t you do the same?  

I was asking Diane one of my many questions.  “Why doesn’t Chichester have a history or book?”  She replied because it didn’t have a church.” 

Sheen as the “Crosses and Shamrocks” two-volume booklets about the St. Paul the Hermit and the St. Theresa of the Little Flower (Fort William) churches along with an appendix of family charts of the families of Sheen. 

The Appendix part of this two-volume publication

Allumette Island has the two volumes of the Family and Descendants of L’Isle-aux-Allumettes of which I copied some of the information.  

Book 2 of the Allumette publication

Well, my reply was “Humph!” 

Yes, the wheels are turning in my head.  That has already began to change because of this very blog you are reading.  The townships of Allumette, Chichester and Sheen are featured in these posts. 

I am now officially a member of UOVGG and took home my membership card.  I received a very fat packet of information.  They provided a description of where things are in the library: #1 Quebec Holdings, #2 Family Histories and Biographies, #3 Miscellaneous, #4 How to books, #5 BMD’s, #6 Cemeteries for Renfrew Co., #7 Oversized Books, #8 Census Transcriptions, #9 Renfrew Co. Towns, Townships, Villages, #10-11 Exchange Newsletters, #12 British Isles, #13-15 Ontario Cemetery Transcriptions, #16 Maps, #17 Current Exchange Letters, #18 Pedigree Charts, #19 Computer and databases, #20 & #23 Microfilms and fiche.  Please consult their website for more details.

I am very thankful for all the help and the friendly reception form the volunteers.  I believe I amused them with my USA perspective. HA!

It was quite a busy and crazy four hours at the UOVGG library.  People were coming and going.  I was asking Diane tons of questions and she was trying to find me answers.  As usual time flew by and it was all over before it began.  I am glad I visited.


Touring the Upper Ottawa River: Sheenboro Township in Quebec

June 9, 2012

I am still sharing my May 21, 2012 experiences exploring the area above Allumette Island called Chichester and Sheen Townships.  There have been challenges to keeping up on this trip but don’t worry you will hear about my adventures, all three weeks, HA!

They call them municipalities. Everything is changing in Ontario and Quebec with the government districts and maybe all over Canada, so you will have to be diligent in your research of the locations if your family comes from here. They are consolidating and discarding the old names. This means that if you look at a map of today or the future the area you are looking for may have disappeared. These two archives can help with the new designations for the government districts.

The Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Society: http://www.uovgg.ca/

Pontiac Archives: http://www.pontiacarchives.org/

After visiting the Holy Spirit Missionary RC Cemetery in Nicabeau (Nicabong), I headed west on Ch. de L’Eglise.  According to my map it turned into Ch. Sullivan and Meehan. It was a long gravel road with no sign of habitation and a thick grouping of trees lining the side of the road.  It seemed longer but it was probably a little over 5 minutes and I came back to the Chapeau-Sheenboro Hwy.  I made the mistake of turning left. After a few minutes it became obvious that I was going east so I had to do a turnaround at a connecting road.  There was a white picture fence along this road, which was curious?

I headed northwest up the Chapeau-Sheenboro Hwy and passed the Sheen welcoming sign.  It was not long after that I came to Sheenboro itself.

Sheen Municipality Sign

The highway called the Chapeau-Sheenboro Hwy and becomes Ch. Sheenboro after the sign to the municipality. You pass several houses and buildings and the big white parish meeting-house and right behind all these buildings to the left is the cemetery.

Sheenboro, looking south, southeast

The church and its sign – St. Paul the Hermit

From the Back of the St. Paul the Hermit to the northeast

It is very easy to find.  In the above picture you see where you enter between the church on the left and the parish meeting hall on the right, then you follow the road down till you turn and yo see the car sitting there.  It is very easy to access this cemetery and the road through it means not careful maneuvering.

The cemetery is in a big meadow which has room for future burials.  When I visited again later in the week someone was firing what might have been a  canon?  It went off about three times with a loud “Ka BOOM!  I could not see anything because there is a thick grouping of trees and what looks like a stream that goes along the back of the cemetery.  I could hear the cattle making their complaints.

St. Paul the Hermit Overview

My goal was to find the particular gravestone of John McDonell (McDonnald)and Julia.  I found the tombstone after a little dithering and it was in great shape. It was in the northeast corner of the cemetery closer to the parish meeting hall.

John McDonald and Julia Record Tombstone

I believe this John McDonell to be the older brother of my great-grandfather Archibald McDonell.  He died in 1873. He was coming home from a little enjoyment of alcohol and must have fallen and cut himself.  They ruled it an accident.  This came from his obituary which was found by my cousin at a church archive in Pembroke.  Nothing more was said about his life other than his immediate family.  I had hoped it would reveal where he came from but it concentrated on the accident instead.   See my posted dated March 31, 2012, A Discovery:  Archie’s brother John McDonell, living next door in Sheen?

Julia’s last name is a problem.  I was talking with a genealogist in the Cornwall area and she is bilingual and said that LeCour could be mispronounced as “Record or Ricard” if said in French?  So she played with it switching from English to French? My cousin and I have the following names for Julia: Tebeau, Lacour, Record and Ricard.  This same genealogist was looked through a big book of marriages edition for male and female and we were not finding LaCour but we were finding LeCour. AUGH!

UPDATE July 7, 2012:  Here is a complete set of the photographs I took at St. Paul the Hermit Church and cemetery.  These are just overview photographs with some specific tombstones.  Go ehre for more individual tombstone photographs of the area:  http://www.gravemarkers.ca/quebec/pontiac/index.htm

St. Paul the Hermit RC Church & Cemetery

My next target was to see Fort William which is a historical site.  It was once a fur trading post. This article from Wikipedia is not too bad and describes the area:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheenboro,_Quebec

So I turned the car down Ch. Perrault another gravel road closed in on both sides by trees and not a living soul around. At least it seemed that way. The drive took about 5 minutes till I came to an intersection in a wooded area.  My first reaction was “oh dear,” what do I do now?  I then spotted signs by and on the tree across the intersection.  Nothing fancy, but good enough to tell you to go in that direction.

Fort William is across the Ottawa river from Petawawa or actually the Canadian Forces base above Petawawa. This is a very wide part of the river.

I proceeded down the road and spotted the gate with stone pillars.  It was closed up.  So people were parking their cars in the shade of some big trees and bushes and carrying their items to the beach area.  There was a sign on the gate stating that the Pontiac Hotel will open in June. You do have to walk a little ways to the beach area but if you are into beach bumming it is a good thing.  I am afraid my fair skin will not allow too much sun without burning.

People were enjoying the lovely hot sunny day and several boats were moored along the beach.

The road into the Fort William area after the gate

The beach

The Pontiac Hotel and beach area

The Fort William Beach

The Pontiac Hotel

There is a little church called St. Theresa of the Flower but I did not go there because at the time I had forgotten about it or did not realize its significance.  It is old and once was run by the Olate Missionaries.  Lachlan Cranswick has pictures of it on his website which I have mentioned before. http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au/chalk_river/2006/jun2006/11june2006a/index.html

The Municipality of Sheen website has pictures of this church and more:  http://www.sheenboro.ca/community/churches.html

There is a two set publication at the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Society Group library in Pembroke under the area of their publications. It is available for review:  http://uovgg.ca/index.html

Crosses & Shamrocks, Souvenir of St. Paul The Hermit Parish 1872 – 1997 Sheenboro, Quebec and St. Theresa of the Little Flower 1857-1997, Fort William, Quebec.  The second volume is an Appendix – Family Trees.  In the first booklet they give the history of these two churches.  The second volume has family pedigree charts with no sources and no index but they are families of the Sheen Township.

After I spent some time enjoying the people enjoying the beach at Fort William I made my way back along the road to the same intersection and decided to turn right.  Well this was Ch. Fort William and it came out at the place were I did my earlier U-turn to get to Sheenboro.  The one with the picket fence!  So if you are on the Chapeau-Sheenboro Highway and come to the Ch. Fort William take a left and you will be at Fort William a lot easier than me. Then at the intersection in the woods go left again.

Back on the highway of Chapeau-Sheenboro I headed east trying to find any openings in the trees and public areas where I could view the Culbute Channel but it was pretty densely covered from Chichester to Waltham where I turned and south – southwest and followed Hwy 148 over the bridge and back onto Allumette Island.

As you cross from Waltham to Allumette Island is the area that I believe was once called Church Point.  It is where the first church was located.  It is privately owned so you can’t really do any exploring without asking permission. I saw from the highway just a thick bunch of trees. My friend Elaine Brown said she was all over the area thoroughly  when she was putting her book on the St. Alphonsus church records together and didn’t find anything, it was lost to time.  Apparently when they built the bridge they destroyed the old burial ground in the process.  There had been a fire that swept the island and so they moved the church to a mid-point on the island, location unknown to me.  It was about the middle 1880′s that the St. Alphonsus Church in Chapeau was established.

Driving down Hwy 148 on Allumette Island is easy and the road is smooth.  You see a little more of the island’s beauty.  I did not get to Lac McDonald but I am told there were two, one in Chichester and one further up in Sheen.  Anyone want to go and take a picture and contact me?


Touring the Upper Ottawa: Chichester Township, Pontiac County, Quebec

June 4, 2012

My great-grandfather Archibald McDonell settled in Chichester Township.  His brother John McDonell lived in Sheen Township which is farther west but they are right next door to each other.  When Archie married Mary McDonell in 1861 he added more family and a great many of them lived in Chichester and on Allumette Island.

The bridge from Chapeau takes you into Chichester township and over the Culbute Channel.

Chichester Township Sign

Once passed the sign you come to a three corner area with a big sign pointing to the right (east)  for Waltham and to the left (west) to Chichester, Nicabeau, Sheenboro.

Highway signs for Chichester and others

When I was preparing for this trip I was all over Google searching for information about this area.  There was a lack of travel information but there was one person a Lachlan Cranswick who had posted photos and information about his visit to this area.  Lacklan was from Melburne, Australia and unfortunately he died suddenly but someone has preserved his website.  The photos are a little big and take a while to load.  So you do need to be patient.  His website explains his death and more.  His photos were a big help. There is a warning that the information may be old.

http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au/chalk_river/2006/jun2006/11june2006a/index.html

I used other methods to learn about this area like Google Earth, Google Images, my Streets and Trips mapping software and other Google searches like finding Lachlan’s website.  I even went on a search for Quebec road signs so I could see what they looked like using Google images.  I was surprised to see that other people are just as fascinated. My Dad would be proud!

Lepine’s store is on your right.  I did not investigate his holdings but out front are all these machines and it looks like he also has trailers under the road signs.  I turned to the left and proceeded west.  It was not going to be easy to find vantage points of the Culbute Channel and any remnants of the old canal for there are houses and farms along the edge of the river and side roads like Riverside, Squirrel Point Road and Duck Lane.  I was a little hesitant about driving down them and opted for other areas that were more open like a boat launch off Ch. Chichester and took some photos of the channel.

Boat Launch of Chichester

Culbute Chnnnel, part of the Ottawa River

This Ch. Chichester is the name on the south side of the highway and Ch. Nicabeau on the northern side.  I turned right and headed north following the road to the right up to Ch. Malone and turn left up Ancien de Nicabeau road.  My goal was the Auberge Norfolk (County Kitchen).  According to my friend, and almost cousin Elaine Burns Brown, it is the former home owned by the Burns and McMahon family, her family.

My connection to this home is through Sarah Mariah Burns who married my great-uncle John Archibald McDonald (Jack), brother to my grandfather Ronald S. McDonald (R.S.), both are sons of Archiie and Mary McDondll.  Boy would I love to hear the story of home these two met.

Auberge Norfolk is in lovely country.

Norfolk Country Kitchen

The Main House for Norfolk

Maybe the kitchen?

In order to stay and eat there you have to call and make an appointment/reservation 819-689-2588.  They have a website:

http://www.aubergenorthfork.ca/index.htm

This link is at Elaine Brown’s website showing the Burns-McMahon home and the view taken in the Fall. It will also link you to her family history website regarding the Burns Grier families and more.  There is a Burns mountain that you can go up on and take photos but I was not familiar with were that was so mine are strictly from the Auberge Norfolk looking west.

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

Here are my photos – just click on the photo to make it bigger and then use the back button to return to this post:

Looking west from Norfolk

Lovely views

The road to Norfolk

I headed back the way I came turning to the left as you see in the picture above. There is a lake as you drive this road but I am not sure the name of this one.  I thought it Lac Poupore but that might be a little further west.

Coming up on the mystery lake?

Lac Poupore, maybe?

Chichester the town/hamlet is about 2 kilometres west from the Chapeau bridge and what I call the three corners.

There are lovely homes and at least one grocery stores, maybe two, along the highway.  There is a small white house with a red roof and that is the Culbute Museum.  It does not open till June so I did not get to visit. I am told there is a giant family chart of the Poupore family up on the wall.  Across the street is a Stinson’s which is another big white house with the post office and it was also closed up tight but there was a friendly bear to greet you.

Culbute Museum, Chichester, Quebec

A little fun!

Chichester, Quebec

From the Auberge Northfolk and the lake I actually headed up to Nicabeau along Ch. Nicabeau to Ch. de Eglise (accent over the E) and turn right and went pasted the old weathered school building with a big sign – Stay Out!  I almost turned south on this road but when I saw that it was a dirt road with a grass median I decided to back up and do a U-Turn and that is when I spotted the Holy Spirit Mission RC Cemetery off the road across a field sandwiched between a building on the left and a farm on the right.

The Holy Spirit Mission RC Cemetery is a middle-sized cemetery.  It had a wire fence and a gate which was locked with a chain.  It was a good thing there was a fence for cattle were making their way along the northern side going west through the trees.  I didn’t venture too far for another cow was laying down chewing its cud and I didn’t want to spook it.   I don’t believe I have family in this cemetery.

Acoording to my map it is Ch. Poirier on the left where the cemetery is located. I believe another building was next to it that might have been a bible study church?  Ch. Poirier and Ch. de Eglise are one road with different names whether you turn right or left from Ch. Nicabeau.  Note there are various spellings for Nicabeau so don’t let that throw you.

There was no sign but it did look like it was being cared for the grass was cut.  The picture shows that it is set back from the road so note the tree on the right second over is about where the road is located.  So that means if you are driving east you need to look left.

Looking toward the road from the cemetery

Here are some overview photos of this cemetery.  The Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group (see link on the right side of this blog) has publications covering this cemetery and more.  There are also photos online of the tombstones.  I will post more when I return home.

http://gravemarkers.ca/quebec/index.htm

Holy Spirit RC Cemetery

UPDATE:  July 7,  2012:  Here are the additional photographs for this cemetery.

Holy Spirit RC Cemetery

Sunday May 20, 2012: Renfrew County, Ontario

May 26, 2012

My plane touched down at about 4:20 pm Ottawa time.  There was the usual events that unfold when you depart an airplane such as baggage claim.  This time there would be a slightly different twist, because I had customs to go through.

The Ottawa Airport is southwest of the city of Ottawa.  It is about the size of the Columbus, Ohio airport and that surprised me.  It was easy to get around, not like Chicago which takes forever.

It was sunny and muggy.  The car rentals were across the departure and arrival avenue and it is always fun to pull all my luggage with me through heavy doors.  Of course, Hertz was almost the furthest down the long hallway of rental car booths.  They gave me a Dodge Cavalier - hatchback in black.  I was soon off and onto the highway called Hunts Club toward Hwy 416 that meshed into Hwy 417.  In Ontario you think east to west, not like at home which is usually north to south.

My goal was the town of Renfrew which placed me in the about the centre of Renfrew County for the next few days.  Now I do not yet know if I have family links in Renfrew County, Ontario which is on the western side of the Ottawa River.  My family settled in Pontiac County, Quebec which is on the eastern side of the Ottawa River but they are very interrelated so you need to study both counties.

Renfrew’s Water Tower is very friendly

An introduction to Ottawa Valley genealogy can be found here: “My Ottawa Valley Ancestors” http://ottawagenealogy.com/  The author has Kennedy’s on this website and some married McDonalds, but I cannot see a connection to my family, still it has a lot of good family names and information.

An interesting history of Renfrew Co.: http://www.ottawariver.org/pdf/31-ch5-3.pdf

You might want to study this website for the history of the Ottawa River: http://www.ottawariver.org/html/intro/intro_e.html

Renfrew County GenWeb:  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onrenfre/index.html

Renfrew County Gravemarker Gallery http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~murrayp/renfrew/index.htm

Renfrew County Government: http://www.countyofrenfrew.on.ca/

Renfrew Public Library:  http://www.town.renfrew.on.ca/library/index.php

Heritage Renfrew is the local custodian for historic documents and more.  You need to make an appointment on Monday or Wednesday between 10 am to 1 pm.  They are located at 770 Gibbons Road, Renfrew, Ontario.  They don’t appear to have a website.

The next day was Victoria Day in Canada and so it was a three-day weekend which means that many stores, government agencies and more were closed.  So I decided to use that day to tour both Renfrew County and Pontiac County.  I would then head for Allumette Island and Chichester and Sheen Townships and visit the sights and cemeteries in those areas.

Renfrew town is spread out and had 3 exits.  I spent most of my time on O’Brien Street till I learned about the northern exit on Bruce Street which goes right by the St. Xavier Catholic Cemetery.  If you spot a red picket fence going north you are almost there.  It is on the left with two stone columns and a long drive.  I did not have time to investigate.

Renfrew’s Clock


A Discovery: Archie’s brother John McDonell, living next door in Sheen?

March 31, 2012

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Ontario, I am studying the records and searching in Pontiac Co., Quebec and other locations.

When I first started working on the family history back in 1999 you had to go to the National Archives here in the USA and use the microfilm readers.  Another option was to drive up to the Cloverdale Library in Surrey, B.C. to use their films in their wonderful genealogical department.  Still another other option was the Family History Library films and records.

The census for both Canada and the U.S. was not online back then, so I did the best I could in studying the census to seek out information on Archibald McDonell’s and his siblings.

Recently I took another try at the Canadian census to see what I could find in the online versions at Ancestry.com.  If I could find one more living sibling of Archibald it would give me a better chance of finding the origins of the family.

I believe I may have found a brother living next door to Archibald in Sheen township which is north of Chichester township.  He is John McDonell an older brother to Archibald.

According to Great Aunt Nellie’s chart for Archibald’s side the siblings were:  Ronald, John, Kitty, Angus, Duncan and Sarah.  I studied the chart and decided to try for John McDonald the 2nd child.  See post dated June 17, 2011 “Nellie’s Charts – Her Father Archie McDonell’s Family.”

John was supposed to have married a Julia (fr) Tebeau and they had Thresa, Sarah, Peter John, Ellen, Duncan, Angus and Julia.  So far I have not been able to find any Tebeaus in the area.  I have seen Tibeau, Thibeau and other variants with just a few in the Pontiac area.  So this slowed me down.

I studied Aunt Miriam’s version of the chart and saw that a daughter Theresa (note spelling change) had married a Hugh Downey and they had migrated to Saskatchewan.  They had the following children:  Boniface, Anna Mary, Gregory, Gertrude, Ethel and Thomas.

Since the other family members of Archie’s chart did not have the wives names and very little information, I decided to target this couple because of the name Downey and the name Boniface and headed for the Saskatchewan census.  I found them living there. My goal was to track backwards in the census to the parents.

I found Hugh Downey and a Theresa living in Humbolt, Saskatchewan in 1911.  The name Boniface helped and it wasn’t to hard to find them.

Line 3, 122/122 Downey, Hugh 35-21, M, Head, M, Feby 1870, 41, Que, Irish, Farmer, yes. Downey, Theresa, F, wife, M, Nov. 1869, 41, Que, [Scottish]. Downey, Annie, F, daughter, S, Feb 1898, Que, Irish, Downey, Gertrude, F, daughter, S, Dec 1898, 12, Que, Irish. Downey, Ethel, F, daughter, S, July 1901, 9, Que, Irish. Downey, Bonaface, M, son, S, June 1903, 7, Que, Irish. Downey, Gregory, M, son, S, July 1905, 5, Sask, Irish. Downey, Thomas, M, son, S, Dec 1907, 3, Sask, Irish. All Canadian and all Roman Catholic, all read and write and speak E except the last two babies. Children are in school except the last one.

Source:  1911 Canadian Census, Humbolt, Saskatchewan, pg. 12, Dist #209, ED#38, Twp. 35 R 21 Setion W2, enumerator Colin M. Nelson.  Ancestry.com.

The 1916 census showed them still living in Humbolt Co., Saskatchewan:

pg. 10, line 50, 99/102 Downey, Hugh, Twp 35, R21, Meridan 2, Ayr, M, M, 47, born Ont. R. Catholic, Canadian, Irish, Yes, No., French, yes, yes, Farming, OA, Farm, Ayr, Ont. pg. 11 Line 1 to 7: Downey, Therese, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, wife, F, M, 47, Ont, Scotch, yes, no. Downey, Annie M., 35, 21, 2, Ayr, daughter, F, S, 19, Ont., Irish, yes, yes, teaching, w, public school. Downey, Gertrude, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, daughter, F, S, 17, Ont., Irish, yes, no. Downey, Ethel, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, daughter, F, S, 15, Ont., Irish, yes, no. Downey, Boniface, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, son, M, S, 13, Ont., Irish, yes, no. Downey, Gregory, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, son, M, S, 11, Ont., Irish, yes, no. Downey, Thomas, 35, 21, 2, Ayr, son, M, S, 8, Sask, Irish, yes, no. All Roman Catholic, all Canadian, all speak English and they can all read and write.

Source:  1916 Canadian Census, Humbolt, Saskatchewan, pg. 10 and 11, Dist. #18, SD#19, enumerator John F. [Leverty].

This appeared to be the correct family.  I then found a cemetery record for the St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church showing that Hugh Downey, Theresea and Joseph Boniface were buried in the cemetery there.

  • Downey, Hugh 23 Feb 1869 – May 1945
  • Downey, Joseph Boniface 1903-13 Jul 1957
  • Downey, Theresa (nee McDonald) 19 Nov. 1868 – 19 Nov. 1938 wife of Hugh

Here is the link:    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansacem/leroy3.html  This is part of the Saskatchewan Cemeteries Project.  The research was done by a Rev. Rose.

The Best of Humbolt” index is online at: http://www.afhs.ab.ca/data/humboldt/humboldt_d.html  and on page 269 a young man named “Greg Downey born 23 July 1905, spouse Anne Rath.  His parents were Hugh Downey and Theresa MacDonald, children Edna, Yvonne and Eugene.”

Now we go back in time using the Canadian Census to see if I can find Theresa and Hugh.  Next stop is the 1901 Canadian Census and I do find Theresa but Hugh is not with her?

Line 33, 29/30 McDonald, Peter, M, W, Head, S, 30 April 1859, 41, born Q, Scotch. Farmer. McDonald, Julia, F, w, mother, W, 1 April 1833, 67, O, Scotch. McDonald, Angus, M, W, brother, S, 18 Nov. 1870, 30, Q, Scotch. McDonald, [ ] Julia, F, W, sister, S, 19 Nov. 1872, 28, Q, Scotch. Downey, Teresa, F, W, Lodger, M, 18 Nov. 1868, 32, Q, Scotch. Downey, Anne N, F, W, Lodger, S, 24 Feb. 1897, 4 Q, Irish. Downey, Gertrude, F, W, Lodger, S, 16 Dec, 1898, 2, Q, Irish. McCart, Mary F, F, W, Lodger, S, 8 Sept, 1872, 28, Q. Irish

line 41, 30/31, Downey, John, M, W, Head, M, 1 July 1867, 33, Q. Downey, Margaret S, F, W. wife, M, 8 Aug, 1878, 22, Q, Irish, Farmer. Downey, Michael M, W, Father, M, 24 Aug 1826, 74, O. All Roman Catholic.

Source:  1901 Canadian Census, Sheen & Ether, Pontiac Co., Quebec, pg. 4, SD #18 AN, Township of Sheen and Ether, enumerator Michael Foley, 18 April 1901?

Things are looking hopeful, even though Teresa is listed as a lodger rather than a member of the family.  We also have two of the children:  Anne and Gertrude.  We see that Julia is widowed.  Peter is the name of a brother for Theresa on Nellie and Miriam’s charts.  He is now Head of the family.

Back to the 1891 Canadian census and we find the Julia McDonald Family living in Sheen:

Line 23, W 1 1/4 /5, 94, McDonald, Julies, F, 60, Widowed, born Ontario, 1, France, Ireland, R. Catholic. McDonald, Peter, M, 32, S, Quebec, Mother and Father Ontario, R. Catholic. McDonald, Anges, M, 30, S, Quebec, Mother & Father Ontario, R, Catholic, Farmer. pg. 26 Line 1, McDonald, Elen, F, 26, D, Quebec, Father and Mother born Ontario, R.C. all, Teacher Com, School. McDonald, Terressa, F, 22, D, Quebec. McDonald, Juliann, F, 18, D, Quebec. Killeen, Mary, F, 28, L, Ontario, Teacher, com School.

Source:  1891 Canadian Census, Sheen, Aberdeen, Esher & Malakoff, Pontiac Co., Quebec, pg. 25-26, Dist# 176, SD W. Sheen, Aberdeen, Esher & Malokoff.  April 29, 1891 enumerated by Clarence Slattery.

 In the 1881 census they spell the name McDonnald which adds and extra “n.”

Line 16, 90/121, McDonnald, Julia, F, 46, French. McDonnald, Mary Jane, F, 24, Scotch. McDonnald, Peter, M, 22, Farmer. McDonnald, John, M, 19. McDonnald, Ellen, F, 17, School Teacher. McDonnald, Duncan, M, 14. McDonnald, Terresa, F, 12/ McDonnald, Angus, M, 11. McDonnald, Julia, F, 9. All born Quebec, All Catholic, the last four children are in school.

Source:  1881 Canadian Census, Sheen, Aberdeen, Esher & Malakoff, Pontiac Co., Quebec, pg. 29, Dist 98, SD#2, enumerator Lawrence Slattery.

The names are still fitting Nellie’s and Miriam’s charts for the siblings of Theresa and the name of her mother.   Julia is a listed as a widow in this census.

The 1871 Canadian census takes us back another decade and this time we find a Julia and a John McDonald and all the familiar names of the children:

Line 4, 28, 28 McDonald, John M, 42, born Quebec, R. Catholic, Scotch, Shoemaker & Farmer, M, reads and writes. McDonald, Julia, F, 39, born, Quebec, R, C. Scotch, M. McDonald, Mary Jane, F, 14, Quebec, R. C, Scotch. McDonald, Peter, M, 12, born Quebec, R.C., Scotch. McDonald, Sarah, F, 10, Quebec, R.C., Scotch. McDonald, John , M, 9, Quebec, Scotch, school. McDonald, Ellen, F, 7, Quebec, Scotch, school. McDonald, Duncan, M, 5, Quebec, Scotch, school. McDonald, Teressa, F, 2, Quebec, Scotch. McDonald, Angus, M, [6]/12 Oct. Quebec, RC, Scotch.

Source:  1871 Canadian Census, Sheen, Pontiac Co., Quebec, pg. 11, Dist #91, South Pontiac, M. Township of Sheen.

Apparently John died between 1871 and 1881.  I had made a note where I kept finding the name LaCour rather than the Tebeau name.  I pondered that Nellie and Miriam may have made a mistake about her name or guessed?  Remember the date on the charts is 1932 and Nellie had left the area in 1901.  Her parents had been gone 20 years when these charts were created.

Still back one more census to 1861.

Line 38, John McDonald, Shoemaker, born L.C., married 1856, R.C., 28, M. Julia McDonald, U.C., 1856 R.C., 28, F, M. Mary Jane McDonald, L.C., R.C., 4, F. Peter McDonald, L.C., R.C., 3, M. Sarah McDonald, L.C., R.C., 1, F. Mary McAdams, Governess, L.C. (Not sure if she is a member of this family) R.C., 21, F, S.

Source:  1861 Canadian Census, Canada East, Pontiac (Sheen) , Folio 6 Township of Sheen, Pontiac #236.

According to Nellie and Miriam’s chart John McDonald was a shoemaker.  Theresa is not in this census and that would be appropriate if she was born 19 Nov. 1868 per her tombstone.

John McDonald would have been born in 1833 in L.C. which is Quebec.  The 1871 census we see he is 42 and that means he was born in 1829?   So if Archibald was born in U.C. (still unclear) then this means the family moved around?

I was unable to locate this family of John McDonald in the 1851 Canadian census.  I was unable to locate Archibald as well in that census for the Pontiac Co., Quebec area.

There is a tombstone in the St. Paul the Hermit Roman Catholic cemetery in Sheen that is very interesting but confusing.  I think it is this couple!   Julia is now with the last name of Record and I am not familiar with the son named Charles who is not listed on Nellie’s chart.

It reads:  In Memory of John McDonald died May 11, 1872 aged 42 y’rs and his wife Julia Record, died May 11, 1904, aged 72 y’rs and their two sons John & Charles.  No. 7 at this link which are Steve Naylors tombstone photos that were moved after his death in 2011.  http://www.gravemarkers.ca/quebec/pontiac/sheen/page0003.htm  This is for Pontiac.

UPDATE These links have moved, try the Canadian Tombstone project in Google, 4/12/2013

http://gravemarkers.ca/quebec/index.htm - This is the home page

 http://www.gravemarkers.ca/quebec/pontiac/sheen/mcdonal7.jpg

I am still working on this family but I do believe I have found my great-grandfather Archibald’s brother John McDonald. In review, the children of John and Julia McDonald:

1.  Mary Jane McDonald born about 1857 and married an Isaac Moor in 1893.  (Cousin provided.)

2.  Peter McDonald born 30 Apr. 1859 in Quebec may have married a Mary according to the 1911 census.

3.  Sarah McDonald born about 1861 in Quebec married a John Brennon and had Minnie, John, Julia and Hillary and migrated up to North Bay, Nipissing, Ontario per the 1911 Canadian Census.

4.  John McDonald born about 1862 and died in Dawson City, Yukon Territory in about 1898.

5.  Ellen Catherine McDonald born about 1864 and married a Narcisse Frederick Perrault son of August Perrault and Elizabeth McCormac on 17 July 1893 in Sheen.

6.  Duncan McDonald born about 1866 in Quebec, married a Catherine Teresa Leahey

7.  Theresa McDonald whom I followed back in the census and gave information above.  They had Anna Mary, Gertrude, Ethel, Joseph Boniface, Gregory and Thomas.  They migrated to Saskatchewan.

8.  Angus McDonald born 18 Nov. 1870 in Quebec, married Ida Mary Perrault and had Elenor, Cecile and Andrew.  He is buried in the cemetry at St. Paul the Hermit in Sheenboro.

9.  Julianne McDonald born about 1873 and married Frank Malone.

I am finding some deaths,  marriages and births in the Drouin records for St. Alphonsus and Sheen and will be adding more to this family history.  Hopefully when I visit the Pontiac and Renfrew County in the Spring, I will learn more.  I have not found a marriage record for Julia and John McDonald in the area.


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