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


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.


Archibald and Mary McDonald

March 20, 2010

Keith’s grandparents were Archibald and Mary McDonald.  Archie and Mary settled in International Falls sometime after 1905.  They had migrated from the Upper Ottawa River Valley to Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota.  Their children felt they were getting to old to manage their farm in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec so the remainder of the family made the move to Minnesota.  Two of their sons, Ronald and Alexander, were already in Minnesota.  So Mary, Archie, and two other children, Jack and Nellie, moved to Minnesota around 1901. 

Mary McDonald

 

Archibald McDonald

 

I have so very few photographs of my great grandparents.  These two photos are taken from a much larger family picture I will share in the next post.  It really focuses in on their faces, clothing and personalities.   

This was taken in Bemidji in 1905.  My great-grandfather looks like a sea-captain in this photograph.  He wasn’t a sea-captain but he was the locks master for the Culbute Locks located on the Upper Ottawa River.


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