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

***********************************

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!!!


Glengarry in Ontario, Canada – Origins of Archibald McDonell?

July 8, 2011

Keith’s sister Miriam writes that Archibald went back to his birth location before he migrated to Minnesota from Canada in 1901.  This information has been shared before but it is worth repeating here:

Archibald & Glengarry, Ontario

Unfortunately, Glengarry, Ontario changed in size over the years so Archibald’s birth location could be very difficult to pin down.  His death certificate from Minnesota didn’t reveal any names for his parents.  No obituary was found in the International Falls newspaper at his death in 1912. 

To find a John and Sara McDonell in the Glengarry area of Ontario or for that matter a Roy Macdonell,  is like finding a needle in a haystack because of all the John McDonell/Macdonell/McDonald etc. spellings.

Keith’s sister Miriam was guessing about our MacDonell heritage.  She did do some research and here are some of her thoughts as she tried to understand the Scottish clan system:

Re: MacDonell

Miriam writes more on the Clan System:

The Clan System and more...

Miriam references Prebble.  This is a book by John Prebble titled “The Highland Clearances,” published by Penquin Books in 1963 and again in 1969.  Her niece found copies in a Scottish store in Annapolis, Maryland on a little road trip years ago. They also had Prebble’s “Glencoe” published first in 1966 and again in 1969. 

The Michael Fullar book was a little harder to come by but a copy was secured as well.  It is really called:  “Your Scottish Clan Heritage.” This large book was published in 1973.  It is almost like a coffee table book with big pages and wonderful photographs and maps. 

Miriam didn’t stop there and continues with yet more Notes:

Notes - The First Use of MacDonell...

Again she refers back to Michael Fullar’s book and to John Prebble’s “The Highland Clearances.”  She even tries to identify Scottish words and their meanings.

Miriam did her best and for that the family is grateful.  The origins of Archibald McDonell are still unknown but then genealogical research is never done. 

There were many forces that sent the people of Scotland to North America and beyond.  Since Miriam did her research back in the 1970’s and 1980’s more books have been written on this subject of the Highland Clearances and immigration of the Scots to Canada and for that matter to the Colonies and later the United States.  It is a big subject and would take years to study.   

Here are a few titles that might be of value in learning about the settlement of Canada by the Scots:

“A History of Glengarry,” by Royce MacGillivray and Ewan Ross, Mika Publishing Co., Belleville, Ontario 1979.

“The People of Glengarry, Highlanders in Transition, 1745-1820,” by Marianne McLean, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1991.

“A Dance Called America, The Scottish Highlands the United States and Canada,” by James Hunter, Mainstream Publishing, 1994

“The Highland Scots of North Carolina, 1732-1776, by Duane Meyer, University of North Carolina, 1957 and again in 1961. 

I have found the books by Lucille Campey to be very informative.  Here are a few of her book titles:

“The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada 1785-1855, Glengarry & Beyond,” Lucille H. Campey, Natural Heritage Books, 2005

“Fast Sailing and Copper-Bottomed Boats, Aberdeen Sailing Ships and the Emigrant Scots They Carried to Canada 1774-1853, Lucille H. Campey, Natural Heritage Books, 2002

“An Unstoppable Force, The Scottish Exodus to Canada,” Lucille H. Campey, Natural Heritage Books, 2008. 

Ms. Campey has a website:  http://www.scotstocanada.com/ She also has her books listed in more detail at her website.  She has added some lists of ships that came to Canada. 

Miriam did not mention another event and that was the subject of Loyalists.  That is a whole other topic.  Just be advised that a great many Scots who lived in the Colonies were loyalists and ended up in Canada after the American Revolution.  They came from North Carolina, New York and other locations and settled in places like New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and of course Glengarry in Ontario, Canada.

“Research Guide to Loyalist Ancestors, A Directory to Archives, Manuscripts, Published and Electronic Sources, by Paul J. Bunnell, F.A.C.G., U.E., Heritage Books, 2006.  Paul is a frequent vendor at major conferences like NGS, FGS and others.  Very nice man easy to talk to. 

Here are a couple of genealogical research strategy books for Canada:

“Finding Your Canadian Ancestors, A Beginner’s Guide,” by Sherry Irvine and Dave Obee.  Ancestry Publishing 2007.  I attended a lecture by Dave at a local genealogical society conference and Sherry is well known in APG which I am a member of.  Here is his website:  http://www.bunnellgenealogybooks.citymaker.com/page/page/994036.htm

“In Search of Your Canadian Roots, Tracing Your Family Tree in Canada, by Angus Baxter, 3rd Edition, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999.  This is getting a little old but it was a classic in its time. Since 1999 the Internet has opened up a lot in Canadian research. 

Hint:  Click on Miriam’s notes above and they will get bigger, remember to use the back button to return to this post.


Archie & Mary’s Children: Alexander Thomas McDonald

March 31, 2011

Archie and Mary McDonell welcomed their seventh child Alexander Thomas McDonell. 

He was born 2nd December 1872 in Chichester and baptized the 17th of December 1872 at the St. Alphonsus Church in Chapeau. 

Alexander's Birth Record

Source:  Baptism, Marriage and Burial Index, St. Alphonsus Church, 1846-1920 FHL# B131, #1029798.  Also on Ancestry.com under the Drouin Collection. 

Alexander, or better known as “Alex,” lived a long life passing away at 82 years old in International Falls and he is buried next to his older brother John (Jack) and his parents.  Alex never married but family lore states that he had several girlfriends, liked fancy cars and smoked big cigars.

Uncle Alex

Alex is featured with his nephew Keith in his fireman uniform in the posted dated:  August 7, 2010.


Archie & Mary’s Children: John Archibald McDonald

March 3, 2011

Keith’s Uncle John Archibald McDonell was born 3rd of June 1869 in Chichester and baptized on 14 June 1869 at the St. Alphonsus Church in Chapeau. 

John's Baptismal Record pg 1

John's Baptismal Record pg2

Source:  Baptism, Marriage and Burial Index, St. Alphonsus Church, 1846-1920 FHL# B11, #1029797.  Also on Ancestry.com under the Drouin Collection. 

John was better known as “Jack” by his many friends and family.  He lived till the age of 80 years old and is buried in the St. Thomas Cemetery (part of the Forest Hill Cemetery group)  in International Falls, Minnesota next to his wife Sarah Maria Burns a local girl from the area of Chichester and Chapeau.  Sarah came from a very large family featured at this website by Elaine Brown – Murtagh Byrns and Sarah Grier Descendants:

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

Jack and Sarah had a rough time building their family.  I have only been able to find three names of children born to them but apparently there were more, maybe 5 that did not survive.  Keith had the pleasure of knowing one child that survived to adulthood.  Her name was Mary.

Jack (John) A. McDonell


R.S. McDonald Leaves International Falls!

October 5, 2010

Papa 1910

What made Keith’s father R. S. (Ronald) decide to leave International Falls is sort of a mystery?  He left International Falls for Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada and opened a store.   

Life was never the same after Grace’s death 1911, so maybe R.S. just felt there was nothing in International Falls to keep him there.  In addition the loss of both his parents may have been another factor.  Archie passed in 1912 and then Mary in 1913.  Maybe he felt it was just too much for him.  His two brother’s John (Jack) and Alex still lived in International Falls and continued to do so until their deaths decades later.    

Nellie (Elizabeth Ellen), his sister, also lived in International Falls with the parents and her brother Alex.  Nellie was to play and important part in the lives of R.S.’s (Ronald’s) children.  It is unclear if she went with him to Grande Prairie or stayed behind in International Falls.  At some point she does join her older brother to help him raise the children.   

The house on Riverside drive and land had been purchased in 1907 and the family and lived there since.  Here is the description of that purchase:  

Purchased by deed lots eleven (11) and twelve (12) in block forty-six (46)  in Koochiching County from the Koochiching Company, based out of Iowa) on 1 st of April 1907 (except taxes of 1905 and 1906 if any) for $1500.00.  Witnesses present were Washington Gray and F.B. Parsons.  Representatives of the Koochiching Company were Wm. F. Brooks and C. J. Rockwood.  It was filed for record on the 22nd of April 1908, at 10 o’clock a.m. and signed by Frank. [S] Lang Register of Deeds by J.A. Crouse Deputy.  Page 24, Deed Record (E crossed out and replaced) G, Instrument #2431.  Frank E. Lang was the Registrar of Deeds and J.A. Crouse was the Deputy at the recording of the deed on 22nd of April, 1908.   

The sale:  

Deed of Sale Lots 11 and 12

 On December 31st of 1915 the same lots eleven (11) and twelve (12) of block forty-six (46) of International Falls, Minnesota were sold to a M.E. Withrow for Six thousand ($6000.00).  The witnesses were W. V. Kane and M. Frank.  It was signed by W. V. Kane as Notary.  Deed Record 28, Koochiching Co., Minnesota, Instrument #23431, pg. 6.  Frank E. Lang was again the Registrar of Deeds at the recording of the deed on 1 Jan, 1916.   

So from 1916 to approximately 1919 Ronald and family were probably living in Grande Prairie, Alberta until his partner gambled away the store and all was lost according to family lore.     

Below is a picture of the store:  McDonald Land and Trading Company, The Store of Quality – Hardware, Furniture, Groceries, Shoes, Clothing, Dry Goods and more…   

McDonald Store

R.S. (Ronald) apparently had partners:  E.E. Petersen, Papa and Henry Otto are written on the photograph below.  In very light writing is the words:  Smokey Point.   

The Three Partners

Keith and his siblings didn’t talk much about their experiences in Grand Prairie, Alberta.  The only piece of information comes from sister Miriam who comments briefly in her notes about her brother Gordon:   

Gordon was bright. Good in math.  Learned his geometry in grade 8 in Grande Prairie, Alta.    

Memorabilia in the form of a postcard appears in sister Eddie’s “Pile of Junk” book:   

Grand Prairie - Postcard

More research needs to be done on this period of time from 1916 to 1920 in deeds, mortgages, school records and newspapers in the Grand Prairie area to see if more information comes to light on this vague time in Keith’s siblings and father’s life.    

The next time we find R.S. (Ronald) he is in living in Cheney, Spokane Co., Washington in 1920.  The children are with him and his sister Nellie is there as well.    

Before we study that part of Keith’s family history let us go back further in time to learn about the origins of the McDonald’s and where they came from in Canada. 

Photo at beginning:  Ronald appears in a full length fur coat and the photo is dated 1910.  Although it is five years before he leaves International Falls, I think it is apparent that Ronald was not unprepared for heading north deeper into Canada. 

Mary McDonell Passes!

September 19, 2010

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

Mary McDonald 1834 to 1913

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

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

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

Mrs. McDonald Passed Away 

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

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

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

Mary's Final Resting Place

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

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


Archibald McDonald Dies Peacefully in His Sleep!

September 8, 2010

Archibald McDonald/McDonell

Keith was only 2 years old when his grandfather Archibald McDonald passed.  Archie went to bed one night and the next morning it was discovered that he had peacefully died in the night.  

The International Falls newspaper was studied for an obituary notice but none was found.  The Rainy River newspapers were also searched and failed to reveal anything about his death.  The Koochiching County Courthouse clerk of the court for probate was contacted to see if their was an estate file but none was found. 

The Minnesota Historical Society has death certificates via their online index and at the society library.  I found this at the Family History Library on film #2138519, dated April 18, 1912.  

Archibald McDonald died in International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota on April 18, 1912. Male, white, married. Date of birth not known but the year 1829 was entered, about 83 yrs old. Occupation: carpenter, was born in the Province of Quebec, name of father unknown, believed he was born in Scotland, name of mother and her birthplace unknown. The informant was Alex McDonald, of International Falls, Minnesota. Filed April 20, 1912. Died of old age, patient went to bed in good health and was found dead in early morning. Mary C. Ghostley MD, April 20, 1912, International Falls. Buried in International Falls, April 20, 1912. 

Apparently his youngest son Alexander didn’t know much about his father’s origins or who the parents where.  There is a lot of confusion about Archie’s birth location.  Keith’s sister Miriam gives the date as 1827.  Alexander writes that he was about 83 years of age which would mean he was born in 1829.  The 1901 census for Canada gives 1837.  The exact birth and location have not been verified.

McDonald Tombstone

Archibald is buried in the St. Thomas Cemetery which is part of the Forest Hill Cemetery in International Falls.  The large McDonald monument marks the spot of the cemetery plot.  Archie’s tombstone is further defined by a simple plaque with his name.  He rests next to his wife, sons and daughter-in-law Grace. 

Archibald's individual stone

As you can see the tombstone has 1835 to 1912 for his lifespan.  

The origins of Archibald are shrouded in mystery at this time.  I do know that he lived for many years in the area of Chichester and Chapeau, Quebec on the Upper Ottawa River from 1861 to 1901 when he immigrated to the U.S with his children.  We will visit those years in a couple of posts.


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