R.S.’s Traveling Card – Knights of Columbus

January 31, 2013

R.S. McDonald was involved with the Knights of Columbus.  He was issued a Traveling Card on 11/24/1919 by the Koochiching Council #1540.

For R.S. McDonald

For R.S. McDonald

This places my grandfather R.S. in Cheney, Washington by 1919.

The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal benefits society.  This website explains their founding principles.  http://www.kofc.org/un/en/about/index.html  I called the International Falls office of the Knights of Columbus to find out if I could get more information on R.S. but they were unable to comply.  You never know about these types of organizations but it is still worth a try to seek them out and inquire.


Ronald’s story Continues! Revisiting Grand Prairie, Alberta and mention of Albany, Oregon

January 3, 2013
Keith and his sisters

Keith and his sisters

It is time to pick up my grandfather’s story and follow his migrations. The post dated October 5, 2010, “R.S. McDonald Leaves International Fall, left Ronald or R.S. on his way to Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada.

The photograph above has July 4, 1916 written in the top left corner.  These are R.S.’s children.  The back row going left to right, we see  Miriam and Eddie.  The front row, from the left, is Jean and Keith.  They do not look happy and I do not recognize the house but then it is somewhat obscured.  Their older brother Gordon and sister Vivian are missing.  If the 1916 census (see below) was enumerated on June 1, 1916 then we have a mystery as to where Keith and his sisters were living when this photo was taken? Where they still in International Falls or somewhere else?

The time is about 1915-1916.  Ronald (R.S.) sold the house in International Falls, which he shared with my grandmother Grace. Remember, Grace had died in 1911 from pneumonia and child-birth complications.  See the posted dated July 18, 2010 “An Unexpected Tragedy!”

Why my grandfather left International Falls and headed back to Canada is unknown.  He had six children to care for and maybe the lumber industry was starting to wind down in International Falls and he would soon be out of work.  In any event his reasons are unknown.  To me grandfather’s decision to leave International Falls was a major one and set in motion events that led him eventually to Washington State where Keith his son took up residence and adopted it as his home.

A Quarry Lease appears among papers that his daughter Jean must have had in her possession and it ended up with her granddaughter who gave it to me.

Source:  Quarry Lease, #569, File #13764 Indenture February 22, 1915, #31282, in possession of the compiler.

Ronald Sanfield McDonald, of International Fall, in the State of Minnesota, USA, Lumberman ……does grant that certain parcel or tract of land situate, lying and being in the Province of Alberta, and comprising that portion lying to the West of Smoky River of the South East quarter of Section 17, in Township 71, Range 2, West to the 6th Meridian, containing an area of 28.60 acres more or less….lessee for the term of twenty-one years to be computed from the 22 day of February 1915.  Signed by a J.E. Gibson, the Deputy of the Minister of the Interior [     ], Ronald Sanfield McDonald Lessee and William V. Kane Witness.

I am not familiar with Canadian land descriptions which are probably similar the U.S., but it would be very interesting to pinpoint and identify this land in light of the 1916 Canadian census information given below.  This lease is months before the sale of the house on Riverside Drive in International Falls, Minnesota, which took place at the end of December 1915 which I feature in the post I mention above in the first sentence.

R.S. and his son Gordon appear in the 1916 Canadian Census in Edmonton, Alberta.  I was not able to find Nellie, his sister, and the other children. This census only covers Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Source:  1916 Canadian Census, Bezanson, Edmonton, Alberta, District #37, SSD#25, ED #25, 71/2/W6 Meridian, pg. 1.

line 23, 10/10 McDonald, R.S, twp 71, 2, 6, Bezanson, Head, M, W, age 46, born Ont., Roman Catholic, — Canadian, origin unreadable, yes, yes, —yes, yes, general merchant, E. general store. McDonald, Gordon, son, m. S, age 12, born US, Roman Catholic, 1916, Canadian, origin unreadable, yes, no — yes, yes, no occupation,

The location of Bezanson given in the census transcription, seems to be between Grand Prairie and Edmonton.  Apparently Ronald and Gordon had gone ahead to get things ready for the rest of the family.  It may be why Gordon does not appear in the photograph above?

There is evidence that his children:  Vivian, Gordon, Miriam, Eddie, Jean and Keith all went with him to Grand Prairie.  As I have mentioned before, they didn’t talk about the experience.  By the time I was born, they were all in their late 30′s and early 40′s so these past topics were over and done and I am sure it didn’t even occur to them to talk about them.

Eddie’s Postcard – Collection of Junk

Daughter Eddie (Edna Lorraine) had a scrapbook titled “Collection of Junk.”  Various items from her experience and time in the Grand Prairie area survived.  The postcard above was one of those items.  There was no writing on the backside.

The next item was a drawing:

A drawing by Clara Dahl 1918.

There was a comment made by Eddie but the item it refers to has disappeared or is the one I feature below.  This scrapbook had many things missing and loose that had lost their home.  It reads: Holy Card given me by Miss Kindervater, an invalid who once intended to be a nun. Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada 1918.  I am not sure if the card featured below is the one Eddie refers to.  The backside has various religious notations followed by Christmas well wishes.  It is just the kind of thing a potential “nun” might have?

Eddie’s memories 1918

Is this the one Eddie is referring too?

Is this the one Eddie is referring too?

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In the scrapbook is a grammar book from Eddie’s grade school days but she the name of the school written on the end page is difficult to read.  Click on the photo below and it will get bigger.  To return to this blog either close your tab or click your back button.  I cannot make out the handwriting.   If someone recognizes the name, please leave a comment.  It could be a school in Albany, Oregon (see the comments below) not in Grand Prairie?

Back page of the grammar book.

Back page of the grammar book.

Miriam sent me some notes about each of her siblings and in one of those notes she talked about her brother Gordon.  I share only a portion here but will go deeper when I post about Gordon, my uncle, in the future.  In the first sentences she mentions that Gordon was in grade school in Grand Prairie.

Comments about Gordon

Comments about Gordon

It is possible that R.S. did not go directly to Cheney, Washington after they left Grand Prairie because Eddie writes in her Grammar book that she started the booklet in Albany, Oregon and kept it “for no particular reason.”   This is a fairly recent discovery about the migrations of Keith’s family.  It means that I might be able to find them in Oregon and further pin down their experience.  The entry photo below is dated 1919.  This means that after they left Grand Prairie they headed to Oregon and then to Cheney, Washington?

Front cover of the grammar book of Eddie's

Front cover of the grammar book of Eddie’s

Eddie's comments about the grammar book

Eddie’s comments about the grammar book

An entry showing Albany, Oregon in 1919.

An entry showing Albany, Oregon in 1919.


Alex McDonald – 58 years in Minnesota!

November 11, 2012

Alexander Thomas McDonald spent 58 years of  his life living in Minnesota. He came down before his parents, Archie and Mary,  in 1897 and  lived in Duluth, Minnesota for a while.  I found an Alex McDonald in the city directories in Duluth, but it is difficult to know if that really was him?

Alex McDonald

I shared about Alexander Thomas McDonald the youngest son of Archibald and Mary McDonald in several previous posts:

1.  Archibald and Mary McDonald’s Children, dated March 20, 2011.  This post has the wonderful family photograph of the McDonald’s except for Angus the oldest brother.

2.  Alexander Thomas McDonald, Fireman, dated August 7, 2010.  There are several photos in this post showing Alex in his fireman’s uniform.  The 2nd photograph has Keith sitting on his knee.

3.  Archie & Mary’s Children:  Alexander Thomas McDonald, dated March 31, 2010 in which I share the birth of Alex and his record from the St. Alphonsus Church records.

Alex apparently decided to become Naturalized and applied for his Certificate of Intention #175 on 30 January 1905:

State of Minnesota, County of Itasca, Alex T. McDonald, appeared in the District Court of the 15th Judicial District for the State of Minnesota.  He was born in Canada about the year 1872 and emigrated to the United States an landed at the Port of Sault Ste. Marie on or about the month of November 1897.  It is Bona fide his intention to become a Citizen of the United States and renounce forever all fidelity to the Queen of Great Britain..whereof he is a subject, signed Alex T. McDonald, 21 November, 1898, I.D. Rassmussan, Clerk.  This is a true copy signed January 30, 1905, I.D. Rasmussan, Clerk.

Certificate of Intention

Source:  Declaration of Intention of Alex. T. McDonald, #175, County of Itasca, State of Minnesota, copy given to the compiler by his nephew.

Certificate of Citizenship, United States of America, District Court Co. of Itasca, State of Minnesota, Naturalization of Alex T. McDonald, 23rd day of Feb, 1905, Seal of the said Court on the 23rd day of Feb 1905, I.D. Rassmussen Clerk.

Source:  Certificate of Citizenship, Alex T. McDonald, Itasca County, Minnesota.  copy given to the compiler by his nephew.

Koochiching had not yet been established as a county and was part of Itasca County things were slowly developing in northern Minnesota at this time and it was difficult to get around until the train came.

The Minnesota State Census indicates that Alex was living in International Falls in 1905. If the information is correct Alex migrated to International Falls by 1899:

Line 8, McDonald, A. T., male, age 31, white, born in Canada, both parents born in Canada, 8 years in Minnesota, 6 yrs in the enumeration district, laborer.

Minnesota census

Source:  1905 Minnesota State Census, Village of International Falls, Twp. of Koochiching, County of Itasca, State of Minnesota, line 8, Sht #2, enumerated on June 1-20, 1905 by Harvey Gale, Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul.

Note: Minnesota State Census went online at Ancestry.com a couple of years after I had done my research at the FHL and the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul in the census.

The U. S. Federal Census for 1910 is very interesting because Alex was listed as the head of the household. I was expecting Archibald to be head based on family stories.

12/14 – McDonald, Alex, head X, male, white, 34 years old single, born in Canada and also his parents were born in Canada.  Lived in this country 12 years, naturalized.  Speaks English, is a teamster and operates a dray line.  Nellie, sister, female, white, 38 years old single, born in Canada and parents too, 10 years in this country and not naturalized, no occupation given.  Archie, father, male, white, 80 years old, married, 49 years, born in Canada, parents born in Scotland, in this country 8 years, naturalized, speaks English, no occupation.  Mary, mother, female, white, 76 years old, married 49 years, 5 children of which 4 are living, born in Canada, parents born in Scotland, in this country 8 years, speaks English, no occupation.  All can read and write.

Source:  1910 U.S. Federal Census, Alex McDonald & Others, International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota, SD#8, ED#92, enumerated April 15, 1910, National Archives, Pacific NW Region, Seattle, WA.

Jack and brother Alex in International Falls

Here Alex is buying lots 9 and 10 in block 53 in International Falls.  At this point I have no way to verify if this is the house that the family said was built by Archie?

Deed Record G pg. 38, The Koochiching Co. and Alexander T. McDonald on the 17th day of Sept. 1908 at 1 p.m.  Frank S. Spang, Register of Deeds.  On the 15th of April 1907 Alexander paid $500 for lots 9 and 10 in block 53 of International Falls.  Instrument no. C 327.

Source:  Deed Record Book G, pg. 38, Alexander T. McDonald, #C327, Koochiching County, Minnesota, from the Koochiching County Courthouse Call #38 C No. 327, September 14, 1908, 1 pm.

Alex later sold the lots on March 8, 1920 at 9 am to John McGivney for $2600.00, #25889, No. 39, pg. 121.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census Alex is rooming with another person:

Line 95, 4th and Second St., X/60/91, McDonald, Alex, Head, renting, male, white, age 46, single, years of immigration and naturalization unclear, not in school as of 1919, able to read and write, born in Canada, parents both born in Canada, native tongue English, able to speak English, occupation Driver, Fire Barn, working.  Line 96 at same address as Alex. Thomas, Arthur, boarder, male, mulatto, age 50, single, not in school as of 1919, able to read and write, born in Kansas, parents both in Kentucky, janitor, bank, working.

Source:  1920 U.S. Federal Census, City of International Falls, Co. of Koochiching, Minnesota, SD#8, ED#52, Ward #3, Vol. 41, pg. 4, Ancestry.com.

In review, things had changed greatly for Alex.  His sister Nellie was with Ronald (R.S.) helping with raising the six children in Cheney, Washington.  Archibald and Mary and both passed 8-9 years earlier.  John (Jack) his brother had a family and daughter to raise even though they were in the same city and lived not far from each other.

R.S. and brother Alex in Cheney 1924

During the 1920′s Alex headed west and visited his brother R.S. and sister Nellie.  He attended the wedding of his niece Vivian to Hilary McKanna in 1924.  Year’s later Vivian would ask her uncle to sign and affidavit to help her establish her birth date and location so she could obtain social security.  These two events will be covered in future posts.

The 1930 U.S. Census reveals that Alex is still in International Falls

Line 46, Alexander T. McDonald at City Hall #356, 460 under head lodger, Rents, personal property $20.00, he does not live on a farm, Male, White, 56 years old, Single, parents are Canadian-English and so is he. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1897 and is naturalized. His occupation is fireman at the City Fire Dept.. He is not a veteran. Alexander has listed under his name Bert Budde and Henry LeBlanc. I am familiar with these names and they are also listed as fireman with the City Fire Dept.

Source:  1930 U.S. Federal Census, International Falls, Koochiching Twp., and County, Dist #20, ED#36-20, SD #2, Sht #21A #139, dated April 16, 1930, Ancestry.com.


Jack McDonald succumbs – 1949

October 11, 2012

3rd version: Jack with his sibling and nieces

Here is another photograph like the ones I featured in the last post.  This time Jack has a straw hat on and he is standing in between his two siblings.

LtoR: Vivian, Nellie, Jack, R.S., Miriam.  If you study the photo and focus on Jack and R.S. you can see some resemblance.

Jack gave me quite a challenge regarding his death.  I could not find any evidence of his passing in the International Falls records.  I finally figured it out.  The reason was he died in Moose Lake, Carlton Co., Minnesota on the 11th of December 1949.

Carlton Co. at Moose Lake in the State Hospital. Residence was Koochiching Co., International Falls, 983 Sixth St. Length of stay in the hospital 9 mos, 8 days. Full name: John A. McDonald, male, white, married. Spouse Sarah McDonald, her age 76, Dated of his birth Jan. 14, 1869, he was 80 years 10 mos and 27 days. occupation: Janitor. Born in Chichester, Quebec, Canada. Father’s name Archibald McDonald, born in Canada. Mother maiden name Sarah McDonald born in Canada. Funeral Director – James F. Morine, Duluth, MN. Died December 11, 1949 – arteriosclerosis and senility etc.

Source:  Death Certificate, John A. McDonald, #1983, Reg. No. 155, Moose Lake, Carlton Co., Minnesota, Dec. 11, 1949, State of Minnesota Vital Statistics, Minnesota Historical Society Death Certificates.

Note:  The date given for his birth is Jan 14, 1869.  The St. Alphonsus Church records have January 3, 1869?  They also have Sarah as his mother and it should be Mary.  His tombstone reads 1870.  His death certificate gives the Jan 14th date.  Also the number for the house he lived in might be a little off.

John A. 1870 to 1949

There is an obituary article from the The Daily Journal of International Falls, dated December 12, 1949. It reads:

“John A. McDonald, 903 Sixth street, one-time mayor of International Falls and a resident of the community since 1904, died Sunday at the age of 70. He passed away at an out-of-town hospital after an illness of more than two years. Time and place of funeral services will be announced in a later issue of the Journal. The Green Mortuary will be in charge. Familiarly known as “Jack,” Mr. McDonald served one two-year term as major from 1922 to 1924. Prior to being elected to the No. 1 office in the municipality he represented Ward III on the city council for four years. He was also one of the first members of the Falls fire department and maintained an active interest in the organization until he resigned in 1941 because of his health. Mr. McDonald was well-known to thousands of children whom he encountered in his work as fireman-engineer at Alexander Baker school. He joined the school custodian staff in 1913, shortly after the AB building was constructed. Upon his retirement in 1945 he had 32 years of school service to his credit. Born in Chapeau, Quebec, Jan. 14, 1869, Mr. McDonald emigrated to the United States as a young man in 1901 and settled in Bemidji. The same year he was married to Miss Sarah M. Burns, who survives. The couple moved to International Falls in 1904 and Mr. McDonald soon established a dray line, which he operated until 1913. In the latter years he joined the school building staff. Surviving, in addition to his widow, are a daughter, Mrs. Gilbert (Mary) Louiseau, and a brother, Alex, both of International Falls.”

This obituary notice really gives a great overview of Jack’s life.

He is buried with his family in the Forest Hill Cemetery which includes the St. Thomas Cemetery.  The burial site is dominated by this large tombstone with McDonald on it. If I recall, I was told by the family, that Jack and Archie bought the plot and had this stone installed.

McDonald Tombstone


Jack McDonald becomes Mayor!

August 31, 2012

I visited with my cousin Mary in 2000 and 2001 and she shared several stories of her father. 

She told me that he was Mayor of International Falls for a period of approximately 2 years (1922-1924).   He was talked into it by several of the town “big shots.” Prior to his service as major, he served on the city council.  He was very active in the politics of the city. 

Jack and Sarah’s home was located on 6th street on the southwest corner and was a familiar place in town.  People would come by  to visit with Jack and “Ms. McDonald” as they called Sarah, Mary’s mother.  Sarah set a good table. John Archibald McDonald was best known as “Jack” to his family and friends.

Mary described her dad with a great deal of affection. He was a kind man and always knew the right thing to say and do. She couldn’t wait to get home from school to see and talk to her dad.

Jack visits his siblings!

Photo:  Jack is on the left and here he is visiting with two of his siblings.  Nellie is in the middle and Ronald (R.S.) is on the right.   

2nd photo: Miriam, Jack, Vivian, Nellie and R.S.

Photo:  This is another version of the photo above and this time we include Jack’s niece Miriam on the left, Jack, Vivian another of Jack’s nieces, Nellie and Ronald (R.S.) He is the father of Miriam and Vivian.  The date is 1938. 

The 1938 date means that the family was still in Spokane because Vivian is there and she lived east in Opportunity with her husband Hilary.  It also could have been taken in Yakima were Ronald and Nellie moved to be with Miriam who was teaching school in Yakima.  These are my father Keith’s family:  his sisters, uncle, aunt and father.

Jack was often fond of joking that he was “only the janitor of the school.”  Jack actually helped to build the Alexander Baker school and then he took on the task of caring for the boiler there. He would get up and go to work in the early morning to turn the boiler on to heat the school for the little children who attended. 

http://www.businessupnorth.com/nl_1209_2.shtml

International Falls is considered one of the coldest cities in the U.S., so Jack’s service was probably very much appreciated.

The Alexander Baker School 2001

Earlier in his residence in International Falls, he ran a dray service sharing the work with his brother Alex.  In a small town like International Falls the inhabitants frequently had several jobs to support the family.

International Falls 1st City Directory

Page 64 features McDonald Dray & Transfer, Alex McDonald propr. 1107 6th st. Tel 51. McDonald, Alex, propr McDonald Dray & Transfer, 1107 6th st. Tel 51.

McDonald John A. janitor Alexander Baker School, 903 6th st, Te. 286. On pg. 19 it reads, McDonald Ellen, civil servant, 421 1st st., McDonald John, lab, 221 Nelson St.

Source:  First Annual Directory, International Falls and Additions Rainier, Minnesota and  Fort Francis, Ontario.  Landgraf & York Publishers, International Falls, MN, 1917-18, pg. 64 and pg. 19. Koochiching County Library.

NOTE: What is a Dray line.  It has not been easy to get a good description or explanation of this type of occupation.  Dray refers to a wagon draw by either horses or oxen and here is the best that I could do. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagon 

Here is page 9 of the International Falls City Directory:

Page 9 of the International Falls City Directory

Notes about page 9:  There are several McDonalds listed.  Ellen McDonald is in civil service.  Is this Nellie?  It this is her then this means that she may not have gone with her brother R.S. till much later? I have not been able to get enough information on Nellie’s activities and when she actually took up the task of caring for R.S.’s children. 

John is listed as a laborer.  There is also an Arthur and Malcolm McDonald who are unknown to me? R.S. is not listed which would be correct. He left about 1915 for Grand Prairie, Alberta.  There is no Alex which is odd.

Here we see Jack and Sarah living in International Falls in the 1910 census:

22/24 McDonald, John, head, 46 yrs. old, married 8 years. Born in Canada (L), parents the same. 8 years a citizen, Speaks English. Teamster of a dray line, employed. Sarah, wife, 46, married 8 years. Born in Canada (L), parents born in Canada (L). In the US 8 years, speaks English no profession.

Source:  John A. McDonald Family, 1910 U.S. Federal Census, International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota, SD#8, ED 92, Sht# 2-A, April 15 or 16, 1910, by [     ].

Jack, Sarah and their daughter appear in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census.  Apparently they did apply and became naturalized in 1909.  Acording to Ancestry.com they are on a list of naturalizations held at the Iron Range Research Center.  I will have to put this on the To Do List.

Line 48, 903/463/457, McDonald, John, Head, home owned, mortgage, male, white, age 50, married, immigrated to US 1902, naturalized in 1909, not at school in 1919, able to read and write, born in Canada, parents born in Canada, mother tongue English, janitor, school, working. McDonald, Sarah, wife, female, white, 45 yrs old, married, immigrated 1902 naturalized in 1909, born in Canada, not in school in 1919, able to read and write, parents both born in Ireland, native tongue English, able to speak English, no occupation. McDonald, daughter, female, white, 7 years old, single, able to read and write, born in Minnesota, able to speak English, no occupation.

Source: John McDonald Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota, SD&ED 53, Ward 3, Sht. #23A, enumerated January 28, 1920.

Jack served with the International Falls fire department.

A Flash back to 1910 Falls Fire Dept banquet

The original newspaper article was cut off but it is probably the International Falls Daily Journal, 4/8/1949 – North Country Album – Early Day Photos of Your Centennial Year Scrap Book.

Jack is the J.A. McDonald they list. (Click on the photo and it will appear in a bigger size, then hit your back button to come back to this blog.)


Angus’ wife – Louisa Jane Hanson

March 22, 2012

Louisa shares the tombstone with her husband Angus at Calvary Cemetery in Seattle, Washington.

Angus and Louisa McDonald

Certificate of Death Louisa Jane McDonald, 3268 38th Ave. SW, died April 7, 1939. She was white, widowed. Husband Angus McDonald. Date of birth Sept. 12, 1866. She was 72 years old 6 months 25 days old at death. She died at home. She was born in Scandinavia, Wisconsin. Father was Ole Hanson born in Norway. Mother was Lena born in Sweden. Helena Penglase was the informant. Interment in Calvary Cemetery on 4/10 /1939. Bonney-Watson handled the arrangements. She died of a metastic carcinoma of the abdomen. C.A. Anderson signed from 47…California Ave. #1360. 

The Family History Library has films of the death certificates for Washington State up to about 1952 and the Everett Stake has a nice collection. The films are little challenging to figure out.  Large cities can be on several films.  There is an index. 

Funeral Announcement for Louisa McDonald

In past posts on Angus I have shown the census for the family and in the 1920 U.S. Federal for Seattle, Washington Albert and a Frank Hanson were living with them at that time.  I got curious to see if I could find Louisa’s family and go a little further back.

Her father was Ole Hanson and her mother was Lena and they had the following children:

  1. Albert H. Hanson born about 1853 in Norway
  2. Sena Hanson born about 1858 in Norway
  3. Maggie Hanson born about 1861 in Norway
  4. Anthony Hanson born about 1864 in Wisconsin
  5. Louisa Jane Hanson born in 1866 in Wisconsin
  6. Frank G. Hanson born about 1868 in Wisconsin

The 1880 and 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Ole and Lena Hanson has them living in Eau Plains, Portage Co., Wisconsin.   Apparently Ole was not in the 1880 and Lena was on her own raising the family.   

pg. 5 Line 35, 28, 27, Hanson, Ole, 46 M, W, Laborer, Norway. Hanson, Lena, 44, F, W, keeping house, Norway. Hanson, Albert 13, M, W, laborer, Norway. Hanson, Sena, 12, F, W., at school, Norway. Hanson, Maggie, 9, F, W, at school, Norway, Hanson, Anthony, 6, M, W., at school, Wisconsin. pg. 6. Line 1, Hanson, Louisa 3, F, W, Wisconsin. Line 2, Hanson, Frederick, 1, M, W., Wisconsin

Source:  1870 U.S. Federal Census, Eau Plaine, Portage Co., Wisconsin, pg. 5 and 6, P.O. Plymouth, enumerated 8 June 1870 by a Peter Grove.  Ancestry.com.

Line 28, 42, 95, Hanson, Lena, W, F, 54, widowed, Weaver of carpet, born Sweden, cannot write, parents born Sweden. Hanson Albert, W, M, 24, son, single, mill hand, born Norway, father Norway, mother Sweden. Hanson, Magdalena, W, F, 18, daughter, single, keeping house, born Norway, father Norway, mother Sweden. Anthony, W, M. 16, son, single, mill hand, 6 mos., born Wisconsin, father Norway, mother Sweden. Louisa, W, F, 13, daughter, single, born Wisconsin, father Norway, mother Sweden.

Source:  1880 U.S. Federal Census, Eau Plaine, Portage Co., Wisconsin, pg. 18, SD 11, ED [187], enumerated June 21, 1880 by a [Jas I.] Ennis.

Sena and Frederick are not in the 1880 Census which is very interesting.  I believe I started to have trouble with the Ole Hanson family and could not find them in the 1860 which means they might have been migrating at the time?  There are lot of Ole Hanson’s so it might take awhile to figure out if he did submit naturalization papers or when they actually arrived.

As usual, I try to identify the location of  a family history site but I am having trouble with Eau Plaine, Wisconsin.  I was also having trouble with Scandinavia with just a Google search.  So I caution you regarding these locations. Counties have a tendency to change as an area develops and places come and go.  I have not done much research in Wisconsin and I am not comfortable continuing at this time. 

There is more to be done on Great Uncle Angus’ family and it would be fun to figure out where he took out his naturalization papers?  Tracking Angus has been difficult and I have a big gap between 1881 and 1897, then another gap up to 1910.  I just wish I could find them in the 1900 U.S. census or the 1901 Canadian?

Me and Angus' Family


The Legend of Uncle Angus McDonald!

March 2, 2012

As a young girl I fancied that Angus was off in the woods somewhere. No one ever talked about him. Of course, my family never talked.

My Aunt Miriam called us “dour” Scotsman.

I know that Angus and his son George were longshoremen in West Seattle.  Angus was supposed to be involved in the organization of the longshoremen and things got a little rough so he had to leave town? 

My Aunt Miriam seemed to think he was involved in the assassination of the governor of Idaho back in the early 1900′s.  She told this tale to a family member as well as the one above about the organization of the longshoremen.  I share them with you now. Unfortunately, these two stories have not been proven.

Book Cover

The book: Big Trouble, by J. Anthony Lukas, Simon & Schuster, 1997, is about the assassination of Governor Steunenberg and the trial that followed. 

On page 538 it lists the jurors that were chosen for the trial: Thomas B. Gess, Finley McBean, Samuel D. Gilman, Daniel Clark, George Powell, F. Messecar, Lee Schrivener, J.A. Robertson, Levi Smith, A.P. Burns and Samuel F. Russell. No Angus McDonald is mentioned on this jury or in the book.

Another book: The Introductory Chapter to the History of the Trials of Moyer, Haywood, Pettibone and Harry Orchard, by Fremont Wood, Trial Judge NW-R 979.63 W85, Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, 1931, Spokane Public Library Northwest Room.

The above book stated that the labor unrest started in 1892 and went on till Haywood died in Russia in the 1920′s. Martial law was declared for all of Shoshone County, Idaho at one time. There were 10-12 miners sentenced to the jail in Ada County. Trials were held in the U.S. District Court at Coeur D’Alene in Kootenai County in August 23, 1897 and 1892.  It was a violent and difficult time.

Here are some very interesting links about this event and it is all quite fascinating: 

Idaho Public Television’s website has:  Assassination: Idaho’s Trial of the Century

http://idahoptv.org/productions/specials/trial/thetrial/steunenberg.cfm

This website is interesting:  “Famous American Trials – Bill Haywood Trial 1907:” 

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/haywood/HAYWOOD.HTM

This person is a great great grandson of Gov. F. Steunenberg and he has a very interesting blog:

http://steunenberg.blogspot.com/2009_06_01_archive.html

Is my Aunt Miriam right or wrong about Angus?  His grandson never knew anything of this story. So at this point I cannot answer the question of whether Angus was involved or not in the assassination of the governor of Idaho.  I would have to go to the Idaho State archives in Boise to see if I could find anything.

To try to get Angus in Idaho at the time of the assassination in 1905, I tried the U.S. Federal Census for 1900 and the Canadian for 1891. I cannot find Angus or his family members. Idaho does not have a state census. 

Remember Angus disappears after the 1881 Canadian Census where he is with his parents and siblings in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec.  He resurfaces when his daughter Helena Mary is born in Chichester in 1897 per the records of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau.  After her birth he  disappears again till I find him and his family in Seattle, Washington in 1910.    

The 1910 U.S. Federal Census:

Line 30, 534, 217, 230 McDonald, Angus L., head, Male, White, age 44, Married 1st, age 19 at marriage, born Canadian Scotch, parents Canadian Scotch, Engineer; McDonald, Louisa J., wife, Female, White, age 42 married 1, age 19, , born Wisconsin, father Norwegian, mother Swedish ; McDonald, George W. son, Male, white, age 18, born in Michigan, clerk grocery store; McDonald, Lorne S., son, male, white, age 16, singled, born in Minnesota, apprentice; McDonald, Helen M., daughter, female, white age 12, single, Canadian English, no occupation; McDonald, Rachel, daughter, female, white, age 10, single, born in Wisconsin, no occupation.

Source:  1910 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King Co., Washington, SD 1, ED 151, Sheet #11A, Ancestry.com.

1920 U.S. Federal Census

Line 53, 2nd Ave Street West, 401/84/290, McDonald, Angus (S?), Head 1, Renting, Male, White, 56 yrs., married, immigrated to US 1888, naturalized 1894, able to read and write, born in Canada, English, father and mother both born in Canada, parents speak English, able to speak English, Engineer, Steamer, working. McDonald, Louisa L., wife, female, white, age 54, married, able to read and write, born in Wisconsin, father born in Norway, Norwegian, mother born in Sweden, Swedish, can speak English, no occupation.. McDonald, George Wm., son, male, white age 28, single, able to read and write, born in Michigan, (see parents), can speak English, Electrician, Lineman, working. McDonald, Hellena M., daughter, female, white, age 22, single, able to read and write, unclear about birth maybe born in Canada, Furrier, Dept. Store. McDonald, Rachel, daughter, female, white, age 20, single, has not attended school since 9/1919, able to read and write, born in Wisconsin, stenographer, Real estate. Hanson, Albert H., brother-in-law, male, white, age 67?, single, naturalized 1858/1853, able to read and write, born in Norway, Norwegian, parents same as Louisa, able to speak English, Engineer, Locomotive, working. Hanson, Frank G., brother-in-law, male, white, age 52, single, able to read and write, born in Wisconsin, Norwegian, able to speak English, Carpenter, house, working.

Source:  1920 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle ,  King County, Washington, SD#1, ED 168, Sheet 9B, precinct 97, enumerated January 8 and 9th, 1920, by Edward P. [    ], Ancestry.com. 

1930 U.S. Federal Census 

Line 4, 3265, 349, 349, McDonald, Angus L., Head, 0, $3500, R, M, W, 64, m, 36, no, yes, Canada English, Scotland, Scotland, English, 60/43, V 1890 NA, yes, longshoremen, at the docks, 8880, w, yes, no. McDonald, Louisa J. Wife – H, F, W, 62, m, 24, no, yes, Wisconsin, Norway, Sweden, 63, 05, O, yes, none. Penglase, Helena, daughter, F, w, 31, Div. no, yes, Canada English, Canada English, Wisconsin, English 60/43, V, 1899, NA, yes, Milliner, Hat factory, 8864, w, yes. Penglase, George R., grandson, M, w, 8, S, yes, Washington, Michigan, Canada English, 96/43, 2, none

Source:  1930 U.S. Federal Census, Seattle, King County, Washington, Block 7506, ED 414, Sht. 27A, #155, T626-251, pg. 27A, Image 842. Ancestry.com.

The 1930 census is the first time Angus is listed as a longshoremen.  The ILWU website has a short history of the organization of the longshoremen on the Pacific Coast. 

 http://www.ilwu19.com/history/the_ilwu_story/origins.htm

The 1910 census lists him as an engineer and the 1920 lists him again as an engineer on a “steamer.”  My Aunt Miriam wrote in her notes that Angus could fix anything (click on the picture below and it will open, click back to return):  

Angus could fix anything!

According to the 1920 and 1930 census Angus came to the U.S. in 1886.  There is some disagreement on his dates of naturalization so that will make it more challenging to try to locate that information.   

Unfortunately my great-uncle died the following year after the 1930 census of pneumonia. 

Angus Lawrence McDonald died on 2 May 1931 in Seattle, King Co., Washington.  He lived in one of Seattle’s neighborhoods called West Seattle.  Angus was buried 5 May 1931 in the Calvary Cemetery in north Seattle. He shares the site with his wife and two sons. 

The area is one that has been a very big part of my life.  The Calvary Cemetery is near the University Village where I have shopped many times.  The University of Washington dominates the whole area and my life is tangled up with that school. 

I didn’t know Angus was so close till 2001.

FindAGrave has some of the burials for the Calvary Cemetery but not all. 

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&GSfn=Angus&GSiman=1&GScid=76728&GRid=73126272&CRid=76728&

The Calvary Cemetery in Seattle was very helpful when I visited and viewed the graves.  They are part of a group of Catholic cemeteries in the area:

   http://www.acc-seattle.com/cemeteries/calvary.html  

Angus L. McDonald of 3268 38th Ave. SW, died at Providence Hospital. He had been in the US 25 years. He had been married to Louisa Jane McDonald. He was Born August 5, 1865. He was 65 years 8 mos. and 26 days old at death. He was a longshoremen. He last worked in April 1931. He worked at this occupation 10 yrs. He was born in Canada. His father was Archie McDonald, birthplace was Scotland. Mother’s information unknown. George McDonald was the informant, from San Francisco, CA. Burial in Calvary Cemetery. Arrangement by Bonney-Watson. He had been sick from April 13 to May 2, 1931. He died at 6:45 pm of Lobar Pneumonia (Double). Signed by C.A. Anderson of 4704 California Ave.

Source:  Certificate of Death for Angus L. McDonald, May 2, 1931, Rec. No. #1577, Reg. No. 1641, Seattle, King Co., Washington Bureau of Vital Statistics, Washington State Board of Health.  The Family History Library has these death certificates on film. 

Angus and Louisa McDonald

There are two items on my wish list for Angus.  To find out if he was involved with the organization of the longshoremen.  The other is, was he really involved with the events around the Governor of Idaho?  Until then all will remain a mystery!


The Family of Angus McDonell, Eldest Son!

February 16, 2012

Angus Lawrence McDonell was the oldest living son of Archibald and Mary McDonell.  According to his brother Jack, who stated in a direct and simple manner:  “Angus left home!” 

From what I can figure from the Canadian Census he left home after 1881 and headed probably to Wisconsin.  This is where his wife Louisa was born.  

Angus was born in Chichester on 6 August, 1864 and was baptized 13 August 1864 at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau.  The priest wrote his name as Agnes in the records.  I believe it to be him because the date matches the date I have for his birth on his death certificate and from my Aunt Miriam’s notes.  I refer you to my past post dated January 29, 2011 “Archie & Mary’s children: Angus McDonell.”

Angus was one of my first attempts at genealogical research and it was so much fun that I got hooked.  Of course, one question answered lead to another and Angus was not easy and I still have big gaps in his research.

Keith, my dad, never mentioned or talked about Angus.  Angus was sort of  a legend to me as a child.  I always had this idea that Angus was in the woods somewhere sort of like “Paul Bunyan.”  I am not being mean, just a fancy of a child. 

Angus married Louisa Jane Hanson about 1891.  She was born 12 September 1866 in Scandinavia, Waupaca, Wisconsin.  I obtained this information from her death certificate and her obituary.  Her parents were Ole Hanson born in Norway and Lena who was born in Sweden.  She had at least two siblings:  Albert H. Hanson born about 1853 and Frank G. Hanson born about 1858.  This information is taken from U.S. Federal census. 

A Man and Woman - Angus & Louisa - Could this be them?

The photograph is a very big guess on my part.  I found it in my Aunt Vivian’s (older sister to Miriam and Keith) photo album.  I know that she visited her uncle in Seattle and that is where she met her husband Hilary McKanna.  I think it is Angus and that might be Louisa but she seems a bit older and that causes me to hesitate?  I tried to find the house but was not successful.  If I found the house I might be able to trace back to who owned it?  There was nothing written on the back or anything to indicate who these people are other than the context of the photographs and their position in the album. 

Here is the Collage showing the series of photographs!

Angus was not in the family portrait that was taken in Bemidji in 1904-1905. I have featured that photograph on this blog in the posted dated March 20, 2010 “Archibald and Mary McDonald’s Children.”

Angus and Louisa had at least 4 children:

1.  George William McDonald, born 16 December 1892 in Ironwood, Gogebic, Michigan.  He died  2 November 1857 in Seattle, King Co., Washington.  George served in WWI.  He died of tuberculosis in a home in Seattle.  The story is Keith, my father, visited him on occasion.  As far as I know George didn’t marry or have children.  

2.  Lorne Sandfield McDonald was born 19 January 1894 in Brainerd, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota.  He died of the influzena in WWI on 15 October 1918, at Camp Dodge, Polk Co., Iowa.  He never married. 

My Aunt Miriam talked about this family in her notes and spelled his name “Lauren.”  It is interesting that he had the middle name of Sandfield, like my grandfather Ronald.  Miriam said they were named after the first premier of Ontario:  John Sandfield MacDonald.  So far I have yet to find any family connection? I am keeping an open mind on this topic!

3.  Helena Mary McDonald, was born 19 August 1897 in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec.  She died on 31 August 1979 in Silverton, Marion Co., Oregon.  She was married 3 times.  First to Claude Penglase probably before 1920, Jack, and then a Grant Standford Capps who may have died on 24 December 1985 in Tacoma, Pierce Co., Washington but this has yet to be verified.   This means that Angus did go back to his birth home and visit the family. 

Helena Mary name seems to get changed around a lot.  She was called either Helena or Mary depending on the record.  She was never buried in a cemetery instead her ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean near Portland according to the funeral home listed on her death record.

Helena Mary had at least one son by the name of George Robert Penglase born 8 November 1921 in Seattle, King Co., Washington and died 31 January 1958.  He was buried on 19 February 1969 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon at the Williamette National Cemetery there.  He served in WWII and Korea and apparently his body was moved at some point.  This is why there is a different burial date.  George married a Lucy June Moen about 1940 in King County, Washington and that ended in divorce.  They had 3 children, 2 girls and 1 son who served in the military and past in 2005. There are living descendants of this family. 

4. Rachel McDonald was born in Brule, Douglas, Wisconsin 16 October 1899.  She died 3 March 1988 in Lynnwood, Snohomish Co., Washington.  Rachel married first to Otto Frances Berg born 17 January 1894 in Minnesota and died 21 February 1973 in Seattle, King Co., Washington.  They had one son Donald Frances Berg born 11 March 1924 in Astoria, Clatsop County, Oregon.  I had the honor to meet Donald and his family. He had suffered a terrible stroke and could only answer my questions with a nod of his head.  He did marry and have 4 children.  He died in 2005 and the funeral was a full military service with the gun salute.  I occasionally hear the sounds of guns and wondered what it meant.  Now I know! There are living descendants of this family in the area. 

Rachel remarried to a Gerald P. Jameson born 18 August 1899 and died 26 January 1986.  They were married about 1956. 

Donald, Rachel and Gerald are buried in the Holyrood Catholic cemetery in north Seattle, Washington just 5 minutes from my home.  

So you see when I did this research on Angus’ family I was total amazed that they were so close. I have a vague memory of my Dad and Mom talking about someone and I think it was George and maybe we did visit him? I was about 10 years old and kids hear things or events happen but it doesn’t always make sense?  

Why my family didn’t share all this or talk about this, well I have my theories? Aunt Miriam did give me notes but they were brief.  They did point the way. 

My advice is to encourage you to ask and ask now!  Be gentle and probe carefully but most of all be patient and maybe the family will open up.


Ronald S. and his brother Angus Strike out on their Own!

December 16, 2011

It is time to turn back to Archibald and Mary McDonell’s family, Keith, my father’s grandparents and my greats.  The past posts have described what is known about their respective siblings and parents at this time. More research will be done and a trip to Ontario and Quebec is in the near future see the new page added at the top of this blog. 

Meanwhile let’s return to Archie and Mary’s family in Chichester in 1881.  In the post dated June 1, 2011 “McDonell Family in 1881,” the census for that year was discussed and described. The family was all together including Alexander the youngest.  It was not too last long.  The son’s were growing up and about to leave the “nest.”

It is not clear when Ronald or his older brother Angus left home and headed out on their own.  Jack (John), their brother told his daughter that “Angus, left.”  A typical response for my McDonald’s are people of few words. 

In 1881 Ronald was 14 years old and Angus was 16 years old.  So if we use the age of 18 or 20 as a clue to figure out their movements we could probably guess they left home about 1885 or 1886? 

In any event, neither Ronald nor Angus appear in the Canadian 1891 census with the family in Chichester, Pontiac County, Quebec, 7th April, 1891, pg. 4, Ancestry.com

Line 13, [ ] 16, McDonald, Archy, M,  60 years old, M, born Ont. and the place of birth of his father and mother are Ont., Lockmaster, can read and write.  McDonald, Mary, F, age 57, M, Wife, born Ont. , father born Ont, mother born Scotland, can read and write.  McDonell, John, M, age 22, S, born Quebec, Labourer.  McDonell, Ellen, F, age 20, D. M  age 18, S.  Children born Quebec.

No sign of Ronald, Keith’s father, nor his uncle Angus.  Since the 1890 U.S. Federal Census suffered destruction in a fire, we cannot determine if they headed to the United States by that time.  Ronald’s trail is picked up in the 1895 Minnesota State census.   As for Angus he doesn’t appear until much later in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Seattle, King County, Washington!! There are some interesting stories about Angus that I will share in a later posts.  I have reason to believe that Angus moved back and forth across the Canadian border on several occasions as we will see. 

It is about now that we see the spelling of the last name change from “McDonell” to “McDonald.”

 


Archie & Mary’s children: Ellen Elizabeth McDonald

March 10, 2011

Ellen was her formal name but she was always called “Nellie.”  She was Keith’s aunt by family structure but probably more like the “only” mother he knew for he was 18 months old when his mother Grace died.  Nellie is somewhat of a mystery to me, her grand niece, but she did love cats so we do have something in common! 

Nellie and a Cat!

Born on th 26th of November 1870 in Chichester, she was baptized the same day.  She was the only girl out of 7 boys born to Archie and Mary.

Nellie's Baptismal Record

Source:  Baptism, Marriage and Burial Index, St. Alphonsus Church, 1846-1920 FHL# B11b, #1029797.  Also on Ancestry.com under the Drouin Collection. 

Nellie lived to the age of 76 and is buried next to her brother Ronald in the Calvary Cemetery in Yakima, Washington. 

Nellie never married instead she took on the task of helping raise Ronald’s six children after the death of his wife Grace in 1911.  Exactly when she joined Ronald to take on this task is not clear. Miriam implies it was right after Grace’s death but that might not be exactly true? 

Her niece Miriam held her in high esteem (click on the photo and it will get bigger for easier reading):

Nellie's Story by Miriam

Nellie also provided descendant charts of both of her parents Archie and Mary that Miriam passed on to her niece.  These charts will be featured in later posts.  These charts are the basis of the McDonell/McDonald research.


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