Sources to use for Untangling McDonell, MacDonald, MacDonell & McDonald families….

September 2, 2014
St. Raphael's the 1st 50 years.

St. Raphael’s the 1st 50 years.

Mr. Duncan Darby MacDonald of the MacDonald Research centre in Brockville was the author of many books on Glengarry, Stormont and other counties in the Eastern area of Ontario.

Around 1999 and 2000, I emailed the MacDonald Research Centre about my family surname of MacDonald/McDonald/Macdonell and told Mr. MacDonald about the family and the births of my grandparents and their children in Chichester and Allumette area of the Upper Ottawa River.  I do not have a copy of the email anymore.  He growled at me, if you can growl in an email.  I tried several times to communicate but failed and backed off. I was very new back then to genealogy and that is not the case now.  I know a lot more about my family.

Mr. MacDonald passed away about 2006 and I have learned from an obituary notice that he was known as “Old Crusty.”  It is a very nice obituary for him at the Loyalist website:  http://www.uelac.org/Loyalist-Trails/2006/Loyalist-Trails-2006.php?issue=200647 You will have to scroll to the bottom.

You really cannot do any research on Glengarry County, Ontario without running into Mr. MacDonald’s works. I have seen them under Duncan Darby MacDonald, Darby MacDonald, William Harold MacDonald and other variations. He is probably better known for his church registers which you can find just about everywhere.

Here are two possible options using “Duncan MacDonald”

http://globalgenealogy.com/cgi-bin/htsearch  This gave me 50 hits.  Now Global Genealogy has taken over his estate where his publications are concerned so they can sell them.

With the use of “Darby MacDonald” or “Duncan Darby MacDonald”  in their search engine you get 25 hits.

http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette/gazed/gazed139.htm

Here is a list at the Family History Library there are 4 under Duncan Darby MacDonald and 56 under MacDonald, Duncan W. (Duncan William Harold) 1933.

The Toronto Public Library you get 137 hits on Duncan MacDonald, and 86 on Darby MacDonald.  http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/search.jsp?Ntt=Duncan+MacDonald  Most of these titles are at the North York Branch in their Canadiana room on the 6th floor.

The Cornwall Public Library in Cornwall, Ont.  - Cornwall Room and I get 16 hits on Duncan MacDonald and 11 on his full name.  The Cornwall Room hours are limited so you need to check with the librarian about the days and times.

The Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry County Library has 32 of his titles and they can be in different branches so you need to check their website.

The Ottawa Public Library has 27 of Mr. MacDonald’s titles.  They have their history room with restricted hours so check before you go.

Why am I telling you all this?  I am telling you this so if you need to find a copy to consult you have an idea of where to look and how to look for his titles.  I probably will be revisiting his books on my next trip to Ontario and Quebec this Fall.  Now these books are not the originals and you really need to go to the church records if you can and seek sources to support the charts.

Now he is not the only one, Alex Fraser is another who has compiled and written a lot of books you may want to consult:  http://www.glengarrycounty.com/awfrrbks.html

You can do the same with Alex’s titles and name as I did with Mr. MacDonald.  I believe the Lancaster Library in Lancaster, Ontario has a nice collection.

I actually used both Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Fraser’s books to design my visits to the various cemeteries on my Touring Glengarry posts on this blog.  I was pretty thorough but missed a few of the very small cemeteries.

In this post I want to concentrate on the genealogical charts Mr. MacDonald created. Truly they are a labor of love and dedication on his part.  I have tried to decipher them and have not been very successful.  Here is a summary of what I know.

There are several Volumes to the genealogical charts: They all have at the top this beginning:  Scotland’s Migrations to North America. Early Settlers to Upper Canada (Eastern Ontario) Stormont & Glengarry, by Duncan Darby MacDonald.  They all have a table of contents.

Part IV Genealogical Charts.

Part IV Genealogical Charts.

These were found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:

1.  A collection of genealogical charts, part I – covered only the MacDonell Families of “Leek,” “Cullachie,” and Abercalder,” as well as “Greenfield.”  Long out of print and updated in 3rd edition of Part – IV, see below.  FHL#929.271 M145m pt 1.  On 3 Fiche FHL#6049681  It is under the title of: The MacDonalds or MacDonells of Glengarry: and other genealogies in the Family Search Catalog and it says a digital version is available but it is not letting me view it.  I don’t have sufficient rights?

2. A collection of genealogical charts, part II, 1991 covers families in an around Cornwall, and St. Andrews (Stormont County), and a large section on MacDonell/MacDonald family. FHL#971.376 D2 Book form only.

3.  A collection of genealogical charts, part III, 1992 – Genealogies of families primarily from the counties of Stormont and Glengarry, Ontario.  FHL#971.37 D2m.  Additional descriptive information indicates this covers the families of Newington, Osnbruck and Cornwall with very few Scottish connections.  Also on FHL#1697932 Item 2.

4.  **A collection of genealogical charts  Part-IV, 3rd Edition, ISBN O-921133-39-1.  Much of the earlier work done by Daniel F. McDonald of Bristol, Conn and other members of his family at Bridgend (Stone Villa) Lancaster.  A second edition was published in 1988 and the 3rd in 1993.  FHL#971.37 D2, book only.  

5.  A collection of genealogical charts, part V was updated in a 2nd edition in 1989 and covers the families of MacMillan.   It is under The MacMillan’s: and other genealogies, FHL#929.271 M228  This one also says a digital version is available but when I click I get, not sufficient rights?  Also on microfilm FHL# 169771 Item 17.

Neil McGillis suggested I look at Duncan’s chart No. 13 page 724 sheet 3 we have the Lundie MacDonells. So I consulted my collection of Mr. MacDonald’s charts and found I did not have this chart #13, which turns out to be about 15 pages of charts starting on page 721 and going through to 735.  You will find these charts in Part -IV.

I shared about this specific chart in the post I wrote on August 26, 2014 titled: Revisiting:  Ronald (Ranald) and Janet McDonell – The Lundie Family Connection.  

The Janet who married Ronald is part of the Lundie Family through her father and mother John and Flora McDonell.  They appear on the chart.

I took it a step further and I found a copy of this book Part IV at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City in October 0f 2013 and there on Chart 13, sheet 5, page 73A are the names of my great grandparents Archibald and Mary McDonell, who I have posted about a great deal in this blog. Sigh…all these years and there it was…

I had wondered why my Kennedy cousin who gave me a copy of his chart when we had dinner on their outside street porch at D’Arcy Mcgee’s in Ottawa was so odd.  Well, as I gazed on this chart by Mr. MacDonald, I saw it was similar.

The 14 pages I copied have a lot more in them and it is pretty amazing. I am so glad I traveled both sides of the Upper Ottawa River back in 2012.  As I study Mr. MacDonald’s pages I have plenty to share in future posts.

Unfortunately, my grand Aunt Nellie’s chart on her mother Mary’s side does not agree with Mr. MacDonald’s and he has Mary’s parents as Angus and Janet rather than Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson.

Mr. MacDonald writes in his books comments like he placed in his Part IV, 3rd Edition at the beginning.

 “There will be errors and omissions and we look to other researchers and family members to bring these to my attention so that the records we leave for future generations will be correct.”

Apparently it was not meant to be for Duncan and me to connect.  However, I have met other researchers like Mr. McGillis and am so grateful to you all for going before me.  Thanks.  It is not easy to untangle McD’s heritage in Ontario, Canada.


Alexander John and Ellen McPherson McDonell a possible marriage!

June 17, 2014

There is a marriage of an Alexander McDonell to a Nellie McPherson in the records of the St. Andrews parish registers for a St. Raphael marriage?  These two people are my 2nd great grandfather provided I have the lineage correct.  I will address that issue in future posts.

There are certain things about this marriage that make me think it might be them:

1.  The use of the name “Nellie.”  My Aunt Nellie’s formal name is Ellen Elizabeth.

2.  The fact that Nellie’s mother is named Rachel.  If I have the ancestry correct great-grandmother Mary’s sister was named Rachel.

3.  The date of the marriage is about right for the children of Alexander and Ellen McPherson.

4.  The names are John, Duncan and McDonell and McPherson and Cameron.

Marriage of Alexander and Nellie

Marriage of Alexander and Nellie

“The ninth day of July one thousand eight hundred and twenty two Alexander McDonell son of John McDonell and of Mary Cameron of the Parish of St. Raphael, & Nelly McPherson daughter of the late John McPherson and of Rachael McDonell also the Parish of Saint Raphael, after two proclamations of banns and the dispensation of the third, and also the Dispensation of consanguinity in the fourth degree, no other dispensation being granted, and no other impediment being know, were joined in marriage by me the undersigned Priest and Vicar of the said St. Raphael in presence of Alexander McDonell and of Duncan McDonell and several other witnesses. Alexander McDonell Duncan McDonell.  Signed J. MacDonald Pr.”

Source:  1802 to 1835 St. Andrew’s West, Co. Stormont, Ontario, Registre photo. at la paroisee per P. Crossbie) 16 decembre 1960, page 308, Drouin Collection at Ancestry.

What does 4th degree of consanguinity mean?  Here are links that might help to explain it.  I am pondering it myself.

http://www.dads.state.tx.us/handbooks/appendix/29.htm

http://www.mec.mo.gov/webdocs/pdf/misc/relationshipchart.pdf

At this point I am not sure how to proceed but it probably means that I need to dig into probate/estate to prove my theory and find a family history and a lot more.


Jean’s Birthday Celebration 1924

December 5, 2013

The gossip column in the local newspaper is so much fun to read.  Here we find a little excerpt about Jean’s birthday celebration in 1924.  Her actual birthday was June 30th.

July 4, 1924 Jean's birthday party

July 4, 1924 Jean’s birthday party

It reads:  “In honor of Jean McDonald’s birthday a picnic was held at Fish Lake Saturday.  Those present were the Misses Nellie McDonald, Jean McDonald, Edna McDonald, Harriette Murphy, Doris Ryker and Velma Ryker.”  Cheney Free Press 7/4/1924.

The next photo was taken in 1927 and although it is not from the actual date above,  I thought it was fun.  On the left you find Vivian, then Miriam, Aunt Nellie and then Jean.

Vivian, Miriam, Aunt Nellie, & Jean 1927

Vivian, Miriam, Aunt Nellie, & Jean 1927


McKanna and McDonald Wedding 1924

May 23, 2013

My father’s family didn’t have a lot of money, so this wedding of Vivian’s must have been a great affair for them.  I wish I could have been there but my father, Keith, was only 14 years old at the time.  It was going to be another 16+ years before he met my mother and 7 years till my birth.

Again, there is another article in the Cheney Free Press dated July 4, 1924 about the marriage.  Most of my family kept a low profile and so this is very amazing that this marriage was written up three times in the newspaper.  Apparently the event was also a local happening.

Vivian and Hilary's wedding 1924

Vivian and Hilary’s wedding 1924

Vivian’s is stated as the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.S. McDonald.  Grace, Vivian’s mother had died in 1911, so this is either a  tribute to her memory or a formality of the time.  Vivian was 9 years old at the time of her mother’s death.  She knew her mother quite well and probably felt her loss greatly.  R.S. had been a widower for a good 13 years by the time of his oldest child’s and daughter’s wedding.

The Wedding party and guests 1924

The Wedding party and guests 1924

The wedding guests and wedding party gather.  Left to right:  Justine ? (maybe the friend of Vivian’s?). R.S. McDonald (father of the bridge), Leola Vivian (bride) are next.  Behind Vivian peeking out is probably Rev. Lyon’s.   Brother Gordon is way in the back with a thick head of hair.  Next to Vivian on the right is Hilary McKanna (groom). Behind Hilary is an unknown girl. Nellie in the middle in the back.  She is Vivian’s, aunt and sister to R.S.  The man to the right of Hilary is unknown.  Miriam (bridesmaid and sister) is next. Eddie (sister) is to the left behind Miriam.  To Miriam’s right and behind her is another unknown girl and further to her right is an unknown woman.  Sister Jean has her hand on the back of the unknown woman. Missing is brother Keith who is probably taking the picture?  Everyone looks happy.

It is unclear to me if the wedding took place at the Catholic Church in Cheney or at the house you see in the following pictures. One of the articles states it was held at the home of the bride.  Vivian was religious so I lean toward the church.  There were about seven photographs with the date of 1924 written on them.  I see the similarities in the clothing of all that leads me to believe these are related photographs.

This photograph has the date of June 24, 1924 on it.  The wedding was on the 25th.  Maybe these two photos presented below show them getting ready to get the license the day before the main event?  Someone, in the background,  is trying to keep the dog under control.  My father, Keith, mentioned he had a dog when he was a kid that he name Tony.  I wonder if that is Tony?

Hilary, Vivian and R.S. pose June 24, 1924

Hilary, Vivian and R.S. pose June 24, 1924

In the photograph that follows, we find R.S. (father of the bride) and Gordon (brother of the bride) looking very handsome in their suits. This photo looks like they are getting ready for some event or heading to the church?

Gordon & R.S. Looking ready for the Wedding.

Gordon & R.S. Looking ready for the Wedding.

This may be the wedding party.

Guy, Vivian, Hilary and Miriam 1924

Guy, Vivian, Hilary and Miriam 1924

I do not know who Guy is.  It must have been written on the back of the photo.   He does not look like the man in the group photo above.

Another view of the party and he appears again.

Guy, Miriam, Vivian and Hilary 1924

Guy, Miriam, Vivian and Hilary 1924

Miriam sent Vivian’s photograph scrapbook to Mickey (Robert) McKanna years ago and when I visited with Mickey he was kind to loan it to me.  I made copies and scanned a great may of the photographs.  I did return the scrapbook to Mickey. Mickey is the son of Philip and Kathleen McKanna.  Philip is Hilary’s brother.  I will post more on the McKanna’s in future posts.

Note:  There is a very good blog that shares information about the McKanna family.  http://willisgene.wordpress.com/  I also have it listed in my right side panel of this blog under Families History Websites of Interest.


Local Cheney Maid Weds!

May 11, 2013

In 1924, my Aunt Vivian got married.  It apparently was a big event in the lives of the McDonald family.

My Aunt Eddie celebrated her sister’s marriage with several items saved in her “Collection of Junk.”  Eddie had an article about the wedding and even wrote down the menu.

Cheney Maid Weds Yakima Man.

Cheney Maid Weds Yakima Man.

Menu:  Fruit Cocktail, Friksee’ Chicken, Mash Potatoes, Jello Salad, Buttered Peas, Cucumber Pickles, Olives, Peach Pickles, Ice Cream, Chocolate Cake, Wedding Cake and Coffee.

The cake looked delicious:

Vivian and Hilary's Wedding Cake

Vivian and Hilary’s Wedding Cake

On another piece of paper Eddie wrote down the names of those who attended:

The Wedding Guests and Party

The Wedding Guests and Party

It reads with my clarifications:

 June 25, 1924, Cheney, Washington, St. Rose of Lima Church, by Rev. John E. Lyons.

Those present:

R.S. McDonald (Father of the Bride)

Nellie McDonald (Aunt)

Elizabeth Willis

Robert Willis

Francis McKanna (Phil’s daughter?)

Phil McKanna (Hilary’s brother?)

Rev. Lyons

Justine Toff

Gordon McDonald (brother)

Miriam McDonald (sister)

Edna McDonald (sister)

Jean McDonald (sister)

Keith McDonald (brother)

Vivian McDonald (The Bride)

Hilary M. McKanna (The Groom)

The Cheney Free Press (dated 7/4/1924) under Local Happenings second column, pretty much confirms the guest list leaving out some of her siblings.

Local Gossip about the wedding

Local Gossip about the wedding

Note:  I am assuming that the newspaper article with the picture of Vivian and titled “Cheney Maid Weds…” came from the Cheney Free Press where I found other articles referencing the event.  I did not have a lot of time to search this newspaper when I visited the Eastern Washington University library microfilm collection of newspapers to confirm this fact.


School Census for Cheney, Washington

March 28, 2013

I know that Vivian, Gordon, Miriam, Eddie and Jean all went to Cheney High School but not my father Keith, he went to Gonzaga which was a combination college and high school located in Spokane.

HistoryLink.org has a short article about the Normal School

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=8246

In 2002 when I went to Spokane to do research on my Dad and his family, I went to the Spokane Public Library and tried to find city directories for Cheney among the collection of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society.  City directories usually cover a large city.  As the city grows more areas are listed in what are called suburban directories.  I was unable to located any city directories that covered Cheney from 1920 to 1925.  I did find Spokane directories and thoroughly studied them. I was trying to find the address for the house they lived in Cheney but was unsuccessful.

A visit to the Washington State Archives on the Eastern Washington University campus opened the door to the use of School census.  My genealogy buddy had told me about them and found some good information for her search elsewhere in the state.

Census of Children, Spokane County, WA 1922

Portion of Census of Children, Spokane County, WA 1922

SOURCE:  Census of Children between 4/5 & 21 years, residing in School District #20, Spokane Co., Washington, May 1920-1926, Washington State Archives, Eastern Branch, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA.

1920: Vivian McDonald is listed as parent and signs:
Children listed: Vivian McDonald, Birth: May 12, 1902, Female, 32 wks at school, PO Address: Cheney, WA.
Gordon McDonald, May 3, 1904, male, 32 wks, Cheney, WA
Miriam McDonald, Jan. 15, 1906, female, 32 wks., Cheney, WA
Edna McDonald, Mar 28, 1907, female, 32 wks., Cheney, WA
Jean McDonald, June 30, 1909, female, 32 wks, Cheney, WA
Keith McDonald, Mar 28, 1910, male, 32 wks, Cheney, WA (date is wrong)

1922: R.S. McDonald is parent, Nellie signs
Vivian, Gordon, Miriam, Edna same as above

1923: Nellie is parent and signs as well. Vivian is not listed as doing any weeks at school, Gordon and Miriam did 36 while Edna, Jean and Keith did  35 weeks at school. The rest of the information is the same.

1924: Nellie is parent and signs
Vivian is not listed. Gordon, Miriam, Edna, Jean and Keith are listed with the same birth dates. Gordon is teaching at Big Timber, MT. with no weeks at school. Miriam and the rest did 36 weeks. Miriam is at “Normal.” Edna and Jean are in the 11th grade and Keith is in the 7th.

1925: Nellie is parent and signs
Both Vivian and Gordon are not listed. Mariam is at Normal, Edna and Jean are in 12th grade and Keith is in the 8th. All have done 36 weeks.

1926: R.S. McDonald is parent and signs
Vivian and Gordon are not listed. Miriam is listed as teaching, Edna has no school but is in Spokane. Jean is at Cheney with 36 weeks and Keith is in Spokane with 36 weeks.

These school census really shows the progression of Dad’s siblings lives during a short period of time from 1920 to 1926.  It gives the birth dates and that is good if you don’t have that information.  However, be careful they can be incorrect.

What is on these school census:  Names of Parents or Guardians, Names of the children, Date of birth, sex, no. of weeks at school, Address, signature.

Unfortunately, it does not give an address where they lived while they were in Cheney, WA.  So I have not been successful with the city directories nor the school census to find an address but I have learned a little about the movements of the McDonald children.

Cheney High School 1912

Cheney High School 1912

There was a society in Cheney that I visited called the Tillicum Society and I talked with a nice lady who told me that a great many of the houses in Cheney had been torn down.  This was disappointing news.  She also told me that the Cheney High School yearbooks also didn’t survive which would have been so wonderful to see if the McDonald children were in them.

I was given a handwritten name list of the Cheney High 1920-1925 graduates from the principal who was not identified. It was eight pages long.  I get the feeling this was from his memory.  It is missing Vivian.  Keith didn’t go to Cheney High School, he went to Gonzaga.  I was not given permission to publish but I am sure they would be helpful if you called them.  See link below.

1920:  no one listed from my family

1921:  Listed Gordon McDonald

1922:  Listed Marian McDonald

1923:  no one was listed from my family

1924:  no one was listed from my family

1925:  McDonald Edna, McDonald Jean

By the way I believe the Tillicum Society is now the Cheney Historical Museum:  http://www.cheneymuseum.org/index.html

Note:  The Photo of the Cheney High School was on a notecard given to me by the lady who helped me at the society.  Please go to their website if you had family in Cheney and  support them.

My Aunt Eddie, Keith’s older sister, is going to help us learn a little about what life was like for the McDonald children during Cheney High School years and a little more.  She had a journal book she filled with memorabilia from about 1915 to 1925.  She called it a “Collection of Junk.”


Family Recipe Friday: A Recipe from the Past – Nellie’s Creation

March 15, 2013

Here is a fun item given to me by a cousin who is a descendant of my dad’s sister Jean.  It is a recipe that was a favorite of Nellie’s.  My cousin added ice cream, chocolate or carmel sauce and all kinds of tasty bites to it.  I have not yet taken the time to make the recipe but it does sound delicious and I do love chocolate. Enjoy!

Nellie's Cake Recipe ca 1890

Nellie’s Cake Recipe ca 1890


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