Touring the Upper Ottawa River: Sheenboro Township in Quebec

June 9, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sheen Municipality Sign

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

Sheenboro, looking south, southeast

The church and its sign – St. Paul the Hermit

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

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

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

St. Paul the Hermit Overview

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

John McDonald and Julia Record Tombstone

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

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

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

St. Paul the Hermit RC Church & Cemetery

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

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

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

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

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

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

The road into the Fort William area after the gate

The beach

The Pontiac Hotel and beach area

The Fort William Beach

The Pontiac Hotel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

March 31, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still back one more census to 1861.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29 other followers

%d bloggers like this: