Hilary’s Early Life!

July 3, 2013

Here are some photographs of Hilary McKanna, my Aunt Vivian’s husband, taken in his younger years, probably taken in Alaska:

Hilary as a young boy

Hilary as a young boy

Hilary with another boy that might be one of his brothers?

Hilary with a boy not named?

Hilary with a boy not named?

In this following photograph we see Hilary in a happy mood.  The writing on the back had C. Penglase and I wonder if this is the C. Penglase that married Helena Mary McDonald, daughter of great Uncle Angus McDonald who would know be Hilary’s father-in-law Ronald’s brother?

Hilary with friend - C. Penglase

Hilary with friend – C. Penglase

This photo is one of my favorites of Hilary.  My memories of him were he was a gentle and kind man.

Hilary by the stairs about 1920

Hilary by the stairs about 1920

This photo was taken in 1923:

A Portrait of Hilary McKanna 1923, just before his marriage to Vivian

A Portrait of Hilary McKanna 1923, just before his marriage to Vivian

My curiosity and the inspiration of the blog:  A Convergence of Families has pushed me to try a few internet searches and I found some additional sites that will further the McKanna family history:

The McKanna House and Family from a descendant of James Adelbert McKanna:

http://www.lauralei.com/McKanna/History.htm

The Rooney Family in Canada which mentions the parents of Michael and Katherine

http://www.rooneys-minnesota.com/rooney-family-in-canada.html


Hilary McKanna’s Family!

June 20, 2013

There is definitely connection between the Angus McDonald family, the McKanna family and the Penglase family.

The story is that Vivian met Hilary at Uncle Angus McDonald’s home in West Seattle. Angus’s daughter Helena Mary McDonald married a Claude Penglase and had George Robert Penglase.  I have shared the information on the Penglase family when I posted about Angus McDonald’s family on this blog before. Angus is Keith’s uncle and Ronald’s brother.

Hilary’s parents were Michael Bernard McKanna and Katherine Rooney.

There is a blog that shares information on the McKanna family:

A Convergence of Families:  Willis and Hermsen, McKanna and Rooney, Steltjes and Fleming, Caldwell and Lynch at the following link

http://willisgene.wordpress.com/the-mckanna-family-pioneers-of-the-northwest/

There is more at this blog so take your time to explore.  I am not an expert on the McKanna’s but I do believe the writer is one.

The Convergence blog tells the story of the McKanna’s.  The spelling of the name was apparently McCanna in the beginning.

The blog also has a picture of the tombstone of Michael Bernard McKanna.

Robert “Mickey” McKanna, Michael and Katherine’s grandson, told me the story of how he and his kids hiked up to see the gravesite at Miner’s Cemetery, on top of the Chilkoot Pass, near Lake Bennett in British Columbia. This was no small feet to get to the cemetery.  I was visiting Mickey at his cabin in 2002.

“Michael came over from Ireland and settled in Stearns Co., Minnesota.  There were locust infestations for 4-5 years in a row and that is when they then moved onto Fargo, ND where they had a child.  In Miles City, MT they had Emmett and Phillip (Mickey’s dad).  They moved on to Douglas, Alaska where they had Hilary who was apparently the youngest of the clan.  Michael McKanna, the grandfather, was starting back to the US and became sick at Lake Bennett south of Fairbanks. 

Years ago Mickey took two of his sons on a hike to find this grave’s location.  A forest service person marked the trail for Mickey so they could find the cemetery.  It had 13 graves of which one was his grandfather Michael.  Michael died at 49/50 years old.  Mickey thinks that his aunt made it to the grave because of the style of the inscription.”  Spoken by Mickey McKanna grandson. 

Source:  Journal of Trip to Yakima and Spokane, July 2002, by B. J. MacDonald. There are Spracklins who live in the Miles City, Montana area.  The Spracklins are one of Keith’s older families through his grandmother Amarilla Spracklin Barclay.

Based on my notes from Mickey I have the following information about this family.

Please be advised that I only have this information that follows because I was curious. When I knew Mickey I was a munchkin so I didn’t pay any attention to this stuff.   This family of the McKanna’s is only related to my family by marriage.  So I have not taken the time to really dig and get the facts.  I refer you to the Convergence blog I listed above for the real story.

Michael apparently emigrated from Ireland per Mickey’s sharing, but I have no detailed information on him other than his death and there is a picture of the tombstone on the above mentioned blog.  Katherine was born about 1852 maybe in Canada and died about 1939.

NOTE:  Find A Grave has a tombstone for a Katherine A. McKanna buried in the Holy Trinity Cemetery in Goldendale, Klickitat County, WA.  The dates are 1852 to 1939.  Of course I would have to verify this information.

The children of Michael Bernard McKanna and Katherine A. Roovey

1.  Elizabeth McKanna 1875-1930.  She married a man named Robert Willis, and had a son names James E. Willis 1912 to 1930.  See the Convergence of Families blog.

2.  James McKanna – no further information on this child? Again check out the Convergence blog for more information.

3.  Emmett Joseph McKanna 1879-1958.  Emmett Joseph was born 8 Jun 1879 and died 15 Mar 1958 in Yakima, Yakima Co., Washington.  He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Yakima not too far from the McDonalds that I have been posting about.  I stumbled on this family when I was researching the Calvary Cemetery where Ronald, Nellie, Miriam, Gordon, Vivian and Eddie are buried.

He married Lillian Mary Penglase who was born 28 Feb 1885, and died 6 Dec 1975 in Yakima and is buried next to her husband.  Thanks to the Convergence blog for this piece of information about Lillian’s last name.

Private funeral services will be held Friday at 10 a.m. in St. Paul Cathedral in Yakima for Mrs. Lillian M. McKanna, longtime Yakima resident who died Friday in Seattle.  Mrs. McKanna moved to Seattle upon the death of her husband, Emmett J. McKanna, who was a longtime real estate agent in Yakima.  She moved to Seattle to live with her daughter.  Suvivors include a son, Emmett Jr. of California; two daughters, Mrs. Mary Dietzen of Yakima and Elizabeth McFadden of Seattle; two sisters Frances Barnhill of Los Angles and Rose Moran of San Francisco; 14 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

Source:  Obituary for Mrs. Lillan McKanna (Out of Town), December 11, 1975, Yakima Newspaper (Unknown).  Found at the Calvary Cemetery office in Yakima, WA.

These are note cards copied by the Calvary Cemetery office showing information on the burial location of these burials:

McKanna, Vivian (Leola) Age 82 618 So. 3rd St. Selah, WA 98942
Blk D, Sect 84, E 1/2 Gr 2, Langevin & Mussetter 14 Nov. 1984, 6/18/81 $185.00 Buril $311.31) pd 12/3/84
McKanna, Lillian M. age 90 Blk D, Sec 26, W1/2, Gr 6 Dec 12, 1975 Fisher-Kalfus Funeral Home, Seattle, St. Pals $331.75 pg. 4/27/1976
McKanna, Emmett J., Age 78 Blk D Sect 26, W 1/2, Gr 5, Mar 19, 1958, St. Paul, Fr. McRath. S&S.
McKanna, Lt. John Willis Blk D, Sec 26, W/12, Gr. 7, Aug 14, 1943, Age 28 Shaw & Sons.

Emmett's tombstone in Calvary Cemetery, Yakima

Emmett’s tombstone in Calvary Cemetery, Yakima

JohnWillisMcKanna LillianMaryMcKannaTombstone

John Willis McKanna and Lillian Mary McKanna’s tombstone

They had:

a.  Lt. John Willis McKanna 1915-1943 was born 23 Jun 1915 and died 10 Aug 1943.  He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Yakima next to his parents.

b.  Emmett McKanna Jr.  b. ________ died after 1977 in La Jolla, California.  He married a Marjorie J. Young and she died 2 Nov. 1977 in La Jolla, California.  They had Susan who married a Humiston and Sarah who married Schneider and had John and James.

c.  Mary McKanna married a Dietzen

d.  Elizabeth McKanna married a McFadden

4. Philip McKanna 1896-1941 was born 1896 in Montana and died about 1941 in California?  He married a Kathleen who was born about 1898 in Washington and died in California?

A curious piece of information at Find A Grave has a Phillip F. McKanna born May 17, 1884 d. August 6, 1940 in the same cemetery at the Katherine above – Holy Trinity?

The children of Philip and Kathleen:

a.  Alice McKanna born about 1928

b.  William McKanna born about 1926 and died about 1970 and may be buried in Arlington Cemetery, VA?  He married Marilyn Jean Pebley and had about three children.  Bill was in the Navy and Air Force?

c.  Robert “Mickey” John McKanna born about 1930 in Alaska.  He married Christine Henschield on 9 Aug. 1958 in Spokane.  She died several years ago.  They had 6 children.   Mickey is the nephew of Hilary McKanna and came to live with Hilary and Vivian.  See below.

d.  Mary Jane McKanna born about 1933 may have married a Teratino.

Apparently Philip McKanna was married a second time to an unknown person and had 3 children a Hugh, Phil and a Francis.  I have very little information about this marriage.  Mickey said it was a prior marriage that gave him 1/2 siblings.

1940 Census – Linden Lane, Line 34, 629, 99, 12, 20.00, McKanna, Philip, Head,  M, W, 55, M, No., 44, 30, Montana, XOXO, No, No, No, No, O, 8, 13, 130, No. McKanna, Kathleen, wife, 1, F, W, 42, M, No, 42, 10, Washington, No, — McKanna, William, son, 2, M, W, 14, S, yes, H1, 9, Washington, McKanna, Alice, daughter, 2, F, W, 12, S, yes, 5, 5, Washington, McKanna, Robert, son, 2, M, W, S, yes, 5, 5, Alaska. McKanna, Mary Anne, daughter, 2, F, W, 7, S, yes, 1, 1, Alaska.

Source:  Philip McKanna Family, 1940 US Census, Long Beach, Los Angeles, California, Block 5, SD#18, ED#59-58, Sht#3A, April3-4, 1950, enumerator Randal W. Brooks.  Ancestry.com.

5. Robert McKanna  - This is Bob and Theo of which I have lots of pictures from Vivian’s photo album, loaned to me by Mickey McKanna.

Bob and Theo 1926

Bob and Theo 1926

6.  Hilary Michael McKanna born 11 Jun 1892, Douglas Island, Alaska and died 18 Oct 1957 in Medical Lake, Spokane Co., Washington.  He is buried in the St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Spokane.  He married my Aunt Leola Vivian McDonald 25 June 1924 in Cheney, Spokane Co., Washington.  I have posted about this marriage in past posts.  Vivian is Keith’s older sister as you will remember.

Note:  Internment has a listing for the St. Joseph Cemetery in Spokane, WA and there are McCannas and McKannas buried there including Hilary.

http://www.interment.net/data/us/wa/spokane/stjoe/st_joseph_mq.htm

Vivian & Hilary 1925

Vivian & Hilary 1925

When Philip, Hilary’s brother died suddenly, Bill the son was invited to come and live with Hilary and Vivian in Greenacres, Spokane, WA where they settled.  Mickey McKanna came to visit his brother and liked it and decided to stay.  Hilary and Vivian didn’t have children of their own so Bill and Mickey became very important to them.

Hilary with his nephews Mickey and Bill McKanna

Hilary with his nephews Bill on the left and Mickey McKanna 1945

Now you know why Keith, the subject of this blog, and his siblings all knew Mickey (Robert John McKanna) and his brother Bill (William).

Ronald S. McDonald, Bill McKanna, Vivian and Hilary 1940's.

Ronald S. McDonald, Bill McKanna, Vivian and Hilary 1940′s.

The photo above shows the connection to the McKanna’s.  Ronald (R.S.) McDonald is the father of Vivian and she is standing between her nephew Bill McKanna and her husband Hilary McKanna.

Again, for more details about the McKanna family and Hilary’s and Bill’s ancestors see the blog: A Convergence of Families:  Willis and Hermsen, McKanna and Rooney, Steltjes and Fleming, Caldwell and Lynch at the following link and take a look around for more information.

http://willisgene.wordpress.com/the-mckanna-family-pioneers-of-the-northwest/


Leola Vivian and Hilary McKanna begin Married Life!

June 6, 2013

The story is that Vivian met Hilary at Uncle Angus McDonald’s home in West Seattle.  Uncle Angus had spent time in Alaska although I have not been able to prove it. Angus McDonald was the older brother of R.S. and I have posted on his family previously in this blog.

The posts covering Angus are: “The Family of Angus McDonald – Eldest Son, The Legend of Uncle Angus McDonald, World War I, My McDonald Cousins Serve, Angus’ Wife Louisa Jane Hanson.” The dates 2/16/2012 to 3/22/2012.

Vivian is standing next to a very young boy in the following photo and the date on the photograph is Seattle, August 1924 which would be after the wedding.   The only boy I am aware of that would be close to the age of this child may be Helena Mary McDonald Penglase’s son George Robert Penglase.  There was definitely a link there with Vivian and Uncle Angus.

Vivian with boy in Seattle?

Vivian with boy in Seattle?

The certificate for Vivian’s wedding survives:

Vivian and Hilary's Marriage Certificate

Vivian and Hilary’s Marriage Certificate

It reads:  Certificate of Marriage #35111, State of Washington, County of Spokane, …on the 25th day of June in the …1924 at Cheney in the county of Spokane and State aforesaid.  I the undersigned Catholic Priest by authority of a license bearing date the 24th day of June A.D. 1924 …did join in lawful wedlock Hilary M. McKanna of the County of Yakima, State of Washington and Leola V. McDonald of the County of Spokane, State of Washington.  Witnesses were Robert J. Willis and Miriam McDonald, signed by the groom and the bride.  Also signed by Rev. John E. Lyons, Residence St. Rose Church, Cheney, Wash. 

I also have another document that has more information on it from which this fancier license was created.  Under Hilary is states that he is 32 years old, single and has not been married before. He was residing in Yakima.  He was born in Douglas, Alaska to Michael Bernard McKanna and Katherine Rooney and both were born in Canada.  Vivian’s side has her full formal name of Leola Vivian McDonald residing in Cheney.  She is 22 years old, single and has not been married before.  She was born in Minnesota to Ronald S. McDonald born in Quebec and Grace Barclay born in Minnesota.  It does state they were married at the St. Rose Church in Cheney, WA.

The Certificate of Marriage was recorded  in Book 32, page 458, Spokane, WA on 27 June 1924 by John Gifford County Clerk and M.F. Harvie Deputy.

The Happy Couple 1924

The Happy Couple 1924

Two years later this picture was taken of Mr. and Mrs. in 1926 in Spokane.  So by that time Hilary and Vivian had made the move to Spokane. Later they would settle in Greenacres (east of Spokane).

Mr. & Mrs. Spokane WA 1926

Mr. & Mrs. Spokane WA 1926


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.


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.


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.


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