A Baptism In International Falls!

March 13, 2010

Keith Baptism

The St. Thomas Catholic Church in International Falls has baptimal records on file.  I obtained one for my cousin when she mentioned she didn’t have it.  My dad also had a baptimal document from this church and parish in his papers. 

  • The Birth and Baptism Record names him as Keith Barclay John.  My understanding is that the third name is the baptismal name. 
  • His parents’ names are given as Ronald MacDonald (note surname spelling) and Grace Barclay. 
  • The place of birth is International Falls, Minn.
  • The date of birth is March 13, 1910 and the date of baptism is April 1, 1910. 
  • The Godfather is John Ryan and Godmother was a Carrie Bacon.  I do not know these names. 
  • The priest baptizing him was P. [J.] Killeen.  It was signed May 7th, 1940 but I cannot make out the handwriting of the final signature.   A seal is embossed on the lower left corner.

St. Thomas Catholic Church, International Falls, MN

The spire from this church can be seen from many directions.  It is made of stone and is very beautiful to see from many angles.  This picture was taken in 2000.

A Life Begins in International Falls!

March 6, 2010

Birth Record Jacket


 Keith Barclay John McDonald, was born in International Falls, Koochiching County, Minnesota on March 13, 1910. On occasion his birthday would fall on Friday and his children would tease him about Friday the 13th. He took it in stride.   

It was his custom to always take a day off from work on his birthday.  I thought it was a great idea.  So in honor of this tradition, I took a day off work for my birthday.  He believed in celebrating the events in his life especially birthdays.    

His birth certificate was dated — issued April 3, 1941.  I found it among his papers.  Many people at this time sought out their birth records so they could apply for Social Security.  It was not always an easy task to obtain a birth record.  His older sister Vivian had letters and affidavits to determine her birthdate and was eventually successful.  

Here is the front jacket and nothing is written on it.  Inside it reads as follows:  

  • For his name “—— McDonald (unnamed in return)” 
  • Birthdate is Mar. 13, 1910. 
  • He is listed as male, 7th in order of birth, 7th child of the mother. 
  • Father is given as Ronald Sanfield McDonald, age 43, W., birthplace Canada, occupation - Business
  • Mother is Grace A. Barclay age 27, W., born Minnesota, occupation – Housewife. 
  • Physician was Mary C. Ghostley residing in International Falls
  • Date of the report was March 13, 1910.
  • The Registrar was a G. F. Swinnerton, International Falls, Date of filing March 20, 1910.  It was signed the State of Minnesota, County of Koochiching, in District Court – Fifteenth Judicial District. 
  • J. H. Drummond was the Clerk of the District Court etc. etc.etc.  

This is what I viewed personally as written in the birth registers at the Koochiching County Courthouse in International Falls when I visited there in 2000.  I know this unnamed baby to be my father, Keith.  

Koochiching County Courthouse


 Wikipedia gives some very interesting information on Friday the 13th and its impact on our culture.  I was just teasing him about his birthday being on Friday, but maybe I shouldn’t have???  Oh dear did I just admit to being the culprit?


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