Revisiting: Ronald (Ranald) and Janet McDonell – The Lundie Family Connection!

August 26, 2014

Today, I am revisiting one of the children of Alexander John McDonell and Rachel McPherson.  This child is Ronald McDonell (Ranald) who married Janet McDonell. According to Neil McGillis who found this blog, Janet, is a member of the Lundie McDonells.  It is a great day when you find connections.

I wrote about this couple in a past post dated September 29, 2011 and it was titled:

The Ronald McDonell & Janet McDonell Family.”

http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/2011/09/

Neil has kindly consented to my sharing the family chart he sent to me.  I  removed the last line of individuals below Catherine and Ed Gallagher because they are still living.

McDonell of Lundie Chart

McDonell of Lundie Chart

Janet was a child of John McDonell who married Flora McKinnon and also Flora W. McLellan (dau of Donald McLellan and Isabella McGillis).* The marriage to Flora took place about  January 1827 in Beckwith Twp.

Where is Beckwith Twp., it is in Lanark County, Ontario:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beckwith,_Ontario

This link is to the township site where they have some brochures and a book:

http://www.twp.beckwith.on.ca/history.aro

Beckwith: Irish and Scottish Identities in a Canadian Community. Looks like you can read some of this book here:  http://www.ourroots.ca/e/toc.aspx?id=6013 

To think I drove through the area in 2012 and stopped for gas in Carleton Place on my way to Hastings Co. I guess I should have dallied more in Lanark County, although I did enjoy Smith Falls and visited the Lanark County Genealogical Society. http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/lanark-county-smith-falls-ontario/  I knew there was more there because of the references to Alexander MacDonald who lived in Sandpoint along the Ottawa river having been there in Lanark and then in Glengarry County and then up to the Arnprior area.  I just did not know how he fit in.  I will share more about that in a later post.

John McDonell then migrated to Horton Twp. which is in Renfrew County, Ontario and onto Chichester which is in Pontiac County, Quebec and he died in Sheenboro Twp. on 13 February 1861.  I visited this area in 2012 and wrote many posts about my adventure on this blog under the title of the Touring the Upper Ottawa….I was in Renfrew County quite a bit on my trip in 2012 and also in Sheenboro.

John is not listed on the tombstones at the Gravemarker gallery  nor in the written online transcript as being buried in the St. Paul De Hermit Roman Catholic Cemetery graveyard.  I have visited this cemetery in person in Sheenboro, Pontiac Co., Quebec and there are lots of empty spaces even though it is well-tended.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~klf69/sheenboro/index.htm

In reviewing the above chart, and the family pages I list below,  we see that  John and Flora McLellan had the following children:

1.  Donald b. 1827

2.  Angus b. 1829.  He married Ellen Kennedy, 8 January 1867.

3. ** Janet b. 1831.  She married first Ranald (Ronald) McDonald 1827 to 1862 and her 2nd marriage was to Thomas Poupore [Sr.]

4.  Alexander 1833 to 1885.  He married Johanna Walsh.  After his death she remarried to a Peter Langan.  He died about 1896. She died about 1913.

5.  Duncan married Isabella.

6.  Allan b. 1835 a deaf-mute

7. Betsy b. 1840, she married Francis Walsh in 1867.

8. Louisa b. 1843 married Donald McGillis

JohnMcDonell&Flora McLellan

If the chart is to confusing try this:  Janet&Ronald  Please be advised that charts and outlines are subject to change at any time.

Neil gave me a link to a family website and I have tried comparing the chart above with a family tree online at Rootsweb titled:   French, Scottish, Irish, German and English families of James and Deborah McDonald,* by James Allan McDonald compiler.  He has information on this line of McDonells/Macdonells and takes Janet’s lineage way back.

Here is the link to John McDonell on this tree and you can see that he is named John Mor MacDonell. Just click on his name and it will bring you to his individual page.

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=REG&db=ranaldthecalf&id=I19362

I am still trying to read through this family tree and absorb it.  I am impressed with it but I am also a little wary of some of the sources. As I always say please verify the information yourself.

The above website at Rootsweb does not go into any detail about Flora McLellan.  You have to go back to the chart I have displayed above. It does list the children from John’s first marriage.

My information has Janet’s birth to be about 1833 so it makes sense that John married the second time to Flora McLellan before 1827.  If there is a record of that marriage, I would be glad to receive it.

John Mor MacDonell was born about 1781 in Scotland and lived in Glengarry Co., on the 6th Concession, Lochiel Twp. at about the date of 12 Jan. 1841. Unfortunately, there is no mention of the lot number but there is one listed for his brother Archibald as Lot 4 the north end of the sixth Concession in Lochiel Twp. for about 1845.  John died 7 February 1861 in Sheen Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec.

The website does give children for John and the 1st Flora as follows:  Mary 1811, Nancy 1810 in Scotland, Penelope 1813 in Scotland, Christine 1817,  and Donald 1826.  They may be other children – see my chart just click to open which is not necessarily in birth order.

JohnMcDonell & Flora MacKinnon

 

The website goes on to give the parents of John Mor MacDonell

–Alexander (Lundi) MacDonell b. Abt 1754 in Knoydart, Scotland and he married Janet (Barrisdale) MacDonell b. 1763 in Knoydart, Scotland.  He died on 1 Jan. 1842 in the snows near Allumette Island.   Janet was born about 1763 in Knoydart and died 14 Jan. 1847 in Stark’s Corners, Clarendon Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knoydart

Neil mentioned a 1815 list of enrollees to which you will find a transcription of those that came on the ships the Dorothy, Baltic Merchant, and Atlas:   http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/passengerlists/edinburghindex.shtml  Alexander is featured in the list for the Baltic Merchant. Lucille H. Campey in her book: The Scottish Pioneers to Upper Canada, 1784 to 1855 Glengarry and Beyond, has a combined ship summary of this list on page. 191, Appendix 1, “General List of Settlers, Enrolled for Canada under the Government Regulations at Edinburgh, 1815,” [PRO CO 385/2 ff 3-26].   PRO stands for Public Records Office and CO is Colonial office.   I guess it means I have to go to England to see the list. HA!

Alexander’s father was:

– Roderick (Rauri) MacDonell U.E. and he married Mary Cameron and they had:

1.  Alexander – John’s father

2. Ronald MacDonell b. about 1768

3. Roderick (Rory Og) MacDonell

4. Angus Mor MacDoneld b. in Scotland

–Roderick’s father is Angus (Lundie) MacDonell U.E.L.  and he died in 1783 enroute to Glengary Co. from the Mohawk Valley of New York State.  There is more but you can enjoy the links I have given and do your own investigating.

There is still more digging and studying to do.  Did you notice mention of the Mohawk Valley in NY, well, I am absolutely fascinated by the history of that area. A surprise to come if all goes well on my trip.  The other is the initials of U.E. and U.E.L. I guess it is time to start studying Loyalists records and not just dabble.  Of course the references to Sheenboro and Allumette just make me happy!

Neil took it one more step further and referred me to Chart #13, page 724 of the work of Duncan Darby MacDonald of the MacDonald Research Centre in Brockville, Ontario.  I have mentioned Mr. MacDonald in past posts.  He has written many books on Glengarry history, church records and charts.  Unfortunately, he passed away several years ago.  However, you cannot do research in Glengarry or areas nearby without coming across his works.  It is now time to dig in to the charts and there are about 5 volumes of charts.

Fortunately, the book below is the book we can target.  It is very thick and a copy is at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  I think it is very rare book and not many copies were published,  because I have not been able to purchase a copy for myself.  I do now that most of the estate went to Global Genealogy. They never did add more to this initial list of the titles.  http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette/gazed/gazed139.htm

Source;  Scotland’s Migratons to North America. Early Settlers to Upper Canada (Eastern Ontario) Stormont & Glengarry, a collection of genealogical charts by Duncan (Darby) MacDonald, Part-IV, 3rd Edition, 1993, ISBN O-921133-39-1.   

This book has many charts in it of many prominent families and Lundie MacDonells start on page 721 to 735, with mention of other charts to consult written on some of the pages.

Now when you search for Mr. MacDonald, he will be either Darby MacDonald, Duncan Darby MacDonald, William Harold and other variations of his name.

 


The Migrations of Downeys and MacDonalds…

June 5, 2014

Before I launch into sharing about my dad, Keith’s, growing up and learning the craft of airplane mechanic in the Army Air Corp, I want to go back in time and share additional information that has come to light about his Mac/McDonald family.

This blog has brought me many wonderful experiences and among them are meeting new cousins and interested readers.  It has also increased my knowledge of researching in Canada. I have learned that I have to extend my search areas to a much larger view.

Two families that migrated where the Hugh and Theresa Downey family and the Ambrose and Mary Jane (McCarthy) MacDonald family.  They left Sheenboro and Chichester in Pontiac County, Quebec and headed for Saskatchewan.  They are buried in the St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery near Leroy.

Ambrose MacDonald was a son of Duncan and Elizabeth (Sauvé)McDonell.  I wrote about Duncan and Elizabeth’s family in this post on this blog: “Duncan McDonell and Elizabeth Sauvé,” November 10, 2011.  My cousins and I are still working on figuring out their children so don’t assume it is completely correct.

Ambrose would be a nephew of my great-grandmother Mary McDonell who married Archibald McDonell, yes they were both McDonells.  Duncan would be Mary’s brother if the lineage is correct.  I will discuss that tangle in a later post.  It appears that Duncan Darby MacDonald who did a lot of research on families in Glengarry, Ontario and my Aunt Nellie have a different take on the lineage in the family?

Switching over to the other side of the family, to Archibald’s side, I was able to determine with help from another cousin that the John McDonell who lived in Sheenboro and was married to Julia with the many last names was Archibald’s brother.  His daughter Theresa married a Hugh Downey and they migrated to Leroy, Saskatchewan.  Of course, I need to do further research to establish this relationship.

I wrote about this in my post for this blog dated March 31, 2012, “A Discovery: Archie’s brother John McDonell, living next door in Sheen.”

Today, I would like to share with you photographs taken by a descendant of Ambrose who has given me permission to share.  These are from the St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery near Leroy, Saskatchewan:

First, the Ambrose and Mary Jane MacDonald family:

St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery, Leroy, Saskatchewan

St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery, Leroy, Saskatchewan

Ambrose and Mary J.

Ambrose and Mary J.

Children of Ambrose and Mary

Children of Ambrose and Mary

Francis George MacDonald 1916 to 1916

Francis George MacDonald 1916 to 1916

Clarence MacDonald 1918 to 1920

Clarence MacDonald 1918 to 1920

Lorena MacDonald 1923 to 1925

Lorena MacDonald 1923 to 1925

UPDATE 6/27/2014:  I have been informed that Leo Clarence MacDonald is buried in Leroy at the Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery, Leroy, SK. This cemetery is right in the town of Leroy. Go here for more information on this cemetery:

  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansacem/leroy_rosary.html

Leo Clarence MacDonald 1921 to 1990.

Leo Clarence MacDonald 1921 to 1990.

Next is the Hugh and Theresa (McDonell) Downey family in St. Patrick Cemetery are:

Hugh Downey Feb. 23, 1869 to May 12, 1945.

Hugh Downey Feb. 23, 1869 to May 12, 1945.

Theresa Downey Nov. 19, 1868 to Nov. 19, 1938

Theresa Downey Nov. 19, 1868 to Nov. 19, 1938

Joseph Bonaface MacDonald 1903 to 1957

Joseph Boniface MacDonald
1903 to 1957

I was having trouble finding this cemetery on Find A Grave but I will go back and study it later.  They want you to use Saint not St. and it can get confusing.  Now what I need are obituaries for these people.

I did find this cemetery at the Saskatchewan Cemeteries Project:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansacem/leroy_patricks.html

Again, thanks to my cousin for taking and sharing these photos, it is so very cool!


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/


Alexander Thomas McDonald passes in 1955

November 22, 2012

I never met my great Uncle Alex.  He died with I was 7 years old and we did live quite a distance from each other.

Photo:  The following photograph is of Alexander visiting with his nephews, Keith is on the left and Gordon is in the middle.  This photo below is an interesting contrast between the photo of Keith as a little boy sitting on Alex’s knee for the Fireman’s conference in the post dated:  August 7, 2010 “Alexander Thomas McDonald, Fireman.”  Photo is probably circa 1930’s.  Keith was about 5 feet 5 inches so we can see that Alex was probably just a tad taller and solidly built.  The men may have been short but they were stocky in build.

Uncle Alex with Keith and Gordon

When I visited my cousin Mary, Alex’s niece, in 2000 and 2001 and she told me stories about Alexander.

Alex never married but he did have on occasion ladies he was fond of.  He used to go down to the Boston Cafe at the same time every day.  He was fond of Sadie Rule who worked there.  He also had fancy cars and use to take his girl Jean for drives. Jean was a nice lady. 

Sarah, her mother, used to have Alex over for Sunday dinners every week.  Alex lived with Mary for a time towards the end of his life when he started getting sick but he was too regimented a person and did not understand what life was like for a family.  Alex visited her in the hospital when she had her 2nd child and while he was sitting there he had a stroke (1952).  He died of pneumonia in 1955 with complications (throat cancer).”

In an article in the Fireman’s Centennial Book, International Falls, 1982 this appears:

“Gil” Louiseau retires 1982….Gil Louiseau retired from the International Falls fire department September 15, 1983 after serving 26 years…Gil’s wife Mary, is the former Mary McDonald, whose father Jack and Uncle Alex were early day fireman with the International Falls Fire Department. Uncle Alex served as relief driver and caretaker of the team of horses which were the only ‘horsepower’ the early day department had to haul the water wagon to fire locations within the city…”

Alex is mentioned on page 3 in the Volunteer Fireman listings of 1900-1992. On page 12 there is a photo of the horse team and both Alex and Jack are listed. On page 21 there is a picture of the firehouse were Alex was stationed.  

Falls Firemen 1917

Obituary found in the Daily Journal, International Falls, MN on November 4, 1955. This newspaper obituary notice was in the files of the Koochiching Public Library.

Alex McDonald, Falls Resident since 1904, Dies. Alex T. McDonald, 80, pioneer resident of International Falls, died late Thursday night at the Falls Nursing home, where he has made his home for several years. He had been confined to his bed for about a week. Born in Chichester, Que., November 25, 1874, he moved to Duluth in 1897. From there he came to International Falls in 1904 and has lived here since that time, except for a brief period spent in Western Canada. McDonald operated a dray line in the Falls for 11 years, and was city weighmaster from 1919 to 1947, a period of 28 years. He never married. A niece, Mrs. Gilbert Louiseau of the Falls, survives. Rosary service will be conducted at Green Mortuary Sunday evening at 8 o’clock. Requiem high mass at St. Thomas Catholic church is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Monday. Interment will be in the family plot of St. Thomas cemetery. Funeral arrangements were made by Green Mortuary.

Alex’s death certificate states the following:

Alexander died at the County Nursing Home, 2 miles south of International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota. Died Nov. 3, 1955, Male, white, never married, date of birth Nov. 25, 1874, age 80 years. City Weighmaster, ret’d, city employee. Born in Chichester, Quebec, Canada. Citizen of the USA. Father was Archibald McDonald and Mother was Mary McDonald. He did not serve in the US Armed forces, no SS#, informant was Mary C. Louiseau of Inter’l Falls. Died of pneumonia lober, 1.5 days. C. B. Will, M.D. Filed Nov. 22, 1955 by Registrar. Green Mortuary handled the arrangements.  Source:  Alexander T. McDonald, Certificate of Death #7718, Nov. 3, 1955 FHL#2139432.

Weighmaster definition: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-a-weighmaster-do.htm

Overview of the McDonald plot in St. Thomas Cemetery International Falls

Alex is buried with his father, mother, brother Jack and others in the family plot in the St. Thomas Cemetery in International Falls.  This cemetery is part of three cemeteries located east and south in the town of International Falls.  You will find a link on the right side of this blog to the Forest Hill Cemetery in International Falls where you will find a listing of burials for all three cemeteries.

Alex’s tombstone in St. Thomas Cemetery

NOTE:  Much to my frustration Alex’s birth is inconsistent and different dates are given on his tombstone, his death certificate, obit and from the St. Alphonsus Church records.  This is not unusual.  The question is which one is more reliable.  I think I lean toward the St. Alphonsus church records because the parents were alive at that time and knew the priest. The priest is still not directly involved in the actual birth but closer to the actual event. The parents are the ones who know the actual dates of birth but over time even they can forget.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

It is now time to behind International Falls and refocus on  R.S. (Ronald), my grandfather and his movements.  Remember that Ronald (R.S. ) left International Falls about 1915 and headed up to Grand Prairie, Alberta where he  established a store but lost it because a partner gambled it away.  The loss of the store was not the end of my grandfather’s troubles.  He was involved in a court case regarding about land in Koochiching County and I will share that in the next post.


Sarah M. (Burns) McDonald passes!

October 25, 2012

Sarah’s Tombstone

Jack had died in December of 1949 and Sarah, his wife, followed just shy of two years.  They are both buried in the St. Thomas Cemetery in International Falls.  This cemetery is part of the Forest Lawn Cemetery and there is a link to it under Minnesota Links on the right side of this blog.  They have the burials online.

Jack and Sarah appear in the 1930 U.S. Census living in International Falls, Koochiching County,  Minnesota with their daughter Mary C. McDonald.  It was Mary who cared for both of them at the end of their lives.

John and Sarah McDonald 1930 Census

Sixth Street, line 6, 903, 247, 271, McDonald, John A. Head, 0, $3000., M, W, 60, M. 32, no, yes, Canada English, Father and Mother Canada-English, English, 00, 43, 1901, NA, yes, Janitor, Public School, 6×44, w, yes, no. McDonald, Sarah, wife – H, F, W, 56, M, 28, no, yes, Canada-English, Father Northern Ireland, Mother Irish Free State, English, 00, 43, 1901, NA, yes, none. McDonald, Mary C., daughter, F, W, 17, S, yes, yes, Minnesota, Parents Canada-English, 64, 43 0, yes, none.

Source:  John McDonald Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota, Third (Part of) Block No. 56  lines 1-5, Block no. 55 lines 6 to 50. RD#36-21, SD#2, Sht #13A (154), enumerated April 11, 1930, Carl. V. Linsten.

Ten years later they are still a family of three:

Sixth Street, Line 56, 903, 49, 0, 2500, no, McDonald, John A., Head, M, W, 71, M, no, 4, Canada-English, NA, same house, blank for parents, yes – – – -, 60, Janitor, Public High School, GW, 52, 1800, no. McDonald, Sarah, wife, F, W, 65, M, no, 5, Canada-English, NA same house, blank for parents, no, no, no, no. H, o , o, no. McDonald, Mary, daughter, F, W, 27, S, no, H-4, Minnesota, same house, blank for parents, yes – – -, Bookkeeper, County Treasurer’s office, GW, 52, 932, no.

Source:  John A. McDonald Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota, Ward #3, SD# 12, ED# 36-198, Sht# 2B, enumerated on April 4, 1940, Dorothy P. Barkovic.

Here is the Death certificate for Sarah.

Sarah’s Death Certificate

Sarah was a resident for 50 years in International Falls, MN, died at the Falls Memorial Hospital, lived at 903 6th St., died Oct 25, 1951, female, white, widowed, date of birth Feb 18, 1874, age 77 yrs., housekeeper, owns own home, born in Canada, citizen of the USA. Father George Burns, mother Katherine Burns, spouse John A. McDonald #4201. Did not serve in armed forces, no SS#, informant was the Memorial Hospital in International Falls. Died of congestive heart failure and coronary sclerosis, no autopsy. Burial on Oct 27, 1951 at St. Thomas Cemetery in International Falls, MN, filed Oct. 27, 1951. Handled by Green Mortuary, International Falls, MN.

Source:  Sarah McDonald, Certificate of Death #7429, Oct. 25, 1951, Minnesota Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, FHL#2139363. 

Appearing in The Daily Journal, International Falls, Friday, October 26, 1951 is an article about Sarah.

Sarah Burns McDonald “Mrs. McDonald”

Sarah McDonald, City Resident Since 1904, Dies. Mrs. Sarah MacDonald, a resident of International Falls since 1904, died late Thursday in Memorial hospital following a year of illness. She was 77. Death was attributed to heart ailment. The deceased was the widow of J.A. (Jack) McDonald, one-time mayor of the Falls. One daughter,  Mrs. Gilbert (Mary) Louiseau —-Sixth St. survives. Funeral services are set for 8 am Saturday in St. Thomas church with Fr. Edward Lamontagne officiating. Interment will be in St. Thomas cemetery. The Rosary will be recited at 8 pm today in the Green Mortuary chapel. Mrs. McDonald, the former Sarah Burns, was born Feb. 18, 1874 in eastern Canada and moved to the United States immediately following her marriage in 1901. The couple lived in Bemidji before moving to the Border City. The late husband of the deceased served as mayor of International Falls from 1922-24 and was long active in municipal and fire department affairs. He was employed as engineer-custodian of Alexander Baker school for 32 years. Mr. McDonald died Dec. 11, 1949.

This is what Sarah’s daughter said about her mother when I visited her in 2000:

Her mother came from Pembroke, Ontario, Canada. She remembers going back to visit her grandmother Catherine who lived in a big brick house in Pembroke with her son whom Mary called “Uncle George.” Mary said that George was wealthy. Sarah was very social and she kept a good home and always had help around the house. Sarah was known as Mrs. McDonald, probably a gesture of respect. Her mother would cook and set a nice table. Jack and Sarah’s home was a social place for the town, people were always coming over and stopping by.

The spelling of Sarah’s middle name was shown as “Mariah” in the Koochiching County Courthouse records.

Sarah was a member of a very well-known and large family in the Pembroke,  Renfrew County, Ontario and Chichester, Chapeau areas of Pontiac County in Quebec.  They were the Burns family and my friend and almost cousin Elaine Burns Brown has featured them on her website at:  http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/  I also have this under my links specifically:  Family History Websites of Interest on the right side of this blog.  I highly recommend that you go there and study her website it covers Burns, Hughes, Somerville, Gentle and also McDonald and more.


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


Touring Glengarry: Lochiel, Glen Sandfield, Dalkeith

June 29, 2012

It was not easy to leave Kirkhill, I was enjoying St. Columba and the Kirkhill United Churches but I had to move on.  I went east on  Hwy #24 to the Old Military Road and south to Lochiel.

The Sign post in Kirkhill

As I came up to Hwy #21 there was no sign of a church spire?  So I turned onto the Lochiel Road and went west. If that didn’t work I would go the other direction till I found the cemetery and church.

Within a few minutes I came past some trees and there was a beautiful old red house on the left with gables and a round window at the top.  On my right was the church. St. Alexander’s Catholic Church.

St. Alexander’s Catholic Church

The long walk to the church.  This church was different from all the others, it was made of wood not brick.

The church of St. Alexander’s

The cemetery was in the back of the church through a gate, which I almost thought was locked but it wasn’t. The church is beautiful from this angle.

The cemetery in the back of the church

An overview photograph of this cemetery.  I have more pictures and will post them when I finish this trip.

A bench is provided for reflection

UPDATE 7/9/2012:  Here is a link to more overview photographs of this cemetery with some McD* tombstones and more.

St. Alexander’s RC Church & Cemetery, Lochiel, Ontario

Hwy #21 goes east and west, I headed east and did the job in the road to Glen Sandfield Road which took me into Glen Sandfield.  I had to visit if briefly this hamlet because of the name “Sandfield.”  My grandfather was named Ronald Sandfield McDonald.   So far I have not been able to find a connection to the “Sandfields.”

Glen Sandfield

Hwy #21 meets Hwy #23 and I paused at the 4 corners of Glen Sandfield then I turned north.

Four corners in Glen Sandfield

I was soon in Dalkeith.

Entering Dalkeith

Over the hill is the Dalkeith Library a branch of the S.D.&G. County Libraries.  It was closed opening at 4 pm to 8 pm.  To late for me.  http://www.sdglibrary.ca/index.cfm?Title=LibBranchDalkeith

This library is the home of the Dalkeith Historical Society:  http://acorn2011.com/

The Dalkeith Library, a branch of S.D.& G. County Libraries

A beautiful meadow near Dalkeith.

A lovely view near Dalkeith

Dalkeith was the end of my Tour of Glengarry.  It was time to headed to Ottawa.  I only had two days left of my trip and the next day I wanted to visit one more archive in the Ottawa area.  The next day I would fly home.


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