Ontario Wanderings: Revisiting Kingston in Ontario

September 29, 2014

After I left St. Catharines, I headed west to Hamilton and visited that city briefly stopping at the Hamilton Cemetery.  The first part of this trip was emphasizing my mother’s side of the family and her Boardman, Brown and Ward lines. You can follow my adventures on the Boardmans and Brown blog where I headed west all the way to Michigan in Lapeer County where George and Esther Brown settled and are buried.   After visiting Lapeer I headed back to Ontario heading to Toronto where I visited the Archives of Ontario and the North York Library where the Ontario Genealogical Society has their holdings.  Although I was working on the Browns, Wards and Boardmans these two last archives can be of help to me on the McDonald side.  So visiting them was a good thing.  I continued with the Brown family by visiting Peterborough, and then revisiting Hastings County where I had been on my trip in 2012.

In 2012 when I came to Kingston for the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference, I had contacted Elaine Brown and we had lunch.  We had been emailing on occasion over the years about the MacDonalds and Burns connection and this was my first time meeting Elaine face-to-face.

The Wharf in Kingston

The Wharf in Kingston

This time I would be in Kingston for only a short time and I invited Elaine to dine with me at the Keg Restaurant.  I had been working on the Brown family at the Anglican Diocese of Ontario on Johnson Street.  It had been a good day of research.

The marina in Kingston

The marina in Kingston

Elaine compiled the book on the burials and deaths of the St. Alphonsus Church in Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec. I have referenced her book several times on this blog.  Elaine is a Burns and her family history has been her passion.

http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/

Here is the link to her book.

http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/alphonse.htm

Elaine and her hubby visited me in Seattle in July of this year, they had been on an epic road trip.  I traveled with them to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula and I took them up the Space Needle.  We had excellent weather…

We had arranged to meet at the Keg about 6 pm and I was there a little early just relaxing and enjoying the ambiance.  It was good to see her happy face and share some more.

View from my hotel window

View from my hotel window

Back at my room I watched the harbour of Kingston grow quiet as the night came to the area.


Ontario Musings: Brock University and the Loyalist Collection

September 16, 2014

On Monday, September 8, 2014 I visited Brock University’s Special Collections.  They have a Loyalist Collection there.  My goal was to seek out information on Solomon Goss, my 4th great-grandfather who, according to the Pennsylvania history books was held prisoner at Forty Fort but escaped? I was hoping that Lt. Colonel John Butler the man who was responsible for this attack on the valley of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania would shed light on this subject of prisoners.

My father’s side has the potential for Loyalists to be included in his family tree. I do know that some members of the Goss family were Loyalists but I will talk about that subject in future posts on my Solomon Goss blog.

Here is the link to the Loyalist collection at Brock: http://www.brocku.ca/library/collections/special-collections-archives

and

http://www.brockloyalisthistorycollection.ca/

http://www.brockloyalisthistorycollection.ca/collection.html  scroll to the bottom and click on the link and you will get a very nice list.

My lodging for the night had been the Heritage House Bed and Breakfast in St. Catharines.  It is about five minutes from Brock.  It is on Edmond Street between Catherine and George Streets. It has steep stairs so keep that in mind.  It was very lovely and breakfast was delicious. I was well cared for.  Make sure you get all you need from your car they turned the lights out and it was very dark and I did not have a flashlight.

Heritage House B&B in St. Catherines.

Heritage House B&B in St. Catharines.

My route was west on Welland and south on Ontario and then south on Glenridge Road. I parked in the visitor parking turning right at the Brock University main campus sign.

Main campus sign Brock University

Main campus sign Brock University

My destination was the Schmon Tower and the 10th floor.  Visitor parking is at the entrance near the sign so you do have to walk well into the main park of the campus.

Once you are at the building go into the entry way and you will find the elevators.  It is a little tricky to get to the 10th floor.  Go past the elevators and through the doors on the left and walk around to the other side of the elevators and then you can go up.  You cannot access the upper floors from the first floor. You can see the upper floor elevators through the glass but you cannot go through the locked door.  I was fortunate because I ran into Dave the Archivist of the Special Collections and he knew who I was from my email to him a month ago.  So he took me up to the 10th floor and got me started.

Schmon Tower Brock University

Schmon Tower Brock University

My main task was to look at the John Butler Papers by Smy.  It was a transcription/abstraction of the correspondence and was in four volumes with dates.  I targeted Volume II 1778 to 1779, which had the Wyoming Valley information.  Mr. Smy had abstracted and transcribed a variety of letters not just from John Butler but other individuals.  It was very interesting.

Smy's books and volumes

Smy’s books and volumes

Source:  “The Butler Papers: documents and papers relating to Colonel Butler and his corp of rangers 1711-1977″ in four volumes, by William A. Smy, 1994.

Special Collections 10th floor, Brock University

Special Collections 10th floor, Brock University

I had written down my list of books and documents to review but was required to write it all down on their form.  So be prepared to spend about 10 minutes getting your order ready. I suppose you could ask them to scan and email you the form in advance, it is at least worth a try?

Now I could have looked at microfilm of the Haldimand papers but I decided that Mr. Smy was probably comprehensive enough to tell me that I was not going to get any details from Lt. Colonel Butler.  Mr. Smy has the UE initials and he may have left something out based on his perspective but I think he was probably very thorough.  I did take photos of the pages that interested me and will discuss this at a later date on my Solomon Goss blog.

Lt.  Colonel John Butler was writing from the perspective of a soldier reporting to his superiors and he wanted it to look good of course.  He was not interested in personalizing the individuals he attacked in New York or Pennsylvania.  To him they where rebels and nothing else. Remember I did say one country’s hero is another’ villain?

Here are a couple of titles I took a look at, not all:

“The Burning of the Valleys, Daring Raids from Canada Against the New York Frontier in the fall of 1780,” by Gavin K. Watt was a nice book, a little late for my Goss family but very interesting.  They seemed to think that the area of the Susquehannah was a New York dispute about land.  My understanding is that it was between Pennsylvania and Connecticut?

“An Annotated Nominal Roll of Butler’s rangers 1777-1784 with Documentary Sources,” compiled and arranged by Lt. Col. William A. Smy, OMM, CD, UE. This listed the soldier and then gave information about them.  I was particularly interested in McDonell’s.

“Loyalists & Early Settler on the Niagara River Parkway,” by Gail Woodruff U.E., 1968.  This book was well done and I really liked the sources which can give you ideas for research.  Here is a brief list:  Crown land papers, books about the subject and specific locations, Haldimand Collection, 17th report of the report of the Dept. of Public Records Archives of Ontario, The Niagara Gleaner (newspapers), wills, Heir and Devisee Commission etc.

The U.E.L. Association also has a page listing sources and that is a good place to start: http://www.uelac.org/

For those researching the very early years of the Glengarry area (Eastern or Lunenburg districts).  The McNiff Map is a must see.  This is an index on CD Rom.

McNiff Index CD

McNiff Index CD

“Index to the 1786 McNiff Maps of the Townships of Lancaster, Charlottenburgh, Cornwall, Osnabruck, Williamsburgh and Matilda (The Loyalist Maps),”  This is a CD and it is very good and it also includes information from the book  “Lunenburgh or the Old Eastern District Its Settlement and Early Progress.”  This last book is at Internet Archive.

There is so much more that one could research in this Loyalist collection.  This is not the only collection for Loyalists.  I will mention them as I travel along.

I did ask about the submission papers that an applicant would prepare and give to a loyalist organization.  I wanted to know where they keep these applications and how do you access them?  The special collections attendants didn’t know but I have seen books that abstract these applications and I assume that there may be privacy issues.  I also assume you may have to be a member to access them?  I do know that some Loyalist were just given the letters as an honor to them whether papers of where submitted later I do not know?

I encourage you to visit them at Brock they where all very helpful and welcoming on the Special Collections floor.  The Visitor parking is small so get their early.  The person who gathered up my choices was efficient and helpful pulling items quickly and piling them up next to me as she found them.

Once I had gone through reviewing my choices it was time to move on.  I stopped by the student cafeteria and purchased a hamburger.  Sitting in a university student cafeteria always brings back memories of my college days at Central in Ellensburg and at the University of Washington which was a long time ago.

The view north from the 10th floor.

The view north from the 10th floor, St. Catharines, Ontario

 


Ontario Wanderings: Heritage Site, The Steward House

September 14, 2014
The Seward House

The Steward House plaque

The Seward House - Niagara-on-the-lake

The Steward House – Niagara-on-the-lake

Sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised.  I don’t post about the underground railroad but I have come across it in my travels specifically in Ohio.  I had not really thought about the Canadian side of this question.  The sign is on Butler Street about a block down from the main road.

This link has some interesting information.

http://www.heritagetrust.on.ca/CMSImages/be/beef58ca-f187-4930-89a3-67d62ffeed70.pdf

 

 


Ontario Wanderings: Loyalists and the Niagara Region Part II

September 13, 2014

Once I had completed my visit to the statue of John Butler the next goal was to find the graveyard which was not too far.

I tried Aberdeen Lane N. but it was chained off and I had to retrace my steps.  I went out on Mississauga Street to John Street W. and turned onto Butler Street.  I was stopped by a barricade.  So I again retraced by steps and parked in this Bar and Grill parking lot on Butler Street and Mississauga St.

I got out and walked to the barricade and kept going and saw that there had been a wash out.  It probably was best to keep cars out till they assessed the damage.   I spotted the heritage sign and  graves in the distance.

Butler Cemetery in distance

Butler Cemetery in distance

Heritage sign:

Heritage Sign for John Butler

Heritage Sign for John Butler

The cemetery area:

Butler Cemetery Niagara-on-the-lake

Butler Burying Ground Cemetery Niagara-on-the-lake

War of 1812 Monument

War of 1812 Monument

The graves in two rows.

The graves in two rows.

I have more pictures and will post them when I return to my home.  It will take a bit of figuring them out.

I am very concerned that this cemetery is going to all be lost.  I know that the heritage organizations are keeping and eye on it that exist in the area but that can change.

Find A Grave has some information about this burial ground.  There are only about 8 to 9 tombstones that I could see and mostly difficult to read.  Again, I will post more when I return home.

 http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2324330&CScn=Butler+&CScntry=10&


Ontario Wanderings: Loyalists and the Niagara Area, Part I.

September 12, 2014

My dad’s ancestry goes back into Pennsylvania and into New England.  The Goss family was in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania at the time of the Revolution.  I have been trying to find more proof that Solomon Goss my 4th great-grandfather was held prisoner than using the history books of the area which are not sourced.

As a result I have been a little determined to learn more about a man by the name of John Butler.  He was known in the Wyoming Valley as Captain but the Canadians have him listed as Lt. Colonel.  I will refer to him as Captain John Butler.

I refer you to my post dated June 12, 2012 “Revolution: Canada and the New United States:” I had some links in that post that are rather interesting.

http://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/revolution-canada-and-the-new-united-states/

After enjoying the sights of the Niagara Falls area I headed north to Niagara on-the-Lake where Capt. Butler lived and died.  I traveled up Hwy 100 to Hwy 55 and turned right to Niagara-on-the-Lake.  I didn’t go into the town instead I turned left onto Balmoral Lane.  Be careful, they like to name the streets on one side of the road one name and on the other another name.  It was Balmoral and Anderson where I needed to turn.  It was a residential area and there was construction going on so I was momentarily confused.  I stumbled upon the statue which is located on the land where his house was situated until it was burned down in the War of 1812.  He had long since passed on before that event.  http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio.php?id_nbr=1785

Lt. Colonel John Butler, Niagara on the Lake

Lt. Colonel John Butler, Niagara on the Lake

The other side of the statue.

The other side of the statue.

John Butler Plaque

John Butler Plaque

Find the Homestead

Find the Homestead

The Homestead

The Homestead

Contributors

Contributors

Lt. Colonel Butler was given a commission to organize a militia and he created Butler’s Rangers.  I am interested in this not just from the Goss family history side but because there were McDonalds enlisted in his Rangers.  http://www.iaw.on.ca/~awoolley/brang/brhist.html A Captain John McDonell was head of one of the units.  These two men went on to make contributions to the establishment of Canada.

If you are studying or trying to find a Loyalist ancestor you will have no choice but to learn about Lt. Colonel John Butler, he was very involved in the establishment of the Niagara area and an Indian agent.  He was very devoted to his country, Great Britain.

 


Second Trip to Ontario has Begun….

September 11, 2014

My second trip to Ontario and surrounding areas has begun.  I am on the trail of my Boardman, Brown, McDonald and other families.  I recommend that you head over to the Boardman and Brown blog and follow along on my journey through Southwestern Ontario and beyond.  http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/

Blogging while traveling is a challenge so I will switch from blog to blog if the topic is more appropriate for that blog’s subject.  I will probably not complete my trip while on the trip so when I get back home I will finish up. You have another option to get to my posts by going to the right panel of this blog and you will find the links to my other blogs.

First stop is Niagara Falls, New York, I had to check out that big waterfall that is so famous. Hey two natural wonders of the world in one year, The Grand Canyon last June and Niagara Falls.

First glimpse of Horseshoe Falls.

First glimpse of Horseshoe Falls.


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

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

St. Raphael’s the 1st 50 years.

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

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

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

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

Here are two possible options using “Duncan MacDonald”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part IV Genealogical Charts.

Part IV Genealogical Charts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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