McDonell and McDonell Marriage!

December 3, 2010

Keith’s grandparents, Archibald McDonell and Mary McDonell probably met in the Chichester area of Quebec in Pontiac County.  This town is across the Ottawa River in Quebec and north of Allumette Island.

On April 9, 1861 Mary and Archibald were married at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau.  Their marriage record is found in the records of that church.   Information on the films for these church records is found at the Family History Library.  I featured them in my post dated March 23, 2010 or find the category to the right  under “St. Alphonsus Catholic Church.”

A. McDonell & M. McDonell Marriage

As you can see by this marriage record both Archibald and Mary were “McDonells.”  This brings forward the question:  Were they cousins?  I do not know for sure.  There were many “McDonells” who settled in Canada.  It was spelled in many different ways:  McDonell, McDonell, McDonald, MacDonald and older versions were Macdonell.  The Catholic priests of the St. Alphonsus church would spell it McDonell and McDonnell etc.

Here is the transcription of this document, as best I can make out:

“St. Alphonse Allumette Island 9 April 1861 after the banns of marriage have beene once published at the [prone] for mass in this mission between Archibald McDonell of this mission son of age of John McDonell and of Sara McDonell on the one part and Mary McDonell of this mission daughter of age of Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson on the other part – a dispensation of two of the banns of marriage have been granted by us in virtue of a power accorded to us by his Lordship the Right Revd Doctor [Guignon] Bishop of Bytown and wherein no impediment have been discovered be the undersigned Priest of this mission have received their mutual consent to marriage and have giving them the mutual benediction at Saint Alphonse Allumette Island on this date aforesaids and on the presence of John McDonell and Rachael McDonell who have not signed.” [       ]Lynch, Priest.

The witnesses are Rachel and we know that name from the 1861 census as a possible sibling of Mary’s.  The other witness is John McDonell and I believe he is Mary’s other sibling but maybe even Archie’s sibling?  For now I will place John with Mary’s family.

I became curious as to the name of the Right Rev’d and found an “Archdiocese of Ottawa” website that has the history of the archdiocese at this link:  http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dotta.html  I cannot find any name at this website that clarifies the name written in the marriage record for the Right Doctor _____ Bishop of Bytown.  So it must be a mispelling?

This marriage record tells me the names of the parents of Archibald and Mary.  Archibald’s parents are named as John and Sara McDonell, while Mary’s parents are given as Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson.

You may be aware or not but “Bytown” is the old name for the city of Ottawa.  This is important when doing searches in the Canadian Census for the earlier years.

Here is an interesting website “Bytown or Bust:” http://www.bytown.net/

An there is also a museum at this link about Bytown:  http://www.bytownmuseum.com/EN/main.html  (this site can be read in French).

This Bytown  chronology looks interesting:  http://www.bytown.net/chronologicalbytown.htm

And of course Wikipedia has something to say:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bytown


Archibald McDonell Establishes Himself in Chichester!

October 20, 2010

Keith’s grandfather Archibald McDonell appears in the 1861 Canadian Census living in Chichester, Pontiac County, Canada East (Quebec).  He is living alone.

The 1861 Canadian census is on microfilm and was studied at a Family History Center back in about 2000.  This film’s condition was not good for  the names were blackened and hard to read; however, Ancestry.com now has this census in their collection and they have cleaned up the images so you can read them clearly.   

Source:  Archibald McDonald, 1861 Canadian Census for Pontiac Co., Canada East (Quebec) Page Starts with the name Angus (Augus) R. McDonald – page 135 (9), Image 133  (Chichester Township starts on Image 125 at Ancestry.com).

Line 28 Archie McDonnell, Carpenter, born U.C., Catholic, age 27, male, members of family 1, frame, number of stories 1.5, number of families, 1, second line – Log, one story 1, one family 1. Pg. 2 Quantity of Land attached 96, Carpenter, 12 months of labor, Value of business/manufacture 100.

The Canadian Government uses the following microfilm numbering system for this census as described by Ancestry.com.  I have used finding aids for the Canadian Census at libraries like the Cloverdale Library in Surrey, B.C. which has a wonderful Canadian genealogical collection.  Checking my notes indicate that film #C-1305 was used.

Ancestry.com’s description  – Canada. “Census returns for 1861.” LAC microfilm C-999 to C-1007, C-1010 to C-1093, C-1095 to C-1108, C-1232 to C-1331, M-1165 to M-1166, M-1168 to M-1171, M-556, M-874 to M-878, M-880 to M-886, M-896 to M-900. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

The Family History Library also has its own microfilm of these Canadian Census.  The film number list below is the same as what I have written in my notes and page 135.

Family History Catalog:  QUEBEC Pontiac –  FHL US/CAN Census Area [ 517406 ]

In order to understand more about the area we are identifying in the Canadian Census of 1861 I turn to Wikipedia to assist me. 

Wikipedia has an article where they give a description and maps of Allumette Island.  This article points out the different spellings for the island in French.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L’Isle-aux-Allumettes,_Quebec 

Using Wikipedia we find more information on Chichester which is across from Allumette Island.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichester,_Quebec 

We expand that to include the Pontiac municipality:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Regional_County_Municipality,_Quebec

Here is a Gazetteer for Pontiac County at Rootsweb: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onrenfre/gazetteer_Pont.html

The map below is from Microsoft Streets and Trips.  This map gives us an idea of what the area looks like where Archibald McDonell lived.  Click on the map to open it to a larger size for viewing.

Archie's Locations

This area will be of great importance in the family history and will include the town of Chichester and  Chapeau which is on Allumette Island.  The town of Pembroke is located south of Allumette Island in Renfrew County, Ontario.  The St. Alphonsus Liguori Church is located in Chapeau.


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