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.


The Cornwall Public Library’s Genealogical & History Collection

June 24, 2012

Cornwall, Ontario, is home to the Cornwall Public Library and the Cornwall Room.  The library is on the northwest corner of 2nd St. and Sydney St.  It is a very large building and not to hard to spot.  If you enter from the front you have to walk this very long hallway to get to the main part of the library. 

Cornwall Public Library in Cornwall, Ontario

You can turn right onto to Sydney St. from 2nd St. and left into the parking area behind the library.  You will have to pay for parking but it is reasonable.  Make sure you have quarters.  Follow the signs and road over to the parking lot which is to the west as you enter with a little manuevering through the parking lot below.  There are one way signs and parking restrictions, so watch out.

The backside of the Cornwall Public Library

The library entrance is through the doors in the back of the building to the left of the loading area.   Go through the door and you come to a hallway that enters another hallway and then you turn to your right to enter the library.  The References desks are straight ahead. 

I stopped there and asked where they kept their genealogical collection and was lead to an area to the far side of the main floor.  There were study desks and tables along that wall.  She took me to the stacks where some books for genealogy were shelved.  It is good to know that some items are outside the Cornwall Room.

I inquired about a history room and was told it was only open certain hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 2 to 4 pm. Here is the library phone number if you have questions (613) 932-4796. 

It was Tuesday, June 5th!  So this meant I would have to rearrange my schedule and come back the next day.  The librarian was kind and wrote down the hours for me which I have shared with you.  These hours are not on the website. 

The CPL has a new website at:  http://library.cornwall.on.ca/  It is not working very well today.  To get to the CPL Archive area click on eResources and you will see Local Interest.  The only tab working at the moment is the SDG Online and the ones on top.  The CPL Archives and Surname List are giving me the page of death.  I actually had trouble with the older website when I first went to their webpage.  I have to admit the blog about Freddy the Bear is a riot and good for a laugh  http://cornwallyac.blogspot.ca/

I returned the next day, Wednesday and was early enough that I grabbed a book from the stacks in the Reference area shown to me the day before.  In the picture below they are the first two sections of the first bookcase.  There were some cemetery books, histories and more.

The Reference Section of the Cornwall Library, some possible genealogical titles

The book I removed was: “Bowering’s Guide to Eastern Ontario, A Cultural and Historical Companion.”  Whoa! This is a tour book and historical guide.  I made myself comfortable in some cushy chairs right in front of the Cornwall Room doors and began to review it.

The contents are:  The Perch Route, The Fur Trade Route, Glengarry Higlands Roads, Touring Cornwall, The Loyalist Front Route, The Lost Villages Adventure, the Apple-Cheddar Route, Armchair Traveling, Local Historical and Heritage Groups, Travel and Tourist Information Centers and an Index of Place Names.  By Quarry Press and published in 1992.  Certainly a lot closer to the present time than the “Up and Down the Glens” by Dorothy Dumbrille done in 1954.  I enjoyed her book and have a copy which I found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  I was overjoyed with this find and am in the process of ordering a copy to review in depth.  Too bad I didn’t have it before I visited Glengarry.  

The Cornwall Room, Cornwall Public Library

The Cornwall Room is at the front of the library in the corner.  You enter the library go up to the Reference desk turn left and head to the windows and you will find the Cornwall Room on the right in the corner.   

Much to my relief the volunteer arrived at exactly 2 pm and opened the doors.  I waited a few minutes to give her some time to settled in.  She was very nice and friendly.  I gave her a copy of my McDonald booklet to be added to the collection.   

Apparently you can enter the room, settle in at a table and pull books off the stacks and not have to wait for the attendant.  This I did happily.  The volunteer really should reshelve the books because one cemetery book was mislocated and it took her awhile to find it. 

She gave me a brochure: “Genealogy and Local History Material available at The Cornwall Public Library.  This brochure is a little out of date but it does have good information.

The brochure describes the collection in this manner:

  • CPL Computer Catalogue – all holdings are listed.
  • Cornwall Room:  has books, photographs, papers of a local or regional content and that require special protection. Access is restricted and requires the presences of an informed attendant during limited hours.
  • General Reference Materials are located in the Reference Collection area of the library and are open to use during library hours.
  • Microfilm and fiche readers and printers are availabe and it is best to make an appointment to use.  The limit is three hours per day per patron. 

Microfilm:

  • Census records from 1851 to 1901 for Stormont, Dundas and Glengary.
  • Paris registers from the S.D.&G region with differing dates.
  • Newspapers – Standard-Freeholder from 1883 to present and some of the Cornwall Observer and Reporter for dates about 1876. 

Microfiche:

  • Land Records from the Ontario Archives by family name and location of property dating from the mid 1700′s to the late 1800′s.

Books

  • Numerous holdings of compiled genealogies
  • Historical writings for S.D. & G. 
  • City statistics, documents etc. for municipal departments
  • Histories of local businesses, churches and organizations
  • City directories, telephone books and voter’s lists.

Vertical Files: 

  • Newspaper clippings about Cornwall and other areas of an historical nature.

Cemetery Listings/Obituaries

  • Recorded transcriptions of cemeteries in S.D. & G.
  • Copies of Obituary notices from local newspapers various dates

Local History Name Index

  • A partially completed indexing of un-indexed holdings in their collection.  Specifically related to the Local History and Cornwall Room Collections.  Listings are by family name with call number, page and book.

Example from one of my search: 

The Macdonell family in Canada – author Morice, A.G., Location: Cornwall Room, Publisher: Canadian Historical Review, Pub. Date 1929, Call Number LHCR929.2 MOR.

Then a list of names with pages:  G.M. Adam 18, Donald Aenas 27, etc.

Historical Maps

  • Several maps from the area from the late 1700′s into the late 1800′s.  Many show land owners and or occupants.

As you can see it is not real detailed yet it is a start.  The Stormont GenWeb site has this to say about the holdings at the Cornwall Public Library:  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onstormo/info-local-cornwallplib.html  Very close to the same information. 

So this means a thorough search of the CPU’s online catalogue on the subjects of your interest and with attention to the location of the item in the library.  This way you know what you can access at regular library hours and what you will have to plan to review when the Cornwall Room is open. 

I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA so calling International long distance is something I shy away from.  I would probably default to their email: generalmail@library.cornwall.on.ca  write in the subject line:  Inquiry from CPL website.  You might have to try several times to get a response.  They never answered my inquiry. 

I have not given specific source references, like books and cemetery compilations because  that could get really complicated.  There are many for Glengarry as well as Stormont and Dundas, not to mention Prescott and Russell. 

You can start with these two website to get an idea of what is published and then study library and archive websites to see what they hold:

The City of Cornwall website is amazing:  http://www.cornwall.ca/en/webadmin/publiclibrary.asp

While I was studying the Cornwall Room collection a lady entered who seemed very knowledgeable about the area.  She and the volunteer seems to know each other and were discussing a cemetery reading project.  It sounded wonderful what was happening in identifying graves at a local church.  I was to learn that she was from the Saint Laurent Genealogical Society (it really should be written in French) located in Cornwall.  I had visited this society several days before and will write about them in the next post. 

This conversation between the two ladies tells me that a big missing part of my visit to Glengarry is the personal connections with the people who know the history and genealogy of the area.  There is hope, for I did meet some really nice, helpful people.  I just needed more time.


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