West to Marmora, Hastings County, Ontario

June 18, 2012

As I left Perth, I left behind the research on my McDonald family for a little while. I would resume my search for my McDonald origins in Ontario when I reached Kingston and headed to Glengarry County (Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry County). 

So it is time to switch over to my other blog:  The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg: A Canadian Story

The Brown family is the family of my grandmother Ethel Adella Brown my mother’s mother.  They came from Ireland.  The father, William Brown, and several of his sons to settle in Hastings County, Ontario sometime in the 1830’s.  Some stayed there and are buried there while others moved on to Lambton County, Ontario, then Lapeer County, Michigan and others headed for Manitoba.  I wanted to see if I couldn’t find out more about their time in Hastings County.  I also wanted to find out more about my 3rd great-grandfather William Brown. 

There was method to the madness and the real reason I stopped in Lanark County was to break up my trip to Hastings County, Ontario.  I probably could have skipped Lanark County but since there was a large concentration of McDonald’s settling there along with McPherson and Camerons I thought I best do a little checking.

Hwy 7 is a two lane highway and it was very easy.  I was out in the country now and it was going to take a good two hours and slightly more to get to Marmora in Hastings County, Ontario.  Traffic was not bad and the sun was shining so I had good weather. 

There are these low rock formations along the road that reminded me of mini versions of Utah’s monument valley and swampy areas with cat tails.  I actually saw a beaver house out in the lake, something I have not seen since my childhood. Hwy 7 reminded me of Minnesota.  There are lots of lakes and cabins with signs pointing the way and many many campgrounds.  http://members.shaw.ca/kcic1/beaver.html

I entered the county of Frontenac or rather the Central Frontenac area and drove through the middle of that county.  To the south was Kingston which is on the eastern part of Lake Ontario where the St. Lawrence River begins.  I would be there in a few days for the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference.  These counties along this area are long counties reaching north into the middle of the southern portion of Ontario.  They are like large rectangles and touch Lake Ontario.  Here is a great map with the townships that helps to get oriented.  Find Shabot Lake and that is the road I was on:  http://www.frontenacmaps.ca/pdfs/Accommodations.pdf

Shabot Lake a website: http://www.sharbotlake.com/index.html  I did feel like I was climbing but according to the map Hwy 7 is probably getting into the lower areas and to get higher I would need to go further north. 

The Digital Atlas website has a great map of 1880 showing the counties in Ontario:  http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/searchmapframes.php  Frontenac is #31, Hastings in #28 and #30 is Lennox and Addington.  You can click on the map of that county and do more exploring.  This is useful for studying all areas of Ontario at that time.

I arrived in Kaladar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaladar on Hwy 7 and it was not long after that I came to the sign for Hastings County.  I was very excited.  I never dreamed I would find my mother’s family and especially get as far as I have on the Brown surname.  I owe my cousins a great deal of gratitude for all their hard work in piecing this family together.   Go to this link to follow me on the Hastings County adventure:  The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg: A Canadian Story 

Entering Hastings County, Ontario


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