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

 


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.

 


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