The Children of Archie & Mary: Ronald S. McDonell

February 17, 2011

Keith’s father Ronald Sandfield McDonell was born in Chichester on 22 July 1866 and baptized at the St. Alphonsus Church in Chapeau on 26 July 1866. 

Ronald's Baptismal Record

Source:  Baptism, Marriage and Burial Index, St. Alphonsus Church, 1846-1920 FHL# B70, #1029797.  Also on Ancestry.com under the Drouin Collection. 

Keith had in his possession the actual Baptismal Certificate from the St. Alphonsus Church for Ronald, his father.  It reads:

Source:  St. Alphonsus Church, Chapeau, Quebec, Birth and Baptism Record: “On the Twenty sith of July one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one. We the undersigned baptized Ronald McDonald born on the twenty-second instant of the lawful marriage of Archibald McDonald and Mary McDonald of Allumette Island.  The sponsors were Edward Smith and Jeanette McDonald, Signed James C. Lynch, PO.  True copy Chapeau, Que. January 16, 1940, A. Me Renaud, PP.

We return to Miriam’s notes to review what she had to say about her father Ronald.  This was featured in an earlier post dated May 2, 2010.  I do point out that there probably wasn’t a business school in Grand Rapids because it was too small at the time.  It is more likely Ronald attended the school in Duluth. 

Miriam's Notes on her Father

The spelling of Ronald’s middle name as been done in a variety of ways:  Sandfield, Sanfield. 

John Sandfield Macdonald was the Premier of Ontario at the time Archibald was living in the Chapeau/Chichester area.  According to Miriam, Ronald was named after this man.   The interesting thing in Keith’s family is that his uncle Angus gave a son the name Loren Sandfield McDonald.  Family lore says that Ronald was frequently referred to with the nickname of “Sandy.”  His grandson also was nicknamed “Sandy” and some of the family have trouble thinking of him with his more formal name.  Apparently this man, John Sandfield Macdonald, was greatly esteemed.

To determine if we were related to this family a search for Mr. Macdonald’s origins and connections was conducted and it just doesn’t appear to be there.  However, you never know.  The internet is filled with information about Mr. Macdonald.  Wikipedia has a brief article about John Sandfield Macdonald:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sandfield_Macdonald


Archie & Mary’s children: Angus McDonell

January 29, 2011

Keith’s Uncle Angus appears in the baptismal records of the St. Alphonse Catholic Church.  Angus is under the name “Agnes,” as written by the parish priest. 

StAlphonse1864Agnes

Source:  St. Alphonse Church Records, Film#1029798.  These records are also at Ancestry.com under the Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), Chapeau, St. Alphonse, 1857 to 1876. 

Angus was born the 6th of August 1864 in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec to Archibald and Mary McDonald.  Angus survived to live to the age of 66 years old. He married and had several children with descendants still living. 

Angus was somewhat of a mystery in family lore and in some ways still is, but his story is an interesting one.  He and his family will be featured in more detail in later posts.

You will not find Angus in the McDonell/McDonald family picture taken in Bemidji, Minnesota in the early 1900’s.   That photo was featured in the post dated March 20, 2010 and under “Angus McDonald” in the categories.

Another interesting fact about this baptismal record is that the father Archie is listed as Patrick Archibald McDonell.  Now I know where my friend found that first name.


Archie & Mary’s Children: John McDonald

January 8, 2011
After their marriage, Archibald and Mary McDonell proceeded to raise a family.  Their first child appears to be John McDonell born 10 December 1861 and baptized on 12 December 1861.

Source:  Baptism, Marriage and Burial Index of the St. Alphonsus Church, 1846-1920, 4 microfilms, Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec. FHL#1029798, B101 John McDonell, baptismal record. Parents Archibald and Mary McDonell.  Sponsored by John Kennedy and Ann Doyle.   

John McDonell Baptism 1861

Apparently John did not survive because he does not appear with the family in the 1871 Canadian Census for Chichester which will be featured in a future post.  

A careful study of the St. Alphonsus Church graveyard records as compiled by Elaine Brown in her book on that cemetery in March 2000 does not reveal he was laid to rest in that cemetery.  You can order her book at the link below.

Source:  St. Alponsus of the Ligouri Chapeau, Allumette Island, Pontiac Co., Quebec, Cemetery Inscriptions and Burials, Compiled and Published by Elaine Brown of Kingston, Ontario. 

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

The study of the St. Alphonsus records was conducted back in about 2002 and at that time you used the Family History Library films which happened to be on permanent loan at a FHC near the writer of this blog.  As of now they are online at Ancestry.com under the “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621 to 1967.” 

It is recommended that you study both the online search engine provided by Ancestry and then obtain the films and study them to be sure you do not miss anything.  On the right of this blog are Categories.  Click on the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, for more information.


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


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