Touring Glengarry: St. Andrews West (Stormont)

June 28, 2012

Hwy #18 heading west will eventually take you to St. Andrews West.  It is not in Glengarry but rather in Stormont.  I include it in Touring Glengarry because the people would move back and forth between St. Andrews Catholic Church and St. Raphael’s.  It is in the marriage records of the individuals in the Drouin Collection of Catholic records which is online at Ancestry and also Family History Library.

St. Andrew’s sign

When I first saw St. Andrews Catholic Church I was driving up Hwy #138 to Dunvegan and came up over this rise and there it was right before me.  WOW!  The following photograph is the closest I can get to what I saw that first time. 

Move over a little to the right and you are on the highway when you see this view

St. Andrews West is north of Cornwall on Hwy #138 when it intersects with Hwy #18.  The church is on the southwest corner of this intersection.

Behind Quinn’s and St. Andrews Catholic Church

Quinn’s Inn is on the northeast corner of this intersection.  I had dinner at Quinn’s.  There is parking in back.  You then walk through the doors in the back.  Quinn’s was busy the night I was there.  It is a restaurant but different.  It was a big room where the tables were but it was more like an old pub would have been like.  The hosts were a man and woman and they were the one’s serving us.  They were having a special on prime rib.  My dinner was $20.00.  http://www.quinnsinn.ca/

A little history of Quinn’s

There was a reason I was visiting Quinn’s.  It was because of John Sandfield MacDonald the first Premier of Ontario.  My grandfather was named Ronald Sandfield McDonald.  His brother Angus, named a son Lorne Sandfield McDonald.  Now, my dad’s sister Miriam said the name was given in honor by my great-grandfather Archibald McDonell.  She writes in her notes:

Name after John Sandfield MacDonald

I cannot ignore this use of the name Sandfield.  Even though Miriam thought it was to honor the Premier maybe there is a connection.  So far I have not figured it out.  I think I have to dig more into John Sandfield’s background.  His marriage and children are easy to find online but I believe I will have to go back further into this man’s family to see if there is a connection. 

There are two cemeteries.  The one on Hwy #138 is newer with an older section to the north.  There is a big field between it and the church. 

The newer cemetery on Hwy #138 St. Andrews West

The Old Burying Ground is right across from Quinn’s on the northwest corner.  Just watch as you cross for this intersection is very busy and there are many trucks taking Hwy #138 both north and south.

I was losing the light and it is almost impossible to get the whole church into a photograph the spire is so tall.

The Old Burying Ground and St. Andrews Church

In this Old Burying Ground is the tombstone of John Sandfield MacDonald.  If you look close enough at the photograph above you can find it and more.

John Sandfield MacDonald’s Tombstone

 Not to far from him is the tombstone of Simon Fraser, the man who went west and found the Fraser River, which I just recently saw on my trip to British Columbia.  I am somewhat fascinated with explorers and Simon Fraser has been one of them. 

Simon Fraser’s tombstone

 St. Andrews West water tower.

Almost in competition with the St. Andrews Church

I took many photographs of the two cemeteries and will upload them when I finish posting about this trip.  I am almost done.

UPDATE 7/9/2012:  Here are two links to additional photographs of the Old Burial Ground and the newer cemetery in St. Andrew’s West, Ontario.  I started in the southern part from the western side to the eastern (highway) of the larger cemetery south of the church and proceeded north to the older part of the cemetery by the field and then the church.  The Old Burial Ground is not photographed in any particular order and is not complete. 

 

St. Andrew’s West Cemetery & Church
Old Burial Ground, St. Andrews West

An Overview: Dundas, Stormont and the city of Cornwall, Ontario

June 24, 2012

When the sign for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry appeared, I knew I was at the first part of the united counties and that was Dundas.  I was heading east so next would be Stormont and then Glengarry, then Quebec.  The sign on the left reads:  Marine Coast Station Road.  So we have at least an idea were the sign is located on Hwy #2.

Welcome to Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry

This timeline is courtesy of the Stormont GenWeb Page:

  • 1788 to  October of 1792:  The area was the District of Lunenburg
  • In 1792 it became the Eastern District and included the future counties of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott, Russell, Leeds, Grenville and Carleton.
  • 1800 the Counties of Leeds, Grenville and Carleton were separated and became the Johnstown District.
  • 1816 Prescott and Russell became the Ottawa District.
  • 1850 the districts were abolished that is when it became the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry up to the present.

    1885 Map of the United Counties

Trying to compare this map with a current maps is rather interesting.  The Ontario locater website might help.  It can tell you what cities and towns are in what areas:  http://www.geneofun.on.ca/ontariolocator/index.html

My fascination with the St. Lawrence River kept me on Hwy #2 and it took me through Iroquois, Morrisburg, and past the Upper Canada Village and just at the eastern boundary of that is the beginning of Stormont.  I only crossed through the southern area of Dundas and Stormont on my way to Cornwall.   I did not venture into the interior. 

Here is a link to the Dundas County Genweb site for more information, history, maps and sources.   http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ondundas/  Dundas was made up of townships.  Starting on the western side there is Mountain above Matilda which borders the St. Lawrence.  To the east is Winchester above Williamsburg which borders the St. Lawrence. 

The Dundas GenWeb site needs a host.  I am tempted but it would mean I would have to buff up on the area and I am lagging behind.  How about you, can you help by volunteering to host the Dundas GenWeb Site?  We all need to rally and preserve the history of our ancestors for there are forces working against that at this time.   

From there I traveled through the lower part of Stormont passing through the towns of Ingleside, Long Sault and on into Cornwall.  There is an interesting drive around Long Sault that might be fun, sigh!  Here is a link to the Stormont Genweb site for more information including history, maps and many sources: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onstormo/index.html 

The former townships of Stormont on the western side are Osnabruck next to the St. Lawrence and Finch northwest of it.  They are followed by Cornwall which touches the St. Lawrence River and Roxborough northwest of it.  This means I traveled along the southern parts of Osnabruck and Cornwall townships.

Be advised that all these former counties have had changes to their governmental structures in the past few years so if you are looking for these townships on a new map you might not find them.  It is now north and south Dundas, Stormont and Glengarry. 

The city of Cornwall would be used as my base of operations.  It was located on the border right next to my real target, the former Glengarry County.   http://www.visit.cornwall.on.ca/  I am still trying to learn more about the origins of my great-grandfather Archibald McDonell, his wife Mary and her father and mother Alexander John and Ellen McPherson McDonell.  My Aunt Miriam, my dad’s sister, believed Archie came from the Glengarry area of Ontario.  So I was in the area to learn what I could about the records and research. 

This is a major website for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and it takes you to the municipal pages and more:  http://www.sdg.on.ca/

As I traveled along the St. Lawrence there were several bridges across to New York.  Cornwall has its own very amazing bridge called the Sea Way International Bridge.  It is very impressive and if you are not careful when driving on Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall you can end up on it rather than on the streets of Cornwall that head to the downtown area.  The picture below is the beginning of the bridge and it is massive.

The Bridge to New York, in Cornwall looking north on Brookdale

I stopped by the Tourism center (Pitt and Water St. northside of the street) (613) 938-4748 or 1-800-937-4748 and it is right next door to the Cornwall Jail which was also the old Lunenburg District Courthouse.  Here is a better picture of the plaque than my photo can reveal:   http://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/2594296840/  This is just across the street from the big beautiful park.  The ladies in the Tourism center were very helpful. 

I got more maps of Cornwall:

  • Cornwall and the Seaway Valley Map 2012 Edition. 
  • United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry map which has maps of each of the towns in the area except Cornwall.  Love this one.
  • Cornwall and Seaway Valley Tourism map.  This map is helpful but thin in information. It is one of those that you tear off a pad. 
The Tourist Centre (left) and the Jail

The Lamoureux Park on the waterfront in Cornwall is very lovely but a little hard to figure out where to go and park your car.  http://www.cornwall.ca/en/recreation/LamoureuxPark.asp  

There are traffic lights along Water St. and left turn lanes if you are going west. I think it was York St. where I turned left into the parking lot for the Cornwall Community Museum.  Find the Clock Tower and go west till you see the museum and turn in.  You can also park in the Civic Centre area.  Just read the signs to be sure you are not in a restricted zone.  There is a map of the park on a board somewhere in the park giving the pathways and more.  I wish I had more time to explore it was very pretty.  This link gives some idea of how it is designed:  http://www.waterfronttrail.org/maps/wt-7_06.pdf 

The Park and the Bridge in Cornwall

Somewhere in this area near the Civic Centre,  Sir John Johnson and the Loyalists were supposed to have landed and proceeded to settle in the area, but so far I have not been able to pin that down.  Anyone have an idea?

UPDATE:  Try this site Plaque #21 – Location:  In L’ameurieux Park at the foot of Augustus Street, Cornwall “The Founding of Cornwall.”  You will have to scroll down:  http://www.cornwall-lacac.on.ca/

Cornwall’s Clock Tower on Water Street

In the next post I will describe my visits to several of the genealogical repositories of Cornwall. After that, I will write about my tour of the former Glengarry County. 

The St. Lawrence River from the park in Cornwall looking across to the reservation island


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