Archibald and Mary McDonald’s Children

March 20, 2010

McDonald Family 1905

This picture shows Keith’s grandparents and his aunt, uncles and father, Archibald and Mary McDonald’s family.  Starting on the left we have Nellie, Mary (seated), Jack, Archibald (seated), Ronald and Alex (seated).  Keith’s father is Ronald the one standing on the right next and behind Archibald. There is one person missing from this photo.  The oldest son Angus. 

Mary and Archibald actually had eight (8) children.  Five (5) children survived and lived to have full lives.  Two had descendants.  Jack had a daughter and Ronald and Grace had the 8 children listed in a previous post dated February 27, 2010. 

Their children were born in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec.  Their births and baptisms are recorded in the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church registers in Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec. 

The Children of Archibald and Mary McDonald are as follows.

1.  John McDonald born 10 December 1861, baptized 12 December 1861.  This baby must have died before 1871 for he is not listed on the 1871 Canadian census.  A death record nor burial location has been found at this time.

2.  John Alexander McDonald born 18 April 1863, baptized 26 April 1863 and died probably before 1871 for he is also not listed on the 1871 Canadian census.  This child’s death record and burial location has also not been found at this time.

3.  Angus Lawrence McDonald born 6 August 1864, baptized 13 August 1864.  He died 2 May 1931 in Seattle, King County, Washington of pneumonia, He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Seattle with other family members. Angus is listed as “Agnes” in the records.

4.  Ronald Sandfield McDonald born 22 July 1866, baptized the 26 July 1866. Keith’s father died on the 24 of July 1947 in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington of old age. He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Yakima, Washington with other members of the family.

5.  John Archibald McDonald (Jack) was born 3 June 1869, baptized 14 June 1869.  He died on 11 December 1949 in Moose Lake, Koochiching County, Minnesota of old age.  He is buried in the St. Thomas Cemetery (Forest Hill) in International Falls, Koochiching County, Minnesota with other family members.

6.  Ellen Elizabeth McDonald (Nellie) was born 26 November 1870, baptized the 26 November 1870.  She died on the 8th of May, 1947 in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington of old age.  She is buried next to her brother Ronald in the Calvary Cemetery in Yakima and with other family members. 

7.  Alexander Thomas McDonald was born 2 December 1872 and baptized the 17 December 1872.  He died the 3rd of November 1955 in International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota.  He is buried next to his brother Jack in the St. Thomas Cemetery (Forest Hill) in International Falls, Minnesota. 

8.  George James McDonald was born 22 July 1878, baptized 27 July 1878 and must have died before the 1881 Canadian census for he does not appear with the rest of the family.  A death record and burial location have not yet been found. 

I will give more details about the records of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in another post.  This church is located in Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec.  It is across the Ottawa River from Pembroke which is in Ontario. 

Here is information on the Catholic Diocese of Pembroke: http://pembrokediocese.com/web/english/directory/index.shtml


Ronald and Grace’s Children

February 27, 2010

Evergreen Cemetery

 

Keith was the youngest son of Ronald and Grace McDonald.  There were eight children born to Ronald and Grace.  Keith was the 7th child.  

The first child born did not survive and even the sex and name are unknown.  It is buried in an unmarked grave at the Evergreen Cemetery  in Brainerd, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota under the name “R.S McDonald’s child.” The baby shares the space with it’s grandfather George A. Barclay, grandmother Ammarilla Spracklin and their son George Alexander, brother to Grace. I discovered this child when I obtained burial records from the Evergreen Cemetery.  They have a directory of the dead which was not online years ago.  The photo above is the cemetery and specifically the Barclay grave area.      

McDonald Children about 1915

 

According to the writing on the back of this photo of the McDonald children, Keith is responsible for using a pin to poke out the eyes on his face! In order from left to right:  Keith, Jean, Eddie, Miriam, Gordon and Vivian. The birth order is reversed in this photo.  Vivian was the oldest and Keith the youngest.  

The Children of Grace and Ronald S. McDonald:    

1. Infant McDonald born and died on the same day of 29 August 1899.   

2. Leola Vivian.  Vivian was born on 12 May, 1902 in Grand Rapids, Itasca Co., Minnesota.   

3. Gordy was their first-born son.  His formal name was Ronald Gordon and he is sometimes confused with his father. Gordon was born on the 3 of May, 1904 also in Grand Rapids, Itasca Co., Minnesota.   

Sometime after Gordy’s birth, Ronald and Grace moved to International Falls, Minnesota.   I have not been able to pin down the actual location where they lived in Grand Rapids, Itasca Co., Minnesota. Grace and Ronald do appear in the 1905 Minnesota State Census in International Falls, so the move was made by then.  Itasca was a very large county and Koochiching was carved out of it about 1906.     

 McDonald Children born in International Falls:     

 4. Miriam Audrey followed on 15 January, 1906 and was born in International Falls, Koochiching County, Minnesota.  Miriam was the one who planted the seed that started me on the family genealogy.   

 5. Eddie was next. Her formal name was Edna Lorraine and she was born 28 March 1907. 

 6. Laurie Jean was born 30 June,1908.     

 7. Next was Keith Barclay John the youngest and 2nd son born 13 March, 1910.  This man is the one that this blog is dedicated to. 

  8. The last child was Grace Elizabeth born Dec 1911 who died the day before her mother and is buried with her in the cemetery in International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota. 

Death Certificate Grace Elizabeth

 

The sources are a variety of documents like newspaper announcements, letters, a baby book, my Aunt Miriam’s notes, death certificates for some of them, on-line death indexes, etc.


Our Surname: MacDonald

February 6, 2010

The spelling of my surname “MacDonald” has created a bit of confusion over the years.

My Dad, Keith, used the “Mac” spelling and wrote his last name as “MacDonald.”

His father Ronald spelled it “McDonald” and left the “a” out.  Keith’s other siblings also used the “McDonald” spelling.  Going further back my Dad’s grandparents Archie and Mary spelled it something like this “McDonell” or “McDonnell.  Going back even father it was spelled “Macdonell.”    I tried to get a url for this blog using the “MacDonald” spelling but it was already taken.  So I decided to use the older spelling of “Macdonell.”   

According to family stories my father Keith, began spelling his surname “MacDonald” later in his life. He chose to spell it this way rather than the “McDonald.”  His son states it was a mistake.  It was the Army that spelled his surname “MacDonald.” I asked my father one day why he spelled it this way.  He growled back: “Because it is spelled that way!” 

One day I was chatting with his sister Eddie and she mentioned that we used the “a” while she used the “Mc.”  I like the “Mac” version and my brother likes it too. 

After all the research I have done on our family I would have to say that it really doesn’t matter.   I have seen our surname spelled many ways.  Even the priests of the St. Alphonsus Church in Chapeau, Quebec were inconsistent in writing the name in their birth, death and baptismal registers. This has caused no end of frustration for me.  Here are the variations of our surname:

  • McDonald
  • MacDonald
  • McDonell
  • McDonnell
  • MacDonell
  • MacDonnell
  • Macdonnell…..

 The large monument in the Forest Hill Cemetery in International Falls, Minnesota where Archie and Mary McDonell spells it in this manner “Mc*Donald.” 

In genealogy the spelling of the surname is important; however, we must realize that in years past the spelling of a name was not as important as it is today.  Many people were not educated and therefore they could not spell so the use of sound was important.  I track the different spellings of my surnames because you never know when you will find the ancestor you are looking for under a very different spelling.


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