When I started researching my father’s MacDonald surname, I had quite a bit of material to use to get started. I had two family trees done by my Great Aunt Nellie, sister to my grandfather Ronald (R.S.). The charts were dated 1932. I had the genealogical notes done by my Aunt Miriam a sister to my father. I had pedigree charts and my own knowledge of my family.
I started at the beginning and began building and researching my family studying the life of my grandfather Ronald, his marriage to Grace, his siblings and their lives and also the lives of his parents Archibald and Mary McDonell. I was able to build a family history back to Archie and Mary to their marriage in 1861 and the Canadian census of 1861. I have presented my findings in this blog about the lives my great grandparents Archie and Mary McDonell.
Using Nellie’s charts I was able to find many of the people on Mary’s side of the chart. I used the census and the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church records in Chapeau. All of the records pointed to Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson as the parents of the individuals I have featured on this blog in past posts. Archie’s side of the family has only revealed one brother, a John McDonell who was living in Sheenboro. There is a chart of his side of the family done by Nellie.
Mr. Duncan Darby MacDonald’s charts on pages 721 to 735 and specifically the one on page 73A, Chart 13 Sheet 5 – The Kennedy Connection, from his book PART IV is different than Aunt Nellie’s chart. Here is the detail of that book.
A collection of genealogical charts Part-IV, 3rd Edition, ISBN O-921133-39-1. Much of the earlier work done by Daniel F. McDonald of Bristol, Conn and other members of his family at Bridgend (Stone Villa) Lancaster. A second edition was published in 1988 and the 3rd in 1993. FHL#971.37 D2, book only.
Here is a copy of my Aunt Nellie’s chart, which I have featured in a past post, just click on the photo below and it will open. There is a series of these posts in which I discuss both sides of the family and my findings. You can find the posts by search for Nellie’s Charts. This is the specific post I will be discuss in here, Post dated July 21, 2011 Nellie’s Charts – Her Mother Mary McDonell’s Family!
Now I cannot republish Mr. MacDonald’s chart here so I will have to recreate it. He has for Mary, Rachel and Margaret the parents as Angus and Janet McDonell. There is also a brother named Angus. It is this man who he indicates married Janet Catherine MacDonell. After his death, she remarried to Thomas Payne.
See this post dated October 20, 2011 – Jennette Catherine McDonell and Her Two Marriages.
You can see my two great grandparents are the pink boxes on the right. This means, according to Duncan D. MacDonald, that Mary was not a sister to Jennette. It also means that she is not a sister to Ronald who married Janet, a daughter of John Mor MacDonell and Flora McLellan members of the Lundie MacDonell family.
See my post dated August 26, 2014 “Revisiting: The Ronald (Ranald) and Janet McDonell – The Lundie Family Connection!”
Here is an expanded version showing some descendants. On the left in the 2nd row Angus, a son, married to Jennette Catherine MacDonell. On the right are my great grandparents Mary and Archibald. Unfortunately, Duncan D. MacDonald does not give any lineage for Archibald. He does for Alexander John MacDonell and has his wife Ellen McPherson with no lineage.
Mr. MacDonald would have the following children for Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson, just click and it will open. Remember to hit your back button to return.
So what is the real story? Who is my great-grandmother Mary McDonell a daughter of? She is a daughter of Alexander John and Ellen McPherson per her marriage record to Archibald McDonell, from the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec.
It reads as follows: .
#M51, #1029798, The marriage of Archibald and Mary McDonell on April 9, 1861 at the St. Alphonse Church.
“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 _______Bishop of Bytown and wherein no impediment have been discovered we 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.
In the 1861 Canadian Census it reads for line 37, pg 2, Allumette Twp., FHL Film #0517406, Dist. 415 through 430E,
Line 36 Allumette Twp. Rachel McDonell, born LC, Catholic, age 23, female. Line 37 Alex Jno McDonell, Farmer, born U.C., Catholic, age 66 male; line 38 Mary McDonell born U.C., Catholic, age 25, female; Line 39, Duncan McDonald, Laborer, born L.C., Catholic, age 19, male; Line 40, Finlay McDonell born L.C., Catholic, age 16, male.
So here we have a Alex Jno McDonell with Rachel, Mary, Duncan and Finlay. This census does not show a relationship but they are grouped so we can assume some sort of connection.
Rachel died on 8 January 1881. She is listed in the 1876 to 1886 Register of the St. Alphonse book. She is S1, Her entry reads:
S1 Rachel McDonell, St. Alphonse All. Island, 11 Aug 1881 We the undersigned [ ] have interred the body of Rachel McDonell died 8th Inst. parents were Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson, aged 40 years. Present Angus McDonell and Alexander McDonell who have not signed. Ja. C. Lynch, Priest.
Based on these documents, I do not think that Mary or Rachel are the daughters of Angus and Janet. They are the daughters of Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson as my Aunt Nellie has indicated in her chart. Other names on the chart all follow the lineage to Alexander John and Ellen.
What about Margaret, well she is a daughter of Angus and Janet. Again in the St. Alphonse church records 1859 to 1876 there is an entry for a death:
Margaret McDonnell, #S52, St. Alphonse Allumette Island, Dec, 23, 1862. We the undersigned priest of this mission have interred in the cemetery of this mission the body of Margaret died yesterday, aged 20 years daughter of Angus McDonell and Genet McDonell. Present John Connoly & Donald McDonell who have not signed. J.A. Lynch, Priest.
I looks like Angus and Margaret were siblings and children of Angus and Janet/Genet.
From the book by Elaine Brown on the St. Alphonse Church there is these entries we see that Angus J. McDonald died in 1866 and the children above are not listed with an Angus, but with Alexander Jno. McDonell.
#A76, Row 3, pg. 4 Cemetery Inscriptions: Payne McDonald, 1) Janet C./McDonald/wife of/Thomas/Payne/died Sep 2, 1916/aged 84 y’rs/rest in peace/PAYNE; 2) Angus J/McDonald/died/July 15, 1866/aged 37 y”rs/rest in peace/
In my post dated March 23, 2010 The Records of the St. Alphonse Church. When I did the research on my family these records were not yet online at Ancestry.com and Family Search and even though the search engine is there it would not give me Angus and Jeanette’s marriage, I had to do it the hard way scrolling through the pages on Ancestry. I knew the film number and the date so that helped. Here is their marriage.
Baptisms, Marrriages & Burial Registers of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church FHL#1029797, 1846-1858 with an additional index 1846-1876, #M10, FHL#1029797.
St. Liguoris, Allumette Island, September 26, 1851 after the banns of marriage have been twice published at the [ ] in this mission between Angus J. McDonell of this mission, son of age of Angus McDonell and Janet McDonell on the one part and Jennette McDonell daughter of age of [ ] John McDonell and Ellen McPherson on the other part. A dispensation of the banns of marriage have been given by us in [ ] of a power accorded to us by his lordship the Right Rev. Doctor Guigues Bishop of Bytown and whereas no impediment having been discovered we the undersigned priest of this mission have received their mutual consent to the marriage and given the nuptial benediction at Liguori Allumette Island on the day of the date above mentioned and in the presence of Thomas McDonell, William McDonell and Catherine McDonell who have not signed. Jas. Lynch, Priest.
Unfortunately, Mr. Duncan D. MacDonald does not give sources and if he does only in some places on his charts. I am glad that I have found this information and can now study it and do more digging into the records.
I think I will continue to believe that my Great Aunt Nellie’s chart is correct.