Archibald McDonell Establishes Himself in Chichester!

October 20, 2010

Keith’s grandfather Archibald McDonell appears in the 1861 Canadian Census living in Chichester, Pontiac County, Canada East (Quebec).  He is living alone.

The 1861 Canadian census is on microfilm and was studied at a Family History Center back in about 2000.  This film’s condition was not good for  the names were blackened and hard to read; however, Ancestry.com now has this census in their collection and they have cleaned up the images so you can read them clearly.   

Source:  Archibald McDonald, 1861 Canadian Census for Pontiac Co., Canada East (Quebec) Page Starts with the name Angus (Augus) R. McDonald – page 135 (9), Image 133  (Chichester Township starts on Image 125 at Ancestry.com).

Line 28 Archie McDonnell, Carpenter, born U.C., Catholic, age 27, male, members of family 1, frame, number of stories 1.5, number of families, 1, second line – Log, one story 1, one family 1. Pg. 2 Quantity of Land attached 96, Carpenter, 12 months of labor, Value of business/manufacture 100.

The Canadian Government uses the following microfilm numbering system for this census as described by Ancestry.com.  I have used finding aids for the Canadian Census at libraries like the Cloverdale Library in Surrey, B.C. which has a wonderful Canadian genealogical collection.  Checking my notes indicate that film #C-1305 was used.

Ancestry.com’s description  – Canada. “Census returns for 1861.” LAC microfilm C-999 to C-1007, C-1010 to C-1093, C-1095 to C-1108, C-1232 to C-1331, M-1165 to M-1166, M-1168 to M-1171, M-556, M-874 to M-878, M-880 to M-886, M-896 to M-900. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

The Family History Library also has its own microfilm of these Canadian Census.  The film number list below is the same as what I have written in my notes and page 135.

Family History Catalog:  QUEBEC Pontiac –  FHL US/CAN Census Area [ 517406 ]

In order to understand more about the area we are identifying in the Canadian Census of 1861 I turn to Wikipedia to assist me. 

Wikipedia has an article where they give a description and maps of Allumette Island.  This article points out the different spellings for the island in French.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L’Isle-aux-Allumettes,_Quebec 

Using Wikipedia we find more information on Chichester which is across from Allumette Island.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichester,_Quebec 

We expand that to include the Pontiac municipality:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Regional_County_Municipality,_Quebec

Here is a Gazetteer for Pontiac County at Rootsweb: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onrenfre/gazetteer_Pont.html

The map below is from Microsoft Streets and Trips.  This map gives us an idea of what the area looks like where Archibald McDonell lived.  Click on the map to open it to a larger size for viewing.

Archie's Locations

This area will be of great importance in the family history and will include the town of Chichester and  Chapeau which is on Allumette Island.  The town of Pembroke is located south of Allumette Island in Renfrew County, Ontario.  The St. Alphonsus Liguori Church is located in Chapeau.


Jack McDonald & Sarah Maria Burns!

August 17, 2010

Jack McDonald

Jack McDonald, brother to Ronald and Uncle to Keith, made his home in International Falls and lived a long life there.  His formal name was John Archibald but everyone called him “Jack.”  The photo of Jack was taken in his daughter’s home where she had it resting gently again a lamp in the living room.

On the 20 of August 1901 he married Sarah Maria Burns in Chapeau, Pontiac County, Quebec.  Sarah was part of a very large family that settled in the Chichester/Chapeau area on the Upper Ottawa River.  You can learn more about the Burns family and its connections at this website: http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/ You can explore more of the website and other surnames.  Click on the Byrns/Burns link and you will go to the detailed pages on the family with photos: http://www.personainternet.com/etbrown/burns.htm  You will find the McDonald’s link. 

He migrated with his wife and his parents to Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota shortly after his marriage.  Jack and Sarah spent about 4 years in Bemidji before they moved permanently in 1905 to International Falls.  It is possible they had a child, maybe two, while living there and they did not survive.

Sarah and Jack McDonald - Int'l Falls

John (Jack) and Sarah McDonald’s children:

1.  George Archibald/Alexander who was born February 28, 1907 and died on March 2, 1907.  This information was taken from the birth register at the Koochiching County Courthouse in International Falls in 2000.

2.  There is a baby buried in the family plot at the cemetery in International Falls named Emma Loretta born September 3, 1911 and died that following October 16, 1911. 

3.  Mary Catherine Genofevan McDonald was born 3 January 1913 in International Falls and died in 2007 in Otter Tail Co., Minnesota.  Mary is buried next to her husband Gilbert Louiseau in the McDonald plot in the St. Thomas Cemetery that is a part of the Forest Hill Cemetery group in International Falls. Mary was 94 years old and I was very lucky to have known her.  Mary and Gil had 3 children who are living and grandchildren. 

Daughter Mary

Jack and Sarah made a good life for themselves in International Falls.  Jack became well-respected in the town and ran for political office.  There home was frequented by many friends.  He was responsible for keeping the children warm and seeing that the boiler at the Alexander Baker School had warmed the building before school began.  Jack was also a volunteer fireman with the International Falls fire department along with his brother Alex.


Archibald and Mary McDonald

March 20, 2010

Keith’s grandparents were Archibald and Mary McDonald.  Archie and Mary settled in International Falls sometime after 1905.  They had migrated from the Upper Ottawa River Valley to Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota.  Their children felt they were getting to old to manage their farm in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec so the remainder of the family made the move to Minnesota.  Two of their sons, Ronald and Alexander, were already in Minnesota.  So Mary, Archie, and two other children, Jack and Nellie, moved to Minnesota around 1901. 

Mary McDonald

 

Archibald McDonald

 

I have so very few photographs of my great grandparents.  These two photos are taken from a much larger family picture I will share in the next post.  It really focuses in on their faces, clothing and personalities.   

This was taken in Bemidji in 1905.  My great-grandfather looks like a sea-captain in this photograph.  He wasn’t a sea-captain but he was the locks master for the Culbute Locks located on the Upper Ottawa River.


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