Scotland, here I come…

Yes, I am going to Scotland, and I will be touring the country for several weeks. I will try to share some of the events as they happen but it will be a busy trip. I am not as young and eager as I used to be and I want to take time and savor it all and it also depends on the WiFi situation?

Scotland simplified

I will be visiting several archives, societies and repositories in my travels. I will be looking into the surname of MacDonald/MacDonell, Barclay, McMurray, and Jackson. Some of them I know came from Scotland and about where they did live but others are going to be difficult or impossible. I plan to learn a lot and just see what comes up along the way.

So far John Barclay is not cooperating in the Edinburgh records. As I visit these archives I will ask lots of questions so I should be very educated in Scottish research by the time I get home. I will also leave behind my family history and maybe it will have some effect?

I will visit lots of castles that have to do with MacDonald/MacDonell history as well as areas and places and also just Scottish history. There will be battlefields to see and the Scottish Highlands to explore including the Isle of Skye and the area west of Fort Augustus.  Click the map and it will open.

The Highlands of Scotland

I will share this trip on two of my blogs, this one and The Barclays of Pine River  I will share the search for Barclay origins on that blog and MacDonald’s on this blog.

It will be EPIC! Bonnie

Posted in MCDONALD/MACDONALD etc., Scotland | Tagged | 2 Comments

Coming to a place to rest and reflect….

I started this blog back in January of 2010.  I have been publishing approximately weekly for a five full years of posts.  It has been quiet a challenge.  According to my stats I have 295 posts and 18 pages and 231 comments and 67,075 views.

The Bridge to Allumette Island from Chichester

The Bridge to Allumette Island from Chichester, the church spire in the distance…

At this time, I have reached a stopping point and have presented what I can share with you about my dad, Keith B. MacDonald’s life, family and ancestors. There are descendants of my line of MacDonald/McDonald family living in the Pacific Northwest but the nature of this blog was the past not the future. I am on Facebook, so if you are a cousin or a friend you can find me there.

The Bridge to Allumette, the church in the distance

Allumette Island in the Distance

This journey to share about my Dad’s family and ancestors has been quite the process.  I have taken it back to about 1858 in Quebec on the Upper Ottawa River near Chichester and Chapeau in Pontiac County (they have renamed the areas).  These locations are east of Pembroke, Ontario. I actually traveled there in 2012 to see the area and it was a very amazing journey. I shared that journey on this blog and other blogs I write.

Portion of my 2012 Trip

Portion of my 2012 Trip

Archibald McDonell, Keith’s grandfather, settled in Chichester in 1858 and married in 1861 and raised a family.  The area is very different now.  It is a sleepy country community. Back when Mary and Archibald McDonell were living there it was a center for lumbering, gold and general mining and more.  They left the area about 1901 and settled in Minnesota.  The migrated didn’t stop there, Keith’s family eventually made their way to Washington State.

Chichester Twp.

Chichester Twp.

Archibald’s parents, according to the marriage record from the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church are John and Sara McDonell but that is about all I know about them. I still don’t know who Roy Macdonell is.  He is the man listed at the top of my great Aunt Nellie’s chart as being Archibald’s father. I suspect she missed a generation and he could be Archibald’s grandfather. Another possibility is it is a nickname like John Roy?  I have not had as much luck finding the siblings of Archibald that Nellie listed on her chart, except for his brother John in Sheenboro.  I have written about all of this on this blog.

The McDonell's of Chichester, taken in Bemidji, MN 1905

The McDonell’s of Chichester, taken in Bemidji, MN 1905

Photo – Standing Nellie, Jack (John), R.S. my grandfather, Seated: Mary on the left, Archibald on in the middle and Alex on the far right.

Archibald McDonell was the lockmaster of the Culbute Locks on the Ottawa River.  You can still see parts of the lock remaining.  I have written about the Culbute Locks on this blog and had some help from a reader with pictures.  I was told when in the area that you can only get to them by water but lately another person has found this blog and she says you can walk to them.  Hmmm…I am very tempted.

I know a little more about Mary’s side of the family.  Her parents are Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson.  I have been able to track the families using Nellie’s chart and studying the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church records (known as the Drouin Collection) and more sources.  Nellie’s charts are featured on this blog in several locations.

St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and me 2012

St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and me 2012

The charts of Duncan Darby MacDonald, a researcher who has written a great many books, has Mary as a daughter of Angus but I don’t think so. The marriage record plainly states she is the daughter of this couple and she is marrying Archibald.  I have written about this confusion in the lineage in several posts on this blog and shared about Duncan’s books.

Alexander John McDonell’s family is connected to the Lundie McDonald’s through their son Ronald who married Janet a member of that family. They came from the Knoydart peninsula in western Scotland. It is right across from the Isle of Skye and also very remote. I have more research to do on Alexander John’s origins.  If I figure out anything I will share what I find.  Recently I purchased a CD-Rom from Alex Fraser on the Loop and Lundie Family and he does have some of my family included but not all.  I will be studying his findings.

I have also taken DNA tests and have had several family members take yDNA.  There is a page at the top of this blog explaining what is happening regarding the DNA research. I encourage you to consider taking a test if you can, they frequently have sales.

To make things easier I created PAGES at the top of this blog which are like a table of contents that cover the various posts I have published on this blog and if relevant my other blogs.  This will help you to focus on finding information.  There are also tips on how to search this blog.  Come back every once in a while because I might add things, do some maintence on links and things, or make some updates.

This blog about the MacDonald/McDonald side of my dad’s genealogy is about his paternal side. The Barclay’s of Pine River blog is about his maternal side of the family. The Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp., in Ohio blog is about my father’s deep roots in New England through his mother Grace and her mother Amarilla’s ancestors.  I broke up the genealogy of my father’s family because it made it easier for me to focus and I figured readers would only be interested in various aspects of the lineage.  I also have a blog about my mother’s side of the family – The Boardmans and Browns. Links can be found on the rights side of this blog.

It is time to stop posting on this blog and get the research binders into good shape.  I will only post on this blog unless I find a really good topic or solve a puzzle, or go on an interesting trip. So this blog is not done but my time and the research is going in another direction.  Please feel free to leave a comment, just make sure you are on the blog you intended to be, for I have several at WordPress, or email me at

Happy Hunting, the best Bonnie

Posted in Alexander John McDonell and wife Ellen McPherson - Mary's family, Allumette Island, ARCHIE & MARY MCDONELL's FAMILY, Chapeau, Chichester, International Falls, JOHN & SARA MCDONELL - Archie's Family, John McDonald and Julia Lacour/Record, Minnesota, Mr. Duncan Darby MacDonald Books and Charts, Nellie McDonald (Ellen Elizabeth), Ontario, Pembroke, Pontiac County, Quebec, Quebec Genealogical research tips, Roy Macdonell, the mystery on Archie's side, St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Trip to Ontario & Quebec 2012, Washington State | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RUMBLE RUMBLE….Hydroplanes and Blue Angels!

One of the engines

One of the engines at the Hydroplane Museum

One of the biggest adventures in my childhood was the Hydroplane races here in Seattle. I remember my Dad standing on the shores of Lake Washington, with me on his shoulders, and he was pointing to the lake and telling me that the boat that was flying by was the winner of the hydroplane race. This was in the mid 1950’s when I was little enough to be on his shoulders.  I think it was probably one of the Slow Motion Boats he was pointing at that won that year.

The Hydroplane Raceboat Museum is in south Seattle:   They have all kinds of memorabilia and hydroplanes.  They have restored some of them. They call them Thunderboats in their website title.

As I know it, hydroplanes used airplane engines, according to my Dad.

Anatomy of a hydroplane race boat:  and

Here is a tip, hang out around the pits on the shores of Lake Washington at Seafair in August and you will learn real quick what they mean about Thunderboats!

If you are close enough to the pits just wait in the crowd. You probably can’t get into the pit area unless you have a pass.  You can just stand near there or sit on your ice chest if you have one and wait. Soon you will feel and hear it….RUMBLE! The earth shakes and vibrates when they turn on the engines of the hydroplanes.  Now it is not just one engine it is many.  It is amazing…!  If you have a friend with you, watch their eyes get BIG!

Slow Mo Shun V rebuilt

Slow Mo Shun V rebuilt

A Timeline of Winners of the Gold Cup:

The Hawaii Kai won in 1958 and I was a kid then. The pink boat was my favorite. You know it was sunk by the owners and is at the bottom of Puget Sound, AUGGH!  What they have at the museum are models of the Hawaii Kai.

Model of Hawaii Kai

Model of Hawaii Kai 1958 Gold Cup Winner

Let’s see:  Slo Mo V and IV, Miss Bardahl, Miss Thriftway, Bill Muncey, Chip Hanauer, Mira Slovak are the ones I remember.  There is an amazing story about Mira Slovak defecting.

Miss Bardahl

Miss Bardahl model

Last week I took the drive down to the Stan Sayres pits on the shores of Lake Washington south of the 520 floating bridge.  They just opened the new one and it is now the longest floating bridge in the world. It was a beautiful sunny day.  I drove through the Arboretum an along Lake Washington Blvd. right by the water.  The whole trip from my house took two hours round trip but it was worth it. It is a narrow two lane road with various parks that you can stop at if you like and wish to dally.  The Blvd. goes under the floating bridge on the western side of the lake.

Stan Sayres pits on Lake Washington

Stan Sayres pits on Lake Washington

See the two buildings off the right of the parking lot in the above photo.  There is a courtyard between them with the tiles.  These tiles are dedicated to the memory of those who loved the hydroplanes.  My dad, Keith’s tile is there and easy to find.  See my toes are pointing right at it.  It is not real big but it works.

Keith's Tile at the Stan Sayres pits

Keith’s Tile at the Stan Sayres pits

When I saw it I laughed, it reads Memory of Keith MacDonald & Tony Mazuk McScubalub.  The reference is to the name of his boat, which he made and added hydrofoils to, and I have featured in a past post. It references Tony his dog and McScubalub who was a make-believe character of his sisters when they were kids.  The name is very long and complicated and sillier than what I have presented here. In the photo below the tile is almost up to the door on of the building on the right.

The courtyard area of the Stan Sayres park

The courtyard area of the Stan Sayres park

It was a quiet but beautiful day at the Stan Sayres Memorial Park.  The piers are lines up ready for the coming Seafair and August festivities here in Seattle.  Close your eyes and visualize and feel the crush of people, the colorful hydroplane boats, big semi trucks, trailers, mechanics and realize it is packed when the races are here and the noise and rumble of the engines when the race time comes close.  The boats are lined up around the course out on the lake.

Looking towards the bridge and the piers

Looking towards the bridge and the piers

My Dad even liked the little hydroplane boats that were raced on the Sammish Slough and I remember spending time at those races in Bothell. Apparently they are bringing them back. They have on the Seafair Schedule the Kenmore Hydroplane Cup. Cool!

The Blue Angels were a big deal for him as well. They are still pretty awesome. I can be working in my front yard and here them rumble when they are performing and sometimes one will come very close to my home.

Here is a cool photo of them over the Space Needle from the Queen Anne Neighborhood blog which has more wonderful pictures:

Blue Angels

Blue Angels

Somehow, I believe, that my Dad is out their still searching for that perfect airplane engine!

Posted in Keith B. MacDonald, King County, Seattle | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Taking a tour of Seattle, the city he loved!

My father, Keith, loved this city of Seattle, his adopted home. I never thought of him as a Minnesotan but definitely a Washingtonian.  He ancestors and his life have been the focus of this blog but now that I have come to the end of his life, I would like to share some fun sites of Seattle.  These are all events in Seattle’s history that he was part of.

Dad would take us on adventures and the Washington Ship Canal was one of them and the Ballard Locks.  I remember watching the water rise and fall. What came after was the Opening of Boating Season and watching the boats making their way through the locks to Lake Union and through to Lake Washington.  It is sort of a celebration of this created waterway.

When the Seattle World’s Fair was here in 1962, I remember walking around with him and looking at all the wonderful exhibits. We did go up the elevator to the top of the Space Needle to observe. Several years later he finally got to eat dinner at the revolving restaurant at the top of the Space Needle, I think it was his birthday party.  This is still a treat and they have kinds of events at the top of the Needle.

Space Needle

Space Needle

The Seattle Municipal Archives has a nice article about the fair and if you scroll down you can find some photographs to check out:  Google Images has some really cool stuff to take a look at. and this is a good article:

We have a coffee table book about the history of the Seattle Center as it is called now. It is host to many activities throughout the year.

Several excursions to Woodland Park Zoo which is a whole new zoo now.  It has won several conservation awards and it is noted for its natural like habitats for the animals.  I don’t think my Dad would recognize it at all but he would be proud.

The Seattle Waterfront where the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop was a main feature with the mummy. This area will have a major change if and when Bertha fishes the tunnel and the Aurora Viaduct is a thing of the past.  Update: I brought my sister home from SeaTac and we went to the waterfront to get home and it was a mess with all the construction and more.  They had closed the viaduct for repairs so we could not go all the way.  I thought the waterfront would work, but I was wrong. We got home eventually but be advised that things are all messed up along Seattle’s waterfront.

The Washington State Ferries were also a big deal and took us many places. The goal was to get to the front of the ferry-boat and let the wind hit you in the face. This of course depended on the weather. The website Evergreen Fleet covers all the ferries for a very large area.   Gee, I wonder what Dad would have thought of computers?

This link is more of the Puget Sound Ferries:

The excursion to Tillacum Village on Blake Island is short of a thing to do in Seattle and I was there with my parents.  It is a salmon bake and an Native American dancing show.  I am sure it is very fancy now from the pictures.

My parent’s and I took the Underground Tour which is a lot of fun sometime in the 1960’s. He got a big kick out of the book “Sons of the Profits,” by Bill Speidel, which is a tongue in cheek expose about Seattle’s history.

Seattle is not the city my parents knew. It has changed a lot since they both passed and has grown up, so to speak.  So many of the old buildings are gone now or repurposed.

A family member did a fun thing by placing memory plaques at two locations for Keith.

There is one at the Pike Place Market under the sign where everyone walks on his tile. His tile is near the 2nd sign, not the front entrance. It is the sign at Pine and Pike. I think he would get a kick out of the people walking on it.  Here I am trying to mark where the tile is but you can see it is very busy.

2nd Sign Public Market

2nd Sign Public Market

Keith's Tile

Keith’s Tile

Trying to get a fix on Dad's tile

Trying to get a fix on Dad’s tile

There is another at the Stan Sayre’s pits where they set up for the Hydroplane Races on Lake Washington.  I have not seen that one but need to get that remedied soon.

He would take us to the hydroplane races every year and various Sea Fair activities. Yes, there are airplane engines in hydroplanes!

Posted in Keith B. MacDonald, King County, Seattle | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments