Most of my research on Archie and Mary McDonald has centered on the records of the church in Chapeau. The St. Alphonsus Catholic Church is located in Chapeau on the Isle Aux Allumette on the Upper Ottawa River. It is in the Province of Quebec. To find Chapeau you can locate Pembroke on a map in Ontario and run your finger to the right across and find the island and Chapeau is on the north side.
Many of the records have been microfilmed. Those records are on file with the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City. They have them on their record search program which I don’t understand at the moment. If that proves to confusing you can order them on microfilm from the Family History Library using these film numbers:
- #1029797 1846-1858, index of baptisms, marriages, burials
- #1029798 1859-1876, baptisms, marriages, burials
- #1304675 1876-1899, baptisms, marriages, burials
- #2030662 1899-1914. baptisms, marriages, burials
I have found that I get a better feel for the records when I look at the films. My local Family History Center has these films on permanent loan. Otherwise you can order them and work with them. I was studying Archie and Mary’s extended family looking for brothers and sisters in hopes of finding parents. I was successful with Mary’s side but I am struggling with Archie’s.
Ancestry.com has Quebec church records on their website. It is under the Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection) 1621 to 1967. The location to choose is Chapeau and the parish is the St. Alphonse.
The other option is a book compiled by Elaine Brown in March of 2000 that includes the cemetery inscriptions and burial records of the St. Alphonsus of Ligouri Church in Chapeau, Allumette Island, Pontiac Co., Quebec. She used the 4 FHL microfilms listed above as her sources and added the cemetery records. She recorded only the deaths and the burials for her book but it has been an excellent source and help in addition to the films for my research. I have a copy of her book in my possession. Here is a link to her website and this book.
Elaine writes in an email to the UOVGEN mailing list 1/2/2003:
“In my book, I show the 1,961 burials from 1846 to 1920 which are contained on the films (see above)…Since the present cemetery beside the church/school was likely not in use until 1857/1858, it could be that some of the burials by Fr. Lynch refer to the Church Point cemetery (earlier cemetery in the area). The oldest death date on a tombstone that I recorded was in memory of Alexi Kennedy who died 1856 and his wife Marcella who died in 1851. I suspect it was erected many years later. It’s unfortunate but due to the ravages of time there were only 771 tombstones left for me to record.
Book Title: Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records, St. Alphonsus of Liguori, Chapeau, Allumette Island, Pontiac Co., Quebec, compiled and published by Elaine Brown.
Actual pictures of tombstones in this cemetery were taken by Scott Naylor back in 2003 and are at Rootsweb.
UPDATE: Scott Naylor pass last year at the end of 2011. So this link I included here is now no longer being used.
However, there is good news. Mr. Naylor’s wonderful collection is now at the Quebec Gravemarker site:
Try this link as of 4/13/2013:
Just click on the county you are interested in and enjoy.
Things have really improved in Canadian genealogy. I started back in 1998 and it was tough going. I am very grateful for all the hard work done by many researchers in Canada and thank them for their time and efforts.
UPDATE: I have corrected the confusion of the two different St. Alphonsus cemeteries at Find A Grave. The older one is located behind the church, while the newer one is south of Chapeau about 1/2 mile. I have added as many tombstone to the Find A Grave pages for these two cemeteries that I had taken when I visited there. Hopefully other’s will add more in time.