It is time to turn back to Archibald and Mary McDonell’s family, Keith, my father’s grandparents and my greats. The past posts have described what is known about their respective siblings and parents at this time. More research will be done and a trip to Ontario and Quebec is in the near future see the new page added at the top of this blog.
Meanwhile let’s return to Archie and Mary’s family in Chichester in 1881. In the post dated June 1, 2011 “McDonell Family in 1881,” the census for that year was discussed and described. The family was all together including Alexander the youngest. It was not too last long. The son’s were growing up and about to leave the “nest.”
It is not clear when Ronald or his older brother Angus left home and headed out on their own. Jack (John), their brother told his daughter that “Angus, left.” A typical response for my McDonald’s are people of few words.
In 1881 Ronald was 14 years old and Angus was 16 years old. So if we use the age of 18 or 20 as a clue to figure out their movements we could probably guess they left home about 1885 or 1886?
In any event, neither Ronald nor Angus appear in the Canadian 1891 census with the family in Chichester, Pontiac County, Quebec, 7th April, 1891, pg. 4, Ancestry.com
Line 13, [ ] 16, McDonald, Archy, M, 60 years old, M, born Ont. and the place of birth of his father and mother are Ont., Lockmaster, can read and write. McDonald, Mary, F, age 57, M, Wife, born Ont. , father born Ont, mother born Scotland, can read and write. McDonell, John, M, age 22, S, born Quebec, Labourer. McDonell, Ellen, F, age 20, D. M age 18, S. Children born Quebec.
No sign of Ronald, Keith’s father, nor his uncle Angus. Since the 1890 U.S. Federal Census suffered destruction in a fire, we cannot determine if they headed to the United States by that time. Ronald’s trail is picked up in the 1895 Minnesota State census. As for Angus he doesn’t appear until much later in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Seattle, King County, Washington!! There are some interesting stories about Angus that I will share in a later posts. I have reason to believe that Angus moved back and forth across the Canadian border on several occasions as we will see.
It is about now that we see the spelling of the last name change from “McDonell” to “McDonald.”