It was Friday, May 25, 2012 and my time in Renfrew County was coming to an end. My last stop was Arnprior to visit the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives. There was a lot of construction around Arnprior and they had closed off Division Street and so I came into the downtown area via Daniels Street.
Driving down from Pembroke had not taken that long but I needed some food. I learned that some Dairy Queens are just ice cream only with maybe a hot dog to offer. If they are a restaurant they will say so on their sign. It did take me across the bridge so I could see the Madawaska River a tributary of the Ottawa.
Once my tummy was happy, I headed over to the museum which is a very big brick building with a tower. You cannot miss it. It is situated beside the Arnprior Public Library and shares a parking lot.
It took me a few minutes to figure out where the Arnprior Archives were located. Yes, you guessed it. In the basement of the public library.
Here is their website: http://www.adarchives.org/
The Arnprior Public library is very nice and the lower flower was not what you would normally expect.
The bottom floor was set up like a lounge and there was a Keira Coffee Machine waiting to be used. There were stacks in the back area of books. A librarian sat at a desk apparently there to help.
The archives itself has two small rooms off this lounge area on the lower floor. It was a little cramped. I did manage to find a seat at a table. They had the Index to the Upper Canadian Land Books so I reviewed them. These books are probably everywhere in Canada and consist of many volumes. I was looking at volumes 5 and 6.
The archive has inherited the Renfrew County land records
http://www.adarchives.org/apolrod.htm and I realized I would need a lot number in order to access them.
The Index of Probated Wills in Renfrew County 1878 to 1969 was of interest. Based on what I have learned our ancestors were very much on the move and had interests in one area and lived in another and even died like in Ottawa and Montreal and are buried there, so keep and open mind.
They had cemetery records and I was very interested in the Albert Street Cemetery publication.
I collected as much information as possible on Alexander MacDonnell the lumberman who settled at Sand Point. I am very curious about his family origins and interested in his siblings. I have read there were six brothers and was told by someone else there might be eleven! Several of his brothers received large land grants in the area, as well as on Calumet and Allumette Islands. http://www.bytown.net/sandpoint.htm He first settled in Perth and then moved to Glengarry and then up to Sand Point. He is said to have encouraged family to come and help him in his businesses. Three of the brothers of this Alexander are said to have stayed in Glengarry and have descendants.
I would like to thank the volunteers at this archive. They were helpful, friendly and took good care of me. I left a copy of my booklet based on this McDonald family blog for their library holdings.
Next stop the Albert Street Cemetery and a close encounter with a ground-hog or was it a beaver?