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

About BJ MacDonald

Interested in travel, really into genealogy and researching my family history, classic novels and movies, fantasy and science fiction, photography, history and more... Here is a tip. Make sure you are commenting on the blog you were visiting and the post you were interested in. My blogs are listed by hovering over my pictures and clicking. Clicking one of them will take you back to the correct blog. You can try me here:
This entry was 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 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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