Keith was growing up!

April 16, 2015

Keith’s first years where in International Falls, Minnesota one of the coldest cities in the United States.  Here he is in a buggy with furs to keep him warm.

Keith in a Buggy as a baby

Keith in a Buggy as a baby

I know that my Dad was well-loved, and it looks like his sisters would take care of him on occasion including him in their play. He was very close to them over the years and stayed in touch.  In later years he would honor them by naming the boat he built by adding their make-believe friend Mrs. Scubalub to the boat’s very long name.  I will share the boat’s name in a future post. I think it is funny to see the sisters in the various photos holding Keith.  I like to think they had to restrain him from being curious about the camera.  A hobby he took on in his later life.

Keith with his sisters

Keith with his sisters Jean and Eddie

Keith is in the living room of the house in International Falls in the photo below.

Keith at the Window probably at the house on Riverside drive in International Falls

Keith at the Window probably at the house on Riverside drive in International Falls

The photo below was taken about 1915 and Keith is with his siblings.  The writing on the back reads that he was the one responsible for poking his eyes out. You have to click on the photo to make it bigger to see that his eyes are a bit odd. Keith is on the left, next is Jean, Eddie, Miriam, Gordon and Vivian.

McDonald children in 1915

McDonald children in 1915

If we compare Keith in the photo above which is dated 1915, we might be able to figure out how old he was in this next photo.  He looks very much the same but maybe a little younger.  The outfit is similar.

Keith in the Oval. I think he was about eight?

Keith in the Oval. I think he was about five or six?

There is writing on the back of the photo above but it is very difficult to figure out….It reads something about his birthday and school. It had been put in a frame and cut up and they used glue.  I was only able to get this much revealed.  I just know there is good stuff in the writing?

This is what was on the back of the Oval photograph of Keith

This is what was on the back of the Oval photograph of Keith

Here Keith is with his Uncle Alexander McDonald a fireman in International Falls.  See the post Alexander Thomas McDonald, Fireman, dated August 7, 2010.

Keith and Alex before 1915

Keith and Alex before 1915 – Keith is on the left on Alex’s lap, the others are unknown

The next picture was shared at the very beginning of this blog.  This is the one in which Miriam, Jean and Keith are dressed in Scottish outfits.  I believe these were taken in International Falls probably for some celebration, but who dressed them up is not known. Grace died in 1911 and Keith was born in 1910 eighteen months before her death, so it had to be Nellie or some other family member that was involved because of Keith’s age. If you look closely the costumes look like they are all of a different plaid? It is too bad they aren’t in color. Sigh!

McDonald Children in Scottish dress.

McDonald Children in Scottish dress.

  Keith, Miriam and Jean in Scottish dress

The time line for Keith’s earlier life is not clear, most is my guessing based on the photos that I have.  Once Ronald their father, left International Falls it gets really difficult to know exactly how long they were in Grand Prairie, Alberta and what really happened from 1915 to 1920 when they appear in Cheney, Washington.


Keith Barclay John MacDonald, father, grandfather and his love of Airplanes….

April 9, 2015

This blog was named for Keith, my dad, and his love of airplanes.  The gray background surrounding the posts is a reminder of him.  He would wear steel-gray cotton trousers with cuffs and dance around the living room to the records he played on our stereo. Sometimes he would grab me and twirl me around.

The time has come to share about Keith’s life.  Keith, my dad, was born in International Falls, Minnesota in 1910. Being younger than his siblings he went to high school at Gonzaga in Spokane.  He spent his school years from 1925 to 1929 at Gonzaga participating in several different sports and taking the mechanics course.  After graduation Keith would enlist at various times in the National Guard, the Army, and Air Corp. All this happening during the 1930’s and during the Great Depression.  While in the military he would learn about airplane mechanics. Keith would eventually become employed as a U.S. Air Force Inspector at Boeing.  He was also an inventor and a little bit of a political activist in his later years.  He would eventually make Seattle his home met his further bride, marry and raise a family.

Here is a review of the posts I have written on this blog about Keith’s early years.

Keith’s Parents: Ronald and Grace’s Marriage!,” dated February 20, 2010

Ronald and Grace McDonald

Ronald and Grace McDonald, Keith’s parents

Ronald and Grace’s Children,” dated February 27, 2010

McDonald Children circa late 1910

McDonald Children circa late 1910

A Baptism in International Falls,” dated March 13, 2010.

Keith's baptism

Keith’s baptism

Riverside Drive, International Falls,” dated March 30, 2010

Keith and brother Gordy about 1911

Keith and brother Gordy about 1911

Ronald and Grace: Family Life!” dated April 11, 2010

Ronald and Grace's children: Vivian, Gordy, Miriam holding Keith, Eddie scowling and Jean

Ronald and Grace’s children: Vivian, Gordy, Miriam holding Keith, Eddie scowling and Jean – Keith is the little boy in the middle.

Keith was born on the 13th of March, 1910 to Ronald S. McDonald and Grace Amarilla Barclay.  He was the sixth child of this couple and second son.  His siblings were: Leola Vivian (1902), Ronald Gordon (Gordy – 1904), Miriam Audrey (1906), Edna Lorraine (Eddie – 1907), Laurie Jean (1908) and Keith (1910).  There were two babies that did not survive. One was born before Vivian and is buried in the family plot in Brainerd.  The other baby girl was born after Keith and named Grace Elizabeth. She is buried with her mother in International Falls.

The 1910 U.S. Federal census is the only census where all of the family of Ronald and Grace McDonald is listed. Keith is 1/12 of age.  He barely made it into this census.

Line 21, 59/70, McDonald, Ronald S., head, male, white, 46, married, 12 yrs., born Canada, parents both born in Canada, working, can read and write, owns house. McDonald, Grace, wife, female, white, 28, married 12 yrs, 7 children born, 6 living, born in Minnesota, father born in Connecticut, mother born in Iowa, speaks English, no occupation, reads, writes and speaks English. McDonald, Vivian, daughter, female, white, 8 yrs., born in Minnesota, no occupation, speaks, writes and reads. McDonald, Gordon, son, male, white, 6 yrs., born in Minnesota, no occupation, speaks, writes and reads. McDonald, Marian, daughter, female, white, age 4, born in Minnesota, no occupation. McDonald, Edna, daughter, female, white, age 3, born in Minnesota. McDonald, Laura, daughter, female, white, age 2, born in Minnesota, no occupation. McDonald, Keith, son, male, white, 1/12 age.

Source: 1910 U.S. Census, International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota, April 15/16, 1910, FHL#1374720 ED 92, SD 8, Sht#4A, pg. 7499.

I have written about Ronald and Grace McDonald in past posts on this blog. Ronald was born in 1866 in Chichester, Quebec to Archibald and Mary McDonell.  I have shared a great deal about Archie and Mary McDonell, Keith’s grandparents, on this blog in search of their story and their ancestors.

Unfortunately Keith’s mother Grace died of pneumonia after giving birth to Grace Elizabeth, about 18 months after he was born.  I doubt he knew his mother.  This tragedy even affected me for it changed the family.  I shared about the loss of Grace in the following post.

An Unexpected Tragedy!,” dated July 18, 2010

About five years later, Ronald left International Falls and took the children to Grand Prairie, Alberta where he had a store. Keith, was only about 5 years old when they left Minnesota. How much my Dad remembered of his birth town, I do not know.

R.S. McDonald Leaves International Falls!” dated October 5, 2010

The Store in Grand Prairie

The Store in Grand Prairie

Ronald’s story Continues! Revisiting Grand Prairie, Alberta and mention of Albany, Oregon,” dated January 3, 2013.

Keith and his sisters in Grand Prairie July 4, 1916

Keith and his sisters in Grand Prairie July 4, 1916

I don’t think that going to Grand Prairie was a happy memory in my Dad’s life. As you can see from the photo they all look unhappy. After Ronald lost the store to his partner’s gambling he must have headed to Albany, Oregon. Various comments Eddie writes in her Collection of Junk indicate that they were in Oregon for at least a year.

By 1920 Keith and his family were living in Cheney, Washington and it is this part of the history of the family that is closer to me through their stories and comments.  Aunt Nellie was with the family and was now helping Ronald in taking care of the children.  It is not clear exactly when Ronald’s sister joined him, but she is there as of 1920.

R.S. McDonald Family Settles in Cheney, WA -1920,” dated February 14, 2013.

R.S. McDonald Family circa 1922

R.S. McDonald Family circa 1922:  R.S., Jean, Gordon, Eddie, Miriam, Vivian, Nellie and Keith

Keith is the boy in the very front – right in the middle of the picture.


Archibald McDonell sells his land in Chichester 1901

March 19, 2015

Finding the following deed was very satisfying.  I am grateful to the researcher who assisted me.  I wanted to know when Archie sold the land in Chichester and left for Minnesota.  This deed placed that event.

Sale of Land, Chichester Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec: Archibald McDonell, farmer Chichester Twp., to John J. McCrea Lumber Jobber of the Allumette Island.  It is interesting that this deed is typed and not in handwriting.  The McCrea name is spelled a variety of ways like McRea in these deeds.

1901 Archie McDonell Deed selling land in Chichester

1901 Archie McDonell Deed selling land in Chichester – partial

 AL 80 17 684 RB Registrar Foncier, (20 Chichester, pg. 1 de 2, No. 17684 or 171184 Deposited and entered the 31st day of October 1901, at 9 am, W ______, Registrar.

Before me, D. Leguerrier the undersigned, public notary in and for the Province of Quebec, residing at Fort Coulonge and for the present at Chichester in the county of Pontiac, aforesaid Province.  Mr. Archibald McDonald, farmer, of the Township of Chichester, aforesaid County, he has sold and conveyed with legal warranty and free and clear of all encumbrances, unto Mr. John J. McRea also farmer and lumber Jobber, of the Allumette Island in aforesaid County of Pontiac hereabout present and accepting purchaser for himself, his heirs and assigns.  A lot of land containing one hundred acres, be the same more or less and known and designed to the official plan and book of reference of the Township of Chichester as being the lot number thirty five (35) of the second range of the Township of Chichester in aforesaid County of Pontiac.

Included in the same deed of sale, the possession and enjoyment he, the said vendor has the Government buildings, consisting of horse and cow stable, store house, pig pen, poultry house and machineries shed and all the plants now standing there, the whole unto the charges of the vendor, at present, of the Culbute Channel. 

And included also the property and ownership that he, the said vendor has in the two additional buildings in the Government house, to wit: a summer kitchen, a winter apartment built in the main body of the Government house, the said additional buildings constructed and executed by the said vendor at his own costs and expenses, though without authorization of the Government, but needed by the vendor to keep his children at home and have them work on the farm for himself, on account of insufficiency of the Government salary. 

And more over and included in the same deed of sale and conveyance, all the moveables lying on the said premises. With all and every the rights, members and appurtenances thereto belonging, of which the said purchaser ____cares to have a perfect knowledge and therewith to be content.  The vendor is lawfully seized of the said property the same having been acquired by him from the Crown Land department, Quebec, and delivers, at these presents, the Crown Land deed.  To have hold, use and enjoy the aforesaid conveyed and sold Lot of Land, buildings and premises, and moveable, with their rights, members and appurtenances unto the said purchaser his heirs and assigns as his and their own proper freehold forever by virtue of these present, to enter upon and with.  The present sale and conveyance has been thus made for an in consideration of proper price or sum of five hundred and fifty dollars paid cash at the execution hereof by the said purchaser to the said vendor the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledge, where of quite.  Done and passed under the number eighteen hundred and sixty three, at the domicile of the vendor in the Township of Chichester aforesaid, on the sixteenth day of September on thousand nine hundred and one, and after due reading hereof the parities vendor an purchased have signed with me said Notary (signed Archie McDonald. John J. McCrea, D. Leguerrier N.P. Certified true copy of the original remaining in the office of the undersigned Notary, D. Leguerrier, N.P.

Archie and Mary McDonell had lived on the land in Chichester for 44 years or about and Archie, if he was born in 1838, would be 63 years old in 1901. The reference to the Culbute Channel and the description of the buildings is worth obtaining this deed and add credibility to the story that he was the locksmaster for the Culbute locks. His children decided that he and Mary needed to sell and come with them to Minnesota. He lived till 1912 and passed away in his sleep.  Mary followed in 1913. They are buried in the cemetery International Falls, Minnesota.

This also implies that in 1901 there were a lot more buildings on the property and I wonder if they are there anymore.  What about government papers hiring Archibald as the lockmaster or more on the building of the locks which government body was involved.  The possibilities are there for more research.


Archibald McDonell’s Land Transactions in Chichester 1872 and 1877

March 12, 2015

Archibald McDonell, my great grandfather, lived in Chichester.  I have shared in a past post that he had land patents.  He  had several land deals that he participated in during the course of his lifetime.  These may not be all that he was involved with. These are a few found by the researcher I hired in 2012 to help me.

The following deed and mortgage has to do with Archie’s first patent of 1868. It is good to see Mary participating.

1872 Archie McDonell to John McCrea

1872 Archie McDonell to John McCrea

No. 1932 – April 1872 AL_80_1_932 RB image Registre du Foncier

Deposited and entered the nineteenth day of April one thousand eight hundred and seventy two at nine of the clock in the morning N. ____J.P. 

This indenture made at Chichester in the County of Pontiac, Province of Quebec the 9th day of April one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two i

Between Archibald McDonnell of the Township of Chichester, County of Pontiac of the first part Mary McDonell wife of the said party of the first part; of the second part and John McCrea of the Township of Chichester & County of Pontiac on the third part. Witnesseth that the said party of the first part in consideration of the sum of $780.00 of lawful money of Canada to him by the said party of the third part in hand well and truly paid at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents (the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged) doth grant unto the said party of the third part his heirs and assigns all and singular that certain parcel or tract of land and premises situate lying and being Lot No. 43 in the third range of the Township of Chichester County of Pontiac & Province of Quebec together with the appurtenances.

 To have and to hold the same lands tenements hereditaments and all and singular other the premises hereby conveyed or intended so to be with their and every of their appurtenances unto the said party of the third part his heirs and assigns forever and this Indenture further witnesseth that the said party second part with the ___ and full approbation and consent of her said husband testified by his being a party to these presents in consideration of the premises and also in consideration of the further sum of five shillings of lawful money of Canada aforesaid when by the said party of the third part in hand well and dully paid at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged that granted and released and by these presents doth grant and release unto the said party of the third part his heirs and assigns all dower and other right and little thereby which she the said party of the second part now hath or in the event of surviving her said husband might or would have in to or ____out of the lands and premises hereby conveyed or intended so to be and the said party of the second part doth hereby for himself his heirs, executors, administrators covenant premise and agree with and to the said party of the third part his heirs and assigns in the manner following that is today That he is the said party of the first now hath in himself good right full power and absolute authority to convey the said lands and other the premises hereby conveyed or intended so to be with their and every of their appurtenances unto the said party of the third part in manner aforesaid and according to the true intent and meaning of these presents and that it shall be lawful for the said party of the third part-his heirs and assigns from time to time and at all times hereafter peaceably and quietly to enter upon have, hold, occupy and possess and enjoy the said lands and premises hereby conveyed or intended so be with their and any of their appurtenances and to have, receive and ____the rents issues and profits thereof and every party thereof to and for his and their use and benefit inherit any let, sent-trouble, denial, eviction – interruption, claim or demand whatsoever of from or by him the said party of the first-part-or his heirs or any other person or persons whomsoever, and that free and clear and freely and absolutely acquitted exonerated and forever discharged on otherwise by the said party of the first-part-or his heirs well and sufficiently saved kept _____ and indemnified of from and against any and every former and other fit grant bargain, sale, _____ dower, use, trust, entail, will, statue, recognizance judgment execution, ________rent, annuity, forfeiture, _____and any and every other estate, title, charge trouble and encumbrance whatsoever and lastly that he the said party of the first part his heirs, executors or administrators and all and every other person whomsoever having or claiming or who shall or may hereafter have or claim any estate right, title or interest whatsoever either at law or inequity in to or out of the said lands and premises hereby conveyed or intended so to be or any of their or any party thereof by ___under or in trust for him them or any of them shall and will from him to him and at all times hereafter upon any reasonable request-and at-the costs and charges of the said party of the third part his heirs and assigns make do or execute or cause to be made done or execute shall such further and other lawful acts, deeds, things, devises, conveyances, and assurances in the law whatsoever, for the better, more perfectly and absolutely conveying and assuring the said lands and premises hereby conveyed or intended so to be and every part-thereof with their appurtenances, unto the said party of the third part his heirs and assigns, his or their council in law shall be reasonably devised advised or required so as no person who shall be required to make or execute such assurances shall be compellable for the making or executing thereof to go or travel from his usual place of abode.

 In witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.

 Signed Sealed and delivered in presence of Wm. J. Poupore and Chas C. [Orerman]  Signed by Archibald McDonell, Mary McDonell. John McCrea

 County of Pontiac

To Wit:  I Wm. J. Poupore of the Township of Chichester, County of Pontiac merchant, maketh, ask and saith that I was personally present and did see the within transfer deed dully signed sealed and executed by John McCrea, Archibald McDonell, and Mary McDonell of the Township of Chichester & County of Pontiac first and their parties [Jan….] that the aforesaid transfer was executed at Chichester in the aforesaid County that I know the said parties and that I am a subscribing witness to the said transfer Sworn before me at Allumette this 12 day of April 1872                                          Wm. J. Poupore

W. S. Grey:  [Com] for taking affidavits in the Court of Queens [Birch or Bench] for the District of Ottawa.

So this deed was done at Allumette by Wm. J. Poupore.  The Poupore family was very prominent in the area.  This looks more like a court process than one done by a notary?

This was followed by a Mortgage the same day (AL_80_1_934 RB 001):

No. 1934 Deposited and entered the nineteenth day of April one thousand eight hundred and seventy two at nine of the o’clock in the morning, W _____JP.

By a Certificate of discharge under the name of Archibald McDonnell dated the first day of May one thousand eight hundred and seventy seven and registered on the ninth-day of the same month in year in Lib. E Folo 5 ___ 501 This Mortgage has been satisfied and paid in full.  M.____J.P.

This indenture made this ninth day of April in the year of our Lord one Thousand eight hundred and seventy-two in assurance of the act respecting short forms of Mortgage between John McRea of the Township of Chichester hereafter called the Mortgagor of the first part and Archibald McDonell of the Township of Chichester hereafter called the Mortgager of the second part Witnessed that in consideration of three hundred and thirty dollars of lawful money of Canada now paid by the said Mortgagee to the said Mortgagor of the Receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged the said Mortgagor doth grant – and Mortgagr unto the said Mortgagee his heirs and assigns forever all that certain parcel or tract of land situate lying and being the Township of Chichester, County of Pontiac known as Lot No. forty-three in the third Range of the Township of Chichester aforesaid the said Mortgagor to pay unto the said Mortgagee the sum of three hundred and thirty dollars at the expiration of four months from this date by the 9th day of April 1872 and if not paid at the above named period Interest to run at the rate of seven percent per annum until paid and if paid as above agreed this agreement or Mortgage to be null and void.  The said Mortgagor is to pay unto the said Mortgagee the above mentioned sum immediately after it becomes due if required by said Mortgagee. 

In witness whereof the said parties hereto have hereunto set their hands and seals.

Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Wm. J. Poupore. 

Signed by John McCrea and Archibald McDonell.

County of Pontiac I, W. J. Poupore of the Township of Chichester and County of Pontiac maketh oath and saith.

1st That I was personally present and did see the written Mortgage duly signed sealed and executed by John McRea & Archy McDonell the parties thereto.

2nd That the said Mortgage were executed at Chichester in the aforesaid County.

3rd that I know the said parties

4th That I am a subscribing witness to the said Mortgage Sworn before me at Allumette this 12th day of April 1872                         Wm. J. Poupore

W.S. Grey [Com] for taking of affidavits in the Court of Queens (Birch/Bench) for the district of Ottawa.

Five years later the Mortgage was satisfied in 1877:

No. 37/13

Deposited and entered the Ninth day of May one Thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven at nine o’clock PM Mr. _______________

Province of Quebec                Dominion of Canada

To Wit )

To the Registrar of the County of Pontiac Q, Archibald McDonnell of the Township of Chichester in the County of Pontiac ____do hereby certify that John McCrea of said Township of Chichester, farmer hath satisfied all money due ______on a certain Mortgage made by Mr. John McCrea to the said Archibald McDonell which Mortgage was date the Ninth day of April AD 1872 and was registered in the Registry office for the County of Pontiac on the Nineteenth-day of April AD 1872 at Nine O’clock ____ in Liber C, Fol 3 ____ 392 as No. 1934 and that such Mortgage has not been assigned and that I am ___________entitled by law to receive the money and that such Mortgage is therefore discharged.  Witnessed my hand this first day of May AD 1877.

Witnesses:  John McEachin, Of the town of Pembroke, Merchant clerk,     

John McDonnell of Chichester, Innkeeper. )

Signed by Archibald McDonell

Ontario County of     )   I, John McEachen of the Town of Pembroke, County of Renfew, Merchant-clerk

Renfrew  to wit       )  on this ____ say

  • That I was personally present and did see ___in the certificate of Discharge of Mortgage duly signed and executed by Archibald McDonnell one of the parties thereto
  • That _____ Certificate of Discharge of Mortgage was executed at the Township of Chichester by in the County of Renfrew
  • That I know the said Archibald McDonnell
  • That ____subscribing ___ to the said Certificate of Discharge of Mortgage and so is John McDonald of the Township of Chichester an Innkeeper.

Sworn before me at Pembroke in the County of Renfrew this first day of May in the Year of our Lord 1877. M. O. Driscoll Commissioner for ____________in Ontario for Province of Quebec.

The handwriting is very difficult to interpret, I did my best.  It is interesting that the transaction covers both Renfrew and Pontiac County.

If anyone knows anything about any of the other names in these land transactions I would love to hear from you.

There is a link to Sessional papers at Google books for 1888 that covers the Pontiac area.  Just use William J. Poupore and you will find it.

Here is a link to information about Mr. Poupore.

http://enc.tfode.com/William_J._Poupore


Letters Patent: The Legal Representative of the late Angus J. McDonald

February 5, 2015

On my spreadsheet (PDF) that I shared in the last post regarding Archie’s Land Patents, there was a Letters patent for a Angus J. McDonald.  The file number of this was 35-44-LP-001.

Here is an abstract of this Letters Patent:

…the Legal representative of the late Angus J. McDonald in his lifetime of the Township of Chichester, yeoman…sum of fifty five dollars and twenty cents….ninety-two acres: The North end part or resident of the Lots numbered Twenty-five in the Second Range of the Township of Chichester aforesaid. Recorded 10th November, 1879 signed by John Languher, Dept. Provl. Reg. 

Great Seal Theodore Robitaille, Lt. Governor of our Province At Quebec this thirteeth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-nine and in the forty-third year of our Reign. Signed by Th. J. Jolicoeur Asst. Secretary, E.E. Tache, Asst, Commissioner of Crown Lands Ref No. 201311 cn

If this is the Angus John McDonald who died 21 May 1866 and was the first husband of Jeanette Catherine McDonell a daughter of Alexander John and Ellen McPherson McDonell then I am wondering where are other documents are about his estate and who is the legal representative? This document was issued 13 years after his death?  This means digging into the notarial records of Quebec.  This is the man that Duncan D. MacDonald thinks is the brother of my great grandmother Mary, which means my lineage is in question.  I choose to believe my great Aunt Nellie’s chart.

See the post:

Jeanette Catherine McDonell and her Two Marriages,” 20 March 2011.  You can either search for Jeanette or try the Archive boxes on the right of this blog.


Letters Patent: Archibald McDonell in Chichester

January 29, 2015

At first when I made my land petition spreadsheet, I just concentrated on Archibald and Alexander John McDonell’s land petitions.  However, as time has gone on I have added more to the spreadsheet.  I cannot claim it is complete but it is a good start. As for finding these letters of patent, I give credit to the researcher I hired who did the hard work of locating them at the online Quebec websites and at the BAnQ Vieux in Montreal.

Here is a Word.doc. of the Land Petitions I created.  I have focused on the McDonell surname and there are a few McPhersons in Pontiac County. (Click on it and it will open). This information was taken from the previous post on Land Records specifically in my list #1 Family History Library and #2 the Quebec Family History Society.

 Click here PDF:  BJ’s Land Grants Pontiac Co Quebec

On this spreadsheet are two Land Grants for my great-grandfather Archibald McDonald.

Here are the letters patent:

1. Archibald McDonald, Chichester, Pontiac, Sept. 1, 1868, 86 acres. 8, 103, 828.

A summary of this document which is written part in handwriting and part in a standardized form.

N.F. Belleau, Canada, Province of Quebec, To Whom those Presents shall come —GREETING, Whereas Archibald McDonald of the Township of Chichester, yeoman….sum of Fifty one dollars and Sixty-cents…eighty six acres, The Lot number Forty Three in the Third Range of the Township of Chichester, Recorded 8th September 1868, [M. Neilleur] Deputy Prov’l Reg’r…

Given under the great Seal at Quebec, this First day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight and in the thirty-second year of our Reign. Th, J. Jolicoeur, Asst. Secretary and J.O. Beaubein, Commissioner of Crown Lands. 

2. Archibald McDonald, Chichester, Pontiac, Oct. 26, 1883, 100 acres, 33, 180, 829

Archibald's 1883  Land

Archibald’s 1883 Land

A summary of what is in the document:

Theodore Robitaille  180

Canada:  Province of Quebec, To all to whom these presents shall come Greeting: Whereas Archibald McDonald of the Township of Chichester, In Our Province of Quebec, Yeoman, has contracted and agreed with Our Commissioner for the sale of Our Crown Lands, duly authorized by Us in this behalf, for the absolute purchase at and for the price or sum of thirty dollars, of lawful money….

Parcel or Tract of Land in the Township of Chichester in the County of Pontiac; One hundred acres.  

The Lot number Thirty-five, in the Second Range of the Township of Chichester aforesaid. *That this grant is subject to the provisions of the Act of 43 & 44, Victoria, Chap. 12, entitled “The Quebec General Mining Act of 1880.  Recorded 14th November 1883, John Langelar, Dept. Rov., Regr.  The Great Seal of …Theodore Robitaille, Lt, Governor of Our Province and member of the Privy Council for Canada, At Quebec this twenty-eight day of October one thousand eight hundred and eighty-three, in the forty-seventh year of Our Reign, By Command Th. J. Jolicoeur, Asst. Sec. and E.E. Tache, Asst Com. of Crown Lands, Ref. No. 21371 ch/cn. 

The copies that were sent to me have this information on the file document at the top left corner:

8-103 LP 001 This is for the Letters patent for 1868

33-180-LP-001 for the 1883 Letters patent.

This is what was on the second or third page.

What is on the next page of the letter patent

What is on the next page of the letter patent

I have not gone to the Foncier website and signed up to do searches at this time.  One of these days I will give it a try, remember it is a touchy system and you need the land description to search.   I am also wondering where the supporting documents are such as Archie’s initial application?

https://www.registrefoncier.gouv.qc.ca/Sirf/Script/14_06_01-02/pf_14_06_01_reglr.asp

If you are familiar with this website in Quebec please make a comment and share your experience.


Land Petitions for Pontiac County: A brief How To!

January 22, 2015

Quebec genealogy is a challenge and it has taken me a long time to understand it. I would not say I am an expert but somehow I manage to make progress. Genealogical research has improved in Quebec since I started in 1998 studying my Quebec ancestors.  A lot more is now online and on microfilm.

For some reason there is no updated or current book on how to do research in Quebec.  It is extremely difficult to navigate the websites at the archives to find what you are looking for, not to mention that some are only in French.

For translating the French to English, I find that if I open an online translator I can cut and paste the French words into it and get an idea of what they are referring to and then understand it better.

Here is a link to the Wiki at Family Search and if you scroll to the bottom you can find a list that might help with the French.

https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/France_Language_and_Languages

This article which I have featured before was done several years ago and it focuses on Montreal genealogy.  It is all different now.

http://www.nnyacgs.com/beauregard.html

Book: Finding Your Ancestors in English Quebec, by Althea Douglas MA, CG (C), 2001 Book HC02 Heritage Productions.  This may be old at 2001 but still may give some idea of the sources in Quebec for genealogy.

Book: “Finding Your Canadian Ancestors, A Beginner’s Guide,” by Sherry Irvine and David Obee, Ancestry Publishing, 2006. This gives and overview of Quebec research.

Book: “Planning a Genealogical Trip to Montreal,” Paul LeCleric, BA, BSc. Book HC19 Heritage Productions, 2003.  This is helpful but he doesn’t say where to go to find the records.

LAND GRANTS

Today’s topic is land grants.  You can approach finding your ancestors by looking at the book form of the index or going to an online index.

Before I try to make some sense of it all, we need a little history of land in Quebec. There are three different land registration systems in Quebec.

LAND IN QUEBEC

1.  Seigneury 1626-1795 and discontinued in 1854 and tenants could claim their land (Seigneurial Tenures Act of 1854). Land would be granted to a land owner and they would in turn rent to tenants. They were usually established along major waterways. These are with the BAnQ and its research centres and in the Parchemin Notarial database 1626-1794 at the BAnQ.

This article about seigneuries at Canada in the Making is very good.

http://www.canadiana.ca/citm/themes/pioneers/pioneers3_e.html#seigneurial

Chronicles of American also a good article on seigneuries:

http://www.chroniclesofamerica.com/french/seigneur_of_new_france.htm

Richard Colebrook Harris’s book: The Seigneurial System in Early Canada, A Geographical Study is on online at Google Books as a preview.

A good use of the Google search engine can bring up a lot of history of the seigneury system in Quebec.  I have yet to find a listing of who own them through the years.  Can anyone help me, if so leave a comment and link.

2.  Township 1763 – 1890 this did not replace the seigneury and are the Upper and Lower Land Grants and Letters Patent.

My patents were obtained by Danny Bouchard a member of APG and the researcher whom I hired to help me get ready for my first trip to Ontario and Quebec in 2012.  He obtained these from the Ministry of Justice:

http://www.lettresfoncieres.justice.gouv.qc.ca/fr/pages/presentation.html

Danny writes: The Registre Foncier is the land registry and it is run by the Ministry of Natural Resources. It is quite complex and not user-friendly and goes back to about 1841.  The database is very picky to use and you must have the exact location of the land to find your ancestor. This is a government website and it is not free.

3. Cadastral started 1830 and is currently being used.  I visited Campbell’s Bay’s Palais du Justice on my trip in 2012 and was given land records back to 1900 for several people. I was trying to get back into the 1800’s and discovered to late that the clerk only got me back to 1900. I may have to go for those records at the Land Registry site which I have yet to conquer. However, based on an email from Danny I think he had the same problem?

He writes again: For some reason the indexes don’t go back that far. I ran the Lot 43, Range 3 as well and the records start in late 1890’s early 1900’s and go to 1978.

http://www.mern.gouv.qc.ca/foncier/registre/index.jsp

Very interesting and helpful.

http://www.mern.gouv.qc.ca/foncier/registre/registre-systeme.jsp

Go here and scroll down to Quebec Land records for more details at the Quebec Family History Society: http://www.qfhs.ca/facts.php

QUEBEC TIMELINE

The next piece of information is the timeline of Quebec, Canada which covers the different governmental definitions of Canada and you may have to get maps in the different time periods to figure out where your ancestor was located.

Era of Exploration 1508-1613

Colony of Canada 1534-1763 – French Regime

Colony of Quebec 1763-1791 – When Quebec became British.

Lower Canada 1791-1841 was Quebec but boundaries changed.

Canada East 1841-1867 again it was Quebec but watch the boundaries.

Confederation – Province of Quebec 1867 to Present

Note:  See Wikipedia for definitions and timelines in more detail. Remember that the St. Lawrence River flows northeast and that is why you have the Upper (Ontario) and Lower (Quebec) designations.

FINDING LAND PETITIONS IN QUEBEC which lead to the Letters of Patent.

Here is a quick list of ways to find Land grants read all first and then decide on a strategy for your ancestor.  You need the name, page, volume and other information in order to obtain the Letters of patent.

1.  In book form and on microfilm at the Family History Library: List of Land Grant by the Crown in the Province of Quebec from 1763 to 31st December 1890, Argenteuil Co. – Huntington Co., FHL#413121 and Joliette Co.- Yamaska Co., Districts of Quebec, Montreal Alpha Index FHL#413122.  Note these are by geographical area.

I pulled the one for Pontiac County on FHL#413122, Quebec and took photos of what is the photographed book index listing which includes: Name of grantee, number of lots granted, ranges, number of acres, date of letters-patent, Book and page.  It is one way to identify where your ancestor lived and is like a census for it shows the whole township with names.

Beginning of Chichester, Land Grant Index

Beginning of Chichester, Land Grant Index

The Family History Library has more about land records this is just the start scroll to Land: https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=305&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Canada%2C%20Quebec%22

2.  The Quebec Family History Society, in Pointe Claire, Quebec has booklets by alphabet for about $10.00 (2001). Alphabetical Index to the Land Grants by the Crown in the Province of Quebec from 1763 to 31 December 1890. Of course I ordered Booklet M for McDonell and its various spellings. They have a Land Grants database for members only at their library in Pointe-Claire, Quebec.  Wow, I ordered this like 10 years ago.  I still have it.

Booklet: Land Grants by Alphabetical

Booklet: Land Grants by Alphabetical

Here is the post I wrote about my visit to this archive.

Quebec Wanderings: The Quebec Family History Society,” October 2, 2014.

Here is a link on how to research land in Quebec at the QFHS and how to do a pre (before 1867) and post-Confederation Land patent (before 1867) which is very important for Pontiac County.

http://www.qfhs.ca/cpage.php?pt=110

You can get copies of pre-Confederation Letters Patent in person from microfilms at the BAnQ Montreal Archives Centre, 535 avenue Viger est, or by email request to archives.montreal@banq.qc.ca.

The group of post-Confederation letters patent can be found in person at the BAnQ Quebec City Archives Centre, 1012 avenue du Séminaire or by email request to archives.quebec@banq.qc.ca.  

I am not totally convinced this is the correct the address above for post-confederation letters of patent.  There has been a lot of change in Quebec over the last 16 years and things have been consolidated and moved around. Based on Danny’s emails and the fact that the stamp of the Minister of Justice is on my copies of the Letters Patent that he obtained for me I think they are at the Minister of Justice website?

This website of the Federation Genealogical of Quebec may be of help as well.

http://federationgenealogie.qc.ca/sources/archives-foncieres/reperage-des-informations-foncieres

This looks helpful at Open Library:

https://openlibrary.org/books/OL24590742M/Liste_des_terrains_conc%C3%A9d%C3%A9s_par_la_couronne_dans_la_province_de_Qu%C3%A9bec_de_1763_au_31_d%C3%A9cembre_1890

3.  Library and Archives Canada has a Land Petitions Index of Lower Canada (Quebec) from 1764 to 1841 online at:

http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/land-petitions-lower-canada-1764-1841/Pages/land-petitions-lower-canada.aspx

The index allows you to search using the various spellings of a surname and in my case it is:

MacDonald/McDonell/McDonald/MacDonnell/MacDonell.

The online index gives name, surname, date and some may or may not show an image with lots of pages, I read somewhere it was about 25%.

The unfortunate part is that it only goes up to 1841 and this does not really cover the Pontiac area unless they came before that date.

Don’t forget that they have an index for the Land Petitions for Upper Canada (Ontario) 1763-1865.   This means you need to check for those who settled in Renfrew County and more.  Don’t assume your ancestor has land only in one area, township or province and look out for group petitions.

The Library and Archives Canada has changed their website a great deal since 2012 when I was planning my first trip to Canada.  To find the land records, I would click on Discover the Collection, then click on Genealogy & Family History and it takes you to another menu where you can select what you want.

http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/Pages/home.aspx

Here is the link directly to the Land information on the Library and Archives website.  From here you can familiarize yourself with the different selections.  Sorry but you are going to have to study it carefully so go slowly.

http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/Pages/land-records.aspx

I visited this archive in 2012 and you can find my post about that experience on this blog. “Ottawa: Libraries and Archives Canada!,” June 12, 2012.

4.  Ancestry.com has under Quebec an index of the Land Grants: Quebec, Canada Land Grants 1763-1890.  This index is a little easier to search and is like the information in No. 1 and 2 above. You can search on all names and not be restricted to a section of the alphabet.  I do not know what Ancestry for Canada has but I assume it is the same?

Original data: Robert Dunn and Derek Hopkins, comp. Alphabetical Index to the Land Grants by the Crown in the province of Quebec from 1763 to 31st December 1890. Pointe Claire, Quebec: Quebec Family History Society, 2005.

The original records and microfilm copies are available at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationalies du Québec. Requests for microfilm copies should include the full reference to the book and page (found in the source citation for the record). Requests should be addressed to: Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, 1012, avenue du Séminaire, CP 10450, Sainte-Foy, QC, G1V 4N1. 

Okay, I get it Sainte-Foy is part of Quebec City, no wonder I am confused for this is still a slight difference in the address for the BAnQ Quebec City.

Here is the address Danny gave me for the documents he was seeking for land.

A. par courier: Direction des registres et de la certification

Registre des lettres patnetes foncieres 1 rue Notre-Dame Est, bureau 7.07, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 186.  Montreal: 514 864-5764, Quebec 418 528-5764.  If you speak French you might be able to figure this out.

Example in the written alpha list: In searching for Archibald McDonell in the Ancestry index, I find one of his patents: Name, location Chichester, Pontiac, Acres 86, Letters Patent Date: 1 Sep 1868. The source citation below reads Letters Patent Book, 8, pg. 103, County Index Vol. 1, page 828. 

5.  The BAnQ in Montreal at 535 Viger Street (Old Montreal) has indexes to, and copies of land petitions which are also available on microfilm at their archive centres (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec: www.banq.qc.ca.)  Be prepared for the website to be in French.  I have my translator on so it moves to English. I visited the BAnQ briefly and wish I had stayed longer.  It is a wonderful archive.

In finding what is where at the BAnQ I would go to the Pistard search. This is under the Genealogy section of the website.  You go to the website click on Collections, then choose Genealogie and it takes you to two catalogue searches.  You can use the advanced to narrow things down.

My post on my visit to the BAnQ in Montreal: “Quebec Wanderings: Montreal and the BAnQ,” October 4, 2014.  I should have dallied but maybe I will go back?

In the next posts I will share what Land Petitions I have.


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