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.

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?

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.

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

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.


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.


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.

Chronicles of American also a good article on seigneuries:

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:

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.

Very interesting and helpful.

Go here and scroll down to Quebec Land records for more details at the Quebec Family History Society:


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:

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.

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

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  

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.

This looks helpful at Open Library:

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

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


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.

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.

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. 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:  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.

Revisiting the Culbute Locks in the Ottawa River north of Allumette Island…

January 15, 2015

Archibald McDonell, my great-grandfather was the locks master for the Culbute Locks.  I wrote about his involvement with the locks in the post:

Archibald McDonell as the Culbute Locks Master,” June 9, 2011

My Aunt Miriam, sister of my father Keith, wrote about it in her notes but she spelled it “Kilbute.”  I wrote to Libraries and Archives in Ottawa the Canadian national archive and they knew very little about these locks.

At the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, my husband found a book in which Archibald was featured as the lock master.  Here is the source.

Source:  The Upper Ottawa Valley, by Clyde C. Kennedy, Renfrew County Council, Pembroke, Ontario, pg. 137-139, 1970 FHL Book#971.38 H2 (This is a book at the FHL and is not on microfilm.) I am sure copies are in other archives. 

When I toured the area of the Upper Ottawa River in 2012, I visited Allumette Island, toured Chapeau and crossed the bridge to Chichester exploring the mainland north of the island.  Here are two of the posts I wrote:

Touring the Upper Ottawa River Pontiac Co., Quebec, Allumette Island and Chapeau,” May 27, 2012.

Touring the Upper Ottawa: Chichester Township, Pontiac Co, Quebec,” June 4, 2012.

In the above post I had some photos of the Ottawa River from the bridge that spans the area from Chapeau to Chichester covering the Chenal de la Culbute on the Ottawa River.  This is on the north side of the island of Allumette, but I was not able to find the remains of the Culbute Locks.  I was told you had to have a boat to get there, so that was not something I was able or willing to do.

A very nice reader contacted me back in September, 2014 when I was touring in Canada my second time and shared some photos of the canal and gave me another source for information.

Source:  History and Development of a Transportation System on and around Allumette Island and Morrison Island,” Municipality of Allumette Island Tourism Committee, 75 Notre Dame, Isles-aux-Allumettes, QC Canada, July 2006.  The Pontiac Archives in Shawville has a copy.  I probably looked this when I was there visiting.  It has some nice photos of the canal but it is under copyright so I cannot share them; however, this link has some of the same photos and another one that gives a long view of the locks.  You will have to scroll through the website.

Here are the two photos that Gerald shared with me and I thank him for them.

Culbute Locks courtesy of G. Beaupre

Culbute Locks courtesy of G. Beaupre 2014

Gerald wrote in Sept 2014: I was at the Culbute yesterday, the water is high this year, I did not go as far as the locks, I canoed from my home on the Petawawa river to the rock portage. I am looking for the best portage trace to go around  the Culbute (a set of 3 significant rapids). The area is dense forest with hills, boulders and swamp, not an easy task.
Culbute Locks 2014 Courtesy of G. Beaupre

Culbute Locks 2014 Courtesy of G. Beaupre 2014

I am still trying to picture where the locks are located in relationship to the villages of Chapeau and Chichester.

Culbute Locks Location courtesy of G. Beaupre

Culbute Locks Location courtesy of G. Beaupre

This article was interesting:  Steamboats and Canals on the Ottawa River, Cultural Heritage Ottawa  It is interesting to me that the end of the Culbute locks varies from when 1889 to 1896 from the sources I have read. What follows has even another opinion.

Lumber interests persuaded the government to build a canal on the Culbute channel at the Calumet Rapids, known as the Rock Portage. Construction of the locks took place from 1873‐1876, involving two combined locks and opening up 124 kilometres of interior river navigation (Canadian Public Works Association 124). The Culbute Locks were outmoded before they were even completed. They were abandoned soon after their construction (Legget 1975: 174).  

I find it rather fun to see mentions of the Culbute Locks on the internet now. When I was trying to find out more about these locks I was overwhelmed with the Rideau Canal information.  Now, in 2014 and 2015 there is much more about all canals and one can get very involved and fascinated about the history of canals in Canada and also in the United States.

You can become a member of a society about Canadian canals:

Valuations of Sheen & Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec

January 8, 2015

In 2012, I visited the Pontiac Archives in the basement of the Shawville Public Library and they had many wonderful treasures. The Pontiac Archives is one of the major archives in the Pontiac County, Quebec area. In the two days I was in the archive I found family histories, cemetery books, history books, maps, and valuation reports and more.

The valuation reports were wonderful, I went back as far as 1856 in the Township of Sheen.

Title page Chichester Valuation 1857

Title page Chichester Valuation 1857

Valuation reports are the value of the land and a list of the settlers, lots and amounts.  It is like a census report but more for tax purposes.

The Pontiac Archives has these valuations very nicely filed into individual folders for year and location with volume numbers and box numbers.  I focused on Sheen and Chichester. They do have other areas covered but however complete, I do not know.

The website for the Pontiac Archives:  and there holdings:

These valuations are on large ledger sheets and can be several pages long.  I will give highlights regarding what they contain.  I think they are a gold mine for those trying to place an ancestor.  I do not believe they are transcribed or there is an index.  You will probably have to go to the archives to view them or get someone to go and take a look for you.  The volunteers at the Pontiac Archives were very helpful, so check their research policy to find out their rules for doing research.

My goal was to see if I could find Archibald McDonell, my great-grandfather or any of the McDonells/MacDonells listed and get them as far back as possible.

I took photos of the following and now I wish I had also photocopied them for they are hard to read.  I am only going to target 1856, 1857, 1859

1.  Valuation roll for Chichester 1860 as amended and corrected by the council May 7, 1860.

1859 Chichester Valuation showing Archie McDonell

1859 Chichester Valuation showing Archie McDonell

2. Valuation roll for Chichester 1859 revised and corrected according to the provisions of the Act 22 Vic. Chap. 82, Sec. 5.

Page 1

1.  ……McDonell, 2 – 15, 16, 17  (Cut off the name), all farmers

Page 2

2.  Angus J. McDonald, Range 3, 25, 26

3.  Angus R. McDonald, 27, 28, 29

4. Angus L. McDonald, 31

5. Wm.R. McDonald, 31, 32

6. Angus C. McDonell, 35

7. A. R/L. McDonell, 36, 39, 40

8. Alex. McDonell, S1/2 16, 17

9. Arch’d McDonell Carpenter, 43 pt, 46

Page 3

10.  Ronald McDonell, Mercht, Range 5, 44

11.  Coll. McDonell. Mercht, 45

12. Rod R. McDonell, Mercht. 46

13.  Alex. J. McDonell, Farmer, Range 6, 39

14.  John A. McDonell, Farmer, 40

15. Ranald J.R/A McDonell, Farmer _____

3.  Copy of the Valuation roll for Municipality of the Township of Chichester 1857 signed A. McGillis _____. What follows is a summary only of approximately 16 pages or 8 spreadsheets with 2 across.

Page 1, names like Poupore, Payne, Robinson, Mahon etc.

Page 2 lists

1.  J.B. McDonald, Lots – 15, 16, 17, Range/Real II

2.  A.J. McDonald, farmer, Lots 25, 26, same

3. A.R. McDonald, farmer, Lots 27, 28, 29, 30, same

4. W.R. McDonald, farmer, Lots 31 – 37

Other names: Lepine, Jewell etc.

Page 3

A. L. McDonald 38, 39

Other names are McCool, Burns, McRae etc.

Moved to III

1. Thos Poupore. [Mcht]  5

2. Al__ McDonell farmer, 16, 17

3.  Ronald McDonell 18, 19, 20

4.  Arch’d McDonell farmer, 43  Note:  This means he was there in 1857.  

Persons liable to 1 day of Statute…

1. Ja’t McDonell Range 2, Lot 17

2.  Allan McDonell, 2, 17

3.  Angus L. McDonald, 2, 27

4.  Angus C. McDonald 2, 31

NOTE:  This is just a quick read through of this twp.

4.  Valuation roll of the municipality of the township of Sheen 1856.

Titles of the columns of the valuations” Owner of Real Property, with two columns under Names, Designation, Occupant of the Real Property with two columns underneath: Name, Design, Liable to Statue Labor two columns underneath, Name, Design, Concession, Range, Lot or Parcel/Part, Real/Value of Property, Profession/Annual Value of, Other Items According to By Laws of municipality…

1.  John McDonald, Tradesman on-line with Lawrence McKay Concession 4 Range 4  He also appears as a shoe maker on another page. McKay’s are Lumber merchants.  NOTE:  I am thinking this is the brother to Archibald.

Other names: Andrews, Sullivan, Downey, Perrault etc.

PLEASE NOTE I MOVED John McDonald from #5 to #4…

5.  Copy Valuation roll of the Municipality of the township of Sheen [finally revised] 1860, 1861 revised November 1863, 1863 March (in individual file folders),

6.  Valuation roll and census for Sheen, Aberdeen, Malakoff and Esher 1873 and 1875.

The top of the valuation rolls contain the following headings, which might be slightly different in each year:  Occupant, Designation, Lot, Range, Real, Personal, No. of Acres, Value of the Property, Amt. of Tax 1.5 d in the L, Liable to Statue Labor.

Comparing these to the census for Canada.  You will find for 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The 1851 for the Pontiac area is under Ottawa County.  The subdistricts are Alymer, Bristol, Chichester, Clarendon, Hull, Litchfield, Low, Masham, Petite Nation, Sheen, Templeton, Wakefield, Waltham.  You can see it is missing Allumette Island.  We all know that people can be missed in the census so these valuations can be another source.

The 1861 Canadian Census you get Pontiac County. lumps the county as one so you have to browse to find the section you want.  It does cover Chichester and Allumette Island and more.

Determine who is whom in the valuations can be a challenge.  I have Alexander John McDonell my great-grandfather on Concession 6, lots 40, 41 in the 1861 Agricultural census.  In the above he may have moved around before settling.  See post:  Revisiting Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson, April 1, 2012.

Something tells me a spreadsheet is in my future so I can compare the lots over time.  Isn’t genealogy fun!


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