Letters of Patent: John McDonald – Grand Calumet Island

February 26, 2015

When I was in Quebec in 2012, I visited the Grand Island of Calumet and it was lovely and I wish I had time to dally and explore.  I drove along the eastern road to the little town where a cemetery was located.

My post on this blog:  Calumet Island, Pontiac County, Quebec, June 14, 2012.

Here is an abstract of the Letters Patent for a John McDonald on Calumet Island:

Whereas it has been judged

John McDonell Letters Patent 1847

John McDonald Letters Patent 1847

expedient that for the price and consideration hereinafter mentioned, we should grant and convey to our loving subject John McDonald of the Township of Grand Calumet Island in our County of Ottawa.

Fiat: Enrolled in the Office of Enrollment at Montreal on Monday the Eighteeth day of January 1847 D. Daly Secy. 

Lot number Twelve in the First Range of the said township of Grand Calumet Island being an irregular lot bounded in front on the East by the Grand or Ottawa River and measuring ten Chains thirty four links more or less in perpendicular breath and containing about seventy nine acres of land more or less….

Witness Our Right Trusty and Right Well Beloved Cousin Lt. General The Right Honorable Charles Murray Earl Cathcart, of Cathcart in the County of Renfrew, K.C.B. Governor General of British North America and Captain General and Governor in and over Our Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Island of Prince Edward and Vice Admiral of the same and Commander of our Forces in British North America…in our City of Montreal the sixteenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty seven and the tenth year of our Reign. D. Daly, Secy. 

Fiat Recorded in the Registrar’s Office of the Records, at Montreal the thirteeth day of January 1847 in the Fifth Register of Letters Patent of Land Sold, Letter E, Page. 396.

I have not studied the people who have settled on Grand Calumet Island so I don’t know who this particular John McDonald would be. There is no census for Grand Calumet in the 1851 Canadian Census that I can find.  He is probably a part of one of the families that I have posted about like the Lundie MacDonells and maybe The Ottawa Lumber Kings.  If anyone recognizes who this might be please comment.

Note:  If you read these Letters Patent you see that the area of Pontiac as we know it was first under the District of Montreal and sometime around 1845 it was referred to Ottawa County, Province of Canada. I find it very interesting the reference to the “Government House of Montreal.” Anyone know what this means?


Letters Patent: Alexander McDonell – Bristol Township, Pontiac Co., Quebec

February 19, 2015

Land was given to Alexander McDonnell who is buried in the St. Alexandre Dex Chenaux Cemetery in Clarendon. He was married to Janet MacDonell of Barrisdale. Could this be the grant that was given to him. Bristol and Clarendon are right next to each other.

Pontiac County Townships

Renfrew and Pontiac County Townships

Province of Lower Canada, Fiat Enrolled in the Register’s Office of Enrollment at Quebec on Monday, the Second day of November 1840.

Whereas it has been judged expedient by our Governor in Chief of our Province of Lower Canada…We should grant and convey to our loving subject Alexander McDonnell of the Township of Bristol in our District of Montreal. ..in consideration of the sum of nine hundred and ninety six pounds…

Lot number fifteen  in the Seventh range containing about two hundred acres, the South East half of the lot number six, in the eighth range of one hundred acres, the lots from number seven to number sixteen inclusion of two hundred acres each and Lot number Seventeen in the said eighth range containing on hundred and eighty-four acres, tho Lots from number three to number nine inclusion in the ninth range of two hundred acres each and the South West half of Lot number thirteen i the said ninth range of one hundred acres said Lots of half Lots 2 being in the Said Township of Bristol and containing together about three thousand nine hundred and eighty four acres of land. 

Entered in the Auditor’s Office, the Sixth day of November ____in Docket Book, R, pages 249, Signed T. [Bouthilice], Auditor. 

In Testimony whereof, we have caused these our Letters to be made Patent, and the Great Seal of our Province of Lower Canada to be hereunto affixed.

Witness our Trusty and well Beloved, The Right Honorable Charles Baron Sydenham of Sydenham in the County of Kent and Toronto in Canada, Governor General of a British North American, Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over our Province of Lower Canada and Upper Canada and Vice Admiral of the Same. 

At our Government House in our City of Montreal in our Said Province of Lower Canada the thirty first day of October in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty and in the Fourth year of our Reign. Signed D. Daly, Secy. C Sales, Folio 297.

A portion of the 1840 Patent for Alexander McDonnell in Bristol

A portion of the 1840 Patent for Alexander McDonnell in Bristol

Here is another Letters Patent for Alexander McDonell in Bristol in 1845.

Whereas it has been judged…Alexander McDonell of the Township of Bristol in the County of Ottawa….consideration of the sum of Fifty pounds…North East halves of Lots number sixteen and seventeen in the second range of the said Township of Bristol containing each about one hundred acres of land more of less. 

Witness our Right Trusty and well Beloved, The Right Honorable Charles Theophilus Baron Metcalfe of Fernhill in the County of Berks Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath one of Our Most Honorable Privy Council Governor General of British North America and Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over Our Province of Canada Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Island of Prince Edward and Vice General of the same..At our Government House in our city of Montreal…on the eleventh day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-five and in the ninth year of our reign. D. Daly Secy. E Sales Folio 189.

See my post on this blog dated 21 November, 2014 “St-Alexandre Des Chenaux RC Cemetery…Clarendon Twp.” 


Letters Patent: Alexander John McDonald in 1883

February 12, 2015

I was also targeting Alexander John McDonnell in Chichester, he is a 2nd great-grandfather of mine.   The file number for this was 31-254_LP_001

Alexander J. McDonell Patent 1883

Alexander J. McDonell Patent 1883

Whereas Alexander J. McDonnell of the Township of Chichester, yeoman..for forty eight dollars and sixty cents….eighty one acres.

The Lot number Eleven in the First Range of the said Township of Chichester. That this grant is subject to the provisions of the Act 43 & 44, Citoria, Chapr, 12, entitled: The Quebec General Mining Act of 1880.” Recorded 4th May 1883, Signed by John Langelle Dep. Prov’l Regr.

Under the Great Seal Theodore Robitaille Lt-Gov. of Our Province of Quebec.

AT QUEBEC this Sixteenth day of April in the year of lord, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-three and in the forty-sixth year of Our Reign. By Commend Th. J. Jolicoeur Asst Secretary and E.E. Tachi Asst, Commission of Crown Lands.

This is not that early for Alexander John McDonnell.  He had earlier land patents dated 1862 and 1869. This is the only one I have at this time. See my spreadsheet in the post about Archibald’s Letters Patent.


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.


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: http://www.pontiacarchives.org/  and there holdings: http://www.pontiacarchives.org/about/

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.  Ancestry.com 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!


Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson lineage

December 12, 2014

Alexander JohnMacDonell settled in the Chichester and Allumette area of the Upper Ottawa River area.  His wife Ellen Mc/MacPherson is probably buried there but I have not found her gravesite.

MacDonell's Lundie Chart 13

MacDonell’s Lundie Chart 13

Chart 13, Sheet 5 of Duncan D. MacDonald’s Part IV book of genealogical charts gives Alexander John’s ancestry as:

Donald MacDonell

Archibald MacDonell – see Chart 218

Findlay MacDonell

*John Ban MacDonell

Alexander John MacDonald = Ellen MacPherson

(note on chart: from 7 – Beckwith Twp. Lot 3)

Mr. MacDonald does not give any lineage for Ellen.  However, with the reference to Beckwith Twp. I spent a lot of time studying the cemeteries in that area trying to find a burial for her.  I am still looking.

The other interesting thing is that on Aunt Nellie’s chart at the top she has written Alexander (Ban) MacDonald.  See the posts I have written about Nellie’s charts on this blog.  Just put her name in the search engine on the side and you should find them easily.

Mr. MacDonald’s Chart 218 is on pages 635 to 637 of Part IV the book of genealogical charts.

Chart 218 a piece

Chart 218 a piece

It reads the same but the focus stops at Findlay and his family – children.

Donald MacDonald (MacDonell)

Archibald – descendants are listed

Findlay (Tualidh)

b. 1751 died Aug 25, 1843 92 years of age Chart 218

Chart 297 it reads 1751 to Aug 24, 1848

*Archibald Roy MacDonell =

m. Annie MacDonell daughter of Angus R. MacDonell (fought at Battle of Culloden) & Janet MacDonald

This Archibald Roy is noted as “The Banker” see Chart 297 and Lot 4 – 9 Charlottenburg (Green Valley) Indian Lands.

Archibald Roy an Annie have two children on this Chart 218 and on Chart 297 six more children are added.

1. Alexander Roy (Archibald) MacDonald b. 1788 died 18 Dec 1839 age 51  (Death Diary) m. Isabella MacLellan and again see Chart 297.

2, John Roy MacDonald b. 1786 died 10 Mar 1861 age 75, m. Sally (Sarah) MacDonald, Lot 13 – 3 Kenyon.  He is noted as a Church Elder who took the 1839 Census of Kenyon for the Church.

John Roy and Sally (Sarah) MacDonald had Catherine, Duncan, Angus, Ranald R., John, Archibald, Mary.

*This is implying that Archibald Roy MacDonell who married Annie is a brother to John Roy/Ban MacDonald father of my Alexander John MacDonell?

I have to admit reading Mr. MacDonald’s charts is hard business I can’t figure out sometimes if the dates are for the person below or above. I find I have to study them several times before I feel I understand what is meant.  Lines are not connected and there are sort of bumps curving over other lines. The other problem is the lack of sources so you do have to use charts like this as road maps and find those original records to back them up.

Anyway I will let this all “percolate” on the back burner of my mind and study it further.


Ottawa Lumber Kings — Alexander & Janet (Young) McDonell

December 6, 2014

Years ago Elaine sent me a newspaper from Chapeau and in that newspaper was a very interesting article about early settlers in the Chapeau and Chichester area.  Elaine would be interested in the Jewell Family and me, well I was interested in the MacDonnell Brothers that the article shared about.  Elaine is the author of the book about the deaths and burials of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau and a Burns descendant.

Early Settlers...

Early Settlers…

This article mentions MacDonnell brothers who had settled at Sand Point and I became curious.  In the article above it mentions Alexander MacDonnell at Sand Point, Colin at Birchell’s du Fort*, Rory on Calumet Island and John on Allumette Island.

So in 2012, I drove into Arnprior through all the construction and found my way to the Archives which are in the basement of the public library in the middle of town. Here is the post I wrote.

Arnprior, Renfrew County, Ontario: Archives,”June 15, 2012.

After I spent several hours gathering information, I headed out and visited the Albert Street Cemetery which over a few blocks towards the Ottawa River.  This is where Alexander and Janet (Young) MacDonell were buried. On his tombstone the name is spelled McDonell.

Arnprior: Albert Street Cemetery!” June 15, 2012

Arnprior-Braeside Archives: http://www.adarchives.org/index.html

I have learned that this cemetery may have been called “Inchbuie” cemetery in the past.

To find the graves in this cemetery you can go to the website of the Grave Marker Gallery for Ontario select Eastern Ontario then Renfrew County, and then scroll down to McNab and Braeside for those cemeteries and further for the Town of Arnprior  which has pictures for the Albert Street Cemetery and click on Block A.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~murrayp/renfrew/index.htm

Duncan Darby MacDonald in his Book of Charts Part IV, Chart 13 the Lundie MacDonells has the brothers listed in the above article as sons of the Alexander and Janet MacDonell (1754 to 1847 both lifespans) who are buried in the St. Alexandre De Chenaux Cemetery in Clarendon Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec that I posted about in the previous post on this blog!

To find this cemetery you need to go the Grave Marker website choose Quebec, then Pontiac and then scroll down to Clarendon Twp. which is across from Sand Point on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/quebec/pontiac/index.htm

Here is the source information for Duncan D. MacDonald’s book of genealogical charts.

Source: A collection of genealogical charts  Part-IV, 3rd Edition, ISBN O-921133-39-1.  Much of the earlier work done by Daniel F. McDonald of Bristol, Conn and other members of his family at Bridgend (Stone Villa) Lancaster.  A second edition was published in 1988 and the 3rd in 1993.  FHL#971.37 D2, book only.  

There are 15 pages for Chart 13.  I refer to Chart 13, Sheet – 3 page 724, Sheet 3-A page 725, Sheet 3-B page 726, Sheet 3-C page 727 Ancestors and Descendants of Alexander & Janet MacDonell, Sheet 3-D page 728, Sheet 3-E, page 729.

In these pages Duncan has pictures of Alexander’s home in Sand Point. I have seen the beautiful brick house up against a hill overlooking the Ottawa River and was surprised it was set back so far.  Duncan further shares about Alexander’s businesses with photos and more stories.

Ottawa Region - Canadian Government

Ottawa Region – Canadian Government

The above map is the best I can do to capture the Ottawa River and the area we are talking about. Click on it and it will get larger.  You can find Sand Point at the bottom right, Sheenboro is at the top left behind the blue control which does not work on this map because it is a jpg.  If you look hard enough you can find Calumet Island by finding Bryson on the Quebec side and go northwest. Allumette Island find Chapeau and Pembroke.  This is a topo from the Canadian Government website.

These MacDonnell brothers were called the Otttawa River MacDonnells or Lumber Kings of the Ottawa River at Sand Point.

Once again we get variations in the spelling of the surname depending on the author: MacDonell, MacDonnell, and McDonnell so be aware.

Alexander MacDonnell who married Janet Young and settled at Sand Point (Renfrew County) is referred to as the King of the Four Rivers:

He would bring the lumber down these rivers to the Ottawa River or he did a great deal of exploring of the area and rivers for lumber. This Alexander and Janet are buried in the Albert Street Cemetery in Arnprior, Ontario (1795 to 1896 both lifespans).

According to Duncan Darby MacDonald his Chart 13, Sheet 3-A page 725 he writes:

“Of the 11 brothers 6 are reported to have gone to make their mark on the “Ottawa.””  

So Alexander and Janet MacDonell natives of Knoydart, Scotland (Inverness) had the following children according to Sheets 3 and 3-A, Chart 13, Part IV. There are differences between the two sheets like the order of the children.

Children:

  1. **Archibald, m. Anna MacMillan sheet 3-B, Chart 13
  2. Hugh m. Margaret MacLean, Chart 168, Sheets 4-12 also Chart 13, sheet 3.
  3. **Angus Mor had a son James.
  4. Ronald (drowned) – He is the one buried with them in St. Alexandre Cemetery but remember there are only 3 identified burials out of a possible 100, lost.
  5. Dougald
  6. Little Alexander – This might be Alexander Roderick who died in 1851 and is buried in the family plot of the Albert Street Cemetery?
  7. **James m. Christine MacDonald, see sheet 3 of Chart 13
  8. Rory
  9. John – see sheet 3-C and 3-E of Chart 13 Calumet and Allumette Islands. This would be the John who married Flora McKinnon and then Flora McLellan. Flora McLellan and John MacDonell were the parents of Janet who married Ronald/Ranald son of Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson see sheet 5, Chart 13 page 734.  This is the chart I dispute in my post dated November 6, 2014 of this blog regarding the parentage of Mary married to Archibald.
  10. Sam – Portage du Fort
  11. Coll of Colin – 1000 acres at *Birch’s Creek, Quebec of Les Chats
  12. Penelope m. Dr. John Judge – First doctor in Pembroke, see sheet 3
  13. Alexander and (Agnes) Janet Young – Big Alex – see sheets 3, 3-A, 3-C King of the Four rivers, buried in Arnprior.
**Angus, Archie and James stayed in the Glengarry area of Ontario per the sources I have. On another source a Mary and Janet are listed – total of 15 children?
The order of the children is also different based on the 1815 emigration information at this website:  French, Scottish, Irish, German and English families of James and Deborah McDonald:  http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=ranaldthecalf&id=I17291

There is disagreement as to how many sons there actually where, some believe there were 12; you can see that I have 13 children listed.

When I visited Arnprior in 2012, I collected articles about this Alexander MacDonnell who settled at Sand Point (above Arnprior) on the Ottawa River.

Source: History of Early Ottawa, from the Ottawa Journal dated Saturday, February 7, 1925, by a H.R. Morgan. Copied from a newspaper article in the files of the Arnprior & District Museum by James E. Isbester, 1987. About nine typed pages of which I only copied some.  

Sand Point – vanished and all but forgotten is the prominence which it enjoyed at the time when it was the western terminus of the Canada Central and Brockville and Ottawa Railroads, when it was the gateway to the Upper Ottawa region and when practically all the trade and traffic destined for that area passed through its depots and warehouses.”

Alexander McDonell and the family to which he belonged…where fishermen in their native Scotland…they emigrated in 1815 and established themselves in the Township of Drummond, not far from Perth. After the lapse of a few years, the great portion of the family left that neighborhood and betook themselves to Glengarry…whence the final move to Sand Point was made by six of the sons and two the daughters.

Alexander apparently did not take at all kindly to the primitive method of agriculture which obtained in Drummond and at an early age entered the lumbering trade upon the river Trent, when he drifted to the Ottawa. There he gained further experience and carried on a great deal of exploration. Perth was at this period the commercial metropolis of the district, and it was upon his visits to that town that he fell in with Chief McNab and the latter’s suggestion about the year 1824, accompanied him as guide upon his trip to the Ottawa to choose a site for his memorable colony of Highlanders.  This is not the Township of McNab.  http://clan-macnab.com/the-notorious-chief/

Entering the lumbering trade:

It was not long after this that Alexander McDonell embarked upon lumber in his own behalf and his first raft of red pine timber was made from trees cut down immediately in rear of the place which he had decided upon as his future abode. This was Sand Point where he cleared a farm, built a dwelling house and remained until the time of his death. 

This article goes on to describes his interactions with the Indians and the Hudson’s Bay Company to bring timber down the Bonnechere. His exploration of the rivers in the area. The article states the government introduced timber licensing and in 1826-27 McDonell made the first raft of red pine timber ever taken from Mud Lake upon the Bonnechere.

In 1830, in Montreal, Mr. McDonell was married to Miss Janet Young, sister of the Hon. John Young, and not long afterwards a new house was built. 

Here is another source I found that has some interesting information:

Source:  Sand Point, Ontario c. 1824 to 1994, by Dalton Appleby 6/4/1994. Not sure how many pages for this manuscript but it may be a good 10. I copied some but not all. 

What is presented here is a brief summary of the above source found at the Arnprior-Braeside Archives in Arnprior which is fairly detailed.

The village of Sand Point, is situated six miles west of Arnprior, at Concession XIII, Lots 18 & 19 in the Township of McNab, Renfrew County. It is on the south shore of Chats Lake on the mighty Ottawa River.

It got its beginning, long before roads, railways and telephones existed west of Ottawa, in the 1820’s. Alexander MacDonnell a Scotsman from Glengarry County, Ontario chose the location as his headquarters for exploring timber rights in the area. 

MacDonnell House in Sand Point

MacDonnell House in Sand Point

He built a temporary headquarters and later built a permanent complex on higher ground above the wharf in the 1850s. It consisted of a commercial, residential, entertainment complex (Chats Lake House), a long narrow office building and a large prestigious looking residence for himself, all faced with limestone blocks. The arrival of the railroad in the 1860s gave a tremendous boost to the expansion of the area.  It included boarding houses, a hotel, a school, two churches, two cemeteries, two grocery stores, a dairy, a stave factory, a powder factory, a limekiln, a shipyard, tenements, a cement ferry dock… 

MacDonnell donated the land for the Catholic church, the public school, the Presbyterian Church and no doubt other structures. 

34 The Youngs, of Montreal Harbour fame, and the MacDonnells were related by marriage. Alexander married Janet Young. Alexander entice the Youngs to come to Sand Point to help him to develop the village. 

35 MacDonnell enticed the McDonalds from Glengarry County, related by marriage to come and run his commercial enterprise in the 1860s. Catholic Scotsman Ronald McDonald, his wife Penelope and their two children Flora Ann born in 1859 and John Ronald (John R.) born in 1860 arrived in Sand Point some time after the children were born and before the 1871 census which lists them in McNab Township. They came from Lochiel, Glengarry Co,, Ontario. Ronald was born in Inverness Shire, Scotland in 1814 or 15….

John R. sister Flora married John Brennan and lived in the MacDonnell house. John R. married Ellen Toner of Portage Du Fort in the 90s. Her father Captain Toner used to doc at the wooden wharf…Ellen and John R. had at least five children: Patsy, Claire, Vita and Flora.

MacDonnell-McDonald Family tree

MacDonnell Tree

MacDonnell Tree

There is so much more about this man’s business interests and family in the sources above but not a lot about his family connections.

From the above sources there are a lot of places to start doing research on this family. Also, to widen the net of your research by expanding the geography of your search. Montreal is mentioned for the marriage and the Youngs apparently were prominent, The last article describes census for 1851, 1871, 1881, 1901 for McNab Township which might be interesting to take a look at. Of course petitions and land records for Renfrew and Pontiac (Quebec notaries).

Mr. MacDonald’s charts point to Beckwith and Drummond Twps. in Lanark, formerly the Bathhurst District and one could go back even further in the records of the area, if they exist?

My curiosity has been satisfied.  I was interested in this Lumber King Alexander MacDonell’s family connections. It seems I have at least found some sources that can lead to more research.

Keeping all this in mind, my interest now returns to my family and the origins of Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson and their daughter Mary who married Archibald MacDonell.  So I will be studying Chart 13, Sheet 5, Part IV quite a lot and disputing Mr. MacDonald’s lineages as necessary.

*Birchell Du Fort – where is this location in the Ottawa area? If you know please help me out and leave a comment.  It might have something to do with Chats Lake a part of the Ottawa River between Sand Point and Ottawa City?  Another variation on Mr. MacDonald’s chart was Birch’s Creek Les Chats Quebec.  Modern maps are not helping.

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