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.” 


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.

http://www.awholebunchofings.com/2011/01/lost-steamships-and-locks-on-ottawa.html

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 River.org: http://www.ottawariver.org/pdf/10-ch2-8.pdf.  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:

http://www.canadiancanalsociety.org/canadian-canals.html


Revisiting the Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester 1848 Petition

December 18, 2014

In my post of July 10, 2014 titled “A 1848 Group Land Petition from Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester,” I shared about a petition that was done by the citizens of those townships.

I found the petition at the Library and Archives in Ottawa in 2012 but the film was very dim, fuzzy and my copies were not great.  I was unable to read all the pages but managed to at least transcribe one of the documents which is the petition signed by the settlers.

Well, I found another copy at the Archives of Ontario on the York University campus in Toronto and this copy was much better so I was able to get more documents.

The petition is still hard to read but you will find a few changes to the post I have mentioned above, where I attempt to read the names again. I will not repeat the petition here but add more documents.  There was another letter, and the jacket of the court document.

  • Canada Land Petitions
  • “W” Bundle 5, 1848-1850
  • RG 1, L3, Vol. 540 (a)

 1482

Petition of the inhabitants of the Township of Sheen

For reduction in the price of land

 The only good

Land in the Township lies along (on the left side of the page)

 Agreably to the returns of Mr. Joseph Macon the Surveyor who has been employed in the subdivision and laying out the Arable part of the Township of Sheen, it appears that the settled partion thereof, which is the line of Chichester between the Ottawa and the base of an elevated and rugged range of Hills, which traverses the Township along Downey’s Creek to the foot of the Deep reach, and thence along the immediate banks of the Ottawa in front of Sheen. This tract is however of limited extent containing only eighty five lots, averaging about 100 acres each, and is in many places uneven and of inferior quality besides, that the merchantable timber has been almost totally cut away in the extensive lumbering carried on in that section of the County of Ottawa.

 The above description of the land in Sheen, would apply equally to the Township of Waltham, Mansfield and Chichester, wherein the land fit for settlement (and which is in Chief part settled by squatters as in Sheen_ extends from the Ottawa back some two or three ranges to the base of the chain of Mountains above mentioned.

 C.L. O. Surveying Department

Montreal 7 June 1848

 As specifications of the surveyed parts of these Townships, are new prepared for the _____ it would be desirable (should a reduction of price be deemed advisable) that the new rate should be fixed upon in time to appear in the list of lots advertised for sale.

 The price of land in the old surveyed Townships on the Ottawa, Litchfield included which adjoins Mansfield, is [9] per acre.  The lands in the Grant Calumet and Allumette Islands have been advertised at the same _____.  The price suggested by the Petitioners is 3f per acre.

[T. Boutlaittie]

======================================

Right side of the jacket

 1434 W4 Report of the W172 Commissioner of Crown Lands.

 Referred to the Committee of the Honourable the Executive Council.

C.L.G  and other signatures.

 Note:  There is very faint writing below – unreadable.

 The left side of the Jacket.  Note:  This is very dark….

 __________________28 June 1848

The committee [recommends] that the price of the land in question be reduced to the rate of 3 shillings per acre.

Approved in Council 1 July 1848

___________________7 July 1848

 The Committee 19 July 1848

 The Assistant Commissioner is in doubt whether he is to consider _____minutes above referred to ____the price of land, as confined solely to the Township of Sheen or as comprising also the Townships of Waltham, Mansfield and Chichester.

 As the Report state the land in those three Townships to be of similar quality to that in Sheen, and where fit for settlement ____, chiefly occupied by squatters also.

The committee are of the opinion that the price of land should be priced to the __________in Sheen of three shillings per Acre.

 Approved in Council 22 July 1848.

_____________________C.C.L. 25 July 1848

I wish the documents were easier to read, I gave it my best try.

When I visited Ontario and Quebec in 2012, I really tried to dig into the records to try to get as far back as possible for the Sheen and Chichester area or Pontiac County for that matter.  I believe this is one of the oldest documents for the settlement of the area.


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.

St-Alexandre Des Chenaux RC Cemetery…Clarendon Twp.

November 21, 2014
St. Alexandre Cemetery

St. Alexandre Cemetery

One of the notes on Duncan D. MacDonald’s charts about Alexander McDonell and Janet caught my eye before I headed out on my trip to Canada in September 2014.  He wrote that they were buried in Stark’s Corner.  It was on Sheet 2-A, Chart 13 of his Part IV Collection of charts book.

I was at the Quebec Family History Society in Pointe-Claire, Quebec looking at their cemetery records for Pontiac County, Quebec and the volunteer pulled this three page typed paper and I got real excited.  This society has a great collection of cemetery records for Quebec.

I have been all over the Stark’s Corner Cemetery records at the Ontario Genealogical Society and also at the Quebec Family History Society and there is no record of any McD’s in this cemetery located in Clarendon Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec.  This is also not a Catholic cemetery.

Source: Stark’s Corner Community Cemetery, including Stark Family Cemetery, Stark’s Corner United Church Cemetery also known as Stark’s Corner’s Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Recorded August 1991 by Robbie Gorr, Lot 20 A Range 3.  

Here is the link to the Grave Marker Gallery for Starks Corner with tombstone pictures.  There are no McD’s listed.

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

Well…when the volunteer at the Quebec Family History Society pulled this manuscript, I knew it was Alexander and Janet…

Source:  St-Alexandre Des Chenaux Roman Catholic Cemetery (also known as Ste-Melanie de Clarendon Roman Catholic Cemetery). Lot 24, Range 1, Clarendon Twp., Recorded May 1992 by Robbie Gorr.  The title is: The Lone Sentinel of the Past:

Try the Grave Marker Gallery for photos:

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

This is a story of neglect and abandonment.  This cemetery was abandoned and subsequent owners have plowed up the area.  It is estimated that 100 wooden crosses were once there.  There is now only this one lone sentinel, obelisk left. As far as the article indicates there are no records.  The chapel that was there did burn down but the article states that a transfer of the church and cemetery to Portage Du Fort occurred, and Hwy 303 was built bypassing the area.

These are the grandparents of Janet, who married Ronald son of Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson.  This is the Lundie McDonald connection.

The east side reads of the tall stone reads:

Alex McDonell died Jan. 1, 1842 AE 88 Yrs

his wife Janet died Jan. 14, 1847 AE 84 yrs.

The south side reads:

Their Son Ranald drowned July 18, 1854 AE 68 yrs. 

This article reads:

In 1840 Alexander McDonell donated an eight acre plot of land for a Roman Catholic Chapel and cemetery to be built, the nearest at that time being at Calumet Island.”

The mission of Ste-Melanie continued to be served by the incumbents of Calumet until 1854 when Father Bouvier completed the construction of the stone church…at Portage Du Fort and opened a new cemetery. The log chapel and cemetery at Clarendon were abandoned…The chapel is said to have burned down…”

“When the chapel (finally) was built, it was alongside the road which ran from Aylmer to Portage Du Fort. That road was abandoned in favour of the present Highwy 303 which runs between Portage du Fort and Shawville, nearly a mile to the north of the chapel site, thus making the cemetery a long distance from any public road, out of sight from passerby and inaccessible on private land with the permission of the owners.

Another comment made in the article is the name was changed because of another St. Alexandre cemetery at Sandpoint?

I followed out one of the sources listed:

Lone Sentinel of the Past” by S. Wyman MacKechnie from Ottawa Branch News, Volume XIII, Numbr 1, January-February 1980.”

It is of course the magazine of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.  Family History Library had copies and I found the article in a very tightly bounded volume, FHL Book 971-384 D25o V. 13, No. 1, Jan/Feb 1980.  This is a reprint from the Shawville Equity, September 28, 1977 with minor changes by the author.

I found it interesting that in this version the Ottawa Branch News, it was a brother-in-law of Alexander’s that pooled his land with Alexander for the purpose of the chapel and cemetery, not just Alexander donating land as the 3 page manuscript suggests.  This individual received the land from his services in the Battle of Waterloo.  I would like to see the Shawville Equity Article just to see what was really written.

In 2012, when I was touring the Upper Ottawa area and driving from Renfrew city to Portage Du Fort to Shawville, I went right by there on Hwy 303 several times and could have sought out this tombstone. I was trying to identify cemeteries with McD’s in them in the area and I was all over the internet and cemetery books but this one I missed.  I have realized since I came home and did my 2nd tour of Canada that I did not extend my searches wide enough but then I didn’t have a lot of time.

Here are the other sources in the article and I have not been able to find online versions probably due to copyright:

Highways of Destiny, A History of the Diocese of Pembroke, Ottawa Valley Canada, by Rev. Wm. C. O’Dwyer, 1964.

Clarendon and Shawville, by J. Lloyd Armstrong, Dickson Enterprises, Shawville, 1980.

Lift Up Your Hearts, A History of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke, by Rev. Joseph C. Legree, 1988.

If anyone knows this cemetery, has photos and is willing to share, please contact me and leave a comment


Salt Lake City and the British Institute…

October 29, 2014

I am now home again and back from my trip to Salt Lake City.  It is nice to be home for a while and concentrate on the research.  I am behind having been gone all of September 2014 and then a week in October 2014.  I have yet to source my findings from my trip to Canada and so that needs to be done.  I have some things to add to my research from my work at the Family History Library last week.  So I am busy.

The class on Scottish genealogical research was excellent and I am pleased that I attended.  Our teacher Paul Milner is very knowledgeable and personable. He has a blog on WordPress and he writes about the sources for both Scottish and English research:   http://www.milnergenealogy.com/

Staying at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel which is right next door to the FHLibrary is really the best way to go.  I didn’t have to walk all over the place like last year when I was at the Howard Johnson.  Here is the website for the British Institute:  http://www.isbgfh.org/  Unfortunately, I am not use to the new Nikon I bought and my pictures of my Scottish class came out fuzzy, Sigh!

British Institute Irish Class

British Institute Irish Class at Salt Lake Plaza Hotel

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Stacks on B2 British Isles

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British Isles Floor FHL

B2 British Isles FHL

B2 British Isles FHL

City Creek Fountain SLC

City Creek Fountain SLC shopping center

Temple Square Sparkles

Temple Square Sparkles


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