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.


Letters Patent: Archibald McDonell in Chichester

January 29, 2015

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

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

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

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

Here are the letters patent:

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

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

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

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

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

Archibald's 1883  Land

Archibald’s 1883 Land

A summary of what is in the document:

Theodore Robitaille  180

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what was on the second or third page.

What is on the next page of the letter patent

What is on the next page of the letter patent

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

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

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


Land Petitions for Pontiac County: A brief How To!

January 22, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LAND GRANTS

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

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

LAND IN QUEBEC

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

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

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

Chronicles of American also a good article on seigneuries:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very interesting and helpful.

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

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

QUEBEC TIMELINE

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

Era of Exploration 1508-1613

Colony of Canada 1534-1763 – French Regime

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

Lower Canada 1791-1841 was Quebec but boundaries changed.

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

Confederation – Province of Quebec 1867 to Present

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

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

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

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

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

Beginning of Chichester, Land Grant Index

Beginning of Chichester, Land Grant Index

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

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

Booklet: Land Grants by Alphabetical

Booklet: Land Grants by Alphabetical

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This looks helpful at Open Library:

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

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

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

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

MacDonald/McDonell/McDonald/MacDonnell/MacDonell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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!


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