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.


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!


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.

John Mor MacDonell husband to Flora McLellan…

November 13, 2014

In past post I have shared about Ronald and his wife Janet’s story.  She is the daughter of John Mor MacDonell and Flora McLlellan and he is the son of Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson. This makes Ronald (Ranald) a great great uncle.

Here are the posts I wrote:

  • Revisiting: Ronald (Ranald) and Janet McDonell – The Lundie Family Connection!, August 26, 2014
  • The Ronald McDonell & Janet McDonell Family, September 29, 2011

Mr. Perrault who commented on my the Revisiting post told me that there was a burial for John McDonald at St. Alphonsus.  He was correct, I was so busy getting ready for my trip to Ontario and Quebec that I had tucked away the record on my computer. His comments reminded me of this and so I share it with you.  I found it the other day.  So here is a transcription of the St. Alphonsus Church record.

Burial of John McDonnell

Burial of John McDonnell

John Mor MacDonell and his 2nd wife Flora McLellan

S3 John McDonell, St. Alphonse, Allumette Island, 13 February 1861.  I the undersigned priest of this mission have interred in the cemetery of this mission the body of John McDonell aged sixty-three years died 7th inst. Husband of Flora McLellan present Samuel McDonell, and James McDonell who have not signed.  Jas C. Lynch, Priest.

You can find a shortened version of the burial information:

#1324 McDonell, John 06 Feb 1861 buried 13 Feb. 1861 63 y. h/o Flora McLellon, 89

Source:  St. Alphonsus of Liquori, Chapeau, Allumette Island, Pontiac County, Quebec. Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records, by Elaine Brown.

I visited the St. Alphonsus Cemetery (old) in 2012 and stopped by several times but I did not find a tombstone for either John nor Flora but then I was not looking for this couple. There were a lot of missing stones, broken stones and more.

https://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/touring-the-upper-ottawa-river-st-alphonsus-of-liguori/

In the 1871 Canadian Census, I found a Flora McDonell living in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec with a Allan and James McDonell ages 34 and 33. She was 62 years old which means she would have been born in 1809. If she is the correct Flora she was 18 years old when she married John in 1827, this date may be in the Perth Marriages, but I have not check them as this time.  She was born in Scotland and is Roman Catholic.  I have not been able to find a Flora in other census at this time.


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