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.
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.
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.
2. Valuation roll for Chichester 1859 revised and corrected according to the provisions of the Act 22 Vic. Chap. 82, Sec. 5.
1. ……McDonell, 2 – 15, 16, 17 (Cut off the name), all farmers
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
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.
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!