Quebec Notaries – Sigh!

March 5, 2015

The other part of Quebec genealogical research is consulting the notaries. They are considered members of the legal profession in Quebec.

This article was rather helpful in explaining the difference between notaries in Quebec versus a notary public which most of us in the US are more familiar with:

What’s in a Namehttp://www.tradulex.com/Actes2000/StAubin.pdf

The notaries did the day-to-day legal business of the people of Quebec and kept logs of their transactions.  You will find various legal documents or instruments used:

1.  wills (testaments). The Notary can administer and estate without the formality of probate.

2. partage (family who will receive a share of the estate),

3. guardianship papers

4. donations (early wills)

5. engagements (early contracts – indentures)

6. deeds, mortgages, land transactions, transfers, leases

7. contracts

8. inventories

9.  marriages (early Quebec but not as much after 1800) contrats de mariage

10. and more…

Notary records are an important part of Quebec’s Civil law which resembles French Civil law.

The person involved in the transaction with a notary kept the original document while the notary made copies. The copies are called “minutes.”  The individual notaries archives are termed his “greffe.” If he goes out of business he sells his greffe to another notary or it is filed with the Prothonotary of the Judicial District where he served.  As time went on the Quebec government decide to collect them and they are supposed to go to the ANQ (Archives of Quebec/BAnQ) and to be placed in the branch ANQ that serves the appropriate judicial district.

These notarial acts are listed by name of the notary and the dates he functioned and not by the person involved in the contract.  Therefore, you have to identify the notary that was in the area you are researching and the dates he was active.

As you know counties changed and jurisdictions changed so you have to research the history of the area. Pontiac county was under Ottawa County in the early years and then under the Montreal district even earlier based on the Letters Patent that I have collected and studied.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_District

There are several publications that can be of help.

Here is the title page of a copy of an index I obtained of the notaries in the Pontiac area at the BAnQ in Gatineau in 2012.  The librarian at the BAnQ on Viger street in Montreal said it was good I had these pages.

Notaries listed

Notaries listed

Source:  Index des Lieux, et des Notaires 1621 to 1991, Jean-Marie Laliberte fc., Montreal, 1991.  The older version was Index des greffes des notaries decedes, 1645 to 1949 comp. Jean-Marie Laliberte (Qubec. B Pontbriand 1967).

Source:  Quintin, Robert J. The Notaries of French Canada, 1626–1900: Alphabetical, Chronologically, by Area Served. Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA.: R. J. Quintin, 1994. (Family History Library book 971.4 N3n; film 1750788 item 120.)

Here is short summary of other options for finding Notaries:

1. The Online database at the BAnQ in Montreal is not complete.  It is an index with names and some of the documents for all regions of Quebec up to 1933.  For our purposes Hull and Pontiac are featured. You do have to browse.  It most indexes and some actual acts.

Database:  Archives des notaires due Quebec des origines a 1933, under Outaouais has the District of Hull, District de Pontiac and District de Labelle. Here is the link.

http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaires/index.html

For Pontiac there are two listed:

Mackay, Stephen-Alexandre no dates  CN702,S1 – Index only.

Pellerin, J.-Desire 1907-1924 CN702,S2 – Index only.

Hull had more names (18) and dates and the earliest are listed here:

Barsalou, Charles 1869-1895 CN701,S21 – Index and acts

Beaudin, Jean-Baptiste-Alphonse, 1874 to 1905 CN701,S2

Brayer dit Saint-Pierre, Julien, 1867-1913, CN701,S17, Repertoire chonologique and Index des noms.

Mackay, Francois-Samuel, 1845-1892, CN701,S10

I looked up these notaries in the BAnQ Pistard catalogue under Genealogy on their website and there are some with images of the indexes and more. This Pistard catalogue gives a detailed description of the holdings and where the notary operated.  The CN numer is the Pistard catalogue designation.

http://pistard.banq.qc.ca/unite_chercheurs/recherche_simple

2.  You might have to go to the BAnQ Centre in Gatineau to look at the documents. The librarian at the BAnQ in Montreal that they were all on microfilm but I am not sure about that?

https://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_outaouais.html

It has its own website:  Centre regional d’archives de L’Outaouais.

http://www.craoutaouais.ca/

I visited this archive in 2012 in Gatineau and if I was to go again this is what I suggest.  You can find my comments in my post about my visit there, just remember I was not happy.  I was also not as prepared as I am now.  I know a lot more.

My visit:  Ottawa and Gatineau, June 7, 2012

1.  Find a researcher who speaks French and go with them to this archive. This is an option.

2.  The person behind the counter did not speak English only French and he panicked when I visited.  I realized that he could read English so I wrote down what I wanted.  It worked.

3.  When you first enter you will be greeted by a volunteer who probably is with the genealogical society of the area.  Their focus is French Canadian genealogical research not English Quebec research.  If you have an English Quebec ancestor who married a French Canadian you could trace them and see what comes up?  The man who was there said he did all his research online and when I told him my ancestor was English he didn’t have a clue.  About 2 hours later another man came and he gave me a tour. So in all fairness they can be helpful.

http://genealogieoutaouais.com/

4.  I suggest that you take the control and ask them to show you where the lockers are, get you set up for parking permit and then show you the holdings by taking you around the research area and pointing out where things are and what is there.  It consists of their societies holdings and the BAnQ’s holdings.  Books are out in the research area.

5. Before you go study the BAnQ Pistard catalogue.  It has the holdings listed online by location and give you more details.

http://pistard.banq.qc.ca/unite_chercheurs/recherche_simple

6.  This archive is over along Hwy 148 off in Gatineau between Blvd. Greber and Blvd. de L’Hopital.  So make you look at the BAnQ website before you and get the correct address and do not Google it or you will get very confused and get the old Hull address.

7.  Ancestry.com has a searchable database: Quebec Notarial Records (Drouin Collection) 1647-1942 but I am have not figured out how to use it and it is browse only.

8.  Family history library as a how to but be careful I believe some of the links are out of date.

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

9.  Library and Archives has some in their collection: Fonds des greffes de notaires due Quebec you will have to decide if they are what you need.

http://thediscoverblog.com/2014/08/21/notarial-records/

10.  For the oldest notarial records 1635 to 1784 consult the Parchemin database available at BAnQ and some public libraries. The focus for indexes has been on the earlier years in Quebec covering the 1635 to about 1784.  The area of Pontiac was probably not settled till about 1830 per the newspaper article I shared in the post about the Ottawa Lumber kings.

Here are some books but they are getting old and so far I have not found an up-to-date guide on genealogy in Quebec, why is that?

 1.  The book French Canadian Sources, A Guide for Genealogists, Ancestry 2001 has a chapter on Notaries on page 167 which is more of an overview.  This book is helpful but focuses on the Quebecois and you need to know about this because a lot of our English (British Isles) married French Canadian. There is a nice list of French legal terms and definitions in the Notary chapter.  I found a copy at the Ottawa Public Library in 2012.  I now have my own copy.
2.  Finding Your Ancestors in English Quebec by Althea Douglas, MA, CG (C), Heritage Productions Book HC02, 2001.
This book is geared to the search for English in Quebec.  It is not very expensive and should be easy to get copies. I have seen these for sale at conferences. The Heritage Quest Research Library in Sumner, WA has these books and maybe they will sell you one?  http://www.hqrl.com/contactus.html

As I learn more about Quebec genealogical research I will continue to share my discoveries on this blog. There are a couple of websites I want to explore that I have learned about on my last trip there in 2012, see the Quebec Links on the right side of this blog.

There are other ways to learn about this subject and one is to go to the genealogical societies in the area and see if they can help.

UPDATE:  I have fixed the numbering system of the different suggestions sorry for the inconvenience.


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!


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.

Ontario Wanderings: The Glengarry area…Again…

September 30, 2014

The highway that follows the St. Lawrence in Glengarry is one of my favorite places.  I like the gentle drive along the waterfront with the St. Lawrence on one side and the houses either on the water or set back.

The St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River

There are little docks, with boats. I noticed that the signs had been updated to reflect the South Glengarry township change.  I still think of it as Glengarry County with the townships of Lochiel, Kenyon, Charlottenburgh and Lancaster.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glengarry_County,_Ontario

The New sign for Glengarry

The New sign for Glengarry

Since I had viewed a copy of Part IV of Duncan’s charts, I didn’t have to go into the Cornwall Public Library and the Cornwall Room.  I had been there in 2012 so I knew what they had and given them a booklet of my McDonald’s side.  I do recommend the Cornwall Room for genealogical research.  http://www.cornwall.ca/en/webadmin/publiclibrary.asp  I do want to warn you that the library’s website it not real helpful but you can go to their local history link and do searches. The Cornwall Room has limited hours so make sure you know those hours before you head out to this library in downtown Cornwall.  Parking is behind the library and you do have to feed the meter. http://library.cornwall.on.ca/

You can read about my first visit dated June 24, 2012 “The Cornwall Public Library’s Genealogical & History Collection.

The Genealogical Society of St. Laurent has moved to the basement of the Cornwall Library and I could go in and see if they were open for business and it looks like they might be keeping Saturday hours. http://genealogieetarchivessaintlaurent.ca/

You can read about my first visit to them in 2012 at this post dated June 24, 2012 “A Gem in the United Counties of S.D.&G: La Genealogie et archives Saint-Laurent Inc.”

I decided I needed some downtime and to rest so I hung around my motel room.  Now I stayed at this motel one night on my trip in 2012.  It is the motel Monte Carlo and it is right on the St. Lawrence River just a little past the main downtown area of Cornwall.  Now it is not a fancy motel but it is so convenient.  It is just beyond St. Anthony St. and a bit before Boundary Rd. and right on Hwy 2.  She put me in room #4 again and fortunately, things had improved since my last visit.  So I was happy.  http://www.montecarlomotel1700.com/  Now if you want breakfast you have to go out.  They did have coffee but I would plan to bring your own just in case.  I did have a microwave and refrigerator.

Motel Monte Carlo

Motel Monte Carlo

The Wharf at the Monte Carlo

The Wharf at the Monte Carlo

Just east along Hwy #2 is the Blue Anchor Bar and Grill.  I had found this restaurant on my last trip and had sat out on their veranda watching the boats go by.  I forgot one thing and that is it was fall this time not spring and it was a bit cool out there on their veranda but I persevered.  http://www.blueanchor.ca/ They are also on Facebook.

Blue Anchor Bar & Grill

Blue Anchor Bar & Grill

The veranda was a little cold

The veranda was a little cold

I had made arrangements to meet with someone at one of the little historical societies in the area but it didn’t work out.   I had hoped to ask a ton of questions but it didn’t happen and I have had a discussion with myself about being more careful.

However, I did get a little drive through the Glengarry area and when I turned off of Hwy 34 onto Hwy 24 and saw these church spires I realized that it was the St. Columba and Kirkhill Churches that I had visited the last time.  I had come south on the Military Road and saw them in the distance and was just blown away.  They were still pretty impressive.

St. Columba Church & Cemetery

St. Columba Church & Cemetery

In Alexandria I wandered around and found this lovely lake and another cemetery The United Church Cemetery.

Mill Pond

Mill Pond

United Church Cemetery in Alexandria

United Church Cemetery in Alexandria

I stopped at Dimitri’s for an early dinner.  It was a little stormy and windy so I ate my early dinner inside   Dimitri is in Summerstown and right on the St. Lawrence.  I decided to try a Greek plate and it was very good.  They said they would be offering breakfast starting in October so you might want to check it out.  Dimitri’s is a little east of Hwy 27 in Summerstown.

Anything having to do with MacDonells is something that I will take a few minutes to stop and study.  There is a plaque on the Hwy 2 for Lt. Colonel John MacDonell (Abercalder).  It is on the south side of the road.  You can pull into Stone House Point Road and park and then walk over to the plaque.  It you get to Rae Road you are either past or just about there depending on which way you are headed.

Plaque for John MacDonell

Plaque for John MacDonell

 

The Plaque for John MacDonald (Abercalder)

The Plaque for John MacDonald (Abercalder)

There are supposed to be remnants of the house he built-in this area but it is all private property so I did not try to venture further.  I did try to peek over the bushes but I could not see anything in the area that might be ruins.  Google Earth just sees lots of trees in the area.

There are lots of historical plaques in the area and one could spend a lot of time driving around and finding them.

http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=13373

Try these links.

http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques_STU/Plaque_Stormont42.html or go here.

http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Locations/Location_DirectoryStormont.html

Here is a list of the posts and dates of my 2012 tour of the Glengarry, Ontario area.  You can find them using the archive box on the right of this blog.

  • At Last! Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry!, June 22, 2012
  • An Overview: Dundas, Stormont and the city of Cornwall, Ontario, June 24, 2012
  • The Cornwall Public Library’s Genealogical & History Collection, June 24, 2012
  • A Gem in the United Counties of S.D.&G: La Genealogie et archives Saint-Laurent, Inc., June 24, 2012
  • Cornwall Community Museum! June 25, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry:  Glengarry Archives & the Sir John Johnson House, June 26, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: The Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum, June 26, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry:  Williamstown, June 26, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry:  Dunvegan & The Glengarry Pioneer Museum, June 27, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry:  Alexandria “The Centre of Glengarry,” June 27, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: St. Raphael’s, June 28, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: Martintown, June 28, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: St. Andrews West (Stormont), June 28, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: Lancaster, June 28, 2012
  • Last Night in Cornwall, A Turn of Events and a lovely view!, June 28, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: Cornwall to South Lancaster, June 29, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry:  Kirkhill, June 29, 2012
  • Touring Glengarry: Lochiel, Glen Sandfield, Dalkeith, June 29, 2012
  • Prescott, Russell, The Ottawa River & Ottawa!, June 29, 2012

Ontario Musings: Brock University and the Loyalist Collection

September 16, 2014

On Monday, September 8, 2014 I visited Brock University’s Special Collections.  They have a Loyalist Collection there.  My goal was to seek out information on Solomon Goss, my 4th great-grandfather who, according to the Pennsylvania history books was held prisoner at Forty Fort but escaped? I was hoping that Lt. Colonel John Butler the man who was responsible for this attack on the valley of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania would shed light on this subject of prisoners.

My father’s side has the potential for Loyalists to be included in his family tree. I do know that some members of the Goss family were Loyalists but I will talk about that subject in future posts on my Solomon Goss blog.

Here is the link to the Loyalist collection at Brock: http://www.brocku.ca/library/collections/special-collections-archives

and

http://www.brockloyalisthistorycollection.ca/

http://www.brockloyalisthistorycollection.ca/collection.html  scroll to the bottom and click on the link and you will get a very nice list.

My lodging for the night had been the Heritage House Bed and Breakfast in St. Catharines.  It is about five minutes from Brock.  It is on Edmond Street between Catherine and George Streets. It has steep stairs so keep that in mind.  It was very lovely and breakfast was delicious. I was well cared for.  Make sure you get all you need from your car they turned the lights out and it was very dark and I did not have a flashlight.

Heritage House B&B in St. Catherines.

Heritage House B&B in St. Catharines.

My route was west on Welland and south on Ontario and then south on Glenridge Road. I parked in the visitor parking turning right at the Brock University main campus sign.

Main campus sign Brock University

Main campus sign Brock University

My destination was the Schmon Tower and the 10th floor.  Visitor parking is at the entrance near the sign so you do have to walk well into the main park of the campus.

Once you are at the building go into the entry way and you will find the elevators.  It is a little tricky to get to the 10th floor.  Go past the elevators and through the doors on the left and walk around to the other side of the elevators and then you can go up.  You cannot access the upper floors from the first floor. You can see the upper floor elevators through the glass but you cannot go through the locked door.  I was fortunate because I ran into Dave the Archivist of the Special Collections and he knew who I was from my email to him a month ago.  So he took me up to the 10th floor and got me started.

Schmon Tower Brock University

Schmon Tower Brock University

My main task was to look at the John Butler Papers by Smy.  It was a transcription/abstraction of the correspondence and was in four volumes with dates.  I targeted Volume II 1778 to 1779, which had the Wyoming Valley information.  Mr. Smy had abstracted and transcribed a variety of letters not just from John Butler but other individuals.  It was very interesting.

Smy's books and volumes

Smy’s books and volumes

Source:  “The Butler Papers: documents and papers relating to Colonel Butler and his corp of rangers 1711-1977″ in four volumes, by William A. Smy, 1994.

Special Collections 10th floor, Brock University

Special Collections 10th floor, Brock University

I had written down my list of books and documents to review but was required to write it all down on their form.  So be prepared to spend about 10 minutes getting your order ready. I suppose you could ask them to scan and email you the form in advance, it is at least worth a try?

Now I could have looked at microfilm of the Haldimand papers but I decided that Mr. Smy was probably comprehensive enough to tell me that I was not going to get any details from Lt. Colonel Butler.  Mr. Smy has the UE initials and he may have left something out based on his perspective but I think he was probably very thorough.  I did take photos of the pages that interested me and will discuss this at a later date on my Solomon Goss blog.

Lt.  Colonel John Butler was writing from the perspective of a soldier reporting to his superiors and he wanted it to look good of course.  He was not interested in personalizing the individuals he attacked in New York or Pennsylvania.  To him they where rebels and nothing else. Remember I did say one country’s hero is another’ villain?

Here are a couple of titles I took a look at, not all:

“The Burning of the Valleys, Daring Raids from Canada Against the New York Frontier in the fall of 1780,” by Gavin K. Watt was a nice book, a little late for my Goss family but very interesting.  They seemed to think that the area of the Susquehannah was a New York dispute about land.  My understanding is that it was between Pennsylvania and Connecticut?

“An Annotated Nominal Roll of Butler’s rangers 1777-1784 with Documentary Sources,” compiled and arranged by Lt. Col. William A. Smy, OMM, CD, UE. This listed the soldier and then gave information about them.  I was particularly interested in McDonell’s.

“Loyalists & Early Settler on the Niagara River Parkway,” by Gail Woodruff U.E., 1968.  This book was well done and I really liked the sources which can give you ideas for research.  Here is a brief list:  Crown land papers, books about the subject and specific locations, Haldimand Collection, 17th report of the report of the Dept. of Public Records Archives of Ontario, The Niagara Gleaner (newspapers), wills, Heir and Devisee Commission etc.

The U.E.L. Association also has a page listing sources and that is a good place to start: http://www.uelac.org/

For those researching the very early years of the Glengarry area (Eastern or Lunenburg districts).  The McNiff Map is a must see.  This is an index on CD Rom.

McNiff Index CD

McNiff Index CD

“Index to the 1786 McNiff Maps of the Townships of Lancaster, Charlottenburgh, Cornwall, Osnabruck, Williamsburgh and Matilda (The Loyalist Maps),”  This is a CD and it is very good and it also includes information from the book  “Lunenburgh or the Old Eastern District Its Settlement and Early Progress.”  This last book is at Internet Archive.

There is so much more that one could research in this Loyalist collection.  This is not the only collection for Loyalists.  I will mention them as I travel along.

I did ask about the submission papers that an applicant would prepare and give to a loyalist organization.  I wanted to know where they keep these applications and how do you access them?  The special collections attendants didn’t know but I have seen books that abstract these applications and I assume that there may be privacy issues.  I also assume you may have to be a member to access them?  I do know that some Loyalist were just given the letters as an honor to them whether papers of where submitted later I do not know?

I encourage you to visit them at Brock they where all very helpful and welcoming on the Special Collections floor.  The Visitor parking is small so get their early.  The person who gathered up my choices was efficient and helpful pulling items quickly and piling them up next to me as she found them.

Once I had gone through reviewing my choices it was time to move on.  I stopped by the student cafeteria and purchased a hamburger.  Sitting in a university student cafeteria always brings back memories of my college days at Central in Ellensburg and at the University of Washington which was a long time ago.

The view north from the 10th floor.

The view north from the 10th floor, St. Catharines, Ontario

 


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