Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sense of humour marks Dedication and Leadership winner

Sense of humour marks Dedication and Leadership winner

North Glengarry’s Dedication and Leadership Award for 2011 goes to a lady of strong character, hard work, and a good sens of “ha, ha.”

She is Frances Fraser from Dalkeith. She was born in Montreal and raised in Lancaster with one sister and two brothers. Frances has a sunny disposition, and can always find the positive side of any situation she faces.

Without stating her age, Frances was born the year the movie Casablanca was made. It turned out to be one of her favourites, along with Singing in the Rain. Just to show that she has kept up with the times, she also likes the new Harry Potter movies.

As a young child, her best friend and buddy was a black and white mutt named Teddy. When Teddy was no more, it was time for Frances to start school and she occupied her thoughts looking forward to playing basketball at the lunchtime recess.

Wintertime meant “family ice skating time” in the Fraser family. They would skate for miles on the shallow creeks that seemed to be everywhere in the Lancaster area. Her Aunt Mary taught her to skate on boy’s skates. When they would all return home, everyone jostled to stick their feet in the old woodstove to thaw out. They are fond memories for her.

Frances says she “survived” high school with enough good grades to get into university.

She attended St. Patrick’s Ottawa Teaching Program. Once there, life got more interesting and at the age of 21 she graduated.

A 33-year fun, hard-working teaching career followed. She taught science and Physical Education.

Somewhere in mid-life, love found Frances.Marriage, a country home and retirement followed. Just to be “lucky”, she and Louis Loczy got married on a Friday the 13th in the same year that Prince Charles and Lady Diana were wed.

With retirement came new interests. Frances was sitting at the Dalkeith Library with Jean MacLennan one day a few years ago and the Dalkeith History Club was born.

Frances is the driving force behind her group, but credits the members with being able to inspire one another, while having fun doing something interesting for their Dalkeith community. Some members have come and gone over the years, either having passed away, or moved on to other things.

Frances says they all brought something important, in valuable and worthwhile contributions to the group.

Frances would like to say thank you to those members: Joelle Claudon, Dorothy Irvine, Louis Loczy, Irvine Barton, Peggy Phillips,Marjorie and Allen Campbell, Jacques Lavigne, Lynn MacNab, Brenda Noble, Louis Seguin,Nicole St. Pierre, Denny Allan, Rose-Marie Deley, Clara Taylor, Jean MacLennan, Douglas Irvine, Anne MacGillivray, Maggie Dean, Helen Kaufman, Stuart Robertson, Michael E. Cartwright, Phyllis Noble, Emerson MacGillivray and Anne MacDonell.

Frances, in addition to leading her group for the 200th anniversary events for the village of Dalkeith, spent hundreds of hours compiling photos and information for the Dalkeith Historical Booklet, and the Dalkeith Cookbook.

They attended spring trade shows in two towns, organized a re-enactment Historical Canoe Run down the Riviere de Grasse (Rigaud River) in April, had an unveiling of the Robertson Mills Plaque in June, as well as having participated in the Glengarry Historical Garden tours, and then running four days of non-stop events in July.

In August the group attended the Lake of Two Mountains Horse Show to sell souvenirs and promote Dalkeith.

In September they had a table at the Cornwall Square Mall to promote their last 200th anniversary event, which is coming up on Nov. 5, a silent art auction.

Frances is also a member of the Vankleek Hill Nature Society, likes to canoe and stays busy at home with lawns and gardens. Frances and Louis and their dog Honey do a great deal of summer swimming in nearby freshwater lakes.

Frances also learned to play the bagpipes and has joined the Quigley Highlanders Pipes and Drums, where she is happy playing in the middle of the back row.

She is a great person to work on a project with and is full of energy and optimism. Frances will receive her honours at the upcoming North Glengarry Business and Awards Gala on Thursday, Sept. 29.

There are 30 tickets left for the event. Tickets can be obtained by calling Tish at 613-363-5632.;


Thursday, September 22, 2011

A history of Knoydart-- HIGHLAND PATHS -- KEN MCKENNA

from the Glengarry News Wednesday September 14 2011
A history of Knoydart


(Editor’s note: Highland Paths columnist Ken McKenna passed away last week of heart
failure at the Ottawa General Hospital.)

The late Donald Simon Fraser of the Lochinvar Road once reminded me that I should
always give the original Gaelic spelling of a place with the pronunciation in phonetics and
the meaning of the word in English. This is easier said then done because phonetics are
purely a personal choice; Gaelic is a very old language and has many subtle sounds
that are unknown in English and difficult to render into phonetics. For instance, Donald is Domhnall and you would have hear a Gaelic speaker pronounce it to get it right. The closest I can get to it is Daw-ull, the first syllable rather nasal and the second very short but someone else may prefer different phonetics.

As far as meanings are concerned, Gaelic is such an ancient language that some words are too old or obscure to translate easily.

Knoydart as it is now written in English is pronounced Noydart, the stress, as always in Gaelic, on the first syllable. But in Gaelic it is Cnoideart, and is devilish difficult in English: Kron-dyarsht is the nearest I can get to the proper sound. Knoydart is a special place name here in Glengarry because because so many of the first settlers came from there.

Donald Fraser had a good knowledge of Gaelic, and said he always knew the east of Dalkeith as Cnoideart, but didn't connect it with Knoydart until he heard Gordon McLennan, the Gaelic scholar, pronounce it in Gaelic and in English when he visited Glengarry some years ago. And no wonder Donald was confused! The Gaelic and the English versions are so different that they sound like two different words.

As to the original meaning, I don't really know. It is very old Gaelic and could mean "hilly"
from the Gaelic cnoc , a hill or a high place. If that is so, it is well named, because Knoydart
is one the most mountainous areas in the Highlands of Scotland. It is inaccessible by
road and can only be reached by boat, walking for miles over the neighbouring hills or by

The easiest way to see Knoydart from a distance is from the south end of the Isle of Skye. For there you can view it as it has been since the beginning of time, although in prehistoric
times the Highland hills were forested and are now bare except for areas that have been planted with trees during the last hundred years. Nothing certainly has changed since the people left for Canada two centuries ago.

The population of Knoydart never exceeded a few thousand although it is a huge area of about 400 square miles. But it is almost all vertical: the people lived on narrow strip along about one hundred miles of shoreline between the ocean and the mountains and in a few glens deep in the hills.

The first settlers in Glengarry, along with others from the Scottish Glen Garry, Lochaber, Kintail, Glenelg, Skye and Breadalbane were joined by others over the years from the same general areas. They provided the leaders that helped build Canada.

They gave the lie to the calumny that Scotland was better off without them.

The truth is that the  Highlands never recovered from their loss.

More next time.

Columnist found identity right here in Glengarry

News Staff

When Ken McKenna bought his farm near Glen Sandfield in 1972, he never imagined that it
would be like walking into a gold mine.

Born in Montreal on Aug. 31, 1931, Mr. McKenna spent most of the first part of his life in
Quebec, where he spent much of his time operating the family flower business, McKenna CĂ´tedes-Neiges. In its heyday, the store was very popular. It had been in the family for five generations and, at one time, had five stores in the city. When it finally closed in 1997, many expected Mr. McKenna would have been devastated, but by that time – according to his daughter, Sine – he had gotten a new lease on life.

“The store’s closure freed up time for him to research Highland history,” she says.
“That was his big passion.”

Towards the end of his life, Mr. McKenna had three big passions: his family, his faith, and writing the Highland Paths column for The Glengarry News, something he’d done regularly since the early 1990s. His work even spawned two published volumes – Highland Paths and Highland Paths II, with a third volume scheduled to be published posthumously.

For Mr. McKenna, his Scottish roots played an integral role in his life. He was even carrying a box of bagpipes on that fateful day nearly six decades ago when he met his wife-to-be,
Anne, at Macdonald College in West Island on St. Andrew’s Day. The two quickly bonded
over their love of Highland culture and were soon married. Their union lasted 57 years and
produced five children: Sine, Robert, Jo-Anne, Brigid, and Mary Martha, who passed away four years ago at the age of 48.

At first, he didn’t expect his move to Glengarry to be such an enlightening experience.

“He thought he’d find a few Scottish names here but he didn’t think he’d find a mini Cape
Breton,” says Sine. “Glengarry blew him away.”

Suddenly, he was surrounded by people who also cared about the old country. Very soon, Mr. and Mrs. McKenna started the Glengarry Gaelic Choir. The Gaelic language had long been a passion for Mr. McKenna; he’d long been concerned that it was dying. He dreamed that one day, at least one of his children would be able to sing in Gaelic.

He realized that dream threefold. Today, Sine, Brigid and Jo-Ann can all sing in Gaelic and
Sine even teaches it privately at the University of Ottawa.

Mr. McKenna also had a passion for storytelling, something he demonstrated in his columns. He could remember about 80 per cent of what he read and he usually went throught four to five books a week.

Although Glengarry was his home, Mr. McKenna made it his business to make regular sojourns to Scotland. He used to dream about being a crofter in Europe, which meant renting land from someone and working it. But in the end, Glengarry was his real home.

Mr. McKenna passed away of heart failure at Ottawa General Hospital on Sept. 5, 2011. He was 80. His funeral took place at St. Finnan’s Cathedral in Alexandria on Saturday morning.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Announcing Alex W Fraser MacDonalds of Loup, Lundie, Fraser line Version 3 on DVD


Announcing Alex W Fraser MacDonalds of Loup, Lundie, Fraser line Version 3 on DVD

This is an on going project.

Over the past almost 40 years, since September 1971, I have collected a mass of information on Glengarry people and their ancestry. This included my Fraser, MacDonalds of Loup, MacDonells of Lundie ancestry lines. The foundation of this work is based on the MacDoanld of Loup chart I have, Fr. John MacDonalds Diary of Deaths 1819-1866 and the local Church BMD, mainly from St Raphaels and St Finnans for the earlier stages. Obits in the Glengarry News has likewise been very helpful over the years.

Version 3 of the MacDonald of Loup has over 11,111 name entries as this index shows and will be available on CD in a web card format.
This web card format will be accessible with any web browser. there are 5600 more entries in Version 3
This present work is over 100 megs & the family notes folder [containing photos, family info files, etc. is over 667 megs. Total over 767 megs

In this process we have published over 24,000 pages on Material on Glengarry County & area. This is equivalent to between 100 & 150 single named titles

Name index with some dates for Version 3 of over 11,000 entries  http://www.glengarrycounty.com/loupv3index.html

This version 3 if printed out from this DVD would be some place at minimum  between 800 & a 1000 pages.

Surname list for Version 3   http://www.glengarrycounty.com/loupv3surnames.html

To order go to http://www.glengarrycounty.com/loupv3index.html

Take care and God Bless
Alex W Fraser
Courtenay, BC

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Historic Plaque unveiled at Dalkieth, Ontario

Recently [ June 2011] the Dalkeith Historical Society erected &  had unveiled a plaque honouring the founding of Dalkeith by the Robertsons-- Robertson Mills

the above plaque reads as follows
Near this spot, John Robertson and his wife Janet McKay from Dalkeith, Scotland, built, owned and operated at various times throughout the 1800's, a sawmill, a grist mill and a carding mill in September of 1811, The Robertsons purchased lot 7 in what was then concession 18 of Lancaster township. The Robertsons are credited with building the community that was known as Robertsoin Mills, once the confederation was established Robertson Mills was then called Dalkeith, in honour of their Ancestral Roots in Scotland. The parents along with their two sons, William and John, and other outstanding community members, were instrumental in building and enriching a Thriving and self sufficient village.

the Robertson Mills plaque as erected

New entrance sign for Dalkeith, Ontario

Congratulations on the efforts of The Dalkeith Historical Society


Take care and God Bless
Alex W Fraser
Courtenay, BC

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Glengarry County 1790 Land List Names

Just uploaded the following 4 items to www.scribd.com  

Some good information for researchers in early Glengarry County


Charlottenburg-Township-Glengarry-County-Land-List-1790-by-Lot Number -Part-2

Lancaster-Township-Glengarry-County-1790-Land-list-by-Lot Number-Part-3


These 4 list will also become part of My MacDonald of Loup, Lundie & Fraser line connectionx version 4.  More info on this project  check out   http://glengarrycounty.com/loup.html  and version 3 index at http://www.glengarrycounty.com/loupv3index.html


take care and god bless
Alex W Fraser
Courtenay, BC

info @ glengarrycounty.com

follow me for updates on facebook   http://ow.ly/56n5d
get linked with me at http://ow.ly/56ncw

Monday, June 6, 2011

the 2nd volume of St Andrews Presbyterian BMD Williamstown name index for the years 1805 - 1834

Alex W Fraser & Rhoda Ross are pleased to announce the completion of

the 2nd volume of St Andrews Presbyterian BMD Williamstown name index for the years 1805 - 1834
inclusive ------ ISBN 978-0-921307-67-9
containing about 3450 entries under the following headings
Surname Christian Middle Father Mother Year Date Bapt date Spouse Location item Ref Notes

Not all categories have information as per this sample
Wright John 1810 Christian McRae Charlottenburg M25 SAWM mar'd 11/27/1810
This is read as follows---
M25 1810 John Wright married Nov 27 1810 Christian McRae, he of Charlottenburg in St Andrews Presbyterian Church Williamstown  SAWM

more info & to place an order go to http://www.glengarrycounty.com/standwmst.html
St Andrews BMD Williamstown for 1779 - 1804 Vol. 1  is also availbable

This now bring these church records indexed for the period 1779 -1834

thanks for your continued interest
take care and God Bless
Alex W Fraser

Thursday, June 2, 2011

40 years of preserving Glengarry County area history

September 1971 -- September 2011
40 years of preserving Glengarry County area history

This Journey started in 1971 when I started to do my Fraser & MacDonald, MacDonell family history

Then as the Glengarry Genealogical Society & Highland Heritage 1974-1994. Rhoda has been of valuable assistance on this journey since late 1976.

From 1994 to the present 2011 Rhoda Ross & I, Alex W Fraser have been working steadily in preserving the Glengarry County area family histories, Church records, gravestone Inscription.
We have published about 24000 pages of material on Glengarry County & area in these 40 years with more to come.

Currently being published May 2011 are Gravestones of Glengarry Vol 5, Kirk Hill; Vol 6, Breadalbane;  Vol 7, Lochiel - Glen Robertson -Dalkeith;  Vol 8, Dalhousie - Glen Nevis-- still being worked on;;.    St Andrews Presbyterian BMD 1805 -1834 name index, Williamstown;       My MacDonalds of Loupe, Lundie, Fraser Line & their connections Version 3 on CD

A photo journey of our many titles can be viewed at

More info on our many titles

To all those who have supported this venture, journey in any way, these past 40 years a very Sincere Thank You  to each of you                 AlexWFraser.tel