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Minnesota Genealogical Society

1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Mendota Heights, MN  55120-1367
(651) 330-9312 • info@mngs.org

19th Century Plat Map unlocks Ontario Online Land Records -- or how I found Skunk's Hollow (Joint CIG and IGSI event)

  • 25 Sep 2021
  • 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Hosted Online by CIG and IGSI
David Trudeau knew some things about the Byrnes, Doyles, Collins and McDonnells - his Irish ancestors who came to Canada from Ireland in the mid 1800’s, and then moved to Minnesota in 1878. 

He had census and church records for their life in St Marys Ontario, but he didn’t know where they lived or why they came there. A visit to St. Marys, and help from the local historical society gave him a few clues about the railroad construction there and the influx of Irish laborers, and how they formed their Catholic church. But when he discovered how to link old cadastral maps with the abstracts of property records found at ONLAND—Ontario online land records—it opened up a new world of information that enabled him to follow these two laboring families from shanty living to home ownership. 

He was able to locate their property and the homes they built in St. Marys and was able to see how his great grandfather Mike McDonnell met his great grandmother Ellen Doyle - they were backyard neighbors in a place called Skunk’s Hollow, a shanty town now largely cleared and today the pleasant Kin's Park that runs along Trout Creek. The Doyles accumulated enough value to move to Minnesota and buy their own farm. Mike and Ellen went with, and using railroad experience on a Canadian track gang, Mike became a roadmaster for the CGW.  And David could follow the McDonalds (as they spelled it in Canada) who stayed in St Marys via land records and see how their lives changed over generations.

In this presentation David will show how he unlocked the world of info found in ONLAND. And of course there will be some stories.  

David Trudeau is a retired physician and researcher who has become an avid amateur genealogist, tracing his French Canadian, as well as Scottish Canadian, Irish Canadian, Yankee and Czech family lineage. He is the author of three articles which have recently  appeared in La Charpente, the journal of the American Truteau Association in English and French. He recently completed a study of his Scottish and Quebecois great grandparents in the Richelieu Valley and Eastern Townships of Quebec that will soon be available in hard copy in the MGS library and also in a published version for sale at http://www.truteau.org/store.ws He also has published a number of scientific articles and book chapters, and spent his medical career in Family Practice and Addiction Medicine, with teaching positions at the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the University of Kansas School of Medicine at Wichita Department of Psychiatry.

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