Finding Our Roots at the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives

Last summer I felt really blessed to be invited to speak to Patrick’s Family History Group ( ), at the Arnprior Library.

Patrick’s Family History Group is a wonderful family history research group named in honour of Patrick Wohler.  Patrick was a wonderful journalist, and genealogist.  I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Patrick on occasions, and meeting him at various family history conferences.  When reporting a story I admired how Patrick sought out the true facts of the matter.  I shared this admiration that I had for Patrick with Patrick’s Family History Group, and encouraged each member to follow his valiant example in seeking out the truth in their own research about their family’s histories.

Laurie Dougherty, is the archivist who had contacted me, and arranged for my visit with Patrick’s Family History Group.  I was very excited to go to Arnprior because I have maternal ancestral roots that reach deep into Renfrew County.  I asked Laurie if it would be ok if I had a look at some of the land records in the archives .  Well I was not disappointed.

The archive contains a wonderful land records collection for Renfrew County which I was very excited to view.  Visiting this archive was an item that was on my bucket list of things to do, but I had never gotten around to actually going for a visit.

By tracing the census records for the family prior to my visit I could identify where the family lived in the region.  Knowing the lot and concession made it possible to quickly locate the family in the land records.   Being able to trace my great-grand grandparent’s land title history was fascinating.  The deed of land just happens to also resolve some issues about name spellings.  Who would have thought that an indenture would explain that Rosanna Corrigan, was as it states, “sometimes called Rose Ann Corrigan.“   This is not what I was expecting to find, but this simple fact is great because it clears up why her name was spelled differently in a variety of records.

There is something so exciting about actually running your fingers across, and touching the documents that your ancestors signed so long ago.  I followed the paper records trail back to the original Crown land patent that was issued to the Cull Family on the 22nd of November in 1875.  Rosanna’s first husband was Michael Cull, and sadly he died on the 3rd of June, in 1873 at the age of 35 from typhoid fever.  Rosanna married my great-grandfather Michael Corrigan on the 8th of February in 1875.

I highly recommend a visit to this particular archives with over 247 described fonds/collections you will not be disappointed, and the friendly service simply makes this archive even that much better!

Please do take a look at the hours of operation, view further details on their website at , and remember to make an appointment in advance.   The Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives is located at 21B Madawaska Street, Arnprior, Ontario.   Telephone:  613-623-0001.


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A blog dedicated to adventures in finding our roots.