My research path is accidental for the most part and always surprising--like connecting with you. How staggering to think that descendants of Archibald and Ewen from the 1790s would be connecting in 2013!
My path began when my first cousin from Toronto and I from Southern California were cleaning out our aunt's apartment after she had passed away in 1998 in Waltham, Massachusetts. We found our grandparents' wedding certificate stating they married in Apple Hill.
The next summer my mother--one of the daughters of our grandparents--and I visited my cousin. Nobody had heard of Apple Hill. We found it on the map and took a road trip. Since we knew my grandmother was Presbyterian, we ended up at the two churches across the road from each other. I forget how we were directed to Lochiel. We met Eileen McGilvary at the oldest of the two Presbyterian churches, and she connected us with Donald Simon Fraser of Lochenvar Road.
Then I found out that our McPhees were related to the MacMillans. My great grandmother was Margery MacMillan and her father was Donald the Beaver. They were members of the Kirkhill Church. Margery is buried there with her son Hugh "Ewen." After that visit my mother decided that she too wanted to be buried there with her grandmother whom she was named after but never met. She was named after her but her spelling was Marjorie. My mother passed in 2006 and I took her ashes there to be buried.
Margery MacMillan married Little John McPhee of 27.5. I could not find his grave anywhere. How odd that he was not buried with his wife. Not really--Little John was a Catholic and is buried at the Alexandria church. It took me a few trips and digging around to finally find his grave.
Of Margery and Little John's children most of them left Lochiel. One seems to have died as a boy or young man. Another, Donald, I think married Mary George Hay and stayed. Hugh stayed and took over the farm. His sister, Mary, left temporarily but returned to live with Hugh. Christie apparently went to Michigan, and Jennie went to NYC.
My grandmother, Mary Margaret, married Russell William Middleton Robson from Huntingdon, Quebec. I speculate that he went to Lochiel to live with a relative, since there are/were a few Robsons in the area. I assume he went to work in the woodworking business; he did not want to stay on the farm in Quebec. After he married my grandmother, they went to the Maritimes and ended up in Nova Scotia--Kentville and then Halifax where my mother was born. As a child, her parents and two of her three siblings moved to Waltham, Massachusetts . . .
Thank you for the info. on the Alexandria Catholic Church. I was able to go through the baptismal books about ten years ago. They are kept at another church now; could it be St. Margaret's--still in Glengarry and about a half hour drive from Alexandria? I was able to find the recordings of Mary Margaret and all of her siblings. All of that was news to me because I only knew my grandmother to be Presbyterian. All of Margery MacMillan and Little John's children were baptized at the Alexandria Catholic Church--usually within three days of their birth . . . but they all practiced their religion at the Kirkhill Church--covering their bases? :-)
When Mary Margaret and her family moved to Massachusetts in the late 1920s anti-Catholic and anti-Irish sentiments were high. That probably explains why she never revealed her own Catholic connections . . . nor even told my mother that her grandmother on my grandfather's side--Russell--was from Sligo, Ireland.
I am sure there are more surprises in store for me, and I love all of this.
Sorry for my long-windedness,