Sunday, February 24, 2008

McKellar Genealogy Stuff, Trivia and More

While researching my family genealogy I discovered some interesting websites and blogs. You can read about my grandfather, John McKellar, at Anne's Family Bits (temporarily unavailable). Note that my dad's family were pioneers who left Scotland and emigrated to Ontario, Canada. Some settled in the Michigan area of the Great Lakes. My immediate family settled near Vermilion South Dakota in 1865. Here are some images of their former farm and the cemetery where some of them are buried.

My dad's niece, Dorthy McKellar, daughter of Herbert E. McKellar married Dr. Dewitt Dwight Shannon MD. Here is a Shannon genealogy website that I found while surfing the web.

My dad's grandfather was John McKellar, son of Archibald, who returned to Ontario Canada sometime prior to June 1876 and was never heard from again. Archibald's last will and testimate tells us that they lived close to Mosa township in Middlesex County, Province of Ontario. John is not mentioned in his father's will. It is quite probable that he met his fate with the indians. The Lakota Sioux perhaps. He left behind his wife, Margret Finlayson and daughter. His father and mother were Archibald and Janet Black McKellar. If anyone has some info on this, please leave a comment.

The McKellars of Prosperity:
I compiled quite a bit of genealogy stuff on this family. Many thanks to the Thunder Bay Historical Society. There is also lots of info about them on the internet. They made their fortune in mining. Mostly, copper and silver from the Great Lakes area of Canada.  Here I am working on a blog about John.

The McKellars in Mexico:
One of the best searches to date is about another McKellar family. They were originally sheep ranchers. While searching for an ideal location to carry on their livelihood they immigrated from Australia to New Zealand, then the U.S. and eventually Coahuila Mexico where they acquired about 250,000 acres. The family donated the ranch business records and many photographs to Cushing Memorial Library and Archives at Texas A and M University. there was once a real good website located here: La Hacienda de la Mariposa.  It was removed during an upgrade. That link was the name of their ranch. Charles Lindbergh was a visitor at the Mariposa Ranch. There is nothing mentioned about the nature of his business. It only says, "distinguished visitior." See photo collection.
Maude Margret McKellar, daughter of rancher David Harkness McKellar, wrote articles for the Tapanui Courier which was a New Zealand newspaper. Years later her materials were edited by Dolores L. Latorre and then published. The book is titled Life on a Mexican Ranche. A real good Western story.
All of the above led me to use Google Earth to find the exact location of this interesting place. Then I found Mexican Ranches for Sale on the web. You can see a lot of ranch land there.

Cause For Aircraft:
At this point I want to add in that the U. S. Army had airplanes before it had trucks. It was during the days of the Expeditionary Forces that trucks were acquired out of necessity. They were implemented to carry tools, supplies and equipment mostly for aircraft support. The drivers were usually civilians. The airplanes were called "Jennies." They were Curtis JN-2 and JN-3 biplanes. These planes were underdeveloped and fault prone. See: 1st. Areo Squadron. I enjoy aviation history because my dad was an aircraft engineer.

Ethnocentric Views ?
Sometime, when I get around to it, I am going to post my mother's family tree. Her mother and father had roots from Czechoslovakia and Austria Hungary respectively. My grand mom's maiden name was Pachan and grandpa's was Salechuk (formerly Salschock). I was told he was a cook in the Austrian army during WWI.
The Pachan family were farmers in the Slovinki area. Here is a link that was sent to me by cousin William Anikouchine. Recently cousins Stephan and Anna Kovalcikova came to California to visit. They own a hotel named Piller Manor House located in the town of Krompachy.
That's it for now. I hope you enjoyed it.
A man and his cat.

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