Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Who Is Angus MacDougall?

After Don and I went to the Scottish Highland Games last month, we vowed to start putting money away for a trip to Scotland to visit the Clan MacDougall lands and castle.  Before making this trip we thought it would be a good idea to start working on a MacDougall genealogy so we'd know when his ancestors came over from Scotland and specifically where they came from.  Since it's going to take us approximately our entire lives to save up the money for this trip, we weren't exactly rushing on the genealogy bit.  Then, two days ago, while digging through Don's Nana's photo albums (that have been annoyingly living in my dining room for well over a year now even though my husband promised he'd give them to his uncle after a few weeks....grumph) I happened to stumble across death certificates for Don's grandfather and great-grandfather.  The death certificate for his great-grandfather (John) lists his father's name (Don's great-great-grandfather) as Angus MacDougall and his mother's maiden name (Don's great-great-grandmother) as Jennie Chadwick.  I showed them to Don and he was amazed, he had no idea there was an Angus MacDougall down the line.  The death certificates also revealed another fact: The MacDougalls are from Canada. Canadian Scots? What are you talking aboot?  So yes, it appears that the MacDougalls originally immigrated to Canada, which I believe was actually a pretty common thing, as I discovered some of the counties and town in Nova Scotia are actually named after towns and counties in Scotland.  Go figure.

Now that we had this little bit of information, Don and I decided to see what we could track down on our own about the MacDougall family.  And that has become my new obsession.  I think I have spent like 20 hours in the last two days hunting through documents online and trying to piece together the location of Don's family in the late 1800s.  And I'm sad to say that damn old Angus MacDougall is as far as I can get without another death certificate.  Who'd have thought that THREE Angus MacDougalls were born in Nova Scotia in a 2 year period in the 1860s.  Seriously people, Angus was the best name you could come up with??  Needless to say, since I can't figure out which Angus we're talking about, I can't move much further with the MacDougalls.

So, I decided to look at MY family.  Since my family came over from Italy in the early 1900s I thought we could just track them down and exchange our Scottish savings to Italian savings and go visit them!  That was until I discovered the town my great-grandmother came from was destroyed by an earthquake in the 1960s.  Damn.

So, if any of you HAPPEN to know of an Angus MacDougall born in 1864 in Canada....could you let me know?  Looks like we'll be trying to go to Scotland anyway...

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