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Message #57032

Board Name: Scotland
Mary Walzer El Cajon, CA Apr 12, 2006
Looking for any info on my gggrandfather, Angus McKay & his wife Ardelle. They immigrated to Montreal, Canada from Scotland in the mid-to late
1800's. I don't know much but here goes. Maybe someone will recognize their story. Mr. McKay (we think his first name was Angus) and his wife (we think her first name was Ardelle Margaret, surname unknown) had four children. My ggrandmother was their first born in Montreal, in 1882. Her name was Ardelle Margaret McKay. There were three sons born sometime later, they were, Angus, Daniel A. & Walter C. Mrs McKay died sometime before 1903 & her sons were young enough that their father took them to an orphanage.
Ardelle was married on 10/9/1903 in Danville, Ohio, to Frank Benjamin Thompson b.1875 in Taylorville, IL. She took in extra laundry & cleaned homes to earn enough extra money to send for her brothers. By this time they were living in Springfield, IL. By the time they went to live with their sister, they were teenagers. The boys never married or had children. Between 1906 & 1928, Ardelle McKay & Frank Thompson had 6 kids, Gerald, Frank, Margaret (my grandmother), Harold, Annabelle & Walter. My grandmother & her mother were pregnant together & their sons were born just Ardelle McKay died 10/30/1942. Frank died 7/1/1946. They lived in Springfield all of their lives. Frank was a veteran of the United Spanish War. He was a master shoemaker, but had to work as a carpenter most of his life since there were
more jobs available for carpenters. I have a lot of pictures that appear to be from the late 1880's
and they appear to be of family gatherings in a rural mountain area on a farm. There is no information written on them & I have no living relatives to ask. I am pretty sure they are of the McKay family, because I can identify all of the Thompson photos. I have no idea what became of Angus McKay, my grand mother said her mother never spoke of him or her life in Canada. The McKay sons were not well cared for or well educated in the orphanage and their social skills left much to be desired. They were bachelors, they lived & worked together as coal miners in Springfield until they died sometime after 1942.
The only hint of first names for they McKay's came from my grandmother's sister-in-law. My grandmother once told her that her mother named her for herself & her grandmother.She reversed it to Margaret Ardelle. Her mother also went by Margaret but it was her middle name. I too have the middle name Margaret. She also said that her Uncle Angus was the first born son & was given his father's name. My grandmother said her mother was very adamant that all of her children finish school, but the girls only had to finish the eighth grade. Her mother was very religious, but did not attend church even though she was raised in the Presbytarian faith. She was also an expert seamstress, taught by her mother. She passed this on to my grandmother who passed it on to me. All of the names & dates I have came from my ggrand-mothers obituary and a beautiful little leather bound diary/journal that she received for christmas in 1900 when she was 18 years old.
I have it still. She only wrote her name and the date she received it. All of the other entries are poems or personal notes made by family and friends at different times in her life. I know from the note her father wrote that her mother had already passed away, but it was recent. He signed it Angus, not father. There were notes from each of her brothers who wrote of how much they missed her and the handwriting of that Angus was childish. Those are all of the clues I have. I hope someone out there will recognize this family's story as I have been up against this brickwall for the last 6 years. I would really like to know who the people in the photos are. They, like her diary, are in wonderful condition and were obviously treasured. Any information no matter how small would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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