Associated People: MacDonald, Mr Neil, Caoles (1831 - 1918)

2007.117.1

Neil MacDonald’s homestead around 1910

Photograph of the homestead of Neil MacDonald from Caoles in Moore Township, Ontario, taken around 1910.

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Courtesy of Mrs Ann Hentschel

Neil MacDonald was born in Caoles in 1831, the son of cottar Donald MacDonald and his wife Marion MacDougall. Sometime between 1851 and 1861 he and his brother Hugh emigrated to Canada. Hugh established himself in the Bruce peninsula where there was large settlement of Tiree immigrants.

Neil chose Moore Township where he purchased fifty acres of land in 1869 and an additional fifty acres in 1873. He cleared the land and built his homestead. In 1877 he married Catharine Beaton and the couple had four children. Life in the early years of the farm was a struggle.

Two of their sons died young; Catharine died a few years later, it was said, of a broken heart. In this photograph of Neil, taken outside the house he built, are his son Donald, his daughter-in-law Laura and his grandson Alvin.

Black and white photograph of Neil MacDonald`s homestead in Moore Township around 1910-1911.

Neil MacDonald`s homestead in Moore Township, Ontario around 1910-1911. Neil purchased 50 acres of land in 1869, cleared the land and built this house. L-R: Neil`s son Donald known as Dan; their dog; his grandson Alvin known as Mac; his daughter-in-law Laura; Neil himself.

2007.117.2

Neil MacDonald and his family around 1917

Photograph of Neil MacDonald from Caoles with his family on their farm in Moore Township, Ontario around 1917.

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Courtesy of Mrs Ann Hentschel

Neil MacDonald from Caoles was photographed around 1917 with his son Donald (known as Dan) and his grandchildren Mabel, Charlie and Alvin on their farm on the 6th Line of Moore Township, Ontario. The identity of the woman holding the child is unknown.

Dan married a local girl, Laura Richardson, in 1904 and the couple lived happily on the family farm. Neil continued to stay there until his death in 1918. As the children grew up they were expected to help on the farm. All three attended the same one-room school on Kimball Sideroad that Dan had attended earlier. Mabel would later teach there.

In 1923 Dan took out a mortgage to purchase an additional one hundred acres. By the end of 1932 they had lost everything. During the Great Depression crop prices fell to around half their former value and Dan was unable to make the mortgage repayments.

Black and white photograph of Neil MacDonald and his family in Moore Township around 1917.

Neil MacDonald of Caolis and his family on the farm on the 6th Line of Moore Township, Ontario. Neil is standing. His son Donald (Dan) and his children Mabel, Charlie, and Alvin (Mac) are on the wagon. The lady holding the child is unknown. This photo was taken circa 1917.

2001.37.1

Family history of the MacDonald family form Moore township in Ontario.

Family history of a MacDonald family from Moore Township, Ontario, who were descended from Donald MacDonald born 1795 in Caoles and his wife Marion MacDougall born 1791 in Vaul. Their son Neil born in 1831 emigrated to Canada in the 1860s.