Sunday, 27 May 2012

Alexander “Sandy” Ival (1831-1911), farmer and ancestor of Canadian Ivalls

There are a significant number of people with the surname Ivall who live in Canada. They are descended from Alexander (also known as Sandy) Ival. This profile of his life is based on research done by Margaret Ivall Bymoen and published by her in 1983. As far as I know, Alexander is not related to me or to other English Ivalls.

Anne and James Dey emigrated from Scotland to Canada c 1837, bringing with them Alexander Ival, who was then aged about five years old. The name Ival / Ivel was quite common in the Moray area of Scotland at this time and this is probably where Alexander was born in about 1831. Anne Gauld had married James Dey in Botriphinie, Banff County, Scotland in 1833. Alexander could (as Margaret Bymoen suggests) have been Anne’s son from an earlier marriage, although there is no marriage, birth or baptism record to support this theory. I think it more likely that he was Anne’s brother. Anne is shown (with James Dey and their children) in the 1851 Canada census as “Anny Ivell”, aged 40. This census records married women under their maiden names. The Dey family (and Alexander) settled in the Cote St Gabriel area (near Saint Jerome) about 50 miles NW of Montreal in Quebec.

On 16th December 1850 Alexander (aged about 19) married Jane Kerr (aged about 17) in a Scottish Presbyterian Church at Chatham, Ottawa River, Quebec. Jane was born in 1833 in Quebec, the daughter of Patrick Kerr, a farmer from Ireland. Alexander and Jane went on to have ten children (eight boys and two girls), namely John (1852-1918), James (b1853), Alexander (1855-1922), George (1856-1947), Robert (1858-1929), William (1860-1940), Samuel (1863-1919), Mary Ann (b1865), Jane (b1868) and Edward (1870-1955). John, their first son, was born on March 10th 1852 and baptised in September 1852 at St Andrews Wesleyan Methodist Church in St Jerome.

The 1861 census shows Alexander Ival (aged 30, a farmer) living at Mille-Isles, County of Argentueil, Quebec with his wife Jane (aged 27) and children John (11), James (9), Alexander (7), George (5), Robert (3) and William (1).

In 1871 the family were still living at Mille-Isles and consisted of Alexander Ival (40, a farmer), Jane (37), John (20, a blacksmith), James (19, a farmer), Alexander (15), George (14), Robert (12), William (8), Mary Ann (6), Jane (3) and Edward (6 months).

Margaret Bymoen writes
In those years the men used to go to the bush in the winter or to build roads in the summer to make extra money. In the 1870’s the Carillon dam (on the Ottawa River) and canal was built (the work was done 1873-82). Sandy (Alexander) and one of his older boys went to work on this dam one summer. When fall came he sent his son home with the horses and said he would follow in a few days. He did not come home and it was assumed that he had met with foul play or in some way lost his life.
Many, many years later Percy Ivall (son of William Ivall) who was a conductor on the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) heard that there had been an old man by the name of Sandy Ivall at Sutton, Quebec. He went there and did some enquiring but found nothing.
In 1967 I decided to write to the minister of the United Church of Canada in Sutton, Quebec and to my surprise I got a photocopy of a death certificate of “Sandy” Ivall, died in 1911. His age and all corresponds with our ancestor and I think there is little doubt it was he.

In 1881, Jane Ivall (55) was living in Mille-Isles with her children George (23, a farmer), Robert (21, a farmer), William (19), Samuel (17) Mary Ann (16), Jane (14) and Edward (11). Jane is shown as a widow. Alexander Ival (50, a farmer, born in Scotland) is shown in the 1881 census as living in Sutton, Quebec with Bell Ival (39). In 1891, Alexander (60, a farmer) was still living in Sutton with Arbelle Ival (49) and also their daughter Susan (6). Alexander and Arbelle are listed as married. It seems therefore that Alexander decided to leave his first wife and ten children to set up home with a younger woman ! If he married Arbelle, it must have been bigamously (quite possibly he told others that he was married to her, but was not). Sutton is about 70 miles SE of Montreal, about 110 miles from Mille-Isles (which is about 50 miles NW of Montreal).

Jane Ivall nee Kerr

Alexander was aged about 80 when he died on 14th March 1911. His wife Jane died 18th March 1917 aged about 84. I have not found a record of the death of Alexander’s partner Arbelle.

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