Life and death on the farm

A few years ago, someone gave me a copy of the Hamilton family tree, starting with immigrant couple Robert Hamilton ((1789-1875) and his wife Elizabeth Stobo (1790-1853) and including up to six generations of their descendants.  Dates, places and occupations were not mentioned, however, and I wondered who these distant relatives were.  Fortunately, the Hamilton family is well documented on Ancestry.ca, however, the Scottish habit of using the same names over and over makes the task confusing.

Their health also interested me. A number of my direct ancestors died of heart disease, so I wondered whether my great-grandfather James Hamilton’s siblings also suffered from this condition.

In 1829, Robert and Elizabeth immigrated from the town of Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire to Scarborough, Canada West, now a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, where many of their friends and relatives also settled. When they arrived, their children – Elizabeth, Janet, Agnes, Robert, Margaret and James — were still young. Robert continued to practice his trade as a weaver, meanwhile reinventing himself as a farmer.

Settler Robert Hamilton, my great-great grandfather. Photo courtesy Fran Solar.

Elizabeth Stobo died at age 63, while Robert Hamilton lived to the ripe old age of 86. Two of his sisters also came to Canada, and both had long lives. Agnes Hamilton (1791-1878) and her husband Robert Rae and their four young children arrived in Ontario in 1832. Robert Rae was killed by a falling tree within weeks of their arrival, but Agnes and her children eventually purchased their own farm in Lambton County, Southwestern Ontario. According to her death record, Agnes died of “old age” at 87.

Robert’s younger sister, Janet Hamilton (1800-1882), married in Canada. Her husband, farmer John Martin, was originally from Dumfriesshire. John died at age 83 and Janet succumbed to “dropsy from heart disease.” at 81. The Martins had two sons and a daughter.

Scarborough Township had fertile soil and the Hamiltons must have enjoyed their new lifestyle because the next generation were all farmers. The 1861 census – 32 years after the family immigrated – showed that four of Robert’s children remained in Scarborough Township and neighbouring Markham, while the other two settled about 230 kilometers away in Southwestern Ontario. Eventually one branch of the family – mine – became pioneers again, this time moving to Western Canada.

Robert’s and Elizabeth’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth (1817-1894), married farmer William Oliver (c. 1814-1904), who was from Dumfriesshire. Around 1842, the couple settled in a part of Scarborough that did not yet have a road. They cleared the trees, built a two-story stone house and established a farm that became known for its beautiful flower garden. When they finally sold the property some 35 years later, it brought them more than $100 an acre! They retired to Agincourt, where Elizabeth died of cancer at age 76. They had no children.

In 1842, Janet Hamilton (1818-1897) married Robert Reid (1810-1880), who also came from Lesmahagow. They raised nine children on their farm in Markham. According to her death record, Janet died at age 79 of “old age and heart disease” and all of her sons and daughters died of stroke or heart disease between the ages of 49 and 89.

Robert Hamilton’s stone farmhouse in Agincourt, Scarborough. This photo was taken in the early 1940s. courtesy Alison Wright.

Agnes Hamilton (1821-1897) married Scarborough farmer James Green (c. 1816-1872) from Dumfriesshire and raised seven children. Agnes’s many grandchildren called her Nannie. When James and his family left Ontario, Agnes’s son James purchased his uncle’s Scarborough property. Agnes died of bronchitis at age 76.

Robert Hamilton (1824-1871) was a farmer like his father, but he left the Scarborough area for cheaper agricultural land in Bosanquet Township, Lambton County. This part of Southwestern Ontario, near the shores of Lake Huron, was opened to settlement in the 1830s, but development was hampered in the early years by a lack of roads. It remained rural, and farmers there grew primarily wheat and peas and raised pigs and cattle. Robert and his wife, Janet Smith (1824-1899), had five children. Shortly after being counted in the 1871 census, Robert died of typhoid fever at age 46. In the 1881 census, the widowed Jennet was listed as “female farmer,” living with her grown daughter and three sons. In many families, the oldest son would be counted as head of the family, but not in this one. Of their children, only James married, and some of his descendants still live in the area today. Robert, his wife and children are buried in Pinehill Cemetery, Thedford, Ontario.

Margaret Hamilton (1827-1891) married James Gordon (c. 1820-1903) and had seven children. They settled in Middlesex County, in Southwestern Ontario, around 1860 and farmed there for 22 years. After selling that property, they purchased a small garden farm. Margaret died at age 64 of angina. Descendants of this family also remain in Southwestern Ontario.

As for James Hamilton (1829-1885), after farming in Scarborough for more than 20 years, in 1882 he became a founding settler of Saskatoon, which at that time was an alcohol-free community of farms surrounding a tiny hamlet. His wife and family moved West the following year. In 1885, James travelled east to visit his relatives and he died there of a heart attack at age 56. He is buried beside his parents in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Cemetery, Scarborough.

Thus I discovered that the first generation of my Scottish immigrant ancestors were farmers and that most enjoyed long lives, although heart disease made a frequent appearance in their death records. My great-grandfather was the outlier, leaving Ontario for the West long before any other members of the extended family did so. And while his sons went to university and became professionals, the majority of their cousins remained in farming for at least one more generation.

Notes: Here are some suggestions for researching this period of Ontario history.

Local organizations, such as the Scarborough Historical Society, are an invaluable resource.  See http://scarboroughhistorical.com.  Several books about the community mention Scarborough’s early settlers by name. See  The Township of Scarboro, 1796-1896, edited by David Boyle, Toronto, 1896 (http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924028900970/cu31924028900970_djvu.txt) Also, The People of Scarborough: A History, by Barbara Myrvold, published by the City of Scarborough Public Library Board, 1997, gives a comprehensive overview of the community’s history. It is available online as a PDF from the Toronto Public Library.

Scottish baptismal records can be found on Familysearch.org. The image of this church document should be viewed on the Scotland’s People website. 

If you find your early Ontario ancestor on Ancestry, you will likely see links to other references to that person, although occasionally the link is to another person with a similar name, or to a son or daughter.

The original marriage documents contain identifying information such as the names of the parents of the bride and groom and occupations.

View census records to see where the family was living every ten years, the name of the current spouse, the names of the children living in the same household, and each person’s occupation. The 1901 census includes the day, month and year of each individual’s birth, although that date may not correspond with other records. (Census informants made mistakes.) City directories are also useful, although they only list the household head.

Ontario death records from this period can be found on Ancestry.ca by searching the database “Ontario Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas, 1869-1948.” Some women are listed under their married names, others under their maiden names. These death documents usually include the date and place of birth as well as the date, place and cause of death.

(This article is also published on http://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.com.)

Cousins KNown and Unknown

For many children, cousins are their first playmates. Others never get to meet their cousins even as adults. I have experienced both scenarios.

When my father, Ian Angus, and his brother Oswald were discharged from military service following WW II, they returned to their home in Quebec City and the jobs they left when they enlisted. Ian settled in the suburb of Sillery and Oswald in Ste. Foy. Both eventually had three children each.  Although the children did not attend the same schools, they visited frequently and celebrated holidays and birthdays with their parents and grandparents.

Angus cousins with fathers and grandparents

My mother’s Willett family came from New Richmond on the Gaspe Coast. Two of her brothers, together the fathers of four children, remained there. Keith and my grandfather worked the family farm. Ralph, an electrician, built a home across the road from the farm. Every year my father bundled the family into an old Pontiac he named Rebecca and drove eight hours to spend the summer holidays with my Willett uncles, aunts and cousins. The kids picked strawberries, fished in the brook, and swam in the frigid waters of the Baie de Chaleur, a story much like Cynthia Rylant’s in The Relatives Came. “Then it was hugging time. Talk about hugging!” 1

Willett cousins with Aunt Kay on Baie de Chaleur beach

My seven Angus and Willett cousins were playmates as children and we remain close to this day.

But my mother had other siblings, two sisters who never married and a brother who married but died young and childless.

A third sister, Madge, also died young leaving two young sons, David and Paige, aged four and six. Their father owned an apple orchard in Abbotsford south of Montreal. Albert remarried and fathered two more children. He kept in touch with Madge’s family by sending a barrel of apples to each household every Christmas although the families never actually got together.

Paige and David with mother Madge

David grew up to become a notary in Montreal where I finally met him as an adult. He never married. When his father died, his step-mother and half-sister Louise moved into his home in Westmount where they remained until his mother’s death. Louise moved to Whitby, Ontario and later David joined her when he retired.

Paige forever remained a romantic mystery. My mother and aunts spoke about his early career in the Royal Canadian Airforce and a stint with the Canadian Snowbirds, a RCAF demonstration squadron, with adventures in the sky that further romanticised him for me. He later moved to the United States to fly with American Airlines and in 1971 he applied for American citizenship.2 He, too, never married. In 1972 a news article listed him as First Officer and one of the crew of Flight 96 flying from Los Angeles to New York who safely landed a plane load of 56 passengers and 11 in crew in Detroit when the cargo hold burst open in flight.3

A few years ago, David phoned to tell me that Paige had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the disease that has haunted the Willett family. My mother and five of her six siblings died with Alzheimer’s and now Paige was the first of our generation to succumb. David and Louise helped him to move back to Canada and enter a care residence in Ottawa near the home of his half- brother Stephen. In 2014, two years later, David called to tell me Paige had died at age 75. We had never met; we were never playmates; we were not even adult friends.

And what happened to David? I have not heard from him since he called about Paige’s death.  My emails do not bounce back but they are never answered. The message on his telephone says that his phone cannot accept incoming calls. My calls to all the Whitney names listed in Ottawa and Whitby prove fruitless. None of them are the Whitney family for whom I am looking. Ancestry gives me David’s his birth date but not that of his death. Perhaps David, who would now be 86, is still alive but struggling with Alzheimer’s, the curse of the Willett family.

  1. Rylant, Cynthia. The Relatives Came. Scholastic Inc. New York, 1985.
  2. Ancestry.ca, Nevada Naturalization Petitions, 1956-1991
  3. Wikipedia.org. American Airlines Flight 96
A close up of a piece of paper

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The Rebellions of 1837-1838 in Lower Canada

The Rebellions of 1837-1838 10-04-2020

The Battle of Saint-Eustache, Lower Canada

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebellions_of_1837%E2%80%931838#/media/File:Saint-Eustache- Patriotes.jpg

In 1837 and 1838 Upper and Lower Canada led rebellions against the Crown and the political status quo. The root cause of resentment in Upper Canada was against the corruption and injustice by local politicians

Louis-Joseph Papineau and his  Patriotes, as well as more moderates led the rebellion in Lower Canada. Their pleas for responsible government, were rejected in London.

The rebellion led directly to Lord Durham‘s Report on the Affairs of British North America, and to The British North America Act, 1840, which partially reformed the British provinces into a unitary system, leading to the formation of Canada as a nation in 1867.

Among the recommendations in this report was the establishment of responsible government for the colonies, one of the rebels’ original demands (although it was not achieved until 1849). Durham also recommended the merging of Upper and Lower Canada into a single political unit, the Province of Canada.

The contents of this database: contains splendid books, essays, studies, articles, biographies, dissertations, papers of the English and French languages. Many of these works are written by university professors, historians, a few archivists of the 19th and 20th centuries plus those of more recent times.

Notes: above excerpts are from en.wkipedia.org    and The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Click here to open the database: The Rebellions of 1837-1838 10-04-2020

Pages   1 – 44     Authors

Pages 44 – 52     Patriotes

Pages 53 – 54     Repositories

Pages 54 – 57    History

private radio inspector

The black-leather-lined plasticized bilingual identity card wacked my arm as it fell from the shelf. Until then, I had never really noticed the card among the many items my grandmother left me.

Luckily, its heavy construction protected the words on the card, which remain as legible as they were when my grandfather received it on January 4, 1936.

The Canadian federal “Department of Marine” issued the card to give my grandfather credibility as a radio inspector. It says:

“The bearer G. Arial is hereby authorized to issue and inspect private radio receiving licences in Edmonton East. He is further authorized to require the production of private radio receiving licences for inspection.”

Turns out that this little artifact hints at a short-lived controversy in Canadian history. The card expired on March 31, 1937, but it would be defunct before then.

The Department of Marine seems like an odd overseer of radio licences until you realize that early broadcasting began in the 1890s when Morse Code was used to enable ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communication. The idea of a public broadcaster begin in May, 1907, when the Marconi station in Camperdown, Nova Scotia began broadcasting regular time signals to the public.

The “wireless telegraphy” industry continued to develop with private individuals investing in ham radios with no regulation. By June 1913, the federal government decided to regulate the industry to protect military communication.

When World War I began in August 1914, private licenses were banned altogether. Only the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of Canada, Ltd. kept operating during the war years, in part because it became a research arm of the military.i

After the war, the private industry blossomed, particularly in Western Canada. Many of the new broadcasters came from multiple religious communities, a situation the federal government tried to prevent by setting up a public broadcasting system through the Radio Broadcasting Act of 1932.

That act led to the establishment of a licensing commission called the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission under the leadership of Hector Charlesworth. Charlesworth’s group censored many religious groups and political groups, but none more than the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Norman James Fennema described the controversy in his 2003 dissertation, Remote Control.

…in Canada we find a situation in which the original impetus for regulating radio broadcasting began with the specific aim of putting a rein on religious broadcasting. Originally directed at the radio activities of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, this expanded in the early 1930’s into a policy against the licensing of religious broadcasters, a policy initially justified on the basis of the scarcity of the broadcasting spectrum, but that survived the expansion of the system.ii

By 1935, Clarence Decateur Howe became both the Minister of Railways and Canals and the Minister of Marine,iii the ministry under which my grandfather’s job was created.

Howe favoured private broadcasting, and encouraged new private entities to flourish.

Prime Minister Mackenzie King preferred a public broadcast system however. In February, 1936, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) came into being, and my grandfather’s job ended.

Sources

i https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_broadcasting_in_Canada, accessed May 26, 2020.

ii Fennema, Norman James. REMOTE CONTROL: A History of the Regulation of Religion in the Canadian Public Square, PhD thesis, 2003, https://dspace.library.uvic.ca/bitstream/handle/1828/10314/Fennema_Norman James_PhD_2003.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.

iii https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minister_of_Transport_(Canada), accessed May 26, 2020.

The Châteauguay, Lacolle, Ormstown and Plattsburgh hostilities of 1812-1814

https://broeder10.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/war_of_1812_map.jpg

The Battle of Châteauguay

The Battle of Châteauguay on October 26, 1813, was one of many skirmishes during the War of 1812. .Approximately 1,500 Canadian and Aboriginal soldiers commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry confronted and halted Hampton’s force of more than 4,000 men near Ormstown They thwarted an attack by the U.S. in their attempt to capture Montreal, in order to cut off a major supply route for the Canadian and aboriginal soldiers.

Salaberry and his men used several clever tactics and tricked their opponents by blowing bugles and shouting, giving the impression that they were a much larger group.. This trickery was successful.

The skirmish itself lasted several hours and involved intense and repeated thrusts and volleys on each side.

Salaberry’s force of militiamen, Voltigeurs Canadiensfencibles and Aboriginal allies were able to fight back the Americans, who soon retreated.

The Battle of Châteauguay, a national historic site is 50 km southwest of Montréal on the north bank of the Rivière Châteauguay between the towns of Très-Saint-Sacrement de Howick and Ormstown.

This database contains several free online books of interest to both historians and genealogists.

Contents: Map of conflict area. Authors, Archives and History

Click Download to view the attached file.

Margaret votes

Nicholson Clipping of the 1912 visit to Montreal of militant British suffragette, Barbara Wiley. At least one Montreal society lady, a Mrs. Weller, wife of an electricity magnate, openly admired the suffragettes. She visited them in London and soon after invited Miss Wiley to speak at her Westmount home. where she got many of her friends to subscribe to Votes for Women, Mrs. Pankhurst’s militant -minded magazine. Most upper crust women who admired Pankhurst kept it under wraps. Mrs. Pankhurst was simply despised by many people, especially men.

Suffragist: A person who advocates for votes for women.

Suffragette: Someone who advocates militant methods to win the vote for women.

If you come from Protestant Canadians, especially Presbyterians or Methodists, it is likely you have a female ancestor or two from 100 years ago who believed that women should have the vote.

It’s safe to say, however, that none of these ancestors ever marched in a suffrage parade, as did some American women. They likely didn’t throw hatchets at store windows, either, as did some British suffragettes. Nor did they ransack golf courses or go on hunger strikes in jail like the most militant suffragettes in England.

The Canadian Woman Suffrage Movement was much more tame (dull and boring) than in the UK or even in the US. In 1913, in Canada, the movement was controlled by a group of elite matrons, most with wealthy husbands, who were highly invested in the status quo. They did not want working class women or even ‘excitable’ young women of their own class to enlist in their suffrage associations. Most of them weren’t ‘equal rights’ suffragists.

Some of these ladies wanted the vote solely to cleanse society of its undesirable elements – to impose their values on others. Some wanted to clean up or “purify” what they saw as a corrupt City Hall, that allowed prostitution (the social evil) and alcohol consumption to flourish. Others wanted the vote to improve the lives of children of all classes because they believed men only cared about money. These were maternal suffragists and probably in the majority.

Page from minute book of Montreal Suffrage Association at BANQ.. Hmm. Someone has crossed out a line claiming the association is non-militant. Ha ha. They also want to subscribe to Pankhurst’s Votes for Women magazine.

The Montreal Suffrage Association was launched in March 1913 at the height of the Canadian movement. The MSA was led by Miss Carrie Derick, McGill Botany Professor and the former President of the Montreal Local Council of Women. Two other McGill profs were on the Board of the MSA, they were male, of course, along with two church ministers (one of whom was a real Pankhurst hater) and socialite and philanthropist Julia Parker Drummond.

At their inaugural meeting, the MSA promised to conduct a ‘ sweet and reasonable education of the people.”

My husband’s great grandmother, Margaret Nicholson of Richmond, Quebec and her three daughters, Edith, Marion and Flora, were not invited to join the MSA, even if the girls lived and worked in Montreal. Even though they attended suffrage evenings sponsored by the MSA.

Still, they were avid supporters of woman suffrage. They left behind (for my own education) many newspaper clippings like the one at top covering all aspects of the topic.

I also have a 1908 letter from Margaret to her husband, Norman, recounting a huge argument she had about the vote with an anti-suffrage preacher relative. ‘I told him we don’t live in St Paul’s time and I don’t milk cows out in the field. ” St Paul was often invoked to prove women’s place is in the home.

Edith writes this in a 1913 letter from Montreal. “We are going to hear Mrs. Snowden (moderate suffragist from England) speak at St James Methodist Church, but she is not militant and for this I am very sad.”

So, she was all for the militant suffragettes, who were at their naughtiest and noisiest in 1913, employing incendiary and sensational tactics “deeds not words” to get their point across and making all the North American news feeds.

Canadian women finally won the vote, in May 1, 1918. A select few, those women with men active at the war front, had been allowed to vote in the infamous – and very undemocratic – conscription election of 1917.

Margaret Nicholson did not have a close relative in the war. She voted for the first time in December, 1921.

I have that letter too. Here is what she wrote:

December 7, 1921, Richmond, Quebec.

Mr. Fraser and I went down to vote at around 11:30. I did not want anyone calling of me and asking to drive me to the poll. I wanted to go independently. Mr. Duboyce called at about 3:30 and asked me if I had voted. I said, “ Do you suppose I would wait until this late hour to vote?” He was going to take me down in the car. He then came up and asked if my neighbour, I mean Ethel, would go to vote. Well, she would not. Later, I was invited over to Ethel’s. She said Tobin did not need her vote, but if she was going to vote, she would vote for him. Mrs. Farquarson did vote, but seemed ashamed. I have not seen her since. Mrs. Montgomery came last night, but too late to vote.

Of, I am so delighted with this country!

It did not feel degrading in any way.

Margaret Nicholson and her daughters, circa 1910 in their fancy white dresses.
Margaret’s 1921 letter to her husband. “How I love this country..”

If you would like to read more on the weird Montreal Suffrage Movement in 1913, you can find Furies Cross the Mersey on Amazon.ca.

I mix the story of the Nicholsons with the story of Carrie Derick and the Kenney sisters, Sarah and Caroline, who moved from England to Montreal and tried to start a militant movement. They were the sisters of Annie Kenney, Mrs. Pankhurst’s famous first lieutenant. I believe I was the first person to figure this out..thanks to Google News Archives.

If you want to read more about the Canadian suffragists and their involvement in the Conscription election, read my Service and DIsservice, also on Amazon.ca KINDLE.

Quebec During the American Invasion 1775-1776

 

 

The following excerpt:

The Journal of François Baby, Gabriel Taschereau, and Jenkin Williams sets the tone for the contents of this database. It focuses on the American invasion of Canada in 1775- 1776

“Available for the first time in English, the 1776 journal of François Baby, Gabriel Taschereau, and Jenkin Williams provides an insight into the failure to incite rebellion in Québec by American revolutionaries. While other sources have shown how British soldiers and civilians and the French-Canadian gentry (the seigneurs) responded to the American invasion of 1775–1776.”

This journal focuses on French-Canadian peasants (les habitants) who made up most of the population; in other words, the journal helps explain why Québec did not become the “fourteenth colony.”

The authors presented in this database and other sources have shown how British soldiers and the French-Canadians responded to the American invasion of 1775–1776

This database consists of the writings of numerous authors who wrote diaries, journals, manuscripts, documents, and books on the subject. Many of these are complete and free online.

In addition there   is  a list of Repositories.

Click here to view Quebec During the American Invasion 1775-1776

 

Pierre Gadois the First Farmer

There is always a lot of talk in this province about who is a “real” Quebecer. Our current Premier Francois Legault, wants to limit services in English to “Historical Anglos”. While I can certainly claim this right, having been born and raised in Quebec, as were my parents, I also have “Pure Laine” ancestry. I descend from Pierre Gadois, the first person to be granted land on the Island of Montreal.

St Martin Church in d’Ige, France

L’eglise Saint-Martin d’Igé in Orme, Basse-Normandie, in north west France has a plaque with the names of men who left for Canada and the saying, “Je me Souviens” (I remember). I don’t know when the plaque was installed in this ancient church but Pierre Gadois arrived in Nouvelle France (Canada) about 1636. He left in one of the earliest waves of immigrants from L’Igé. Nicolas Godé, his sister Francoise’s husband also has his name on the plaque. That family arrived in Ville Marie (Montreal) six years later.

Pierre, his wife Louise and two children sailed to New France as part of a settlement initiative by Robert Giffard de Moncel, the first Seigneur of the French Colony. They first settled near Quebec City on the Beauport Seigneury where Pierre farmed. Another child, Francois was born during this time and baptized in 1636. Pierre decided to move to the safety of Montreal after several Indian attacks. It was recorded that Hurons entered his house a number of times, beat him and robbed him of food.

While he arrived in Montreal after the founding ceremony in 1642, he was still a very early settler. In 1648 Paul de Chomedy de Maisonneuve the governor of the colony, awarded him the first land grant. Why was he given 40 arpents of land? Had he proven himself a good farmer? The answer was probably yes. The colony needed food to survive and as the majority of inhabitants were soldiers farmers would be important citizens. Pierre Gadois was well thought of as he was also elected the fourth warden of Notre Dame Church.

According to notarial records, Pierre farmed his land and later added to his acreage. It was François Dollier de Casson, the author of the Histoire du Montréal 1640- 1672 who referred to him as “Le Première Habitant” or first farmer of Ville Marie.

He built a small wooden house of 390 pi² (French square feet slightly larger than English ones) on some of his land. An out building of almost the same size was also erected. This land is now in what is called “Old Montreal” bordering on de La Commune on the south, rue St Pierre on the east and possibly McGill Street on the west.

Montreal was not safe from Indian attacks even with its protective palisades. Pierre continued to defend his land and his family. Even when he was well into his sixties, he fought bravely defending Charles Le Moyne and other colonists who had been attacked by the Iroquois.

I descend from Pierre’s daughter Roberte Gadois and her husband Louis Prud’homme. Roberte became the owner of a number of pieces of property, after her father’s death. The family continued farming as their profession continued to be recorded as production-aliment or food producers.

Montreal kept growing. When François Dollier de Casson laid out the first streets for Montreal, one, Rue Sainte-Pierre was named in memory of Pierre Gadois. A small monument in Place d’Youville, placed there in 1992 during Montreal’s 350thanniversary also honour’s The First Farmer.

Pierre Gadois Stone in Place d’Youville, Montreal

Notes:

Pierre Gadois (Gadoys) Born 1594 & died Oct 20, 1667 in Montreal age 73.Married Louise Mauger in 1627.She was born in 1598 and she died 18 March 1690 in Montreal at age 92!

Their Children:

Roberte Gadois was born Sept 15, 1628 in France & died Sept 14, 1716, Montreal, the day before her 88th birthday.

Pierre born Nov 17, 1631 died May 18 1714

Eitenne ?

Ernest?

Francois born Dec 2, 1636 No further information.

Jeanne born Jun 26,1638 died June 26, 1638

Joseph born Sept 28 1639 died Oct 1639

Jean-Baptiste born March 2, 1641 died April 15, 1728

Pierre’s father was Francois Jean Gadois and his mother Barnabe Gadois

He was the brother of Francois, Francoise and half brother of Valentine Gadois.

Dollier de Casson, Francois. Histoire du Montreal 1640-1672. pg 88

Adhemar – Fiche Biographique Centre of Canadian Architecture

https://www.remparts.info/adhemar_php/bio.php?I_NUMERO=GAD0001 accessed Jan 02, 2020.

Jean-Jacques Lefebvre, “GADOYS, PIERRE,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed September 3, 2020,

http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/gadoys_pierre_1E.html

http://www.perche-quebec.com/files/perche/individus/gadois.htm

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Gadois-12

http://www.perche-quebec.com/files/perche/individus/emigrants-en.htm#12 plaque in d’Igé

http://www.perche-quebec.com/files/perche/lieux/ige.htm#1

Here you can read the story about his wife Louise Mauger. https://genealogyensemble.com/2019/09/11/la-fermiere-louise-mauger/

Marin Boucher another Percheron immigrant’s story. https://genealogyensemble.com/2020/09/09/marin-boucher-pioneer-of-new-france/

The Protestant Channel Islanders

https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63931298

From about 1596 onward, Protestants families from various regions of Normandie and a portion of Bretagne, the modern-day Département of Côtes-d’Armor  first settled within the Channel Islands. Many of these families had resided along the coast of Normandie (Manche) were fishermen. They continued their trade on the Channel Islands. Around 1789 hundreds of families moved to Gaspesia and the Maritime Provinces, where many continued their seafaring activities in the new world.

Click on the attached PDF for a The Protestant Channel Islanders 50+page research guide. Researchers who have been looking for Protestant families who came to New France will find this guide helpful. It contains :

Protestant historical societies – National

  • Historical Societies – Regional
  • Archives – France
  • Archives départementales
  • Archives municipales communales
  • Bibliothèques -Libraries
  • Ancient Protestant newspapers
  • Publishers
  • Regional Genealogy
  • Most common family names
  • Genealogy Ensemble

 

Marin Boucher Pioneer of New France

The Percheron Immigration recruiting of the mid 1600’s was designed specifically to establish a permanent colony in New France. Robert Giffard (1587- 1668) was the first colonizing seigneur and did so at the request of the French King Louis XIII.

There was a specific condition attached. Giffard became Seigneur of Beauport as he was to be granted a large tract of land, including the resources. This area became known as the Seigniory of Beauport located close to Quebec City. It was the beginning of the Seigneurial system of land holding in New France based on the feudal system in France.1. He was persuasive and able to recruit skilled craftsmen to join him in this new adventure.                                          

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Marin Boucher, my 9th great-grandfather was one of the skilled stonemasons who was up to the challenge of joining

Giffard. He joined the Percheron immigrants. Although he had already established his family, he, his second wife, Perrine and three of his children chose to embark on this great new adventure.2.

Marin Boucher was born on the 15th of April 1589 in the Parish of Saint Langis, Mortagne-au-Perche. His first marriage took place in 1611. He married Julienne Barry. Together they had seven children. She died in 1627. Several years later he married Perrine Mallet. This marriage also produced seven children.3.

In 1634 Marin was already 45 years old. Nevertheless, he made the decision to join the other recruited Percheron families. They made their way overland to Dieppe with family souvenirs, their tools, and high hopes. The ships were waiting for them. They boarded the ship Captain Pierre de Nesle, Le Petit Saint- Christophe in April. 4.  They arrived in Quebec City June 4, 1634

Marin, with other skilled workers built Giffard’s home and 11 houses for the settlers. At that time, he also acquired a piece of land on the St. Charles River. He settled there with his family and worked as a stone mason and cultivated his land.

 Eventually he sold that home. In 1641 he had staked out land for both he and his son and son-in-law in Beauport on the St. Lawrence River. In 1650 upon receiving the formal title to that property he settled in Beauport Seigneury on property that was 1150 feet wide along the river and 4 miles in length away from the river. 5

Map of the property of Marin Boucher, and those given to his son Jean-Galeran, and Jean Plante. his son-in-law..

  Marin Boucher’s signature6.

In 1663 it was noted that Marin Boucher’s land was in Chateau Richer. Several of Robert Giffard’s disgruntled settlers had relocated after his death. His son, Joseph had revoked their land. They then moved to Chateau Richer. The parish grew and a new stone church was built. Bishop Francois de Laval confirmed 170 parishioners, including Marin and his wife Perrine along with their family members.6.

Marin’s decision to settle in New France proved to be a positive one. He is considered the first pioneer of New France. The 1667 census noted that Marin owned 8 head of cattle and 20 arpents of cultivated land. He and his family prospered. At that point he also owned enough land to provide for each of his children and their families.

At the age of 82, on the 28th of March 1671 Marin Boucher died.

Translation of the Burial record

“In the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1671, on the 29th of March died Marin Boucher after having lived as a good Christian and received the Holy sacraments of eucharist, penance and the last rights of extreme unction, was buried in the cemetery of Chateau-Richer by Monsieur Morel accompanied by the Reverend Father Nouvelle and by me doing priestly functions for them on the coast of Beaupre.” 7

(signed) F. Pillion, missionary priest

Marin Boucher is buried in La visitation-de-Notre-Dame Cemetery in Chateau Richer.

There are an estimated 350,000 descendants of Marin Boucher in North America. Are you also one of them?

Sources:

  1. http://www.perche-quebec.com/files/perche/individus/giffard-robert.htm   Accessed Sept. 1, 2020
  2. http://www.perche-quebec.com/files/perche/individus/boucher-marin.htm    Accessed Sept. 1, 2020
  3. www.prdh-igd.com      Accessed Sept. 1,2020
  4. https://naviresnouvellefrance.net/html/vaisseaux2/gensdemer/gensdemerGermanGi.html#gensdemerGermanGi
  5. 5.https://www.google.com/search?q=First+Families+of+New+France+Boucher+Drouin+cote&rlz=1C1CHBF_enCA912CA912&oq=First+Families+of+New+France+Boucher+Drouin+cote&aqs=chrome..69i57j33l2.49159j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8   Accessed Sept. 1, 2020

6.https://gw.geneanet.org/loiseau?lang=en&n=boucher&oc=0&p=marin  

7.https://www.google.com/search?q=First+Families+of+New+France+Boucher+Drouin+cote&rlz=1C1CHBF_enCA912CA912&oq=First+Families+of+New+France+Boucher+Drouin+cote&aqs=chrome..69i57j33l2.49159j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8   Accessed Sept. 1, 2020

8. https://www.wikitree.com/photo.php/8/80/Boucher-64.jpg   Accessed Sept. 1, 2020

Other references used:

https://gw.geneanet.org/loiseau?lang=en&n=boucher&oc=0&p=marin  Accessed Sept 1, 2020

https://www.geni.com/people/Marin-Boucher/6000000005948363015Free! Accessed Sept 1, 2020

https://www.wikitree.com/photo/pdf/Boucher-94  Accessed Sept 1, 2020

https://sites.rootsweb.com/~villandra/RenoP/2154.html   Accessed Sept 1, 2020

https://www.nosorigines.qc.ca/genealogieQuebec.aspx?name=Marin_Boucher&pid=774&lng=en Accessed 09.01.20

https://greenerpasture.com/Ancestors/Details/852 Accessed Sept 1, 2020

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/seigneurial-system

 

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