Genealogy, Immigration, Ireland, Quebec, Research tips, Resources Outside of Montreal

Irish Catholic Churches in Rural Quebec: Bagot, Brome, Missisquoi, Shefford Counties

Between 1815 and 1837, an estimated 200,000 Irish immigrants arrived at the Port of Quebec. Many continued on to the United States or Upper Canada, but some settled in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. This research guide is designed to help you find Irish Catholic ancestors who lived in the Eastern Townships counties of Bagot, Brome, Missisquoi and Shefford.

Please note: When I identify a church as being an Irish Catholic Church in this research guide, I do not mean to imply that parishioners were mostly from of Irish descent. Rather, I mean that, at one point in time, at least 10 percent of the acts of baptism, marriage and death within a particular parish addressed Irish immigrants or their descendants.

If you are researching ancestors in this region, you may find the Eastern Townships Resource Centre (ERTC), http://www.etrc.ca/ to be helpful. For more than 30 years, the ETRC has been preserving the documentary heritage of the Eastern Townships and serving as an archival expertise resource for local heritage organizations.

The ETRC Archives preserves collections that illustrate the development of the Eastern Townships’ English-speaking community. Thousands of documents such as diaries, letters, minute books, photographs, postcards, maps, plans and audio-visual material are made available to researchers, and assistance is also provided to genealogists tracing their family roots.

The research guide attached below includes brief histories of the Catholic churches attended by Irish Catholics in these four counties, a list of cemeteries where these people may have been buried, a list of books and articles about the Irish in Quebec, and a list of website and archives you may find useful.

It is an expanded and updated version of a guide to Irish Catholic churches in Quebec posted to Genealogy Ensemble in 2014. Other similar guides that have been posted over recent weeks explore the Irish Catholic churches in Lanaudière, in Quebec City, and in other Eastern Townships counties, with more research guides covering other regions of Quebec to come soon.

Click on the link below to view a PDF of the research guide Irish Catholic Churches in Bagot, Brome, Missisquoi and Shefford Counties:

Irish Catholic Churches in Bagot, Brome, Missisquoi, Shefford Counties

 

Genealogy, Quebec

Biology and Ambition

 

marioncanoing

Marion canoeing circa 1907

Marion Nicholson, first year teacher at Sherbrooke High School in 1906-07, is serious about having a career. She is not focused, like so many of her colleagues, on finding a husband or ‘a pupil of one’ as soon possible. Or so she says in her letters home to her mom.

However, Marion’s “strictly private’ pocket diary  from 1907 suggests something else: that the young Richmond-born woman is very much torn between her biology and her ambition. In this little brown journal, eighteen year old Marion often comes off like a flighty Scarlett O’Hara type.

January 12: “Went to a card party and dance at Mrs. Griggs’. Had a grand time. Played cards with Mr. Watson, danced with Mr. Avery, had supper with Mr. Davidson and Mr. Sampson came home with me.” Marion even reflects on this coquettish behavior in a February 19th entry: “I believe I think too much of boys and am a flirt.”

Marion’s busy social life centers around skating parties at a Sherbrooke rink where she obliges many potential suitors – and turns down some others.

That Edwardian winter there are two young men fighting over the ultimate privilege to take Marion home from the ice rink, or the snow shoe club or the local youth hangout: Monty and Gordon.  It does get complicated.

Here’s the entry for January 28: “I slighted Monty by taking off my skates before his turn. He was quite huffy. I guess I will have to go skating with him tomorrow instead of driving with Gordon.”

For Feb 3: “Went to the theatre with Monty. I did not tell Gordon. Gordon was there by himself. He did not look our way the whole time.”

Eventually, this juggling act becomes too much for Marion. “I have decided who I like best and G is the one. I am tired of having two.”

In the spring of 1907, Gordon takes Marion canoeing.  The couple gets caught in a storm on the river and has to take shelter on shore. How romantic!  How promising!

By the time June rolls around,  Marion is getting anxious for the school year to end. It isn’t her work. She is exhausted from all the late nights and ‘dissipation’, as she refers to it in her diary. She returns to Richmond, 30 miles away, to spend the summer with her Mom and sisters.  Here, her social activities center on family friends: the Pepplars, the Clevelands, the McCoys, the Sutherlands and the Crombies.  In 1907, Richmond is a town without any eligible young men. They have all moved away to find jobs.

Marion helps support the family, so she isn’t expected to do work around the house. Most days she is bored silly.  She often sleeps in until noon. She sometimes spends afternoons taking ‘crazy’ photos with her Kodak.

Marion gets down on herself for this: “I think I am about the laziest person alive. All I have the gumption to do is sit and dream of what I would do if I tried. I have wasted two weeks of my vacation doing nothing, when I could have been practicing music or sewing. I hope I improve.”

In Richmond, Marion can go to church, twice a day if she wants. There are frequent afternoon teas hosted by society matrons, daily walks downtown to the mail to see if Gordon has written her, ice cream socials, croquet, tennis, strawberrying and country drives to places like Windsor and Kingsbury by horse drawn carriage.

Town tycoon Mr. Wales is the only Richmond citizen who has an automobile, but that will soon change.

Yes, it is the summer of 1907 (a year on the cusp of some game-changing technological changes)  and the living is far too easy for Miss Marion Annie Nicholson, an energetic young woman who, one day, will lead the PAPT teachers union while supporting four children as a single mom.

According to Marion’s 1907 diary, the most interesting thing to happen to her that summer is when some kittens get into the barn.­­

Oh, and there’s this entry for July 13th :“Lily Lyper nearly murdered. Great excitement.”

Even sleepy Richmond, Quebec had its share of scandals 100 plus years ago.

 
Mariaon1906sherbrooke

Marion, seated bottom and other Sherbrooke High Teachers 1906

 

tighsolas

Marion and beau in front of Tighsolas, their house in Richmond, Quebec

 

Afterward: (added March 14)

Marion did not see much more of Gordon, the son of a wealthy Sherbrooke merchant who would  be making a very good salary, 3,000 a year, in 1911 at the age of 26, this according to the Census.

Gordon married a friend of Marion’s, it seems.  In 1913, Marion married Hugh Blair, the son of a prosperous Three Rivers lumber merchant,  although his parents did not favour the marriage because by that time the Nicholsons were broke.

Marion’s in-laws did not attend the October wedding at the Nicholson residence on Dufferin in Richmond. Marion’s marriage contract was a nasty piece of work  saying she got nothing but the furniture should the marriage break up FOR ANY REASON.

As it happens, Hugh died in 1927. Marion was left high and dry cut out of the Blair family business, so she rolled up her sleeves and went back to work becoming a Master Teacher and WWII era President of the Provincial Association of Protestant teachers in Quebec.

She never re-married, despite having many suitors, such was her sex appeal even in old age. She died of a heart attack in 1947, a few months after representing the Canadian Teachers Association at an UNICEF education conference in Sevres, France. The Editor of the Montreal Gazette (another admirer apparently) wrote her an editorial page eulogy: “With the death of Marian A N Blair, education in Quebec, indeed the entire nation, has suffered  a serious loss. ”

In the end, Marion did have it all, love, work and family. It just came with some major trials and tribulations. Apparently, she never complained.

 

Genealogy, Immigration, Quebec, Resources Outside of Montreal

Irish Catholic Churches in the Eastern Townships of Quebec

Drummond, Richmond, Sherbrooke, Stanstead Counties

Introduction

From 1815 to 1824, an estimated 50,000 Irish immigrants arrived at the Port of Quebec, and 150,000 more arrived between 1829 and 1837. Many kept going, settling in the United States or Upper Canada, but some moved into the rolling hills of Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The region, which is often known by its French name, l’Estrie or Cantons de l’Est, includes Drummond, Richmond, Sherbrooke and Stanstead counties.

In order to determine where Irish Catholic immigrants settled in Quebec, I reviewed hundreds of books of marriages, baptisms and deaths in Catholic parishes of Quebec. These books are kept at the Bibliothèque Archives nationales du Québec in Montreal (BAnQ Vieux-Montréal). I also reviewed microfilms there. I did most of this work between 2006 and 2009, and carried out a further review in 2014.

Please note: When I identify a church as being an Irish Catholic Church in this research guide, I do not mean to imply that parishioners were mostly of Irish descent. Rather, I mean that, at one point in time, at least 10 percent of the acts of baptism, marriage and death within a particular parish addressed Irish immigrants or their descendants.

townships map

If you are exploring your family’s history in the Eastern Townships, you may find useful material at the Eastern Townships Resource Centre (ERTC) in Lennoxville, http://www.etrc.ca/ For over 30 years, the ETRC has been a center for the study of the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The ERTC preserves the documentary heritage of the Eastern Townships and serves as a resource for local heritage organizations.

The ETRC Archives preserves and gives access to collections that illustrate the development of the Eastern Townships’ English-speaking community. Thousands of documents, such as diaries, letters, minute books, photographs, postcards, maps, plans and audio-visual material, are made available to researchers. It also provides assistance to genealogists tracing their family roots. You can find out how to contact the ERTC at the end of this research guide.

The guide includes a brief description of the churches in Drummond, Richmond, Sherbrooke and Stanstead counties that the Irish settlers attended, a list of the cemeteries where many of them were buried, a list of authors, articles and books on the Irish communities of the region, a list of repositories and archives where the records relevant to these communities are kept, and websites that may be of use to family history researchers. I will cover other Eastern Townships region counties in separate posts on Genealogy Ensemble.

To explore the PDF covering the Irish Catholic Churches of Drummond, Richmond, Sherbrooke and Stanstead Counties, click on the link:

Irish Catholic Churches in Quebec’s Eastern Townships

Genealogy, Montreal, Quebec

The Decaries and the Prud’hommes

I have driven along Cote St Antoine thousands of times, through Westmount and NDG, without realizing my ancestors in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries also used the same route.

When researching one’s ancestors it is nice to find out where they lived, which city, town or area. In my case, the Decaries and the Prud’hommes can be located by the streets that bear their names. They farmed land in what is now the Notre Dames de Grace (NDG) section of Montreal. The Decaries have a boulevard and an expressway named after them. Prudhomme Ave is only four blocks long just west of Decarie and the street jigs and jags.

Jean Decarie dit Le Houx and Louis Prud’homme, two of my seven times great grandfathers, were some of the early settlers in Nouvelle France. They first obtained land in Ville-Marie as their names are on plots of a 1663 map.

Jean Decarie arrived from France before 1650. He was a stone mason and started quarries. He married Michelle Artus in 1654, after meeting her in Quebec City while there buying supplies. She had just arrived from France. By 1729 they are said to have had 82 descendants.

Louis Prud’homme was a brewer and a captain in the Montreal militia. He was another early inhabitant of Montreal as he married Roberte Gadois there in 1650. He was elected as one of the first wardens by the Sulpicians for the parish of Notre Dame.

The Decaries and Prud’hommes were two of 13 families granted land by the Sulpicians along Cote Saint-Antoine. Jean Decarie bought the first strip of land, concession 615 in 1675. These early roads allowed settlers to move away from the original walled city. The land grants were from the St Pierre River north to the mountain. The men began working the land while still living in Ville-Marie. They all had trades which allowed them to survive while they cleared the land, built houses and began farming. They were neighbours, friends and many intermarriages made them families.

For a time, the area was known as the “Haute Folie,” as those who lived there were fools to have left the safety of the walled city but these families continued to live in the same area for more than two centuries.

The land was on the south side on Mount Royal’s western summit (Westmount Mountain). It was good land for farming with many streams and wonderful views down to the St Lawrence River. They built their houses close to the roads and out of the wind,  not for the views.

The Decaries and the Prud’hommes became successful farmers whose land was passed from father to son and sometimes even to a daughter. In the 1731 survey, their farms were well developed and affluent with a house, barn and stable on all their properties. The Decaries were known for their melons. Musk or Mush melons, also known as Montreal melons, thrived in the perfect conditions of the area. There were also orchards covering much of the properties. Apple trees were common but also cherry, peach, plum and other tender fruit trees survived in the microclimate of the south facing ravines.

Intermarriages continued. My two-time great grandmother Sophie Marie Prud’homme (1812-1892) who married Barnabé Bruneau was the daughter of Jeramie Prud’homme (1766-1846) and Marie Louise Decarie (1769 -1855)

As the city grew, many of the farms were sub-divided and single family homes were built. Not all the owners were happy to sell their land. Although the Prud’hommes had earlier sold land to the church to build Église de Notre Dame de Toutes Grâces. Leon Prud’homme tried to fight expropriation of some of his lands by the Atlantic Railway. It was said to be “the most beautiful orchards in the country,” but the rail line was built. The first Decarie house was sold and demolished in 1912 by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to build a roundhouse.

After more than 200 years the farms were gone.

My great uncle, Sydney Bruneau, used to walk with his children around eastern NDG and tell them that they were walking on their ancestors land, and they were!

 

For a story about Sophie Marie Prud’homme and her husband Barnabe Bruneau https://wordpress.com/post/genealogyensemble.com/1040

 

References:

The Settlement and Rural Domestic Architecture of Cote Saint-Antoine, 1675-1874. Masters thesis by Janet S. MacKinnon 2004. Faculty of Urban Planning, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/80345357.pdf/

https://www.nosorigines.qc.ca/genealogie.aspx?lng=fr accessed Nov 9 2018.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography accessed Nov 9, 2018. http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/prud_homme_louis_1E.html

La Patrie, 6 October 1888, page 6.

Notes:

The 13 original settlers were Jean Decarie, Louis Prudhomme, Marin Hurtubise, Jean Leduc, Rene Bouchard dit Lavallee, Joseph Chevaudier dit Lepine, Jean Cousineau, Honore Dasny, Jean Deroches, Simon Guillory, Louis Langevin dit Lacroix, Pierre Verrier dit LaSolaye and Antoine Boudria.

Two Decarie houses remain today, one at 39 Cote St Antoine and the other the “Pink” house at 5138 Cote Sainte-Antoine. The Prud’homme’s house at 967 Girouard near Rue St Jacques is also still standing. It was the first farm along Upper Lachine Road. The other house we can see today is the Hurtubise house at 563 Cote St Antoine. Marie Hurtubise married Paul Decarie in 1686.

Another Prud’homme house stood until around 1900 though then it was known as the Saint-Germain house, originally ceded to Francois Prud’homme in 1708. In 1892 the property was subdivided into 68 lots on each side of Lansdowne Ave above Cote Saint-Antoine. There was another Decarie property that stood until 1912. It was on the property first purchased by Jean Decarie dit Lehoux in 1675 but likely built by his grandson Joseph.

My grandfather, William H Sutherland was looking for a solid stone house before he bought 28 Arlington Avenue in 1922. According to his daughter, “his first choice at that time was a detached stone house on Cote St. Antoine Road but it wasn’t available; it has since become a historical monument.” Was that the Hurtubise house?

I wondered what Janet MacKinnon was doing now after this very detailed thesis and found she had unfortunately died Feb 4, 2011, in Montreal, at 54 years of age. Thank you Janet for your informative thesis.

Genealogy, Immigration, Quebec, Quebec City

The Irish Catholic Churches in Quebec City

During the first half of the 19th century, thousands of immigrants from the British Isles arrived at the port city of Quebec. Most were fleeing poverty, famine, and overpopulation. Although most of the newcomers continued westward, a number, including many of the Irish Catholics, chose to remain in Quebec City.

In response to the sudden growth in population, the authorities encouraged the opening of new townships around the city. The Irish settled in Portneuf, Lotbinière, Dorchester, Lévis and Québec counties, north and south of the city.

In 1819, the Irish population of Quebec City numbered nearly 1000; by 1830, there were an estimated 6000 to 7000 Irish in the area, representing nearly a quarter of the total population. By 1861, 40 percent of Quebec City’s 10,000 inhabitants were English-speaking, largely because of the Irish families who by now made up 30 percent of the total population.

As early as 1817, Irish Catholic priests were tending to the Irish at Notre Dame Cathedral, and also probably at the Diamond Harbour Parish and the Church of the Nativity in nearby Beauport. The first annual Saint Patrick Mass was most likely celebrated in 1819 in the Congregationalist Chapel in Quebec City.

The earliest church record I was able to trace regarding the Irish of the Québec City region was in 1736 in the parish of Saint Augustin in nearby Saint Augustin de Desmaures in Portneuf County. Notre Dame in Quebec City claims to have records of Irish births, marriages and burials as early as 1728. After the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, English-speaking Catholics of Irish-Scottish-British origin were identified as such.

Please note: The use of the term Irish Catholic Churches in this research guide does not imply that parishioners were mostly of Irish descent; rather, at one point in time, a minimum of 10% of the acts of baptism, marriage, death at a church addressed Irish immigrants or their descendants.

Furthermore, especially during the early days following the arrival of the Irish in the Quebec City region, the registers showing baptism, marriage and death can only be found through the church records of Notre-Dame Cathedral, even though these acts may have occurred in another small church in the region.

At the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) in Montréal and Quebec Ciity, one can find multiple index books of Catholic marriages, baptisms and deaths. I selected the parishes I felt qualified as Irish churches (10 percent or more of baptisms, marriages and deaths) from these records.

For detail on the parishes that served people of Irish descent in and around Quebec City, click on the link to access the PDF:  Irish Catholic Churches of Quebec City

For more background, see,

http://www.irishheritagequebec.net/the-celtic-cross/

https://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/en/citoyens/patrimoine/quartiers/vieux_quebec/interet/immigration_au_port_de_quebec.aspx

https://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/en/citoyens/patrimoine/quartiers/saint_jean_baptiste/interet/irlandais_origine_quebec.aspx

http://saintpatrickquebec.com/en/quebec-and-the-irish/

http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/494

 

Genealogy

Family Reunions

There are moments in time that never seem to disappear from our memory. It is as if they were yesterday. As a fledgling genealogist surfing the internet on Yahoo late into the evening some years ago, I came upon the Finnish American Heritage Society. A tiny photograph caught my eye and sparked interest. Once I read the caption, I realized I had found a treasure I could never have imagined!   

The first thing I did was enlarge it and print it. As my printer went from side to side, I felt like the photographer waiting for the image to take shape in the developing tray. When I saw the printed copy my curiosity was heightened, as I imagined, and perhaps even then realized that all the folks in the photo were most likely relatives.

I could see my father as a young fourteen-year-old wearing a crisp white shirt and long slender tie standing directly behind his grandfather, Johan. Who were all the other people?

The picture on the computer monitor.

Altonen, Kuivinen, Karhu and Lindell Family Reunion 1919 Ashtabula, Ohio

I immediately sent an email to the webmaster inquiring about the picture. Before I knew it, I had a response from a cousin, Chuck Altonen (in Ohio) and he reassured me that all the people in the photo were my relatives, descendants of Johan and Sanna Karhu, my maternal grandmother Ida Karhu’s parents. He informed me that he was the historian in the family.

Growing up in different countries we had little contact with our American relatives.  

Many years passed. I kept in touch with several relatives in Ohio.  During the summer of 2010 I drove to Ashtabula to take part in the Altonen, Karhu, Kuivinen Lindell Family reunion.

2010 Altonen, Kuivinen, Karhu and Lindell Family Reunion Ashtabula, Ohio

Finally, I met long lost cousins. They showed me around Ashtabula Harbour where grandfather had his shop, the family farm outside town, the famous swing bridge and the lighthouse. I visited the original Bethany Lutheran Church that my relatives attended and where my Dad was confirmed.

The little photograph I first saw on the computer screen has been an inspiration over the years. I have dabbled in our family history and the reunion in Ohio in 2010 was the catalyst behind a Canadian Lindell Family reunion during the summer of 2012. Forty direct descendants of our parents, Karl and Estelle Lindell, my siblings and their extended families from across Canada and the U.S. spent the weekend together at our brother Karl’s home at Cedar Farm in Walter’s Falls, Ontario. Unfortunately about twenty family members residing in Nunavut were unable to attend but were with us in spirit.

One of the rooms in the studio had been transformed into a mini-museum with a huge family tree  showing all the descendants of the Canadian Lindells. The younger generation were interested in the family tree which had photographs. Some of the young people were meeting for the first time and relationships were immediately established. Teen-agers and little ones alike.

The weekend passed ever so quickly. Some of the adults enjoyed a sauna, children splashed in the pool and burnt off energy on the huge trampoline. Many of the youngsters took a trip to the the neighboring farm to visit the family horses.  Others tended the bar  and BBQ, so no one went hungry or thirsty. During the  first evening we sat around a campfire, sang and  reminisced about past exploits.

Saturday evening we gathered in a local community hall and shared in a catered meal. As the family historian I was asked to share several stories about our parents and their ancestors.  We adjourned to the main hall where music was provided by the younger set and everyone got in to the dancing spirit.

Sunday morning between rain showers we managed to get the entire group together for a family photograph when the sun made an appearance. Before long it was time for some of us to begin the long drive home, after having spent a wonderful weekend.

It was a simple family weekend. One to remember.

Lindell Family Reunion 2012 Cedar Farm, Walter’s Fall, Ontario
















 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 





England, Genealogy

A Policeman’s Lot Is Not A Happy One.

A policeman’s lot is not a happy one. When constabulary duty’s to be done, to be done, a policeman’s lot is not a happy one, happy one. [1]

 

Francis Bulford (Front row, 2nd from the left) With Newquay, Cornwall Division 1929/30

(I can’t help but notice their enormous feet!)

My Grampy, Francis Bulford, was born in Devonport, Devon, England on 28th October 1884.

In 1905, he was a 20-year-old seaman in the Royal Navy when he decided to join the Cornwall Constabulary, and on the 1st November 1906, he was appointed to the force as Police Constable number 106. He retired in 1936 with 29 years of service.

After reading various newspaper clippings about the doings of my Grampy, I thought of the above verses by Gilbert and Sullivan as his duties were usually routine, but sometimes they were unusual, or even frightening.

His first posting was to Porthleven, a small fishing port not far from Helston. His ‘beat’ included the village streets, as well as the surrounding meadows, beaches and cliffs.

During Grampy’s time on the police force, he and his family lived at a three bedroom rented property in a street known then as “Little Gue” at either number 14 or 15. My cousin Diane tells me her Mum (Grampy’s daughter) identified the building some 35 years ago. It was their home as well as the Police Station and the two small windows at street level were then barred.

This was where the cells were. The property is still standing, and the photo shows the modern window frames.

The house in Little Gue Street

Diane also told me about a time early on in his career when he was tied to a rope around his waist and was lowered down the cliffs to bring up a dead body at a place called Hell’s Mouth, on the north cliffs of Cornwall. Even the name sounds frightening.

It was Monday evening, January 1916 and Constable Bulford was doing his ’rounds’ at 10:30 pm when he happened upon a dead body, washed ashore on the rocks at Breageside, Porthleven.

Porthleven 1906

When PC Bulford was interviewed by the local newspaper, The Cornishman, a month later, he described the bodies as follows: [2]

The first body found was a big body, about 6′ 6″ stoutly built, badly cut upon the rocks with no clothing and decomposed, and headless. PC Bulford sent for a stretcher and the local doctor, Dr Spaight.

The next day, Tuesday, at about 9:30 a.m., a second body was found by PC Bulford on the Sithney side of Porthleven. This body was about 5 feet in height, slightly built, with no identifying marks except cuts from the rocks, decomposed, nude and again headless.

The local doctor examined the bodies, but there was no possibility of identifying them or finding the cause of death.

The newspaper suggested that these were two of the crew of the SS Heidrun, a Norwegian collier ship that had departed from Swansea, Wales with coal for Rouen, France. It was wrecked on December 27th, 1915, four miles off of Mullion, with the loss of all 16 hands.

The crew members whose bodies were found are buried at Church Cove, The Lizard Landewednack, Helston, Cornwall. The church overlooks the English Channel, so it seems this was a fitting resting place for these sailors.

Headstone for the crew of the SS Heidrun

(Photo Credit: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?181509)

Sources:

[1] https://www.gsarchive.net/pirates/web_op/pirates24.htm Opera, The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan

[2] “The Cornishman” 27th January 1916. Newspaper cutting in the Bulford Family archives

Notes of interest about Porthleven Cornwall England.

Porthleven was the home town of the ‘Dambusters’ Commanding Officer Guy Gibson, and there is a road named in his memory.

http://www.helstonhistory.co.uk/local-people/wg-cdr-guy-gibson-raf-vc/

It is a town, civil parish and fishing port near Helston in Cornwall and was originally developed as a harbour of refuge when this part of the Cornish coastline was recognised as a black spot for wrecks in the days of sail.

Porthleven has exploited its location and exposure to powerful swells to become one of the best-known and highly regarded surfing spots in Britain and has been described as “Cornwall’s best reef break”. Waves often exceeding 6.6 feet (2.0 m), break on the shallow reef that was shaped by blasting the harbour. Kayaking is also popular. RNLI lifeguards patrol the beach during the holiday season. The beach is separated from the harbour by a granite pier, which stands in front of the Porthleven institute and clock tower. When the tide is out it is possible to walk east along Porthleven beach for approximately three miles.

Read more about this wonderful part of Cornwall, England here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porthleven

Two previous stories about my Grampy and his police adventures in Porthleven can be found here;

https://genealogyensemble.com/2018/10/10/all-in-a-days-work/

https://genealogyensemble.com/2018/12/12/plucky-police-constable/

Genealogy, Quebec

Irish Catholic Churches in Lanaudière and Yamaska

Berthier, Champlain, Joliette, Maskinongé, Montcalm, Nicolet, St-Maurice, Terrebonne, Yamaska Counties

In May, 2014, Genealogy Ensemble posted my research guide to Irish Catholic churches in Quebec. At almost 120 pages, the PDF document is a bit unwieldy, so recently I decided to update the guide and break it into more manageable chunks.

The PDF following this introduction is the first in a series of seven research guides regarding Catholic churches across rural Quebec, Montreal and Quebec City that served the province’s large Irish population.

Irish roots go deep in Quebec. At the end of the 1600s, an estimated five percent of the 2,500 families in New France were Irish. Between 1816 and 1860, a massive number of new immigrants arrived in Canada, and 60 percent of them were Irish. Most of those who were Protestant settled in to Upper Canada or the United States, but most of those who were Catholic remained in Montreal or Quebec City, while others moved into rural areas of Quebec.

The inclusion of a church in this guide does not imply that its parishioners were mostly of Irish descent; rather, it means that, at one point in time, a minimum of 10 percent of the acts of baptism, marriage and death addressed Irish immigrants or their descendants.

This guide focuses on the area that is known today as the Lanaudière, northeast of Montreal on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, as well as the Nicolet-Yamaska region, between the St. Lawrence and the American border. These are the rural counties of Berthier, Champlain, Joliette, Maskinongé, Montcalm, Nicolet, St-Maurice, Terrebonne and Yamaska, There are several small cities in the area including Trois-Rivières, Joliette and Shawinigan, as well as Saint-Jérôme.

At least one prominent individual who helped to develop this vast area had links with the Irish community. He was businessman Edouard Scallon (1813-1864), whose father immigrated to the Yamaska region from Ireland in 1810.

Scallon moved to L’Industrie (now Joliette) as a young man and went into partnership with the local seigneur, or landowner. He worked primarily as a lumber merchant. He was also involved in a plan to build a railroad, he built a sawmill and a flour mill, and he was a land speculator and money lender.

He died suddenly at age 51, leaving much of his fortune to fund the construction of a trade school, and to the Sisters of Providence for the expansion of the hospital built on land he had already given them.

In 18th century, James Cuthbert (c.1719-1798), a Scottish-born army officer, merchant, justice of the peace, and legislative councilor, touched the lives of many Irish settlers and others.

He first came to Quebec as an officer in the British Army, and remained after the French were defeated and Quebec became a British colony. He left the army in 1765, bought the seigneury of Berthier and had a manor-house built there.

Over the next 25 years, Cuthbert acquired several other seigneuries. Eventually, his land stretched about 50 miles along the St Lawrence River. Irish, Acadian, British, American, French Canadian and a few Germanic families were censitaires, or tenant farmers, on the seigneuries belonging to him.

Cuthbert became a very wealthy man, however, he was often difficult to get along with and had many disagreements with government officials. Because of this, he had little political influence.

Around 1787, Cuthbert, a Presbyterian, built one of the first Protestant churches in the colony, St Andrew’s Church at Berthier. His censitaires were nearly all Catholic, so in 1766, he donated land in the parish of Saint-Cuthbert for a Catholic church there. Several years later, he also supplied stone for the church building, a painting of his patron saint and two bells. In the 1780s he donated land and materials for the construction of the Catholic church of Sainte-Geneviève.

Link to PDF document: Irish Catholic Churches Lanaudiere and Yamaska

For a map of the area, see Google maps, Lanaudière

For more information, see the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online,

Edouard Scallon http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/scallon_edouard_9F.html  

James Cuthbert   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/cuthbert_james_4F.html

Genealogy

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 3

Wedding bells at last! The long awaited marriage of Ann and Tom took place at The Church of the Advent, in Westmount. on May 31, 1947. They were married by Ann’s father, Canon Sydenham Lindsay, after a passionate four year courtship.

1947 May Wedding - Ann and her Tommy
1947 May Wedding – Ann and her Tommy

After their honeymoon in Bermuda, the newlyweds lived briefly with both sets of parents as there was a shortage of apartments at that time. Lucky for them, however, a friend had to vacate his place on Prince Albert Avenue (only blocks away from their families) and offered it to them. Finally, Ann and Tom had a place of their own, albeit quite small. Two years after they married my brother Bill was born and the apartment was suddenly very crowded.

Ann’s parents gave them a piece of land just up the hill from them on St. Sulpice Road in October 1951. Tom designed the house himself to fit the lot and to this day it remains an original and sophisticated design.

3170 St Sulpice - 2010
3170 St Sulpice (2010) – built by Ann and Tom in 1952

In order to proceed with building the house, Tom needed a loan, which was difficult to obtain at that time. Eventually, Standard Life approved the loan and the house was built for about $18,000. According to the financial records, the loan was paid off in five years.

The interior of the house was completed, with Ann’s help, only as needed and in between children.

Their first son Bill was not an easy child, according to my father, and my mother found herself consumed by his needs. No small wonder it took five years before they had my sister Margaret. After Margaret was born, they really had their hands full and before they knew it my brother John was on the way. My father said the doctors were concerned but Ann seemed to thrive on motherhood. And three years later, in 1957, I was born.

Somehow during this busy time Ann wrote a short story which described a night in their life with small children:

“…Another wail woke them up. Then another, then tears. John was crying, so was Margaret, yelling hard and Bill was coughing and in tears. They both moaned, hopped out of bed and started laughing. Pandemonium had broken loose! ‘There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep’ she mused. ‘The advantages of bachelorhood are extremely obvious at a time like this’ he chuckled and then each picked up an unhappy child.”  (Ann Lindsay Anglin – March 17, 1955)

1959 - The Anglin Children
1959 – The Anglin Children

As the family grew and thrived during the first twelve years of their marriage so did Tom’s engineering business. Sometimes Ann was able to join him on the odd business trip. It was during one of these trips in March 1960 that she felt ill.

The devastating diagnosis was cancer.

During the year and a half that followed, my father did his best to juggle children and career with taking care of his beloved Ann. He wrote long desperate prayers and took up yoga in an effort to cope. It must have been heart-wrenching for him to watch my mother endure the effects of experimental chemotherapy. Advertisements were submitted to the local newspapers in search of “a capable woman willing to do her best to look after a home and four children”. Both families scrambled to assist in any possible way.

In November 1961, my dear mother and Tommy’s Ann, passed away at the age of thirty-five.

Their love lives on in each and every one of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I feel very fortunate to have been part of their extraordinary love story.

The Priest

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 1

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 2

Genealogy, Quebec

Quebec Guardianship Records can help resolve brick walls

Tutelle et Curatelle (guardianships) of the region de Montréal 1791-1807 and of Quebec City, 1639-1930

Life was often short in our ancestors’ times. Epidemics swept through communities, tuberculosis took many, and accidental injuries killed others at a young age. Not every parent lived to see children grow to adulthood.

In Quebec, there was a system to ensure that children who had lost one or both parents, as well as people who were unable to care for themselves, had guardians to look out for them. When a parent died, male family relatives and friends would meet together with a notary and decide who that guardian was to be. The notary would write a legal document known as a tutelle et curatelle to make the guardianship official.

These documents can be very helpful to family history researchers. They can help us understand how a family got through a crisis, and they can also shed light on family networks by identifying the uncles, family friends and so on who were present.

To actually read these documents, you may have to visit the archives. Meanwhile, in this article, I will explain how to find the tutelle et curatelle records that are online.

Tutelle et curatelle records are filed separately from other notarial documents at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). The BAnQ in Montreal alone has more than 300,000 linear meters of these documents, dating from 1658 to 1974, and other branches of the Quebec archives have many more such records.

Definitions

Today, people think of a tutor as a teacher, not a guardian. In this article, we have to understand that both tutors and curators are guardians: tutors are guardians of children, and curators are guardians of young adults.

There were two types of guardianships in Québec:

Tutelle testamentaire – Guardianship governed by a will (testament) issued by a notary in which the surviving parent (father or mother) of the children would assign the guardianship of his or her young children to an adult family member or close friend.

Tutelle légitime – Guardianship governed by the judicial courts, in which full legal tutorship is accorded to the closest adult relative (uncle, aunt, older brother, older sister.) It appears that the majority of guardianships decreed in Québec were this type.

The use of guardianships dates back to the mid-1600s and the first days of the French colony of New France, where the age of majority was 25. After 1783, under British rule, the adult age was 21.

Around 1791, British Laws were implemented in Quebec. The laws governing various judicial jurisdictions were grouped under the general heading of Laws of Canada and among those was one such law governing the tutorship (guardianship) of children and incapacitated adults. The latter dealt with those who could not take care of themselves and needed supervision by others. In 1865, the Civil Code of Lower Canada basically addressed the same issues with slight variations of content.

Searching for the records

If your ancestors lived in the Quebec City region, you are in luck. Familysearch.org has placed online tutelle et curatelle records from 1639 to 1930. Take a look at the wiki page, https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Quebec,_Quebec_Judicial_District,_Guardianships_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)

You can access the actual records at

https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1399459

There are more than 300,000 images and they have not been indexed, so you will need to browse them. They are separated into numbered files by year.

In another, separate database, the BAnQ in Montreal has placed online tutelle et curatelle notarial records from 1791 to 1807. Even within that short time frame, this database contains 22,879 searchable links. In the future, more such records will likely be made available online.

To access this database, go to http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/genealogie_histoire_familiale/ressources/bd/instr_archives_civiles/tutelle_montreal/index.html

This is what you will see on that page:

Tutelle et curatelle (Tutorships and guardianships)

On this page, click on the blue box on the right side of the page that says Consultation de l’instrument de recherche (Access to the searchable online database.)

The next page will indicate: Nouvelle recherche (New Search), and one line below in the colour blue, Chercher par (research by):

Nom (family name)

Prénom (first name)

Titre (title) – Enter Tutelle

Acte (Tutorship Act) – Enter Tutelle

Date – Enter the date of the date of event.

If your family name was not a common one in Quebec, you can simplify your search. Go to the page https://applications.banq.qc.ca/apex/f?p=148:2::::::  Then, next to Nom, just enter the family name you are researching.

The database includes the following information:

Pupille (First name of child)

Date tutelle (Date of Tutorship decreed (judicial order))

Défunt (Deceased person) In most cases, the name of the father or mother

Tuteur (Tutor), the person described on line 1 and line 2

Autre (Other) – In rare cases in which limited information is available in regard to a particular act of Tutorship

The Next Step in Your Research

Unfortunately, the information obtained in this online database is basic at best. By clicking on Détails on the right hand side of each name, you will access another page indicating the family, first name of the child, and the date of the tutorship.

For example, I entered the name of Smith under Nom. This search resulted in 25 results from 1796 to 1807. I picked one, Enos Smith, and the results obtained online under Détails read as follows:

Nom: Smith

Prénom: Enos

Titre: Pupille

Acte: Tutelle

Date tutelle: 1804-02-07

At the bottom of the page, a box will appear:

> Seul le contenu sécurisé s’affiche (Only the secured information will be posted) >> Afficher tout le contenu (Access to content of file)

The results obtained are precisely the same as the previous page. This most likely indicates that you can only see the full content of the original document by visiting the BAnQ.

For the closest branch of the BAnQ, see

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/index.html

There are 10 branches of the BAnQ across Québec. The repository in Montréal is listed on the website under Vieux Montréal; the archives in Quebec City under BAnQ Québec, the branch in Sherbrooke in the Eastern Townships under BanQ Sherbrooke, and the branch in western Quebec near Ottawa is called BAnQ Gatineau.

Always contact by email the archives branch to confirm whether the record you wish to access is actually stored at that branch. Emails written in the English will be answered in the English language.

I recommend for the initial requests to be sent by email. Once you have obtained the name of the technician assigned to your dossier (file), telephone calls are in order. And once you reach the archives, you may need help locating the tutelle et curatelle files.

Compiled, adapted and researched by Jacques Gagnégagne.jacques@sympatico.ca