Category Archives: Quebec

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Montrealers really enjoy a parade and this year marks the 194th Saint Patricks Day Parade organized by the Irish Society of Montreal. On Sunday, March 19th people will line St Catherine’s Street, mostly on the sunny side, to cheer the floats, dance to the bands and even have a “little something” to help them stay warm.

This is a great time to start researching your ancestors. You never know what stories you will uncover. Some of you may find Irish roots even if your name is Tremblay or Gagnon. Many Irish came to Canada in the mid-1800’s, before and after the potato famine. Sandra McHugh’s great-grandparents left Ireland at this time but moved to Scotland rather than the North America. Read about their journey in Everyone is Irish on St Patricks Day. https://genealogyensemble.com/2016/03/16/everyone-is-irish-on-st-patricks-day/

Most of the Irish immigrants to Canada arrived in Quebec City and then traveled on to Montreal. Some of the Irish Catholics did settle in towns and villages all around Quebec while most of the Protestants moved on to Upper Canada. Jacques Gagne’s The Irish of Frampton Quebec https://genealogyensemble.com/2016/09/11/the-irish-of-frampton-quebec/ and The Irish Catholic Churches of Quebec https://genealogyensemble.com/2014/05/20/irish-catholic-churches-of-quebec/ are great sources of information on the lives of these people who populated Quebec.   

Janice Hamilton shows that persistence pays off in genealogy research in her Breaking Through My Sherman Brick Wall about the Irish origins of her great great grandmother Martha Bagnall Shearman. https://genealogyensemble.com/2016/07/06/breaking-through-my-shearman-brick-wall/ Census, birth, marriage and death records are harder to find in Ireland as a fire destroyed the Public Records Office in1922 but information can still be found. Janice found that aside from Canada the family has spread to the United States and New Zealand. There are Irish everywhere.

My Irish ancestors were all Protestants and more apt to celebrate the glorious twelfth than Saint Patricks Day. The Orangemen would march on July 12th to celebrate the battle of the Boyne when the protestant king, William of Orange defeated catholic James II. Susan Dodds and Alexander Bailey came from County Monaghan in Northern Ireland and their story is told in The Sampler. https://genealogyensemble.com/2016/04/20/susan-dodds-sampler/

So whether you have the ancestors or just want to pretend, have corn-beef and cabbage, drink a green beer and celebrate being Irish!

Montreal Cemeteries

Genealogists tend to visit a lot of cemeteries, so if those are beautiful places, the experience can be a pleasure. Anyone with Montreal ancestors in either Notre-Dame-des-Neiges (Catholic) Cemetery or in the non-denominational Mount Royal Cemetery can consider themselves lucky: both cemeteries are located on the slopes of Mount Royal, both are filled with trees and wildlife, and both have services to assist genealogists find their relatives.

These cemeteries were opened in the middle of the 19th century after the city’s population expanded, putting earlier burial grounds too close to residential areas. Hygienic concerns became particularly important when cholera epidemics swept the continent.

In fact, because of epidemics, poor sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water, many of the city’s dead were children.

P1130029

The cemetery at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Lachine.     jh photo

Since Mount Royal Cemetery opened in 1852, more than 300,000 people have been buried there. To check the location of a grave in Mount Royal Cemetery, go to  https://mountroyalcem.com/index.php/en/our-services/genealogy-menu.html. The Quebec Family History Society (QFHS) sells a book of 4600 monument inscriptions from Hawthorn-Dale, Montreal’s second-largest Protestant Cemetery and an affiliate of Mount Royal Cemetery. See http://www.qfhs.ca/forsale.php.

Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery, the largest graveyard in Canada, has been in operation since 1874. To find a grave there go to http://www.notredamedesneigescemetery.ca/en/research/locate.htm and click on locate deceased.

When the older cemeteries were closed, people were told they could move the remains of their relatives, but that did not always happen. Every now and then, human remains turn up when repairs are done to Dorchester Square, a former cemetery that is now a park in the heart of downtown. And in addition to proper cemeteries, there are some unusual burial places in the city. Priests and nuns were buried in the crypts of Catholic churches and other religious buildings. Some 6000 Irish immigrants who died of ship fever in 1847 are buried in a mass grave, marked with a commemorative stone, near the Victoria Bridge.

Because so many of the city’s old cemeteries were closed and eventually built upon or used for other purposes, anyone who comes to the city looking to find the grave of an ancestor who died before the mid-1800s will probably be disappointed.

For a list of 110 Montreal cemeteries, current and closed, including crypts and military cemeteries, see http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=E3&TY=M&SS=52

To find out about Jewish burials, see the following article posted on the Jewish Genealogy Society of Montreal website: http://jgs-montreal.org/burials.html

The QFHS has a number of publications related to cemetery histories and monument inscriptions in its library. Go to http://www.qfhs.ca/libraryRecords.php and put cemetery in the keyword space.

Following is a list of old cemeteries primarily used by the city’s English-speaking community. Most of them no longer exist. The links will tell you their locations and other information.

Montreal General Old Cemetery   http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=E3&CID=2148

 Montreal Old Negro Cemetery – St-Jacques Street at St-Pierre Street in Old Montreal http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=E3&CID=826

Dufferin Square Cemetery – Dorchester Boulevard at St. Laurent Boulevard http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=E3&CID=828

Montreal Old Military Cemetery – Papineau Street at Lafontaine Street in Southeast Montreal  http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=E3&CID=831

St. Mary’s Anglican Burial Ground – Malo Street and Bordeaux Street in Southeast Montreal  http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=E3&CID=837

St-Hélène Island Old Military Cemetery http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=E3&CID=846

St. Stephen’s Old Anglican Cemetery Lachine  http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=E3&CID=2081

Goose Village Ancient Irish Cemetery   http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=E3&CID=2717

Field of Honor Military Cemetery Pointe Claire   http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=E3&CID=858

Lakeview Memorial Gardens Pointe Claire  http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=E3&CID=861

Research: Jacques Gagné

Additional writing: Janice Hamilton

 

 

 

 

 

The Dowry

72 sherbrooke.JPG

Maria Roy Crepeau and three daughters and a granddaughter in front of 72 Sherbrooke West in 1926 or so.

In the Edwardian Age, an ambitious young man, however resourceful, usually needed a solid financial foundation to kick-start his career.  If he didn’t have family money, he had to marry well. Take my grandfather, Jules Crépeau, (1873-1938). The son of a mere house painter, he rose up in 30 years from Messenger Boy in the Health Department to Director of City Services, the top civil servant at Montreal City Hall.

Jules didn’t have the advantage of a superior education; indeed, he completed his regular studies at night. He did have a workaholic nature, an affable disposition, a memory like a steel trap,*1 as well as a connection to the powerful French Canadian industrialists, the Forgets.

New information I found on the Internet reveals that the make-or-break-point for young Jules was in 1901, the year of his marriage. Back then, Jules was making only $600 a year, not a terrible salary for a single man, but certainly not enough to get married on.*2 So, Jules, like so many others, had to choose his wife very carefully.

My grandmother, Maria Roy, the daughter of a master butcher, brought a huge $40,000 dowry to their 1901 marriage, so I’m told. The next year, Jules had a house built for them on Amherst, near Ontario Street, and by a noted architect, at that.*3 Maria’s money!

Lovell’s Directory shows that in 1905 the Crépeau family moved to a tony stretch of St. Hubert Street.  Jules is listed as Head Clerk.  City Hall.   In 1918, they moved to St. Denis Street, just a few doors down from J. A. Brodeur, “Montreal’s Napoleon,” and Head of the Executive Committee. My grandfather was, by then, Second Assistant City Clerk, with a salary of $2,500 -$3,500.

 

julesfamily1.PNG

Crépeaus around 1918. My mother wasn’t born yet. Doesn’t Jules, center, look stressed?

In 1921, Jules was promoted to the newly-minted post of Director of City Services*4, almost tripling his salary to $8,000, and soon thereafter, to $10,000. In 1922, his family moved to a three storey greystone at 72 Sherbrooke West.

It’s during this period, the Roarin’ Twenties, that my grandmother, Maria, finally started earning dividends on her dowry, taking  shopping trips to New York City to stock up on bourgeois bric-a-brac like marble urns, porcelain statuary, and art nouveau lamps; a complement to the whole roomful of ‘gifts’ the family received from various community groups, especially at Christmas. Jules and Maria needed a good supply of breakables. Family legend has it that the crockery flew over the stairs throughout their tumultuous 37 year marriage.

mtflo.PNG

Aunt Flo posing in front of some Crépeau bric-a-brac on Harvard in the late 1940’s. The marble bust of three children actually ended up in my mother’s possession, gracing our upper duplex apartment in the 1960’s, but rather out of place among the melamine furnishings and artwork from Woolworth’s. Today, I own the orange art nouveau-deco Le Verre Francais “Amourettes” vase at top right.

In 1931, Jules Crépeau was forced to resign by the new populist Mayor Camillien Houde, but not before negotiating a huge life pension of $8,000 a year. But, soon,  my grandfather, who had no hands-on business experience, lost all of his savings with bad investments.*5  In 1937, Jules also lost his pension when Montreal City Hall passed an emergency bill to abolish it as a cost-saving measure. *6

Just two weeks later, Grandpapa was hit by a car driven by a plain clothes city policeman. He died the next year from complications. Jules probably threatened someone with a long reach.

Living out her life in the final family home on Harvard in Notre Dame de Grace, Jules’ wife, Maria Roy Crépeau (1879-1951) never complained about her situation as an impoverished widow, and this despite the fact her fat dowry financed the first years of the choppy Crépeau-Roy merger. Still, I suspect her story wasn’t at all unique, especially in the Depression Era.

Jules Crepeaurue.PNG

Rue Jules Crépeau, Ahunsic, Montreal. Designated in the 1980’s. Funny story. In the late 80’s, when my husband and I were buying our first computer, the ONLY place in Montreal we knew that sold them was in  Ahunsic, where we seldom ventured. We got lost and stumbled upon this road and park. I had to find a phone booth to phone my mother to tell her that a street had been named after her father. Serendipity or what? Jules’ nemesis, Camillien Houde, has the huge road winding through the mountain named after him.

park.PNG

  1. Le Devoir was the only Montreal newspaper to publish a long obit of my grandfather, in 1938, saying that Jules was the go-to guy for any information about how City Hall ran. Affable is their term.
  2. The 1911 census shows that a $600 a year salary was average/above average for a family. Many era workers were ‘day workers’ with unsteady employment, but, even that $600 salary was not enough for the big families of the era to live on. Terry Copp, the sociologist who wrote An Anatomy of Poverty,claims that $1500. was the minimum salary for a family to live in dignity in Montreal in 1910.  In the Edwardian Era, in England and elsewhere, a working class couple might start out in good shape, with a decent salary for a small family, but as more and more kids came, the family fell into poverty.  Such might have been Jules’ fate, save for this huge dowry.
  3. Louis Zephirin Gauthier specialized in churches. His partner was a Monsieur Roy, so maybe he was a relation. Back then few Montrealers owned their own home, in the 20 percent range. Since 1899, male renters could vote in the municipal elections; women had to be single and own their home to vote. Montreal has long been known as a city of renters, but, just lately, this appears to be changing.
  4. The post of Director of City Services was created in 1921 after much deliberation and input from citizens to ensure an equitable distribution of money among the city districts. The post was a liaison between the seven city departments and the Executive Committee. Newspaper accounts of the time reveal that my Grandfather’s office did everything from organizing events for the visiting Royal Princes to being on the City Clean-Up Committee, to testifying in Quebec with respect to Private Bills. When someone had a beef at City Hall, they wrote to his office. My grandfather was the first to testify at the inquiry in to the fatal Laurier Palace Fire, in January 1927, which was ironic, as I suspect  the fire may have been started by organized crime to get at him. (Just my theory, though.)
  5. Jules’ brother, Isadore, Insurance broker and VP Of United Theatre Amusements, the company that erected many of the famous 1920 era movie houses in Montreal, ‘fell’ out of his 7th floor office while waving for his chauffeur in 1933.
  6. Kristian Gravenor, journalist at Coolopolis.blogspot.ca http://coolopolis.blogspot.ca/2017/01/ndg-coincidence-undercover-cop-slams.html wrote a bit about Jules and dug out the info about the cancellation of his pension.

The Acadians of Quebec

 

Between the early 1600s and 1755, a community of French-speaking farmers known as the Acadians thrived in Nova Scotia.

In 1755, war between France and Britain spilled into North America. When the Acadians refused to swear an oath of allegiance to the king of England, the colony’s British governor ordered the Acadian people deported. By the fall of that year, some 1,100 Acadians had been forced to board ships and were being transported to the American colonies including Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. By 1758, most of the Acadians who lived on Île St. Jean (now Prince Edward Island) had also been deported. Some of the Acadians who escaped deportation died of starvation or disease.

Over the following years, the Acadians scattered. Some ended up in Louisiana and the Caribbean. Others sought refuge in New France, settling mainly in the Quebec City region, including Île d’Orléans and along the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Today, some of their descendants are still living in the province of Quebec while others have scattered across North America and around the world.

You can read an overview of the Acadian deportation, including a list of suggested books in English and French at http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/the-deportation-of-the-acadians-feature/

The best place to research the Acadians who settled in Quebec is at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). You can make telephone or email inquiries in English to the BAnQ in Montreal and to regional branches. For contact information about the Montreal branch and other regional branches, see: http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/

You should get a reply in English within a week to 10 days. These are free services available to anyone anywhere, in Canada or elsewhere. Similarly, you can email or telephone your question in English to the Grande Bibliothèque de Montréal (the main branch of Montreal’s public library) or to the Collection nationale within the Grande Bibliothèque de Montréal.

Here are two lists of books available on the subject, mostly in French, some in print, others digital:

http://iris.banq.qc.ca/alswww2.dll/APS_CAT_IDENTIFY?Method=CatalogueExplore&IsTagged=0&DB=BookServer&ExploreType=Subject&Stem=Acadiens–Qu%C3%A9bec%20(Province)%20&Style=Portal3&SubStyle=&Lang=FRE&ResponseEncoding=utf-8&Parent=Obj_459801367596814

http://iris.banq.qc.ca/alswww2.dll/APS_CAT_IDENTIFY?Method=CatalogueExplore&IsTagged=0&DB=BookServer&ExploreType=Subject&Stem=Acadiens–Qu%C3%A9bec%20(Province)–G%C3%A9n%C3%A9alogies%20&Style=Portal3&SubStyle=&Lang=FRE&ResponseEncoding=utf-8&Parent=Obj_37851487839769

Here are some other resources available at the BAnQ:

http://pistard.banq.qc.ca/unite_chercheurs/description_fonds?p_anqsid=201602210002324708&P_classe=CA&P_fonds=301&P_centre=03Q&P_numunide=925880

http://iris.banq.qc.ca/alswww2.dll/APS_ZONES?fn=ViewNotice&q=441513

http://iris.banq.qc.ca/alswww2.dll/APS_ZONES?fn=ViewNotice&q=134450

Here are some other links to information about the Acadians:

http://www.federationacadienneduquebec.com/accueil.php

http://acadiens.radio-canada.ca/les-grandes-familles-acadiennes/

http://museeacadien.org/lapetitesouvenance/?p=1093

http://www.acadiensduquebec.org/acadieduquebec.shtml

http://www.acadienouvelle.com/arts-et-spectacles/2016/04/18/second-livre-andre-carl-vachon/

http://www.renaud-bray.com/Livres_Produit.aspx?id=1550163&def=D%C3%A9portations+des+Acadiens+et+leur+arriv%C3%A9e+au+Qu%C3%A9bec(Les)%2CVACHON%2C+ANDR%C3%89-CARL%2C9782349723147

http://www.acadienouvelle.com/arts-et-spectacles/2015/06/16/prix-acadie-quebec-andre-carl-vachon-emu-davoir-ete-choisi-avec-edith-butler/

http://www.acadiensduquebec.org/acadieduquebec.shtml

For each of the towns and villages of Quebec in which Acadians settled between 1755 and 1775, you will find posted below the web address of the regional repository of BAnQ, the address of the local Catholic parish and a listing of local cemeteries.

The regional repositories of BAnQ contain documents about the Acadian families who settled nearby. Some of the content of files stored at various branches of BAnQ across the province are listed within the Pistard search engine at www.banq.qc.ca however, most family lineage researchers are intimidated by the complex research process involved.

>> Bastiscan – Champlain

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1702.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Batiscan

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

>> Bécancour – Nicolet

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/832.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=B%E9cancour

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

>> Becquets (Saint-Pierre les-Becquets) – Nicolet

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/812.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Pierre-les-Becquets

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

>> Berthier – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/351.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Berthierville

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

>> Cacouna – Lower St. Lawrence

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1093.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Cacouna

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

>> Champlain – Champlain

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1710.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Champlain

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

>> Gentilly – Nicolet

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1739.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Gentilly

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

>> Îles-de-la-Madelaine – Gaspé

https://www.google.ca/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8 – q=Iles-de-la-Madelaine+%C3%A9glises

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=M&SS=99

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

>> Joliette – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/357.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Joliette

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

>> Kamouraska – Lower St. Lawrence

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1250.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Kamouraska

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

>> L’Acadie – Upper Richelieu

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1434.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Jean-sur-Richelieu/L%27Acadie

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

>> L’Assomption – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/485.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=L%27Assomption

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

>> Louiseville – Maskinongé

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1728.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Louiseville

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

>> Maskinongé – Maskinongé

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1729.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Maskinong%E9

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

>> Montcalm – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/392.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=M&SS=50

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=F3&CID=1543

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

>> Nicolet – Nicolet

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/775.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Nicolet

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

>> Pointe-du-Lac – St-Maurice

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1732.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Trois-Rivi%E8res/Pointe-du-Lac

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

>> Rivière-du-Loup-en-haut (Louiseville) – Maskinongé

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1728.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Louiseville

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

>> Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu – Lower Richelieu

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1360.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Denis-sur-Richelieu

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

>> Saint-Esprit – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/388.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Esprit

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

>> Saint-Jacques-de-Montcalm – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/392.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=F3&CID=1543

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

>> Saint-Ours – Lower Richelieu

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1386.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Ours

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

>> Saint-Sulpice – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/725.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Sulpice

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

>> Trois-Rivières – Trois-Rivières

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1778.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Trois-Rivi%E8res

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

>> Yamachiche – Maskinongé

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1794.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Yamachiche

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

 

Early Catholic Marriages in Montreal

Etiennette Alton, the ancestor of Genealogy Ensemble contributor Tracey Arial, was married to Marin Hurtubise in Montreal on January 7, 1660. Their union is among the earliest Catholic marriages in Montreal that are detailed on the French-language website Fichier origine (www.fichierorigine.com).  Established under an international partnership between the Quebec-based Fédération québécoise des sociétés de généalogie and the European-based Fédération française de généalogie, it has been available for free on-line since 1998.

The list of 900 people who married in the early days of Montreal is available at http://www.fichierorigine.com/recherche?nom=&commune=&pays=&mariagerech=Montr%C3%A9al

You can find a wealth of information about each person within the couple, including the name of the conjoint (the husband or wife). Fichier origine tells us Etiennette’s date of baptism in 1635, her place of origin in France before she came to Canada, the names of her parents and siblings, and her date and place of death (Montreal, 1722) (http://www.fichierorigine.com/recherche?numero=240043). The information about her husband is equally revealing.

To read more about this particular couple, refer to Arial’s story at: https://genealogyensemble.com/2014/10/03/etiennette-alton-a-marriageable-woman/.

Fichier origine includes the very first marriage celebrated in Montreal: that of Mathurin Meunier and Françoise Fafard on March 11, 1647. (http://www.fichierorigine.com/recherche?numero=242904). It also has information on more than 5000 other people who immigrated to Quebec from France, from the founding of New France until 1865.

In those times, marriage was probably more of a partnership and an agreement to start a family than it was about romantic love. Nevertheless, on Valentine’s Day, it is interesting to recognize these weddings. These couples are the ancestors of thousands of people spread today across Quebec, Canada, the United States and the world. Perhaps your ancestors are among them.

The Cipher

By Sandra McHugh

When I say that my grandfather, Thomas McHugh, worked as a cipher, Bletchley Park, MI5, and Russian spies immediately come to mind. He was neither a Russian spy nor did he work as a cipher during the war. His employer was the Bank of Montreal and it was his first job when he came to Canada in 1912.

The decision to immigrate to Canada was not easy for Thomas. He was in his mid-30s and already had seven children, between the ages of one and fifteen. For over 40 years, the jute manufacturers of Dundee, Scotland had been providing employment for his parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, wife, and for him. However, by the early 1900s, he was facing a precarious future for his children.

By the early 1900s, Dundee had suffered a serious decline in the textile industry and more significantly, the jute industry.  Jute was imported from India, however, the mill owners realized that it would significantly lower the cost of production to open mills in India to prepare the jute and import the finished product to Scotland. Once mills were established in India, the jute production in the mills in Dundee decreased substantially.1

So when Thomas arrived in Canada, a little ahead of his wife and his children, he was eager and prepared to do any job so that he could. The Bank of Montreal had its headquarters in Montreal, Quebec. In the early 1900s, the bank had significant dealings with Great Britain and there were correspondence and banking instructions back and forth between Canada and Great Britain daily. These instructions were mainly sent by telegraph overnight. There were two reasons for this. Some of these instructions were confidential and it was preferred that they remain so. Overnight instructions reduced the number of people who would have access to them. Another reason was the time difference between Montreal and the United Kingdom. The banks in London and Edinburgh were open for business while Montreal was still asleep.

Even in those days, the banks were concerned about security, privacy, and confidentiality. The banking instructions and transactions were submitted by telegraph and were encrypted. It was the job of the cipher clerk to decipher them so that the bank staff could then ensure that the instructions were carried out as required.

To be a cipher clerk, one had to be reliable, meticulous, and honest, and ensure the confidentiality of the bank’s business. The cipher clerk used a cipher handbook to decipher the information. Also, the cipher clerk worked overnight, so it was a difficult job for a man with a family.

So while my grandfather, the cipher, did not work in espionage, I still think that his first job in Canada was rather interesting.2

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Dundee

2 As related by my father, Edward McHugh

Chasing the Voyageurs, part 2

The fur trade was a key part of Canada’s history and hundreds of people were involved in it from the late 1600s to the early 1800s. One way to research an ancestor who was a fur trader is to find the contracts he signed, contracts thwere generally prepared by notaries in Montreal, Quebec or Trois-Rivières.

The notaries who handled fur trade contracts in the 18th and 19th centuries were:

Louis Chaboillez – Montréal 1787-1813 – 9,346 bibliographical records

John Gerbrand Beek – Montréal 1781-1822 – 5,277 records

Jonathan Abraham Gray – Montréal 1796-1812 – 3,258 records

Jean-Baptiste Adhémar– Montréal 1714-1754 – 3,151 records

Louis-Claude Danré de Branzy – Montréal 1738-1760 – 2,784 records

François Simmonet – Montréal – 1737-1778 – 2,139 records

Joseph Desautels – Montréal 1810-1820 – 1,638 records

Antoine Foucher – Montréal – 1746-1800 – 1,056 records

Henry Griffin – Montréal 1812-1847 – 952 records

Pierre Panet de Méru – Montréal 1755-1778 – 824 records

François Leguay – Montréal 1770-1789 – 814 records

Nicolas Benjamin Doucet – Montréal 1804-1855 – 609 records

Henry Crebassa – Sorel 1795-1843 – 555 records

Joseph Cadet – Québec 1784-1800 – 276 records

Charles Claude Pratte – Trois-Rivières 1801-1817 – 236 records

Louis-Joseph Soupras – Montréal – 1762-1792 & 1809-1832 – 150 records

Pierre Ritchot – Montréal 1821-1831- 117 records

Joseph Gabrion – Montréal 1780-1804 – 54 records

Jean-Baptiste Desève – Montréal 1785-1805 – 15 records

One of the busiest of these notaries was Louis Chaboillez, who practiced in Montreal. Summaries of the more than 9000 fur trade contracts he handled can be found online on the website of the Societe historique de Saint-Boniface (SHSB) at http://archivesshsb.mb.ca/fr/list?q=Louis+Chaboillez&p=1&ps=20

The SHSB in Winnipeg has a special interest in the history of the fur trade and the people who were involved. You can learn more about the SHSB heritage center at http://shsb.mb.ca/en/about_us. This society can also help with genealogy research, especially if you have Metis ancestry. See http://shsb.mb.ca/en/Collections_and_Research.

Diane Wolford Sheppard of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan has done extensive research on the fur trade during the French Regime, especially in the Detroit region of Michigan, the Mississipi River in Illinois and the Green Bay region of Wisconsin. This includes Fort Michilimackinac (Mackinac Island & Mackinak County, Michigan) 1683-1754; Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit – Fort Détroit (Detroit, Michigan) 1701-1760; Fort de Chartres (Mississipi River in Illinois) 1718-1731; Bay of Sauks (Ouisconsin) — Fort Winnebago; (Green Bay, Wisconsin) 1640s-1763.

The notaries in New France who handled fur trade contracts for destinations in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin were:

Antoine Adhémar – Montréal 1668-1714 – Trois-Rivières 1668-1714

Claude Mauque – Québec 1674-1682 – Montréal 1677-1696

Hilaire Bourgine – Montréal 1685-1690

Pierre Raimbault – Montréal 1697-1727

Michel Lepailleur de Laferté – Québec 1700-1715 & Montréal 1701-1732

Jean-Baptiste Adhémar – Montréal 1714-1754

Henri Hiché – Québec – 1725-1736

François Simmonet – Montréal – 1737-1778

http://www.habitantheritage.org/french-canadian_resources/the_fur_trade This article on the website of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan links to a variety of resources about the fur trade in the 17th century.

http://habitantheritage.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Women_and_Their_World_-_for_website.275153906.pdf This article by Diane Wolford Sheppard lists some women who were involved in the fur trade or liquor trade in the 17th century.

http://habitantheritage.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Outdoor_Activities.27051652.pdf This article mentions the names of some of the men who were present in Detroit around 1715.

If you had an ancestor who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company, take a look at this article from the Alberta Family History Society on researching family history at the archives of the HBC: http://afhs.ab.ca/aids/talks/notes_mar98.html. The Hudson’s Bay Company records are at the Manitoba Archives, https://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/.

Library and Archives Canada has many records of people who worked in the fur trade; for example, http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/genealogy/topics/employment/Pages/fur-trade.aspx

The McCord Museum in Montreal has records of the North West Company, one of the major players in the later years of the fur trade. Some of its photos and documents have been digitized; see http://collections.musee-mccord.qc.ca/scripts/search_results.php?keywords=North+West+Company&Lang=1

Notarial records including fur trade contracts from prior to 1800 can be found on the Parchemin database; see https://genealogyensemble.com/2017/01/01/finding-quebecs-early-notarial-records/

The Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) is slowly digitizing its collection of notarial documents, but most can be consulted on microfilm at the archives in Montreal and other branches across Quebec.

The Société de généalogie de Longueuil (http://www.sglongueuil.org/), just south of Montreal, also has an extensive collection of notarial records on microfilm; see http://www.sglongueuil.org/cadres/texte/greffes.html.

 

Safe Passage

img_0399

René Emile Raguin, my grandfather, was the last of my relatives to arrive in Canada. He was the only one to return home after he emigrated. His family, originally from Doubs, France, moved to Fleurier, Switzerland soon after he was born.

He arrived in Canada aboard an Allen Line steamship, the Lake Erie and so didn’t have to endure a long voyage on a sailing ship. It was 1910 and he was 23 years old. He had been a Lieutenant in the French army. His father was French and as the son, even though he lived in Switzerland, he had to do his service. He had also trained as a teacher but there were no jobs in Switzerland, so he was fortunate  to find a job at the French Protestant school in Pointes aux Trembles, Quebec.

René was a dapper little man with a full beard and moustache. He was sure he was going to be a hit with Canadian girls although his landlady told him they didn’t like men with a lot of facial hair. The morning after meeting Beatrice Bruneau and her sisters, he came down stairs with only a goatee! In later years he only had a small moustache but with a completely shaved head.

René and Beatrice were married in 1912 in Cornwall, Ontario by Beatrice’s father, Reverend Ismael P. Bruneau. Their first daughter Aline Marguerite was born in May 1913. The next summer they sailed to Europe to show off Aline to Rene’s family. Rene enjoyed the voyage, walking on deck with his little daughter, but Beatrice, pregnant with their second child Robert, suffered from sea sickness and was mostly invisible. Rene was very happy chatting with all the other passengers who wondered about the little girl’s mother.

They were having a wonderful time in Fleurier, visiting Rene’s parents, Joseph Marie and Rosina Steinman Raguin and his sister Bluette, when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated and World War I began. When England declared war on Germany August 4, 1914, returning to Canada as quickly as possible became a priority. As Rene had become a Canadian/British citizen in 1913, they appealed to the British Government and received a document of safe passage through both France and Italy to return to England. They made a quick journey by train from Switzerland to Le Havre, France taking what they could easily carry and leaving their trunk behind.

They made it safely back to Canada where René was then the principal of De La Salle Academy in Trois Riveres, Quebec. The school administration had been worried he wouldn’t return for the beginning of the school year. He used his story to raise money during the war, for the Canadian Patriotic Fund. 

Robert was born in December followed by Arthur, Dorothy and Madeleine. René continued teaching and finished his career as a French teacher at Baron Byng High School in Montreal. They spent summers in Dunany north of Montreal where he enjoyed golf and socializing and winters in Montreal where he curled and socialized. He and Beatrice didn’t travel very much, just one train trip to Vancouver to visit their son Robert. They never returned to Europe, never again saw any of Rene’s family, or their trunk.

img_0364

Notes:

Rutherdale, Robert. Hometown Horizons: Local Responses to Canada’s Great War. Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 2004. Print.

Anecdotes personally communicated to the author by Aline Raguin Allchurch in 2003.

Passeport; original document in possession of author.

Rene’s British /Canadian Naturalization Certificate was in his possession in Europe to obtain his Passport but the document was later lost as it was replaced in 1916. Libraries and Archives Canada: Citizenship Registration Records for Montreal Circuit Court 1851-1945.

Military documents in possession of author.

Chasing the Voyageurs, part 1

Have you heard a family story about an ancestor who was a voyageur or coureur des bois? These were the men who canoed across the interior of North America to trade with the indigenous people for beaver pelts and other furs and bring the pelts back to Montreal.

The fur trade thrived in the 17th and 18th centuries and the early years of the 19th century. Setting out from Montreal, the voyageurs’ destinations included what is now western Canada, Ontario, Michigan and Illinois. Some had wives and children in Quebec and some fell in love with aboriginal women and were the ancestors of Canada’s Métis people.

Before they set out on their travels, the voyageurs signed contracts with fur trading companies or their agents. These contracts specified where they were to go and for how long, and how much they were to be paid. Notaries, most of whom resided in Montreal, Lachine or Ste-Anne-du-Bout-de-l’Ile (now known as Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue), prepared the contracts and kept them on file. As a result, more than 34,500 of these contracts have survived.

The notarial records themselves are stored at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) along with all the other contracts, wills, leases and other documents these notaries prepared.

In addition, the information in many of the voyageurs’ contracts is available online, thanks to La Société historique de Saint-Boniface (http://shsb.mb.ca/en). St. Boniface is a traditionally French part of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and its Centre du patrimoine (heritage center) specializes in the history of the francophone community of Manitoba, and in the heritage and genealogy of the Métis people.

http://archivesshsb.mb.ca/en/list?q=Notaires+de+Montr%C3%A9al&p=1&ps=20 This link takes you to the database of contracts. You can search in English, but the data is mostly in French. There are various ways to search the database, but if you know your ancestor’s name, you can put that into the search box. There is a small box for each result, and clicking on “more detail” opens it up. Included in the details is the date the contract was signed. For example, 18090503 indicates May 3 1809. You can use Google translate or a similar online translator if you need help understanding the text.

http://habitantheritage.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Fur_Trade_Contracts_during_the_French_Regime.29095438.pdf This article by Diane Wolford Sheppard of Michigan is a collection of representative contracts drafted during the French Regime, including engagé (hiring) contracts, partnerships, partnership settlements, obligations and invoices for fur trade purchases. They have been translated into English.

http://www.habitantheritage.org/french-canadian_resources/the_fur_trade For more in-depth background, images and documents about the fur trade in the Great Lakes region, see this page posted by the French Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan.

See also http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/voyageur/

Finding Quebec’s Early Notarial Records

Many people living across North America today had ancestors in the colony of New France or in the British colony of Quebec prior to 1800. The legal documentation of their business transactions, property transfers, wills and marriage contracts were prepared by notaries.

Notarial acts written after 1800, plus a few from the late 18th century, are available on microfilm at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) and are in the process of being digitized. You can search the BAnQ website (http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaries/), while a growing number of notarial documents can be viewed on familysearch.org (https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Quebec_Notarial_Records) and on Ancestry.ca (http://search.ancestry.ca/search/db.aspx?dbid=61062&geo_a=r&o_iid=41015&o_lid41015&_sch=Web+Property).

But most acts of notaries prior to 1800 are only available through a database called Parchemin, and you will have to visit a branch of the BAnQ or go to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) in Ottawa to consult this database.

Parchemin is a collection of hundreds of thousands of records prepared by the notaries of early Quebec, from the first French settlement of North America until December 31, 1799. During this two-century period, more than 275 notaries practised in New France and in Quebec following the British conquest. The collection of original documents takes up hundreds of meters of shelf space, and is mainly preserved at the BAnQ.

The Parchemin database was built with software designed specifically for notarial documents. It displays like a computer directory, providing access to personal data, as well as to other information regarding the nature of the transaction.

The Parchemin database was developed by Archiv-Histo with the financial support of the Chambre des notaires du Québec, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, and other government programs.

You can search the Parchemin database at the LAC archives in Ottawa, Ontario, and at various BAnQ locations across Quebec (see list below). Parchemin is also available at some municipal and university libraries in Quebec which are not listed here because they are accessible to residents and students only.

Future posts will identify many of these early notaries and describe the work they did.

https://archiv-histo.com/assets/publications/2015-Notaires-liste-Chrono-Tablo.pdf

Where to access Parchemin by Archiv-Histo

Ontario

  • Bibliothèque et Archives Canada – Library Archives Canada

395, Wellington Street. Ottawa (Ontario) K1A ON4 – email:
BAC.CCG-CGC.LAC@canada.ca

Québec

Gaspé

  • BAnQ – Archives nationales du Québec

80, boulevard de Gaspé, Gaspé (Québec) G4X 1A9
1-800-363-9028 poste 6573 – emaill : archives.gaspe@banq.qc.ca

Gatineau

  • BAnQ – Archives nationales du Québec

855, boulevard de la Gappe, Gatineau (Québec) J8T 8H9
(819) 568-8798 – email : archives.gatineau@banq.qc.ca

Montréal

  • BAnQ – Archives nationales du Québec

Édifice Gilles-Hocquart
535, avenue Viger, Est, Montréal (Qc) H2L 2P3
(514) 873-1100 – email : archives.montreal@banq.qc.ca

  • Société généalogique canadienne-française

3440, Davidson, Montréal (Qc), H1W 2Z5
(514) 527-1010 – email : info@sgcf.com

Québec

  • BAnQ – Archives nationales du Québec – Pavillon Louis-Jacques-Casault – Campus de l’Université Laval – 1055, avenue du Séminaire, Québec (Québec) G1V 4N1
    (418) 643-8904 – email : archives.quebec@banq.qc.ca

Rimouski

  • BAnQ – Archives nationales du Québec

337, rue Moreault, Rimouski (Québec) G5L 1P4
(418) 727-3500 – email : archives.rimouski@banq.qc.ca

  • Société de généalogie et d’archives de Rimouski

110, rue de l’Évêché est, Rimouski (Québec) G5L 1X9
(418) 724-3242 – sghr.ca/fr/contact

Rouyn-Noranda

  • BAnQ – Archives nationales du Québec

27, rue du Terminus Ouest, Rouyn-Noranda (Québec) J9X 2P3
(819) 763-3484 – email : archives.rouyn@banq.qc.ca

Saguenay :

  • BAnQ – Archives nationales du Québec

930, rue Jacques-Cartier Est, bureau C-103, Saguenay (Québec) G7H 7K9 – (418) 698-3516 – email. archives.saguenay@banq.qc.ca

Saint-Hyacinthe :

  • Le Centre d’histoire de St-Hyacinthe

650, rue Girouard Est, St-Hyacinthe (Québec) J2S 2Y2
(450) 774-0203 – infos@chsth.com

Salaberry-de-Valleyfield

  • Société d’histoire et de généalogie de Salaberry

16, rue Saint-Lambert, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield (Québec)  J6T 1S6
(450) 763-2398 – email : shgs2011@hotmail.fr

Sept-Îles

  • BAnQ – Archives nationales du Québec

700, boulevard Laure, bureau 190, Sept-Îles (Québec) G4R 1Y1
(418) 964-8434 – email : archives.sept-iles@banq.qc.ca

Sherbrooke

  • BAnQ – Archives nationales du Québec

225, rue Frontenac, bureau 401, Sherbrooke (Québec) J1H 1K1
(819) 820-3010 – email : archives.sherbrooke@banq.qc.ca

  • Société généalogique des Cantons de l’Est

275, rue Dufferin, Sherbrooke (Québec) J1H 4M5
(819) 821-5414 – email: sgce@abacom.com

Trois-Rivières

  • BAnQ – Archives nationales du Québec

225, rue des Forges, bureau 208, Trois-Rivières (Québec) G9A 2G7
(819) 371-6015 – email : archives.trois-rivieres@banq.qc.ca

 

 

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