Canada Day 2018

July 1st is Canada Day, our national holiday.  It celebrates the proclamation of the British North America Act, which took place on July 1st, 1867.

Of course our country is older than 151 years.  Our native ancestors were here long before that,  and many of our immigrant ancestors had a part to play in our history.

I thought I would celebrate today by referencing some of the historical events in which our forebearers took part.  Some of these events are mentioned on the Timeline part of this blog.

Some time before 1621 Olivier Le Tardif, my 9X great-grandfather, was an interpreter for the explorer Samuel Champlain.

15 of my ancestors are on the monument in Quebec City that honors  Lés Premiers Colons de Québec.

Another 9X great-grandfather, Gilbert Barbier dit Minime, was among the first settlers to be with Maisonneuve when he founded Ville Marie, now Montreal in 1641.

My 3X great-grandfather, Jean Baptiste Bernardin, came to Canada from France, and fought in the War of 1812.

In 1827 James McMillan, my 3X great-grandfather, and a Chief Factor with HBC, founded the fur trade fort at Fort Langley.

In the Red River Settlement, my Metis ancestors, the Hogue, McMillan, and Dease families were observers, and sometimes participants in the events that led to the Riel Rebellion.  William Dease, Sr., my 2X great-granduncle, was an opponent of Louis Riel’s.  Meanwhile Marguerite McMillan, my great grandaunt, was married to Jean Baptiste Beauchemin, who served on Riel’s Provisional Government.

In 1878 my 2X great grandparents, Paul Girardin and Marie Louise Bernardin, with their families, joined the hundreds of emigrants who came west to set up homesteads.  In their case, it was their second move, from Quebec to Massachusetts, to Manitoba.

These are only some of the stories that make up our country’s history, and my personal one.  No wonder I find genealogy so fascinating!

Happy Canada Day!




Father’s Day 2018

It’s been almost 46 years since my Dad died.  Pictures, of course, will always stir recollections, but other senses can also bring memories into sudden, sharp focus.

Dad worked for the Canadian National Railway as a welder.

Hogue Thomas b1909 welder

Thomas Hogue 1909 – 1972

In the summers, the railroad “gang” of ten sometimes worked in one location for an extended period of time. When this happened, my siblings and I often tented along side our Dads.   Our family had a big old canvas tent, the kind with a pole in the centre.


For us children it was an exciting adventure…for Mom, probably not so much considering the work it would have involved!

The point is that the smell of a railroad track immediately makes me think of Dad, and those happy times.


Hearing, as in songs, is well recognized as a memory trigger.  There are two songs, that for me, always conjure up my Dad.  The first is the Red River Jig, which I’ve talked about previously.

The other is an old tune called Cruising Down the River, which Dad used to sing to me when I was a child, changing the words to “with my Jackie by my side.” You can listen to the song here.

On my wedding day, we danced to that tune. I can’t find the picture of us dancing though.


Dad and me

The last of a generation

This blog is an attempt to chronicle and honour the ancestors and family of my Pépère, Thomas Joseph Hogue and Mémère, Marie Emma Girardin.   Sadly, the last of their children has now passed away.

Marie Louise Dawyduk, nee Hogue was born August 7, 1920 and died January 3, 2018. Her family composed a wonderful obituary that you can read here.

To me, she was always “Auntie Louisa” probably because I already had an “Auntie Louise” on my Mother’s side of the family, plus an “Auntie Louise” married to Uncle Aime.

Auntie used to tell me that she was so excited when I was born that she got off the bus and RAN down Parkview Street to our house, so anxious was she to see this new baby girl! Little did she know at the time that she would marry and give birth to 6 boys!

Here are some of my favourite pictures of Auntie.

Mom, Dad, Louisa

Mom, Dad, Louisa



Louisa, Dad, Mémère



Hogue Louisa b1920 wedding

Wedding day, November 25, 1949 Dad, Uncle Steve, Louisa, Uncle Joe


When I had my 6th birthday, my Mother was in the hospital.  Not wanting me to miss out, Auntie threw me a party at their home on Hargrave.

6th birthday

You can see how “girly” my celebration was!

Auntie was an excellent seamstress.  Although I was an adequate sewer, there was an occasion in university when I wanted a specific dress made out of a delicate chiffon, and didn’t think I was up to the task.  Auntie gladly made it for me.

Auntie was the kind of person who always remembered to send birthday cards, and keep track of weddings and births. This, despite the busy life she led.

Many people commented on how much I looked like Louisa.  This picture certainly shows the resemblance!


Louisa and me

Though her final few years had challenges, her sense of humour remained intact.  Visits to her at Riverview always included lots of laughs and hugs.


Visit December 2014

You are greatly missed Auntie!

Red River Jig

Today is Louis Riel Day here in Manitoba, Canada.  It seems like a fitting time to post a fabulous picture I recently received from a cousin.

It’s a picture of Mémère, at the age of 81, dancing the traditional Metis Red River Jig.

Red River Jig

Red River Jig

The party is taking place in the basement of her son Joe’s home on Kensington Street.  Clapping and watching are Joe, his sister Irene, and me.  I love the smile on Mémère’s face!

You can listen to the tune being played by the renowned Andy DeJarlais here.

You can see award winner Ryan Richard jigging here.


The ones we miss at Christmas

I love Christmas.  I love the songs, the decorations, the baking, and especially the visiting with family and friends. I’m fortunate to have many great memories of Christmases past.

This time of year we feel more acutely the absence of those who are no longer with us.  For me that’s Dad, Mom, and now my brother Don who died this past January.

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Don and Mom opening presents

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Dad and his first granddaughter

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Mom and I decorating the tree in Calgary with help from my son


Mom and Don having fun

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Don and me

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Me, Mom and Don

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Len, me, Don, Moe


This last picture was taken New Year’s Day 2006.  It was the last holiday family gathering that Mom would enjoy.

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4 Generations

Merry Christmas everyone!