More obituaries

Did I mention how much I enjoy finding newspaper articles and old obituaries?  I recently subscribed to Newspapers.com, which includes, among other publications, The Winnipeg Tribune.  Turns out that some obits I couldn’t find in The Winnipeg Free Press, are in the Trib!

I have found four more obituaries for Philomene’s siblings.

For Marguerite, who married Baptiste Beauchemin, this obituary was published in The Winnipeg Tribune, Tuesday, December 14, 1926, on the front page:

Marguerite McMillan obituary

Marguerite McMillan obituary

For Philomene’s sister Marie Anne who married Salomon Carriere, this obituary was published in The Winnipeg Tribune on June 16, 1922, page 6:

Obituary of Mary Ann McMillan

Obituary of Mary Ann McMillan

For Philomene’s sister Virginie, who married Daniel Carriere, this obituary was published in The Winnipeg Tribune September 5, 1993, page 13:

Obituary of Virginie McMillan

Obituary of Virginie McMillan

For Philomene’s sister Elizabeth, who married Pierre Bruce, this obituary was published in The Winnipeg Tribune, Wednesday, May 18, 1938, page 6

Elizabeth McMillan obituary

Elizabeth McMillan obituary

Sadly, still no obituaries for Philomene, or her sister Sara.

The McMillan/Dease Family

Today I’m going to write about the children of our Hogue ancestors, William McMillan and Margaret Dease. They had nine children who survived to adulthood.  Gaps in the birth order would suggest there were other infants born who did not survive. I’ve already written about Philomene McMillan, who married Thomas Hogue, Sr. here.

Thomas and Philomene

Thomas and Philomene

When examining the families of these siblings, we see, once again,  how interconnected the people of the Red River Settlement were.

Philomene’s sister, Marguerite McMillan (1840 – 1926) was born in St. Boniface. She married Baptiste Beauchemin and they lived next door to Philomene and Thomas on the banks of the Assiniboine River in St. Charles. Baptiste Beauchemin was a member of Louis Riel’s Provisional Government.

A very interesting article appeared in The Winnipeg Tribune, April 10, 1946, when Marguerite and Baptiste’s son William died.

The Winnipeg Tribune, April 10, 1946

The Winnipeg Tribune, April 10, 1946

Wow!  Actually saw the shooting of Thomas Scott, a pivotal event in Manitoba history.

Marie Anne McMillan(1842-1922) married Salomon Carriere. They eventually settled in St. Laurent, Manitoba.

Joseph McMillan (1849-1923) married Pauline Bruce. I love finding obituaries!  Even though they often contain slightly inaccurate information, they do give us a glimpse into the lives and times of our relatives. I was able to find an obituary for Joseph. (Philomene died the day before her brother, but I’ve never found an obiturary for her.)

MANITOBA FREE PRESS, WINNIPEG, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1923
JOSEPH M’MILLAN WAS PIONEER IN FARMING
St. James Resident Who Died Yesterday Was Prominent in Assiniboia
Western Canada lost another pioneer farmer in the death of Joseph McMillan, a native of St. Boniface, who died yesterday morning at his residence, 241 Maddock street, St. James, at the age of 73 years. Born in the Cathedral city, Dec. 4, 1849, Mr. McMillan crossed the river 60 years ago, and settled in St. James on what is now known as the Strathmillan estate, where he farmed for a number of years and had lived ever since.
After several years of active life in the municipality of Assiniboia, where he was elected to the council the first year of its existence and later presided over its deliberations as reeve, Mr. McMillan retired from the public life of the district in 1912.
Mrs. McMillan pre-deceased him, having died in September, 1922. He leaves two sons and four daughters, being W.F. McMillan of Poplar Point; J.E. McMillan, 240 Maddock street; Mrs. L.T. Hogue, Murray Park; Mrs. D. Lagasee, of St. Adolphe; Mrs. Charles Sayer, of Delmas, Sask., and Miss Catherine McMillan, at home.
In addition to being a pioneer of the west, Mr. McMillan had the further distinction of being the son of a native of western Canada, his father having been born in Edmonton, of Scottish descent. In the early days of his settling in St. James he taught school at Sturgeon Creek.
Up to Thursday afternoon, this pioneer was talking to his sons of the olden days, with their buffalo hunts and other exciting adventures, though he had been bedridden for the past eight months following a paralytic stroke.
The funeral will be held Monday, at 9:30 a.m., from the family residence, interment taking place at St. Charles cemetery.

Buffalo hunts!  Those certainly would qualify as “exciting adventures”!

Virginie McMillan (1851-1933) married Daniel Carriere, a cousin of Salomon’s. (Both Daniel and Salomon were also cousins of Damase Carriere who was involved with the Riel Rebellion of 1885, and died at Batoche, Saskatchewan.) Virginie and Daniel lived in St. Eustache, Manitoba.

Sarah McMillan, (1852-1943), was married three times. She married Joseph Turcotte, was widowed, married Pierre Jobin, was widowed, and then married Antoine Vandal. Sarah is buried in St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba. (Pierre Jobin’s brother Ambroise died in 1885 from wounds suffered at the Battle of Batoche.)

Patrice “Patrick” McMillan, (1854-1929) married Elizabeth “Betsy” Caplette. I also found an obituary for him.

Manitoba Free Press, Winnipeg, Friday, December 13, 1929
PIONEER RESIDENT OF WINNIPEG DIES
Patrick McMillan Succumbs at St. Giles, Man., Aged 74 Years
Patrick McMillan, aged 74 years, and pioneer resident of Winnipeg, died Tuesday at his home at St. Giles, Man. He was born in St. Boniface, and resided on Davidson street, St. James until a few months ago, when he moved to St. Giles. In addition to his widow, Mr. McMillan is survived by two sons, W.J. of St. Charles, and Peter, of St. James; also three daughters, Mrs. N. Lane, of Deerhorn, Man.; Mrs. H. Breland of St. Francis, Man., and Mrs. A. Turcotte, of Charleswood, Man.
Funeral service for Mr. McMillan will be held this morning at 10 o’clock at St. Charles church, and burial will be made in St. Charles cemetery. The Clark-Leatherdale funeral home is in charge of arrangements.

John McMillan (1858-1908) married Virginie Bruce, sister to Pauline. John also has an obituary.

MANITOBA FREE PRESS, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 1908
John McMillan, of St. Charles, died at the family residence on Monday night, after a protracted illness. He was born at St. Boniface in 1860, removing to St. Charles when a young lad. He was a son of the late Joseph McMillan, [this is an error and should read William]an official in the service of the Hudson’s Bay company, who lived to be over 100 years old, his death taking place five years ago. John McMillan was well known, and highly respected by all with whom he came in contact, and was always ready to take an active interest in matters of general benefit to the community where he lived. He leaves a widow and five children: Alan, Josephine and Virginia, at home; Mrs. Alexander Smith, of St. James, and Mrs. Lacceet, of St. Vital. He was a keen sportsmen, having formed one of a party of five, consisting of A. Smith, H. Roberts, W. Pruden, G. Kerr, and the deceased, who went on an annual hunting expedition together for the last thirteen years. The funeral will take place this morning at 8:30 from the family residence to St. Charles cemetery, where interment will take place.

St. Charles Cemetery Winnipeg, Manitoba

St. Charles Cemetery
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Elizabeth McMillan (1859-1938) married Pierre Bruce, brother of Pauline and Virginie.  They lived in St. Laurent, Manitoba.  I’ve found an obituary for Pierre.

MANITOBA FREE PRESS, WINNIPEG, TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 1927, page 5
TWO AGED RESIDENTS OF ST. LAURENT DIE
Pierre Bruce, Aged 78 Years, and Pierre Lavelle, Aged 70 Called By Death

St. Laurent, Man., April 18.—Pierre Bruce, aged 78 years, died yesterday morning at the family ranch at Harperville, after a protracted illness. He was a native of St. Norbert, and resided in the neighborhood of Winnipeg for the first fifty years of his life. Mr. Bruce was an artist with the violin, and only a few years ago gave a demonstration of his skill, playing reels and jigs at the then “Pantages theatre.”
He is survived by his widow, two daughters and four sons.
The funeral will be held at St. Laurent on Tuesday.

All three Bruce in laws were nieces/nephews of John Bruce, who was President of the Métis National Council in 1869.

The family name “McMillan” was sometimes spelt “McMullen”. In 1878, Joseph McMillan must have petitioned HBC for acknowledgment of the correct spelling. In the HBC Archives, MG8 B53, we find this letter:

“Fort Garry 24th Dec 1878
I hereby certify an examination of old Hudson’s Bay Company record, that the family name of McMillan (say Father of William McMillan and Grandfather of Joseph McMillan) is spelt McMillan not McMullan.
J.H. McTavish
Chief Factor H.B.C.”

William McMillan, free trader

William McMillan and Margaret Dease Photo source: Ontario Archives

William McMillan and Margaret Dease
Photo source: Ontario Archives

This picture is of William McMillan and Margaret Dease. William is the son of James McMillan and Josephte Belisle, whom I wrote about here. Margaret is the daughter of John Warren Dease and Genevieve Beignet, whom I wrote about here. The picture was taken around 1902 when they were both very elderly. If you look closely at William’s left hand, you will note it is damaged. According to Heather Devine’s Informativel article The Indian-Metis Connection: James McMillan and His Descendants (which is available online, just google it):

“Like his father, William had bad luck with firearms. Apparently while on a buffalo hunt, he surprised an Indian trying to steal one of his horses. The Indian attempted to shoot McMillan, who grabbed the barrel of the gun in his hand. The gun went off, burning the flesh off his hand and leaving it permanently withered.”

They are in front of their house, which, although I am not a student of architecture, I’m quite sure was built in a style known as Red River frame construction. That’s the same style as  the Barber House, Riel House, and the William Brown house, which are all still standing in Winnipeg today. William and Margaret’s house was on lot 16 in the Parish of St. James.

Cadastral: Parish Plan of St. John’s, St. James, and St. Boniface, Archives of Manitoba

Cadastral: Parish Plan of St. John’s, St. James, and St. Boniface, Archives of Manitoba

This image, showing his name as William McMullen, is an excerpt from Cadastral: Parish Plan of St. John’s, St. James, and St. Boniface in the holdings of the Archives of Manitoba. This copy is from the website of St. James Anglican Church. For those familiar with the Winnipeg suburb of St. James, the Anglican church is circled bottom right. The lot bearing the name James Bruce is today’s Bruce Park. William’s lot is in the upper left. It would be roughly where Vernon Street and Whytewold Road are today. Strathmillan Street got its name from the fact that it was the dividing line between William McMillan’s property and that of Donald Smith aka Lord Strathcona (you know him as the man hammering in the last spike of the CPR). The river shown at the bottom of the map is the Assiniboine, and the dotted lines mark the Portage Trail which became Portage Avenue.

William was born around 1806 in the North West Territories. I say this despite the fact that when he died, his family said he was 103! Here’s a picture of his gravestone in St. Charles Cemetery, Winnipeg.

William McMillan St. Charles Cemetery Winnipeg, Manitoba

William McMillan
St. Charles Cemetery
Winnipeg, Manitoba

William was raised by his mother and her family near today’s Edmonton. Governor Simpson wrote in 1825 that William at 18 “was the boy of Mr. James MacMillan Chief Trader and [was] under no agreement with the company but never the less [would] …do anything the company require [d] of him”. (Hudson’s Bay Company Archives B60 2/3)

William claimed to be born in 1806 when he applied for scrip.

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

According to Heather Devine, William was a contract employee of HBC by 1826 “as a middleman on the York boats. He retired as a bowsman in 1835.”

Margaret Dease was born between 1813 and 1820, either in the Rainy Lake area (Fort Frances, Ontario) where her father, John Warren Dease was in charge of the NWC post, or in Fort Alexander. Here’s her scrip application.

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

William and Margaret married in 1832. The Red River Settlement Censuses allow us to track their life to some extent. In the 1838 census they have 4 horses and 5 mares. By 1843 they now have 1 house, 2 stables, 1 barn, 5 horses, 1 mare, 7 oxen, 4 cows, 2 calves, 9 pigs, 1 plough, 1 harrow, 6 carts(these are the famous Red River carts) and 6 acres of cultivated land. By 1846, they also own a canoe and have 8 acres of land cultivated.

When researching at the Archives of Manitoba, I was thrilled to find the notation in that 1846 census that William is “to the plains” meaning that he is away hunting buffalo! In 1849 they have 2 houses, 2 stables, 1 barn, 7 horses, 4 mares, 7 oxen, 1 bull, 4 cows, 1 calf, 5 pigs, 1 plough, 1 harrow, 7 carts 1 canoe, and a “shop of merchandise”.

The number of Red River carts is indicative of the fact that William was a “free trader”, that is, someone who traded in buffalo robes and other merchandise in defiance of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s regulations. He would have traveled south to Pembina and St. Paul. In the book Homeland to Hinterland: The Changing Worlds of the Red River Metis in the Nineteenth Century, Gerhard J. Ens states:

“By the late 1860s, there were literally dozens of robe traders making $1,000 or more per year.”

He then lists the names of  several traders including William McMillan and Margaret’s brothers William and John Dease.

William played a  role in the fight against HBC’s monopoly of the fur trade, and advocated for Metis representation in the governing of the settlement. His name is on several petitions in 1845, 1849, and 1850 made to the governor of Red River Settlement and to HBC. He most likely would have been amongst the several hundred armed Metis who surrounded the courthouse during the famous Sayer Trial of 1849.

In the book The Lochaber Emigrants to Glengarry, Hugh McMillan tells of interviewing a grandson of William’s and learning this:

“The family spoke Cree in the home as well as French intermixed with Gaelic and English. Journeys took him as far afield as Kentucky to buy horses in order to improve his buffalo runners. At age 70 he went to the newly-opened Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minnesota for eye surgery but came back nearly blind.”

When William died the Manitoba Free Press published a lengthy article on October 1, 1903 entitled “Death of The First Free Fur Trader” with many interesting, though likely embellished, details:

 

Death of the first free fur trader

 

“In those days the chief occupation of the few people who lived in the Red River Colony was trading and buffalo hunting; and, it was natural that young McMillan should fall in with the customs of the times.
He became a hunter at first, but the instinct of his Scotch blood asserted itself and he began trading on his own account; and was the first free trader in the vicinity – though, his scope of business was confined to the position of “middleman” between his hunting companions and the Hudson’s Bay Company. He was noted on the plains for his horsemanship and for his skill as a hunter; and, was always chosen as a leader or captain of the hunts.
In those days, the Indians knew no law but that of the Hudson’s Bay Company and were ever watching for a chance to raid the camps of the traders. The Sioux were the chief aggressors and Mr. McMillan often told of the fights the buffalo hunters had with these bold and warlike aborigines in the Souris and Qu’Appelle districts. These encounters were frequently of a revolutionary nature and scouts, and traders, had to constantly be on guard against surprise or ambush. His experience in this wild life on the prairies qualified McMillan as a guide; and, he had the distinction of being chosen on several occasions to escort titled gentlemen from the Old Country who came to hunt buffalo, half a century ago.
Forty years ago Mr. McMillan purchased a couple of hundred acres of land in St. James, just beyond Lord Strathcona’s Silver Heights farm, and made that his home up to the time of his death. He taught his children farming, but continued himself in the fur trade business until late in the seventies when the business ceased to be profitable.”

Doesn’t William’s life sound exciting?

Of Margaret Dease, I have no details, except that she bore 12 children, of whom 9 survived to adulthood.  Margaret died in 1905. Here is her gravestone in St. Charles Cemetery.

Margaret Dease gravestone St. Charles Cemetery Winnipeg, Manitoba

Margaret Dease gravestone
St. Charles Cemetery
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Here is the descent from William and Margaret to Pépère:

1-William MCMILLAN (1806-1903)
+Margaret DEASE (1818-1905)
2-Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
+Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924)
3-Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)

James McMillan

I’m continuing the story of our McMillan ancestors. James McMillan, was born in Glen Pean, Loch Arkaig, Scotland around 1783. Having come to Canada with his family in 1802 (which I wrote about here), he quickly struck out on his own. In 1803 or 1804 he joined the North West Company, a rival fur trade company to HBC. He was employed at first as a clerk, and spent some time in the Fort des Prairies department (now Edmonton).

In many ways, James McMillan is one of our most interesting ancestors. Should you google his name with the words “fur trade” you will see that he is written about in many essays, books and websites. He had an eventful career in the fur trade.

In 1807 James  accompanied the famous explorer and map-maker David Thompson on Thompson’s first expedition across the Rocky Mountains to the upper Columbia River. He spent time at Kootenae House, near Invermere, in present day British Columbia.

At Saleesh House in present day Montana, James had a shooting accident. In the book Sources of the River: Tracking David Thompson Across Western North America by Jack Nisbet, the author quotes David Thompson’s journal and tell us that:

“By the accidental going off of his Gun Mr. McMillan had both the forefingers of his hands shot through by a Ball & much lacerated with the Powder, both of his Fingers are broke & seemingly will with difficulty be kept from falling off – I dressed them the best I could.

Several days later, another entry in Thompson’s journal tells us:
“Mr. McMillan’s forefinger of the left hand having a bad appearance & no hopes of its joining with the stump I separated it.”
Ouch!

In 1821, when HBC and NWC amalgamated, James rose to the position of Chief Trader in the Columbia district (as did our ancestor John Warren Dease). In Governor Simpson’s Character Book (HBC Archives A.34/2) he says of McMillan:

“A very steady plain blunt man, shrewd & Sensible of correct conduct and good character, but who has gone through a vast deal of severe duty and is fit for any Service requiring physical strength firmness of mind and good Management provided he has no occasion to meddle with Pen & Ink in the use of which he is deficient his Education having been neglected. An excellent Trader, speaks several Indian languages and is very regular and Economical in all his arrangements: a good practical Man, better adapted for the executive than the legislative departments of the business. His plain blunt manner however cannot conceal a vast deal of little highland pride, and his prejudices are exceedingly strong, but upon the whole he is among the most respectable of his class and a generally useful Man.”

In 1824 McMillan accompanied Governor Simpson on his journey from York Factory to Fort George (Columbia). Coincidentally, Amable Hogue was part of the crew. Amable would later marry Simpson’s former country wife Marguerite Taylor, and McMillan’s granddaughter Philomene would marry Amable’s son Thomas. Also on that trip was Tom Taylor who was Marguerite’s brother. On the trip, Simpson met up with John Warren Dease. McMillan’s son William would marry Dease’s daughter Margaret).
Confused yet?

In 1827 McMillan was promoted to Chief Factor and soon established Fort Langley at a site he had chosen on another trip in 1824. There is a statue of him and Chief Wattlekainen of the Kwantlen First Nation in the city of Langley at Inne’s Corner. The wooden statues were commissioned by HBC in 2002 to commemorate the 175th anniversary. You can view the statue here.

The Fort is now a National Historic Site. You can watch a video here. And of course, we have another plaque! See it here.

McMillan Island, opposite Fort Langley, is named after James. Interestingly, in his journal records for HBC, James sometimes spelled his name McMillan, and sometimes MacMillan!

As for his personal life, sometime before 1806 James married “according to the custom of the country” Josephte Belisle. They had 2 children, William (my great-great grandfather), another James, and Evan. Definitive information about James Jr. and Evan is lacking. McMillan would go on to have two more “country wives”, Marie Letendre and Kilakotah, and numerous children.

When Governor Simpson went to England to find a wife (abandoning our ancestor Marguerite Taylor), James accompanied him, and found himself a Scottish bride, Eleanor McKinley. Heather Devine in her essay “The Indian-Metis connection: James McMillan and his descendants”, which is in the book The Lochaber Emigrants to Glengarry notes:

“Today the values of a fur-trade society that promoted liaisons with native women, then encouraged and condoned the custom of abandoning country wives, seem alien. James McMillan, however, was responding to the rigorous demands of his profession. Furthermore, by marrying his country wives and daughters to responsible partners and by ensuring that his sons were offered opportunities in the fur trade, McMillan obeyed the customs of the country.”

In 1830 James was appointed to run an experimental farm at Red River. He was there until 1834, but it was not a successful endeavour. He then went to the Montreal district, and retired from the fur trade in June 1839. He returned to Scotland, and died there in 1858.

Here is a summary of James McMillan’s HBC career.

HBC Archives

HBC Archives

And what of McMillan’s country wife, Josephte Belisle? She was born in the North West Territories to Belisle, a French Canadian and Josephte, a native woman. Sometime around 1815, having been “turned off” by James, she became the country wife of Amable Fafard dit Delorme. Josephte and Amable had 5 children, who thus became half-siblings to my great great-grandfather William.

This Delorme family had several interesting connections. Pierre Delorme was an important political figure in Manitoba. He was part of the Provisional Government headed by Louis Riel during the Red River Resistance. He was also the first member to represent Provencher in the federal House of Commons, from 1870 to 1872. The original Delorme house, an example of Red River frame construction, is on display at St. Norbert Provincial Park. See it  here.

Genevieve Delorme (also William’s half sister) married Andre Beauchemin, who was also a member of the Provisional Government.

Amable Fafard dit Delorme must have died before 1835, when we find Josephte listed as the ‘Widow Delorme” in the Red River Census of 1835. In 1838 and 1840 her son William and his wife Marguerite Dease are living with her. In the 1870 census Josephte is living near William. She died after 1876. Despite being married to Delorme, she called herself McMillan when she applied for scrip.

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

You can read more about James McMillan in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

And here’s our descent to Pépère:

1-James MCMILLAN (1783-1858)
+Josephte BELISLE (1785-?)
2-William MCMILLAN (1806-1903)
+Margaret DEASE (1818-1905)
3-Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
+Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924)
4-Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)

Our Scottish Roots

Our Scottish connection begins with Allan “Glenpean” McMillan (see a picture of him here) and his wife Margaret Cameron. Allan was born in the highlands of Lochaber in Scotland around 1752.

Earlier, many Scottish settlers had been brought over by Sir William Johnson (whom you may remember was the brother of our ancestor Ann Johnson) to settle in the Mohawk Valley. These settlers, being Loyalists, moved to Upper Canada in 1783 after the American Revolution. Allan’s brother, Alexander McMillan, had organized an emigration to the Glengarry area of Upper Canada (now Ontario) in 1792.

In 1802, Allan and his cousin Archibald McMillan organized a mass emigration known as the Lochaber Emigration to Glengarry . Kenneth J. McKenna, writing in the  The Lochaber Emigrants to Glengarry, edited by Rae Fleming says:

“Although economic considerations were the chief causes of emigration for the Lochaber people (rents were increasing two to fivefold), the erosion of their distinctive way of life, the reduction of their chief to a common and avaricious landlord, the arrival of great flocks of sheep and their Lowland shepherds and the devaluation of the clan, all tended to the destruction of their Highland pride. The ‘gentlemen of the clan,’ the tacksmen, foresaw what would eventually happen. They felt that they must leave before it was too late. Their foresight was uncannily correct. After the Napoleonic Wars when men were no longer needed to save Britain, the clearance of the Highland Scot began in earnest. But the Lochaber people were long gone.”

Over 400 people traveled on three ships, the Helen, the Jane, and the Friends. Allan and Margaret came with their 8 children, Ewan, John, Alex, James, Donald, Archibald, Helen, and Janet. (As an interesting aside…two of Allan’s brothers ended up in Trinidad, sigh).

Travel by ship at this time was not a luxurious affair, but these three ships were outfitted in such a way that fresh air was supplied to the hold. One assumes that was an appreciated luxury!

There is an historical plaque in Williamstown, Ontario that commemorates the emigration.

Photo by Alan L. Brown ontarioplaques.com

Photo by Alan L. Brown ontarioplaques.com

Allan McMillan obtained land in Finch township and settled there with some other families. 37 other settlers are named in his petition for land, each receiving 200 acres.

c-2194-00971

Finch settlers
.
Allan built the first mill in the township. Margaret did not get to live long in her new country, as she died in 1806. Allan died in 1823.

Here’s our descent from Allan McMillan to Pépère:

1-Allan “Glenpean” MCMILLAN (1752-1823)
+Margaret CAMERON (?-1806)
2-James MCMILLAN (1783-1858)
+Josephte BELISLE (1785-?)
3-William MCMILLAN (1806-1903)
+Margaret DEASE (1818-1905)
4-Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
+Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924)
5-Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)

The Dease connection, part 3

As I mentioned previously, John Warren Dease, Sr. and Genevieve Beignoit had 5 children. These children were brought up in the Red River Settlement and, through marriage, had many interesting family ties.

Their second child was Mary Anne Dease (1820-1861) who married Thomas Logan, whose half-brother Alexander was mayor of Winnipeg.

Their third child was John Warren Dease, Jr. (1823-1885) who married Angelique McMillan (a half-sister of William McMillan).  John was involved in the buffalo robe trade between Red River and St. Paul.

Their fourth child was Nancy Dease (1825-1903) who married Pierre Gladu (Pierre was a partner with Louis Riel, Sr. in a mill). Nancy and Pierre’s son, William Gladu, married Eulalie Riel, sister of Louis Riel.

In 1857 when Henry Hind, the geologist, took part inan expedition which would assess the agricultural and mineral potential of the northwest” he wrote this about Pierre and Nancy:

“We arrived at Mr. Pierre Gladieux’s house an hour after sunset on the evening of September the 29th. We were soon provided with an excellent supper, and our horses, seven in number, well supplied with hay in the yard. Before starting next morning an almost sumptuous breakfast was given to us.”

In Hind’s report, published as Narrative of the Canadian Red River exploring expedition of 1857, and of the Assiniboine and Saskatchewan exploring expedition of 1858, there is a sketch done by John Arnot Fleming showing the view from their property.

at-pierre-gladus

The Red River at Pierre Gladieux’s

John and Genevieve’s youngest child was William Dease, Sr. (1827-1913), who married Marguerite Genthon. William was a well-known person in Red River. Gerhard J. Ens, in his essay “Prologue to the Red River Resistance: Preliminal Politics and the Triumph of Riel” published in the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1994, notes:

“The couple and their large family lived and farmed in both St. Vital and St. Norbert. By 1869 Dease was a prominent French-Métis trader and farmer, and member of the Council of Assiniboia. An indication of Dease’s close connection to the various native communities around Red River was his fluency in French, English, Ojibwa, and Sioux.”

Ens argues in his essay that, in the weeks leading up to the Red River Resistance, Dease advocated an approach that focused on aboriginal/Metis rights, rather than Riel’s approach that, supported by Catholic clergy, was more about maintaining French and Catholic rights.

Riel ended up assuming leadership of the Resistance. It is interesting to note that William’s brothers-in-law, Thomas Logan and Pierre Gladu, also opposed Riel.

William eventually, moved to North Dakota, but on a visit back to Winnipeg an interview was published in The Manitoba Free Press on June 20, 1908. Here’s the headline:

Dease headline 1908

Despite some inaccuracies (his grandfather married Jane French, but she wasn’t from France!), it is an interesting read. Here’s an excerpt:

“It is difficult to get Mr. Dease to speak about himself and the part he took in the troublesome times of 1869 and 1870. The old native of Rupert’s Land is very unassuming and modest, and Mr. Dease is no exception. Without my own forty years experience in the country, it would have been impossible to extract from him what follows which I may preface by saying that like all the Anglo-French of his day and generation he is a man of physical perfection and great stature. The name of his uncle Chief Factor Peter Warren Dease is well-known as an Arctic explorer. His grandfather owned estates in Ireland and there married a French lady. On his way from what is now British Columbia and Oregon to take charge at Fort Garry his father, John Warren Dease died, leaving his wife, Jeanie Benoit, a young family of five who were brought up in the Red River settlement.”

Our direct ancestor is John and Genevieve’s first child, Margaret Dease, born 1820, or perhaps 1818.

Library and Archives Canada MIKAN no. 1502741

Library and Archives Canada MIKAN no. 1502741

Margaret married William McMillan, and it is the McMillan connection I’ll explore in my next post.

For the record, here is Pépère’s descent from Richard Dease:

1-Richard DEASE (?-?)
+Ann JOHNSON (?-?)
2-Dr. John DEASE (1745- 1801)
+Jane FRENCH (ca 1754- 1802)
3-John Warren DEASE Sr. (1783-1830)
+Genevieve BEIGNET/BEIGNOIT (1796-1860)
4-Margaret DEASE (1818-1905)
+William MCMILLAN (1806- 1903)
5-Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
+Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924)
6-Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)

The Dease connection, part 2

I’m continuing the story of our Dease ancestors.

In Loyalists and the Fur Trade: the Impact of the American Revolution on Western Canadian History,  Michael Payne says:

“The Dease family probably represents the most distinguished group of Loyalist brothers who served in the fur trade. John Warren, Francis Michael, Peter Warren and Charles Johnson Watt Dease together amassed about 70 years of service with different fur trade companies. All were sons of Dr. John Dease, who in addition to being related to Sir William Johnson acted as his personal physician. Dease was a Loyalist of course, and like most other family retainers he resettled in Upper Canada (initially it seems near Niagara and later Fort Mackinac) after the American Revolution.”

Our direct ancestor is John Warren Dease, Sr., son of Dr. John Dease and Jane French, who was born 9 Jun 1783 in Niagara, New York. He joined the North West Company in 1801 and by 1816 he was in charge of the post at Rainy Lake (near Fort Frances). This was a crucial post that supplied the canoe brigades on their way to Fort William.

Here’s a picture of the plaque where the fort used to be.

Photo courtesy Sharlene Gilbert

Photo courtesy Sharlene Gilbert

When the NWC and Hudson’s Bay Company amalgamated in 1821, John became a Chief Trader at the same time as his brother Peter Warren Dease did. Peter Warren was also an Arctic explorer (see here ).

In 1822 John Warren Dease, Sr. was transferred to the Columbia district and put in charge of Fort Walla Walla in what is now Washington state. In 1825 he was transferred to Spokane House. In 1826 that post was abandoned and Dease was put in charge of the Fort Colvile district, which also included the Flathead and Kootenay posts. He spent most of his time at the Flathead post in Montana.

His second country wife was Genevieve “Jenny” Beignoit. She was born around 1796 in what is now Green Lake, Saskatchewan. John and Genevieve had 5 children, and John provided for Genevieve, their children, his children by another country wife, Mary Cadotte, and Genevieve’s son by a previous union in his will. There was a stipulation however:

“Let it be clearly understood that if the said Jenny Beignoit Mother of my adopted children…marry or cohabit with any man during my lifetime, she then forfeits the provision made for her in the foregoing will” (HBC Archives)

Tragically John became ill in 1829 and died January 11, 1830 at the Dalles, Columbia River. His death left Genevieve with 5 children ages three to 12, the oldest being our direct ancestor Margaret Dease. Genevieve did not marry again and relocated to the Red River Settlement with her children. Looking at the Red River Settlement Censuses for 1831 to 1843, I have a theory that her brother-in-law Francis Dease, who never married, helped her raise the children.

The Red River Settlement Censuses only identify the male head of household by name, and then list the other members by age bracket and marital status, i.e. sons over 16, sons under 16, etc. In the case of Genevieve, although she is the household head, BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN, she is only identified as the “widow Dease”. Grrrr!

Census returns for Red River Settlement and Grantown Digital Image Number: HB13-002681.JPG  Location Code: E.5/5

Census returns for Red River Settlement and Grantown
Digital Image Number: HB13-002681.JPG Location Code: E.5/5

However Francis M. Dease is in the household of the “widow Dease” in 1832.  Genevieve died at St. Boniface, Manitoba on 18 November 1860. Francis died in either 1864 or 1865.

Those of us who trace our ancestors back to the early days of the Red River Settlement (such an interesting time from a historical viewpoint) invariably find that our ancestors have very strong, and sometimes very confusing, interconnecting ties.

Genevieve had previously been the country wife of a Jacques Goulet, who was a voyageur for both NWC and HBC. They had one son, Alexis Goulet. That means Alexis was a half-brother to  Margaret Dease. Genevieve’s grandchildren from this line had many interesting connections.

Roger Goulet was  a member of the Council of Assiniboia. Lionel Dorge in his article The Métis and Canadien Councillors of Assiniboia (The Beaver, Winter 1974) says:

“He was the grandson of a Métisse and a Canadien (whose ancestors had come from Lorraine in 1645) and the son of a hunter and Josephte Severet (daughter of Chief Factor John Siveright of Edinburg). Bishop Provencher, as his godfather, had overseen his education at the Collège de St-Boniface – a training which stood warranty to Goulet’s word and honesty. Finally his service to the public as Surveyor since 1856 and as Collector of Customs since 1861 gave promise of someone in Council whose contacts with the people had been, and were likely to be, frequent and on a familiar basis.”

Elzear Goulet was a member of the court martial which condemned Thomas Scott during the Riel resistance in 1870. Soldiers from the Wolseley regiment, who had been sent to Red River by the Canadian government, recognized him on the street one day and pursued him, until he dove into the Red River to escape. The soldiers threw rocks at him. He was hit and drowned. Just recently the City of Winnipeg has designated a park in his honour.

Source: Heritage Resource Image from City of Winnipeg http://now.winnipeg.ca/images/images

Source: Heritage Resource Image from City of Winnipeg
http://now.winnipeg.ca/images/images

Maxime Goulet was the St. Vital member of the Manitoba Legislature in 1878, and the provincial Minister of Agriculture in 1880. Goulet Street in St. Boniface is named after him. Maxime also took part in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris! He was one of a group of men who portrayed French Canadian settlers “saved” by Buffalo Bill. When he died in 1932, the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press had this headline:

Goulet Maxime obit1932
Guillemine Goulet married Miles McDermot, son of Andrew McDermot, an important name in Manitoba history.

Sara Goulet married Elzear Lagimodiere, a cousin of Louis Riel, and their son William Lagimodiere was a MLA.

Leonide Goulet was a member of the 49th Rangers, the Metis Scouts of the 1873-74 Boundary Commission who helped survey the Canada-U.S. border.

“One of the best known families” indeed!