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!

Louis Riel Day

Louis Riel

Louis Riel Image courtesy Duffin and Co. / Library and Archives Canada / C-052177

In honour of Louis Riel Day (the 3rd Monday of February here in Manitoba), I thought I’d post a tribute to my Metis ancestors in the Hogue line. I know so little about the Metis women in my heritage. The first one, of course, is Marguerite Taylor, whom I’ve written about here. Country wife of Sir George Simpson of Hudson Bay Company, mother to two of his children, then married off to Amable Hogue.

Scrip application for Marguerite Hogue Library Archives Canada LAC RG 15 v. 1321

Scrip application for Marguerite Hogue
Library Archives Canada
LAC RG 15 v. 1321

Next is Genevieve or “Jenny” Beignet. Country wife of John Warren Dease, Sr. I haven’t written about them yet. Genevieve was born about 1796 in what is now Green Lake, Saskatchewan and died 10 Nov 1860 in St. Boniface. When John died in 1830 she was left with very young children which she raised in the Red River Settlement, possibly with the help of her brother-in-law Francis Dease.

Lastly, is Josephte Belisle, country wife of James McMillan. I’ll be getting to their story soon. Josephte was born around 1785. She was still alive in 1875, but I don’t know exactly when she died.

Scrip application for Josephte McMillan Library Archives Canada LAC RG 15 v. 1322

Scrip application for Josephte McMillan
Library Archives Canada
LAC RG 15 v. 1322

The only Metis artifact I have is the beautiful beadwork which I wrote about here.

My Dad used to make “jiggers”. Wish I had one of them now, but I have to be content with one I bought last year at Festival du Voyageur.

Jigger
To this day I get tears in my eyes when I hear the “Red River Jig” being played on a fiddle. Reminds me of my Dad.

Happy Louis Riel Day!

The Dease connection, part 1

Back from vacation and ready to continue the story of Philomene McMillan’s ancestors. Philomene is Pépère’s mother. Previously, I wrote about Christopher Johnson and Ann Warren here. Their daughter, our direct ancestor Anne Johnson, was married to Richard Dease.

I haven’t discovered much about Richard Dease. One assumes that the Dease family was also landed gentry, since Richard married into the well-connected Johnson family. I do know that Richard had a brother who was a doctor, Dr. Francis Dease. According to The Report and Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for the years 1880, 1881 and 1882:

“…Richard Dease’s brother, Francis Dease, an eminent physician, engaged in the employ of Catharine II, of Russia, and dying unmarried, about 1739, left his fortune to his brother Richard, whose match with Miss Johnson he had been instrumental in forming. But through the dishonesty of an agent in St. Petersburg, Richard Dease never received one penny of the large estate devised him by his brother.”

I’m not certain that the above information is completely accurate, since I’ve found other sources that say Dr. Francis Dease died in Russia in 1741. One source is a 1997 book called ‘By the Banks of the Neva’: Chapters from the Lives and Careers of the British in Eighteenth-Century Russia by Anthony Glenn Cross found on Google Books:

“Of the two Irish doctors Francis Dease was with the army during the Russo-Turkish war from 1738 until his death in 1741.”

Another source is the book Ireland and Medicine in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, which has a chapter entitled Medicine, Religion and Social Mobility in Eighteenth-and Early Nineteenth-Century Ireland, by Laurence Brockliss , in which he notes:

“Francis Dease from county Westmeath, who graduated at Reims in 1735, joined the Russian military after studying philosophy at Leuven and medicine at Leiden, only to die six years later at the young age of 32.”

Anne and Richard had at least two sons, both of whom became doctors like their uncle. The youngest son was Dr. William Dease, a noted Irish physician who was one of the founders of the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. The Dictionary of Ulster Biography notes that:

William Dease was one of the leading surgeons in Dublin (and therefore Ireland) in the last two decades of the eighteenth century, whose principal contribution to Irish medicine was probably the establishment of the profession of surgery as an independent entity, properly regulated by a professional body, and to reform and improve medical education in Ireland.”

William’s death by suicide, was the subject of controversy. He may have killed himself because he blamed himself for a patient’s death, or because he was warned that he was about to be arrested for being a member of The Society of United Irishmen. This was an organization working for Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform. You can read about it here.

You can also see a statue of William here .

As interesting a person as William is, he is not our direct ancestor. That would be his brother, Dr. John Dease, born in County Cavan, Ireland around 1744. The Warren, Johnson, and Dease families appear to have had very strong family ties, evidenced by the fact that, just as Peter Warren had taken William Johnson “under his wing” and brought him to New York to manage his affairs, so Sir William Johnson brought Dr. John Dease to New York in 1771 to serve as his personal physician. Upon Sir William’s death in 1774, he received some money and land.

By 1775 Dr. John Dease became Deputy Agent of Indian Affairs for the Cataraqui District. In the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, it says:

“Late in the summer of 1783 Dease accompanied Joseph Brant [Thayendanegea] and other Six Nations deputies when they left for Detroit to talk about unity with the western Indians, Creeks, and Cherokees. In September Dease made his first trip to Michilimackinac, bearing the official word of the cessation of hostilities between the British and the Americans. Following his return to Niagara he was involved in sensitive conferences with the Six Nations, whose lands had in effect been turned over to the Americans by the British in the Treaty of Paris (1783). Meanwhile, beyond the upper Great Lakes, intertribal Indian wars were seriously disrupting the western fur trade.”

In 1786 Dr. John Dease was appointed the deputy agent at Michilimackinac to try and settle the troubles. Unfortunately, Dease encountered problems with the merchants and the commandant at the fort, and by October of 1789 found himself recalled back to Montreal.

On a vacation a few years ago I was able to visit the fort on Mackinac Island.

Fort Mackinac

Dr. Dease married Jane French, a Caughnawaga Mohawk and they had 8 children. Dr. Dease died in 1801 and Jane in 1802.
I’ll continue the story in my next post.