In 1885, the Girardin and Bernardin families were on the move again. They sold their properties near present-day Carman, Manitoba and moved to a newly-created settlement area near St. Alphonse and Bruxelles. We don’t know the reason for this move, but can assume that it was in pursuit of better economic opportunities.
As before, the family members moved together, and chose to settle very near to each other. Louise, her sons Napoleon, Edouard, Simeon, Oliver, as well as her daughter, Caroline Hamel, moved to Bruxelles. Louise’s brother, Joseph Bernardin, and his sons Joseph, Louis and Dosithe, moved to St. Alphonse.
Library and Archives Canada has some images from their database Land Grants of Western Canada 1870-1930.
There were other changes occurring in these families. Louise, widowed for nine years, remarried on April 10, 1887 to Bruno Charbonneau, also a widower.
Louise’s younger sons were also finding wives.
Simeon Girardin married Helene Rheault in 1889.
Edouard Girardin married Marie Paradis in 1891.
Oliver Girardin married Albertine Rousseau in 1891.
(Louise’s youngest child, Jean-Baptiste Girardin, is said to have become an Oblate missionary. I’ve found no documentation for that.)
Louise was gaining more grandchildren, among them were Mémère’s siblings. Arthur had been born as soon as Napoleon and Onesime had arrived in Manitoba. He was followed by Albert, Napoleon, Marie Maximillenne, Geraldine, Telesphore, Marie Helene, Florent and Caroline.
Tragedy would strike in several ways. Edouard’s wife was unfaithful and left him. Six of Oliver’s seven children, by 1900, had died young, of typhoid and influenza. But the greatest tragedy for Mémère was the death on May 29, 1896 of her mother, Onesime Allard. Family lore is that she died pregnant with her 14th child. Mémère, a month shy of her 18th birthday, would take on the responsibility of helping raise the family.