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!