Remembrance Day 2015

In honour of Remembrance Day, I’ve decided to post some more about my Dad, Thomas Hogue, and his time in the R.C.A.F. (Royal Canadian Air Force). Dad, a welder with Canadian National Railways, spent time at the No. 1 Technical Training School in St. Thomas, Ontario, where the R.C.A.F. trained ground crews as part of an initiative known as the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. St. Thomas is in southwestern Ontario.

Google map showing St. Thomas, Ontario

Google map showing St. Thomas, Ontario

The Technical Training School was established in 1939. It was housed in what had originally been the brand new Ontario Psychiatric Hospital. When war broke out, the patients were transferred to other hospitals, and the complex acquired to train R.C.A.F. ground crews. There’s a great aerial photo of the buildings here from the Elgin County Archives.

Here’s a historical plaque commemorating the School.

Photograph by Alan L. Brown, Courtesy of

Photograph by Alan L. Brown, Courtesy of

Dad’s service in the RCAF began November 1, 1940. I have an old, torn letter of reference from his CNR supervisor, dated February 14, 1940.

Reference letter from CNR

Reference letter from CNR

I’m not sure how long Dad was in St. Thomas, but my Mom and two brothers lived there for awhile, and my third brother was born there in 1941. Here’s a newspaper article that talks about St. Thomas during World War II.

The Ottawa Journal, Fri, Jun 18, 1943, Page 2, accessed on

The Ottawa Journal, Fri, June 18, 1943, Page 2, accessed on

And here are some pictures of Dad and his workmates on the grounds of the facility.

Thomas Hogue at St. Thomas

Thomas Hogue at St. Thomas


RCAF Training School, St. Thomas, Ontario

RCAF Training School, St. Thomas, Ontario

Once he was finished in St. Thomas, Dad was posted back to Winnipeg, and worked at #8 Repair Depot. This was located at the airport in Winnipeg, which was then known as Stevenson Field.  From the website of the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport I found out:

In 1936, a major development took place that gave Winnipeg’s airport a dramatic impetus to growth. An act of Parliament created Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA). Winnipeg was chosen to be its operating headquarters for the new, national airline…

Soon after TCA became fully operational, the Second World War brought another surge of activity. The airport mushroomed into a mini-city. The field was suddenly host to dozens of new buildings, hundreds of planes and thousands of workers. RCAF training schools, overhaul shops, TCA’s main operating base and executive offices, and the airplane manufacturing facilities of Midwest Aircraft and MacDonalds all appeared almost at once.

A news item in The Winnipeg Tribune, Thursday, July 4, 1940, announced that the construction contract for the repair depot was awarded to Bird construction Co.

“The repair depot will consist of about 23 buildings, including seven hangar repair shops each 112×128 feet, a headquarters building, quarters and mess buildings for officers, N.C.O.’s and men, and numerous other smaller structures.  Exact cost could not be learned, but it is in the neighborhood of $450,000.”

So that’s where Dad spent his war years. Here’s a picture from our family photo album, clearly showing the TCA signage.

Stevenson Field

Stevenson Field

And here’s a picture of Dad and an unidentified co-worker, standing next to a plane, presumably one they worked on.  Dad is on the right.

Thomas Hogue on right, at St. Thomas Training School

Thomas Hogue on right, at St. Thomas Training School

Like most people, now that Dad is gone, I wish I knew more about that time in his life.  After the war, he went back to working for CNR, from which he retired in 1970.

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

Photo by Alan L. Brown

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.


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)

Thomas Hogue, Sr. and Philomene McMillan

Thomas and Philomene

Thomas and Philomene

Thomas Hogue, Sr., sometimes identified as Thomas Hogg, was born in 1840, according to his death certificate. His wife, Philomene McMillan, was born on the 20th of January in 1848. Philomene has a fascinating ancestry that I will be blogging about soon. Thomas and Philomene were married in St. Boniface on the 31st of January in 1865.

After Manitoba became a province in 1870, a census was taken. It shows that Thomas and Philomene were living on  Lot 60 in St. Charles, approximately where Berkley Street is in present day Charleswood, and not far from where I now live!  Thomas’s mother, Marguerite Taylor, was living with them. Philomene’s sister Marguerite is next door with her husband Jean-Baptiste Beauchemin (who served on Louis Riel’s council). Thomas’s brothers Louis, Joseph and Amable all settled on adjacent lots.

This map from the 1874 survey shows the land settled by the Hogues and Beauchemins.

1874 survey image from Photos & Fragments of Charleswood History

1874 survey
image from Photos & Fragments of Charleswood History

This Google map shows the same area today, with Thomas’s land, Lot 60, marked.

Google map

Google map

Shortly after, the federal government introduced “scrip” which was meant to compensate the original Métis settlers for their land. It was in the form of a voucher that could be redeemed for either a land grant or an amount of money. In 1876 Thomas received his Métis scrip entitlement of $160.

Archival Reference: LAC RG 15 v. 1321

Archival Reference: LAC RG 15 v. 1321

I find it interesting that Thomas actually was able to sign his scrip affidavit. When checking the records for his siblings, only his sister Elizabeth was able to sign, all the others simply made their mark on the document.

The Charleswood Historical Society has recently erected new plaques at the site of “The Passage”. The site had been known as “The Passage” because it was shallow and had historically been used by traders and buffalo hunters. Thomas has his name on those plaques!

The Passage plaque erected by Charleswood Historical Society

The Passage
plaque erected by Charleswood Historical Society

history of "The Passage"

history of “The Passage”

Hogues and Beauchemins

Hogues and Beauchemins

In the Hogue family picture, Thomas’s brother Joseph is the elderly gentleman in the centre.  In the Beauchemin picture, Philomene’s sister Marguerite is the woman on the right wearing the plaid shawl.  The man standing in the centre back is Alexander Allard who turns out to be a second cousin of Mémère’s mother Onesime Allard.

In 1882, Thomas was hired by the Assiniboia Council to run the St. Charles Ferry. The ferry had been established in 1870 and ran from Lot 60 across the Assiniboine to where Rouge Road is now. In the Manitoba Free Press of April 19, 1916, an article concerning possible closure of the ferry refers to the site as “Hogue’s landing”. How cool is that!

I’ve been able to discover a few other tidbits about their life.  The June 10, 1880 Manitoba Daily Free Press tells us that Thomas was appointed as one of the pound keepers for Ward 3 of Assiniboia. In 1887 he donated an acre of land for the first school in Charleswood. Civic elections held on December 13, 1887 resulted in Thomas becoming a Councillor in Ward 2 of Assiniboia. Two years later he was nominated as a councillor for Ward 2 in St. Charles, but I have been unable to find out if he won that election.

In the local history book Photos & Fragments of Charleswood History by Len & Verna Van Roon, we find this description:
“There were several families among the Hogues always prominent in deeds requiring daring. Tom Hogue was a famous buffalo runner from the days when Selkirk settlers swept over the plains after the shaggy beasts whose flesh was made into pemmican, the staple food of the early days. He kept many Indian ponies, fleet footed horses whose mate was the wind, and had quite an establishment.”

In 1892 or 93 they moved to La Salle and started farming. In Then to Now: the history of La Salle, Manitoba we find this excerpt:

“Thomas was a great horseman in his day. Neighbors and friends used to tell of his great achievements and of all the tricks he could do on horseback. At full gallop, he would grab the horse’s mane, jump to the ground and up on the horse’s back again. He would throw his hat on the ground, and at full gallop, he would lean over and pick it up again. One day, a neighbour said that he saw him coming home dragging a fox, which he lassoed while riding through the fields.”

Thomas and Philomene had 9 children:
Marguerite Clara Hogue who married Patrick Dumas
Adelaide Hogue who married Octave Gaudry
Elizabeth Hogue who married Modeste Gaudry
Sarah Hogue who married Arthur Girardin
Marie Hogue who married Joseph Larocque
Thomas Hogue (Pépère) who married Emma Girardin (Mémère
Louis Hogue who married Adelina Bourgeois
Joseph Jean Baptiste Amable Hogue who died at age 3
Virginie Hogue who married Napoleon Girardin.
As you can see 3 Hogues married 3 Girardins!

Thomas died May 20, 1924 and Philomene October 4, 1923. They are buried in La Salle.

St. Hyacinthe Roman Catholic Cemetery La Salle, Manitoba

St. Hyacinthe Roman Catholic Cemetery
La Salle, Manitoba

Yes, Philomene is named McMullen, but it really is McMillan, which I will explain when I blog about that line.

The soldiers arrive

There are many stories to tell about our filles du roi, and I will come back to these women.  However, I am now going to move ahead to the year 1665.  In keeping with the changes that King Louis XIV made in regards to New France, this was the year he sent the Carignan-Salières Regiment of French soldiers to Canada.  As we have seen, Iroquois attacks had been frequent, and the purpose of sending these 1200 troops was to bolster the defense of the colony. I can confirm 13 of these soldiers are our Girardin ancestors, and 9 of them married “Filles du Roi”.

From the online book Canadian Military Heritage, Volume 1 (1000-1754), Chapter 4: The King’s Soldiers, The Carignan, page 49, we see their uniforms.

Soldier of the régiment de Carignan-Salières

Soldier of the régiment de Carignan-Salières

“This French soldier wears the uniform of the régiment de Carignan-Salières, stationed in New France between 1665 and 1668. The uniform was brown with a gray lining that was visible in the upturned sleeves, forming a decorative facing. Buff-coloured and black ribbons decorated the hat and right shoulder, in accordance with the style of the time. The soldiers of the régiment de Carignan-Salières all wore swords and most were armed with muskets, although two hundred had lighter weapons known as fusils. Reconstruction by Francis Back.”

The first task for the soldiers was to build five forts along the Richelieu River, which was the main route taken by the Iroquois. In January of 1666 a force of 300 soldiers and 200 local militia embarked on a campaign (in the middle of winter???) during which they fought no battles, but managed to lose 100 men to cold and hunger.  Not an auspicious start.

A second excursion in the fall was more successful in terms of making the Mohawks aware of the French military presence, and resulted in a temporary peace.  400 of the Carignan-Salières soldiers opted to stay in New France, lured by the land grants and cash that were offered by Jean Talon, the Intendant.

I will tell one soldier’s story now, that of Antoine Chaudillon. He was 24 when he arrived, having been born in Ygrande in central France. He was baptised on July 16, 1641 in Église Saint Martin, a beautiful old church that dates from the 12th century.

Source: By User:Otourly (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Source: By User:Otourly (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

When he arrived, Antoine was a surgeon in the La Varenne Company.  The following year he was transferred to the Saurel Company.  On May 26, 1672 he married Marie Boucher.  I’ve written about both of her grandfathers; Marin Boucher and Pierre Garman dit Picard. After the regiments left, Antoine continued to practice as a surgeon. They had nine children and settled first in Sorel and later in Pointe-aux-Trembles.  .

Antoine was involved on July 2, 1690 in a battle with the Iroquois at Coulee Grou (Rivière des Prairies).   Antoine was one of the men taken prisoner at this battle, and later released.

And, of course, a plaque:

Image with the kind permission of Société Historique Rivière-des-Prairies

Image with the kind permission of Société Historique Rivière-des-Prairies

Marie was pregnant at the time of the battle, but Antoine must have been released by February 11, 1691, when he is noted as being present at the baptism of his daughter.

Antoine died at the age of 66, and Marie at 61.

Antoine rates an entry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, although it has some errors.

We descend from their firstborn, Catherine who married Francois Neveu as her first husband.  (When he died, Catherine married Jean Charbonneau, brother to one of our Hogue ancestors, Anne Charbonneau.)

Here is our descent:

1-Antoine CHAUDILLON (1641-1707)
+Marie BOUCHER (1652-16 Dec 1713)
2-Catherine CHODILLON (abt 1673-1745)
+Francois NEVEU dit LEMON (1666-?)
3-Marie NEVEU dite LEMON (1689-1747)
+Jean Baptiste BANLIER dit LAPERLE (1682-?)
4-Marie Madeleine BANLIER dite LAPERLE (1721-1795)
+Michel LANGEVIN (1718-?)
5-Marie Madeleine LANGEVIN (1749-1822)
+Louis LUSSIER (1749-?)
6-Christophe LUSSIER (1773-?)
+Marie Charlotte BRUNEL (1774-1806)
7-Magdeleine LUSSIER (1795- 1832)
+Charles ALLARD (1787-1862)
8-Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
+Marie BONIN (1827-?)
9-Onesime ALLARD (1852- 1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851- 1929)
10-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878- 1979)

Our first fille du roi…maybe?

In my last post, I mentioned that we count 34 filles du roi or King’s Daughters in our Hogue and Girardin ancestry. The first filles du roi arrived in Quebec on September 22, 1663.  They had sailed from La Rochelle, France on the ship, l’Aigle d’Or.  There were 38 of these women.  Of course they were not sailing alone; they were with soldiers, engagés, and crew members.  It was an arduous journey, and perhaps as many as a third of the passengers died at sea!

There are no passenger lists for this journey, which makes it difficult to determine precisely who were these first 38 brave women. Our ancestor, Catherine Fievre is listed in many sources as being one of these first filles du roi.  I was very excited to hear that, but I have learned recently, from a much more experienced researcher, that she may, in fact, have arrived in 1662.

Celebrations were held in the summer of 2013 in Quebec, marking the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the first filles du roi. You can see some pictures of the celebrations here.

While we don’t know if Catherine was officially a fille du roi, we do know that her mother had been widowed and remarried in France. Catherine was baptised November 19, 1646 in St-Andre, Poitou, France. Although we don’t know for sure when she immigrated, we do know that she signed a marriage contract on October 31, 1663 in Quebec and was married on November 10th  at the age of 17.

She married Charles Allaire, an engagé who had been in the colony since 1658.  They had 13 children, the first two apparently dying very young. Charles and Catherine settled in Ste-Famille, L’Île-d’Orléans.  Notarial records show that Charles died before February 20, 1691.  Catherine was left with several young children to raise alone, the youngest being only four years old, and our ancestor Etienne being seven. She did not remarry and died June 13, 1709 at the age of 63.

And once again, we have a plaque.

Allaire plaque

Catherine and Charles are Girardin ancestors, and we descend from two of their grandchildren:

1- Catherine FIEVRE (1646-1709)
+Charles ALLAIRE DALLAIRE (1637-?)
2-Etienne ALLAIRE DALLAIRE (1683-?)
+Marie Anne BILODEAU (1685-1731)
3-Pierre ALLAIRE DALLAIRE (1718-1780)
+Marie Louise EMERY CODERRE (1718-1792)
4-Marie Marguerite Rosalie ALAIRE (1755-1825)
+Pierre Francois ALLARD (1746-?)
5-Charles ALLARD (1787-1862)
+Magdeleine LUSSIER (1795-1832)
6-Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
+Marie BONIN (1827-?)
7-Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
8-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)
3-Marie ALLAIRE DALLAIRE (1708-1776)
+Francois DUPRE (abt 1703-1776)
4-Francois DUPRE (1731-?)
+Marie Catherine GUERTIN (1745-1835)
5-Pierre DUPRE (1773-1858)
+Marie Amable LETARTE (1784-?)
6-Marie Amable DUPRE (1801-?)
+Jean Baptiste BONIN (1799-?)
7-Marie BONIN (1827-?)
+Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
8-Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
9-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)


Our European ancestors continued to come to New France, and although I have by no means exhausted their stories, I am going to move along a little in our family history.  I promise to come back to these pioneers later.

The year 1663 in New France was noteworthy for three reasons.  First, it was the year that saw a very important change in how the colony was governed. Up until this time, the colony had been administered mainly by the fur-trading companies such as the Compagnie des Cent-Associés and the Communauté des Habitants. In 1663 King Louis XIV of France, aka the Sun king, brought the colony directly under royal rule. A new form of administration was now adopted that gave power to the Governor, the Intendant and the Bishop.

The population was very small, about 2500 people (not including the natives). Attacks from the Iroquois, as we have seen, were a constant threat.  Many seigneuries had been granted, but not settled, and the settlements that did exist were scattered.

Secondly, to solve the problem of a small population, the year 1663 saw the beginning of the arrival of the filles du roi or “King’s daughters”. These were single women, many of them orphans, who were recruited for the specific purpose of emigrating to the colony to marry. They were given free passage, a basic trousseau that included some personal supplies, and temporary accommodation in New France until they married. Some were also given a dowry that was more likely to be “in kind” than in cash. After the marriage the family received a bull, a cow and some other supplies.

These women were given the opportunity to choose their husbands, and in fact “interview” them.  They had the right to refuse a suitor.   You can read more here.  Some 770 women arrived under this program between 1663 and 1673.  34 of these women are Hogue or Girardin ancestors. I will certainly be sharing some of their stories.

And of course, we have a plaque.

Filles du Roi

The third notable event of 1663 was the Charlevoix earthquake which struck on February 5th, and was felt along the entire eastern part of North America.  You can read a scientific summary of it here.  It is estimated to have been a magnitude of between 7 and 8.  Aftershocks were felt until the following July or August.

You can also read a description by Father Jerome Lalemant in The Jesuit Relations.


I estimate that about a hundred of our ancestors were in New France at this time, and would have experienced this earthquake.  One ancestor, Marie Therese Hunault, whom I wrote about here, was born on February 12th, seven days after the first shock.

A widow and her daughters

Today’s story is about a widow who came to New France with her two daughters.  All three of these women were filles à marier.  Marie Madeleine Cousteau  was born about 1607, married in 1626 to Etienne St. Pair and bore six children. By 1639 her husband had died, and by 1647 four of her children had also.  Facing poverty, and in hopes of a better life,  she embarked with her twenty year old daughter Jeanne and her thirteen year old daughter Catherine.

Marie Madeleine quickly found a husband in Emery Cailleteau. They did not have any children, but her life was drastically changed once again when Emery was killed by the Iroquois on June 2, 1653 near the fort at Cap-de-La-Madeleine (in the Trois Rivieres area). We have documentation  in The Jesuit Relations:


In November of that same year, Marie Madeleine found another husband, Claude Houssard dit le Petit Claude, who had come to New France as an engage in 1642, and was about nine years younger than Marie Madeleine. He was one of the early pioneers in Trois Rivieres and there is a street, Rue Houssart, named after him.  Their marriage lasted for 36 years, until Claude’s death in 1689.

At some point, Claude had clearly descended into dementia.  Peter Gagne, in his book Before the King’s Daughters, quotes an article by Raymond Douville (Mémoires de la Société Généalogique Canadienne-Française, 1:4, 266-270), that explains Marie Madeleine gave land to one of her grandsons in return for his taking care of Claude because of

“the impossibility…with regards to the care that must be taken of her said husband, who is devoid of reason and in utter madness, of whom great care must be taken to clean up every mess which may be imagined and it being necessary to see to the comfort of this said man for the time that it pleases God to let him live.”

Apparently Marie Madeleine had incurred many debts in her desire to care for Claude. Her relatives helped her out by paying these debts.  After Claude died, Marie Madeleine lived another two years, dying at the age of about 84. One hope these last two years were peaceful ones for her.

Meanwhile, in 1649, Marie Madeleine’s daughter Catherine, not a direct ancestor, married Mathurin Guillet . On August 18, 1652 tragedy struck when Mathurin was killed by the Iroquois. From The Jesuit Relations, Vol. 37

 “On the 18th, 4 frenchmen were attacked by 8 Iroquois canoes, between 3 Rivers and the Cape; Maturin Guillet and La Boujonnier were killed on the spot. Plassez, a surgeon, and Rochereau, were taken away as captives.”

Catherine would then marry Nicolas Rivard dit Lavigne.

So now we come to Marie Madeleine’s daughter Jeanne, who had also come as a fille à marier. In 1648 she married Pierre Guillet dit Lajeunesse, brother to Mathurin, a master woodworker and carpenter who had come to New France around 1642. They also settled in the Trois Rivieres area, and would have a family of 11 children. One imagines his skills were in high demand in the colony.

Jeanne and Pierre had a daughter Marie Madeleine who married Robert Rivard dit Loranger, brother to Nicolas, (yes she married her aunt’s brother-in-law).  Robert is one of the names on a plaque remembering those immigrants baptized at l’église Saint-Aubin de Tourouvre, France.


Robert farmed in Batiscan, near Trois Rivieres, but the adventure and possible riches of the fur trade tempted him.  In 1689 he signed a contract with La Compagnie du Nord to trade in the area of the Abitibi lakes and Temiscamingue.  In 1695 he was part of the Compagnie Royale that traded furs. Several of his sons also involved themselves in the fur trade.

Here is where our lines get tangled, because we descend from three of Robert and Marie Madeleine’s children, Claude, Marie Charlotte, and Louis Joseph.

Claude married Catherine Roy dit Chatellerault and he was involved in the fur trade. His name is on the Cadillac Convoy plaque I’ve posted before, that honours the men who accompanied Antoine Lamother, Sieur de Cadillac, to Detroit on July 24, 1701.

Photo with permission of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

Photo with permission of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

Marie Charlotte and Louis Joseph both married into the Lesieur family, who are a topic for another post.

So now I will attempt to explain our complicated descent from these ancestors. First we have:

1-Marie Madeleine COUSTEAU/COUTEAU (abt 1606-1691)
+Etienne ST. PAIR (?-?)
2-Jeanne ST. PAIR (1627-?)
+Pierre GUILLET dit LAJEUNESSE (abt 1628-1695)
3-Marie Madeleine GUILLET (1650-1736)
+Robert RIVARD dit LORANGER (1638-1699)

Then we find we descend from three of their children until we arrive at Charles Girardin and Josephte Lesieur:
4-Claude RIVARD dit LORANGER (bef 1666-1736)
+Marie Catherine ROY dite CHATELLERAULT (bef 1673-1753)
5-Nicolas RIVARD dit LORANGER (1698-1760)
+Antoinette DUBORD dit LAFONTAINE (1715-1772)
6-Genevieve RIVARD dite LORANGER (1744-1810)
+Augustin GIRARDIN (1741-1810)
7-Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)
+Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)

4-Marie Charlotte RIVARD dite LORANGER (1680-1744)
+Charles Julien LESIEUR (1674-1739)
5-Pierre LESIEUR (1700-1761)
+Genevieve SICARD DE RIVE (1728-1798)
6-Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841)
+Joseph Baptiste LESIEUR dit LAPIERRE (1751-1813)
7-Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)
+Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)

4-Louis Joseph RIVARD dit LORANGER (1684-1740)
+Francoise LESIEUR (1695-1758)
5-Francoise RIVARD dite BELLEFEUILLE (bef 1727-1756)
+Jean Baptiste LESIEUR-COULOMB (bef 1721-1756)
6-Joseph Baptiste LESIEUR dit LAPIERRE (1751-1813)
+Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841)
7-Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)
+Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)

And then we find the final connection:
8-Paul GIRARDIN (1804-1878)
+Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
9-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
10-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

Whew!  Clear as mud.

Another fille à marier, a Protestant, and a massacre

One of the things I love about doing this blog, is the fact that in the process of preparing each entry, I keep making more fascinating discoveries!  (If you’re reading this blog, I hope you find them interesting at least).

In my last post I talked about Joachim Girard working for his uncle Jean Jobin. There are many connections between these two families.  Jean was an uncle by marriage, his wife, Marie Girard, being a sister to Joachim’s father Michel.  Many members of the Jobin family came to New France. Joachim’s sister Marie-Madeleine married Charles Jobin, another nephew of Jean’s, making Charles a brother-in-law to Joachim.

This Charles had a sister Francoise Jobin who was a fille à marier and turns out to also be a direct ancestor of ours in the Girardin line.  Francoise was born around 1632 in Amfreville-sous-les-Monts, Normandy, but the family had moved to Paris by 1639. Francoise came to New France in 1652 and stayed in the home of Jean Godefroy, Sieur de Linctot in Trois-Rivières until her marriage in 1653 to Pierre Dandonneau dit Lajeunesse.

Pierre was born in 1624 in Nieul-sur-Mer and was baptized in the Protestant church of La Rochelle.  That’s right, a Protestant.  Despite the popular perception that New France was exclusively a Roman Catholic colony, there were Protestants there.

So, some background:  The Wars of Religion (read more here) in France between Catholics and Protestants (usually referred to as Huguenots) took place from 1562 ‘til 1598 when the Edict of Nantes gave some equality and freedom to the Protestants.

Many Protestants were among the early explorers and entrepreneurs of the new world, including Jean Francois de la Rocque de Roberva, Guillaume de Caen and Pierre Chauvin.  Even Champlain’s wife, Helene Boulle, was born into a Huguenot family, though she later converted to Catholicism.

However, by 1627 the official French policy was that no Protestants could settle in New France.  They were however still permitted to trade there in the summer, and the merchants from Rochelle certainly did that.  Historians still debate how strictly this policy was enforced.

So, back to our ancestor Pierre Dandonneau dit Lajeunesse. There is no record in New France of an abjuration, ie. a renunciation of his Protestant faith, but it is possible that he did so before he boarded the ship. All his children were baptized Catholic.

He came in 1647 and worked for the above mentioned Jean Godefroy, Sieur de Linctot, which is of course how he met Francoise.

He has an entry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography (see here) which says in part:

“Pierre Dandonneau was one of the most earnest and tenacious settlers in the early years of the colony. He does not even seem to have engaged in fur-trading.”

Hmm, I found this to be a rather humourous comment.  Although Pierre may not fallen under the spell of the fur trade, many of his descendants and extended family certainly chose that career path. In fact, one of their granddaughters, Marie Anne Dandonneau du Sable, married the fur trader and explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye.  This is the second connection I’ve found to La Vérendrye.  I wrote about the first one here.

Pierre and Francoise had 11 children. Here’s our descent from Francoise to Mémère:

1-Marie Francoise JOBIN LAJEUNESSE (abt 1635-1702)
2-Marie Etiennette DANDONNEAU LAJEUNESSE (1662-1723)
+Pierre MERCEREAU LASAVANE (abt 1649-1714)
3-Marie Charlotte Charles MERCEREAU LASAVANE (1685-1715)
4-Marie Catherine TROTTIER DESRUISSEAUX POMBERT (1708-1788)
+Louis SICARD CARUFEL DERIVE (1705-1783)
5-Genevieve SICARD DE RIVE (1728-1798)
+Pierre LESIEUR (1700-1761)
6-Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841)
+Joseph Baptiste LESIEUR DIT LAPIERRE (1751-1813)
7-Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)
+Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)
8-Paul GIRARDIN (1804-1878)
+Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
9-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
10-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

So what were the new discoveries I made?

Firstly, I discovered via Google Books (see link here) that one of their daughters, Francoise, became a nun (Soeur Sainte-Apolline), a member of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal.  (So much for Protestantism).

Secondly, Francoise had a niece, Marie Madeleine (daughter of her brother Charles and Joachim Girard’s sister Marie Madeleine) who married Francois Fafard dit Delorme, who was an interpreter and “founder” of Detroit with Cadillac. His name is on a plaque.

Photo with permission of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

Photo with permission of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

We have a direct ancestor on this plaque, but that’s another blog post.

Thirdly, one of Pierre and Francoise’s great-grandsons, Alphonse Mercereau, was an engage for La Vérendrye’s son Jean-Baptiste.Alphonse was quite likely one of the 19 voyageurs massacred by the Sioux in June 1736 in Lake of the Woods.  You can read about it here.  My source for Alphonse being one of the dead is the Bulletin de la Societe historique de Saint-Boniface, Hiver 2001-2002. This Alphonse was a first cousin to our direct ancestor Marie Catherine Trottier.

The bodies were buried at Fort St. Charles, but the fort was eventually abandoned, and the remains were not found until 1908. You can read about that here, but I warn you the pictures are somewhat disturbing. The relics and remains were transferred to St. Boniface College but a fire in 1922 destroyed most of them.  In 1976 a monument was erected in the cemetery of St. Boniface Cathedral. You can view it here. It reads:


On June 6th Father J-P. Aulneau S.J., 31,

J.B. La Verendrye, 22,

and their 19 companions

were killed on an island

in the Lake of the Woods.

They were the forerunners of the

missionaries and voyageurs

who established French civilization

west of the Great Lakes

Grande Recrue

Our story continues in Ville Marie (Montreal). By 1651, Maisonneuve’s dreams were not yet accomplished.  Ville Marie had a very small population and was under constant threat from the Iroquois as I wrote about here. All the settlers, and the hospital founded by Jeanne Mance, were forced to move inside the fort for protection. Really, one would think these people would be tempted to go back to France!  Some did, but obviously not our ancestors or I wouldn’t be writing this.

And so began the “Grande Recrue”.  Jeanne Mance offered money from her French benefactor to Maisonneuve, so he could recruit more settlers in France. He was looking for young, strong men who had useful skills and, perhaps more importantly, could use firearms.  The men would sign contracts agreeing to work for three to five years. About 100 men and 15 women made the voyage. The women included Marguerite Bourgeoys, who was coming to start a school in the colony.

The voyage in 1653 was not an easy one. The ship The Saint-Nicolas-de-Nantes left Saint-Nazaire on June 20, 1653. After a few days it became obvious the ship need major repairs and the decision was made to return to France.

From the website of Maison Saint-Gabriel we learn:

Marguerite Bourgeoys explained the events: “Sieur de Maisonneuve and all of his soldiers stopped on an island from which there was no escape. Otherwise, not a single one would have stayed. Some even set about swimming to save themselves since they were furious and believed they had been taken to perdition.” (Les Écrits de Mère Bourgeoys, p. 46).

Not an auspicious start to this adventure! The repaired ship, or perhaps a different one, finally left on July 20, 1653. Illness was rampant on the ship and eight men died. The ship finally arrived at Quebec City on September 22, 1653. They arrived in Montreal on November 16, 1653.

Five of the men and one woman who made this voyage are our ancestors. They were Girardin ancestors Fiacre Ducharme dit Fontaine, Louis Guertin dit Le Sabotier,  and Jacques Milot Laval; Hogue ancestor Michel Theodore dit Gilles, as well as Toussaint Hunault dit Deschamps and Marie Lorgueil who would marry in 1654 and are both Girardin and Hogue ancestors.  Of course there is a plaque commemorating this event, in Place de la Dauversière, Montreal.

By Jean Gagnon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jean Gagnon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

The plaque says (my translation) “They saved the island of Montreal and all of Canada also”. Quite an accomplishment! Today’s post will talk about three of these men.

Fiacre Ducharme dit Fontaine was a master woodworker who married fille à marier Marie Pacreau in 1659.  He also served as corporal the 18th squadron of Montreal’s Sainte-Famille militia.

As many of our Montreal ancestors served in this militia, I will offer some background on what it was. In 1663 Maisonneuve created this militia because there were not enough regular soldiers to protect Montreal from the Iroquois attacks.

The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Military Museum tells us that:

“The Soldats de la Sainte-Famille de Jésus, Marie et Joseph consisted of 20 squads of 7 men each. The force provided additional guards for workers in the fields and relieved the Montreal militia for nightly guard duty on the walls of the town. Following the arrival of French regular troops in 1665, Maisonneuve disbanded the Soldats de la Sainte-Famille de Jésus, Marie et Joseph in 1666. In three years, the unit lost only eight men to Iroquois war parties.”

Fiacre died in 1677 when the youngest of their seven children was only three years old.  Marie married again.

1-Fiacre DUCHARME FONTAINE (abt 1628-1677)
+Marie PACRAU/PACREAU (abt 1630-1699)
2-Marie Angelique DUCHARME (1674-1742)
+Claude DUDEVOIR (1663-1735)
3-Philippe DUDEVOIR (1701-1755)
+Marie Marguerite DUBREUIL (1701-1769)
4-Marie Catherine DUDEVOIR LACHINE (1726-1777)
+Francois GUERTIN (1723-1788)
5-Marie Catherine GUERTIN (1745-1835)
+Francois DUPRE (1731-?)
6-Pierre DUPRE (1773-1858)
+Marie Amable LETARTE (1784-?)
7-Marie Amable DUPRE (1801-?)
+Jean Baptiste BONIN (1799-?)
8-Marie BONIN (1827-?)
+Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
9-Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
10-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

Louis Guertin dit Le Sabotier was a wooden shoe maker (sabotier) and he also married a fille à marier Elisabeth  Camus in 1659. In 1663 he became a member of the 19th squadron of Montreal’s Sainte-Famille militia.

Elisabeth was about fifteen when she married.  She bore 11 children and died in 1680 when the youngest was only two and a half months old!  Louis died seven years later.

We descend from two of their sons:

1-Louis GUERTIN  DIT LE SABOTIER (1625-1687)
+Marie Elisabeth CAMUS (abt 1645-1680)
2-Louis GUERTIN (1668-1733)
+Marie Madeleine CHICOINE BELLEVUE (1672-1745)
3-Marguerite GUERTIN (1692-1746)
+Michel LANGEVIN (abt 1693-1757)
4-Michel LANGEVIN (1718-?)
+Marie Madeleine BANLIER LAPERLE (1721-1795)
5-Marie Madeleine LANGEVIN (1749-1822)
+Louis LUSSIER (1749-?)
6-Christophe LUSSIER (1773-?)
+Marie Charlotte BRUNEL (1774-1806)
7-Magdeleine LUSSIER (1795-1832)
+Charles ALLARD (1787-1862)
8-Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
+Marie BONIN (1827-?)
9-Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
10-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)
2-Paul GUERTIN (1680-1755)
+Marie Madeleine PLOUF (1683-1760)
3-Francois GUERTIN (1723-1788)
+Marie Catherine DUDEVOIR dite LACHINE (1726-1777)
4-Marie Catherine GUERTIN (1745-1835)
+Francois DUPRE (1731-?)
5-Pierre DUPRE (1773-1858)
+Marie Amable LETARTE (1784-?)
6-Marie Amable DUPRE (1801-?)
+Jean Baptiste BONIN (1799-?)
7-Marie BONIN (1827-?)
+Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
8-Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
9-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

Jacques Milot Laval was listed as a milicien, meaning a militia man, on the list of immigrants of 1653. In 1663 he was also a member of the 10th squadron of Montreal’s Sainte-Famille militia.

He married Marie Jeanne Hebert whose parents I wrote about here. Marie was only about 13 when she married.  She bore 11 children, and died at the age of 40.  That was two years after the birth of her last child who died the day it was born.  The youngest living child was five. Such hard lives our female ancestors had.

1-Jacques MILOT LAVAL (abt 1629-1699)
+Marie Jeanne HEBERT (abt 1647-1687)
2-Catherine MILOT LAVAL (1665-1708)
+Jean Baptiste JOFRION (abt 1670-1740)
3-Marie Catherine JOFRION (1698-1761)
+Pierre TAILLEFER (1700-1773)
4-Jacques TAILLEFER (1733-1769)
+Marie Josephe DAUNAIS LAFRENIERE dite DELAUNAY (1742-?)
5-Jean-Baptiste TAILLEFER (1765-?)
+Marie Angelique DEBONNE (6 Jul 1766-?)
6-Marie TAILLEFER (1801-1872)
+Jean Baptiste BERNARDIN (1784-1857)
7-Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
+Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878)
8-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
9-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)


The Trottier family

Jules Trottier and Catherine Loiseau are Girardin ancestors who came to New France in 1646 with their four sons. Jules (sometimes known as Gilles) was a carpenter and cattle breeder, and he signed a contract in France to come and work for Jacques Le Neuf on his seigneury at Portneuf  near Trois Rivières. Jacques was brother to another ancestor, Michel Le Neuf.

Of course we find another plaque.

Plaque posée à l'intérieur de l'église Saint-Martin d'Igé

Plaque posée à l’intérieur de l’église Saint-Martin d’Igé

Igé is a small village in the Orne district of Normandy.

(And yes, if you follow this link for the plaque you can see our connection to Madonna and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall).  Take that as you will.

Catherine was pregnant on the voyage and gave birth to her fifth son, Jean Baptiste, at sea.  (This son is not a direct ancestor, but he married the sister of one.  Oh what tangled roots we have!)

One can only imagine what that trip would have been like.  Being pregnant on the voyage was probably uncomfortable enough, but actually giving birth?  They arrived on the farm at Portneuf, but were forced to seek refuge in Trois Rivières, due to attacks by the Iroquois. The family later settled briefly at Cap-de-la-Madeleine, and both Jules and Catherine were buried in Trois Rivières; he in May of 1655, and she in January of 1656.

We descend from two of their sons.  The first is Antoine:

1-Jules “Gilles” TROTTIER (abt 1591-1655)
+Catherine LOISEAU (abt 1601-1656)
2-Antoine TROTTIER Sieur DesRuisseaux (1640-1706)
+Marie Catherine LEFEBVRE (1648-1705)
+Marie Charlotte  MERCEREAU dite LASAVANE (1685-1715)
4-Marie Catherine TROTTIER DESRUISSEAUX dite POMBERT (1708-1788)
+Louis SICARD CARUFEL dit DERIVE (1705-1783)
5-Genevieve SICARD DERIVE (1728-1798)
+Pierre LESIEUR (1700-1761)
6-Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841)
+Joseph LESIEUR dit LAPIERRE (1751-1813)
7-Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)
+Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)
8-Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878)
+Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
9-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD ( 1852-1896)
10-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

In 1660 Antoine was one of a small group of coureur de bois who accompanied Father Rene Menard into what is now Wisconsin.  The priest was going as a missionary, the others were going to trade furs. Louise Phelps Kellogg in her book The French Regime in Wisconsin and the Northwest refers to Antoine as

“the leader among the traders, who later settled at Batiscan, where he lived until 1706.”

It would be three years before the traders would return to Quebec, and Menard would not be with them, having died. Antoine would then marry Catherine Lefebvre, whose father and mother I talked about here. Two of Catherine’s brothers married two of Antoine’s nieces.

In Our French-Canadian Ancestors, Vol VII by Thomas Laforest  (page 211) we learn that:

“Antoine dit Desruisseaux was one of the most important merchants of his time in the colony” and that he “formed fur trading associations and became very rich.”

I have found a reference in another book that indicates Antoine was able to afford a private tutor for his children. Schooling in Transition: Readings in Canadian History of Education tells us that:

“In a contract of 1681, Pierre Bertrand, who reportedly had attended the University of Paris, agreed to serve as tutor to the family of the military figure Joseph-Francois Hertel of Trois-Rivieres, for a period of a year.  Bertrand promised to join the Hertel household upon completion of his teaching duties with the family of Antoine Trottier Des Ruisseaux of the same town.”

Several of Antoine’s sons would continue in the fur trade.  Heather Devine writes in The People who Own Themselves: Aboriginal Ethnogenesis in a Canadian Family about one of Antoine’s sons, Michel Trottier dit Beaubien, that :

“While Michel Trottier chose to purchase and develop a parcel of land as a seigneur, three of his brothers worked for various periods in the fur trade.  Although two of the brothers began as lowly engagés, they eventually became merchants in their own right, establishing a firm foothold in the business community for the Trottier family. By the mid-eighteenth century, five of Michel Trottier’s nephews numbered among the largest outfitters in Montreal.”

Antoine’s sons were very fond of taking dit names, so we find their descendants named DesRuisseaux, Pombert, Desaulniers, Desrivieres, and more.

Antoine’s son, also named Antoine, and our direct ancestor, apparently did not enter the fur trade. He married twice (his first wife Marie Charlotte Mercereau died at the age of 30, after having three children.)  With his second wife he would have another nine children.

Surprisingly, Antoine died November 11, 1733 within 12 days of the death of three of his children, one an infant, one aged 11 and one aged 23. This led me to research if there was an epidemic of some type occurring that year.  Turns out there was an influenza pandemic  from 1729-1733.

I checked a bit more and discovered that Antoine also buried a ten-month old son in 1730, and a 6 day-old daughter in 1731. Antoine’s widow remarried in 1734, and had 3 more children, one of whom she buried as an infant.

Our other descent is from Jules and Catherine’s son Pierre:

1-Jules “Gilles” TROTTIER (abt 1591-1655)
+Catherine LOISEAU (abt 1601-1656)
2-Pierre TROTTIER (1644-1693)
+Susanne MIGAUD (abt 1646-1723)
3-Agnes TROTTIER (bef 1672-1741)
+Antoine GIRARDIN (1664-1741)
4-Jacques GIRARDIN (1698-1747)
+Marie Clothilde BRISSON dite DUTILLY (1702-?)
5-Augustin GIRARDIN (1741-1810)
+Genevieve RIVARD-LORANGER (1744-1810)
6-Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)
+Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)
7-Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878)
+Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
8-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
9-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

I have not learned very much about Pierre.  He must have been content with the life of a habitant, farming first in Cap-de-La-Madeleine and then in Batiscan.  He married Susanne Migaud, a fille à marier, in 1663.  We do not know the names of her parents or where in France she lived.  She is believed to have come here in 1662.  They had ten children, two of whom died in 1703, likely in the smallpox outbreak of that year.

Although I have done only a little research on my Mother’s ancestors, I do know that Pierre and Susanne are in her lineage also.  I can only imagine how tangled the family tree will be once I research my Mom’s line!