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)

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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!