John Francis Grant, part 1

A few years ago I picked up the book A Son of the fur trade: The Memoirs of Johnny Grant, edited by Gerhard J. Ens, with genealogical charts by Anita Steele.

I read the book simply because I am interested in fur trade history, but was delighted to find four family connections! The book is an oral history, dictated to his wife before he died in Edmonton, Alberta in 1907. You can read a review of the book here.

John Francis Grant was a very colourful character. He was born at Fort Edmonton to HBC clerk Richard Grant (later to become a Chief Trader) and Marie Anne Breland, but raised in Trois-Rivières by his paternal grandmother after the death of his mother. As Anita Steele explains on her excellent website William Grant of Trois Rivieres:

Johnny Grant -as he was known in the U.S.- remained in the U.S. for twenty years. During that time, he was one of Montana’s earliest settlers, a trader, a cattle and horse rancher, owner of a store, a saloon, a dance hall, a grist mill and a blacksmith shop. His enterprises took him west and south as far as Fort Vancouver, WA,, and Sacrament, CA; and as far east, south and north as St. Louis, MO, Trois Rivieres, PQ, and the Red River Settlement of MB, and to many locations between.

Johnny’s Montana ranch is now a National Historic Site. You can read more about the ranch here.

John F. Grant had several wives and many children. After selling his Montana ranch in 1866 he brought his family to Red River. He established a ranch near present day Carman, Manitoba, as well as a home on the banks of Sturgeon Creek. There is a historical mural in Carman that includes Johnny Grant and his wife Clotilde Bruneau. You can see it here.

So what is our connection to John Francis Grant? It’s that three of John’s children married into the Hogue, Dease and Bernardin families.

In A Son of the fur trade there are references to these marriages. On page 234, Johnny reminisces about having a party in 1870:

As usual, we sent invitations to all the elites of Winnipeg and nearly every one of the two parishes that were fit to invite and some outsiders. We had sixty-two couples besides the family and that was twelve counting my son-in-law, William Dease. That was quite a few for a country dance, but they were all welcome and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly. We had a jolly good time. We dance[d] in three rooms, three and more violins going at the same time, all the liquor they wanted of different kinds. But I am proud to say not one was worst of liquor and the table, well you can imagine. I had plenty of money those days and we were not stingy.”

The William Dease referred to is William Dease Jr., son of William Dease, Sr. whom I wrote about here. William Dease Jr. married John’s daughter, Mary Agnes Grant, whose mother was Louise Serpante, a Shoshone woman. Mary Agnes was born in 1851 and she married William in 1869.

Here’s a chart showing the relationship to Pépère.

Dease chart
William and Mary Agnes did not have any children, but they appear to have led an adventurous life! They lived in Red River, Dakota, Montana, Oregon, and California. From the Montana Historical Society I obtained a biographical sketch, and copies of two letters William wrote to his father.

 

Biographical sketch by A.E. Dease, William Dease papers, 1876-1886, SC 612, Folder 1, Montana Historical Society Research Center, Archives

Biographical sketch by A.E. Dease, William Dease papers, 1876-1886, SC 612, Folder 1, Montana Historical Society Research Center, Archives

 

Transcript of letter, December 4, 1876, William Dease papers, 1876-1886, SC 612, Folder 1, Montana Historical Society Research Center, Archives

Transcript of letter, December 4, 1876, William Dease papers, 1876-1886, SC 612, Folder 1, Montana Historical Society Research Center, Archives

 

Transcript of letter, June 19, 1886, William Dease papers, 1876-1886, SC 612, Folder 1, Montana Historical Society Research Center, Archives

Transcript of letter, June 19, 1886, William Dease papers, 1876-1886, SC 612, Folder 1, Montana Historical Society Research Center, Archives

I have been unable to find out exactly when or where William and Mary Agnes died.

As I mentioned, John Francis Grant had a ranch near present day Carman, Manitoba, the same time the Girardin and Bernardin families were homesteading there. This leads to our second family connection. On page 274 of the book we learn:

Among the French families that had come from the states, there was one who had rather a grown up family: 3 sons, big enough to work, and three daughters. My son Billy was often at the Ranch that winter. There was attraction out there [between him and] the oldest of the girls. The consequence was that in June of 1878 their Wedding was coming on.
She was a good girl. If he had searched the country over he could not have found a better person better suited to him. She was so patient.’

The family he is talking about is that of Joseph Bernardin and his wife Marie Peloquin. The daughter is Oxilia. And Billy is William Grant, born in 1856 to John Francis Grant and Quarra, another Shoshone woman. Here’s a chart showing the relationship between Oxilia and Mémère:

Bernardin chart

On Anita Steele’s website there is this photograph.

Grant pic

Labels on the back of this tintype were not totally clear, but have been analyzed as:
(R) Billy Grant, son of John F. Grant
(C) First name: Louis. Surname looks like Bernasdene. Perhaps Bernardin(e)
(L) First name: Napolian. Surname looks like Geradine. Perhaps Germain(e)

It seems quite likely that the Louis in the picture is Oxilia’s brother Louis Bernardin, making him brother-in-law to William Grant.

And it also seems likely that the Napoleon is Oxilia’s cousin Napoleon Girardin, Mémère’s father.

Here’s a side by side comparison of Napoleon’s wedding picture from 1873 with the picture above.

Napoleon 1

Napoleon 2

 

 

 

And here’s a comparison of a picture of a picture of Louis Bernardin taken from the book Treasures of Time: The Rural Municipality of Cartier 1914-1984, with the picture above.

Louis 1

Louis 2

 

 

 

 

Tragically, William and Oxilia’s marriage was a short one, as William died in 1886. They had at least two daughters, and perhaps one son. The only child I’ve been able to track is Anna Grant, who married Edouard Roy. Co-incidentally, Edouard was the widower of Eva Rheault, whose mother was Marie Rouleau whose second marriage was to Napoleon Girardin.  Are we confused yet?

I don’t know where William Grant is buried, but Oxilia is buried in Holy Sacrament Cemetery in Elie, Manitoba, near her father Joseph.

Grant Oxilia obit

Oxiliagrave

 

I’ll continue writing about the Grant connections in my next post.

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The McMillan/Dease Family

Today I’m going to write about the children of our Hogue ancestors, William McMillan and Margaret Dease. They had nine children who survived to adulthood.  Gaps in the birth order would suggest there were other infants born who did not survive. I’ve already written about Philomene McMillan, who married Thomas Hogue, Sr. here.

Thomas and Philomene

Thomas and Philomene

When examining the families of these siblings, we see, once again,  how interconnected the people of the Red River Settlement were.

Philomene’s sister, Marguerite McMillan (1840 – 1926) was born in St. Boniface. She married Baptiste Beauchemin and they lived next door to Philomene and Thomas on the banks of the Assiniboine River in St. Charles. Baptiste Beauchemin was a member of Louis Riel’s Provisional Government.

A very interesting article appeared in The Winnipeg Tribune, April 10, 1946, when Marguerite and Baptiste’s son William died.

The Winnipeg Tribune, April 10, 1946

The Winnipeg Tribune, April 10, 1946

Wow!  Actually saw the shooting of Thomas Scott, a pivotal event in Manitoba history.

Marie Anne McMillan(1842-1922) married Salomon Carriere. They eventually settled in St. Laurent, Manitoba.

Joseph McMillan (1849-1923) married Pauline Bruce. I love finding obituaries!  Even though they often contain slightly inaccurate information, they do give us a glimpse into the lives and times of our relatives. I was able to find an obituary for Joseph. (Philomene died the day before her brother, but I’ve never found an obiturary for her.)

MANITOBA FREE PRESS, WINNIPEG, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1923
JOSEPH M’MILLAN WAS PIONEER IN FARMING
St. James Resident Who Died Yesterday Was Prominent in Assiniboia
Western Canada lost another pioneer farmer in the death of Joseph McMillan, a native of St. Boniface, who died yesterday morning at his residence, 241 Maddock street, St. James, at the age of 73 years. Born in the Cathedral city, Dec. 4, 1849, Mr. McMillan crossed the river 60 years ago, and settled in St. James on what is now known as the Strathmillan estate, where he farmed for a number of years and had lived ever since.
After several years of active life in the municipality of Assiniboia, where he was elected to the council the first year of its existence and later presided over its deliberations as reeve, Mr. McMillan retired from the public life of the district in 1912.
Mrs. McMillan pre-deceased him, having died in September, 1922. He leaves two sons and four daughters, being W.F. McMillan of Poplar Point; J.E. McMillan, 240 Maddock street; Mrs. L.T. Hogue, Murray Park; Mrs. D. Lagasee, of St. Adolphe; Mrs. Charles Sayer, of Delmas, Sask., and Miss Catherine McMillan, at home.
In addition to being a pioneer of the west, Mr. McMillan had the further distinction of being the son of a native of western Canada, his father having been born in Edmonton, of Scottish descent. In the early days of his settling in St. James he taught school at Sturgeon Creek.
Up to Thursday afternoon, this pioneer was talking to his sons of the olden days, with their buffalo hunts and other exciting adventures, though he had been bedridden for the past eight months following a paralytic stroke.
The funeral will be held Monday, at 9:30 a.m., from the family residence, interment taking place at St. Charles cemetery.

Buffalo hunts!  Those certainly would qualify as “exciting adventures”!

Virginie McMillan (1851-1933) married Daniel Carriere, a cousin of Salomon’s. (Both Daniel and Salomon were also cousins of Damase Carriere who was involved with the Riel Rebellion of 1885, and died at Batoche, Saskatchewan.) Virginie and Daniel lived in St. Eustache, Manitoba.

Sarah McMillan, (1852-1943), was married three times. She married Joseph Turcotte, was widowed, married Pierre Jobin, was widowed, and then married Antoine Vandal. Sarah is buried in St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba. (Pierre Jobin’s brother Ambroise died in 1885 from wounds suffered at the Battle of Batoche.)

Patrice “Patrick” McMillan, (1854-1929) married Elizabeth “Betsy” Caplette. I also found an obituary for him.

Manitoba Free Press, Winnipeg, Friday, December 13, 1929
PIONEER RESIDENT OF WINNIPEG DIES
Patrick McMillan Succumbs at St. Giles, Man., Aged 74 Years
Patrick McMillan, aged 74 years, and pioneer resident of Winnipeg, died Tuesday at his home at St. Giles, Man. He was born in St. Boniface, and resided on Davidson street, St. James until a few months ago, when he moved to St. Giles. In addition to his widow, Mr. McMillan is survived by two sons, W.J. of St. Charles, and Peter, of St. James; also three daughters, Mrs. N. Lane, of Deerhorn, Man.; Mrs. H. Breland of St. Francis, Man., and Mrs. A. Turcotte, of Charleswood, Man.
Funeral service for Mr. McMillan will be held this morning at 10 o’clock at St. Charles church, and burial will be made in St. Charles cemetery. The Clark-Leatherdale funeral home is in charge of arrangements.

John McMillan (1858-1908) married Virginie Bruce, sister to Pauline. John also has an obituary.

MANITOBA FREE PRESS, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 1908
John McMillan, of St. Charles, died at the family residence on Monday night, after a protracted illness. He was born at St. Boniface in 1860, removing to St. Charles when a young lad. He was a son of the late Joseph McMillan, [this is an error and should read William]an official in the service of the Hudson’s Bay company, who lived to be over 100 years old, his death taking place five years ago. John McMillan was well known, and highly respected by all with whom he came in contact, and was always ready to take an active interest in matters of general benefit to the community where he lived. He leaves a widow and five children: Alan, Josephine and Virginia, at home; Mrs. Alexander Smith, of St. James, and Mrs. Lacceet, of St. Vital. He was a keen sportsmen, having formed one of a party of five, consisting of A. Smith, H. Roberts, W. Pruden, G. Kerr, and the deceased, who went on an annual hunting expedition together for the last thirteen years. The funeral will take place this morning at 8:30 from the family residence to St. Charles cemetery, where interment will take place.

St. Charles Cemetery Winnipeg, Manitoba

St. Charles Cemetery
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Elizabeth McMillan (1859-1938) married Pierre Bruce, brother of Pauline and Virginie.  They lived in St. Laurent, Manitoba.  I’ve found an obituary for Pierre.

MANITOBA FREE PRESS, WINNIPEG, TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 1927, page 5
TWO AGED RESIDENTS OF ST. LAURENT DIE
Pierre Bruce, Aged 78 Years, and Pierre Lavelle, Aged 70 Called By Death

St. Laurent, Man., April 18.—Pierre Bruce, aged 78 years, died yesterday morning at the family ranch at Harperville, after a protracted illness. He was a native of St. Norbert, and resided in the neighborhood of Winnipeg for the first fifty years of his life. Mr. Bruce was an artist with the violin, and only a few years ago gave a demonstration of his skill, playing reels and jigs at the then “Pantages theatre.”
He is survived by his widow, two daughters and four sons.
The funeral will be held at St. Laurent on Tuesday.

All three Bruce in laws were nieces/nephews of John Bruce, who was President of the Métis National Council in 1869.

The family name “McMillan” was sometimes spelt “McMullen”. In 1878, Joseph McMillan must have petitioned HBC for acknowledgment of the correct spelling. In the HBC Archives, MG8 B53, we find this letter:

“Fort Garry 24th Dec 1878
I hereby certify an examination of old Hudson’s Bay Company record, that the family name of McMillan (say Father of William McMillan and Grandfather of Joseph McMillan) is spelt McMillan not McMullan.
J.H. McTavish
Chief Factor H.B.C.”

William McMillan, free trader

William McMillan and Margaret Dease Photo source: Ontario Archives

William McMillan and Margaret Dease
Photo source: Ontario Archives

This picture is of William McMillan and Margaret Dease. William is the son of James McMillan and Josephte Belisle, whom I wrote about here. Margaret is the daughter of John Warren Dease and Genevieve Beignet, whom I wrote about here. The picture was taken around 1902 when they were both very elderly. If you look closely at William’s left hand, you will note it is damaged. According to Heather Devine’s Informativel article The Indian-Metis Connection: James McMillan and His Descendants (which is available online, just google it):

“Like his father, William had bad luck with firearms. Apparently while on a buffalo hunt, he surprised an Indian trying to steal one of his horses. The Indian attempted to shoot McMillan, who grabbed the barrel of the gun in his hand. The gun went off, burning the flesh off his hand and leaving it permanently withered.”

They are in front of their house, which, although I am not a student of architecture, I’m quite sure was built in a style known as Red River frame construction. That’s the same style as  the Barber House, Riel House, and the William Brown house, which are all still standing in Winnipeg today. William and Margaret’s house was on lot 16 in the Parish of St. James.

Cadastral: Parish Plan of St. John’s, St. James, and St. Boniface, Archives of Manitoba

Cadastral: Parish Plan of St. John’s, St. James, and St. Boniface, Archives of Manitoba

This image, showing his name as William McMullen, is an excerpt from Cadastral: Parish Plan of St. John’s, St. James, and St. Boniface in the holdings of the Archives of Manitoba. This copy is from the website of St. James Anglican Church. For those familiar with the Winnipeg suburb of St. James, the Anglican church is circled bottom right. The lot bearing the name James Bruce is today’s Bruce Park. William’s lot is in the upper left. It would be roughly where Vernon Street and Whytewold Road are today. Strathmillan Street got its name from the fact that it was the dividing line between William McMillan’s property and that of Donald Smith aka Lord Strathcona (you know him as the man hammering in the last spike of the CPR). The river shown at the bottom of the map is the Assiniboine, and the dotted lines mark the Portage Trail which became Portage Avenue.

William was born around 1806 in the North West Territories. I say this despite the fact that when he died, his family said he was 103! Here’s a picture of his gravestone in St. Charles Cemetery, Winnipeg.

William McMillan St. Charles Cemetery Winnipeg, Manitoba

William McMillan
St. Charles Cemetery
Winnipeg, Manitoba

William was raised by his mother and her family near today’s Edmonton. Governor Simpson wrote in 1825 that William at 18 “was the boy of Mr. James MacMillan Chief Trader and [was] under no agreement with the company but never the less [would] …do anything the company require [d] of him”. (Hudson’s Bay Company Archives B60 2/3)

William claimed to be born in 1806 when he applied for scrip.

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

According to Heather Devine, William was a contract employee of HBC by 1826 “as a middleman on the York boats. He retired as a bowsman in 1835.”

Margaret Dease was born between 1813 and 1820, either in the Rainy Lake area (Fort Frances, Ontario) where her father, John Warren Dease was in charge of the NWC post, or in Fort Alexander. Here’s her scrip application.

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

Library and Archives Canada RG 15 v. 1322

William and Margaret married in 1832. The Red River Settlement Censuses allow us to track their life to some extent. In the 1838 census they have 4 horses and 5 mares. By 1843 they now have 1 house, 2 stables, 1 barn, 5 horses, 1 mare, 7 oxen, 4 cows, 2 calves, 9 pigs, 1 plough, 1 harrow, 6 carts(these are the famous Red River carts) and 6 acres of cultivated land. By 1846, they also own a canoe and have 8 acres of land cultivated.

When researching at the Archives of Manitoba, I was thrilled to find the notation in that 1846 census that William is “to the plains” meaning that he is away hunting buffalo! In 1849 they have 2 houses, 2 stables, 1 barn, 7 horses, 4 mares, 7 oxen, 1 bull, 4 cows, 1 calf, 5 pigs, 1 plough, 1 harrow, 7 carts 1 canoe, and a “shop of merchandise”.

The number of Red River carts is indicative of the fact that William was a “free trader”, that is, someone who traded in buffalo robes and other merchandise in defiance of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s regulations. He would have traveled south to Pembina and St. Paul. In the book Homeland to Hinterland: The Changing Worlds of the Red River Metis in the Nineteenth Century, Gerhard J. Ens states:

“By the late 1860s, there were literally dozens of robe traders making $1,000 or more per year.”

He then lists the names of  several traders including William McMillan and Margaret’s brothers William and John Dease.

William played a  role in the fight against HBC’s monopoly of the fur trade, and advocated for Metis representation in the governing of the settlement. His name is on several petitions in 1845, 1849, and 1850 made to the governor of Red River Settlement and to HBC. He most likely would have been amongst the several hundred armed Metis who surrounded the courthouse during the famous Sayer Trial of 1849.

In the book The Lochaber Emigrants to Glengarry, Hugh McMillan tells of interviewing a grandson of William’s and learning this:

“The family spoke Cree in the home as well as French intermixed with Gaelic and English. Journeys took him as far afield as Kentucky to buy horses in order to improve his buffalo runners. At age 70 he went to the newly-opened Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minnesota for eye surgery but came back nearly blind.”

When William died the Manitoba Free Press published a lengthy article on October 1, 1903 entitled “Death of The First Free Fur Trader” with many interesting, though likely embellished, details:

 

Death of the first free fur trader

 

“In those days the chief occupation of the few people who lived in the Red River Colony was trading and buffalo hunting; and, it was natural that young McMillan should fall in with the customs of the times.
He became a hunter at first, but the instinct of his Scotch blood asserted itself and he began trading on his own account; and was the first free trader in the vicinity – though, his scope of business was confined to the position of “middleman” between his hunting companions and the Hudson’s Bay Company. He was noted on the plains for his horsemanship and for his skill as a hunter; and, was always chosen as a leader or captain of the hunts.
In those days, the Indians knew no law but that of the Hudson’s Bay Company and were ever watching for a chance to raid the camps of the traders. The Sioux were the chief aggressors and Mr. McMillan often told of the fights the buffalo hunters had with these bold and warlike aborigines in the Souris and Qu’Appelle districts. These encounters were frequently of a revolutionary nature and scouts, and traders, had to constantly be on guard against surprise or ambush. His experience in this wild life on the prairies qualified McMillan as a guide; and, he had the distinction of being chosen on several occasions to escort titled gentlemen from the Old Country who came to hunt buffalo, half a century ago.
Forty years ago Mr. McMillan purchased a couple of hundred acres of land in St. James, just beyond Lord Strathcona’s Silver Heights farm, and made that his home up to the time of his death. He taught his children farming, but continued himself in the fur trade business until late in the seventies when the business ceased to be profitable.”

Doesn’t William’s life sound exciting?

Of Margaret Dease, I have no details, except that she bore 12 children, of whom 9 survived to adulthood.  Margaret died in 1905. Here is her gravestone in St. Charles Cemetery.

Margaret Dease gravestone St. Charles Cemetery Winnipeg, Manitoba

Margaret Dease gravestone
St. Charles Cemetery
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Here is the descent from William and Margaret to Pépère:

1-William MCMILLAN (1806-1903)
+Margaret DEASE (1818-1905)
2-Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
+Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924)
3-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!