Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Francois Jacques Bruneau was my GGG Grandfather. The following information comes from Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.

BRUNEAU, FRANÇOIS-JACQUES, magistrate and councillor of Assiniboia; b. December 1809 at Lac Vert (Green Lake, Sask.), illegitimate son of Antoine Bruneau and a pure Cree or a Métis; d. 26 June 1865 at Saint-Boniface (Man.).

The father of François-Jacques Bruneau was probably a voyageur for the North West Company; he seems to have been related to Bruneaus prominent in Quebec society and also to Julie, wife of Louis-Joseph Papineau*. Since François-Jacques’ grandparents came from Poitou, he was of recent European origin, which was not common among the Métis. Those who could referred to themselves as grandchildren of “Frenchmen from France” in an effort to achieve equal footing with their half-breed compatriots, who were mostly of recent Scottish or English ancestry.

In 1814 François-Jacques Bruneau went to Montreal with his father, where he was baptized on 28 October, and in 1822 came to the Red River Settlement. He registered in the Saint-Boniface school directed by Abbé Jean Harper; it became a classical college the following year. In 1827 he indicated a wish to enter the priesthood, news that could only please Bishop Joseph-Norbert Provencher* because of Bruneau’s ability to speak the Cree language. But in 1829, when he was in first year, the first student of the college to reach that level, he decided to become a teacher. He married Marguerite Harrison, daughter of a Cree mother and a North West Company employee, probably in 1831, and abandoned teaching for farming. The censuses of Assiniboia between 1832 and 1849 indicate how his family, his property and livestock, and his carts for the transport trade, all increased. Eleven children were born to him; one of his sons, Athanase, served as a guide to Lord Milton [Wentworth-Fitzwilliam*] and Dr Walter Butler Cheadle* in 1862.
By 1849, in terms of Assiniboia, Bruneau was well off. He had also become involved in civic affairs. In July 1843 he had appeared before the Council of Assiniboia as a leading Métis in a delegation requesting a distillery (which would give the Métis an opportunity to sell their grain surplus) and regular changes in the police force (so that more of them might share in the running of the country). The return of Louis Riel Sr from Lower Canada during the summer of 1843 took the attention away from Bruneau until 1849. Bruneau did act as honorary deacon in 1845 at the ordination into the priesthood of Alexandre-Antonin Taché*, later bishop and archbishop of Saint-Boniface, but he took such a minor part in events at this time that he even stood aloof from the attempt to obtain the dismissal of Adam Thom*, the francophobe recorder of Rupert’s Land and councillor of Assiniboia. Bruneau was in a way typical of the Métis educated at Red River, who always remained diffident in the presence of the whites or half-breeds educated elsewhere. He was conciliatory, like the other Métis eventually named to the Council of Assiniboia, and easily influenced by established authority, civil or religious.

Bruneau rallied to the Métis in the spring of 1849 when, with the arrest of Pierre-Guillaume Sayer* for infringing the Hudson’s Bay Company’s commercial monopoly, their discontent reached its climax. Bruneau joined a vigilance committee. He alone among its members sat on the jury at Sayer’s trial, although Riel was more in the public eye. Bruneau did not, however, sign the petition presented to the Council of Assiniboia in May 1849 after the trial requesting the removal of Thom and the appointment of a bilingual recorder and of French speaking Canadians and Métis to the council. Still he was one of two French Canadians and three Métis, “men of common sense able to judge soundly,” recommended for appointment to the council by Bishop Provencher and approved by the Métis at a large gathering prior to their summer hunt. George Simpson*, the governor of Rupert’s Land, did not share the bishop’s opinions, however, and the company in London hesitated when he spoke of illiterates. Only Abbé Louis-François Laflèche* was made a councillor, in July 1850.

At this time, Bishop Provencher once again urged upon Simpson the importance of naming French Canadians and Métis to the council. Simpson, then at Red River, looked more carefully at Bruneau’s candidacy, and finally recommended him to the London authorities as “a man of sound standing in the settlement & of fair education” whose appointment would promote peace among “the Canadian Half-breeds [who] form a very large proportion of the inhabitants, and feel that they are not put on a footing of equality with the other classes in the community.” In 1851, Simpson’s suggestion received the support of Eden Colvile*, the governor of Rupert’s Land, who also desired the appointment of Bruneau, among others, as a means of balancing the clerical element in the council.

Bruneau had been named magistrate in one of Assiniboia’s judicial districts in the fall of 1850, and in 1851 was made its president or judge. On 29 March 1853 he finally took the oath as councillor of Assiniboia, the second French speaking layman after Cuthbert James Grant* to do so. He soon occupied a variety of posts paying annual salaries between £12 and £25, including that of judge in several districts. He attended council regularly but was not a vocal member.

According to contemporaries, Bruneau was approachable and courteous. A man of simple tastes, he liked to read books borrowed from the library of the HBC or of the bishop. On two occasions he defended his tutor, Bishop Provencher, in the Nor’Wester when it did not sufficiently recognize his contribution as an educator and civilizing influence in Red River. Bruneau always had great respect for Provencher and his successor, Taché, although he did not always share their attitudes in civil matters; he disapproved, for example, of Taché’s stand in council for a duty on alcoholic beverages to curb their importation. Bruneau, who knew how to conciliate the more powerful, proposed and got accepted an amendment to exempt imports from Britain.

Bruneau died in 1865, a victim of a typhoid epidemic in the colony that also killed his wife. In 1870 only three of their daughters and one of their sons were living. He had served the authority of the HBC faithfully, without harming the interests of his Métis compatriots but also without contributing greatly to their political, social, or economic advancement.

Lionel Dorge

ACAM, RLB, 2, p.54. Archives de l’archevêché de Saint-Boniface (Man.), Notes de Mgr Cloutier sur les commencements de l’histoire religieuse de ce pays. Cours donnés les jeudis par Mgr Taché à partir du 15 décembre 1881 à la fin de mai 1882; Registres des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, paroisse Saint-Boniface, 1825–35, 28 juin 1865. Archives de la Société historique de Saint-Boniface (Man.), Dossier François Bruneau. Archives de l’évêché de Trois-Rivières, Correspondance Taché-Laflèche, 18 juill. 1865. HBC Arch. D.4/23, 5 Jan., 21 April 1838; D.4/70, 30 June 1849; D.4/71, 9 May, 2, 5 July 1850; D.5/25, 27 June 1849; D.5/34, 16 Aug. 1852; E.5/6, ff.3d.–4; E.5/7, ff.19d.–20; E.5/8, ff.3d.–4; E.5/9, ff.4d.–5; E.5/10, ff.4d.–5; E.5/11, ff.3d.–4 (mfm. at PAC). PAC, MG 9, E3, 1–3. Les bourgeois de la Compagnie du Nord-Ouest: récits de voyages, lettres et rapports inédits relatifs au Nord-Ouest canadien, L.-F.-R. Masson, édit. (2v., Québec, 1889–90; réimpr. New York, 1960), I, 59, 400. Canadian North-West (Oliver), I, 38–39, 63, 66–67, 80, 307, 352, 361, 368, 389–555. J. J. Hargrave, Red River (Montreal, 1871), 349. HBRS, XIX (Rich and Johnson), lxxxiii–lxxxv, xc, cxiv, 208. [J.-N. Provencher], “Lettres de Monseigneur Joseph-Norbert Provencher, premier évêque de Saint-Boniface, Manitoba,” Soc. historique de Saint-Boniface, Bull., III (1913), 94, 120, 122, 127. Nor’Wester, 14, 28 Feb., 14, 28 April 1860; 1 April, 14 Sept. 1861; 6 July, 3 Aug. 1865. Morice, Dict. historique des Canadiens et Métis, 53–54. Giraud, Le Métis canadien, 902–3, 905–63. Ross, Red River Settlement (1957), 239. A.-H. de Trémaudan, Histoire de la nation métisse dans l’Ouest canadien ([Montréal, 1935]), 135. F.-J. Audet, “François Bruneau,” BRH, XXXVII (1931), 274–78, 600–1. J.-J. Lefebvre, “La vie sociale du grand Papineau,” RHAF, XI (1957–58), 483–84. [Louis] Mailhot, “François Bruneau,” Les Cloches de Saint-Boniface (Saint-Boniface, Man.), XLV (1946), 69–72.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Jean Lalonde dit Esperance was my 8th great grandfather. He was born about 1641 in Rouen, Normandie, France. He married in New France (Quebec)November 14, 1669 to Marie Barbary

Quebec City - Port St. LouisImage by David Paul Ohmer via Flickr

(Barbant) who was a Filles du Roi. It is said that Marie had a dowry of 200 livres. These women came to New France to marry and help populate the new land. This was arranged and sponsored by Louis XIV.
Jean died September 30, 1687 in an attack by the Iroquois on the little parish of St. Louis. He was the lone churchwarden of the area. I have found four children from this marriage.

I found the wine label above on the internet. It marked the 300 year anniversary of Jean's death. The photo was credited to Labatts Brewery. I contacted the company and they directed me to the archivist for Labatts. She said to email her the picture and she would see what she could find but I never heard back from her.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009


I presented a family tree this afternoon and I had to step back and think about the response. When you work on a tree for someone what are they expecting to receive? A printed list of names and dates? A picture of a tree with names on it? What are they expecting? I don't think they expect a lot.

Genealogy of AgamemnonImage via Wikipedia

I started by returning to her the couple pages of information she had started me off with. I opened up my laptop and opened up her tree database and her file. I went through briefly the way the database works showing her the sources and notes for people. I showed her the family view and the pedigree view to give her an idea of what I worked with and where her reports were generated from.
From there I showed her the file with all the documents and photos. She saw the old censuses and the passenger lists with her family on them. There were military records. Marriage record images and actual paper documents from England. There was a will, a map with the family property marked on it and the link to look at the bigger image at her leisure. Death records too.
There were links to the other people connected to her tree and links to a web site about her family's castle (really, truly) with pictures. A very important set of papers had come from Switzerland but were in Italian. I had included an English translation of these papers. There were the wall charts that she had hoped for. The size of them surprised her though. I think she expected a group of 10 people maybe. There were narratives and pedigree charts.
I explained all the items and also explained the differences in sources. We went over some probable connections but I was adamant that they were only possibilities to search out at a later date if she wanted to go further.

I then gave her two computer discs with all this information on it. One for herself and one for her brother all in a printable form. She was a little taken aback. This amount of information was somewhat more than what she thought she would get. The words "you did so much work" kept coming up. I felt very happy knowing I had exceeded her expectations.

The kicker is I was served a wonderful Greek lunch/dinner of spanokapitas, tzatziki, hummous, pitas, Greek salad with amazing olives and Feta and chicken souvlaki. We shared a lovely white wine which to me had the flavor of grapefruits, crisp and aromatic. Then came the dessert of Ekmek Kataifi. I hope to have the recipe for that tomorrow. The patio table was beautiful with a black and white setting and a big white canopy above us. I so wished I had my camera with me for Foodie Friday, Tablescapes Thursday and Give Lori Wine The Rest of the Week. I love my job.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This image shows my second Great Grandparents, Etienne Pinard and Marguerite Beauchemin and my Great Grandfather, Etienne with his siblings1.

I see that Ancestry has indexed the 1861 and 1871 Canadian censuses. In 1861 we were not yet a country but there are provincial censuses for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. Nova Scotia and P.E.I. only listed the heads of households while the others listed everyone in the household.
The 1871 census was the first national census since the confederation of Canada in 1867. This census included the four original provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. There are some sub-districts missing but they are still looking to get them online in the future.
Need help? Ask me.

Appreciation is expressed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for providing the 1871 Canada Census Index.Images reproduced by courtesy of Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Canada.Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1871 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009. Original data: Library and Archives Canada. Census of Canada, 1871. Ottawa, Canada: Library and Archives Canada. Microfilm C-9888 to C-9975, C-9977 to C-10097, C-10344 to C-10388, C-10390 to C-10395, to C-10540 to C-10570. Quebec, Nicolet, Ste. Monique, page 35, lines 7-14

Monday, June 8, 2009


Have you ever come across a census record or other document that was unreadable due to the poor quality of the record. It could be damaged by the sun or water even mold? We were just out of luck. But no more.
An engineer with a background in computer imagery has created a camera that can look outside of the visible spectrum to "see" the different properties of the residual inks and paper. The fact that he also had a background in family history probably helped too.
This camera is being tested at the National Archives in London. This could be the missing link for so many researchers. Lets hope it catches on and gets used by all the genealogy sites.
To see more on this story have a look at http://www.ancestrymagazine.com/2009/04/genea-Logic/preserving-genealogical-records/

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I have been doing genealogy for several years and it is a very rewarding pursuit. Blogging I have only been doing since mid February on one site and only a couple weeks on this site. I am very lucky to have been given this award to place on both of my sites from Linda @ Flipside. Linda has been one of my first followers on both blogs and I always love to read her posts on genealogy. She does her homework and dots all her Is and crosses all her Ts. She leaves great comments and encouraging words. To have her send me this is truly great. Thank you Linda.

This award was created in honour of Janice Brown by Terry Thorton @ Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi. I am very pleased to be associated with these great bloggers by the luck of receiving this award from Linda. I will try live up to the blogging standards.

I am to pass on this award of course but I won't be doing it right now due to the fact that it is 10:00 at night and my allergies are so bad I can't think straight. Stay tuned.

Friday, June 5, 2009


This isn't the usual type of photo one has of their relatives. My Great Grand Uncle, Emmanuel Beaugrand dit Champagne was one of Louis Riel's councilors during the North West Rebellion 1885.
(L-R):IgnacePoitras, Pierre Parenteau, Baptiste Parenteau, Pierre Gariepy, Ignace Poitras Jr., Albert Monkman, Pierre Vandal, Baptiste Vandal, Joseph arcand, Maxime Dubois, James Short, Pierre Henry, Baptiste Tourond, Emmanuel Champagne, Kit-a-wa-how (Alex Cagen-ex chief of the Muskeg Lake Indians) Taken Aug 1885, Regina, Saskatchewan by O.B. Buell. Taken from the Canadian National Archives.

The rebellion was a culmination of discontent of the Metis, Aboriginal and White settlers which had gone on for some time.In 1866 the government started the surveying of lands in and around the Red River Settlement. This of course became a source of tension. This was the Metis and Indians land and the government was coming in and drawing lines on it. Louis Riel spoke in August of 1869 to call the Metis to organize themselves against this.

The problems continued for some years with Louis Riel eventually suffering mental exhaustion which in 1876 saw him admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Quebec. He then went to the US where he became an American citizen in 1883.

There were several battles through the years. Duck Lake saw a skirmish between the Metis and the RCMP. Duck Lake was the only clear victory for the Metis. The Frog Lake Massacre saw whites and Metis in the community killed or taken hostage as sympathizers with the Cree led by Big Bear. Fish Creek, Cut Knife Hill, Frenchman's Butte were also unsuccessful for the Metis although the death tolls were thwarted by the ability of the Metis to retreat through the muskeg where the militia could not pursue them.

The Battle of Batoche was the end. For four days- May 9-12, 1885 less than 300 Metis and First Nations people led be a returning Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont sought to defend themselves from the troops.

On the first day the troops sought to attack by coming across the river on a steamer ferry. The Metis simply lowered a ferry cable across the river cutting off the smokestacks of the steamer and it floated downstream without power. They then defended their postitions with gunfire until daybreak. Over the next couple of days the gunfire was returned by the troops with bigger weaponry. The ammunition stores of the Metis were running low by this time.

On May 12 some of the troops attacked from the north drawing the Metis out of their rifle pits signalling to the remaining men to attack from their position. The winds were loud and on the side of the Metis and the remaining troops did not hear the attack signal and failed to attack on time. This was not enough of a setback for the troops however. A third contingent came in from the side and broke through the lines. The battle was over in minutes. The Metis ammunition was gone and they were firing nails and stones from their rifles. Louis Riel escaped with Dumont. Riel gave himself up and was later hanged. Dumont fled to the US.

This is how my Great Grand Uncle, Emmanuel Beaugrande dit Champagne ended up in the photograph above, in handcuffs and leg irons. He is I believe the second man from the right in the front row. He was one of the twelve counselors or exovede (latin: flock) of the Riel government during the North West Rebellion in 1885

Emmanuel and his family were enumerated in the 1850 census of the Minnesota Territory, in which Emmanuel declared that he was a hunter.He was born about 1823 in Pembina, North Dakota and died in Batoche, Saskatchewan September 29, 1904.He was married to Marie Letendre dit Batoche
In the 1854 treaty list of Chippewa Indians of Lake Superior and the Mississippi, he is listed as a mixed blood of the Pembina band who had lived at Saint Joseph (Walhalla, N. D.) for over ten years.

Emmanuel fought for his rights and the rights of the other Metis and it could have cost him his life and his freedom.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Know You Are Out There

Almost every family tree I have worked on has turned up family members for people who had no idea their kin were out there and sometimes very close at hand.
Several times in researching there has come the time when I have had to send out a generic type of letter to contact someone who may or may not be a relation to the tree I am working on at that time.

I have had many successes with contacting online researchers. They have made a point of updating their email addresses on the message boards and such and check their in boxes more than once a year.

Not everyone is on the internet however. Hard to believe I know. I find this to be the hardest part of the research game. I find a possible connection somewhere like an online phone book for the town I am looking at or an obituary perhaps and I create a letter describing who I am and what I am working on, keeping the confidentiality of the person on my end. More times than not this has to be translated into French, Italian or some other language which I don't speak.

I try to be as open as possible with the information I already have so as not to seem like I am identity phishing or something else underhanded, without betraying any confidences. I explain what it is I hope to find out and assure them that their own information will not be shared unless they would like it so.

Then you put this in the mail or email and you wait to see if there is anyone out there. You have so many scenarios on what will happen. Are they the correct family? Are they alive? Do they still live at that address? Do they care? Did they mean to answer you but accidentally deleted your email? Is it in their to do pile and not going to get done in their lifetime? Did the online translation you used actually insult them and their grandmother unintentionally?

So far I have had one letter returned, one answered but not the family I was looking for and several successes. For instance a first cousin in Germany for one man. They had no idea either one of them existed. Multiple cousins, aunts & uncles for a woman who didn't even know her mother had siblings. The mother had not spoken to her family for over 50 years but they eventually had a lovely reunion. Several others too but the biggest one by far was tracking down the half sister of my husband. She is much older than him and she didn't know about him. He knew he had half siblings but knew nothing about them. We have been emailing now for 3 years or so but have not met.

The latest one is 2 letters I had sent to Switzerland. They were done in Italian as they were going to one of the last Italian speaking cantons there. I took a chance. I found addresses for 2 of the 3 sisters I was looking for. Off they went and I waited. How long does it take to get to Switzerland and back if they are not delivered I wondered? A couple of weeks went by and I was starting to think nothing would come of these but surprise, surprise what came in the mail yesterday. A big envelope from Switzerland. Funny enough it was from the one sister that I could not locate, the other two having already passed away. She was so thrilled to be contacted and sent me a family tree that they have had done there. I don't have any sources other than her paperwork but it will be presented as such. I was able to confirm a couple of facts though. The best part is both parties involved are very eager to have more contact. That is good enough for me. Oh yes, I have found cousins for this person much closer to home as well. We will see if that goes as well when contact is made there. I am pretty sure it will.