Monday, September 21, 2009


The most amazing thing happened today. I received an email from one of my sisters. I know that is amazing in itself but stick with me here. She sent me some photos that she received from her sister-in-law that were taken in the early 1960's.
My sister was on a trip with her husband and his mother from Ontario to Nova Scotia to visit her brother in law in the navy. Their trip took them through Quebec. They sat down in front of some statues and had their picture taken. She never thought anything of it again until this week, over 40 years later, when she was sent the picture in an email.Isn't she pretty? That is my big sister on the left and her dear mother in law on the right. Nothing unusual here is there? Until you look at the statues and read the inscription. I have written about these people immortalized in these monuments before. They are our 11th great grandparents, Louis Hebert and Marie Rollet.
The odd thing here is that we didn't know this until a couple of years ago when I discovered our connection and added them into our family tree.

I am so excited about this. I actually had shivers up my spine when I saw the old photo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I received a comment in a previous genealogy post from Kathleen in Western Australia. She had done a search for a family name and it brought her to my site. Now I did have the names of the people she had searched for in my tree as they were my great great grandparents. What I did not have was the line she was searching for.
I did a few preliminary searches in the usual places and still wasn't finding anything. When dealing with Metis history the best place to go when you are stumped is where you will find the most informed researchers. They constantly amaze me with the information they have collected and they are always ready to share.
Rod MacQuarrie came up with the answers both Kathleen and I were looking for and he did it in about 60 seconds. I have seen him respond so many times to others questions with very detailed and well sourced records. He includes everything on the people in question. Parents, children, military records, work records. You name it. Rod is not the only person in this group that jump to answer questions. There are many others doing great research and sharing it generously.
I always say genealogists are the most generous people always willing to help a fellow researcher.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Francois Jacques Bruneau is my 3rd. great grandfather also in my mother's line. Francois was a child of a "a la facon du pays" union between Antoine Bruneau and an Aboriginal woman, likely Cree. This refers to a union "as was the custom of the country" where there was likely no religious sanction of the marriage due to the remote areas where they lived and the non-catholic wives. He was born in December of 1809 in Lac Vert, Saskatchewan or Rupert's Land as it was called. 
Francois was not baptized at the time of his birth but traveled to Quebec with his father when he was 4 years old and was baptized on October 28, 1814 in the Basilique Notre Dame, Montreal. 
In 1822 Francois was in the Red River Settlement in Manitoba and was attending a school directed by Abbe Jean Harper. He was going to enter the priesthood which made the Bishop Joseph Norbet Provencher especially happy because Francois spoke Cree and could be very helpful in dealing with the aboriginals. In 1829 he changed his mind and became a teacher instead. 
He married Marguerite Harrison, also Metis, in 1831 and left teaching for farming. The census reports for the area during the 1832-1849 span show his assest growing steadily. He and Marguerite had 8 children that I know of but others say they had 11. 
He became considerably well off in comparison to others in the area at the time. His interests turned to civic affairs and in July of 1843 he appeared before the Council of Assiniboia to request a distillery giving the Metis somewhere to sell their grain surpluses as well as requesting changes to the police force at the time. These requests were granted. 
Bishop Provencher urged the governor of Rupert's Land to name French Canadians and Metis to the Council of Assiniboia and had him look at Francois qualifications. He was recommended as "a man of sound standing in the settlement of fair education". This was again to facilitate relations with the Metis, French and Aboriginals. 
In the fall of 1850 he was named as a magistrate in one of the judicial districts and in 1851 was made a judge. He earned between 12 and 25 British pounds for his service yearly. 
Francois Jacques Bruneau died June 26, 1865 during the typhoid epidemic followed two days later by his wife, Marguerite. 
Note that the age for Francois say 55 years. It is hard to read and looks like 3s.


Andre Carriere is my 3rd great grandfather in my maternal line. Andre was born March 31, 1779 in Boucherville, Quebec to Joseph Carriere and Marguerite St. Sauveur.

Like many men of the day Andre worked for the Hudson Bay Company's North West Company. They were trappers and riverboat men. The term used at the time for the boat men was voyageur. His work with them started around 1811 and continued until 1831. 

One of vessels used at the time was a birch bark canoe that used 10-12 paddlers and could carry a payload of about 4 tons. These men paddled all day long to get to their destination. Being referred to a a voyageur was a professional term and not just a boatman. A lost load would be an expensive error. 
Canoe Manned by Voyageurs Passing a Waterfall, Ontario, 1869
Frances Anne Hopkins/Library and Archives Canada/C-002771
 Shooting the rapids, in a master canoe. Painting by Francis Ann Hopkins (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C2774f).

 Andre Carriere married Angelique Daigneault (Dion, Lyon) but this was not necessarily a Catholic marriage but probably "a la facon du pays" or according to the custom of the country. These men often started new families in the bush so to speak with native women. Angelique was Metis, her mother being Cree and her father from Quebec. They had at least 7 children and as it goes in these times of small communities two of their sons are my second great grandfathers. Moise Carriere married Josephte Beaugrande dit Champagne and Daniel Carriere married Dorothee Landry.