Joseph DECARI (DeCURRY, DESCARIE) and Louise FLEURANT
Quebec to Bytown to Renfrew County, 1800's
January 11, 2012:
Good morning, Al,
How I wish I had pictures of these people. I am attaching a photo of the headstone of John B. and his wife, Margaret.
I have jpegs of most of the certificates referenced which I can also send along.
Please take a look and let me know if you think I should add anything. I can probably come up with more detail on John’s siblings.
I would really like to be able to locate that death certificate for Catherine Walsh. The priest obviously saw it but
I can’t find it anywhere.
I did look at the Native History page. I have some photos of the trading post at Fort Coulonge (Davidson today),
f you have any interest. My great great grandfather, Thomas Taylor, was the Hudson Bay Company postmaster from 1853 – 1855 and actually
purchased the post from the company on his retirement. He was the first man of native ancestry. His mother was Homeguard Cree
to become an officer in the Company.
The death records of both Joseph Decari and Louise Fleurant dite St-Amour refer to places of birth in Quebec. The first claims that Joseph Decari
was born in the City of Montréal circa 1786 and the latter says that Louise St. Amour was born in the parish of St-Eustache circa 1797.
The first record of the family in Ontario, however, is on p. 27 of the register of Notre Dame Church, Ottawa on 27 January 1837:
Marriage by special permission of Joseph Descarris and Marie Louise St. Amour.
Witnesses: Honoré Daunis (Danis)& Mrs. Bouquet.
It's unclear where the family was before 1837. It's possible they were on the Québec side of the river near Pointe Gatineau.
Several children were born during this time:
Three of the children also celebrated their marriages at Notre Dame.
3 October 1854
After dispensing with banns and the impediment of the second degree of consanguinity twice removed, marriage of
Jean Baptiste Beauchamp living in Bytown, adult son of Jean Baptiste Beauchamp and Narcisse Fleurant,
to Marie Décarry living in Bytown, minor daughter of Joseph Décarry and Louise Fleurant.
Witnesses: Joseph Beauchamp & Philibert Bastien.
(Philibert Bastien was a church official and participated as witness to many of the early baptisms at Notre Dame ... Al)
23 January 1855 After two publications of banns, marriage of Maxime Vilandré living in Bytown, adult son of the late Alexis Vilandré
and Geneviève Barnèche, to Sophie Décarry living in Bytown, adult daughter of Joseph Décarry and Louise Fleurant.
Witnesses: Joseph Turgeon & Joseph Décarry.
Joseph Turgeon was a member of Bytown's Francophone elite and later became Mayor of Bytown ... Al)
7 July 1862 After all publications of banns, marriage of Jean Décarry living in this parish, adult son of Joseph Décarry
and Louise Fleurant to Catherine Walsh, minor daughter of Patrick Walsh and Catherine Walsh:
Witnesses: David Watts and Maxime Villandré.
The third marriage produced two sons: Patrick, born 16 May 1867 and Joseph, born 9 March 1868. The latter died as a 3 yr. old
and was buried 22 July 1871.
Although there was no formal dissolution of the marriage, by 1876 John Décarry was no longer living in Ottawa with his wife,
but seems to have relocated to Pembroke, in Renfrew County, and begun a decades' long cohabitation with Margaret St. Denis.
The following children were born of their union :
1. Merinda born 7 May 1876 bap. as Jennie 10 May 1876 identified as the illegitimate daughter of Margaret St. Denis.
2. Joseph John born 19 December 1877 Died 1932.
3. Marie Louise July 1881; died 14 March 1883.
4. Sophia Helena 6 November 1882 d. 1969 m. (1)Joseph Valin 10 Sep 1906 (2)John Louis Cleroux 28 Aug 1925
5. Mary Louise 18 August 1885 m. Patrick McCool 13 July 1909
6. William 1 December 1888
7. Sarah 27 November 1890 m. Frank Vendetta 7 Apr 1915 (now usually spelled "Vendette" ... Al)
8. Patrick Lawrence born 10 December 1893; buried 2 May 1896
9. Bertha 8 September 1896 m. Albert J. Gauthier 5 Jan 1924 Kingston, ON
10. Mary 2 October 1900 m. James Jacob Leclaire
11. Margaret 24 May 1903 d. 1984 married Peel.
Catherine Walsh apparently died before 6 May 1900 because after having viewed the death certificate the Rev. Latulippe
married John Descarries and Margaret St. Denis:
6 May 1900
Before us the undersigned priest appeared Jean Baptiste Descarries of this parish, widower, aged 64 yrs., son of Joseph Descarries
and Louise St. Amour on the one part, and Margaret St. Denis, spinster, aged 43 years, also of this parish, daughter of
Joseph St-Denis and Mary Shannon on the other part, who having lived in concubinage for about 20 years, a certificate of
death of the said John B. Descarries having been obtained and a dispensation of two banns having been granted by Rt. Rev. N. Z. Lorraine,
Bishop of Pembroke, and whereas the publication of the other ban no impediment was found nor obligation made, We, the undersigned
priest received their mutual consent to marriage in presence of John B. Beauchamp and Mary Louise Levert and thereby legitimatize
the following children born of their unlawful union viz.:- John aged 23 yrs., Sophia aged 18 yrs., Mary Louise aged 15 yrs.,
Francis, aged 13 yrs., Sarah, aged 10 yrs., Patrick, aged 7 yrs. and Bertha, aged 4 yrs.
E.A. Latulipe, Ptre (= Priest in French (Pretre)
It is conjecture to say that the union of John Décary and Margaret St-Denis was a public scandal, but the clergy obviously looked
askance at it. When Mary Louise, the two year old daughter of the couple, was buried on 16 March 1883 the Rev. N.Z. Lorrain noted
that she had been born of a "public concubinage."
When and where Catherine Walsh died is unclear. Her surviving son with Décary, Patrick, may have advised his father of her death.
Patrick himself married Florence Mcintosh 11 July 1890 at St. Patrick's Ottawa and predeceased his father by 10 years.
John B. Decurrie died 19 February 1925.
Margaret St-Denis Decurry died 16 June 1941
Joseph Decari died 3 February 1879 at the age of 93 yrs.
Maire-Louise Fleurant dite St-Amour died 17 April 1892 aged 95 yrs.
... Ellen Paul
E-mail Ellen Paul and Allan Lewis
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