Early French Canadian Pioneer Families in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, 1800-1855
(Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1800-1855)

August 8, 2016:

Thanks to Mary Quinn for this list of records at Library and Archives Canada. It shows the men who received employment 
contracts from Philemon Wright, the first settler in Hull / Ottawa starting in 1800. For many people, this will 
show the earliest dates of the arrival of many of the Francophone families to the Ottawa / Gatineau area and Eastern Ontario.

Here is Mary's e-mail:

Was hunting around the internet and found this document which details employment contracts that were issued by 
Philemon Wright in the early 1800's.  Some very early Ottawa/Hull people are listed here.  


... Mary Quinn
new November 21, 2019:
Here is a list of Francophones who arrived in Bytown in 1828 and 1829. Source : Ottawa Past and Present, page 99, by A.H.D. Ross. Origin of Francophone pioneer families in Ottawa and Hull, Canada, arrived in 1828 and 1829
April 5, 2016:
Thanks to Christine Landry Matamoros for this 1815 map which she posted today in the Facebook Group "Histoire des communautés de l'Est ontarien". Origin of Francophone pioneer families in Ottawa and Hull, Canada

Where has this database been all of our lives? The Voyageur Database includes data from approximately 35,900 fur trade contracts signed in front of Montreal notaries between 1714 and 1830. It is currently the single largest collection of data regarding the contracts signed by men of the Montreal fur trade. The information collected from the contracts includes: family names, parishes of origin, hiring company, length of contract, destination(s), advances and wages, supplies, conditions of hire, the name of the notary, date of signing, and miscellaneous notes. The Voyageur Database provides a valuable new tool for conducting research. Metis and French-Canadian genealogists will find it particularly useful for charting families across time and space, as will labour and social historians. Seaarch the database at http://shsb.mb.ca/en/Voyageurs_database. ... Allan Lewis
September 15, 2015: Mass migration from the seigneuries and townships in Quebec occurred beginning with Philemon Wright who settled in our area in the year 1800. He attracted many French-Canadians from Lower Canada (Quebec) to work for him as he and his fellow colonists settled on the north side, now the city of Gatineau, of the Ottawa River. The most dominant patterns that gave shape to the physical movement of (French) people in their search for material security and their well being were: colonization of their county's hinterland; seasonal migration of workers attracted, for instance, by the forestry industry; interparish population transfers due to marriage; temporary or permanent migration to urban-commerial centres. (1) (1) Source: On the Move - French-Canadian and Italian Migrants in the North-Atlantic Economy, 1860-1914, by Bruno Ramirez, page 32. The above four factors informed the movement of Francophones for over a century as they re-located from Lower Canada to other areas of the province, to Eastern Ontario and to the industries of New England. One of the prominent Canadien families in early Bytown was that of Jean Baptiste St. LOUIS. By 1827 he had built a mill on a creek which flowed through Lowertown, along the By Wash to the Rideau River. During construction of the Rideau Canal between 1826 and 1832, Colonel John By called upon him to build a dam, named after M. St. Louis, between where the boathouse is located today on Dow's Lake and Preston Street. This dam created a reservoir (Dow's Lake), and eliminated Dow's Great Swamp along what is now Preston Street. Map Source, below: The City Beyond (Nepean) 1792-1990, by Bruce S. Elliott, 1986, Corporation of the City of Nepean, ISBN 1-55036-258-5, page 23. Some of the Francophone families who lived around Dow's Lake in 1847 are ALBERT, JOANNISSE, CHAUVIN, POTVIN, CYR and LABRECHE. Mr. Labreche is just off the map below Kennedy's House. The St. LOUIS dam is shown in red on the map.
St. Louis Dam, Ottawa, 1847
Thanks to Frank Watters for the following information regarding the names on the above map: Hi Al and others; I was able to open your map without any difficulty. The source for the 1847 map of the Dow's Swamp area is The City Beyond (Nepean) 1792-1990, Bruce S. Elliott, 1986, Corporation of the City of Nepean, ISBN 1-55036-258-5, page 23. Looking at the names: A. Albert would be Alexandre Albert married to first to Angel Damour-Potvin, d/o Pierre Damour-Potvin and Francoise Miville and then to Elmire Emma Renaud, daughter of Francois Renaud and Josephte Meunier. Francois Renaud and Josephte were married in Montreal, but came to Bytown fairly early as daughter Elmire was baptized in Notre Dame Church, Ottawa; B. Albert would by Baptist i.e. Jean Baptiste Albert, married to Marguerite Leblanc, daughter of Francois Leblanc and Margueritre Brazeau, on 27 October 1823 in St-Benoit, Quebec. Albert with no initial might be Mary Albert (Marie Josephte Letang), widow of Jean Baptiste Albert (Johann Halbar). She was there in the 1851 census as Mary Albert, living alone in a shanty, 75 years old. Cire would likely be Louis Cyr, married to Marguerite Albert, daughter of the afore-mentioned Jean Baptiste Albert and Marguerite Leblanc. Louis Cyr, son of Joseph Cyr and Marie Giroux was born and baptized in St-Martin, Laval, Quebec. This Louis Cyr was the nephew of Michel Cyr, from St-Rose-de-Lima, Laval, Quebec who was the first Cyr to settle in Cyrville, Gloucester township, now part of Ottawa. Michel Cyr was married first to Agathe Desjardins (a distant cousin of my grgrandfather Francois-Xavier Desjardins) and then to Adélaide Vezeau. The Louis Cyr-Marguerite Albert couple seemed to have had trouble living together, and between 1871 and 1881 no doubt split up. Even in 1861, I found their daughter Josephine, born in Ottawa in 1858 enumerated with her godparents, Michel Cyr and Adelaide Veseau in Gloucester Township. Another daughter was living with another family in 1861 whose name I couldn't decipher. Josephine eventually wound up in Rolph, Renfrew County (near Chalk River) and married Gregoire or Magloire Lafantaisie in 1884. Most other children seemed to have simply disappeared although son Samuel abjured Catholicism and married Margaret Jane Newton, d/o William Newton born in England and Margaret / Martha McGuire or Maloney, born in Ireland, and died in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Marguerite Albert continued to live in Ottawa with her son Robert Cyr, stating that she was widowed in the 1881 census. She died there on 26 April 1906. I couldn't find Louis anywhere after 1871, but he died on 14 July 1896 in Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, Papineau County, Quebec. When he died his son Louis was present, and he was said to be the widow if Marguerite Lallemand. The Albert's were sometimes recorded as Lallemand / Lallemant in the Ottawa area. Pudvain would likely be Pierre Damour - Potvin married to Francoise Miville. They were found in Nepean in the 1851 census, next to the Albert's, Welch, and others. The Damour-Potvin children were born in St-Benoit, where the parents were married, except for the last one, Angèle who was born in the Argenteuil Seigneurie. Joseph Damour-Potvin, his son was also there in 1851. Joanisse would be Vincent Depocat-dit-Joanisse, son of Jean-Baptiste Depocat-dit-Joanisse and Marie-Claire Robert who were married in St-Martin, Laval, Quebec on 24 January 1892. Vincent was born in St-Martin in 1804 and married Josephte Labelle in Rigaud on 1 August 1826. The couple were from the Argenteuil Seigneurie. Not on this map, but living a little ways away was Labrush. He was Joseph Labreche, aka Joseph Labrush and Joe Brush. He was joseph Dugas-dit-Labreche and he was married to Genevieve Pharand-Vivarais on 22 August 1814 in Rigaud. They were also from the Seigneurie d'Argenteuil. Joseph and Genevieve's daughter Phoebe (Félicité) Labreche, born in the Seigneurie, married Joseph Damour-Potvin, a son of Pierre Damour-Potvin and Francoise Miville (the one I mentioned above). Al, since you want to record where these families came from, I added that data. If you have other families for whom you're trying to find where they came from, and are having difficulty with, just let me know. I may have that. ... Frank

Most of the following seven men came to Bytown from the seigneuries of Lower Canada to work on the building of the Rideau Canal or to establish commercial ventures in the Lowertown / By Ward area. They are listed on the 1829 McCabe List. They are some of the earliest folks of French origin in the region. BRUNETTE, Thomas - from Montreal ML# 55 RAINVILLE, Louis - Montreal ML# 58 GAGNE, Etienne - Montreal ML# 59 AUDETTE, Francois - Lower Canada ML# 294 LEVESQUE, John (Jean) - Lower Canada (possibly Quebec City) ML# 330 DUGAS, Joseph - "a native of Canada" ML# 590, see the Labreche / Dugas web page. PHILLION / FILION, Paul - "another Canadian" ML# 591 (spelled "PHILLEO")
The early records of Notre Dame church in Lowertown contains a heavy concentration of the early French families. Also, all of the predominently Irish-Catholic satellite communities (South Gloucester, Fallowfield and Corkery), had French families. The Potvin, Albert, Chartrand, Fournier,Dubreuille () and Besserer folks were all in the Ottawa area by the 1830's and by mid-century many had married into the local Irish Catholic families.
March 21, 2005: Wayne Laverdure is researching his Laverdure, Ranger, Dupuis, Lavoie and Farrell ancestors.
April 13, 2006: Thanks to Monique Brûlé for the following local links to Francophone historical research in the Bytown area: Here is the link to the Monuments de la francophonie website : http://mondrapeaufranco.ca/fr/ You might also want to add a link to the Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-française : http://www.uottawa.ca/academic/crccf/index.html. They hold an abundance of research material on French Canada, namely the archives for the Institut canadien-français d'Ottawa, a literary organisation founded by Joseph-Balzura Turgeon in 1852. Regards, Monique Brûlé Bibliothécaire en chef Conseil des écoles catholiques de langue française du Centre-est E-mail: Brulem@ceclf.edu.on.ca
March 25, 2011: The Bytown or Bust Library has just acquired a copy of Georgette Lamoureux's book, written in 1978. It's a terrific book about the French Canadian pioneer families in Bytown, from 1826 to 1855. Ms. Lamoureux set out to write a book about the early history of Bytown. Most of the previous work was written in English but there was a scarcity of information regarding the early French community here. Her book, in the French language, is called Bytown et ses pionniers canadiens-francais, 1826-1855. It was published by herself in 1978. Note: This book is actually the first in a five volume collection! The Library of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is purchasing the complete set. December 30, 2015: An excellent background source for the early settlement of Western Quebec can be found in a 112 page document at https://genealogyensemble.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/american-british-isles-settlers-in-western-quebec.pdf. The paper is called "American and British Isles Settlers in Western Quebec" and it is written by Jacques Gagne (Jacques Gagné). 112 pages. Thanks to Pauline Johns for sending this link to us! Here is a list of early French-speaking families who arrived in the Ottawa area between 1826 and 1855. I will add more names to the table below and will add links to individual web pages for each individual family. Feel free to contribute material by e-mail about your ancestors, including old photos. En Anglais ou en Fran@ccedil;ais. September 7, 2015 -- Added more records from Notre Dame Church to the table below.
Francophone Pioneer families in the Ottawa / Gatineau areas
Settlers between 1826 and 1855
Column 1 -- Surname
Column 2 -- Earliest appearance of the French surname in the records of Notre Dame Cathedral in downtown Ottawa
Columns 3 to 6 are reserved for additional information to be added over time
Column 1
Column 2
Column 3
Column 4
Column 6
ALBERT 10 Nov 1833, Baptism of Louise, daughter of Jean Baptiste Albert and Marguerite Labreche
AUBRY 23 Oct 1831, After one publication of banns, marriage of Louis Aubry and Rose Cousineau from the Gatineau
AUDETTE 24 Jan 1830, Marriage of John Baptiste Longpre and Francoise Magnan both of Bytown. Witneses: Henry Magnan, Louis Audette dit Lapointe and Peter Parenteau Francois Audette is Ml# 294 on the 1829 McCabe List 15 Jun 1836, Burial of Mrs. Genevieve Nadeau who died the 14th, aged about 57 yrs., widow of Louis Audette dit Lapointe
AUMOND 21 Apr 1833 Marriage of Joseph Aumond, merchant, and Jane Cummings, both of Bytown (Joseph Aumond later became the major French-Canadian lumber baron here) Godparents: Jean Bareille and George Hunter
BACHARD / BACHAND 15 Apr 1843 Baptism of Esther Melodie, born today of the marriage of Jacques Bachamps / Bachand and Emilie Rivet / Rivest of Bytown Godparents: Pierre Deloges & Esther Masson
BAREILLE, Jean 15 Sep 1835 Baptism of Peter Edward, born 25 Aug of the marriage of John Bareille Esq. And Clare Bernard Godparents: Elizabeth Montmarquet & John B. Dupuis
BARETTE, Pierre 2 Oct 1834 Bytown Baptism of Pierre, son of Pierre Papin and Hariette Belanger, Godparents: Pierre Barrette and Felicite Gengrace / Gingras?
BASTIEN, Noel 8 May 1843 Baptism of Prospere, born 2 days ago fo the marriage of David Bastien and Angelique Tremble (Tremblay?) of Bytown Witnesses Abraham Ethier & Julienne Seguin see also BASTIEN, David
BEAUBIEN 26 Apr 1831, Baptism of Mary Margaret, aged 1 day. Father: Philip Fontaine; mother: Genevieve Beaubien. Witnesses: Louis Berthiaume and Catherine Torell
BEAUCAIRE 1 Jan 1846, Baptism of Benjamin, born 30 December of the marriage of Francois Xavier Beaucaire and Sophie Brunel Witnesses: Agapit Lesperance & Aurelie Mousseau
BEAUCHAMP 21 May 1829, Baptism of Anthony, born 24 April last lawful son of John Belleile, (Belisle) Roture (habitant), (occ), and Marie Louise Beauchamp of Bytown. (twin of Marie Anastasia). Witnesses: Stephen Benache and Marie Descoteaux
BERTRAND 23 Jun 1830, Baptism of David, aged 5 yrs. 7 mos., lawful son of Francis Bertrand and Monique Neveu Witnesses: J. B. Leclair and Harriet Aumier
BESSERER, Louis Theodore 6 Aug 1843 Burial in the church of this mission of Dame Marie Angele Reaume / Rheaume, aged 34 yrs., who died the day before, wife of Louis Theodore Besserer, Esq. Of Bytown (founder of Sandy Hill) founder of Sandy Hill neighbourhood
BOURGEOIS 24 May 1831, Marriage by license of Jean Baptiste Gauthier of St. Anne (de Beaupre?) and Magdalen St. Jean Sylvain. Temoins: 24 May 1831 Marriage by license of Jean Baptiste Gauthier of St. Anne and Magdalen St. Jean Sylvain St. Jean and Joseph Bourgeois
BRASSARD 25 Apr 1833 Baptism of Domitille, daughter of Pierre Desforges dit St. Maurice and Angelique Clement Witnesses: Charles Brassard & Josephte Lavoie
BRULE 19 Oct 1829, Baptism at Point l'Orignal of Marcelline. Aged 1 day, lawful daughter of Xaverius Amelin and Magdelina Laframboise. Witnessses: Pierre Brule and Adelaide Amelin
CAMPEAU 9 Jul 1838, After three publications of banns, marriage of Francois Cornier from Lower Canada and Marie Kiri‚ from the same place. Witnesses: Louis Campeau, Honore Danis and others
CANTIN 21 Jun 1832, Baptism of Charles, 5 days old, son to Jean Baptiste Cantin and Margaret Johnson Witnesses: Charles Brazeau and Zoe Richard
CARPENTIER 19 Jul 1829, marriage of Gabriel Carpentier of the parish of Gentilly, LC, to Mere Robert of the parish of Sorel LC
CHALIFOUX 4 Jul 1841, Baptism of Marie, born the 29th of the marriage of Narcisse Larose and Leblanc Chalifoux Witnesses: Baptiste Lanthier & Mrs. Loriaux
CHAMPAGNE 27 Sep 1841, Conditional baptism of Norbet, born 10 January of the marriage of Stanislas Lajeunesse and Julie Morin: Witnesses: Norbet Champagne & Louise Laroche
CHAUVIN December 14, 1842: Burial of Narcisse who died yesterday, aged 9 yrs., son of Jean Chauvin, carpenter, and Denise Brule of Bytown (Notre Dame Church) at Dow's Lake in 1847
CLOUTIER / CLOUTHIER 30 Nov 1831, Baptism of Maria, 4 hrs. old, daughter to Louis Cloutier and Marie Millet
CYR 12 Oct 1831, After three publications of banns, marriage of Orange Cyr from Petite Nation and Susanna McCarron from Quebec, LC
DALLAIRE This family pioneered in Goulbourn Township. They are recorded at St. Phillip's Church
DANIS Burial in the Catholic churchyard of Bytown of Joseph Dany / Danis? / Denis? of St. Benoit, LC, aged 29 yrs. who was drowned 20 June last at Lake of the Chats (Fitzroy Harbour)
DUGAS LaBRECHE dit DUGAS Joseph LaBRECHE was a Voyageur
FINK, Jacob French-speaking, from Austria / Germany c. 1844
FORTIN 13 Nov 1831, Baptism of Mary, 7 days old, daughter to Francois Fortin and Angelique Frappier of Gatineau
FOUBERT, Gabriel also spelled FAUBERT
> DEPOCAS dit JOANNIS Jean Baptiste DEPOCAT and Marie Claire ROBERT from Cote St. Pierre in St. Benoit parish, Deux Montagnes Seigneurie A Melding of Cultures: Ancestors of George Turner and Bernadette Joanis - Volume 1 - Our Turners: Canadian Transportation Pioneers (donated to OBOGS Library by Mark Cullen, 2015)
LACHARITY 13 Jun 1832, Burial of Michel Lacharite, aged about 20 yrs., who was killed by the accidental discharge of a gun, Witnesses: Jean Baptiste Leclaire and Simon Fleurant Michel's father (Francois) was discharged from 99th Regiment of Foot in 1818 13 Mar 1836, Richmond, Baptism of Susanna, 7 yrs. old, daughter of Francois Lacharity (99th) and Susan McMeilg (McNeely?). Witnesses: Jeremiah Burns (99th) & Judith Burns (nee Murphy), married
LAPLANTE 26 Apr 1835 Marriage of Michel Beauchand and Clovie Sauve Witnesses: Pierre Laplante & Josette Peria rd
LARIVIERE 13 Nov 1831, Baptism of Emilia, 3 days old, daughter to Joseph Lariviere and Archangele Charrette / Charest
LAROSE 8 Oct 1831, Baptism of Georges, 17 hrs. old, son to Jean Baptiste Loriot and Josephte Larose, Witnesses: Toussaint Dubus (Dubuc ?) & Josephte Robin
LAURIN 10 Apr 1831, Baptism of Francis Laurin, aged 6 days. Father: Francis Laurin; mother: Marie Laurin, Witnesses: Joseph Lafontaine and Henriette Belanger
LAVOIE 21 Mar 1833 Baptism of Joseph Dolphis, son of Jean Baptiste Lavoie and Josephte D. Larose Witnesses: Jean Baptiste Aumier & Henriette Dupuis
LEBLANC 19 Jan 1836 Baptism of Marie Reine, born the 13th of the marriage of Baptiste Albert and Marguerite LeBlanc Witnesses: Francois Chartrand & Reine Albert
LECLAIRE / LECLERC 28 Oct 1829, After one publication of banns, marriage of Baptiste Leclerc of St. Henri of Mascouche LC and Henrietta Aumier, daughter of Francois Aumier / Homier and the late Mary Tessier Notre Dame 15 Oct 1831, Burial in the Catholic Church-yard at Bytown of Pierre Leclerc, aged 33
L'ESPERANCE 16 Oct 1831, Baptism of Aurelie, 3 days old, daughter to Pierre L'Esperance and Aurelie Mousseau
LUSIGNAN 12 Sep 1831, Burial in the Catholic Church-yard at Bytown of the body of Olivier Lusignan from Ardel ?, Township of Hull, LC, aged about 21 yrs
MAINVILLE 3 Mar 1832, Baptism of Edward, 16 days old, son to Edward Dodge and Rose Beaudriau of Long Island, Witnesses: Joseph Legault and Francisca Mainville
MICHELIN 22 Jul 1829, burial in the Catholic Burial Ground of this place of Peter Mitchelin / Michelin? from Three Rivers, LC Notre Dame
MINAULT 24 Oct 1831, After three publication of banns, marriage of Pierre Minault from Hogsback and Marguerite Cyr from Sandy Hill Notre Dame
MONETTE 7 Aug 1831, Baptism of Mary, 5 mos. old, daughter to Andrew Monet and Mary Lecours from Ardley (Eardley, LC?) Notre Dame
MORIN - Alexis MORIN - Antoine
RAINVILLE 13 Nov 1831, Baptism of Edward, 1 mo. old, son to Louis Rainville and Mary Ann Querry (sp?)
RIVEST / RIVET 5 Nov 1838, After three publications of bann, marriage of Antoine Rivet / Rivest to Marie Henriette Beaudry, both of the Township of Osgoode Witnesses: John Brass (Labreche ?), Xavier Fortin & others
St. MAURICE 16 Oct 1831, Baptism of Catherine, 6 days old, daughter to Jean Baptiste St. Maurice and Marguerite Descarie
SAUCIER / SOUCI ? January 1830, Baptism of Monica, aged 4 yrs. 6 mos., lawful daughter of Benoni Souci and Margaret Neveu from Fort Coulonges
TAILLON 17 Mar 1837, Conditional baptism of Patrick, born the 11th of the marriage of Michael Stackpole and Mary Haw Godparents: Jean Taillon (neighbour at Dow's Lake) & Mrs. Conroy
THIBAULT 2 Jul 1831, Burial in the Catholic Church of Abraham Thibault of the parish of Sorel, LC, aged 17 yrs. who was drowned on the 20th of June last at Lake of the Chats
TURGEON Joseph-Balsura TURGEON was first Francophone Mayor of Bytown
VALIQUETTE 12 Nov 1831, Baptism of Joachim, 7 hrs. old, son to Joachim Valiquette and Marie Galipeau
VEZINA 20 Jul 1829, Burial in the Catholic Burial Ground of the remains of Joseph Vezina of the parish of Mascouche LC who died here yesterday
VIAU 31 Oct 1831, Baptism of Francois Xavier, 1 day old, son to Anthony Viau and Margaret Deschamps from Gatineau

November 26, 2015: Here is a podcast created by Library and Archives Canada. It is called The Shamrock and the Fleur-de-Lys and is a panel discussion by several staff members from LAC who talk about the interaction between the Irish Famine Immigrants and the French community in the Province of Quebec. 38 minutes long. ... Al
May 6, 2016: Al, I was looking at your page "Some Pioneer Families of Hull, Quebec, Canada, and the Gatineau Valley" concerning the entry on July 12th, 2015 about squatters on the Gatineau River. Here is a link to Mr. Sabourin's thesis at UdeLaval. It looks like interesting reading. It opens up as a pdf file. It is titled "Les squatters de la riviere Gatineau entre 1812 et 1870". See See http://www.theses.ulaval.ca/27604.pdf. Note: If web page does not open, go to our Facebook posting at ... Clare Whitney
E-mail Frank Watters, Mark Cullen, Mary Quinn and Al Lewis

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