Michel Tourville and the War of 1812

Bataille de Châteauguay, 1813. Bibliothèque et Archives Canada | Library and Archives Canada

As you know, I am featuring on the blog some of the 14 children born to Michel Tourville and Catherine Marié, of Saint-François-de-Sales, Île Jésus (now Laval), in Québec.

Let’s now take a look at their third child, Michel Tourville, who was born and baptized on August 15, 1787, in this parish. Despite the fact that some of his siblings emigrated to the United States (Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts), Michel remained in Lower Canada (Québec) and, besides, will be one of the first members of the Hubou-Tourville family to settle in Montréal, around 1842. He passed away in the same city in 1860, three years after his wife’s death. 

Married at 27 to Josephte Cantin on July 10, 1815, in Lachenaie—she was only 16—not fewer than 16 children were born from their union. Seven of them eventually married, the others all died before the age 3, except for one son who died at 10 years old.

I already briefed you about the tragic end of Josephte Cantin while traveling aboard the Montreal near Québec City in 1857. Today, I wish to go back in time, namely before the marriage of Michel and Josephte, in view of noteworthy information I discovered about him.

The War of 1812 involved the United Kingdom, its North American colonies, and its Native allies, in opposition to the United States. For Lower and Upper Canada, it meant to defend themselves against U.S. invading armies.

At the outset of the war, in May 1812, the government voted conscription for all single men between the age of 18 and 30. Obviously, Michel Tourville fitted the bill as he is listed in a document pertaining to the War of 1812, and more precisely in the “Second Company Commanded by Captain Jos: La Croix, drafted from the Division of Isle Jesus, for Colonel Deschambault Corps, Jos: La Croix, capt.; Ignace Robitaille, lieut.; Charles Grant, enseign”. This document dated 23rd of November 1813 is signed by Ignace Robitaille at Beauharnois Camp.

Bibliothèque et Archives Canada | Library and Arcihves Canada RG8-C1694 p.8

Michel was 26 years old then. From what I have read so far on the subject, I cannot confirm that Michel’s Division was directly engaged in a battle, but since he was in Beauharnois Camp in November 1813, and that the Châteauguay Battle happened one month before, we can assume that militiamen were demobilized shortly afterwards.

I will definitely have to carry on with my research on this one as I noticed many familiar names linked with the Isle Jésus Division on that list. I just love it when genealogy and history meet!

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