Remember John Bangle and Louise Couvillon? The last we heard from them, they were both serving a sentence in a Montréal prison during the course of the month of October 1820. If you are like me, you are no doubt brainstorming about what happened to them.
As a matter of fact, I just unearthed a new clue regarding our two lovebirds. Many of you are probably already aware by now that we have found a burial record for one Julie Lacroix, widow of John Bingle, in the General Hospital of Montréal Catholic Register (managed by the Grey Nuns). The entry was made on January 25, 1847, two days after the woman’s death.
So, who is this Julie Lacroix? At this point, maybe you ask yourselves why I am even curious about her. Because Lacroix is the “dit name” for Couvillon (or Quevillon nowadays). Is it possible that she could be Louise? And is this John Bingle ours?
Earlier this summer, as I was reading an article on the Web, I noticed a reference to “ASGM“. After a little digging, I realized it was referring to the Montréal Grey Nuns Archives (Archives des Soeurs Grises de Montréal). The name of Julie Lacroix came back to my mind in a flash. That was interesting! And if the ASGM still had the patient register? So I called them and the answer was yes!
Julie Lacroix was admitted on November 25, 1840. The archivist explained to me that during that period, the hospital was also welcoming homeless women and took care of them until their death. She further indicated that Julie was most likely one of them since her name was not mentioned in the account book, hence her sojourn was probably at the hospital’s expense.
However, the most exciting thing about all this was the image I received a few days later. It comes from the admission book and reads like this:
November 25, . 646. Julie Lacroix, age 70, widow of John Bingle, of Sorel. Died January 23, 1847 [translated from French]
If Julie is in fact Louise, I was wondering how come she was homeless. We know that her stepdaughter Josette Bangle Fontaine had died earlier. If Louis Bangle from Massena, N.Y. was her son, he was dead by then as well. Was her stepdaughter Mary Bangle still around—maybe not, as we know her daughter Julie Hogan was living in Ontario. It is also very much possible that Louise was estranged from her family since the death of John.
In summary, Julie Lacroix was in Montréal in 1840. How long was she living in the city? Was she impoverished due to John’s death or later on? Did John Bangle die inside or outside of prison? If he survived, have they lived in Montréal afterwards or had they returned to Sorel? I could go on and on!
I do believe that Julie Lacroix and Louise Couvillon are the same person, therefore I do not think she was John’s third wife. I might be wrong though, so the search is not over yet.
There is still a twenty-year gap to fill in between 1820 and 1840 into the lives of John and Louise. One thing is for sure: John Bangle was dead by the end of 1840.