Occupation: Trader | Sophie Tourville née Paquet (1803-1866)

I love it! Quebec notarial records continue to reveal tids and bits about our ancestors.

My knowledge of Étienne Tourville and Sophie Paquet’s family is quite basic. A carpenter, Étienne left Lachenaie with his wife and children—a few years after their marriage which was celebrated on September 25, 1825—for Saint-Eustache, where they lived from 1832 to 1836, before moving to Montréal.

Étienne died on February 2, 1843, at age 45. You may remember that their son Joseph-Octave was a printer and emigrated to Massachusetts later in life.

Sophie Paquet was born on April 10, 1803, in Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (now Laval) and baptized the next day. She was the daughter of Paul Paquet and Hélène Gravel.

Sophie was a widow for 23 years while her marriage lasted a little more than 17 years. The couple had six children, Sophie thus raising them alone as they were all still living at the time their father died.

I was always intrigued about that woman. In the 1861 Canadian Census, her occupation (!) was trader. Well, I just noticed a lease signed before Notary Pierre-Henri Carpentier, on April 23, 1860, for a two-room flat located at 153 Sanguinet Street (north of Sainte-Catherine Street) in Montréal. Sophie did not know how to sign, her mark was at the bottom of the document.

I did find Sophie in the Lovell Directory. From 1857 to 1860, she is listed as a trader (Mrs. Tourville) at 146 Sainte-Catherine Street (corner of Saint-André Street). In the 1861-1862 edition, she is listed as Mrs. Stephen Tourville, trader, living off 219 Sainte-Catherine Street (near Sanguinet Street). Nothing further on her in said directory for the last years of her life. What kind of trading are we talking about here? No clue!

Sophie was buried November 19, 1866, in Montréal’s Catholic Cemetery.

Although I couldn’t get any other contracts for Sophie in the Quebec Notaries Index on Ancestry—it doesn’t mean there aren’t others out there, as the digitization of the documents is yet in progress and we must cope with the fact that some documents are lost for good—I just need to be patient. And I will.

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