French Canadians Living in Ferrisburgh, VT in 1850: #15 Abraham Sorrell

vermont 2016

Abraham Sorrell is listed in the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh. He is referred to as Abram Sorell on Page 198 (left-stamped), Line 23, Household 58, with the following persons listed, respectively, on lines 19 to 22:

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Abraham Sorrell(5)—What the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh Doesn’t Tell

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Abraham Sorrell, who lost his life from injuries sustained in the Civil War’s Wilderness Battle in May 1864, had married three times. His Civil War pension file offers an incredible portrait of people living in Ferrisburgh in 1850 and beyond.

This very entertaining pension file is coming to an end. After having read the testimony left by his first wife, Eliza Sears, his second wife, Eliza Carpenter, his sister-in-law, Catherine Palmer, Eliza Carpenter’s sister, and his cousin, Oliver Sorrell, it’s now time to read the conclusion reached by the Pension Office.

As promised, in about two weeks, I will publish a short biography of each person concerned in the last post of this series. Enjoy!

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Abraham Sorrell(4)—What the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh Doesn’t Tell

vermont 2016

Abraham Sorrell, who lost his life from injuries sustained in the Civil War’s Wilderness Battle in May 1864, had married three times. His Civil War pension file offers an incredible portrait of people living in Ferrisburgh in 1850 and beyond.

After having read the testimony left by his first wife, Eliza Sears, and by his second wife, Eliza Carpenter, by his sister-in-law, Catherine Palmer, Eliza Carpenter’s sister, let’s now read my favorite one, the testimony of Abraham’s cousin, Oliver Sorrell. This affidavit is so full of details. As I mentioned before, I am fascinated by this story. I feel like a census page is coming to life!

I will publish a short biography of each person concerned in the last post of this series. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Abraham Sorrell(3)—What the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh Doesn’t Tell

vermont 2016

Abraham Sorrell, who lost his life from injuries sustained in the Civil War’s Wilderness Battle in May 1864, had married three times. His Civil War pension file offers an incredible portrait of people living in Ferrisburgh in 1850 and beyond.

After having read the testimony left by his first wife, Eliza Sears, and by his second wife, Eliza Carpenter, let’s take a look at what Eliza Carpenter’s sister, Catherine Palmer, had to say about the two lovebirds.

I will publish a short biography of each person concerned in the last post of this series. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Abraham Sorrell(2)—What the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh Doesn’t Tell

vermont 2016

Abraham Sorrell, who lost his life from injuries sustained in the Civil War’s Wilderness Battle in May 1864, had married three times. His Civil War pension file offers an incredible portrait of people living in Ferrisburgh in 1850 and beyond.

After having read the testimony left by his first wife, Eliza Sears about their lives together, let’s continue our journey through the eyes of his second wife, Eliza Carpenter. At the time of her testimony, Eliza was living with John Ayers but was apparently not married to him.

I will publish a short biography of each person concerned in the last post of this series. Enjoy!

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Abraham Sorrell(1)—What the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh Doesn’t Tell

vermont 2016

About a year ago, while doing some sleuthing on people listed in the 1850 US Census in Ferrisburgh, I came across one of the most baffling Civil War Pension Files I have seen in years.

The name is Abraham Sorrell. In 1850, he was living on a farm in Ferrisburgh, working as a labourer (although his family was living elsewhere in the same town). Of course, without any information on his civil status, we can assume this 17-year-old young man was still single, right? Continue reading

Travel 2016: My Upcoming Trip to Vermont

In exactly one week from now, I will be in Vermont on a long-cherished research trip. As I plan to travel quite often this year for my genealogy projects, this getaway—I hope—will be the first of many more! Continue reading

The Story of Two Brick Walls: Étienne Arpajou (1834-?) & Peter Parish (?-1884)

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Peter Parish. I remember the first time I saw his name. Back then, I was trying to track down Matilda Tourville in Ferrisburgh, Vermont, before her marriage in 1865 to Louis Tourville, son of Charles Tourville and Sophie Arpajou. Matilda, whose maiden name I had just found out was LaQuire (Lequin in Québec). Continue reading

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition #2 – Some Kings: Marie Louise King (1852-1934), Oliver King (1829-1899), Joseph King (1831-1904)

The “King” theme proposed by Amy Johnson Crow for the 52 Ancestors/52 Weeks challenge made me think of Marie Louise King. Funny thing, I received a picture of her from one family member the same week.

Marie Louise King (1852-1934)

Marie Louise Tourville (née King)  (1852-1934)

Marie Louise was born on March 10, 1852 in North Ferrisburgh, Addison County, Vermont. She was the daughter of Oliver King (Olivier Roi) and Eleonore Dufresne. She was baptized at St. Mary’s Church in Burlington Vermont, on June 5 of that same year.

Marie Louise was probably the oldest child. While we didn’t find any marriage record for her parents, her father was living with a Joseph King, perhaps his brother, in Ferrisburgh, Vermont in 1850, so Oliver and Eleonore probably got married in late 1850 or in 1851.

Until her marriage to Henry Tourville on June 25, 1870 in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Burlington, Vermont, Marie Louise lived in Ferrisburgh according to the 1860 and 1870 US Census. The couple quickly moved to Sparta, Wisconsin since their oldest son, Charles Henry Tourville, was born there on October 22, 1872. They had at least 5 other children. Henry Tourville and Marie Louise are both buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, in Sparta. Henry died on October 20, 1924 and Marie Louise, on May 4, 1934.

That was about the information I had at the time I received the photo of Marie Louise. I found out afterwards that her father Oliver was buried in East Charlotte, Vermont and that Find A Grave bio notes mentioned he was born on December 19, 1829. The death record for Ferrisburgh states his age as 68 years and 1 month in January 1899. So his birth month would be December but the year would be 1831, not 1829. There is another Olivier Roi born in December 1831. How can we be sure our Oliver is the one born in 1829?

I decided to try to find out what happened to his brother Joseph who was living with him in Ferrisburgh in 1850. I found a marriage record for a Joseph King in Vergennes, Vermont in 1856 to Charlotte Balduke (Bolduc). The couple had a male child born on May 15, 1857 in Vergennes. No trace of them afterwards. But I did find a Joseph King born 1831 in Canada who lived in Sparta, Wisconsin in 1860, the same town where his niece Marie Louise emigrated in the early 1870s, with wife Charlotte born 1838 in Vermont and son Augustus born 1857 in Vermont. They match the couple of Vermont.

The Joseph King of Wisconsin died there in 1904. Only his mother’s first name is given on his death record — Mary. But the given birthdate is January 1, 1832. Close enough, the birth date of Joseph Roi, brother of the Olivier Roi born in 1829 in Maskinongé, is the same but in 1831. In addition, according to Joseph’s 1876 marriage record, his parents are listed as Oliver and Louise King (the parents of Olivier born in 1829 and of Joseph born in 1831 were Olivier Roi and Louise Leblanc). Great, there you go! I ordered Joseph’s obit but haven’t received it yet — the summary mentions he had 3 wives. With the help of the census and the Wisconsin vital records, I did figure out that Joseph King was, as we know, first married to Charlotte Balduke and that they had at least one other child, a daughter named Charlotte, born in 1862 in Wisconsin (according to her marriage record). By 1870, Joseph was married to Addie who died in 1875. In 1876, Joseph got married to Mary A. Brown.

I will conduct further research on Joseph King. But now that we can establish that Oliver and Joseph are brothers, let’s see their family history.

Their parents, Olivier Roi and Louise Leblanc, were married in 1825 in Maskinongé, in Québec. They had 4 children: Marie-Louise (1827), Olivier (1829), Joseph (1831) and Clarisse (1833) who was born after her father passed away. Clarisse never left Canada.

Various records show that Oliver and Joseph probably emigrated to the United States around 1848. Both were blacksmiths.

On reception of the obits I ordered for Joseph King and Marie Louise King Tourville, I will update this post.

Moreover, many documents seem to be available regarding Joseph’s life while he was in Wisconsin. I will follow up on that as well.

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Children of Charles Tourville and Sophie Arpajou in the 1850 US Census

Before I start to tell the story about the children of Charles Tourville and Sophie Arpajou in the weeks to come, I thought it would be a good idea to start at the beginning and let you know where the children were living after the death of their mother in 1850.

Was Charles’ family living in Vermont before the death of his wife Sophie? Had she die in Ferrisburgh or Vergennes? We know for a fact that she had twin babies in 1848, both of them being baptized in St. Mary’s Church, in Burlington (there were no resident priest in Vergennes at that time).

Now let’s see. Charles Jr married Julia LeClair probably in Ferrisburgh about 1847. He was living there in 1850 with his wife and their first-born, 2 year-old Henry. Also living with them is Charles’ younger sister Philomena (listed as Meranda), 8 years old.

US Census for the town of Ferrisburgh, in the County of Addison, in the State of Vermont, taken on the 1st day of September, 1850

US Census for the town of Ferrisburgh, in the County of Addison, in the State of Vermont, taken in October 1850

Sophia Tourville married Joseph Giguère in Ferrisburgh in 1848. They were still living there in 1850 with their two children, Mary and Edward. Note how the name Giguère was mispelled!

US Census for the town of Ferrisburgh, in the County of Addison, in the State of Vermont, taken in October of 1850

US Census for the town of Ferrisburgh, in the County of Addison, in the State of Vermont, taken in October of 1850

So, I think it is very much likely that Charles, after the death of his wife Sophie, may have chosen to live with his sister Catherine. I have found three children living in Vermont. The youngest children, i.e. Edith, Julia, Louis and Joseph are living with their father in Chateaugay, New York.

1850 US Census for the town of Chateaugay, in the County of Franklin, State of New York, taken the 2nd of August 1850.

1850 US Census for the town of Chateaugay, in the County of Franklin, State of New York, taken the 2nd of August 1850.

Only Peter Stephen, age 15, could not be found. I strongly believe that he was living in Vermont as well. As he was older, he was probably working and maybe living as a boarder with other people and was not enumerated.

The Census enumerator didn’t always take the information directly from family members. They often enquired with neighbors, so the mispelling of names, the errors in age were common practice.