French Canadians Living in Ferrisburgh, VT in 1850: #10 David Perry

David Perry (whose surname is Paré in Québec) is listed in the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh. He is referred to as David Perry on Page 302 (stamped-left page), Line 36, Household 126, with the following persons listed, respectively, on lines 37 to 40:

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Newspaper Nuggets: “Funeral of Joseph Germain”

Middlebury Register, Friday, August 27, 1915, Page 6

Funeral of Joseph Germain

The funeral of Joseph Germain, whose remains were brought here Saturday from the retreat at Brattleboro, where he was taken for treatment two weeks ago, was held Monday morning at 9 o’clock at St. Mary’s church. Rev. E. F. Cray officiated. The bearers were William and Lewis Germain, William Kent and Edward Chandler. The floral offering was very large, many beautiful flowers being sent from different lodges and societies. Joseph Germain was 80 years of age and an old resident of Brandon, and was well liked by all who knew him. He is survived by one sister, Mrs. Joseph Benoir of Forestdale, four daughters, Mrs. Peter Blair of Pittford, Mrs. Edward Chandler of Brandon, Mrs. Felix Cole of Middlebury and Mrs. Griffith Floyd of Granville, N.Y., and two sons, Lewis Germain of Bridport, Vt., and William Germain of Binghamton, N.Y. Among those from out of town to attend the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Griffith Floyd, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jones, Mrs. Edward Williams, William Kent, Miss Irene Kent and Miss Nettie Curtis of Granville, N.Y., William Germain of Binghamton, N.Y., Mrs. Peter Blair of Pittsford, Mrs. Felix Cole and three sons, Felix, Clarence and Laurence of Middlebury, and Lewis Germain of Bridport, Vt.

Joseph Germain was the widow of Nettie Tourville. He was born September 3, 1835 in Marieville, Québec. He died on August 20, 1915 in Brattleboro. You may refer to Nettie Tourville’s post here.

nuggets red sample

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

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.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #14: Matilda Tourville (née LaQuire) (1847-aft 1886)

I cannot post anything on Nettie Tourville, one of Charles and Sophia Arpajou’s children, before I tell you the story of my quest for Matilda Laquire (1847-?).

Never give up.

Used to a goldmine of genealogical information from the Quebec Catholic Records, I was at a lost with Matilda, the wife of Louis Tourville.

All the information I had was the following:

  • In 1866, she had a daughter baptized at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Chateaugay, NY. Her maiden name was recorded as Sequin.
  • She appeared in the 1880 US Census as the wife of Louis Tourville in Grand Haven, MI, born about 1847 in Vermont and her parents, in Pennsylvania.

Never give up, I am telling you.

I don’t know why but I always thought that the fact that her parents were supposedly born in Pennsylvania might be a mistake. I mean her name, Sequin, looked a lot like Seguin or Séguin, which are very common surnames here in Quebec. But as Louis fought in the Civil War I thought that maybe he met her closer to Washington, DC, in Virginia, or even in Pennsylvania.

What to do?

I first checked the original document from St. Patrick’s to see if there was a mistake in the transcription. Nope. I then looked for all Sequin or Seguin families in Vermont, hoping to find her in 1850 or 1860: nothing.

Louis and Matilda’s daughter Lizzie died at age 1 in Grand Haven in 1869. No more clue. Next, I tried to find their daughters Jennie and Clarissa after 1880. Ah! that 1880-1900 gap! I did find a marriage for Clarissa Tourville and Edward Palmer in 1886 in Grand Haven but nothing more than that, except it confirmed that Matilda was still living in 1886 as she was one of the witnesses at the marriage. I did find an Edward Palmer in 1900 but he was married to another woman. Was he the same one? He was indeed as I found a second marriage for him in 1892 and that his obituary confirmed that he was the same Edward Palmer who married Clarissa. The Palmers’ came from Allegan County and I found the records for the cemetery family lot and no Clarissa.

By the way, the Clarissa Tourville Palmer case is still cold.

My first break came from my first trip to Salt Lake City. By looking at all the vital records for Ottawa County, I found the birth of Clarissa in 1869 (no maiden name for the mother) and I found a marriage for a Jennie Lovill married to a Marine Kamphout in 1883. That L from Lovill looked like a T so I decided to follow that track. I found the couple in the 1900 US Census and I found births in the vital records of Ottawa County (online) that matched the names on the census.

I had no proof that this person was indeed the daughter of Louis and Matilda but I had no other clue to pursue.

So I followed Jennie or Mary Jane as she was later called n the census until 1930 where she lived with her daughter in Wyandotte, near Detroit. Marinus Kamhout died in 1906 so in 1910 I found the daughters with their remarried mother in Michigan. In 1920, Mary Jane was back to the Kamhout surname. Who knows what happened with that marriage?

My second big break came from the Louttit Library in Grand Haven. A wonderful woman sent me some newspaper clips (they were not online at the time) as well as a cemetery lot listing for the family. I then had a date for the death of Mary Jane! But… nothing in the Grand Haven newspapers even if she was buried there in 1953.

I even ordered a microfilm through BANQ for a Detroit newspapers (one of her son died there) and I couldn’t find anything still.

Have I ever told you that I have never found ANYBODY in those funeral home repertoires? On another trip to Salt Lake City, I was going through the Michigan books on the US Book Floor and I saw a funeral home repertoire for Wyandotte. I opened it and I almost screamed (I think I did)!

There she was: Mary Jane Kamhout. And that funeral home index refered to a record of funeral in another book which was also on the shelves and it even looked like a DEATH certificate.

Hummm! Father: Louis Detourville. Mother: Matilda LaQuire. Where is that surname coming from? I was so excited I ran to a computer to search for Laquires. First thing I noticed, some Laquires are corrected to Lecuyer and that is also a common surname in Quebec. I also saw Saquire corrected to Laquire. Humm! Saquire and I had Sequin all along. So I went on the Lecuyer trail. Cold trail too.

Then I decided to go through the Vermont vital records for Laquires. I found out that some were living in Ferrisburgh very near the families I knew from the Tourvilles’ circle of family and friends. Interesting.

I looked through the Vermont Vital Records and found a Matilda Laquire married to a Lewis Covill (my second scream of the day). Remember that sometimes the Tourvilles were also called Courville in various catholic church records.

Matilda was the daughter of Mitchell Laquire and Mary German. I found two other marriages for children of Mitchell and Mary German. I could not find the family in censuses. They obviously came to the States after 1850 and the 1851 Canadian Census record for their parish were lost. I did find Matilda, living alone in 1860 in Vermont.

As the Laquire trail went cold also, I decided to go through the Germans. Hummm! Was it German for Lallemand, a French surname here? Nope. It was for Germain or St-Germain. So with a lot of research I did find the St-Germain in Quebec and in St. Mary’s Catholic Repertoire of Burlington. And there it was: Lequin. The name in Quebec was Lequin or Lequien.

After that, it was so easy.

Michel Lequin married Marie-Louise St-Germain on November 3, 1840, in Marieville, Québec. Mathilde was born May 13, 1847 in Mont-St-Grégoire. Michel died in Farnham in 1855, the record states he was living in the United States. Mary German may have remarried in Vermont but no trace of her after that.

As I mentioned before, the last trace of Matilda Laquire Tourville was in 1886 as she was the witness at Clarissa’s marriage. I will never give up. I am pretty sure that one of these days I will find her even if I have no trace of her death in Michigan, Minnesota or even Vermont. And of course, I looked for siblings’ obituaries. No such luck.

But my biggest break was this: while I was looking at the Vermont vital records index on microfilms in Montreal, I saw a child named German, father was Joseph German and the mother was Nettie TOURVILLE. Who was that Nettie?!

I suddenly remembered that years ago someone gave me the name of the children of Charles and Sophia Arpajou from the Clarence Tourville Book and that Sophia (married to Joseph Giguère as I proofed later) was mentioned as being married to a Joseph St-Germain. I never found the couple and as later I found the name of Joseph Giguère, I thought it was a simple mistake. Yeah, MY mistake.

Who was that Nettie? The answer in post #15 coming soon!


52 Ancestors / 52 Weeks is an idea proposed by Amy Johnson Crow. Link on the image for more details about it.

52 Ancestors / 52 Weeks is an idea proposed by Amy Johnson Crow. Link on the image for more details about it.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #7 – Sophie Arpajou (1811-bef 1850)

We all have a favorite family in our tree, you know, that we keep coming back to, hoping to find something new. Sophie Arpajou is not my ancestor, she is my first cousin 4 times removed but I like her anyway. 😉

I could have chosen her husband Charles Tourville for this article but so much has been written about him. Let the woman shine!

First, let me tell you how I got acquainted with Sophie. It was a long time ago, maybe 15 years back, before I even knew the existence of US Censuses, Ancestry and so on. One night when I was working very late at the office, waiting for the sign-off of a document, trying hard to keep myself awake, I surfed the Internet (no Internet at home at that time). Guess what I did? Well, I typed my surname of course! I was already into genealogy at that time, trying to find all the descendents of Mathieu Hubou and a lot of them seemed to have vanished in the air. As there was no online search at that time, I had to go through each parish repertoire, most of them featuring only mariages, no baptisms nor burials, so you understand that my research did not go very far giving the little time I had to dedicate to genealogy. I still remember when I was arriving early at the library in Montreal on a Saturday morning, waiting for my turn to have the microfilm reader just for one hour. Going through Canadian censuses at the time was quite a long process.

So, as I was saying, I surfed the Internet and I saw on a US genealogy forum that someone was looking for LaCounts, mentioning the mother was Catherine Tourville from Canada. So I sent an email to this person, Clay LaCount, at 2AM and I got an answer almost immediately much to my surprise (I haven’t realized that he was living on the West Coast). He wrote to me that he was looking for information on Anthony LaCount and Catherine Tourville. He also mentioned that the brother of Catherine, Charles Tourville and his children were living with them in Chateaugay, New York in 1850. That according to family lore, they first settled in Vergennes, Vermont, about 200 km south from St-Hughes, in the late 1830’s but were in Chateaugay since the late 1840’s. As I said in an earlier post, that is how I was introduced to genealogy research in the US.

Arpajou fam ENGWhat do I know about Sophie? She was born in 1811 in St-Hyacinthe. Her father Étienne Arpajou lost his first wife Marie-Françoise Laprée in 1804, who left behind her 5 children. Her mother is Madeleine Plourde who was married to Étienne in 1805. Besides her 5 half siblings, Sophie had also 3 siblings. Sophie got married to Charles Tourville in 1827 at age 16. At the time of their marriage, Charles purchased a land in what would become St-Hughes later.

Sophie seems to have lived in St-Hughes until about 1837. After that year, the family moved to Vermont, maybe during the winter time, where Charles probably worked on larger farms or in mills as a laborer as were doing other French-Canadians in that time period. Was their move a consequence of the rebellions of 1837-38 in Lower Canada? It is a strong possibility.

Their daughter Domithilde Tourville was born on February 16, 1839 but only baptized in July 1839 in Quebec. It is very much possible that she was born in Vermont. The family is in Ferrisburgh, in 1840. A daughter, Philomena, was baptized in Burlington in 1841. Another daughter, Julia was born about 1843 also in Vermont. Both sons, Louis and Joseph, respectively born in 1844 and 1846 were born and baptized in Quebec. Interesting fact: in 1844, for the baptism of Louis, Charles is absent. I recently found two younger children, both baptized the same day in 1848 in Burlington. They were probably twins. Sophie had 13 children, a total of 8 making it to adulthood.

Arpajou map ENGI always assumed that Sophie Arpajou died in Chateaugay as Charles was living there in 1850 with some of his children. I now think she died in Vermont. Maybe she died shortly after giving birth to the twins. Maybe Charles went to live to Chateaugay with his sister to get some help for the children.

What we know for sure is that the twins didn’t survive because in October 1851, Charles sold his land is St-Hughes which appeared, along with the old house, to have been abandonned. In a tutorship act related to the sale of the land, Charles lists his surviving children, Charles, Sophie, Étienne, Marie-Édesse, Philomène, Julie, Louis and Joseph.

Finding all the children of Sophie Arpajou was not a piece of cake. In the next 8 weeks, I will feature each of the children who made it to adulthood. Finding information on each of them was an adventure in itself (which is far from over), so be sure to tune in next week!

The name Arpajou is quite rare. Sometimes spelled Harpageau or Arpageau, it seemed to have vanished. I know from a fact that a nephew of Sophie married twice in Vermont but is nowhere to be found. If you happen to know how the name was changed to in the US, please let me know!