The Bangle Files: #22 | Visitors for John Bangle in Montreal’s Common Gaol

When I read a few months ago that Ancestry had launched an index for the Québec notarial records on its Website, I was very excited. It was a search tool I had long hoped for, but as I was not aware it was in the works, it came as a total surprise to me.

Obviously, this index is far from being perfect—especially when it has to do with French records—but as long as you can be imaginative and make proper use of the wildcard, this is good news. And with the use of this wildcard, I happened upon a record mentioning a certain John Buigle, leading me to two notarial acts at the Archives. Well, was I in for a surprise.

In the first document, dated October 11, 1820, we found John Bangle in the Common Gaol of Montreal meeting with Notary Public Jean-Marie Mondelet who is visiting him as John wants to make a request to the judges of the Court of King’s Bench regarding the authorization of a power of attorney for the administration of his assets in William Henry (Sorel). For this, he asks that his wife, Louise Quevillon—who is incarcerated in the same prison under the accusation of the same felony as he is—be brought between the two doors of the prison.

—Let’s stop for a moment. No cliffhanger here. I have no idea what crime resulted in Louise Quevillon’s confinement. She is not even mentioned as a witness in the coroner’s inquest or in John Bangle’s act of accusation. Was she imprisoned prior to her husband, accused of the same type of felony? Of course, as you may well expect, I have searched for another record about Louise in the Archives but haven’t dig up anything yet.

But I haven’t thrown in the towel. No matter what, this confirms that John and Louise were still alive and married in 1820.

Now back to the record. On the very day, Louise was brought in and was read the document for the power of attorney’s authorization and was satisfied with it. John Bangle, a cooper, and his wife have chosen Joseph Willment, an inn keeper, and resident of Sorel, for this purpose.

Who is Joseph Willment? First of all, Joseph acted as a juror at the coroner’s inquest.

Then, on January 12, 1801, Joseph Willment married Elizabeth Manègre in the Anglican Christ Church in Sorel. The witnesses were Joseph Fontaine and Josette Bangle. There is an explanation for this: Elizabeth’s sister Françoise was married to Joseph Dusang, a relative of Joseph Fontaine. We can thus assume that Joseph Willment was close to the Bangles.

The second document, dated October 12, 1820, refers to John Bangle and Louise Quevillon’s sale of their William Henry’s lot to Antoine Hus Lemoine dit Capistrant, described as being Lot No. 23 on the south side of King Street (nowadays, rue du Roi), of 66 feet by 132 feet deep, bounded on the rear by the King’s Lot, bounded on one side by Pierre Laviolette’s lot and on the other side by William Hewson’s lot, as well as the buildings erected thereon. This lot was initially acquired by John Bangle from John Rodgers. Please note that no date is indicated for this transaction and that no notary act was found for it. I intend to investigate this matter further in the next few months.

An intriguing—and questionable!—detail that should be kept in mind is that John Bangle could not sign both acts because of his paralysis (he didn’t seem to be hampered by this condition when he shot Michael Flynn—just saying).

There was another piece of paper noteworthy attached to that second act. The public crier of William Henry wrote a note in respect of the public auction of John and Louise’s lot on three consecutive Sundays upon the request of Joseph Willment who was in possession of a letter dated September 12, 1820, from John Bangle (who was detained in Montreal), instructing him to do so. We hence understand why the power of attorney had to be authorized before a Notary Public as well as the sale to Antoine Hus Lemoine dit Caspistrant on October 11 and 12, 1820, respectively.

Montreal’s Common Gaol, 19th Century, Place Vauquelin — From Archives de Montréal, VM6,R3067-2_155E-1939-005

With both John and Louise behind bars, it is most likely to pay for their legal fees that the couple sold their house in William Henry. I didn’t chance upon any other act concerning John Bangle… so far.

Here we are. You positively have all the information you need to sit through the trial and learn how this story will unfold. See you in Court in two weeks!

—Great to be back! Thank you for your patience. 🙂

For related posts about The Bangle Files, please refer to the Introduction Page

12 thoughts on “The Bangle Files: #22 | Visitors for John Bangle in Montreal’s Common Gaol

  1. Oh, this is so much fun. Thanks so much for this. And I am glad you are back and recovered from that awful injury.

  2. Woo-Hoo! It feels a bit like Season 2 has commenced! The episodes of a suspenseful drama program have resumed and we are the eager audience.
    Thanks for all you do Diane!

  3. It is so great to have you back researching and publishing what you find in our own family history drama.
    So glad you have recovered from your injuries and are back doing the things you enjoy. Hope your continued recovery gives you back full mobility?

    • Thank you, Judy 🙂

      No full mobility yet. I will have an injection in 3 weeks. I continue to do my exercises. Hopefully, it will be soon over.

  4. Welcome back, Diane, and what a wonderful find. I’ve been thinking about digging into the Luxembourg Notarial records but they aren’t indexed. I’ve found a few notary’s “répertoire” labeled as such but not for all.

    • Thank you Cathy! 🙂

      Here, these documents contain a wealth of infomrmation.

      A lot of notaries in Quebec do not have “repertoires”. They were lost. So I imagine Ancestry only have indexed those who had an index. You have to be very patient with notarial records, but once you find one document, you can hope that the family returned to that same notary.

      If your family came from a little town, it might be easier to identify the notary they went to. In Montreal, the task is a little bit overwhelming but for Terrebonne and Sorel, it was not so hard. 🙂

Comments are closed.