Of the twelve children born to William Bangle (1765-1821) and Marie Tourville (1778-1853), two are nowhere to be found: Joseph-Hippolyte, born in 1806, and his brother Félix, born in 1812.
Let’s start with the youngest. Félix was born on June 13, 1812, and was baptized on the following day, in the parish of Saint-Henri, in Mascouche. This is the only recorded event I got for this child: no clue about a marriage or a burial, no nothing. Until a man called Philip D. Bangle caught my attention. On Find A Grave Website, his birth year is 1813. He was married to Polly Ann Loing. Hum… Philip, Félix… I decided he was worth a careful investigation!
From Polly Ann’s obituary, I learned a few facts and could establish a remarkable timeline for the couple. She was born in Jefferson County, New York, on July 24, 1820. When she was 17, she married Philip Bangle at Olean, Cattaraugus County, New York. They went west in 1837 (if the date and age are accurate, they would have left shortly after their marriage) and lived near Belvidere, Boone County, Illinois, until 1845 when they headed for Stevens Point, Portage County, Wisconsin. In 1854, they moved to the town of Amherst in the same county, where they raised a family of twelve children, seven of whom have accompanied their father to the grave. According to his gravestone, Philip Bangle died in 1873, and the obituary mentions that “he was gored to death by an ox”. One son of the couple died in the Civil War, and another one “was ground to death beneath a train of 22 gravel cars”. Polly Ann died in 1898 in Amherst.
Well, that’s a start, no mystery about the western portion of their life. Where to search for Philip Bangle’s origins?
American censuses typically proved to be rewarding square-one sources to turn to:
1850: Philip D. Bangle, 37, is listed in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, born in 1813, in Vermont. His wife Polly, 30, was born in 1820, in New York. Four children are listed: three were born in Illinois between 1840 and 1843, and the last one, in 1848, in Wisconsin. As of now, the information coming from the obituary seems accurate.
1860: Philip, 47, is listed in Amherst, Wisconsin, and was born in Vermont. His wife, 40, was born in New York. Seven children are listed: the first three were born in Illinois, and the others, in Wisconsin.
1870: Philip, 57, is listed in Amherst, Wisconsin, and was born in Vermont. Information on his wife and children are consistent with previous census data.
I hear you: “He was born in Vermont, forget about this guy.”
Not so fast.
My friend Judy’s ancestor is Joseph Bangle. We have always suspected Joseph to be Joseph-Hyppolite for whom I haven’t located any trace of the existence besides his baptismal record dated September 22, 1806, in Terrebonne (he was born on the same day).
Guess where Judy dug up the first evidence of her ancestor’s existence: in the 1850 US Census of Boone County, Illinois.
Judy has managed to gather the following on Joseph Bangle:
He married Theodate Yeaton on September 9, 1828, in Sanbornton, Belknap County, New Hampshire. Let’s take a look at the censuses just like we did for Philip.
1850: Joseph Bangle, 41, is listed in Boone, Boone County, Illinois, born in 1809, in Canada. His wife Theodate, 41, was born in 1809, in New Hampshire. Five children are listed: the elder was born in New Hampshire, in 1830; the next two, in Vermont, from 1835 to 1836; the fourth, in Canada, in 1837; and the fifth, in Illinois, in 1845.
1860: Joseph, 50, is listed in Milo, Delaware County, Iowa, born in Vermont. His wife, 50, was born in New Hampshire. A new child is listed, born in 1851, in Illinois.
1870: Joseph, 63, is listed in Center, Hickory County, Missouri, born in Vermont. His wife, 62, was born in New Hampshire.
Joseph’s and Theodate’s death dates are unknown.
At one point, when the Drouin Collection was indexed, I discovered Joseph Bangle’s children baptismal acts in Quebec where they were all baptized on July 11, 1842, at the Methodist Church, in the town of Shefford. At that date, Joseph Bangle was a farmer from nearby Milton, in Quebec, which is about 90 miles northwest of Burlington, Vermont. He is as well cited in the 1842 Canadian Census for the town of Milton.
Thanks to his children’s baptismal acts and census records, it can be stated that Joseph Bangle was in Quebec from at least 1837 to 1842. In January 1845, he was in Boone County, Illinois, as he acquired a piece of land from a man named Philip D. Bangle (which is actually also the name of Joseph’s son born in Quebec in 1837). A coincidence? I don’t think so!
A book on New Hampshire’s Sanbornton history published in the 1800s mentions Theodate as being married to Joseph Bangley, a French Canadian. The couple moved to Alexandria, NH, and thence to the West.
Before going to the West, Joseph and Theodate settled in Vermont. Where? I may have found a clue.
According to Vermont newspapers, on October 1, 1834, two letters addressed to Jos. Bangle remained in Montpelier, Vermont Post Office, where, moreover, on January 1 and April 1, 1836, there was unclaimed mail as well for Philip Bangle. A coincidence? I don’t think so! Enough to declare that these two people are brothers or cousins? Yes! And sons of William Bangle?
Not so fast.
This incipient proof still has to be sustained and I will, no doubt, work on it. I am positively not willing yet to discard Philip Bangle as not being Félix Bangle. Vermont was popular among William and Marie Tourville’s children and so were the Eastern Townships.
André Bangle (who died in 1828) was living in Abbotsford, Quebec. His brother Charles (who married André’s widow) was living there too, probably on his brother’s land. Elizabeth married François-Xavier Zace in 1828, and they moved to Vermont as early as 1833, near Burlington. They came back to Canada around 1840 and went in the Eastern Townships, in Bedford, Stanbridge, and Saint-Césaire. They left for Kankakee, Illinois, around 1854. Their third son, born in 1833, was named Philip. Catherine was married to John B. Miner in 1838, in Williston, Vermont. They were also in Stanbridge, Quebec, from 1842 to 1845. They later, once again, set up home in Vermont.
I have this theory: the two brothers lived for a while in Vermont. Around 1836, Félix left Vermont for New York State where he met Polly Ann and went west after his marriage with his in-laws. As for Joseph, he went to the Eastern townships, in Quebec, with his family and later went to Illinois where his brother was residing. According to Judy, the two “brothers” were neighbours at some point. Like any theory, I need to prove it.
So there you have it, our two mysterious brothers. Along with Louis Bangle from Massena, these men are my favourite puzzle.
The Bangle Files will return in three weeks!