While not an expert on the Ottawa Valley, I am enjoying my research of this interesting network of Métis communities and voyageur routes. For example, Grand Calumet Island or L’Île-du-Grand-Calumet, Québec had a number of Métis families.
The Mattawa Nipissing Métis Historical Research Project is the first place to start. The report by Stone Circle Consulting and Know History is available on line as a PDF.
The Mattawa Nipissing Métis Historical Research Project
I will post a separate page with pictures of the Ottawa Valley Voyageur route and voyageurs.
This week I found a nice little book on line with the genealogy of the Upper Ottawa Valley from 1906. I will post a few pages here and information about other resources below that.
Anson A. Gard’s “Pioneers of the Upper Ottawa” has an extensive genealogy section. I will post a few sample pages below. The book is available free on line at:
Yes, Google is a good place to go next. You can take a name, for example, Peter Beaupré, who lived in Aylmer, Quebec, in 1850 accord to Anson Gard. I picked a name that is not in The Mattawa Nipissing Métis Historical Research Project intentionally. (If someone else does not have that information, the information may still be found somewhere they did not look or perhaps they were not considering the same parameters as me. For example, they may not have searched the Francophone record.
Here is the page from Gard for Beaupré, converted into grey scale and adjusted to make it easier to read.
So we already know a lot about the Beaupré family.
We know that he came to Aylmer about 1850 but it doesn’t say where he came from. That may indicate Métis roots or it may mean nothing. But it itself is a lead. I always have to remind myself when searching historical records to search for “half-breed” not “Métis”. We also know that his wife was Julia Chartran, or more probably, Chartrand. I already know from personal experience that Chartrand is a Métis name, but this particular Chartrand might not be. Still it is another lead. Also I never take spelling of names too seriously. Joanne Doucette, my own name, gets butchered into Jean Dowsett, Joan Ducet, etc. Many Anglophones did not speak French and many Francophones did not speak English. So “Pierre” becomes “Peter”; “Stephen” becomes “Etienne” and so on.
They had the following children:
- Frederick who maried Josephine Dozois
- Peter who married Delion Charlebois
- Israel who married Mary A. Villion
- Joseph who married first Louisa Charlebois and then Mary J. Mousseau
- Frank who married Elizabeth Keyes
- Louisa who married Peter Martel
- Delphine who married Charles Dozois (brother to Josephine Dozois — see above)
- and Josephine who did not marry.
I Googled Peter Beaupre and here is something promising that came up on the first page of the search!
St. Paul’s Cemetery, Aylmer, Gatineau County, Quebec
And sure enough there is a Pierre Beaupré. OK, obviously it is not the one who was alive in but we already now that according to Anson Gard, a Peter Beaupre married Delion Charlebois. So bingo!
So know we have the dates of a Pierre Beaupré, born around 1865 and died 6 April 1942, probably born and died in Aylmer Quebec. We also have his wife’s name Delia Charlebois (c. 1873-195o) as well as a son Alphee who died in July 1921 at the age of 24 so he ws born around 1897, again probably in Aylmer.
This is a free on-line genealogy site owned by the Church of Latter Day Saints. It is an excellent tool.
So Iook to see if I can find Pierre or Peter Beaupré (1865-1942) on FamilySearch.org
And bingo again! Right away his name comes up on the 1901 Census of 31 Mar 1901. He is living in Wright, Quebec, Canada (an old name for Hull). He is married, Roman Catholic, born in about 1865. His wife is Delia and they have children: Albiana, Yvonne, Eugene and Alphee
<!– Search Results for Pierre Peter Beaupre – FamilySearch.org
So now I have a lot of information to do more research on Pierre Beaupré and Julia (Julie) Chartran or Chartrand. Each of those names above in light blue underlined will take you to the FamilySearch record. This is just an example of how I go about finding more out about someone without paying for it.
Census information is free on line courtesy of your tax dollars (not really free — you’ve already paid for it). The 1901 Census is a good place to start.
Another great resource is which many people have free access to is listed below. You can pay for it or in many cases get access to it free of charge through your local public library.
Early Canadiana Online
Researching family history is never as easy as the TV ads suggest and those of First Nations and Métis people are even harder. Thankfully a lot of work has been done on the Ottawa Valley.
Here are some other resources and I will update this page as I come across more.
The Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group Inc.
Ottawa Family Tree
Archives and Library Canada Métis Genealogy Page
There are a number of resources through Archives and Library Canada. We already know, for example, that cemeteries are a gold mine for genealogy research.
I will list some here:
Ste. Anne Roman Catholic Cemetery, Grand Calumet, Island of Grand Calumet, Pontiac County, Quebec / transcribed by members of the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group — Pembroke, Ont. : Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group, 2000. —  p. : ill., maps ; 28 cm. — ISBN 1894084438 (pbk.) — AMICUS No. 24043457
Dunraven Union Church Cemetery, Dunraven Road, Ile du Grand Calumet, lot 8C, Range 6, Grand Calumet Township, Pontiac County / recorded by Robbie Gorr — [Pembroke, Ont. : Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group, 1992?] —  leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. — AMICUS No. 13542608
Local histories are good too.
Esquisse historique de l’Ile du Grand Calumet / [sous la direction de] Joseph Taillefer — [Ile-du-Grand-Calumet, Quebec] : Comite des citoyens de l’Ile du Grand Calumet, 1982. — 427 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. — AMICUS No. 5053238
And remember that old quote:
If at first you don’t succeed, you are running about average.