Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday, June 30th, Deep into Family History Territory

In the last two days, we’ve seen most of the towns where my Canadian ancestors lived and died.  The Cloutiers began their stay in America in 1634 when Zacharie Cloutier and his fellow craftsmen were contracted by the French government to bring their skills to the construction of France’s New World, which would later become Lower Town in Quebec.  The Gagnes followed in 1643.  When their work was finished, they brought their families over and founded new homes up and down the Saint Lawrence Seaway and on an island in its middle (Ille d’Orleans).  

For a hundred years, Cloutier and Gagne families populated the area.  Both families moved from the original family home at Chateau Richer, just outside Quebec, to towns they established along the Seaway.  Led by the Gagnes in 1760, and followed by the Cloutiers in 1810, they both eventually moved southwest to St Joseph de Beuce.  There in 1847, Emerentienne Cloutier and Joseph Gagne were married, the first blending of the two families.

In California, the Bear Flag Revolt had begun.  In the mid-west, my Norwegian farm ancestors were sailing across Lake Michigan, on their way to North Dakota.  In Cumbria, Northern England, my father’s great-grandfather was working in the iron mines along a railroad linking the area with Liverpool. 

But three generations later, a Gagne granddaughter would marry the descendant of the first recorded European born in America (On the Mayflower in the harbor), and my family would become one of the very few who could claim to have helped found two countries.

Tomorrow, we’ll visit the original ancestral home at Chateau Richer.  Later this week, we’ll be following the family timeline to St Joseph de Beuce and Disraeli.  Toward the end of our trip, we have a special visit with my aunt Kitty, who shares this ancestry with me.

By the way, I mistakenly posted a link to the wrong album for the House of our Ancestors Museum yesterday.  Sorry guys.

Here’s some of the photos taken where we stayed last night: Monday evening

And a link to the Google Map I’ve been keeping of the trip: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=z6QvBOdNCx-Y.kdoS9VMjtwSY.  The green icons are where we've been, red is where we're headed.

By the way, the Women's World Cup Semi-Final (USA vs Germany) has just begun.  Go USA!

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