Friday, May 09, 2014

52 Ancestors: #19 Paul Janvry dit Belair

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”.

For the 19th week of this challenge, I chose Paul Janvry dit Belair (1822-1902).

Paul is my paternal great-great-grandfather and is number 16 in my ancestor list.

He was born on 13 May 1822 in Ste-Geneviève (later Pierrefonds, and now part of the City of Montreal) on the Island of Montreal, Lower Canada (now the province of Quebec), and baptized there the following day.

Paul was the third child, but second surviving son of Pierre Janvry dit Belair and his second wife Scholastique St-Michel. By his first wife, the late Marguerite Campeau, Pierre had 14 children, 10 sons and 4 daughters.

Throughout his life, Paul’s surname alternated between his patronym Janvry (and its spelling variations like Janvril) and its dit name Belair (with its spelling variations like Bellaire).

Paul’s parents moved frequently when he was younger. The family lived in Ste-Geneviève, then a little to the north in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, then at some distance west in the Hull-Gatineau area (across from the future city of Ottawa, later capital of Canada), where Paul’s youngest siblings were born.

When Paul was 23 years old, he married Angélique Lalonde on 2 September 1845. Although the bride and groom each resided in Hull, the wedding ceremony took place in a mission church attached to St-Paul RC church in Aylmer, just to the west of Hull.* Missionary priest J. Desautels blessed their union, which was witnessed by Paul’s father Pierre, his younger brother Toussaint, and his sister’s husband Louis Poulin.

* A mission church is a church that does not have a resident priest. It is served by a missionary priest, who travels from the home church to outlying areas to serve the faithful.


Map of Masham, county of Ottawa
Masham, comté d'Ottawa [Masham, county of Ottawa]

Paul and Angélique settled on lot 55 in range 4 of Ste-Cécile-de-Masham Township (now La Pêche), about 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of Hull, between 1849 and 1851.

The couple had nine children, most of who were born in Masham: Paul, Joseph, Delphine, Pierre (my great-grandfather), Lucie, Emilien, Jean-Baptiste, Paul, and Adélaïde (Adèle). Paul père supported his large brood as a farmer on his own land of about 123 acres.

Paul died in Masham on 17 July 1902; he was 80 years old. He was predeceased by Angélique and three of their children. Paul’s funeral took place three days later in Ste-Cécile parish church. It was well attended by family, including his sons Pierre and Emilien, and by members of the Ligue du Sacré-Coeur (a lay brotherhood devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus), to which Paul belonged.

Image credit: Library and Archives Canada (MIKAN no. 4126897).

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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