Friday, January 25, 2013

Euphrosine Laronde, My Metis Ancestor

A few years ago, I discovered I had Métis and Aboriginal heritage through my father’s maternal Vanasse ancestors. It's a little known part of my ancestry that I’m still researching.


According to The Métis Nation of Ontario website, Métis are a “distinct Aboriginal people” whose “initial offspring of these unions were of mixed ancestry” – that is, a child born to a European (Canadian) father and an Indian woman. [1]

I used to think that if I had Aboriginal ancestors I would find them in the 1600s or 1700s when Canada (New France at that time) was still young. But it was really interesting to find them in my more recent ancestry with my great-great-great-grandmother Euphrosine Laronde.*

* Euphrosine is my father’s matrilineal ancestor; see Matrilineal Monday: My Father’s Matrilineal Line.

Euphrosine’s birth

Although a birth record probably doesn’t exist for Euphrosine, a record of her baptism does. According to the sacramental registers of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, a town located about 35 kilometres (about 22 miles) west of Montreal, Euphrosine was agée de trois ans [aged three years] at her baptism on 28 July 1824. [2] She and her siblings Toussaint and Marie were baptised on the same day. Each of their baptismal records states that these Laronde children were born au Lac Népiscingue [at Lake Nipissing], now in the province of Ontario.

Her parents

Euphrosine’s parents, Toussaint Laronde and Marie Kekijicakoe, were first cousins. [3] They had lived as a couple since about 1813, when the first of their 14 children were born. [4] Originally married in a Roman Catholic ceremony in 1837, their union was rehabilitated in August 1838 after an impediment was discovered. [5]

Toussaint was the son of a French-Canadian (possibly Métis) father and an Aboriginal mother. Marie was also Aboriginal, presumably Ojibwa (Chippewa, Algonquin). She is described as sauvagesse [savage, that is Indian] in her children’s baptismal records. Marie became a Christian when she was baptised in 1838. [6]

Toussaint worked in the fur trade as an interpreter for the North West Company in 1804, and later managed the joint operations of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company at Lake Nipissing from 1821 to 1824. [7]

Marriage and children

In about 1839, Euphrosine married Jean-Baptiste Guérard, almost certainly on Ile des Allumettes in Pontiac County. [8] The couple had at least three children: my ancestor Marie (1840-1917), Célina (born in 1851), and Euphémie (born in 1852). Nothing else is known of their married life.

Her death

Euphrosine died young, when about 31 to 40 years old. Her exact date and location of death and burial are a mystery to me, but she died probably on Ile des Allumettes between October 1852 (when her daughter Euphémie was baptised) and January 1861 (when her husband appears as a widower on that year's census). [9]

My line of descent from Euphrosine and her parents:

Toussaint Laronde (ca 1783-?)
m. 1837 Marie Kekijicakoe

Euphrosine Laronde (ca 1821-1852/1861)
m. ca 1839 Jean-Baptiste Guérard

Marie Guérard (1840-1917)
m. 1859 Joseph Vanasse

Elisabeth Vanasse (1862-1947)
m. 1889 (her first cousin) Olivier Vanasse

Julie Vanasse (1896-1967)
m. 1926 Fred Belair

Maurice Belair (1927-1996)
m. 1954 Jacqueline Desgroseilliers

Yvonne Belair


1. “Culture and Heritage: Who are the Métis”, The Métis Nation of Ontario ( : accessed 17 January 2013).

2. Ste-Anne (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue [aka Ste-Anne-du-Bout-de-l’Isle], Quebec), parish register, 1796-1846, p. 54 verso, no entry no. (1824), Euphroisine [sic] Laronde baptism, 28 July 1824; Ste-Anne parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 4 March 2011).

3. “Registres paroissiaux” [Régistres des missions de 19 juillet 1836 au 27 may [sic] 1839], p. 77 verso, no entry no., Laronde-Laronde marriage rehabilitation, 28 August 1838; Family History Library (FHL) microfilm 1703968. The text states that the couple received a dispensation of consanguinité au 2e dégré [consanguinity to the 2nd degree].

4. “Registres paroissiaux”, p. 77 verso, Laronde-Laronde marriage rehabilitation, 28 August 1838. Toussaint and Marie’s marriage rehabilitation states they had 14 children before their present marriage, 13 of which were living. Their eldest mentioned child was daughter Angélique, who at 25 years old, would have been born about 1813.

5. A spiritual affinity existed between the couple, because Toussaint provisionally baptised (specifically, ondoyé) Marie before their (original, 1837) marriage. This undeclared impediment rendered their union null, hence the need to have their marriage rehabilitated or ratified in 1838 in order for it to be canonically valid. “Registres paroissiaux”, p. 77 verso, Laronde-Laronde marriage rehabilitation, 28 August 1838.

6. Marie was described as ondoyée in August 1836, when her younger sons Eustache, Paul and Louis were baptised. She was later baptised sous condition [conditionally] by a priest in August 1838. (A baptism sous condition is when the officiating priest baptises a child (or an adult) on condition that he or she has not been previously baptised.) “Registres paroissiaux” [Régistres des missions de 19 juillet 1836 au 27 may [sic] 1839], p. 21 recto, entry no. B125, B126, B127, Eustache, Paul, and Louis Laronde baptism, 5 August 1836; FHL microfilm 1703968. Also, “Registres paroissiaux” [Régistres des missions de 19 juillet 1836 au 27 may [sic] 1839], p. 77 verso, entry no. B117 and B118, Marie and Elizabeth Laronde baptism, 28 August 1838; FHL microfilm 1703968.

7. “North West Company Men’s Names at the Athabasca River Dept. 1805”, database and images, Bouvette Family Website ( : accessed 25 June 2011), entry for Toussaint Laronde. Also, David A. Robertson, Eva M. MacDonald, and Martin S. Cooper, “Among Marshes and Gneiss Mounds: The Archaeology of La Vase Island”, Ontario Archaeology, No. 64 (1997); online archives, The Ontario Archaeological Society ( : accessed 7 March 2011), pages 11-12.

8. Euphrosine and Jean-Baptiste’s marriage date is deduced from when their presumed eldest daughter Marie was born: dans le mois de décembre dernier [in the month of last December]. St-Paul (Aylmer, Quebec), parish register, 1841-1851, p. 14 verso, no entry no. (1841), Marie Guérard baptism, 4 February 1841; St-Paul parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 11 March 2008). Marie’s baptism took place in the “mission de St Alphonse de Liguori des Allumettes”, but the missionary priest recorded the event in St-Paul’s sacramental register.

9. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1846-1856, p. 164 verso, entry no. B95 (1852), [Euphemie] Guérard baptism, 24 October 1852; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 11 March 2008). Also, 1861 census of Canada, [Township of Chichester,] Pontiac, Canada East [Quebec], population schedule, p. 132, line 11, Bte Gerard [sic]; digital image, ( : accessed 8 June 2010); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm C-1305.

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.


  1. Hi My name is Sheila Lafleur and researching my husbands roots. His great grandparents were Onesime Belair and Suzanne LaRonde......I have had great success with the Belair Line but am stuck with Suzanne's I feel she is also a daughter born 1838 in Chapeau of Toussaint Laronde & Marie Kekjicakoe but it is to prove this.... any suggestions? ALSO did you find the voyageur records useful to purchase?

    Thanks Sheila flowers99[at]

  2. In Chapeau index of marriages (from Ancestry I believe), Anselme Belaire m. Suzanne Laronde d/o Francois Laronde & Suzanne Laronde, 10 Feb 1857. LDS also has this marriage in a rewritten form with same names; I haven't seen the original yet (there is a gap for that year).

  3. Hi I am looking for information on my great great grandfather Louis Laronde 1841 married to Catherine McGuire 1848 from Allumette Island. His father is listed on marriage licence as Eustache Laronde mother was Elizabeth Har. Can't find any info with her listed before or after that. My great grandfather was Francis Laronde who change his name when he moved from Allumette island to Manitoba from Laronde to Lalonde. His parent were listed as Louis Lalonde and Catherine McGuire on Marriage license. Any info would be gret.