Friday, October 31, 2014

52 Ancestors: #44 Pierre Drouin, from Catholic to Presbyterian, then back again

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 44th week of this challenge, I chose Pierre Drouin (1805-1894).

Pierre is my paternal 3x great-grandfather and is number 38 in my ancestor list.

Background info

Pierre was born and baptized on 12 January 1805 in St-Benoît, northwest of Montreal. [1] He was the second child and eldest son of Pierre Drouin, a farmer, and his wife Agathe Brunet dite Létang. Pierre married Marie Reine Poirier, a widow with two young children, on 2 March 1829 in St-Benoît. [2] The couple had ten children, including first-born twins (a son and a daughter) and Louise (1835-1890), my ancestor. Pierre died on 28 January 1894 and was buried two days later in Quyon, Pontiac County, Quebec. [3]

A few questions

As I was preparing a profile about Pierre for 52 Ancestors, I found myself wondering about certain aspects of his life. That’s when I decided to compile a list of questions instead of Pierre’s biography for this blog post.

  1. Why did Pierre leave St-Benoît about 1832, where he was a farmer, and move to Rigaud, in nearby Vaudreuil County?
  2. Why did he leave Rigaud about 1834 for Cornwall, Upper Canada to work as a day laborer?
  3. Why wasn’t he present at the baptism of his daughter Louise in St-Benoît in August 1836? Was it because he was still in Cornwall?
  4. Why did he return to St-Benoît about 1838 when his son Camille was born there in July? (It was a dangerous time to be in this region due to the Patriots’ War or the 1837-1838 Rebellion.)
  5. Where did he live in Lower Canada when his children Marie and Joseph were born about 1843 and 1845, respectively?
  6. When did he arrive in Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, Gatineau County? (He was present at his stepdaughter’s wedding there in 1848.)
  7. Why was his son Moïse buried on 9 April 1862 when he died on 6 March of that year? (His burial record in Masham does not state the cause of death or why there was a delay between his death and his burial.)
  8. When did Pierre leave Ste-Cécile-de-Masham for Onslow, a few miles away in Pontiac County?
  9. Why did Pierre become Presbyterian? (He was Roman Catholic when his son Moïse was buried in 1862, but Presbyterian on the 1871 and 1881 censuses.)*
  10. Why did Pierre and his wife return to their original faith? (On the 1891 census, he was Methodist, while she was RC, but both were RC when they were buried.)

* One reason that Pierre, his wife and their younger son François became Presbyterian was “likely due to sectarianism. In some cases it proved difficult for Catholics to find jobs and uncomfortable for Catholics to settle in certain areas where the population was primarily Irish or Scots protestant.” [4]


1. St-Benoît (St-Benoît, Quebec), parish register, 1799-1805, p. 162 recto, entry no. B.7 (1805), Pierre Drouin baptism, 12 January 1805; St-Benoît parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 28 April 2008).

2. St-Benoît (St-Benoît, Quebec), parish register, 1829, p. 9 verso, entry no. M.16, Pierre Drouin – Marie Reine Poirier dite Déloge [sic] marriage, 2 March 1829; St-Benoît parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 28 April 2008).

3. Ste-Marie (Quyon, Quebec), parish register, 1894, p. 2 recto, entry no. S.2, Peter Deroine [sic] burial, 28 January 1894; Ste-Marie parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 25 October 2009).

4. RonaldDale100, “Re: From Catholic to Presbyterian”, Ancestry Message Boards – Pontiac, message board, 11 November 2009 ( : accessed 27 October 2014).

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

No comments:

Post a Comment