I need help with a Canadian ancestor who immigrated to the United States

+3 votes
157 views
I've been stuck on my 4th great grandfather Michel Perry for a long time. I know very little about him apart from what's already on his page, though I do know that he's from French Canada. I also think that he came to the US before 1853, because his son, Herman, was born in New York around that time. Any help finding his parents or a record from Canada would be greatly appreciated.
WikiTree profile: Michel Poirier Desloges
in Genealogy Help by Ethan Ferrer-Perry G2G Rookie (230 points)
I've been looking through my Ancestry DNA matches this morning, and I found someone with Oscar Poirer(1895 to 1968) in their tree who is listed as my fourth to sixth cousin. His father was Daniel Poirier and his mother was Sophie André.

I can't check any deeper on Ancestry, because I don't have a premium account, but I found some records on family search that suggest the following tree:

Joseph Oscar Poirier, born 1895 in Glen Nevis, Ontario, died 1968.

His father, Daniel Poirier, born 1861 -/+ 1 year in St. Polycarpe, Quebec, married Sophie André on 01 Oct 1883 in Lancaster Township, Ontario.

His father is listed as Rodk Poirier and his mother as Leonore Poirier on the index of his marriage document, but it looks like their names are Roderick 'Rodik' Poirier and Leonore Pharand from the actual image and from other documents.
Roderick Poirier would be the son of https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Poirier-1369

Charles Daniel Poirier, son of Rodrique Poirier and Léonore Pharand, was baptised in Saint-Polycarp on 6 January 1861. 

I think that I found them in the 1871 census of Saint-Polycarp but the writing is very unclear and the transcription questionable. 

In the 1871 census, living in was a family listed as Rodger (36) and Elonard (31) Poirier consisting of Demila (11), Daniel (10), Rose (8), Baromee (5), Olivine (2) and Mederick(?)(7/12).  Listed just before them in the census was the family of Alexandre (64) and Rose (55) Poirier consisting of Pierre (32), Amede (31), Charles (26), Adeline (19) and Delima (15).

I think you should check out Alexandre ar Daniel's father.

The 1861 census makes it clear that Alexandre was Daniel's father.

There were certainly Michel Poiriers in Saint-Polycarp of the age to be your Michel Perry.

The 1851 census of Saint-Polycarp has the family of a Michel Poirier (40) and his wife Marie Desanges Piete (36).  Their children are listed as Michel (10), what looks like  Eme (7), Desanges (4), Louis (2) and Armenie (1).  I have not found them in a later census.

It looks like what must be another Michel Poirier married a Monique Parent in Saint-Polycarp in 1839 and then, as a widower, married Lucie Lalonde in 1848.
Thanks, that census entry for Saint-Polycarpe is really helpful.

3 Answers

+4 votes
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Marion - that is the one Ethan is looking for. Per the Wikitree profile, he is looking at Michel Perry, living 1880 in Brasher, St Lawrence County, NY, father of Herman Perry of the same place. You have found Herman's marriage record, which states that Herman's father (and thus Michel's wife) is Eliza Pratt; Eliza was also listed as Michel's wife on the 1880 census.

Per the 1880 census, three grandchildren with last name Rogers were living with Michel; the mother of the grandchildren (and thus daughter of Michel) was said to have been born in Canada. Thus, I would assume that the marriage of Michel Perry and Eliza Pratt took place in Canada.
+5 votes

There is a family tree on Ancestry with this family. There are some issues and some interesting possibilities.

  1. It indicates Herman was born in Point Claire, Ontario; however, there does not appear to be or have been a Point Claire/Clare in Ontario, there is a Pointe-Claire, Quebec, which is close to Montreal.
  2. It gives Herman's date of birth as February 10, 1850. Not sure if someone can verify this from the Drouin records.
  3. We know Herman was married before Electa Premo as their marriage record indicates it was a second marriage for both. The tree on Ancestry gives Herman's first wife as Maria R. Albert, unknown parents, died March 30, 1908 in Watertown, New York. Perhaps a marriage record could be found to verify Herman's place of birth?
  4. Can we find a marriage record for Herman's mother, Eliza Pratt, to his father Michel/Michael Perry?
  5. Michel's father is given as Michel Porier (Poirier), born 1759 in Ste Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, died December 22, 1843 in St. Martine, Chateauguay, Quebec. Parents unknown. 
  6. Michel's mother is given as Rosalie Lapansee, born May 12, 1767 in Montreal, died on November 12, 1815.
by Christine Daniels G2G6 Pilot (110k points)
Thanks for your help.

I've found a burial for a Michel Poirier, whose parents were Michel Poirier and Rosalie Lapensé, but he was born in 1802 and died on 30 Sep 1852 in Mercier, Quebec.

I haven't been able to find anything on Herman Perry being born in Pointe-Claire on 10 Feb 1850, but I'm still looking.

I suspect Maria R. Albert/Abert is the same person as Moriah Perry from the 1880 US census, who was born around 1859 in New York.
No baptism for a Herman (or variant thereof) in Pointe-Claire on that date or within days, at least not in Catholic church.  Is there indication he was of other denomination?

And no marriage for a Michel Perry nor Poirier to anybody named Pratt (or variant)
I'm pretty sure his family was Catholic from his son until my mother. I'd be surprised if he weren't himself.
This is probably a bit of a stretch, but I found some things that might make sense.

I flipped through the 1870 census for Brasher, and I found three people who are unindexed who might be interesting:

Louisa Perry on page 50, who's 17 years old; Mitchel on page 70, who has a surname I can't read that looks like it could be Purrya and is 66; and Eliza on page 71 with the same last name. She is 65 and from Canada. I'm pretty sure that the latter two are the same Michel and Eliza Perry from the 1880 census.

I found https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Poirier-578 on a familysearch family tree listed with the father as Mitchell Perry, but I couldn't find a source attached for the relationship. However, there are census records showing him living in New York in the 1870s. So, I looked up Aime Poirier in the Drouin records and found a baptism for a Aime Poirier, who was the son of Michel Poirier and Marie Desanges Piette (sounds a bit like Pratt) and was born in 1844 (consistent with census).

Michel Poirier and Marie Desanges Piette also have a child Joseph Herminie (Herman?) Poirier born on 11 Feb 1851 in St-Polycarpe, and a daughter Marie Louise (Louisa?) Poirier born 1854 in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue.

I still can't explain how Piette become Pratt or how Marie Desanges becomes Eliza, but there seem to be a lot of coincidences here. The record I found for Michel's birth is also from 1809 and Marie's is from 1814. There's no burial for either Michel or Marie, and they stop appearing in the Drouin records after 1855.

well let's see, first child of that couple is François born circa 1839, buried in Feb. 1842 at age ''3''; Michel born March 1840, Aimé November 1841, another Aimé born November 1844, (first one must have died), Desanges born around 1847 (baptized at around 2 in March 1849), Joseph Herminie born Feb 1851, and Marie Louise born July 1854 bapt. Jan 1855.  I can't quite make out the location stated that they are living in, looks like la Branch, baptism for her is in Williamstown, which is fairly close to US border.  Not Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue.

La Branch actually sounds somewhat similar to Brasher, come to think of it.  Desanges, her name probably got changed for convenience, few English people would be able to say it properly.  wink  Piette is also one of those names that can get mangled.  Joseph Herminie is actually a very unusual name for a boy (Herminie normally is a girl's name).  So would not be surprised if it got changed to Herman.

0 votes
I can do Drouin lookups for you (Birth, Marriage, Death) when you have an idea of which person you are looking for.  Drouin links to PRDH which will give the associated family members pre-1850.
by Cindy Cooper G2G6 Pilot (173k points)

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