Pierre Belleque

Pierre Belleque (abt. 1797 - 1849)

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Pierre Belleque aka Belec
Born about in L'Assomption, Quebec, La Province du Bas-Canadamap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Son of and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in buried at sea near the mouth of the Columbia Rivermap
Profile last modified | Created 13 Feb 2018
This page has been accessed 96 times.

Categories: La Province du Bas-Canada 1791 - 1841 | Oregon Territory | Hudson's Bay Company | Voyageurs | Fur Traders | California Gold Miners | Farmers.



Pierre Belleque has French origins.

Research Notes:

Note: An excellent family and historical biographical account is available: " Pierre Belleque, One of French Prairie’s “Big Four”; Connie Lenzen, CG, 5 December 2014 Page 1 of 10 Pierre Belleque, one of French Prairie’s “Big Four” By Connie Lenzen" [1]

Note: Historical Excerpt: " 1818 Pierre BELEQUE (1793-1849): m'd 1839 Genevieve St. Martin. Pierre joined the Northwest Fur Company in 1818 in New Caledonia. He became an employee of the Hudson Bay Company in 1821 where he remained until his retirement about 1830. At that time he took up a claim on French Prairie. The claim included the old Henry House trading post and the surrounding pasture lands. Beleque was described as mild and honest. He was officially married to Genevieve in 1839 when the priests arrived but it is obvious from the ages of their children that they were together much earlier. During the gold rush he and his eldest son, a boy of about 13, went to CA gold fields where he was reportedly quite successful. On the journey home by ship, Pierre died and was buried at sea off the mouth of the Columbia. Pierre was the father of eight children including: Sophie (1832), Pierre (1835), Jane (1837), Genevieve (1838), Esther (1840), Joseph (1843), Jean Baptiste (1845), Cyperion (1848). The name is often seen spelled as Belleque. His widow married Casimir Gardipie." [2]

Note: "Pierre Belleque who married Genevieve St. Martin in 1839. She is listed as having a sister, Marie. We have an family photo of her son, Cyprien, Genevieve and Mary (assuming Marie) Hubbard. Cyprien is part of our line.

Family papers and Oregon Historical Society documents (copies of book pages- maybe St. Louis Parish VOL II, 85th & 86th pages) shows the marriage record of Genevieve Martin; of the late Joseph Martin and of a woman of the country, and Pierre Beleque by F.N. Blanchet, priest. Pierre's last name is also written Bellique and Bilack etc. "[3]

Family Information

Pierre Belleque (Beleque)

Birthdate: 1797 (52)

Birthplace: Assumption, Division No. 17, Alberta, Canada

Death: 1849 (52)

( Pierre’s death: Pierre Belleque and his son Pierre joined other St. Paul settlers who travelled to the California gold fields. In 1849 they were returning home when he died at sea and was given a sea burial. The gold dust was lost overboard, and Pierre’s son returned home with nothing. Pierre may have had a premonition of his early death. On 25 January 1848, he went to St. Paul Mission and dictated his will to Rev. J. B. Z. Bolduc who wrote it in French.25 Bolduc arrived in St. Paul from Canada in 1843 and established St. Joseph’s College, a boy’s school near the church.26 The school was the first school in Oregon when it opened in 1845 with 28 Métis boarders and three teachers. Lessons were in French and English.27 It is possible Pierre’s son attended this school. Pierre’s will provided $800 to his daughters Sophy, Genevieve, and Esther, and the same to his sons Jean Baptiste and Cyprien. The children were to have the livestock. His wife, whom he named Genevieve (Jany) St. Martin, was to receive a third of his “moveable and immovable goods.”) [4]

Immediate Family:

Son of Louison Belec and Marguerite Belec

Husband of Genevieve St. Martin

(Married: On 24 November 1838, Rev. F. N. Blanchet and Rev. Modeste Demers arrived at Fort Vancouver where James Douglas, acting Chief Factor, welcomed them. On 3 January 1839, Etienne Lucier and Pierre Belleque escorted Blanchet from Fort Vancouver to Champoeg by canoe. From there, they rode horses to the log church that would be named St. Paul.17 On 21 January 1839, Rev. F. N. Blanchet officiated at the marriage of Pierre Belique and Genevieve Martin and also legitimized their children; “Sophie, aged 7 years; Pierre, aged 3 years; Genevieve, aged a year the 18 of next April.”1) [5]

Father of Mary Sophie Belleque; Pierre Beleque, II; Genevieve Belleque; Esther Belleque; Joseph Belleque; Cyprien Belleque and Jean Baptiste Belleque « less

Managed by: Anna Maria Agloro (Credit) [6]

Pierre Belleque and Genevieve St. Martin had the following children: {he married Genevieve St. Martin, daughter of André St. Martin and a Chinook woman.)[7]

1. Mary Sophie Belleque, born 1832. She married Narcisse Cornoyer on 29 September 1851 at St. Paul.36

2. Pierre Belleque, born 1835. He married Anne Gagnon on 5 March 1869 at St. Louis.37

3. Genevieve Belleque, born 1838. She married Felix Gregoire on 20 April 1857 at St. Paul.38

4. Esther Belleque, born 11 December 1840.39 She married Joseph Hebert on 5 December 1859 at St. Louis.40

5. Joseph Belleque, born 5 April 1843.41

6. Jean Baptiste Belleque, born 19 October 1845.42

7. Cyprian Belleque, born 1848. He married Julienne Bergevin on 13 May 1873 in St. Paul.43

Genevieve and Casimer Gardipy had the following children:

8. Edouard Gardipy, born 8 August 1851.44

9. Caroline Gardipy, born about 1855, died February 1857.45

10. Narcisse Gardipy, born 15 August 1857.46

11. Charles Hilarie Gardipy, born 1 March 1860, died 17 March 1861.47

12. Lucien Oliver Gardipy, born 26 April 1862.48 [8]

Hudson Bay Company Service Record


PARISH: L'Assomption

ENTERED SERVICE: ca. 1821 DATES: b. 9 January 1797 d. ca. 1849

Appointments & Service

Outfit Year* Position Post District HBCA Reference

  • An Outfit year ran from l June to 3l May

1820 - 1821 employee of the North West Company F.4/32, fo. 38

1821 - 1823 New Caledonia B.239/g/1; B.239/g/2, fo. 2

1824 - 1825 Middleman Caledonia B.239/g/4, fo. l0

1825 - 1828 Middleman Western Caledonia B.239/g/5, fo. 30; B.239/g/7, fo. 29

1828 - 1829 Middleman & Steersman Western Caledonia B.239/g/8, fo. 30

1829 - 1837 Steersman Columbia B.239/g/9, fo. 33; B.239/g/10, fo. 36; B.239/g/11, fo. 37; B.239/g/12, fo. 38; B.239/g/13, fo. 38; B.239/g/14, fo. 38;

1837 - 1838 Wallamette Settler Wallamette B.239/g/16, fo. 34

1838 - 1839 Settler Wallamette B.239/g/15, fo. 37; B.239/g/17, fo.36

1839 - 1842 Settler Columbia B.239/g/18, fo. 86, 88; B.239/g/19, fo. 99

1844 - 1845 Settler Columbia B.239/g/24, fo. l03

wife: last wife was Genevieve St. Martin, daughter of Andre St. Martin of Sorel, Quebec and an Indian woman.

She married Casimir Gardepie, after Belleque's death, on 25 November 1850 (West, Oswald, "Oregon's First White Settlers on French Prairie", Oregon Historical Quarterly, September 1942, pp.198-209)


Historical and Family report

" Pierre Belleque or Pierre Billique (1793–1849) was a French Canadian fur trader in the British-claimed Columbia District, which was also known as the Oregon Country and also claimed by the United States.

He settled on the French Prairie in what is now the state of Oregon where in 1843 he participated in the Champoeg Meetings. Pierre was elected one of three Constables. He voted affirmative for the measure to form a provisional government at the May 2, 1843 meeting. That measure passed and led to the creation of the Provisional Government of Oregon.

Fur trade

In 1818, Belleque signed up with the British North West Company, and became an employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) in 1821 when the two companies were forced to merge.[1] Around 1830 he claimed some land on the French Prairie in the Willamette Valley.[1]


Around 1833 Belleque settled his farm, which lay next to Étienne Lucier, a fellow former French Canadian fur trapper for the HBC. There Belleque and his wife, Genevieve St. Martin, lived at the Willamette Fur Post near Champoeg. That post had been owned by the HBC, and the Belleque family was able to live there after receiving permission due to Genevieve's relation to one of the HBC officers. (Genevieve was of Métis origin. The couple would have seven children).[1]

On March 22, 1836, he and 15 other French Canadians on the prairie representing nearly 80 settlers and their children signed a petition to Norbert Provencher, the Bishop of Juliopolis, requesting a priest for the settlement.[2] At that time of this petition, Belleque had three children. In 1843, at Champoeg, Belleque participated in the debates over whether the settlers in the region should establish their own government, or wait until the Oregon boundary dispute was settled.[3] At the final vote on May 2, 1843, Some of the French Canadian pioneers voted against forming a government.[3] However, the measure passed by a vote of 52 to 50 at the Champoeg Meetings, and a provisional government was created.

The Marker at Champoeg shows 53 names. "The inscription frankly admits that the names were listed only 'as far as obtainable' at the time and in view of the fact that Hines himself published revised lists in the later years as more information became available to him. For many years the OHS printed programs for the Champoeg commemorative observances. These contained the revised lists of voters, with the notation, 'This list is subject to revision from time to time as errors may be discovered.'" [Hines did not attend the meeting and was known to have been elsewhere on that day.] "Caleb Wilkins appears to have been in California at that time. One or two other names may be classed as 'doubtful' affirmative voters. On the other hand, there is evidence to show that several persons not included in the list actually voted with the majority. These were Xavier Ladaroute, Joseph Gervais, Pierre Belleque, Francis Bernier, and David Donpierre. And the name inscribed 'Russell Osborn' should be 'Osborn Russell.'" Source: Hussey, p 253. [4]

Pierre Belleque would remain at his farm for 15 years, and then left for the California Gold Rush in 1848.[1] Returning home by steamship in 1849 from San Francisco, he became quite ill from a fever contracted in the Gold Fields. He died before reaching home and was buried at sea near the mouth of the Columbia River in October 1849. Source: St. Paul, Oregon1830-1890, by Harvey J. McKay, Binford & Mort, 1980 p 95. [1] [11]


Pierre Belleque

BIRTH 5 Jan 1797 Quebec, Canada


Champoeg Cemetery Aurora, Marion County, Oregon, USA MEMORIAL ID 114694915

Pierre Belleque, son of Louis Belec and Margarite Baudoin, was born 5 January 1797 at Assumption, Canada, and died 13 October 1849 at sea. On 21 January 1839, he married Genevieve St. Martin, daughter of André St. Martin and a Chinook woman.

It took a lot of work to be considered one of Oregon French Prairie’s “Big Four.”3 Besides Pierre Belleque, the other members of the “Big Four” were Joseph Gervais, Etienne Lucier, and Louis LaBonte. Belleque, a “mild and honest” man,4 worked with these men as they broke the prairie’s sod, signed petitions to bring priests to their community, and actively participated in the establishment of the Oregon Territory.

Although, Pierre died at sea and was buried there, I made this entry in the Champoeg Cemetery, as he was part of the history of the area and might have been buried here, had he died at home. Have not been able to find the resting place of his wife, Genevieve, who may have remarried. Some of their children and grandchildren are buried in the St. Louis Cemetery and others in the area. There is also another entry for Pierre, in Find a Grave, under "No Cemetery"

Created by: Susan Kelly (Credit) Added: 31 Jul 2013 Find A Grave Memorial 114694915 [12]


  1. [(http://spmhs.com/Bellequewebsite.pdf)]
  2. [(http://www.oregonpioneers.com/1838.htm)]
  3. [(https://www.ancestry.com/boards/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=59&p=surnames.st-20-martin)]
  4. [(http://spmhs.com/Bellequewebsite.pdf page 3 )]
  5. [(http://spmhs.com/Bellequewebsite.pdf page 2)]
  6. [(https://www.geni.com/people/Pierre-Belleque/6000000016616223008)]
  7. [( http://spmhs.com/french_prairie.html)]
  8. [(http://spmhs.com/Bellequewebsite.pdf page 6)]
  9. [(http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/biographical/b/belleque_pierre.pdf)]
  10. [(http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/biographical/index.html)]
  11. [(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Belleque)]
  12. [(https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/114694915)]

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No known carriers of Pierre's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 3
Hudson's Bay Company Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson
Hudson's Bay Company Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson

North West Company 1779-1821
 North West Company 1779-1821

Historic Dress of Voyageurs (Credit Ernest Lisle Reedstrom)
Historic Dress of Voyageurs (Credit Ernest Lisle Reedstrom)


Pierre is 16 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 25 degrees from Katy Jurado and 21 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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