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Antoine Gagné, aka Tony the Sowish

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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2005 15:18    Post subject: Antoine Gagné, aka Tony the Sowish Reply with quote

I received this query from a visitor:

On your index of names for this report (1844 land report) is Antoine Gagne. It indicates that the land he claimed is in Maine is this correct. Is it possible the area being reported is now known as the Sowish Lake area, T18R10.

My husband's ggGrandfather was Antoine Gagne. I have been going to UMFK to see if I could find him anywhere. So far this report of yours (1844 land report) is the only place I find him in Maine. I find him in 1901 in Canada Census.

His nick name was Tony the Sowish, referring to the lake.

Is there an actual map of this report? Could I view it?

If you look at the top of the page where his name is found
it appears he did not fall into the 6 year holding, so does this mean his claim was denied, or was he granted the land?

Here's my response, with information on Antoine Gagné:

Here's the entry for Antoine Gagné from the 1844 land survey:

Antoine Gagne,. | 1841 | 6 | 89.75 | Opposite mouth of St.Francis

This is a listing of land that is owned; this particular parcel was on the south bank of the St.John, opposite the mouth of the St.Francis river, in what's now St.Francis, not T18R10. But this is just a list of land that people owned, not necessarily all of the land they owned, nor necessarily where they lived. he'd settled on it in 1841, had cleared 6 acres, and was claiming 89.75. My understanding is that these claims were all approved, even those that did not fall within the strict terms of the Treaty.

I have not seen maps, but based on the information I have seen, I believe that originally this report did come with maps; that is what the numbers and letters at the start of each row refer to. If they are still in existence I'd guess they'd be in the Maine archives, or possibly in the Maine legislative archives (if they are separate, I would think they'd be included with the main archives holdings).

If you look at the 1840 US census you see Antoine (listed as Antoine Gonyon), living apparently in about the same place (I base that on the fact that he's living very close to Pascal Gendreau and others who he's listed near in 1844). Here's the transcription on my website, he's on line 3:
(although listed as "north of the St.John", this seems to also cover the area south of the St.John that is west of the Fish River)
Does that seem like it is him? He's listed as between 30 and 40 years old, living by himself.

I've also found what appears to be your Antoine in the 1831 land survey done by the state of Maine:

Antoine Garnier Apr 1831 from New Brunswick

Which means he settled on the land on the south bank of the St.John in April 1831 and came from New Brunswick. Here's the page:
http://www.upperstjohn.com/aroostook/deane-kavsouth.htm, you have to just use your search function, search for Garnier (the report's author's spelling of Gagné). This seems to be in a location that's east of Fort Kent, on the river. The report itself was undertaken in July of 1831, so he had apparently just settled a few months earlier.

I haven't found him in other censuses in that period (1833 especially), but it was not uncommon for census takers to miss people.

I hope this is somewhat helpful. Please let me know if you've got more questions.

And if others know anything about this person or his family, please reply to this post.
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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2005 16:33    Post subject: More on Antoine Gagné family Reply with quote

More from our correspondence:

I checked the Ste-Luce church records. Here's some more info I found on this family, marriage, births and Antoine's death:

Marriage of Antoine Gagné and Marie Nadeau:
On 18 August 1845, after the publication of three banns of marriage at our masses, between Antoine Gagner, farmer, adult son of Antoine Gagner and of Marie Grand-Maison of this parish, and Marie Nadeau, adult daughter of the late Benoni Nadeau and of Elisabeth Leclerc also of this parish, not having discovered any impediment, we have received their mutual consent and have given them the nuptial blessing in the presence of Dominique Daigle, of Desiré Nadeau, and many others.

Interestingly, in the 1831 survey, Marie's father Benoni is living not too far away from Antoine Gagné on the south bank of the St.John.

Their children:

On 7 June 1846 we baptized Antoine Gagné, born yesterday of the legitimate marriage of Antoine Gagné, farmer, and of Marie Nadeau of this parish. Godfather Benoni Pelletier, godmother Nathalie Michaud.

On 4 September 1847, we baptized Jean Baptiste, born two months ago of the legitimate marriage of Antoine Gagner, farmer, and Marie Nadeau of this parish. Godfather Agapit Nadeau, godmother Léocade Pelletier.

On 25 July 1848 we baptized Louis, born the day before yesterday of the legitimate marriage of Antoine Gagner and of Marie Nadeau of this parish. Godfather Dominique Daigle, godmother Louise Gagner.

On 6 March 1851 we baptized Elisabeth, born yesterday of the legitimate marriage of Antoine Gagner, day laborer, and of Marie Nadeau of this parish. Godfather Jean Baptiste Nadeau, godmother Louise Daigle.

7 July 1854 we baptized Marie Damérisse, born six months ago of the legitimate marriage of Antoine Gagner, farmer, and of Marie Nadeau of St. François. Godfather was Cyrille Pelletier, godmother, Zithée Nadeau

And the burial ceremonies of Antoine Gagné. He apparently died sometime in August 1854:
25 September 1854 we celebrated the ceremonies of the Holy Church on the grave of Antoine Gagner, died six weeks ago, aged about 50 years, husband of Marie Nadeau of St. François. Present were Alexis Leveque and Antoine Ouellet

I have not been able to find this family in the 1850 or 1851 census; for the US census in particular I know hte census taker missed a number of people, especially in the more remote areas.

Antoine's children Antoine and Elisabeth in 1860/61

In the 1860 US census I think I have found Antoine, son of Antoine and Marie Nadeau. He is living in the home of his first cousin Salomée Daigle and her husband François Cyr. Salomée's mother was Louise Gagné, the sister of Antoine's father Antoine; they are living in Madawaska in Maine. He's listed as Anthony Gagnon, age 13, "servant", born in Maine. You can check it out on my website on this page:
http://www.upperstjohn.com/1860/mad4.htm#423, he's on line 29.

In 1861, I think I've found Elisabeth, living in Madawaska Parish in New Brunswick, listed as Elisabeth Gagnon, age 9, orphan, she's in the household of Regis Martin and his wife Julie Daigle; they'd just gotten married in October 1860. I'm not sure what the connection between this family and Antoine and Marie is, I don't have time to look it up now but if you're interested I can look later.

It seems that Marie Nadeau died sometime before 1861, when Elisabeth is listed as an orphan. I don't have the parish records of the church at St.François, which became a parish in 1859, so I don't have a record of her burial (It is not in the Ste Luce records).

I don't see any of the other children anywhere in 1860 or 1861; they might be listed under different last names, or they might have died by then.

Additional note on the family Elisabeth is living with in 1861, Regis Martin and Julie Daigle:

The first generation of Daigles that we're interested in:

Jean Baptiste Daigle, married to Marie Cyr

J-B and Marie had lots of kids, but we're interested in three of their sons:

1. Dominique, m. Louise Gagné. Louise is Antoine's sister.

2. Hilarion (my g-g-g grandfather), m. Madeleine Ayotte. They had a daughter Julie, who married Regis Martin that we're interested in. But the wife who shows up in 1861 is a different Julie. The point here is that Elizabeth is the niece of Louise Gagné, and thus the first cousin of Julie, Regis's first wife.

3. François, m. Barbe Cyr. They too had a daughter Julie, who was Regis Martin's second wife, they married in October 1860. This is the Julie who shows up in the 1861 census. She too is a first cousin of Elisabeth (on an aside, it is kind of interesting that this Regis Martin married two Julie Daigles who were themselves first cousins...)

Anyway, in the 1861 census, Regis and Julie are living right next door to Regis's former in-laws, Hilarion Daigle. They were in the same places in 1851 as well. So that explains the connection.

More on Antoine Gagné
As for Antoine Gagné, I think you are right, that the Antoine Gange in 1820 is Antoine, (at http://upperstjohn.com/1820/madawaska.htm#4, on line 10), husband of Marie Marguerite Grandmaison. Here are the marriages of their kids that I've found:

Marguerite, m. Joseph Michaud, St Basile 1806
Genevieve, m. Joseph Martin, St. Basile 1807
Augustin, m. Marguerite Thibodeau, St.Basile 1820
Catherine, m. Michel Morin, St. Basile 1827
Basile, m. Genevieve Gagnon, St.Basile 1831
Antoine, m. Marie Nadeau, Ste Luce 1845

So the family clearly was in Madawaska by 1806.

In fact, I found Antoine Gagné as one of the people who in 1790 received a land grant from the British government, he's in the list on this page of my site: http://www.upperstjohn.com/madawaska/1790grants.htm, he received 207 acres in Lot A, division 2. This division was on the north bank of the St.John, starting just upstream from the mouth of the Green River and continuing northwestwards. You can see the detailed description of the division (which included a number of lots) here: http://www.upperstjohn.com/madawaska/1790grants.htm#division2

In the 1831 land report, it is noted that the land granted in 1790 to Antoine Gagné had been, in the intervening years, "sold and exchanged often," so it was no longer in the family's hands. They seem to have followed a general migration pattern and moved westwards up the valley.

So this family is one of the original European-descent settlers in the area, originally from Kamouraska, moved to the valley in about 1790...
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PostPosted: 22 Oct 2006 17:48    Post subject: Reply with quote


I did some searching in The Winslow Papers and found two references to Antoine Gagné. [From a reference made to the Winslow Papers under Townships, Madawaska County, New Brunswick on this forum.]

The original Winslow manuscripts are located in the University of New Brunswick Archives and Special Collections. Consisting of over 3,600 items and 11,000 pages, the Papers cover the period from 1695 to 1866. This site houses the electronic edition of The Winslow Papers, along with background information and links. http://www.lib.unb.ca/winslow

Here is what I found:

Petition from the inhabitants of Madawaska to have the lines of their lots drawn, 9 June 1792

Scanned document is online. He is on the first page, second column, fourth from the top.

Petition of sundry inhabitants of the District of Madawaska to Thomas Carleton re. island lots, 13 August 1806

Scanned document online. He is on page 2, lines 1 and 2.

Perhaps these will be of interest.

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