Another Gagnon family that settled in what is today Frenchville (and at the time was part of the Madawaska settlements) was that of Étienne Gagnon and his wife Marie Fortin. They and their children moved from Les Éboulements, Charlevoix, Québec (on the north bank of the St.Lawrence River) to the Madawaska settlements in about 1831. They are not directly related to my own Gagnon line (Étienne was 5th cousin to my g-g-g grandfather Prospère Gagnon, who moved from Kamouraska to the St.John River valley also in about 1831).
Étienne Gagnon appears in the 1825 census of Lower Canada (Québec) living in Les Éboulements, in a household of nine people: 3 children under 6; 2 between 6 and 14, one married male 25-40, one married female 14-45, one married male 40-60, and one married female over the age of 45 (Microfilm no.C-718, p.1977, line 8). Six years later the family was living in the Madawaska region.
Étienne shows up in the 1831 survey of the Madawaska settlements by Deane and Kavanagh, as having just moved to the valley that year, having bought two lots fronting on the St.John river, about 275 yards (50 rods) wide, a few miles down-river from the Ste-Luce chapel (probably near what is today Gagnon Brook). The survey, taken in late July 1831, notes that Étienne was living on the lot with his family, that they had arrived that same year, had just begun building a house, and that they were for the time being "sheltered by a few boards laid over their heads." Étienne's son Élie is also listed in the 1831 survey, as having just begun clearing some land about 3-1/2 miles further downstream on the St.John river; he was still living with his father at that time. A document from 1845 on land holdings shows Étienne owning 114.07 acres in Township 18, Range 5 (now Frenchville) fronting on the river; his son Étienne owned 57.36 acres right next door.
It is not clear where the family was living between 1833 and 1860. The 1840 US census shows the family (of Etienne Gonreau) living in what was surveyed as "Madawaska North of the St.John River," though in a section that included people who definitely were located on the South bank.
By 1850 two of Étienne's sons show up in the 1850 US Census in Madawaska Plantation (as the area was then known), including Elie (p.157b, line 15), who with his wife Julie are listed with five children, including son Abraham; and François (p.157b, line 22) who with wife Emelie is listed with son Xavier (François Xavier). Other members of the family do not show up in the 1850 census however.
Étienne seems to have moved sometime to where he appeared with a number of his children and grandchildren in the 1860 US census: Township 16, Range 7, in what is now Eagle Lake. In 1860, Élie is apparently dead; his wife Julie and children show up in the 1860 US census in Township 18, Range 5 (on p.526); François and family show up nearby, on p.522.
This page links to the ancestors and descendants of Étienne Gagnon. The information on them is minimal, almost all of it coming from the Dictionnaire Généalogique de Madawaska. If you'd like to add more information or links to these Gagnons, please
and Ancestors of Étienne GAGNON and Marie-Marthe Fortin
Index of Names