Articles of Interest
Page Eight


Family History - The Belanger Family

by Marion Belanger

Alexis Belanger who came to Byng Inlet in 1866 was the great great great grandson of Nicolas Belanger who arrived in Canada from St. Thomas de Touques, Normandy, France in the year 1659. Nicholas married Marie de Rainville and the couple settled in Beauport just down the river from Quebec City. The stone farm house is still standing today in the centre of this modern industrial city. The original furnish-ings have been removed and donated to the Sigmand Samuel Canadiana Collection of the Royal Ontario Museum. If one visits this museum on University Avenue in Toronto, and travels to the third floor, a replica of this farm house can be seen with the original furniture displayed.

Nicholas and Marie had twelve children whose descendants spread out from Beauport and populated most settled areas of Quebec. They have become members of all professions, leaders in several of Quebec's major industries and pioneers across Canada.

In the late eighteenth century, Joseph Belanger and his wife Josephte Fournier were living in Levis, Quebec when a son Alexis was born to them in 1814. He grew up learning the trade of boat building and before 1845 he left Levis and journeyed up the Ottawa River to Ile du Calumet. On January 26, 1846 he married Catherine Charbonneau at Ste. Ann's parish. By 1849 their eldest son Joseph was born and the family now lived in a log house in Westmeath Township, Renfrew County, Ontario. Shortly after this they left and settled in the village of Mattawa where the other four children were born.

In 1866, Joseph now 16 years old, heard about a lumber mill opening at Byng Inlet. He convinced his father to move and they got canoes and Indian guides who led them down the French River to Georgian Bay and south to Byng Inlet. Alexis died that fall and Catherine was left alone with five children from 5 to 16 years of age. They remained there for about five years until the girls were old enough to marry. Catherine with her two daughters and youngest son emigrated to Hartford, Conn. in 1870 and all contact with them has been lost.

Two sons, Joseph and David remained in the Byng Inlet area and James who went with his mother returned later. James died in Britt as a bachelor.

Joseph the eldest son married Catherine Vasseur of Penetang and settled on a farm where the coal piles were later to be located. Joseph became very active in community affairs and was one of the group who petitioned for a Byng Inlet North school. He died in 1924 and left a family of seven children who married other familiar names of the area.

The third child of Alexis and Catherine was Andre "David" who married Josephine Lamore in 1886, one of the French families from Three Rivers. They had sixteen children with the youngest few still living in Britt. David died in 1943 and now this generation of pioneers was almost gone.

Descendants of Alexis still inhabit the area and have erected a monument to his memory in the little cemetary at Britt across from the church.

Descendants of Alexis Belanger

This article first appeared in the November 1988 newsletter, Volume 4 - Number 2


Family History - Oliver - Bennett

by Zetta Slater

Both my folks came from the Muskoka area. My Dad, John James OLIVER born September 7, 1880 to William Oliver and Mary Jane BROWN. My mother born October 6, 1885 to George BENNETT and Fanny CHURCH. My Dad was born in Chaffev Township where his father William and his grandfather James farmed. His grandparents came from Scotland, I believe but 1870 is as far back as I have been able to trace them.

My folks were married July 26, 1903 in Huntsville in All Saints Church by Bishop George Algoma. They lived in Huntsville - my Dad worked at logging and also the tannery. My grandmother Mary Jane, died in 1905. My grandfather William and 5 children came west the following year. Dad and Mom came west in 1910 (April) and in Sep-tember of the same year moved into their homestead - sod shack. Three of my sisters and one brother were born in Huntsville-the other seven of us were born in Saskatchewan. I am the only one left out of a family of ten-rather late to be trying to find my 'roots' - but I would love to hear from any relative on either side of the family.

All my Dad's brothers and sisters came west. The only other relative of his I know of was his Dad's sister Maggie OLIVER who married a George Rutherford and according to the 1891 census for Chaffey had seven children. I know my mother had 4 sisters and 2 brothers. Her older sister married a BIRCH and had a son Eli, Her other sisters married and lived in the Huntsville area. I know there must be Bennetts and Churchs left around that area.
Zetta Slater, 5928 61 Ave. Red Deer, Alberta. T4N 4N8

This article first appeared in the November 1988 newsletter, Volume 4 - Number 2


Family History - Avery Family

by Arthur Avery

I am researching the history of the Avery family. My grandfather, Duncan Avery II, was born September 23, 1869 in Arnprior, Ontario. He was one of a family of seven most of whom spent their lives in the Parry Sound area. As a young man he rode the logs on the Magnetawan and French Rivers. On November 27, 1889 he married Sarah HARGREAVES ( whose mother was a HUDSON from Parry Sound ). They were married in a Sundridge Ontario hotel by a travelling Methodist minister. In 1900, after the birth of their third child, they decided to move to Lamoreaux, Alberta ( near Fort Saskatchewan). They settled on a homestead in the same area as the CALVERT and WHITE families who had come west with the Parry Sound Colony. My father was born in Alberta in 1901, the fourth of a total of 9 children that Duncan and Sarah were blessed with.

We know that Duncan II's father was named Benjamen and that he was married to Ann Katherine Elizabeth (nee WEISBERBER) who had come from Germany via the U.S.A. We do not know, however how many brothers and sisters Benjamen had, nor for that matter if he had any.

Benjamen's Dad was Duncan I who we are told was born in Ontario and was one of a family of 6 boys and 6 girls. Benjamen's mother was Margaret DUNCAN born in Scotland.

We have read in an encyclopedia of a "Long John" AVERY who was a pirate off the east coast during the mid 1600's and we do know there were many Avery families in Newfoundland and the Maritimes. Perhaps this is where the Avery family history started it's North American odessy, but then, perhaps this discourse will trigger a response which will show a much different and interesting lineage to the Avery name.

In an interesting aside, the Avery name is believed to have come from the Latin ' AVERAY ", or counsel. My research has uncovered an amazing number of Averys who were or are teachers ( including my father, Albert) and indeed a large number of educational institutions that bear the Avery name.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone who could help to fill in the blanks in the above portion of the Avery history.

I have also heard that there is an annual AVERY RE-UNION held somewhere in Ontario. Again, any information would be greatly appreciated.

Mr. Arthur Avery, Box 5148, Fort McMurray, Alberta. T9H 3G2

This article first appeared in the November 1988 newsletter, Volume 4 - Number 2

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