to Goulbourn Township, Ontario, Canada and then to Horton Township, Ontario, Canada

October 19, 2008:


I have been researching my family tree and ran into a brick wall with a Mary La Rock 
(Laroque?) of the Renfrew and the Richmond Ontario Region of Canada.

My most accurate information is from the original marriage record from Richmond, Carleton County, Ontario. 
Married 2 April 1826 - Mary "La Rock"(this is the spelling on the church 
document, other spelling found on a daughters' death certificate lists her mother as Mary 
Laraque or Laroque no "c") and Ezekiel Cole both of Goulbourn. Witness Mr. and Mrs. Daley. 

As per the 1851 census, they had moved to Renfrew Ontario. Ezekiel was born in 1787 (approx.) 
in England, -- Mary La Rock was born in December of 1811/12 in Quebec. 

Ezekiel is in the 1821/22 Goulbourn census as living alone. As per the census info, Mary 
was about 14ish for the wedding, Ezekiel 40ish.  Ezekiel was a soldier, who settled in the 
Goulbourn area to farm, Mary was born in Quebec, and almost nothing is known about her. 
Some family legend has it that she was a daughter of one of the many Larocque fur traders 
who frequented the area, but nothing has been confirmed. In the 1822 Goulbourn census, 
there were very few if any french names, and the Larocques that moved to Glengarry appear 
to have moved there after the 1840's, well after Mary's 1826 wedding. At 14, doubtful she 
was out finding herself and hooked up with Zeke.

There is info on several web sites that she is Marie Archange La Roche, born to Gabriel and 
a Mrs. Gaudin (sic), but this has proven incorrect, as that Marie married someone else.

Any info any of you have on this mysterious young Mary La Rock of  Quebec who ended up in 
a very English part of the world in 1826 to marry a British War vet, would be greatly 

... David Laing

Hello, Mr. Laing:
Thanks for your interesting e-mail regarding Ezekiel Cole and Mary Laroque/ Larock in 
Goulbourn Township and in the Renfrew area.
I had a quick look for these folks and will take a more detailed look on the weekend. 
There was a Robert Cole who was disbanded from the 99th / 100th Regiment of Foot in 1818 
and received land in Goulbourn Township. He may be related to Ezekiel but the name Ezekiel 
Cole does not appear on the list of disbanded soldiers from the 99th Regiment who received 
land. He may have belonged to a different regiment.
Almost all of the early Coles in this area were Protestant but a couple of them appear 
in the Catholic Church records beginning about 1829.
Was Mary La Rock Catholic? There were a few Larocque families in early Bytown and district 
and a Joseph Laroque shows up in the records of St. Philip's Catholic Church in Richmond, 
as being confirmed in 1843. Also, here's a record mentioning a Marie Laroque in Richmond 
in 1858:
16 December 1858
Baptism of William, aged 10 months of unknown parents. The sponsors were Philip Plouffe and 
Marie Laroque. Source: Drouin Records of St. Philip's, Richmond, Ontario at ancestry.ca

Some of the early Francophone Laroques are recorded as "Rockburn or Rockbrune" in the 
Catholic records at Notre Dame Cathedral in downtown Ottawa.
Is it OK with you if I start a new web page on our site (www.bytown.net) for this family? 
I'll add your e-mail to the page and we may hear from other researchers who will be able 
to add more information? Please let me know if this is OK with you.
I'll also add the 1851 census records for them in Renfrew County to the new page.
Thanks again for this.
... Al Lewis

Thanks to Frank Watters for the following:

Hi David;
Further to what Al wrote, there is a record of a Joseph Lerock, perhaps related to the 
one who was confirmed in 1843 who was baptised in the same church on Sept. 10, 1837, born 
on 8 August the same year. Unless I'm wrong, many R. C. people from the Goulbourn area 
went to Richmond for church services.  He was the son of Joseph Lerock and Esther Sego 
(sic). Sego is probably Seguin.  I searched for that couple but couldn't find it.  Nor 
could I find them in the 1851 census.  There's a Larocque Family web site on the 
Internet with thousands of Larocque couples but that couple is not listed there either. 

As Al wrote, the name is also found under Rockbrun and Rockbrune in Ottawa, but in the 
French Quebec parishes it's also under Rocbrune, Rochbrune, Larocquebrune and even in a 
few cases as Roque.    
Incidentally, that Philip Plooff and Marie Laroque were probably husband and wife being 
Philibert Plouffe and Marie Rocbrune-Larocque, d/o Charles and Marie Rose Leblanc who 
were married on 3 August, 1824 in Montebello, Quebec.  The parents of Marie Larocque 
came from St-Eustache, Qc.  
... Frank Watters
Here are Ezekiel and Mary in the 1851 census for Horton Township, Renfrew County Source: 1851 Census at ancestry.ca Ezekiel is 64 and Mary is 40 in 1851 and are Presbyterian Ezekiel Cole in the 1851 census for Renfrew County
Horton Township in 1879, including the Town of Renfrew Source: McGill University Digital Map Project Horton Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada in 1879

January 22, 2009: Ezekiel Cole ( 1787 - 1871) was my maternal great-great grandfather. The following is an outline of the information I have of him and of his wife, Mary LaRoche (1811 - 1860). The sources for this info are as mentioned below. A professional researcher in southern England was consulted in 1997 in an attempt to establish his birth place there and other family info. The following was confirmed. There is a record of his military service confirming that he served in the 37th Regiment of Foot (North Hampshire Regiment), was discharged in Canada and that he remained there. The Muster Rolls for the 37th Regiment disclose that he had been a volunteer from Hants Militia, Hampshire County, in southern England, and had joined the regular army on May 12, 1812. Payroll records show that he served for more than 7 years, qualified for extra pay, but did not serve his full 21 years to qualify for a service pension. I have copies of these records which also confirm his discharge in Canada as a settler. From the Hampshire County Record Office at Winchester, England the records of more than 100 parishes in North Hampshire were searched for the baptism records of Ezekiel Cole, circa 1787, but no record was found. So for the present, nothing more has been determined regarding his ancestry. The following comes from various other sources. Following his military service, as a veteran he opted to take up a 100 acre land grant in the Richmond Military Settlement in Goulburn Township, Carleton County, Ontario, about 10 miles from present day Ottawa. His claim to this land was approved in 1818 by the Executive Council of Upper Canada in session at York ( now Toronto) on Feb. 4, 1824. after he had "performed the prescribed terms of settlement" which presumably had to do with occupying and improving the land. Shortly after this, on April 2, 1826, he married Mary LaRoche in Quebec City. Reportedly he had met her or her family there during his years of military service. Mary's father was French, her mother was English, and she was born in Quebec City in 1811. At the time of their marriage this would make him 39 and her 15 years of age. About 1839, Ezekiel, Mary, and their family relocated a few miles west to Horton Township, in Renfrew County. They had a family of 10 children, the first 2 born in Goulburn Twp., the others in Horton Twp. Two of the historical record books I have, "Horton - The Story of a Township", published by Juniper books in 1986 and *Founding Families of Admaston, Horton and Renfrew Village", published by Juniper Books in 1992 have conflicting information concerning Ezekiel and Mary's marriage. The former book states that Ezekiel's first wife died after the first 2 children were born and it was following that that he married Mary LaRoche. Almost certainly this is not correct as their marriage date is a matter of record and their first born was following that date. This is also confirmed by a letter written by Elizabeth Cole, a granddaughter of Ezekiel, in letters written to her nieces in the 1940s and 1950s confirms that Ezekiel's only wife was Mary, that they were married before he took up his land grant in Richmond. These letters also confirm they Mary was half English (although her mother was born in Quebec) and that she wasn't Catholic. ( I guess that was important to Elizabeth!). Incidentally, the Cole farm in Refrew County is very close to the city of Renfrew, and as you likely realize there are a great many descendants of Ezekiel and Mary throughout the Ottawa Valley. Another source book is "Renfrew County - People and Places" published in 1989. Ezekiel's son Thomas was my great grandfather. His son Alexander was my grandfather. He emigrated west in 1888 to farm in the Brandon, Manitoba area. I hope there is something useful to you all in the above. ... Don McKenzie
May 7, 2014: (web page updated by Olivia Martin) I am married to a maternal descendant of Ezekiel Cole’s wife, Mary La Rock. As David Laing and others note, we know little about Mary La Rock’s origins. According to the 1851 Upper Canada Census, she was born at Quebec City in December 1811. According to family tradition, her mother was “not French”. Several internet genealogy listings suggest that Mary La Rock was Marie Archange Laroche, daughter of Gabriel Laroche and Genevieve Gaudin, born 19 April 1802 in L’Acadie, southeast of Montreal, and baptized the same day at Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie (e.g., http://records.ancestry.com/Marie_Archange_LaRoche_records.ashx?pid=72450621, http://thebrodysandjordans.blogspot.ca/2013/04/marie-archange-laroche-1811-1895-or-1901.html). This Marie Laroche, however, was born about 10 years earlier than our Mary La Rock is reported to have been, and L’Acadie is nowhere near Quebec City. Finally, she died at the age of only five weeks and was buried on 5 June 1802 at Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie in L’Acadie. To help get around the Mary La Rock “brick wall”, a Gx4 grandaughter recently agreed to do a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test. This is her direct maternal descent from Mary La Rock: 7. Mary La Rock (b. ca. Dec 1812, Quebec, Lower Canada; d. before 1861) m. Ezekial Cole (1788-1871) on 2 April 1826 in Richmond, Carleton County, Upper Canada. Mary La Rock had 4 daughters: Jane Cole (ca. 1826-1877), Margaret Cole (1835-1912), Elizabeth Cole (1841-??) and Emily Cole (1842-1926). 8. Margaret Cole (b. Jan 1836, Goulbourn Twp.; d. 16 Aug 1912, Admaston Twp., Renfrew Co.) m. Alexander Gibbons (b. 1832) on 3 Dec 1862 in Admaston Twp. Margaret Cole had 4 daughters: Jessie Gibbons (1863-1946), Mary Lilias Gibbons (1869-1934), Catherine Gibbons (1870-1935) and Emily Gibbons (1880-??). 9. Catherine Gibbons (b. 4 Jan 1871, Admaston Twp.; d. 29 Aug 1935, Admaston Twp.) m. Christopher C. Crozier (1867-1946) on 15 April 1892 in Admaston Twp. Catherine Gibbons had 2 daughters: Margaret Jane Crozier (1893-1973), Elsie Pearl Crozier (1895-1960). 10. Margaret Jane Crozier (b. 6 Jun 1893, Admaston Twp.; d. 4 Apr 1973, Winnipeg) m. Richard Moorhouse Halsall (1889-1977) on 27 Nov 1918 in Winnipeg. Margaret Crozier had 3 daughters. 11. Living (2 daughters) 12. Living (2 daughters) 13. Living The mtDNA test results indicate that Mary La Rock belongs to the U6a7a genetic cluster. Most U6a7a's of French origin in North America are descendants of two Acadian sisters, Edmee and Catherine Lejeune, who lived at Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia). Mary La Rock’s maternal descendant has a perfect mtDNA match with other maternal descendants of these sisters. To follow up the mtDNA test, we joined the “Mothers of Acadia mtDNA Project” hosted at the Family Tree DNA website. In his extensive database of Acadian families, Stephen White, the genealogist involved in the “Mothers of Acadia Project”, found a single maternal line of descent linking Catherine Edmee to Emilie Laroche, a woman born at Lauzon, across the St. Lawrence from Quebec, in 1807: 1. Catherine Lejeune (b. ca 1633 in France) m. Francois Savoie (1621-1685) ca. 1651 at Port Royal. Their family was living at Port Royal in the 1671 Census of Acadia. 2. Catherine Savoie (b. ca 1659 in Port Royal) m. Francois Levron dit Nantois (1653-1714) ca. 1676 at Port Royal. Their family was living at Port Royal in the 1678, 1686, 1693, 1698, 1700, 1703 and 1714 Acadian censuses. 3. Marie Levron (b. ca 1686 in Port Royal) m. (1) Jean Garceau dit Tranchemontagne in 1703 at Port Royal; m. (2) Alexandre Richard dit Boutin in 1711 at Port Royal. Alexandre Richard’s family was living at Port Royal in the 1714 Acadian Census. 4. Marie-Josephe Richard (b. 17 June 1718 at Port Royal, d. 14 April 1796 at Beaumont, Quebec) m. Paul dit Petit Paul Doiron (1716-1804) on 19 June 1738 at Port Royal. This family was living at Riviere du Moulin-a-scie in the 1752 Census of Ile St. Jean (Prince Edward Island). By 1758, ahead of the deportation of the Acadians from Ile St. Jean, the Doiron family fled to Quebec, to settle at Beaumont, near Quebec City, along with many other Acadian refugees. 5. Marguerite-Modeste Doiron (b. 1744 in Acadia; d. Jan 1805 at Lauzon, Quebec) m. Francois Jolivet dit Mitron (1745-1812) on 29 April 1765 at Beaumont. 6. Marie Jolivet (b. 29 June 1781 at St-Charles, Bellechasse; d. 27 June 1809, Quebec) m. Jean-Baptiste Laroche (d. 1814/15) on 27 Oct 1801 at Quebec. Marie Jolivet and Jean-Baptiste Laroche had two daughters, Marie-Josephte Laroche (b. 22 July 1805 at Laprairie; d. ca 1871 in Beauce) and Emilie Laroche (b. 26 Dec 1807 at Lauzon, Quebec). Marie-Josephte married (1) Jean-Baptiste Roy (1796-1823) in 1821 and (2) Joseph Marie Fontaine (1801-1886) in 1823. In contrast, there are no known records of Emilie Laroche after her 26 Dec 1807 baptism at St-Joseph-de-la-Pointe-de-Levy, suggesting that she did not remain in Lower Canada. On 31 August 1812, three years after Marie Jolivet’s death, Jean-Baptiste Laroche married Angelique Roi at St-Joseph-de-Chambly. He had settled in the Chambly area, as he is described in this marriage record as a farmer (cultivateur). They had a daughter, Clotilde Laroche (b. 21 May 1815), but Jean-Baptiste Laroche died shortly before she was born. Emilie Laroche would have been about 8 years old at this time, and was thus probably still living with her stepmother, Angelique Roi. What we know of Mary La Rock fits Emilie Laroche reasonably well: 1. A birthdate in December 1807, rather than December 1811, would make her 19 when she married Ezekial Cole on 2 April 1826 at Goulbourn, Ontario. This is a more reasonable marriage age than 15, an age interpreted from the 1851 Census. It is common, of course, for people to give a younger age than their actual one in Census reports. 2. Lauzon is directly across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City, near enough to be considered part of Quebec City to an Upper Canadian census recorder. 3. Emilie likely knew that her grandmother, Marguerite Doiron, was born in Acadia. Brought up in a region with numerous Acadian descendant families, her mother, Marie Jolivet, probably considered herself Acadian; “not French”. 4. Women of that era in Quebec commonly have compound names with Marie (e.g., Marie-Emilie), even though Marie may not be recorded in a baptismal record. Perhaps she preferred Marie to Emilie (e.g., my own grandmother was christened Sarah Ellen, but was known as Helen.) 5. It is notable that Mary La Rock’s youngest daughter was named Emily, as was at least one granddaughter. Hence, we have both strong genetic and genealogical evidence that Mary La Rock is Emilie Laroche. We do not know how Emilie Laroche and Ezekial Cole met, or how she came from Chambly to Goulbourn. From 1818 to 1821, when they left Canada, the 37th Regiment, to which Ezekial belonged, was in Montreal. Prior to that, from 1814 to 1818, detachments of the regiment were posted at various locations in Upper Canada. Detachments from Montreal likely garrisoned the Richelieu River forts, including Chambly. Hence, Ezekial may have known Emilie and her family at Chambly before he left the army to take up his land grant at Goulbourn. ... Paul Yeo
New December 1, 2014: Suzanne is researching her ancestors Robert Cole and Anne White. Does anyone know if these two families (Robert Cole and Ezekiel Cole) are related? ... Al

E-mail David Laing, Frank Watters, Don McKenzie, Paul Yeo and Al Lewis

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