Antoine MORIN and Domithilde BLAIS
from Quebec to the Ottawa area in the 1800's

New April 19, 2014:
Stephen Morin has updated this Morin family history:

Antoine Morin, the son of Louis Morin-Deneault who reclaimed the name Morin, was born in 1824. On August 8, 1859, 
at the rather late age of 35, he was married to 21 year old Marie Domithilde Blais (born January 7, 1838 at St. Andre 
d’Artenteuil); the daughter of Jean Blais and Marguerite Gibeau (b. February 20, 1820 at St. Benoit, Quebec) at St. 
Andre d'Argenteuil. This is the church of St. Andre in the town of St. Andre Est. There is no mention of the name 
Deneault in the marriage records nor is there any record of any of the couples’ children marrying in Argenteuil.  
At the time, Antoine was a Labourer and in the Marriage Index of Argenteuil County is shown as the son of the late 
Louis Morin of Lachute, also a Labourer. His bride, Domithilde, is described in the records as a "Minor, living with 
her parents in this parish" (St.Andre). Her father was Jean, a farmer; while her mother was Marguerite Gibeau dit 
Cayer or Sayer.) The Marriage Index seems to list Saver as the parent’s Parish. Witnesses to the wedding were: Joseph 
Gibeau dit Cayer or Sayer, Amable Goulet, Jean Baptiste Poulin, Joseph Morin, Jean Blais and Marguerite Blais.  

Antoine Morin and Domithilde Blais Marriage Register
Antoine Morin and Domitile Blais – Marriage Register
A note of significance concerning this marriage is the fact that their union was the last recorded in the province of Quebec for this particular line of the Morin family. Antoine and Matilda, as she was known, produced a family of eight, 6 girls and 2 boys. Following the birth of their daughter, Catherine in 1866, Antoine, Matilda and their two young daughters continued the traditional westward movement of the family, which began in the eighteenth century, and established themselves in the capital of the newly founded Canada. In abandoning their Quebec roots and moving to Ottawa, Antoine and Matilda became the first generation of Ontarians in the Morin family. Late in the autumn of 1857, Queen Victoria announced her controversial decision to select Ottawa, or Bytown as it was then known, as the capital of the United Province of Canada. This once brawling, rough lumber town named after Lt. Col. John By, who had built the Rideau Canal in 1832, was then only three decades old. Its situation right on the border between Ontario and Quebec created a natural bridge between the two founding cultures of the country and its strategic position high on a bluff overlooking the Ottawa River convinced the Queen to proclaim it as the Canadian seat of Government.
Ottawa, 1857
Ottawa - 1857
Historical Fact: Confederation - 1867 Canada became a nation, the Dominion of Canada, in 1867. Before that, British North America was made up of a few provinces, the vast area of Rupert’s Land (privately owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company), and the North-Western Territory. By 1864, many leaders felt that it would be good to join into one country. Known as the Fathers of Confederation, these leaders met and wrote a constitution for the new country, which had to be passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Once passed, it became known as the British North America Act, or the BNA Act. This Act brought together the three provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada (which became the provinces of Ontario and Quebec). The BNA Act described the structure and main laws of the new country, as well as the division of powers between the new provinces and the federal government.
Sir John A. Macdonald with the Fathers of Confederation
Sir John A. Macdonald with the Fathers of Confederation
By 1870, Ottawa had become the most important saw mill centre in British North America. Its population had grown to 21,000, and the city was becoming wealthy from the lumber trade. It was about this time that Antoine and Domithilde, the next direct connection to our Morin family, arrived in Ottawa. According to the records of the first Canadian Census held in 1871, the couple, listed under the name MORIN, lived in Victoria Ward in household number 112.
Victoria Ward, Ottawa, circa. 1870
Victoria Ward, Ottawa, circa. 1870
Historical Fact: Victoria Ward, Ottawa, Ontario Victoria Ward was one of the original municipal wards in the city of Ottawa, Canada. Victoria Ward originally consisted of the now uninhabited LeBreton Flats neighborhood of Ottawa and Parliament Hill.
Street addresses were not in vogue at that time. The records show the two to be 30 and 24 years of age, respectively, and having 4 daughters - Margaret, age 8; Catherine, age 5; Mathilda, 3 and Elisa, their 1 year old baby. The fact that the two older girls were shown as being born in the province of Quebec and the others in Ontario, provides the clue that the family migrated to Ontario sometime before the birth of Mathilda in 1868.
Page from the 1871 Census Record
Page from the 1871 Census Record
Like their ancestors, this generation of the family was Roman Catholic and, like most of their contemporaries, Antoine and Mathilda could neither read nor write. Antoine is described in the census as a labourer. An 1890 City of Ottawa Directory shows Antoine being a mill hand. As the 70's progressed, the family continued to grow in stature and size. In 1872, Fredrick, the first male descendant was born followed two years later by another sister, Minnie. At age 56, Antoine fathered his second son and last child who ultimately proved to be the next direct link in the family lineage.
Antoine Morin in the 1881 Census
Antoine Morin - 1881 Census
Antoine Morin in the 1889 City Directory
Antoine Morin in the 1889 City Directory
This information is corroborated by the fact that by 1891, Antoine, then 67 and still working as a labourer and his 53 year old spouse were recorded as living in the Nepean-Dalhousie ward.
Antoine Morin in the 1891 Census
Antoine Morin in the 1891 Census
The capital was a blue-collar town. Lebreton Flats, the home of the Morin family, was a mad mixture of lumber piles and rickety wooden homes. The older girls had left by this time and only the 3 youngest children were still at home. Fredrick was 19; Minnie 17; and young Jean-Baptiste was only 10 years old. Thus as the 1800's came slowly to an end, the seventh generation passed quietly into history and young John took on the responsibility of continuing the family name.
City of Ottawa Directory from 1890
City of Ottawa Directory from 1890 - 1890 - 28 Pine Street, mill hand
The 1890 City of Ottawa Directory shows Antoine Morin living at 28 Pine Street (now Gladstone Avenue) and his occupation was shown as mill hand.
Antoine Morin and Domithilde Blais
Antoine Morin and Domithilde Blais
Antoine Morin died June 1, 1892 and was buried on June 2, 1892. The record shows he died from debilitation. He is buried at Notre Dame Cemetery in the Blais family plot along with his wife Domithilde who died on January 29, 1902 at the age of 63. The Witnesses to the burial were her son, Jean-Baptiste Morin and Arthur Drouin.
Grave Marker of Antoine Morin and Domithilde Morin (Blais)
Grave Marker of Antoine Morin and Domithilde Morin (Blais) Notre Dame Cemetery – Section Y- Lot 1910-11
Historical Fact: Ottawa, Ontario - 1892 Parliament adopts the Canadian Criminal Code, based on a codification of English criminal law. It defines criminal activities, and established punishments for them.
Some of Antoine’s Children
Elizabeth Morin with her Husband and Daughter Grave Marker for Elizabeth and husband
Elizabeth Morin with her husband Grave Marker for Elizabeth Morin (Antoine Morin's Daughter) Andrew Mulligan and daughter, Ida Notre Dame Cemetery - Section Y
Catherine Morin Albert Lemieux
Catherine Morin and her husband Albert Lemieux
Grave Marker for Minnie Marie Morin, Antoine Morin's Daughter
Grave Marker for Minnie Marie Morin, Antoine Morin's Daughter Notre Dame Cemetery - Section Z
Stephen R. Morin
March 31, 2014: Hi Stephen and Allan, While trying to do some family research and find out who the parents of Antoine and Matilda were (they are my great great grandparents...their daughter, Elizabeth, my great grandmother). I am not sure if either of you had a photo of Antoine and Matilda, so I thought I would share the one I was lucky enough to inherit through the years. Do you know when the Morin's or Blais came to Canada? Regards, Victoria Wrong Traudt
Hi Victoria: Steve is adding some updated material for the Antoine Morin / Matilda Blais web page and I'll add your photos at the same time. Also, the name Andrew Mulligan is familiar. I'll see what I can find about him and his ancestors. There were several pioneer Mulligan families here in the early days. Thanks again, ... Allan
New April 19, 2014: Allan: I know he is the son of John Mulligan and Agnes Renaud. Have a photo of them also! I'll attached that and the notes from the back of the photos I've sent. That is all I have for older photos, beyond my grandparents.
John Mulligan and Agnes Renauld
John Mulligan and Agnes Renauld
Notes Notes Notes
Victoria

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