Antoine MORIN and Domithilde BLAIS
from Quebec to the Ottawa area in the 1800's
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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, likely working at one of the mills at Chaudiere Falls.
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 - 1881 Census
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
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 - 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 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)
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 Grave Marker for Elizabeth Morin (Antoine Morin's Daughter)
Andrew Mulligan and daughter, Ida Notre Dame Cemetery - Section Y
Catherine Morin and her husband Albert Lemieux
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?
Victoria Wrong Traudt
Steve is adding some updated material for the Antoine Morin / Matilda Blais web page and I'll add your photos at the
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.
April 19, 2014:
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
E-mail Stephen Morin, Victoria Wrong Traudt and Allan Lewis
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa, Canada, area
Bytown or Bust is also on