Category Archives: Charboneau

1881: Elise (Charbonneau) Payment’s blended family

Sixth and last in a series about the younger sister of my French-Canadian ancestor Laurent Charbonneau, who emigrated from Québec to New York State around 1852.

http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&rec_nbr=3385063&lang=eng
Quebec children at play (date unknown). When they married in 1872, Elise Charbonneau had a daughter and Alderic Payment three sons from their first marriages. By 1881, they had added four more sons and a daughter to their blended family of eleven — a baby boom that surely brought Elise’s schoolteacher skills into play. Photo: Library and Archives of Canada.

When they married in 1872, Elise Charbonneau had a daughter and Alderic Payment three sons from their first marriages.

By 1881, they had added four more sons and a daughter to their blended family of eleven — a baby boom that surely required the helping hands of the older children and likely also brought Elise’s schoolteacher skills into play.

Not only that, but the Payment family had relocated from the Island of Montréal to Notre Dame de Bonsecours in Ottawa (County) — located in the Outaouais region of Québec, north of the Ottawa River, about 70 miles west of their former home.

The 1881 Canadian census for Notre Dame de Bonsecours lists the Payment family with the surname variant Pément and provides a snapshot of their bustling household as excerpted in the table below.

1881 Canadian Census – Notre Dame de Bonsecours, Ottawa (County), Québec, Canada – Page 6, House 34, Family 37 – Source: Library and Archives of Canada

Person Name Sex Age  Occupation
6 Alderic Pément M 42  Cultivateur [Farmer/grower]
7 Elise Pément F 43
8 Louis Pément M 19  Menuisier [Carpenter/Joiner]
9 Joseph Pément M 17  Sous-Cultivateur [Sub-farmer/grower]
10 Alderic Pément M 16
11 Armand Pément M 8  In school
12 Emerie Pément M 5
13 Edouard Pément M 3
14 Ernest Pément M 10/12  Born in July
16 Eliza Bouchard F 22
17 O. Elmina Pément F 7

Such an interesting family — a blend of several families rolled into one. The oldest child is Elise’s daughter Eliza Bouchard, 22 — the only surviving child from her first marriage to the late Olivier Bouchard.

Teenagers Louis, 19, Joseph, 17, and Alderic, 16, are next in line — the three sons of Alderic Payment with his late first wife Marie Olympe Anger.

So daughter Elmina, 7, and sons Armand, 8, Emerie, 5, Eduoard, 3 and Ernest, 10 months would appear to be the children born to Elise (Charbonneau), 43, and Alderic Payment, 42, after their 1872 marriage.

Happier times for Elise Charbonneau

When I began writing about my great, great grandaunt Elise Charbonneau — younger sister of my great, great grandfather Laurent Charbonneau — I kept wondering how her life would turn out.

Losing three children and her first husband in the space of two years was a potentially overwhelming experience for a young woman not yet 30. How would she move on from such a devastating tragedy?

But Elise appears to have mustered an inner strength and looked to the future — becoming a primary school teacher and moving away from her family of origin with her daughter Eliza, then meeting and marrying Alderic Payment, a widower with three sons.

So here at last we find Elise (Charbonneau) Payment in 1881 experiencing happier times in the Quebec countryside on a family farm with a house full of children of all ages — almost is if she had created, with Alderic, her own personal classroom in which to impart the wisdom her life had taught her.

Truly a remarkable woman and one I am proud to have in my family tree!

© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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1872: Elise Charbonneau marries Alderic Payment

Fifth in a series about the younger sister of my French-Canadian ancestor Laurent Charbonneau, who emigrated from Québec to New York State around 1852.

While my widowed great, great grandaunt Elise (Charbonneau) Bouchard was teaching primary school and raising her daughter Eliza — in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on the Island of Montréal — the man who would soon become part of their lives resided in the next parish, where he worked on his family farm.

http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&rec_nbr=3360672&lang=eng
Spring near Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec (1932). In 1871, Alderic Payment was working on his family farm in Ste. Genevieve parish, adjacent to Ste. Anne parish where my widowed great, great grandaunt Elise (Charbonneau) Bouchard taught school. Photo: Library and Archives of Canada

Alderic Payment, 32, was enumerated in the 1871 Canadian census in Ste. Genevieve parish, Québec, as a cultivateur [farmer] and the head of a family of five.

Emumerated with him were his wife Olympe, 41, and three children (presumably their sons) — Louis, 9, and Joseph, 7, (both listed as attending school) and little Alderic, 5.

A domestique [domestic worker] Olympe Aubry, 21, and a child Emilere Guerard , 2, (possibly her daughter) were also enumerated with the family. Ms. Aubry’s presence in the household might indicate a prosperous enough farm for the Payment family to afford domestic help.

However, it could also signify that the health of Olympe Payment — who was nine years older than her husband — had declined to the point where a domestic worker was needed to assist with running the household and to help with the children.

The widow and the widower

Though I have not yet found Olympe Payment’s death/burial record, by 1872 Alderic Payment was a widower with a farm to run and three young sons to raise — a situation that apparently led him to seek a second wife. And that’s how he came to marry my widowed great, great grandaunt Elise (Charbonneau) Bouchard.

Where Elise and Alderic met, how they courted and how they decided to merge their families is not spelled out in the records. However, Elise knew what it was like to rebuild a life after the tragic loss of a spouse and children.

She may have seen Alderic Payment and his children as a new hope for a happier future.  He in turn may have viewed her as a symbol of strength after loss and a caregiver and teacher for his sons — who would also gain an older sister through their union.

Whatever their backstory, on 31 Jan. 1872 — according to their marriage record in the Drouin Collection — widower Alderic Payment and widowed schoolteacher Marie Elise Charbonneau were married in Ste.-Anne-de Bellevue, Jacques Cartier (County), Québec, with their loved ones gathered round.

Witnesses to a new beginning

According to the marriage record, present for the happy occasion and signing the marriage register (along with the parish priest) were:

  • Elise Charbonneau (widow of Olivier Bouchard),
  • A. Payment (farmer and widower of Marie Olympe Anger),
  • My ggg grandfather L. Charbonneau (the father of the bride),
  • Witnesses Xavier Brunet and Rosalie Trembley, and
  • Eliza Bouchard (Elise’s daughter with her first husband).

Undoubtedly there were many other loved ones and well-wishers who did not sign the register, but were nevertheless on hand to help the newlyweds celebrate this second chance at happiness for themselves and their children.

More on my great, great grandaunt Elise (Charbonneau) Payment’s blended family in the next post.

© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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1872: Elise (Charbonneau) Bouchard’s classroom duties

Fourth in a series about the younger sister of my French-Canadian ancestor Laurent Charbonneau, who emigrated from Québec to New York State around 1852.

In the last post, we learned that by 1871 my widowed great, great grandaunt Elise (Charbonneau) Bouchard had become a schoolteacher to support herself and her daughter, Eliza — and that they lived together at the schoolhouse.

Schoolhouse in Grosee-Ile, Quebec. Credit: Dept. of Public Works / Library and Archives Canada
Schoolhouse in Grosse-Ile, Quebec (1909). In 1871, My great, great grandaunt Elise (Charbonneau) Bouchard was a primary school teacher in St.-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec — in a schoolhouse that was probably much like this one. Credit: Dept. of Public Works / Library and Archives Canada

I wondered about Elise’s day-to-day life as a primary schoolteacher, and my research led me to A One Room Schoolhouse, a wonderful website that details schoolhouse facts from Canada’s Ottowa Valley and beyond.

Schools in Québec, with its majority francophone population, evolved differently from those in the rest of Canada — their complex history beyond the scope of this blog.

However, the daily tasks of schoolteacher Elise (Charbonneau) Bouchard probably included some of the following duties from A One Room Schoolhouse blog:

Rules for Teachers in 1872

  1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.

  2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.

  3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.

  4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.

  5. After ten hours in school, the teacher may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.

  6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.

  7. Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.

  8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.

Note: The teacher who performs his labour faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

“Women teachers who marry…will be dismissed.”

Whittling pen nibs? Cleaning chimneys? Toting water and coal? No mere eraser banging for these teachers in the 1870s!

Of interest in Elise’s case is rule No. 6, which states in part, “Women teachers who marry…will be dismissed.” Although she was previously married, being a widow was apparently not an impediment to Elise working as a schoolteacher — even while raising a daughter.

But what would happen if she were to re-marry? Would she lose her job? Was the teaching profession only for young, single women to work in for a few years before starting families of their own — or for widows who no longer had a husband to help with household income?

Or were educational authorities flexible in their approach to these rules — perhaps applying them selectively based on the need for teachers and the ability of women (single or married) to fill this vital job for the benefit of the communities where they lived?

Either way, Elise (Charbonneau) Bouchard was soon to find out — because in 1872 she began a new life with a second husband and a large, blended family.

More on this in the next post.

© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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