Saturday, 22 March 2014

52 Ancestors Germain Mazerolle (1819-1908) a lifelong farmer

This is my 10th 52 Ancestors post and the first post about a Mazerolle ancestor with the Mazerolle last name!

Germain is my Great Great Grandfather and the Grandfather of Ann Marie Christina Landry from my post two weeks ago. He was baptized August 15, 1819 at the Stella Maris parish, Escuminac, Northumberland County, New Brunswick. When Gloucester County was created in 1826 Escuminac became part of Gloucester County. Germain's baptism entry states that his parents were Joseph Mazerolle and Marie Vienneau and his godparents were David Mazerolle and ??? (I can't makeout the writing) Mazerolle. It also states that Germain was born March 24, 1819. This parish had a missionary priest that only came by about once every 6 months and stayed only a couple of weeks. The news must have spread to all the families as many baptisms were performed on the same day.

Sometime between 1819 and 1847 Germain moved to the Inkerman area 150 km away. This must have been a huge move, it would have taken oven 30 hours to travel by horse and buggy going at 5km/hr. Why did he move such a great distance away? Was this a move that Germain made by himself or did he move with other family members? Did they stay in some places along the way and some of the family settle along the route to Inkerman?

In 1847 Germain was living in Pokemouche where he would have met his future wife Christine who also lived there. Not long after Germain's 28th birthday he married Christine Hache on April 13, 1847 in Tracadie at the parish of St.Jean BTE. & St. Joseph. This parish was also served by a missionary priest and Germain and Christine would have waited for the return of a priest to have their banns announced and have their marriage ceremony performed. The witnesses to their marriage were William Thompson and Angele Hache. Angele may be a relative of Christine's although I have not confirmed this.  Who is William Thompson? I have not been able to find any information about how he might be related to Germain or lived in the same area, yet.

Sometime after Germain and Christine were married they bought a farm and moved from Pokemouche to Inkerman a distance of 5 km. In 1861 Germain lived in the Upper Parish of Inkerman with his family on his 40 acres of farmland (10 acres of which was deemed improved). His farm was valued at 50 pounds with equipment valued at 2 pounds (remember we were still under British control). At 40 acres with 1 milk cow and 3 pigs, Germain's farm was one of the smallest of the 77 farms within Upper Inkerman. Even though it was small compared to his neighbours it was big enough for his family of wife, 4 sons and 3 daughters to live off of.

In 1871 Germain was still living and farming in Inkerman with his growing family that now consisted of 5 sons and 5 daughters with some of the older children attending school learning to read and write. In 1881, 8 of his 10 children were still living at home on the farm with Gemain and his wife. By 1891, all of their children had left the farm to start their own lives with the exception of their son Romain who along with his wife was living in the same household with Germain and Christine. Living in the next households to Germain were 3 of his other sons (Oliver, Jeremie and Urbain). I am assuming they built their houses on a piece of their father's farm. By 1901 Germain and Christine were listed as living with Romain and his wife (the opposite from 1891) with his 3 sons and their families still living next door all continuing to farm the family land. Germain may have moved a great distance when he was younger but once it was settled with his family he never moved again.

Germain was ill for the 2 months preceding his death on October 3, 1908 from old age.  Although his death certificate indicates that he was 94 years old at the time of this death (consistent from his reported age on the 1891 census) if you do the math from his baptism certificate he was actually 89 years old. Still a very old age to live to even by today's standards. Germain lived to see many things in his life, the birth of Canada as a country, the first french prime minister and the introduction of the automobile to name a few.

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