Joseph-Ozanie Nado And Marguerite Abraham
We, of course have no pictures of our first "new-world" ancestors but thanks to Felix and Monique, we have pictures of where they first settled--Isle of Orleans, Quebec, Canada
Isle of Orleans in the St. Lawrence River
Felix is pointing to the first homestead location in Holy Family Parish
A view accross the St. Lawrence from the Holy Family Parish side of the Island
This is the land that our early settlers occupied. Felix may be stepping in the very invisible footprints which J-Ozanie and Marguerite laid
The is the present --Holy Family church in the Parish of Holy Family, where , in the adjoining cemetary, the settlers were suposedly buried
Note the spelling of the variable Nadeau and Ozanie names
Thanks again Felix and Monique (great job as Photograper)
I made this pilgrimage in 1963 and again in 1990. I f you get the chance to go, it is a very solidifying and spiritual journey. (Richard)
Hi Dick....Just had a chance to view the section on the Osanny homestead. It's a good addition to the Nadeau site and I hope that it prompts a few of our cousins to make the trip. By the way, were you aware that Joseph also owned another piece of property on the other side of the island? Interestingly it is located on (or very close to) the area that Wolfe used to garrison his troops. He also launched his successful predawn attack from this point. Quebec is such wonderful city, rich with history, culture and and our family heritage. I also love the military aspects of the cities history...especially Arnolds expedition. We usually go once a year. As you said, it fortifies the soul. We are fortunate in being so well acquainted with our family history.....it really helps define who we are and provides a solid "home base". Thanks again for putting those photos in the site. Hope that you are well. . Felix
Nadeau/Bolduc Family History and Geneology by Felix Nadeau
Part One: Our Early Ancestors in Nouvelle France
Early Quebec History
It would be difficult to understand the evolution of our family in the New World without the benefit of a historical perspective of the Quebec Region, however brief. Much of the early exploration of North America was the result of a quest by the great powers of Europe to discover a sea route to the Far East (for the French and English this was a hunt for who would be first to discover the "Northwest Passage"). Further complicating this scenario was intensely fierce competition to establish dominance in the lucrative fur trade and access to the bountiful fishing waters of the North Atlantic. As time went on, it simply became an ongoing war for control of the continent of North America.
Jacques Cartier represented France's first entry into this competition with his discovery and exploration of the St Lawrence Seaway in 1535. Cartier made several trips to this region after claiming the territory for France and named it "Nouvelle France". Interestingly, during his first journey, Cartier discovered a Huron village, Stadacona, which was located on the present site of Quebec City. The next explorer of note was Samuel de Champlain who is credited with the founding of Quebec city in 1608, a mere 50 years before the arrival of our ancestors. This first settlement was located below the cliffs, on the banks of the St Lawrence River. This location is now called "Place Royale" and has some of the oldest buildings and streets in North America. Over time this part of the city has come to be known as the Lower City (Basse Ville). Understandably, the French crown was anxious to establish a permanent colony in the New World to expand it's holdings and protect it's interests against the English. To this end, Champlain was given that task and he accomplished it admirably. Out of the initial contingent of 24 French settlers and soldiers, only 8 survived the first winter. Further immigration was encouraged by the promise of new opportunities, free land and adventure, and the city began to grow steadily. Generally, Champlain also fared reasonably well with the Native Americans who inhabited the Quebec region. He and his Indian allies, the Algonquins and Hurons, combined forces to combat the Iroquois, who's raids on the settlement were becoming increasingly frequent and deadly. Under his leadership, Quebec continued to prosper and expand, and became the largest seaport north of Boston. Champlain is justifiably remembered as the "Father of New France." He died in 1635 and was buried under the Ursuline Convent in his beloved town. At the time, Quebec had a mere 150 residents!
The region was subject to famine, frigid winters, and the constant threat of Indian attack. It was into this hostile environment that the first Bolducs and Nadeaus arrived in New France to seek their destinies (and those of their descendants) in the mid-1600s. Let us explore the lives of these pioneers who, in one bold stroke, dramatically changed and shaped the future of their families and descendants. We'll begin with the Nadeaus since they arrived first!
Original Ancestors in The New World
Joseph Ozanie Nadeau (1637 - 1677)
Joseph Ozanie, the first Nadeau to set foot in the New World, was 23 years old when he arrived in the town of Quebec in the summer of 1660. I wonder why he left the relative safety and comfort of his home in France and what emotions he felt as he disembarked from the vessel? Was he excited at the prospect of a new life, fearful of the unknown or perhaps remorseful of his decision? Ozanie was born in 1637 in the village of Genouillac, province of Angoumois (currently Charente) in the southwestern part of France.
His parents were Marc Macia Nadeau (born in about 1610) and Marie Despins. During this period, Louis XIV, "The Sun King" was monarch of France.
For three years, Ozanie worked as a laborer. He was granted his first tract of land in the parish of Ste Famille on Ile d'Orleans (Orleans Island) on January 3, 1663. After working hard to establish his farm, he married Marguerite Abraham on November 6, 1665. Marguerite was born in 1645 in the parish of St Eustache, Paris, the daughter of Godgaud Abraham and Denise Fleury. She was described as being well educated and lovely, and nicknamed "the beautiful Parisian". Desiring a better life for his family, Ozanie sold his property in 1675 and purchased a larger farm across the island in the parish of St Laurent. (Interestingly, it was from this general location that Wolfe launched his successful attack on Quebec in 1759!). Ozanie died on February 12, 1677 at the young age of forty and was buried in the cemetery at Ste Famille. During his lifetime he participated in the building of the New World and witnessed the construction of Ste Famille and Ste Anne de Beaupre churches. He was survived by his wife and their 5 children (in order of birth..... Marie, Jean Baptiste, Adrien, Denis and Catherine). Marguerite remarried but kept the farm until her death in 1694. At that time, the land was willed to their children. Jean Baptiste ultimately assumed sole ownership and continued to farm the property until 1710, when it was sold. (Note: The land owned by our ancestor is readily found. I have visited both locations several times and can say that it is a truly spiritual experience).
Louis Bolduc (1649 - 1701)
Based on what we know of these two men, Louis and Joseph Ozanie had very different backgrounds. Louis came from the city (Paris), his family enjoyed a respectable position, and there was noble blood in his veins (duc means Duke). Ozanie, on the other hand, came from the countryside, was uneducated and had very little wealth. I suspect that they also had very different personalities and ambitions. Their subsequent lives in Quebec seem to support this theory, but you can judge for yourself as you read on.
Louis Bolduc arrived in Quebec at the tender age of sixteen, aboard a 400 ton vessel on August 18, 1665, a mere 5 years after Joseph Ozanie Nadeau. At that time, he was a soldier in the French Regiment of Carignan, Compagnie de Grandefontaine. He was discharged from military service in 1667 at the age of eighteen. Louis was born in St Benoit de Paris in 1649, the son of Pierre Bolduc (apothecary) and Gilette Pijart. He married Elizabeth Hubert, the daughter of Claude Hubert, a man of position and modest wealth in Quebec City in August of 1668. The wedding was reported as being "lavish and of great ceremony and pomp." Following his marriage, Louis purchased a large farm which he worked until 1674. Apparently the rigors of a farmer's life were too arduous for Louis as he sold the property and returned to the town of Quebec. However in 1676, Louis' fortunes took a turn for the better. He was named Procurer for the King (Attorney General for Quebec), a position of considerable wealth and power by his friend and protector, le Compte de Frontenac. Frontenac, a military hero, was a very powerful person in Nouvelle France, and a close acquaintance of King Louis the XIV. Shortly after attaining the pinnacle of his career, Louis Bolduc's life became a nightmare. He soon fell prey to the political intrigues of the times and to his own weaknesses. Frontenac's enemies were relentless in their attacks on Louis, and he was soon abandoned by his protector. In 1682, he was accused of corruption, the taking of bribes, thievery and debauchery. A disgraced Louis was recalled to France in 1686, and soon stripped of his title and wealth. He was accompanied by his wife, but, inexplicably, his five children stayed behind. It is recorded that Louis tried to return to Nouvelle France to regain his children and position, but it was not to be. Louis Bolduc died in 1701 at the age of fifty-two and was buried in Paris (Chatillon sous Ragneaux). Penniless and abandoned, the Bolduc children were made wards of the city. It was truly a poor start for the Bolduc family in the New World.
However, let us not be too hard on poor Louis. It could very well be that his detractors exaggerated or even concocted his misdeeds in an effort to discredit Frontenac. We will never know. Nevertheless, his descendants prospered and spread throughout North America. The combining of the Nadeaus and
Bolducs occurred with the marriages of Paul Emile and Raymond (sons of Charles Nadeau) to
RoseAimee and Ida (daughters of the brothers, Cleophas and Henry Bolduc respectively). The joining together of the actual bloodlines first occurred with the births of Felix, Marcel and Lorraine, as well as those of Richard, Nicole and Louise.........12 generations and over 350 years after Joseph Ozanie Nadeau and Louis Bolduc placed their first footprints on the soil of North America!
Early French Exploration and Expansion
Not everybody was content to live in the Quebec City area. Being adventurous souls, many chose to follow their dreams by travelling south or west. Such was the case for the Nadeaus and Bolducs. There were essentially two major waterways leading away from the Quebec region......the St Lawrence Seaway to the west and the Riviere Chaudiere to the south.
The St Lawrence is a mighty river that carried voyageurs, settlers and missionaries far to the west. The first stop was Montreal, a thriving town that was the jumping off point for those who wished to spread the faith, trap, explore or settle new lands. Next were the Great Lakes, and then on to what is now known as the American midwest and west. A voyageur named Des Groseilliers was the first to explore this region and is credited with the discovery of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers in 1653. He was soon followed by Marquette who explored the length of the Mississippi as far as Louisiana in 1672. La Salle subsequently followed the same route and claimed all lands to the east and west of the great river for the French Crown. This occurred in 1682 and marked France's high water mark in the New World. While American history credits Lewis and Clarke with the exploration of this region, French voyageurs had been trapping the Missouri and Snake Rivers for decades. In fact, Sacajawea's husband was a French voyageur named Toussaint Charbonneau who assisted in guiding the American expedition. French names abound in the midwest and are evidence of the presence of these pioneers well before the English. The Platte River, the "Grande Tetons" (French slang for Large Breasts) and towns named Coeur d'Helene, Font du Lac, Pierre, Racine, St Louis, Belle Fourche, and Marquette to name but a few. There is even a town named "Nadeau" in northern Michigan! The lands to the east of the Mississippi were ultimately taken over and settled by the Americans and those to the west were obtained by the United States by virtue of the Louisiana Purchase. By 1682, Joseph Ozanie had died, Marguerite had remarried and their children had become teenagers. Louis Bolduc, on the other hand, stood at the brink of disaster.
Many descendants of Louis and Ozanie chose the southern route via the Riviere Chaudiere which empties into the St Lawrence. The major attraction for going south was the Chaudiere River Valley which offered abundant and fertile farming land as well as relative safety (compared to the west). Most of the Nadeaus and Bolducs in our direct lineage remained in Quebec and Levis (located on "la Rive Sud" i.e. the southern shore of the St Lawrence) until the mid 1850's (6 generations). At that time, my great, great grandfather Godefroid, Sr moved his family to St Chrysostome to the south of Quebec City. His son, Godefroid Jr, moved further south to St Martin, Beauce County and later introduced our branch of the Nadeau family to the United States...... but I am getting ahead of myself. The Bolduc family was more aggressive in going south. The 5th generation Bolduc, Antoine, moved to St Marie in approximately 1770. St Marie is located just north of St Joseph on the Riviere Chaudiere, about halfway between Quebec and St Martin. The Bolducs remained in this area of Beauce until about 1890 when my great grandfather Joseph moved to the St Martin area. Many of our Bolduc relatives have remained there since that time. It is interesting to note that the first Bolduc in our lineage to immigrate to the United States was Henry Bolduc's daughter Ida, who followed her husband Raymond Nadeau to Stratton, Maine in 1942. We will speak again of the more recent Nadeaus and Bolducs in the Beauce region and United States later in this story.
No attempt to understand the history of Quebec (and thereby, our ancestors), can be made without a basic knowledge of it's frequent wars and military engagements. From the early 1600s to 1775, Quebec City was at the center of not less than five significant military conflicts that shaped that nation and had a great impact on it's inhabitants.
- The first of these were the Iroquois Wars which started in the early 1600s and lasted until 1665, when the five nations of the Iroquois Confederation were defeated. This conflict occurred over most of Joseph Ozanie's life in Nouvelle France, but probably did not threaten him or his family directly since they were somewhat isolated on Ile d'Orleans.
- The second occurred when an Englishman named Phipps attacked the city in 1690. His naval assault was repulsed by the forces under the command of le Compte de Frontenac. The citizens were overjoyed, and rebuilt Notre Dame des Victoires, a church that had been severly damaged by cannon-fire. This famous church was originally built in 1688 at Place Royale and stands today, the oldest stone church in North America. The main artillery battery (La Batterie Royale) is credited with saving the city and is only two blocks away. During that attack, Jean Baptiste Nadeau, Ozanie's eldest son, was twenty one years old and lived with his wife in Beaumont (Rive Sud) which is located directly across from the second family homestead in St Laurent where he was born. No doubt that he could see the warships and hear the roar of the cannons! Louis Bolduc on the other hand was nowhere to be found in Quebec.
- The next attack in 1711 failed to make it to the city proper. A large fleet under the command of an English admiral named Walker was sighted further northeast on the St Lawrence. The size of the enemy flotilla was reported to be great, and the city's defenders feared that they could not withstand an attack of that magnitude. There was panic among the citizens. As the fleet sailed down the St Lawrence, it fell prey to a violent storm which sank most of the vessels and drowned hundreds of British sailors and marines. The city rejoiced in it's good fortune and rebuilt Notre Dame des Victoires, believing that they had been delivered from their enemies by God and Ste Anne. In 1711, Jean Baptiste was still in Beaumont with his wife and, by now, 14 children! By this time Louis Bolduc (the 2nd) had married and was living in village of Beaupre on the north shore (Rive Nord) of the river, about 15 miles east of Quebec.
- In 1759, General Wolfe began his siege of Quebec, one of the most defining events in North American history. He established his headquarters not far from Montmorency Falls, to the south of Ste Anne de Beaupre. His artillery was concentrated on the Rive Sud, in Levis, and his marine forces and navy were positioned near the southern tip of Ile d'Orleans, very close to the farm previously owned by Ozanie and his son, Jean Baptiste. His opponent, General Montcalme, had deployed his forces between Beauport and the original Citadelle, to the southwest of the city. The tension and anxiety for the French inhabitants of the area must have been incredible as they waited for events to develop. On September 13th, Wolfe and his army slipped down the St Lawrence under cover of night and scaled the bluffs which protected Montcalme's southern flank. The surprise was complete and the two armies met on the Plains of Abraham for the decisive battle. The engagement lasted a mere 15 minutes and the French were routed. Wolfe died on the field of battle and Montcalme, mortally wounded, was taken to the city where he died the next day. In less than an hour, France had lost Quebec, it's crown jewel in North America. Can you imagine the despair, fear and confusion as the inhabitants came to realize that the hated English had won and that they were now subjects of the British Crown? In 1759, Antoine Nadeau Sr (son of Jean Baptiste and grandson of Ozanie) was 59 and lived in Beaumont, just northeast of Levis. Since he had a direct view of Wolfe's garrison on Ile d'Orleans, I wonder if he noticed the English prepare their weapons and equipment for the surprise attack to be mounted that very night? Jean Bolduc (great grandson of Louis), was 30 years old and lived in St Joachim on the Rive Nord, just downstream from Ste Anne de Beaupre. He no doubt saw the British warships and supply ships sail past his homestead.
- At the direction of General George Washington, Benedict Arnold began his journey to invade Quebec in the summer of 1775. His objectives were to enlist the support of the French colonists (who were still stinging from their defeat by the British a few years earlier) and prevent an English attack on the Colonies from the north. Despite incredible hardships, dangerous rapids, desertions and other losses, Arnold led his troops up the Kennebec, across the Dead River and up the Chaudiere River to Ste Marie. At this point he abandoned his "bateaux" and headed cross-country to Levis. Here he crossed the river and established his headquarters at Ste Foye, about 5 miles west of Quebec. November marked the arrival of General Montgomery with another, larger American force. Montgomery had just defeated the British at Montreal and was to combine with Arnold to capture Quebec. A pincer attack, with Montgomery closing from the right and Arnold from the left was launched on a snowy, frigid day on December 31st. Montgomery was killed early in the assault and Arnold was left to his own devices. His greatly reduced force came down the St Charles River and attacked the English and French in the Basse Ville. He was wounded in the leg and his force was repulsed at an intersection now called la Rue des Barricades (Street of the Barricades). Arnold was forced to withdraw with much of his army killed, wounded or captured. He wintered in the Quebec area and retreated to the American Colonies in the spring. Quebec remained an English colony until the combined provinces achieved independence in the late 1800s. Arnold's march had a profound impact on the villages along the Chaudiere and, to this day you can find many streets, lakes, rivers and even businesses that carry his name. At the time of these momentous events, Ignace Nadeau was a teenager helping his father, Antoine Jr farm his plot of land at St Henri, near the town of Levis. Jean Bolduc, now 46, still lived in St Joachim, about twenty five miles away from the action.
Objectives of Part One
I established three goals when I began to write Part One of this document. The first was to present the Nadeau and Bolduc stories together so that we could view their histories concurrently. The second was to bring together the lives of these people with the history and events of their times. The third, and most important, was to personalize and bring life to our ancestors so that we could relate to them and view them as human beings instead of just names on the pages of a family tree. As I wrote Louis' misadventures, it became easy for me to imagine his children in an orphanage or stranger's home, tearfully waking up in the middle of the night, wondering when their parents were going to return to bring them home. I could see Ozanie and his bride attending mass in Ste Famille church with it's original thatched roof. I could imagine Jean Baptiste looking up from his plowing, startled by the cannon-fire coming from the British gunships and artillery batteries in the Basse Ville. At Levis, Arnold and his ragged army examined the city's defenses and rested before crossing the St Lawrence. Is it possible that Antoine Jr was there to sell them vegetables and provisions from his farm? Can you see Ozanie, Louis and their families walking around in the Basse Ville of Quebec chatting with their friends, buying provisions or looking at the newest arrival of immigrants and materials from Paris? It is likely that the Bolducs, Nadeaus, Frenettes and Fluets came to know one another because they all arrived in Nouvelle France at about the same time, and the population was relatively small until the 1700s.