Duplessis History Section 2

Duplisea Duplessis and Sirois Genealogy by Mark S Duplisea 


Duplessis History Section 2

Joseph Duplessis: A farm on the Oromocto River  1806 - 1813  

Joseph Duplessis: A final return to Madawaska - 1813 - ~1816

Joseph's widow Marie Francoise makes a new start -- Baie Ste Anne  ~1817 


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Joseph Duplessis: Living amongst the english -- A farm on the Oromocto River  1806 - 1813  

About 1806 Joseph moved on again. This move was unusual in that he took his family and settled in an area where to my knowledge there were no other French speaking families and there was no real Catholic presence. On Jul 27, 1807 he petitioned for land as follows:

To The Honorable Gabriel G. Ludlow Esquire President of His Majestys Council Etc. Etc. Etc.

Joseph Duplessis most humbly states that he is by birth a Canadian and had resided in this Province fifteen years, that he has a large family consisting of eight sons-- the Eldest in his 21st year, and two daughters-that he never received any land from Government, that he formerly resided at the French Village in Kingsclear & laterly on a farm which he hired on the SW. Branch of the Oromocto; That being anxious to form an establishment for his Large Family-

He therefore most humbly prays your Honor to allot him a farm of four hundred acres of Land on the back creek (which discharges into the SW. branch of the Oromocto) adjoining to the Lot lately Surveyed on the said Creek for Richardson Webb __ which with the assistance of his Sons, who are all anxious to cultivate Lands, he would engage to improve without delay - And as in duty bound will ever Pray

Joseph Duplessis  X  Mark

27th July 1807-

The situation applied for is Vacant and is at the upper settlement on the SW. branch of the Oromocto
G ??????

This petition confirms he lived at French Village and implies that he did not return and live in Quebec after arriving in New Brunswick in 1793.  With Michel off on his own the family  would have looked like the following in 1807, matching  fairly well with Joseph's statements in the land petition. :

bullet Joseph Duplessis Jr-- age 52
bulletMarie Francoise Chouinard Duplessis -- age 39
bullet Etienne "Stephen" Duplessis - age 19
bulletJoseph Duplessis III - age 15
bulletCharles Duplessis - age 13
bullet Genevieve Duplessis - age 12
bulletThomas Duplessis - age 10
bulletPascal Duplessis - age 8
bulletJohn Duplessis - age 6
bulletBenjamin Duplessis - age 4
bulletFrancoise Duplessis - age one and a half
bulletRoger David Duplessis - age six months (baptism noted later)

While living in along the Oromocto River  from 1806 until 1813 three more  boys were added to the family. They were not baptized until 1813 however.  Joseph and Mary Francoise were remote from any Catholic communities.  Baptismal records from the parish of St Basile provide some precious evidence as to their subsequent movements.


Roger David --  born Jan 6, 1807 -- Oromocto River,  baptized Aug 18, 1813 St Basile 

 Baptismal Record

William (Guillaume) -- born Sep 21, 1808 - Oromocto River,  baptized Aug 18, 1813 St Basile  Baptismal Record

In Aug of 1813  six year old Roger David and four year old William were baptized at St Basile with their parents present who were noted as living on the Oromocto River (Rivière Romouctou).  Two year old Olivier was not present and presumably did not accompany them on this visit.  He was baptized two months later though at St Basile with his mother present, and with it being noted that the Joseph and Marie Francoise were now residents of the parish of St Basile!!

bullet Olivier -- born March 18, 1811 - Oromocto River,  baptized Oct 2, 1813 St Basile  Baptismal Record

Joseph Duplessis: A final return to Madawaska - 1813 - ~1816

So after seven years of living among English protestants, Joseph and Marie Francoise, had returned to the parish where they had lived more than 15 years earlier.  Not all of the family relocated however. At this time Joseph and Charles likely stayed along the Oromocto. Others would return to that part of the province later.  

Further support for this relocation and an indication of where they settled comes from a survey conducted almost twenty years later. In 1831 John G. Deane and Edward Kavanagh, members of the Maine legislature, were sent by the governor  to survey the Madawaska Settlement, part of a territory disputed between England and the United States.  Deane and Kavanaugh went from farm to farm surveying the inhabitants. In a location near to or exactly where Joseph Duplessis and his son Michel had petitioned for land in 1793 they noted the following.

 Deane and Kavanagh Report on the Inhabitants of the Madawaska Settlements: South Bank of the St. John River
August 1, 1831

"Next, South Bank, Baptiste Olivier Thibedau, who lives on the North bank at the mouth of Green river. He purchased of Joseph Duplessis, who took up the lot 20 years ago, and has 4 acres cleared."   
Text courtesy of Chip Gagnon Upper St John River Valley - A history of communities and people  

Given that the twenty year reference was likely an approximation this tidbit supports a relocation timing of about 1813 for Joseph and Marie Francoise to Madawaska.  Marie Francoise, 45 years of age, was pregnant with the last child of fourteen children known to be born of this marriage, not surprisingly another son. (#12!!) 


Prudent -- born and baptized January 28, 1814 -- St Basile Baptismal Record

Prudent unfortunately lived less than two months and was buried at St Basile on the 28th of March, 1814. Burial Record

We do not know for exactly how long they lived in Madawaska or why they returned. Had they missed the French Catholic community? Did Joseph want to be close to his eldest son Michel? We are left to speculate. We do know though that sometime within the next few years Joseph Duplessis, about 60 years of age, passed away.  This ancestor to the Duplessis families of New Brunswick and Maine  had married twice, fathered at least seventeen children, twelve of whom survived into adulthood. Seventy of eighty one known grandchildren bore the name Duplessis including 36 grandsons, ensuring many new descendants would  pass on the Duplessis surname.

Joseph's widow Marie Francoise makes a new start -- Baie Ste Anne  ~1817 

Marie Francoise didn't stay in Madawaska long, moving to New Brunswick's east coast, and settling where the Eel River empties into  Miramichi Bay  along its southern shore near the church at Baie Ste Anne.  This would be the fifth and final recorded move in the 30 years following her 1787 marriage to Joseph. Given that none of these moves appear to have been due to outside political forces and that each resettlement entailed the difficult task of clearing and rebuilding we must conclude that she and or Joseph were blessed with adventuresome spirits.  It appears that this trait was passed on to at least some of their children as an examination of their movements will show.   Below is a map showing the migrations of Joseph and Marie Francoise.

Map of Migrations of Joseph Duplessis and Marie Francoise Chouinard with present day political boundaries


As she relocated to the Baie Ste Anne area in ~1817 the family consisted of:

bullet Marie Francoise Chouinard Duplessis -- widow, age 49

and her 12 surviving children:

bullet Etienne "Stephen" Duplessis - age 29
bulletJoseph Duplessis III - age 25 --  stayed in Sunbury county
bullet  Charles Duplessis - age 23 --  stayed in Sunbury county
bullet Genevieve Duplessis - age 22  (she married Louis Nadeau in Baie Ste Anne in ~1817)
bullet Thomas Duplessis - age 20
bullet Pascal Duplessis - age 18
bulletJohn Duplessis - age 16
bullet Benjamin Duplessis - age 14
bullet Francoise Duplessis - age 11
bullet Roger David Duplessis - age 10
bulletWilliam Duplessis - age 8
bulletOlivier Duplessis - age 6
Joseph's eldest son Michel(age 38) was living near present day Hamlin, Aroostook county, Maine and had a large family by this point.

The family cleared the land and burned the trees, using the ashes as fertilizer for a potato crop.  Marie Francoise officially petitioned for the land in 1818 with her sons. Her petition is below:

Land Petition of Marie Francoise Chouinard Duplessis for land on Eel River: Nov 14, 1818

Document type: Land Petition Location: West Branch of Eel River, Northumberland County , New Brunswick

Original : English

His Excellency Major General George Tracey Smyth Lieutenant Governor & commander in chief of the Province of New Brunswick etc. etc.h
The Memorial of Mary Frances Deplucie & Sons
Humbly Sheweth
That your memorialist is a native of this Province, a subject of Great Britain. is Fifty years of age. and has never received any grant of land from government is in circumstances to enable her to comply with the conditions of cultivation and is desirous of obtaining an allotment of Land for the purpose of cultivating & improving the same. your memorialist hath not directly nor indirectly bargained or agreed for the sale or transfer of such land to any person or persons whatsoever and humbly prays that she may have an allotment of land granted to her on the western Branch of the Eel River in the Parish of Glenelg and County of Northumberland lying between the Land granted to John Thibbodeau and Joseph Thibbodeau on which there is about three acres cut down & burnt and a small house erected which improvements are yielded to your memorialist by Peter Mazerall. and your memorialist as in duty bound will ever pray
Miramichi                                              Mary  X   Duplacie
  on the fourteenth day of November 1818 before me John Clarke Esq~ one of his majestys Justices of the Peace for the county of Northumberland. Personally appeared the above named Widow Duplacie and made oath that the several matters & things set forth in the before written memorial are just & true
                                                                                                         John Clark 
26 Nov. 1818 
                             The situation herein described is Vacant Land, and contains 115 Acres 
                                                                                                                                                                   Signature illegible

The obtaining of this land was not a smooth process. Below is a letter concerning a dispute over the land and a map showing its location.

Bay Du -- vin 15th April 1819


Mrs Duplesey came to me by your directions in consequence of a lot in dispute between her and Joseph Muzroll, son of Peter Muzroll. He has lived on it some years I believe and is on it still, said Lot is between Joseph and John Tibodo in the upper Bay Du vin grant. She says he told her last fall he did not want the lot, in consequence of which she has part built a house, now he refuses to let her have it, she says because some people threatned that they would not do anything for him that he was depending on, I told her I could not write for her unless Joseph Muzroll, son of Paul Muzroll, would come to me and let me know the circumstance of the matter, accordingly he came and said he heard Joseph Muzroll tell Mrs Depleccy he did not want the Lot, and she might have it. Two other witnesses says the same, as you'l see by the enclosed. I don't understand that Muzroll ever apply'd for the lot. 

Since this Joseph Muzroll came to me and said he would tell the truth, he said he did tell her he did not want the lot and she might have it. Likewise he made considerable improvement thereon, He says he will not give up his right untill he is paid for his improvement and likewise says there is land enough cleared on the lot to serve them both for one year and she has broke her promisses to him and is very trouble and abusive. 

He wanted me to write a memorial for him. I told him I would not 

 till the matter is settled. He says he has as good right to fall from his word as she has.

                           I am Sir. your Most Humble Servant

                                                                         Lewis Dennis 
Francis Peabody Squire  --- Miramichi

 The above map shows the location of the land which was indeed granted to Marie Francoise.   



These documents can also be found at: 1818 Mary Frances Land Petition - Eel River, and Letters




Next Section Joseph Duplessis: the second generation

Previous Section

Joseph Duplessis: New Beginnings in Madawaska 1793 - 1797? 
& French Village near Fredericton 1797?-1806

I hope to continue to assemble and improve upon the accuracy of the information in this site. 
If you have information which would help please contact me.
© Mark Duplisea