Monday, April 25, 2011

Honoring the Poulin Ancestors and Solving a Genealogical Brick Wall

"In 1639 in the humble chapel of Quebec, Claude Poulin marries Jeanne Mercier."  So begins the antique book Third Century of the Family Poulin in Canada.  In 1939 in Canada, many Poulins congregated in Canada honoring their ancestors and celebrating three hundred years of the Poulin Family in Canada. For the celebration, they printed a book that you might find in an antique book store online.  I have a copy because my grandfather attended this wonderful event.  Here is a copy of the book's cover. This book was passed down through my family and ended up in my hands as the family's genealogist. 
Poulin 300 Years Anniversary Book

Unfortunately, my four years of high school French have been insufficient for me to truly enjoy this volume.  I poured over it for years looking for some clue of my ancestors family to surmount a brick wall.  I had traced my Poulin ancestors in Parish registers/repertoires (this was pre-Internet days!) and I now had found a couple of ancestors where no parish in the Beauce region held any clue.  This couple was Jean-Baptiste Poulin married to Genevieve Laliberte.  For years, I labored through volume after volume, looking for Poulins and especially these Poulins.  Finally, in 1993, while quickly flipping through the book one night. I mentioned to a friend that I wasn't going to find anything unless my ancestors pointed me in the right direction.  A moment later, I discovered in this rough-cut volume a couple of pages that had never been cut apart.  I carefully cut the pages apart and on the inside lower left page were my ancestors! * 

Le 4 fevrier 1771, mariage de Jean-Bte Poulin (1) avec Genevieve Laliberte.
(1) Etabli a Saint-Joseph, Beauce, ou il laissa des descendants.

*For similar serendipity stories, read these two books by By Henry Z. Jones 
Psychic Roots: serendipity & intuition in genealog; 

More psychic roots: further adventures in serendipity & intuition in genealogy

This led me to the right church repertoire of marriages for  St-Charles-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.  In this volume, Genevieve LALIBERTE is listed as Genevieve ROIROUX LALIBERTE ROY.

These additional names also helped me to explore and continue her family line.  Here is their marriage:
Generation Eight
Jean-Baptiste POULIN
Birth 27 May 1733, Ste. Anne de Beaupre
Baptism 27 May 1733, Ste. Anne de Beaupre
Death 10 December 1791, St-Francois-d'Assise, Beauceville, Quebec, Canada
Burial 12 December 1791, St-Francois-d'Assise, Beauceville, Quebec, Canada

          married 4 February 1771, St-Charles-sur-Richelieu, Quebec
Birth 1745 Deschaillons
Death 8 August 1807, St-Francois-d'Assise, Beauceville, Quebec 

Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu is in southwestern Quebec, Canada, on the Richelieu River 
in the County of  La-Vallee-du-Richelieu.

Why my ancestors reestablished themselves at St-Charles-sur-Richelieu and then again to 
St-Joseph and St-Francois d'Assise in Beauceville is lost to history.  My mother told me that 
priests were worried about parishes becoming in-bred by cousin marrying cousin, so they 
encouraged eligible young men to travel a hundred miles to meet their future bride. 
Perhaps that is what occurred in this case.

An excerpt of the above book 

Among the first settlers arrived in New France to remain there and start a family, there are eight, all with the same surname and have no kinship between them and they all came from France, and for the Most of different departments. So this is family Poulin.

Poulin's first move to Canada was Claude Poulin, baptized in 1615, son of Pascal Poulin and Marie Levert, Saint Maclou Rouen, Normandy, France. In the dictionary of Bishop Tanguay, place of origin and the names of father and mother of Claude Poulin are not shown; the following information regarding the first high Poulin were supplied to me by Vaillancourt, in his book entitled "The conquest of Canada by the Normans. "

Claude Poulin arrived in Quebec in the afternoon of June 1636 The Feast of St. Barnabas. Here is what "The Relation" of the Jesuits in this matter:
"In the afternoon the same day (another vessel having arrived with the Governor Montmagny) there appeared on the river another ship, this ship of Mr. Courpon had several new families who swelled the colony. It was a subject where there was to praise God, to see young ladies in these countries very delicate, small children out of a prison tendrelets wood as the day emerges from the shadows of the night, to enjoy, after so many months of passage, also a gentle healthy, notwithstanding all incomodités we receive in these floating houses, as if we had walked the course in a carriage. "

According to the Abbe Ferland who recounts the words of Father L. Young just mentioned, the vessel of Sieur Etienne was Courpon Racine, Robert Caron and Claude Poulin were among the first settlers of the coast of Beaupré and whose descendants number in the thousands, especially considering alliances.
Note that this is the Normandy we came more settlers, they were all owned by people of integrity"...

Please click on one of the links above if you'd like to read a longer excerpt about Claude Poulin.

Have a nice day!


  1. It is alway exciting to find little suprises in books. Yours sounds especially great with the pages still bound!
    Theresa (Tanlged Trees)

  2. Bonjour - We are cousins - could you please have that book scanned in and saved as a .pdf file for all of the heirs to read? It should be given to GOOGLE BOOKS online for all to read. Merci - Cousin Julie

  3. Hi, are there any copies of this Poulin Anniversary book for sale or can it be downloaded? I believe Claude may be my 7x great grandfather. Thank you, Sue Poulin-Micklich