Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pooler/Poulin Origins Rouen, France to Quebec to Beauce to Waterville, Maine

My ancestors are descendants of pioneer ancestor Claude Poulin aka Poulain who came to Quebec from Rouen (St-Maclou) (Seine-Maritime: 760540), France.

"Rouen is the historic capital city of Normandy, in northern France on the RiverSeine, and currently the capital of the Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy) region. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandyin the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries. It was in Rouen where Joan of Arc was burnt in 1431. People from Rouen are called Rouennais."  
from Wikipedia Rouen
Google Map of Rouen
Here are some photographs of Rouen from Photobucket contributors.

Rouen, France

Rouen, Catherdral-du-Notre-Dame

Joan of Arc Tower, Rouen, France

Poulin Ascendants

Generation One - Two - Three Private
Three generations include a City of Portland, Maine Employee, United States Navy veteran, two medical doctors, a businessman, and a future attorney.  
Education:       Bowdoin College, Boston University, University of Vermont Medical School,
Georgetown University, University of Michigan Ann Arbor Law School. 

Generation Four 
Albert Alphonse POULIN
Birth private, Waterville, Kennebec, Maine
Education:        Lewiston High School
                         Bates College
                         University of Paris (Sorbonne), Certificate in International Law and Economy
Military Service: World War I Army Corporal American Expeditionary Forces.  Translator between AEF and prisoners of war.  Stretcher bearer.  Served in the bloodiest sector of the war at Meuse-Argonne.  He spoke French, Polish, and German fluently.  He was awarded two Croix de Guerre medals with silver star by France, one for individual heroism and one for heroic actions of his unit.  These were pinned on him by the French General Marshal Philippe Petain, who later became a disappointment to him because of his collaboration with the German Vichy government in France during World War II.  He also received a service medal for his contribution to World War II as head of the draft board.                           
Public Service:  Tax Collector, Rumford, Oxford, Maine

                          Commander, Veterans of Foreign War
                          Commander, American Legion
           World War II, Head of the draft board

           Maine State Legislature, three terms representing Rumford, Oxford, Maine
Occupations:     Shoemaker at Cushman Hollis, Attorney, Home Insurance Salesman, Real Estate Salesman, Business Manager, Tax Collector, State Representative
Death private,    Rumford, Oxford, Maine

          married 31 May 1922, Rumford (St-John), Oxford, Maine 
Lydia Mary BELANGER (Napoleon BELANGER & Rose Marie CARON)
Birth private, Gilbertville (Canton), Oxford, Maine
Occupations:  Assistant to the President of the Continental Bag Mill
                       Executive Housekeeper for the Mechanics Institute
Death private

I hope to write a more detailed biography in a later blog.  I hope you will enjoy the photos below of my grandfather and grandmother.

Albert Alphonse Poulin, my grandfather, as a young man, circa 1913?  This photo may have been taken around his graduation from Lewiston High School.  He was a quarterback on the football team and also participated on the bowling team.  He hoped to become a chemical engineer.

Albert Alphonse Poulin in Army Uniform circa 1917-1918, age 23 or 24.

University of Paris (Sorbonne), France Certificate February 13th 1919 Corporal A. H (should be A.) Poulin signed June 25, 1919

Albert Poulin, July 4th 1930, holding wreath, Memorial Bridge, Rumford, Maine

Albert Alphonse Poulin, Commander American Legion Post 24

Circa 1897,  top row Emil Belanger, Mathilda "Tillie" Belanger (Hurley), Mary Belanger (Desjardins), Frank Belanger (killed in 1909 in Benton, Maine in a railroad accident), 
Lydia Belanger (Poulin), my grandmother, center front

Lydia Belanger Poulin as a youngster in her "Fourth of July" dress.  There was not enough money for all the young ladies to have new dresses.  Her elder sisters Tillie and Mary made Lydia the dress for her as she was the youngest.  I digitally restored this photo from a very faded egg albumin print.

Aunt Mary Anne Belanger (Desjardins), Lydia Mary Belanger (Poulin)

Circa 1913-1923 Mary Anne Belanger (Desjardins), Lydia Mary Belanger (Poulin), and Mathilda Belanger (Hurley) on horseback at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, with the Old Orchard Pier in the background.  

Albert Poulin 2nd from left; Lydia Belanger Poulin, 2nd from right, circa 1944

Lydia Poulin and my son, circa 1992

Generation Five
Charles Michel POOLER/POULIN
Birth 1861
Occupation  Train Conductor
Death 22 July 1912, Waterville, Kennebec, Maine

           married 29 September 1884, Lewiston (Saints Peter and Paul), Androscoggin, Maine 
Eugenie "Jennie" S. VOYER(Achille VOYER & Sophie RANCOURT)
Birth 16 June 1864, Lewiston, Androscoggin, Maine
Occupation   Owned two apartment buildings, Sabattus Street, Lewiston, Maine
Is recorded in Lewiston under the last name Poulin.  
Death 16 August 1936, Lewiston, Androscoggin, Maine

Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Lewiston, Maine

All of their children took the Poulin not Pooler name.

My greatgrandmother Jennie S. Voyer is in the center.  I received this photo from one of Sophie Rancourt's granddaughters from her first marriage.  I believe Jennie was visiting their family.

Generation Six
Henri-Jean POULIN 
Birth 12 Dec 1817, Beauceville, Quebec, Canada
Baptized 12 Dec 1817, St-Francois-d'Assise, Beauceville, Quebec, Canada
Death 30 Dec 1901, Waterville, Kennebec, Maine
Burial 1 February 1901, Pine Grove Cemetary, Waterville, Kennebec, Maine
His tombstone reads "at 98 years" but he and Sophie actually both lived to be 84.

         married 27 October 1838, Skowhegan, Kennebec, Maine
         rehabilitated 12 Jan 1841, St-Francois-d'Assise, Beauceville, Quebec, Canada
Sophie Rosalie LACOMBE (Andre LACOMBE and Marie Louise Josette GAGNE/QUIRION/ROY/-?-)
Birth 4 Aug 1819, Beauceville, Quebec, Canada
Baptized 5 Aug 1819, St-Francois-d'Assise, Beauceville, Quebec, Canada
Godparents: Francois DOYON & Brigitte MIRAY (Francois DOYON m. Marguerite RODRIGUE 1805 Beauceville, Brigitte MIRAY m. Godfroid BENARD 1794 at Lauzon and moved to Beauceville)
Death 5 May 1904, Waterville, Kennebec, Maine
Burial Pine Grove Cemetary, Waterville, Kennebec, Maine
Generation Seven
Jean Francois Xavier POULIN
Birth 18 September 1775, Beauceville, Quebec, Canada
Baptism 24 September 1775, Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, Beauceville, Quebec
Death 20 October 1832, St-Joseph-de-Beauce, Quebec, Canada

          married 3 February 1812, Beauceville, Quebec, Canada
Marie Archange RANCOURT (Francois RANCOURT & Marie Louise PEPIN LACHANCE)
Birth 7 June 1788, St-Joseph-de-Beauce, Beauceville, Quebec, Canada
Baptism 8 June 1788, Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, Beauceville, Quebec

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-de-Beauce, Beauceville, Quebec

Generation Nine
Birth 30 December 1690, Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre, Quebec
Death 21 January 1759, Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre, Quebec
Burial 22 January 1759,  Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre, Quebec
Occupation:  Farmer

          married 5 February 1725,  Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre, Quebec
Marie Therese CARON(Jean-Baptiste CARON & Rosalie SIMARD LOMBRETTE
Birth abt 1701
Death 18 February 1755, Beaupre, Quebec
Burial 19 February 1755, Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre, Quebec
POULIN to CARON, 2nd marriage

"The first basilica was destroyed in a fire on March 29, 1922. The present-day basilica was built on the site of the prior church in 1926"

"St. Anne is known for performing many miracles, and people from all around the world come to visit the basilica. One of the builders had crutches but when he finished building the church, he was able to walk freely. Pillars in the front entrance are covered in crutches from people who have been said to have been miraculously cured."


Generation Ten
Birth 26 September 1648, Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre, Quebec
Baptism 17 October 1648,  Notre-Dame-de-Quebec, Quebec
Death 15 January 1710, Beaupre, Quebec
Burial 16 January 1710,  Beaupre, Quebec

         married to 21 January 1688 Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré (Sainte-Anne), Quebec
Birth 16 September 1668, Berthier, Quebec
Baptism 18 September 1668, Chateau-Richer, Quebec
Death 16 November 1745, Chateau-Richer, Quebec

Generation Eleven
Birth 1616
Baptized 26 January 1616, Rouen (St-Maclou) (Seine-Maritime: 760540), France
Death 17 December 1687
Burial Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré (Sainte-Anne) (Qc)

         married on 8 August 1639, Notre-Dame-de-la recouvrance, Québec
Jeanne MERCIER(..)
Birth about 1622 Olonne-sur-Mer (Vendée : 850166), France
Death 14 December 1687
Burial 15 December 1687 Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré (Sainte-Anne), Quebec

Claude Poulin aka Poulain was born in Rouen which is located a short distance from Le Havre on the Seine River.  He came to Canada as a carpenter on the vessel of Sieur Courpon arriving 11 June 1636.  He was one of the Company of One Hundred Associates who were to settle the Quebec colony.  He was married in Quebec to Jeanne Mercier in 1639.  The young couple later lived in Trois-Rivieres, New France.  Claude Poulin and Jeanne Mercier returned to Rouen, France in 1646 and 1647 as births of two of their children were recorded at Saint-Maclou.  The couple returned to New France after Oliver LeTardif granted Claude six arpents of frontal land in the Seigneurie of Beaupre.  Claude is recorded as having received payment for scrollwork on the door of Ste-Anne.  Claude later donated land for the cemetary at Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre.  In June of 1661, the Journal of the Jesuits record the tragic news that two of Claude's sons, Pascal age 16 and Rene age 10, were either lost in the woods or taken by the Iroquois. Claude is recorded as a carpenter in the census of 1666.  In the census of 1667 he is recorded as owning eight head of cattle and having twenty arpents of land under cultivation.

Poulain in French means a colt.

An outline of historical events of his life can be found at this source:
The Teacher Genealogist: Many Mini Biographies


Found:  A detailed history with downloadable pdfs on another branch of the Claude Poulin family that followed similar routes to Skowhegan, Maine.

Generation Twelve
Pascal POULIN(..)
          married before 1612, from Rouen (Seine-Maritime : 760540), France
Marie LEVERT(..)

Procureur Du Roy, De Villbadoin, Normandie, France


  1. I LOVE Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre. Been there twice. Ever been to Canyon Ste-Anne?

  2. No, I haven't been to Canyon Ste-Anne. I went to Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre as a teenager. It was beautiful!