Friday, April 22, 2011

Sophie Rosalie Lacombe and John Pooler aka Henri-Jean Poulin

My great-great-grandfather was John Pooler.  He was born in Beauceville, Quebec and was baptized as Henri-Jean Poulin.  My great-great-grandmother was Sophie Rosalie Lacombe, daughter of Andre Lacombe and his mysterious bride.

Here are their vital records:
Henri-Jean Poulin (Jean-Francois-Xavier Poulin and Marie Archange Rancourt)
Birth 12 Dec 1817, Beauceville, Quebec, Canada
Baptized 12 Dec 1817, St-Francois-de-Beauce, 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.

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-de-Beauce, 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

Henri-Jean's father Jean-Francois-Xavier Poulin was a farmer in Beauceville.  Henri-Jean's aunt, Angelique Poulin of Beauceville who married Augustin Dupuis Gilbert, was a great-grandmother of United States Senator Margaret Chase Smith who turned the tide against Senator Joe McCarthy in her famous "Declaration of Conscience" speech.

"She stated the basic principles of "Americanism" were:
  • The right to criticize;
  • The right to hold unpopular beliefs;
  • The right to protest;
  • The right of independent thought."
"Although it would be another four years before the tides turned and McCarthy was censured, the fact that a woman was the first to speak out in the Senate against McCarthy and his tactics holds significance for feminist historians."

John had five siblings as far as records show.  His sister was ten years younger and her name was Cezarie.  He had an elder brother, Francois-Xavier "Ephraim" who served in the Civil War and later died in 1868 in Waterville, Maine, from wounds received in the war.  He had lied about his age in order to serve, shaving ten years off his true age.  He died at the age of 55, leaving a large family in Waterville, Maine.  Family legend tells the story of another Pooler who was too young to serve his country in the Civil War so he also lied about his age and became a drummer boy.

Henri-Jean had three younger brothers, Francois-Lambert, George, and Joseph.   Joseph Poulin died in Beauceville 23 August 1894.  I do not know if he, or Francois-Lambert, or Cezarie, married and had children.  Henri-Jean Poulin, or as he came to be known, John Pooler, was only fifteen when his father Jean-Francois-Xavier Poulin (m. Marie-Archange Rancourt) died in 1832.  His eldest brother was nineteen and his sister five. His paternal grandfather Jean Baptiste Poulin (m. Marie Genevieve Roiroux Laliberte Roy) had passed away in 1807.  So there was no longer a direct line of males. Henri-Jean resettled in Waterville with his elder brother Francois-Xavier "Ephraim" in 1834.  The Rancourt relatives later joined them.  According to Robert Chenard, John and Ephraim were the 7th/8th French-Canadians to settle from the Old Canada Road.   At some point their brother Joseph joined them.   He is not recorded in the Waterville census or church records but he is the ancestor of the Wisconsin Poolers and is known to have resettled their from Maine.

Henri-Jean's brother George did relocate to Maine.  He does not appear in records but a descendant Mable Pooler recorded that he married a Nova Scotia woman, Henriette Rodrigue, in September 1842 while in Waterville, Maine.  He and Henriette later followed his sons Francois and George (who were both born in Maine) from Maine to Onalaska, Wisconsin, where they worked as lumberman.  Thousands of lumbermen left Maine for opportunities in the west.  More than 5000 Wisconsin residents in the 1880 census gave their home state as Maine.  George left descendants upon his death on 26 July 1897.

George's son Francois "Frank" Pooler, born 23 October 1847, in Waterville, Maine, became a capitalist, lumberman, and politician.  He died in Savanna, Illinois 18 March 1900.  Here is his obituary.
Source (The Arcadia Leader) dated 3-23-1900

La crosse,WI March 20
Name--Frank Pooler
Born-- In Maine
Date Born--1847
Died--March 18,1900 Savanna,IL
Work--Capitalist,Lumberman and Politician of Onalaska
Traveled to Onalaska,WI in 1865
Died - Frank was stricken with paralysis Saturday and died Sunday at Savanna, IL
Remains arrived here this morning March 20, 1900 for Intermet

Another of George's son George Jr., born 14 January 1853 in Waterville, Maine, was also a lumberman.  He married a Norwegian woman Josephine Grumm "Green" on 20 April 1873 in La Crosse, Wisconsin died in Wisconsin on  27 March 1903.  One of George's most notable descendants, Frank Mairich "Mick" Pooler is famous.  He was a choral director of The Carpenters.  He penned the lyrics of their famous Christmas classic "Merry Christmas Darling" and Richard Carpenter penned the music.  Of some Norwegian descent, he was honored by King Olaf of Norway in 1984 with the St. Olaf Medal of Meritorius Service in extending recognition of Norwegian choral music.... He is my uncle's third cousin but I am certain they never knew one another.
FP Carpenters 1

Frank Pooler, Professor of Music at California State University with Karen and Richard Carpenter, the famous musical duo "The Carpenters."

  Frank Pooler was born, raised and received his early education in Onalaska (Wisconsin). Today, he is well known, both in academic and professional music circles for his mastery of contemporary choral repertoire. He is Professor of Music at California State University, Long Beach, and is Director of Choral Studies there.
  As a guest conductor, clinician lecturer, and adjudicator, Pooler has appeared throughout the continental United States, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hawaii and Alaska. His published compositions, arrangements, etc.

I expect to write more about the Beauceville-->Maine-->Wisconsin Pooler family at a later date.

John Pooler, as he was called in Maine, worked as a laborer.  He fell in love with Sophie Rosalie Lacombe who had moved to the Waterville area with her parents Andre Lacombe and Josette -----.  They married in a civil ceremony in Skowhegan on 27 October 1838 and rehabilitated their marriage (had a sacramental marriage) on 12 Jan 1841 at St. Francois-de-Beauce, Beauceville, Quebec.  John's brother Francois-Xavier married the same day to Marie Lessard.  This is some information regarding Francois-Xavier Poulin/Ephraim Pooler:

Ephraim Pooler, Age 44, Co E, Inf 30th, Private.  Married, complexion
dark, eyes gray, occupation laborer, hair brown, 5 ft. 4".
Born St. Francis, C.E., residence Waterville
Enlisted Nov. 27, 1863, Mustered Dec. 12, 1863, Years 3.
Transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps Jan 20, 1865.
Where mustered in:  Augusta
Date of birth:  1819
Date of death:  October 15, 1868.  Cemetary:  Pine Grove Lot 262
Date of enlistment:  December 12, 1863 at Waterville, Maine
Branch Army:  Private Rank
Date of Discharge:  Jan 10, 1865
Upright stone Cr AR marker
War record Co E 30th Regt. Inf. Me. Vols.
Private COE 30th Me (Hist of Wtvl)
Transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps Jan 20, 1865.
Source AGO, Vol 12, 64-65, p.714.

Ephraim Pooler enlisted in the Civil War as a private on November 27,
1863.  Record states he was born in St. Francis, Province of Quebec,
living in Waterville. He was 44 years old, married, dark complexion,
gray eyes, Brown hair, 5 feet 4 inches tall, his occupation was listed
as laborer. Evidently he lied about his age in order to be accepted
into the service.  He was actually 51 years old.  He was mustered in
at Augusta as a private in Co. E, 30th Maine Infantry Regiment on
Dec.12,1863 (or Nov 27th as Jean Ranco says).   From Mar 12, 1864 to
Jan 10, 1865, he was sick in the General Hospital in  New Orleans and
then was transferred to the Veteran's R Corps No 2 and mustered out on
Aug 20,  1865 in Savannah, Ga. He returned to his family in
Source:   Harold Lacadie

“Frs.-X. Poulin (Ephraim Pooler) 22 Jan 1813 Beauceville, QC Private, Co. E, 30th Me. Inf. (mar. Marie Lessard 21 Aug 1836 in Skowhegan by a JOP and in the Catholic Church on 21 Aug 1841 in Beauceville) (son of Francois Poulin & Archange Rancourt) 7- Pvt. Francois-X. Poulin (Ephraim Pooler) was wounded or ill, spent over 10 months in Louisiana and Georgia hospitals, returned home and died 15 Oct 1868. He left a large number of descendants to posterity. "
--Robert Chenard

 Francois-Xavier "Ephraim" Pooler married St. Francois-d'Assise, Beauceville, Québec, Canada also on 12 January 1841 Ephraim died of wounds received in the Civil War. He had declared his age as ten years younger, so he would not be rejected from volunteering.

 The FX "Ephraim" Pooler you referred to in your July 14th posting is my husband's great great grandfather.  e-mail address is

Frs.-X. Poulin (Ephraim Pooler) 22 Jan 1813 Beauceville, QC Private, Co. E, 30th Me. Inf. (mar. Marie Lessard 21 Aug 1836 in Skowhegan by a JOP and in the Catholic Church on 21 Aug 1841 in Beauceville) (son of Francois Poulin & Archange Rancourt)

The Poolers had many children.  These were recorded in the Waterville 1860 Census p 110
John Pooler 35 m  laborer  Canada  Pauper
Sophia 36 f  Canada  Pauper
Lucy 17 f Washerwoman  Canada  Pauper
Angelina 15 f Maine Pauper
Abby  12 f   Maine Pauper
George 7 m  Maine Pauper
Charles 4m Maine Pauper
(puts birthday at 1860)

Charles became my great-grandfather who married Eugenie Voyer (Achille Voyer and Sophie Rancourt) of Waterville then Lewiston Maine.  The Voyers were originally from Ste-Marie-de-Beauce. Achille was a carriage painter, laborer, and carpenter.  His brother Antoine-Hercule Voyer was also a carriage painter.  Charles worked for the railroad and died of cancer of the jaw some time after a railroad accident had damaged his jaw.  The family story is that a refrigerated car door swung open, striking him in the jaw.  Two of his descendants, my granfather Albert Alphonse Poulin served three terms in the Maine Legislature representing Rumford, Maine and Albert's nephew Roland? Pouliot served, I believe, eight terms in the Maine Legislature representing Lewiston, Maine.  My grandfather Albert Poulin studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris after serving as a Corporal in the American Expeditionary Forces at Meuse-Argonne.   This area of France saw the bloodiest battles of World War I or the Great War as it was then known.  He served as both a translator between prisoners of war and their captors and as a stretcher bearer. He was Decorated by Republique Francaise Croix de Guerre (2 medallions).  He served as head of the Rumford Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.  I hope to write more about him later.

Charles had a younger brother John Pooler who built homes in the Waterville and Rangeley areas.  He was also a navigator like his great-uncle Francois Lacombe.

Several genealogists have printed some records about John Pooler's family.
POULIN, Jean-Henri "John".12 Dec 1817....St.Francois....(Francois
Poulin & M.-Archange Rancourt)
--LACOMBE, Sophie.........4 Aug 1819.....St.Francois....(Andre Lacombe
& M.-Josette Roy)
married 27 Oct 1838 Skowhegan, ME (civil); 12 Jan 1841, St.Francois,
Beauce (Beauceville)
+++Marie-Agnès#...........13 Mar 1839....Waterville
---Genevieve/Charlotte....5 Nov 1841.....St.Francois
---Angéline...............1842-3.........Quebec.........Jean Lessard
ca. 1864 Waterville
---Charles-Michel.........1847-8.........The Forks......Eugénie Voyer
1884 Lewiston
---Cecile##...............25 Sep 1853....Waterville.....died 2 Oct
1854 Waterville
# baptized 16 Nov 1840 St.Francois, Beauce ##date baptized
This family was in Waterville/Skowhegan from about 1834 until the Fall
of 1840 and returned to Beauceville. They returned to Maine about
1844-5 probably to The Forks area until about 1848, and reappear
in the 1850 census of Waterville.

LACOMBE, Sophie d. 5-5-1904 age 84y 9m his wife
--by Robert Chenard.  There is a true wealth of information on Bob's website and I encourage you to explore it further.

Jean Henri 'John' POOLER
C 18131 - 30-DEC-19012
Life History
Birth of son Charles Michel POOLER in The Forks, ME?.3
Death of son Charles Michel POOLER
Death of son John  POOLER
C 1813
Born in Canada.1
C 1848
Birth of daughter Abby  POOLER in ME
Birth of daughter Marie Agnes POOLER in Waterville, ME.5
Birth of daughter Cecile 'Celia' POULIN in Waterville, ME.4
Birth of daughter Genevieve 'Charlotte' POOLER in St. Francois, Prov. of Quebec.3
C 1843
Birth of daughter Angeline or Angele POOLER in Canada.1
C 1842
Birth of daughter Lucie  POOLER in Canada.2
C 1853
Birth of son George  POOLER in ME
C 1856
Birth of son Charles  POOLER in ME
C 1846
Birth of son Mickiel  POOLER in Canada.1
C 1848
Birth of son Joseph Michiel POOLER in Canada
Death of Sophia  LACOMBE.6
Death of daughter Cecile 'Celia' POULIN
Death of daughter Lucie  POOLER in Waterville, ME.2
Death of son Joseph Michiel POOLER
Married Sophia  LACOMBE in Skowhegan, ME.3
Died in Waterville, ME.2
Other facts

Buried in St. Francis Cem., Waterville, ME

Birth of son John  POOLER
    •    Living with them in 1850 Census was Robert Merrow age 59. Death certificate would have him born in 1813.  John Pooler is born Feb. 1802 Canada in 1900 census of Waterville with Sophia born Mar 1815 - thirteen children 6 living. married 61 years!
    •    1. 1850 Census of Waterville
    •    2. Death Certificate at Waterville City Hall
    •    3. Bob Chenard info
    •    4. The Genealogist V. 16, # 2 Baptisms at Waterville, Maine and recorded at Saint-Georges-de Beauce
    •    116
    •    5. Bob Chenard info?
    •    6. St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church by Robert E. Chenard Vol. III 1994
    •    321
The above is an index of additional information to be found on Cindy Spaulding's website.  I encourage you to read more on her site.
Thank you for your interest in reading this blog.  I invite you to share pictures or information if you are related to the Lacombes or the Poulins or any of their ancestors or descendants.  Feel free to leave a response to my posts.  If you'd like a personal reply, please leave me your email address.  Thank you! Peace.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"