Quebec families stick to roots

Two examples of the tenacity with which French Canadians clung to the soil of family farms and homes are cited in news reports.

The Montreal Herald, February 10, 1863 tells about the family that had farmed the same soil at Ancienne Lorette, a village and later a suburb that was merged with Quebec City in 2002:

Louis Bureau, a cooper from Nantes, in Brittany, France was one of the earliest settlers in France’s new colony on the St. Lawrence River. Bureau is reported to have obtained title to his plot of land at Ancienne Lorette in 1683, and farmed it for 29 years before passing it on to son Jean Baptist Bureau in 1712. Jean Baptist Bureau farmed it for 28 years; a second Jean Baptist held it for another 29 years, and Louis Bureau for 42 years. Jean Bureau inherited it in 1838, and still farmed it 28 years later.

“It will thus be seen,” said the Herald, “that the farm has remained since its first occupation, a period of nearly two centuries, in the possession of the same family. This will serve to illustrate the tenacity with which the rural French Canadian population cling to their paternal homes.”

The Montreal Star, January 27, 1904, reports the loss of a home occupied by the same family for almost three centuries”

“The oldest house in Longueuil, Quebec, the home of a French Canadian farm family for almost 300 years, has been completed demolished by fire. The occupants, 73-year-old Francis St. Mars and a daughter, were uninjured. Mr. St. Mars was born, grew up, married, and raised a family in the old house. The loss is estimated at $4,000. The house is believed to have been built about 1612.”

Unfamiliar Canadian history stories 049


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