Honoré Lord’s parents were among the Acadian people horrifically displaced from their homes in Acadia, now Nova Scotia, in 1755 amid fire, flame and destruction. That event, known as “Le Grand Dérangement,” is translated to “The Great Upheaval,” and that’s clearly an understatement. The expulsion was essentially a genocidal cleansing event. Thankfully, it wasn’t entirely successful.
These people were treated horribly; deceived, deported, separated from their families and worldly goods, suffering greatly – but somehow, they did not break. Those that survived did the best they could wherever they wound up. What else could they do?
Life Continued, at Least for Some
The location of Honoré Lord’s birth is somewhat uncertain. Brother Bernard, now deceased, a benevolent Catholic priest, assisted with this research for some time. He understood the Church, the history, and could transcribe and translate old French records.
Many of the relevant records were not online, available, or indexed at that time. I was then and remain very grateful for his assistance.
Honoré was reported to have been born March 5, 1766 in Connecticut, but I’ve never seen a source for that date. I suspect it was being copied from tree to tree before his baptism was located, but I’m not sure.
Brother Bernard did not find his baptism record. Then again, with a displaced people, exactly where do you look?
Honoré, also written as the Latin Honorius, was also more generally credited with being born in New England. His baptismal record was discovered in Yamachiche, Canada by cousin Sylvain some years after Brother Bernard had passed away. Honoré was baptized on February 28, 1768. However, his date of birth is not recorded.
Brother Bernard had, at one time, explained the difference between the black robes and the grey robes. According to Brother Bernard, the Catholic priests of that time wore black robes. Episcopalian/Anglican priests wore grey robes. In a pinch, a Catholic couple would have an Episcopal priest baptize their child, one of the grey robes, but as soon as possible, a black robed priest would rebaptize the child. In a real pickle, meaning the child was in danger of dying, anyone, preferably a Catholic, could baptize the child. Many midwives and grandmother’s baptized babies who were sickly or weak.
Same goes for weddings. Better, apparently, to be married by a grey robe than not at all.
Babies born in the Colonies during the time the Acadians were displaced without a Catholic priest to baptize them properly were baptized as soon as the parents could reasonably do so.
Truth be known, Honoré could have been born in New England, then baptized in Yamachiche after his parents arrived in that area.
Yamachiche was small, just 20 families and 100 people in 1723. Yamachiche grew rapidly between 1765 and 1790 with new Acadian settlers.
According to the Acadie website, in July 1767, a schooner arrived at the mouth of the Yamachiche River carrying a large contingent of Acadians who were originally deported to Massachusetts. The Lesieur family, still the owner of the Grosbois-East seigneury, was ready to welcome them on a concession still to be cleared of trees.
Up to 42 Acadian families, or 192 individuals, settled on the Lesieur family’s concession. The French-Canadian villagers of St. Anne of Yamachiche parish, founded in 1722, gave them a warm welcome. Canada was then under British rule, so of course their fellow Frenchmen welcomed these good French-speaking Catholics who were brave and supportive.
The parish priest, Jacques-Maxime Chef from the city of La Garenne hastened to validate the marriages and baptisms of all Acadians whose life-events could not officially take place in Massachusetts or elsewhere in the colonies for lack of Catholic priests.
Given that the Acadians couldn’t be baptized or married in the Catholic church in New England, many were baptized or had their marriages validated after their return to Canada. Life went on in the Colonies, of course, and the messy details were cleaned up later, given that their religious omissions were due to no fault or choice of their own. In fact, had they been willing to convert, they probably would never have been deported in the first place.
Yamachiche is still small today, with the main street, Rue Ste Anne, an eclectic combination of old and new. The original church has been replaced.
Honoré’s parents likely lived in something akin to a resettlement camp and the priest was a missionary. The church was probably makeshift in this frontier river town of Catholic refugees.
Honoré’s parents were Honoré Lord (Sr.) and Apolline Garceau who were both born in 1742 in Port Royal, before the horrific removal which occurred in 1755.
We know they were married before they arrived back in Canada, because their marriage validation provides us with proof positive.
The original church at Becancour was built in 1722 and burned in December of 2000.
Brother Bernard’s translation of the marriage validation of Honorius Lord and Apolline Garceau.
Validation at Becancour, Quebec, Parish of the Nativity, 1767, page 47.
“In the year 1767, on the 29th of September, we, undersigned missionary priest of the Parish of the Nativity of Becancour, validated the marriage between Honoré Lor and Apolline Garsau, both Acadians, who had been married by Francois Landry in England (New England was meant), no impediment having been discovered to said marriage, we gave them the nuptial benediction according to the form prescribed by our Mother the Holy Church, and this in presence of Fracous Lagrave and of Antoine Sabourin, who declared they know not how to sign this register, (Signed) F Louis Demers, Recollet Priest”
If Honoré had been born in 1766, you’d think that his parents would have had him baptized at the same time they had their vows valided, but they didn’t.
This suggests strongly that Honoré was actually born a day or so before he was baptized in 1768. His parents certainly would not have waited two years to have his rebaptism performed. We know they were back in Canada, in a Catholic church, in September of 1767. In fact, if Honoré was born in February of 1758, his mother was about 4 months pregnant for him at his parent’s marriage validation. He wasn’t the first child to be present at his parent’s wedding, but this was a bit different.
We don’t know exactly where the Honoré Lord’s parents and grandparents spent the very long years between 1755 and 1766-1768, but we do have some hints.
In 1755, families were not necessarily permitted to depart Acadia together. The expulsion was sprung on the Acadians as a surprise so they had no ability to prepare. The men were essentially captured and held hostage. The women and children joined them on the deportation ships. They were forced to leave everything except their children behind. Their farms were burned and their livestock killed in front of their eyes. Some of their family members were tortured and killed as well.
Beyond that, families were split up however they managed to be herded onto ships with far distant destinations. Some ships sank. Many family members had absolutely no idea where the rest of their family had been taken, or if they were even alive. Mortality was high and starvation was rampant.
Some Lord family members were found in Massachusetts, but they don’t seem to be close family.
However, we do know that Daniel Garceau, Honoré Lore’s grandfather, was living in New York state, and so were Lord, Lort and Comeau families that were heavily intermarried and later found together in l’Acadie in Canada. In fact, two of Honoré’s siblings also married Garceau siblings.
Acadians in New York were distributed in small groups, transported to the counties of Westchester (Bronx), King’s (Brooklyn), Queen’s (Queens), Richmond (Staten Island), Orange and Suffolk.
Approximately 344 Acadians were in New York in August, 1756, and about one third were indentured from 4 to 7 years. You do what you need to do to survive.
Return to Canada
The Acadians were given permission to return to Quebec, Canada in 1766.
The Massachusetts Legislature sent a delegation to Quebec in March 1766. The delegation obtained a permit from the English Governor Murray for the displaced Acadians to immigrate to Quebec Province.
A group of 90 exiles sailed from Massachusetts to Quebec in 1766, joining forces with the Acadians who had fled there from Nova Scotia after 1755. They settled near Quebec City and along the Nicolet and Richelieu Rivers.
Many individuals, including Honoré Lord’s parents, settled along the St. Lawrence River and tributaries between Quebec City and Montreal.
Honoré’s parents had their marriage, which had occurred someplace in New England, validated in Becancour, across the river from Trois Rivieres in September of 1767.
Honoré’s parents seem to have been trying to find a permanent place to settle. After his 1768 baptism in Yamachiche, his siblings were baptized elsewhere.
Life along the Richelieu River
Marie Ann Lord born in 1769 was baptized in Saint-Denis.
Francois born in 1771 was born and baptized the following day in St. Ours on the Richelieu River which flows north from Lake Champlain to the St. Lawrence River. For the most part, rivers were their roads.
Honoré’s little sister, Claire, died at 20 months of age in the middle of January in 1775. His mother gave birth to another baby just 7 weeks later.
While St. Ours was a very early settlement, I’d wager this wasn’t the original church. However, the cemetery was assuredly located nearby, and the family would have stood together as they buried their baby girl on that cold January day, just four months shy of her second birthday.
I do wonder if the ground was frozen. Did they have to wait until springtime?
The old Catholic cemetery closed in 1878 and has no headstone photos which makes me wonder if there are any headstones – now or ever.
The current cemetery is here, a block or so behind the church, but if you turn around, you see the back of the church, and what looks to be a school.
The old Catholic Cemetery at St. Ours is full of Acadians, including uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews of Honoré Lore.
The cemetery GPS coordinates show the address of 2540 Immaculee-Conception which resolves to this location, right beside the church. There is some type of historical marker beneath that tree, but I can’t get close enough with Google maps to see what it says. That house, at left, looks ancient too.
The Richelieu River runs right behind the church, and the coordinates for the old cemetery resolve right next door (red arrow), where the trees and colorful flag are today, between the church and the ancient-looking house. The family would continue to migrate down that river and wind up near St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu, which, a few miles later, crosses over the border between the US and Vermont and New York in the form of Lake Champlain, but that’s a story for the next generation.
Fortunately most Catholic church records exist in this region during this timeframe. It’s those records that allow us to track the family’s movements.
The next three of Honoré’s siblings were baptized in St. Ours as well.
However, Marie Charlotte born in 1777 and Jean Baptiste born in 1779 were given conditional baptisms in 1787 in L’Acadie, further down the river. Why? Where was the family in 1777 and 1779 that they would not have had their children baptized? I’m pretty sure I know the answer, but I’m not going to spill those beans here. That’s Honoré’s father’s incredible story.
The children born through 1802 were baptized in L’Acadie, and the balance at St. Luc.
Honoré’s grandfather, Jacques Lord died in 1786 in Nicolet, Quebec, across the river from Yamachiche. Honoré’s paternal uncles died in the same region. Charles died in 1797 in Trois Rivieres, maybe 10 miles upriver from Yamachiche, Pierre Benjamin died in 1813 in Nicolet and Jean in 1809 in St. Ours.
Honoré’s maternal grandfather, Daniel Garceau died in 1772 in Yamachiche and his grandmother Anne Doucet, in 1791 in Sorel, at the mouth of the Richlieu River and the St. Lawrence.
Honoré’s mother’s siblings were all buried in the same or nearby locations.
You can see the family working its way down the river, one village, one church at a time. Looking for opportunity and land to farm.
Within the space of a two decades, the DNA of the Lore family, and their extended families, was seemingly scattered in every Catholic Cemetery along the St. Lawrence.
Those families HAD to have been living in close proximity in New York for their son, Honoré Lord to marry Appoline Garceau around 1765. Two of Appoline’s siblings also married Lord brothers.
Those families returned from wherever they were exiled together and remained nearby for the duration of their lives.
I suspect losing most of your family would give you a new level of appreciation for the family you have left.
An interesting meteorological event occurred that would have been fascinating and perhaps frightened families living in this region.
The following is from the Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar by David Phillips – on this day – “October 9 ,1785 – the “dark days” occurred today in Montreal and for a week after. Fog persisted until 10 o’clock, when wind cleared the air.
Within 30 minutes, darkness succeeded but rain dispelled it. Near noon the dark stopped church services until candles were lit. At 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., perfect darkness held for a short time and candles were lit again. A storm followed each darkness, the rain filled with sulphur.” October 9th was Sunday.
The Newport, Rhode Island newspaper on December 5th reported:
Montreal, October 20. On Sunday the 16th the air was darkened by a thick fog which dissipated about 10 o’clock. The atmosphere was of a luminous, fiery, color. About 2 o’clock in the afternoon, it became dark by degrees, in such a manner, that about half an hour after 2, people could not see one another in the houses. This lasted 20 minutes and was followed by lightning, thunder and rain, which gradually diminished the darkness. It was, however, very difficult to read without candlelight at 3 o’clock.
This period was of short duration, for the darkness came on again at 7 minutes past three and it grew by degrees as dark as before, insomuch that no night ever was more obscure than it was at this time. The black clouds dispersed about 14 minutes past 3, but lightning, thunder and a heavy rain continued till about half after 5.
Doctor Serre who resides in this city says that having perceived the rain water that fell during the shower to be of a black colour, he smelt it and finding it has a sulfurous smell, he placed in the middle of his yard a muslin handkerchief in the form of a funnel, at the bottom of which he found a black sediment. Having rubbed it between his fingers, he found that its smell was owing to no other cause but the sulfur which composed its substance. Hence he is of opinion that the only cause of this phenomenon was the inflammation of some of neighboring mines, whose thick smoke being condensed in the air was driven by the wind over this region.
What would our ancestors in the area have thought? Some must have been quite frightened, especially given that it appeared on Sunday morning. I’m sure the churches were full of fearful folks. Based on similar events, it seems that fires to the north and west might well have caused this phenomenon, although the good doctor suggested mines.
Sulphur typically comes from underground, not from fires. Iceland experienced massive volcanic eruptions between 1783-1785, but the worst occurred in 1783/1784.
At 17 years old, was Honoré excited? How did he feel? Was it interpreted as some type of epiphany or Biblical omen?
Tragedy struck when Honoré’s mother died in May of 1788. He was a young man of only about 22 years old, and he had younger siblings who needed care.
HIs mother was buried in the cemetery beside the church at Blairfindie.
Honoré Lord was of age to marry. His marriage with Marie LaFaille, daughter of Francois Lafaille and Marguerite DeForest is recorded in the church records at Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie on August 10, 1789. They obviously attended this same church as did a number of Acadian families.
Place of Worship or Institution: Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie
Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 about Honoré Lord
Name: Honoré Lord
Spouse: Marie Lafay
Event: Mariage (Marriage)
Marriage Year: 1789
Marriage Location: L`Acadie, Québec (Quebec)
Place of Worship or Institution: Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie
Marie had been baptized as an adult on January 6, 1789, in Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie, l’Acadie, St-Jean, Quebec, along with two of her sisters.
Honoré’s Father Remarries
Here’s where things get a bit, well, strange.
Honoré’s father remarried after waiting a respectable amount of time. That was to be expected, of course. He was only 46 when his wife died, leaving him with several children to raise. A lot of responsibility probably fell to Honore Jr., since he was the eldest. The neighbors would have helped as much as they could, too.
Honoré Jr. was probably quite relieved that his father was remarrying, although given that his new step-mother was about 6 years younger than he was, it might have been a bit…odd.
But that’s not the only thing.
On January 11, 1790, Honoré’s father married Susanne Fafaille, thirty years his junior, born in 1772, the daughter of Francoise Lafaille and Marguerite DeForest.
If you think you recognized those names and just scrolled back to see if you saw them a minute ago – why yes, you did.
Yes, Honoré Lord Sr. married the younger sister of his son’s wife.
Think about that for a minute. It’s OK. I had to. It’s technically alright, because Honoré Lord Sr. is not related to Susanne LaFaille, his new wife, except by virtue of the fact that his son is married to her sister. So, Honoré Sr. married his daughter-in-law’s sister – except doesn’t daughter-in-law technically mean daughter by law? In the Catholic faith, consanguity is rooted in blood relation, so no consanguity, therefore no dispensation needed.
Still, it’s a bit strange.
I can’t help but hear the refrain from “I Am My Own Grandpa.” In this case, Honoré Lord Jr. became the step-son of his father’s second wife, Susanne Lafaille, and was her brother-in-law as well.
Said the other way, Susanne is Honoré Jr.’s step-mother and his sister-in-law, both.
Their children were Honoré Lord Jr.’s half-siblings and also his nieces and nephews.
Honoré’s father and Susanne had 7 children, two of whom died young, one not long before Susanne’s death in August of 1803. Whatever took their month old baby that July probably took Susanne a month or so later. The grief would have been palpable.
The baptisms of their two youngest children, along with the burials took place at St. Luc’s church and cemetery.
The summer of 1803 must have been just devastating.
The family would have walked outside of the church following the funeral mass into the cemetery, at the rear of the church.
Twice, just a few weeks apart.
It was here that Honoré Lord Sr. would be laid to rest in 1818 as well.
Of course, Honoré Lord and Marie LaFaille began a family right away following their 1789 marriage.
Honoré Laure is listed with 8 inhabitants in the 1825 census of Lower Canada, in Blairfindie, Huntingdon, Quebec, Canada. He would have been 57 years old.
Lord, Honoré 1825
- 1 family member 14-18
- 2- single males 18 and not 25
- 1- married male 18 and not 25 (where is his spouse?)
- 1- married male 40 and not yet 60 (Honoré himself)
- 2 – female single 14 and not 45
- 1 – female married 45 and upwards (Marie)
Honoré died at age 66, his birth given as 1768, and was buried on April 5, 1834 at Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie in L’Acadie.
This pretty much lays to rest the 1766 birth year and confirms that his birth took place shortly before his baptism, given that he was baptized on February 28th. Typically, only a day or two, if that, elapsed. The parents would have wanted that baby baptized as soon as possible – just in case.
Honoré would have been laid to rest near his mother at Blairfindie.
After his mother’s death and his father’s second wife’s death, he and his third wife had continued attending St. Luc where their children were baptized. Honore Jr. stayed in the church where he was raised, where his mother would have been silently at his side. Lord knows, he was going to need her strength soon enough.
St. Luc and Ste Marguerite de Blairfinder weren’t far apart. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the family lived someplace near half-way between.
Perhaps records exist, someplace, that would shed additional light on that question. I’m not a fluent French-speaker, nor do I understand the early land system well in Quebec. I may just have to learn! I would truly like to find his land. and determine where they lived.
I might just feel a trip to Acadia coming on.
Honoré Lord (Laur, Lore, and other spellings) and Marie Lafaille (Lafay) had a record 17 children in roughly 20 years, including at least two sets of twins, but, contrary to how circumstances might appear – their marriage was anything but idyllic.
In fact, those circumstances just might explain why their son, Antoine Lore chose to leave home as soon as he was able, sailed down the Richelieu River, across Lake Champlain, and never looked back.
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