Welcome to our genealogical family history site!

Sirnames in the direct line here are: Young; Gardner; McLean; Peters; Mussell; Taylor; Stevens; Bruce; Foulds; Prince; Thomas; Fidler; Mackagonne; Wilson and Brown. On-going research is providing more all the time!

I encourage you to email family stories, pictures, personality profiles and interesting facts to me (along with the appropriate sources) and I'll see that they get posted. These would help us all to appreciate our strong, rich heritage as something to be immensely proud of!

While you're here, watch the slideshow (links on the left) and watch some aboriginal YouTube at the bottom of the page where you're invited to listen to some great Metis fiddle music from Trent Freeman and others. Soon, I hope to feature Stan and Sam Young - so keep watching!

Don't forget to have a look at the 'helpful links' for some FREE excel spreadsheets. I'm providing them for your personal use only to help you keep track of your own family tree. They're for Windows Microsoft Excel 97. I have Office 2007 versions as well, with a few more features, so if you email me at wsoapco@gmail.com , I'll be happy to send them to you.

**NEW** I have a full list of Metis Scrip Affidavits for the Thomas line! I can send you the spreadsheet - just ask me!

If you have a listen to the 'Youtube' Chinook Jargon song, or watch the slideshow, just hit the 'Back' button to return here. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Patriot Wars

On December 3, 1838, the Patriot Wars broke out. A group of about four hundred men from Detroit called 'The Patriots' raided Windsor in what is called "The Patriot Rebellion", but they were repulsed by the Canadian Militia under the command of John Prince (1796 – 1879) on Dec 4. Four of the invaders were summarily executed by Prince.

1838 - December 4. Battle of Windsor, fought in the Baby orchard, ended the Patriot War, which had resulted from political disturbances in Upper Canada. Invading "Patriots" were largely American.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Henry George Young & Catherine Jane Taylor

Henry was the fourth child (1st son) of James Young (1822-1870) and Isabella Stevens (1826 – 1919), who were married c.a. 1848 at St. Andrews Parish. (As a reminder, St. Andrews was located on the east side of the Red River, across from Lower Fort Garry.) Henry was born on Nov 11, 1855 and was baptised Dec 9, 1860. He had three older sisters: Jane (July 21, 1849) who would have been six when he was born; Louisa Rachel, four and a half (Mar 1, 1851); and Mary Anne (Jan 9, 1853) would have been almost three. Three little girls and a new real live doll... I can only imagine the attention he would have gotten! (It wasn't until four years later that the next brand-new little doll joined the family group)

Well, he grew up none the worse for wear. When he was almost ten in 1865, typhus (some say Cholera) ravaged Red River and within one family (the Bruneau household), twelve died! As far as I know, everyone in Henry's family survived – and didn't miss a beat, by this time they had seven children and one on the way. Life went on, the fall arrived and this is when it's time to cut the hay and hunt for winter provisions. Only this fall, the buffalo hunt was very poor and many Métis went hungry that winter. The hay stacks remained on the ground, in many cases, near their winter homes.

They suffered a lot of hardship but realized it also made life more precious. Their relationships were that much more special which fostered their growing sense of community. In the winter, all travel was by cutter and cariole with chains of bells, the families dressed in their warm furs. Some twenty cutters and carioles would comprise a surprise party that called on friends for dance and merriment. If you look at the annual patterns of all the Métis activities, they combined music, dancing and socializing as an important criterion of their civilization and their quality of life. The women and children were always included in the merrymaking as the Métis are a very strong family-oriented people. In this environment, it's no wonder an inspired young man such as Henry would pick up a fiddle and play it with all his heart and soul. Possessing an in-born talent he became a master, later teaching his own sons the intricacies of the fiddle and the unique rhythms of the Métis music.

Incidentally, it's believed the "Red River Jig", a most popular dance of the Métis, was created about 1875. The dance was based on an Indian dance which they said was based on the dance of the 'Prairie Chicken' in mating season.

Speaking of that, Henry married Catherine Jane Taylor (Nov 11, 1859 – Dec 18, 1954) on April 12, 1877 at St. Andrews in the Rapid Church. She reportedly had beautiful big brown eyes. She was born at Little Britain (St. Catherine's) and was baptised Dec 11, 1859 at St. Andrews, in Red River.

Her father was George Taylor (ID# 4636), a Métis farmer who was born Oct 3, 1829 at Red River, possibly York Factory, which was a major HBC trading post. This is possible since his father was a trader and is included in the Hudson Bay archives. Her mother was Isabela Cooper (ID# 4638) who was born in 1835 at Red River. Her parents lived at St. Andrews so this is likely where she was born.

In March 1877, just before Henry and Catherine were married, the Tetons' Dakota Sioux refugees arrived in Canada with 57 lodges, and Sitting Bull a.k.a. Tatanka Yotanka (1834? – 1890) arrived with 135 lodges. It would be interesting to find out how this would have impacted on the community of St. Andrews Parish being so close to the United States border.

Nine months (almost to the day) after they were married, George Young was born on Jan 16, 1878. This is the year that John Norquay, a Métis, became premier of Manitoba until 1887. He was never completely clear of racial slurs, during heated debate, the opposition said "It's the Indian in you!" Also this was the year that the Americans prevented the buffalo from returning to Canada by setting prairie fires north of the migrating herds. Once confined, the last great slaughter took place. The ramifications on the Canadian population that winter were significant.

In 1879, the buffalo was essentially extinct in Canada as a direct result of the American actions over the last number of years. Survival would depend heavily on the agricultural development of the region. Even through all this hardship, Arthur James was born on Apr 15, 1880, a robust boy who lived to be 95 years old, he died in 1975!

Political tensions were rising and the future of the Métis way of life was reaching towards the end of an era. Henry and Catherine started to plan to go west. They were going to have to leave their land to make room for the new settlers. They were each given a scrip note with a monetary value of ten dollars each and were told they could buy two sections of land with them in Saskatchewan. They decided to make the trip.

At the beginning of the year, on Jan 7, 1882, John Charles Young was born. That year, the Young family started on the long trek west, a brave and historic venture. They made the journey in Red River carts via the course following west to Qu'Appelle and north to Prince Albert, then on to the Puckahn Post Office, which is now only a landmark across the river and west from Fenton. There, they resided for the remainder of the summer and winter of 1882 -83. In 1883, they moved south of Brancepeth in the Derby Homestead district and decided to stay. First in a self-made sod house, they settled into the "old homestead" in Brancepeth on Dec 7, 1884, where they resided ever since. From this point forward, they felt their Métis heritage would have to be a secret for fear their land would be taken again, but they cherished and kept their spirit, their music and their unshakable family ties. It would be generations before their true heritage would be revealed again.

In a newspaper article titled "Mrs. Young Symbolized the Spirit of the West", written after the passing of 'Granny Young', I will quote: "A highly respected family by all who knew them, which was many. McDuff and Granny (as they were known) held their birthday party on November 11 as both their birthdays fell on the same day. This was not an ordinary party, but one where as high as two hundred people would gather during the course of the afternoon and evening, have supper with the happy family, then enjoy a very pleasant evening reminiscing the old times. Their stories of hardships and struggles (which they laughed about) that went with pioneering would cause a shudder from the present-day resident."

Children of Henry George Young "McDuff" and Catherine Jane Taylor "Granny"

  1. George Young was born Jan 16, 1878 in St. Andrews, died in 1958 (80)
  2. Arthur James Young was born Apr 15, 1880 in St. Andrews and died in 1975 (95)
  3. John Charles Young was born Jan 7, 1882 in St. Andrews and died Feb 19, 1902 (20)
  4. Samuel Amable Young was born Feb 2, 1884 in Brancepeth and died Feb 6, 1912 (28)
  5. Richard Victor Young was born Dec 16, 1885 in Brancepeth and died in 1956 in Kinistino Hospital (71) He married Saskatchewan-born Emily Caroline Taylor (Sept 8, 1894 – 1990) daughter of Edward Prince Taylor (Feb 1, 1841 – Jul 10, 1919)who was a farmer, and Sarah Stevens (Oct 1854 – Oct 9, 1944)
  6. Elizabeth Isabelle Young was born May 18, 1889 and died Dec 1, 1973 (84)
  7. Walter Young was born Aug 12, 1891 and died May 19, 1894 (2y 9mos)
  8. Blanch Young was born Dec 24, 1893 and married first Rowen Stevens, who died from a bacterial infection, then Englishman John Thomas Stubbs. Blanch died in 2000? (107)
  9. Thomas Miles Young was born Mar 17, 1896, joined the military Jun 1, 1918, married Lottie Boylen, and died in June 1975 (79)
  10. Claude Young was born Feb 12, 1898, married Edna Ethel Peters and died Mar 17, 1987 (89)
  11. Catherine 'Lottie' Young was born Aug 15, 1901 and died Jan 18, 1925 (23)
  12. Lucy Lena Belinda Young was born Jan 6, 1904, married Andrew Curle (May 1903-1988) and died Mar 6, 1976 in Calgary (72)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

James Young & Isabella Stevens

The Canadian Patriarch of the Red River Métis Young family is James YOUNG, Métis ID #5213. At this point nothing is known about how he came to be in Canada or when exactly he arrived. It should prove to be a very interesting story though since we have on our record that his father Dick (Richard) Young was probably here before. James’ mother was a native woman – however, James was apparently born in England. I’m not totally convinced he was really born in England and would like to see their travel papers... and birth/baptism records. Also unknown, is who his siblings are.

So far, we know James was born in 1822. Around 1848, at the age of about 26, he married Isabella STEVENS (1826 - Jan 17, 1919) at St. Andrews Parish in Red River who would have been around 22.

Around the time of Isabella's birth, the Metis community was dealt a couple of very hard blows. In 1825, the buffalo hunt was a total failure and the Metis, who had ranged far out onto the plains, survived their homeward trek by eating their dogs, horses, their buffalo robes, leather tents and their shoes. The Reverend David Jones, (1798 - 1844), noted that this severe lesson may teach the thoughtless Canadian half-breeds to turn their attention to diligence and industry on their farms. (sic) He considered hunters to be "idle, roving, imprudent and, in times of want, even threatening and dangerous." He however, indulged in pemmican when it was available and it was the staple food of his mission school.

Then on May 5, 1826, the year Isabella was born, a flood drove many Red River farmers from their homes. This great flood carried away houses, cattle and trees. They were swept away in 1/2 hour when an ice jam broke. Fortunately, only five people were killed. Three churches and the mill survived. This is the largest flood in recorded times. They survived by digging cellars in the prairies, roofed with sod, and thereby lived underground through the winter; much as the first Scots had when they arrived. Many departed for the United States and some estimate the number was as high as 500 people! Most of the Swiss and German mercenaries, some 250, quit Red River. The flood waters didn't crest until May 22.

This rugged family survived and even thrived.

Isabella was the third child of Richard Stevens, (ID #4476) who was born in 1793 in Severn, Glouchester, England and a Cree woman named Mary or Nancy. I have found records for six children. James Young died in 1870 at the age of 48 in St. Andrews, Red River – before the census was taken that year. Isabella was enumerated as a Widow in St. Andrews with their children.

Information on Isabella’s mother is conflicting but here is the information I have collected so far. At 'peterfidler.com/descendants' they have Mary’s last name listed as O’Connor, others have her last name – or Indian name as “Meenish”, and one family member told me she was Eskimo from the east side of James Bay. According to one source, she may have been born in 1781, baptized December 27, 1831, and died Oct 24, 1828. This information needs more substantiation though, she would have already passed on before her baptism! If we were to guess, she was probably born c.a. 1890. It would be great to sort this information out, so if anyone has some solid sources please email me and I’ll update this posting. Also, a source (ancestors.ca) reports she was previously married c.a. 1810, to John Thomas Jr. (Sept 25, 1782 – Jun 3, 1816) of Moose Factory. He was an HBC man from 1797 to 1816 and was the son of Chief Factor John THOMAS and Margaret.

In 1875, Isabella - living in St. Andrews, applied for scrip as the wife of Malcolm MCLEOD, and the widow of James YOUNG. Here is some information on him. According to the census of 1870, Malcolm was the occupant of Lot 135, St. Andrews Parish (east side of the Red River, across from Lower Fort Garry). He was born Oct 21, 1821 at Green Lake, Saskatchewan, an illegitimate child of Charlotte (nee Pruden), half-breed daughter of John Peter Pruden (the Scottish patriarch of the Pruden family of Red River) and John McLeod Sr., born 1788, a Chief Trader for the HBC (Hudson’s Bay Company).

Malcolm was sent to Edinburgh, Scotland, to be educated as a lawyer. He studied law in Montreal, was admitted to the Bar in 1845, and became a judge there. The census of 1881 for St. Clements/Lisgar lists the family as: " Malcolm McLeod Sr., age 35; wife Isabella, age 52. Children: Jemima Young, age 15; and Malcolm J. McLeod Jr., age 7. "


Children of John Thomas Jr. and Mary (Nancy; Meenish; O’Connor; Thomas):

Charles THOMAS born 1811 married Mary BOUVER (born 1827 and baptized Apr 7, 1828) and died in 1904... and Eleanor THOMAS

Children of Richard STEVENS ID#4476 and Mary (Nancy; Meenish; O’Connor; Thomas):

1. Thyrza STEVENS
2. Henry George STEVENS born 1821 NWT
3. Isabelle (Isabella) STEVENS born 1826 at St. Andrews, Red River, MB. and died Jan 17, 1919 age 93, as Isabella MCLEOD in Lockport.
4. William Richard STEVENS born June 15, 1829 at St. Andrews, Red River MB. and died in 1918 in Halcro, Saskatchewan. He married in Dec 1850 at St. John’s Parish, Mary Anne FOULDS (born Mar 22, 1828 St. Andrews; died Aug 17, 1883 St. Andrews) daughter of English HBC man John FOULDS (born 1798 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England; died Aug 27, 1868 at St. James, Red River) and Mary FIDLER (born June 27, 1811 on Charlton Portage on the Assiniboine River; died Oct 17, 1842 at St. Johns). More information on this family can be found in the “Fidler” section of this blog. (not entered yet)
5. Mary born 1832 in NWT (Red River)
6. Robert born 1838 in NWT


Children of James Young and Isabella Stevens

1. Jane YOUNG was born July 21, 1849 in St. Clement, married William FIDLER , and died in 1916 at the age of 66

2. Louisa Rachel YOUNG (a.k.a. McLeod) was born Mar 1, 1851, married William McCORRISTER.
3. Mary Ann YOUNG (Marianne) was born Jan 9, 1853, and married on Jul 9, 1868 at St. Andrews, Thomas TAYLOR (ID#4940), a trader born in 1843 also at St. Andrews. He was baptized Jul 26, 1843 at St. John, and died Jul 14, 1875. His parents were Capt. George TAYLOR (1800-Nov 8, 1844) and Jane BRUCE (1808 – Oct 1, 1844) who was the Cree Chief PEQUIS’ daughter, adopted by Benjamin BRUCE . Mary Ann’s second husband was
4. Henry George YOUNG was born Nov 11, 1855 at Red River Settlement, baptised Dec 9, 1860, and married Apr 12, 1877 Catherine Jane TAYLOR born Nov 11, 1859 at Little Britain (St. Catherine’s) MB; died Dec 18, 1954 in Birch Hills, Saskatchewan) daughter of George TAYLOR ID#4636 (born Oct 3, 1829 in Red River) and Isabela COOPER ID#4638 (born in 1835 at Red River).
5. Isabel YOUNG born c.a. 1859
6. James YOUNG Jr. Born Jul 10, 1862, married Margaret Ann GUNN
7. John YOUNG born Jul 17, 1863, married Lydia Catherine COOPER
8. Jemima YOUNG born 1866, married Roderick MCDONALD
9. Lara YOUNG born 1868

Children of Malcolm J. MCLEOD and Isabella STEVENS

1. Malcolm J. McLeod Jr born 1874