French Canadian

Category

Gregoire Deblois: Our First Gregoire in the New World

View of Chateau-Richer and the Île d’ Orléans, Québec (1787) by Thomas Davies french roots Gregoire Deblois was born in the small village of Champagne-Mouton, France to Francois Deblois and Marguerite Papelong. The year of his birth, 1632, brought welcome peace after decades of tension between the Huguenots (French Protestants) and Catholic King Louis XIII, which culminated in the Siege of La Rochelle, a nearby shipping port. french Dit Names As the progenitor of our Gregoire family in North America,...

Filles du Roi (Daughters of the King): Our French Canadian Matriarchs

“Rester, c’est exister; mais voyager, cest vivre.” “To stay is to exist; to travel is to live.” -Gustave Nadaud Between 1663 and 1673, some 770 young women arrived in the colony of New France with a mandate to marry and populate the land for France. These women, who came to be called the Filles du Roi (Daughters of the King), originated primarily from respectable poor families or orphanages. When offered the chance at a better life, they embraced the opportunity and became the mothers...

Bump’s Thanksgiving Dressing

One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories is Grandpa Gregoire’s (Bumps) famous Thanksgiving dressing. (He would correct you if you called is stuffing…it is only stuffing if it goes in the turkey.) Mom helped me write the recipe down to share with everyone: Bumpa’s Turkey Dressing Ingredients Turkey Gizzards processed through a meat grinder crouton bread, through the meat grinder after the gizzards 1 onion, grated boiled potatoes, riced celery salt turkey stock salt and pepper Make a day ahead. Saute...

Growing Up Gregoire, Part 2: Brother’s Shenanigans

SMOKING IN THE BARN BY VIRGIL GREGOIRE I think I was about 7-8 when there were men at our farm tiling the fields to drain the flooding low land into the dredge ditch. It’s the ditch north of the farm. Some of the men smoked and Marvin and I watched them, fascinated. We decided to try smoking, too. The tilers slept in the barn and laid their cigarette papers and other belongings on a crate or box thing. We snuck...

Growing Up Gregoire, Part 1: Minnesota Farm Life

Cover Photo: Four Generations, Virgil (Marvin aka Bumpa’s brother) and Father Robert in back with Grandpa Joseph Gregoire and Virgil’s oldest son Dennis. the runaway cart Story by Virgil Gregoire and Rita (Gregoire) Mockel (Siblings of Marvin Gregoire) We had a Shetland pony named Spot.  She didn’t like to be hooked up to a cart and got skittish and tickly if we did.  We also had a dog named Chummie.  Marvin, Rita, and Virgil were always the three getting into...

Siste Lavoy: Les Rébel

In the late hours of October 12th, 1837, Siste Lavoy lay hiding in the woods near the western shore of Lake Champlain, New York, in fear for his life. Just hours before he had taken up arms as a Patriote in the Canadian Rebellion and was now wanted by English soldiers. How had this simple farmer with a wife and three children come to this? Siste’s path to becoming one of Les Rébels of the Patriote movement began years earlier...