Sakitawak Bi-Centennial, Ile-a-la-Crosse 1776 - 1976

Les Metis . . . Voyageurs and Grandparents
Part Two

Voyageurs. Voyageurs.

With regards to the family headed by Jean Baptiste Bouvier, a Michel Bouvier entered the Hudson's Bay service in 1830. Jean Baptiste originated at St Curs, Quebec and had been in the north west country since the turn of the century. Others also became employees, such as Joseph Bouvier, patriarch of the Bouvier family Jean-Baptiste died in August, 1838. A month after this tragic occurrence the "Bay" gave a "fine gun for his boy, two large moose skins for his widow, and one third of a yard of scarlet cloth."

Making a Portage.
Voyageurs making a Portage.
Below is a list of employees for the year 1854.

Michel Bouvier - Metis

Moise Ducharme

Joseph Finlayson

Moise Ducharme

Joseph Finlayson

Charles LaChance - Canadian

Pierre Laport - Canadian

Robert McKinnon - Irish

Donald McLean

Antoine Morin Sr. - Canadian

Thomas McKenzie - Metis

Francois Roy - Metis

Charles Thomas - Metis

Pierre Aubichon - Metis

Michel Tawiipiisim - Indian

James Kennedy

Abraham Mercredi - Metis

William Johnstone - Canadian

Donald Buchanan - Canadian

Jean-Baptiste Jourdain - Metis

Pierre Laliberte - Metis

George Hodgeson - Metis

Peter Linklater - Metis

Louis LaRonde

Pierre Malboef - Canadian

Antoine Morine Jr. - Metis

Raphael Morin

Baptiste Payette

Samuel Mckenzie - Metis

Jean-Baptiste Sylvestre

William Stranger

Andre Tous le Jours

Not noted in this list is Francois Maurice who had joined the company in 1851. Francois was working this year at a different post. Such was the general rule. Men were posted throughout the length of the Churchill River System from Reindeer Lake to La Loche, and on the Athabasca route. Often a complete family would move at transfer time. A wife at each post was not the rule as many mean-mouthed people are inclined to state. A voyageur often became very loyal to his family of Metis children.

Many of the family names in Ile-a-la-Crosse show the original "White father, worked at the post for thirty and more years. Often, as was the case with Jean-Baptiste Bouvier, they die of old age while in the Hudson's Bay Company's service. Looking at the list of employees throughout the various years mentioned, and yet to be mentioned, this is proved. Father is followed by son, and some by grandson. There is almost a tradition in who works for the "Bay." Not everybody living at Ile-a-la-Crosse worked as a "Bay" employee; many were called "freemen" Below is a list of "freemen" in Ile-a-la-Crosse in the years 1857 and 1863:


George Cook George Stevens
William Cook Michel Tawiipiisim
Joseph Desjarlais Raphael Morin
Charles La Chance Pierre Malboeuf
Thomas ? Philip Merasty
Thomas ? Jean-Baptiste Sylvestre


Thomas Bell William A. Cooke
George Cook William C. Sanderson
Jean-Baptiste Jourdain Thomas Roy
Pierre La Fleur Charles Sasty
Abraham LaRiviere Andre tous les Jours
William Ratt Antoine Morin

Antoine Morin, the patriarch of the Morin Family, died in 1855, leaving his widow and children to continue living alongside the "Bay". Antoine Junior became the new family head with many younger brothers and growing children to yet join the company of the "Bay".

Below is an employee list for 1865 - 66

Samuel Laliberte-Chief Factor    Alexander MacKenzie-Clerk
Pierre Laliberte-Clerk Ian Spencer-Clerk
Donald Robb-Clerk William Whiteway-Clerk
Charles Thomas-Clerk Charles Thomas-Clerk


Robert Ballantyne Michel Bouvier (Sen.) Michel Bouvier (Jr.)
Thomas Bird Antoine Bruce Charles Caisse
Edward Campbell Baptiste Courchene Geramiah Cook
Vincent Daigneault Baptiste Desjardin Thomas Desjarlais
Jean-Baptiste Daigneault John Flett Joseph Gerard
Antoine Laliberte Pierre Laliberte Thomas Lariviere
Francois Maurice Abraham Maurice Thomas McKay
Bazile Merasy Phillip Merasty David Merasty
Antoine Morin Catholique Morin Pierre Morin
Francois Roy Raphael Morin  

This list was added to in 1871 with:

James McCallum Cyprian Morin
Raphael Morin (Jr.) Francois Roy (Jr.)
Batiste Morin Batiste Morin

In the Maurice family, Francois was promoted from servant to clerk in 1878. Francois senior is mentioned later in this work in connection with the missions history. Francois, like Antoine Morin, added to a fair degree, to the number of Maurices in service with the Bay. Of note of these offspring are Francois Junior, Magloire, and Charles.

Some of the family names have disappeared from Ile-a-la-Crosse. The offspring of the first HBC Factor William Linklater are noted as being employed and in Ile-a-la-Crosse as late as 1882. Today there are none to be found.The same holds true for the MacKenzie clan-all from the roots of Roderick MacKenzie of 1786. What about the McLeod family? Many had worked for and headed the posts of the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company.

Many of the employees are now second and third generation employees. Often the younger sons would be sent to the distant posts to "winter" for the Hudson's Bay Company. Being the administrative centre for the north-central trade of Saskatchewan, Ile-a-la-Crosse exported many young people to remote centres which in turn began to raise new families with the old family name. A search of any northern directory will find a host of Larocques, Roys, Morins, Lalibertes, Larivieres, Durochers, Desjarlais, Merastys, Linklaters, Mackenzies, Daigneaults, McKays, Ballantynes, and others too numerous to mention

We must not forget the Indian "grandfathers", mothers and cousins. A search of the account books at any post will give the names of many Indian trappers who have dealt with the Hudson's Bay Company. Their names are often hard to print as they are all in the native language of their owners, and rarely follow any "family tree" structure. These pages will not attempt to name them. That will be left for those who desire to go beyond a mere glance at general history.

Magloire Maurice.
Magloire Maurice. (Photo Courtesy: Ile-a-la-Crosse Mission)

The last list of servants and clerks available for the work presented here are dated 1881 and 1882.

The people employed in 1881 are:

Pierre Laliberte-Clerk Colin MacIntyre-Clerk
Francois Maurice-Clerk Scott Simpson-Clerk
Walter West-Clerk Walter West-Clerk

(Note that Francois has been 30 years in the service).


James Bethune

William Pudge

Michel Bouvier - 57 years
of service

James Daniel

James Thomas Corrigal

Donald Frank

Samuel Dinnet

Thomas H. Gardiner

Robert Gardiner

Joseph Janvier

Joseph Ballard

Frederick Kennedy

Jean Baptiste Jourdain

Roy LaLiberte

Charles Lafleur - 20 years
of service

Donald Leblanc

Thomas Lariviere - 19 years
of service

Archibald Linklater

Louis Leblanc

Angus McDonald - 15years
of service

Magloire Maurice

Donald McLeod (Jr)

Donald McLeod

John Moore

Donald McPhail

Louis Park

Archibald Park

Louis Roy Joined the service
in 1882



The last mention of the Gerard Family is a note from the post kept by Francois Maurice, probably at La Loche. As head clerk, Francois lists Ambrose Gerard, Rhien Gerard, and Joseph Gerard as being servants at the post. Catholique Morin is also living at the post then and supplying fish to the post. On page seven is a photograph of a Mr. and Mrs.Gerard, who were at the time living at Fort Black, an unused post of the XY Company.

Much more remains to be recorded in print for the yet-unborn generations. At the time of writing, access to materials and people was not as readily given as should have been, to give a more complete picture as to individual family histories. Hopefully, this work will encourage others to open their sources of information, tell their stories, and give of their wisdom. It is not yet too late.

Catholic Church and Tipi.
Teepee at Ile-a-la-Crosse, R.C. Church in background.
(PA 18053 Public Archives of Canada)


Author: Webmaster -
"Date Modified: April 11, 2024."

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