Croteau Family Story
In all probability, Jean Baptiste Croteau 1, North West Fur Company voyageur, is directly descended from Vincent Croteau. We have been unable to find the paper trail to prove it but at the time this is the only Croteau family to emigrate from France.
Vincent Croteau 1644 – 1713
Vincent Croteau, born in Veules-Les-Roses on the Normandy coast. His father, Andre Croteau was a soldier in the service of the King of France. His mother was Marguerite Matayer. Vincent arrived in New France around 1644. Although his trade was shoemaker, he also worked clearing land and as a sawyer. In 1669 he married Jeanne Godequin who was a Fille de Roi and they had eleven children together. Vincent died on November 11,1730 at Saint Antoine de Tilly, Lotbiniere, Quebec.
Pierre Croteau 1687 – 1765
Pierre is the ninth of eleven children born to Vincent and Marguerite Croteau. He lived his whole life in Saint Antoine de Tilly, Quebec. His spouse was Marie Chartre (1694-1775) and they had seven children together.
Charles Croteau 1728 – ?
Charles Croteau 1771 – ?
Jean Baptiste Croteau 1, married Marie Louise Piwanabokwe Delaronde, a Metis from Chibechkon on Georgian Bay north of Parry Sound. Together they had 2 sons and 4 daughters between 1823 and 1838.
Jean Baptiste was a voyageur for the North West Fur Company from 1816 to 1821(doc 3, pay records). He gave his home at the time as Yamaska, Quebec. After 1821 he had signed a contract with a merchant, David David and traded through Lake Nipissing, Lake Huron and as far as Pic River, collecting furs. In 1828, Jean Baptiste, along with his father Charles and brother Charles arrived in Penetanguishene as part of the Drummond Island Migration (doc 4, Osboure). He got a land grant in Penetanguishene on Water Street where he fulfilled his obligations to clear land and build a 12′ x 12′ log cabin for his family (doc 5). In 1832 he was listed as a resident of a town lot in Penetanguishene. This property was sold in 1871 by his eldest son, Charles. January 11, 1849 Jean Baptiste and Marie Louise are shown to be living in Georgina, Ontario. He died some time between 1849 and 1871.
Note: There is a John Baptiste Croteau that received a land grant for fighting in the war of 1812 with the Corp of Canadian Voltigeurs defending Canada from the American invaders (doc 1, list). The land grant of 1815-16 was near Drummondville, Quebec (doc 2, map). The Voltigeurs were involved in at least 5 battles defending their homeland. There is a strong possibility that he could be our Jean Baptiste Croteau, voyageur, but we are having trouble finding any documents to prove it.
Jean Baptiste Croteau 2 was born at Lac St.Come, Quebec in 1826, baptized June 26, 1827 at Oka, Quebec. He lived most of his life in and around Georgina Township. He married Mary Ann Proulx In Georgina Township in 1847. They had 9 children all born in Georgina Township. Their second born was Jean Baptiste Croteau 3, born in 1850.
The census of 1861 he is listed as a farmer and the census of 1871 he is listed as a widower and his occupation as a labourer. In the 1881 and 1911 census he lived at Waubaushene, Tay Township where he died in 1914.
Jean Baptiste Croteau 3 was born in Georgina Township on November 23, 1850. He lived in Georgina Township until 1884 when he moved to the Lake Nipissing area and had a beautiful farm at Christian Valley. He married Delphine Currier in Newmarket, Ontario, 17 Feb 1873. They had 6 children born in Georgina Township and 7 children born in Christian Valley.
In the 1881 census, 30 year old Jean Baptiste Croteau listed his occupation as a blacksmith.
In the 1901 and 1911 census, he is listed as a farmer. He also served as a tax collector for the Township of Nipissing.
A timeline up to 1900,
Yamaska, Quebec – 1821
Drummond Island before 1826
Penetanguishene 1826 – 1840
Georgina Township 1840 – 1884
Christian Valley 1884 – 1900
All three generations of Jean Baptiste Croteaus lived in Georgina Township at some point during the period of 1840 – 1884.
Charles Edouard Croteau 1875 – 1956 married Marie Claudia Cimon August 27, 1900 at Verner, Ontario. Previous to that he was born and raised in Georgina Township and later at Christian Valley.. The 1901 census shows Charles and Marie in Cache Bay as lodgers. My grandmother, Marie Louise was born there in May 1901. In 1904 Charles purchased a farm in the Noelville area where they raised their 6 children and stayed until selling the farm in retirement. My Dad had many good memories of his time on the farm and of his grandparents.
Georgina Township 1875 – 1884
Christian Valley 1884 – 1900
Cache Bay 1901 – 1904
Noelville 1904 – 1917