Saturday, March 31, 2012

More Mapping the Route: Québec to Cohoes, Waterford

I am fascinated when I think about how French speaking Quebecers made their way to the Cohoes area in the 19th century. Essentially all the ancestors on this blog: Mylott, Allard, Glode, Rivet, Beauvais, Bissonnette, Guertin (Yetto), Hamel, Lord, LaCasse, Kagle, Guay and St. Hilaire made their way from somewhere in Quebec to the Cohoes - Waterford - Troy area. The powerful waters of the Mohawk River falling over the Cohoes Cataract and the thoroughfare the Hudson River provided made Cohoes and Troy an industrial hub where textiles, iron axes, and brick masonry were manufactured and iron foundries flourished.  Cohoes offered employment - steady employment to French Quebecers whose large families exhausted land resources.  During the 19th century these families poured into mill towns of New England and upstate New York.

Many of the ancestors families of this blog came in similar fashion and similar times and others came in somewhat unique circumstances.  Let's take a look at some of the families, the ancestors and the routes they may have traveled to upstate New York.

TRAIN: Solyme Beauvais and Adele Guay left St Cesaire, Rouville,Quebec and arrived in Cohoes between 1862-1870.

TRAIN: Moise Bissonnette and Julia Kagle came from St Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec and arrived in Cohoes between 1844-1849.

TRAIN: Maxim Rivet and Marie Lord left St Jacques L'Achigan, Quebec and arrived in Cohoes about 1895.

TRAIN: Dedace LaCasse and Marie Louise Amireault came from Joliette, Quebec and arrived in Waterford  about 1898.

TRAIN: Jean Baptiste Guertin, later John B Yetto, baptized in St Hyacinth, Quebec in 1828 was living in Troy by 1860.

TRAIN: Louis St. Hilaire and Elisa Paré from St Patrice de Sherrington/Napierville, Quebec went to Cohoes about 1892.

TRAIN: The parents of Malvina Hamel, the stepmother who raised Claire, Al and Ray Rivet, were Joseph Hamel and Charlotte Josephine Lambert who came from St Cesaire, Rouville, Quebec to Cohoes between 1867-1868.

and the English speaking ancestor....
TRAIN: After emigrating form Cornwall, John Albert Berryman Wills and his wife, Anne Reed, made their way from the area of the Huntington Copper Mine in Bolton, near Lake Memphremagog, Quebec to Port Henry on Lake Champlain between 1868-1870.  It is likely the first part our their journey was on the Canada Pacific Railroad from Newport, Vermont to St Albans, then continuing on the Rutland & Burlington to some port on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, Vergennes, where they ferried to Westport and Port Henry in Essex County.

Depending on the time period, the trip on trains could be grueling or very grueling!  Quebec families who flooded New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine, often traveled the Grand Trunk Railway.  Those who came to Cohoes and upstate New York in the 1850s and 1860s need to negotiate a different route, one that was indirect and perhaps more arduous due to possible transfers in Burlington Vermont, again in Rutland Vermont, Whitehall NY, and Schenectady or Saratoga NY depending on the time period.

Online maps are available that can clarify passenger train routes which disappeared long ago or were taken over by D&H.  Below are just a few from 1849  demonstrating the lines between Rutland, Whitehall and Saratoga.  From Rutland it was possible to make a connection to the Saratoga & Washington Line running to Whitehall, Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa and eventually Cohoes OR the Troy-Rensselaer & Rutland Line that ran from Castleton, Vermont through Rupert, Cambridge, White Creek, Eagle Bridge, Hoosick to Lansingburg.

 1849 railroad map

Below is another map published in a book describing the proposed Lebanon Springs Railroad 1866

Describes railroad routes to Montreal

The Whitehall Train Station

The Whitehall Train station many years after our ancestors passed through


CANAL BOAT: Ancestors of Alex Glode and Angeline Allard, including Paquet, Allard, Duvernay, Beaudry, and Lalonde moved across the northern border to Champlain NY in the first half of the 19th century probably to farm the level lands there. Eventually, they became canalers along the Champlain Canal from Chazy to Whitehall and to Waterford, NY where they ultimately settled between 1890 and 1900.

CANAL BOAT: Robert Mylott, (Milot) baptized in 1832 in Vercheres, Quebec made his way from the Richelieu Valley, possibly St Jacques-le-Mineur Quebec to Whitehall NY in the 1840s. He was a very young man at the time. How he exactly made this trip we will never know although in an earlier post I made a guess. His grandson, Benjamin Mylott, a canaler eventually came to Waterford where he raised his family.

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