Jeanne, Hector's daughter,
Jeanne Choquette was born in Mont St-Grégoire in 1909. Her niece Louise-Choquette-Chartrand lent us her photo album, where we found this story, written by Jeanne herself:
Grand-father Henri (1847-1928) had been lucky enough to know his grand-father Joseph (1787-l865). Joseph became an orphan at the age of 7 years old. His father Jacques and his grand-father died the same year (1794). Grand-father talked about the black chicken-pox. I have read in a book written by a teacher of Laval University (Quebec) that there was an epidemic of chickenpox in Quebec in 1791-92-93.
Joseph his wife Marie-Céleste Decelles and their eight children (6 boys & 2 girls) (which they had at the time) left Varennes for the Grand Bois of Saint-Grégoire (named Mount Johnson) a place which my grand father showed me. The land recently cleared produced a superb harvest of wheat. Every fall Joseph sold it at a good price in Saint-Mathias. That period was called: "The good years, the time of prosperity".
Joseph's Jr was going out with a young girl of Saint-Charles on Richelieu, Marie-Desanges Poulin (Etienne Poulin and Charlotte Hebert's daughter). Grand-father liked to relate the 1837 events (Rébellion des Patriotes). His father had spoken so much to him about it. One thing is sure, when Joseph and Marie Desanges (Lili for closed friends) got married at the beginning of 1841, the Poulin's family had already move from St-Charles to Ste-Marie de Monnoir (now Marieville). Joseph had built a nice house located at the foot of St-Gregoire mountain (or Mount Johnson) on a lot he had almost finished clearing. This property is now owned by Gaston Lalanne (1976).
The first act of St-Gregoire parish, founded on Christmas 1841, was entered on February the 11, 1842, Alfred's baptism (Joseph Choquet and Marie Desanges Poulin's son). Godfather: Etienne Poulin, godmother: Marie Celeste Decelles. According to the custom at the time one of each parties had been chosen.
With the advent of the railroads, New-England & New-York were now getting their supplies of grain from the western prairies. Here, we couldn't accept poverty. The exodus towards the United States was beginning. Joseph planned to repeat his father's exploit, in the American West: "To grow up wheat as high as man's shoulders" and above all to sell a lot of it.
All of Joseph Choquette's family emigrated to the U.S.A (see related file). The first place was Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Then, they moved to Campbell, Nebraska but Henri and Alfred stayed in Woonsocket. My father Hector was born there in l884 and was baptized in Precieux Sang's church.
Henri, Mathilde, their children: Alexandrine and Hector, came back to St-Gregoire. Henri bought his father in law's (Athanase Letarte) property. When my mother, Gertrude Métras came into the family, Mathilde was very proud to welcome her into her brand new house located at 530 Ave. de la Montagne. I was born in 1909.
I can remember but few things about this house. There was a rust or bronze Turkish carpet covering the living room's floor, the hall, the dining room and the stairs. The white curtains, well starched with big large pleats from top to bottom, at angle between two windows. There was a fern with plenty of leaves stretching down over the grand piano. The golden chandelier, which we pulled down and back up, each time we wanted to light the three gas lamps. The big mirror, the oil painting and the red velvet photo album which contained all of the family's pictures. The marble top of the living room table is in my garage.
Don't miss Jeanne's photo album
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