Click HERE for last week’s ancestor.
My last two ancestor’s, Emilija and Ieva’s lives spanned through a very exciting time in history – the turn of the century and ensuing industrialization. My Ukrainian and Italian ancestors were immigrants during this time period, so I’ve already covered their stories, so next I thought I’d explore what my French Canadian families were up to at this point in history.
Edmond Langlois was born on the eighteenth of September, 1882 on a farm in Sandwich West, Essex North, Ontario to parents Antoine Langlois and Salome Mailloux. He was baptized that very day as “Joseph Elie Edmond Langlois” at L’Assomption de Sandwich Catholic church, his godparents were his uncle Louis Mailloux and Julienne Gignac. He had one brother named Denis.
Edmond lived with his parents, brother, aunt, uncle and two domestics on their farm where he also worked until his marriage. He married Marie Helene Belleperche (who went by Helen, Ellen and Lillie in her time) on October 13, 1903 at Assumption church. Edmond and Lillie were 2nd cousins – Edmond’s grandmother was a Belleperche, sister of Lillie’s grandfather – and also 3rd cousins from another line, the Ouellettes (both had paternal grandmothers who’s surnames were Ouellette, their grandmothers were 1st cousins). This may sound shocking but it was a LOT more common than most people realize, being that all people living today with French Canadian ancestry can trace their roots back to the first few thousand French settlers.
Edmond and Lillie lived on a farm on Lot 71, 2nd concession with Edmond’s unemployed brother Denis. On the 1911 census, Edmond is listed as a “Farmer – ret.” Being that he was only 29, he was not truly retired but perhaps done with being a farmer, and by the time of the 1921 census he had left his rural life altogether. He moved his family first to 15 Elm Ave by 1912, and next to 31 Elm Ave by 1921 in Windsor, where Edmond earned his living as a motorman for the electric street car system. Introduced in 1886, Windsor’s was the first electric street car system in Canada. However, being next door neighbour to “Motor City” Detroit and home to some automotive assembly plants as well, the rise of the automobile in the 1930’s along with it’s increasing popularity and affordability soon made the street car obsolete – quite costly for the city to maintain and with a decreased ridership. The last street car ran in Windsor in 1939, when a cheaper city bus system was put in place. Edmond was 57 at the time.
Edmond and Lillie had seven children. They welcomed their first, a daughter named Florence in 1905, then Virginia in 1907 and Beatrice in the summer of 1911. Beatrice, however died as an infant in 1912 due to “chronic nephritis” – problems with the kidneys. Less than a year later in 1913, a fourth daughter named Marie was born, but only lived 5 hours before passing away of “asphyxia pallida”. In 1915, the couple welcomed their first son, named Jerome, but again, tragedy struck when he died of malnutrition and inanition at 11 months of age – quite likely there was an underlying cause. Bernice was born in 1918 and Leo in in 1920.
Edmond died December 7, 1952 in Windsor, at age 70.