Tag Archives: Meloche

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Week 13: Henri Antoine Meloche

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Henri Antoine Meloche was born October 10, 1862 to parents Etienne Meloche and Soulange Dufour in Amherstberg, Essex County, Ontario. He was baptized October 13th at St. Jean Baptiste Roman Catholic church and his godparents were his father’s brother Antoine Meloche and his mother’s sister Rosalie Dufour.

He lived on his parent’s farm at either Lot 5, Anderdon Township, South Essex OR Lot 41, 18th Concession, Anderdon Township, South Essex. They grew crops and also raised muskrats – yes, muskrats. Muskrats were primarily raised for their fur – similar to that of a beaver’s – but also for their meat, which is supposed to taste a lot like a mix between duck and rabbit. This could be a profitable venture, since muskrats needed very little to thrive, aside from marshy wet lands. All you had to do was trap them. Sometimes farmers would allow outside trappers to do so on their land, for the payment of a portion of the profits, furs or meats. At the time of the census of 1881, Henri was 18 years old and was his occupation was “hunter” – one could assume of muskrats.

On November 9, 1888, he married Cecile Olivia Meloche, daughter of his godfather Antoine Meloche and Marie Martin – she was his first cousin. They acknowledged their consanguinity in their marriage record at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic church in Riviere-aux-Canards. They moved to a farm not far from Henri’s parents at Lots 38-39 in Anderdon, and Henri is noted as a “game keeper” on the 1901 census, so likely he went into the muskrat business like his father. Henri and Cecile went on to have 12 children – Alice, Raymond, Ernest, Leo, Rose, Lea, Charles, Moise, Stella, Bella, Eugene and Bertha.

Henri died in May 1918 of “carcinoma of liver and lungs”. He was only 56. His wife died not long after him – she passed away on January 20, 1920 of pneumonia.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Week 3: Francois Meloche

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Francois Meloche was born October 11, 1676 in Frontenay l’Abbatu, in Saintonge, France (Today known as Frontenay-Rohan-Rohan in Deux-Sevres, France). His parents were Francois Meloche, a fish merchant and Therese Hernu (OR Marie Pelloquin/Bloquin). In France, he worked as a “laboureur” quite likely on a farm, driving a plough. He travelled to New France (Canada) from the western French port of La Rochelle – which was at the time a three month trip across the Atlantic – sometime around the year 1696.

At the time, the colonies along the St. Lawrence river had been established for decades already, and the wars between the French and the Iroquois which had previously deterred immigration were beginning to wane. Still though, deciding to leave France behind to carve out a new life in a wild, new, unknown land was not for the faint of heart, and Francois Meloche was of the category of settler who left France entirely of his own accord, not as a soldier or servant. Francois first went to Montreal, where he married a first generation Canadian, Lachine-born Marie Mouflet dit Champagne on October 25, 1700. Marie was the daughter of Jean Mouflet dit Champagne, a soldier with the Regiment Carignan-Salières (French militia sent to the colonies to help defend them) and Anne Dodin, a fille du roi (800-1000 poor or orphaned girls sent by the French king to New France to off-set the high percentage of male habitants… ie become wives and have a large number of children).

They settled down on a tract of land 3 arpents frontage by 25 arpents depth in Lachine, – a settlement a little south of the settlement of Montreal, which had previous suffered many deadly Iroquois raids (during one of which, Marie’s parents were taken prisoner and not seen again) – where they farmed and also participated in the fur trading business. Francois and Marie had ten children, and are the progenitors of all North American Meloches today. Francois is my 9th great-grandfather (Francois – Pierre – Francois – Jacques – Francois Xavier – Etienne – Henri – Moise Joseph Thomas, my great, great grandfather). His son Pierre, my 8th great grandfather was one of the first settlers of Fort Pontchartrain, or Detroit, and my Meloche line remained in the Detroit/Windsor area through all the subsequent generations and is still there today.

Record: The Baptism of Moise Meloche


Moise Meloche was my great great grandfather. This is an excerpt from the St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic church in Riviere-aux-Canards (Windsor), Ontario, detailing his baptism.

Moise Joseph Thomas Meloche
Le 8 juillet 1900 a de baptise Moise Joseph Thomas ne le 5 du legitime mariage de Henri Meloche et de Cecile Meloche. Parrain et marraine Remi Meloche et Charlotte Beneteau Elie Bondy et son epouse.

J. Marseille, ptre.

Document: 1901 Census of Canada, Henri and Cecile Meloche

Meloche, Moise - 1901 Canada Census

Province: Ontario
District No.: 60
SubDistrict No.: B
Polling subdivision No.: 3
in: Anderdon Twp
April 5, 1901

Head of Household
Born 10 Oct 1862
Aged 38
Born in Ontario, Canada
Race: French
Nationality: Canadian
Religion: Catholic
Occupation: Gamekeeper

Wife Cecilia
Children Alice, Raymond, Ernest, Rose, Lea, Charles and Moses

Here’s an excerpt from the 1901 census of Canada regarding my great great grandfather Moise Meloche and his family. He was just an infant at the time this census was taken, living with his parents Henri and Cecile in Anderdon township, Essex County, Ontario. More specifically, River Canard, where his father earned money as a gamekeeper (in a later census, he is listed as a gamekeeper and a farmer, so I think we can assume they had crops as well).

Interestingly, due to it’s marshy land, River Canard was a popular place for the muskrat farming industry. This may sound a little strange today, but fur trading was still a major industry, and muskrat pelts were a hot commodity! So as a “game keeper” in this area, Henri may have been a muskrat farmer!

I found this record at Ancestry.com, in their 1901 Census of Canada collection.

Document: Ontario Marriage Registration of Moise Meloche and Corinne Bessette

Bessette, Corinne - Ontario Marriage

Name of Husband: Moise Meloche
Name of Wife: Corinne Bessette
on the 18 day of October, 1920
at the Roman Catholic Church of Loiselleville, Ontario
in the county of Essex
Occupation of Husband: Farmer
Occupation of Wife: Farmer
Bachelor or Widow: B
Spinster or widow: S
Age of Husband: 20
Age of Wife: 17
Religious Denomination: Roman Catholic for both
Residence: Loiselleville
Full Name of Husband’s Father: Henri Meloche
Full Name of Wife’s Father: Louis Bessette
Occupation of Husband’s Father: Farmer
Occupation of Wife’s Father: Farmer
Name and Maiden Name of Husband’s Mother: Cecile Meloche
Name and Maiden Name of Wife’s Mother: Eliza Gagnon
Names and Addresses of Witnesses: Jose Bessette, Loiselleville, Ont / Stela Meloche, Loiselleville, Ont.
Name, Address and Denomination of Person Solemnizing Marriage: Rev. W. Roy, Loiselleville, Ontario

Moise Meloche and Corinne Bessette are my great great grandparents. They were my father’s mother’s mother’s parents.  They lived in an area that is now part of Windsor, Ontario, but back then was called Loiselleville.  The community was only called Loiselleville for a short period of time in the early 1900’s, the area was originally Rivière aux Canards, and today is called “River Canard”, an anglicized version. They were married in St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, which still stands today and holds mass in French.

This record was found on Ancestry.com, in their Ontario, Canada, Marriages 1801-1928 collection