Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Eugene Ayet dit Malo and the French Prairie

Good Morning to all my French Canadian Cousins!


First I have to say thanks to Record Click for allowing me to double post this blog that I originally titled The French Prairie - A Hidden Piece of Oregon History. I was working on a family tree with roots in Oregon last month and I came across a Malo family while searching through the 1895 Oregon census. I was a bit surprised because the various Malo branches that left Quebec generally immigrated to New England. Being a Malo family researcher I just had to figure out how Eugene Malo wound up in Gervais, Oregon living on the French Prairie, and who his parents were.


Anyone who has studied American history knows about the Oregon Trail. Did you know that before the pioneers came to Oregon via the Oregon Trail, there was already a settlement in the Willamette Valley known as the French Prairie? Even the State of Oregon on their Oregon History website that begins with prehistory of Oregon, had failed to mention this community except as two small blurbs. No mention of the people of the French Prairie, who they were, or the role they played in Oregon history. I just had to find out!

The original European settlement on the French Prairie was populated by French Canadians, Acadians, and Metis people from Quebec and the Red River Valley. While the Americans were busy with the War of 1812, the North West Company brought them there in 1813 as fur trappers under the auspicious of the Willamette Trading Post. By 1821 the Hudson Bay Company (HBC) absorbed the North West Company and took over the Willamette Trading Post. If you had ancestors that lived in the French Prairie community, you may find records about them in the Manitoba archives as the HBC donated their records to the province of Manitoba.

Coming across this lapse of history on the official State of Oregon website it made me wonder what else about Oregon history was hidden. As a descendant of the Red River Valley community, Acadians and Amerindians, it occurred to me genealogy and politics were intrinsically linked. I have this urge to advocate for my ancestors buried there on the French Prairie, so far away from home and loved ones. The critical role they played in the history of Oregon should not be swept away for the more quixotic notion of pioneers and wagon trains. These pioneers were amazing and courageous, but none more so than the settlers in the French Prairie community. These French Canadian and Metis settlers paved the way for the pioneers. To know more about the French Prairie visit the website of the St. Paul Mission Historical Society.

Why Eugene Malo came to Oregon is still a mystery to me. Maybe if I dig a bit deeper I will find out. What I do know is that he is my 5thcousin. He first arrived in Oregon at the age of 17 in 1876, he is back with his family in Quebec in 1881, then he arrived in Oregon again in 1882 at the age of 22, and also in 1888 at the age of 29. He married Eulalie Foisy, who was born on the French Prairie, daughter of Medard Godard Foisy b. 1816 in Quebec d. 1880 on the French Prairie, and Marie Anne Delard 1833 – 1908, born and died on the French Prairie. Eugene and Eulalie had nine children. I found his obituary and a gravesite photo on the Find-a-Grave website. I posted his genealogy below.

Line of descendency from Gilles Hayet b. and d. in France, perhaps in the area of St Malo, to Eugene Malo.
1-Gilles Hayet (1610 – )
+Jeanne Héreault (1615 - 1669)
. . . . 2-Jean Hayet dit St. Malo (1639 - 1721)
. . . . +Catherine Galbrun (1667- 1744)
. . . . . . . . 3-Louis Hayet dit St Malo (1691 -1770)
. . . . . . . . +Marie Madeleine Emery dit Coderre (1698- 1753)
. . . . . . . . . . . . 4-Michel Ayet Malo (1733 - 1791)
. . . . . . . . . . . . +Marie Cecile Petit (1737 - 1771)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-Joseph Ayet Malo (abt. 1766 -)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +Rose Mabriand (-)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-Joseph Ayet Malo (16 August 1791 - 7 March 1857)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +Marie-Anne Gravel (21 July 1801 -)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-Jean Baptiste Malo (about 1828 - 8 December 1906)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +Délima Pelletier (15 July 1836 - 26 October 1867)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-Eugene Malo (1859 - 6 January 1920)

This photo of Catherine Malo (daughter of Eugene Ayet dit  Malo and Eulalie Foisy) and Juanita Gleason is from the St. Paul Mission website. Catherine Malo is on the left.
The Alfred Perkins Frost Bible has reference to Roy Octave Malo and his sons. Roy Octave is the son of Eugene Malo and Eulalie Foisy.  
Kim

10 comments:

  1. A friend sent me a link to your genealogy page on Eugene Malo of French Prairie, OR, USA. I'm President of Friends of French Prairie (www.friendsoffrenchprairie.org) and on our Area History page we say the following:
    "Based on the work of David Brauner, PhD, professor of archaeology at Oregon State University, we know that the French Prairie was originally populated by the Metis (pronounced "Matee"), mostly retired French Canadian trappers who once worked out of Fort Vancouver and then settled on small, French Prairie farm sites with Native American wives and large numbers of children. His research indicates that more than a decade before the first Americans found their way into the Willamette Valley, the French Prairie farms of the Metis were flourishing.

    A significant number of these French Canadian-Metis employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company began settling the northern valley after their contractual obligations to the company were over so that, between 1829 and 1843, successful Metis agricultural communities developed in several locations throughout the Northwest. The oldest and largest of these was French Prairie."

    Ben Williams
    Aurora, OR

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    Replies
    1. I happen to be a graduate of OSU, as was my mom : - ) Do you have have any info on Rev. M Malo? I can't place him with the Malo family on the French Prairie.

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  2. This is amazing I had no idea how !! I will share this with others wonderful blog thanks

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  3. I just found your blog through Geneabloggers. Welcome to Geneabloggers.

    Regards, Jim
    Genealogy Blog at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
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    http://thehomeplaceseries.blogspot.com/
    http://www.examiner.com/x-53135-Springfield-Genealogy-Examiner
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    http://www.examiner.com/heritage-tourism-in-springfield-mo/dr-bill-william-l-smith
    http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/drbilltellsexcitingstories
    The Heritage Tourist at In-Depth Genealogist: http://www.indepthgenealogist.com/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Dr Bill, I will visit your sites.

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  5. The picture of the 2 ladies is guaranteed to bring a smile.
    Welcome to the Geneabloggers family!
    Regards,
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you Theresa, what is the link to your blog?

    ReplyDelete