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The origins of Mathurin Dubé

The origins of Marie Campion

Arrival and courtship in New France

Settlement and life on Orléans Island

The move to La Pocatière in Grande-Anse

Death of our ancestors

Mathurin and Marie’s descendants

 

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DEATH OF OUR ANCESTORS

In 1694, Mathurin’s farming contract with landlord Ruette d'Auteuil officially came to an end. Mathurin died the following year on December 28. Even though his act of burial stated "beeing seventy two years of age and having received all the sacraments," (1) previous sources lead to believe that he was really some ten years younger. Indeed, it appears he was born around 1631, according to the age stated in the Census of 1681. We do not know the cause of his death. Mathurin’s death was likely not sudden since the priest declared that our ancestor had received all the sacraments. At the time, death rituals were carried out with the utmost respect. The priest and the relatives were immediately informed. For the wake, the body was usually laid in the best room in the house, since other parishioners would come and pay a visit, say a prayer and spray a few drops of holy water. Funerals were held the following morning. Mathurin’s body was buried in Rivière-Ouelle cemetery on December 30 rather than on the day following his death. It is possible that he died late in the day and that there was not enough time left for a normal burial. Usually, a neighbour would assemble a wooden coffin during the night, but fairly often the deceased preassembled his own coffin when he felt the end coming. The coffin lid was nailed the morning of the funerals. Neighbours would carry the coffin to the church, distance permitting. As Mathurin’s death occurred in the winter, his coffin was likely brought to the church on a sled. Mathurin’s burial is the last one recorded in Rivière-Ouelle for 1695.  

Marie Campion’s act of burial has not been found. Since her son Louis’s marriage documents stated that she was then alive and her son Pierre’s marriage contract indicated that she was then deceased, it is obvious that she died between January 28, 1697 and December 30, 1703. It appears that she died at a relatively young age, in her forties, likely in Rivière-Ouelle. She might have passed away while the priest was absent and, upon his return, omitted to record her death in the parish register.

In the Rivière-Ouelle cemetery, one can find many Dubé burial markers, but none bear Mathurin or Marie’s names. When the cemetery was relocated several years ago, some human remains were moved, but by then our two ancestors’ bones had already blended into life-sustaining earth.

Original French quotations

(1) "aagé de soixante saize ans muni de tous les sacrements".

 

 

 

 

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