Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Louis Gaspard Alfred Robillard From Sainte-Melanie

Today is not even close to being a "Wordless Wednesday" and I apologize, but I have a story tell..

Louis-Gaspard-Afred Robillard (1866 - 1914)

Brother to my great-grandfather, Joseph-Arthur-Robillard, Louis-Gaspard-Alfred Robillard was born on 15 April, 1866 and baptized the next day at the parish of Ste-Melanie in Joliette co., Quebec. His parents, Jerome Robillard and Sophie Riberdy(2) had 13 children, L-G was born fourth and the first child to survive past infancy. Raised in Ste-Melanie, I can only assume, since his father was an instituteur (teacher) and an agent, that he was highly educated when compared to the standards of the day.

Baptismal record for Louis Gaspard Alfred Robillard
My translation:
On the sixteenth of April, eighteen hundred and sixty six, we the undersigned priest, have baptized Louis Gaspard Alfred Robillard born yesterday of the legitimate marriage of Jerome Robillard, teacher, and Sophie Riberdy, of this parish. Godfather Antoine Alfred Robillard, undersigned; Godmother Marie Henriette Robillard, undersigned. The father has signed.
Jerome Robillard
Antoine Alfred Robillard
Marie Henriette Robillard
G. Jeannotte ptre
In 1881, Gaspard is the oldest child in his parent's household, as all of his half siblings from his father's previous marriage had left the home. He is 14 years old and is in school (+1). In 1883, at the age of 16 years, 11 months and 19 days, he marries Marie-Percide Parent (Isidore, Emilie Etu) at the parish of Ste-Melanie. Present at their marriage is, Jerome Robillard, Louis Gaspard;s father; Isidore Parent, the father of Percide; Marie-Louise Parent, Joseph Parent and Desiri Parent, all of whom are siblings of Percide; Louise Leontie Robillard, a sister of L-G and a Henri Benny, relation unknown. Unfortunately, Louis Gaspard and Percide's life together was cut short as Percide dies of causes unknown in 1888. Having not sired any children yet, L-G, an instituteur in Ste-Elisabeth, is determined to have several offspring so he marries Percide's sister, Elizabeth, seven months later.

In 1890, L-G, still an instituteur like his father before him, becomes a father for the first time. However, his first born, Joseph-Jerome-Isidore-Gaspard does not survive infancy. In 1891, L.-G.'s wife, Elisabeth, gives birth a second time to Joseph-Gaspard-Achille in June of that year. The baby is baptised on the 18th and his godparents are Joseph-Edouard Parent, notaire of St-Jerome and his spouse, Honorine Melancon.  It is also around this time that L-G. probably decides to go into the newspaper business. And in 1892 he becomes the editor and proprietor of Le Courrier Canadien: Commerce, Industry Literature et Education. This publication is a journal of sorts that is published in St-Jerome. I have only been able to find one copy of this journal and the copy that I found is the premiere copy, v.1, n1. However, in a Societe canadienne du microfilm inc. publication entitled Journaux du Quebec, Catalogue 2005 it is noted that Le Courrier Canadien (L.-G. Robillard, editeur), St-Jerome, made it's debut on 3 Nov., 1892 and published it's final copy on 17 Nov., 1892 with v.1, n.3, so there must have been three publications of this journal, Le Courrier Canadien.

By 1895, L-G's wife, Elisabeth, has given birth three times, but only baby has Achille survived, and will turn 4 this year. It is also in 1895 that L-G applies to be an inspector of schools, but his application is denied because there are no vacant positions available at the time. Shortly thereafter, in 1896, he becomes the the director and proprietor of  a publication from Montreal entitled La Nouvelle France. How many copies were published? I don't know. And like the previously mentioned publication, Le Courrier Canadien, I have only found one copy of La Nouvelle France and absolutely nothing else to offer me any further insight. Given the information that I do have in regard to L.-G.'s newspaper publishing enterprise, I can only surmise, at this point, that he went into the newspaper business for something other than money.  As I don't assume that the newspapers generated much income.

In 1897, L-G is finally appointed to be an inspector of schools by the Superintendent of Instruction in the Province of Quebec His first annual report on the Roman Catholic Schools, in his assigned district, is submitted to the Superintendent on 28 July, 1897. I hope to feature that report here on my blog at another time. In September of 1897, L.-G. resigns as an Inspector of Schools.
Around 1901, L-G purchases the Montreal publication entitled Le Pionnier, from an Amedee Denault and at this same time he, L-G, is also the president of L'Union Franco-Canadienne, a fraternal life insurance organization. Exactly when he went into the insurance business is not known to me. However, it is during this time he is accused of skimming money from the organization's reserves and with several lawsuits having been filed against him, it is written that he and his family fled Quebec for the United States. And in 1902, Louis Gaspard and his wife, Elizabeth Parent, are found entering the United States through Detroit, Michigan. With two children in tow, a boy and a girl, they move on to Chicago, Illinois.... To Be Continued.

The image above of Louis-Gaspard Robillard from the Revues d'un autre siècle collection at the Bibliotheque et Archives nationales Quebec (BAnQ) online is used with permission.  BAnQ allows, without special authorization, use of content from its Web portal for educational, private study or research purposes, provided the source of the images and/or texts is clearly indicated.
For information on the other sources used to create this post, please contact me.


  1. You caught my attention. Now to read the rest. Very interesting, and I can see how busy you've been.

  2. Hi Barb, I'm not a very good story teller, I have a hard time writing creatively but I just had to get what I know about L-G out of me. I am waiting on a RAOGK to publish the rest..

  3. I understood it perfectly. Maybe this wasn't meant to be a story, but a more serious biography. You are doing great, with lots of facts.

  4. Lol, thanks Barbara. I don't know what it was meant to be. All I know is that I became really attached to him while I was researching. Has that ever happened to you? I even feel that I mourned his death a bit when I found out about it. Really sad. I have to wonder if he really did what he was accused of. There has to be something on file in Montreal as there were law suits filed, supposedly.