Some of the earliest pioneers in the Beauce cleared the land, created the first irrigation systems, negotiated with local Abenaki and Algonquin First Nation people. These men often issued 12-20 children. A few had 12 children with a first wife, and 13 with a second. That’s Canadian productivity for you. Elie Poulin and Archange Nadeau were one pioneering couple who settled in Saint Joseph de Beauce in Quebec.
Elie Poulin was born in 1819, married Archange Nadeau in 1837 and died in 1894 at 75 years old. In all, this couple had at least 9 sons and 7 daughters, but the story doesn’t end there. The children of this one pioneering couple started blacksmith shops, manufactured chassis for horse-driven coaches, and later, converted some of their manufacturing line to handle the first automobiles in the region. I wonder what the cows thought about an almost out-of-control car, wheels screeching and horn blasting the air like fireworks.
The daughters of this couple married and married well. They were industrious women, north-hardened and animal husbandry. They were knowledgeable about local plants, home remedies and raised small farm animals as their men and young sons labored in the fields.