Monday, January 16, 2012

Elzear Brisson

My Great-Grandfather, Elzear Brisson was born on 25 Aug 1853 in Rimouski, Quebec, Canada to Ludger Brisson and Henriette Fiola/Vignola. He was the 2nd child of seven children all born in Rimouski. On the same day of his birth, he was baptized as is shown in his baptismal record below in the parish of Ste. Cecile.

The 1861 Canadian Census has the whole family living in St. Germain Parish, Macpes, Rimouski, Canada. Their father is listed as a 'cultivateur' which is some one who grows crops. While this section of the census is only of his immediate family, at the top of the census page on line 6 are his grand parents and additional family members from both sides of their family. Elzear is on line 40 and is 8 years old.

The family stays in Rimouski according to the 1871 and 1881 census but by the 1891 census he is living with his wife, Florentine Soucy and two children, Joseph and Omer in Hull, Ottawa, Quebec. According to his naturalization petition papers, he immigrated to the United States on 14 Sep 1893. 

The family settled in Providence, Rhode Island where Elzear is listed as a railway worker. The family stayed in this area for many years and Elzear continued to work on the railway until his death on 21 Feb 1924. By this time all his children were married or on their own. Together, Elzear and Florentine had 9 children and many grandchildren who in turn have married and spread out throughout the United States. Of those 9 children, 5 died was still very young.

His death certificate states he died on 21 February 1924 and is buried in St. Ann's Cemetery in Cranston, Rhode Island. According to the cemetery records he and his wife are buried in Section 6, grave marker # 676 as shown below.

As I ponder the above marker it helps me to understand more clearly how difficult times were then. His dear wife, Florentine, had purchased the plot and she herself would be buried there in 1937, just 13 years later.

Being an immigrant family with many children often made it impossible to afford more than a marker. Each of their own children had large families too, and so this is the way it was at this time in Providence, Rhode Island.

Elzear Brisson: 1853-1924