Heron Island's Last Human Birth
The Legend Of The Phantom Ship Of The Baie
Some LaPointe Ancestry
The Mercier Connection
Beginning A New Life
Some Strange Occurances
The Day To Day Realities
The Five Dresses
The Family Grows Larger
The LeBlanc Fortune
The Last Son
The War Ends It All
Heron Island Today - a footnote
Last Word - The Legacy
Another Update On The Island and Some Photos
Some LaPointe Ancestry
George is on the left,
with two unidentified young men.
In the 1780's, what is now known as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the
Gaspe Peninsula of the Province of Quebec was all called Nova Scotia.
It was, at the time, the fourteenth province of the United States. New
Brunswick became a separate entity in 1784.
Cape Breton had been made a province on its own sometime before, but later
rejoined Nova Scotia. Battles were fought for the area, but British rule
L'Abbe Joseph William Bourg was the first Acadian missionary to the Baie
des Chaleurs. Apparently no other white man had his knowledge of indian
language and customs, and no one that was not native had his rapport with
He had gained their admiration and their respect. He was a man of the
spirit, and this the indians understood very well, since much of their
lives revolved around the spirit of their ancestors, and the spirit of
nature. He was not a man rooted in earthly things, and this they greatly
Trouble was brewing in the Baie des Chaleurs area, and the government
could do nothing about it. There was none amongst them that could effectively
communicate with the natives. L'Abbe Bourg stepped in.
He was able to put down a serious uprising without any bloodshed, at a
time when elsewhere in Canada and the United States, wars were raging
between indian bands and white men, and amongst the various bands themselves.
For this timely mediation, Sir Richard Hughes awarded L'Abbe Bourg the
ownership of Heron Island and the land where the town of Charlo now stands.
Sir Richard Hughes was the Governor, posted at the Capital in Halifax.
The archives at Louisberg record the history of the time. This granting
of the island and of the other land to him is recorded there.
L'Abbe Bourg lived at Carleton, and was the parish priest of St. Joseph
de Carleton Parish, on the Gaspe Peninsula, just across from Heron Island.
He was the brother of George's great-great grandmother, Victoire Bourg.
Her husband was Basile LeBlanc. L'Abbe baptized their daughter, George's
great grandmother, Tharzile LeBlanc,(who was born at Carleton on May 11,
1790), at the church St.Joseph de Carleton on May 16, 1790.
L'Abbe Joseph William Bourg was apparently so busy with the spiritual
lives of his congregation, that it seems he never paid any attention to
the island nor to the land now known as Charlo. He never took residence
at either place, and eventually, the granting of the land was apparantly
forgotten and the land was granted mainly to American families wishing
to homestead on the island and the surrounding area.
George was never aware that Heron Island had once been given to his great-great
granduncle. The fact that he ended up as lighthouse keeper there was purely
But perhaps the fact that beautiful Heron Island had been originally granted
to an ancestor, although none of the family was aware of it, accounts
as much for the feelings of belonging to it and of it belonging to the
family as the fact that the family occupied a part of it for nineteen
At the age of 26, in 1816, Tharzile LeBlanc married Gabriel (Audit dit)
LaPointe, at the same St. Joseph de Carleton church. She gave birth to
Bernard LaPointe on December 10, 1827. She was 37 years old.
At that time, apparently, the family, then known as Audit, was in the
process of changing the family name to LaPointe. There is no explanation
as to why the name "LaPointe" was chosen. However, the reason that they
were changing the name has been linked to a privateer, one of the breed
of pirate who would pillage other ships and even the small communities
along the coast of the area then known as Nova Scotia. Apparently disgrace
was brought on the Audit family name by one of its members, who was a
Bernard eventually married Clarisse Dassilva, who was supposedly a Micmac
Indian, although the name Dassilva is decidedly Portuguese. There is,
of course, the pos- sibility that she was indeed a Micmac indian, but
that a male ancestor had been Portuguese. Although not the "accepted thing"
in those days, mixed marriages must have happened from time to time.
On March 23, 1854, Clarrise bore Bernard a son. They named him Francois
Xavier LaPointe. He was baptised the same day at St. Joseph de Carleton
Francois Xavier married Emma Vohl, who was Jewish, (a good illustration
that mixed marriages did indeed occur even back then) and on August 29,
1891, she gave birth to Joseph Georges Lapointe in Montreal. He was baptised
at the parish of St. Enfant-Jesus du Coteau St. Louis the next day.
Emma Vohl, living in a remote area with her husband and children, injured
one of her toes. Soon it became grossly infected and eventually developed
into a gangrous condition. Knowing that there was no way to reach a doctor
where they were living and realizing that her very life was in danger,
she did what any rational thinking human would do. She sterilized the
axe, cut strips from a clean sheet, and got the bottle of iodine out.
She walked out into the yard and over to the chopping block, took off
her boot, put her foot on the block and lopped off the infected toe.
Not much is known about Emma Vohl, except that she was Jewish. The very
idea that she was jewish was never talked about. How she ever met and
married into a Catholic family is a story that has never been told. Stella
spoke little about it. She only said that Emma came from the "Jewish Homeland",
but she had once told me that Emma came from Germany, and with a name
like Vohl, I would tend to think that this is correct. George spoke of
it not at all. It must have caused quite a commotion in the family when
Francois Xavier married her.
She must have died fairly young, since George was raised in the States
Stella said that it was rumored that Francois Xavier was so mean that
he would lock the cupboard doors when he left the house so that no one
could eat until he returned home.
There was also a story about him being so upset about Emma being pregnant
that he threatened to kill the infant at birth, forcing Emma to go into
the woods and have the baby there on her own. After the birth, he apparantly
There is so much we would like to know about Grandmother Emma, but it
seems there is no way to find out more at this stage. She seems to have
been a brave woman, and that she lived an extremely hard life with Grandfather
George once told Stella that his father had told him never to tell his
wife that he loved her, because then she would rule him.
George had brothers, but he never spoke of sisters. Thomas served with
him in World War I as did Clem. His brother Arthur lived in Sept Isle
and his brother Angus lived in Minnesota.
Tom and George had some sort of falling out and did not communicate for
many years. Stella did not speak to Tom either, since she would not go
against what George did. No one ever explained what their problem was,
but there was a real tension in the air when Tom's name was mentioned,
even well after his death.
One morning, they were lying in bed, just at daybreak. George was sleeping
soundly beside her but Stella woke with an uneasy feeling. She opened
There at the foot of the bed stood Tom. He looked at her, then took his
watch out of his pocket by the chain, looked at it, and then proceeded
to wind it.
Stella became frightened by his presence. What could he be doing there?
They hadn't spoken in years. For him to just walk in like that shocked
and surprised her. She quickly ducked under the covers to pretend she
was asleep and decide what to do.
When she got up her nerve to look again, he was gone.
She woke George and told him about it. "You were dreaming", he said. "No,"
she said, "I swear, he was there big as life".
Shortly afterward, someone came to the door and told them that Tom had
died that morning.
So George never had the chance to make peace with his brother. They had
probably both forgotten what the feud was about but were both too stubborn
to be the first to make a move. Or had Tom tried to make that move by
showing up at the foot of their bed that morning?
George's ancestry dating back to 11 May, 1790:
Tharzile LeBlanc, born 11 May, 1790 in Carleton, Province of Quebec.
Baptised 16 May, 1790 at St. Joseph de Carleton church.
Presiding priest: Joseph Wm. Bourg.
Godfather: Hippolythe LeBlanc
Godmother: Esther LeBlanc
Father: Basile LeBlanc
Mother: Victoire Bourg
On 26 November, 1816, at St. Joseph de Carleton church, in Carleton, P.
Tharzile was married to Gabriel Audit dit* LaPointe ,
son of Gabriel LaPointe Sr. and Marie Desroyers.
The witnesses were Gabriel LaPointe Sr. and Alexis Poirier.
The presiding priest was Joseph M. Belanger.
*The family name was previously Audit, and had been changed to LaPointe..
the reason given by George was that there was apparently a pirate in the
and this had brought shame and embarassment to the name.
On 10 December,1827, in Carleton, P.Q., Tharzile gave birth to Bernard,
and he was baptised the same day at St. Joseph de Carleton church.
His godfather was Jean Audit dit* LaPointe and
his godmother was Rose Audit.
The presiding priest was Ed. Fauchier.
Bernard married Clarisse Dassilva, and she bore him a son,
Francois Xavier, on 23 March, 1854, at Carleton, P.Q., and
he was baptised the same day at St. Joseph de Carleton church.
The presiding priest was C. J. O Bilourd.
Godfather: Filias Levesque
Godmother: Euphronine Alain.
A copy of the baptism certificate was issued to George on 23 June, 1934,
signed by Father G. C. Plourde.
Francois Xavier married Emma Vohl and
she gave birth to Joseph Georges on 29 August, 1891, in Montreal P.Q.
He was baptised on 30 August, 1891,
at St. Enfant-Jesus du Coteau St. Louis parish in Montreal.
Godfather: Stanislas Paré
Godmother: Delia Desormeau (Paré:)
(Mrs. Paré, the godmother, and Francois Xavier, the father, did
not know how to write,
so did not sign the certificate of Baptism.
It was signed by the godfather, Stanislas Paré
and the presiding priest, Father Alphonse Viau,
and noted 'Lecture given.'
Go To The Art
Of Georgette Backs Main
Go To The
A Moment In a Lifetime © 1998-2006, Georgette Backs
- All Rights Reserved