Barnabas LaClair m Sarah Ann Hawkins 5 March 1857

Le onze juin mil huit cent vingte sept par nous priete ___ de cetta parois le baptise Barnebe, ne aujourd’hui du legitimate mariage de Phillipe LeClerc, journalier et Modeste Zinque. Paraine Pierre___, Maraine Josephte Leroux que aver ??????


The eleventh of June, 1827, the priests (undersigned?) of this parish baptized Barnebe, born today, of the legitimate mariage of Phillipe LeClerc, journalier and Modeste Zinque, godfather Pierre ??? godmother Josephte Leroux who swear _____???

Yamaska is NW of Drummondville, south of the St. Lawrence River.

After his baptismal record, the next record I have of Barney is the 1851 census in Compton, Quebec.  He is age 29.  Next to him is Mary LeClere, age 25.  I don’t know if they are related.  It could be a wife or a sister, although I don’t have any marriage record to account for this.  Nor do I have a younger sister listed for him, although there could be one.  By the time of this census, Barney’s father was deceased, so this could be the last of that family group.   

Barney moved to New Hampshire, and married Sarah Ann Hawkins on 5 March, 1857. Sarah was the subject of my first posting, so refer back to that for more information about her. Conway NH town tax records show Barney as having a house valued at $260 taxed at ½ of 1% – he paid poll tax of $1.20, for a total tax of $1.33.  1859 Conway town tax records show Barney paying $1.20 poll tax.  He also had the house and land.

In 1860 the census of Conway NH shows Barney Mclary in the household of Cornelius Hawkins.  “Sarah A” appears after Barney Mclary.  He claims Ireland as his birth place. I wonder if the census taker really mistook his French-Canadian accent for Irish!  Perhaps the information was provided by another member of the household.  Barney claims age 28 but is really 33.  The census appears to list a son, John, age 2, but I believe that was supposed to be first daughter Josephine. 

In 1860 Conway tax records, Barney McLary got a rebate of $1.91.  Regarding the school house tax in Dist. 8, Barney McLary got an abatement of 94 cents.  Reading other records, it appears he may have done labor in exchange for paying the taxes.  I found similar tax records in 1861 and 1863, but no records in subsequent years. 

The 1871 Canada census for Compton Quebec shows a Barney Leclere married to Sarah working as a laborer. He was a Catholic born in Quebec of French descent age 41 (really 44).  The census taker indicated that he could not read nor write.  Sarah apparently could.  The four children are with their parents – Josephine age 13, Anne age 9, Philip age 7 all born in the US, and Isabel age 4 born in Quebec. This record is the best evidence that Lizzie’s “proper” name was Isabel, although in French custom, Isabel and Elizabeth were interchangeable.  Barney listed his religion as Catholic, while Sarah and the children were Methodist.   

On 17 February, 1874, in Newport VT, Sarah was granted a divorce from Barney, as he had treated her with “intolerable severity.”   The divorce papers are the source for the marriage date. 

I have not been able to find Barney Laclair in the 1880 US or 1881 Canada census.

On 18 June, 1885, Barney married Abigail Norton, in Barton.  The marriage certificate lists this as his second marriage, her first.  He was a farmer.  The June 18, 1886 Orleans County Monitor reported their marriage, and said he was of Potton Quebec, she was from Barton, at the time of the marriage, the daughter of John and Lina Norton.  

There is a Barney LeClair in the 1891 in Potton Quebec, who claimed to be Irish, and single.  He is the right age to be the same person.  He worked as a laborer. 

 I was not able to find Barney LaClair in the Barton town tax or property records.  However, the 1899 Barton town report listed expenses “for Barney LaClair” including boots, pants, tobacco, socks, and medical attendance, $20.  The 1900 town report listed he had spent 52 weeks at the town farm. 

The 1900 census of Barton lists him as born June 1827, which coincidentally is the first time his given age or birth date actually matched his baptism record.  He is an “inmate” and the head of the household is a farmer who ran the town poor farm, which housed several very elderly people, plus a young mother with three small children.  Barney claimed he was born in Vermont, his father being French Canadian and his mother German.  He could not read or write, but did speak English. 

The 1902 Barton Town Report published in February 1902 reported that Barney LaClair had been boarding at the town farm for 52 weeks.  The Barton Town Report from Feb 1903 reported that Barney LaClair had been sick, at the farm, for 25 weeks, and had died.  The date of death was not given, but the bill for digging the grave was August 23, 1902 (unknown if that was the date of the death, or the date the bill was paid.)  There was a total of $74.40 for all expenses including Dr. M. F. Prime.  

Jean’s research discovered the following: OB: Orleans Co. Monitor (microfilm) Monday, August 4, 1902   “Barney LaClair an aged man who had been cared for at the town farm for the past few years died Thursday Morning. The funeral was held Friday.”  Barney’s death date was 31 July 1902, burial location still unknown.

The town farm is now the Crystal Lake Cabins (now Lake View?) about 1 mile out of town just past the highway overpass before Josephine/Kitty’s house.  This is also close to the four-square house built by Joseph and his son Frank T Labor, so Barney lived out his years near his daughters Lizzie and Josephine. Anne also lived in the area. (Son Philip moved to Tilton NH.) Steve and I stayed there one night, but had no visitors from the past. Our hostess said she has only seen one ghost, and that was a woman.  She was not aware of any private cemetery on the grounds of the town farm, and what used to be open meadows has all been grown over with trees.  No probate records have been located. 

In a letter from Althier Caverly Pino to Jean (Jan 10, 1985):  I think you have found the right information about our “Barney”, in Aunt Florence’s time with me, she told me her Grandfather Barney brought a young woman to Grandma Hemmings’ they had a little girl, the woman left both Barney and the little girl.  The child was given to someone in Canada, that can be taken with a grain of salt,as they were in Canada, but I didn’t believe it then, I do now.  No mention in my life that Barney remarried.  That was a family secret, but true with your information.  He was described as short, red hair and beard, and called Dummy, as a pet name, not meaning that.  Aunt Florence remembers him as such before she lost her mind.   

So what happened to Barney’s second wife Abby?  Did they divorce?  Did she die?  Abbie was 34 years younger than Barney, so could have been the “young woman” that he brought to Grandma Hemmings.  Who is the little girl?  Did Barney have another daughter?  Abbie was from Potton Quebec, did the little girl go to a relative? 

Vermont death records list Name: Abbie Eliza Norton Davis who died 28 May 1901 in Newport VT.  Her father’s name was John, mother Delina, and she was born about 1860 in Potton.  This matches the information for Barney’s second wife, so it appears that she married someone named Davis.  I was hoping to find her in the 1900 census, but no luck so far.


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