Sunday, July 17, 2011

Last will of Firmin Cyre

A few days ago I went to the genealogy center and while I was there, I searched for something that I thought may be interesting for my readers. Lo and behold I found the last will and testament for a Firmin Cyre. Let me first tell you that he was the son of Joseph Cyre and Marguerite Thibodeau. Joseph Cyre was the son of Jean Baptiste Cyre and Marguerite Cormier. So my story starts with Jean Baptiste Cyr and Marguerite Cormier. I found the following article on line and want to share
From the English translation of Thomas
Albert's l'Histoire du Madawaska, by Doucette and Doucette,
Madawaska Historical Society, 1990. (The original French
version was printed in 1920)

"Jean Baptiste Cyr "dit" Crock, and Marguerite Cormier, are the
ancestors of the most prolific family of Madawaska. Jean was
born at Beaubassin in 1710. From there he migrated to
Beausejour around 1750
where other Cyrs were numerous. At Beausejour he became involved
with the energetic and shrewd Father Joseph Laloutre who saw in
Jean Baptiste the characteristics of a soldier. He participated
in the weak and sloppy defense of Fort Beausejour. ... In 1763
he, along with his wife and eleven children were political
prisoners ... This Jean-Baptiste is also known as Jean-Baptiste
"Crock". He earned this nickname either for his habit of always
carrying a pitch fork or for saying that he would chew his
enemies. (trans. note: from "croc" meaning a hook or a from of
pitch fork and "croquer" meaning to crunch or devour). Whatever
the origin of this nickname, it is very widespread in Madawaska
... Jean
Baptiste had settled near the settlement of Ste-Anne when
evicted by loyalists who arrived after the American Revolution.
By that time, he was an old man who had suffered through all
the Acadian misfortunes. He is reported to have walked through
his farm one last time. There, bowed with age and discouraged
with grief, he is reported to have cried out: "My God! can it
be true that there is no place left on earth for a
"cayan"(Acadian)? He died shortly thereafter. ... Not far from
the stream at Ecoupag, near the St. John River, the location of
the first church can still be seen. A hundred feet from that
location, on a hill opposite a ravine is the ancient cemetery.
There are no markers, no crosses, no names, not even a fence to
identify it from the other fields. ...There, in this unknown
and isolated corner of the world lie the ashes of many
ancestors of Madawaska. Freed from the turbulent past and lost
in oblivion they are now united in glory as they were once in
hardship. In isolation with only the songs of the birds and the
murmur of the river, the hardy pioneers who never harvested the
fields they sowed for others now rest. In this quiet valley,
they are silent sentinels guarding the land from which they can
no longer be evicted ... Beneath the sacred soil trampled by
their tired, exiled feet, a soil on which they lived only a
short time before entering the only haven left to them - the
grave - they sleep their final sleep. Here rest the sons of
Acadia whose names are as unknown as their grave but whose
virtue has been rewarded. On this mound, bare as calvary,
appearing like a long scar, fugitive Acadia landed on January
29, 1759 ... The pain is now gone but the wound remains.
Memories of the heart are indelible. To this place Acadians
from the New World and Ancient France, from the shores of the
Atlantic ... from the St. River ... from the confines of
Louisiana, from Belle-Isle-en-Mer and Poitou ... today's
Acadians should come with laurels, kneel piously and with
trembling lips recite a few prayers. Indeed, if Port Royal was
the cradle of Acadia, Grand Pre the exile, then Ste-Anne was
the catacomb. Madawaskans, product of this catacomb, should
make pilgrimages to this holy place ... and amid the desolate
but highly cherished graves, offer
a prayer to Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs".
it with you before I add the will.
Now Jean Baptiste Cyr and Marguerite Cormier had nine sons, one of them was Joseph Cyr married to Marguerite Blanche  Thibodeau. Here is what I found on Marguerite Blanche Thibodeau, again this was found online:
Many Acadian pioneer families who arrived in the Madawaska region between 1785 and 1820 suffered from famine since resources were very limited. The year of the "misère noire", 1797, was particularly difficult for the Madawaska region's inhabitants, early snow having buried their harvests. Oral accounts relate the exploits of an exceptional Acadian woman, Marguerite-Blanche Thibodeau, wife of Joseph Cyr. Reputed for her courage and physical strength, she went from door to door asking those who could afford it to give to the poor. She also saved the lives of numerous sick individuals by seeing to their essential needs. The people of the Madawaska nicknamed her "Tante Blanche", as she became a source of moral support in the community with her numerous acts of kindness. When she died, her body was interred inside the church of Saint-Basile, cradle of Madawaska, which, at the time, was a great honour.
Now Joseph and Marguerite Thibodeau had children, one of them was Firmin Cyre who married his cousin Euphrosine Cyr ,(consangnity second degree). Firmin died in 1803 and the following is his last will and testament:
Cier Firmin Jr (Madawaska 1803)
In the name of God, Amen,I Firmin Cier junior of the parish of Madawaska in the county of York, and province of New Brunswick,Yeoman, being very sick and weak in body, bot of sound mind, memory and understanding (blessed be God for the same) but considering the uncertainty of this transitory life do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following to wit:
Principally and first of all  I commend my immortal soul into the hands of God, who gave it, and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent and christian like manner, at the discretion of my Executors herein after named, and as to such worldly estate, wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I give and dispose of the same in the following manner to wit.
First I hearby nominate and appoint my wife Mary (Frosinne) and my dear brother Loriant (Hiloarion) Cier of the aforesaid parish,county and province to be the executors of this my last will and testament and trustees for my children>
Secondly I the said Firmin Cier give to my dearly beloved wife, her heirs and assigns for ever, the full third of my lands and tenements, lying and being in the aforesaid parish,county and province consisting of lands, with buildings, improvements and all the other appurtenances their unto belonging, and the full third of all the rest of my furniture, goods and chattels and personal estate whatesoever; the remained of my estate give and divise the same unto my five children Henry (Thomas) Soloma and Margaret the fifth is yet in its mother's womb; or the survivor or survivors of them and their heirs of such survivor or survivors, equally to be divided between them except one black horse reserved for  the purpose of being sold after my death for to have prayers said for the benefit of my soul, the stove is to be  my beloved wife's as long as she shall live, a bed and its bedding is and shall be my said wifes her heirs or assigns forever. And lastly I nominate, constitute and appoint my said wife and my dear brother Lorient Cier of the aforesaid parish, county and province to be the executors of this my last will and testament, and trustees of my children hereby revoking all other wills, legacies and bequests by me heretofore made, and declaring this, and on other, to be my last will and testament. In Witness whoreof, I have signed, sealed, published ,pronounced and declared by the said testator as his last will and testament, in the presence of us, who in his presence and at his request have subscribed as witnesses, this twenty second day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and two and in the forty second year of his Majesty's Reign George the Third. Fimin Cir Jun
Witnesses P Duperrie, Pierre Lizotte and Simon Balleu.
Hope you have enjoyed todays blog, a note I found the information on Marguerite Thibodeau on the University of Moncton site. Now I would like to share a few of my products which you can find at*

1 comment:

Momma Maddix said...

Hi Aline,
I am very interested in this post as my husband is a descendant of Jean-Baptiste Cyr and Francoise Melanson through Jean-Baptiste (Crock) Cyr who married Anne-Marguerite Cromier. This might seem a little far fetched as he was born in California! His father was born in Maine and married an Italian girl from Mass. Then, joined the army. He died in California. We visited New Brunswick and Nova Scotia a few years back. We visited many places of his ancesters born in French town names and now replaced by English names so they were hard to find, including some listed in this document. I would like to know if you know where he cried out: "My God! can it
be true that there is no place left on earth for a
"cayan"(Acadian)? We found a church at the French Village on one side of the river and found a Crock's road with another church. Both near Kingclear near Fredrickton. I would like to know which church was his. If you could show me an internet location, I would be very interested. Thank you very much for sharing your posts and your stories. I find your site very interesting. Best Regards, Kathryn Maddix