My Morenier Family

About Philippe Alexandre ‘Léopold’ Morenier:
Léopold Morenier was born April 23, 1838 in the town of Corbion, located in the Province of Luxembourg, Belgium to Henri Barnard Joseph Morenier and Anne Marie Catherine Guiot. He is the father of Justine Morenier, my great grandmother. In 1860, he married Marie Catherine Mahut. Together they had 7 children. After Marie Catherine died in 1879, he gathered up his children and traveled the lengthy journey to North America to start a new life in Québec. They sailed on the ship ‘Ontario” and arrived in Montreal summer of 1882 .. Unclear as to why, but my guess is 1) jobs had become scarce in Belgium 2) His parents and siblings were all deceased. He remarried late in life to Malvina Noel in 1892. There were no children born to them.

Léopold separated from his second wife and made a voyage back to Belgium around 1910-11 assumingly to visit family and friends. The ship’s list and border crossings both say he suffered from Dropsy. He returned in 1912 where he made a brief visit to his wife, Malvina Noel in Saint-André-Avellin. Leopold then relocated to Princeton, Michigan to be close to his two daughters, Justine and Mathilde. His physical description from his border crossing papers, said he was 5’5, grey eyes, grey hair, and being mostly bald. He died in 1917, in a hospital for the poor in Marquette, Michigan of a chronic illness that I can’t make out in his death record. He was 83 years.

Marie Catherine Mahut, wife of Leopold Morenier, was born in 1843 in Lamorteau, Luxembourg, Belgium. She was the only surviving child of Henry Mahut and Marie Catherine Berque. Both of her parents died when she was about 8 years old. I do not know which one of her relatives took custody of her until her marriage in 1860. She was 17 when she married Léopold Morenier. She gave birth to 7 children, 4 daughters and 3 sons. In 1879, she gave birth to Jean-Baptiste Camille. It must have been a very difficult delivery as she and the baby both died about 18 days later. Marie Catherine Mahut was only 35 years old.

Marie Catherine Morenier was born in 1862, in Dampicourt, Luxembourg, Belgium. There is not much known about Marie Catherine Morenier other than she was the oldest child of Léopold Morenier and Marie Catherine Mahut. As it was customary in those days, the first daughter was named after the mother. She survived the voyage to Québec, and was listed in the 1891 Canadian census. After that, nothing. I’ve not being able to locate a marriage or death record for her.

Leonie Morenier was born in 1864, in Dampicourt, Luxembourg, Belgium. She survived the voyage to Québec, where she lived with her father and siblings. In 1885, there is a notary record of money which was left to her by her mother, under the management of Paul Barthelemy of Florenville, Belgium. And thanks to the work of a ‘cousin’ Eliot Girardi , the death date and place of death of Leonie is now known. She died at age 25, was a servant and never married.

Léopold Morenier was born in 1868, in Dampicourt, Luxembourg, Belgium. His occupation listed in the 1891 Canadian Census, was voyeurer which typically means fur trading in Canada. There was a letter written inquiry in 1889, to the Canadian Government concerning purchasing land in Golden City, British Columbia. I’ve not been able to get a hold of that letter. In 1891, Leopold was recorded as an inmate in New York prison for being a tramp, and again in 1903, he was arrested for stealing and tramp in Alabama. After that, no other information is available on him.

Joseph Morenier was born in 1871, in Dampicourt, Luxembourg, Belgium. If it weren’t for Joseph and his naturalization record with his place of birth recorded, I would have not being able to trace the Moreniers to Dampicourt, Belgium. He was granted citizenship in 1926. His naturalization record states his physical description as 5’5 in height, 136 pounds, blue eyes, brown hair, fair skin, and slim build. And like his brother, never married. He was a resident of Donal, British Columbia, when he sailed out of Victoria, Canada to San Francisco, California on the ship Umatilla 1891. Joseph worked odd jobs including waiting on tables in a restaurant. He must have been very frugal because he was able to buy several properties. He died in surgery from a blood clot in the lung, brought on by bronchial pneumonia in Feb 1926. He was 55 years old.

Mathilde Morenier was born in 1874, in Dampicourt, Luxembourg, Belgium. She was the youngest daughter, being 5 years old when her mother died, and 8 when she traveled to Canada. She was listed as godmother to Mathilda Florida Nicolle in 1890. She might have lived with Jules and Justine after they were married and made the move back to Sudbury. In the 1900 US census, she, along with Leonie Nicolle, were recorded as boarders in Menominee county, Michigan.

Mathilde was in her 30s when she married recently widowed Napoleon Bourdon of Menominee county, Michigan. They had 3 sons together. She was experiencing mental health problems to which she was hospitalized for. She was diagnosed with dementia and in poor health when her son, Ernest J Bourdon, serving in the military, came and took charge of her. He and his wife, Eleanor Eager Stokes, took care of her until her death in 1956.