I was contacted recently on ancestry.com by a cousin from the Olivier side of the family. She asked me if I had a copy of the book on Olivier Family history which had been written by Ernest Olivier in 1929. I had never heard of it, so she agreed to send me a copy as a PDF file.
This is an incredible document, and I’m shocked that I knew nothing of its existence. The book is called “Généalogie des Olivier, dit Lavictoire” by Ernest Olivier and Alphonse Houle, and was written in 1929. The text is in French, and is 69 pages long. The primary author, Ernest Olivier, was the son of Louis Arthur Olivier, and the grandson of Henri François Olivier, my 3x great-grandfather. He was a priest, as I said, who was born in Ste-Elizabeth, Berthier, Quebec and lived most of his life in Rhode Island.
The preface of the book begins:
“Dear readers, we would have wished to present you with a more complete family history, but this was impossible. At the beginning we had no intention to undertake such a considerable body of work because we had thought to only work on our line of the family tree. In the course of our research, having found many other Olivier descendants of the same ancestors, we decided to compile all the names which made up the five lines presented in this book. We have done this in collaboration with a cousin, the reverend Alphonse Houle, vicar of Berthier-en-Haut, the original church for our ancestors, who has collected everything he could find in the parish registers up to 1880, and your humble author has done the rest, bringing the family history from that point to the present date . That which remains missing is due, for the most part, to the many of our demands for information which have remained unanswered. There are, perhaps, some errors with names and dates despite the great care we have taken to make the information presented as exact as possible.
We hope that this family history will help you know the Olivier dit Lavictoire family in greater depth. It is a family from which are descended many priests, other religious figures, and men who have distinguished themselves in all the liberal professions. In order to make this book more interesting we have also added some biographical information to each entry [where possible]. We have divided and laid out the story by following each line of each family. To begin there are five chapters where the lines of each of the five sons of Louis Olivier and Madelaine Hénault are traced. Then, in each line we have enumerated first the children, sons and daughters, and indicated their names and the dates of their births or baptisms. Then, we have followed each son who was married and indicated the date of their birth or baptism and added the date of their marriage, the names of their spouses, the names and dates of birth or baptism of their children, and thus repeated this until the final generation. As a point of reference, instead of repeating the names of the father and mother we have repeated the date of the birth or baptism of the son whose line we are following.
A.E.O. [Alphonse Ernest Olivier]”
He begins the history of the family with my 6x great grandfather, the original immigrant ancestor of the line:
Louis Olivier did Lavictoire
According to the genealogical dictionary of Monseigneur Tanguay, Louis Olivier dit Lavictoire, born in May 1720, son of Pierre Olivier and Marie-Anne Dubuc from the parish of St-Eustache in Paris, France immigrated to Montréal on 26 Feb 1743. He married first Marie Joseph Buisson, who died at the age of 18 years and was buried in Montréal on 6 May 1743, one month after the birth of their daughter Marguerite. Marguerite had been baptized on 5 Apr 1743 and had died and was buried the 19th of June the same year.
We do not know when Louis came to live in Berthier-en-Haut, but we find him there first in the parish records on 24 Oct 1757 when he married his second wife Madeleine Enaud, a/k/a Marieé Hénault, who was 36 years old at the time. To this marriage were born twelve children baptized at Berthier. Louis was a négociant [wine merchant], a captain of militia, and a soldier in the Lavaltrie Company. He died [on 7 Feb 1785] at the age of 64 years and 9 months, and was buried on 10 Feb 1785 inside the church along the wall of the Evangelical side of the church, according to the sepulture inscriptions in the archives of the parish of Saint-Geneviève de Berthier-en-Haut.
After filling out detail regarding the other children in the family, Ernest then moves on to my 5x great-grandfather:
François Olivier dit Lavictoire, second son of Louis and Madeleine Hénault, was captain [of militia] and a farmer from Grande-Côte of Berthier-en-Haut on the north bank of the Saint Lawrence river, two and a half miles from the parish church. He was born [10 Aug] 1760 and married [Marie] Pélagie Desrosiers [dite Lafresnière] on 17 Feb 1783. He died at the age of 84 years [on 9 May 1844] and was buried the 11th of May.
About my 4x-great-grandfather he writes:
François Olivier dit Lavictoire, eldest son of François and Pélagie Desrosiers was a farmer on the family farm. He was born 30 Dec 1783 and married Euphrosine Aurez dite Laferrière on 30 Sept 1811. He died at the age of 76 years and was buried 29 Aug 1859.
Several of the sons of François Olivier are shown in photographs in the book. They are not the best quality. I would love to know who has the originals of them!
Then he comes to my 3x great grandfather, and I was surprised to find two photos that were included.
Henri François Olivier (1812-1876)
Henri, farmer and eldest son of François and Euphrosine Aurez dite Laferrière, was born 18 Nov 1812, and married Elisabeth Tellier at Berthier on 13 Jan 1835. In 1836 moved to a farm at Ste-Elisabeth de Joliette which was 3 arpents by 32 arpents in size [about 83 acres]. About half the land was arable, and the farm was situated on the north bank of the Bayonne river, about two miles from the parish church. [Ste-Elisabeth is about 10 miles from Berthierville and the Bayonne river runs from Berthierville toward Ste-Elisabeth almost directly.] Henri died at the age of 64 years [on 21 Aug 1876] and was buried at Ste-Elisabeth on 23 Aug 1876.
Of my great-great-grandmother Cordélie “Cordelia” Olivier, he writes only briefly (as he does of all the daughters):
Cordélia, born 11 Sept 1850, married Jean G. Bacon, woodworker in Burlington, Vermont on 4 Sept 1871. She died at the age of 68 years on 20 Oct 1918.
The book is, however, full of stories of various members of the family. Some with huge amounts of detail, including the author’s own line, which descends from Henri François’s son Louis Arthur Olivier [1853-1919].
I’ll work on doing more translations, but if any family members want me to post specific lines, they can contact me through this site.