The Delauriers

Photo: Great Grandpa Fred Delaurier. Leamington, Ontario. 1890.

Since this blog wouldn’t be happening if Grandma Wallace hadn’t collected reams and reams of information about Essex County families, I figure it is quite fitting that one of my first posts begin with Grandma’s family.

Grandma’s father was Fred Delaurier. The Delauriers are a very old Canadian family, having arrived sometime in the early-mid 1700s from Bourges, France. Grandma always said that they came to escape the French Revolution because they were nobility. But the Revolution wasn’t until 1789, and great great great etc Grandpa (Francis) Delaurier is on record as having married in Montreal in 1748. So, my guess is that they saw the writing on the wall and left before things got too tense.

His son Francis went upriver to Detroit and was married there. His son, also Francis, had a son Jean Baptiste. Jean Baptiste fought in the War of 1812 and was given land in Maidstone, Ontario. (Sounds like there’s an interesting story here .. he was given a pension by the American government for fighting in the War of 1812. And then he got a land grant across the river in Maidstone Ontario. I didn’t think the British gave free land to people who fought for The Other Side … I wonder how that happened …)

Jean Baptiste then moved to Mersea township where he married Julia Hazel of an United Empire Loyalist family who settled in Leamington after the American Revolution. (Julia was descended from the Hicks family of Virginia, who arrived in the New World in the 1600s from Cornwall, England).

Still with me? I know .. it gets complicated, especially since those early grandpas were named Francis.

Jean Baptiste and Julia (Hazel) Delaurier were among the first settlers in what is now Point Pelee National Park. The Delaurier Homestead still stands, now as a national museum. (My grandmother spent some time when she was alive trying to convince Uncle Ed, who was the last person to live there, to will his land to The Crown. However the land transfer happened, it’s now public land.)

Julia and Jean Baptiste had ten children. The youngest, Gilbert, was my great great grandfather.

Gilbert married Huldah Draper of Newmarket first. The Drapers were Irish. Gilbert and Huldah had six children. My great grandfather Fred Delaurier was their third child. After Huldah died, Gilbert married a woman named Mary Michie of Grosse Pointe, Michigan. They had another seven children. (He married well … Mary was very wealthy. (My) Grandma told me stories about going to their fancy house across the Detroit River when she was a child. Step grandma Mary was very nice, Grandma told me. I have a picture of Mary .. she has a gentle, beautiful face. We don’t have a picture of Huldah, my real great grandma Delaurier.)

Fred Delaurier, my great grandfather, Gilbert’s son, married Euphemia Foster, the grandaughter of Ralph Foster, one of the earliest settlers of Leamington. Fred and Pheme (as Grandma De was called) had four children – Maurice, Otis, Madeline, and Edna.

The lists of Delauriers in Grandma’s books goes for pages and pages. I’ve blogged a few time in other places about the Delauriers, and when I do, I get comments and emails from Delauriers all over the United States.

Gilbert and Mary’s chilren lived mostly State-side, but when Gilbert died, they brought him back to Ruthven where he is buried.

Great Grandma Delaurier died a year before I was born, so I never knew her. I do know that she was an avid photographer. I’ll post her picture when I do the next post about her family, the Fosters.


Posted on November 12, 2011, in Essex County Families, Wallace Family and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. What a great website and I am still getting to know it.
    I would love any information your grandmother may have on the McPharlin’s of Maidstone, Teirnan McHugh’s or other McHugh’s as well as Timothy McGuire. I am a descendants of Edward McPharlin and Bridget Fosset who arrived in the mid 1830’s. I have the biographical sketch of his grandson Edward, son of Hugh. We descend from Edward & Bridget (Fosset) McPharlin’s daughter Mary McPharlin Woods Durning. But there are a few holes we are always looking to fill and connections to make. Thank you for anything you may be able to help with attaining.

    • Hi Sue … Grandma has a little bit about the McPharlins in her history of Rochester Township. She may have some more info in other books … I” have a look. In the meantime, have you read what’s in Commemorative Biographical Record of Essex County Pioneers, written in 1905. It’s online — the link to the page about the McPharlins is at There are a couple paragraphs about Edward and Bridget — not a lot but maybe it will give you some leads. Good luck with it .. I’ll let you know if I find anything else.

  2. Gary Butson, PhD, PE, Lt Col (retd), USAF

    Victoria, you may find this interesting. The Hicks family of Cornwall, UK married into the Butson family, also from Cornwall, when Anna DeLaurier married my Great-Grandfather, Thomas Butson.

    But the Hicks from Cornwall had already married into the Butson family when Elizabeth Rickard married John Butson. Her son, Solomon Butson, was responsible for bringing our family to the Americas when a large contingent from Cornwall emigrated to the Whitby Township, Ontario area.

    Elizabeth was the great-granddaughter of Roger Hicks. By the way, some folks in the family think her great-grandfather was Thomas Hicks, but the evidence does not support that idea. Wishful thinking …. Thomas descends from Raleigh Gilbert who was a prominent explorer and a cousin of the famous Sir Walter Raleigh. There is evidence that the first tobacco smoked in Europe was by Sir Walter in Compton Castle, the Gilbert family homestead.

    Final thoughts … my brother Gilbert Donald Butson, my father Gilbert William Butson, and My grandfather Gilbert Wilson Butson are all namesakes of Gilbert DeLaurier.

    • Nice to meet you, Gary. It’s really quite fun that I get so many comments from long lost Delaurier cousins who live in the States. The Delaurier men came to Montreal but lived on both sides of the border when they moved upriver to Detroit/Sandwich. Their wives’ ancestors were pure French Canadian .. see my post about the Daughters of the King. And then, the other story you wrote about, which is that Jean Baptiste fought for the Americans in the War of 1812, then married Julia Hazel (who is descended from the Hicks — our branch of the family were United Empire Loyalists .. or “traitors” as my American friends would call them.) And all those Gilberts … my great great grandfather Gilbert Delaurier moved back to the States after living in the Leamington area all of his life until his second marriage to a wealthy woman from Grosse Point. That’s where they lived. I am just now starting to see how big the Delaurier family is … on both sides of the border. And with the French great great etc etc Grandmeres, we are probably related to half of the original families of Quebec too! And we likely have some Mohawk blood too, although I haven’t been able to track down exactly where … likely on the side of the Quebecois Grandmeres. So fascinating.

    • PS – Gary — I had no idea about the Whitby connection .. you say that was the Hicks branch, right? Hard to keep everybody straight. Julia Hicks, my great great great grandmother and her family are descended from the Hicks who emigrated to Virginia very early on. They moved up here at the time of the American revolution. When was the Hicks family migration to Ontario? Must have been much later since Upper Canada was settled much later than Virginia .. I’ll have to look up when settlement in that area started to happen .. but I think it wasn’t until the early 1800s. It was all bush until then. After that, it was still mostly bush for a long long time.

  3. Victoria,
    Great stuff on the DeLaurier family. I have been working on this family for the past 15 years and have found some great stuff and met great people.

    You said you are descendent from Gilbert DeLaurier(1841)?

    There is a postcard, about 1905, from Duncan DeLaurier to John James DeLaurier(1849). It states that Duncan saw Gilbert in Detroit and was confused that it may be his dad John. They both look very much alike.

    The Biographical Record of Essex County has a picture of Gilbert and Huldah. I have a few pictures of John James DeLaurier. It is amazing how much they do look alike.

    I am descendant from Gilberts brother Charles DeLaurier(1820). Charles married Elenor O’Donnell and had John James DeLaurier(1849) and Mary Albertine DeLaurier(1850). John and Mary show up in the 1861 Census in Leamington with Julia (Hazel) DeLaurier and Gilbert DeLaurier. Their mother was giving birth to a half sister at the time of the census.

    There are a fun facts and a few mysteries that exist.
    John Baptiste DeLaurier did fight with the Americans in the war of 1812 and received land near the Missippi River in Illinois. He also received Land in Leamington because of his Julia Hazel’s father Edward Hazel was a Loyalist.

    What is Francois DesLauriers birth name? It looks like DesLauriers may have been his Nom le Guerre. Found a birth record in Mauvier, Bourges, France that shows a Francois, born 1705 Jan 20, to Sylvain Baria and Marie Berthomier. The birth date, location, and first names match the 1748 marriage record of Francois and Susanne Colin. The last name doesn’t.

    The mysteries are what make this so much fun.


    • Hi David .. thanks for popping in with a comment. I’m glad you think my history of the Delauriers is fun and interesting. One thing I have learned about the Delauriers is 1) There were sure a lot of them and 2) the generations still walking this earth are very interested in where they come from.

      One thing I’m still trying to clear up is whether John Baptiste and Julia ever lived at the homestead in Point Pelee. I think I remember reading somewhere that Charles (your ancestor) was one of the Point Pelee Delauriers. If so, and he was Gilbert’s brother, the home at the Point must have been theirs. My aunt swears on her bible that John Baptiste and Julia always lived in Leamington, at what is now Seacliffe Park. So if that’s the case, which Delaurier settled at the Point? There are other Delauriers that Grandma has written about but they never left Windsor/Detroit. By my calculations, John Baptiste and Julia must have lived there. Maybe it was their summer place.

      One aspect of the story I find very compelling is that John Baptiste fought for the Americans in the War of 1812, whereas his father in law Edward Hazel was a staunch loyalist to the Crown. They must have had very interesting family conversations

      I think I may be repeating some of the things I’ve already written about … it all tends to blur together.

      Thanks for telling me about Gilbert and Huldah’s picture in the Biographical Record. I only have a picture of Gilbert and his second wife, Mary. I”ll have a look. I would love to see what Huldah looked like.

      Regarding your question about Francois Deslaurier’s birth name — my grandmother’s books say his name was Francois Deslaurier dit La France. “Dit” (you probably know this) meant “is called”. What grandma wrote is Francis, DesLaurier, dit La France, became a soldier. He belonged to the company of De Noyan in Canada. He married at Montreal, Feb 25, 1748, to Susanne Colin, born at St. Francis, Isle Jesus. She was daughter of Andrew Colin dit Laliberte and Jeanne Cadieu.

      (a side note — Jean Cadieu, Jeanne Cadieu’s brother, is a folk hero of Quebec. A very long poem was written about him. He was a superman of his era).

      Cool stuff indeed. I wish it was possible for them to come back and tell us what the real story is.

  4. Hi Virginia,
    My connection is through my great Aunt Christina Geddes Brown who married Otis McRobbie DeLaurier June 7, 1920 in Hamilton. Christina G was my grandma Grace’s older sister. I know very little about them as I was born a few weeks before her passing. Do you have any information about either Otis or Christina? Where does the name McRobbie come from?

    • Hi Joy .. my mom talks about Uncle Otey and Aunt “Teen”. He was my Grandmother’s older brother. I’ll have to ask my mom and my aunts for more information. I know they lived in Hamilton for a while because my grandmother lived with them when she went to teachers college. They had two daughters, Pauline and Virginia, who my grandmother was very close to. As for the McRobbie part, my guess is that it’s a name that came down through the Foster Family (my great grandmother’s family). I’ll keep my eyes open for it in the family tree .. my guess is that he was named after somebody in that line of the family.

  5. Jason Delaurier

    My grandfather is James Delaurier from the Delaurier house at Point Pelee .I would be interested in finding out more of my family.

  6. Hello, Any idea of who the artist was who did the portrait of your Great Grandpa Fred Delaurier? Trying to find out who some of the artists were for this area during the early 1900’s. Thanks!

  7. What a great bog – it filled in so many gaps for me. I have been sharing the stories with my own children. Our common ancestors are Julia and John B. My family line is through his son William – trust me there is very little written about him or his son Frank (whose son Frank was born in NZ and is my grandfather.) It would be so much easier if the name Delaurier was so poorly spelt in so many records….! Are there any photos of John B and Julia and their children?

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