Patrick Delaforce & Ken Baldry

'Family History Research' - Chapter 7 - The Canadian Family

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Chapter 7

The Canadian Family

There was no reason to suppose that there was, and is, a Delaforce family in Canada. But there is one alive and well and flourishing. This is a classic tale for the family historian. It all started because in the Huguenot Society records of the London hospital for Huguenots, called La Providence, there are the following paragraphs.

"August Force entered hospital 1886, died there in 1894. he had been a teacher of the French language in London but was borne in Quebec, Canada on 19 June 1810. He was the son of Pierre Michel Force and Catherine Brandon of 21 Tottenham Street/Road of London (so Pierre would have been born about 1785). Auguste's grandfather Francoys Force left France early in the last century and settled in London in partnership with M. de L'Arbre in the silk trade (presumably a weaver). He afterwards went to Canada where your petitioners (Auguste) father was born and lived there until the year 1816 when he returned to France with his wife and only child, the petitioner. Your petitioner has now lived in England for 30 years, formerly a teacher of French in various schools. Petitioners' great-grandfather left France immediately after the Revocation of Nantes in 1685". Now these dates do not add up convincingly. Assume the great-grandfather was a very young boy in 1685 and was married about 1700 in England, his son Francois would have been born in the period 1700-1720. But as Auguste was born in 1810 his parents Pierre and Catherine were married in the period 1795-1810 and born about 1760-1770.

The Federation of Family History Societies publish a most informative booklet twice a year. No less than eight Canadian Family History Societies are members and their addresses given.

A concise version of the Francois/Pierre/Auguste saga was sent to the Ontario Genealogical Society, asking if any of their members were interested in Delaforce, Delforce or Forces. Back came a most helpful and courteous letter which gave the current addresses (from a telephone directory) of a small number of Delaforce/Laforces.

A quite detailed letter was posted to each address from France giving some information on the various families and asking for help in identifying not only the Forces but the new discoveries. A month later back came a detailed letter from Barry and Carol Delaforce from Unionville, Ontario. Barry works for IBM and his father Ralph worked for the Toronto Transit Commission. Ralph's parents, Sydney Ralph Leopold Delaforce and his wife Ellen nee Little emigrated from Islington, London in 1910.

A few months later with the help of a few marriage certificates purchased from St. Catherine's House the Canadian family roots were clearly proved. Sydney Ralph Leopold's brother was George Frederick Fleurriette. Their father was George Frederick married to Eliza nee Lake. Their Grandfather was George Frederick Delaforce the wine merchant, who was married three times. So the Canadian family and the Port Wine Shippers are directly related. The family name of Fleurriette was of course an immediate clue and link back to the marriage of Samuel and Elizabeth Fleurriet married in Southwark in 1770. Three generations of George Fredericks were railwaymen, corporal on a military train, railway clerk, railway accountant, etc. Barry and Carol turned out to be enthusiastic and skilled researchers.

The Laforce families emigrated from France at the time of the Edict of Nantes and sailed direct to Canada; Guillaume was possibly the earliest, who was born in 1607 at Saint Laurent de la Barriere in Saintonge, not in Poitou, France, but near the Mississippi river in the USA. He moved to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec about 1646. They acquired a nickname, Pepin, from Lake Pepin and the "Genealogie des Families Canadiens-Francaises" lists five generations of this family. In the 15th century the Poitou de Forces were Seigneurs de la Barriere, near Fors in Poitou.

There do not appear to be any more clues (as yet) to the original silk weaving partnership of the first Forces to visit and perhaps settle in Canada. There were two Francois de la Fosse/Force silkweaver families in London. Francis Noah married to Ann Van Den Holder of Brussels had a very large family of at last 12 children all baptised at the French Threadneedle Street church in London in the period 1688-1707. Also Francis who married Susanne Bouyu (Bowyer) in 1699 at St. Martins in the Fields, London. Either of these two families could have been "Francoys Force's" parents. But Carol and Barry searched the efficient Canadian census records for 1825/31151/61 and 71 and came up with Force families in Lacolle, Quebec area. James and Hepza Force and a large family lived on a 56 acre farm. James was born in 1790 in the USA. Solomon and Anna Force lived nearby with their family and so did Margaret, a spinster. The next generation was John A. Force married to Jane who lived on a 48 acre farm in St. Jean County, Quebec; Alonzo married to Caroline, and Timothy married to Elizabeth (they had 14 children).

James Force's father or probably grandfather was transported from London as a convict in 1767 to New York on the SS "Thornton". He was born in Stepney to James Delaforce and Elizabeth Harris the eldest son - of a weaving family - in Dec. 1753.

One last mystery - who was Guy de la Force who commanded the Army Post at York Fort, Hudsons Bay in 1696?

Some of the sources available for tracing ancestors and relatives in Canada are now shown. The initial advice is to join one of the efficient Family History Societies in the appropriate State:

Alberta Gen. Soc. P0 Box 12015, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3L2.
British Columbia Gen. Soc. P0 Box 94371, Richmond, BC V6Y 2A8
Manitoba Gen. Soc. Mrs E. Briggs, P0 Box 2066, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3R4.
Ontario Gen. Soc. Mr J.E. O'Meara, P0 Box 66, Station Q, Toronto, Ont. M4T 2L7.
Ontario Gen. Soc. (Toronto branch), Mrs D. Martin, P0 Box 74, Station U, Toronto M8Z 5M4
Prince Edward Island Gen. Soc. P0 Box 2744, Charlottetown, Pr. Ed. Island, C1A 8C4.
Quebec FHS, P0 Box 1026, Station Pointe, Claire, Point Claire, Quebec H95 4H9.
Saskatchewan Gen. Soc. P0 Box 1894, Regina, Saskatchewan 54P 3E1

For those who can visit Canadian sources on the spot, the Public Archives 395 Wellington St., in Ottawa are a major repository for records and historical papers. Canadian census records are available at most major public libraries in Canada certainly in Toronto and Quebec. (But of course one needs to know of a time and a place before looking at census records).

The Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints have genealogical libraries with microfiche baptismal data. There are eight in Alberta (Calgary, Cardston, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Raymond, Red Deer, Grande Prarie and Taber), four in British Columbia
(Cranbrook, Burnaby, Kelowna and Victoria), four in Ontario (Hamilton, London, Ottawa and Etobicoke) and one in Saskatchewan (Saskatoon).

The Institute Genealogique Droum of Montreal have microfiches with 61 million names of French Canadians. But additionally many excellent printed books are available:

"The Dictionary of Canadian Biography": Dictionnaire Genealogique des FamilIes Canadiens by Cyprian Tomqlay: "List of Parish Registers held in the Public Archives of Canada" by Coderre & Lavoie:
"Diet. National des Canadiens Francois 1608-1860" Instit. Droum:
"A History of the Canadian West" by A.S. Morton.
Abbe' Daniel "Histoires des grande familles Francaises du Canada":
Abbe' Le Jeune "Diet. Gen. Histoire du Canada" Books by Archange Godboue.

Canadian telephone directories are available in the UK at certain major libraries, Canadian Embassy (trade section). Trade directories and other records at the Society of Genealogists & on the Internet.

George Frederick DELAFORCE (1811 - 1873) London Wine Merchant = 1. (?) Aurielia Mary COOPER

Eleanor DELAFORCE (1838 - 1865)

George Frederick DELAFORCE (1839 - 1885) = (1862) Eliza LAKE

see family tree below

George Frederick DELAFORCE = 2. (1846) Mary Ann COOPER

Edward James DELAFORCE (1852 - 1927) = 1. (1873) ?

Albert Edward John DELAFORCE (1875 - 1939) = (1897) Jenny ?

Albert James Selby DELAFORCE (1897 - 1956) = 1. (1921) Miss M. MALLEBAUD
= 2. (1929) Miss CHAPMAN

Richard S DELAFORCE (b. 1931) = (1954) Miss CHILTON

Nicholas DELAFORCE (b. 1958)

Shaun DELAFORCE (b. 1959)

Jane F DELAFORCE (b. 1964)

Edward James DELAFORCE (1852 - 1927) = 2. (22/7/1901) Bessy BRASSELL

Torfrida DELAFORCE (b. 31/3/1913) = 1. (1935) Jan van der SCHRIECK

= 2. (3/12/1951) Viktor JURGENS

Corrections & additional information from Torfrida Delaforce

George Frederick DELAFORCE = 3. (1861) Emma BATTELEY

Aurelia Emma DELAFORCE (1862 - ?) = (1886) ?

Samuel George DELAFORCE (1864 - 1932) = (1885) Annie

Frederick William DELAFORCE (1866 - 1871)

Emma Amelia DELAFORCE (1879 - ?)

George Frederick DELAFORCE (1839 - 1885) = (1862) Eliza LAKE

George Frederick Fleuriette DELAFORCE (1862 - ?) = (1886) Emma Mary Anne FANNING

George Frederick DELAFORCE (1891 - 1930) = (1916) Miss ROWLEY

Walter F DELAFORCE (b. 1817)

Doreen J DELAFORCE (b.1921)

Albert Edwin DELAFORCE (1864 - 1937)

Edith Elizabeth DELAFORCE (1872 - 1961) married twice (no details)

See next tree

Ethel DELAFORCE (1875 - ?)

Sydney Ralph Leopold DELAFORCE (1883 - 1953) = (1910) Ellen LITTLE

Sydney Ralph Leopold DELAFORCE (1911 - ?) = (1937) Edith Frances SHAW

George Frederick Fleuriette DELAFORCE (1912 - 1949) = (1933) ?

Edith Elizabeth DELAFORCE (1872 - 1961) married twice (no details)

Gilbert Everard (1902 - 1976) = (1935) ?

Milton Barry (b. 1937) = (1966) Carol Muriel ORCHARD

Bradley Barry (b. 1967)

Elizabeth Carol (b. 1970)

Ralph Grant (1946 - 1946)

Donna Maureen (b. 1943)

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Contact: Ken Baldry for more information, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 but best to e-mail him
©1980-2004 Patrick Delaforce & Ken Baldry. All rights reserved Last revised 7/12/2005