Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2005-11 > 1133129247

Subject: Re: [Q-R] Immigrations
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 17:07:27 EST

In a message dated 11/27/2005 4:26:14 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,

Speaking of immigrations: Why would a family move from Malone, NY, to Bay
City, MI?
One of my lines (one of my brickwalls actually) moved from Canada
(somewhere) to New York and one of the sons and his wife moved to Michigan. Somewhere
between 1870 and 1900.


Sue Schroeder

My grandfather, Chéri Montcalm, left Saint-Isidore de Laprairie to settle in
Gentilly, Minnesota around 1878, bringing with him his wife, Marie
Brossard, their children, including my grandfather, and his parents Jean-Baptiste
Payant dit Montcalm and Julienne Rheaume. Jean-Baptiste died on 2 December
1886. About two years later, Chéri and his family, including his mother, left
Minnesota to come to Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Why did the family emigrate from Laprairie to Minnesota? Because they
received a land-grant from the Government of the United States to develop
farmlands in the Red River Valley. In fact, Montcalm is still the most common
family name in Polk County. Why did they leave northwest Minnesota to travel to
western Massachusetts? [That's about a thousand miles from Laprairie to
Gentilly, and about the same distance from Gentilly to Holyoke.] Because there
was work to be done in the paper mills and cloth mills in Holyoke.

The main reason that populations move from one area to another is economic.
If the population in the Chambly-Longueuil-Laprairie area increases to the
point that there is not enough land to allow every family to support itself,
it makes sense for some families to emigrate and seek their fortune elsewhere.
When the industrial revolution began in the late 19th century, it made
sense for families in Quebec, and families who had emigrated to the US and
Canadian West, to move again to New England to work in the mills.

By the way, one of the reasons that families might move from northern New
York to Michigan may be because within the first half of the 20th century,
Kalamazoo had outdone Holyoke as the center of paper-making in the United States.

Economics may not be the whole story, but it is certainly a significant part
of the story!

Fr. Owen Taggart

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