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Marin Girouard

Un centenaire/a centenarian

From an article in the Moncton's paper,
"The Daily Times", July 5, 1804.
The photocopy of the newspaper page was sent to me by :
Mrs. Paula Girouard

A CENTENARIAN

Sketch of the life of the late
Marin Girouard

The above is from a photograph of the late Marin Girouard, of St.Mary, Kent Co., a brief notice of whose death, June 20, has already appeared in The Times. Deceased, who it will be seen, was a fine looking well preserved old man, was 100 years old. He was the son of Jos. Girouard and was born at Buctouche, where the James A. Irving steam mill now stands.

His grandfather, Gervais Girouard, was for sometime after the expulsion of the acadians from Port-Royal, a political prisoner at Halifax. After gaining his liberty, he went and settled at the French Settlement, about four miles above Fredericton, called Pays Bas, where he lived for a number of years. A few French families, the Thibodeaus, Masarelles and Cormiers still live there. He subsequently lived with his son, Joseph Girouard, alias "Bob" Girouard and the rest of the family settled at the "Conde" or "Bend", a few miles above Moncton, on the Albert County side of the Petitcodiac river, where he lived for some time, and about the year 1786, moved to Buctouche, where in 1794, the subject of this sketch was born.

He (Marin Girouard) was a veteran of the war of 1812-14, having been drafted by a British officer in 1812 at the age of 18 years while mowing on the Buctouche beach, and has for the past 18 years been receiving a pension from the Dominion government.

In 1818, Marin Girouard was married to Suzanne Doucette of Pointe Sapin, Kent Co., and had ten children, 7 sons and three daughters. The sons were John Baptiste, father of Edward Girouard, Barrister at Moncton, Beloni, who died about ten years ago, Samuel, Oliver and David, who died before attaining manhood, and Antoine Girouard, Esquire, who was elected to the House of Assembly in 1870 and represented the county of Kent until the general election of 1874, when he was appointed sheriff of Kent by the King-Frazer government, a position he held until the year 1887, when W. Wethen, Esquire, ex-sheriff, succeeded him in that office.

Marin Girouard was for the greater part of his younger days, connected with lumbering and milling. He built a saw mill on the Pick Cove, a branch of the Buctouche river, about 50 years ago, which he operated for a number of years and afterwards sold to the late Robert B Cutler, ex-M.P. for Kent.

He told many vivid stories portraying the hardships the first settlers on the Buctouche river had, where the only mode of travel up and down the river for many years after the first settlement was by canoe in the summer and hand sleds on the ice in the winter, there being no roads or bridges in those days. He tells of going to Miramichi with a hand sled in the winter for supplies. In those days, flour was $30.00 per bbl. He also went from Buctouche to Fredericton several times on snowshoes to interview the government in connection with land grants or aids for roads and bridges in the county of Kent.

He was always jovial and even witty and was the friend of every man who knew him. Old Marin Girouard always lived in the most cordial and friendly relations with his Irish, Scotch and English neighbours, a thing wich contrasted with most of the other French Acadian people of Kent, who up to within a few years, though not living at enmity with their fellow-citizens and neighbors, the English, yet generally keep aloof from them. His wife died 20 years ago. He leaves five sons and one daughter and a great many grand-children and great-grand-children and a host of friends to mourn his loss.

End of article

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