Confirmations at Ste Luce church, 1844 & 1850

Confirmations at Ste Luce

During Father Henri Dionne's tenure as pastor of Ste Luce, the Bishop of St.John, New Brunswick, William Dollard, visited Madawaska and performed the sacrament of confirmation, two times, once in August 1844, and a second time in July 1850.

According to church law at the time, there was no requirement that persons be confirmed, nor was there a required age, though the usual practice was to wait until a child had reached the age of reason. As mentioned below, in 1844 most of those confirmed were under the age of 20, usually between 13 and 17.

The parish of Ste Luce at this time included communities on both sides of the St.John River, including today's St.Hilaire, St.François and Connors in New Brunswick; and the Townships from Frenchville westward to Allagash and southward to Eagle Lake in Maine. The people in these lists thus come from both sides of the St.John River.

The Confirmations of 1844

On August 29, 30 and 31, 1844, Bishop Dollard confirmed 340 parishioners at the Ste Luce chapel -- 190 men and boys, 150 women and girls.

The persons confirmed in August 1844 ranged in age from 10 to 60, though about two-thirds were under the age of 20. It is clear that there had not been a confirmation in the area for many years, given the number of older persons being confirmed.

Father Dionne recorded the names of the persons confirmed as well as their ages. He divided the list into males and females. The first 190 or so names are those of boys and men. Following that is the list of women and girls (although two men's names are in that section). At the top of the first page, Father Dionne wrote (in French):

Le vingt neuf, le trente et le trente-un Août, mil huit cent quarante quatre, toutes les personnes sous-mentionnées ont été confirmées dans la Chapelle de Ste Luce par Sa Grandeur, Monseigneur William Dollard, Evêque du Nouveau Brunswick.
(English translation:
The 29, 30 and 31 August, 1844, all of the below mentioned persons were confirmed in the Chapel of Ste Luce by The Most Reverend William Dollard, Bishop of New Brunswick.

The list of persons confirmed was written in one of the parish account books, in the section where Father Dionne kept the records of the parish council. This is the same book in which he recorded the 1858 census of the parish. The pages of the book in this section are not numbered. Each page has three columns of names. The list covers all of two pages and a bit more than half of a third.

This is a useful document because it gives us the names as well as ages of people actually living in the parish in August 1844. Although it does not give any other information (such as parents' or spouses' names), it nevertheless is helpful. The census of 1840 gave only the names of heads of households, and so this is one of the first documents to list individuals.

I have transcribed the names and ages as written in the document. For convenience sake, I have put each column on its own page, and labeled it, for example: Page 1, column 2. In the original all three columns appeared side by side on each page.

These names are also included in the online searchable database of all documents from Ste Luce parish.

The Confirmations of 1850

In 1850 Bishop Dollard returned to Ste Luce. This time, he performed 222 confirmations on July 18, 19 and 20, again in the Chapel of Ste Luce.

Once again, Fr. Dionne made a list of those confirmed, which he put into the same parish accounts book as the 1844 confirmation. Again, each page has three columns, and the list covers about two and a half pages.

For the 1850 list, however, he included only names; unlike in 1844, he did not include ages. I have transcribed the names on this list and published it in alphabetical order of the names of those confirmed.

At the top of the first page Father Dionne wrote (in French):

Le dix-huit, le dix-neuf, et le vingt juillet, mil huit cent cinquante, toutes les personnes sous mentionnés ont été confirmées dans la Chapelle de Ste Luce par sa Grandeur Monseigneur William Dollard, Evêque du Nouveau Brunswick
(English translation:
The 18, 19 and 20 of July 1850, all of the below mentioned persons were confirmed in the Chapel of Ste Luce by The Most Reverend William Dollard, Bishop of New Brunswick.

Although this list contains only names, it was compiled at the same time as the 1850 US census was being taken, and a year prior to the 1851 New Brunswick census, thus idenfitying persons who lived in the area, some of whom were missed by the census takers.

For this list, I have put the names in alphabetical order. In parentheses after each name is the page, column and line number on which the person appeared. There is no apparent order to the original list.

Both of these documents are located in the Archives de la Côte-du-Sud et du Collège de Sainte-Anne, La Pocatière, Québec, in the Henri Dionne Collection, Box 35 (2), and is part of document XXIX. It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the Archives director François Taillon. Special thanks to archivist Pierrette Maurais, who was extremely helpful to me during my time at the archives.

These lists are part of this website's collection of documents of the Ste Luce parish. See the main page on Ste-Luce for other documents.

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Last revised 8 Jun 2007
©2007, C. Gagnon