Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Q is for QUEBEC (LOWER CANADA) #AtoZChallenge

For this year's challenge, my theme is The Fun in Writing. Each of my 26 posts for April is aimed at
illustrating fun parts of an author's day. A writer doesn't only write.
Creating a story or an essay requires research, revision, editing, and lots and lots of coffee and chocolate.


Over the past five years, I've been working on a genealogical novel that covers the homelands of my ancestors. During NaNoWriMo 2015, I added fifty thousand words to the mix (making me a NaNoWriMo WINNER! Yeah, me.) The weekly gathering place for the month of November was a movable feast. For the Sunday sessions, I experienced a new brewery in Waikiki, aptly named Waikiki Brewing Company . . . another reason I have so much fun writing!
Several of my ancestors immigrated to Quebec, which at the time was known as Lower Canada. Some of the ancestors emigrated from France, others from Ireland. A couple of these folks, one a descendant of emigrants from LaRochelle, France; the other a direct emigrant from Tipperary County, Ireland; met up in Wisconsin where they said, "I Do." The 1860 census lists them as Philis (Felix) and Margaret Plant with three children; directly below them are listed his parents, Francois and Phillis (Felicity) along with young Philis, Felix's first child. (From the names, you see why genealogy research gets confusing.)

Long before their marriage took place in Wisconsin, though, the French LaPlante folks who settled in Quebec had to break rocky ground for planting, and cut down trees to build shelter. No Walmart greeted them with shelves overflowing with hammers and protein drinks and fresh vegetables. These settlers were on their own to "make their own" with whatever they brought from the homeland. 

The Irish McKeough family escaped a cholera epidemic, along with an agricultural crisis that became known as the great potato famine. Immigrants traveled across stormy seas in cramped conditions before arriving in Lower Canada with only the meager belongings they were able to carry with them.

Quebec is known for its fur trade business, especially beaver pelts when the fur became the fashion statement of Europe during the 1800s. Also noteworthy is that the province of Quebec is famous for its thousands of lakes, formed during the deglaciation period beginning about 15,000 years ago.







  1. Fascinating. i loved the Little House on the Prairie books when I was a child, so interesting hearing about pioneers! I am part Irish, but my ancestors only crossed the Irish Sea... I did a Hawaiian creature for P! ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

  2. I had family on my dad's side come from France to Quebec. I still have relatives that live up there too.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  3. I have Canadian cousins, but none from Quebec. Just across the river in Windsor. Used to be so easy to just drive over for a visit. Now I need to get a passport to go over.

    Finding Eliza

  4. Since beginning to follow you during the #Challenge, I am behind in reading your posts. Trying to visit as many others sites as possible. Looking forward to catching up soon. Enjoying what I am able to read. Thanks. Have not visited Quebec, but hope to one day. Visiting on the letter R day where I have written about a hotel in Italy that I used in a second novel. Wish I were writing you from there rather than North Carolina. Having hun, however. Cheers.

  5. I had relatives that emigrated from Ireland to Quebec, too. It came as a surprise, because Quebec has such a Gallic identity.


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