DROUILLARD, JOSEPH EDWARD (father of Joseph Louis (William) Drouillard) was probably the most difficult to trace. He wasn't a farmer so his roots weren't planted in the ground that was passed on to him by his father. (Corny, I know). Joseph was a Hotel Keeper.
In each of the 1881, 1891 and 1901 census' Joseph was listed as a Hotel Keeper or Tavern Keeper. Some other interesting notes taken from these census' were:
Joseph was born in USA in about 1844 and moved to Canada in 1846 (2 years old)
Emilie was born in USA in about 1846 and moved to Canada in 1870 (24 years old)
All their children were born in Ontario
Joseph's father was born in Ontario, his mother was born in USA
Emilie's father was born in USA, her mother was born in USA
I made a few assumptions from this information...some turned out to be true, some not. One assumption was that when Joseph moved to Canada in 1846 he had to be with his father and mother. But how could his father move to Canada if he was born in Canada? His father must have moved to the USA before Joseph was born and moved back after. I was a little stumped.
There were a couple Josephs in the 1871 Ontario Census but none seemed to match (my) Joseph. A few of the pages for Sandwich West Township were missing so I figured that's where he was listed. I went to the 1861 and 1851 Census' and found a Joseph of the correct age as a child of Edward and Clara Drouillard. This family was not in the 1871 census either but it was a family I could made a note of.
A family similar to this one was noted in Denissen's book "French Families of the Detroit River Region". See the similarities.... But no Joseph!
I went back to the parish records of St. Joseph in River Canard. Starting with William's baptism, I searched backward and I found other children born to Joseph and Emilie. I searched back to the beginning of the Parish, 1864, hoping to find Joseph's marriage but was unsuccessful. The youngest child found was born and baptized in 1872.
I learned that one of the customs of the time was that couples were married in the bride's parish. Since Emilie moved to Canada in 1870, I thought maybe Joseph went to the USA, Emilie's parish, to marry her.
Before heading across the river I decided to re-check the Ontario Census' one more time because I had another line of Drouillard's to research on my grandmother's side and wanted to go over there with all my questions. I recorded all the Drouillard families found in all the census' and kept my eyes open for that other line. I linked up most of the families from the 1851 to 1861 to 1871 to 1881. There were a couple misplaced and those that may have been recorded on the missing pages of the 1871 census were found again in 1881. Joseph and Emilie were not found before 1881 and Edward and Clara (the couple that Joseph may have belonged to) were not found after 1861.
I did some checking on the family that was in "French Families", Edward Drouillard. Of the ten children listed with Edward, I managed to find seven baptized at Assumption. Two of them, the oldest two, had their mother listed as Justine Cousineau and five of them, the youngest five, although their names didn't quite match perfectly, had their mother listed as some variation of Clare Cousineau. My thought was that Justine changed her name to Clare or maybe Clare was her middle name or something. No baptisms were found for three of the children...Joseph being one of them. Looking a bit further back in the Assumption Parish records, I found the marriage record of Edward (spelled Edourd) Drouillard and Justine Cousineau. Assuming the two families were the same, something had to fill the gap between two of the children. There was still no link between (my) Joseph and Edouard.
What I had to go on so far was....
Edward and Clare were the only family in Ontario in 1861 with a son named Joseph of the correct age.
Edward Drouillard was born in Canada, married in Canada, had two children in Canada.
There is a gap from 1841 to 1849 in the children of Edward Drouillard listed in "French Families" and a gap in the children found in the Assumption parish records.
Edward may have had two children born in Canada, moved to USA and had two or three children and then moved back to Canada and had a few more. It was possible too that he may have adopted the three children not found in the parish records.
Joseph's birth year was 1844 so that might explain him moving to Canada with his father if Edward and Clare moved back to Canada in 1846 with Joseph and their other children.
Another explanation might be that Edward and his family were listed on those "missing" pages but that wouldn't explain why he wasn't in the 1881.
Joseph might have met Emilie Lapointe in USA around 1870, married her and then moved back to Ontario.
Prominent parishes mentioned in the book, "French Families" and the different articles I read about Drouillards of the area were Assumption, Sandwich, Ste. Anne, Detroit, St. Antoine, Raisin River, Michigan, St. Jean Baptiste, Amherstburg and St. Mary's in Monroe, Michigan. After checking through all the research material available at the Windsor Library regarding Ste. Anne Parish in Detroit, I headed over to the Detroit Library to view the parish records of St. Antoine, Raisin River. The Raisin River area is also known as Monroe, Michigan. Unfortunately, St. Antoine's wasn't listed with the microfilms available at the Detroit Library so I headed down to the Monroe Library.
I was unsuccessful in finding the marriage record for Joseph and Emilie in the St. Antoine/St. Mary's parish records. (The reason I didn't see St. Antoine in the microfilm list at Detroit was because its name changed to St. Mary's.) However, my trip to the Monroe Library proved to be well worth the time. When I told the librarian I was searching for Joseph Drouillard and Emilie Lapoint, he suggested that I look in the parish records for St. Joseph in Erie Michigan. The Lapointe name was more prominent there. We quickly checked the "Marriage Records of Monroe County" and found Joseph and Emilie were married in Vienna by Rev. Charles Thomas. "That's St. Joseph, Erie, MI". Within minutes I found the marriage record for Joseph and Emilie on the parish microfilm...WOOHOO!!! A little bit more searching and I found the baptismal records for Joseph and his sister Angelic...two of the three mystery children from the Ontario Census. A little bit more searching and I found the marriage record for Edouard Drouillard and Clare Cousineau. So now I have two marriages for Edouard. All the records were written in Latin so more careful reading and translating would be needed. As always, I was running out of time and would have to make another trip to Monroe later. I photo-copied the records, thanked the people at the library and headed back to Windsor.
After closer examination of the parish records I copied from St. Joseph, Erie, Michigan, I was able to piece together more information about Joseph Drouillard and Emilie Lapointe but had another mystery to solve in regards to his father Edouard. Read about that in the "History of Edouard Drouillard"
As tough to find was information about Joseph's life. Little clues were dropped here and there but until I could zero in on who Joseph was, I couldn't claim any of the information. Below are a few articles I found about Joseph Drouillard and Emilie Lapointe.