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Romain(e) Jean Michaud
and his Family

Romain(e) Jean Michaud, the son of Pierre Michaud and his second wife, Marie Lamarre, was born at the family home in Riviere Ouelle, Kamouraska, in 1787. There is some confusion with the spelling of his name. Some records indicate that he spelled Romaine with an (e) on the end, although other family members have said that a Frenchman would never do that, because the "e" was a feminine ending to a name... The jury is still out on this one.

We don't know much about his early life, but family tradition (from several sources) indicate that he may have fled to the Madawaska region after the British attempted to press him into service against the United States during the War of 1812, although he was only a 16-year-old boy at the time.

Again, from oral histories, it seems he surreptitiously returned from time to time to the Riviere Ouelle area after the war, to visit his beloved Marie Marthe Caron, the daughter of Jean Francois Regis CARON and Marguerite FOURNIER. In fact, he and Marie were married on April 24, 1817, in L'Islet. Their son, Jean Romaine, was born there in 1819, and a daughter, Marguerite, was born there in 1821.

Romain(e) Jean Michaud

Some time after this, he, and his growing family, returned to the St. John River region, to the area called "the Madawaska," and the Acadian settlements. They had probably traveled by way of the "Trois Pistoles Portage", meaning they traveled up the Ashberish and Trois Pistoles Rivers to Lake Temiscouata, and then down the Madawaska River to the St. John -- a trip that, in the Fall and Spring, could be done almost completely by water.

Kamouraska
to St. John River

The 1831 US Government Survey of "the Inhabitants of the Madawaska Settlements" confirms that a Romaine Michaud was in possession of "30 rods front" on the south bank of the St. John River, land he had purchased from François Gooding. His property included a house, a barn, and 10 cleared acres of land. This property was part of a larger grant made by the Government of New Brunswick in 1794, extending from Green River down the St. John to Van Buren, [today Grand Isle to Van Buren -- about eight miles]. So, we can assume he was in the area some time after the birth of his first daughter in 1821 and before the birth of his son, Albert/Norbert, who was born on September 12, 1828 "in St. Basile, New Brunswick (the Madawaska)".

We know that another son, Eusebe "Zebulon" was born in 1830, probably on this land, and another son, Paul Napoleon, was born "in 1837 in Madawaska" and that they still lived on the Gooding property in 1839, when their son Thomas was born "near Keegan" -- the area west of present day Van Buren and the Cyr Plantation.

About this time, the AROOSTOOK WAR was being "almost fought" in the area. With the resolution of the international border at the St. John River, Romaine took the opportunity to move to more productive lands. Records indicate that "the Michauds being the only family living it that then wilderness…Romaine Michaud, with his family, moved to Wallagrass in 1843…"

Michaud Hill, Wallagrass

At Wallagrass, Romaine took possession of some land in Township 17 at the north end of the Wallagrass Stream Bridge. The plantation of Wallagrass was virgin wilderness when Romaine settled there, taking up a pre-emption claim from the government. The claim was rich in pine forest, but a quantity had been cut prior to his arrival. On this property, Romaine built a house, farmed, kept a little store and public house, and worked at lumbering. He was never reimbursed for the timber cut from his claim, as he had been led to believe. Nonetheless, his eight lots were valuable and he prospered there.

His land followed the Wallagrass stream to the Fish River, down the river to lot 7, then up to the Main Road (at Soldier Pond?), and then back south to the stream. He also had lots on both sides of the Fish River. These were lots 9 and 10 on the local survey. There were three lots on the West side of the Main road, which were south of the following lots: 40, 41, 42 and 43. This area between Soldier Pond and Wallagrass, on Maine Route 11 is still called Michaud Hill today. I have also been told that Romaine's home still stands on Michaud Hill, although in great disrepair.

Marie Marthe died in 1856, and was buried in Wallagrass. The following year, Romaine made arrangements to settle his estate among his children.

Portrait of Romain(e) Jean Michaud
Provided by Jim Dumond


The Children of Romain(e) Jean Michaud

Before he died in 1857, Romaine transferred his land and buildings to his oldest son Albert. In addition, he sold Albert three of his Fish River lots for $400. He also sold his land "on the west side of the road near Wallagrass Stream, on the west to east corner of lot 43…" to Philomen Michaud in April of 1857.

The store at Soldier pond stayed in the family for several generations, through Romaine's son Thomas, who in addition to lumbering, farming, and running the store, was also the first game warden in all of northeastern Maine.

Thomas's son, Thomas T., expanded the business to include the lucrative potato industry, establishing a shipping and storage business that encompassed sites in Soldier Pond, Wallagrass, Eagle Lake, Winterville, Fort Kent Pit, Fort Kent, St. Francis, Albert, and Frenchville.

Another of Romaine's sons, Magloire, married Marie Lucie Emond on July 10, 1848, at Frenchville and remained in the area as well. His granddaughter, Catherine/Katherine, the daughter of his son, Magloire (Mac) II, and Catherine Farrell (married 1880), was featured in a family interview about growing up in Eagle Lake ( see the article here).

Romaine's third son, Eusebe Zebulon, would take possession of his father's property on lot 11, next to his brother Thomas [Damase]. His story follows....


A family story, as related to me by a cousin in Maine: "They used to call Upper Frenchville by the Native American name, Chattaqua, which means "Cats Corner". The French families living there were teased about the name, and they got sick of it. That is where Romaine came in. He organized a militia to take care of the English who were coming down the St. John. Although there was never a fight, I guess that sometime it was nip and tuck. I remember my Grandfather referring to the name of Chattaqua with pride...."

Anyone heard about this or have additional information about the children of Romaine Jean Michaud and the settlement of Eagle Lake? I'd love to hear from you if you do! Contact me at MAZHUDE@HOTMAIL.COM

Information from: the database of Colin Michaud; the Acadian Archives at the University of Maine at Ft. Kent, family stories, and personal research.

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