Descendants of Hudson
Bay Company employees pioneer settlers, lighthouse
keepers and their 'country
wives', on Vancouver
& Gulf Islands of British Columbia dominant
surnames connected to this line of research are:
Poirier, McFadden, Stephens, Michelsen, French, Brooks, Brown,
Goudie, Greig, Vautrin which make for a fairly good
representation of various nations throughout the world.
Acknowledgments for their unselfish sharing of their
own research and their sites
protect privacy information about living individuals,
except for their name and family links, has been excluded.
One of the problems of
searching the native families is that they didn't
always use the same name and the clergy didn't always
record the name the same way each time. Hence Barra is
sometimes Barry, Berra, Burra etc.
Fur trade society developed its own marriage rite,
la façon du pays (after the custom of
the country), which combined both First Nations and
European marriage customs.
During the 1800s and into
well into the 1900s, there was social stigma attached to
anyone with Native ancestry. A prime example of the
sentiment of the time is contained in a letter found at the
BC Archives (MS 0182 - Yale or Reel # A01658). It's
referenced as 'no 11,' a letter to James Murray Yale from a
friend, Mary Julia Mechtler. On page 2, she writes:
"Continue to keep your good resolutions
of not taking an Indian wife, on account of yourself as
well as of the dreadful fate that generally awaits the Bois
Brule offspring of such a connection. Reflect what
every man owes himself. What apology can a white man
make to his children for mixing and polluting his pure
blood with that of a savage. How dare such a person
pretend to principle and feeling! Fie upon him for a
selfish monster! I hope, my dear James, you will
never have such a reproach to make to your conscience."
Reviewing the history of The
Black Church in Canada, Denise Gillard, a recent
McMaster graduate and Baptist pastor, provides a valuable
summary of the Black Church experience both in New France
and under the subsequent British regime (particularly in
Nova Scotia and what would later become Ontario). By way of
conclusion, she identifies key metaphors for interpreting
the difficulties, as well as the achievements of that
experience from an Afro-centric perspective.