Grandmother of the West
     
  "Grandmother of the West" - truly the role of Mary Ann Maranda, who had wedded Joseph Brulé in Oregon. Generations later, descendents were recalling tales of the large cavalcade, freight wagons and the months on the trail to reach British Territory.

Living on the east bank of Sooke River with the large family group, Mary Ann continued bearing babies, so that her children with Brulé numbered six. The family homesite was of log buildings, and situated approximately at the riverbank end of what was later named Calvert Road. In 1858 her husband Joseph died (51)

In 1860 she married Jean Baptiste Vautrin, (52) and later, moved about the southern Vancouver Island area, as work took him to Mill Bay, Victoria and other sites. One of the men who had traveled north from Ft. Vancouver to Ft. Langley, Joseph Poirier, had come to Sooke to fall timber for Captain Grant, and settled on land by the river (53)

As Mary Ann's first family reached adolescence, and while she was bearing additional children by Vautrin, her daughter Ellen caught the eye of Joseph Poirier. Married to Poirier, Ellen too raised a large family, living on the cabin on the river flats. Poirier was to sell that site to Edward Milne in the 1880's.

Conditions were difficult in the times, and frequently parents had to endure the sorrow of losing children at birth or through illness. Joseph and Ellen Poirier were no exceptions, but their children who grew to maturity, were to number twelve. Ellen Poirier is pictured here (seated) with her daughter Cecile, and Cecile's children Claude and Margaret.

First was Joseph Jr. who grew up to marry Mary White; then Mary Ann who married Joseph Enos; Adolphus who remained a bachelor; Louise who married Alfred Fletcher; Ellen who married Thomas Jefferson Robinson; Isobel who married Andrew Davidson; James who married Alice White; Victoria who married a Mr. McLeod and widowed, married Harry Dilly; Pete who married Kit Hammond; Sarah who married George Throup and later Mandus Michelsen; Adelia who married Harry O'Meara and later Robert Lidgate; and the youngest Cecile who married William Johnson and then later, Harry Dilley.

Most of these families remained on Vancouver Island, and readers can readily imagine the numbers of youngsters who have grown up from these origins in the generations since Mary Ann met Joseph, Generations of Poiriers have been renowned as woodsmen, hunters and fisherman.

The story does not end there, for Mary Ann produced nine more children with Jean Baptiste Vautrin.

Though many of these offspring were to return to Oregon with their parents (54) where Mary Ann was once again a widow, the Vautrin name did remain in the Victoria area, with many additional descendants.

The photograph on the right shows Mary Ann Maranda Brulé Vautrin in Oregon in 1918, while she rested on the porch of her granddaughter's house in Grande Ronde.

Her daughter Cecile Brulé had married a Mr. Fullem, and the Fullem's daughter Mildred and her husband Abe Holmes are pictured here too, part of a large American contingent of the family.

From Mary Ann's marriage to Jean Baptiste Vautrin, perhaps the best known in Sooke of their nine children, was Mary Ann, who was to grow up to marry John Goudie. Also Descended from a fur-trade family. (see page 87) John Goudie was living west of Sooke and listed as a "chopper" in the 1881 federal census.

Their first child, Dora Jane, was to marry James George French; next was Margarite who married a Mr. Stewart; James who married Lily Michelsen; Rosalie was unlucky in marriage; George who married Lizzy Poirier; John who remained unmarried; Peter who wed Mary Newbold; Isaac, a bachelor, Josephine who married James Golden; Albert and Frank, also bachelors; Pearl who married Herbert Stephens and then Daniel Boon; and the youngest, Kate, who married Frank Hughes. Many members of the Goudie family also remained in the Sooke and Otter Point area, while several moved to connect with other relations throughout the northwestern U.S.A."

p. 65-67 "The Sooke Story - The History and the Heartbeat"
ISBN 0-9694942-2-X
Limited First Edition
Copyright 1999
Sooke Region Museum