A French Canadian Family – Augustin Noel and Sophia Allaire

“Nobody knows” – as the saying goes.  It has been almost half a century, and I still don’t know where my 2nd great grandfather was born!  Over the years I have met and corresponded with many relatives.  It has been an enjoyable journey, and even to this  day, I come across new found cousins with information.   I have also become involved with DNA research, and possibly this will be the key to finding the information I am seeking.

“The old-timers have departed this earth, and now I have become the “old-timer”!

Let me start at the beginning:

Augustin NOEL (Austin Newell) and Paul NOEL(Newell) came to America from Canada in the late 1840’s. They lived in the Blackstone River Valley area of Massachusetts for about 10 years (1850-1860).  Augustin married Sophia ALLAIRE (Allen) in Millbury, Massachusetts on February 16, 1852.  According to Augustin NOEL and Sophia ALLAIRE’S marriage record, Augustin’s father’s name was Jean and his mother‘s name, (difficult to read the handwriting) Madeline, Adeline or Adelaide.

Paul NOEL married Mary PLANT on June 12, 1850 in Sutton, Massachusetts. Their marriage was officiated by George D. Day, Rector of the First Baptist Church in Grafton, MA.   The Grafton First Baptist Church does not exist today and no church marriage record exists.

After laboring in an ax factory of Douglas, Massachusetts, Augustin and Paul brought their families to Monroe, NH, and took up farming.  Paul NOEL and his wife, Mary PLANT, did not stay long in Monroe, and returned to the Massachusetts and lived in Spencer.  An old map of Spencer shows the location of their house.   He and Mary raised a family of three children; Ella Rosa, Mary Jane, and Paul Henry.   I have been able to trace the descendants of the daughters.  But, have not been able to find further information of their son, Paul Henry (Jr.).   Paul (Sr.) worked the rest of his life in a shoe factory in Spencer, Massachusetts.  After his death, his married Remi Caron and remained in Spencer.

Augustin and Sophia NOEL stayed in Monroe, NH and raised about 14 children (several died young). Their children, in order of birth were Sophia (1853-1933), Austin (1854-), Mary (1855-),  Almira (1858-), Josephine (1861-1947), Joseph (1863-1870), Paul Henry (1864-1945), Julia (1867-1942), Philomena (1872-1884), Lewis Guy (1873-1948), Ellen Jane (1876-1953), and  Austin Philip (1878-1945).

The Monroe, New Hampshire town historian, Frances JOHNSON wrote a brief genealogical history of the Noel family in her book, HISTORY OF MONROE.

The Noel/Newell families have spread throughout New Hampshire and some moved further away outside of New England.   Most all anglicized their surname to Newell.

The birth records of Augustin and Paul Noel have not been found. One would think that someone  would know.   I have contacted many descendants of Augustin and Paul, and have heard many theories of their origin. There is a story that Augustin and Paul came over to Canada when they were children and their surnames were changed.

Augustin NOEL was born on June 15, 1830, in St. Charles, Quebec according to the baptismal record of his son, Lewis Guy Newell.  My cousin went to Quebec many years ago, and tried to locate the birth record of Augustin NOEL.  She decided to look in St. Charles; but learned afterwards that St. Charles had been renamed.    My cousin found out via an old gazetteer of Quebec it was St Charles de Notre Dame, and not as she thought, Notre Dame de Stanbridge.   My cousin looked in the Notre Dame de Stanbridge, and found many Noels on the census.   Unfortunately, when she went to the ‘old’ church, it had been torn down, and the records were missing. The stones in the cemetery had been removed. The oldest church there at that time had started around 1860…too late for our NOELS, and they did not have the records of the other church….   Augustin died on June 25, 1883, Claremont, NH and he is buried in the St. Johnsbury, Vermont Catholic Cemetery.

Augustin Noel’s brother, Paul NOEL was born about 1828 in Canada according to his death certificate.  Paul died in Spencer, Massachusetts on Oct. 6, 1872 and was buried in the Catholic Cemetery. A few years afterwards, the Spencer Catholic Church expanded and moved the remains of those buried in the old cemetery to a new cemetery.  Paul’s gravestone has not been located in the present day Catholic Cemetery.  It is rumored that there are old discarded gravestones in a woods nearby, and possibly his stone is there.

My hope is to  someday locate Augustin and Paul’s birth records.  DNA research may solve this mystery.

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