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As it is Halloween today, I think it is only fitting that I share a good Beaupre ghost story.
I heard about the ghost of The Ports from a number of different sources. The first source is a lovely lady that worked at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Kingston.  Her son had lived in an apartment above The Ports, and both he and his girlfriend had encountered the ghost on more than one occasion. A clerk at Peter’s Drugs in Portsmouth had also lived above The Ports and told me she had felt the ghost too.  The cook and some of the wait staff have also encountered the ghost on more than one occasion….saying they felt a presence and a cold spot down in the basement and in one area behind the bar near the kitchen!
After my husband Phil passed away in August of 2013, I needed to move away from Gananoque.  I needed to “go home”, but there was no ‘home’ in my hometown anymore.  The closest I could get was to move into an apartment above the Ports.  My youngest sister Madelyn, and I along with our parents had briefly lived at the Ports in the early 70’s. So on October 31, 2013, I moved in. The next day I was approached by the cook who asked if I was the new tenant who had a connection with The Ports. ” Yes” I replied, “why”? “You have woken  the Ghost”, he said. He then went on to explain that when he arrived that morning to start his kitchen prep, various items, including some knives, had been moved around in the kitchen and the box of latex gloves they use was sitting in the middle of the floor, nowhere near where they are kept!
You can imagine my surprise and delight! I had heard the ghost stories from others and here was another one! Oddly, the ghost stories of the Ports never scared me.  I guess because I always felt the ghost was a relative.
Not long after I had settled into the Ports I started to encounter the Ghost myself.  The first time was a blustery, rainy day in late November.  My arms were full of groceries and the car keys were still in my hand.  After entering my apartment, one of the bags broke and the contents spilled all over the floor.  I also dropped the car key ring which burst open and the keys scattered everywhere.  I picked up the groceries and the keys and, slightly flustered, went about restoring order.  I tossed the keys in my purse and made a note to get a new key ring.  The next day I was meeting a friend for lunch, but couldn’t find my car key.  It had been on the key ring the day before, but now was nowhere to be seen.  I looked everywhere! Even places it shouldn’t have been, like in the fridge!!!  I had to rearrange my lunch date to meet downstairs at The Ports for lunch. I looked high and low but the key was nowhere to be found. Two days later I found the car key sitting on a corner of the desk in my office.  I had not been in there in a week!!!!!!! spooky!
The other encounter involved my hearing aids.  I woke one morning to find them missing.  By this time I was in the habit of talking to the Ghost.  I asked very politely if I could have my hearing aids back, as I had no doubt the ghost was the culprit.  The next day one was returned to me, I found it sitting on the top of a high case, barely visible. It took two more days for the  ghost to return the second hearing aid which I found on a shelf in my closet.  I thanked the ghost profusely and said how I enjoyed their game but could they please not play with my keys or hearing aids.  I guess the ghost was miffed as there were no more “encounters”.
If I had to guess, I would say the ghost is probably that of my great-grandmother Anne Ester Beaupre.  She was a firecracker of a woman and a match for her husband Edouard Beaupre who accomplished many things in his lifetime.

Schooner Oliver Mowat

The stories of the Oliver Mowat are by far my favourite  because her journey from launch in 1873  to wreck in 1901 was so well documented and in such wonderfully descriptive language indicative of her era.

She was built in Millhaven by Edouard Beaupre and launched on 15 July 1873. Her specifications were a wooden 3 masted schooner measuring 116 ft. long by 26 ft. wide by 11 ft. deep in her hold, able to carry 341 tonnes with an 18,000 bushels capacity. Her owners were Messrs. Frazer & George.

The following are excerpts taken from the Daily British Whig, Kingston, 16 July 1873….” Bath, a town that has been making steady progress backwards, and has reached a point where progression must cease, [OUCH]was once noted for it’s shipbuilding but it’s near neighbour, Millhaven, yesterday accomplished it’s first achievement in the nautical line enterprise.   The new schooner of Messrs. Frazer & George of this city, was launched, and Millhaven and the country around made a gala occasion.”…

…..”there were not less than 2000 persons present at the appointed hour of 2 o’clock and the proportion of well dressed and bright looking country girls unmistakingly declared that the “Haven” would be a most attractive spot as a summer resort for city beaux.”

…..’The new vessel as she sat on the ways was much admired, her model being very graceful indeed, a close examination of her did not detract in the least from the impression gained on first view, for she is perfect in structure, and a credit to her builder, Mr. Beaupre of Portsmouth”…..

……She is a perverse boat, though, she loved the ways fondly, and would not leave them even to accommodate so large and admiring a crowd.  The operations for launching were begun at 1:30 but the ordinary means employed were to no avail. Move she would not; perhaps it was not a good day for moving, was too warm for much exertion.  The crowd was patient, however, and never ceased its interest in the expectant sight. Every method of hammering, levering and ramming was employed to induce the vessel to act with propriety and a graceful acquiescence becoming the occasion, but they were to be shown to be tricks that were vein as the noted heathen…. at 4:45, just as the word to adopt the last resort, that of the steamer jerking the schooner off, the vessel, as if smarting under the intended indignity, began to move downwards so neatly and gracefully that her former perverseness was overlooked.  As she glided away to enter upon her natural element, the fair daughter of the owners. Miss Frazer, christened the new candidate for nautical honors, whose handsome new flag was unfurled, displaying the name “OLIVER MOWAT”.

Attending the launching of the Oliver Mowat were the Premier of Ontario, the Hon. Oliver Mowat, brother-in-law to Mr. Fraser, and Mr. Wm Robinson, MPP with members of their families.  Judge Burrowes, and other gentlemen together with the wives and daughters of several prominent citizens.   …..”Mr. Mowat won several golden opinions, and especially so from the ladies, for his affability of manner, he is most agreeable company, and proved that it is not necessary to put on style to sustain the dignity of a Premier”.

And finally, the author of this piece who is unknown, could not help but give one last jab at Millhaven when he concluded article with…”One impression of Millhaven is that it possesses more “tight” young men on holiday occasions around its taverns than are creditable to an orderly village like it always has been”.  [In this case I am sure he means drunk rather than cheap. Sounds like a rivalry of some sort.]

The above extracts are from a much longer article.  I have a real soft spot for this style of writing, I find it poetic and very entertaining.  In those days, the newspapers and local gossip were not just the way to get the news but also they served as the foremost means of entertainment.

The Oliver Mowat enjoyed a mostly trouble free career. She did have a narrow escape according to an article in the Daily British Whig, Kingston 4 Dec 1876 which reads….”Narrowly Escaped Being Beached”- The schooner Oliver Mowat, Capt. Beaupre, which left port last night, narrowly escaped going ashore early this morning.  In a short time after she left port, the wind died away and the vessel drifted towards the west pier to the westward of the lighthouse. Just as she was in danger of being dashed on the west pier, the captain succeeded in getting a line to the beacon pier and vessel was held until this morning when the tug Morey  took her in tow and towed her enroute to Kingston. Light tenders Captains Munson and Budds were on hand and took the vessel’s lines. Had it not been for their assistance the vessel would have gone ashore as the crew could not get on the pier”.

In another article, source and date unknown, is the following…. “The Mowat was considered a very lucky boat by mariners and in only one instance can it be realized that she ever came to trouble. About 10 years ago she went ashore near Cobourg, but she was so  strong that all that was required after she had been raised was a little caulking and she was good as ever. Alas, her luck ran out on 1 Sept 1921, after nearly 50 years of sailing the Great Lakes. On the 1st of September 1921, near Pennicon Shoal off Main Duck Island, Lake Ontario she was rammed and sunk by the 1700 ton steel steamer Key West. The Captain and First Mate of the Key West were jailed for keeping such a poor lookout.  The Oliver Mowat was bound from Oswego to Picton carrying a load of coal.  She was always known as a fast sailor, and sadly was a total loss of $10,000.00.  Her master at the time of sinking was Captain Thomas Van Duesen. The Captain, the Mate J. Corby and the Cook all lost their lives, 2 other crew survived.

  1. A noted coincidence at the time of Edouard Beaupre’s death in Portsmouth 1908, the Oliver Mowat approached the  Portsmouth Harbour under full sail.  The boat he had built, loved and sailed so well was near when he passed away.

The Furthest Back We Go

As I said in the Overview, I have structured the Tree so that I am Generation 1.  I did this because that is how Ancestry keeps track, and with over 3000 names on my Tree, I need all the help I can get tracking who is who.  Now here is the tricky part…..we can keep adding generations backwards and forwards;  as the Tree stands right now I can go back 10 generations.  That’s 10 generations to me. BUT to go forward, you just add each generation to the total.  Got It?  The “oldest” names on the Tree are JOSEPH MORIN 1545-1616 and his wife         ? COLLINEAU DE MONTAGUERRE 1545-1640.  To me, they are my 10th great grandparents.  To my siblings children ie Emily and Hilary for example, they are their 11th great grandparents.  To Emily and Hilary’s children, Noah, Matthew, Oliver and Isabelle,- Joseph Morin and wife are their 12th great grandparents.  Easy, right?

When I researched back that far the information was scanty other than birth, marriages, off spring and death.  So here is a list of the earliest generation that I have found…..

JOSEPH MORIN 1545 1616  married  ? COLLINEAU de MONTAGUERRE 1545 -1640  gen 10

JOSEPH MORIN 1569 – 1656  married  MARIE ALPHONSINE LACASSE  1564 – 1652  gen 9

CLAUDE MORIN 1591-1640  married  JEANNE MOREAU 1595-1640   gen 8

NOEL MORIN 1616 -1680  married  HELENE DESPORTES 1620-1675  gen7

It is at this point where the ancestors really start getting interesting.  Maybe one day, one of the younger generations will take up the research and find some wonderful tidbits about the earliest generations.

HELENE DESPORTES, my 7th great grandmother had two husbands, 15 children and 75 grandchildren!  I wonder if she could remember all of their names?  HELENE was the first child born to French settlers in New France (Quebec).  Think about that for a minute…. the very first child to be born in Quebec was our ancestor!!!

Les Premiers Colons de Quebec


Her first husband GUILLAUME AUGUSTINE HEBERT 1575 – 1627  fathered 3 children with HELENE. Joseph  Hebert 1636-1662 died at the age of 25, Francoise Hebert 1637-1716, and Angelique Hebert 1639-1666 died at the age of 27.

Guillaume’s father,  Dr. Louis Gaston Hebert, 1575 – 1627 was born in Paris, and married his wife MARIE ROLLETT 1577-1649, in the year 1601. The Hebert family immigrated to New France with  Samuel de Champlain on his voyage in 1617.  Dr. Hebert would have been greatly appreciated on this voyage as he was a leading Apothecary of his time.

I’ll back up just a moment here to tell you about the first voyage of Champlain on April 13, 1608.  He and his crew departed from Honfleur, France with the intention of establishing a permanent settlement in New France.   After a voyage of 2 months, on June 3, he dropped anchor at the seasonal trading post of Tadoussac, established by French merchants at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in 1600. From there he travelled west.  For the site of the settlement, Champlain chose a flat area at a a narrow point along the St. Lawrence River where it is joined by the St. Charles River.  At the water’s edge the land was covered in walnut trees.  The Algonquians had named this area “Kebec” which meant “the narrows”.

 Upon arrival, with the Hebert family in 1617, there was only one structure standing, the “Habitation”, that Champlain had built on an earlier visit. Champlain described this land as “fine fertile country”, and he envisioned Quebec as a permanent French settlement in the New World, rather than merely a seasonal trading post.  It was Champlain and Hebert who believed in this dream and set about to make it happen.

Dr. Hebert, a farmer decided he needed better farm land so cleared the land and built his farm on the top of the hill overlooking the Habitation.  So it was that the HEBERTS became the first permanent settlers in New France and earned the title First Family of Quebec!!!  As I mentioned earlier, DR HEBERT was also an Apothecary and is attributed with being the father of pharmacy as we know it today.  His name is on many monuments and plaques in Quebec naming him among the first settlers of Quebec, New France.  There was even a stamp issued in his honour.

Louis Hebert Pharmacist                                    Louis Hebert Stamp                Louis Hebert Statue

To this day there are many tributes to Louis Hebert found in Quebec City.  This is  a restaurant Jessica and I dined at in 2015.

Louis Hebert Restaurant Quebec City 2015





The Whole Fam Damily

My first two posts featured my mother, Claire Zita Beaupre 1918-1980, then the family sayings.  I thought it was time to introduce more of Claire’s immediate family. This is only part of the Beaupre family.

                Beaupre Family Gathering circa 1933

9 of the 15 Beaupre Children circa 1933

Back Row Left to Right: Clifford Vincent Tisdale 1911-1998, George Norbert Beaupre 1887-1969, Wallace Joseph Beaupre 1914-2004,    Joseph Melville Beaupre 1919-?,   Edward Vincent Beaupre 1889-1969,    Alfred Moffat Beaupre 1908-1972,   Stanislas John Beaupre 1881-1949,   Lyons Hubert Charles Beaupre 1911-1999

Middle Row left to Right:  Peter Moffat Beaupre 1860-1956      Helen Magdalene Small 1882-1969

Front Row Left to Right: ,  Ethel Marguerite Beaupre Blakey 1894-1994,  Claire Zita Beaupre 1918-1980, Loretta Rose Beaupre Tisdale 1884-1971,   Johanna McDonnell Beaupre 1884-?

Note: Johanna McDonnell Beaupre was married to George Norbert Beaupre

I find the relationships of the people considering the dates they were born, fascinating.  I think it would be helpful to list in chronological order the two families of Peter Moffat Beaupre.

Peter Moffat Beaupre 1860-1956  married Anne Mackey 1857-1897  on Nov. 16 1880          their children:

Stanislas John Beaupre 1881-1949

Mary Esther Beaupre Burns 1883-1922

Loretta Rose Beaupre Tisdale 1884-1971

George Norbert Beaupre 1887-1969

Catharine Francis Beaupre Bowes 1888-1970

Edward Victor Beaupre 1889-1969

Carmel Irene Beaupre McCartney 1892-1957

Ethel Marguerite Beaupre Blakey 1894-1994

Peter Moffat Beaupre 1860  married  Helen Magdalene Small 1882-1969  on Nov. 15, 1901      their children:

Anna Delores Beaupre, Hinton, Greer, Culp 1903-?

Peter Wilfred Beaupre 1905-1985

James Lionel Beaupre 1906-1910

Alfred Moffat Beaupre 1908-1992

Lyons Hubert Charles Beaupre 1911-1999

Wallace Joseph Beaupre 1914-2004

Claire Zita Beaupre Keane 1918-1980


If you look at the picture above and find Clifford Tisdale and Joseph Melville Beaupre, you will notice they were born before Claire, and yet she is their Aunt, because they are the children of her siblings.  It gets better…… if you notice the birth year of Stanislas John Beaupre at 1881, you will see he is one year older than his new stepmother, Helen Magdalene Small Beaupre who was born in 1882.  In fact, when Helen married Peter Moffat, PM, she took on the role of “stepmother” when she was 19, and the “children” ranged in age from 20 to 7 years old!!!!

It can be very complex when trying to keep track of who is who and how are they related to each other.  If you have any questions, or if you notice any errors, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I love talking about our family.

The Beaupre Family: Sayings

Please note:  One of my loyal followers emailed to me asking for a clarification about some data on my last blog.  They are correct; in the first sentence of the article below the picture of St. Michael’s School, the original author wrote that “she interviewed PM Beaupre in 1948 and that he was 98 at the time”.  He may have looked 98 , but actually he was only 88.  Perhaps it was a typo.  PM Beaupre died in 1956 at the age of 96.  Thanks so much for your question.


I am sure every family passed down it’s sayings from one generation to the next and ours was no exception.  My mother, Claire Beaupre, seemed to have a saying for every occasion.  I find myself frequently repeating these sayings and have heard on numerous occasions my siblings doing the same.  The following is a list of these much beloved terms:

Bless Your Little Pointed Head….her standard reply after we couldn’t find the object right in front of our nose or when we uttered something particularly idiotic.

You Have To Be Dead To Be A Martyr….. although normally a very kind and loving mother, her patience would wear thin at times when we would complain bitterly at our lot in life

No Sense No Feeling……when we would walk around with our coats flying open and no hats or mitts in cold weather

I Love You All Dearly, But Next Time Around It’s Goldfish….. this was a certain indication that we were skating on very thin ice

They Have Guardian Angels and Insurance Policies…..this was uttered in answer to someone asking Claire why she didn’t seem worried that we were playing on the railings of a bridge.

A male friend would ask my mother how she was feeling?  Her instant reply (with a twinkle in her eye) was always, “Fine, Want To Feel?”

When anyone would express concern about dying and going to Hell, my mother would just laugh and say “Don’t worry, they’ll have to stoke Hell a lot longer to get it hot enough for you”, OR, “Well at least you’ll be warm”.

As a teenager, when I would ask her to buy me another pair of shoes, she would inevitably say… If They’re Looking At Your Feet, Then You’re Doing Something Wrong.

Another gem when things were going right: God is good and the Devil ain’t bad

We often had guests at the dinner table, but when it was just the family, we were allowed to pick up a steak or chop bone so that we could enjoy every morsel….but only to a point.  If we were knawing too long or too noisily, Claire would lean over, look us straight in the eye and say…would you like to take that down on the floor?… A clear signal to put the bone down.

Claire’s best advice to us was Be Careful What You Wish For, You’re Almost Certain To Get It!

Claire probably heard some of these saying from her parents.  Helen Magdalene Small, nickname, Henner, her mother, also had some special phrases:

Just An Inch To Say I Tasted It……. her standard reply when asked if she would have dessert.  I understand she would then proceed to eat the entire dessert with enthusiasm.

I Never Closed My Eyes…… when asked if she had a good night’s sleep.  On at least two occasions my father, Basil Derek Keane, found this most frustrating as the family pub, which Henner lived above was vandalized twice over the years and when asked if she heard anything she replied…I didn’t hear a thing!

What Would The Neighbours Think!…..this was very common of this and previous generations.  What the neighbours thought was of paramount importance, and to act in a refined and upstanding manner was everything.

Indulge me now as I step outside Beaupre family content to add some of my father’s line.  The Keane’s were from London England and before that Ireland.  In London my father’s family lived in a district of London where they would have been considered Cockney. I assume some of his mother’s sayings, and his, were derived from London and Ireland.

Eat It Against Ya Do…..this is still one of my favourites.  It meant, I know you don’t want to eat it, but be quiet and eat it anyway.

Put That In Your Sky Rocket…… when handed something from my father that he wanted us to put in our pocket.  I know this was part of the Cockney rhyming slang.

Tell Me What It Is And I’ll Tell You What It Eats! ……..usually heard when we were behind a slow driver and my father was anxious to get home to his lunch after church on Sunday

The Pig Will Be Up In A Minute…..another one of my father’s gems which he said every time he burped.  I’m still not really clear about that one.

If any family members can think of any other sayings, please add them in the comments and I’ll include them in an updated version. Thanks!








Claire Zita Beaupre…the school years


Claire in school

Claire circa 1928

I was lucky enough to purchase a copy of “Celebrating the Centennial  The Church of the Good Thief 1894-1994“. It contains a wealth of family history as well as stories about the Village of Portsmouth.  One of the chapters outlines the “Chronology of St. Michael’s School“. “ The first record of a separate school in Portsmouth dates back to 1850 when one was established in a frame house on Richard St. near the waterfront.  The next school, on McDonald St was built in 1859. A subscription list was put out at the time to which many citizens, both Catholic and Protestant, contributed…… The subscription list was carefully preserved by P.M. Beaupre, whose grandfather, Edward, was one of the original subscribers and an officer of the local school board.  The recording of donations was in pounds, shillings and pence.”  P.M.Beaupre is Claire’s father. And of special note, Edward Beaupre was P.M’s father, NOT his grandfather.  This is a perfect example of why researching the past can be so tricky.

We then fast forward to 1925, which is about the time young Claire would have started school. “In 1925 the building was enlarged to accommodate junior classes. Prior to this time the junior students had been taught in a nearby house, which was also the home to the Sisters of Providence who taught in the parish”. The house they are referring to is behind the Church of the Good Thief. Less than a decade ago, that same house came up for sale.  I was living in Vancouver at the time and joked with my husband that we should buy it.  He said he wouldn’t take the chance because we would probably be struck by lighting as I was a fallen away Catholic!

1934   Until 1934 the school had two schoolrooms and two teachers.  From 1911 onward, teachers had been provided by the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul, who by this time resided at St. Mary’s of the Lake in Kingston.  The Separate School Board had requested the sisters to teach at St. Michael’s School the pupils from the orphanage at St. Mary’s of the Lake.

ports school

After graduating from primary school, Claire then attend The Notre Dame Convent at the corner of Bagot St. and Johnson St. in Kingston.  She had many stories to tell about her education with the nuns.  My favourite is when Claire and her all female classmates approached one of the younger more “progressive” nuns to ask if the nun would approach the Mother Superior to obtain permission for the graduating class to hold a dance in honour of their graduation.  This had never been done before, and to even ask was considered outrageous.  The class said they would make all the decorations. cover all the expenses of the entertainment and even pay to have the gymnasium floor redone after the dance.  After many sleepless nights, and much toing and froing, permission was finally granted.  I guess the young nun was pretty persuasive because the Mother Superior even declared that the other nuns could stay up late, bedtime was usually 9:00pm, to see the girls in their dresses etc.  The whole Convent was thrown into a hive of excitement and activity. After months of preparation and anticipation, the big day was only a week away.  Everything was ordered and arranged, all the dresses were made and all the corsages were ordered.  And then in one moment it all came crashing down.  One of the older nuns had overheard two of the girls talking about their dates.  Practically fainting on the way, the nun went straight to tell the Mother Superior what she had heard.  The decision was swift and final…the dance was cancelled!!!!  In all the planning and preparations, no one had thought to mention to the nuns that there would be boys attending.  As far as the girls were concerned, that was a given.  But of course, the nuns saw it differently. The idea that  men would be walking the halls of the Convent was just too terrible to contemplate. No amount of pleading could change the Mother Superior’s mind.  The dance was cancelled and there would be no more discussion.  It was a very disappointed graduation class that year.           I know the younger generations reading this story will be baffled, but that’s just the way it was in 1930’s!

In Claire’s day, they had different terminology to describe the various grades.  It was something like Junior Matriculation and Senior Matriculation.  If any of my followers remember the correct names and to which grades they referred, I would love you to share in Comments.  Thanks.