The Shipbuilders

On Saturday July 8, 2017, I went to see the Tall Ships first hand as they were anchored in the town of Bath ON to help celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary.  It was an impressive sight indeed. I felt a deep connection to these ships because I know some of our shipbuilding ancestors sailed on and built ships very similar to these.

As I mentioned before, I have been researching the Beaupres for years and I can honestly say the time I spent researching the shipbuilders and sailors around Kingston and Portsmouth was the most exciting.  When you’re young, you take the stories of the family history in stride, never really understanding what they represent and how they connect you to your home and community.  I wish I had had this interest in history when I was in school! So, on to the sailors and shipbuilders….

Amabale Edouard Beaupre Pic (2)

Amable Edouard Beaupre above.


Amable Edouard Beaupre 1796-1863,  my 2nd great-grandfather was born in Ste-Genevieve-de-Berthier, Quebec on 17 April 1796.  He served in the Royal Navy from 1814-1820 from the ages of 18 to 24, defending Upper and Lower Canada from the threat of invasion from the United States. I am assuming it was during this time, while he sailed the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario and Lake Huron patrolling the boarder, that he decided to settle near Kingston at Hatter’s Bay (Portsmouth). He married Agathe Caisse in Sorel Quebec on 27 Oct 1817.  He was 21 and she was 17. During their first years of marriage they moved a number of times as their first child, Amelia was born somewhere in Ontario and their son, Edouard, my great-grandfather was born in the county of Prescott.  All the subsequent 8 children were born in Portsmouth.

Of Amable’s 10 children,  5 were males. William died at the age of 12. Edouard, Pierre, Isaiah all became sailors and shipwrights and Remigius became a hotel keeper.  At this point I do not know if any of his daughters married sailors or shipwrights, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had.

Edouard (Edward) _Scud_ Beaupre (2)

Edouard (Scud) Beaupre above.

Amable’s legacy continued in the next generation as his son Edouard Beaupre 1820-1908 fathered 12 children, 8 boys and 4 girls.  At the time of Edouard’s death in 1908, 3 of his daughter were still living. Ann Esther Beaupre’s first husband was Captain John Saunders, Olevia Beaupre married George Sullivan a guard at Kingston Penitentiary and Ann Esther Beaupre married Richard John Baiden, a neighbour for years who was a Market Gardener, and no doubt sold supplies for the ships that moored in the harbour of Portsmouth.  As for Edouard’s sons, most of them followed in their father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.

Edward Amos (Ned) Beaupre was a Captain and vice-president of the Albany and Troy Steamboat Co.; William Beaupre was assistant foreman and shipbuilder at Ballard, Washington. Captain Charles Beaupre was a well known mariner on the lakes who lived in Portsmouth.  Peter M (PM) Beaupre rose to the status of First Mate before deciding to quit the sea and join the staff of Kingston Penitentiary (see previous blog). Captain Alfred Beaupre worked at the Pittsburg Steam Co.  Edouard’s other two sons, Francis Leonard Beaupre became a carriage builder in Michigan City Indiana and Edwin Beaupre became a wholesale liquor dealer.

Edouard was not the only son of Amable to become involved in the family business.  Isaiah Beaupre 1831-1902 and his brother Pierre Beaupre 1825-1887 became  carpenters and worked along side their father and grand-father building ships.

The call of the sea then continues on into the next generation as Captain Charles J Beaupre’s son, Leon Rochefort Beaupre 1893-1961  became a Captain and operator of Pyke Salvage and Operations Co. Kingston, making Leon the 4th generation of Beaupres to sail the great lakes.

Of special note; Captain Charles J Beaupre 1857-1919 was lost at sea.

In my next Blog I will talk about some of the ships the Beaupre men built……