Marie-Anne (GABOURY) LAGIMODIÈRE (c1782-1875)
Born at Maskinonge, in the Parish of Three Rivers, on 14 August 1780, she was the daughter of Charles Gaboury (?-?) and Marie Anne Tessier (?-?).
At the age of fourteen she became an assistant housekeeper at the rectory at Maskinonge. It was here she met, and later married, Jean-Baptiste Lagimodière (1778-1855) on 21 April 1806. They had eight children: Reine Lagimodière (1807-1893), Jean-Baptiste Lagimodière (1808-1886), Josette Lagimodière (1809-1897), Benjamine Lagimodière (1811-1891), Appolline Pauline Lagimodière (1813-1865), Romain Lagimodière (1819-1905), Julie Lagimodière (1820-1906, mother of Louis Riel), and Joseph Lagimodière (1825-1864).
She insisted on accompanying her husband back to the Northwest, where he was employed at Pembina by the Hudson’s Bay Company. They left shortly after their wedding for the North-West, arriving at Pembina in August. It is said Madame Lagimodière was the first white woman in the West. On 06 January 1807, she gave birth to a daughter, Reine, who is reputed to have been the first white child born in the Red River country. The Lagimodières were the first to settle and raise a family on the Prairies.
In 1818 they moved to St. Boniface where Marie-Anne lived until her death. Legends about her courage are common among Franco-Manitobans.
She died 14 December 1875 in St. Boniface and is buried in the St. Boniface Cathedral Cemetery. She is commemorated by Ecole Marie-Ann-Gaboury in Winnipeg. She was selected posthumously as a Manitoba Women Trailblazer.
- Reprinted with permission from Manitoba Historical Society and updated.
- Death Registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
- Church Records, Quebec.
- Grave Markers, Find a Grave.
- The Canadian Encyclopedia.
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