My father always referred to his father's mother as Mary Goulah, and that is how I think of her. She died long before my father was born and in fact even his father was too young to remember his mother when she died. Her married name was Cournoyer/Courneya. I have not been able to find a baptism record for Mary, and I don't know if she was born/baptized in what is now Quebec or Ontario. If the former, she would have appeared in the register as Marie Goulet. The spelling of the surname changed after the family's move to what is now Ontario.

Years ago, I spent quite a lot of time in the LDS library going through the microfilmed church registers for the Tweed area of Ontario, where Mary and her family eventually lived after leaving Quebec. In the registers for St. Carthaghs Church in Tweed [LDS film 2032030], I found a marriage record for Mary's younger brother Simon Goulah. It was his second marriage, and took place when he was 55. The date was Oct. 21, 1908. The bride was Amelia Lesage, widow of the late Joseph Lacroix, and daughter of Eli Lesage and Monica Robiard. Simon's parents were listed as Joseph Goulah and Angelick Deselais. Most of the marriage records for the area did not include names of parents, so I counted myself lucky to have that record of the names of the parents.

I have not been able to find Mary's family in the 1851 census for Ontario or Quebec. However, they appear in 1861 in Huntingdon Township, Hastings County, Ontario [Hastings County, Huntingdon Township, District 2, page 41]. The last name given for them is Gulet but there is no doubt that this is the right family. It was headed by Joseph, age 45, and Mary [sic], aged 48. The children listed were Joseph, age 19; Virginia, age 15; Mary, age 11; Francis, age 9; Simeon, age 7; and Ezeria, age 4. The record indicates that all were born in Canada East (which is now Quebec), but clearly this is not accurate as Francis, at least, was baptized in Ontario. (See baptism record, later.) The enumerator would have been English and no doubt would have had trouble communicating with the Goulet family. By the time of the 1871 census, the family had moved over to Hungerford Township, where Tweed is located [Hastings County, Hungerford Township, Division 3, page 82]. This time the last name was spelled Goola, and the younger Joseph was married to Catherine and living in a separate house, but listed next to the rest of his family. The elder Joseph was now 59, and his wife "Angela" was also 59. The children still living with them were Virginia, age 25; Francis, age 20; Herman? [sic], age 18; and Exile [sic], age 15. Again, all of them were listed as born in Quebec.

In the 1881 census, the family appears again in Hungerford Township [Hastings County, Hungerford Township, Division 3, page 55 or 56], but the image of the original record that http//:www.ancestry.ca has is so poor that I can't make out anything at all. The Ancestry index lists the household as containing Joseph Gullast, age 67; Amelie [sic] Gullast, age 69; Joseph Gullast, age 39; Catherine Gullast, age 34; and Vivien Gullast, age 7. The elder four were said to be born in Quebec, while Vivien was born in Ontario. So far, I have not been able to find the elder Joseph and Angelique in the 1891 census, which suggests that they may have died by then. I have the cemetery records for two of the local Catholic churches, and it is likely that they were buried in one of them, but if so they have no stones.

Mary married Simon Cournoyer/Courneya on Jan. 5, 1870 in the Tweed area. In the 1871 census [Hastings County, Hungerford Township, Division 3, page 68] they were living with Simon's family, and appear under the surname Corneyer. Again, Mary was listed as having been born in Quebec. However, the 1881 census [Hastings County, Hungerford Township, Division ?, page 26] indicates that she was born in Ontario. The original census page on Ancestry.ca is again so faint that I have to rely on their index. This time the last name was Corynier. By the time of the 1891 census, Mary had died. She was 11 in the 1861 census, possibly 23 in the 1871 census, and apparently 32 in the 1881 census, suggesting a year of birth of 1850, 1848, and 1849 respectively. 1850 seems unlikely, given that her younger brother was born that year. (See below.) 1848 or 1849 puts her comfortably between Virginie and Francis.

These census records are more recent discoveries for me, coming after the advent of the Internet and census indexing. Back when I first found the record showing that Simon's parents were Joseph Goulah and Angelick Deselais, I had to resort to the LDS library's microfilmed copy of the Loiselle Marriage Index for Quebec. I found the marriage of Joseph "Goulait" and Angelique Desilets in St. Ambroise de Kildare, Quebec. I had to order in that film from Salt Lake City to see the record. They were married on November 6, 1837 at ten o'clock in the morning. Joseph was a blacksmith, and was the son of Jean Baptiste "Goulait" and his wife Marguerite Richard of the parish of St. Jacques. Angelique's parents were Francois Desilets, who, it was noted, was Captain of the Militia, and his wife, Victoire Renois, of the parish of St. Philippe de Kildare. Joseph and the four witnesses, including Angelique's father, were not able to write and could not sign the register, so Angelique's signature is the only one that appears there. She signed as "A. Desillets". Their first three children were baptized in St. Ambroise de Kildare, and another in Berthier, but then I can't find anything more on them in the Quebec records and it is likely that they moved on to Ontario, though not immediately to the Tweed area. I have only been able to find a baptism record for one of the children born to them in Ontario. The baptism record for their son Francis appears in the registers of St. Michael Archangel in Belleville [LDS film 1298739]. Presumably the priest travelled around and it is unlikely that the family was living in Belleville at the time. The record [1851] says "January [19th?] baptized Francis agd 1 month son to Joseph Goulan and Angelick Desille. Sprs Francis Desille & Odel [?]." The priest's name appears to be Brennan.


Joseph Goulet [Jean Baptiste and Marguerite (Richard) Goulet] and Angelique Desilets [Francois and Victoire (Renois) Desilets]
Married Nov. 6, 1837, St. Ambroise de Kildare
Children: Born: Spouse:
Emeric (male) Aug. 12, 1839, St. Ambroise de Kildare, QC No further record found
unnamed boy [presumably] Feb. 22, 1841, St. Ambroise de Kildare, QC No baptism record as died shortly after birth, and buried Feb. 22
Joseph Mar. 28, 1842, St. Ambroise de Kildare, QC Catherine Cournoyer [daughter of Paul and Catherine (Ethier) Cournoyer]
Virginie May 21, 1846, Berthier, QC Joseph Dagenais
Marie or Mary about 1848/1849 Simon Cournoyer [son of Antoine and Angele (Latraverse) Cournoyer
Francis about December, 1850 Harriet Lebarge
Simon about 1853 Delima/Mary/Minnie Cournoyer [daughter of Paul and Catherine (Ethier) Cournoyer
[Israel?] about 1856 Odile Cournoyer [daughter of Noel and Catherine (Cournoyer) Cournoyer

Some descendants of Joseph and Angelique (Desilets) Goulet/Goulah


It is possible that another child was born between 1842 and 1846, but if so I have not found a record yet.

See http://www.carensecord.ca/locations/Ontario/Courneya/Courneya.html for information on the various Courneyas/Cournoyers who married these Goulahs/Goulets.

By following back through the marriage records of the parents of Joseph and Angelique, it is possible to trace their lines back further. See http://www.carensecord.ca/tables/MaryGoulah.html for some of their ancestors. Joseph's parents, Jean Baptiste Goulet and Marguerite Richard, were married in St. Jacques l'Achigan on Feb. 9, 1801. His parents were Jean Baptiste Goulet and Madeleine Ratel. Hers were Frederic Richard and Marthe Dupuis. The latter couple was Acadian. Their families had been taken from Acadia at the time of the Expulsion in 1755. I have read that they were sent to Massachusetts. Evidently when they were able to leave, they went to Quebec instead of back to Acadia.

Here is a picture of Mary Goulah:

My father told me that this picture hung on his parents' bedroom wall. However, the copy I have did not come from that original, and I don't know what became of it. A cousin of mine, Harry O'Rourke of Peterborough, ON, was able to get a copy of an original owned by a member of the family of my grandfather Felix's sister Clemence. My father spoke of her as Aunt Clem. The picture was in a frame with a rounded glass or plastic cover, which is why it is not a very clear copy. As Mary's husband Simon does not appear with her, and as I don't know of any similar picture of Simon by himself, it seems possible that this picture was taken in the few years before her marriage in 1870. The burial records for the local Catholic Church have apparently not survived, and so we don't have a date of death for Mary. However, my father's older sister Genevieve wrote to my father about her in a letter which I still have, and she said that Mary died after giving birth (in January 1888) to her last child, a boy named Franklin who died in infancy. She is likely buried in the cemetery at St. Carthagh's Church in Tweed, but if so there is no stone for her.

This family tree information was compiled by Caren (Courneya) Secord, daughter of Gordon and Doris (Webster) Courneya, granddaughter of Felix and Matilda (Brioux) Courneya, great-granddaughter of Simon and Mary (Goulah) Cournoyer, great-great-granddaughter of Joseph and Angelique (Desilets) Goulet.