Catherine Sabourin
                 Sister to Great-grandmother Rosalie Sabraw/Sabourin  

Catherine Sabourin was one of eleven children born to Pierre Sabourin and Margaret Valcour dit Morin.  She came into this world on May 1, 1867.  Nothing is known about her early life in the Kemptville, Ontario area, but she obviously got the wanderlust and decided to follow some of her siblings to the Bay City, Michigan area, some time in the late 1880’s.  It is unknown where she lived at the time of her arrival, but some brothers and sisters had come here as early as ten years prior and she most likely made her home with one of them.  Working as a domestic or dressmaker was both common employments for young ladies at this time.  One would wonder if this is what dear Catherine did.


She was a lovely young woman, with a slim face and curls piled on top her head.  Most likely, she attracted the attention of many of the young men of Bay City, as it was a roaring lumber town at the time.  One young man named Joseph Valliancourt decided that Catherine was to be his and began to court her. On April 6, 1891 they were married in Bay City, most likely in one of the many Catholic churches in the area.  She must have made a beautiful bride.




Click to enlarge


Joseph may have come to Bay City around 1879, when he was around15 years old.  Maybe with an older sibling or an uncle?  He was born in Isle Verte, Quebec on September 22, 1864 to Paul Vaillancourt and Marguerite Caron.  Nothing is known of his employment in Bay City, but blacksmithing and lumber camps were popular choices of the time.  In 1920, he was working in Wisconsin for a lumber company as a filer.


A year or two after their marriage, the Vaillancourts moved to the Washburn, Wisconsin area and set up housekeeping.  Soon they were the parents of four children, all born before 1902.  They were Ernest Joseph, 1893; Ida, 1897; Walter Arthur, 1899; and Lena Marie, 1901.

  Click to enlarge

Vaillancourt family

Walter, Joseph, Ida, Ernest, Catherine, and Lena

Picture taken about 1904


Unfortunately, Catherine died at the age of 40, on May 19, 1907 from a hemorrhage.  The story passed down is that her death was caused by an interrupted pregnancy.


Joseph later married again, to Claire Vincent, but it is unknown if there were any more children.   Catherine’s children grew to adulthood, married, and started lives of their own.  Lena Marie married Fred Klaus in 1920 and they had 5 children.  He died in 1929.  Lena then married his brother John and there were another five children born.

  Lena Marie Vaillancourt


** Information from "cousin" Vicki Hanson, Ancestry, and Rootsweb.

  Pictures from Vicki Hanson.

  Story written by Sandie, my sister and genealogy partner.