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Home: Surnames: Tessier Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Tessier Land Claim and Lawsuit
Posted by: Tom Tessier (ID *****0536) Date: February 04, 2006 at 22:01:28
In Reply to: Re: Tessier Land Claim and Lawsuit by Jeffrey Kelly of 1317


Well, here's something on a historical Tessier land title in the Montreal area with a little bit of a different twist. I just ran across this website and registered, and read posting #126. Very cool, I remember my Grandmother talking about an old land claim. I don't remember her talking about land on the main island, I think she talked about the land on Nun's Island (Isle des Soeurs).

I believe our ancestor left the Montreal area some years after the English Conquest, as he would not swear allegiance to the English King. Anyway, the story goes that he passed his land to the Church. He then moved up river to the Cornwall, Ontario area to await the French Navy sailing up the St. Laurence to liberate them from the English...and unfortunately, that didn't happen. But since the English had the sense to keep the French civil code, there was some hope that once the land passed from the Church, it may somehow return to the family. Or some people hoped. At least, that's the family legend.

So I don't think my Grandmother talked about the land around Notre Dame but talked about Nun's Island. I rented accomodation in Montreal a couple years ago on Nun's Island (Isle des Soeurs). In the lobby of the apartment, it had an early map of the island and indicated that several landowners, including a Tessier, donated land for a convent. The sisters ran the convent until the early 1950's, I believe, when they moved on and the land passed to the City of Verdun. A Chicago company was hired to plan out the development of the island and work started in the late '50's. As I understand it, the last few remaining properties have now been developed. It's a very cool place, with great bike trails, green spaces and easy access to the city. Being from Manitoba, I thought it was pretty cool that I stayed on a piece of land once owned by an ancestor from so far back.

One thing my Grandmother said was that since we are devoutly Catholic (in this part of the family, anyway) sueing the Church was (and still is) simply unthinkable, not at all a part of being a member of the Catholic Christian community. The issue of a claim on the land only appeared when it became privately owned. I think there was talk of a putting in some sort of claim, with an old deed on birchbark (another part of the legend) but I don't know what if anything transpired. What would, say, 100 acres of undeveloped farmland with a convent be worth in 1955? Would it be worth even $100,000 in those days? So split that 20,000 ways and it becomes obvious only the notaries and lawyers make a buck. But it makes for a very interesting family history.


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