Marie-Anne Gaboury (1780 - 1875) MP

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Marie-Anne Gaboury's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Maskinongé, QC, Canada
Death: Died in Winnipeg, Division No. 11, Manitoba, Canada
Occupation: Grandmother of Louis Riel & 1st caucasion woman of Red River District
Managed by: Charlotte de Celles
Last Updated:

About Marie-Anne Gaboury

History of Marie-Anne Gaboury Lagemodiere

Lifetime Adventures of Louis Riel’s Grandmother

May 7, 2009 Kathleen Airdrie

Marie-Anne Gaboury Lagemodier, said to be the first white woman resident in western Canada, survived horrendous journeys and life-threatening situations

Marie-Anne Gaboury was born in Maskinonge, Quebec, in the diocese of Trois-Rivieres in 1780, fifth child of Charles Gaboury and Marie-Anne Tessier. At age twelve, following her father’s death, she entered domestic service for the parish priest. During that time she received an education in French, Latin, and arithmetic.

Montreal to Winnipeg by Canoe and Portage

Marriage to Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) fur trader Jean-Baptiste Lagemodiere in 1806 brought about drastic changes in her life. Marie-Anne accompanied him on an arduous canoe and portage journey from Montreal. After arriving at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers (present-day Winnipeg), they continued on to an encampment near Pembina, North Dakota. The first of their eight children was born there during that winter

In the spring of 1807, they arrived at Cumberland House, the HBC’s first fur trading post in the interior. The young family then travelled to an area near present-day Edmonton and remained in the northern region from 1807 until 1811. Living a semi-nomadic lifestyle with other French-Canadian trappers and their Native wives, Marie-Anne gave birth to several more children. She also accompanied her husband on many hunting/trapping expeditions.

Red River Settlement

Lord Selkirk’s 1812 decision to establish a Red River Colony for Scottish settlers quickly became a contentious issue. The North-West Company saw the plan as a scheme to monopolize the fur trade. Marie-Anne and Jean-Baptiste avoided the violent confrontations that ensued before he was asked by a HBC representative to carry dispatches to Lord Selkirk in Montreal. During the 1815-1816 winter, Jean-Baptiste successfully accomplished the task. On his return journey, he was captured by Native people who were acting for the North-West Company. He was prisoner at Fort William until Lord Selkirk regained the location in August 1816.

Saint Boniface, Manitoba

For his services, Lagemodiere was given a land grant where he built a log house in 1816 on the Red River’s east bank at the Seine. The family settled down to become successful homesteaders. One of their children born there was Julie (1822) who became the mother of Louis Riel, the Metis leader. Jean-Baptiste died at age 78 on September 7, 1855 at St. Boniface, Manitoba.

Marie-Anne Gaboury Lagemodiere died December 14, 1875 at Saint Boniface, Manitoba. The woman who travelled by all possible methods and suffered many privations, lived in isolation or within crowds, in tepees, and forts. She survived trips where she encountered mosquito swarms, buffalo stampedes, and terrible storms. She learned the languages of the Cree and Ojibway people as well as their medicines and survival tactics. She lived to see western Canada’s growth and the efforts of her grandson Louis Riel who is recognized as a founding father of Manitoba


Marie-Anne: The Extraordinary Life of Louis Riel’s Grandmother by Maggie Siggins, McClelland & Stewart, (2008)

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Marie-Anne Gaboury's Timeline

August 2, 1780
Maskinongé, QC, Canada
August 15, 1780
Maskinongé, Maskinongé Regional County Municipality, Quebec, Canada
April 21, 1806
Age 25
Maskinongé, QC, Canada

Lagimodière est le fils majeur de J-B et de défunte M Josephte Beauregar.

Gaboury Marie Anne est la fille majeure de feu Charles et Marie Anne Tessier.

Tous de cette paroisse.

Témoins: J-B Lagimodière père, Louis Fisette (Fiset) ami, de l'époux. J-B Mainquy beau père, Amable Dériel dit Labrèche témoin, de l'épouse.

Signataires: Louis Fiset,

January 6, 1807
Age 26
Fort Pembina, North Dakota, United States
August 15, 1808
Age 28
July 1809
Age 28
Montage Cypres
December 11, 1811
Age 31
Age 30
December 2, 1813
Age 33
Rivière-Rouge, Manitoba, Canada
January 11, 1818
Age 37
Lorette, Manitoba, Canada