Adam Farly and Valerie Allard
Adam Farly was born on April 15, 1848, at St. St. Barthélemy, Quebec. His godparents were Francois Rouleur and Marie Thadee Baril, who was a cousin to Amable and Francois Xavier Farly.
Valerie was born on March 6, 1849 in St. Cuthbert, Quebec. Her parents were Olivier Allard, farmer, and Eloise Dumontier. Her godparents were Desire Alard and Anasthasie Baset.
Valerie, her brother Joseph, and her sister, Julie, are listed on the 1851 Census for St. Cuthbert, Quebec. Interestingly enough, the rest of the family are not listed, and may have been recorded on the previous page.
Valerie and the remainder of her family are listed in the 1861 Census for St. Cuthbert, Quebec.
Adam married Valerie Allard on June 23, 1868, at St. Barthélemy, Quebec. The couple received a dispensation to marry because only one bann had been read. Both Adam's and Valerie's parents were from St. Barthélemy.
Adam was a wanderer, like his ancestor, Jacques Philippe Farly, and his uncle, Amable Farly. Adam and Valerie moved to Ontario in 1870. They were accompanied by François Farly (aged 27) - probably Adam's brother, and Prospere Allard, aged 39, probably Valerie's brother. They lived in Essex County, Ontario, and are listed in the 1871 Canada Census for the Province of Ontario. François Allard is also listed immediately after Prospere Allard. His age is 67 so he may be a relative of Valerie. He was a school teacher.
French Canadians began to move to the Belle River area of Ontario in 1830, when a few families settled along the lake among the few old families that lived around Tecumseh, Belle-Rivièe and Pointe-aux-Roches. A new parish was founded in 1834 - Saint-Simon-et-Saint-Jude. In 1854 the Great Western Railroad was completed between Windsor and Montreal, and this allowed hundreds of French Canadian families to move to Saint Clair over the next 20 years. The newcomers did not mix with the local people; they associated together in various ways through their parish. There may have been a language barrier because many of the imigrants only spoke French. There was a certain amount of prejudice against these French Canadian families.
Adam acquired land near Belle River, Ontario, where my great grandmother, Julia, was born. His farm, at Rochester, Essex County (Concession V, Lots, 13 and 17), was located very close to the Ruscom River and the Canada Southern Railway. This was all farming country then, but has now been developed as a bedroom community of Windsor, Ontario. In the 1871 Ontario Census, the family is listed as being Scots. The family was definitely French Canadian, of Irish descent, and they only spoke French, which makes it odd that they would be regarded by the census officials as being Scots.
According to the May 1835 issue of the Amerikanishes Magazin, "French Canadians still own most of the land on both shores. They are undoubtedly a most polite and social people, but at the same time they are the worst settlers in North America. Hunting, fishing, skating, and feting each other are for them more pleasant occupations than hard work. Their principal activity is the raising of small Canadian horses. Some of them own more than a hundred of these animals. The best racers, which are used for sleighing, cannot be bought for less than $200 to $300. Others bring $25 to [ ]. A tough race of horses, these nags! They often cover eighty English miles a day for three days in succession. Since the Canadian farmers are so negligent in matters of agriculture, the value of their holdings increases but little. To be just, however, we must admit that they are good gardeners, and everywhere they have planted beautiful orchards. Nowhere in America is floriculture practiced as well."
To bring their dwellings as close together as possible, for mutual protection against the Indians, this French Canadian colony was laid out in the following manner. The individual farms are only one or two acres wide and form long strips, which start at the river, where their houses are, and extend as much as six miles inland. This clumsy partition is a definite obstacle to good farming and is the reason why they can use most of their holdings for pasture only."
Adam and Valerie had 10 children, 8 of whom were born in Ontario. Zenon (Feb. 9, 1870), Joseph Oliver (Feb. 8, 1871), Laura (Apr. 28, 1872), Emilie J. (June 25, 1873), Edmond (Dec. 22, 1874), Florida (Sept. 30, 1876), Marie Julia (May 30, 1878) and Francis Tom (Aug. 8, 1881). There was a three-year gap between Julia and Francis, so it is assumed Adam was away working in the gold fields, according to the old family stories, or in the U.S. looking for homestead opportunities.
Adam farmed in Ontario for a few years, then decided to take advantage of the homestead opportunities offered in Minnesota. In 1882 the family settled on a tree claim in Polk County, which was still wild country. At the time he acquired the tree claim, there were still quite a few Indians living in the area, and it was common for the Farley's to look up and find Indians staring at them through their windows. Shortly after the family moved to Minnesota, Cordelia (Sept. 8, 1882) and Eugenie Mary (Nov. 2, 1883) were born. Valerie died 4 months after Eugenie was born on March 3, 1884, and Eugenie died 2 months later.
Almost a year after Valerie died, Adam married Anasthasie (Alice) Prudhomme in January 1885. I imagine Adam was really finding it difficult to take care of his children - the youngest was only 2 years old. He probably married again as quickly as he did because he needed help taking care of his children. Adam and Anathasie had 3 children, Albert (1885), Cora Anne (1887), and Treffle Wilfred (1889), then Alice died on March 8, 1891, as a result of childbirth with her 4th child, Edward, who also died 7 months later.
Women gave birth at home in the 1800s, hopefully under the care of a midwife, but most often with just the assistance of female family and friends. When our ancestors went into labour, a midwife was called - hopefully a woman who had learned her trade from another skilled midwife. Female relatives would also attend the birth to help take care of the children, do the cooking, and to help the mother during her recovery after the birth.
Valerie may have been lucky enough to have a midwife in Ontario - she may have had a woman who was skilled in delivering babies and controlling pain with the use of opium or belladonna because she had several successful births. However, the Farly family lived in a remote area of Minnesota when Valerie had her last two babies, so she probably did not have access to a trained midwife. Her babies would have been delivered by a female relative, a neighbor, or even possibly by Adam.
As hygiene was not a factor in home deliveries at that time, pioneer women often suffered fever after the birth or infection in the uterus: perhaps the uterus was damaged or torn during the delivery or maybe the afterbirth was not delivered properly. In some cases, the baby could not pass through the birth canal, and would die from distress during the birth. Mothers often died during these types of births.
Our women ancestors gave birth to an average of about 10 to 12 children per family, but there were many women whose children did not survive. There were often 2 or 3 infant deaths in each family, sometimes more. In family photo albums from that time, you will often see a photo of an infant that looks a little off - it was common practice to take photos of dead infants, probably at their funerals.
After about a year of living in that little house on the tree claim, Adam purchased a more developed farm that had a newer and larger home. It had water, a feeding system, and storage for hay in the barn. The barn held 20 horses, several cows, colts and calves. Adam eventually purchased a grain elevator, which later burned down. After the elevator burned down, Adam, disheartened, turned everything he owned over to his son, Joe, and moved east. He lived at 1906 Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Hence, the job of raising Adam's children fell to Joe, although Adam did come back later and visit.
Adam eventually moved to Yakima, Washington, where his son lived. He lived at 914 East Chestnut Street, and died there in 1917. He died at the age of 69. He had been paralyzed for quite awhile. He must have had a stroke and never recovered. He is buried in Block C, Section 26, E/2, Grave 3, in the Catholic Cemetery (Calvary) at Yakima.