May the 4th, 2014. Demat Hello,
Dianne sent me new informations about her father's family:
Something that should be included in the family information is that my Dad, Henri, and his brother Raymond were very musical. My Dad played the base drum in a pipe band for many years. He could play most any instrument he picked up, without having any music lessons. When he was young he formed and led a girls marching fife (flute) and drum band. He judged many musical competitions in his later years. Raymond played the drums in a dance band.
In the Royal Canadian a Navy during WW2:
This picture was taken of my Dad and I a few months before he passed away in 1993:
Thank you so much Dianne for these photographies and comments.
April the 25th, 2014. Demat Hello
This article to present what Dianna Queffelec gently sent to me since 2009.
April the 21st 2014. Yves, here are a few pictures from my trip to Bretagne 2012 with my cousin Phyllis (also Queffelec) and her husband Mark.
I am the blond Queffelec and Phyllis has dark hair, we are standing in front of our former Gr. grandparent's home. This is the street in Pleyben where my Grandmother Marieanne Nezet Queffelec was raised and where my Dad and Aunt lived until they came to Canada.
My Grandfather Henri Laurent Queffelec was born in Gouezec which we also visited. My Grandfather immigrated to Port Colborne, Ontario Canada in 1922 leaving a shopkeeper job in Chateaulin where he and my Grandmother were raising two small children, my Dad Henri Herve Queffelec b 1918-1993, and my Aunt Ann Marie Queffelec b1920 and still alive.
My Grandmother immigrated in 1923. They left the children with my maternal Gr. grandparents Nezet in Pleyben until 1929 when they could afford to bring them to Canada. The house is the little one with the car in front, and is very near the church where my Dad and Aunt spent their time playing in the churchyard.
Henri Laurent Queffelec b 1897 Gouezec d 1959 Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada
Marianne Nezet Queffelec b 1899 Pleyben d 1977 Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada
20 avril 2013: Here is narration of what you have asked for.
I didn't add much about my Dad's siblings or anything about myself. I can do in another write up. Dianne
I hope we can meet when my cousin Phyllis and I return to France in 1-2 years and I would enjoy hearing from Annick.
My Grandparents move from Bretagne to Canada
In 1918, International Nickel Company (INCO) established a refinery for their nickel in Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada. This area of Ontario was of a prime location, being very close to the US border and situated on Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes in southern Ontario. Many other industrial companies were also establishing facilities and plants in what is known as the Niagara Peninsula.
I am uncertain if these employment opportunities were advertised overseas, but many Bretons came to live and work in the area following WW1.
My Grandfather, Henri Laurent Queffelec was born June 12, 1897 in Gouezec, Finistere, Bretagne. He was the fourth of seven children born to Pierre Queffelec and Marie Pelicart. Henri married Marianne Nezet (born Sept 2, 1899 in Pleyben) on January 5, 1918. My Grandfather Henri, worked as a shopkeeper/ clerk in Chateaulin. My Dad Henri Herve Queffelec was born August 31, 1918 in Chateaulin on Grand Rue. This street has many old storefronts, perhaps it was in one of these now vacant stores that my Grandparents worked and lived. I recall my Grandmother telling me that she washed her clothes in the nearby river. The L'Auline River runs through the centre of Chateaulin, at the base of Grande Rue, it must be these waters that she was speaking of. A daughter Ann Marie Queffelec was born May 31, 1920 in Chateaulin.
I am uncertain as to what kinds of work Grandpa's family did. I think there was some farming and I used to hear about them fishing.
My Grandfather immigrated to Canada in September 1922, leaving his wife Marianne and his two children to live with her parents Herve Nezet and Anne L'Haridon. He was initially going to immigrate to the US to join some cousins who had gone to New Jersey for employment. Apparently that was not to be and he settled in Port Colborne, Ontario. Employment opportunities in Bretagne must not have been as lucrative at that time as those promised overseas. My Grandmother followed him a year later leaving the two children with her parents, the Nezet's. By the time Grandma arrived in Port Colborne, Grandpa could already speak and read English. He was a clever man and taught himself to read English from the newspaper. I have memories of Grandpa never putting down a newspaper until the last article had been read. My Grandma went to work immediately doing paid housework. They had 3 more children, Raymond, b. 1924, Andre, b 1925, and Albert b. 1928, and it was not until 1929 that they could afford to pay the passage for Henri and Marie to join them. I am sure, my Grandparents had regrets that they had left all things dear and familiar to them, but returning to France was out of the question based on economics.
My Dad told me that he and Marie did not want to leave their Grandparents who they had lived with for the past seven years, they could barely remember their parents. Their Dad met them when their ship, the Empress of Australia, docked in Montreal, after travelling alone from France, my Dad 11 and his sister 9 years. Marie didn't recognize her father, but my Dad remembered him. They had difficulty assimilating into their new household, 3 new siblings to get to know and parents to re familiarize. My Grandmother also ran a boarding house and my Dad and particularly Marie were expected to help with the chores associated with Grandma's lodgers. According to memories of this time as told to me by my Dad and my Aunt Marie, they must have been depressed and grieving from the absence of their beloved grandparents. They said they wanted to return to Pleyben. Due to them being Francophones, they were both placed in first grade of school but quickly reached their aptitude levels as they learned English. My Aunt, shy to begin with must have been devastated to find herself in a world where she couldn't communicate nor comprehend anyone. My Dad being more adventurous, accepted the change as a challenge and adapted quickly.
My Grandmother was the family "boss" and handled the purse strings. My Grandfather went to work and likely handed his pay check to Grandma who knew how to make each dollar and coin stretch. My Grandfather was a kind, gentle individual who loved his family and was thought in high esteem by everyone. When the children reached 14-15, they were expected to work, handing over their earnings to my Grandmother which they did. When the youngest, my Uncle Albert went to work at about age 18, he objected to handing over his money and left home, camping on a beach until his father brought him home. Grandpa put his foot down with Grandma and Albert was allowed to keep his earnings. When my Dad at age 22 decided to marry my Mom, Grandma, not wanting to lose an income, objected to the plans and refused to attend the wedding. She made up with my parents shortly afterwards.
My Grandmother had probably learned to be watchful with money due to my Grandfather suffering from weak lungs that caused him to have pneumonia each winter causing him to miss work. The department he worked in at Inco was called the Sinter Plant, an area extremely contaminated with environmental pollution. Many of his co- workers, Grandpa included succumbed to cancer (in 1959), proven to have resulted from the working conditions.
Grandma and Grandpa returned to France for the first time in 1949. Their parents had passed away before then, they never saw them again after they immigrated. Grandpa had a sister Ann Marie (Severe) living in Douarnenez and a brother Jean Marie living in the area. Grandma had two sisters living in Pleyben. They visited France several times thereafter until Grandpa died and Grandma continued that every 2 years until her death in 1977. My Dad with my Mom and Aunt Marie with my Uncle Paul travelled to Paris and Bretagne in 1967.
My Dad served in the Canadian a Navy during WW11, based in Esquimalt, British Columbia. He never left Canada during the war. My Dad worked for Maple a Leaf Milling Company in Port Colborne after the war as a Milwright. He continued to study and take courses and was ambitious to look afield. He obtained a US work Visa in 1957 and eventually was employed at International Multifoods in Buffalo, New York. This was about a 35 minute drive from Port Colborne, where we lived. His company chose Dad to be sent as their job site Engineer to many places when mills and food plants were constructed or expanded. He traveled to job sites in Canada, many in the US and built several corn mills in Venezuela between 1976-81.
My Dad passed away Dec 4, 1993
Mark Flegg, the husband of Phyllis Queffelec and I took the family tree that you sent to Mark about 5 years ago, and put it in to a family tree computor program. We are sending it to you. Thanks to your research on the Queffelec family we now know the names of our ancestors and where they originate. Dianne Queffelec Tonnies
The Welland Canal that runs through the City of Port Colborne.
The canal is a shipping lane running from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, accommodating Laker Steamships as well as Ocean Liners from all over the world.