With the Treaty signed, the time had come to regularize the situation of people living in the territory. In Maine’s Madawaska, the American Commissioners began the field work in February 1843 and tabled their report in December 1844. In the New Brunswick portion of Madawaska, the British Commissioners collected, in 1845 and 1847, approximately 1200 depositions and rendered decisions on over 600 lots. The Madawaska Grant Book records it all in a one-volume manuscript of 302 pages (shown in the display case).
Marguerite Albert – a woman who obtained a land grant
The applicants for property deeds between 1843 and 1847 were men. A few widows applied on behalf of their husband’s heirs, such as Josephette St-Onge near Madawaska (p. 18) or Marguerite Violette, widow of Célestin, near Grand River (p. 235). Their name was often that of their husband, e.g., the widow of Jean Nadeau (p. 60), of Benjamin Michaud (p. 69-70), of Firmin Daigle (p. 75)… When they remarried, the land passed on to their new husband. Here, the transcription and French translation of the declaration of Marguerite Albert who received her lot, number 53, by the will of her late husband Raphael Michaud.
How ancestors obtained land at the time of the small republic
The Madawaska Grant Book records 300 pages of solemn declarations on the way in which the families occupying the British territory recognized under the Treaty of 1842 had obtained their properties in the virtual absence of clearly established legal rules. There are many touching stories through which we can relive the difficult time when the Madawaska settlement lived independently, in the margins of the conflict between the great powers. The box outlines a dozen quotes, which illustrate the diversity of stories of the families who cleared the land and populated the area.