The emigration to the United States of Thomas Tremblay and Antonia Harvey

The emigration to the United States of Thomas Tremblay and Antonia Harvey

THOMAS TREMBLAY (1868-1920) and Antonia Harvey (1874-1904)

Généalogie et entrepreneurship / Genealogy and entrepreneurship

Thomas Tremblay, entrepreneur


On the wall of the living room of her eldest daughter Alice, hung the photo of her father Thomas Tremblay. According to tradition, he left Saguenay to emigrate to the United States to join the family of his wife Antonia Harvey. This story will be the beginning of the research for this book.

In 1880, on the death of his father, Joseph Harvey inherited one-third of five lots in the township of Chicoutimi. Until then, nothing suggests the need for Joseph to go abroad. On the other hand, the production of the sawmill on which it depends began to decline from 1891, as everywhere else where production began in the same years. The supply of wood is difficult, because the best specimens of the forest around the sawmill have been felled for a long time and now we have to go to cut wood further and further away and the transport reduces the profitability of the sawmill. In addition, the Americans impose export taxes on wood to the United States, which affects the price. 

Although he did not have the usual profile of those who left the country to go and live near the textile industries of New England in 1893, he involved his family in this adventure. It was in Brunswick, in the state of Maine, that the family landed. The couple is accompanied by the following children: Alice (1877-1916), Laure (1879-1904), Adélard (1880-1908), Exilda (1883-1941), Simon (1885-1910), Dianna (1887-1907) and Cecile (1890-1903). The eldest Antonia (1874-1904), who married in 1891 to the future merchant and mayor of Saint-Ambroise Thomas Tremblay, was also on the trip. Only Joseph Ladislas (1875-1924) did not join the great trip, he would join his parents in Brunswick the following year.

Alice, Laure and Exilda, the three oldest, all work at the Cabot Mill cotton and textile.

Joseph, now forty-seven, established his family at 14 New Oak Street. This street is inhabited mainly by expatriate French Canadians like them. If he chose a mill town to allow his children to find a job, he is fortunate enough to afford to buy a condominium rather than to lodge his family in one of the houses of the Cabot textile where all work because they are overcrowded and diphtheria outbreaks are common.



French Canadian expatriates were then building houses in cooperation in this new part of the city. Thus, there were four families in the building where Joseph lived. One of them is that of Joseph Hervey (1838-c.1894) and Delphine Pedneault who arrived in Brunswick in 1888. The two Josephs are very distant cousins through their great-grandfathers, the Pierre brothers (1733 -1799) and Dominique (1736-1812). Their common origin from Saguenay probably unites them much more than their filial ties.

Louise Harvey (2) was the second wife of Alexandre Tremblay, the father of Thomas Tremblay, husband of Antonia Harvey. Louise Harvey's first husband was Théophile Pedneau, brother of Delphine Pedneau. 


Five years later, in the spring of 1898, Joseph saw his eldest son leave. Joseph Jr. marries a girl in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church in Brunswick who, like him, works at Cabot Textile. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native Louise Laffely is the daughter of a French immigrant couple.

Joseph Harvey sees his daughter Antonia Harvey and his son-in-law Thomas Tremblay leave for Saguenay shortly after the death of his child. The couple are already back in Chicoutimi in March 1895 when Antonia gives birth to a boy again.

Shortly after his father's death, Adélard left Brunswick with his younger brother Simon and returned to Saguenay. He settled in Saint-Ambroise and became a farmer there.

In 1900, the sons of the late Joseph and Marie Boudreau all left the lodging on Oak Street in Brunswick where the widow lived with her five daughters, Alice, Laure, Exilda, Diana and Cécile. The three oldest all work at the "Cabot Mill cotton and textile", Diana, at thirteen, works as a maid and the youngest is still in school.

In 1901, it was the turn of Joseph son and his family to take the road back to the Saguenay. Like his brother Adélard, he left to join his older sister Antonia, who was married to the mayor of Saint-Ambroise.

Marie Boudreau, now a widow, has every intention of remaining in the bosom of the " Cabot Mill cotton and textile " and thus continuing to provide her daughters with their jobs, but the poor sanitary conditions in the neighborhood of French Canadian expatriates , as well as the working conditions at the textile factory will get the better of his will.

Oak Street is unpaved and its surface drainage is as horrible as the other streets in the place. There are no sewer lines and residents' wells are easily contaminated. Not far from there, part of the city is a swamp with fetid exhalations. Sanitary conditions in the part inhabited by French Canadians are conducive to disease. As with two of the children of Alexandre Hervai (1835-1900), on December 19, 1903, his youngest Cécile died of tuberculosis. Eleven months later, it was Laure's turn to go to the cemetery, killed by the same illness on November 1, 1904.

There was no need for more. A few months later, the widow leaves the States with her daughters Alice, Exilda and Diana. She returns to Saguenay and would have settled in Saint-Ambroise.

We find her living in Chicoutimi with her daughters Alice and Exilda in 1911. She died on July 5, 1923 at the Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Vallier in Chicoutimi.

Tremblay family

Octave Tremblay remained in the United States. He emigrated from Brunswick Maine to Minnessota in the Midwestern United States. Subsequently, he settled in North Dakota to end up in California.

Harvey and Tremblay business links

Louis Harvey Captain of Schooner

Jean Harvey, judge and business man, Société des vingt-et-un

His name on the monument


Méron Tremblay, business man and mayor of Chicoutimi (1878-1881)

Pierre-Alexis Tremblay, member of Canadian Parlement for Charlevoix (1872-1876)

Joseph-Dominique Guay, son of Marie-Émilie Tremblay and Johnny Guay, 

Siméon Boudreau was a business man (Schooner owner (1)) , father of Marie-Boudreau. The Boudreau have Acadian ancestor.


Thomas Tremblay emigration branch




Antonia Harvey emigration branch

Tremblay business links 

Référence in french : Histoire des Harvey

The links are in French, but you can use Google translate for a translation of the text in French.

The family of Joseph Pedneault and Pierre Harvey is linked to the family of Mathias Tremblay by the marriage of Louise Harvey and Alexandre Tremblay et Louise Harvey and Théophile Pedneault.

The family of Jean Harvey and Siméon Boudreau is linked to the family of Mathias Tremblay by the marriage of Thomas Tremblay and Antonia Harvey.

Elie is an adopted son of Jean Harvey

Thomas Tremblay, Brunswick, Maine, United States

Joseph HarveyBrunswick, Maine, United States

Ubalde HarveyWestbrook, Maine, United States

Antonia HarveyBrunswick, Maine, United States

Marie BoudreauBrunswick, Maine, United States  

Elie Harvey Westbrook, Maine, United States

Delphine Pednaud  Brunswick, Maine, United States

Théophile Pedneau, Brunswick, Maine, United States, spouse of Louise Harvey

Fortunat Tremblay, Lowell, Massachusetts, United States


Learn more on history

From 1840 to 1930 approximately one million French-speakers from Québec and the former Acadia immigrated to New England where they became a major source of labor for the region's textile, shoe and paper industries. This episode in labor history is little known and these immigrants from the North bear comparison to today's waves of immigration across the USA's southern border.



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Siméon Boudreau, schooner owner

Boat name: Providence

Place of construction: Les Éboulements

Year of construction: 1830

Boat type: Schooner

Length: 44 feet

Owner Siméon Boudreau and Amable Savard

Boat name: The Revolutionary

Place of construction: Les Éboulements

Year of construction: 1832

Boat type: Schooner

Length: 52 feet

Owner Siméon Boudreau and Étienne Tremblay

page 7

Boat name: Velsina

Registration: 33,285

Place of construction: Les Éboulements

Year built: 1856

Boat type: Schooner

Length: 63 feet

Owner Siméon Boudreau and Dydime Boudreau




Lewis R. French NHL

Example of schooner



Liste des bateaux de Charlevoixée-avril-2020.pdf

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