Elizabeth was the youngest of the Jeffery sisters to survive to adulthood. She was born in 1834 in the district of Beauce where her father was working as a mason for George Pozer.
Elizabeth’s baptism took place at the Aubigny, Quebec* in 1835, a year after her birth. Her parents are the only ones who signed the baptism register.
In the 1852 Canadian census, Elizabeth is living with her mother at St. Ursule Street where together they are running a boarding house.
Elizabeth’s first marriage was to George Robertson which took place at St. Andrew’s Church on the 17 of March in 1853.
After her marriage, Elizabeth and George’s story has been hard to uncover. I did discover a baptism in the Catholic Church for their daughter Elizabeth in 1863, five years after her birth. Later censuses indicate that the daughter Elizabeth Robertson was born in French Canada so there is more to be found.
George Robertson dies between 1858-1861, cause unknown and burial location as of yet unknown.
Elizabeth’s second marriage takes place in 1861, to a Catholic Frenchman, Alfred Samuel Dagneau dit Laprise. The witnesses to their marriage were Germain Daugneau dit Laprise, Samuel’s father, and Elizabeth’s brother Robert Jeffery. Samuel’s occupation is an Hotelier. The Jeffery family tended to marry into English Protestant families so her marriage along with one of her brothers was outside the norm.
Notary records flourish for Elizabeth and Samuel, I count just under twenty records that I have yet to order. The ones I have ordered so far include wills for both Samuel and Elizabeth and numerous dealings for his work as a restauranteur. Samuel for a time was the Proprietor of the British American Hotel located on Cul-de-Sac Street in the heart of Old Quebec City.
Samuel’s business life seemed had some controversy and for a time his wife had Notary papers drawn up for a legal separation of property to protect her interests. I do struggle with the legal documents that are in French so I do not have a full picture of everything that happened.
During the tumultuous time of running a Hotel in Quebec City, Elizabeth had three children, a son Alfred who had a short life that began and ended in 1863. Alfred’s baptism took place on the same day as His half-sister Elizabeth Robertson at the Notre Dame Church, Quebec City.
Their daughter Harriet was born in 1864 and a son George who also lived less than a year.
In 1870, a decision was made to cut their losses and the Laprise family packed up and moved to Chicago, Illinois. In Chicago, Samuel switched careers from a Hotelier to a Cooper (barrel-maker).
Again City Directories were helpful to me, as I was able to learn where the family was living and Samuel’s occupation.
Covering all my bases I did a search on Google Books for Samuel Laprise and sure enough, his name appeared. There were three court cases that he was involved in. The full information is not available on Google Books so the next step is to hire someone to help me locate the cases mentioned in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
Another resource that can’t be overlooked is newspapers. Since Samuel seemed to not mind legal dealings I looked for his name on the site Newspapers.com and sure enough, a few small articles showed up like this Letter to the Editor, which shows Samuel’s concern for being over-charged for a case against the Prussing Vinegar Works.
It seems Samuel was quite vocal as I also found another article about him advocating for Coopers and their industry. A large issue that Coopers were facing in 1877 was the that prisons were having their inmates making and selling barrels. This, in turn, was hurting the market for the independent businesses. Samuel hosted a meeting at his Cooperage and this meeting was reported on in the Chicago Tribune.
Back to family matters, their daughter Elizabeth Robertson married in 1877 to Daniel Simonds, a florist.
In 1891, their other daughter Harriet married a few months after her father’s death to George Milligan a painter/decorator.
Elizabeth was a widow for seven years after Samuel died, living in Chicago until her death in 1898. Samuel and Elizabeth Laprise both died in their fifties and are buried together at the Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago. There is no marker on their grave.
*Levis, Quebec was originally called Augbiny
** Again I have to acknowledge Sharron Callaghan for her help with my Quebec research. I truly would be lost without her.