I am descended from Jean Baptiste Joseph VARING/WERING who married widow, Lydie (MAYRE) FOURNIER on 11/11/1821 at the Red River Settlement. He was born in France, fought in the Napoleonic Wars for 11 years, was captured by British and came to Canada in 1814 to serve with the De Watteville Regiment. By 1818 he was living at the Red River Settlement.
Lydie, was a widow with four children: Sophie Adele, Eugene, Denise/Dyonise and Francoise Emilie FOURNIER of Villeret, Canton of Bern, Switzerland, who arrived at the Red River Settlement in 1821.
Lydie and Jean/John VARING later had two children: Francis/Francois VARING (my great-grandfather) and Harriet VARING. In 1826 soon after the flood that summer, the family left for Fort Snelling, Minnesota with other Red River colonists. After being welcomed at Fort Snelling for several weeks the VARING family and other Red River Colonists continued on to St. Louis, MO, USA.
There Jean VARING signed on with the American Fur Company for one year to go to the headwaters of the Missouri river. Meanwhile his family stayed in St. Louis. The following year the family moved to Galena, IL and later settled in Gratiot's Grove, Jo Daviess County, IL.
I was fortunate to be able to visit Winnepeg, Canada; Ft. Snelling, MN, Galena, IL as well as Villeret, Canton of Bern, Switzerland to do genealogical research on these families.
Will be happy to share information. It is wonderful to know that others are researching Red River colonists too.
This is a photo taken at the "Selkirker weekend" at Ft. Snelling, MN in June 1987 and depicts re-enactors commemorating a group of Selkirk settlers who arrived at Ft. Snelling in 1826 after the flood that year.
A group of Metis and others came down from Red Lake, MN and Winnepeg, CND for the weekend to portray the parts of colonists and guides, etc. I was told they had been studying their parts/impressions for several months.
The man leaning against the post was playing the part of Peter Rindisbacher, Sr. Being familiar with that name, I asked him where his son was and he replied: "Oh, probably out painting somewhere."
Note the tents in the background within the fort where the original colonists were temporarily housed during their stay. It was so exciting to actually see history come alive that weekend.
That's interesting history, and nice pictures.
I don't have any French ancestry, but I did study some of the people who went to JoDaviess County, Illinois about 1835, and while I was working on that, ran into some discussion of the French people who traveled to Ft. Snelling and down to St. Louis.