Marie Elise Baillargean Bonsaint: Going Home

Today’s vintage photo that has found a home with descendants features the elegantly dressed Marie Elise Baillargean Bonsaint.

Elise Baillargean Bonsaint

The picture was taken at Philbrick & Co. Photographers in Biddeford, York, Maine, likely c1910 or so.

The back is inscribed with her name and, with the patch of paper on the top, was clearly ripped out of an album.

Marie Elise Baillargean was born 18 November 1883 in Westbrook, Cumberland, Maine, the daughter of Cyprien Baillargean, born in Isle Vert, Quebec, Canada and Gaudelie Belanger, also born in Canada.

Cyprien and Gaudelie married on 29 September 1873 in Biddeford, York, Maine.

She was one of five siblings, with brother George, born 1873, Maine, sister Emilia, born 1877, Maine being the eldest, sister Delia, born 1891, Maine along with one who died before 1900.

There is a child, Marie Rosanna, born 1880, who died 16 January 1886, aged 6 years old and is buried at St. Joseph Cemetery, where other family members are buried. It is possible – not a certainty – that she might be the child of Cyprien and Gaudelie, who died before 1900. Her birth would fit nicely in the spacing of the other children, born 1873, 1877, [1880?], 1883 and 1891.

Their father, Cyprien, petitioned for U.S. citizenship on 2 September 1890 in Portland, Cumberland, Maine. He was a resident of Biddeford at the time, stated that he arrived in America in April 1872 and signed his petition with his (X) mark.

This family was Roman Catholic and, coming from Quebec, with French surnames, it is likely that they spoke French at home.

Marie Elise, who went by Elise, married Charles Bonsaint on 31 July 1911, Lawrence, Essex, Massachusetts.

They were the parents of five children:

  1. Pauline Gertrude, born 25 June 1916, Biddeford, York, Maine; died 25 January 1977, Biddeford, York, Maine; married Dennis Joseph A. O’Leary in 1951. They had no children.
  2. Marie Cecile, born 2 July 1917; died aged one day old on 3 July 1917, Biddeford, York, Maine
  3. Marie Cecile Charlotte, born 20 June 1918; died 17 July 1922
  4. Isabella Alberta, born 19 March 1921, Biddeford, York, Maine; died 20 January 1994, Biddeford, York, Maine; married Joseph Wilson Wenceslas Bilodeau, 11 February 1946. They divorced, but were the parents of one child.
  5. George Leo, bon 1 July 1921, Biddeford, York, Maine; died 3 December 1972, Maine; married Lucille Lefebvre, 29 April 1946, Biddeford, York, Maine. They were the parents of two children.

Therefore, Isabella and George both have descendants today and the photo of their stylish ancestor, Marie Elise Baillargean Bonsaint, is going home to family.


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