Hudson's Bay Company employee
Pierre Pepin dit LaChance

The farther I get into family research, the more intertwined things get.  As such, this page will eventually be the first in the suite of dit Lachance pages.  If you are a member of this family and have a web page, let me know and I'll add a link to it at the bottom of the page.

Pierre descends from Antoine Pepin dit Lachance, one of the first Pepin families of Québec, so initially, any kinship I might have with Pierre's family would be WAY back there.  However a couple things have cropped up in my research that indicated that I might not want to be too hasty about casting kinship between the two Pepin lines in stone.

The first is that a member of Pierre's Pepin family married a member of my Pepin family, back in ol'Kaybeck in the 1700s.  I haven't determined what the exact relationship between me and Pierre is yet, and won't be able to until I finish entering in all the collateral lines, as indicated by L'Abbot Cyprien Tanguay in his Dictionary of Genealogy (which can be found online at, but you will need the Adobe Acrobat reader, which is a free download at

The other is that my 5th great grandmother is a woman named Marie Madeleine Martin dit Jolicoeur dit LaChance when she married my 5th great grandfather Louis Pepin in Quebec City, Quebec, on 30 October 1724.  I haven't found a lot of info on Marie Madeleine, yet, but that "dit Lachance" part of her last name does make me wonder.

As mentioned elsewhere on this site, for a short while I thought that my great great grandfather was Pierre Pepin dit LaChance -- read this as: I was hoping it was because of the wealth of information -- but after reviewing the information that follows, I came to the conclusion that if there is kinship, it's a ways back there.  This conclusion may still be correct, in that there is some relationship between Pierre's Pepin line and mine, and if/when I find it, you can be sure the connections will be shared here.

Regardless of what I may find, since I have this info (thank you Anne Morton and Georgene Shafer!), I thought it would be a shame not to share the info.  There are no pictures, but there is a whole bunch of text. (Anybody have a pic of Pierre and/or Susanne?)

The bulk of this information came from a friend who lives on the Grand Ronde down in Oregon, but due to extenuating circumstances, she is not able at this time to field any questions regarding the Pepin dit Lachance family.  If you have any questions, though, I would be happy to forward them onto a couple of others who descend from this line.

If you are a descendant of Pierre's line and would like to be added here as a contact person, do let me know and I'll add a "mailto:" link as soon as I hear from you.

My genealogical search took me to the Hudson's Bay Company Archives web site.

In the appropriate place, I posted a query, asking if they had any record of either Louis Seymour Peppan or Alfred John Houston.  Anne Morton emailed me back to say that they had no Houstons, and that she thought Seymour was a little young to have been one of their employees BUT he might have been connected with one of two Pepin men they had working out on the coast -- and what was my mailing address?

Shortly thereafter, I found a large manila envelope in my mail box . . . from the Hudson's Bay Company Archives.

One of those men was my great great grandfather, Etienne Pepin.

The other Pepin man was:

PEPIN dit LACHANCE, Pierre Berthier parish, Quebec  born c.1818
1 June 1838  thru  31 May 1839 middleman general charges Columbia B.239/g/18
1 June 1839  thru  31 May 1840  middleman Fort Vancouver Columbia B.239/g/19
1 June 1840  thru  31 May 1841 middleman Fort Tako Columbia  B.239/g/20
1 June 1841  thru  31 May 1842 stoker the Steamer BEAVER Columbia B.239/g/22
1 June 1842  thru  31 May 1843 retired     B.239/g/22
wife: Susanne Gaudriche    Search file: 'GOODRICHE, JOHN' 

MGM/ek "Sept. 1988".


Pierre Pepin is a descendant of Antoine Pépin dit Lachance and his wife Marie Testu, one of the First Families of Québec.

According to the Tanguay, Antoine is the son of André Pépin and Jeanne De Bourville, and Antoine was baptized in 1632 "de la ville du Hàvre" located northwest of Paris and Rouen in the center of the map on the right.

Antoine was one of many men and women who decided to try their luck in the France's New World colony of Nouveau France (now modern day Québec).

Le Havré, France, and vicinity

This is where Andre Pepin and Antoine Pepin-dit-Lachance were born and migrated from to Canada.

I don't know yet exactly when Antoine arrived, or on what ship he took to get there but he was in Nouveau France in November of 1659.

Specifically, on November 11, 1659 a contrat du mariage or marriage contract was registered in the names of Antoine Pepin dit Lachance and Marie Testu.  Tanguay does not record the exact location.

Marie Testu, the daughter of Jean Testu and Louise Talonneau, was baptised in 1632 "de La Rochelle".

Together Antoine and Marie had 12 children, 7 of whom reached maturity and married. Marie was buried September 11, 1701; Antoine was buried January 23 , 1703 at Ste-Famille, Ile de Orleans, Québec.

The line of descent from Antoine and Marie to Pierre looks like this:

Antoine Pepin dit Lachance and Marie Testu, married not long after 11 November 1659

Jean Pepin dit Lachance and Madeleine Fontaine, married 30 October 1703

François Pepin and Véronique Trudel

Guillaume Pepin and Catherine Gendron

Pierre Pepin dit Lachance and Suzanne Goodrich

Finding family info for Pierre wasn't too tough.  Much of it can be found it the book Catholic Church Records of the Pacific Northwest: Vancouver, Volumes I and II, and Stellamaris Mission, translated by Mikell de Lores Wormell Warner, and annotated by Harriet Duncan Munnick (French Prairie Press, St Paul, Oregon, 97137)

We'll start with Page A-63

Pepin, Pierre (I) - dit Lachance 1820 - 1888

In 1838 Pierre Pepin, against his father's wished, came to Fort Vancouver at the age of eighteen.  He had learned the blacksmith trade from his father, "a good blacksmith in Montreal", and was employed at various posts in the Columbia District.  His marriage to Susanne Goodrich was long and congenial, though beset with poverty.  Susanne had, as a child at play, become lamed by a fall, "so that ever after she walked with a stick, but that didn't prevent her from doing her work, washing and all!"  Such was the recollection of her sons, David and Thomas, gentle-minded old men still living in the decade of the 1960's.

Old Mary Ann Michell wrote her Just a Memorandum of the Grand Ronde Reserve, where her life had been spent, and recalled of Pierre Pepin, "Lawshans and his family came to church here from Gopherville.  He was a full frenchman, his wife half Breed.  They sure had a big family.  When old Lochance lost his home in Gopherville he came and lived in Grand Ronde.  They had boys and girls that were married, lived in Portland and St. Paul, all had big families.  All landed here in later years."

Pierre Pepin died at Grand Ronde in 1888, and was buried in the St. Patrick's Cemetery, long ago abandoned, in Muddy Valley.

Pierre was born in 1820, to parents Guillaume Pepin and Catherine Gendran of Montreal Quebec.  Hudson Bay Company records say Pierre was from the Berthier parish (and give his birth date as circa 1818).

On Jan 4, 1844, on the Grand Ronde, Pierre married Susanne Goodrich, daughter of John Silas Gaudritche and Nancy Dobin of the Dalles.  John Silas Gaudritche may have also worked for Hudson Bay.

[Note: John Goodrich/Goodritche/Gaudritche did work for the Hudson's Bay Company]

Pierre and Susanne had 12 children

The first list of their children I got looked like this:

1. Pierre, born 6 Feb 1840
2. Julien, born 28 July 1846
3. Juli (aka Julia), born 14 Nov 1848; married John Dowd 13 Feb 1865; died in 1903
4. Marie, born 29 April 1851
5. Joseph, born 26 Jan 1853
6. Celestine, baptised 18 Oct 1854
7. Clementine, born 22 July 1856; married Alexander Labonte 28 Jan 1878
8. Adolphine, born 14 June 1858
9. Delmer Jeanne (Tilmer), born 24 June 1860 (I think this indicates she married a fellow with the last name of Tilmer-- but I could be wrong.)
10. Eleanore, born 9 Oct 1868; died 2 March 1870
11. Marcellene, born 22 Dec 1871; died 5 May 1872
12. Narcisse. born Sept 1873; moved to new cemetery 15 Feb 1875

Included in this list was a note after the entry for Narcisse that reads: "Alfred and Pierre Pepin are included in a confermation Oct. 21, 1860"

However, within the last year and with the help of Rosemary Jameson, this list changes just a tad.

1. Pierre Pepin, born 6 Feb 1840
2. Julien Pepin, born 28 July 1846
3. Julia Pepin, born 14 November 1848; died 1903; married John Dowd 13 February 1865; 9 children
4. Marie Pepin, born 29 April 1851
5. Joseph Pepin born 26 January 1853
6. Celestine Pepin, born 18 OCtober 1854
7. Clementine Pepin, born 22 July 1856; married John Labonte 28 January 1878
8. Adolphine Pepin born 14 June 1858
9. Delmer Jeanne Pepin, born 24 June 1860
10. Eleanor Pepin, born 9 October 1868
11. Marcellene Pepin born 22 December 1871
12. Narcisse Dave Pepin born in September 1873; married Fileneze Menard dit Norwest. Their daughter Marie is Rosemary's grandmother.

Notes of interest from St Paul - Annotations, Catholic Records of the Pacific Northwest: Pepin

Pepin, Pierre (II) - dit Lachance 1845 - ?

Young Pierre was the first child of Pierre Pepin and Susanne Gaudriche (Goodrich).  One of the younger sons of their large and long-lived family recalled, more than a century later, the story they liked to remember of more prosperous, early days:  "My father was a blacksmith, as I said.  You may have seen the iron cross on the church at St Paul? -- he made that when the church was built.  It wasn't cast, he hammered it out on an anvil.  When they built the church (1846), of course they didn't have much money.  Father Blanchet had got hold of a big bell, and put it on a framework for people to touch and so on, to raise money.  There was an iron bar, and if you struck the bell with that, then that was fifty dollars.  My father took my brother in his arms -- he was about a year old -- and put the rod in his hands, so that baby struck the bell and my father paid fifty dollars." (1958)

The iron cross is now on the rear gable of the church, having been replaced with a much larger cross when the church was remodeled during the 1890s.  The bell is the same.

B-12 Lachance

The 10 April, 1867, we, priest undersigned, have baptized at his house, one of the twin children, who was in danger of death, of Pierre Lachance, and of . . . born the 9 May (sic) of the legitimate marriage of the spouses above-mentioned, baptised the 10 May and died the same day.  No godfather or godmother.
[signed] G. Thibau

B-13 Thomas Lachance

The 11 May, 1867, we priest undersigned, have baptized Thomas, born the 9 May, of the legitimate marriage of ["Joseph" erased] . . . Lachance and of . . . of this parish.  God father: Patrick Dowd; godmother Julie Lachance.
[signed] G. Thibau

Page 34 S-2 Eleanore Pepin (Lachance)

On the 2nd of March, 1870, we the undersigned Parish Priest of St Paul have buried in the graveyard of St Paul the corpse of Eleanore Pepin who died in the 1st instant, a daughter of Peter Lachance Pepin and Suzanne Goodrich.  Witnesses Peter Pariseau, Peter Lachance and many members of the same family.

M-1 Alexander Labonte & Clementine Lachance

On January 28, 1878, we have received the mutual consent of marriage of Alexander Labonte, he being on the point of death, and of Clementine Lachance, of Yam Hill County, and given them nuptual benediction in the presence of Julianna Vivet.
[signed] B. Delorme, V. G.

Juli Pepin and husband John Dowd

On Feb 13, 1865, Juli married John Dowd, born circa 1827.  John was baptised in St Paul Oregon, date unknown.  He died in 1921 and is buried in Grand Ronde, Oregon.

St Paul Vol. III says:

M-1 John Dowd and Julie Papin

The 13 February, 1865, in view of the dispensation of 2 bans and the publication of the third between John Dowd, of age son of Patrick Dowd and Helene Dowd (of Ireland) on the one part; and Julie Papin, minor daughter of Pierre Papin and of Susanne Gaudriche on the other part, both have received their mutual consent of marriage and have given them the nuptial benediction in presence of Peter Cleary, Thomas O'Conor, Pierre Papin, John O'Conor.
[signed] A. J. Croquet, priest

Juli and John had 9 children:

1. Helene (Ellen) DOWD, baptised 22 Mar 1867, in Oregon; married John Ventura 8 May 1884
2. Mary DOWD, baptised 16 May 1868
3. Catherine Bridget DOWD, baptised 21 Mar 1870
4. Joseph DOWD, baptised 25 Sept 1871
5. Annie Susan DOWD, baptised 14 May 1874; married Joseph Michel 15 March 1889
6. Mary Rosa Veronica DOWD, baptised 24 Feb 1878
7. John Peter DOWD, baptised 1880
8. Theodore Patrick DOWD, baptised 1882
9. George Bartholamew DOWD, baptised 9 Nov 1886, French Prairie, Oregon; married Louise Christine Smith

Notes of interest from St Paul - Annotations, Catholic Records of the Pacific Northwest: Dowd

Dowd, John 1827c - 1921

John Dowd, of County Kerry, Ireland, married Julie, the eldest daughter of Pierre Pepin (Lachance) at St Paul where many of their children were baptized; others were baptized at Grand Ronde.  Julie died in 1903, John in 1921, at the age of 94.  Both are buried at Grand Ronde.

The Oregonian of March 16, 1916, carried a lively item concerning the old man, but exaggerated his age by 10 years or more.  (The Mexican War was a topic of current interest in 1916):

John Dowd, who will he celebrating his 104th birthday next Saturday, and who, undoubtedly, is the oldest man in the state, arrived in Portland yesterday from Bend to visit his son, Theodore...

Mr. Dowd, whose white beard give him a patriarchal appearance, made the long railroad trip from Bend without the least discomfort and declared himself in fine condition when he reached the Union Depot here.  In one hand he carried a long rifle, carefully wrapped in cloth.

"I have it handy to kill Mexicans with," he said.  "It's liable to come in handy any time now.  You never can tell when it will be needed and I'm for preparedness."

Mr Dowd was for many years a soldier.  He came to Oregon in 1840, being a member of a detachment of regular Army troops sent out here to allay Indian disturbances.

He settled on a farm near Champoeg, Marion County, and later moved to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation in Yamhill Co.

B-8 Helene Dowd

The 24 March, 1867, we, priest undersigned, have baptized Helene Dowd born the 22 March of the legitimate marriage of John Dowd and of Julie Lechance of this parish.  Godfather: Pierre Lachance; godmother: Marie Lachance.
[signed] J. F. Malo, priest

B-9 Mary Dowd

The 31 May, 1868, we priest undersigned have baptized Mary born the 16 of this month of the legitimate marriage of John Dowd and Julie Papin of this parish.  Godfather Ed. Coffey, Godmother Ellen Gearin.
[signed] J. F. Malo, Priest

B-no# Bridget Catherine Dowd

Catherine Bridget Dowd was baptized by F. Croquet, April 21, 1870: born March 21, 1870.  Sponsors H. Callinan & Honore McManara

B-25 Joseph Daught (crossed out) Dowd

On the 8 October, 1871, we the undersigned priest have baptized Joseph, son of John and Julia Daught [Dowd] born on 25 September of this year.  Sponsors: Dr Brentano and his wife.
[signed] L. A. LeBas, pr. miss. apost.

B-10 Annie Suzan Dowd

On May 14, 1874, we the undersigned, pastor of the parish of St Paul, have baptized Annie Suzan born on the 25th of April last, of the lawful marriage of John Dowd and Julia Pepin of this place.  Sponsors, Peter Cleary and Miss Mary Murphy, represented by her mother Mrs A. Murphy.
[signed] Peter Cleary, Minnie c. Murphy [and] B. Delorme, V.G.

B-9 Elizabeth Dowed

On March 19, 1876, we the undersigned, pastor of St Paul's parish, have baptized Elizabeth, born on the 10th of February last, of the lawful marriage of John Dowed and Julia Pepin of this place.  Sponsors, James Murphy and Elizabeth Geelan.
[signed] James C. Murphy, Elizabeth Geelan [and] B. Delorme, V.G.

B-7 Mary Rosa Veronica Dowd

On February 25, 1878, we the undersigned, pastor of St Paul, have baptized Mary Rosa Veronica, born yesterday, of the lawful marriage of John Dowd and Julia Lachance, otherwise Pepin, of this place.  Sponsors, Emmet R. Kirk and Lizzy Kirk.
[signed] Robert Kirk, Lizzie Kirk [and] B. Delorme, V. G.

B-1 J. Peter Dowd

On February 15, 1880, we the undersigned pastor of St Paul have baptized John Peter, born on the 10th instant of the lawful marriage of John Dowd and Julia Papin Lachance, of this parish.  Sponsors, Peter Joseph Orth and Hannah McDermott.
[signed] Peter Joseph Orth [and] B. Delorme, V.G.

Page 147 B-12 Theodore Patrick Dowd

On July 9, A.D. 1882, I the undersigned, pastor of the parish of St Paul, have baptized an infant, born the second instant, of the lawful marriage of John Dowd and Julia Lachance of this place, to whom was given the name Theodore Patrick.  The sponsor was Marie Dowd.
[signed] Mary Dowd [and] B. Delorme, V.G.

M-4 John Ventura & Ellen Dowd

On May 8, 1884, I the undersigned, rector of St Paul, the dispensation of bans having been granted and no other impediment being found, have received the consent of marriage of John Ventura of Yam Hill county, son of John Ventura and Marie Leonard, and Helen Dowd of the parish of St Paul, daughter of John Dowd and Julie Papin, and have united them in holy matrimony in the presence of the following witnesses, namely; John Dowd and Julia Papin.
[signed] John X Ventura [and] Ellen Dowd, (no priest's signature).

B-13 George B. Dowd

On September 15, 1886, the infant son of John Dowd and Julie Papin, his wife, of this place, born the 11th instant, was baptized by me, the undersigned, rector of St Paul, and given the name of George Bartholomew.  Sponsors were George Wolfhart and Theresa Wolfhart.
[signed] Georg Wohlfart, Teresa Wohlfart, [and] B. Delorme, V. G.

Well, that about does it . . . for now.

If you have any questions or information about the Pierre and or the Pepin dit LaChance line, drop me some email at


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updated 21 August 2002