Sunday, October 23, 2011

For Leonard/Lenniard descendants

In my posting dated May 30, 2010, I listed what I thought I knew of the Fort Alexandria men.
At that time I wrote of the man called Jean Baptiste Lennard/Lenniard/Linneard, and learned from the HBCA biographical sheets that his supposed name was Jean Baptiste Leonard.
Since that time, of course, I have had a few conversations with a descendant of either this man, or another who was in the territory at the same time -- supposedly a Scotsman.
Here's the problem I have now -- Fort Alexandria's Lennard was at Fort Alexandria when Anderson arrived there in 1842, and Anderson spelled his name as above, with various spellings.
But only a few months later, Anderson travelled north to take charge of Fort St. James for one or two months, in Peter Skene Ogden's absence.
In the Fort St. James post journals I immediately discovered another "Leonard," with his name spelled a different way than Fort Alexandria's Lennard/Lenniard/Linneard.
I now believe that these are two different men -- that if they were the same man Anderson would have spelled his name the same in both journals.

So, here is the "Leonard" from the Fort St. James post journals, 1840-46, B.188/a/19, HBCA:
"Saty. 11th [March 1843] -- do. weather overcast. Touin & Leonnard arrived from McLeod's Lake bringing 120 beavers & 1/2 roll tobacco. Mr. McIntosh writes that the party lately arrived there had made indifferent hunts..."
"Saty. 25th -- ...One of Leonard's dogs is returned -- absent without leave doubtless."
(I think Leonard has set off with a dog train to McLeod Lake, and allowed one dog to stray.)
"Thurs. 30th -- Fine weather, but rather cold in the shade...Laferte met Lacourse and Soris on Lac a la Carpe, going on well, but Leonard & his companion he found in their encampment at one o'clock, not having yet made a move that day. They were not then (yesterday) more than half-way though it was their 9th day from this. Perrault lays the blame on Leonard, who, he says, will not march, nor exert himself in any way and has suffered the dogs to gnaw the greater part of his load, from laziness to drive them off during the night. Conduct such as this ought surely to meet with some punishment; and indeed, as I believe the fellow too incorrigibly lazy ever to reform, the most prudent method is to get rid of him, if possible, out of the district.
"Saty. 1 April -- do weather. Still seeking cattle. In the forenoon Lacourse & Louis Taroutanta arrived from McLeod's Lake, their third day. they met their lazy companions at Lac en Long.. proceeding very leisurely...
"Mon. 3rd -- Very mild. Laferte returned from Nautlay, sent Francois & James Boucher with two teams & fresh dogs, having 200 salmon each exclusive of provisions for McLeod's Lake. They are to proceed until they meet Leonard & Perrault, who by way of penalty for their dilatory proceedings will then exchange trains & return to McLeod's Lake...
"Tues. 4th -- ... Francois & James returned having met the other at Lac Porteur."

I thought for a moment that Anderson had sent Leonard and Perrault to finish their time in New Caledonia at the McLeod's Lake post, a gloomy, cold and unfriendly place to live.
Not so...

"Thurs. 13th [April] -- ...In the evening Perrault & Leonard arrived from McLeods Lake."
There is no further mention of Leonard up to the time Anderson left Fort St. James for Fort Alexandria in mid April, 1843.
However, I think it fairly clear that these are two different men -- the difficulty is deciding which of them is your "Leonard."

Here is what Bruce Watson, in his Lives Lived, says about the two men:

Linniard, John [variation: Linneard, Lennard] fl. 1834-1861 (British: Orcadian Scot)
Birth: probably near Kirkgate, Orkney
Death: drowned in South Thompson River, B.C.
HBC Middle, Fort Vancouver 1835-1836; Middleman, New Caledonia, 1836-1838; Farmer, New Caledonia, 1838-1856; Labourer, Thompson river, 1856-1860
John Linniard joined the HBC on April 17, 1834, in Orkney as a labourer and appears to have spent his entire career at interior posts. Must of this time, until 1856, was spent at Fort Alexandria doing farming duties, tending crops, making fences, etc. There he took a wife and raised his first family. He appears. after his contract ended in 1859, to have retired around 1861, for in 1862 he pre-empted 160 acres on the south side of the Thompson River, eight miles east of Fort Kamloops. His name was still carried on HBC books until 1869. Some time later, John Linniard drowned in the South Thompson River while trying to retrieve a duck.

Leonard, Jean Baptiste (c.1820-?) Canadian: French
Birth: probably Montreal, c. 1820
HBC Middleman, Thompson River, 1840-42; Middleman, New Caledonia (Fort St. James), 1843-1856; Middleman, Fort Langley, 1857-1860
Jean Baptiste Leonard joined the HBC from Montreal in 1840 and worked with it for the next twenty years.

It is not always easy to figure out who your ancestors are, when the records are so hard to find.
I think, though, that Bruce Watson is correct in that there are two men with similar names, in New Caledonia at the same time.
Which one is yours? -- that is the puzzle you have to solve now.
Oh, the joys of genealogy.

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