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William Fidler's Wife was Jane Young of the Stevens line.

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Stevens Descendant
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Location: Cloverdale, BC

William Fidler's Wife was Jane Young of the Stevens line.

Post by Stevens Descendant » Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:57 pm

Jane Young Fidler, daughter of Isabella Stevens who is a daughter of Richard Stevens and Mary O'Connor. Mary has been called Meenish in the HBC biographical sheet of John Thomas Jr, who was her first husband, he died in a hunting accident and she remarried Richard Stevens.

They eventually relocated to Red River, St. Andrews/Lockport
(see in the announcements, there is a reunion in August 09 there).

I am a descendant of both of her marriages, I have a great grandparent from the Thomas union and one from the Stevens.

Any help in tracing Mary O'Connor to her Native/Metis roots of Moose Factory/Rupertsland would be so appreciated.

Thank you, Judy

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Post by gnstill » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:49 pm

Welcome to the Forum Judy
My late wife was also a descendant of Richard STEVENS b-1793.

I too (and many other researchers) would like to sort out Mary MEENISH and Mary O’CONNOR. I am beginning to think they may have been one and the same, but no one seems able to produce solid evidence of the origins of either one.
The Scrip application of son George STEVENS, dated July 8, 1875 indicates that George was born Mar 11, 1821 at Rupert’s House. His father stated as Richard STEVENS (English) and his mother simply as Mary (Indian or Metis). Unfortunately Mary is given no last name, and some refs seem to suggest that Richard STEVENS may have married both Mary MEENISH and Mary O’CONNOR.
Rupert’s House apparently was located on the Rupert River along the eastern side of James Bay, Quebec (The first and oldest HBC trading post).
My guess is that Mary was most likely of Cree origin and I wonder if anyone out there knows what MEENISH means in Cree?

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Post by Jolie » Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:08 pm

In Cree, you could spell MEENISH as mi>nis (mee-nis), which translates to "wild fruit" or "berry".
Here is a link to the online Cree dictionary. The i with the hat (macron) over it is pronounced like "ee". http://www.creedictionary.com/search/?q ... is&scope=1

Stevens Descendant
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Post by Stevens Descendant » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:32 am


I am so happy to see the two posts and may I ask the lineage of your wife's Mary O line. As I said I am from the Thomas marriage and the Stevens marriage!

There are two sources that confirm for me that Mary O'Connor was indeed the name of the lady that married both of these gentlemen. And I think that Jolie's Cree definition may be the possible answer to why Meenish is in her name as well. Meenish was a common nickname apparently and it does translate to "small berry" per a Cree translator that helped me a couple of years ago. Meenish is also an area of Ireland and with O'Connor as a surname, she could have been given the middle name of Meenish to reflect her Dad's homeland, another guess of I mine. Neither of them have any factual base which I would love to have.

In the HBC biographical sheet on John Thomas Jr, it states he married Meenish and that she later married Richard Stevens. In the HBC records of Richard Stevens employment it states he married Mary O'Connor. On Isabella Stevens Scrip it states Father Richard Stevens and mother Mary O'Connor. I have no doubt that she is Mary (Meenish) O'Connor. But I cannot find any thing beyond that so far! Emphasis on SO FAR. I am dertermined to find something!

I have contacted so many people that have done research on Moose Factory but no leads yet. But there is a band member of the Moose Cree that is asking around for me as there is an O'Connor in the band (who he has not yet contacted as he is in the bush for a time, as a cook, but i hope that he becomes my source!!

I have also found that John Thomas Jr was the key person at Kenogamissi River from 1804 to 1812 and it was in 1804 that the first child was born to John Thomas Jr and Mary O'Connor so if there is a band in that community then maybe Mary is from that band, but Kenogamissi is a hop skip and a jump from Moose Facroty so who knows but I will get on that lead too! I just found the record yesterday in the Manitoba HBC archives that told me John Thomas Jr was the district manager for those years.

So that is what I know and that Mary O'Connor is also known by the name Meenish is pretty much a given for me. I am hoping that people with Ancestry trees will take note and correct their records so that we stop the perpetuatuon of the mix up. And I will post any new info here if I get some.


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