1713 and 1913
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On October 2, 1713 In the parish church of St. Joseph Rivière-des-Prairies, in front of family and friends, Catherine Charpentier and Claude-Mathias Fanef unite their destinies. This union is the source of the family Phaneuf.

October 2, 1913

It is to frère Élie, Joseph-Stanislas-Zéphirin Phaneuf that we attribute the initiative of the 200th anniversary of the marriage of the ancestors and founders of the Phaneuf family on October 2,1913 . A strong leader, patient and tireless worker, he rallied to his cause the descendants of Mathias, from the plebians to the elite.

According to articles published by the newspaper Le Devoir, on August 3, 1913 and July 17, 1914, frère Élie, by his curiosity as a researcher and genealogist, and his passion for teaching, this farmer's son and brother of Christian Schools may be rightly regarded as the engine of one of the largest family events in the history of Quebec and Canada. In 1915 his book The Family Phaneuf-Farnsworth, 266 pages, printed in 300 copies - a thousand times photocopied - crowned the event, cementing the bonds of an entire family spread across America.

In early 1913, everything was already in place to prepare the 200th anniversary of the Phaneuf family. The preliminary meetings were probably held in 1912 and perhaps even as early as 1911. Soon, frère Élie surrounded himself with a large team whose resources were vast and varied.

          The first two general meetings were held at the Palais de Justice in Montreal, while the third was held at the Monument National, on St-Laurent street. Six meetings of the Finance Committee were also required to organize the celebrations.

On October 2, 1913, over 200 Phaneuf family members went to the Place d'Armes in Montreal from the Chapelle de la Réparation of Pointe-aux-Trembles, by trams specially reserved for the event.

After a grand-Mass, a banquet was waiting for the guests under the tent where formerly the lands of Claude-Mathias Fanef and Catherine were, on 94th Avenue, Rivière-des-Prairies. However, the autumn rain, and especially the wind forced the transfer of the celebrations into the Church of Atonement. It would be during the following summer that the Phaneufs would meet again to finish the last part of the celebrations started the previous year.

This information comes from a rare book entitled: “Minutes of Committees of the family-Farnsworth Phaneuf 1913, the 200th anniversary of the marriage of the ancestors and founders of the family Phaneuf, Claude-Mathias Farnsworth-Phaneuf and Catherine Carpenter - Oct. 2, 1713 to 1913 , I remember”. Published in 2011 in a few numbered copies, this report contains the monographs of the various preparatory meetings for the 200th celebrations of 1913. Note that these monographs come from the hand of frère Élie, then secretary of the Committee.

After the death of frère Élie, the Frères des écoles Chrétiennes – the community of which he was a member - gave his belongings to his family, specifically to his brother, Mr. Albert Phaneuf of Montreal. Later, these papers were bequeathed to Albert’s son Frederick - nephew of frère Élie – who today is over 90 years old. Two years ago, this Mr. Frederick Phaneuf sent me a copy of these 36 pages, 8.5'' x 14'', which were resting peacefully in the family archives. In order to ensure their conservation, they were reproduced in full, in the book mentioned above.

The reproduction of another document, entitled: “Study of family history Phaneuf, 1910”, implements these precious few written recollections and explanations. These typed notes, again from the frère Élie, are part of a donation maintained by The Library and Archives of Quebec. They reproduce the speech that frère Élie gave on October 2, 1913 and are in fact the first version, which, once revamped, became in 1915 "Historical and analytical" in his masterpiece "The Farnsworth-Phaneuf family."

As a complement to these data, some photos, articles and biographies aim to make us better informed about the event held in the occasion of the 200th anniversary, its author and his collaborators.

This rare book that The Library and Archives of Quebec and Canada Library and Archives now hold in different copies (ISBN 978-2-9806530-2-5), is part of a collection of  a few objects that will eventually be submitted to the donors of the Tricentennial of the Phaneuf family - 2013.

Jean-Marc Phaneuf

Chapelle de la Réparation, where was celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Phaneuf family. It is also in this church, still 2 October 1913, the descendants of Catherine Charpentier and Claude-Mathias Fanef fled because of bad weather.

Felix Duplessis House, at the top of the 94th Avenue at Rivière-des-Prairies, near the spot where once was built the Claude-Mathias Fanef house.

The next year, in the summer of 1914, Phaneuf returned to the land of their ancestor to complete the setup of the previous year shortened by bad weather.

At the time, at the rear of the house Duplessis, buildings were now extinct. One guess here the Brother Élie (third person from left) surrounded by other descendants of Catherine and Mathias.

The two sides of the 1913 medal, and the Brother Élie book, LA FAMILLE PHANEUF- FARNSWORTH, published two years later, in 1915.

October 2, 1713

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