Julia Raymond (1861-?)

Julia Raymond (1861-?)

Julia was born in July 1861 in Frenchtown.[1] Her parents were the French-Canadian Benjamin Raymond and Eleonore Finley, who is listed as ½ Indian on her son Henry’s marriage certificate,[2] and as “Flathead” in a 1900 Indian Census.[3] Despite this evidence of her mother’s race, the US census of 1880, two years after her marriage, simply lists Julia as “white.”[4] Not only that, but her step-children, Rosalie Dauphin's sons and daughters, are also listed white, although they too were 1/4 Native American, through their grandmother, Suzanne Cayuse. Such shifts in categorization were common at this time, and a mixed-blood person could be identified as “mixed” in one census and then as “white,” or, more often, “Indian” in the next.

1880 Census with Julia listed as "W" for white.

Only Catholic Church records can offer insight into Julia’s early life, and even then there are few details. She was a witness at her sister Denise’s wedding in 1875 and was confirmed in the Catholic Church in 1879, at the age of 18.[5] She appears on the 1880 census as Marcel's wife, at that point just four years older than her oldest stepson.

On January 13, 1880 Julia married Marcel Gagnon (1831-1912) and became stepmother to his six children.[6] Marcel would not have been able to take care of these children alone, and yet he did not remarry for nearly two years. One possibility is that Julia, the then-seventeen-year-old second daughter of a very large family, may have been called in to help care for them. Teenage sons and daughters were often farmed out to other families who had need of an extra hand in the field or in the house. Julia and Marcel had only one child, who died at birth and was buried in the St. Rose cemetery in Frenchtown on November 21, 1880.[7]

Julia’s precise death date is unknown. She was recorded in the 1885 census, but a 1900 US census lists Marcel Gagnon as “widowed.”[9] After his children were grown, Marcel tried once again prospecting for gold, this time in Idaho, where he resided by 1900.[10] Marcel eventually returned to Walla Walla, where he died in 1912.[11]


[1] Harriet Duncan Munnick, Catholic Church Records of the Pacific Northwest: Walla Walla Register II Frenchtown, St. Patricks and St. Rose of Lima, 1859-1872. P.9 B-43 Julie Raymond.

[2] Ancestry.com. Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950 [database on-line], FHL Film Number: 1888844, accessed June 1, 2017, http://search.ancestry.com//cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=60062&h=1249897&ssrc=pt&tid=46035071&pid=330009970887&usePUB=true.

[3] 1900 US Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940, (Roll: M595_108; Line: 14; Agency: Flathead).

[4] 1880 US Federal Census, Census Place: Walla Walla, Washington; Roll: 1398; Family History Film: 1255398; Page: 249D; Enumeration District: 050.

[5] Munnick, Catholic Church Records: Walla Walla Register III Frenchtown St. Rose of Lima Mission 1872-1880, P.28-29-30, P. 29, M-5 Romain Robillard and Denise Raymond; Munnick, Missions of Frenchtown and St. Rose of Lima, 1876-1888, P. 15, confirmation n. 11, Julia Raymond.

[6] Munnick, Catholic Church Records: Missions of Frenchtown and St. Rose of Lima, 1876-1888, P.12, M-1, Marcel Gagnon and Julia Raymond.

[7] Munnick, Catholic Church Records: Missions of Frenchtown and St. Rose of Lima, 1876-1888, P.17, S-2, ------ Gagnon.

[9] 1885 Washington State and Territorial Censuses, (Ancestry.com. Washington State and Territorial Censuses, 1857-1892 [database on-line]). 1900 US Federal Census, Census Place: Bonners Ferry, Kootenai, Idaho; Roll: 233; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0059; FHL microfilm: 1240233.

[10] 1900 US Federal Census, Census Place: Bonners Ferry, Kootenai, Idaho; Roll: 233; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0059; FHL microfilm: 1240233.

[11] See Marcel Gagnon’s obituary from Waitsburg Times, March 1, 1912, found on http://mv.ancestry.com/viewer/19f86c28-0cae-4ce6-acac-29beb706174e/26191875/1816793199?_phsrc=RuG2&usePUBJs=true.

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