Albert Joseph Peltier and Marie Celestine Derosier

Albert Peltier, my great-grandfather, was born on January 18, 1860 in White Bear Township, Ramsey County, Minnesota.1  At the time of his birth his father Charles Peltier was 34 years old and his mother Mathilda Domitille (Garceau) Peltier was 25 years old.  He was the 5th of 10 children born to Charles and Domitille.   

My great-grandmother Marie Celestine, or just Celestine, Derosier was born in Saint-Aime, Pierre-De Saurel County, Quebec, Canada, November 17, 1868 and baptized the next day at Saint-Michel d’Yamaska2, Yamaska, in the same county.  Her parents Jean Baptiste Desrosiers and Marie Rose Delima Peltier were both 25 years old at the time of her birth.  Celestine was the 3rd of 13 children.

Marie Celestine Deguire [Derosier] 1868 baptismal record


B 81 (the 81st baptism at Saint-Michel d’Yamaska in 1868)

Marie Celestine Deguire [Derosier]

On the eighteenth of November, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, we, the undersigned priest, baptized Marie Celestine, born the day before from the legitimate marriage of Jean-Baptiste Deguire dit Desrosiers, engineer, and Marie Rose De Lima Pelletier of this parish. Godfather Onesiphore Petit undersigned, godmother Marie Salvas who declared not knowing how to sign, the father absent.

 (signature of Onesiphore Petit)

                                                                                (signature of the priest)

End of translation.

The 1870 U. S. census shows Celestine’s family living in Centerville, Anoka County, Minnesota where her father is a blacksmith.3  They had emigrated from Canada in 1869 when Celestine was about 3 months old.  She was the last of her siblings to be born in Canada.

Albert Peltier 1870s

Albert and Celestine were married at the Church of Saint John the Evangelist, New [Little] Canada, Ramsey County, Minnesota on August 19, 1884 by Father Joseph H. Leonard.  I don’t recognize their witnesses, Thomas and Josephine Vincent.  Albert was 24 years old and Celestine was 15 years old.

Albert Peltier and Alice Derosien [Celestine Derosier] marriage license and certificate4

I wonder if the priest was confused (I know that I am) about Celestine’s name being written as “Alice” on the license.  I think at the last moment he decided to use “Alice” and that is why her name at the bottom has more ink.  Father Leonard would have been the person who filled out the certificate at the bottom of the page.

According to Vadnais Heights: A History; 1845-1976, “Albert and Celeste [Celestine] lived on the corner of LaBore Road and Goose Lake Road from 1883 [probably 1884, after they married] until 1887 when they built a new home on Kohler Road… While living on LaBore Road near the Northern Pacific Railroad tracks, it happened that one day as she was washing clothes, a tramp came to the door and tried to break in.  She told him to get away but he continued to force the door.  There was a window on the second floor over the kitchen door so she ran upstairs with a pail of boiling water.  She opened the window and hollered as she poured the boiling water on him.  He moved rather fast out of there.”5

Albert and Celestine’s first child was born in 1885 when Celestine was only 16 years old.   They would have 12 more children between 1885 and 1912 with the last child being born when Celestine was 44 years old and Albert 53 years old.  Two of their children died while quite young and the rest lived to adulthood.

Albert and Celestine’s 13 children
1887-88 Albert and Celestine with daughter Alice and son Albert

Albert and Celestine, along with their family, are enumerated in the 1900 U. S. Census as living in White Bear Township.6  Albert’s father and brother, Charles and Leon Peltier, are listed right after Albert’s family.  Charles and Leon must be residing in the first home on Charles’ property and Albert’s family is in the second home that was built.  This might be a point that needs clarification.  Please let me know if you can enlighten me.

1900 U. S. census record showing Albert and Lena Pelkie [Albert and Celestine Peltier] family (Charles and Leon are listed right below the highlighted area)

The census record has some interesting information.  Albert is a farmer, the house/farm is owned mortgage free and they as well as the 3 oldest children can read, write and speak English (the 1930 U. S.census states that he is unable to read and write).7   Their then youngest child is recorded as a male by the name of Norman.  It should read Norma and she is a female.  Also my grandmother Ellen is listed as Hellen.

Circa 1913, Celestine (about 44 years old) with her youngest child Clem on the family farm
Circa 1930 – Albert and Celestine (thanks to cousin Sue)
1932, Albert (age 72) and Celestine (age 64) – Albert and Celestine are holding their twin granddaughters Verna and Vera.  Verna and Vera are the oldest of the children born to Albert and Celestine’s son Roy and his wife Alice Ruth (Flom)

Albert passed away on September 26, 1935 at 75 years 8 months and 8 days old.8  He had lived his entire life where he was born.  The primary underlying cause of his death was a cerebral hemorrhage (a stroke) with old age and arterial sclerosis (hardening of the arteries) as contributing causes.  His death certificate shows that he retired from farming in 1923 after working the farm for 48 years.  He was buried on September 30, 1935 in St. John’s Cemetery, Little Canada, Ramsey County, Minnesota, though his grave is not listed in the cemetery index.

Albert J. Peltier Minnesota death certificate #12805
Albert Peltier’s obituary9 (facsimile)

Albert’s obituary contains one error – “Mrs. Fritz Peltier” should read “Mrs. Fritz Tessier”. This is Albert and Celestine’s daughter Norma.

According to the 1940 U. S. census Celestine is still living on the farm along with 3 of her children: Francis (recorded as a cripple), Avis and Clem, Clem’s wife Vivian, their son Ronald and Celestine’s brother Joseph Oliver Derosier.  Avis and Vivian are “employed” as housekeepers on the farm and Clem is shown as working for the WPA (Works Project Administration) at the tool shack.  None of them attended school, yet Celestine and Joseph show that they have a 4th grade education and Avis, Clem and Vivian an 8th grade education which I find a bit strange.  The other odd piece of information is that on April 1, 1935 Celestine is shown as residing in Montreal, which is not correct.10  Many records recorded by a third party contain inaccurate information.  It is so true that the hardest thing to track is the truth.

1940 U. S. census record – Celestine Peltier and family
Celestine seated in chair, (left to right in back) grandson Arnold Tessier, daughter Avis Peltier and brother Joseph Derosier,  maybe the late 1930s or early 1940s.  (Does anyone know?)
Celestine’s sister Agnes (Lohmann), niece Delia (Stewart) and Celestine at Peltier farm on Kohler Road

According to Celestine’s death certificate and obituary, about 1950 she moved off the farm, with her daughter Avis, to 499 Lawson Avenue W. in St. Paul.  I vaguely remember visiting at the house when I was about 4 years old.  For some reason I was frightened by the spot on her forehead.  I don’t know why, since my father’s birthmark didn’t frighten me.  As I looked at pictures to include in this post I noticed that she did not have any mark on her forehead when she was younger, so it was not a birthmark.  That one visit to her house is the only memory I have of great-grandma Peltier.  I do know that as a child my father spent a lot of time at the farm with her.  He told me that she was kind and loving.

Recent picture of 499 Lawson Avenue West
1950s – daughters Ellen, Avis and Vina standing behind their mother Celestine inside of the Lawson Avenue home

Ellen, Avis and Vina were the last 3 of Celestine’s 7 daughters that were still living when the picture shown above was taken.

1958 White Bear Press article commemorating Celestine’s 90th birthday11

The newspaper article has that “One of Mr. Peltier’s great-[grand]uncles had made trips here and Lake Vadnais bears his name.”  It was by marriage that Jean Baptiste Vadnais was a great-granduncle to Albert.  Jean was married to Marie Louise Gingris and she was the sister of Albert’s grandmother Marie Anne Gingris (husband Jean Garceau).

Celestine’s parents Jean Baptiste Desrosiers [Derosier] and Marie Rose Delima Peltier are also mentioned in the article.  I will write about them in the near future.

Celestine lived to be 90 years old.  She passed away at home on August 30, 1959.  It appears that over the previous year her health had been failing.  I am sure that all of the years of hard work she did throughout her life had taken a toll on her body.  Aside from dying of general debility and old age, the doctor suspected she may have had “C. A. of the stomach,” (cancer of the stomach).  Celestine was laid to rest on September 2, 1959 in St. John’s Cemetery, Little Canada, Ramsey County, Minnesota.  Like Albert, her grave is not listed in the cemetery index.

Celestine Peltier Minnesota death certificate #3008412

It is amazing to read that at the time of her death she had 125 descendants: 3 daughters, 2 sons, 35 grandchildren, 76 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great-grandchildren.13

Prayer card in memory of Celestine

Thanks for visiting, come back soon,

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