Which Vadnais is associated with Lake Vadnais?

The answer is Jean Baptiste Vadnais.  The following chart shows our connection to him.

My 4th great-grandparents, Francois and Genevieve, are at the top of the chart.  They had 13 children: 5 boys and 8 girls.  Of the 5 boys only 3 lived to adulthood: Francois my 3rd great-grandfather, Pierre (Peter) the 8th child born and the youngest child Jean Baptiste.  I’ve not shown Peter in the chart.  He would be on the same line as Francois and Jean.  Jean and Peter are my 3rd great-granduncles.  As I stated earlier, Jean is the one whose name is associated with the lake.

Jean initially traveled from Canada to Minnesota at some point between 1842 and 1846 to look for farm land.1  In early 1846 he returned to Canada to bring his wife and children back to Minnesota.  He was accompanied on the return trip to Minnesota by his brother Pierre (Peter), his brother-in-law Jean Garceau and their families.  He settled on the southeast shore of the lake that would later be named Lake Vadnais.  Supposedly Jean staked a land claim near the lake on June 1, 1846.2  I have not found the claim, but I did find the land grant issued to John Vadner [Jean Vadnais] on August 1, 1853 for the land described as “the south half of the northeast quarter of section 32 in township 30 north of range 22 west in the district of lands subject to sale at Stillwater Minnesota Territory containing eighty acres.”  The earlier 1846 land claim is for the same land.

Land grant dated August 1, 1853 issued to John Vadner [Jean Vadnais] of
Ramsey County, Minnesota Territory3
1848 survey map showing Jean’s land (the lighter colored rectangle). 
A portion of Lake Vadnais is shown to the left of his land.  At the time of the survey the lake was not yet named.4

It was not until 1858 that my 2nd great-grandfather Francois joined his uncles, Jean and Peter in Minnesota. 

On August 15, 1976 a marker was placed on the site where the original Jean Vadnais home once stood.  The marker is in the park located near the southwest corner of Edgerton, Centerville Road and Vadnais Blvd.

Some of those in attendance at the dedication ceremony of the site marker.
Back row left to right: Dave Garceau Sr., John (Jack) Vadnais, Viola Garceau, George Albert Vadnais and Edgar Bibeau. Front row left to right: Unknown, George Frank Vadnais and Mark Vadnais.

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