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THOMAS FAVEL (1781-1848)
SARAH TROUT (1779-1874)

(Last Updated: May 21, 2017) 


Thomas FAVEL was born around 1780 at Fort Albany on James Bay, the youngest half-breed son of a Swampy Cree Indian woman named TITAMEG (WHITEFISH) & John FAVEL (1740-1784) from England who was 2nd in charge of the Albany Inland District for the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) at the time. **MORE ABOUT JOHN FAVEL


In 1784, when his father (John) died, Tom was a mere toddler. In his father’s Will, he was bequeathed an annuity of four pounds, payable for all of his life. He would spend his formative years around Fort Albany with his mother (TITAMEG) and his sisters (Jane & Mary). His older brother, Humphrey (age 7), may have been in England at the time, having been sent there to receive some schooling.


In 1793, at the age of 14, Tom entered HBC service as a Labourer at the Albany Post. His oldest brother, Humphrey FAVEL (age 21), was married around this time to an Indian woman named Jenny PAWPITCH, and was already working inland as a voyageur.


Tom marries Sarah TROUT


It must have been around 1797 that Tom began a connubial (common-law) relationship with a Cree woman named Sarah TROUT; their first child (John James) was born around that time.  They were both about 19 years old.


In 1801 Tom began to work at inland posts, travelling with fur trading brigades to and from Fort Albany.


Moved to the Red River District


In 1805 Tom was moved to the Red River District, still employed as a Labourer.


By 1810 Tom was doing the work of a voyageur (steersman) in the Winnipeg District. His brother, Humphrey FAVEL, was appointed that year to Brandon House. Humphrey by then was a married man with about five young children. Tom himself had two children by then (John, & Marguerite).


Selkirk Settlers Arrive at the Forks
Peter FIDLER takes charge at Brandon House
The First Métis Rebellion


Assiniboine River Forts

Birsay Village later became St Francois Xavier

On August 30, 1812, Miles MacDONELL (1767-1828), the new HBC Governor of Assiniboia, arrived at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers (the Forks) with the first (advance party) of Lord SELKIRK’s settlers. It was too late for any crops to be planted or any other serious improvements to be undertaken, so MacDONELL proceeded to Pembina with the settlers. Around the same time Englishman Peter FIDLER (1769-1822) arrived with his family to take charge of Brandon House and to assist in settling the new settlers by surveying lots and helping them to build houses north of the Forks (Kildonan).


Cuthbert GRANT (1796-1854) and his Métis followers, as well as the North West Company (NWC) leaders were violently opposed to the encroachment of settlers in what they considered their domain. They were determined to drive them out. Part of their strategy was to create a shortage of pemmican and buffalo meat by buying up all that was available and hoarding it away. Governor MACDONALL, unable to provide adequately for the group of settlers he already had, and anticipating the arrival of yet another large party from Churchill in the coming summer, made a fateful decision that would spark a Métis rebellion. On Jan 8, 1814 he issued his historical Pemmican Proclamation, prohibiting the export of provisions of any kind from the limits of Assiniboia without a special license from himself.


Fellow voyageurs, all working out of Brandon House under Peter FIDLER during the Métis Rebellion, included Tom and his brother Humphrey FAVEL; John KIPLING (1788-1836); Magnus SPENCE (1755-1845); John LYONS (1786-1875), and their families. All of these men would later be prominent first settlers of Mapleton. These were all essentially Scotch-English half-breed families who suddenly found themselves in the middle of a bitter struggle between their Métis brethren and settlers who came from the homeland of their own white ancestors. Peter FIDLER himself was a reluctant participant in the struggles that unfolded. These men all had Indian wives, including FIDLER, many of them with family ties from the region of Hudson Bay. But FIDLER, a loyal HBC servant to the end, had been purposely selected by the Company to play the role of an intermediary and peacemaker. This was not the first time he was placed at the forefront of NWC-HBC turmoil.

** More about Peter FIDLER


FIDLER’s voyageurs all had to work the Assiniboine River route between the Forks and Brandon House, the same route frequented by Cuthbert GRANT and his followers.


In March of 1815, Cuthbert GRANT at the head of 27 Métis seized four colonists as hostages near the Forks (Kildonan Settlement). On this occasion, there was an exchange of prisoners, but as the year went on the pressure applied by the Nor’Westers to the colonists increased and GRANT was at the forefront of the action. This was the year that Tom’s brother, Humphrey FAVEL, was dismissed from HBC service on account of his bad behavior toward John McLEOD (1788-1849) who was then in charge of the HBC House (also known as Fidler’s Fort) at the Forks. On June 25 McLEOD had been suddenly attacked by Cuthbert GRANT and his soldiers. Also dismissed that year was Magnus SPENCE (1755-1845)


On June 1, 1816 Cuthbert GRANT and his Métis soldiers pillaged Brandon House. Peter FIDLER discovered that GRANT and his men were working their way down the Assiniboia toward Winnipeg. Peter tried desperately to get the news down to Winnipeg, and he ordered John LYONS to start before midnight, but LYONS got ill that night. He then turned to Thomas FAVEL, who refused to go, so the only one left was his son, Charles FIDLER, who started out with another man. But as soon as they got across the river the Canadians surrounded them, took their guns, and sent them back. Peter FIDLER set out himself on June 15, too late to prevent a massacre perpetrated by GRANT’s soldiers.


On June 19, 1816 The Battle (Massacre) at Seven Oaks occurred with Governor Robert SEMPLE (1777-1816) and twenty of his men killed on Frog Plain (Kildonan). Cuthbert GRANT and the Métis then took Fort Douglas. Settlers who wanted to leave the Red River Settlement were offered protection by GRANT.


In August of 1816 John LYONS (1786-1875), Tom’s fellow voyageur, was also dismissed from Company service for refusing to accompany James INKSTER on a trip to Indian Elbow on the upper Assiniboine.


Tom FAVEL was subsequently dismissed from the Company’s service by FIDLER for refusing to accompany him to Jack River (Norway House). No further details are offered. Undoubtedly Tom would have been reluctant to leave his wife and young family alone while such perilous events were taking place. By this time he had a family of five, the eldest being Jack (age 17); Marguerite (age 11), Tom Jr. (about 8), Richard (4) and Sarah (age 3).


Obviously these displaced men did not share the same fierce loyalty to the Company as did Peter FIDLER. Also somewhat evident is the fact that they sympathized with their Métis brethren.


Birsay Village “Orkney Town”


Finally, in the fall of 1817 the Red River Rebellion came to an end when Lord SELKIRK’s de Meuron soldiers recaptured Fort Douglas; Cuthbert GRANT was arrested and the Métis were forced to retreat.


In the winter of 1817-18, jobless and weary from their thankless toil and strife, Tom FAVEL, his brother Humphrey and most of the other men who had been fired, sought a more pleasant and peaceful environ to retreat with their families. For a short period this would be a little settlement that was named Birsay Village or “Orkney Town”; named after his homeland by Magnus SPENCE, the elder who led them there.


Whooping cough and measles hit Orkney Town; several deaths were recorded. To add to their misery, swarms of grasshoppers destroyed their crops. By mid-September of 1819, the aforementioned families from Brandon had abandoned by their new village. Soon after, French Canadian Freeman and Métis families from Pembina moved in, recreating the settlement as St Francois Xavier.


Union of the NWC & HBC
Tom at Beaver Creek – St Francois Xavier


During 1821-22 Tom returned to HBC service one last time, as a steersman voyageur working out of Beaver Creek. Beaver Creek (later Fort Ellice, St Lazare, MB) was located at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Qu'Appelle rivers; west of Birtle, MB; east of the MB-SK border and east of Qu’Appelle, SK (See map above). During the next couple of years, sons Samuel and Humphrey were born there.


On Jan 21, 1821 daughter Margaret married at Beaver Creek to Michel LAMBERT (1792-1891). After they married they move to St Andrews. Lambert’s Point (south of Lockport) was probably named after him.


On Jan 28, 1821 Tom was baptized and church-wed to Sarah at St John's (Winnipeg); the next day (Jan 29) five of his children were baptized there (John, Tom, Richard, Sally & Humphrey). At this time he was still living at Beaver Creek.


In 1822 Tom was a ‘freeman’, his HBC career was over. It seems he may have returned to St Francois Xavier area for a brief time. By 1822 eldest son John FAVEL (married to Isabelle SHORT) was living there and had started a family.


Retires to Lockport


BGLFG: Thomas received a small plot of land along the Red River, in the vicinity of present-day Lockport. There he moved his large family, and he settled for the remainder of his days.  His last four children were born there, Charles (1823), Mary (1824), Joseph (1828), William (1831).


In 1835 Tom was recorded on Lot 29 in St Andrews. There were eight people in his household. He had a horse, cart and three cattle; two acres of land were under cultivation.

On Dec 6, 1838 son Samuel FAVEL married in the Old St Andrews Church to Margaret KIPLING, daughter of Margaret OKANENS & Jack Ram (John) KIPLING (1788-1836). Tom and Jack KIPLING had been fellow voyageurs working out of Brandon House.


In 1843 daughter Mary became the fourth wife of James SANDERSON, son of a Cree woman named Elizabeth Nancy "Nellie" and James SANDERSON SR (1757-1819).

In 1843 son Humphrey married Sophia COCHRANE in St Andrews, daughter of Harriet NEETCHEESIS (Indian) & Thomas COCHRANE (b-1790).


On Aug 12, 1848 Tom died; he was buried in the St Andrews Church Cemetery.

Sarah died May 25, 1874 in St Andrews (Lockport).


Comments and queries at this link: FORUM DISCUSSING THE THOMAS FAVEL FAMILY


============================= Family Details =============================



1. c1797 JOHN JAMES (JACK) FAVEL (m. Isabelle (Elizabeth) SHORT; ?m2. Euphemia ANDERSON)



3. 1812 RICHARD FAVEL SR (m. Euphemia ANDERSON)

4. 1813 SARAH FAVEL (m. Magnus SPENCE Jr)

5. c1815 THOMAS FAVEL JR (m1. Charlotte MARTINEAU; m2  Madeleine UNKNOWN)

6. June 4, 1820 SAMUEL FAVEL (m1. Margaret KIPLING, m2. Elizabeth IRVINE)


7. Dec, 1821 HUMPHREY FAVEL (m1. Jane UNKNOWN, m2. Sophia COCHRANE)


8. July, 1823 CHARLES FAVEL (m1. Lucy MUSCOWEQUAN;  m2. Nellie BOUCHER; m3. Susan ANDERSON)

9. May, 1824 MARY FAVEL (m. James SANDERSON)


10. Jan 1, 1828 JOSEPH FAVELSR (m1. Margaret MORISSETTE, m2. Margaret MOORE)

11. 1831 WILLIAM FAVEL (m1. Margaret MOODIE, m2. Charlotte COTE)