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(Last Updated: May 16, 2014)


Around 1861 Absalom LAROCQUE alias SPENCE was born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. He was an illegitimate child of Eliza DESMARAIS and Joseph LAROCQUE of uncertain origins. Eliza DESMARAIS was a daughter of Harriet Catherine SAUNDERS and Charles King DESMARAIS (1808-1885). ** MORE ABOUT CHARLES KING DESMARAIS


According to Cassandra Ting, Eliza was a daughter of Sophia ERASMUS and Jean Baptiste DESMARAIS (1812-1897). I’m not yet convinced of this; more verification is needed. ** MORE ABOUT JEAN BAPTISTE DESMARAIS


I (Gary Still) am working with Cassandra TING (a descendant of Absalom) in researching this family. Her comments can be seen in associated Forum Discussions.


Absalom was adopted, and raised in Portage la Prairie by his Grandfather, John SPENCE who was a Treaty Indian (receiving annuities as such). Details about Absalom can be found in the Library of Archives Canada (LAC); in correspondence he had with the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA). Research is presently underway to try to learn more about his SPENCE and LAROCQUE ancestors.


Prince Albert, Saskatchewan


In 1874 Absalom moved from Portage la Prairie to Prince Albert Saskatchewan. He would have been about 13 years old then.


In 1883 his Grandfather, John SPENCE received a Discharge from Treaty in order to receive Half-breed Scrip.


Macleod Alberta


In 1884 Absalom moved to Macleod, Alberta where in 1888 he made his first application for Half-breed Scrip before Judge McLEOD. Absalom’s comments in that regard: Judge McLEOD “afterwards informed me that the time for making such application had elapsed, then I let it go until the year 1901.”


LAC: In 1892 the Indian Commissioner for Manitoba and NWT granted a Discharge from Treaty to Absalom SPENCE or LA ROCHE (LAROCQUE)However, at that time he apparently did not receive Half-breed Scrip as explained later.


Marriage to Elizabeth WHITFORD


LAC: Around 1898 Absalom married Elizabeth D. WHITFORD at Blind Man’s River in Alberta. I’m still trying to determine her origins.


In 1901 Absalom made a second Scrip Application before Agent McKENNA at Lethbridge, Alberta “who informed me that I was no more entitled to a Scrip than he himself was.”


On Feb 16, 1903 Absalom made a third application for Scrip at Macleod, Alberta. His Affidavit was co-signed by Michael SOHEU (?) and Alex L’ESPERANCE. A that time Absalom commented “Where is the equity and the British policy with his natives to the soil. I appeal to it through you Sir, and I consider that having been discharged from Treaty as aforesaid, I should be entitled to a Land Scrip, same as the other Half-breeds who got their Discharges from Treaties and received Scrip afterwards, and I wish to know why I was too late the first time I here applied, and treated with scorn the last time I tried to re-apply.”


Comments and queries at this link: FORUM DISCUSSING ABSALOM LAROCQUE alias SPENCE


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


Children according to LAC correspondence:
1. Child who died in infancy