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WHITE BEAR aka TURNER (1780-1844)

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gnstill
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Re: WHITE BEAR aka TURNER (1780-1844)

Post by gnstill » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:23 pm

That code in the lower left need not concern you. It merely indicates who else has been following this topic on the forum recently.

MIEGUNYAH
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Re: WHITE BEAR aka TURNER (1780-1844)

Post by MIEGUNYAH » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:51 am

Gary, Do you have any more information about John Bear, son of White Bear, and his wife Catherine Erasmus? When and where they died and did they have children? Thank you for any help you can give, Pam

gnstill
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Re: WHITE BEAR aka TURNER (1780-1844)

Post by gnstill » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:29 am

Sprague & Frye lists John BEAR as a Métis, born in 1804; died 1864. Wife: Catherine ERASMUS, Métis, born 1810. This is the only record I have seen regarding his origins. Other information indicates that he lived in St Peters.

Like Sally WAPUSK, we can’t be certain who his parents were, but like Sally, circumstantial evidence suggests a good possibility that he may have been either a son or a close relative of WHITE BEAR who also lived in St Peters.

I know I do have other information about his children, etc, but have been extremely busy lately doing investigations for other people and will have to put this one on the back-burner for a while. When I do get a chance to do a better review, I will get back to you.

gnstill
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Re: WHITE BEAR aka TURNER (1780-1844)

Post by gnstill » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:28 pm

Pam: Thanks very much for the donation! Very much appreciated.

In gratitude I have done a quick review and posted a family page at this link: JOHN BEAR (1804-1864)

There are many unanswered questions and debatable information regarding this family. Hopefully by presenting what I have we will get some responses from other people who may provide some enlightenment.

MIEGUNYAH
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Re: WHITE BEAR aka TURNER (1780-1844)

Post by MIEGUNYAH » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:10 pm

Thank you Gary for your information about Wapusk aka White Bear. I've now found he was baptised in 1832 by Rev David Jones and buried in 1844 by Rev Smithurst. Elizabeth who married James Asham and two of her brothers (probably William was one) would have accompanied Wapusk and his (one) wife to Red River in about 1829/30. Have you got access to the Census of 1835 for Red River Settlement, not sure if they were at St Peters or The Pas. The description of them in the Census, how many were living together, who they were, what possessions they had etc would give me some idea of the life they lived. Also do you know of any family stories that have been written about the early Bear family. I did get a copy of William Asham's The Story of my Ancestors - The Swampy Cree, from the Archives of Manitoba, but as you said, most of it was on your site anyway. That's the type of personal story I'm looking for. I'm trying to get a sense of the people they were. I have come to the conlusion that you yourself are in some way conneced to the early Asham family. I do appreciate all you are doing, kind regards Pam

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Re: WHITE BEAR aka TURNER (1780-1844)

Post by gnstill » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:48 am

Pam: Thanks very much for reminding me of WHITE BEAR’s baptism, death, etc. I have done a revision and update of his page to include several related historical notes of interest. You may want to review my update at this link: UPDATE to FAMILY PAGE for WHITE BEAR

Regarding the 1835 Red River Census: I have frequently found references to this census too. However, so far I have not been able to determine how to access the information for myself. When I get time I will do some more probing about to try to find the link. If you find it yourself, please let me know.

MIEGUNYAH
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Re: WHITE BEAR aka TURNER (1780-1844)

Post by MIEGUNYAH » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:55 pm

Gary, For some time I have been trying to piece together the family of Wapusk/White Bear maybe aka John Turnor (1780-1844) as I am a descendant. This is how I see the family now.

If John Turnor was born in 1780 (others say 1775) at York Factory, he could well be the first son of Philip Turnor. (Phlip T. arrived in North America 1778). If he was born in 1775, he could not be the son of Philip T. The other children of Philip T. are Joseph (1783/4-1865) who married a half breed, Emma Good. Mary Aggathas (1785-1863) who married Alexander Kennedy (1781-1832) and Hannah (Ann/Annie) Turnor (c1790/2-)who married Thomas Humphreyville. There is enough documentation about to confirm these relationships.

Philip T’s Indian family resided at Cumberland House in their early years before Philip returned to England. For a period I will refer to our main character, Wapusk, thus, as that is how he is recorded in HBC Indian Debt Account. After Philip T. deserted his family and returned to England, Wapusk joined the HBC as a canoeman but left to join the Indians at York Factory and became the leader of his own Band. The later dates and positions that are in his HBC service document are unexplained. Some of Wapusk’s children were – John born 1804 probably at Fox Lake. There doesn’t seem to be any documents to prove this, but the next son, David c1807 was born at Fox Lake; William born 1810 (again probably Fox Lake). Is David a son of Wapusk or a son of Wapusk’s brother, as a Winnipeg researcher says? Who then is the brother? The statement made in David’s scrip application by a Sarah Turner referring to a Thomas Bear/Turner and Francis Turner is confusing.

About 1810 or so the seasons in the Fox Lake etc area were poor, very cold and animals, hence food, was scarce, the Band moved to Cumberland House via Red Deer River area. Daughter, Mary was born about 1815 (not sure where she is born). Wapusk and band are in the Red Deer River area up till about 1815 when his daughter, Sally, (absolutely no documents about her at all), meets and conceives her first child with Donald Sutherland. Wapusk and band, which includes more than one wife, continue to Cumberland House area and here they more or less stay trapping and trading furs and animals for the HBC until about 1829/30. During this time the youngest child, Elizabeth (1823-1906), is born at Cumberland House. Mary married Willock/William Tait/Tate (c1792-1878). Willock retired and they settled at Red River.

Wapusk is recorded in 1828 Cumberland House Census. In about 1829/30 he became interested in Rev John West’s message about the Bible. Two versions why he went to Red River and heard the Word. Mary Aggathas (now Kennedy) converted in 1829 and told him about the Bible and the Great Spirit, the Cumberland Cree were introduced to the Good News and some of the young of the family travelled to Red River to hear the Good News and report back, whence Wapusk then went to see for himself. (This is confirmed by HBC documents). Second version, from William Asham, son of Elizabeth who married James Asham, and grandson of Wapusk. He recorded the journey Wapask (sic), his wife (one now), two brothers and a young girl (viz Elizabeth) took to Red River to visit/be reunited with daughter Mary Bear Tate/Tait. This is recorded in William’s ‘The Story of my Ancestors – The Swampy Cree’. Who are the two brothers? John, David, William? Could be any one of them as they all end up at Red River. The brothers could be any of Wapusk’s other sons, as I’m sure there were more. Some sons were named Pepathakish, Missinawe, Cacakekepoo, Samutukwanacap etc . Who are these sons, are they Indian names for John, David, William? Some of these sons were trapping as early as 1815 so must have been born near 1800, round the time of Sally’s birth. Who are they?? A couple of these sons were baptised in the 1850s.

Wapusk, once in Red River, is referred to as White Bear, although in HBC documents he is also referred to as The Bear.

Wapusk/White Bear was baptised in 1832 and died in 1844 in Red River. At the time of his death he was described as ‘a very old, grey haired man, about 80 years old, a patriarch, with a very large family’. Mary tate/Tait had about 17 children, William Bear and Elizabeth Asham also had large families. Only one of David’s children survived into adulthood. If Wapusk was born in 1780 and died in 1844, he would have been 64 years old, sometimes ages are approximate or unknown, but would you refer to him as ‘a very old, grey haired man’ at 64? If he was 80 as said, he would have been born in 1764 and hence could not a son of Philip Turnor.

Is there anyone out there who has researched this family and is a descendant with knowledge of the family history who can enlighten me, challenge or confirm any of this? Also, is there someone who can access the records of the Red River area Census in the 1830s, particularly 1835, where there should be some description of the members of the families, their ages, their possessions and perhaps their way of life. As I live in Australia, these records are not easily, or inexpensively, available to me. Can anyone help please? I would be very grateful for any dialogue initiated by my research so far. Gratefully yours, Pam

MIEGUNYAH
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Re: WHITE BEAR aka TURNER (1780-1844)

Post by MIEGUNYAH » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:31 pm

A postscript to my earlier post. To identify this family, you need to know they took the surname BEAR e.g. William BEAR, White BEAR, John BEAR etc etc Thank you, Pam

MIEGUNYAH
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Re: WHITE BEAR aka TURNER (1780-1844)

Post by MIEGUNYAH » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:04 pm

The Bear family, includng Sally, appear in the Red River Settlement 1840 census, living in Swampy Village. Cheers Pam

gnstill
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Re: WHITE BEAR aka TURNER (1780-1844)

Post by gnstill » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:00 am

Thanks Pam
How did you find access to that census?
Can you provide the full details of the record?

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