Friday, May 17, 2019

Louis Robida AKA Rabida AKA Rabideau: 52 Ancestors #76

Louis Robida, my second great-grandfather and #28 in my Ahnentafel, was born on 23 Apr 1850 in Warwick, Arthabaska, Quebec, Canada, the oldest of twelve children of Louis Robida and Marie Deshaies dit St. Cyr. He was baptized when he was five days old at Saint-Norbert-d'Arthabaska Parish, with his uncle Damas [Thomas] Robida as his godfather and Marie Célina Chenard (relationship unknown) as his godmother.1 (An odd coincidence that his godmother had the same forename as Louis's eventual first wife; Célina, while not rare, is not the most common name in Catholic Quebec.)

Baptism of Louis Robida, 28 Apr 1850
The 1851 census for most of the Arthabaska townships is missing, so we don't see Louis until 1861 in Chester, Arthabaska, 11 years old at his next birthday and with two considerably younger siblings, a brother and a sister (age 4 and 2); three other children had been born and presumably died between Louis and the younger children.2

1861 Canada East census, Chester West, Arthabaska, Louis "Rabida" household
By 1869 Louis, 19, had emigrated south to Milan, Coos County, New Hampshire, where on 25 September "Lewis Robadeau" declared intentions of marriage with "Cyntha Criaque" (Marie Célina Cloutier).3

Marriage intentions for "Lewis Robadeau" and "Cyntha Criaque", 25 Sep 1869
Presumably they carried out those intentions, and in June 1870 the census-taker enumerated Lewis and Silena Rabideau, with two-month-old Lewis Jr., in Milan. Louis was a farm laborer, and owned no real estate.4

Lewis Rabideau household, 1870 U.S. Census, Milan, Coos, New Hampshire
Over the next ten years, they had at least three more children (a six-year gap between "Loi" and the next child almost certainly indicates at least one, and possibly two, stillbirths or infant deaths) and moved to Berlin, where Louis was working in the paper pulp mill.5

"Loi" Rabida household, 1880 U.S. Census, Berlin, Coos, New Hampshire
Children of Louis Rabideau and Célina Cloutier:
  1. Peter Louis (AKA Louis/Lewis Jr.) (1870-1946), m. Eva Woodward (my great-grandparents)
  2. Xalia (abt 1875-??), apparently died young
  3. Marie (abt 1878-1960), m. Toussaint "Louis" Croteau
  4. Adeline (abt 1879-1934), m. Thomas Castonguay Jr.
Célina died in 1881, and Louis apparently remarried almost immediately – unsurprising, considering that he had three children under the age of 6. Louis's new wife, Marie Beatrice Croteau, gave him three more sons in the next seven years.6 (Premature twin sons, born in 1884, did not survive.)

Children of Louis Rabideau and Marie Beatrice Croteau:
  1. Thomas Henry (1882-1958), m. (1) Alphonsine Reneau, (2) Josephine Picard
  2. Unnamed twin boys (1884-1884), premature
  3. Francis "Frank" Lewis (1885-1956), m. Albina Dumas
  4. Melvin L. (1888-1908), died unmarried
In 1885 Louis purchased land in Milan from Cyrus Hamlin and Harrison Rogers – from each an "undivided half of Lot. No. (18) eighteen Range five" in the "second division of lots" in Milan.7 An 1892 atlas map of Milan shows property owners L. Rabideau (most likely the lot Louis purchased in 1885) and J. Rabideau8 (Louis's brother Jim, who bought land in 18909).

Detail from 1892 map of Milan, N.H., showing L. Rabideau and J. Rabideau homesteads
By 1900, Louis's three living sons by Beatrice were still at home, while Célina's children were long gone from the household. (One of them, Marie, was in fact married to Marie Beatrice's half-brother Toussaint "Louis" Croteau and had four children of her own. See Marie (Rabideau) Croteau and The Croteau Connection for that story.) Louis was listed as a farmer, owning mortgaged property.10
Lewis Rabideau household, 1900 U.S. Census, Milan, Coos, New Hampshire
Louis's last appearance in the census was in 1910, still on his mortgaged farm in Milan with wife "Bessie," their two older sons, Thomas and Francis, and Francis's new wife.11 (Youngest son Melvin had died of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1908.) Beatrice died in 1914, her death registration indicating she had been a resident of Berlin for the past two years,12 so Louis apparently had given up farming and moved back to Berlin in 1912.

Louis Rabideau household, 1910 U.S. census, Milan, Coos, New Hampshire

On 29 May 1915, Louis Rabideau, of Berlin, sold land in Milan to J. Fred Bell (not the same land he purchased in 1885 – I haven't yet found out what happened to that lot) by warranty deed.13 That is the last record I have found concerning Louis. He was not found in the 1920 census, so presumably he died between 1915 and 1920, but as yet I have been unable to find a death record for him, in either New Hampshire or Vermont (where his sons Thomas and Frank had moved by 1920). If anyone reading this has a death, obituary, or burial source for him, please let me know!

A few notes about the family surname: while Louis was born and baptized as Louis Robida, with few exceptions his name was given as Rabideau in U.S. records – most censuses, deeds and mortgages, and his children's birth records. (His forename was given as Louis or Lewis, pretty much randomly.) This may simply represent the way the name was commonly pronounced and spelled by English-speakers in Coos County: Louis himself was illiterate (his deeds and mortgages were signed by mark), so we have no idea how he may have pronounced it. It's worth noting that the one census when he was living in Berlin, 1880, the name was Robida, and that Beatrice's death record and obituary (also in Berlin) gave the surname as Robida and Rabida, respectively. Some of Louis's children, when they married, gave their names as Rabideau (Peter and Thomas [first marriage] and some as Rabida or Robida (Adeline, Marie, Frank, and Thomas [second marriage]). Peter used the name Rabideau for his entire adult life, while Thomas and Frank exclusively used Rabida after about 1920.

My descent from Louis Rabideau:

  1. Saint-Norbert-d'Arthabaska Parish (Arthabaska, Quebec), parish registers, archive copy, 1850, folio 14v, B.42, baptism of Louis Robidas, 28 Apr 1850; digital images, “Quebec, Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1900,” FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 May 2012); citing “Quebec Catholic parish registers. Quebec County Catholic Parishes, Canada”.
  2. 1861 Census of Canada East [Quebec], Arthabaska County, ED 2, Township of Chester West, p. 4 (penned), p. 160 (stamped), lines 24-28, Louis Rabida household; index and digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 4 May 2012).
  3. Milan, Coos County, New Hampshire, Births, marriages, deaths 1854-1881, p. 45, "Lewis Robadeau" and "Cyntha Criaque", 1869; digital images, "New Hampshire, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1636-1947," FamilySearch ( : accessed 18 Jan 2014).
  4. 1870 U.S. census, Coos County, New Hampshire, Milan, p. 17 (penned) 135 (stamped), dwelling 137, family 130, Lewis Rabideau household; digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 18 Jan 2014).
  5. 1880 U.S. census, Coos County, New Hampshire, Berlin, ED 29, p. 2-B, dwelling 11, family 16, Loi Rabida household; digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 18 Jan 2014).
  6. 1900 U.S. census, Coos County, New Hampshire, Milan, ED 268, sheet 5-A, dwelling 96, family 97, L??is Rabideau household; digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 18 Jan 2014). 
  7. Coos County, New Hampshire, Land Records, 1772-1902, Warranty Deeds 38:370-371, Cyrus D. Hamlin to Lewis Rabideau and Harrison W. Rogers to Lewis Rabideau, 1885; images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 May 2019), image 409; imaged from FHL microfilm 8,649,649.
  8. "Shelburne, Coos Co. (with) Milan, Coos Co.," Town and City Atlas of the State of New Hampshire (Boston: D.H. Hurd & Co., 1892), p. 293; digital image, David Rumsey Map Collection ( : accessed 12 May 2019), item 2023270. The map shown above was cropped from the full map.
  9. Coos County, New Hampshire, Land Records, 1772-1902, Warranty Deeds 53:78, Luther F. Kingsbury to James Rabideau, 1890; images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 May 2019), image 409; imaged from FHL microfilm 8,650,435.
  10. 1900 U.S. census, L??is Rabideau household.
  11. 1910 U.S. census, population schedule, New Hampshire, Coos County, Milan, enumeration district (ED) 67, sheet 2A, p. 158 (stamped), dwelling 26, family 28, Louis Rabideau household; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 19 Jan 2014)
  12. "New Hampshire, Death and Disinterment Records, 1754-1947," database and images, Ancestry ( : accessed 4 May 2012); death of Mrs. Beatrix Robida, 1 Jul 1914, Berlin. 
  13. Coos County, New Hampshire, land records, Warranty Deeds 172:99, Louis Rabideau to J. Fred Bell, 1915; digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 14 Dec 2014), found in Gallery for Louis Rabideau (1849- ) profile in "Sara Jennings and Rob Spittel" public member tree, managed by Sara Spittel.

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