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Josephte Boucher/Clarke McKay
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Birth: 1817
Death: May, 1879
Woodburn
Marion County
Oregon, USA

Catholic Church Records of the Pacific Northwest
Vancouver, Vols. I & II, Stellamaris Mission
Harriet Duncan Munnick
French Prairie Press, 1972
Acts made at Fort of the Lakes, on the Columbia
Page 14
B-144
This 30 October, 1838, we priest undersigned have baptized Josephte aged 21 years, daughter born of the natural marriage of Josephte [sic] Boucher, free man, and of Josephte woman of the country. Godmother Catherine Russie. Godfather Andree Chalifou who have not known how to sign.
Mod. Demers, priest, Miss.

Catholic Church Records of the Pacific Northwest
St Louis Volumes 1 & 2, Gervais, Brooks
Harriet Duncan Munnick
Binford & Mort, 1982
Gervais
Pg 36
S-30 Josephine [Boucher] wife of John McKay
May 14, 1879, we the undersigned parish priest of this parish have blessed the grave and buried the remains of Josephine [Boucher] wife of John McKay, sixty[?] one years of age, buried in the graveyard of Gervais in presence of John McKay and David McKay.
J. Dols, parish priest

She is consistently identified in the church records as Josephte/Josephine Boucher, and her mother is unquestionably Josephte Kanthopisa (also called Josephte des Chaudieres; she is buried as Adelaide Hubert, using the surname of her last husband, Joachim Hubert). The father has been traditionally identified as Jean-Baptiste Boucher, but Munnick has advanced the position (Vancouver, p. A-10, A-42) that the father was actually John Clarke, one of the founders of Fort Astoria, apparently based originally upon a statement made by her son George Herron in his later years to the effect that her father's name was Clark. (A biography of her son Robert L. McCoy in "History of North Washington" similarly states that she was "a descendant of Captain Lewis of the Lewis and Clarke expedition.")

Munnick's theory has since been presented as fact by later researchers, but there is no apparent documentation from primary sources. In fairness to Munnick, I must point out that this theory was first suggested in raw form by William S. Lewis in the Washington Historical Quarterly in 1920: "While at Fort Colville, Francis Heron contracted a marriage alliance with a half-breed girl of the Colville tribe, whose father was a white man named Clark. The only white man of that name known to the writer to have been in that section of the country prior to 1820 -- was the Astor partner, stationed at Spokane House, 1812-1814."

Other records confirm her birth year (1817), within a brief range, and it appears that said John Clarke had already returned to the Red River outpost in Canada a few years prior to this. Additionally, Josephte Boucher's mother, Josephte Kanthopisa (b. ~1802) would have been too young for childbearing during the years that John Clarke was in Oregon Territory (she bore her last child, Louis Hubert, in 1844). When baptized as an adult in 1838, and subsequently in the baptismal records of her own children, Josephte Boucher consistently gave her father's name as Boucher (a simple trapper), when it would have been much more "glamorous" to identify with the roguish John Clarke.

In view of these factors, as well as the general unreliability of George Herron's statements (as attested to by Munnick herself, Vancouver, p. A-35), I have concluded that Munnick's theory is incorrect, and that Josephte's father was indeed Jean-Baptiste Boucher. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Jean Baptiste Boucher (1757 - 1824)
  Josephte Adelaide Kanthopisa Hubert (1802 - 1848)
 
 Spouse:
  John C. McKay (1813 - 1888)
 
 Children:
  George Herron (1834 - 1918)*
  Elizabeth Isabelle McKay Sanders (1837 - 1896)*
  William McKay (1838 - 1877)*
  John W. McKay (1839 - 1908)*
  Alexander McKay (1848 - 1935)*
  Charles McKay (1850 - 1910)*
  Mary McKay DeLore (1852 - 1876)*
  Felicite Magdeleine McKay Bartrow (1855 - 1919)*
  Josephine McKay Jeaudoin (1857 - 1944)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Sacred Heart Cemetery
Gervais
Marion County
Oregon, USA
Plot: Unmarked grave
 
Created by: Bob Wilson
Record added: Jul 20, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73645521
Josephte <i>Boucher/Clarke</i> McKay
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Bill Myers
 
 
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