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Severin (Sovereign) John Jean
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Birth: Oct. 3, 1853
Quebec, Canada
Death: Oct. 26, 1915
Bay County
Michigan, USA

Bio courtesy Debra Hart Blackgrave Tyre, great-granddaughter {updated 07.13.2012; 07.03.2014}. Please retain original credits if copied; thank you. :)


PLEASE NOTE: His first name is listed as Severin (Sovereign) for search engine purposes on Find-A-Grave, as most would not think to use Sovereign. Other variations in source documents include Soverin, Soverine, Severine, due to his French Canadian heritage. He spoke almost no English.

Sovereign was the 8th of 17 children born to Joseph Pierre Jean (b. 1814, L'Isle-Verte, Quebec, Canada; d. 1907 in Mich.) and Marie Theriault (Teriot) (b. 1819, St. Louis de Kamouraska, near L'Isle-Verte, Quebec, Canada; d. about 1873, prob. Quebec, Canada). Most of their 17 children emigrated from Quebec and settled in the Bay City area of Michigan, in various merchant trades.

Not widely known to the family, source documents and records reveal Sovereign was married four times, all with the name "Marie" in various forms.

The first wife Sovereign married on 06 Oct 1873 in Cacouna, Rimouski, Quebec, Canada, was Marže Victoria Gužchard (b. 1852, of Cacouna; d. 1880, Bay City, Bay, MI USA). Sovereign and Marie Victoria had 5 children:

1-Josephine Jean (1874- )
2-Joseph Jean(AKA James Carey?) (1876 - )
3-Flora/Florinda Jean (1877-1881)
4-Eva Jean (1879 - )
5-Thomas Jean (1880 - )

Marže Victoria died Christmas Eve 1880 and her daughter Florinda died 3 months later; the destinies of the remaining 4 children remain a mystery. They may have returned to Quebec to be raised by relatives?

Sovereign returned to his homeland on L'Isle Verte in Quebec and took a second wife there in 1881: Marie (M.) Elmire Talbot (b. Dec. 1852 on L'Isle Verte; d. ?). Little is known about this marriage and a divorce record remains undiscovered, but it was short-lived (and recently discovered, 2011). No children, as far as we know.

On 16 Dec 1882, Sovereign married for a third time to Marie Anne Hermine "Mary" Fortin in West Bay City, Bay, MI USA. Mary was b. about 1845 in Trois-RiviŤres, Saint-Maurice, Quebec, Canada and when she died in Bay City in December, 1888, she left one young daughter born to the union:

1-Helen Mary ("Minnie") Jean (1884-1929) m. Leon Felix Isidore Larocque (3 ch.)

Within a month of Mary Fortin Jean's death, Sovereign married his fourth and last wife, Marie Alyda Lydia ("Libbie") LaChance of Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, Quebec, Canada. She bore Sovereign the remaining 13 of his 19 known children:

1-Mary Jean (1889-1889)

2-Wilfred Jean (1890-1927), m. Myrtle Marie Collins (no ch.)

3-Winifred Jean (1892-1972), m. Herman F. Garver (3 ch.)

4-Frank Arthur Jean, Sr. (1895-1980), m. Zella Irene Barber (1 ch.)

5-Severin Joseph Jean "Jr." (1896-1971), m. 1st Marguerite Eva Noble (5 ch.); m. 2nd Ada Lavone (Warner) Collins, who raised the children after Eva's death in 1924.

6-Arthur Frank Jean (1898-1943) m. Leona --- (1 ch.)

7-Florence Cecilia Jean (1901-1987) m. John Joseph Wolf (4 ch.)

8-Gustave "Gustin" Louis Jean (1902-1956) m. Anna Swanson, div. in 1947 (no ch.?)

9-Tenois Anthony Jean(1905-1982) m. Marion C. Biergans (4 ch.)

10-Amelia Delima Jean (1908-1988) m. Eugene C. Lewis (2 ch.)

11-Lawrence John Jean (1909-1953) m. Fern Irene Warner (4 ch.)

12-Maurice Henry Linn Jean (1911-1983) m. Viola E -- (3+ ch.; still researching; will return to this)

13-Celena Burnetta (1913-1964) m. Ainsley Becker (2 ch.? still reseaching).

Family tradition holds that Sovereign was originally a fur-trapper by trade {which may well account for why he ended up back and forth between Quebec and Bay City, MI}, and that each year he would come home from trapping and Libbie would become pregnant again. We do know from US Census records that he was a businessman in the Kawkawlin/West Bay area of Bay City, as a "saloon-keeper," owned a "boarding house," and his 1915 obituary states he "owned for many years a hotel and at the time of his death, was a grocer on Kawkawlin Road," Kawkawlin Twp., Bangor, Bay, MI, USA.

After Sovereign's death, Libbie removed with several of the remaining children from Bay City to the Lansing area, probably following her sons' employment at auto factories, bakeries, and other industries. Libbie appears with three of them in 1920 in Lansing. By 1930, she was living with her son Severin (Sammy) Jean in Lansing, and his family, where he was a baker (and later went on to owning several restaurants in the Lansing area).

Libbie was known by her family for her love of baseball, beer, and keeping candy in her big apron for the grandchildren who would come to visit her in her later years. She died in 1954 in Lansing, and buried at a marker with her son Severin's first wife, Marguerite Eva (Noble) Jean.

I do not own Libbie's memorial, thus have added these comments here about her.

Bio courtesy Debra Hart Blackgrave Tyre, great-granddaughter of Sovereign & Libby (Lachance) Jean; Updated 07.13.2012; 07.03.2014. Please retain original credits if copied; thank you. :)
Family links: 
  Marie Alida Lydia (Libby) LaChance Jean (1871 - 1954)
  Helen Mary LaRocque (1884 - 1929)*
  Wilfred Jean (1890 - 1927)*
  Winifred Garver (1892 - 1972)*
  Severin Joseph Jean (1896 - 1971)*
  Tenoise A Jean (1905 - 1982)*
  Lawrence John Jean (1909 - 1953)*
*Calculated relationship
Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum
Bay City
Bay County
Michigan, USA
Plot: Block B
Created by: Debra (Hart) Blackgrave ...
Record added: Mar 25, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87373548
Severin (Sovereign) John Jean
Added by: T&DC
Severin (Sovereign) John Jean
Added by: Debra (Hart) Blackgrave Tyre
Severin (Sovereign) John Jean
Added by: Debra (Hart) Blackgrave Tyre
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