Memorable Manitobans: Joseph Noel Taillefer (1828-1897)
Born in the village of St. Joseph, near Montreal, Quebec on 25 December 1828, he attended the Seminary of Montreal where he taught Latin. After a few years of teaching, he left to study law after which he practiced at St. Martines. In 1868, he led a regiment of Pontifical Zouaves to Rome to defend Pope Pius IX against Garibaldi, returning to Canada in 1870. The flag which he took was later deposited at the St. James Cathedral in Montreal.
Coming to the Red River Settlement with the Red River Expeditionary Force in 1872, he stayed behind at the conclusion of the engagement, took up farming, and on 3 February 1873 married Mary Jane McDermot, daughter of merchant Andrew McDermot. They had four children, all born in Manitoba: Mary Jane Taillefer (1874-?), Joseph Taillefer (1876-?), Alfred Taillefer (1879-?), and Lily Taillefer Poitras (1882-?). He was elected as a member of the Manitoba Legislature in 1878 and 1879, after which he served as a Police Magistrate for Provencher. Sometime before 1888, he moved his family to the North West Territories [now Saskatchewan], where he owned land and farmed in the Qu’Appelle Valley.
He died at Marieval, North West Territories on 31 May 1897.
1881 Canada census, Ancestry.
1891 Canada census, Ancestry.
“Joseph Noel Taillefer, a research adventure,” As Canadian As Can Be: My Hogue and Girardin Ancestors by Jackie Corrigan.
We thank Ed Taillefer, great-grandson of J. N. Taillefer, and Jackie Corrigan for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 2 December 2018