You will notice in this section, that the majority of the documents come or are in relation to descendants of the family of Joseph Hildedge Cotnoir.

This is not only by chance because our meeting of 2007 was an occasion to gather these documents and several photographs. Descendants of Jérémie Cottenoir also provided some extremely interesting elements.

It thus becomes of a major importance for all the families to take part in the contents of this site so that the visitors can find their historical elements from each branch of the large Cottenoir/Cottenoir/Cotnoir/Préville family.

Each family has its history and all  families have somebody who knows part of this history and has with them some elements, documents or photographs.

You are thus invited to communicate and forward us all the historically interesting and, if possible, annotated documents or  photographs (names, places and date). It will be a pleasure for us to include them on our site particularly if you mention to which branch of the family these documents or photographs are attached.

Thank you for your collaboration,

Raymond Cotnoir and Angele Foisy


If you have stories to share, copies of newspaper articles, poems, etc, you can send them by email to Raymond Cotnoir at or Angèle Foisy at



On this page:


Other historical documents


Notes, drama,various articles




According to various consulted accounts, Louis-Trefflé Préville-Cottenoir and Caroline Potvin the parents of Joseph Hildedge Cotnoir settled in St-Thomas de Joliette in 1863. Eight children composed the family and Joseph, was born on October 19, 1874.

By the age of 7 years old, he was already plowing the fields. Without knowing the specific date of his emigration in the States, it is said that the land in St-Thomas-de- Joliette was not sufficient to nourish the family and he thus left for the States like thousands of other inhabitants of Quebec at that time.

He was married there on May 25, 1896 to Alida Goulet, born on August 4, 1873, maidservant to a doctor of Lowell, Massachussett and also originating from St-Thomas.

Joseph did not much care for the family life in the USA and decided to return to Canada in 1901. During a visit in St-Thomas-de-Joliette, he learns that one of Alida's sisters has settled in the Temiscaming county with a man named "Bébé" Lafond. He returned to Lowell and started packing up the family which already included 3 children.

He took the land close to Mr. Lafond  in 1902 where Cécile was born. He then sold this land to buy Mr. Lafond's farm, who had returned to St-Thomas-de-Joliette. Angéline was born in 1904 in the "shack" rented to the Riopels and in 1905, after a short stay in Ville-Marie while Joseph and Alida’s house was being constructed, they returned to the farm.

Georges was also born in the log "shack" just before the move to the large house in 1906, which was built at the same time as the barn, thanks to a financing company from the West. It is that same year that the parish of St-Bruno-de-Guigues was officially founded. In the winter 1906, our grandfather starts to cut wood necessary to heat the lead mine located on the edges of the Lake Témiscamingue. Imagine: Alida cooked for all these people (approximately a dozen men in addition to nourishing the family which at that time already counted 6 children).

Joseph had also convinced certain family members to come to Témiscamingue, of which his brother Ephrem, who opened a general store in Ville-Marie and Romeo who bought land in Guigues. His sister, Médérise, married to Joe Ducharme, joined the group and Joseph's father, Louis-Trefflé Préville-Cotnoir lived in Témiscamingue with his second wife Héloïse Brûlé, on land close to his. He died there at the age of 65.

When the work decreased, all those people left except for Romeo Cotnoir who remained on his land for several years as well as Joseph and his family. Among the children of Joseph and Alida, Fortunat and Georges farmed the land close to that of their father whereas André ensured the continuation of the ancestral ground. The others settled under other skies, in Rouyn-Noranda or surrounding area.

Our grandfather started to sell the products of the farm door-to-doors in Ville-Marie then at the market in Haileybury. They crossed Lake Témiscamingue in the summer, on the ferry, the "Aleene" which sank a little later with its captain and was replaced by the "Météor" which did the crossing until the construction of the Bridge in Notre-Dame-du-Nord.

The voyage lasted three hours. During winter, he crossed the way on the ice. Joseph generally went there with Alida and they sold the products from the garden, the cream and of the cornflowers in season in addition to the meat and eggs and sometimes wood. Our grandfather fought to be recognized as farmer-owner-merchant enabling him to buy products from other colonists and sell them at the market. They sold at the market until the death of Alida in 1940. She was then 67 years old.

Joseph Hildedge was deeply believing and practitioner. Every evening, at the end of the day, the rosary was said with the family, and in the morning before the lunch. Swearing was not allowed and when it was going badly, you sometimes heard Joseph say "saudite marde" and if it was very serious, a resounding "saudite marde noire" could be heard.

Across from the house on the other side of the road was a cross which our grandfather always maintained and he even made another one entirely lit up. It was bordered with a cedar hedge. Joseph went there every day to collect his thoughts, particularly after the death of Alida on August 21, 1940. There is always a cross on this spot.

When Andre took charge of the farm, Joseph created a garden. He cultivated vegetables there (carrots, turnips, cabbages, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, parsley and corn) and sometimes sold them. He also cultivated splendid flowers which he sold at the time for marriages or funerals. Strawberries and raspberries supplemented it. He remained the principal cultivator until his death on Octobre 6th, 1966 at the age of 92.

Print this article (French only)

Éva is the 2nd child of Joseph-Hildedge Cotnoir and Alida Goulet. Her memoir testifies the life at the beginning of the 20th century in Témiscamingue while it was in period of colonization.

Through her memoirs written in 1987, we can follow the evolution of the life of the first colonists made in this part of Quebec and especially learn more of the qualities of our ancestor.

Her daughter, Jacqueline wrote as preface:

'A simple reflection in her mirror must be able to reassure her. She is beautiful! Not of a beauty. Who exhausts itself with time? She is beautiful of a life filled well, of an intense life where the love and tenderness guided each one of her steps in the achievement of its daily tasks.

In the mirror of the past, she sees her memories. She became attached to and cherishes them. Finally, she delivers them to us like a testimony, a present, and a treasure which one enjoys to keep, to cherish… my mother!’
By Jacqueline Baril (daughter of Éva)

It is thus with an immense pleasure that we invite you to read this testimony written in simple French language and easy to understand.

Raymond Cotnoir and Angèle Foisy,


 (read the full article in French only)

de l'Apprentissage à la Réalisation

Roger Cotnoir is the grandson of Joseph Hildedge Cotnoir. He lived from 1924 to 2004 and died after a long illness against which he fought courageously during the 8 last years of his life after his wife, Marielle Héroux, herself weakened by diabetes and cardiac disease died in January 2000.

Roger agreed to write his memoirs in a 88-page book and he finished it by writing these lines:

I wanted by this work, in answer to the request of my children who wanted to obtain a testimony of what was my life. I took up this challenge to answer their wishes of course, but also to share some facets of what life was like at that time.

This book is not a book of history, but it tells certain adventures of my life that I deliver with great honesty as for the reported facts, with people who took part in the events and the dates when they occurred.

My childhood in the countryside in the Thirties, my studies in the country schools and in Rigaud, my family, work and the leisure in Témiscamingue in the Fifties and Sixties and more close to us the achievements reported within the framework of the swirls to the quiet revolution and the modern era, is all there or almost…

Without claim, in a simple language, I deliver the result of this work to you and I wish you as much pleasure to read it as I had in writing it.

We encourage you to practice your French by simply reading these extremely interesting writings

Good reading.

click here for full article (French only)



1st row: Engelbert (father) and Alain,
2nd row: Éric and Yvan

"True patriot love in all thy sons command."

Here is a family photo which shows well this family’s spirit with one another which is that of the Canadian Armed forces. Étienne was outside at the time this photo was taken.



We underline with pride that Jérémie Cottenoir, faught in the war from 1914-1918. His son, Engelbert also enlisted in the armed forces since 1936. Here is a posthumous homage paid by his comrades in arms of the 22nd Regiment at the time of its death in 1999.

Engelbert Cottenoir (known in the army under the name of Angel-Albert) was one of the founding members of Friendly Royal 22e Regiment (become the Association of the 22e meanwhile). He assumed the presidency of it.

He moreover was, director of the Control of Royal the 22e Regiment with decoration, member of the Knights of Colombus and member of the Canadian Legion. The implication of the Sergeant Cottenoir in war 39-45, was worth several decorations to him of which:

  • Star of Countryside of Sicily Star of the Countryside of Italy
  • Medal of the Service distinguished Medal of Victory,
  • Medal of the War 39-45 Medal of the Volunteers.

Jeremy and Engelbert generated a descent which perpetuated this devotion to the fatherland. Two of the children of Engelbert, Yvan and Alain reached the rank of main adjudant in the 22e Regiment and were useful in some countries.

Alain was useful in Royal the 22e, the 1 CDO, airborne Regiment and Royal Canadian Ordonnance Corp (RDOC) as technician in provisioning. Its years of service were rewarded by following decorations:

  • Decoration of the Canadian Forces (C.D.)
  • Medal of Special service (MSS)
  • Canadian medal of the Maintenance of Peace (MCMP)
  • Force observation of the United Nations for the disengagement of the Forces.

On his side, Yvan is at present reprocessed and deserved during her career several decorations inter alia, at the time of the missions in Bosnia-Herzégovine and Cyprus.

  • Canadian medal of the Maintenance of Peace Jubilée medal of the Queen Élizabeth
  • Medal of the mission of the force of protection of the United Nations in Bosnia-Herzégovine
  • Medal of the force of stabilization of NATO in Bosnia-Herzégovine
  • Medal Special service bar (OTAN-NATO)Decoration of the Canadian Forces (MINOR ROAD 2).

Click on the picture below to read the full article.

Two sons of Yvan also chose this career: Éric, with the rank of major in the 22e regiment which was useful inter alia in Afghanistan for 10 months and which deserved following decorations:

  • Star of countryside with bar of the Force of International assistance in Afghanistan Canadian
  • Medal of the Maintenance of Peace Medal of the mission of the Force of protection of the United Nations in Bosnia-Herzégovine
  • Medal of the Mission of the United Nations in Haiti Medal of the force of stabilization of NATO in Bosnia-Herzégovine Decoration of the Canadian Forces.

Étienne which was also used in the 22e Regiment with the current rank of Senior corporal as engineer as countryside, attaché to the 5th regiment of genius which was also useful in Afghanistan for 6 months.

Its implication in the Armed forces were worth to him:

  • Star of Countryside of the Force of International assistance in Afghanistan Canadian
  • Medal of the Maintenance of Peace Medal of the Force of Stabilization of NATO in Bosnia-Herzégovine.