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Memorable Manitobans: Marie Anne Gaboury Lagimodière (1782-1875)


Born at Maskinonge, in the Parish of Three Rivers, on 2 August 1782, daughter of Charles Gaboury and Marie Anne Tessier, at the age of fourteen she became an assistant housekeeper at the rectory at Maskinonge. It was here that she met, and later married, on 21 April 1806, Jean-Baptiste Lagimodière. She insisted on accompanying her husband back to the Northwest, where he was employed at Pembina by the Hudson’s Bay Company. They left shortly after their wedding for the North-West, arriving at Pembina in August.

It is said Madame Lagimodière was the first white woman in the West. On 6 January 1807, she gave birth to a daughter, named Reine, who is reputed to have been the first white child born in the Red River country. The Lagimodières were the first to settle and raise a family on the Prairies. In 1818 they moved to St. Boniface, where Marie-Anne lived until her death. Legends about her courage are common among Franco-Manitobans.

Grandmother of William Lagimodiere and Louis Riel.

She remained at St. Boniface, from about 1818 until her death on 14 December 1875. She is buried in the St. Boniface Cathedral Cemetery. She is commemorated by Ecole Marie-Anne-Gaboury in Winnipeg.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lagimodiere and Gaboury Plaque (Whittier Park, Winnipeg)

La Première Canadienne du Nord-Ouest by Georges Dugas (1883).

Marie-Anne Gaboury, Dictionary of Canadian Biography X, 296-97.


Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 13 October 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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