Mary Rachel Meade (Tanis)
Mary Rachel Meade was born in October 1872 to Roland Price Meade and Mary Rachel Ashford.
Mary Rachel Meade had 4 brothers, Roland Franklin (Franklin), William, Allan and George: Roland Franklin (Franklin), born in 1869; William, born in 1876; and Allan, born in 1879. Unfortunately very little is known about George.
The Meade family lived in Winnipeg on Meade Street.
When Mary was a young 7-year-old girl, her father, Roland died. This tragedy changed the family’s destiny. Mary’s mother, with no means to support her children, took a job as a cook and headed north to a camp to earn some money. She left her children with families who were willing to care for them.
The names of the families that Mary, Allan & George lived with are not known. Mary’s brother William was raised by the Haywood family and the 1881 Red River Census indicates that Roland Franklin (Franklin) was living with the John Sutherland family in Springfield, Selkirk at that time.
In 1881 Mary’s mother met & married John Wood of Manigotagan. When Mary was around 9 years old, she moved to Manigotagan to live with them and their growing family. She had five half brothers and sisters, John Wood Jr., Martha, Annie, Alex and Albert (Bertie).
Mary’s brothers, Roland Franklin (Franklin), William and Allan also eventually moved to Manigotagan. William settled in Manigotagan as a young man with his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Minnie) and their children. George did not move to Manigotagan but visited once as an adult.
On October 23, 1891, at 19 years of age, Mary married Duncan Buchanan, although it is speculated that she was living with him at a younger age prior to the official marriage date, according to the story that has been passed down through the generations. Mary referred to her marriage to Duncan Buchanan as an arranged marriage. He was much older than Mary. Mary told her children that Duncan Buchanan gifted a team of horses to her stepfather, John Wood in exchange for the arrangement. Shortly after they were married, Duncan Buchanan contracted Tuberculosis and eventually left Manigotagan for treatment, possibly to the United States. He never returned. It is not known when or where he died.
Mary met and married Arthur Quesnel and they raised a happy, close knit family of twelve children. Their names were Arthur Joseph, William Antoine (Willie), Mary Albina (Girlie/Deedee), Harriette Ann (Nix), George (Tocs), Martha Corinne (Dandits), John Philip Allan (Biddo), Rachel Josephine (Nan), Roland Arie (Noonie), Oswald Joseph (Ossie), Grace Leah (Tunney), and Napoleon Jacques (Tap).
Mary’s husband ran a fur trading post and together they ran a boarding house for many years. Mary kept journals, each day recording the names of all the travelers who passed through.
The Quesnels also opened the first post office in Manigotagan in 1908.
Mary lived in Manigotagan until her husband Arthur died in 1933. Soon after, she relocated to Winnipeg and lived with her daughter, Grace (Tunnie) at 301 Trent Avenue in a house that her son, Oswald, bought for her.
When Tunnie married John Daman, she moved into their home on St. Mary’s Road to live with them.
Mary passed away in 1954 in Winnipeg.
* Mary Rachel was also called "Tanis" by her mother, an Aboriginal name meaning "daughter".
Mary Rachel Meade
Birth: October, 1872
Death: 1954, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Father: Roland Price Meade
Mother: Mary Rachel Ashford
Spouse: Arthur Quesnel