WILLETT HISTORY 1792-1912
>
ELOI OUELLETBorn abt 1792 in QuebecDied before 1861 at Kamouraska, Quebec
Married: SOLANGE ARCHANGE POTVIN (POTTEVIN)Born 1805 in Pocatiere, Kamouraska, Quebec 
Children (all born in Quebec):Orville VillmerBorn 9/8/1826; Died 3/10/1875 in Blue Earth, MN
 BrunoBorn about 1827
 ChristopheBorn about 1828
 JosephBorn about 1831
 HubertBorn about 1850
My Great Grandfather was Orville Villmer Ouellet (or possibly Ouellette), which changed to Willette in the US. Records show that the French spelling of his name was Ovilmer Vilmaire. He was apparentally illiterate and it has been speculated that he may have given his name verbally as O. Villemaire Ouellette to a recorder, who misunderstood and wrote it as Ovilmer. His marriage record gave his name as Orville, which implies his original name was probably Orville Villemaire. Orville immigrated to Friendship, Fond du Lac County, WI in 1849. There, on 01/07/1850, he married Celine "Celeste" Cyr (9/10/1830-5/11/1911), who had immigrated earlier with her family from L'Acadie, Quebec. In 1866, Orville and family moved to Delavan, MN, then Prescott, Faribault County, MN some time prior to May, 1869. Delavan is about 10 miles,and Prescott about 7 miles, northwest of Blue Earth, MN, so they are all in the same vicinity. Orville and Celeste had 12 children, the oldest 8 were born in Friendship and the youngest 4 in Prescott. All but the youngest, Olivina, who apparently died as an infant, are pictured below. It was Mary Louise, the 6th born, that is my Great Grandmother.
mary siblings
maryMary Louise Willette was born April 1, 1860 in Friendship, WI. She married Hubert A. (or H.) Willette on Nov. 12, 1876 in Blue Earth, MN, which is just above the Iowa-Minnesota border. Hubert's birthdate was 3/26/1850. He was born in Quebec and came to the US in 1855 at the age of 5. His residence in 1860 was listed as Linwood, Portage, Wisconsin. Apparently Mary and Hubert were related, but the exact relationship is a mystery because so little can be found of Hubert's background. Furthermore, no pictures of Hubert seem to exist and strangely enough, he isn't in the family photo below, which includes Mary and which I estimate was taken around 1898. He died 11/13/1911, so he certainly was alive when the photo was taken. To mildly add more mystery, he lists the families last name as "Willet" in the 1880 census, and the list includes a 16 year old brother named Willet Willet. Later censuses list the last name as "Willett." One source lists his father as Herbert Willette, born 1829, and mother, Clarissa, born 1832, but I could not confirm these. They apparently moved further north to Montevideo, MN sometime in early 1885 since Grandpa Noah Frank Willette was born in Montevideo on July 20, 1885 and another source lists them living in Prescott, which is just outside Blue Earth, in 1885. The 1900 US Census shows them residing in Fairview Township, Campbell County, SD, and the 1905 WI Census shows them in Farmington, La Crosse, WI. Apparently they were back in Montevideo area by 1906, in Sparta Township, Chippewa County, since Noah married Celestia Amaryllis (Lettie) Shore on January 31, 1906 in St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Montevideo. Mary and Hubert had 14 children:
  • Clarice May           1877 - 1960
  • Malvina                  1879 - 1879
  • Hubert Lesilie         1881 - 1971
  • Celia Rose             1884 - 1971
  • Noah Franklin     1885 - 1968
  • Oral Louis             1887 - 1955
  • Emery                   1888 - 1955
  • Zelda Margaret     1890 - 1964
  • Evelyn Julia           1892 - 1961
  • Mary Louise         1895 - 1964
  • Celeste Rose        1897 -
  • Arthur Clemon     1899 -
  • Irma Gladys         1901 -
  • Anna Laura         1903 -
mary-hubert family
The names are an educated guess based on the fact that the children appear aligned oldest to youngest, back to front.