About Chez Nous

Inaugurated May 4, 2002
This home page celebrates the two cultural heritages of this site owner: German and
French-Canadian.
Chez Nous (pronounced "shay new") means "our place" or "our home" in the French of the French-Canadian ancestors, who came to what was to become Quebec between the early 1600s and the early 1700s, thence to North Dakota. This is Henry Bernard's family - all French-Canadian.
The painting is of the farm home of the German-American ancestors who arrived in Wisconsin beginning in the 1840s. 'Chez nous' connotes family, community, warmth, welcoming, and all the positive characteristics of people together, regardless of nationality. These are the families of Esther Busch and Henry Bernard.

About Chez Nous

Inaugurated May 4, 2002
This home page celebrates the two cultural heritages of this site owner: German and
French-Canadian.
Chez Nous (pronounced "shay new") means "our place" or "our home" in the French of the French-Canadian ancestors, who came to what was to become Quebec between the early 1600s and the early 1700s, thence to North Dakota. This is Henry Bernard's family - all French-Canadian.
The painting is of the farm home of the German-American ancestors who arrived in Wisconsin beginning in the 1840s. 'Chez nous' connotes family, community, warmth, welcoming, and all the positive characteristics of people together, regardless of nationality. These are the families of Esther Busch and Henry Bernard.

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Sacred Heart Church, Oakwood ND, Centennial History, 1981

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Click here for the story of Henry and Josephine (Collette) Bernard's 1901 Oldsmobile which, on August 12, 2006, completed the 121 mile New London - New Brighton (MN) Antique Car run.

Note the website for the old parish of Ste Elisabeth, about 10 miles east of Morris, Manitoba (click here). This was the home parish for the families of Philippe, Arcidas, Alire, Collette and many other French-Canadian families.

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collete_arcidas

Josephine and Arcidas Collette

shown at left are siblings Josephine and Arcidas Collette, of Oakwood, North Dakota. The photo was taken at a studio at 20th and Broadway in north Minneapolis MN, in 1898. At the time of the photo, the brother and sister were about 23 and 18 respectively.

They and their parents, Octave Collette and Clotilde (Blondeau) Collette, lived near the tiny northeastern North Dakota hamlet of Oakwood, near Grafton. The families Collette had moved from Quebec to then-St.Anthony MN ca 1864, then in 1875 to Dayton, MN area to the Oakwood area in 1878, and by 1899, some of the family had moved back to Dayton MN, on the Mississippi River, about 25 miles northwest of downtown Minneapolis. The family had other connections in the Twin Cities. Others in the family moved to Manitoba and elsewhere.

Prior to Minneapolis-St. Paul and area, the family had come from St. Lambert, a small community not far to the south of Quebec City; and before that the family footprints preceding Francois Collet and Marguerite (Tanguay) Collet went back to the earliest settlement of "lower Canada" (present-day Quebec), and the coastal areas of Brittany and Normandy, France.

Some History’s

Click here for a History of the Roy, Bellerive, and Collette families, interwoven with a very interesting history of the French-Canadians in Canada, authored by Dr. Remi Roy, Montreal PQ. This work is over 38 pages of text with photos.

Click here for a History of the Midwest Branch of the Collette family, by Dick Bernard, Woodbury MN. This work is about 20 pages of text.

Click here for a 1970s account of a visit to Ste Anne de Beaupre by Collette ancestor and Oakwood native, retired Bishop Raymond Lessard of Boynton Beach FL.

Contents of Dr. Roy’s Article

  • 1 General History

  • 38 Nicolas Roy

  • 39 Absalom Roy Pedigree

  • 40 Pierre Leroy Pedigree

  • 41 Seraphine Bellerive Pedigree

  • 42 Michel Bellerive Pedigree

  • 43 Philippe Collette Pedigree

  • 44 Marie Roy Pedigree

  • 44 Marie Roy Pedigree

  • 45 Amelia Samson Pedigree

  • 46 Etienne Sampson Pedigree

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The Collette men

Probably pictured at the time of the funeral of their wife and mother, Mathilde, in Oakwood, ND, 9 Janvier 1887. Seated from left: Philippe, Denis Sr., Guillaume, and Father Barrette; standing from left: Ovide, Arcadius, Octave, Alfred, Theodules, Joseph. Missing from the photo are the four Collette sisters: Sophronie (Lessard), Obeline (Gagne), Emma (French), and Marie Odile (Collette).