It appears that most of the Gaume families who came to Ohio and settled in Stark County left France in the early 1830's. A big factor in drawing these people away from Europe and into Ohio was the building of the canals that opened up access from the east to the Ohio valley. Land was cheap then and the idea that a poor peasant from France could actually own his farm had an immense appeal to it...

Table of ContentsThe French Connection

From France to Ohio

Why the Gaume family and other collateral families left northeastern France to settle in northeastern Ohio is not entirely clear. The economic and political climate in the post-Napoleonic France of the 1830's has been described as humdrum. Following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the Bourbon monarchy was restored and Charles X became king in 1824. He attempted to restore the throne to its former level of absolutism, but was overthrown in the July Revolution of 1830. The revolutionists placed Louis-Phillipe of the Orlean branch of the Bourbons on the throne. Many Bonapartists and Republicans who longed for the glory days of the Napoleonic Empire were not happy with this arrangement, but as France was at peace and prosperous during this time it was accepted. The poorer classes of France became dissatisfied because only the wealthy could vote or hold public office. This situation did not however boil over to an open revolt until nearly twenty years had gone by when the whole of Western Europe became embroiled in the Revolt of 1848.

It appears that most of the Gaume families who came to Ohio and settled in Stark County left France in the early 1830's. A big factor in drawing these people away from Europe and into Ohio was the building of the canals that opened up access from the east to the Ohio valley. Land was cheap then and the idea that a poor peasant from France could actually own his farm had an immense appeal to it.

Francis Gaume (Sr.) (ggg-grandfather) emigrated alone at the age of 25 and landed at New York on 25 April 1833 on board the SS Charles Carroll out of Havre, France. His occupation is listed as blacksmith. It can be safely assumed that the route he followed from New York to Ohio is similar to one described Mrs. Lallement's obituary (above). The Atlantic crossing in the 1830's was likely to last anywhere from fourteen to twenty-eight days.

Emigration Route from St. Sauveur

Patrick Drouhard, an Ohio historian, provided me with some details regarding the emigration route probably taken by his ancestors from St. Sauveur, France to Massillon, Ohio in 1833:

Pierre and Marguerite Drouhard came from St. Sauveur, Department of Haute Saone, France in 1833. They sailed from Le Harve, an Atlantic port on the French coast, to New York City, and then north central Ohio. Here is their approximate travel route. Overland travel from St. Sauveur to Vesoul, and then Port-s-Saone at the Saone River ( southwest and then west a distance of approximately36 miles). At Port-s-Saone, they boarded a boat or barge and followed the Saone River southwest to St. Jean-de Losne (a distance of 50 miles). At St. Jean - de Losne they entered the Canal de Bourgogne and traveled northwest through Dijon, Montbard, Ancy-le-Franc and finally to Migennes, where they picked up the Yonne River which flows into the Seine River (150 miles). They continued on the Seine River in a northwest direction to Paris and finally the Atlantic port city of LeHarve (a distance of 110 miles). In all, they traveled approximately 400 miles from their home to LeHarve. It took them approximately 4 weeks. From LeHarve, they sailed across the Atlantic to New York City, and then north up the Hudson River to Albany, New York. At Albany, they entered the Erie Canal, which took them through Syracuse, Rochester and finally Buffalo, New York, a distance of 360 miles. At Buffalo, they took a Lake Erie boat to Cleveland (approximately 100 miles). At Cleveland, they entered the Cuyahoga River and then the Ohio Canal, which ran south through Akron, Canton and Massillon to Bolivar, Ohio (a distance of about 60 miles). At Bolivar, they left the canal and travel overland approximately 20 miles to Mt. Eaton, Ohio, where they settled. The nearly four thousand mile journey probably took about 12 weeks to complete.

From New York To Buffalo

Out of all the possible modes of transportation that my ancestors might have used during their migrations, I find that travel by way of canals to be fascinating and exotic. I have walked, ridden horses, road in wagons, traveled by train, and was once aboard a steamboat going down the mighty Mississippi, but I never been anywhere near a horse-drawn packet boat or the great canal system that once moved thousands of emigrants from the east to the west during the early part of the 19th century.

From a number of first-hand (tour book) accounts of travel on the Erie canal, most written in the 1830's -The Great Water Highway through New York State, 1829 - published in a Philadelphia periodical by an unknown author,. Three Years In North America (1833), and Some Account of a Trip to the "Falls of Niagara" (1836),  I have reconstructed what Francis Gaume's trek to Ohio from New York must have been like.

Steamboats traveling from New York could each convey several hundred passengers on the 164-mile trip up river to Albany. There were both day and night boats that made the 10 ½ to 16 hour trip depending on how many stops the steamboat made along the way. The fare for the "first class" travelers was $2 to $3 with meals being extra. Prior to steamships, the trip upriver might have taken 8 days.

The Erie Canal begins at Waterford (a few miles north of Albany) and courses 363 miles to Buffalo on Lake Erie. Construction of the canal began in 1817 and was completed in 1825. The original canal had 83 locks, 18 aqueducts, was 40 feet wide and 4 feet deep. Moving through the series of locks on the canal the boats would gradually reach Buffalo at an elevation of 560 feet above the Hudson River valley.

Most passengers would not get on the canal at Albany, but would rather take a 9-passenger stage ride to Schenectady and begin their canal journey there. Apparently, there were too many locks on the 28-mile portion of the canal from Albany to Schenectady and this would add another 24 hours to the trip, where the 17-mile trip by stagecoach was much shorter and quicker. With a combination of a horse-drawn and steam-pulled stage the trip to Schenectady took only an hour and a half and cost 62 ½ cents in 1836.

Passengers usually traveled in the faster canal packet boats whereas freight was moved in line boats. The packet boats were pulled by three horses and traveled about 4 mph. The line boats used two horses and moved about 3 mph. Passengers were each charged 3 to 4 cents per mile. The canal was owned and operated by the state of New York, but service on the canal was operated by private companies who competed with another for passengers and freight.

At Schenectady passengers arriving from Albany were accosted by "runners" who represented the different packet boat companies each vying to fill their boat with passengers for the 80 mile trip up river to Utica. Depending on delays caused by problems with the locks along the way, the trip to Utica could take over 24 hours. Along the way (usually at the locks), there were "hotels" that sold fruit and liquor. Passengers would jump off the packet boat, make their purchase and then jump back on the boat.

Low bridges were hazards along the canal and passenger's were cautioned to pay attention to the stewards would frequently yell out "Low Bridge!" meaning for everyone to duck down as the boat passed under a bridge. During the 1832 presidential election the democratically-inclined stewards might yell out some like "All Jackson men bow down!" hoping that the aristocratic Adam's supporters might get conked on the head by a passing bridge.

Passengers arriving at Utica would switch to another packet boat to take them on to Rochester, sometimes just walking over the side of one boat and on to another. The 160-mile trip from Utica to Rochester would take about 26 hours and cost $6.50 in 1836.

Twenty-two miles upriver from Utica is Little Falls there are a series of falls or rapids that made necessary a number of locks at that location. Beyond that, the canal enters a fairly straight and flat region that was called then the German Flats.

At Rochester, passengers would switch again to another packet boat to take them the remaining 93 miles to Buffalo and another 26-hour trip. Beyond Rochester, at the town of Lockport, was a series of five double-locks that elevated the boats another 60 feet. Double-locks allowed for traffic going both ways to pass through the locks at the same time. Near Buffalo, the packet boats would enter Tonawanda creek for the remaining 12 miles of the journey.

From Buffalo passengers could board steamships on Lake Erie bound for the west. Beside emigrants headed west such as my ggg-grandfather, many a sightseer made the trip up the canal in the 1830's for a visit to Niagara Falls and many travelers from Great Britain used the Erie canal to get to Canada which they found to be better route than going up the St Lawrence River by way of Montreal. Since the port at Buffalo was closed for five months of the year in the winter most people would have made the journey in the spring and summer months.

Ohio Settlers

After arriving in Ohio Francis Gaume (Sr.) became a farmer. The Gaume farm was located south of the village of Louisville near where Miday Rd. splits from the present Route 44. Later after Francis Gaume died, the farm became the property of his wife. In 1875 the farm and the land around it, in the south part of Nimishillen Township, was described as follows:

80 acres just south of the Miday Road- Rte. 44 split was owned by a Mrs. Gaum. 74 acres immediately south of that was owned by P. Rebellot (sp). Mrs. Gaum's land was abutted to the north by land owned by L. Chevraux; to the east by land owned by C. Saunier The 157-1/2 acres to the west is not identified by owner. The land immediately to the west of P. Rebellot is listed as belonging to V. Balm; to the east, C. Saunier; to the south was the settlement of Belfour (sp). P. Scholley owned 81 acres of land just east of Louisville at that time, as well as 120 acres in the southeast corner of Nimishillen Township.

The obituary of Louis Gaume, youngest son of Francis & Elise Gaume, gave a brief history of the ownership of the farm:

Mr. [Louis] Gaume was born and grew to manhood on what was known as the Gaume farm, south of Louisville, later known as the Rebillot farm, now occupied by Joseph L. Cholley and family.

Francis Gaume and Elise Faiver were married around 1835. Together they had 10 children (seven girls and three boys). All of the children survived into adulthood; however, some died at what might be consider an early age. All of the daughters married into local families of similar backgrounds as their parents. Two of the daughters married into the Rebillot family and two other daughters married into the Saunier family.

Josephine Gaume was born on February 24, 1836 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1850 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She married Paul Francis Rebillot on January 15, 1856 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1860 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She lived in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio, in 1891. She died on January 31, 1903 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio, at age 66.

Pauline Gaume was also known as Apoline Gaume. Pauline Gaume's name as shown in the US Census 1850 Stark Co., Ohio is difficult to read and appears to be Napolyoni, Apolline, or Maypoline. Perhaps it is Mary Pauline. She was born on August 10, 1838 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1850 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She married Ferdin Emil Rebillot on May 2, 1859 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1860 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She and Ferdin Emil Rebillot appeared on the census of 1870 in Richland Township, Holmes Co., Ohio. She died on April 16, 1884 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio, at age 45.

Mary Euphasina Gaume was born on February 10, 1839 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She was baptized on February 13, 1839 in St. Louis Church, Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1850 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1860 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She married Steven Saunier on November 26, 1862 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She witnessed the baptism of Victor C. DeBacker in Immaculate Conception Church, St. Marys, Pottawatomie Co., Kansas. She lived in St. Marys, Pottawatomie Co., Kansas, in 1891. She died on March 10, 1923 in St. Marys, Pottawatomie Co., Kansas, at age 84. She was buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery, St. Marys, Kansas.

Mary Elisabeth Gaume was born in 1840 in Ohio. She was baptized in June 1840 in St. Louis Church, Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1850 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1860 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She married Frank Voisard, son of Thiebauld Voisard and Marie Barbe Franc, on April 8, 1861 in Ohio. She lived in Canton, Ohio, in 1891. She died on April 1, 1922 in Canton, Ohio.

Mary Ann Gaume was also known as Merarion Gaume. She was born in 1844 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She was baptized in August 1844 in St. Louis Church, Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1850 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1860 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She married August Chevaraux on November 27, 1865 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She died in 1907.

Mary Frances Gaume was born in 1848 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She was baptized in July 1848 in St. Louis Church, Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1850 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1860 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She married Constantine Saunier on February 26, 1869 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She lived in Denver, Colorado, in 1891.

Jane Gaume was born in 1850 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1850 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She appeared on the census of 1860 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. She married Louis Simon Menegay on November 28, 1871 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. She lived in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio, in 1891. She died in June, 1928.

The eldest son of Francis & Elise Gaume, my gg-grandfather, Francis Gaume was born on March 12, 1843 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. He appeared on the census of 1850 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. He appeared on the census of 1860 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. He was a farmhand in Stark Co., Ohio, in 1860. He was also known as Frank Gome. More details regarding Frank Gaume are provided in The American Civil War - North and The Gaumes Go West

The seventh child and second son of Francis & Elise Gaume was Joseph Gaume. He was also known as Peter Joseph Gaume. He was born in 1846 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. He was baptized in 1846 in St. Louis Church, Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. He appeared on the census of 1850 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. He appeared on the census of 1860 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. In the 1870 census for Stark Co., Ohio his occupation is listed as Barber. He married Anna Wright (Reiss?) on February 23, 1870 in Summit Co., Ohio.

From the records of St. Louis Catholic church in Louisville, Ohio, it appears that Joseph & Anna had two children: Joseph (b. 1873) and Jacob (b. 1876). It also appears that Jacob died in 1877 and that the father, (Peter) Joseph Gaume, died on March 31, 1879 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. There is listed in the 1880 census for Stark Co., Ohio a 28-year-old Anna Gaume, living alone, whose occupation is listed as Tavern Cook. It appears that her husband and her children had died leaving her alone.

The youngest child of Francis & Elise Gaume was Louis Gaume was born on August 31, 1852 in Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. He was baptized on September 1, 1852 in St. Louis Church, Louisville, Stark Co., Ohio. He appeared on the census of 1860 in the household of Francis Gaume and Elise Gaume in Nimishillen Township, Stark Co., Ohio. He was a cattle raiser circa 1880 in Weld Co., Colorado. He appeared on the census of 1880 in Weld Co., Colorado. He lived in California in 1891. He died on December 31, 1928 in Sacramento, California, at age 76.

"Louis Gaume, 76, died at his home in Sacramento, Calif., December 31, following a stroke of apoplexy. He is survived by his widow and one daughter; also one sister, Mrs. Constance Saunier of Weldonia, Colorado. Mr. Gaume was born and grew to manhood on what was known as the Gaume farm, south of Louisville, later known as the Rebillot farm, now occupied by Joseph L. Cholley and family. Mr. Gaume left Louisville over 45 years ago."

There was also an obituary for Louis Gaume that appeared in the Sacramento Bee:

"A well known executive in California's fruit canneries was taken by death yesterday with the passing of Louis Gaume at his home at 3021 I Street, Sacramento. Gaume, a native of Ohio, aged 76, came to this state thirty eight years ago from Colorado. During his entire residence here he had been employed as a superintendent at different California cannery corporations. For 15 years he was superintendent of the Old California Packing Corporation cannery at 6th and G Streets. He was also employed in an executive capacity by Central California Canners. At Gridley, he supervised the building of the plant of Libby, McNeil and Libby. For a number of years he was a cannery superintendent at Rio Vista and was said to be the first executive to use white instead of Oriental help in the asparagus canning industry. Gaume gave his name to a variety of California peaches which is especially valuable for canning purposes. After he found this variety was excellent for canning, he budded a number of trees to further raising the peaches. The funeral will be held at 9:00 tomorrow from the WF Gormley Chapel. Entombment will be at East Lawn Cemetery. Gaume was the husband of Mrs. Margaret H. Gaume. He leaves also, a daughter, Mrs. William Baudoin of San Francisco and a sister, Mrs Frances Saunier of Weldons, Colorado."

Next: The Favier Family