Names Lost in Vermont, Part 21: Tatro and Steady


Jarvis Tatro and Angeline Steady, parents’ names on the death record of Celina Browe, first wife of Jed Browe [Names Lost in Vermont, Part 20], launched this next installment.  Jarvis was born as Gervais Tetrault in Marieville, Québec, 21 miles southeast of Montréal, on July 16, 1812. His remote ancestor in France, Mathurin Tetreault dit Ducharme, has thousands of descendants today, but failing to account that some families took Ducharme as their surname has thwarted researchers. In the late 1830s, Jarvis migrated to Vermont, where he married Angeline Steady. From that point onward, this couple and their children had no affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church. As they appeared in Charlotte, Vermont’s 1850 census, Angeline was recorded as Rosella and the daughter Celina, as Lucinda.  Perhaps in an instance of running away from home, Jarvis’s eldest son Jeremiah Tatro, age 18, joined Company F,  Massachusetts Infantry. He was ill through most of his service and died of disease on 29 April 1865 at McDougal Hospital at Fort Schuyler in New York City.

JARVIS TATRO IN the 1850 census.

Jarvis Tatro made a will days before his death on January 8, 1874. He left a solvent estate, leaving all assets to his wife, Angeline, who signed the inventory by mark whereas his three daughters, Angelina, Augusta, and Amelia could write their names.  Angeline outlived her husband by three decades and died on July 26, 1902. Her death record indicated she had been born in Canada, circa 1822, and disclosed the names of her parents as Lewis Steady and Charlotte Lavigne Angeline. The Burlington Free Press carried a brief obituary under the caption of “At a Good Old Age,” noting the deceased was a staunch member of the Methodist Church. 

Unpacking the Steady family proved fascinating on many fronts including its seven family members who served as Vermont Civil War soldiers. Even recognizing that Steady was a translation of the French name Tranquille did not easily lead me to Angeline’s parents. A labyrinthine quest in Québec baptismal records at last led me to find in Québec Angeline’s baptismal record: Marie-Angèle Giboin, daughter of Basile Giboin and Charlotte Filii, baptized on August 8, 1822. To simplify a Gordian knot of names:  Basile alternated between Giboin, Tranquille, and Giboin dit Tranquille—complicated enough, but when he moved to Vermont in the late 1820s, he went by the name Lewis Steady. Charlotte was recorded in Québec records mostly as Filii, and occasionally as Filii dit Lavigne, and once as Brodeur. 

The Lewis Steady family represents early migration from Québec to Hinesburgh, Vermont, where in 1830, their household numbered seven.  For a while, they lived in two different words as reflected in these records: Two infant children were baptized in Marieville in November 1831, the church register stating the parents lived “in the colonies.”  Their next three children baptized in Vermont were all recorded differently: Augustin Gibou dit Tranquille in 1834, Louisa Tranquille in 1837, and then Henry Steady, in 1840. In another connection between families, Henry Steady married Flavia Browe, Jed Browe’s sister.


By 1850, four generations of the Tranquille/Steady family lived in Hinesburg as revealed in this census excerpt: Timothy Steady, his wife, Oliver, their three children, followed by his father Lewis Steady, mother Charlotte, and their last three Vermont-born children. The final entry in the household is “Mary A. Steady,” age 86, born Canada. She was Lewis Steady/Basile Gadoin’s mother, born Marie-Anne Dion in Verchères, Québec in 1761. “Maryann” Steady died on  December 9, 1855. 

Repetition of the same first and last names has caused confusion as to who was who among the seven Vermont Civil War soldiers named Steady, as outlined in these family groups:

Lewis M. Steady [Parents: Lewis and Charlotte] (1819–1879). His two sons, Eugene Steady (1845–1902) and Lewis Steady Jr. (1848–1902) served in the Vermont 9th with their father.

TIMOTHY STEADY IN the census. Both “Tatro” and “Steady” were transformations of French names from Quebec.

Timothy Steady [Parents: Lewis and Charlotte] (1824–1902), known as Muty. His nickname probably came from hearing the French pronunciation of the last two syllables of his first name: Team/Moo/Tee. His son Timothy Steady (1844–1899) served in the Vermont 9th with his father.

Augustus Steady [Parents: Lewis and Charlotte] (1832–1876).

Henry Steady [Parents Lewis and Charlotte] (1839–1912).

MUTY STEADY’S CIVIL War enlistment paper.

All seven came home from war but not unscathed. Saddest of all, the first Lewis, who mustered out in 1865, age 45, with deafness in one ear, among other ailments.  Several newspapers reported details of his suicide—in my opinion as sure a casualty of the Civil War as if he were killed on the battlefield:

Suicide. Louis Steady, who resides on Battery Street, committed suicide Wednesday afternoon by drinking an ounce of laudanum, dying Thursday morning, Dec. 4. He had been drinking through the day and about 5 o’clock in the afternoon, while in the sitting room, surrounded by his family, swallowed the poison, exclaiming “Good-bye” to those around him. He then went into the bed-room and knelt at the side of his bed. Dr. C.J. Loggins and Dr. G.E.E. Sparhawk were soon summoned but found it impossible to do anything to save the man’s life, and as stated before, he died early Thursday morning. Steady was 64 [really 70] years of age and leaves a large family. He had been for a long time in the employ of the city, in the street department. Despondency is ascribed as the cause of his self murder. [Burlington Free Press, 12 Dec. 1879, p. 4]

Acknowledgement: John M. Fisher for his voluminous transcriptions of Vermont Catholic Church records and for his Civil War research on the Steady family.

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