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 Olivier & Zenaide Bastien had a family of 12 children. I know from his granddaughter that they lived in Peshtigo and I know just one of their children were born there. Joan told me he owned a saloon and they just barely escaped the great fire in 1871. I am researching this family's information for Joan. Her mother is the 12th child, Mary Aurora Bastien. I have included the census info I was able to find. I will be glad to have any information you can give me. Thank you so much. Janice Samuelson searching for Joan MacDonald Bowman .

The Bastien name was found with several spellings on various records, although  with the exception of the 1880 (they were probably in Stephenson, MI) and the missing 1890 census, it was possible to find them.

I was able to find the family on the 1870 Census for Peshtigo, Wisconsin. The surname was misspelled "Sebastien"; however, the first names, ages and birth places were a match.  Oliver, born in Canada, was listed as a laborer, "Zend"(Zenaide) also born in Canada, and "Anna" (Georgianna, the only child born in Wisconsin, 1869)) age 1, were in residence. At the time this census was taken Zenaide was about to become pregnant with their second child, Oliver Jr.  She appears to have returned to Canada  for the birth of  their son (not unusual  for a woman to "go home" for a birth. Especially since the family had not been present for the first born, Georgianna, and Peshtigo was experiencing harsh drought and many small smoking fires that year before the great fire).  Oliver Jr. was born in March of 1871 and the family was probably reunited in Peshtigo village before the October 8 blaze.

The  2 year drought had left the river running through village of Peshtigo very low on water, not much more than a trickle. Near the bridge that divided the village in two, there had developed a large mud flats along the bank. In fleeing the fire on that terrible night, the family of 4, with the baby Oliver only 5 months old, had to make their way through the dense smoke and super heated flames that left the air hot, scorching the lungs and blinding the eyes, to those mud flats, where the only survivors escaped death. This certainly meant sliding down the steep, firey enbankment after making their way through the village and probably across the burning bridge.

Once on the mud flats along the riverbank, it was necessary to cover both of the tiny children with continuously wetted clothing or blankets, since they could not have been put under water and the searing heat badly burned any exposed skin. There were hundreds of people on the flats, and many animals, all trying to get into the water. Most were badly injured and all were fighting blindly for their lives. Hours spent during the fire struggling between the awful heated air and chilled water, left them suffering from burns and exposure. Than the children, or anyone, survived is amazing. After the fire, there was a cold rain that did not allow the survivors to recover in any way.

Once the fire had passed, the family walked on the hot, cinder strewn ground with burning lungs and eyes swollen shut, to find nothing; no water, no protection, no medicine or bandages. All was smoldering ruins and muddy, debris filled river.

It was hours before any help arrived through the vast moving wildfire, since all  ways of travel had been destroyed and even the roadways were not recognizable. Bodies of the lost were everywhere. Animals and people could often not be distinguished from each other. Injured and blinded, the survivors tried to find family members who had been separated in the rush for safety, or anything left that could be used to ease the suffering and comfort the dying.

The survivors were taken to several differents places. No buildings were left to report the injured, missing and dead; or to reunite survivors. It appears that since the third child,  Jeanne "Jane" Bastien was born in Stephenson, Michigan in June of 1872 according to censuses, the family decided not to remain in Peshtigo. Several Canadian - American families from the Peshtigo fire are found in Stephenson on subsequent censuses. Oliver Jr. died  there in 1885 at the age of 14. The following 9 Bastien children were born  in Michigan on the family farm in Stephenson.

In following, Georgianna Bastien (Peter) Baudoin,  the only child born in Peshtigo, Wisconsin,  she died in 1918 in Crystal Falls, MI. after giving birth to 9 children; Rebecca in 1897, Peter Jr in 1899, Oliver in 1901,  Joseph in 1903, unnamed child died,  Elena in 1907, Helen in 1909, Louis in 1912 and Arthur in 1915. The four youngest children, in 1920, were found at a Catholic convent orphanage in Green Bay,  Wisconsin.

1910 Census - Stephenson Twp, Menominee Co MI
Bastien, Zennaide - Head; age 60; widow ;12 children born, 11 living; owns farm
 Children at home:
Peter - Son; age 22; m. 2 yrs; farm labor;
Elinor - age 20; single;
Adolph -  age 18; single; farm labor;
Aurora - age 12;
Ada - age 21; daughter in law:  
Margaret - age 1 2/12; grandchild:  
Also Boarder: Thom Lajoie -  age 49; single; immi 1879; Farm laborer

1920 Census 1303 Dakota Avenue, Distr 70, Gladstone Ward 4, Delta Co MI
Bastien, Zenaide - Head owns home; age 70; widow; cannot write
 Children at home:
Eldna - age 30; single; no empl;
Aurora - age 22; single; empl as Office girl for Electricians
Also Boarder: Thomas Lagoie - age 59; single; immigrated 1882; b. Can FRE; cannot write; laborer at tannery

Lineage found on Oliver Bastien: posted 2008 to Ancestry; 
Father: Joseph Bastien b: 11 OCT 1805 in Maskinongé, Québec - Mother: Etienette Gregoire
grandFather Alexis Bastien b: 26 NOV 1772 in Maskinongé, Québec - grandMother: Marie Anne Lemire b: ABT 1782
Alexis Bastien b: BET 1718 AND 1746 in Maskinongé, Québec - ggMother: Marie Toinette Grondin b: BEF 1754
Sebastien Jean-Baptiste Vanasse b: 27 JAN 1681/82 in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Québec - gggMother: Marie Suzanne Baron-Lupien b: 11 MAY 1698 in Lachenaie, Québec
Francois Noel Vanasse b: 1642 in St-Maclou, Rouen, Normandie, France - ggggMother: Jeanne Fourier b: 1651 in France


Olivier Bastien_
    b. 02-09-1842 Maskinonge, Quebec CAN
    immigration. 1863 (1900 Census - Stephenson, MI)
    m. 07-21-1868
    d. 28 APR 1903 in Stephenson Township, Menominee, Michigan, USA
+Marie Zenaide Ravard-LEVIGNE - Naturalized 1878
    b. 04-10-1849 Gentilly Quebec CAN-Fre
    d. dec. 07-23-1931 Gladstone, Stephenson Twp, Menominee Co MI

Children: (Marie Zenaide gave birth to 12 infants, 11 living on 1900 Census - Stephenson, MI)

    1 Georgianna Bastien
        b. April 1869 in Wisconsin (1900 census Stephenson MI)
        m. 04-21-1891
     + Francois *BEAUDOIN* (also Boadwin) in Menominee Co MI
        b. 01-29-1867 St Sophia CAN
        d. dec. 01-26-1950 Stephenson MI
    2 Olivier Bastien
        b. 03-09-1871 Quebec CAN
        d. dec. 11-12-1885 Stephenson MI
     3 Jeanne “Jane” & "Jennie" Bastien 
        b. 06-?-1875 Menominee Co MI (1872 in WI, 1910 Census Iron, MI) 
        m. 04-23-1895
        d. dec. 1918 Crystal Falls MI
    +  Peter *BAUDOUIN* (also Bedoin)
        b. (Dec. 1872 - 1900 Census) 1871 Marquette MI 9g1 Joseph A. Beaudoin
        d. ?
    4 Lettie Bastien
        b. 03-25-1875 Peshtigo WI
        m. 07-05-1895
        d. dec. 11-27-1959 Onsted MI
    +Richard *PIETZ*
        b. 12-22-1873 Stephenson MI
        d. dec. 11-?-1958 Adrian MI
    5 Emma Bastien b. 1879 MI
        m. 01-02-1908 in Menominee co MI
    + Napoleon *LAPOINTE* 
         b. 1874 CAN
    6 Amelie “Milly” Bastien
        b. 05-?-1882 MI
        m. 1902 in Stephenson MI
        d. before 1930
    + Alexandre ELIE *BRIEN*
Louis Brien b: ABT 1826 in Canada
        Mother: Marie Victoire L. Evrard b: 24 DEC 1846 in Grez, Brabant Wallon Province, Belgium
        b. 2-2-1876 in Wisconsin (1800 Census - Door County, WI)
    7 Hedwidge Bastien
        b. 04-07-1880 Stephenson MI
        m. 11-07-1909 in Delta MI
        d. dec. 12-13-1959 Kenosha WI
    + William Manly *MacKNIGHT*;  09-12-1918 WW I Draft Reg William Manley age 33 living 909 Jacob, Escanaba, Delta Co MI Tall, medium build, brown eyes, brown hair - occ. Tanner for Michigan Tanning & Extract co in BayView MI names wife, Hedwidge
        b. 05-01-1885 CAN
        d. dec. 07-20-1974 
    8 Joseph “Joe” Bastien
        b. 07-?-1884 MI
    + Louise *DEBROUX* b. 1888 WI
    9 Peter Bastien b. MI, mother b. WI/
        b. 11-23-1887
        m. 04-28-1908
        d.  dec. 07-?-1969 Stephenson MI
    + Ada Mary *VERBONCOEUR* in Stephenson MI
        b. 01-17-1889 Bay Settlement WI ;
        d. dec. 1961 Stephenson MI /parents: father
    10 Elinor “Ellen” Bastien
         b. 1889 MI
    + Herb *ELLISON*
    11 Adolph Joseph Bastien; WW I Draft Reg Delta Co MI Adolph Joseph Bastien age 25 living 1307 Mishone, Gladstone MI empl at Extrarch & Luning Co in Wells MI/ / wife and child Tall, medium build, dark eyes and dark hair/
        b. 03-17-1892 Stephenson MI
        d. 06-03-1917
     + Adeline *DEBROUX* /
    12 Mary Aurora “Ora” Bastien
        b. 05-15-1897 Gladstone MI
        d. dec. 06-03-1984 Racine WI /lived near her daughter’s home (Christine M.)/
        m. 06-06-1921 in Stephenson
     + Francis “Frank” Joseph *MacDONALD *  MICo MI /WW I Vet
         b. 08-12-1896 Antigo WI
        d. dec. 12-27-1971 Wakefield, Gogebic