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Submitted by Holly Sprise Kobza


Pierre E. Surprenant Sr. was born Sept 10, 1836 in St. Alberta, Canada according to death record and Obit.  The 1850 census says birth was in 1838 and a record found in Canada states Nov. 17, 1838.  St. Alberta could not be found, but would be somewhere near Napierreville or LaPrairie, Quebec, Canada based on other family locations.  His parents were Joseph Surprenant and Flavie Monet (or Boismenu as she was referred to).  He came to Oconto at the age of 19 in about 1855 to work for the lumber companies.  He built a log house and barn  in Oconto township in the NE 1/4 of NE 1/4 of section 7.  As years passed, the farm expanded to a total of 5 adjoining forties.

Pierre married Marie Belongia (daughter of Moyse Belongia and Josephte Piette dit Trempe) around 1862 assumed in Oconto.  Her line can be seen on the Belongia Family Page.  They had 8 children:
 Peter Jr. (Theresa Marek) - this is my line, Holly Sprise Kobza (,
Marie (Adelore Belongia),
Clara (Isaac Junco),
 Elizabeth (August Saucier),
Nellie (Ratchford),
Florinda (Adolph Gager/Giguere),
Medore (went west and was not heard of again)
William (Maria Roberts). 

Maria Belongia Surprenant died giving birth to William in 1928 (death and birth cert).  William was adopted by her sister, Mathilda, and used her married name Houde.  William's line now resides in British Columbia, Canada. Mike Houde ( is a descendant and researcher. I do have further details on many of these Oconto families.

The name Surprenant was changed when the children went to school in the latter 1800's.  The name was Americanized to Suprise or Surprise.

Pierre/Peter chose a second wife by the name of Marie Louise Leneau (daughter of Marc Leneau and Helene Trodette).  They were married in October of 1880 in Oconto (marr cert.).  They had 6 children:
Mitchell (Mayme Brunk),
Helen (George LeBreck),
Elizabeth (J. Theodore Splude),
Matilda, Xavier (Florence Murphy),
Jean Baptiste.

This family used Surprise, while Peter Sr's first family used Surprise.

Although the last names were different, there was still confusion with the mail.  It was often was delivered to the wrong family.  In 1912, Wilbert, son of Peter Jr. had his and his brother Howard's name changed to Sprise to avoid the confusion. (register of deeds)

Peter Sr. died April 16, 1928 in Oconto of old age.