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Saint Denis

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St. Denis-sur-Richelieu

Not far from Montreal, an easy daytrip is the Richelieu River Valley, dotted with small villages, farmhouses, and the beautiful countryside of the area. Louis Quay dit Dragon was one of the first settlers of that township, where descendants of the family remained for generations afterward.

While Louis was one of the first settlers of Saint-Denis, his son, Louis remained in Boucherville, with descendants migrating to southern Quebec. That branch of the family established itself in the villages of St. Valentin, St. Luc, Napierville, St. Cyprien, and other communities of that region. Later, in 1837, members of both the Saint-Denis Dragons, and the "Southern" Dragons were active in the rebellion. The rebellion is an incredible story, well worth the study, but much too complicated to detail here. The important fact is, though, that upon the end of the rebellions, the British reprisals were some of the most horrible for those very communities inhabited by the Dragons. Saint-Denis had been the place of the only successful battle for the French, and afterwards was pretty much destroyed. The southern villages were the center of a second attempt at the rebellion, and they suffered the same fate. The Dragons of those southern villages fled, establishing themselves in northern New York. A look at the map shows that Rouses Point, Champlain, and Chazy were the most accesible towns in New York, and indeed, were the homes to many Dragons in the years to come. (Directly across Lake Champlain, in Vermont, are the towns of Alburgh and Isle LaMotte: they also became the homes to Dragons, but to date, the family ties have not been established).

* The Dragons of Saint-Denis seemed to have been able to maintain residence in that Parish for a generation or two, until the mid to late 1800's. At that point, the economic despair was no match for the lure of good jobs in the factories of the Northern United States. In Massachusetts, branches of the Dragon family were established in Northampton, Webster, Southbridge, Lee, and Salem. Several other branches were established in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, and Connecticut.

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