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Country Wives

were native or métis women who lived with the white men who went out West for the fur trade. These marriages were arranged according to the usages and customs of the country and could not have been otherwise celebrated since there were no clergymen or missionnarys resident there at the time.

The question of the legality of these unions and the the legitimacy of the offspring was addressed in the courts of Lower Canada in the case of Connolly vs. Woolrich. The case went on to the court of appeals and a final judgement was handed down on September 7, 1869.

Read all about it ! Extracts from the trial...