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BELGIANS   IN   AMERICA Belgian settlements by State  

American Censuses
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 Distribution according
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The settlers

The Catholic Missions

  Belgians Settlements in New York at the time of the Civil War


As early as 1830, Belgians settled in the northeastern part of New York State along the Erie Canal between Buffalo and Rochester. Originating from Guirsch and Messancy, they were followed by Fouche families who settled in Sheldon. This town attracted many Belgians, so much so that in 1855 it included about a hundred Luxembourgish families, most of them from Wallonia.

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Erie County

In August, 1863, Bishop Timon secured four Sisters of Mary from Belgium to establish an academy for young girls. Lockport offered a good field for the enterprise, and, shortly after their arrival they started their school in the basement of St. John's Church under the direction of the Rev. William Gleason. Two years later they moved near the new St. Patrick's Church where they utilized two cottages and a barn for their work. In March, 1866, they laid the foundation of the present St. Joseph's Academy. They teach in all the parochial schools in Lockport. In 1886 the Rev. Edward Kelly induced them to open a school for the Annunciation parish, Buffalo. In 1906 the sisters purchased property on Walden Avenue to establish there the provincialate of the order but it was sold in 1925 as unsuitable, and more desirable property was secured in Kenmore where they have erected their mother house.

Source : Donohue, Thomas. : History of the diocese of Buffalo; Buffalo, N.Y.: Buffalo Catholic Publications, 1929, 403 pgs.

New York County

Biographies : George BARDIN