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French Institute: Jobin Family Archive

Jobin Family Archive


Title: Jobin Family Archive

Dates: 1843-2000

Abstract: The Jobin Family Archive concerns a middle-class couple, Joseph and Marie-Flore-Eugénie Lapointe, who moved from Québec City to Boston with their nine children in 1890. This collection includes: correspondence, biographical and genealogical material, memoirs, diaries, artwork, photographs, legal and financial records, military records, news clippings, and ephemera and objects documenting the professional and family activities of Joseph Jobin (1843-1890), his wife, Marie-Flore-Eugénie Lapointe (1847-1938), their nine children, descendants, and other relatives in Québec and New England from c. 1890 to c. 2000. Although the collection focuses on various members of the family, the material centers on the nine Jobin children, specifically Théodore Jobin, Louis-Joseph Jobin, Marie-Eugénie Jobin, Joseph Gustave Antoine Jobin, and grandchild Estelle Jobin. The collection reflects the close ties between family members living in Canada and the United States and spans the twentieth century, illustrating Franco-American immigrant life as experienced by one family. Of the Jobin children, two became artists – both of whose work reflects their French-Canadian heritage. Another son owned a French bookstore in Boston while being active in Franco-American affairs, and another became a professor of French Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. Among the daughters were homemakers, a real estate agent, and a teacher and family historian. Of note are materials relating to the Jobin family’s wartime experiences, including correspondence, records, commendations, and ephemera from both World Wars.

Scope and Content: The Jobin Family Archives contain materials collected by family members and compiled by Rev. Philippe Thibodeau. The bulk of the collection includes roughly 500 pieces of correspondence between family members in New England and Québec from 1890 through the 1950s. Of note are two letters by Joseph Jobin to his family in Québec that pertain to his immigration in 1890. Also of note is an extensive collection of artwork by Théodore and Marie-Eugénie Jobin; two copies of an unpublished manuscript, The History of Fashion by Marie-Eugénie Jobin; variations of the Jobin family history/memoire, also by Marie-Eugénie Jobin; a collection of rare books acquired by Louis Jobin, proprietor of Schoenhof’s Foreign Books in Cambridge, MA.; and letters from youngest son, Joseph Gustave Antoine Jobin, to his mother and other relatives from the Western Front during World War I. The family history/memoir by Marie-Eugénie Jobin can also be considered a type of correspondence because the author sent it to her brothers and sisters for their reactions, and they responded with their own commentary.  There are thus multiple versions of key episodes from Marie-Eugénie’s memoir, in English or French depending on the intended recipients.

The collection also displays the various levels of assimilation a Franco-American family could experience during this time. Of the nine children who relocated to Boston in 1890, Emma and Marie-Marguerite later moved back to French Canada, where they firmly reentered that society. Meanwhile other siblings, like Anne-Marie, resolutely integrated into American culture, preferring the English language over French. Maire-Eugénie and Theodore were fully bilingual and treasured their French heritage, although their professional life was conducted mostly in English. Louis-Joseph and Antoine maintained French connections in both their personal and professional lives, respectively as the owner of a French bookstore in Boston, and a French professor in Michigan. 

Related material: Most of the original documents are in French with supplementary material compiled and transcribed in English by Rev. Philippe Thibodeau (grandson of Théodore Jobin). This includes two copies of Family Notebooks, a three-volume family history and memoir by Marie-Eugénie Jobin, and The Jobin Family Archives: Memoirs and Other Writings relating to the Family of Joseph Jobin and Marie-Flore Eugénie Lapointe. Both manuscripts, based on original documents in the collection, relate to the immediate family, as well as other descendants and relatives. Rev. Thibodeau also included in the collection his manuscript on the Thibodeau family, related to the Jobin family by marriage.

Books donated to the French Institute from the private collection of Louis-Joseph Jobin, proprietor of Schoenhof’s Foreign Books in Cambridge, MA., have been cataloged individually and can be accessed by call number or as a keyword search: Jobin Family Archives in the online public access catalog at Assumption University:

Arrangement: The Collection is arranged into six series: Correspondence, Death and Remembrance, Photographs, Family Histories, Family Members, and General Family Records. The series Family Members has six subseries. Materials include correspondence, memoirs, family histories, artwork, photographs, obituaries, military records, mementos, personal and professional papers, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other printed materials.

Restrictions: The collection is available to researchers and other interested parties. Permission for use or reproduction can be obtained from the director of the French Institute, and is subject to the Institute’s user policies.

Preferred Citation: Jobin Family Archive, French Institute, Assumption University.

Processing Information: This collection was processed by Eugenia Tsantinis in 2010, updated by Kate Bradley in 2021, and further updated by Ana Sheehy in 2022.

Provenance/ Source of Acquisition: The materials in this collection were given to The French Institute over a period of several years beginning in 1999. Donated by Rev. Philippe Thibodeau, the grandson of Théodore Jobin, and the son of Estelle Jobin. Rev. Philippe accumulated the collection over the decades from members of the extended Jobin, LaRocque, Gravel, and Thibodeau families.

Indexing Terms: The following terms are used in the Library Catalog to denote items related to this collection: "Jobin Family Archives" ; "Jobin Family". 


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Leslie Choquette
Director of the French Institute
Professor of History

Kate Bradley

Librarian/Archivist of the French Institute

508-767-7000 ext. 7495

Usage Policy

For reasons of preservation, French Institute collection materials do not circulate; however, non-rare materials are allowed to circulate through the d’Alzon Library or inter-library loan with the director’s permission.

It should be noted that the Institute’s collection includes a number of Franco-American newspapers from the New England region. Most consist of bound copies and nearly all have been microfilmed. To preserve the bound volumes, the Institute encourages scholars to consult the microfilm copies whenever they are available, for example, at the American Antiquarian Society or the Boston Public Library.