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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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REV. FATHER N. RAINVILLE, pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart at Northampton, is a native of Canada, born at Marieville in 1846. His parents, Godfrey and Liber (Masse) Rainville, have both passed through death unto the life immortal, the father having died in 1869, aged fifty-four years, and the mother ten years later, having rounded out a period of threescore years. Of their thirteen children but five are now living, namely: four daughters, all of whom are married; and one son. Father Rainville. One brother, Issie Rainville, was for many years a Notary Public.

Father Rainville is of French extraction, the first of the family to settle in this country having been Paul de Rainville, who emigrated from Normandy, France, to Quebec, about 1640. For many generations past the family have been engaged in agricultural pursuits, belonging to the yeomanry of France, though in earlier years they were of the nobility. Francois de Rainville, father of Godfrey, above named, removed from Quebec to St. Marie, settling in the wilds prior to, or about the time of, his marriage, and there improved a good farm. He was a very prominent and influential resident of that town, and was a member of Parliament one term.

Father Rainville was educated at Petit Seminary de St. Marie de Monnoir, and began his professional labors in this State at the Holyoke Church of the Sacred Heart, where he was assistant priest two years. On January 5, 1886, he assumed charge of his present parish, which was then in its infancy; and his work in this community has been greatly blessed. His force of character, talent, and ability are phenomenal; and it is only through his persistent effort and wise forethought that the French Catholic Church of this city has been completed. He is much beloved and revered by his parishioners, a large number of people, there being now one thousand communicants in his church; and he readily wins the esteem of others with whom he comes in contact, and whom he impresses by his evident sincerity, kindness, and nobleness of purpose.

As the spiritual director of a large congregation Father Rainville occupies a position of influence and power which is widely and deeply felt and must be the means of great good. Readers of the “Review” will be pleased to observe his likeness among the portraits* in this Hampshire County collection.

*Editor's note: Portrait was included in the original printed book.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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