Onearste, Lazard

Most often referred to in the journal by his first name (Lazard) Onearste was an Iroquois, born around 1812 at Sault St. Louis, Quebec. He entered the service of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1832 at Fort Vancouver and served at Forts Simpson (1833-34) and McLoughlin (1834-42) before being transferred to Fort Victoria in 1843. During his posting at Fort Victoria Finlayson most often relied upon him for his skills as a carpenter rather than as a general labourer. He was one of a group of five men married to unnamed women by Reverent Veyret at the Fort on July 9, 1848. Though it was reported that he deserted in March of 1850, he turned up in Nanaimo in 1852 where he was recorded as 'Lazaar' and was employed as a carpenter by the Company. He was a prominent figure in the construction of miner's accommodation as well as the bastion in Nanaimo between 1852 and 1857.


  • Abstract of Servants' Accounts – York Factory – Columbia District. B.239/g/26. Hudson's Bay Company Archives.
  • Evans, Mike. "Lazard Onearste." BC Metis Mapping Project.
  • Hill, Carol. "Transcription of Daybook [McKay Journal], 1852-54." Nanaimo Archives.
  • Hill, Carol and Marv Worden. "Transcript of Hudson’s Bay Company Nanaimo Memoranda 1855-1857." Nanaimo Archives.
  • Watson, Bruce McIntyre. Lives Lived West of the Divide. Kelowna: Centre for Social, Spatial, and Economic Justice, University of British Columbia, 2010.
Graham Brazier