It seems that everyone is stumped on Zirilda Dusseau. I suggest that her surname has been transcribed incorrectly from handwritten records and then copied from researcher to researcher. If anyone has access to Ponteix church records in Saskatchewan, this is where Zirilda's oldest daughter Adeline Ouellette married Edgar Bedard in 1918, then Adeline Bedard is buried there in 1976. Church records should prove who her mother really is; just keep reading.
The matter of Zirilda's correct surname should not be dropped, because she could turn out to be a niece of Peter Russell, the first homesteader in his section of the Red River of the Dakota Territory. The evidence for this is very strong. If it's true, then "Dusseau" could be a misreading of Russell, Russeau, Rouselle, Rocheleau, Rushlow, or even Duquette. As a stretch, for example if the reporter had forgotten the correct name, Dusseau could be a mishmash of Duquette and Russeau etc. Keep reading.
This is important because, important early settler that he was, no one knows who Peter Russell was back in Canada. He was supposed to be from Montreal, so any of the French names listed above including Russell could have been him. Several researchers have gotten "Rouillard" from somewhere, but as per usual, no one seems to have a source to document their decision.
Here is my evidence that Zirilda/Ozilda is Peter Russell's niece. Peter Russell's sister Sarah Marchand is in the 1900 census for Stanley Twp, Cass Co, North Dakota. Nearby her widowed mother lives, Marianne Russell. Peter lives with Sarah; he has left his wife Sarah but is also listed on Sarah Russell (his wife's) census a few miles away in Pleasant Twp. Sarah Marchand died in 1904 and is buried next to her mother Marianne Russell in St Benedict Cemetery in Cass Co. Their tombstones are identical, distinctive, and in the same plot.
Living with Sarah Marchand in 1900 are her two youngest children, Zielda and Maude. Sarah is listed as married, but Mr. Marchand is not listed. Email me if you want my theory on him. The names Zielda and Maude Marchand don't pop up anywhere else. As it turns out, other researchers have decided (correctly, I believe) that Sarah had a first husband Frank Duquette; she would have been his 2nd wife, and in 1900 she has left him and gone home to her family in Cass Co, ND. The number of children she has listed (7 of 8 are living) is correct or seems to be; she is Sarah Duquette of Moose Lake, Carlton Co, Minnesota. I haven't seen the proof but the evidence is strong and nothing goes against it so far.
Back to those Ponteix church records for Adeline Ouellette Bedard, Zirilda Dusseau's daughter. It has been noted by an anonymous researcher donating info to LDS databases that Adeline was not born in Bottineau County, ND where her father's family lived, but in Fargo, ND, ie Cass County where Zielda Marchand is found in 1900 as a child.
If Dusseau is a misreading of Russeau (not a big stretch) then SHE took her mother's maiden name and WE have learned who Peter Russell, Red River pioneer, was back in Montreal. Rouselle, Rouillard, etc. give way to Rousseau. But we have to get back to an original document, and I think the Ponteix church records for Adeline Ouellette Bedard are the key to it. Probably handwritten marriage record from 1918.
Key research data for Adeline Ouellette Bedard:
Birth: 28 Oct 1901 in Willow City, N.D., USA (Church records@Ponteix indicate Fargo, ND)
Married: 11 Sep 1918, Edgar Bedard, Ponteix, SK
died Ponteix 1 Aug 1976 (Adeline Bedard)
buried Ponteix 4 August 1976, LOT #204
Mother: Zirilda DUSSEAU b: 13 Jul 1884
Serious, folks: Zielda Marchand of Cass County, ND was born July 1884 according to the 1900 census. But I need to see a photo of those church records to get a rereading of "Dusseau".
Since genforum is closing down and this will be read-only soon, I hope others will share info with me as generously I as I am sharing with them. In hopes of hearing what anyone else has to say when they find this in the future, here is my email. I am embroiled in trying to write an article/bio on inventor Edward Felix Russell, a son of Peter Russell.