Joseph LaBarge Senior was born at l'Assomption, Quebec, on July 4, 1787. LaBarge was the only person of that name who emigrated to the United States. Born in 1633, LaBarge's grandfather, Robert LaBarge,[b] came from Normandy, France, in the town of Columbiere in the diocese of Bayonne. Robert came to the New World in his early years and made his home in Montmorency, near Quebec City, where he married in 1663. He is believed to be the only LaBarge who left France for the new world. His numerous descendants still inhabit the district of Beauharnois and possibly throughout the province of Quebec.
LaBarge married Eulalie Alvarez-Hortiz LaBarge on August 13, 1813; her father was Joseph Alvarez Hortiz, who had served as military attaché to Spanish territorial governors Zénon Trudeau and Charles Dehault DeLassus, in Upper Louisiana. Two years later, they purchased a farm at Baden, just north of St. Louis. Their marriage brought seven children, three boys and four girls, including Joseph LaBarge, who became a noted riverboat captain on the Missouri River.