Born around 1817, St. Gre was employed by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1839 and served at Fort Vancouver and Fort Durham before being transferred to Fort Victoria in 1843 where he participated in the construction of the new fort. Described in Hudson's Bay Company records as 'Native', St. Gre was often referred to in the journal by his first name only. Throughout his many years of service he was most often assigned farming duties such as tending to livestock, gathering hay and ploughing but he also assisted with simple carpentry tasks such as shingling. He was married in a group ceremony, along with four other Hudson's Bay Company servants, at Fort Victoria on July 9, 1848. Church records name Marianne, a Saanich woman, as his wife, though the names of the wives were not recorded in the journal. Between 1849 and 1864 seven children were born to Marianne and Gabriel. Six died in infancy. In 1859 St. Gre purchased land in the Shawnigan District of Vancouver Island.