Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Uncle Leno

Leno Bozzer with his family

That’s my Aunt Jeanne d’arc, Mom’s youngest sister, in the above photo. She poses with my new uncle and step-cousins in our living room on Commercial Avenue in Timmins in December 1967. It was their first Christmas together, because Joan and Leno had married earlier that June. (See Wedding Wednesday: Bozzer – Desgroseilliers for my memories of that day.)

Tomorrow  February 23  marks the 30th anniversary of Uncle Leno’s passing. He was only 60 years old and was survived by my Aunt Joan and their children, my cousins Wayne, Suzanne, Kathy and Pamela.

Uncle Leno, a tall man, was a fine athlete and loved to play baseball. I remember going to one of his games at our town's municipal Hollinger Park when I was a teenager. I didn’t know much about the sport, so it was sort of difficult to follow, but it was fun to personally know one of the players. Uncle Leno also liked bocce. I can still see him playing the game in summertime with neighbors in the back lane behind his house, while Aunt Joan, Mom and I watched as we ate our dessert after supper. And I’ve never forgotten the time when, as manager of the Palace Theatre on Third Avenue, he let me in for free when he saw me in the lineup waiting to pay for the Saturday matinee.

Still remembering you, Uncle Leno, after all these years.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #7 Marguerite Bouvret – her 1829 burial record finally found

I’m participating in “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition” by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

For the 7th week of this challenge, I used the optional weekly theme (Love) and chose Marguerite Bouvret (1784-1829).

The ancestor that I love to research is the one for whom I can find records. I especially love it when I find a baptism or burial record that solves a ‘brick wall’. And that’s what happened last week – I solved a brick wall when I found Marguerite’s burial record.

I knew when and where my maternal 4x great-grandmother Marguerite Bouvret was baptised and married, but I couldn’t locate her burial record. I had an estimated date of death for her, though, between 1824 and 1829, but not the exact date or place.

Marguerite was the younger daughter of Etienne Bouvret (Beauvais) by his first wife Marie Elisabeth Gibouleau (Gipoulou). She was born on 12 July 1784 and baptised as “Marie Marguerite” the next day in St-Henri church in Mascouche, which is a little to the north of Montreal. [1]

When she was 23 years old, Marguerite married Joseph Pinault dit Deschatelets on 11 January 1808 in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines. [2] The couple had eight children over the next fifteen years: Marie Marguerite, Angèle (Angélique), Joseph (my ancestor), Victoire, François, Louise, Pierre, and unnamed child of unrecorded gender who died at birth.

I knew Marguerite died between 25 April 1824 (when her unnamed child was buried in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines) and 19 October 1829 (when her eldest child Marie Marguerite married in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines), so I concentrated my efforts on those years and that location. [3]

I searched various databases, including “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967” at Ancestry.ca and “Inventaires après décès de la région de Montréal, 1791-1840” at Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), but didn’t find Marguerite. I also looked at the images of burial records for Ste-Anne-des-Plaines at Ancestry.ca, but still didn’t find her.

It wasn’t until last week that I realized I hadn’t looked for Marguerite’s “Individu” file at Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH). I don’t know why I didn't look there for her, especially since I’ve used that site for years, but I quickly remedied that situation. It's a good thing that I did, because Marguerite’s file included her death and burial details. At last! I now knew that my ancestor died on 9 April 1829 in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines and that she was buried there on 11 April 1829. [4]

Because PRDH is just a database, I then turned to Ancestry.ca to view the image of Marguerite’s burial record. [5] I was surprised to see that her surname wasn’t Bouvret or one its variations like Beauvais; instead, it was Comptois. For some reason, Ste-Anne’s parish priest made a mistake when he wrote Marguerite’s surname, which would explain how I ignored this entry when I originally skimmed the images of Ste-Anne’s sacramental registers for 1824 to 1829.

Marguerite Bouvret burial record of 1829 part 1
Marguerite Bouvret burial record (p. 11 recto), Ancestry.ca

Marguerite Bouvret burial record of 1829 part 2
Marguerite Bouvret burial record (p. 11 verso), Ancestry.ca

I’m satisfied that this burial record is the right one for my ancestor Marguerite for the following reasons:

  • Her stated age of 45 gives her an approximate year of birth of 1784.
  • Her surviving husband’s name is Joseph Pineau, a variation of Pinault.
  • Her date and place of burial (11 April 1829 Ste-Anne-des-Plaines) are consistent with when she is last known to be living (25 April 1824 Ste-Anne-des-Plaines) and when she is deceased (19 October 1829 Ste-Anne-des-Plaines).
  • No Pineau – Comptois (or variation) marriage appears to exist between 1774 and 1829 in the province of Quebec. [6]

Note to self: next time I’m facing a brick wall, make sure to search all the usual databases and not just some of them.

Sources:

1. St-Henri (Mascouche, Quebec), parish register, 1780-1786, no page no., no entry no. (1784), Marie Marguerite Boves [sic] baptism, 13 July 1784; St-Henri parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 13 February 2015).

2. Ste-Anne (Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec), parish register, 1808, p. 1 verso, no entry no., Joseph Pinau – Marguerite Bouvret [sic] marriage, 11 January 1808; Ste-Anne parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 22 November 2014).

3. Ste-Anne (Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec), parish register, 1824, p. 12 recto, entry no. S.23, Anonyme Déchatelet (written as Anonyme Déchatelet, indexed as Anonyme Dectratetet) burial, 25 April 1824; Ste-Anne parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 22 November 2014). Also, Ste-Anne (Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec), parish register, 1829, p. 28 recto, entry no. M.18, Jacques Legaut – Marie Marguerite Pinault dit Déchatelet (written as Jacques Legaut – Marie Marguerite Pinault dit Déchatelet, indexed as Jacques Lagaut – Margte Pinault) marriage, 19 October 1829; Ste-Anne parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 22 November 2014).

4. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 11 February 2015), Marguerite Bouvret, Individu no. 598141.

5. Ste-Anne (Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec), parish register, 1829, p. 11 recto, entry no. S36, Marguerite Comptois [sic] burial, 11 April 1829; Ste-Anne parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 11 February 2015).

6. “Le LAFRANCE”, database, Généalogie Québec (www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 13 February 2015). A search for a marriage for “Pinau” (and Deschatelets) and “Comptois” between 1774 and 1829 proved negative.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday’s Faces from the Past: Eugene Desgroseilliers with his brother and niece

Eugene Desgroseilliers with his brother Donat and their niece Lina


Eugène Desgroseilliers (centre) with his brother Donat and their niece Lina, 
about 1955-1957


I love finding photographs that shows my maternal grandfather Eugène Desgroseilliers. I first saw this picture when my Mom’s older sister Madeleine gave it to me in October 2011. Aunt Madeleine was on vacation in British Columbia that year and brought with her an envelope filled with pictures and other memorabilia that she gathered for me.

Two people are identified in the photo, because someone (it’s not Aunt Madeleine’s handwriting, which I recognize) wrote on the back of it:


Oncle Donat & Oncle Ovila’s daughter “Lina”

Whoever wrote these names forgot to add Eugène’s. There are no other details on the back or front of the picture like when and where it was taken. I think it dates to 1955 or 1956, since Lina looks about 3 or 4 years old. Donat and Ovila (not shown in the picture) are Eugène’s younger brothers, while Lina is his niece. The trio presumably posed at a relative’s home in Sturgeon Falls or Bonfield, near North Bay, Ontario. Alternatively, the picture was taken in August 1957, when Eugène travelled from Sarnia to Sturgeon Falls for his brother Joseph’s funeral.


Can any of my Desgroseilliers cousins fill in the blanks for this photo?


Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, January 30, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #5 Fedosia Savinkoff, possibly a plough woman

I’m participating in “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition” by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

For the 5th week of this challenge, I used the optional weekly theme (Plowing through) and chose Fedosia N. Savinkoff (about 1848-1927).

Fedosia, known in English as Fanny, was my husband’s maternal great-grandmother. She was born about 1848 to 1852 in Transcaucasia, Russia. [1] Her parents are unknown, but since Fedosia’s middle initial is ‘N’, her father’s name might be Nikolai, Nikita, Nikifor, or Nestor.

In 1875, Fedosia married Wasyl Wasilievitch Cazakoff. [2] The couple had four children: Mikhail (Michael), Gregorii (George), Nikolai (Nicholas) and Pologea (Polly).

Fedosia, Wasyl and their children were part of a group of over 2,000 Doukhobors who left Russia in December 1898 for Canada. According to family tradition, the family sailed on the Lake Huron, which arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia a few weeks later in January 1899. [3]

Doukhobor women ploughing
"Doukhobor women are shown breaking the prairie sod by pulling a plough themselves, Thunder Hill Colony, Manitoba. c 1899"

I don’t know if Fedosia is in the above photo or if she was one of the women that pulled a plough in the early years of the Doukhobors presence in Canada. It would not have been unusual if she had, because when these Russian pacifists first came to the Prairies, many of their menfolk worked away from their settlements in order to earn money. It wasn’t a case of men exploiting women, though, but of women who “took the initiative and proceeded to break the sod for spring planting”. [4]

Fedosia died on 15 November 1926 in Lily Vale District, Saskatchewan. [5]

Sources:

Photo credit: Library and Archives Canada/C-000681.

1. History Coming Alive: R.M. of St. Philips, Pelly and District, 2 vols. (Pelly, Saskatchewan: St. Philips/Pelly History Book Committee, 1988), 1: 382. Fedosia’s approximate years of birth are calculated based on her age on Canadian and Doukhobor censuses. “MacKenzie District, Saskatchewan, Canada, 1906 Census”, database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 5 April 2009), entry for Fanny Casokoff (age 58); MacKenzie District; citing p. 10, line 11 on Library and Archives Canada (LAC) microfilm T-18359. “Assiniboia District, The Territories, Canada, 1901 Census”, database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 5 April 2009), entry for Pheodocia Kazakoff (age 49); Kamsack, Assiniboia District; citing p. 6, line 28 on Library and Archives Canada (LAC) microfilm T-6552. Jonathan Kalmakoff, compiler, 1918 Census of Independent Doukhobors (Regina, Saskatchewan: Jonathan J. Kalmakoff, 2002); entry for Fanny N. Kazakoff (age 66), p. 66; Veregin, Saskatchewan; citing Saskatchewan Archives Board, Regina Branch Microfilm Reel No. R.2.46.

2. History Coming Alive, 1: 382.

3. “Doukhobors at Halifax”, The Globe, 21 January 1899, p. 13, cols. 6-7; digital images, The Globe and Mail (http://heritage.theglobeandmail.com : accessed 10 April 2009).

4. “The Role of Doukhobor Women”, database, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/Doukhobor-Women.pdf : accessed 27 January 2015).

5. History Coming Alive, 1: 383. Also, “Nadezhda Cemetery – Verigin District, Saskatchewan”, database, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/Cemetery-Nadezhda.htm : accessed 5 April 2009), entry for Fedosia Cazakoff.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Monday, January 26, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #4 Dorothée Brassard, a 17th century woman

I’m participating in “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition” by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

For the 4th week of this challenge, I used the optional weekly theme (Closest to your birthday) and chose Dorothée Brassard (1656-1738).

I found two individuals in my ancestor database who were baptized on my birthday (Raphaël Giroux in 1656 and Jeanne Beauchamp in 1663), but only one individual who was born on the same date as I was (Dorothée Brassard in 1656).

Instead of writing a biographical sketch about Dorothée, I created a table comparing the similarities and differences in our lives. Although I have not included sources for this article, they are available upon request.

Dorothée Brassard Chart

My 9x maternal great-grandmother and I definitely have things in common, like our religion and our language, but we also have differences, like the size of our families (by birth and by marriage). Probably the biggest difference in our lives, however, is how Dorothée, a woman who was born in the 17th century, was limited for choices compared to me, a child of the 20th century. Her life was pretty much mapped out for her from birth (marriage and children), while I had the opportunity to go to university and work before marriage.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #3 Marguerite Carpentier

I’m participating in “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition” by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

For the 3rd week of this challenge, I used the optional weekly theme (Tough woman) and chose Marguerite Carpentier (ca 1774-1874).

My maternal ancestor is a ‘tough woman’ to research. I’m really keen to know more about her, because she’s also my matrilineal ancestress in the seventh generation, and I can’t go any further than her.

Brick wall

What I Know:

• Her name. She’s “Marguerite Carpentier” in 1814 (when her daughter Thérèse, my third great-grandmother, was baptized) and in 1874 (at her burial). She was “Marie Carpentier” in 1829 (when Thérèse was married).

• Her approximate year of birth. She was born about 1774, 1776, 1779, 1782, or before 1797 (based on her ages on censuses and her age at her burial) in the province of Quebec.

• Her husband. He’s François Durgey or Doggie or Doyer, who was born about 1769/1770 in New Hampshire. His name might have been originally Francis Durkee, which would have been difficult to pronounce in French once he relocated to Canada.

• Her religion. She and her children were Roman Catholic, while François was Anabaptist.

• Her places of residence. For example, in July 1814, she, her husband and their eldest children lived in Petite-Nation seigneurie, later Montebello, Quebec. The family was still living there on the 1842 and 1852 censuses. By the time of the 1861 census, widow Marguerite lived in her son-in-law’s household in Papineauville, Quebec.

• Her death and burial. She died on 16 May 1874 in Papineauville and was buried there two days later in Ste-Angélique parish cemetery.

What I don’t Know:

• Her birth and baptism.

• Her parents or her siblings.

• Her marriage. It was presumably before 15 October 1810, when her and François’ eldest child (Thérèse) was born, and possibly in Petite-Nation seigneurie, where many of their children were baptized between 1815 and 1829.

Are there any of Marguerite’s descendants out there reading this article? If so, would you be able to fill in the missing bits of her life?

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Monday, January 12, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #2 Louise Roy

I’m participating in “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition” by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

For the 2nd week of this challenge, I used the optional weekly theme (King) and chose Louise Roy (ca 1768-1839). Her last name “Roy [Roi]” is French for “king”.

For many years, this maternal ancestor (my 4x great-grandmother) had presented some puzzling challenges.

Image of puzzle pieces

For example, her date and place of birth were unknown, other than she was possibly born about 1768, based on her approximate age of 71 at her burial in December 1839. [1]

The name of her father was known (Joseph Roy), but not her mother’s.

Her only known sibling was a brother, who also named Joseph Roy.

Both her father and brother were present as witnesses when she married François Desgroseilliers on 17 October 1803 in the village of St-Constant, south of Montreal. [2] According to her marriage record, Marie Louise (as she is described) resided in that parish and was the widow of a certain Jacques [Rusman?].

In June 1802, newborn Jacques [Rusneau?] was baptized in St-Constant. He was the son of Jacques [Rusneau?], merchant, by his wife Marie Louise Roy. Infant Jacques’ godparents were Constant [Capinel?] and Marie-Anne Viau. [3] The parish priest added important details: baby Jacques’ father was deceased and his godmother Marie-Anne was his grandmother and the wife of Joseph Roy. I became aware of this child’s existence when I searched for Louise’s marriage to François in an online genealogy database. [4]

I searched, but didn’t find a [Rusman?] – Roy marriage or a burial for Jacques père; neither record seems to exist in the province of Quebec. [5]

About two years ago, I viewed the “Famille” file of Joseph Roy and Marie Suzanne Viau Lespérance at Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH). [6] One of the couple’s daughters is named Marie Louise; she was born on 4 August 1777 in La Prairie and died on 11 December 1839 in Ste-Martine. Since my ancestor Louise died on 11 December 1839 in Ste-Martine, the Marie Louise in the Roy – Viau file is presumably the woman who married François Desgroseilliers in 1803.

I still had a problem, though. I didn’t know how PRDH’s database concluded that the Marie Louise who was born in 1777 was the same one who died in 1839. No spouse is shown for her in the list of Roy children, so I don’t know if she married Jacques [Rusneau?] and then François Desgroseilliers. (Marriages are shown in the “Mariage /Lieu” column of a family file only if they took place before 1800.)

It didn’t take long for this mystery to unravel.

When I first looked at Marie Louise’s parents’ family file at PRDH, I didn’t click on her name to view her personal file. I did recently, though, to prepare this blog post. As expected, her individual file contained a repeat of her name, those of her parents, and her dates and places of birth and death, but it also held a surprise: it listed a child named Marie, an “Enfant hors-union” (a child [born] outside of marriage). [7] There wasn’t a date or place of birth for this daughter, but when I clicked on Marie’s name and got her own “Individu” file, I saw her full name: Marie Desgroseilliers Prosper. [8]

I’m now satisfied that the Marie Louise who was born in 1777 to Joseph Roy and Marie Suzanne Viau Lespérance, is the woman who married at some unrecorded date and location a man named Jacques [Rusneau?], by whom she had a son, who did not survive. Within a few months, she then became pregnant and had a daughter Marie, born possibly in the summer of 1803. Shortly after this event, she married François Desgroseilliers, the father of her child Marie.

Louise Roy is no longer a ‘puzzling’ ancestor.

Sources:

1. Ste-Martine (Ste-Martine, Quebec), parish register, 1839, p. 42 verso, no entry no., Louise Roy burial, 13 December 1839; Ste-Martine parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 10 January 2015).

2. St-Constant (St-Constant, Quebec), parish register, 1803, p. 33 recto, no entry no., François Dégrosellier [sic] – Marie Louise Roy marriage, 17 October 1803; St-Constant parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 12 February 2014).

3. St-Constant (St-Constant, Quebec), parish register, 1802, p. 16 verso, no entry no., Jacques [Rusneau?] (indexed as Raimau) baptism, 19 June 1802; St-Constant parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 10 January 2015).

4. “Genealogy Francois Desgroseilliers”, database, Genealogy of Canada (http://www.nosorigines.org/ accessed 7 September 2013).

5. “Le LAFRANCE”, database, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 7 September 2013). A search for Marie Louise’s first marriage record and Jacques’ burial record prior to 19 June 1802 (when they are stated to be a legitimately married couple at their son’s baptism) proved negative.

6. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 19 June 2013), Joseph Roy – Marie Suzanne Viau Lespérance, Famille no. 45865.

7. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 10 January 2015), Marie Louise Roy, Individu no. 873059.

8. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 10 January 2015), Marie Desgroseilliers Prosper, Individu no. 738464. The lack of a date of birth or baptism for Marie in her “Individu” file suggests that she was not baptized. A child born outside of marriage was not necessarily refused the Sacrament of Baptism, so it seems odd that this event is not listed in Marie's file.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

William Demoskoff (1914-2015)

William Demoskoff

My father-in-law Bill passed away this morning (January 8). He had been in poor health recently, but weakened over the last few days.

Michael, his sister Margaret and I saw Pop yesterday evening, and Margaret and her husband Sid visited him earlier this morning. Within a couple of hours, Michael got a phone call from Menno Hospital, where Bill was a resident since May 2012, letting him know that his father had passed away just before noon.

Bill was just over 100 years old, having celebrated this milestone birthday last June; see Pop’s 100th birthday.

The fifth and youngest child of Wasyl and Luchenia (Tomelin) Demosky, Bill was born on 13 June 1914 in Dolina Lugovoya, a Doukhobor settlement near Pass Creek, British Columbia. When he was about 4 or 5 years old, his family moved to Saskatchewan, where Wasyl farmed. In June 1952, Bill married Ann Cazakoff, by whom he had two children (Michael and Margaret).

Bill was a faithful Doukhobor. His belief in God, pacifism, and non-violence sustained him all his life.

Rest in peace, Pop.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.