Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: A new Canadian

Nenita Corpuz Belair

My sister-in-law Nenita poses with the citizenship judge after she became a Canadian four years ago today (September 30).

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Birth of François Desgroseilliers in 1804

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the anniversary of the birth of my maternal 4x great-grandfather, François Desgroseilliers (See François Desgroseilliers’ 1783 Baptism Record.) Today I’m writing about the 211th anniversary of the birth of his eldest son François.

François fils is my maternal 3x great-grandfather. He was born on 22 September 1804 and baptised that day in St-Joachim parish church in Châteauguay, Lower Canada (now the province of Quebec). [1]
François Desgroseilliers’ baptism record (

His baptism record, seen above, reads:
“Le vingt deu[x]ieme de Septembre l’an mil huit cent quatre par / nous a été baptisé françois né de ce jour du legitime Marriage / de françois degrossellier laboureur et de Louïse roi. le parrain / ambroise degrossellier et la marraine Catherine merlot qui / n’ont Su Signer de ce requis.”

In English:
“The twenty second of September of [1804] by / us was baptised françois born of this day of the legitimate marriage / of françois degrossellier laborer and of Louïse roi. the godfather / ambroise degrossellier and the godmother Catherine merlot / [no one] knew how to sign [their names] [as requested].”

François had five brothers (Joseph, Michel, Charles, Jean-Baptiste, Jean-Baptiste, and Gabriel) and four sisters (Marie, Louise, Marie, and Sophie). When he was 23 years old, François married Elisabeth (Isabelle) Lemieux in January 1828. They had eleven children, born between 1829 and 1852, before François died in August 1853.


1. St-Joachim (Châteauguay, Quebec), parish register, 1797-1818, p. 150 recto, entry no. 108, François Degrossellier [sic] baptism, 22 September 1804; St-Joachim parish; digital image, “Quebec, Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1979”, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 September 2015). To access these browsable-only images, follow this path from the FamilySearch homepage: Search > Records > Canada > Quebec, Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1979 > [Browse] > Châteauguay > Saint-Joachim-de-Châteauguay > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1797-1818 > image 175 of 659.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday’s Faces from the Past: A Desgroseilliers Cousin’s Wedding

Jacqueline Desgroseilliers with her sisters at a cousin's wedding

This early 1970s photo of my mother Jacqueline shows her and her sisters at their cousin’s wedding. Mom thinks it might be Nicole Desgroseilliers, who married in September 1974. If she’s correct, then Nicole is the youngest child of Joseph Desgroseilliers, who passed away suddenly when she was three weeks old. (Joseph was the youngest sibling of Mom’s father, Eugène.)

From left to right are Normande, Jacqueline, Simone, the bride, Mariette, Madeleine, and Jeanne d’arc. It was rare for Mom and her sisters to be all gathered in one place as adults, so it's wonderful that the photo not only celebrates Nicole’s wedding, but also records that the six Desgroseilliers sisters were at the event.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Sunday’s Obituary: Peter F. Plotnikoff

Peter Fred Plotnikoff obituary
Peter F. Plotnikoff obituary (1998)

Peter Fred Plotnikoff passed away on 5 September 1998 in Grand Forks, British Columbia. I never asked Pop about this particular obituary, but I suspect that he saved it, because he and Peter were friends going back to their days when they picked fruit in the Okanagan orchards of BC in the 1940s. My husband Michael remembers working with a man named Pete Plotnikoff at the Grand Forks’ division of Pope & Talbot, a lumber company, in the 1970s, so that’s probably another connection.

The text appears to have continued in the next column, so Bill wrote the remaining few words at the end of the obituary. (I recognize his handwriting.)


“Peter Fred Plotnikoff”, obituary, undated clipping, from unidentified newspaper; Demoskoff Family Papers, privately held by Yvonne (Belair) Demoskoff, British Columbia, 2015. Yvonne received an assortment of family memorabilia (including Peter’s obituary) in January 2012 from her father-in-law William (Bill) Demoskoff.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Remembering Eugene

Eugene Desgroseilliers with his daughters Jeanne d'arc Jacqueline and Madeleine

Today is the 115th anniversary of the birth of my maternal grandfather, Eugène Desgroseilliers. The eldest child of Albert and Clémentine (Léveillé) Desgroseilliers, he was born in St. Charles, a village south of Sudbury, Ontario on 30 August 1900.

I don’t have a picture of my Pépère and I, so I chose one of him with some of his daughters. From left to right are Jeanne d’arc, Jacqueline (my Mom), Eugène, and Madeleine. The photo was taken in Blue Water, outside of Sarnia, Ontario, in the summer of 1959.

I don’t have memories of my grandfather, because he died when I was two years old. Mom used to tell me how, when we’d visit him, he rock me on his knee and call me his “p’tite poule noire” (little black chicken), because of my dark hair and eyes.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday’s Faces from the Past: Jackie and Julie

Jacqueline Desgroseilliers Belair with her niece Julie in 1963

My mother Jacqueline (Desgroseilliers) Belair with her niece Julie, taken in Sarnia, Ontario in the summer of 1963. (That’s Mom’s handwriting on the photo.)

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday’s Faces from the Past: Bill and Ann Demoskoff

Bill and Ann Demoskoff

This photo of my parents-in-law, Bill and Ann (Cazakoff) Demoskoff, was taken in the early 1950s. I’m not sure where they are (there’s no info on the back of the picture except for their names), but the house in the background might be Ann’s parents’ home in St. Philips RM near Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Eugene and Juliette

Eugene and Juliette Desgroseilliers on their wedding day in 1925

Eugene and Juliette (Beauvais) Desgroseilliers on their wedding day – 90 years ago – on 18 August 1925 in Moonbeam, Ontario, Canada. This photo might be the only extant picture of that occasion.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.