Friday, October 24, 2014

52 Ancestors: #43 Marie Louise Rochon of Deux-Montagnes County

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”.

For the 43rd week of this challenge, I chose Marie Louise Rochon (1781-1835).

Marie Louise is my paternal 4x great-grandmother and is number 79 in my ancestor list.

She was born on 24 December 1781 and baptized that day “sous condition” in St-Eustache, north of Montreal, in York, later Deux-Montagnes, county. [1] Her baptism record mentions the name of her godfather (Augustin Rochon, presumably her grandfather), but there’s a blank space where her godmother’s name ought to be.

Marie Louise was the eldest child of Augustin Rochon and his wife Marie Louise Cadieux. She had nine brothers and four sisters, including two sets of fraternal twins.

On the morning of 6 January 1800, eighteen year old Marie Louise and twenty-two year old Joseph Poirier dit Desloges and family members arrived at the study of notary Pierre-Rémi Gagnier in St-Eustache. [2] The young couple, who declared they could not sign their names, entered into a marriage contract. One week later, on 13 January, they married in the parish church of St-Benoît, near St-Eustache. [3]

Map of Deux-Montagnes County in Quebec
"Carte du comté des Deux-Montagnes dans la province du Québec" [1888]
(Library and Archives Canada)

On the above map of the county of Deux-Montagnes, St-Eustache, lined in blue, lies in the southeast corner, while St- Benoît, lined in red, appears in the centre left of the county.

Marie Louise started married life on her husband’s property in St- Benoît – “une terre de trois arpens de front sur environ trente quatre arpens de profondeur sise au dît lieu du grand Brulé” (a land of three arpents wide by about thirty-four arpents deep located at said site of grand Brulé). [4]

Nine months later, she was blessed with the birth of her first child, a daughter who was named Marie Louise like her mother, her maternal grandmother and her maternal great-grandmother. Over the next sixteen years, Marie Louise had a further six sons and three daughters: Joseph, Hyacinthe, Reine (my ancestor), Jean Baptiste, Marc Alexandre, François, Marie Françoise, Antoine, and Marie Henriette.

Life in St-Benoît must have suited Marie Louise and her family, because not only were all her children born in this rural village, but they (other than three children who died young) also married there.

Marie Louise died on 27 October 1835 in St-Benoît; she was almost 54 years old. Father Chartier noted in her burial record that she had received the ‘sacraments and comfort of the Church’. [5] Her funeral was held two days later there in the presence of family and friends.

Sources:

1. St-Eustache (St-Eustache, Quebec), parish register, 1779-1786, p. 49, entry no. B.300 (1781), Louise Rochon baptism, 24 December 1781; St-Eustache parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 19 March 2010).

2. Archives des notaires du Québec, database and digital images, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaires/ : accessed 21 October 2014), actes de notaire, Pierre-Rémi Gagnier, 6 January 1800, no. 2980, Contrat de mariage de Joseph Poirier et Marie Louise Rochon.

3. St-Benoît (St-Benoît, Quebec), parish register, 1799-1805, p. 2 verso, entry no. M.2 (1800), Joseph Poirier – Marie Louise Rochon marriage, 13 January 1800; St-Benoît parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 7 March 2008).

4. Archives des notaires du Québec, database and digital images, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaires/ : accessed 21 October 2014), Contrat de mariage de Joseph Poirier et Marie Louise Rochon. Joseph’s property was about 2.5 acres wide by 28.7 acres long, according to an online conversion calculator. (Convert arpent to acres - Conversion of Measurement Units (http://www.convertunits.com/from/arpent/to/acres : accessed 22 October 2014).)

5. St-Benoît (St-Benoît, Quebec), parish register, 1835, p. 54 recto, entry no. S.116, Louise Rochon burial, 29 October 1835; St-Benoît parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 19 March 2010).

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Do you know where your grandparents were born?

Yesterday, Elizabeth Lapointe of GenealogyCanada wrote a blog post about how a recent survey by Ancestry.ca found that “only 42% [of survey responders] know where their grandparents were born”.

I didn’t take part in Ancestry’s survey (I don’t recall seeing it), but I know when and where my grandparents were born. (I can provide sources on request.)

Fred Belair: 26 November 1889 Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, Quebec.
Julie Vanasse: 31 August 1896 Chapeau, Quebec.

Fred and Julie Belair

Eugène Desgroseilliers: 30 August 1900 St. Charles, Ontario.
Juliette Beauvais: 30 June 1901 Chénéville, Quebec.

Eugene and Juliette Desgroseilliers

So here’s a challenge for my readers and genealogy bloggers:

Do you know when and where your grandparents were born?

If so, feel free to post a comment. If not, see if you can find out.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Photo Consultation Part III – Vanasse Family

This blog post is the third and final article of a three-part series in which I write about the help I received from photo detective Maureen Taylor during a recent photo consultation. For the two previous installments, see Photo Consultation with Maureen Taylor and Photo Consultation Part II – Pierre Janvry dit Belair.

This picture of my Vanasse great-aunts and uncles (my father’s maternal relatives) was sent to me as a digital image by my cousin Nancy in the spring of 2013.


Seated at the front (left to right) are George, his sister Corinne (Cora) and his brother William (Willie). At the back (left to right) are his sister Agnes (Aggie), his wife Louise, his brother David (Dave), his sister Cecilia (Celia), and his brother Joseph (Joe). Missing from the group are parents Olivier and Elisabeth, and sisters Mary and Julie (my grandmother).

Here are Maureen’s thoughts about this picture:

  • A studio portrait (painted background, heavy furniture, carpet).
  • It could be part of a series of photos taken at the same time.
  • Presumably a wedding photo, since Louise is less likely to be included with the family while unmarried to George.
  • The men all wear different collars and ties. Joe (back, far right) appears to be “a bit of a dandy”, judging by the style of his collar.
  • Joe has a protective hand on Willie’s shoulder.
  • Cora (centre, front) and Celia (back, right) are fashionably dressed. Maureen added that she’s never seen Cora’s style of necklace.
  • Aggie (back, far left), who’s about 14 years old, is “dressing younger than her age”. Her hair (in banana curls) and dress reflect a “very youthful style”. She could be dressed by an older person instead of having the chance to make her own fashion choices.
  • Louise’s “dress is way too big”. She seems to have borrowed it from someone “taller and much larger in the chest”.

My impressions:

I believe this photo was taken in June 1920, when George (born in 1891) married Louise Potvin in Bourget, Russell County, Ontario. Louise’s dress with its shiny, heavy fabric, so different from what her sisters-in-law are wearing, suggests the picture was taken on a special occasion. Until Maureen pointed out how big Louise’s dress is, I hadn’t noticed how much fabric appears on her left sleeve.

If I’m correct about the year, the Vanasse brothers and sisters gathered for this photo less than two years after the end of the Great War (1914-1918). Willie (born in 1893) and Joe (born in 1898) both served overseas with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. Poor Willie came back home shell-shocked and spent a number of years in veterans hospitals. I get the feeling that Willie and Joe were particularly close, and that Joe feels protective of his elder brother. I also think that Celia (born in 1895) is close to her youngest brother Dave (born in 1903), since she’s holding onto his arm.

Dave’s skin is darker than any of his brothers and sisters. His skin tone might be due to genetics: both his parents are great-grandchildren of Aboriginal women.

I'm grateful that my cousin Nancy shared this wonderful Vanasse family photo with me. I dearly loved my grandmother Julie, who died when I was eight and half years old. After her death, I felt privileged to have known her sisters, particularly Celia, who I used to visit at her home in Ottawa when I was there at university.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, October 17, 2014

52 Ancestors: #42 Valentin Cole, Catholic convert

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”.

For the 42nd week of this challenge, I chose Valentin Cole (ca 1728-1794).

Valentin is my maternal 6x great-grandfather and is number 466 in my ancestor list.

Born about 1728 in Boston, colonial Massachusetts, he was the son of Jean Cole and Elisabeth Xque. [1]

I haven’t done much research into Valentin’s background or the circumstances of how he came to immigrate to Canada.

His first appearance in Canadian records seems to be in 1753 when, as “Valentin Colle, Anglais”, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. On 21 April of that year, Valentin renounced the ‘heresies of the faith in which he was raised’ and was baptized under the name Jean Baptiste by Father J.C. Noël in the parish church of St-Antoine-de-Tilly, near Quebec, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. [2]

Valentin Cole baptism record
Valentin's baptism record (part 1), Ancestry.ca

Valentin Cole baptism record
Valentin's baptism record (part 2), Ancestry.ca

Valentin’s conversion was likely in preparation for his marriage that took place four months later, on 24 September 1753 in Ste-Croix (located a little to the west of St-Antoine-de-Tilly), to Marie Joseph Martel. [3] Twenty-two year old Marie Joseph, who was from Ste-Croix, was a younger daughter of Paul Martel and his wife Marie Geneviève Houde.

Now known as Jean Baptiste, he and Marie Joseph had five children between 1754 and 1765: Marie Anne, Marie Josephe (who died young), Marie Louise (my ancestor), Jean Baptiste, and Marie Josephe. [4]

Jean Baptiste died on 28 July 1794, and was buried the next day at St-Paul-de-Lavaltrie, east of Montreal. [5]

Sources:

1. Ste-Croix (Ste-Croix, Quebec), parish register, 1727-1796, p. 13 recto, no entry no. (1753), Jean Baptiste Cole – Marie Joseph Martel [sic] marriage, 24 September 1753; Ste-Croix parish; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 October 2014). Valentin’s place of origin and the names of his parents are stated in his marriage record. His date of birth is estimated from his age (66) at his burial. "Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-28022-16926-74?cc=1321742&wc=9RLF-BZW:22176801,22176802,23163803 : accessed 16 October 2014), Saint-Paul > Saint-Paul > Index 1786-1832, 1786-1877 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1786-1812 > image 267 of 601, Jean Baptiste Coll [sic] burial.

2. St-Antoine (St-Antoine-de-Tilly, Quebec), parish register, 1751-1754, p. 16 recto, entry no. B.13 (1753), Valentin Colle [sic] abjuration and baptism, 21 April 1753; St-Antoine parish; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 29 October 2011).

3. Ste-Croix, parish register, 1727-1796, p. 13 recto, Jean Baptiste Cole – Marie Joseph Martel [sic] marriage, 24 September 1753. Tanguay states the couple married on 21 August 1753. Cyprien Tanguay, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes, 7 vols (1871–1890, reprint, Montréal: Editions Elysée, 1991), III: 109.

4. “Dictionnaire généalogique des familles 1621-1799”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca/fr/ : accessed 29 October 2011), Jean Baptiste Col – Marie Josephe Martel [sic] family, record no. 30735.

5. "Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979," Jean Baptiste Coll [sic] burial.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Moe and Norma

Maurice Belair and Normande Desgroseilliers


My father Maurice with his sister-in-law Normande Desgroseilliers (Mom’s younger sister), in 1955, probably taken in Weston, Ontario.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Photo Consultation Part II – Pierre Janvry dit Belair

Last week, I wrote about a photo consultation I had with Maureen Taylor by telephone and how she helped me better understand three family photos I had submitted to her by email.

I thought that article would be the only one I’d post on my blog about that conversation. I planned on transcribing the rest of the notes I made during our phone call and then file them for future reference. It occurred to me, however, that if I put those notes away, who would see them and get to know about the people and the extra details that Maureen found in the pictures except maybe only me?

That’s when I decided to share with my readers what Maureen had to say about the other two photographs. After all, that’s the point of my having a genealogy blog – to share my ancestors with others.

Therefore, I’m focusing on the second of the three photos this week, and the third photo and its information will appear next week.

Pierre Janvry dit Belair

This photo of my paternal great-grandfather Pierre Janvry dit Belair (1851-1941) was given to me many years ago by a cousin. All I knew about it was that it was a picture of Pierre. I speculated that he was perhaps photographed before he married in September 1879, because of his youthful appearance. I don't know when or where it was taken (possibly not too far from his hometown of Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, near Hull, Quebec) and I don't know what led him to want to be photographed.


These are Maureen’s thoughts about Pierre and the picture:

• The original photo is a tintype. (Maureen explained how she knew that, but I didn’t write it down, and I’ve already forgotten what she told me.)

• Pierre is wearing 1870s attire, judging by the wide lapels of his jacket and his shawl-collared vest. The piping or twisted braiding on his vest is also a feature of 1870s men clothing.

• He has two different eyes: his right eye seems to be normally lidded, but his left eye has a droopy upper lid. Maureen didn’t give any opinions as to the reason for Pierre’s droopy eyelid (like a medical condition). She wondered, though, if it could be due to the photographic process.

• Pierre has a strong jaw and an advancing hairline.

• He appears to be wearing a pinkie ring on this left hand, which rests on a thick book, perhaps the Bible.

If Pierre really has a droopy eyelid, I wonder if he could have had something called ptosis – drooping of the eyelid. [1] Ptosis can be caused by “a variety of conditions include aging, diabetes, stroke, Horner syndrome, myasthenia gravis, or a brain tumor or other cancer that affects nerve or muscle reactions”. Other causes could be a growth (like a stye), nerve damage, or normal variation. [2] Pierre was 89½ years old when he passed away, so I don’t think he had diabetes, tumor or cancer when he was younger (he was about 20 to 27 years old in the photograph). The only other photo I have of my great-grandfather is the one taken of him at his daughter Mathilde’s wedding in 1921, but that picture isn’t clear enough for me to tell in what condition his eyelids were.

Sources:

1. MedlinePlus, database, National Institutes of Health (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/1111.htm: accessed 9 October 2014), “Ptosis, drooping of the eyelid”.

2. MedlinePlus, database, National Institutes of Health (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003035.htm : accessed 9 October 2014), “Eyelid drooping”.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving bounty

Wishing all my Canadian readers and bloggers a very “Happy Thanksgiving!”

Have a safe holiday, everyone!


Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.