Saturday, September 08, 2012

Famous Relatives: The Dionne Quintuplets

This article is the first in an occasional series about some of the famous relatives I’ve uncovered in my family tree.

The Dionne quintuplets, accompanied by Mrs Olive Dionne and Frère Gustave Sauvé, take part in a program of religious music at Lansdowne Park, during the five day Marian Congress which prayed for peace and celebrated the centenary of the Ottawa archdiocese. 18 – 22 June 1947, Ottawa, Ont.
(Photo source: National Film Board of Canada / Library and Archives Canada / PA-155518. Online MIKAN no. 3192103.)

Born on a spring day in May 1934 in Corbeil, a village near Callander, Ontario, the Dionne quintuplets were the first quintuplets to survive their infancy. The identical girls, born two months prematurely, were the younger children of Oliva (father) and Elzire (mother) Dionne.

Growing up in northern Ontario in the 1960s and 1970s, I was aware of the famous Dionne quintuplets, but knew very little about them except that they I was born somewhat near where they were born, that my first name was the same as one of theirs, and that they were about the same age as my Mom.

I had been researching my family tree for many years and knew that, as a French-Canadian, it was likely I’d be related to some famous French-Canadians, but I didn’t know who they were. Then one day I came across the ancestry of the Dionne quintuplets on the Internet and saw a name that looked familiar: Geneviève Lalonde. I thought, “Could she be related to my ancestor Angélique Lalonde?”

It didn’t take me too long to find the names of Geneviève’s parents. That's when I realized they were my great-great-great-grandparents, Jean-Baptiste and Angélique (Bray) Lalonde, who married on 24 October 1796 in Les Cèdres, Soulanges County, Quebec.

The Dionne quintuplets descend from their daughter Geneviève (who married Joseph Legros in 1831), while I descend from their younger daughter Angélique (who married Paul Janvry dit Belair in 1845). 

And that’s how I discovered that Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Emilie and Marie Dionne and I are fourth cousins. So cool…

Copyright © 2012, Yvonne Demoskoff

5 comments:

  1. Thats interesting.... Im not sure which side that Imj partly related to Dionne quints but it could either My Stepfather who is French Canadain and German.. My Dad s mother is German/French .. my mother has very little French in her.. so I have no idea ... but its interesting.

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  2. I am also a descendant of Jean Baptiste and Angelique. From their son Joseph. He was living in Potsdam NY and fought with the 164th infantry. He listed John Lalonde and Angelique Brey as his parent on his enlistment papers. Michael Carroll

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  3. Hello!!! I would love to know where you got your information. :) I am also related to the Quints. 4th cousins I believe.

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  4. Yes, I would love to also know where you found your information. My grandmother used to tell me stories of her "cousins" the quintuplets, but I had no idea who she was talking about until about 20 years ago when I saw the movie made about the family. My grandmother is a DeMers (DeMars) / Delonais out of Quebec. I cannot find any link, but in her honor I would love to try and find out. She may have just assumed because they were from Quebec too, but who knows

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  5. does anyone e have information on how Leo dionne is related to dionne Quints? my parents and grandparents have passed but grew up k ow I g they were somehow related. any info would be great. thanks

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