Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lives Well Lived: My Longest-Lived Ancestors

Every now and then, I like to look at my family tree and see what kind of information I can extract from it. I’m thinking “bigger picture” here, not just what I can learn from one or two individuals. One day, I wondered how old my ancestors lived to and thought this question would make a great little project for me in which to see the bigger picture.

And so, I looked over my database, going as far back as six generations to my great-great-great-grandparents. I deliberately stopped at the sixth generation because I wanted this activity to be manageable and not take too much time.

When I was done, I had a list of fourteen ancestors who were 80 years or older when they died. Here are my results in table format. Note that women are shown with their maiden names.

Yvonne's Longest-Lived Ancestors

No.
Ancestor
Age at Death
Year of Death
Generation
1
Fred Belair1
101 years, 2 months
1991
3rd
2
Clémentine Léveillé2
90 years, 11 months
1969
4th
3
Thérèse Durgey
90 years, 2 months
1900
6th
4
Angélique Caillé
89 years, 7 months
1905
6th
5
Pierre Belair
89 years, 5 months
1941
4th
6
Marcelline Gagnon
87 years, 0 months
1918
6th
7
Adélaïde Larose
85 years, 2 months
1881
6th
8
Josephte Messier3
85 years, 2 months
1893
6th
9
Elisabeth Vanasse4
85 years, 0 months
1947
4th
10
Joseph Léveillé
83 years, 2 months
1922
5th
11
Olivier Vanasse
82 years, 9 months
1914
5th
12
Olivier Vanasse
81 years, 10 months
1944
4th
13
Angélique Lalonde5
81 years, 11 months
1900
5th
14
Paul Belair
80 years, 2 months
1902
5th


1. Fred Belair (no. 1) is the son of Pierre Belair (no. 5), who is the son of Paul Belair (no. 14).
2. Clémentine Léveillé (no. 2) is the daughter of Joseph Léveillé (no. 10).
3. Josephte Messier (no. 8) is the mother of Olivier Vanasse (no. 11), who is the father of Olivier Vanasse (no. 12).
4. Elisabeth Vanasse (no. 9) is the wife of Olivier Vanasse (no. 12). (They were first cousins.)
5. Angélique Lalonde (no. 13) is the wife of Paul Belair (no. 14).

Some Observations:

• I calculated the ages at death of my first 62 ancestors, representing five generations – from my parents to my great-great-great-grandparents.

• Fourteen (22%) of these 62 ancestors lived to an age greater than 80 years.

• Twelve of these fourteen ancestors were born in the province of Quebec (no. 2, Clémentine Léveillé, was born in the province of Ontario, while no. 3, Thérèse Durgey, was born in either the province of Ontario or the province of Quebec).

• Of these fourteen ancestors, eight are women, six are men. As a group, the women lived to an average age of 86.8 years, while the men lived to an average age of 86.5 years.

• Of these fourteen ancestors, nine belong to my paternal ancestral lines, while five belong to my maternal ancestral line.

• The maternal side of my family lived to a greater average age (88.13 years) than the paternal side of my family (85.9 years).

• My paternal grandfather, Fred Belair, is the longest-lived ancestor in this list.
Clockwise from top: Fred Belair (almost 100 years old), Joseph Léveillé (possibly 70s), Pierre Belair (about 69), Clémentine Léveillé (about 77), Elisabeth Vanasse and her husband Olivier Vanasse (both about 78 years).

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

4 comments:

  1. How very interesting, you have so much to treasure. Yes, their lives were well spent, and the best thing of all, is discovering these bits and pieces from within your own family. Some of my younger relatives aren't really interested yet, but they will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't thought of it like that, but my ancestors are my treasure. Thanks for commenting, Karen.

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  2. Fascinating way to look at genealogy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michelle. I like these little "projects" - find them refreshing and I gain a different perspective of my database.

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