Saturday, November 30, 2013

Surname Saturday: Prosper (formerly Desgroseilliers)


My mother's maiden name is Desgroseilliers. She’s a 9th generation descendant of Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers. (See my post Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers.) I've been researching my Mom’s paternal ancestors for as long as I can remember, and always assumed that many of sieur des Groseilliers’ descendants through his only surviving (legitimate) daughter Marie-Antoinette Chouart were surnamed Desgroseilliers or a spelling variation of that name.

However, genealogy research throws curve balls at you every so often. A few years ago, I found out that some of sieur des Groseilliers’ descendants took the Christian name ‘Prosper’ and turned it into their surname. As curve balls go, this one was relatively minor, but definitely interesting.

As far as I can tell, ‘Prosper’ was a first name in the Desgroseilliers family as early as 1743, when Marie-Antoinette's grandson was christened with the compound first name ‘Joseph Prosper’. [1] His surname was Dorval at birth, but he later used Bouchard and Desgroseliers.

‘Prosper’ seems to be used as a dit name for the first time when Joseph Prosper Dorval’s sons François (born in 1783) and Joseph (born in 1791) appear as ‘Desgroseilliers dit Prosper’ in some of their children’s baptism and marriage records in the mid-1830s in Châteauguay County, Quebec. For example, when François’ daughter Marie married Antoine Roy in 1834, and Joseph’s son Michel was baptised that same year, their surname was ‘Desgroseilliers dit Prosper’. [2] On other occasions during this time frame, the surname was ‘Prosper dit Desgroseilliers’. [3]

The earliest use of ‘Prosper’ as a stand-alone surname might be when Amable Desgroseilliers (son of Joseph born in 1791) married (as ‘Aimable Prospert’) Caroline Archambault in 1845 in Cooperville (now Coopersville), Clinton County, New York. [4]

Chart showing the progression of Desgroseilliers surname to Prosper

It’s a mystery to me why some of sieur des Groseilliers’ descendants in Canada and the USA chose ‘Prosper’ as a surname. The only thing I can think of is that they are from the line of Joseph Prosper Dorval. Or, could it be that ‘Prosper’ is easier to pronounce and write than ‘Desgroseilliers’?

Sources:

1. St-Joseph (Deschambault, Quebec), parish register, 1713-1791, p. 10 verso, no entry no. (1743), Joseph Prosper Dorval baptism, 19 May 1743; St-Joseph parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 24 November 2013).


2. Ste-Martine (Ste-Martine, Quebec), parish register, 1834, p. 7 verso, entry no. M.8, Roy – Desgroseilliers marriage, 10 February 1834; Ste-Martine parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 24 November 2013). Also, Ste-Martine (Ste-Martine, Quebec), parish register, 1834, p. 9 recto, entry no. B.27, Michel Desgroseilliers dit Prosper baptism, 15 February 1834; Ste-Martine parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 24 November 2013).

3. Ste-Martine (Ste-Martine, Quebec), parish register, 1835, p. 9 verso, no entry no., Dumas – Prosper marriage, 16 February 1835; Ste-Martine parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 24 November 2013).


4. St-Joseph du Corbeau (Cooperville [Coopersville], New York), parish register, 1843-1846, p. 82, no entry no. (1845), Prospert – Archambeault [sic] marriage, 10 June 1845; St-Joseph du Corbeau parish; digital image, "Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1695-1954”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 24 November 2013).


Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Sale Contract

A couple of months ago, John at Filiopietism Prism had a thought-provoking article about genealogists and hoarding. It reminded me that I have something that wasn’t meant to last, but I’m glad it did because it offers a glimpse of a particular time and place in my parents’ life.

Sale contract
Sale contract between Maurice Belair and Vanity Fair Furniture, 1958 

It’s a conditional sale contract for household furniture and appliances that my Dad signed in late 1958 a few months after he and Mom moved to Timmins, Ontario. Mom kept this contract in her bedroom dresser, along with other odds and ends like photos and souvenirs. In time, though, some of those items were lost or thrown out, but the sale contract survived.

It was only a few years ago, though, that I realized just how special the contract was. One day, I was looking at it again for the umpteenth time when something clicked in my mind. I paused, and then I did something I don’t think I ever did with that contract. I read it, properly read it – line by line, word by word. Not only that, but I also checked the ink, the style of writing, the crossed-out words, and other details.

When I realized that I was holding a treasure, the personal, financial and business facts emerged from it with ease. Here are some of those details:

• Personal:

- My Dad’s name and age.
- His mail and residence address.
- His length of time at present address.
- His residence telephone number.
- His marital status and number of dependents.
- His type of accommodation and name of landlord.
- His previous home address and length of time at that residence.
- The names and addresses of two relatives.
- His signature.

• Business:

- His present employer.
- His length of time and occupation with present employer.
- His previous employment and length of time there.

• Financial:

- His approximate monthly income.
- His bank.
- His references.
- Goods purchased and the cost.
- Cash selling price for purchased goods, cash payment, finance charge and length of term, recording charge, and total deferred payments.
- Payments payable to whom and when monthly installments commence.
- The date of transaction.
- The vendor and salesman.

And something else: my Dad’s signature (Maurice M. Belair) located in the bottom right portion of the image. His style of handwriting stayed essentially the same throughout his adult life.

Imagine how much information about my Dad I’d never know about if he or Mom had thrown away this simple piece of paper after they finished making those payments.

Pretty cool stuff, eh?

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sympathy Saturday: Deaths of 12 Children in One Family

Reading an article last week at Olive Tree Genealogy Blog reminded me of a similar situation in my paternal family tree in which a family lost 12 of their 16 newborn or young children.


Burial record of Adèle Belair (1869-1871)

In the late autumn of 1861, Moïse Belair married Martine Guestier in the picturesque village of Ste-Adèle, north of Montreal, Quebec. [1] The Belair and Guestier families’ relationship went back to 1850, when Martine’s uncle Jérémie Guestier married Moïse’s sister Virginie. [2] The family links were strengthened when newly married Moïse and Martine became godparents to Damase, younger son of Jérémie and Virginie, in March 1862. [3]

Martine gave birth to 16 children between 1863 and 1885, but only the first four children survived to adulthood. Something changed after the birth of her daughter Adèle in December 1869. Martine’s next pregnancy in 1871 (her sixth in eight years) and her subsequent ones all ended in the death of her babies at birth or when very young.

First Children

Moïse and Martine’s first child was a daughter, baptised Martine on the day she was born in April 1863. [4] The next child was daughter Malvina, born in June 1864. [5] Two years later, the couple’s first son, Moïse, was born in March 1866. [6] Another son, Israël, followed in October 1867. [7] He became the inspiration for the French-Canadian fictional literary character “Séraphin Poudrier” in Un homme et son péché, by Claude-Henri Grignon. (See my post Black Sheep Sunday: Séraphin Poudrier, Fact or Fiction?

A Family’s Sorrows

Martine’s fifth child was another daughter, Adèle, born and baptised on Christmas Day 1869. [8] In the summer of 1871, Martine was expecting her sixth child. She was 25 years old, according to that year’s census, when the family was enumerated in May. [9]

On July 23, Martine was delivered of a child of unspecified gender. The infant didn’t live long enough to be ondoyé* and died within moments of its birth. [10] Father Louis-Alfred Dequoy officiated at the funeral two days later. [11]

* The word ondoyé (or ondoyée for a female child) appears in an infant’s burial record. If the child survives and is subsequently baptised, the priest records the event in the baptism register.

Within days of the family’s sorrow, daughter Adèle died on August 1. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning, according to a coroner’s jury; she was only 19 months old. Moïse was present at his little girl’s funeral. [12]

A Pattern of Births and Deaths

The birth and death of this 1871 anonymous child set a pattern (with one exception) that lasted until late 1885.

In October 1872, Martine’s newborn child died within moments of its birth. [13] One year later, her eighth child died soon after birth in October 1873. [14] A little girl was baptised Marie Louise in February 1876, but she died when 15 days old. [15] The next child was born and died in August 1878. [16] With this latest death, Father Dequoy had buried six Belair infants.

In April 1879, Martine’s 11th child died soon after birth. [17] This time, Father F.-X. Sauriol, Ste-Adèle’s new parish priest, buried the infant. He would also bury those who were born and died in August 1880, August 1881, May 1882, March 1883, and November 1885. [18]

Two months earlier in September 1885, while Martine was expecting her 16th child, she and Moïse were present at the baptism of their first grandchild, Marie Rose. [19] The newborn was the daughter of Martine and her husband Calixte Desjardins, who had married the previous year.

Four Surviving Children

I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Moïse and Martine to go through these losses year after year. I don’t know how Martine coped and carried on, but perhaps she received comfort from her faith and gained a certain amount of happiness when her surviving children Martine, Malvina, Moïse and Israël married in her lifetime.

Martine died in the spring of 1912 in Ste-Adèle, 27 years after the death of her last child. [20]

Sources:

1. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1861, p. 23 verso, entry no. M.22, Jeanvry – Guétier [sic] marriage, 26 November 1861; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013).

2. St-Jérôme (St-Jérôme, Quebec), parish register, 1850, p. 21 recto, entry no. M.28, Guétier – Janvry [sic] marriage, 30 April 1850; St-Jérôme parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013).

3. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1863, p. 10 recto, entry no. B.33, Martine Bélair baptism, 3 April 1863; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 20 November 2013).

4. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1864, p. 14 verso, entry no. B.63, Marie Malvina Bélair baptism, 28 June 1864; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 20 November 2013).

5. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1866, p. 6 verso, entry no. B.21, Moïse Bélair baptism, 15 Mar 1866; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 20 November 2013).

6. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1867, p. 14 recto, entry no. B.63, Israël Bélair baptism, 7 October 1867; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 20 November 2013).

7. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1862, p. 8 verso, entry no. B.27, Damase Guéthier baptism, 16 March 1862; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 15 November 2013).

8. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1869, p. 21 recto, entry no. B.79, Adèle Bélaire [sic] baptism, 25 December 1869; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 15 November 2013).

9. 1871 census of Canada, Ste-Adèle, Terrebonne, Quebec, population schedule, district 99, subdistrict m, p. 61, dwelling 208, family 208, line 15, Martine Janvril [sic]; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm C-10033.

10. When a newborn is in danger of death, he or she can be “baptised without any delay” [Can. 867] by someone present at its birth. The sacrament of baptism is usually conferred by a Roman Catholic priest in the “proper parish church of the parents” [Can. 857], but if a priest isn’t present, “[...] in a case of necessity, any person who has the requisite intention may do so.” [Can. 861] (The Code of Canon Law In English translation, The Canon Law Society Trust, London: Collins Liturgical Publications, 1983, 159-160)

11. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1871, p. 12 verso, entry no. S.17, Anonyme de Moise Belair burial, 25 July 1871; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013).

12. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1871-1880, p. 13 recto, entry no. S.18 (1871), Adèle Bélaire [sic] burial, 1 August 1871; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Catholic Parish Records, 1621-1979”, FamilySearch.org (https://familysearch.org : accessed 15 November 2013).

13. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1872, p. 17 verso, entry no. S.25, Anonyme de Moïse Bélaire burial, 16 October 1872; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013).

14. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1873, p. 22 verso, entry no. S.43, Anonyme de Moïse Bélaire burial, 17 October 1873; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013).

15. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1876, p. 3 recto, entry no. B.6, Marie Louise Bélaire baptism, 11 February 1876; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013). Also, Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1876, p. 5 recto, entry no. S.8, Marie Louise Bélaire burial, 28 February 1876; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013).

16. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1878, p. 19 recto, entry no. S.27, Anonyme de Moïse Bélaire burial, 12 August 1878; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013).

17. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1879, p. 11 verso, entry no. S.19, Anonyme de Moïse Bélair burial, 28 April 1879; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013).

18. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1880, p. 16 recto, entry no. S.16, Anonyme de Moïse Bélair burial, 16 August 1880; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013). Also, Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1881, p. 14 recto, entry no. S.30, Anonyme de Moise Bélair burial, 7 August 1881; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013). Also, Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1882, p. 12 verso, entry no. S.28, Anonyme de Moise Bélair burial, 29 May 1882; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013). Also, Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1883, p. 5 recto, entry no. S.3, Anonyme de Moïse Bélair burial, 3 March 1883; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013). Also, Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1885, p. 21 recto, entry no. S.56, Anonyme de Moïse Bélair burial, 3 November 1885; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013).

19. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1885, p. 17 verso, entry no. B.51, Marie Rose Desjardins baptism, 14 September 1885; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 20 November 2013).

20. Ste-Adèle (Ste-Adèle, Quebec), parish register, 1912, p. 4 verso, entry no. S.10, Martine Guesthier [sic] burial, 13 April 1912; Ste-Adèle parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 November 2013).

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Show Us Your Visited States and Provinces Map

It’s Saturday, so time for another “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” at Genea-Musings!

Tonight's challenge is mapping the places we’ve visited in Canada and the USA. Randy asks the following questions:

1) What states in the USA and what provinces in Canada have you visited or lived in?

2) Either list, or make a map of them (at the http://www.defocus.net/visitedstates/us-canada.html website) and indicate the following:

* red for states/provinces where you've not spent much time or seen very much.
* amber for states/provinces where you've at least slept and seen some sights.
* blue for states/provinces you've spent a lot of time in or seen a fair amount of.
* green for states/provinces you've spent a great deal of time in on multiple visits.

3) For extra credit, you could make a map to show where your ancestors resided at any time (e.g., in 1900), or perhaps where your 16 great-great-grandparents or 32 3rd-great-grandparents married, or where your ancestors were born, all with an appropriate legend.

4) Tell us, or show us, your "Where I've been" map, and any other map that you created having fun tonight. Put them in your own blog post, on Facebook or Google+, and leave a comment on this blog post so that we all see them.

Here are my maps:

I was born in Ontario, but lived most of my adult life in British Columbia. I’ve travelled to all the Canadian provinces, except the Maritimes, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

I’ve been a fair amount to Washington State, because it’s only an hour or so by car from where I live. I travelled through (and slept in) Oregon on the way to California for Christmas vacation in the early 1980s, and have been to Idaho, Montana and Texas with my husband. (I’d go with him for short stays for his work or training courses in those states.) I’ve also been to Nevada a couple of times (earlier this year, I attended the 2013 NGS conference in Las Vegas) and I travelled through Maryland on my way to visit a childhood friend who lived in Pennsylvania. I spent a couple of weeks in Washington, DC, where I did genealogy research at the Library of Congress back in the 1990s. Last but not least, I’ve been to New York once, where relatives and I spent a few hours doing cross-border shopping one year. (I’ve forgotten the name of the town that had a great mall, but it was close to Cornwall, Ontario.)


Map of Canada and USA where I've lived and visited

Getting extra credit sounds great, so I also did a map to show where my great-great-grandparents lived when they married. (The time frame is 1845 to 1874.) One couple lived and married in Russell County, Ontario (shown in red), while the rest (seven couples) lived and married in Quebec (shown in green).


Map of Canada where my great-great-grandparents lived and married in the mid-1800s

Done in my own blog post and I’ve left a comment at Genea-Musings!

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday’s Child: Baby Boy Desgroseilliers

Maurice and Jacqueline Belair with their godson
Maurice and Jacqueline Belair with their godson

I don’t know the name of this child, and I don't know if a photo of his gravestone exists.

Baby boy Desgroseilliers was born in the late 1950s or early 1960s, and died when very young.

His parents Jean-Paul and Fleur-Ange (Dupuis) Desgroseilliers lived in Timmins, where my parents lived.

Jean-Paul asked my mom Jacqueline, his cousin, and my dad Maurice to be his son’s godparents.

The baptism took place at St-Antoine cathedral in Timmins, and afterwards, Mom and Dad were photographed with their godson.

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.