Monday, June 23, 2014

Update to 52 Ancestors #5 Julie Belair

Earlier this year in January, I profiled my grandmother Julie Belair in 52 Ancestors. In that article, I wrote how there were certain “unknowns” about my Mémère Julie – things like how did she and my grandfather Fred meet, where did she live before and after she married, and such.

One of my research goals during my recent trip to Ontario was to ask my aunts Joan and Darlene (Julie’s daughters) to help me fill in those blanks. They couldn’t answer all my questions, but I’m grateful they could help with some of them.


Julie Vanasse Belair
Julie (Vanasse) Belair, 1926

For example,

• Did Julie accompany my grandfather when he worked as a cook in lumber camps? If so, who took care of her younger children during these times?

I must have got it wrong many years ago, because I always believed that my grandfather Fred was the cook in lumber camps. Aunt Joan told me that it was my grandmother Julie who was the cook and that my Pépère Fred was a bushworker.

• Was there an obituary for Julie? (I have one for my grandfather Fred, but I’ve never seen one for my grandmother.)

Yes, there was, and it appeared in the Timmins Daily Press. I located it when I went to the Timmins library during my visit there in May and made a photocopy from the microfilmed edition. A couple of days later, Aunt Joan found her copy (an original) and I scanned it for my records.

• I have Julie’s death certificate, but I’d like to see her death registration, because it potentially contains more useful information.

When I visited Aunt Joan, I helped her fill out the online death registration forms for her parents. Within a couple of weeks or so, she received their respective “Statement of Death”. Aunt Joan made copies for herself, and then sent the originals to me. (Thanks, Aunt Joan!) Unfortunately, one of the “more useful [pieces] of information” I was hoping to see on the documents (cause of death) doesn’t appear on the statements.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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