Friday, November 07, 2014

52 Ancestors: #45 Louis Turcot and the sad year of 1748

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 45th week of this challenge, I chose Louis Turcot (1678-1748).

Louis is my paternal 7x great-grandfather and is number 646/710 in my ancestor list. (He and his second wife are double ancestors on my father’s mother’s side.)

He was the youngest of eight children of Abel Turcot, a miller, and his wife Marie Giraud, immigrants from France. In March 1706, Louis married Marguerite Lepage by whom he had five children, three sons and two daughters. After Marguerite’s death in early 1716, Louis waited five years before remarrying, in January 1721 in Ste-Famille, Ile d’Orléans, to my ancestor Angélique Plante, who was twenty years his junior.

The couple’s first child, Marie Catherine, was born the following year in March 1722. I’ve previously written about how she presumably married under the name ‘Catherine Plante’; see Mystery Monday: The Real Wife of Joseph Danis.

After Marie Catherine’s birth, Louis and Angélique had eleven more children:

  • Basile (born 1723)
  • Marguerite Angélique (born 1725)
  • Marie Josèphe (born 1727)
  • Jean Baptiste (born 1729)
  • Marie Thècle (born 1731)
  • Louis Hyacinthe (born 1732)
  • Marie Isabelle/Elisabeth (born 1734)
  • Nicolas (born and died 1736)
  • François (born 1737)
  • Marie Thérèse (born 1739)
  • Amador/Médard (born 1741)

Ste-Famille on Ile d'Orléans in Quebec
“Vue de Sainte-Famille, Île d'Orléans, avec la côte de Beaupré en arrière plan” (Paul Paradis, 2010)

In 1748, life changed dramatically for the Turcot family of Ste-Famille.

It began when Louis’ wife Angélique was buried there on 10 February. (Her date of death is not stated in her burial record.)

Two weeks later, on 24 February, Louis and Angélique’s 15-year-old son Hyacinthe was buried. (His date of death is not stated in his burial record.)

Five days later, on 29 February, Louis himself was buried. (His date of death is not stated in his burial record.)

Six weeks later, on 13 April, Louis and Angélique’s 24-year-old son Basile was buried. (He died on 11 April, according to his burial record.)

Three weeks later, on 6 May, their 23-year-old daughter Marguerite Angélique was buried in nearby St-François, Ile d’Orléans. (She died that same day, according to her burial record.)

The sacramental register of Ste-Famille for 1748 reports the burial of forty-six of its parishioners. (There were only eight burials the previous year.) Was there an epidemic in the community? Unfortunately, none of the Turcot burial records indicate the cause of death of Louis, his wife or their children. A quick survey of the other burials for that year also does not reveal causes of death.

Five family members – two parents and three children – died within the span of three months.

1748 was indeed a sad year for the Turcot family.

Photo credit: Wikipedia contributors, "Sainte-Famille, Quebec", Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sainte-Famille,_Quebec&oldid=604802373 : accessed 28 October 2014).

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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