Friday, January 31, 2014

52 Ancestors: #5 Julie Belair – Things I’d Like to Know

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 5th week of this challenge (5 weeks already!), I chose my paternal grandmother Julie (Vanasse) Belair (1896-1967).


Julie Belair in 1948
Julie (Vanasse) Belair in Matheson, Ontario, 1948

I know a certain amount about my grandmother Julie, but there are gaps in my knowledge of her life I’d like to fill in. To help me keep track of these “unknowns”, I’ve put together a list of questions I’d like answered someday.


Things I’d like to Know about Julie Belair

• Julie worked as a domestic in Ottawa in the 1920s before she married, and later in Timmins in the 1950s. What was that like? For example, did she work in private homes or in homes of local notables?

• When and where did Julie meet my grandfather Fred? How long did they know each other before they married?

• Where did Julie buy her wedding dress and her children’s baptismal dress? (I suspect she shopped in Ottawa for those items, but it would be interesting to know the name of the actual store.)

• Why did Julie choose “Melvin” as my Dad’s middle name? Did she perhaps know someone called Melvin?

• Where specifically did Julie live before and after she married? I’m curious to know the addresses of her homes in Ottawa, Montreal, Timmins, and other localities.

• When did Julie move to all these towns? Why did she and my grandfather move so often? What made them choose these towns?

• 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?

• When did Julie settle permanently in Timmins? (Was it about 1952 to 1955?) Why did she return there? (I believe she was living in southwestern Ontario before she moved to the northeastern part of the province.)

• Julie suffered from asthma as an adult, and had to be hospitalized during some bad spells. When did this condition begin? Did other members of her family also have asthma?

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

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

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Patrilineal Ancestry

Until now, I never thought of writing about my patrilineal ancestry. I’m fixing this oversight with a pedigree chart showing my descent from François Janvry dit Belair, who came to Nouvelle-France (Quebec) as a soldier in the 1750s.

Patrilineal Ancestry of Yvonne Belair

Sources:

1. Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds, Quebec), parish register, 1756-1775, p. 12 recto, no entry no. (1761), Francois Janvri dit Belaïr – Marie Elizabeth Martel [sic] marriage, 7 January 1761; Ste-Geneviève parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 21 October 2009). François’ parents (Charles Janvri, Marie Lefebvre) are stated in his marriage record.

2. Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds, Quebec), parish register, 1756-1775, p. 12 recto, no entry no. (1761), Francois Janvri dit Belaïr – Marie Elizabeth Martel [sic] marriage, 7 January 1761; Ste-Geneviève parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 21 October 2009).

3. Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds, Quebec), parish register, 1812-1823, p. 127 verso, no entry no. (1818), Pière Jeanvri [sic] – Scholastique St Michel marriage, 7 September 1818; Ste-Geneviève parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 July 2007).

4. St-Paul (Aylmer, Quebec), parish register, 1841-1848, p. 250, no entry no. (1845), Paul Jeanvril [sic] – Angélique Lalonde marriage, 2 September 1845; Missions d’Aylmer; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 March 2012).

5. Ste-Cécile (Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, Quebec), parish register, 1877-1887, p. 24 verso, entry no. M.5 (1879), Pierre Janvrise dit Bélaire [sic] – Angélina Meunier marriage, 7 September 1818; Ste-Cécile parish; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 July 2007).

6. St-Jean-Baptiste (Ottawa, Ontario), parish register, 1909-1968, p. 136, entry no. 28 (1926), Jean Baptiste Belair – Julie Venance [sic] marriage, 28 October 1926; St-Jean-Baptiste parish; digital image, “Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 July 2007). Also, “Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1930”, digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 16 March 2010), entry for Jean Baptiste Belair and Julie Venance [sic], 28 October 1926.

7. Province of Ontario, marriage registration, no. 1954-044828 (1954), Maurice Belair – Jacqueline Desgroseilliers; Office of the Registrar General, Thunder Bay.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Maritime Monday: S/S Lake Superior and the Dimovsky Family

SS Lake Superior
S/S Lake Superior [1]

In the 1990s, my father-in-law William (Bill) Demoskoff gave me some stapled sheets of paper of research he had done about his Demosky family. (I’ve written here about how the name changed from Konkin to Demofsky to Demosky to Demoskoff.)

According to Pop’s information, his father Wasyl, grandfather Mikhail Demosky, and other family members sailed from Batum on the Lake Superior in April 1899 “with 1,010 Doukhobors, arriving at Quebec on May 10, 1899”. [2]

In those early days after I was married, I never thought to ask my father-in-law what his sources were. Now that Pop is 99 years old and has a poor memory, I can’t ask him.

After some investigation as to which ships left Europe for Canada with Doukhobors in 1899, I realized that Pop got a few things confused. For example, the Lake Superior travelled to Canada three times that year, but it departed only once from Batum, Russia (now Batumi, Georgia) in January.

Over the years, I looked at microfilmed ships’ manifests borrowed through inter-library loan from the Public Archives of Canada (now Libraries and Archives Canada). I couldn’t find Pop’s ancestors in any manifest I searched, including those of other ships like the Lake Huron. I’m disappointed, but not too surprised, at not having found Pop’s family. According to Jonathan Kalmakoff, “the ship passenger lists for over 3,200 Doukhobor immigrants are missing or incomplete”. [3]

A couple of years ago, I bought a useful publication titled Doukhobor Ship Passenger Lists 1898-1928. It’s a lot easier to look for immigrant families, now, instead of searching through an unindexed reel of microfilm. If after finding a name or family of interest in the Lists book, and I want to see the scanned manifest, I head over to LAC's website and view the microfilmed images of these passenger lists at Passenger Lists, 1865-1922. Take note, however, that the database is not searchable by passenger name, but can be searched by name of ship, date of departure, and other variables.

Today is the 115th anniversary of the arrival of the Lake Superior in Canada. It carried 1,342 men, women and children and was the third ship that brought Doukhobor refugees from Tsarist Russia. The Lake Superior departed Batum on 4 January 1899 and arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 27 January 1899.

In honour of this historic date, here is a list showing the Dimovsky family (a spelling variation of Demofsky) that made the journey. [4] I should add two things, though. First, I haven't found how or if this family is related to my father-in-law. Second, it’s the only family by this name on the manifest, because the “the ship’s purser recorded only 899 of the 1,997 Doukhobor passengers on board”. [5]


SS Lake Superior Passenger List


Sources:

1. Photo of S/S Lake Superior (built 1884), digital image, Norway – Heritage (http://www.norwayheritage.com : accessed 8 January 2014).

2. William W. Demoskoff, “Descendents [sic] of Mikhail (Konkin) Demofski) Demoskoff” (typescript, ca 1980s or 1990s), unpaginated; privately held by Yvonne (Belair) Demoskoff, Hope, British Columbia, 2014. This unpublished work consisting of three typed sheets was researched by William (Bill) Demoskoff. It does not contain supporting documentation for its data. Bill gave the typescript to his son Michael and daughter-in-law Yvonne in the 1990s.

3. “Index to Doukhobor Ship Passenger Lists”, Doukhobor Genealogy Website (http://www.doukhobor.org/Shiplists.htm : accessed 8 January 2014).

4. Steve Lapshinoff & Jonathan Kalmakoff, Doukhobor Ship Passenger Lists 1898-1928 (Crescent Valley: self-published, 2001), 8.

5. Lapshinoff, Doukhobor Ship Passenger Lists 1898-1928, 3.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday’s Obituary: Nick Cazakoff

Obituary of Nick Cazakoff 1994
Nick Cazakoff obituary, 1994

Nick Cazakoff passed away 20 years ago on 25 January 1994. He was my husband’s maternal uncle, being an elder brother of his mother Ann. Nick was the sixth child, but fifth surviving son of his parents George and Polly (Poznekoff) Cazakoff, Doukhobor immigrants from Russia.

Nick was born on 19 December 1918 in the Lily Vale school district in Saskatchewan. After farming on the prairies, Nick moved to British Columbia in the 1950s and married Edna Arishenkoff. They made their home in the Lower Mainland of BC and had one daughter, Llorea.

Uncle Nick, as he was known to my husband and I, was a dear uncle whom we visited often at his and Aunt Edna’s home. He was a quiet man, but very kind, courteous and welcoming.

Nick was laid to rest in Valley View Cemetery in Surrey, BC on 28 January 1994. He is still missed today.

Source:
“Cazakoff”, obituary, undated clipping, from unidentified newspaper; privately held by Edna (Arishenkoff) Cazakoff, White Rock, British Columbia, 2011. Edna, Nick’s wife, allowed her nephew Michael Demoskoff to scan the obituary during a visit to her home in January 2011.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sympathy Saturday: Martin Grozelle

Lake at sunset

As a genealogist, I know only the basic facts of Martin Grozelle's life, but as an historian, I wanted his short life to have a story.

Martin was born 140 years ago on 25 January 1874 in Lutterworth, a small community in Haliburton County in central southern Ontario. [1] He was a younger son of Pierre Desgroseilliers (also known as Peter Grozelle) by his wife Sarah Martin. [2] His siblings included brothers Jean-Baptiste (John) and Peter, and sisters Elizabeth, Lucy, Felicity and Mary. [3]

Martin's father, Pierre, came from a large French-Canadian family, whose branch changed their surname from Desgroseilliers to Grozelle when they settled in Ontario. Pierre was a second cousin to my mother Jacqueline’s paternal great-grandfather Pierre Desgroseilliers (1841-1904).

Martin's maternal grandfather, James Martin, was an Irish-born soldier, while his maternal grandmother, Lucy (née Waters), was an important and useful presence for his mother. She was the accoucheur or midwife at the births of her daughter Sarah's children, including Martin's. [4]

The community of Lutterworth is surrounded by magnificent nature with abundant lakes and rivers. It was among this outdoor backdrop, however, that cruel fate awaited Martin. One autumn day, Martin and friend Leslie Valentine (son of a Lutterworth farmer), were boating on nearby Gull Lake on October 14, 1896. In a moment, tragedy struck, and the "two young men [...] drowned together while crossing [the] lake". [5]

Martin and his companion were only 22 years old.

Image source: Microsoft Clip Art.

Sources:


1. “Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913”, digital images, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 December 2013), entry for Martin Groselle [sic], 25 January 1874.


2. “Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928”, digital images, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 December 2013), entry for De Grozellier – Martin marriage, 13 February 1870.


3. 1891 census of Canada, Lutterworth, Victoria North, Ontario, population schedule, p. 13, family 57, Petar Grosell [sic] household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 December 2013).


4. “Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913”, digital images, Ancestry.ca, entry for Martin Groselle.


5. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1932”, digital images, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 2 May 2007) entry for Martin Grossell [sic], 14 October 1896.


Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, January 24, 2014

52 Ancestors: #4 Juliette Beauvais – 10 Facts

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 4th week of this challenge, I chose to highlight ten facts about my maternal grandmother Juliette Beauvais (1901-1948), the grandmother I never knew, because she died before I was born.


Juliette Desgroseilliers
Juliette (Beauvais) Desgroseilliers, 1930s


10 Facts about Juliette Beauvais

  1. Born on 30 June 1901 in Chénéville, Papineau County, Quebec.
  2. The third child and eldest daughter in a family of 16 children.
  3. Received the names “Marie Julie” at her baptism, but was known as Juliette.
  4. Quite short, only 5’2” tall.
  5. Was 24 years old when she married.
  6. Mother of nine children, six of whom survived to adulthood.
  7. Member of the Society of St. Anne (Dames de Sainte-Anne).
  8. Knew only French (couldn’t speak English).
  9. Was 47 years, 1 month, 13 days old at her death.
  10. Died of cancer of pancreas after an illness of three months.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Mable Sofonoff

Gravemarker of Mable (Demosky) Sofonoff

Mable Sofonoff (née Demosky) was my husband’s paternal aunt. Her obituary can be read here.

MabIe was born about 1904 – 1906 (the year of birth on her grave is presumably incorrect) in Khristianovka, a now-abandoned village near Buchanan, Saskatchewan. Her parents Wasyl and Luchenia (Tomelin) Demosky, Doukhobor immigrants, settled there after they married about 1903.

Mable, the eldest of five children and the only daughter, married in 1938. She and her husband Louis Sofonoff had one son, Harvey, before they moved to Alberta.

After her funeral in the Russian prayer home in Veregin, Saskatchewan, Mable was laid to rest in Tolstoy Cemetery, a few miles north of the town.

Her gravemarker reads:


In Fond Memory Of
Mable Sofonoff
1909 – 1968
Beloved Wife Of Louis Sofonoff

Source:

Mable (Demosky) Sofonoff photograph, ca 2001; original image, privately held by Yvonne (Belair) Demoskoff, British Columbia, 2014. About 2001, someone (possibly Jonathan Kalmakoff of the Doukhobor Genealogy Website) gave the original photograph to William (Bill) Demoskoff, who asked him for photos of tombstones of interest on his behalf. Later, Yvonne received an assortment of family memorabilia (including Mable’s gravemarker photograph) in January 2012 from her father-in-law Bill.

Copyright © 2104, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday’s Obituary: Mable Sofonoff

Mable Sofonoff obituary
Mable Sofonoff obituary, 1968

Forty-six years ago, Mable Sofonoff, my husband’s paternal aunt, passed away in Edmonton, Alberta. She was the eldest child and only daughter of Russian immigrants Wasyl and Luchenia (Tomelin) Demosky.

In December 1938, Mable married Lazar (Louis) Sofonoff. They farmed in eastern Saskatchewan, where their son Harvey was born. The family moved to Alberta in the early 1950s.

Mable was the first of her siblings to pass away. She was interred in Tolstoy Cemetery, just north of Veregin [Verigin], Saskatchewan, where her parents rest.

Source:
“Mable Sofonoff”, obituary, undated clipping, from unidentified newspaper; Demoskoff Family Papers, privately held by Yvonne (Belair) Demoskoff, British Columbia, 2014. Yvonne received an assortment of family memorabilia (including Mable’s obituary) in January 2012 from her father-in-law William (Bill) Demoskoff.

Copyright © 2104, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, January 17, 2014

52 Ancestors: #3 Eugène Desgroseilliers and His Baptism Record

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 3rd week of this challenge, I’m focusing on my maternal grandfather Eugène Desgroseilliers and his baptism record. [1]

Background info:

Eugène was the eldest child of Albert and Clémentine (Léveillé) Desgroseilliers. He was born on 30 August 1900 in the rural community of St-Charles, Sudbury District, Ontario. My grandfather’s baptism record states that his parents were domiciled at that time in Jennings, which I believe is a little to the southwest of St-Charles. Although a chapel was established in St-Charles, it burned in May 1900. [2] A new chapel wasn’t built until 1903, so baptisms, marriages and burials took place locally, but were recorded by priests from nearby churches, which in my grandfather’s case happened to be the parish of St-Jean-Baptiste in Verner. [3]

Eugène’s baptism record, shown in two parts:


Eugene Desgroseilliers baptism record
Left side of sacramental register


Eugene Desgroseilliers baptism record
Right side of sacramental register

The text reads in French and Latin:

94 / Emmanuel Eugène / Desgroseilliers / 30 / Augusti / Albert Desgroseilliers et Clémentine Leveillé / Jennings / 11a Septembris / Chs Langlois ptre / Ovide Desgroseilliers et Amanda Leveillé

The English translation of the text with comments in square brackets:

[entry no.] 94 / [baptism name] Emmanuel / [surname] Desgroseilliers / [date of birth] 30 / [month of birth] August / [parents’ names] Albert Desgroseilliers [and] Clémentine Leveillé / [parents’ place of residence] Jennings / [date of baptism] 11 / [month of baptism] September / [officiating priest] Chs Langlois [priest] / [godparents] Ovide Desgroseilliers [and] Amanda Leveillé

Sources:

1. St-Jean-Baptiste (Verner, Ontario), parish register, 1895-1910, p. 29, entry no. 94 (1900), Emmanuel Eugene Desgroseilliers baptism, 11 September 1900; St-Jean-Baptiste parish; digital image, “Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923”, FamilySearch.org (https://familysearch.org/ : accessed 6 January 2014). This database is search-only; to reach Eugène’s baptism record, follow this path from the homepage at FamilySearch.org: Search > Canada > Historical Record Collections > Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923 > Nipissing > Verner > St John the Baptist > Baptisms 1895-1910 > Image 45 of 108.

2. Lionel Séguin, Historique de la paroisse Saint-Charles (Saint-Charles, Ont., 1945: 42); digital images, Our Roots (http://www.ourroots.ca/ : accessed 18 June 2013).

3. Séguin, Historique de la paroisse Saint-Charles, 43.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Concert Poster

Moscow State Symphony concert poster

This concert poster brings back such great memories of my high school years … dear friends, intelligent and caring teachers, and extra-curricular activities (school band trips).

Another bonus of high school was the fact that my school – Ecole Secondaire Thériault – as it was then known, had a fairly new auditorium that could host classy events like performances by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, La Sagouine (with Antonine Maillet), and the Wind Quintet of the Moscow State Symphony.

One day, my English teacher, Alan Jamieson, was placing posters on our school’s bulletin boards advertising the Moskquintet’s upcoming concert on behalf of the Overture Concert Association. What a thrill it would be to see this group on their first North American tour, I thought to myself, so I asked a music class friend, Donald Barrette, to join me.

As thrilling as that evening was, I don’t remember a single piece of music that was played. According to the little programme guide, which I also have (thank goodness for that, because my memory fails me), the Wind Quartet played Divertimento in Bb (Mozart), Eine Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 25 (Hindemith), Derevensky Suite (1975) (Svetlanov), Quintet (Francaix), and Three Short Pieces for Wind Quintet (Arnold).

I do remember, though, that I was brave enough to go up to the musicians after the concert and speak to them. I didn’t know Russian, but thankfully they all spoke some English. I quickly pulled an advertising poster off of a nearby wall, and got all the musicians’ autographs.

The musicians were Valentin Zverez (flute), Vladimir Sokolov (clarinet), Anatoly Lubimov (oboe), Boris Afanasiev (horn), and Sergei Krasavin (bassoon).

I kept the poster all these years in a spiral-bound scrapbook. The poster measures about 30 cm x 28 cm (about 13½” x 11½”).

Eight years later, I had the chance to see the Moscow State Symphony in concert during EXPO 86. My future husband Michael and I had season passes for EXPO, and since I had previously seen a portion of this Symphony, I took the opportunity to hear all of the orchestra when they played at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia in October 1986.

After the concert, Michael and I stood by the stage door waiting for the musicians. Imagine my excitement when I recognized the same oboist (he’s the second from the right on the poster) who played at my high school. I spoke with him for a few minutes, telling him about the time he and the Moskquintet played in Timmins.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mystery Monday: The Real Wife of Joseph Danis

Marriage record of Joseph Danis and Catherine Plante 1749
Marriage record of Joseph Danis and Catherine Plante, 1749

In the summer of 1749, twenty-eight year old Joseph Danis married Catherine Plante in St-Michel church in Yamaska, New France (later the province of Quebec). [1] Published sources, like Tanguay's famous Dictionnaire, repeat this information. [2]

Joseph's marriage contract (dated 10 August 1749) and marriage parish record (of 11 August 1749) confirm Catherine’s name and those of her parents, Louis Plante and Angélique Patenaude, and their place of residence.[3]

However, according to a 1957 article in Mémoires, the quarterly publication of the Société Généalogique Canadienne-Française, Joseph's wife was more likely Marie-Catherine Turcot, daughter of Louis Turcot and Angélique Plante. [4]

The article, written by renowned francophone genealogist Archange Godbout, explains that while Joseph’s parents and children are found in the parish registers of New France, Catherine’s parents are not. Although two Louis Turcot existed during the time frame in question, one died probably as an infant, while the other resided in a different location. Additionally, no Angélique Patenaude can be found in the parish registers. [5]

These complications support Godbout’s belief that Louis Plante and Angélique Patenaude are not Catherine’s parents. Godbout concludes by writing that, after much research, the only possibility for Joseph Danis’ wife is Marie-Catherine Turcot, daughter of Louis Turcot and Marie Angélique Plante, who married in 1721.

Joseph and Catherine are my 6x great-grandparents. I have two lines of descent from them through my paternal grandmother Julie Vanasse. I was fortunate to come across Godbout’s article in the Mémoires a few years ago; it’s the only place I’ve seen so far that discusses the presumed real identity of Joseph Danis’ wife.

Sources:

1. St-Michel (Yamaska, Quebec), parish register, 1734-1750, no p. no., no entry no. (1749), Danis – Plante marriage, 11 August 1749; St-Michel parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 5 January 2014).

2. Cyprien Tanguay, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes, 7 vols (1871–1890, reprint, Montréal: Editions Elysée, 1991), III: 238.

3. A. Godbout, “Joseph Danis et Catherine Plante, 1749”, Mémoires de la Société Généalogique Canadienne-Française 8 (Janvier 1957): 60.

4. Godbout, “Joseph Danis et Catherine Plante, 1749”, 60. The author states that he came to this conclusion after "actives recherches".

5. Godbout, “Joseph Danis et Catherine Plante, 1749”, 60.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Where Were They 150 Years Ago?

It’s Saturday, and Randy over at Genea-Musings has issued another challenge for his readers!

Tonight’s challenge is “Where Were They 150 Years Ago?”; follow these three steps to accomplish it:

1) Determine where your ancestral families were on 1 January 1863 - 150 years ago.

2) List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible). Do you have a photograph of their residence, and does the residence still exist? How many do you have in each generation living in January 1863?

3) Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.

Here are my ancestral families:

• My paternal 2x great grandparents, Paul Janvry dit Belair (1822-1902) and Angélique Lalonde (1818-1900), resided in Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, Gatineau County, Quebec with their children, including my great-grandfather Pierre Janvry dit Belair (1851-1941). I have a photograph of their residence, and it existed as late as 1986 when I last visited it. The property is a short distance from town.

Belair family home in Ste-Cecile-de-Masham in Quebec
Belair family home, Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, QC (1986)

• My paternal 2x great grandparents, Ménésippe Meunier (1829-1883) and Louise Drouin (ca 1835-1890), resided in Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, Gatineau County, Quebec with their children, including their daughter my great-grandmother Angélina Meunier (1855-1896). I don’t know if they lived in town or on a property outside of town.

• My paternal 2x great grandparents, Olivier Vanasse (1832-1914) and Elisabeth Frappier (ca 1832-1909), resided in Chapeau or Chichester, Pontiac County, Quebec with their children. The family lived on some property outside of town, but I don’t know where it was located.

• My paternal 2x great grandparents, Joseph Vanasse (1838-1897) and Marie Guérard (1840-1917), resided in Chapeau or Chichester, Pontiac County, Quebec with their children, including my great-grandmother Elisabeth Vanasse (1862-1947). I’m not sure where their home was located.

• My maternal 2x great-grandfather, Joseph Léveillé (1839-1922) and his first wife (not my ancestor) Marguerite Gauthier, resided in Embrun, Russell County, Ontario. They just married that previous October in Embrun, but I don’t know exactly where they lived.

• My paternal 3x great-grandmother, Scholastique St-Michel (1797-1864), widow of my 3x great-grandfather Pierre Janvry, resided in Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, Gatineau County, Quebec. She might have lived with her youngest unmarried children by her first husband, or with them and her unmarried stepchildren in town or on a property near there.

• My paternal 3x great-grandmother, Adélaïde Larose (1796-1881), widow of my 3x great-grandfather Jean-Baptiste Meunier, resided possibly in Montreal, Quebec with her married son Pierre Meunier and his family, where she appeared on the 1861 census. I don’t know where their home was located.

• My paternal 3x great-grandparents, Pierre Drouin (1805-1894) and Reine Poirier (1806-1892), resided in Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, Gatineau County, Quebec with their youngest, unmarried children. I don’t know where their home was located.

• My paternal 3x great-grandparents, Régis Vanasse (1807-1880) and Josephte Messier (1808-1893), resided in Yamaska, Yamaska County, Quebec. I don’t know where their home was located.

• My paternal 3x great-grandfather, Jean-Baptiste Guérard (ca 1814-after 1869), widower of my 3x great-grandmother Euphrosine Laronde, resided on Ile des Allumettes, Pontiac County, Quebec, alone when I last located him.

• My maternal 3x great-grandmother, Elisabeth (Isabelle) Lemieux (ca 1809-1891), widow of my 3x great-grandfather François Desgroseilliers, resided in St-Jean-Chrysostôme, Châteauguay County, Quebec with her children, including my 2x great-grandfather Pierre Desgroseilliers (1841-1904). I don’t know where their home was located.

• My maternal 3x great-grandparents, Narcisse Lepage (1827-1883) and Flavie Moquin (1827-1889), resided in St-Jean-Chrysostôme, Châteauguay County, Quebec with their children, including my 2x great-grandmother Flavie Lepage (1847-1906). I don’t know where their home was located.

• My maternal 3x great-grandparents, Jean-Baptiste Léveillé (1792-1861/1871), if still living, and Adélaïde Coderre (1806-after 1880), resided possibly in Russell County, Ontario. I don’t know where their home was located.

• My maternal 3x great-grandparents, Joseph Racette (1807-1879) and Marcelline Gagnon (1831-1918), resided in Limoges or Embrun, Russell County, Ontario, with their children, including my 2x great-grandmother Cordélia Racette (1849-1928). I don’t know where their home was located.

• My maternal 3x great-grandfather, Charles Beauvais (1811-after 1900) and his second wife (not my ancestor) Madeleine Miron, resided in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario or possibly Ripon, Papineau County, Quebec, with his children, including my 2x great-grandfather Pierre Beauvais (1838-ca 1896). I don’t know where their home was located.

• My maternal 3x great-grandparents, Joseph Deschatelets (1813-1889) and Angélique Caillé (1815-1905), resided in St-André-Avellin, Papineau County, Quebec or possibly Ripon, Papineau County, Quebec, with their children, including my 2x great-grandmother Arline Deschatelets (ca 1845-1923). I don’t know where their home was located.

• My maternal 3x great-grandparents, Jean-Baptiste Hotte (1817-1884) and Archange Sigouin (1823-1885), resided in St-André-Avellin, Papineau County, Quebec with their children, including my 2x great-grandfather Louis Hotte (1844-1923). I don’t know where their home was located.

• My maternal 3x great-grandparents, Pierre Lacasse (1802-1865/1871) and Thérèse Durgey (1810-1900), resided in St-André-Avellin, Papineau County, Quebec, with their children including my 2x great-grandmother Marguerite Lacasse (1839-1907). I don’t know where their home was located.

• My paternal 4x great-grandmother, Agathe Forcier (1789-1866), widow of my 4x great-grandfather Régis Vanasse, resided in Yamaska, Yamaska County, Quebec with her married son Alexandre Vanasse and his family. I don’t know where their home was located.

• My paternal 4x great-grandmother, Josephte Adam (ca 1789-after 1832), widow of my 4x great-grandfather Charles Messier, if still living, resided possibly in Sorel, Richelieu County, Quebec, where I last located her.

• My paternal 4x great-grandparents, Toussaint Laronde (ca 1783-1846/1870) and Marie Kekijicakoe (ca 1793-1846/1870), if still living, resided on Ile des Allumettes, Pontiac County, Quebec, where I last located them.

• My maternal 4x great-grandfather, François Desgroseilliers (1783-after 1839), widow of my 4x great-grandmother Louise Roy, if still living, resided possibly in Ste-Martine, Châteauguay County, Quebec, where I last located him.

• My maternal 4x great-grandparents, Toussaint Lepage (1798-1878) and Catherine Longtin (1804-1890), resided in St-Jean-Chrysostôme, Châteauguay County, Quebec with their younger, unmarried children. I don’t know where their home was located.

• My maternal 4x great-grandmother, Marie-Louise Tougas (1787-1866), widow of my 4x great-grandfather Alexis Moquin, resided in St-Jean-Chrysostôme, Châteauguay County, Quebec. I don’t know where her home was located.

• My maternal 4x great-grandmother, Marguerite Ducasse (1804-1872), widow of my 4x great-grandfather Charles Gagnon, resided possibly in Embrun, Russell County, Ontario with one of her married children. I don’t know where her home was located.

• My maternal 4x great-grandmother, Marie Desanges Guyon (1773-after 1860), widow of my 4x great-grandfather Etienne Beauvais, if still living, resided in St-Jérôme, Terrebonne County, Quebec with one of her married sons and his family where I last located her.

• My maternal 4x great-grandmother, Josephte Gauthier (1789-1876), widow of my 4x great-grandfather Pierre Huot, resided in Terrebonne, Terrebonne County, Quebec with her unmarried daughter, her second husband if still living, and her unmarried stepchildren. I don’t know where their home was located.

• My maternal 4x great-grandparents, Joseph Caillé (1793-1865) and Angélique Houle (1793-1867), resided in St-André-Avellin, Papineau County, Quebec possibly with one of their children. Their home might have been located on the Côte St-André section of the town, where they resided on the 1851 census.

• My maternal 4x great-grandmother, Marie Desanges (Angélique) Chatillon (1789-1879), widow of my 4x great-grandfather Louis Hotte (who died one month earlier on 1 December 1862), resided in Grenville, Argenteuil County, Quebec. Their home was a one-story log house, in which they lived alone on the 1861 census.

• My maternal 4x great-grandfather, Pierre Sigouin (1787-after 1860), widower of my 4x great-grandmother Catherine Carré, if still living, resided in Ripon, Papineau County, Quebec where I last located him.

• My maternal 4x great-grandmother Marguerite Carpentier (ca 1782-1874), widow of François Durgey, resided in Papineauville, Papineau County, Quebec with a married daughter and her family. I don’t know where their home was located.

I have these generations living in January 1863: 

• 3 great-grandparents (all in Quebec)

• 16 second great-grandparents (15 in Quebec, 1 in Ontario)

• 20 (possibly 21) third great-grandparents (18 in Quebec, 2 in Ontario)

• 10 (possibly 16) fourth great-grandparents (9 in Quebec, 1 in Ontario)

That makes 49 (possibly 56) ancestors living in January 1863, 150 years ago.

I’ve posted my ancestral families in my blog and left a comment at Genea-Musings!

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday’s Faces from the Past: Norma and Joan

Normande Desgroseilliers and Jeanne d'arc Desgroseilliers in 1955
Norma and Joan, 1955

This is a great photo of my beautiful aunts Normande and Jeanne d'arc Desgroseilliers, when they were both single.

It’s date-stamped “OCT 55”, but I believe it could have been taken anytime between the spring and fall of 1955.

Norma (on the left) and Joan (on the right) were the tallest of their sisters, measuring 6'. (Norma was only 18 years old and Joan 17, by the way, in this picture.)

They are walking on a street in Weston (now part of Toronto), Ontario, where my Mom and Dad lived in the mid-1950s after they first married.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

52 Ancestors: #2 Fred Belair

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 2nd week of this challenge, I’ve chosen to spotlight my paternal grandfather Fred, my beloved Pépère. I’ve written a few articles about him since I started blogging in 2012, so I’ve rounded up all 17 posts in which he is the focus or in which he is mentioned. Here they are, shown in chronological order, from the first one in August 2012 to the latest one in December 2013.


Fred Belair on his 100th birthday in 1989
Fred Belair surrounded by his children on his 100th birthday, 1989


2012:

August 27 – Amanuensis Monday: Fred Belair’s Postcard 

September 5 – Wordless Wednesday: Belair family on a summer day 

October 28 – Sentimental Sunday: Fred and Julie Belair 

November 3 – Sepia Saturday: 3 November 2012 

November 13 – Tombstone Tuesday: Fred and Julie Belair 

November 21 – Wordless Wednesday: Belair Gathering 197

December 12 – 12 Genealogical Mysteries I’d Like to Solve 

December 18 – In Memoriam: Fred Belair 


2013:

January 14 – Matrilineal Monday: Fred Belair 

January 20 – Sunday’s Obituary: Fred Belair 

February 22 – Ottawa City Directories 

March 4 – Amanuensis Monday: In the Matter of … 

June 19 – Workday Wednesday: Fred Belair, Michigan Bound 

June 22 – Lives Well Lived: My Longest-Lived Ancestors 

September 4 – Ottawa’s Parliament Hill – Who Owned It? 

October 4 – Friday Photo: Father and Children 

December 1 – Church Record Sunday: Fred Belair’s Baptism Record 

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Those Places Thursday: The Hope Slide, 49 years ago

The Hope Slide near Hope BC Canada
“The Hope slide, near Hope, British Columbia. Image by Fawcett5, August, 2005.”
(Image in public domain, 
Wikipedia)

In the early morning of 9 January 1965, a small avalanche occurred in the Nicolum Valley, near Hope, in southwestern British Columbia. Three vehicles travelling on this stretch of Highway 3 (known locally as the Hope-Princeton Highway) came upon the debris, preventing them from going further. While they waited on the road, a second, deadly slide struck when a massive amount of rock came down Johnson Peak, destroying its southwestern face.

It was the “largest landslide ever recorded in Canada […] estimated at 47 million cubic metres […] of pulverized rock, mud, and debris 85 metres (279 ft) deep and 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) wide, which came down the 2,000-metre (6,600 ft) mountainside”. [1]

Four people – the waiting travellers – were killed in their cars and trucks. Rescuers recovered two bodies; the other two “have remained entombed under the rock since 1965”. [2]

My parents and my sister and I must have seen the Slide when we drove through BC during our summer vacation in 1966, but I don’t remember it. The next time I saw the devastation was in May 1980, a few months after my family moved to Hope.

A video of what the area looks like today is available at Hope Slide.

Here are some pictures I took during my 1980 visit to the Hope Slide. I’ve been back to the site a few times since that year. The landscape hasn’t really changed; it’s still quiet, bleak and desolate-looking.


The Hope Slide 1980
The valley floor, looking east (1980)


The Hope Slide 1980
Information board explaining the events of that fateful day (1980)

The Hope Slide 1980
Looking east, with my brother in the centre pointing to the mountain (1980)

The Hope Slide 1980
A northeast view, with my father and his friend Paul (1980)

Sources:

1. Wikipedia contributors, "Hope Slide," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hope_Slide&oldid=585452999 : accessed January 8, 2014).

2. Wikipedia contributors, "Hope Slide," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Snow Day

Snow scene


Snow scene


Snow scene


Snow scene

All this bad weather that’s happening over most of Canada and the USA reminds me of two years ago when my town had its share of snow in January 2012. Here are some photos of my house and neighborhood where I live in southwestern BC, Canada, usually known (even in winter) for its mild or rainy days.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Sunday’s Obituary: Pete Demosky

Pete Demosky obituary
Pete Demosky obituary, 1987

Pete, my husband’s paternal uncle, passed away twenty-seven years ago on 1 January 1987. He was the second child and eldest son of Wasyl and Luchenia (Tomelin) Demosky, who immigrated to Canada from Russia in 1899.

Pete and his wife Annie, whom he married in 1933, lived in Saskatchewan until they moved to British Columbia in 1941. They had two sons, Allan and Lawrence.

Pete died in Grand Forks, BC, and was interred there in Evergreen Cemetery.

Source:
“Demosky”, obituary, undated clipping, from unidentified newspaper; Demoskoff Family Papers, privately held by Yvonne (Belair) Demoskoff, British Columbia, 2014. Yvonne received an assortment of family memorabilia (including Pete’s obituary) in January 2012 from her father-in-law William (Bill) Demoskoff.

Copyright © 2104, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What's Your Ancestor Score?

It’s Saturday, and Randy over at Genea-Musings has issued another challenge for his readers!

Tonight’s challenge is “What’s Your Ancestor Score?” and here are his five easy steps to accomplish it:

1) Determine how complete your genealogy research is. For background, read Crista Cowan's post Family History All Done? What’s Your Number? and Kris Stewart's What Is Your Genealogy "Score?" For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 or 11 generations with you as the first person.

2) Create a table similar to Crista's second table, and fill it in however you can (you could create an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Name) list and count the number in each generation, or use some other method). Tell us how you calculated the numbers.

3) Show us your table, and calculate your "Ancestral Score" - what is your percentage of known names to possible names (1,023 for 10 generations).

4) For extra credit (or more SNGF), do more generations and add them to your chart.

5) Post your table, and your "Ancestor Score," on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.

Here’s my ancestor score:

A couple of years ago, I determined how complete my genealogy research was. I published it in a family genealogy newsletter I sent to my relatives, but never posted it in my own blog once I started blogging; now’s my chance to share my ancestor score with my blog readers.

The table’s been created since mid-2012. I have my ancestry in a Microsoft Word document, and counted the numbers by looking through that document.

Here’s the finished table:


Yvonne's ancestor score table


• Number of total known ancestors = 846 (I’m not included in this total.)
• Number of total possible ancestors = 1022 (I’m not included in this total.)
• Percentage of total known ancestors = 846/1022 = 82.7% (I’m not included in this total.)

I can prove 83% of my ancestors in the last 400 years. I’m fortunate that I have identified such a high percentage of my ancestors, but that’s probably because most of my ancestry is French-Canadian and traceable in Quebec as far back as the early- to mid-1600s.

I’ve posted my table and score in my blog and left a comment at Genea-Musings!

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

52 Ancestors: #1 Clémentine Léveillé

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”.

I love this challenge, because I’ve been looking for a regular column idea for my blog since I ended my “Ancestral Anniversaries” last month and because talking about ancestors on a genealogy blog is a good thing J

So, here goes with ancestor #1 (picked at random)!


Clémentine Desgroseilliers in the mid-1950s
Clémentine (Léveillé) Desgroseilliers, mid-1950s

My great-grandmother Clémentine Léveillé was born on 13 November 1878 in Embrun, Russell County, Ontario. She had ten brothers and sisters and an older half-sister.

In April 1899, Clémentine married Albert Desgroseilliers in the nearby community of South Indian (now known as Limoges). The young couple lived in different rural communities in Ontario, including Sturgeon Falls, in Nipissing District, where they had a small farm.

My Mom Jacqueline has a few memories of visiting her grandmother when she was a little girl. One of them includes the time she played with a child’s tea set with her cousin Gabrielle, one of Clémentine’s granddaughters by her daughter Flavie.

As you might be able to tell, Clémentine’s left eye is shut in this picture. It’s because when she was younger, she was kicked in the face by a farm animal (it might have been a cow).

Although my great-grandmother lived not too far from where I was born and grew up, I never met her. Clémentine was one month short of her 91st birthday when she died in October 1969.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.