Monday, January 12, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #2 Louise Roy

I’m participating in “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition” by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small.

For the 2nd week of this challenge, I used the optional weekly theme (King) and chose Louise Roy (ca 1768-1839). Her last name “Roy [Roi]” is French for “king”.

For many years, this maternal ancestor (my 4x great-grandmother) had presented some puzzling challenges.

Image of puzzle pieces

For example, her date and place of birth were unknown, other than she was possibly born about 1768, based on her approximate age of 71 at her burial in December 1839. [1]

The name of her father was known (Joseph Roy), but not her mother’s.

Her only known sibling was a brother, who also named Joseph Roy.

Both her father and brother were present as witnesses when she married François Desgroseilliers on 17 October 1803 in the village of St-Constant, south of Montreal. [2] According to her marriage record, Marie Louise (as she is described) resided in that parish and was the widow of a certain Jacques [Rusman?].

In June 1802, newborn Jacques [Rusneau?] was baptized in St-Constant. He was the son of Jacques [Rusneau?], merchant, by his wife Marie Louise Roy. Infant Jacques’ godparents were Constant [Capinel?] and Marie-Anne Viau. [3] The parish priest added important details: baby Jacques’ father was deceased and his godmother Marie-Anne was his grandmother and the wife of Joseph Roy. I became aware of this child’s existence when I searched for Louise’s marriage to François in an online genealogy database. [4]

I searched, but didn’t find a [Rusman?] – Roy marriage or a burial for Jacques père; neither record seems to exist in the province of Quebec. [5]

About two years ago, I viewed the “Famille” file of Joseph Roy and Marie Suzanne Viau Lespérance at Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH). [6] One of the couple’s daughters is named Marie Louise; she was born on 4 August 1777 in La Prairie and died on 11 December 1839 in Ste-Martine. Since my ancestor Louise died on 11 December 1839 in Ste-Martine, the Marie Louise in the Roy – Viau file is presumably the woman who married François Desgroseilliers in 1803.

I still had a problem, though. I didn’t know how PRDH’s database concluded that the Marie Louise who was born in 1777 was the same one who died in 1839. No spouse is shown for her in the list of Roy children, so I don’t know if she married Jacques [Rusneau?] and then François Desgroseilliers. (Marriages are shown in the “Mariage /Lieu” column of a family file only if they took place before 1800.)

It didn’t take long for this mystery to unravel.

When I first looked at Marie Louise’s parents’ family file at PRDH, I didn’t click on her name to view her personal file. I did recently, though, to prepare this blog post. As expected, her individual file contained a repeat of her name, those of her parents, and her dates and places of birth and death, but it also held a surprise: it listed a child named Marie, an “Enfant hors-union” (a child [born] outside of marriage). [7] There wasn’t a date or place of birth for this daughter, but when I clicked on Marie’s name and got her own “Individu” file, I saw her full name: Marie Desgroseilliers Prosper. [8]

I’m now satisfied that the Marie Louise who was born in 1777 to Joseph Roy and Marie Suzanne Viau Lespérance, is the woman who married at some unrecorded date and location a man named Jacques [Rusneau?], by whom she had a son, who did not survive. Within a few months, she then became pregnant and had a daughter Marie, born possibly in the summer of 1803. Shortly after this event, she married François Desgroseilliers, the father of her child Marie.

Louise Roy is no longer a ‘puzzling’ ancestor.

Sources:

1. Ste-Martine (Ste-Martine, Quebec), parish register, 1839, p. 42 verso, no entry no., Louise Roy burial, 13 December 1839; Ste-Martine parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 10 January 2015).

2. St-Constant (St-Constant, Quebec), parish register, 1803, p. 33 recto, no entry no., François Dégrosellier [sic] – Marie Louise Roy marriage, 17 October 1803; St-Constant parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 12 February 2014).

3. St-Constant (St-Constant, Quebec), parish register, 1802, p. 16 verso, no entry no., Jacques [Rusneau?] (indexed as Raimau) baptism, 19 June 1802; St-Constant parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 10 January 2015).

4. “Genealogy Francois Desgroseilliers”, database, Genealogy of Canada (http://www.nosorigines.org/ accessed 7 September 2013).

5. “Le LAFRANCE”, database, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 7 September 2013). A search for Marie Louise’s first marriage record and Jacques’ burial record prior to 19 June 1802 (when they are stated to be a legitimately married couple at their son’s baptism) proved negative.

6. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 19 June 2013), Joseph Roy – Marie Suzanne Viau Lespérance, Famille no. 45865.

7. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 10 January 2015), Marie Louise Roy, Individu no. 873059.

8. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 10 January 2015), Marie Desgroseilliers Prosper, Individu no. 738464. The lack of a date of birth or baptism for Marie in her “Individu” file suggests that she was not baptized. A child born outside of marriage was not necessarily refused the Sacrament of Baptism, so it seems odd that this event is not listed in Marie's file.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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