Saturday, October 27, 2018

Sibling Saturday: The Children of Joseph and Olivine (Hotte) Beauvais

Today’s Sibling Saturday is the fifth part in an ongoing series about my ancestors’ families. Here are the previous articles in this series:

21 May 2016: Sibling Saturday: The Children of Jean-Baptiste Bouchard (1698-1755)

21 April 2018: Sibling Saturday: The Children of Pierre Janvry dit Belair (1851-1941)

21 July 2018: Sibling Saturday: The Children of Olivier and Elizabeth (Vanasse) Vanasse

15 September 2018: Sibling Saturday: The Children of Albert and Clémentine (Léveillé) Desgroseilliers

Joseph Beauvais and Olivine Hotte
Joseph and Olivine (possibly their wedding photo)

My maternal great-grandparents Joseph Beauvais and Olivine Hotte were born in Papineau County, Quebec – he in Ripon and she in nearby Hartwell (now Chénéville). They married on 16 August 1897 in Chénéville. Joseph and Olivine were the parents of 16 children: 12 sons and 4 daughters. Joseph was a bûcheron (a woodcutter, timberman or a faller) and that’s probably what led him to move his young family to Tupper Lake in New York State, an area known for its lumber production. His second son Oscar was born there in 1899. The Beauvais family lived in New York for one or two years, before they returned to live in the province of Quebec. About 1923, Joseph and his family moved to Moonbeam, a village in northern Ontario. Olivine died there soon after on 4 June 1926. Joseph died on 17 September 1937, also in Moonbeam.

I knew some of my mother’s aunts and uncles, like Réal and the three youngest ones. When my family was on holiday in Ontario and Quebec in 1986, we visited Gatineau (across from Ottawa in the province of Quebec) and met Réal (Mom’s godfather) and his wife Stella. While there, we visited Jean-Marie and spent a lovely afternoon at his home. His twin brother Jean-Paul was there, so I met him, too. As for Laurette, I knew her from our occasional visits to Moonbeam where she lived. (Moonbeam is about 1½ hours north of Timmins where my family lived.) After we moved to British Columbia in 1979, we rarely saw Mom’s Beauvais relatives. We really appreciated that Aunt Madeleine, Mom’s sister, who lived in eastern Canada, kept us up-to-date with news about their relatives.

Children of Joseph and Olivine (Hotte) Beauvais

1. Ovide Beauvais
Ovide was born on 8 June 1898 in Chénéville. On 7 June 1920, he married Lucienne Duchesne in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. They had 16 children. In 1941, Ovide and his family moved from Sudbury and settled in Blue Water, a village that no longer exists near Sarnia, Ontario. He died on 12 July 1981 in Sarnia.

2. Oscar Beauvais
Oscar was born on 25 November 1899 in Tupper Lake, Franklin County, New York, USA. He married on 5 October 1922 in Montpellier, near Chénéville, Rosa Robillard. They were the parents of 14 children. Oscar and his family later settled in Blue Water like Ovide and Juliette. Oscar died on 4 July 1979 in Sarnia.

3. Juliette Beauvais
My grandmother Juliette was born on 30 June 1901 in Chénéville. On 18 August 1925, she married Eugène Desgroseilliers in Moonbeam. Juliette and Eugène, who had nine children, lived in northern Ontario and northern Quebec, where he was a chief of police. In 1942, they settled in Blue Water like her brothers Ovide and Oscar. Juliette died of pancreatic cancer on 14 August 1948 in Sarnia, Ontario. Eugène’s brother Ovide Desgroseilliers married Juliette’s sister Laurette (Lorette) Beauvais. I wrote about Juliette and her sister Agathe at Sibling Saturday: Juliette and Agathe Beauvais.

Juliette and Agathe Beauvais
Juliette and Agathe (about 1935)

4. Marie-Louise Beauvais
Marie-Louise was born on 30 January 1903 in Montpellier. She died on 26 May 1947 in hospital, possibly in Kapuskasing, Ontario. Marie-Louise was unmarried. About 10 years ago, her niece, my Aunt Madeleine, told me that Marie-Louise had been in love with one of her sister Juliette’s brothers-in-law, either Arthur Desgroseilliers (1901-1923) or Hormidas Desgroseilliers (1906-1934). Unfortunately, both brothers died young and unmarried.

Eugene Desgroseilliers, Mariette Desgroseilliers, Juliette Beauvais, Marie-Louise Beauvais
Marie-Louise (left) holding her niece Mariette, daughter of Juliette (centre) and Eugène (right) (1928)

5. Aldège Beauvais
Aldège was born on 16 August 1905 in Montpellier. In January 1940, one of Aldège’s horses kicked him in the face. He died from complications from his injuries on 2 February 1940 in Montreal, Quebec. Aldège was unmarried.

6. Léger Beauvais
Léger was born on 4 January 1907 in Montpellier. On 26 February 1935, he married Rollande Filion in Cochrane, Ontario. They lived in Moonbeam and were the parents of 14 children. Léger died on 6 September 1992 in Moonbeam.

7. Romuald Beauvais
Romuald was born on 16 March 1908 in Montpellier. He married Bernadette Dubosse (Dubosq) on 22 November 1944 in Moonbeam. They had four children. Romuald died on 5 November 1991 in Kapuskasing.

8. Emile Beauvais
Emile was born on 7 April 1910 in Montpellier. On 15 July 1947, he married Claire Bourgeois, a schoolteacher, in Val-Rita, Ontario. The couple had four children. Emile died on 28 July 1990 in Hearst, Ontario.

9. Martial Beauvais
Martial was born on 17 September 1911 in Montpellier. He married Marie-Paule Marin on 3 July 1948 in Moonbeam. They had seven children. Martial died 18 August 1982. The cause of death was a vehicle accident, according to the coroner’s report.

10. Réal Beauvais
Réal was born on 26 January 1913 in Montpellier. On 15 August 1936, he married Stella Moisan in Val d’Or, Quebec. The couple had 16 children. Réal died on 29 September 1997 in Gatineau. Réal and his younger sister Agathe were godparents to their niece, Jacqueline Desgroseilliers (my mother), at her baptism in 1933.

Réal Beauvais
Réal (1986)

11. Aurèle Beauvais
Aurèle was born on 6 June 1914 in Montpellier. He married Florence Carrière on 12 May 1942 in Moonbeam. They had four children. Aurèle died in 1996 in Hearst.

12. Joseph Beauvais
Joseph was born on 22 August 1916 in Montpellier. On 22 November 1939, he married Germaine Girard in Moonbeam. The couple, who had six children, lived in Val d’Or. Joseph died there on 6 March 2003.

Joseph Beauvais
Joseph (about 1936)

13. Agathe Beauvais
Agathe was born on 3 March 1918 in Montpellier. She and her elder brother Réal were godparents to their niece, Jacqueline (my mother), at her baptism in 1933. Agathe married Lucien Larouche on 25 March 1940 in Val d’Or. They had eight children. Agathe died on 30 December 1956 in Val d’Or after giving birth to a son earlier that day. Her niece, my Aunt Madeleine, said her death was due to a blood clot. My Mom Jacqueline was visiting her when they got the news of their Aunt’s death. I wrote about Agathe and her sister Juliette at Sibling Saturday: Juliette and Agathe Beauvais.

14. Laurette (Lorette) Beauvais
Laurette (Lorette) was born on 9 August 1919 in Montpellier. She married Ovide Desgroseilliers on 9 September 1936 in Moonbeam. They had seven children, all boys, and lived in Moonbeam. Laurette died on 24 April 1995. Ovide’s brother Eugène Desgroseilliers married Laurette’s sister Juliette Beauvais.

Ovide and Laurette Desgroseilliers and Jacqueline Belair
Ovide and Laurette with their niece Jacqueline (1974)

15. Jean-Marie Beauvais
Jean-Marie and Jean-Paul were fraternal twins. They were born on 1 May 1921 in Montpellier. Jean-Marie married Huguette Larouche on 5 July 1948 in Val Senneville, Quebec. They lived in Gatineau, Quebec and were the parents of four children. Jean-Marie died there on 20 December 2010. Jean-Marie and Jean-Paul served in World War II. Jean-Marie was posted at CFB Chilliwack, British Columbia for a time. On their leave, the twins visited their eldest sister, my grandmother Juliette, at home in Blue Water. Mom said Juliette loved her brothers and was close to them even though there was a 20-year gap between them. Uncle Jean-Marie lived for a brief time with my parents and our family in the early 1970s. He was a sales rep for Filter Queen vacuum cleaners and came to Timmins to recruit my father as a salesman. I can still see Uncle Jean-Marie sitting in our living room on Main (now Bélanger) Avenue talking to someone on the telephone and asking for a French operator. He believed that since Canada was a bilingual country, the phone company ought to find him someone who spoke French. I'm pretty sure he succeeded, too.

16. Jean-Paul Beauvais
Jean-Paul and Jean-Marie were fraternal twins. They were born on 1 May 1921 in Montpellier. On 12 September 1959, Jean-Paul married Pauline Ennis, a widow, in Montreal. He died in 2002.

Jean-Marie, Joseph, Jean-Paul, Laurette and Real Beauvais and Stella Moisan
Back, left to right: Jean-Marie, Joseph, and Jean-Paul
Front, left to right: Laurette, Réal and his wife Stella (1987)

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving image

Wishing my Canadian readers and bloggers a very “Happy Thanksgiving”!
Have a safe holiday, everyone!

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

On This Day: des Groseilliers reaches Rupert River in 1668

Rupert River
Rupert River

It was 350 years ago today, on 29 September 1668 that Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers and the crew of the Nonsuch reached Rupert River on James Bay, in present-day Quebec, Canada. [1]

The Nonsuch and the Eaglet, on which Chouart’s business partner Pierre-Esprit Radisson travelled, left London a few months earlier in June. [2] Bad weather forced the Eaglet to return to England, but Chouart’s ship, under Captain Zachariah Gillam, continued to its destination. [3]

Chouart, the French explorer and fur trader, and the ship’s crew made camp at Rupert River and settled in for the winter. The following spring, “almost 300 peaceful Cree” arrived to trade beaver pelts. [4]

The success of this trip led to the creation of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670. [5]

Photo credit:

Wikipedia contributors, "Rupert River", Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia  ( : accessed 26 September 2018).


1. HBC Heritage ( : accessed 25 September 2018), “Nonsuch”.

2. Peter C. Newman, Company of Adventurers: The Story of the Hudson’s Bay Company, 2 vols., (Markham, Ontario: Penguin Books, 1985), I: 107.

3. Newman, Company of Adventurers, I: 108.

4. HBC Heritage ( : accessed 25 September 2018), “Nonsuch”.

5. Newman, Company of Adventurers, I: 110.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What Is Your Earliest Memory?

It’s Saturday and Randy at Genea-Musings has issued his weekly challenge to his readers.

Randy asks, “What is your earliest memory? How old were you, where did you live, who are the characters in your memory?”

My earliest memories are about my parents, my baby sister, and myself. From about 1960 to 1965, when I was 2 to 7 years old, we lived in roomy basement apartment at 248 Commercial Avenue in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. My paternal grandparents Fred and Julie Belair lived directly above us upstairs in the front apartment.

• I remember one Christmas I got a cardboard grocery store, the kind you stand behind and serve your customers at the front through an opening with a counter. I don’t think I played with it much, because that’s my only memory of the little store.

• I remember playing in the front yard while my sister sat in her rather modest-looking metal stroller.

• I remember my Mom painting one of the two bedrooms in our apartment and thinking it was funny when she also painted the bedroom door.

• I remember Mom flushing away one of my pet goldfish when it died. I don't think I mourned it long. 

• I remember learning to print and practising the letter M (or was it W?) on a child’s blackboard easel in my bedroom. I made many attempts, but couldn’t get it right. I tried once more and – success! I was so happy I yelled out to Mom to come see.

• I remember my parents getting ready to go out one evening. I asked them where they were going and Mom replied to a meeting. I didn’t know what a meeting was, but I must have been satisfied with her answer.

• I remember how Mom bundled Marianne and I in our snowsuits and got us into our red wooden sled for a trip somewhere. We probably went to one of three places: the nearby grocery store, shopping in town, or accompanying Mom at one of her afternoons of playing cards with her friends. Sitting against the sides made of wood slats, Mom made sure she tucked us in carefully with blankets to keep us warm. She pulled the long handle and off we went.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Society Saturday: 2018 Kelowna & District Genealogy Conference

K&DGS logo courtesy of

It’s that time of (biennial) year for the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society’s “Harvest Your Family Tree Genealogical Conference & Marketplace 2018”.

The three-day event takes place September 28-30, 2018 in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia.

I attended the past three conferences in 2012, 2014, and 2016 and really enjoyed them.

This year’s conference features 11 speakers, including Canadians Lesley Anderson, Louis Kessler, and Dave Obee, while international speakers include Helen V. Smith from Australia, and Blaine Bettinger and Cyndi Ingle from the U.S.A.

I didn’t register for the Friday workshops (computer labs and lectures), but I signed up for the Meet the Speakers Reception that evening. Blaine Bettinger will present the keynote address, “The Stories Behind the Segments”. I first heard Blaine speak two years ago when I attended the 2016 Northwest Genealogy Conference, hosted by Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society in Arlington, Washington.

I chose the following Saturday workshops:

• “Introduction to DNA”, with Blaine Bettinger
• “Mining the Canadian Census”, with Dave Obee
• “Library & Archives Canada (LAC) Goes West”, with Susanne Sulzberger
• “Using Autosomal DNA for 18th and 19th Century Mysteries”, with Blaine Bettinger

My husband Michael chose these Saturday workshops:

• “Research in the Prairie Provinces – Finding Your Story”, with Mary Read
• “Mining the Canadian Census”, with Dave Obee
• “Using Third-Party Tools to Analyze Your Autosomal DNA”, with Blaine Bettinger
• “Using Double Match Triangulation to Find DNA Ancestors”, with Louis Kessler

This year’s KDGS conference promises to be a great weekend. For more information, visit Harvest Your Family Tree 2018.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Sarah (Martin) Grozelle’s 1938 Death Registration

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the death of Sarah Martin. Her husband Peter Grozelle (1838-1919) and my maternal grandfather Eugène Desgroseilliers (1900-1960) are distant relatives. They are descendants of the famous Canadian explorer and fur trader Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers.

Sarah was born on 8 May 1847 in Otonabee, Peterborough County, in present-day Ontario, Canada. Her father James Martin emigrated from Ireland and her mother Lucy Watters came from England. Sarah received the Sacrament of Baptism on 5 June 1847 at St Joseph’s church in Douro, near Otonabee.

When she was 22 years old, Sarah married Pierre de Grozellier on 13 February 1870 at the Church of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lindsay, Ontario. Pierre was born in 1838 in Châteauguay, Canada East (now the province of Quebec). After his family moved to Ontario about 1850, they shortened their surname to Groselle or Grozelle, while Pierre (and his father Pierre) Anglicized their Christian names to Peter.

Sarah and Peter had three sons and four daughters, born between 1871 and 1887. Their younger son Martin died tragically in 1896; see Sympathy Saturday: Martin Grozelle

Sarah Martin Grozelle 1938 death registration
Sarah (Martin) Grozelle death registration (Ancestry)

Peter died in 1919 and Sarah survived him nearly twenty years. She died, age 91, on 18 September 1938 at home in Miners Bay, Haliburton County, Ontario. [1] She was ill for five days with bronchial pneumonia before she succumbed to the infection. Sarah’s burial took place on 20 September 1938 in nearby Kinmount.


1. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938, 1943, and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947”, digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 30 December 2013), entry for Sarah Grozelle (written as Sarah Grozelle, indexed as Sarah Grozella), 18 September 1938; citing Archives of Ontario, Registrations of Deaths, 1869-1938; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; microfilm series MS935, reel 607. Sarah’s youngest son, Peter Grozelle, was the informant.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- What Was the First Genealogical Society You Joined?

It’s Saturday and Randy at Genea-Musings has issued his weekly challenge to his readers.

Randy asks, “What was the first genealogical society you joined? Why did you join that one? What other societies are you a member of?” He’d also like us to “Share your response in a comment on this blog post, in your own blog post (and provide a link in a comment on this post), or on Facebook or Google+”.

The first genealogical society I joined was the Société Généalogique Canadienne-Française; that was in 1986. My interest in genealogy began over a decade earlier, though, when I was about 14-15 years old. I didn’t join a genealogical society until the 1980s, because I didn’t know they existed. I don’t remember how I heard about the SGCF, but found out somehow and then decided to become a member. I let my membership lapse in 1998 (being married and having a baby left me with little time to research), but became a member again in 2009.

Over the years I joined the Société de généalogie de Québec, the Société de généalogie de l’Outaouais, the Société franco-ontarienne d’histoire et de généalogie, the Ontario Genealogical Society, the British Columbia Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and the Southern California Genealogical Society. (I might have forgotten one or two.)

Joining French societies in Quebec and Ontario made sense, because that’s where the bulk of my ancestors were from. In time, I branched out, so to speak, to other societies, because I wanted to learn more about methodology and more lately, watch genealogy webinars.

Currently, I belong to only one – the Société Généalogique Canadienne-Française, the very first one I joined.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sibling Saturday: The Children of Albert and Clémentine (Léveillé) Desgroseilliers

Today’s Sibling Saturday offering is the fourth part in an ongoing series about my ancestors’ families. Here are the previous articles in this series:

Sibling Saturday: The Children of Jean-Baptiste Bouchard (1698-1755) 

Sibling Saturday: The Children of Pierre Janvry dit Belair (1851-1941) 

Sibling Saturday: The Children of Olivier and Elizabeth (Vanasse) Vanasse 

My maternal great-grandparents Albert and Clémentine were born in Embrun, Russell County, Ontario. They married in April 1899 in nearby South Indian (now Limoges), but within a few months moved north to Nipissing (now Sudbury) District. They made their home in the village of St. Charles, where Albert’s parents lived. Albert, a farmer, and Clémentine were the parents of 14 children, 11 sons and 3 daughters. They suffered the loss of seven children during their lifetime, including my grandfather Eugène. Albert died in December 1957 and Clémentine passed away in October 1969.
Albert and Clementine Desgroseilliers Family
Albert and Clémentine (seated) with some of their children, about 1955.
L to R: Flavie, Roméo, Ovide, Donat, Ovila, and Léon.

This photo shows them with six of their children. It might not be obvious from the picture, but the Desgroseilliers family had taller than average members. For example, Albert was about 6’5” and his son my grandfather Eugène (not in the photo) was 6’7”. Clémentine and her daughter Flavie were also tall.

Children of Albert and Clémentine (Léveillé) Desgroseilliers

1. Eugène Desgroseilliers
Eugène was born on 30 August 1900 in St. Charles, Ontario. On 18 August 1925, he married Juliette Beauvais in Moonbeam, Ontario. Juliette was the sister of Laurette (Lorette) Beauvais, who married Eugène’s brother Ovide. Eugène died on 20 September 1960 in Sarnia, Ontario. He was a chief of police in the 1920s-1930s and a carpenter in the 1940s-1950s. Eugène and Juliette are my maternal grandparents.

2. Arthur Desgroseilliers
Arthur was born on 11 July 1901 in St. Charles. When he was 21 years old, Arthur contracted typhoid fever and died about five days later on 10 May 1923 in Kapuskasing, Ontario. Arthur, a farmer, was unmarried. I’ve written about my great-uncle at Arthur Desgroseilliers (1901-1923)

3. Alma Desgroseilliers
Alma was born on 14 January 1904 in St. Charles. She was only three and a half years old when she died from bronchitis on 7 July 1907 in Cobalt, Ontario, where her family lived. The story of Alma’s brief life can be read at Wednesday’s Child: Alma Desgroseilliers (1904-1907).
Eugene Desgroseilliers and his sister Alma and brother Arthur
The three eldest: Eugène (left), Alma and Arthur, about 1906

4. Ovila Hormidas Desgroseilliers
Ovila Hormidas was born on 21 October 1905 in St. Charles. He appears to have died young, presumably before 11 December 1906, becase a brother of the same name was born on that date.

5. Hormidas Desgroseilliers
Hormidas was born on 11 December 1906 in South Indian (Limoges) where his family resided at the time. He died on 5 February 1934 in Cochrane, Ontario. The cause of death was a kidney and bowel infection that led to generalised peritonitis. Hormidas, who was 27 years old, was unmarried.

6. Roméo Desgroseilliers
Roméo was born on 26 May 1908 in St. Charles. He married on 11 October 1933 in Moonbeam, Marie-Claire Albert. Roméo died on 15 April 1995 in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario.

7. Anna Desgroseilliers
Anna was born on 10 December 1909 in St. Charles. She and her mother Clémentine were on a visit to South Indian (Limoges), when she died there on 7 August 1910 aged eight months old.

8. Léonidas Desgroseilliers
Léonidas was born on 21 July 1911 in St. Charles. On 1 August 1935, he married Thérèse Credger in Moonbeam. Léonidas died on 6 March 1999 in Labelle, Quebec. His nieces Madeleine and Jacqueline (Eugène’s daughters) knew him by his nicknames of Léo, Nida, and Oneida.

9. Flavie Desgroseilliers
Flavie was born on 16 May 1913 in St. Charles. She married on 27 September 1932 Georges Léonard in Moonbeam. Flavie died on 3 October 1991 in Sudbury.

9. Léandre (Léon) Desgroseilliers
Léandre was born on 15 March 1915 in St. Charles. On 22 December 1938, he married Annette Potvin in Rouyn, Quebec. Léandre, a carpenter, died on 28 May 1996 in Sturgeon Falls. Annette’s sister Lucille Potvin married Léandre’s brother Ovila.

10. Donat Desgroseilliers
Donat was born on 25 June 1916 in St. Charles. He died on 20 October 1979 in Sturgeon Falls. Donat, a farmer, never married.

11. Ovide Desgroseilliers
Ovide was born on 9 April 1918 in Moonbeam. He married Laurette (Lorette) Beauvais there on 9 September 1936. Ovila died on 9 June 1978 in Moonbeam. Laurette’s sister Juliette Beauvais married Ovide’s brother Eugène. My Mom was very fond of her aunt and uncle, because they reminded her of her parents.

12. Ovila Desgroseilliers
Ovila was born on 6 March 1920 in Moonbeam. He married Lucille Potvin there on 6 January 1943. Ovila died on 11 November 1997 in North Bay, Ontario. Lucille’s sister Annette Potvin married Ovila’s brother Léandre.

13. Joseph Desgroseilliers
Joseph was born on 8 March 1924 in Moonbeam. He married on 25 December 1946 in Cache Bay, Ontario, Florence Renaud. He died in a vehicle accident on 2 August 1957 in Sturgeon Falls. His widow remarried and died in 2017. Their son Albert visits Mom (his cousin) at our home whenever he travels to B.C.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.