Sunday, January 27, 2019

New Year’s Resolution – My Genealogy Disaster Plan

I hadn’t planned to make any New Year’s resolutions for 2019, but changed my mind after I thought, “What if I make only *one* resolution this year?”. One decision shouldn’t be too difficult to keep, I reasoned.

My resolution for 2019 is to create a “genealogy disaster plan” – do something to protect what I cherish the most, genealogically speaking. I searched for articles about this topic and found one by Denise May Levenick. I adapted her two-part, 14 steps plan to suit me.

First, I assessed the risks that I might encounter: water, fire or earthquake damage, hard drive failure, or theft. It was an eye opener to realize there’s so many ways to lose the genealogical and historical items I’ve gathered over the decades.

Heirloom christening gown

Second, I prioritized what I wanted to safeguard immediately: my family’s 90+ year old christening gown (see above) and original documents (vital records).

Third, I’ll digitize those vital records so that I have copies in case of loss. When done, I’ll store the originals and the christening gown (which is already in an heirloom box) together in one container. That container might be a tote that I can quickly grab in an emergency or it might be something more heavy-duty like a water- and fire-proof safe.

My personal genealogy disaster plan is a long-term project, so these are good first steps. Stay tuned for progress reports.

Copyright © 2019, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Photographs Through the Generations

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

Tonight’s mission is to determine:

1) How many generations do you have photographs or portraits of your ancestors and descendants? It can be any just can't be broken!
2) Tell us the line, or better yet, show us the unbroken line. Provide birth-death years, and the approximate date that the photograph or portrait was made.
3) Share your generation picture line in a blog post of your own, or in a Facebook post, or in a comment to this post.

Here is my 6-generation picture line:

1. My great-great-grandfather Pierre Desgroseilliers (1841-1904), born in Ste-Martine, Quebec and died in St. Charles, Ontario. Pierre looks rather young, so the photo might date to the time he married in 1865.

Pierre Desgroseilliers born 1841 died 1904

2. My great-grandfather Albert Desgroseilliers (1879-1957) in the mid-1950s.

Albert Desgroseilliers born 1879 died 1957

3. My grandfather Eugène Desgroseilliers (1900-1960) in 1959.

Eugene Desgroseilliers born 1900 died 1960

4. My mother Jacqueline (Desgroseilliers) Belair in 2010.

Jacqueline Desgroseilliers Belair

5. Myself, Yvonne (Belair) Demoskoff in 2017.
Yvonne Belair

6. My descendant – my son Nicholas Demoskoff, in 2014.

Nicholas Demoskoff

Thanks for another great challenge, Randy!

Copyright © 2019, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Friday’s Faces from the Past: Remembering Johanne Laneville - Correction

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post about the passing of an old family friend, Johanne Laneville. After reading her obituary today, I realized that my post contained a couple of errors, so I’m posting the corrections here. First, Johanne’s name is spelled Johann in her obituary, and second, she was the mother of three, not two, children. My apologies to her family and my readers.

Maurice and Johanne Laneville

A family friend passed away two days ago on Boxing Day, December 26th.

Her name was Johanne (Lavictoire) Laneville, and she was the wife of Maurice and the mother of two children.

I remember Johanne as a lively, happy and fun person. She always had a smile and a twinkle in her eye.

Her husband Maurice was a cousin of my late uncle Adrien Laneville, who married my Dad’s sister Joan.

Johanne and Maurice were part of my parents’ circle of friends in our home town of Timmins, Ontario.

Although we lost touch with Johanne and her family after we moved to British Columbia almost 40 years ago, I still have fond memories of visiting her home when I was young.

The above photo of Johanne and Maurice was taken at our house at Christmas about 1961.

Rest in peace, Johanne.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

Christmas tree 2018

From my family to yours:

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Santa Claus Memories

Randy at Genea-Musings issued his weekly Saturday challenge to his readers.

Tonight it’s “Your Santa Claus Memories” in which we answer four questions and then share our answers in a blog post, a comment, or at Facebook.

Randy’s questions:

a) Did you ever send a letter to Santa Claus?
b) Did you ever visit Santa and "make a list?"
c) Do you still believe in Santa Claus?
d) When did you find out "the truth" about Santa Claus?

Here are my answers:

a) Did you ever send a letter to Santa Claus?
I’m pretty sure I sent Santa one or two letters as a child, because I can still see myself addressing the envelopes. That’s about all the memory I have, though.

b) Did you ever visit Santa and "make a list?"
There were a couple of department stores in town, but I don’t recall if either one had a Santa. I did see Santa at some sponsored Christmas parties. Here’s a picture of me when I was 5 years old sitting on the old man’s lap. I’m pretty sure I didn’t believe he was the real Santa, but since I got a present from him, I didn’t question him too much.

Yvonne with Santa Claus

The following year at the next party, I tried to tug at his beard, because I still wasn’t convinced that he was the real Santa.

c) Do you still believe in Santa Claus?
I loved Christmas as a child and later as an adult when my son Nicholas was young. I believe in the magic of Santa Claus and all the fun of Christmas, like Réveillon, Midnight Mass, family, relatives and friends.

d) When did you find out "the truth" about Santa Claus?
I was about 10 or 11 when a friend told me she didn’t believe in Santa Claus and that she knew he didn’t exist. I was crushed to hear her say that with such conviction and went home to cry and tell my mother.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Make a Surname Christmas Tree

Randy at Genea-Musings issued his weekly Saturday challenge to his readers.

This time it’s “Make your Surname Christmas Tree using your ancestral surnames - there's no limit on the number of surnames - and decorate your tree as you wish.” Then, “Show us your Surname Christmas Tree and tell us how you made it in a blog post of your own, in a Facebook post. Please leave a comment here so we can all see your creation.”

Surname Christmas Tree

Here is how I did my surname tree:

1. I opened a Microsoft Word document and added my family surnames from the first generation (me) through the sixth generation (my 3x great-grandparents). I tried a fancy tree shape like Randy’s tree, but couldn’t make it work, so, instead, I used a basic tree shape.

2. Like Randy, I chose green for the surnames in the tree and brown for the surnames in the trunk.

3. I added Christmas clip art images found in Word.

4. I used the Snipping Tool to copy the completed tree and saved it as a JPG.

5. I opened the JPG in Picasa 3, where I cropped it.

6. I exported the cropped image to my blog folder.

7. I went back to my blog Word doc, found the image in the blog folder, and then imported it to my doc.

8. I added this list of instructions and finished my blog post. It took about two hours to make my Christmas surname tree.

Thanks for another fun challenge, Randy!

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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.