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.


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”, ( : 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.

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