Friday, March 14, 2014

52 Ancestors: #11 Joseph Beauvais – Resident of Canada and of USA

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 11th week of this challenge, I chose my maternal great-grandfather Joseph Beauvais (1877-1937).
Joseph Beauvais and wife Olivine Hotte
Joseph and Olivine (Hotte) Beauvais

Biographical Info

Joseph was born on 11 April 1877 in Ripon, Papineau County, Quebec. He was the second of seven children of Pierre Beauvais and his wife Arline Deschatelets. On 16 August 1897, Joseph married Olivine Hotte in Hartwell (later Chénéville), near Ripon. Between the birth of the couple’s first child, son Ovide, in June 1898 and autumn 1899, Joseph and his young family moved to Tupper Lake, Franklin County, New York. Since Joseph was a bûcheron (woodcutter, timberman or faller) on the 1901 census of Canada, I suspect that he was in search of work in a part of New York that was known for its lumber production. After son Oscar was born there in November 1899, Joseph was back in Hartwell by March 1901, where he is enumerated on that year’s census with his wife and two sons.

Places of Residence

After his return to Canada, Joseph lived in other communities, so to help me visualize these localities, I created an “ancestral migration” map and added his places of residences on it. I got the idea for this activity a few years ago when I came across a genealogy book or website that suggested creating a map showing where an ancestor lived. Now that I think about it, it might have been 
The Unpuzzling Your Past Workbook, by Emily Anne Croom (1996). Since that time, I’ve done a few of these maps for myself, which I title “Ancestral Migration of [name of ancestor]”. I’m not sure if author Croom coined the term, or if I came up with it on my own.
Map of Quebec and part of New York State
Image 1: Map of Quebec, including part of New York State

Image 1 shows where Joseph lived in the province of Quebec and in New York State. Note: Tupper Lake appears on this map of Quebec, but is, of course, in the USA. (Combining Canada and USA on one map was an easy way to show the location of Tupper Lake in relation to where Joseph lived in Canada.)

Map of Ontario
Image 2: Map of Ontario

Image 2 shows where Joseph lived in the province of Ontario. It was here, in Moonbeam, that he died on 17 September 1937. Joseph was survived by all of his sixteen children, his wife Olivine having predeceased him in 1926.

Make Your Own

If you’d like to make your own “ancestral migration” maps, print an outline map of your desired province or state, determine when and where your ancestor lived, locate those places of residence on your map, make a legend showing the date range of those locations, add some sticky dots (my favorite are the Avery brand ¼” round assorted colour-coding labels), and then write letters inside the dots to correspond with the legend. If you want, include capital cities or other important locations to give you an idea of how close or far your ancestor lived from those places. Be sure to give your map a title and the date you created it, and you’re done!

Source for map outlines (without the addition of yellow stickers and handwritten text added by me):

“The Atlas of Canada”, database, Natural Resources Canada ( : accessed 23 September 2009), “Reference Maps: Provincial and Territorial Outline – Quebec Map” and “Reference Maps: Provincial and Territorial Outline – Ontario Map”. The "reproduction is a copy of an official work that is published by Natural Resources Canada and [...] the reproduction has not been produced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of, Natural Resources Canada”.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

No comments:

Post a Comment