Friday, July 04, 2014

52 Ancestors: #27 Olivier Vanasse and the shaky leaf hint

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”.

I’m back to focusing on more recent ancestors, and so, for the 27th week of this challenge I chose Olivier Vanasse (1832-1914).

Olivier is my paternal great-great-grandfather and is number 20 in my ancestor list.

Born on 18 February 1832 in the parish of St-Michel of Yamaska, Yamaska County, Quebec, Olivier was the second of the twelve children of Régis Vanasse and his wife Josephte Messier. [1]

On 20 April 1852, Olivier married Anne Isabelle (aka Elisabeth) Frappier in Chapeau, in present-day Pontiac County, Quebec. [2] Thinking I’d find him on the 1851 census, which occurred in January 1852, I was disappointed that I didn’t locate Olivier despite a page-by-page search for the Township of Chichester. [3] I couldn’t search in Chapeau itself, because it didn’t exist as a sub-district at this time. The other possibility was that Olivier lived in sub-district Allumettes (Chapeau and Chichester are located on Ile aux Allumettes in Pontiac County), but unfortunately those census records have not survived. Last, I couldn’t verify if Olivier still lived at home in Yamaska with his parents, because the returns for that sub-district are also lost or missing. [4]

One day while I was updating my ancestral tree at, I noticed there was an “Historical Records” shaky leaf hint for Olivier. The hint was for an Olivier Viens on the 1851 census. I checked out the image (I never just look at the summary) and found a 20-year-old Olivier Viens in the household of Emmanuel Viens. [5] Exact familial relationships aren’t stated, but there are columns for family members and columns for those who aren’t. Olivier’s entry indicates that he is a “membre de la famille” (member of the family).

Could this Olivier Viens be my ancestor Olivier Vanasse?

Although I’ve only done a quick bit of searching, I don’t think he is.

For example, I found Olivier Viens' baptism record. It shows that he is the son of Emmanuel Vient [sic] by his wife Josephte L’homme, and that he was born and baptised on 9 November 1832 in St-Jean-Baptiste, Rouville County, Quebec. [6].

I then located Olivier Viens’ marriage record in which he married Marie Célina Beaudriau on 25 January 1859 in St-Mathias, Rouville County, Quebec. The record states that he is single and the of age son of Emmanuel Vient [sic] and Marie L’Homme dite Artois. [7]

Some hints from work out, but in this case, it didn’t. Olivier Viens, as seen on the 1851 census, is not Olivier Vanasse.


1. St-Michel (Yamaska, Quebec), parish register, 1832, p. 11 verso, no entry no., Jean Olivier Vanas [sic] baptism, 18 February 1832; St-Michel parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 15 June 2010).

2. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1846-1856, p. 152 verso, no entry no., Oliver Vinace – Anne Isabelle Frappier [sic] marriage, 20 April 1852; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 1 March 2011). Note that Olivier is indexed as Olivin Verran.

3. Dave Obee, Counting Canada: A Genealogical Guide to the Canadian Census (Victoria, BC: Dave Obee, 2012), 88. The 1851 census of the Canadas (East and West), now the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, was taken “on the second Monday of January 1852”.

4. Censuses, database, Library and Archives Canada ( : accessed 26 June 2014), “Census of 1851: 1851 Census Districts and Sub-districts: Canada East”.

5. 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, St Jean Baptiste, Rouville, Canada East (Quebec), population schedule A, p. 31 (stamped), line 34, Olivier Viens; digital image, ( : accessed 26 June 2014); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm C-1137.

6. St-Jean-Baptiste (St-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec), parish register, 1832, p. 7 recto, entry no. B125, Olivier Vient [sic] baptism, 9 November 1832; St-Jean-Baptiste parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 26 June 2014).

7. St-Mathias (St-Mathias, Quebec), parish register, 1859, p. 2 recto, no entry no., Olivier Vient – Marie Célina Beaudriau [sic] marriage, 25 January 1859; St-Mathias parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 26 June 2014).

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Devon. Maybe the next shaky leaf might work out :)