Friday, July 11, 2014

52 Ancestors: #28 Elisabeth Frappier

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 28th week of this challenge, I chose Elisabeth Frappier (ca 1832-1909).

Elisabeth is my paternal great-great-grandmother and is number 21 in my ancestor list.

Her date and location of birth are unknown. She was baptised on 1 February 1836 as "Nancy Frappier", daughter of Michel Frappier and Lizette Neveu. [1]

Elisabeth was 4 years old in 1836, which means she was born about 1832. Her baptism took place during an expedition to Fort Coulonge and nearby communities by a missionary priest surnamed Brunet. This wilderness area didn't have a church or even a chapel where ecclesiastical records could be kept. Elisabeth’s baptism record (including those of the other baptisms that took place during this mission) was accordingly sent to Notre-Dame parish in Ottawa.

If you examine Notre-Dame's "index des baptêmes" (index of baptisms) for this time frame, you might conclude that Elisabeth's baptism took place in Ottawa. However, a careful reading of her baptism record reveals that it took place in or near Fort Coulonge, Lower Canada (now the province of Quebec) during the late winter of 1836. Fort Coulonge, located a little to the northeast of Ottawa, was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post from 1827 to 1853.

In April 1852, Elisabeth, as “Anne Isabelle Frappier”, married Olivier Vanasse. [2] I wrote about him last week here. The couple had six children: Michael (1853-1933), Julia (1856-1895), Henriette (1856-1883), John (1858-1931), Elizabeth (1860-1953) and Olivier (1863-1944), my great-grandfather.

Elisabeth died on 9 July 1900 in Chichester, Pontiac County, Quebec. In her burial record, she is referred to as “Nancie Frappier” [3], but on her tombstone she is “Elizabeth Vanasse”. [4]


1. Notre-Dame (Ottawa, Ontario), parish register, 1825-1836, no p. no., entry no. B3 (1836), Nancy Frappier baptism, 1 February 1836; Basilique Notre-Dame parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 28 May 2011).

2. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1846-1856, p. 152 verso, no entry no. (1852), 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).

3. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1909, no p. no., entry no. S22, Nancie Frappier burial, 11 July 1909; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 27 June 2014).

4. St. Alphonse de Ligouri RC Cemetery, digital images, The Canadian Gravemarker Gallery ( : accessed 10 July 2014), photograph, grave marker of Elizabeth Vanasse, Chapeau, Quebec.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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