Friday, August 29, 2014

52 Ancestors: #35 Cordélia Racette

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 35th week of this challenge, I chose Cordélia Racette (1849-1928).

Cordélia is my maternal great-great-grandmother and is number 27 in my ancestor list.

Cordelia Racette
Cordélia (Racette) Léveillé

Born on 11 November 1849, Marie Delphine Cordélie Racette was baptized the next day in St-Pierre-du-Portage parish church in L’Assomption, L’Assomption County, Quebec. [1]

Known by her third name, Cordélia was the eldest daughter among the six sons and four daughters of Joseph Racette and his wife Marcelline Gagnon.

In about 1856, the Racette family left their home in L’Assomption County for Russell County, Ontario, where the younger children were born.

Cordélia married her third cousin Joseph Léveillé, a widower, on an autumn day in 1870. I wrote last week about how I haven’t been able to locate the exact date and place of their wedding through civil registration or sacramental records; see 52 Ancestors: #34 Joseph Léveillé.

With her marriage, Cordélia became stepmother to Joseph’s six year old daughter Adeline. For the next twenty-four years, she also became mother to her own brood of eleven children – four sons and seven daughters, including my great-grandmother Clémentine. The youngest child in the family, Eugène, was born in 1896 when Cordélia was 47 years old.

In June 1921, Cordélia and Joseph made their final appearances on a federal Canadian census. They lived in Russell County on their farm in the village of Limoges (known as South Indian at this time), with their daughter Adélaïde, their housekeeper. [2]

After Joseph’s death in late 1922, Cordélia went to live with her younger son Louis in Eastview, now part of Ottawa. She died there at home on 86 Cedar Street on 17 December 1928. [3]

Louis was the informant on his mother’s death registration. Interestingly, he gave Cordélia’s date of birth as 10 October 1849, four weeks earlier than the date seen in her baptism record. The cause of death was endocarditis chronic of three months duration. [4]

Cordélia’s funeral took place in St-Charles church in Eastview, followed by burial in Limoges. [5] She was survived by all her children, except her eldest son Joseph, who died as an infant in 1875, and by her stepdaughter Adeline, who died in 1894.


Photo supplied by Paul Lavoie.

1. St-Pierre-du-Portage (L’Assomption, Quebec), parish register, 1849, p. 38 verso, entry no. B.168, Marie Delphine Cordelie Racette (written as Marie Delphine Cordelie Racette, indexed as Marie Delphine Cordelie Routh) baptism, 12 November 1849; St-Pierre-du-Portage parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 20 August 2014).

2. 1921 census of Canada, Cambridge (Township), Russell, Ontario, population schedule, enumeration district 125, subdistrict 3, p. 9, dwelling 70, family 70, Joseph Leveille [sic] household; digital image, ( : accessed 11 September 2013); citing Library and Archives Canada, Sixth Census of Canada, 1921, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2013; Series RG31, Statistics Canada Fonds.

3. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947”, digital image, ( : accessed 20 August 2014), entry for Cordelia Leveillée [sic], 17 December 1928; citing Archives of Ontario, Registrations of Deaths, 1869-1938, MS 935, reel 358; Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

4. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947”, digital image,, entry for Cordelia Leveillée, 17 December 1928. Endocarditis is “inflammation of the inside lining of the heart chambers and heart valves (endocardium)”. MedlinePlus, database, National Institutes of Health ( : accessed 20 August 2014), “Endocarditis”.

5. St-Viateur (Limoges, Ontario), parish register, 1928-1939, p. 8, entry no. S.20 (1928), Cordelia Racette burial, 19 December 1928; St-Viateur parish; digital image, “Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967”, ( : accessed 20 August 2014).

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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