Sunday, January 31, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized! Jan 24th-31st 2016

Blogger DearMYRTLE wants to help genealogists get organized for 2016. She proposes a weekly set of tasks to help us achieve our goal. Ol’ Myrt explains that “Each week's post will feature options for paper and digitally-oriented genealogists, with an eye to the beginner and intermediate researcher.” If you want to participate in this year-long activity, read more about it at FINALLY Get Organized! 

First, a confession. I didn’t complete last week’s (Jan. 17-23) tasks. The first of two tasks was to “Transcribe every document you've collected on the first 4-four generations in your surname/maiden name binder.” I counted how many documents I had in those first four generations – there were 32 of them. I felt overwhelmed by the amount of work that would entail. So, I procrastinated, and by the end of the week, I hadn’t done any transcribing.

Here’s how I’ve completed the fourth week’s tasks.  

Task 1. “Volunteer at FamilySearch Indexing.”

I looked at what projects were available for Canada, and found five of them:

• Canada, British Columbia (Small Batches)—Victoria Times Newspaper Vitals, 1901–1939
• Canada, Manitoba—Probate Records, 1871–1930
• Canada, Ontario—County Marriage Registers, 1858–1869
• Canada, Ontario—District Marriages, 1801–1858
• Canada—Recensement de 1881 [Partie B]

I haven’t yet signed up as a volunteer indexer, but when I do, I’ll choose either the newspaper vitals or the 1881 census (in French).

Task 2. “Learn to browse the image collections at”


Task 3. “Create surname binders for yourself (if female) and your mother's maiden name, but leave them at that for the moment.”

A few years ago, I created a surname binder for my mother’s maiden name (Desgroseilliers), and more recently, I created one for my husband and I. (I also appear as a tab in my maiden surname binder.) Task done.

Task 4. “Update your genealogy program to include your siblings”.

I added my siblings (my sister and my brother) in my genealogy program (Family Tree Maker 2012) today. Task done.

Now that the first month of DearMYRTLE's organization checklists is over, I estimate that I've done about 75% of the work. I hope to improve that percentage with the February tasks!

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Church Record Sunday: Frappier – Neveu Marriage

My 3x paternal great-grandparents Michel Frappier and Louise Neveu married on 31 January 1836. [1] Today marks the 180th anniversary of their union.
1836 marriage record of Michel Frappier and Louise Neveu

Michel and Louise were married by Pascal Brunet, the curé (curate) of Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours church in Petite Nation seigneurie, Lower Canada. It was one of six marriages he performed that day. Father Brunet undertook a mission in early 1836 to serve the needs of Roman Catholics who lived in nearby counties that didn’t have resident priests. This particular mission took him to the remote settlements of Grand Calumet, la Passe, Fort Coulonge, and Ile aux Allumettes in what is now Pontiac County, Quebec. [2]

After the mission was completed, the baptism and marriage records were placed in the archives of Notre-Dame church in Ottawa, not in Father Brunet’s own parish.

It’s unfortunate that the Frappier – Neveu marriage record contains the minimum of information: names of the bride and groom and names of the witnesses. Additional details that were required by ecclesiastical law and civil law are missing: for instance, Michel and Louise’ ages, their parish or place of residence, their marital status, and most importantly, the names of their parents. [3]

Father Brunet also did not record if Michel and Louise were previously married and if such a marriage required to be rehabilitated. They appear to have lived as a couple, however, since about 1832, when their daughter Elizabeth (my 2x great-grandmother) was born. [4]

The marriage record (above) reads in French:

Michel Frappier et Louise Neveu, en présen / ce de Frs Leclerc, Hubert Neveu, Louis Lamarche.

In English:

Michel Frappier and Louise Neveu, in the presen / ce of Frs Leclerc, Hubert Neveu, Louis Lamarche.


1. Notre-Dame (Ottawa, Ontario), parish register, 1825-1836, p. 301, entry no. 2 (1836), Michel Frappier – Louise Neveu marriage, 31 January 1836; Notre-Dame parish; digital images, “Quebec, Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1979”, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 January 2016).

2. Notre-Dame (Ottawa, Ontario), parish register, 1825-1836, p. 300 and p. 302; digital images, “Quebec, Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1979”, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 January 2016).

3. René Jetté, Traité de généalogie (Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 1991), 438, “Tableau 10.3: Evolution du contenu des actes de mariage d’après la réglementation ecclésiastique en vigueur au Québec” [Evolution of the contents of marriage records according to ecclesiastical regulation in force in Quebec].

4. Notre-Dame (Ottawa, Ontario), parish register, 1825-1836, no page no., entry no. B.3 (1836), Nancy Frappier [sic] baptism, 1 February 1836; Notre-Dame parish; digital images, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 28 May 2011).

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wedding Wednesday: Desgroseilliers – Lemieux

Marriage record of Francois Desgroseilliers and Elisabeth Lemieux
François Desgroseilliers - Elisabeth Lemieux marriage record (FamilySearch)

On 28 January 1828, a young couple presented themselves at the Roman Catholic church in La Prairie, located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River across from Montreal. It was a wintry Monday when François, 23 years old, and Elisabeth, 17 years old, stood in her parish of La Nativité de la Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie to be wed. [1]

Father J.B. Boucher officiated at the ceremony. Present in the congregation were François' father and his younger brothers Joseph and Michel, as well as Elisabeth’s older brothers Jean Baptiste, Pierre, and François. (Their father Jean Baptiste had died almost two years earlier in May 1826.)

After their wedding, François and Elisabeth went to live in his home parish of Ste-Martine, in nearby Châteauguay county. Most of their eleven children (six sons and five daughters) were born here, including younger son Pierre, who is my 2x maternal great-grandfather.

François died in August 1853. Elisabeth survived him by thirty-eight years, and died in July 1891 in Embrun, Russell County, Ontario.

Their marriage record (above) reads in French:

L’an mil huit-cent vingt-huit le vingt-huit Janvier / après trois publications de promesse de mariage faites par / trois Dimanches consécutifs aux prônes des messes paroissiales / tant de cette Paroisse que de celle de Ste Martine ainsi qu’il m’est apparu par le certificat de [Messire] Mereuve même / curé en la ditte Paroisse entre Francois Desgroseilliers / laboureur, de la Paroisse de Ste Martine fils majeur de Fran- / cois Desgroseilliers et de Louise Roi ses pere et mere de la / ditte Paroisse de Ste Martine d’une part, et Elizabeth Lemieux / de cette Paroisse fille mineure de feu Jean Baptiste Lemieux / et de Marie Anne Séguin ses pere et mere de cette Paroisse / d’une autre part, ne s’étant découvert aucun empêchement, ni / formée aucune opposition au dit Mariage, Nous Prêtre soussigné / curé en cette Paroisse, leur avons, du consentement des parens / requis par le droit donné la benediction nuptial après / avoir reçu leur consentement mutual par paroles de presents, / et ce en présence de Francois Desgroseilliers pere de l’Epoux / Joseph Desgroseilliers et Michel Desgroseilliers ses freres et Jean / Baptiste Lemieux, Pierre Lemieux et Francois Lemieux freres / de l’épouse, et Pascal Lussier qui ainsi que les epoux ont déclaré / ne savoir signer de ce enquis lecture faite

In English:

The year 1828 the 28 January / after three publications of promise of marriage made by / three consecutive Sundays at [the] sermons of the parish masses / as much in this Parish as in the one of Ste Martine as well as it has appeared to me by the certificate of [Messire] Mereuve same / curate in the said Parish between Francois Desgroseilliers laborer, of the Parish of Ste Martine son of age of Fran- / cois Desgroseilliers and Louise Roi his father and mother of the / said Parish of Ste Martine on the one part, and Elizabeth Lemieux / of this Parish minor daughter of the late Jean Baptiste Lemieux / and of Marie Anne Séguin her father and mother of this Parish / of the other part, not discovering any impediment, nor / formed any opposition to said Marriage, We Priest undersigned / curate in this Parish, having given, of the consent of the parents / required by law given the nuptial blessing after / having received their spoken mutual consent of those present / and this in presence of Francois Desgroseilliers father of the Groom / Joseph Desgroseilliers and Michel Desgroseilliers his brothers and Jean / Baptiste Lemieux, Pierre Lemieux and Francois Lemieux brothers / of the bride, and Pascal Lussier who as well as the [bride and groom] have declared not knowing how to sign [their names] [have inquired] [reading done]


1. "Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979", digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 January 2016), La Prairie > Nativité-de-la-Prairie-de-la-Magdeleine > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1821-1835 > image 300 of 734; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wordless Wednesday: The 1988 Winter Olympics Torch in Hope, BC

1988 Winter Olympics torch near Hope, BC

I captured this image of the 1988 Winter Olympics torch as it approached Hope, British Columbia in January 1988 on its way to the games in Calgary, Alberta. My family and I later attended the relay festivities in town, where we met the Olympic mascots and lit mini-torches from the Olympic flame.

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Church Record Sunday: Pierre Janvry dit Belair’s 1852 Baptism Record

Today – 24 January – marks the 164th anniversary of the baptism of my paternal great-grandfather Pierre Janvry dit Belair. [1]

Baptism record of Pierre Janvry dit Belair
Pierre Janvry dit Belair baptism record (FamilySearch)

I recently downloaded the above image from FamilySearch, but I first saw Pierre’s baptism record about 30 years ago. I was on vacation in Ottawa at the time, and decided to visit the Archives nationales du Québec (Centre de l’Outaouais) across the river in Hull (now Gatineau), Quebec.

I chose a microfilm reel of baptism, marriage and burial records and hoped to find Pierre’s baptism, thinking he should appear under either “Janvry” or his dit name “Belair”. I knew that he was born in December 1851, so I concentrated on that month. I was puzzled when I couldn’t find him, so tried a second time and included January 1852. As I viewed that month, something caught my eye. The name in the sidebar on the microfilm was challenging to read, but it looked like “Peter Geanvrier”. I wondered if this person could be my Pierre Janvry, so I read the text and realized it was my ancestor. Pleased with my find, I immediately made a paper copy of the page.

When I began looking at those microfilmed records, it hadn’t occurred to me to keep in mind that Pierre’s name might be spelled differently from what I was used to. I imagine it must have been difficult for the officiating Irish-born Oblate priest Thomas O’Boyle to understand my French great-great-grandfather pronounce his surname. [2] Father O’Boyle might have figured that “Geanvrier” was close enough to “Janvry”.

The baptism record (above) reads in English:

On the twenty fourth day of January in / the year one thousand eight hundred and / fifty two, we the undersigned Priest / have baptized Pierre born the first / of December last of the lawful marriage / of Paul Geanvrier & Angèle Lalonde. / The Godfather was Joseph Clemens & / the Godmother Scholastique St Michel, who / as well as the parents cannot write. [signed] Thomas O’Boyle o.m.i.

One last note: although Pierre’s baptism record does not mention his parents’ place of residence, he was presumably baptized where he was born in Ste-Cécile-de-Masham (now La Pêche), with the event registered in the sacramental registers of St-Camillus church in nearby Farrellton, Quebec.


1. "Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979," digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 January 2016), Farrellton > Saint-Camille > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1850-1876 > image 26 of 246; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).

2. Anne-Marie Ibell, “[Q-R] Father Thomas Boyle1820-1866”, QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L Archives, message board, 6 August 2003 ( : accessed 21 January 2016).

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday’s Faces from the Past: The Sho Dan

Nicholas Demoskoff with his karate Sensei

Eight years ago this month in January 2008, my son Nicholas was promoted to Sho Dan (Shodan) – first degree black belt – in Isshin Ryu karate.

Nicholas was nine years old when he started practising the Okinawan-style karate in the summer of 2001.

He poses here with his Sensei (Norm) after his grading at the Dojo.

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Fred Belair and granddaughter Yvonne

Fred Belair with his granddaughter Yvonne

Twenty-five year ago today, my beloved grandfather Fred passed away on 20 January 1991. I was about 1½ years old when this picture of us was taken. Love you, Pépère.

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized! Jan 10th-16th 2016

Blogger DearMYRTLE wants to help genealogists get organized for 2016. She proposes a weekly set of tasks to help us achieve our goal. Ol’ Myrt explains that “Each week's post will feature options for paper and digitally-oriented genealogists, with an eye to the beginner and intermediate researcher.” If you want to participate in this year-long activity, read more about it at FINALLY Get Organized!

Here’s how I’ve completed the second week’s task.

Task 1. “First, back up your data.”

Myrt explains that “no one wants to experience a hard drive failure”, so, backing up our computer data is an essential step in getting organized. I learned a costly lesson when my hard drive crashed on Christmas Day 2011. I worried that I had lost all my genealogical files, digital photographs, and other data. Hoping that my PC’s information was retrievable, my husband sent the hard drive to an out-of-province data recovery company. A few weeks later, my hard drive with its recovered data was back home. There was very little loss, except for one unimportant file. I don’t ever want to go through that kind of stress or pay for this kind of failure. (It cost me about $1800.) I now back up my files to an external hard drive and to the cloud (Dropbox). But since more is better, I took Ol' Myrt’s advice a couple of days ago and added Backblaze as additional cloud storage.

Task 2. “Decide on a genealogy management program.”

A few years ago, my husband gave me Family Tree Maker 2012 Deluxe as a gift. I already had my ancestral tree at, but decided to use the TreeSync feature of my new program to create a desktop tree. With Ancestry discontinuing support for FTM in less than a year, I’m thinking of getting Legacy Family Tree as my new desktop program.

Task 3. “Starting with yourself, ensure you've entered your personal data and that of the three older generations by that surname in your chosen genealogy management program.”

I completed this task a few years ago when I first created my personal tree at Ancestry.

Task 4. “Set aside a 3-ring binder for your surname.”

In early 2012, I set up four 3-ring binders: one my (maiden) surname (Belair), and the other three for my paternal grandmother’s line (Vanasse), and my maternal grandparents (Desgroseilliers and Beauvais).
Ancestral binders
Ancestral binders

Task 5. “Label oversize tabbed 3-ring dividers and insert in the surname binder.”

Done, but instead of “1st generation”, etc…, I wrote my ancestors’ first names (Maurice, Fred, Pierre, etc…) on the oversized tab dividers.

Task 6. “Print out family group sheets starting with yourself for four generations on your surname.”

Each of my ancestors in this binder had a family group sheet, except for me. I hadn’t created one for myself when I set up this binder in 2012, so I recently prepared one.
Paul Janvry dit Belair family group sheet
Paul Janvry dit Belair Family Group Sheet

Task 7. “Place the 4 family group sheets behind the appropriate generation dividers in your surname binder.”


Task 8. “Scan and file photos and documents relating to each of these four generations in your surname/maiden name binder.”

Done originally in 2012, so I only had to add photos and documents about myself.

Task 9. “As soon as you've scanned them, place all important "must save" photos and documents in top-loading page protectors for those first 3-4 generations in your surname/maiden name binder.”

Also done in 2012.

Task 10. “Create an introduction for those that follow.”

Done originally in 2012.

Task 11. “Add a "genealogy codicil" to your will by making an appointment with your attorney.”

I don’t have a “genealogy codicil”, but I do have a will. Some years ago, I created a “letter of instruction” for my executor. It specifies what I would like done to my personal genealogy files, but since the letter is a bit old and I’ve acquired new material, I need to update it. This task will take some time to complete.

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Church Record Sunday: Marguerite Bertrand’s 1846 Burial Record

Marguerite Bertrand, no. 203 in my ancestor list, is my 5x maternal great-grandmother. She is a younger daughter of Pierre Bertrand, a former soldier from the province of Languedoc in France, by his wife Marie Joseph Gauthier. Marguerite, born on 22 November 1771 in St-Constant, Laprairie County, Quebec, had four brothers and nine sisters. [1]

The day after she turned 24 years old, Marguerite married Louis Charles Longtin on 23 November 1795. [2] Louis Charles, who was also born in St-Constant, was a cultivateur (farmer). The couple had a small family: one son and three daughters, born between 1797 and 1804 in St-Constant.

Louis Charles died in June 1813. Marguerite survived him by three decades, dying on 14 January 1846. Although her burial record gives her age as 80, she was only 74 years old. Marguerite was buried two days later in St-Constant, in the presence of her son-in-law, Toussaint Page (Lepage), my ancestor. [3]

Marguerite Bertrand burial record
Marguerite Bertrand burial record, part 1 (Ancestry)

Marguerite Bertrand burial record
Marguerite Bertrand burial record, part 2 (Ancestry)

The burial record (above) reads in French:

“Le Seize Janvier Mil huit cent quarante six / Nous Prêtre soussigné avons Inhumée dans le Cime[tière] / de cette Paroisse le Corps de Margueritte Bertrand / Agée de Quatre-vingt ans Décédée du Quartorze Courant [Epouse] / De feu Charles Longtin de cette paroisse. Présens, Tou[ssaint] / Page, Michel Gagné, Antoine Emare et Pierre Emard, qui / n’ont su signer.”

In English:

“The Sixteen January 1846 / We the undersigned Priest have Interred in the cemetery / of this parish the body of Margueritte Bertrand / Aged of 80 years Died the Fourteenth [of the] current [month] [Wife] / of the late Charles Longtin of this parish. Present, Tou[ssaint] / Page, Michel Gagné, Antoine Emare et Pierre Emard, who / could not sign [their names].”


1. St-Constant (St-Constant, Quebec), parish register, 1767-1772, p. 8 recto, no entry no. (1771), Marie Margueritte Bertrand (written as Marie Margueritte Bertrand, indexed as Marie Marguerite Bertran) baptism, 22 November 1771; St-Constant parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968”, ( : accessed 7 January 2016).

2. St-Constant (St-Constant, Quebec), parish register, 1795-1800, p. 15 verso, no entry no. (1795), Louis Charles Longtin – Margueritte Bertrand (written as Louis Charles Longtin – Margueritte Bertrand, indexed as Louis Charles Longtin – Marguerite Bertrand) marriage, 23 November 1795; St-Constant parish; digital images, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968”, ( : accessed 7 January 2016).

3. St-Constant (St-Constant, Quebec), parish register, 1846, p. 2 recto, entry no. S.5, Margueritte Bertrand (written as Margueritte Bertrand, indexed as Marguerite Bertrand Agee de Quatre) burial, 16 January 1846; St-Constant parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968”, ( : accessed 7 January 2016).

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized! Jan 3rd-9th 2016

I'm doing it graphic

I’m participating in the “2016 FINALLY Get Organized! Weekly Checklist challenge” by DearMYRTLE. She proposes a weekly set of tasks to help genealogists achieve their goals. Ol’ Myrt explains that “Each week's post will feature options for paper and digitally-oriented genealogists, with an eye to the beginner and intermediate researcher.” For more information about this year-long activity, see FINALLY Get Organized!

Here’s how I did with the first week’s tasks.

Task 1. “Clear off the computer desk and make piles for everything”.

I didn’t completely clear off my computer desk, but did tidy it up, although you might not be able to tell from the photo below. I made two piles of stuff: one for genealogy magazines I have yet to read, and another for file folders I have to file.

My computer desk
My computer desk

Task 2. “Check your office supplies, and replace any missing or lost items”.

There’s not much that I need in the way of office supplies (I have plenty of the usual items) and I recently bought a 500-sheet package of printer paper.

What I don’t have, but need to buy at some point, are archival storage boxes for heirlooms other than my family’s christening robe, which is already in its own protective box.

Many years ago, I used to buy whatever coloured binder was a good price, but for about the past 15 years, I’ve bought only Avery brand binders: D-ring, durable or heavy duty (depending on my needs), with clear covers (I like to customize my binder covers).

Task 3. “Setup your computer desk and office the way you really want it!”

I’m pretty well satisfied with the way my computer room is set up, other than I could use more space. (I bet all genealogists say that!) I like the idea of a copy stand for my monitor, but there’s no room on either side of it for one. I have a good lamp (Ott-Lite brand) and my chair, although a bit old still has plenty of use left in it. I briefly had a second monitor, but didn’t keep it for long, since I didn’t like giving up stuff that I liked too much on my desk for it.

About 15 years ago, my husband and I went shopping at IKEA (we live near Vancouver, British Columbia) and bought eight Billy bookcases (including a corner unit and CD unit). One unit is dedicated to genealogy, but the others are filled with royal biographies, peerage books (Burke’s and Cokayne), and genealogy tables (Europäische Stammtafeln, Almanac de Gotha, and L’Allemagne Dynastique). One my right beside me (on my desk and on the wall on open shelves) are personal genealogy binders and assorted books.

Bookcases in my computer room
Some of the bookcases in my computer room

Task 4. “Designate a special red clipboard as the "When Computer Help Arrives" clipboard.”

I didn’t get this kind of clipboard (it’s not an expensive item), but I figure for the few times I might have PC issues, I’ll ask my husband for his help.

Task 5. “Designate a special green clipboard as the "Genealogy Challenges" clipboard.”

I can see how useful this clipboard would be, so I ordered one with a pen holder from (It’s in ‘pearl blue’; green wasn’t available.) I store the clipboard beside me by my PC tower since there’s not enough room on my desk.

As for the paper stacks on my desk, I don’t have a designated spot for them, unless I count the desk and floor, so getting a file box for what Ol’ Myrt calls a "quick store" method is a really good idea. Trouble is, I don’t think I have the space for another file box in this room. I already have three of them on the floor (they contain my ancestor folders (one per couple) and general topics); can I make room for a fourth one?

Ol’ Myrt’s last idea is to open an Amazon Prime account, which she has and uses. For office supplies, my husband and I buy from them our local stationery store or from where shipping is free for orders over $45. I see that after the 30-day free trial, Amazon Prime “is just CDN$ 79.00/year (plus any applicable taxes)”, so I’ll have to figure out if I can justify the expense.

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Friday's Faces from the Past: Remembering William Demoskoff

William Demoskoff
Pop on his 95th birthday in June 2009

My father-in-law William (Bill) Demoskoff passed away one year ago today on January 8, 2015.

Known as “Pop” to his children and “Deda” to his grandchildren, Bill was 100 years old when he died. He had a good, long life.

Even though twelve months have gone by, I often think of him and catch myself thinking, “We ought to go visit him at the home.” Pop was such a part of our lives that it’s still hard to believe he’s no longer with us.

God bless you, Pop.

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.