Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers – Baptised 400 Years Ago

Today – July 31, 2018 – marks the 400th anniversary of the baptism of Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers.

Médard is my 8x maternal great-grandfather. My mother Jacqueline, née Desgroseilliers, descends from Marie-Antoinette Chouart (1661-1731), youngest daughter of Médard by his second wife Marguerite Hayet.

The future explorer and fur trader was the fourth son of Médard Chouart by his wife Marie Poirier. Infant Médard was baptised on 31 July 1618 in St-Martin parish church in Charly (now Charly-sur-Marne), 81 km (50 miles) east of Paris. [1] Unfortunately, the priest omitted Médard’s date of birth in his baptism record, but the child likely received the Sacrament within a day or two of his birth.

St-Martin church in Charly-sur-Marne in Aisne France
Charly église St-Martin 1280.jpg [2]

I originally wrote about Médard’s baptism two years ago in Church Record Sunday: Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers’ 1618 Baptism Record. At that time, I tried to decipher the Latin text, but couldn’t quite manage it. Since then, I came across an article that included both the Latin and the French texts. [3]

Medard Chouart sieur des Groseilliers 1618 baptism record
Médard Chouart's baptism record* [Archives Départementales de l’Aisne]
* I circled Médard’s name (seen here as Medardus) in yellow.

The Latin transcription of Médard’s baptism record by author Roland-Yves Gagné [4]:

Ultima die mensis & anni ejusdem baptizatus fuit Medardus filius Medardi Chouart & Maria Poirier coniugis cujus patrinus fuit Anthoinis Cheron maxima autrus Illium Catharina LeRoy

Gagné’s French translation of Médard’s baptism record [5]:

Le dernier jour du même mois et année fut baptisé Médard fils de Médard Chouart et Marie Poirier son épouse le parrain fut Antoine Cheron l’ainé l’autre parrain Catherine LeRoy

Here is my English translation of Gagné’s French text:

The last day of the same month and year was baptised Médard son of Médard Chouart and Marie Poirier his spouse the godfather was Antoine Cheron the elder the other [godparent] Catherine LeRoy

I’m pleased that I found Roland-Yves Gagné’s article. His Latin transcription was just what I needed to understand my ancestor’s baptism record.


1. Saint-Martin parish (Charly-sur-Marne, France), Registres paroissiaux et d’état civil, Baptêmes 1600-1645, vue: 126/364, poste: 242; baptême, Medardus Souar [sic], 31 juillet 1618; digital image, Archives Départementales de l’Aisne (www.archives.aisne/fr : accessed 8 September 2012).

2. "File:Charly église St-Martin 1280.jpg", Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository (https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Charly_%C3%A9glise_St-Martin_1280.jpg&oldid=223390728 : accessed 29 July 2018).

3. Roland-Yves Gagné, “Charly, Médard Chouart des Groseilliers et Jeanne Godard”, Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française (MSGCF) 57 (été 2006): 109-114, specifically 112; DVD edition (Montreal, QC: SGCF, 2013).

4. Gagné, “Charly, Médard Chouart des Groseilliers et Jeanne Godard”, 112.

5. Gagné, “Charly, Médard Chouart des Groseilliers et Jeanne Godard”, 112.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Church Record Sunday: Hubert Neveu’s 1853 Burial Record

Hubert Neveu died 165 years ago this month in July 1853. He is my paternal 4x great-grandfather and is somewhat of an ancestral brick wall. For example, I haven’t found a birth or baptism record for him and I don’t know who his parents are.

Born about 1777, Hubert was a voyageur in the fur trade. He married Josephe Pitabanokwe (var. Petabanokwe), an Algonquin, in August 1818. They were the parents of at least 11 children, including Louise Neveu, the great-grandmother of my grandmother Julie Vanasse.

Hubert died between July 8 -14, 1853. His burial record doesn’t indicate the exact date, only that it was in the second week of July of that year and that he was buried in the church cemetery of Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel in LaPasse, Renfrew County, Ontario. [1]

Hubert Neveu 1853 burial record
Hubert Neveu burial record (Ancestry)

My transcription of Hubert’s burial record (original lineation indicated by / ):

Dans la seconde semaine de Juillet a été inhumé dans le cimetière / de cette mission le corps de Eubert Neveu agé de 76 ans. Témoins / Antoine Lavoie et J. Baptiste Lanvin. [signé L.C.A. Ouellet]

My English translation of the record (original lineation indicated by / ):

In the second week of July was interred in the cemetery / of this mission the body of Eubert Neveu aged 76 years. Witnesses / Antoine Lavoie and J. Baptiste Lanvin. [signed L.C.A. Ouellet]


1. Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel (LaPasse, Ontario), parish register, 1851-1943, p. 6 recto, entry no. S.2 (1853), Eubert Neveu [sic] burial, July 1853; Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel parish; digital images, “Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967”, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 20 September 2014).

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Sibling Saturday: The Children of Olivier and Elizabeth (Vanasse) Vanasse

Olivier and Elizabeth Vanasse are my paternal great-grandparents. Olivier was born on 4 February 1863 in Chapeau, Pontiac County, Quebec (then known as Canada East). He was the sixth and youngest child of Olivier and Elizabeth (Frappier) Vanasse. Elizabeth was born on 11 September 1862, also in Chapeau. She was the third of thirteen children of Joseph and Marie (Guérard) Vanasse.

Olivier and Elizabeth Vanasse
Olivier and Elizabeth Vanasse (ca 1930s)

Olivier and Elizabeth were first cousins, their fathers being brothers. They married in the summer of 1889 and lived in Chapeau, where Olivier farmed. He and Elizabeth had nine children, who all survived to adulthood. Olivier died on 7 December 1944 at home. About 1946, my great-grandmother moved to Ottawa, Ontario to live with her daughter Mary. She died there on 1 September 1947.

Children of Olivier and Elizabeth (Vanasse) Vanasse

1. Mary Vanasse
Mary was born on 1 April 1890 and died, unmarried, on 21 September 1951.

2. George Vanasse
George was born on 13 October 1891. On 15 June 1920, he married Louisa Potvin (1902-1996) in Bourget, Ontario. Louisa was the sister of Clément Potvin, who married George’s sister Celia. George and Louisa had seven children. George died on 22 March 1976 in Ottawa.

3. William (Willie) Vanasse
Willie was born on 23 February 1893 and died on 13 May 1955 in a veterans’ hospital in London, Ontario. He was unmarried. Willie served in World War I.

4. Cecilia (Celia) Vanasse
Celia was born on 6 January 1895. She married on 14 June 1921 in Ottawa Clément (Clem) Potvin (1895-1987). Clem was the brother of Louisa Potvin, who married Celia’s brother George. She and Clem had two children. Celia died on 3 September 1986 in Ottawa.

Olivier and Elizabeth Vanasse and their children
Olivier and Elizabeth Vanasse (centre, back) with their children
Mary (centre, left) and Joe (in uniform) and (front, left to right)
Celia, Aggie, and Dave (ca 1939)

5. Julia (Julie) Vanasse
Julie was born on 31 August 1896. She married on 28 October 1926 Fred Belair (1889-1991) in Ottawa. Julie and Fred had six children, including my father Maurice. She died on 19 March 1967 in Timmins, Ontario.

6. Joseph (Joe) Vanasse
Joe was born on 23 January 1898. He married on 19 August 1942 Stella (Shirley) Ranger (1920-2010) in Chapeau. Like his elder brother, Joe served in World War I. He and his wife Stella had two children. Joe died on 23 March 1973 in Ottawa.

7. Corinne (Cora) Vanasse
Cora was born on 20 August 1900. She married Francis (Frank) Milks (1900-1968) on 5 November 1921 In Ottawa. Cora and Frank had five children. She died on 11 April 1977 in Ottawa.

8. David (Dave) Vanasse (Venasse)
Dave was born on 3 May 1903. He married on 12 June 1929 Louise St-Martin (1911-1991) in Chapeau. They didn’t have children of their own, but adopted a boy. Dave died on 28 May 1979 in Pembroke, Ontario.

9. Agnes (Aggie) Vanasse
Aggie was born on 12 September 1905. She married on 2 September 1935 Frederick (Fred; Freddie) Burchill (ca 1907-1989) in Chapeau. Fred was a British home child. He and Aggie had three children. Aggie died on 28 June 2000 in Ottawa.

Julie Vanasse and her sisters Celia, Cora and Aggie
Celia, Julie, Cora, and Aggie Vanasse (1962)

My grandmother Julie lived a couple of houses from mine when I was a child, so I knew her very well. I never met great-aunt Mary and great-uncle Willie, who passed away before I was born. I don’t believe I ever met George, Joe and Dave, but might have the year my family went to Ottawa on vacation in 1969. When I was a teenager, I visited Celia, Cora, and Aggie on a few occasions at their homes in Ottawa. I loved those visits with my great-aunts, because they were a link to my beloved grandmother after she passed away.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Church Record Sunday: Elisabeth Lemieux’s 1891 Burial Record

Elisabeth, also known as Isabelle, is my maternal 3x great-grandmother.

The ninth child of Jean-Baptiste and Marie-Anne (Séguin) Lemieux, Elisabeth was born on December 16, 1810 in LaPrairie, a community on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River facing Montreal.

In January 1828, Elisabeth married François Desgroseilliers in nearby Châteauguay. The following year, her elder sister Jovite (1808-1893) married Joseph Desgroseilliers, François’ brother. (One day I’ll write an article about how they are sometimes confused as one couple in online family trees.)

Elisabeth and François had eleven children, eight of whom survived to adulthood. About twenty years after François’ death in 1853, Elisabeth left her home in Châteauguay County, Quebec for Russell County, Ontario. Her children Aurélie, François, and Pierre (my 2x great-grandfather) also moved to Ontario about that time.

Elisabeth died in Embrun, Russell County, Ontario on July 14, 1891. [1] Her death registration, however, states that she died on July 15. [2] The funeral took place two days later (July 16) at St-Jacques church, followed by burial in the parish cemetery.

Elisabeth Lemieux burial record 1891
Elisabeth Lemieux burial record (Ancestry)

My transcription of Elisabeth’s burial record (original lineation indicated by / ):

Le seize Juillet, mil huit cent quatre vingt onze / Nous soussigné Vicaire, avons inhumé dans le / cimetière de cette paroisse, le corps de Isabelle / D. Lemieux, décédée avant-hier a l’âge de quatre- / vingt-deux ans, épouse de feu François Desgro- / seillers [sic], cultivateur de cette paroisse. Étaient / presents Onésime Desrosiers, Amable Bourdeau / et autres de cette paroisse, qui ainsi que le fils / François Desgroseillers [sic], n’ont pu signer. / Lecture faite. [signé ChsSdeCarufel Ptre]

My English translation of the record (original lineation indicated by / ):

The sixteen July, one thousand eight hundred ninety one / We undersigned Vicar, have interred in the / cemetery of this parish, the body of Isabelle / D. Lemieux, deceased before yesterday at the age of / 82 years, spouse of the late François Desgro- / seillers [sic], farmer of this parish. Were / present Onésime Desrosiers, Amable Bourdeau / and others of this parish, who along with the son / François Desgroseillers [sic], could not sign [their names]. / Reading done. [signed ChsSdeCarufel Ptre]

I noticed a couple of minor errors in Elisabeth’s burial record. One, she was 80 years old (not 82) when she died. Two, her late husband François never lived in Embrun (he died in Châteauguay County, Quebec), so could not have been a cultivateur de cette paroisse. Someone present at the funeral, possibly a family member, likely gave these incorrect details to the vicar, the recently ordained Charles Sicard de Carufel. [3]


1. St-Jacques (Embrun, Ontario), parish register, 1884-1891, page no. 531 stamped, entry no. S.25 (1891), Isabelle Lemieux (written as Isabelle Lemieux, indexed as Isabelle Desgroseillers) burial, 16 July 1891; St-Jacques parish; digital images, “Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967”, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 22 September 2015).

2. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947”, digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 22 September 2015), entry for Isabelle Desgroseilliers (written as Isabelle Desgroseilliers, indexed as Isabelle Desposeillien), 15 July 1891; citing Archives of Ontario, Registrations of Deaths, 1869-1938, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, series MS935, reel 62.

3. Cyprien Tanguay, Répertoire Général du Clergé Canadien […] (Montréal, 1893, 514); digital images, Internet Archive (https://archive.org/ : accessed 11 July 2018), entry for Charles-Olivier Sicard de Carufel.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Charlotte Lunegand’s 1754 Baptism Record

Today – July 10 – is the 264th anniversary of the birth and baptism of Charlotte Lunegand dite Beaurosier, my maternal 5x great-grandmother.

Charlotte was born on 10 July 1754 at Fort St-Frédéric, aka Fort Beauharnois, now Crown Point, Essex County, New York. A younger daughter of François Lunegand (var. Lunegent) dit Beaurosier by his wife Marie Louise Ouimet, she had two brothers and four sisters.

François, originally from Brittany, France, was an infantry soldier. He arrived in the colony of New France in 1745, married there three years later, and was posted to Fort St-Frédéric in about 1750. Three of his and Marie Louise’s children were born at the Fort, before the family returned to New France in about 1758.

Although Charlotte’s name appears as “Marie Charles” in the sidebar of her baptism record, she was baptised “Marie Charlotte”. Father Hippolyte Collet, a French-born Recollect priest, officiated at the Sacrament of Baptism on the morning of 10 July 1754. [1]

Charlotte Lunegand 1754 baptism record part 1
Charlotte Lunegand baptism record, p. 118 (Généalogie Québec)

Charlotte Lunegand 1754 baptism record part 2
Charlotte Lunegand baptism record, p. 118 (Généalogie Québec)

My transcription of Charlotte’s baptism record (original lineation indicated by / ):

L’an mil sept cent cinquante quatre, le 10 / de Juilliet [sic], à dix heures du matin, par / nous, Récolé, soussigné, aumonier du fort / St-Frédéric et missionnaire pour les habitans [sic] circonvoisins, a été Baptisée Marie / Charlotte Lunegand, née d’aujourd’hui, fille / de François Lunegand et de Marie Louise / Oymette, légitimes époux, habitans [sic] du dit lieu. / le Parain [sic] a été David Biguet, soldat du gar- / nison, dans le dit fort, la maraine [sic] Marie Char- / lotte Lafoi, fille de Jean Baptiste Lafoi, habitant du dit lieu, le père, le parain [sic] et la ma- / raine [sic] ont déclaré ne savoir signer, de ce requis / lecture faite, suivant l’ordonnance. [signé f. Hippolyte Cober. R.] 

My English translation of the record (original lineation indicated by / ):

Year one thousand seven hundred fifty four, the 10 / of July, at ten o’clock in the morning, by / us, [Recollect] undersigned, almoner of the fort / St-Frédéric and missionary for the surrounding inhabitants, was Baptised Marie / Charlotte Lunegand, born today, daughter / of François Lunegand and of Marie Louise / Oymette, legitimate spouses, inhabitants of the said place. / the Godfather was David Biguet, soldier of the garr- / ison, in the said fort, the godmother Marie Char- / lotte Lafoi, daughter of Jean Baptiste Lafoi, inhabitant of the said place, the father, the godfather and the god - / mother have declared not able to sign [their names], as required / reading done, according to the ordonnance. [signed f. Hippolyte Cober. R.] 


1. “Registres du Fonds Drouin”, digital images, Généalogie Québec (https://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 9 July 2018), “Registre du Fort Frédéric ou Beauharnois 1732-1760”, pages 118-119, no entry no. (1754), Marie Charlotte Lunegand baptism, 10 July 1754. To access this browsable-only image (subscription required), follow this path from the Généalogie Québec homepage: Outils > États-Unis > New York > Fort Frédéric ou Fort Beauharnois > 1732-1760 > image d1p_33161251.jpg.

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Church Record Sunday: Almina Belair’s 1902 Baptism Record

Almina Belair (1902-1997) was the youngest sister of my paternal grandfather, Fred Belair.

She was actually his half-sister, being the daughter of Fred’s father Pierre Janvry dit Belair by his second wife, Mathilde Cloutier. For a list of Pierre’s children by his first two wives, see Sibling Saturday: The Children of Pierre Janvry dit Belair (1851-1941).

Almina was born on 8 July 1902 in Ste-Cécile-de-Masham (now La Pêche), Quebec, about half an hour northwest of Ottawa, Canada’s capital. Almina received the names Elizabeth Elmina two days later at her baptism in Ste-Cécile parish church. [1] Her godparents were her 22-year old half-brother Pierre and her half-sister Délia, 17 years old. Although his aunt appears as Elmina in her baptism record, my father Maurice remembered his aunt as Almina.

Almina Belair Baptism Record 1902
Almina Belair baptism record (Ancestry)

My transcription of Almina’s baptism record (original lineation indicated by / ):

Ce dix juillet mil neuf cent deux, Nous prêtre / curé soussigné, avons baptisé Elizabeth-Elmina / fille née avant-hier du légitime mariage / de Pierre Bélaire et Domitille Cloutier de / cette paroisse. Les parrains ont été Pierre / Bélaire et Délia Bélaire aussi de cette paroisse / qui, ainsi que le père n’ont pas signé avec Nous. / Lecture faite. [signé] P. Garon, Ptre Curé

My English translation of the record (original lineation indicated by / ):

This tenth July one thousand one hundred two, We parish / priest undersigned, have baptised Elizabeth-Elmina / daughter born before yesterday of the legitimate marriage / of Pierre Bélaire and Domitille Cloutier of / this parish. The godparents were Pierre / Bélaire and Délia Bélaire also of this parish / who, along with the father have not signed [their names] with Us. / Reading done. [signed] P. Garon, [Parish Priest]


1. Ste-Cécile (Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, Quebec), parish register, 1899-1908, p. 147 (stamped), entry no. B.44 (1902), Elizabeth Elmina Belaire [sic] baptism, 10 July 1902; Ste-Cécile parish; digital images, “Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968”, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 7 July 2018).

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Friday’s Faces from the Past: Juliette Desgroseilliers and Baby Daughter Mariette

Juliette Beauvais and her daughter Mariette Desgroseilliers in 1928 in Hearst Ontario Canada

I love this black and white photograph.

It came to me from Aunt Madeleine, my Mom’s elder sister. I don’t know how she acquired it, but it must have been in her family (or that of a maternal aunt) before she became its owner.

On the back of the photo, in a handwriting that I don’t recognize, someone wrote:

Juliette Beauvais

followed by three lines in another unknown handwriting:

Mariette [bébé]
A Hearst

The “1930” date isn’t correct. Mariette, born in December 1927, looks to be about 6 months old, so the year should be 1928. Also, it was probably July or August, based on the light clothing mother and baby are in.

Juliette wears a short-sleeved, checkered-patterned cotton dress, over which she donned a generous apron. She has a fine head of bobbed hair. When I enlarged the photo, I noticed that she’s wearing a plain band ring on each hand. Baby Mariette, in a cloth diaper, wears a dress and little socks.

I don’t know the photographer's identity. Was it Juliette’s husband Eugène, or perhaps her sister Marie Louise, who visited the young family that year? Or was it maybe a travelling photographer? Whoever took the photo, it was probably a spur-of-the-moment thing, because Juliette is dressed casually and wears an apron.

The picture was likely taken in Hearst, where Mariette was born and where her father worked as chief of police. The small mat by the door of the house on the right suggests it’s someone’s home – Juliette and Eugène’s?

I checked online images of baby carriages and found similar ones in the Eaton's Spring and Summer 1926 catalogue.* The 1926 models are described as Pullman Carriages and cost between $19.85 and $39.50. The body of Juliette’s baby carriage looks like wicker, but the Eaton’s ones are made of “fibre reed”.

A wonderful and precious photo of my grandmother and aunt taken 90 years ago.

* “Canadian Mail Order Catalogues”, database, Library and Archives Canada (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/postal-heritage-philately/canadian-mail-order-catalogues/Pages/canadian-mail-order-catalogues.aspx : accessed 1 July 2018), Postal Heritage and Philately, Eaton's Spring and Summer 1926, p. 388 (image 400).

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Birthday, Canada!

Flag of Canada

It’s Canada’s 151st birthday!

Have a safe and happy July 1st holiday, everyone!

Joyeuse fête du Canada, tout le monde!

Copyright © 2018, Yvonne Demoskoff.