Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Where Were They 100 Years Ago?

It’s Saturday night and Randy at Genea-Musings has issued his weekly challenge to his readers.

Tonight’s mission is to answer the following questions and then share our answers in our “own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post”.

1) Determine where your ancestral families were on 18 May 1919 - 100 years ago.
2) List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible). Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?

• My paternal grandparents had not met in 1919 (they would marry in 1926). Grandfather Fred Belair (born 1889) was working either in the USA in shipyards or in Canada on the railway. Grandmother Julie Vanasse (born 1896) was living at home with her parents and her siblings (4 brothers and 4 sisters) on their farm in Pontiac County, Quebec. 

 My maternal grandparents also had not yet met in 1919 (they would marry in 1925). Grandfather Eugène Desgroseilliers (born 1900) was living with his parents and siblings (7 brothers and 1 sister) in Moonbeam, Cochrane District, Ontario. Grandmother Juliette Beauvais (born 1901) was living with her parents and her siblings (10 brothers and 3 sisters) in the village of Montpellier, Papineau County, Quebec.

• My paternal great-grandfather Pierre Belair (born 1851) and his second wife (and my grandfather Fred’s stepmother) Mathilde Cloutier lived with their 4 children in Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, a village in Gatineau County, Quebec. 

 My paternal great-grandparents Olivier Vanasse (born 1863) and Elisabeth Vanasse (born 1862) lived with their 9 children on their farm on Ile des Allumettes, Pontiac County, Quebec. (Olivier and Elisabeth were first cousins.)

• My maternal great-grandparents Albert Desgroseilliers (born 1879) and Clémentine Léveillé (born 1878) lived with their 9 children on their small farm in the village of Moonbeam. 

 My maternal great-grandparents Joseph Beauvais (born 1877) and Olivine Hotte (born 1877) lived with their 14 children in Montpellier, a village in Labelle County, Quebec.

• My maternal great-great-grandparents Joseph Léveillé (born 1839) and Cordélia Racette (born 1849) probably lived in Limoges, Russell County, Ontario with their widowed daughter Adélaïde Gilmour. 

 My maternal great-great-grandmother Arline (Deschatelets) Beauvais (born about 1846) lived in Chénéville, Papineau County, Quebec, probably with her widowed son-in-law Théodule Pilon, his children and his mother. 

 My maternal great-great-grandfather Louis Hotte (born 1844), a widower, also lived in Chénéville, but with his son Adrien Hotte and his family.

• I have some photos of the Belair family home in Masham (which still belonged to the family a few years ago) and one or two photos of the Vanasse family home, but I don’t have any photos of the homes of the remaining ancestral families.

I have fifteen ancestors living in 1919. All four grandparents, seven great-grandparents, and four great-great-grandparents.

Copyright © 2019, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter!

Easter card

A blessed and happy Easter, everyone!

Joyeuses Pâques, tout le monde!

Copyright © 2019, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Date Your Grandfather Was Born

It’s Saturday night and Randy at Genea-Musings has issued his weekly challenge to his readers.

Tonight’s mission is to answer the following questions and then share our answers in our “own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook”.

1) What day of the week was your Grandfather born (either one)? Tell us how you found out.
2) What has happened in recorded history on your Grandfather's birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out, and list five events.
3) What famous people have been born on your Grandfather's birth date? Tell us how you found out, and list five of them.

I chose my paternal grandfather Fred Belair (1889-1991), younger son of Pierre Janvry dit Belair by his first wife Angélina Meunier. Fred was born on 26 November 1889 in the village of Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, Gatineau County, Quebec.

1) November 26 was a Tuesday. (I checked the day of the week at

2) Five events in recorded history that occurred on November 26 (found at Wikipedia):

• 1778: In the Hawaiian Islands, Captain James Cook becomes the first European to visit Maui.

• 1863: United States President Abraham Lincoln proclaims November 26 as a national Thanksgiving Day.

• 1917: The National Hockey League is formed, with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, and Toronto Arenas as its first teams.

• 1922: Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon become the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years.

• 1942: Casablanca, the movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premieres in New York City.

3) Five famous people born on November 26 (found at Wikipedia):

• 1288: Go-Daigo, Japanese emperor (died 1339)

• 1607: John Harvard, English minister and philanthropist (died 1638)

• 1853: Bat Masterson, American police officer and journalist (died 1921)

• 1858: Katharine Drexel, American nun and saint (died 1955)

• 1869: Princess Maud of Wales, Queen consort of Norway (died 1938)

My answers are here on my blog!

Copyright © 2019, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Wedding Wednesday: Hotte – Lacasse

Today marks the 155th wedding anniversary of my maternal great-great-grandparents Louis Hotte and Marguerite Lacasse.

Louis was born on 17 April 1844 in Grenville, a village in Argenteuil seigneurie (later Argenteuil County) on the banks of the Outaouais (Ottawa) River, in present-day Quebec. He was the second child and younger son of Jean-Baptiste and Archange (Sigouin) Hotte.

Marguerite was one of ten children of Pierre and Thérèse (Doyer) Lacasse. She was born on 23 April 1839 in Montebello, a village in the Petite-Nation seigneurie, now in Papineau County, Quebec.

Louis and Marguerite, who were fifth cousins, married on 27 March 1864 in nearby St-André-Avellin, a village in Papineau County, Quebec. [1]

Hotte - Lacasse marriage record (Ancestry)

My transcription of Louis and Marguerite’s marriage record (original lineation indicated by / ):

Le vingt sept mars mil huit cent soixante / quatre, nous curé soussigné après la publica- / tion de trois bans de mariage faite au prône / de nos messes paroissiales entre Louis Hotte cult. domi / cilié à Harwell fils majeur de J. Bte Hotte cult. / et de Archange Sigouin, d’une part; et Marguerite / Lacasse domiciliée au même lieu, fille majeure de / Pierre Lacasse cult. et de Thérèse Doyer d’autre part / ne s’étant découvert aucun empechement à leur / mariage nous avons reçu le mutuel consentement / de mariage des époux et leur avons donné la bénédi- / tion nuptial en présence de Emery Villeneuve et / de Amédé Goyer qui, ainsi que les époux ont déclaré / ne savoir signer. / [signed] C. Guillaume

My English translation (original lineation indicated by / ):

The twenty seven March one thousand eight hundred sixty / four, we undersigned parish priest after the publica- / tion of three banns of marriage done at the sermons / of our parish masses between Louis Hotte [farmer] domi / ciled in Hartwell son of age of J. Bte Hotte [farmer] / and of Archange Sigouin, on the one part; and Marguerite / Lacasse domiciled at the same place, daughter of age of / Pierre Lacasse [farmer] and of Thérèse Doyer on the other part / not having discovered any impediment to their / marriage we have received the mutual consent / of marriage of the spouses and have given them the nuptial benedi- / cation in the presence of Emery Villeneuve and / of Amédé Goyer who, along with the spouses have declared / not knowing how to write [their names]. / [signed] C. Guillaume

Louis and Marguerite resided in Hartwell (now Chénéville), located a little to the north of St-André-Avellin. Hartwell did not have a resident priest at this time, but I don’t know if Father Guillaume travelled to Hartwell to perform the service or if Louis and Marguerite went to his church that March day in 1864.


1. St-André-Avellin (St-André-Avellin, Quebec), parish register, 1864, p. 95 stamped, entry no. M.6, Louis Hotte – Marguerite Lacasse (written as Louis Hotte – Marguerite Lacasse, indexed as Louis Hotte - Mgtr Lacasse) marriage, 27 March 1864; St-André-Avellin parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry ( : accessed 27 March 2008).

Copyright © 2019, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Birth Order in Your Line

Randy at Genea-Musings issued his weekly Saturday challenge to his readers.

Tonight it’s “Birth Order in Your Line” in which we answer two questions and then share our answers in a blog post, a comment to Randy’s blog post, or at Facebook.

1. Pick one of your ancestral lines - any one - patrilineal, matrilineal, zigzag, from a famous ancestor, etc. Pick a long one if you can.
2. Tell us which position in the birth order that your ancestor was in each generation. For example "third child, first son." Also list how many children were born to these parents.

I chose my mother’s patrilineal line – Desgroseilliers – from 1900 back to 1698, except for the tenth and eleventh generations (from 1661 back to 1618) to show the origin of that line’s patronym.

1. Yvonne Belair (living), first child and elder daughter of Maurice and Jacqueline (Desgroseilliers) Belair (1 son, 2 daughters)

2. Jacqueline Desgroseilliers (living), 6th child, 5th daughter of Eugène and Juliette (Beauvais) Desgroseilliers (2 sons, 7 daughters)

3. Eugène Desgroseilliers (1900-1960), 1st child and eldest son of Albert and Clémentine (Léveillé) Desgroseilliers (11 sons, 3 daughters)

4. Albert Desgroseilliers (1879-1957), 8th child and 5th son of Pierre and Flavie (Lepage) Desgroseilliers (7 sons, 6 daughters)

5. Pierre Desgroseilliers (1841-1904), 7th child and 3rd son of François and Elisabeth (Lemieux) Desgroseilliers (6 sons, 5 daughters)

6. François Desgroseilliers (1804-1853), 1st child and eldest son of François and Louise (Roy) Desgroseilliers (7 sons, 3 daughters)

7. François Desgroseilliers (1783-1865), 8th child and 5th son of Jean-Baptiste and Charlotte (Lunegand dite Beaurosier) Bouchard (6 sons, 6 daughters, and 1 of unknown gender)

8. Joseph Prosper Dorval (later Desgroseilliers) (1743-ca 1796), 5th child and 3rd son of Jean-Baptiste and Marie-Josèphe (de Chavigny) Bouchard (5 sons, 4 daughters, and 1 of unknown gender)

9. Jean-Baptiste Bouchard (also Dorval) (1698-1755), 2nd child and eldest son of Marie-Antoinette Chouart and her 2nd husband Jean-Baptiste Bouchard (4 sons, 2 daughters)

10. Marie-Antoinette Chouart (1661-1731), 4th child and 3rd daughter of Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers and his 2nd wife Marguerite Hayet (1 son, 3 daughters)

11. Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers (1618-ca 1696), 4th child and 4th son of Médard and Marie (Poirier) Chouart (4 sons)

My averages are:

Child number: 4.3
Number of children: 8.8

Copyright © 2019, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

New Year’s Resolution – My Genealogy Disaster Plan

I hadn’t planned to make any New Year’s resolutions for 2019, but changed my mind after I thought, “What if I make only *one* resolution this year?”. One decision shouldn’t be too difficult to keep, I reasoned.

My resolution for 2019 is to create a “genealogy disaster plan” – do something to protect what I cherish the most, genealogically speaking. I searched for articles about this topic and found one by Denise May Levenick. I adapted her two-part, 14 steps plan to suit me.

First, I assessed the risks that I might encounter: water, fire or earthquake damage, hard drive failure, or theft. It was an eye opener to realize there’s so many ways to lose the genealogical and historical items I’ve gathered over the decades.

Heirloom christening gown

Second, I prioritized what I wanted to safeguard immediately: my family’s 90+ year old christening gown (see above) and original documents (vital records).

Third, I’ll digitize those vital records so that I have copies in case of loss. When done, I’ll store the originals and the christening gown (which is already in an heirloom box) together in one container. That container might be a tote that I can quickly grab in an emergency or it might be something more heavy-duty like a water- and fire-proof safe.

My personal genealogy disaster plan is a long-term project, so these are good first steps. Stay tuned for progress reports.

Copyright © 2019, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Photographs Through the Generations

It’s Saturday night and Randy at Genea-Musings has issued his weekly challenge to his readers.

Tonight’s mission is to determine:

1) How many generations do you have photographs or portraits of your ancestors and descendants? It can be any just can't be broken!
2) Tell us the line, or better yet, show us the unbroken line. Provide birth-death years, and the approximate date that the photograph or portrait was made.
3) Share your generation picture line in a blog post of your own, or in a Facebook post, or in a comment to this post.

Here is my 6-generation picture line:

1. My great-great-grandfather Pierre Desgroseilliers (1841-1904), born in Ste-Martine, Quebec and died in St. Charles, Ontario. Pierre looks rather young, so the photo might date to the time he married in 1865.

Pierre Desgroseilliers born 1841 died 1904

2. My great-grandfather Albert Desgroseilliers (1879-1957) in the mid-1950s.

Albert Desgroseilliers born 1879 died 1957

3. My grandfather Eugène Desgroseilliers (1900-1960) in 1959.

Eugene Desgroseilliers born 1900 died 1960

4. My mother Jacqueline (Desgroseilliers) Belair in 2010.

Jacqueline Desgroseilliers Belair

5. Myself, Yvonne (Belair) Demoskoff in 2017.
Yvonne Belair

6. My descendant – my son Nicholas Demoskoff, in 2014.

Nicholas Demoskoff

Thanks for another great challenge, Randy!

Copyright © 2019, Yvonne Demoskoff.