Friday, December 19, 2014

52 Ancestors: #51 Marie-Antoinette Chouart

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 51st week of this challenge, I chose Marie-Antoinette Chouart (1661-1731).

Marie-Antoinette is my maternal 7x great-grandmother and is number 769 in my ancestor list.

The youngest child of famed explorer Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers, Marie-Antoinette Chouart was baptized on 7 June 1661 in Trois-Rivières. [1] Médard married Hélène Martin in 1647, by whom he had two sons; she died about 1651. He then married Marguerite Hayet in 1653 and had one son and four daughters by her, including Marie-Antoinette. [2]

On 13 November 1677, Marie-Antoinette entered into a marriage contract with Jean Jalot, a French immigrant and a surgeon. [3] The couple had eight children, including twin sons. In the summer of 1690, Jean was killed by the Iroquois at coulée Grou, east of Montreal. [4]

Widow Marie-Antoinette married Jean-Baptiste Bouchard dit Dorval on 19 December 1695 (319 years ago today) in Montreal. [5] Both signed the marriage record (see below).

Marie-Antoinette Chouart marriage record of 1695
Bouchard  Chouart marriage record (1695) [6]

The Bouchard couple had six children, including Jean-Baptiste (1698-1755), my ancestor.

Marie-Antoinette died on 5 July 1731 and was buried the next day in Montreal. [7]

Sources:

1. René Jetté, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Québec (Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 1983), 254.

2. Jetté, Dictionnaire, 254.

3. Jetté, Dictionnaire, 590.

4. Jetté, Dictionnaire, 590.

5. Notre-Dame (Montreal, Quebec), parish register, 1695-1699, no page no., no entry no. (1695), Jean Baptiste Bouchard – Marie Anthoinette Chouard [sic] marriage, 19 December 1695; Notre-Dame parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 14 January 2012).

6. Notre-Dame, parish register, 1695-1699, Jean Baptiste Bouchard – Marie Anthoinette Chouard [sic] marriage, 19 December 1695.

7. Notre-Dame (Montreal, Quebec), parish register, 1726-1733, page no. 133, no entry no. (1731), Marie Antoinette Chouar [sic] burial, 6 July 1731; Notre-Dame parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec  (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 18 December 2014).

Copyright (c) 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Harvey – Belair

Two days ago on December 15th, my sister Marianne and her husband Gabriel celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.

Gabriel and Marianne Harvey wedding photo

Marianne and Gabe met at work and soon their friendship turned to love. They choose a date, spoke with the priest of our old parish church, and made plans. I remember being with Marianne when she looked for her wedding dress at a fashionable ladies’ store in town (was it Ellies Dress Shop?) and being with her at the flower shop on Third Avenue when she choose her bouquet.

They married on Saturday, 15 December, 1979 at Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes (now Notre-Dame de la Paix) on Commercial Avenue. Father Yves Leclerc blessed their union.

Love you, Marianne and Gabe!

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wedding Wednesday: Belair – Desgroseilliers

Tomorrow, December 18th, would have been my parents Maurice and Jacqueline’s 60th wedding anniversary. (Dad passed away in 1996.)

Maurice and Jacqueline Belair wedding photo

Mom and Dad married on 18 December 1954 in Sarnia, Lambton County, Ontario. Their attendants were their friends William (Bill) and Helen Chaban.

It was a mid-afternoon civil ceremony, with only Bill and Helen present. Mom bought herself a two-piece grey suit at Saks of Sarnia, and Dad wore a dark suit. Afterwards, photographs were taken, and then the newlyweds and the Chabans went out for dinner.

The next day, Mom and Dad left for northern Ontario to tell the news to their families. They first stopped in Kirkland Lake to see Mom’s sister Madeleine and their father Eugène. Later, they drove to Timmins (about 1½ hours west) to tell Dad’s parents.

The news was unexpected, since no one knew about their plans. Mom once told me that since she and Dad didn’t have much money (she was a waitress and Dad was a pipefitter) and didn’t want to burden their families, they chose to have a quiet wedding. It didn’t take long for everyone to get over their surprise, though, because Dad’s family knew Mom (they had dated for about three years), and Mom’s father liked Dad and got along well with him.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday’s Obituary: Thomas Vanasse

Obituary of Thomas Vanasse

Thomas died on 5 December 1983 in Coquitlam, BC. He was interred nine days later on December 14th (thirty-one years ago today) in nearby Vancouver.

I never knew or met Thomas, and didn’t know that he lived in BC after we moved here in the late 1970s. He was a first cousin of my paternal grandmother Julie (Vanasse) Belair, and since Dad always loved meeting new-to-him relatives, I’m sure that he would have wanted to get to know Thomas.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I sought out Thomas' final resting place and photographed his tombstone; see Tombstone Tuesday: Thomas Vanasse.

Source: “Thomas James Vanasse”, obituary, The Province (Vancouver, British Columbia), 14 December 1983, p. 65.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, December 12, 2014

52 Ancestors: #50 Marie Catherine Deniger, married three times

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 50th week of this challenge, I chose Marie Catherine Deniger (1715-1774).

Marie Catherine is my maternal 6x great-grandmother and is number 413 in my ancestor list.

The youngest child of Jean Deniger dit Sanssoucy and his wife Marie Catherine Surprenant, Marie Catherine was born and baptized on 28 July 1715 in LaPrairie, opposite Montreal on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. She had four elder siblings: Marie Marguerite, Laurent, François and Antoine. [1]

Marie Catherine married three times.

First marriage

On 21 November 1735, Marie Catherine married Charles Tougas dit Laviolette in LaPrairie. Twenty-eight year old Charles was a widower, whose only child by his first wife died soon after birth. Marie Catherine was expecting their fifth child when Charles died in April 1743. Two months later, a little girl was born, but she died when she was six months old. [2]

Second marriage

On 18 January 1745, Marie Catherine married Jacques Charland in LaPrairie. Jacques, who was almost twenty years older than Marie Catherine, was also a widower. Seven of his fifteen children were living when he married. History repeated itself when Jacques died in August 1747 while Marie Catherine was expecting their second child. Their daughter, who was born seven weeks later, survived to adulthood. [3]

Montreal waterfront in winter
Montreal waterfront in winter (1848/1849)

Image credit: Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. R9266-162.2R Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana.

Third marriage

Marie Catherine married for the third and last time on 13 July 1750 in Montreal. Her new husband, Jean Baptiste Antoine Boulard dit Melançon, was a French-born soldier. Not only was he almost four years younger than Marie Catherine, he was also a widower with four children. Together, Marie Catherine and Jean Baptiste had five children, all daughters, but only the two eldest survived. [4]

To recap, Marie Catherine had

  • three husbands (two of whom predeceased her) and
  • twelve children (seven of whom died in her lifetime).

She was also

  • stepmother to twelve children (eight by her second husband and four by her third husband).

A few months after her 59th birthday, Marie Catherine died on 11 December 1774. She was buried the next day on 12 December (240 years ago today) in Montreal. [5]

Sources:

1. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 27 July 2013), Marie Catherine Deniger Sansoucy, Individu no. 92580. And, “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 27 July 2013), Jean Baptiste Deniger Sansoucy – Marie Catherine Surprenant Sansoucy, Famille no. 9692.

2. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH), Marie Catherine Deniger Sansoucy, Individu no. 92580. And, “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 27 July 2013), Charles Tougas Laviolette – Marie Catherine Deniger Sansoucy, Famille no. 19654.

3. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH), Marie Catherine Deniger Sansoucy, Individu no. 92580. And, “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 27 July 2013), Jacques Charland – Marie Catherine Deniger Sansoucy, Famille no. 24301.

4. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH), Marie Catherine Deniger Sansoucy, Individu no. 92580. And, “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 27 July 2013), Jean Baptiste Antoine Boulard Melancon – Marie Catherine Deniger Sansoucy, Famille no. 28031. And, Fichier Origine, database (http://www.fichierorigine.com : accessed 9 December 2014), entry for Jean-Antoine Boulard [sic], no. 240509.

5. Notre-Dame (Montreal, Quebec), parish register, 1772-1776, p. 16 recto, no entry no., Marie Catherine Dénigeay [sic] burial, 12 December 1774; Notre-Dame parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 9 December 2014). And, “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH), Marie Catherine Deniger Sansoucy, Individu no. 92580.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, December 05, 2014

52 Ancestors: #49 François Janvry dit Belair, Seven Years’ War soldier

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”.

I’ve had an amazing time participating in this blogging challenge for the past eleven months. There’s only four weeks left to go and I’m feeling kind of sad that the end is in sight.

For the 49th week of this challenge, I chose François Janvry dit Belair (ca 1736-1817).

My patrilineal family owes its existence on the North American continent to a war, because François – my first Belair immigrant ancestor – came to Nouvelle-France as a soldier. He is my 4x great-grandfather and is number 64 in my ancestor list.

During the Seven Years’ War (also known as the War of the Conquest or the French and Indian Wars) between 1754 and 1763, France sent army regiments and naval companies to Canada to fight the English and the Indians who threatened the colony’s sovereignty. [1]

There are few known details about François' early life. He was born about 1731 (age at his burial), or more likely about 1736 (age at his hospitalization). [2] He was born in the parish of St-Martin of Dives, Picardie, France. [3] He was the son of Charles Janvry and Marie Lefebvre. [4]

Hospital record of Francois Janvry dit Belair
François Janvry dit Belair's hospital record (middle line)
(Généalogie Québec.com)

François, an infantry soldier, served with an unspecified company in the Béarn regiment. [5] He was possibly in Canada as early as June 1755 when the regiment arrived in Quebec. [6] His first recorded appearance, however, is four years later when he was a patient at the Hôtel-Dieu (hospital) in Quebec from 17 to 19 June 1759. [7] His next appearance in Canadian records is when he served as a witness at the marriage of a fellow soldier in Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds), near Montreal, in November 1760. [8]

Two months later, François married Marie Elisabeth Martel on 7 January 1761 in Ste-Geneviève. [9] She was twenty-seven years old, and a widow with two young children. The newlyweds made their home in Ste-Geneviève on property that Marie Elisabeth inherited from her late husband. François and Marie Elisabeth had six children, including my ancestor Pierre, their youngest child.

Today – 5 December 2014 – marks the 197th anniversary of François’ death. He died on 5 December 1817, and was buried the next day in Ste-Geneviève. [10]

Sources:

1. Canadian War Museum (http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/gallery1/clash_e.shtml : accessed 4 December 2014), “Clash of Empires and The Battle of the Plains of Abraham: Introduction: The Seven Years' War”.

2. Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds, Quebec), parish register, 1812-1823, p. 112 recto, no entry no. (1817), Eustache Janvry [sic] burial, 6 December 1817; Ste-Geneviève parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 22 September 2010). And, “Registres du Fonds Drouin”, digital images, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 4 December 2014), entry for francois zénéry dit Beller [sic], 17 June 1759. Note: To access this unindexed entry, follow this path: Registres du Fonds Drouin > Québec > Divers > Québec (Hôpitaux) > Québec (Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu du Précieux-Sang de Québec) > Registres des malades > 1752-1804 > image d1p_31481140.jpg (line 17 on left page).

3. “Registres du Fonds Drouin”, digital images, Généalogie Québec, entry for francois zénéry dit Beller [sic], 17 June 1759. Also, Marcel Fournier, Combattre pour la France en Amérique: Les soldats de la guerre de Sept Ans en Nouvelle-France 1755-1760, (Montréal: Société généalogique canadienne-française, 2009), 405. An alternate place of birth is the “paroisse d’ytre, diocese de noyon en picardie”. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 5 September 2009), Francois Janvry Belair (ca 1731- ), Individu no. 160339.

4. Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds, Quebec), parish register, 1756-1775, p. 12 recto, no entry no. (1761), francois janvri dit belaïr – marie Elizabeth martel [sic], 7 January 1761; Ste-Geneviève parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 July 2007).

5. “Registres du Fonds Drouin”, digital images, Généalogie Québec, entry for francois zénéry dit Beller [sic], 17 June 1759. Also, Fournier, Combattre pour la France, 405.

6. Fournier, Combattre pour la France, 58.

7. “Registres du Fonds Drouin”, digital images, Généalogie Québec, entry for francois zénéry dit Beller [sic], 17 June 1759. Also, Fournier, Combattre pour la France, 405.

8. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 5 September 2009), Joseph Parmier Vadeboncoeur – Marie Catherine Lariviere, Mariage no. 281210.

9. Ste-Geneviève, parish register, 1756-1775, p. 12 recto, francois janvri dit belaïr – marie Elizabeth martel [sic] marriage, 7 January 1761.

10. Ste-Geneviève, parish register, 1812-1823, p. 112 recto, Eustache Janvry [sic] burial, 6 December 1817.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Fred and his children

Fred Belair Maurice Belair Joan Belair and Darlene Belair

My grandfather Fred with his children (left to right) Darlene, Maurice and Joan at our home in Timmins in December 1976.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Mystery Monday: Gaston Desgroseilliers’ Cause of Death

Death registration of Gaston Desgroseilliers
Gaston Desgroseilliers' death registration (1941)

Last year, I wrote about the short life of my mother’s younger brother Gaston and how he died following a car accident in May 1941 in Wednesday’s Child: Gaston Desgroseilliers, A Brief Life.

This past May, I went to the Archives of Ontario (AO), located in the provincial capital of Toronto, and viewed Gaston’s death registration on microfilm. [1]

You might ask yourself why bother seeing the registration when I had already knew the cause of death?

I wanted to see the death registration for two important reasons:


  1. My mother and her sisters always maintained that their little brother died after falling out of a moving car, not from pneumonia, as reported by the Cemetery Records department of the Town of Parry Sound. [2]
  2. I wanted my own copy of the (original) death registration.


Sitting at the microfilm reader in the Rotunda at AO, I was getting a bit anxious while scrolling through the film to locate the image I needed. (I was hoping that it would disclose the ‘right’ cause of death.) Finally, I got to the image I needed on roll 670. There was the cause of death: “Acute lung trouble or type of [pneunionea]”. [3]

Disappointed, I looked at the rest of the information and saw that “Jury’s Verdict” was written below the cause of death. I also noticed that the document was signed by S. B. Biehn, Coroner/M.D.

I was puzzled. What did “Jury’s Verdict” mean? Why would a jury be involved when someone dies in a hospital, like it said in the field “Place of Death”? And why would a coroner/M.D. sign the record?

While my husband made a digital copy of the registration on a USB memory stick, I went to the nearby reference desk. I wanted to know if the Archives had any coroners’ records. I was directed to their computer database, but I didn’t find any listings for the Parry Sound District, where Gaston’s death occurred.

When it was time to go, Michael and I signed ourselves out. (You have to sign in and sign out when you arrive and leave at AO.) As I wrote my name, the clerk asked if I had found everything I needed. I explained that I had, mostly, but that I didn’t find the coroners’ records I wanted. She asked for my name and contact number, and said that she would pass my concern on to an archivist.

Later that day, while my husband was negotiating rush hour traffic in Toronto, my cell phone rang. It was an AO archivist getting back to me. She explained that while the Archives did have some coroners’ records, it didn’t have them all (like Parry Sound District), because some records were lost or destroyed before a “records management program” was established in the 1960s. It wasn’t what I had hoped to hear, but thanked her for such a prompt reply.

So, at the end of the day, I’m still left with questions:


  • Was Gaston’s accident and subsequent death reported in a local newspaper?
  • What exactly is “acute lung trouble or type of [pneumonia]” and would it be caused after a fall from a moving vehicle?
  • Was a physician present when Gaston died in the hospital, and if so, why did he not sign the death registration? (The coroner stated on the form that he “did not attend” the deceased.)
  • It looks like there are four different handwritings on the registration form; why so many?*
  • Do Gaston’s hospital records still exist, and if so, are they accessible to a family member?
  • Why was a coroner’s jury involved? Who or what determines the need for an inquest?
  • Why did the coroner sign and date the registration four days after Gaston’s death? Did he wait for the jury to return its verdict?
  • If coroners’ records for Parry Sound District didn’t get transferred to the provincial archives, might they still exist at the municipal or district level?


* In the “Medical Certificate of Death” portion of the form (on the right side), it looks like the handwriting of the coroner, S. B. Biehn. I suspect that it’s my grandfather Eugène’s handwriting I see on the left side of the record, as well as at the top where it says “Place of Death” and “Residence”. Just below it, where it says “Name of Deceased”, the writing seems to be by another person. Finally, at the very right hand bottom, it looks like the Division Registrar signed his name and dated the form.

Sources:

1. Gaston Desgrosseiliers [sic] death registration no. 028984 (1941); Ontario Registrations of Death, 1869–; microfilm MS 935, roll 670, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.

2. Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound (Parry Sound, Ontario), Cemetery Records, to Yvonne Belair, letter, 25 February 1987, providing administrative record for Gaston Desgroseilliers, Single Grave S, in the South ½ [S ½] of Lot 14, Block L, Hillcrest Cemetery.

3. Gaston Desgrosseiliers [sic] death registration no. 028984 (1941); Ontario Registrations of Death, 1869–.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.