Friday, August 22, 2014

52 Ancestors: #34 Joseph Léveillé

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 34th week of this challenge, I chose Joseph Léveillé (1839-1922).

Joseph is my maternal great-great-grandfather and is number 26 in my ancestor list.


Joseph Léveillé born 1839 died 1922
Joseph Léveillé

Early in my research, I found sources that stated Joseph was born about 1839 or in 1842 in New Glasgow, Quebec. It wasn’t until I got a subscription to Ancestry that I eventually found his baptism record. It showed that my great-great-grandfather was born and baptized on 23 August 1839 in St-Lin, L’Assomption County, Quebec. [1] Granted, New Glasgow and St-Lin are near each other, but not near enough to be the same place.

Joseph was a younger son of Jean-Baptiste Léveillé and Adélaïde Coderre. He had four older brothers, Jean-Baptiste, François-Xavier, Louis and Joseph (the last two died as infants), and two sisters, Marguerite and Marie Mélina (who also died as an infant).

The Léveillé family is enumerated on the 1851 census in L’Assomption (at that time Leinster) County in Quebec. Ten years later, Joseph and his parents are living in Russell County, Ontario, according to the 1861 census. It’s possible they were there as early as 1857, because a local history book names a Jean-Baptiste Léveillé and a Xavier Léveillé among some of the first settlers of Embrun. [2] These men could be Joseph’s father and brother, or his two eldest brothers, who paved the way, so to speak, for the rest of the family to join them in this part southeastern Ontario.

In October 1862, Joseph married as his first wife Marguerite Gauthier in Embrun. [3] The couple had one child, a daughter, before Marguerite died. Despite my searches, I haven’t found her burial record or her death registration. I also haven’t found his second marriage, to Cordélia Racette, in the sacramental registers of St-Jacques parish of Embrun. Fortunately, though, the 1871 census helps out by giving a date: November 1870. [4]

In the late 1980s, a distant cousin wrote to me about our mutual ancestors Joseph and Cordélia. He told me about the time he visited their youngest daughter Florida and how she had shared with him many details about her family, as well as photos of her parents. Florida appears to be the source for her parents’ marriage date and place of 10 November 1870 Embrun, Ontario and for the photo of Joseph seen above that was sent to me by my correspondent.[5]

Joseph and Cordélia, who were third cousins, had eleven children, born between 1872 and 1896: Mélanise (Mélanie), Joseph (who died young), Léonie, Clémentine (my great-grandmother), Adeline, Amanda, Adélaïde, Odilon Dominat, Louis, Florida and Eugène.

Joseph, who was a laborer and farmer all his life, died presumably in October 1922. He was buried on 21 October 1922 in the parish cemetery of St-Viateur in Limoges, Russell County, Ontario. [6] Unfortunately, his burial record doesn’t give his date or place of death. I didn’t find Joseph's death registration in Ancestry.ca’s “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947” database or in “Ontario Deaths 1869-1947” at FamilySearch.org. I even searched the microfilmed death registration records at the Archives of Ontario when I was in Toronto last May, but didn’t locate Joseph. I also checked the "Le LAFRANCE" database at GénéalogieQuebec.com in case he died in the province of Quebec, but there weren’t any candidates. Finally, Joseph’s death wouldn’t be registered in that site’s “Mariages et décès 1926-1997” database, because the records begin in 1926, five years after his passed away.

Sources:

1. St-Lin (St-Lin-des-Laurentides, Quebec), parish register, 1839, p. 21 recto, entry no. B.102, Joseph Léveillé baptism, 23 August 1839; St-Lin parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 22 August 2008).

2. J.-U. Forget and Elie-J. Auclair, Histoire de Saint-Jacques d’Embrun (Ottawa: La Cie d’Imprimerie d’Ottawa, 1910), 19; digital image, Our Roots (http://ourroots.ca : accessed 21 April 2013).

3. "Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923," digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-24169-4211-91?cc=1927566&wc=M6VT-9TG:221001601,221046001,221030802,221049401 : accessed 27 March 2012), Russell > Embrun > St Jacques > Baptisms, marriages, burials 1858-1869 > image 62 of 187, Léveillé – Gauthier marriage.

4. 1871 census of Canada, Russell Township, Russell County, Ontario, population schedule, subdistrict d, p. 27, dwelling 95, family 95, Joseph Léveyer [sic] household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 22 August 2008); citing Library and Archives Canada, Census of Canada, 1871. The enumerator wrote “November” in Column 16 (Married within last twelve months), indicating that Joseph and Cordélia married in November 1870.

5. Paul Lavoie to Yvonne Belair, letter, 7 January 1988; privately held by Yvonne (Belair) Demoskoff, 2014. Paul, a great-great-grandson of Joseph and Cordélia (Racette) Léveillé, spoke with their daughter Florida (Léveillé) Leroux in Vars, Ontario in 1974.

6. St-Viateur (Limoges, Ontario), parish register, 1911-1927, p. 294, entry no. S.15, Joseph Léveillé (written as Léveillé, indexed as Laville) burial, 21 October 1922; St-Viateur parish; digital image, “Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 22 August 2008).

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Vase

Vase front
Front of vase

This beautiful vase came into my possession when I visited my aunt Darlene at her home in southern Ontario earlier in May. We were in the basement looking through her collection of photos and memorabilia, when she spotted the vase. She explained that she gave it to her mother (my paternal grandmother Julie) as a gift with the money she earned from her first job. My aunt didn’t tell me which job this was, where she worked, which year it was, or even how much she paid for it. (The vase was probably purchased in the mid-1950s.) In my excitement at seeing the vase and hearing that it once belonged to my beloved Mémère Julie, I never thought to ask my aunt about those details.


Vase back
Back of vase

Vase Specifications

Item: A two-handled, six-sided, multi-coloured tapered vase, decorated in a large floral pattern, accented with smaller, slightly embossed gold-colour flower petals, on an overall beige background. The back of the vase is decorated with a coordinating flower.

Size: The vase measures about 29 cm (11½”) tall, 21.6 cm (8½”) wide (at its widest point) and 15.2 cm (6”) deep (at its deepest point).

Weight: It weighs 865 grams (about 1.9 lbs).

Material: It is made of pottery, porcelain or plastic.

Condition: It’s in fairly good condition, with no nicks, scratches, chips or dents. There is light crazing over the matte surface. The vase’s colours are somewhat muted, but I’m not sure if that’s what they originally were, or if the passage of time has toned down their intensity.

Manufacturer: There are no markings that indicate a make or manufacturer, but there’s some indistinct text stamped on the bottom that might say “Made […]”.

The vase, safely packed in my suitcase, came home with me at the end of my vacation. It now sits on an end table in my living room.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Church Record Sunday: Possible Burial Record of Pierre Janvry dit Belair

Burial record of Pierre Vrille Janvril
Burial record of Pierre Vrille (1848)

Some years ago, a correspondent shared with me the burial record of someone who was possibly our common ancestor. It was for a man named Pierre Vrille, who died on 26 December 1848 and who was buried two days later in the parish of St-François-de-Sales in Pointe-Gatineau, now in Gatineau County, Quebec.

The burial record can be seen in “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967” at Ancestry.ca, but the image is almost unreadable. He appears there as “Pierre Vielle” in the database index, but as “Pierre Vrille” in the record. [1] A more legible image is available at FamilySearch.org, seen above in a cropped version. [2]

This record, written in French and signed by Father J. Ginguet, adds that the burial took place in the parish cemetery and that the witnesses were Jean Marie Lacloche and François Lacloche. No mention is made of a wife for Pierre, however.

The following points suggest that Pierre Vrille is the same man as Pierre Janvry dit Belair, my paternal great-great-great-grandfather:

Vrille pronounced in French sounds like the second syllable in Janvril(le), a variant of Janvry.

• Pierre Vrille was born about 1773, based on his age (“soixante et quinze ans” – 75 years old) at his burial. [3]

• Pierre Janvry dit Belair was born on 2 March 1772. [4]

• Pierre Janvry dit Belair resided in Aylmer in 1843 [5] and in nearby Hull in 1845. [6] Aylmer, Hull, Pointe-Gatineau and neighbouring communities merged in 2002 and became the city of Gatineau. [7]

• Pierre Janvry dit Belair died after 2 September 1845 (when he was present at his son’s marriage) [8], but before 29 September 1851 (when his widow remarried). [9]

• There is no burial record for a Pierre Janvry or Pierre Belair between 1845 and 1851 in the province of Quebec. [10]

Sources:

1. St-François-de-Sales (Pointe-Gatineau, Quebec), parish register, 1847-1857, p. 29 verso, entry no. Sépulture 16 (1848), Pierre Vrille (written as Vrille, indexed as Vielle) burial, 28 December 1848; St-François-de-Sales parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 4 March 2009).

2. "Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-28004-12486-60?cc=1321742&wc=9RL6-FMH:17434701,17434702,17552101 : accessed 12 August 2014), Pointe-Gatineau > Saint-François-de-Sales-de-Templeton > Index 1847-1876 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1847-1874 > image 118 of 580, Pierre Vrille burial.

3. St-François-de-Sales, parish register, 1847-1857, p. 29 verso, Pierre Vrille burial, 28 December 1848.

4. Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds, Quebec), parish register, 1756-1775, no p. no., no entry no. (1772), Pierre Janvery [sic] baptism, 2 March 1772; Ste-Geneviève parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 23 March 2008).

5. St-Paul (Aylmer, Quebec), parish register, 1841-1851, p. 89 verso, entry no. M.19 (1843), Louis Poulin – Esther Jeanvril marriage, 5 September 1843, St-Paul parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 March 2012). Pierre and his wife Scholastique are residents “de ce Township” (of this township) at their daughter Esther’s marriage in 1843.

6. St-Paul (Aylmer, Quebec), parish register, 1841-1848, p. 250, no entry no. (1845), Paul Jeanvril – Angélique Lalonde marriage, 2 September 1845, Missions d’Aylmer parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 March 2012). Pierre and Scholastique were “de Hull” (from Hull) at their son Paul’s marriage in 1845.

7. Wikipedia contributors, "Gatineau", Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gatineau&oldid=620823900 : accessed 12 August 2014).

8. St-Paul, parish register, 1841-1848, p. 250, Paul Jeanvril – Angélique Lalonde marriage, 2 September 1845.

9. St-Camillus (Farrellton, Quebec), parish register, 1851-1868, p. 17 verso, entry no. M.7 (1851), Joseph Clemens – Scholastique Michel [sic] marriage, 29 September 1851; St-Camillus parish; digital image, “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 4 March 2009). Scholastique is described as “widow of Pierre Belair” in her marriage record.

10. “Le LAFRANCE”, database, GénéalogieQuébec (www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 12 August 2014). A search for a burial record for “Pierre Janvry” (including Janvril and Jeanvril) or “Pierre Belair” between 1845 and 1851 proved negative.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sympathy Saturday: Accidental Death of William Brennan

It’s been 75 years since the accidental death of William Brennan in August 1939, and four years since I first learned about him while researching my grandmother Julie’s relatives.

William John Brennan was a younger son of James Brennan and Olivine Fleury. He was born on 4 January 1892 at Trout Lake, and baptized one month later in Sheenboro, Pontiac County, Quebec. [1]

William suffered a double tragedy when he was less than two years old: his parents died within months of each other in late 1893. He and his infant sister Rose Mary went to live with their maternal grandparents, while their elder brother went to live with a maternal uncle.

In April 1914, William married Mary (Minnie) Vanasse in Chapeau, Pontiac County, not long after his sister Rose Mary married Minnie’s brother Francis Guy Vanasse there in September 1912. [2]

Francis Guy and Minnie were first cousins of my paternal grandmother Julie (Vanasse) Belair, who was a bit younger than they were.

William and Minnie had seven children: one son and six daughters, of whom four survived. A year after the birth of their fourth child, the Brennan family moved from rural Chapeau to the mining town of Cobalt, Timiskaming District, Ontario in 1922. [3]


Cobalt Ontario
Grand View Avenue, Cobalt. [Ont.] (1924)

One summer’s night in 1939, William was walking on a highway when he was struck by a “half ton panel truck owned by Pardon’s Service Station” on “the main road not far from the O’Brien Mill at Mileage 104”, a few miles north of Cobalt. [4] The accident occurred about 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, 19 August, 1939. William was taken to Cobalt Municipal Hospital, but did not regain consciousness. He died at 1:35 p.m. the following day. [5]

Unfortunately, it appears that William was under the influence of alchohol at the time of the accident. A witness “had seen Brennan ‘staggering’ about the middle of the road going toward Cobalt” and the attending doctor at the hospital attested that “there was ‘a strong odor’ of liquor on [Brennan’s] breath”. [6]

Later, a coroner’s inquiry “held the circumstances to have been accidental, ‘with no blame attached to the driver of the truck’ […]”. [7]

William’s funeral took place on 23 August 1939 at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church. He is interred in Ste. Therese Cemetery, Cobalt. [8]

Photo credit: John Boyd / Library and Archives Canada /

Sources:

1. St. Paul the Hermit [St. Bridget] (Sheenboro, Quebec), parish register, 1873-1893, p. 335 (printed), entry no. B.3 (1892), William John Brennan baptism, 1 February 1892; St-Paul the Hermit [St. Bridget] parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 8 September 2010). William’s parents were residents of Sheen[boro] township at his baptism, suggesting that he was born there. Alternatively, William was born in “Trout Lake, Quebec”, according to the 1925 death registration of his daughter on which his wife Mary (Minnie) was the informant. (“Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1936 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947”, digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : 15 September 2010), entry for Bernadette Brennan, 13 October 1925.)

2. St-Alphonse (Chapeau, Quebec), parish register, 1914, p. 6 recto, entry no. M.3, William John Brennan – Minnie Venasse [sic] marriage, 20 April 1914; St-Alphonse parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 8 September 2010).

3. “Mrs. Brennan 90 years old and still going strong”, Temiskaming Speaker, 21 March 1979, p. 12a, col. 3; digital images, World Vital Records (http://wvr.paperofrecord.com : accessed 12 September 2010), Newspapers and Periodicals.

4. “Jury Exonerates Driver In Saturday Accident”, Temiskaming Speaker, 24 August 1939, p. 1, col. 7; digital images, World Vital Records (http://wvr.paperofrecord.com : accessed 12 September 2010), Newspapers and Periodicals.

5. “Jury Exonerates Driver In Saturday Accident”, Temiskaming Speaker, 24 August 1939.

6. “Jury Exonerates Driver In Saturday Accident”, Temiskaming Speaker, 24 August 1939.

7. “Jury Exonerates Driver In Saturday Accident”, Temiskaming Speaker, 24 August 1939.

8. “Jury Exonerates Driver In Saturday Accident”, Temiskaming Speaker, 24 August 1939. Also, Find A Grave, digital image (http://findagrave.com : accessed 15 August 2014), photograph, gravestone for William John Brennan (1892-1939), Find A Grave Memorial no. 72899549, Sainte Therese Cemetery, O'Brien, Timiskaming District, Ontario.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, August 15, 2014

52 Ancestors: #33 Flavie Lepage

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 33rd week of this challenge, I chose Flavie Lepage (1847-1906).

Flavie is my maternal great-great-grandmother and is number 25 in my ancestor list.

Born on 1 December 1847 in St-Constant, Laprairie County, Quebec, Flavie was the eldest of the fourteen children of Narcisse and Flavie (Moquin) Lepage. [1] By the time she married Pierre Desgroseilliers on 7 November 1865, [2] Flavie’s mother had eleven children, and would go on to have three more.

Flavie fille was used to moving from town to town from a young age. Before she married, she, her parents and her siblings lived in three different locations in Laprairie and Châteauguay Counties in southwestern Quebec. After her marriage, Flavie, her husband and their children lived in five different communities in Quebec and Ontario, including Montreal’s Hochelaga district in the early 1890s. [3]


City of Montreal 1889
Birds eye view city of Montreal 1889.

Like her mother, Flavie gave birth to a large family – thirteen children – over the course of 24 years. Two died as infants, son Albert in 1873 and daughter Elodia (Azilda) in 1886. The children who reached adulthood and married were Philomème, Joseph, Narcisse, Emma, Euphémie, Prosper, Albert (my great-grandfather), Célestin, Ovide, Dorilla and Marie Célanise.

While taking care of her large brood, Flavie was also godmother to at least six children. Four were her own grandchildren, while the other two were her youngest brother and her husband’s niece.

Flavie’s date of death is a bit of a mystery. Depending on the source, she died on 30 March 1906 [4] or on 1 August 1906 in St-Charles, Ontario. [5] I didn’t find her burial information when I looked at the parish records of St-Charles, Ontario, using Ancestry.ca’s “Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967” database. (St-Charles’ records begin in 1905, but they are unfortunately incomplete.) I also searched for her death registration at Ancestry.ca, but couldn’t locate it in the “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947” database. Last, I was unsuccessful at finding her death record when I viewed the relevant microfilms at the Archives of Ontario this past May.

Image credit: Library and Archives Canada, online MIKAN no. 4137889.

Sources:

1. St-Constant (St-Constant, Quebec), parish register, 1847, p. 28 recto, entry no. B.126, Flavie LePage [sic] baptism, 2 December 1847; St-Constant parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 11 August 2007).

2. St-Chrysostôme (St-Chrysostôme, Quebec), parish register, 1865, p. 27 verso, entry no. M.26, Desgroseilliers – Lepage marriage, 7 November 1865; St-Chrysostôme parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 24 August 2007).

3. “Lovell’s Montreal Directory, For 1891-92 […]”; digital image, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/lovell/index.html : accessed 27 April 2012), 483, “Pierre Desgroseillier [sic]”. Pierre resided at 51 rue Davidson; he was a laborer.

4. St Charles Cemetery (Dunnet Township), digital images (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~murrayp/sudbury/st_char/public/page0002.htm : accessed 10 August 2014), photograph, grave marker for Flavie Lepage, St-Charles, Ontario. To view Flavie’s gravemarker, click on image “desgros1”.

5. Lionel Séguin, Historique de la paroisse Saint-Charles (Saint-Charles, Ont., 1945: 232); digital images, Our Roots (http://www.ourroots.ca/ : accessed 18 June 2013).

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Follow Friday: Italian Canadians as Enemy Aliens

Flag of Canada

Flag of Italy

Earlier this week, I was searching for some background information about another subject when I came across a new-to-me website called Italian Canadians as Enemy Aliens: Memories of World War II

Not only is this a website I’ve never come across, but it also deals with a topic I’ve never considered – that some Italian Canadians were considered enemy aliens in the 1940s. I learned that during World War II, “31,000 were designated as enemy aliens. They were fingerprinted, photographed and ordered to report monthly to the police; about 600 were interned in remote camps”. [1]

One thing that caught my eye almost immediately after being on the site for just a few seconds was the Internee List. It can be searched by “Name” or by “Location”. I don’t believe I know anyone personally in the list, but I did recognize the surname Mascioli, because it was a well-known business family in my hometown of Timmins, Ontario.

For those with a general interest in this subject, the website is worth a visit for learning more about the Italian Canadians’ experience during World War II. For those with a genealogical interest, it might be very useful for finding names of relatives or ancestors during this time frame.

Source:

1. “About Us”, Italian Canadians as Enemy Aliens: Memories of World War II (http://www.italiancanadianww2.ca/static_pages/freeformpage/footer_about_us : accessed 12 August 2014).

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Butchart Gardens


My Mom Jacqueline (left) with her sisters Simone (centre) and Madeleine (right) in August 1980 at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

Friday, August 08, 2014

52 Ancestors: #32 Pierre Desgroseilliers, buried and reburied

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 32nd week of this challenge, I chose Pierre Desgroseilliers (1841-1904).


Pierre is my maternal great-great-grandfather and is number 24 in my ancestor list.


He was born on 11 June 1841 in Ste-Martine, Châteauguay County, Quebec. [1] He was the seventh child and third son of François Desgroseilliers by his wife Elisabeth (Isabelle) Lemieux. On 7 November 1865, Pierre married Flavie Lepage in St-Chrysostôme, also in Châteauguay County. [2] The couple had thirteen children – seven sons and six daughters – between 1866 and 1890. The family moved to the relative wilderness area known as Grand Brûlé, now St-Charles, south of present-day Sudbury, Ontario, in the late 1890s.


A little over a year ago, I wrote an article about determining when Pierre died. I wanted to show that he couldn’t have died in 1901 as seen in a local history book that was published in 1945. [3] You can read about it here in Proof Summary: Pierre Desgroseilliers’ Death Date.


That publication might have been wrong about Pierre’s date of death, but it also had interesting details about his life in St-Charles.


For example, Pierre was the “premier villageois” (first villager) in that community, although he wasn’t the first inhabitant in the area. [4] In 1901, Reverend Father Charles Langlois, the curate of nearby Verner, occasionally celebrated Mass at Pierre’s house, located on Lot 12, Concession 1 in Dunnet. [5] A few years later, Pierre was one of three men who chose the site for the new church, after the two earlier chapels were destroyed by fire in 1900 and 1903, respectively. [6]


One particularly interesting item stands out in the text, though.

View of a cemetery

The first Roman Catholic cemetery in St-Charles was located close to the first chapel built in 1900, on a small hillside shaded by tall willow trees. [7]


There was a problem with the land, though: it didn’t drain well. A committee decided to relocate the cemetery on a new plot of land. Accordingly, the coffins from the first cemetery were exhumed and moved to the new location. Pierre Desgroseilliers was among the souls who were relocated. [8]


Unfortunately, this second location proved just as difficult to drain, so much so, that it wasn’t unusual to see coffins floating to the surface. And so, a third location was considered in 1939, but in the end, the parish kept the current cemetery, having levelled it and drained it. [9]


And that’s how my great-great-grandfather Pierre Desgroseilliers was buried and reburied.


Image source: Microsoft Clip Art.


Sources:


1. Ste-Martine (Ste-Martine, Quebec), parish register, 1841, p. 21 verso, entry no. B.8115, Pierre Desgroseilliers baptism, 12 June 1841; Ste-Martine parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 24 August 2007).


2. St-Chrysostôme (St-Chrysostôme, Quebec), parish register, 1865, p. 27 verso, entry no. M.26, Desgroseilliers – Lepage marriage, 7 November 1865; St-Chrysostôme parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 24 August 2007).


3. Lionel Séguin, Historique de la paroisse Saint-Charles (Saint-Charles, Ont., 1945: 232); digital images, Our Roots (http://www.ourroots.ca/ : accessed 18 June 2013).


4. Séguin, Historique de la paroisse Saint-Charles, 129. The townships of Appleby, of Jennings and of Casimir, known as St-Charles, were established as a municipality in 1908.


5. Séguin, Historique de la paroisse Saint-Charles, 342.


6. Séguin, Historique de la paroisse Saint-Charles, 43-45. The other two men were Reverend Father Charles Langlois and Antoine Chaloux.


7. Séguin, Historique de la paroisse Saint-Charles, 51.


8. Séguin, Historique de la paroisse Saint-Charles, 52. To view Pierre's gravemarker, click on image "desgros2" at St Charles Cemetery (Dunnet Township).


9. Séguin, Historique de la paroisse Saint-Charles, 52.


Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.