No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “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.”
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This past week, my husband and I took a road trip to our ancestral home of New Brunswick. The visit was a compromise. I hoped to research our ancestors, see their homeland, hit a few museums and sample Acadian food while he desired a more active vacation of hiking and biking. The weather was perfect! We visited Saint John, Moncton, Ste. Marie, Bouctouche, Richibucto, Rexton, Scodouc, Shediac, Cap-Pele, and the Bay of Fundy, where we spent the night in Alma. A mix of genealogy, sightseeing and biking/hiking. We visited the Acadian Museum in Moncton, the Loyalist Museum in Saint John, several cemeteries, the Hopewell Rocks at low tide, rode bikes to the Bouctouche Dunes/Irving Park and tasted local wines and cheeses in Richibucto.
A treat, was our two nights (at a reasonable C$ 99/night) in the first priest’s residence of Bouctouche (which has been converted to a country inn called Auberge le Vieux Presbytere). A beautiful spot, overlooking the cemetery where many of my ancestors are buried and likely the same ocean views at the time when they attended church services. The church has since been relocated. In 1886 lightning struck the church and burned it to the ground. It was rebuilt only to be destroyed again this time by fire on December 18, 1921. This picture was taken just about 1905/6 before the fire. The inn can be seen on the far right of the picture and the convent school on the far left. After this second loss the parish had a difficult decision to make. The convent, church, priest’s residence and the cemetery had been the center of the village life, even though the village was located some 2 kilometers away. Family members were all there in the cemetery and many didn’t want to “abandon” them. Others argued that the spot was subject to very severe climate and attending services was becoming more difficult. Finally the parishioners made the difficult decision to rebuild the church and priest’s residence in a calmer spot in the village.
The highlight of MY trip was meeting “THE” Stephen A. White at Moncton University’s Centre d’Études Acadiennes [Center for Acadian Studies], the OZ of Acadian Genealogy.
The center is AMAZING and I barely touched the surface.
Stephen has transcribed Acadian marriages on to index cards and alphabetized by surname. There is one for each party of the marriage. Using the cards, you can easily locate the marriage in parish registers. No more issues with bad indexing or unindexed records. It essentially makes no sense to spend hours on Ancestry.com, searching through 29,000 LeBlanc records when you can visit Moncton and in a few days piece everything together (likely more accurately). I am recruiting Acadian genealogy friends interested in spending several days there!
Just a few interesting tidbits…..
(1) ROY/ROI AND CONSANGUINITY
After locating the card for my ancestors, Joseph Roi and Henriette Leger, I mentioned to Stephen that I struggled with determining consanguinity “…Joseph Roi and Henrietta Legere after having granted dispensation from 3 to 3 and 4 to the 4th degree of consanguinity…” (related blog post: https://passagetothepast.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/52-ancestors-week-28-using-consanguinity-to-prove-parentage-in-the-roy-family/).
I spent hours at home, my brain about to explode, attempting to determine the “cousin connections” between the couple. I finally got the “3 to 3”, but was unable to calculate the “4 to 4”.
Stephen pulled a few binders, sat at a table, and within five minutes presented the following:
Simple. Just list the names of the couple’s parents, grandparents, g-grandparents, etc. and the matches should be evident. Why hadn’t I thought of that!
(2) Paul Forest’s Ancestry – NEW INFORMATION UNCOVERED!
One of my direct maternal ancestors (my 5th g-grandmother) is Apolline/Polonie Forest, daughter of Paul Forest. Stephen White has recently uncovered new information regarding Paul Forest’s ancestry. Previously, in Stephen’s Dictionnaire, it was recorded that Paul’s parents were Charles Forest and Marie Chiasson. This is likely inaccurate. Paul, born about 1746, is thought to be the son of Charles Forest and his second wife Marie-Josephe Poirier.
Charles, son of Rene and Francoise Dugas, did first marry Marie Chiasson, she died and he married second, about 1746, Marie-Josephe Poirier, daughter of Jacques Poirier and Anne Cormier. Marie-Josephe Poirier, was the widow of Francois Hebert son of Pierre and Marie-Josephe Blou, who she married about 1740.
My Original Tree
Stephen’s notes in French, explaining his theory
Charles Forest and his second wife Marie-Josephe Poirier (m. ca.1746):
Explanatory note from S. A. White: The godparents of Jean-Baptiste Hébert, son of François Hébert and Marie-Josèphe Poirier, were Jean Cormier and Anne Cormier (Parish register of Beaubassin, 21 May 1741). These were the child’s uncle by marriage on his father’s side and his grandmother on his mother’s side. This latter relationship has been confirmed by the results of a mitochondrial DNA test for one of Marie-Josèphe Poirier’s maternal-line descendants which indicate that Marie-Josèphe inherited from her own maternal side the genetic signature of Geneviève Lefranc (haplotype W). Now, Anne Cormier was a daughter of Marguerite LeBlanc, whose mother Catherine Hébert was Geneviève Lefranc’s daughter (see S. A. White, “L’ADN des mères d’Acadie,” Centre d’études acadiennes, Genealogical collections, Miscellaneous). The last source mentioned parenthetically is a file that contains all of the maternal lineages and mtDNA test results I have collected since 2006, plus a few associated materials. A lot of this material is not available on your website. (Reference is to my web site at acadian ancestral home. Lucie LeBlanc Consentino).
Here is a translation of Paul Delaney’s note:
Explanatory note from Paul Delaney: Marie Hébert was the daughter of François Hébert and Marie-Josèphe Poirier. The dispensations for the third degree of consanguinity granted upon the marriage of Casimir Bourg, grandson of Ursule Forest (daughter of Charles Forest and his wife “Mary”), to Marie Bourg, granddaughter of Marie Hébert (Parish register of Barachois, 22 Nov. 1830) and upon that of Dominique Bourg, grandson of Marie Hébert, to the above Casimir’s sister Marguerite Bourg (Parish register of Cap-Pelé, 10 Sept. 1832), show that Marie Hébert must have been either a half- sister of Ursule Forest or of Marguerite Haché. The absence of any dispensations in the records when Moïse Bourg, another of Marie Hébert’s grandsons, married Marcelline Bonnevie (Parish register of Barachois, 15 Sept. 1828) and when François Léger, yet another of Marie Hébert’s grandsons, married Marguerite Bonnevie (Parish register of Grande- Digue, 14 July 1817) meanwhile eliminates the possibility that such a relationship might have existed between Marie Hébert and Marguerite Haché (the grandmother of the Bonnevies). The dispensation for the second to the third degree of consanguinity granted to Louis Léger, another of Marie Hébert’s grandsons, when he married Ursule Forest’s brother Paul Forest’s daughter Marguerite (Parish register of Cap-Pelé, 30 Oct. 1820), then gives us the proof that Marie Hébert and all the children of Charles Forest and “Mary” had the same mother, because Paul was the eldest of those children and Ursule the youngest. Consequently, the wife of Charles Forest who is called simply “Mary” in the civil register of Franklin Manor was the same Marie-Josèphe Poirier who had first married François Hébert about 1740.
Thanks to Suzanne & Liz & Marcelle on the Acadian Facebook page for the translation!
My Revised Tree
(3) THE LEBLANC MIX UP
My mother’s maternal grandfather was Paul/Pius Roy born 9 Jul 1886 in Ste Marie de Kent, New Brunswick; died 9 Aug 1954 in Athol, Worcester, Massachusetts. A number of records (in my personal files) identify his parents as Docité/Dosithée Roy and Victoire (LeBlanc) Roy.
A marriage of 11 May 1885 in Ste Marie, lists Victoire’s parents as Georges LeBlanc and Madeleine LeBlanc.
Church records in Bouctouche record a child born to Georges LeBlanc and Madeleine LeBlanc as Victoire’s, baptized 1 May 1865
This matches up with an immigration record dated 9 Dec 1922, where Victoire claims to be age 57 (she is traveling to her son Edmund’s home 244 Parker Street, Gardner, MA – staying less than 6 months – husband “Docity” of 70 Pearl Street, Moncton, NB paid her passage – she is 5’6″, med complexion, brown hair, brown eyes, 140). She lists a birthplace of “St Mary’s”. Residents of that area were baptized, married and buried in Bouctouche parish until the arrival of Ste-Marie’s (Mont-Carmel’s) first resident pastor in 1870.
Stephen took a look at my tree and immediately pointed out a potential “mix up” with the LeBlancs.
I was correct that Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet and Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache were likely Victoire’s grandparents. The confusion being the identity of maternal pair versus the paternal.
– Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet had a son name Georges and a daughter named Madeleine.
– Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache had a son name Georges and a daughter named Madeleine.
One child from each family married the other – Georges to Madeleine and Georges to Madeleine! Stephen pulled another binder and noted that I indeed had things reversed!
My g-g-grandmother Victorie LeBlanc descends from Georges of Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache and Madeleine of Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet. Lots of trees out there in cyberspace with the same error!!
My Direct Ancestors
Baptism of Georges, of Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache, 9 February 1844 in Bouctouche.
Baptism of Madeleine, of Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet, 21 Jan 1844 in Bouctouche.
Marriage of Georges of Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache and Madeleine of Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet in Bouctouche on 2 May 1864. They were both about 20 years of age.
My Cousins (but not Direct Ancestors)
Baptism of Georges, of Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet, on 15 March 1838, in Bouctouche
Baptism of Madeleine, of Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache, on 20 April 1839, in Bouctouche.
Marriage of Georges of Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet and Madeleine of Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache, in Richibucto, 31 January 1860.
Georges and Madeline White (LeBlanc) in the 1861 census, both age 23, Wellington, Kent, New Brunswick with two children – Margarett (1) and Geneviève (3 months).
You are noticing that neither marriage record from the Drouin indexes specifically names either set of Georges and Madeleine’s parents. Stephen White has been working these families for decades! He has been able to determine the likelihood of who was married to whom and born to whom because he has studied the entire population. There are likely additional analyses and records to which I do not have access or that I have not reviewed (like all of the birth/marriage/death records of each of their children). Yet another reason to return to Moncton! I feel confident that my tree is now likely correct as my LeBlanc family was indeed in Kent in the Ste Marie/Bouctouche area and Madeleine’s second marriage and death certificate does record the names of her parents (see below).
Additional Data/My Direct Ancestors
Given that Victoire, was born in 1865 and is found to be the eldest child in census data, it is likely that her parents were the Georges and Madeleine born in 1844, married in 1864. Other known children of Georges and Madeleine likely include Henriette, Matilde, Vitaline, Eugenie, Zelie, Nerie, Marguerite, Adelard, Sara and Annie. I have not searched for further records as it would be simpler (hopefully soon) to return to Moncton and utilize Stephen’s research to trace them forward.
The 1851 census for Kent County, New Brunswick did not survive.
1861 Wellington parish: Georges White (LeBlanc), age 16, and mother Victoire living with his step-father Julian LeBlanc & half-siblings and next door (or nearby) to his future wife Madeleine White (LeBlanc), age 18 who resides with her parents Joseph & Marguerite and siblings Daniel and Oliver.
1871 Wellington parish: George, 27 (farmer, b. 1844); Madeleine, 27 (b. 1844); Victoire, 6 (b. 1865); Henriette, 4; Matilde, 2; Vitaline 2 months
1881 St Mary’s parish: George, 38; Madeleine, 38; Victoire, 15; Henriette, 13; Matilde, 11; Eugenie 8; Milie Zeliah (Zelie) 6, Nerie,1; Marguerite, 1 month
Georges died and was buried 14 Feb 1891 in Ste Marie, he was 47. I did not locate his grave during my visit or at http://www.acadian-cemeteries.acadian-home.org/frames.html
1891 St Mary’s parish: Madeleine, 47 (widow); Eugenie 18; Zelia 16, Niry (Nerie), 11; Marguerite, 9; Dolore (Adelard), 8; Sara, 6; Anne, 4; ___ Roy, 2.
Victoire’s young family lived nearby in Ste Marie (further information on this family is included in my Roy blog post – https://passagetothepast.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/52-ancestors-week-28-using-consanguinity-to-prove-parentage-in-the-roy-family/).
Madeleine married second, Marc LeBlanc son of Joachim and Prudentienne Maillet, widower of Cécile Bastarache on 22 May 1893. The church record lists her as widow of Georges LeBlanc.
The civil record names her parents as Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet
On 18 Nov 1895, daughter Zelie married David Caissy at Mont-Carmel in Ste Marie.
On 3 Feb 1902, her son Nerie married Marguerite LeBlanc.
Madeleine and Marc are listed in Charlotte County, New Brunswick in Familysearch 1911 census indexes. The record is likely mis-indexed on Ancestry.com as it could not be located. The Adelard residing with her is indeed her son with George, as documented in his marriage record to Emma Gaudet.
Adelard LeBlanc‘s marriage to Emma Gaudet, Richibucto:
Madeleine’s husband Marc died, 8 June 1919, age 66 in Ste Marie of heart and kidney trouble.
Madeleine was not located in the 1921 census.
Madeleine died 4 May 1935, age 92, 4 months in St Damien. Her son Neri reported her death. Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet are named as her parents. She was buried in Mt Carmel cemetery in Ste Marie (her stone has not been located).
OVERALL – A great trip and experience! I hope to return soon!