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In 2007, I joined Ancestry.com. It never occurred to me that online, unsourced trees were inaccurate. I essentially “copied” my entire Acadian family from potentially erroneous public trees and never looked back. Although my newer entries are sourced, a visit to Stephen A. White, at Moncton University’s Centre d’Études Acadiennes [Center for Acadian Studies] in 2014, revealed a number of errors. I am determined to start from scratch, and verify that I have all available records beginning with the 30 direct ancestors, connected to my maternal grandmother. This includes her parents, grandparents, g-grandparents and g-g-grandparents.
To keep the project manageable, I will write of one ancestor each week.
Prior Weeks (click on a name to read the sketch)
Week #1 – Yvonne Marie (Roy) Billings
Week #2 – Pius/Paul Dost Roy
Week #3 – Marie Laura “Laura” Melanson
Week #4 – Docité OR Dosithée Roy
My 2nd g-grandmother was Victoire LeBlanc. Sadly we know nothing of her personality and little of her life. There are no known photos. An immigration card describes her as 5’6″, 140 pounds, of medium complexion, brown hair and eyes. We can assume that because she was the eldest child, born in 1865, to an Acadian farmer, she likely took on the burden of aiding her mother in running the farm, household, and raising ten siblings. She was likely uneducated. She became a farmer’s wife, and the hard work continued between the farm and raising nine of her own children, five of whom she lost as infants or in their youth, she later lost a sixth child who was a young woman living in Massachusetts with five children of her own. As young adults, three of Victoire’s children left for Gardner, Massachusetts in hopes of a better life; only one remained close by. Victoire’s was a difficult life, yet she was likely surrounded by a large support system of close-knit family and friends, in their small picturesque village in New Brunswick. Alcoholism was rampant in future generations and may have affected Victoire as well. She did attempt to join her children in a strange new country at the age of 57. Although the area was filled with fellow French-speaking Canadians and Acadians, it must have been difficult. She soon returned to her homeland and likely had little communication with her loved ones in Massachusetts since she could not read or write well, if at all.
5. Victoire LeBlanc, daughter and eldest child of Georges LeBlanc and Madeleine LeBlanc, was likely born on 1 May 1865 and baptized the same day at Bouctouche, New Brunswick. Godparents were Julien and Basilisque [Basilice ?] LeBlanc (further research needed, but likely relatives). The 1901 census claims a birth date of 25 Apr 1865, however we do not know who spoke to the census taker. The church record is more likely to be accurate as the entry was likely recorded by a person who had first hand knowledge of the event and close to the date of the actual event.
This birth year matches up with an immigration record dated 9 Dec 1922, where Victoire claims to be age 57 (image towards the end of this post; she is traveling to her son Edmund’s home). She lists a birthplace of “St Mary’s”. Residents of that area were baptized, married and buried in Bouctouche until the arrival, in St Mary’s Parish, of Ste-Marie’s Mont-Carmel’s first resident pastor in 1870. Since Victoire was not present at her own birth, she may have just reported St Mary’s since that is where she resided as a child. She likely was born in Bouctouche as stated in the church record. Her father’s land deeds have not yet been examined to determine if the family moved or if they stayed put and the parish boundary changed.
In this time frame and area, there were two Georges LeBlanc’s and two Madeleine LeBlanc’s, each a brother/sister pair:
– 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.
Just to make things confusing for future family historians, George #1 married Madeleine #2 and George #2 married Madeleine #1.
Stephen A. White at Moncton University’s Centre d’Études Acadiennes [Center for Acadian Studies], has sorted out these families. My 2nd g-grandmother Victoire LeBlanc descends from Georges of Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache and Madeleine of Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet. There are many trees in cyberspace that have them mixed up!! To see Stephan’s comments and photocopies of his documentation, read my blog post here.
According to Stephan A. White, Victoire had ten known siblings:
- Henriette, Matilde, Vitaline, Eugenie, Zelie, Nerie, Marguerite, Adelard, Sara and Annie
Stephen 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 Acadian population. There are likely additional analyses and records to which I do not have access or that I have not reviewed (i.e. all of the birth/marriage/death records of each of their children). Yet another reason to return to Moncton! (on a future trip to Moncton, I will copy the related index cards, which will make it easier to find them in the church registers).
In 1871, Victoire’s family was enumerated in Wellington Parish (possibly in or near Ste Marie; Wellington was established in 1814 and included Saint Mary Parish until 1867) .
- George, 27 (unable to read or write);
- Madeleine, 27 (unable to write);
- Victoire, 6;
- Henriette, 4;
- Matilde, 2;
- Vitaline, 2 months
Victoire’s father owned 50 acres of land, 25 of which was improved and included one dwelling house and one barn/stable. They had two carriages/sleighs; four cars/wagons or sleds; two plows or cultivators. The family had one horse over three years old, five sheep and four swine/pigs. Two swine had been killed or sold for slaughter or export. They produced nice pounds of wool; thirty-three yards of homemade cloth/flannel and three yards of homemade linen.
They dedicated one acre to producing five bushels of spring wheat, one bushel of barley, 300 bushels of oats, 15 bushels of rye and 35 bushels of buckwheat. Two acres produced 160 bushels of potatoes and two bushels of turnips. One and half acres were dedicated to producing the hay crop (one ton of 2,000 pound bundles of 16 pounds of hay), one and a half bushels flax-seed and five pounds of flax or hemp. He also produced 100 pounds of maple syrup. The land produced sixteen cords of firewood.
Georges was a fisherman. He did not own any type of water vessel but reported 23 fathoms of nets and seizes of all sorts (a fathom is about six feet) . He caught 1/3 barrel gaspareaux (name of a common salt-water fish of Acadia, also called alewife), ten barrels of oysters and 10 barrels of other fishes (not defined – see list of fishes that were categorized in image below).
In 1881, the family was enumerated in Ste Marie, St Mary’s Parish. Victoire was not attending school.
- George, 38;
- Madeleine, 38;
- Victoire, 15;
- Henriette, 13 (attending school);
- Matilde, 11 (attending school);
- Eugenie, 8;
- Milie Zeliah (Zelie), 6,
- Nerie, 1;
- Marguerite, 1 month
On Monday, 11 May 1885, Victoire, married Docité OR Dosithée Roy at Ste Marie de Mont Carmel, son of Joseph Roy/Roi and Angélique Beliveau. Witnesses were Pierre L. Roy and Maria Blanche (?) Bastarache.
Victoire’s married life and children are documented in the sketch’s of her husband and son Pius (see weeks 2 & 4 sketches).
As mentioned in Pius’ sketch, known children born to the Victoire and Docite include: (1)Pius/Paul, (2) Marie Albina, (3) Mathilde, (4) Marie Emma, (5) Aurelie, (6 & 7) Dieudonné #1 and Joseph Hector (twins), (8) Edmund and (9) Dieudonné #2
Sadly, four of the children likely died in 1899. Joseph Hector, 1 Jan 1899 [cause unreadable], age 4 months; Marie Albina, 13 April 1899, age 10, of consumption [likely influenza]; and a week later, 20 April 1899, Dieudonné (7 months) of la grippe [likely influenza]. No further record of Aurelie has been located, he likely died in the same time frame.
Victoire’s father, Georges died of consumption (tuberculosis) and was buried 14 Feb 1891 in Ste Marie; he was 47.
In 1891 she resided in St Mary’s parish (see Docite’s sketch). Her Mother and siblings living at home were living nearby [her mother was on image 34 and Victoire on image 36 of the census, with many LeBlanc families, likely related, in between]:
- Madeleine, 47 (widow);
- Eugenie 18;
- Zelia 16,
- Niry (Nerie), 11;
- Marguerite, 9;
- Dolore (Adelard), 8;
- Sara, 6;
- Anne, 4;
- Georges Roy, 2 (no relationship listed – likely Madeleine had taken in her grandson, son of Henriette’s. Henriette had married her sister Victoire’s brother-in-law (Docite’s brother) Vital Roy. Henriette died in 1890, of consumption; sadly her son Georges died at age three in 1892 of la grippe, likely influenza).
Victoire’s mother remarried to Marc LeBlanc son of Joachim and Prudentienne Maillet, widower of Cécile Bastarache on 22 May 1893 in Ste Marie. He died, 8 June 1919, age 66 in Ste Marie of heart and kidney trouble. They had no known children together.
By 1901, Victoire’s family had moved from their rural community to the “big city”, Lancaster (today part of Saint John), New Brunswick. After a few year, it seems Docité, Victoire, Mathilde, Emma and Edmund (Pius left for Gardner, Massachusetts, likely for work) returned to Ste Marie, as Dieudonné #2, was born 17 May 1906 and baptized at Mont Carmel. In 1911, they were living in Puellering, Kent, New Brunswick. Victoire was not identified in the 1921 census likely because there were large portions of the Moncton census, where the enumerator did not capture resident names (he just wrote “Westmoreland” next to each). She was likely at 70 Pearl St., Moncton, the address that she, her husband and son Edmond all list as their home address when they immigrated to the United States the following year.
Victoire who was admitted to the US to visit her son Edmund on 9 Dec 1922 was described as 5’6″, 140 pounds, of medium complexion, brown hair and eyes. She claimed that she would be there less than 6 months and that it was her first visit. Her husband joined her six months later, when he immigrated “permanently” to Gardner, Massachusetts from Moncton in May 1923.
Docite and Victoire are listed in the 1924 Gardner, Massachusetts city directory on Parker Street (the same address as their son Edmond and Docite’s first cousin Calixte Roy).
Victoire’s young daughter Emma (wife of Frederick LeBlanc), age 32, died in Gardner in 1924, leaving five young children, Joseph, Ernest, Lauretta, Albert and Viola LeBlanc, all of whom were living on Parker Street, Gardner with their widowed father in 1930.
Thus, six of Victoire’s nine children predeceased her, leaving just three: Pius/Paul, Mathilde and Edmund.
It is unknown why/when Docite and Victoire returned to New Brunswick, however his death was recorded there on 16 Nov 1932 in St-Antoine, Ste Marie, Kent, New Brunswick. According to his death certificate, he was buried at St-Antoine.
Victoire died a few years later, 25 Sep 1934, age 70, of vieillesse (old age), in the community of Mount Carmel, Ste Marie, Kent, New Brunswick and her death certificate indicates that she was buried there. Victoire’s mother Madeleine died about 8 months later, 4 May 1935, age 92, 4 months in St Damien. She was also buried in Mt Carmel cemetery in Ste Marie (neither of their graves have been located).