All things history and genealogy.

All things history and genealogy.

Tag: Canada

Chris Hadfield and Benedict Cumberbatch are cousins?

To coincide with the return of Commander Chris Hadfield from the international space station, has announced that he is 6th cousin to british actor Benedict Cumberbatch who is starring as the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness.

Chris Hadfield’s role being based in reality, Benedict Cumberbatch’s based in fantasy, they both explore the frontier of space.

I loved Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in the recent series and as much as I’m indifferent to all space epics, I might just watch Star Trek Into Darkness, solely because he’s in it.

It’s a small world, uh-h-h, universe?

Newfoundland and Labrador are the gems of Canada.

Melanson Village Community Hall
Melanson Village Community Hall

Mark is scared to death.

As we get closer to retirement, I’ve been focusing on possible places we could retire to. Unfortunately, unless something drastic changes, it isn’t likely we’ll be able to afford to stay in British Columbia, where the average home price in our area is $375,000.

This is not what Mark wants to hear. His family has lived in Chilliwack, British Columbia since the 1930’s after his grandmother sold the family farm on the Saskatchewan prairie.

I always thought like Mark. Having spent most of my life in British Columbia among the mountains, I never could foresee living elsewhere – until 2005 when we traveled to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to research my mother’s Melanson, Acadian family history.

New Brunswick was pretty in its own way and it was great seeing it as we drove through, but there was something primal tugging at me in Nova Scotia. Each of the Acadian sites we visited tugged at me more and more.

Melanson Mountain Sign
Melanson Mountain directional sign.

I had this strange feeling of ‘welcome home’, which was bolstered by the odd coincidences we experienced, the people we met and the places we discovered. One of the weird coincidences was my being disappointed in how little there was in my family’s pioneer ‘Melanson Settlement’ site.

All my life I’d heard my mother talk about the dike systems devised by the Acadians to drain the land on the ocean front and create some of the most fertile farmland anywhere. We were never able to find an example of the aboiteau (dike valves) that were used – not at Grand Pré museum, nor at the Melanson Settlement site or anywhere else. Yet, that very day, on our way after seeing the Melanson Settlement and being very disappointed, we happened upon a non-descript little house with a sign out front, “North Hills Museum.” We decided to stop and check it out. It seemed like the usual home refurbished to look as it had centuries before with period furnishings, art, utensils, dishware, etc. We did, however, strike up a conversation with the woman working there and upon mentioning our disappointment in the Melanson Settlement and not being able to find an aboiteau, she said, “We have an aboiteau stored here, ready to be archived and put on display.” I couldn’t believe it and my mind raced as she led us to a back barn being used as a storage shed – and there was the aboiteau. From one angle it looked like  a log, but looking up from the open end, the valve could be seen and it was easy to imagine it in operation. This and other odd coincidences such as the graveyard tour at Fort Anne being led by Alan Melanson, another direct Melanson descendant, led to my feeling like we were expected and welcomed.

Since this trip to Nova Scotia and my resulting love of the area, I’ve been checking out properties there and have seen some amazing, waterfront acreages with heritage homes for $100,000 or less. This would be ideal for our retirement budget. Every time I show Mark one of these, I can see the panic in his eyes.

Over the last few years, I’ve been noticing the wonderfully charming, quaint commercials being produced by Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism. Each time, I feel so sorry that we never ventured that far while visiting the east coast on our genealogical quest. There’s something about the charm and hominess of these ads that invokes the same kind of ‘Welcome Home’ feeling and I mentioned to Mark that it might be smart to consider retiring there as well. The bonus there is that the rugged waterfront, high cliffs and jagged rocks are somewhat reminiscent of our Rocky Mountains in British Columbia. Again, I immediately saw panic in Mark’s eyes.

After this experience, I truly believe there is an innate tie between us and the homeland of our ancestors. I’d never seen Nova Scotia before and have no explanation for the deep draw and connection I experienced.

I still wonder at the ads produced by Newfoundland and Labrador tourism and have placed the videos of my favorites below.

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Videos

Iceberg Alley

Secret Place

Most Easterly Point

Gros Morne




Place Names

The Edge

How to Apply for a Métis Status Card

Symbols of MetisTo apply for a Métis Status Card (aka Aboriginal Status card, Indian Status card), first you need to get the required information to prove your native ancestors. If you’re wondering about who qualifies for Métis Status, generally anyone with Native ancestors is biologically Métis. Which card you have depends on who your ancestors were.

Usually this means you need to start with yourself, and work backward through your family tree. You cannot randomly pick out a native american you were told “you might be related to” and try to match your tree with that person. This is why it can take some time to get your tree together and time to find a native ancestral line.

Start by making a family tree chart. Every person on the chart has 2 parents, so they become like branches in the tree (you can find blank tree charts online). Write your name and birthdate as the first person, then add your parents as branches in the next column, then their parents in the next column, etc., with each generation in a separate column. Add the birthdates and marriage dates for each generation. Eventually you will need to search archival records or church records for previous generations, but always work backward in time, verifying ancestors as you go.

If and when you do find your native ancestors, you will need to get copies of all records linking each generation back along that line, because most organizations do not do this for you without charging a fee, as it is so time-consuming. Métis organizations are not funded by government to find your native ancestors and prove that line. It is up to you to prove to them who you are. Some organizations will not verify your line at all, and will simply refuse membership.

For yourself, you need a birth or baptism record that states who your parents were. Then for every person along that line, you will need a record that states who their parents were. Usually this is referred to as a “long form” record, because it provides proof of parents’ names. Because some families have multiple persons with the same name, the only way to know for sure whether each person is completely documented is to have both the birth and marriage records that state parents’ names. You will need records like this for each generation going back to your native ancestor. Names and dates obtained from regular internet sites or family trees are not considered proof. You need to get copies of the government or church records, or other legal documents, either online or from that agency.

Once you have copies of all the actual records to prove your native line (without any unproven gaps in the line), you need to find out which Métis organization best fits your ancestry, and will represent you as a member of their Métis community.

Métis organizations have different requirements, objectives, and offer different kinds of representation. They are not usually affiliated with each other and do not share the same membership information. They also offer varying services for the application fee. Some only give aboriginal status cards, others offer programs and services. If you are interested in having help with your tree and also knowing the results of whatever is found, you should ask the organization about this service, what it will cost, and what you will get for your money, as some provide your tree information and others don’t.

Before applying, you might want to speak to their representatives or employees personally, to help determine the likelihood of being accepted into their community, and whether you feel their community best represents you and your ancestry. Some organizations may deny you status if you don’t have a specific type of proof, so you don’t want to find out that you have paid an application fee only to be turned down, then have to pay another organization to apply to their registry. Conversely, other organizations may seem to require very little proof.

Either way, a solid Métis community registry should contain documented proof of every generation, from your baptism or birth record to your native ancestor, without gaps. If you only have your standard issued birth certificate that does not state your parents’ names, then you need to either get your baptism record from your church or your “long form” birth certificate, which is available from the government, and send in copies to the organization. You will also need this same kind of document for each generation. This is the only way a registry can prove that all of its members are actually descended from Native Americans. The amount of funding an organization gets will depend on the number of registrants who have complete documentation, and whether your organization is prepared to negotiate funding on your behalf.

Once you have decided which group to apply to and have got your paperwork in order, you are ready to apply for your Métis Card.

Go to the organization’s website, and download the Métis Status Card Application Form. Fill out one application per person. Add your documented proof either by supplying copies (never send actual records), or scan them as computer files.

Include the required photo, and sign the application. Either mail the package or send it by email with payment for processing (never send cash in the mail).

Check periodically to see if your application will likely be processed soon. Some organizations take over a year to process so you shouldn’t wait until the last minute. Once you have your status, you can let others in the family and community know how to apply for Métis Status Cards too!

Article Source:

Article Source:

Richard 3rd’s facial reconstruction illustrates show family traits can span generations.

A while ago, I watched with great interest the progress of the effort to positively identify the remains found in a Leicester parking lot as those of Richard III, as described in a past post.
News was later released that a Richard 3rd’s facial reconstruction was done from his skull and a photo was published on News Leicester next to that of his 17th generation nephew, Michael Ibsen.

Marsh Blythe: Richard 3rd's facial reconstruction illustrates show family traits can span generations.

Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.

I hope it’s not just me, but I can see a familial resemblance and wonder if the likeness of Michael Ibsen had any bearing on the artist’s rendering, or if it was indeed solely based on the skull. If it is only based on Richard III’s skull, the resemblance is quite striking.

In an earlier post, I posted images of, and described the remarkable resemblance between my father-in-law (see right) and Isaac Shelby, nephew of my father-in-law’s seventh great grandfather (see above left), Governor of Kentucky and hero of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

I only wish I could one day compare these images with images of the original Shelby family immigrant, Evan (Dhu) Isaac Shelby (direct ancestor to both).

In another instance I had conducted research into a family friend’s background with the story surrounding the mysterious ‘aunt’ of another ancestor in mind. This aunt had always intrigued the family as they never knew much about her.

My research led me to the story of a young, single girl working as a domestic in the home of a wealthy business man, and soon becoming pregnant and bearing an illegitimate child. This girl turned out to be the mysterious aunt, only the ancestor, although believing she was an aunt, never learned she was actually her mother.

I wondered if this ‘aunt’ had become pregnant by her employer as there were no other males of an age to be candidates in the household. I managed to locate photos of a second generation descendant and his son who still owned and operated the family business. Upon comparison, I could see a definite likeness, although not quite as marked as in the two examples above. This likeness strengthened my belief that my conjecture was correct.

Without documentary proof of any kind and with no possibility of DNA testing, this is the best I can do.

It’s truly amazing to me how similar and consistent family traits can remain over the generations.

Sometimes it pays to look to the present for information about the past.

It’s amazing what information about the past including people and events can be found by searching through online newspapers, magazines, etc. – even if they are in a foreign language.

I’m routinely having to read, translate and understand documents written in their original language such as French, German, Swedish, and so on. My go to method for getting started is accessing ‘Google Translate’. To have a web page translated, just type the complete original language url in the Google search box, press ‘search’, find what you’re looking for in the search results list and click on ‘Translate this page’.

El Economista TranslatedOne such site I’ve recently accessed was ‘El Economista’ a Mexican, Spanish language online newspaper. On this particular day, the headlines were dominated by news of Javier Duarte de Ochoa and his handling of the crisis created by the recent tropical storm. Javier Duarte is the Governor of Veracruz, Mexico.

Above is a clip from the Google translated site mentioned and as you can see the text in the first paragraph is quite understandable, although not quite grammatically correct. I would always suggest finding independent confirmation elsewhere to confirm your understanding, if possible.

I routinely search through newspapers in the areas in which I’m researching and I have stumbled upon some real ‘gems’ related to my research, including a rooming house arson fire a recent ancestor escaped from, another ancestor whose name was published as a deserter in WWI, and most recently news of a tragic train crash in a community from which my own father’s French Canadian family originates. It was particularly heartbreaking to read the names of the deceased in the online French language news sites, and to recognize many of them as distant relatives.

Using Google translate  is also a useful tool if transcribing documents from their original language. Go to the main Google translate page, type the text in question in the left box, making sure it’s labeled with the correct language and click ‘Translate’. The English translation will appear to the right if English is the selected language. Text can be translated to and from numerous languages.

photo credit: Augie Schwer via photopin cc

We must fight for our veterans as they fought for us.

We must fight for our veterans.
poppy field

Remembrance Day is fast approaching and this is one very important day I always recognize with a post on this blog.

My family’s history is well-entrenched in military service.

  • My father was in the military for 30 years.
  • My father-in-law was in the military for over 30 years.
  • My husband, Mark served 20 years.

They all served tours in hostile environments.

Our family have also lost two family members in WWI, one being Pte Philias Joseph Albert Emery during advance actions at Vimy Ridge, and the other being Pte Joseph Turmaine in the Battle of Courcelette.

I have always thought that our government was not doing enough to help veterans who are disabled as a result of their duties.

I’m appalled to say that under this present Conservative government, instead of improving, the conditions and treatment of our valued veterans are much, much worse.

Reading this post at prompted me to write about his myself and I encourage everyone to go online at the site to sign the petition demanding better financial, physical and mental health care, and administrative treatment of our veterans.

This video of a rant by Rick Mercer on behalf of our veterans is a good example of just one area of concern.

Author credit: Christine Blythe, Feathering the Empty Nest Blog

photo credit: Dukas.Ju via photopin cc

Transcription: Biography of Arie Van Gendren and his family.

Transcription of the biography of Arie Van Gendren, his wife and family as taken from “Cabri, Through the Years.”

Van Gendren family
Van Gendren family

My father, Arie Robert VanGendren, was born in the U.S. in 1866. My mother, Emma Christine Jensen, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in l876 and moved to North Dakota when she was 12 years old, along with the rest of her family.  About 1896 she married Hans Hansen and they had three children: Victor born 1900, Bertha born 1901, and Hannah born 1903 and four days after, her father passed away from a heart condition.  In those days there was no help for a lady trying and did any work she could get to support herself and her three children.

Father and Mother were married in Minnesota, U.S.A. in 1910. l was brought into this world by a mid-wife on August 17, 1911 and my brother  Robert put in his appearance on October 12, 1912  to finish off the family.

When l was four years old we started out for Canada in a covered wagon, but only got as far as lowa. It must have been quite crowded with the seven of us in that wagon. When we got to Iowa, Mother’s parents (Nels and Christine Jensen) came to live with us. Grampa spoke very little english, so in April 1917 when they wanted to come up to Cabri to live with their other daughter, Marie Peterson, my sister came with them. The War was on and they thought that they might have trouble crossing the border, as Gramma never spoke too good english either. When they did get to the border, Grampa started to say something and Gramma gave him a poke in the ribs to keep quiet. The Customs Officer asked if they were German, they said they weren’t, but they were still taken off the train and were made to stay in North Portal for 24 hours.

ln October 1917, Mother, Bertha, Robert and l arrived in Cabri by train, and about a week later Dad arrived with a box car full of settlers effects, which included two horses, some chickens, and a cat which we had for many years, along with the furniture for our house.

Victor joined the U.S. Navy in 1916 when he was only 16 years old. He couldn’t get his discharge for quite sometime after the War ended, as they were needed to bring the troops and supplies back to the States, so he didn’t arrive in Cabri until about 1920. He worked around Cabri for a few years then moved to Fort St. John, B.C. when he took a homestead, and married  Mary Pomeroy. They had five children, maybe four and Mary is now living in Mission, B.C. Their family is all living in B.C. Bertha married August Gummeson in 1921 and they lived on August’s homestead which was only a quarter of a mile south of Cabri when they were first married, then they moved into town.

They had two children while living in Cabri. Their oldest daughter passed away during an appendix operation at the age of 3 1/2 years. They moved out to Chilliwack, B.C. in the fall of 1936 where another girl and boy came along to join their family. August passed away several years ago, and Bertha passed away June 1983. Their family all live out around Chilliwack.

Hannah still lives at Cabri with husband Edwin Johnson. Robert and I attended the Kings County School for a short time. There was not any school in the district when we moved there. Mother was the one who was instrumental in getting that school started. Some of the first students to attend that school were: Ruby and Ruth Spink, Phyllis and Roy Maycock (who passed away within six weeks of each other with typhoid fever, that was such a sad thing for us all), Wilfred, Clayton and Willie Oliver, and the Humphrey children who came to school in a two wheeled cart drawn by one horse. Robert and I had about three miles to go to school  and most of the time we walked. In those days practically all children went bare foot in the summer. I remember one afternoon while attending school there, it was time for us to be dismissed for the day. The teacher happened to look out the window and saw a storm coming, so she kept us all in. I guess it was a good thing that she did, because it was a small cyclone. It didn’t seem to hit the school, but it turned the school barn one quarter of the way around. Of course, all the horses tied in the barn broke loose, and they were so frightened that they were really hard to catch. Wherever that cyclone touched down it left a big pile of weeds and dirt, so there were little knolls in the fields where there never was any before. From Kings County we moved in near Cabri and attended Cabri School. Three of the teachers I had that I remember were Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. Sullivan, and Mr. Backus. I took piano lessons from Mrs. Backus for a year or two.

During the Easter Holidays in 1926 we moved to the Gavrelle District and lived on the farm known as the Joe Pierce quarter. In June of the same year Robert, Lenora Thomas and myself went into Cabri to write our departmental exams, and we were all successful in passing. Robert and l went to school one more year, as our parents were getting on in years and needed us at home to help out. Mother was very badly crippled with arthritis. Robert and I did the janitor work at the school for a number of years.

I recall one event that might be of interest to some younger people. A dance was held at the school on Good Friday 1927. We had spring like weather for sometime, but that night it started to snow, very softly and no wind, but by the time people were ready to go home there must have been at least two feet or more of real wet heavy snow. Cars were unable to move so most of the people there had to stay the night and most of the following day at the school. Some were there until Sunday p.m. Mr. Bruce Greer stopped at our place and asked if we could spare some food for the folks at the school. That was the first we knew that people were stranded at the school, as we had no phones at that time.

I do not remember the year we left the Gavrelle District, but we moved into the Miry Creek School District, and lived there until 1943. Mother passed away in 1941 and Dad in 1943, they are both buried in Cabri Cemetery. Robert and I had a sale and left the farm. Robert went to Dawson Creek, B.C. I went to my sister’s in Chilliwack, B.C. where I worked in a cannery, also at the Boeing Aircraft Plant, and then I joined the Army in 1944.

After my discharge from the Army I returned to Chilliwack for a short time. I met and married John Johnston and moved to Wainwright, Alta. where I still live. We had three boys, Dwight, Johnie and Arie. My husband, John, passed away in 1971.

I am now married to Earl Bronson and living in Wainwright. We are retired and are enjoying our retirement.

By Irene (VanGendren) Bronson


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.


Transcription: Biography of Alfred Young

Biography of Alfred Young of Cabri, Saskatchewan taken from the book, “Cabri, Through the Years.”

Julie and Alfred Young photoMr. Alfred Young was born in Halifax, N.S. in 1861. He married lian Riely in Halifax. They had five boys and three girls, all born in Halifax.

Their oldest son Frederick John, came and settled out of Cabri in 1910. He then wrote and had his father come in 1911, accompanied by the second son E. Alfred Young.

Mrs. Young, Thomas, James, George, Gertrude, Mary and Dorie came out in 1913, to King’s County District.

They farmed with all the hardships and lack of machinery, so Mr. Young opened up the first paint and wallpaper store on Main Street of Cabri in 191?. He later sold it to Al Cheeseman for a bakery. Mrs. Young lived behind and above the store so George and Mary could attend school.

Fred travelled for the John Deere Company and settled in Regina and raised two boys and one girl. E. Alfred worked for Niel Brothers. He moved to Seattle. They had one girl. Thomas went to Winnipeg, where he lived the rest of his life. He had one girl and one boy. He worked for the C.P.R. James lived on the homestead, south west of Cabri. He served in the Army and later moved to Saskatoon, where he passed away. Jim and Ella had six girls and one boy. George Young, after homesteading around Cabri, went to Regina and later to Ft. William, Ont. Mary attended school in Regina, took ill and passed away at St. Josephs, Manitoba at the age of 23. Dorie (Young) Pomeroy went to school in Regina then moved to Ft. St. John, B.C. She married Dan Pomeroy and they had four boys and two girls. Dorie is widowed now and lives in Ft. St. John, B.C.


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.


My “Can’t Do Without” Genealogy Tools List

Over the years I find myself returning to the same tools and sites to further my genealogy research. Some of them are not easily found and I thought it might be an idea to list them here for you. The two sites I use continually are and .

Below is a list of my favorite tools and research aides.

Google Genealogy Searches

  • Free Genealogy Search Help – Although linked in the Google Genealogy Search link page listed next, this is the one Google search tool I use most often – and therefore I’m listing the direct link here. It creates a series of searches using different groupings of keywords from the input boxes for given names, surnames, birth and death places.
  • Easy Google Genealogy Searcher (by Ancestor Search)
  • Several pre-set custom Google searches and Tools. This is especially valuable for those who are not familiar with the codes and conventions for custom searching in Google. Each tool lists valuable tips to get better results below its search window. These searches include:
  • Google Genealogy Search
  • Search for Genealogy Surname Website
  • Google Book Search – I especially love this one. I’ve found some of my most obscure, interesting and valuable information with this.
  • Google Blog Search
  • Google Newspaper Search
  • Google Search Within or Excluding a Genealogy Site
  • Search for Sites Similar To – Enter the url of a site you’d like to use as an example.
  • Search for Gedcom Files
  • Search US Newsgroups for Genealogy Queries
  • Search for Definitions of Genealogical Words
  • Google Calculator for Genealogy Uses
  • Search for Genealogy Images
  • Search by Location
  • Google Search for a US Street Map
  • Google Search by Language and Country
  • Google Translate Text
  • Translate a Genealogy Web Page
  • Google Search by Family Tree

Search Tools

  • – Your Internet Genealogy Guide – Lists links, newsletters, publications, societies and free e-mail.
  • Genetic Genealogy – Search for and linking to DNA heritage.

Dates / Calculators / Generators

Indexes and Lists

Networking and People Search Tools

Atlases and Maps

 Reference Materials

Genealogical Photo Sharing Sites


Transcription: Baptism Record for Marie Marguerite Yvette Bourgeois

The following is my transcription and translation of the baptism certificate for Marie Marguerite Yvette Bourgeois.


Extrait du régistre de baptémes, marriages, sépulture. De la paroisse de St. Hughes du Lac Saguay, from l’année mil neuf cent quinze.

Marie Marguerite Yvette Bourgeois baptism certificate.
Marie Marguerite Yvette Bourgeois baptism certificate.

Le trente et un octobre mil neuf cent quinze, nous frétre, soussigné, arons baptisé Marie Marguerite Yvette, née le quatre aout,fille légitimé de Émile Bourgeois, cultivateur, et de Marie-Anne Turmel de cette paroisse. Le frarraine a été Gédéon Grondines et la Marraine Antoinette Sauvéles quels ont déclaré ne savoirsigner. Le frère é tait présent et a signé avec nous Lecture faite.

Émile Bourgeois
Josephat Cossette

Lequel extrait conforme a l’original ce 31 mars 1931.

E. Brousseau
Lac Saguay


Extract from the register of baptisms, marriages, and burials. The parish of St. Hughes Saguay Lake, from the year one thousand nine hundred and fifteen.

On 31 October, nineteen hundred and fifteen frétre we hereby arons named Yvette Marie Marguerite, born August 4, legitimate daughter of Emile Bourgeois, farmer, and Marie-Anne Turmel of this parish. The godfather was Gédéon Grondines and godmother Antoinette Sauvéles who swore as such and signed. The priest was present and signed after reading.

Emile Bourgeois
Josephat Cossette

Extract which conforms to the original March 31, 1931.

E. Brousseau
Saguay Lake


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

William B. Coon – Soldier in the War of 1812

In a previous post, I told the story of David Coon, the fourth great grandfather to my children Erin and Stuart, and his service and death in the Civil War.
His father, William B. Coon (about 1789 to August 25, 1854) was also a soldier, but in his case he served in the War of 1812.
William was born in Beekmantown, Clinton, New York and was the son of Joseph Coon.


War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty Land for William B. CoonWar of 1812 Claim to Bounty Land by William B. Coon, page 1.

War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty LandWar of 1812 Claim to Bounty Land by William B. Coon, page 2.

Zebulon Pike
Colonel Zebulon Pike

In 1813, at the age of 24, William enlisted as a Private with the 36th Regiment of the New York Militia under Captain Fillmore at Plattsburgh, New York.

On January 4, 1851, William B. Coon swore an affidavit before John Kilborn, Justice of the Peace in Canada West, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, in support of his claim to bounty land in compensation for his service in the War of 1812. According to the affidavit, he, along with his horses and sleigh, were pressed into service March 1, 1813 by Colonel Pike’s 15th Infantry Regiment to go from Plattsburgh to Sackets Harbor, serving seventeen days.

Subsequently, he enlisted August 25, 1813 at Beekmantown, Clinton County, New York, as a Private in Captain S. Fillmore’s Company of the militia commanded by Major John Roberts. He was honorably discharged about December 1, 1813. During this three month period of service, they defended the town of Plattsburgh during the burning of the newly promoted General Pike’s encampment, under command of Colonel Thomas Miller.

War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty LandWar of 1812 Minor’s Claim to Bounty Land, page 2.

War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty LandWar of 1812 Minor’s Claim to Bounty Land, page 1.

A supporting “Declaration on Behalf of Minor Children for Bounty Land” of August 3, 1869 by Harriet (Hattie) Laplaint of Beekmantown, Clinton County, New York states she is the child of William B. Coon, who had been married to Elizabeth Hicks. She further states William B. Coon had died August 25, 1854 and that Elizabeth had predeceased him on September 26, 1842. She was the only child of William and Elizabeth listed and as there were other children by both of his marriages, it appears she was the only claimant for the bounty land. This declaration is witnessed by her half-brother Samuel C. Coon and one Joel Cudworth.

Bounty Land Claim signed by Hiram Southwick.Bounty Land Claim signed by Hiram Southwick.

The “Bounty Land Claim” document signed by Hiram Southwick proves the previous marriage of William B. Coon, although his first wife is not named, stating he was the half-brother of Hattie in support of her claim. William’s first wife Clarissa Haskill had previously been briefly married to Ebenezer (Eben) Southwick and had two sons by him, Hiram and James.

Power of Attorney re land claim.Power of Attorney re William B. Coon’s land claim.

William B. Coon was married about 1818 to Clarissa Haskill at Beekmantown. Their children were: John Williams Coon (1819-1842); David Coon (1824-1864); Samuel Churchill Coon (1824-1903); and Clarinda Coon (1826-1870).

The fate of Clarissa is unknown at this point, but it is assumed she had died sometime between 1826 and 1840, as William married a second time in about 1840 in Ontario, Canada to Elizabeth Hicks. Their children were: Mary Eleanor Coon (born circa 1840) and Harriet “Hattie” Coon (born circa 1841).

Military Bounty Land Warrant Certificate - William B. CoonWilliam B. Coon’s Military Bounty Land Warrant Certificate.

William died August 25, 1854 in Alexandria, Licking County, Ohio. Unfortunately, this was before he could receive his 40 acres of bounty land in Wisconsin, which then went to his son David, who relocated there with his family prior to his own service in the Civil War.

Keep checking back as I will soon write a post about my children’s other fifth great grandfather, Alanson Adams, the father of David Coon’s wife, Mary Ann Adams. Alanson also fought in the War of 1812, having enlisted along with his brother Gardner in 1813.


  1. Emily Bailey, “David Coon and Family Background,” e-mail message to Christine Blythe, 19 Nov 2006.
  2. Emily Bailey, “William B. Coon Family,” e-mail message to Christine Blythe, 20 Nov 2006.
  3. Coon, William B.; War of 1812 Service File.
  4. Act of Sept. 28 1850 Land Warrant Card – Coon, W.B. and Coon, David.
  5. Military Bounty Land Warrant Certificate – Coon, William B.
  6. Military Bounty Land Location Record – Coon, William B.
  7. 1851 Canadian, Lansdowne Township, Leeds County; Ontario GenWeb;
  8. “Genealogy Genforum,” database, Coon Family (


Transcription: Attestation Paper for Alfred Turmel

Following is my transcription of the WWI Attestation Paper (front only) for Alfred Turmel.



……….[??]……….FIRST………………Depot Battalion…..SECOND QUEBEC……Regiment
Regtl. No….3285308….


(Stamp in right margin of upper third of the form:
JAN 30 1919
1/2 Q. R. 1-T-99)



  1. Surname………………………………………………TURMEL……………………
  2. Christian Name……………………………………..Alfred………………………
  3. Present Address……………………………………Sainte Anges de Beauce
  4. Military Service Act letter and number………[?5????]
    • (If man is defaulter, i.e., has not registered under Proclamation, [??????] be stated, together with date of apprehension, or surrender)
  5. Date of birth………………………………………….19 December 1896
    • (town, township or county and country)
  6. Place of birth…………………………………………Ste Anges de Beauce
  7. Married, widower or single………………………Single
  8. Religion………………………………………………..Roman Catholic
  9. Trade or calling………………………………………Farmer
  10. Name of next-of-kin……………………………….Napoleon Turmel
  11. Relationship of next-of-kin………………………Father
  12. Address of next-of-kin…………………………….Ste Anges de Beauce
  13. Whether at present a member of the Active Militia………….NO
  14. Particulars of previous military or naval service, if any………No.
  15. Medical Examination under Military Service Act :-
    • (a) Place…Quebec, P.Q….(b) Date…22-8-18…(c) Category…12



    I, TURMEL ALFRED, do solemnly declare that the above particulars refer to me, and are true.

Alfred Turmel (Signature of Recruit)



Apparent age………..22………..yrs…………………….mths.
Chest measurement
fully expanded…………33……………………..ins.
range of expansion……30 1/2………………..ins.

Small print to right of description area:
    Distinctive marks, and marks indicating congenital peculiarities or previous disease.

C. E. Le Blanc Capt.
………………………………………..Depot Btln.
SECOND QUEBEC……………………….Regt.
Place……Valcartier Camp………. Date…….24-8-18……………..

(Stamp on right side of above line: M. S. A.)

Small print in bottom left corner::
M. F. W. 133.
FORM. ?-1?.

The BACK of this document is missing from the Archives of Canada.


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Dame Emma Albani (Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse) of Chambly, Québec

Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (known professionally as Dame Emma Albani), was a world-renowned soprano for most of the 19th century and into the early 20th century.


Featured image: Dame Emma Albini (4th cousin 3 times removed) on her tours of Europe and North America, where she sang for Queen Victoria, Kaiser Wilhelm I and Csar Nicholas.


Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (Dame Emma Albini) at five
Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (Dame Emma Albini) at five years of age in about 1852.

She was also a harpist, pianist and teacher. Her birth date is commonly believed to be November 1, 1847 , although some believe she was born in 1848 or 1850. Emma was my fifth cousin, twice removed, as she was the fourth great granddaughter of my 7th great grandfather, Jean Jacques Labelle (1682-1748) of Île Jésus (Laval), Québec, Canada.

Chambly, Quebec
Emma’s birthplace, Chambly, Quebec.

In her own memoirs, Emma states her birth was in 1852 in Chambly, Québec, Canada to Joseph Lajeunesse (1818-1904) and Mélina Rachel Mélanie Mignault ( -1856).

Emma was the first Canadian singer to become internationally known and sought after. She performed operas composed by Bellini, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and later, Wagner. Her audiences included such luminaries as Queen Victoria, Csar Alexander II, and Kaiser Wilhelm I.

Emma Lajeunesse’s parents, both musicians, recognized their daughter’s wonderful talent very early. Although she studied first with her mother, her father took over her tr

Royal autographs.
Autograph of Queen Victoria and other royals from Dame Emma Albani’s autograph book.

aining when she turned five. He was a great musician in his own right and was skilled with the harp, violin, organ and piano. Her practice schedule was very busy and strict, in which she dedicated up to four hours a day. In 1856, shortly after his wife died, Joseph Lajeunesse was hired to teach music at the Religious of the Sacred Heart Convent in Sault-au-Récollet (Montréal), where Emma and her sister Cornélia (nickname Nellie) were boarders.

Emma attended from 1858 to 1865, and her talent was evident to the convent’s nuns, who were forced to bar her from the convent’s musical competitions so other children had a chance of winning.

At eight years old, Emma performed her first concert on September 15, 1856 at the Mechanics’ Institute in Montreal. The critics were amazed, and recognized her as a prodigy. She also sang in Chambly, Saint-Jean (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu), L’Assomption, Sorel, Industrie (Joliette), and Terrebonne, all in Québec.

Dame Emma Albani
Dame Dame Emma Albani in costume for her role as Amina.

Unable to finance a musical education in Quebec, where singing and acting were considered unsavory careers for a woman, Joseph Lajeunesse attempted to raise sufficient money to send her to study in Paris.

In 1865, Emma’s family moved to Albany, New York, stopping at several towns, including Saratoga Springs and Johnstown, where Emma and her sister performed. She became a popular singer in New York, and managed to save enough money for her studies.

Emma Albani in costume for Violetta
Dame Emma Albani in costume for Violetta.

In Albany, Emma was hired as soloist for the parish church of St Joseph, where she worked three years singing, playing the organ, and directing the choir. She also worked at composing scores, as well as musical pieces for harp, solo piano and two pianos.

With her father’s savings and financial assistance from well-wishers and parishioners, Emma was able to go to Paris to study at the ‘Paris Conservatoire’ with Gilbert-Louis Duprez, the famous French tenor. Not long after her lessons with him began, Duprez was heard to say about Emma, “She has a beautiful voice and ardor. She is of the kind of wood from which fine flutes are made.”

At the suggestion of her elocution instructor, Signor Delorenzi, she changed her name to the simpler Emma Albani, which sounded more European and happened to be a very old Italian family name. The closeness in sound of her new surname and ‘Albany’ in New York pleased her, as she had been treated so well there.

Emma continued to study in Milan, Italy for a year and with the assistance of eminent voice teacher Francesco Lamperti, she learned solid technique and, along with her rigid discipline, was able to maintain good vocal health. These techniques enabled her to perform a range of roles from light to dramatic.

Emma Albani in 1899.
Dame Emma Albani in 1899.

Emma’s funds diminished, and although she was not yet finished her training, she began to look for work during the 1869-70 season to help support her schooling. She found a position in Messina, and her operatic debut was on March 30, 1870, playing Amina in Vincenzo Bellini’s La Sonnambula. Her debut performance was very well received and she later stated, “I was literally loaded with flowers, presents, and poetry, the detached sheets of which were sent fluttering down in every direction on the heads of the audience; and among the numberless bouquets of every shape was a basket in which was concealed a live dove. They had painted it red, and the dear little bird rose and flew all over the theater.”

From the time of her debut in Messina, she realized that to portray historical characters, it was not enough to sing well and made a point of visiting museums and reading extensively.

She returned to Milan after her contract in Messina had expired and resumed her instruction with Lamperti. Meanwhile, more work offers began to pour in, including a role she accepted in Rigoletto, which was being performed in Cento. Other roles followed in Florence and Malta, with parts in Lucia di Lammermoor, Robert il Diavolo, La Sonnambula, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L’Africaine.

After performing in Malta in the winter of 1870 to 1871, she auditioned for Frederick Gye, manager of Covent Garden in London. He was so impressed with her abilities, he signed her to a five-year contract. Before her London contract was to start, she returned to Italy to complete her studies with Lamperti.

Albani arrived in London in the spring of 1872 and her first performance under her contract was on April 2, 1872 at the Royal Italian Opera (the name taken in 1847 by Covent Garden in London) and was a great success. She was the first Canadian woman to perform in this opera house and would perform there until 1896.

Emma continued to perform in various roles and venues throughout Europe, Russia and the United States over the next five seasons. Her performances included that of Ophelia in Hamlet and the Countess in ‘The Marriage of Figaro’.

Queen Victoria later requested a private performance from Albani, who traveled to Windsor Palace in July, 1874 to perform “Caro Nome” from Rigoletto, “Ave Maria”, “Robin Adair”, and “Home, Sweet Home”. This was the first of many occasions on which Albani would perform for monarchs and other dignitaries, but it was also the beginning of a friendship and the two women would visit each other regularly until Queen Victoria died in 1901. Albani would also sing at the funeral of Queen Victoria.

Letter from Queen Victoria to Dame Emma Albani.
Letter from Queen Victoria to Dame Emma Albani.

Emma Albani toured the United States in the fall of 1874, visiting Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, Chicago and Albany.
In November 1874, Emma went on tour in the United States, where she performed her first role in a Wagner opera as Elsa in “Lohengrin” at New York’s Academy of Music. Her repertoire grew over the years.

After 1876, Emma’s sister Cornélia was always by her side. Cornélia was also a talented pianist and had studied in Germany, later teaching music to the children of the royal family of Spain. Cornélia worked her entire life as Emma’s accompanist and companion, dying soon after Emma.

Mr. Frederick Gye
Mr. Frederick Gye, father of Emma’s husband Ernest Gye.

Emma married Ernest Gye on August 6, 1878. He was the son of the director of the Royal Italian Opera and after his father died in an accident, he took over the position from 1878 to 1885. Their son, Ernest Frederick was born June 4, 1879, became a prominent diplomat and would die in London in 1955.

In 1880, as a result of playing Lucia in “Lucia di Lammermoor” and Gilda in “Rigoletto” at La Scala in Milan, Italy, Emma suffered a setback. The audience was already hostile to non-Italian singers in this theater, but she was not in very good voice, resulting in being unable to impress her listeners. Despite this, her career continued to grow since she performed in cities she had not previously visited.

Caricature from Punch, 17 September 1881: "MADAME ALBANI. A Thing of Beauty is a Gye for ever!"
Caricature from Punch, 17 September 1881: “MADAME ALBANI. A Thing of Beauty is a Gye for ever!”

In 1883, Emma and another singer, Adelina Patti, undertook a long tour in the United States, visiting Chicago, Baltimore, New York and Washington. She also gave three recitals in Montréal, for which appearance more than ten thousand people showed up to greet her, and poet Louis-Honoré Fréchette composed a poem in her honor which he read at a reception.

She remained attached to Canada and toured nine times to perform recitals from 1883 to 1906, traveling from one coast to the other. In1890 Emma performed in two complete operas at the Academy of Music in Montréal, Verdi’s “La Traviata” and “Lucia di Lammermoor”. Albani was always generous to charitable organizations and she supported and performed in a benefit concert in Montréal for Notre-Dame Hospital.

Albani became the first French Canadian woman to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on November 23, 1891 in “Les Huguenots”. That winter, she was in several other productions at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Albani retired from the Covent Gardens opera, and her final stage performance taking place in July 1896 at the Royal Opera House. To accommodate the changing tastes of the theater’s directors and the public, Emma had to show great flexibility and perform diverse roles. Emma received the royal Philharmonic Society’s gold medal or the “Beethoven Medal” in 1897.

Letter from Dame Emma Albani
Letter from Dame Emma Albani from her memoir titled “Forty Years of Song”.

Although retired, she still sang in recitals and in 1901 she traveled across Canada, traveling from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, British Columbia. She then continued to go on tour in Australia (1898, 1907), South Africa (1898, 1899, 1904), Ceylon (Sri Lanka) (1907), New Zealand (1907) and India (1907). In 1906 she made her farewell Canadian tour. During this period she is said to have recorded nine titles (audio of one follows article) and some have since been remastered and are available today. Her ‘post-retirement’ career came to an end on October 14, 1911 when she gave her last public performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. That same year she released a book a book of her memoirs, “Forty Years of Song”.

She and her husband retired to Kensington where Emma’s last years were troubled by financial difficulties necessitating that she teach and occasionally perform in music halls. Her circumstances resulted from the war and poor investments, and in concern the British government voted her an annual pension of £100. Word of her difficulties reached Montréal, where “La Presse” sponsored a recital on May 28, 1925 in the Théâtre Saint-Denis. More than $4,000 was collected. Assistance was also sought from the Canadian and Quebec governments, who declined, stating that Albani had become more of a British subject than a Canadian citizen since she had resided in London since 1872).

Postage stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dame Emma's death.
Postage stamp issued by Canada Post in 1980 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dame Emma Albani’s death.

Dame Emma Albani died on April 3, 1930 at her home on Tregunter Road, Kensington, in London and was buried at Brompton, London, England.

During her lifetime, she received many awards, including the gold Beethoven Medal (given by the Royal Philharmonic Society of London) and the Medal of Honour commemorating Queen Victoria’s jubilee in 1897. In 1925 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Of two streets that were named after Emma Albani in Montréal, the first was dedicated in the 1930s, but was later removed when the road was merged with another street, and the second was named Rue Albani in 1969.

Other honors included a postage stamp issued by Canada Post and designed by artist Huntley Brown. It was released July 4, 1980 and eleven million, seven hundred thousand copies of the stamp were printed. She is also immortalized in a stained glass mural at Montréal’s Place des Arts station.

Photo credits:

Wikipedia – Dame Emma Albani, online [].


  1. “Forty Years of Song,” by Emma Albani; Project Gutenberg Canada website; []
  2. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online []
  3. Les Labelles, Daniel Labelle online []
  4. Wikipedia – Dame Emma Albani, online [].

Melansons and the Acadian Expulsion

The British conquered Acadia from the French in 1710 and subsequently, the Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britain. At this time, the Acadians and Mi’kmaq formed militia against the British and as a result of what the British viewed as the rebellious actions of some of the Acadians, British Governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council ordered the expulsion of all the Acadians. This action led to the deaths of thousands of Acadians.
The Acadian people were expelled from what are now the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island between 1755 and 1763 and were deported to Britain, France and other British colonies.

Fort Edward in 1753

Fort Edward, in what was then Pisiguit (Windsor, Nova Scotia) played an important role in the Bay of Fundy Campaign (1755) of the Acadian Expulsion. Fort Edward was one of four forts in which Acadians were imprisoned over the nine years of the expulsion (the others were Fort Frederick, Saint John, New Brunswick; Fort Cumberland; and Fort Charlotte, Georges Island, Halifax).
In the early 1760’s it was illegal for Acadians to reside in Nova Scotia. Families and individuals who had avoided capture in 1755 were imprisoned. The prison lists for Fort Edward between 1761-1762 still exist (For a list of the prisoners see List of Acadian Prisoners – Fort Edward). There was Acadian and Mi’kmaq resistance to the Expulsion. In April of 1757, a band of Acadians and Mi’kmaq raided a warehouse near Fort Edward, killing thirteen British soldiers and, after taking what provisions they could carry, setting fire to the building. A few days later, the same group also raided Fort Cumberland.

Fort Beausejour in 1755

Fort Beauséjour, (later known as Fort Cumberland) is located at the Isthmus of Chignecto in present day Aulac, New Brunswick, Canada. This fort was famous for the Battle of Fort Beauséjour, which was both the final act in the long fight between Britain and France for control of Acadia and the beginning of the final struggle between the two great empires for North America itself. Fort Beauséjour was one of several French forts erected to strengthen the French position in North America against the British.
In 1755, there was a major battle at Fort Beauséjour. It was also the site of the start of the Expulsion of the Acadians and the area was afterward subjected to the resistance of the Mi’kmaq and Acadians. On June 4, 1755, British forces and militia attacked Fort Beauséjour from their base at Fort Lawrence. After taking control of Fort Beauséjour by June 16, 1755, they changed its name to Fort Cumberland. After the capture of the fort, British forces attempted to convince Acadians of the Beaubassin region to sign the oath of allegiance demanded by the British Crown; however the Acadians refused, stating that they would rather remain neutral. Some of the captured Acadians who remained reported that they were forced to help defend Fort Beauséjour. Armed with this information, the British planned and executed the expulsion of Acadians in August 1755.
This event was the start of what would come to be known as the Great Upheaval (le Grand Dérangement) of Acadian society. It commenced with the Acadians in the Beaubassin region. British forces burnt Acadian homes at Beaubassin and the vicinity of the fort to prevent their return. Fort Cumberland became one of four sites in which Acadians were imprisoned during the nine years of the expulsion, including Fort Edward.
Pierre “Parrotte” Melanson was born in 1720 in Port Royal (later Annapolis Royal). Pierre “Parrotte” Melanson and Marie Josephe Granger (my 5th great grandparents) were married on 1 Feb 1746 in Port Royal. Marie Josèphe Granger, daughter of Laurens Granger and Marie Bourg, was born on 12 Jan 1723 in Port Royal. He and Marie Josèphe had six children: Marie-Josèphe, Jean “Janne”, Osite, Pierre, David and Dominique-Pierre. Escaping deportation during the Acadian Expulsion, Pierre, Marie Josephe and their three living children, Marie-Josephe, Janne and David (see below for more information about the children), sought refuge in the Petitcodiac region (today in New Brunswick) from 1755 to 1760. They were captured and subsequently held prisoner at Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763. They then lived as captives in Fort Cumberland, between 1763 and 1768. Their youngest son Dominique-Pierre was born in captivity at Fort Cumberland. Pierre “Parrotte” and his family lived after their release from Fort Cumberland in Minudie, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, where he died about 1791 at the age of 71. His wife Marie Josèphe remained in Minudie until her death about 1790 at the age of 67.
Marie-Josèphe Melanson was born on 4 Mar 1747 in Port Royal. Marie-Josèphe Melanson and Jean-Augustin Gaudet, son of Augustin Gaudet and Agnés Chiasson, were married about 1767 while in captivity at Fort Edward. They lived as captives in Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763, and then also in captivity in Fort Cumberland between 1763 and 1768. They had nine children: Marie-Madeleine, Isabelle, Marie-Anne “Nannette”, Marguerite, Jean, Marguerite, Pierre, Pélagie and Sauveur and they all settled in Westmoreland County, New Brunswick, Canada.
Jean “Janne” Melanson was born on 12 Aug 1749 in Port Royal. Janne lived as a captive along with his family in Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763. He lived as a captive along with his family in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia, Canada between 1763 and 1768. Janne later died in Minudie.  Jean “Janne” Melanson and Modeste “Ursule” Forest (4th great grandparents), daughter of Charles Forest and Marie Chiasson, were married on 20 Nov 1773 in Franklin Manor, Minudie. Janne and Modeste had seven children, Louise “Lizette”, Henriette, Romain “Roma”, Apollonie, Pélagie, Rose Anne and Pierre Melanson (3rd great grandfather).
David Melanson was born in 1755 in Port Royal. He lived as an escapee with his family in Petitcodiac between 1755 and 1761. He lived with his family in Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763 and in Fort Cumberland between 1763 and 1768. David Melanson married firstly Marguerite Leblanc, daughter of Joseph Leblanc and Marie Doiron, about 1776 in Minudie, Cumberland County. They had eleven children: Pierre, Cécile, Rosalie, Dominique, Fabien, Firmin, Brigitte, Joseph “dit Magoune”, Gertrude, Romain “Roma” and François. David became a land owner from land grants in Dorchester Crossing and Scoudouc, New Brunswick. David and Marguerite both died in Memramcook, Westmorland County, she in 1810 and he in 1834. Marguerite is among those originally buried at the old Memramcook parish cemetery that were exhumed and re-interred at the new church’s cemetery (St. Thomas) when it opened in 1840.
David married secondly Anne Nanette Richard, daughter of René “petit René de Beaupré” and Perpétue Bourgeois, on 4 Feb 1811 in Memramcook, Westmorland County. They were granted dispensations for third to fourth degree of consanguinity and a third degree of affinity. She died shortly after their marriage at the age of 44 in Memramcook.
Dominique-Pierre Melanson was born in captivity in Fort Cumberland in 1765 and was captive there along with his family between 1765 and 1768. Dominique-Pierre Melanson and Anne-Rosalie Babin, daughter of Pierre Babin and Madeleine Bourque, were married on 8 Nov 1783 in Franklin Manor, Minudie. They had five children: Apolline, Isabelle, Laurent “P’Tit Laurent”, Franéçois and Anne. Dominique-Pierre died on 11 Aug 1813 at the age of 48 in Memramcook.

1. Michael B. Melanson, Melanson – Melancon: Genealogy of an Acadian and Cajun Family (Dracut, Massachusetts: Lanesville Publishing, 2004).
2. “Baptism Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (
3. “Marriage Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives ( .
4. “Baptism Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives ( .

Transcription: French plaque commemorating Samson settlers.

Plaque of St. Gatien-des-Bois, France commemorating the first Samson settlers was erected at the Church of St. Gatien-des-Blois in January of 1997.

Samson brothers plaque.
Samson brothers plaque.

Inside the church of St Gatien-des-Bois, France (pictured above), a plaque commemorating the first Samson settlers was erected in January of 1997, which reads (translated from French):

“In 1665 the brothers Gabriel and Jacques Samson, born at St. Gatien des Bois and baptized in this church in 1643 and 1647, left to settle in New France, and are the ancestors of numerous descendants living today in Canada and the United States.”

St Gatien des Bois ; Le 15 Janvier 1997.


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

Transcription – Axel and Ella Gummeson and Family Biography



Axel and Ella Gummeson, and Kenneth age 10 weeks, left Amery, Wisconsin, U.S.A., by train and arrived in Cabri, Saskatchewan, on April 21, 1917. They took up residence at the August Gummeson farm on the south edge of town.

Several brothers and a sister of Axel had come to Cabri prior to this time. Ella, a sister of Edwin Johnson of Cabri, came from Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, U.S.A.


Gummeson - Ella, Ken, Helen, Mazel, AxelKen was born in Amery, Wisconsin in 1917. Mazel was born on January 26, 1920 in the Cottage Hospital at Cabri. In 1922 the family moved to the Herman Gummeson farm east of Cabri. Stanley was born in 1926 but died in infancy. Helen was born September, 1931. Helen’s date of birth is unknown, but I presume it was about 1928.

In 1928 Axel bought the NE, NW, and SE of 8-19-18 and the NE of 5-19-18 W3rd. Axel was an avid curler and hunter, an active member of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and a founding member of the Cabri Co-operative Association. Ella was a member of the Pioneer Women’s Club and the Cabri Brass Band Auxiliary. In 1945 Axel and Ella retired and moved to New Westminster, British Columbia, where Axel died in 1962 after a lengthy illness.

Mazel attended school in Cabri. In 1942 she went to Vancouver, B.C. where she joined the C.W.A.C. She married Elgin Six in 1950, and their son Robert was born in 1956. Mazel was later divorced, remarried to Jack Wallace, is now separated and lives with her mother in an apartment in New Westminster, B.C.

Helen took her schooling in Cabri and New Westminster. In 1950 she married Gordon Cooper and they had four children, Tom, who is married and has two children, Judy is married and has one child, Jane is married and Jim is single. Gordon died in 1963 after a long illness. Helen remarried Gordon Kemp in 1967. They and their families reside in or near New Westminster, B.C.

Ken was educated in Cabri and started farming with his father in 1936. In 1940 he joined the R.C.A.F., serving until the spring of 1945 when he returned to Cabri and resumed farming. Ken was an active curler and a member of the Cabri Brass Band for many years. In 1951 he married Helen Dowling, a district Public Health Nurse. They had three children. Patrick was born in 1953, is married to Janice Berg, D.V.M., reside in Brooks, Alberta where Pat is farming. Mary Ellen was born in 1954, is a Registered Nurse working at Swift Current Union Hospital. She has two children, Tami who is 11, and Keri-Lyn who is three. Cathy was born in 1956, is married to Jim Hendry, R.C.M.P. and they reside in Vulcan, Alberta. They have two sons, Gregory who is five and Gary who is three years. Kristen Marie was born August 13, 1984.

Ken and family sold the farm to Ben Andreas in 1968, bought the Safari Motel in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and operated it for five years. He sold the Motel, worked for a few years for Co-op Implements and is now retired. Ken and Helen continue to live in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

(Through the Years: History of Cabri and District; Page 447; Cabri History Book Committee.)


You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

Canada Post issues Halifax Explosion stamp marking 100 years since the disaster | CTV Atlantic News

Published Monday, November 6, 2017 7:29AM AST
Last Updated Monday, November 6, 2017 11:25AM AST


HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Lt.-Gov Arthur J. LeBlanc has unveiled a Canada Post stamp that commemorates the Halifax Explosion.

The stamp depicts the moments after the munitions vessel SS Mont Blanc collided with the SS Imo in Halifax harbour on Dec. 6, 1917.

The image of the ships is depicted with a newspaper headline from 1917 saying “Halifax Wrecked.”

Designer Larry Burke says the challenge was to tell the story in a way that had enough impact so people would understand the “enormity” of the tragedy.

Burke says the newspaper headline “really says everything”, and he knew it had to be at the heart of the stamp’s concept.

The massive explosion that resulted from the harbour collision killed 2,000 people, injured 9,000 and left 25,000 homeless.


Source: Canada Post issues Halifax Explosion stamp marking 100 years since the disaster | CTV Atlantic News


Transcription – Marriage of Abraham Fougere and Elizabeth Cordeau


Abraham Fougère & Elizabeth Cordeau
Film # 1316273, Record # 16


Date and place of Marriage:    Jany 10th 1876 River Bourgeois C.B.
How married (by License or Banns):    Banns
Full name of Groom:    Abraham Fougère
His age:    23
Condition (Bachelor or Widower):    Bachelor
Profession or Trade:    Fisherman
Residence:    River Bourgeois
Where born:        “             “
Parents names:    Abraham Fougère & Adelaide Cordeau
Their profession:    (blank)

Full name of Bride:    Elizabeth Cordeau
Age:    22
Condition (Spinster or Widow):    Spinster
Her place of residence:    River Bourgeois
Parents names:    Simon Cordeau & Elizabeth Sançon
Their profession:    (blank)
Witnesses names:    Patrick Fougère & Elias Boucher
Signatures of parties Married:    (unsigned)
Officiating Clergyman:    W. M. Leblanc
Denomination of Clergyman:    Roman Catholic

I certify that the marriage of the persons above named was duly celebrated by me at the time and place, and in the manner, stated in this slip.

(Signed):    W. M. Leblanc
Officiating Clergyman


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Transcription: M. Paul Boily (1922-1998)

Featured image: Stes-Anges-de-Beauce, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Transcription: M. Paul Boily (1922-1998)

Obituary for Paul-Henri Boily, 1926-1998
Obituary for Paul-Henri Boily, 1926-1998


M. Paul


A son domicile, le 5 décembre 1998, à l’âge de 72 ans et 8 mois est décédé M. Paul Boily, époux de dame Claire Girard. Il demeurait à Sts-Anges. Les funérailles ont eu feu samedi le 12 décembre 1998 à 11 heures en l’Église de Sts-Anges et de tà  au cimetière paroissial. La direction des funérailles tut confée à la maison funéraire Nouvelle Vie Inc., St-Joseph. Outre son épouse, il laisse dans le deuil ses enfants. Michel (Monique Dion), Lisa (Michel Théobald), feu Rénald (Elaine Boyle), Marin (Louise Nétossé), France (Marco Giguère), ses petits-enfants Karine Boily, Benoit et Isabelle Théobald. Jessica Boily, Sylvain et Judith Boily, Amélie Giguère says soeurs. Lucia (feu Donat Lehouillier), Carmelle (feu Émile Ferland), Angéline (feu Aurèle Turmel), feu Clermont (Thérèse Leclerc), feu Émilien (Gisèle Arsenault), ainsi que plusieurs beaux-frères et belles-soeurs, oncles, tantes, cousins, cousines, neveux et nièces et nombreux amis(es). Mme Claire Girard et ses enfants remercient sincèrement tous les parents et amiels qui ont temoignés de marques de sympathe et dàmitié soit par des offrandes de messes, affiliations de prières, dons, fleurs, visite à la résidence funéraire et assistances aux funérailles. Que tous trouvent ici lèxpression de notre reconnaissance et considèrent ces remerciements comme étant adressés personnellement.


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Transcription: Marriage Certificate and Register for William Beaver and Mary Elizabeth Fougère


Transcription: Marriage Certificate and Register for William Beaver and Mary Elizabeth Fougère.

Featured image: St. Peters, Nova Scotia

Beaver, William & Fougère, Mary Elizabeth; Marriage documents.

Marriage License of William Beaver and Mary Fourgere
No. 440

Province of Nova Scotia
Marriage License

M.B. Daly
Lt. Govn

(Right Margin) –
Malachy Bowes Daly, Esquire
Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia,
&c., &c., &c.

    Whereas, William Beaver Farmer and Mary Fourgere have determined to enter into the holy estate of Matrimony, and are desirous of having their Marriage publicly solemnized : in order that such their honest desires may the more speedily have due effect, and that they may be able to procure the same to be lawfully solemnized without publication of banns, I do hereby, for good causes, give and grant this License and Faculty, as well to them the said parties contracting, as to all or every Minister or Clergyman resident in the Dominion of Canada and duly ordained or appointed according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church or Denomination to which he belongs, to solemnize and perform the same : Provide always, that by reason of any Affinity, Consanguinity, Prior Marriage, or any other lawful cause, there be no legal impediment in this behalf ; otherwise if any fraud shall appear to thave been committed at the time of granting this License, either by false suggestions, or concealment of the truth, that then this License shall be null and void to all interests and purposes whatsoever.

Given under my hand and Seal at Arms, at St. Peters
this Second day of October
in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Ninetynine and in the sixteenth year of Her Majesty’s Command.

Issued this Second day of October 1899


R. G. Morrison
Issuer of Marriage Licenses at St. Peters
In the County of Richmond

E. C. Marbank (signature)
Deputy Provincial Secretary



Beaver, William & Fougère, Mary Elizabeth; Marriage documents.

Oct. 2, 1899
No. 440, Oct. 2nd 1899
William Beaver
Annie Fourgère



Beaver, William & Fougère, Mary Elizabeth (a)

Province of Nova Scotia


Date of Marriage:  Monday, October 2nd, 1899.
Place of Marriage:  R.C. Church, River Bourgeois.
County:  Richmond Co., N.S.
How Married:  by license or banns:  License
Date of Publication, if by Banns:

Full Name of GROOM:  William Beaver.
His Age:  33 yrs.
Condition (Bachelor or widower):  Widower
Occupation:  Farmer
Residence:  St. Peter’s Lake, C.B.
Where Born: St. Peter’s Lake, C.B.
Parents’ Names:  Edward Beaver, Mary McKay.
Parents’ Occupation:  Fisherman.

Full Name of BRIDE:  Mary Elizabeth Fougère.

Age:  22 yrs.
Condistion (Spinster or Widow):  Spinster
Her Place of Residence:  River Bourgeois
Where Born:  River Bourgeois
Parents’ Names:  Chas. Fougère & Alice Landry

Parents’ Occupation:  Fishing

Witness Names: Michael McDonald, M. Cameron X (his mark), Felicity Burke, Maggie X (her mark) [13 ????]

Signature of parties Married:
William Beaver
Mary Eliz. Fougère X (her mark)

Officiating Clergyman:  A. M. O’Handley, P.P.
Denomination of Clergyman:  Roman Catholic


I Certify, That the marriage of the persons above named was duly celebrated by me at the time and place and in the manner stated in this register.
A. M. O’Handley, P.P.
Officiating Clergyman


When a marriage is celebrated by License, this register, filled up and signed by the officiating clergyman, must be returned, with the License, to the Issuer from whom the said License was obtained, and the Issuer will pay to the clergyman 25 cents for both Register and License, not 25 cents for each. When the marriage is celebrated by banns, the Register is to be filled up, signed and returned by the officiating clergyman without unnecessary delay to the nearest Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licenses, who is authorized to pay him 25 cents for each Register so returned — the Deputy Issuer repaying himself from License money in his hands — and including amount so paid in his Quarterly Returns. Clergymen may obtain Marriage Registers from Deputy Issuer.
Issuers must return all Licenses, Affidavits and Registers to the Provincial Secretary’s Office, with their Quarterly Accounts.



Beaver, William & Fougère, Mary Elizabeth; Marriage documents.

Back of Certificate
I hereby Certify, that the within named persons, William Beaver of St. Peter’s, C.B. and Mary E. Fougère of River Bourgeois, C.B. were married under the within License, at River Bourgeois on the Second day of October 1899, according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church
By me,
A. M. O’Handley, P.P.
River Bourgeois, C.B.
In presence of
Michael McDonald
Malcolm Cameron, x Others.



Beaver, William & Fougère, Mary Elizabeth; Marriage documents.

Form of Affidavit

I, William Beaver of St. Peter’s in the County of Richmond

Farmer make oath and say as follows:

I, and Mary Fourchere of Riviere Bourgeois in the County of Richmond

…………………………. are desirous of entering into the contract of marriage, and of having our marriage solemnized at River Bourgeois in the

Name of Clergyman
County of Richmond by the Reverend A. M. O’hanley.

Or the said — is of the age of — years or over.
I am of the age of thirty three years, and the said Mary Fourchere is of the full age of         twenty-one years & over.

Bachelor or widower; spinster or widow, as the case may be.
I am a Widower and the said Mary Fourchere is a spinster.
If either party is under 21 years add here the name of the father, mother or guardian of such party.
————– of —— in the County of ———————————
whose consent to such marriage is required, has consented thereto —————————————————-
In writing or verbally before me, and if in writing, such writing to be attached to the license;
If no person exists whose consent is required by law.
Person under requisite age.
The father and mother of ———————- are dead or absent from the Province, and no guardian has been appointed for
Him or her.
Sworn to at St. Peter’s in the
County of Richmond
this Second
day of October 1899,
Before me,
R G Morrison
Issuer of Marriage License.



Beaver, William & Fougère, Mary Elizabeth; Marriage documents.

Richmond – 1899
Beaver, William
Fougère, Mary E.


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It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

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Transcription: Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946 – Page 4 and 5

Transcription: Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946 – Page 4 and 5


Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946 - Page 4 and 5
Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946 – Page 4 and 5


1836 a 1899
Bouctouche, Cte Kent, N. B.
Paroisse St-Jean-Baptiste
Registres Photographies a la Paroisse


Olivier Girouard
Le 29 Mars 1836 à Olivier Girouard né le 11 fevrier du legitime mariage de Joseph Girouard et de Judith Doucet. Presens: Urbain Cormier et Elizabeth Girouard.

J. M. Paquet, P. M.

Joseph Aucoin & Brigitte Maillet
Le 15 août 1836 après la publication de trois ordinaires des bans de mariage entre Joseph Aucoin domicilié sur l’Ile du Prince Edd et Brigitte Maillet de Richibouctou. J’ai reçu leur consentement mutuel au mariage en présence de Mélème Aucoin et de François Maillet et ce avec le consentement des parents.
J. M. Paquet, P. M.
Mélème Nocass
Le 15 août 1836 j’ai supplée les cérémonies du bapteme à Mélème né le 15 mars du legitime mariage de Abraham __ et de Marie Rose Girouard. Présens Fabien Girouard et Domitilde Girouard.
J. M. Paquet, P. M.
Michel Cormier
Le même jour à Michel né le 23 juillet du legitime mariage de Eusèbe Cormier et de Scholastique Caissy. Présens: Marin Cormier et Ursule Cormier.

J. M. Paquet, P. M.
Fabien Cormier
Le 16 août 1836 j’ai supplée les cérémonies funéraires au corps du Fabien, enfant legitime de Moyse Cormier et de Perpétue Allain


décédé le 7 janvier agé de six mois en présence de François Cormier et du père de l’enfant.
J. M. Paquet, P. M.
Magdlne Tibodeau
Le même jour à Magdeliane legitime de Olivier Tibodeau et de Suzanne Desroches décédé il y a deux ans le 21 juillet 1834. En présence de Eloi Blanc et Thadée Bastarache agée de 5 ans.
J. M. Paquet, P. M.
Isidore Bastarache
Le même jour à Isidore Bastarache époux legitime de Rosalie LeBlanc décédé le 28 avril agée de 74 ans. En présence de Athanase Bastarache et Thadée Bastarache.
J. M. Paquet, P. M.
Angélique Girouard
Le même jour à Angélique Girouard époux legitime de Charls Cormier décédé le 14 juillet agée de 56 en présence de Charls Cormier et de Eloi Blanc.
J. M. Paquet, P. M.
Suzanne Savoie
Le 16 août 1836 j’ai baptisé Suzanne née le 8 août 1836 du legitime mariage de Joseph Savoie et de Margte Bourk. Parrain Cyrille Tibodeau et Ursule Savoie.
J. M. Paquet, P. M.
Scholastique Blanc
Le 17 août 1836 j’ai supplée les cérémonies funéraires au corps de Scholastique décédée le 20 juin agée de 18 mois legitime de Simon Blanc et…


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It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

Warm memories of smells and tastes…


I’m in my fifties, but every once in a while I find myself emailing my Mom, asking “Hey, do you remember the ????? recipe you used to make? Could you send it to me? I’d like to make it for Mark and the kids.”


Now, this doesn’t happen too often because I’m not the best of cooks and don’t particularly enjoy cooking, but on those occasions when I want to make something special, I turn back to the warm memories of smells and tastes of my youth and turn to one of my Mom’s old standby recipes.


Chocolate Cake
A perennial favorite of my Dad’s was this chocolate cake. Mom always made it for him on birthdays with her own invention, ‘Peppermint Brandy Icing’.

She’s pretty good natured about these requests, especially when I’ve invariably asked for it a year or two before but then when I go to make it again later, I can’t find that email anymore.

So, now that all our kids are young adults and leaving the nests, I thought it would be a great idea to compile all of the old recipes into a cookbook and self-publish it to print and disk for everyone in the family. It helps that I once had my own print business since I still have the equipment necessary for printing and binding.

Going through the recipe cards my sister so graciously scanned for me (over 130 of them) while she visited my mother a couple of weeks ago, I can remember using these very same cards while I was still living at home to cook meals and bake – mostly baking because I’ve always been better at it and enjoyed it much more.

Cooking and baking are second nature to my mother as it was to her mother, grandmother and so on. This isn’t surprising considering her strong Acadian ancestry.

Reading these cards is like reading another language. She uses a very simple shorthand, with very little instruction, as she knows exactly what she means and can easily fill in the blanks with her years of knowledge. She liked to make little notes in the margins, such as those on the recipe image above. I, on the other hand, have to read, reread, dig deep into the long-forgotten recesses of my memory (which is considerably worse than it used to be) and hope to interpret properly when typing out the recipes.

I think I’ll have to resort to using my mother as an unpaid Editor at the end of it all and ask her to read through and make any corrections to my interpretations and translations.

I also think I’m going to use images of the original hand-written cards as images in the complete cookbook. They’re like mini time capsules showing the wear and stains of many years – no, decades – of loving use.

If I can exceed my past record for completing such projects, we might all one day see such a cookbook.

In Remembrance.


Being from a dedicated military family, this is a somber time of year for us, in remembrance of those in our families who have served, or worse yet, who we lost during military service.


The relationships to our children, Erin and Stuart, are in italics following the excerpt.

Remembering those we lost in battle:


Coon, David 1843

  • Elisha Cadwallader (1840-1862) – Civil War (4th cousin, 7x removed)
  • Private Joseph Turmaine (1889-1916) – First World War(great granduncle)
    • The 27th Battalion, Winnipeg Regiment left at 2 pm, September 14, 1916 for brigade headquarters, arriving at 5 pm. They then left brigade headquarters at 9 pm and proceeded to the front line to take up position in assembly trenches, which was delayed due to congestion of the trenches…


Pte Joseph Philias Albert Emery

Veterans in our family who later passed away:



Cadwalader, General John Cadwalader (Revolutionary War)

  • General John Cadwalader (1742-1785) – Revolutionary War (3rd cousin, 11x removed)
  • Nathan “Hoppity-Kickity” Porter (1742-1815) – French and Indian War (7th great grandfather)


Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.

  • Governor Isaac Shelby (1750-1826) – Revolutionary War, War of 1812 (1st cousin, 8x removed)
    • With a sword presented to him by Henry Clay as voted by the legislature of North Carolina for his gallantry at King’s Mountain 32 years before, Shelby assembled and personally led 4,000 Kentucky volunteers to join General Harrison in the Northwest for the invasion of Canada
  • Private John Jaquish (1753-1845) – War of 1812 (6th great grandfather)
  • Quartermaster Joseph Shelby (1787-1846) – Indian Wars (5th great grandfather)
  • James Shreve (rank unknown) (1754-1839) – War of 1812 (6th great grandfather)


Cadwalader, Gen. Thomas.jpg

  • General Thomas Cadwalader (1779-1841) – War of 1812. (3rd cousin 10x removed)


Jaques, William H

  • William Henry Jaques (1820-1913) – Civil War (4th great granduncle)
  • Laurent Jude Melanson (1820-1914) – Fenian Raids (3rd great grandfather)
  • Alfred E. Melanson (c. 1847-?) – Fenian Raids (2nd great granduncle)
  • Private Robinson Coke “Boby” Jones (1822-1897) – Mexican War (4th great grandfather)
  • Private William Seth Cadwallader (1825-    ) – Civil War (4th cousin, 7x removed)
  • John Mumby Blythe (1831-    ) – Civil War (3rd great granduncle)
  • Private Francis Elmer Keefer (1839-1863) – Civil War (3rd great granduncle)
  • Charles George Blythe (1840-1914) – Civil War(3rd great grandfather)
    • …his descendants remained in the Louth and Somercotes areas of Lincolnshire until the emigration of his great grandson Thomas Blyth and Thomas’  sons Charles George (3rd great grandfather to Erin and Stuart), John Mumby and Robert to America…


Keefer, Lenard Scott 2 (maybe) proof needed

  • Leonard Scott Keefer (1841-1916) – Civil War (3rd great granduncle)


Wedding of Elam Dennis Matthews St.

  • William Dennis Matthews (1875-1940) – Spanish American War(2nd great grandfather)
    • Bip, Fred, White and I went down to the armory this evening The Governor’s (Tanner) order, for all Illinois regiments to move to Springfield was read and great applause followed. Came home about 9 o’clock and packed up my belongings…
  • Clayton William Blythe (1883-1943) – First World War (2nd great grandfather)
    • The following men, registered with Selective Service Local Board No. 1, are classified as suspected delinquents. Any person whose name appears upon the list should report immediately to this board, for correction of records.
  • Wesley Elmer Blythe (1890-1977) – First World War (2nd great granduncle)
  • Hervé “Hervey” Turmel (1894-    ) – First World War (4th cousin, 3x removed)


Luther Gummeson

  • Private Luther Gummeson (1895-1934) – First World War (great granduncle)
    • Before enlisting for military service on December 10, 1917, he was a Lutheran and a farmer in Vancouver, BC. Rumour had it that his early death was attributed to being gassed during WWI. Before his death, Luther was living in the Peace River area…
  • Joseph Antonio Tumel (1896-    ) – First World War (2nd cousin, 4x removed)
  • Alfred Turmel (1896-    ) – First World War (2nd cousin, 4x removed)
  • Chester C. Blythe (1908-1995) – General Service (great grandfather)
  • Doyle Clement Cadwallader (1925-1944) (6th cousin, 5x removed)
    • “In the midst of life we are in death.
      In the moment that ye think not,
      In the twinkling of an eye,
      The Angel of Death may appear.”
    • The foregoing quotation seems to me very fitting for Doyle Clement Cadwallader, whose death was caused by an automobile accident while he was returning home on September 30, 1944…


Dad, c. 1955.

Veterans in our family who are still living:




Mark and I with my Mom and Dad at our wedding.


For more facts and dates about the above mentioned individuals, check out our family’s extensive genealogy database linked in the menu bar above.

What was there?


What was there is a website that provides comparative photos of a location in the present day with archived photos from history.


My favorite part of genealogy is finding treasured images relating to people, places, events and things in my genealogy research. All of this information provides the color to our ancestors’ stories.


So I took a look at “” and although the quantity of content is somewhat wanting the premise is ingenious and the images that have been uploaded to the site are wonderful.

Sault Ste. Marie ArchThe “Friendly City Gateway” in Sault Ste. Marie of the 1940’s.

The purpose of this website is to provide a map-based database of locations for which registered users can upload images they hold related to that location.

Since a great deal of my research into my husband’s ancestry is in Pennsylvania, this is where I concentrated my efforts to see what I could find – and I was pleasantly surprised! There were dozens of images available, mostly of historic buildings and landmarks, as well as some background information for each image.

I also checked out Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, which is where I currently live, and the results weren’t nearly as numerous.

Vancouver, on the other hand, about one hour’s drive away has several images uploaded. It appears the larger city centers have the most available. I guess this isn’t so surprising when one really thinks about it.

One feature of this site that I love is the street view. It’s a comparison view where a continuous image is created by combining the uploaded vintage image and a current image next to it.

I performed this function for an image in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario showing the entry sign near the Michigan border crossing.

The vintage image is transparent enough that part of the skyrise in the current image can be seen where it would have been located at the time.

Sault Ste. Marie is the birthplace of my father. He lived there with his parents until he joined the Canadian Armed Forces about 1957. His father worked in the Algoma Steel Mill and actually died on shift in the plant.

This site as I feel it has the potential to be one of the most valuable available to genealogists and history buffs.