All things history and genealogy.

All things history and genealogy.

Tag: Censuses

The ancestor quest: humor, poems and prose for Genealogists.

I have gathered and transcribed several items of humor, poems and prose for Genealogists that have touched me in some way. The ones I have selected and printed below are my favorites of the hundreds that can be found – and the ones that hit home the most.


Dear Ancestor


Your tombstone stands among the rest;
Neglected and alone
The name and date are chiseled out
On polished, marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
So many years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
And come to visit you.



 Genealogy – where you confuse the dead and irritate the living.



Murphy’s Law for Genealogists


The public ceremony in which your distinguished ancestor participated and at which the platform collapsed under him turned out to be a hanging.

When at last after much hard work you have solved the mystery you have been working on for two years, your aunt says, “I could have told you that.”

You grandmother’s maiden name that you have searched for four years was on a letter in a box in the attic all the time.

You never asked your father about his family when he was alive because you weren’t interested in genealogy then.

The will you need is in the safe on board the Titanic.

Copies of old newspapers have holes occurring only on the surnames.

John, son of Thomas, the immigrant whom your relatives claim as the family progenitor, died on board ship at
age 10.

Your gr. grandfather’s newspaper obituary states that he died leaving no issue of record.

The keeper of the vital records you need has just been insulted by an another genealogist.

The relative who had all the family photographs gave them all to her daughter who has no interest in genealogy and no inclination to share.

The only record you find for your gr. grandfather is that his property was sold at a sheriff’s sale for insolvency.

The one document that would supply the missing link in your dead-end line has been lost due to fire, flood or war.

The town clerk to whom you wrote for the information sends you a long handwritten letter which is totally illegible.

The spelling for your European ancestor’s name bears no relationship to its current spelling or pronunciation.

None of the pictures in your recently deceased grandmother’s photo album have names written on them.

No one in your family tree ever did anything noteworthy, owned property, was sued or was named in wills.

You learn that your great aunt’s executor just sold her life’s collection of family genealogical materials to a flea market dealer “somewhere in New York City.”

Ink fades and paper deteriorates at a rate inversely proportional to the value of the data recorded.

The 37 volume, sixteen thousand page history of your county of origin isn’t indexed.

You finally find your gr. grandparent’s wedding records and discover that the brides’ father was named John Smith.



Whoever said “Seek and ye shall find” was not a genealogist.


Strangers in the Box


Come, look with me inside this drawer,
In this box I’ve often seen,
At the pictures, black and white,
Faces proud, still, and serene.

I wish I knew the people,
These strangers in the box,
Their names and all their memories,
Are lost among my socks.

I wonder what their lives were like,
How did they spend their days?
What about their special times?
I’ll never know their ways.

If only someone had taken time,
To tell, who, what, where, and when,
These faces of my heritage,
Would come to life again.

Could this become the fate,
Of the pictures we take today?
The faces and the memories,
Someday to be passed away?

Take time to save your stories,
Seize the opportunity when it knocks,
Or someday you and yours,
Could be strangers in the box.

Originally posted 2016-04-26 10:17:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Genealogy Mystery: Who were Christian W. Keefer’s parents?

Christian W. Keefer (Chester) is an important figure in one of the main branches of my husband’s and children’s ascendancy. He married Mary Ann Jacques and they eventually settled and raised a family in Dodge County, Wisconsin.

After numerous years of research, however, I’m still left scratching my head at the mystery of the identity of Christian W. Keefer’s parents.

As can be seen in the list of sources I’ve found and logged for Christian (below), you would think that at least one of them would provide some concrete information about his parentage and place of birth, but that turns out to not be the case.

Here’s what I know for sure:

Christian W. Keefer was born October 1, 1811 in Pennsylvania and his family originated from France.

Christian W. Keefer's parents.
Sources for Christian W. Keefer.

That’s it.

I originally took a mention of Philadelphia as Christian’s birthplace in a biography of his son Charles with a grain of salt. I do believe that people did and do tend to describe where they’ve come from by using the nearest, largest center that would be recognized outside the area. For example, although we live in Chilliwack, BC, Canada, we frequently say we’re located near Vancouver to those who are not from the area. Considering this possibility, I would not rule out any birth location in Pennsylvania.

I have considered the possibility that our Christian may be one of the Christians mentioned of the Keefer / Kiefer family in the “Biographical Annals of Franklin County”. I was able to systematically eliminate every Christian mentioned because they could not have been born on or near the birth date of our Christian (Chester), or they married into different families, etc.

Another  possibility I’ve been checking is that his father (and possibly mother as well), may have immigrated to the United States from Germany (or Switzerland), but I’ve been unable to find immigration or naturalization records that show such a connection.

However, the same biography previously mentioned states that he was of French origin.

Through all of my research over the years, every Keefer family is of Germanic origin – except one.

The only family that shows of French origin in the time period is (lo and behold!) actually living in Philadelphia and is that of Anthony and Sarah (Shillingford) Keefer.

At the time, his family was very young with only mention of one brother born in 1810 – Thomas. The earlier births of the children of Anthony and his wife Sarah are about one year apart, leaving a gap just where Christian’s would be.

Keefer, Anthony; family pedigree chart
Family pedigree chart of Anthony Keefer, showing Christian, as I’ve entered it in my database (see

I would love to find proof beyond that of coincidence and speculation of Christian W. Keefer’s parentage. I’d like nothing better than to continue further back in time and expand on this huge Keefer family

If you or anyone you know has any documentation, images, etc. of this Christian Keefer showing his parents and brothers and sisters (or parts thereof), I would dearly love to see them, or better yet, get copies.


  1. Biographical Sketches of Old Settlers and Prominent People of Wisconsin: Vol. I (Waterloo, Wis., Huffman & Hyer, 1899); pdf file.
  2. State of Ohio, “Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950,” marriage, Family Search ( accessed
  3. Death certificate; Charles Keefer;  Digital Folder No.: 4008297; Image No.: 1576; Film Number: 1674527; Certificate No.: cn 23384. (7 June 1933), Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947, State of Illinois;
  4., “Wisconsin Deaths and Burials, 1835-1968,” database,, ( accessed ).
  5. Rootsweb, “Wisconsin Death Records,” database, Rootsweb, Rootsweb ( accessed ).
  6. Keefer, Christian W., Beaver Dam Argus, Beaver Dam, Dodge County, Wisconsin, , Obituary.
  7. Obituary of Mary Ann (Jaques) Keefer.
  8. 1880 US Federal Census, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, Beaver Dam, Dodge, Wisconsin, enumeration district (ED) Enumeration District: 004, Page: 47A, Year: 1880; Census Place: Beaver Dam, Dodge, Wisconsin; Roll: 1422; Family History Film: 1255422, Keefer Christian W.; digital image, ( : Internet 13 July 2013).
  9. 1870 US Federal Census, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, year: 1870; census place: elba, dodge, wisconsin; roll: m593_1710; page: 165a; image: 338; family history library film: 553209, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, enumeration district (ED) Roll: M593_1710; Image: 337; Family History Library Film: 553209, Page: 164B, Roll: M593_1710; Image: 337; Family History Library Film: 553209, Keefer Christian W; digital image, (  : Internet 7 September 2013).
  10. 1860 US Federal Census, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, roll: m653_1405; page: 303; image: 308, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, Page: 303, Roll: M653_1405; Image: 308; Family History Library Film: 805405, Keefer Christian W.; dgs no.: 4298900; image no.: 0038; nara no.: m653, (  : Internet 7 September 2013).
  11. 1850 US Federal Census, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, roll: m432_996;  image: 209, , Page: 104A, Roll: M432_996; Page: 104A; Image: 209, Keefer Christian W.; digital image, Family Search ((  : Internet 7 September 2013).
  12. 1840 US Federal Census, Painesville, Lake, Ohio; digital image,, (  : accessed ).
  13. 1830 US Federal Census, Antrim, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, age: 395; nara series: m19; roll number: 151; family history film: 0020625; digitalk image, (  : accessed ).

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 (


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 ( .

Gerard Ronald Joseph Turmaine (1934-2005)

These are treasured pictures of my Dad, Gerard Ronald Joseph Turmaine, who passed away about ten years ago at the age of 71.

He was the son of Henri Turmaine and Rose Amande Emery, born January 30, 1934 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

He married Patricia-Gail Marrion Melanson on March 8, 1958 in Germany and had four children, myself being the oldest, then Renee, Andrea and Danielle.

Here are several pictures of my father through the years.

Researching Welsh Quakers in Pennsylvania.

Welsh Quaker ancestors are the cultural group from which the majority of the ancestors of my children originate (on my husband’s side).


One of the benefits of researching this culture is that the people were religious, often educated (could read and write) and were very good at documenting vital statistics and events. As a result, there are several very good written resources available that directly cite or are based upon this documented data.

The following are valuable, highly informational links to texts and websites focusing on Welsh Quaker pioneers in Pennsylvania.



William Penn
William Penn


I’m related to Ellen Degeneres and Madonna?

What a shock to find out that I and the rest of my family are related to Ellen Degeneres and Madonna!

I was reviewing old genealogy articles to find story and post ideas and hit the jackpot with this one. In an article by CanWest News Service’s Randy Boswell from March of 2010, he recounts the relationship between Madonna and Ellen Degeneres.

View of the entrance to La Rochelle harbour in 1628.
La Rochelle harbour circa 1628.

Mr. Boswell states that they are eleventh cousins, descending from the same 10th great-grandfather, Martin Aucoin, from La Rochelle, France. It is unclear whether he ever immigrated to Acadia, but his two daughters Michelle and Jeanne were both living in Port Royal after 1641.

Relationship Chart - Christine Blythe to Martin Aucoin
I find out that I and the rest of my family are related to Ellen Degeneres and Madonna!

As you can see in the relationship chart below showing my descent from the same original ancestor, my branch descends through his daughter Michelle, who married Michel Boudrot in Port Royal in 1641.

In a later generation, my 6th great-grandfather, Charles Mellanson married Anne Bourg in 1701. Anne being the great-granddaughter of the original Martin Aucoin, all subsequent descendants of Charles Mellanson were also direct descendants of Martin Aucoin.

Finding family connections with noted people from history is one thing, but nothing beats the fun of finding connections to living celebrities, personalities, politicians, royalty, etc. Another connection I recently wrote about was that of my husband to Barack Obama, both being directly descended from Ulrich Stehle, who was 6th great-grandfather to Mark and 7th great-grandfather to Barack Obama.

Biography of Martin Aucoin and his daughters Michelle and Jeanne.

Martin Aucoin was born before 1619 in La Rochelle, France and married firstly, Barbe Minguet and secondly, Marie Salle (daughter of Denys Salle and Françoise Arnaud) after 1630. Martin and Barbe Minguet had the following children:

Michelle “Michele” Aucoin was born about 1621 in France and married Michel Boudrot (born about 1600 in France) in 1641 at Port Royal. Michel had immigrated to Acadia from France before 1639. The 1671 Acadian census is listed as a farmer in Port Royal, owning 20 cattle, 12 sheep, 8 arpents of land. In 1678, again at Port Royal, he owned 12 acres, 10 cattle, 3 guns. In 1686, Michel was a Lt. General of the Jurisdiction of Port Royal  and is shown in the census of that year owning 3 guns, 20 arpents, 16 cattle, 17 sheep, 6 hogs. According to the 1693 Acadian census, she was a widow living in Port Royal and owned 20 cattle, 18 sheep, 12 hogs, 25 arpents, and 1 gun. She died on December 17, 1706 at the age of 85 and was buried on 18 Dec 1706 in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal. Michelle Aucoin and Michel Boudrot had the following children:

  1. Françoise Boudrot, born about 1642 in Port Royal, married Etienne Robichaud about 1663 and died in 1714 at the age of 72.
  2. Jeanne Boudrot was born about 1650 in Port Royal and married Bonaventure “Venture” Terriau (son of Jean Terriau and Perrine Rau) about 1666. She died on May 8, 1710 at the age of 60 in Port Royal and was buried the next day in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal.
  3. Charles Boudrot was born about 1649 in Port Royal and married Renée Bourg (daughter of Antoine Bourg and Antoinette Landry) about 1672. He later married Marie Corporon about 1686. Charles died after 1714 at the age of 65 in Pisiquit.
  4. Marguerite Boudrot is my 7th great-grandmother and was born about 1648 in Port Royal. She married firstly, Jean Babineau, who was born about 1652 in Acadia. Secondly, she married François Bourg (my 7th great-grandfather)  about 1665. Marguerite died in 1718 as records show her burial on November 9, 1718 in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal.
  5. Marie Boudrot was born about 1650 in Port Royal and lived in Beaubassin, Acadia between 1693 and 1700. Marie married Michel Poirier (son of Jean Poirier and Jeanne Chebrat) about 1673 in Port Royal.
  6. Jean “Jehan” Boudrot was born about 1655 in Port Royal and married Marguerite Bourgeois (daughter of Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan) about 1676. He died on November 30, 1679 at the age of 24 in Port Royal.
  7. Abraham Boudrot was born about 1656 in Port Royal. In about 1685 in Port Royal, he married Cécile (Anne) Melanson (daughter of Charles Mellanson and Marie Dugas). He died in 1700 or 1701 at the age of 44 in Port Royal.
  8. Michel Boudrot was born about 1659 in Port Royal. He married Marie-Madeleine Cormier (daughter of Thomas Cormier and Marie-Madeleine Girouard) about 1690 and he died on February 13, 1714 at the age of 55, also in Port Royal.
  9. Olivier Boudrot was born about 1661 in Port Royal. About 1686, he married Isabelle Petitpas.
  10. Claude Boudrot was born about 1663 in Port Royal. He married Anne-Marie Thibodeau (daughter of Pierre Thibodeau and Jeanne Terriau) about 1682 in Port Royal and died on March 7, 1740 at the age of 77 in Grand Pré.

Jeanne Aucoin was born November 23, 1630 in La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, France and was baptized on November 26, 1630 in Ste-Marguerite Parish, La Rochelle, France. She married François “la varanne, le pere” Girouard about 1616 in France and immigrated with him to Acadian sometime before 1671. She appears first in the census of 1671 with her husband, who is shown to be a farmer in Port Royal, owning 16 cattle, 6 sheep and 8 arpents of land; in 1678 he owned 16 acres and 18 cattle; and in 1686 he owned 1 gun, 5 arpents of land, 13 cattle, 16 sheep and 8 hogs. In the 1693 census, Jeanne was a widow living in Port Royal and she owned 20 cattle, 40 sheep, 10 hogs, 20 arpents of land and 2 guns. The 1700 Acadian census shows Jeanne owning 15 cattle, 34 sheep, 20 arpents of land and 2 guns She died April 16,  1718 at the age of 87 and was buried April 18, 1718 in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal. Jeanne Aucoin and François Girouard had six children:

  1. Marie Girouard, born about 1651 in Port Royal.
  2. Marie-Madeleine Girouard was born about 1653 in Port Royal and married Thomas François Cormier, son of Robert Cormier and Marie Peraud.
  3. Germain Girouard was born about 1656 in Port Royal. He married Marie Bourgeois (daughter of Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan) on June 9, 1680 in Beaubassin and he died March 7, 1741 at the age of 90 in Beaubassin.
  4. Jacques Girouard was born about 1658 in Port Royal.
  5. Charlotte “Anne” Girouard, born about 1660 in Port Royal, married Julien “dit La Montagne” Lord sometime before 1678. She died before 1712 at the age of 52.
  6. Anne Girouard was born about 1671 in Port Royal.


  1. 1671 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  2. 1678 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  3. 1686 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  4. 1693 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  5. 1698 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  6. 1700 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  7. 1701 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  8. 1752 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  9. Michael B. Melanson, “Melanson – Melancon: Genealogy of an Acadian and Cajun Family”, (Dracut, Massachusetts: Lanesville Publishing, 2004).
  10. “Origins of the Pioneers of Acadia”, Stephen A. White online (
  11. H. George Friedman Jr., “Aucoin Genealogy,” database, H. George Friedman, Jr., Aucoin Genealogy ( .
  12. Stephen A. White, ( (Université de Moncton: Centre d’Études Acadiennes, 1999).
  13. Donald J. Hébert, “Southwest Louisiana Records” (N.p.: Hébert Publications, n.d.).
  14. Donald J. Hébert, “Acadian Families in Exile – 1785” (N.p.: Hébert Publications, n.d.).
  15. “Baptiste Was Said to Have a Wife in Every Port”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (
  16. “Marriage Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (
  17. “Baptism Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (
  18. “Burial Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (
  19. “Dictionary of Canadian Biography,” database, (
  20. “The Seizure of ‘The Pembroke’ by the Acadians”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (
  21. “She Presided Over Councils of War Against her Kindred”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (
  22. “Baptiste, The Rascal”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (


Transcription – 1901 Canadian Census for Geffrey and Annie (Fougère) Forgeron

1901 Canadian Census: Geffrey and Annie Forgeron and Family


Geffrey and Annie Forgeron in 1901 Canadian Census
Family of Geffrey and Annie Josephine Forgeron in the 1901 Canadian Census.

Dwelling House; Family or Household; Name; Sex; Colour; Relationship; Marital Status; Birth Month and Day; Year of Birth; Age; Birth Place: Year of Immigration; Year of…; Racial or Tribal Origin; Nationality: Religion; Profession…

152, 161;

Forgeron, Geffrey; M, “, Head, M, 10 Sept, 1860, 40, ” ” “, Blank, Blank, “, “, “, Mariner…
“, Annie; F, “, Wife, M, 25 March, 1871, 30, ” ” “, Blank, ” ” “, Blank, Blank, “, “, “, Blank…
“, Louise; F, “, Daughter, S, 14 Dec., 1889, 11, ” ” “, Blank, ” ” “, Blank, Blank, “, “, “, Blank…
“, Alice; F, “, Daughter, S, 3 Sept., 1891, 9, ” ” “, Blank, ” ” “, Blank, Blank, “, “, “, Blank…
“, Narcisse; M, “, Son, S, 5 Oct., 1893, 7, ” ” “, Blank, ” ” “, Blank, Blank, “, “, “, Blank…
“, M. Florence; F, “, Daughter, S, 12 June, 1897, 3, ” ” “, Blank, ” ” “, Blank, Blank, “, “, “, Blank…
“, J. Lizzie; F, “, Daughter, S, 12 Nov., 1899, 1, ” ” “, Blank, ” ” “, Blank, Blank, “, “, “, Blank…
Fougère, Nancy; F, “, Lodger, W, 12 Dec., 1836, 64, ” ” “, Blank, ” ” “, Blank, Blank, “, “, “, Blank…


The complete original scans of any documents clips linked above can be accessed by clicking the images. To access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, search using the linked names above or the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link, both in the left sidebar. It is recommended to search using both methods as the results do sometimes differ. All data on these sites is available for free access and download.

Grandmère Rose – Marie Marguerite Rose Amande Emery

Being the child of a military member has one huge drawback – we didn’t have any control over where we lived, when or for how long. As a result, contact with family members was infrequent at best and I do regret not getting to know our relatives better.

My grandparents on my father’s side were Henri Joseph Turmaine (Henri) and Marie Marguerite Rose Amande Emery (Rose Amande).

Gail, Gerard, Grandma Rose and Christine (front) Turmaine
Rear l-r: Patricia-Gail (Gail), Gerard Ronald Joseph (Gerry), Rose Amande Turmaine; Front: Christine Blythe (Turmaine).

Dad, Gerard Ronald Joseph Turmaine (1934-2005) was the youngest of three children who survived infancy. Dad’s brothers and sisters included Albert Joseph Turmaine (1923-1966), Rose-Marie Azilda Thérèse Turmaine (1929-2003), and Marianne Claudette Andrea Turmaine (1937-1937).

The Turmaine Family
Turmaine Family: Theresa, Henry (Grandpère), Gerard (Dad), Rose (Grandmère), and Joseph.

Therese Paquette (Turmaine) with Christine.
Ma tante Thérèse Paquette and Christine Blythe (Turmaine) circa 1989.

I was too young to remember much about my grandfather Henri as he died in 1966 in General Hospital in Toronto. I know I saw Grandma Rose quite frequently within the first few years of my life, but again, I was too young to remember much. When I turned 10 in 1970, however, that all changed since we were transferred from Ontario to Comox, British Columbia. We took the last opportunity to visit everyone we could that summer on our trip across the country.

I can remember one particular visit where we were permitted to stay at the cottage of cousins, the Pollaris, at Loon Lake in Ontario. What a beautiful cottage it was, too. A semi-circle shape, the front circular side rested on posts in the lake shore, extending over the water. That entire side of the cottage was one big great room and standing in it felt like being in motion on the lake.

I do remember being awestruck in Grandmère’s home. She was a highly devoted Catholic and as soon as we walked in, we were overwhelmed by praying hands, her obsession. There were praying hands statues, prints, and paintings everywhere.  I can remember being told when I was young that Grandmère’s ambition was for Dad to become a Catholic priest and how disappointed she was when he opted for the military instead and married my mother. Knowing my father, he definitely chose the path that suited his own nature and ambitions, especially considering his naughty, rather raunchy sense of humor. Somehow, I don’t think it would have gone over very well as a priest.

Front: Rose Amande and her mother Émilie Labelle, Rear: Unknown Cousin
Front: Rose Armande Emery seated next to her mother, Émilie (Labelle), wife of Charles (Albert) Emery. MIddle: Betty Turmaine, daughter of Hérmènégilde and Azilda Labelle.

A couple of years later, we saw Grandmère Rose one last time in about 1972 when she came to visit us in Comox. She passed away in 1978. Tante Thérèse came out in 1987 for my sister Andréa’s wedding, in 1989 for Renée’s wedding and in 1991 for my own wedding to Mark. She passed away in 2003 in Chateaugay, Québec. It may seem odd that I haven’t mentioned Dad’s brother, my uncle Albert Joseph, but unfortunately, he had committed suicide just prior to Grandpère Henri’s death in 1966.

Grandmère Rose’s father was Charles Albert Emery, who was born in about 1870 in Vermont, United States and died in about 1915. Her mother was Émilie Labelle, born about 1870 in St. André Avellin, Ripon, Papineau County, Québec to Antoine Labelle (1820-1890) and Joséphine Périllard (born 1844), both of Québec. In addition to Grandmère Rose, they had four other children, of whom one was Pte. Joseph Philias Albert (1889-1917) who was missing in action and presumed dead at Vimy Ridge during WWII. His name is only one of many immortalized on the Vimy Ridge Memorial in France.

Oddly enough, my father’s grandfather Herménégilde (father-in-law to Grandmère Rose) took Marie Joséphine Azilda Labelle as his second wife in 1911. Azilda was sister to Joséphine (and Rose’s grandmother).

Children of Antoine Labelle and Joséphine Périard (Périllard)
Children of Antoine Labelle and Joséphine Périllard.

Antoine Labelle (1820-1890) was the son of Antoine Labelle and Marie Isaac Duplanty dit Héry of Québec, and had been married twice, first to Émilie Fournelle and second on November 23, 1863 to Joséphine Périllard (my great great grandmother), born 1844 in Ste. Magdeleine Rigaud, Vaudreuil, Québec to Michel Périllard and Zoé (Madeleine, Michel) Demers. The 1852 Census of Canada East shows Joséphine Périllard with her parents, brothers and sisters living in 274 Petite Nation Parish, St-André Avellin, Ottawa County.

Antoine and Joséphine’s six children included Émilie Labelle (born 1870), Antoine Labelle (1872-1944), Célima (Délima) (born 1874), Joseph (1877-1944), Marguerite (1880-1960), Azilda (1884-1933).

During my extensive research into my French Canadian ancestry, I’ve come to realize one thing – there are no surprises. Families remained close in proximity and emotion, and marriage within the inner circle – and yes, family, according to the laws of consanguinity of the Catholic church was commonplace.


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 – Obituary for Elam Dennis Matthews, 96

The following is my transcription of the obituary for Elam Dennis Matthews of Louisa County, Iowa, published in the local newspaper at the time.

Area Deaths
Aged Louisa County Resident Dies
Obituary for Elam Dennis Matthews.
Obituary for Elam Dennis Matthews.

Wapello — Elam Dennis Matthews, 96, one of the oldest residents of Louisa county, died Jan. 1[0], at 3:10 p. m., at the home of his daughter Mrs. Roland Barrick. Death resulted from a stroke suffered New Year’s day.

A native of Neenah, Wis., Matthews was born Dec. 1, 1854, the son of David and Mary Ann Adams Coon. His mother died when he was 3 1/2 years old and his father died while a prisoner of the Confederate army. The child was adopted by the Nathan Matthews family of Omro, Wis. He married Martha Jane Jordan at Auroraville, Wis., Oct. 26, 1873, and they lived in Wisconsin and Colorado before coming to Iowa.

In 1899 Matthews began to operate a truck farm near Morning Sun, which he ran for many years before retiring and moving into Morning Sun. His wife died in 1935 and a son, William Matthews, died in 1940.

Despite his advanced age, Matthews was a very active man. When he was 94 he made a trip to California, and last fall took a trip to New York.

Surviving are a son and a daughter, Stanley Matthews, Morning Sun, and Mrs. Edith Barrick, Wapello, and 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Last rites will be held at the Pierce funeral home at 2 p. m. Saturday. Officiating will be Dr. Will M. Hughes, pastor of the United Presbyterian church. Burial will be in Elmwood cemetery.


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.


Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky

Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky is the grandson of the original immigrant from Wales, Evan (Dhu) Shelby (Selby), who is eighth great grandfather to my children, Erin and Stuart; the son of Brigadier General Evan Shelby, who is the son of Evan (Dhu) and seventh great granduncle to my children; and is therefore first cousin eight times removed from my children.

Although not a direct ancestor of my husband, Marshall Mark (Mark) Blythe or our children, Isaac Shelby is of great interest to us for a couple of reasons. First, he was renowned for and distinguished himself for his actions in battle against United Empire Loyalists in Canada in the War of 1812, ultimately defeating Loyalist forces at the Battle of the Thames in southern Ontario. We are also related to and are descended from Loyalists who settled in this area. For a lengthy period of time, we lived in Trenton, Ontario which is located in the area of Loyalist activities and battles against American forces. This area is steeped in this history and it is still considered to be an honor to be from a Loyalist lineage.

Marshall Matthews Blythe
Marshall Matthews Blythe
Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.
Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.

Second, because Isaac Shelby is so revered in history, there are accurate portraits of him during the latter period of his life available. Upon comparing portraits of him with recent pictures of my father-in-law, Marshall Matthews Blythe (father to my husband Mark and grand-father to my children Erin and Stuart), the resemblance between them is quite remarkable. For clarification, Isaac is first cousin six times removed to my father-in-law.

Isaac Shelby (December 11, 1750 – July 18, 1826) was a revered and decorated soldier and the first Governor of Kentucky.

The son of Brigadier General Evan and Letitia (Cox) Shelby, Isaac was born December 11, 1750 near North Mountain, Frederick (now Washington) County, Maryland.

Having been raised with the use of arms, he became proficient at an early age and was very familiar with and accustomed to the hardships and stresses of frontier life. Isaac worked on his father’s plantation. However, having received an education, he was occasionally employed as a surveyor and also as Deputy Sheriff.

About 1773, the Shelby family moved to the Holston region of Southwest Virginia, now East Tennessee, where they established a new home. A timeline of Isaac Shelby’s military and political career thereafter is as follows:


  • Isaac Shelby served at the Battle of Point Pleasant as a Lieutenant under his father, Brigadier General Evan Shelby, in the Fincastle Company on October 10.
  • Second in command of the garrison of Fort Blair (until July 1775), which was built on the site of the battle. An uprising of the Shawnee and Delaware Indians compelled Isaac to take up arms and he served as a Lieutenant under his father Brigadier Evan Shelby in the Battle of Point Pleasant in West Virginia.
  • He fought in the Battle of Kenhawa of 10 October. This was believed to be the most severely contested campaign ever fought with the north-western Indians.


  • After July of 1775, he visited Kentucky and surveyed lands for the Transylvania Company.
  • After returning to Kentucky due to failing health, he became involved in the Battle of Long Island Flats.
  • At the first onset of the Indians, the American lines were broken and Shelby, who was there only as a volunteer Private, seized command, reformed the troops, and severely defeated the Indians.


  • In July he was appointed by the Virginia Committee of Safety to the position of Captain of a company of minute men. However, he was not called into service.


  • Governor Patrick Henry promoted Shelby to Captain and made him Commissary-General of the Virginia forces.
  • He attended the Long Island Treaty with the Cherokees, which was finalized at Fort Patrick Henry on July 20, 1777, at which his father was one of the Virginia commissioners.


  • Helped to provide supplies for the Continental Army and for the expedition projected by General McIntosh against Detroit and the Ohio Indians.


  • Provided boats for Clark’s Illinois campaign and collected and provided supplies upon his own personal credit for the successful campaign waged about the same time against the Chickamauga Indians.
  • In the spring he was elected as a member for Washington County of the Virginia legislature.
  • In the fall, Governor Thomas Jefferson made him a Major in the escort of guards for the commissioners appointed to run the western boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina. By the extension of that line, his residence was found to be within the limits of North Carolina.
  • He resigned his commission, but was at once appointed Colonel of Sullivan County by Governor Caswell.


  • Upon receiving news of the fall of Charleston on May 12th, he returned home to an urgent summons for help from Colonel Charles McDowell.
  • He organized a force and about July 25, he joined McDowell at the Cherokee Ford, South Carolina.
  • On July 30, Shelby captured the major Loyalist stronghold, Thicketty Fort (Fort Anderson), at the head of the Pacolet River. On August 8, his command successfully repulsed a party sent by Major Ferguson at the second Battle of Cedar Springs.
  • Upon receipt of the report of General Gates’ defeat at Camden on August 16, operations under McDowell and Shelby were halted.
  • On August 18, he was largely responsible for the victory at Battle of Musgrove’s Mill on the north side of the Enoree River.
  • As a result of a threatening message dispatched by Ferguson, Shelby held even greater resentment and determination and in consequence, with the assistance of John Sevier and others, he organized and conducted the expedition against Ferguson.
  • On October 7, they overwhelmingly defeated Ferguson’s combined Provincial and Loyalist force in the Battle of King’s Mountain.


  • Shelby has also been credited with the plan for the attack, which led to the Battle of the Cowpens on January 17.
  • In February, the legislature of North Carolina adopted resolutions of thanks to Shelby and his compatriots for their services at King’s Mountain.
  • Similar resolutions were adopted by the Continental Congress on November 13.
  • As a result of repeated uprisings by Cherokee Indians during the first half of the year, it was impractical to send forces from there to assist.
  • A treaty with the Cherokees was negotiated on July 20.
  • In October, upon receipt of a delayed message of appeal, Shelby raised 500 mounted riflemen and was accompanied by Colonel John Sevier in command of 200 more.
  • He marched to join Greene, by whose order they reported to General Marion on the Santee.
  • The joint command of Shelby and Colonel Hezekiah Maham, of the Carolina dragoons, contributed greatly to the capture of a strong British post at Fair Lawn, near Monck’s Corner, South Carolina on November 27.
  • Meanwhile, having been elected a member of the North Carolina legislature and having obtained a leave of absence, he attended the sessions in December.


  • Reelected to the North Carolina Assembly, he attended the legislative sessions held at Hillsboro in April.
  • He was appointed one of three commissioners to superintend the laying off of the land south of the Cumberland River allotted by North Carolina for military service in the Revolution.


  • Completed the laying off of the land south of the Cumberland River.
  • He relocated to Kentucky, where he was married to Susannah Hart, daughter of Captain Nathaniel Hart, at Boonesborough on April 19, by whom he had eleven children.
  • Appointed a Trustee of Transylvania Seminary (later Transylvania University).
  • Chairman of the convention of militia officers held at Danville on Nov. 7-8 (was also a member 1787-1789).


  • In January 1791, he was appointed a member of the Board of War, which was created by Congress for the District of Kentucky, and was charged with providing for the defense of the frontier settlements mounting punitive expeditions against the Indians.
  • For several years he served as High Sheriff of Lincoln County.


  • Member of the convention (April 2-19) which framed the first constitution of Kentucky.
  • In May he was elected Governor, taking office on June 4 and serving four years.
  • During his administration many events of importance to the infant commonwealth occurred, not the least being the part it took, under Shelby, in supporting Wayne’s campaigns against the Indians in the Northwest Territory.


  • At the close of his term, he declined reelection.


  • Retired from service.


  • Elected Governor of Kentucky a second time in August.
  • He actively participated in the planning and preparation for war.


  • 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, resulting in the defeat of the Loyalists on October 5 at the Battle of the Thames.


  • He was given the portfolio of War in March by President Monroe, but declined due to his age.


  • Isaac Shelby was awarded a gold medal by Congress on April 4 in recognition of his patriotic and heroic services.
  • Shelby and General Andrew Jackson were commissioned to hold a treaty with the Chickasaw Indians for the purchase of their lands west of the Tennessee River.
  • He was President of the first Kentucky Agricultural Society, formed at Lexington in 1818.


  • He was Chairman of the first Board of Trustees of Center College, founded in 1819 at Danville, Kentucky.
Governor Isaac Shelby - Traveler's Rest Burying Ground Plaque
Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky – Traveler’s Rest Burying Ground Plaque.


  • After his death on July 18, he was buried at his historic home, “Traveller’s Rest,” and a monument was erected over his grave by the state of Kentucky. Counties in nine states have been named Shelby in his honor. __________ An account of Governor Isaac Shelby by Samuel M. Wilson is as follows:


Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky - Grave Marker.
Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky – Grave Marker.

“In person, Shelby was of a sturdy and well-proportioned frame, slightly above medium height, with strongly marked features and florid complexion. He had a hardy constitution capable of enduring protracted labor, great privations, and the utmost fatigue. Habitually dignified and impressive in bearing, he was, however, affable and winning. A soldier born to command, he nevertheless evidenced a high degree of political sagacity and executive ability. Numerous difficulties confronted him during his first administration, when the new government was passing through its formative stage, and much depended on the choice of officials then made by the executive. Shelby exhibited rare selective intelligence and an extraordinary mastery both of men and measures. Kentucky at this time experienced constant dread of the occlusion by Spain of the Mississippi River, and use was made of this situation by designing men to promote speculative ventures and political schemes hostile to the true interests of both Kentucky and the Union. Through it all, Shelby pursued a wise and moderate course which baffled the plots of all conspirators and held Kentucky firmly to her federal moorings. During his second administration, the pressure of the war with Great Britain fell with extraordinary and unremitting severity upon the state, and he showed himself not only a prudent and farseeing counselor, but an active, resourceful, and patriotic leader. His energy, determination, and perseverance knew no bounds, and his devotion to duty was unflagging.”

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 are available for free access and download.


  1. Shelby, John Todd: KERR, C. ed. History of Kentucky, v. 3-5, 1922 #4.
  2. History of Michigan; Moore, C.; v. 2-4; 1915; Shelby, William Read.
  3. Family Data Collection – Births; Shelby, Alfred, 1765.
  4. Family Data Collection – Individual Records; Shelby, Nancy, 1792.
  5. 1860 US Census; Shelby, John Warren, b. 1835; PO Lexington; Roll M653_365; Pg 0.
  6. Shelby, Isaac Flournoy: KERR, C. ed. History of Kentucky, v. 3-5, 1922.
  7. The Pioneer Mothers of America 1; Shelby, Susannah Hart; Green, H.C. and M.W.; 3 v., 1912.
  8. American Biographical and Historical Dictionary; Shelby, Isaac; Allen (W); 1832.
  9. Military Heroes of the War of 1812; Shelby, Evan; Peterson, C.J.; 1848.
  10. Eminent Americans; Shelby, Isaac; Lossing, B.J.; 1857.
  11. National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans; Shelby, Isaac; 4v.; 1865.
  12. Dictionary of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac; Drake, F.S.; 1870.
  13. Biographical Annals of the Civil Government of the US…; Shelby, Isaac; Lanman, C.; 1876.
  14. Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky; Shelby, Isaac; 1878.
  15. National Cyclopaedia of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac; v.1-13; 1898, 1893-1909.
  16. Harper’s Encyclopaedia of American History; Shelby, Isaac; 10v.; 1902.
  17. Century Cyclopedia of Names; Shelby, Isaac; 1904.
  18. Herringshaw’s National Library of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac; Herringshaw, T.W.; 5v.; 1909-14.
  19. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army…; Shelby, Isaac; 1775, to… 1783; new, rev. & enl. ed. 1914.
  20. History of Kentucky; Shelby, Isaac; Kerr, C. ed.; v.3-5; 1922.
  21. An American Biographical and Historical Dictionaryy; Shelby, Isaac; Allen, W.; 2nd ed.; 1832.
  22. US Army Historical Register; Shelby, Isaac; 1789-1903; Vol. 1.
  23. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography; Shelby, Evan; 6 vol.; 1888.
  24. 1820 US Census; Shelby, Isaac; 1750; Roll No. M33_25; Pg 59; Image No. 38.
  25. Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1500s-1900s; Shelby, Isaac.
  26. Settlers of Maryland 1679 – 1783; Consolidated Edition; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc.; 2002; Pg 597.
  27. Kentucky Land Grants, Shelby, Isaac; Jillson, Willard Rouse; The Kentucky Land Grants, Vol. I-II, Louisville, KY: Filson Club Publications, 1925.
  28. US and International Marriage Record; Shelby, Isaac b 1750; 1560-1900.
  29. Shelby, Isaac; KY Historical Society: KW-N-399-3.
  30. Dictionary of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac.
  31. DAR; Mrs. Maria Shelby Tevis Field; DAR ID Number 7785; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; Vol. 8; Pg 265.
  32. DAR; Anna Stein Shelby (Annie Shelby Darbishire); National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number; Vol. 11; Pg 182.
  33. DAR; Mrs. Alice McDowell Shelby Riddle; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 16130; Vol. 17, Pg 51.
  34. DAR; Mrs. Katherine Shelby Scott; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 18004; Vol. 19; Pg 3.
  35. DAR; Miss Katharine Shelby Todd; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 25234; Vol. 26; Pg 83.
  36. DAR; Mrs. Laura Shelby Fisher; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number; Vol. 42; Pg 154.
  37. DAR; Mrs. Mary P. Shelby Napton; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 62264; Vol. 63, Pg 87.
  38. DAR; Miss Christine Shelby; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 68811; Vol. 69; Pg 291.
  39. DAR; Miss Shelby Walker Patton; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 83679; Vol. 84; Pg 263.
  40. DAR; Miss Susan Shelby Taylor; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 85134; Vol. 86; Pg 51.
  41. DAR; Mrs. Ann Shelby Magoffin Austin; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number; Vol. 114; Pg 141.
  42. “Soldiers of the American Revolution from Franklin County,”  database,; extracted from  (N.p.:n.p.n.d.).Revolutionary Soldiers in Kentucky p. 174.74.
  43. Shelby Historical Data (Chronology for Evan Shelby, Jr. and Letitia Cox), online, accessed.

The Discovery Service at the National Archives in Great Britain

The UK National Archives  has a free online search, but there are problems. Some knowledge has always been necessary to search the catalogue with any success.

The Discovery Service makes it easier for everyone – novice to expert – to search and use the collection.

The user is able to search the collection, explore and browse, whether for genealogy research and/or scholastic purposes.

Discovery is a digitized document delivery service that will make it easier to search for genealogy records such as wills and testaments, court proceeding transcription and order digitized genealogy records.

To experience Discovery, visit the Labs section of the National Archives website, the place they release new online services for customers for testing and to provide feedback. New features are being added to Discovery regularly and the latest release includes advanced search and fixes existing problems in previous versions.

The Discovery service will be fully tested and approved before it replaces any other services.

The National Archives holds over 22 million historical government and public records, doubling in just over two years and making it one of the largest archive collections in the world. From Domesday Book to modern government papers and digital files, the collection includes paper and parchment, electronic records and websites, photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings.

The old catalogue offered a free search of the collection, but had its problems. A minimum knowledge level was necessary to be able to effectively search the collection. This required level of knowledge made it difficult for new users to take advantage of the search.

The National Archives Discovery Service implemented a system that makes it easier for users of all levels.

Treasure Awaits

Louise in 1926 at 15 years old.

Today was a great day.

I recently received a comment on the post “David Coon” from a descendant of David Coon and a distant cousin (by adoption) to my husband Mark.

That one short comment and an initial email resulted in an exchange of some amazing photographs through a fast and furious flurry of emails.

I provided all of the photos I have of the Coons, Pettibones and Halls as well as the scanned images of David Coon’s letters home during the Civil War.   In exchange, this kind gentleman sent me the most exciting collection of images of my husband’s grandmother and her family.

My heart started racing as I scrolled all of the great images and I immediately thought about how exciting it will be to pass these images on to Mark’s father and his uncle Bill.

Louise Matthews and her grandmother Martha Matthews.

Marsh is the son of Louise and her first husband, Chester Blythe and ‘uncle Bill‘ is the son of Louise and her second husband, Jim Reynolds, of Havelock, Ontario, Canada.

One thing I can’t help but notice looking at these photographs is the amazing family resemblance between Louise and her gransons Marsh and Bill, and also to her granddaughter and Bill’s daughter, Shelley.

This type of windfall happens very rarely.

I can only hope that this blog will lead to more amazing finds like this!

I love genealogy, and I appreciate my fellow community of genealogy researchers.

Genealogy Database

Athelwulf, King of Wessex
Athelwulf, King of Wessex

Our Blythe Genealogy Database

After extensive work, my genealogy database is now updated and links can be found in the upper menu or in the left sidebar. There are thousands of surnames and the extensive lineages include Welsh Quaker immigrants to the USA, French Canadian, Acadian, American pioneers, Canadian pioneers, French, British, Welsh, German, Scandinavian and medieval and royal genealogies.

The database includes extensive facts, sources and some images.

The Fougères: Pioneer Family of Port Toulouse, Île Royale.

The Fougères – Pioneer Family of Port Toulouse, Île Royale.

Cape Breton, or Île Royale as it was known by the French, was the location of a trading fort built by Nicolas Denys in the mid-1600’s. Continuous infighting among the French commercial community resulted in the post and fort being burnt. Construction of a new fort began in 1664, by the orders of Sr. Louis Tuffet, Commandant.

The resident native population, the Mi’kmaq, were never very far away and a relationship was developed between them and the French settlers. Port Toulouse, the eventual home of Jean Fougère and his descendants until the present day, was founded and developed just east of the canal connecting the Bras d’Or Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean.

Port Toulouse (“Potlotek” to the Mi’kmaq) was the main place of safety sought by citizens who feared escalation of the animosity between the British and French. The fort and village were burned about 1645, resulting in the deaths of some inhabitants and imprisonment of women and children. The Mik’maq were also victimized when their cemetery was desecrated, the crosses broken and burned along with bodies they had exhumed.

Port Toulouse Fortifications of 1734 - The Fougères
Port Toulouze – The Fougères

In the spring of 1756, the Port Toulouse residents felt war was a strong possibility and left the town, taking to the woods. By 1758, after the fall of Louisbourg, many of the former Port Toulouse residents were captured and relocated to French ports and/or English prisons. A great number did survive and were able to come out of hiding, return to Cape Breton and once again settle in Port Toulouse with their families.

One of Port Toulouse’s early settlers was Jean Fougère. Born about 1685 in Pourpé-en-Beauce, Orléans, Chateaudun, Eure-et-Loir, France, Jean was the son of Jean Fougère, Sr., born about 1660 and Marie Barrè (1667-1689), both also of Pourpé-en-Beauce, Orléans, Chateaudun, Eure-et-Loir, France.

Prior to his residence in Port Toulouse, Jean had immigrated to Acadia in 1698, settling in Port Royal, and is shown in the 1698 Acadian census at Port Royal. His presence at Port Royal is also noted on February 5, 1709, when Jean signed a church register after attending the wedding of Claude Girouard and Élizabeth Blanchard in Port Royal.

The registers of St-Jean-Baptiste record Jean Jr.’s marriage on November 27, 1713 to Marie Bourg (1690-1727), daughter of Abraham Bourg and Marie “Sébastienne” Brun of Port Royal. Their children included Marguerite (1715-1715), Marie-Josèphe (1715-1715), Marguerite (1716-1752), Jean (1718-1727), Joseph Hylarion (1720-1790), Marie-Josèphe (born in 1723), Jeanne “Anne” (born 1725) and Charles (born 1727). The Acadians were noted for a high incidence of twins and Jean Jr.’s twin daughters Marguerite and Marie-Josèphe both died in infancy. Their next daughter, born in 1716, was named after Marguerite and another daughter born in 1723 was named after the second twin, Marie-Josèphe.

In 1713, after taking control of Acadia, the British demanded that all Acadians sign an oath of allegiance to King George I. Jean Fougère signed the oath in 1715.

In the years following the French worked to quietly induce the Acadians to relocate to Île Royale, and sometime between 1720 and 1722, Jean moved his family to Port Toulouse. The Acadian census of 1722 in Port Toulouse records the presence of Jean and his family and indicates Jean’s occupation to be that of a navigator and fisherman. At the time of their arrival in Port Toulouse, the population consisted of 13 families comprising a total of 76 citizens.

The 1724 census of Port Toulouse shows Jean’s family, and records him as an immigrant from Orléans, France who worked as a navigator. He is shown with his wife, two sons, three daughters, one servant and three “engages” and his personal property of one boat (geolette). “Engages”, also known as “52 months men”, were hired hands for whom the employer paid the passage from France. These men had agreed to work the contracted time in return for board. It is known that these “engages” were not always treated well or fairly.

The Port Toulouse census in 1726 shows Jean to have a fishing business employing eight engages. The latter three children of Jean and Marie were born after relocating to Port Toulouse. Shortly after, in 1727, Marie and their young son Jean died.

About 1728, Jean remarried to Marie-Madeleine “Madeleine” Belliveau (before 1718-1771), daughter of Jean Belliveau and Cécile Melanson. Their children included Madeleine (1730-1730), Madeleine (1731-1750), Judith (born 1733), Louis “dit Louison” (1734-1753), Marie-Louise “Isabeau” (1735-1765), Barbe (born 1736), Marie (1738-1752), Jean (1742-1813), Michel “Boniface” (born 1743), and Marie-Gervaise (1744-1752).

In 1744, news that France had declared war on England reached Louisbourg before any other North American port. Based on these reports, the Governor of Louisbourg decided to get an advantage and attacked and captured the English port of Canso. He also licensed privateers to capture English and New England ships under his authority. On June 11, 1744, Jean Fougère captured a British schooner near the Canso islands with handwritten permission from the Commandant of Port Toulouse instead of the proper license, resulting in the confiscation of his prize.

It is known that Jean Fougère died before October 3, 1749 in Port Toulouse, as this was the date recorded on a document about the guardianship of his children. He was also named on a list of citizens who had died between 1749 and 1750, and left minor children in Île Royale.

After his death Marie-Madeleine married a second time to Claude Dugas. Claude was the brother of Madeleine Dugas, who later married Marie’s stepson Charles Fougère.

It is believed the Fougères avoided deportation from Cape Breton after the fall of Louisbourg. They are not recorded on any documents concerning refugees of the time and it is likely they hid in the wilderness and were possibly helped by the Mi’kmaq.



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.


Let’s all work to save and expand our genealogical resources.


I have been researching my family’s genealogy for over twenty years and my appreciation of the tireless and volunteer contributions in the pursuit of genealogy is endless.


All of our continuing efforts to expand our own genealogies do contribute to the cumulative effort of us all to save and expand our genealogical resources.


At one time, the only options for researching outside one’s own community were to depend on the mail system at the time or to travel to the location involved.

Although mail was relatively inexpensive, the flexibility of performing research oneself was lost. There was no opportunity to just dive right in and pursue a lead found in the return information. One would then have to mail another request, and then another, and then another – making this process time-consuming.

Submit Hall
Submit Hall

Travel to the location(s) in question could be very expensive, but resulted in the opportunity to pursue leads found while on site. If new information led to other organizations, agencies, museums, archives, etc. within the area, it was possible to also visit and do further research. This option provided a much more timely method of researching.

Genealogy has evolved considerably with the advent of the personal computer. Now, one can travel the world, visit museums and historical sites, communicate with organizations virtually, as well as doing research using free and paid sites online. The immediacy and flexibility of researching genealogy is something to be marveled at.

How was this possible?

This evolution started with passionate and dedicated volunteers and individuals who began transcribing physical records, collecting photos and images of documents, and placing them in online archives, databases and in specialty archive sites. For the most part, these resources were free and available to everyone.

With some sadness, I have watched a major shift take place in the short time since I began. As the popularity of genealogy became evident, commercial sites and paid services suddenly appeared online – the most noted of which being .

Barker, William Sr. - Accused in Salem Witch Trials
Barker, William Sr. – Accused in Salem Witch Trials

It was still possible to find considerable free information and resources online, but those who had the funds and wanted to save time and effort could pay for subscriptions to make their search easier. Those of us with limited funds began setting up our own sites posting tips and information for other genealogists.

The newest shift I’ve been seeing is the trend for paid services and sites to ‘buy out’ free resources and add them to their paid catalog, leaving paid sites as the only option.

I still consider genealogy as a historical ‘treasure hunt’, one which I pursue with great effort and pleasure. I love nothing better than to discover an obscure site offering valuable information and this blog has provided the venue for me to post this information and assist others.

All links I find to valuable sites can be found in the ‘Genealogy Links’ tab above. Another update with dozens of new links will be completed soon.

Ambler, Joseph and Williams, Ann Wedding Certificate. Let's all work to save and expand our genealogical resources.
Ambler, Joseph and Williams, Ann Wedding Certificate.  Let’s all work to save and expand our genealogical resources.

I think it is important for us to try and preserve the free resources that remain, and possibly add new ones. This is only possible through the efforts of volunteers and the willingness of those of us researching to share information for free. I have made all information from my research available in the ‘Blythe Database’ in the tab above, including sources. Unfortunately, in order to include photos and images, I would have to start my own server. I do wish I could though, because the gold in the genealogy treasure for me has always been photos and images of documents, etc. I will say, though, that the images in my articles are either owned by me, credited to the rightful owner or under free commons license (credit requirements). Feel free to use any images on my site, but please be sure to include the photo credit. A credit to this site on the ones I own (uncredited) would be appreciated.

How can we all help to encourage and preserve free information?

Here are just a few ideas.

  • Start a website of your own and freely post any information you are willing to share.
  • Donate physical items to genealogical and historical societies, museums, libraries and archives that provide free services to the field.
  • Start a newsletter or contribute to existing newsletters to collect and provide information to other researchers.
  • Offer your services to anyone researching in your area through services such as RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness), which has since shut down indefinitely due to the illness and death of its Administrator, Bridgett Schneider.
  • Volunteer in ways to add to or improve what is available. Examples include transcription of documents, taking and submitting photographs of historical and/or genealogical importance, voluntary work at a location providing free services and resources, and conducting and documenting interviews for first hand accounts.

I am still actively pursuing my research and operating my sites, Empty Nest Ancestry and Blythe Genealogy. All data I’ve accumulated, including images, documents, links and sources is available for free access and download on Blythe Genealogy. Feel free to check it out by searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the upper drop down menu.

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.

If you have new information of relevance to genealogy, or are willing to volunteer your services to provide research in your area on behalf of others and would like to spread the word about your own efforts in this regard, or just plain news of interest, please let me know and I’d be glad to post it here.

Guest posts are welcomed but are subject to Editor review and may not be accepted. If accepted, the author will be given credit for the article and can include two nofollow links.

Please consider making information you have available to others in any way possible and for as little cost as possible and volunteer and/or donate to those who do if you can. Let’s keep our voluntary and free networks operating and providing for researchers in the future.

From Chatterton to Blythe: A Lincolnshire family’s story.

Richard Chatterton was born and baptised before August 17, 1689 in Frodingham, Lincolnshire, England as the fourth child of Richard Chatterton Sr. and Frances Coates. He had three siblings, George, Robert, and Rachel.

On May 26, 1725 and at the age of 35, Richard married Mary Brumby (see relationship chart at left). They had the following children:

  • William Chatterton was born about 12 Dec 1728 in Frodingham, Lincolnshire, England.
  • Mary Chatterton was born about 17 Nov 1731 in Frodingham, Lincolnshire, England.  She married Edward Blyth about 1750.
  • Elizabeth Chatterton was born about 20 Mar 1733 in Frodingham, Lincolnshire, England.
  • John Chatterton was born about 27 Jan 1736 in Frodingham, Lincolnshire, England.

The remainder of his life was spent providing for his family as a farmer and landowner. Some of the Lincolnshire communities in which he and his family lived and/or owned property were Louth, Crosby, Scamblesby, Saltfleetby, Scunthorpe, Gunhouse and Thealby, Skidbrook and North Somercotes.

According to the records I found, 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.

Blythe Ships List Ironsides
Blythe Ships List Ironsides

Richard died and was buried at the St. Lawrence Church in Fordingham before February 15, 1772. He must have been ill prior to his death as his will was drafted and signed within a month of his death on January 21, 1772. His estate was probated on 20 Feb 1772 in Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom.

The following is the record of Richard’s will located on the UK Archives site.

Copy of a will. 

Sheff/A/40/1  21st. January 1772


Testator: Richard Chatterton gent. of Louth.

Beneficiaries: son William Chatterton – lands, tenements etc. at North Somercotes, 2 closes of pasture at Saltfleetby, cottage and land, and 1/ 3 of a farm at Scamblesby, ½ of a farm at Thealby, cottage at Crosby, ¾ oxgang of moor at Scunthorpe, 6 gads in Gunhouse Ings, close of pasture in North Cotes, after his death property in Crosby to go to testator’s grandson Robert Chatterton with lands etc. in Scunthorpe, Gunhouse Ings and Thealby; property at Saltfleetby to grandson William Chatterton; property at Scamblesby to grandson Richard Chatterton; property at North Somercotes and North Cotes to grandson John Chatterton. Daughter Mary Blyth, dwelling house in Louth. And the Mill Closes in Louth, 2 closes of pasture in Louth called Hagar ths, messuage in Louth, 2 closes of pasture in Skidbrooke; after her decease to her sons John and Thomas Blyth. Grandchildren

Robert Chatterton £100

William Chatterton £100

Richard Chatterton £100

John Chatterton £100

Frances Chatterton £100

John Blyth £200

Thomas Blyth £200

Residue to son William and daughter Mary

Executors: son William and daughter Mary.

Extracted Probate Records regarding Richard Chatterton, died 1772.


Chatterton, Extracted Probate Records
Chatterton, Extracted Probate Records

Probate Records






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.


  1. Robert Chatterton et. a.l., to George Chatterton, 1 DIXON 1/E/1/3, 8 February 1584, , UK Archives; privately held by http:, [address for private use].    FreeREG;; UK Parish Registers; Additional records: 1559068, 3226772, 3955559, 2185138, 2185093, 2185216, 3658882, 6320726, 6320654, 6320812, 6320934, 3053499, 4572154, 5367405, 3210536, 326460, 3053777, 5811109, 5811145, 5810977, 5811068.    
  2. Blyth, Norton, 1861 UK Census; Louth, Lincolnshire.
  3. Blythe, Norton, 1851 UK Census – Leddington, Lincolnshire, census,, .
  4. Blythe Norton, 1841 UK Census – Tealby, Lincolnshire, census,,
  5. Blyth, Thomas, 1841 UK Census – Marshchapel, Lincolnshire.
  6. Blyth, Thomas, 1851 UK Census, Pages 1-2, Marshchapel, Lincolnshire.
  7. 1857 Ship’s Roster; Ironsides; Blyth, Thomas.
  8. Charles G. Blythe obituary, The Hoosier Genealogist, Indiana Historical Society, June 2001, Vol. 41, No. 2.
  9. Blyth, John and Robert and Charles; 1860 US Census – Strongs Prairie, Adams County, Wisconsin.
  10. Naturalization Record: Sargent County Naturalization, Vol. 8, Pg. 185; 28 Jun 1892, County of Sargent, State of North Dakota: Chas Afdan and A. N. Carlblom witnesses; J. N. Christian, Clerk..
  11. Blythe, John, Hanna, Thornton; 1900 US Census, Sargent, North Dakota;.
  12. Blyth, John and Anna; 1870 US Census, Monroe, Adams County, Wisconsin.
  13. Blythe, John and Anna and William A.; 1910 US Census; Wilmot, Sargent County, North Dakota.
  14. Blythe, John and Middleton, Hannah: ; Register of Marriages, Lincolnshire, England.
  15. Blythe, Charles G.; 1870 US Census; Fountain Prairie, Columbia County, Wisconsin.
  16. Blythe, Charles G.; 1900 US Census; Lawrence County, Tennessee.
  17. Blythe, Charles G.; 1880 US Census; Fountain Prairie, Columbia County, Wisconsin.
  18. Blythe, Charles G.; 1910 US Census; Troy, Fountain County, Indiana.
  19. Charles G. Blythe File, American Civil War Soldiers Database, ( Ancestry Website).

Tragic gas poisoning deaths of Daniel and Isabella McDougall.


I have found myself fascinated by the stories of the trials, tribulations and tragedies of our ancestors, and this story about the deaths by gas poisoning of Daniel and Isabella McDougall tragically caused by their daughter, Agnes is no exception.


Story of Daniel and Isabella McDougall.
Fitchburg Daily Sentinal article of November 21, 1907 – deaths by gas poisoning. Story of Daniel and Isabella McDougall.

Sometimes I wonder if I was born too late as my disability, though hidden from others, is completely disabling to me and for the most part is attributable to dealing with highly stressful work, home, family and personal circumstances.

I’ve always thought of earlier times before the onset of modern technology as being quieter and more peaceful.

Then I read a story like the one I’m about to tell you and realize there are definitely some advantages to living in our own time. No wonder we live such long lives compared to theirs.

Then I think about the risks of the industry, technology and society of our day and realize that we live with risks as well, just not the same ones.

This story is about the family of a 19 year old girl, Sara Agnes (Agnes) McDougall, who was living at an inn / boarding house in the Boston area in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her parents, Daniel Martin (b. 18 Aug 1862 in PEI, Canada) and Elizabeth “Isabella” (Hume) McDougall (b. about 1869, also in PEI, Canada), while working in the area.

Daniel had been a schoolteacher and had lived in Morrell, PEI, teaching at the Church Street School until 1906.

On the fateful night of November 20, 1907, the coin operated gas lights had burned out and Daniel and Isabella McDougall retired to sleep, leaving the gas switch in the ‘on’ position. With these lights, once the gas ran out, it was necessary to insert another quarter to restore the flow of gas to the light.

Agnes returned home from a party and promptly inserted a quarter to light the room as she prepared to retire for the night. Once finished, she turned off the light, but still having time left on the meter, the gas continued to flow into her parents’ room as they slept. Daniel and Isabella died of gas poisoning.

The November 21, 1907 edition of the Fitchburg Daily Sentinel of Fitchburg, Massachusetts printed an account of the deaths as follows:


Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 21 — Mr. and Mrs. Daniel McDougall of 25 Market Street are dead, and their three children left orphans, as a result of the careless use of a quarter-in-the-slot gas machine at their home. Their daughter, Agnes McDougall, the unfortunate cause of the accident, has been almost prostrated since it occurred.

The bodies of Daniel and Isabella McDougall were returned to PEI by train from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

As recounted by family, Duncan MacDougall, Daniel’s brother, brought them home for burial in the Church of Scotland cemetary in Bangor, PEI. Duncan’s daughter, Violet, stated that the wake was held in Cambridge. Their daughter, Agnes was completely distraught, “wringing her hands and saying over and over, ‘Oh my goodness, I’ve murdered my parents.'”

Family members never knew Agnes had caused the tragedy until a newspaper article was found in 1996.


  1. “Couple Killed By Gas”; Fitchburg Daily Sentinel; Fitchburg, Cambridge, Massachusetts; November 21, 1907. (See above.)
  2. “Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915,” database, ” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”> . (See below.)
  3. 1881 Census, Kings, Prince Edward Island, district Lot 61, Kings, Prince Edward Island; Roll: C_13164; Page: 55; Family No: 222, Page: 55, House 216; Family 222, Hume ; digital, . (See below.)
  4. 1891 Canadian Census, Lot 40, Kings, Prince Edward Island, Roll: T-6382; Family No: 2, district 133, Page: 1, Household: 2, McDougall ; digital image, ” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”> . (See below.)
McDougall, Isabella (Hume); Massachusetts Death Records, deaths by gas poisoning.
Massachusetts Death Records, deaths by gas poisoning.


1881 Canadian Census showing Isabella Hume.
1881 Canadian Census showing Isabella Hume.

Transcription: Civil War Letters of Private David Coon (1824-1864)

Transcription of the final pages of this extensive project of the Civil War Letters of Private David Coon was completed April 10, 2013.


David Coon and Mary Ann Adams circa 1843.
David Coon with his wife Mary Ann Adams in about 1843.

Page 1…


The following letters, written by David Coon to his wife and children, are here collected, carefully copied from the originals. Many of the letters were written on such scraps of paper as were available, the ink being often very poor — in one instance at least, made from the juice of pokeberries gathered on the battlefield, — so that they have become greatly faded by the lapse of time, and a number are quite difficult to decipher.

David Coon enlistment record.
David Coon enlistment record.

It is desired in this way to preserve for his children and grand-children, the letters, giving in a simple and direct way, some of the experiences of a private soldier through a por-tion of one of the greatest campaigns of the Civil War.

Dedication to E. D. Matthews on Coon Letters
This is the dedication to E. D. Matthews on the first page of the transcription of David Coon’s letters by John, David’s son and E. D. Matthews’ brother.

David Coon enlisted from Green Lake County Feb. 26, 1864, in Co. A, 35th Wisconsin infantry. With his regiment he remained at Camp Randall until May 10, when he was ordered to join Hancock’s Corps in Virginia, participating in many of the great battles of that terrible campaign until Aug. 25, 1864, when he, with nearly the whole regiment, was captured at the battle of Ream’s Station. He was taken first to Libby prison, Richmond, and afterward transferred to Salisbury, N. C., where he died Nov. 2, 1864.

David Coon was a good man, a kind husband and father, a true soldier of the American type, not only a patriot but a philosopher.

In loving remembrance these words are penned by his son,

John W. Coon, M. D.

Wales, Wis., July 16, 1913.


Page 2…


By H. W. Hood.

(From the Madison Democrat, January 12th, 1913.)



A goodly number of survivors of the 36th Wisconsin infantry are dwelling upon the Pacific Coast. They hold reunions from time to time, and it goes without saying that they heartily enjoy themselves when together.

In August, of 1903, when the national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic was held at San Francisco, several members of the regiment from east of the Rocky Mountains were in attendance, and on the 18th day of the month they met with their comrades of the coast, and then had an unusually good time together. At that meeting Colonel C. E. Warner, of Windsor, was chosen President and James M. Aubery, secretary. Aubery enlisted February 29, 1864, in Company G of the 36th, and was, September 1, ’64, promoted to the position of sergeant major of the regiment. November 1, same year, he was made quartermaster sergeant, and on the 15th of June, 1865, was commissioned second lieutenant of Company G, but was not mustered as such. In the year 1900, he published a history of the service of his regiment, — a book containing 430 pages. It has about it many excellent features, and is good reading. It would be a good thing if every regiment could have had so able a historian.

On the occasion of this reunion, there were present,


Page 3…

Colonel Warner, wife and daughter; Captain Austin Cannon, Company H, who came from Pennsylvania; Charles A. Storke, Company G, of Santa Barbara, daughter and son-in-law; Judge James Paris, Company H, and wife, of Long Beach; A. T. Large, Company D, Los Angeles; William Patton, Company H, Berkeley; William Bright, Company I, Santa Cruz; David Kribs, Company I, and wife; Frederick Jennings, Company H, Lamorie; J. W. Thomas, Company K, and wife, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; George Clark, Coimpany B, Midway; James LeTellier, Company C; W. S. Hengy, Company B., and wife, Oroville; James M Aubery and two daughters, Los Angeles; Mrs. Skeels, Menomonie, Wisconsin; E. M. Chamberlain, Company D, and wife, Albany, Wisconsin.

After a season spent in reminiscences and renewing their ancient comradeship, they sat down to a feast — twenty-eight of them — given by Comrade Large. The spread before them made it plain that their host was not only Large by name, but of heart. They had a jolly time of it.

On the 12th of last September several of those old badgers gathered again at table, at Los Angeles, Comrade Storke being the genial host. He was chosen chairman of the meeting and Comrade Aubery, secretary. On that occasion there were present, Comrades Storke, Aubery, Clarke and wife, Jennings, Parish, and Large, of those mentioned above; also F. A. Wilde, Company F, Kingman, Arizona; Robert Moorhouse, Company G, Heber, California; J. V. Bartow, Company G, Long Beach; Edward Parish, Company H, Los Angeles, wife and daughter; Captain Wesley S. Potter, Company D,


Page 4…

Pasadena; George W. Raymer, Company D, Madison, Wisconsin; Benjamin Bailey, Company A, San Diego.

I have been looking over the records to see how the comrades named above fared in their term of service of a year and a third. Colonel Warner was so wounded at the battle of Deep Bottom, Virginia, August 14, ’64, that it was necessary to amputate his left arm. Chales A. Storke was taken prisoner at Cold Harbor, June 1, ’64. W. H. Patton was wounded at Petersburg, June 18, 1864. William Bright was wounded at the same place, same day. David Kribe was taken prisoner at Ream’s Station. Frederick Jennings was wounded in the battle at Petersburg, June 18, ’64, J. W. Thomas was wounded at Petersburg, George Clarke was sun-struck July 14, ’64, Edward Parish was wounded June 18, ’64, at Petersburg, F. A. Wilde was taken prisoner June 1, ’64, at Cold Harbor, Robert Moorhouse was taken prisoner the same day, George W. Raymer was wounded near Petersburg, June 18, ’64.

The Thirty-sixth was recruited under President Lincoln’s call, February 1, 1864, for 500,000 men. It was quickly recruited at Camp Randall to the maximum number under direction of Colonel Frank A. Haskell, who had been adjutant of the 6th Wisconsin. He was commissioned colonel on the 23d of March. The regiment left Camp Randall on the 10th of May and was in Washington on the 14th. It served till the close of the war in the first brigade, second division, second army corps.

This is a brief sketch of the service of the regiment:


Page 5…

It was at Spottsylvania May 18-21, North Anna river May 23-26, Totopotomy May 28-31, Bethesda Church June 1, Cold Harbor June 1-12, before Petersburg June 16-18. It was in the siege of Petersburg from June 16, ’64 to April 2, 1865. In the meantime it was on the Weldon railroad June 22-23, demonstration north of James river at Deep Bottom August 13-20, where Colonel Warner lost his left arm, Ream’s Station August 25, Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run, October 17-28, Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run, February 5-7, 1865, Watkin’s House March 25. It was in the movement, March 28-April 9, that terminated in the surrender of General Lee. On the second day of May it started for Washington, where, on the 23d of that month, it marched in the Grand Review that was the formal close of the war. On the 17th day of June the regiment left Washington for Louisville, Kentucky, going into camp on the north side of the river, at Jeffersonville, Indiana. There on the 12th of July it was mustered out of the service and started for Madison, where it arrived on the 14th, and was disbanded on the 24th.

Colonel Haskell was killed at Cold Harbor June 3, ’64, and Colonel John A. Savage, who succeeded Haskell, died July 4, ’64, of wounds received June 18, at Petersburg. Colonel Harvey M. Brown, of Columbus, who succeeded Savage, was, because of wounds received June 18, discharged October 27, ’64. He was succeeded by Colonel Warner.

No other Wisconsin regiment lost so many men during a corresponding term of service as the Thirty-sixth. The original


Page 6…

Strength of the regiment was 990. It received twenty-four recruits, making in all, 1,014. Of these, 156 were killed in action or died of wounds, 172 died of disease and 12 of accidents, — making a total loss of 340, or 43-1/3 per cent. Of all who enlisted in the regiment.

I am taking these figures from the report of the adjutant general of the state in 1866. Comrade Aubery, in his history of the regiment, makes his figures a little different. Abuery says that during the first two months of the real campaigning of the regiment there were losses as follows: 273 killed and wounded— averaging 34 every week, five a day; 61 killed outright— eight a week, one a day; 221 wounded— 26 ½ a week, nearly four a day; 336 killed, wounded and prisoners— 42 every week, six a day. At the charge of Cold Harbor there were 17 killed and 53 wounded in about the time it takes to tell it. At Bethesda Church there were killed, in the charge, 49, wounded, 79.

The Thirty-sixth was one of the hardest fighting regiments of all in the service from all of the states and its losses were among the greatest. Every survivor feels proud of having been a member of it.


Page 7…

Camp Randall, Madison, Reb. 28th, 1864.

Dear Wife and Children:-

Well, I didn’t go back to bid you good-bye. I found it necessary when I got to Berlin to come right on to this place in order to get in in time to make arrangements to secure my bounty, &c. I have enlisted in the 36th regiment, and yesterday was taken into a room with nine others and stripped naked, and passed examination so slick that there wouldn’t have been any chance at all of getting clear if I had been drafted, but Orange Snell was thrown out, the last man I should have thought of.

Tomorrow we are to be mustered in. We expect our company will be “A”, as it is the first one of all. Messs. Vergin, Putnam, Dewey, Wm. Luckey, Gordon and Mart Haskill are all in the same company; all accepted but the two last, their case is not decided yet. Luckey is my bunk partner. Thos. And Jess Brown are in the same reg. but another Co. We are in Luman’s quarters to-day, as there was no good chance for writing in the barrack. Palen and Sol. Reynolds go into the 18th Colts Co. Little Lester Stephens goes into the 16th.

Now about the pay and bounty. I expect $165 local bounty, which I think we had better pay for the sugar bush, 40, and all of our other debts, and you will get $5.00 a month from the state, and I think I can send home $5.000 a month more; and I hope Herbert will be able to raise your own provisions and some to spare. Plant an acre of beans, and Emma must help hoe them and work in the garden, &c.,


Page 8…

and do the best you can, all of you.

The Government bounty I want to have salted down, so that it will keep. I got 44 brooms and sold at $2.00 per doz. Poor little things. Got the things you sent for and left them at L. A.’s. I wish you had them. I had a chance to get the brooms and myself bro’t down to Berlin, and did not get a chance to go to see Hiram and Dennis, and I have thought that it was best perhaps that I should have left the way I did, as it spared us all the pain of parting that we should have experienced had I not expected to return before my final departure. Herbert, I expect Mr. Dunlap will send for a hundred buckets, and I want you to tighten the hoops and let him have as good as there is. I have been thinking that we are a good deal better off than the rest in the neighborhood that have left, in having a team and a boy old enough to use it and take care of things, and I hope you will succeed and take good care of things. I must close for this time, hoping to write again in a few days when we get a little settled. You needn’t write until I write again.

Your affectionate husband and father,

D. Coon.

P.S. – Herbert, try and get Mr. Locke to take that lumber to Berlin if he is going, so that he can to to Brushes, and get that, and the rest from Poysippi.


Page 9…

Camp Randall, March 2, 1864.

Dear Wife and Children:

Well, we were mustered into Uncle Sam’s service yesterday, and here we are tight, to-day not allowed to go out of camp, and we can’t go out any day without a pass from headquarters, and the orders are not to give any of us a pass to-day. There was several hundred left camp yesterday for Dixie for the old regiment.

Now I will give you a history of the time I had about my local bounty. There was a man from Green Lake town on the care that wanted a few men for their town to fill their quota. They offered $200.00, to be deposited in the bank at Ripon by the first of April. He took my name for one, but found on getting here that he didn’t want me, so I engaged to another man for $165 cash down, but found afterwards that he didn’t take down my name, and got the number he wanted without me, so I was out again and the bounties were falling. I then heard that my Green Lake man’s men hadn’t all come on and he still wanted more. I then went to him (I knew where he put up) Monday morning engaged to him, making the thing sure this time. That same afternoon I saw the Captain. He told me that he had done the best for me, got me into some town for $150.00 cash down. I told him I didn’t want to be credited to that town, I had made other arrangements, that I couldn’t afford to lose $50.00. He said they had to make out the muster roll in order to muster us in and they couldn’t make out the roll without crediting us to some town and that was the best chance they could find, and when the roll was made out they couldn’t be altered, &c.


Page 10…

I gave them to understand that I wasn’t satisfied, so they concluded to make out a new muster roll and put me into Green Lake, and so it is at last.

Joe Howard, Wormwood, his boy, T. L. Hall and Jesse Brown was all thrown out on examination. Paln, J. Snell, Cross, Sol. Reynolds not mustered in yet. L. A. gave me an empty housewife. If we should stay a good while here we may get a chance to come home, but it is doubtful. I can’t think of the name of the place where that cousin Margaret lives. Please tell me. As I couldn’t get out to get writing materials I borrowed what I could get, but such a place to write, playing cards, swearing and all sorts, but I am thankful that all are not of that kind. I attended the best prayer and conference meeting last night that I have attended in the state. A Miss Hobart is lecturing in camp on temperance, &c. She is to lecture tonight. I wish you would write as soon as you can. You may expect a letter from me as often as once a week while we stay here. I must stop. Kiss the babies for pa. Herbert had better let Chas. Have that calf skin towards the shoes, if he will take it.

Yours affectionately,

D. Coon.

P. S. – Direct Co. A. 36 Reg., Campb Randall, Madison.

The Bourgs of Acadia


I and my children are descended from several noteworthy immigrants from France who were original pioneers of Acadia, including the Bourgs of Acadia.


In the past, I have posted about our Melanson ancestors, who we most readily associate ourselves with, since the family name carried down through the generations to my mother, who stopped using the Melanson name upon marrying my father, Gerard Ronald Joseph Turmaine.

Bourgs of Acadia were a founding family in Port Royal
Bourgs of Acadia lived in Port Royal.

In fact, considering sheer numbers, our ties to the Bourg family are the strongest. Antoine Bourg, originally from Martaizé, near Loudon, in France, was the original pioneer of this family and 9th great grandfather to my children, Erin and Stuart. The Bourg and Melanson families intersect with the marriage of Anne (Jeanne) Bourg, daughter of François Bourg and Marguerite Boudrot to Charles Melanson, son of Charles Mellanson and Marie Dugas (and grandson to the original Melanson pioneer couple – Pierre dit Laverdure and Priscilla (Mellanson).


Antoine Bourg


Antoine was born in about 1609 in Martaizé, Loudun, Vienne, France. He immigrated to Port Royal around 1640 and married Antoinette Landry in 1643. Born about 1618 in France, she lived in Bourg Village near Port Royal with her family and shows in the 1693 Acadian census as a widow in the house of her son Abraham and his wife Marie in Port Royal. Therefore, it seems safe to assume Antoine died prior to 1693. According to this same census, her property at the time consisted of 12 cattle, 20 sheep, eight hogs, 26 arpents of land and one gun.

Their children were François (born about 1643); Marie Bourg (1644-1730); Jean Bourg (1645-1703); Bernard Bourg (1649-1725); Martin Bourg; Jeanne Bourg (1650-abt 1700); Renée Bourg (born about 1655); Huguette Bourg (1657); Jeanne Bourg (1658-1724); Abraham Bourg (1660-after 1736); Marguerite Bourg (1667-1727); Alexander Bourg (1667).

In various Acadian censuses, Antoine Bourg is recorded to own land holdings of various sizes; differing quantities of livestock including cattle, sheep and hogs; and a gun.

Sir William Phipps
Sir William Phipps

In 1690, a New England Commander, Sir William Phips, took Port Royal. Governor Meneval of Acadia, after considering the circumstances and the fact that they were greatly outnumbered, opted to surrender. At the time of his surrender, Meneval was assured the church and private property would be left alone, but over twelve days of pillaging, the church and several private buildings were destroyed.

Phips made the Acadians swear allegiance to King William and Queen Mary, in what Phips later falsely described as great rejoicings and acclaim.

After Phips left Acadia, the Acadians lived in a political and patriotic limbo. Authority had not been asserted by either New England or France and the Acadians, preferring to avoid more direct authority and control, insisted the French representative not try to change anything. They feared the English would hear of it and decide to return to punish them. New England made no attempt to assert its authority and the French made no attempt to regain control.

My children and I are directly descended from three of their sons, namely Francois, Bernard and Abraham, who were each an eighth great grandfather to my children.


François Bourg


The oldest child of Antoine and Antoinette was François Bourg born about 1643 in Port Royal. About 1665, he married Marguerite Boudrot (born 1648), daughter of Michel Boudrot and Michelle Aucoin.  Their seven children were Michel “Michaud” Bourg (1663-1712); Marie Bourg (born 1668); Alexandre “dit Belle-humeur” Bourg (1671-1760); Marguerite Bourg (born 1673); Magdeleine Bourg (born 1677); Pierre Bourg (born 1681); Anne “Jeanne” Bourg (1683-1749), married to Charles Melanson (1675-1757) and both being my children`s seventh great grandparents. During the years 1671 to 1678, François is recorded as a farmer who in 1678 owned eight acres of land and 15 cattle. François died sometime around 1686 in Port Royal.


Captain Pierre Baptiste Maisonnat


Of particular interest and notoriety, is the husband of François Bourg`s daughter Magdeleine. Commonly known as `Baptiste`, he was Captain Pierre Baptiste Maisonnat.

Born in 1663, in Bergerac, France, he was notorious and fairly well documented as a pirate and cad. He also would be thought of as a playboy by today`s standards. Taken in May of 1690 as one of the prisoners of Sir William Phips during his seizure of Port Royal, Baptiste sometime afterward managed to gain his freedom. The following year, he dedicated much of his time to sailing the waters of New England in his quest for prizes.

Governor Frontenac of Quebec
Governor Frontenac of Quebec

Although Baptiste was frequently captured, charged, imprisoned and even on one later occasion sentenced to hanging, he either managed to escape on his own or was released after intervention and negotiations on his behalf by Governor Frontenac of Quebec on several occasions or the Governor of Acadia on another occasion by threatening retaliation were Baptiste indeed hanged.

During his pirating career, Baptiste took François Bourg`s 15 year old daughter Magdeleine as his bride in 1693. Shortly after marrying, Baptiste moved his new wife to Quebec on the pretense that she was in danger in Port Royal. It is far more likely, from what we now know, he wished to hide his marriage from those who were already aware of his other wives in several other localities including France. On November, 1695, Frontenac wrote to the Minister of France, to whom he had once praised Baptiste, informing him that he had heard that Baptiste had several other wives, including in various locations. It is definite that Baptiste had one wife at Bergerac, France, namely Judith Soubiron (born 1660), who gave birth to his daughter Judith-Marie Maisonnat in 1689.

In 1695, once the news of Baptiste`s polygamy broke in Acadia, Magdeleine, recent mother to his daughter Marie-Magdeleine Maisonnat Bourg decided to return home to her father and mother.

Baptiste then returned to France to retrieve his lawful wife and daughter. His wife, Judith Soubiron, later bore him two more children, Pierre and Jean, dying in Port Royal on October 19, 1703.

Baptiste remarried on January 12, 1707, to a widow, Marguerite Bourgeois, the daughter of Jacques Bourgeois. She had been married twice previously, first to Jean Boudrot, son of Michel Boudrot; second to Emmanuel Mirande, a Portuguese.

Baptiste`s poor young bride, Magdeleine Bourg, later married Pierre LeBlanc, Jr. in 1697. He was the son of Pierre LeBlanc, Sr. and Marie Terriot. They had seven children.

Marie-Magdeleine Maisonnat


Marie-Magdeleine Maisonnat, the daughter of Baptiste and Magdeleine Bourg, was a major influence in Annapolis Royal during the late 1600`s. Known to be somewhat domineering and aloof, she fostered enough grudging respect and influence that she could exercise her own authority in the matters of soldiers, whether to be released from custody or other administrative matters without her right to do so being questioned. She presided at councils of war in the fort, appearing to have inherited some of her father`s spirit and drive.

In 1711, at about 16 years of age, she married William Winniett, a French Huguenot who was a leading merchant in Acadia, at some point receiving the title of “Honorable”`, becoming a member of the Governor`s Council. His sympathy for the Acadians was made obvious resulting in his being under suspicion. He drowned in Boston, bequeathing his considerable property and assets “to my beloved wife Magdeleine Winniett,” whom he had appointed sole executrix. William Winniett and Marie-Magdeleine Maisonnat had 13 children born in Annapolis, including seven boys and six girls.

Bernard Bourg


Antoine and Antoinette Bourg’s fourth child, Bernard, was born in 1649 in Port Royal. About 1670, he married Françoise Brun (1652-1725), daughter of Vincent Brun and Marie-Renée Brau, both immigrants to Acadia from France.  They had eleven children, including Marguerite “Margueritte” Bourg (1670-1747); Marie-Claire “Claire” Bourg (1670); René Bourg (born 1676); Jeanne Bourg (1677-1725); Anne Bourg (1680-1751); Françoise Bourg (1682-1715); Claire “Clare” Bourg (born 1682); Abraham Bourg (1685-1751); Renée Bourg (1687); Marie Bourg (1690); Claire Bourg (1692). Between 1671 and 1725, Bernard and his family continuously lived in Port Royal, their livestock and personal property steadily increasing in quantity and value over the years. Prior to his death in Port Royal on May 23, 1725, Bernard had amassed an estate consisting of  24 cattle, 18 sheep, 30 arpents of land and one gun.


Abraham Bourg


Born 1662 at Port-Royal, Abraham was the tenth child of Antoine Bourg and Antoinette Landry. In 1683, Abraham married a young widow, Marie- Sébastienne Brun (1658-1736), daughter of Vincent Brun and Marie Brau. Marie`s first husband was François Gautrot, who died young, leaving her alone to care for a young son, also named François. They were recorded in the 1678 census of Port Royal with a young son, two cattle and a gun. Young François was recorded living with his new family 1791 census. Abraham and Marie- Sébastienne had nine children including Jean-Baptiste Bourg (born 1683); Marguerite Bourg (born 1685); Claude Bourg (1687-1751); Pierre Bourg (1689-1735); Marie Bourg (1690-1727); Marguerite Bourg (born 1691); Michel Bourg (1691-1761); Charles Bourg (born 1694); and Joseph Bourg (born 1697).

Abraham is show in the Acadian censuses between 1686 and 1701 accumulating up to 26 arpents of land; livestock including up to 14 head of cattle, 20 sheep and 12 hogs; and dozens of fruit trees.

Abraham appears to be a relatively educated person of standing as his signature is recorded on the 1695 oath and in the Port Royal church register. He also witnessed the marriage of his daughter, Marie and Jean Fougère, as well as his son Michel’s wedding to Anne Boudrot.

Abraham was one of those chosen to sail to Ile Royale to assess the lands there for settling. The land was found to not be good for farming and the majority of Acadians did not wish to leave the fertile lands of the Annapolis Valley. It appears though, that Abraham did settle there as in 1720, the first record appears indicating he was living in Port Toulouse, Ile-Royale.

Abraham Bourg was chosen to be a Deputy chosen representing the Acadian districts in 1720, but was apparently released from his duties in 1726 due to his deteriorating condition and lameness.

On September 16, 1727 he was one of those who refused to take the oath of allegiance to George II. Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence Armstrong claimed that they had assembled the inhabitants a day earlier and “instead of persuading them to their duty by solid arguments of which they were not incapable they [the deputies] frightened them . . . by representing the oath so strong and binding that neither they nor their children should ever shake off the yoke.” Although many had taken the oath in 1695, the Acadians were using the taking of the oath as a bargaining tool in 1727. They claimed and wished to preserve neutrality between the English and the French and Mik’maq. The Acadians also strongly wished to practice their own religion.

The Deputies were sentenced to prison for their actions in opposition to the adopting of the oath. Bourg, “in consideration of his great age” (he was 67) was allowed to leave the territory without his goods. For their alleged opposition they were committed to prison. The others were released in a short time, so Abraham may never have left at all.

Abraham died and was buried at Port Toulouse, but the actual dates are not known.



Translating French words for genealogy research can be tricky.


In researching genealogy, translating French words for genealogy research can be tricky, and the same goes for other languages as well, and mistakes can easily be made.


Getting one term, phrase or word wrong can mean taking your research off in the wrong direction based on the interpretation of that word.


Obituary for Paul-Henri Boily, 1926-1998

While researching my French Canadian, Acadian and French Canadian ancestors, I frequently came across terms that needed translation. From past experience, I knew it was important to not make a snap judgment of the meaning of a term based on its similarity to another French word, an English word, or words in any other language.

The most obvious example that comes to mind is ‘journalier.’ Upon first impression, I thought this might mean ‘journalist’ but after checking into it further, I discovered it meant a ‘day laborer.’

Here is my list of the French terms for occupations that are encountered most frequently in vital documents and records.

à la retraite retired
agriculteur farmer, husbandman
aide de sous commis helper to asst clerk
apothicaire pharmacist
apprenti(e) apprentice
apprêteur(euse) tanner, dresser of skins
archer bowman
architecte architect
argentier silversmith
armurier gunsmith
arpenteur, arpentier land surveyor
arquebusier matchlock gunsmith
artisan handicraftsman
aubergiste innkeeper
aumonier army chaplain
avocat, avocate lawyer, barrister
bailli bailiff
banqier(ère) banker
becheur(euse) digger
bedeau church sexton
bédeau beadle
beurrier(ère) butter-maker
bibliothécaire librarian
blanchisseur(eusse) laundryman, woman
bonnetier(ère) hosier
boucher(ère) butcher
boulanger(ère) baker
bourgeois(e) privileged person
boutonnier button-maker
braconnier poacher
brasseur(euse) brewer
briqueteur bricklayer
briquetier brick-maker
bucheron woodcutter
cabaretier(ère) saloon keeper
caissier(ère) cashier
calfat caulker
camionneur truck driver
cannonier gunner (canon)
cantinier(ère) canteen-keeper
capitaine de milice captain of the militia
capitaine de navire ship captain
capitaine de port port captain
capitaine de vaisseau ship captain
capitaine des troupes troup captain
cardeur(euse) carder(textiles)
chamoisseur chamois-dresser
chancelier chancellor
chandelier chandle-maker
chanteur(euse) singer
chapelier(èr) hatter, hatmaker
charbonnier(ère) coal merchant
charcutier(ère) port-butcher
charpentier carpenter, framer
charpentier de navires shipwright
charretier carter
charron cartwright, wheelwright
chasseur hunter
chaudronnier coppersmith, tinsmith
chaufournier furnace tender
chef cook
chevalier horseman, calvary
chirurgien surgeon
cloutier nail-maker, dealer
cocher coachman, driver
colonel colonel
commandant commander
commis clerk
commissaire d’artillerie arms stewart
commissaire de la marine ship’s purser
compagnon journeyman
comptable accountant, bookkeeper
concierge janitor, caretaker
confiseur(euse) confectioner
conseilleur counsellor, advisor
contrebandier smuggler
contremaître overseer, foreman
controleur superintendant
cordier ropemaker
cordonnier cobbler, shoemaker
corroyeur curier, leatherdresser
coureur-des-bois trapper
courrier courier, messenger
courvreur en ardoise slate roofer
coutelier cutlery maker
couturier(ère) tailor, dressmaker
couvreur roofer
couvreur en bardeau roofer who roofs with shingles
cuisinier en chef chef
cuisinier(ère) cook
cultivateur(trice) farmer
curé pastor
débardeur stevedore
défricheur clearer (of forest)
dentiste dentist
docteur doctor
domestique indentured servant, farmhand
douairière dowager
douanier(ère) custom officer
drapier clothmaker, clothier
ébeniste cabinet maker
écclésiastique clergyman
échevin alderman
écolier(ère) student
écuyer esquire
électricien electrician
éleveur(euse) animal breeder
employé(e) employee
engagé ouest hired to trap furs out west
enseigne ensign
enseigne de vaisseau ship’s sub-lieutenant
ferblantier tinsmith
fermier agricultural worker
fonctionnaire civil servant
forgeron smith, blacksmith
huissier sheriff
ingénieur engineer
journalier(ère) day laborer
maçon mason, bricklayer
marchand merchant
médecin doctor
mendiant beggar
menuisier carpenter
meunier miller
maître d’école school master, headmaster, principal
maîtresse d’école school mistress, headmistress, principal
navigateur sailor
notaire lawyer, solicitor
ouvrier worker
pecheur fisherman
peintre painter
pilote ship’s pilot, harbor pilot
pompier fireman
potier potter
prêtre priest
rentier retiree
scieur sawyer
seigneur land owner, landlord
sellier saddler
tailleur tailor
tanneur tanner
tonnellier cooper (barrel-maker)
vicaire vicar

Genealogy and bio: Reynolds, Matthews family moves from Canada to America.

Harmond James (Jim) Reynolds (see left) was the step-father of my father-in-law, Marsh Blythe and his brother Paul, as well as father to Marsh and Paul’s half-brother William and half-sister Helen. (The original data and images on this individual and family are available on Blythe Genealogy.)

It was as a result of his relationship with Louise Matthews that most of the Reynolds and Matthews family transitions from American to Canadian occurred.

Portrait of Harmond James ReynoldsBorn on October 19, 1902 in Clarkson, Monroe County, New York, he was the first child of William Henry Reynolds and Helen (Hannah) Elizabeth Keller, whose family was originally from Seymour Township, Ontario, Canada.

Reynolds Family circa 1944
Rear: Jim and Louise Reynolds. Front: Louise’s sons, Marsh and Paul Blythe (respectively) from her first marriage.

In about 1950, Jim married Louise (Froemling-Matthews) Blythe, a young divorcee with two young boys, whom he met while living in Chicago.

According to his military records, Jim was 5’9″, 138 lbs., had gray eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion, “P M (sic) left shoulder”, with the tips of three fingers on his left hand missing and two on his right hand badly smashed.

Jim spent his earliest years with the Keller family of Havelock and then resided with his father in Rochester, New York.

USS Savannah
USS Savannah

He enlisted in the US Navy on or about November 12, 1920 at Rochester, New York as A.S. (sic) for 2 years and served on the USS Southery and USS Savannah, based out of Norfolk, Virginia and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Pennacook Tug Yard. Jim was discharged November 12, 1922 from the Portsmouth Navy Yard as a Seaman 2nd Class. He was a Bosun’s Mate on the USS Savannah (see left below) AS 8 Submarine Tender, commissioned November 3, 1917 at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, with Lt. Commander Arthur Jensen in command.

USS Southery
USS Southery

In 1943, his residence was recorded as 1116 Webster Ave., Chicago, Illinois.

Subsequent to his mother’s death in 1944, Jim had to apply for permission to leave the US as his discharge certificate from the military was ‘lost or destroyed’, along with all of his possessions, in or about June, 1940 in a rooming house fire at 2 West Ohio Street, Chicago, Illinois. He inherited the family property at Mud Lake (see left bottom), Havelock, Ontario from his mother.

Jim Reynolds, Marsh and Paul at the Mud Lake property.
Jim Reynolds, Marsh and Paul at the Mud Lake property.

Jim, Louise and their family continued to live on the Mud Lake property while Jim worked to support his family in the carpentry trade and was employed in Peterborough and Bancroft, Ontario. He also operated a bread route for Scott’s Bakery in Havelock.

Jim died on December 3, 1965 in Mud Lake, Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, after suffering with an illness of four years duration. He was buried on December 6, 1965 in Maple Grove Cemetery, Havelock, Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada.

Although a large portion of the Mud Lake property was flooded during the creation of the Trent-Severn waterway, the Reynolds/Blythe family continued to own the property to this very day. It is much smaller today, though, as Louise had gradually sold off parcels to provide an income for her family. The small portion remaining still has the house pictured at left, although it is not in habitable condition, and a small ‘rustic’ cabin on a small piece of the property that belongs to Mark’s father, Marsh to this day.

While living in Trenton, Ontario for over ten years from 1995 to 2006, we frequently visited family in Havelock and spent a great deal of time camping at the Mud Lake property, as described in a recent post on my personal blog, ‘Feathering the Empty Nest‘.



  1. Reynolds, Harmond James obituary, Havelock, Ontario, Canada, Abt 10 Dec 1965.
  2. Letter from Harmond James Reynolds (1116 Webster Avenue, Chicago, Illinois) to Helen Elizabeth Reynolds, 11 Apr 1943; held by Bill Reynolds (Havelock, Ontario).
  3. Letter from Stanley Kellar (Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada) to Dominion of Canada, 1957; held by William Edward Reynolds (Havelock, Belmont Township, Ontario, Canada).
  4. Interview with Marsh and Bev Blythe – about 15 March 2005.
  5. Chicago Telephone Directory, (Chicago, Illinois:, 1936).
  6. Reynolds, Harmond James, Permit of Local Board for Registrant to Depart from the United States, Mar 6 1945 at 4532 N. Broadway, Rm. 133, C hicago 13, Illinois.
  7. Rooming House Fire article, “3 Die as Flames Sweep Flats on Near Northside”, Chicago Daily Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, July 8, 1940.
  8. Reynolds, Harmond James obituary, Havelock, Ontario, Canada, Abt 10 Dec 1965.
  9. Letter from Harmond James Reynolds (1116 Webster Avenue, Chicago, Illinois) to Helen Elizabeth Reynolds, 11 Apr 1943; held by Bill Reynolds (Havelock, Ontario). Letter from Stanley Kellar (Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada) to
  10. Dominion of Canada, 1957; held by William Edward Reynolds (Havelock, Belmont Township, Ontario, Canada).
  11. Interview with Marsh and Bev Blythe – about 15 March 2005.
  12. Chicago Telephone Directory, (Chicago, Illinois:, 1936).
  13. Application for Certificate in Lieu of Discharge; Reynolds, Harmond James File, Permit of Local Board for Registrant to Depart from the United States, Mar 6 1945 at 4532 N. Broadway, Rm. 133, Chicago 13, Illinois.

Alanson and Gardner Adams, Brothers in Arms in the War of 1812


I mentioned in a previous post about William B. Coon, who served as a soldier for the United States in the War of 1812 and was the father of Civil War casualty David Coon, that I would be writing about Alanson Adams (fifth great grandfather to my kids) who was father to David Coon’s first wife Mary Ann Adams.


Alanson and Gardner Adams both fought in the War of 1812.


Alanson Adams
Alanson Adams

Alanson was born April 16, 1792 to Joseph Adams (born 1756) in Williston, Vermont, United States and was the brother of Gardner Adams.

Alanson and Gardner Adams - Muster Roll
Alanson and Gardner Adams – War of 1812 Muster Roll.

Alanson worked as a farmer until he enlisted along with his brother Gardner on January 28, 1813 for service as soldiers for the United States in the War of 1812, both as Privates with Captain Samuel R. Gordon and Captain (later Lieutenant) Valentine R. Goodrich’s Company of the 11th Infantry Regiment in Vermont.

On February 28, 1814, Alanson’s brother Gardner was recorded to be sick in hospital at Brownsville. He had been shot in the leg, and as a result of this injury, he received a military pension after his discharge on January 28, 1818, just one day following the discharge of his brother Alanson.

Submit Hall
Submit (Mitty) Hall

Alanson married Submit “Mitty or Malinda” Hall in 1840 and they had the following children: Elam Dennis Adams (1821-1897), Martha Marie Adams (1827-1861) and Mary Ann Adams (1824-1859), first wife of Civil War veteran David Coon (fourth great grandfather to my kids). Throughout his life, he worked as a farmer (early years), labourer in manufacturing and as a shoemaker.

Sometime between 1840 and 1844, Alanson and his family relocated to Licking County, Ohio, living there until after 1860, when they are recorded in the census at Fold du Lac, Wisconsin, where he is shown living near his son Elam Dennis Adams.

The wealth of Alanson and his family appears to have fluctuated considerably. In 1850, he owned $600 value in real estate, yet in 1860 his wealth had reduced to just $100 in personal goods (no real estate), and then in 1870 he owned $1,000 in real estate. It is unknown whether Alanson had any personal wealth in 1880 as he is showing in the Canadian census to be living with the family of his son Elam Dennis Adams, while still in Fold du Lac, Wisconsin.

Alanson and his family were members of the Baptist Church.

Alanson died April 23, 1881 while living in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The following obituary was published in the Fond du Lac Daily Commonwealth of Tuesday, April 26, 1881, on page 4.



The death of Mr. Alanson Adams of our city on the 23rd instant, is an event of more than ordinary interest. Born in the year 1792, in the third year of Washington’s first term, his life covers nearly the whole period of our constitutional history. We are fairly startled at the rapidity of our country’s development, as compared with other countries, when we contemplate its history being crowded into the lifetime of one man. During this period the small circle of States bordering the Atlantic coast, few in population and impoverished by war, has been enlarged until it now engirdles the continent. A great nation, ranking among the first in power, wealth and influence has been developed within this comparatively short space of time. Human life can no longer be said to be short, if we measure it by the achievements comprehended within its.limits.

Mr. Adams is identified with the history of our country in one of the most endearing relations. Every country venerates the memory of its soldiers. Especially is this true of a republic, which must depend very largely on the valor and patriotism of its volunteer soldiers for defense. The deceased belongs to that noble band whom our nation delights to honor. In early manhood, at the call of his country, he entered her service in the war of 1812. He was in several engagements during this war, among which were the battles of Chippewa and Lundy’s Lane. At the latter place he was wounded. Thus another one of the few surviving heroes of this war has been laid away to that rest which no battle call, or shock —–will ever disturb.

But in still another and not less important cause was the deceased identified with the history and progress of our country. He belonged in the class of pioneers peculiar to our country, and yet sometimes overlooked, and underestimated in making our estimates of the elements entering late American progress. To this class of our population, essentially nomadic in its character, does our country owe very much of its greatness to-day. By it has been laid the foundations of that grand super-structure of American nationality which has no parallel in history. Reared in central Vermont he became identified with the early struggles of that State. In 1818 he was married. The union thus formed continued some fifty-four years. In 1844 with his family, consisting of one son and two daughters, he removed to Ohio. Here he remained until 1860, when he moved to Wisconsin, where he has since resided. Since the death of his wife, some ten years ago, he has made his home with his son, E.D. Adams, of our city, where he died.

The deceased was a devoted Christian, having been a member of the Baptist church nearly sixty years. He will be deeply mourned by the church to which he had endeared himself, and the circle of friends how knew him best. The sympathies of its many friends are extended to the bereaved family, with the assurance that our loss is his gain.


  1. Payroll of a Company of Infantry Commanded by Lt. Valentine R. Goodrich, the Eleventh Regiment of the United States, for the Months of January and February, 1813, online [], accessed.
  2. Emily Bailey, “Mary Ann Adams,” e-mail message to Christine Blythe, 20 Nov 2006.
  3. Coon, David, death certificate no. Widow’s Claim to Pension – Emma and Hiram Coon (1864).
  4. Affidavit of Alanson and Mitty Adams (31 Mar 1869).
  5. Adams, Alanson obituary, Fond du Lac Commonwealth, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Tuesday, April 26, 1881, Pg. 4.
  6. 1840 US Census, , (Burlington, Chittenden, Vermont); 541, Roll: 48; Page: 541; Image: 101, Family History Library Film: 0027439, 48, Original data: Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, National Archives, Washington, D.C..
  7. 1870 US Census, , (Fond du Lac Ward 3, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin); Page: 285B, Roll: M593_1713; Page: 285B; Image: 577, Family History Library Film: 553212, Roll: M593_1713, Image: 577, National Archives and Records Administration, n.d., Washington, D.C..
  8. 1880 US Census, , (Fond du Lac Ward 3, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin); 212A, Roll: 1425; Page: 212A; Enumeration District: 41, Family History Film: 1255425, 1425, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  9. 1800 US Census, , (Williston, Chittenden, Vermont, USA); 350, Roll: 51; Page: 350; Image: 195, Family History Library Film: 218688, 51, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C..
  10. Adjutant-General, “Adjutant-General’s Report,” jpg, Roll of Capt. V. R. Goodrich’s Company (: accessed ).
  11. “William B. Coon Family,” e-mail message to Christine Blythe, 20 Nov 2006.