All things history and genealogy.

All things history and genealogy.

Tag: French-Canadian

Newfoundland and Labrador are the gems of Canada.

Melanson Village Community Hall
Melanson Village Community Hall

Mark is scared to death.

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

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

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

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

Melanson Mountain Sign
Melanson Mountain directional sign.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Videos

Iceberg Alley

Secret Place

Most Easterly Point

Gros Morne

Conversation

Vikings

Architecture

Place Names

The Edge

How to Apply for a Métis Status Card

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article Source:

Article Source:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

photo credit: Augie Schwer via photopin cc

Transcription: Obituary for Camille Vachon

The following is a transcription of the French text of an obituary for Camille Vachon.

 

Camille Vachon
Camille Vachon

VACHON, Camille

À l’Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis, le  20 juin 1990, à l’âge de 83 ans et 10 mois, est décédé monsieur Camille Vachon, époux de dame Marie-Anna Boily. Il démeurait à Sts-Anges. La famille recevre les condoléances à la salle municipale, 317, des Érables à Sts-Anges, vendredi de 13h 30 à 16h 30 et de 19h à 22h, samedi de 13h à 14h 45. Le service religieux sera célébre le samedi 23 juin, à 15h, en l’église de Sts-Anges et de là au cimetiére paroissial, sous la direction de la Maison.

Armand Plante Inc.
875, Ste-Thérèse
St-Joseph

Il laisse dans le deuil, outre son épouse, ses enfants, gendres et belles-filles: Marie-Laure (Melvine Gagné), Laurent (Annette Drouin), Magella (Marie-Claire Drouin), Reina, Gemma (Laurent Lallamme), Guimond (Françoise Turmel), Thérèse (Adrien Lacroix), Pierrette (Denis Lagrange), ses vingt-deux petits-enfants, ses sept arriéres-petits-enfants; son frère et demi-soeurs: Valère, Germaine (Adélard Tardif), Eva, Iréne (Hermel Doyon), Agathe, Fernand (Jeannine Crenier), Rita (Antonio Labrie), Carmella (Freddy Jolicoeur), Imelda, ses neveus, niéces, cousins, cousines et de nombreus ami(e)s. Pour renseignements, 1-397-6948.

 

ENGLISH TRANSLATION (via Google Translate)

At the Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis, on 20 June 1990 at the age of 83 years and 10 months, Camille Mr. Vachon died, husband of Marie-Anna Boily. He remained in Sts-Anges. Family condolences will be received at the Municipal Hall , 317 Maples Sts-Anges, Friday from 13h 30 to 16h 30 and 19h to 22h Saturday from 13h to 14h 45. The funeral service will be held Saturday, June 23 at 15h, in the church of Sts-Anges and then to the parish cemetery under the direction of the house.

Armand Plante Inc.
875 , Ste- Thérèse
St. Joseph

He is survived by, in addition to his wife, children, sons and daughters, Marie-Laure (Melvin Won), Lawrence (Annette Drouin), Majella (Drouin Marie- Claire), Reina, Gemma (Laurent Lallamme), Guimond (Françoise Turmel), Therese (Adrien Lacroix), Pierrette (Denis Lagrange), twenty- two grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, his brother and half-sisters: Valere, Germaine (Adelard Tardif), Eva, Iréne (Hermel Doyon), Agathe, Fernand (Jeannine Crenier), Rita (Antonio Labrie), Carmella (Freddy Jolicoeur), Imelda, his nephews, nieces, cousins ​​and numerous friends. For more information, 1-397-6948.

___________________

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.

 

Historical Vital Statistics website of Nova Scotia Archives is searchable in French and English.

I have a few favorite, go-to sites that I use much more than any others, and the Nova Scotia Archives site is one. Considering the substantial Acadian ancestry of my family, it’s no surprise that the majority of vital records for the majority of my ancestors are available on this site.

The searchable database of the Nova Scotia Archives contains almost one million names, each of which is linked to a corresponding vital registration, including births, baptisms, deaths and marriages. The records date from the mid-1700’s to the 1960’s, are all digitized and available online, and are searchable in French.

The records can be searched in both French and English on the Historical Vital Statistics website.

Transcription: Baptism Record for Marie Marguerite Yvette Bourgeois

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

ORIGINAL FRENCH

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

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

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

Émile Bourgeois
Josephat Cossette

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

E. Brousseau
Lac Saguay

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

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

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

Emile Bourgeois
Josephat Cossette

Extract which conforms to the original March 31, 1931.

E. Brousseau
Saguay Lake

___________________

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emma Albani in 1899.
Dame Emma Albani in 1899.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo credits:

Wikipedia – Dame Emma Albani, online [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Albani].

Sources:

  1. “Forty Years of Song,” by Emma Albani; Project Gutenberg Canada website; [http://www.gutenberg.ca/ebooks/albani-forty/albani-forty-00-h-dir/albani-forty-00-h.html]
  2. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=7930]
  3. Les Labelles, Daniel Labelle online [http:www.leslabelle.org]
  4. Wikipedia – Dame Emma Albani, online [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Albani].

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.

Sources:
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 (http://www.novascotia.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian/Default.asp).
3. “Marriage Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (http://www.novascotia.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian/Default.asp) .
4. “Baptism Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (http://www.novascotia.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian/Default.asp) .

Transcription: French plaque commemorating Samson settlers.

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

Samson brothers plaque.
Samson brothers plaque.

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

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

St Gatien des Bois ; Le 15 Janvier 1997.

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

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This homebody wishes to be part of an Acadian trip to France.

 

Of all of the numerous branches in our family history, there are two of which I am almost obsessive in my interest – and research.

 

Those are my mother’s Acadian roots and my father-in-law’s Welsh Quaker ancestry.

Featured image: La grande derangement (Acadian Expulsion)

 

A few years ago, we had the amazing experience of visiting New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for a prolonged camping trip to take in the sights and sounds (and smells) of the lands originally settled by the French Huguenot exiles in the 17th century.

I came across an article on the Daily World website describing a trip to be taken by a group of Acadian descendants from Canada, Louisiana and other US locations. These families had relocated to diverse areas as a result of the Acadian Expulsion (la grande dérangement) at the hands of the British under authority of the king in retaliation for the Acadians’ refusal to swear allegiance to the British king.

La Rochelle, France in 1628.
La Rochelle, France in 1628.

This trip is an amazing opportunity to see and experience the lands from which the original Acadian settlers came.In our family’s case in particular, it would be great to have a chance to visit archives, churches and other repositories to try to trace the origins of our Melanson ancestors.

The couple who originally settled in Acadia were Pierre dit Laverdure and Priscilla Mellanson, as well as their sons, Pierre, Charles and Jean.

It is widely believed that although they traveled from England, Pierre was originally a Huguenot exile from the La Rochelle area of France, who married Priscilla in England, later traveling to Acadia with his family.

Researchers in the past have been unsuccessful in locating documentation proving Pierre’s origin, and I would love a chance to explore the possibilities in France.

Then again, a tour  may not be the best way as a great deal of personal freedom to explore and time to research would be necessary. Perhaps one day, in our retirement, our dream of traveling Europe will come true and I will have my opportunity.

 

Transcription: Memorial card for Rose-Anna Labelle

Rose-Anna Labelle Memorial Card
Rose-Anna Labelle Memorial Card

The following is a transcription of the memorial card for Rose-Anna Labelle, wife of the late Frédéric Sigouin, who passed away at St-Hippolyte on September 18, 1932.

__________

A LA DOUCE MEMOIRE DE

Rose-Anna Labelle
épouse de feu Frédéric Sigouin
décédée à St-Hippolyte
le 18 septembre 1932

Seigneur, vous savez combien je dé
sirais être auprès des miens pour leur faire du bien ; puisque vous m’avez rappelé à Vous. Seigneur, prenez ma place auprès d’eux, soyez leur ami et leur consolateur.
(Père de la Colombière)

Quand Dieu rappelle à Lue une mère chrétienne D lègue à son enfant le souvenir de ses vertus pour être son modèle et sa force.

La perte d’une mère est le premier chagrin que l’on pleure sans elle.
Mon Jésus, donnez-lui le repos éternel.

Coeur Sacré de Jésus, j’ai confiance en vous.
(300 jours d’ind.)

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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.

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Transcription: M. Paul Boily (1922-1998)

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

Transcription: M. Paul Boily (1922-1998)

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

 

M. Paul

BOILY

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

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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.

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

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

 

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

 

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

4

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

J. M. Paquet, P. M.

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

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

5

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

___________________

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.

Warm memories of smells and tastes…

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unknown Soldiers: DNA technology makes it possible for their remains to be identified.

Unknown soldiers can be identified!

Albert-Joseph-Philias-Emery-237x3001.jpg

More than 83,000 US service members lost since the start of WWII are still missing, according to a representative of the Department of Defence. Several lie in forgotten graves on the battlefield and below memorials offering no clue to their identities.

New techniques in DNA technology may mean we have seen the last burial of an unknown soldier. In offices and laboratories across the country and archaeological sites scattered across continents, groups of investigators and scientists comb the remains of the past for lost defenders.

In the US, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and also the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), based in Arlington, Virginia keep case files on each missing sailor, soldier, Marine and airman.

Researchers at JPAC and DPMO establish possible sites of remains. A team of archaelogists visited North Korea in 2004 and located skeletal remains of thirty individuals tossed haphazardly into a mass grave close to Chosin Reservoir. They shipped the bones to JPAC in Honolulu, where the bones were used to find gender, age, ancestry, and distinguishing marks. The process can take anywhere from two weeks to one year, depending on the existing backlog. Frustratingly, the original sample may not be enough and in that case, they must restart from the beginning.

For the remains whose DNA is successfully processed, the researchers will try and match them with DNA samples taken from thousands of possible family members.

Two of my great uncles, Private Joseph Philias Albert Emery and Private Joseph Turmaine, were reported missing in action in WWI and I would be thrilled to have their remains recovered.

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.

Historic Graveyard Tour at Fort Anne.

One of the best things we did on a trip we took to Nova Scotia a few years ago was to see the Graveyard Tour at Fort Anne.

 

Historic Graveyard Tour at Fort Anne.
Historic Graveyard Tour at Fort Anne (Click on the image to see it in full size.) The top image at right is of our son and daughter listening to the fascinating tales associated with the burials. The lower image (although difficult to make out in the dusk) is of our family gathered with the tour guide at Fort Anne prior to the tour.

This was during our long awaited driving tour of Acadian heritage sites in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada.

The first stop we made in Nova Scotia was at a campground near Annapolis Royal and I spotted a ‘newspaper’ on the counter at check-in. It caught my eye because the top of the page showed a picture of a man with his name written underneath – ‘Alan Melanson’. This peaked my interest as Melanson is my mother’s maiden name and the Melansons are one of the pioneer families to settle in Acadia.

It seemed that Alan Melanson was the tour guide for the Graveyard Tour at Fort Anne, prompting Mark, the kids and I to check it out the next day. Once Alan arrived we got into a conversation about my Melanson family and how we are related to him.

In the image above, the tour guide holding the lantern at the gravestone is Alan Melanson, a distant cousin as we both descend from Charles ‘dit La Ramée’ Mellanson, one of the two sons of the founding couple of the Melanson family in Acadia.

The photos on this website were taken by a photographer snapping shots the evening we toured the old graveyard. He had asked permission to take pictures with the kids in them and we agreed in return for copies.

Later on, we found that Erin and Stu’s photos were on the Fort Anne Graveyard Tour’s website!

I took this image directly from the Fort Anne Graveyard Tour website, except that I captured the picture of the crowd in front of the fort building as it includes myself, my husband Mark and our two teenagers, Erin and Stuart. One of the images in the clip features Erin and Stuart under lamplight at the gravestone.

I would highly recommend this tour to anyone. Alan Melanson is an engaging and entertaining host, injecting humor and insight into his tour.

It’s not hard to imagine some of the colorful characters buried in this centuries old graveyard.

Getting the most from Library and Archives Canada databases.

The wealth of information on the Library and Archives Canada website has become more easily searchable over the years as more and more indexing has occurred.

 

Albert Joseph Philias Emery died March 1, 1916 at Vimy Ridge.
My great uncle, Pte Joseph Philias Albert Emery was MIA (believed killed) during advance preparations for the advance on Vimy Ridge.

As one who is very familiar with and has used this site for years, I have found it to be so extensive that I make sure to bookmark any pages I would like to examine further so I can find them again later.

At one time, it was almost impossible to find them again otherwise.

The site has since added  an “Ancestors Search” to enable searching several of the site’s databases in one step, in addition to more targeted searches of specific databases.

Some things to remember when searching large sites and databases are:

  • Remember to use wild cards and the soundex features in your searches as transcription errors are very common due to the quality of the archived documents, handwriting, etc.
  • Middle names or nicknames may have been used routinely, especially since children were frequently named after parents or other family members and this was the best way to differentiate between individuals.
  • Language barriers and miscommunication sometimes resulted in surnames and given names being anglicized or simplified.
  • Those recording data and/or completing documentation frequently resorted to phonetic spelling because they were much less educated.
  • After widowhood, separation, divorce and sometimes even during marriage, a woman could sometimes be listed by her maiden name.
  • It was not uncommon for individuals to not know their own birth date, immigration date, etc. leaving gaps in data or in the worst cases, providing erroneous information.

This link is one of numerous included in my “Favorite Research Links” in the lower sidebar – along with several others from the Library and Archives Canada site that I have also listed below for your information.

Library and Archives Canada

  • Ancestors Search
  • Books of Remembrance
  • Databases
  • Canada’s Digital Collections
  • Genealogy Index
  • War and Military

If you have Canadian ancestors, it’s well worth your while to check out this site.

Transcripton: 1793 lease for 40,000 acres of land signed by Peter and Charles Malonson and others.

1793 lease for 40,000 acres of land signed by Peter and Charles Malonson and others.

 

Page 1

A6

Peter and Charles Malonson
1793 lease for 40,000 acres of land signed by Peter and Charles Malonson and others, pg 1.

Articles of agreement made this twenty ninth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninty-three and in the thirty third year of His Majesty’s Reign between Mary Cannon of Castle Frederickin the County of Hants and Province of Nova Scotia as attorney for Joseph Frederick, Walter Des Barres Esquire on the one part, and Peter Malonson, Michael Burk, January Peterang Simon Le Blong Jaque Legere Peter Cormier Charles Malonson Gabriel Legere Joseph Legere Isaac Tibodo John Shay and Frederick LeBlong; of Memramcook in the County of Westmoreland and Province of New Brunswick Farmers. Witnesseth that the said Mary Cannon for and in consideration of the sum of fifty one pounds good and lawful money of this said province / the said Peter Melonson, Michael Burk and associated [?] paying the sum of four pounds five shillings each, and a yearly [??] doth grant [?ise] Let unto farm unto Peter Melonson Michael Burk and associates / as aforesaid / a certain part of a Grant of forty thousand acres of Land, now in the possession of Joseph Frederick Walter Des Barres. Situate and bounded on the west  side of Memramcook River to have and to hold for ever and the said Peter Melonson Michael [??] and associates [Js]. Doth promise [t??] themselves their heirs Executors administrators and assigns to pay or [c??] to he unto Joseph Frederick Walter Des Barres his heirs Executors administrators and assigns his agent or agents attorney or attorneys the aforesaid sum of four pounds five shillings each as aforesaid, on or before the first day of May annually and every year. And the first payment to commence on the first day of May next, which will be in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety four and so on from year to year and if it shall happen that the said yearly [??] herein ordered of any part thereof, be behind and unpaid the the space of three calendar months next after the same shall become due as aforesaid and [??] sufficient distress or distresses in or upon the said promises can or may be found whereby the same may be levied that then it shall be lawful to and for the said Joseph Frederick Walter Des Barres h??] is heirs Executors administrators and assigns – his or their agents or attorneys into the said [d??] Premisses or into any part thereof in the name of the whole to Reenter and the same to have again Possessed and Enjoy as in his or their former right and estates, and the said Peter Melonson Michael Burk, and associates for their heirs Executors administrators and assigns from one of the same to expel and put out any thing herein mentioned to the contrary notwithstanding – and the said Peter Melonson Michael Burk and associates [J?] doth promise for themselves their heirs Executors administrators and assigns, shall and will at all times during said term bear pay and discharge all rates taxes charges, Impossitions parish and town duties which shall be payable taxed – charged imposed or assessed upon the aforesaid lands and premises or any part

Page 2

Peter and Charles Malonson
1793 lease for 40,000 acres of land signed by Peter and Charles Malonson and others, pg 2.

part thereof the kings [???] Rents only excepted and it is further agreed on by the said parties that should they not be enabled to furnish cash payments of Rent, fat Cattle or good Cattle let for fatting fat weathers sheep ?hipping horses and merchantable grain of different kinds shall be taken in [???] thereof at the current price of valuation and it is further agreed by the said parties that whatsoever work that has been done and paid for and is yet to do / [???] dikes drains and aboiteaux / shall be done upheld and supported in good order and well condition at the cost and expenses of them the said tenants and if the aforesaid Peter Melonson Michael Burk and associates [??] or any of them their heirs Executors administrators  or assigns should incline to Exit or leave the aforesaid premises: then in that case the Landlord his heirs Executors administrators or assigns agents or attorneys to Reenter in the peaceable possession of the aforesaid premises and every part thereof and the said Joseph Frederick Walter Des Barres by his attorney doth [??] himself his heirs Executors administrators and assigns Covenant and agree to and with the said Peter Melonson Michael Burk January Peterang, Simon Le Blong Jaque Legere, Peter Cormean Charles Melonson Gabriel Legere, Joseph Legere Isaac Tibado John Shayer and Frederick Le Blong their heirs Executors administrators and assigns that on their paying the Rent herein Reserved and performing the Covenants and agreements herein mentioned they shall ad may from time to time and at all times during the said term hereby granted Peaceably and quietly enter into hold use,  occupy and enjoy all and singular the Premisses hereby devised with the appurtenances without any [??] trouble or molestation or Interruption of him the said Joseph ———— Frederick Walter Des Barres Esq. his heirs Executors administrators or assigns or of any person or persons lawfully claiming by or from him in witness whereof they the said Mary Cannon Peter Melonson, Michael Burk January Peterang, Simon Le Blong Jaque Legere Peter Cormear Charles Melonson Gabriel Legere Joseph Leger Isaac Tibodo John Shayer and Frederick Le Blong have [???] to set their hands and seals the day and year first here

Page 3

Peter and Charles Malonson and Others.
1793 lease for 40,000 acres of land signed by Peter and Charles Malonson and others, pg 3.

Herein written.

Signed dated and Delivered in the presence of / Signed as follows /

[Left Column:]

Charles Melonson

“Gabriel Legere”

“Joseph Legere”

“Isaac Tibodo”

“John Shayer”

“Frederick Le Blong”

[Right Column:]

Peter Melonson

Michael Burk

January Pelerans

Simon Le Blong

Jacque Legere

Peter Cormear

[Left Margin at right angles to main text:]

/Signed/

John Downing

Samuel Cornhill

Peter and Charles Malonson and Others.
1793 lease for 40,000 acres of land signed by Peter and Charles Malonson and others, pg 4.

1793 lease for 40,000 acres of land signed by Peter and Charles Malonson and others, pg 3.

Page 4

Copy of unauthorized Lease

Memramcook

Charles Legere, and Laurong Burk were both served with notice to  [???] 23d. Jany 1815. The former is in occupation of Lands Leased with the within Instrument to Jacque Legere deceased, and the latter in occupation of those Leased to January Pellerang by the said within Instrument.

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Transcription: Tombstone of Family of Alphonse Bélanger

Transcription: Tombstone of Family of Alphonse Bélanger

 

Bélanger

(Left Side)

Alphonse Bélanger
1881 – 1933
Époux de
Délima Martineau
1876 – 1949

Edna Bélanger
1907 – 1936

Maurice Bélanger
1915 – 1915

Norbert Bélanger
1913 – 1991

(Right Side)
Gatien Bélanger
1911 – 1996
Époux de
Éva Labelle
1920 – 1983

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Transcription: Obituary of Pierre Allaire (1951 – 1999)

Transcription: Obituary of Pierre Allaire (1951 – 1999)

 

Obituary for Pierre Allaire.
Obituary of Pierre Allaire.

[Allaire] Pierre

À la Maison Michel-Sarrazin, le 3 octobre 1999, jour de ses 48 ans, est décédé M. Pierre Allaire, employé du Musée de la Civilisation, époux de dame Mariette Breton. Il demeurait à St-Laurent, I.O. La familie recevra les condoléances à la résidence funérairé

F.X. Bouchard Inc.
628, dhemin Royal
St-Pierre, I.O.

vendredi de 19h à 22h; samedi, jour des funérailles, la famille recevra les condoléances à l’église une heure avant la cérémonie. Le service religieux sera célébré le samedi 9 octobre à 14h en l’église de St-Laurent. I.O. et de là au cimetière St-François. I.O. Il laisse dans le deuil, outre son épouse, sone fils Léo; sa mère Georgette Turmel (feu Léopold Allaire); sa soeur et son beau-frère; Céline Allaire (Gilles Chevalier) et ses trois neveux; Nicolas, Simon et Mathieu; de même que ses beaux-frères, belles-soeurs, oncles et tantes, neveux, nièces, cousins, cousines, des families Breton et Allaire.

Cher Pierrot, puisses-tu trouver, là ou tu t’envoles, l’assouvissement de ton goût de la beauté et de la perfection. Que l’amour que tu nous as donné nous aide à continuer une vie significative et heureuse ici-bas jusqu’à ce que nous soyons à nouveau réunis. Que la bonne terre que tu as mise dans le coeur de ton fils soit aussi fertile que celle de l’Île et l’aide à créer son jardin de vie. Pour ceux qui le désirent un don peut être fait à la Fondation de la Maison Michel Sarrazin, 2101 Ch. St-Louis, Sillery G1T 1P5.

Pour renseignements: 663-9838

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Transcription – In Memoriam for Benoît Tardif (1919-2003)

Transcription – In Memoriam for Benoît Tardif (1919-2003)

 

Benoît Tardif

In Memoriam and obituary for Benoit Tardif.
In Memoriam and obituary for Benoit Tardif.

époux de

feu Étianne Perreault

décédé le 20 septembre 2003
à l’âge de 83 ans et 9 mois
et inhumé le 23 septembre 2003
à Saints-Anges

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Transcription – In Memoriam and Obituary for Benoît Tardif (1919-2003)

 

Transcription – In Memoriam and Obituary for Benoît Tardif (1919-2003)

 

Obituary for Benoit Tardif.
Obituary for Benoit Tardif.

TARDIF Benoît

A l’hôpital Laval de Québec, le 20 septembre 2003, à l’âge de 83 ans et 9 mois, est dcédé M. Benoît Tardif, époux de feu Étianne Perreault. Il demaurait à Saints-Anges. Les funérailles ont eu lieu mardi le 23 septembre 2003 à 11h en l’église de Saints-Anges et de la au cimetière paroissial. La direction des funérailles a té confiée à la maison funéraire Nouvelle Vie Inc., St-Joseph. Il laisse dans le deuil ses enfants; Françoise (feu Jean-Guy Pouliot, Rolland Gagné), Roch (Jocelyne Faucher), Marthe, Pierre (Gisèle Turmel), feu Pierrette (Marcel Turmel, Estelle Berthiaume), feu Christiane (Aimé Drouin), Jean (Denise Lessard), Lucie (Renaud Poulin), Marie (Yves Thériault), feu Danielle (Pierre Poulin), ses 17 petits-enfants et 5 arrière-petits-enfants; il était le frère de feu Juliette (feu Adonias Perreault), feu Julien (Rita Grégoire), Paul-Émile (Denise Fecteau), il était le beau-frère de: feu Adélard (feu Adouilda Courtemanche), feu Alberta (feu Albert Vaillancourt), feu Yvonne (feu Joseph Grégoire), feu Gédéon (Rosa Vachon), feu Robert (Lucienne Bisson), feu Marie-Rose (Raymond Drouin, Cécile Perreault), feu Albert (feu Madeleine Doyon), feu Agathe (feu Adrien Tardif), feu Michel (Éloise Poulin); il laisse également dans le deuil plusieurs cousins, cousines, neveux, nièces et ami(e)s. Ses enfants remercient sincèrement tous les parents et ami(e)s qu ont mainfesté des marques de sympathie et d¸amitié soit par des offrandes de messes, cartes de sympathie, affiliations de prières, cons, fleurs, visites à la résidence funéraire et assistance aux funérailles. Que tous trouvent ici l’èxpression de notre reconnaissance et considerent ces remer-…. (this portion missing)

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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.

Sources:

  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 (http://www.acadian-home.org/frames.html).
  11. H. George Friedman Jr., “Aucoin Genealogy,” database, H. George Friedman, Jr., Aucoin Genealogy (http://www.cs.uiuc.edu/homes/friedman/genealogy/Aucoin.htm) .
  12. Stephen A. White, (http://www.cs.uiuc.edu/homes/friedman/genealogy/Aucoin.htm) (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 (http://www.museeacadien.ca/english/archives/articles/11.htm).
  16. “Marriage Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian).
  17. “Baptism Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian).
  18. “Burial Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/acadian).
  19. “Dictionary of Canadian Biography,” database, (http://www.biographi.ca/index-e.html?PHPSESSID=2s8g2h8iihpptgqhu0fltdmb63).
  20. “The Seizure of ‘The Pembroke’ by the Acadians”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (http://www.museeacadien.ca/english/archives/articles/56.htm).
  21. “She Presided Over Councils of War Against her Kindred”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (http://www.museeacadien.ca/english/archives/articles/12.htm).
  22. “Baptiste, The Rascal”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (http://www.museeacadien.ca/english/archives/articles/10.htm).