Archive for category French Canadian Genealogy

#52 Ancestors – No. 36 – Napoleon Groulx (Groux)

This post is number 36 in the series of the #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of us blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

Glad to know my five years of French through high school and college still has some use today.  Not that I can speak the language anymore.  Being able to recognize french words and handwriting styles comes in handy in deciphering French Canadian historical records. It is a necessary skill to have. One of the most useful Quebec vital records are the Drouin church records.

Drouin Marriage Record for Napolean Groux

Drouin Marriage Record for Napolean Groux

I am a descendent of French ancestors who were settled Quebec in the 1600’s.   In addition to my direct line, I have a few collateral lines who married individuals of French ancestry that I also research.  I try my best to read the French records to glean information.

My grand aunt, Opal Anderson, daughter of Ernest Anderson and Minnie White; married Norman Joseph Groulx.  Norman is the grandson of Napoleon Groux and Azilda (Exilda) Lacombe.  Napoleon and Azilda were married in Ripon, Quebec, Canada, in 1869. The marriage was witnessed by Joseph Groux and Jule Lacombe.

I am not sure why the letter “l” was added to the name.  It could be to help the pronunciation in English.  My family pronounced the name as “Grew”.  The marriage date is written in a flourish scroll, and I cannot clearly read the month. The date in French is; Le sept Janvier or Fevrier, [mil] huit cent soixante et neuf.  Translated to 7 January or February 1869.

I have not been able to find a surname meaning for Groux.  There is a church, Saint Groux, in France.  Google maps displayed a couple of streets name Les Groux in several French cities.  Since it is a collateral line, further research is usually when I get blocked by a wall and need a distraction.

Photo Source Information:

Ancestry.com. Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:  Original data: Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin.

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#52Ancestors – No. 21 – Charlotte A Kelley

This post is number 21 in the series of the #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of us blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

I have two White family lines in my tree.  One on my father’s side and one on my mother’s.  White is a common name and most likely they are not related.  It’s a little complicated as both of the first immigrants to the New World share the same name, John White. Both are from Great Britain.  I have John White with his wife Ann Garner on my mothers side, who are Scots-Irish settling in South Carolina in 1753.  On my Dad’s side is John Chauncy White who comes to Ontario, Canada from England between 1815 to 1830’s.

My intentions were to write about James Montgomery White, my second great-grandfather. He is the son of John Chauncy White.  He is the husband of Percis DesJardins.  The DesJardins are well known in Huron County, Michigan.  I was looking for more info to write about James so he doesn’t get lost in the DesJardins family tree.

One Woman, Two Brothers

But I found more interesting information about his brothers William and Edward White.  The two brothers married the same woman, Charlotte Kelley.  Charlotte Kelley marries Edward White on July 26, 1862.  They have one daughter named Eva born in April 1864.  My initial search indicates that Edward White enlists in the Civil War serving for Company A, 11th Infantry Regiment on 25 December 1863 at age 17.  He injured and dies of his wounds on July 4, 1864, near Marietta, GA. I wonder if Edward had a chance to see his daughter Eva before he died.

Charlotte then marries William White on December 1, 1867.  William is the oldest brother to James and Edward White. Eight children are born to Charlotte and William White.  William may have also served in the Civil War.  I need to verify information of a record.

Charlotte is the daughter of Michael A Kelley and Sarah Ann Kenyon.  Born June 1845 in New York state.  She grew up in Ticonderoga, NY.  Her family moved to Delaware Township in Sanilac County, Michigan before the 1860 Census was taken.

Charlotte’s last child Walter is born in 1887.  He is 11 year’s old when his mother dies at the age of 54 in 1898.  William moves the family down to Detroit.  As of the 1910 Census he is listed as a boarder in Bad Axe, Michigan. William passes away in 1913.

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#52 Ancestors – No. 15 – Suzanne Botfaite

This post is number 15 in the series of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of us blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy’s website.

Is it Botfaite or Gotfaite, that is the question?

There are several printed transcribed records of the immigrants and settlers of New France (Quebec) as well as the handwritten records of of the church.  The handwritten records are in French.  Specifically I am looking at the Drouin Collection. The collection is the work of Joseph Drouin, founder of the Drouin Genealogical Institute.  The collection contains French-Canadian and English historical records from 1621-1967. The institute microfilmed the Quebec parish records back in the 19060’s.

My 10th great grandmother is Suzanne Botfaite. She was born in England about 1630 and died in Quebec in 1694.  She is the daughter of Gilbert Botfaite and Anne Bonne. I have not been able to find the family in England.  They have French names and good have easily moved back and forth from England to France before making the move to find a new life in Quebec.

The printed records stated various spellings for the Botfaite name.  They include Betfer, Bedfer, Bedford, Bottefer, and a few others. There is another microfilmed capture of a Suzanne Bottefair that I am unable to decipher the flourish handwriting.

I find the microfilmed Drouin record interesting.  In reviewing the record that last name appears to be spelled with a “G” not the letter “B”.  I have looked at words starting with a capital “B” or “G” in this particular register and see a distinct pattern.  The lower case “b” and “g” look similar.  It most cases the “B” has a flourish or stroke on the left stem of the letter. I can see why a transcriber would think the first letter is a “B”. The more I look at the handwriting, the more I think the last name started with a “G” and may be Gotfaite instead.  Now I just need to confirm my hypothesis.

Below is the entry of Suzanne’s 1649 marriage record to Mathieu Hubou at the Notre Dame parish in Montreal, Quebec. I highlighted words with the letter “G” in red.  The blue circles are the letter “B”.  Suzanne’s father, Gilbert is in one of the red boxes.  The “G” in his name is written is similar to the first letter in Gotfaite. So, what do you think?  Is it a “G” or “B”?

Botfaite_Gotfaite

Source Information:

Ancestry.com. Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin.

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