Eveline Melvine Luce, Ancestral Home

Bathurst New Brunswick, family ancestral home, Lagace Family historyThis is a photograph of my maternal grandmother Eveline Melvine Luce standing in front of the home she shared with  her husband Adelard Lagace in Bathurst, New Brunswick. I believe the photo  dates from the late 1940s. There’s a notation on the back from my mother Golda Lagace where she says that  ”This is the home where I was born“.

This home was actually at the center of a very small, but very busy, family farm. My grandparents raised chickens and hogs, as well as a cow to keep the Continue reading

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Tripping The Light Fantastic | E.A. Theriault (Gen.11) & G.Lagace (Gen.9)

 

Theriault & Lagace, mid 1950s A Canadian Family Photo Archives

 

This photo sweeps me back to my childhood, when I grew up surrounded by the music of the swing era big bands! It also drew me back to those exciting days at the end of the 50s when we were one of the first families on our street to get a television (black and white of course). In those early years some of our favourite movies were those of the dancing duo – Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Continue reading

A Kindred Soul – Ruben J. Leger (Gen.9)

I got my earliest start in serious genealogy from a distant relative whom I’ve never met and who may never even have known I exist. That man  was Ruben J. Leger and he was the brother of my paternal grandmother Yvonne Leger (Gen.9).  Ruben Leger never knew it in his lifetime, but some papers he’d sent to my father gave my first glimpse into how to build a family tree.

This happened about twenty years ago when my father (E.A. Theriault) gave me an old, wrinkled copy of a letter from a Lewis J. Bezinge of Dallas, Texas to my great-uncle Ruben. The letter is from January 1957, but is a typed copy of a letter originally composed in March, 1941. Continue reading

Theriault Gregoire (Gen.7) & Elisabeth Boudreau (Gen. ), 1827 | Marriage Record

theriault-boudreau-full

This is the 1827 marriage record of Gregoire Terriau (Theriault) to his second wife Elisabeth (Isabelle) Boudreau.Gregoire and Elisabeth are both from Acadian pioneer families of Caraquet and they are my direct ancestors. Gregoire’s parents were Victor Theriault and Julie Thibodeau and Gregoire and Elisabeth’s son Ubalde Theriault is my great-great-great grandfather. Continue reading

The Great American Dream | Yvonne Leger (Gen.9) & Rosaire Theriault (Gen.10)

In former posts I discussed my grandfather Rosaire Theriault‘s difficult childhood as he grew up in a very large family, tried to evade the  World War I draft, and then faced the Great Depression of the 1920s. After marrying my grandmother Yvonne Leger (Gen.9) ,  Rosaire  tried to support his growing family through various legal and illegal means. Finally, in 1924 he decided – after much urging and insistence from my grandmother – that they would try their luck in Schenectady, N.Y.

My grandmother Yvonne Leger had a great zest for life and of the two she was the one with strong ambitions for the family. She had Leger relations already in Schenectady and she knew that with the terrible depression there was no future for the family in New Brunswick. Continue reading

Black Sheep, Moonshine And Bootlegging | Rosaire Theriault (Gen.10)

 

moonlight-on-the-st-lawrence-canWhen I heard that the latest topic for the Canadian Carnival of Genealogy  was Black Sheep Canadian Ancestors – I was sure I’d have to sit this one out. Almost all of my ancestors have been hard-working farmers with gigantic families and very little free time for getting into mischief.

But as I thought about it a little more I realized that I had once seen something interesting in a short family history paper my father wrote for an anthropology course back in the late 1940s. He was interviewing  his parents about their early married life during the depression years and there were two short references to something my grandfather did to make a little extra cash on the side. Continue reading

The Reluctant Soldier | Rosaire Theriault (Gen. 10)

Note: While completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at McGill University in the 1940s, my father E.A. Theriault (Gen.11) interviewed his parents Rosaire Theriault (Gen.10) and his mother Yvonne Leger (Gen. 9). Portions of the manuscript are sensitive so for the moment they are published in little snippets!

“When the 1914 war came around, I sought to evade the draft for I did not want to go overseas; the only caught me one year before the end of the war; they went me overseas but the war ended before I reached the front lines.”

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I did a little research and found a copy of Rosaire Theriault’s World War I Draft Papers which I found online at  Library and Archives Canada. If you look closely Continue reading

Who are we? How did we get here? Where did we come from? (1) Letters to my grandchildren

The_Greatest_logoDear grandchildren,

Ever since I was a teenager in the ’60s but especially after I had travelled far from home in the ’70s and ’80s, I’ve always been fascinated by history and curious about my own family’s origins. I knew that my mother and father’s families had been French-speaking Catholics from New Brunswick and that they’d migrated to Quebec in the 1940s, but I had a lot of questions. How did they get to New Brunswick in the first place? How long had we been in Canada? And what was I to make of the stories of an “Indian Princess” in our maternal line?  

Over the past thirty years I’ve done a lot of digging – and family history and genealogy have become a passion for me. I began by by rifling through family Continue reading