Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Census confusion - Alice Bard, part 2: 1891 and 1911

For what I found in the 1901 census, see part 1.

After finding Alice in the 1901 census, I searched the 1891 census on the Library and Archives Canada website. I found her right away. In this census Alice is 13, and living with her parents. Her father is recorded as Onesime Bard, just like in 1901, but this time her mother is "Bard Marie" instead of "Bard Pelleti??". The ages are all right and it's in the same town, so it seems promising.

Then, I looked up Alice's parents in the 1911 census to see what her mother's name is there. Once again they are recorded as Onesime and Marie Bard. This time they're in St. Aubert, which is very close to St. Jean Port Joli, where they'd always been before.

Next, I looked up Alice in 1911, when she was (I'm pretty sure) married to my great grandfather, Joseph Carmel Lavoie. I found a possible match, but Alice's date of birth is one year off, though that could easily be an error. She is recorded as the wife of Joseph Lavoie, with three children, Edward, Paul, and Jeanne. I can't tell from those names if this is the right record, because my dad never knew the names of all his aunts and uncles. I do know one of them was named Edward/Edouard, though.

That still left the mystery of Alice's mother, who is usually recorded as Marie, but was recorded in 1901 as "Pelleti??". Well, then I found a marriage record in the Drouin Collection recording a marriage between Onesime Bard and Marie Pelletier in 1875 in St. Aubert. I couldn't read the writing on the actual record at all (foreign language + messy handwriting is not a good combination!), so all the information I could get is what was transcribed on Ancestry. It's not a lot to go on, but that is in the area where Onesime and his wife lived, and the date is plausible.

When I get into these census records, it seems like one thing just keeps leading to another, and I often find myself lost and confused. I'm not sure what the best way to counter this is. So far I'm just trying not to get off track, and taking lots of notes so I don't forget to go back to those paths I haven't yet followed.


  1. I sometimes feel the same way about the census. Brothers! Sisters! Why is the wife's youngest sister living with them? If I find a promising census record and don't have time or focus to deal with everyone in it right away, I'll use ancestry to create a separate tree for it. If they aren't the right people, I can delete. If they are, then I've got hints to go on, and I can add the new people to my primary tree at my leisure without losing info.

  2. Hi Erin. That's a great idea about creating a new tree with information you're not sure on! I hadn't thought of that.

    Currently I have a couple of online trees plus about a gazillion hand-written ones, and I'm never sure how certain any of them are. Now I'm going back and trying to find more evidence to get all this sorted out.