Monday, September 26, 2011

Madness Monday: Mary Elizabeth Prince

Mary Elizabeth (Prince) Peterson is my matrilineal great great great grandmother. She was born in Ontario in 1860. In 1880, she married Nils "Nelson" Peterson. On the census records I do have, 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1911, she is consistently recorded as being of English origin, and her religion as methodist (except in 1901, when she has apparently converted to the Church of England, and in 1911, when she's Anglican).

Now, I may have found her in 1871, before she was married, which would lead me to her parents. But I'm hesitant to get too excited, when I don't have anything definite linking her to her parents, like a birth or marriage record. I can't seem to find their marriage or Mary's birth anywhere.

In the 1871 census record I found, there is an Elizabeth Prince. She's 11 years old, born in Ontario, and of English origin. She methodist, and lives in Middlesex East, which is where she's living 10 years later once she's married to Nelson. It just seems so very promising! I so want to believe that it's her, and that Henry and Sarah Jane Prince are my 4x great grandparents, and that I'm 1/64 Dutch (Sarah Jane is of Dutch origin).

I'm hoping to have a chance soon to go to the library and use Ancestry Library Edition to do some digging. I couldn't find Mary's birth or marriage on, but I'm still hopeful that the records are somewhere.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

Happy Autumnal Equinox, Mabon, Harvest, or whatever other celebration you may have at this time of year!

What holiday do you and your family celebrate around the beginning of fall, and what about your ancestors?

Most people in Canada will be celebrating Thanksgiving this year on October 10. You can read about the history of Thanksgiving in Canada on Wikipedia. I imagine that's what most of my ancestors would have celebrated around this time as well, at least since coming to Canada.

I celebrate the Autumnal Equinox as a time of harvest, often referring to it as Mabon, which is the most commonly used name for the holiday in the Pagan community. It's a time when many crops are harvested for the last time this year, and there's usually a lot of feasting involved (after all, what's a holiday without feasting?).

I hope you all have bountiful harvests, whether literally, in a backyard garden, or metaphorically, in good things coming from all the hard work you've put into them over the year. Happy harvest!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

5 generations complete!

I have completed 5 generations of my family tree! Lately I have made several big discoveries that filled in gaps in the generation of my great great grandparents (which I plan to write about soon), and today, I found the very last one. In the responses to a message I posted on GenForum, I have found the name of my maternal grandfather's paternal grandmother (try saying that 5 times fast). It is... *drum roll* ... Annie Broughton! Annie was born around 1862, almost certainly in England.

I also learned that Beaumont Jackson (Annie's husband) was the son of John Jackson and Ann Beaumont. This is interesting, because that means Beaumont got his name from his mom's maiden name, and then my grandpa got it as his middle name from his grandpa. So this is now my grandpa's (and uncle's) middle name, and it all started with his great grandmother's maiden name.

I am so excited about this.

Now, it's time to focus on the great great great grandparents. So far, I have 14 out of the 32 (though I think I have a couple more kicking around that I just haven't put on the computer yet).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Surname Saturday: Richard

Richard is a good place for me to start writing about an entire family line, because it's one of the few I've traced back to my ancestor that came to Canada, and it starts (ends?) fairly recently in my family tree. So it's a pretty big name in my family tree.

My paternal grandmother (Mémère) was Clemence Wilhelmina Marguerite "Maggie" Richard (Lavoie after she married). She was born on September 19, 1916, in a small town in Manitoba. Sometime before 1947, she married Louis Jacques Lavoie. They had 6 children, who eventually multiplied into 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren (so far). Mémère died on November 4, 1999, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is buried with her husband in the St. Boniface cemetery.

Maggie's parents were Alphonse Richard and Bertha Daigneault. Alphonse was born on July 18, 1889, in Cass County, North Dakota. This was during the time when many of my ancestors on both sides of the family moved to Cass County, and eventually back into Canada. This was apparently because of the homesteading opportunities in Dakota Territory at the time. He had a twin sister, but she died immediately. Alphonse married Bertha on November 22, 1910. He died on August 9, 1960, and is buried in the Green Acres Cemetery just outside of Winnipeg.

Alphonse was the son of Phillippe Albert Olivier Richard and Arthemise Ducharme. Albert was born in Mont Carmel, Quebec, on February 6, 1865. On July 26, 1887, he married Arthemise in St. Benedict, Cass County, North Dakota. After having a whole lot of children, an unfortunate number of whom died in infancy or as children, Albert died on July 2, 1940, in St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba.

The parents of Albert were Francois Alexis Richard and Elisabeth Levasseur. Alexis was born on November 8, 1935, in Quebec. On July 3, 1860, he married Elisabeth in St. Maurice, Quebec. Elisabeth died on July 21, 1906, in Wild Rice, Cass County, North Dakota, and in 1908 Alexis married her younger sister, Philomene. Alexis died on October 20, 1910, in Quebec.

Alexis was the son of Pierre Richard and Marie Reine Ducharme (dite Provencher, according to some websites). Pierre, born in 1801, married Marie around October 10, 1821. She died in 1845, and in 1846 he remarried, this time to Claire Lord. Pierre died in 1867.

[I should have known this would turn out to be a really long blog post. Sorry!]

Pierre's parents were Jean-Baptiste Richard and Charlotte Deshaies. Jean-Baptiste was born in 1776, and that's pretty much all I know about him and Charlotte.

Jean-Baptiste's parents were Jean-Baptiste Richard and Francoise Levasseur. Jean-Baptiste (Sr.) was born in 1746, and Francoise was born in 1750.

Jean-Baptiste Sr.'s parents were Joseph Richard and Francoise Cormier. Joseph lived from 1720 to 1770, and Francoise lived from 1724 to 1799.

Joseph was the son of Martin Richard and Marie Cormier. Martin was born in 1692, and married Marie around 1713.

Martin's parents were Martin Richard and Marguerite Bourg. Martin was born in 1665 in Port Royal, Acadia. In 1690, he married Marguerite (born in 1673 in Port Royal). Marguerite died in 1727 in Beaubassin, Acadia, and Martin died on February 6, 1748, also in Beaubassin.

Michel Richard dit Sansoucy was the father of Martin, and the first Richard (at least in my line) in Acadia. He was born in France in 1630. He married Madeleine Blanchard (Martin's mother) in 1656 in Port Royal. After Madeleine's death, he married Jeanne Babin. In 1687, he died in Port Royal.

Michel's parents are a topic of much debate, so I won't bother to speculate on them. For now, I'm focusing more on other lines, and on finding other descendents of my Richard ancestors.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Alphonse and Bertha Richard

Alphonse Richard and Bertha Daigneault were my great grandparents. They were the parents of my maternal grandmother, Marguerite (Richard) Lavoie, whom you may remember from the last Tombstone Tuesday.

Alphonse and Bertha are buried at Green Acres Cemetery, just outside of Winnipeg, in the Rural Municipality of Springfield.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: WikiTree

embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree

I have a new favourite tool for storing family tree data on the computer. WikiTree is an online tool that allows you to create a family tree and store pretty much any type of information imaginable. With a biography field for each person, the ability to create pages for anything, and privacy settings for each individual, it seems like a great way to collaborate with family on your family tree.

I've only been using WikiTree for about a month now, and I'm having trouble getting family members to join and help me out, but I did already get in touch with my 8th cousin once removed to talk about our shared Richard line.

Every time you add someone to your tree, you see suggestions of similar people that have already been added, so you can check whether your relative has already been added by someone else. This is where a slightly annoying feature comes in. If you want to add someone who already exists on WikiTree to your tree, you have to get on their Trusted List, which is up to the person who created that profile. This can be an irritating process. However, I think the pros outweigh this small con.

WikiTree is free, and I don't mean freemium! So finally I'm not being constantly asked to pay if I want to find all kinds of information about my ancestors (I'm looking at you,,, etc.). WikiTree was clearly built with the free sharing of information in mind, which is one of the things I love about it.

Plus, they have neat widgets like the one you see above, and the one in the sidebar, which shows my recent contributions. Overall, I highly recommend WikiTree to any thrifty genealogist!