Saturday, June 17, 2017

French Canadian Research: The importance of godparents and notarial records

Still reading through the actual Quebec Catholic Church records that link the generations. I'm focusing on lines that go back to Parisian origins. I have copied hundreds of supposed ancestors from PRDH. I have not read through every document for the 200 or more ancestors I've found at PRDH. I have been slowly reviewing these records. I've posted copies of the documents for some of my lines on this blog before. I'm focusing on those with Parisian links since I just returned from Paris.

Today my target line is Lambert. My goal is to prove fille du roi Elisabeth Aubert is a direct ancestor.  She was also a Parisian before migrating to Quebec. Like Catherine Clerice her family lived in the St-Sulpice Parish. She is also an ancestor of Aurelie Lambert.

Now I begin with Aurelie Lambert once again.

Looking at Aurelie's parents' marriage document we see that her parents were Joseph Lambert and Marie Ferron who married 15 August 1808 in Yamachiche This time following the Lambert line back we focus on the parents of Joseph Lambert. In order to take the Lambert line back we need his parents marriage record to get Aurelie Lambert's grandparents' names.

I was able to find an original marriage record for Joseph Lambert and Marie Ferron. Joseph Lambert's parents names are given as Joseph Lambert and Antoinette Lami, according to the marriage record. I searched for their marriage record. I couldn't find one for them. Already we hit a brickwall.  There are family members listed on the Lambert/Ferron marriage document. According to the document Joseph had a brother named Augustin Lambert, and an uncle named Gervais Lambert. I found an Augustin Lambert who married an Angelique Dessert in Louiseville, Quebec. Louiseville borders Yamachiche. This Augustin's parents are Joseph Lambert and Madeleine Lamy, not Antoinette Lamy. Augustin Lambert and Angelique Dessert married on 1 September 1806. Both of his parents are said to be dead. Both of my ancestor Joseph's parents are said to be dead when he married in 1808. Sounds like Antoinette isn't the correct first name? There are no marriage records for an Augustin Lambert with a mother named Antoinette either.

Looking at Gervais Lambert records he married a Madeleine Lamy 02 October 1775 Yamachiche, Québec (evidently a cousin of Joseph Lambert's wife). This appears to be the Gervais described as the uncle of Joseph Lambert? His parents are Gervais Lambert and Marie Paul.


A Gervais Lambert and Marie Paul married in Sorel, Quebec on 20 May 1748 (Gervais occupation was churchwarden). Gervais Lambert's parents are said to be Michel Lambert and Louise Grenier.

The marriage record at the online PRDH for Michel Lambert and Lousie Garnier Grenier states they married in the Chapel of St. Croix, Lotbiniere on 29 November 1708.

To establish a link between my ancestor Joseph Lambert, married to Marie Ferron, I now looked into the possibility that Antoinette wasn't Joseph's mother's name. I found a Joseph Lambert born to Joseph Lambert and Marguerite Lamy. He was born in Louiseville, Quebec on 9 March 1777. Looking for information on his mother I found she was born in Yamachiche where there is indeed a street currently named Lamy.

Joseph's father was born 29 September 1750 in Louiseville, Quebec. He was born to Gervais Lambert and Marie Paul as stated in the marriage record.

To try to find even more circumstantial evidence for a connection between Joseph Lambert and these families I looked at the baptismal records for all of his children. I was interested in the godparents of his children. This paid off because a sister was a godparent. One of the keys to establishing a link to Joseph and Madeinline Lamy was a baptismal record for Marie Felicite Lambert. She was said to be the daughter of Joseph Lambert and Marie Ferron, in her baptismal record. Her godmother was Marie Euphrosine Lambert, the record states she is her tante, or Aunt, her husband was recorded as Francois Bourre.

Euphrosine Lambert married Francois Bourre in Louiseville, Quebec on 21 January 1799. Her parents are said to be Joseph Lambert and Madeleine Lamy. This seems to confirm Joseph's mother was Madeleine and not Antoinette, since the baptismal record indicates Marie Euphrosine is his sister. Madeleine died when her son Joseph was about 10 years old. It's possible he didn't know her name, or someone else provided the name Antoinette?  There is more evidence that Joseph was son of Joseph Lambert and Madeleine Lamy. Another child's baptismal record also provides a clue. Tarsile Lambert was another child of Joseph Lambert and Marie Ferron. The child's godmother was Marguerite Crevier the second wife of Augustin Lambert. This Augustin was the son of Joseph Lambert and Madeleine Lamy (oddly Tarsile was again baptized a year later? Maybe there was a falling out with Augustin and his wife?)

Here is the marriage record for Augustin Lambert and Madeleine Crevier explaining that he was a widower. His first marriage record states his parents names. Augustin and a Gervais Lambert appear on baptismal certificates for the children of Joseph Lambert and Marie Ferron.

How do we further establish a tie with the Lambert family of the Louiseville area, and the family of St-Croix, Lotbinaire? Gervais Lambert and Marie Hus Paul had another son named Eustache Lambert. He was born in 1856 in Louiseville, Quebec. His godfather was Eustache Lambert. I assume this is Gervais' brother? According to the elder Eustache's marriage record his parents were Michel Lambert and Louise Grenier of St. Croix, Quebec.

I feel the circumstantial case for my Joseph Lambert being the son of Joseph Lambert and Madeleine Lamy is strong. The fact his uncle is Gervais Lambert son of Michel Lambert and Louise Lambert is also a strong link. Eustache's marriage record naming St-Croix as his parents place of origin further strengthens the ties.

Taking the family line further we also run into some disagreements with existing compiled genealogies. Joseph Lambert Sr.'s parents would be Michel Lambert and Louise Grenier, as stated on his marriage record. According to Father Ciprien Tanguay, lived 1819-1902, compiler of  "Dictionnaire généalogique des Familles Canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu’à nos jours " a genealogical dictionary of early families, Michel Lambert was the son of Pierre Lambert and Marie LeNormand. This was a guess on Fr. Tanguay's part because the marriage record he would have seen didn't contain the names of Michel's parents. Since then additional research has uncovered a notarial record naming Michel's parents. This is a partial transcription of Michel Lambert and Louise Grenier's marriage contract from Wikitree "Michel Lambert fils de Aubin Lambert et de Elisabeth Aubert ces père et mère habitant Dem(eurant) en pa parr(oisse) de Saint nicollas."

To further prove this line we turn to the marriage record of Aubin Lambert and Elisabeth Aubert. They married 29 September 1670, Quebec.

Aubin Lambert's dit name was Champagne, as stated in the above marriage record. Michel Lambert's dit name was also Champagne as seen in this baptismal document. This is a baptismal record for Michel Lambert and Louise Grenier's daughter Angelique. Michel's dit name is recorded here as Champagne. Further proof that Aubin Lambert dit Champagne is his father.  .
The marriage record for Aubin Lambert and Elisabeth Aubert brings me to todays target Parisian ancestor. Elisabeth Aubert's parents parish is recorded as St-Sulpice, Paris. She was not baptized there however. Elisabeth was baptized on 13 April 1648. At that time the new St-Sulpice church was just being built. She was instead baptized at Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie. Only the beautiful tower of that church still stands. The church was built in the 16th Century in the flamboyant gothic style. When I was in Paris a couple weeks ago I didn't realize the church had a family connection. I walked over to the old church tower thinking it would lead to a church. Instead I just found the lone tower standing by itself. It really is beautiful, and towers over the lower buildings in the area, making it easy to spot.


 According to some information posted at Wikitree the Aubert family lived on the  Pont au Change near the Conciergerie in Paris. Yes, people actually had houses built on this bridge. A flood wiped out the bridge in the 1600's and it was rebuilt at the expense of the occupants. I assume that is why the names of the occupants are known? I loved spending time looking at the river when I was in Paris. A walk or boat ride along the beautiful Seine is a highlight of a visit to Paris. I suspect the river wasn't very nice when the Aubert family live on that bridge?

In closing godparents names, and Notarial records can resolve problems and fill in gaps in French Canadian Catholic Church records.

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