Thursday, June 15, 2017

Reviewing My French Canadian Research After Visit To France

I visited Paris for the first time in early June of this year. I was primarily there as a tourist sightseeing. I decided to take a look a couple of the churches in Paris with ties to our family. My ancestors Jacques Lussier and Catherine Clerice were from Paris. They migrated to Quebec in the 17th Century. Catherine Clerice was a fille du roi. Filles du roi were single French women imported into Quebec in order to marry. There was a shortage of  marriageable women in New France. Orphans and women with limited opportunities for marriage in France were offered free passage to Quebec.
Now that I'm back from France I'm taking another look at the documentary proof I have for my relationship to my Parisian ancestors. Here I begin with Jacques Lussier and Catherine Clerice.

Going over my documentation to prove my relationship with Jacques Lussier and  his wife Catherine Clerice I begin with Aurelie Lambert born 1813 in St-Leon, Quebec.

 I already have firm documentation up until Aurelie. I had difficulty finding her birth record, and just found it recently. I found Aurelie Lambert and Pierre Masson's marriage record many years ago. Pierre Masson and Aurelie Lambert married 7 Jan 1833 in St. Leon, Quebec. According to that record Aurelie's parents were Joseph Lambert and Marie Ferron. This is the beginning of the line leading to Jacques Lussier and Catherine Clerice.

Aurelie's birth record also confirms her parent names, which are the same as her marriage record.

So far so good. We go back another generation by looking for a marriage for Aurelie's parents. There is a surviving marriage record. Even though Quebec has many great surviving Catholic church records sometimes pages are seriously damaged, or are missing. In this case the page is still legible, and hasn't been removed. This record names the parents of Aurelie's mother Marie Ferron. Jospeh Lambert and Marie Ferron married 15 August 1808 in Yamachiche. It's Marie Ferron's mother Therese Noel's line that links to Jacques Lussier and Catherine Clerice.

The next step is to check Marie Ferron's parents marriage record to find the names of her maternal grandparents, which will lead to Jacques and Clerice's line. There is a marriage record for Claude Ferron and Therese Noel still surviving. Claude Ferron and Therese Noel married 30 September 1782 in Yamachiche. Yamachiche, where Aurelie Lambert's parents, and grandparents, married bordered St. Leon. Apparently Aurelie and husband Pierre Masson lived on the border with Yamachiche, in St Leon as there is a street named Rue Du Masson near Yamachiche, and a nearby street in Yamachiche with another family name Lamy.

From here I follow Aurelie Lambert's maternal line grandmother, and Marie Ferron's mother, Therese Noel's line. Here we hit a snag because there are no marriage records for the couple named as Therese's parents? According to the above marriage record her parents were Francois Noel and Agathe Texier. The family couldn't be extended any farther back if not for notarial records. These records fill in the gaps that can occur when the Catholic church records fall short.
There is a marriage record for a Francois Midelet and Agathe Tessier, however. This couple married 5 Mar 1764 in Berthier-en-Haut, Quebec, Canada. This parish is 24 miles from Yamachiche. This is the closest match, but a link must be established. Since the French use dit names, which are additions to the family name, Midelet may be a dit name? They were often used to separate family lines. These names could be descriptive of the place of origin in France the person was from, or a personality trait. The dit names can be passed down. A person or family can change their dit name, it isn't fixed. The dit name may also become the family name, then becoming a fixed name. Dit names create confusion when trying to follow someone in documents.
Midelet may have been a dit name? It appears Francois Noel and Francois Midelet are indeed the same person. A notarial record links Francois Noel, of Yamachiche, and Geneveive Forcier, the mother of Agathe Tessier listed in the marriage record. Later records list Francois Noel dit Breton, so he may have picked up another dit name associated with the place in France he came from. There is only one record in the thousands of pages of records for Quebec with the name Midelet, and that is the marriage record I've referred to. It would appear that was a mistake, a dit name was changed, or there was an intentional effort to mislead? I can't find the Parish he was supposedly from in France either?
"In 1765, Geneviève Forcier widow of Ignace Tessier, ratified an agreement with François Noël (who dropped the name of Midelet), a farmer from Yamachiche, husband of Agathe Tessier (National Archives of Quebec in Montreal, notary's office Barthélemy Faribault, April 1765). " French version: "En 1765, Geneviève Forcier veuve d’Ignace Tessier ratifie une convention avec François Noël (qui laisse tomber le nom de Midelet), farinier de Yamachiche, époux d’Agathe Tessier (Archives nationales du Québec à Montréal, greffe du notaire Barthélemy Faribault, 22 avril 1765)." This information regarding a notarial record appears on a website forum called site L'Autochtone de référence en généalogie Amérindienne au Québec.

I can now document the line further. I now need to switch to the paternal line of Agathe Tessier. Her father Ignace Tessier's line links to the Parisian line. I need the marriage record for Ignace Tessier and Genevieve Forcier, parents of Agathe Tessier. There is a marriage record indexed under these names, but the actual record says Pierre Tessier and Genevieve Forcier? Not Ignace. They married married 7 Jan 1732 in Saint Michel, Yamaska, Quebec. The first couple of children born in Yamaska after the marriage have baptismal records with parents named as Pierre Tessier and Genevieve Forcier. The records of  their later children name their parents as Ignace Tessier and Genevieve Forcier. Could be his name was Pierre Ignace Tessier? In many cases I see either of two, or even more names, used interchangeably in the records by many of these early settlers. They can switch between first and middle names in records.

His name is recorded as Ignace Texier in his death record. He died 18 Jan 1764 in Berthier-En-Haut, Quebec, Canada 16 miles from where he married and several children were born. Berthier-En-Haut is the same place where his daughter Agathe Tessier married Francois Midelet Noel.


I'm confident that the Pierre Tessier and Genevieve Forcier, as listed in the marriage record, are my ancestors. So now I need to verify Ignace Tessier Sr. and Marguerite Lussier's parents. Lucky there is a marriage record for this couple. They were married 23 May 1703 in Repentigny, Quebec, Canada. Repentigny is closer to Montreal than the other locations mentioned above. Jacque Luissier and Catherine Clarisse are named as parents of Marguerite in a birth record also still surviving. I've now documented the line down to this couple. The names are a better match. No doubts regarding this connection.

The baptismal certificate for Marguerite seems to state her parents are Jacques Lhussier and Catherine Clerice. Not easy to read.

The final record connecting Jacques Lussier and Catherine Clerice to their Paris parishes is their marriage record. It states Jacques' parish was St. Eustache, Paris, and Catherine's family parish was St. Sulpice.


I don't have a copy of the notarial record for Francois Noel and Genevieve Forcier. This record is essential to establishing this line. I will enquire into getting a copy of this document if that is possible? If anyone has a copy they would be willing to share I would appreciate it.

Here are the pictures I took of St. Sulpice a parish which several of my ancestors originated from including Catherine Clerice. The current church was being built while Catherine was living in Paris. The only part complete during her time there was a chapel within the church. Catherine left France in 1671 from the port of Dieppe.

This is the oldest part of the church. It was remodeled in the 18th century.

St-Eustache Church, the parish of Jacques Lussier, is much older than Ste-Sulpice. Built between 1532 and 1632. Below are some of the pictures I took of the interior.
Ste-Eustache photo from creative commons



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