My Ancestral Super Couples

I have finally finished the huge task of inputting all the family data from my cousin, Peter, for my French Canadian ancestors . It was an enormous amount of work, but not nearly close to the work Peter did in gathering, translating, and collating all that information in the first place. I am deeply grateful to him for sharing his work, an 80-page PDF, with me.

I have been putting this task off for far too long, and our recent trip to Quebec spurred me into action. I came home with loads of information and photos,  and I quickly realized that unless I filled out my family tree on My Heritage, I had no context for that new information.

So, two weeks later, I am done!

In all fairness to me, I do have a cold. Additionally, we’ve been dealing with an ill family member’s care. And, I had to go to Chicago for a mandantory company event.

But, I’m on the road to feeling better, the medical crisis is being managed, and I have a nice stretch of days off ahead of me. I am anxious to get to work!

I thought for today, though, I’d share a bit of information that I found while working on my tree.

I have mentioned endogamy and pedigree collapse in past posts. If you need a refresher, you can read those posts here and hereHere you will find a simple explaination of endogamy.

And, boy, do I have endogamy in my family tree! Both colonial New England and Novelle France are hotbeds of it, and I have deep roots in both.  I read recently that French Canadians don’t so much have a family tree as a they do a wreath. I’m a believer.

Over and over again as I filled out my tree, I was finding the same names repeated in different family lines. It became trickier to add a new name, as I had to check and double check to make sure the new person wasn’t already in the tree. It also became easier as I came to the end of the task of entering the information from Peter, as most of the names were already there. I just had to make sure that they were then connected correctly to the new person.

Whew… Are you still with me? Did I lose you?

A recent article about French Canadian “super couples” now made a LOT more sense to me. And, it might explain better what I am dealing with!

I have two of these couples in my tree: Abraham Martin and Marguerite Langlois, and Zacharie Cloustier and Xainte Dupont.

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The view across the St. Lawrence River to the south from the Plains of Abraham

(And, isn’t Xainte just the best name?)

In the article referenced above, the Martin-Langlois couple appear in 77% of French Canadian genealogies. Cloustier-Dupont are in 82%.

What is mind-boggling is how many times those same couples appear in the same genealogy. In other words, how many different branches can one shimmy up from one starting point and get to the same apple?

The third couple referenced in the article are the clear winners here. While Pierre Tremblay and Anne Achon appear in only 46% of the genealogies (and not in mine), they clearly win for the largest number of references in the same genealogy, a whopping 92 times!

A cursory glance at my genealogy shows that I descend from Abraham Martin and Marguerite Langlois through three different genealogical pathways. It’s much easier to see how this could happen with a visual!

endogamy

 

The green down arrow represent a clear line of descent from that point down to me, as far as I can make out.

But, it doesn’t always look that simple. Trust me.

I’m thinking long and hard about how to make a 3-D family tree that best illustrates the tangled briar patch that is my family. If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears!

‘Til next time!

A Little Taste of Quebec

I haven’t disappeared! Life just happened, coming at me fast and furious. I’m catching up, but some things do need to take a back seat occasionally.

In the midst of all the happenings around here, the hubs and I did manage a few days away for a real vacation. And, ta-da! we finally made it to Quebec! We had planned on going last year, but I got terribly beat up by a severe cold.

I had six days of vacation in October, and we thought it would be a great time to visit. And, it was!

I’m just going to give you a little introduction into our travels, as I have so much more to share. It’s really rather overwhelming. So, I’m starting with just a wee post to whet your appetite.

Our first day in Quebec could not have been more lovely. The temperature was just right, the sky was clear, and there was just a slight breeze. Our Airbnb was a 10-15 walk from the Citadelle of Quebec and the Plains of Abraham. I’m so glad we began here, as the rest of our stay was rather wet and cold.

We began with the Citadelle, which is right on the bank of the St. Lawrence River.

The Citadelle is a masterful design; star-shaped and sunk into earthen berms to be all but hidden. And, once inside the outer walls, there is a deep trench and yet another wall.

We took a tour later on in the afternoon and found it fascinating. Inside the walls, it’s rather a self-contained little village.

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Looking over the Citadelle walls to the city center.

There have been rather a lot of changes to the Citadelle during the 400 or so years it has existed. It began as a wooden structure, and my ancestor, Nicolas Pelletier (born circa 1609) was once a master carpenter there.

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The defensive walls of the Citadelle of Quebec.

The Citadelle sits between the city of Quebec and Plains of Abraham, named for another ancestor, Abraham Martin. Though Abraham didn’t own the land, he was permitted to graze his animals there, and it came to be known by his name.

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The plaque commemorating Abraham Martin.

The Plains of Abraham is the site of the battle between the English and the French in 1759 that the French lost, which is how Canada became a part of the English empire.

Today, it’s a lovely park and open space.

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The motto of Quebec is je me souviens. It means “I remember.”

My history.

My people.

My comrades.

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Je me souviens.

More to come!

‘Till then…