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.

2019-09-30 15.15.22
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!



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!

2 thoughts on “My Ancestral Super Couples

  1. I don’t have any suggestions, unfortunately. I do have pedigree collapse in my tree, but no clear endogamy as yet. What an interesting heritage you have. And yes, Xainte is a great name.


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