January 31, 2010

The Role of the Catholic Church in New France

The role of the Catholic Church in New France was two-fold. Though religious in nature, the Catholic clergy helped to develop the social aspects of the inhabitants and pioneers in New France.   They were what, at the time, held the fibers of these communities together since they were highly regarded.
  • Religious * to provide religious services to the colony * to convert the Natives to Christianity
  • Social
    *to take care of the educational needs of children
    *to take care of the sick
    *to help the poor and the less fortunate
    The church in the colony was composed of both Secular and Religious Clergy.
    The secular clergy consisted of the Bishop and the Parish Priests who served the rural communities of New France. François de Laval, the first Bishop, was a very influential and powerful figure in New France.
    Among his accomplishments he is noted for having:
    * founded the Séminaire de Québec, a college to train priests
    * been a key member of the Sovereign Council
    * opposed trading alcohol for furs with the Native populations
    * instituted the tithe (a church tax to help pay for church expenses)
    * organized parishes wherever numbers warranted a curé or parish priest
    The parish priests were very close to their parishioners and they had much influence over the population. In addition to their religious duties they were also responsible for:
    * keeping records of births, marriages and deaths
    * drawing up legal contracts in regions where there were no notaries.

    The regular Clergy consisted of religious communities/orders.
    Missionary Orders:
    * Récollets arrived in 1615 * The Jesuits arrived in 1625 and attempted to convert the Native populations to Christianity. Some such as Fathers Lalémant and Brébeuf were martyred. Others such as Father Marquette were explorers and helped maintain good relations with the Natives. The Jesuits wrote the Jesuit Relations an account of their missionary work in New France.
    * The Sulpicians arrived in 1657 and became seigneurs of Montreal and served all its parishes.
    Female Religious Communities (Nuns) established the first schools and hospitals in the colony and were among the first women to arrive in New France. The most important of these communities were:
    * Ursuline Sisters whose first nuns arrived in 1639 led by Marie de L'Incarnation, they established the first schools for Native and French girls. * Hospitalières de Saint-Joseph - Jeanne Mance founded the Hotel-Dieu hospital.
    * Congrégation de Notre-Dame - Marguerite Bourgeoys/Bourgeois established schools for both boys and girls.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

  • January 29, 2010

    The Seigneural System and The Habitants

    Habitants 1852 by Cornelius Krieghoff (1815 - 1872) 
    National Archives of Canada
     Copyright Expired

    Seigneurs were the most important colonists, as they were usually in the military or aristocracy prior to being a settler. These seigneurs then were charged with the task of subdividing large parcels of land into five by 15 kilometer concessions, then renting this land to a habitant. Under regulations set up by the French government in France, the seigneur could also set up a court of law, set up a mill on his land and organize a commune. The seigneurial system was modeled after the feudal system in Europe and included a system of rights and duties between seigneurs and censitaires (habitants).

    The Seigneurial System 
    The seigneurial system was the basic means of organizing the French population along the St. Lawrence. A seigneur was the owner of a large piece of land known as a seigneurie. A seigneur had to promise to be loyal to the king. A seigneur had to bring settlers from France to New France to work on his seigneurie. 

    Seigneuries were long, narrow rectangles facing the waters of a major river or lake. A habitant usually had a very narrow strip of land, perhaps half a kilometre wide and three or more kilometres back from the river. This shape of land gave each habitant access to water, good soil in the river bottom, and timber further from the river. The seigneur had to build a mill for his habitants. The mill could be used for defence in case of attack. Forts were built on seigneuries near Iroquois territory. The seigneurs used agents in France to recruit settlers. A legal document was drawn up in France in front of a notary, a kind of lawyer, showing what the habitant and his seigneur had to do for each other. The habitant owed his seigneur three or four days free labour each year. This was considerably less than peasants in France owed their lords. The habitant was responsible for keeping the section of road which crossed his land in good condition. The habitant gave one bag out of fourteen to his lord in payment for the use of the seigneur's mill. The habitant paid his rent in money, if it was available, but more often in the form of farm produce. The habitant also paid a tithe for the upkeep of a church and its priest. Cash was hard to get. It could be obtained in the markets which grew up. The habitants took their guns in case of attack, particularly by the Mohawks. The habitant had to give some of his fish to the seigneur. The poor were helped with gifts at Christmas, and by charity administered by the church. 


    In New France, the seigneurs were the people to whom the authorities gave or sold large tracts of land, provided that they cleared it, built houses and populated the seigneurie. In order to do this, seigneurs recruited hired men who did this work under contract. At the end of the contract, most hired men accepted to settle on the seigneurie where they had worked so far. The seigneur sold them a parcel of land and guaranteed their security and well-being. The new colonists had some obligations towards the seigneur, such as giving him a small portion of their annual harvest.


     Its aim was to encourage the settlement of New France and to promote the distribution of land.  


    * A seigneurie was granted to a seigneur.   
    * The seigneur was obliged to rent long  lots  concessions) on his seigneurie to tenant-farmers     called censitaires (habitants).        
    * The lots were narrow rectangular tracts of land found perpendicular to a river allowing more      settlers access to the river.        
    * The seigneur also built roads, a mill, an oven, and held a court to settle disputes.     * In return,  the censitaires cleared their lots, paid rent as a portion of their income and in the form of food  and produce (cens et rentes), worked 3 days a year without pay (corvée), and paid a tax (lods et  ventes) if they sold their lots.   

    The Habitant Farm, 1856  
    National Gallery of Canada 
    Copyright Expired

    This class of people was usually comprised of farmers or labourers who were initially brought over from France to live on this land. They had to pay rent and taxes to the seigneur, though they co-owned the land with the seigneur, and even had to work entirely for the benefit of the seigneur a few days each year.

    The habitant in New France represented 90 per cent of the adult lay population. Some habitants are given the concession of seigneuries, or they purchase seigneuries thanks to income from the fur-trade or other sources. They are called seigneurs habitants. Some hold civil responsibilities such as church wardens or militia captains, which places them a cut above the other habitants and a rual "elite" would grow out of this. The New France habitant lived comfortably and likely perhaps better than the French peasant (in France) according to records relating the lives of the habitants of New France.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 26, 2010

    Tombstone Tuesday - George Charles World War I

    My father's headstone located at 
    Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Lawrence, Massachusetts

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    Will the Dictionnaire généaloique des familles acadiennes by Stephen A. White go onlne?

    Will the Dictionnaire généaloique des familles acadiennes by Stephen A. White go online?  Perhaps.  I received this message from Stephen this morning:  "The Université de Moncton is in fact at this time actively considering making its genealogical database available online for consultation on a subscription basis.  No details are available at the moment, but there will be adequate publicity for the project in due course, if it does go forward. It must be noted that while the database is co-extensive with the entire Dictionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennes (1636-1780), it is not fully documented like the Dictionnaire and does not include any of the Dictionnaire's explanatory notes."

    What a boon this would be to be able to subscribe online for access to this marvelous database! Here is  hoping it will be approved.  Stay tuned!  I will pass on information about this as I receive it.

    I am also taking a poll. How many of you would subscribe to the database should be be online?

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consetino

    January 25, 2010

    More brick walls come tumbling down

     This copy above is easy to read and comes
    from the Mormon familysearch.org site
    My thanks to Dennis Boudreau

    Dear Cousins,

    Once I finally found my great grandfather's baptismal record, I was now on a quest to resolve the problems I've had finding baptismal records for some of his siblings. As I'd said, except for Georges Dumais who was baptized in Cacouna, all of his siblings were baptized in the parish of St-André, Kamouraska, Quebec, Canada.

    For the longest time I had been trying to reconcile what I'd found on census records for 1851 and 1861 for Bas Canada and I kept seeing an entry that was definitely not the spelling of the name. It was Dfjtl or some unbelievable transcription. To be fair to the transcriber, the entry didn't look any better handwritten by the enumerator.

    I noted that the approximate date of birth on both census records was 1845. I went through the parish registers for 1845 and came up empty. I went to 1846 and there it was *but* it was impossible to make out the name no matter what I did to enhance the copy. Enlisting the help of another genealogist who saw a clearer copy on the Mormon familysearch.org site, he determined it was (hope your sitting down!) Marie d'Égipte Lodie Dumais.

    No wonder I could not find this person anywhere. I had once found a lineage on Ancestry.com that showed her as an Elize. Obviously that person had found the record but took a guess at its transcription.

    Marie d'Égipte in English is Mary of Egypt and she was likely named after Mary, mother of Jesus, fleeing into Egypt to keep her son safe. Lodie is a derivative of Élodie. What a find but again no wonder I had not yet found her over all the years.

    That was not the end! I still needed to find a great uncle listed as Norbert on census records. I never could find a Norbert. So I did the same process - went back to the registers looking for the year 1835. On 10 May 1835, My gggrandparents had a son who was baptized Joseph Gualbert Dumais. Could I believe it? No wonder enumerators couldn't get these names right - they'd probably never of heard of them before and they were perhaps particular to the people in their village because later in the register I saw another Égipte baptized to a Sirois familiy.

    What I now believe is that those gggrandparents were very creative in naming their children or the priest didn't know how to write some of the names. I'm not sure which is correct. Gualbert often is Gilbert.

    So three brickwalls came down in one week and it all began with finding the baptismal record for my great grandfather.

    I still wonder why my Georges Dumais was baptized in the parish of St-Georges de Cacouna. Was it because they decided to name him Georges? Was it because they had been praying to St. Georges for some reason?

    I'll never know but it certainly has raised many questions in my mind.  

    Now that was truly a week's work -  no, the culmination of years of work!

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 23, 2010

    "A Blogger's Best Friend Award"

    My sincere thanks to Lori from Stories of my Ancestors for this great award.  I am very honored that she would consider me a blogger's best friend.  Thanks Lori!!

    Lori said "Give this award to your most loyal blog readers. The award should be given to a follower of yours who takes the time to comment regularly on many of your posts. In addition his or her blog should be creative, funny and always entertaining. Upon receiving this award, pass it along to two fellow bloggers who fit this criteria."

    I in turn want to give this award to Evelyn of A Canadian Family.  Evelyn has been a good friend since we first met online a few years ago.   

    This award also goes to Felicia of My Nola Heritage.  Felicia has a wonderful blog that I enjoy following.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 21, 2010

    A Brick Wall Comes Tumbling Down - What a find

    Dear Cousins,

    For more years, searches, hours and minutes than I can count, I have searched endlessly in search of my great grandfather Georges Dumais' baptismal record. The grandfather of my mother Rosanna Levesque LeBlanc, and the father of my grandmother Arthémise Dumais, it seemed that I would never find this record.

    St. Georges Church, Cacouna
    Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec

    Yesterday, January 20th, that brick wall came tumbling down.  One more time as I searched through my Family Tree Maker software that takes me onto Ancestry.com, I saw a George Dumais born in 1839 that I'd not seen before.  At that moment I was tempted to overlook it since the record was for a parish in Cacouna, Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec.  Why you might ask?  Well Georges was the 7th of twelve children and all of his siblings 1 through 6 were baptized in the parish of St-André, Kamouraska.  I would have expected that he would have been baptized in the same parish especially since his next three siblings were also baptized at St-André.  How baffling is this and I will try to figure out the reason this might have happened (if possible).   I scoured those parish registers and for that matter all of the registers for Kamouraska County.  I never expected he would have been baptized elsewhere *but* I never stopped looking.
    I cannot tell you the excitement and elation I felt that I had *finally* found this record.  A day later I still can't believe it.

    Well it is proof  that we should never stop searching when it comes to genealogy.  Never!  I hope all of your brick walls come tumbling down and no matter how much time passes, no matter where you have looked, just don't give up.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 20, 2010

    Wordless Wednesday - Raquel De Castillo born 1891

    Raquel (Rachel) De Castillo born 1891
    Raquel De Castillo was my great aunt through marriage.  She married my grandmother Arthémise Dumais Levesque's brother Napoleon Dumais. What I have been finding is that Napoleon used the surname Dumas rather than Dumais or the census enumerator misspelled the name.

    This morning I found them in a 1920 Federal Census living in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  It tells me that they married in Cuba, were in Lawrence for the birth of their first child, returned to Cuba where three more children were born and were back in Lawrence for the birth of their last two children. 

    My mother often spoke of "ma tante Rachel" (aunt Rachel) and she loved  her dearly.  No one seems to know what became of them and my mother's first cousins (in their high 80s and 90s) believe they returned to Cuba at some point.  It was thanks to them that just a few years ago I learned that Raquel was married to my Napoleon.  Until then, I had no idea how my family was related to her.

    If anyone has information on this family, I would love to hear from you.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 19, 2010

    Tombstone Tuesday - Damien LeBlanc 1846-?

    MySpace Generators

    My grandfather Damien LeBlanc was married to Odille Doiron.  She died at age 41 and is buried in a grave belong to a Demers family as I shared in another post.  Meanwhile, though I know where my grandfather Damien was born, I have never found his place of death and burial.  Should anyone reading this blog have information I would love to hear from you.

    Odille is buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Andover, Massachusetts.  This cemetery was the property of the now closed Sacred Heart Parish in South Lawrence.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 17, 2010

    Martin Luther King Day

     Martin Luther King

    Many people do great things but some go beyond the measure and even beyond who they thought they were.  Martin Luther King was one of those people.  We are fortunate to have had him among us though his life was cut short because he believed this could be a better world.. a better county where everyone could get along.  We remember him today for his selflessness in the fight for civil rights.  Lucie

    I Have a Dream - Address at March on WashingtonAugust 28, 1963. Washington, D.C.

    (Exerpts from Dr. King's speech that still resounds.)

    Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

    I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

    I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
    I have a dream today.

    I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
    I have a dream today.

    I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

    This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

    This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
    And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

    Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
    Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
    But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
    Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
    Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

    When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

    A t the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

    On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 16, 2010

    Let's Help the Haiti Relief Fund

    In this image made available by the American Red Cross in London, Wednesday Jan. 13, 2010, an earthquake survivor clutches his young son, in a shantytown on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, following a major earthquake in Haiti, Tuesday January 12th.

    Every image we see of the total devastation that has happened in Haiti is heart wrenching.  Everyone in the world who can, should want to help in one way or another.  Through prayers, donations or other contributions that may be required in the days ahead.  The people of Haiti have shown their resiliency and strength under the most adverse conditions.

    To donate to the Haiti Relief Fund you can contact the following - please help.

    NEW:  Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

    American Red Cross

    The American Red Cross' primary focus during the initial response of an emergency is feeding, sheltering and supplying any other basic needs. To donate: Go to RedCross.org, hit donate now button at top and then International Response Fund. You also can text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 to the International Response Fund. The money will go directly to relief efforts in Haiti. Or call 1-800-Red-Cross.


    This nonprofit disaster relief organization delivers medicine, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis around the world. To donate, call 1-800-486-HELP or go to AmeriCares.org. Donations will go toward medicine and medical supplies and for expenses for providing that medical aid.

    This humanitarian organization's main focus is to fight global poverty, specifically by empowering marginalized women and girls. To donate to the Haiti relief fund effort, go to Care.org or call 1-800-521-CARE. Money will go toward food, water and sanitation, shelter and emergency health response.

    Catholic Relief Services

    Catholic Relief Services is an aid agency that works with emergency relief, micro-finance, AIDS/HIV relief, agriculture, water and sanitation, among other projects in countries around the world. To donate, go to crs.org, or call 1-877-HELP-CRS. You also can text RELIEF to 30644. You will receive a text message back with instructions

    Medical Teams International

    The Christian global health organization sends volunteer medical teams and supplies to those in the midst of disaster or poverty. Monetary donations will go to supporting the medical teams being sent to Haiti and to the cost of shipping the medical supplies donated by corporations. Donate by going to medicalteams.org and clicking on the "Donate Now" button, or call 1-800-959-HEAL (4325) or send a check to Medical Teams International, P.O. Box 10, Portland, OR 97207.
    Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders)

    The humanitarian organization delivers medical care to people caught in crisis. Donations to its Haiti relief efforts will go toward repairing the obstetrics and trauma hospitals in Haiti that were damaged in the earthquake. They also will go to transporting an additional 70 doctors and medical supplies to the island in an effort to set up makeshift emergency medical response centers. To donate, go to doctorswithoutborders.org or call 1-888-392-0392.

    Please, dig deep into your heart and pockets to bring relief to this devastated nation.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 14, 2010

    52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - City Directories

    Amy Coffin from We Tree is challenging bloggers with her "52 Weeks to Better Genealogy" idea for 2010.  The first challenge is to visit one's public library, check out the genealogy section or whatever section of the library that might well be useful in one's research.

    I'll not be going to my library at this time as I've already been many times but I've decided to blog about it to help people realize the wealth of information available at their public libraries.

    Personally, I do not believe that we can live without belonging to a good genealogical society with a good deal of holdings if those holdings contain information for whatever area of research we are doing.  In my case, I am a member of the American-Canadian Genealogical Society of Manchester, New Hampshire.  I have been a member of the now defunct Acadian Cultural Society of Fitchburg as well as the Lawrence, Ma Genealogy Group that used to meet at the Immigrant Archives Essex Building in Lawrence.

    The holdings at ACGS helped me to do quite a bit of research on my Acadian and French-Canadian heritage but  no society holds absolutely everything that you need in your research.  What of your immigrant relatives?  In my case, my great grandparents on my mother's side (Levesque) from Quebec were the first to come to Lawrence in the early 1880s.  Next my LeBlanc grandparents who first went to New Bedford, Ma also in early 1880s where my father was born eventually made their way to Lawrence.  That being the case, early on in my research, I decided to visit the Lawrence Public Library.

    The old Lawrence Public Library
    where I used to go as a child

    To my amazement at that time, the Lawrence Public Library still had available the hard bound City Directories dating back to the early 1800s.  What a great find!  I returned to the library many times so as to scour those directories and find as much information about my relatives/ancestors that could be found in those directories.

    One interesting find was an ad at the back of some directories stating that my grandmother Odille Doiron was a "clairvoyant" - fortune teller - in the vernacular.  My father used to say that his mother was a fortune teller but I thought he was just kidding.  Well there it was in black and white.  What I found particularly amazing about this was that especially back then, the catholic church frowned on fortune telling and the like.  I would have expected my grandmother to be condemned by the local priests but as I better understood the situation of my father's family, the family was very poor.  It was more important to feed her family than to be afraid of any condemnation.  A cousin I met some years ago told me that her father (my father's brother Albert) once told her they were so very poor that he ran away from home.  So poor that they rented out a room and she did her fortune telling - to put food on the table.  I often wonder how, with that many children, they even  had a room to rent.

    My grandfather Damien LeBlanc married twice.  His first wife died right after giving birth to their ninth child.  Two died as young children, leaving seven.  Damien had 8 more children with my grandmother  Odille.  When they came to Massachusetts, some were old enough to remain in New Brunswick and though I'm not certain, I think some did (still searching).  In any event, it could not have been easy to feed and clothe such a large family.

    The other thing the city directories told me was where various family members had lived in Lawrence.  It was interesting to see where my great grandparents had lived in Lawrence when they first arrived as well as where their children lived once married.  For the most part, families continued to live in same neighborhoods.  The exceptions were few.  The directories also give a sense of when our relatives arrived and their absence from the directories, a lead as to when they died.

    My grandmother Odille disappeared from the directories in 1909 - she died in May of that year and I found only my grandfather Damien living with his son Edmond.

    The plus to where everyone lived is that I could go to see those places.  On my mother's side I did not have to do that.  Everyone pretty much stayed put.  I grew up in the same general area so I knew where all the streets were where they had lived.

    In the case of my LeBlanc grandparents, I did not know where they had lived as I had never known them.  They died when my father was still young.  The city directories told me where they had been living.  When I went to look, I could not believe they lived over a store that became very well known in Lawrence - Louis Pearl's - this store was situation right at the end of Lawrence's famous "Theatre Row" depicted on postcards that I  have previously blogged about.  I was totally amazed at the realization.  How many times my mother had taken me to Louis Pearl's store when she would take me to the movies. She used to popped in three to buy cashews.  I just could not believe they had lived above this store!

    Beyond city directories, I had also found interesting genealogy books donated by various people regarding their own family history - to my great joy I found a set of Bona Arsenault's books "Histoire et Genealogie des Acadiens".  It was pretty much my first exposure to Acadian genealogy.  Of course, today we are aware of the many errors in Bona's books but one has to admit that it was a monumental work accomplished back then.  Today we know that the colossal work of the Dictrionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennes by Stephen A. White is the best Acadian reference and research book today.

    Another plus in rumaging through the stacks is that I became aware of a book entitled Historical Sketches of Andover, Massachusetts by Sarah Loring Bailey Published in 1880.  This book contains some information about  some Acadians who had been exiled to North Andover in 1755.  Once aware of this book, I went to the Andover Public Library (a town neighboring Lawrence) to look at that book.  As fate would have it, the Andover Historical Society had republished that book.  I zipped over to the Andover Historical Society just down the street from the library and they had *one* book left - yes, I purchased it.

    Lawrence Public Library Special Collections

    At all public libraries, there is a "Special Collections" department.  The Lawrence Public Library's Special Collections contains an array of early published newspapers from all the ethnic groups that settled in the city.  There were a couple of  French newspapers published by Dr. Janson de LaPalme.  I can never forget his name as he used to visit our classrooms when we were children to talk about our French-Canadian heritage and to encourage our families to purchase copies of his newspaper(s).

    This is but a glimpse of what you can find at a public library.  As for the city directories at the Lawrence Public Library:  when I was going through them they were beginning to fall apart.  Since my research in them, they have been copied on microfilm.  That is a good thing but I assure you that it was much easier to go through the books than to search through microfilm.

    Here is a bit of what the Lawrence Public Library has for researchers to dig into:

    City directories from 1847 to the present (1847-1960 on microfilm)
    Andover/North Andover town directories (1888-1953)
    Methuen town directories (1915-1954)
    Federal Census for Lawrence, 1850, 1860, 1870 (index), 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 (on microfilm)
    37 titles of newspapers (on microfilm)
    Several hundred published family histories
    Lawrence Street lists from 1886 – present
    Atlases 1875, 1895, 1896, 1906, 1926
    Maps of Lawrence and [...]

    Click here to view a video of the 
    Lawrence, Massachusetts Public Library 

    Look for next week's edition of "52 Weeks to Better Genealogy".

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 12, 2010

    The Rose Blogger Award


    A couple of months ago,  The Rose Blogger Award was created in memory of my mother. Her name was Rosanna but everyone called her "Rose".   It has taken me all of this time to give the award to a blog because I was mulling over what the criteria would be.  I decided that it would be awarded to bloggers who kept the memory of their ancestors alive as well as for excellence in content and visuals.

    Two blogs have been chosen that I believe emulate this criteria.  The Rose Blogger Award is presented for the very first time to:

    My Big Fat Cajun/Irish/Scottish/English/German/French/Southern Family Blog 
           by Liz Hall Morgan and

    A Canadian Family by Evelyn Thériault

    These two bloggers are well deserving of The Rose Award.  Congratulations Liz and Evelyn!

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    Happy 101 Award

    My sincere thanks to the following bloggers for the Happy 101 Award.

    Frances at Branching Out Through the Years
    Cathy at IN DEEDS  
    Felicia at Our Family as a Whole
    Mary at Mary's Musings

    I am required to share ten things that make me happy.

      1.  My husband Tony
      2.  Our daughters Rebecca and Sarah
      3.  Our sons-in-law Tyeler and  Corey
      4.  My grandson Theo; spending time with him
      5.  Sharing memories of my family
      6.  My good and faithful friends
      7.  Genealogy and finding those elusive ancestors
      8.  Helping others with their research
      9.  Puttering in my flower beds and in my yard
    10.  Music and history

    The Happy 101 has now been awarded by Lucie's Legacy to the following blogs:

    Family Story Keeping
    Bits and Pieces
    The French Elements
    We Tree
    Everything's Relative - Researching Your Family History

    The Janice Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence

    Today I received the Puckerbrush Award from Evelyn Thériault of the A Canadian Family blog.  I am so honored in receiving this award and my heartfelt thanks to Evelyn.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 7, 2010

    Mama's 80th Birthday - November 1980

    In November 1980, my mother Rosanna Levesque LeBlanc celebrated her 80th birthday.  In her arms are her granddaugthers (my daughters) Sarah to the left and Rebecca to the right.  At the time Rebecca was four yeas old and Sarah was a bit over one and a half.  The other children are her great grandchildren.  From left to right:  Robert Talbot, Jennifer Talbot; to the right of Rebecca:  Lori Talbot and Christopher Talbot.

    Robert and Christopher are brothers and grown men.  They are the children of my nephew Robert Talbot whose mother was my sister Claudia LeBlanc Talbot.

    Jennifer and Lori Talbot are sisters and today they are married with children of their own.  They are the daughters of my nephew Joseph Talbot (brother to Robert above) and he too was a son of my sister Claudia.

    My husband and I married a bit later in life so that our daughters grew up with their 1st cousins once removed.  In fact, when they were little they used to call my nephew Bob "Uncle Bob".

    These old photos bring back great memories.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 5, 2010

    Tombstone Tuesday - Odille Doiron

    What is wrong with this picture?  After extensive research, I found that my grandmother Odille Doiron LeBlanc who died in 1909 at the age of 42 is buried in the above grave at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Andover, Massachusetts.  When she died, in addition to my grandfather was then sixty-three years old, she left children who ranged in age from twenty-one to thirteen (my father George).

    When searching for where she might have been buried, I contacted a friend and distant cousin who at the time was secretary of Sacred Heart Parish.  She searched the burial records and found that my grandmother was buried in the above grave.  A few years later while chatting with some of my mother's first cousins, they told me that the Demers couple buried in that grave lived in their parent's triple decker tenement in South Lawrence and that when Odille died the family was too poor to purchase a plot so this couple generously offered that she be buried in their plot.  Unfortunately her name was never engraved on the headstone but thanks to my good friend, at least I know where she is buried. This is another reason  you should never give up searching.  We just never know the what and wherefore of the past.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    January 2, 2010

    Sentimental Sunday - Our year in review in photos

    Sarah's Year in Review 
    "2009 was the best year of my life, thanks to Corey
    and my family and friends! Can't wait to see what 2010 brings."

    Rebecca's Year in Review

    Lucie's Year in Review
    "2009 was a wonderful year for our family
    we look forward to more wonderful happenings in 2010"

    We wish all of you great memories as you review what 2009 was like in your life.  Life is what we make it and it is up to us to make our memories for all to enjoy.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino