Monday, 20 February 2012

What's involved in Family Research? and the

Before I continue, I have to say that I am very impressed with Doreen's research. The more I work on retracing our family history, the more I appreciate Doreen's work.  To trace the family history without a computer, Internet, and multitudes of online resources is a phenomenal feat.  I am certain that I would be bald and cross-eyed by now if I had to read only parish records, mostly in French, in lovely, illegible scroll writing to determine birth, marriage and burial information for our family, but Doreen was smart and she didn't only rely on these records.

Based on the documents I have, Doreen worked on the family history for at least 7 years. In early 1980, she made copies of documents and derived data from microfiche, books and newspaper articles borrowed from Trail Library, Selkirk College and Ottawa's Public Archives of Canada. She obtained more information by visiting and talking with family members, such as Bernadette Chabot who was Joseph Magloire's daughter.  Bernadette supplied Doreen a copy of a family tree which had been composed by an earlier descendant named Marie Louise (Dierxct) Lafreniere (died 1963) - and if anyone reading this has a copy of it, I would love to read it.

Doreen also requested guidance from the Manitoba Geneaological Society about how to conduct family history research.  I also believe she examined original parish records (my Grandma, Marguerite Livingston told me) while visiting Manitoba to determine birth, marriage, and burial data. In addition, she visited the museum at the Plains of Abraham in Quebec although I am uncertain as to the when this occurred.  And she relied on several of her siblings to help with translating French records, supporting her research, pulling her leg, and helping her find new data and photographs. Finally in 1987, her masterpiece was done and many family members received a copy of her wonderful family history record.

Things have come along way since then. On the Internet, I have a paid subscription access to, which permits me to search some primary sources, like the Quebec Geneaological Dictionary of Canadian Families from 1608-1890

as well as copies of the original parish records for several Canadian provinces. You probably don't realize it, but it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  Spelling for last names was not standardized, and many people were illiterate. Thus, both first names and last names could be spelled in several different ways. In addition, some names were very popular and often encouraged by the church. For example, there were 22,011 Jean Baptiste's and 7,800 Antoine's baptized before 1800 ( 

Please be assured that I am relying on primary documents, and not every record that I discover on the Internet, as many cannot be supported by official documentation.  I think it is more important to rely on original records of events and family recollections rather than what is posted on other family ancestry websites.
I have taken the time to discuss these matters as I have had a difficult time confirming Doreen's account of the children of Antoine (III) Desrosiers dit Lafreniere and Angelique Piette.  According to the dictionary which is pictured above, Antoine III's three children: Genevieve, Marie-Antoinette, and Angelique are listed on page 397; however, the other two are not menitoned anywhere.  It is possible that their names are mentioned in the handwritten Quebec parish records, but I was not able to read them. But Doreen's handwritten notes claimed that the data regarding the birth of Joseph Antoine and Jean Baptiste Antoine was obtained from Bernadette (Lafreinere) Chabot, daughter of Joseph Magloire Lafreniere and brother of Clara Lafreniere Langevin (-thank you Uncle Bernie for this detail) and thus, I would believe that this must be correct.


1.  Genevieve born 22 January 1723 at I'lle Dupas, QC.; married 1 January 1743 to
     Charles Tellier; second marriage 27 May 1771; died 25 November 1782 Berthierville,
2.  Joseph Antoine born at Sorel, P.Q. in 1730?, married Marie Anne HUS 8 April 1755,
     died 1760?
*3. Jean Baptiste Antoine, born 1726? ; married Marguerite LOISEAU__________
4.  Marie Antoinette, born 3 March 1725 at Sorel, P.Q.; died 2 April 1725.
5.  Angelique, born 3 March 1725.

Next chapter:  Jean Baptiste Antoine Lafreniere and Marguerite Loiseau

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