The curious case of Paul America

Pierre Lagacé:

Such a sad ending…

Originally posted on Above The Field:

Paul America

An image from Paul America’s screen test, circa 1965.

I’ve done a lot of research on distant cousins up and down my family tree over the years, uncovering some fascinating stories and learning a lot about ancestors dating back centuries. I’ve written about a few of those stories here on this blog (see links at end of this post), and I’m sure there are many more to find. However, it was pretty striking to learn about a much more recent story, involving a much closer connection.

The story of my late cousin Paul Johnson, aka “Paul America,” is straight out of the movies, both figuratively and literally, and involves none other than ‘60s icon Andy Warhol and other characters from the wild decade in which I was born. I had only heard bits and pieces over the years, tales of a wayward teen with matinee-idol looks who spiraled downward in a…

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Do you believe everything I write?

I hope you are still following me in this neverending story about a visit I made to a cemetery in the fall of 2013.

Agnes Lagasse

Agnes Lagaser
wife of
Leon Saucier

Agnes Lagacé had married Julien Myers, then she became a widow. She remarried with Leon Saucier afterwards. Writing about the Myers family led me to contacf two of Chrétien Lemaire’s descendants who both shared information.

Jason had a lot a pictures to share, and this one was the most intriguing.

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That picture led me to this…

1871 Canadian Census Boisjoli family

1871 Canadian Census page
St-Jacques-de-l’Achigan

Do you believe everything I write?

You should, even if we are April 1st.

Even if it does not look that way, I take genealogy quite seriously.

The proof is the pudding.

1871 Urgel Boisjoli

close-up of Urgel Boisjoli’s and Marcelline Bonneau’s family

1871 Canadian Census page St-Jacques-de-l’Achigan

Little Oscar, 7 years-old, is seen here with this family on a close-up of the census page.

The Oscar on that page is Oscar Boisjoli’s father.

Oscar Boisjolie

Oscar Boisjoli

Little Oscar could have looked a little like his son.

Oscar Boisjoli married Delia Gaudet in 1885. Delia was the daughter of Delphis Gaudet and Melina Germain dit Bélisle. I won’t go into this maternal lineage because this story will never end and probably end up in Acadia where the British deported the Acadian in 1755.

Now do you remember how all this started in the first place?

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Visiting a cemetery behind a church in Bristol, Connecticut, with my 3rd cousin Joe.

St-Jacques-de-l’Achigan

We got snow yesterday where I live.

St-Jacques-de-l’Achigan is about a 20 minute drive from where I live. Yesterday driving there would have been somewhat treacherous. The weatheman calls for more snow on Sunday.

Genealogy is not only about names, but also about places where our ancestors once lived.

St-Jacques-de-l’Achigan is where Oscar’s father, was born around 1864.

Click here.

Saint-Jacques est la plus ancienne municipalité de la MRC de Montcalm. Fondée en 1772 par une trentaine de familles acadiennes, Saint-Jacques compte aujourd’hui une population de plus de 4000 habitants. Le trait acadien demeure très vivant chez-nous.

Saint-Jacques is the oldest town in the MRC of Montcalm.  Founded in 1772 by about 30 Acadian families, Saint-Jacques now has a population of more than 4,000. Acadian roots are still present here.

I don’t have a picture of Oscar’s parents or grandparents to show you, just this picture of Oscar Boisjolie.

Oscar Boisjolie

Oscar Boisjolie

Oscar Boisjolie, or Oscar Woods, or Urgel Joseph Boisjolie, was born in 1888 in Minnesota according to Roland. I could not validate this information with a birth certificate, but I am sure Roland is right, and I will take his word for it.

With Roland’s information I now know all about Oscar’s ancestors, and I even have a group picture of Oscar’s father when he was around 7 years-old with his parents Urgel Boisjoli and Marcelline Bonneau taken in St-Jacques-de-l’Achigan in 1871.

Intrigued?

I am sure you will come back later to see it.

About St-Jacques-de-l’Achigan…

Passing through this town, will never be the same anymore.

Click here to read something someone wrote about that town…

Oscar Boisjolie

Oscar came back from the dead in a sense.

This is not by all means meant not be macabre in anyway.

I thought Oscar Boisjolie was dead when that family picture was taken.

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It made sense.

Why would he be absent? Two of his three children were there as well as his lovely wife Rosalie La Rose. Alice is in the first row dead center, and Léo is just on her left (the right side of the picture). 

Delia born in 1908 is not present, and I won’t presume anything about her absence.

Jumping to conclusions is about the worst thing you can do when you look for ancestors, yours or mine.

Roland did not tell me how he found this blog. I figured he googled Oscar Boisjolie who is now a household name everywhere.

Oscar Boisjolie was also known as Oscar Woods. Boisjoli means “lovely wood” in English.

Roland told me Oscar would be Urgel Joseph in his comment…

Here is the information I have on Oscar Boisjolie also known as Oscar Woods who is I believe is in fact Urgel Joseph Boisjolie.

Boisjolie, Urgel Joseph [aka Oscar Woods] (b. 1888-03-20 – USA, Minnesota, Brainard, d.1966-10-00 – USA, Massachusetts, Hampden County, Holyoke) spouse: Larose, Rosalie (b. 1890-01-13 – Canada, d. 1977-11-30 – USA, Massachusetts, Hampden, Worthington)

Children:

1. Boisjolie, Marie Delia Rosalie (b. 1908-10-18 – USA, Massachusetts, Hampden, Springfield)

2. Boisjolie, Alice (b. 1911 – USA, Massachusetts)

3. Boisjolie, Leo Urgel (b. 1913 – USA, New York, d. 1999-10-06 – USA,
Massachusetts, Hampden, Chicopee) spouse Dion, Rita (b. 1916-05-27 – USA, Massachusetts, d. 1989-03-10 – USA, Massachusetts, Hampden County, Holyoke)

Children and 3 are included in the photograph.

I have a copy of the marriage entry (from Ancestry) for the Oscar Boisjolie and Rosalie Larose Marriage which occurred January 16, 1908 in the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts, however, am uncertain how to send it in this format.

FYI there are two separate families of Boisjoli in North America each having spellings of Boisjolie, Boisjoly and Boisjoli. One is the Lienard family of Boisjoli, the other is the Griveau family of Boisjoli. Oscar and descendants are from the Griveau Boisjoli family.

Hope this is of some assistance and can be confirmed by others.

Regards,

Roland A. Boisjoli

I was able to confirm all this and even more. I even invited Roland on my Ancestry family tree to view all the files I have gathered since 2009. Close to 30,000 files.

Not only on Boisjolies of course. In fact, I had none!

This being said, I won’t go deeper into all this since Roland can see all my research on Ancestry.

Everything is always free.

Should you find this blog, please write a comment because you never know what I can find about your ancestors.

Jason shared his old pictures…

Jason shared his old pictures last month and that’s how all these new ancestors came to life again.

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And I thought Oscar was not in the picture because he had died young.

And I thought I was not going to write before spring would be among us…

Well think again because Roland shared enough with me to go on the search to find more about our ancestors.

If you write… They will come…

And I will share all I know.

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And people will share what they know…

Here is the information I have on Oscar Boisjolie also known as Oscar Woods who is I believe is in fact Urgel Joseph Boisjolie.

Boisjolie, Urgel Joseph [aka Oscar Woods] (b. 1888-03-20 – USA, Minnesota, Brainard, d.1966-10-00 – USA, Massachusetts, Hampden County, Holyoke) spouse: Larose, Rosalie (b. 1890-01-13 – Canada, d. 1977-11-30 – USA, Massachusetts, Hampden, Worthington)

Children:

1. Boisjolie, Marie Delia Rosalie (b. 1908-10-18 – USA, Massachusetts, Hampden, Springfield)

2. Boisjolie, Alice (b. 1911 – USA, Massachusetts)

3. Boisjolie, Leo Urgel (b. 1913 – USA, New York, d. 1999-10-06 – USA,
Massachusetts, Hampden, Chicopee) spouse Dion, Rita (b. 1916-05-27 – USA, Massachusetts, d. 1989-03-10 – USA, Massachusetts, Hampden County, Holyoke)

Children and 3 are included in the photograph.

I have a copy of the marriage entry (from Ancestry) for the Oscar Boisjolie and Rosalie Larose Marriage which occurred January 16, 1908 in the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts, however, am uncertain how to send it in this format.

FYI there are two separate families of Boisjoli in North America each having spellings of Boisjolie, Boisjoly and Boisjoli. One is the Lienard family of Boisjoli, the other is the Griveau family of Boisjoli. Oscar and descendants are from the Griveau Boisjoli family.

Hope this is of some assistance and can be confirmed by others.

Regards,

Roland A. Boisjoli