Putting a Smile on Your Face

That’s the only reason behind this blog created in 2009 after Doris visited where her ancestors once lived.

Click here.

2009-09-15 Maison Chaumont 1She had found my blog Nos ancêtres created in January 2008. That blog was a way to share what knowledge I had acquired about ancestors that lived in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines a little village founded in 1787.

I moved to Ste-Anne-des-Plaines in 1981 and I still live there though I still feel as a stranger in that little town. That would need some more explanations but that’s beside the point on this post.

My blogs, and I have many, were created to put a smile on your face and make your warm all inside when you read them…

Well most of the time.

Lovely Rita

This is a post I wrote last year. It was about lovely little Rita. When you read once more Diane’s message, this post is most touching.

thought I would let you know that my aunt Rita Hazel, only daughter of Leo and Ida Combe passed away about a month ago.  I think she was 91 or 92.  The only sibling left is Henry Combe, my wonderful father.

Carl wrote me again about his ancestors and their relatives.

He had this information about someone named Rita.

He also mentioned the Combe and the Ashley families in his e-mail.

I had to look it up in the more than 100 photos Robin has scanned in 2011 where most of the pictures were of the Bleau and the Combe family.

I found little Rita.

Lovely Rita… circa 1924

Rita is there with her cousins and her two brothers… Joe, with his mouth opened, and Henry on the far right.

thought I would let you know that my aunt Rita Hazel, only daughter of Leo and Ida Combe passed away about a month ago.  I think she was 91 or 92.  The only sibling left is Henry Combe, my wonderful father.


Rita Hazel

April 23, 1922 – February 7, 2013

Rita Hazel, wife of the late Charles Hazel of Hartford and daughter of the late Ida and Leo Combe of Middletown, died Thursday February 7th at Middlesex Hospital with her loving family by her side. She was born on April 23, 1922. She attended St. John’s School, Woodrow Wilson High School and Morse Business College in Hartford.

In 1966, she took a position at Middlesex Hospital as secretary to the Vice President of Finance, with whom she was with for 24 years. She retired in 1990, after which she volunteered at the Hospitals Information Desk for 18 years.

She is survived by a son, Stephen Hazel and his fiancé, Robin of Portland, a daughter, Sheila White and her husband, Ken of Meriden, a daughter, Donna Milardo and her husband, Dave of East Hampton, her brother, Henry Combe of Old Saybrook and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by three brothers, Anthony Combe of Cromwell, Joseph Combe and Edward Combe of Middletown. She had nine grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Rita Combe 1

Call Them Distant Relatives… Rita Hazel

Someone just informed me in a comment just made that Rita Hazel has passed away.

Diane wrote this…

thought I would let you know that my aunt Rita Hazel, only daughter of Leo and Ida Combe passed away about a month ago. I think she was 91 or 92. The only sibling left is Henry Combe, my wonderful father.

This is the wedding picture of Leo Combe and Ida Ashley.

Leo Combe and Ida are Rita Combe Hazel’s parents.

Sylvia Bleau Combe is besides Ida who is next to her mother Agnes Alexandre. Agnes is the daughter of my great-grandaunt Philomene Lagasse (Lagacé).

Back in 2007 when I started looking for my ancestors I did not know she had existed.

These people became a big part of my family since then. There are no more distant relatives of mine…

Rita Combe 1Rita Combe Hazel

When to Stop Searching for Ancestors?

Whenever you feel like it. But it’s hard to resist that temptation to dig deeper and deeper.

Ron DepatieOne reader on the French version of this blog gave us a hand and found some information on Gladys Melanson and on Vera Anita Hiatt, William Melanson Junior’s wife.

Vera married three times.

I sent this information to Ron. I also sent him the information on Gladys and her husband Harry Gray.

This is what my reader found…

Henry Carson-Gray






So when to stop searching for ancestors?

1940 US Census William Melanson

William Melanson draft card

Probably never because you are never sure that what you have found is the right information.

Clara’s Children

Clara would have had four children: William, Freda, Gladys, and Ella.

1911 Clara Doucet

1911 Canadian Census in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Ella Madeleine, born in March 1910, died as an infant. I found that information from two sources.

On the Internet…

The person who wrote this seems to known what he or she is talking about.

Descendants of William MELANSON

1 William MELANSON
b: Bet. 1880 – 1900 in Yarmouth, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Reference #: 18873

.. +Claire Doucet
b: Bet. 1880 – 1900
Reference #: 18871

2 Elfreda Melanson
b: Abt. 1917
Reference #: 18863

…. +Edward Mason
b: Abt. 1915
m: 16 Mar 1937 in St-Enfant Jesus, Montreal, Quebec
Reference #: 18850
Father: Kinick John Mason
Mother: Delia Aubin

2 Gladys Marie Melanson
b: 1907 in Yarmouth, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Reference #: 45559

…. +Henry Gray
b: 1904 in Dartmouth, Halifax, Nova Scotia
m: 10 Jul 1928 in Dartmouth, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reference #: 45560
Father: James Gray
Mother: Marie Pettipas

2 Ella Madeleine Melanson
b: Mar 1910 in Yarmouth, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
d: 19 Sep 1910 in Yarmouth, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Reference #: 43672

All the above information is correct, except some birthdates.

Next source, the Mormons’ Website… where I found Ella.

Family Search Ella Melanson 1910

Is Ella the daughter of William Melanson Senior and Clara Doucet? Am I on the right track?

I think so.

So many questions still for my good friend Ron.

And what about Gladys who married Henry H. Gray?

Nothing yet…

And the father William Senior?

A clue found in Aberdeen City, North Dakota, in 1920.

1920 William Melanson North Dakota

1920 William Melanson North Dakota mod

William Melanson, lodger, male, white race, 37, married, immigration in 1883 (false information given?), knows how to read and write, born in Nova Scotia, father and mother also born in Nova Scotia…

It’s probably the same man, but we will never be sure unless someone contacts me one of these days.

Maybe a descendant of William Junior Melanson and Vera Anita Hiatt?

What Happened to Junior

Good question…

No easy to track down people with few clues.

William Melanson Junior was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia around 1906.

I was lucky to find him, but I know how to get lucky using the Mormons’ site.

Family Search William Melanson Junior 1924

No image is available of the marriage certificate of  William Melanson, son of William H Melanson and Clara Douett (sic), born in Yarneaut (sic), N.S., Canada.

No doubt about it, he’s our man.

William Melanson, son of William H Melanson and Clara Doucet, born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, married Vera Anita Hiatt on October, 28, 1924 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, in Iowa, U.S.A.

Now, what has become of his father of whom we lose track around 1911?

Another good question.

Golding’s Farm, Virginia

I have to be frank with my readers. I am getting a little tired of writing about the Civil war and the battles Alexander Bennett was in.

But there is something deep inside that makes me to press on with that series of articles. I really don’t know why since no one of my ancestors participated in that war, unless Alexander Bennett is a very very distant cousin.

We have six more battles to go before we garrison around New York City because of the riots there in the summer of 1863.



Golding’s Farm is the third battle Alexander Bennett was in after First Bull Run and Warwick Creek.

Half a mile northwest occurred the action of Golding’s Farm at dusk on June 27, 1862, as the battle of Gaines’s Mill, on the other side of the river, was ending. The Confederates, sallying from their defenses, attacked Hancock’s brigade holding the right of the Union line south of the river. A severe fight followed that was ended by darkness.


“The Battle of Garnett’s and Golding’s Farms took place on June 27 and June 28, 1862, in Henrico County, Virginia, as part of the Seven Days Battles (Peninsula Campaign) of the American Civil War. While battle raged north of the Chickahominy River at Gaines’ Mill on June 27, Confederate Brig. Gen. John B. Magruder conducted a reconnaissance in force that developed into a minor attack against the Union line south of the river at Garnett’s Farm. The Confederates attacked again near Golding’s Farm on the morning of June 28 but were easily repulsed. These “fixing” actions heightened the fear in the Union high command that an all-out attack would be launched against them south of the river.” -

Source: Wikipedia

Gaines’ Mill

More on the Seven Days Battles