Is this your lucky day?

Updated 18 April 2021 with this comment

OMG of COURSE!! That’s Mary Ellen Elizabeth Doucette, my grandmother. I’m Paul John Hogue’s daughter. I barely remember her, but I have a few pictures. Now what year is that photo from? What’s getting me is how much the fellow standing in the last row way to the left resembles both my dad and my brother.

Original post

Is your name Hogue? Are your parents from Massachusetts or New England? If so then you might be a descendant of Jean-Marie Hogue?

carte mortuaire Jean-Marie-Hogue fils

There are probably thousands of Jean-Marie Hogue’s descendants living in the United States and if they write to me they will have part of their family tree.

And it’s all free…

We go back to Jean Hogue and Nicole Dubus who lived in France around 1650. Their son Pierre Hogue dit St-Malo is the ancestor of Jean-Marie Hogue. Pierre Hogue married Jeanne Théodore on November 10, 1676 in Montreal. I know they had a son named Pierre Hogue dit Saint-Malo who married Jeanne Théodore. They are the ancestors of Jean-Marie Hogue, the father of Napoléon, Clémentine and of course Jean-Marie.

This is picture of Jean-Marie Hogue…

Jean-Marie Hogue père


Jean-Marie Hogue married Rosalie Léveillé on April 16, 1844 in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines. The Léveillés were also called Truchons. Rosalie had a brother, Narcisse Truchon. Narcisse Truchon dit Léveillé has a son named Arcade Léveillé. Arcade had a daughter, Hermine Léveillé who later married a widower:

Jean-Marie HogueJean-Marie Hogue.

enfants Jean-Marie Hogue

Hermine Léveillé holding Yvette Hogue, with Corine Hogue beside her. Adonis Hogue is the little boy on the left.

I told you it was your lucky day, and you did not even have to buy the winning ticket…

So if you are a Hogue or know someone who is or was, then write a comment.

Matthias Farnsworth… Does This Name Ring a Bell?

If your name is Phaneuf and you live in Canada or the United States, it should ring a bell…

Have you ever heard about the raids both the English and the French conducted in the late 1690s and early 1700s.

How about the Deerfield massacre?

Matthias Farnsworth was one young lad who was captured… but not in Deerfield.

He was captured in Groton.

Claude-Mathias Fanef was born “Matthias Farnsworth“, at Groton, Massachusetts, on August 6, 1690 (old style calendar in use then in New England). He was the sixth child of Matthias Farnsworth (Matthias II) and Sarah Nutting, who got married at Groton, Massachusetts on March 1st, 1681. 

The grandfather of Claude-Mathias had the same first name Matthias (Matthias I) and he was the first Farnsworth of the ascendant line to cross over to New England. He was born in England around July 20, 1615 in the Manchester area, Lancashire county.

If you look at a map, Groton is just north of Marlborough, Massachusetts. This is where we find Joseph Phaneuf, son of Cora Renaud and Joseph Phaneuf.

Joseph Phaneuf, the husband of Bernadette Hogue, is a direct descendant of Matthias Farnsworth, and he lived his life near the place his ancestor was captured.

I believe I am the first amateur genealogist to find this information.

Are you ready for this…?

Click here first… to get in the mood.

Jim sent me another e-mail.

Okay… You can stop the music…

Jim had sent me the info he had about his wife’s ancestors.

Her mother was one of the daughters of Joseph Ménard and Laura Gendreau. Laura Gendreau’s parents were Jean-Baptiste Gendreau and Louise Renaud.

Louise Renaud is the sister of Cora Renaud the mother of Joseph Phaneuf, the man we see here beside Bernadette Hogue.

couple Phaneuf et Hogue

Joseph Phaneuf and Bernadette Hogue

Remember I told you I believe they got married in 1910…

One of my readers noticed that some of the men in the picture had flowers pinned to their coat.

men with flowers

So it made sense that the picture taken in Marlborough in 1910 was about a wedding.

The woman is Clémentine Bélisle (née Hogue) with her husband Wilfrid Bélisle. The young man beside him has his hand on his shoulder. I surmize he is his son. The young man beside Clémentine seems to be also her son. They all came down from Québec for a wedding.

Then I looked closely and saw wedding rings…

wedding rings

I hope they live happily ever after…”

couple Phaneuf et Hogue

I hope you’re right and she’s right…”

Next time, we will go back in time in a little village in Massachusetts.

I wonder if they grow strawberries in Memphis, Tennessee…

That’s exactly why I started an English version of my blog… well let’s say an American version…

To find descendants of people who lived in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines.

famille Hogue vers 1910

Maybe I will become famous and be invited to Jay Leno’s show or Oprah’s or Doctor Phil’s.

I don’t watch much TV since I began looking for my ancestors and other people’s ancestors.

Now what about this picture?

This picture was taken around 1910 at Jean-Marie Hogue’s house in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Jean-Marie or John Hogue was born in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines on August 2, 1846.

He was a complete stranger to Cécile, who had this picture in her collection, except for Richard and Yvon Lauzon who recalled having seen that particular picture when they were young boys back in the late 50s and the early 60s.

Richard told me he was even mesmerized by it… That picture was hanging on the wall leading to the second floor of one of his relative’s house.

Yvon, Richard and Cécile help me in finding out more about Jean-Marie Hogue. I had also a lot of help from Loulou, one of my readers I told you about.

In the 1870 census, we find Jean-Marie Hogue working in a shoe factory in Malborough, Massachusetts. He is listed as John Hogue. He lived in the boarding house of Aurélie Beauregard with other shoe workers. Aurélie was in fact Aurélie Brodeur married to André Beauregard. One of their daughters was Mélanie Beauregard…

In 1877, we find Jean-Marie in Montreal. He is said to be a cabinet maker. In the 1900 and 1920 censuses, he is back in Malborough where he died on October 8, 1920, at the of age of 74.

Who did John Hogue married…?

Mélanie Beauregard around 1876, in Massachusetts. The same Mélanie back in 1870.

We don’t know the precise date, but we know a son was born on May 15, 1877. Adonis was their first child. He was christened in Montreal. Adonis died on March 11, 1891.

Mélanie and Jean-Marie had another son, Arthur, born in December 1879 and a daughter Bernadette born around 1891. Both were born in the U.S.

This is Arthur Hogue in 1910.

Arthur Hogue

Click on the image to access his file

This is Bernadette in 1910 also.

Augustine Hogue 2

Click on the image to access her file

After his first wife’s death, John Hogue married Hermine Léveillé on March 11, 1893 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.They had two daughters and one son: Corinne, Yvette and Adonis.

Here are their children.

enfants Jean-Marie Hogue

Adonis is the little boy on the left, Corine is beside her mother Hermine Léveillé who is holding Yvette.

What is so special about this man?

John Hogue, like hundred of thousands French Canadians, went to the U.S., raised a family and left numerous descendants and relatives whom we know little about.

Except one…

Next time… Are you ready for this?


Emigration to New England

From the mid-19th to the early 20th century, the western hemisphere witnessed unprecedented population migration. Europeans crossed the Atlantic to settle in North America, part of the American east coast population moved farther west, and, closer to home, Canadians crossed the border to live in the United States.

From 1840 to 1930 an estimated 900 000 people left Quebec for the United States. Most of these headed to factories in the industrial cities of the northeast, especially in New England. Certain cities such as Lowell, Massachusetts and Manchester, New Hampshire, received thousands of these emigrants. There, they established entire neighbourhoods and parishes of French-Canadian Catholics. There were many reasons for such a population migration: the division of agricultural land among many members of the same family led to a shortage of resources in Quebec. The province also experienced economic problems and the enticement of well-paying American jobs was often irresistible. Although the political elite and the Church tried various means to put a halt to this exodus, they never succeeded in stopping it entirely.


To learn more, click here.

Every old picture has a story to tell…

Updated 17 April 2021

A descendant has been found!

Original post

Someone I know and who knows a lot about Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines told me that Napoléon Hogue is probably the first person who grew strawberries in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines.

Napoléon Hogue

Napoléon Hogue

Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines is renowned for its strawberries, but let’s get back to this picture where Napoléon is seen again on this picture…

famille Hogue 1909

We did not know where the picture was taken. What we knew is that it was taken before 1919 because that’s the year Napoléon Hogue died. When the person who told me about Napoléon’s strawberries saw that picture on Nos ancêtres, my French blog about genealogy, he sent me this…

carte mortuaire Jean-Marie-Hogue fils

Jean-Marie Hogue
husband of Hermine Léveillé
deceased in Marlboro, October 8, 1920 at age 74

Napoléon Hogue and Jean-Marie Hogue were brothers. They also had sisters. One of them was Clémentine Hogue. This is Clémentine’s mortuary card.

Clémentine Hogue

Clémentine was the wife of Wilfrid Bélisle. She died in 1915. I believe that this is Clémentine in the picture… visiting her brother Jean-Marie Hogue in Marlboro.

Napoléon, Clémentine et Jean-Marie

The same person who sent me the obituary said that Clémentine ought to be have been a very close relative to put her hands on two old men like that.

Come back next time… for the reason behind this family picture.

P.-S. I wonder if they grow strawberries in Memphis, Tennessee.

I sent James an e-mail…

I sent James e-mail about what I found on Nicolas Renaud.

He answered back and that was quite an answer…

I asked him permission to share this with you.

Dear Pierre,

You mentioned your good fortune in Quebec “of having good record keeping.”  That is good fortune indeed. I’m guessing this is true for both legal and church/baptismal/marriage records.

Legal record keeping was not that bad here, especially regarding inheritance and other property issues, except for three problems:  (1)  no central indexing system;  (2) everybody was always on the move;  and (3) fire.  Many a county courthouse burned over the years, so even if you’re lucky enough to find the right county, the records may be nonexistent.

I am planning a short trip later this fall with one of my relative, to search through the court records of two counties there.  I am seeking hard proof of the name of one ancestor.  I have strong, indeed very strong, circumstantial evidence, and I am convinced that the information posted on a variety of sites has it wrong.  One of these courthouses has never had a fire, so wish me bon chance.  I would just like to nail it down.

I, too, have learned the advantage of teamwork.  The “circumstantial evidence” to which I referred came about by pooling what I knew with what another researcher had accumulated.  I have previously acknowledged that I am an amateur, but I consider myself a serious amateur.

I have one great regret, genealogically speaking.  I first jotted down some family information in the 1960s, when I was in high school, but did not pursue it.   My father’s family tended to be long-lived, and I can remember uncles and aunts who were born in the late 1880s, who were still living in the 1960s, and who could have provided all kinds of information had I but asked. Alas.  And double-alas (if that is a word), because some of them were real characters and led very colorful lives.  I’m not sure how that translates—sometimes I slip into slang.  What I mean is, their lives were the very opposite of bland, which probably does translate.

I have done quite a bit of oral history research mainly interviewing World War II veterans.  I have interviewed dozens of them, and it has taught me not to rely too much on the popular accounts, from newspapers and movies, or on the official records, or even on the history books.  I sure wish I had done similar interviews with my older relatives back in the 1960s.

I even had a tape recorder!

An American poet wrote:

Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these:  it might have been.


Next time… Who is this Nicolas Renaud anyway…?

I had warned her and now I am warning you…

This last message from Evelyn…

Hi once more…

Yes, this is addictive and I’ve got to get busy with some household chores that are waiting for me…

Here is the picture of Herm.

Herm Sulkers - 2005 sm

He had warned her…

Yes, you may use any of the information that I sent to you.

I don’t think that there is anything there that needs to be kept in privacy.


Ev Howard

Well that’s all folks… Every picture tells a story…

athab 2

England 1945

Athabaskan’s sailors taken prisoners going home

Herm Sulkers

Full speed ahead…

Next time, I will talk about the search for my father… but I am warning you…

Some passengers in the Passenger List of the SS. Victorian in 1910

This is another e-mail Evelyn sent me…


My father is listed here as Anton, but his legal name was Anthonie Sulkers.

PassList Sulkers01zoom

Boarding pass

He was 11 year old when they came to Canada, and his brother, Pieter, (Herm’s father) was 17.
My father had a good memory and year ago, he told me the name of the ship they came on and the date of their leaving Liverpool, England.

With that information, I was able to find the copies of the ship’s information and passenger list on Microfishe, in the archives at the Surrey Museum’s Genealogy department and I made several copies of those documents.

Herm’s parents were Pieter Sulkers, born Dec.8, 1892 & died May 30, 1968,and Martha Gertruida (nee Baak), born Sept. 11, 1895 & died May 19, 1958.

Herm had 3 sisters and 2 brothers.

One brother was named Peter, after their father.  The other  (a twin of Peter) died in infancy.

His sisters were Mary Sulkers-Kendel, Winnifred Sulkers-Burbank, and Bernice Sulkers-McKee.

Only Bernice is still living (in the U.S.A.).



Click here for Anton Sulker’s family tree

Tomorrow, Evelyn’s last e-mail… I had warn her…

Here is a copy of the boarding pass…

Evelyn sent me an e-mail…

Here is a copy of the Boarding pass, showing the “Sulkers” family’s arrival in Canada on the HMS Victorian, September 2nd, 1910.
I also have a picture of Herm, shortly before he passed away.  I will scan and send it to you if you are interested.
Feel free to ask me any questions that you want to and I’ll do my best to answer.

Ev Howard

PassList Sulkers01zoom

You remember Evelyn Howard…

She is Anton Sulker’s daughter. Anton is Herm Sulkers’ uncle…
This is the picture of Herm in 2005 she sent me with the boarding pass.

Herm Sulkers - 2005 sm

Guess who went to Holland…

Hi Pierre,

How interesting that you found my message posted in 2005.  It has been floating around in Cyber Space for over 4 years.  I also, recently, received an e-mail from a distant relative, in Switzerland, who also found my message on the net.


I visited Holland last year (2008) along with a sister and my daughter.   We went to Dinteloord, where our great grandfather and a few generations before him, lived.

There are still dozens of  “Sulkers” families living in that town, south of Rotterdam, in North Brabant.   We met a number of “Sulkers” there, but unfortunately the church in that town was bombed and burned, during WWII and all of the old town records were destroyed.

We were able to get the direct line of the “Sulkers” family from other sources and I now have our family tree back to the early 1700’s.

There are no stories attached, unfortunately, but I do have names, dates of birth and death.

I also have a copy of an article printed on, published on June 23, 2003.  This gives a little of Herm’s family history.  You could possibly find this on their website or contact Vanderheide Publishing Co. Ltd.  at 1-800-881-0705.  It is a copyright article.

I have read all of the information that you sent  to me and some of it is new to me.

I thank you for passing on the stories of other men that survived the sinking of the Athabaskan.  Herm was among those hauled out of the water and taken as a POW.  The family didn’t know if he lived or died until those prisoners were rescued at the end of the war.  Herm didn’t talk much about those days, but I do remember him saying that bombers from both the Allies and the Enemy, flew over them every day and they never knew when the facility that they were imprisoned in, would be bombed, perhaps even by the Allied planes.

It must have been hell on earth for those men.

Again, thank you for your e-mail.

Let me know when you publish your next article about Herm.

I’d love to read it.

Best wishes,

Ev Howard.

Well, now you know who is Evelyn…