Did You Cast Your Vote?

I wonder if Ron Depatie has been reading my blog lately.

Usually he writes comments. I know Ron likes my stories about everybody’s ancestors.

So before I proceed with the final answer, I am waiting for Ron’s opinion on this story.

As soon as he puts a comment, I will continue with this story.

Meantime, there is still time vote.

Badge - 2008 electionClick to go to polling station at the end of the post

About Alexander Bennett’s Story…

The poll is still opened for you to cast your vote. I have only one vote and it’s mine.

Poll results

Badge - 2008 election

Click on the button to go back to last Friday’s post to cast your vote.

The poll is at the bottom.

CNN Breaking News

CNN Breaking News 2 votes

Poll results 2 votes

It appears that there are two votes casted.

CNN is following that story closely sending teams of reporters.

Mary Bennett 1872-1946

As you are reading this, I have to tell you that I have found who Alexander Bennett was after I wrote this post.

This is the proof I needed.

Alexander Bennett death certificate

But please don’t look at it because you will spoil the ending. I have searched a lot to ascertain who was that Alexander Bennett who deserted from the Union Army in 1863 and if he was in fact the same Alexandre Benoit who is Teresa’s ancestor.

So please don’t look at that document right now. 

I hope you will bear with me because this is going to be quite a journey into the past to ascertain the true identity of Private Alexander Bennett who enlisted with the 2nd Vermont Infantry. 

If you have looked over this document I posted last week, then you know where I am going to lead you with one of Teresa’s ancestors.

The Civil War.

Alexander Bennett report

One of the most tragic war you can even begin to imagine. This is a Website dedicated to the Civil War and this one dedicated to Vermont participation in that war.

Teresa already knows and she has agreed to tell this story on this blog about one of her ancestors, Alexandre Benoit.

He was one of many.  He didn’t run after a week. He did what he did.  Again it’s fact, history. Hiding it won’t change it.   Yes I do know where you’re going with this.  I’ll let you know if I find anything.  

Alexandre Bennett was the father of Anna Bennett. Anna was William E. Austin’s mother who married Bertha Lagasse in 1921. Bertha and William were Elizabeth Austin’s parents.

There will be an epilog to this story and the clue is on that family tree.


Elizabeth Austin family tree

Teresa found my blog Our Ancestors last week, and she has shared what little she knew about Bertha Lagasse who is related to me.


Bertha was my grandfather’s niece. I am wondering if the man beside her is her husband William or just her boyfriend.

Anyway… let’s proceed.

I think I have found all about Anna Benoit… Well almost.

I started looking for her because she was just a name on a card… with no parents.

Just a name…

Lawrence Austin and Annie Bennett marriage

There was something that made me look more into her past.

On January 2, 1893, in Vergennes, Vermont, Anna Benoit married Laurent Dominque or Austin. In fact, Laurent Dominque was Laurent Ostiguy dit Domingue and his ancestor came from Southern France close to the Spanish border, but that’s another story to tell later if time permits.

Lawrence Austin and Annie Bennett marriage

So this card got me going…

I had to know more about Anna Benoit and her parents, and also her family, having found quite quickly Laurent’s ancestors. I had a hunch the name Benoit had become Bennett somehow down the road from Canada to Vermont. 

I had to find Anna’s parents which I did. Call it obsession if you want or a dopamine rush.

Anyway, I found Anna Austin in 1967!

Anna Benoit Austin

Anna’s parents were Alec Bennett and Louise January according to her death certificate. Anna was born on February 14, 1874, in Charlotte, Vermont. She died at the Pomainville Nursing Home in Fair Haven.

But was all this information correct?

Then… I found this.

Bennett, Hannah born on April 13, 1874 in Enosburg.

Annie Bennett birth

Was she the same person?

Her mother was Louise, born  in Canada, and her father was Alex Bennett also born in Canada.

So the year was right, but the birthdate was off.

Is she the same Anna Bennett in the death certificate, and is Louise, Louise January?

So I went on searching for more clues starting with Mary Bennett who was Anna’s sister.

This is the 1880 U.S. Census. The Bennett family has grown since 1860. You see what I mean later.


1880 Bennett family

Anna had a sister, Mary J who was 10 (born in 1870). Anna was 6 (born 1874). Mary J. holds the key to our elusive Anna and her mother Louise January.

This next document is dated 1946, and is about Mary King,

Is she Anna’s sister?

Mary Bennett death 10 January 1946

It looks that way. Her father who was Alexander Benoit is said to have been born in Hinesburg, and Louise January in Vergennes. Hinesburg is in Vermont, not Canada.

Here is Mary Bennette (sic) again and lo and behold we have found Louise Jonvier.

Mary Bennett

This Mary is the same person… Mary is said to be 24 thus born in 1870.

Louise Jonvier’s name has popped up.

Mary’s second marriage… May 21, 1902.

Mary Bennett second marriage

Same person… Bora, Mary (Bennett).

Mother Louiza January which is the English equivalent to Janvier.

Mary is 30, born in 1872, thus confirming that Mary King is Mary Bennett and that she was born in 1872.

Mary Bennett death 10 January 1946

The 1880 Census was wrong about her age. And I think I know why… Little Hattie born in 1870 died from canker rash in 1876.

Hattie Bennett 1870-1876

So before continuing on with my journey into the past, this question still remains…

Is Alexander Bennett, Anna’s father, the Alexander Bennett who deserted on September 12, 1863 after being in 9 battles with the 2nd Vermont Infantry while he was stationed near New York to guard against riotings?

I think so.

What do you think?

Chocolates and Genealogy

More tomorrow on Alexander Bennett because today is Valentine’s Day.


This is last year’s post on Valentine’s Day.

What’s the connection between chocolate and genealogy?

It’s like something you miss a lot like your lost ancestors. 


Even more when you just have names to go around. This is why old pictures are so important.

Genealogy without pictures is like an empty box of chocolates.

With pictures it’s not the same anymore.

With names it’s pure delight.

All the people here are unknown to Melissa who sent them last year. She nevertheless took the time to scan and she sent them so I could post them here.

I know one day we will start finding who these people are like this couple and the same woman in the other picture. You know how patient I can be don’t you…

Meantime, Happy Valentine’s Day.

By the way there is no connection between this and Teresa’s ancestors.

More Than Just a Picture

Closing chapter

This picture was sent in 2011 by Dennis Lagasse IV. From then on it got a life of its own.

picture from Dennis 1.1

It was sent along with this one which gave me a good look at my great-grandfather Dennis Lagasse II around 1895.

picture from Dennis 2

And this one… where his son Dennis Lagasse III, the father of Bertha Lagasse, is seen with four of Bertha’s brothers: Napoleon Levi, Harvey (the little boy with my great-grandfather), Victor Philippe and Harry. The man in front has yet to be identified.

picture from Dennis 4.2

More pictures followed later. A hundred or so.

This one was kind of a Rosetta stone as Bertha Lagasse was on it with her 10 siblings.

picture from Dennis 1.1

Click here.

This next picture was sent by Robin in 2011. She is related to us by her husband who is related to the Combe family. I believe Bertha Lagasse is on it. Her brother Napoleon Levi and her sister Ida are also on it. It’s either Bertha or Gertrude.


I could be wrong about Bertha being on it, but I don’t think so.

identification picture from Dennis 1.1

There are two women I am not sure of on this picture. Bertha and Gertrude on the second row on the right, Gertrude was born around 1898 and Bertha 1900 according to Teresa. The other two women on the left are Ida and Edna. I know who are the men and the children in front.

I know a lot about this family because so many people shared a lot. I know Edna’s two sons died in WWII. Edna was a Gold Star Mother.

Someone once sent me this obituary of Dennis Lagasse II back in 2010. Dennis II was my granduncle, my grandfather’s brother.

Dennis III died in 1922. The floodgates opened wide with all the information found on the obituary.


A lot of names were on it. Bertha Austin’s name was on it as well as all of Dennis Lagasse II’s children.

This is what started me looking for Bertha back in 2011. She was just a name in my family tree, Mrs. Bertha Austin.

When I start looking, I just can’t stop and I never know where it will lead me.

Honest to God…

This is one of the most precious picture Teresa has of her great-great-grandmother Mrs. Bertha Austin…

Bertha is holding Teresa’s son.

Five generations!


Next time, a whole new chapter opens in the lives of Teresa’s ancestors.


Guess Who?

Genealogy can be a very serious pastime.

I know I will find out someday who’s who on this picture sent last year by Dennis Lagasse IV.

Dennis Lagasse wedding pictureThis could be Bertha Lagasse’s wedding picture, but I could be wrong.


Who's Who

What are the clues?

Clue number 1

Bertha’s grandfather Dennis Lagasse II is there. He is a widower. His wife Henriette Alexandre died in 1907 and Dennis has been living since 1910 with his daughter Malvina Dubé née Lagasse who was the widow of Joseph Dubé. So it would make sense that Malvina Lagasse be on this picture next to him.

Who's Who Dennis Lagasse II

Clue number 2

Bertha’s father Dennis Lagasse III is there as well as Bertha’s mother Amanda Ménard. This picture has to have been taken before Dennis died in April 1922.

Who's Who Dennis Lagasse III and Amanda Ménard

Clue number 3

The picture probably was taken in late fall by the look of the foliage and the leaves on the ground.

Clue number 4

Bertha Lagasse married William E Austin on November 21, 1921 in Bristol, Hartford, Connecticut. It must have been a warm November day in 1921…

Clue number 5

Ida Lagasse, Bertha’s sister, is on the picture with a child holding her skirt. Ida had married Hector Lamothe in 1919 as we see on this photo.


Their first child was Jeannette Lamothe was born around 1920. Gertrude Lagasse, Ida’s and Bertha’s sister,  married Francis Speilman in 1917 so this can’t be Gertrude’s wedding here.

Dennis Lagasse wedding picture Ida Lagasse

Clue number 6

Bertha’s two brothers are there:  Napoleon Levi is in front with a young woman holding a bouquet of flowers. We don’t know who she is.

Who's Who Levi Napoleon Lagasse and Marie-Louise Dubé

Harry Lagasse, or is it Victor Philip, hard to see clearly, is also there.

Who's Who Victor Lagasse


Clue number 7

People on the left are probably Dubés since Napoleon and Eugene were close to the Lagasses. Napoléon Dubé and Eugène Dubé were present when Dennis was electrocuted in 1922. I will never know if they are really Dubés since Ray Dubé never wrote back after one e-mail. For now I will assume Eugène Dubé is there with his wife Lillie Lagasse,

They’re Ray’s grandparents! 

Maybe Ray thought I was crazy somehow…

But then maybe I am jumping to conclusions.

Who's Who Lillie and Eugene

But I might be dead wrong about this wedding picture, and this could be the wedding of one of the Dubés. I will never know.

Boy I had wished I had been invited to the wedding…

Clue anyone?


I know someday I will share with you what someone is willing to share unless they feel I am too crazy or passionate a person like one of my famous ancestors.


Jean Nicolet, passionate grandfather of Wisconsin

At least Teresa don’t think I am too passionate about her ancestors.

To be continued…

poster 2nd Vermont Infantry

Coming soon in a theater near you

Dennis Lagasse II… A Family Man Take Two

I have posted something similar last year when Dennis Lagasse IV sent me more than 100 family pictures to share with you.

I know I might be hard to follow sometimes, but this is not my fault if my great-great-grandfather  Stanislas Lagacé I, born in 1816, chose to name one of his sons  Stanislas II, born in 1842, my great-grandfather, who, in turn, in 1864, named one of his sons Stanislas III aka Dennis Lagasse III.

picture from Dennis 4.2

Dennis Lagasse III and four of his five sons:
Napoleon Levi, Harvey, Victor Philip, Dennis III, Harry.
The guy in front is still unidentified

Dennis Lagasse III, who wrote also his name Stanislas Lagassey, was Bertha’s father.

cemeteryStanislas Lagasse

All this to say that I believe my great-grandfather Stanislas Lagacé II aka Dennis Lagasse II was a family man and that he must have loved a lot his grandchildren just like I do.

picture from Dennis 2

Dennis Lagasse II with Harvey and Rose Elmira, children of Dennis III

Stanislas Lagacé II was born on August 9, 1842, in Henryville in the province of Quebec.

Sure I knew back in 2007 that I had a great-grandfather like everybody else, but I knew nothing about him. 

Everything I have found out since about Stanislas Lagacé I, Stanislas Lagacé II and Stanislas Lagacé III is because some people cared and were willing to share what little information they had about Stanislas I, II, and III.

Dennis Lagasse II

I’m a bit confused my great-grandson…

Bear with me please…

My 3rd cousin Sandy had been looking for Stanislas Lagacé II since 1985 when her uncle got her interested in genealogy. She always wondered who was that elusive Dennis Lagasse she had in her notes and who were these people on this picture she once thought throwing it away.

four generations of Lagasse

Dennis II, Dennis III, Harry Lagasse and his son Gerard

Dennis Lagasse was just a name in her database. Then she found me on Ancestry in 2010. Dennis Lagasse, who was his great-great-grandfather’s brother, was not elusive anymore and he quickly became even more famous than Emeril Lagasse…

Well at least on this blog that is…


As easy to follow as my recipes…

Lionel Lagasse who a descendant of Dennis Lagasse III had these three pictures of Dennis Lagasse II (Stanislas Lagacé), my great-grandfather. I recognized him easily. He’s the old man in the white hat and Levi Napoleon, Lionel’s father, is shooting at something with a stick.


On this next picture, Dennis Lagasse II is the old man with the big mustache on the far right in the last row. Dennis III is in front of him. I can’t identify who are the other people.

Sorry about that.

Guess where Dennis II is now…?

A wedding?

To be continued…

Bertha Lagasse Austin


Since this was posted earlier this year, we have found the identify of the young woman on the picture. She’s Bertha’s sister Odna Lagasse.



Well the time has come…

Teresa had posted a comment this week after reading my post Out of Gas?

Good Evening,
My name is Teresa Brooks Pease.  
I am a descendant of Bertha Lagasse Austin.  My Grandmother is Elizabeth (Betty) Austin DeWick.  I dont have very much information about the Austin/Lagasse and as my grandmother just passed December of 2012. 
I’m not sure I will be able to provide you with any futher information other than what my grandfather may have.  
Please feel free to contact me.  
I would love to learn more about my family history.

“Please feel free to contact me.  I would love to learn more about my family history.”

I was all excited.

Now I should be able to get confirmation if Bertha Austin née Lagasse is really on this picture because Teresa wrote again.

And I thought that I had scared her away!

I also found out that Teresa and I are 2nd cousins twice removed which means we share this common ancestor

Soldier of the Régiment Carignan-Salières Illustrator Francis Back

and this one…

Dennis Lagasse II

Stanislas Lagacé 1842-1927

Stanislas Lagacé is her great-great-great-grandfather while he is my great-grandfather. That’s the twice removed thing. Her great-great-grandfather is Dennis Lagasse III, Bertha’s father.

He is this man under the hat with four of his five sons. Harry Lagasse is not on the picture.

Dennis Lagasse III and some of his sons

Napoleon Levi, Harvey, Victor Philip, ? (a cousin?) and Joseph

Priceless picture isn’t for someone who has no pictures of their ancestors…

Dennis Lagasse III is my grandfather’s brother Léo Lagacé Senior. Dennis (his real given name is Stanislas) was born in 1864 and Leo in 1888. 24 years apart. Dennis died in 1922 and my grandfather died in 1964.

acte de deces leo lagace senior

Priceless document…

That’s the clue that got me here writing this blog. I knew nothing about my grandfather’s ancestors back in 2007 when I got addicted to genealogy. 


Click here.

Getting back to Teresa who knows very little about her ancestors, she told me about her grandaunt Dorothy Austin and her granduncle William Austin who are still living. They are Bertha Lagasse’s children. They should be able to identify their mother on the picture, and they should have more pictures to share.

At least I hope so.

I just have a few notes on Bertha, and last month, while checking my family tree, I found her in the 1940 U.S. Census.

That’s a great place to start looking for clues when you know what you are looking for.

1940 William Austin family

William Austin was an electrician and he was living at 235 Union Avenue in West Haven, Connecticut.


We don’t have pictures of these people in the censuses. Luckily for us we had Lionel Lagasse’s family album. He brought it with him when he visited his son Dennis last fall. Back in 2011 Dennis Lagasse did not know much about his roots. He found my blog or I found him on a genealogy forum, can’t recall…

In a split second he became Dennis Lagasse IV and he found all about his French-Canadian roots right up to André Mignier.

Soldier of the Régiment Carignan-Salières Illustrator Francis Back

soldier of Carignan-Salière regiment

I think he was elated to find his virtual 2nd cousin once removed from Quebec.

This is a picture he first shared with me. I was all excited. I call it my Rosetta stone.

I knew who these people were. 

His great-grandfather Dennis Lagasse III is seen her with his wife Amanda Ménard and their family. 11 children, 5 boys and 6 girls.

Last September Dennis sent me lots of new pictures with lots of people photographed… but Bertha was nowhere to be seen.


Since I had found everything on Bertha’s roots, I had focused my search on William Austin.

Well lo and behold! His real name was not Austin after all.


Out of gas?

man with car

I know some people down South who are hoping I don’t run out.

Dennis Lagasse wedding picture

Bertha? Now We Will Find out

I wrote this post a few months ago.


Why am I writing so much about Our Ancestors?

It’s because of your ancestors like Bertha Lagasse seen here, first row on the left. Well I think she is Bertha Lagasse.

This picture was sent by Robin last year. It was part of more than 100 pictures she scanned even though she is not directly related to us.

She shares the same passion.

I had quickly identified Levi Napoleon, Ida, and perhaps Bertha Lagasse thanks to this other picture Dennis IV had sent me which is, in a way, a kind of Rosetta stone.

Dennis sent me last September a lot of new pictures with a lot of people photographed…

Levi Napoleon and Ida are seen on almost each one, but Bertha is not anywhere to be seen. Most of these people should be related to Dubés or Dubes as seen on U.S. censuses.

One day someone will write a comment like Judy did and the floogates will open wide.


Well the time has come…

Good Evening,
My name is Teresa Brooks Pease.  
I am a descendant of Bertha Lagasse Austin.  My Grandmother is Elizabeth (Betty) Austin DeWick.  I dont have very much information about the Austin/Lagasse and as my grandmother just passed December of 2012.
I’m not sure I will be able to provide you with any futher information other than what my grandfather may have.  
Please feel free to contact me.  
I would love to learn more about my family history.