This is Amanda Ménard, the Mother of all your grandmothers or your great-grandmothers.
She is a very important person because you would not be reading this.
When Donna sent this picture two weeks ago I first thought it was Amanda’s daughter Odna, but Donna told me that she was her great-grandmother Amanda.
I won’t argue with Donna. She should know more about her great-grandmother than I do.
But does she?
Amanda Ménard had 11 children.
I know everything about her children and some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Back in 2009, I did not know anything about Amanda Ménard. She had never existed nor did her husband Dennis Lagasse III, my grandfather’s brother.
Later on, Amanda became a name on an obituary full of information on her and her children.
Just like her husband Dennis Lagasse’s obituary who died in 1922.
Lots of precious information.
My grandfather died in 1964 and I believe he never talked to me once in his life.
Grandfathers seemed not to talk that much in those days to their grandchildren…
Only on death certificates.
This is how I found his mother’s name: H. Alexandre. This is how this blog evolved in the first place.
Go figure why grandfathers did not talk much to their grandchildren. I am sure my great-grandfather Dennis Lagasse II talked to them a lot…
He must have been well ahead of his time.
On this picture, my grandfather’s older brother Dennis Lagasse III (Dennis was born in 1864 and Leo in 1888) is under the hat.
Four of his sons are behind him.
Dennis is wearing Joseph’s hat because his own hat is on top of the branches and Joseph on the right is without a hat.
I have other pictures to prove all this.
So you will have to trust me…
Napoleon Levi Lagasse is on the left, then Harvey Lagasse (whose nickname was Big Harvey, Victor Philip Lagasse, then probably what I thought was a nephew, and finally his youngest son Joseph E. Lagasse without his cap because his father is wearing it.
Now what about Amanda…
Here she is on some other pictures from the old family album of Lionel, Dennis Lagasse IV’s father. Dennis IV is the guy who has goose bumps sometimes when he reads this blog.
Is this a wedding picture of one of her daughters…?
It can’t be Odna Lagasse’s wedding because she married Frank Ritchie in January 1917 in Bristol, Connecticut, unless this was an early sign of global warming.
I have a theory that this is Bertha’s wedding in November 1921. I had explained this theory in this post. I also have a theory about global warming.
Don’t laugh if you have just read what I had written earlier this year!
This is why genealogy is so much fun. You learn every day.
Amanda is seen here again probably visiting family. I can’t figure out who are the two men and I won’t even try to elaborate a theory since I don’t recognise any hats.
This is Amanda again, and I am sure she is not visiting family.
So what about Dennis Lagasse III’s real hat?
Now I am realizing that this picture was taken the same day and the people are the same!
And I thought it was a nephew all along!
Dennis III and his five sons
I just love to look at old pictures and finding who is who. Now when and where was it taken?
Good question… but I have no theory.
Amanda died in 1955. I was 5 years old at that time and I was (still am) living in Quebec. I never met Amanda in my lifetime…
But to think about it, I have met her with my 3rd cousin Joe from Plainville when Joe and I visited St-Thomas cemetery in 2011 and 2012.
Joe and I were looking for Dennis Lagasse I’s and Dennis Lagasse II’s final resting place.
I believe both are buried here, but their names are not inscribed.
Just another theory of mine.
Footnote to the footnote
Dennis Lagasse’s real name was Stanislas Lagacé and he was born in 1864 not in 1865. Amanda was born in 1866 and when you zoom in what seems 1868 is in fact 1866.
In genealogy you always have to get your facts right.