Pun intended of course…

very interestingVery interesting,
but unbelieva…vaga..vaga…gable…

This picture brings so much good memories from the 60s when I was in my 20s.

Little did I know back then that I would be writing about Chrétien Lemaire who could me a Hessen Hannau Jäger in 1777.


Hesse-Hanau was a semi-independent appendage of Hesse-Kassel, governed by the Protestant Hereditary Landgrave William, eldest son of the Catholic Frederick II of Hesse-Kassel. When William received news of the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, he unconditionally offered a regiment to King George III.[20] During the course of the war, Hanau provided 2,422 troops; only 1,441 returned in 1783.[13] A significant number of Hessian soldiers were volunteers from Hanau, who had enlisted with the intent of staying in the Americas when the war was over.[14]

Colonel Wilhelm von Gall is one well-known officer from Hesse-Hanau; he commanded a regiment from Hanau under General John Burgoyne.[21] Among the units sent to North America were one battalion of infantry, a battalion of jägers, a battalion of irregular infantry known as a Frei-Corps, and a company of artillery. (Wiki)

Everything is about memories from the past you know.

Even distant ones.

I have a lot of memories in my genes, and this is the main reason I write a lot.

I’m French Canadian.

I have always lived in the province of Quebec. My mother tongue is French, but I always had no problem with the English language. The proof of the pudding is this blog about genealogy with close to 600 posts.

Little did I know back in 2007, when I got hooked on genealogy, that I had genes that came from the U.S.

In 2009 I found that my grandfather and his parents were living in Bristol, Connecticut.

famille Lagacé 1900

1900 U.S. Census

This quest led me to find all that I could find about people related to my grandfather Léo and the Lagassees, Lagasses, Lagassées, Lagassés, Lagacés, LaGasses that had emigrated to the U.S. in the 1800s.

Agnes Lagaser (Lagasse) was one of them.

Agnes Lagasse

Her headstone Joe found at St. Joseph Church Cemetery led me to Steve Myers and to his father who is now looking at a whole bunch of old pictures I sent Steve.

While Steve’s father is looking, I will be looking at Christoph or Chrétien Lemaire a Hanau Chasseur (Jäger) if he is in fact Steve’s ancestor.

Chrétien Lemaire

Chrétien Lemaire appears on this list found on a forum in 2007. It’s written in French and in English by Claude Crégheur.

Bonjour à tous
Hello everyone

Voici la liste des Chasseurs de la Compagnie du Capitaine Castendyck
“congédiés” entre 1777 et 1783 au Canada.

Here's the list of Hesse Hanau Chasseurs form the Captain Castendyck's

Company discharged between 1777 and 1783 in Canada.
Reference : MG 21/ Sir Frederick Haldimand / Letters of Officers of the German legion, with reports, 1778-1784
Microfilm A-743 ANC/PAC

Caporal Jacques Werner
Chirurgien Sebastian Burgy

Tous les noms qui suivent sont des Chasseurs qui, majoritairement, faisaient partie de La Compagnie Kornrumpff à leur arrivée au Canada.

All the following names are Jägers who, for the most, were in Capt.
Kornrumpff's Company at their arrival in Canada.

Jacques Meyer
Nicolas Gullerie
Jean Diehl
Jean Gräeff
Laurent Ilten(m)
Conrad Feith
Peter Raymond
Henri Schenck
Nicolas Weigand
George Deissinger
Philippe Deülher
Chrétien Seelauder
Henri Henss
Henri Schoepner
Philippe Starck
Anthoine Goeckell
Paul Schuikard
Melchior Kayser
Nathieu Proth
Oswald Weigand
Harthmann Voigt
George Krumm
Sammuel Withsack
André Bonckell
Jacques Sereny
Christophle Kroeser
Melchior Kiroch
Conrad Schaefer
Chrétien Lemaire
Frederic Webell
George Paster
Conrad Schultz
Jean Kopp
Guillaume Kratz
Jean Wagner
Henri Melbius
Michel Mexner
Michel Schaefer
Henri Boehm
George Gross
Henri Detrie
Conrad Schnabell
Guillaume Hartmann
Joseph Rheinhard
George Fessner
George Sussner
Nicolas Wagner
Chretien Henning
Casimir Kreissler
Sammuel Stenzeu
Erneste Gerhard
Henri Launhard
Balthasar Seibert
Frederic Wimmer
Albert Kling
Jean Calchoff
Jean Preller
Leonhard Weinem
Frederic Hoffmann
Jean Stirner

A suivre…

Claude Crégheur

We are never sure about our ancestors unless you find documented evidence of who our ancestors were.

This is the first official document leading us to someone whose name was Chrétien Lemeyère. He could be Chrétien Lemaire found on the list above.

marriage Jean-Baptiste Lemaire Marie Paquet full page

Jean-Baptiste Lemeyère’s marriage act

marriage Jean-Baptiste Lemaire Marie Paquet part 1

bottom page

marriage Jean-Baptiste Lemaire Marie Paquet

top page

Jean-Baptiste Lemeyère, son of Chrétien Lemeyère and Josephte Vincent dit Lagarde married Marie Paquet in 1808.

marriage Jean-Baptiste Lemaire Marie Paquet full page

His mother Josephte Vincent dit Lagarde is said to be deceased. His father Chrétien Lemeyère is still living.

When did Chrétien Lemeyère’s wife died?

I found that out and probably more clues that will lead us to Chrétien Lemaire, Steve’s ancestors.

1785 burial Josephte Vincent 30 November 1785

Very interesting…

A website suggestion from a reader who dropped in…

May I suggest an interesting web site www.many-roads.com where Mark  Rabideau discusses and has links to other sites discuss Anglo-French names as well as the ever-popular “dit” names.  Also, speaking of Anglicized names, I’m a mostly of Scotch-Irish descendant, but grew up in a French-Canadian community.  One of our neighbors was a family named “Lagasse” whose name may be derived from your own!

very interestingVery interesting…

Click on the image.

About who commented… Click here.

What’s in a Name?

Many Americans will never find their French Canadian roots because of their surname.

If your ancestors’ surname is Burgess it could be in fact Bourgeois just like Pam who wrote me a message on Ancestry a few months ago about Bella Bourgeois.

I always take the time to answer back because you nevah, nevah know…

Same with Susan who also wrote. Both are somewhat addicted to genealogy so I didn’t have to lend a helping hand that much although I was happy to translate some French documents for them.

Getting back to Steve and genealogy, Arthur Joseph Myers was in fact Arthur Joseph Lemaire. His real name could also be Arthur Joseph Bretmeyer if some research done on the Lemaires are true.

What about all this Bretmeyer – Lemaire lineage?

These are a few notes I found on the Internet back in 2011 when I was searching for Myers and Lemaires in my family tree.

This is an exchange of messages between John Merz and Paul Lamoureux on a genealogy forum.

Very interesting…

very interestingHere I found the BRETMEYER File which did confirm that Christian was a soldier of the British 53rd regiment.

Chrétien LemaireThis is from document 24226 and 24227 of microfilm C-2511 (RG1 L3L) including the discharge from the 53rd, dated Montreal, 24. Dec.1783.

Btw. it gave his place of birth as the parish of Swannabach, which I identified as 39397 Schwanebeck, State of Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany.

Hope this helps.
John Merz


Dear Paul,

I am forwarding this to my two mail lists which are the one’s with the experts on Hessians and in the same time the experts in Quebec genealogy.

This is a very interesting case we have here, and you raise some interesting questions.

Christian or Christoph LEMAIRE/LAMERE/LEMERE that’s how he is listed in HETRINA VI (Hanau troops).

He was born 1736/37 in Moempelgard Montbéliard?), France and joined the 2.Comp. of the Hanau Chasseur Corps in Feb. 1777, meaning, he was with them from the beginning when the Corps was established in Hanau.

He did have some career, and I wish I knew more about it, but that what the Hetrina entries indicate. He was first a private, and was promoted to Corporal in Dec. 1777. It is possible that as a member of the 2. Comp. under Captain Castendyck, he participated in the siege of Stanwix and the battle of Oriskany in August 1777.

Somehow in September 1780 he is listed as a deserter, but he did return in May of 1782 and was demoted to a private. In July 1783 he did receive his honourable discharge from the Corps and remained in Quebec. This is what the military records provide.

As to your other question about French names in Hessian towns, my hometown Hanau is full of French names. Huguenots, Wallones, who build a new city – Neuhanau outside the old-Althanau in the 17th century, when they were prosecuted and driven out of France.

Many of the descendants served in Hanau troops one time or another, and particularly during the American Revolution. This is what makes it so hard for me to trace them in Quebec. Their names disappeared in the records, while German names stuck out like sore thumps.

Now I have given you what I have, but I know there will be some readers of this with much more information, and I wish they would post their answers to this list, because you are not the only one who is interested.

Good luck and happy hunting.
John Merz

From: “Paul Paula Lamoureux” <>
> Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2002 1:10 PM
> Subject: Hesse-Hanau
After reading many of the queries, I was hoping that you may be of assistance in giving me a clue with solving a problem I am having regarding one of my ancestors. The surname in question is ” Lemaire” He married Catherine Lentendre 1789 in Sorel, Quebec.

According to a book (which I haven’t seen) called Debor Herbert Wilhem. “German Soldiers of the American War of Independence as Settlers in Canada”, there are supposed to be two Lemaires listed as arriving in 1776-77. A Chrétien Lemaire, (Brunswick soldier discharged in North America in 1783 from the Hesse-Hanau Rangers)? Lemaire, which I am hoping may be my ancestor.

Source Wilhelmy, Jean-Pierre. German Mercenaries in Canada, Beloeil, Quebec, arriving in 1776…….
The question I have: most of the soldiers in the Hessian Army, came from Germany. I haven’t seen any French names listed, or the place of origin from France. Is there a possibility that the name may have been changed from? to Lemaire when they stayed in Canada. I am aware of one name that was changed to Lebleu but that is all.


Paul Lamoureux

A little piece of American Revolution history:
French-Canadian girls marrying Hessian soldiers between 1783-1800:
I’ll quote first from my book “He was a Hessian” (out of print);

“The rulers of six principalities had signed contracts with the British to supply up to 30,000 troops for the fight against the American rebels. Most of those troops were regular army units, the soldiers were regular drafted men. also by no means were they Volunteers or what is still claimed today, that they were “Mercenaries”.

They most certainly were not!

However, smaller units were put together by some princes which were known as the Chasseur Corps. Those men were the true mercenaries, they were volunteers, mostly hunters, experienced men of the forest, sharp shooters, these men were right at home in the Canadian and American wilderness. Those chasseurs were engaged in most battles and skirmishes of the revolution, wherever there was some action, there were Chasseurs involved. They were also much better paid than regular soldiers.

When the Northern army under the command of General Burgoyne in the summer of 1777 marched down along Lake Champlain towards Albany, and had to surrender at Saratoga in October of 1777, because they were surrounded and cut off from Canada by a superior number of rebels, Canada itself was in great danger of being attacked again by the Americans. At that time the Chasseurs, or how they were called, the “Green Yeagers”, were assembled in Germany and hastily brought over to form a first line of defense, together with some provincial fighting units like the Butler’s Rangers in Niagara.

These Chasseurs from Hesse-Hanau and from Brunswick were stationed in the Quebec area along the St.Lawrence River, and at places like Carleton Island near Kingston, and also at the Ile-aux-Naux in the Richelieu River. One Hanau Chasseur unit even took part in the expedition against Fort Stanwix in 1777 and the Battle of Oriskany which resulted in the defeat of a strong rebel force and the death of their leader General Nicholas Herkimer. However, they did not succeed in taking Fort Stanwix and had to return home to Quebec. The Americans, being well aware of the presence of those tough fighting units, did not attempt any more attacks against Canada itself for the rest of the war. This is in my humble opinion one of the reasons why we still have an independent Canada today. At the peace in 1783, when all regular German troops were shipped back to Germany, quite a few of the regulars asked to be permitted to stay in Canada, some of them when permission was not granted, deserted from their units and took shelter within the Canadian population.

The chasseurs wanting to stay in Canada did not have those problems, most of them did get a discharge in Canada and settled down. They were volunteers, they would have been discharged in Germany anyway, and with giving them the discharge already here in Canada, saved the transportation back to the old country. One has to realize the true proportions of this influx of new German blood into the French-Canadian population. In the year 1783 there were appr. 60-70 000 Canadians of French origins living in the Province of Quebec. After the peace, of the roughly 2,500 Hessians who remainded in Canada, close to 2,000 of them stayed in Quebec, scattered all over the country side along both shores of the St.Lawrence River.

They married French-Canadian girls, raised big families, worked as farmers, bakers, shoemakers, blacksmiths, doctors, tavernkeepers, served in the local militia’s, became lawyers, musicians, physicians, and surveyors, in other words, these former soldiers contributed very much to the well being of the Quebecers and to their culture. However, sad to say, one thing they did not do, they did not teach their children to speak German. In most cases their German names were changed to sound French, Johann became Jean, Jacob became Jacques, but it was even more drastic with last names. A Beyer became Payeur, a Pfeiffer became Fiffre, or a Teffner ended up as Theveneur, a Schlossmacher as Shlousmakre, a Schultz as Choults, and so on. In one case Ebacher became Baker, in another they eliminated the last name of Adam Raubenheimer, a Hesse-Hanau Chasseur, completely, and the family is known today as “Les Adams”. Fact is, within a short period of time, perhaps within 30 years hardly a trace of this German invasion could be detected, these men were absorbed by the French-Canadian culture, sucked up like spilled milk by a giant sponge.

Only in the old church records of the Quebec parishes does one find the names, and as one searches through these records, one can find the signatures of those men in German handwriting sticking out like a giant (sore) thump, here signed: Johann Daniel Doerge”, or Fritz Gerner”. (Both these men had served with the Brunswick troops and were properly discharged in 1783) Both of them married and settled in Sorel.

End of this short story

After you read this, one realizes the difficulties encountered in tracking elusive ancestors.

John Merz

Fascinating stuff isn’t?

very interesting

I sent it to Steve last week so he can look at it and reflect on his Myers lineage.

Do I take genealogy seriously?

Of course I do take genealogy seriously even though it does not seem that way when you read some of my posts or the comments I post afterwards.

A friend once told me, Life is too short, start with the dessert.

I will always remember what he said.

Getting back to genealogy let’s travel back in time to San Diego, California. 


The census man is here!
All hands on deck.

We set the date around January 1920 when the census man climbs on board USS Talbot (DD-114).

1920 Arthur J Myers

Arthur J. Myers is a sailor on that ship. He’s our man allright. Every information is correct except his age. Born in 1883 he would be 37 and not 35 in 1920.

Arthur is a CGM (Chief Gunner’s Mate).

I wish I had a picture to show you.

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Request about St. Joseph Church Cemetery in Bristol, Connecticut

I got a request.

Someone left this comment…

At St. Joseph Church cemetery, have you by any chance encountered such French names as Lusignan, Patenaude, Hogue or others?

Here are some of the headstones I took pictures of.

I will be adding more from time to time so this reader and others can take good look at what I found.

By clicking on each one you will have a larger view.


Cordelia Goulet Sampson

Georgiana Goulet Brown

Jacques Goulet 1828-1903


Elmire Brault


Épouse de
Fanie Lupien!


Valéda and Dora Lupien


To be continued…?


Melece Lacourse
Wife of
George J. Vanasse


George J. Vanasse


Louis Cote (Côté)


His wife
Elmira Cote


Henry Cote (son?)


Lacourse family headstone


Civil War soldier’s headstone

Leave no stone unturned?

I know someone will like to take a good look at this one.


To be continued…?

Reflecting this Sunday morning.


Reflecting on how someone must be overwhelmed when he finds all the information about his ancestors like Steve Myers.

I don’t annoy people with genealogy and I don’t sell anything like phoney coats-of arms.

phony coats of arms

The proof of the pudding…

I sent a reply to this post I found last week on Genealogy.com. This message was dated November 17, 2009.

Hello, I am looking for any information on ancestors of Arthur Joseph Myers, b. Nov. 1, 1883 in Waterbury, VT. I believe the family originally came from Bordeaux, France via Quebec, Canada. The surname was changed when they entered the US; the original name may have been ‘LeMaires’ or some variation thereof. Any information would be greatly appreciated.



I don’t do this often, but this time I could not resist the temptation since Steve posted this request in 2009, and the Arthur Joseph Myers he was looking for seemed to be a perfect match for Arthur J. Myers the son of Julian Myers and Agnes Lagasse.

Agnes Lagasse

I wrote this…

Still looking for Arthur J Myers son of Julian Myers and Agnes Lagasse?


Write to me.


Strangely enough I started this blog in September 2009.

Steve replied!

So I invited him to visit my Ancestry family tree to have a look.

Everything about his ancestor Arthur J. Myers is there.

Agnes Lagasse file

Pretty overwhelming stuff even for someone like me when I look back at it.

I can’t believe I have been researching all these people related to my grandfather Leo of whom I knew very little about until someone sent me this document. That document jump started all that I have been writing on this blog.

acte de deces leo lagace senior

This document was just the tip of the iceberg in my quest for other people’s ancestors.

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Some iceberg!

When I dig, I dig deep, and I have not stopped since.

So what’s all this excitement about a man called Arthur Joseph Myers?

Arthur Joseph Myers

Every clue leads to another… and another…


Even to San Diego in the 1920s.

To be continued…?

coat of arms 1

Of course, if Steve teams up with the A-Team like Sandy, Joe, Fran, Robin, Ed, and Frank did,… and of course Donna and a host of all other people who have been teaming with me since 2009.

The A-Team

Who do you think you are…? Redux

Redux time again!

I know you just can’t wait.

So do I. This is one of my favorite posts.

Start reading…

I know some people get all excited when they discover their Lagacé lineage.

They immediately connect to Emeril Lagasse.

I don’t mind that at all.

When the excitement is all over, then they start digging deeper and then they find there is so much more to learn about their roots than being a distant relative to Emeril Lagasse.

I did not know who Emeril Lagasse was before I started searching for my ancestor André Mignier back in 2007.

So let’s say I discovered Emeril Lagasse after I discovered everything about the Lagacés, and the Lagasses, and the LeGasse, and the LeGacy, and… so on and so on…

Emeril Lagasse is my 8th cousin meaning our common ancestors were brothers 8 generation back.



Who do you think you are…?

In a way, just someone extraordinary like celebrities are.

Like Idala Lagasse who is a celebrity to his descendants…

Idala 1930

Idala Lagasse

And of course yourself when you will become your descendants’ ancestor.

That what I think you are…



That’s stop in French.

I just found a new third cousin once removed. His ancestor was Agnes Lagasse.


His  great-great-grandmother was resting in peace since July 5th 1901 in St. Joseph Church cemetery until Joe found her headstone while I was looking all around for French Canadian names.

To be continued…


If I remember correctly these next four pictures were taken in 1978.

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That’s what Donna told me when we met last week.

But this picture does not fit in that timeframe. I think the man is Victor Philip Lagasse.

He died in 1964!

lagasse sisters 1978-4

So this picture could not have been taken in 1978. Maybe I misunderstood what Donna told me.

I can’t remember also who was that lady with the gift wrapping ribbon flower on her forehead.

lagasse sisters 1978-1

The smile on her face reminded me of a little girl on a picture taken in 1912.

Dennis Lagassey family

This might be unimportant to most people, but when you see this montage I did…

Alice or Toni

… you start to wonder who was who on this 1912 picture just in front of Odna, Donna’s grandmother?Dennis Lagassey family


Bertha or Gertrude… Final Answer Redux

Well this is it folks…

I am now 100% sure who was the wedding couple on this old picture thanks to Odna who is on the left.

Odna Lagasse at the wedding

Now read this post I wrote this last summer. It is interesting to read once more before I identify more people on that picture part of Dennis Lagasse IV’s collection of old pictures.

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Start reading…

I jumped the gun yesterday about closing the book on Dennis Lagasse III’s and Amanda Ménard’s children.

This picture is what started it all in 2010 when I found a descendant of Victor Philippe Lagasse. 

This is the original his mother had.

original picture of the Lagasse family

There was Pepere, Aunt Ida and Levi. That’s all I had to go on. Pepere was my grandfather’s older brother.

I had to find out who the other people were on the picture. Since 2009 I found a lot but not all. I had a lot of help from my readers.

All in the Family

You are never too sure about your findings when you start looking for relatives you knew little about in the first place and try to identify them through old pictures.

This next picture was sent be Dennis IV in 2011. I got all excited because I knew most of the people on it. It was like a big virtual family reunion.

Bertha or Gertrude

In 2013, two daughters were still to be positively identified.

Bertha or Gertrude.

This is Bertha on a picture taken in 1991 sent last year by her great-granddaughter who found my blog.

Bertha Lagasse

Five generations!

Hard to tell who is Bertha and who is Gertrude by comparing it to that picture.

Bertha or Gertrude

I had found out that Bertha Lagasse had married William E. Austin on November 16, 1921. Gertrude Lagasse married Francis Spielman on November 14, 1917.

Yesterday I told you that I believed this was Gertrude’s and Francis’ wedding picture.

Dennis Lagasse wedding pictureWell I was wrong.

It appears to be Bertha’s and William’s wedding because Ida Lagasse is on the right with her two year-old daughter Jeannette holding on to Ida’s skirt.

So what about Gertrude Lagasse and Francis Spielman…

They had these children that I know of.

Francis Spielman 1919 –
Edmond Spielman 1921 –
Margaret Spielman 1922 –
Dorothy Spielman 1924 –
Donald Spielman 1926 – 1990
Marie Spielman 1930 – 1980

I don’t have any old pictures. Just this.

Donald Spielman

This is Donald Spielman’s headstone found on Find A Grave. Not much to go on. Donald Spielman married Lena Paradis.

That’s not much to go on isn’t?

Of course you never know when someone will write a comment like Donna did last month and started sharing information and pictures about the Ritchie family.

Frank Ritchie cemetery zoom

Stop reading… 

I have another motto.

You are never 100% sure when looking for ancestors…

Senior’s moments…

Before I have one of those…?

Ah yes!

Senior’s moments!

senior moments

It’s about this picture Dennis Lagasse IV sent me last year.

Dennis Lagasse wedding picture

I was wondering who was who. While I was sitting with Donna at Joe’s place on a Wednesday morning, it suddenly dawned on me…

Of course this is Odna, Donna’s grandmother, with her first daughter Helen born in 1918.

Odna Lagasse at the wedding

With this finding, I think I have finally found who was the wedding couple and when that picture was taken!

Now do you remember why I have been writing so much since 2009 about our ancestors?

Click on this picture.

Bertha Lagasse