Post 1050 – Remembering Elusive Dennis

That’s quite a lot of posts for a blog about genealogy, a blog remembering this man and his descendants.

Dennis Lagasse II

Collection Dennis Lagasse IV

I can only guess his character by the pictures that have been shared by my distant cousins.

Dennis Lagasse II (1842-1927)

Collection Dennis Lagasse IV

I’m sure he was a family man.

Dennis Lagasse wedding pictureCollection Dennis Lagasse IV

Elusive Dennis

Collection Dennis Lagasse IV

Someone once called him Elusive Dennis. His real name was Stanislas Lagacé son of Stanislas Lagacé and Onésime Cadieux.

This next picture made him famous, at least on Our Ancestors, as well as his son Dennis Lagassey III, his grandson Harry Lagasse and his great-grandson Gerard Lagasse born June 9, 1916.


four generations of Lagasse

Dennis Lagassey III is seen here with his five sons: Levi Napoleon, Harvey, Victor Philippe, Harry, and Joseph.

Dennis Lagasse III and some of his sons

Collection Dennis Lagasse IV

I know all about Dennis Lagassey III and his five sons. I also know all about his daughters: Rose (beside her father), Ida, Bertha, Odna, Gertrude, and in front Antoinette, and Alice.

picture from Dennis 1.1

I know all about his wife Amanda Ménard.


So what about Elusive Dennis on this group picture?

27 people.

Elusive Dennis

I know where Elusive Dennis is, but with Amanda Ménard on the extreme left in the third row I can’t positively identify anyone else. I have a hunch though we have a bunch of Dubes…Dubés…Dubeys on this group picture.

2 out of 27, that ain’t much!

Post 1050…

That’s the reason I have been posting so much since 2009, and have replied to every comment left on this blog about remembering this man.

Dennis II and Dennis III

I should ease up a bit don’t you think?


Remembering Honey

Helena Ritchie passed away on January 8th 2016.

Donna sent me this last Saturday…

Helena “Honey” M. (Ritchie) Arel, 97, of New Britain, widow of George R. Arel, passed away peacefully Friday (January 1, 2016) at Jerome Home in New Britain. Born March 10, 1918 and was native and lifelong New Britain resident, she was the daughter of the late Frank J. and Odna (Lagasse) Ritchie. She was a graduate of New Britain High School, class of 1936, and of the New Britain General Hospital School of Nursing in 1939. Helena was a registered nurse at New Britain General Hospital followed by working for Doctors Kaplan, LaCava and then Dr. Harold Bosco. During her tenure at NBGH, she attended to a young man who turned out to be the love of her life (George R. Arel) and they married in November of 1939. She later was an industrial nurse for 17 years at Fafnir Bearing Company, retiring in 1981. Helena was a member of St. Maurice Church in New Britain. Surviving are three sons, Roger Arel and his wife Dorothy of McKinney, TX; William Arel and his wife Judith of Unionville; and George Arel Jr. of Hebron; 2 daughters, Judith Grasso and her husband Louis of Plainville and Janice Melechinsky and her husband Mark of New Britain. She also leaves behind her loving grandchildren, Audrey Duncan, Cindy Coats, Gary Grasso, Joseph Grasso, Andrew Arel, Nathan Arel, Jocelyn Hall, Timothy Melechinsky, Robyn Melechinsky, Allison Arel, Sarah Arel, Jessica Arel; beloved great grandchildren Brandon McDonnell, Nick McDonnell and Dylan Duncan; and several nieces and nephews. Besides her husband George, she was predeceased by two sisters, Irene Varhol of Bristol and Doris Decker of Southington; three brothers, Francis Ritchie of Bristol; and William and Robert Ritchie, both who lost their lives in WWII. The family would like to express their thanks for the excellent care that Jerome Home had provided Helena over the past seven years. A special thanks to the day staff of the North Wing.

See more at:

I have never met Helena except on old family pictures shared by Dennis Lagasse IV in 2011.

Child- Odna - Frank - Ida - ? - ? - Levi Napoleon - Dubé? - Hector Lamothe

Helena was born March 10th 1918. Odna is holding her little girl. Helena would be around 7 months-old. Helena is “Honey” and her mother is Odna Lagasse who was a Gold Star Mother twice.

Donna pictures 6

Collection Frank Richie and Odna Lagasse family

Odna & Frank 1913

Frank Richie and Odna Lagasse

Collection Frank Richie and Odna Lagasse family

Helena is seen here once more on this montage I had made trying to figure out who her mother was in old pictures back in 2011.


I have stopped guessing.

Child- Odna - Frank - Ida - ? - ? - Levi Napoleon - Dubé? - Hector Lamothe

 Helena M Arel

Helena Ritchie 1918-2016

Helene and Ferdinand

Hercule Poirot

Par où commencer?

Where to start before I end this investigation?

I had found earlier this week who was Helene Roy’s husband.

group picture of Helene Lagasse and the Roy family identification

On August 9, 1897, Helene Roy married Ferdinand Lagasse (1868-1935), son of Louis Lagacé  and Caroline Lavoie. Ferdinand Lagasse is a distant cousin, a 6th or a 7th  cousin. I found three daughters, Anna (1906) Agnes (1913) and Clara (1905). Clara Lagasse married Eugene Riel (1906) in 1926. I found two sons Eugene Riel (1927) and Gerard (1929) according to the 1930 census in Amesbury.

Not much to go on to look for descendants isn’t?

In closing I have  found more information on most of the people on that picture.

group picture of Helene Lagasse and the Roy family identification

Leda Roy (1869-1951) married Calixte Arsenault. Rosa Roy (1886-1979) married Joseph Lemieux, Mary Roy  (1884-) married  Theodore Émond, Ida Roy (1893-) married Arthur Bélanger, Derilda Roy (1876-1969) married Ulric Fournier, Sarah Roy (1871-1919) probably never married, and Annie Roy (1879-) married William Ducharme.

Hercule Poirot

Now the question  is mes amis

Was the caption dead on?

How old is Ida Roy?

Survey says…


Only one reader played along.

group picture of Helene Lagasse and the Roy family

I have found Ida Roy’s birthdate.

Ida Roy, daughter of Clément Roy and Démérise Gagnon, was born 21 August 1892. Ida looks to be about 13 years-old give or take a few months. She was their youngest daughter.

This would put the date the picture was taken around 1905.

Leda Roy, born April 4th, 1869, would be 36. Her twin sister Helene would be also 36. Clément Roy would be 35
Sarah 34.
Louis 32.
Derilda 29.
Léon 27.
Annie 26.
Alex 23.
Mary 21.
Rosa 19.
Finally Ida 13.

Does it make sense?

Clément and Démérise both born in 1846 would be 59 years old. Is that all important to date a picture?

You tell me if you are one of these people’s descendants because I found a whole lot more.

group picture of Helene Lagasse and the Roy family identification

Final answer?


Hercule Poirot

Méfiez-vous always!

About  what  is written  on the  back of old pictures.

group picture of Helene Lagasse and the Roy family identification

Is the caption correct?

That’s what I forgot to check until I looked at Ida Roy, the youngest person in the group picture. How old  do you  think  she was when that picture was taken?

Hercule Poirot

Bonne  question mes amis…

Time Machine


Dating an old picture is an obsession.

group picture of Helene Lagasse and the Roy family

Even more when dating a picture with a caption written on the back without a date.

group picture of Helene Lagasse and the Roy family identification

What are the clues mes amis?

If the  caption  is right, Helene Roy married a Lagasse. Leda Roy married an Arsenault. In the back Rosa Roy married a Lemieux, Mary Roy married an Émond, Ida Roy married a Bélanger, Derilda Roy married a Fournier, Sarah Roy ?, and Annie Roy married a Ducharme.

What about  Sarah Roy?

Clement Roy

Courtesy Kathy Jordan

Is there more to a caption written on the back of an old picture taken before 1920?

Hercule Poirot

If the caption is right bien sûr.

The old man

Hercule Poirot in Hammonasset Beach

Le vieil homme?
Well, he could  be anyone.

Finding who’s who on picture is an obsession that started in July 2006.

I think le vieil homme is François-Xavier Lagacé (Frank  Lagasse). He is the prime suspect since his three sons (Fred, Edward and William) are there with his daughter-in-law Aurore which is also his grandniece, the daughter  of  his nephew Antoine Lagacé (Anthony Lagasse).

Bristol, Conn. about 1908-1909


It’s also complicated  to me.

Frank’s  daughter  Cora  Mamie I believe  is also  there smiling  at us since 1925.

But which one is it?

Cora Lagasse Ernie Maynard and wife Amy Gibson

Cora on the left, with her husband Albert J. Maynard

For now I am leaning towards this woman…

Cora Mamie Lagasse

To be continued  after  my other  case.

group picture of Helene Lagasse and the Roy family

Clément Roy’s and Démérise Gagnon’s family