Hard Times and a Hard Man


A story worth reading

Moore Genealogy

Picture from the Joseph Metcalf collection.

Recently my wife and I traveled to Potter County in Pennsylvania to visit family, three cousins on my father’s side to be precise. They are Susan who I met while researching my family a few years ago, the second Joseph whom I knew about but never met, and the third Kelly was a very recent discovery via DNA findings at ancestry.com. I only had a short time to spend (less than two full days) with them, and we will be getting together for a longer visit in the near future.

My cousin Joseph Metcalf is the grandson of Henry Joseph Moore. Henry Moore was the brother of my grandfather Frank Moore, so Henry is my great uncle. From what I know about my grandfather Frank, and the type of man he was, it is hard to believe that the two men were brothers. Both…

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Dead Ends?

I had a lot of dead ends since 2007 when I started getting interested in genealogy.

This dead end was one of the many reasons behind Our Ancestors.

She was known in 2010 as “unknown young woman Bristol late 1890s”.

If you look closely at my header on Our Ancestors you will see her again. You will not be surprised if this is post number 1216 on my blog. The story of Myra Alexandre (or Myra Alexander) is all over on this blog, created in September 2009, as well as her sister Flavie Alexandre Lestage and a whole lot more!

When someone shared these pictures in 2010, I just had to write about this unknown young woman whom at first I thought was my grandaunt Malvina Lagasse, sister of the elusive Dennis Lagasse.

Boy was I dead wrong.

I had also reached a dead end with descendants of Robert Lagasse, the son of Joseph Miller Lagasse and Edwina Newcity, whom I had found in the 1900 U.S. census.

His parents were on the previous page.

Joseph was also one of the brothers of the elusive Dennis…

That was all that I knew about Joseph Miller Lagasse and his son Robert Lagasse. Then someone found Our Ancestors and started to share his wife’s old pictures.

This one of Robert Miller…

He also sent this one and, as he put it, it was about an unknown young man…

and about an unknown old man with Dorothy Miller…

At first I thought I was looking my great-grandfather Stanislas (the elusive Dennis).

Wrong again.


Finally I figured it all out…

Dorothy was with her grandfather Joseph Miller Lagasse, father of Robert Miller seen here with his wife Gertrude May Barrett and two of their granddaughters, Dorothy and Gertrude Miller.

Dead ends?


The surname Mignier dit L’Agacé evolved through the years and varied a lot… Mignier, Minier, Meunier (which means Miller in English) to Lagassé, Lagassée, Lagacé, Lagasse, Lagassee, Lagassey…

Want more variations?

Just write me…


Dead Ends

We’ve all been there haven’t we?


If you are into genealogy, you will at some time or another hit a dead end. It is just a fact that dead ends are a part of this hobby, and they are frustrating. However, you will want to have strategies that will help you to get over, around, or through these dead end obstacles in your family searches. The following are a few tips that may help you when you run into a dead end and keep you from totally pulling your hair out. Though these tips will not solve all your problems, they should be able to get your through some of your obstacles and back on the genealogical research trail.


Another strategy for overcoming your genealogical dead end is to go back over everything you have already done.

Source: https://solveyourproblem.com/geneology/geneology_dead_ends.shtml

This picture was by no means a dead end when Alyce sent it.

I knew Idala Lagasse was there with Olivine Poupard although I didn’t know her last name in 2010.

What was bothering me again yesterday was when precisely that picture had been taken, and trying to finally figure out who was there.

I got my answer yesterday on a census page.

In 1920, Olivine Poupard was living with her daughter Livida and her son-in-law Ernest Cloutier.

I have learned last month where Idala Lagasse was living in 1920, and what he did for a living as well as his children Samuel, Antoine, and Florence. His son David, 13, was not working.

This got me thinking again about the “1921” picture I had  used  a  lot on Our Ancestors.

Idala Lagasse had five sons: Antoine, Samuel, David, George, and Rudy.

David, Samuel
George, Rudy, and Antoine

Rudy, David,
George, Antoine, and Samuel

I was sure about Antoine who was next to Eugene Moreau sitting on the stairs right under his father-in-law Idala.

Olivine Poupard was sitting on the porch with Samuel (but still not 100% sure that’s Samuel). Eugene Moreau’s wife was Idala’s daughter Rose Marie-Louise. The two little girls were Alice and Beatrice Moreau respectively 4 and a half and 6 and a half years old.

I had always thought David Lagasse was in front with the dog, but since Rudy was the youngest son and the boy was wearing overalls that would make sense…

There was still one unidentified young man on that picture.


You shouldn’t be. 

Could the unidentified man be Olivine’s son, Arthur E. Giroux, born August 3rd, 1898 in New Bedford, Massachusetts?

Revisiting the Past – Redux

This should have been posted as a sequel to the Martell story. I forgot to change the publication date when pressing the publish button. It got posted in July instead of today.

Honest mistake…

There is a sequel to all this so you will understand the reason I am going back on this story of Olivine who was just a given name in 2010. It’s all about making mistakes when you are searching for ancestors.

In 2010, Alyce and I met through the Internet. We were third cousins but we did not know that at the time. How we met is quite an incredible voyage through time. Alyce had left a message in 2000 on a genealogy forum. I answered back but I never thought that she would reply

She did!

Since then, together we made many many people happy through our mutual interest for preserving the past. This is by far one of my favorite pictures from her collection of old pictures she once thought throwing away since she had no idea who were these people if I remember correctly.

I could write a lot about who’s who on that picture.

In fact I did just that except for one person on that 1921 picture who is sitting on the chair. Olivine, Idala Lagasse’s second wife.

In 2010 we only had her first name and a few pictures, but then in 2015, a reader of Nos ancêtres, the French version of Our Ancestors found my blog…

She had her surname…


Olivine Poupard – LifeStory

Idala Antoine Lagasse – LifeStory


The Bridesmaid? – Delia Rose Martel

A descendant had the answer… and he left a comment.

The unknown woman in Archie and Anna Quesnell’s wedding photo is Delia Rose Martel, John and Anna’s sister.

John Martel and Delia Rose Martel
Anna Martel and Archie Quesnel

This is Delia Rose’s memorial on Find a Grave.

I wish I had more pictures of Delia Rose and her husband Roy L. Owen.

This is what I have for Roy…

I have linked them both for descendants who would one day search Find a Grave.

I will even post Delia Rose’s picture.

Like I did for Mary Masta and her husband Joseph Martel.


Ignace Martel or When to Stop Searching…and Writing about him?

Remember these old framed pictures sent by a far far away distant cousin?




Do you remember how I ended my last post?

This is the fascinating search in the past of the history of descendants of Pierre Quesnel, one of the founding father of Montreal or descendants of Ignace Martel who I have not the faintest idea who he was when I started looking.

In my almost obsessive search last Friday for someone’s ancestors who is related to Anna Martel married to Archie Quesnel, I found an Ignace Martel who finally led me to Anna Martel’s parents?

Anna Martel and Archie Quesnel’s wedding picture

The Ignace Martel whom I found in my obsessive research was the son of Salomon Martel and Josephte Leveque. I was not sure if I had the same Ignace Martel that I had found on a 1900 census page listed as the father of Joseph Martell.

I just had to find out.

This Ignace Martel married Melina Janson dite Lapalme on July 12th, 1853 in St-Esprit, in Montcalm county, in the province of Quebec.

While I was looking at some Ancestry hints which appeared when I entered his file, I stumbled upon this image from someone’s Ancestry tree who might be one of my very distant relatives since Archie Quesnel’s sister was married to a DeLagasse.

Ignace Martel

The same person had also this picture of a woman named Mary Masta.

Mary Masta

And a man named Joseph Martell.

He also had a Mary Martell…

And a John Martell…

Déjà vu?

There has to be a connection somehow isn’t?

Mary Masta I now believe has to be Mary Martell in Joseph Martell’s household on June 11th, 1900, and Ignace Martel the father of Joseph.

Everything fits perfectly…

Joseph Martell 45, born in 1854 (according to the census), and Mary Masta 32, born in 1867 (according to the census), got married on January 1st, 1881 in Michigan according to this marriage document.

Joseph is said to be 24 and Mary… 14!

With this information I went looking for someone with the name Joseph Martel born around 1854 in the 1861 Canadian census.

Lo and behold!

The Martel family and the Masta familie were neighbours and there was a little Joseph Martel born in 1856 (according to the census)! 

Could this be a break in my investigation?

How about finding a four year-old Mary Masta in the 1871 Canadian census?

I thought you would never ask…

Now who could be the lady on that wedding picture with the best man John Martell?

So many unanswered questions isn’t?

Before I forget here is the marriage certificate of Mary Masta’s parents Toussaint Masta and Odile Martinet.

And Mary Masta’s birth certificate. We now know she was born on October 21st, 1867 in St-Esprit.


The Quesnells and the Martells

A far and far away distant cousin sent me these old pictures and told me I could post them here on Our Ancestors with the hope of putting a name on these unknown people.


She and her distant cousins back in the United States have no idea who they are. For all they know they might be related to the Martell family or the Quesnell family who emigrated in the U.S. in the 1800s .Here is the wedding picture of Archie Quesnell and Anna Martell.

Fascinating search in the past of the history of descendants of Pierre Quesnel, one of the founding father of Montreal or descendants of Ignace Martel who I have not the faintest idea who he was.



There Is not Much that Can Stop Me… Redux

A proof to show you how finding out about your roots is so much fun…

Our Ancestors


Another Redux Post so you don’t have to read the whole blog with more than 500 posts…


When I was looking for my grandfather Leo’s ancestors, I found to my big surprise that he was living in Hartford, Connecticut with his father Stanislas, who called himself Dennis, and his mother Henriette Alexandre, who was Harriett.

Censuses are so precious to find clues about your ancestors if you know how to use them.

Léo was living with his older brother Adlore (Adélard) born in 1880. Léo was born in June 1888 and he was the last of the children.

In the 1900 U.S. census, I found out that Harriett (Henriette) had 13 children with 6 still living. That I did not know.

I had only found 12!

Click on the image it will appear in another window

Friday morning, while looking into the register of Notre-Dame-des-Anges parish in Notre-Dame…

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