This Blog Is So… Confusing!

This is post 1255.

I started writing this post last December realizing that searching for someone’s roots can be quite confusing at time as well as reading my blog.

A case in point…

Take given names for instance.

Stanislas Lagacé was born in 1816. His son Stanislas, born in 1842, changed his given name to Dennis when he emigrated to the U.S. His son Dennis, born in 1864, had a son named Levi Napoleon who named his son Lionel who named his son Dennis.

So you have Stanislas I, Stanislas (Dennis) II, Dennis III, and great-grandson Dennis IV.


The spelling of Lagacé is almost endless!

Minier dit L’Agacé

Mignier dit L’Agacé

Lagacé dit Mignier

Lagacé dit Meunier

Meunier dit Lagacé


Miller (English for meunier)










So what’s all this got to do with looking for lost ancestors? You have brick walls, dead ends like this headstone of a Joseph M. Lagasse and an Edwina M. Newcity…

Joseph Lagasse and Edwina Newcity

I found this headstone on the Internet while searching for Joseph, one of my great-grandfather Stanislas II (Dennis) Lagacé’s siblings.

This file is Joseph’s father’s file.

file Stanislas Lagacé

You see Joseph Lagasse 1848 – on the right with all his siblings.

Stanislas Lagacé was born 16 February, 1816. He married Onésime Cadieux in 1840. His brother was Pierre Lagacé born in 1825. Both have lots of descendants who have not the faintest idea of their French-Canadian roots except my distant cousin Alyce.

In 2007, I knew nothing about those people who had Stanislas as a given name. I was working instead on the presumption that I was somehow related to that Pierre Lagacé born in 1825. So I started looking for his descendants in the hope of linking my grandfather Léo Lagacé Senior to him.


What I got in 2010 was a message from Alyce .


This thread will be continued when I get my 23andMe reports…

descendants of Pierre Lagacé and Marcelline David

Next time…

Revisiting St. Thomas cemetery in Bristol, Connecticut.



I was always fascinated by history as long as I can remember. This fascination is most probably in my fascination gene…

Alyce sent me this message this morning. I think I can safely share her thoughts.

Hi Pierre…

I’m reading Farther Than Any Man: The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook by Martin Dugard and wanted to share this quote with you.

Cook has always fascinated me…but reading this I realize he had to be fighting our relatives…. right? Maybe that’s how I got my English bloodline….or ….Idalas wife, i.e. my grandmother had German and English etc. I thought she was also 100% French

Anyway so far it’s a good book.


Cook was again sent to fight the French in Canada. As 1758 moved into 1759, the British had penetrated deep into Canada, just outside the pivotal city of Quebec. At Quebec, the Saint Lawrence River narrowed from several miles wide to just several hundred yards. No ship could sail farther into Canada without coming under fire from the French guns perched on the cliffs overlooking the river. As long as the French held Quebec, they held Canada. The British needed to maneuver their ships closer to the city in order to attack, but were afraid of running them aground in the turbulent, rocky waters. They were reluctant to use captured French river maps, for fear they were fakes designed to ruin the British fleet. Cook was ordered to survey the Saint Lawrence and prepare an original set of maps for the attack.”

Alone in a small rowboat, in that no-man’s-land between the British front lines and the French outpost above him on the Plains of Abraham, Cook charted the Saint Lawrence. He gauged currents and calculated depths, located sandbars and rocky shoals, noted where the banks were conducive to assault boats unloading troops. On July 31, 1759, using Cook’s information, red-haired British general James Wolfe landed a force of nine thousand troops and marched into position to attempt a frontal attack by land. Wolfe was repulsed. Clearly, a more daring strategy was required. Wolfe decided that in his next attack his troops would scale the steep cliffs from the river up onto the Plains of Abraham, where he would attack the French from behind. The sticking point was getting ships upriver to drop troops at the base of those cliffs. Not only was the shore lined with unseen rocks and of varying depths, but the current was highly unpredictable. Wolfe had been impressed with Cook’s earlier maps. He asked Cook to find a path through the rocks and currents for the landing craft to put the soldiers ashore. The reconnaissance was perilously close to French forces. Cook, eager to prove himself and just as eager to display heroism, enthusiastically swore that he would find such a path. Working under cover of darkness, Cook covertly sounded depths and gauged currents, then briefed Wolfe on an appropriate landing spot. Displaying his growing self-confidence, Cook also offered strategy tips. The next day Wolfe led five thousand men up the steep cliffs to the Plains of Abraham. The thirty-two-year-old general died while routing the French, but the Battle of Quebec ultimately assured Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War. It also made Cook’s name. Buzz around the navy referred to him as “master surveyor and master of the fleet.” In essence, James Cook was the best of the second-best. That lantern of hope allowing him to make brash decisions was shining brighter than ever. Cook’s improbable career move from Whitby was paying off. When the war ended, however, Cook’s meteoric career encountered its first bump in the road. Pembroke returned to England in the fall of 1762, and a stunned Cook was laid off. He was paid the considerable sum of three hundred pounds (about $ 70,000 today) as thanks from His Majesty. Cook wandered London with full pockets for the first time in his life, confused about his next career move but carefree in his small wealth.”