Names, headstones, census pages, official documents, and old photos

Usually when we are searching for our ancestors we just start with a few names. In my case I had little to go on since my grandfather never talked to me, and my father talked very little about his father’s family. So I had to rely on names, headstones, census pages, official documents, and old photos I found.

What triggered my interest about my paternal ancestors was a picture of Édouard Métayer who was one of my two paternal great-grandfathers. His old picture was in the living room of my paternal grandparents in the early 1950s.

This is his daughter, my grandmother Juliette seen on a picture around 1929. 


My grandmother Juliette Métayer is with her first son, my father (both are on the left). I have no idea who is the other woman and her son. My grandmother Juliette told me that her father had been a fire captain in Montreal in the early 1900s. When I was about 5 or 6 years-old, she told me how her father had  died in 1928.

Édouard Métayer 017

55 years later, in 2007, I had embarked on a journey to find all my ancestors, and then yours in 2009 when I created Our Ancestors. Well maybe not ALL your ancestors…


I can only positively identify three people on this group picture, maybe five (with the two little girls). My great-grandfather Stanislas Lagasse is on the right with his arm crossed, wearing suspenders. His daughter-in-law Amanda Ménard is on the opposite side looking to the right. Amanda’s husband Dennis Lagassey, who would later die in 1922, is hidden in the middle of the pack in the back.

Here are a few pictures of Dennis Lagassey so you will be able to spot him.


I visited my granduncle Dennis Lagassey in 2012 when I visited third cousin Joe. Joe gave me a guided tour of St. Thomas Cemetery in Bristol, Connecticut.

Stanislas Lagassey tombstone

We were looking for Stanislas Lagasse’s grave.

Stanislas Lagacé 1842

Stanislas Lagasse 1842-1927

We never found it, but I believe my great-grandfather is resting in peace with his son Dennis as well as my great-grandmother Henriette Alexandre. I am still waiting for someone to find this blog and send me an old picture of Henriette who also went by the name Harriet or Hattie Alexander.

It does not matter if I am wrong when I identify people on old pictures. I just keep on looking for clues. So does it really matter if I am right or wrong about my grandaunt Lillie Lagasse and her husband Eugène Dubé being on these old pictures?

montage Lillie Lagasse

And their little girl Eva? Or is it Lillian?

Our Ancestors is always a guessing game…