The Hubou and the Neveu Dossiers – Introduction

Our detective friend has taken up a new case, in fact two cases.

Hercule Poirot

Dit names are so confusing mes amis…

Someone has asked me about dit names. Dit names are so confusing especially when French Canadians changed their names when they emigrated to the United States in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Maxime Neveu and Scholastique Lauzon
with their daughter Léocadie and her husband Joseph Girard
with their children

This was the case of some of Mathieu Hubou’s descendants who moved in the 1870s from St-Paul-l’Ermite in Quebec to Michigan. Most of them had not the faintest idea that their ancestor’s name was in fact Hubou and not Deslongchamps.

Our detective friend remembers very well the Robert Miller’s dossier on which he spent more than five years to solve.

Hercule Poirot

Ah oui! The Robert Miller dossier… How could I forget this dossier!

Robert Miller was the son of Joseph M Lagasse and Edwina Newcity. First I only had a name and a headstone to work it.

Who could this Edwina Newcity be?

My little brain cells began acting up. Could Newcity be the americanized name for Villeneuve?

Of course it was!

And the rest became crystal clear.

Joseph M Lagasse stood for Joseph Miller Lagasse. Miller was the americanized name for Meunier.

Lagasses or their real name Lagassés or Lagacés were all descendants of André Mignier dit l’Agacé a soldier in the Carignan Salières Regiment sent to New France to defend the colony against the Iroquois.

The name Mignier dit l’Agacé became Lagacé dit Mignier or Mignier dit Lagacé or Lagacé dit Meunier or Meunier dit Lagacé. Also to confuse even more, Mignier was sometimes written Minier…

Still confused mes amis? This is only an easy example.

So what about the names Hubou dit Delongchamp and Neveu also written Nepveu and Nevue or Neveau, etc…?

Stay tuned mes amis because this could take more than five years to solve and find out who really was Robert Miller…

More on the dit names on this Website…


dit name is essentially an alias, or alternate name, tacked on to a family name or surname. Dit (pronounced “dee”) is a French form of the word dire, which means “to say,” and in the case of dit names is translated loosely as “that is to say,” or “called.” Therefore, the first name is the family’s original surname, passed down to them by an ancestor, while the “dit” name is the name the person/family is actually “called” or known as.

Dit names are found primarily in New France (French-Canada, Louisiana, etc.), France, and sometimes Scotland. They are used by families, not specific individuals, and are usually passed down to future generations, either in place of the original surname, or in addition to it. After several generations, many families eventually settled on one surname or the other, although it isn’t uncommon to see some siblings within the same family using the original surname, while others carried on the dit name. The use of dit names slowed dramatically during the mid- to late-1800s, although they could still be found used by some families into the early twentieth century.


In April, Dennis Lagasse IV sent me 43 negatives that I turned into 43 positives. Some were too blurry to start figuring out who’s who even with a lot of imagination.  Little did I know back in April I would find who were some of them.

Four women on a road with two children playing in the background.

Men working in a factory…

A woman on the grass…

Amanda Ménard on a Monday morning?

Is that snow on the ground?

I had never seen this man before…

Looks to be an older Levi Napoleon Lagasse?

Irène Dubé ? and her cousin Ida Lagasse…

Five women and a little girl…

A young teenage girl…

A woman with a man with a handicap…

unknown couple 1

Two girls…

Levi Napoleon Lagasse in the back, his older brother Harry in front of him, other men unknown…



Two childdren…

Time for a swim?

Stuck in the mud…

Blandine Lamothe and probably her daughter Lucille…

Blandine Lamothe and Ida Lagasse…

Mae Cox and her son Harvey Lagasse Jr….

Marie-Louise Dubé, Dennis’ grandmother…

Marie-Louise Dubé with son Lionel, Dennis’ father…

Marie-Louise Dubé with son Lionel, Dennis’ father…


Levi Napoleon Lagasse?

Levi Napoleon and unknown man…


Levi Napoleon Lagasse…

Levi Napoleon Lagasse?

Levi Napoleon Lagasse…

Levi Napoleon Lagasse?


Ida Lagasse?

Ida Lagasse and Harvey Lagasse Jr.

Bertha Lagasse, one of Malvina Lagasse’s daughter? and two cousins? 





Ford Trimotor

Harvey Lagasse Jr.


Bertha Lagasse


Dennis told me in April he had more. One day I know he will find the time to scan the rest of the negatives and share them.

About Thanksgiving

I am sure many people think of their ancestors when it’s Thanksgiving Day. I know I do when it’s Thanksgiving Day in Canada on the second Monday of October. I have gotten a lot of thanks from readers since 2009 when I started Our Ancestors. I also thanked many people who have shared old pictures of their ancestors even if sometimes they did not know who they were.
Lucille Lestage’s mother was one of them.

Lucille Lestage

Lucille Lestage back

Lucille was 16 years-old on September 1st, 1925. She had sent her photo to her Aunty and Uncle Bleau.


I knew Lucille was the daughter of Flavie Alexandre and Charles Lestage, but that was all I knew. I had found everything about Flavie Alexandre whose photo was shared by a third cousin in 2010. At that time she did not know who these young ladies were and even thought of throwing their pictures away as well as other old pictures she had.

Phoebe Alexandre and Myra Alexandre - sisters

Then someone shared more than 100 photos. Most were about the Comes, the Bleaus, and the Alexanders, but there was this one with a caption on top. Aunt Phoebe and Aunt Myra

It was the photo of Flavie (Phoebe) and her sister Myra Alexander (Alexandre). This is how I was able to find everything about Myra’s descendants, but little about Flavie and her daughter Lucille.

about-late-1890s-bristol-conn - Phoebe Alexandre

Flavie Alexandre

Phoebe Alexandre

Flavie Alexandre

Undetered, I left no stones unturned. Later I found Flavie’s birth record, but I did not know when she had died until this Thanksgiving Day: she died on June 1st, 1922.

File Flavie Alexandre

The day before Thanksgiving I had just learned what had happened to Lucille.

File Lucille Lestage

Lucille died in 1943, and there were no descendants to write me about for her.


My cousin Dennis had shared some negatives last April from his father’s collection, and I had made positives out of them.

He had this one. Four lovely young women in winter in the late 1910s or early 1920s.

I think Bertha Lagasse was on it. She is in the back row on the left. I guess she was not yet married. On the right I believe is one of Malvina’s daughters. The young lady looks like her mother.

She also looks like someone else on this picture. She is in front of Napoleon Levi Lagasse. If this is Blandine in front with Lucille, then this photo can be dated and it was taken in 1930.

The young woman is either the same young woman or her sister. She is again seen here. Joseph Dewey is there with Blandine Lamothe in front.

I like to work with montages.

My grandaunt Malvina had 5 children, one boy and four daughters: Joseph Dewey (1898), Irene (1899), Alice (1901), Beatrice (1903), and Marie-Louise (1906). I had found them in the 1910 US census living with their mother and my great-grandfather Dennis Lagasse II.

In the 1930 US census, Irene, 30 years-old was still living with her mother Malvina. Irene was painting dials at the clock factory, and she is still unmarried. The census was done in April. Malvina would have just 8 months to live. She would die on December 20 which was on Irene’s 31st birthday.

When we look closely at the census page we see lots of information about the people and who were the neighbors. Joseph Dewey Dubé was there with Blandine and Lucille. Amanda Ménard was there with his son Levi and three lodgers. Below on the page was Malvina and Irene and the neighbors are Joseph Englert and Marie-Louise Dubé, Malvina’s youngest daughter.

My hypothesis is that Irene Dubé is on this photo with Bertha.

Irene would later marry John J Blanchette. I have not found when they were married or any of their children yet. Maybe Susan will have something to ask Lucille when she meets her next week.

Back to square one?

Back to square one with this photo I have written about a dozen times? 

Back to square one?

Well not quite. Four out of five is quite good. I even got the make of the car right.

I am more a World War II airplane expert than an expert on 1917 Ford Model T.

I am still wondering if Hector Lamothe seen here was the car owner. I know for sure we are in Connecticut in 1917. Hector Philias Lamothe emigrated with his parents and the whole family in 1915 from St-Guillaume d’Upton.

Old photos are addictive. Just see people’s reactions when they see some old photos and then try to figure out who’s who. Kind of funny sometimes with everyone’s theory.

I have been addicted to old pictures since 2007. I have thousands of them, several hundreds still waiting to tell their stories. I just want to know the story behind each photo like this one where a car is seen stuck in the mud.

Or what is the story behind this picture of a Ford Trimotor.

Old photos are like time machines but people won’t talk back. You have to make them talk. So what about this old photo?

I can’t ask these people who they are, and what they were doing in 1917… Right?

I am not 100% sure anymore if Rose Elmira Lagasse is really behind the wheel. It could well be her mother Amanda Ménard instead. I am 100% sure Bertha Lagasse is on the right rear fender, and since last week I am almost 100% sure my grandaunt Lillie is in front with her sister Malvina behind her.

But then who is behind the woman behind the wheel whom I thought all along was Malvina Lagasse? She is again seen here laughing at the “real” Malvina holding up her head in dispair while her brother Dennis is trying to tell her how to start the car.

Who could she be? She has to be a family member since she had been invited to Bertha’s wedding on November 16, 1921.

My only wild guess is that she might be my grandaunt Marguerite Lagasse, born in 1868, Malvina and Lillie’s sister. The only problem with that theory is that she was not living in Connecticut, but in St-Hyacinthe in the province of Quebec.

Maybe she hitched a ride to see her siblings…?

One clue is what my aunt Fleurette Lagacé once told me. She had seen Marguerite once as a child in the 1930s, and she said that Marguerite was a heavy-built woman.

So what options do I have? Is she or is she not Marguerite Lagasse who married Philippe Lord, and whose son Aldéi Lord sent an ashtray to his cousin Levi Napoleon Lagasse?

Next time, Susan will tell me more about her grandmother Blandine Lamothe and her daughter Lucille Dubé.

Don’t get me wrong…

I know you might get confused with my attempts to identify who were people on old photos shared by second and third cousins.


I know what I am doing on Our Ancestors. I had so many familiar faces on old photos, but they were without names.

Last week I finally found who they were. Well most of them.

I would not have been able to identify my grandaunt Malvina seen above, next to Anna Campbell, nor this young married couple below without Susan’s help. This lovely wedding picture opened the floodgates.

Genealogy is not a science even if you use hypotheses to figure out who’s who on old pictures. I have been proven wrong so many times when I was trying to identify your ancestors like all these people back in 2011.

Levi Napoleon and Ida Lagasse were no brainers, but others were unknown in 2011. I like the challenge and I will often stick my neck out. I also like to be challenged by my readers like Teresa Pease who had helped me with Bertha and her enigmatic Mona Lisa smile sitting on a Ford Model T right rear fender.

Move Over Girl on the Left

Case in point…?
Odna Lagasse, whom I first thought was Ida, is seen here with her husband Frank Ritchie.
Is this Odna with her first daughter Helena Ritchie?

Or is she Blandine Lamothe with her baby daughter? If she is Blandine, then who is the baby girl? Is she Lucille Dubé born in May 1929, Lillian Dubé born in October 1930, or Alice Dubé born in September 1935?

I would go out on a limb and say it is baby Lucille, that her father Joseph took the picture in the summer of 1930, and Blandine is soon expecting Lillian.

Still confused?

If you are, feel free to write a comment in the comment section. I always answer back.


My new found second cousin Susan

I have found many new cousins since 2007 when I started looking for my ancestors. So many in fact that my search for my ancestors became a search for my cousins’ ancestors. Almost 12 years later, I have now close to 50,000 files on their ancestors and thousands of old pictures they have shared.

Everything is free!

I am not collecting your ancestors’ photos like the baseball cards and the football cards I used to collect in the 50s. Every picture you send is precious because there is so much history behind each one.

My first cousin once removed Joseph Dewey Dubé is on this photo with a small cat. When my second cousin once removed Dennis Lagasse shared more than 100 photos in 2011, I had no idea who this young man was. He was appearing in several more photos like this one. I knew he was not a Lagasse.

We see the two little girls who were also on this photo.

The older one could be Helena Ritchie and the other Jeannette Lamothe.
My second cousin Susan identified one more woman beside Malvina Lagasse. She is in the third row on the left staring at us. She is the “real” Delia Taillon. She was not the woman I first thought she was on this photo.


Honest mistake…

The first young woman could be Estelle Yvette Lamothe. Next was not Delia Taillon but Claire Lamothe, Hector and Alphonse Lamothe’s sister. Next is Claire’s sister-in-law Ida Lagasse, and finally Blandine Lamothe who I always thought in 2012 was Odna Lagasse.

Susan sent me this family picture two days ago. Delia Taillon is with her nine children:

Blandine Lamothe and Delia Taillon

Xavier 1892–1954
Alphonse 1895–1963
Hector Philias 1897–1967
Claire 1898–1990
Blandine 1900–1972
Ernest 1901–1947
Edward 1906–1979
Estelle Yvette 1907–1984
Theogene 1909–1972

She had another son in 1894: Donat 1894–1894; and twins in 1903: Cecilia 1903–1903 and Lucien 1903–1903. Delia Taillon was born in 1867, and she died on February 4th, 1950.

Two days ago Delia Taillon was just a name on a huge family tree like Malvina Lagasse, Joseph Dubé, their son Joseph and daughter-in-law Blandine Lamothe were.

Now they are so much more than just names thanks to Susan.

Getting Distracted Along the Way

Enough to get any amateur genealogist distracted isn’t?

Such a beautiful wedding picture of Blandine Lamothe and Joseph Dewey Dubé.
Blandine Lamothe was born on July 24th, 1900. Her father was Xavier Lamothe and her mother was Delia Taillon. She married Joseph Dewey Dubé on June 15th, 1920. She died on December 13, 1972. Joseph Dewey Dubé was born on July 25th, 1898. His father was Joseph Dubé and his mother was Malvina Lagasse. He died on September 22nd, 1965. He and Blandine had three children during their marriage.
How I got this wedding photo of Blandine and Joseph is how I got the wedding picture of Joseph Dubé and Malvina Lagasse from my new second cousin I first contacted on Find A Grave.

In 2008, with my research for my ancestors still in its infancy, I knew all about the existence of my grandaunt Malvina. In 1910, according to the US census, she was taking care of my great-grandfather Dennis Lagasse II after he became a widower.

Dennis Lagasse II

I would later find out that my great-grandmother Henriette had died on September 18, 1907. Taking care of my great-grandfather, Malvina became somewhat special. I knew Malvina had died in 1930, but that was all I knew.headstone Malvina

Courtesy C. Greer

Malvina had been a widow herself, but I did not know when she had became one. I got this information last week from my new second cousin. Her busband Joseph Dubé passed away on July 12th, 1907, two months before Henriette, Malvina Lagasse’s mother.
Malvina never remarried I think, and she raised alone her four daughters and her son Joseph Dewey. Malvina Lagasse is seen here on this photo taken around 1920.

Malvina is in first row second on the right or in the first row fourth from the left. She is quietly smiling at us…
The two little girls are not her children. Malvina’s last child was Marie-Louise Dubé born on February 17th, 1906. These kids appear to be around 3 or 4 years-old. I wish I could identify everyone, but I guess this will have to wait until 2025.
Malvina is also seen on this photo holding up her head. My granduncle Dennis Lagassey III is next to Malvina having a great time as well as the lady passenger

I always thought the lady passenger on that old photo was Malvina or for that matter behind the driver’s seat on this photo.

Move Over

As usual I was wrong again…
My new found second cousin led me to the real Malvina Lagasse on her wedding day.Joseph Dubé and Malvina Lagasse

And without knowing it she opened the floodgates.Screenshot_20181111-193207.jpg

Blandine Lamothe (1900-1972)


Joseph Dewey Dubé (1898-1965)