70 years ago today…

I was baptised Joseph Léo Pierre. My godfather Léo was my paternal grandfather so it makes sense he was the one who chose my given name. I have always wondered where I got my first name.

My grandfather with my father and Marcel in a wheelchair

The question was how was he related to someone whose name was Pierre. Probably someone he liked a lot and admired. This assumption led me in 2007 to look for a Pierre Lagacé in the 1800s since my grandfather was born June 5th, 1888.

In 2007 I knew nothing about my grandfather except what was written on this mortuary card.

He didn’t talk much like my father.

Maybe both had family secrets to hide…

Boy did they have family secrets to hide.


The only clue I had was my first name. So I got looking and looking for any Pierre Lagacé I could track down on the Internet.

One I did find was a Pierre Lagacé born in 1825 whose brother was Stanislas born in 1816. Little did I know back then that Stanislas was my great-great-grandfather. His brother Pierre had married Marcelline David who died in 1906.

Their son A.P. Lagasse was the undertaker.

Little by little I documented my research and added more and more information about Pierre and Marcelline’s children.

Pierre Adolphe Lagasse 1851–1922
Joseph Lagacé 1852–
Henri Lagacé 1854–1935
Isidore Lagasse 1856–1934
Emélie Lagassé 1858–1905
Damase Lagasse 1860–
Adélia Lagacé 1864–
Joséphine Lagacé 1865–1907
Clara Lagacé 1866–
Marie Marcelline Lagacé 1868–
Idala Lagasse 1870–1947
Ambrose Lagasse 1872–1956

There was a son named Pierre Adolphe. Could I be related to him?

Pierre Adolphe had a son named Frobe. Could I be related to him?

Frobe Lagasse’s given name got me curious which led me to one of his descendants who then shared pictures of Frobe Lagasse, his wife and children…

Blanche, Frobe, Laurent, Joseph Norman, Valéda Forand

I could go on and on with how I got my given name.

Just this…

The man on the left is Pierre Lagacé whose brother was my great-grandfather Stanislas whose father was the Stanislas Lagacé born in 1816. I would have never known my roots, and the origin of my given name without the help from readers of Our Ancestors.

Now you can understand why I always share my research to thank all those who have helped me since 2009.

Peter and Dennis

This old picture was shared by Sandy a third cousin back in 2010.

Two men were sitting on a bench. She knew Peter was on the left since Peter was her great-great-grandfather, but she had no idea who was the other man. I knew who he was… and we started sharing information about Peter and Dennis.

Peter and Dennis were two brothers sitting on a park bench. I don’t know when and where this picture was taken, but I know Peter was on the left and my great-grandfather Dennis was on the right.

Peter Lagasse was in fact Pierre Lagacé and he was my great-granduncle. I believe my grandfather Léo, who was also my godfather, had chosen my given name in 1948 in honor of his uncle Pierre.

Pierre Lagacé or Peter Lagasse was the son of Stanislas Lagacé and Onésime Cadieux. Pierre Lagacé married Mathilde Leblanc who died of cholera in 1883. His brother’s real name was Stanislas like his father. Peter emigrated to Vermont and went back to Quebec, and Stanislas emigrated to Vermont, came back to Quebec then went to live in Connecticut in 1889. Stanislas changed his name to Dennis Lagasse. He named one of his sons after his father. This Dennis is on the left, his father in the middle, and on the right is I think Napoléon Dubé.

When I started searching for my ancestors back in 2007 I had so much help that I felt it was important to share my research with others through Our Ancestors. I have learned that when you help people, people will help you, and the more you help people the more they will help you.

All my research is available on the Internet for anyone looking for his or her ancestors, and I always lend a helping hand when people hit a brick wall.

In Peter Lagasse’s case I had found almost everything about his descendants except the day he had died. You can click on the link below.

Peter Lagasse – LifeStory

I had my answer yesterday morning when I opened my inbox.

My great-granduncle Pierre died March 17th, 1926 in Farnham, Quebec, and was buried in Burlington, Vermont.

This was not the only newspaper clipping I had in my inbox. I had so much newspaper clippings that I will have to share them eventually in 2019.

Family secrets

We all have them don’t we?

My closet is full of them but I rarely write about them. I also rarely write about other people’s family secrets.

Susan has been commenting on my blog since 2012…

Hi Pierre,
I am so glad you never give up looking for ancestors! I just know that one day you will find Joseph and Edwina (Newcity) Lagassee. I still haven’t been able to find anything on their son Robert, but I will continue my search….
Have a nice day,

Susan sent me this newspaper clipping about Wilfred Nevue’s second marriage on September 5th, 1899.

Funny anecdote isn’t…? I wonder if Marilda knew about Wilfred Neveu’s past.

The newspaper misspelled Thibodeau, but Wilfred got his surname back, although he will become Wilfred Nevin in 1905.

This is why genealogy is so confusing sometimes.
Wilfrid Neveu, aka Wilfred Nevue, aka Wilfred Nevin, aka Winnifred Nevan died on July 9, 1905 from pulmonary tuberculosis.

It’s easy to get confused when you put all these documents together.
Wilfred died on July 9th which was a Sunday. The newspaper wrote about his funeral happening on a Wednesday (12 July), and he was buried the same day he died on the 9th? Confused? Newspapers are sometimes wrong, but this is what our detective friend believes.

Wilfred Nevue est mort de tuberculose le 9 juillet 1905, ses funérailles ont eu lieu à son domicile le mercredi 12 juillet, et la découpure du journal au sujet du lieu de son enterrement indique la date de son décès et non la date de son enterrement.

Wilfred Nevue died of tuberculosis on July 9th, 1905, his funeral was held at his home on Wednesday July 12th, and the newspaper clipping about where he is buried had the date he died not when he was buried there.
Wilfred Nevue died 113 years ago and he is still making news.
Footnote about Marilda

Footnote about Wilfred Nevue’s second son Wilfred Nevin who twice divorced and married three times…

Footnote about Wilfred Nevue’s brother Eldridge (Eldège)

More about Eldege…

Pioneer of Butte is Summoned

Eldege Nevin, 81, Resident 60 Years

Eldege Nevin, 81, pioneer resident of Butte, died in a local hospital Saturday morning. A native of Montreal, Canada, Mr. Nevin had lived in Butte for 60 years.

He married Emma Guay on 24 October 1889. They were the parents of Lydia, Ida, Mamie, Ernest, Joseph, Emery, Evan and Elore.

On his 50th wedding anniversary in 1939, the local newspaper noted: “Next Saturday October 21, will mark the 50th anniversary of the marriage at St. Patrick’s church of Mr. and Mrs. Nevin, 1963 Roberts Street. That night they will be guests at a reception in their honor at the IOOF hall on Front Street. Several of their children, 28 grandchildren and four great grandchildren will be present, in addition to scores of close friends.

Mr. Nevin was born in Canada July 19, 1862 and came to Butte in November 1884. His wife, also was a native of Canada, born July 4, 1866. ‘I think that makes me a good American’ she said yesterday, referring to her birthday.”

Mr. Nevin worked in the Heinze smelter until it closed down. He later was employed by the Butte Floral company and the Largey Lumber company. He was a teamster by occupation.

Family secrets?
I have learned since 2009 that nobody’s perfect and we should not be too judgemental even if it still hurts.

Epilogue – Cleft chins

Cleft chins are the only proof we have for now since we can’t find a marriage license with the names of Wilfred Nevue’s parents. That is the only proof to link little Wilfred Nevue’s father to Malvina Neveu, and to another Wilfred born in 1902 whose name was Wilfred Joseph Nevin.

Wilfred J. Nevin  – Malvina Neveu – Wilfred Nevue 

Nevin, Neveu, Nevue…


In October 1886, a man named Wilfred Nevue abandoned his wife and his 6 months-old son also named Wilfred. Where Wilfred’s father went no one knew at the time. 

Wilfred Nevue’s name just reappeared in December 2018 on a marriage license, but that marriage license was not the one Michel and I were looking for.


On September 5th, 1899, Wilfred Neveu (sic), a widower, married Marilda Thibodeau who had divorced Gervais Thibodeau. Why Marilda Guay divorced her husband we will probably never know unless a descendant find this blog and write a comment.

We have yet to find the marriage certificate for a shotgun wedding which occurred either late 1885 or early 1886 in Champion, Marquette, Michigan where Celina Delongchamp lived with her parents Jean Louis Delongchamp and Celina Blair (Blais). 

When this photo was taken, Celina Delongchamp was already pregnant and a son would be born on April 22nd, 1886. Suffering from depressive manic psychosis, Celina would enter a hospital in 1892 and would die on July 2nd, 1896.

Little Wilfred was adopted by her grandmother Celina Blair (Blais) who raised him as her own son.

Life was not easy for little Wilfred…

Sometimes the only thing we have to link people with is a family resemblance.

Wilfred J. Nevin  – Malvina Neveu – Wilfred Nevue 

After two weeks, I had decided to stop searching for Wilfred and Celina’s marriage license. Michel Lauzon decided instead to soldier on, and the next day found that there was a Wilfrid Neveu who  had once lived in Chatham in Argenteuil country in the province of Quebec. I decided to look for more clues in censuses and in parish registers.

This is what we found: a baptism act in St-Philippe’s parish registers.

baptism Wilfrid Neveu

Wilfrid Neveu was born on June 17, 1866, but baptized on June 22. This meant that he could have been Wilfred Nevue who was about 19 or 20 years-old when he married Celina Delongchamp around 1886.

According to the baptism certificate Wilfrid’s parents were Louis Neveu and Marie-Louise Cholet dit Laviolette. With that information I was able to find all their children with Michel’s help. Louis Neveu and Marie-Louise Cholet dit Laviolette had these children: 

Domitilde Neveu 1845–1846
Louis Neveu 1847–1926
Mathilde Neveu 1851–1855
Louise Neveu 1853–1855
Jérémie Neveu 1855–1932
Léocadie Neveu 1857–1926
Malvina Neveu 1859–1909
Eldridge Nevin 1862–1943
Wilfred Nevue 1866–1905

Looking for more information on Malvina Neveu I found this image on Ancestry…

I compared it with Wilfred Nevue…

They looked like a brother and a sister to me, and to all the people who gave their opinion. 

But I wanted more proof.

So I started looking for Wilfred Nevue in Butte, Montana after his marriage with Marilda Guay in 1899. There, in Butte, Dora Nevin was born in 1900, but died on September 18, 1902 from pnemonia. A son was born on February 27, 1902. That son’s name, you have guessed it, was Wilfred!

Next Michel found a photo. Wilfred Joseph Nevin was seen with his step-daughter Betty (Elizabeth Reynolds) and his daughter Joan and his son Bruce in the back .

That was the proof I needed.

I was all smiles!


Alyce and I

Alyce and I have come a long way since I posted this nine years ago in December 2009. Christmas was just around the corner.

I am still searching for distant relatives. This is what I found on a forum on the Ancestry site. It is dated 21 July 2000!


Alyce LaGasse

Posted: 21 Jul 2000 11:19PM

I have no idea where to begin!

My father was David Joseph LaGasse, born May 24, 1906 in New Bedford, MA. I believe that he had six brothers, amoung them were Marc, Sam, maybe a sister Rose Alice… his father was Idala LaGasse. I have never met anyone on that side. My, what a gift to know if there are relatives!

Thank you so much for any information.

Well Alyce, this is it.

Almost ten years later, a distant relative can answer all of your questions about your family tree…

Write me a comment.


Click here.

Alyce sent me this card this morning.

I sent her a few photos of my grandchildren.

I know it will make her day.


600 more posts before I quit?

This is post number 1400 on Our Ancestors.

Hard to believe someone would write that much about genealogy since 2009. Even harder when you think there is Nos ancêtres, a French version of Our AncestorsWould you believe there are two Nos ancêtres?

I had to create a newer version of Nos ancêtres when I could not add more images on the first one. Don’t worry I still have room here to had new images, and I already have an Our Ancestors II waiting as a back up plan when my free 3 gigabyte allowance is full on WordPress.

This is another montage I made with a picture of Wilfred Nevin, son of Wilfred Nevue and Marilda Guay Thibodeau. Michel Lauzon sent it to me yesterday, and asked me what I thought.


I don’t think we need any DNA testing…


Where did Wilfred go after he left in October 1886?

A research is never over even when we think it’s over.
I have a theory on where he left since I know Wilfred Nevue (1866-1905) married Marilda Guay Thibodeau on September 5th, 1899 in Butte, Montana.


Wilfred Nevue’s brother Eldridge Nevin was already living there with his wife Emma Guay who was Marilda’s sister.
Marilda’s death certficate shows her name as Merida Nevin.

death certificate

Merida died on December 10, 1940 and she is buried in Saint Patricks Cemetery in Butte, Montana.


Her sister Emma and brother-in-law Eldridge Nevin are also buried there as well as Marilda’s daughter Dora. Many Nevins are buried in Saint Patricks Cemetery, but not Wilfred Nevue unless he has no headstone.
Wilfred died of tuberculosis in 1905 under the name of Winnifred Nevan or Nevun. I wonder who gave this information to the clerk who seemed in a hurry to fill the death certificate.

death certificate Wilfred Nevue 9 July 1905

Wilfred Nevue or Nevin had a son with Marilda Guay whose name was also Wilfred. This Wilfred Nevin (1902-1983) married three times. First he married Muriel Hare, then Evelyn Johns. His third marriage was with Helen Pechavar, and they had a son Bruce and a daughter Lois Jane.
Lois died in 2000. According to her obituary, Lois Jane Nevin was born August 17, 1933, in Anaconda, Montana. She married David Vincent on October 21, 1951. David and Lois Jane had several children.
This morning Michel Lauzon found a message left in 2003 by another descendant of Wilfred Nevin. Michael Dennis Nevin is a descendant of Muriel Hare and Wilfred and wants to learn about his ancestors. You can read what he left on Ancestry’s message boards.

My great-grandfather’s name was Wilfred or Wilford. My grandfather’s name was Alfred Nevin. Wilfred and Muriel Hare were the parents of Alfred. Alfred lived and raised a family in Butte, until the late 1960s. He never reconciled with his father, Wilfred. I am looking for anyone related to Wilfred Nevin, so I can trace my ancestry and make connections with long-lost relatives.

Any information would be helpful, whether it’s good, bad, or ugly. I have what I think is Wilfred’s application for a social security card. He was employed by Gar Thomas at 1645 Harrison Ave.

The application states his full name as Wilfred Joseph Nevin, born February 27, 1902, to Wilfred Nevin and Merida Guay (or Gray). The application was signed in 1936.

Thanks for your response.

Michael Dennis Nevin

I wrote Michael a message to share Michel’s research as well as mine…

Alfred Eugene Nevin birth certificate

marriage Alfred Eugene Nevin (2)

Good Read – A Boy’s Paradise

A Boy’s Paradise is as if my grandfather Euclide Sauvé had written his memoirs and I had published them.

Euclide Sauvé

My maternal grandfather is seen on this next photo with my grandmother Rosina, and probably my uncle Florent in the back. 

The photo is dated and I know my mother, who was 20 years-old at the time, took it. This one could have been taken also by my mother. We see my grandparents with my mother’s two sisters Lucille and Helena, and her half-sister Simonne Paiement. I would guess this was taken in the late 1930s or early in the 1940s since Lucille was born in 1926 and Helena in 1928.



Rosina seems a little annoyed.

This next photo is not dated, but I know where it was taken. Rosina is all smiles.

This next one was probably taken in 1952 or 1953.

This last one must have been taken in 1954 because Rosina is much older. She is seen here with her three sisters: Elvina, Emilienne and Marie-Louise.


In A Boy’s Paradise, Wilfred Nevue recounts his childhood years in Champion, a small village in Upper Michigan. When I read it, I travelled back in time when I was visiting my grandparents in the range of Ste-Julie in Ste-Marthe-de-Vaudreuil. 

My parents and I visited my maternal grandparents there before 1955 because my grandmother Rosina died on February 4, 1955. After her death we no longer went to the farm since my grandfather Euclide had remarried six months later in Montreal with his new wife Blanche Girard. 


Euclide and Blanche moved from Montreal to Ste-Justine-de-Newton in 1960. My grandfather had built a new house there with his own hands. He was 67 years-old.

This is where my father brought the family to visit my grandfather on New Year’s Day from 1960 to 1962. My grandfather and I would watch the Rose Bowl Parade on his television. I don’t think I watch the Rose Bowl Parade with him after 1962 since my mother became ill and my father decided to cut ties with the rest of my mother’s family. 

Wilfred Nevue’s memoirs reminded me of my grandmother Rosina who was doing the same chores as his grandmother Celina Blais. Like Rosina Quesnel who became a widow in 1918, Celina had lost her first husband Jean Louis Delongchamp in 1883. 

Rosina, a widow with her eight children, married Euclide Sauvé who was her sister-in-law’s son in 1919. Celina, a widow with her five children, married Maxime Delongchamp who was her brother-in-law.

The book says Maxime was a very strict man. Little Wilfred had to work hard. Wilfred doesn’t talk that much about his uncles and aunts.

In her preamble, Susan Branting mentions that Wilfred’s uncles were cruel with their young nephew. Wilfred loved his grandmother dearly. This can be seen in the reading of A Boy’s Paradise, which is full of anecdotes describing the lives of people in the late 1890s and early 1900s in the Upper Peninsula.

Wilfred left his grandmother Celina in 1905 to work in the woods of Michigan and Wisconsin, and then went to work for four years as a lumberjack in Puget Sound to earn more money to pay for his education.

This part of this life, he describes in an online book here… and is a good read.

This manuscript, full of anecdotes, portrays the life of loggers in Puget Sound and Grays Harbor counties in the early 20th century.

Malvina Neveu

I am still trying to find hard proof if Michel and I have found the right Wilfred Nevue. Sometimes the proof is the pudding.

This is a picture of Wilfrid Neveu’s sister. Malvina Neveu married Napoleon Raymond. They both lived in Republic, Michigan in 1880.

Do you see any resemblance with Wilfred Nevue on his wedding picture?

Malvina and Wilfred

No poll. Just write a comment and make my day.