I usually don’t post…

Written more than 8 years ago…

Our Ancestors

I usually don’t post something on my blog about genealogy without asking permission first.

I think  I can go ahead and post this photograph though. 

Arthur Métayer 1854-1943

This man is Arthur Métayer. This is his daughter Azella. 

Azella or Isabel?

This is where this picture came from…

It was sent to me two years ago. Isabel or Azella was Arthur Métayer’s daughter.

Isabel had a sister named Alberta. This is Alberta.

I am sure the woman who sent these pictures won’t mind if I post them here on my blog.

Her e-mail address got lost in a computer crash last year so I can’t ask for permission. I am sure she won’t mind because someone who is searching for someone’s ancestors wrote me about Azella. He was not sure about her identity in my family tree on Ancestry.

He had Isabel instead of Azella.

We connected.

We both…

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Noses… Final chapter?

Noses and tilting heads to the right that’s the two clues leading me to think the old man could be Francois-Xavier Meteyer, Thomas Meteyer’s grandfather. 

I know this won’t be the last chapter on Thomas Oscar Meteyer’s ancestors simply because there are Arthur Métayer’s descendants out there who have no idea of their ancestors… well maybe some do.

This is Arthur Métayer, Francois-Xavier Meteyer’s brother, and he could be the old man on the right after all… 

The more I look at Arthur, the more I am now convinced Arthur is the man on the right on that group photo.

Arthur’s photo was shared in 2011, but I can’t remember who had shared it.

That person shared also a photo of Alberta, Arthur’s daughter.

When that person did, I tried to find all about her and I wrote about it here.

To be continued?

Remembering an anecdote I was told

Michael told me to start with an anecdote I had written about my great-grandfather Édouard Métayer on Our Ancestors.

I can’t make you believe something on Our Ancestors II that might not be true. I am not sure anymore that the man I thought back in 2009 was my great-great-grandfather Elzéar Métayer is the old man in the middle.

In fact I am not sure either that the old man on the right was Michael Meteyer’s great-grandfather François-Xavier Métayer. Having been in contact with Michael led me to rethink my original hypothesis.

When I first met my father’s cousin Thérèse in 2009, she had told me many anecdotes about my great-grandfather Édouard Métayer.

Édouard Jr., Thérèse’s father, was probably the one whho told her many of those anecdotes about his father and how Édouard had died in 1928. 

Thérèse told me her grandfather Édouard used to sing a song to his grandchildren… 

These are the words of the song in French.

Souvenirs d’un vieillard

– 1 –
Petits enfants, jouez dans la prairie
Chantez, chantez le doux parfum des fleurs
Profitez bien du printemps de la vie
Trop tôt, hélas, vous verserez des pleurs.

Dernier amour de ma vieillesse
Venez à moi, petits enfants
Je veux de vous une caresse
Pour oublier, pour oublier mes cheveux blancs.

– 2 – (refrain non chanté ici)
Quoique bien vieux j’ai le coeur plein de charmes
Permettez-moi d’assister à vos jeux
Pour un vieillard outragé, plein de larmes
Auprès de vous, je me sens plus heureux.

– 3 –
Petits enfants, vous avez une mère
Et tous les soirs près de votre berceau
Pour elle au ciel offrez votre prière
Aimez-la bien jusqu’au jour du tombeau.

– 4 – (refrain non chanté ici)
En vieillissant, soyez bons, charitables
Aux malheureux prêtez votre secours
Il est si beau d’assister ses semblables
Un peu de bien embellit nos vieux jours.

– 5 – (refrain non chanté ici)
Petits enfants, quand j’étais à votre âge
Je possédais la douce paix du coeur
Que de beaux jours ont passé sans nuage
Je ne voyais que des jours de bonheur.

– 6 –
En vieillissant, j’ai connu la tristesse
Ceux que j’aimais, je les ai vus partir…
Oh! laissez-moi vous prouver ma tendresse
C’est en aimant que je voudrais mourir.

Thérèse told me that her grandfather Édouard Métayer was crying when he was singing that song to his grandchildren…

Was that anecdote true?

Getting back to the old photo…

Was this man Elzéar Métayer, Édouard’s father or I will have to find another explanation for who he was?

Maybe by comparing noses or other photos from the Meteyer family?

My father’s cousin told me another anecdote.

Édouard Métayer was sent to live with his uncle François-Xavier Métayer in Montreal when his father Elzéar remarried in 1878 after the death of his first wife Philomène Dupont in 1876. Édouard’s stepmother didn’t want to have Édouard around.

Was it true?

Being in contact with Michael has rekindled my interest with the Métayer family and the song my great-grandfather used to sing to his grandchildren.

That anecdote says a lot about my great- grandfather who was crying while singing to his grandchildren. He must have been such a tender human being. He had lost his mother when he was 6 years-old. His stepmother did not want him around the house, went and lived with his uncle, became a baker in l’Île d’Orléans, then moved to Montreal, became a fireman, got married to the daughter of his fire captain Joseph Renaud, had children, became a lieutenant in the Montreal fire department in 1911, and in 1915 became a fire captain admired by all his men.

Is this all true or just part of it?

You can read his obituary if you think I am making up all this…

If my memory doesn’t play tricks on me, this is the image I remember seeing when I was a six year-old child visiting his grandmother Juliette on Mentana Street in the 1950s.

I would put my hand in the fire that’s the photo I saw.


This is an English translation of the song Édouard was singing his grandchildren when he was an old man.

An Old Man’s Memories

– 1 –
Little children, go play in the meadow
Sing, sing the sweet scent of flowers
Enjoy the spring of life
Too soon, alas, you will cry.

Last love of my old age
Come to me, little children
I want you to hug me
So I forget my white hair.

– 2 – (Refrain not sung here)
Although very old, my heart is still young.
Allow me to play your games
For an old man full of tears
With you, I feel happier.

– 3 –
Little children, you have a mother
And every night by your bed
For her in heaven offer your prayer
Love her well until the day of her grave.

– 4 – (refrain not sung here)
As you get older, be good, be charitable
To the less fortunate lend a helping hand
It is so wonderful to assist one’s fellow man
A bit of good embellishes our old age.

– 5 – (refrain not sung here)
Little children, when I was your age
I possessed tender peace of heart
What beautiful cloudless days have passed
I only saw happy days.

– 6 –
As I got older, I experienced sadness
Those I loved, I saw them leave…
Oh! let me prove you my tenderness
Surrounded with love is how I would like to die.

Looking for gold?

Looking for gold? Well search no more because Michael found some.

This is the first guest post on Our Ancestors.  


Ancestry research is like a dartboard game in which the board is the size of Montana, and every square inch of it contains a relative, some more distant or proximate than others.

And every now and then, if you are lucky, or maybe if you are unconsciously directed by the ghosts and spirits of your ancestors, you make a direct hit, and open up a gold mine.

My siblings and I got lucky lately, thanks to the wondrous and indefatigable efforts of a newly discovered third cousin once removed, in Quebec. His name is Pierre Lagacé and he has been writing about our ancestors since 2009. But I did not know that until a few days ago.

And in that gold mine Pierre opened up for us is the traced lineage to some four hundred years ago. In that gold mine we find:

1) A 17th century French Canadian legend and explorer, Jean Nicolet, born in France in 1598, and who travelled to New France in his twenties;

2) Jean Nicolet’s First Nation’s Nipissing tribe partner Gisis-Bahmahmaadjimiwin;

3) Their daughter, Madeleine Euphrosine Nicolet, who carried in her blood and memory, through her mother, the twinned pulses of living precariously in the primeval forests of New France; and, through her father, true tales of travels in Old France and its cathedrals and chateaus and palaces….

Michael Meteyer

About an old photo

That photo is more than 105 years-old. It was shared in 2009 by Thérèse Métayer, my father’s cousin. Thérèse’s father, whose given name was also Édouard, was Juliette’s brother. Juliette was my father’s mother. I hope this is not too complicated.

Going back to this photo…

My father died in 1995 and I had no more contact with his family.

When I got reunited with my father’s family back in 2009, I met my father’s cousin Thérèse Métayer. She was the one who shared this old photo and copied what was on the back.

Toute la famille Métayer (à droite grand-père Édouard, grand’mère Angelina, le jeune homme ressemble à l’oncle Joseph et devant je ne les connais pas.


The whole Métayer family (on the right grandfather Édouard, grand-mother Angelina, the young man looks like uncle Joseph and in front I don’t know them.

Who wrote what was on the back?

Thérèse was clearly not the one because she would have told me. It was one of Édouard’s other grandchildren, but which one was it?

I have not found out who he or she was yet…

In 2009, Thérèse was happy to be reunited with her father’s past as well as her grandfather’s. But remembering the past can be somewhat painful.

So painful I guess what Thérèse had cut ties since 2010. The last time we saw her was when she had invited us for supper in her apartment.

Not everything is shared on Our Ancestors. Some anecdotes are funny, but some stories are best to be untold.

One funny anecdote Thérèse told me someone had told her was how her grandfather Édouard would bring the fire station horses into the house to get to the stable in the backyard for the night. Remember that Édouard Métayer was a fire captain, and I guess he could bring his beloved horses with him.

His daughter once had clean the floors and she had to clean them all over again.

Thérèse’s father probably the one who told her that anecdote about his father.

This is a photo of Édouard once again probably taken around 1925. He is the man wearing the white hat and has a cigar.

His wife Angelina Renaud is probably there with three of their children. The other man with the mutton chops is unknown.

I tried to figure out who he was but hit a brick wall.

Identifying people on old photos has been one of my obsession since 2007 when I saw old photos on my mother’s side of her family.

Everytime someone was sharing old photos since 2007 I would add them on my family tree and I would start finding who those people were and who were their ancestors and descendants.

This is how my family tree grew and grew.

This is one picture that was shared by someone else that I can’t remember. His or her ancestor was also a Métayer.

This is Arthur Métayer, Elzéar’s brother. I know all about Arthur Métayer and his children and even his grandchildren. I believe one of his descendants had shared several old family photos in 2011. I will probably share them here later and I hope you won’t get addicted…

Next time, more about the 1914 photo and who I thought were the three men in front.




How Our Ancestors all started…?

After writing more then 1,500 posts on Our Ancestors I thought the end was near.

Then came Paul’s death

I wrote about how I met Paul and how we became more than virtual friends.

Then, in September, Michael Meteyer wrote a comment which rekindled my interest about sharing the research I had done in 2010 and 2011 on the Métayer family.

Before I write on Michael Meteyer’s ancestors, this is what I had written on November 2009 about my great-grandfather Édouard Métayer. It was one of the first posts I had written on Our Ancestors which is the English version of Nos ancêtres.

How I came about to write an English version is here.


This is the picture that is hanging on the wall in my office.


Édouard Métayer

It is the picture of Édouard Métayer. He was a fireman and made captain in 1911. Édouard is the father of my paternal grandmother Juliette Métayer. Édouard died on April 2, 1928, on the eve of his 34th anniversary as a Montreal fireman.

The only memory I had as a child was a framed picture of this fireman in an old apartment on Mentana Street in Montreal back in the 1950s. My grandparents were living there. My grandsparents were poor and I knew little about them. My grandmother Juliette had told me that her father, Édouard Métayer, had died when he tried to stop the horses while responding to a fire alarm. The horses were scared by a train that was coming.

Édouard died a month later.

That is all I knew. At that time, I was around seven or eight years old. Fifty years later, after a lot of research, I know a bit more… well quite a lot more…

Édouard Métayer 022


And everyday now Édouard Métayer is smiling at me in my office.


This man is the reason I started looking for my ancestors. Next time, I will show you another picture.

End of the original

More than 10 years later I found four distant relatives: Mary, Tom, Rick, and of course Michael.

This is their father. 

The man in front is their father, and behind their paternal grandfather Ernest Darius Meteyer. Thomas O. Meteyer had not earned his wings yet. Michael told me his grandfather Ernest Darius Meteyer was in the Army in World War I.

Michael is wondering what his grandfather was thinking when that photo was taken. I can’t be sure, but I think Thomas Meteyer’s father was mighty proud of his son.

I will be paying homage later to his father who was a pilot with  358th Fighter Squadron

But before we do, Michael and I will be remembering Thomas Meteyer’s grandfather François-Xavier Métayer who I first thought was the man of the right in front of my great-grandfather Édouard Métayer.


I wonder what Édouard was thinking back in 1914…

This is Édouard’s genealogy family tree… The sequel

This is the original post written in November 2009. You can click here if you don’t believe me.

I am going back in time because of this comment I got yesterday…

Hello Pierre,

My father was Thomas Meteyer. His father was Ernest Meteyer, whose father was Francois Frank X Meteyer, who came to the USA as a child. I think he was Edouard’s brother.
Frank X’s father, was Jean Metayer…then Augustin, Louis and Jacques. From there I can follow our lineage to Jean Nicolet.

I am 73 now. I didn’t start an ancestry search until recently. The tree you provide was most helpful. Thank you!

My email is …

Now the original, and next time on Our Ancestors how I met the son of a P-51 Mustang pilot.


This is Édouard’s family tree. Édouard is my great-grandfather, a man I never met but that I admire a lot…

The only thing I knew about him was that he died in 1928.

With Mister Courtemanche’s information, I looked for Édouard’s ancestors and this is what I found out…

His father was Édouard Elzéar Métayer.

Here is a picture of Édouard and his family in Montreal. I think it was taken around 1912.

famille Métayer

The person who sent me this picture is Édouard’s granddaughter. Her name is Thérèse Métayer.

She did not know me but someone she knows stumbled on my genealogy site and saw his great-grandfather’s file.

She wrote me an e-mail and the flood gate opened.

Édouard is in the second row on the right. His wife Angélina Renaud is beside him. His son Joseph is on the left.

In front are people Thérèse did not know, but I believe the old man in the middle is Édouard’s father who came to visit him.

Édouard Elzéar Métayer lived in the quartier Saint-Roch in Québec City. He married Philomène Dupont in Ste-Famille in l’Île d’Orléans on April 13, 1869. Édouard was born on October 5, 1869. If you count well there is a six month difference between the marriage and Édouard’s birth. Either Édouard was a premature baby or he was born out of wedlock…

When his father remarried in 1878, Delphine Chalifour, his new wife, did not care that much about his son-in-law so she told Édouard to go and live with his uncle in Montreal.

I believe this uncle is the man on the right in the first row. He would be François-Xavier Métayer but I don’t have a clue. The same is true about the identity of the man on the left. He looks like a Métayer, but Édouard did not have a brother, so he might be a cousin.

Next time when you come back to visit me, I will have more pictures that were sent by Thérèse Métayer about a man I knew almost nothing before I got hooked on genealogy.