Geraldine Sorel – Redux II

Our Ancestors is about preserving the past for future generations.

Laura just wrote a comment about Geraldine Sorel. Geraldine is her grandmother. 

Hello, I am Geraldine’s granddaughter. I am interested in who might be doing this research.

In 2015 I had written once more about Geraldine Sorel in a post that was first written in 2013.

Laura’s comment rekindled my interest about Geraldine Sorel and how I came about to write about her.

This is the original post with the sequel written after.


Geraldine seems be have been the only child of Ernest Sorel (Sorell) and Amelia Alexandre (Alexander).


I don’t have a picture of Geraldine, but I know there are some out there. I have found the family in the 1940 U.S. Census now available online. Geraldine is 16.

1940 Ernest Sorel

There is a remote chance I will find some descendants of Amelia and Ernest. On April 3, 1940, Ernest Sorel (Earnest Sorel) was living at 211 Lafayette Street in New Britain, Hartford, Connecticut. He was an assistant foreman in a hardware factory. Ernest was born in Cambridge, Ontario, on August 2, 1891.

I know all about Ernest Sorel’s ancestors.

This information is now laying dormant…

One day it will blossom and make someone really happy.


The sequel written in 2015…

I am almost sure this is Caroline Ménard.

wpid-33fe2b6d-acf6-47b0-aea2-93150966943d.jpgShe was Amélia’s mother.


On this picture, the caption is wrong.


It doesn’t matter anymore. There were some wrong captions in the collection of old pictures Robin scanned in 2011, but it doesn’t matter anymore if we are almost sure this is Caroline Ménard.

wpid-33fe2b6d-acf6-47b0-aea2-93150966943d.jpgThe wife of Jean-Baptiste Alexandre II, the son of my great-grandaunt Philomene Lagasse.

1913 Philomene Lagasse

Doesn’t matter a bit…if some captions were wrong.

Mary was the sister of Agnes Alexandre Bleau

The Hotte Family

I have not written about the Hotte family on Our Ancestors. I have only written on Nos ancêtres, the French version of Our Ancestors.

It does not help much unless you can read French.

In my search for an old college friend’s ancestors I had stumbled upon the strange case of a woman who was only known by her first name.

She was Geneviève who married Joseph Tassé on February 17, 1817. They had a girl Élisabeth Tassé born on November 14, 1817, and a son Joseph born on October 8, 1819. Joseph died 20 days later. His mother Geneviève died the week before on October 14. Élisabeth’s father would remarried on November 13, 1820 with Marguerite Valiquette. Marguerite would most probably have adopted little Élisabeth, but that I don’t know.

What I know is that Élisabeth would marry Zéphirin Hotte dit Lafeuillade on January 28, 1834 in St-Martin-de-Laval, Île-Jésus, in the province of Québec. Zéphirin and Élisabeth had seven children.

At least that’s what I found.

Zéphirin Hotte 1835–1903 (my friend’s maternal great-grandfather)
Rose-de-Lima Hotte 1836–1910
Césaire Hotte 1837–1918
Gédéon Hotte 1844–1920
Salomé Hotte 1848–
Marie Hotte dit Lafeuillade 1851–1851
Alphonse Hotte 1853–1915

Some children later in life emigrated to the United States. This is why I will write about the Hotte family on Our Ancestors in 2020 starting with Césaire Hotte and a search on Find A Grave if someone writes a comment.


Sunday Night – Looking for Jeremiah Provost?

A comment just in…

We are trying to locate family from Quebec, we found a picture of Jeremiah Provost taken at the shop of Madame Gagne but there is no date on the picture , my husband has no direct family left, his grandfather was Ernest Provost and most of the family moved to Massachusetts. It would be nice to find our more information on his family and if and still survive….

There is one clue here on Wikipedia…

Madame Gagné was a photographer who worked between 1886 and 1891 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She and her husband, Édouard C. Gagné (also a photographer) had a total of three studios over time.[1][2][3] At least one of her prints can be found at Montreal’s McCord Museum.[4]

Madame Gagné reportedly had a rapport with the new Chinese immigrants to Montreal, and often made portraits of them and their families.[4] Since most photographers of the time catered to more well-to-do clients, this was an unusual custom.[1]

Her photography studio was located at 211 Saint Laurent Boulevard, which is in the heart of today’s Old Montreal.

What we need to see is the photo and then move from there.

Why I Want to Remember Rossie?

This is post 1499 on Our Ancestors created in September 2009.

Why I want to remember Rossie on Our Ancestors?

Rossie never married and only had his sister Claire’s descendants to remember him.

Maybe I want to write about Flying Officer Ross Eveleigh Johnson because the person who took this picture wants to know more about that young man…?

I contacted that person to get permission to use it on Our Ancestors. I told that person a little about what I was doing on Our Ancestors, and I sent a few photos shared by Nicolas Paquin.

This is one of them.

I colorised it two days ago in my spare time.

Then I got curious about the other pilots… The pilot of the right died on July 18 1944, four days after Rossie. The pilot beside him is H.G. Dawber DFC. He told his story on Memory Project. You can Google his name and find more about him.

Searching on Google is something I do a lot to find information I have been using on Our Ancestors. People searching information about their ancestors on Google usually end up here.

This is post 1499.

Next time more about this young man who like more than 19,000 Canadian airmen never grew old.

Sunday Morning – Post published in 2014… The Little Old Lady from… St-Norbert

Getting back to our normal scheduling for now…

Who was this little old lady on an old photo?

The answer was posted in 2014. So this is a reprint of what I had written. It was about who had shared old photos, and I feel it’s important to share it once more.


Louise Beaugrand dit Champagne with her son Adélard Turcotte (Wilcox)
from the collection of Jason West

It was Jason West who sent me lots of old photos. Senior’s moment, but since I have about 10 000 old pictures…

Jason West knew everything about her.

Louise Beaugrand dit Champagne with Exeurie Myers
Collection Jason West

The old lady could not have been a next door neighbor, or Exeurie’s second wife, because he never remarried. The old lady sitting beside Exeurie Myers had then to be related to the Turcottes (Wilcoxes).

But how?

I knew all about Louise Beaugrand dit Champagne and I even knew where she was born… even before I met Jason on the Internet.

Louise Beaugrand dit Champagne was from St-Norbert, Quebec, a little village west of Berthierville where the famous Formula 1 racer Gilles Villeneuve grew up…

Collection Pierre Lagacé

End of reprint

The Little Old Lady from St-Norbert was Exeurie Myers’ sister-in-law. Exeurie or Xavier Myers was married to Sophranie Beaugrand dit Champagne.

Exeurie Myers and Sophronie Champagne

Collection Jason West


There is an anecdote related to this.

Last month I met a man who was hauling bales of hay. As he was passing by I looked at him and smiled. He smiled back, and stopped his truck and said.

Are we going to have such a nice weather for long?

I did not know what to reply since I was a bit under the weather.

He said…

We live according to the weather.

Taking about the weather is always a good way to start a conversation. Along the way we started talking about our grandfathers who were both farmers. His grandfather was Philippe Houle who died when he was 46, leaving a widow with 10 children. His wife Cornélie Bonin never remarried…

When I got back home I searched for this family. What I found is that one of this man’s ancestors was Catherine Beaugrand dit Champagne.

The Little Old Lady from St-Norbert was Catherine Beaugrand dit Champagne’s niece!

Thursday Morning – What was a Hessian? – Update

This was posted last year on Our Ancestors


Am I digging to deep when looking for your ancestors? See the comment at the end of this post.

When you find one of your ancestors, or someone’s ancestor, you want to find more about him don’t you?

Click here.


This period image shows Hessian soldiers as heartless warriors.

Was Jason and Steve’s ancestor Chrétien Lemaire a Hessian? Was Chrétien Lemaire a heartless warrior?

Read on…

Every school child in America has heard the term “Hessian” in the context of Washington having crossed the Delaware to attack them on Christmas night in 1776. Few people know anything about them, or, if they do, they have a rather “cartoonish” image. In some circles the term has become synonymous with “soldier of fortune,” perhaps because, even in the 18th Century, they were referred to as “mercenaries”.

We must begin by noting that our current concept of a unified, German nation (in no way to be confused with the more recent fall of the Berlin Wall), is a product of the 1870’s. The Germany of the 18th Century was what was left of the old “Holy Roman Empire” of the Middle Ages. It was a somewhat bewildering collection of separate, and autonomous, city-states, duchies, and principalities as large and important as Prussia, and as small and nearly forgotten as Anhalt-Zerbst.

When trying to understand their role in the American Revolution, it is important to recognize that one of these principalities was Hanover, which was governed by it’s “Elector”. That “Elector” happened to be George III of Great Britain (hence the current ruling family of Britain is still, technically known as the “House of Hanover”). Great Britain traditionally relied on its impressive, defensive “moat” — the English Channel, and always maintained a relatively small army in peacetime. These German city-states, being a part of Continental Europe with few natural boundaries, of necessity, had to maintain comparatively large, standing armies for their own safety. Many regarded Great Britain as a natural ally and fought alongside her as such during the Seven Years’ War and earlier conflicts.

Hessian troops

Rich Buser
Hessian reenactors show their drilling style at a Park event.


Being a Constitutional Monarchy, Britain was one of the more liberal governments on Earth. The economy was generally in good shape, so labor was almost always at a premium. Consequently, Britain always found it difficult to raise many new regiments for its army during times of war. Those new men it did recruit (or impress), needed to be trained. The new regiments needed to be exercised with others to become militarily viable. The German princes would often see Britain’s military needs as opportunities to, at the same time:

  • assist an ally
  • provide combat experience for their officer corps
  • keep a portion of their own regiments embodied while someone else was paying for their upkeep.

The soldiers were themselves only mercenaries in the sense that they were paid for their service to their own ruler, just as any member of the U.S. Military is today. A “soldier of fortune” would be someone who acted, on his own, in a sense as a “free agent”, contracting his services to whoever would pay him. In all, George III was able to contract with six of his fellow German princes for the use of some of their troops:

  • Hesse-Cassel
  • Brunswick
  • Hesse Hanau
  • Anspach-Bayreuth
  • Waldeck
  • Anhalt-Zerbst
  • Friedrich, Landgraff of Hesse-Cassel, by far, contributed the most men, so today, as then, we tend to refer to them all as “Hessians” for convenience. This is technically incorrect, but has become a kind of convention to ease understanding. All three of the regiments who occupied Trenton, in December of 1776, along with the detachments of artillery and jaegers (or riflemen), were, in fact from Hesse-Cassel, thus, truly Hessians. They were:
  • The Grenadier Regiment Rall
  • The Fusilier Regiment von Knyphausen
  • The Fusilier Regiment von Lossberg

All of these regiments were under the command of Col. Johann Gottlieb Rall. As grenadiers and fusiliers, they considered themselves elite units and thus, all the enlisted men wore a form of the well known, tall brass miter cap.

These units had already served with valor at the Battle of Long Island, the Battle of White Plains, and the taking of Ft. Washington in the several months prior to their occupation of Trenton.


Chrétien Lemaire was with the Hesse Hanau Chasseur Corps. That I am sure of. Did Chrétien Lemaire fight in the U.S. against the Patriots?

Chrétien Lemaire

Chrétien was with Creuzbourg’s Jäger Corps.

Creuzbourg’s Jäger Corps (Jäger-Corps von Creuzbourg) was an independent Jäger battalion raised by the county of Hesse-Hanau and put to the disposition of the British Crown, as part of the German Allied contingent during the American Revolutionary War. The corps fought at the Battle of Oriskany, although mostly serving as garrison of different Canadian posts. (Wikipedia)

Maybe he fought in one battle.

The Battle of Oriskany, fought on August 6, 1777, was one of the bloodiest battles in the North American theater of the American Revolutionary War and a significant engagement of the Saratoga campaign. Early in the siege of Fort Stanwix, an American relief force from the Mohawk Valley under General Nicholas Herkimer, numbering around 800 men of the Tryon County militia and a party of Oneida Indians, approached in an attempt to raise the siege. British commander Barry St. Leger authorized an intercept force consisting of a Hanau Jäger (light infantry) detachment, Sir John Johnson‘s King’s Royal Regiment of New York, Indian allies from the Six Nations and other tribes to the north and west, and Indian Department Rangers totaling at least 450 men.

The Loyalist and Indian force ambushed Herkimer’s force in a small valley about six miles (10 km) east of Fort Stanwix, near the present-day village of Oriskany, New York. During the battle, Herkimer was mortally wounded. The battle cost the Patriots approximately 450 casualties, while the Loyalists and Indians lost approximately 150 dead and wounded. The result of the battle remains ambiguous to this day because the advantage of the Loyalist victory was countered when a party sortied from Fort Stanwix and sacked their camp, spoiling morale among the Indians.

This was one the few battles in the war where almost all of the participants were North American: Loyalists and Indians fought against Patriots in the absence of British soldiers. For the Iroquois nations, the battle marked the beginning of a civil war, as Oneidas under Colonel Louis and Han Yerry allied with the American cause and fought against members of other Iroquois nations. (Wikipedia)

For what I was able to find out, most of the Hesse Hanau soldiers stayed in Canada from 1777 to 1783. I guess we will never be certain Chrétien Lemaire fought at the Battle of Oriskany.

For more information on Germans in the American Revolution, you can click here.


– Chrétien what will you do after your discharge?
– I am going to stay here, get married to a lovely fraulein, and raise a family.


Comment made about this post.

Pierre was right except that he forgot to mention the Anspach-Bayreuth troops that were part of that 30,000 soldiers…some two thousand of them. They fought well at Newport and Elizabethtown, NJ and were captured at Yorktown along with their flags. They were imprisoned at Frederick, MD until 1783 when they were “freed” to go back to Germany. My ancestor, George Christhilf did not. A musician, he not only played for his militia unit, but also Gen. Washington at the City Tavern in 1787, and the patrons of the city’s events and in 1792 with Phile and Roth, etc. at Harrowgate. He died in the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793 with a couple of his children, but his surviving son, Heinrich, came to Baltimore and fought against the British in 1814. You can read about George on Thank you, Nick

More reading


Nick Christhilf, family genealogist, informs me that his “G4 grandfather,” George Christhilf, served during the Revolutionary War as a German auxiliary fighting for the British in 1777 while in his early twenties. He was captured, released, and rather than return to Germany, he defected to the United States, and subsequently joined the Philadelphia County Militia in 1784. He lived in the German area between Vine and Race Streets in Philadelphia where he befriended Trenier, Shultz, and Spangenberg, all named in the list of musicians providing entertainment for Washington in 1787. He died in the 1793 Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic.


Closing the books…


Wednesday Morning – Jason and Steve know

Revisiting Our Ancestors, I found what I had written almost six years ago…



I have taken out a picture of a headstone that I had found on Find A Grave. I posted that picture on this blog without asking first permission to do it. It was an honest mistake. I apologized to this person and I told her I had learned my lesson and I was deleting all the articles that were related to the headstone of Exeurie Myers.

It won’t ever happened again.

I have never met Jason West nor Steve Myers personally. I found Steve on a message he had left on a genealogy forum, and I found Jason through Ancestry thanks to a message my 3rd cousin Joe sent him.

Steve has shared with me what little pictures he had of his ancestors… He only had three ships.

USS Dane

U.S.S. Dane

USS Pensacola

U.S.S. Pensacola

USS Stoddard

U.S.S. Stoddard

Now Jason and Steve know all about their Myers ancestors because I have invited them to view my Ancestry tree which has more than 30,000 files.

Remember how all this started in the first place…

A headstone!

Agnes Lagasse

I found it during a little walk in a cemetery with my 3rd cousin Joe.


Genealogy will become a hobby for now and it will take second stage for my blogs about WWII. There is a lot going out there since last November, and it’s hard to keep proper focus on Our Ancestors.

This being said, Jason’s ancestor was in fact Xavier Myers even if we find the name Exeurie Myers in different documents. His descendants wanting to know more about Exeurie Myers would have a hard time finding who were Exeurie’s ancestors.

This is little Exeurie Myers in the 1861 Canadian Census taken in Stanbridge, Quebec.

1861 Médard Myers

He is listed as Francis Y Miers.

1861 François-Xavier Myers

The census man was an anglophone so he wrote what he had heard in 1861 after he knocked on the door. Francis Y Miers was François-Xavier Myers. His given name came from St. François-Xavier. To know more about that saint, click here, but you don’t have to.

Saint François-Xavier

So what does that census page tell us about little Exeurie? He was 5 years-old in 1861 so his birthyear is around 1856. Is that enough proof? Not enough for any amateur genealogist…

To be continued next week even though I could go on, and on, and on with this… Before I leave for the rest of the week, these are Xavier’s siblings.

Émilie Myers     1838 –

Médard Myers     1840 –

Marie Myers     1843 –

Julien Myers    1848 – 1886

Philomène Myers     1850 –

Marie Myers     1851 – 1883

Jean-Baptiste Myers     1852 –

Rose Myers     1858 –

Exeurie’s sister Rose Myers was born on November 4th, 1858.

Rose Myers 1858

Rose Myers married Louis Lagasse who was born on January 1st, 1854.

Louis Lagasse 1854

Louis Lagasse was this man’s brother.

Dennis Lagasse II

I know all about Louis’ descendants, but I have never heard from any of them. I guess they don’t read this blog. 

Click here.

Then click here if you like war stories…

This is a preview of next Monday’s post.



More tomorrow morning.

Tuesday Morning – Remember?


I wrote a post five years ago on Our Ancestors. It was about a never-ending story that had started with a visit to a cemetery. If it had not been for my third cousin Joe telling me about a headstone I had not noticed, this never-ending story would have never been told on this never-ending blog...


Do you remember how this never-ending story first started? A headstone I almost missed.

Agnes Lagasse

Agnes Lagaser (Lagasse) had married Julien Myers whose brother was François-Xavier (Exeurie) Myers seen here with Irene Wilcox (Turcotte).

Irene Wilcox and Exeurie Myers

This picture belonged to Jason West.

He had so many pictures he shared with me!

Take a look…


And with so many names written in the back to help me find how all these names are linked to our ancestors.

Tuesday Morning – If old pictures could talk…

I still have no idea who these women are. I have heard from Sandy which led me to ponder…

Hi Pierre

Photo dates early 1890s.  They didn’t smile because of bad teeth.  And maybe…….they just bought their new hats and had to have a photo of themselves in them. Lol. They are all dressed up right down to the gloves and purses!

Great photo.  I love the hats.


Could the woman on the left be my great-grandmother Henriette Alexandre born in 1845 and who died in 1907? And the woman on the right be her best friend?

Or the other way around?

Or not related at all?

This is Joe’s great-great-grandmother Marguerite Alexandre. She is Henriette’s sister?

Any resemblance?

Marguerite Alexandre, sister of Henriette Alexandre and Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Senior

probably sisters