A strange photograph (1)

A ghost story from my friend John…

John Knifton

One very strange happening happened to my Dad, Fred, and myself  when, in 1970, I accompanied my father down to his parents’ house at number 39, Hartshorne Road. Both his father, Will, and then his mother, Fanny, had recently died, within a few months of each other, both in hospital at Burton-on-Trent, with Fanny unaware of Will’s demise.

Fred was paying regular visits to the property, presumably attempting little by little to clear the house out so that it could be resold. At the time, as a teenager, I was unaware of this, although, with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had been, and I could perhaps have stopped him from throwing away so many of Will’s Great War souvenirs such as his Canadian Army uniform, his German soldier’s belt and his collection of old German guns and ammunition. Here’s the front of a very average semi-detached house. The only…

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The Proof of the Pudding – Update


Link sent by Alyce…



In a commentary this week on Morning Edition, Frank Deford said the “proof is in the pudding.” A listener wrote in to say that keeping proof in a pudding would be messy. The original proverb is: The proof of the pudding is in the eating. And what it meant was that you had to try out food to know whether it was good.

The proof is the pudding

I always thought that the expression “The proof of the pudding” was “The proof is in the pudding”. I always thought also that André Mignier’s dit name was la gâchette. That was what was found everywhere until Gilles Tremblay, a researcher, started to questioned this. In fact no documents that I could find had la gâchette as a dit name. Everything I found was either l’agacé or l’agassé.

Peter Lagasse just sent me this to translate…

It’s Marie Mignier’s baptism. Hard to read but it cleary shows the dit name la Gacée.

Le quatorzième jour du mois d’octobre de l’an mil six cent soixante et onze par moi Henry de Bernières prêtre curé de cette paroisse a été baptisée Marie fille d’André Mignier dit la Gacée et de Jacquette Michel sa femme, née du jour d’hyer (hier) le parrain a été Siméon Le Roy dit Ody (Audy) la marraine Marie Renaud femme de Charles Petit.

On the fourteenth day of October of the year one thousand six hundred and seventy-one by me Henry de Bernières priest of this parish was baptized Marie daughter of André Mignier dit la Gacée and Jacquette Michel his wife, born on the day of yesterday the godfather was Siméon Le Roy dit Ody (Audy) the godmother Marie Renaud wife of Charles Petit.

Now if someone could prove me wrong and show me an image of André and Jacquette’s marriage contract written by notaire Romain Becquet… For more on André Mignier dit l’agacé this is the link to Gilles Tremblay’s research…


Marcelline David is perhaps your ancestor… – Update

Got this comment from Denise on a post written in 2009!

Perhaps you can help? Trying to trace my paternal grandfather’s parents and grandparents. He was Aurelius Joseph Lagasse, born 1896 or so in Canada. Anything about the children of: Adolphe, Henri, Joseph, Idola, Damase, or Ambroise? Merci beaucoup!

The post I wrote:

Marcelline David was Pierre Lagacé’s wife. She was also Adolphe Lagasse’s mother.

She also had these children:



Marie-Anne Émilie








Click on the image for a larger view

She is certainly the ancestor of many Lagasses living in the U.S. One of them is Alyce LaGasse. I know that Ambroise Lagasse also went to the States and lived there.

I will post an article on him one day.

While searching for Lagasses, I found this…

This is Marcelline David’s death certificate on the Mormons’ site.

Click on the image it will appear in another window

It says Davies… but it is David.You can trust me on that. She died of a heart disease. Her son Adolph Lagasse was the undertaker. Her father was Hubert David and her mother was Josephte Séguin. Hubert David married Josephte Séguin in 1815. That’s quite a way back.

Tomorrow… Why is this crazy canuck doing all this…?

To be continued 9 years later…

Intermission – Classroom Roots




A time of major transition – I just retired from teaching after a wonderful run of thirty-five years. No one who knows me well asks: What will you do [more of] next? While genealogy, per se, was not part of the prescribed English and history curriculum, that quest always played in the background and sometimes assumed center stage. Particularly in the teaching of American history, it became the hook which anchored students to a personalized past.

To be continued?

I often end a search like this…

To be continued?

Sometimes I won’t follow up on a search. It all depends on how people will react to a blogger who has been writing about our ancestors, yours and mine, since 2009.

It can be scary sometimes especially when I post images like these…

That’s my sense of humor (humour if you live in Canada like I do…) that I inherited from this man… my paternal grandfather who never spoke to me even once if I can recall correctly.

My quest for my ancestors which started in July 2007 led me to find distant cousins in the United States finding my blog, and who were generous by sharing pictures of my distant relatives…

More than a few thousands pictures!

There are all in here on this blog with a few images taken from parish records like these two about Jean-Baptiste Meunier dit Lagafsé and Vitaline L’heureux…

To be continued?

Easy as Pie

Easy as pie when you have the original images…


Instead of these…

Jean-Baptiste Meunier dit Lagassé married Vitaline L’Heureux in Ste-Rosalie on 25 January, 1869. Jean-Baptiste Meunier dit Lagassé is a descendant of André Mignier dit l’Agacé.

Sometimes Mignier became Meunier in parish records so this might be confusing for someone looking for his or her roots.

What does the parish record says?

Ce vingt-cinq Janvier mil huit cent soixante et neuf vu la publication d’un seul ban de mariage faite aux prônes des messes paroissiales de St-Hyacinthe le Confesseur et de Ste-Rosalie et la dispense des deux autres accordée par Monseigneur de St-Hyacinthe entre Jean-Baptiste Meunier dit Lagafsé [Lagassé] domicilié à St-Hyacinthe le Confesseur fils majeur de Jean Meunier dit Lagafsé et de Delphine Brodeur de St-Hyacinthe le Confesseur d’une part, et Vitaline Lheureux domiciliée en cette paroisse fille mineure de Joseph Lheureux cultivateur et de Céleste Gauthier de cette paroisse d’autre part et vu enfin qu’il n’a été découvert aucun empêchement au dit mariage, nous soufsigné [soussigné] vicaire de cette paroifse [paroisse] avons de l’agrément des parents de la partie mineure reçu leur mutuel consentement de mariage et leur avons donné la bénédiction nuptiale suivant les règles prescrites par la Sainte Église en présence de Joseph Lheureux cultivateur père de l’épouse qui n’a su signer de Jean-Baptiste Meunier dit Lagassé cultivateur père de l’époux qui n’a su signer de Joseph Gauthier cultivateur oncle de l’épouse qui n’a su signer et de Pierre Poulin cultivateur oncle de l’épouse qui n’a su signer. L’époux n’a su signer, l’épouse a signé quelques autres ont signé Julie Lheureux qui a signé Elmire Lheureux soussignée soeur de l’épouse.

Vitaline L’heureux
Edmire L’heureux
Julie L’heureux

Even though you could read French it could be hard to read since there are no commas.

Now a draft translation…

On this twenty-fifth (25) of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty nine (1869) with the publication of a single wedding ban made during the sermons of the masses at St-Hyacinthe le Confesseur and at Ste-Rosalie and the exemption of two other bans granted by Monseigneur of St-Hyacinthe between Jean-Baptiste Meunier dit Lagafsé[Lagassé] resident of St-Hyacinthe le Confesseur, adult son of Jean Meunier dit Lagafsé and Delphine Brodeur of St-Hyacinthe le Confesseur on the one hand, and Vitaline Lheureux resident in this parish minor daughter of Joseph Lheureux farmer and Celeste Gauthier of this parish on the other hand and finally that it was discovered no impediment to the said marriage, we undersigned vicar of this parish have the approval of the parents of the minor party received their mutual consent of marriage and have given them the nuptial blessing according to the rules prescribed by the Holy Church in the presence of Joseph Lheureux farmer father of the bride who could not sign of John-Baptiste Meunier dit Lagassé farmer father of the groom who could not sign Joseph Gauthier farmer uncle of the bride who could not sign and Pierre Poulin farmer uncle of the bride who could not sign. The groom could not sign, the bride signed and a few others signed Julie Lheureux who signed Elmire Lheureux the bride’s sister who undersigned.

Vitaline L’heureux
Edmire L’heureux

Julie L’heureux

To be continued…?





Fran’s comment

The photo of the plane, second from last, may have been taken at the airport in Bristol. My mother related how after the War she and her older brother would go there and get airplane rides for five cents. Levi was my grandmother’s first cousin.

Feel free to add your two cents…

Preserving the Past

I know someone will eventually comment on this picture part of Lionel Lagasse’s collection of old negatives.

This photo has never been on the Internet before, at least that’s what I think. I don’t think the man is related to Dennis or his father Lionel. Dennis found lots of negatives in an old cigar book which I believe belonged to his grandfather Levi Napoleon Lagasse.

Levi Napoleon Lagasse was my grandfather’s nephew.

My grandfather, born on June 5th, 1888 in Notre-Dame-des-Anges, in Missiquoi Country, in Quebec, never spoke about his extended family down in Connecticut. As a matter of fact, my grandfather never spoke to me not even once that I can recall.

Grandfathers never spoke that much back then in the 50s.

My grandfather died on January 1st, 1964.

acte de deces leo lagace senior

I was 16 years-old in 1964 and my ancestors were not on my mind.

I can’t say I miss my grandfather, but not knowing a thing about my Lagasse ancestors in 2009 led me to write this blog in the hope of finding lost cousins. Dennis is one of my lost cousins that I found in 2011. He is one among thousands and thousands of this man’s descendants who don’t have the faintest idea of their French-Canadian roots.

Dennis Lagasse II (1842-1927)

Stanislas Lagasse (Dennis Lagasse II) circa 1895
Collection Denis Lagasse IV

Our Ancestors is to preserve the past when I won’t be around anymore on Our Ancestors which is still a long long way from now.
So what about this negative which I turned into a positive?

Any idea?
You still have time to comment…
Curtiss Jenny in Bristol, Connecticut?

Collection Denis Lagasse IV

Unknown man

Collection Denis Lagasse IV