Seven years ago…

After Suzan’s urge of touching up old photos yesterday, I went back and took a look at how I got those tintype photos.

This tintype picture was sent by Robin on the West Coast in November 2011. Her husband is a descendant of Agnes Alexandre seen behind her sister Helene holding up her baby boy.


Robin is part of the A-Team as well as Sandy, Joe, Dennis IV, Susan, Ed, Fran, Suzan, Susan…, and lately Luanne.

The family photo was part of this collection which belonged to Sylvia Bleau Combe the daughter of Agnes Alexandre.

I had to look up for the date I posted them on this blog because I have posted many old pictures on this blog to get people’s attention.

What about this picture?


Who’s the woman holding up a baby? I always thought it was Helene Alexandre (Nellie Alexander) with her two sons Joseph Bleau (1891) and David (1893). But now I am not sure anymore. It made sense in 2011. Myra Alexandre was there, so was Agnes. The “old” man had to be Jean-Baptiste Alexandre and the old lady Philomene Lagacé.

Could it be that Philomene Alexandre is there with her two sons Thomas James Malloy (1887) and John Malloy (1890)? Could be… but I doubt it.

When to stop searching for your ancestors even if they are not mine per se, but an extended family? If you are still reading my blog you have the answer.

Footnote to this post…

A few years ago I had this note about Helene on my Ancestry family tree.


Enjoying all your entries to your blog. I may have info on Philomene Lagasse and JB Alexandre’s daughter, Helene. For some reason, which I can not explain, I had her down as Abeline (baptized on 24 June 1867, Notre-Dame-de Stanbridge. Today I received an invitation to a birthday party for one of my Mother’s Bleau cousin, who is the granddaughter of Joseph Henry Bleau and Helen Alexander. Her brother had told me ages ago that their uncle had married an Alexander. I did their line back around 2001 so I never made a connection until today when I checked my Family Tree and saw the names of their grandparents. He never gave me any other info on the Bleau line as he knew I was doing my maternal grandparents’ lines. I will be seeing them August 4 and will discover if I am right. Remember the photo of JB Alexandre and Philomene Lagasse with two daughters and two children? If I am right, one of the children is their Dad, born 1891 in North Adams, MA. If so, we are related through my maternal grandfather and through my maternal grandmother’s side. I am hoping they might have some photos of the Bleau line. They have two great albums of their Mother’s family. I will get back to you when I get direct info from the Bristol Bleaus.


PS Have you a definite identity of the young ladies in the great photo of Philomene in the center and her daughters around her?

Philomene Lagasse and her daughters

Final answer?

Libbie's daughters

Could this be Philomene Alexandre with her sister Myra?Picture 085


Facial recognition

I am not an expert on facial recognition.

But now I am sure this is Malvina, my grandfather’s sister. People who commented all agreed with me that there is a strong resemblance with this young woman and the older one on this wedding picture.

Malvina’s great-grandchild contacted me last November and she shared the wedding picture and lots of information about her great-grandparents Joseph Dubé and Malvina Lagasse, and her grandparents Joseph Dewey Dubé and Blandine Lamothe.

I had found Susan on Find a Grave and I wrote her a message. I don’t usually do that.

That time it paid off BIG!

Malvina is somehow a very precious person to me since she took care of her father, the man with the mustache and the suspenders.  Stanislas Lagacé, aka Dennis Lagasse II, is my great-grandfather. His wife Henriette Alexandre, my great-grandmother died in September 1907. She is not on this group picture taken before October 1922, because that’s when Malvina’s brother Dennis III who is hiding in the back died in an accident while at work.

Malvina’s husband Joseph Dubé had died the same year as her mother leaving Malvina to raise her five children alone. They were Joseph Dewey, Irène, Alice, Béatrice, Marie-Louise. Her son Joseph married Blandine Lamothe.

Susan had this wedding picture of her grandparents.

The Section Man

5 years ago I had found this poem while I was researching the Malmaison Hamlet and the Malloy family. It was about…

The Section Man

by Edna Jacques

We passed him there, knee-deep in snow,

Standing to watch the train go by,

A lonely man in overalls,

Outlined against the snowy sky.

Along by Field, where peak and heigh

Make ghostly shadows in the night.

His face was bitten by the cold,

His mittened hands were stiff and hard

Yet there he stood as staunch and true

As any soldier standing guard,

Keeping his trackage swept and bare

That we might pass in safety there.

Oh, unsung heroes of the land,

The lowly knight of mawl and spade,

His home a lonely section-house,

His trust a curving mile of grade.

Seen through the dusk, a tired wraith

Knee-deep in snow…he still keeps faith.

Source: Canadian Pacific Railway, Factors in Railway and Steamship Operation.

Sunday Morning – Patrimoine/Heritage


PATRIMOINE – Fabien Poirier et son équipe de bénévoles peuvent dire: mission accomplie! Le site d’interprétation de Malmaison, situé aux abords du pont couvert de Notre-Dame de Stanbridge, est enfin accessible au public au terme de quatre années de préparatifs.

«Nous avons dû consacrer près de 15 000 heures à la réalisation de ce projet. Le dernier sprint a été particulièrement exigeant, alors que trois d’entre nous se sont réunis tous les soirs, de 18h à minuit, pendant plus d’un mois, pour mettre la touche finale», précise M. Poirier.

Les recherches ont débuté en septembre 2010 pour prendre fin en juillet 2013.

«Comme on voulait s’assurer de la véracité des informations déjà disponibles, il nous a fallu éplucher les registres fonciers, actes notariés, fonds de musées et articles de journaux pour valider le tout. Un travail de moine», indique le président d’Héritage Stanbridgeois.

Jeff Asnong (rédaction des textes anglais), David J. Ellis (vérification des textes anglais), Gérald Harbour (rédaction des textes français), Annie Lessard (aménagement paysager) et Denis Gamache (conception graphique et mise en place) ont par ailleurs donné un solide coup de main au noyau initial composé de Fabien Poirier, Jean-Pierre Gamache, Stephen Hanigan, Danielle R. Poirier. Lucy Hanigan, Annie Lessard et Michel Pelletier.

Hameau Malmaison

Le hameau Malmaison doit son implantation à François-Amable DesRivières (enfant adoptif de James McGill) et à l’arrivée de ses propres fils, François-Guillaume (1833) et Henri DesRivières (1841), dans le canton de Stanbridge.

Véritables entrepreneurs dans l’âme, les frères DesRivères y construiront un moulin à bois (1842) et un moulin à farine (1843), puis un pont couvert (1843) et une chapelle de bois (1845). Un magasin général, un bureau de poste (1845), une école de rang (1863), une tannerie (disparue en 1883), une manufacture (disparue en 1889) et une gare (1864 à 1942) viendront s’y ajouter au fil des ans.

«En 1879, le seul village de Malmaison ou Des Rivières, sans inclure les fermiers de cette section de la paroisse Notre-Dame des Anges, comptait pas moins de 175 personnes», précise Jeff Asnong, dans un document annexé à l’ouvgrage Histoire de Notre-Dame des Anges de Stanbridge.

Le territoire de la municipalité Notre-Dame des Anges sera fusionné à celui de Notre-Dame de Stanbridge en 1913.

Le nouveau site d’interprétation et ses dix panneaux explicatifs relatent l’histoire du hameau de Malmaison, tout en mettant en valeur les derniers édifices qui y subsistent: manoir (propriété privée), école de rang (restaurée en 2005), moulin à grain (propriété privée), bureau de poste (nouvel emplacement) et pont couvert (dernière structure de type Howe au Québec en voie d’être classé bâtiment historique).


HERITAGE – Fabien Poirier and his team of volunteers can say: mission accomplished! The Malmaison interpretation site, located near the Notre-Dame de Stanbridge covered bridge, is finally open to the public after four years of preparation.

“We had to devote nearly 15,000 hours to this project. The last sprint was particularly demanding, as three of us gathered every night from 6pm to midnight for over a month to put the finishing touches,” says Poirier.

The research began in September 2010 and ended in July 2013.

“As we wanted to ensure the veracity of the information already available, we had to go through the land registers, notarial deeds, museum collections and newspaper articles to validate everything. A monk’s job,” says Stanbridge Heritage President.

Jeff Asnong (English text writing), David J. Ellis (English copy editing ), Gérald Harbour (French text writing), Annie Lessard (landscaping) and Denis Gamache (graphic design and implementation) also gave a solid hand to the initial core members of Fabien Poirier, Jean-Pierre Gamache, Stephen Hanigan, Danielle R. Poirier, Lucy Hanigan, Annie Lessard and Michel Pelletier.

Malmaison Hamlet

The hamlet of Malmaison owes its establishment to François-Amable DesRivières (adopted child of James McGill) and the arrival of his own sons, François-Guillaume (1833) and Henri DesRivières (1841), in Stanbridge Township.

True entrepreneurs at heart, the DesRivières brothers built a wood mill (1842) and a flour mill (1843), then a covered bridge (1843) and a wooden chapel (1845). A general store, a post office (1845), a school (1863), a tannery (disappeared in 1883), a factory (disappeared in 1889) and a train station (1864 to 1942) were added over the years.

“In 1879, the only village in Malmaison or Des Rivières, without including the farmers in this section of Notre-Dame des Anges parish, had no less than 175 people,” Jeff Asnong said in a document attached to the work entitled Histoire de Notre-Dame des Anges de Stanbridge.

The territory of the municipality of Notre-Dame des Anges was merged with that of Notre-Dame de Stanbridge in 1913.

The new interpretation site and its ten explanatory panels tell the story of the hamlet of Malmaison, while highlighting the last remaining buildings: manor house (private property), school (restored in 2005), grain mill (private property), post office (new location) and covered bridge (last Howe structure in Quebec to be classified as a historic building).

Sunday Morning – Malmaison’s cemetery

Written in 2014, and never published before…

Five years later I have all the reasons in the world to revisit Malmaison. I had found this image on the Internet and I got all excited, but I had no one to share my excitement with.


Then came along Luanne whose maternal ancestors were Malloys, Molloys or Moloys depending on how people were hard of hearing. This image is in French, but I can translate what you see.

All aboard!

Cimetière is cemetery. This is probably where some of my granduncles and grandaunts were buried around 1880. Site ancienne église is where the old church was located around 1880. This is probably where some children of Stanislas Lagacé and Henriette Alexandre were baptized.

In 2008 I had found all of their 13 children. Number 13 was my Léo, my paternal grandfather. I had a few photos of my grandfather and his brother Adélard.

My grandfather with two of his sons in Montreal

Number 1 was Antoine or Anthony Lagasse 1863 – 1934 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 2 was Stanislas or Dennis Lagassey III 1864 – 1922 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 3 was Marguerite Lagacé 1868 – (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 4 was David Lagacé 1869 – 1873 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 5 was Angélique Lagacé 1871 – 1872 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 6 was Jean-Baptiste Lagacé 1872 – 1876 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 7 was Lillie Lagasse 1875 – (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 8 was Malvina Lagasse 1877 – 1930 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 9 was Adélard Lagacé 1879 – 1959 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 10 was Odila Lagacé 1882 – 1882 (born in Malmaison)

Number 11 was Joseph Aldéi Lagacé 1883 – 1897 (born in Malmaison)

Number 12 was Anonyme Lagacé 1886 – 1886 (born in Malmaison)

Number 13 was Léo Lagacé 1888 – 1964 (born in Malmaison)

I think my grandfather was born in Malmaison. I know that his parents were neighbors in 1881 of the DeRivières family who had the manoir, the mansion or the manor house.

1881 famille Stanislas Lagassé

1881 Canadian census page

End of the line…

The Malloys or Molloys were also living around Malmaison because Thomas James was a section man and his brother Patrick was a section foreman.

There is little left of Malmaison now except for what some people have been working together since 2010 to preserve the past. I will tell you more about it next Sunday morning unless you start googling and get a jump start.


Stay tuned…

Sunday Morning – Remembering the Little Flower Girl

Program note

Our Ancestors will be on only on Sundays for now.

My third cousin Luanne is now following Our Ancestors. She has read a few posts I had written. She wrote in a comment that the flower girl is four years-old and not seven. I now agree since I have a seven year-old granddaughter and the flower girl does not look a bit seven.

Beatrice Lepage, born in 1908, is the bridesmaid. She is 24 on that wedding picture. The flower girl is her niece, and Beatrice Lepage is most probably her godmother.

The flower girl’s parents were Bertha Lepage and Forrest Ivan Ashley. Their first child was Beatrice Ashley born on October 6, 1928. Beatrice would have been four years-old in 1932.

Beatrice Virginia Ashley married Theodore Murphy. I found Beatrice on Find a Grave and I added her photo for any relative looking for her.

Next Sunday we will meet Josephine Dubé and her husband Napoleon Duquette, the bridesmaid and the best man at Malvina’s wedding…

Remembering a Little Flower Girl

I had written once before about these people on that old picture. Old pictures have always mesmerised me especially wedding pictures.

This is Marie-Anne Lepage and Sam Lagasse’s wedding. There was a little flower girl on the wedding picture. In my search for who was who on that 1932 wedding picture, I had to use some “clever” deductions.

First, the bride Marie-Anne Lepage had three sisters… Jeannette, Bertha, and Beatrice. She also had four brothers but that’s another story…

Jeannette Lepage, in the purple dress, was born on April 7th, 1902, and she died on February 23rd, 1996.

This is her on Find a Grave.

Jeannette would have been 30 years old in 1932 when her sister Marie-Anne Lepage married Sam Lagasse, so the bridesmaid can’t be her on the wedding picture in my own humble opinion.

Second, Bertha Lepage, who was born in 1904, would have been 28 years-old in 1932 so I don’t think the bridesmaid was Bertha.

Which leaves us only with Beatrice Lepage, who was born in 1908, being the bridesmaid. She would have been 24 years in 1932.

Is that all important to know who’s who on old pictures and keep writing about it?

What about the little flower girl?

Jeannette Lepage had married Henri Valois in the early 1920s. Her first child was Pauline Valois born on August 7th, 1925. Pauline would have been 7 years-old in 1932.

Bertha Lepage married Forrest Ivan Ashley. Their first child was Beatrice Ashley born in 1928. Beatrice would have been four years-old in 1932.

Beatrice Lepage married Harry Ward and they had a son, Harry.

So we were left with only two plausible answers…

What do you think? Is the flower girl Pauline Valois or Beatrice Ashley?

At first I thought la petite bouquetière was Pauline Valois,
but I am not sure anymore.

It’s not important if my alter ego is sure or not about the flower girl. What is important is to bring these people back to life to preserve the past for future generations.

All this being said…

I think I know who were the bridesmaid and the best man at Malvina’s wedding…

My little brain cells were acting up again yesterday morning… The bridesmaid looked a lot like the groom. Could she be his sister Josephine?