How I came to know about Blanche and her long search for her ancestors…?

How I came to know about Blanche and her long search for her ancestors…?

One of my readers on the French  version  of  this  blog asked  for my help last month to find her mother-in-law’s ancestors. She wanted to give her as a birthday  present  a poster of her ancestors and of her descendants.  Her descendants were quite easy  to  find for Lise-Andrée Morin. Searching for Blanche’s father’s and mother’s ancestors had been a lifelong search for Blanche Gendron who had became an orphan in 1918.

Marie Charette was her mother. Azarias Gendron  was her father. They were married on September 8, 1914, in St-Casimir-de-Portneuf. According to her grandmother Clara, Marie had died in 1918. Azarias had also died in 1918. That was what Blanche had been told by her grandmother Clara Lefebvre who raised her after Blanche’s parents had died.

With this scant information Blanche had this headstone erected in St-Casimir-de-Portneuf.


The family  knew Azarias Gendron had enlisted in the Canadian Army during World  War One, but that was all the people  knew. This is where my search began. Did Azarias Gendron die in the Great War for his country?


I was lucky to find his service record on the  Internet…

dossier militaire Azarias Gendron

From then on, the more I found about Blanche’s ancestors, more and more questions were left unanswered.

To be continued.

A sad yet beautiful story – an orphan in 1917



October  27th, 1915, a little baby girl was born. Her name was Marie Ernestine Blanche Gendron. Her name is still Marie Ernestine Blanche because Blanche was celebrating her 100th birthday yesterday.


How I came to know about Blanche and her long search for her ancestors is a sad yet beautiful story thanks to Lise Andrée, her daughter-in-law.

The Polar Bear

What connection is there between a polar bear and Captain LaGasa?

unknown maybe Joe

Captain Good was kind enough to send me yesterday more information about Captain LaGasa he had on his Website.

Warren Pogo Good


Vessel: Polar Bear

Type: Diesel screw

Length: 92 feet

92 tons

Date: 19 July 1935

Ship built in 1926

Location: On a reef off W end of Dry Spruce Island, Kupreanof Strait, near Kodiak.


Event narrative:

Broke up after navigation error by mate caused ship to strand on reef. Crew of 10 taken off by herring boat and transferred to CG cutter Aurora. Capt. Carl E. Anderson stayed with the wreck in the hope of salvaging some of the equipment, but the vessel was finally abandoned as a total loss. The ship was raised for salvage from 17 fathoms by deep sea diver Captain Arthur LaGasa in December 1937. The Polar Bear was formerly named the Margnita and worked out of Juneau under Capt. H.M. Peterson. It was purchased in 1931 by Capt. Charles Madsen, noted Alaska guide and wildlife authority, for the Kodiak Guides’ Association of Alaska. She was placed in service in charge of Capt. Peter Wold, supplying hunting expeditions on the Kenai Peninsula and renamed the Polar Bear.


CR, MV 1936, Berman, AK Weekly, AFJ, MCC

Something else happen in 1938.

Vessel: Polar Bear

Type: Motorship

Date: 29 March 1938

Location: At Red Fox Bay, near Port Williams, Kodiak Island.


Event narrative:

Blown ashore after suffering engine trouble and hitting a reef. CG cutter Morris found crew of Capt. A.J. LaGasa, J.A. LaGasa, Alex Woche, and Paul Anderson camped on beach.


This was the Polar Bear’s first trip after being raised after hitting a reef and sinking off Kodiak in 1935. The Morris tried to convoy the Polar Bear to Cape Spencer, but, when 30 mi out to sea, the wooden propeller that LaGasa had whittled from a tree dropped off, the Morris was forced to tow the Polar Bear to Sawmill Bay where it awaited a two-blade, 40″ steel metal prop built by Jack English at the machine shop

Source: Seward Gateway

Again in 1938…

Vessel: Macray

Type: Diesel tug

86 tons

Date: 16 October 1938

Built: 1922

Lcation: Near Cape St. Elias, S end of Kanak Island, Gulf of Alaska.


Event narrative:

Tug swamped on shoals of Okalee Channel in Controller Bay, S end of Kanak Island and was blown ashore in 85 mi hurricane winds. Six crew escaped to the beach and rescued 2 days later by the CG cutter Morris which took them to Cordova. The SS Denali took crew to Seattle. The tug lost a scow that it had in tow. Salvage of the tug, still aground at Okalee Channel near Kanak Island, was attempted Dec. 28 by Capt. LaGasa and a crew of six aboard the Debs. The barge was said to have been salvaged as well.

Source: CR, Berman, MCC, Int’l. Reg. #2, Seward Gateway, MV 1939


Where is Captain LaGasa in 1940?

Cordoba, Alaska!

1940 Arthur J LaGasa

Cordova_Alaska_aerial_view Cordova 3


Guess what?

This was to be published only tomorrow.

I think I really need a vacation.

Alyce in Wonderland

Alyce knew very little about her father’s roots.

David LaGasse 1935

57 years later, Alyce is now in Wonderland because she found her 3rd cousin Pierre who had her father’s file in his genealogy data bank.

Pierre is just amazing.

This is what Alyce told him.

Alyce does not know that three years ago Pierre was the one who knew very little about his father’s ancestors.

Not that his father had died at an early age like Alyce’s father. Léo Lagacé Junior had lived to be 69, but he had never talked that much about his parents Léo Senior and Juliette Métayer.

Léo’s parents

What Léo had told his son was sometimes confusing for little Pierre.

Pierre’s father died on August 27, 1995.

Strangely, he did not want to see his children before he died. He wanted to die alone. The doctor and the chaplain tried to convince him but to no avail. When his former girlfriend told him she was going to call his children anyway, he showed her his fist…

This is what Pierre was told when he came to the hospital in the afternoon to see his dying father.

Around 11 p.m., when his father was just about this leave this Earth to meet saint Pierre, he turned his head towards Pierre and looked at him.

Léo was blind because of his diabetes.

Pierre never knew if his father was still mad at him or not.

14 years later, Pierre’s sister, while visiting him, told Pierre that when she first arrived at the hospital on August 27, she told her father that his son Pierre was coming to see him.

With these words his father let out a sigh of relief.

Pierre’s sister thought she had told him that on the fateful day…

Sometimes it takes time to find things out.

Next time, Alyce will find out about her father’s roots.