Are We Getting too Excited Over All This?

Are we getting overly excited over all this?

I guess so.

Michel Lagacé was not a famous person even though he was from St-Ours.

Michel was just a little baby boy born on May 12, 1817. His father Joseph Lagacé was a farmer and probably poor like so many French-Canadians in those days.

That is why more than 900,000 French-Canadians emigrated to the United States in the 1800s and early 1900s instead of starving in Quebec.

1817 Michel Lagacé 12 mai zoom

So why are we getting all excited about Michel Lagacé aka Mitchell Lagassa? You should ask his descendant Koeni LaGasa or his cousin Dan Hebert.

Dan also asked for my help on Bob’s Facebook Group Page. I could not help myself to help him also with his ancestors since I am a proud descendant of Louis Hébert. I was curious and I wanted to know if Dan and I were even more closely related.

Louis Hébert?

This is the information I found in English on Wikipedia about Louis Hébert.

Louis Hébert (c. 1575 – January 1627) is widely considered to be the first Canadian apothecary as well as the first European to farm in Canada. He was born around 1575 at 129 de la rue Saint-Honoré in Paris to Nicolas Hébert and Jacqueline Pajot. He married Marie Rollet on 13 June 1602 at the Abbaye de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris.

In 1606, he accompanied his cousin in law, Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt et de Saint-Just, to Acadia along with Samuel Champlain. He lived at Port-Royal (now Annapolis, in southern Nova Scotia) from 1606 to 1607 and from 1611 to 1613 when Port-Royal was destroyed by the English deputy governor of Virginia Samuel Argall.

In 1617, with his wife, Marie Rollet, and their three children, Guillaume (3 years old), Guillaumette (9 years old), and Anne (14 years old), he left Paris forever to live in Quebec City. He died there 10 years later because of an injury that occurred when he fell on a patch of ice. Statues of Louis Hébert, Marie Rollet, and their children are prominent in Parc Montmorency overlooking the St. Lawrence River in Quebec City.


At the beginning of 1800, Louis Hébert and Marie Rollet had 4592 descendents married in Quebec, according to the PRDH (Historical Demography Research Program) of the Université de Montréal, making the couple the tenth most important one in French-Canadian ancestry at that time. Given the migratory routes of French-Canadians, their descendents thus live mainly in Canada (especially Quebec and Manitoba), but also in communities in New England, upstate New York, and the midwest (especially Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota)….

Louis Hébert and Marie Rollet had only one son, Guillaume, who married Hélène Desportes, (as well as two daughters Guillaumette and Anne). Guillaume and Helene in turn had a daughter, Francoise Hébert (who married Guillaume Fournier, thus ending the surname Hébert with her line), and a single son, Guillaume, who in turn had a single son, Guillaume, who died as a small child thus ending the surname Hébert with his line. However, some descendants of Louis Hébert and Marie Rollet may also share the name Hébert through marriage of female descendants with other men named Hébert since there were several other male Hébert immigrants to New France or Acadia with posterity.

See René Jetté, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Québec des origines à 1730, Montréal, Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 1983, pp. 561–562. See also Robert Prévost, Portraits de familles pionnières, Montréal, Éditions Libre Expression, 1993, Tome 1, pp. 149–154. Louis Hebert was born in Paris in 1575, the son of Nicolas Hebert and Jacqueline Pajot. Nicolas was an apothecary with a practice in Paris. In the tradition of the day, Louis followed in his father’s profession. Louis was trained in medical arts and science, becoming s specialist in pharmacology. It was from this that developed what was to become a lifelong interest in plants and gardening. By 1600, Louis was established in Paris as an apothecary and spice merchant. In 1602, he married Marie Rollet.

In 1604, Louis’ cousin, Pierre de Gue, Sieur de Monts, led an expedition to L’Ile Sainte croix in hopes of making a fortune in the fur trade. The expedition’s first winter was very hard. There was a shortage of fresh water and firewood, and 36 to the 80 expedition members died of scurvy. The following summer 1605, the expedition relocated across the bay at Port-Royal (Today known as Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia).

In 1606, Louis joined the expedition, now located at Port-Royal. As a pharmacist he was interested in plants and enjoyed horticulture, seeming to possess a “green thumb” and grew hemp. He was highly regarded, and particular note was made of his knowledge and pleasure in cultivating the land. He participated in the construction of a grist-mill on the Allain River near present-day Annapolis Royal. Experimental farming activities were conducted, with various grains being seeded in the local fields. He looked after the health of the pioneers, and cultivated native drug plants introduced to him by the Micmac Indians. He returned to France in 1607, after the trade concession that had been granted to the de Monts expedition had expired.

In 1610, Louis Hebert returned to Port Royal with Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt. It has been claimed that a few months later his wife joined him and became one of the first French women to come to New France, but the claim has not been documented. Louis continued his agricultural interests, sowing wheat and planting vines. The colony at Port Royal seemed to take root, but in 1613 it was destroyed by the English coming up from Virginia. The French colonists returned to France, and Louis established a medical practice and apothecary (pharmacy) shop in Paris.

At this time, Quebec was a settlement of some fifty white men who were all transient soldiers, fur trappers, or missionaries. The economy of the settlement was dependent on some 20,000 beaver pelts that were annually returned to French merchants in exchange for supplies. The “Compagnie de Canada”, made up of merchants from Rouen, St. Malo, and La Rochelle, had a trading monopoly that controlled the fur trade in Quebec.

Champlain, who founded Quebec in 1608, saw a desperate need for medical service and agricultural self-sufficiency for Quebec. Champlain had met Louis Hebert during the earlier expedition to Port Royal, and had recognized Louis’ outstanding qualities. Champlain approached Louis with an offer from the “Compagnie de Canada”. He had met Louis when they were both in Acadie. They mutually respected each other.

Champlain is spending the winter of 1616-1617 in Paris searching for support for his colony of Quebec. Hébert is allured. He believes there is a good chance for him in the St. Lawrence Valley If Hebert would take his family to Quebec for three years and practice medicine in the settlement and establish farming, the company would pay him an annual salary of 600 livres (pounds) and grant him ten acres of land at the settlement on which to build his house and farm. Louis agreed to the terms and signed the contract. Louis sold his practice and his home, and proceeded with his wife, son, and two daughters to the port of Honfleur, France. When he arrived, Louis was told by the ship’s master that instructions from the Compagnie de Canada were that they could only board if Louis agreed to sign a new contract with the company. The new provision reduced his annual salary to 300 livres per year, required him to serve as the physician and surgeon at the settlement, and required him to farm ten aces of land and give the company exclusive right to buy all of his agricultural products at the prevailing price in France. Having already sold his house and left his practice, Louis reluctantly accepted and signed the new contract.

On April 11, 1617, they left Honfleur aboard the Saint-Etienne (captain Normand Morin) and arrived in Quebec on 15 July. Only five other French families were to follow them on similar voyages to New France in the next 10 years.

In the spring of 1617 Louis became the first private individual to receive a grant of land in the New World from the French Government.

Upon his arrival in Quebec, Louis selected ten acres on a site that is today located in the city of Quebec between Ste. Famille and Couillard Streets on the grounds of the Seminary of Quebec and Basilica of Notre Dame. Soon afterward, Louis started clearing out some old-growth forest so he could plant crops. This put him in conflict with the fur trading company, who was strongly opposed to deforestation for farming because of its adverse effect on the fur business. Louis had to work very hard, doing all the work by hand. The fur trading company wouldn’t even let him import a plough from France. On this land, Louis, his son Guillaume, and an unnamed servant with the help of only an axe, a pick and a spade, broke the soil and raised corn, winter wheat, beans, peas, and livestock including cattle, swine, and fowl. He also established an apple orchard and a vineyard. He overcame the hardships and became the first Canadian to support his family from the soil. He imported from France the first ox to pull a plough in Canada, but unfortunately, the first plough did not arrive until a year after his death.

By 1620, Louis’ hard work was finally recognized as having been of great service to the colony: for being the physician and surgeon; for being its principal provider of food; and, for having fostered good relationships with the natives. He was appointed Procurator to the King, which allowed him to personally intervene in matters in the name of the King.

In 1621, his daughter Guillemette married Guillaume Couillard who joined the family business.

In 1623, Louis became the first “Seigneur” of New France when he was granted the noble fief of “Sault-au-Matelot”. In 1626 he was further granted “le fief de la riviere, St Charles” in recognition of his meritorious service.

Louis died on January 25, 1627 from injuries suffered after slipping on ice. The colony holds a funeral for the first colonist. Louis is a respected by the Indians as the other Frenchmen. He is first buried in the cemetery of the Recollets. In 1678 his remains inside his cedar coffin were transported to the newly built vault of the Recollets with the remains of Peaceful brother Duplessis. They were the first to be laid to rest in this new structure. . Jacques Lacoursiere noted he had many firsts. He was the first colonist of Quebec, first colonist to live off the land, his daughter Anne’s marriage to Etienne Jonquet in 1617 is the first in New France, and he is the first lord of New France.

When English corsairs, the Kirke brothers, take possession of Quebec his family doesn’t leave. They wait out the three years until it is returned to France.

Louis Hebert did not leave any direct descendants bearing his name. His son Guillaume had a son Jacques who married Marie Despoitiers but was tortured to death by the Iroquois on the Island of Orleans before there were any children.

Marie Rollet quietly remarries Guillaume Hubou two years after Louis’ death. After the three year occupation by the English, Champlain asks her to move to Quebec and Louis’ house became an Indian youth hostel entrusted to the Jesuits for their education.

There is a monument to Louis Hebert in Montmorency Park. In seeing it you will understand the importance of Louis Hebert and his family in the beginnings of Quebec. On one side is Louis Hebert holding a sheaf of corn in one hand and a sickle in the other. On part of the base, Marie Rollet clasps her three children in her arms. On the other, son-in-law Guillaume Couillard has a plough in hand. The first plough was not imported to New France until one year after the death of Louis Hebert.

Quite an ancestor!

Guillaumette was my 9th grandmother. Her father Louis Hébert was my 10th grandfather.


I believe I have about a thousand or so 10th grandfathers.

Let’s count…

2 grandfathers

4 great-grandfathers

8 3rd grandfathers 

16 4th grandfathers

32 5th grandfathers

64 6th grandfathers

128 7th grandfathers

256 8th grandfathers

512 9th grandfathers

1024 10th grandfathers

Another famous ancestor is Jean Nicolet.



I got a little crazy over that fact. Just a little.

Click here.

Getting back to Mitchell Lagassa, he is only a 4th cousin four times removed. So why write about him on this blog?

Because he is the ancestor of thousands and thousands of Americans who one day will find this blog and get all excited about him and maybe have a picture of Michel or one of his famous descendant.

unknown maybe Joe

In the Navy…


I visited a few times Montmorency Park in Quebec City, but that was before I knew about my famous 10th great-grandfather.

Now going back to Quebec City will never be the same anymore…

Footnote to the footnote

I should have ask Dan if he knew all about his Hébert ancestors in the first place before I started searching.

Click here!

12 May 1817, St-Ours, Quebec, Canada

Time flies on this blog.

From 1817 to 2013, almost 200 years!


13 May 1817, St-Ours, Quebec, Canada.
That ought to be right on the button…

That’s when and where Mitchell Lagassa was born.

May 12, 1817 to be precise and his name was Michel Lagacé.

It’s all here for people to see.

1817 Michel Lagacé 12 mai

I know Koeni will be interested in learning French and watch out for hints found on Ancestry…

Ah those Ancestry hints!

1817 Michel Lagacé 12 mai zoom

I can help Koeni with this document since my mother tongue is French.

Le treize mai mil huit cent dix-sept par moi prêtre soussigné a été baptisé Michel, né hier, fils de Joseph Lagacé agriculteur en la paroisse de St-Michel et de Marie Julien en légitime mariage. Le parrain a été Michel Chapdelaine et la marraine Marie-Anne Montville qui avec le père présent ont déclaré ne savoir signer.

A Hébert p 

I am also a freelance translator. Koeni found the right distant cousin in Quebec.


May 13th, 1817, by myself priest who signed there after I baptised Michel, born yesterday, son of Joseph Lagacé farmer in the parish of St-Michel and of Marie Julien legally married. The godfather was Michel Chapdelaine and the godmother was Marie-Anne Montville who with the father present told they cannot signed.

A Hébert priest 

Here is some information I found on a Website about St-Ours…

Darn! It’s all in French.

Saint-Ours (municipalité de ville)

  • Superficie – 58,50 km2.
  • Gentilé – Saint-Oursois, oise.
  • Éphémérides –

1650 Fondation d’une mission catholique.
1672 (29 octobre) Concession d’une seigneurie (2 lieues de front sur le fleuve Saint-Laurent x 1 lieue (7 lieues ???) de profondeur par le gouverneur Frontenac et l’intendant Talon à Pierre de Saint-Ours, capitaine dans le Régiment de Carignan-Salières, qui lui donne son nom et qui la fait coloniser par des soldats de son régiment désireux de demeurer en Nouvelle-France ; la seigneurie et bornée par la seigneurie de Contrecoeur (79) et la seigneurie de Saint-Denis (79a) au sud-ouest, par la seigneurie de Saint-Hyacinthe (117) (117) au nord-est et par la seigneurie de Saurel (81) et Bourgchemin (132) au nord-est et par la rivière Yamaska au fond ; traversée par la rivière Richelieu et les ruisseaux LaPrade, LaPlante et Salvayle.
1674 (25 avril) La seigneurie de Saint-Ours est augmentée des îles situées en face dans la rivière Richelieu.
Construction d’une première chapelle dédiée à L’Immaculée-Conception.
1681 Fondation de la mission de l’Immaculée-Conception et ouverture des registres de la paroisse.
1688 Les Iroquois attaquent Sorel et Saint-Ours.
1691 Les Iroquois dévastent les installations de la seigneurie naissante.
1703 Mise en exploitation du premier moulin seigneurial.
1722 Établissement des limites de la paroisse de L’Immaculée-*Conception-de-Saint-Ours par édit royal.
1724 (21 octobre) Au décès de Pierre de Saint-Ours, la seigneurie passe à son fils aîné, Jean-Baptiste de Saint-Ours (6/10), à Gaspard Chaussegros de Léry, comme héritier de sa mère, Marie-Barbe de Saint-Ours (1/10), à Auguste LeRoy de la Potherie comme époux de Élisabeth de Saint-Ours (1/10}, à Pierre de Saint-Ours (1/10) et Claude-Pierre Pécaudy de Contrecoeur comme héritier de sa mère, Jeanne de Saint-Ours (1/10).
1726 Construction d’une église de pierre par le curé Jean-Pierre de Miniac.
1747 Au décès de Jean-Baptiste de Saint-Ours, sa part de la seigneurie (6/10) passe à Pierre-Roch de Saint-Ours.
1750 Nomination du premier curé résidant de la paroisse de L’Immaculée-*Conception-de-Saint-Ours. Inauguration du chemin entre Saint-Ours et Saint-Denis.
1761 Inauguration de l’église de L’Immaculée-*Conception-de-Saint-Ours construite par le curé Joseph-François d’Youville, le fils de la fondatrice des Soeurs grises de Montréal-s.g.m.*. Ouverture de la première école.
1765 Démolition de l’église de 1 726 abandonnée par ses paroissiens qui se dispersent le long de la rivière Richelieu.
1782 Au décès de Pierre-Roch de Saint-Ours, sa part de seigneurie passe à ses fils, Paul-Roch et Roch-Louis dit Charles de Saint-Ours.
1792 Construction du manoir seigneurial par Roch-Louis dit Charles de Saint-Ours au bord de la rivière Richelieu.
1800 Mise en exploitation d’une fonderie par Pierre Grégoire.
1806 Inauguration du chemin entre Saint-Ours et Sorel.
1818 Inauguration du chemin entre Saint-Hyacinthe et Saint-Denis.
1827 Ouverture d’un bureau de poste sous le nom de Saint-Ours.
1831 (23 novembre) Érection canonique de la paroisse L’Immaculée-*Conception-de-Saint-Ours ; son territoire couvre la seigneurie de Saint-Ours.
1833 François-Roch de Saint-Ours épouse Catherine-Hermine Juchereau Duchesnay, la petite-fille de Antoine Juchereau Duchesnay et de Ignace-Michel-Louis-Antoine d’Irumberry de Salaberry.
1834 Au décès de Roch-Louis dit Charles, sa partie de seigneurie passe à son fils, François-Roch de Saint-Ours; ce dernier réunira les parties de seigneurie détenues par les autres descendants de Pierre de Saint-Ours.
1836 Saint-Ours est le chef-lieu du comté de Richelieu.
1837 (7 mai) Assemblée de Saint-Ours tenue sous la présidence de Côme-Séraphin Cherrier ; réunit 1 200 personnes et présente Wolfred Nelson comme principal orateur ; on y adopte des résolutions constituant le programme politique du temps; elles invitent le peuple à la résistance ; à la suite de cette assemblée, Archibald Atcheson, comte de Gosford, gouverneur du Canada, proclame séditieuses de telles réunions et ordonne aux magistrats et officiers de milice de les empêcher ; l’assemblée de Saint-Ours est suivie de l’assemblée de Saint-Charles. Voir Québec (province). Crises. Émeutes de 1837 et de 1838.
1839 (10 novembre) Au décès de François-Roch de Saint-Ours, la seigneurie passe en usufruit à son épouse, Catherine-Hermine Juchereau Duchesnay, et, en propriété, à ses filles Josephte-Louise Hermine, Carole-Virginie et Henriette-Amélie.
18441849 Construction, sur la rivière Richelieu, du barrage et des écluses comme partie des ouvrages permettant de relier Montréal et New York. Après le canal de Chambly, celui de Saint-Ours complète la voie maritime du Richelieu ; les travaux permettent l’installation d’un moulin à eau sur le barrage ; la farine y sera moulue et la laine cardée pendant au-delà de 100 ans.
1845 (8 juin) Constitution de la municipalité de la paroisse de Saint-Ours.
1847 (1 septembre) Abolition de la municipalité de la paroisse de Saint-Ours.
1849 Construction de l’écluse de Saint-Ours.
1854 (18 décembre) Abolition du régime seigneurial.
1855 (1 juillet) Constitution de la municipalité de la paroisse de L’Immaculée-*Conception-de-Saint-Ours. Constitution de la municipalité du village de Saint-Ours par détachement de celle de la paroisse de L’Immaculée-*Conception-de-Saint-Ours.
1857 Le siège social du comté de Richelieu quitte Saint-Ours pour Sorel.
1859 (12 janvier) La seigneurie appartient en usufruit à Hermine-Catherine Juchereau Duchesnay, veuve de Roch de Saint-Ours et en propriété à ses filles, Josephte-Louise-Hermine de Saint-Ours, Caroline-Virginie de Saint-Ours et Henriette-Amélie de Saint-Ours.
1865 Henriette-Amélie de Saint-Ours, fille de François-Roch de Saint-Ours, seule survivante des seigneurs de Saint-Ours, épouse le notaire Joseph-Adolphe Dorion.
1866 (15 août) Le village de Saint-Ours devient ville.
1868 Arrivée des Soeurs de la Présentation-de-Marie p.m.* qui prennent charge du couvent nouvellement construit.
1871 Ayant vendu à bon prix la seigneurie de Deschaillons (100), la seigneuresse, Hermine-Catherine Juchereau Duchesnay de Saint-Ours, entreprend la restauration du manoir familial de Saint-Ours auquel elle ajoute un étage.
1882 Démolition de l’église de 1761 et construction d’une nouvelle église.
1888 Relocalisation du couvent.
1891 Arrivée des Frères de l’Instruction chrétienne.
1894 Construction d’un collège par les Frères de l’Instruction chrétienne qui utilisent, pour le construire, la pierre du presbytère de 1750 et du couvent de 1868.
1897 (24 juillet) Incendie du couvent.
1900 Marie-Amélie-Catherine Dorion, petite-fille de François-Roch de Saint-Ours, épouse Joseph-Georges-Elzéar Taschereau, fils de Louis Taschereau, seigneur de la Beauce.
1916 (15 mars) Au décès de Henriette-Amélie de Saint-Ours Dorion, la seigneurie passe à sa fille Amélie-Catherine.
1923 La population de la paroisse est de 1 500 âmes.
1926 Hélène-Amélie Taschereau, arrière-petite-fille de François-Roch de Saint-Ours épouse Armand Poupart, avocat de Montréal.
1939 (22 mai) Fondation de la Caisse populaire de Saint-Ours.
1957 La municipalité de L’Immaculée-*Conception-de-Saint-Ours abrège son nom en Saint-Ours.
1982 Le manoir, le domaine et ses dépendances sont classés biens culturels ; il s’agit du seul ensemble intact et complet des assises d’une seigneurie québécoise.
1990 La population de Saint-Ours (ville) est de 622 habitants, celle de Saint-Ours (paroisse), 1 002.
1991 (17 avril) Regroupement des municipalités de la ville et de la paroisse de Saint-Ours.
2000 La population de Saint-Ours est de 1 649 habitants.
2010 La population de Saint-Ours est de 1 694 habitants.


I never set foot in St-Ours even though I have been living in Quebec since the day I was born (64 years ago). You can virtually visit St-Ours by visiting this Website though there is not much information on the history of St-Ours. In fact nothing at all.

Nothing about Mitchell Lagassa born on May 12, 1817 who emigrated to the U.S. in 1836.


Of course you are curious because you would not be reading this blog.

1900 Mitchell Lagasa and Delia Rock

To be continued…

Of Course It Does Matter

Suzan commented on yesterday’s post in response to a reader.

You didn’t smile in pictures back then. It was a BIG event to have your picture taken and you didn’t play around (smile) and you wore your best or borrowed clothing at the studio. I do believe that is Elva. Her great-grandson inherited those eyes and her great-great-grandson too.

Does it matter if the little girl in the red circle is Elva Lagassa or not?

Elva Lagassa in family picture

It does because if she is Elva, then this is her big brother Arthur J. Lagassa.

Arthur J Lagassa

This is Arthur J. Lagasa’s obituary.

LaGasa, 1966 Nov 25

So much information like what I found in Dennis Lagasse III’s obituary.


Susan have been contributing a lot since Wednesday.

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Did I say a lot?

These pictures are only the tip of  the iceberg.

Speaking of icebergs, you should see Bob Barrette’s family tree on Ancestry.

Footnote to this post…

I wanted to take a breather on this blog for the rest of summer. I think I was caught by surprise when I visited Bob’s Facebook page and read Keoni LaGasa’s request for information on his ancestors.

Guess I got carried away.

The Frenzy Redux

I could not control myself, but I was not the only one who got carried away on Bob Barrette’s Facebook page on the Lagasse Family.

How can I stop when Keoni LaGasa put this on Facebook Wednesday night…?

John B Lagassa

He added this message.

I have been hooked on genealogy. Ever since I found out about my LaGasa (Lagace) Family. Yes the picture is of GG grandpa Joseph and family. My GGrandapa John B LaGasa Sr. Helped supervise the building of the Smith Tower in Seattle, WA. Front and center is GGrandpa John Benjamin LaGasa Sr.

John Benjamin Lagassa in family picture

He had this picture of Uncle Joe…

Uncle Joe

Again with this message… 

On the back of this picture it says Uncle Joe. So I am thinking this is GGrandpa’s Brother Joseph who in the family picture is top right.

Joe Lagassa in family picture

Keoni added two more pictures in his frenzy over old pictures. One person he thinks is Eliza Jane Wilson but she looks more like a daughter on the family picture.

duaghter Lagassa in family picture

Annie Lagassa?

Eliza Jane Wilson

Eliza Jane Wilson?

Some many questions about old pictures to feed amateur genealogists.

Lagassa children

Could this be Frank Lagassa and his five children according to the 1910 U.S. Census in International Falls, Koochiching, Minnesota?

Arthur Lagasse 10
Elva Lagasse 8
Bertha Lagasse 5
Richard Lagasse 3
Roy Lagasse 1

Does it really matter who these people are?

Of course it does matter!

Koeni LaGasa should not have posted more new pictures on the Facebook page…

But he did and posted even more.

Ida May Lagassa is easy identified in the group picture.

Ida May Lagassa in family picture

This is Ida May Lagassa. She is my 6th cousin twice removed. She is seen here with her husband Anson Elliott.

Ida May Lagassa

Anson Elliott and Ida May Lagassa

Here Ida is with her daughter Ethel.

Ida May Lagassa and child

Ethel Elliott and Ida May Lagassa

Ida Anson Ethel

Ida May Lagassa, Ethel Elliott and Anson Elliott?

Eliza in front of her home

Eliza Jane Wilson at home?

Eliza Jane Wilson close-up

Eliza Jane Wilson

Then someone else jumped in on the band wagon and linked Elva Lagassa the daughter of James Lagassa and Lois Rose Foreman or Forman.

Elva Lagasse

Elva Lagassa and her husband George Smith 

Could this be Elva Lagassa with her father James and her siblings…

Elva Lagassa in family picture

What do you think?

Does it really matter who these people were?


The Frenzy

Amateur genealogists are like piranhas.


When they see old pictures they become insatiable and they can’t help finding who was who like on this picture posted on Facebook by a descendant of the man with the long beard.

Joseph LaGasa

 I don’t know if you tried to identify them yesterday.  

I did not although I was able to link these people to this man, André Mignier dit La Gâchette.

Soldier of the Régiment Carignan-Salières Illustrator Francis Back

Joseph Lagassa

I have learned a lot since I started getting interested about genealogy and my Sauvé ancestors in 2007.

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This is how my frenzy about Odna Lagasse began in 2010.

A picture of people is East Bristol, Connecticut.

Victor Philippe Lagasse

A family picture sent by the mother of someone who had his family tree on My Heritage Website. His mother knew a little who was on that picture.

This is the original scan.

original picture of the Lagasse family

Little Germaine Lagasse, the daughter of Victor Philippe Lagasse and Alice D. Myers, is in front. She is probably the one wrote the captions. From there I started to search for who were the others on that picture.

Curiously Odna Lagasse was not on it.

Levi was Levi Napoleon Lagasse.

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Aunt Ida was Ida Lagasse.

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Pepere was Dennis Lagassey III.

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Pepere died in 1922.


That obituary written in 1922 was my Rosetta Stone.

It’s where I first found Edna Ritchie from New Britain.

I got a tad curious…

Donna told me in 2013 Edna Lagasse Ritchie’s given name was Odna when she wrote a comment on the post I wrote about Odna’s two sons who died in WWII.

William Ritchie and Robert Ritchie

Since then Donna has been contributing to this blog…

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This is her latest contribution.

Odna & Frank 1913

Odna Lagasse and Frank Ritchie in 1913

Frank and Odna Marriage

Odna’s and Frank’s marriage certificate
17 January 1917

She also sent me this from which I wrote this post on August 6th, 2013.

So now you understand why I did not try to find who was who on this picture.

Joseph LaGasa

Joseph Lagassa’s and Eliza Jane Wilson’s family


The Tip of the Iceberg

As I said yesterday I got carried away just a little when someone had asked for help about his ancestors on Bob Barrette’s Facebook Group page on the Lagasse Family.

 I could not resist.

I won’t tell you I tried. I did not.

This man on this picture is Joseph Lagassa. His real name is Joseph Lagassé or Lagacé.

Joseph LaGasa

The name does not matter because Joseph Lagassa is a proud descendant of André Mignier dit La Gâchette.

Soldier of the Régiment Carignan-Salières Illustrator Francis Back

Not all Lagacés are descendants of André Mignier, but that another long story that you can find on this blog if you have enough time to read all the posts I have written about our ancestors since 2009.

André Mignier had many descendants and most people ignore that fact in the U.S.

People with the surname Lagassé, Lagacé, Lagassey, Legacy, Mignier, Minier, Meunier, etc… don’t have the faintess idea how to link to their ancestor who was a soldier in the Carignan Salières Regiment.

I know I should stop writing about our ancestors, but I won’t tell you I will try, I will not.

So to make this story short, Joseph Lagassa married Eliza Jane Wilson. That I am almost sure of but in genealogy you can easily make a fool of yourself and find the wrong descendants.

Anyway I like to say that if I don’t try, nothing will be found.

Joseph and Eliza had these children.

Frank James Lagasa 1867 – 1932
Annie Lagasa 1870 –
Joseph LaGasa 1873 – 1944
Mitchell James Lagasa 1879 – 1941
Ida Lagasa 1880 – 1969
John Benjamin LaGasa Sr 1882 – 1951
Milton Cleveland LaGasa 1884 – 1948

This information I found yesterday but Bob Barrette already had it on his Ancestry family tree that he is sharing with me. I should have checked before hand.

We can now be 100% sure about this family and figure out who is who on this picture.

Joseph LaGasa

I will let you figure it out. It’s more difficult than you think.

I Got Carried Away

I know I did, but someone asked for our help on Facebook.

Bob Barrette created a Facebook page about the Lagasse Family. Bob and I met virtually on the Internet a few years ago. We are distant cousins but we share the same passion for our ancestors.

To make a long story short, someone posted a message and he added this old picture…

Joseph LaGasa

 That was enough to trigger my obsession for old pictures and other people’s ancestors.

Little did I know that Bob Barrette had all the answers to this request.

I wanted to see if anyone knew how my family connects to Andre or Michel Mignier. I know that my 4 Great Grandfather is Mitchel Lagasse and his father was John Lagasse. There were many names changes coming into the US. I know that my GG Grandfather changed our name when he moved to Seattle. Joseph LaGasa and James LaGasa. Our family did a lot here is Seattle. Can tell more later.

Let’s say I got carried away a little.

To be continued…