Call Them Distant Relatives… Rita Hazel

Someone just informed me in a comment just made that Rita Hazel has passed away.

Diane wrote this…

thought I would let you know that my aunt Rita Hazel, only daughter of Leo and Ida Combe passed away about a month ago. I think she was 91 or 92. The only sibling left is Henry Combe, my wonderful father.

This is the wedding picture of Leo Combe and Ida Ashley.

Leo Combe and Ida are Rita Combe Hazel’s parents.

Sylvia Bleau Combe is besides Ida who is next to her mother Agnes Alexandre. Agnes is the daughter of my great-grandaunt Philomene Lagasse (Lagacé).

Back in 2007 when I started looking for my ancestors I did not know she had existed.

These people became a big part of my family since then. There are no more distant relatives of mine…

Rita Combe 1Rita Combe Hazel

Who Wrote the Captions?

When you have captions with photographs, you must never jump to conclusions…

Look at this beautiful picture taken in 1919. It’s part of the 100 or so pictures Robin had scanned in 2011. Agnes Alexandre is with her granddaughter Sylvia Marie Combe.

June 31st 1919!

It says 1914 on the second caption…

I will explain later.

What is so wonderful about this picture is that we have reunited people with Agnes Alexandre who was only a small picture in a photo montage of Philomène Lagacé and her daughters that Joe had in his collection.

If I recall correctly Joe had no idea who those people were…

The woman in the middle is Philomène Lagasse, my great-grandaunt. She is the sister of this man Stanislas Lagacé aka Dennis Lagasse. He is the brother of Pierre Lagasse who is Sandy’s great-great-grandfather.

Sandy had one of my great-grandfather’s pictures all along, but she did not know who he was until she contacted me in 2010.


Then those floodgates opened wide…

In Robin’s picture, we see grandma Agnes (Alexandre) Bleau with her granddaughter Sylvia M Combe.

But someone added a note…


Agnes Bleau + daughter

When we look closer we see that the date on the picture is 1919. Louis Joseph Combe married Sylvia Bleau in 1917 so we can’t be in 1914. Furthermore June does not have 31 days. I wonder who wrote the second caption.

In genealogy you always have to check the clues just to be sure.

As a matter of fact, we are never 100% sure.

– You know Stanislas, this descendant of yours makes a lot of sense…

– Can’t argue with that Pierre…

My Brother Harry

Sylvia Elizabeth Bleau was the one who wrote the caption on this picture.

She only had one brother.


Like I said yesterday I did not pay to much attention to this picture. There were so many pictures that Robin had scanned to look at.

There is one I had could hardly look at when I first saw it.

This baby…


There was no caption so I did not make the connection at first.

Now I have.

Fredrica Bleau 1918-1919

Fredrica Beau is one of so many infants who died at a very young age leaving no one to remember them.

Frederica Bleau

Her ancestors were from French-Canada and Germany.

Fredrica Bleau family tree

Her grandfather Frank Kamenski was a barber of German descent. Her grandmother Anna Freidel also.

Anna Friedel

My Brother Harry & Freida Bleau First Baby

I did not pay much attention to this picture scanned by Robin last year.


It’s a good thing Peter Kaminski wrote this comment yesterday.

Fredrica was my great aunt. As my cousins Linda & Liz mentioned, we all called her Nana. You also had photos of my grandfather Peter Sr, my grandma Isabel, Aunt Pat and my father Peter Jr.

Thank you so much for publishing these photos that we thought were lost forever!

Would it be possible to get electronic copies of these photos? I would like to blow them up and frame them for my father.

I was looking at all the pictures Robin scanned. Some of them belonged to Terri who sent them to Robin on the West Coast so she could scan them.

The baby picture was in the lot…

scan0041_Fredrica Bleau 1918

She is little Fredrica Bleau born in 1918.

Frederica Bleau

This picture of Aunt Nana is now much more revealing…


More than a Wedding Picture

This is more than just a wedding picture.


It’s fond memories of a loving aunt who made the best apple pie in the world.

I have edited Freida’s wedding picture a bit.

Freida and Henry Bleau's wedding

I have more pictures that Robin scanned.

This one where Paul and Pauline are with Harry Bleau.


This is not Pauline Kaminski but another Pauline. She is with her twin brother Paul and their uncle Harry. Not sure about Harry being their uncle. The kids look like they are related to the Combe family. That’s the only clue I have.

Harry and Freida had two daughters Fredrica and Marion. Both died as infants.

 Frederica Bleau

So Freida and Harry left no descendants to remember them.

Until Linda Marie searched the Internet for one of her cousins. Then as Robin once said the floodgates opened.

I still wonder who is the best man and who is the bridesmaid.

Sometimes I find out.

wedding Myra Alexandre

Click on the image

My Nana Freida

I had found Freida’s maiden name back in 2012.

Freida was Freida Kaminski. Then she married Harry Bleau and became Freida Bleau.

Freida Kaminski and Harry Bleau

I had a hunch…

The 1920 U.S. Census.

This was the proof I needed.

Harry Bleau, son-in-law of Frank Kaminski.

Fredrica Bleau, daughter of Frank Kaminski.

Frank Kaminski was born in Germany.

I was then able to put some names on these people.

Freida Kaminski Bleau on the far left was with her brother Peter Kaminski, then Peter Kaminski‘s wife Isabel Chagnon, their child Pauline Kaminski, and Isabel Chagnon’s sister.

In this next picture Pauline Kaminski had grown up to be a beautiful little girl. She was on the left.

Her little brother Peter Kaminski Junior was on Freida’s lap.

Pauline Kaminski was 6 and Peter Kaminski Junior was 4 years old.

But what about the girl on the right. She was John Kaminski’s daughter. I had no name until I got this comment on my blog this week.

Wow! These photos are my family! My mother, Pauline Kaminski and her brother, Peter are with my Nana (Freida Kaminski Bleau) and their cousin, Joanie. I would like to know more about your search and our connection.

Still Puzzled?

Now I am sure you did not stumble on this blog by chance.

I got your attention last time with these tin pictures didn’t I?

Pictures that might have found themselves in a garbage truck. Instead somone sent them to Robin who scanned all of them even if she did not know who these people were.

Thanks to Robin, Fran’s distant relatives now have pictures of their ancestors if they happened to stumble on this blog.

I believe I have found Helen Alexandre and two of her children. She had three boys: Joseph, David and Philip before her death in or before 1901.

Fran gave me some clues to look at after her meeting with distants relatives whose ancestor was Joseph Bleau. Joseph Bleau Senior married Emma Gallope on February 15, 1901. That would be after Helen’s death. 

Joseph Bleau was David Bleau’s brother who had married Agnes Alexandre who was Helen’s sister.

David Nathanael Bleau.

Who are these children?

Probably Joseph Bleau Junior, born on March 3, 1891, with his brother little David Bleau born on December 9, 1893.

David Nathanael Bleau is most probably little David’s godfather.

How do I know? Because it makes a lot of sense.


I am sure Helen Alexander is photographed here with her parents, Jean-Baptiste Alexandre (Alexander) and Philomène Lagacé (Libbie Lagasse), and her two sisters Agnes and Myra. This picture is taken in late 1894.

Now any distant relatives of Fran can benefit from our search and have pictures of their ancestors.