Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I have very few photographs of my ancestors. Even the ones who were alive in a time when there were ways of creating photo type images. Of course for those alive before the advent of photographs and daguerreotypes etc. there are no images unless they had a portrait painted.

It occurred to me while looking at some old records that what I did have were their signatures. I cropped them out of the images of the documents. This will be the closest I ever get to photographs of these ancestors.

It also gave a glimpse into the education of these people. You could see from the documents who could sign their own names.

This first signature was on the marriage record for my 5th great grandfather. Now this is likely his signature but also could have been his father's who had the same name. Because it was the first signature on the record I think it would be his. This was signed in 1751.(Jacques Baron)

In 1685 Marguerite Benoist signed on her marriage record to Guy Vache (Lacerte). I would have thought that was unusual for a woman of that time. Marguerite is not in my direct line but in a collateral line I have done for someone else.
(Marguerite Benoist)

Often the records are almost unreadable. Ink stains like this one can obliterate very important information. You have to be very tenacious to find out the facts. This signature from my 5th great grandmother Marie Renee Lefebvre was from her marriage record in 1728.

(Marie Renee Lefebvre)

Her father also signed that day in 1728 but seemed to have a little more luck with the ink.

(Rene Lefebvre)

Edmond Pinard was my great grand uncle. I have posted about him before on here. Click here for his story

(Edmond Pinard)

My Aunt on her marriage to my father's brother in 1919
(Virginie Pinard)

At the marriage of his son Noel Houde my 6th great grandfather signed his name in 1722.

Friday, July 17, 2009


ANGRYImage by Akbar Simonse (busy and tired) via Flickr

I have a question for those of you who follow this blog.
I have been working on the last post about Gen. Cadwalader for ever. Every time I would think I had corrected the problem and would publish it the text would not be in the right place. I check the preview and it is fine but then BAM!!! it moves when published. I won't even go into how many times I tried to get it to the "read more" stage.
Here is my question:
When you see on your site that I have published a post do you get another notification every time I edit that same post and hit publish again. If you do I am sorry because you probably got 20 notifications for that one post alone.
So let me know please.
Thanks for your help.

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Some time ago I researched a family history that really did have some amazing family tales. Documented ones at that. I was thinking about this recently when Linda over at Flipside wrote about her gggg grandfather, Purnell Houston.

She mentioned in her post that Purnell had served in the militia under the command of General John Cadwalader. The name rang a bell so I looked up in my research and sure enough he was the 5th great grandfather of the person I researched for.
John Cadwalader, the son of Thomas Cadwalader was a man of great prominence during the American Revolution. He attended the Academy and College of Philadelphia from 1751 to 1758. Although he entered the College of Philadelphia with the class of 1760, he did not graduate but instead left to organize a very successful mercantile business with his brother Lambert Cadwalader.
From the earliest days of the American Revolution, John Cadwalader worked to persuade others to protest in favor of colonial liberties. He became a member of Philadelphia's Committee of Safety and captain of the City Troop or "Silk Stocking Company." He was later appointed Brigadier-General of the Pennsylvania Militia and commanded the Pennsylvania troops during the winter campaign of 1776-1777, in which he crossed the Delaware with Washington and engaged the British in the Battle of Princeton. As the war progessed, he was instrumental in forming a militia from the eastern shore of Maryland; with this militia he rejoined Washington as a volunteer to fight the Battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth.

After the British evacuated Philadelphia in June 1778, Cadwalader fought a duel with General Thomas Conway, who had been accused of plotting to remove Washington from command of the Continental army and whose conduct toward American officer was considered "offensive" by Cadwalader. Cadwalader gravely wounded Conway, but Conway did recover to write a letter of apology to Washington.

In 1779, the same year he was elected a trustee of the Academy and College of Philadelphia, Cadwalader also became a member of the Maryland Legislature. He died in Maryland in 1786.

If someone in this family could have blogged we would have had some amazing table scapes and what's on your walls for sure. Even George Washington had commented on the Cadwalader home and furnishings. The following notes are from

Cadwalader Furniture

John Hays of Christie's is on the lookout for missing pieces of the most famous suite of furniture made in American history. When John Cadwalader, one of the great patriots of the American Revolution, married the very wealthy Elizabeth Lloyd in 1768, he set out to build one of the most splendid houses in Philadelphia. Even George Washington was well known to have remarked in his diaries that Cadwalader's house, the pride and envy of the colony, was the grandest house he'd ever seen. Cadwalader left no stone unturned in the building of his magnificent home. He commissioned Thomas Affleck, who immigrated from England in 1763 and produced the most elaborate, high-styled furniture in Philadelphia, to create a suite of furniture to match the design of his house. Affleck brought in the leading carvers and cabinetmakers of the time to fill Cadwalader's huge order — chairs, tables, sofas, card tables, and the like — that needed to be done between 1768 and 1772. Cadwalader's furniture was carved in the very highest, most elaborate fashion of the day, the Chippendale style. The most distinctive feature of the furniture was the "hairy paw feet," which appeared on all of the forms. After Cadwalader died, his descendant Charles married their young housekeeper, which did not go over well with the people of Philadelphia. In response to this, Charles shut down the house and sold its contents in 1904. The furniture was dispersed throughout the U.S. and abroad. Since that fateful day, six saddle-seat chairs from the front parlor have been found in Ireland, and another in Italy. Four chairs from the back parlor set have also been found: a single chair sold at Christie's last fall for $400,000. Christie's was also lucky to have recently found a tea table at an auction for less than $5,000: a dealer recognized the famous hairy-paw foot. It later sold in New York for over $1 million. Among the pieces still missing are two sofas, last seen in Charles Cadwalader's 1904 auction in Philadelphia. They are so widely sought after that people are making up schematic drawings of what the sofas would look like. John Hays hopes that these drawings will help lead to the recovery of the rest of Cadwalader's furniture.

John married 3 times and his daughter Frances with Wilemina Bond, married Lord David Montagu Erskine and they moved to England where Lord David and his family were from. My research continued with this line.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


My 6th Great Grandfather was Louis Pinard.1 He was born July 12, 1634 in La Rochelle, FranceHe was the son of Jean Pinard and Marguerite Gaignier of Notre Dame de La Rochelle.
Louis came to Canada about 1648. He was a surgeon. He returned to France with the surgeon Francois Gendron to complete his surgical studies August 23, 1650. This made him a Master Surgeon upon his return six years later. He made use of his skills immediately working in the garrison at Trois Rivieres.
In 1666 Jacques Dubois was employed by him as a surgeon’s aid. Louis Pinard is said to have taken part in the expedition to Hudson Bay in 1685 along with the surgeon Jacques Meneux dit Châteauneuf. Around 1690 he became surgeon-major of the town of Trois-Rivières. His son Claude was also to become a surgeon and undoubtedly began his studies under his father’s direction; he did his apprenticeship, however, under Jean Demosny at Quebec. In 1692 Pinard was the agent of Claude Deshaies-Gendron, and distributed in the region around Trois-Rivières “the remedies which M. Gendron sent to Canada for charity.”

On 11 June 1657 Louis Pinard had signed before the notary Séverin Ameau* a contract of marriage with Marie Madeleine Hertel, daughter of Jacques Hertel and Marie Marguerie. On 30 Nov. 1680 at Champlain he took as his second wife MarieUrsule Pépin. Each of his wives bore him six children.( I am still searching for the documents of 8 of the 12 children he fathered. )

Pinard does not seem to have had a very peaceful career: we find him engaged in legal disputes over money matters with a great number of citizens of Trois-Rivières and Cap-de-la-Madeleine. In particular he had quarrels with Michael Leneuf Du Hérisson. Moreover he was in rivalry with the surgeon Michel Gamelain, whose competition be feared and who later became father-in-law to his son, the surgeon Claude Pinard. Nevertheless Louis Pinard seems to have been held in esteem, since he was for a long time one of the settlers’ syndics, a churchwarden, and procurator of the church.

In 1670 he settled down on his seigneury of L’Arbre-à-la-Croix at Champlain (seigneury of La Pinardière). There he engaged in agriculture and the fur trade. Later we find him at Batiscan, where he was buried 12 Jan. 1695.

My line descends from two of his sons with Marie Ursule Pepin, Antoine Pinard and Guillaume Pinard dit Beauchemin. They were my 5th. Great Grandfathers. Oh but there is more. Francoise Pinard was my 8th Great Grandmother. She was Louis' daughter with his first wife Marie Madeleine Hertel. Now how does my 6th Great Grandfather sire my 8th Great Grandmother you ask? Well Francoise was 20 years older then her brother Antoine and 27 years older than Guillaume. You can squeeze in a couple more generations when you are married at 18 and your first child is born the same year as your brother. Technically this makes her my 8th Great Grandmother, and my 5th great Aunt. Oh my head hurts.

Now you know why genealogy can be so complicated. This is why you must check and double check your facts and your sources to be sure. There are a lot of pedigree lines to follow when you go back that far. Did you know that for every generation you go back the ammount of grandparents you have doubles? You have 4 grandparents right. Now each of these people have 2 parents so that makes 8 great grandparents for you. Those 8 each have 2 parents so now we are at 16 great great grandparents for you. And so on, and so on.

Dictionary Of Canadian Biography Online, Library and Archives Canada onlineAJTR, Greffe de Séverin Ameau, 11 juin 1657. JJ (Laverdière et Casgrain), 143. Jug. et délib. Ahern, Notes pour l’histoire de la médecine, 441–44. Raymond Douville, “Chirurgiens, barbiers-chirurgiens et charlatans de la région trifluvienne sous le régime français,” Cahiers des Dix, XV (1950), 118–21.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Canned sardines in salt waterImage via Wikiped

My mother had 11 brothers and sisters that survived past infancy. There were several more that sadly did not.

One of her brothers, my Uncle Louis told me a story once about when he was just a little boy. Now I won't tell it the way he would have because as people have said to him "do we have to pack a lunch for this story".

The way I remember it was that back in his youth, around 1928 maybe, he was walking down the street in their home town in Manitoba. It was near Winnipeg, perhaps Transcona.
Uncle Louis looked down at the ground and found a nickel. That was more money than he could ever hope to have.

Oh my goodness what would he do with this fortune. He thought about it and thought about it. After all he has so many brothers and sisters. He went to the store and spent his nickel. He bought a can of sardines. Not candy. No. Simply a can of oily sardines. And do you know what he did with his treasure? Wrong. He went and hid in the attic and ate the whole can himself. You know what. I can't blame him. They lived in such poverty and this was his one selfish act to have the prize all to himself. To not have to share every waking and sleeping moment with the others.

Now Uncle Lou could have told this story much better than I could but then we would have had to pack a lunch and all the sardines were gone.

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This picture is of a home in the Red River Settlement of Manitoba. It was taken in 1870. I do not know who is in the photo. Even if they were not related to me they certainly knew my family. The cart in the picture was a Red River cart made with wood and tied together with leather. The squeal of the leather and wood made a sound that could be heard for miles. It was very stable with two large wheels that would maneuver through marsh and mud and was also buoyant enough to float across a stream.

A Red River CartImage by inkbase via Flickr

The windows of the home were of course small. Glass was a luxury and also the Manitoba winters were beyond harsh.

Source: Archives of Manitoba/Archives du Manitoba, Red River Settlement - Homes 1, N4611
Year: 1870

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