French-Canadian Ancestry

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French-Canadian Ancestry

Postby jsh82 » 21 May 2010, 16:28

I've had great help here concerning my wife's Italian ancestry, and thought that maybe you folks could help with a problem I've had in my own genealogy. I'm half French-Canadian descent and the earliest known ancestor I can find is named Paul Lafreniere born about 1838 in Canada, and died in 1932 in Pontiac, Michigan. He married Philomon Champeau (1838-1916) I don't know when they were married, or where. There is some confusion on Philomon's birthplace. I was told that it was THOUGHT she was born in New York (she is also french-canadian) but i can find no record at all for her birth there. I found a record of a Philomene Champeau born at the right time in Beauharnois. It's in french though and I can only get a small amount of information from it. Here's the image of the record:
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I was also told by a cousin, that Paul and Philomon came to Michigan in about 1888 with their four sons, William Issac Lafreniere, David, John and Alexander. They had another son, Paul, that stayed in Canada. Here are the links to a census with them on it. John, William, and Alexander were grown by the time of this census and were in households of their own. The 2 people with the surname Christian, are Paul and Philomon's grandchildren through their daughter (Matilda) who married Joseph Christian in Canada.
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I've been stuck at this point a ages.. but yesterday I found a Canadian census (1861) with Lafreniere's and Philomon Champeau on it. The Ages of Paul and Philomon are very close. How probable is it that a Paul Lafreniere and a Philomon Champeau, ages very close to other records I have, to be a DIFFERENT Paul and Philomon? I'm thinking that they are mine.. seems too close to be a coincidence. Am i wrong? Whats really exciting if this IS them, is that there are a few other Lafreniere's on the same census also... I'm thinking maybe Paul's siblings or cousins. Anyways I'd like to hear from you knowledgeable folks, maybe help me break through the mystery. Heres the 1861 Canada Census:
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P.S. - My Ancestry.com username is: jsh82
and the three name is: Hall Family Tree
I have all the info I currently know attached to that tree, so you can find me and look over the records.

Thanks again!

Jason
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Re: French-Canadian Ancestry

Postby jsh82 » 21 May 2010, 16:43

I couldn't read where the place of birth is on this record.. Can anyone make out what it says in that column?
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Re: French-Canadian Ancestry

Postby MaryMena » 21 May 2010, 23:31

Baptism 67
Philomene Champeau

Today, this 11th day of June, 1838, by the undersigned priest, was baptized Philomene, born yesterday, from the legitimate marriage of Jean Baptiste Champeau, labourer, and Angela/e? Lamie(?) of this parish.

Godfather: Michel Plante, Godmother: Marie Culla....? who.... (the document ends here) but the previous ones say ....who have declared to the priest that they do not know how to sign.

Hope this helps

Mary
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Re: French-Canadian Ancestry

Postby jsh82 » 22 May 2010, 01:08

This does! this confirms that this IS my Philomene and she was not born in NY. That's the definite answer I was looking for. Her parents names match. Thank you!

Now maybe I can enlist your help in discerning Paul's parents.. that's a mystery to our whole family.

Thanks again!

Jason
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Re: French-Canadian Ancestry

Postby MaryMena » 22 May 2010, 12:28

I'm glad that I could help out.

If you have Paul's baptism certificate, post it, and I'll see what I can do.

Have you found the 1851 (actually carried out in 1852) Quebec census? I found loads of my husband's ancestors in there, born as far back as 1774. If you don't have it, I can try and see if I can post it for you.

From 1791-1841 Quebec was called Lower Canada and from 1841-1867 it was called Canada East.

Mary
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Re: French-Canadian Ancestry

Postby jsh82 » 22 May 2010, 17:09

I don't have any Canadian records for Paul except that 1861 census I put in the first post, and I'm not %100 sure that's even him, I just think it is because Philomene is the next name under his although it says they are both single. I figured it would have to be one heck of a coincidence if that's not him. But since I don't know anything about Paul's parents or siblings, I'm not sure how I could find his baptism record, or verify its actually him after I found one with a matching name. Could Paul be listed as Pierre? I always thought Paul was an actual name they used in his country.. I just don't know :(

I appreciate your help and anxiously await your reply!
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Re: French-Canadian Ancestry

Postby MaryMena » 22 May 2010, 18:26

Here is the link for the 1851/2 census:

http://automatedgenealogy.com/census52/

There is a Beauharnois county and a St. Thimothee Parish, which is where Philomene was paptized. I did a little searching and although there are Champeau's and Lafreniere's, there is no Philomene or Paul. If you take a closer look you might find something.

Sorry, the birthplace in the 1861 census is too blurry to figure out. Which column says that they were single -- I can't read the headings -- too blurry, bad eyesight.

Mary
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Re: French-Canadian Ancestry

Postby jsh82 » 22 May 2010, 19:09

I just went through and looked at all the images for 1851 Beauharnois / St. Timothee and didn't find anything either. Thanks for trying anyways! Much appreciated.
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