G4BB 28: French Canadians

French Canadians

28.1  The week before last in part 26, I pointed out that a graphic chart quickly becomes unwieldy when you try to include all your relatives, even to just a few generations. For a complete genealogy you need to use a text listing. But if you want to illustrate just some relatives and their relationships, graphic charts can work out sensationally, and today I have 5 from my own family to demonstrate how.

28.2  These are all from my maternal grandfather’s side, my mother Eva’s father, Henry Berube, whose people came from Quebec to the seaport city of Salem, Massachusetts in the 1890s. When he was growing up, there were many Berube families in Salem, as well as large contingents in Springfield and Fall River, Massachusetts, and up north in Maine…plus smaller outposts in Lowell, Lawrence, Lynn, and several other communities in Massachusetts. And according to L’Association des Familles Berube, who’ve been studying this stuff for 30 some years, they are all descended from Damien Berube, who immigrated to Quebec (“New France”) from Normandy in Northern France in 1671. Henry’s line came to Salem in the form of his father Joseph, nicknamed by the family “Papare,” and his many siblings…he was the youngest of 14, and a twin to boot!

28.3  Today’s charts touch on just a small fraction of the information I’ve collected over the past several months, and I’m proud to share them with you…not only because it provides an excellent opportunity to show how to organize such data…but also in hopes of hearing from distant relatives who can confirm, correct, or add to what I’ve uncovered. There has never been a tool as powerful as the internet for gathering genealogical information and connecting with kin…I strongly encourage you to cast your stuff “out there”…and see what comes back!

28.4  But once you get going, data can accumulate at an alarming rate, and you barely know in which of dozens of directions to go next. One of the things that hooked me early on was Berubes marrying Berubes. I picked one…Elzear Nazaire Berube marrying Henriette Berube, and set out to see how they were related to each other, and to my line of the family. Chart 95 is the result…

28.5  As you can see, the couple were 4th Cousins to each other, uniting the 2 branches of the Damien clan, those his 2 sons Pierre and Mathurin. Mine is the Mathurin line, and thus Henriette was my great great grandfather Clement’s 3rd Cousin, while Elzear Nazaire was Clement’s 4th Cousin…remember, 3rd Cousins are “interchangeable” from the perspective of their 4th Cousins. And of course, all that’s 4 Times Removed taken down to me.

28.6   I have since completed a large chart tracing the lineage of about half of the other 2 dozen or so Berube-Berube marriages listed on the Genealogy Canada website…and I may feature it here some day, altho it’s really too large to fit well on this blog. But Chart 96 concerns another prominent Salem clan, that of Victor and Claire Berube.

28.7  They had a very large family, including 2 sons who married sisters (Double Cousins!) and a grandson who started the Berube and Sons Funeral Home which still exists. I got to thinking about how this family was related to mine, and Chart 96 is the answer. I wonder if my grandfather knew that Lorenzo, Alfred, and all their siblings were his 5th Cousins? We always heard that we “weren’t related” to those other Berubes, and in practical terms, 5th Cousins is rather distant. My mother was the 6th Cousin of Rodrigue, known as “Rudy,” the late founder of the funeral home.

28.8  But here’s a perfect example of why this hobby is so addicting. After I’d confirmed that Imelda and Claire Roy, the wives of Lorenzo and Alfred Berube, were indeed sisters, it occurred to me that I’d seen a Roy way back in my grandfather’s family, not thru the Berubes, but thru his great grandmother, Clement’s mother, Elizabeth Lizotte. Sure enough, one of her great grandmothers was a Roy. Thus, not only was Henry 5th Cousins to the grooms, but he was also 6th Cousins to the brides! In such a case, do you have to give each couple 2 gifts? 😉 😉

28.9  Now Chart 97 was fine for a few weeks, until I started realizing just how intertwined all these French families were…Levesques, Lavoies, Pelletiers, Dions…and yes, more Roys kept popping up. So eventually, Chart 97 expanded into Chart 98…Roys in black letters, Berubes in red. The double horizontal lines represent a marriage, and as I’ve done in the past, the shaded yellow areas represent where I’ve repeated part of the tree in 2 separate places. And mind you, these are not nearly all the Berube-Roy connections, just a few of them.

28.10  But even so, notice how the geometry of Chart 98 is getting out of control…the union of Pascal Berube and Henriette Roy at the very bottom is out of place…they should be directly beneath their respective fathers, Jean-Pascal Berube and Pierre-Antoine Roy, and level with their generational cousins Clement Berube and Robert Roy. But then how do you draw the double lines? And where did Lorenzo and Alfred fit into all of this?

28.11  So with Chart 99,  I eliminated my Berube line, substituted Victor Berube’s line, and condensed the data back into something closer to Chart 97. Notice the tricky way in which the 2 Berube brothers are connected to the 2 Roy sisters. And my reward was to discover, thanks to Pascal and Henriette, that Lorenzo and Alfred Berube were 3rd Cousins to their brides Imelda and Claire Roy!  What can I say? Either this stuff turns you on or it doesn’t.

28.12  I’d like to leave you with a little quiz. Go back to Chart 98. Locate Clement Berube on the left and Clovis Berube on the right. How many ways are they related, by blood or marriage? I count 3…see if you can determine what they are, and if there any I missed. And check back next week, gabeesh?

Copyright © 2011 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved

double quarter-pounder cousins of shameless plugs, half removed…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com  and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Other Daily blog at http://stolf.wordpress.com  (the legendary Stolf’s Blog)

More bloggage at  http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com  and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com/p/resume.html

Audio samples coming soon…or just check the podcasts…twc-rr so still giga-blows to infinity & beyond…


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