Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Louis Flavien Maille - Cimetiere St-Joseph, East Chelmsford, MA

Born and baptized at St-Cuthbert de Berthier, Quebec on 9 February, 1865, Flavien was a son of Eusebe and Angelique Chevrette. Married to Malvina Cammel [sic] in Lowell in 1884, and according to his obituary, to Adela Gagnon at the time of his death in in 1931. He is buried with his first wife, Malvina, and their daughter Eva.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Blog Caroling 2011: Adeste Fideles

I didn't know "Blog Caroling" was a tradition here in the genea-blogosphere until I heard Bill caroling over at his West in NewEngland blog this morning. Nice job, Bill! You sound lovely! The tradition, which was started, I believe, in 2007, is hosted by footnoteMaven. And, I'm really happy to be participating this year because I have a very nice memory to share. For directions on how you can participate, please visit fM's blog.

I always knew my father studied Latin when he was in school, but I never heard him actually speak any of it, that is, until the Christmas before his death. That Christmas he and his wife gave us a vintage M.I.M. Lador pull string box for our Christmas tree. When they presented it to me, I didn't know what it was. Looking at the both of them rather oddly, they told me to pull the string... So I did, and what came out of that little box was just beautiful, and even more so when my father began to sing along to the music in Latin. I miss my father and his voice, I wish would have had a tape recorder at time. But, I guess it really wasn't necessary, because I know every time I pull that string now, he's right here by my side singing to me again...

This version is amazing, it brought tears to my eyes.

Adeste Fideles laeti triumphantes,
Veníte, veníte in Bethlehem.
Natum vidéte, Regem Angelorum:

Veníte adoremus,
Veníte adoremus
Veníte adoremus Dóminum

Deum de Deo, lumen de lúmine,
gestant puellae viscera
Deum verum, genitum non factum:

Veníte adoremus,
Veníte adoremus
Veníte adoremus Dóminum

Cantet nunc io chorus Angelórum
cantet nunc aula caelestium:
Gloria in excelsis Deo:

Veníte adoremus,
Veníte adoremus
Veníte adoremus Dóminum

Ergo qui natus, die hodierna
Jesu, tibi sit glória
Patris aeterni Verbum caro factum:

Veníte adoremus,
Veníte adoremus
Veníte adoremus Dóminum

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

L'Etoile Tuesday: L'avis Deces Mon Arriere Grand-Mere Mme. Philomene Robillard nee Foucher

Publie dans L'Etoile, Lowell, MA, 4 mars, 1941
ROBILLARD-- Mme. Philomene Robillard, nee Foucher, citoyenne de cette ville depuis cinquante ans. est decedee hier apres-midi au domicile de sa fille Mme. Fabiola Fournier, 547, rue Moody, a l'age de 71 ans et deux mois, a la suite d'une maladie de plusieurs mois de duree.
Feu Mme. Robillard etait paroissienne de St-Jean Baptiste et etait bien connu dans la paroisse. Elle etait membre de la fraternite du Tiers-Ordre de saint Francois et la congregation des Dames de Ste-Anne. Elle etait aussi membre fondateur de l'Auxilliaire de la Legion franco-americaine.
La defuncte laisse pour pleurer deux filles, Mme Fabiola Fournier et Mme Anita Patenaude, toutes deux de Lowell; trois fils, Rosario Robillard, de North Grosvenordale, Conn; Joseph H. Robillard de Manchester, N. H., et Antonio Robillard de Lowell; un soeur, Mme Rose Robillard de Grosvenordale, Conn. et un frere Theophile Foucher de Fort Benton, et trois arriere-petits-enfants, ansi que plusieurs nieces et neveux.
La depouille mortelle repose en chapelle ardente a la maison funeraire 744, rue Merrimack. C'est de cet endroit que les funerailles auront lieu samedi matin a 9 heures. Un service solennel sera celebre a 10 heures en l'eglise St-Jean Baptiste. Parents et amis sont pries d'y assister. L'inhumation se fera dans le lopin de terre de la famille au cimetiere St-Joseph. Les arrangements funeraires ont ete confies aux ordonnateurs d'enterrement Joseph E. Tremblay.
My translation:
Mrs Philomene Robillard nee Foucher, a citizen of this city for fifty years, died yesterday after noon at the home of her daughter Mrs. Fabiola Fournier, 547, Moody st., at the age of 71 years and two months, following an illness of several months duration.
The late Mrs. Robillard was a parishioner of St-Jean Baptiste and was well known in the parish. She was a member of the fraternity of the Third Order of St. Francis and the congregation of the Sisters of St. Anne. She was also a founding member of the Auxiliary of the La Legion Franco-Americaine.
The deceased leaves to mourn two daughters, Mrs. Fabiola Fournier and Mrs. Anita Patenaude, both of Lowell; three son, Rosario Robillard of North Grosvenordale, Conn., Joseph H. Robillard of Manchester, N. H., and Antonio Robillard of Lowell; a sister, Mrs. Rose Robillard Grosvenordale, Conn.. and a brother Theophile Foucher of Fort Benton, and three great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
The mortal remains are lying in repose at the funeral home 744, Merrimack Street. It is here that the funeral will be held Saturday morning at 9 o'clock. A solemn service will be celebrated at 10 o'clock in the St-Jean Baptiste church.. Family and friends are requested to attend. Interment will be in the family plot at Cimetiere St-Joseph. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to undertakers Joseph E. Tremblay.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday's Walk: Where Am I?

Do you know?

Obviously, I'm in a cemetery, but which one and where? The flat stones, which were at one time erect, should be a dead giveaway (no pun intended).

In memory of
Son of John & 
Catharine Bork,
who died 
March 9, 1832,
Aged 2 years 
& 11 months.
The cherub hastened to its native home
All wasting death hath tri-
umph'd oer this child.

Has David been here?

 ¿ɹǝʍsuɐ ǝɥʇ ʍouʞ oʇ ʇuɐM

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Cyprien Chrisman & Theodule Chouinard - Cimetiere St-Joseph, East Chelmsford, MA

Ci GiT
Cyprien Chrisman
decede le 18. Aout.
1901. age de 66 ans.
Epoux de
Malvina St Pierre
Theodule Chouinard
decede le 18. Aout.
1901. age de 21 ans.
Epoux de 
Odinas Chrisman
Buried in Section H, lot 545; both Cyprien and his son in law, Theodule, drowned in the Oyster River at Durham Point, N.H. Also, according to the burial records of Cimetiere St-Joseph, buried in this plot are Esther Parent and Odinas Morin nee Chrisman. I know who Odinas is, but I can't seem to figure out who Esther is.

Baptized as Marie Odinas Christman on 3 April, 1882 at St-Jean-Port-Joli, L'Islet, Odinas (Cyprien & Malvina St-Pierre) married Theodule Chouinard (Joseph, Clementine Thibault) on 25 February, 1900 at St-Aubert de L'Islet. Sadly, she and Theodule had only been married a little over a year when he died. Remarried in Nashua, NH on 29 May, 1905 to Napoleon Morin, Odinas, who I believe had no children, lived to be 92, as she died on 8 Sept., 1974 and was interred here on 10 Sept., 1974.

Marriage Source: [Gabriel Drouin, Institut Généalogique Drouin, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Le Fonds Drouin 1621-1967, Quebec vital records, 1900, St-Aubert0 Co. L'Islet, P.Q., pg. 5, M.3, Theodule Chouinard + Marie Adina Chrisman, register photocopy of the Greffe of Montmagny]

For the rest of my sources please contact me, cause I'm just too lazy to add them right now.

L'Etoile Tuesday: Dans le New Hampshire - Deux Lowellois se noient dans riviere Oyster

L'Etoile, once a very popular Franco-American newspaper, was published in Lowell, MA from 1886 up until 1957, it's available for viewing on microfilm at several repositories in the area, including the Pollard Memorial Library in downtown Lowell. And, as you may very well know, back in May I started my own lil blogging meme, entitled L'Etoile Tuesday. The plan was to pick one article of interest each week from L'Etoile and from there I would transcribe, translate, and then publish it here at my blog. So far I've only managed to publish three articles... Anyway, the article below was not just some randomly picked article. After having found the grave of both the men mentioned in it, I went searching for death notices and this is what I found.

Cyprian Chrisman et Theodule Chouinard, son gendre, tous deux de Lowell se sont noyes dimanche, dans la riviere Oyster, pres de la briqueterie de King, a Durham Point, N. H. On a reconnu les cadavres de suite. Ils etaient a bord d'une barge remplie de briques qui s'est mise a couler.
Les deux noyes on saute a l'eau et ont peri dans les flots La femme de Couinard qui etait dans la barge voulut persuader son mari et son pere de ne pas sauter dans la riviere. Elle avait raison, car au dernier moment elle s'est sauvee elle, en sautan dans une petite embarcation.
Chrisman et Couinard allaient travailler aux briqueteries tous les etes. L'hiver ils revenant a Lowrll et travaillaient dans les filatures.
Pendant leur sejour en cette ville, ils demeuraient au No 9 Bay State Court.
Les depouilles mortelles de ces infortunes sont arrivees en ville a 11 h. 30. M. Joseph Albert, entrepreneur de pompes funebres, a de charge des funerailles.Chrisman avait 65 ans. Son gendre, Couinard, n'etait age que de 21 ans. Il s'est marie a Lowell, il v. un an environ.
Les corps sont expose a la residence des defuncts, 9 Bay State Court.
Les funerailles auront lieu demain a l'eglise St. Joseph.
Published on pg. 1 in L'Etoile, Lowell, MA, 20 Aout, 1901
Cyprian Chrisman and Theodule Chouinard, his son in law, both of Lowell drowned Sunday in the Oyster River, near the King brickyard, in Durham Point, N. H. Where the corpses were identified. They were aboard a barge full of bricks when it began to sink. Both men jumped into the water and perished in the waves.
Chouinard's wife, who was on the barge, tried to persuade her husband and her father not to jump into the river. She was right, because at the last moment she saved herself by jumping into a small boat.
Chrisman and Chouinard would work in the brickyards every summer. In winter they returned to Lowell and worked in the mills.
While in this city, they lived at No. 9 Bay State Court.
The remains of these unfortunates arrived in town at 11:30. Joseph Albert, funeral director, is in charge of the funeral.
Chrisman was 65. His son in law, Chouinard, he was only 21. He married in Lowell, about a year ago.
The bodies are laid out at the residence of the deceased, 9 Bay State Court.
The funeral will take place tomorrow morning at St. Joseph church.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Those Places Thursday: St. Raphael's, Manchester, NH

 Located in Manchester's West Side on Walker St., St Raphael's Church was where, on January 24, 1943, my father was baptized. His sister Rose, who was almost 23 years his senior, and her husband, Leonce Chandonnet, were his godparents.

[Baptisms of Hillsboro County, St Raphael, Manchester, NH, 1888 - 2001, v.2, p. ; Manchester, NH : American-Canadian Genealogical Society, [2008]]

In 1943 , my grandfather,  Joseph Robillard, lived at 28 Second Street, which is located in the same West Side neighborhood as St. Raphael's. Employed by the Stephen Spinning Co. as a foreman, which I believe was located at 186 Granite (also in the same neighborhood), he lived there with his wife, my grandmother, Louise Wright, and I can only surmise, their younger children as well. Also, listed in the directory at this same address, is my uncle Joe who was 25 years my father's senior, and in the Navy at the time.

The pictures above are of a newly constructed church. Well, newly constructed in 1964, that is. The original church, in which my father was baptized, is located on the corner of 3rd and Ferry Streets, behind this "new" church.

According to the parish website, St Raphael's was founded in 1888, with the first public Mass being said on Easter Sunday at the Harrington Hose Co. building, which was also located in Manchester's West Side.

From Wikipedia :
In 1889, Denis M. Bradley, the first bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire, requested that Abbot Boniface Wimmer send monks to his diocese to create a school for French and Irish immigrants. The bishop thought that in order to create harmony among the people of his diocese the best educators for them should be German.[2] Monks from Saint Mary's Abbey in Morristown, New Jersey, were sent to found Saint Anselm Abbey in 1889.[3] When they arrived they founded St. Raphael's Parish in Manchester, and they founded Saint Anselm Preparatory School, which would later become Saint Anselm College.

When I was at St. Raphael's, some time ago, I must have been in the right place at the right time, because while I was taking photos of the church and it's grounds, I met a woman who works in the administrative offices at the school there. She invited me into the old building in which the original church was housed and shared a bit it's history with me. She told me that my father would have been baptized in the basement, as that was where the masses were held at the time. I thought it odd, but then she explained to me that the original building, which you can see above, was not only a church, but held inside it was also a school, rectory, convent, and an auditorium. I was told that the outside of the original building has changed a bit since it was first built in 1891, the top two floors were taken off sometime in 1964 and an entrance to the building was dug out and added at the basement level as well. She then gave me a print (8/125) of a drawing, dated 2006, of the original building, pre 1964, which was sketched in pencil by her brother.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

He was a very prominent man

After finding out my paternal 2nd great-grandfather, Jerome Robillard, died in Lowell during 1884 a few weeks back, I ran straight out the door down to the library that same day to search some microfilm in hope of finding a death notice published in any of the local newspapers. Unfortunately, L'Etoile was not yet being published at the time (because you know I would have found one there if it had been), so I seearched the Courier and the Lowell Weekly Sun and this is what I found:

Jerome Robillard, who died in "Little
Canada, " Sunday morning, was to have
been taken to Montreal on the express
train Monday evening; but an unforeseen
incident delayed the departure of the re-
mains until Tuesday morning.  Mr. Robil-
lard died of dropsy, his weight from that
cause reaching an enormous figure of 328
pounds.  The box which contained the
coffin was in consequence of unusual di-
mensions and when it was attempted to
put the box into the baggage car of the ex-
press train, Monday evening, it was found
to be over two inches wider than the door.
The door of the baggage care on Tuesday's
morning's train was wide enough to admit
the box, and it was taken on it northern
journey.  The deceased measured over 30
inches about the shoulders, the box con-
taining his remains being three feet wide,
two feet deep and seven feet long.
Published on pg. 8 in the Saturday Evening Lowell Weekly Sun, Lowell, MA, on 22 Nov., 1884

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: The Franco American "Little Canada" Memorial - Aiken St., Lowell, Mass

Demolished in the 1960's to make way for Urban Renewal, Little Canada is where my ancestors once lived, loved, worked, worshiped, and played. I wish I could have had a chance to walk it's streets and listen to it's voices before they were erased.

I think I'm going to do a rogue planting here next spring.

1875 - 1964








Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lewis Wickes Hine: Child Laborer Photographs from Lowell Mass

In 1908 Lewis Hine was contracted by the National Child Labor Committe as an investigative photographer. His job was to document child labor practices within American industry in an effort end the practice. Mr. Hine, who I believe visited Lowell in October of 1911, took several photographs of the children that were employed in the mills within the city, many of which were Franco-American. I browsed through the collection and there are many surnames that are familiar to me, Courtois, Therrien, and Boucher, are just a few.

You can view the NCLC photographic collection online at the Library of Congress PPOC, just type Lowell into the search bar.

On November 1st, at 7:00 pm, historian, author, and genealogist, Joe Manning, will be giving a presentation at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center Theater, as a part of the Moses Greely Parker Lecture Series, entitled “The Lewis Hine Project: Tracking down the Lives of Child Laborers”
“Whatever happened to that child worker?” Motivated by this question, Joe
Manning has identified some of the more than 5,000 child laborers
photographed in the early 1900s by Lewis Hine, and has tracked down and
interviewed their descendants. Manning will show some of Hine’s historic photographs, tell the stories of the children in them, and talk about the exciting process of searching for descendants, most of whom were not aware of the pictures of their parents and grandparents

I'm looking forward to attending this presentation.

Here is one of my favorite photographs from the collection.
# Title: Alexander Durand, 35 Tucker Street, next boy in middle of picture appears 12 years old. Is in mill room No. 2. Joseph Courtois, 33 Tucker St., at the right Alex. appears about 13 years old. Works in the spinning room. Majorie Bonclair, at left of Alex. see 2592. Location: Lowell, Massachusetts.
# Creator(s): Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940, photographer
# Date Created/Published: 1911 October.
# Medium: 1 photographic print.
# Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-nclc-02378 (color digital file from b&w original print) LC-USZ62-97581 (b&w film copy negative)
# Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
# Call Number: LOT 7479, v. 4, no. 2593 [P&P]
# Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Friday, October 14, 2011

Correction: Jerome Robillard decede en Lowell, Etats-Unis. Yes, he died in Lowell!

How do I say this? Ok, I got it... Simply speaking,  I ef'd up. Yup, I did, and big time too.  And, just how did I ef up, you ask? Well, last night when I was messing around at Find A Grave, (have I ever mentioned that I love Find A Grave) adding a few new memorials and what not, I was checking the info that I was entering at FAG against information that's available in the Massachusetts Deaths (1841 - 1915) database at FamilySearch, and when I had finished at FAG, I decided that I would, just for shits & giggles, mind you, revisit my Robillards in that database at FamilySearch. Maybe there was something new there that I hadn't seen before, or something that I had  previously overlooked. So, I typed my surname in the search field and began looking....  And, at first glance, I didn't believe my eyes, I was like wtf is this? But then, I remembered... I didn't even have to look at the image to know what it was that I had found, I already knew.

What I found was an 1884 register entry from the city of Lowell, Massachusetts for the death of my great-great-grandfather, Jerome Robillard. Yes, the same Jerome Robillard (Louis, Marie Genevieve Riberdy) who was the husband of Sophie Moussin dit Lajoie. The same Jerome Robillard who was the husband of my great-great grandmother, Sophie Riberdy, and father of  Sophie (1848), Marie Henriette (1850 - 1919), Jerome Alfred (1852 - 1853), Marie Philomene (1854), Joseph Jerome (1856), Joseph Charles Omer (1857 - 1857), Louis Octavien (1858 - 1933) Marie Melanie Lea (1860), Marie Louise Parmelia Cordelia Amanda (1861), Louis Joseph Anselme (1863 - 1863), Marie Louise Melanie (1864 -1864), Emelie (1864 -1864), Joseph Arsene (1865 - 1866), Louis Gaspard Alfred (1866 -1914), Louis Arsene (1867), Joseph Arthur (1867 - 1937), Marie Louise Leontine (1868 - 1911), Marie Amanda (1870 -1897), Pierre Jerome Gaspard (1871), Joseph Gustave Alcide (1872 - 1873), Joseph Octave Zenon (1874 - 1875), Joseph Napoleon (1876 -1876), and Louis Joseph Zenon (1877 - 1918).

The same Jerome Robillard that I have in my database, and plastered all over the web, as dying in Ste-Melanie. Joliette County, Quebec on 16 Nov., 1884.

Well, HE DIDN'T,  according to this register entry, JEROME ROBILLARD DIED IN LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS on 16 Nov., 1884. I guess I could claim ignorance on my part, because I had never, before this day, laid my eyes on this register entry from Lowell, but I won't. Because, somehow I knew...

When I read Jerome's burial record back in 08, I knew something wasn't right, and I asked for translation help, but.... Well, there's no one to blame but myself. Live and learn, I guess. The big whoop dee doo in all of this is the misinformation I so graciously propagated, it's all over the frikken place. Needless to say, I have a mess to clean up. Thank goodness it is only a small one (well, smallish), but it's still a mess. So, before I go off traipsing all over the web trying to fix the error of my ways, let's examine this newly found register entry a little, shall we?.

If you look at the familysearch index information  for this register entry it has the event place as being in Canada, and I can only say that this has got to be wrong. Because, if you look at the actual registry entry (below) and the column that reads "RESIDENCE AND PLACE OF DEATH, and BURIAL (if elsewhere)", you will see two little apostrophes followed by the word Canada,  well this " " is a ditto mark, and means that he was buried in Canada. Just look at the first entry in this column,  and you'll see. Also, in this register entry his parents are documented as being Louis and Mary, this is partially correct. His father was Louis, yes. But, his mother was Marie Genevieve Riberdy.  Could she have been referred to as Mary or Marie by who ever the informant was, it's possible, but I believe she went by the name of Genevieve. And lastly, you will see that it documents Jerome's parents as being born in France. This too, is wrong. Jerome's father, Louis Robillard, was born in St-Sulpice, L'Assomption, Quebec,
[PRDH, bapteme no.674684; Louis Robillard]
and his mother, Genevieve, in St-Cuthbert, Berthier, Quebec
[Gabriel  Drouin, Institut Généalogique Drouin, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Le Fonds Drouin 1621-1967, Quebec Vital Records: database online, ancestry.com, http://ancestry.ca/default.aspx, The Generations Network, Inc., Provo, Utah; 1805, St-Cuthbert Co-Berthier, PQ, p.6, B. M. Genevie Riberdy, Register Photocopy of the Greffe of Joliette. ancestry image6/40].

Now, this Lowell register entry has me curious,  who was the informant?. I would also like to know exactly where in Lowell Jerome died.  It states he died from fatty degeneration, so was he in the hospital when he died?. Had he come to Lowell to be treated for an illness? I don't know. But I certainly want to find out.

I guess I'm glad I found this Lowell register entry. It has taught me to be more careful when reading the parish registers from Quebec (one must pay attention to grammar, when it's used), and to research questionable information more thoroughly. I can't say if the Lowell register entry was online back in 08 when I did my initial research, but I should have at least explored the possibility that he could have died here in Lowell. Because, it was, after all, right there in his burial record. I just couldn't see it.

[Gabriel  Drouin, Institut Généalogique Drouin, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Le Fonds Drouin 1621-1967, Quebec Vital Records: database online, ancestry.com, http://ancestry.ca/default.aspx, The Generations Network, Inc., Provo, Utah; 1884, Ste. Melanie D'Aillebout, Co-Joliette, P.Q., pg. 15, S.29 Jerome Robillard, Register Photocopy of the Greffe of Joliette. ancestry image 15/18.]

My extraction & transcription
Jerome Robillard
Le dix-neuviemes jour de Novembre, mil huit cent quatre vingt
quatre, nous pretre cure sosusigne, avons inhume dans la cave
de l'Eglise de cette paroisse le corps de Sieur Jerome Robillard,
legitime epoux de Sophie Riberdy, de Lowell, E. U., decede le
seiziem jour de ce mois age de cinquante neuf ans trois mois
et vingt sept jours. Ont ete temoins Gaspard Robillard fils
du defunt et Hermenglide Bourgeault instituteur, de cette
paroisse, et tous deux soussigne. Lecture faite

/s/ H. Bourgeault Inst
/s/ G. Robillard
/s/ F Jeannotte Ptre cure.
& my translation:
Jerome Robillard
On the nineteenth day of November, one thousand eight hundred and eighty
four, I the undersigned parish priest, did bury in the cellar
of the church of this parish the body of Mr. Jerome Robillard, 

lawful husband of Sophie Riberdy, of Lowell, U. S., who died  
on the sixteenth day of this month at the age of fifty nine years three months
and twenty seven days. Witnessed by Gaspard Robillard son 
of the deceased, and Hermenglide Bourgeault schoolmaster of this 
parish, both undersigned. Reading made.

/ s / H. Bourgeault Inst
/ s / G. Robillard
/ s / F. Jeannotte ptre cure.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

L'Etoile Tuesday: Publicite a Les Canadiens-Francais de Lowell Mass

L'Etoile, once a very popular Franco-American newspaper, was published in Lowell, MA from 1886 up until 1957,  it's available for viewing on microfilm at several repositories in the area, including the Pollard Memorial Library in downtown Lowell.

The advertisement for the publication L'Etoile below was published in 1896, on page 88 of Les Canadiens-Francais de Lowell Mass. This book, which I believe celebrates the Franco-American community's presence, and influence within the city of  Lowell at the time, was written and published by Avila Bourbonnière. It is to be noted that in 1898, Avila was an assistant city assessor for ward 5. And, in 1899 he made run for the position of Chairman of the Board of Assessors. However, I believe he lost, because in 1900 he returns to Quebec.

A man of many hats, while Avila was here in Lowell, he was a notary public, as well as the secretary for L'Union Franco-Americaine, and the secretary for the Candadian Cooperative Bank, which was located on Middle St.  He was also a general agent at the Columbia Aid Association of Boston, which was located on Central St. A publisher, and secretary of the Société de Publications, Francaises des Etats-Unis; and the Club Democratique Cando-Americain. The list of everything that he was involved in within this city is quite capacious. I am glad that I decided to research him.  It is to be noted, (yes, I write a lot of notes) that Avila's oldest son, Joseph A. (baptized as Joseph-Pierre-Avila in 1871 ) was quite active within Lowell's Franco-American community as well, and I have tried not to confuse the two men. As far as I can see, the younger Avila, as I call him, was almost always referred to as Joseph A.

Baptized at the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Montreal as Michel-Etienne-Avila Gaudry on 27 Dec., 1847, Avila was the son of Michel Gaudry dit Bourbonnière and Catherine Vinet dit Souligny. Marrying Catherine-Concorde-Cornelie Mignault (Pierre-Emile, Justine-Adelaide Leclerc) on 18 May, 1870 at the the parish of St-David-d'Yamaska, thier marriage was largely attended. Naturalized in Lowell, at the Police Court, on 28 October, 1887, Avila and his wife, Cornelie, as far as I can tell thus far, had 9 children, four of whom were born in Lowell. His last known occupation is that of an assurance inspecteur in 1911. However, in his burial record he referred to as being a publiciste. Avila lived to be 75 years old, and died on 30 Dec., 1922. He was buried on 2 January, 1923 in parish cemetery of Notre-Dame-de-Montreal, and like his marriage, his funeral was equally attended.

*Please feel free to contact me for source information.*

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Cimetiere St-Joseph, East Chelmsford, Massachusetts

L'Etoile Tuesday: Les Avis de Deces de Mon Arriere-Grand-Pere, Joseph-Arthur Robillard

L'Etoile, once a very popular Franco-American newspaper, was published in Lowell, MA from 1886 up until 1957,  it's available for viewing on microfilm at several repositories in the area, including the Pollard Memorial Library in downtown Lowell.

Publie samedi, 30 janvier, 1937 dans L'Etoile, Lowell, Massachusetts, Etats Unis.
ROBILLARD --Nous sommes au regret d'announcer le deces ce matin de l'um de nos vieux concitoyens, M. Joseph-Arthur Robillard, a sa demeure au no 90 rue Aiken appartiement 9, apres un longue maladie suportee avec une patience exemplaire, a l'age de 69 ans, 3 mois et 19 jour. M Robillard, qui demeurait en cette ville depuis 50 ans, etait tres bien connuet estime  de tous. Il laisse dans le deuil son epouse, Mme Philomene Robillard, nee Foucher; deux filles, Mme. Leo Patenaude et Mme Francois Fournier de cette ville; trois fils, MM Rosario et Heria Robillard de Central Falls R.I. et M. Antonio Robillard de Lowell; et un frere, M. Jerome Robillard de Cohoes, N. Y. Il etait membre de la Ste-Famille de la paroisse St-Joseph et des Forestiers Catholique, Cour Ste-Antoine, no 566. Les funerailles auront lien mardi matin a 8 heures de la demeure mortuaire au no 90 rue Aiken appartement 39. A 9 heures a l'eglise St-Jean-Baptiste son service solemnel sera celebre avec diacre, sous-diacre et choeur de chant. Parents et amis sont pres d'y assister. l'inhummation aura lieu dans le lot de la famille au cimetiere St-Joseph. MM Amdee Archambault et Fils on la direction des funerailles.
My translation:
ROBILLARD - We regret  to announce, this morning, the death of one of our older citizens, Mr. Joseph-Arthur Robillard, at his residence no. 90 Aiken Street apartment 9, after a long illness, endured with exemplary patience, at the age of 69 years, 3 months and 19 days. Mr. Robillard, who lived in this town for 50 years, was well known, and held in high esteem by all. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Philomene Robillard, nee Foucher; two daughters, Mrs. Leo Patenaude and Mrs. Francois Fournier of this city; three sons, Mr. Rosario Robillard, and Heria Robillard of Central Falls R. I., and Mr. Antonio Robillard of Lowell; and a brother, Mr. Jerome Robillard of Cohoes, N. Y. He was a member of Ste-Famille of St-Joseph Parish and the Catholic Foresters, Court of St. Antoine, No. 566. The funeral will be Tuesday morning at 8 o'clock in the funeral home at no. 90 Aiken Street apartment 39. At 9 o'clock at St-Jean-Baptiste, a service will be celebrated with solemn deacon, subdeacon, and choir singing. Family and friends are requested to attend. Interment will take place in the family lot at Cimetiere St-Joseph. Funeral under the direction of Mr. Amdee Archambault and Son.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Petition for Naturalization- Joseph Arthur Robillard

Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme, originating at John Newmark's Transylvania Dutch, the theme encourages the transcription of family letters, journals, and other historical artifacts.

Last winter, Diane Leedburg Laferriere, a fellow member of the GLGC, and I took at trip to the NARA at Waltham, and this was one of the documents I rec'd.  Joseph Arthur, as if you didn't already know, was my paternal great grandfather : )
[Police Court, Lowell, Mass - Minor Series, Vol. 1892 - 1897;  Pet.  No. 1, pg. 645]

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

To the Honorable the Justice of the Police Court of Lowell, holden at Lowell, in
the District of Lowell, in said County of Middlesex on the            Thirteenth       
day of September A. D. 1895.

RESPECTFULLY REPRESENTS                   Joseph Arthur Robillard         
of Lowell,               in said County, an alien, that he was born at       Ste Melanie
                           P.Q                         , in           Canada              , within
the dominions of Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
on the       twelfth       day of               Oct                , A.D. 1867, and is now
     twentyseven         years of age, that he emigrated from      Canada        and
arrived at         Lowell           , in the United States of America, on or about the
fifteenth day of              Jauy [sic]                , A. D. 1884, being then a minor under
the age of eighteen years, to wit, of the age of        seventeen      years, that he
has ever since resided withing the United States, being more than five years now last past,
that he now resides at No.              36 Aiken Ave                                Street, in
Lowell,                                 , in the District of Lowell, in said County of Middlesex,
and that his occupation is that of a                  weaver            ; that he desires and
it has been for three years last past, his bona-fide intention to become a citizen of
the said United States, and to renounce all allegiance, and fidelity to every foreign
prince, potentate, state and sovereignty whatsoever, and particullary to Victoria, Queen                                             as aforesaid, and that he has duly filed in said Police Court  of Lowell his application for Naturalization.  Wherefore he prays to be admitted by this Honorable Court to become a citizen of the said United States, according to the laws in such cases made and provided.

                                                                      /s/   Joseph Arthur Robillard  

MIDDLESEX, SS. SEP 20 1895, 189     .  Signed and sworn to,

                                                                     /s/ Edward W Trull
                                                                                           Asst clerk.

[Police Court, Lowell, Mass - Minor Series, Vol. 1892 - 1897;  Pet. No. 1, pg. 645A]

WE               Camille Roussin           residing at No.             3 Salem         
Street, in             Lowell                    , and            Joseph Roy             , residing
at  No.      4 Willie Ave           street, in                        Lowell                 , both in said County, and both citizens of the United States of America, on oath, severally depose and say, that we have known         Joseph Arthur Robillard             , the foregoing petitioner, for more than five years last past, during all which time he has resided within the United States of America, and at least on year thereof in said Commonwealth, that he has during that time behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same; that he arrived in the United States while a minor aforesaid, and resided in said United States five years before he arrived at the age of twenty-one years,  and that we verily believe it has been, for three years past, his bona-fide intention to become a citizen of this United States.

                                                                       /s/ Camille Roussin
                                                                       /s/ Joseph Roy

MIDDLESEX, SS. SEP 20 1895 189     . Signed an sworn to:

                                                                       /s/ Edward W Trull
                                                                                             Asst clerk

I,  Joseph Arthur Robillard do solemnly swear that I do absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign prince, potentate, state and sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,                                           whose subject I have heretofore been, that I have never been any of the orders of nobility, nor borne any hereditary title, and that I will suppoert the Constitution of the United States of America.
So help me God.
                                                                      /s/ Joseph Arthur Robillard

MIDDLESEX, SS. SEP 20 1895 189   
                     Sworn and admitted a citizen
                                                                     /s/ Edward W Trull
                                                                                           Asst Clerk

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Greater Lowell Genealogy Club Meeting

Greater Lowell Genealogy Club Meeting

     Time: Saturday, September 24 · 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Location: Pollard Memorial Library
              401 Merrimack St.
              Lowell, MA

Are you curious on how to get started researching your family history? If so, we can help. New members are always welcome!

Please come join us for our first meeting of the season! Scheduled to be with us is Kim Zunino of the Lowell Historic Board. Kim, who is active in preserving and restoring Lowell's historical burial grounds, as well as other preservation projects, will be presenting the group with a project of our own. Under her direction, we will be transcribing and indexing a very large city collection, so please join us to hear the details and participate! Also on the agenda will be officer elections, which take place in October (we need a couple of dedicated, brave souls), as well as potential speakers and field trips!

As always, our meetings are open to the public, so bring a friend! If you decide you'd like to join, GLGC membership is $10.00 for the year. Find us on facebook!

Sunday, August 07, 2011


Hey everyone, just thought I 'd pop in here to say good morning and let you know that there's still not too much going on with me in regard to my genealogy research. Although I did join WikiTree, and I uploaded a gedcom to play around with. You can view my WikiTree here, http://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Robillard-30. It's pretty fun, a good time waster if you as me. I also started looking into the children of David Wright and Margaret White, my g-g-grandparents. David was born in Scotalnd, abt. 1816 and Margaret from the IOM, b. abt. 1814. They are in my WikiTree if you're interested. Anyway, here's the latest from my backyard garden and the Textile Avenue Greenhouse. Have a great day!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

SNGF - My 16 Great-greats

 Dear Readers, we now interrupt you for Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!!!
Ah, Genea-folks, it's Saturday Night again - are you ready for more Genealogy Fun?

Your mission tonight, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  List your 16 great-great-grandparents with their birth, death and marriage data (dates and places).  [Hint - you might use an Ancestral Name List from your software for this.]
2)  Determine the countries (or states) that these ancestors lived in at their birth and at their death.
3)  For extra credit, go make a "Heritage Pie" chart for the country of origin (birth place) for these 16 ancestors. [Hint: you could use the  chart generator from Kid Zone for this.] [Note: Thank you to Sheri Fenley for the "Heritage Pie" chart idea.]
4.  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a post on Facebook or google+.
Here's mine:

16. Jerome5 Robillard (105) (Louis, #32) was born on 20 Jul 1825 at Ste-Elisabeth, Joliette, Quebec. He was baptized on 20 Jul 1825 at la paroisse de Ste-Elisabeth, Ste-Elisabeth, Joliette, Quebec. Charles Ribery (grand-father) and his spouse, Monique Ducharme, were Jerome's god-parents. He married Sophie Moussin dit Lajoie (155), daughter of Joseph Moussin dit Lajoie (1312) and Genevieve Paquin (1313), on 25 Jan 1848 at la paroisse de Sainte-Melanie-d'Ailleboust, Sainte-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec. He married Sophie Riberdy (106) (see #17), daughter of Pierre Riberdy (129) and Victoire Beauparlant (130), on 9 Nov 1863 at la paroisse de, Sainte-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec. He died on 16 Nov 1884 at Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, at age 59. He was buried on 19 Nov 1884 dans la cave (in the cellar) de eglise at la paroisse de, Sainte-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec.

17. Sophie5 Riberdy (106) (Pierre, #34) was born on 19 Jul 1840 at Sainte-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec. She was baptized on 19 Jul 1840 at la paroisse de Sainte-Melanie-d'Ailleboust, Sainte-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec. She married Jerome Robillard (105) (see #16), son of Louis Robillard (191) and Genevieve Riberdy dit Sansoucy (381), on 9 Nov 1863 at la paroisse de, Sainte-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec. She married Jean-Baptiste Brissette dit Courchaine (824) on 23 Apr 1888 at la paroisse de, Sainte-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec. She died on 5 Oct 1895 at Sainte-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec, at age 55. She was buried on 7 Oct 1895 at dans le cave de l'eglise la paroisse de, Ste-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec 

18. Joseph5 Foucher (547) (Louis Faucher dit St-Maurice, #36) was born in Quebec. He married Flavie Bruneau (548) (see #19), daughter of Joseph Bruneau (940) and Flavie Trudel (941), on 20 Jan 1857 at la paroisse de Sainte-Melanie-d'Ailleboust, Sainte-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec. 
19. Flavie5 Bruneau (548) (Joseph, #38) was baptized on 13 May 1834 at la paroisse de Sainte-Melanie-d'Ailleboust, Sainte-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec. She married Joseph Foucher (547) (see #18), son of Louis Joseph Faucher dit St-Maurice (549) and Angel-Felicite Boucher dit Barbel (550), on 20 Jan 1857 at la paroisse de Sainte-Melanie-d'Ailleboust, Sainte-Melanie, Joliette, Quebec.

20. Marcel Boudreau, was born at New Brunswick, son of Marc Boudreau and Monique Melancon (Info not entered into database at this time)

 21. Ellen, Helen or Helene5 Grant, was a daughter of one of her grandfather's (John Grant) sons. John Grant was married to Ann Thebeau. (For more information on my Grant and Boudreau lines please contact me at callmeshell at gmail.com)

22. David 5Wright was born about 1816 at Scotland?
23. Mary5 White was born about 1814 at the Isle of Man?

24. Joseph Alfred 'Adam'5 Maille (59) (Eusebe, #48) was born on 25 Apr 1862 at St-Cuthbert, Berthier, Quebec. He was baptized as Joseph Alfred Mailler on 26 Apr 1862 at la paroisse de St-Cuthbert, St-Cuthbert, Berthier, Quebec. He married Marie Amanda Prud'homme (60) (see #25),daughter of Moise Prud'homme (454) and Adeline Philomene Desrosiers (457), on 30 Jan 1881 at Immaculate Conception church, Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He died on 20 Feb 1933 at Arlington St., Dracut, Middlesex, Massachusetts, at age 70.

25. Marie Amanda5 Prud'homme (60) (Moise, #50) was born on 14 Jul 1862 at Lanoraie, Berthier, Quebec. She was baptized on 14 Jul 1862 at la paroisse de Saint-Joseph, Lanoraie, Berthier, Quebec. She married Joseph Alfred 'Adam' Maille (59) (see #24), son of Eusebe Maille (68) and Angelique 'Rosalie' 'Angeline' Chevrette (69), on 30 Jan 1881 at Immaculate Conception church, Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts. She died on 9 Sep 1933 at Dracut, Middlesex, Massachusetts, at age 71.

26. Charles Francois5 Therrien (498) (Jean, #52) was born on 29 Jan 1869 at St-Julien-de-Wolfestown, Wolfe, Quebec. He was baptized on 5 Feb 1869 at la paroisse de St-Julien, St-Julien-de-Wolfestown, Wolfe, Quebec. He married Marie Provencal (499) (see #27), daughter of Isidore Provencal (500) and Philomene Mercier (501), on 20 Apr 1891 at Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

27. Marie5 Provencal (499) (Isadore, #54) married Charles Francois Therrien (498) (see #26), son of Jean Baptiste Therrien (507) and Marie-Celina Letourneau (508), on 20 Apr 1891 at Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts. She was buried on 3 Mar 1953 at Cimetiere St-Joseph, Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

28. Michael5 Moran (1261) (John, #56) was born circa 1867 at Ireland or England. He married Rose Kelley (1037) (see #29), daughter of Patrick Kelley (1415) and Rose Dacey (1416), on 11 Apr 1895 at Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA. He died on 15 Dec 1906 at 32 Cross St., in the rear, Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA. He was buried on 17 Dec 1906 at St. Patrick Cemetery, Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA.

29. Rose5 Kelley (1037) (Patrick, #58) was born circa Apr 1873 at Ireland or England. She married Michael Moran (1261) (see #28), son of John Moran (1410) and Bridget Higgins (1411), on 11 Apr 1895 at Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA. She died on 19 Dec 1951 at Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts. She was buried on 22 Dec 1951 at St. Patrick Cemetery, Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

30. Claude Benjamin5 Ferron (215) (Joseph, #60) was born on 20 Oct 1844 at Massueville (Sorel), Richelieu, Quebec. He was baptized on 21 Oct 1844 at la paroisse de Saint-Aime, Massueville (Sorel), Richelieu, Quebec. He married Celina Lamay (217) on 31 Jul 1866 at la paroisse de Saint-Leon, Saint-Leon-le-Grande, Maskinonge, Quebec. He married Marie Georgiana Rabouin (216) (see #31), daughter of Frederic Rabouin (337) and Domithilde Guilmette (338), on 22 Aug 1876 at la paroisse de Saint-Paulin, Saint-Paulin, Maskinonge, Quebec. He died on 6 Nov 1930 at 9 Dutton St., Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, at age 86. He was buried on 10 Nov 1930 at Cimetiere St-Joseph, Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

31. Marie Georgiana5 Rabouin (216) (Frederic, #62) was born on 29 Apr 1856 at Yamachiche, Saint-Maurice, Quebec. She was baptized on 29 Apr 1856 at la paroisse de Sainte-Anne, Yamachiche, Saint-Maurice, Quebec. She married Claude Benjamin Ferron (215) (see #30), son of Joseph Ferron (233) and Marie Ouelette (234), on 22 Aug 1876 at la paroisse de Saint-Paulin, Saint-Paulin, Maskinonge, Quebec. She died on 6 Apr 1919 at Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, at age 62. She was buried on 8 Apr 1919 at Cimetiere St-Joseph, Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts.