Sunday, November 11, 2012

In Their Honor - The Franco-American War Veterans' Memorial - Cimetiere St-Joseph, Chelmsford Massachusetts

Originally posted for Tombstone Tuesday on May 25th, 2010, I thought it appropriate to re-post this blog for Veteran's Day this year. In doing so, I'd also like to take this time to thank all of the Veterans everywhere for serving our Great Nation. Thank-you.

 This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.-- Elmer Davis

The the Franco-American War Veterans' Memorial at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Chelmsford, Massachusetts was dedicated on Tuesday, May 30th, 1933 and sits at what was once the main entrance of the cemetery along Riverneck Road. It's made from the highest grade granite and is twenty-one and one-half feet long, five and one-half feet in height, by one and one-half feet wide, it is surmounted with 3 flag staffs.

On the left and right sides of the monument there are the following inscriptions; A LA MEMOIRE DE CEUX QUI TOMBERENT, and  EN L’HONNEUR DE CEUX QUI SERVIRENT  which translate to: IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED, IN HONOR OF THOSE WHO SERVED. In the center of the monument there is the inscriptions GUERRE MONDIALE, 1917-1918 and LES FRANCO-AMERICAINS RECONNAISSANTS. which translate to:  WORLD WAR 1917 - 1918, GRATEFUL FRANCO-AMERICANS

According to Albert V. Cote's website, The Franco-Americans in Lowell, Massachusetts, the monument was refurbished by the Franco-American War Veterans, Post No.4 of Lowell, MA, in the early 1990s. This refurbishment added two brass plates (I did not find) and the English translations of the left and right side inscriptions. Also added was the inscription, FRANCO-AMERICAN WAR VETERANS POST NO. 4 1995. And to the back of the monument, Refurbish Committe May 27, 1995. Ronald Sevigny, Roland Provencher, Arthur Papillion, Ronald Guilmette, Leo Cloutier and Leo Martin.

The first Veteran to be buried at the memorial  was *Alfred Peter Barron, Seaman 2 Cl., USN. He died on 11 October, 1933 and was interred on 14 October.

Also laid to rest, in order of interment, are:

Hormisdas Gauthier
*Ernest Villandry
*Oscar Rene
*Peter Dufour
Joseph Forbes
Alexandre Gagnon
*Mathias St. Laurent
Gilbert Richard
*Harry Porter (Ira F. Porter)
Ovila Briere
Salluste Fournier
Joseph Bedard
*Walter St. Hilaire
*Peter Desmarais
*Louis Dube
George A. Richard
Louis Provencher
Rocky Ambrosino
Ovila Frenette
Antonio Roussell
Joseph R. Laferriere
Victor Charette
Rosario Martineau
Raymond O. DeMange
Raymond A. Ferris
Roland Gagne
Henry J.Couture
Armand J. Carbonneau
Leo S. Harnois
Raymond P. Vincent
Perley R. Munsell
Omer Frechette
Raymond. E. L'Heureux
William B.Aresenault
Paul J. Pare
Arthur J. Proulx
Gerard R. Gauthier
Paul L. Greenwood Sr.
John H. James Jr.
Franklin D. Ambrosino
Walter, J. Ciesla
Raymond J. Landry
George N. Gilbert
Joseph R. Corcoran
Joseph Leo Lacourse
John J. Mele Jr.
Eugene Sylvain
Daniel Lavoie
Calvin Simpkins
Robert W. Finn
Leo R. Plante Jr.
Norman M. Ayotte
Daniel A. Thompson
Ralph N. Biron
Richard J. Marshall
Donald G. Foote
Paul H. Durand
Thomas Olivera
Armand Bibault

On May 31, 1933, there was an article that appeared in Lowell Sun describing the dedication ceremony of this memorial on pages 6 & 7. I have extracted some of that article below. 
Erected to honor the memory of Franco-American war heroes, this monument was dedicated on Tuesday, May 30, 1933 in an open air ceremony at St. Joseph's cemetery in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. The dedication was largely attended and a musical program was provided by an augmented choir under the direction of Telesphore Malo, director of the choir at St. Joseph's parish.
Delegations from the many Franco-American organizations in the area were there, as well as: Guard St. Louis, Sacred Heart Guard, Franco-American veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, United Spanish War Veterans, Boy Scouts of America, the C. M. A. C. and the Jewish War Veterans. There was a mass and the eulogy was delivered by Rev. J. A. Fortier, OMI, a former war chaplain and pastor of Notre Dame de Lourdes church in Lowell . The monument, unveiled by Spanish war hero, Lieut. Georges Charette, U. S. N. retired, was presented to the Franco-American population by Arthur H.R. Groux, president and general chairman of the committee in charge of erecting it. Received and accepted by Rev. Louis G. Bachand OMI, superior of St. Joseph's parish, he gave a brief acceptance speech. Also, a burial plot was presented to the American Legion and accepted by Commander James H. Rooney, followed by a few words by Rev. Willliam F. Mahan, OMI, chaplain of the post.
Among those in attendance were Rep, Edith Nourse, Mayor Charles H. Slowley, Rep. Henry Achin Jr., Col. Charles A. Stevens, Rep. Frank E. Maclean, Postmaster Xavier A. Deslise and the following goldstar mothers: Mrs. Olivier Renaud, Mrs.William H. Cloualre, Mrs. Philomene April, Mrs. Eugene Lajeunesse, and Mrs. Ralph Lashua. The following delegations represented Franco-American societies: CMAC, Alphonse Fortier, Leo Barou, Ferdinand Rousseau; Council J. N. Jacques of  l'Union St. Jean Baptlste d'Aremique, Telesphore Leblanc, Edouard Casaubon, Eugene Gullbault; Council Ste. Therese, Mrs. Eva Michel, Mrs. Florida Nadeau, Miss Adeline Martin; Council Carillon, Olivier 'A. Page; National Benevolence union,; Louis N. Milot, Eugene Longval,; Donat Vadeboncoeur; Court Pawtucketville ACF, Pierre Leblanc, Joseph E. Lambert, Josephat Sawyer; Pawtueketville Social club, Origene Descoteaux, James St. Hilalre, Emilien Leblanc; CCA, George Pednault, Achille St. Pierre, Alfred Beauchesne; Court St. Antoine OFC, Onesime Tremblay, Joseph Magraa, Armand Beauchesne; St. Joseph's alumal, Stanislaus 0. Paquln, Rev. Brother Alphonse, Richard L. Provencher; Court Ste. Marie, ACF, "Joseph A. Plante, Albert Morln, Zotique Sauvageau; Franco-American Educational association, Mrs. Louis P. Vincent, Mrs. Napoleon Lozeau, Mrs. Clarina H. Morier, RN; Franco-American Civic League of Massachusetts, Lowell branch. Joseph A. Legare, Joseph A. Routhior, Albert J. Blazon; Cercle St. Louis, Elzear J. Dionae, Orlando P. Viau, Joseph A. Biron; Club Lafayette, Dr. Raymond Gendreau, Alphonse Coutu, Georges D. Dozois; Ste. Marie's parish, Edouard Gadreau, Edmond Gendreau; Notre Dame de Bon Secours society, Miss Julia Landry, Mrs. Eugenie St. Ives, Mrs. Jeremie Champagne; Court Ste. Eveline ACF, Mrs. Jules G. Deschenes, Miss Rosa Gagnon; SI. Jean Baptiste ACA, Charles Brousseau, Donat and Omer Joyal; United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, local 1610, Philippe Chaput, Damiens Descoteaux. Victor Breton; Franco-American Naturalization association, E. Lajeunesse, Emllien Leblanc, Louis Harnois.
The committees in charge of arrangements follow: General committee, Arthur H. R. Gtroux, president; Maxime Cornellier, secretary; religious program, Maxime Cornellier, chairman; Joseph T. Dusseault, Louis Renaud, Joseph Payotte, Joseph I'Heureux; invitations committee, Dcwey Archambault, chairman; Arthur Monty, Elphege Phaneuf, Onesime Tremblay, Paul Dostaler; committee on speakers, Donat Brunellc, chairman; Zenon Chouinard, Hector Duputs, Barnabe Dusseault, Joseph Robillard; transportation, Heclor J. McDonald, chairman; Alfred S. Gagnon, Donat Dery. Edmond I,. Belley; reception committee, Hon, Arthur I,. Eno, chairman; Albert L. Bourgeois, Paul R. Foisy, Lucien R. Brunelle, Lazare Boule. and Rozider Leclair.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Dr. J. E. Robillard of Southbridge and Lowell

In an attempt to connect another Robillard to my line, I began researching Dr. J..E. Robillard. I had run across his headstone a few years ago and decided it was finally time to figure who he was. Joseph Emile Robillard, D.D.S., had an office in downtown Lowell, Massachusetts for decades. However, before he opened his own practice in Lowell he was employed by the practice of  Dr. T. J. King.

I find this early 20th century advertisement  to be quite humorous.
I wonder if that's Dr. King himself?

A son of Louis Emile and Eliza nee Pinsonneault, Joseph Emile Robillard was probably born on March 19, 1880 in Brookfield, Worcester County, Massachusetts.

Joseph went college in Montreal, as well as in Maryland.. He married Ida Tarte (Joseph, Elisabeth Courville) in 1906 at St. Joseph's church rectory and they had 5 known children.

The following excerpt describing their wedding ceremony was taken from "The Frater of Psi Omega" vol. v, no.1, pub. Nov. 1905. The Supreme Council, Tiffin, Ohio. If you click the image below it will take you to the publication, as it appears on Google Books.

At the time of his death in 1950, Dr. Robillard lived on Harris Ave., located in the Highlands neighborhood in Lowell. Buried together with Ida's parents, Joseph Emile and Ida were interred at Saint-Joseph Cemetery in East. Chelmsford, Massachusetts. 

Joseph Emile Robillard and I are related very distantly. We are 6th cousins 2x removed, with the progenitors being Claude Robillard and Marie Grandin. Below is a quick detailess ahnentafell just to show his direct Robillard line.

  --- 1st Generation ---

1.  Joseph-Emile1 Robillard (1621)

    --- 2nd Generation ---

2.  Louis-Emile2 Robillard (1619) married Eliza Pinsonneault (1620).

     --- 3rd Generation ---

4.  Jean-Baptiste3 Robillard (1617) married Henriette Page (1618).

       --- 4th Generation ---

8.  Raphael4 Robillard (1615) married Marie Louise Vadnais (1616).

        --- 5th Generation ---

16.  Michel5 Robillard (1613) married Marie Josephe Rondeau (1614).

         --- 6th Generation ---

32.  Pierre6 Robillard (1292) married Marie
Angelique Marette dit Lepine dit Richard (1293)  He married Marie-
Jeanne Provost (1398) 

        --- 7th Generation ---

64.  Pierre7 Robillard (822) married Catherine Coutou (836) 

          --- 8th Generation ---

128.  Claude8 Robillard (808) married Marie Binard (812) He married 
Marie Grandin (809)He married Marie-Francoise Guillin (823)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Greater Lowell Genealogy Club - November, 2012 Meeting

Yes, I'm still alive. Our next meeting is Saturday, November 17, 2012 from 1:30pm until 4:30pm at the Pollard Memorial Library in Lowell. We will begin to research some passports that were found in the attic at Lowell City Hall. Please bring your laptops and research skills. It is also to be noted that membership dues are going up in January. So if you haven't paid for 2013 yet I recommend that you do it now, before the increase. See ya!

Monday, January 23, 2012

In Search Of: The Burial of Joseph Robillard

Who, according to the article below, drowned in the St-Lawrence River on 14 May, 1937.
MONTREAL. MAY 14 (INS) -- Two members of the crew of the S.S. Maple Branch dived into the icy waters of the St. Lawrence river today to rescue Joseph Labrecque, clinging to an overturned skiff for six hours.
With Eugene Tremblay and Joseph Robillard, Labrecque had left the home of a friend on the south shore to row back to Montreal.  Their skiff was capsized in the heavy waters and Tremblay and Robillard perished.
The water was so rough when the crew of the freighter perceived Labrecque's plight, a lifeboat could not be lowered and two of the crew went over the side to drag him to safety.

Published in the Lowell Sun 14 May, 1937 p.1.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

La Gazette de Joliette: Necrologie de Jerome Robillard - Publie 21 Novembre, 1884

The obituary of my paternal 2nd great-grandfather, Jerome Robillard, as it appeared published in "La Gazette de Joliette", Joliette, Quebec, on 21 Nov., 1884.

À Lowell, Mass., le 16 du courant
à l'âge de 59 ans, 3 mois et 27 jours,
est décédé Jérôme Robillard Écuyer
Ex-Agent Seigneurial des Seigneuries
de D'Aillebout et Ramsay. Le
défunt a passé sa vie dans l'enseignement
de la jeunesse et apres 27
années, de dévouement dans cette
carrière il fut nommé Agent pour
les Seigneuries de D'Aillebout et
Atteint peu après d'une maladie
qui l'obligea à donner sa démission
l'automne dernier; animé du zèle
de l'education de ses enfants, il partit
pour Lowell avec sa famille, le 17
janvier dernier, espérant revenir
bientôt dans sa paroisse. "Le Seigneur
en décide autrement," disait-il
dans les dernier jours de sa vie.
" Eh bien que sa sainte volonté soit
faite." Il montra une résignation
admirable en face de la mort,
et il s'endormit paisiblement dans le Seigneur.

Il laisse pour déplorer sa perte une
épouse cherie et inconsolable et 14 enfants dont 8 qui sont mariés et 6 en bas age.

R. I. P.

Thank you, Ruth! The above text was extracted and transcribed by Arielle Major over at La compagnie des arbres. I did attempt to extract and transcribe the text myself,  as you can see below. However, there were quite a few words that I didn't know. Those words have been marked with a question mark. All I can say is that it helps to have friends in those northern places! Thanks again, Ruth!

A Lowell, Mass., le 16 du courant
a l'age de 59 ans, 3 mois et 27 jours,
est decede Jerome Robillard. ?
Ex-Agent Seigneurial des Seigneuries
de D'Aillebout et Ramsay, Le
defunt a passe sa vie dans l'ensei-gnement
de la jeunesse et apres 27
annes, de devenement dans cette
carriere il fut nomme Agent pour
les Seigneur de D'Aillebout et
Atteint ? apres d'une maladie
qui l'? a ? sa demission
l'? dernier ? du ?
de l'education de ses enfants, il par
? pour Lowell avec sa famille, le 17
janvier dernier, esperant revenir
? ? dans sa paroisse. ? "Le Seigneur
decide autrement." disait il
dans les dernier jours de sa vie.
" Eh bien que sa sainte? volonte son
faite." Il montra une resignation
admirable en face de la mort, et il ? ? paisiblement dans le Seigneur.

Il laisse pour deplorer sa perte une
epouse cherie elle inconsolable et 14 
enfants ? 8 qui sont maries et 6 en ? age.

R. I. P.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Mappy Monday: 12 West Street, Lowell MA

Happy New Year, everyone!

I've had this little ancestor mapping project on the back burner for a while now. On the back burner I say, mainly because most of the buildings and or addresses that I'm looking for within Lowell don't exist any more. Ideally, I wanted to start with my first known Robillard ancestor to come to the city and map where he or she lived and then climb the ladder, but... that isn't working out too well. So, I guess I'll just go at it all willy nilly like... Who cares, anyway?

12 West St. was the address of the home that my Pepere Robillard and his family lived at in 1930. April 10th, 1930, to be exact. West St. is in Centralville, right off of Lakeview and runs all the way up to Colburn. According to the 1930 census, my Pepere, Joe, was 32 years old that year, as was my Memere, Louise (Wright). Pepere, who was naturalized in 1898, rented his home for $18.00 (is that per week?), and worked as a loomfixer in a silkmill. Memere was home with the kids. The kids, all 5 of them, were between the ages of 2 and half and 13 years. Uncle Jim was the oldest, Uncle Bob the youngest, and, I just have to mention this, Aunt Joan, well... She was on her way. As my Memere was abt 8 months pregnant at this time. What about Uncle Richard and my Dad, you ask? They weren't even a thought in 1930.  Pepere & Memere's neighbors were the Gilbride family at, what appears to be, 14 West St. and the Grotton (or is it Grafton) family at 10 West.

If you look at the map below, you'll see that I marked the current address location.  The house is a very modest one, maybe a starter home, or would you call it a cottage? I do believe the house that is there may be the same house that was there in 1930, although I'm not sure. I keep thinking about the flood of 36 and the more I do the more I doubt that this is the same house. What about the development of the VFW Highway? How did that change the landscape? Shit, I don't even know when it was put in, so I don't know. I tried to do a history of the address at the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds website to figure that out, but I was unsuccessful.

The house at the current address in the map below looks white, but I can tell you it's now 2 shades of a really ugly blue. Yes, I went and hunted it down, even took a few photographs early one weekday morning. Uhuh, that was me standing in the middle of your street with the camera. Can you say wackado?

I wonder how long my Pepere & Memere lived on West St, and if my Uncle Bob remembers it. I kinda doubt he does though, he was, after all, only 2 years old and I know my Pepere & Memere moved around a lot. I mean a lot, always following the work I was told... I could, I suppose, revisit the directories to find this out. Someday.

Anyway, I guess I'm going to try and go backwards from here (then forward again, think 1940 census). In 1920 my Pepere lived at 299 Moody, I doubt the actual building still exists and that the street has been renumbered many times? Do they do that? Renumber streets? Of course they do... I'll go see what I can find.

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