Cheryl Ferverda (1946-2023), HighwayWoman – 52 Ancestors #400

It was a stifling August day in 1994.

I was visiting the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana to fulfill a promise – a contract actually – that the Embroiderers’ Guild Chapter in the city where I lived had signed with the library more than a year earlier.

As often happens in groups, the best intentions and commitments of others fell away, leaving almost no needleart pieces for the upcoming exhibit. What was I to do? As the Program Chair, I had been the one to initiate contact because the guild was looking for a display venue, and I knew that the (previous) library building had a wonderful display atrium.

I remember being quite salty and thinking to myself something about good deeds never going unpunished.

My life was literally falling apart around me. My relatively young husband had a massive stroke in June of 1993, and my step-father wasn’t doing well, but I’m a stickler about commitments, and I had given my word. Between that, working, and a family, including a disabled husband to care for, I far had less time that the other guild members who had petered out, but somehow, I had to make this work.

I called Richard, my contact at the library, and explained that the guild was unable to, ahem, participate (trying not to grit my teeth audibly,) but I had an idea.

As almost any genealogist reading this will know, the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) is one of the premier genealogy libraries in the country, the second largest, I believe.

While I had “only” been doing genealogy off and on for about 15 years, I had been visiting the library in Fort Wayne for much of that time – cranking on those microfilm machines. The library was about halfway between where I lived in Michigan and where my folks lived in Indiana.

My Mom grew up just half an hour or so outside of Fort Wayne and had a lot of history in Fort Wayne itself – having performed tap and ballet in the Masonic Theater in Fort Wayne before turning pro in the 1940s.

I talked to Mom, then called Richard.

I asked Richard what he thought of hosting an exhibit titled “Seven Generations of Hoosier Needlewomen”? If you counted my daughter, we had needlework of one form or another from a full seven generations, including quilts from a 1933 World’s Fair Winner (Nora Kirsch, my great-grandmother,) several Best of Shows from the Indiana State Fair for three family members over the years, and so forth.

Mom and I, between us, could fill in any cracks with our handiwork.

I would, of course, prepare the genealogy information to round out the exhibit.

Richard loved the idea of both the display and the tie to genealogy.

I spent several weeks compiling the information about each piece we would submit, taking measurements, preparing the quilts for hanging, and sending descriptions to Richard so he could make display cards and plan the exhibit space in advance.

At some point during our regular Sunday planning phone calls, Mom said she hoped that maybe we could see her cousin Cheryl who worked at the library.

“Cheryl. Cheryl who?”

I didn’t remember any cousin Cheryl in Fort Wayne.

“Cheryl Hackworth,” Mom replied.

“Who’s that?”

“Roscoe Ferverda’s daughter.”

Roscoe was my grandfather’s brother, making Cheryl my mother’s first cousin.

“Oh, Mom, you mean Cheryl Ferverda.”

“No, Cheryl Hackworth – she’s married.”

Me laughing, “Whatever, Mom.”

To a genealogist, she was Cheryl Ferverda or maybe Cheryl Ferverda Hackworth.

I knew of Cheryl but didn’t know Cheryl and didn’t realize she worked at the library.

Who’s That???

I arranged to meet Mother at the library that August day. She was bringing her own items and most of the pieces from the earlier generations. I had prepared the vintage quilts for hanging, so I brought those along with my own pieces and those of my daughter.

No, this isn’t about my quilts and needlework. That story will have to wait for another time.

When Mom arrived, carrying her pieces, I immediately knew something was very wrong. She was a nervous wreck.

Dad was in the hospital again. Visiting hours were pretty strict, and I think it did Mom good to be with me and my daughter that day. She would head home in time to see him in the evening.

The four of us, Richard, me, my daughter, and Mom were arranging the display items when someone walked across the open atrium. This was a public area, and people had been coming and going all day long, watching what we were doing as they passed by, so we didn’t really notice.

The footsteps stopped.

I can hear that throaty voice yet today.

“Who are you and what are you doing with my Aunt Edith’s things?”

Mom and I whipped around at the mention of Edith, my grandmother. Who could that possibly be?

Richard said, “Oh, hello Cheryl. Do you know Jean and Roberta?”

Cheryl’s frown turned into an immediate smile of recognition. “Why, Barbara Jean, why didn’t you tell me you were coming? This is BEAUTIFUL! Let me help!”

Mom was so glad to see Cheryl. They hugged like they had known each other forever, because they had.

I knew who Cheryl was; I had just never met her as an adult. I expected her to be older, like Mom’s age. Instead, she appeared to be just slightly older than me.

I immediately noticed that Cheryl, Mom, and I looked alike.

Cheryl’s Spirit Animal

If Cheryl had a spirit animal, it would be a Magpie, as in chattering. Cheryl never met a stranger and could talk to anyone – and did. Everyone was immediately at ease with Cheryl. Perfect strangers came up to her and began talking – about anything.

Cheryl was the Communications Director for the Allen County Public Library, and if anyone ever found the absolutely ideal career, it was Cheryl.

Cheryl was perfect. Well, maybe except for answering emails in a timely manner which is hugely ironic for a Communications Director.

I once sent this email to her, which caused us both to laugh. No malice meant. Just a little family shade.

To my dearest cousin Cheryl who may now be deceased or retired because I haven’t heard from her in months:) I’m hoping it’s just my e-mail acting up and that she hasn’t expired or isn’t unhappy with me for some reason:) Actually, I know you haven’t expired as I’ve been working with Curt Witcher on the May program and he says we’re going to work together on PR.

Part of the reason Cheryl got so behind on personal correspondence is that she had a difficult time saying no to requests. She thought everything sounded interesting and was doable, both at the library and her other volunteer activities. She always had time to fit “just one more thing” into her schedule for someone.

Cheryl was kind and generous, to a fault. Every single person Cheryl ever met is better for having known her.

And, now, Cheryl actually IS gone. She passed over to the ancestor realm unexpectedly last Sunday, May 20th, leaving me grief-stricken and ugly crying.

I want to share with you the Cheryl I knew. And you know the great thing – Cheryl can’t even argue with me about it now😉

We didn’t meet, officially, as adults until that August day in 1994, but it was like we had always and forever known each other. We just clicked, immediately. Fate had apparently been waiting for us to get our collective acts together and actually meet. I couldn’t believe how many times we had been in that library together and probably walked right past each other.

I can just see Fate shrugging and saying, “Dang, they did it AGAIN.”

That 1994 exhibit went from something I felt obligated to do and was quite irritated about – to something I was EXTREMELY grateful for.

Not only was I granted the opportunity by fate to be Cheryl’s cousin, we had many common interests, too – like genealogy, for one thing. And travel. And science. And animal rescue. And avidly, cats. And space exploration, particularly meteor showers, one of which we got to experience together overseas.

We discovered that our favorite colors were purple, blue and magenta and we both collected turtles. Her, at one time, and me still.

Oh, and chocolate. How could I forget that?

We wound up working on several professional events together too. Presentations, recording a series on the cable television channel, special events at Science Central, and other things.

As if that wasn’t enough, Cheryl had a wicked, wicked sharp sense of humor. We laughed and laughed.

We had some strange other-worldly form of communication between us too.

Strange things would happen. One time I shared a photo of me standing in a particular place at Cambridge University, on a side street by the Cavendish lab, and she replied: “you’re not going to believe this, but I have a photo of me in EXACTLY THE SAME LOCATION.”

It had been taken years before. What are the chances?

My reply to her: “OMG – we really are geeky cousins of heart:) I could just hardly contain myself at the Cavendish lab.”

We often knew what each other was thinking, and all we had to do was look at each other. Sometimes that meant we’d bust out laughing. Generally, we knew NOT to look at each other if we sensed an inappropriate laugh was going to emerge.



When my brothers John and Dave passed away in the same year, I was crushed and out of siblings. I still have Cheryl’s lovely, loving note to me.

After reading your pieces about your brother, Dave, the long-haul trucker with millions of accident-free miles behind him, sopping up the tears with a Kleenex, I thought, Wow, much of that is Don and me!  We’re double the months apart you and your brother were, 14, but so much else the same. It made me experience, to a certain extent, what it might be like to not have Don around anymore, something we’ve had to face many, many times.

You really helped everyone connected to him, though, with your insight and thoughtful words, in spite of the hurt you were feeling yourself. It was a true “Bobbi thing” if ever I’ve heard of one. And of course, you know, your brother would be, and is, so proud of you and full of love for you for what you did for everybody else! The best part of all of this is you both really did get to know and love each other.

Thank you for letting me know about John and especially about Dave. You really must feel some solace for what you brought to his life. He was lucky to have ever known you, at all. Again, it was what you did to bring that about. You are a really good egg, as my dad would have said. You probably know you’re doing good things, but I bet you don’t get told enough that you are really appreciated and loved.

Just know that Don and I are your stand-in brother and sister now.

From your “Cuz” who appreciates and loves you!

You can see why I loved Cheryl. What a good heart she had.

Cheryl was already my “sister,” or “sisten” as my quilt-sister puts it, short for sister-cousin, by that time.

In the Doghouse

I want to share a short story that just sums Cheryl up to a T.

In Silver Lake, when Cheryl was 14 years old, a local boy went missing. The next morning, Cheryl decided to do something about it. I don’t know what the adults were doing, but Cheryl analyzed the situation, where he lived, was last seen, and then headed for that area which turned out to be someplace behind the Ferverda property.

She spotted an old doghouse in the woods, investigated, and sure enough, there he was. The boy had apparently crawled in the doghouse after being late getting home the evening before, figuring he would be in trouble. He decided to hide out in the doghouse, never thinking that once he got inside and slid the door shut, he might not be able to get out again without assistance.

So, that’s Cheryl in a nutshell, even at 14. Insanely logical, cool, calm and collected, and just fixing whatever problem presents itself while others are busy doing who-knows-what.

Quintessential Cheryl. She never changed.

The Family

Although they were first cousins, Mom was 23 when Cheryl was born, fairly late in her father, Roscoe Ferverda’s life.

John Ferverda was my mother’s father, and Roscoe and John were brothers.

Not only that, but John and Roscoe purchased houses literally right across the street from each other in tiny Silver Lake, Indiana, where they both lived for half a century, more or less. Nobody ever locked their doors in Silver Lake because how would your family and neighbors get in if they needed something if you locked the door? What a crazy idea.

Both John and Roscoe worked for the railroad, just another block or so down this road.

Cheryl said:

“Dad didn’t talk much about what went on at the depot before we were kids. He did talk about the time a train stopped for a potty break and he started to talk to this one guy who gave him some small bottles of an amber fluid he called battery oil he said he’d invented. Dad asked him his name………………Thomas Edison! I have two of those bottles and they have Edison’s name on them.”

John and Roscoe were very close their entire lives. Thick as thieves is how the family put it. They might or might not have gotten into some mischief together. What they both did, however, was marry non-Brethren women. They didn’t get thrown out of the family, but many disproving glances were aimed in their direction. Those rebels!

Given their proximity, Cheryl was quite familiar with her Aunt Edith and Uncle John’s things. She was in and out of their house, at left in the photo above, far more than I ever was. They died, respectively, when I was 4 and 6. Cheryl was in her early/mid-teens.

Cheryl knew my older brother, John, who lived with my grandparents well. She laughed and referred to him as a “pistol” and a “handful.” I think there might be stories she neglected to share with me😊

We didn’t see each other after my grandparents passed away except for an occasional chance meeting at a heavily-attended funeral. We didn’t live locally, and Cheryl moved on too.

After Cheryl graduated from high school, just 3 or 4 years after my grandparents died, she attended Manchester College, now Manchester University, obtaining her degree in education, followed later by a Master’s Degree.

I think Cheryl taught for a short while before joining the library staff. She spent the majority of her career at the Allen County Public Library, where she retired in 2016 with around 35 years of service.

Cheryl Ferverda, Tenet Collection, 2001

Cheryl’s considerable contribution to education would be through the library and expanding services to library patrons in both conventional brick-and-mortar ways along with outreach utilizing new electronic methodologies.

Cheryl was known to stir the pot a bit from time to time, dissatisfied with complacency and leaving the status quo in place simply because it was. She became a trailblazer, urging the organization forward.

While probably occasionally irritating to her colleagues, I viewed her actively questioning mind as one of her most endearing qualities. Cheryl moved things off dead-center and got things done.

I should have gifted her one of my “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History” t-shirts. She earned it.

Professional Legacy

Cheryl was a history-lover and stickler for preserving history, especially through documents. She drove efforts to obtain rare books and manuscripts for the library, as well as spearheading the Library’s efforts to obtain Abraham Lincoln’s family belongings, manuscripts, books, and other memorabilia when the Lincoln Museum closed. Lincoln lived in Indiana for several years during his childhood.

Her years-long efforts were successful, culminating in the Allen County Public Library’s Lincoln Collection, which you can view here.

Not only was this a crowning professional achievement for Cheryl, it was also a personal statement about her respect for the man, the human, who freed the slaves. She felt it was an incredible honor to work with Lincoln’s artifacts and help preserve his life by making these resources available for scholars and the public alike.

Cheryl was also instrumental in the library’s program to record oral family stories and histories. However, like many carpenters whose children have no shoes, I know Cheryl always meant to record her own memories, but I don’t think she ever got it done after she retired.

Cheryl was also responsible for the library’s cable TV content. When genetic genealogy was in its infancy, Cheryl, a history, science, and genealogy lover wanted to know all about it, of course.

As genetic genealogy developed as a field, Cheryl worked collaboratively with the local science center, Science Central, and the Genealogy Department at the library to facilitate and promote topic-specific presentations.

Cheryl told me she was at a lunch meeting with Science Central personnel once, and someone said they wished they knew someone to do a series of presentations, including a reveal, about DNA. Cheryl wasted no time explaining that she knew the perfect resource, her cousin, and she would see about twisting my arm to make me available. She didn’t have to twist very hard. I was excited to collaborate with Cheryl, the library, and Science Central.

DNA Presentations

The first time I visited the library for a genetic genealogy presentation, Cheryl’s brother, Don, attended the presentation, as did my brother, John, and his wife. My brother’s health was deteriorating, and it would be the only presentation of mine that he would ever be able to attend.

Cheryl adored her slightly younger brother, Don. Don had always been willing to DNA test for us, but wasn’t personally interested in genealogy and was always busy. However, he loved his sister. Don was such a good sport, swabbing publicly for his Y-DNA to represent our Ferverda family line.

When we received the results of Don’s test, Cheryl sent this:

I know you doubted this would ever happen and it wouldn’t have if it weren’t for two fabulous women in that booger’s life, that would be you and me!

My reply:

Your brother is just a doll. What a sweetie he is. Not just because he swabbed either.

Don’s DNA wasn’t the only gift that occurred during that presentation.

At that time, I was still writing “Sunday Stories,” recording events and memories for my children. Here’s what I wrote the following Sunday.

There was a second gift for me. Cheryl’s neighbors came to the seminar, a very nice older couple. The lady came up between sessions to visit with Cheryl who was standing by me. She asked me if I was a Ferverda too. Cheryl explained that my grandfather and her father were brothers, so yes, I’m a Ferverda but that’s not my surname.

This lady said, “Barbara Jean Ferverda was my good friend.” I stood there speechless for a minute, looked at Cheryl who was looking at me, then we both looked back to the lady as she was by now looking a bit confused, so she added, “We used to dance together.”

I somehow found my voice and croaked out, “Barbara Jean Ferverda from Silver Lake?”, like there could be two, and she said “yes.” I found my voice again and said, “That’s my mother!!!”

This lady explained about dancing with Mom and then went on to say that she thinks she might have one of her costumes yet. She shared with me how my mother had made dance costumes for her when she couldn’t afford them, and how kind my mother had been to her. I had a really difficult time controlling the tears.

This lady still has a dance studio in Fort Wayne, and she is in her 80s, although you would never know it from looking at her. I was so thrilled to find this lady, and what are the chances??? Infinitesimal. Truly a gift from the other side. I wonder if Mom was watching. Surely, she might have been. Both of her children were there, in one place together, and so were her cousins and a friend.

The session went very well, although I felt somewhat jumbled by my unexpected gift. They taped the session for later playback on their cable access channel and their local PBS station. Hopefully I didn’t say anything stupid. Always a concern of speakers and tape just preserves whatever you say for posterity, bad or good.

All in all, a great weekend, both relative to DNA, presentations and spending some time with the family.

Over the years, I visited the library multiple times for extensive presentations, some of which were recorded in a series of PBS broadcasts provided to the community through Access Fort Wayne TV.

One time, my brother, who lived the next county over, was randomly flipping through channels when he suddenly saw his sister. My sister-in-law called me, laughing.

Curt Witcher, the library’s Genealogy Department Manager was involved with these programs, of course.

During one of those visits, Cheryl, me, Curt and my husband, Jim, were all enjoying a meal together. Cheryl and I were sitting side by side, with the men across from us on the other side of the table. Cheryl and I were rather engrossed in our own conversation, which I should probably be embarrassed about, when we suddenly realized that both Jim and Curt had stopped eating and were staring at us.

Cheryl and I, together, at exactly the same time, with identical inflection, looked at them quizzically and said, “What?” Curt said, “I can’t believe how much you two look alike.” Jim said, “I can’t believe how much you two act alike. You even hold your knife and fork that same way.” We all laughed. If I’m going to look and act like someone, let it be Cheryl.

Most people who saw the two of us together assumed we were siblings or close relatives and had been raised together, yet we didn’t know each other until we were well into adulthood.

Our DNA might have something to do with that.

Cheryl actually matches Mom in red, and me in blue, at a very high level for first cousins to my mother. Ranges vary, but they are in the high first cousin to low half-sibling range thanks to the random nature of recombination.

This might have something to do with our similarity, although I know lots of siblings who are more different than Cheryl and me.

Since we didn’t grow up together, we shared our childhood stories.

Since Cheryl didn’t record her stories for posterity, I’m going to share one of her favorite stories with you.

Cheryl’s Favorite Story

When my brother, Dave, passed away, I gave his eulogy, sharing a copy with Cheryl via email. She replied:

Thanks for sending this to me. It underscores what we often don’t think about until we’re “older,” the importance of sharing specific memories about specific people in our lives with our children in detail. Both of my sons have just recently begun to ask questions about my childhood and the various experiences and people that were of great importance. They do, however, know of how your grandfather saved my life. I’m not sure I ever told you about it.

When I was six or seven, I was a part of the neighborhood group of kids who went trick-or-treating together. In those times in Silver Lake kids didn’t do this only on Halloween, but for several days prior because it took so long to canvas the whole huge town of Silver Lake. Another difference in the customs of the time was that you didn’t just say, “Trick or treat!”, open your goodie bag, collect your loot and leave. Noooooo! You traipsed into the house and the occupants “guessed” who you were before handing you a homemade treat.

Our group consisting of three of the four Jagger kids, Mike Gaylo and Phil, and two Ferverdas, Don and me, visited Uncle John and Aunt Edith Ferverda’s house to take part in the ritual.

The oldest Jagger, Larry, felt he was too old to do that kid stuff anymore, he was going to soap windows instead.

We had to climb those steep steps up to the door of the screened-in porch and wait to be invited on into the living room. The five of us, dressed as farmers, bums, fancy ladies or whatever we could conjure up from clothes found at home, all lined up so that we could be identified. Once one of us was unmasked, the rest were really obvious and went quickly. We collected our treats and back out the front door we went. I was the first one down the steps into the dark where I was stopped by the sight of both barrels of a shot gun pointed directly at my face! I recognized the person aiming the gun at me, Uncle John’s next-door neighbor, Mildred Meredith!

Mildred wanted to know which one of us soaped her windows. “I didn’t do it, Larry did!” were the only words I could muster. Well, she wasn’t having any of that. She wanted her windows cleaned and NOW!  About that time we hear Uncle John’s voice calmly saying, “Mildred, what are you doing?, Put that gun down!” She told him we soaped her windows and were going to have to clean them right now. He told her we had been in his house, not out soaping anyone’s windows and that was that. He made her go back to her house. Thus, my life was saved!

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found out about, as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story.” At one of my high school class reunions while talking about the good ol’ days back in Silver Lake, I told this whole story. Upon finishing it and the laughter died down, classmate Larry Puls shook his head and said, “So that’s why Mildred came over to our house (located on the other side of Mildred’s house from the Ferverdas) and told my mom I’d soaped her windows!!! Larry’s mom made him clean them!

I had the pleasure of telling the culprit, Larry Jagger, the story this past summer.

If you’ve already heard that story, I’m sorry for repeating it, but it is one of my favorites.

Perhaps I should put my pen, or computer, where my mouth is and write some of these gems down. Ha!

Not only was Cheryl wonderful company, she was amazingly intelligent and told a wickedly good story.

2010 Ferverda Reunion

Cheryl emailed me in the summer of 2010 that she and Don were working on coordinating a Ferverda family reunion that would take place that fall in the social center of a local church.

While Cheryl didn’t actually want to research genealogy in the same way I do, she was incredibly interested from the historical and personal aspects. What was going on in the lives of our ancestors, where, and why.

One time in the early years when I visited her at the library, she took me back to the stacks and, without even having to look at the reference number, walked up and selected some random book she knew about that held the only known family picture of the Hiram Ferverda family. It included both of their sons, her father and my grandfather. I was thrilled and so impressed.

Cheryl would be responsible for unearthing even more photos a few years later.

What Bible?

Prior to the reunion, Cheryl and I were corresponding back and forth, and she mentioned that during one of her planning trips that:

Bob brought out the Ferverda Bible. I didn’t even know it existed!

My reply:

WHAT FERVERDA BIBLE??????  Whose Bible is it? I don’t mean the current owners, but whose was it originally and what records are in it?  If they are going to be there, I’ll bring my computer and scanner and we can scan away.

Hot diggity dog – what a wonderful discovery you have made cousin.

The gentleman kindly brought the Bible to the Ferverda reunion and allowed Cheryl to take the Bible to the library to have it both professionally scanned and repaired before returning it to him.

The Bible had belonged to Eva Miller, Cheryl’s grandmother, presented to her by husband, Hiram B. Ferverda in 1895.

Like many Bibles, the pages were chock full of genealogically relevant information. Photos, newspaper articles, and handwritten notes tucked between the pages provided information we knew absolutely nothing about.

I wrote about the Bible and its contents, here.

In retrospect, I was really mad at myself that I didn’t take more photos at that reunion.

Aside from the Bible and documents, which I was scrambling to photograph, I managed to take one photo of Cheryl above, and one photo of Don, below, talking across the table to each other.

This was before cameras in phones were popular, and before you could easily get photos off of phones. Let this be a lesson. Take lots of pictures and ask someone to take photos with your phone.

We actually put disposable cameras on the tables, but if anyone actually used and contributed them, I never saw the photos.

Today we have social media sharing of course, but not then.


Cheryl and I were both rebels in our own way. Both Indiana born and bred, but not confined there.

Case in point – we both “recovered” our birth surnames. So yes, her last name really was Ferverda. She said, “Once a Ferverda, always a Ferverda. That’s who I am.” Amazing for a woman raised in such a small, conservative community and graduating from a Brethren college.

My eyes were opened when I was a teenager living overseas. That experience revealed what could be and that the rest of the world was not the same as Indiana.

Europe was in many ways more progressive, especially where women’s rights and opportunities were concerned.

Cheryl experienced the same epiphany when traveling. She spent time driving the breadth and depth of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. She visited Greece, and perhaps her most memorable trip, at least before the Netherlands, was to China in 2011 on a sister-cities trip. Although I must say, some of those China tales were utterly hair-raising.

Cheryl felt travel and cultural experiences were quite important and, as long as she could, took her granddaughter, whom she completely adored, on driving trips across the US each summer.

I asked Cheryl how she would describe herself once. She paused briefly and said, “I’m curious and not intimidated by much.”

That’s so understated. I laughed right out loud!

This photo, in Belgium, represents Cheryl and the crowd. The crowd might be doing something, following along, and Cheryl would be standing apart, her quizzical mind trying to figure out how something worked.

I don’t think Cheryl ever declined a travel adventure. She loved new experiences and sought to understand different cultures and what drove and inspired people.

She fully believed that we are all related, are truly each other’s keepers, and should be kind to one another, and animals. She lived those words.

Soon, Cheryl and I began to travel together. Our children were grown, and Cheryl had amassed enough vacation time that she could take extended trips.

So, that’s exactly what we did.

The Netherlands Opportunity

In the fall of 2012, I began working with professional Dutch genealogist, Yvette Hoitink. I truly thought I was at a dead end on the Dutch Ferverda line, but nothing could have been further from the truth.

In 2013, Yvette sent this:

I was working on your Ferwerda line and just found something exciting: a photograph of your relative Salomon Ferwerda (1792-1863), the brother of your ancestor Hendrik Ferwerda. I found it at the website of Tresoar, in their photo collection. It is very unusual to find a photo that early in the Netherlands. Most people only started having their photo taken after 1900. To have a picture of somebody who died in 1863 is very extraordinary. Salomon was clerk/recorder at the provincial court, a well-respected occupation that probably earned him a nice paycheck as well. He must have been quite well-off to have his picture taken.

This photo was attached.

I don’t know if Salomon looked like his brother Hendrik Jan or not, but since we don’t have any photos of our immigrant ancestor, this is as close as we’ll get.

Salomon is Hendrik Jan Ferwerda’s brother, meaning Cheryl’s great-great-grandfather’s brother. We have a few photos of Hiram born in 1894, but none of Bauke who immigrated.

In May of 2013, Yvette was approached by the director of the Tresoar Archives while in the reading room working on our family history. They were inquiring whether or not we might be interested in working with them on a pilot project for genealogical tourism.

WERE WE INTERESTED???? Is the Pope Catholic?

Cheryl and I were beyond excited to discover what else might be held at Tresoar, the archives in Leeuwarden where the Ferwerda family originated. And, of course, for Cheryl, there was the added excitement of collaborating with another library.

This trip would take a year of planning, on our part, on Yvette’s part and with Tresoar’s staff. It was truly the opportunity of a lifetime and would take place in the spring of 2014.

We had won the genealogy lottery!

We made many discoveries before, during, and after this trip. Left to right, Yvette, Sietske, an archivist in Leeuwarden, me and Cheryl enjoying our discovery.

That original document still had its wax seal. Just amazing.

Here, Cheryl is showing Leeuwarden archivist Jelle where the Ferwerda family settled in Elkhart County, Indiana.

Our ancestors in the Netherlands were Mennonites. Jelle was kind enough to take us on Sunday to see the Menno Simons Memorial and historical museum.

This would turn out to be such a joyful trip.

Tulips and Windmills

Cheryl and I discussed the trip further and kicked around the option of also doing a Tulips and Windmills river cruise out of Amsterdam.

We figured this was our one and only opportunity, and we wanted to be sure that we included everything, maximizing every minute.

Jim, my husband, decided to take his life in his hands and join us.

Cheryl’s comments:

“Let’s do it!!!”

Jim’s going along, huh? Does he realize what he’s opting into?!?!?! It’s really fine with me, but he might want to have a physch eval before taking off with us. Ha!

This is going to be so amazing!  Woohoo!

Thank you for all you have already done and what else you’ll do to make this happen. And, most of all, for letting me come along!  A trip to the Netherlands, including visiting the hometown of our ancestors, has been a dream of mine forever! You are the best!

Jim fit right in, and had he not decided to be brave and join us, we would not have these amazing pictures of Cheryl and me together.

The Ferverda’s are practical jokers, and Jim was a willing participant.

We did embark upon the river cruise which, of course, included lovely meals. Cheryl loved dessert, especially anything chocolate – like any true Ferverda.

We might have picked on her at our table slightly by pushing all of the glasses from the mousses that had already been consumed to look like she ate them.

Of course, she played right along by asking our server for another mousse, then eating two at the same time, or pretending to.

Trust me, no mousse at our table went uneaten. No chocolate was wasted.

The next night the server remembered us. I can’t imagine why. Without asking, he brought Cheryl a tray of five mousses all of her own, packaged decoratively with cling wrap so she could take them to her cabin.

I’m not sure if the server realized that we had punked her the night before or not.

We offered to help Cheryl with her mousse overload problem, but she told us in no uncertain terms to keep our mitts off of her mousses, and took them to her room.

The next morning, she proudly set all five empty glasses outside as we all left for breakfast together. She just grinned at us, a Cheshire cat grin.

I quipped that I didn’t think they served mousse for breakfast, and we all cracked up.

Traveling with Cheryl was never, ever dull.

Our Dream Trip

This is so us – acting goofy. Cheryl grinning ear to ear, and my eyes closed. I can’t tell you how MANY photos I have just like this. Jim took 4 or 5, and every one of them is this bad or worse, with one or both of us looking ridiculous. We laughed about that too.

Two wind-blown Ferverda cousins in front of the tulip fields, having returned to the Netherlands to find our bulbs and watery roots.

Writing about this today makes me teary. Not only do I miss her agonizingly, but we had so much fun. I felt like our ancestors were both accompanying us and also having a bit of a chuckle, in a kindhearted way.

Solidifying our unusual connection, we had a strange situation occur on the way over. Cheryl’s flights got messed up somehow, and she wound up in an airport she didn’t expect her to be in, where we happened to be connecting.

I looked at the escalators, and there was Cheryl, standing at the top, across an open area. Was that really Cheryl, and if so, what the heck was she doing there?

I made my way over to her through the crowds. Thankfully, she stood still, because I might never have found her again.

Sure enough, it was her. I asked what she was doing, and she nonchalantly said, “waiting for you.” I asked how she could possibly have known, given that neither of us knew we were going to be there. She said she just knew. These things happened to her with me, her sons, and Don. She often “just knew.”

We spent time in the airport together, but we couldn’t get the same flights to Amsterdam, so we continued on separately, meeting up again in the airport there to begin our great adventure.

Windmills and Tulips

Much of the Netherlands is below sea level, so the Netherlands is a land of dikes, canals, water, and boats.

Windmills drain the land, both then and now, except many of today’s windmills are turbines that are also used for electricity generation.

At Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage site, we saw working, historic windmills. The ones that would have been draining the land when our ancestors lived there.

At Kinderkijk, we climbed the inside of the windmill, just like the family who lived there would have done.

Cheryl was gloriously happy.

We didn’t yet know that the archivists and Yvette had a wonderful surprise in store for us. They had discovered that one of our ancestors owned a windmill. Most of the historic mills are gone now, too expensive to maintain, their work performed by electric motors and pumps, but miraculously, not “our windmill.”

Our beautiful windmill near Huns. Cheryl and I were ecstatic.

If Cheryl was happy at Kinderdijk, she was over the moon here, standing on our ancestor’s land.

Courtesy Yvette Hoitink

They lived, worked, slept, and farmed here not so very long ago.

Yvette took this photo of Cheryl as we approached our windmill. She says it’s her favorite picture of Cheryl.

I don’t think the word gobsmacked appropriately describes our surprise. We were overjoyed to share this part of Dutch history in such a personal way.


Of course, there were tulips too, everyplace.

We had timed our trip exactly right.

We saw strips of brightly colored tulips from the air as we were landing. They looked like a beautiful quilt. Take a look, here.

Brilliant patchwork tulip fields were everyplace.

The Keukenhof gardens were utterly stunning.

We enjoyed that garden tour immensely. Cheryl ordered some tulip bulbs to be shipped home. I hope her sons think to transplant them from her garden.

Of course, tulips and windmills aren’t the only things that the Netherlands (and Belgium) is famous for.


Our river cruise took us to Belgium. Cheryl and my mother LOVED chocolate, and I come in a close third to both of them.

The cases were full of beautiful, luscious chocolates. You could purchase pre-boxed chocolates or select your own.

Cheryl emerged from the chocolate shop with a small bag. We were each eating a chocolate. I said I liked mine. She said she really couldn’t taste the mint in hers.

None of the chocolates had English labels, so I asked how she knew it was supposed to be mint. She said from the picture on top, and showed me her chocolate.

I blurted out, “Cheryl, that’s not a mint.”

“What is it.”

“It’s marijuana, Cheryl.”

“Get out of here!!!”

“It is Cheryl. It’s legal over here.”


“Yes, I’ll go see.”

I had to go back inside the chocolate shop and take a picture to convince her.

Cheryl said that she didn’t taste anything, but it was strangely crunchy inside. She didn’t feel anything either.

She did go back inside and purchase a few more and she might or might not have shared one with me – and Jim.

Cheryl’s concern in the states with cannabis was legality, not morality. We told her that she had to be sure to eat them before returning so she didn’t get herself into hot water in customs.

I couldn’t help but think about what her Brethren grandparents would have thought. They wouldn’t have known what Cannabis was either, but they were assuredly opposed to drinking, so I’m sure their opposition would apply to any similar substance.

Cheryl loved anything chocolate, especially dark chocolate. We tried one of pretty much everything, visiting several chocolate shops.

Even white chocolate strawberries.

We had a picnic in the park with a small obligatory token sandwich accompanied by a chocolate smorgasbord on Easter Sunday.

Genealogy Tourists

While many places we visited were historic in nature, there was still a wink and a nod to tourism.

Cheryl left some mighty big shoes to fill.

Just hamming it up and laughing. We couldn’t both fit, but we tried.

After the cruise, one of the places that Yvette took us was Harlingen, where our ancestors had lived. I think there are more boats in the Netherlands than automobiles, and I know there are more bicycles.

We visited several churches in various villages. Our deJong ancestors are buried in this churchyard in Baerd, but their individual graves no longer remain. Burial plots in the Netherlands are reused due to a lack of available land.

Cheryl reading gravestones in the traditional genealogist posture.

Our ancestors sailed boats like this up and down the canals, which were the roads of the day.

One of our Ferverda ancestors, a teacher, even got trapped because there was too much ice to sail but not enough to skate, so he had to stay where he was until the canals froze.

Fog is common in the Netherlands, as is rain. You can always see the next village, identified by the church steeple above the trees in Huins, as viewed from our windmill. The churches were built on small mounds called terps, so the church and cemetery did not flood.

Our immigrant ancestor, Bauke Hendrik Ferwerda (1830-1911), served as an apprentice in a tiny village called Fiifhus – Five Houses.

Yes, it literally had/has five houses, one of which was the baker, who was his uncle.

We walked to the end of the bricked road, if you can call it that, to reach all five houses.

The canal paralleled the road, which would not have existed when Bauke lived there. The residents still use boats in the canal. Cheryl looks out over the canal and field to the next village, Wolsum, where Bauke would have delivered bread by boat each morning.

An Orange Holiday

We just happened to be there for the first-ever birthday of then recently installed King William.

Traditionally in the Netherlands, the monarch’s birthday is a holiday, widely celebrated with a nationwide party.

We were invited to participate, being Dutch descendants, so we did.

The monarchy descends from the House of Orange, so everything is orange for King’s Day. And I mean everything.

At first, I was unhappy that we lost a day of genealogy tourism, but I quickly changed my mind, realizing that this cultural experience was quite unique and something we had just accidentally stumbled into.

Orange everything was for sale, so we bought t-shirts and other paraphernalia and became honorary Dutch citizens for a day.

Cheryl and I prepared each other with our best cosmetologist attempt, then held Jim down while we prepared him. He took a little convincing but was a great sport about all of this, even the very happy drunk guy who ran up on the sidewalk and kissed him. I’m speculating there was a bet involved, and that guy won.

Jim was in shock, wondering what had just happened to him, and Cheryl and I were laughing so hard we were crying and trying to catch our breath. We quickly spirited Jim away from that rowdy bar, just in case anyone else cared to place a bet.

We had the best time, joining the Dutch citizens, eating and merry-making.

The residents of Leeuwarden participate in a form of busking on King’s Day, laying blankets out with things to sell. They have a massive, miles-long blanket sale along the canal that runs through the city center. Just Google “Netherlands King’s Day” and select images.

We were EXCEPTIONALLY refined by comparison and stone-cold sober, I swear.

The archives were closed of course, but we needed a souvenir photo of our magnificent day, dressed to the hilt in Dutch Orange, out front.

We managed to get ourselves in the local paper the following day, although by comparison we were very, very tame. The paper liked the idea that we had returned to visit the land of our ancestors and jumped right into the celebratory spirit, adopting a Dutch custom.  And yes, the reason they knew that is because one of our party talked to everyone – not naming names or anything:)

The Ferwerdas

Our genealogy adventures resumed the following day when we met a Ferwerda cousin.

Our family line emigrated, but most remained, and some still live in the area.

Our cousin had heard about the family members who had immigrated in the 1860s, although he couldn’t remember details.

He shared some of his family photos and stories with us through a translator. We were oh so grateful and truly felt connected.

Next, we visited where our ancestors had lived.

Land is at a premium, and many homes are only a few feet apart if not actually touching and connected. This alleyway led to our ancestor’s home and backyard. The current residents were exceptionally kind and invited us in to see the interior, part of which is unchanged from when our ancestors lived there.

Another ancestral location was Bolsward.

Photo courtesy of Yvette Hoitink.

Cheryl and me standing on the steps at the City Hall building in Bolsward where our ancestors lived.

I looked awfully serious, but Cheryl was smiling contentedly. While we both enjoyed this trip immensely, it gave us both a lot to consider. Our ancestors survived trials and tribulations that we knew nothing about, and some didn’t.

Early death was common. Our immigrant Ferverda ancestor’s first wife, our de Jong ancestor, died before immigrating, and he had remarried. Children died often.

What could be more Dutch than Delft? We visited the Delft factory.

We shopped for bulbs so that each spring, we would be reminded of our wonderful trip. We also shopped for Starbucks wherever we could find one. Coffee is a very Dutch thing.

We probably didn’t, but it felt like we walked hundreds of miles.

What we did do is eat our way across the Netherlands. Here, Cheryl is enjoying hot chocolate and a shared snack in an outdoor café. It was a mite chilly, but that didn’t matter. We had so much fun and immersed ourselves in Dutch everything.

It was downright cold on or near the water, but that didn’t matter either.

We followed our ancestors’ footsteps, or maybe their oar strokes, with a boat ride up the canal just as our ancestors would have done, beginning at Dokkum.

Being on the water provides a completely different perspective than today’s roads.

Photo courtesy of Yvette Hoitink.

Scrumptious Dutch treats, including stroopwafels, coffee, and tea accompanied our wonderful time on the water.

We sailed by the farms and homes where our ancestors would have lived. This was certainly their waterway home, to and from everyplace, just like our roads.

At the end of the day, we had dinner together with our friends from the archives in a traditional Dutch farmhouse turned exquisite restaurant.

We set out the next day for one last adventure.

It’s not historically relevant from a genealogy perspective, but it’s one of my favorite spontaneous escapades with Cheryl.

The Fountain

Jim did it.

He told us to behave because he wasn’t going to bail us out of Dutch jail.

Then, he had the bad judgement to leave us alone. I think he was lingering on the tour inside, and we got done ahead of him.

Our playful episode has to do with the fountain of Neptune. You can see us posing in front of it, below. I think this photo was taken on the way in. The way out was, well, a mite different.

We confided in another tour guest who was also finished and asked them to take pictures.

Our co-conspirator was all too glad to assist.

For some reason that I can’t now recall, it seemed like a really good idea to emulate the Neptune fish fountain with water from our water bottles.

We tried to synchronize, but every time one of us managed to get a representative stream going, the other was laughing uncontrollably.

Then we were both laughing uncontrollably. And so were other people around the fountain.

Ok, compose yourselves and try again.

Almost, but not quite.

Now, we’re getting wet.

We never did get our fountains synchronized. One of us, not saying who, ran out of water.

Then, we stood inside the fence, had our friend take our picture, and messaged Jim to come and bail us out.

Jim claimed he didn’t get the message, but when we showed him our photos, he said, “I can’t leave you guys together without supervision for one minute, can I?” We feigned innocence.

He said he knew we weren’t really in trouble because we were smiling.

Maybe he did get that message after all and decided to let us stew in our own juices for a bit😊

We were always smiling.

Returning Home

When we returned home, Cheryl and I resumed our jobs and regularly scheduled lives.

As we had always done, we kept in touch. I visited Fort Wayne from time to time.

Cheryl began to experience what I thought were minor health problems.

More concerning was the rapid deterioration of Don’s health.

I knew that Cheryl couldn’t consider another trip until Don either recovered or passed away, but he seemed to go from one crisis to the next like a roller-coaster.

At the end of 2016, Cheryl retired. Don needed more help, and all things considered, it seemed like it was time.

I decided to make Cheryl a retirement quilt.

While in the Netherlands, I purchased fabrics. Always a quilter at heart.

In July 2017, I planned a research trip to Fort Wayne and took Cheryl her retirement quilt. We visited our favorite restaurant, Casa, ordered our favorite foods, and I managed to surprise her with a gift bag. Surprising ever-vigilant Cheryl was no small feat.

Every single fabric in this quilt is either Dutch, from Holland, chocolate, or orange. I made myself a similar quilt with the same fabrics, as well as one for Yvette. The three Dutch musketeers.

Cheryl was thrilled and hugged me an extra long time, right before we left in a horrific storm and drenching rain that resulting in flooding. Good thing we had dinner when we did.

Cheryl later told me that her youngest son had looked the quilt over closely with her and asked about some funny-shaped leaves. He mentioned that they looked like “hemp leaves.” I explained to Cheryl how difficult it was to find fabric with those “hemp leaves” and that the entire local quilt shop was now talking about me.

Once again, we had a hearty laugh.

Laughing and smiling is how I’ll always remember Cheryl.

After my visit, I received this note:

It was so good seeing you again, and I’ve made up my mind not to let over a year pass without seeing you again!  Be warned!

I loved her for this, but when I saw her, I realized that her health had been deteriorating somewhat too.

Not much later, I called to ask if she wanted to take a trip overseas with me for a presentation, but she was in cardiac rehab.

Not surprisingly, the thing she found the most difficult about retirement was the isolation. She went from talking to people every day, all day long, to dealing with medical staff and her volunteer work. She had begun volunteering where her son is an Eagle rehabilitator, but her health issues interfered.

What none of us knew is that we were headed into Covid.

Cheryl knew that with her accumulating health challenges that she had to be especially careful. Nothing she had was terminal, but Covid certainly could be. She also didn’t want to expose Don.

Don worsened, and Cheryl moved temporarily to Silver Lake to help care for him. After a long illness, he passed away in the spring of 2021, exactly two years and one day before Cheryl. His illness and death had taken a lot out of her. They were a tightly bonded pair.

About that time, Cheryl told me that she had begun having kidney dialysis. I had no idea her condition had become so severe. She was not a candidate for a kidney transplant, so we knew at that point that she was done traveling.

Cheryl decided to move to an assisted living facility, primarily because she was no longer able to drive.

Also, about that same time, Jim and I made the decision to move to a distant state. No more driving to the Fort Wayne library. I needed to see Cheryl before we left and I’m so incredibly glad I did.

I made Cheryl a smaller quilt, just the right size to take to dialysis with her. Her son picked her up faithfully, three times a week, and dropped her off. I guess I should also mention that he also picked her up from dialysis and took her home😊

In preparation for our visit, Cheryl and I both isolated as best we could, masked always, and took Covid tests before we saw each other. We were so incredibly glad to be in each other’s company again. It had been two years, thanks to Covid.

I picked her up, and we went to our favorite restaurant which was nearly vacant, thankfully. We had chosen to go in the middle of the afternoon and sat in a corner, away from everyone.

I could tell she didn’t feel well and tired easily, but she still had her sense of humor, and we so enjoyed our visit.

I gave her the Dutch tulip quilt that reminded me so of the Keukenhof Gardens which is why I selected those fabrics. I told her it was the perfect size for dialysis.

We lingered over our meal, never wanting it to end. We talked and laughed, just like old times, except this time, we knew it wasn’t.

I drove her home, something I had never done before because she had always driven. I could tell that losing her independence bothered her. Always the optimist, she told me how grateful she was for her two sons and their unwavering loyalty.

We sat in her driveway and talked for a few more minutes, not wanting our visit to end. Then silence fell. We both knew she had to get out of the car, and I had to leave.

I was struggling mightily not to cry because I knew that if I cried, she would know that I knew how bad her health really was. Then she would cry. Then we would both be a crying mess. We needed to maintain the illusion of normalcy. We didn’t want to talk about the elephant in the car. Plus, I know we both wanted to be wrong.

I told her I hoped to return the following year, depending on Covid. I actually wanted to return that fall, but that wasn’t to be.

Cheryl climbed out of the car and walked slowly towards the house. No spring in her step anymore.

I backed up and out into the street, then put the car in drive.

I pulled ahead a few feet, then, for some reason, stopped and looked at her.

She had turned around and was watching me, standing in the middle of the driveway, hugging her quilt to her chest, both arms wrapped around it, and smiling. Not a huge laughing smile, but a contented, loving, accepting smile.

It both warmed and broke my heart.

We both knew in that moment that we would never see each other again in this lifetime.

I didn’t want to believe that, though. We both needed hope. Neither of us was ready. I’m still not.

A few days later, her son texted me this picture of Cheryl holding her quilt when he picked her up for dialysis.

She told me that she loved her quilt because it was a conversation starter. People asked her about it, and she told them the whole story. As bad as Covid had been due to isolation for a woman who loved to talk to people, dialysis was good for her in more than one way.

I was so glad I had given her this gift of love, warmth, and human interaction.

The Final Days

Cheryl had what she expected to be an outpatient medical procedure on Friday, but wound up having to be admitted. Her son who picked her up and took her to the hospital that morning told me she was waiting and covered with her quilt when he arrived.

Once again, it both warmed and broke my heart. I am so very glad she used it and knew how much I loved her when she did.

A couple of weeks earlier, on Mother’s Day, I had texted this picture to Cheryl and her sons.

It had popped up in my Facebook memories, and I figured it would make her smile, if she could see it.

I seldom heard from her because she could no longer see well, plus, as ironic as it seems, personal communication wasn’t her strong suit. Unfortunately, she never signed up for Facebook, which I think would have gone a long way, especially during Covid, toward helping her feel less isolated. For all its faults, Facebook helps us stay connected to those we love.

On Sunday, one of her sons messaged me and said he had somehow missed this photo on his phone on Mother’s Day. He told me that Cheryl was hospitalized and not doing well.

I didn’t even see that message initially and probably wouldn’t have grasped the gravity of what “Not doing well” meant, but I would surely have asked.

Then, the next message arrived. I saw that one immediately, meaning I saw both of them at the same time.

Cheryl was gone. Closed her eyes and slipped away. I was utterly dumbstruck. And so crushed that I had missed one final opportunity to talk to her on the phone. That four-hour window. Maybe she preferred it that way.

Her son thanked me for giving her a final laugh before she passed over.

I was so glad I could do that but felt just gutted at the same time. I still do.

Like she and Don, we were a bonded pair. The wind had been jerked right out of my sails.

How could Cheryl, the woman who could handle anything, be gone?

Left Unsaid

I’ve left a few things, like names, left unsaid in order to protect the privacy of her sons and granddaughter whom she loved more than life itself.

Cheryl was incredibly proud of her children. Her son who was interested in sustainable farming, her son who served in the military and now in law enforcement, her son who rehabilitates raptors, her son who creates marvelous meals and cooks for holidays, her son who has a special talent for finding travel deals, her son who raised a wonderful daughter, her son who cared for his ill father, her son who took her, and picked her up from dialysis, and so forth. And no, she doesn’t have that many sons. They just have multiple endearing qualities.

She sent this a few years ago:

On Sunday, I’ll be travelling with my son to Shipshewana, Indiana, so that the adult female eagle he’s been rehabbing can be released back out into the wild! It’s such a breath-taking experience to see one of these giant birds take wing. He’s the main handler of this eagle so he’s really proud of her progress. I already have goosebumps!

I’m so lucky they both live close by and get to see them often. They love family gatherings and lots of talking!

She also told me one time in great detail how much she respected and admired her sons for how they cared for their disabled father before his death.

She hoped to join her son in a specialized farming endeavor and was so proud of his education.

She was extremely grateful, as well, that her son that blessed her with a granddaughter made sure she got to spend quality time with that child.

She said her granddaughter chattered a lot. Geeze, I wonder where she got that. I bet they were quite a pair on their cross-country journeys.

I hope that Cheryl had the opportunity to express whatever she felt she needed or wanted to say to her sons and granddaughter before she literally flew the coop.

In case she didn’t, I’m telling them that she said they had turned out to be “fine men,” men she was immensely proud of having as her sons.

Flying Free

Cheryl and I talked about pretty much everything.

We both believe that the body is but a temporary vessel for the spirit, however you define that.

The connection and love we feel are not disconnected because the vessel was broken and no longer served the spirit.

Her spirit flew free, no longer hampered and confined by her broken body.

That’s incredibly, indescribably difficult to remember in the midst of agonizing grief for those who she left behind. But she reminds us.

She is still here.

Love is eternal.

An hour or so after she passed, I was simply sitting, stunned, crying, when I noticed a tiny hummingbird fly up to the bottom corner of my window. No flowers, nothing there to attract it. It fluttered for a long minute or so, looking in directly at me, then turned and flew away. I have never had that happen before.

Cheryl is here in the wind that lifts the Eagle’s wings.

In the joyful laughter of those she loved.

In our very breath.

When my sister died unexpectedly in 1990, I felt this same level of grief. The poem we read at her service ended with:

Your soul in everlasting life has found a better way,

But you will always be, for me,

A little step away.

A day or so after Cheryl’s passing, my friend sent me this YouTube link to the Highwayman. I needed to hear this.

Indeed, Cheryl is a HighwayWoman,


Off on another amazing adventure

In another dimension

Yet still here.

Here in the vibrant colors of the spring.

In the tulips.

Here as an inspiration from afar.

Ever vigilant.

Watching over us.

Her loving spirit lives on.

And on.

And on.

And on.

Until all of those she loves

Escape our Earthly bonds

Rising on the wings of eagles

And join her

Flying free.

Save a place for me.

See you when I catch up, Cheryl.

I love you.

Jacques Lor (c1679), Arms-Bearer Raised on the Banks of the Rivière du Dauphin in Nova Scotia – 52 Ancestors #399

Jacques Lor (also L’Or, Laure, Lore, and Lord) was born just a few kilometers from Port-Royal, Acadia, the second oldest of 10 children born to Julien Lor and Anne Charlotte Girouard.

In case you’re wondering about the spelling of his surname, today, it’s often spelled Lord, and sometimes Lore, but the original church records in Port Royal spell it L’Or, Lor, Laure, and Lore, but never, not one time is it spelled Lord until in later generations after the 1755 deportation.

Jacques is listed as eight years old on the 1686 Acadian census and 14 in 1693. In 1698, he is listed as age 20, 21 in 1700, and 23 in 1701, so he was probably born in 1679.

In 1703, he is listed with his parents who have four girls and four boys, of whom there are four arms-bearers in the family.

By 53zodiac – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Jacques would have been one of those arms-bearers with a gun that probably looked something like this French Telle smooth flintlock musket or Fusil de chasse, “gun of the hunt,” commonly in use at that time.   

This Iroquois hunter is carrying this same French trade gun.

French soldiers were issued this gun, so it’s likely the armament the French Acadian men would have been carrying as well.

Jacques, his parents, and siblings would have hunted and fished for their meals and probably dressed more like the Iroquois than the European French, wearing homespun woolen clothing, probably in addition to leather made from the skins of the animals they harvested for food. The bounty of the forest and waterways would have sustained them, along with any fruits and vegetables they could have raised.

Jacques grew up on the banks of the tidal Rivière du Dauphin, now renamed the Annapolis River. He probably fished for mackerel, bass, trout, and smelt then as the fishermen do now.

Beyond the estuary, above, looking towards the Lor family’s land, which is out of sight behind the bend on the left, the river empties into the Bay of Fundy near the Melanson settlement.

The Annapolis River Valley beneath the surrounding mountains is some of the most productive agricultural land in the province and enjoys a mild micro-climate produced by the mountains.

Perhaps Jacques’s father, Julien, had planted apple trees that grow in abundance in this region.

Jacques married Angélique Comeau, literally the girl from across the river. Her father, Pierre Comeau, lived about a mile and a half, by water, of course, from Jacques’s father, Julien Lor. Jacques would have rowed his birch-bark canoe to court the lovely Angélique.

They married on Monday, November 19, 1708, in Port-Royal

Well, we don’t actually know where they married, but it was recorded in the church books in Port Royal.

They may have been basking in honeymoon bliss, but around them, Queen Anne’s War began with hostilities between the English and French ramping up.

Jacques and Angélique had two children:

  • Jacques Laure, named after his father, was born October 12 and baptized October 13, 1709, in Port-Royal, Acadia. Godparents were Maurice Vignot and Catherine Comeau. He died on Saturday, October 28, 1786, in Nicolet, Quebec.
  • Angelique Laure was born on September 22, 1711, and baptized by Sieur de Pobomkou Lejeune. Godparents were Claude Tibaudeau and Magdelaine Laure, Jacques’s sister. The baptism wasn’t recorded until February 11, 1712. She died sometime after 1730.

Something went wrong, though, and Angelique died sometime after her daughter’s birth in September and before the end of the year.

There may be more to the story of Angelique’s death.

All Hell Broke Loose

Never a peaceful place, the local priest, Justinien Durant, had been kidnapped and taken to Boston in January of 1711 and wasn’t returned until year-end. The baby’s baptism was delayed, as was the recording of Angelique Comeau’s burial.

Angelique’s death would have left Jacques with a two-year-old and a newborn. It would make sense for him to remarry quickly, but that may not be what happened, given what else was transpiring. The Acadians had been preparing for war for the past three years.

In 1708, the store at Fort Anne was built. Additionally, the Acadians were shoring up their defenses. A new powder magazine and bombproof barracks were built, and the riverbanks were cleared to remove cover for attackers. This would have included the land where Jacques and Julien Lor lived along the Dauphin River. Each man was responsible for protecting his homestead and family. Those arms-bearers were for more than just procuring food now.

An additional ship was built, and relationships were established with privateers who welcomed the opportunity to take English ships.

Prisoners taken from English corsairs reported that the English were planning attacks in 1708 and 1709. Everyone in the Acadian settlements was on high alert.

Port Royal was a market area. Soldiers paid a set price that was below market price. The church was miles away.

The Fort was established in 1630 near the River Alain, with the lower town along the main river by the fort. The upper town ran along Riviere Alain.

Farms ran along the basin and river from Goat Island 5 leagues above the fort as early as 1720. Settlements were in groups of 5-10 families. The largest group of 30 families (150-200 people) was around Belle Isle Marsh, 6-8 miles above the fort.

This map shows the region, along with the settlement areas, one of which is labeled Montagne Ville, upstream from the fort, on the north side of the River.

This original map from the Nova Scotia Archives shows this entire region. I’d wager that the reason that both Julien and Jacques Lor obtained the dit name of La Montagne can be found on this map.

This 1722 map of the entire River Basin, plus the fort and the nearby farms includes both the Lor, labeled La Montagne, and Comeau homesteads, labeled L’Esturgeon.

The LaMontagne homestead is designated at #12 and Comeau across the river at #43.

Here’s another view showing the mountains between the river and the bay. This mountain range would, in time, become known as “North Mountain.”

One Capt. Morris writes of how the channel south of Goat Island was shallow and rocky.  Where the Lor family lived, east of Goat Island, it was wide and deep, but there was a strong ebb and flow of the tides. It was hard to control ships without a good wind.

The five miles from Goat Island to the Fort had water, even in low tides. Small vessels could travel as far as 18 miles above the fort, near present-day Bridgetown. Large boats could go 9 miles further to “the falls” on the tide if they could stand being beached at low tide. But the bottom was “intolerably rocky and foul.”

On September 24, 1710, Port Royal was attacked again by the English, who sent five ships and 3400 troops. This time, the English were well prepared. In addition to 400 marines from England, Massachusetts provided 900 soldiers, Connecticut 300, and New Hampshire 100. Iroquois were recruited as scouts.

It was ugly.

Par Charny — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0,

In preparation for conflict, the Governor of Acadia had begun construction of a stone and earthen fort in 1701 which was largely completed by 1704, six years before they desperately needed it.

The Acadians, with their 300 soldiers, stood absolutely no chance, although they did manage to hold the fort for 19 days that October of 1710. The episode became known as the Siege of Port Royal, or the Conquest of Acadia. Jacques, age 31, his father, Julien, age 57, and two of his brothers, Alexander, age 35, and Pierre, about 29, would have been involved. Every male old enough to handle a gun and not endanger themselves or someone else would have been holding that fort.

Here is what we know about the battle:

As the fleet sails north, it is joined by a dispatch ship sent by Thomas Matthews, captain of the Chester; it was carrying deserters from the French garrison, who reported that the morale of the French troops was extremely low . Nicholson sends the ship ahead with one of the transports; as they entered Digby Gully , they received fire from groups of Micmacs on the coast. The ships retaliate with their guns, with neither side taking any casualties. On October 5, the main British fleet arrived at Goat Island, about 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) south of Port-Royal 23 . That afternoon, the Caesar transport runs aground while attempting to enter Annapolis and is eventually swept away by the rocks. Her captain, part of her crew and 23 soldiers died, while a company commander and some 25 other people fought ashore.

The following day, October 6, British marines began landing north and south of the fortress and town. The northern force was joined by four New England regiments under the command of Colonel Vetch, while Nicholson led the remaining New England troops as part of the southern force. The landings were uneventful, with fire from the fort being countered by one of Fleet’s long-range bombers 24. Although later accounts of the siege state that Vetch’s detachment was part of a strategic plan to encircle the fort, contemporary accounts report that Vetch wanted to have command somewhat independent of Nicholson. These same accounts state that Vetch never came within range of the fort’s guns before the end of the siege; his attempts to erect a battery of mortars in a muddy area opposite the fort, across Allain Creek were repulsed by the fire of 25 , 24 cannon. The southern force encountered guerrilla-type resistance outside the fort, with Acadian and native defenders firing small arms from houses and wooded areas, in addition to taking fire from the fort. This fire caused three deaths among the British, but the defenders could not prevent the British on the south side from establishing a camp about 400 meters from the fort.

Over the next four days the British landed their guns and brought them to camp. Fire from the fort and its supporters outside continued, and British bombers wreaked havoc inside the fort with their fire each night. With the imminent opening of new British batteries, Subercase sent an officer with a flag of parliament on 10 October. The negotiations started badly, because the officer was not announced correctly by a beater. Each side ended up taking an officer from the other, mainly for reasons of military etiquette, and the British continued their siege work.

On October 12, the forward siege trenches and guns within 91 m (300 ft) of the fort opened fire. Nicholson sends Subercase a demand for surrender, and negotiations resume. At the end of the day, the parties reach an agreement on the terms of surrender, which is formally signed the next day 29 . The garrison is permitted to leave the fort with all the honors of war, “their arms and baggage, drums beating and flags flying” 27. The British must transport the garrison to France, and the capitulation carries specific protections to protect the inhabitants. These conditions provide that “inhabitants of the cannon firing range of the fort” may remain on their properties for up to two years if they wish, provided they are prepared to take the oath to the British Crown.

Ironically, one of the terms of surrender stated that inhabitants within cannon-shot, three English miles, could stay for two years, meaning they had two years to transport their “moveable items” to a French territory which was any of the rest of Acadia, at least until the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Of course, that meant abandoning their farms and decades of invested work. This edict would have applied to the Lor family including Jacques, his parents, and oldest sibling, Alexander who had married in 1703.

481 Acadians are reported to have pledged allegiance to the Queen of England, but I have been unable to find a list of the signatories. Then the French troops left Port Royal, now renamed by the English to Annapolis Royal. 

450 English soldiers remained, but they clearly didn’t want to be there. By June of 1711, only 100 were left – the rest having either deserted or died. Acadians Guillaume Bourgeois, Jean Comeau, and Pierre LeBlanc of Annapolis; and Germain Bourgeois of Beaubassin and Francois Brassard of Chipody (who were passing through Annapolis) were arrested, but we don’t know the outcome.

Native Americans were involved on both sides and the “peace” was tense, at best.

Grand Pre

In Grand Pre, the English arrived under the premise of peace but were there to take the property of the Acadians. Peter Melanson, Alexander Bourg, Anthony LeBlanc, John & Peter Landry were chosen to be deputies to bring the word to the Acadians who hadn’t heard that their property was now the government’s.

The Grand Pre Acadians were asked to pay 6000 livres ($1200) in money or in poultry, plus 20 pistoles ($80) every month to maintain the governor’s table. This, in addition to a tax to pay the troops that would allow them to travel to and trade with Port Royal.

A document was composed on November 16th saying that the deputies were granted the power to collect the money. Samuel Vetch, the Governor who took command immediately after the 1710 capture, wanted to extract as much money from the Acadians as possible. Six months of sickness and under-supply had reduced his forces to 100 men, and he couldn’t reasonably expect to impose the tax forcibly.

The Acadians weren’t used to being taxed and found every excuse possible not to pay or to pay as little as possible. When the Acadians were asked to help by working on fortifications, any number of excuses were offered up…horses were too thin, the Indians might attack, there was ice on the river, etc. This uncooperative attitude became a signature of the Acadians toward the British through the years. The Grand Pre residents flat refused to take that oath, stating that France and England were still arguing over boundaries, so they weren’t taking any oath until that was settled.

Uneasy Times

In 1711, a detachment of British soldiers from Fort Anne went upriver and was ambushed by a band of Indians. Thirty soldiers, a major, and the fort engineer were killed at Bloody Creek, 12 miles east of Annapolis Royal.

On April 13, 1713, Acadia officially passed to England, with France ceding all of Nova Scotia or Acadia with its 2000 residents. One author reported that in the past century, France had sent less than 200 colonists to Acadia and, at this point, focused on Louisiana. Port Royal was renamed Annapolis Royal and the Rivière du Dauphin was renamed the Annapolis River. I’d bet that the Acadians continued to refer to both with their original French names for the duration of their lives.

The British wanted to deport the Acadians at that time, but they realized that they needed the Acadians to feed them. The Acadians knew the land and how to make it produce.

Vetch wrote to his superiors in London on November 24, 1714:

“One hundred of the Acadians (who) were born upon this continent and are perfectly at home in the woods, (and) can march upon snowshoes and understand the use of birch canoes, are of more value and service than five times their number of raw men newly arrived from Europe. So their skill in the fishery, as well as the cultivating of the soil must make at once Cape Breton the most powerful colony the French have in America, and to the greatest danger and damage to all the British colonies as well as the universal trade of Great Britain.”

He also wrote to the Board of Trade in London:

“The removal of (the Acadians) and their cattle to Cape Breton would be a great addition to that new colony, so it would wholly ruin Nova Scotia unless supplied by a British colony, which could not be done in several years, so that the Acadians with their stocks of cattle remaining here is very much for the advantage of the Crown.”

In other words, if the Acadians removed to another French area, it would simultaneously strengthen that colony while devastating Nova Scotia.

Reportedly, another 36 Acadians signed a provisional oath on January 13, 1716, to “be faithful and maintain true allegiance to His Majesty King George, as long as I shall be in Acadia or Nova Scotia and that I shall be permitted to withdraw where so ever I shall think fit with all my moveable goods and effects when I shall think fit without any one…to hinder me.”

We will see.

The 1714 Census

Jacque was married for the first time in 1708, so the first and only census where he would be found as a head of household is in 1714, where he is listed as “Jacques La Montagne and wife, one son and one daughter,” who was living near the fort at Port Royal. This census was taken by the British.

This is confusing since Jacques’s wife died in 1711, and he didn’t remarry, at least not that we know of, until 1721. It would be very unusual for Jacques to remain unmarried for a decade, especially with two very young children, so it’s entirely possible that he had a second wife between Angelique and Marie Charlotte that we know nothing about.

Did Jacques remarry during the time in 1711 while the priest was gone? Did something transpire during the war years? Or is the census incorrect? He only has two children, presumably those born to Angelique, in the census.

I checked every church record by any similar name from 1712 through 1720 to see if Jacques is listed as either a groom or a father in a baptismal record, and he is not.

If Jacques remarried, there would surely have been children and either the marriage or his wife’s death would have been recorded. Apparently, the census was wrong about his wife, or the presumed wife was a female caring for those two children. Someone had to help as he could not take care of young children and work the fields, on the dykes, and hunt simultaneously – not to mention the ongoing warfare in the region. My original guess was that one of either his or Angelique’s siblings took those children during this time, perhaps their godparents. If that was the case, then they would not have been listed with Jacques in the census, along with a wife.

The only other possibility that I can think of, and it’s remote, is that either Jacques married or employed a Native non-Catholic woman during this decade. We know Native people were living near Port Royal because they are shown with the Acadians in the 1708 census. The Native people were heavily intermarried with the Acadians. Records of Native families, unless they were converted Catholics, would not be found in the church records. However, given the Lor family’s commitment to Catholicism, I think this scenario unlikely, so please do not put this in any trees. I’m dying to know who that 1714 mystery woman is though. It’s possible she may be one of Jacques’s older nieces who stepped up to help out. The British census-taker probably presumed wife. Language would have been a barrier.

A Lose-Lose Situation

The area was still in upheaval. By now, the Acadians were willing to leave and settle elsewhere in French Canada, but in a twist of jaw-dropping irony, the British wouldn’t let them. In Vetch’s 1714 letter to London, he said that except for two families from New England, everyone else wanted to move to Isle Royal. He states that it would empty the area of inhabitants. Even the Indians (with whom the French intermarried and shared their religion) would take their trade to Isle Royale to follow the Acadians. This would make Isle Royale a much larger colony and put Nova Scotia in danger.

He also mentioned that some families, those with few belongings, had already moved, but the rest planned on doing so the next summer after the harvest is in, taking their 5000 cattle, sheep, and hogs with them. This tells us that each of the approximately 500 families each had about ten head of cattle. Vetch said that their removal would revert the colony to a primitive state, requiring a long time and lots of money to obtain that much livestock to import from New England.

Suddenly, the Acadians were valuable.

Some Acadians tried to leave in homemade boats but were caught and returned. Many didn’t plant their fields because they thought they were leaving. Now, they were essentially being held hostage in their own lands that they thought they were being forced to lose, but now can’t depart, and there are no crops to harvest.

What a mess.

In 1715, the Fort gates were shut, and the Acadians were prevented from trading with the Fort and also with the Indians. The Acadians were ready to leave, but they couldn’t.

The situation dragged on.

In 1717, Captain Doucette became the Lieutenant Governor. By this time, some Acadians had decided to stay, on peaceful terms. When the Indians learned about this, they threatened the Acadians. Though they had always been friends and many were relatives, the Indians didn’t want the Acadians to defect to the English side. Doucette demanded that all Acadians take the oath, but they thought that by doing so, it would tie them down … and they still wanted to move. The Acadians said if they were to stay, they wanted protection from the Indians, and the oath would have to be stated in a manner such that they would not have to fight their own countrymen. However, Doucette wanted an unconditional oath, and nothing happened due to the impasse.


On May 9, 1720, those who had become British subjects were offered free exercise of their religion, a guarantee to their property and their civil rights. Official notices were translated into French to be distributed, a policy that continued from 1720 to 1755.  An offer was made that they could leave but not take any of their possessions with them.

They answered that they feared the Indians if they took the oath and promised to be faithful and peaceful. They explained that they couldn’t leave in the year (allotted by the treaty) because no one would buy their land. The French government wanted them to move, but the land they had to offer in exchange was poor, and the English government was underhandedly making them stay. The English didn’t want to lose their source of supplies. The British complained that the Acadians were hard to control…the Minas Acadians even more so than the Port Royal Acadians.

I suspect that “hard to control” is an understatement! The Acadians were furious and, furthermore, understood that the English needed them, and hated that they did.

Those poor Acadians. This is the drama that never ends.

Plot Twist, Or Two

General Phillips arrived later in 1720 and issued a proclamation that they must take the oath unconditionally or leave the country in three months. He also said they couldn’t sell or take any of their property with them, thinking that would surely force the Acadians to take the oath. They still refused, saying that the Indians were threatening them. When the Acadians proposed, “let us harvest our crops and use vehicles to carry it,” Philipps figured that they were planning on taking their possessions with them and denied their request.

The Acadians felt that their only route of “escape” was by land, so they began to make a road from Minas to Port Royal, about 70 miles.

The governor issued an order that no one should move without his permission and sent an order to Minas to stop work on the road.

The English stated that the Acadians desired to take the Port Royal cattle to Beaubassin, about 300 miles today by road but not nearly as far by water. Beaubassin was a fortified French possession.

Removing a food source was the last thing the English wanted.

Philipps pronounced the Acadians ungovernable, stubborn, and that they were directed by bigoted priests. He went on to say that the Acadians couldn’t be allowed to go because it would strengthen the population of their French neighbors. The Acadians were also needed to build fortifications and to produce supplies for the forts. He stated that they couldn’t leave until there were enough British subjects to be settled in their place. He hoped that plans were being made to bring in British subjects. He expected problems from the Indians, who didn’t want the Acadians to move.

Instead, France began sending people to Ile Royal. The fort at Louisbourg was begun in 1720. Other settlements in the region included St. Pierre near the Straight of Canso, which had slate mines, and Niganiche, further north on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a fishing port.

Life Went On

Among this drama that had continued for more than a decade, family life went on, despite everything. People got married, babies were born and baptized, people died and were buried. The Priests did their jobs, and the Acadian families supported each other. Their religious ceremonies and services, along with the seasonal activities, gave their lives some semblance of rythym and normalcy.

I can only imagine the heated discussions surrounding those requested and then required oaths though. Gatherings must have been interesting.

I’m sure that everyone was anxious and afraid, constantly under threat of losing everything up to and including their loved ones and their lives.

A Wedding

It was under this cloud that Jacques married secondly to Charlotte Bonnevie on Monday August 18, 1721, in Port-Royal, err, I mean Annapolis Royal. Perhaps, at least for a few days, the newlyweds didn’t notice anything else.

Jacques is recorded as Angelique’s widower, not as the widower of anyone else. Of course, if the church didn’t recognize a marriage, they wouldn’t have recognized him as a widower either.

Jacques and Charlotte Bonnevie had eight children.

  • Charles L’or was born on November 23 and baptized on November 24, 1722, in Port-Royal, Acadia. Godparents were Charles Thibaudaut and Francoise Bonnevie. He married Marguerite Garceau, daughter of Daniel Garceau and Anne Doucet, on Monday January 20, 1755, in Port-Royal, Acadia. Witnesses were Claude Landry, Jean-Baptiste Poirier, Charles Melancon, Jean Granger.
  • Joseph L’Or or Lor was born and baptized on February 19, 1725, in Port-Royal, Acadia. Godparents were Joseph Amiraut and Jean Doucet, wife of Pierre L’Or. He married Marie-Josephe Garceau, daughter of Pierre Garceaux and Agnes Doucet, on Tuesday February 3, 1750, in Port-Royal. Witnesses were Pierre Lore, Charles Lore, Pierre Garceaux, and Laurent Doucet.

French Neutrals

In 1725, it seemed that a solution might have been reached regarding that oath of allegiance after ill-tempered Governor Armstrong arrived. Despite his disposition and violent temper, he realized he needed the Acadians and convinced the Port Royal Acadians, representing about one-fourth of the Acadian population, to take the oath by reminding them that England would not allow Catholics to serve in the Army. Their concern was having to fight against their countrymen and family members. Encouraged by his success, he tried the same thing in Minas, but it failed.

Then he offered to allow them to take the following oath: “I do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King George the Second, so help me God.”  This meant that they wouldn’t have to “take up arms” against the French or Indians, they could leave whenever they wanted, and they had the freedom to have priests and to practice the Catholic religion.

At this point, they began to be known as the “Neutral French” or French Neutrals. This seems like a much better environment in which to build a family. Jacques’s next child arrived in 1728.

  • Pierre Benjamin Lor was born on January 25, 1728, and baptized the next day in Port-Royal, Acadia. Godparents were Pierre Olivier, resident of Beaubassin, and Marie Doucet, wife of Charles Lor. He married Marie Blanchard in May 1762 in exile and had his marriage validated in Kamouraska, Quebec, on August 10, 1764.

That Oath – AGAIN

In 1729, that 1725 oath was considered too lenient and declared null and void. Everyone was unhappy, but the Acadians were unwavering in their insistence on a conditional oath, which they took in 1730.

This is where it gets interesting.

Phillips, the old commander that was sent to replace Armstrong, reported that the Acadians took this oath:

“I sincerely promise and swear, as a Christian, that I will be utterly faithful and will truly obey His Majesty King George the Second, whom I acknowledge as the sovereign Lord of Nova Scotia and Acadia. So help me God.”

That’s what Phillips reported back to London, but the actual oath continued, as follows:

“… that the inhabitants, when they have sworn hereto, will not be obliged to take up arms against France or against the Savages, and the said Inhabitants have further promised that they will not take up arms against the King of England or against its government.”

The priest and a notary signed as witnesses, but Phillips only sent the first part back to England, in essence buying peace with this move.

For the next 15 or 20 years, the Acadians were left alone, and their population grew rapidly. However, those additional people strained the seams of the Acadian settlements and the Acadians were not free to colonize additional areas. England banned Acadian development of new land, but they did expand gradually into areas adjacent to their settlements. The Acadians were hard-working, skilled at their tasks, traded well, and had high moral standards. They built dykes so that all of the land was available for farming. Farms were divided within families since new land was reserved for Protestants. Catholicism was prohibited, but the English turned an intentional blind eye, and the Acadians worshiped without interference.

Ironically, the British continued to try to tax the Acadians, who continued to refuse and evade their efforts. The Acadians had come masters of excuses.

Based on all of this, we know that the Jacques Lore family was living near the fort, along the Annapolis River on family land, as had his father, Julien, who died in 1724.

The Family Grows

Jacques and Charlotte added five more children to their family.

  • Jean Lor was born August 9th and baptized August 13, 1730, in Port Royal. Godparents were Rene Petito and Angelique Lor, daughter of Jacques Lor. He married Marie Garceau, daughter of Daniel Garceau and Anne Doucet, around 1765, probably in New York. The marriage was revalidated in Bécancour on September 28, 1767.
  • Paul Lore was born and baptized on December 21, 1733. Godparents were Jacques Bonnevie and Marie Lore, Jacques’s sister.
  • Claude Poncy Lore was born on September 21, 1736, and the baptism was registered on August 12, 1737. Godparents were Pierre Lanoue and Marguerite Beliveau.
  • François Lore was born on August 10, 1739, and was baptized the same day. Godparents were Joseph Lore and Francoise Lore.
  • Honoré Laure was born on June 17, 1742, and baptized by Abraham Bourg. The baptism was registered on June 24, 1742. Godparents were Francois Miraut and Marie Joseph Laure. He married Appoline Garceau, daughter of Daniel Garceau and Anne Doucet, around 1765, probably in New York. The marriage was rehabilitated in Bécancour on September 28, 1767.

Charlotte Bonnevie is widely reported to have died in 1758 when a ship sank, but I question this narrative. I’ll discuss this further in her article.

Something Happened in 1742

One thing that makes me suspicious is that their last baptized child was Honoré, born in 1742 when Charlotte was only 36 years old. It would be very unusual for her not to have given birth to at least two if not three or four additional children.

Jacques’ mother lived until January of 1742. He probably helped her on the home place, if he didn’t live there with her. It’s also possible that the reason there were no more children after 1742 was that Jacques died too.

A 1745 report from Port Royal said the Acadian homes were “wretched wooden boxes, without conveniences, and without ornaments, and scarcely containing the most necessary furniture …” A visitor in the 1750s stated that “the houses of the village (Annapolis Royal) … are mean, and in general built of wood.”

The situation deteriorated significantly under Governor Charles Lawrence, who wanted to get rid of the Acadians. He used acts of individuals to make charges against the whole population. He revoked the former governor’s orders not to use military force if the Acadians refused to comply. One example was that if an Acadian was ordered to get firewood, and he didn’t do it promptly … his house would be used for fuel.


The Expulsion Begins

In 1742, Abraham Bourg who baptized Honoré also lived near the Fort, so it makes sense that Jacques’s family was still living in that vicinity in 1755 when the Expulsion began. They hadn’t been free to go anyplace else.

On July 28, 1755, Governor Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council decided to deport the Acadians. The horrific campaign began on August 11th. Many Acadians, especially outside of the Annapolis Royal area took to the woods and, in essence, disappeared into the Micmac population.

The Acadians and their Native allies and family members provided much more resistance than the British expected. They spent years clearing and chasing the Acadians, never completely eradicating them.

Stephen White estimated that there were a total of about 14,100 Acadians, with about 11,500 being deported and at least 5,000 of those perishing of disease, starvation, and shipwrecks. Another estimate suggests that half of the Acadians “disappeared” into remote areas, or maybe disappeared altogether. We’ll never know or account for everybody. We do know that some Acadian families escaped to Camp d”Esperance.

The British had difficulty rounding up the Acadians in the Port Royal area, which took them from August until December 1755. The Acadians were not going to relent and “go quietly into the night” without resistance.

According to

“The Acadians at Annapolis Royal were then shipped off from Goat Island at 5:00 o’clock in the morning on Monday, December 8, 1755. Lawrence specifically instructed that the sloop Dove be sent to Annapolis to take the inhabitants to Connecticut “to which the vessel belongs.” Many died upon this ship as it was blown off course for months. It left with 278 exiles and arrived in Connecticut almost six months later with only 180.

Another ship departed from Port Royal on December 15th for Connecticut with 114 unwilling passengers, and at least one more vessel left with 280 in January 1756.

The Brigge Experiment also departed for New York on December 8th with 250 aboard One report states that it too was also blown off course, arriving in May, but another states that it arrived on January 30, 1756.

A second ship left for New York as well from Cape Sable which is on the far southwest tip of Nova Scotia, so unlikely to have carried Jacques’s family.

Other ships were also destined for Pennsylvania and Maryland, but it does not appear that Jacques’s family was on board those, assuming, which is always a bad idea, that they had all managed to board the same ship.

Jacques’ family would have been herded into some ship that set sail with its unwilling hostages, landing a few weeks or months later with nothing except each other and the clothes they were wearing. The lucky ones hadn’t lost family members in the process.

What Happened to Jacques?

Here’s the challenge. We don’t know if Jacques or his wife, either one, was alive in 1755.

One researcher reported that after the exile, Jacques returned to Canada with his son Pierre-Benjamin and they settled in Kamouraska where Jacques died. That’s accurate for Pierre, but I have found no evidence that Jacque either arrived or died there. He should have a burial record. They also reported that Jacque and Angelique’s three children produced no heirs. I’m not sure quite how they arrived at this conclusion, but Jacques and Angelique only had two children. The third child attributed to them by this researcher actually belonged to Jacques’s brother.

I checked PRDH and found no indication in the church records that Jacques ever made it to Quebec. The earliest Quebec records for a Jacques Lord/Laure or any other spelling are in Kamouraska in 1764 when the first Acadians began arriving from afar. In 1764, Jacques would have been 86 years old. It’s not impossible, but it’s unlikely that he lived that long.

The Jacques that witnessed this marriage might be one source of the confusion. This Jacques is probably Jacques’s son who died in Quebec in 1786.

It’s possible that both Jacques and his wife were both deceased prior 1755, meaning that his children boarded those ships as orphans. It’s almost certain that one of them had died by 1743 when Charlotte would have become pregnant with the next child.

In 1742, Jacques would have been 53 years old.

He would have been 66 in 1755 with children ranging in age from 13 to 46, beginning with his eldest surviving child, Jacques. We know the bolded individuals survived until at least shortly before the exile began.

  • Jacques – age 46 – apparently never married. Died in Quebec in 1786 after the exile.

This Jacques has been confused with his father who was born in 1679 and would have been 97 years old in 1786, not 79.

  • Angelique – age 43 if she survived. We have no marriage or death record for her although we know she was alive in 1730 when she witnessed a baptism.
  • Charles – age 33 – married in 1755 just a few months before the deportation began.
  • Joseph – age 30 – married in 1750.
  • Pierre Benjamin – age 27 – married Marie Joseph Blanchard in 1763 in Exile and died in Quebec.
  • Jean – age 25 – married in exile and later died in Quebec
  • Paul – age 22 if he survived. Nothing after his baptism.
  • Claude Poncy – age 19 if he survived. Nothing after his baptism.
  • Francois – age 16 if he survived. Nothing after his baptism
  • Honore – age 13 – married in exile and settled in Quebec at the end of the exile.

We know of ten children who might have been living, and that six were living in 1755. We only know of four that survived the exile, although it’s possible that there were more. Not everyone may have moved to Quebec.

The Garceau Alliance

What we do know, positively, is that three of Jacques’s children, Charles, Jean and Honore, all married daughters of Daniel Garceau; Charles in January 1755 just before the exile began, and Jean and Honore during exile. A fourth son, Joseph, married Daniel Garceau’s brother’s daughter in 1750. Those families were located in close proximity before the deportation when Charles and Joseph married, as well as later, someplace in exile, when Honore and Jean married Garceau sisters.

Daniel Garceau is found in New York which tells me that Jacques Lore’s family and Daniel’s were both on the Brigge Experiment.

On the 1763 list of Acadians in New York, we find Daniel Garceau with his wife and children, plus Charles Lord (seigneur), his wife and a child. Charles Laure married Marguerite, Daniel Garceau’s daughter. We also find Pierre Lort (probably Lore/Lord) with a wife and four children.

Additionally, we find two of Alexander Lore’s daughters and their husbands on this list. Alexander was Jacques’s brother.

This strongly suggests that Jacques’s family was upon the Brigge Experiment, along with Daniel Garceau, especially given that Jacques’s sons, Honore and Jean both married Daniel’s daughter in exile.

Not all of Jacques’s children may have wound up in the same location. It’s well known that the British were ruthless in terms of separating families, even children, from their parents. Clearly, some of Jacques’s nieces and nephews and perhaps his siblings could and did end up in other locations.

In Connecticut, we find Charles, Jean, Louis, and Pierre Lord, along with several married females. None appear to be Jacques’s children. Identification is difficult due to same-name practices.

Jacques’s sister, Anne, who married Mathieu Doucet was shipped to Massachusetts where they are found in Newbury in 1760, then in Connecticut in the 1763 census.

Jacques’s Legacy

Almost all of our information about Jacques is inferred from his marriages and his children’s baptisms. We interweave those events with the known and documented history of the Acadians, particularly in Nova Scotia.

We know where Jacques lived, almost exactly, and we can infer that he defended his homeland in 1711.

We know that his surname wasn’t Lord at all and was pronounced Lor, L’Or or Lore based on how the various priests entered his family surname into Port Royal church records.

We probably found the answer to how he obtained his “dit” name of LaMontagne, the mountain, in Frence.

He may well have died in 1742, given that we have absolutely no record of him after his son Honore’s birth. We don’t know if he lived to see his family forced into exile in 1755. The only reason we know where at least some of his children were during that time is their association with the Daniel Garceau family. You can’t marry who you don’t see.

Jacques was the first generation Lor ancestor who was born in Acadia and may have died and been buried in that soil too. If so, he was the only Lor ancestor to live his entire life in beautiful but perilous Nova Scotia. Either way, his entire life would have been spent with some non-trivial level of anxiety. It’s horrible when unsafe is simply normal.

Given the history unfolding around him, it’s not surprising that it appears that Jacques could neither read nor write. Neither could his children. No time for education when simply surviving takes every waking minute.

Perhaps his legacy can be summed up in one word – survival.

What he survived, assuming he did, was genocide.

The first burning that Jacques would have remembered was the 1690 torching of the church and 28 homes by the English out of Boston. Apparently, the upriver farms were spared, which, hopefully, included his home. He was only 11, and even if their home was not burned, they would have had no assurance that it wouldn’t be. The terror would have been palpable as the family watched the orange, smoke-filled sky and waited. I’d wager his parents took the children into hiding in some location, probably up in the mountains. Or maybe his mother gathered the children to safety, and his father stayed to fight.

Jacques had to wonder if he’d ever see his father, or home, again. Maybe he begged to stay and fight with his father and probably his older brother. Perhaps they let him.

The next burning by the English occurred six years later, in 1696, and included slaughtering livestock and ruining the Acadian’s dykes for spite. I’d wager that Jacques grew up both fearing and despising the English. Attacks like this were a repeated occurrence throughout Jacques’s life along the Rivière du Dauphin.

England and France were engaged in perpetual conflict, culminating, of course, with the 1755 Grande Derangement, as the Deportation and exile became known to the Acadians.

If Jacques survived that long, the last scene he would have seen of his homeland as they sailed away was…you guessed it…burning. What a horrific memory. Adding insult to injury, they were being sent to live in the British colonies where no one wanted them as paupers – and they assuredly didn’t want to be. Either paupers, living among the British in the colonies, or refugees.

The fact that Jacques managed to survive at all and protect his family is nothing short of a miracle. The Acadians were incredibly resourceful, resilient, and tenacious people. They may have been defeated at that point in time, but they were not destroyed.

Their lifeblood runs in an estimated three million descendants worldwide today. Whether he knew them or not, Jacque had at least 27 grandchildren through his five children known to have married and produced offspring. There were probably at least five more, born during the exile, who may or may not have survived.

Jacque lives on.


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Did You Receive New Theories of Family Relativity at MyHeritage?

MyHeritage updates Theories of Family Relativity periodically, and this is your lucky week. MyHeritage updated Theories and new Theories about shared ancestors with your matches may be waiting for you!

I received an email that I had new Theories, and when I signed on and clicked on DNA, I was greeted by this banner.

I always make notes when I review Theories, so it’s easy for me to tell which Theories I haven’t yet reviewed. They don’t have notes. The notes icon turns purple when you enter and save something.

I received six new Theories this week.

Click to enlarge

I love that MyHeritage shows you exactly how they make these potential connections. I have five different paths to consider for this Theory, and MyHeritage shows me the confidence level that these are the same people. I can click on the other person’s tree or historical documents if that’s what MyHeritage used, in addition to trees.

Theories are there to help you make genealogical connections, so take full advantage of this tool. Did you receive new Theories?

If your DNA isn’t yet at MyHeritage, now’s a great time to either order a DNA test or upload your DNA file from a different vendor for free, plus create or upload a tree, so you’ll be ready for the next update.


I’ve written about Theories of Family Relativity, how to get them, and how to use them, in the following articles.



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Journaling June – Are You In?

I have two things for you today. First, a bit of housekeeping, followed by a fun challenge for June.


I try to stay a few articles ahead, with a few in process at all times. Right now, I’ve burned through what I had in reserve. For the next month or so, I will probably be doing shorter-than-normal update articles.

I was fine through the filming, but I managed to catch some ugly crud that has been kicking my butt. No, it’s not Covid, according to four tests, but it’s long and stubbornly hanging on.

Who has time to be sick???

Later in June, I have a planned trip.

Plus, I’m still working. My backlog of emails is daunting and growing.

Then, Sunday happened.

I now have a completely unplanned trip that has not been firmed up quite yet.

It’s a funeral. I lost someone near and dear to my heart, with no warning.

I’m reeling.

I’m struggling between gratitude for having her in my life and grief for all of the things left undone.

I will write about this blow, eventually, but right now, I have to get past the crud and process some of this grief. It’s a beautiful story, truly, but I at least need to get through the funeral first. Being sick has complicated everything, as has distance.

As genealogists, we deal with birth and death every day. But when the Grim Reaper sneaks one in on us like this, it’s entirely different.

One of the hardest things to do is enter that death date in our genealogy software. It’s just so final and always speaks to what might have been – but can no longer be.

If anything, this death has brought home even more succinctly how important it is to make spending time with family members a priority. Just being together and talking.

What stories do they know that you don’t? Or maybe the same stories but from a different perspective, with missing details. Do they have photos that you might not? Or documents? Don’t presume that you have the same memories or perspective about the same event or family member. You’ll be surprised!

What is your favorite thing about that person? Your most cherished memories?

Here’s my absolute favorite memory with Cheryl. I’ll tell you this story soon.

You don’t have to wait until you get that call to write those stories – or tell them.

Journaling June

My friend, Appalachian storyteller Stephen “Doc” Hollen has been writing and publishing a numbered chapter of a “book,” here, every day for more than three years – at about 3:15 every morning. Actually, by now, it’s several books, but I digress.

Ole Doc Hollen is an amazing author, and by now, his loyal readers know all of these characters who live on Limestone Ridge. We can hardly wait for each morning to read the next chapter – and he often leaves us hanging despite our whining and cajoling. Sometimes we forget those “people” aren’t “real,” yet they are in a sense. The Carpenter family and neighbors are a mashup of his ancestors and people in his ancestral neighborhood.

In Doc’s recent chapters, journals of the Carpenter brothers, the original settlers, had been found in a trunk. Aunt Bess was reading and transcribing them, expanding the family genealogy. Then, miraculously, another cousin appears out of no place and…

See, now you’re hooked too.

Journaling June

Let’s just say that Doc Hollen suggested that we all participate in “Journaling June” where everyone journals during the month of June.

That’s not a huge commitment, right!

And you can do it on your own terms, in your own way.

Ironically, I was already working on an article about recording experiences.

Let me give you some ideas.

Journaling Ideas

A journal can be something as easy as a few notes every day, or something in-depth where you share your deepest thoughts. If you can’t write about yourself, write to yourself or to someone else.

Or maybe tell a story from the perspective of someone close to you.

Or focus on a favorite or specific topic.

You can also compare and contrast your life to that of an ancestor. Your upcoming June plus a June in the life of your parent or grandparent.

Or your early life and life now. Expectations versus where life’s path took you.

Here is a list of a few ideas:

  • Food
  • The kitchen
  • Chores
  • Home
  • Work
  • Mealtime
  • Hygiene
  • Utilities
  • Clothes
  • Laundry
  • Education
  • Teachers
  • Weather
  • Transportation
  • Your First Car
  • Performances
  • Passions
  • Passtimes and hobbies
  • Religion
  • Health
  • Challenges
  • Charity
  • Best Traits
  • Legacy
  • Births
  • Family Members
  • Funeral Customs
  • Heartbreak
  • First Love
  • Weddings
  • Pranks
  • Inspiration
  • Pets
  • Turning Points
  • Gratitude
  • Travel
  • Vacations
  • Secrets
  • Advice to others
  • Advice to your younger self
  • DNA
  • Holidays

I’m sure you can think of more topics to add. What would you enjoy?

What do you wish your ancestors had written about and left for you in a journal?

Will you join me in Journaling June?

Find your favorite pen and something you would enjoy writing in for a month. I use either legal pads or, sometimes, on a trip, I journal in a nice little leather portfolio binder with a removable pad. It makes me feel like an explorer!

Of course, you could photo-journal, collage, blog, paint, simply type into a document or just about anything else you can imagine.

You can even start with Memorial Day and share your family customs along with what you’re doing this year. What was the funniest thing that ever happened at a Memorial Day event in your family?

Tell me in the comments about what you’re doing for Journaling June.


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Honoré Lore (1742-1818), Father of 27 & Acadian Revolutionary War Veteran – 52 Ancestors #398

Honoré Lor was born on June 17, 1742, in Port Royal, Acadia, to Jacques Lord and Marie Charlotte Bonnevie near what is today Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.

Fellow Acadian Abraham Bourg baptized Honoré, and his baptism was then registered by the priest, Father Desenclaves, a week later, on June 24th. Researcher Mark indicated that the priest had not yet arrived at his post on the 17th, which explains why Bourg performed the baptism a week earlier.

Honoré’s last name is spelled Laure in this record. The godparents were Francois Miraut and Marie Joseph Laure, according to FamilySearch and the Nova Scotia Archives.

Three very kind and generous people, Karen, Elizabeth, and Mark translated his baptism entry for me. I’ve combined them. Thank you so very much!

“The twenty-fourth of June, one thousand seven hundred and forty two, I have supplied the ceremony of baptism to Honoré, baptized in the home of his father by Abraham Bourg, born the seventeenth of the same month, legitimate son of Jacques Laure and Marie de Bonnevie, his wife. The godfather has been Francois Miraut and the godmother Marie Joseph Laure, who have not signed. [Signed] Desenclaves priest.”

His baptism was unusual, both in that a non-priest performed the original baptism and that it was registered a week later without rebaptism. It’s possible that Honoré was unhealthy, and his parents were concerned that he might not live – hence the emergency baptism.

After I wrote the above paragraph, Karen Theriot Reader provided additional information about Catholic baptisms of infants, as follows:

In the Catholic Church, baptisms are never performed twice. The word for a private (usually emergency) baptism is “ondoyé” and is sufficient for a proper baptism. Ceremonies are sometimes performed later, but just for show, really. Unlike marriages, which had a need to be “rehabilitated,” even a private baptism was considered valid.

In this record the translated words “supplied the ceremonies of baptism” indicates NOT a repeat of the rites, but a mere ceremony performed for the sake of the family. So to be more accurate, omit the word “rite,” and substitute “ceremony.”

Of course, this could be reflective of the fact that the family lived across the Annapolis River, just above where it connects with the Bay of Fundy, a few miles upstream from Port Royal, so they would have needed to get the baby to the church for baptism.

Today Google Maps shows roads, but then, the river was the road. It’s a good thing Honoré was born in June, or his baptism might not have been recorded for months if he had been born in the forbidding winter.

Honoré Lord was born just 13 years before the Acadian Expulsion which began in August of 1755. The Acadian people were rounded up, stripped of their belongings, their farms burned, loaded into ships like cattle, and forcibly removed from the homesteads they had carved out of the Nova Scotia coastline for over a century.

The Acadian history in Nova Scotia began in the early 1600s and continued until it didn’t any longer. The English finally “won” the conflict in which the Acadians had intentionally remained neutral. Winning meant expelling the Acadians with no warning and without mercy. Many died. We will never know for sure who left, where they went, what happened to them, and who among them perished, either immediately or consequentially.

All of Honoré’s source records are listed under the name of Honoré Laure or Lor in Port Royal, and Lore, Laure, Lor and Lord in Quebec. He is Honoré Laure in his Baptismal record, his first marriage record, and his burial record. He is Honoré Lord in his second marriage record and Honoré Lor [Lord] in his third marriage record. He is listed in a number of his children’s records as Honoré Lord, which is the last name many also were known by. Essentially, there was no standardized spelling.

He is not listed as Honoré Lord dit Lamontagne on any record. The dit name seems to have ended in his father’s generation.

The Family

Honoré was the youngest of 10 children born to his father Jacques Lord, of which eight were born to his mother, Marie Charlotte Bonnevie.

  • One of his siblings and one of his half-siblings died shortly after birth.
  • His oldest sibling, half-brother Jacques, born in 1709, was already 33 years old when Honoré was born in 1742. We have no marriage or death record for Jacques, so we have to assume that he was alive in 1755 when the deportation occurred.

Since we also have no death information elsewhere, we will also have to presume that he either had gone to live, or hide, in the backcountry, died during the removal, or in the subsequent years, someplace. It’s anyone’s guess.

  • Honoré’s brother Charles was born in November of 1722. Charles Thiboneau and Francoise Bonnevie, his mother’s sister, were his sponsors. Charles was a newlywed during the deportation, having married Marguerite Garceau on January 20, 1755. His wife was very probably pregnant in August. If they were lucky, they somehow managed to make it onto the same ship with both his parents and her parents, Daniel Garceau and Anne Doucet.

In 1763, Charles was found in New York, New York, in the census, with a wife and one child. One child meant that at least three children had died. If the families were deported together, then it’s likely that Jacques and the rest of the family were also in New York. In 1797, Charles died in Trois Rivieres, St Maurice, Quebec.

  • Honoré’s next younger brother, Joseph, was born in February of 1725 with Joseph Amireau and Jeanne Doucet as sponsors. Joseph married on February 3, 1750, to Marie Joseph Garceau. We know they had two children by 1755, but we know nothing more about anyone in this family.

Lots of Acadian families literally disappear without a trace. I wonder if Honoré knew what happened to his brother.

  • Honoré’s next younger brother, Pierre Benjamin, was born in January 1728. Sponsors were Pierre Olivier, a resident of Beaubassin, and Marie Doucet, spouse of his brother, Charles Lord. He was found in the 1763 census in Riviere St. Jean in what is now New Brunswick, then Acadia, so he was not deported in 1755. He married in May of 1763 to Marie Josephe Blanchard and had his marriage rehabilitated in 1764 in Kamouraska, Quebec. This tells us that he made his way down the St. Lawrence. Pierre died in 1813 in Nicolet, Quebec, another 180 miles upriver and halfway between Quebec City and Montreal. I hope Honoré found him and was able to reconnect.
  • Honoré’s next youngest sibling, Jean, was born in August 1730 in Port Royal and was baptized four days later with sponsors Denis Petitot and Angelique Lord. We know he married Marie Josephe Garceau about 1765, someplace in New England, the daughter of Daniel Garceau and Anne Doucet. Their marriage was rehabilitated at Becancour, Quebec in September 1767. He died in 1809 in St-Ours, Quebec.

This confirms that indeed, the Daniel Garceau and Jacques Lord families were in exile, someplace, together.

  • Honoré’s next younger brother, Paul, was born four days before Christmas in 1733 in Port Royal, and was baptized the same day. His sponsors were Jacques Bonnevie, probably his uncle, and Marie Lord.

There is no death record in Port Royal, so he likely was deported with his family, but probably died either on the way or in New England. We find no further records.

  • Honoré’s next youngest brother, Claude Poncy, was born in September 1736 and was baptized in August 1737. Sponsors were Pierre Lanoue and Marguerite Belliveau. Nothing more is known about Claude, but it’s likely that he, too, was deported and died in exile.
  • Honoré’s closest sibling in age was Francois, born in August 1739 in Port Royal and was baptized the same day with Joseph Lord and Francoise Lord, his uncles, as sponsors. There’s no death record for Francois, so he was likely boarded onto that ship with hundreds of terrified people in 1755, never to be heard from again. He was 16 years old, and his brother Honoré was probably staying very close to him and to their parents. Assuming that was possible. We know that the deportation process often separated families indiscriminately.


Honoré’s father, Jacques, was reportedly in exile in New York, then returned to Canada with his son Pierre-Benjamin and settled in Kamouraska. Jacques reportedly had no heir through his children with his first wife, although I have no confirmation of that.

I have never found a death entry for Jacques.

Given that Honoré Lore (by whatever spelling) and two of his siblings married children of Daniel Garceau, those families were clearly located together both before and after the deportation. Honoré’s older brother Charles married Marguerite Garceau in January 1755, just months before the deportation, and his younger brother Jean married Marie Josephe Garceau someplace in exile around 1765. This was roughly the same time that Honoré married Appoline Garceau. We know that Daniel Garceau is found among the Acadians deported to New York because he is found on a 1763 list there.

Two ships carried deported Acadians to New York. On December 8, 1755, the Brigantine Experiment departed from Annapolis Royal and arrived someplace in New York on January 30, 1756, in the dead of winter, with 250 Acadians on board. Another schooner left Cape Sable and arrived in New York on April 28, 1756, with 94 Acadians. Given that the Lord/Lore family lived very near Annapolis Royal and Cape Sable is on the southwest corner of Nova Scotia, it’s most likely that Honoré, his family, and the Garceau family were on the Experiment.

Based on those marriages, we know that Honoré, his parents, and the Daniel Garceau family were exiled to the same location in New York.

However, because nothing is ever easy with this family, there’s also a smidgen of conflicting evidence. According to their marriage rehabilitation in Canada in 1767, Honorius Lord and Apolline Garceau were married in exile in New England around 1765 by Francois Landry. I found one Francois Landry in Massachusetts, but it’s possible that this is the wrong person. Both the names Francois and Landry, individually, were common among the Acadians.

Unfortunately, we know almost nothing about Honoré during the period of exile between late 1755 and his re-emergence as an adult in Quebec in 1767 – except for one thing.

He got married.

Exile Ends

The Massachusetts Legislature sent a delegation to Quebec in March 1766. The delegation obtained a permit from the English Governor Murray for the displaced Acadians to immigrate to Quebec Province.

Honoré Lord and Apolline Garceau were married in exile in New England, probably around 1765 or 1766. The marriage was validated in Canada on September 29, 1767, because the couple had not been properly married by a priest during their exile in the colonies.

Many Acadians, along with this couple, settled south of Montreal around LaPraire and L’Acadie. Honoré’s family was in Yamachiche, below, in 1767 and 1768, in St-Denis and St-Ours in Quebec in 1775.

The family gradually moved westward along the St. Lawrence and then up the Richelieu River.

We don’t find Honoré and family again until 1787 in L’Acadie,

This raises the question of where some of Honoré’s children were born. Suggesting New England is the fact that Brother Bernard found conditional baptismal records at l’Acadie, Quebec for two children in July of 1787. Their actual birth dates were given in the baptismal record, but not the locations.

Some baptismal records, marriage and burial records were found and transcribed by Brother Bernard for Honoré’s children by Susanne Lafaille and Marguerite Babin. PRDH provided more, as do the genealogical records of Karen Theriot Reader combined with my own research.

Brother Bernard translated an extract from a letter by Rev Elisee Choquet, Pastor of Delson, Laprairie, Quebec.

“In reference to the marriage Lafay-Foret, before a Justice of the Peace, in the colonies, for lack of priests, there is evidently question of an Acadian marriage, and there are many such examples at Chambly, Nicolet, Sorel, and especially at LaPrairie. This is understandable. The unfortunate Acadians, dispersed in 1755, received an amnesty from Governor Murray, in the spring of 1766, and as the news reached them, they undertook to return to Canada. Between 1765 to 1780 the road to Montreal was filled with them.”

They could travel from the Hudson River all the way to the St Lawrence by way of Lake Champlain.

By Champlainmap.png: Kmusser / derivative work: Pierre cb – Champlainmap.png, CC BY-SA 2.5,

Then from Lake Champlain, following the waterway right up the Richelieu River.

Back to Rev. Choquet’s letter:

“But from 1755 to their return, they had to live, and their children marry. A few of the older ones (we know of three) received from the Grand Vicar of Acadia the power to receive the consent of marriage while in exile. But they were dispersed and many of them died. The young folks’ only recourse then was to marry before a Justice of the Peace, as they refused to be married by Protestant ministers. On their return to Canada, Bishop Briand ordered such marriages to be renewed or validated, but without reflecting the correctness of the original.”

That’s exactly what they did.


On September 29, 1767, Honoré and his wife, Appoline Garceau, had their marriage validated. We don’t know exactly when they were originally married, but their first known child was baptized in February 1768. There has been a debate about whether or not that child was born while in exile, but if so, why wasn’t he baptized at the same time that their marriage was validated?

The original church at Becancour, where Honoré’s marriage was validated, was built in 1722 and burned in December of 2000.

Brother Bernard’s translation.

“In the year 1767, on the 29th of September, we, undersigned missionary priest of the Parish of the Nativity of Becancour, validated the marriage between Honoré Lor and Apolline Garsau, both Acadians, who had been married by Francois Landry in England (New England was meant), no impediment having been discovered to said marriage, we gave them the nuptial benediction according to the form prescribed by our Mother the Holy Church, and this in presence of Fracous Lagrave and of Antoine Sabourin, who declared they know not how to sign this register,  (Signed)  F Louis Demers, Recollet Priest”

One Francois Landry was found in Massachusetts, specifically in Ipswich, in 1760 when he petitioned, asking for maintenance for himself and his wife. He claims they are both old and their children have been “put out to service,” and it pains him greatly and “occasions grief to them.”

Francois’s location, assuming it’s the same man, may be an important clue as to where Honoré Lore and Appoline Garceau were as well. Unfortunately, it does not mesh with Daniel Garceau, Appoline’s father being in New York in 1763, which would be stronger evidence.

After their marriage was validated, Honoré and Appoline slowly migrated on up the St. Lawrence River.


We know they were still in Yamachiche in February of 1768, at St-Denis-sur-Richelieu in December of 1769, and in St-Ours in 1771, 1773, and in 1775 when their child, Joseph, was baptized.

Then we lose the trail of our family for a dozen years. No baptisms, nothing.

Their children born in 1777 and 1779 were not baptized until 1787 in L’Acadie.

Why not?

Where were they?

Sit down and buckle up for this one!

The Revolutionary War

There’s something VERY interesting and unique about Honoré Lore. He served in the Revolutionary War – in the Colonies, and more specifically, in a New York battalion.

What? Acadians didn’t do that!

This was the very last thing I would have expected to find, but here we are.

According to this muster Roll, he was at the garrison at Albany from April 1 through May 12th of 1777.

Artificers in Col. Moses Hazen’s 2nd Canadian Regiment list include Nathaniel Lord and Charles Lord. Charles may have been Honoré’s brother, but there’s no way of knowing without additional information.

Honoré’s card number.

What? How is this possible? He’s Canadian and just LEFT the colonies. Why would he EVER go back?

By 1777 Honor Lord, was listed on the muster roll of George Chardin Nicholson’s detachment of French Cadets in the service of the United States of America in Garrison at Albany on May 12, 1777. The muster list is dated April 1-May 12, 1777.

Was he only enlisted for six weeks? That would be very unusual.

Does this mean that Honoré Lord, and perhaps his family, might have been living in or near the garrison at Albany, New York during the Revolutionary War? Is that why we can’t find them during that time?

The Colonies reached out to the Canadians for assistance with unharnessing themselves from the English. It made sense to them that the Canadians would fully understand and be sympathetic, given that England had also captured Canada. Perhaps both nations could free themselves from the clutches of the British by assisting each other.

Honoré Lord might have been part of the “first canadian regiment” a.k.a. Congress Own Regiment. He may have joined with 200 men in 1775 when Colonel James Livingston who lived in Chambly, Quebec recruited nearby men to help guard the southern shore of the Saint Lawrence River.

That December, Livingston and his men led the charge for the Battle of Quebec from the fort at Crown Point, New York, on the western shore of Lake Champlain, sustaining heavy loses.

By Mwanner – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The ruins of the barracks at Crown Point still stand today.

We’ve confirmed that Honoré’s name is on the 1777 muster roll, but it appears that there’s much more to this story. He probably served for at least two years.

I asked a friend who was going to NARA recently to see if Honoré Lore, aka Honor Lord has a military folder or file. She was told there was nothing and was asked to wait for an expert, but by the end of the second day, no subject expert had appeared and her time was up. She will try again soon unless one of you with far more Acadian experience than me has something to offer. I have already tried the SAR and DAR indexes with no results.

I don’t know if Honoré would have been eligible for anything, pension or bounty land, given that he was not a US citizen and lived in Quebec beginning in 1787. Come to think of it, I’m not sure exactly what country he was a citizen of, given that he was born when Nova Scotia was under French control, exiled to the colonies, back to Quebec under British rule, fought for US sovereignty, apparently lived back in (probably) New York again, then lived back in Quebec when it was under British control. I think this means he was a refugee at least four times.

We know for sure that the family was absent from Quebec for several years and also that Lake Champlain, into the Richelieu River, was the direct access route from the US to the St. Lawrence.

Honoré’s Unit

The First Canadian Regiment was raised in September 1775 by James Livingston to support the Colonies’ independence efforts in the war and saw service primarily in New York and Quebec. You can read more about troop movements and battles that Honoré’s unit, and therefore Honoré, was likely involved with here, here, and here.

Honoré’s regiment saw action in Montreal, Trois Rivieres, New York, the Saratoga campaign, including the relief of the siege of Fort Stanwix in August 1777, both Battles of Saratoga, and the Battle of Rhode Island. The unit was disbanded on January 1, 1781 at King’s Ferry, New York. I’d love to know if he served for the entire time.

Honoré’s service makes perfect sense, looking at where these battles were fought.

On this map detailing the movements and battles of Canadian regiments, we see New York, where his family was likely in exile, Albany, where we know he was garrisoned, and St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu and the exact area where he was living in 1775, along the Richelieu River. The Canadians, especially in this area, had a vested interest in the outcome of the war. In fact. Canada was referred to as the 14th Colony.

The war came to Honoré, just as another war had come to him once before.

More particularly, the path to Montreal and sites along the St. Lawrence where battles were fought took the soldiers right through St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu, just a stone’s throw from L’Acadie where the Lore family lived, or would come to live by 1787. Sorel and Trois Rivieres were northwest of Montreal.

It appears that Honoré didn’t so much decide to go to war, but war arrived on his doorstep, and his only viable option was to step up and defend the region where he lived. It’s possible that his family evacuated, all things considered.

I’m sure, given the family’s history with the British that Honoré and the rest of the Acadians despised them and would have welcomed the opportunity to break their stranglehold.

What we do know, for sure, is that Honoré was with Appoline, someplace, in July of 1776 and in May of 1778 in order for their children born in 1777 and 1779 to be conceived, so he wasn’t “gone” the entire time.

By StefKiro – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Honoré may well have served or even joined here at Fort St. Jean, located within walking distance of L’Acadie, in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. This fort played a crucial role in the defense of Quebec.

Honoré was almost assuredly involved in the 1775 Siege of Fort St. Jean. Montgomery’s troops were pushing for Montreal, then Quebec City, to liberate Quebec, which had been captured.

They laid siege to the Fort on September 17th, and on November 3rd, the British capitulated. Montgomery’s men did take Montreal on November 13th, with no battle, but the British General Carlton had escaped upriver to Quebec City to prepare to defend Quebec there.

A plaque erected at Fort Saint Johns reads:

“Constructed in 1743 by M. de Léry under orders from Governor la Galissonnière. This post was for all the military expeditions towards Lake Champlain. In August 31, 1760, Commandant de Roquemaure had it blown up in accordance with orders from the Governor de Vaudreuil in order to prevent its falling into the hands of the English. Rebuilt by Governor Carleton, in 1773. During the same year, under the command of Major Charles Preston of the 26th Regiment, it succumbed to a 45-day siege by the American troops commanded by General Montgomery.”

Fort St. Jean today.

Fort Frederick in Albany

The garrison at Albany is the one location we know positively that Honoré was during April and May of 1777.

From 1775 through 1781, Albany was a Patriot stronghold. Fort Frederick was built atop State Street Hill in 1676. You can see it all the way to the rear on the map above from 1758.

The city was fortified with a stockade in 1695, with Fort Frederick located at the highest point, overlooking the fledgling city and guarding the approach to the west.

By the early 1700s, Fort Frederick had 21 guns, and its stockade surrounded the entire village of Albany.

Today, you can see Pearl Street, and I’ve marked the church that sits in the location of the former fort.

This drawing of Fort Frederick, depicting it in the 1700s after it had been updated, shows the gate where Honoré would have entered and exited. He would have stood guard on those rampart walls.

After the French and Indian War ended, the fort fell into disrepair and disuse. In the 1760s, the residents began to salvage stone and wood from the fort for their own use. In 1765, the barracks, hospital, and fort were purchased by the city from the provincial government.

During the Revolutionary War, the fort, or what remained of it, was used to jail those loyal to the British. Many Tory refugees made their way to Canada, or tried to. Was Honoré guarding British sympathizers in Albany?

In 1789, the fort, by then in the way of progress, was finally dismantled with the land deeded to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

The church as it appeared in 1803, on the site where the fort stood when Honoré was stationed there.

The bell tower is built on the northeastern bastion of the fort.

At one time, the Fort dominated the landscape, but today, you can barely see the church tucked behind the Hilton Albany.

You can see the church a little better looking east.

Of course, today, Albany is a thriving metropolis, the Capital of the State of New York, stretching for miles. Old Fort Frederick is someplace near the tail of the Y in Albany. Honoré would never recognize anything, here or in New York City, and he would probably be utterly terrified at the specter of even one automobile, let alone traffic.

Service Confirmed

These documents clearly confirm that Honoré was a United States Revolutionary War veteran, even though he wasn’t a citizen and maybe not even a resident. He certainly was not a resident from 1767 to 1775 nor a willing resident from 1755 through 1766.

In fact, Honoré had been exiled in 1755 to the Colonies and simply wanted to return to Canada where he could resume his French/Catholic Acadian cultural life. Unfortunately, the British captured Quebec in 1759, so Honoré literally could not get away from the British. I’m sure, given what that family had been through, Honoré never felt safe. Not one minute of his life.

It’s ironic that from their earliest settlement in Nova Scotia into the 1800s, the peaceful Acadians, who even called themselves the French Neutrals, simply wanted to be left alone but instead were embroiled in one conflict after another. For two hundred years, they tried to stay out of conflicts that they were dragged, kicking and screaming, into.

All things considered, Revolutionary War military service was not something I had ever remotely considered for my Acadian ancestors. Not only did Honoré serve, he volunteered.

A few of Honoré’s grandchildren, including Antoine born in 1805 would move to Vermont, New York and Pennsylvania. Some of his descendants would become US citizens. His service was certainly not in vain.

The Catholic Church

I don’t know why Honoré and family didn’t return immediately after the war, but I have a guess. Canada was in British hands, and Honoré had fought against the British. However, he wanted to practice the Catholic faith, have his children baptized by a priest, and God-forbid, be buried in sacred ground. His desire to be reunited with his fellow Acadians and family members was stronger than anything else.

Upon his return to Quebec from wherever the family sought refuge, they settled in L’Acadie, a settlement of other Acadian families. Honoré had his children baptized at Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie until St. Luc opened in July of 1801. He began attending St. Luc, even though his son, Honoré, continued to attend Ste. Marguerite. This suggests to me that Honoré Sr. probably lived closer to St. Luc. The church was served by missionaries during Honoré’s lifetime.

There might have been another reason why Honoré moved his family back.

Apoline Dies

The second record we have of this family back in Quebec is Apoline’s death and burial. The first record is the baptism in July of 1787 of two of their children who were born earlier, elsewhere. Less than a year later, Apoline herself passed away.

Apoline Garceau died on May 3, 1788, and was probably the first family member to be buried in the cemetery at Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie. At least she could be afforded a proper Catholic burial.

Honoré and Appoline’s Children

Honoré Lore/Lord and Appoline had at least seven children and probably more like eleven:

  • Honoré Lord was born on February 28, 1768, and baptized in Yamachiche, Quebec. He died on April 5, 1834, in L’Acadie, Quebec, and married Marie LaFaille in August 1789 at Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie. This means that he spent many of his formative years, between 1775 and 1787, someplace in the States, probably in New York.
  • Marie Anne Lord was born on December 30, 1769, and baptized in Saint-Denis, Quebec. She married Antoine Brousseau in 1788 in L’Acadie and died on February 17, 1852.
  • Francois Lord was born on September 19, 1771, and baptized at St-Ours in Quebec the next day. He married Marie Anne Lafaille, the sister of his brother, Honoré’s wife, who was also the sister of his father’s second wife (but not his mother), on June 9, 1806. He died on December 13, 1824, in L’Acadie.
  • Claire Lord was born in September of 1773 in St-Ours, Quebec, and died 16 months later on January 15, 1775.
  • Joseph Honoré Lore was born on March 5, 1775, and was baptized at St-Ours. Since we have no further information, and the family was missing from the area beginning about this time, he likely died wherever the family was located between March 1775 and October 1777 through mid-1787.
  • Charlotte Marguerite (also called Marie Charlotte) Lord was born October 14, 1777, and baptized on July 1, 1787, in L’Acadie, Quebec. She married Pierre-Victor Dussault on February 20, 1797, at St-Ours and died on March 18, 1833, in Henryville, Quebec.
  • Jean-Baptiste Lore was born on February 1, 1779, and was baptized on July 1, 1787, in L’Acadie. He married Marie Madeleine Ligny on August 18, 1806, died on March 25, 1828, in L’Acadie, and is noted as a farmer.

This record reflects the dual baptisms of both Marie Charlotte and Jean-Baptiste at Ste.-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie in 1787.

It would be critically important to discover where these two children were born to unseal the secret of where Honoré lived from 1775-1787. I suspect it was in New York since that’s where his regiment was located. Had the family been in Canada, there would have been Catholic baptismal records someplace. Even if the baptism occurred, but the records are missing today, their children would not have needed to be baptized in 1787. This tells us they weren’t baptized, which also tells us they weren’t in Canada when they were born.

I cannot read this document to translate it, but I wonder if there is any clue – even the names of witnesses might be helpful. I also wonder if there were other Acadian families with Honoré’s family during the time of their absence. Canadian census records don’t appear to give places of birth until after these two children are already deceased.

We have no records for the family from 1775 through their children’s baptisms in July of 1787, but they likely had additional children in 1781, 1783, 1785, and probably 1787. That would be the natural birth order if every child lived. If children died as infants, the births would have been closer together, and more children could have been born.

This strongly suggests that Appoline and Honoré lost at least four children, if not more, during this timeframe. If the children had lived, they would have been baptized with their siblings in July of 1787.

In August of 1789, Honoré’s oldest child, Honoré (Jr.), married Marie Lafaille/Lafay. Hold that thought for a minute.

Remarriage to Suzanne Lafaille.

Following Apoline’s death in May of 1788, 20 months later, Honoré (Sr.) remarried in January 1790 to Suzanne Lafaille, the younger sister of his son, Honoré Jr.’s wife, Marie Lafaille.

Yes, I know this is confusing.

Honoré Sr. married his son’s sister-in-law, who was five years younger than Honoré Jr.’s wife, Marie LaFaille.

Then, in 1806, Honoré Sr.’s son, Francois (born in 1771) from Honoré Sr.’s first marriage, married Marie Anne Lafaille, the sister of the other two Lafaille sisters who were married to Honoré Lore Sr. and Jr., respectively. So yes, three Lafaille sisters married the father and two Lore sons.

My head was spinning with all this, just in case you were wondering.

Ok, now for Honoré Sr.’s marriage record.

I’m not quite sure why there was a notarial record in addition to the church record, but the notarial record is much easier to read.

Brother Bernard’s translation of the second marriage for Honoré Lord with Suzanne Lafaille.

“The eleventh of January 1790, after the publication of 3 banns of matrimony at our parochial Masses on two Sundays and one intervening holyday between Honoré Lord, widower of Apolline Garseaut, of this parish, of the first part; and Suzanne Lafay, daughter of Francois Lafay and of Marguerite Foret, her parents also of this parish, of the second part; no impediment having been discovered to said marriage, we undersigned priest received their mutual consent and gave them the nuptial benediction according to the form prescribed by our Mother the Holy Roman Church, and this in the presence of Joseph Michell, Victor Girouard, Joseph Commeaux cousin, Honoré and Francois Lord sons, Andre Lancieau, Antoine Grousseau, Francois Brousseau friends of the groom, and of Francois Lafay, Pierre Trahan, Kean Dupuy, Marie Hebert friends, Marguerite and Julienne Lafaye sisters of the bride, several of whom signed with us after this was read.  (Signed)  Marie Lore  Honoré Lore  Marguerite Lafay  francois Lafay Jean Dup  Drosseau  Lancto priest”

This signature appears to be Honoré the son, not Honoré the father.

Suzanne and Honoré had seven children.

  • Henri Lord was born March 23, 1791, in L’Acadie and was baptized at Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie.

Henri’s baptism was witnessed by both Francois Lafay and Marguerite Lafaye. Francois is almost assuredly Suzanne’s father, but it’s unclear whether Marguerite is her mother or her sibling by the same name. I suspect her sibling since women were normally listed by their birth surname.

Henri married Louise Lebert on January 13, 1812, Suzanne Comeau on June 14, 1819, and Marie Babin on November 23, 1841. He died after the 1861 census. He is noted as a carpenter and farmer.

  • Louise Lord was born on February 27, 1793, in L’Acadie and married Pierre Babin at St-Luc on May 4, 1812.
  • Julien Lord, named after Honoré’s grandfather, was born on March 29, 1795, married Marie-Louise Brosseau at St-Luc on February 14, 1820, died on December 8, 1872, and was buried in the St. Luc cemetery.
  • Suzanne Lord was born on March 24, 1797, in L’Acadie, and married Charles Ficiault at St-Luc on November 21, 1814.
  • Jacques Lord, named after Honoré’s father, was born on July 16, 1799, in L’Acadie and married Marie Desnoyer on August 7, 1820, in Ste-Marie de Monnoir.

The baptisms above were all at Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie. From this point on, baptisms took place at St-Luc after it opened in 1801.

  • Marie Phebee Lord was born on March 13, 1802, and baptized on the 14th at St-Luc. She died on June 9th of the same year and was buried two days later.
  • Hippolyte Lord was born June 17, 1803, and baptized the next day at St. Luc. The baby died a month later, on July 17th, and was buried the following day.

Even though Suzanne was thirty years younger than Honoré Lord Sr., he outlived her.. The first five of their seven children lived to marry, but the daughter born in 1802 died three months later, and the child born on June 17th, 1803, died on July 17th. Suzanne died on August 9th, less than a month later. I can’t help but wonder if those deaths were connected.

Suzanne died on August 7, 1803, in L’Acadie and was buried at St-Luc, probably beside her two children. She was only 32 years old.

Honoré remarries to Marguerite Babin

Honoré, now 61 years old, had small children to raise. Three of his older children had married, but the rest were still at home. He wasted no time in marrying 18-year-old Marguerite Babin, 43 years his junior, on February 13, 1804. Honoré was two years younger than Marguerite’s father and 16 years older than her mother.

Brother Bernard’s translation of the third marriage of Honorius Lord with Marguerite Babin.

“February 13th, 1804, after publication of 3 banns of matrimony at our parochial Masses on 3 consecutive Sundays between Honoré Lord, farmer and widower of Susanne Lafay, his second wife, and living at St Luc, of the first part; and Marguerite Babin call LaCroix, minor daughter of Louis Babin called LaCroix and of Marie Jeanne Laporte, her parents consenting to said marriage and living with their said daughter in this parish, of the second part; no impediment having been discovered to said marriage, we undersigned received their mutual consent and gave them the nuptial benediction according to the form prescribed by our Mother the Holy Roman Church, and this in the presence of Antoine Brosseau son in law, Victor Girouard friend of the groom and Pierre Babin paternal uncle, and Charles Fisesset friend of the bride, who all declared that they could not sign.  (Signed)  R P Lancto”

Oh, how I wish Honoré had signed.

I can’t help but wonder if Marguerite got to vote or if this was an arranged marriage. All of Honoré’s children from his first marriage were older than Marguerite, and many from his second marriage were just a few years younger than she was.

Honoré and Marguerite had eight children.

  • Marie Rose Lord was born November 22, 1804, and was baptized the following day at St-Luc. She married Andre Comeau on November 6, 1820. She died on September 10, 1887, and was buried two days later.
  • Augustin Lord was born on February 26, 1806, and was baptized the next day at St-Luc, but nothing more is known.
  • Clare Lord was born on January 8, 1808, and was baptized at St. Luc. She married Paul Dupuis at St-Philippe on February 3, 1834, and Edouard Peladeau on November 29, 1855. She died on February 24th, 1899, and was buried on the 27th.
  • Edouard Lord was born on June 9, 1809, baptized the next day at St-Luc, and died just two months before his fourth birthday on April 26th, 1813. He was buried the following day.
  • Moise Lord was born on October 27, 1810, and was baptized at St-Luc. He married Marie-Anne Sanders in St-Paul on October 3, 1842. Marie-Anne was the granddaughter of Tse-Tse, an Iroquois, and his wife, Marie.
  • Catherine Lord was born on June 5, 1812, and was baptized the following day. She was buried on August 21, 1831, in LaPrairie.
  • Pierre-Noel Lord was born and baptized on Christmas Day in 1814 at St-Luc, died a few days before his nine months birthday, on September 19, 1815, and was buried two days later.
  • Modeste Lore was born on May 1, 1816, and was baptized the following day at St-Luc. He died on November 25, 1820, and was buried on the 28th. In his baptism record, Honoré is still listed as a “laboureur” which translates to plowman, or farmer.

Catherine, born in 1812, probably had vague memories of her father, but Modeste would have had no memory of him at all.

When Honoré welcomed his last child, he was a month shy of 74 years old and apparently still farming. Marguerite was 31.

When Marguerite married Honoré, she had to have known that one day she would be raising their children without him. She could have born children for another decade. Had he lived, he would have been 84 at that time, and had he lived to raise those children to age 20, he would have been 104.

I can’t help but wonder how a farmer in his 60s and 70s provided for an ever-growing family.

Of course, his older children were grown and married with children older than his younger children, so perhaps everyone helped. If Honoré had an estate, it would be interesting to see what it held. His widow, Marguerite, remarried in 1820 to Francois Giroux. I don’t know how spousal inheritance worked in Quebec, nor inheritance involving underage children, nor children from earlier marriages.

Honoré’s oldest son, Honoré, married in 1789 and had his first child in 1790. Father Honoré and son Honoré were having simultaneous children from 1790 through 1810 when son Honoré Jr.’s wife, Marie Lafaille, was 43 years old. However, Honoré Sr. continued having children with his third wife. Honoré Sr.’s childbearing years were greatly extended by having three wives, with the second two being significantly younger than him.

It’s rather remarkable that Honoré had children from 1768 (some accounts claim 1766) through 1816, nearly half a century.

When Honoré died, he had 16 or 17 living children, seven of whom were under the age of 20.

His eldest living child was age 50 and had adult children, yet his second to the youngest child died in 1815, and his youngest would perish in 1820, not even five years old.

Altogether, Honoré had 23 known children, plus probably at least four children born between 1777 and 1787, totaling at least 27 children.

It’s also interesting to note that Honoré had one set of twins, his son Honoré had two sets of twins, and four more of his children had a set of twins.

Christmas 1815

If Honoré’s family was like most Catholic families, they attended a beautiful midnight Mass celebrating the birth of Christ and the beginning of Christmastide.

However, this Christmas was probably different.

Honoré’s daughter Marie Anne, had a daughter, Marie Anne Brosseau, who was born in April of 1792. However, the child died on Christmas Day in 1815, just 23 years old. She was obviously very ill in the days leading up to Christmas.

To make matters worse, Honoré’s son, Pierre Noel, who had been born on Christmas Day in 1814, had died in September of 1815.

I’m sure the families were used to some amount of death, often in babies, but to happen on Christmas and to an older child must have taken the wind out of everyone’s sails, turning a day of celebration into a time of deep mourning. They had loved Marie Anne for 23 years, and now she was gone. The following day, they buried her. I’m sure the family never celebrated Christmas again without the tinge of grief.

Honoré’s Death

Honoré Lord, Lor, Lore, or Laure died in 1818 at the age of 76 years. He had quite some life. Chocked full of adventures he didn’t sign up for.

Brother Bernard translated the burial record of Honorius Lord.

“On May 22nd 1818, by us undersigned Priest, was buried in the cemetery of this place, after a funeral High Mass, the body of Honoré Laure, farmer, who died yesterday in said locality at the age of 76 years, fortified by the Sacraments of the Church, the husband of Marguerite Babin of this parish. At the burial were present Etienne Martin and Alexis Cartier, who said that they could not sign, (Signed) C Martin Priest”

Honoré’s two younger children with Suzanne Lafaille and all of his children with Mauguerite Babin were baptized at St. Luc. His four and possibly five children who died after St. Luc opened in 1801 and before his death in 1818, along with his second wife, were buried at St. Luc.

The long cemetery behind the church is where Honoré is buried, along with several of his children and wives, Suzanne and Marguerite.

The Saint-Jean-L’Evangeliste St-Luc church is not large, but probably larger than the original. This is the third church to be built in this location, the first burning in 1875. Honoré’s funeral was held in the church before he was buried in the churchyard, probably close to the rear door where there are many early, unmarked graves.

It’s possible that when the church was expanded and rebuilt, Honoré wound up under the rear portion of the church.

I realized that my mother’s great-grandfather, Antoine Lore, who would have been 13 in 1818, sat in a pew in this church as the Priest spoke in Latin during his grandfather’s service. Antoine would have walked with Honoré’s casket out the back of the church into the graveyard, listened as the Priest performed the Rite of Committal, recited the Catholic version of the Lord’s Prayer, then heard the clods of dirt hollowly hitting the casket lid.

This family probably knew the words to everything in this service by heart, even the Latin words they didn’t understand.

I would love to have heard Honoré’s funeral Mass, even though I can’t understand Latin. You can observe a contemporary High Mass funeral in Latin here. Regardless of the language, the ritual would have comforted his family, and the service would have been well attended. Extremely well attended. His immediate family may have filled the entire church. Given that he died in May, I hope his grandchildren gathered beautiful wildflowers and decorated the church and his casket.

By J.A.Bergeijk at Dutch Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

High Mass would have been an honor and performed by either a Bishop or other prelate allowed to wear Pontifical liturgical vestments. You can learn about Catholic funerals here.

This beautiful stained-glass window in the Canterbury Cathedral shows a funeral procession. I can imagine that Honoré’s looked something like this. His sons probably were pallbearers, carrying Honoré on his final journey.

Honoré and his family certainly paid a high price to remain Catholic, so a beautiful funeral was well-deserved.

Honoré’s Legacy

Honoré has the distinction of having the most children of any of my known ancestors.

He had 23 known children and probably at least 27, based on the “holes” that are unaccounted for during the time he was (probably) in New York in the 1770s and 1780s. One of his known children disappeared during that time too, and likely died and was buried wherever they were living. For a Catholic, burying children without the benefit of a Catholic baptism and in unconsecrated ground would have been painful indeed. Maybe that’s part of what sparked their decision to return to Quebec, even though it was still officially held by the British. At least they could practice the Catholic faith freely in Quebec.

Honoré never knew that several of his grandchildren would be the first converts in Quebec to the Methodist faith less than two decades later, in the 1830s. He might just have turned over in his grave a few times since the entire Acadian experience had been one long battle to retain their ability to be “French” and, in that spirit, devoutly Catholic.

Not all of Honoré’s children survived to adulthood, of course, but 13, about half, did. I find nothing more for Joseph, born in 1775, so he likely died in New York, and I found the birth and baptism for Augustin in 1806, but nothing more. Honoré’s children from his third marriage tended to be more scattered than the older children who settled in L’Acadie.

I don’t know if Honoré left an estate and, if so, how it was divided, but that too could have made a difference in terms of who stayed and who left. His third wife remarried, and many of those children either didn’t know him well or at all. They would have established relationships and roots elsewhere.

Honoré might have spent more time in church than any other ancestor, too, by virtue of all of those baptisms, marriages, and, sadly, burials. I literally had to make a spreadsheet to figure out where he was, and when. You can see that as he aged and his children married and blessed him with more grandchildren, he attended church outside of regular services more and more frequently. Lots of baptizing going on.

I do not have the actual church records for all of the baptisms, but it appears that Honoré may not have been able to write. I never find his signature anyplace. Sometimes witnesses signed, so there is still hope.

Honoré’s Child’s Name Spouse Honoré‘s Grandchild Great-Grandchild Event Date
Appoline Garceau Marriage validation 9-28-1767 Becancoeur, Yamachiche
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Baptism 2-28-1768 Yamachiche
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Baptism 12-31-1769 St Denis
Francois Lore 1771- Dec 13 1824 Baptism 9-20-1771 St Ours
Marie Claire Lore 1773-1773 Baptism 5-13-1773 St Ours
Marie Claire Lore 1773-1773 Burial 1-16-1775 St Ours
Joseph Honoré Lore 1775 – ? Baptism 3-5-1775 St Ours
Joseph Honoré Lore 1775 – ? Burial 1775-1787 New York?
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Baptism 7-1-1787 Ste Marguerite
Jean Baptiste Lore 1779-1828 Baptism 7-1-1787 Ste Marguerite
Appoline Garceau Burial 5-4-1788 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Marriage 11-10-1788 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Antoine Brousseau Baptism 9-2-1789 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Antoine Brousseau Burial 9-4-1789 Ste Marguerite
Suzanne Lafaille Marriage 1-11-1790 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Joseph Lore 1790-1835 Baptism 3-9-1790 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Antoine Brousseau Baptism 2-5-1791 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Antoine Brousseau Burial 2-23-1791 Ste Marguerite
Henri Lore 1791-aft 1836 Baptism 3-23-1791 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Samuel Lore 1791-1821 Baptism 9-4-1791 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Marie Ann Brousseau Baptism 4-8-1792 Ste Marguerite
Louise Marie 1793-1834 Baptism 2-27-1793 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 (Isabelle) Marie Elisabeth Lore 1793-1857 Baptism 3-1-1793 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Pierre Broussard Baptism 2-13-1794 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Marie Josephte Lore 1794-aft 1871 Baptism 12-19-1794 Ste Marguerite
Julien Lore 1795-1872 m 1820 Baptism 3-29-1795 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Marguerite Broussard Baptism 1-27-1796 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Hyppolyte Lore 1796 Baptism 7-17-1796 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Marie Victoire Lore 1796-1831 Baptism 7-17-1796 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Hyppolyte Lore 1796 Burial 7-20-1796 Ste Marguerite
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Marriage 2-20-1797 St Ours
Suzanne Lore 1797-1833 Baptism 5-25-1797 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Antoine Brousseau Baptism 7-24-1797 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Pierre Lore 1798-1799 Baptism 3-24-1798 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Alexis Lore 1798-1875 Baptism 3-24-1798 Ste Marguerite
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Victor Dussault Baptism 9-2-1798 Contrecoueur
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Marie Louise Brousseau Baptism 2-19-1799 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Pierre Lore 1798-1799 Burial 7-4-1799 Ste Marguerite
Jacques Lore 1799-aft 1831 m 1820 Baptism 7-16-1799 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Marie Louise Brousseau Burial 7-22-1799 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Marriage 8-10-1789 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Benoni Lore 1800-1888 Baptism 2-6-1800 Ste Marguerite
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Unnamed Dussault Birth 5-11-1800 Contrecoueur
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Unnamed Dussault Burial 5-13-1800 Contrecoueur
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Phebee Brousseau Baptism 8-14-1800 Ste Marguerite
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Marguerite Dussault Baptism 4-3-1801 Contrecoueur
Marie Phebee Lore 1802 Baptism 3-14-1802 St Luc
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Honoré Lore 1802-1882 Baptism 3-22-1802 Ste Marguerite
Marie Phebee Lore 1802 Burial 6-11-1802 St Luc
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Joseph Brousseau Baptism 10-10-1802 Ste Marguerite
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Marie Marguerite Dussault Baptism 2-2-1803 Contrecoueur
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Marie Marguerite Dussault Burial 2-25-1803 Contrecoueur
Hippolite Lore 1803 Baptism 6-17-1803 St Luc
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Celeste Brousseau Baptism 7-8-1803 St Luc
Hippolite Lore 1803 Burial 7-18-1803 St Luc
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Celeste Brousseau Burial 7-21-1803 St Luc
Suzanne Lafaille Burial 8-9-1803 St Luc
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Rene Zephyrin Lore 1803-1877 Baptism 8-26-1803 Ste Marguerite
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Genevieve Dussault Baptism 12-5-1803 Contrecoueur
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Genevieve Dussault Burial 8-25-1804 Contrecoueur
Marie Rose Lore 1804-1887 m 1820 Baptism 11-23-1804 St Luc
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Antoine Lore 1805 to US Baptism 3-25-1805 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Celeste Brousseau Baptism 4-30-1805 St Luc
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Francois Dussault Birth 6-13-1805 Contrecoueur
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Francois Dussault Burial 6-15-1805 Contrecoueur
Augustin Lore 1806-? Baptism 2-27-1806 St Luc
Francois Lore 1771- Dec 13 1824 Marie Anne Lafaille 1782-1849 Marriage 6-9-1806 Ste Marguerite
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Adelaide Brousseau Baptism 6-30-1806 St Luc
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Marie Justine Brousseau Baptism 6-30-1806 St Luc
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Adelaide Brousseau Burial 7-14-1806 St Luc
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Marie Justine Brousseau Burial 7-15-1806 St Luc
Jean Baptiste Lore 1779-1828 Marie Madeleine Ligny 1786-1857 Marriage 8-18-1806 La Prairie
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Celeste Lore b 1806 Baptism 9-15-1806 Ste Marguerite
Jean Baptiste Lore 1779-1828 Marie Madeleine Ligny 1786-1857 Edouard Lore Baptism 3-3-1807 St Luc
Francois Lore 1771- Dec 13 1824 Marie Anne Lafaille 1782-1849 Hilaire Lore Baptism 5-19-1807 Ste Marguerite
Claire Lore 1808-1899 m 1834 Baptism 1-8-1808 St Luc
Jean Baptiste Lore 1779-1828 Marie Madeleine Ligny 1786-1857 Emelie Lore Baptism 3-13-1808 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Pierre Lore 1808-1814 Baptism 3-17-1808 Ste Marguerite
Francois Lore 1771- Dec 13 1824 Marie Anne Lafaille 1782-1849 Marie Olive Lore Baptism 9-6-1808 Ste Marguerite
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Marie Pelagie Dussault Baptism 10-6-1808 St Denis
Jean Baptiste Lore 1779-1828 Marie Madeleine Ligny 1786-1857 Aubin Lore Baptism 3-30-1809 Ste Marguerite
Medard Lore 1809 Birth 6-9-1809 St Luc
Medard Lore 1809 Death 6-10-1809 St Luc
Edouard 1809-1813 Baptism 6-10-1809 St Luc
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Marguerite Lore 1810-1855 Baptism 4-25-1810 Ste Marguerite
Francois Lore 1771- Dec 13 1824 Marie Anne Lafaille 1782-1849 Domitille Lore Baptism 6-1-1810 Ste Marguerite
Francois Lore 1771- Dec 13 1824 Marie Anne Lafaille 1782-1849 Domitille Lore Burial 6-13-1810 Ste Marguerite
Moise Lore 1810-1908 m 1842 Baptism 10-27-1810 St Luc
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Francois Dussault Baptism 4-12-1811 St Luc
Francois Lore 1771- Dec 13 1824 Marie Anne Lafaille 1782-1849 Rene Lore Baptism 6-20-1811 Ste Marguerite
Francois Lore 1771- Dec 13 1824 Marie Anne Lafaille 1782-1849 Rene Lore Burial 7-25-1811 Ste Marguerite
Jean Baptiste Lore 1779-1828 Marie Madeleine Ligny 1786-1857 David Lore Baptism 10-8-1811 Ste Marguerite
Louise Marie 1793-1834 Pierre Babin Marriage 5-4-1812 St Luc
Catherine Lore 1812-1831 Baptism 6-6-1812 St Luc
Francois Lore 1771- Dec 13 1824 Marie Anne Lafaille 1782-1849 Marie Julienne Lore Baptism 6-8-1812 Ste Marguerite
Louise Marie 1793-1834 Pierre Babin Unnamed Babin Birth 1-27-1813 St Luc
Louise Marie 1793-1834 Pierre Babin Unnamed Babin Burial 1-30-1813 St Luc
Edouard 1809-1813 Burial 4-27-1813 St Luc
Charlotte Marguerite Lore 1777-1833 Pierre Victor Dussault 1778-aft 1835 Augustin Dussault Baptism 8-28-1813 Ste Marguerite
Henri Lore 1791-aft 1836 Louise Lebert Julie Lore Baptism 11-30-1813 St Luc
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Pierre Broussard Marriage 1-31-1814 Ste Marguerite
Jean Baptiste Lore 1779-1828 Marie Madeleine Ligny 1786-1857 Henry Lore Baptism 5-26-1814 Ste Marguerite
Jean Baptiste Lore 1779-1828 Marie Madeleine Ligny 1786-1857 Henriette Lore Baptism 5-26-1814 Ste Marguerite
Jean Baptiste Lore 1779-1828 Marie Madeleine Ligny 1786-1857 Henriette Lore Burial 7-12-1814 Ste Marguerite
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Pierre Lore 1808-1814 Burial 9-5-1814 Ste Marguerite
Francois Lore 1771- Dec 13 1824 Marie Anne Lafaille 1782-1849 Joseph Lore Baptism 9-14-1814 Ste Marguerite
Louise Marie 1793-1834 Pierre Babin Pierre Babin Baptism 9-16-1814 Marieville
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Samuel Lore 1791-1821 Marriage 11-7-1814 Ste Marguerite
Suzanne Lore 1797-1833 Charles Ficault Marriage 11-21-1814 St Luc
Pierre Noel Lore 1814-1815 Baptism 12-25-1814 St Luc
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Pierre Broussard Pierre Broussard Baptism 3-12-1815 St Luc
Pierre Noel Lore 1814-1815 Burial 9-21-1815 St Luc
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Marie Ann Brousseau Burial 12-26-1815 St Luc
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Marie Ann Brousseau Death 12-25-1815 St Luc
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Samuel Lore 1791-1821 Marie Elmire Lore Baptism 2-3-1816 Ste Marguerite
Modeste Lore 1816-1820 Baptism 5-2-1816 St Luc
Honoré Lore 1768-1834 Marie Lafaille 1767-1836 Joseph Lore 1790-1835 Marriage 5-6-1816 St Luc
Henri Lore 1791-aft 1836 Louise Lebert died 1816 Burial 6-12-1816 St Luc
Louise Marie 1793-1834 Pierre Babin Pierre Babin Burial 7-26-1816 Marieville
Marie Anne Lore 1769-1852 Antoine Brouseau 1760-1845 Pierre Broussard Moise Broussard Baptism 12-2-1816 St Luc
Louise Marie 1793-1834 Pierre Babin Marie Louise Babin Baptism 12-3-1817 Marieville
Death 5-21-1818 Honoré ‘s death
Burial 5-22-1818 Honoré ‘s burial

Honoré died in 1818, long before his younger children married.

His children from his second and third marriages grew up playing with his grandchildren from his first marriage. Honoré had three great-grandchildren who would have attended his funeral, the eldest being three years old. Honoré’s last child, born in 1816, was younger than his two eldest great-grandchildren, and two more followed in 1818, shortly after his death.

So that means his great-grandchildren were playmates with his youngest children. No wonder my tree looks like an insane vine!

There were probably over 100 people wedged into the pews at Honoré’s funeral, and that’s without counting his siblings and their families or his wives’ families. Several babies would have been crying, but they would have been among good company as the rest of his family would all have been shedding tears at his departure. One thing is for sure, Honoré lived a long and full life.

I began to lose track of Honoré’s descendants quickly, but in the next three generations, I found eight different children named Honoré, clearly honoring him. That tells you something about him. No one names a child after someone they don’t like.

  • Honoré’s son born in 1768
  • Grandson Honore was born in 1802 through son Honoré
  • Grandson Honoré born in 1821, died in 1821 through son Henry
  • Grandson Honoré Fissiau/Ficialut born in 1826, died in 1829 through daughter Suzanne
  • Grandson Honoré born and died in 1825 through son Jacques
  • Grandson Honoré DuPuis was born in 1834 through daughter Claire
  • Great-grandson Pierre Honoré Boudreau was born in 1833 through son Francois and his daughter, Marie Olive
  • Great-grandson Honore was born in 1826 through son Joseph, then his son Joseph

There may well have been more.

I used various sources to assemble Honoré’s family, including PRDH as well as family records. Unfortunately, PRDH does not include the Grande Ligne Protestant baptismal records. I don’t have copies of everything, and I’m unsure where to look for his estate records.

Honoré’s grandchildren began venturing to newer frontiers. One to Vermont, then on to New York and Pennsylvania, one to New York, and another to Oregon. There were probably many more that left, spreading our Acadian seeds near and far. Every time I see the surname Lore, Lord, or even Laure, I wonder if that is one of the descendants of Honoré.

Honoré began life in the Acadian homelands, then spent many years in forced exile. We know the family lost everything, and we don’t know how they survived or where. Given those beleaguered beginnings, with warfare constantly haunting the family like a predator, no one would have dared to predict that Honoré’s life would end as a humble farmer in the pastoral green countryside of L’Acadie in Quebec, rebuilding his life and that of his family among other Acadian families.

This landscape evokes peace and tranquility, which is what I’m sure Honoré desired perhaps more than anything else.

Honoré was truly a devout Catholic. He made his way to church on the day of each new baby’s arrival for an immediate baptism, no matter the weather, just in case. The mother wouldn’t have been able to travel right after giving birth, but the child needed to be baptized.

We don’t know exactly where Honoré lived, but it had to be someplace between the Ste-Marguerite and St-Luc churches.

Maybe someplace halfway in between.

Regardless, Honoré spent an inordinate amount of time in both Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie and St-Luc.

Honoré had wives, children and grandchildren buried in both locations, all in unmarked graves. At the time, they were probably marked with wooden crosses.

After the Acadian families were incredibly scattered to the wind and endured such horrific circumstances in his early life, the fact that Honoré managed to settle and keep his family intact in one place is rather remarkable. I’d love to know how he did it and the location of his exact land. How did he purchase it? What happened to it after his death? Can it be located today?

His sixteen or seventeen living children, ages two to 50, assembled one last time to honor the patriarch of the family, Honoré. I hope it was a joyful celebration and recollection of his amazing life, with grieving, yes, but also laughter and storytelling.

Rest in Peace, Honoré.


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Comparing DNA Results – Different Tests at the Same Testing Company

Several people have asked about different tests at the same DNA testing company. They wondered if matching is affected, meaning whether your matches are different if you have two different tests at the same company. Specifically, they asked if you are better off purchasing a test AT a DNA testing vendor that allows uploads, rather than uploading a test from a different vendor. Does it make a difference to the tester or their matches? Do they have the same matches?

These are great questions, and the answer isn’t conclusive. It varies based on several factors.

Having multiple tests at the same DNA testing company can occur in three ways:

  • The same person tests twice at the same DNA testing company.
  • The same person tests once at the DNA testing company and uploads a test from a different testing company. Only two of the primary four DNA testing companies accept uploads from other vendors – FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritage.
  • The same person uploads two different files from other DNA testing companies to the DNA testing company in question. For example, the DNA company could be FamilyTreeDNA and the two uploaded DNA files could be from either MyHeritage, 23andMe or Ancestry.

All DNA testing companies allow users to download their raw DNA data files. This enables the tester to upload their DNA file to the vendors who accept uploaded files. Both FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritage provide matching for free, but advanced tools require a small unlock fee of $19 and $29, respectively.

Testing Company Accepts Uploads from Other Companies Download Upload Instructions
23andMe No Instructions here
Ancestry No Instructions here
FamilyTreeDNA Yes, some Instructions here
MyHeritage Yes, some Instructions here

I wrote about developing a DNA testing and transfer/upload strategy, here, and about which companies accept which tests, here.

Not all DNA files are created equal. Therefore, not all files from vendors are compatible with other vendors for various reasons.

Multiple Tests at the Same DNA Testing Company

I have at least two tests at each of the four major vendors. I did this for research purposes, meaning to write articles to share with you.

If you actually test twice at a vendor, meaning purchase two separate tests and take them yourself, you will have two test results at that testing company. At some companies, specifically 23andMe, if you purchase a new test through their “upgrade” procedure, you won’t have two tests, just the newer one.

However, if you’re testing at the DNA testing company, and also uploading, I generally don’t recommend more than one test at each vendor. All it really does is clog up people’s match lists with no or little additional benefit. At 23andMe, with their restrictions on the size of your match list, if everyone had two tests, the effective match limit would be half of their stated limit of about 1500 matches for earlier testers and about 5000 for current testers with subscriptions.

So, in essence, I’m telling you to “do as I say, not as I do.” We all have better things to do with our money rather pay for the same test twice. If you haven’t tested your Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA, that’s much more beneficial than two autosomal tests at one vendor.

Chips and Chip Evolution

Before we begin the side-by-side comparison, let’s briefly discuss DNA testing chips and how they work.

Each DNA testing company purchases DNA processing equipment. Illumina is the big dog in this arena. Illumina defines the capacity and structure of each chip. In part, how the testing companies use that capacity, or space on each chip, is up to each company. This means that the different testing companies test many of the same autosomal DNA SNP locations, but not all of the same locations.

Furthermore, the individual testing companies can specify a number of “other” locations to be included on their chip, up to the chip maximum size limit. The testing companies who offer Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA haplogroups from autosomal tests use part of their chip array space for selected known haplogroup-defining SNP locations. This does NOT mean that Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA is autosomal, just that the testing company used part of their chip array space to target these SNPs in your genome. Of course, for your most refined haplogroup and Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA matching, you have to take those specific tests at FamilyTreeDNA .

This means that each testing company includes and reports many of the same, but also some different SNP locations when they scan your DNA.

In the lab, after your DNA is extracted from either your saliva or the cheek swab, it’s placed on this array chip which is then placed in the processing equipment.

There are several steps in processing your DNA. Each DNA location specified on the chip is scanned and read multiple times, and the results are recorded. The final output is the raw DNA results file that you see if/when you download your raw DNA file.

Here’s an example from my file. The RSID is the reference SNP cluster ID which is the naming convention used for specific SNPs. It’s not relevant to you, but it is to the lab, along with the chromosome number and position, which is in essence the address on the chromosome.

In the Result column, your file reports one nucleotide (T, A, C or G) that you inherited from each parent at each tested position. They are not listed in “parent order” because your DNA is not organized in that fashion. There’s no way for the lab to know which nucleotide came from which parent, unless they are the same, of course. You can read about nucleotides, here.

When you upload your raw DNA file to a different DNA testing company (vendor), they have to work with a file that isn’t entirely compatible with the files they generate, or the other files uploaded from other DNA testing companies.

In addition to dealing with different file formats and contents from multiple DNA vendors, companies change their own chips and file structure from time to time. In some cases, it’s a forced change by the chip manufacturer. Other times, the vendors want to include different locations or make improvements. For example, with 23andMe’s focus on health, they probably add new medically related SNP locations regularly. Regardless of why, some DNA files include locations not included in other files and are not 100% compatible.

Looking at the first few entries in my example file above, let’s say that the testing vendor included the first ten positions, but an uploaded file from another company did not. Or perhaps the chip changed, and a different version of the company’s own file contains different positions.

DNA testing companies have to “fill in the blanks” for compatibility, and they do this using a technique called imputation. Illumina forced their customers to adopt imputation in 2017 when they dropped the capacity of their chip. I was initially quite skeptical, but imputation has worked surprisingly well. Some of the matching differences you will see when comparing the results of two different DNA files is a result of imputation.

I wrote about imputation in an early article here. Please note the companies have fixed many issues with imputation and improved matching greatly, but the concepts and imputation processes still apply. The downloaded raw data files are your results BEFORE imputation, meaning that it’s up to any company where you upload to process your raw file in the same way they would process a file that they generated. A lot goes on behind the scenes when you upload a file to a DNA testing company.

At both 23andMe and Ancestry, you know that all of your matches tested there, meaning they did not upload a file from another testing company. You don’t know and can’t tell what chip was utilized when your matches tested. The only way to determine a chip testing version, aside from knowing the date or remembering the chip version from when you tested, is to look at the beginning of the raw data download file, although not all files contain that information.

Ok, now that you understand the landscape, let’s look at my results at each company.


I tested twice at 23andMe on two different chip versions, V3 and V4, which tested some different locations of my DNA. Neither of these chips is the current version. I originally tested twice to evaluate the differences between the two test versions which you can read about, here.

23andMe named their ethnicity results Ancestry Composition.

They last updated my V3 test’s Ancestry Composition results on July 28, 2021.

The percentages are shown at left, and the country locations are highlighted at right for my 23andMe V3 test.

Click to enlarge any graphic

The 23andMe V4 test was also updated for the last time on July 28, 2021.

The ethnicity results differ substantially between the two chip versions, even though they were both updated on the same date.

In October of 2020, in an effort to “encourage” their customers to pay for a new test on their V5 chip, 23andMe announced that there would be no ethnicity updates on older tests. So, I really don’t know for sure when my tests were actually updated. Just note how different the results are. It’s also worth mentioning that 23andMe does not show trace amounts on their map, so even though my Indigenous American results were found, they aren’t displayed on the map.

Indigenous is, however, shown in yellow on their DNA Chromosome Painting.

No other testing company restricts updates, penalizing their customers who purchased earlier versions of tests.

Matches at 23andMe

23andMe limits your matches to about 1500 unless you have purchased the current test, including health AND pay for an annual $69 subscription which buys you about 5000 matches. I have not purchased this test.

Your number of actual matches displayed/retained is also affected by how many people you have communicated with, or at least initiated communications with. 23andMe does not roll those people off of your match list.

I have 1803 matches on both of my tests, meaning I’ve reached out to about 300 people who would have otherwise been removed from my match list. 23andMe retains your highest matches, deleting lower matches after you reach the maximum match threshold.

I’ve randomly evaluated several of the same matches at each vendor, at least five maternal and five paternal, separated by a blank row. I wanted to determine whether they match me on the same number of centimorgans, meaning the same amount of DNA, on both tests, and the same number of segments.

Match 23and Me V3 23and Me V4
Patricia 292 cM – 12 segments Same as V3
Joe 148 cM, 8 segments Same
Emily 73 cM, 4 segs 72 cM, 4 seg
Roland 27 cM, 1 seg Same
Ian 62 cM, 4 seg Same
Stacy 469 cM, 16 segments 482 cM, 16 segments
Harold 134 cM, 6 segments Same
Dean 69 cM, 3 seg Same
Carl 95 cM, 4 seg Same
Debbie 83 cM, 4 seg 84 cM, 4 seg

As you can see, the matches are either exact or xclose.

Please note that bolded matches are also found at another company. I will include a summary table at the end comparing the same match across multiple vendors.

23and Me Summary

The 23andMe V3 and V4 match results are very close. Since the match limit is the same, and the results are so close between tests, they are essentially identical in terms of matching.

The ethnicity results are similar, but the V4 test reflects a broader region. Italian baffles me in both versions.

Ethnicity should never be taken at face value at any DNA testing company, especially with smaller percentages which could be noise or a combination of other regions which just happens to resemble Italy, in my case.

I don’t know what type of comparison the current chip would yield since I suspect it has more medical and less genealogical SNPs on board.

Reprocessing Tests

This is probably a good place to note that it’s very expensive for any company to update their customer’s ethnicity results because every single customer’s DNA results file must be completely rerun. Note that this does not mean their DNA itself is retested. The output raw data file is reprocessed using a new algorithm.

Rerunning means reprocessing that specific portion of every test, meaning the vendors must rent “time in the cloud.” We are talking millions of dollars for each run. I don’t know how much it costs per test, but think about the expense if it takes $1 to rerun each test in the vendor’s database. Ancestry has more than 20 million tests.

While we, as consumers, are always chomping at the bit for new and better ethnicity results – the testing companies need to be sure it really is “better,” not just different before they invest the money to reprocess and update results.

This is probably why 23andMe decided to cease updating older kits. The newer tests require a subscription which is recurring revenue.

The same is true when DNA testing companies need to rematch their entire user base. This happens when the criteria for matching changes. For example, Ancestry purged a large number of matches for all of their customers back in 2020. While match algorithm changes necessitate rematching, with associated costs, this change also provided Ancestry with the huge benefit of eliminating approximately half of their customer’s matches. This freed up storage space, either physically in their data center or space rented in the cloud, representing substantial cost-savings.

How long can a DNA testing company reasonably be expected to continue investing in a product which never generates additional revenue but for which the maintenance and reinvestment costs never end?

Ancestry and MyHeritage both hope to offset the expenses of maintaining their customer’s DNA tests and providing free updates by selling subscriptions to their record services. 23andMe wants you to purchase a new test and a yearly subscription. FamilyTreeDNA wants you to purchase a Big Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA test.

OK, now let’s look at my matches at Ancestry.


I’ve taken two Ancestry tests, V1 and V2. There were some differences, which I wrote about here and here. V2 is no longer the current chip.

Except for 23andMe who wants their customers to purchase their most current test, the other companies no longer routinely announce new chip versions. They just go about their business. The only way you know that a vendor actually changed something is when the other companies who accept uploads suddenly encounter an issue with file formats. It always takes a few weeks to sort that out.

My Ancestry V1 test’s ethnicity results don’t show my Native American ethnicity.

Ancestry results were updated in June 2022

However, my V2 results do include Native American ethnicity.

Matches at Ancestry

I have many more matches on my V1 test at Ancestry because I took steps to preserve my smaller matches when Ancestry initiated its massive purge in 2020. I wrote about that here and here.

Ancestry’s SideView breaks matches down into maternal, paternal, and unassigned based on your side selection. You tell Ancestry which side is which. You may be able to determine which “side” is maternal or paternal either by your ethnicity or shared matches. While SideView is not always accurate, it’s a good place to begin.

Match Category Ancestry V1 Test Ancestry V2 Test
Maternal 15,587 15,116
Paternal 42,247 41,870
Both 2 2
Unassigned 48,999 4,127
Total 106,835 61,115

Ancestry either displays all your matches or your matches by side, which I used to compile the table above. I suspect that Ancestry is not assigning any of the smaller preserved matches to “sides” based on the numbers above.

Ancestry implemented a process called Timber that removes DNA that they feel is “too matchy,” meaning you match enough people in this region that they think it’s a pileup region for you personally, and therefore not useful. In some cases, enough DNA is removed causing that person to no longer be considered a match because they fall beneath the match threshold. I am not a fan of Timber.

Your match amount shown is AFTER Timber has removed those segments. Unweighted shared DNA is your pre-Timber match amount.

You can view the Unweighted shared DNA by clicking on the amount of shared DNA on your match list.

You can read Ancestry’s Matching White Paper, here.

Let’s take a look at my matches. I’ve listed both weighted and unweighted where they are different.

Match Ancestry V1 Ancestry V2
Michael 755 cM, 35 seg 737 cM, 33 seg
Edward 66 cM, 4 seg (unweighted 86 cM) 65 cM, 4 seg (unweighted 86 cM)
Tom 59 cM, 3 seg (unweighted 63) Same
Jonathon 43 cM, 4 seg, (unweighted 52 cM) Same
Matthew 20 cM, 2 seg (unweighted 35 cM) Same
Harold 132 cM, 7 seg 135 cM, 6 seg
Dean 67 cM, 4 seg (unweighted 78 cM) 66 cM, 4 seg (unweighted 78 cM)
Debbie 93 cM, 5 seg Same
Valli 142 cM, 3 seg Same
Jared 20 cM, 1 seg (unweighted 22 cM) Same

Timber only removes DNA when the match is under 90 cM. Almost every match under 90 cM has some DNA removed.

Ancestry Summary

The results of the two Ancestry tests are very close.

In some circumstances, no DNA is removed by Timber, so the unweighted is the same as the weighted. However, in other cases, a significant amount is removed. 15 cM of Matthew’s 35 cM was removed by Timber, reducing his total to 20 cM.

Remember that Ancestry does not show shared matches unless they are greater than 20 cM, which is different than any other DNA testing company.

At one point, Ancestry was selling a health test that was also a genealogy test. That test utilized a different chip that is not accepted for uploads by other vendors. The results of that test might well be different that the “normal” Ancestry tests focused on genealogy. The Ancestry health test is no longer offered.

Companies that Accept Uploads

DNA testing companies that accept uploaded DNA files from other DNA testing companies need to process the uploaded file, just like a file that is generated in their own lab. Of course, they must deal with the differences between uploaded files and their own file format. The processing includes imputation and formulates the uploaded file so that it works with the tools that they provide for their customers, including ethnicity (by whatever name they use) matching, family matching (bucketing), advanced matching, the match matrix, triangulation, AutoClusters, Theories of Family Relativity, and other advanced tools.

Of course, the testing company accepting uploads can only work with the DNA locations provided by the original DNA testing company in the uploaded file.

Matching and some additional tools are free to uploaders, but advanced tools require an inexpensive unlock.


I took a test at FamilyTreeDNA, plus uploaded a copy of both of my Ancestry DNA files.

FamilyTreeDNA named their population (ethnicity) test myOrigins and the current version is V3. I wrote about the rollout and comparison in September of 2020, here.

My DNA test taken at FamilyTreeDNA, above, reveals Native American segments that match reference populations found both in North and South America and the Caribbean Islands.

At FamilyTreeDNA, my Ancestry V1 uploaded file results show Native American population matches only in North America.

Interestingly, my Ancestry V1 file processed AT Ancestry did not reveal Native American ancestry, but the same file uploaded to and processed at FamilyTreeDNA did show Native American results, reflecting the difference between the vendors’ internal algorithms and reference populations utilized.

My myOrigins results from my Ancestry V2 uploaded file at FamilyTreeDNA also include my North American Native American segments. The V2 test also showed Native American ethnicity at Ancestry, so clearly something changed in Ancestry’s algorithm, locations tested, and/or reference populations between V1 and V2.

Fortunately, FamilyTreeDNA provides both chromosome painting and a population download file so I can match those Native segments with my autosomal matches to identify which of my ancestors contributed those specific segments.

One of my Native segments is shown in pink on Chromosome1. My mother has a Native segment in exactly the same location, so I know that this segment originated with my mother’s ancestors.

I downloaded the myOrigins population segment file and painted my results at DNAPainter, along with the matches where I can identify our common ancestor. This allowed me to pinpoint the ancestral line that contributed this Native segment in my maternal line. You can read about using DNAPainter, here.

FamilyTreeDNA Matches

I have significantly more matches at FamilyTreeDNA on their test than on either of my Ancestry tests that I uploaded. However, nearly the same number are maternally or paternally assigned through Family Matching, with the remainder unassigned. You can read about Family Matching here.

Match Category FamilyTreeDNA Test Ancestry V1 at FamilyTreeDNA Ancestry V2 at FamilyTreeDNA
Paternal 3,479 3,572 3,422
Maternal 1,549 1,536 1,477
Both 3 3 3
All 8,154 6,397 6,579

Family matching, aka bucketing, automatically assigns my matches as maternal and paternal by linking known relatives to their place in my tree.

I completed the following match chart using my original test taken at FamilyTreeDNA, plus the same match at FamilyTreeDNA for both of my Ancestry tests.

In other words, Cheryl matched me at 467 cM on 21 segments on the original test taken at FamilyTreeDNA. She matched me on 473 cM and 21 segments on my Ancestry V1 test uploaded to FamilyTreeDNA and on 483 cM and 22 segments on the Ancestry V2 test uploaded to FamilyTreeDNA.

Match FamilyTreeDNA Ancestry V1 at FTDNA Ancestry V2 at FTDNA
Cheryl 467 cM, 21 seg 473 cM, 21 seg 483 cM, 22 seg
Patricia 195 cM, 11 seg 189 cM, 11 seg 188 cM, 11 seg
Tom 77 cM, 4 seg 71 cM, 4 seg 76 cM, 4 seg
Thomas 72 cM, 3 seg 71 cM, 3 seg 74 cM, 3 seg
Roland 29 cM, 1 seg 35 cM, 2 seg 35 cM, 2 seg
Rex 62 cM, 4 seg 55 cM, 3 seg 57 cM, 3 seg
Don 395 cM, 18 seg 362 cM, 15 seg 398 cM, 18 seg
Ian 64 cM, 4 seg 56 cM, 4 seg 64 cM, 4 seg
Stacy 490 cM, 18 seg 494 cM, 15 seg 489 cM, 14 seg
Harold 127 cM, 5 cM 133 cM, 6 seg 143 cM, 6 seg
Dean 81 cM, 4 seg 75 cM, 3 seg 83 cM, 4 seg
Carl 103 cM, 4 seg 101 cM, 4 seg 102 cM, 4 seg
Debbie 99 cM, 5 seg 97 cM, 5 seg 99 cM, 5 seg
David 373 cM, 16 seg 435 cM, 19 seg 417 cM, 18 seg
Amos 176 cM, 7 seg 177 cM. 8 seg 177 cM, 7 seg
Buster 387 cM, 15 seg 396 cM, 16 seg 402 cM, 17 seg
Charlene 461 cM, 21 seg 450 cM, 21 seg 448 cM, 20 seg
Carol 65 cM, 6 seg 64 cM, 6 seg 65 cM, 6 seg

I have tested many of my cousins at FamilyTreeDNA and encouraged others to test or upload. I’ve attempted to include enough people so that I can have common matches at least at one other DNA testing company for comparison.

FamilyTreeDNA Summary

The matches are relatively close, with a few being exact.

Interestingly, some of the segment counts are different. In most cases, this results from one segment being broken into multiple segments by one or more of the tests, but not always. In the couple that I checked, the entire segment seems to descend from the same ancestral couple, so the break is likely a result of not all of the same DNA locations being tested, plus the limits of imputation.


I have two tests at MyHeritage. One taken at MyHeritage, and an uploaded file from FamilyTreeDNA.

MyHeritage displays both ethnicity results and Genetic Groups which maps groups of people that you match. I left the Genetic Groups setting at the highest confidence level. Shifting it to lower displays additional Genetic Groups, some of which overlap with or are within ethnicity regions.

My test taken at MyHeritage, above, shows several ethnicities and Genetic Groups, but no Native American.

My FamilyTreeDNA kit processed at MyHeritage shows the same ethnicity regions, one additional Genetic Group, plus Native American heritage in the Amazon which is rather surprising given that I don’t show Native in North American regions where I’m positive my Native ancestors lived.

MyHeritage Matching

At MyHeritage, I compared the results of the test I took with MyHeritage, and a test I uploaded from FamilyTreeDNA. Fewer than half of my matches can be assigned to a parent via shared matching.

Matches MyHeritage Test FamilyTreeDNA at MyHeritage
Paternal 4,422 6,501
Maternal 2,660 3,655
Total 13,233 16,147

I have rounded my matches at MyHeritage to the closest cM.

Match MyHeritage Test FamilyTreeDNA at MyHeritage
Michael 801 cM, 32 seg 823 cM, 31 segments
Cheryl 467 cM, 23 seg 477 cM, 23 seg
Roland No match 28 cM, 1 seg
Patty 156 cM, 9 seg 151 cM, 9 seg
Rex 43 cM, 4 seg 53 cM, 3 seg
Don 369 cM, 16 seg 382 cM, 17 seg
David 449 cM, 17 seg 460 cM, 17 seg
Charlene 454 cM, 23 seg 477 cM, 24 seg
Buster 408 cM, 15 seg 410 cM, 16 seg
Amos 183 cM, 8 seg Same
Carol 78 cM, 6 seg 87 cM, 7 seg

MyHeritage Summary

I was surprised to discover that Roland had no match with the MyHeritage test, but did with the FamilyTreeDNA test. I wonder if this is a searching or matching glitch, especially since both companies use the same chip. 28 cM in one segment is a reasonably large match, and even if it was divided in two, it would still be over the matching threshold. I know this is a valid match because Roland triangulates with me and several cousins, I’m positive of our common ancestor, and he also matches me at both FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe.

Other than that, the matches are reasonably close, with one being exact.

Your Matches Aren’t Everyplace

I unsuccessfully searched for someone who was a match to me in all four databases. Ancestry does not permit match downloads, so I had to search manually. People don’t always use the same names in different databases.

Surprisingly, I was unable to find one match who is in all of the databases. Many people only suggest testing at Ancestry because they have the largest database, but if you look at the following comparison chart that I’ve created, you’ll see that 16 of 26 people, or 62% were not at Ancestry. Conversely, many people were at Ancestry and not elsewhere. I could not find five maternal and five paternal matches at Ancestry that I could identify as matches in another database. 40% were not elsewhere.

If you think for one minute that it doesn’t matter for genealogy if you’re in all four major databases, please reconsider. It surely does matter.

Every single vendor has matches that the others don’t. Substantial, important matches. I have found first and second-cousin matches in every database that weren’t elsewhere.

Many of the original testers have passed away and can’t test again. My mother can never test at either 23andMe or Ancestry, but she is at both FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritage because I could upgrade her kit at FamilyTreeDNA after she died. I uploaded her to MyHeritage. Of course, because she is a generation closer to our ancestors, she has many valuable matches that I don’t.

Each vendor provides either an email address or a messaging platform for you to contact your matches. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t answer. Just today, I received a reply that was years in the making.

Genealogists hope for immediate gratification, but we are actually in this for the long game. Play it with every tool at your disposal.

The Answer

Does it matter if you test at a DNA testing company, or upload a file?

I know this was a very long answer to what my readers hoped was a simple yes or no question.

There is no consistent answer at either FamilyTreeDNA or MyHeritage, the two DNA testing companies that accept uploads. Be sure you’re in both databases. My closest two matches that I did not test were found at MyHeritage. Here’s a direct link to upload at MyHeritage.

Of the vendors, those two should be the closest to each other because they are both processed in the GenebyGene lab, but again, the actual chip version, when the test was originally taken, and each vendor’s internal processing will result in differences. Neither the original test at the DNA testing company nor the uploaded files have consistently higher or lower matches. Neither type of test or upload appears to be universally more or less accurate. Differences in either direction seem to occur on a match-by-match basis. Many are so close as to be virtually equivalent, with a few seemingly random exceptions. Of course, we always have to consider Timber.

If you upload, unlock the advanced features at both FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritage.

If you upload to a DNA testing company, you may discover in the future that some features and functions will only be available to original testers.

Personally, if I had the option, I would test at the company directly simply because it eliminates or at least reduces the possibility of future incompatibilities – with the exception of 23andMe which has chosen to not provide consistent updates to older tests. I’m incredibly grateful I didn’t test my mother or now deceased family members at 23andMe, and only there. I would be heartsick, heartbroken, and furious.

Our DNA is an extremely valuable resource for our genealogy. It’s the gift that truly keeps on giving, day after day, even when other records don’t exist. Be sure you and your family members are in each database one way or another, and test your Y-DNA (for males) and mitochondrial DNA (for everyone) to have a complete arsenal at your disposal.


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Mother’s Day Visitation Two Decades Out

I hope that you are enjoying Mother’s Day, whether you’re the Mom being honored, you’re honoring your mother, or you’re one of the millions who “mother” and love others, one way or another.

I didn’t have time to complete my normal article for today, but I certainly didn’t want to let Mother’s Day pass without acknowledgment.

I didn’t get my article finished because, let’s just say, I’ve been extremely busy with something VERY interesting.

I can’t tell you everything, but I can tell you a little!

Just a couple of days ago, I was able to visit Mom once again in the freezer at FamilyTreeDNA.

Mom’s DNA has been housed there since 2003, when she swabbed for her first DNA test. It’s so hard to believe that was two decades ago. So much has changed.

That stored DNA sample allowed me to upgrade Mom to the Family Finder test in 2012, six years after she passed away.

In 2013, I visited Mom at FamilyTreeDNA in the freezer and realized, as I looked in that little window, that there was more of my mother in that freezer than anywhere else on earth. My DNA is in there too, with her, just sayin’. I won’t be buried beside her in the soil, but I am near her in that freezer every day. Somebody has to keep an eye on her!

In intervening years, FamilyTreeDNA purchased a larger freezer and moved Mom from the earlier location across the room to the larger cryo-preservation cemetery – I mean freezer.

Now, Mom, with a few million of her friends and several thousand of our relatives, is partying it up in there when no one is looking.

Time Capsule

Every time I stare through that window, it’s like peering backward into a time capsule. I wonder, if all the Y-DNA was processed at the Big Y-700 level, how much of the entire Y-DNA phylogenetic tree would we be able to reconstruct?

People often skip testing mitochondrial DNA, passed from mothers to all their children, thinking it won’t be genealogically useful. I assure you, that’s not always the case. Furthermore, if you don’t test, DNA can never be useful. Every single person has mitochondrial DNA, so just imagine how much of the mitochondrial tree would be created if every one of those samples was tested at or upgraded to the full sequence level.

How many dead ends are in that freezer, meaning no living people carry that line anymore? I’m one of those people because I have no grandchildren through my daughter. Mom’s, her mother’s, and my mitochondrial DNA dies with my generation.

Based on my mitochondrial DNA sequence, meaning my mutations, I’ll VERY likely have a new haplogroup when the Million Mito Project rolls out, and even more likely that it will be at least three branches down the tree, closer in time.

What pieces of our human history will be lost if the people in that freezer don’t test their mitochondrial DNA at the full sequence level? The full sequence is needed to construct the mitochondrial tree of all humanity.

How many more matches would we have if everyone in that freezer had a Family Finder test? How many brick walls would fall? How many mysteries would be solved? Would we be able to reconstruct the DNA of our ancestors from their descendants?

What happens if we never open that time capsule, individually and collectively?

“Just Do It”

I had to pinch myself, though. As I stood in that lab, viewing through that window what I considered a sacred and hallowed space for Mom and humanity as well, I was reminded of what Mom said to me not long before she died. In fact, I can hear her frail voice.

“You need to do that.” 

What was “that”?

“That” was transforming her DNA results into a story – her story, her history and genealogy – and how she connected with the story of all humankind. Her “story” revealed her history, our history, even before genealogy, connecting with her soul. She could touch people whose names she would never know, but who contributed their mitochondrial DNA to her. It brought them alive.

I had an entire litany of sensible, level-headed reasons why I could never “do that,” beginning with the fact that I already had a career and owned a business. I had a family, children, and responsibilities – nope – no can do, Mom.

Not to be deterred, Mom gently stopped me in the process of listing all the perfectly logical and valid reasons why that would never work and told me that all of that was just preparing me for what I was “supposed to do,” and I needed to “just do it.” This was nothing like the mother I knew, always conservative in her advice and never wanting me to step out, even a little bit, onto an unstable limb. Let alone leap off the cliff of uncertainty with absolutely no safety net.

What had happened to my mother?

I simply couldn’t make her understand – all those years ago.

Then, my gaze drifts back to the present, and I remember that I’m staring into a freezer, not a time machine. Mom has already had all the tests available today. But many of her frozen neighbors have not.

As I stood, looking into that window, into the past, and perhaps into the future, I was afraid to turn around.

People were standing behind me, filming. I didn’t want anyone to see those tears slipping down my cheeks. After all, I had simply been looking at a window, right? Just a window. Not a cemetery. Not a portal. Not a time machine, no reason for tears – unless you understand the magnitude of what the freezer holds.

I so hoped that those hot tears didn’t entirely ruin my makeup, or that I could at least escape to the restroom to fix it without being noticed.

The Greatest Journey

On the way to the restroom, I saw this framed magazine, a wink and a nod from Mom, I’m sure. Indeed, our DNA is the greatest journey ever told, ever embarked upon, and the story is not yet entirely written. Mom said DNA would change the world as we know it, and she was right.

Mom, I found a way – or maybe fate found me back in 2004. That fateful fork in the road, although I’m not sure I even realized I had slipped onto that road untaken until it was too late to turn back.

Maybe Mom pushed those buttons from the other side, because I’ve been passionately “doing that” one way or another now for almost two decades. And finally, finally, we are going to be able to tell a larger story.

You and me, Mom. Hand in hand with our cousins. All of them – on every continent around the world.

Making history is on the horizon. DNA rocks. Here’s to all the mothers!!!

Thank You

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love and miss you oh so much. And, while I wasn’t at the time, I’m – ahem – so incredibly grateful for the swift kick in the behind called encouragement.

But then, isn’t that the age-old story of motherhood?

Until next time Mom, you behave in there!


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Hiram Ferverda and Eva Miller Brought Back to Life – 52 Ancestors #397

Hiram Bauke Ferverda (1854-1925) immigrated from the Netherlands as a boy with his father, step-mother, and family in 1868. I wrote about Hiram here, here, and here.

They sailed in October, the month after Hiram’s 14th birthday. His mother, Geertje Harmens DeJong had died in 1860 when Hiram was six years old. His only surviving full sibling, Hendrik, who came to be known as Henry, was just two days shy of his third birthday when his mother passed away. Their baby sister, only eight months old, had perished three months before their mother.

1860 was filled with tragedy for this family, leaving Hiram’s remaining parent, a school teacher, with two young boys to raise.

In 1863, his father, Bauke Hendrick Ferwerda (1830-1911,) with a surname that morphed to both Ferverda and Fervida in Indiana, remarried Minke “Minnie” Gerb ens Van der Koo. Their first two children were twin girls born a day apart, which probably means just a few minutes before and after midnight, in August of 1864. They were joined by another sister in May of 1867.

When they sailed for America in 1868, the family consisted of Hiram’s father, step-mother, brother Hendrik “Henry” who would have just turned nine, half-siblings Melvinda who was four, her twin Lysbeth who died during the voyage and was buried at sea, and Geertje, who was just 17 months old.

We have only six photos of Hiram Ferveda, even though he lived until 1925. Half of those photos are very distant. There’s only one of his brother, Henry, who led an incredibly sad, short life.

The photos I have of Hiram are second-hand copies from a booklet, so they are very poor quality. I reached out to a photo restoration group on Facebook, and VERY KIND volunteers worked on restoring the Ferverda boy’s faces, along with that of Hiram’s wife, Eva Miller (1857-1939), who I wrote about here and here. Unfortunately, to date, no photos of Hiram’s father have been located, although I still have my fingers crossed given that he lived until 1911.

Hiram (Harmen Bauke) Ferverda (Ferwerda) at left, Henry (Hendrik) Ferverda at right, assuming the Ferverda booklet is labeled correctly.

Here’s the original photo of brothers Hiram and Henry.

I didn’t think there was much hope for restoration, as I had already tried, without much success. Fortunately, other people knew what they were doing.

A very nice man named Ray improved the photo, as did several others.

Then, a photo image genius who I’ll call Angel (a pseudonym, because Angel does not want to have photographic restorations requested) worked on the faces and literally brought them back to life.

I was dumbstruck.

Hiram’s brother, Henry, above.

Hiram Ferverda. Notice his left eye.

I think of Hiram as a dignified silver-haired man in photos with his adult family, not as a youth.

A few days later, I asked for assistance again. Requesters are not allowed to tag a particular volunteer, but I was extremely fortunate that Angel saw my request and once again, very graciously, worked their magic.

In 1876, Hiram married Eva Miller. They obviously went to a portrait studio for the photo above, which is recorded as either being a wedding photo, or near that time. She was 18, soon to be 19, and he was on the cusp of 22. That seems awfully young to marry today but was the norm back then.

Once again, I was incredibly amazed.

But Angel wasn’t finished.

Hiram’s stunning portrait.

I had to sit down and catch my breath. What an incredible gift.

Notice Hiram’s eye again. Whatever condition he had, it’s genetic, because my grandfather, his son, had the same “droopy” left eye, which has continued in some people in the following generations, but not as pronounced.

Here’s Eva Miller as a young woman, remarkably, without her Brethren prayer bonnet. Her hair is drawn back, but not put up on her head. I’d bet her family was very unhappy about this picture. Perhaps Eva was a bit rebellious, at least for a young Brethren woman.

I have to smile, thinking about this chapter in Eva’s life. She did not marry outside the faith, but her sons would unapologetically serve in the military and her husband was a Marshall in Leesburg, so this entire family was a bit renegade. Always Brethren though.

This restored portrait of Eva is so very real and literally made me cry. I can see my mother in her face, almost 150 years after this photo was taken. I wish I could show Mom. I can see myself and my daughter in Eva’s face too, especially when we were younger.

Mom told me that Eva came and cared for her when she was ten years old and terribly ill with rheumatic fever. They forged a special bond. Mom remembered her kindness, and her white prayer bonnet.

The only other photos we have of Eva are poor quality and when she is either older or elderly, with her adult children.

The best one is a chalk drawing. She doesn’t look very happy. I actually wonder if this is Eva or her mother, Margaret Elizabeth Lentz (1822-1903.) The family member who gave it to me identified it as Eva.

Regardless, that’s how I think of Eva – matronly and reserved, wearing her prayer bonnet, with her hair twisted into a bun on her head, not as an incredibly beautiful young woman. I much prefer to think of her as a lovely bride, sitting for her wedding portrait, despite what anyone thought, excited to set up housekeeping with her handsome groom. I’m so very glad that arranged this photo session, because, without that one remaining poor photograph, we would have had no prayer of recovering these wonderful ones.

I’m incredibly grateful to Angel, of course, for bringing my great-grandparents back to life through these stunning portraits as well as for the gift of literally being able to view them as vibrant young people.


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WikiTree Connections, King Charles III, and DNA

By Copyright House of Lords 2022 / Photography by Annabel Moeller, CC BY 2.0,

I’m not a royal-watcher, but you’d pretty much have to be dead to not be aware that King Charles III is being crowned this Saturday, May 6th.

Have you wondered if you’re related to Charles? Or someone else?

It’s easy to find out on WikiTree.

Go to King Charles’s profile, here.

Notice that under “DNA Connections,” a WikiTree user has entered the Y-DNA of the line of King Charles via an academic sample uploaded to mitoYDNA. That’s interesting!

Tsar Romanov and King Charles III both descend from a common ancestor and are first cousins twice removed (1C2R.) You can also see more about Nicholas Romanov II in the FamilyTreeDNA Discover tool under haplogroup R-M269, in Notable Connections.

Under WikiTree DNA Connections, I notice no one has entered King Charles’s mitochondrial DNA information. Of course, King Charles inherited his mtDNA from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

If you know of anyone who carries Queen Elizabeth’s mitochondrial DNA through her direct matrilineal ancestors, by all means, enter this information. If you don’t know how, you can click on help at the bottom of the page or click here. WikiTree has lots of truly helpful volunteers.

You can also enter your information if you’ve taken an autosomal, Y-DNA, or mitochondrial DNA test and are descended appropriately from the person represented in the profile.

Here’s an example from my ancestor, Phebe Cole’s profile. I entered where I tested, and my GEDmatch number.

You can add your DNA test information by clicking on the “Add” button in the top header, then DNA Test Information here.

WikiTree DNA Benefits

WikiTree is a wonderful place to:

  • Upload your DNA to the relevant profile, where it will be populated up the tree appropriately
  • Obtain DNA information, including haplogroups, about your ancestors
  • Discover cousins who descend from that ancestor and who have tested their DNA
  • Discover cousins who may not have tested yet, but might be willing

I use WikiTree regularly to fish for Y and mitochondrial DNA information about my ancestors and to see if I match cousins listed as descendants of a common ancestor.

WikiTree works in the opposite direction from the DNA testing vendors.

At the testing vendors, you find the match and then need to determine how they are related. At WikiTree, you check your ancestor and will find a list of cousins who descend from that ancestor and who have DNA tested. You already know at least one way that each person is related to you. Finding cousin matches by ancestor is part of my triangulation process.

Are You Related?

No known DNA testers or don’t match – no problem.

You can determine whether or not you’re genealogically related to any individual on Wikitree.

Just sign in to your account, and select the profile of the person you want to check.

Scroll very near the bottom or do a browser search for the words “your connection.”

Just click on “Your connection” or “Your genealogical relationship.”

Collaborate is Key

WikiTree is crowd-sourced, so be sure to verify your connection pathway results. If the path isn’t accurate, you can correct the inaccurate person or connection. We are all doing the genealogy community a HUGE favor by ensuring this collaborative tree is accurate.

If you’re unsure about a connection, check the sources and evidence for each generation. If you need information, contact the profile manager.

Add a comment, ask a question, add an image, or provide additional information and sources on any profile.

Ancestral Legacy

I regularly update my ancestors’ profiles with additional information when it becomes available. I appreciate everything others have shared with me over the years, and I want to be sure the information about my ancestors is as accurate as possible.

I don’t know about you, but I’m in this for the long game – for posterity. Leaving as much accurate information, including Y and mitochondrial DNA, is the very least I can do for my ancestors. After all, we wouldn’t be here without them.

So, are you related to King Charles? Is your distant cousin being crowned on Saturday?


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