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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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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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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Marie LaFaille or Mary LaFay (1767-1836): The Battle for Mary’s Soul – 52 Ancestors #396

The difference in the name of Marie Lafaille and Mary Lafay, the same person, is emblematic of her life – a clash of cultures. Tug of war. Catholic versus Protestant – and no – this isn’t Northern Ireland’s Troubles. It’s Canada.

This conflict raged all of her life, beginning before Marie was born to Francois Lafaiille or Lafay as he signed his name, and Marguerite LaForest, Forest or LaForet, until the day Mary, as she was called then, died – and even beyond.

Except Marie/Mary became emblematic of the battle, ensnared in the crosshairs.

Both sides used Marie or Mary as a shining example of what one should aspire to, or, as a shamed example of what one should never do. In the process, or perhaps I should say, during that war, her family was torn apart, never to reconcile.

Ironically, it’s a result of that clash and the role Marie, or Mary, played that we know much about her life. Granted, the information we have is, to some extent, somewhat biased, but at least we have SOMETHING!

I worked on Marie’s history about 15 years ago with now-deceased Paul LeBlanc and others. It’s truly complex. But it’s time to commit to paper what I know, with the hope that others may be able to contribute additional information.

One day, in 2008 or 2009, a tidbit was dropped by a cousin on the now-defunct Acadian RootsWeb message board. He mentioned Marie and “the missionaries”.

The Missionaries?


What missionaries?

Probably Catholic missionaries, given that Marie was Acadian, but I needed to know more. Any tidbit is a reg flag to genealogists.

Further digging slowly revealed scraps of information like layers of earth being excavated from an artifact. This prized artifact is Marie or Mary’s life.

First, Marie had become protestant. Protestant? An Acadian?


Second, I discovered the name of a book, thankfully in English, that told bits of this story. Henrietta Feller and the Grande Ligne Mission was written to honor the Baptist missionaries, so readers need to interpret the contents in that context.

We had always thought that Marie had been born in Connecticut based on the fact that her aunts and uncles, at least some of them, were deported to Connecticut. Her father, Jacque Fourest is listed there with 10 persons in 1763.

We know that Marie’s mother, Marguerite DeForest, was married about 1765 someplace in New England to Francoise LaFaille, reportedly a French sailor. For the ten years before her marriage, she would have been living with her parents and siblings.

Nothing is known about either Francoise or the LaFaille family.

However, if the missionaries’ records are accurate, they reveal that Marie, who was born in 1767, was born in Boston. Her two directly younger sisters, born in 1769 and 1773, were born in New England too.

I have found no record of Francois Lafaille or Lafay, as Francois always signed his name, and Marguerite deForest, Forest or deForet in Massachusetts, but no record elsewhere in the colonies either.

Francois Lafaille and his wife, Marguerite De Forest (Forest, Foret and derivatives) first appeared in L’Acadie, in lower Canada, in 1788 with 9 of their 10 children. The youngest was born in January of 1789. Marie’s mother was probably pregnant as the family made their way to Canada.

The area broadly known as L’acadie, outlined in red, isn’t far from the St. Lawrence River and Montreal. It’s even closer to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu on the Richelieu River.

The Lafay family lived someplace in the L’Acadie farming community, close to Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie Catholic church, at the red arrow. Family members are buried in the cemetery there.

Marie’s parents had their three oldest daughters baptized at Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie in 1789, and their own marriage renewed in 1792. They had been married in the colonies in front of a clerk without benefit of a priest after the 1755 Acadian deportation from Nova Scotia.

On August 10th, 1789, Marie Lafay married Honore Lore, of the Acadian Lore family..

From Paul:

I found the marriage of your ancestor Marie Lafay and Honoré Lord. From what I can read from the original records they were married on August 10, 1789 in L’Acadie, QC parish of Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie. Honoré lord is said to be the son of Honoré Lord and deceased Apolline Garceau. Marie Lafay is said to be the daughter of François Lafay and Marguerite Foret. The following witnesses have signed: Honoré Lord father, Charles Lanoue friend of the spouse, Marie Lafay, Francois Lafay, Françoise Lafay, Marguerite et Suzanne Lafay.

Paul states that the text is handwritten and in French so somewhat difficult to read, and that caution should be used with his interpretation.

Not only is this an incredible record, it gives us the signatures of Marie herself, her new husband, Honore Lore, her father, Francois Lafay in a beautiful script, and two of her sisters. I’m presuming here, that the Marguerite that signed was her sister and not her mother, who would have signed as Marguerite DeForest.

Now that we know where Marie is in 1789, the year she was baptized for the second time and then married, how did she get there?

Marie LaFaille Lore

I discovered additional information in the book, Canadian Baptist Women, edited by Sharon M. Bowler.

“Madame Mary Lore,” in fact, receives her own chapter entitled A Lower Canada Baptist Beginning.

Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Weren’t the Acadians Catholic?”, you’d be absolutely right. In fact, Acadians identify themselves by their very Catholicness.

The Acadians had suffered greatly for roughly a century and a half by the time they were horrifically removed from their land in Nova Scotia in 1755. They continued to suffer, many perishing during their exile as impoverished refugees in New England and elsewhere. They had endured extreme deprivations for their Catholic faith, and it sustained them. To turn one’s back on Catholicism was just about the worst act of betrayal one could commit or even conceive of in an Acadian family.

Let me put this in perspective. Marie’s mother, Marguerite DeForest, is the only known child of her parents. Marguerite was born about 1747 or 1748. Her parents were married in 1734 in Port Royal, so they should have had 10 or 12 children, maybe more, before the deportation in 1755. Yet the only child whose birth record we find is Marguerite’s. Did they live elsewhere, outside Port Royal, meaning their children’s baptism records have not survived? Birth control not only didn’t exist, but this family was Catholic. The family was deported because they were Catholic. They lost everything. They suffered. If all of Marguerite’s siblings perished during the deportation, she would have witnessed it all. If they did not perish, where are their records as adults?

Therefore, Marie’s own parents and grandparents had suffered through genocide in order to remain Catholic. Everyone suffered indescribably, many were forever separated, with no idea what happened to their family members, and countless numbers died in the process. No family escaped.

For Marie to leave the fold, the family who experienced and remembered suffering firsthand, to become Baptist was incomprehensible. It’s not a matter of changing churches and attending services at the one down the street.

New believers in any religion are referred to as converts. Converts are often considered betrayers and heretics from the perspective of their former religion, especially if their conversion was by choice, not force.

The author of Canadian Baptist Women explains that conversion from Catholicism to the Baptist faith is more than just occupying a different pew in a church. (Footnotes are mine, not in the original text.)

Baptists differ from Catholics in their use of and belief in the Bible, in their manner of interpreting the way of salvation, justification, the freeness of salvation, grace in regeneration, repentance and sanctification, church and church government, and in the concepts surrounding the understanding of death. A person moving from a Roman Catholic to a Baptist faith foundation took, in many ways, an opposite faith direction, which posed risks to their social, economic, and physical safety.

After reading that, I remind myself how many wars have been fought and sacrileges have been committed over and in the name of religion.

Consequences included shunning, expulsion, ostracization, exclusion from family, business, and social life, exclusion from Catholic burial, and condemnation to Hell.

A Lower Canada Baptist Beginning draws the curtains back on Marie’s story by referring to her as Mary and her married name, Lore. French women were generally referred to, even after marriage, by their birth surname.

Mary Lore’s family was part of the 1755 Acadian expulsion from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts called Le Grand Derangement that drove an entire culture into political, economic and social crisis. The Acadians were not a free people in their new American land and experienced much uncertainty and danger.

Mary was born Marie Lafaille in Boston, Massachusetts to an Acadian mother and French father. Her 1767 Boston birth occurred at a time when many Massachusetts Acadians travelled to Boston to petition for transport to return to Canada.[1] [2]

Some, however, were considering staying, taking into account:

…the dangers of sea travel, which included storms, sinking, contagions and even piracy, recently illustrated by the fate of 80 young Acadians taken and pressed into the service of privateers. They knew that they retained no place or residual rights in Nova Scotia. Moreover, old age, the very ache of their 50-year-old bones, reminded them how difficult it would be to scratch out a new place on leftover and, thus difficult, lands. Just perhaps, they still resisted taking an oath to the throne…Just possibly they and their children began to envision rural Massachusetts as home…children had no doubt learned English and accustomed themselves to the ways of these strangers. Time had not resulted in their isolation, and familiarity with Protestants and colonial law had not bred contempt.[3]

Perhaps the Lafaille family had settled in and become somewhat established over the 11 years since the expulsion from Nova Scotia began. Children had been born and others were nearly raised. Mary was educated in a Protestant school and learned to read the Bible there.

Someplace along the line, Marie Lafaille became Mary LaFay, spelled the way it sounded in English. Her father signed his surname the same way.

In 1766, a year before Marie’s birth, a Massachusetts delegation visited Quebec and obtained permission for Acadians to return.

Yet, Marie’s family did not move to Quebec at that time. They didn’t join other Acadian families until sometime about 1788, more than two decades later.

We know that the family was in L’Acadie on the Richelieu River in Quebec by January 6, 1789, when Marie and two of her sisters, Marguerite and Susanne, were baptized in the Catholic Church.

On January sixth Seventeen Hundred Eighty Nine, I, priest undersigned, baptized conditionally Marie, age twenty-one, Marguerite, age nineteen, and Suzanne, age sixteen and ten months, daughters of François La Faye and of Marguerite Foret. The godfather and godmother of Marie were Laurent Roy and Isabelle Bro, his wife, undersigned. The godfather and godmother of Marguerite were Pierre Lavoie and Marie Anne Melanson, his wife. The godfather and godmother of Suzanne were Pierre Trahant and Euphrosine Leroux. [These last] godfathers and godmothers declared that they were unable to sign. The baptized girls signed with us.

/s Lamité, priest,  Laurent Roy, Isabelle bro, Marie Lafay, Margit Lafay, Suzanne Lafay, Françoise Lafay.

If Marie was 21 on January 6th, she very likely was still to experience her 1789 birthday, in which she would turn 22, placing her birth in 1767.

Just five days later, their youngest sister, Francoise, was born and baptized the same day.

Marie was her sponsor, signed her name, and stood up at her sister’s baptism, swearing before God, the church, and the parishioners that she would raise her sister in the church should something happen to her parents.

A Clue

One clue about where they might have lived is that sometime before the family left Massachusetts, Mary said that she received a Bible from Pliny Moore, an American military Lieutenant, a Baptist, and then a Congregational Church leader. Pliny was born into a wealthy Sheffield, Massachusetts family in 1759.

Pliny’s family was in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, by 1764 and in Spencertown, NY, by 1770, where his parents remained.

Many Acadians were, in essence, “adopted” or sponsored by wealthy Massachusetts families. Pliny served in the American Revolution in New York, then settled in Champlain shortly thereafter.

Mary reportedly cherished that Bible from Pliny for the rest of her life. I can’t help but wonder if it survives now.

From the book, Canadian Baptist Women:

Roman Catholic church histories have focused on the power and authority of Catholic leadership over the souls of the congregation. Baptists, however, unlike Roman Catholics of the 20th century, emphasized their personal relationship with God.

Years later, Mary said she enjoyed reading the Bible as a child, but she was no longer allowed to read the Bible after her Catholic baptism in 1789.

Mary was the first Baptist convert in Quebec. She eventually became one of the earliest founders of the Grande Ligne Baptist Mission in Quebec, on the Richelieu River. But how did she get there, and why?

The L’Acadie Area

In 1784, the area near Champlain, New York, on the border of New York and Canada, was settled by Scotch and French-Canadian refugees on lands granted by the State of NY to those who fought against the British during the Revolutionary War.

In 1787, Pliny Moore, a veteran, obtained land where Champlain, New York, would eventually be located. In 1788, Pliny surveyed the land and in 1789, he moved his family. Champlain is just downriver from l’Acadie, so perhaps these families planned their move together, and maybe even joined each other on the journey. Somehow Marie and Pliny knew each other, and their lives intersected many more times.

According to what Mary told the Baptist missionaries, her elderly grandmother, who would have been Marie Josèphe Le Prince, became upset in 1787 that her children were losing their religion and culture and made the decision to send the family back to Canada.

Mary also revealed that she had encouraged her father to make the 1788 trip to Canada after something she recalled as “a fearful disappointment.” I wonder if her disappointment was personal in nature, perhaps a suitor, or something more widespread. It is interesting to note that Pliny Moore was married in January of 1787 in Vermont. It may or may not be relevant, but it is a possibility.

We don’t know what Mary’s disappointment was, but according to historian Joseph Amato’s research into one Acadian family, Marie’s family’s experience may have been similar.

The Revolutionary War magnified federal and state debts, leaving the majority with useless currency and no means to repay debts, turning newly ordained national citizens into ordinary migrants and squatters. The battle raged between creditors and debtors. Between the financial and mercantile coast against the farmers of the inland countryside. Shay’s Rebellion, an intense revolt of the indebted in Massachusetts resulted in a terrible shock to the new nation. It ended in 1787 having accomplished little. Many migrated back to the larger coastal cities where there was a chance to find work and make money, or initiating the great trek inward toward the frontiers.

And so, the great trek it was.

Mary’s grandmother was probably ecstatic, but ultimately, Mary was not. After arriving in l’Acadie, Mary later said that she was forced to stop reading her Bible when she was baptized in January 1789 “under condition,” along with her sisters, into the Catholic Church.

Under condition in the Catholic church means that there is some doubt as to whether a person was ever baptized, or if so, whether the former Catholic baptism is valid.

Mary could not have married a Catholic man were she not baptized into the church. The only men in Quebec were Catholic.


Did Mary not want to marry Honore Lore? Was this an arranged marriage, if not in the traditional sense, then in the functional? She was baptized on January 6th and married on August 10, 1789.

It might be relevant that her first child, Joseph, was born on March 8th, 1790, so Mary and Honore clearly had a close relationship by June. Young people fall in love quickly. The marriage does not appear to have been arranged, although it may have been somewhat unplanned. I feel much better knowing there was an attraction between them, and that Mary appears to have had a choice.

Mary and Honore had at least 15 children, and man oh man, have they been difficult to track. I’m still not positive I have everyone accounted for.

I’ve used various pieces of information to weave the family together. Baptism, marriage and death records, the 1851, 1861 and 1871 Canadian census, and estate records. I’ve not been able to locate the baptism record, or death record, for every child. “Confirmed” in the table below means that I have some confirmation. Unfortunately, due to same-name and other issues, there’s a lot of incorrect information about this family online.

Fortunately, French Catholic priests’ records tend to be very good about recording the names of the parents in the various documents, plus the mother’s birth surname. Thank goodness! Reading them both from a script and image quality perspective is quite another matter.

Bolded names signed their father’s estate inventory in 1834.

Child Birth or Baptism Death or Burial Spouse Religion
Joseph Lore March 8, 1790 confirmed May 30, 1835, confirmed he was married to Celeste Celeste Coulombe confirmed married in 1815 Catholic buried St. Jean l’Evangeliste in St. John sur Richelieu
Samuel Lore August 31, 1791 confirmed Jan 23, 1821 confirmed Archange Hubert (Hebert) confirmed Nov. 7, 1814 Catholic, died before Marie’s conversion
Marie Elizabeth Lore – listed as Baptist in 1851 census, but stricken through May 1, 1793 confirmed February 20, 1857 buried Grande Ligne confirmed Jean-Baptiste Leveque (Elizabelle in 1819 marriage record) Baptized and buried Feb. 20 at Baptist church, Grande Ligne
Marie (Josephte) Lore December 19, 1794 confirmed After 1871 Single in 1861 & 1871 census, “deaf and dumb” The birth is shown as 1797 or 1798 in all three censuses. No burial found
Marie (Victoire) Lore (twin) July 17, 1796 confirmed June 30, 1831 buried St, Jean sur Richelieu – her husband was listed as Catholic in 1851 as were the children. Albert Patenaude. She is listed as Marie Victoire Laure in her 1819 marriage) He signs estate. Also remarried in Nov. of 1831. Catholic, died before Marie’s conversion
Hyppolite Lore (twin) July 17, 1796 confirmed July 18, 1796 confirmed, buried l’Acadie The baptism says Marie and Hippolite.and is signed by father. Catholic, died as child
Alexis Lore (twin) March 24, 1798 confirmed July 28, 1874 or 1875 buried l’Acadie – Grande Ligne Baptist, confirmed Never married, single on all census Baptist, 1861 census shows him as a Baptist farmer age 60
Pierre Lore (twin) March 24, 1798 confirmed July 1, 1799 buried l’Acadie confirmed Catholic, died as child
Benoni Lore February 6, 1800 confirmed (father signed) Sept 15, 1888 buried Grande Ligne, confirmed Francoise Therrien, married 1823 confirmed Listed as Baptist in 1851 census, but stricken through
Honore Lore March 21, 1802 (confirmed) February 23, 1882, confirmed Henriette Molleur confirmed 1828

Louise Piedalue

Baptist in 1851 census, buried Grande Ligne
Rene Zephyrin Lore August 26, 1803 confirmed signed by Honore November 5, 1877 Marie-Rose Lecuyer confirmed 1833 Baptist in 1861 census, buried Grand Ligne
Antoine “Anthony” Lore March 24, 1805 confirmed 1862/1868 Warren Co., PA Rachel Hill confirmed 1831 Unknown, not Catholic
Celeste Lore September 13, 1806 – cannot find baptism January 13, 1860, Hebron, NY confirmed Jean-Baptiste Labossiere – marriage record in St. Luc says child of Hilaire Laure de St Jean and Francoise LaFaris or Lafave Baptist, child married at Grande Ligne in 1847
Pierre Lore March 17, 1808 – confirmed September 3, 1814 buried l’Acadie confirmed Catholic
Marguerite Lore April 24, 1810 confirmed March 11, 1855, confirmed Laurent Labossiere Catholic buried l’Acadie

It’s interesting that Marie had two sets of twins.

Of these children, nine, in bold, signed Honore’s estate inventory record after his death in April 1834. I’ll be telling that story separately, as a kind soul has offered to translate the documents for me as she can.

Their three living, married, daughters signed with their husbands on Honore’s estate inventory which helped confirm Marie’s children, but I still can’t sort them out entirely.

Marie had two children who never married – Alexis and a female recorded as Marie, Marie J. and Josephte Lore/Lord in various censuses. I finally found her birth record, but never found a burial record. She’s recorded as Baptist, so clearly buried at Grande Ligne.

Josephte Lord, a 63-year-old single Baptist woman, is noted as “deaf and dumb,” meaning she could not hear, so she consequently could no speak. Dumb did not mean unable to learn, although without being able to communicate, learning was impossible.

In the 1851 census, Rene, Alexis (age 51) and a female named Marie J. Lord, age 54, are all recorded in the same positions, as they are for the 1861 and 1871 census too. This suggests, strongly, that all of these people are living in Rene Lord’s household.

In the 1861 and 1871 censuses, she is listed adjacent, then with, Rene Lord’s family, and also beside Alexis Lord, also single. We know that the census has recorded Rene’s and Alexis’s ages incorrectly, so Josephte’s may be wrong too.

Mary must have worried incredibly about this daughter who clearly could neither make her own way in the world, nor protect herself from becoming vulnerable and being taken advantage of. Today, she could have learned to speak and communicate, enlarging her world beyond silence. It’s also worth noting that she did not sign her father’s estate inventory, probably because they could not communicate with her at that level.

Her family took care of her all of her life.

Marie/Mary Lafaille/Lafay Lore died in August of 1836, which means that she buried six of her children, three as adults – one just a year before her death.

  • Marie Hippolyte, one of a set of twins, died the day after her birth in 1796.
  • Marie had a set of twin boys born in 1798. One, Pierre, died at 16 months of age in the summer of 1799.
  • They apparently tried naming a child Pierre again, but the second Pierre died in 1814 when he was six.
  • Samuel, her second oldest child died at age 30 in 1821.
  • Her daughter Marie died at 34 years of age in 1831.
  • Son Joseph died at 45 in May of 1835.

Mary helped care for and nurture several orphaned grandchildren in addition to a daughter who could not hear or speak, and a male child who never married.

These children who preceded Mary in death would have been buried in the Catholic cemetery at Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie. If they ever had stones, they don’t today.

1808 – Fork in the Road

Something happened in Mary’s life in 1808. Somehow, Mary retrieved her Bible that had been given to her by Pliny Moore. Mary was 41 years old and explained to the Baptist missionaries that she realized, with her reading of the scriptures, that she could no longer follow the Roman Catholic Church, although the rest of her family remained committed to that faith. According to Canadian Baptist Women, “She found that it was a struggle to keep her growing family (she eventually had 8 children), her husband and parents respectful of her Bible as she shared it with them.”

It appears that, in some way, Mary maintained contact with Pliny Moore, who lived just downstream in Champlain until his death in 1822. Moore was involved in the fur trade business in lower Canada. He had connections, owned property and businesses in Montreal. In other words, he would have gone back and forth, either by water or horseback.

The path from Champlain to Montreal was up Lake Champlain, the Richelieu River, and right past L’Acadie where Mary lived. If Pliny took the road, he would have literally gone right past Mary’s home, probably regularly stopping to visit.

In 1814, Moore was able to obtain a French Bible for Mary. She stated that it enabled her to “better understand her growing walk with the Lord.”

It seems that about this time, Mary reached a turning point in her religious life. She went for confession in the Catholic church, and according to her report, “unexpectedly and suddenly realized during this confession that the priest had no right to intervene on her behalf in her personal relationship with the Lord.”

In Champlain, Pliny Moore was becoming increasingly more evangelical and influential. In 1816, Mary obtained from Pliny a copy of the Bible for each of her children. Ironically, it was eventually through her adult children that she learned of the Baptist missionary work that was undertaken.

We know nothing more of Mary’s religious leanings between 1816 and 1835 when Mary Lore is reported as being the first French Canadian Baptist convert, but we do know more about her family.

Family Challenges

Like all families of that time, Marie, or Mary would have faced her share of grief and joy. A woman’s family was more than a full-time responsibility and Mary had a very large family.

In July of 1794, daughter Marie Josephte was born, probably without hearing. Since she never spoke, it’s unlikely that she had ever been able to hear. It would have been some time before the family realized that Marie could not hear, and they would have developed some form of communication with her.

In July of 1796, a twin daughter, Marie Hippolyte, was born and died the following day.

In 1798, her next pregnancy was also twins – both boys. One, Pierre, died 16 months later.

The 1808 event that may have precipitated Mary’s religious crisis, of sorts, could have been related to the birth of a second child named Pierre.

Mary’s last child was born in 1810 when she was 43 years old. That child, along with the rest were baptized Catholic.

In September of 1814, her son Pierre died, a little boy of six and a half. We don’t know if Pierre had some sort of life-altering issue from birth, or if he simply fell victim to the many childhood ills that claimed so many.

That happens to be the same year that Mary obtained the French Bible from Moore, so she may have been seeking comfort.

Three months later, son Samuel married, but he too would die in 1821.

Mary’s mother, Marguerite DeForest died in 1819. It’s never easy when parents die, but at least her parents lived long lives, in spite of their years in exile.

Elizabeth married in 1819, followed by Benoni in 1823.

Mary’s father, Francois Lafay died in 1824.

Son Antoine, by then using the name Anthony, married in Starksboro, Vermont in 1831, so he had clearly left home before that time.

Rene married about the same time, as did daughter, Celeste.

Then, Mary’s eldest son Joseph died on May 30, 1831, just 41 years old.

Mary must have been crushed every time a child died. Deaths as babies are bad enough, but adult children who died have been loved by their mother for decades, not days or months. Furthermore, she also would have had to watch her grandchildren’s mourning and grief, too.

Grandchildren are every grandmother’s soft spot.

Mary’s husband, Honore Lore died on March 5, 1834. But she wasn’t done yet,

Mary’s son, Joseph died on May 30, 1835 at 45 years of age.

Mary’s children were all married, except Alexis and Marie Josephte who never married.

The Missionaries Arrive

It just so happens that this cascade of grief occurred about the time that the Baptist missionaries were increasing their presence, amidst almost universal resistance, in lower Quebec. Mary’s daughter had died in 1831, followed three years later by Honore’s death. Then, only 13 months later, her adult son perished too.

Mary was at her lowest point of grief, having lost her husband and adult children in a short time. She would have been emotionally quite vulnerable, seeking comfort that she was no longer finding in the Catholic church.

Mary’s life was about to change. In many ways, it seems that she became one of the spoils of war, with both sides fighting over her. She served as a symbol of something much larger.

From Canadian Baptist Women:

Swiss missionary Louis Roussy arrived in Grande Ligne to take charge of a Roman Catholic school. His Protestant evangelism there found him without a position within only two months of his arrival, when “the parish priest having heard of ‘his evangelizing’ had the school closed by his sole authority.”

Madame Feller, another Swiss missionary encountered similar issues in Montreal, and sought refuge in Grande Ligne in 1836. When Mary eventually met these missionaries, they were both failing in their ministry. It took Mary’s intervention in their ministry to begin the work at the Grand Ligne Mission.

The Roussy family led the Baptist charge, as told in Henrietta Feller and the Grande Ligne Mission:

On Jan. 29, 1836, Henrietta Feller was not yet in L’Acadie as shown by her letter. She notes that M. Roussy obtained a school in L’Acadie.

“Meanwhile M. Roussy had obtained a school at L’Acadie. He held it for two months only. His evangelical leanings could not be endured by the priest of the district; for he preached from house to house. Dismissed from the school, he resolved to engage in Gospel work as an evangelist, and soon had cause to thank God for the enforced change. Several instances of conversion occurred, and there were promising appearances of a spiritual harvest.” (Cramp)

April 22, 1836 – another letter.

The opposition of Romanists to Protestants, existing for ages, was active at the time under review, and it was not strange that after six months of Christian activity in Montreal, the hotbed of Romanism in the Canadas, it should become unendurable. The priests and the nuns succeeded in closing all doors against Madame Feller. But she had become acquainted with the people, their character, ways and religious ideas, and thus prepared herself for the larger work which Providence had in reserve for her. Montreal, closed now to the Gospel for the French, was to be opened at a later day and a good degree of success achieved.

“Mr. Roussy remained but ten days in Montreal and then left for Grande Ligne to take charge of a primary school entirely Roman Catholic. After his school hours he would devote his time to making the Gospel known around him. The parish priest having heard of this had the school closed by his sole authority, none of the parties interested having the courage to make any opposition, to retain a school teacher superior to any one they had known before.”

Madame Feller, thus compelled to leave Montreal, retreated to St. Johns, where she first landed.

She engaged rooms there for herself and a school, she entered the place on May 20th. Mr. Roussy united with her in effort in that place, hoping to establish a preaching station. But it also seemed to be a barren field.

“Priestly opposition could not be overcome. He had obtained the use of the Methodist chapel and sought to gain an introduction for the Gospel by colportage. All his endeavors were useless. Not only did the inhabitants of St. Johns, generally, refuse to listen to him, but some of them employed force. The French-Canadian women set themselves against the truth, and so maltreated Mr. Roussy that he was compelled to desist from his labors.”

Madame Feller’s account of the situation is thus given: “We came to St. Johns, feeling our way, and considering it as a place of observation, in which we might ascertain whether we should pitch our tent there or in any other spot. We had not long to wait before we saw that this village shut all its doors against us. Brother R. began to preach. At first he had a few hearers, but after a little while no one attended. He tried to publish the Gospel from house to house, but with two or three exceptions he was ill treated and driven away. At one place he was beaten by a crowd of women who fell upon him, armed with sticks. This was noised abroad. ‘The minister who was beaten ‘ was the subject of common talk, and hatred became more violent.” Contempt easily grew into hatred.

“I had made the acquaintance of a considerable number of women, to whom I read and explained the word of God. They listened for a time, and some of them seemed to be seeking the truth; but it was not even ‘the morning dew.’ I soon saw that they were influenced by self-interest; they would have willingly left off going to mass if I had paid them well. As there is no free school here, I offered to instruct their children. My offer was joyfully accepted, and I began a school; but the priest forbade them to allow their children to come to me, and the project fell to the ground.” The expenses of living, including the cost of keeping a horse, so necessary to Mr. Roussy, were so heavy as to justify their removal.

During their short stay in St. Johns, they had a token from the Lord which sustained their belief that He was pleased with their offering of themselves on His altar. It was the example of one who had forsaken popery and had the privilege of protesting against its tyranny in a public way. One of the converts in I’Acadie had died, witnessing to the saving power of Christ to the very last, in the face of contempt from Romanists, even of her own domestic circle. It was Madame Lore, who figures strongly in the starting of the Grande Ligne Mission.

She was the daughter of a French sailor, who lived near to Boston and where she passed her childhood years. She then enjoyed the privilege of hearing and reading the word of God. But her father was married to a Catholic and removed to Canada, and there she also married a Catholic, embraced his religion and practiced it for twenty years.

It is very interesting in that Mary’s father is identified as a French sailor. Elsewhere her birth location is given as Boston.


From Canadian Baptist Women:

Mary met the missionaries through her son Alexis, and when Missionary Roussy was driven from his school by the priest, Mary invited him to hold his first church services in 1835 with her son-in-law Jean-Baptiste Leveque and her daughter Elizabeth in their home in Grande Ligne. The story describes a young girl who was in fact Mary’s granddaughter, and who was also Madame Feller’s pupil. This story documents some of the difficulties faced by the missionaries and places Mary’s family at the center:

The general belief they entertained concerning the two first missionaries was that they were witches. Madame Feller was, in their estimation, the greater one, for she had taught a young girl to read fluently in two weeks, while in other schools this was not accomplished in less than two years.

This was for awhile so firmly established among Canadians that some did not even dare to touch her garments, much less to allow her to come into their houses. A short time after that, when the mission house was almost finished, the priests thought it expedient to invent some new tale, relative to the missionaries, that would keep their parishioners from being led astray by the Protestants. From the pulpit resounded declarations which struck the people with terror.

It was stated by the priests that Satan had made a sort of bargain with M. Roussy to this effect: “This heretic,” to use their expression, was engaged to delude a certain number of souls for a certain sum of money, and according to their opinion, he was building, with that money, a magnificent dwelling house for the purpose of alluring the souls of men with greater facility.

Of course, it was the Mission that was believed to be the Devil’s House, and the article goes on to explain that the neighbors reported all types of horrible sounds resulting from demonic battles emanating from Roussy’s home.

Mary’s Conversion

A Baptist minister recorded the circumstances of Mary’s conversion stating that she was a Catholic for about 20 years after her marriage, “though not without much uneasiness of mind.”

He went on to say that after Pliny Moore, then referred to as Judge Moore, had given Marie the French Bible, she had been “reminded of the days of her youth and resisted her convictions and extinguished the light which once gleamed over her mind. The last 20 years of her life had been spent in folly.”

Given Mary’s baptism in 1789, this puts her realization about 1809.

Mary reportedly decided to go for confession but could not utter a word. The priest, disgusted, reportedly absolved her of her sins and told her to go away. Mary reportedly said, “Can this be the right way. He has absolved my sins, yet he does not know what they are. This cannot be the right way,” resolving never to go to confession again.

Apparently, Mary still attended church from time to time, until the Priest was warning against reading the Bible and said, “The reading of the Scriptures by the common people is like mixing poison with good bread. The person eats the bread without suspecting poison is in it, and only learn the evil by the consequences which ensue.”

After that, Mary never returned to the Catholic church, although I do wonder if she attended her grandchildren’s baptisms and her children’s funerals. I have not reconstructed her children’s families, but I imagine she had several grandchildren that died as well.

Mary’s foiled confession may have occurred sometime between 1814 and 1818, because her next recorded act was obtaining Bibles for her children.

She reportedly anguished greatly during this time period because of the manner in which she had raised her children, meaning in the Catholic church. No one said this, but I also wonder if she blamed their disabilities and deaths on herself and questioned whether or not their souls were in Heaven or Hell. Of course, this questioning would also have extended to any grandchildren who perished during this time too.

Poor Mary.

Henrietta Feller and the Grande Ligne Mission:

Recalling her early habits of reading the Bible, she again turned to it and continued to peruse it to the end of her life; was enlightened and renounced Romanism. It was not until her sixty-eighth year, however, that she met the needed help to becoming a Christian; not until Mr. Roussy went to L’Acadie to labor. He was the means of securing to her the joys of pardon. After making her acquaintance he went to visit one of her married daughters, residing at Grande Ligne, and gladly was admitted to her home, with the privilege of preaching there. Great blessings followed the conversion of souls and the full, successful introduction of evangelical religion among the French Romanists of Canada.

I’d wager that Mary’s daughter, Elizabeth Leveque, was her best friend. Probably her only friend. At least Mary had one accepting family.

Mary was clearly estranged, if not immediately, then shortly, from the rest of her children. I wonder about Marie Josephte, who clearly would not have understood, and Alexis. Did Alexis live with Mary? I would wager that he did.  

Canadian Baptist Women:

The Baptists believed that “Brother Roussy has removed the darkness from her mind and introduced her to the marvelous light of the gospel…she was filled with joy and peace. From this time to the day of her death, she walked with God. Her spiritual journey in this world was short and her end was peace – she fell asleep in Jesus.”

This was written within a year of her death because the preacher says “she went to slumber there sometime in August last.”

Another minister, Rev. Lafleur added about Mary:

She was married to Mr. Lore, a good Catholic, and for 20 years she lived without the gospel, without being allowed to read it, and also without confidence in the religious practices she had to perform. It was a most miserable life to her, so much so that those who knew her well would say that the tears she had shed would be sufficient to turn a mill.

After 20 years of such a life, and after the death of her old parents [1819 and 1824], Mrs. Lore returned to her previous book again, and when she met our missionaries, she had been reading it for 28 years [1807 or 1808], in the midst of a continual spiritual struggle. She saw the truth but dimly and surrounded as she was, she found no one to whom she could open her mind and who could understand her. She was often heard to say to her children: “I shall have a most fearful death, for I know that I have been induced to practice what is not the truth: the truth is here, pointing to her Bible, and I have not followed it.” She had such a high regard for the Bible that going one to Champlain Village, procured from Judge Moore a copy of the Holy Scriptures for every one of her children.

When she heard of this strange school teacher, who read the Holy Scriptures to the children in the school at Grande Ligne, and in houses around, she hastened to see him. After a few moments of conversation, she exclaimed: “The Lord has heard my prayers. He has not despised my tears. This is God’s servant. I know it. This is the man of God whom I had asked of Him these many years.” She very soon found sweet peace in believing – a peace that never was disturbed during the eight months that she lived in this world after her conversion.

We learn several things from this entry, although I have to wonder if some of this information was exaggerated.

If Mary was truly that chronically miserable, did she suffer from a mental health condition, perhaps clinical depression? Her euphoric death might suggest drastic mood swings that might be classified today as bi-polar disease.

Part of what makes me wonder is what I know of her descendant generations. Her son, Anthony Lore, disappeared. He may have drowned or been murdered – at least that’s the story. At least one of Anthony’s children suffered from mental health issues that would probably be quite treatable today. His son spent time institutionalized, as did two of Anthony’s granddaughters who were sisters.

I truly hope Mary was not as miserable as described for what seems to encompass her entire adult life. I hope the missionaries were speaking in hyperbole in order to convert and convince others.

Mary referenced a great disappointment before they moved back to Canada, then seemed unhappy from the time they arrived until 8 months before her death 47 years later. That sounds absolutely horrible.

I wonder who prevented Mary from reading the Bible, if she was actually “prevented” from reading the Bible. Was it hidden someplace? I wonder at this, given that she was eventually given a French Bible that no one prevented her from reading. Was the real issue that her English had been forgotten over time?

Was this incident exaggerated by the missionaries? The story about Mary being forbidden and prevented from reading her Bible would have engendered outrage and sympathy.

In a different excerpt, I was given to understand that her son Alexis was in the missionary school class, but given that Alexis was born in 1798, unless adults were being taught, which is entirely possible, Alexis was about 37 or 38 tears old when this occurred. It’s also very possible that Alexis was learning-impaired.

We have Mary’s death date in August of 1836, so we know that her “conversion,” such as it is, occurred about December of 1835.

Christmas that year, her last one on earth, must have been very interesting – and probably very strained.

Henrietta Feller and the Grande Ligne Mission:

Mrs. Lore became a great help to Mr. Roussy. Her heart and house were open at all times. She gave him the use of her horse and cariole for his missionary tours, and sent her son to conduct him over roads with which he was not acquainted; always waiting and watching for their arrival at whatever hour of the night.

Was this son, Alexis who probably lived with Mary?

The next quotes are from Missionary Roussy in Canadian Baptist Women:

The baptism of our first four Canadians, and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper the following day made a deep impression upon the rest of our Canadians. Mary Leveque and one of her aunts, the wife of Honore Lore were baptized which was made a great blessing to them.

Religion is the great concern, from the youngest to the oldest. These things have produced very contrary effects; some seek for and read the word of truth, whilst others insult and threaten us, and do us every kind of injury to an extent never before attempted.

Rev. Lafleur continues:

“She was seen to come on foot to the meetings held at Grande Ligne to hear the preaching of the Holy Word. At the time of her departure drew near, her Roman Catholic neighbors, accustomed to see infidels repent and return at the last hour in submission to the Church, they expected that she would also at last submit and accept the offices of the Priest. In a glowing heart she bore her affectionate testimony of the Savior as the All Sufficient One at the hour of death. The whole family, composed of eight children and many grandchildren, after her example, left the Church of Rome to embrace the Gospel.

This excerpt is interesting because it says she had eight children, but that’s incorrect. This clearly refers to the eight children they knew of at the time of her death. She had nine living children when she died, and had born fifteen in total – that we know of. Furthermore, they did not all leave the Catholic church, or if they did, one returned.

Mary had several more children who had died, including one recently, in 1835, but the point of this commentary was to emphasize the conversions.

I determined Mary’s children’s religion based on several pieces of evidence. The 1851, 1861 and 1871 census, plus the burial locations of her children who died after her death.

Six of Mary’s children were buried in the Baptist Grande Ligne cemetery or otherwise had interactions with the church there:

  • Elizabeth
  • Alexis
  • Benoni
  • Honore
  • Rene
  • Celeste

Marie Josephte was probably also buried there given that she lived with Rene and Alexis.

Two of Mary’s adult children were buried in Catholic cemeteries, which generally means they were Catholics in good standing at the time of their death:

  • Joseph
  • Marguerite

Of course, all of Mary’s children who died before her death were buried in the Catholic cemetery.

Two children moved away:

  • Anthony Lore – not Catholic, burial, if any, unknown, reportedly drowned in a river·
  • Celeste – Moved to and died in Hebron, New York, probably not Catholic given that her child was married at the church in Grande Ligne

Mary’s Final Illnesss

Roussy reports that in her final illness, a great number of people visited Mary. I get the distinct impression that most of them had an agenda. And the Baptists, not wanting to miss an opportunity, even if it was at the side of a dying woman’s bed, utilized the opportunity to evangelize to all her visitors.

Shortly, we will see that perhaps Mary’s family wasn’t as quick to leave the Catholic church as Roussy stated, or maybe there was something else afoot.

Something was very definitely wrong. Information seems to contradict each other.

Henrietta Feller and the Grande Ligne Mission:

On being fatally ill, Madame Feller and Mr. Roussy attended her constantly, and were made glad by the continual testimony she bore to the saving grace of Christ, and her unswerving opposition to Romanism and to the offices of the priests when urged upon her by a neighbor.

As her sufferings became excessive her anxiety to depart and be with Christ increased, and often she asked that her pulse might be examined and she informed if the moment of release were not near. At length her suffering abated; the end was at hand, and her countenance was radiant with peace and joy.

A great number visited her during her sickness, and the missionaries were by no means neglectful of the opportunity for talking Christ to them.

She desired to see all of her relatives before her death, but many of them refused to visit her, claiming that she had dishonored her family by changing her religion, and accusing her of having brought on her death by fatiguing journeys to Grande Ligne to attend meetings there. Her home was about two leagues [six miles] from the place of meeting, and when the horses were needed for something else she walked, never failing to go. In reply to expression of surprise that one of her age should be able to walk so far, especially as she had not shown the ability previously, she said, “I serve so good a Master this year; He increases my strength.”

So, a great many people visited her, but her relatives did not? This is contradicted in further writings stating that her children were at her bedside. However, the missionaries also claim that the reason that Henrietta Fuller and Roussey were attending Mary, is because her family would or could not.

Canadian Baptist Women:

Roussy wrote about Mary’s deathbed testimony in a letter for the Christian Watchman and was unusually detailed, perhaps because Mary was an “ordinary woman” in extraordinary circumstances – just when the Baptists needed an example in Canada.

It was on the night between the 5th and 6th instant that our sister Lore was seized with a violent inflammation of the intestines. We were apprised of it early in the morning and immediately Mrs. Feller and myself proceeded to her house, when she received us with joy. From this moment, Mrs. Feller did not leave her night or day, for none of her own family was able to give her the numerous attentions requisite during her severe illness.

She was so thankful to God and blessed him that he had sent Mrs. Feller such a distance to do her so much kindness; she was so humble that she thought herself unworthy of all the tender cares with which she was surrounded, and the love of God and the brethren which she experienced.

From the beginning of her sickness our blessed sister manifested the most true and solid piety which the heart could display. She foresaw that she would not get better, and therefore was occupied only with her latter end. All the things of earth were viewed as nothing with her; her treasure and her heart were on high. She showed no impatience in her pains, though they were extremely sharp, but blessed the Lord that he spared her from more excessive pains. “It is on account of my sins – it is on account of my sins,” she said, “that I am suffering so much. I deserved to suffer a great deal more, even everlasting condemnation, but Jesus has delivered me from it. He has pardoned all my sins, although they are very numerous.”

The night of Monday which was the last of her life, her children, Mrs. Feller and I were all together, near her, in prayer and conversation about our heavenly citizenship.

Note here that he states that her children are present.

Just then, at 2 o’clock in the morning, came in one of her neighbors, a zealous Catholic, who, after some compliments, asked her if she would not call the Priest, adding that he was ready and he would go and bring him.

Our sister said “No!” that she did not want him.

He asked, “Will you not die in the Roman Catholic and Apostolic church?”

“No,” said she, “because I belong to the church of Jesus Christ.”

He asked if the Romish church was not the church of Christ.

“O no,” she answered, “because in everything – everything – it is contrary to the gospel.”

“But,” answered her neighbor, “you know that the Catholic is the oldest religion.”

“Yes,” she answered, “it is an old religion; it is that which the Pharisees possessed at the time of Jesus Christ was on this earth.”

“But,” he said, “you were always of the Roman Catholic religion; will you leave it now?”

She said, “I have left it this long time, ever since I have read the gospel. I cannot follow it. It is not the religion of Jesus Christ.”

It would be too long to inform you of all the conversation of this man, which was full of impiety. He tried all possible means to draw from our dear dying sister the permission to go and fetch a priest. But all his efforts were of no avail. She continually answered in the negative, with most remarkable firmness, calmness and wisdom. At length, finding he was only fatiguing her, and being myself likewise fatigued with the ungodly language and the torrent of words of this Papist, I said to him that since he had delivered his message, and now knew the sentiments of Mrs. Lore, I must beg of him not to trouble her any further. He then answered me in a very passionate manner, and a young man, a nephew of Mrs. Lore who was a witness of what passed encouraged by the example given by this church-warden, likewise flew into a passion against me and went off, calling false prophet etc.

It’s interesting to note that in one place, he mentions that her family could not minister to her needs, yet in his description, they were present. Furthermore, it appears that both her newly-converted Baptist family members, and Catholic ones were both present, given the final comment about her nephew.

Perhaps the fact that the Baptist missionaries took advantage of a captive audience and continued their attempts to recruit converts among her family members at the side of her literal deathbed had something to do with why some of her family members might not have been present.

I can certainly see that there would definitely have been two sides to this story, two perspectives, but we only have a direct record of one.

Back to Roussy’s letter:

Alexis Lore and his brother-in-law Leveque put an end to the Roman Catholic’s mission by speaking to him very faithfully of the truth which is in Christ. He, as he hated it, did not receive it, but went away quite in a state of irritation, on account of the bad success of his attempt.

We were all made glad by the good testimony our sister had just given to the truth. Her children were all strengthened, and we gave thanks to the Lord that he had given her strength sufficient; to go through such a scene. She was extremely weak and suffered excessively. Her desire to depart increased, not so much that she might be delivered from her pains, as that she might be present with the Lord, whom she unceasingly called upon.

She often requested Mrs. Feller or myself to feel her pulse, that we might tell her if the moment of her departure was at hand. She had hoped not to begin another day upon earth; and when she saw the sun appear, she said “O! How long I am in departing.”

A few hours before her death, her sufferings abated sensibly. She scarcely spoke to us, but was continually in prayer and was often heard to repeat, “Lord Jesus receive my spirit, receive me into thy glory.” The expression of her countenance became completely changed, and quiet radiant; serenity, peace, joy and something heavenly were visible on it.

We have the pleasant hope that this sickness, this death, has not been unto death, but for the glory of God. During her sickness, our sister was visited by a great number of persons to whom this solemn moment gave us an opportunity of declaring with all seriousness the whole counsel of God. Perhaps this incorruptible seed will one day bring forth fruit in the salvation of many.

Our dear sister had desired to see all her relations before her death, but only a few visited her. Others refused to come because she would not send for a priest. They all said she had dishonored her family by changing her religion and they overwhelmed her with reproaches and contempt.

They accused her of having killed herself by her frequent journeys to the Grand Ligne, and could not forgive her with the zeal with which she followed the meeting, for she never missed a single one notwithstanding the distance of two leagues that there was between her own house and that of Leveque, she sometimes traveled it on foot, when her horses were needed for something else. When surprise was expressed that at her age, she could support so long a journey, which she had not been able to do previously, she answered, “I serve so good a Master this year, he increases my strength.”

Mary’s Funeral

Canadian Baptist Women:

On Thursday, the 11th instant, the mortal remains of our sister Lore were brought to the English burial ground at St. John’s. None of her relations, and no Canadian whatever, would accompany her to her last dwelling; to such a length did the spirit of ill-will go. She was, however, honorably interred. Several persons among the most esteemed in the neighborhood and friends of the gospel assisted, and as we passed the house of an old Canadian, who I had several times visited, we had the joy to see him join the procession.

A gentleman who had gone on before us on horseback, unknown to me, had the bell tolled as is usual for a funeral.

A pretty considerable number of persons were in the churchyard, among whom were several Canadians. I prayed, read a portion of the Bible, and addressed a few remarks to those who were present. The greatest tranquility prevailed, which we had not dared to hope for – as the Catholic population informed of the event were in a rage and passion, that made us fear there would be an uproar.

Our sister Lore had often been told that since she had abandoned her religion, she should be deprived of the honor of internment and buried in the fields, which is in the opinion of the Canadians a great disgrace and ignominy – for in general they are at more trouble to procure, through the favor of the priest, a place for their body in consecrated ground, than to obtain a part in the only good place that can receive their immortal soul.

So, they hoped their threats would be fulfilled and that the young Lores would be compelled to bury the remains of their glorified mother in some corner of her farm. But those who, with impatient delight, were looking forward to this kind of triumph, were as surprised as chagrined when they saw a burial ground opened for her whom they despised only on account of her religion, for in general she was beloved and respected by all that knew her, who, with one voice, gave testimony that she had been the nurse of the sick, the comforter of the afflicted and the friend of the poor, with whom she always shared what God had given her; and that she had been a counselor and mother to all. With one thing only was she reproached – that she had left her religion.

Marie died on August 9th, 1836 and was buried on the 11th. It feels odd to see English in her death record, but she had converted to the Baptist faith, and those records were indeed in English.

On this eleventh day of August Eighteen hundred and thirty-six the body of Marie Lore, widow, of l’Acadie, a converted Catholic, who died on the preceding ninth was interred in presence of the subscribing witnesses by me, Louis Roussy, M. James Beddy, James Harrison

While this doesn’t tell us Mary’s cause of death, Roussy’s description suggests that it was probably either Dysentery or Typhoid Fever.

That poor woman.

Henrietta Feller and the Grande Ligne Mission:

Her body was borne to St. Johns and admitted to honorable sepulture in the English burial ground. None of her relatives and no Canadian in her neighborhood would accompany it.

However, several respectable people in St. Johns assisted; an old Canadian on the way joined the procession, and a gentleman rode in advance and caused the bell to be tolled, which was very unusual for a funeral.

Order prevailed during the ceremonies, though, in view of the rage among the Catholics, a disturbance was feared. The deceased had been told that if she forsook the faith, Romanism, she would be refused honorable interment and would be buried in disgrace, in the field. But the enemies were utterly confounded by the outcome. Her respectable burial, as also her triumphant death and eminently good life bore strongly against Romanism and were influential for the almost friendless cause of Protestantism.

Mrs. Lore had been a nurse to the sick, a comforter of the afflicted, a friend to the poor, a counsellor and mother to all. Above all, she maintained her faith in the Book; she read it, and it elevated her life and strengthened her to abandon popery and to secure deliverance from its power for her children, her son-in-law and her daughters-in-law, who joined her in receiving the word of God.

Hers was the first death that occurred in the little company of disciples, “scattered and peeled” and without a certain dwelling-place. It was one of those peculiar “providences” that contribute to the furtherance of the Gospel. The community were awakened, and reasonable views developed in the minds of some who without this occurrence would have remained dormant if not on the wrong side. Then there was the victory of one soul over spiritual despotism and over the grave the gaining, likewise, of honorable sepulture.

I’m still dumbstruck that NONE of her children attended her burial. I wish I knew the rest of this story, because you know there’s more. We know positively that some members of her family were already Baptists, according to this account.

Mary’s Grave

In 2009, cousin Paul Drainville wrote:

The graves I believe are lost…as I emailed a few years back an individual familiar with the Feller Museum…He told me the locations of the graves are lost and the home has fallen into disrepair and might be torn down…He sent a photo of the home, which if I figure out how to attach I will.

At this time, we thought that Marie was buried at the Grande Ligne Mission, but she wasn’t.

This map shows four locations of interest.

  • At the bottom is the mission at Grande Ligne. This is where Mary’s daughter Elizabeth, and son-in-law Jean-Baptiste Leveque lived who opened their home to the missionaries for a school. They had clearly converted before Mary died.
  • At top left, the Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie Catholic church and cemetery where all of Marie’s children were baptized, and where her husband and children who died before her death are buried.
  • At right, Vieux cimetiere St. James is the English graveyard where Mary was taken by the missionaries to be buried.
  • About halfway between the English cemetery, and Ste. Marguerite, we find L’Acadie. It’s believed that this area is where Mary’s farm was located. It may well have been close to or on the Grand Ligne road. I’m hopeful to learn more from the translation of Honore’s inventory documents. I wonder if there were estate documents after Mary died.

If we are to presume that Mary’s body was prepared for burial at home and the procession moved from someplace in L’Acadie to the church in St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the path with the horseman and the bell-ringer would have looked something like this. Of course, they wouldn’t have needed to be concerned about one-way streets and traffic back then. They were, however, worreid about being attacked given the brewing Rebellion combined with the very angry Catholic community.

The church, within sight of the river, was constructed in 1816, so the churchyard would have had some burials, but probably not many.

The cemetery today seems almost empty, but that’s probably because so many graves are unmarked. There are a few earlier burials recorded and even fewer have stones. While the missionaries were concerned about Mary’s burial, specifically that she not be buried in a Catholic cemetery, or on her farm, no one seemed concerned about either recording or marking her grave for posterity. It seems like they were more concerned about the spectacle and statement of her funeral procession and burial, as a “win.”

The St.-John-sur-Richelieu website at one time provided information, translated from French, about the St James church and cemetery behind the church.

St James Church built in 1816 along the garrison graveyard of Fort St. John which extends behind the church.

This cemetery is of special interest for French Protestants. It is here that Mary Lafaille, better known as Mrs. Lore (the Lord family of Quebec), was buried. Mary was the daughter of François Lafaille and Marguerite. The family lived in the Boston area where they had several children who were probably raised in the Protestant religion.

The family emigrated in the l’Acadie area a little before the Mary married Honoré Lord on 10 August 1789; she was twenty-one years old at the time. Three other of her sisters also married to Catholics. The couple Lafaille-Lord had six children. It is only at the end of her life that Mrs. Lord (Lore) met the evangelist Louis Roussy who made her regain the Bible of her youth and reconverted her in 1836.

She invited the missionary to get in touch with her daughter Elizabeth, married to Jean-Baptiste Lévêque, living in Grande-Ligne who made his home available to the evangelists for prayer and preaching meetings. Sometime after, other members of the Lord family converted to Protestantism.

Mrs. Lore was a key player in the early conversions. At her death in 1841, she fell asleep in the Lord strong of her faith despite the last-minute attempts of a neighbor to bring her in “the right path.” There was no question to bury her in a Catholic cemetery and the St James Anglican community welcomed her along; a large crowd gathered for this first burial a French Protestant. Unfortunately for us, the headstones suffered the ravages of time and vandals, and it has not been possible to trace the exact place of her burial because there is no historical record of the burials.

This confirms that the is no cemetery map. Their death date for Mary is five years late and so is the count of her children, but at least we know she’s there, someplace. It does sadden me that she is buried alone, without family nearby.

Birth of the Grande Ligne Mission and Mary’s Family

Henrietta Feller and the Grande Ligne Mission:

After Mary’s death, the missionaries were still unsettled. Their experience in this respect was like that of pioneers in the missionary cause generally. The country was before them, but with opposition to the work they proposed to do for the souls of the inhabitants. Fixing a location was but to invite persecution. A permanent home was hardly to be hoped for, but there was permanent work for their hands, and with renewed resolution they looked for another center of operations. Mr. Roussy, undaunted by his dismissal from the school at L’Acadie, had preached the Gospel throughout the adjacent regions. An indication of providential favor was found in the opening of a private house for meeting, as stated: the home of Mr. Leveque, son-in-law of Madame Lore, whose abandonment of Romanism has been noted.

This house was situated on what came to be known as The Grande Ligne. A grande ligne is simply a division line between districts, or concessions of government land, usually a straight line, extending several miles. It becomes a road, along which homes are established; and the one mentioned became so prominent as a mission center that the place assumed the name given. Thither the thoughts of the missionaries turned.

It was felt by them that it would be necessary to stand away from the cities and begin the mission among a more quiet population. And such an opportunity was presented and embraced; the friendships of some of the Canadians there giving assurance that peace might prevail and the missionaries not be molested.

Scarcely four months had been spent in St. Johns, and less than one year in Canada, and in this brief time they had been persecuted and compelled to flee from two cities and seek a home in the open country. The assailants, not satisfied with abusing human beings, vented their wickedness upon Mr. Roussy’s horse, and tried to kill him; but the blows which at first seemed fatal proved to be only deep flesh wounds that after some weeks, it was hoped, would be healed.

Yielding to the impression that Grande Ligne was the place God had purposed for her, Madame Feller removed thither in September 1836. Some of the inhabitants had desired her to settle among them, feeling the need of instruction; parents as well as children. But there was no school-house, nor a lot on which one might be built at that time. Meetings had been held in Mr. Leveque’s house, a poor cabin. Two small rooms in the garret, though unfinished, were available for her use; and when ready she entered them, with joy and thanksgiving, feeling that her way and her task were alike ordered of the Lord, and that expected trials would be for her good and His glory.

The beginning was small. The rooms were about twelve feet square, each. One of them was her chamber, the other answered the purposes of parlor, kitchen and schoolroom. In such narrow circumstances was commenced the conquest of the land to a pure Christianity – the attic of a log house for a fort and an unformed company of children of which to make an army, and with the ignorant and hostile Canaanite in the land.

With a steady purpose and a firm resolve she entered upon a life campaign. “From nine in the morning till noon, and from two till five in the afternoon she instructed children, upwards of twenty being generally present. At six in the evening there was a meeting for adults, which partook of the character of a school and a Bible class. At that meeting, after the elementary part of the business had been dispatched, she read and explained portions of the Scripture and answered innumerable questions respecting the truths of the Gospel. So deeply interested were those who attended that the exercises were not infrequently prolonged until midnight.”

An increase of knowledge so greatly desirable was not the only consideration with either teacher or pupil. Enlightenment was not the end, but the means; and great was the gratification attending the soul’s submission to Jesus Christ, the highest aim in all efforts. “The work prospers at Grande Ligne,” wrote Madame Feller; “we have there about twenty Protestants, who have entirely abandoned Popery, and we are happy to inform you that six of them give satisfactory proof that they are Christians.”

There seems to have been an unspoken longing in the minds of some for such a blessing as the Gospel brings. The Canadians were not an entire exception in the human family, to which “The Desire of all Nations ” was to be a welcome guest. One of the very first converts said to Madame Feller: “Before I saw you, I had asked God to send some one to instruct us and our children. I did not mention it to anybody, because I did not see how it could be done. But I continued to pray, and now you have come.”

Mr. Leveque, whose house was being used, could not read, though forty-two years of age. He also cherished a longing for Scripture truth, saying, “I take the Bible I hold it in my hand. I look at it, I open it would that I could read it! I cannot tell you my distress; I am heartbroken. I would ask the Lord to work a miracle for me, so that I might be able to read; but He will do it in giving me understanding. Oh, if I could once read it to those who are ignorant! It is not for myself only; I would go and read the word of God to those who know it not.”

Another man, about sixty years of age, of dreadful temper and an enemy of the Leveques and of the Gospel, was found to be in a subdued state of mind, and willing to permit his large number of children to learn to read. Considering himself too old to learn, he would frequently attend the school and listen to the readings of the Bible. Midnight often surprised the school while engaged in reading, explanation, and prayer. The wife of this man reported that he was sometimes so excited after the evening conferences that he could not sleep, but talked all night about the things he had heard.

Such were the indications of the divine pleasure. On the other hand there were displays of the adversary’s displeasure. Children were withdrawn from the school; priests visited homes that had received little or no attention previously, threatened and tried to turn away those favorably disposed to the Mission. And yet there was a change to a favorable attitude toward the Bible on the part of one of the opposing priests, showing the divine hand, and he gave permission to the family last named to have the children educated.

That husband and father, regardless of ridicule, took the Bible under his arm, and going from house to house, sought out persons to read to him its precious contents. He in turn told them what he had learned from the holy book. And joy, such as angels experience, filled the souls of the workers on the conversion of Benoni Lore, who gradually had passed through a stage of distressful conviction and then fully and joyfully entered the new life. He then became one of the most eager learners in the school.

Mr. Roussy had quarters in a house belonging to the Lore family, in L’Acadie, and itinerated in the surrounding district. Grande Ligne was the most important of the seven or eight preaching stations he occupied, and the mutual counsel and sympathy enjoyed were doubtless much needed.

It’s unclear when these conversions occurred but given that only Elizabeth Lore and Jean-Baptiste Leveque along with Alexis Lore were the only family members reported as Baptist at Mary’s death, I’d presume the rest of these were later.

After Mary’s Death

After Mary Lore’s death, the political situation worsened, as did the Catholic/Baptist schism, if that can be imagined.  

Canadian Baptist Women:

Roussy reports that the Lore family and missionaries:

Now have neither relations nor friends and are forsaken by all those who formerly loved them. They bear it joyfully, esteeming themselves happy to be hated of all for the name of Christ.

It’s noted that the missionaries felt that, through Mary, God had given them an answer to their own prayers. Roussy writes of her, “This pious woman was a great help to me, not only her heart but also her house was open.” He refers to her as “our esteemed Sister Lore.” He refers to her elsewhere as “the first good seed of the Grande Ligne Mission.”

They viewed her as “the victory of one soul over spiritual despotism and over the grave” although Roussy also said, “We have been deeply affected by the death of this our dear sister whom we had so much reason to love.”

The missionaries subsequently used Mary’s story both to evangelize and to solicit and obtain funding. She was their shining example of how they had touched Catholic lives and been successful in their conversion efforts.

The heart-wrenching division this caused within the Lore family was still felt and reflected generations later.

Roussy discusses the problem of finding a location to teach a school, but states that Leveque has made them two little rooms in the garret of the house he lives in.

Upon quitting St. John’s I intend going to live in the house of our deceases sister where two of her sons will continue to dwell.

Obviously that’s Mary Lore, but which of her two sons are residing there? Clearly Alexis is one, but who is the other son? Did Rene or Benoni inherit the family home? The only other possibility is Mary’s son, Honore.

The Beginnings of the Grande Ligne Mission

Henrietta Feller and the Grande Ligne Mission:


A small school-house was built, the first structure to indicate progress; the friends at Montreal also showing a lively, practical interest in its erection.

The Leveque family, which had kindly granted the garret of the cabin for Madame Feller’s use, now yielded to her the entire dwelling, and temporarily domiciled in the new school-house.

Accommodations thus were greatly enlarged. Besides the two upper rooms, each twelve feet square, she could command also the entire lower part, twelve by twenty-four, for school, meetings, and household purposes. Behold the mansion!

It was reported that by the time the 1837 rebellion occurred, the mission had amassed 16 converts.

In February 1837, the Bishop of Montreal received an even more alarming report from the Parish Priest – 11 households had been converted for a total of 53 people. Apparently, the seed had sprouted.

In an 1893 Sketch of the Grande Ligne Mission by it’s president, he tells us that:

Henrietta Feller found her way to a little country place called Grande Ligne, where in a log house she commenced her word. In an upper room, partitioned with rough boards, she lived and toiled. She soon succeeded in gathering around her a few children to whom she taught reading and writing, at the same time carefully instructing them in the blessed truths of the gospel.

After school hours, she spent her time visiting the houses of these children and any house to which she could find access in Grande Ligne to tell the story of the cross and give general instructions to the poor Canadian women, who were, like their husbands in a deplorable state of ignorance and superstition. Hardly one person in 10 could read or write. No wonder this province is called Darkest Canada.

In 1837, after two months exile, owing to the Canadian Rebellion, the first French Protestant Church ever founded in Canada was organized at Grande Ligne with 7 members to whom 9 others were added a few months later.

I sure wish we had the names of those seven people. I’d wager that at least some of them were her family members, if not all.

Ironically, not one word in this 1893 book is about Mary or any member of the Lore or Leveque families, without whom, the mission would not have existed. The person who owned that founding “log house” was indeed none other than Mary Lore’s daughter Elizabeth and son-in-law, Jean-Baptiste Leveque.

The Rebellion

In 1837, the political situation became ever more volatile, fueled by politics and the divisive rhetoric pitting Catholics and Protestants against one another, both in the government and the churches.

The first battle of the Patriot Rebellion took place at St. Eustace, near Montreal on December 14, 1837.

The churches were involved with the French patriots taking refuge in the Catholic churches. St. Eustace and Saint-Benoit were burned that December, along with the houses of the opposing rebellion’s leaders in four additional villages. English “rebels” attempted to make it to the Canada/US border, but many were taken prisoner.

The countryside was terrified, angry, and in an uproar.

Eustace was only about 50 miles away from L’Acadie.

The closest escape route to the border would take the rebels directly down the Richelieu River, terrifying the population and inflaming the anti-Baptist sentiment.

All clergy, be they Protestant or Catholic, probably used this opportunity to proselytize and encourage their congregations to assure their piety and salvation…just in case.

Catholic families would have been very angry at the English, meaning the missionaries, for bringing this battle and from their perspective, needless upheaval upon them.

Mary had been the Catholic icon for the Baptists, and now the Baptists were iconic representatives of the English.

Given the history within the L’Acadie community surrounding Mary’s conversion and death, all things considered, it’s no surprise that the reaction was so volatile and heated.

Henrietta Feller and the Grande Ligne Mission:

A letter from Henriette Fuller (above):

The missionaries left Grande Ligne for NY it became so dangerous in November 1837.

The movements of the rebels always took place in the night. They met in companies of one hundred, two hundred, and sometimes more. They were all masked and furnished with instruments of every kind imaginable to get up a charivari. They went from house to house, mingling with their infernal music shouts and imprecations still more infernal. Those who did not come out immediately and join them were pelted with stones and threatened with fire. Some houses were entirely destroyed with their contents. Almost all of the inhabitants of Grande Ligne being patriots (as the rebels called themselves), they became so violent that there were no bounds to their disorderliness. Some friends came to warn us that we were in danger, and that we ought to remove as quickly as possible, and absent ourselves for some time.

On Monday morning brother Roussy set off for Champlain, to ascertain whether accommodations could be obtained there, should God show us that it was our duty to leave. He had not been gone an hour when I learned that the patriots were determined to kill him; they spoke of it quite openly and expressed themselves in the most violent manner. I passed a sad day. It appeared very evident that it was our duty to go away; but to give up my Canadians was to give up my life. I was warned that the patriots were preparing to come to my house that night, and that their intentions were of the worst kind. How I blessed God that brother Roussy was absent! I spent the evening in reading and prayer, with some of my dear Canadians, encouraging myself in God and expecting that He would guide me, for I knew not what I ought to do. Oh, how true it is that we must look to Jesus if we would not lose courage! I had full experience of it that night, for when the mob came to the house, I felt no fear. Brave brother Leveque went out of his house to ask them what they wanted. They told him, and in an imperious manner, that he must immediately discontinue the scandal of the new religion which he had permitted in his house, adding that they would compel us to quit the country.

Mr. Leveque asked them who gave them the power to act in that way. They replied that they assumed the power, and that they would show us that they were masters. I was obliged to go and speak to them at the door and was able to do it calmly. They commanded brother Roussy and me to go away, and said that if we did not go quickly, they would return and force us; that we had come to trouble the country with a new religion, and that they would not suffer any persons to live in that place who did not profess their own excellent religion and were not good patriots like themselves.

They uttered many blasphemies and threats and left me to carry on their outrages at the houses of the members of our little church. They introduced themselves by the charivari and throwing stones at the windows. They ordered all who had renounced popery to abandon their new religion, and return to the mass, and told them that if they would not do it they must quit the country, or expect to be burned out. See how clearly the path was marked for us; for all determined rather to give up everything than to go back. Then we prepared for our departure, trusting that the merciful God would find a refuge for His poor, persecuted church.

As early as 1838 she [Fuller] seems to have gained a correct view of their general condition and wrote: “The Canadians are devoted to unchanged routine. They have no idea of doing anything differently from their grandfathers. They cultivate and crop only one half of their farms every year, leaving the other half to their cattle; and the consequence is that, though a man may possess a hundred arpents (an arpent being three-fourths of an English acre), he is very probably without bread for one half of the year. We have persuaded our people this year to plough and sow all their land, the meadows only excepted, which produce abundant crops of hay. This is an innovation and is regarded as a remarkable event.”

It’s worth noting here that “fire” is one of the oral stories passed down in the Antoine Lore family who carried the anti-Catholic stories, but where the fire occurred, or under what circumstances, was not specified.


Returning to Henrietta Feller’s letter:

Glancing at authentic documents for a brief survey of this grand enterprise, it is learned that for the first year (1835-6) the main result of their flight from one hostile locality to another was the finding, finally, a place to rest the foot. A convert had been gained, raised up for their relief in pointing them to an “upper room ” (the log hut), and then taken to her mansion in the skies before the year closed. It was her reward here that she, Mrs. Lore, had a proper Christian burial, and by the loving hands of the missionaries.

The second year (1836-7) was signaled by two great events. One, the organization of a church of seven members, increased to sixteen before the year closed, which, by the grace of God, continues to this day; the second, the persecution and exile already described. Thus, through joy and sorrow in immediate succession, were they tempered for their life further on missionaries and converts together.

From Canadian Baptist Women:

After Mary’s death in 1836, the Grande Ligne Mission continued to share important ties to both the Champlain area and Mary’s family. The Grande Ligne Mission and Mary’s family became targets for the 1837 lootings, fires and charivaris during the Rebellion. The missionaries and mission families, including Mary’s, abandoned their homes and fled for refuge to the safety of Champlain. Additionally, it was reported that the Grande Ligne Mission received yearly financial support from the associations in Champlain that had been founded by Pliny Moore.

Grande Ligne Mission

Where is the Grande Ligne Mission today?

Fortunately, the little cabin owned by Elizabeth Lore and Jean-Baptiste Levique was not torn down and has been restored as a historic site.

Mary was assuredly here many times, both to visit her daughter, then to visit the mission. Her spirit probably still visits faithfully. Eventually, this humble cabin site was the foundation of Feller College, but that was still decades in the future.

Cousin Ed tells us that the conversion experiences, difficulties with the Catholic population at the time, etc., had been a vague bit of family lore within the Lore family for many years. “It intrigued me enough to spend a significant amount of time and effort researching. It was back in 1992 that I finally made the information break-through and was able to visit Jean-Baptiste Leveque’s cabin in Canada where Madame Feller started her work, now the Henriette Feller Museum.”

Fortunately, today the little cabin has been preserved and restored, complete with signage. I hope to one day tour this cabin, sit on those benches, and ponder the lives of Mary and her family.

In the 1851 census, Mary’s daughter, Elizabeth Lord, was living in a large household, probably the Grande Ligne mission, with Madam Feller, age 52, and her religion is listed as Baptist, but then Baptist is marked through as with many of Elizabeth’s siblings.

Perhaps wishful thinking on the part of the census taker, or maybe for their safety?

Part of the Roussy memorial today, the first church was the mission, but this church was built in 1880. The original steps probably remain. Although Mary clearly would not have visited this church, Alexis, Benoni, and Honore did not die until in the 1880s. I hope they remembered the sacrifices of their mother here.

This postcard shows the church sometime between 1898 and 1917.

Many of Mary’s grandchildren and descendants would have worshipped here, and some may still.

The cemetery, located to the rear of the properties is part of the “complex” that at one time included the college, boarding school, church, original mission, presbytery, and other buildings.

Five of Mary’s children, plus probably Marie Josephte, are buried here:

  • Elizabeth
  • Alexis
  • Benoni
  • Honore
  • Rene

Ironic that there was concern about Mary being buried in some field in the corner of her farm. Although not her farm, I’d bet she’s love to be buried here where her children toiled and tilled the soil. Indeed, in the corner of her daughter and son-in-law’s farm field, with them and her family. Many Lore/Lord family members were still being buried here into the 1990s.

Mary’s DNA waters the soil of Grande Ligne through her children and descendants.

You can read more about the Mission, here and here.

What About Mary, the Person?

I come away from all of this saddened. I feel like Mary, at a time when she was aging and vulnerable, became somewhat of a pawn, revered more for what she represented to both the Catholics and Baptists than for Mary herself. I feel like she was viewed as a prize, and whatever happened to her and her family relationships was either ignored as irrelevant or collateral damage. I hope she didn’t blame herself for what happened to her family as a result of “her sins.” Of course, according to both religious philosophies – there would have been no “damage” if people had simply corrected their way of thinking.

Only a few words are spent on the kind of person Mary was. Everything else was focused on using Mary to recruit others.

“She had been the nurse of the sick, the comforter of the afflicted and the friend of the poor, which whom she always shared what God had given her; and that she had been a counselor and mother to all.”

That’s it. Everything else is about Mary’s religious agonies or, in the end, ecstasies as death approached. They never even bothered to acknowledge her lifelong role as mother and grandmother by naming her children. Furthermore, the missionaries didn’t even record the number of her children accurately. I feel like they were primarily interested in what Mary could do for them, not what happened to Mary or her family. Even during her death watch – they used her as an opportunity to evangelize.

I’m trying very hard to not view the records and acts of yesteryear from a contemporary perspective, but I’m struggling. My heart aches for Mary being without her family in the last days and hours of her life.

My heart aches for her family members, being deprived of being with their mother in her last hours, and at her funeral.

From the vantage of time and distance, I find it very difficult to be happy about the situation, with Mary seemingly exploited by both sides, to the point where her family was driven away. I’m assuming the reports were correct that none of her children or family members walked with her funeral procession and attended her burial.

I could understand, perhaps, why her Catholic family did not attend, but not even her Baptist family members? Where were Elizabeth and Jean-Baptiste Leveque, and family? What about Alexis? And maybe even some of her family members who had not converted yet but had softened somewhat? There’s mention of another daughter-in-law being converted. She had adult grandchildren who surely loved her. Where were they?

And poor confused Marie Josephte. OMG my heart aches for her.

Where were all the people Mary had loved unconditionally for her and their entire lives?

There seems to be an untold story here. More than meets the eye.

Everyone had somehow been alienated by this battle, it appears, except for the Baptist missionaries themselves. Were they sentries instead of guardians? I guess they “won” “their” battle and Mary’s body and funeral procession through the community were their trophy.

Perhaps Mary’s family members were all just disgusted to death with the behavior of all external parties and wanted nothing more to do with any of it. It seems they had been robbed of their mother and grandmother – first by a lifelong battle with Mary’s own grief and agony surrounding religion, then a battle between religions with Mary as the symbolic trophy, and then by death itself. Who wouldn’t be utterly exhausted?

They had also experienced the same grief experiences that Mary had – their siblings died, their grandparents died and their father died just before the missionaries arrived on the scene.

Within various lines of the family, vague references to terrible times remained well into the 1900s.

Mary was my mother’s grandfather’s grandmother. My great-aunt Eloise lived into the 1990s and told about riding in the buggy with her father, Curtis Lore, in the early 1900s when she was a child. Mary was his grandmother, and he never, not once breathed a word about any of this. He assuredly knew.

Curtis never met Mary, of course, as he was born 20 years after her death. Curtis had, however, disassociated himself from strong ties to any religion. That’s not to infer that he was an evil person. His wife was raised Lutheran, then was Presbyterian as an adult, and he perfunctorily attended services with her as required. His daughters attended church and Sunday School regularly. He didn’t interfere, but he certainly wasn’t more than lukewarm towards organized religion. Religious bickerings and outright war within the family had a horrible impact on his grandmother and his father, with aunts and uncles remaining estranged until their deaths.

Estrangement is living grief. Every. Single. Day. Trust me on this one.

Curtis’s father, Anthony Lore, born Antoine in 1805 to Marie/Mary and Honore Lore was in Vermont by about 1830. In 1831, he married outside the Catholic faith, so he was probably already an outcast. Maybe his mother’s obsession with religion was part of why he left, although she had not been “reconverted” yet at that time.

Anthony’s side of the family, meaning his grandchildren, carried mostly vague stories and references about how horrible Catholics were, and how dangerous. “They” were certainly not to be trusted.

I found the word “dangerous” in this context remarkable when I first heard it.

I first encountered those rumblings before I knew who Anthony’s parents were. I discounted them, or figured they were based on some sort of misinformation.  After I discovered that Anthony’s ancestors were Acadians, I found this “Catholics are evil” story rather incredulous, especially given that Acadians fought so hard and so long, undergoing such deprivation to remain Catholic. They literally sacrificed everything. Their religion was extremely important to them, and a Catholic Acadian family would never have these kinds of stories, hinted at or otherwise.

From the Acadian perspective, the English and protestants were very clearly evil for what they had done. There was truly no doubt about that.

Surely, these family stories were confused or came from a different line. Maybe from one of the non-Catholic lines – right???

Nope. As it turns out, they were based on actual facts, even though the specifics had been obscured or forgotten. This situation became even worse after Mary’s death. The Baptist Lore family who lived in Mary’s home was reportedly burned out in 1837, probably during the Rebellion when the French and English were firmly pitted against each other and the area was rocked by revolutionary upheaval.

I wonder if Antoine, then Anthony, saw his mother after she converted and before she died? He’s never mentioned anyplace in these records, but we know he was present in 1834 when Honore’s estate was divided.

These family members remained in touch, somehow, at least during the first generation and before Mary’s conversion, or Anthony would not have known to be present when his father’s estate was divided. We know Anthony was there, because he signed his name.

The situation surrounding Mary’s death and subsequent political/religious terrors endured by the family were treated pretty much as a closely guarded family secret – something that was occasionally whispered about or inferred, but the actual story was never told. There was head-shaking, tongue-clucking and long sad grimacing glances at the floor that clearly conveyed the sentiment, and that there was some horrible secret that could not be discussed – never to be revealed. And yes, people took those secrets to their graves.

I’ve tried to dig them up.

It’s possible that the family, in some way, still feared retaliation, or the division cleaved by the Catholic/Baptist feud over Mary’s body and soul was too deep and painful to navigate.

Estrangement is the willful severance of your relationship with your family. The person on the receiving end couldn’t interpret the intended message more clearly. “You’re dead to me. You don’t exist. I’ve killed you in my heart.” And this was caused by religion.

Where is God’s love in all of this?

If the Baptist letters are to be believed, Mary died in a euphoric state, but I still feel incredibly sorry for what she had to endure, and for the horribly painfully divided family she left behind. Those scars have been passed from generation to generation, while her actual legacy as a wonderful, giving, human being, regardless of her religion, has been entirely erased and forgotten.

Not anymore, Mary.

Not anymore.

I can’t do much, but I can honor Mary’s life with a virtual headstone, even if it is 187 years late, and create a memorial, here.


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[3] Jacob’s Well: A Case for Rethinking Family History by Joseph Amato

Acadian 1695 Loyalty Oath Signatures – 52 Ancestors #395

I discovered my Acadian family line nearly 20 years ago with the revelation of one single word – Blairfindie. Sometimes all you really need is one word. The right word, followed by a LOT of digging.

I’ve chased so many wild hares as a genealogist that I’m now surprised when one actually does pan out.

The Loyalty Petition

In 2008, somehow, I heard a rumor that there was a 1695 loyalty petition of the Acadians that was archived in Massachusetts. Massachusetts? How would it have gotten there? Retained by someone after they were deported, perhaps?

I doubted the petition actually existed, but I wrote to find out anyway.


Does the fact that this document was carefully guarded and included with someone’s meager possessions when they had literally no room on the 1755 deportation ships represent hope that the loyalty petition might yet save them? Would it say to their deporters, “See, we were always loyal? Our ancestors swore allegiance 65 years ago. Let us go home.”

I wish I knew. It was clearly viewed as important. Based on who signed, it probably came from Port Royal, having been renamed Annapolis Royal after being British captured by the British in 1710.


One of my goals is always to find the signatures of my ancestors. The Acadians are particularly difficult because many of the church and other records no longer exist, so any signature is quite rare indeed.

Even if they don’t sign with an actual signature, instead making their mark, you know that “mark” is their signature and they physically made it, then and there. It may be the only tangible thing left of them, except perhaps for fragments of their DNA carried by their descendants.

Consequently, you know whether they did or did not know how to read and write.

You can speculate about how they learned to read and write, perhaps through their church, or why they didn’t.

You know who they stood with when signing this pledge that was given with the fervent hope of avoiding issues and remaining neutral in conflicts between the British Empire and France. Canada and the maritime territories were prize possessions in the wars, but to the Acadians, it was simply home. They didn’t want trouble, simply to co-exist peacefully.

The Acadians wanted nothing more than to be left alone with their families, diked fields, livestock, and Catholic churches.

Rest assured that the topic of signing this pledge was hotly debated, probably ad nauseum. No one knew what the future held nor the best course of action. I’m sure there were as many differing opinions as there were people.

The English were opportunists, neighbors to the south with whom the Acadians traded, legally or otherwise, and Protestant. Yes, that relationship was complex.

The Catholics wanted absolutely nothing LESS than to be forced to become Protestant, as had occurred in England beginning with the reign of Henry VIII and becoming worse during Queen Elizabeth’s reign in the second half of the1500s. They were afraid if they pledged loyalty to England that they would be forced to adopt the Protestant religion and be conscripted into the English war machine to fight their French brethren in Canada.

The European wars were reflected in battles, skirmishes, and raids in Acadia, colonies on the other side of the Atlantic. The Acadian answer was to attempt to remain neutral by not fighting FOR anyone.

The Acadians were continuously embroiled in some sort of conflict, most of it not of their own making and almost all of it out of their control or even sphere of influence.

In 1690, the English once again plundered Acadia, killing people and livestock and burning farms.

The Acadians agreed to sign a loyalty oath in order to diffuse the situation and not be viewed as “the enemy.” Not everyone signed, especially not men and families in the more remote areas and outposts. Omission doesn’t necessarily mean noncompliance or opposition. It may simply imply distance. Furthermore, not every signature is legible.

I wrote to the Massachusetts State Archives requesting a copy of this document in 2008. I shared it with other researchers at the time, but now I’m sharing it with all Acadian researchers.

The outside of the petition bears the date of August 1695.

The signatures are contained on one page.

Wee do swear and sincerely promise that wee will be faithfull and bear true allegiance to his Majesty King William King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland.

So helpe us God.

Written in both English and French, courtesy of Christophe.

Nous jurons et sinserment (= sincèrement) promettons
que nous serons fidelle (=fidèle) et porterons vraye (=vraie)
alégeance (=allégeance) à sa maiesté (=majesté) le Roy Guillaume
Roy Dangleterre Décosse (d’Angleterre, d’Ecosse) France et
Ainsy Dieu nous aide.

Note, “marque de” translates to “mark of,” meaning they could not sign their name and instead made their mark.

I had difficulty reading some of these names, so if you can decipher something I did not, or transcribed incorrectly, or know your ancestor to be on this list, please comment on the blog by column and number, and I’ll update the entry.


  • Additional information, not contained on the original list, which is provided here, is contained in parenthesis following the person’s name. Please see the comments for more details.
  • Courtesy of Karen Theroit Reader, I’m adding the birth and death dates in parenthesis. These dates are clearly NOT in the original document. You can view Karen’s extensive and documented Acadian tree here. Please also see her comments.
  • Also, please view the comments by Mark Deutsch for essential context, including that these oaths were not voluntary and were taken in 1690, not 1695. There is additional discussion about this topic and circumstances that are critical to Acadian history.
  • Thank you to Christophe from France for assistance with both language and script translation and interpretation.
  • Lucie LeBlanc Consentino added some comments on the DNAexplain Facebook page, so I’ll incorporate some of those here as well. Her list appears to have come from here and does add some valuable information, such as dit names, but contains omissions has some challenges as well. Since it’s in alpha order, we sometimes can’t correlate to the signatures.
  • It’s also interesting to note that while the names morphed over time and have been standardized to some extent today, the people who signed their own names clearly spelled it “correctly” for themselves at that time. When there is a question about what they actually signed, I’ve included possibilities suggested by experts.
  • Thank you to everyone who has contributed. There is such power in collaboration. Please see the comments for additional valuable genealogy information.
  • Always remember to research carefully and check original documents when possible. We are all human and make mistakes:)

Column 1

  1. Allexandre Richard (1668-1709)
  2. John Bostorash? (x) La Marque (now Bastarache) (1658-1733, Karen Theroit reports that Stephen A. White (SAW from here forward) has standardized the name to Bastarache)

Column 2

  1. Louis Petit, missionnaire faisant les fonctions curiales au Port Royal (the missionary acting as parish priest at Port Royal – see comments)
  2. Etmanuel Le Bourgnes (possibly Borgnes) (Emmanuel Le Borgue 1676-before 1717, Karen things the other “things” are flourishes to his signature) (Lucie – Le Borgne de Bélisle – the recently deceased seigneur’s son)
  3. Charles Mellanson (Milanson?)
  4. Mathieu Martin (1636-bef 1725)
  5. Margue de (mark) Claude Terriot (1637-1725)
  6. Marque de (mark) Daniel Le Blanc
  7. Marque de (mark) Etienne Pellerin
  8. Pierre Lanoue
  9. Pierre Commeaux +(mark) (Per Karen, SAW uses Comeau) (Pierre le Jeune Comeau per Lucie ) le jeune translates to “the young”
  10. Jean Labat (Lucie – dit Le Marquis) – this one is very difficult as it’s under the fold line
  11. Marque de (+) Germain Savoye (Savoye 1654-after 1729) (Lucie – Savoie)
  12. Marque de (+) Jacob Girouer (possibly meant to be Girouard) (1621-1693 – SAW uses Girouard) (from Christophe – prononcer Girouère=Giroir=Girouard)
  13. Bonaventure (+) Terriot (1641-1731)
  14. Marque de (mark) Pierre le Celier (1647-1710 – SAW uses Cellier)
  15. Marque de (+) Pierre Godet
  16. Marque de (P) Guillaume Blanchard
  17. Marque de (t) Jean Belliveau (1652-1734) (from Christophe – à cette époque les U et les V s’écrivaient de la même manière)
  18. Illegible between above and below names but does not look to be a name. Karen indicates that she does not feel this is a name given the tight spacing above and below. I’m leaving this number because I feel it’s relevant to future researchers who may question this.
  19. Marque de Pierre Tibaudeau (1631-1704 – SAW uses Thibodeau)
  20. Martin (+) Blanchard (1647-after1718)
  21. Marque de (+) Charles Robichaux (Lucie – dit Cadet”
  22. Marque de (+) Bernard Bourg (1648-?)
  23. Jean (+) Corporon
  24. Alexandre (+) Girouer (1761-1744) (Christophe Griouer = Girouard)
  25. Marque de (mark) du Puelt (du Puit – 1637-after 1700 – SAW uses DuPuis) (du Puest per Christophe)
  26. Pierre Guillebaud (Guillebau – 1639-1703 – SAW uses Guilbeau)
  27. Marque de (+) Pierre Sibilau (1675-before 1703)
  28. Claude Gaidry (1648-after 1723 – SAW uses Guedry) (Christophe – possibly Guidry)
  29. Giraud (+) Guerin (Jerome Guerin – about 1665-after 1751)
  30. Jullién Lor

Column 3

  1. Marque de (mark) Pierre Commeaux
  2. Marque de (mark) Emanuel Hebert
  3. Marque de (mark) Jean Commeaux
  4. Marque de (o) Etienne Commeaux
  5. Marque de (+) Martin Bourg
  6. Marque de (LA) de Louis Alin (1654-1737 SAW uses Allain)
  7. Abraham Bourg
  8. Marque de (+) Jean Babinot (Babineau per Lucie, here at Babinot)
  9. Marque (+) de Jacques Leger (1663-1751) (Lucie – dit La Rosette)
  10. Marque de (mark) Francois Broussard (1653-1716) (Christophe – Preullard?)
  11. (partly illegible) Marque de (+) Pierre Martin
  12. Alexandre Bourg (1671-1760) (Lucie – dit Bellehumeur, nephew of Abraham Bourg)
  13. Marque (P) de Jacques Triel (1646-before 1700) (Lucie – dit Laperrière)
  14. Pierre (+) Landry
  15. Claude (C mark) Landry
  16. Jacques (+) Michel
  17. Martin (O) Richard
  18. Francois (J or F) Robin (1643-1706 – Karen thinks his mark is an F instead of a J, Christoph interprets as J)
  19. Claude (+) Dugats
  20. Pierre (+) Doucet sa marque
  21. René de Forest (1670-1751 – SAW uses “(de) FOREST”)
  22. Claude Petitpas
  23. Denis Petitot (dit Saint-Seine, born about 1662)
  24. Prudent Robichaux (1669-1756)
  25. Lourans Grangé (mark) sa marque (1643-about 1701)
  26. Laurens Doucet
  27. Bernard Godet
  28. John Faudel (mark) (his) marque (Fardel/Fredelle, 1643-after 1700) (Christophe – possibly Paucett?) (Lucie – an Englishman whose wife was a Gaudet)

In total, 61 men who were heads of households representing families signed the loyalty oath.

Here’s a second, lighter copy that may help with some signatures. Please feel free to download both.

My Ancestors

Four of my ancestors signed this oath, two with their mark and two signed.

Guillaume Blanchard and Pierre Doucet signed with their marks

René de Forest signed his name, although I couldn’t decipher his signature. (Thanks Karen.) I love this man’s R. I should practice and adopt it!

Jullién Lor signed his name, but it’s more than just a name…

Jullién Lor

Jullién Lor signed his name at the bottom of the second column, giving us a huge clue as to his heritage. In fact, I’d say he secretly gave us the answer.

Can you spot the clue?

First, although there was no standardized spelling at the time, we know he spelled his surname Lor, not Lord as was later recorded, nor Lore, Laur, or any other derivative. Jullien was the original immigrant who was born in the old country. But where was that?

There has always been some question about Jullién’s heritage, especially with a surname like Lord. Lord is not a French word. It’s English.

English soldiers were stationed at Fort Royal at various times, and the English did interact with the Acadians often and in many ways, at least when they weren’t warring.

So, was Jullién Lor English or French? We can pretty much rule out any other nationalities at this point, based on the history of the region at the time he appeared on the scene. He was not in the 1671 or 1678 census, at least not under his own name, but we know he was in the region before 1675 or 1676 when his first child was born.

Do you see that little accent over the e? It looks like this – é. It’s not a stray mark. It’s called l’accent aigu and is unquestionably French. It changes the pronunciation of the e to something sounding like “eh.”

In essence, Jullién just winked and whispered across 328 years that he’s French. Je suis français, mon petit-fils.

Thank you, Jullién, my wonderful six-times great-grandfather! I’m all ears if there’s anything else you’d like to say.

It’s a good thing we have this document, because it’s absolutely the ONLY record of Jullién’s signature that I’ve been able to find. And while we do have a few other hints, nothing is as conclusive as a message from Jullién himself!

I hope you find your ancestors too.


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Honorius Lord (1768-1834): Catholic Church Records Illuminate Migration Along the Richelieu River – 52 Ancestors #393

Honoré Lord’s parents were among the Acadian people horrifically displaced from their homes in Acadia, now Nova Scotia, in 1755 amid fire, flame and destruction. That event, known as “Le Grand Dérangement,” is translated to “The Great Upheaval,” and that’s clearly an understatement. The expulsion was essentially a genocidal cleansing event. Thankfully, it wasn’t entirely successful.

These people were treated horribly; deceived, deported, separated from their families and worldly goods, suffering greatly – but somehow, they did not break. Those that survived did the best they could wherever they wound up. What else could they do?

Life Continued, at Least for Some

The location of Honoré Lord’s birth is somewhat uncertain. Brother Bernard, now deceased, a benevolent Catholic priest, assisted with this research for some time. He understood the Church, the history, and could transcribe and translate old French records.

Many of the relevant records were not online, available, or indexed at that time. I was then and remain very grateful for his assistance.

Honoré was reported to have been born March 5, 1766 in Connecticut, but I’ve never seen a source for that date. I suspect it was being copied from tree to tree before his baptism was located, but I’m not sure.

Brother Bernard did not find his baptism record. Then again, with a displaced people, exactly where do you look?

Honoré, also written as the Latin Honorius, was also more generally credited with being born in New England. His baptismal record was discovered in Yamachiche, Canada by cousin Sylvain some years after Brother Bernard had passed away. Honoré was baptized on February 28, 1768. However, his date of birth is not recorded.

Brother Bernard had, at one time, explained the difference between the black robes and the grey robes. According to Brother Bernard, the Catholic priests of that time wore black robes. Episcopalian/Anglican priests wore grey robes. In a pinch, a Catholic couple would have an Episcopal priest baptize their child, one of the grey robes, but as soon as possible, a black robed priest would rebaptize the child. In a real pickle, meaning the child was in danger of dying, anyone, preferably a Catholic, could baptize the child. Many midwives and grandmother’s baptized babies who were sickly or weak.

Same goes for weddings. Better, apparently, to be married by a grey robe than not at all.

Babies born in the Colonies during the time the Acadians were displaced without a Catholic priest to baptize them properly were baptized as soon as the parents could reasonably do so.

Truth be known, Honoré could have been born in New England, then baptized in Yamachiche after his parents arrived in that area.

Yamachiche was small, just 20 families and 100 people in 1723. Yamachiche grew rapidly between 1765 and 1790 with new Acadian settlers.

According to the Acadie website, in July 1767, a schooner arrived at the mouth of the Yamachiche River carrying a large contingent of Acadians who were originally deported to Massachusetts. The Lesieur family, still the owner of the Grosbois-East seigneury, was ready to welcome them on a concession still to be cleared of trees.

Up to 42 Acadian families, or 192 individuals, settled on the Lesieur family’s concession. The French-Canadian villagers of St. Anne of Yamachiche parish, founded in 1722, gave them a warm welcome. Canada was then under British rule, so of course their fellow Frenchmen welcomed these good French-speaking Catholics who were brave and supportive.

The parish priest, Jacques-Maxime Chef from the city of La Garenne hastened to validate the marriages and baptisms of all Acadians whose life-events could not officially take place in Massachusetts or elsewhere in the colonies for lack of Catholic priests.

Honoré was baptized at Saint Anne d’Yamachiche on February 28, 1768.

Given that the Acadians couldn’t be baptized or married in the Catholic church in New England, many were baptized or had their marriages validated after their return to Canada. Life went on in the Colonies, of course, and the messy details were cleaned up later, given that their religious omissions were due to no fault or choice of their own. In fact, had they been willing to convert, they probably would never have been deported in the first place.

Yamachiche is still small today, with the main street, Rue Ste Anne, an eclectic combination of old and new. The original church has been replaced.

Honoré’s parents likely lived in something akin to a resettlement camp and the priest was a missionary. The church was probably makeshift in this frontier river town of Catholic refugees.


Honoré’s parents were Honoré Lord (Sr.) and Apolline Garceau who were both born in 1742 in Port Royal, before the horrific removal which occurred in 1755.

We know they were married before they arrived back in Canada, because their marriage validation provides us with proof positive.

The original church at Becancour was built in 1722 and burned in December of 2000.

Brother Bernard’s translation of the marriage validation of Honorius Lord and Apolline Garceau.

Validation at Becancour, Quebec, Parish of the Nativity, 1767, page 47.

“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”

If Honoré had been born in 1766, you’d think that his parents would have had him baptized at the same time they had their vows valided, but they didn’t.

This suggests strongly that Honoré was actually born a day or so before he was baptized in 1768. His parents certainly would not have waited two years to have his rebaptism performed. We know they were back in Canada, in a Catholic church, in September of 1767. In fact, if Honoré was born in February of 1758, his mother was about 4 months pregnant for him at his parent’s marriage validation. He wasn’t the first child to be present at his parent’s wedding, but this was a bit different.

We don’t know exactly where the Honoré Lord’s parents and grandparents spent the very long years between 1755 and 1766-1768, but we do have some hints.

New York

In 1755, families were not necessarily permitted to depart Acadia together. The expulsion was sprung on the Acadians as a surprise so they had no ability to prepare. The men were essentially captured and held hostage. The women and children joined them on the deportation ships. They were forced to leave everything except their children behind. Their farms were burned and their livestock killed in front of their eyes. Some of their family members were tortured and killed as well.

Beyond that, families were split up however they managed to be herded onto ships with far distant destinations. Some ships sank. Many family members had absolutely no idea where the rest of their family had been taken, or if they were even alive. Mortality was high and starvation was rampant.

Some Lord family members were found in Massachusetts, but they don’t seem to be close family.

However, we do know that Daniel Garceau, Honoré Lore’s grandfather, was living in New York state, and so were Lord, Lort and Comeau families that were heavily intermarried and later found together in l’Acadie in Canada. In fact, two of Honoré’s siblings also married Garceau siblings.

Acadians in New York were distributed in small groups, transported to the counties of Westchester (Bronx), King’s (Brooklyn), Queen’s (Queens), Richmond (Staten Island), Orange and Suffolk.

Approximately 344 Acadians were in New York in August, 1756, and about one third were indentured from 4 to 7 years. You do what you need to do to survive.

Return to Canada

The Acadians were given permission to return to Quebec, Canada in 1766.

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.

A group of 90 exiles sailed from Massachusetts to Quebec in 1766, joining forces with the Acadians who had fled there from Nova Scotia after 1755. They settled near Quebec City and along the Nicolet and Richelieu Rivers.

Many individuals, including Honoré Lord’s parents, settled along the St. Lawrence River and tributaries between Quebec City and Montreal.

Honoré’s parents had their marriage, which had occurred someplace in New England, validated in Becancour, across the river from Trois Rivieres in September of 1767.

Honoré’s parents seem to have been trying to find a permanent place to settle. After his 1768 baptism in Yamachiche, his siblings were baptized elsewhere.

Life along the Richelieu River

Marie Ann Lord born in 1769 was baptized in Saint-Denis.

Francois born in 1771 was born and baptized the following day in St. Ours on the Richelieu River which flows north from Lake Champlain to the St. Lawrence River. For the most part, rivers were their roads.

Honoré’s little sister, Claire, died at 20 months of age in the middle of January in 1775. His mother gave birth to another baby just 7 weeks later.

While St. Ours was a very early settlement, I’d wager this wasn’t the original church. However, the cemetery was assuredly located nearby, and the family would have stood together as they buried their baby girl on that cold January day, just four months shy of her second birthday.

I do wonder if the ground was frozen. Did they have to wait until springtime?

The old Catholic cemetery closed in 1878 and has no headstone photos which makes me wonder if there are any headstones – now or ever.

The current cemetery is here, a block or so behind the church, but if you turn around, you see the back of the church, and what looks to be a school.

The old Catholic Cemetery at St. Ours is full of Acadians, including uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews of Honoré Lore.

The cemetery GPS coordinates show the address of 2540 Immaculee-Conception which resolves to this location, right beside the church. There is some type of historical marker beneath that tree, but I can’t get close enough with Google maps to see what it says. That house, at left, looks ancient too.

The Richelieu River runs right behind the church, and the coordinates for the old cemetery resolve right next door (red arrow), where the trees and colorful flag are today, between the church and the ancient-looking house. The family would continue to migrate down that river and wind up near St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu, which, a few miles later, crosses over the border between the US and Vermont and New York in the form of Lake Champlain, but that’s a story for the next generation.

Following Family

Fortunately most Catholic church records exist in this region during this timeframe. It’s those records that allow us to track the family’s movements.

The next three of Honoré’s siblings were baptized in St. Ours as well.

However, Marie Charlotte born in 1777 and Jean Baptiste born in 1779 were given conditional baptisms in 1787 in L’Acadie, further down the river. Why? Where was the family in 1777 and 1779 that they would not have had their children baptized? I’m pretty sure I know the answer, but I’m not going to spill those beans here. That’s Honoré’s father’s incredible story.

The children born through 1802 were baptized in L’Acadie, and the balance at St. Luc.

Honoré’s grandfather, Jacques Lord died in 1786 in Nicolet, Quebec, across the river from Yamachiche. Honoré’s paternal uncles died in the same region. Charles died in 1797 in Trois Rivieres, maybe 10 miles upriver from Yamachiche, Pierre Benjamin died in 1813 in Nicolet and Jean in 1809 in St. Ours.

Honoré’s maternal grandfather, Daniel Garceau died in 1772 in Yamachiche and his grandmother Anne Doucet, in 1791 in Sorel, at the mouth of the Richlieu River and the St. Lawrence.

Honoré’s mother’s siblings were all buried in the same or nearby locations.

You can see the family working its way down the river, one village, one church at a time. Looking for opportunity and land to farm.

Within the space of a two decades, the DNA of the Lore family, and their extended families, was seemingly scattered in every Catholic Cemetery along the St. Lawrence.

Those families HAD to have been living in close proximity in New York for their son, Honoré Lord to marry Appoline Garceau around 1765. Two of Appoline’s siblings also married Lord brothers.

Those families returned from wherever they were exiled together and remained nearby for the duration of their lives.

I suspect losing most of your family would give you a new level of appreciation for the family you have left.

Dark Days

An interesting meteorological event occurred that would have been fascinating and perhaps frightened families living in this region.

The following is from the Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar by David Phillips – on this day – “October 9 ,1785 – the “dark days” occurred today in Montreal and for a week after. Fog persisted until 10 o’clock, when wind cleared the air.

Within 30 minutes, darkness succeeded but rain dispelled it. Near noon the dark stopped church services until candles were lit. At 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., perfect darkness held for a short time and candles were lit again. A storm followed each darkness, the rain filled with sulphur.” October 9th was Sunday.

The Newport, Rhode Island newspaper on December 5th reported:

Montreal, October 20. On Sunday the 16th the air was darkened by a thick fog which dissipated about 10 o’clock. The atmosphere was of a luminous, fiery, color. About 2 o’clock in the afternoon, it became dark by degrees, in such a manner, that about half an hour after 2, people could not see one another in the houses. This lasted 20 minutes and was followed by lightning, thunder and rain, which gradually diminished the darkness. It was, however, very difficult to read without candlelight at 3 o’clock.

This period was of short duration, for the darkness came on again at 7 minutes past three and it grew by degrees as dark as before, insomuch that no night ever was more obscure than it was at this time. The black clouds dispersed about 14 minutes past 3, but lightning, thunder and a heavy rain continued till about half after 5.

Doctor Serre who resides in this city says that having perceived the rain water that fell during the shower to be of a black colour, he smelt it and finding it has a sulfurous smell, he placed in the middle of his yard a muslin handkerchief in the form of a funnel, at the bottom of which he found a black sediment. Having rubbed it between his fingers, he found that its smell was owing to no other cause but the sulfur which composed its substance. Hence he is of opinion that the only cause of this phenomenon was the inflammation of some of neighboring mines, whose thick smoke being condensed in the air was driven by the wind over this region.

What would our ancestors in the area have thought? Some must have been quite frightened, especially given that it appeared on Sunday morning. I’m sure the churches were full of fearful folks. Based on similar events, it seems that fires to the north and west might well have caused this phenomenon, although the good doctor suggested mines.

Sulphur typically comes from underground, not from fires. Iceland experienced massive volcanic eruptions between 1783-1785, but the worst occurred in 1783/1784.

At 17 years old, was Honoré excited? How did he feel? Was it interpreted as some type of epiphany or Biblical omen?


Tragedy struck when Honoré’s mother died in May of 1788. He was a young man of only about 22 years old, and he had younger siblings who needed care.

Par François Charette — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0,

HIs mother was buried in the cemetery beside the church at Blairfindie.


Honoré Lord was of age to marry. His marriage with Marie LaFaille, daughter of Francois Lafaille and Marguerite DeForest is recorded in the church records at Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie on August 10, 1789. They obviously attended this same church as did a number of Acadian families.

Place of Worship or Institution: Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie
Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 about Honoré Lord
Name: Honoré Lord
Spouse: Marie Lafay
Event: Mariage (Marriage)
Marriage Year: 1789
Marriage Location: L`Acadie, Québec (Quebec)
Place of Worship or Institution: Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie

Marie had been baptized as an adult on January 6, 1789, in Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie, l’Acadie, St-Jean, Quebec, along with two of her sisters.

Honoré’s Father Remarries 

Here’s where things get a bit, well, strange.

Honoré’s father remarried after waiting a respectable amount of time. That was to be expected, of course. He was only 46 when his wife died, leaving him with several children to raise. A lot of responsibility probably fell to Honore Jr., since he was the eldest. The neighbors would have helped as much as they could, too.

Honoré Jr. was probably quite relieved that his father was remarrying, although given that his new step-mother was about 6 years younger than he was, it might have been a bit…odd.

But that’s not the only thing.

On January 11, 1790, Honoré’s father married Susanne Fafaille, thirty years his junior, born in 1772, the daughter of Francoise Lafaille and Marguerite DeForest.

If you think you recognized those names and just scrolled back to see if you saw them a minute ago – why yes, you did.

Click any image to enlarge

Yes, Honoré Lord Sr. married the younger sister of his son’s wife.

Think about that for a minute. It’s OK. I had to. It’s technically alright, because Honoré Lord Sr. is not related to Susanne LaFaille, his new wife, except by virtue of the fact that his son is married to her sister. So, Honoré Sr. married his daughter-in-law’s sister – except doesn’t daughter-in-law technically mean daughter by law? In the Catholic faith, consanguity is rooted in blood relation, so no consanguity, therefore no dispensation needed.

Still, it’s a bit strange.

I can’t help but hear the refrain from “I Am My Own Grandpa.” In this case, Honoré Lord Jr. became the step-son of his father’s second wife, Susanne Lafaille, and was her brother-in-law as well.

(Scratches head…)

Said the other way, Susanne is Honoré Jr.’s step-mother and his sister-in-law, both.

Their children were Honoré Lord Jr.’s half-siblings and also his nieces and nephews.

Honoré’s father and Susanne had 7 children, two of whom died young, one not long before Susanne’s death in August of 1803. Whatever took their month old baby that July probably took Susanne a month or so later. The grief would have been palpable.

The baptisms of their two youngest children, along with the burials took place at St. Luc’s church and cemetery.

The summer of 1803 must have been just devastating.

The family would have walked outside of the church following the funeral mass into the cemetery, at the rear of the church.

Twice, just a few weeks apart.

It was here that Honoré Lord Sr. would be laid to rest in 1818 as well.

1825 Census

Of course, Honoré Lord and Marie LaFaille began a family right away following their 1789 marriage.

Honoré Laure is listed with 8 inhabitants in the 1825 census of Lower Canada, in Blairfindie, Huntingdon, Quebec, Canada. He would have been 57 years old.

Lord, Honoré 1825

  • 1 family member 14-18
  • 2- single males 18 and not 25
  • 1- married male 18 and not 25 (where is his spouse?)
  • 1- married male 40 and not yet 60 (Honoré himself)
  • 2 – female single 14 and not 45
  • 1 – female married 45 and upwards (Marie)

Honore’s Death

Honoré died at age 66, his birth given as 1768, and was buried on April 5, 1834 at Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie in L’Acadie.

This pretty much lays to rest the 1766 birth year and confirms that his birth took place shortly before his baptism, given that he was baptized on February 28th. Typically, only a day or two, if that, elapsed. The parents would have wanted that baby baptized as soon as possible – just in case.

Honoré would have been laid to rest near his mother at Blairfindie.

After his mother’s death and his father’s second wife’s death, he and his third wife had continued attending St. Luc where their children were baptized. Honore Jr. stayed in the church where he was raised, where his mother would have been silently at his side. Lord knows, he was going to need her strength soon enough.

St. Luc and Ste Marguerite de Blairfinder weren’t far apart. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the family lived someplace near half-way between.

Perhaps records exist, someplace, that would shed additional light on that question. I’m not a fluent French-speaker, nor do I understand the early land system well in Quebec. I may just have to learn! I would truly like to find his land. and determine where they lived.

I might just feel a trip to Acadia coming on.


Honoré Lord (Laur, Lore, and other spellings) and Marie Lafaille (Lafay) had a record 17 children in roughly 20 years, including at least two sets of twins, but, contrary to how circumstances might appear – their marriage was anything but idyllic.

In fact, those circumstances just might explain why their son, Antoine Lore chose to leave home as soon as he was able, sailed down the Richelieu River, across Lake Champlain, and never looked back.

Stay tuned.


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The Secrets Hidden in Mother’s Lifetime Social Security Earnings Report – 52 Ancestors #392

Back in September 2022, I ordered a Social Security lifetime earnings record for my mother by filing form SSA-7050, available here. In addition to wages, it also lists employers which would tell me where she was working.

This form is available for living individuals – meaning you can order your own – or for deceased people under specific circumstances if you are:

  • The legal representative of the earner’s estate
  • A survivor
  • An individual with a material interest (as defined on the form)

I ordered the information for both of my parents, but so far, only my mother’s has been delivered.

I provided a credit card number, and it was charged in December. The printed information arrived in March.

My credit card hasn’t been charged for my father’s report. I’m still hopeful, but I’m thinking I need to send a follow-up letter.

Social Security

Social Security was designed to provide a safety net for retirees and has been expanded at various times to include surviving spouses, children under some circumstances, and people with disabilities.

The Social Security Act was passed in 1935, cards issued in 1936 and Social Security benefits began being issued in 1937. The first lump sum payout was 17 cents.

Widows and widowers, meaning surviving spouses are sometimes eligible for benefits, as were self-employed people beginning in 1951.

Social Security benefits, who can receive them, under which circumstances, and when has changed over the years. Medicare was added in 1965. You can read about the history here, which may help you determine whether or not there might be a benefit to ordering this information for a deceased relative.

Cash and Cashless Economy

Recall that the Great Depression occurred between 1929 and 1939 in the US. Poverty was unrelenting, and nearly every family was negatively affected.

My family was only one of many. In fact, they were probably in the majority. My maternal grandfather, John Ferverda, lost his hardware store and was unemployed. The family raised chickens and either sold, traded or bartered poultry and eggs for other goods. My mother said she passionately hated cleaning chickens because she cleaned so many as a child.

Few people actually had money, so a lot of exchanges occurred.

In a rural economy, farm workers worked for cash or goods, much like today’s “gig-workers”. Mom taught dance lessons as a teen and young adult, but she wasn’t employed by a company. Cash changed hands or maybe some labor or vegetables.

Mom graduated from High School in 1940, but I didn’t know when Mom actually had a “job” that would have been recorded as such.

I know now.

Requested Records

I requested mother’s wage records from 1937, the beginning of wages being reported to Social Security, though her death in 2006. Nearly 70 years.

I clearly knew about much of her employment, but not the early years.

In particular, I can’t find Mom in the 1950 census. She was living in Florida in 1949 and early 1950. I’ve struggled to discover much of anything about that time in her life, except, well, that she married a circus performer. Then he divorced her. She returned home, to Indiana, probably during the time that the census was being taken.

But I have questions. So many questions.

  • Did she work in Florida?
  • What about before that?
  • Was she employed by a company when she danced in Chicago, or was she self-employed?
  • Did she work more than one job?
  • Where did she work?
  • For how long?
  • How much money did she make?

Needless to say, I was VERY excited when this envelope FINALLY arrived.

And wow, are there ever some very interesting surprises.

Where was Mom?

Mother, like many females in the early 1940s, married not long after she graduated from high school. It was expected.

Her husband, Dan, joined the Army during WWII and marched off to war.

In 1943, my brother was born. When Dan returned home on leave, it wasn’t to Mom, but to a girlfriend. In fact, Mom didn’t even know he was home on leave. My grandfather quite accidentally ran into Dan and his lady-friend. So had others. It was a small town and everyone, but everyone knew within hours.

For Mom, that devastating, humiliating episode was both an end and a beginning – even if it was a beginning she didn’t want.

Mother realized that she was not going to be a housewife, at least not to Dan, and she was going to be that much-dreaded horrible D word – divorced. Along with that in small town Indiana came incredible stigma. So Mom did the only thing she could do – sought work as a professional tap and ballet dancer – her only marketable skill. After all, now she had a son to support and $4 per week child support that Dan was ordered to pay wasn’t going to do it.

Mom’s official employment began in 1944 and thus began her first official career, although she had been dancing and teaching both tap and ballet for at least a dozen years. Both before and after she graduated, Mom taught at a dance school in Fort Wayne and also privately. I suspect she taught in exchange for her own lessons.

Unfortunately, the dancing photos of Mom during her teen years don’t include any recitals, only practice photos taken by my grandmother in the yard.

In the small town of Silver Lake, there was no job opportunities in 1944, especially not for a dancer, so Mom had to leave my brother with her parents and go to Chicago where she could find employment in the theater business. She returned home as often as she could, and a significant portion of her pay was sent to my grandparents for John.

This was a cascade of heartbreaking events for mother, on many levels, catapulting her into an unwelcome future – one she never sought nor wanted.

1944 – Chicago

The first entry in Mom’s social security earnings record appeared in 1944 with the employer listed as the Theater Service Corporation, 175 N. State, Chicago, Illinois. Earnings were listed by quarter. Her social security record also reveals that her card was initially issued in Illinois, so she had no Social Security wages reported before this time.

  • 1st QTR – 262.50
  • 2nd QTR – 238.75

I knew that Mom had performed in Chicago with the Dorothy Hild Dancers at the Edgewater Beach Hotel.

However, based on this address – the 1944 income was not at the Edgewater Beach, but at the Chicago Theater which is located at 175 N. State.

That’s an entirely different venue.

I had no idea. What can I discover about the Chicago Theatre?

By Daniel Schwen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The Chicago Theater still stands downtown in the Loop today.

By Cushman, Charles Weever, 1896-1972 IMLS Digital Collections & Content – North State St. Chicago View source image or order reproductions. Part of Charles W. Cushman Collection Indiana University, Bloomington. University Archives. Brought to you by IMLS Digital Collections and Content., CC BY 2.0,

In 1944, the 7-story Chicago Theater’s sign was painted grey. Mom would have stood right here, in front. I believe I see a bus and trolley too, in addition to the trucks in front of Walgreen Drugs. Chicago was a world apart from Silver Lake, Indiana. I know she had studied and performed in Philadelphia with a prima ballerina at one time, but this must have been different yet. She was going to live and perform here, in a hopping metropolis, not visit to study and then return home to Indiana.

Chicago was now home, and she was performing in this magnificent theater – the best of the best.

When I realized exactly what I was seeing, my jaw dropped. The Chicago Theater was built and billed as “The Wonder Theater of the World,” a reputation it lived up to. Step inside the theater and be transported to Paris.

By Jrissman, Murals by Louis Grell (1887-1960). – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The stunning interior with its gorgeous murals is the same today as it was when mother performed under those chandelier lights to a capacity crowd of 5000 people. A 50-piece orchestra accompanied the live stage shows. Orson Welles exclaimed of the performance, including the Wurlitzer organ; “Oh, yes, it was mighty.” Sometimes mounted police were required for crowd control.

This must have seemed utterly surreal to mother. Did she have to pinch herself? From embarrassed and humiliated as the undesirable wife in Indiana – to this?

The plush environment, private boxes and very early air conditioning attracted wealthy patrons for live performances and early movies.

The five-story lobby and mezzanine, reached by the magnificent grand staircase is patterned after the Royal Palace at Versailles and the Paris Opera House. The crystal chandeliers and light fixtures were fitted with Steuben shades.

You can see the absolutely stunning interior, here and here. Old world opulence is the word that comes to mind.

Mom had been dancing and performing for more than a decade and had a voice coach in Chicago.

It was here, in this stunning 5-story theatre than that mother’s crystal-clear, angelic voice resonated, filling the chamber, with her dancing shoes tap-tapping across the stage to the sheer delight of patrons.

It was here that mother came into her own – her potential just beginning to be realized.

The stars must have glimmered in her eyes, brighter than the heavens. The hometown girl whose husband abandoned her for the girl next door had made it big in one of the most beautiful and renowned theaters, if not THE most beautiful theater in the world. As painful as Silver Lake was, here she was a beautiful star, shining brilliantly under the stage lights. Only she knew the heartache she left behind. Left behind on the surface anyway.

By Raymon Sutedjo-The – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Mom walked through these doors for daily practices and nightly performances.

In the excitement of my discovery, I almost forgot about Mom’s pay. Yes, she was paid. If she worked a 40-hour week, and we all know that show business is never just a 40-hour week, she would have worked about 13 weeks in each quarter, or about 520 hours. In the first quarter, she made about 50 cents an hour.

Mom was paid better than average given that minimum wage in 1944 was thirty cents an hour, or equivalent to $5.12 in 2023. Ok, so maybe she wasn’t so well paid. Certainly, no place near a living wage today.

And much of that was sent back to Indiana.


The third and fourth quarter of 1944, and the first and second quarters of 1945, plus part of the third quarter – Mom worked at the Edgewater Beach Hotel.

This was when she was performing with the Dorothy Hild Dancers. Mom is middle row, far right.

Of course, I can’t ask Mom why she changed jobs, but I bet I have a clue. Not only was Mom paid better, but she got to live at the Edgewater Beach hotel as part of her compensation package.

The photos in this article show the crowds at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in 1944, a very posh destination location. Mom opened for Bing Crosby and other famous big bands such as Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey who played in the ballroom regularly. I think she has a photo someplace with Wayne King, although I had no idea who he was.

This video was shot in the fall of 1944 at the Edgewater Beach hotel. I can just see Mom there. In fact, she may have been there at this time.

I recognize those stair balusters.

It was here that mother fell in love again in 1944 with Frank Sadowski, the brother of one of the Dorothy Hild dancers.

Indeed. I can watch that video, then close my eyes and see Mother and Frank, her sweetheart, before he was killed in April of 1945.

It’s like I can see life through Mom’s eyes for a few minutes.

Frolicking on the beach, then beautifully dressed and out on the town. Life was good again, and her heartache healed. Frank was an amazing man, studying to be a doctor, which is how he served in the Army.

Everything was going to be alright. They would marry after he got out the service. John, my brother, would come and live with them in Chicago. Life was wonderful and the future was bright, filled with hope and optimism.

That is, until that bubble suddenly burst with a bullet.

Mom made twice as much money at the Edgewater Beach. The first two quarters, she made a total of $396 each quarter. In the first two quarters of 1945, she made $468 each. It’s no wonder she changed employers. Now, she was up to 90 cents an hour plus her room.

Mom worked at the Edgewater Beach Hotel for the first two weeks of the third quarter, which would have been July of 1945. It was probably beastly hot and after Frank’s death, mother was not OK. I’m sure the very last thing she felt like doing was plastering what was assuredly, at that point, a fake smile on her face and performing nightly.

During this time, she also lost an incredible about of weight, and in most photos, appeared incredibly sad.

I’m actually surprised Mom didn’t go back home, but perhaps she realized there was absolutely nothing to go back to.


I have no employment record for mother from June of 1945 until the second quarter of 1950.

A record recently popped up on MyHeritage showing that in May of 1950, she applied for a replacement Social Security card.