Professional Basketball in 1920s Easthampton, Massachusetts. I found this interesting tidbit of Easthampton history on the web. These events occurred about the time of my father’s birth and seemed informative of the the time and place that was Easthampton, Massachusetts.
During the 1920s, pro basketball players played for semi-pro teams. Such a team was located in Easthampton and used the present upper Town Hall as their home. The NBA and the current popularity of basketball did not yet exist. The most talented teams were barnstorming squads that used New York for their base of operations such as the New York Celtics, the Original Celtics, and the New York Whirlwinds. Players moved rather freely between teams. An opponent one night could be a teammate the next. No arenas existed in those days, so large areas, such as a town hall floor, would be partitioned off with chicken wire, (the source of the name ‘cagers’ for players), and a game would be played. A band and dancing would usually follow the game. The Easthampton team was an offshoot of the Turn [Verein] (a local athletic club), basketball team. According to the 1935 Anniversary Book, the team started with local players, but gradually recruited outside talent. The first mention of the professional team in the Daily Hampshire Gazette was in 1920.
The Easthampton Team played in the Interstate League. Also in this circuit, were teams from Holyoke, Springfield, Adams, Turner’s Falls, Westfield, Albany, NY and Thompsonville, CT. The 1921 and 1922 teams had some good players. The stars of the team were Barney Sedran, the self described ‘midget guard’, and forward Marty Friedman.
Together, they played as a combo for many teams. Nat Holman, long time coach for the City College of New York, regarded both as super-stars of the era and Sedran as one of the greatest guards ever. Both had injuries that curtailed their playing time in Easthampton.
The third star was Honey Russell, a guard. Although only 18 when he came to Easthampton, he had been a pro since his midteens. He was a defensive specialist. Russell played for many years and later coached Seton Hall in the 1940s and 50s. He was also the first coach of the Boston Celtics.
Freedman, Sedran and Russell have been inducted in the Hall of Fame in Springfield. Sedran’s plaque has him in his Easthampton uniform. Freedman’s biography at the Hall mentions playing here. All three began playing in town in 1921.
Another player was Em Grayson, a forward. He was captain at Mass Aggie (now University of Massachusetts, Amherst) in 1916-17 and 1919-20, he later coached there and at Amherst College.
Harry ‘Man-o-War’ Riconda was a forward in 1921 and 22. Once with the Original Celtics, he had the reputation as a tough player. ‘Hot’ Haggerty of Springfield had several stays in Easthampton. In 1922, he left Springfield’s team to play for Easthampton then quit to play for the Original Celtics. He again played for Easthampton in 1923. From newspaper accounts, he was a very popular player.
Others came and went. A player named Bernot was at center for a few games in 1922, left and came back in 1923. Billy Sullivan played in 1921 and moved to the Adams team. ‘Stretch’ Meehan, a 6’9″ center was used as a drawing card in 1921. Bob Jackson, a center also played in 1921.
The league suffered financial difficulties. To recoup some losses, the Original Celtics came in 1922 to play each team in the circuit. An ad billed them as the World Champs of the previous year. Easthampton emerged victorious by the score of 18 to 12. Sedran led all players with 7 points and held Celtic star Nat Holman to gust one point.
After the season, Sedran, Friedman, Russell and Riconda all left to play other circuits. On February 5, 1923 the team moved to Northampton. The season and the entire league ended the next month.
Family Tree Guide is about convenience.
Placing your family tree online with your own website and website address could never be simpler then what we offer. Our goal is to make this as easy for you as we can. All work that involves the website setup and maintenance will be handled by one of our capable staff, leaving you to handle only the research into the genealogy for your family. Because your family tree is web-based you will be able to access and edit your genealogy from anywhere in the world. And we do all of this for free!
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ManyRoads is pleased to announce that June 2010 was our busiest month ever.
We had 4341 unique site visits in June of 2010. By large site standards, this is not even a good day, for us it is both exciting and pleasing. We hope that you will continue to visit our site and if possible link to us from yours (if you have one).
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Names used to designate Natives, other than the name of their tribe or nation, include : Savage (a pejorative, rarely used today but common only a half-century ago), Indian, North American Indian, Native, and Amerindian (this one seems to be used only in French). In French, the corresponding terms are: Sauvage, Indien, Indien nord-américain, Autochtone and Amérindien.
Janet Woppumnaweskum, Metis woman
Metis means mixed blood, that is initially one parent was White, and one was Native, while later one or both were Metis. While a Metis can be any place where there are Natives and Whites, Metis Nation is defined as including the Metis living in the early Manitoba lands.
Contrary to popular belief, there were few marriages between Natives and the French in the early days of the colony of New France. We can find these marriages in Jette for the period before 1731, just like all the other marriages of that period. This kind of marriages seems to be more common in Acadia but because of the missing records, it is not possible to estimate the proportion of Acadian Metis families.
In the Quebec early vital records (1621-1765), we have about 78 couples with a Male Native and a Female European, 45 with a Female Native and a Male European and 540 with 2 Natives. The whole database has over 44,500 couples, including some living in France. So, the % of Metis married couples is very small, under 0.3%. Those are couples according to our church records. It is practically not possible to count about many couples left no official trace except if we do some DNA analysis for the whole population.
While the Acadian records are less complete, it is quite fascinating to compare them with the Quebec records. In the Quebec missions like Tadoussac or Oka, the Amerindians were called with Indian names. In Acadia, they had more frequently European names. In the old West (pays d’en haut), there are some fur traders who married Native women following the local custom. The European settlement appeared after that of Quebec and Acadia and the naming pattern is similar to that of Quebec. This could mean in Acadia, the Natives were mixed to Whites, while in Quebec and the West, the White were mixed to Natives. This would explain why there is no Native parish in Acadia, unlike in Quebec.
From 1600 to 1800 ( very approximate years ), acts of baptism, marriage, and [death] may include only the Christian name or both the Christian and the Native names. In the second case, it is possible to find the genealogical link even if the Native name is not hereditary because that name is kept by a person all along his/her life.
Around 1800-1850 ( very approximate years ), acts concerning Natives start using a family name and it then becomes possible to trace the genealogical links.
There was another special phenomenon, namely the adoption by Whites of Natives, but these adoptions left no trace in the parish registers. In fact, adoptions before 1930, be they of Whites or Natives are rarely mentioned in Quebec parish registers.
Find your friends. If you run a family history/ genealogy website, building associations and affiliations can be a useful and valuable adjunct to your genealogical efforts.
Some of the most interesting and potentially useful affiliations (links) are with are sites and organizations belonging to other family members or family associations. These family members/ associations need not be particularly close, from a genealogical relationship perspective, but rather simply represent individuals or groups searching for, or providing, information on branches, limbs of your family tree. It is additionally helpful if their family name obviously links or relates to those most frequently mentioned on your site. Obvious name linkages make it easier for casual readers and researchers alike to see the importance and enthusiasm for information involving your family, perhaps enticing a more reluctant reader into active participation.
Not only can related sites possible additional readership for, and comments on, your site, but more importantly, they provide you with the potential of finding good and useful sources of genealogical information. Presumably, the readers of closely affiliated and obviously related sites are also interested in assisting in your research success and may, also, be willing to provide you with analysis and reviews on your own research efforts. (N.B. I have found this form of review invaluable in scrubbing errors and addressing omissions in my research.)
In the case of ManyRoads, we have recently come across several such sites. These include:
I started trying to determine who my ancestors were in 1990 when I was living and working in Ottawa, Canada. It was not long before I was at a dead end. My parents were Medard [Medor] Rabideau and Lillian Varin. My paternal grandparents were Noel Rabideau and Agnes Rousseau. A close look at my grandfather’s death certificate showed his name as Newell and parents as Russel Rebedeau and Philanda Mathews.. [...]
It did not take me long to determine that my great-grandfather’s name was actually Raphael Robidoux. I was able to locate his immigration papers at the Clinton County Clerk’s office in Plattsburgh, New York. He immigrated from Quebec in about 1855 when he was 13 years old and became a citizen on October 21, 1884.
My next step was to find out where he was married. I was able to locate his marriage in the St. Pierre’s [Peter’s] church records in Plattsburgh:
Unfortunately, the marriage record did not show any parents. This meant that I would have a much more difficult time in my pursuit. The Clinton County federal census records showed them living in Alder Bend in the town of Altona which is where my grandfather, Noel, was born. I still had the problem of going backwards. I started with Raphael and used Quebec church records that were available at the Quebec Archives located very close to the American Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. This location was very close to where I was posted to and working for the U. S. Government. After a considerable search, I was able to find his baptism record in St-Constant, Quebec. St-Constant is located south of Montreal and very close to the Caughnawaga Indian Reservation.
Unfortunately, I was now at a dead end. The baptism record did not provide any clues as to Raphael’s actual parents. His death certificate showed his parents as Russel [Raphael] Rabideau and Mary Lashway [LaJoie]. I could not find any records on a Raphael Robidoux and Mary LaJoie:
I had no other choice but to change my research to find out more about his wife, Euphemie Robidoux. Family records and written family history had her name as Philomene Mattis or Philenda Mathews and Philomene St. Germain. Her death certificate did show her mother as Salome Boyer:
All of the church baptism records of Raphael and Euphemie’s children had her last name as Robidoux. Euphemie is oftentimes shown as Philomene of Philanda or something close to that. As shown on my grandfather’s death certificate her name was Philanda Mathews. On the death certificate of Euphemie’ daughter, Mary, it was shown as Mary St. Germaine. There were several baptisms of children in the Clinton County area to Leon [Leandre] Robidoux and Salome Boyer. Assuming that her name was actually Euphemie Robidoux, I began my search for her birth. I concluded through circumstantial evidence that the Leon Robidoux that attended her wedding was her father. I further concluded that the Pierre Robidoux attending the wedding was the Peter [Pierre] Robidoux who was married to Esther St. Germain and lived in the area of West Plattsburgh.
Based on these conclusions, I began my search of Euphemie and her parents, Leandre Robidoux and Salome Boyer. I found her baptism record shown below:
I was still at a dead end but subsequently found the marriage of her presumed parents, Leandre Robidoux and Salome Boyer. The actual marriage record in French and English follow:
I then began to research Leandre Robidoux only to find that it was a another complicated task. Footnote 1 of the English translation that I did on the marriage of Leandre Robidoux and Salome Boyer indicates that Julian Laplante, uncle, was married to Marie Anne Robidoux. This was based on my research of Julian Laplante and the connection to the Robidouxs. Marie Anne was the daughter of Toussaint Robidoux and Marguerite Vautrin and the brother of Joseph Robidoux who was born on October 26, 1796 in St-Phillipe, Quebec. Joseph was the only brother of an age that could have fathered Leandre out -of-wedlock or illegitimate, as the Quebec church records describe the baptism. Joseph did not marry until November 22, 1825 when he was 29 years old. It was very uncommon to wait this long to marry during that time and based on the evidence available, I determined that Joseph was the father of Leandre.
I was not able to locate the illegitimate baptism record for Leandre but was able to find him and Euphemie with their children in the 1851 census of Quebec, Canada. They were in Sherrington, Quebec and the age and birthplace is shown for each person. The census below shows that Leandre was born in 1815 in St-Phillipe, Quebec:
I now attempted to find where and when Leandre died. Family history had him dying in Beekmantown, New York at the age of 104 with the name of Leandre Mattis. As usual, family history is not always accurate. I was in the Wead Library in Malone, New York looking through microfilm when I came across a two line notice that a Leander Robedeau had died on January 22, 1907 at the age of 94. I eventually was able to obtain a Certification of Death from the Village of Malone clerk in October 1994. The notice in the January 30, 1907 edition of The Malone Farmer read, “ROBEDEAU – In Malone, N. Y., Jan 21st of apoplexy, Leander Robedeau, aged 94 years.”
The certificate indicated that Leandre’s mother was a Laplante. More than likely, she was a sister of Julian Laplante and as close to the Robidoux family as Julian was. I have not been able to pinpoint exactly which Laplante was her mother. This solved the mystery of my great-grandmother, I thought.
It was not until 2008 when the Northern New York Library Network brought The Malone Paladium on line on their public access site for newspapers in northern New York, http://news.nnyln.net/, that I was able to solve the 80 year old mystery of the Mattis/Robidoux name. I found these articles:
To correct some of the information in these two newspaper articles, I must point out that in 1906, Leandre was 91 years of age and not over 100 or 97 as his son, Theodore told the newspaper. In the September 13th article, the editor got the age right.
Also, Leandre was visiting his daughter, Euphemie, who lived in Alder Bend, and not his sister. Euphemie was 68 years old at the time. I could find no record of a sister, let alone one living in Alder Bend with my great-grandparents.
These articles solved forever the family history of Euphemie’s surname and revealed that there were several Mattis, Mattice, Mathes, Mathieu, Matthiew that lived in both New York and Massachusetts that were descended from Leandre Robidoux and Euphemie Robidoux. I found several of her siblings that had taken the Mattis name which subsequently evolved into the names shown above. It appears that Euphemie and Theodore, the two oldest children, were the only siblings to retain the Robidoux name. In Euphemie’s case, she apparently told her family that her maiden or surname was Mattis.
The following obituary was found in the May 8, 1929 Malone Farmer Newspaper:
Euphemie’s brother, Leandre Mattis, moved to Lowville, New York and her brother, Gilbert Matthews, lived in Malone, New York for several years before moving to Massachusetts. Both had large and extended families. Theodore and his brother, Gilbert, both served in the Civil War. Theodore as Theodore Rubadue and Gilbert as Gilbert Mattice. It had been a difficult task but I now had a line back to Andre Robidou, the original Robidou that came to Quebec in the 1600s . There are now over 70 spellings of the last name of the Robidou name.
Now, for the rest of the story. By January 2009, I was getting the itch to retry to connect up my great-grandfather, Raphael Robidoux. I spent a couple of months researching the Quebec vital statistics and possible connections. Remember, my grandfather’s name was Noel and my father’s name was Medard. Finally, I used these names as a clue in my search. Both names were extremely rare in the over 9,000 Robidou/Robidoux Quebec record of vital statistics. I found a Medard Robidoux born on June 9, 1798 in Yamaska, Quebec, son of Antoine Noel Robidoux and Josette Godin.
This was too much of a coincidence to pass up. I discovered that Medard married Marie Brouillard on Feb 2, 1819 and they had eleven children born in Quebec. Further, most of their children lived in the Schuyler Falls, Morrisonville, and Cadyville area of Clinton County, New York area. It turned out the Pierre Robidoux attending Raphael & Euphemie’s wedding was a son of Medard Robidoux and Marie Brouillard. This further pointed to Medard Robidoux as the possible father of Raphael. But of course, I did not have any proof.
I had in mind how I was going to prove the connection but I needed to do some more research. I traced the male descendants of Medard Robidoux & Marie Brouillard [...]
I purchased two paternal lineage DNA Test Kit-Y-Chromosome 33s for $79 each from Ancestry.Com with one to be sent directly to the male descendant [...] and one to sent to me. The test kits were received in May 2009 and I completed mine and returned it for testing. He also completed his and returned it for testing. I then had to wait about a month.
The results of the test were emailed to me in June 2009 with a perfect match! Raphael had been born out-of wedlock to Marie Lashway with Medard Robidoux as his father. This meant that the Pierre Robidoux attending the wedding was Raphael’s half-brother and that the male descendant [...] was my third cousin. He was not nearly as excited as I was about the match. It also meant that many of the local Rabideaus were closely related to me and that my long search for my roots was successful.
Euphemie Robidoux and Raphael Robidoux on their wedding day at St. Pierre’s church in Plattsburgh, NY on January 9,1860 [small photo] and later in life.
Hampshire Gazette, Massachusetts
Monday, October 17,1921
Mrs. Russell Robideau, aged 92, died Friday evening at the home of her son, Joseph, on Payson Ave. [in Easthampton]. Mrs. Robideau came here in September to visit her son. The body was sent last evening to Altona, N. Y.
Raphael & Euphemie Robidoux Grave after the addition of Euphemie's name by Clyde Rabideau. Location Holy Angels Cemetery, Altona, NY.
Note: Please notice the many different spelling of both the given names and the surnames of all of the ancestors.
It surprises me how much Winnie the Pooh knows about genealogy.
I came across the following quotes and they just seemed to be very insightful. I hope you find them so as well.
Before beginning a Hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.
Winnie the Pooh
Pooh’s Little Instruction Book
It’s always useful to know where a friend-and-relation is, whether you want him or whether you don’t.
Winnie the Pooh
Rabbit, Pooh’s Little Instruction Book
A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.
Winnie the Pooh
Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh
Some people care too much, I think it’s called love.
Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh
Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh
Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake.
Winnie the Pooh
Pooh’s Little Instruction Book
They’re funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you’re having them.
Winnie the Pooh
Eeyore, The House at Pooh Corner
When looking at your two paws, as soon as you have decided which of them is the right one, then you can be sure the other one is the left.
Winnie the Pooh
Pooh’s Little Instruction Book
When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.
Winnie the Pooh
The House at Pooh Corner
You can’t stay in your corner of the forest, waiting for others to come to you; you have to go to them sometimes.
Winnie the Pooh
Piglet, Pooh’s Little Instruction Book
We’ve had some interesting discussions [...] lately but I feel that for most of us Elbing and it’s history is far, far away. The people who actually lived there before 1945 are fast becoming a dying breed. In addition, while there is much Information available in German sources, little information can be found in English.
Let me store some of my thoughts and a brief historical background on these pages.
I was born in Elbing in Dec 1937. My earliest memories are rather vague. See My Story
Point is we left under duress with the full expectation to be back in at most 2 weeks. That was the propaganda line. How my mother could have been so naive and accepted that which was handed her, has taken me to the study of history and the power of government (or other) propaganda. I have read many books and majored in European history just to try to get a handle on this manipulation of the minds of human beings. How was the holocaust possible among a civilized people? The question still haunts me but I’ve discovered that human beings are easily lead astray no matter where they live or who they are. We are essentially tribal beings whether we belong to a family, an infantry squad or a religious group and will defend the behavior of our members against all ‘others’.
I knew my mother was always prejudiced towards Poles. She referred to them as Pollacks in a derogatory way. Why? Where did this come from? I know that we had a Polish maid during the war who helped my mom raising my sister and me. She was probably assigned to us against her will by the state. I don’t know if I’m right or whether she wanted to work for us. Anyway, one fine day she was gone along with some our valuables. That helped my mom with her prejudice against all Poles. They’re all thieves etc. Another action was the aftermath of WW1 when the allies gave much of Eastern Germany to the Poles and created Czechoslovakia from scratch. Just as we just read about Loesser & Wolf, one of their 4 factories was simply Polonized and taken over because it lay in this new Polish territory. This happened all over West Prussia and the animosity of Pole vs German was a breeding ground for hate and prejudice. The rights to live in their homes and keep their livelihood was basically cut short by the actions of the new Polish owners of this land. A perfect cauldron for revenge as soon as the opportunity presented itself. The Nazi propaganda machine only added to this hate campaign. It became easy to see a Pole simply as an opportunistic thief who didn’t want to work for their own benefit like good honest Germans did. When the National Socialist party ran on an extreme rightist ticket for redress of all these wrongs, the people voted them into power. Once they had it, they took complete charge but always under a highly patriotic banner. If you’re not with us, you’re with the enemy. The people could fill in their own blanks.
How did all this get started? Nationalism or tribal warfare – the us and them. To add a little history: way back when the area was Christianized at the request of the authorities who did this all over the world. The idea was to run the newly converted land under new rules of civilization. Normally a country would be formed but this was the time of the crusades and the Teutonic Knights happened to have been given charge of this process by the emperor and the pope. Many wars later a peace treaty was signed which gave roughly half of the knight’s land to a new sovereign, the Polish king. Nothing changed except that more and more settlement came in from the East to enjoy the fruits of trade and commerce. The land became more Slavic while the cities stayed German and managed themselves. They were examples of a new Democratic type of government run by the tradesmen of these towns. They too resented having to pay taxes to some nominal overlord whether he was Polish or the Grandmaster of the knights. They joined together in the Hanseatic League to present a power of their own. Remnants of this free and self governing lifestyle are still seen in the City State of Hamburg and others to this day. They belong to no state. The old HRE (Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation) had many such imperial cities who managed themselves and paid a nominal tax only to the emperor.
In any case, these cities were part of the tribe of German speakers. Countries as such hadn’t been invented yet. The King of England was also the King of Hannover. This did not make Hannoverians into Brits or part of the British Empire. They simply offered homage to the king. Such was the deal in Royal and Ducal Prussia. A lord would sit somewhere far away and the people lived their lives in harmony. Back, before the US had fought it’s 38 Indian wars to conquer native lands, the King of Prussia and others divided Polish lands among themselves to enhance their spheres of influence and, in the Prussian case, get back when they lost in previous wars against the knights. So, in 1772, Royal Prussia which had been under a Polish sovereign for a while became part of the Kingdom of Prussia under a German sovereign. This is our West Prussia. It was all turned back in 1920 when the land was given to this newly created country of Poland which hadn’t existed since 1795. After Napoleon defeated Prussia the Treaty of Tilsit established the Duchy of Warsaw from Prussian lands and a new Poland was born again but under another personal union deal where the King of Saxony was also the Duke of Warsaw. Not to go into the entire history but Poland essentially did not exist until after Versailles. The Poles then also attacked Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania to enlarge their territory. In 1921 after a plebiscite was won by the Germans in Upper Silesia the allies also awarded that territory to Poland. In general it was a time of extreme nationalism which favored the Poles in all respects. German resentment was quietly cooking during the 1920s and 30s. Various atrocities and so called ‘bloodbaths’ in the newly created Polish lands upon the German population only added to the seethe.
In 1939 Russia and Germany attacked Poland. Germany took back all the land taken from it after WW1 and there was great rejoicing among the people. They had gotten their homes and pride back. The Nazi party took the glory and credit. Everyone else was a defeatist and enemy of the state. The concept of traitorous behavior which caused Versailles as a sell out was being blamed on Socialists, the Jewish population and its bankers and industrialists. Enemies of the state where among us. Once all power was in the state, concentration camps were not far behind. The people closed their eyes and did not want to know why and what.
Russia, of course retained the land it took from Poland and arranged for the Polish population to be shifted into German lands after WW2. In order to make room somewhere between 14 and 16 million people were ethnically cleansed and moved out or killed. Our country agreed to this process even though our history books don’t tell us about it. Well over a million people died in the forced exodus. Many simply disappeared in Siberia as they were shipped there as slave labor. Further, a million German POWs died after the war was over in Soviet prisons. It was the worst of times for German women who happened to be caught by Russian soldiers or the so called Polish Militz. Every German refugee can tell those stories from hell. They say such is war.
So much for a short recap of what happened. In 1995 I spent 8 weeks on a camping trip in the former German lands to see what was left to see of the past. I have to admit that the transformation and erasure of the past was almost 100% complete. Except for a few faded signs on old discontinued railroad buildings out in the country and the word ‘Elbing’ in the 1912 cast iron sewer inlets there was really nothing there to showed hundreds of years of having been. Even an old 17th century map painted on a museum wall had the word Elblag replacing Elbing. I’ve seen that same German map in books in its original version. It’s as if Boston were converted over night to be a French city with every English word chiseled out of the granite buildings. All that is left are the old blue and white porcelain house number signs on the buildings. Our house still had its old number but the street name was translated into Polish. So nothing changed and everything changed. The street itself had risen as the city’s rubble was simply paved over. Where once I had to climb steps up into our house, they now led down. Strange.
The people were friendly though. Their world view and history is formed from a system that teaches only a Polish version but we do the same here. History is what people are taught by the establishment. In Germany they try to not even to teach history. I had many long discussions as people wanted to know what I think even though everything I thought was obviously wrong. Their teachers told them so. When I added myself to a group of architectural students from Britain on a group tour of the Marienburg castle, one of the students started arguing with the guide as her story was completely wrong. The student was Polish but was studying in England. He chastised the tour guide for making up stories and then they got into it in Polish. Point is, the tour guides are employees of the state and they have to present the official Polish version of the world or they wouldn’t have a job. There are historians and writers in Poland today who work on the truth but they are still on the outs with the official version of Polish history. Maybe someday history will be written as it really was. “Wie es eigentlich gewesen ist.” (Ranke) But we need to do away with nationalism first.
One incident I should bring up here: I had made this U-turn on a major street in Elbing and was pulled over by the police. ‘Papers (or a something) please’ in Polish. All I really had was a passport. The cops did not look happy about my transgression. Maybe its a big thing to make a U-Turn in Poland? Then they pointed out to something on my passport to each other and their demeanor changed instantly. They showed the passport to me pointing out that it said ‘born in Elbing, Germany’. Maybe that was the first time they had seen the word Elbing but they knew it and smiled and wished me welcome with a shake of the hands. I didn’t understand a word of what they were saying but I got the message and saw this act as a moment of hope for all of us. We had the same home town but came from different worlds and we were able to smile.
Early humans occupied sites around Burgos as early as 800,000 years ago. When the Romans took possession of what is now the province of Burgos the site had been a Celtiberian city. In Roman times it belonged to Hispania Citerior (“Hither Spain”) and then to Hispania Tarraconensis. In the fifth century the Visigoths drove back the Suebi, then the Arabs occupied almost all of Castile in the eighth century, though only for a brief period, and left little if any trace of their occupation. Alfonso III the Great, king of León reconquered it about the middle of the ninth century, and built several castles for the defence of Christendom, which was then extended through the reconquest of lost territory. The region came to be known as Castile (Latin castella), i.e. “land of castles”.
Burgos was founded in 884 as an outpost of this expanding Christian frontier, when Diego Rodríguez “Porcelos”, count of Castile, governed this territory with orders to promote the increase of the Christian population; with this end in view he gathered the inhabitants of the surrounding country into one fortified village, whose Visigothic name of Burgos signified consolidated walled villages (Gothic baurgs). The city began to be called Caput Castellae (“Cabeza de Castilla” or “Head of Castile”). The county (condado) of Burgos, subject to the Kings of León, continued to be governed by counts and was gradually extended; one of these counts, Fernán González, established his independence.
In the eleventh century the city became the see of a Catholic bishop and the capital of the Kingdom of Castile. Burgos was a major stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela and a centre of trade between the Bay of Biscay and the south, which attracted an unusually large foreign merchant population, who became part of the city oligarchy and excluded other foreigners. Throughout the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Burgos was a favourite seat of the kings of León and Castile and a favoured burial site. The consejo or urban commune of Burgos was firmly in the hands of an oligarchic class of caballeros villanos, the “peasant knights” of Burgos, who provided the monarchs with a mounted contingent: in 1255 and 1266 royal charters granted to those citizens of Burgos who owned horses and could arm themselves relief from taxes, provided that they continue to live within the city walls The merchant oligarchy succeeded the cathedral chapter as the major purchasers of land after 1250; they carried on their mercantile business in common with municipal or royal functions and sent their sons to England and Flanders to gain experience in overseas trade. A few families within the hermandades or confraternities like the Sarracín and Bonifaz succeeded in monopolising the post of alcalde, or mayor; a special court, the alcalde del rey was first mentioned at Burgos in 1281 By the reign of Alfonso X the exemption of the non-noble knights and religious corporations, combined with exorbitant gifts and grants to monasteries and private individuals, placed great stress on the economic well-being of the realm.
In the century following the conquest of Seville (1248), Burgos became a testing-ground for royal policies of increasing power against the consejo, in part by encouraging the right to appeal from the consejo to the king. In 1285 Sancho IV added a new body to the consejo which came to dominate it: the jurado in charge of collecting taxes and overseeing public works; the king reserved the right to select its members. The city perceived that danger to its autonomy came rather from an uncontrolled aristocracy during royal minorities: Burgos joined the hermandades of cities that leagued together for mutual protection in 1295 and 1315. In the fourteenth century official royal intrusion in city affairs was perceived as a palliative against outbreaks of violence by the large excluded class of smaller merchants and artisans, on whom the tax burden fell. The alguacil was the royal official instituted to judge disagreements.
On 9 June 1345, sweeping aside the city government, Alfonso XI established direct royal rule of Burgos through the Regimiento of sixteen appointed men
In 1574 Pope Gregory XIII made its bishop an archbishop, at the request of king Philip II.
Burgos has been the scene of many wars: with the Moors, the struggles between León and Navarre, and between Castile and Aragon. In the Peninsular War against Napoleonic France, Burgos was the scene of a battle, and again in the 19th century Carlist civil wars of the Spanish succession. During the Spanish Civil War Burgos was the base of Gen. Franco’s rebel Nationalist government.
A recent posting I placed on ManyRoads has provided me with some new insights into life, progress and accommodating the past. As an old adage notes, you can not control the problems life presents you with, but you can choose how you react to them. And, this is true.
The following historical facts are true:
World War 2 involved the senseless displacement and destruction of tens of millions of people
Germany lost the second World War
the German people of Kreis Elbing were expelled from their homeland
the Russians and their allies destroyed much of what was West Prussia
the Poles were given many former eastern German lands including those of Zeyer and Elbing
immediately after WW2 the victors made serious attempts to eradicate all traces of the region’s former German residents and history
Given the above facts, the current residents of region could readily have chosen to continue to deny the past, excuse the pain, and work to erase the area’s German history. However, over the past several years (probably since the demise of Communism and with Poland’s entry into the EU) there are notable changes in spirit and behavior including:
improved (actually quite excellent) availability of German documents and archives (dlibra),
active preservation, conservation and restoration of the region’s original architecture,
a more active and accurate acknowledgement of German history,
more public acknowledgement of the German/ Prussian historical contribution to the development of the region,
As a person whose forebears were from Zeyer and Kreis Elbing, I appreciate the thoughtfulness and difficulties associated with taking this broader approach. Hopefully tolerance and peace are finally finding a home in this long troubled area.
Ah, the advantages of hindsight. Looking back in time and regretting the decisions that were made, the options that were chosen, and the events that occurred is very easy trap to fall in. Fruitless, but easy. In fact, spending a lot of time trying to rewrite the past, excuse events or bemoaning their occurrence is, from a family history and genealogical perspective, often counter-productive. The past is gone and not likely to be wished away. The past impacts our current actions, options and choices. If past actions are not well understood they risk being repeated, and often are.
Rather, it is my opinion that the following is much more productive:
Attempt to understand the details of events (what really happened?). This often means listening to or reading about events from perspectives that may run counter to your own view of them or perspective.
Place events in an appropriate time and context. Recognize that any one event is rarely disconnected from a regional, cultural, or historical context.
Events occur as a reaction to related events that preceded them. Learn about them. Event B is generally a reaction to event A; understand why B would have happened?
People almost always act in what is termed ‘enlightened self-interest’. Try to understand why things occurred and made sense to most of those involved. This is not to say that they need make sense to you; in fact, they do not always make sense.
Try to remove yourself emotionally from events of the past. The lower your emotional involvement, the more likely you are to get a clear picture of an event. This is not to say that you need to be an abstracted automaton but rather you need to establish observational objectivity.
If you are able to achieve some number of the above objectives, you will find that events which once seemed crazy or incomprehensible possibly look more rational or are, at least, more explainable. This is not say that you will approve of the choices or events that occurred but rather you might begin to understand the whys and wherefores of them. Most importantly, you may begin to understand what ‘really happened’ to your family.
Unfortunately when people are expelled from areas, civility is not always, or perhaps even generally, the rule. Such was the case in Poland. The Polish Communist government was eager to lay claim to its newly obtained German lands and expel all Germans not simply from the lands but also from memory and history.
Over time however even this changes, as is noted in my earlier posting about the Zeyer Cemetery. However as the following story from Fred Rump relates, it was not always that way.
“I actually found some cemeteries hidden in a forest and all overgrown out in the rural parts of East Prussia and there are some WW1 German memorial and military cemeteries because these boys died fighting the Russians who were invading Poland. Some of the old maps show where the cemeteries used to be and one needs to look for them. A suspicious sign would always be a forested section in the middle of fields and farms. The area was simply left to nature after the graves had been dug up. In the cities everything was plowed over or built upon. Today there might be a memorial stone there as civility has returned to life.
But whatever remained of what used to be a village cemetery is today treacherous walking because it was full of holes overgrown with weeds as most graves had been dug up to look for rings, gold teeth or whatever people used to put in the graves with their loved ones.
[For example] In Steinort, at the estate of (Count) Heinrich Graf von Lehndorff-Steinort which had been in his family for 600 years, we found such a cemetery at the end of a huge line of trees which we followed through the woods. These trees used to be an allee of oaks leading to the family crypt and chapel as well as the cemetery of Steinort. Now they were simply part of a new forest. A few iron ornaments which were anchored too well could be found among the holes the locals dug to uncover the graves. The crypt had been stripped, the chapel lay in ruins. Later we asked one of the workers who know lived at the estate (the main house had been purchased by a Swiss investor) if he knew anything about what happened to the place.
We got quite a story. Apparently when this man was a boy he and his friends used the coffins from the crypt as boats on the lake of the estate. He further went on to tell us how it used to be. How under Gomulka the standing order was to destroy anything German that was still left standing. He recalls one drunken night when they moved all the old books out of the library and had a great big bonfire in the yard. 600 years of family history was thus burned to a crisp.”
But things appear to be changing. As Poland enters the European Union and moves passed its Communist past, acknowledgements are beginning to occur. Archives are being developed and published, memorials appear, and perhaps a brighter more civil future awaits.
Yesterday was a high water mark for our readership numbers. We had 218 unique visits; our previously most active readership day was with 206.
Thank you to everyone of you who spend time with us on ManyRoads. We are immensely pleased that you take the time to visit us. If you have comments or information you would like to share or augment, please feel free to use our contact page to let me know.
It seems many people believe that genealogy, or family history, is some sort of competition or contest. Their ancestors were better, were more important, traveled further, worked harder, suffered more, were more regal…
Genealogy and family history is conceptually straightforward, it simply involves accurately identifying our ancestors, family and history. Every family has had its successes, failures, highlights, lowlights. People have lived for long times or short times, in good places and bad. They have been ruled by good people and evil. There has been war and peace. Children have been healthy and sick. Such is the nature of life.
As genealogists, we seek simply to understand their stories, their journey, their lives. By understanding them, we understand ourselves. Their travails are ours.
No, it is not a contest. It is a journey. We are their children; they are our forebears. We are their hopes; they are our history, we are their love.
Die Kirche und der Friedhof in Zeyer (Gemeinde Elbing) haben den Kampf gegen die Naturgewalten verloren – den gegenmenschlichen Widerwillen und Vergessenheit aber gewonnen.
Das war ein wichtiges Ereignis für das ganze Dorf. An der Stelle, wo sich einmal die evangelische Kirche und der dazu Friedhof befanden, wurde am 22. August nach sieben Jahren der Bemühungen ein Denkmal zu Ehren der dort Ruhenden errichtet. Das Denkmal entstand dank den Bemühungen des ehemaligen Einwohners von Zeyer Ewald Frost, der weitere, in Deutschland zerstreut lebende ehemalige Einwohner von Zeyer versammelte, das nötige Geld organisierte und mit Unterstützung der Gesellschaft der deutschen Minderheit Elbing sein Vorhaben, die Toten zu ehren, vollendet hat. Zur feierlichen Enthüllung sind viele ehemalige Einwohner von Zeyern und Ellerwald angereist. Das Denkmal enthüllte Ewald Frost persönlich. Anlässlich der Feierlichkeit wurde auch ein evangelischer Gottesdienst abgehalten. Für die Gemeinde Elbing legten Genowefa Kwoczek (Gemeindevorsteherin) und Zdzisław Śmigielski (Schultheiß) einen Kranz nieder, angereist war auch der Vizekonsul des Generalkonsulates der BRD in Danzig Gerd Fensterseifer.
Die Kirche in Zeyer entstand laut den ersten Quellen in der frühen Kreuzritterzeit und nach anderen Angaben im Jahr 1633. Sie war nicht nur ein Gotteshaus, sondern auch Zuflucht für die Einwohner zu Zeiten von Hochwasser, weil die Kirche höher als die übrigen Gebäude im Dorf gelegen war. 1945 wurde die Kirche samt Friedhof von der Roten Armee zerstört. Sie wurde nie wieder aufgebaut. Im Laufe der Zeit wucherten auf den Gelände Sträucher und Bäume. Anfangs wollten die Behörden den Plan eines Denkmals nicht akzeptieren.
Dann gab es doch eine positive Antwort und die Behörden haben sogar angeordnet, das Gebiet aufzuräumen. Als das Unkraut beseitigt war, wurden zerstörte Kreuze sichtbar. Der Anblick war sehr bedrückend. Für die Renovierung des Friedhofs hatte niemand Geld, deshalb hat man einen Mittelweg eingeschlagen: Die Pflanzen durften nachwachsen und ein Platz für das Denkmal wurde festgelegt. Am 22. August wurde dieses enthüllt.
Mark Rabideau hat auf seiner privaten Webseite zahlreiche Elbinger Addressbuecher (1847-1930) veröffentlicht. Auch ein Telefonbuch von 1937 ist dabei. Zahlreiche weitere Adressbücher aus Westpreußen (Graudenz, Thorn, Konitz) sind auf der Webseite zu finden. Einwohnerbücher von Danzig, Graudenz und Zoppot stehen zum Download bereit. (GJ)
There are a fairly astonishing number of hidden and nearly hidden functions on good websites.
In communities communication between members is essential. The same is true of the internet. Good websites speak with one another and need to be known to each other. To accomplish these objectives ManyRoads employs additional hidden and not quite hidden functions, including:
One of the great strengths of using an open source (or I suppose for fee) web development toolkit like WordPress is the wealth of add-ons that are available for you to employ to augment your site’s functionality and reach.
As I noted in an earlier posting, I am going to attempt to highlight several adjunctive software components which are employed on ManyRoads and how they help make the site a better and easier tool to use. In this post I will focus on Plugins that are largely invisible to the end user… or so they might seem.
As you hopefully are aware, there are lots of people on the web who would use your work for their own purposes. The most common class of these are spammers. Yes, websites can be spammed and almost always are. To prevent your site from accumulating undesired Comments, Posts, emails you need ‘weapons’, you need protection. The plugins, as well as other software functions, I find extremely helpful in this realm are:
Askismet- “Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not.”
AVH First Defense Against Spam-”The AVH First Defense Against Spam WordPress plugin gives you the ability to block spammers before any content is served. Spammers are identified by checking if the visitors IP exists in a database served by stopforumspam.com or by a local blacklist.”
Bad behavior- Deny automated spambots access to your PHP-based Web site.
HoneyPot – “Project Honey Pot is the first and only distributed system for identifying spammers and the spambots they use to scrape addresses from your website. Using the Project Honey Pot system you can install addresses that are custom-tagged to the time and IP address of a visitor to your site. If one of these addresses begins receiving email we not only can tell that the messages are spam, but also the exact moment when the address was harvested and the IP address that gathered it.”
SI-Captcha- “Adds CAPTCHA anti-spam methods to WordPress on the comment form, registration form, login, or all. In order to post comments or regiser, users will have to type in the phrase shown on the image. This prevents spam from automated bots. Adds security. Works great with Akismet. Also is fully WPMU and BuddyPress compatible.”
WP-Scanner Activator- This Plugin adds <!- wpscanner -> to enable wp-scanner to scan your blog.
We are seeking to complete our collection of all known Elbing Prussia (Kreis Elbing Westpreussen) Address and Telephone Books. Please note we are only interested in obtaining copies of texts which were printed before 1945 prior to the ethnic cleansing and expulsion of the German population after the end of World War 2.
Once we have a completed collection, we will place copies of all of our texts in the public domain on a site other than ManyRoads for redundancy and preservation purposes. It is our hope to preserve this piece of Elbing history for genealogical and historical purposes. Rest assured a copy of these documents as well as other Kreis Elbing documents will remain on ManyRoads for as long as I am able to keep the site operational.
Everyone one needs a good home. Your family website is no exception.
There are lots of reasons to choose one method over another, we have settled on having a company ISP- Internet Service Provider) run our web-site operations (data center and network) for us.
We tried running our own server in our home for several years before arriving at this junction. What we learned is:
Internet bandwidth is an ever increasing problem as interest in a site improves. More people (visitors) need more bandwidth.
Your site needs to be backed up regularly and have its contents stored off-site (or somewhere really safe).
Uptime needs to be predictable. People get upset when your site is down for long periods. They want to visit when they want to visit.
Running a server 24 hours a day costs electricity. Our electric costs ran about $10 per month.
Given these factors we ultimately elected to have ManyRoads hosted on
Hostpapa is a good (but not perfect) choice for us for numerous reasons including their provision of:
Unlimited Disk Space
Unlimited Domain Names on one account
Personal Website Tools
30-day money-back guarantee
email accounts (smtp & pop service)
Whatever you choose, you need to find a safe home for your family genealogy materials, somplace secure, reliable, and offering good ethical values. Hostpapa works well for us and a $5.00 USD per month we find it to be a comfortable and affordable home.
If you were watching closely, you probably noticed a new logo at the bottom on the ManyRoads web pages.
Although the image links to the single most popular piece of open source software that I use on ManyRoads, there are numerous additional tools employed in the creation and management of our website and family history.
Included among these are the following:
WordPress (the software with which the ManyRoads website is constructed- A semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability).
50+/- WordPress Plugins (add-ons, which I will discuss in separate posts later on…)
GRAMPS (Gramps is a free software project and community. We strive to produce a genealogy program that is both intuitive for hobbyists and feature-complete for professional genealogists. It is a community project, created, developed and governed by genealogists.)
The GIMP (GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. )
Geany (Geany is a text editor using the GTK2 toolkit with basic features of an integrated development environment. It was developed to provide a small and fast IDE, which has only a few dependencies from other packages. It supports many filetypes and has some nice features.)
Ubuntu- Linux (An Open Source- Free- computer operating system based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and is distributed as free and open source software with additional proprietary software available.)
DJVU (DJVU is a digital document format with advanced compression technology and high performance value. DjVu allows for the distribution on the Internet and on DVD of very high resolution images of scanned documents, digital documents, and photographs.)
Obviously, I use software in addition to the aforementioned but these are among the tools most used in delivering, creating and maintaining the ManyRoads web presence.
Sometimes you just want a copy of a text. If that text is published using DJVU, here’s a fairly quick method for capturing and downloading a copy. By the way, this should work on all the ManyRoads DJVU files as well.
DJVU files can best and most predictably be downloaded from within the DJVU document itself. Unlikle PDF, DJVU publishers have the option of preserving and presenting their materials as many files not just a single large file (Bundled versus unbundled). As a result, what you are reading may simply be the initial link to a DJVU directory not a single bundled file.
To achieve your objective of copying a DJVU document, do the following:
All of us have DNA. Even if we do not know the names of our ancestors, we have DNA.
Our family has decided to gather and analyze its DNA materials (matrilineal and patrilineal lines) and see what these DNA lines have to say. We have elected to do this through the genographic project, a partnership between the University of Arizona Research Labs Family Tree DNA association, National Geographic Society and IBM rather than to switch to the program offered by Ancestry.com. Our reasoning is fairly simple; my father-in-law’s DNA is with NatGeo. Also, the Genographic program is older and more established; and, this seems like the lowest risk approach.
Family Tree DNA is the world leader in Genetic Genealogy. Since its inception in April of 2000, we have been constantly developing the science that enables genealogists around the world to advance their family’s research. Family Tree DNA works in association with a scientific advisory board and the University of Arizona Research Labs. The Arizona Research labs are led by Dr. Michael Hammer, one of the world’s leading authorities in the field of Genetics.[...]
Family Tree DNA provides the tests for this partnership between the National Geographic Society, IBM and the Waitt Family Foundation.
With a simple and painless cheek swab you can sample your own DNA and submit it to the lab. We run ONE test per participation kit. We will test either your mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down each generation from mother to child and reveals your direct maternal ancestry; or your Y chromosome (males only), which is passed down from father to son and reveals your direct paternal ancestry. You choose which test you would like administered.
What to Expect
Your results will reveal your deep ancestry along a single line of direct descent (paternal or maternal) and show the migration paths they followed thousands of years ago. Your results will also place you on a particular branch of the human family tree. Some anthropological stories are more detailed than others, depending upon the lineage you belong to. For example, if you are of African descent, your results will show the initial movements of your ancestors on the African continent, but will not reflect most of the migrations that have occurred within the past 10,000 years. Your individual results may confirm your expectations of what you believe your deep ancestry to be, or you may be surprised to learn a new story about your genetic background.
You will not receive a percentage breakdown of your genetic background by ethnicity, race, or geographic origin. Nor will you receive confirmation of an association with a particular tribe or ethnic group.
Furthermore, this is not a genealogy study. You will not learn about your great-grandparents or other recent relatives, and your DNA trail will not necessarily lead to your present-day location. Rather, your results will reveal the anthropological story of your direct maternal or paternal ancestors—where they lived and how they migrated around the world many thousands of years ago.
This post contains the content of the ManyRoads Newsletter:
Welcome to the first ManyRoads Newsletter!
First let me thank everyone for signing up to our little ‘news’ service. I promise not to over crowd your email with tons of messages. My intention is to write one or two of these per month. Each will attempt to provide a brief synopsis of the recent happenings at ManyRoads.
Since this is the first of these messages I would also encourage you to tell me what changes, additions, deletions, or modifications you might like to see in either the newsletter or on ManyRoads. Without your thoughts and input things tend to get a bit one-sided! Anyway, here’s the news…
This past week we celebrated my parents 60th wedding anniversary. Genealogy in the making! See the post at:
Do you use Zotero in doing your genealogy research work?
This is a question I have toyed around with for quite a while now. I don’t have a good answer for myself although the toolset seems well suited to gathering web-based information, collating, and processing it. It is also tightly coupled with the browser I use most frequently, Firefox. Still I have been unable to find and good roadmap on how to make this toolset work to my advantage. I am constantly in search of tools that link tightly with websites (i.e., Ancestry.com, etc.), online documents, image libraries, etc. Zotero claims to do all that and more. Sounds good to me, especially since it should also gather and log attribution, footnote, and bibliography data as well.
Rather than providing an answer to this query, I am in search of leads and comments. Does anyone out there have experience(s) they are willing to share? Any links on how-to use Zotero in the genealogy & family history realm?
Any pointers are most welcomed. Please use our contact page or comments below to share your insights.
Today I received a note from a very important genealogy friend. She asked me if I hadn’t perhaps confused two family members who had similar names thereby giving erroneous credit to the ‘wrong’ person rather than the ‘right’ one. A very important question.
It is absolutely essential to provide good and clear attribution to those from whom we source our data. It is important to be as correct as possible in any quotations, images, bibliographies and links. Accuracy requires proofing by your readership (proof-readers, if you are lucky enough to have them) and modification by the family genealogist to reflect appropriate corrections, etc.
It is also, unfortunately, impossible to be always accurate.
So what can be done, well there are a few options open to you:
Be receptive to corrections. Any person generous enough to report a potential problem needs to be treated with care. They are a very valuable resource.
Make it easy for people to get in touch with you. I can’t tell you how many sites I have found for which there are no contact links, email or otherwise. This certainly makes it hard to ask questions, get permission or provide corrections.
Protect but be generous with your information. Share as much as you can, all the while trying to find out who needs and/or wants your data. Knowing this may provide you with future sources of data as well as some new genealogy ‘friends’.
Remember, genealogy and family history is about gathering as much truth and factual data as you can. Acknowledging sources provides credibility and weight to your research not to mention ‘it being the right thing to do!’
What do you do when there are no names or dates to work with?
Well quite simply, there has to be something or else you are in deep trouble! Having said that there are many times when the names are and dates are unclear, indefinite or conflicting. I have found a few options that work with regularity, at least for me they do! In no particular sequence, they include:
Census records. Look to see if you can find a cluster of family members that resemble those you seek. In one of my best examples, I found a Peter & Julie Deyo family. I was seeking a Joseph and Julia Deo family, at the time. When I compared the family member names with two other Census records, one from 1851 in Canada and one from 1870 in the US there was an uncanny similarity. So I went with it! You can find this example hidden away on our Deyo Genealogy page.
Follow the kids. If you have some children from one generation but are missing a desired sibling, follow those children that you do have. Often I find that these relations lead me to the person I seek.
Read the documents! I can not tell you how many times I seem to be the first person to struggle my way through a source document. Source documents can provide a wealth of new insight and information. I have found countless new generations of the family simply by reading a birth or wedding record to find the parents name(s).
There are other tricks as well. As I further gather and formulate my thoughts, I’ll post them here.
Publishing genealogy information seems important to me. I suppose that ought to be obvious enough just by the size of ManyRoads. But why go to the trouble? What is the value?
I can only answer those questions from my perspective. Perhaps some of our readers might be willing to chime in via comments on this page. But for me the value lies in these areas (in no particular order):
Much of the information I have found was difficult to locate, I’d like others to find things more readily.
It seems every time I find information, a few years late it has vanished. Often the very sites where the original information was published have disappeared.
I believe that sharing information, photos, knowledge encourages other to do likewise, whether with me or others it matters not.
Our history is too important to lose and we need to facilitate its dispersal. Redundancy is a sure buffer against loss.
Selfishly, I want to have my family remembered. And, publishing family history is a reasonable way to encourage remembrance of both the people who and places that have slipped into history and the past.
Organizing related threads of information makes the individual components more meaningful. Context can be re-established; linkages become more obvious.
Meeting new found family members. I have met untold numbers of family members with whom I was previously unacquainted.
A sense of community, I have been amazed with the breadth and depth of community that exists among and between fellow genealogists.
Seeing the information ‘on paper‘ provides a unique perspective, as well as sense of belonging, that I find to be uniquely valuable.
The family history archive provides a unique memorial to our collective journey through life. It makes the family real, tangible and alive. It assuages loss and promotes healing and understanding.
We are those for whom we search. Without them, we would not be.
Ever have a person without a clear name or birth/ death dates?
I seem to regularly encounter family members for whom the names have become vague and the dates muddled. Because this situation is fairly common, there need to be simple methods for getting around these situations. I have found the following approaches to be useful.
Phonetics. Remember the days when teachers attempted to beat phonetics into your head; well, here’s a place they can become useful. However it is worth noting that the phonetics ‘of genealogy’ almost always involve two or more persons:
the person saying or giving a name -and-
the person(s) hearing the name spoken
This is an important detail because most frequently, in my experience, name problems arise out of language shifts ie., a French speaking family member moving into an English speaking region. to make this work you need to know what the name may have been spoken as (sounded like?); because once it was spoken it was probably written phonetically in the ‘new language’.
Although this is almost always problematic when people move from one linguistic group to another, it can still be problematic within a single group, although then only a single set of phonetic rules are applicable.
Naming patterns. It is important to note that historically different groups followed different naming conventions.
In Germany for example, during the late 1700 early 1800 most Latinate given names belonged to Catholics not Protestants for as an example: Wilhelmus Marcus Tell. If that person had been Lutheran (Evangelisch) their name would most likely have been simply Germanic Wilhelm Mark Tell. As for his name had he immigrated to the US, well, he probably would have received lots of help spelling it from many individuals… most of whom would have made a mess of it.
In Scandinavia, patronymics were the rule; although they did not exist in 100% of the situations.
In early Quebec, the Catholic Church followed a convention of using Saint names plus eldest child patterns.
All this is to say, there are clues to be had even when the names exist only in part. Do not believe for a moment that your surname or the surnames of your predecessors never, or rarely, changed. Changes may be frequent and significant. These may be so significant that you might find siblings of the same parents with differing surnames or married couples buried under the same headstone with different spellings of the same surname.
In subsequent posts, I plan to discuss other tricks, observations, etc.
Because of certain circumstances as well as the nature of our information, we have taken the drastic action of providing copy protection for all data and images on the WordPress side of ManyRoads.
Believe me, we do enjoy sharing our information, we truly do.
We just want to know where it goes and who is using it.
If you’d like any of our information, please use our contact form to request it. We are happy to be generous.
For those of you who use WordPress (and I recommend you do if you have need for a web-based version of your genealogy materials), I am using the Wp-PreventCopyBlogs WordPress Plugin to protect our materials. This plugin provides the following features:
Tracks the visitors who try to copy content (images & text).
Records the IP of the user who tries to copy information with a landing url of your site and referral url.
Displays a warning message regarding the site protection feature and tracking.
Disables the Right-click selection function of user browser(s).
I think that old quote pretty much sums up what happens when searching for the right genealogical toolset.
Too often, people believe that their hardware or operating platform defines their selection choices. In truth, it rarely does. Almost any tool can be run on any platform. Certainly a bit of technical prowess may be required in order to achieve interoperability but it is very doable.
No, the reasons for picking a genealogical toolset should be based on your genealogy management needs not operating or hardware systems. What follows, in no particular order, are most of the factors that I personally see as being important (and I used for my choice of GRAMPS):
ease with which a web display version can be created
the ability to share Events, Places, Media (in technical terms– genealogy objects)
robust database facilities (in other words it supports large databases)
adherence to GEDCOM standards
easy Export and Import facilities
excellent backup, archive and restore capabilities
open software architecture (does not rely on numerous proprietary packages, tools, software or databases)
effective and helpful documentation
an active online support/ user community
robust bug reporting system (so that problems may be communicated to the developers and addressed in future releases)
easy integration with my WordPress BLOG and themes
simple image and document library functions
To me, these factors are much more important in determining whether or not any software package is going to do the job you want. Do not confine yourself to the narrow realms of your operating system or hardware platform. Pick the tool you think best satisfies your actual needs and find out how to make it work on the hardware or OS you have.
Never one to leave well enough alone, here are a few additional excerpts of concepts and data I came across while thinking about our collective Royalty or inter-relatedness. Rather than attempting to re-write these ideas into my own words, I have included excerpts of the original posts with links to the entire reading(s).
Conservatively allowing for each generation to span 30 years (which is a little large), going back thirty generations takes us back to about 1100 CE where the population was only about 300 million, and forty generations takes us back to 800 CE where the population was less than 200 million. (If we take each generation as averaging 25 years, 30 generations takes us back to 1250 CE when the population was 350 million and in forty generations we reach 1000 CE where the population was 200 million.)
Having more ancestors that the total population leads to the clear conclusion (which is not that surprising once one thinks about it) that all our ancestors cannot have been distinct individuals but were shared. In other words, my great-great-great-grandfather on my father’s side had to be the same person as my great-great-grandfather on my mother’s side, or something like that.
In a similar but related vein, Richard Dawkins’ book The Ancestor’s Tale (2004) provides a rigorous argument (on page 39). He asserts that in the distant past, we all must have shared ancestors:
If we go sufficiently far back, everybody’s ancestors are shared. All your ancestors are mine, whoever you are, and all mine are yours. Not just approximately, but literally. This is one of those truths that turns out, on reflection, to need no new evidence. We prove it by pure reason, using the mathematician’s trick of reductio ad absurdum. Take our imaginary time machine absurdly far back, say 100 million years, to an age when our ancestors resembled shrews or possums. Somewhere in the world at that ancient date, at least one of my personal ancestors must have been living, or I wouldn’t be here. Let us call this particular little mammal Henry (it happens to be a family name). We seek to prove that if Henry is my ancestor he must be yours too. Imagine, for a moment, the contrary: I am descended from Henry and you are not. For this to be so, your lineage and mine would have to have marched, side by side yet never touching, through 100 million years of evolution to the present, never interbreeding yet ending up at the same evolutionary destination – so alike that your relatives are still capable of interbreeding with mine. This reductio is clearly absurd. If Henry is my ancestor, he must be yours too. If not mine, he cannot be yours.
Without specifying how ancient is ‘sufficiently’, we have just proved that a sufficiently ancient individual with any human descendants at all must be an ancestor of the entire human race. Long-distance ancestry, of a particular group of descendants such as the human species, is an all-or-nothing affair. Moreover, it is perfectly possible that Henry is my ancestor (and necessarily yours, given that you are human enough to be reading this book) while his brother Eric is the ancestor of, say, all the surviving aardvarks. Not only is it possible. It is a remarkable fact that there must be a moment in history when there were two animals in the same species, one of whom became the ancestor of all humans and no aardvarks, while the other became the ancestor of all aardvarks and no humans. They may well have met, and may even have been brothers. You can cross out aardvark and substitute any other modern species you like, and the statement must still be true. Think it through, and you will find that it follows from the fact that all species are cousins of one another. Bear in mind when you do so that the ‘ancestor of all aardvarks’ will also be the ancestor of lots of very different things beside aardvarks[.]
The Genealogy Phenomena of Pedigree Collapse
“Pedigree Collapse” is what trims the family tree, according to Alex Shoumatoff, author of a New Yorker article on the mathematics of family history, published more than 20 years ago.
Pedigree collapse occurs when cousins marry cousins, sometimes intentionally, but often unknowingly. “When cousins of any degree marry, their genealogical lines fold back on themselves,” he explains. Over the generations, this greatly reduces the number of ancestors, but only to an unmanageable few billion.
Over the past few days my email has been clogged with questions about whether or not anyone- everyone was related to royalty. Well being the geek that I am, I decided to a quick bit of research and here’s what I found out (these are excerpted for the articles noted at the end of this posting… feel free to read them in their entirety).
[A] mathematical study of genealogy indicates that everyone in the world is descended from Nefertiti and Confucius, and everyone of European ancestry is descended from Muhammad and Charlemagne.- Dick Eastman
…everyone of European descent has royal ancestry. – Steve Olsen
The mathematics of our ancestry is exceedingly complex, because the number of our ancestors increases exponentially, not linearly. These numbers are manageable in the first few generations—two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents—but they quickly spiral out of control. Go back forty generations, or about a thousand years, and each of us theoretically has more than a trillion direct ancestors—a figure that far exceeds the total number of human beings who have ever lived. – Steve Olsen
Finding a lost family connection can be daunting, exhilarating and exasperating. The human need for connection to family and community is strong. And, the desire to find lost family members can become nearly all consuming.
In order to succeed in this search, here are 5 pointers might be helpful (especially if you are new to genealogy).
Find as many family member names are you can, even those that are a vague part of your personal or family recollection are useful.
Identify places or place names. It is best if they are ‘close’ to accurate but even inaccurate places names can provide guidance and pointers.
Dates, creating a list of dates matched to places and names is best.
Scour the Internet for any/ all matches you can
Contact people that hit your key search criteria. If you read this site closely, you will note that I have been contacted numerous times.
Don’t give up. Just because someone does not have the information you seek do not be discouraged. Rack your brain for more information to help people help you. Re-contact people if your remember another clue or find a new one…
It is my experience that genealogists are generous people. They want to find their family and want you to know yours as well. Give them the information yu can no matter how tiny the tidbit(s). You will be surprised what information can be gleaned from right clue.
With the latest release of GRAMPS (version 3.2.2) I have been able to more tightly integrate the WebSite output of GRAMPS with the ManyRoads site. With this most recent release I have the flexibility of generating html pages- YAY! I am now able to provide the following functions quite easily:
I can add an image -or multiples if I wish- to a GRAMPS generated webpage
Now I am able to effectively link from my GRAMPS (subsystem?) back to my main site; link to pages like my Conatct page or a family branch page.
Similarly I am able to links from my GRAMPS subsystem to the world-wide web.
All in all this additional functionality makes the total site function more smoorthly and in a more integrated fashion. There remain several ‘intergration’ features/ items that would be helpful to GRAMPS -IMHO. These include:
the ability to preserve custom pages as I upgrade to new releases of GRAMPS (right now I need to do that manually)
an easier way to modify and preserve the GRAMPS subsystem css (to preserve my local look & feel)
and a prettier display of html pages within GRAMPS
Excepting the ugly display of html, each of the remaining tasks can be performed manually; it just would be nicer if they we a more standard function within GRAMPS.
The bottom line is that I am VERY happy with GRAMPS. It is easier to use than most commecially available genealogy tool sets, and the support from the GRAMPS team is exceptional! Kudos to GRAMPS.
To fix the problems, Craig and I devised a fairly simple plan.
Craig sent me the genealogical documents he had in his possession.
He agreed to travel to Plattsburgh, New York in search of additional source evidence.
I agreed to re-read (this time more carefully) all the documentation I had in my possession; this evidence was mostly sourced from Pati Gravel and Barb Deyo (a lot of photos, emails, as well as numerous Wilfred Deyo’s documents- Deyo histories).
I was to re-plow through available evidence on Ancestry.com and see what I could find. This was especially crucial in that I had to confirm notes from Craig for which we were missing source documentation. Not to mention, I needed to this for the information from Barb, Pati and Wilfred as well.
In total things worked out as we had hoped; we found a more complete and accurate (we believe) ancestry for our Deyo Branch of the family. There remains a lot of work to do but we believe our evidence and source materials are aligned and as accurate as they can be given the data at our disposal. In this effort, we added some 500 pages of additional source data.
We did the work all in the span of 7 days. As my daughter would say: “Hooray for us!”.
Joseph Yon was born around the year 1805. His parents, Ignace Yon (Guyon) and Marie Suzanne Gervais were of the Parish of St. Marc sur Richelieu. It is believed Joseph lived in the area of St. Marc until his marriage at about the age of twenty three. He was a furniture maker of legal age when he married Julienne Denys, daughter of Ignace Denys and Julie Fall. The marriage took place on June 22, 1828 in the parish of St. Cyprien of Napierville, Quebec, Canada.
With all the information available it would appear that Joseph and Julienne (Denys) Yon/Deyo had a total of eleven children, six boys and five girls-the last being Marie Dion (Mary Deyo), born February 2, 1852 in the parish of St. Bernard of Lacolle, Quebec, Canada.
It is believed that Joseph Yon/Deyo migrated to the United States from the area of Lacolle, Quebec, Canada around the mid 1850’s and settled in the area of Altona/Sciota in Clinton County, New York where he lived until his death sometimes after the year 1880. It is not known at this time whether Joseph or Julia died first.
There were instances where Julia’s maiden name was given as “FAYE”. The writer thinks this was in reference to her mother’s maiden name which appears as “FALL” in some documents such as a Chart received from Albert Smith that lists all their children as he found them in the records at that time. The name “FALL” may well be an error of what would have been the most probable French surname of “FALLE” or “FAILLE”-both of which may translate as “FAYE” in English. Why Julie (or others) used her mother’s maiden name is not known other than perhaps this was another case of the language difficulty that existed between the French-Canadians and the English speaking officials at that time.
The writer wishes to note here that in research he has reached the conclusion that after Joseph Yon migrated to the United States, he and his family became known by the name DEO and/or DEYO and as such were recorded in the “public records” of the various “Public Offices” where they lived at the time. The exception of course being Catholic Churches (at least until 1900) that continued to use the name DION as the family surname for the records in their Parish books.
The writer in correlating all the information available to him through research has compiled the following Genealogical account of the children he believes to be the complete and entire family of Joseph Yon/Deo/Deyo/Dion. Dion of course being the family surname sometimes recorded in the Church records in Canada and the United States. In the United States after the year 1900 the name Deo and Deyo began appearing in the church records, particularly in upper New York State.
The reader is taken through the following phases of the writer’s research in order that it will be better understood how the writer came to the conclusion that the children shown under Genealogy were the total and final members of the Joseph Yon and Julienne (Denys) Yon family, later known as Deo and/or Deyo.
On January 28, 1983, Albert Smith, the writer’s record searcher in St. Jean, Quebec, Canada sent him the following names and baptism dates of Joseph Yon’s children. All information available on the children will be shown under the heading of Genealogy.
1. Louis Yon
2. Dorothee Yon
3. Aurelie Dion
4. Adelaide Dion
5. Julie Yon
6. Joseph Dion
7. Raphael Dion
8. Hilaire Guinon (The writer’s grandfather)
On December 8, 1983, Albert Smith provided the writer with the following information in his letter of the above date. The writer will quote directly from that letter.
“What I did come across in doing some research for other families in this area has to do with the Census records done in 1842 and 1851. In the 1842 Census on microfilm, reel C-731, folio 2493 for Henryville lists a Joseph Deo with a total of 7 in household, this being a family head only Census. Lists 2 males under 5 yrs. 1 female aged 5-14 yrs., 1 female 14-45 yrs. Husband over 60 and wife over 45 yrs.
The writer correlated this information with the one sent on January 28, 1983 and came up with what he believes to be a correct assumption of the family of Joseph Deo in 1842. The parents ages appear to be in error so a question mark takes the place of their ages.
1842 Census Report-Henryville, Quebec, Canada
Wife—————– “ –??
Aurelie————– “ –10
Francois————- “ –07
Baptiste————– “ –06
Julie—————— “ –5/12
Note:-The children’s ages are calculated on previous information and later data received by the writer.
Also note that Louis and Dorothee were already deceased when this Census Report was taken. And Julie had just been born prior to the Census. The above accounts for the 7 mentioned in Albert Smith’s letter.
1851 Census Report for St. Bernard of Lacolle, reel C-1121, page 25 lists a Joseph Dion and family:
Joseh Dion——————–Born St. Marc———Age 46
Julienne Dion—————–Born Lacadie———-Age 45
Aurelie————————- “ Lacadie———- “ 19
Adelaide———————– “ “ ———- “ 17
Francois———————— “ “ ———- “ 15
Baptiste———————— “ “ ———- “ 12
Julie—————————- “ “ ———– “ 9
Joseph————————– “ “ ———– “ 7
Raphael———————— “ “ ———– “ 5
Hilaire————————– “ “ ———- “ 3
Note:-As in the 1842 Census for Henryville-Louis and Dorothee are deceased. Julia who will be shown later was born shortly after the 1852 Census was taken. Also the writer believes that the name Dion is used in this Census Report because the Church Parish of Lacolle may have been involved in gathering the data.
The next period in Joseph Yon/Deyo’s life that the writer learns about is that shortly after migrating from Canada to Upper New York State he became a United States citizen. The following information was received in a letter from Addie Shields, Historian, Clinton County, New York.
Aliens admitted, Clinton County, Plattsburgh, New York.
Book 3, pg. 2502.
-Deyo, Joseph at 60 yrs., living in Altona, born in Canada
makes a declaration and is received 24 Oct., 1861.
The next time anything is seen about Joseph Deyo is when he appears in the United States Census. Much of the information that follows was received from Addie Shields, Historian.
United States Census Reports.
1870-Town of Altona, Clinton County, New York.
-Deyo, Joseph———-60——–Farmer——-b. Canada
(Note: Joseph’s and Julia’s ages are apparently in error).
1880-Town of Altona, Clinton County, New York
-Deyo, Joseph———-80——–Farmer——-b. Canada
The reader is reminded that there is no positive proof that the Joseph Deyo, purchaser of the property below is same one as above. This person could logically be his son or other kin since there were so many males named Joseph in those early days of the Deyo lineage.
The writer has recorded the following information in the interest of avoiding any oversight in the life of Joseph Yon/Deyo (ac1805-1880-plus) in his write-up. Research will continue in hopes of clarifying this area.
1871-Deyo, Joseph of Plattsburgh purchased for $350, half of Lot
No. 8 on West side of Wm. St.
1873-Deyo, Joseph of Plattsburgh purchased half of Lot No. 8.
(Note: Writer believes this refers to the other half of Lot No.
8 purchased in 1871).
There are still many areas relating to PART I which are being researched by the writer. When sufficient information becomes available it will be made an addendum to this write-up.
Born:-ac1805. Place believed to be St. Marc.
Bapt:-Date and place unknown.
Married:-July 22, 1828 to Marie Anne Gervais of St. Marc., in the Parish
of Saint-Cyprien of Napierville, Diocese of St-Jean., Quebec,
Died:-Sometime after 1880. Date and place unknown.
1. Louis——–Born:-August 17, 1829 in the Parish of St. Cyprien, Napierville, Quebec,
Bapt.-August 18, 1829.
Died:-September 9, 1829. Place unknown.
2. Dorothee—Born:-ac June 6, 1830 in the Parish of St. Cyprien.
Bapt.-February 6, 1831 in the Parish of St. Valentin.
Died:-February 6, 1831 in the Parish of St. Valentin.
3. Aurelie—–Born:-June 26, 1832
Bapt.-July 26, 1832 in the Parish of St. Valentin.
Married:-February 2, 1852 to Alexis Menard in the Parish of St. Bernard
of Lacolle, Quebec, Canada.
Died:-Date and Place unknown.
4. Adelaide—Born:-May 19, 1835 in St. Jean, Quebec, Canada.
Bapt.-July 7, 1835 in St. Jean.
Died:-Place and Date unknown.
5. Francois—-Born:-sc 1836 in Lacolle, Quebec, Canada.
Bapt.-Date and place unknown.
Married:-Date and place unknown. Based on other documents-to
Margaret Dennis of Canada.
Died:-March 22, 1913 in Alburg, Vermont. Buried there with his wife
in the Catholic Cemetery. The names on the tombstone are Deo
and Deyo. Margaret died in Alburg, Vermont on August 9, 1882
at the age of 35.
6. Baptiste—-Born:-ac 1839 in Lacolle, Quebec, Canada.
Bapt.-Date and place unknown.
Married:-Around 1867. Place believed to be Altona, New York and under
the name John Baptiste Dion to Marrie Anna Bonah.
7. Julie———Born:-August 5, 1842 in St. Valentin, Quebec, Canada.
Bapt.-August 7, 1842 in St. Valentin.
8. Joseph——Born:-February 7, 1845 in the Parish of St. Bernard.
Bapt.-February 24, 1845 in the Parish of St. Bernard.
9. Raphael—–Born:-May 26, 1847 at Henryville, Quebec, Canada.
Bapt.-May 29, 1847 at Henryville.
Married:-Date and place unknown. To Adeline Lambert of Canada.
10. Hilaire—–Born:-March 26, 1849 in Lacolle, Quebec, Canada.
Bapt.-April 12, 1849 in the Parish of St. Bernard of Lacolle.
Married:-1st:-October 10, 1870 in St. Joseph’s Church in Coopersville,
New York under the name Hilaire YOUNG to Marcellaine
2nd:-January 6, 1873 in Alburg, Vermont under the name ELI
DEYOto Miranda Baba.
3rd:-February 25, 1895 in Champlain, New York under the name
Hilam DION to Philomnie Lafountan.
Died:-January 24, 1924 in Hampden, Massachusetts. He and his third
wife are buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Hampden, Mass. His
third wife, Philomena (LaFountain) Deyo died May 21, 1950 in
Springfield, Massachusetts at the age of 90. The writer has no
information on the date, place and burial location of Hilaire’s first
and second wives. The logical places would be in New York
11. Marie——Born:-February 6, 1852 in the Parish of St. Bernard of Lacolle, Quebec,
Bapt.-February 8, 1852 in the Parish of St. Bernard.
Married:-May 11, 1868 to Louis Trombley. Place unknown.
Died:-December 15, 1926. Louis died on January 15, 1907. Place of
death and burial site is Sciota, New York with burial in the St.
Louis of France Church Cemetery in Sciota.
The reader must now begin to understand and appreciate the complexity of this research work as so many first names and surnames appear and vary for the same person over the early years of the writer’s ancestors. The language difficulty experienced by these people must have been enormous.
The lives of the persons, such as their marriages, children and other information of interest will be covered in greater detail when the Genealogy of each is written and added to Part I by the writer.
POSTSCRIPT by Craig LaPine: I obtained this work by Wilfred Deyo in the Clinton County Historian’s office in Plattsburgh, New York on 29 April 2010. It was located in the “Deyo” file among clippings and many other letters written by Wilfred between 1982 and 1985 to former historian Addie Shields. This appeared to be the last draft as I did not find any additions to this version of Wilfred’s genealogy in the file. This work has been retyped by myself but I added nothing nor did I take anything out of Wilfred’s work. It is typed verbatim.
-29 Apr 2010
As I have written numerous times before the Deyo portion of my family is a bit of a challenge.
Well recently, my analysis and documentation of the Joseph Dion line was once again brought into question (by my new friend Craig LaPine!).
On Saturday the 24th of April, I received the following email note from Craig:
Hello Mr. Rabideau. I enjoy your [ManyRoads] site regarding the Deyo family. I am a descendant of Emma Deyo (a daughter of John and Mary Ann Bonah, whom I don’t see listed on your site [meaning I missed Emma]). I have specifics on her but she first married Charles Lagoy and the Fred Belair. I am from the Lagoy/Deyo line. Anyhow, I see that you listed John’s parents as Joseph and Julie Denis and his parents as Benoit Guyon and Marie Alain. Today I was looking up Joseph and Julienne’s marriage in the Drouin files and found that they were married in Napierville on 22 Jul 1828. Her parents were listed as Ignace and Julie Fall). Joseph’s parents were listed as Ignace (from St-Marc) and Marie Anne Gervais. Have you come across these names before?
Needless to say this brought to question my Joseph Dion to Benoit Dion/ Marie Allain family line. Not only had I missed his ‘Emma’ but I had introduced serious structural errors into the line. I reinvestigated. As I rummaged around, I stumble across a note from Wilfred Deyo that had been given me by Barb Deyo. Wilfred’s note [analysis] reads:
John Deyo & Mary Anna (Bonnin) Deyo
Short Genealogical History
According to his death certificate John Deyo was born in Rouses Point, New York on February 23, 1839. The year 1839 agrees with the data in various Census Reports on the family. He was born the son of Joseph Yon/Dyon and Julienne Denys. Julienne’s surname like Joseph’s took on many variations over the years- for example Denis and Dennis. She was also known as Julia, the English version for Julienne. There were many variations of the French Canadian names in the early years because of their inability to read and write in both their native tongue and English. Therefore they were unable to understand the names as they were spelled and entered in the records. And then there were priests in Canada in those early years that made personal decisions as to how the names of the family would be spelled. Most of the spelling of the names was based on the phonetic sound- the sound of the name as given by the person involved in providing the information for the records, such as births, marriages, deaths and of course Census Reports.
John Deyo was married under the name of John Dyon to Maria Bonin in St. Ann’s Church at Mooers Forks, New York on July 2, 1866 according to a copy of his “marriage certificate’ the writer has. The name Dyon appears to be a simple mis-interpretation of the name Dion. Maria was recorded under a number of names, both given and surnames as time went on. For example, she was known by the first names of Maria, Mary, and Anna. Mary, of course, being the English version of Maria. Surnames were also Bonin and Bonah. These names are all English versions of the French name Bonney. The name Bonney appears on a postcard that she received from a brother in Tacoma, Washington in the year 1915. The writer has that postcard.
John and Mary Deyo had 10 children. One name Jean Baptiste Yon (after his father) died in infancy.
John (Jean Baptiste) and another brother Frank (Francois) were both born in the United States while their sisters and brothers were born in Canada. Frank being born in 1837 and John in 1839 which were then known as the “Troubled Years” in Canada- that is when the French Canadians made an attempt to gain their independence and seize Quebec and failed. It appears that Joseph and other heads of French families living close to the American border (LaColle) decided to cross over and did return after the trouble was over. Joseph did migrate to the United States in the early 1850′s and become a U.S. citizen in October of 1861.
John Deyo died in Altona, New York on April 15, 1924.
Anna (Bonin/ Bonah) died in Altona, New York on February 17, 1937.
are both buried in the Holy Angels Cemetary in Altona, New York.
Note: Rough draft.
Date: September 3, 1986
Wilfred F. Deyo
No doubt, I had missed something important. The problem needed to be fixed. Craig and I discussed and analyzed the problem (via email); we were on our way to repairing my mistake. Craig and I compared notes… discussed options.
Our plan was a simple one. I would do the Ancestry re-work. Craig would trek to Plattsburgh to see what he could find. It was great having a partner doing our family genealogy. The fix was on!