Category Archives: Oddities & Curiosities

The Brissette and Moreau Families – Brides for Brothers

This is just another one of those oddities that one discovers while doing genealogy.  The Moreau family of Bertherville, Québec, Canada is related to me because Anthime Duplesse Moreau (1876-1947) married Marie Victoria Olivier (1876-1945).  Victoria was the niece of my great-great-grandmother Cordélie Olivier.

Anthime Moreau Family, 1916

Anthime Moreau Family, 1916

[“Victoria, Anthime, and their children”. Back row: Joseph Jean Baptiste, Marie Blanche Délia, Angélina, Aurore, Philibert. 2nd row: Anthime, Herminie, Victoria, Aldéa. Front row: Adélard, Donat, Marie-Jeanne.  Courtesy of Micheline Tremblay.]

While doing the Moreau family tree, I came across an interesting fact.  Anthime and Victoria had 13 children, two of which died very young.  Of those that survived, seven of the Moreau siblings married members of the Brissette family:

Joseph Jean Baptiste Moreau (1901-1966) married Marie Auréa Elienne Brissette (b 1905).

Marie Aurore Paméla Moreau (b 1905) married Armand Brissette (1904-1956).

Marie Angélina Moreau (b 1903) married Roméo Brissette (1902-1972).

Joseph Ovila Adélard Moreau (b 1910) married Adrienne Brissette (b 1912).

Joseph Ulric Donat Moreau (b 1912) married Marie Jeanne Simonne Brisette (1916-1935).

Marie Blanche Délia Duplessie Moreau (1902-1927) married Joseph Sylvio Brissette (b 1899).

Délia Moreau and Sylvio Brissette c 1919

Délia Moreau and Sylvio Brissette c 1919

When Délia Moreau died in 1927, Sylvio married Délia’s sister Marie Exilda Aldéa “Aldéa” Moreau (b 1909).  Sylvio had TWO Moreau brides!

So seven members of this Moreau family married six members of the Brissette family.  I can only imagine the scene in the Moreau home:

Donat Moreau: “Papa, I have some news!”

Anthime Moreau: “Let me guess… you’re getting married to one of the Brissette girls.”

Donat: “Yes!”

Anthime: [dryly, without looking up from his paper] “What a surprise.”

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My Grandparents and “Pirates of the Caribbean”

Time for more genealogical randomness.

Two of the lead characters in the Disney “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise are the lovely Elizabeth Swan (played by Kira Knightly), and the drunken scoundrel Captain Jack Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp).

Elizabeth Swan and Jack Sparrow

Elizabeth Swan and Jack Sparrow (not my grandparents)

It turns out that I am descended from both of them!

Elizabeth Swan (1653-1690), daughter of Robert Swan and Elizabeth Acy, is actually my 9x AND my 10x great grandmother.  Her daughter Abigail Harriman (1683-1756) is my 8x great-grandmother and her daughter Elizabeth Harriman (1675 – 1720) is my 9x great-grandmother.  She is an ancestor of my great-grandmother Lulu Cairns.

We all know that “Jack” is a nickname for John, right?

Captain Jonathan Sparrow (1633-1706), son of Richard Sparrow and Pandora Bangs (the best name for a grandmother ever, assuming you like your grandmothers to have porn names), was a Captain of the militia in Eastham, Massachusetts, and fought in King Philip’s War.  He was my 10x great-grandfather… and also an ancestor of my great-grandmother Lulu Cairns.

His gravestone has a SKULL with WINGS growing out of it!  Don’t be jealous.

Jonathan Sparrow's Grave, Cove Burial Ground, Eastman, MA.

Jonathan Sparrow’s Grave, Cove Burial Ground, Eastham, MA.

This and other photos of the Sparrow family graves can be found here.

So there you go!  My “Pirates of the Caribbean” ancestors.


Weird Coincidences – Plymouth Colony Edition

Genealogy is full of weird coincidences.  Like the fact that, in the 1930 census, the family of my great-aunt Emilie Schmidt was living directly next door to my great-grandfather Oscar Krueger in Wausau, Wisconsin (213 and 215 Weston Ave).  The two families wouldn’t actually be related until 1945, so it was just a strange coincidence.

For about six years I dated a girl whose last name was Howland.  Her father always told me that their family had come over on the Mayflower in 1620.  Recently I found out that my 12x great-grandfather Stephen Hopkins (1581-1644) also came over on the Mayflower.  Then I read this passage in the book “Here Shall I Die Ashore” by Caleb Johnson:

“Leiden Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  This is the street where the Pilgrim original houses were located.  Stephen [Hopkins]’s plot was located where the shorter, two-story building is, at the left side of the image.  The three-story house [directly adjacent] is sitting approximately on John Howland’s plot”.

So it’s a fact that the home where my 12x great-grandfather (and also my 11x great-grandparents Constance Hopkins and Nicholas Snow) lived was directly next door to my ex-girlfriends’ grandparents’ home.

That’s weird.


Tangled Trees

I’m currently working on a lot of the lines of my father’s family that go back to the Pilgrims, and it’s just a twisted knot to untangle.  So many of those original Pilgrim lines married and intermarried that many of my grandparents are my grandparents multiple ways.  It makes sense if you consider how few families were living in the Massachusetts colony between 1620 and 1660.

Here’s just a small example of the kind of thing I’m finding:

Capt Jonathan Sparrow (1633-1706), is my 10x great-grandfather.
His parents were Richard Sparrow (1601-1660) and Pandora Bangs (1605-1661).
Pandora had a brother, Edward Bangs, who married Rebecca Hobart.

Capt Jonathan Sparrow married Rebecca Bangs (1636-1677).
Rebecca was the daughter of Edward Bangs and Rebecca Hobart.

So Capt. Sparrow married his first cousin.  Not only that, but his 2nd wife was Hannah Prence, who was also my 10x great grandmother from her 1st marriage to Nathaniel Mayo.

Further complicating things is the fact that Richard Sparrow, the son of Jonathan Sparrow and his second wife Hannah Prence, is also my 9x great-grandfather.

Additionally, another daughter of Edward Bangs and Rebecca Hobart, Apphia Bangs is also my 10x great-grandmother.

I had started a “Multiple Grandparents” blog previously, but at this point it would be so long as to be tedious both to read and to maintain.


Double Grandparents

I’ve decided to make a category for “Oddities & Curiosities”.  Things that don’t really warrant full blogs, but just short blurbs about unusual things I find in my family research.

Today I was doing work on the French side of my family (the family of my great-grandmother Delia Rosanna Bacon) when things started seeming really familiar (no pun intended).

I realized eventually that MANY branches of my French Canadian family are intertwined multiple times.  This makes sense.  It was a small area, people were not mobile, and they tended to marry in the same Parish or at least denomination.  This usually leads to a small pool of families from which to choose mates.

Here are some of the multiple-grandparents I’ve found.

Jean Pierre Hénault (Énaud) dit Fresnière and his wife Marie Geneviève Genereux are my double-grandparents because their son Pierre is my 6x great grandfather:

Pierre Hénault dit Canada III (1720 – 1791)
Marie Louise Hénault Énaud (1757 – 1827)
Marie Louise Brunet (1788 – 1869)
Marie Anne (Marianne) Gilbert Comtois (1812 – 1867)
Jean “John” Gregoire Bacon (1850 – 1936)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)

and their daughter Marie Madeleine is my 6x great grandmother:

Marie Madeleine “Magdeleine” Hénault Enaud (1721 – 1813)
François Olivier dit LaVictoire (1760 – 1844)
François Olivier (1783 – 1859)
Henri François Olivier (1812 – 1876)
Cordélie “Cordelia” Olivier (1850 – 1918)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)

So through this link Delia’s parents were 4th cousins.

François Charron dit Ducharme (1678-1746) and his wife Marguerite Piette dite Trempe (1680 – 1761) are my 7x grandparents twice.  Their son Joseph Charles is my 6x great grandfather:

Joseph Charles Charron dit Ducharme (1723 – 1806)
Joseph Charron dit Ducharme (1753 – 1839)
Catherine Charron Ducharme (1787 – 1832)
Elisabeth Tellier (1815 – 1886)
Cordélie “Cordelia” Olivier (1850 – 1918)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)

And their daughter Marie Marguérite is my 6x great grandmother:

Marie Marguerite Charron dit Ducharme (1712 – 1749)
François Plouffe (1746 – )
Charlotte Plouffe (1773 – 1842)
Jean Baptiste Bâcon Sr. (1804 – 1889)
Jean “John” Gregoire Bacon (1850 – 1936)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)

So the parents of my great grandmother, Delia Bacon were fifth cousins.

Antoine Desrosiers and his wife Marie Renée LePellé are both my seventh and eight great grandparents because their son Antoine is my 7x great grandfather:

Antoine Desrosiers dit Lafresniere III (1698 – 1760)
Geneviève Desrosiers dite LaFresnière (1723 – 1782)
Joseph Tellier (1744 – 1808)
Antoine Tellier (1783 – 1847)
Elisabeth Tellier (1815 – 1886)
Cordélie “Cordelia” Olivier (1850 – 1918)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)

Their other son Jean-Baptiste Charles is my 6x great grandfather:

Jean Baptiste Charles Desrosiers dit Lafresniere (1721 – 1785)
Marie Pelagie Desrosiers dit Lafresniere (1765 – 1827)
François Olivier (1783 – 1859)
Henri François Olivier (1812 – 1876)
Cordélie “Cordelia” Olivier (1850 – 1918)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)
Frederick Clifford Thomas Jr. (1918 – 2006)
Frederick Clifford Thomas III (1941 – )
Charles Frederick Thomas

In this case, the parents of my great-great-grandmother Cordélie Olivier were 2nd cousins once removed.

François Abraham Fiset (1635-1700) and his wife Marie Denise Savard (1644-1708) are my double grandparents also.  Two of their daughters, Marie Madelein and Denis Fiset are my ancestors:

Marie Madeleine Fiset (1673 – 1711)
Marie Martineau (1701 – 1771)
Marie Thérèse Arcan (1725 – 1782)
Joseph Marie Brunet (1742 – 1815)
Marie Louise Brunet (1788 – 1869)
Marie Anne (Marianne) Gilbert Comtois (1812 – 1867)
Jean “John” Gregoire Bacon (1850 – 1936)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)

Denise Fiset (1678 – 1731)
Charlotte Maranda (1697 – 1758)
Magdeleine Cadoret (1725 – 1800)
Charlotte Pothier (1762 – 1851)
Charles Gilbert dit Comtois Jr. (1791 – )
Marie Anne (Marianne) Gilbert Comtois (1812 – 1867)
Jean “John” Gregoire Bacon (1850 – 1936)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)

So my 3x great-grandmother Marie Ann Gilbert Comtois’s parents were 5th cousins.

Jean Piette dit Trempe (1641-1730) and Marguérite Chemereau (1651-1715) are my double-grandparents because their son Antoine is my 8x great-grandfather:

Antoine Piette dit Trempe (1673 – 1750)
Pierre Piette dit Frenière (1712 – 1776)
Anne Marie Piette (1739 – 1776)
Charles Gilbert dit Comtois (1760 – 1834)
Charles Gilbert dit Comtois Jr. (1791 – )
Marie Anne (Marianne) Gilbert Comtois (1812 – 1867)
Jean “John” Gregoire Bacon (1850 – 1936)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)

And their daughter Marguérite is my 7x great-grandmother:

Marguérite Piette dite Trempe (1680 – 1761)
Marie Marguérite Charron dit Ducharme (1712 – 1749)
François Plouffe (Plouf Ploufe) (1746 – )
Charlotte Plouffe (Plouf) (1773 – 1842)
Jean Baptiste Bâcon Sr. (1804 – 1889)
Jean “John” Gregoire Bacon (1850 – 1936)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)

This means Jean Gregoire Bacon’s parents were 5th cousins once-removed.

Charles Boucher (1658-1728) and his wife Marguérite Agnès Pelletier (1666 – 1708) are my double grandparents because their daughter Marie is my 8x great-grandmother:

Marie Boucher (1693 – 1751)
Pierre Piette dit Frenière (1712 – 1776)
Anne Marie Piette (1739 – 1776)
Charles Gilbert dit Comtois (1760 – 1834)
Charles Gilbert dit Comtois Jr. (1791 – )
Marie Anne (Marianne) Gilbert Comtois (1812 – 1867)
Jean “John” Gregoire Bacon (1850 – 1936)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)

and their daughter Marie Anne is my 7x great grandmother:

Marie Anne Boucher (1702 – 1784)
Marie Anne Joly dite Delbec (1723 – 1800)
Marie Louise Hénault Énaud (1757 – 1827)
Marie Louise Brunet (1788 – 1869)
Marie Anne (Marianne) Gilbert Comtois (1812 – 1867)
Jean “John” Gregoire Bacon (1850 – 1936)
Delia Rosanna Bacon (1885 – 1918)

So the parents of Marie Anne Gilbert Comtois were 4th cousins once removed (and also 5th cousins, as we’ve seen).