Category: Nova Scotia

Transcription: Marriage Cerificate for Trenée Aucoin and Marguerite Girroir.

Below is my transcription of the marriage certificate for Trenée Aucoin and Marguerite Girroir.
Trenee Aucoin and Marguerite Girroir.

Marriage certificate for Trenée Aucoin and Marguerite Girroir.

Date and place of Marriage:  22 May, 1872, Arichat, Co. Richmond
How Married ; by License or Banns:  By Banns
Full Name of GROOM:  Trenée Aucoin
His age:  28 years
Condition (Bachelor or Widower):  Bachelor
Profession or trade:  Farmer  Shoemaker
Residence:  Cheticamp
Where Born:  Cheticamp
Parents’ names:  Christopher Aucoin & Rachel Lelievre
Their Profession:  Farmers
Full Name of BRIDE:  Marguerite Girroir
Age:  27 years
Condition, (spinster or widow):  Spinster
Her place of residence:  Arichat
Parents’ name:  Tranquille Girroir & Charlotte Cheney
Their profession:  Sea Captain
Witnesses’ names:
Denis Cousin
Euphresine Girroir
Signatures of parties Married:
Trenée Aucoin
Marguerite Girroir
Officiating Clergyman:  I. A. Theerien Pst
Denomination of Clergyman:  Roman Catholic
I Certify that the marriage of the persons above named was duly celebrated by me at the time and place, and in the manner, stated in this slip.
(SIGNED)  I. A. Thierien, Pst
Officiating Clergyman
This slip to be filled up by the Clergyman and returned to the Issuer of Marriage Licenses when the Marriage is celebrated by License.

When the Marriage is by proclamation of Banns, the Clergyman may either return it when filled up to the nearest Deputy Registrar, or if more convenient, he may send it in an unsealed envelope to the Secretary of Statistics, Halifax, who will transmit him by return mail his legal fee of 25 cents for each slip.

Clergymen will be particular in no case to neglect sending in this wlip within ten days after performance of marriage ceremony.

JOHN COSTLEY, Sec., Board of Statistics


1 Marriage Banns
Arichat Richmond to
April 20, 1872
Rev. I A Thierien
Entd : 7 Jul 1872
[???] 70 [????]


Richmond – 1872
Aucoin, Trenée
Girroir, Euphrosine


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download. and Additions and Updates – 20 Sep 2014

Following are the latest and additions and updates since my last update post of September 11, 2014. and Additions and Updates and Additions and Updates – 20 Sep 2014












United Kingdom

United States


United Kingdom

United States and Updates and Additions – 11 Sep 2014

Following are the and Updates and Additions for the week ending September 11, 2014. and Updates and Additions and Updates and Additions – 11 Sep 2014












South Africa


United Kingdom

United States


United States

photo credit: wundercapo via photopin cc

My ‘must have’ list of top 10 genealogy websites.

This list of top 10 genealogy websites is a bit different than others because I have evaluated them based on the sheer quantity of data and sources I have found for my own personal research, regardless whether they are paid or free.
will of Richard Chatterton found on the UK Archives site.

17th century will of Richard Chatterton found on the UK Archives site, #9 on my top 10 genealogy websites list.

I will only subscribe to a site if I’m sure it’s worth it as I can usually find most other information on free sites with some effort.

It just so happens though, that my favorite site to conduct research is a paid site, while all the rest except one are free.

Ancestry ($)

Although this site requires a paid subscription, it is the one and only site I do pay for as I find I truly do get my money’s worth. No matter what location, type of record, or time period, I can usually find something of value on this site. The search feature is rather confusing and cumbersome. Just keep in mind it’s better to be as specific as possible and use the filters appropriately and you will get fairly accurate results.

Family Search

Over the past few years, Family Search has been quickly catching up to Ancestry because of the sheer quantity of transcriptions, images, and collections they continue to make available online. They have a very accurate and intuitive search.

Library and Archives Canada

I am Canadian, with roots in both French Canada (Quebec) and Acadia (Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia). Anytime I am researching a Canadian line, this is the first site I go to – even before Ancestry and Family Search.

Nova Scotia Archives

My Acadian ancestors form a rather specialized area of research, and the Nova Scotia Archives genealogy research site is the first place I go. Original records are available for a per unit price, but I’m quite happy just printing the transcribed records for the most part.

Internet Archive

My husband’s Welsh Quaker, British, royal and new world ancestors are the largest part of my research and this is the one site I go to when I’m unable to find original records or even transcriptions of records elsewhere. I’ve found numerous genealogy studies, articles, and books; history books, etc. that have provided detailed information. It is important to remember, however, that errors were not uncommon in these publications, and I do continue to try to find more concrete sources.

Foundation for Medieval Genealogy

I am fascinated by my husband’s medieval and royal ancestry and this site is a well-researched site. Any suspect information is clearly identified and there is a clear explanation of why. Original medieval sources are cited in detail, supporting all facts and conclusions.

University of Hull Royal Database

This is also a very well researched site providing invaluable information about the royal lineages of Britain and Europe. I usually consult this site in tandem with the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy site above. This helps to confirm some information to a certain degree.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

About 1750, my husband’s Welsh and British ancestors started arriving in the new world and the branches that took root there flourished to impact all areas of American life. Next to Ancestry, I find this site valuable for actual military files and numerous other archived documents. All requests, however, must be done by snail mail, in which case I try to avoid this site a lot. I’m definitely an instant gratification kind of person. Hopefully one day they’ll set up online access, even if it is paid. I’d certainly subscribe to this one.

UK Archives ($)

I have found some of the more interesting documents on this site, including numerous scans of original wills from the 16th to the 19th century. There is something about the old English script that I find very beautiful and it’s a suitable challenge for my puzzle oriented mind to transcribe them. There is a per unit price to download documents, but the price is very reasonable and I have no problem paying it, considering the high quality of the document scans.

World GenWeb

No one individual GenWeb site in this network is used all that much in my research, but if you consider all research found on any of the GenWeb sites, it definitely warrants a top ten position. I have listed the main World GenWeb site, which links through to the full network of other sites from other locations. By using the links, it is possible to drill down from the global and country levels to county and indeed township sites in some cases.


Dame Emma Albani (Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse) of Chambly, Québec

Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (known professionally as Dame Emma Albani), was a world-renowned soprano for most of the 19th century and into the early 20th century.
Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (Dame Emma Albini) at five

Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (Dame Emma Albini) at five years of age in about 1852.

She was also a harpist, pianist and teacher. Her birth date is commonly believed to be November 1, 1847 , although some believe she was born in 1848 or 1850. Emma was my fifth cousin, twice removed, as she was the fourth great granddaughter of my 7th great grandfather, Jean Jacques Labelle (1682-1748) of Île Jésus (Laval), Québec, Canada.

Chambly, Quebec

Emma’s birthplace, Chambly, Quebec.

In her own memoirs, Emma states her birth was in 1852 in Chambly, Québec, Canada to Joseph Lajeunesse (1818-1904) and Mélina Rachel Mélanie Mignault ( -1856).

Emma was the first Canadian singer to become internationally known and sought after. She performed operas composed by Bellini, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and later, Wagner. Her audiences included such luminaries as Queen Victoria, Csar Alexander II, and Kaiser Wilhelm I.

Dame Emma Albani

Dame Emma Albini on her tours of Europe and North America, where she sang for Queen Victoria, Kaiser Wilhelm I and Csar Nicholas.

Emma Lajeunesse’s parents, both musicians, recognized their daughter’s wonderful talent very early. Although she studied first with her mother, her father took over her training when she turned five. He was a great musician in his own right and was skilled with the harp, violin, organ and piano. Her practice schedule was very busy and strict, in which she dedicated up to four hours a day. In 1856, shortly after his wife died, Joseph Lajeunesse was hired to teach music at the Religious of the Sacred Heart Convent in Sault-au-Récollet (Montréal), where Emma and her sister Cornélia (nickname Nellie) were boarders.

Royal autographs.

Autograph of Queen Victoria and other royals from Dame Emma Albani’s autograph book.

Emma attended from 1858 to 1865, and her talent was evident to the convent’s nuns, who were forced to bar her from the convent’s musical competitions so other children had a chance of winning.

At eight years old, Emma performed her first concert on September 15, 1856 at the Mechanics’ Institute in Montreal. The critics were amazed, and recognized her as a prodigy. She also sang in Chambly, Saint-Jean (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu), L’Assomption, Sorel, Industrie (Joliette), and Terrebonne, all in Québec.

Dame Emma Albani

Dame Dame Emma Albani in costume for her role as Amina.

Unable to finance a musical education in Quebec, where singing and acting were considered unsavory careers for a woman, Joseph Lajeunesse attempted to raise sufficient money to send her to study in Paris.

In 1865, Emma’s family moved to Albany, New York, stopping at several towns, including Saratoga Springs and Johnstown, where Emma and her sister performed. She became a popular singer in New York, and managed to save enough money for her studies.

Emma Albani in costume for Violetta

Dame Emma Albani in costume for Violetta.

In Albany, Emma was hired as soloist for the parish church of St Joseph, where she worked three years singing, playing the organ, and directing the choir. She also worked at composing scores, as well as musical pieces for harp, solo piano and two pianos.

With her father’s savings and financial assistance from well-wishers and parishioners, Emma was able to go to Paris to study at the ‘Paris Conservatoire’ with Gilbert-Louis Duprez, the famous French tenor. Not long after her lessons with him began, Duprez was heard to say about Emma, “She has a beautiful voice and ardor. She is of the kind of wood from which fine flutes are made.”

At the suggestion of her elocution instructor, Signor Delorenzi, she changed her name to the simpler Emma Albani, which sounded more European and happened to be a very old Italian family name. The closeness in sound of her new surname and ‘Albany’ in New York pleased her, as she had been treated so well there.

Emma continued to study in Milan, Italy for a year and with the assistance of eminent voice teacher Francesco Lamperti, she learned solid technique and, along with her rigid discipline, was able to maintain good vocal health. These techniques enabled her to perform a range of roles from light to dramatic.


Emma Albani in 1899.

Dame Emma Albani in 1899.

Emma’s funds diminished, and although she was not yet finished her training, she began to look for work during the 1869-70 season to help support her schooling. She found a position in Messina, and her operatic debut was on March 30, 1870, playing Amina in Vincenzo Bellini’s La Sonnambula. Her debut performance was very well received and she later stated, “I was literally loaded with flowers, presents, and poetry, the detached sheets of which were sent fluttering down in every direction on the heads of the audience; and among the numberless bouquets of every shape was a basket in which was concealed a live dove. They had painted it red, and the dear little bird rose and flew all over the theater.”

From the time of her debut in Messina, she realized that to portray historical characters, it was not enough to sing well and made a point of visiting museums and reading extensively.

She returned to Milan after her contract in Messina had expired and resumed her instruction with Lamperti. Meanwhile, more work offers began to pour in, including a role she accepted in Rigoletto, which was being performed in Cento. Other roles followed in Florence and Malta, with parts in Lucia di Lammermoor, Robert il Diavolo, La Sonnambula, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L’Africaine.

After performing in Malta in the winter of 1870 to 1871, she auditioned for Frederick Gye, manager of Covent Garden in London. He was so impressed with her abilities, he signed her to a five-year contract. Before her London contract was to start, she returned to Italy to complete her studies with Lamperti.

Albani arrived in London in the spring of 1872 and her first performance under her contract was on April 2, 1872 at the Royal Italian Opera (the name taken in 1847 by Covent Garden in London) and was a great success. She was the first Canadian woman to perform in this opera house and would perform there until 1896.

Emma continued to perform in various roles and venues throughout Europe, Russia and the United States over the next five seasons. Her performances included that of Ophelia in Hamlet and the Countess in ‘The Marriage of Figaro’.

Queen Victoria later requested a private performance from Albani, who traveled to Windsor Palace in July, 1874 to perform “Caro Nome” from Rigoletto, “Ave Maria”, “Robin Adair”, and “Home, Sweet Home”. This was the first of many occasions on which Albani would perform for monarchs and other dignitaries, but it was also the beginning of a friendship and the two women would visit each other regularly until Queen Victoria died in 1901. Albani would also sing at the funeral of Queen Victoria.

Letter from Queen Victoria to Dame Emma Albani.

Letter from Queen Victoria to Dame Emma Albani.

Emma Albani toured the United States in the fall of 1874, visiting Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, Chicago and Albany.
In November 1874, Emma went on tour in the United States, where she performed her first role in a Wagner opera as Elsa in “Lohengrin” at New York’s Academy of Music. Her repertoire grew over the years.

After 1876, Emma’s sister Cornélia was always by her side. Cornélia was also a talented pianist and had studied in Germany, later teaching music to the children of the royal family of Spain. Cornélia worked her entire life as Emma’s accompanist and companion, dying soon after Emma.

Mr. Frederick Gye

Mr. Frederick Gye, father of Emma’s husband Ernest Gye.

Emma married Ernest Gye on August 6, 1878. He was the son of the director of the Royal Italian Opera and after his father died in an accident, he took over the position from 1878 to 1885. Their son, Ernest Frederick was born June 4, 1879, became a prominent diplomat and would die in London in 1955.

In 1880, as a result of playing Lucia in “Lucia di Lammermoor” and Gilda in “Rigoletto” at La Scala in Milan, Italy, Emma suffered a setback. The audience was already hostile to non-Italian singers in this theater, but she was not in very good voice, resulting in being unable to impress her listeners. Despite this, her career continued to grow since she performed in cities she had not previously visited.

Caricature from Punch, 17 September 1881: "MADAME ALBANI. A Thing of Beauty is a Gye for ever!"

Caricature from Punch, 17 September 1881: “MADAME ALBANI. A Thing of Beauty is a Gye for ever!”

In 1883, Emma and another singer, Adelina Patti, undertook a long tour in the United States, visiting Chicago, Baltimore, New York and Washington. She also gave three recitals in Montréal, for which appearance more than ten thousand people showed up to greet her, and poet Louis-Honoré Fréchette composed a poem in her honor which he read at a reception.

She remained attached to Canada and toured nine times to perform recitals from 1883 to 1906, traveling from one coast to the other. In1890 Emma performed in two complete operas at the Academy of Music in Montréal, Verdi’s “La Traviata” and “Lucia di Lammermoor”. Albani was always generous to charitable organizations and she supported and performed in a benefit concert in Montréal for Notre-Dame Hospital.

Albani became the first French Canadian woman to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on November 23, 1891 in “Les Huguenots”. That winter, she was in several other productions at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Albani retired from the Covent Gardens opera, and her final stage performance taking place in July 1896 at the Royal Opera House. To accommodate the changing tastes of the theater’s directors and the public, Emma had to show great flexibility and perform diverse roles. Emma received the royal Philharmonic Society’s gold medal or the “Beethoven Medal” in 1897.

Letter from Dame Emma Albani

Letter from Dame Emma Albani from her memoir titled “Forty Years of Song”.

Although retired, she still sang in recitals and in 1901 she traveled across Canada, traveling from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, British Columbia. She then continued to go on tour in Australia (1898, 1907), South Africa (1898, 1899, 1904), Ceylon (Sri Lanka) (1907), New Zealand (1907) and India (1907). In 1906 she made her farewell Canadian tour. During this period she is said to have recorded nine titles (audio of one follows article) and some have since been remastered and are available today. Her ‘post-retirement’ career came to an end on October 14, 1911 when she gave her last public performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. That same year she released a book a book of her memoirs, “Forty Years of Song”.

She and her husband retired to Kensington where Emma’s last years were troubled by financial difficulties necessitating that she teach and occasionally perform in music halls. Her circumstances resulted from the war and poor investments, and in concern the British government voted her an annual pension of £100. Word of her difficulties reached Montréal, where “La Presse” sponsored a recital on May 28, 1925 in the Théâtre Saint-Denis. More than $4,000 was collected. Assistance was also sought from the Canadian and Quebec governments, who declined, stating that Albani had become more of a British subject than a Canadian citizen since she had resided in London since 1872).

Postage stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dame Emma's death.

Postage stamp issued by Canada Post in 1980 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dame Emma Albani’s death.

Dame Emma Albani died on April 3, 1930 at her home on Tregunter Road, Kensington, in London and was buried at Brompton, London, England.

During her lifetime, she received many awards, including the gold Beethoven Medal (given by the Royal Philharmonic Society of London) and the Medal of Honour commemorating Queen Victoria’s jubilee in 1897. In 1925 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Of two streets that were named after Emma Albani in Montréal, the first was dedicated in the 1930s, but was later removed when the road was merged with another street, and the second was named Rue Albani in 1969.

Other honors included a postage stamp issued by Canada Post and designed by artist Huntley Brown. It was released July 4, 1980 and eleven million, seven hundred thousand copies of the stamp were printed. She is also immortalized in a stained glass mural at Montréal’s Place des Arts station.

Photo credits:

Wikipedia – Dame Emma Albani, online [].


  1. “Forty Years of Song,” by Emma Albani; Project Gutenberg Canada website; []
  2. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online []
  3. Les Labelles, Daniel Labelle online []
  4. Wikipedia – Dame Emma Albani, online [].

There were costs and benefits to conducting family tree research before we had the internet.

Pursuing Genealogy was never free. The family tree research costs manifested in very different ways over time.
Old Melanson Tombstone

Tombstone of Rose Melanson tombstone – just one of the finds from my family tree research.

We’re so lucky today because global resources are so easy to access over the internet through sites such as, and many others, and most sites do charge either a subscription rate or a cost per item rate, or both.

Although we tend to think Genealogy was free in the past, that is not true. Before the implementation of the internet, it was much more difficult to pursue genealogy – and much more costly. One had to either physically visit the location of the records sought, or pay another to conduct the search (and pay to cover incidental costs such as printing, copying, etc.)

In my family’s case, our family tree research branches widely around the globe prior to 1900, but especially prior to 1850.

Around 1900 is when my husband’s mother’s family, the Gummesons, emigrated from Sweden to the United States and it’s when my father’s Turmaine ancestors were living in Ontario and Quebec, and my mother’s Melanson ancestors were living in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, all in Canada.

Ship's List showing Thomas, Charles and Robert Blythe - family tree research

Passenger list showing Thomas, Charles and Robert Blythe.

The ancestors of my husband’s father were particularly mobile prior to 1857, when his great grandfather Charles George Blythe emigrated from Lincolnshire, England to the United States wtih his father and one brother.

Much further into the past is the Welsh migration of my husband’s ancestors in the 18th century and the Acadian settlement of Atlantic Canada of my own ancestors in the 17th century.

Costs of research prior to the internet for me to research my mother’s Acadian ancestry in Atlantic Canada.

First, here is an outline of the costs of traveling there to do my own family tree research during our driving tour of the area about 7 years ago. This is an estimated breakdown of the expenses of our two week trip from Ontario. Although there were four of us on this trip, I will show the costs if it were only one person (approximately $1800 – $2,650) here:

  • Gasoline: $700 – $1000
  • Campsites: $450 – $700 (hotels would be much more)
  • Food, etc.: $200 – $300
  • Entry Fees (museums, tours, etc.): $150
  • Production costs (printing, photocopying, books, materials, etc.): $300 – $500

Costs of hiring a local researcher to conduct the family tree research on site and in person.

I will be basing this estimate on the time and expenses for each individual item researched while we were there (estimated total of $925).

  • Moncton University of Monctonof: 2 hours totaling $60
    • Books: 2 totaling $100
    • Photocopies: 100 totaling $10
  • Ste. Anne University: 2 hours totaling $60
    • Books: 1 totaling $30
    • Photocopies: 50 totaling $10
  • Ste. Anne Catholic Church: 4 hours totaling $120
  • Grand Pré Museum: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 30 totaling $30
    • Books: 1 totaling $20
    • Pictures: 4 totaling $25
  • Fort Edward: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 10 totaling $10
  • Fort Beausejour: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 60 totaling $60
  • Melanson Settlement: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 20 totaling $20
  • New Brunswick Archives: 4 hours totaling $120
    • Photocopies: 200 totaling $20
  • Nova Scotia Archives: 4 hours totaling $120
    • Photocopies: 200 totaling $20

Costs today to obtain most of the information and items as above using the internet and online genealogy resources for family tree research.

I have not been able to find some of the information online to this date. The estimated total using the internet is $415.

  • Ste. Anne Catholic Church (not available online): 4 hours totaling $120
  • New Brunswick Archives: Free
  • Nova Scotia Archives: Free
  • Moncton University of Moncton: Free
  • annual subscription: $120
  • Acadian GenWeb Sites: Free
  • Books, etc. (same as above): $175

Irreplaceable benefits of traveling to do my own family tree research in person and on site.

Fort Beauséjour ruins.

Fort Beauséjour ruins: foundations in the foreground and the still-standing supply tunnel in the background.

I love the ease and low cost of the resources available online for family tree research. However, I must say that there was no experience like personally visiting the historical sites, museums, universities and libraries during our trip to the research location, despite the expense incurred. Had we not traveled to the sites, we would have missed a great deal that I found so enjoyable and valuable, including:

  • seeing Fort Edward and Fort Beausejour, the scenes of the imprisonment of my ancestors during the Acadian expulsion;
  • seeing the Melanson Settlement heritage site, the town of Melanson, and Melanson Mountain, heritage sites of my Melanson ancestors;
  • our wonderful bonus of finding the missing ‘aboiteau’ (dike used for draining the marshes for farmland during the Acadian settlement) at North Hill Museum and getting pictures; and
  • consulting with the staff at Moncton Museum, Ste. Anne Museum, North Hill Museum, Fort Beausejour, Fort Edward, Port Royal, Fort Anne, and the Grand Pré Museum.
An Aboiteau or valved dike in storage at North Hills Museum.

An Aboiteau in storage at North Hills Museum.

Most of all, a lot of the places we did end up visiting were not planned. Some of the sites we came upon accidentally after speaking with locals and site staff, some we learned about from the local newspapers, and some we came upon accidentally during our travels. The graveyard at Ste. Anne Catholic Church is one example of an accidental find, where we took numerous photos of gravestones; and the North Hill Museum where we found the aboiteau is another.

Port Royal

The interior courtyard of the fort at Port Royal.

Two sites in particular that proved to be particularly enjoyable were Fort Anne’s Graveyard Tour (you can see a photo of my kids listening to the presentation in the revolving images on this site) and Port Royal. The tour guide at Fort Anne was Alan Melanson and his brother was one of the guides at Port Royal. They turned out to be our Melanson kin, descending from two brothers who were sons of the original Huguenot immigrant Pierre ‘dit Laverdure’ Melanson.

We enjoyed the experience so much, we now discuss the possibility (more of a pipe dream) of traveling to Great Britain and Europe to conduct research into our British and Welsh ancestors, and the original French ancestors of the Huguenots who emigrated to Acadia.

The bottom line.

I find the convenience and lower cost of researching via the internet has a hidden cost, that of missing out on personally experiencing the sites, history and unexpected finds of conducting on-site family tree research.