Tag: Acadian

Debate about numbers, percentages and odds in genealogy fascinates.

Debate about numbers, percentages and odds in genealogy fascinates.

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inbreedingThere will always be debate about numbers, percentages and odds in genealogy.

I am so lucky that we have such a wide range of ancestries and national origins in my husband’s and my family trees. Those who have read my posts before are already well aware that our ancestries branch off from four (or five) distinct groups, and marriage between these groups is rare.

The groups containing our ancestries are:

MY ANCESTRY

  • Acadians

French Huguenots escaping religious persecution in France in the mid to late 17th century relocated to the Atlantic coast of Canada and the United States, giving birth to the Acadian and Cajun cultures.

  • French Canadians

You would think, since the origins of French Canadians are essentially the same as the Acadians, there would be more intermarriage between the two, but I have found very few connections between the two groups in our family tree – at least so far. Most French Canadians descended from French explorers and pioneers involved in the fur trade and colonizing what is now part of Ontario and Quebec, although Acadians did find their way up the St. Lawrence River after the great expulsion (grand dérangement) of the French settlers by the British colonists.

MARK’S ANCESTRY

  • Scandinavian

Although the majority of the ancestry of my husband on his mother’s side is Swedish, the other Scandinavian nations and cultures are represented as well.

  • Welsh Quaker

Mark’s ancestry on his father’s side originates from Welsh immigrants who were also escaping religious persecution for their puritan beliefs at the hands of the Welsh and British nobility and clergy.

  • British Royalty and Nobility

The interesting point to make here is that Mark’s connections to British royalty and nobility occur through his Welsh Quaker ancestry.

I decided to touch on this subject after reading the post on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter entitled, “Man Traces Ancestry to 1st English King – So What?.”

Mathematically, Dick Eastman’s calculations of the numbers of ancestors and/or descendants in a family based upon an average number and length of generations, as well as an average number of children in families appear to make sense. However, there are so many variables affecting the numbers, that it is almost impossible to make accurate estimations, much less calculations.

These variables include:

  1. Individuals who remained single and bore no children.
  2. Individuals who died young and were never married, much less had children.
  3. Mass deaths due to war, disease and poverty wiping out most or all of a generation or two.
  4. Variations in sizes of families as influenced by tradition or custom, health and fertility, relationships, economics, etc.

One major point made by Dick is his belief that everyone can eventually trace their ancestries back to royalty, but by my experience, this appears to be flawed.

As illustrated in the diverse groups outlined above in our ancestries, we originate from several unique national, ethnic, and socio-economic groups. Examining our family tree makes it apparent that intermarriage between these groups was almost impossible due to geography, economics, politics and custom. Most people, no matter where they were from or how wealthy and socially prominent they were, usually married within their own group.

The interesting point illustrated by our ancestry is that although my husband’s and my ancestries are quite separate and rarely intermarried, the fact that he and I married and had our two children now combines our ancestries for all future generations. Therefore, it’s easy to assume that intermarriage occurred (and will occur) much more as the world became smaller through technology, multi-culturalism, etc., which are more modern phenomena of the last hundred years or so.

In previous posts, I touched on this subject as it relates to our ancestry and evolving cultural methods of managing relationships and marriages to ensure as little inbreeding as possible. These posts are “The Science of Husbandry on a Human Scale” and “Ingenius incest prevention app created by University of Iceland students.

I must thank Dick Eastman as his is one of the few blogs I do read that routinely challenge my thinking and assumptions. I like that.

photo credit: wonker via photopin cc


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How can you tell we’re from French Canadian roots? We make tourtière at Christmas!

How can you tell we’re from French Canadian roots? We make tourtière at Christmas!

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The tourtière I grew up with was different from the traditional tourtière at Christmas made in French Canadian households.

I’m not sure whether it originated from my father’s Québecois side or my mother’s Acadian side, but I’ve never tasted another tourtière I liked better. (I know, everyone says that.)

I suspect it’s from my mother’s Acadian roots as she always made it and it is so simple, it is brilliant. No fancy spices, just the basics as I would expect from an agricultural culture with only a small variety of ingredients and spices available.

Our tourtière is made with:

  • 1 part each: ground lean veal, pork, and beef (the most delicious flavor mix).

  • Onion to taste.

  • Salt

  • Pepper.

  • No-fail pastry using lard (recipe available on most lard or shortening containers).

  • Note: It’s important to scoop both meat mixture and juices together when filling the pie shells for a moist pie.

I can remember loving it with ketchup on top as a kid, just like my dad did. As an adult though, I prefer it plain with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts served on the side.

Every year my mother made and froze a couple dozen tourtière for our own holiday meals and to give away as gifts to friends and family.

I also made them in quantities once in a while and I must say that although mine never measured up to my mother’s, I like to think (and my family says) they came close.

photo credit: KennethMoyle via photopin cc


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Genealogy: Children learn about their ethnicity, history and culture.

Genealogy: Children learn about their ethnicity, history and culture.

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Genealogy is an ideal way for children to learn about their ethnicity, history and culture.

 

By researching their own ancestry, they will learn about the times, locations, circumstances and eras in which their ancestors lived.

 

A nomad yearns for roots.

 

archaeology, genealogy and science teach about our past and history.I was a military ‘brat’.

There’s no malice or insult intended in this word as it was the way we did and still do refer to ourselves.

As a result of living in a military family, we relocated frequently and were not able to get to know our extended family.

What a surprise it was to learn how much a part of Canadian history both my mother’s and father’s branches were.

 

Acadian ancestry.

 

As I’ve posted about several times in the past, my mother comes from the Melanson family.

Original Acadian settlers, they came over on ships from France in the 17th century.

They used their knowledge of agriculture to make lives for themselves in the Atlantic provinces and a few even married and had families with MiqM’aq Indians.

 

Métis ancestry.

 

My father’s family were original French settlers who proceeded further along the St. Lawrence River into Quebec.

His direct line descends from Abenaki Chief Roch Abenaki Manitouabeouich and his children.

They were his son Étienne whose daughter married a French settler, and Roch’s daughter, Marie Olivier Sylvestre Pigarouic, who also married a French settler.

 

Welsh Quakers.

 

My husband’s paternal branch originates from Welsh Quaker settlers, pioneers of the New World in Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, etc.

 

Swedish ancestry.

 

Mark’s maternal branch were Swedish immigrants who came to the United States in the late 19th century.

They subsequently took advantage of land offers in Canada for settlers and relocated to Saskatchewan to farm in the early 20th century.

 

Genealogy: a love of our own history.

 

Prior to my taking up genealogy, my historical knowledge comprised only of what I learned in school or picked up from television.

Let’s face it, most of us spent our youth watching ‘entertaining’ shows and not ‘historical’ or ‘educational’ shows.

As I’ve progressed through documenting our genealogy, it has become a regular point of discussion in our household.

I frequently tell Mark and the kids about my latest discovery, whether it be about honor, scandal, valour, tragedy, wealth or poverty. Our family through history has experienced all of these.

I’ve also found common ground when things come up in every day conversation or on television related to someone we are related to.

Whether direct or distant, I mention the connection and how it affected history and our family. It has become a natural part of our conversation.

The most recent story that related to our genealogy was that of the man who killed Richard III. He was Rhys ap Thomas, a distant ancestor to Mark and our children.

This followed earlier excitement about the discovery of the remains of Richard III in a Leicester parking lot – and his re-interment.

 

Families take up arms.

 

It’s interesting to note that some of my husband’s Welsh and British ancestors included some who participated in the expulsion of the Acadians in order to claim the land they had worked so hard to cultivate.

These same ancestors also included some who took up arms against the French in the French and Indian Wars. They also fought against upper and lower Canada (and some Acadians) in the War of 1812.

 

A lasting legacy.

 

Children learn about their ethnicity, history and culture.
By researching their own genealogy, children learn about their ethnicity, history and culture – and learn that we’re all immigrants in one way or more.

Although I wondered for a while if any of what I was relating to my kids was having an affect on their knowledge and understanding, it soon became apparent it was.

They both chose their own ancestral cultures for school social studies and history projects.

It was rewarding to see how much more personal these projects became because they were about their own family history.

Over twenty years of research have gone into the invaluable genealogy I now have to pass on to them.

This legacy includes almost forgotten photographs; documents such as military records and war diaries that provide deep and profound  explanations of events that led to deaths and injuries; a library of published materials and books about various aspects of our families’ histories; as well as some artifacts.

All of this material is organized, sourced and detailed in my extensive database.

I intend to give them copies of everything, but my one hope is that one or both of them will carry on to research further as more and more information, documents, and photos became available over time.

(Images at top right: War of 1812: clockwise, from top: damage to the US Capitol building after the Burning of Washington; mortally wounded Isaac Brock spurs his troops on at the Battle of Queenston Heights; USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere; death of Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames; Andrew Jackson leads the defence at the Battle of New Orleans.)

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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.

 

 


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