In an effort to further my chance of making matches through Ancestry DNA, over the past week I have been expanding my Grénier lines downward from siblings of my Grénier ancestors. I don’t like leaving anything to chance, so I would rather do the research myself, properly, then rely on somebody else having made the right connections for their own trees. French-Canadian researchers are blessed with the availability online of Parish Records from Quebec; but for researchers unfamiliar with their structured format and/or unable to interpret the old handwriting, these records can be confusing, especially with the quirky French numbering and naming. This confusion often leads beginning researchers to make improper connections because of their lack of understanding these records.

In conducting this research I came across an interesting marriage record for Francois Henn. Francois was the husband of one Susanne Grenier, child of Francois Peter Grénier, my 3rd great-grandfather. Susanne was the 3rd of six children born to Francois and his first wife Marie Louise Carrier. Francois would have an additional 14 children through his third wife, Catherine Boutin dite Cardinal. He and his son, Moses (my 2nd gr-grandfather) is the reason I call this side of the family my “rabbit branch.” 1Moses would have 19 children by his two wives. It will be interesting as I research these collateral lines how many grandchildren each of these men ...continue Susanne was baptized 20 May 1810 in the Parish church of Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie, L’Acadie St. Jean, Québec, Canada, the day after her birth. At the age of 16, she would marry Francois at Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie on 08 Nov 1826. This marriage would be blessed with three children before Susanne would die on 2 Dec 1834 and be buried the following day in the parish cemetery of Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie.

Upon Susanne’s death, Francois would find himself with 2 young children and a baby. It’s not surprising then that he would marry a second time less then one year from the death of his first wife. It’s this marriage which has me intrigued beyond my normal “Yes! Another record found!”

Source of Marriage Record for Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–]

“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-28000-10724-86?cc=1321742 : accessed 13 February 2016), L’Acadie > Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1830-1836 > image 338 of 362 > Mariage 46, Francois Henn + Marguerite Anomine; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).

Transcription of Marriage Record for Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–]

M 46
Francois Henn + Marguerite Illégitim Anonime

Le vingt quatre Novembre mil huit ant trente
cinq, Apres la publication de trois bans de
marriage faite au prône de la messe
paroissiale dans cette Eplise Dimanche le
yuinize duprésent et les deux precedents
Eartre Francois Henn Journalier fils majeur
De Christien Henn et de Monique Celleses[?]
Pérect mére de cette Paraisse d’une part: et
Marguerite aussi de cette paroisse d’ autre parts
Ne s’étant découvert aucun empêchement
Au dit Mariage Naus prêtre soussigné avons
reçu leur mutuel consentement de marriage
et leur avons donné la bénédiction nuptiate
Selon les régres de notre mére la Ste Eglise
De Francois Dubé soussigné de Pierre
Ménard et du côte de l’ Epouse de Charles Dubé
Et de Jean Cardinal qui ainvi que lesépau
N’ont su signer.

Francois Dubé

Joseph Crevier, prêtre

Translation of Marriage Record for Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–]

Marriage 46, Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–], illegitimate

The 24 November 1835, after the publication of three banns, wedding made from the pulpit of the mass in this parish, [?] Sunday [?] of this and the two previous, [?] Francois Henn adult son of Christien Henn and Monique Celle [?] mother that appear one part: and Marguerite also of this parish on the other parts. Having found no impediment to the Marriage, we, the undersigned priest has received their mutual consent of wedding and gave them the blessing nuptials according to our mother the Holy Church. Francois Dubé undersigned Pierre Ménard and Côte wife of Charles Dubé and Jean Cardinal, who [?] that [?] are unable to sign.

Francois Dubé

Joseph Crevier, Priest

Extraction of Marriage Record for Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–]

Date: 24 Nov 1835
Location: Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie Parish in L’Acadie St. Jean, Québec, Canada

Groom: Francois Henn
Father of Groom: Christien Henn
Mother of Groom: Monique Celle

Bride: Marguerite
Father of Bride:
Mother of Bride:
Note: Marguerite is listed as illegitimate, which would indicate her parents were unmarried at her birth, and remained unmarried.

Witnesses:

Francois Dubé (signed)
Pierre Ménard
[–?–] Côte , wife of Charles Dubé
Jean Cardinal
Note: Witnesses become doubly important considering the parents of Marguerite were not married. Did either one witness the marriage?

Analysis of Marriage Record for Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–]

The marriage record for Francois and Marguerite is relatively easy to read, minus a couple of words which appear to be superfluous to the genealogical content. Within the marriage record itself there is no mention of Marguerite’s parents or last name… she is simply referred to as “Marguerite.” Alongside the record, however, appears the addition of two words. One can clearly be made out and that is Anonime which would appear to be a phonetic misspelling of Anonyme, the French word for anonymous. The other is less clear but appears to be illégitim a misspelling of illégitime. This is buttressed by looking at the index created for the records where it clearly states that Marguerite is illégitime. 2“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch ...continue

Marguerite illégitime

Clipping from index which clearly states that Marguerite was Illégitime

A person is declared illegitimate in Catholic Registers if at the time of baptism the child’s parents were not properly married by the Church. If the child’s parents were later married, the Illégitime declaration would go away, and the child would be declared as a legitimate child of those parents. We can use this then with Marguerite to reflect that it is apparent her parents never married, as she still retained the moniker of Illégitime at her marriage.

Plan of Approach:

I can see several methods by which I may approach solving this brick wall:

  1. Search, record and analyze each baptism record of an illegitimate Marguerite found in the Parish Registers for Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie during the years of 1800-1820.
  2. Attempt to reconstruct the life of each Marguerite to avoid an incorrect identification. I can use the marriage and death records to assist me with this task.
  3. Identify and research familial connections for each of the witnesses to the marriage of Francois and Marguerite.

Have I missed any? If you can think of another approach to this puzzle then please post a comment below!

In part 2 of this article I will take a look at the illegitimate baptisms of Marguerite’s at Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie and develop a starting list of possible matches for my Marguerite.

Citations:   [ + ]

1. Moses would have 19 children by his two wives. It will be interesting as I research these collateral lines how many grandchildren each of these men would eventually have.
2. “Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-27999-2970-2?cc=1321742 : accessed 16 February 2016), L’Acadie > Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie > Index 1784-1876 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1784-1795 > image 100 of 521; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).