Writing their Story

Marriage record of Martin Prevost and Marie Olivier, page 1

Grandma’s Grandma was an Indian

Grandma’s Grandma was an Indian. Or was it Grandma’s Great-Grandma? That is the legend that was passed down to me from my father, and to him by his mother. While the tribe and details changed depending on who I talked to in the family – some had grandma’s grandma as a full-blood, one cousin claimed we descended from Choctaw Indians – the general theme rang true, our recent family believed and passed down that an ancestor of Della Phyllis Grenier, my grandmother, was an Indian.

Louis Hébert monument. Photo by Jean Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0

Louis Hébert, the first European settler of Quebec

In Quebec City, the Louis Hébert Monument stands in the corner of the garden of the Hôtel-de-Ville. The work of Canadian sculptor, Alfred Laliberté, the statue represents Louis Hébert, the first European settler of Canada, standing on the plinth, offering to God the first sheaf of wheat harvested on Canadian soil. At the base of …

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52 ancestors in 52 weeks

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Certified genealogist, Amy Johnson Crow, created a program by which she encourages genealogists to write about 52 ancestors each week over the whole year. Since I was making a renewed effort to actually put down on paper all the stories my 40 years + research has accumulated, I thought in 2021 that I would take on her tasks. Why, since I was already planning to write anyway? I am hoping for ideas that trigger themes for me to adapt each week. I likely will write many more than the 52 articles on 52 ancestors needed to complete the year.

Cape Porpoise, Kennebunk hand painted photograph by Charles Henry Sawyer

The Durrell Family of Cape Porpoise

Philip Durrell, the progenitor of the Durrell family of Maine and New Hampshire, immigrated from Guernsey, according to family tradition, and first appears in New England records on 20 Feb 1689/90, when his mark was affixed to a New Hampshire province petition. While his original settlement was in Exeter, Philip would remove to Porpoise cape in 1700. Philip remained but a short time at Cape Porpoise. The French and their Native allies attacked the settlements of present day Maine over a six day period starting on August 10, 1703. “Cape Porpoise, being inhabitated by a few unshielded fisherman, was wholly laid desolate.”

Valentin Brönner

My Great Grandfather Valentin Brönner

I came across an old photograph in my mother’s album of old family photographs which depicted my great-grandfather, Valentin Brönner, and several of his fellow soldiers posed in a unusual manner. Considering the time frame that this occurred (1918) and the fact that Germany would shortly surrender, moral should have been low on the German side, yet it was good to see grown men, in the hardest of times, improvising for the camera lens in a comedic fashion. P.S. My great-grandfather is the one holding the pitchfork!

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