Travelling Back in Time

Have you ever done some research on your genealogy? Lately, I’ve been working on such a project for one of my school assignments. It took a while before the fire started burning, but now I can’t seem to let it go. My father had done some work several years ago and managed to go back to the 1600s in the Gauthier (Gonthier ?) lineage in France (Poitou). So, with all that work done, I wondered how else I could add to this work in progress.

Little did I know that you can access census records and many church registries online. Thanks to an amazing project by the Institut Généalogique Drouin in Québec, many of these have been scanned and are available for viewing. Although it’s time consuming to pore over these records, I find it fascinating when I come up with a “find” and see information about who lived where, when, and with whom. Having purchased a year’s membership with has made the work easier. As I enter information about a person, their service automatically provides links to documents or other people’s tree that may link to the person in question.

Now that my family back home is aware of this little project, they are scanning old photos that I didn’t know existed and send them to me. The stories I am told that go along with these photographs are also interesting. I learned many little details that either were never told to me before, or I just never payed enough attention to retain the information.

When reading these registries and thinking about these people who are my ancestors , all of whom have now passed, it makes me think about the ephemeral quality of life. Looking at the year 1906 written in my great-grandfather’s marriage record (on my mother’s side) reminds me of how, throughout all of 2006, the year was written on documents everywhere, and in a hundred years from now, someone somewhere will be pouring over those records perhaps thinking the same thing.

Here are a couple of old photographs that were sent to me (I have yet to touch them up):

Aldéric Vendette et Yvonne (Lahaie) Vendette

Maternal Great Grandparents

Aldéric et Yvonne Vendette

Wedding photo of my paternal great grandparents

Albert Gauthier and Yvonne Audet, October 18th, 1915

Wedding of Albert Gauthier & Yvonne Audet Oct 18, 1915

Théophile & Marie (Tremblay) Gauthier

Parents of Albert Gauthier

Théophile Gauthier and Marie Tremblay

My Great-Great-Grandparents Rancourt

Damas Rancourt & (?), Parents of Desneiges Rancourt


1 Comment

  1. Liane in TO said,

    March 20, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing Carole! Your family pictures are wonderful. We have a small abum entitled “My first home Ingersol [Ontario] 1912” that my great-grandmother Ethel Conn Kennedy put together. The wonderful thing is that in addition to seeing family resemblances, we still have an amazing number of her furnishings in our home today and the album lets us see how they were originally used. The past is never very far away and those who came before us live on through us. Someone once said that as long as your name is spoken you never really die. Enjoy your continued search, Liane

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