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Grandpre Roots Part 2: Coming to America

Joseph Nazaire Grandpre 1820-1902 Joseph Nazaire Duteau de Grandpre was born in St. Cuthbert, D’Autray, Quebec, the oldest son of Joseph Duteau de Grandpre and Marie “Angele” Dacier Trunet. He was baptized in the St. Cuthbert parish (shown left) on December 16, 1820. Joseph’s 3rd great-grandfather was Charles Duteau, who fled France with his mother Jeanne Perrin in 1658. Their story is told in Grandpre Roots Part 1.  Marriage and Family On February 5, 1844 Joseph married Marie “Adeline” Berard...

The Thanksgiving Bird

As I wait for my fresh, pre-brined turkey to be delivered to my door I decided to check on Thanksgiving turkey recipes in the Compendium of Cookery, a cookbook which was passed down from my second great-grandmother, Maren/Mary (Haselhaugen) Ove. Here are preparation instructions from her 1890 cookbook…for those of you who are brave enough to attempt them....

Honoring Our Family Veterans Part 2: Marvin Leo Gregoire

Marvin Gregoire in his Army Air Force uniform. early years Marvin “Marv” Leo Gregoire was born in Marshall, Minnesota to Robert and Lillian (Grandpre) Gregoire, both of French Canadian descent. For more stories about this French Canadian family click here. Growing up on the Gregoire farm taught Marvin hard work and at the age of 17, he left school for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This New Deal program established by President Roosevelt offered employment to young men who struggled...

Marin Boucher: A Pioneering Percheron Emigrant

Building New France After French explorer, Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Quebec in 1608, Louis XIII, King of France needed craftsmen and other industrious individuals to build, settle, and grow the region. Robert Giffard, Champlain’s ship surgeon, received one of the original land grants from the King in exchange for recruiting settlers. Giffard sailed back to the Perche region of France, his homeland, and began traveling from town to town creating excitement about the opportunities which awaited travelers...

Hans Bürki: A Story of Persecution and Perserverance

Nijmegen (Nimewegen), Holland in 1641 Hans Bürki: Langnau, Switzerland 1710 “For the remembrance of my descendants and of all my fellow believers, I, Hans Bürki, of Langnau, want to relate what happened to me. I had gone to the mountain called Bluttenried (Community of Langnau), in company with my wife and two sons. There a poor man came to us to whom we gave something to eat; this man subsequently went to Harvag to the authorities and told them that...

Samuel Rider: American Pilgrim

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall Nineteen years after the Mayflower’s 1620 arrival in America, Samuel Rider, and his family sailed from England to join the Pilgrims in the Plymouth Colony. By the time Samuel arrived in New England, Plymouth’s population was nearing 600 families. Over the next few decades, Rider would become a prominent name throughout the colony, with several of Samuel’s children and grandchildren marrying the descendants of Mayflower passengers. The early years of samuel rider Samuel Rider...

Johan Peter Steigerwald (Stierwalt): German Craftsman

  Coming to America Johan Peter Steigerwald, known as Peter, was born in 1730 in the Hesse region of Germany and grew up in Floersbach, about 35 miles east of Frankfurt. In 1749 Peter is named on a Hesse Lutheran Parish registry with his father, Johannes (John), as one of the emigrants who left for Pennsylvania. Much like the Swiss Anabaptist movement, the early 1700’s saw large numbers of German Lutherans moving to the English Colonies in search of religious freedom. Johannes...

A May Day Tradition: New York Moving Day

“Never knew the city in such a chaotic state. Every other house seems to be disgorging itself into the street; all the sidewalks are lumbered with bureaus and bedsteads to the utter destruction of their character as thoroughfares, and all the space between the sidewalks is occupied by long processions of carts and wagons and vehicles omnigenous laden with perilous piles of moveables.” -The Diary of Templeton Strong (Cover Photo: May Day in New York, Harper’s Magazine, 1850) Moving Day…packing...

Finding Jacob Ove: Researching Norwegian Ancestors

Jacob Ove (left) with an unidentified person (right) My memories of visiting Great-grandma and Grandpa Conlin while growing up are primarily connected to sweets — namely butterscotch candies and fig newtons. Grandma needed those candies to keep Grandpa sweet…or so she said. When I grew older and began genealogy research there were plenty of stories and information passed down about Grandpa Conlin’s Irish Family and Grandma Conlin’s mother’s Norwegian family, but when it came to her father, I only knew two things:...

John Joseph “JJ” Carroll: Overcoming the Odds

(Illustration above: New York City in 1851)  “What place is this, to which the squalid street conducts us? A kind of square of leprous houses, some of which are attainable only by crazy wooden stairs without. What lies behind this tottering flight of steps?…This is the place; these narrow ways diverging to the right and left, and reeking everywhere with dirt and filth…See how the rotten beams are tumbling down, and how the patched and broken windows seem to scowl...