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Gregoire Deblois: Our First Gregoire in the New World

View of Chateau-Richer and the Île d’ Orléans, Québec (1787) by Thomas Davies french roots Gregoire Deblois was born in the small village of Champagne-Mouton, France to Francois Deblois and Marguerite Papelong. The year of his birth, 1632, brought welcome peace after decades of tension between the Huguenots (French Protestants) and Catholic King Louis XIII, which culminated in the Siege of La Rochelle, a nearby shipping port. french Dit Names As the progenitor of our Gregoire family in North America,...

Eliza (Sherlock) Duffy: A Young Mothers Determination

“In Heaven a noble work was done when God gave man a Mother”. -old Irish proverb Stories of the valor of frontier men during America’s colonization are fairly common. However, the achievements of frontier women are seldom heard. As a businesswoman and mother, Eliza Duffy’s accomplishments, during a time when a woman’s identity was derived entirely through their spouse, were extraordinary. coming to America Elizabeth “Eliza” Sherlock, was born April 27, 1821, to Thomas and Hannorah (White) Sherlock of Kings...

Mary (Haselhaugen/Larson) Ove: A Compendium of Cookery

Food and family heritage One of the most precious objects I inherited from my mom’s side of the family is a well-worn recipe book from 1890, “The Compendium of Cookery and Reliable Recipes” which originally belonged to my second great-grandmother, Mary (Haselhaugen/Larson) Ove. Anyone who has visited my house knows how much I love to cook for family and friends, so this cookbook is truly a treasure to me. Mary was the daughter of Lars, “The Husmann”, who I recently wrote...

Lars Gulbrandson Haselhaugen: The Husmann

“Come let’s go to America”. The way she said it sounded like America was just behind the barn. With two of his daughters married and already living in America it split up his family. Your children should all live around you so you wouldn’t be alone in your old age but the way it looks now, he was sadly thinking, they would all leave some day. To be with them, would he have to leave Norway where his roots were...

Filles du Roi (Daughters of the King): Our French Canadian Matriarchs

“Rester, c’est exister; mais voyager, cest vivre.” “To stay is to exist; to travel is to live.” -Gustave Nadaud Between 1663 and 1673, some 770 young women arrived in the colony of New France with a mandate to marry and populate the land for France. These women, who came to be called the Filles du Roi (Daughters of the King), originated primarily from respectable poor families or orphanages. When offered the chance at a better life, they embraced the opportunity and became the mothers...

The Eby Migration: A Quest for Religious Freedom

We ask you Holy Father, to show your grace and mercy to us all, throughout the whole wide world. Graciously draw us together with your blessing, care, and protection. Do not let division and disunity come among us. -Excerpt from Die Ernst­hafte Christien­pflicht (Prayer Book for Earnest Christians), translated by Leonard Gross Theodorus “Durst” eby Durst Eby sat in prayerful contemplation. The year was 1704 and he was mourning the recent death of his lovely wife, Margaret. A peaceful man, Durst’s only desire was...

Siste Lavoy: Les Rébel

In the late hours of October 12th, 1837, Siste Lavoy lay hiding in the woods near the western shore of Lake Champlain, New York, in fear for his life. Just hours before he had taken up arms as a Patriote in the Canadian Rebellion and was now wanted by English soldiers. How had this simple farmer with a wife and three children come to this? Siste’s path to becoming one of Les Rébels of the Patriote movement began years earlier...