I hope to share research, information, tips, and a little of my family history with others following the path to greater genealogical awareness. Let the search for enlightenment continue...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Grandma and Grandpa's Barn - Wordless Wednesday

(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) I took this photo of my in-law's barn when we visited back at the beginning of January. My in-laws live in the beautiful Mohawk River Valley in upstate New York.


Other Posts You Might Like:

Not So Wordless Wednesday: View From "Grandmother's House"
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Polka Time!
Tuesday's Tip: A Tale of Two Indexers
Madness Monday: The Stuff We Throw Away, and...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wish You Were Here? - Wordless Wednesday

(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) I posted this photo last spring, but I wanted to post it again given that my Wordless Wednesday theme for the month of January is snow and cold. I'm fascinated by this photo and couldn't leave it out. My dad Henry Shenette, a long-time Navy man, traveled the world over the course of his 20 plus year career in the military. He use to tell me about all the places he visited. I often wished I could visit some of them. Not this one though...


Other Posts You Might Like:

Tombstone Tuesday: Francois Chenette, Civil War Soldier
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: The Valley Forge is Back Again
What's In A Name? (An Ongoing Series): Chenette
Wordless Wednesday: A Good Catch

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Mystery Brides Return - Mystery Monday

(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) I posted the last wedding photo from my mystery collection back in October 2010. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I have a large collection of mystery photos, many of them wedding photos.

Here's the latest couple to appear in our wedding parade. What can I tell you about this lovely bride and groom? Unfortunately not much. My guess is they were members of the Polish community in Worcester, MA. They probably got married at St. Mary's Church (Our Lady of Czestochowa). Given the short dress on the bride, they were probably married sometime in the 1920s.

Please comment if you recognize the happy couple, or take a look at my other mystery photos if you are looking for wedding photos of Polish ancestors who married in Worcester, MA between 1900 and 1930. I'd love to be able to "give the bride away," to a family member who does not have a photo of their ancestor's wedding.


Other Posts You Might Like:

Flu 1918 (Part 1 of 3) - Amanuensis Monday
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Here Come the (Mystery) Brides
Mystery Monday: Another Polish Wedding
Mystery Monday: Yet Another Polish Wedding

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Flu 1918 (Part 3 of 3)

(Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) Where do I go from here? In the Telegram article transcribed in part one of this series, the man I believe to be Aunt Rose's father is listed as John. The family obituaries I have say his name was Joseph. Given previous mistakes I've found in obituaries, I'm still pretty confident that the John in the Telegram article is the Joseph I am looking for. Also given the chaos caused by the flu and the number of people mentioned in the newspaper on a daily basis, including the obits, I'm sure mistakes were common. I still need to verify the information.

I have three spellings of the last name: Chronzak, Choronzak, and Choronozak. Even Aunt Rose and her siblings' obituaries do not agree on the spelling of their parents' surname. I've tried to find the family in the 1910 U.S. Census without luck. I've also had limited success tracking the family in the Worcester city directories. The Telegram article did list that they lived on Meade St. in Worcester. I can go back to the Worcester house directories to see if I can trace them back to 1910. Even if I can't figure out the spelling of their name, I can find a neighbor, search the census for the neighbor, and hopefully find Aunt Rose's family that way.

Now that I know when Aunt Rose's parents were buried I can review earlier issues of the newspaper for obits. I know they were buried at Notre Dame Cemetery in Worcester so I can ask for burial information at the cemetery. Once I have an exact death date, I can go to the Worcester City Hall Clerk's office and get a copy of their death certificates. I've also discovered the names of some of Rose's siblings--Katherine, Stephen, and Sophie. All in all I have quite a bit of information.

If you are interested in reading more about the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, I suggest The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History. There are other fine books out there, but this is the one that I have read. I also recommend the websites listed at the bottom of this post. The website,
The Great Pandemic: the United States in 1918-1919, by the United States Department of Health and Human Services was particularly helpful for outlining the impact of the flu in Massachusetts. It lists the other states as well.

I will post updates on my research as I discover new information.


Links of Interest:
The Great Pandemic: the United States in 1918-1919
Influenza Digital Archive
Pandemic Influenza Storybook: personal recollections from survivors, families, and friendsThe Deadly Virus: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918"Influenza 1918" The American Experience (PBS)


Flu 1918 (Part 1 of 3)
Flu 1918 (Part 2 of 3)


Other Posts You Might Like:

Where They Lived: Every Address Tells A Story
COG 97: Researching "The Coldbrook Tragedy" (Part 1 of 4)
(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: The Kowalewski Family
Postcards From the Edge: Genealogy Road Trippin'

Friday, January 14, 2011

And the Award Goes To...

(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) This is my first time as an iGene Awards presenter, and boy am I excited! As you can see I pulled out one of my best gowns for this red carpet occasion. To heck with Hollywood designer duds and loaned diamond jewelry. I haven't worn this dress since a 1997 community theatre production of Meet Me In St. Louis, so I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to give it another airing. Let's move past the idle self-indulgent awards ceremony banter, the awkward stumbling over the teleprompter, and those unexpected David Niven/Marlon Brando moments, and get on with the show.

Without further ado, I'd like to present the iGene award for Best Documentary. The award goes to...
COG 97: Researching "The Coldbrook Tragedy" (Part 1 of 4) for my series on the Naramore family murders. This local story has fascinated me for several years, and apparently it has fascinated my blog readers as well, providing the second largest number of hits of all time on my blog.

The award for Best Picture goes to...why it's a tie! This has never happened before! The iGene is to be shared between
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: WWI Red Cross Volunteers AND Wordless Wednesday: Happy Mother's Day! My photo of WWI Red Cross volunteers from St. Mary's Polish parish in Worcester, MA was listed in a Red Cross Chat, What We're Reading post and interestingly has more hits, by a wide margin, than any other post on my blog. My Mother's Day post features my all time favorite photo of my mom, a real glamour shot. Ava Gardner has nothing on mom in this beautiful photo taken in the 1940s. Please check it out.

The award for Best Comedy goes to...
What the Dickens, Or How To Blow Up A Duck! A shoo-in winner for sure! Forget all of those heartwarming holiday tales of food, family, and tradition from the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. I invite you to return to Christmas Past, circa 1975, as my mother and I attempt to recreate a Dickensian holiday feast but blow up stuff instead. It's a tale you soon won't forget (no matter how hard you try).

The award for Best Screenplay goes to...
The Stories My Grandmother Told Me! I can see the cast already. Back in the 1980s people use to confuse me with actress Emma Samms all the time. No really. Well, Emma Samms with a bad perm. Emma is the obvious choice to play my 2011 self. In the flashback sequence to my younger self, I would choose Selena Gomez, because I think she's just adorable. Betty White would play my grandmother. Why Betty White? Because she's everywhere these days. I can already hear her character saying to my character, "Do you really like your hair like that?" Rounding out the cast: Colin Firth and Natasha Kinski as the Count and Countess Glinka, and Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska as my great-grandparents Antoni and Ewa. I know, I know. Johnny Depp is a little old to play my great-grandfather opposite Mia, but it's my movie. Believe me, any movie I cast is going to have Colin Firth and Johnny Depp. 'Nuf said.

The award for Best Biography goes to...
Meditation: The Strength of Ordinary Women, one of my all time favorite posts! I will admit to being especially proud of this two time winner. This particular post was also selected by iGene host Jasia as the featured post for the 94th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. Well, all I can say is you like me. You really like me!

Now a brief thank you. I'd like to say thank you to iGene host Jasia at Creative Gene and the entire staff at the Carnival of Genealogy for encouraging my work, the Academy (of Genealogists and Family Historians), my friends at the FFC or the Frustrated Footnote Committee (I promise to try try harder. Thanks for the free copy of EE! This one's for you!), my family (especially my long-suffering husband for putting up with my rather odd sense of humor, often at his expense and my son for being darn cute. Kisses from Mommy, and don't stay up too late, son.), all the ancestor's I've found (especially the 583 I've already input into my Family Tree Maker software.), all the ancestors I haven't found (We can do it the hard way, or we can do it the easy way. I WILL find you. Think about that.) and to all of the little people, diligently scanning and indexing records everywhere, I thank you.

Well, this concludes the 2011 edition of the iGene Awards at Heritage Zen. Thank you all. Goodnight.

THE FINE PRINT: In an effort of full disclosure I feel it is my duty to disclose the sad truth that I will never fit into this dress again. Never. I also apologize to my singing partner from Meet Me In St. Louis. I rather unceremoniously cropped his picture out of this photo, a classic case of someone's best work ending up on the cutting room floor. Sorry, but that's showbiz...


Other Posts You Might Like or It Was An Honor Just To Be Nominated:

Where They Lived: Every Address Tells a Story
Reflecting on My American Experience This Thanksgiving
A Slice of Life: Confessions of a Lunch Box Trader
A Matter of Habit: Solving a Mystery

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Flu 1918 (Part 2 of 3)

(Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) Last year my family and I got lucky. We got the flu. Twice. We got the H1N1 in October 2009 and the seasonal flu in February 2010. By the time the H1N1 flu vaccine was available in town, two months had passed since the H1N1 hit our area.

At one point it seemed like everyone was sick. Parents were sick. Kids were sick. Sick parents ended up in the emergency room with sick kids. One mom I know, a mother of three, brought her eight-year-old and her baby to the emergency room. The baby had pneumonia. Another mom of three brought two boys to the emergency room. The older one was admitted with pneumonia. If misery loves company, it sure loves a crowd.

In our case my son came down with the flu right before Halloween. He was out of school for about a week, but finally seemed to get better. Two days after returning to school he was sick again. His case of the flu followed the classic pattern all the health professionals tell you to watch out for--the ill person gets better only to worsen again. A bacterial infection had set in.

What does all of this have to do with the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918? A lot. Imagine a time before antibiotics, before easy access to health care, and before health insurance was available to cover medical costs. As I read the Telegram article about the impact of the flu pandemic on the Polish community in Worcester, the story hit home with me. How many families suffered situations similar to my Aunt Rose?

Thankfully the virulent strain of the flu that killed so many in 1918 and 1919 has not been seen since. What was strange about that particular flu was the intensity with which it hit. People sickened and sometimes died within hours of first showing symptoms. The usual segments of the population most susceptible to the flu--the very young and the very old--were not as affected as young and middle aged adults. People like me.

If my grandmother picked up the Worcester Telegram on October 1, 1918, these are the headlines she would have read. Consider the paper was only fourteen pages in its entirety that day.


Winchendon Has 26 New Epidemic Cases

Hardwick Schools Are Ordered to Be Closed

SHREWSBURY LIBRARY IS CLOSED BY THE TRUSTEES

Rochdale Pupils Are On Epidemic Vacation

Churches And Schools Are Closed In Dana

Influenza Closes Oxford Mill

Pneumonia Takes Off Two At Northbridge

Millbury Soldier Dies in Camp

EMERGENCY HOSPITAL TO BE READY LATER PART OF WEEK

Double Crew Working Day And Night To Convert Greendale Dance Hall of Agricultural Society Into Hospital

Southbridge Acts As A Precaution

Massachusetts Gaining In Fight Against The Influenza Epidemic

Marlboro Reports 16 New Cases

Needed Drugs Arrive In Clinton

Second Hospital Will Be Opened

Illness of Staff Leaves Mayor Holmes Alone

Marlboro Sends 1000 Gauze Masks to Boston

Practical Healthy Women Are Needed
[by the Red Cross]

and ironically

Influenza Epidemic Does Not Interfere With Work Of Draft Boards


Fourteen pages. Even with the war raging in Europe, flu coverage clearly trumped war coverage. I didn't list the headlines that refer to specific people dying of the flu or pneumonia. There were also 58 obituaries listed that day. Imagine similar headlines and coverage in Boston, or New York, or San Francisco. Or your town.

Imagine the enormity of it.



Flu 1918 (Part 1 of 3)
Flu 1918 (Part 3 of 3)


Other Posts You Might Like:

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: WWI Red Cross Volunteers
Veteran's Day: The Life of a Doughboy, 1918
The Stories My Grandmother Told Me
Meditation: The Strength of Ordinary Women

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where I Grew Up - Wordless Wednesday

(Original Images and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) These photos were taken about 1950. This is the house where I grew up in Worcester, MA. It was built about 1906. My grandparents bought the house in 1940, and it remained in the family until 1979.

I loved this house. It had a coal cellar and a root cellar in the basement and old (non-operational) gas jets which were used for lighting when the house was built. Ancient history to a ten-year-old in the 1970s.

My grandmother, Antonina (Bulak) Szerejko and dog friend.


Other Posts You Might Like:

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: My Grandmother in Costume
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: A Couple of Swells
The Stories My Grandmother Told Me
A Slice of Life: Confessions of a Lunchbox Trader

Monday, January 10, 2011

Flu 1918 (Part 1 of 3) - Amanuensis Monday

(Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette)

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Thanks to John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch for providing the idea for Amanuensis Monday.

Have you ever had one of those surprising moments when you found something, bing boom, that you thought was going to take forever? Something that rightly SHOULD have taken forever, but it didn't? I wasn't even looking for the information I found the day I found it. Genealogical serendipity. Most of the time--when I'm looking for Szerejko, or Kowalewski, or Radziewicz, or in this particular case Choronzak--that just doesn't happen.

Last spring I decided to try to find a little information on my "Aunt" Rose. Aunt Rose was actually my grandmother's adopted sister. My grandmother and my mother told me that Aunt Rose was taken in by my great-grandparents, Antoni and Ewa (Kowalewska) Bulak, when Rose's parents both died of the flu during the 1918 influenza pandemic. The story goes that Aunt Rose's parents died within two days of one another and left several children behind. The children were (using my mother's words) "farmed out" to other members of the Polish community of St. Mary's parish in Worcester, MA to be taken care of.

When I started this search back last June all the information I had to go on was that Rose's maiden name was Chronzak or Choronzak. According to the census, I did find that Rose was living with my great-grandparents in 1920. While I was at the Worcester Public Library I checked the Worcester city directories hoping to get lucky and find death dates listed with the family's 1919 entry. No such luck. Next I asked a librarian if there were any Worcester statistics/information for flu deaths from the 1918 pandemic publicly available. No luck again. So much for the easy way.

From my research on the flu I knew that most deaths, at least in my geographical area, occurred during the fall of 1918. I decided to visually scan the microfilm of the Worcester Telegram for obituaries related to the flu starting in late September when the flu really started to take hold. I reviewed one issue of the daily paper. There were over fifty obituaries listed for that day alone! That trip to the library put the enormity of the flu pandemic in perspective for me. I suddenly realised this project was going to be tougher than I originally thought. Shortly after my library visit my family and I left for California for a good part of the summer. When we got back I moved on to other research.

Last Thursday I went to the library to do some research for a couple of hours. I had several projects in mind, and one of them was to look at the October 1918 issues of the Worcester Telegram. I thought I'd start systematically reviewing the microfilm starting with the October 1, 1918 issue. I loaded my microfilm onto the reader and reviewed the first issue on the roll. This is what I found on page 6:

Worcester Daily Telegram, Tuesday October 1, 1918, p. 6.POLISH PARISH MUCH AFFECTED BY GRIP
The spanish influenza epidemic has affected St. Marys Polish parish to a considerable extent. Half the parish members are confined to bed, according to report made late last night, by the rector, Boleslaus A. Bojanowski, who also said there were at least 600 church people with the malady.

He and Rev. Edmund Kempski, his assistant at the church, have been busy the past few days, administering the last rites of the Catholic church.

There have been quite a number of deaths the past week. One of the saddest cases was that of Mr. and Mrs. John Choronozak, Meade street, both buried Sunday afternoon in Notre Dame cemetery. The couple had been ill but a few days and they leave seven orphans, the eldest: 14 years of age. Three of the children are suffering with the "flu" in city hospital while the remaining four are cared for temporarily by friends of the family.

Much sympathy is extended Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Mendys and family, Richland street. The couple and three children are in a bad condition, all confined to their beds at the family home. They had called in physicians without avail. A man neighbor visited the home yesterday on business when he learned of the plight and he notified Rev. Fr. Bojanowski who, in turn secured a physician and other assistance.

There is no one to give permanent care, however, and both Mr. and Mrs. Mendys were in a critical state, last night having received the last rites of the church.

Rev. Fr. Bojanowski officiated at the funeral service of Aleck Sielski, 46 years old, another victim of the influenza, yesterday morning. He leaves a wife unable to work, and daughter, about 15 years old.

Another requiem mass will be celebrated this morning at 8:30 o'clock at the funeral of Constantin Skorodske, 44 years of age, who has been ill a week, and succumbed of pneumonia. He leaves a wife and five children.

There are many, many cases, Rev. Fr. Bojanowski said, where the parents and all the children are sick. Usually the Polish people have large families, and the scarcity of nurses has made it very hard on these households, thereby spreading the infection, it was said.


Flu 1918 (Part 2 of 3)
Flu 1918 (Part 3 of 3)


Other Posts You Might Like:

The Stories My Grandmother Told Me

A Matter of Habit: Solving a Mystery
Amanuensis Monday: Clairvoyants and Distractions
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Here Come the (Mystery) Brides...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside - Wordless Wednesday

(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) I've decided to take Apple's suggestion to heart and use the daily theme in the second part of my post title. This is a nice, tidy way to start the new year off fresh. Last year I used three different titles for Wordless Wednesday--Wordless Wednesday, Not So Wordless Wednesday, and (Almost) Wordless Wednesday. This year I've decided to simplify things and use the tag Wordless Wednesday, not as part of the title but for the purpose of being picked up by Geneabloggers. Some weeks will be "wordier" Wordless Wednesdays than others. I'm sure you all will figure it out. Frankly, my husband is fascinated that I attempt to participate in anything that involves wordlessness.

This month's Wordless Wednesday theme is cold and snow. I love this photo of my mom, Christine (Szerejko) Shenette, and my grandfather, Adolf Szerejko. My guess is it was taken about 1950. This particular First National grocery store was located on West Boylston St. in Worcester, MA, down the street where I grew up. We only had one car for a while when I was a kid, and I remember walking down the street with my mom to shop at this store. I think the First National closed this location sometime in the mid to late 1960s. Mom looks so "pulled together" for a trip to the grocery store doesn't she? Handbag, gloves, fur. I always wear my gloves and fur when I go to Target. Don't you?


Other Posts You Might Like:

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: WWI Red Cross Volunteers
Wordless Wednesday: Polka Time!
Not So Wordless Wednesday: Mule Train Into the Grand Canyon
What's In a Name? (An Ongoing Series): Kowalewski

Monday, January 3, 2011

Circus Girls are "Normal" - Amanuensis Monday

(Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette)

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Thanks to John Newmark at
Transylvanian Dutch for providing the idea for Amanuensis Monday.

One of my blogging resolutions for the new year is to participate in Amanuensis Monday several times a month. I plan to alternate old articles from local Worcester, MA newspapers on some Mondays and more serious transcriptions of family articles, letters, and whatnot on other Mondays. I'd also like to take advantage of Mystery Monday at least once a month to post some of the photos in my mystery collection.

Sometimes it's so easy to get distracted. I was doing some research in the Worcester Telegram and came upon this article. How could you not stop to read this one? Do you get a sense from the title that circus girls perhaps had a "bad rep" back in 1918? I do too. They might walk the tightrope, fly with the greatest of ease, and spin by their hair during the show, but somehow it's comforting to know they go home to runny nosed kids and dirty dishes just like the rest of us.


Worcester Daily Telegram. Thursday, June 6, 1918 p. 9.

CIRCUS GIRLS NO DIFFERENT FROM OTHER NORMAL WOMEN


Men and women who watch the Barnum & Bailey circus parade when the sun creates a natural light around the faces of the girls who ride on spangled horses, often are heard to remark the freshness of the riders and the lack of cosmetics.

The modern circus girl is interesting because for many years girls who traveled with a show were considered to be hardened creatures of uncertain morals. That was the nomadic day of the tented entertainment. When the Barnum & Bailey circus comes to Worcester, June 14, there will be several hundred girls with the show. Many of the so-called girls are married women with young daughters and sons, who are also with the circus and the ordinary, healthy girls who live in comfortable, refined homes, except that the life of the circus girl is in the open, where she has a better opportunity to develop both physically and mentally.

Life behind the red curtain, which separates the dressing rooms from the rest of the circus is not unlike that of a big family camp. Here the women do their sewing, their laundry, their reading and writing and the instructing of their young children.



Other Posts You Might Like:

Amanuensis Monday: Clairvoyants and Distractions
Amanuensis Monday: Frank L. Naramore Obituary
Tuesday's Tip: A Tale of Two Indexers
The Stories My Grandmother Told Me

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Ancestor Approved Award

(Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) Before Christmas I was honored to receive the Ancestor Approved award from Susan at Nolichucky Roots, a blogger whose work I greatly admire. The Ancestor Approved award was started by Leslie Ann at Ancestors Live Here, and upon accepting the award Leslie requests that recipients "...list ten things you have learned about any of your ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlightened you and pass it along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud."

1. I was surprised to discover my great-grandfather Francois Chenette Sr. was a Civil War soldier. He was 50 years old at the time of his enlistment. He and his 18 year old son Francois Jr. enlisted on the same day. Francois Sr. was wounded at Cold Harbor, but survived the war. Francois Jr. died of disease at the age of 19 and is buried in Winchester National Cemetery in Winchester, VA.

2. I am surprised and fascinated that my great-grandfather Francois Chenette, Sr. was born in 1813, had four wives, and was the father of 24 children. My grandfather Francois Hormidas (Can you see a naming pattern emerging here?) was born in 1873. His mother, my great-grandmother was Lucie (Touchette) Chenette, my great-grandfather's fourth wife.

3. I am humbled by my immigrant ancestors who were willing to leave their old life and everything and everyone they knew behind in Poland, to make a new and better life for themselves in the United States. I am especially humbled by my great-grandmother, Ewa (Kowalewska) Bulak, who came to this country in 1897 with two toddlers in tow. My grandmother, Antonina (Bulak) Szerejko was one of them. As the mother of a small child, I can't imagine the courage it took to do what she did.

4. I was thrilled and enlightened to find the estate, Palac w Szczawinie where my great-grandparents, Antoni Bulak and Ewa (Kowalewska) Bulak met in Szczawin, Poland. I was also thrilled to discover the estate and the manor house still exists, has been restored, and serves as a bed and breakfast. My dream trip is to go to Poland and stay at the Palac w Szczawinie someday.

5. I was (again) thrilled and enlightened to reconnect with family from the Warsaw area. I knew my grandfather, Adolf Szerejko, had family in Warsaw, but I didn't know who or where. My cousin Marek, who is also interested in genealogy, contacted me back in January of 2010 and we have been friends since. I honestly never thought I'd "find" anyone from the family back in Poland after all these years. The Internet is wonderful and make all things possible.

6. I am humbled by what I have learned about my relatives who remained in Poland, survived two world wars, and life under Soviet occupation. Life was hard. Every time I read their letters I appreciate my life just a little bit more. I have a lot to be thankful for.

7. I was surprised to discover both of my father's parents were descended from Acadian settlers. Before I started doing genealogy I knew little to nothing about the settling of Acadia (Nova Scotia), the people who lived there, and the deportation of 1755.

8. I was surprised to discover Charlemagne is my 35th great-grandfather. Yeah, yeah, I know everyone says that, but he really is my 35th great-grandfather. One of my French-Canadian ancestors, Catherine de Baillon was one of the filles du roi or King's Daughters, sent by the king of France to marry settlers and help to populate Quebec. Catherine descended from minor nobility, and her family is linked to many of the royal houses of Europe. So is that way cool or what?

9. I am humbled by the circumstances that lead my great-grandmother Lucie Touchette to marry my great-grandfather Francois Chenette. Why would a young woman of 20 agree to become the fourth wife of a man 34 years her senior and already the father of 16 children? I don't know, but I want to find out. Was it a love match? I suspect not. Someone had to to take care of all those kids...

10. I was surprised to discover that an ancestor's older "sister" was actually her mother and gave birth to my ancestor when she was only 16 years old. Did my ancestor ever know who her real parents were?

Thank you again Susan. Thank you ancestors for being a all-around interesting group of people to research. Your lives had value and will be remembered.

As for passing the award on, I would like to offer the Ancestor Approved award to the following bloggers whose work I follow, admire, and enjoy. I know some of these folks are previous recipients of the Ancestor Approved award, but many of them have been so helpful to my blogging or my research that I just couldn't leave them off my list.

Barbara Proko at
Basia's Polish Family: From Wilno to Worcester
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino at
Acadian & French-Canadian Ancestral Home
Caroline Gurney at
Caro's Family Chronicles
Greta Koehl at
Greta's Genealogy BogJasia at Creative Gene
Carol at
Reflections from the Fence
Jen at
Climbing My Family Tree
Deb Ruth at
Adventures in Genealogy
Jennifer at
Rainy Day Genealogy Readings
Barbara Poole at
Life From The Roots

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:
The Rose Blogger Award!
Votes, Awards, and Powerball, Oh My!
Meditation: The Strength of Ordinary Women
COG 97: Researching "The Coldbrook Tragedy" (Part 1 of 4)