Tag Archives: Family Skeletons

Paul Emery Genereux charged with manslaughter in 1923

16 Sep

There seems to be an endless supply of skeletons in the Genereux family I have been researching in Massachusetts. After Alfred Genereux and his stealing habit, his oldest son Paul Emery Genereux had his share of misdemeanor.

Paul Emery was born on the 2nd of July, 1892 in Somerville, Middlesex to Alfred and Mina Etta. Two years later, the young Paul got thrown in the air… by a cow!

Source: Boston Evening Transcript 5 Jun 1894, p.3 on Google News Archive

Source: Boston Evening Transcript 5 Jun 1894, p.3
on Google News Archive

He did get better and apparently suffered no serious mishap from this adventure. He married Estelle Courtney Snow on the 24th of August 1911 in Lynn, Essex. At the time, he was a clerk in a periodical store. For some unknown reason, they separated before 1920 as she remarried Dr Carolus Melville Cobb in 1919. Dr Cobb even adopted their only daughter, Courtney Estelle who was born in 1912.

But back to Paul: in 1918 he got drafted in WWI for a duration of about six months and in 1920, he is found living with his parents in Lynn where he is a professional photographer. I found many city directories entries for him in Lynn however starting in 1926, he was with a wife named “Anna M”. I had no record of their marriage but a quick look at the Massachusetts, Marriage Index on Ancestry revealed that they married in 1925.

While I was researching articles about him, I mangled his surname on purpose and fell on this article:

Source: The Boston Sunday Herald, 27 May 1923, p. 6 on Genealogybank.com

Source: The Boston Sunday Herald, 27 May 1923, p. 6
on Genealogybank.com

He was teaching his future wife to drive and they ran over a small child in the street. Now, I manually re-ran searches for Paul in the Lynn city directories from 1923 to 1926 and I couldn’t find any so does this mean that Paul and Anna were imprisoned? I’m still unfamiliar with the U.S. Court system and the mention “grand jury” speaks of trial and prison for me, am I wrong?

Whatever happened to them between those years, they remained married and living in Lynn on Gertrude street.  He became a mason, in Damascus Lodge of Lynn in 1948. He also registered in the WWII “Old Man’s Draft” in Lynn. Paul eventually became a commercial photographer of some renown: he is cited in several gardening photography credits from the 1950’s till 1970. He eventually died on the 19th of October, 1977. Anna survived him by 11 years, she died in 1988.

Source: Boston Herald American, 22 Oct 1977, p.23 on Genealogybank.com

Source: Boston Herald American, 22 Oct 1977, p.23
on Genealogybank.com

Alfred Genereux: from crime in Boston to fame in Lynn

14 Sep

Alfred Genereux: a 13-year old burglar

I love old newspapers, I mean I really do, especially being so far away from my country I really appreciate the fact that I can research my family history (or just history in general) from the comfort of my own home nestled in the French Alps countryside.  I have discovered several articles about my ancestors who went stateside in the late 19th century that helped me flesh out their lives in New Hampshire, California and Massachusetts.

Here is one individual that gave me plenty of hours of research in newspapers: Alfred Genereux, son of Paul Genereux. He was born on the 9th of November, 1862 in Quebec city. He moved with his family to Boston around 1869. He married Minnie Etta Cash (daughter of Charles Emery Cash 1832-1907 and Elisabeth Chapman 1835-1886) on the 1st of March 1892, in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts. But before he was married, Alfred was a very naughty boy.

In the space of ten years, he got arrested at least three times for burglary and theft. On his first attempt Alfred was only aged 13!

Source: The Boston Post, 18 May 1875, p.3 on Newspapers.com

Source: The Boston Post, 18 May 1875, p.3 on Newspapers.com

Source: The Boston Daily Globe, 5 Jan 1876, p.5 on Genealogybank.com

Source: The Boston Daily Globe, 5 Jan 1876, p.5 on Genealogybank.com

Source: The Boston Herald, 8 Oct 1884, p. 4 on Genealogybank.com

Source: The Boston Herald, 8 Oct 1884, p. 4 on Genealogybank.com

Luckily, he put a stop to his youthful enthusiasm for shiny things and married his Etta. They had four children :

Alfred went on to become a Century Road Club Centurion for the region of Lynn, he won several bicycle races and became involved in local fraternities such as The Improved Order of Red Men, the Odd Fellows Society, the Knights of Pythias as well as local cycling clubs.

Source: Boston Globe, Sep 8th 1926, p.10

Source:
Boston Globe, Sep 8th 1926, p.10

 

Online Newspapers Archives Quick Tips

There are so many newspapers archives out there that it can seem a bit daunting so I’m sharing (again) a few tips for researchers out there who want to get the best out of newspapers.

  • Start your research by identifying a location (state, county, city, etc) that might have an online archive of newspapers. I use the U.S. Newspaper Directory from the Library of Congress to locate specific newspapers (online or not) and publication dates.
  • Don’t spell properly : OCR is not infallible so whenever I search for a surname (especially foreign ones), I use wildcards (they are your best friends in online research). A “*” to replace a given letter in a word and a “?” to replace the ending of a word.
  • Search for addresses and locations, names of businesses, neighbors you have found in census records, clubs and fraternities, etc. Anything that might be connected to the individual you are researching.
  • Check out Kenneth R Marks, the Ancestor Hunter’s Beginners Guide to Newspapers Research for Genealogy: this is the best info and updated lists of links to several newspaper archives in the U.S. and Canada

There is one thing missing out on big newspapers archives databases: the possibility to create alerts for a specific individual, newspaper or time frame in a given region. That would certainly help my research instead of having to crawl through the websites every so often to search for a reference.

Horace Dulac and his niece Maria

26 Jun

Let’s set the stage first. My great-great-great grandfather Maximilien Dulac (married with Emelie Genereux in 1858, Berthierville) had a younger brother Elie Dulac (also known as Aubuchon-Dulac). Elie married Emelie’s  older sister Louise Adeline Philomene Genereux in 1855 in Berthierville. Their first son Aristide Dulac was born in 1857 and married Caroline Robitaille  in 1877 in Richelieu, Rouville, Quebec.

Now Aristide and his wife Caroline had many children, one of the them Alberic died in the Great War in 1918. The individual I’m interested in is Horace Dulac, younger brother of Alberic. Horace was born in July 1884 in Richelieu, Rouville. He enlisted as well in the first World War in the 2nd Quebec Regiment.

Horace Dulac WW1 Registration

Horace Dulac WW1 Registration

He left for England soon after that and, that’s the most interesting bit, I found a record of him coming back in 1919 from Witley Camp. Now this was a training facility in Surrey with mostly Canadian soldiers during the two great wars. I have no idea yet if Horace participated in any military operations but since he left after May 1918, I think that he was probably part of a reserve battalion training in England when the war ended.

 So when “J” Wing was disbanded in 1919, Horace boarded the “Olympic” in Liverpool and came back to Montreal on the 16th of May.

Canadian Passenger Lists for Horace Banbury. Viewable on ancestry.com

Canadian Passenger Lists for Horace Banbury. Viewable on ancestry.com

I told you earlier about Horace’s father Aristide and his many children right? Well Horace had a brother, Arsene Dulac. Arsene had a daughter called Maria Dulac, she was born in 1903 in Richelieu, Rouville. So, a couple of months back from England, Horace married his niece on August 16th 1920 in Sorel. At first, I thought this was a mistake or a clerical error so I had a closer look at the mariage certificate:

Mariage record for Horace Dulac & Maria Dulac in Sorel, 1920.

Mariage record for Horace Dulac & Maria Dulac in Sorel, 1920.

I am not expecting my readers to all be fluent in french but here is basically what the record says: a Papal [bull] dated from March 1919 authorized Horace and Maria to get married even though they were uncle and niece to each other. The vicar of the parish of Sorel proceeded to the wedding and we can also read that both their parents did not consent to this wedding and they were not present for signing the register. However, Horace & Maria’s wedding did legitimize a daughter born out of wedlock a couple of days earlier, Maria. She did not survive the year 1920. They had two more children, Emile born in 1921 and Horace in 1930 who did not live a year as well.

When I discovered this, I have to admit that I was quite shocked. I mean marrying first cousins was not an uncommon fact in Quebec in the 19th century, my Goulet grand-parents were cousins themselves…. but uncle and niece? I can’t quite get over the fact the Roman Catholic Church authorized this when they are usually the first to remind us of sin and fornication. I can only imagine that it was authorized for the child that was born and not for the “sins” of the parents.

So, what about you? Did you ever discover some skeletons in your family tree? How did you deal with the revelation?

 

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