Tag Archives: Quebec

Louis-Philippe Dulac, the watchmaker, remember him?

2 Aug

For friends and family who have followed my genealogy hunt across the Web (and from across the Atlantic ocean too), my first *big* research post on a member of my family was about Louis-Philippe Dulac, my grand-uncle, the watchmaker turned military in WW1. Don’t confuse him with his father though (they have the same name!). It’s been more than two years since I have researched him and, incredibly, a few months ago I had an email from his son who told me that all the information I had found on his father was true*, there was even a couple of events that were unknown to him. By corresponding, Louis-Philippe’s son sent me choice pictures about his father and his military background.

He was, in fact, part of the Black Watch or the 5th regiment of Highlanders at the grand age of… 15! His son later revealed to me that when he enlisted in WW1 in 1917, he lied about his age, like many did at the time.

Louis-Philippe Dulac, Canadian Blackwatch, 5th Highlander

Louis-Philippe Dulac, in full Highlander garb, probably around 1916-1917

He was also, to my surprise, sent to Europe, probably in 1918 at the Witley training facility (aka: Witley Camp) in Surrey, England where I think this picture was taken:

Louis-Philippe Dulac, Canadian Artillery, 79th Battery

Louis-Philippe Dulac, ca 1918, probably in Witley Camp, England

He was affiliated with the 79th Canadian Battery but I learned from his Canadian Pay Book that his unit was integrated in the 8th army on the field. I learned a while ago the 79th Battery was considered to be a depot, as such it was not supposed to have left Canada… but in fact it did!

Canadian Pay Book for Active Service for Louis-Philippe Dulac

Canadian Pay Book for Louis-Philippe Dulac

79th Canadian Battery badge

79th Canadian Battery badge

I’m still unsure whether Louis-Philippe *actively* participated in the course of the war when he got to Europe, even his son did not tell me much about that yet, but when I look at this particular picture and I see his faraway gaze, I have no doubt that my grand uncle saw the horrors of warfare in Europe.  I will know more when Library & Archives Canada have digitised his service file.

Louis-Philippe Dulac, returning from WW1, Montreal, Quebec

Louis-Philippe, ca 1919, probably when he returned from Europe

Luckily, Louis-Philippe did not stay put, he left to find work in Waltham, Massachusetts and Detroit, Michigan. He came back to Montreal around 1932 and found his smile again when he met his future wife Antonia Belanger. He worked as a jeweler and watchmaker, until 1965,  on Christophe-Colomb street.

Louis-Philippe Dulac and Antonia Belanger, circa 1935

Louis-Philippe and Antonia, circa 1935

He died on June 24th, 1970 in Montreal and was buried, with honours, in the Veteran cemetery in Pointe-Claire, Montreal. I never knew him as I was born a few years later but I am grateful that my passion for family history gave me the chance to discover his unique story and learn more about him through his children. I am proud to have this industrious, talented and courageous man as my grand-uncle.

*A nod of the head to my fellow online genealogist John Brugleria who follows similar lines when it comes to researching online.

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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?

 

My great-grand father Joseph Camille Goulet

29 May

This is my first discovery back in 2005 when I started to contact people in the Breakeyville region to learn more of my family. I contacted the Breakeyville History Society(website in french) where I immediately got replies from an old childhood friend of my dad who sent me this picture :

My great-grand father

My great-grand father

I was amazed (and moved) when I recognized several of the family features me and my dad share, in fact Joseph is the spitting image of my grand-father Wilfrid; a tall man, straight-backed with a firm clear gaze. I learned more about Joseph, he was the second son of David Goulet and Philomene Nadeau, he was born July 18th 1860 and he died at the grand old age of 90 in April 1951 in the Levis region. Joseph was a labourer all his life, working and tending the soil with his wife Luce Blanchette (1865-1941). Of his parents, brothers and sisters, he was the only one to remain in Quebec, all the others went state side. But that is another story.

Joseph Camille Goulet’s Wiki Tree profile : http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Goulet-103

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