December 31, 2010

My Top Picks for 2010

I have read a good many blogs over the past few years. Today I want to recognize blogs that I consider among the best.  I encourage you to visit their blogs.  You will be both delighted and impressed with the rich content of what they share.

Nutfield Genealogy by Heather Wilkinson Rojo -

Heather is a great researcher and a prolific blogger.  She posts one or more blogs on a daily basis even when she is traveling away from home. All of her blogs contain interesting bits of history and genealogy. It is a must read that I look forward to daily.

Heritage Zen by Cynthia Shenette

Cynthia is a more recent blogger but she has already posted an enormous amount of information she wants to share with other researchers.  I look forward to reading more of what she has to offer.  Her blog holds a lot of promise to become one of the best.

Call Me Shell by Michelle Robillard

I appreciate the depth to which Michelle does her research that she shares freely on her blog.  The photos she shares can be amazing. She might not be blogging much longer but it is my hope that she will continue.  If you had ancestors who lived in Lowell, Massachusetts you will thoroughly enjoy her blog.

West in New England by Bill West

Bill has been blogging for a while and has participated in many carnivalsHis spirit and lightheartedness inspires me as well as others.  He is a good researcher and keeps right on digging.  When you read Bill's blog you feel like you've known him forever.

Life from The Roots by Barbara Poole

Barbara has had many great life experiences with some of the people whose paths she crossed and those experiences are interesting to read about.  Her genealogy is very well researched.  She is always an interesting read.  You don't want to miss this blog!

Roots and Rambles by Marian Pierre-Louis

Marian is a house historian, genealogist, local historian. The work she does and what she shares is very interesting. I've learned quite a bit by reading Marian's blog(s). If you now of any organization looking for a speaker, you might have them contact her.
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Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

The Best of Lucie's Legacy for 2010

Lucie's Legacy is about remembering loved ones of the past, sharing their stories in the present and creating a legacy for the future.  The legacy passed down to me is a rich history that I choose to pass on to future generations.  It is my way to journey and share my family's past, our present and perhaps our future potential.

The following ten blogs are some of my favorites for 2010.  Some received the most hits, or comments, while a few did not but they are all special to me.

10. The Flip-Pal Scanner - Review Part I

Sincere thanks to Barbara Poole for posting on her blog Life From The Roots

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Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

2010 in Review - The Year When Brick Walls Came Tumbling Down

In all of the years I've done research, this was one of the most exciting as far as brick walls go. 

Brick wall #1

On January 20, 2010, I wrote the following blog:

Raquel (Rachel) De Castillo born 1891

Raquel De Castillo was my great aunt through marriage.  She married my grandmother Arthémise Dumais Levesque's brother Napoleon Dumais. What I have been finding is that Napoleon used the surname Dumas rather than Dumais or the census enumerator misspelled the name.

This morning I found them in a 1920 Federal Census living in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  It tells me that they married in Cuba, were in Lawrence for the birth of their first child, returned to Cuba where three more children were born and were back in Lawrence for the birth of their last two children. 

My mother often spoke of "ma tante Rachel" (aunt Rachel) and she loved her dearly.  No one seems to know what became of them and my mother's first cousins (in their high 80s and 90s) believe they returned to Cuba at some point.  It was thanks to them that just a few years ago I learned that Raquel was married to Napoleon.  Until then, I had no idea how my family was related to her.

If anyone has information on this family, I would love to hear from you.

One June afternoon the phone rang and the call was coming in my Florida.  I was very busy and almost did not answer thinking it might be a telemarketer.  After the third ring, I decided to pick up so this "telemarketer" would continue to call - what a great decision!  The person at the other end said "my name is Adriana Blanco - I am a great granddaughter of Raquel Del Castillo.  A brick wall going back many years when my mother used to talk about Raquel had come down. 

Brick wall #2:

Almost since I began my family research I had been digging for the birth/baptismal record for Georges Dumais who was my great grandfather on my mother's side.  By the way, he was the father of Napoleon who had married Raquel Del Castillo.  All of my great grandfather's siblings were baptized in the parish of St-André, Kamouraska, Quebec, Canada so I totally expected to find his baptism there as well.  For years I scoured that parish register and other registers for Kamouraska but could not find this record at all.  

On January 21st, 2010, I was searching on through Family Tree Maker when I saw a baptism for a Georges Dumais in the parish of Saint-Georges-de-Cacouna, Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, Canada.  I thought I may as well check it out.  This was indeed Georges' baptismal record!  I could not believe it and such an exciting find that I doubted anything could top this.  The only thing I could figure regarding his baptism in Rivière-du-Loup rather than Kamouraska was that perhaps because he was being baptized "Georges" it was decided to go to the church of St-Georges..just a wild guess but who knows. 

Brick wall #3: 

When in my early twenties, my father told me the names of his parents who had died when he was young.  Since then I had searched for birth, marriage and death and burial records.  I had never been able to find my grandfather, Damien LeBlanc's death and burial records.  On October 20th, 2010 I decided to search through but all I could find were census records.  This time it occurred to me how many times I had seen my grandfather's name as Daniel in censuses.  I always made the correction on Ancestry believing that either the enumerators or the transcribers had made an error.  That night when I went to bed a huge light went on and I sat up straight in bed!  I remembered that when I had gone to the City Clerk's office in Lawrence, Massachusetts to search through index cards of deaths that in my notebook I had written the death of Daniel LeBlanc in February 1913.  Well 1913 was the year my grandfather disappeared from Lawrence City Directories so I decided I would take a look at that notebook next morning.  The death date I'd noted was 16 February 1913.  I then went on the Mormon's site which at the time was a "pilot" site.  I typed in the name Daniel LeBlanc and bingo!  Up popped not only the name, date and place of death but there was a digital copy of the actual death record that I was able to download and print.  My grandmother had pre-deceased him so the person giving the information at the time of his death stated the names of his parents so I knew without a doubt this was my grandfather Damien.

Later mentioning this to a well known research in New Brunswick, Canada which is where these grandparents came from, I was told that many Acadian men with the name of Damien change their given name to Daniel - how I wish I'd know that sooner!  Nonetheless, another wall came down.

After finding this record, I decided to look my grandmother's death certificate on the same site.  I knew her date of death but did not yet have her certificate.  Sure enough, a digital copy was on the Mormon site and I now have that one also.  So this was somewhat of a double whammy and I didn't think things could be better.  I was wrong!

Brick wall #4+

I found so many records on the site this month alone that I call of it #4+ of brick walls as it consists of records that I never expected to find and some surprises that I did find.

I had never been able to find the marriage record for my aunt (my father's half sister) Genevieve "Jennie" LeBlanc.  About ten years ago I met a long lost cousin who was the son of another of my father's sisters - he told me that Jennie had married a fellow by the name of Miller.  Again, thanks to the site I now have Jennie's marriage certificate of marriage to John Miller.  My cousin also told me they had three children who died young.  Now have the three birth and death certificates. On this great Mormon site I have also found death certificates for on of my uncles who drowned in the Merrimack River at the age of 9.  My finds just go on an on and I could not be happier.

Some of the surprises:  finding birth and death records for aunts, uncles and cousins I'd never heard of before.  Children who died either at birth or shortly thereafter that no one ever mentioned.  

We always have more brick walls but 2010 was a great year of finds as you can see.  I always tell people to never give up the search no matter what.  The records I have found are proof of that because you never know how, where or when your long search will culminate in success.  I have always believed that our ancestors are waiting to be found. 

I encourage you to try - it is free. Happy hunting! 

N.B.  Now I have another mystery to solve.  On my grandfather Damien/Daniel LeBlanc's death record is the name Mrs. Pierre LeBlanc - she is the one who gave information regarding my grandfather's parents etc.  I've no idea who she was but I will certainly be trying to find information about her.

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Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

December 29, 2010

The Flip-Pal Scanner - Review Part II - The Rest of the Story

For those who are interested in the Flip-Pal Scanner I thought the following information would be of interest.

The Rocky Mountain Ventures Company promises that the
The Flip-Pal team produces patented solutions that solve everyday problems, are simple to operate so many can use them, and have a combination of benefits that are not available anywhere else.

They say, "We do this in order to enrich lives.
Our success is built on a foundation of high core values: Courage, Integrity, Collaboration, Innovation, and Care."

The Flip-Pal Scanner is:

Keeps your memories safe
Easy and quick

Now let's break down all that this scanner can do.

Mobile:  it can scan images anywhere, anytime and stores scans on an SD memory card.  You can have more than one SD card and that is recommended.  I have a couple others here and I will be going to the Flip-Pal web site to download the needed piece of software to them.

Versatile:  it can scan small to large originals, photos, drawings, quilts, even small objects like coins or jewelry.  Imagine scanning very large family photos or portraits like my husband has of his family and being able to pull all parts together with the stitch software that is included.  Part I explains how this works.

Keep your memories safe:  it can scan album photos in place - you never have to remove a photo from an album ever again.  The cover comes off so you can actually pick up the scan and hold it over an album photo or up against a wall where a portrait or photo might be hung. How many of us have regrettably tried to remove photos from old albums.  Doing that always involves the risk of tearing of even destroying an old photo.  I am also eager to scan my father's medals from World War I!

Accurate:  it scans high quality digital images at 600 and 300 dpi resolution settings.  The higher the setting the faster use of the batteries.  I will have to test both settings to see how long the batteries last.  It also does color restoration.With this color restoration in mind, I am also eager to scan my father's WWI enlistment and discharge papers.  These are the only originals that exist.  I am hoping that the color restoration will sharpen these documents in digital format - this would be great considering these documents are 91 years old.  Certainly worth a try.  I'll let you know if this produces good results.

My first test with the Flip-Pal was to scan an over-sized post card that I purchased in London.  It came out perfect.  A big plus is that there is also a 1.7-inch color LCD display screen that shows you what the scan looks like.

Flip-Pal also has a BLOG with suggestions and ideas on how to use the scanner.  There is a great deal of information on the Flip-Pal site including tutorials.

Mac users can also use the Flip-Pal.  An update:  after this blog was published, a Mac user told me the stitching software does not work with Macs but the company is working on it.  Meanwhile, offers free stitching software that she thinks might help her do the job with her Mac.

That is my review of the Flip-Pal Scanner for now.. or at least until I have had more experience using it.

If you want more information, please go to the Flip-Pal Scanner web site.  There is plenty of information available.  A great job has been done informing the public about this great product.

Again, I receive no remuneration in endorsing this product.

Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
December 29, 2010

The Flip-Pal Scanner - Review Part I - The Carrying Bag

By now, just everybody knows that one of my Christmas presents was the Flip-Pal Scanner.  It was not only at the top of my wish list, it *was* my wish list.  I could not think of anything this Christmas that could be of greater benefit for my research than this neat little item. 

The Flip-Pal runs on batteries so no need to drag along a laptop if you aren't going to need it just to plug into a USB port.  Hoping I would receive this scanner, I began to watch for sales on batteries.  Lo and behold on Black Friday, Lowes was selling 60 alkaline battery packs for $6.00.  I couldn't pass that up.

The scanner is 10.25″ x 6.5″ x 1.25″ or pretty much the same size as a Netbook.  It comes with four AA alkaline batteries installed.  Included is a 2GB SD memory card already installed and USB to SD adaptor. When you want to load the memory card onto, say a computer, to look at or share the photos or documents you have scanned, the card actually plugs into the USB adapter.  A really neat little feature!

Stitching and color restoration software is preloaded.  With the stitching software you can scan very large photos or panoramic scenes. According to web site, "there are times when you want a panoramic photo, a very wide or tall picture that captures a large scene. If you don't want to use a wide-angled or fish-eye lens for your camera (or don't have one), one way is to take separate overlapping pictures of your surroundings and then use a special program to stitch them together. The free and/or open source software listed on this page do exactly that: they allow you to automatically align and stitch adjacent shots that you may have taken of your scenery, whether horizontal or vertical or both, and create a larger panoramic photo that integrates all the side-by-side frames. Some, if not all, allow you to make a 360° (360 degrees) picture. Photos are, of course, not the only use for such software; they can be handy if you are creating other types of images as well, such as maps."

Last but not least it comes with a window protector sheet, Quick Start User Guide, and a one year limited warranty.

This scanner has been the rave of all who purchased it at a conference last August, receiving their scanners this past October.

It is great to have the Flip-Pal but now I was concerned as to how I would transport it safely when going out to scan photos or documents. 

I could have purchased a Flip-Pal bag but it would only hold the Flip-Pal.  I know what it is like to travel with cameras, scanner, laptop, rechargeable batteries and battery chargers - plus luggage if traveling - so I wanted to find sort of an "all-in-one" so that the number of items needed to carry everything would be limited.

First I purchased a SwissGear Sleeve for a 10.2 Netbook or iPad.  It had a front zippered pocket.  I liked it very much and thought this was the perfect solution.  The Flip-Pal fit snugly, which is what you would want, and I could store several batteries and USB adapter in the front pocket.  What I did not like about it is that it did not have a handle by which to carry.  I'm not entirely crazy about electronics that have to be carried under my arm if I'm taking nothing else along.  After promoting this bag a bit I decided that since I was not entirely happy with this item, I would go out shopping.  I went to all of the stores that carry electronics and accessories from Salem, New Hampshire back to Methuen.  Included was Staples, Best Buy, two Walmart, two Target.  At the Target near home I found a Belkin Top-Loader Messenger Bag for laptops up to 10.2.  It has two compartments with zipper, two outer compartments, handles and a shoulder strap to boot if I choose to use it or I can remove it.  Bingo!

This is a photo of the bag sold by It is not quite like the one I have. Mine has a blag strap, red stitching but no red zipper tabs. The price of the bag I purchased is $19.99. and I also like that it fits right into the bag in which I carry my laptop in its sleeve (again with handle). I like just the touch of red stitching on mine. By the way, this photo makes the bag look larger than it really is.  At Target it also comes in the jet black with gray trim.

When I arrived home, I put the Flip-Pal in one of the compartments of the Belkin bag and it was a nice snug fit.  That was my greatest concern on the way home.  In the other compartment I can put plenty of batteries if I'll be gone for a good while, USB adapter, thumb drives and even my small 60 gig hard drive if I wanted to.

Please know that I had read other blogs and the items purchased to carry the Flip-Pal around, etc. but I really had to find what would work best for me.. and I have!  I think everyone has to do that. If anyone who received a Flip-Pal is like me when it comes to transporting electronics, I highly recommend this Belkin bag.  (I receive no funds for endorsing a  product.)

Review Part II to follow.

Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
December 29, 2010

December 27, 2010

The Flip Pal Scanner - Best Christmas Present for 2010

Opening the Flip Pal Scanner Christmas Eve

The Flip Pal was at the top of my wish list this Christmas.  All of the reviews have been excellent and this fantastic little scanner will be as important to me when I go out to do research as my laptop.  The beauty of it is that it does not need to be plugged in to scan as it runs on batteries.

I have a small Canon scanner that I used to take along with me but it has to be plugged into a USB port on my laptop.  I can even take the Flip Pal with me without the laptop if I want to go scan a bunch of documents, photos, etc. then come home to work on them.  

Researchers as well as scrapbookers will love the Flip Pal Scanner.

Thanks to my daughters for  giving me what I consider the ultimate gift, at least for me, this Christmas!

I will blog more about it as I use it so stay tuned!

For more information CLICK HERE

Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

December 24, 2010

Silent Night - Holy Night - Happy Birthday Jesus

Silent night - Holy Night

Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

December 23, 2010

Jesus Is The Reason For The Season

 Jesus is the reason for the season

The Christmas Story according to Luke 2: 1-14
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them at the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and  they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall  be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino


Nominated for Best Email of the Year 2010

After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said: 'Let me see if I've got this right.

'You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning.

'You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self-esteem and personal pride. 'You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.

'You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams.

'You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.

'You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

'You want me to do all this and then you tell me... I CAN'T PRAY!

 Please remember to thank teachers who help our children to succeed and wish them a Merry Christmas.

Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

My parents
Rosanna Lévesque 
George Charles LeBlanc
taken July 3, 1948

With fond remembrances of Christmas past
Mom and Dad, we love you.
The memory of you is always warm and alive.
Thanks for who you were and for the legacy
and heritage you have left us.

Sincere thanks to all of you who have supported me throughout the years.  Some of you have become good friends and I am most grateful.  Heartfelt thanks to my husband, daughters and sons-in-law for all their support.  Thye always inspired me to keep going.  Love to all!


The hubbub of Christmas always brings with it a flood of childhood memories.

We were poor so our Christmas preparations were not about shopping for gifts in fact gifts in our whole extended family were just not a priority. What mattered was preparing food for "réveillon" after Midnight Mass and preparing a great meal for Christmas dinner wherever that would take place.

Réveillon was a "celebration" after Midnight Mass that sort of kicked of the rest of Christmas day.  Of course, it was about breaking bread together as we would say today.  It was a must to have tourtière (french meat pies) and apple pies that Mémère usually prepared for the family.

As children, we all looked forward to being allowed to stay up on Christmas Eve in anticipation of leaving just before 11:00p.m. for church. Midnight Mass was so well attended that it was difficult to find a seat if you did not go early. As parishioners of "La Paroisse Ste-Anne" (Ste-Anne Parish) in Lawrence, Massachusetts, we were privileged to have a chapel where daily mass was celebrated in what we called the "big" church where all special celebrations such as Christmas and Easter was celebrated as well as Sunday masses.

The chapel had once been the parish church until it became too small for the number of families in the parish. Above the chapel was a beautiful parish hall that included a balcony. All parish events were very well attended and at times there was standing room only once all of the seats were filled.  Eventually, the chapel was converted into a second parish hall.  In the upper hall, school plays, turkey cheers and big events were held.  In the lower hall the parish would sponsor whist parties and the like.  (Whist was a popular card game at the time.)

My grandmother (accompanied by me) would always arrive at church early and save the pew  for other family members. I remember the then pastor Père (Father) Forestier who was a member of the Society of Mary (Marist). He had seen the completion of our beautiful new "big" church. He was beloved by all parishioners and was greatly appreciated for his devotion and dedication to the parish.  I remember some of the scaffolding was still up when we attended our first Midnight Mass in the big church.  It had not been possible to take it all down by Christmas.  No machines to do these things in those days.

The parish choir lead by Mrs. Desjardins who was our organist and choir director would begin to sing Christmas carols at 11:00p.m. I remember sitting and listening and soon I was dozing while leaning against my Mémère's very comfortable fur coat. Just as mass was about to be celebrated she would nudge me awake - I was always surprised to see the rest of the family had arrived unnoticed by me.

So many people attended Midnight Mass that communion could last anywhere from a half hour or more. My grandmother always sat in the first pew so I got to see all of my uncles, aunts and cousins pass by as they went to communion.

Midnight Mass was always the ultimate in ushering in the Birth of Jesus. We all loved it and it was a very special time for our families.  There was always a big beautiful manger in the big church as well as in the chapel.  My Mémère had a special crêche she would take out.  I remember it had little angels and she had fashioned wings made out of yellow cellophane.  Everything was gorgeous - the angels, baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph were set in a log cabin setting.  Something that had come with her family when they migrated from Canada.  You could tell this was very special to her because of the care she took in displaying  her crêche.

After Midnight Mass, réveillon would take place at one of my uncle's homes (my mother's brothers) because most of the time Christmas dinner was at our home. I remember my mother staying up a good portion of the night so everything would be ready for noon on Christmas day with aunts, uncles and cousins arriving between 11:00-11:30 a.m. I would awake on Christmas morning to the smell ragou, turkey in the oven, tourtière and apple pies.  Dinner time seemed so far away to the child that I was!

So when Christmas time rolls around, my head is flooded with wonderful memories of what it was like to celebrate Christmas back then. Nostalgia fills the air as well as a longing for parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family. When I was growing  up, family was everything and as mentioned before, celebrating Christmas was never about gifts - either giving or receiving -  Christmas was about being together, having an unforgettable dinner prepared by Mama and spending the rest of the day together talking, singing, laughing, playing and have a memorable day.  Mama and a couple of uncles played the harmonica and others played the spoons.  It didn't take much to entertain ourselves in those days.  Life was good!  Where has all that simplicity gone?!

I hope you all have such wonderful family memories of Christmas past to recall as you prepare for Christmas 2010.


Your cousin Lucie
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Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

December 21, 2010

Minuit Chrétiens - O Holy Night

The music for "Cantique de Noël" was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847.  The music was set to  a poem written by Placide Cappeau (1808-1877) entitled "Minuit Chrétiens".  Placide Cappeau was a wine merchant and a poet who had been asked by his parish priest to write a Christmas poem. 

It was translated into English by minister John Sullivan Dwight and titled "O Holy Night".  Many popular versions exist and over the years it has remained one of the most popular Christmas Carols and it is one of my favorites.

Minuits, chrétiens ~ Cantique de Noël
Minuit, chrétiens, c'est l'heure solennelle,
Où l'Homme-Dieu descendit jusqu'à nous
Pour effacer la tache originelle
Et de Son Père arrêter le courroux.
Le monde entier tressaille d'espérance
En cette nuit qui lui donne un Sauveur.
Peuple à genoux, attends ta délivrance.
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur!
De notre foi que la lumière ardente
Nous guide tous au berceau de l'Enfant,
Comme autrefois une étoile brillante
Y conduisit les chefs de l'Orient.
Le Roi des rois naît dans une humble crèche:
Puissants du jour, fiers de votre grandeur,
A votre orgueil, c'est de là que Dieu prêche.
Courbez vos fronts devant le Rédempteur.
Courbez vos fronts devant le Rédempteur.
Le Rédempteur a brisé toute entrave:
La terre est libre, et le ciel est ouvert.
Il voit un frère où n'était qu'un esclave,
L'amour unit ceux qu'enchaînait le fer.
Qui Lui dira notre reconnaissance,
C'est pour nous tous qu'Il naît, qu'Il souffre et meurt.
Peuple debout! Chante ta délivrance,
Noël, Noël, chantons le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, chantons le Rédempteur!             

O Holy Night         
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of Our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world In sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd And the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks A new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

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Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

December 19, 2010

As Time Goes By - 2010

Mémère Lévesque
Dear Cousins,

Time flies and that old song keeps running through my mind "As time goes by.." and it certainly does.

The other day I was thinking about how I first became interested in  history and in particular, family history - our family's history.

One day when I was in sixth grade (I won't say how long ago that was... ha!) our teacher gave us an assignment that remained with me to this very day.  She said "I want you to write an essay on your family.  Go talk to your grandparents and asked them about your family, where they were from and so on."

Right after school I dutifully went to visit my Mémère Lévesque (née Dumais).  She was the only grandmother I could interview as my father's parents passed away when he was young so I never knew them.

Anyhow while talking with Mémère she told me that there was someone in the family who had married an "Indian Princess" - well that was of great interest to a wide eyed eleven year old.  She gave me little tidbits here and there just enough to make me curious - a curiosity that would keep me collecting little pieces of information here and there over the years until as a young adult I realized that though I thought I had gathered enough information, I began to realize that there were gaps that needed to be filled.  Mémère had not given me the information I really needed such as the names of her parents of and of Pépère's parents and all the pertinent information that goes with it all.  At that point, I did not even know that her parents and my grandfather's parents had lived in Lawrence and were the ones who had brought them all there.  I never knew my great grandparents so after a while, I was all the more intrigued.

For many years I had collected information but that information was entirely for my mother's side of the family.  My mother's family was French-Canadian and my grandparents had come to Massachusetts as teenagers.  Of course, as time passed and I found all of the family genealogy I realized that, as I had heard, everyone was related in one way or another.

But what of my father's family?  I recalled only one conversation with my father in which he told me the names of his parents and how young he was when they died.  My grandmother died at age 42.  After searching for many years, I recently found a death record or my grandfather I believe who was 67 and had died just a few years after his wife.  This was a second marriage for my grandfather and he was older.  Between the two marriages seventeen children were born.  It would be several years after my father passed away when I decided I needed to know more about his family.

I joined the American-Canadian Genealogical Society of Manchester, New Hampshire and my quest began.  After three trips to the society I had pretty much lost hope of finding anything there on my grandparents.  That day as I decided to call it a day I glanced over to one side of the library where odds and ends used to be placed on shelves.  I strolled over there and looking through these papers and things saw a thin booklet with the title "New Bedford Births".  Well when my grandparents migrated from New Brunswick, they went to New Bedford, Massachusetts.  My father George and three of his siblings were born in New Bedford.  I looked at that booklet for a few moments and thought "I'm foolish to think it could be this easy!"  In spite of myself, I opened this typewritten booklet and there was an index in the back.  I looked at the index and among the surnames were *many* entries for the LeBlanc surname and no given names were included in this index.

I picked a page number and could not believe my eyes when I saw my father's name, George Charles LeBlanc and especially the names of his parents, Damien S. LeBlanc and Odille Doiron, whom I'd never known.  I must tell you a few tears were shed from shear joy and awe.

Now I had the names of my grandparents.  I began to look for their marriage and did find both marriages for my grandfather first in the Blue Drouin as it is referred to.  However, my grandfather's parents were not mentioned in either marriage record that I then found in the New Brunswick microfilmed records.  Drat!

From census records that I could now access I searched for my grandfather's birth record based on the age given in the census.  Well it was not meant to be that easy.  There were two (!) Damien LeBlanc born in the same year.

I decided to write to Stephen White at the Centre d'études acadienne, Université de Moncton, Moncton, New Brunswick.  I sent him all of the information I had found regarding the children from each marriage, etc. People at the society told me he was so busy that I'd never hear from him.  I was so happy when only two weeks later I received a response from him.  He was able to tell me where my grandfather was born and who his parents were but he had not found the baptismal record.

Having scoured the microfilmed records as I had, when I read his letter I knew immediately where to find his baptismal record and I was finally on my way to getting to know my Acadian roots.

From that point on I was able to find my LeBlanc line and my grandmother's Doiron line and I've been at it ever since!  Our research is never done.

At one point I had so much data that I thought it was a shame it could not be shared to help others.  With the encouragement of our daughter Rebecca who was in college at the time, I decided to give it a try.  That was 13 years ago and with time I have been able to share much information though my website, the Acadian Ancestral Home web site as well as through my two blogs Acadian & French-Canadian Ancestral Home blog and Lucie's Legacy blog.

Now let me say that I never found an "Indian Princess" on my mother's side of the family.  First of all, there is no such thing as an Indian "Princess" (and just about all Acadian and French-Canadian families have told their children there was one in their family); secondly none of the records to date have pointed to a Native woman in our Lévesque, Dumais or collaterate lineages.

On the other hand, I did find one on my father's Acadian side of the family.  Marie Christine Aubois who married Jean Roy dit Laliberté in 1686.

So there is a moral to my story:  to anyone and to all have are still hoping to find that or those elusive ancestors, don't stop digging.  Sometimes they turn up when you least expect them to as they did for me that Wednesday afternoon in Manchester, New Hampshire!


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Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

December 18, 2010

Records Forever Lost... or Not?

For years I have searched from my grandfather Damien LeBlanc's death and burial record.  Burial records for Sacred Heart Cemetery were searched but nothing was found.  Death records for Lawrence, Massachusetts yielded nothing.  After years of searching, I began to wonder if I would ever find his death record but I was determined to never give up.  However, I kept wondering whether or not his death record might be forever lost to me.. or not?

Something I had found in U.S. Census records kept coming back to me.  Every time I found my grandfather in a census record, he was listed as "Daniel" LeBlanc.  I found these on and added the "correction" of Damien.

No search in any vitals for Massachusetts ever turned up a death record for Damien. I had copied all of the LeBlanc deaths in Lawrence from the index cards in the City Clerk's office in Lawrence and would go over all of them from time to time never seeing my grandfather's death was on that list.  Suddenly one night as I was going to sleep it was like a huge light went on.  I sat up straight in bed and remembered that my grandfather Damien no longer showed up in Lawrence City Directories for 1913.  Of course, he had always been listed as Damien in those directories so why would I expect to find him under anything but Damien I would ask myself.  But when this light went on, I remembered that in my notes I had recorded a Daniel LeBlanc who had died in 1913. Hmmmm.. It was late so I decided to go to sleep and check my notes in the morning.

First thing next morning I took out my notes, went to the Mormon pilot site, typed in the name of Daniel LeBlanc with the death date I had before me and *bingo*!!!  There was my grandfather's death record.  Now how could I be sure this was my grandfather?  Fortunately, a Mrs. Pierre LeBlanc gave the information that he was a widower and that his parents were Sylvin LeBlanc and Dometilde Arsenault.  Those were indeed the names of my great grandparents and my grandmother Odille Doiron had preceded him in death at the young age of 42.

To top it off, I later learned that many Acadian men whose names are Damien often change their names to Daniel.  This was something unknown to me.

This is proof once again that we should never give up the search no matter what.  For years I had my grandfather's death date and place in my notes but didn't even know it.  At some point all of the data I had seen over the years, like those census records, converged in my mind and I could finally put this part of my search to rest.  Yes, I did the happy dance!

As is quite typical in genealogy research, this mystery has been solved but now I have another mystery?  Who was Mrs. Pierre LeBlanc?
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December 17, 2010

Christmas Brings Back All Kinds of Memories

 As Christmas nears, I'm sure that I'm not the only one who is flooded with all kinds of past memories.

On December 12th it would have been my sister's birthday so she has been on my mind a whole lot this week and I've been thinking about the last Christmas we enjoyed before her stroke.  More than that though, I've been thinking about much of our time together growing up.

Claudia Marie Thérèse LeBlanc was ten years older than me. My parents had three older children I never knew.

A girl and two boys died before I was born.  The two oldest died before my sister Claudia was born - they were toddlers.  After my sister Claudia, my brother Albert was born then a brother named Alphee was born - he died before I came along.  Since my sister Claudia was ten years older than me, she was somewhat like a surrogate mother.  She was very good to me and would take me with her everywhere she went.  So have I have very good memories of my years with her.

At age twenty-two my sister married Chanel Talbot who was in the U.S. Air Force as a career man.  After their honeymoon she left for Long Island, New York as he was stationed at Mitchel Air Base, Hempstead, Long Island.  There her two sons were born.  Eventually they came back to New England when Chanel was stationed at Pease Air Force Base following a stint to France.

My sister passed away in 2002 and I still miss her.  Our retirement years could have been good years together but it wasn't meant to be.

After her stoke her children would get her to New Hampshire on Christmas Day where we all gathered at her daughter Claudia's home.  Though she couldn't speak, when I would start playing the guitar she could sing every word to every Christmas Carol she had ever known.  It was a great day for her and for all of us.

So that's pretty much what has occupying my thoughts this week so I wanted to honor the memory of my sister Claudia with today's blog.

My sister and my brother Albert are no longer with us but they are forever in our hearts not only at Christmas but always.

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December 11, 2010

Blog Carol 2010

Les Anges dans nos campagnes is a traditional French Christmas carol which was long ago translated into English as Angels We Have Heard On High. When I was a child we always sang it in French at home, at church and in school.  I grew up in a Franco-American family and we attended St-Anne Parish, a parish in which my great grandparents and grandparents were among the founding members.  We had our own parish elementary school and high school.  In elementary school, we were fortunate to be taught in French half day and in English the other half.  So you can understand why we sang French carols at our school. 

Les Anges dans nos campagnes/Angels we have heard on high was a favorite carol.  As a child, I loved singing the Glorias...

Les Anges dans nos campagnes

Les anges dans nos campagnes
Ont entonné l'hymne des cieux
Et l'écho de nos montagnes
Redit ce chant mélodieux<

Gloria in excelsis Déo! (bis)
Bergers, pour qui cette fête ?
Quel est l'objet de tous ces chants ?
Quel vainqueur, quelle conquête
Mérite ces cris triomphants :

Ils annoncent la naissance
Du libérateur d'Israël
Et pleins de reconnaissance
Chantent en ce jour solennel :
Gloria ...

Cherchons tous l'heureux village
Qui l'a vu naître sous ses toits
Offrons-lui le tendre hommage
Et de nos cœurs et de nos voix :
Gloria ...

Bergers, quittez vos retraites,
Unissez-vous à  leurs concerts,
Et que vos tendres musettes
Fassent retenir les airs :
Gloria ...  

Angels We Have Heard on High

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.


Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?


Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.


See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.

Now sing along with the rest of us bloggers and sing your way through the rest of the Christmas season with the carols you loved best.

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December 10, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions

One of the family traditions I started when our daughters were little is that when the family was here on Christmas Eve, the youngest child in each of the families present would place Baby Jesus in the manger after everyone had arrived.  The children looked forward to it and it was an exciting time to remind us all of the real meaning of Christmas.  I hope that someday it will be a tradition that our daughters will choose pass on to their children.

Once again, we will host open house on Christmas Eve.  In 36 years of marriage there is only one year we did not host open house.  Today I'm off to the market to see what hors d'oeuvres are available.  For many years, I prepared for Christmas Eve spending days cooking our family's traditional ragou, tourtière and pies (my Mémère's recipes the my Mother's).  Some of the nephews and nieces have used the recipes handed down so I don't do much of that anymore. Though some traditions change they are the same.  Life is a paradox.

Wherever you will be this Christmas Eve and Christmas, I hope you enjoy family traditions or good memories of Christmas past!  May you know the warmth and comfort of family and friends - know that I will be thinking of all of you in my own way and a prayer will be said that all of you know the many blessings that Christmas can bring!


Your cousin Lucie

Acadian Ancestral Home

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The Wish and Prayer of a Child for Christmas

Each day as December 25th drew closer, I had one big wish - one prayer - that we would have a white Christmas!  At times that was my prayer throughout Midnight Mass.  Some years it would be snowing as we left Midnight Mass; other times we would have had lots of snow prior to Christmas and yet other years, no snow at all - now that was disappointing.

I suppose the idea of what would make Christmas special was likely sparked by the song entitled "White Christmas" sung by Bing Crosby that my sister used to play over and over again on the record player.  My mother loved music and liked to sing so once my sister went to work in the mills, her treat was to purchase records once in a while.  The Decca records were very popular back then and Decca may even have been the largest recorder of famous singers and instrumentalists of the time.  When Decca came out with the White Christmas LP my sister bought it knowing my mother would love it.

Whatever initiated my wish and prayer for a white Christmas, at the time this was important to me. Now today it is likely that I'd wish for no snow until all the family and friends have ended their travels for the holiday season.  Still it is nice to remember the wishes and prayers of childhood... life was much simpler then.

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December 9, 2010

Childhood Memories at Christmas

In my last post I spoke about how, as a family,  we did not exchange Christmas presents.  Being together meant more than any gifts we might exchange.

By the time I was either 7 or 8 years old, I received my very first Christmas present.  My sister Claudia was ten years older.  She had left high school to go work in the mills as did many children at that time.

The first Christmas she was working she bought me my first doll and carriage that she gave me for Christmas.  As a child I thought it was the prettiest dolly ever.  She even had "hair"!  The carriage was grey with some kind of design on the sides and a canopy that went up and down over the doll's head.  I spent countless hours playing with this doll.  After that Christmas I really don't remember any Christmas presents until I was in high school but again, it didn't matter to us as long as we could all be together.  Whenever I think about it, I find it is amazing that the thought of a present never entered our minds.  In fact, one Christmas I remember my uncle Albert giving my brother Albert a fountain pen for Christmas.  Uncle Al was my brother's godfather.  I remember wondering why he was giving him a present!  Of course, my brother was five  years older than I was so there were many things I didn't understand yet.

Christmas was so simple then and we were focused on the true meaning of Christmas:  the birth of the Christ Child, sharing love with family, wanting to be nowhere but with family.  Now that was Christmas!

My wish for all is that we will once again embrace the true meaning of Christmas.


Your cousin Lucie
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