January 25, 2011

Who Is In Those Photos

Some people have asked "who is in the photos" - those photos in question are part of the header of this blog.

From the left:

# 1.  My grandparents Arthémise Dumais and Étienne Levesque on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.

#2.  Photo taken with them and their children, grandchildren and great grandchild on the same occasion.

#3.  Their daughter Rosanna Levesque and George LeBlanc - my parents.

#4.  Wedding photo of Lucie LeBlanc and Anthony Consentino (me and my husband).

#5.  Photo of our two daughters Rebecca and Sarah.

#6.  Wedding photo of Rebecca Consentino and Tyler Hains.

#7.  Wedding photo of Sarah Consentino and Corey Jackson.

#8.  Our grandson Theo, son of Rebecca and Tyler.

#9.  Old photo of me and my grandmother at the beach when I was a child.

#10.  My husband Anthony when he was a boy.

#11.   Wedding photo of Maria Grazia Consentino and Filippo Consentino - my husband's parents

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Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
2010 - Present

January 15, 2011

Surname Saturday - Doiron


Descendants of JEAN DOIRON
 
Generation No. 1

        1.  JEAN1 DOIRON was born Abt. 1649 in France, and died Bet. 28 April 1735 - 03 June 1736 in Ste-Famille de Pigiguit, Acadia - DBIM.  He married (1) MARIE-ANNE CANOL Abt. 1671.  She was born Abt. 1651, and died 1693 in Before census of 1693.  He married (2) MARIE TRAHAN 1693 in Before census of 1693, daughter of GUILLAUME TRAHAN and MADELEINE BRUN.  She was born Abt. 1672 in Port-Royal , Acadia.

Notes for JEAN DOIRON:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 513
DOIRON, Jean
The Doiron family traces its roots back to Jean Doiron, born in France about 1649. His name first appears on the Census of 1686. Married twice, he was the father of at least nineteen children.
Jean's parentage is unknown. Placide Gaudet cites his birthplace as Saint-Martin de l'île de Ré though other genealogists have not been able to find this link.
He married Marie-Anne Canol and in a second marriage, he wed Marie Trahan.
When Jean Doiron appears in the census of 1686, he is called Jean Douaron, aged 37 and married to Marianne Cannol, aged 35. At this time, he had seven children, which means they would have married about 1671. At the time of this census, it is also noted that Jean Doiron was certainly not a farmer. He had no land cultivated though he had seven horned animals and a sheep. This could in- dicate that he was newly arrived in Port-Royal. Could it be that he had another profession/trade - perhaps that of a soldier or navigator?
Very few details are available about his life in Port-Royal. His wife Marie-Anne Canol died about 1690. He married Marie Trahan in 1671 when he was 42 and she was 20. In 1693, he had settled his family in the colony of Mines (Les Mines).
By 1693 he was a well established farmer with eight acres of cultivated land, 8 horned animals, 9 lambs and 5 hogs.
Jean died at Pisiguit about 1735.
Sources: 1.  La Famille Doiron by Allen Doiron - Fidèle Thériault
2.  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 513
______________
DOIRON, Jean, married Marie-Anne Canol, and both of them were from France, according to Pierre Trahan, husband of his granddaughter Madeleine Vincent (Doc. inéd., Vol. III, p. 111). Another Pierre Trahan, who was a nephew of Jean Doiron?s second wife, Marie Trahan, mistakenly attributes the given name of Charles to him (ibid., p. 8), as do three other depositions: one from Jean Doiron?s grandson Jean Hébert (ibid., p. 11), one from his great-grandson Félix Boudrot (ibid., p. 39), and the last from Marie-Madeleine LeBlanc on behalf of her son-in-law Miniac Daigre, another of the ancestor?s great-grandsons (ibid., p. 25). Miniac Daigre?s uncles Alexis and Jean Doiron in their joint deposition likewise call their grandfather Charles, but do not mention his place of origin (ibid., p. 16). The 1693 census shows clearly that the same man who was listed as the husband of Marie-Anne Canol in 1686 had remarried Marie Trahan, and both those censuses and various other records in Acadia uniformly call the Doiron forebear Jean (see DGFA-1, pp. 513-516).

Source:  Acadian Origins According to the Depositions Made by Their Descendants at Belle-Île-en-Mer in 1767 by Stephen A. White, January 17, 2005

Notes for MARIE-ANNE CANOL:
Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 513

CANOL, Marie-Anne, married Jean Doiron, and both of them were from France, according to Pierre Trahan, husband of her granddaughter Madeleine Vincent (Doc. inéd., Vol. III, p. 111). Marie-Anne?s family name is not provided in this deposition, but it is known from the 1686 census and the marriage records of three of her children in the registers of Port-Royal and Grand-Pré (see DGFA-1, pp. 513-514).

Source:  Acadian Origins According to the Depositions Made by Their Descendants at Belle-Île-en-Mer in 1767 by Stephen A. White, January 17, 2005

Notes for MARIE TRAHAN:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 1536
       
Children of JEAN DOIRON and MARIE-ANNE CANOL are:
        2                 i.    Anne-Marie2 Doiron.  She married Michel Vincent Abt. 1710 in Pisiguit, Acadia  - DBIM; born Abt. 1668.

Notes for Anne-Marie Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 513

Notes for Michel Vincent:
Source:  Dictionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 1575 c.

        3                ii.    Abraham Doiron, born Abt. 1672; died Bef. 1705.  He married Anne Babin Abt. 1697; born Abt. 1674.

Notes for Abraham Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 513 a. 3. & p 517 3.

Notes for Anne Babin:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 57-58

        4               iii.    Charles Doiron, born Abt. 1674; died 1758 in (DBIM) - Arch Port St-Servan - died at sea while being Deported to France..  He married Françoise Gaudet Aft. 1693; born Abt. 1673; died 1758 in (DBIM)- Arch Port St-Servan - died at sea while being Deported to rance.

Notes for Charles Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 513

        5               iv.    Jeanne Doiron, born Abt. 1676 in Unknown; died Unknown in Unknown.  She married Jean Hébert Abt. 1692 in DBIM; born Abt. 1659 in nknown; died Unknown in Unknown.

Notes for Jeanne Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 513

Notes for Jean Hébert:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 813

Explanatory Notes by S. A. White

i.  Note that the godparents of the two eldest daughters of Jeanne Hébert and Augustin Guédry included Jeanne Doiron and Charles Hébert (Rg GP 26 Sept 1723).

ii.  Nicolas Lacroix was a witness at Étienne Hébert's marriage (Rg GP 18 Aug 1734).  It would appear that he and Étienne were brothers-in-law.

iii.  One may well believe that Joseph belonged to Jean Hébert Senior's family because he was with Jean Junior in exile at Liverpool, England and because later on his widow and children settled in French Guiana together with some of Jean Junior's children.  There must have been a close relationship between Joseph and Jean Junior to explain the similarity of their itineraries.

iv.  Joseph Vincent dit Clément was a native of Port-Royal, but he settled in the parish of L'Assomption at Pisiguit, where his eldest son was born about 1741. It is likely that Joseph took up residence there because his wife was originally from that parish.  This leads to the deduction that his wife was a daughter of Jean Hébert and Jeanne Doiron, because they were the parents of the only Hébert family in L'Assomption parish at Pisiguit at the time of Joseph Vincent's wife's birth.

v.  Marie-Josèphe Lejeune and Marie Michel were both originally from Pisiguit.  It is likely that their husband originally came from the same place.   This supposition leads to the conclusion that Paul Hébert must have been a son of Jean Hébert and Jeanne Doiron, becuase at the time of Paul's birth theirs was the only Hébert family settled at Pisiguit.  This conclusion is reinforced by the fact that Paul bore the nickname Benjamin, which suggests that he was the youngest child of a large family.  Additionally, this connection provides an explanation for the settlement of Charles Hébert and Catherine Saulnier on a lot of land at the Anse-aux-Pirogues on Île St-Jean, near Paul's own lot.

Exlanatory Note by M. Barriault:

The dispensation for the fourth degree of kindred granted upon the marriage of Michel Henry, great-grandson of Jean Henry dit LeVieux and Marie Hébert, to Anne Hébert, great-granddaughter of Charles Hébert and Catherine Saulnier (Rg St-Charles de Ken 10 Jan 1825), leads to the conclusion that Marie Hébert, Catherine Saulnier's husband, were sister and brother, and thus that Marie was a member of Jean Hébert and Jeanne Doiron's family.

Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White
& English Supplement, pp 167-168

        6                v.    Jean Doiron, born Abt. 1678; died Bef. 1750.  He married Anne LeBlanc Abt. 1710; born Abt. 1692 in Les Mines, Acadia; died 04 December 1757 in Québec, Canada.

Notes for Jean Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 513

Notes for Anne LeBlanc:
Birth:  Census for Les Mines 1693 1a
Marriage according to A. Godbout
Death/burial:  Québec Register for December 4/4 1757 60a
She had been a widow at time of her death
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 991 d.

        7               vi.    PIERRE DOIRON, born Abt. 1680.  He married (1) Unknown Abt. 1703.  He married (2) MADELEINE DOUCET Abt. 1709; born Abt. August 1671; died Bef. 25 February 1740.  He married (3) Véronique Brasseur 25 February 1740 in Beaubassin, Acadia; born 12 June 1717 in Grand-Pré,  Acadia; died Bet. 1754 - 1755.

Notes for PIERRE DOIRON:
Registers:  Beaubassin;Grand Pre
Census:  Beaubassin 1703; newly weds; 1 able to carry arms
Census:  Mines [Grand-Pre] 1707:  1 son voe the age of 12
Census: Beaubassin 1714:  also living with them:  Jean-Baptiste, Anne, Marguerite, Joseph and Michel (children of René Bernard)
Census:  Aulac 1754-1755:  The old Pierre Doiron widower, 2 sons, 1 daughter

Secondary source:  Placide Gaudet, "Arbre généalogique de feu Dosithée-J. Doiron", L'Évangéline, 5 March 1942, p 12, col 1.

Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 518-519 4.

Notes for Unknown:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 518-519 4.

Notes for MADELEINE DOUCET:
Port-Royal census 1671 - 3 months; 1678 - age 10; 1686 - age 16; Beaubassin census 1693 - age 23; 1698 - age 28; 1700 - age 30; 1714

Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 529
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 518-519 4.

Notes for Véronique Brasseur:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 518-519 4. M 3.

        8              vii.    Philippe Doiron, born Abt. 1682.  He married Marie-Josèphe Guédry Abt. 1715 in Port-Toulouse, (St. Peters) Cape Breton; died Bef. 02 February 1752.

Notes for Philippe Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 513 & 772

Notes for Marie-Josèphe Guédry:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 772 & 513

        9             viii.    Noël Doiron, born Abt. 1684 in Les Mines, Acadia; died Abt. 13 December 1758 in At sea on the Duke William while being Deported to France.  He married Marie Henry Abt. 1705 in Boston, Massachusetts; born Abt. 1681; died 13 December 1758 in At sea on the Duke William while being Deported to France.

Notes for Noël Doiron:
Noel Doiron, his wife, five of their children, more than thirty of their grandchildren, and many of their great grandchildren were among the Acadian families on Ile St-Jean who disappeared without a trace after 1758.  It appears that Noel Doiron was the old leader of the Acadians of Pointe-Prime who is mentioned but  not named in Captain Nicholls' account of the shipwreck of the Duke William.  According to this account, the old leader and all of his family perished when the ship sank at sea.

Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 513 & the English Supplement, p 111

Marriage Notes for Noël Doiron and Marie Henry:
Nuptial Blessing on 24 September 1706 at Port-Royal

        10              ix.    Marie Doiron, born Abt. 1687 in Port-Royal , Acadia; died 02 February 1733 in Louisbourg, Cape Breton.  She married (1) François Testard dit Paris 22 November 1706 in Port Royal , Acadia.  She married (2) Pierre Boisseau 05 September 1729 in Louisbourg, Cape Breton.

Notes for Marie Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 513

        11               x.    Jacques (twin) Doiron, born Abt. 1689.

Notes for Jacques (twin) Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 513

        12              xi.    Louis (twin) Doiron, born Abt. 1689; died November 1727 in L'Assomption, Pisiguit, Acadia - DBIM.  He married Marguerite Barrieau 21 November 1712 in Grand-Pré ,  Acadia; born Abt. 1689; died in SS-Pierre & Paul de la Pointe-Prime, Ile St-Jean - DBIM.

Notes for Louis (twin) Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, p 525

Notes for Marguerite Barrieau:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, pages 76 & 77

       
Children of JEAN DOIRON and MARIE TRAHAN are:
        13               i.    Marguerite2 Doiron, died Aft. 1752.  She married René Guillot dit Langevin Abt. 1719.

Notes for Marguerite Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 513

        14              ii.    MARIE DOIRON.  She married PIERRE GIROUARD 14 November 1709 in Grand-Pré, Acadia; born Abt. 1673 in Port Royal , Acadia.

Notes for MARIE DOIRON:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 513

Notes for PIERRE GIROUARD:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 720 b. 5. 724 5., 725 & 726

        15             iii.    Thomas Doiron, born Abt. 1699; died 1758 in Arch Port St-Servan - died at sea while being Deported to France..  He married Anne Girouard Abt. 1724; born Abt. 1704; died 10 December 1761 in Arch Port St-Servan - St-Suliac, France.

Notes for Thomas Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 513

Notes for Anne Girouard:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 724, 725 & 726

More About Anne Girouard:
Burial: 12 December 1761, St-Suliac, France

        16             iv.    Paul Doiron, born Abt. 1701; died Aft. 12 August 1763.  He married Marguerite Doucet Abt. 1725.

Notes for Paul Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 513

        17              v.    Alexandre Doiron, born Abt. 1703; died Bet. 1763 - 1768.  He married Anne Vincent 20 October 1727 in Grand-Pré ,  Acadia; born 17 June 1711 in Port- Royal , Acadia.

Notes for Alexandre Doiron:
Deported to Oxford, Maryland - in the census of 1763

Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 513

Notes for Anne Vincent:
Baptised conditionally on 22 July 1711 by Abraham Bourg - Godparents:  Yves Maucaïre and Anne Lord
Census:  Oxford, Maryland 1763
On list of arrivals for Louisiana 1768 age 59

Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 1582

        18             vi.    Madeleline Doiron, born Abt. 1705; died 11 January 1795 in St-Michel de Bellechase, Québec, Canada.  She married François Nogues Abt. 1729.

Notes for Madeleline Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 513

        19            vii.    Pierre Doiron, born Abt. 1706; died 29 March 1751 in Ile St-Jean (P.E.I.), Canada -  ( Port Lajoie Register).  He married Marguerite Breau Abt. 1746.

Notes for Pierre Doiron:
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 513

        20           viii.    Catherine Doiron, born Bet. 15 May - 29 June 1709 in Grand-Pré, Acadia; died 14 December 1784 in St-Ours, Québec, Canada.  She married François Turcot Abt. 1740 in Ste-Famille de Pisiguit, Acadia (possibly); born 07 May 1710 in Doué-La-Fontaine, Anjou, France; died 07 August 1789 in St-Ours, Québec.

Notes for Catherine Doiron:
Baptized 29 June 1709 - St-Charles-des-Mines parish registers
Source:  Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 513

Received electronically from Stephen A. White on 28 February 2009:
As the DGFA-1 shows, Catherine Doiron was born on May 15, 1709, and was baptized at Grand-Pré on the following June 29th.  She was not born between those dates.

It is not known where Catherine Doiron married François Turcot, but it was probably in the parish of Ste-Famille de Pisiguit, where Catherine's father, Jean Doiron, had died a few years previously, according to the Déclarations at Belle-Île-en-Mer.  There is no evidence insofar as I know suggesting that Catherine and François would have been married on île Royale.  By the way, there was no parish named St-Pierre de Toulouse.  The parish of St-Pierre on île Royale was at Port-Toulouse, as is shown on page xx of the DGFA-1.

As for François Turcot, his origin in France has been traced by Jean-Marie Germe.  François was born and baptized on May 7, 1710, at Doué-La-Fontaine, which is, as La Roque's census shows, in what was the province of Anjou.  He did not come from St-Pierre de Doix in the Vendée.  His parents, as shown by his baptismal record, were François Turcot and Jeanne Bidet, as I have indicated in the Corrections and Additions to the DGFA-1 on the Centre d'études acadiennes's webpage.  This information was not available to me in 1999, when the DGFA-1 was published, but was only found in 2000, when M. Germe published it, in Les Amitiés généalogiques canadiennes-françaises, no 11, pp. 33-34.  Not only did M. Germe find François Turcot's baptismal record, but also the marriage record of his parents, dated Sept. 2, 1709, also at Doué-La-Fontaine, which shows that his father François Turcot was a son of François Turcot and Jeanne Pérodeau, of the parish of St-Barthélemy at La Rochelle, and that his mother Jeanne Bidet was a daughter of Pierre Bidet and Jeanne Renault.  And M. Germe's brief article includes actual facsimile copies of both records.  Curiously, his discovery has not been reported in the Fichier origine, perhaps because the François Turcot who married Catherine Doiron lived in Acadia before ending up in Québec.

François Turcot was thus born in 1710, and not in 1718.  The 1710 date fits much better with his reported age of seventy-eight when he died in 1789.  As for his age at the time of La Roque's census in 1752, this must be taken to be an error, as he certainly wasn't twenty-four at that time.  Interestingly, simply transposing the two numbers would hit the mark, as he would have been just forty-two when the Sieur de La Roque visited his area

Notes for François Turcot:
Premier Turcot de ma famille au Canada, un acadien De France, il arrive d'abord en N E (St-Pierre), s'y marie et a 4 enfants Ensuite il vit quelques années à l'Ile St-Jean (Ile du Prince Edouard) Pour fuir la déportation, avec sa femme et ses 4 enfants, se dirige vers Québec à l'hiver 1755-56. Il obtint de Bigot, une terre près de Québec et fut le premier colon de St-Gervais de Bellechasse, à dix-huit kms au sud de Beaumont.
----------------------
Received electronically from Stephen A. White on 28 February 2009:
As the DGFA-1 shows, Catherine Doiron was born on May 15, 1709, and was baptized at Grand-Pré on the following June 29th.  She was not born between those dates.

It is not known where Catherine Doiron married François Turcot, but it was probably in the parish of Ste-Famille de Pisiguit, where Catherine's father, Jean Doiron, had died a few years previously, according to the Déclarations at Belle-Île-en-Mer.  There is no evidence insofar as I know suggesting that Catherine and François would have been married on île Royale.  By the way, there was no parish named St-Pierre de Toulouse.  The parish of St-Pierre on île Royale was at Port-Toulouse, as is shown on page xx of the DGFA-1.

As for François Turcot, his origin in France has been traced by Jean-Marie Germe.  François was born and baptized on May 7, 1710, at Doué-La-Fontaine, which is, as La Roque's census shows, in what was the province of Anjou.  He did not come from St-Pierre de Doix in the Vendée.  His parents, as shown by his baptismal record, were François Turcot and Jeanne Bidet, as I have indicated in the Corrections and Additions to the DGFA-1 on the Centre d'études acadiennes's webpage.  This information was not available to me in 1999, when the DGFA-1 was published, but was only found in 2000, when M. Germe published it, in Les Amitiés généalogiques canadiennes-françaises, no 11, pp. 33-34.  Not only did M. Germe find François Turcot's baptismal record, but also the marriage record of his parents, dated Sept. 2, 1709, also at Doué-La-Fontaine, which shows that his father François Turcot was a son of François Turcot and Jeanne Pérodeau, of the parish of St-Barthélemy at La Rochelle, and that his mother Jeanne Bidet was a daughter of Pierre Bidet and Jeanne Renault.  And M. Germe's brief article includes actual facsimile copies of both records.  Curiously, his discovery has not been reported in the Fichier origine, perhaps because the François Turcot who married Catherine Doiron lived in Acadia before ending up in Québec.

François Turcot was thus born in 1710, and not in 1718.  The 1710 date fits much better with his reported age of seventy-eight when he died in 1789.  As for his age at the time of La Roque's census in 1752, this must be taken to be an error, as he certainly wasn't twenty-four at that time.  Interestingly, simply transposing the two numbers would hit the mark, as he would have been just forty-two when the Sieur de La Roque visited his area

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Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Lucie's Legacy

January 13, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - Death Record for Grandfather Damien LeBlanc

This death record for my grandfather Daniel (Damien) LeBlanc is truly a treasure for me and for my family.  I had been searching for his place of death and burial for more years than I can remember.  What I never knew was that he had changed his name to Daniel.

Why the name change?  That really had me baffled but it seems that many Acadian men by the name of Damien change their names to Daniel.

Someone asked how I knew this was really my grandfather.  Because I've done my family genealogy I knew the names of his parents and their names are on the death record.  The person giving the information was a Mrs. Pierre LeBlanc.  Well this is another mystery.  She obviously knew my grandfather very well to have given the names of his parents.  She was obviously aware that both his wives had passed away. I hope I can solve who this lady was and how we are related.

So if I'd known about this interchange of names I would have probably found my grandfather's death record long ago.  I found it just this past October 21st and I was just thrilled when I saw it, was able to download it and print it.  Indeed this is a treasure. The record also tells me where he was buried.  Now finding his grave will be a whole new search!
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Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
2011 - Present

January 11, 2011

Interpreting Marriage Dispensations


When  doing genealogy research, we often hear how family relationships were  figured out by looking at marriage dispensations.  These dispensations  were very common in the Catholic Church so I thought it might be of some  help to blog about how dispensations work.

Since  cousins marrying one another raises some moral, as well as genetic  issues, the Catholic Church set up  a system to regulate such unions.  Official Church permission was required to marry a blood relative. This  permission was given in the form of granting dispensations for varying  degrees of consanguinity of blood relationship. No distinction was made  between half-siblings and those who shared both parents.
There are four basic degrees of consanguinity:

  • First degree:  siblings, who share the same parents


  • Second degree:  first cousins, who share the same grandparents


  • Third degree:  second cousins, who share the same great grandparents

  • Fourth degree:  third cousins, who share the same great, great grandparents
  • Therefore, if second cousins wished to marry one another, they would  need to be granted a dispensation for a third (or third to third - 3/3)  degree of consanguinity from the Church before the marriage could be  solemnized.

    Now if you happen to descend from the Acadians of southeastern New Brunswick,  dispensations were not always that simple. A couple could be third  cousins through their mothers, as well as their fathers, requiring a  dispensation for a double, fourth degree of consanguinity. A relationship could also be uneven whereas the groom's grandfather was  the brother of the bride's great grandfather requiring a dispensation  for a third to fourth degree of consanguinity, because they were second cousins, once removed.

    Dispensations were not limited to  blood relationships. There were also spiritual relationships. When a  person married, that person became a spiritual member of the new  spouse's family. A sister-in-law was, in a spiritual sense, a sister.  This applied to brothers, cousins, etc. If a man wished to marry his  late wife's first cousin, spiritually he would be marrying his own first  cousin. This would require a dispensation for a second degree of  affinity. Dispensations for affinity relationships were governed by the  same guidelines as blood relationships of consanguinity.

    For people with Acadian roots, dispensations play a major role in New Brunswick-Acadian genealogy. With  a lack of surviving, original records of the late eighteenth-century and a number of nineteenth-century marriage records in which the parents of the couple were not noted, dispensations are a valuable tool in the  confirmation of ancestry and relationships. Dispensations are used by  professional researchers in determining if indeed such and such ancestors were related to one another because of the dispensations being granted their children, etc.

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    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
    1998 - Present

    January 10, 2011

    Thank you Randy Seaver!

    Sincere thanks for Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings for the shout out.  I really appreciate the fact that Randy took the time to read my last recent blogs "Mama and Me" and "Papa and Me".

    Randy posted the following:

    Best of the Genea-Blogs - 2 January to 8 January 2011

    Hundreds of genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.

    My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for the genealogy carnivals, or other meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

    After listing his picks for the Best 2 January to 8 January 2011, he ended with the following:

    Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 740 genealogy bloggers using Google Reader, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

    I think Randy deserves a shout out for following so many blogs and for taking the time to summarize his view on blogs he chooses for a given week.

    Please don't forget to visit Genea-Musings to read about his Genealogy research tips and techniques, genealogy news items and commentary, genealogy humor, San Diego genealogy society news, family history research and some family history stories from the keyboard of Randy Seaver (of Chula Vista CA).

    While there take a look at the blogs he has reviewed. I'm sure there are some you've never read before.

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
    Lucie's Legacy
    10 January 2011

    January 9, 2011

    52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 2: Winter

    Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History.

    This is Week 2 of the series: Winter. What was winter like where and when you grew up?  Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

    Growing up in New England Winters has always been a challenge for its inhabitants whether living inland, by the ocean or further up country.  I grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  Today that is about a 45 minute drive north or south to the ocean.  Lawrence is about a 35 minutes north of Boston and is situated near the New Hampshire border of Salem and Methuen, Massachusetts where I live today.

    When we were children, my mother used to always tell us the snowstorms were nothing compared to when she grew up.  I think how much snow there "seems to be all depends on the era when one lived.  My mother grew up in the horse and buggy era then the trolleys and finally buses.  In her day few people had cars and they either found transportation to the mills where they worked or they walked.  Until the era of buses it seems my mother, as well as her parents and siblings who worked in the mills, most often walked to work.  I remember walking pretty much everyone when I was growing up.  We never thought about distance or time, we just did it.

    When I was growing up it did seem to me that winters were colder and snowfalls greater but for some perspective, I was just a little kid looking up at big piles of snow and as that little kid, I probably felt the cold more than adults did. But then again, who knows for sure. 

    We didn't go to the store to buy milk like we do today.  Milk companies employed "milkmen" to deliver milk to homes.  During the first half of the 20th century, milkmen delivered bottles of milk to their customers' doors and would take empty bottles left at the door from their last delivery.  All bottles of milk contained cream. By the time the bottles were delivered in the winter, the cream was frozen over the top of the bottle with stopper still intact. Back then, the stoppers were simply made of thin cardboard with a tab so it was easy to remove whenever we poured some milk from the bottle. 

    The food we ate differed greatly from what we ate during warmer weather.  Summers were too hot to cook some of the things Mama cooked over the winter.  There was no air conditioning back then!  My mother would bake beans in a big crock pot every Saturday. It would take all day for the beans to bake and the aroma of beans baking permeated our home.  The beans would be ready by supper time then Mama would boil some Essem frankfurters to go with the beans.  At that time, Essem's was considered to be the best hot dog around.

    Because we were catholic and could not eat meat on Fridays, Mama would fry haddock and french fries.  She would send me to the fish store, which was in our neighborhood, to buy a couple of pounds of nice fresh haddock.

    It was pretty much like this all winter long - nice big hot meals, lots of soup to boot.  Soup was not in a package as it is today. It was cooked from scratch.  Some Sundays we would have a nice boiled dinner or roast beef with potatoes and carrots.  If we had ham, Mama would save the ham bone to make pea soup during the week. Again, making pea soup was a day long project.  There were no gas stoves.  Everything was cooked on the very stove that was stoked with wood or coal to warm the house.  I was quite young when my family was finally able to afford a gas stove. What a difference that made and Mama loved cooking on that stove! 

    Before we had a gas stove, with one side that had burners to heat the house, at night there would be no heat in the house.  Once the wood or coal burned out late evening that was it until Mama got up very early next morning to heat the house before we children arose.

    Now because there was no heat in the house overnight, Mama would pile a few warm blankets on our beds to keep us warm.  We also wore long flannel night gowns or pajamas and that helped to keep us warm.

    As a child, the best part of winter was playing out in the snow and building a facsimile of a snowman. I grew up in one of four large tenement buildings that totaled 24 tenements (today we call them "apartments"). You can imagine how much fun we had.  Our playground was the yard we shared in the middle of the buildings with the yard in between two tenement buildings to the back and two to the front of the yard.  It was the best!  There was a bunch of kids to play with and all the snow would be shoveled into one huge pile in the middle of the yard so we could sled down that mound of snow.

    You know, life was simpler then and it really didn't take much to make us happy.


    Well these are some of the good memories I have growing up in New England winters.  There are many more but those will have to be shared at another time.  Thanks for asking!

    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
    Lucie's Legacy
    2011 - Present

    January 8, 2011

    A History of the Consentino Family Musicians


    Part I
    Francesco Consentino

    circa 1910 - Lawrence, Massachusetts
    The first of the Consentino family
    to bring music to America


    Among the early Italian pioneers in Lawrence, Massachusetts is my husband's family - on both sides.  His father was a Consentino as well as his mother.  His mother Maria Grazia/Mary Grace descends from the brother of Francesco Consentino.


    Vincenzo Consentino
    circa 1910 - Lawrence, Massachusetts

    His name was Vincenzo.  When they arrived in America they set out to "Americanize" themselves and became known as Frank and Vincent.  So both Frank and Vincent are my husband Anthony's grandfathers.


    Mistretta, Sicily, Italy


    All Consentino originally come from Mistretta, Italy.  On the ship's list for Vincenzo his occupation was that of a shepherd.  When he came to America he started a cigar business.  Cigar stores were very popular back then.  What I've always loved about the immigrants who came to America is that they could be very enterprising - very entrepreneurial as we would say today.

    On the ship's list for Francesco, he is listed as a cobbler.  Apparently he had honed a fine trade in shoemaking when living in Italy.  He once told my husband Anthony the following:  "Before coming to America, I apprenticed for sevenyears, leraning to design and hand craft custom made shoes."

    When  he arrived in Lawrence, the first thing he did was to open a cobbler's / shoemakers shop and later his son Filippo/Philip - my husband's father - would learn the trade and eventually take over the business.

    Meanwhile, Francesco had another passion in life:  he was a musician.  He came to America knowing to play the violin and the bass violin.

    His oldest son Giuseppe/Joseph, whose photo is to the left, played the mandolin and other string instruments.

    Family oral history tells us that while sailing to Ellis Island they entertained other immigrants on the ship while at sea.

    In 1910, at about the age of 20, Joseph Consentino had already been playing publicly with other musicians and he also had three studios in a tenement (today we call them apartments) he rented where he taught string instruments.  In the photo to the left you see him playing the banjo.

    Uncle Joe must have done quite well for himself as it was not long before he had a building built on Newbury Street in Lawrence where in addition to the studios he now opened a music store in 1920.

    Born 5 December 1890 in Mistretta, Italy, Joseph married Maria Rancatore on 29 November 1909 in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  He was 19 years of age.  His new wife, Maria was 15 years old.  She passed away 28 July 1916 and Joseph remarried 22 November 1917 to Grace Maglitta.


    [Note:  Joseph's daughter Dorothy tells me that Paul Whiteman had invited him to join his orchestra but Joe turned him down because it would mean lots of traveling and he had young children at home.]


    Frank Consentino
    aka Frankie Kahn


    Issue from the first marriage was a son Frank Consentino born 29 March 1913.  Frank would become a very accomplished musician.  He would found and direct the Frankie Kahn Orchestra and his was one of the "Big Bands" of the era.     Frankie Kahn's  "Big Band" played at the Canobie Lake Ballroom in Salem, New Hampshire as did other bands of great renown like Tommy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, Count Basie, Guy Lombardo, Jimmy Dorsey, Lawrence Welk, Paul Whiteman, Louis Armstrong just to name a few.

    Children from Joseph Consentino and Grace Maglitta included a son named Gildo.  Gildo, half brother to Frankie Kahn, wrote all of the arrangements for  the orchestra.

    Tomorrow:  Part II - the Consentino family prepares more musicians for the community.

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    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
    Lucie's Legacy
    and the

    ***No part of this family history may be copied
    or posted anywhere without permission.***



    January 7, 2011

    Papa and Me


    My first bike, my first puppy and my first *new* bike


    Yesterday I share memories about my mother in my blog "Mama and Me".. well be it known that I could not write a follow up about "Papa and Me."

    As a child I always thought my Papa was pretty special just like I knew Mama was special.  As an adult, I've come to realize that lots of children think their Dads are special... but for me, my Papa really was!

    He would do the most unexpected things.  Of course, my Mother might not agree with everything he did for his children - like the time he unexpectedly brought home a puppy or two.  I wasn't around the first time he brought one home but I was about ten or eleven the second time he brought one home.  He had popped into a local diner for lunch and ordered a hot dog.  The wait fellow at the counter brought him a tiny puppy in a coffee cup.  Well being the old softy that he was, Papa decided to take the puppy home.  Of course, Mama wasn't home at the time.  She was in a Brookline, Ma hospital where she'd had surgery.  So my sister who was about 18 at the time was home when Papa brought the little beagle-mix puppy home.  My sister was ten years older than me and she had left high school at 16 to go work in the mills.  Lots of people used to leave their education behind to go work in the mills.  As it would turn out, I was the first in my family to graduate from high school.

    But back to the puppy.  Because my sister went to work from 1p.m. to 10p.m. in the Pacific Mills where Mama also worked, it was decided I would stay at my Mémère and Pépère's home that was just a stone's throw and that we could see from our own home.  My sister called over to me (yes, we lived that close) and told me to come to the house that there was a surprise waiting for me.  I ran over to see what it was and lo and behold this cute little black, tan and white cuddly little pup was put in my arms.  It was love at first hold!  We named the pup Queenie and she would be my little Queenie for as long as she lived.

    Of course now the real problem would be getting Mama to agree to keeping this little pup.  As a child I always loved animals.  I would have dogs and cats follow me home and then ask Mama if we could keep them.  As all mothers should, she told me to take those animals back where I found them... gee, I was so sure she'd let me keep each one I brought home!

    So how could we convince Mama that we should keep this cute little critter?  Well that evening when Papa went to visit Mama at the hospital, we brought Queenie with us.  I waited for a bit until the coast was clear and we brought the puppy into the hospital wrapped in my sweater.  I put her on Mama's hospital bed and she couldn't resist either.  Of course, had the nurses seen this puppy inside the hospital they would not have resisted kicking us out either but we got in and out unscathed ;o)

    Anyhow these are the kinds of things Papa was prone to do.


    I was pretty much the youngest child not only in my family but among most of the neighborhood children.  I used to bemoan the fact that all of these olders "kids" had two wheel bicycles while I had none.

    My Papa worked part-time for Cooper's Express - Cooper's was a moving company.  One day while moving furniture to someone's home they had some items they wanted to dispose of.  One of those items Papa brought home.  I was not allowed to go to the basement of our tenement until he was done "whatever" he was doing with that item.

    It turned out to be a small child's two wheel bicycle.  Nothing at all like the big two wheelers but boy it suited me just fine.  It was indeed an old bicycle and Papa had put it in the basement so he could paint it.  It was one of the best gifts he could have given me.

    When I was twelve years old one afternoon after work he told me I was to go to the store with him.  We went to Roby Miers Bicycle Shop in Lawrence where I grew up.  He let me pick out a spanking  new bicycle of my choice.  I chose a beautiful red and white bike with white wall tires.  What a bike!

    There are so many acts of kindness Dad did that I could write a book.

    When I was about twenty-one I was at work when a Nor'easter hit.  Since I used to ride with another worker, I had no idea how I would walk home in all that snow when I got dropped off a block away.  I imagined I'd be soaking wet!  Well when I was dropped off, Papa was waiting at that spot with my boots so I could get home without getting wet.

    This was the kind of father he was - always concerned for his family and always doing the unexpected that brought great pleasure and satisfaction.

    All in all Papa loved his family a whole lot.  His own Mother passed away when he was only thirteen.  He once told me that his older brothers and sisters raised him.  He was born into a family of seventeen children, he being the third youngest.

    I fondly remember how Saturday evening was date night for Papa and Mama.  They would get dressed up and go to the movies.  On the way they always passed L'Heureux Jewelers.  One Monday noon time he came home with two jewelery sets Mama had liked as they window shopped at the jewelery store on Saturday evening.  She chose one set and he returned the other.   He paid 50 cents a week to the jeweler until it was paid in full.  Mama gave me that set after I was married.  I cherish it to this day not only because it was hers but because Papa gave it to her.

    So life was indeed interesting with my parents.  Whether times were good or bad they made things work.

    As my Papa lay dying, I was by his bedside while the rest of the family had gone to lunch.  He told me he would always be with me and I know that both he and Mama are always and forever with me and all of our family.  He loved his two oldest grandchildren he lived to see.  He passed away at the age of 59 so never got to see his other grandchildren.
      Now his great grandson Theo is writing another chapter in our family history.



    All rights reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
    2011

    January 6, 2011

    Mama and Me


    Mama and Me

    When I was a little girl, I thought there was nobody more wonderful and special than my mother who we fondly called "Mama".  Of course, I suppose children feel that way about their mothers and why wouldn't they?  Parents are their whole world.  As infants, toddlers and young children, we ultimately rely on our parents to fulfill our every need.  My parents were no different.. especially Mama

    Growing up in a French-Canadian ethnic neighborhood was the best.  Why?  Because we grew up with all of our aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.  Families today do not often have that same kind of connection.

    Our parish church was in our neighborhood as were all businesses owned by French-Candians and that allowed our immigrant grandparents to take care of business in their customary language which was French.  So whether they went grocery shopping, were in need of pharmacy or other services, attending church (which was  most important to them), they could conduct business comfortably in their mother tongue with which they had spoken since they had been born in French speaking province of Quebec.  Dubrule Pharmacy was where they had prescriptions filled. As children we loved going to Dubrules because there was a soda fountain.  We enjoyed many ice cream cones in the summer and ice cream sundaes on Sunday afternoons.  Each ethnic neigborhood had its own grocery stores, fish markets, fruit stores etc.  These neighborhoods were great microcosms of the larger world but best of all we felt safe.  Our doors were never locked and nobody was a stranger to us.

    When searching for teachers to staff Ste-Anne parish school, the leaders of the parish wanted bilingual teachers to teach the children in both English and French languages.  I believe we were pretty fortunate to grow up in that kind of situation with our heritage always at the forefront of their minds.  Since our great-grandparents and grandparents were the founders and leaders of the parish, had they not insisted on this, a part of who we were as Franco-Americans would have been lost. Admittedly, as children we didn't realize just how fortunate we were.

    From "baby room" (called kindergarten today) through 8th grade we were taught in two languages.  No, we did not have a French "period" or "class" in those days.  Rather we had a half day of English and a half day of French.  During French classes we were taught the catechism, church history, French grammar, spelling and literature.  During English classes, we were taught the usual classes of reading, grammar, spelling, writing, and arithmetic.  Of course, classes did not begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m. as they often do today.  We were in school from 7:45 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. until the schedule was changed to 3:00 p.m. half way through elementary school.

    To their credit, les Soeurs du Bon-Pasteur de Québec/Sisters of the Good Shepherd of Quebec who had a provincial house in Maine did a great job.  Some of the nuns/teachers were from Quebec while others were Americans. We had the best of both. How fortunate we were to be fluent in both French and English.  As a child I spoke French before I spoke English and I do suppose that was because my Mémère and Pépère (grandmother and grandfather) lived next door for a while and Mémère Lévesque used to baby sit me quite a bit.  Wherever we went in our neighborhood we could converse in French at anytime.  Of course, like all young American children, we had a tendency to speak in English more than French.  My parents were both both in Massachusetts so speaking in either language was a lark.  My parents wanted us to be well versed in English so we would be true Americans.

    Thanks to them, we have grown up as true Americans but today we long for those days when there was someone with whom we could speak in the tongue of our grandparents and forebears.

    I digress.. growing up with Maman was both interesting and fun for us as children.  Just about every summer Sunday the extended family would go to Canobie Lake for a family picnic.  Most of us had no automobiles so we would all take the bus that we could board at the corner of our street and head out for the day.  Most often we would go to 6:00 a.m. Mass and be on the 7:15 a.m. bus so we could get the picnic tables closest to the lake while at other times we would arrive just early enough to reserve a kiosk so we would be in the shade if it was going to be a very hot day.  Everything depended on how fast the bus could get us there.  Usually the bus would have a hard time making the hill as we approached the road to Canobie.  Buses were not what they are today!

    At the end of the day, our extended family would take the last bus home at 10:00 p.m. and sing all the way home.  It was great fun for us kids and everyone on the bus seemed to enjoy our renditions.

    In those days going to Canobie Lake was free admission and it was still a pretty rustic forest full of big pine trees.  We would tie our bottles of drinks together and lower them into the lake to keep them cool.  There were no coolers then.

    There were a few amusement rides and a few food booths and life was simple.  Today it is quite expensive at Canobie because there are mega rides available.  I'd take the good old days anytime.

    Of course, as great as Mama was in getting us ready for the day and sending us off on the bus with my brother and sister so we would arrive with the rest of the family, she always came later.  I don't remember her ever being ready to leave when it was time to go.  But that was part of who she was.  Her main purpose was to get us ready so we could have a fun day from beginning to end.  She would usually arrive at the Lake a couple of hours later with my Mémère who would usually go to 8:00 a.m. Mass.

    Once in a while we would spend a Sunday at Salisbury Beach.  That was more unusual though.  Canobie was only a half hour from home in those days whereas Salisbury was an hour by bus.  Today you can get to Canobie in 10-15 minutes by car and Salisbury in 35-40 minutes depending on traffic.

    Wherever we went Mama made sure we had a good time.  She loved to laugh, tease and have fun.  She always put me on the "dobbie horses" aka carousel. At certain times of the day or evening you could try to "catch" a "gold" ring as the dobbies passed a certain area.  If you could grab onto one you got a free ride.  I didn't get one often because I loved the dobbie horses that went up and down - the ones closest to the edge of the carousel did not move.  Often parents would stand there to grab a ring for their child to get a free ride.  I just loved the dobbie horses so much that I used to fantasize owning my own horse some day.

    Now at Canobie Lake there was a "fortune teller".  My mother and aunts would go have their fortunes told.  You know it was taboo in those days but they did it for fun and didn't believe a word the fortune teller would say.  One day when they were done having their fortunes told, my father told us that his mother used to be a fortune teller.  Everybody laughed and thought he was joking.  I never knew my grandmother Odille because she died at age 42 when my father was just a young boy.  Let me tell you though that as I plodded through our family history, one day I went to the public library to look through City Directories and lo and behold my grandmother was listed as a "clairvoyant" aka fortune teller.  So my father was right.  I sure wish I'd known her!  Not because she claimed to be a clairvoyant but rather because she did what she must to help support a large family.  I see her as having been a very strong woman doing what needed doing to help her family survive.  They were very poor and when she died there was no money for a grave.  She is buried with in a grave belonging to friends of the family.

    So that is also how I always perceived my Mama to be:  a very strong woman from who I learned much about surviving the ups and downs of every day life and hanging in there when things were difficult.

    As Mama grew older and more frail I realized that my perception of how strong a person she was might not be entirely true or correct - I wondered whether or not I was mistaken.  As she shared some of her fears and concerns in her aging years, I realized more and more that she imparted to me the strengths she would have wanted for herself in the up and down years of her life:  however, no matter what she thought of and for herself, she had a greater and deeper strength than she ever imagined.

    I am the last of six children.  Three children died at young ages.  My two oldest siblings, Rita and Emile died one month apart at ages 3 and 4.  A year later my sister Claudia was born, three years later my brother Albert, two years later my brother Alphee who died the age of 9 months.  Five years later I was born.

    One time I remember my father telling me that when their children passed away, Mama would just sit in a rocker with their toys rocking back and forth.  They had died of whooping cough which was untreatable back then.  When I was under a two years old I contracted scarlet fever.  Quarantined to the hospital during that illness when I returned home my Mama patiently taught me once again to walk as I had been so decimated from the illness that I could not walk and was not "talking" much for an 18 month old.

    There was never a day that passed when she did not tell us how much she loved us no matter how old we were and no matter how ill she was at the end of her life.  Today I do the same with our daughters and now our grandson.

    So in spite of the lack of strength she thought lacking, Mama was a much stronger woman than she believed herself to be and I attribute so much of who I am because of who she was in my life.

    Mama I love you and think of you every day.  He is a photo of your great grandson Theo.  Watch over him.




    All Rights Reserved
    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
    2011



    January 4, 2011

    A Quick Flip-Pal Scan


    A few minutes ago, I decided to try the Flip-Pal Scanner laying my father's WWI medal on this old photo of him in his uniform.  You have got to like the effect.

    The other thing I like is that when I look at the scanned photo, I can clearly see the campaigns my father fought in.  I scanned it in high resolution so I can also enlarge the photo as much as I'd like if I want a large print.

    The more I try this wonderful little scanner, the more I love it.  Thanks to my family for gifting me. I just l-o-v-e this gadget!  Now what did we ever do before the Flip-Pal Scanner came into our lives?!?!

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    Lucie's Legacy
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
    2011

    The Bread and Roses Strike of 1912 - Lawrence, Massachusetts

    This year is the 99th anniversary of the famous Bread and Roses Strike that began on January 12th.  The Lawrence History Center is planning many activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a strike that brought change in the lives of our ancestors who worked in textile mills and changed  industry labor laws forever.

    The above photo was taken as protesters marched 
    against owners of the mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

    My mother sometimes talked about this strike. She was already working in the mills. Immigrant families left Canada in search of work and in hopes of a better life. Agriculture had dried out because our ancestors knew nothing back then about crop rotation but they'd heard there was lots of work in the mills of Fall River, Lawrence and Lowell, Massachusetts as well as Manchester, New Hampshire. Mills sprung up in many cities and towns. It became a way of life until the mills left in the 1950's and headed south where labor was cheaper than in these northern mills where workers had learned to unionize to protect their rights.

    On January 12th, 1912 the labor protest that became known as the "Bread and Roses" strike began in Lawrence.

    A new state law had reduced the maximum workweek from 56 to 54 hours. Factory owners responded by speeding up production and cutting workers' pay. Polish women were the first to shut down their looms and leave the mill. As they marched through the streets, workers from all the city's ethnic groups joined them. Over the next months, increasingly violent methods were used to suppress the protest, but the strikers maintained their solidarity. After Congress held hearings on the situation, the mill owners were anxious to avoid bad publicity. They settled with the strikers, bringing to an end a watershed event in American labor history.


    The Bread and Roses Strike of 1912 changed 
    U.S. labor laws forever.

    Background

    On January 12, 1912, workers in the American Woolen Company Mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts, opened their pay envelopes to find that their wages had been cut. They took to the streets in protest, beginning a history-making confrontation between labor and capital. The "Bread and Roses Strike," as it became known, broke new ground in several ways. More than half of the workers in the Lawrence textile mills were women and children, and women played a major role in the strike. Most of the workers were unskilled newcomers from the Middle East, southern and eastern Europe. They spoke more than a dozen different languages and practiced a variety of religions and ethnic customs. What bound them together was the need to improve their living and working conditions.

    By the turn of the twentieth century, New England's factory towns were generally miserable places. Wages were low, rents were high, and living conditions were crowded and unhealthy. The factory floors were brutally hot in summer and painfully cold in winter. The machinery was dangerous; pressure to speed up production increased the risk of accident and injury.

    The photo below is that of a "spinner" girl. Girls and boys worked as young as ten years of age in the mills. It was the same for bobbin girls or lap boys, bobbin girls kept the spinners supplied with bobbins as needed. I really don't know what my mother started as in the mills but I do know that as far back as I can remember she was a weaver in the weave room. I remember my brother being a bobbin boy when he started working in the mills. Later he worked in the "Mule Room". Actually, it was really the Spinning Room but it was called the "Mule Room" simply because the spinning machine was called a "spinning mule". My grandfather, aunts and uncles were all weavers. During World War II the Lawrence Mills wove material for army uniforms as well as blankets.

    Under Massachusetts law, schooling was compulsory for children under age 14, but poverty forced many parents to lie about their sons' and daughters' ages and send them to work in the mills. One boy, asked if he'd like to go to school, said that he would love to, but he wanted to eat. My mother was eleven years old in January of 1912 and had left school in sixth grade to work in the mills.

    In response to reports on the deplorable conditions at the mills, the Massachusetts legislature voted to reduce the maximum workweek from 56 to 54 hours. The law took effect on January 1, 1912. Although the legislation was intended to help the workers, many of them feared, correctly, that the mill owners would simply speed up production and cut their pay by two hours a week.

    When workers opened their first paychecks in January and discovered that what they feared had in fact come to pass, a near-riot broke out. Polish women were the first to shut down their looms and leave the factory; they marched through the streets of Lawrence shouting "short pay!" They were soon joined by other workers drawn from the city's many different ethnic groups.

    Because the country's most established labor organization, the American Federation of Labor, drew its membership from mostly white, English-speaking skilled craftsmen, it had no interest in a strike that involved women and unskilled, foreign-born workers. The AFL denounced the Lawrence protest as "revolutionary" and "anarchistic."

    The owners were initially unconcerned. Without the assistance of the AFL, the Lawrence workers would never be able to sustain a strike. But the more radical Industrial Workers of the World, (I.W.W.) stepped in and sent organizers to Lawrence. Relief committees were formed to provide food, medical care, and clothing to strikers and their families. One magazine reported, "At first everyone predicted that it would be impossible to mold these divergent people together, but aside from the skilled men, comparatively few [broke the strike and] went back to the mills...."

    The strikers employed some new tactics. Large groups went in and out of stores, not buying anything but effectively disrupting business. Huge marches were organized, with strikers singing songs, chanting, and carrying banners. One reporter wrote, "It was the spirit of the workers that was dangerous. They are always marching and singing."

    One group of women carried a banner proclaiming, "We want bread and roses too." Roses signified the respect due to them as women, rather than just as cheap labor. The slogan caught on and provided the refrain for a popular new song—and the name of one of the most important events in American labor history. Once it was clear that the strikers had solidarity and leadership, management and city officials responded with force. The state militia broke up meetings and marches; soldiers sprayed protesters with fire hoses in frigid winter weather.

    Bread and Roses by James Oppenheim


    As we come marching in the beauty of the day,
    A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
    Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
    For the people hear us singing "Bread and roses, bread and roses."
    
    As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
    For they are women's children and we mother them again,
    Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
    Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread but give us roses!
    
    As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
    Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
    Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
    Yes it is bread we fight for but we fight for roses too!
    
    As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
    The rising of the woman means the rising of the race.
    No more the drudge and idler - ten that toil where one reposes,
    But a sharing of life's glories: Bread and roses, bread and roses!


    In February, children of strikers were sent to live with sympathetic families in other cities, a tactic that had been used successfully in Europe. The exodus of the children was a public relations disaster for the Lawrence authorities, and they forbade children to leave the city. On February 24th, a group of defiant mothers accompanied their children to the railroad station. Police surrounded and brutally clubbed women and children alike, then threw them into patrol wagons; 30 women were detained in jail.

    Newspapers reported this ugly scene, and people all around the country were outraged. A congressional investigation began. As witnesses described working conditions in the mills and the events of the strike, President William Howard Taft ordered an investigation into industrial conditions in Lawrence and throughout the nation.

    By March, the hearings had caused so much negative publicity that the American Woolen Company decided to settle. On March 12, 1912, management agreed to the strikers' demands for a 15% pay raise, double pay for overtime, and amnesty for strikers. The striking workers had demonstrated a powerful lesson: even traditionally powerless groups such as women and recent immigrants could prevail if they worked together.


    Bread and Roses Mural

    Here is what the Massachusetts AFL-CIO Labor Union said about it:
     
    "One of the most prolific strikes in United States history was the Bread and Roses strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912. On the heals of a labor victory in legislation, reducing the work week from fifty-six to fifty-four hours, employers in Lawrence’s mills reacted by slashing wages to compensate for lost work. The mill owners expected their workers to be unhappy about the slash in pay, but did not expect the full scale retaliation that followed.

    Lawrence at the turn of the century was a city of immigrants from many different backgrounds. These immigrants worked in Lawrence’s mills, and because of their different ethnic backgrounds, mill owners believe that the workers would not be able to organize because of ethnic differences. The owners proved to be wrong. In the first week of the strike, angry workers walked from mill to mill hurling bricks and stones through mill windows encouraging workers in those mills to walk off the job as well as a result of the pay cut. During the first week 14,000 workers walked off the job in Lawrence and were followed by 9,000 more in the coming weeks.

    The Industrial Workers of the World, the IWW or “Wobblies,” took a major role in orchestrating and leading the strike. They successfully organized the different ethnic groups who lived and worked together and raised the money necessary to feed and provide for the strikers and their families. Many children were sent away to other cities in order to maintain the resources for the striking workers. This move gained tremendous sympathy from the public, and therefore the factory owners attempted to make sure this practice was stopped immediately. On February 24, 1912, they sent police officers to prevent some mothers and children from leaving Lawrence on a train to Philadelphia. The officers beat up the women and children and caused a public relations nightmare that led to a Congressional investigation of the strike. The owners realized that they had been beaten and finally came to terms with the IWW.

    The true heroes of this strike were the women of the city of Lawrence. Women’s neighborhood associations were focused more the womanhood than ethnic identity, and thus became more inclusive and unifying which significantly helped the IWW to organize the striking workers and their families. Women also were prolific forces on the picket lines. They were better than the men at finding scabs who were attempting to cross picket lines, and were often more militant than their male counterparts."

    Bibliography

    Mass Moments

    Commonwealth of Toil: Chapters in the History of Massachusetts Workers and Their Unions, by Tom Juravich, William F. Hartford, James R. Green (University of Massachusetts Press, 1996). Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology, by Joyce Kornbluh (Charles H. Kerr Publishing, 1988). Bread and Roses: Mills, Migrants, and the Struggle for the American Dream by Bruce Watson (Viking, 2005).

    Massachusetts AFL-CIO at http://www.massaflcio.org/1912-bread-and-roses-strike

    Labor Notes http://labornotes.org/node/679








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