Cousin Denise was searching in vain for the baptismal record of Louise Corriveau (“our” Louise—as we will call her here for ease of reference—was married to her ancestor François Tourville/Courville), when she contacted me and correctly pointed out that one of our Louise’s sisters was called… Marie-Louise. I thought what an interesting puzzle that is!
Our Louise (birthdate unknown) was married to François Tourville on April 14, 1828, in Saint-Hughes, Quebec. She was the daughter of Louis Corriveau (then deceased) and Marie-Louise Morisset who were themselves married on August 29, 1796, in Saint-Henri-de-Lauzon, Quebec. It was Louis’ second marriage as he was previously married to Marthe Gosselin, on July 22, 1794, in Saint-Charles-de-Bellechasse, Quebec.
Unfortunately, Marthe died shortly after the birth of their only child, Louis, born on April 11, 1795, and who survived to adulthood.
Louis and Marie-Louise first lived in Saint-Henri-de-Lauzon, where their first four children were baptized. Their six remaining children were baptized in Saint-Hyacinthe where Louis Corriveau died on January 5, 1810, leaving Marie-Louise with eight surviving children—the death in infancy of two children before their father passed away and the birth of a posthumous child will bring this number to nine children.
In such a case where a father of young children dies, the existence (or not) of a guardianship record should be ascertained—which record I opportunely did find. Not only does it provide us with the surviving children’s names but also with the age of both our Louise and of her sister Marie-Louise (baptized as Marie-Josephte), deceased at the age of 20 in 1828.
I quickly discovered that this document contained some conflicting information, as it was obvious it has been written well before the date of July 19, 1810. As a matter of fact, a few details led me to believe that it was drafted soon after Louis’ death, most likely in January 1810.
“… [Marie-Louise Morisette] has nine children from her marriage to the said Louis Corriveau, deceased, her husband, viz. Nicolas, 13, Louis, 12, Louise, 9, Angélique, 8, Joseph, 6, Marguerite, 3, Marie, 2, and Amable, 11 months,
and that she is six month-pregnant…” [translated from French].
Amable, born in February 1809, was actually 11 months old in January 1810, and Jean-Baptiste, the posthumous child, born in early June 1810, is not cited, but the notary crossed out the mention that Marie-Louise was pregnant. Has he simply forgotten to add the child’s name?
That being said, the children’s ages are accurate, plus or minus one year. Let’s take a look at this table, summarizing the data I have on all the children.
|Name on Baptismal Record||Birthdate (Baptismal Date)||Age Indicated on Guardianship Record Dated July 19, 1810||Notes|
|Nicolas||Jul. 1, 1797 (Jul. 2, 1797)||13||Married Brigitte Lacroix on February 18, 1828. Died on July 16, 1881 in Ste-Sophie d'Halifax, Quebec, age "92 years" (he was 84 years old).|
|Louis||Oct. 22, 1798 (Oct. 23, 1798)||12 (was actually 11)||No other information was found about Louis after the guardianship record.|
|Louise||Unknown||9||Married to François Tourville on April 14, 1828, in Ste-Hughes, she was "of age", she died on October 31, 1875 in Sutton, Massachusetts, age 75 years and 7 months.|
|Louis||Aug. 5, 1800 (Aug. 5, 1800)||If alive, he would have been 9||No trace of Louis in the guardianship record.|
|Angèle (Angélique on guardianship record)||Feb.13, 1802 (Feb. 14, 1802)||8||She never married. She died on February 16, 1884 in Ste-Hyacinthe, age 82 years old.|
|Marie||Aug. 16, 1803 (Aug. 16, 1803)||N/A||Died on June 4, 1804 in St-Hyacinthe.|
|Joseph||Sep. 22, 1804 (Sep. 22, 1804)||6 (he was actually 5)||No trace of him after the guardianship record.|
|Marguerite||Apr. 26, 1806 (Apr. 27, 1806)||3 (she was actually 4)||She was married to Pierre Drouin in 1831, to Pierre Daniel in 1843, and Antoine Dion in 1855. Died on September 25, 1863 in St-Hyacinthe at age "70" years old (she was actually 57).|
|Marie-Josephte (Marie on guardianship record)||Sep.16, 1807 (Sep. 17, 1807)||2||Died on February 8, 1828, at age 20, under the name of Marie-Louise, married to Jean-Baptiste Faucher. The marriage took place in St-Hyacinthe on July 31, 1827.|
|François Amable (Amable on guardianship record)||Feb. 5, 1809 (Feb. 5, 1809)||11 months (he was actually 17 months)||Married Marguerite Leclerc in 1829 in St-Hyacinthe. Died on March 13, 1892, in Ste-Hyacinthe age 84 (he was actually 83).|
|Jean-Baptiste||Jun. 3, 1810 (Jun. 3, 1810)||Not mentioned on the guardianship record even if he died 3 months later||Posthumous birth. Died September 25, 1810, age 3 months, in St-Hyacinthe|
When reviewing the information gathered in the above table, I must admit that the first thing that came to my mind was that our Louise’s age would correspond exactly to the age that Louis, born in 1800, would have had. But my theory was short-lived—no twins in the baptismal register. And except for the fact that he is not mentioned in the guardianship record, there is no proof that this Louis died before his father.
I also noticed that two sons both named Louis were baptized two years apart. The first Louis was born in 1798, and the second one, in 1800. You will tell me, that happened so often, nothing to write home about. You are absolutely right. One child dies and, first thing we know, the next one bears the same first name. But what bothers me here is that it is the first Louis who is referred to in the guardianship record. Who would give a child his elder brother’s very first name while the latter is still alive?
Our Louise would have been born about two years after Louis (born in October 1798) and about one year before Angèle (born in February 1802). In view of the information contained in the guardianship record, our Louise could not have been born between the two Louis. Her birth would have had to take place around March or April 1801, considering Angèle’s birth in February 1802. I know that female infertility while breast feeding is not an exact science, but it seems to me that this opportunity window is a bit limited.
According to her death record dated October 31, 1875, our Louise was 75 years and 7 months old when she passed away—which would again set her birthdate in February 1800. This information might be inaccurate, that would not be the first time.
Then I came up with some different assumptions while drafting the above table. And what if the year 1800 was accurate but not the month? What if the priest made a mistake? What if the child’s name and gender were wrong? What if Louis, born in 1800, was in fact our Louise?
The only other hint about her age comes from the Canadian census of 1851 (taken in 1852) pursuant to which, her age is 52. In the US census of 1860 for Grafton, Massachusetts, she is 62 years old. When looking at the PRDH, I noticed that they have identified our Louise as being Angèle, born in 1802, which was quite possible—until I happened upon the burial record of Angèle who died in 1884 and that both of them are listed in the guardianship act. All sisters are accounted for, meaning our Louise could possibly be “Louis”, born in 1800.
Maybe my eyes are seeing what they want to see, but don’t you think that it seems like an “e” was added at the end of Louis’ first name on the baptismal record?
As mentioned before, Louis, born in 1798, and Joseph, born in 1804, are nowhere to be found after the guardianship record. They were not cited in their siblings’ marriage contracts nor church records, they were not godfathers to their nephews nor nieces. I strongly believe that these two men emigrated to the United States. I found the trace of one Louis Corriveau, who lived for a while in Burlington, Vermont. PRDH identifies him as being the brother of one Charles Corriveau, first cousin of our siblings. These two men appear to have married two sisters Giasson. In fact, I wonder if that Louis could be Charles’ first cousin instead. When Louis has his daughter Marguerite baptized in Saint-Jude in 1826 at age 13 months, the godmother was Marie-Louise Morriset—aunt or mother? This parallel investigation is still in progress.
Dear fellow genealogists, feel free to share your views about all this! Are three births so close to one another make sense for that period?
Well, cousin Denise, maybe are you wondering how this birthdate issue will be addressed in the Hubou-Tourville tree?
For now, I had to settle with “about February 1800” which is the date calculated from her death record. I have added a note indicating that this date was inaccurate considering Louis’ baptismal record dated August 5, 1800. Later on, I will include a link to this post. What do you think? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this, cousin Denise!