My 2018 French ChallengeAZ in 100 Words: Z for Zezare

Let’s end this challenge with one of the funniest surname variations I have ever found in the Ferrisburgh Town Vital Records. I was in Salt Lake City, leaning over the microfilm reader, when I noticed a family name ending in “ville”. Who is this? Isn’t it Sophie Tourville’s marriage I am trying to establish for years? Yes, it is! The bride is indeed Sophie Tourville—or Sophia Curville as per the record—and the groom is Joseph Giguère—spelled Joseph Zezare! Isn’t this the proof that sometimes indexes are not that useful and that you need to go through everything?


To Learn More About my Vermont Project, click here.


My 2018 French ChallengeAZ in 100 Words: U for Underground Railroad

Some places are still mine to discover in Ferrisburgh. Among them, the Rokeby Museum, home to the Underground Railroad in Vermont—actually the Robinson family’s estate back then (they were Quakers). The site now features the story of two fugitives from slavery, Simon and Jesse, who found shelter there in 1830s. The name Robinson will sound familiar to genealogists, since one of them was a town clerk. Visiting the house is also an opportunity to get a sense of the spaces—packed with family belongings—used by four generations and spread over 200 years. A must for me in 2019!


To Learn More About my Vermont Project, click here.


My 2018 French ChallengeAZ in 100 Words: P for Parish

You may assume that I am referring to the Vermont parish repertoires here. I am rather thinking about Peter Parish, who lived in Ferrisburgh in the mid 1850s until the early 1880s. He was one of my famous brick walls. When I found this French Canadian, son of John and Mary—insert a big sigh—, I couldn’t figure out what his surname was in Québec. And I remember conceding that I would never know who his parents were. Well, I am very proud of the hard work I have done on this one—you may read the whole story here.


To Learn More About my Vermont Project, click here.


My 2018 French ChallengeAZ in 100 Words: G for Genealogy

Genealogy has many faces. For some, it might simply be to find their paternal ancestor. For others, searching for all their ancestors becomes a never-ending quest. As for me, curiosity and passion led me to investigate. While working on my Hubou line, I located some living in Ferrisburgh and Vergennes, Vermont. While they didn’t stay for long—just a few years—I must say I stuck around, interested in what happened to some of their relatives and neighbours. I am fortunate enough not to live too far from Vermont and thus being able to visit once in a while.


To Learn More About my Vermont Project, click here.


My 2018 French ChallengeAZ in 100 Words: F for Ferrisburgh

The town of Ferrisburgh—sometimes spelled Ferrisburg—is located in the northwest corner of Addison County. It was founded on June 24, 1762. The 1850 census tells us that if a few French Canadians were iron smiths, shoemakers, farmers, or cabinet makers, most of them were labourers. Starting in 1834, the Catholics were served by priests from the churches of St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s of Burlington. In the mid-fifties, they had access to St. Peter’s of Vergennes and to Our Lady of Mount Carmel of East Charlotte—neighbouring town in Chittenden County. Others turned to other Christian denominations.


To Learn More About my Vermont Project, click here.


French Canadians Living in Ferrisburgh, VT in 1850: #15 Abraham Sorrell

vermont 2016

Abraham Sorrell is listed in the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh. He is referred to as Abram Sorell on Page 198 (left-stamped), Line 23, Household 58, with the following persons listed, respectively, on lines 19 to 22:

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Abraham Sorrell(5)—What the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh Doesn’t Tell

vermont 2016

Abraham Sorrell, who lost his life from injuries sustained in the Civil War’s Wilderness Battle in May 1864, had married three times. His Civil War pension file offers an incredible portrait of people living in Ferrisburgh in 1850 and beyond.

This very entertaining pension file is coming to an end. After having read the testimony left by his first wife, Eliza Sears, his second wife, Eliza Carpenter, his sister-in-law, Catherine Palmer, Eliza Carpenter’s sister, and his cousin, Oliver Sorrell, it’s now time to read the conclusion reached by the Pension Office.

As promised, in about two weeks, I will publish a short biography of each person concerned in the last post of this series. Enjoy!

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Abraham Sorrell(4)—What the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh Doesn’t Tell

vermont 2016

Abraham Sorrell, who lost his life from injuries sustained in the Civil War’s Wilderness Battle in May 1864, had married three times. His Civil War pension file offers an incredible portrait of people living in Ferrisburgh in 1850 and beyond.

After having read the testimony left by his first wife, Eliza Sears, and by his second wife, Eliza Carpenter, by his sister-in-law, Catherine Palmer, Eliza Carpenter’s sister, let’s now read my favorite one, the testimony of Abraham’s cousin, Oliver Sorrell. This affidavit is so full of details. As I mentioned before, I am fascinated by this story. I feel like a census page is coming to life!

I will publish a short biography of each person concerned in the last post of this series. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Abraham Sorrell(3)—What the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh Doesn’t Tell

vermont 2016

Abraham Sorrell, who lost his life from injuries sustained in the Civil War’s Wilderness Battle in May 1864, had married three times. His Civil War pension file offers an incredible portrait of people living in Ferrisburgh in 1850 and beyond.

After having read the testimony left by his first wife, Eliza Sears, and by his second wife, Eliza Carpenter, let’s take a look at what Eliza Carpenter’s sister, Catherine Palmer, had to say about the two lovebirds.

I will publish a short biography of each person concerned in the last post of this series. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Abraham Sorrell(2)—What the 1850 US Census for Ferrisburgh Doesn’t Tell

vermont 2016

Abraham Sorrell, who lost his life from injuries sustained in the Civil War’s Wilderness Battle in May 1864, had married three times. His Civil War pension file offers an incredible portrait of people living in Ferrisburgh in 1850 and beyond.

After having read the testimony left by his first wife, Eliza Sears about their lives together, let’s continue our journey through the eyes of his second wife, Eliza Carpenter. At the time of her testimony, Eliza was living with John Ayers but was apparently not married to him.

I will publish a short biography of each person concerned in the last post of this series. Enjoy!

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