BREAKING NEWS | Charles Tourville and Sophie Arpajou buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, sources confirm

Last Saturday, I was looking at the Clarence Wells Tourville genealogy book which he had prepared for his close family members in the late 1980’s. I was lucky enough to receive a copy last month from one of Mr. Tourville’s relative. I cannot tell you how generous I think it was from her for doing so [Thank You Joan! #happydance].

Well, I almost fell off my chair when I read in that book that Charles Tourville (1802-?) and Sophie Arpajou (1811-?) were supposedly buried in their son Stephen Tourville’s cemetery plot which is in Section 2, Lot 22 in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Chateaugay, Franklin County, NY. No source or reference were indicated for that information.

I was often told that Charles and Sophie were probably buried there but no one has ever specified to me that there was a listing of the cemetery plot in the Clarence Wells Tourville book.

I decided to write to the St. Patrick’s Cemetery [why haven’t I done this before, I’ll never know except I didn’t realize that the cemetery opened in 1844, almost two decades before the Church] to ask confirmation of the listing that was in the book. The book listed 11 names, including those of Peter Stephen Tourville, his wife, Caroline, their son Stephen, his wife Fanny Amo, their son Henry, his wife Roseland, Charles Tourville, his wife, Sophie Arpajou, Estele and two children of Stephen. Here is the answer I received from the Church office secretary:

“I indeed found the plot you described, but it is not as large as you thought. […] The lot is not made up of 12 spaces though, it appears to be only 6, since 5 are already taken, but it could consist of 9, and they haven’t been documented correctly. If I had to guess though, I would say that it is only a 6 person lot, with one still open, or it has been taken and not documented properly. […] The following people are buried in St. Patrick’s for sure according to our records:

† Henry Tourville buried in 1931, born in 1876
† Roseland Tourville buried in 1952, born in 1876
† Peter Tourville buried in 1922, born in 1836
† Charlie DeTourville, born in 1802 (I believe, it is written next to his name, there is no notation on what the date means) no date when he was buried, but he is buried in the lot otherwise his name wouldn’t be there.
† Sophie Arpajou (no date of burial or birth) She is buried in the lot though because her name is listed.”

So she could not confirm that the other people mentioned in the book were there but then she wrote back that she found the information on Caroline Daignault on Find A Grave. She indicated:

“I can’t find any record of her in our books, but it says she was buried in St. Patrick’s, and it even has a picture of her stone. Some books were destroyed in a fire years ago, so she might have been in one of those. She should be in the books that I have here, but she is not.

I found Stephen Tourville in our books, but unfortunately for whatever reason there are no dates associated with his name. I have the following info for Stephen Tourville

Stephen Tourville 28 yrs died  27 May 1901 buried 29 May 1901 received last Sacraments. He is in Lot 22. It also lists a few other names below his, not sure if they ring a bell for you. James Leers [sic – should be Seers] 4 years old- buried 1883, Elizabeth Barrette 10 months old- buried 1883.”

I answered back as I wanted to confirm that I understood it right, that Charles and Sophie were indeed in Section 2, Lot 22.

“Their names are written as Charlie Tourville, and Sophia Arpajou in the book, so you did get the names right. They are buried in Section 2, lot 22.  They are in the same lot as Peter Tourville.”

The two children mentioned in the Clarence book may be in fact Peter’s grandchildren as James and Elizabeth were his daughters’ children.

As for “Estele” which has not been found by the secretary I thought that she might be Marie-Édesse who was still living in 1840 and died before 1850. The Cemetery opened in 1844 but the fact that Sophie and Charles are both buried in Chateaugay probably means that they went to live in Chateaugay before Sophie’s death which probably occurred between 1848 (she had twins that year in Vermont) and 1850. As for Charles, he died between 1850 and 1860.

I have updated Find A Grave to include Charles and Sophie‘s burials in St. Patrick’s Cemetery. A trip to Chateaugay is planned for this Spring for sure!

All researchers who have helped me over the years know my obsession for Charles Tourville and Sophie Arpajou. Well, Charles and Sophie can now rest in peace… and so can I! I will of course continue to look for the date of Charles’ death but I am so happy I finally know their final resting place!


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #4 Emilie Tourville (née) Rousselle (1803-1863) ~ Find A Grave or Miracles do Happen

I have been looking for the death date and place of Emilie Rousselle, wife of Charles Tourville, for as long as I’ve been doing genealogy, so for more than 20 years believe it or not.

Emilie Rousselle was born in Florissant, Missouri in 1803, where she also married Charles Tourville (whose death I haven’t found yet) on February 11, 1822.

For a long time, the 1850 US census was the most recent proof of them being still alive in St. Louis but a couple of years ago I found a Supreme Court case for a daughter of Charles and he testified in 1855 stating that he was married and it was clear from what he said that his wife was still alive. I couldn’t and still cannot find them (or her) in the 1860 US Census.

While on the Website Find A Grave, working on Tourvilles in Missouri, I found an entry for Emilie Rousselle Tourville buried in the Old Saint Ferdinand Cemetery which is defunct since 1900. Florissant’s St. Ferdinand Catholic Church records are in the Drouin Collection but I think they are not all indexed on Ancestry as the burials for later years do not show up. I realize now I should have gone through all the pages index or not.

But no matter what, the most wonderful thing was not to find her burial death and place but a SOURCE for it:

“September the 13th Buried Emilie Rousselle 54 yrs wife of Charles Tourville.” ~ J. F. Van Assche, SJ

A couple of years ago, a member of Find A Grave, Sheila Kesterston, was looking for her ancestors in Florissant, Missouri and she found where the burial records were located. The entries for the cemetery come from this source as stated by Sheila:

“Registre des Sepultures faites dans le Cimetière De la paroisse de St Ferdinand, Diocèse de Louisiane, commencé le premier de janvier L’année mil huit cent vingt deux 1822” which translates to “Record of the Burials made in the Cemetery Of the parish of St Ferdinand, Diocese of Louisiana, beginning the first of January In the year one thousand eight hundred twenty two 1822.” Found at:

St. Louis County Library – Headquarters
Tier 5 (top floor)
1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63131-3598

Old St. Ferdinand Burial Records
Roll 167, Item 5

It has 95 pages and runs from 1822 to July 1876.”

A warm “Thank You!” to Sheila who has decided to input all the names on that roll. I cannot thank her enough!

You may first consult the Find A Grave page for the Old Saint Ferdinand Cemetery should you want to check for your own ancestors and then browse the pages of the database on if you want the copy of the image.

There seems to be two other Tourville members in that cemetery (one is named Tourvelle). I still have to figure out who they are as they are young children. As for Charles Tourville, well back to work. I will find him too. From my desk or by travelling to Missouri. 😉