Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baptism of Joseph Emile Paul Rivet in St Jacques de l'Achigan

Joseph Paul Emile Rivet was baptized in the church of St Jacques de L'Achigan.  You can find the entry for his baptism in the church registry that is available for no cost at the Church of Latter Day Saints.
This is the page:

on closer inspection Joseph Emile Paul Rivet's baptism record looks like this

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Loyalist in the Family: Pierre Nicolas Côme Damien Millot dit Champagne and his son, Joseph Marie Millot who married the daughter of the English Loyalist, Abner Wilcott

Just when you think you know about the family, there comes an unexpected oddity.  For example, Arthur Homer Mylott and his brothers Milo Mylott and Edgar Mylott are direct descendent's of Nicolas Millot dit Champagne (full name is Pierre-Nicolas-Côme-Damien Millot dit Champagne), who was briefly discussed in an earlier post. Nicolas was a soldier who came to French North America from Villiers-le-Sec, Champagne, France to fight in the Regiment Guyenne in the French and Indian War.  Fighting in North America ended in 1760 but it officially ended with the signing of the treaty of Paris on February 10th, 1763.  Nicolas survived the war and remained in Quebec marrying Marie Josephe Guyon on April 8th 1766, six years after the English conquest.  Their written marriage record is below, left page. Click on the image to enlarge and read and remember it is in French!

Nicolas Millot probably arrived in Québec in the last year or two of the conflict. He was in Québec in 1759, the year of the decisive English victory at the Plains of Abraham in Québec and it is probable that he saw action there with his fellow soldiers in the regiment Guyenne. It was a brutal defeat for the French troops.  Despite his wartime experiences, he and Marie Josephe Guyon went on to have more than fourteen children, several dying in childhood. On the church record for his funeral in March 1812, Nicolas  was noted to be the "mâitre de l'école".

One son of Nicolas was Joseph Marie Millot (Marie was also used as a male name in Québec as odd as it seems to our 21th century notions).   Joseph Marie was born 31 January 1779 and married Catherine Wilcott, on October 28th , 1798.  Catherine was the daughter of Abner Wilcott and Catherine Griffin. You may wonder, who was Abner Wilcott with this very English sounding name and what was he and his family doing in Québec at this time? Why was an English speaking daughter marrying a Québec son?  In 1798, this was still rather unusual.  The French Catholic church records transcribe Catherine's family name as "Villest" instead of Wilcott. 
Abner Wilcott, the son of an early New England family whose ancestor immigrated from England in 1634,  is believed to have remained steadfast to the crown of England during the rise of the patriot cause in the thirteen colonies. Abner's father in law, Charles Griffin was also a Loyalist or Tory. It is estimated that one fourth of the colonists were Loyalists.  Some information suggests Abner fought for the crown at the Battle of Saratoga, was captured and escaped, fleeing to English held Canada. His wife later joined him there. He was fortunate. 

Recall, some Loyalists or Tories were tarred and feathered and/or executed for their sentiments.  Such was the fate of  David Redding, another Loyalist who fought at the Battle of Saratoga.  He was captured and executed by the patriots in Bennington Vermont... Perhaps Abner heard of Redding's fate and realized he would fare better in Québec.

In an incident more like a lynching than a legal procedure, New Yorker David Redding was the first person to be tried and hanged in the state of Vermont. Redding had been a Loyalist with Burgoyne's army at Saratoga, stolen horses, shot and powder in New York, and eluded arrest there by riding into Vermont, where he was caught and tried in Bennington for theft and treason and convicted. When it appeared that Redding would go free because of an improperly empaneled jury, Ethan Allen, back in Vermont only a few days after nearly three years as a British prisoner, arranged with Governor Thomas Chittenden to serve as prosecutor in a new trial on June 6, 1778. Allen ignored the threshold issue of jurisdiction, which the Bennington court lacked for crimes committed in New York. Moreover, as Vermont was independent of the thirteen states, the United States' cause against Redding was also not in the court's jurisdiction. Nonetheless, Allen's impassioned anti-Loyalist rhetoric swung the jury away from the legal question to the patriotic requirement of hanging a loyalist, and Redding was hanged in the afternoon of the trial before a large crowd on Bennington green. -- The Vermont Encyclopedia, John J. Duffy, et. al.

For more details about David Redding see Sipsey Street Irregulars

Others were lynched..

Here are more details about Abner, whose daughter Catherine Wilcott married Joseph Marie Millot

Abner (Ebenezer) Wilcott (Wolcott) and Catherine Griffin  were married on Jan. 8, 1772, in Oxford, Conn.  He was in New Haven VT during the American Revolution.   Abner was taken prisoner in Oct. 1777, after the Battle at Saratoga, for he was with the British. He later escaped to Canada where his wife eventually joined him.


Abner Wolcott, b. 1749 New Haven CT, d. 1833 Keeseville NY at home of son. He purchased 150 acres of land at New Haven VT in 1775, was a Loyalist, hauled provisions for the British, was taken prisoner in 1777 and his property declared forfeited.

In Canada, he was given compensation for his losses by the British government.  He settled at St. Sulpice and on an island in  the St Lawrence River, Bouchard Isle.

Anber Wilcott married (1) Catherine Griffen 1772 Oxford, CT, married (2) Mrs. Dorothy Redman in 1821.

 NOTE: Members of this family usually spelled their name Wilcott in Canada.

Acknowledgement to The Wolcott Family Homepage

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Albina Shepard St. Hilaire's Turkey Stuffing

Thanks to Cousins Bill and Annette for this contribution

Etta Wills and Arthur Louis St. Hilaire on their wedding day
Louis Street, Cohoes, NY

When Etta Wills (1917-1992) married Art St. Hilaire, Jr. (1918-1996) in 1937, Art's mother, Albina Shepard St. Hilaire (1898-1963) taught Etta how to make the family's traditional Thanksgiving turkey stuffing. Etta passed down the recipe to her granddaughter who continues the tradition of her mémère today. It's a variation on the traditional French-Canadian Christmas tradition of tourtière (meat pie). Every Franco-American family had their own way of making tourtière. Apparently at some point someone in the St. Hilaire family thought it would be a good idea to leave out the pie crust entirely and just stuff it in a turkey, or simply bake it in a casserole dish. I never heard of anyone in the St. Hilaire family making an actual pie. Below is the recipe, as told by Albina's great-granddaughter (Etta's granddaughter). Folks were not big on exact measurements, so follow this with caution and adjust to your taste. This must have been a pricey dish to make in the depths of the Great Depression when Art and Etta got married, with meat costing a fortune:

1 lb Tobin's First Prize pork sausage*
1 lb. ground beef
5 lbs. potatoes, peeled
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp. Bell's Seasoning (or to taste)**

Boil the potatoes until done and set aside.
Brown the pork sausage in one frying pan until done, and drain well.
Brown the ground beef in a separate frying pan with the onion until done, and then drain well. (Or you can brown both meats in one frying pan as long as you drain and clean the pan well between meats.)
In a large bowl, mix the meats together.
Mash the potatoes, little by little, into the meat mixture, using a potato masher, until well mixed. Add the seasoning as you go along. The mashed potato should serve to hold together the meat mixture.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, covered. Remove cover and add a bit of turkey broth if the mixture looks too dry, and then bake for another 20 minutes until a bit crisp on top. (Or just stuff the turkey, if you're doing it that way.)

This concoction is obviously not suitable for vegetarians, but I plan to create a vegan version using sausage and beef substitutes, and I'll report back on how that turns out.

Bon appétit!
*Tradition says you must use Tobin's brand, which originated in Albany, NY, in 1924.

**Bell's Seasoning  is a mixture of rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram, thyme, and pepper,

a New England tradition created in Massachusetts in 1867 and apparently adopted by the St. Hilaire family. Other tourtière recipes out there call for various mixtures of one or more of these spices.

A First Nation Mother, Catherine Anenotha and her son, Louis Durand

Catherine Anenotha, a Wendat or Huron woman,  is a mother in the Wills-Beauvais family. Here is a brief lineage starting with Elizabeth "Libby" Bissonnette
  • Elizabeth Bissonnette, 1880-1936, daughter of
  • Celena Beauvais, 1850-1942, daughter of
  • Solyme Beauvais 1821-1902, son of 
  • Genevieve Benoit 1799-?, daughter of 
  • Paul Benôit, 1751- 1831, son of
  • Marie Isabelle Dubord dit St.Chaume (Livernois) 1757-1832, daughter of
  • Marie Isabelle Lacoste dit Lanquedoc 1744-1825, daughter of
  • Marie Isabelle Durand, 1708-?, daughter of 
  • Louis Durand 1670-1740, son of
  • Katherine Anenotha 1649-1709, daughter of
  • Nicolas Anenotha (?-1659) and Jeanne Obrih8andet

Wyandot-Wendat-Huron woman and man
Catherine Anenontha (or Annennontak, Annennonta) was born approximately 1649 and from the village of St Madeleine in Conception parish in the land of the Huron - present day Ontario,Canada.  Her father was Nicolas Anenonta and her mother was Jeanne Obrih8andet, Christians probably converted by Jean de Brébeuf the Jesuit missionary. Catherine fled Georgian Bay area with her mother after her father was killed in raids by Iroquois in 1649. This was a difficult period for the Wyandot-Huron-Wendot peoples; they were essentially "wiped out" by the Iroquois nation. Catherine was probably sheltered by Ursuline nuns in Québec and survived to marry -- three times. She died 11 January 1709 in Batiscan, Québec. Her first marriage was to a Frenchman, Jean Durand, on the 16th of September 1662 in Québec. From this marriage she had three children, Marie Catherine, Ignace and Louis Durand.  Louis, the youngest is our ancestor.
Before a marriage and family, Louis Durand spent time as a "courier du bois" in present day Wisconsin and Minnesota. He was approximately seventeen years old when he made his first voyage.  Here is a link to Wisconsin French Connections and the story of the Life of Louis Durand.
An Ancestry Message Board of 2002 posted this entry about Catherine but the story has no references or citations. So until it can be verified, take it with a grain of salt!
"Jean Durand was born in 1640, the son of Louis and Madeleine Malvand at Doeuil-sur-le- Mignon, St. Onge, France. The contract he signed to come to Canada to serve as a colonist for three years, states he was about 20 years old. He was to receive passage to and from Canada, board and room and 75 livres per year, payable at the end of each year.
He sailed from LaRochelle on "Les Armes d Amsterdam" at the beginning of April, 1660 and arrived at Quebec the latter part of May. The three years of service was with Charles Gautier. His life, like all colonists during that period, was quite varied-- farming, fishing, lumbering, etc. It also included serving in the Militia, because during that time all colonists lived in constant fear of the Iroqouis indians. In fact, Pierre Pinelle, his close friend and neighbor at Cap-Rouge, was murdered by them. The gun was a necessary adjunct to the plow.  It was during this period that the King of France decided to send young girls to Canada to become the wives of the colonists. They were called the "King's Daughters". On October 3, 1661, Jean Durand was engaged to one of these, Marie Fayette. They were to be married at a later date so we nearly had a King's daughter for an ancestor, however, before the wedding date arrived, they changed their minds, cancelled their engagement on January 12, 1662, and on her third engagement she married Nicholas Huot on July 24, 1662. The next girl to capture Jean's heart was a young indian maiden who had been a refugee from the massacre of the Huron Missions by the Iroquois in 1648. This mission is known as Martyr's Shrine at Midland, Ontario. Her parents, Nicolas Arendanki and Jeanne Otri-ho-Andet lived at the parish mission of La Conception. Nicolas was one of the first Indian Chiefs to embrace the Christian religion and was well known to the missionaries Brebeuf Lalemant and Isaac Jogues and others who were martyred during the massacre. Nicolas was among the missing and no doubt suffered martyrdom like many others on that fateful day.  Jeanne, who had given birth to Catherine in 1648, was left destitute without any means of support. She, along with many others under the care of Father Chaumonot, fled to the Petun Indian Country, who were friends of the Hurons. This is described in great detail in the Jesuit Relations. The refugees that survived the hardships and starvation lived in exile until June 10, 1650, when some 300 christian hurons, with the help of the surviving missionaries and french soldiers, embarked in canoes for their long voyage to the Isle of Orleans. Those that survived the shipwrecks, hardships and accidents on the way arrived at the Isle of Orleans on July 23, 1650.  Catherine and her mother, who were among the survivors, were in poor health. During the summer of 1654, she was placed in the Ursuline convent of Quebec. Catherine remained under the tutelage of the nuns where she was taught not only the french language but also the french way of life. It was an objective of the Ursulines, the Jesuits, the Intendant, including the King, to educate the young indian maidens to eventually become suitable wives to the french colonists. Laval, the first bishop of Canada arrived june 16, 1659, and about two months later administered the sacrament of confirmation to a good number of young girls, french as well as indian. Catherine was among this group. The records show "confirmed at the Ursuline convent August 10, 1659 Catherine, Huron, age 10." It was only 3 years later, September 29, 1662, that Catherine and Jean Durand signed a contract to be married. The contract reads as follows: "In the presence of Guillaume Andouart, secretary to the Administrative council, established at Quebec, by the King, notary in New France and the undersigned witnesses, here present Jean Durand dit Lafortune, son of Louis Durand and Madeleine Malvande, his father and mother from the burg of Deuil near the village of St Jean d'Angely in the Xaintonges, party of the first part, and Catherine Huronne.... party of the second part, both in the presence of their relatives and friends here named, Charles Gautier, Lord of Bois Verdun, Denis Duquet, a resident of Quebec, Jean Guyon, Pierre Pinel, Jean Drouart on behalf of the first part. Martin Boutet, representing and taking place of the father of the said Catherine Huronne, Dame Magdeleine de Chauvigny, widow of the late Charles de Gruel, while living the Baron of Pelletierie, Miss Thienette Deslprey, widow of the late Guillaume Guilmot, Esq., Lord Duplessis de Querbodo, Laurent Dubocq resident of this country have recognized and ! witnessed.............. Three days later, September 26, they exchanged their marraige vows in the parish church of Quebec, known today as the Basilica. The authentic copy of this document reads as follows: In the year of our lord, one thousand six hundred and sixty two on the 26th day of September after engagement and publication of one bann (having given dispensation for the other two) read at mass the 24th of September and discovering no legitimate obstacle, I, Henri de Bernieres, priest of this parish, having questioned Jean Durand, son of Louis Durand and Madeleine Malvande, father and mother, from the parish of Doeuil, vicarage of Xaintes in Xaintonge, party of the first part, and Catherine Annenontak, Huron daughter of Nicolas Arendanki and Jeanne Otre-ho-Andet, father and mother, from the town of St. Madeleine in the Conception parish, in the land of the Hurons, party of the second part, and having received their mutual consent, I solemnly joined them in marriage and gave them the marriage blessing, in the presence of witnesses: Rev. Fathers' Lalemant, Superior, and Francois LeMercier of the company of Jesus Martin Boutet known as St Martin, Mr Jean Madry, etc. Signe! d H. de Bernieres"
Here are links to the three stories of First Nation mothers on this blog
Marie Aubois - mother of Rivets 
Marie Miteouamegoukoue - a mother of Mylotts
Catherine Anenotha - a mother of Wills-Bissonnette-Beauvais

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Lucky 13 Club, Cohoes, NY, circa 1933

Do you know someone who was one of the "Lucky Thirteen"?

What was "The Lucky Thirteen Club" in Cohoes circa 1933?  It was thirteen teenage girlfriends who shared ups and downs, triumphs and failures, happiness and heartbreak and some local adventures during  "The Great Depression".   Mom always talked about them and she even had some newspaper clippings because they would even make news on the social page!   I do not know the full names but here they are ...If alive today they would be in their late nineties!

Elizabeth Wills
Etta Wills
Dorothy Wills
Claire Rivet
Flo Charlebois
Rita Ouimet
Nellie or Nettie
Eva Bouleris
Ida Gaynor
9 of 13

11 of 13

6 of 13

5 of 13

6 of 13

6 of 13

The Journey of John Albert Berryman Wills, Part the Fifth: Mining to Farming

Now we are heading back to the journey of John Albert Berryman Wills and his wife Annie Reed.
Reconstructing this part of their journey would have been almost impossible if my mother never told me that her grandparents were buried somewhere near Mt, Greylock in North Adams, Massachusetts.   Keep in mind that these grandparents disowned their son, John Jr, when he married a French Canadian Catholic, Elizabeth Bissonnette. The ties were severed between John Wills and his parents and it is not surprising that his family had little to remember about where he was from and where he died.  My mother also told me she thought her grandfather was from Wales (but we found him in Cornwall).  In 2001 and 2002 our cousin Regina (Ginger) Cranney Atchinson (1948-1910) and I researched  John and Annie and looked  in a 10-20-30 mile radius around Mt Greylock for their graves. It was Ginger who finally hit pay dirt and she sent me an excited email on  August 23, 2003...

Hi Cousin,
I was searching cemeteries in Pownal and I found her! Annie Reed is buried in 
the North Pownal Cemetery. I still haven't found John Wills but this listing is 
from a book called 1910 burials in Pownal Vermont. Notice the last name is 
spelled "Willis". WE HAVE TO GO TO POWNAL ASAP! Now I'm getting excited about 
the find. John is probably buried next to her and died after 1910.
Anne Reed, wife of John A. Willis. 1836 - 1905

Thanks Ginger - I miss you.

But back to our story...
In Part 4, John and Anne and their children were living in Essex County.  John was working in the mines and for a mining company and Annie was raising the family.  We have taken a look at John's older brother, William Henry Wills  who served in the Civil War, lived in town and died in Port Henry in January 1888.  Perhaps the death of his brother who died childless, broke John's ties to Port Henry because soon afterwards we find him and Annie living the the small Rensselaer County town of Petersburg in the foothills of the Berkshires.

The Hoosac River Valley

We cannot find him in the 1890 census because, unfortunately for all genealogists the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire.  However, we can find him buying land and making some transaction on 30 December 1890 in Pownal Vermont, Bennington County.

and again on June 11th, 1895

In 1892, their daughter, Elizabeth Wills married a Pownal man, Patrick White. Sometime later they would settle in Greenwich, NY

In 1900 we can find John  and Annie Wills and their son John Albert Wills, now 26 years old living with them in the Rensselaer County town of Petersburg.  My mother told me John and Annie farmed and John (Jr) brought the produce to market in Cohoes on a wagon. That is how John (Jr) first met Elizabeth "Libby" Bissonnette - while he selling fruits and vegetables in the neighborhood!  The 1900 census lists John Sr as a gardener and John Jr as a peddler so this story I heard from my mother could be true!
Their daughter Elizabeth "Aunt Liz" Wills is married to Patrick White and living nearby.  Their oldest son, William Henry Wills is married to Amelia with five children (Fred, Lizzie, Minnie, Annie and George) are also in  Pownal according to the 1900 census.

Then in October 1905 Annie Reed died in Mechanicville, NY Why is Mechanicville? One can only speculate. Perhaps her daughter Liz Wills and family were living in Mechanicville (before they moved to Greenwich where we can find them in the 1920 census) and  Liz was nursing her mother in her last days.  Her body was transported back to North Pownal, Vermont.

Anne Reed Wills 1836-1905

On the 8th of October 1908, John Wills purchased land:

1897 Topographical Map of North Pownal, Vermont

In the 1910 census, we find John Albert Wills, head of household living alone. Annie died five years before.  John Jr married in 1903 and was living in Schuylerville..  Elizabeth and Patrick White, William and Amelia Wills cannot be found on the 1910 census in Pownal.

 John Albert Berryman who was born in St Uny Lelant, Cornwall in 1843
who worked as a tin miner when he was a young teen
who married in Truro and left England with his bride in 1866
who worked in the Copper mines in Bolton Québec
who briefly tried coal mining in Pennsylvania
who worked in the Port Henry mines for almost 20 years
with his older brother nearby
and when that brother, a Civil War Veteran, died at the age of 48
John was 45.
At that time in his life, he stopped and reversed,
leaving the mines behind,
came to the beautiful Hoosac valley on the New York and Vermont border,
fertile lands fought for by the early Dutch settlers, Schagticoke Indians and New Hampshire farmers,
to farm and watch his family leave for other places.
And finally to die and be buried in the very bucolic North Pownal Cemetery in Vermont

Hogsback Road
Along New York - Vermont Route 346

William Robert Wills
at the grave of his grandparents
Inscription on Gravestone

Here's the complete sequence of stories about John Albert Berryman Wills and Anne Reed:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Anton Frederic Kaigle: A Hessian in the Wills-Bissonnette Family

While in primary school and learning about United States history, it was quickly apparent to me that the Hessian soldier was a scary, evil bogeyman who was fighting in a war he should not have involved himself.  Thank goodness George Washington trounced those drunk sleepy Hessians in Trenton.  And thanks too, to  Washington Irving and Hudson Valley legends for giving us  the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Of course, we all knew the scary Headless Horseman,  was a  Hessian soldier when he was alive.

After all the stereotypes I learned in the American history classroom in the years soon after World War II, it was easy for me to reach the conclusion that those German-Hessian-Brunswickers were a mean and barbaric group of fighters and everyone should still be careful in case any were still around.  A friend of my mother's who like to "go antiquing" bought a pair of Hessian fireplace andirons.  Even the metal figures in her fireplace scared me! They looked like the figures below.  

I had Hessian fear and I had it bad! I read the story of  Ichabod Crane too many times! I visited the Bennington Monument too many times! and Saratoga Battlefield too! And,  as upstaters know,  that is where the Hessians saw the "real" action.  Those pointed hats (what were they thinking when they wore them to America?) helped people like me to distinguish them from ordinary American patriots and mild mannered English redcoats (at least in my imagination).  

 So imagine my surprise when I found out that 
I had my very own Hessian in my family! 
Too scary!

If you are a Wills-Bissonnette  descendant, you should be frightened because
 that Hessian is your ancestor too!

Nine Wills Children whose mother was

Elizabeth Bissonnette (1880-1936) , whose father was
Joseph Bissonnette (1849-1899) whose mother was
Julia Kagle (1826-1891) whose father was
George Kagle (1804- ??), whose father was
Anton Frederic Kagle (1760-1812) who was a teenage Hessian soldier!

English and French records often spell the name differently. It was written as Kaigle, Kagle, Goeckel, Göckel, and other ways. Antoine Frederic Goekel was recruited from Hesse-Hanau, present day Germany and served in Hanau Jaeger Corp. Military Service 1777-1783 Quebec and northern American colonies. Hessian soldiers were hired by King George III to fight the American patriots. He may have served at the battle of Hubbardton, Bennington and/or Saratoga. By 1783, he was in Montréal where on June 27th, he married Marie Anne Maquet dite Lajoie at Christ Church Anglican. Although the church building has moved from where it stood in 1783, the congregation and newer church is still in existence on the corner of University and St Catherine Streets. Here are recent pictures of the "new" church building in November 2009 when it was celebrating its 150th year of bricks and mortar. As you can see, another military wedding was about to take place...  

After the war and completing his service to his majesty, George III, Anton Kagle was allowed to remain in the English colony of Canada and settle. Although the oldest son of his family back in Spachbrücken, Darmstadt, Hessen, he decided to remain in North America.  He and Marie Anne Maquet had at least thirteen children and lived in L'Acadie in the Richelieu Valley of Québec.

Yes. Anton Frederic Kaigle-Goeckel was my great-great- great- great grandfather and he was a HESSIAN!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Little Irene", daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and polio survivor

So far on this blog, I have written stories about family members who succumbed and/or survived thyroid disease and smallpox and I have only touched the surface. Until the advent of the smallpox vaccine, the polio vaccine and the diphtheria vaccine (to name a few) childhood and good health was quite precarious.

Last month I posted a short about Lea St Hilaire who grew up in the orchard section of Cohoes, NY.  I wrote that I have a few spoken word stories  from Lea. The first one is about "Little Irene" who survived polio in the late 1930s. Only eighteen months old when she was stricken with polio in Hoboken, NJ, she endured.  Her left arm never recovered but that never held "Little Irene" back.  You can hear Lea speak of Irene's strength and stamina if you click on this audio link Listen Here.   Little Irene, herself,  cannot remember spending time in an iron lung but she will never deny having polio. Both her legs, both arms were paralyzed so she may have been in an iron lung for a while. Little Irene isn't sure what Lea is referring to in the audio portion when Lea speaks of the 'iron lung in the back of the automobile', perhaps it was the Bradford frame used to splint her arms and legs that was put on Irene for the car ride from her home in New Jersey to Cohoes.  
Bradford Frame

Single Child Iron Lung Respirator
Circa 1930s

On the day in September 1944, when Little Irene's grandfather,  Louis St. Hilaire, was buried,  "Little Irene" was sent to my mother for "safekeeping". "Little Irene" says she never gave her up from that first encounter.  Even on the day Dorothy married Art Mylott, Little Irene recalls telling Art  "you can marry her, but she's mine"! Irene still calls me "sister".

Little Irene is the small girl standing in front of  her brother.
Also in the picture ate
the Chard twins in dark jackets and  a cousin,  Kathleen.

Albert Bugaboo Charbonneau and Little Irene

Little Irene celebrating  her birthday
 in the basement of 57 Hudson Avenue, Green Island 

and on Dorothy and Arthur Mylott's Wedding Day, July 1st,  1946......

Dottie Mae Wills, "Little Irene" and Arthur Mylott
in Green Island, NY on Dorothy and Arthur's Wedding Day.
Little Irene was eleven years old in this picture.

By the way, "Little Irene" has always been called "little" not to confuse her with "Big Irene" who was her Aunt Irene Chard neé St. Hilaire. Little Irene was a beautiful bride...

And despite her parents once being told that she would never walk and could never have children, "Little Irene" became a wife, mother of four children and grandmother to many! She is an amazing lady!

Here's the complete sequence of stories about illnesses and disease in our families...