Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

Le Jour de l'An - New Year's Day



For the French Lyrics go to Learn Québec French


The English translation,  loosely, is


New Year's Day (a comic song)


Let's get ready to celebrate  New Year's Day 
I'm gonna make good pies, a good old fashion stew 
It is in the time of day of the year, we join hands, we kiss 
It's a good time to enjoy it, it happens just once a year 

Paint your knife, your mare is shod 
We'll visit your sister in the bottom of the fifth 

It is in the time of day of the year, we join hands, we kiss
It's a good time to enjoy it, it happens just once a year 

Go and buy a wig,  you put in your  teeth 
It's true, you please me but you're gonna look more appealing 

It is in the time of day of the year, we join hands, we kiss
It's a good time to enjoy it, it happens just once a year 

Aunt Blanche and Uncle Nazaire come on the New Year 
Show off your dancing skills ? the way you danced in your younger days

It is in the time of day of the year, we join hands, we kiss
It's a good time to enjoy it, it happens just once a year 

Try not to lose your head as you did two years ago 
You begin to see clearly when ??
It is in the time of day of the year, we join hands, we kiss

It's a good time to enjoy it, it happens just once a year 

There are some who go for a drink, they'll enjoy this occasion yet
Today, it is so expensive, is not everyone can even afford it

It is in the time of day of the year, we join hands, we kiss
It's a good time to enjoy it, it happens just once a year 

There are some who feel the pipe and other smelling onions 

I think right now everyone is feeling the drink
It is in the time of day of the year, we join hands, we kiss
It's a good time to enjoy it, it happens just once a year




There is more to learn about "La Bolduc" (Mary Rose Anna Travers) the first Québec folksinger, in Wikipedia.  Here's the link La Bolduc



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas ***** Joyeux Noel


A Cohoes Christmas Tree,  circa 1942



A Christmas tree, circa 1942, with a gift for or from Bobby Wills under Dorothy Mae's tree.
The gift states US MARINE CORPS

Monday, December 20, 2010

A First Nation Mother: Marie Miteouamegoukoue

Marie Miteouamegoukoue, an Algonquin woman, is a mother in the Mylott (Millot)-Glode family. Here is a brief lineage starting with my father, Arthur Homer Mylott:


  • Arthur Homer Mylott, 1918- 2006, son of 
  • Edith Lida Glode or Glaude, 1889-1965, daughter of
  • William Alexander Glode or Glaude, 1859-1933, son of
  • Luc Poissant dit Glaude, 1837- 1922, son of
  • Jacques Jacob Poissant dit Glaude, 1812-1867, son of
  • Marie Marguerite Lapoterie, 1786-1854, daughter of
  • Marie Elizabeth Boileau, 1748 - ?, daughter of
  • René Boileau, 1707-1772, son of
  • Marie Marguerite Ménard, 1683-1763, daughter of
  • Marie Madeleine Couc LaFleur 1669- 1763, daughter of
  • Marie Miteouamegoukoue, 1631- 1699, and Pierre Couc LaFleur
Some things are known about Marie.  She was born about 1631-1632 into an Algonquin band of First Nations people. She was baptized in Montréal on  November 6th, 1650, when she was 18 or 19 years old.  Her first marriage was to Assababich, an First Nations person; they had two children.  Assababich was killed in the wars with Iroqouis.  Widowed, Marie married Pierre Couc dit LaFleur on April 16th, 1657.   This information and much more is on Nomand Léveillée's Site.



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

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Maurice Rivé - His Baptism in France



    This is a copy of the baptism record of Maurice Rivé.  He was baptized on 14 February 1642 in the chapel of Sainte-Marguerite in La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, France. His parents were Jacques Rivé and Marie Guerie.

    Maurice Rivé

    Maurice Rivé was born in LaRochelle, France and made his way to Québec, approximately in 1664.  He petitioned for land in Cap Rouge.  His petition was granted and on the 29th of June 1664, Maurice entered into a contract, the translation is below.....thanks to Fr. John for the translation. 

    Contract
    Maurice Rivé on Route St-Ignace
    29 June 1664

    I, Jerome Lalemant, Superior of the Mission of the Society of Jesus in New
    France, appointed by His Majesty as Missionary to the Company of New France,
    offering consultative and administrative assistance to them in their dealing
    with the native people.
    We have received from Maurice Rivé a petition for the grant of a portion of
    land within the Seigneury of the Natives, which we have given and conceded,
    and hereby give and concede to him by these presents, to enjoy and to
    dispose of as he sees fit.
    The concession consists of two arpents in depth extending from the main road
    between Quebec and Cap-Rouge to the Saint-Michel road which runs parallel to
    it.   [further details of the land grant omitted]
    The concession is granted according to the following conditions:  The
    aforementioned Maurice Rivé promises and obliges himself to annual payment
    on the Feast of All Saints  that is, the first of November  to our House
    and Residence at Sillery the sum of twenty sols per two arpents in depth,
    that is, a total of forty sols, also, a tenancy agreement payable to us, and
    annual rental fee of two young roosters or the value thereof.  The payment
    of these obligations is to begin on All Saints Day sixteen hundred sixty
    four.  The holder of this concession is to erect a house where either he or
    others will be resident by March first sixteen sixty five, or else he will
    forfeit the present land grant.

    [further details on page two omitted]

    Done on this twenty ninth day of June, sixteen hundred sixty-four
    /s/  H. Lalamant
    /s/ Maurise Rivé
    /s/ Nicolas Gaudry (secret.)





    The signature of Maurice Rivé in the contract

    The documents can be viewed in larger scripts at Image of Contract of Maurice Rivé

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Meals of Eels: What's for dinner during the Great Depression 1

    My mother told me when she was growing up, there were weekly meals of eels! Yes, The Wills kids ate eel for dinner.  As my dad recalled, so did the Mylott kids in Waterford and on the canal.  The Champlain canal and the Hudson River must have been full of eels!

    American Eel, plentiful and free when you lived near canals in New York State in the early 20th century.  The  Champlain canal ran through Cohoes, Waterford, and Schuylerville which were all towns my family lived in.  Today the American eel is in decline - see Status of the American Eel.  Getting back to the meal on hand....
    I can't imagine how my grandparents prepared eel.  All the current recipes say to kill it and skin it.  The flesh is flaky and tasty.

    Discussions on the internet say to cut off the head, get a gripping tool and pull the skin away from the head toward the distal end (tail) and  that it is very difficult to do!  Pan fry it or grill it and expect the eel to continue to move and slither about until it's last moments over the fire!  
    I vaguely recall my mother telling me, her father, John Albert Wills, caught the eels which means it was NOT a Franco-American tradition in this household because dear old grandpa was the son of a Cornishman. Maybe in Cornwall, they eat a lot of eel too.  In Québec, there are stories of eel catching from the St Lawrence beginning with native fisherman who lived along its shores to early French pioneers to the 20th century. Kamourska,  Québec on the south shore of the St Lawrence has a long tradition of eel fishing and even has an "Eel  Interpretive Center" in the town.  Fisheries and Ocean Canada has a great web page about the American Eel and its historic and present day importance in the economy of Québec. Click here.

    I am not eager to try this tradition. Thanks but no thanks, mom.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Congratulations to Our Cousin!

    Cousin WFS has been very busy completing his master's thesis - and baking in the Franco-American tradition with a new twist.

    Cousin WFS years ago!
    His master's thesis explores FranoAmerican themes in stories gathered during the Great Depression  and complied into the Writer's Project. You can read his thesis at Identity Discourse in Three Franco-American Life Histories in the US Federal Writer's Project.   It takes a while to read and turn over in your head and when you finish, you can enjoy the greater picture about what we call ethnic identity as well as have a deeper understanding of our cousin, his love of family and his own Franco-American identity which runs silently and strongly throughout his life.  I particularly like reading his paper to learn more about aspects of culture that I haven't given much thought because, everyday,  I am interacting with immigrants from Central and South America, Haiti, West Africa, Pakistan, Yemen, Viet Nam, Bangladesh and so many other places. Always, while I am seeing families from  these other countries and cultures, I am reminded that my own family and culture came from  over the border too - the northern border and my ancestors came for the same reasons today immigrants come i.e. jobs, security and a better life for children.  This is what cousin calls, on page 47 of his paper,  "the classic desire of all immigrants".  After you read our cousin's thesis, you might what to find the source of the three stories. That would be a book no longer in print ...but available from Alibris.

    The First Franco-Americans























    After he submitted his thesis, he relaxed a bit and created a vegan version of Albina Shepherd St Hilaire's Turkey Stuffing.  He gave me these comments and a picture of his vegan version:  "I made a vegan tourtiere, following the recipe from Annette, but substituting for the sausage and ground beef:  I used 1 pound each of "GimmeLean" brand Ground Sausage-style veggie protein and Ground Beef-style veggie protein.  Otherwise the recipe was the same except I browned the veggie protein in about 2 tbsp of oil because they're kind of dry.  I also added some homemade vegetable gravy to moisten it."


    Thanks cousin for your creativity and sharing! 
    You and your family are a big part of this little blog!

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Québec Winter Traditions

    It has been pretty cold here in New York State and it makes me think about past winters and northern winters. Gilles Vigneault, the Québec chansoner, sang  "Mon pays, ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l'hiver"  (My country is not a country, it’s winter).  He meant Québec is a land of snow,  ice storms, snowstorms and hibernation.  However,  Québec folk are also known for having some great winter fun like toboganning,  cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating.



    Québec loves winter, Christmas and Christmas tourists! Just take a peek at all the hype and something about "the warmth of winter"   Hahaha!



    Here is another crazy "frozen north" thing to do.....



    There is also Christmas in Québec,  Christmas Markets in QuébecQuebec at Christmastime
    Lastly, here is an interesting site explaining Christmas Traditions in France and Canada.

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Postcard of Cohoes circa 1912

    View of Cohoes 1912 with French notes addressed to Mrs. Eugenie Tetrault in Southbridge, Massachusetts


    It took me a few minutes to figure out what view I was looking at but from what I can tell, the view is looking east.  The mountain in the background is Lansingburg and the area we called Diamond Rock.  The church steeple on the right side is St Joseph's Church. The waterway is the Erie Canal running through Cohoes: left side towards heads to Buffalo and the right side to Albany. There is a metal bridge over the canal in the lower left side.  By the time I was growing up (1950s and 1960s), the bridge was no longer there. The canal was no longer there either!

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    The Battle on the Plains of Abraham 1759

    On one trip to Quebec in the 1950s, I can vividly recall standing on the edge of the Plaines of Abraham in Québec City with my mother, Dorothy Wills.  She held my hand firmly and seemed to have tears in her eyes. She spoke to me about what happened 200 years before on the site.  I can't remember the details but I do remember she said this is where all the bad things happened and I shouldn't forget.
    Daniel Lanois remembers too in this song....


    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Once upon a time in Green Island, NY circa 1958

    Once upon a time in Green Island, NY there was a gathering of friends from Cohoes and Waterford who took time to take two pictures- one of the ladies and one of the gentlemen.  The ladies gathered in th parlor and the men in the kitchen...

    THE LADIES
    Back row: ?, Mary Fargoli, Eva Mae Mylott née Paquette, Doris Wills née Laurent, Margaret ?, Claire Yetto née Rivet and Dorothy Mylott née Wills,
    Front Row: MB Mylott, Carolyn Mylott, Edith Lida Mylott née Glaude, Dorothy Mylott née Marois.


    THE GENTLEMEN
    Back row: Bob Wills, Edgar Mylott, Walker Yetto (Guertin), ?. Walter ?, Paul Emile Rivet
    Front Row seated Milo Mylott, Arthur Mylott, Al Rivet

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    "Til death due us part..."

    Alexis Rivet (born 1815) and Thérèse Désilets (born 1815) were married in the church of St Paul in Joliette, Québec on October 19th, 1835.  Alexis and Therese were the grandparents of Paul Emile Rivet. They were close in age and close in their deaths- they died within five days of one another, apparently, of natural causes.

    Their line goes like this:
    Claire, Albert and Raymond were the children of
    Paul Emile Rivet, who was the son of 
    Maxime Rivet, who was the son of 
    Alexis Rivet and Thérèse Désilets


    Church record of the marriage


    1852 Census Canada: lines 19 through 28. Click on image to enlarge.


    And then DEATH NOTICES, the first in the weekly Gazette de Joliette of October 31, 1890 states the spouse of Mr. Alexis Rivet farmer of St Jacques de L'Achigan, born Therese Desilets,  died on Wednesday at the age of 64 years and was buried from the church mentioned.


    The second notice is in the Gazette de Joliette the following week and announces the death of Alexis Rivet five days after his wife. 



    L'Etoile du Nord, roughly translated, states Alexis & Thérèse died  five days of one another, at Les Dalles an area of St-Jacques close the Ouareau River. One was 75 years old and the other, 75 1/2.  They were married fifty five years.




    Our Rivest cousin, Constant,  kindly shared a map of St Jacques circa 1890 with the area of Les Dalles pointed out to the northeast of St Jacques. Merci cousin Constant!


    Images of old St Jacques de L'Achigan

    These images are collected together for Rivets (descendants of Albert and Raymond)  and Yettos or Guertin (descendants of Claire Rivet who married Walker Yetto) and extended family!  You are all descendants of the Acadians, Amireault, Lord, Melancon, Jeanson, who help to found this special town.  These images of St Jacques de L'Achigan were taken around the time Joseph Emile Paul Rivet was baptized there in 1880. The actual church burned down in 1914 (first photo) but was rebuilt.  Today the town is known as St Jacques de Montcalm.

    (Many of these postcards are copied from another site to which I would love to give recognition and provide a lick but I can no longer find it!  If you are the person from Québec who posted these images originally, I will happily provide a link! Thank you)

















    New Acadia: St Jacques de L'Achigan

    Paul Emile Rivet father of Claire, Albert, and Raymond was born in St Jacques de L'Achigan and his mother's family, the Lord or Laurie, was one of the first Acadian families to settle in the town when it was founded as a haven for exiled Acadians. The mother of Claire, Albert and Raymond was born in Saint Côme but her mother and maternal grandparents, Amireault, and maternal great grandparents, Bourgeois, Melancon were all born in Saint Jacques de L'Achigan and their families early settlers. So this village it of great significance to the Rivets of Cohoes as well as many family of Acadian and Québec descent.
    The entire story of St Saint Jacques, in French, and in great detail is online here.  it is the story of a village founded specifically for exiles from Acadia in the 1760s.
    For a little more information on present day St Jacques,  check out St Jacques on Wikipedia.


    Below is the Google translation of the municipal page explaining the seal of Saint Jacques.....


    The three shells
    Quartered in the first three gold shells Messer St. Jacques.
    In the Middle Ages, the shell became an emblem of pilgrimage. And those who went to pray at the tomb of Monseigneur Saint Jacques de Compostela in Spain wide hats adorned their shells. It was the distinctive badge of the pilgrims.

    Subsequently came into common usage in the heraldry of the emblazon
    "Saint-Jacques" with shells. So we have the right to wear them.

    They stand on a gold background, symbolizing the honest people of our affluence and their proverbial generosity.
    The chalice and the Host
    Second gules a golden chalice in chief of a host of money.
    Which says "Saint-Jacques" scroll immediately sees in his mind a legion of priestly and religious vocations.

    Red --- --- Gules symbolizes God's special love for Saint-Jacques.
    The star and the boat
    Azure in the third vessel of silver, floating on a sea of the sinister a golden star.
    While the children of Acadia have suffered, we kept a instinctive devotion to Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Hope exiles. 

    Ave Maris Stella is the national anthem of the Acadians.  The ship recalls the 1755 deportation, the star and blue are the symbols of that spirit of Mary.
    The foot of tobacco
    In the fourth gold at the foot of natural tobacco, stem and flowers on a terrace of sand.
    Our Parish is in the great history, not only because of the dispersion, but also because of our industriousness that made sense from us, circa 1875, one of the first centers of large tobacco growing in Canada.

    Again, the gold evokes the source of income provided by this industry.
    These arms are the emblem of what Acadia has given us the best: his devotion to the Eucharist and the Virgin and his work ethic.
    They come as a great poem of thanksgiving. They want to proclaim the Magnificat of the recognition of benefits for two centuries and in every home and remember every moment, now and forever, the four corners of heaven and earth, that the Virgin Mary is our guide: IPSA DUCE.







    In 1955, the village of St Jacques remembered the 200th anniversary of the Grand Dérangément - the expulsion of the Acadian people from the area around present day Nova Scotia. After wandering several years in the British colonies, the Acadians were reestablished in St Jacques and other small villages in Québec.