Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wedding Wednesday A Love Story Born in Nipissing, Ontario

   The Year is 1899 and it is Christmas Day. In Dunnet & Ratter Township of Nipissing, Ontario, Canada.  The Ouellette's; Joseph and his wife Rosanna (nee Archambault) are celebrating not only Christmas this year but the arrival of their latest child, a son. Israel Noel is welcomed into the world on this very day. I'm sure the community was there with congratulations and best wishes.  Some of those wishing the family the best would have been their neighbors, Adolphe Gervais and his wife Marguerite (nee Cousineau).  Now a year later plus 2 days the tables would be reversed. The Gervais welcome their daughter Aldea into the world on December 27, 1900.

The Baptismal records for St. John the Baptist Church in Verner, Ontario 1895 - 1911. Entry 16 is Israel Noel Ouellette, 25th Dec. 1899 (parents listed) in Warren, Ontario. Baptized 11th of February by Father Langlois with Adelard & Clara Chevette  as God Parents.  

The Schedule A Birth Index of the District of Nipissing from 1899. Line 3 is Ouellette Israel Noel (M - male) Dec. 25, 1899. Father Ouellette Joseph and mother, Archambault Rose.

The 1901 - 1967 Record of Baptism for the St. Thomas Parish of Warren, Ontario.  Entry 6 reads Aldea Gervais, December 27, 1900. Parents are listed and living in Warren. there is a card inserted in the page which covers the date of baptism; however Father G.A Picotte officiated.

Page 12 of the 1901 Ontario Census of Dunnet & Ratter Township,  Nipissing County. The last family on the page is headed  by Adolph Gervais (line 44) age 43 with his wife Marguerite age 35 then Daughter Dora age 14, sons Moses age 13 & Adelor age 11, then daughter Louisa age 8 and son Eugene age 6. 

Page 13 of the 1901 Ontario Census of Dunnet & Ratter Township,  Nipissing County. The Gervais family continues at the top of this next page with  daughters Lavina age 2 and Aldea 3 months. However this page held more for me when first researching on line 15 is Joseph Ouellette age 41 with wife Rosalia age 31, daughter Rose age 11, Sons Alfred age 9 and Arthur age 7 then daughter Anna age 5 and Israel  3/12. 


    Well the census taker must have mis-understood the age of the baby. He is listed in the church record as being born and baptized in 1899 and 1900. I have to believe that those records are accurate. A family with a newborn being held by the Minister and baptized over a guy at the door taking the info and transcribing it to paper.  They probably told him the baby was born Dec 25th of last year and he took it literally as the last calendar yr. Can't blame him, but a mistake never the less. Anyway the point is, here are two young people about the same age, living near by and they grow up to marry; and so we have ....

Particulars of Marriage registration number 0197477. Married on August 9th of 1922 in Warren, Ontario. 

       The marriage produced many children including my grand mother Desneige. Hence my mother Noella and then myself. I have already blogged about them before but their lives were simple but fruitful and they lived and celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1972. They even went all out and renewed their vows at the same church in Warren. Wish I was old enough to have gone and remembered it. It looks like they had fun. 

Israel & Aldea Ouellette leaving for the church to renew their vows. Back porch of their Warren home. 

Renewing their vows.

The party after. Cake on table in shape of a 5 and 0.

Back at the Ouellette home. Israel Noel with his grand daughter (and namesake) Noella and her husband William Goodwin (my parents).

This last picture is a year or two before the anniversary. It is of me with my great grand parents and their dog at their place in Warren. I was about 5 or 6 here.


       I will never forget any of my grand parents or great grand parents. Some of details may fade as I was young then; however they were special people and I will always fondly "Remember When...."


Friday, February 15, 2013

Family Friends Friday... Let's try this Prompt out

  Well I was just checking over my past blogs and fixing some spelling and grammatical errors I noticed and came across the blog I did Wednesday, June 13, 2012. It was titled "Workday Wednesday - John Bertram & Sons of Dundas, Ontario".  In that blog I spoke of how my great, great  grand father George Dennie and his son (my great grand father) William George Dennie worked there and how they met and came to be friends with a fellow worker George Fraser and his wife Rose. George and Rose became fast friends with William and Gladys (nee Forwell) (Williams wife & my great grand mother). When William and Gladys had their first child Elva Irene Dennie (my grand mother); it was George & Rose that became the God Parents of course.
    Now I suggested on the Facebook page for Genebloggers that we add this "Family Friend Friday" to the "Daily Blogging Prompts" and they excepted it.  George Fraser is the reason it came to mind for me. See I know we all have an Uncle George or Aunt Rose in our families. That couple that was our parents best friends; that they did everything with. Hung out with on weekends, stood in their wedding, went on trips with, served in the war with, and as with mine; were the God Parents of "little Billie". It's these things that make them part of the family, so why shouldn't we include them somewhere somehow in our genealogy?
    More importantly than just the fact that they are like family (as far as blogging and researching our families goes); they are important sources of information. As I pointed out in that previous blog - "He (George Fraser) was able to tell me personally about my great great grandfather and great grandfather, both of whom I never had the honor of meeting myself. Both were honest, hardworking men for whom family came first. I would have liked to have known them, but since I couldn't, I will say that getting to know them both through Uncle George was a great experience. not only did I see them through his eyes; but reflecting back on it, I realize that I got to know them by the friend they picked to have as a member of our extended family. Uncle George Fraser was a great man and since I couldn't know my relatives personally; I'm sure glad I knew Uncle George because of them."


A picture of George Fraser with my kids can been seen in the previous blog mentioned. 

Above Left to right:

Elva Dennie (my grand mother), Elva's God mother Rose Fraser, Noella Lafleur (my mother) holding Branden (my brother) with me John Goodwin in front of her.

(Summer of 1976 in London at the home of George & Rose Fraser)

Above:  George & Mable Whitebread 

(Rose Fraser's parents) (1920?)

Above: At the "Hard Rock Cafe" downtown 

Detroit, Michigan (March 18, 2011)

I (John F.W. Goodwin) am seated right with my son Liam P.F. Goodwin seated next to me. Across from us is my good friend George Daniels. George is Liam's God Father.  Yes he could tell my son some stories about me. 

  I can think of many other family friends, such as my parents friends the Ouellette's when I was young. Later my father had friends Howard and Barb. I have many friends such as Liana who I went to high school with and is the God Mother of my oldest daughter Victoria. Speaking of which Victoria's God Father is another good friend of mine who I have known since grade 6, Robert. I could go on and on but the point is they all have known us and can give us and our descendants a picture of our families (that can be a verbal picture, but may be physical copies of pictures) which we may not have. So lets talk to these people and as they "Remember When....", they can help us to record when. I will definitely blog of some others now that my prompt has been excepted as a Genebloggers Daily Blogging Prompt.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday's Child - Remember When (Week 3) - Your 1rst BFF

    So I was thinking about week 3 and what it should be... I looked at the first two weeks and the home I  lived in. I got to "Remember When..." I use to play with Marcelo  Marcelo was the son of a couple that lived next door to us (and my grand parents - since we lived over them). His family was Italian and we were the same age. Once we moved to our first home (my parents owned on their own), I still played with Marcelo whenever we visited my grand parents or I was babysat by them. We played Cowboys & Indians, Cops and Robbers and with our toy cars & trucks. Marcelo's mother was a very kind lady and very protective of her son. We would sometime's go to his house and visit with her. I say visit because we didn't play in their home. It was always neat, clean and organized. She would let us come in for cookies and milk at the kitchen table or for some other goody. I was allowed in to wait for him if he was getting ready or had to finish cleaning his room to go out. I remember that in the living room under a side table next to the couch was an old Fisher Price Ferris Wheel toy.  It was a decoration at that point. She would allow me to pull it out to see how it worked a few times but it had to go back to it's "Spot". Marcelo was at my 6th Birthday in the dinning room of my grandparents home. I got my first 2 wheeler bike.

July 4, 1972 - My (John Goodwin) 6th Birthday with my Dad (William F. Goodwin) helping to cut the cake. I looked all day through old photo's and couldn't find the one with Marcelo in it. This is the closest I could find - he is sitting to my right (that is his hand).

July 4, 1972 - Outside our house on the side walk with my  birthday gift a new bike.  My dad (William F. Goodwin) and his step father; my grand father (Vic Boismier).

    As I got older and the visits grew further apart, so did our relationship. By the time we were around 8 years old his family was getting ready to move back to Italy. We said goodbye and that was the last I saw of him. I often wonder how he is doing, what did he grow up to do, did he get married, have kids, come back to Canada? Does he ever think back and "Remember When...." he lived on Highland Ave. in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and hung out with his friend John?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Those Places Thursday - Remember When You Lived in Your First Home? (Week 2)

    So my first home was apparently with my Mother's parents. Recently my father told me that for about the first year or so after their marriage he and my mother lived with her parents. They had the back bedroom. My father got his job with Chrysler's here in Windsor working the line. He told me he would get home from the late shift and my mother would be asleep; but when he came in he would often find my grandfather up, sitting at the kitchen table feeding me my nightly bottle. If you have read my past blogs at all then you have seen this home at 818 Bruce Ave. in blog dated Nov. 1, 2012.  We were in the back addition (3rd bedroom). While I know this home well, because we spent so much time there. My grandmother babysat me while my parents both worked.

Me (John Goodwin) in my parents room on Highland. Closet door is just left of cameraman.

      The first home I remember actually living in was in the apartment above my other grandparents home. My parents moved in there to get their own space and start saving for a home of their own. This is the home at 1646 Highland Ave. It was in the previous blog about the first memory.  I remember snap shots of things and then other things are clear. I remember going in my parents room to see them, I remember trying to climb into their closet to play. It was an over deep closet, deeper at the bottom (child level) then the top because of the slope of the roof. I remember my uncle coming over now and then. Of course I remember time spent with my grand parents down stairs as they watched me. Especially  my grandfather who stayed home. Being with him, him making me lunches (peanut butter toast), and playing in the yard. I also remember most fondly my father at the kitchen table building model cars. He liked cars and growing up as a kid didn't have the money for toys and things so I think this was his way to recapture some of that lost childhood.  My grandparents had a patch of rhubarb in the back yard and grandpa use to cut a stick off for me and then clean it and give it to me with the blue sugar bowl (pictured in the Jan. 17, 2013 blog of heirlooms), to dip it in and eat. Until my grandmother died when I was 26 yrs old; that home was a central anchor to our family world as was the home on Bruce for our family on my mother's side. I will always look back on these places and "Remember When..." fondly, with love and happiness.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Remember When Your First Memory (Week 1)

   May 11, 2012 I posted "Those Places Thursdays - 1646 Highland Ave." I have added this to the title... (Week 1 - Remember When Your First Memory). I decided to start my own 52 weeks of Genealogical Memories.   I decided that Week 1 would be "Your First Memory". Since I already spoke of this memory I am adding a link to that Blog for today's post, here...

Me (John F.W. Goodwin) age 1 with my grandfather Vic Boismier's dog Lucky.

    I think these memories will usually be the first because they are traumatic in some way; at least that is, if the first memory is at an earlier than normal age.  For me it was falling down some stairs at such an early age (10 Months). As I stated in the earlier blog, I have a fear of heights to this day. My first memory as well as a host of my first memories revolve around the homes of my grand parents. We lived at their homes, I was babysat at them or we were visiting them with extended family during most of my first 5 yrs of life. I have lot's of memories of those days. By the time my brother came along, when I was nine; my mothers parents were moved up north to retire and my parents split up and he went with my mother while I went with my father. He didn't get to know them. My mother's parents died before he was 3 years old. He never new my father's parents.  He missed out on some great and interesting characters. However my mother, aunts, uncles and myself; we can fill in the past for him.  So what is "Your First Memory" when you think back and "Remember When..."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Heirlooms from Grandma Dennie

   Well Christmas has just past and the other day i was taking down the tree and other decorations, when I remembered that I hadn't posted about the things I received when my grandmother Dennie passed.  The reason I remembered was that I was taking down the Elf's, I put up every year. From the youngest memories of Christmas that I have, I remember them hanging around the house of my grandmother & grandfather.  Now my Grandmother's last husband was Vic Boismier. He was the only grandfather I knew on my dads side, and he was my dad's step father. Which ever, it doesn't matter because he was Grandpa to me. The Elf's were his technically. He bought them and insisted that they go up each year. I loved them, I thought they were cool. He died when I was 6 or 7 and my grand mother continued to put them out (because she knew I  expected to see them).  When she past away, I knew I had to have them. They always make me remember those child hood Christmas'.  This year I notice the "Elf on the Shelf" is a big hit. Well as you see from the picture below, I've had the Elf on the Shelf for many years.  The tag on the back of the big one's says 1968. So he bought them when I was 2 years old.  No wonder I "Remember When..." for as long as I can "Remember When...".

Have to love that 60's color pattern on the small one,

bottom left.

   So it got me thinking of the other item's that remind me of my grand mother when I see them. for example the dinning room Hutch and China Cabinet. I was given them at the time because My dad and his siblings were already old enough to have established their own households. I was still newly married and building our household. I took them and they were a little worn over time and the finish was chipping. I liked refinishing wood furniture and so I refinished them in a darker color and have enjoyed them ever since.  Here they sit in my dinning room/den.

    Now inside of these sat many things that only came out for family dinners or were just there for show and didn't come out at all. I have some serving pieces in them to this day that just remind me of family dinner's.  I use to stare through the glass door of the China Cabinet almost every time I was over their house.

    In particular the two little vase's in brown, blue, and orange's; with a King on one and a Queen on the other.  They fascinated me as a kid.  It turns out they were from Occupied Japan and probably aren't a King & Queen; maybe an Emperor.  So lets look inside....

   So on the top shelf we can see the 2 vases front and center (just where I remember them as a kid -- except they were on the bottom shelf; where I could view them better). Behind them is the elegant lady playing a harp (music box). I picked it out at age 12 for her for mother's day from my dad and I. To the left of those is a bottle of red wine from my oldest daughter's wedding, 2 years ago. Directly behind and above the vase on the right is the survey tool that belonged to my grand father Lafleur (that appeared in a past post). To the right of that is the blue sugar bowl. This was always in the kitchen and on the kitchen table in my grand parents house. Behind that and to the right is the large glass pitcher that always came out for family dinners. My wife at the time liked it and wanted to use it more regularly. I was worried it might get broken but thought sure, I enjoyed the memories of it. Then one day while on a trip to the Stratford area, we were in an antique store and saw an exact match to it.  Now this was twenty years ago; but the price on it was $150. After that the wife was more inclined to put it away and use it for special occasions.  There are also things on this top shelf from a lovely lady in England who was like a second mother to me in my teens. She is still important to me and I have the little Bag-Piper in the small case in front of the sugar bowl; and beside it, closer to the vase's is a glass dome item. It is a glass paper weight with the Queen of England's jubilee crest on it. In behind the sugar bowl and survey tool is a red vase and a red with yellow handle small pitcher. Both belonged to my grand mother Dennie also. The large crystal vase in the very back corner next to the pitcher was a wedding gift to my former wife and I from an older couple at our church at the time. She didn't really know them or remember them which is why I took it when we separated  I remember them and the very sweet people they were.  

Vase's - Front / Back / Bottom

Sugar Bowl - top broken and missing for years, probably has little retail value. Memories - Precious.

Glass pitcher - right side / left side. 

     Some day I hope my kids will treasure the memories of these items too.  They may remember them for different reasons, but I hope they are fondly loved as they "Remember When...". 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Family Recipe Friday - Meat Pie (Tourtiere)

    So for the past 20 plus years my mother (Noella) and her sister (Florence) have been getting together on day in November and making a supply of meat pies. The recipe was learned from their mother Desneige (nee Ouellette) Lafleur. Grandma learned from her mother Aldea (nee Gervais) Ouellette.  how far back it goes from there I don't know. Anyway I have asked them to tell me when and let me come to learn it for many years. I don't want it to be lost. My brother has it, I believe my Uncle Marks wife has it to cook for him; but I don't know if any of their kids have it (and make it) or if any of the other brother's and sister's and or their families have it. Well I was off on sick leave the last 4 months (after an emergency surgery) and so by November I was well enough to go learn. So we all met at aunt Florence's and then went to get the meat. We went back to Florence's and they proceeded to make the meat pies. "All Right...Finally". So all told we made twenty pies that afternoon. Nine each for them and 2 for me. I don't have a big freezer, so I just wanted to learn and make a couple to start. Here is the recipe ....

Meat Pie (Tourtiere)
            This recipe is for 2 pies. On average each pie will have 2 pounds of meat (1 pound beef & 1 pound of pork).  Multiply it out to make larger batches. While you can of course make your own dough for the pie crust it is simpler (especially if doing a larger batch of say 10-20 pies at once) to just buy the boxes of no name frozen 9 inch pie tins (come 2 to a box normally. Then by the Pillsbury ready-made pie crust tops. They come 2 to a box also. 
Ingredients:        - 2 lbs. medium ground beef
- 2 lbs. lean ground pork
- 2 medium potatoes 
- 1 large onion                       
- 1 teaspoon garlic (minced) 
- Sage (to taste)         
- Poultry seasoning (to taste)           
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- Trio mix (gravy thickener) 1 teaspoon
Preparation:      1) Peel, cut and boil potatoes (mashed potatoes style). When done drain water and hold in a bowl (may need it later). Mash the potatoes well & hold till needed.
                                    2) Finely chop the onion and cook in a large greased pan.
                                    3) Mix both the beef and pork together well and start cooking in the pan when onions are cooked down.
                                    4) Once the meat starts browning add the seasonings.
                                    5) If the meat appears to be too dry, add some of the potatoe water you held on to.
                                    6) Once meat is completely browned add in the mashed potatoes and mix well.
                                    7) Add Trio mix (gravy thickener).
                                    8) Fill 9 inch pie shells, water the top edges of the pie shell crust, and place the top crust on the pie (cut away extra) and using a fork crimp the edges of the top to the pie shell base.
                                    9) Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes (until crust is golden brown). Then place in zip lock freezer bags to store.  De-thaw and re-heat as needed.

    The other great thing was that my aunt Florence had agreed to let me go through all her photographs and see if there were any (especially older one) that I wanted to copy. So I brought my mobile scanner and a pad of paper and copied about 60 pictures. Included in there were some I had never seen before including one old one of their father (my grandpa Wilfrid Lafleur) standing in front of the truck he use to own. I was able to copy it and then repair it. \I will have to make copies for all the other family members that will want it.