This blog post is the third and final article of a three-part series in which I write about the help I received from photo detective Maureen Taylor during a recent photo consultation. For the two previous installments, see Photo Consultation with Maureen Taylor and Photo Consultation Part II – Pierre Janvry dit Belair. This picture of my Vanasse great-aunts and uncles (my father’s maternal relatives) was sent to me as a digital image by my cousin Nancy in the spring of 2013.
Seated at the front (left to right) are George, his sister Corinne (Cora) and his brother William (Willie). At the back (left to right) are his sister Agnes (Aggie), his wife Louise, his brother David (Dave), his sister Cecilia (Celia), and his brother Joseph (Joe). Missing from the group are parents Olivier and Elisabeth, and sisters Mary and Julie (my grandmother). Here are Maureen’s thoughts about this picture:
A studio portrait (painted background, heavy furniture, carpet).
It could be part of a series of photos taken at the same time.
Presumably a wedding photo, since Louise is less likely to be included with the family while unmarried to George.
The men all wear different collars and ties. Joe (back, far right) appears to be “a bit of a dandy”, judging by the style of his collar.
Joe has a protective hand on Willie’s shoulder.
Cora (centre, front) and Celia (back, right) are fashionably dressed. Maureen added that she’s never seen Cora’s style of necklace.
Aggie (back, far left), who’s about 14 years old, is “dressing younger than her age”. Her hair (in banana curls) and dress reflect a “very youthful style”. She could be dressed by an older person instead of having the chance to make her own fashion choices.
Louise’s “dress is way too big”. She seems to have borrowed it from someone “taller and much larger in the chest”.
Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”. For the 42nd week of this challenge, I chose Valentin Cole (ca 1728-1794). Valentin is my maternal 6x great-grandfather and is number 466 in my ancestor list. Born about 1728 in Boston, colonial Massachusetts, he was the son of Jean Cole and Elisabeth Xque.  I haven’t done much research into Valentin’s background or the circumstances of how he came to immigrate to Canada. His first appearance in Canadian records seems to be in 1753 when, as “Valentin Colle, Anglais”, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. On 21 April of that year, Valentin renounced the ‘heresies of the faith in which he was raised’ and was baptized under the name Jean Baptiste by Father J.C. Noël in the parish church of St-Antoine-de-Tilly, near Quebec, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. 
I thought that article would be the only one I’d post on my blog about that conversation. I planned on transcribing the rest of the notes I made during our phone call and then file them for future reference. It occurred to me, however, that if I put those notes away, who would see them and get to know about the people and the extra details that Maureen found in the pictures except maybe only me?
That’s when I decided to share with my readers what Maureen had to say about the other two photographs. After all, that’s the point of my having a genealogy blog – to share my ancestors with others.
Therefore, I’m focusing on the second of the three photos this week, and the third photo and its information will appear next week.
Four years ago today, on 11 October 2010, my Aunt Madeleine and my cousins lost their beloved husband and father, René. He was 86 years old. Uncle René was a tall, good looking man, with wavy hair. He was always happy and smiled a lot. Mom loved dancing with him at family events like weddings, and he and Dad shared a similar sense of humor and got along well. These are two of my favorite photos of Uncle René. They are wonderful reminders of how I most remember him: the working man (a police officer in a small northeastern Ontario town) and the family man with lots of humor.
When uncle René was dressed in his uniform, he seemed serious, but still approachable. When he was home, off work, he was lots of fun and loved teasing his children and us, his nieces (my younger sister Marianne and I), when we visited him and Aunt Madeleine and their eight children – my cousins Richard, Michel, Raymond, Robert, Jean-Paul, Lise, Patrick and Gérard – at their home with the big yard.
Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”. For the 41st week of this challenge, I chose Joseph Caillé (1798-1865). Joseph is my maternal 4x great-grandfather and is number 118 in my ancestor list. A younger son of Joseph Caillé by his first wife Marie Françoise Renaud dite Dumoulin, Joseph was born on 27 February 1798 and was baptized that day in the village of Ste-Rose on Ile Jésus, just north of Montreal.  Today – 10 October 2014 – is the two hundredth anniversary of the marriage of Joseph and Angélique Houle [Houde] dite Gervais. The couple, who were distantly related, married on 10 October 1814 in the parish church in Ste-Thérèse, Terrebonne County.  Until I prepared this post for my blog, I hadn’t considered my ancestors’ ages when they wed. I was surprised to learn that Joseph was only 16 years old, while Angélique was one week away from 21 at their marriage.
Caillé - Houle marriage record (1814) 
Below is my transcription of their marriage record. (I’ve kept the original spelling, punctuation and capitalization, as well as the original lineation.)