Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2006-01 > 1136383832

From: Andy <>
Subject: RE: [Q-R] Re: Tanguay
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 09:10:32 -0500
In-Reply-To: <>

Good Morning Sue and All,

Thanks for the explanation of the functions of the folks who are doing the
work on PRDH. I had wondered how they were performing the updates. For
individuals like myself who does not reside in Canada PRDH is valuable. I
have to admit however that I have not subscribed and many folks here have
helped me with look-ups at a cost to themselves. For this I am thankful and
grateful. Perhaps there may be a way for me to help someone there in other
ways, say finding "Cajun" relatives in Louisiana prior to 1900. :-)

Andy Scott

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:]
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 8:18 AM
Subject: [Q-R] Re: Tanguay

In a message dated 1/3/2006 10:55:15 PM Eastern Standard Time,
X-Message: #21
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2006 18:39:56 -0800
From: Roch St-Pierre <>
Message-id: <004101c610d8$26824610$>
Subject: Re: Tanguay
Content-Type: text/plain;
MIME-Version: 1.0

PRDH as you say is not perfect but before it got started it used the
from "TANGUAY" "DROUIN" "TALBOT" etc. and any other Genealogy fact
available to them now they are charging $ for the information they have
for free from others. Tanguay is dead and cannot keep upgrading its books.
PRDH is not god but they updating the facts that belong to others at one


Not quite accurate, Roch.

In the 1960s PRDH began a _NEW_ reading of surviving records. It did not
copy wholesale from others. The problems in Tanguay were well-known long
before 1960. Originally, as its title announces, PRDH was a demographic
not a genealogical one, and Tanguay could not be trusted for demographic
studies. The title PRDH translates as Program of Research in Historical
_Demography_, not genealogy. The multiple book versions did not attempt to
make links
among families if those links were not evident within a record.

PRDH continues to go back to the original records when someone, like me,
points out a possible misreading or introduces new evidence from other
sources, like notarial records or the colonial correspondence of New France.
has the expense of its continuing research and its huge computerized data
Most recently it added thousands of deaths for individuals born before 1799
who died by 1850.

Tanguay's contribution is in having had access to registers that have since
disappeared. PRDH acknowledges this fact everytime it cites one of those
records. Fire, flood, vermin, and simple neglect destroyed precious records.

Remember Tanguay worked in the mid-nineteenth century, with his books
published between 1871 and 1890. As someone wondered, did he even have
lights to read the old registers. We owe him a great debt, but we also must
out where he went wrong when he relied on guesses or even suppressed

For example, he lists Therese Véron Grandmesnil as _daughter_ of Etienne
Véron Grandmesnil _and_ Catherine Picard (Vol. 7, p. 445), but in this entry
suppresses Therese's birthdate. Grandmesnil did not marry Catherine until
but Therese was born at Fort Pontchartrain, Detroit, on 24 July 1709, said
be the child of Marie Lepage, _widow_ Francois Beausseron, and Etienne
Grandmesnil, to whom Marie was not married. This entry in the original
shocked Clarence Burton's Victorian sensibilities when he wrote his
Cadillac's Village.

Equally interesting, the _transcriber_ of the original Ste.-Anne de Detroit
record _gave_ this baby the last name Beausseron in a side bar entry,
this side bar does NOT appear on the original record itself. This reading
transcription is the one found on the FHL microfilm version of the
and it was certified by Tanguay in 1881. Tanguay lists Therese Beausseron as

the posthumous child of BEAUSSERON (no first name) and Marie Lepage, with
correct baptism date of 25 July 1709, at Detroit (Vol. 1, p. 35). Thus,
Tanguay records Therese TWICE, with two different sets of parents. Gail
Moreau-DesHarnais, editor of _Michigan's Habitant Heritage_, and I have
found that both
the FHL and the Drouin transcriptions have multiple errors in reading. Like
PRDH, we have gone to the ORIGINAL surviving source and not relied on other

We'll probably never know who Therese's biological father _really_ was
because, if she was truly Grandmesnil's daughter, she married a first
cousin, Pierre
Baby, son of her "aunt" Madeleine, the sister of Etienne. Another "aunt" and

"cousin" were present at Therese's marriage contract and marriage in 1748,
without any dispensation asked or granted for this close "blood"
Grandmesnil and his family obviously cared for Therese and saw to her
upbringing. Marie Lepage remarried to Joseph Vaudry and returned to live in
where she gave birth to Vaudry children.

My articles on this subject appeared in 2001 in _Michigan's Habitant
Heritage_, the journal of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan.
Frankly, I
find the truth, or as close as we can get to it, far more interesting than
any suppression or falsification of details.

Suzanne Boivin Sommerville
St. Clair Shores, Michigan

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