Monday, May 7, 2012

So I guess Not All French Canadians Were Catholic

I alluded before to an assumption that I had made regarding the percentage of particular heritages that I was and assumed it was about 50-50% French and Irish.  That turned out to be not so much the case.  Also, I had made assumptions based on them being French and Irish that they were almost exclusively Catholic.  That also turns out to not be the case.

I'm discovering that my 3GRGR, Jules La Porte was, perhaps, born Catholic, but seems to have drifted into various protestant sects throughout his lifetime. I have no idea if this was pure expediency due to geography who which of his wives he was with at the time (more on this below), or if it was due to conviction and belief.

Above, I say "perhaps born Catholic" because I believe his father, Charles La Porte, was born in the parish now served by this Church, in French called "Eglise Sainte Marguerite de Blairfindie" located in L'Acadie, Quebec. My 4GRGR Charles was married in this parish, although this building didn't exist c. 1772 when he was born. It wasn't built until just after 1800. But it could have been where they worshiped in 1812 or so, when Jules/Julius was born.

But 25 years later, when Jules married Marguerite Genevieve Garrant / (Mary) Jane Garrow, he seems to have been affiliated (or she was, it isn't clear) with the First Presbyterian Church in Mooers, New York, about 60 kilometers south and slightly west of there.

Jules married wife numbers 2 and 3 in his own home.  Both, it seems, were when he was affiliated with the "ME Church" -- or "Methodist Episcopalian Church" also in Mooers, New York. That Building near the beginning of the 20th Century looked like this:

Its the same building that the United Methodist Church in Mooers, still uses. I've recently contacted "Pastor Al" there, who forwarded my records inquiries to their Historian.  I'm hoping to find out a bit more about possible birth records for Jules' children (including my 2GRGR Moses) that might be part of their archives.

Later, it seems clear that 2GRGR was affiliated with the Catholic Church, including at least Ste. Anne de Centreville in Mooers. Their faith could not have been super strong at least not with the entire family, as my Great Grandfather Henry (according to my dad) was not a "church goer."  Oddly enough, his apparent Catholic affiliation, though, was an issue for my Great Grandmother Bessie Blaney, who, despite her very Irish name, was also apparently not Catholic. My father also told me that it was a bit of an issue when my Grandfather Lloyd (who, apparently, was now affiliated with a protestant church) married my Grandmother Jennie, who was Catholic.

Although they weren't all Catholic, what I can say is "thank God" that they were affiliated, as the Churches were definitely good at one thing: record keeping.  Were it not for these churches (including the LDS currently) genealogy would be next to impossible.

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