Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When Cousins Marry . . .

Since delving into my ancestry a couple of years ago, I've quickly learned of some inter-marriage among my relatives.  I've focused my research primarily on my father's side as my Uncle Pat has owned the laboring oar on the Eagan side of things. Most of these folks are Northern New Yorkers who immigrated from Quebec.  Many descend from the earliest couple of hundred settlers in Montreal. So, its not a big surprise that there has been inter-marriage.

I've come across several instances of Rocks marrying LaPortes.  Masse's marrying LaPortes. Garrands marrying LaPortes and some of these connections are only a couple of generations  apart. I've also come across Rocks marrying Rocks -- my Great Grandparents (Henry) Clayton Rock was the first cousin once removed from his wife, Isabel Rock (Clayton's father Edward "Henry" Rock was the brother of Isabel's grandfather, Moses Rock). But that's the closest that I've seen before this morning, when I came across this:

This is the marriage record of my 5th Great Grandfather, Joseph Souliere to Marie Catherine Menard. The date in the upper right shows a marriage on March 1, 1802 in Contrecoeur, Quebec, Canada. My 5GRGR was the age of "majority" (i.e., an adult) and his wife Catherine was a minor. His father, Piere Suliere (s/k/a Pierre Joseph Noel Souliere -- and some combinations of those given names, usually including "Joseph") had died by this time (he died in April 2, 1790). Joseph's mother is listed as "Marie Charles* Lacroix."  Catherine Menard's parents are listed as Theophile Mendard (deceased) and Marie Louise Lacroix.

The astute reader will beat me to the explanation and will have already noticed that the mother of the bride and mother of the groom both are named "Lacroix." Those with French, Latin, or medical backgrounds (or, just large vocabularies) will also have noticed what it says in the upper right corner under "Marriage" and "Contrecoeur" -- "consanguinity," which means "blood relation."  I do not know positively yet, but I strongly suspect that Marie Louise and Marie Charles Charlotte were sisters, making their kids first cousins.

More to report when I find out.

* From other records, this is likely a misstatement or mis-transcription -- I haven't looked closely at the original image yet to determine which it is. Joseph's mother was typically referred to as Marie Charlotte or just Charlotte, usually with the surname "Lacroix," but sometimes also with "Borgeau" "Saraphin" and "Potvin" --  I've not figured out that mystery yet.  More later.


  1. Assuming that they were Catholics it would be interesting to see what the actual record would say about the consanguinity. I believe that two persons related within the fourth degree (e.g., two second cousins) have to have a "waiver" usually given by a bishop. As an aside, marriage to the sister of a late wife also requires a "waiver" as was the case of your great-grandfather, Frederick Maloney, although I have not been able to find any record of any such waiver.

  2. They were Catholic. I'm going to dig into the record after work, since a look at the PRDH "index" of the same individuals suggests that its NOT two sisters, but a brother and sister. In other words, it looks like the person listed as "Marie Louise Lacroix" isn't Louise Lacroix at all, but instead is Louise Souliere. More to come.

    I was actually thinking about the scenario that you mention regarding Frederick Maloney when I was listing those "intermarriages" but thought against it, considering that a unique circumstance

    The LDS and Drouin Institute both have a ton of these records available to page through, so I might also give a closer look to see if there are any references to "waivers" under these circumstances.