What’s in a name?

OK, I found out who and what “Pichette” was – the maiden name of my great grandmother.  And, I found her parents – my great, great grandparents.  So now I am trying to find the parents of my great grandfather, Frank Saucier.  Typically, finding the parents of a male ancestor is easier because his name was the same before he was married as after.  There is no need to find some sort of reference that shows what he was called prior to the marriage like there is when trying to trace a female ancestor.

Not always.

I found Frank Saucier’s draft cards for both WW1 and WW2.  On both, he listed August 17, 1891 as his birthday.  On both, he listed Fall River, MA as his place of birth.  On both, he lists his occupation as “carpenter.”  So far, so good.  Information directly from the person is usually considered pretty reliable.

Knowing that Frank Saucier married Rosanna Pichette in 1912, I checked the 1910 Census for Frank Saucier figuring that was the last time he would have been living at home.  Maybe I could get his parents names.  In 1910 there was a Frank Saucier living with his parents and his brothers, John, Docithio, Henri, Alexander, and Philip.  Frank was the right age and listed his occupation as carpenter!  Yah! It worked! 

Except for one thing.  His father is listed as Isaac.



He is a carpenter too, and he is married to Matilda (which matches other birth records of Joseph and Henri Saucier) but those birth records show the father as Elzear(d) Saucier, not Isaac.

Keeping in mind that these records were taken by hand and in person (which means the accents of the speakers made a difference), I kept looking.

I found what I think is the same family in the 1900 census too.  Same kids, same ages, father listed as a “carpenter.”  And, again, the father named Isaac.  But THIS time, the mother was listed as “Julia.”  Well, not really.  That is what the person who typed it into the database typed.  The original seems to have an extra letter, but isnt clearly legible.  In any event, it clearly is NOT “Matilda.”

I am not going to be able to wade through this without a visit to the Massachusetts State Archives.  More on that after my visit.

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