Archive for the ‘Saucier’ Category

Names Are So Confusing

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

“A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet”

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”

William Shakespeare wrote the former; we dont know who wrote the latter, but of all the old sayings that have to do with names, I think Ben Franklin’s best applies to my situation.  Ben said, “What signifies knowing the names if you know not the nature of things?”  Well said, Ben.  What does it matter if you know what things are called, if that’s all you know about them?  Very true, unless you happen to be talking about genealogy.

There are a lot of examples in my search where I have been stymied, for longer or shorter times, by differences in names.  Whether they’ve been spelling differences (Lamont vs Lamonte), transcription errors in the records (Crowley vs Crowsley), or resulting from language barriers (Isaac vs Elzear) they’ve been issues to overcome.

The one that is most recent is whether Frank Hartwell Orcutt is really Francis Hartwell Orcutt.

Frank Hartwell Orcutt

I found a copy of the Birth Records for Abington, MA in 1884 in which his birth is recorded as “Frank.”  But, given that his father was Francis Colby Orcutt, could it be that the parents were calling him “Frank” instead of Francis to avoid confusion?  My new-found cousin, Sharon, is calling in some favors and trying to get a copy of the official birth certificate from the Town of Abington (being a published author and professional genealogist has its advantages!), so soon this mystery may be solved.

There are 4 or 5 others I already know about and just as many likely waiting to step up and cause problems!

What’s in a name?

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

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.

Auntie Philly Teased Nana

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Aunty Philly used to tease Nana quite often using the word “pishette.”  I was unsure if this was a French word, an Italian word, a name, a swear, or what.  Every time Aunty Phillie said it Nana would laugh, but I could never get her to tell me what it was that was so funny.  It wasnt until much later that I figured it out.