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An Important Correction to Stephen White's Boudrot History Book

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An Important Correction to Stephen White's Boudrot History Book

Posted: 1095204000000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1164330099000
To: All Acadian Boudreau researchers who have purchased or will use the volume compiled by Stephen A. White, and published for the Boudrot Family Association

Acadian genealogist, Stephen A. White of the Centre d'études acadiennes in Moncton has asked me to convey to those of you on this genforum, message board or listserve, who will be using his newly published volume entitled, "Histoire de la Famille de Michel Boudrot" (© 2004) for their Boudreau family research, that you be aware of a minor error on p. 197 (in the family of Étienne Boudrot and his second spouse, Marguerite Dupuis of L'Acadie, Québec). This notice will affect those of you doing research who descend from their son Jacques, many of whose descendants are today settled in the Midwestern United States, principally in the Kansas and Oklahoma areas. This notice should also concern those researchers from the Illinois and Missouri areas, as well, since they will probably be adding the information from this family to their family group charts.

Steve has urged me to mention too that this particular situation affords us a good example of a certain general deficiency in our research. This deficiency is basically unavoidable, unless we rely upon other researchers to provide the missing clues, or unless and until we pursue further research ourselves that might provide those missing clues. Any genealogical reconstruction that is limited to a certain generation risks missing important information about that generation. It is only when we proceed to reconstruct the FOLLOWING (or next) generation that we learn that some things were not as we presumed them to be. That is exactly what we have here. Steve, myself and the compilers of the various repertoires of mariages all presumed that Étienne Boudrot had only one son named Jacques who grew up and married (three times).

This is an automatic presumption that we all make, that only one child in each family winds up bearing a particular name. We do know of course that this was not always the case, but we follow the presumption all the same until it is rebutted. We have seen through our research that a duplication in Acadian familis of given names among children usually implied the death of a former child; or that the similar naming of children among the Acadians been prevalent yet had ceased in pre-exile Acadia. Yet, in this case, it is only when one goes on to reconstruct the following generation of this particular Boudrot family, that one discovers that two Jacques Boudrots were having children at the same time, by two different wives.

The Error, then, is this:

Among the children of Étienne Boudrot and Marguerite Dupuis is found a son named Jacques Boudrot, born 16 Jan 1783 at St-Philippe (Laprairie), who is listed in this volume as having married three times. Further on in the same family group, one will also find a second son named Jacques Boudrot, born at L'Acadie on 23 Jun 1788 (listed here without any marriage information).

As genealogists, both Steve and I have sometimes based our conclusions on already published or unpublished "trustworthy" sources, rather than reduplicating our research efforts. Yet, we have also both returned to the original sources of information (i.e., the parish registers and census records) for verification of the conclusions of others (not to presume anything), or we have done so to add certain other missing items (such as dispensations, witnesses' names, etc.) to prove beyond a doubt that the conclusions in our own work is correct. What I think may have been the case here with Jacques' having married three times was one of those conclusions, drawn primarily from the original compilation of Benoit Pontbriand's "Repertoire des Mariages de L'Acadie", and further compounded by Rev. Albert Ledoux's published work, "Les Mariages Acadiens du Québec", that the information found in both works had NOT been questioned. I will add here too that for many years, we researchers were content with the information gathered in ascending or descending genealogies, as found in compiling marriages only. It is only now in supplementing this marriage information with birth and death data that we are discovering more and more a great number of discrepancies, and seeing a more complete and sometimes, surprisingly newer picture.

The Boudrot Correction and Proofs:

Jacques Boudrot, whom Steve has christened "l'aîné" (the "older" son) (born in 1783), married ONLY Suzanne Audet, and no one else! He did NOT marry Madeleine Boudrot nor Émilie Lafaille! These last two women were the first and second wives of his younger brother of the SAME NAME, Jacques, whom Steve has christened "le jeune" (or the "younger" son). The proofs and reasons for this newer conclusion of ours follow here.

First, the reason why this information never found its way into the Boudrot Family volume is because this newly learned fact was discovered ONLY AFTER Steve's volume went to press toward the end of June.

A couple of weeks later, on July 20th, 2004, while doing my own independent research on the L'Acadie branch of the Boudreau family in the original parish registers, I literally stumbled upon the birth record of a Marie-Marcelline Boudreau, the daughter of Jacques and Suzanne Audet, born at (Rg) L'Acadie the 13th of November 1822. Note well that this child was born no less than ten months AFTER the marriage of Jacques Boudrot and Madeleine Boudrot (the other couple) on the 7th of January 1822 (that same year!).

Jacques and Madeleine Boudrot likewise had a child, Marie-Flavie Boudreau, born (Rg) L'Acadie two months earlier than Marcelline, on 25 Sep 1822; thus, both children were born within a couple of months of each other. These mere facts alone prove to us then that Suzanne Audet was NOT deceased! Rather, she was very much alive and continued to have children up to at least 1828, where we find on 5 Oct of that year (per Rg L'Acadie) the birth of a son, Joseph-Édouard. From these same registers we also learn that Jean-Baptiste Boudrot, son of the "other" Jacques and Madeleine Boudrot, died (Rg L'Acadie) on 11 Aug 1828, aged about 1 month, thus, he was born in July of that year.

After noticing these items and the "co-existence" of the two couples, I then returned to reread the marriage of Jacques Boudrot and Madeleine Boudrot on 7 January 1822 in the original parish registers. Nowhere in this marriage record does it state that Jacques was the "veuf/widower of Suzanne Audet". If he were, it would be so stated in the record, which it does not. Neither does it state so in the Drouin Marriage compendium, nor in the PRDH. So this earlier conclusion of three marriages for the same man (which seems to belong to Benoit Pontbriand and Rev. Albert Ledoux) is entirely erroneous, and not to be followed! Armed with these other newer proofs, Steve and I have accepted the fact that the "Jacques Boudrot" who married Madeleine Boudrot, and after her death, remarried Émilie Lafaille, was none other than the "younger" Jacques Boudrot of the family of Étienne Boudrot and Marguerite Dupuis. His older brother Jacques married only once, to Suzanne Audet.

It is unfortunate that this discovery was not found BEFORE the "Histoire de la Famille de Michel Boudrot" went to press, but Steve and I both felt it important to the researchers and descendants of this line of the Boudreau family to report these NEWER facts, which have already been corrected in the next part of his larger and more important work, the "Dictionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennes". His note will be as follows (my translation): "Jacques Boudrot and Suzanne Audet had children born after the date of marriage of Jacques Boudrot with Madeleine Boudrot, for example Marcelline born the 13 Nov 1822, and Joseph-Edouard, born 5 Oct 1828; thus the husband of Madeleine Boudrot was not the widower of Suzanne Audet, as some other authors have presumed."

To return to Steve's earlier remarks, "In most other cases the "corrections" that come from tracing the following generation are not so serious; we usually just learn by what name a person was commonly known, whether it be just one out of several received at baptism, or a nickname. Thankfully, major surprises, such as this matter of the two Jacques who were brothers, are relatively uncommon. Nevertheless, the point is that it is important to realize that the information in a "terminal" generation is always somewhat tentative or incomplete, until ALL the additional data afforded by tracing the following generation can be gathered in."

If your Boudreau lineage then concerns this family group, it is our hope that we have helped clarify somewhat the true events concerning the two sons named "Jacques", that your descendance from either of them might be precise. Please be advised too that no one is at fault here; sometimes discoveries are often made "after the fact", as was the above, and better now than later. You might also wish to print out this correction to insert into your Boudrot Family History volume for future reference.

Stephen A. White and Dennis M. Boudreau
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