I'm not related however I used to live in the area 25+ yrs ago. I'm not sure just when the home closed but it is now a Catholic college for women named Mater Ecclesiae. thyey moved there in 1998.
If you visit their website, you'll find some pix of the building. the addy is 60 Austin Ave, Greenville (village), Smithfield (town), RI.http://www.mecollege.org/aboutus/aboutus.html
Try Bing maps for a bird's eye view. You'll want to find RI Rt. 44/Putnam Pike and look for Austin Ave. to branch off right in the center of the Greenville village. You'll find it on the west side of Austin Ave with Cider Ln & Appletown Rd opposite it.
Over on the sister site to Ancestry - Genealogy.com there were some posts re: St. Aloysius. In Feb 2003 one of the replies to a thread said that the records for St. Aloysius were held by St Vincent's Daycare: "St Vincent's Daycare hold records for St Aloysius Home
1-401-274-3094 talk to Alexandria Moser or email the request to firstname.lastname@example.org
. She's great and only took about 2 weeks to find my info." I don't know if this still holds true but it's worth a try. If they no longer have the records they might be able to direct you to the present repository for them.
Same site, a newer post from 2005 says: "I had almost the exact same situation in my family. I sent an e-mail to the diocese of Providence to ask about the accessiblity of orphanage records. My email was forwarded to Lynda Notte of the Social Ministry Office in charge of orphanages. Lynda is the keeper of records for some of the orphanages, particularly the St. Vicent De Paul Infant Asylum and the St. Aloysius Orphanage in Greenville.
The records are NOT available for viewing, but she goes to the "vaults" as she called them once a month. If you provide her with as much information and possible, she will get back to you after her search. Her email is email@example.com
." Again, this is an old post so I can't say if the information in it still holds true.
An older post - 2000 - over on the other message boards says St. Al's closed in 1994.
If your Percy Bigras was b. abt. 1907 RI, in 1920 I've found him 13y with two girls of the same surname - Marguerite 12y & Evelyn 9y in St. Joseph's Orphanage. All 3 were b. RI of parents b. RI.
St. Joseph's was 56 Bassett St, Fall River, Bristol Co, MA.
Here's the link to the image. If you don't have Ancestry try checking the Mormon's Family Search site. They have some censuses with images but off hand I don't recall which years' censuses they have both transcript & image for and which they just have as transcripts.
Check also with your local library or your nearest Family History Center to see if they have a library subscription to Ancestry.
I think Percy & Marguerite are born long enough ago that their birth records should be available at the RI State Archives so you could email there & ask. Copies from Archives are very reasonably priced.
1930 - Percy E. is married abt. 3 yrs to a Viola R. (b. CT of CT born parents) & living 49 May St. in Putnam, Windam Co, CT. No children at that point.http://search.ancestry.com/iexec?htx=View&r=an&dbid=...
One public tree at Ancestry(Yours?) gives Percy as Percy Harrison Bigras b. West Warwick, RI d. 17 Jun 1961 Putnam, CT. Wife - Viola Rosamond Tetreault b. 19 Dec 1904 d. 7 Apr 1971 Putnam, CT; no parents' names listed. One child shown - Shirley, no vitals.
Percy has a father listed b. 1875 Québec, Canada d. 1940 Putnam, CT. Name - William H. Bigras.
William is listed on the 1930 census, also in Putnam with Evelyn 19y, dau. Also in the household & listed as sons & daughters to the head William but with a different surname - Auclair - are Leo 22y b. CT, Belle 15y b. CT, Florence 13y b. CT, Arthur 12y b. CT & Armand 11y b. CT. I think this could be an error because the place of birth for William was reported as RI with his parents b. Fre-Canada but for these Auclair"s their father was reported as b. Fre Canada & mother b. RI
There is a rather sizable cemetery in Putnam on Rt. 171 a short way after it branches off from Rt. 44 named St. Mary's (We would ALWAYS catch the traffic light red when heading over to the Woodstock Fair & this would be to our right). Search Find A Grave for other cemeteries in Putnam, CT: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=csr&CScntr...
; Maybe by contacting those for which you can find contact info, you might locate your Bigras burials.
In St. Mary, Putnam from the Ancestry database U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 is Percy E Bigras DOB 19 Aug 1930 (Percy Jr perhaps?) DOD 11 May 2002
From Family Search which is having some problems this evening - I keep getting the "Oops" page but you could try again later. The specific page for each entry should give you the FHL microfilm # the information came from:
William H. Bigras
Rhode Island Marriages, 1724-1916
marriage: 28 Nov 1895 — Coventry, Rhode Island (This is Kent Co)
parents: Thomas, Frances Provest
spouse: Philomena Charpantier
Percy Harrison Biglow Or Bigras
Rhode Island Births and Christenings, 1878-1914
birth: 23 May 1906 —Anthony, Kent, Rhode Island (Anthony is a village in the town of Coventry on RI Rts 33/117 just over the town line from West Warwick)
residence:1906 —Kent, Rhode Island, United States(must mean Kent Co)
parents: William H. Biglow Or Bigras, Phoebe Biglow Or Bigras
Rhode Island, State Census, 1935
birth: 08 Mar 1910 —Rhode Island
residence: 1935 —64 Putnam Ave, Johnston, Providence, Rhode Island
census: 1935 —Providence, Rhode Island, United States
I'm not sure why "Bigras or Biglow" but maybe Biglow was the American version of Bigras - going with Biglow yields:
WWI Draft: http://search.ancestry.com/iexec?htx=View&r=an&dbid=...
William Henry Biglow, Anthony, RI b. 22 Jul 1875, speeder tender, 60 Coventry(employer)Anthony, Kent, RI; nearest relative George F. Biglow, Anthony, Kent, RI; dtd 12 Sept 1918.
1900 census Coventry, Kent http://search.ancestry.com/iexec?htx=View&r=an&dbid=...
William H. Bigelow b. May 1878, married 4y, b. RI, father b. Fre-Canada, mother b. Minnesota, speeder-cotton mill
Phoebe, wf, b. June 1874 RI to Fre-Can parents mother of 2 with 2 living
Lillie A, dau 2y, b. Mar 1898 RI
Belle V 3 mos b. Dec 1899 RI
Damrock V, father, 62y, widower, b. Aug 1837, Fre-Can of Fre-Can parents; imm. 1842, naturalized.
1910 census Coventry, Kent, RIhttp://search.ancestry.com/iexec?htx=View&r=an&dbid=...
(household before this is Charpentier - Levy b. Fre-Can 45y arrived 1870, wf Virginia & children - could be related - see Family Search findings above.)
Bigelow, William 35y, married 14y, b. same as before, speeder tender - cotton mill
Phoebe wf 36y, mother of 8 with 5 living, rest same as before
Lillian dau 12y
Stanslas son 9y
Percy son 3y
Margaret dau 2y
Evelyn dau 7 mos
This sure looks like William & Phoebe are your people.
Plenty to puzzle out here so I'll leave that to you. Good Luck.