Leroux-O'Connor Family site







A bit of an introduction

I'll make this short. Promise.

OK, I've never been able to make anything short, but I'll try. I’ve been known to go off on tangents when I write something.

Writing about the past means that we don't really know what happened. We try to extrapolate from whatever details are available, either from records that may exist, contemporary writings by others of the time, or from other researchers. From what I've been able to tell - so far, anyway, the Leroux (and O'Connor) families were not great, verbose, writers. So we don't have a lot to go on, other than "facts" or "evidence": terms used to describe documents such as parish records or census information. These facts, of course, have a tendency to be wrong, or are subject to interpretation, so calling them "facts" is a bit inaccurate. Still, it's better than making everything up, which we call "fiction”. There are many inaccuracies in my database. I work to clear them up, based on time and information available, but it will never be perfect. I'm trying to make it as good as I can, with help and input from a lot of other people.

Looking at Parish registers requires some faith that the priest writing the information had a good grasp of spelling names. Literacy rates in early Quebec were probably fairly low so there was probably some guessing involved. French speaking priests writing English or Irish names resulted in some very interesting spellings. Take a guess how many different spellings of "McSween" are out there? And who would ever have thought to look for McCann as McChan?
Census information suffers from the same problem, perhaps even to a larger degree. Census takers were not highly paid, and they didn't get paid by the hour, so expediency was much more important than accuracy. Besides, I'm sure they wondered who on earth would ever read what they wrote?

Throughout this site there will be references to some very specifically chosen terms:
About - something happened around that date. Maybe.
Before - Something happened before that date. A good example is dates of birth. Perhaps we know when someone was married, but not born. We could either say that their birth was "about" 20 years before marriage, or we could say that it was "before" they got married. Both would be correct, neither accurate. Still, in a lot of cases it's all we have to work with.
After - like the above. For example, deaths of a women are typically after (perhaps by minutes) of the birth of their youngest child.
Likely - Perhaps I don't know something exactly, but have a strong belief in my research skills/guesswork and believe that there is a good probability that something occurred, then I will use the term "Likely" An example of this is Marie Barbant, who likely sailed from Dieppe in June 1669. I can't find any actual evidence to support this belief, but all of the surrounding facts (her age, marriage date) lead me to believe that it is "likely" that she did sail from Dieppe on 30 June 1669.

Place names are mostly current names, and mostly for readability, and so I could do some of the mapping of places. There are still references to places like "Ste-Anne-du-bout-de-l'isle", "Saint-Louis-du-Bout-de-l'Île" or "Saint-Louis-du-Haut-de-l'Île", all of which refer to present day "Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue". As a slight digression, the "Bellevue' part of the name came from the good view of the south and west from there. The Sainte Anne came from a priest that fell through the ice and attributed his survival to Sainte Anne. This was very logical because his horse drowned so he could not have attributed it to St. Eligius, and as a Priest, would never have attributed it to Saint Simeon. I did warn you that I might go on tangents, right?

And the usage of Canada and Quebec. According to "real" genealogists, and in fairness, to many historians, Canada did not exist prior to 1867 (and some of us may argue that it really wasn't a country until 1931, but that's another digression for another time). That said, the term for the land around the St. Lawrence River has existed since 1537 and is more accurate than "Nouvelle France" which also included large areas of the present day United States. "British North America" existed during the British occupation, and the term is slightly offensive to some, so I don’t use it. I will use Canada, Quebec and Ontario, using their current boundary definitions. I will also use Quebec City to differentiate “la Ville de Québec” from the province.

Finally a word about the French “dit” names. There are a lot of them, and they don’t work well with US/Anglo-centric genealogy software. In many cases the French used “dit” as an Also Known As (AKA). In the French Army, for example, men were often given new names, so on their discharge they might have been known as “Sédillot dit Montreuil”. In looking up records they could be under any combination of these. I am trying to normalize the database to include all three combinations, in this case a primary name of Sédillot, and two alternate names of Montreuil and Sédillot dit Montreuil. I am also adding alternate spellings as I go along. This is a very long process, but the result should be a database that supports searching by any combinations. That is also why, if you look up Madeleine Hélène Allen, you will also see Sarah Allen (birth name) and Marie-Madeleine Allen as the name appeared on certain documents.