Very Distant Cousins

I can be considered a Québecois purelaine. I can trace part of my family back to 1620 at Champlain’s l’Habitation. One of my ancestors was Hélène Desportes; the first European Canadian-born person to leave offsprings. She married Louis Hébert’s son. Their daughter Françoise married Guillaume Fournier.

This statue at Montmorency Park in Quebec is of my ancestor Marie Rollet and her children including Guillaume Hébert holding a flower. Her husband  is bellow preparing some meds. Cool gramp.


I’m also part of the Drouin family being far cousins of Madona, Celine Dion, Justin Beiber, Camila Parker Bowes, Justin Trudeau, Angelina Jolie, Shania Twain, Beyoncé, Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne, Hillary Clinton, Ryan Gosselyn and Blacque Jacque Shellacque.

Purelaine ( pure wool) is however an unhealthy proposition to maintain. Actually I’m up to 9 countries of origin. Purelaine is a myth.

One of my ancestors was from Alsace. Jacob Schinker was a Huguenot forced into catholicism and shipped to Quebec in 1758 (basically a war zone) along with his mother Marguerite Holstein. They were of German origin. This occurred (1756-1760) around the same time as the Acadian deportation to Louisiana which led to Cajun culture. This is why these 46 people are known as ‘Acadiens Allemands’ being co-refugees of the more numerous Acadians who made it to Quebec.

Another couple were Manoel Tavares de Miranda and his wife Catarina Pires Da Covilha born in 1630 (daughter of Domingos and Maria de Freitas). They were from Graciosa Azores, Portugal. Their son also of same name migrated to Canada because of overpopulation in the Azores. This family name in Quebec has now morphed to Mirande.

Daniel McKinnon (1725-1802) was from Gorvan near Glasgow, Scotland.

The Auclair family adopted an Irish boy named John O’Reilly who eventually married Catherine McKinnon. They were my great-great grand-parents on my mother’s side.

Jean Garon, a young out-of-training indentured laborer (tailor) with a contract in Martinique married a creole woman (Genevieve Peintier) . I have some sub-saharan DNA (0.1% YO!) His son made it to Quebec as a sea surgeon practicing as a general medic and member of the military machine of New France.

An English ancestor left a bastard son with family name Roseberry; my great-grand-mother’s name on my father’s side.

My great-grandfather died electrocuted at Stanley Tools Factory in New Britain Connecticut around 1923.

My grand-mother was born in Lawrence Massachusetts. It was back when it was the most multi-cultural place in the USA. Leonard Bernstein was from there.

Pierre Miville-Deschênes was from Switzerland.

The Scèves were from Northern Italy (Marquisat de Ceva).

The Garon are from the 45th parallel from Libourne France to Venice, Italy (part of the Guilhemides family). The Occitan diaspora is old enough and large enough to be in every country and yet, I am the only one who seems to know about it. The language itself is still alive and yet, Google Translate doesn’t service it. I wonder if they’ve ever heard of the Judeo-Occitan language called Shuadit dating to as far back as the 11th century. Languages are a vector of genetic memory.

The Occitan Diaspora were the rich noblemen of southern France who, between the Cathar and Waldensian Crusades,  became rich bourgeois of the Holy Roman Empire in Burgundy, Provence, Savoy, Italy, Switzerland, Bavaria, The Netherlands and England and soon enough America. Like I mentioned before, my family was involved with the ‘Ordre Hospitalier des Antonins’. They were true fore-runners of the Reformation. They took drugs. Life is good!