Yesterday, I listened to a podcast at Maple Stars and Stripes who was hosting Anne Mordell of The French Genealogy Blog. She pointed out that there has been so much research done on the original families of Quebec that it may possible that you will find all you need about your family without going over to France, though I would never let that little thing get in the way! They mainly covered the archives of France and how to approach them, most of the information which is contained in her book, French Genealogy from Afar. The host, Sandra Goodwin, has a very American attitude though I believe her mother is French Canadian. Very forthright. I found the contrast between the two women’s personalities quite archetypal. Anne had mentioned how to approach the mayoral office of the small French communities by being prepared before you go and perhaps presenting them with a small presentation on your family. I thought I was going to hear a “what!” there for a moment. That being said I cannot help but siding with the Americans on one thing, if I am giving you my money YOU are the one who needs to be considerate of my wishes, barring rudeness of course. But we Canadians are known for our politeness anyway. It does make sense to be prepared otherwise you would be wasting your own money. My experience with genealogy is that it is still to some degree filled with that old moray of “my Dad’s better than your Dad”. I have been to so many meetings where the people, especially the older generation won’t even talk to you. I find the Americans to be much more open and willing than anywhere else.
That being said, Anne does have clinics on her website for your “brick walls” and said that if she gets enough of them she will return for a podcast. Which got me to thinking of the numerous brick walls I have. The French one being whether the family were indeed Protestant, which is hard to tell in Canada because you had to be Catholic to get into Montreal and there were workers hired who were Protestant. Most of the skilled tradesmen were Huguenot in France.
I thought I would just do another search for the last of the Beauchamp line, one Marc Beauchamp. Nothing on ancestry, nothing on Family Search. But after playing around with names I came upon a page that might have made the connection between the two names Deschamps and Beauchamp which seem to confusingly be passed back and forth the further back we go. This time it was a baptismal registration in Sedan, Ardennes, containing the names of Libauchamp and Deschamps. As below. Fairly far back as records show and another indication of Protestantism in that family.
This below is a Protestant registration of Lea Deschamps daughter of Francois. Again, showing that name as Protestant.
So the question really is, did the Beauchamp family use St. Marguerite church in La Rochelle in place of their own church as was commonly done at the time? Time will tell. In the meantime, I am simply enthralled with the story of my ancestors. I can’t believe that they were present during much of what I am writing about. You get a sense of how bad it can be when people want to emigrate to a country where they are roasted on spits by the natives! Oh no, Canada was not the benign land it is today.