Dec 262017

I am related to Peter Joseph Voisin (1807-1892), the patriarch of the Voisin families of Waterloo County, Ontario, near Kitchener. This was proven by a Y-chromosome DNA match between me and a known descendant of the Kitchener Voisins, Clifton Voisin. I also determined Peter Joseph’s sister Maria Anne Voisin (1798-1879) immigrated to Waterloo county. The next piece of the puzzle was a family connection to Buffalo, New York. That’s where I found a third sibling, Henry Joseph Voisin (1801-?) and his family, in Welland County, Ontario, just across the Niagara River from Buffalo.

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Dec 052017

Madame Voisin

To find the ancestors of my great-grandfather Joseph Voisin (1858-1916) in connection with the Ontario patriarch, Peter Joseph Voisin (1807-1892), it helps to research other families in the area that may be related. They can help me “triangulate” in on my direct-line ancestors. With a little detective work, one such family proved to be a surprising discovery.

An early settler in Waterloo County, Ontario was Maria Voisin, and her son August Voisin, who was a tailor. A reference to her and her son is found in a history of the Catholic Church in Waterloo County.1 The reference indicates she was present in or before 1850 and it includes a picture of Madame Voisin herself. I suspected she was related by marriage to Peter Joseph Voisin (1807-1892), and was perhaps his sister-in-law.

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  1. Theobald Spetz, The Catholic Church in Waterloo County. Book I : with a summary history of the Diocese of Hamilton. Book II : and a list of the clergy who labored in its district from the beginning to the present. Book III. Catholic Register and Extension, [Toronto?], 1916, page 176.
Jun 302016
Russell Stewart

Russell T. Stewart

My granduncle Russell Thomas Stewart was my maternal grandfather’s younger brother. In a family tree published by my second cousin, Robert M. Stewart, there is a somber copy of a telegram addressed to my great-grandmother, Mary (McKee) Stewart, and dated December 5, 1918.1   It was news that her son Russell Stewart was killed in action November 2, 1918.

Finding no other information, I decided to investigate the short life of my granduncle, who I had never heard about. I was able to find a little more about him, but his story is mostly the tragedy of World War I and the sad ironies of its end.

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  1. Robert M. Stewart, Stewarts 1776-1979 (N.p.: n.p., 8 July 1978), Appendix, Copy of Western Union telegram to Mary Stewart indicating Russell Stewart was killed in action 2 November.
Jun 032010

While in Florida recently, I was delighted to finally meet Betty-Jane, my third-cousin, once removed. We are both descended from Hubert Yuncker and Barbe Gossé who emigrated from Kirrberg in the Alsace region of France in 1847.

Betty-Jane and Mike

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May 262007

I researched marriage records from the villages of Baerendorf and Kirrberg in the Alsace region of France, during the period from 1600 through 1800. I found that men usually married women from surrounding villages, and the wedding usually took place in the bride’s hometown. The groom usually moved to the bride’s village and they began their families there.