Dec 052017
 

Madame Voisin

To find the ancestors of my great-grandfather Joseph Voisin (1858-1916) in connection with the Ontario patriarch, 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 Joseph Voisin (1807-1892), and was perhaps his sister-in-law.

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Footnotes
  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.
Aug 012017
 
Joseph Voisin (1858-1916)

Joseph Voisin (1858-1916)

My paternal great-grandfather, Joseph Voisin was probably born January 10, 1858. For twenty-five years I’ve tried unsuccessfully to discover where he was born and who his parents were. I turn now to genetic genealogy, to both autosomal DNA and Y-DNA testing. Hopefully it will provide the additional clues needed to solve this mystery once and for all.

I have written about my “brick wall” (Brick by Brick Part 1, Brick by Brick Part 2).  Here is a quick summary.

The names of Joseph Voisin’s parents are unknown, but his father’s name could also be Joseph Voisin.1 He perhaps lived for a time near St. Clements, which is near Kitchener, Ontario. There are several Voisin families in this area today. They are descendants of the patriarch Joseph Voisin (1805/7-1892). However there is no evidence yet that links our Joseph to these families.

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Footnotes
  1. A. Wayne Edwards, II, Death Certificate of Joseph Voisin.
Feb 162016
 

Mom RemembersAs a descendant I am of course detached from the ancestors I never met.  I’ve undoubtedly inherited their physical characteristics and probably even their mannerisms.  My history is somehow connected to them.  I am their future.  We also share a common future, one none of us has lived, or will live, to see.

Thus I think it’s fun to see what once was, and what it has become.  I inherited this sense from my mother, Ruth (Stewart) Voisin, who always took time to connect the present to the past.  Here she is as a twenty-year old standing with a friend in Pensacola, Florida and later, at the exact same spot, in her late fifties.  It is not the plaque she is revisiting, it is a particular moment from her past, a memory of who she was, and who she had become.  It is a connection in time at an ordinary place she went out of her way to revisit.

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May 172015
 
Jacob P. Yuncker

Jacob P. Yuncker

An article in the August 12, 1863 edition of the Buffalo Daily Courier lists names selected for conscription in the federal army during the Civil War.1 Included was the town of Alden, near Buffalo in Erie County, New York. A Jacob Yuncker is listed among the 57 names selected in the previous day’s draft.

Since he was living in Alden, this is very likely my second great-grandfather, Jacob P. Yuncker. In the 1855 New York state census, 17 year old Jacob is listed as living in Alden with his parents Hubert and Barbara Yuncker.2 A few years later, several tax assessment rolls3 from the Internal Revenue Service show Jacob P. Yuncker paid taxes on boots and shoes, which were probably part of his shoe making business. These rolls span from September 1862 to June 1863 and they show his business was at Alden, New York. Jacob was a shoemaker like his father Hubert.

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Footnotes
  1. “The Draft,” article, Buffalo Daily Courier, 12 August 1863, 19th District, Alden, New York; New York State Military Museum (http://dmna.ny.gov/ : downloaded 17 February 2015), Erie County, New York Civil War Newspapers. Jacob Yuncker is one of 57 names selected for conscription.
  2. 1855 New York State Census, Alden, Erie, New York, population, Town of Alden, Page 22, FHL #825680, Image 00016, Digital Folder Number 005207118, Household 186, Hubert Yuncker (indexed as Hurbert Janker); digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K63R-7M8 : downloaded 21 March 2013); Secretary of State.
  3. Ancestry.com, “U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918,” database, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., Ancestry.com (http://Ancestry.com: downloaded 21 March 2010), Roll 202, Division 8, District 30, Alden, New York, Jacob P. Yuncker; citing National Archives (NARA) microfilm series M603.
May 062015
 

000665-01It’s been one hundred thirty-one years now. Proof enough that death does do us part, but that love lives on and never fails.

This story begins in 1881 when Mr. Jacob Yuncker purchased farm land near Beal City, Michigan. It happened to be across the road from a then 23-year old pioneer farmer named Joseph Voisin. Mr. Yuncker had a daughter, Mary Ann. She lived with her extended family on her grandparent’s farm down in Westphalia, Michigan near St. Johns.

Mary probably visited her father in Beal City and at some point she met Joe Voisin. They probably met a few times more. Joe played music at Indian dances and at square-dances. Mary attended some of these social gatherings, but since Joe was playing, they couldn’t spend much time together. This probably went on for some months.

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Apr 162015
 

Trade TokenAnother of my great-granduncles, Louis William Yuncker (1877-1963), was my paternal great-grandmother’s younger brother.  He is mentioned in his mother’s 1921 obituary as living in Saginaw, Michigan.  A quick search online revealed unique items with a connection to the past.

Two trade tokens bear the name L. W. Yuncker’s.1  It turns out Louis William Yuncker owned a meat market in Saginaw.  He undoubtedly used these very same tokens in the family business.

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Footnotes
  1. Richard Greever, Token Catalog (http://tokencatalog.com/index.php : downloaded 19 March 2015), L. W. Yuncker’s trade tokens, TokenCatalog #10252 and #312386.
Mar 132015
 
John E. Yuncker circa 1923

John E. Yuncker
circa 1923

One of my great-granduncles, John Ernest Yuncker (1881-1962), was my paternal great-grandmother’s younger brother. He is mentioned in his mother’s 1921 obituary as living in Los Angeles, California. I had found him listed in the California death index years ago, but I never traced him further. I recently did so and I found that he made quite a name for himself and even had a brush with history.

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Oct 312013
 

Here are photographs of the Rademacher family contributed recently by cousin Heather J.  You can learn more about these individuals by exploring the Lorenz and Louisa Rademacher family group sheet.  (Click on a thumbnail below for a larger view.)

Oct 242013
 

One of the advantages of having your own family history website is cousin-bait.  That’s when a distant cousin searches the Internet for their ancestors and finds their family names at your website.  This often results in new information and leads for both parties.

I’m excited to say it’s happened again.  This time I’ve heard from cousin Heather J. on my paternal grandmother Rademacher’s side of the family.  Heather generously shared several old photographs she inherited from her grandmother, Evelyn Earl.

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