The French Canadian Heritage of Lucy Pinsonneault
Lucy Pinsonneault, my 2nd great grandmother, also known as (aka) Lucy Passino, was born June 17, 1836, in Rutland, New York to Gabriel Pinsonneault (aka Gilbert Passino) and Maria Emelie Meunier Lagace (aka Mary Passino).
For more than 15 years I have been researching the French Canadian ancestry of Lucy Pinsonneault. The difficultly of learning about her family began with the fact that her father and mother, both born in Canada, were illiterate and probably spoke little or no English when they first emigrated to the United States about 1830.
We know Gabriel and Maria were still in Canada in 1827 when a son Francis was born there, but they had emigrated to the United States and were living in Vermont by 1832 when their daughter Justine was born.
Lucy married John Galloway Brown January 23, 1861, in Philadelphia, New York. She died February 2, 1917, in Creston, Montana.
The photo above was taken about 1910 at the Creston, Montana homestead of John and Lucy Brown.
Preliminary notes for Lucy Passino
Lucy's son Abraham Lincoln Brown listed his mother's maiden name as Passneau.
Lucy Passino Brown's death certificate listed her father as Cassino, born in France.
The death certificate of George Pierce, Lucy's younger brother, listed his father as Gilbert Pierce, born Canada, and his mother as Mary Laggesie, born France.
Here's good place to comment on evidence given for a death certificate. The person the information pertains to is dead, so the supplied data comes from the often dim memory of a child or spouse. Worse yet, someone else is writing what they think they are hearing, and of course nobody is checking the spelling at the time of writing.
In her family history notes, Lydia (Brown) Bailey, Lucy's grand daughter, listed Lucy Passino Brown as the daughter of Gilbert Passino, born in France about 1815, and Mary Armstrong, born about 1817 in Canada.
Early public records for Gilbert, Lucy's father, had many different surnames
1850 US Federal Census, Rutland, Jefferson Co., New York:
Givarow Passinault, age 47 (1803), born Canada
Mary Passinault, age 40 (1810), born Canada
1850 New York Agriculture Census, Rutland, Jefferson Co., New York:
1860 US Federal Census, Wilna, Jefferson Co., New York:
Gilbert Passino, age 57 (1803), born Canada
Mary Passino, age 55 (1805), born Canada
1864 Wilna, Jefferson Co., New York Land Owner Map:
1870 US Federal Census, Wilna, Jefferson Co., New York:
Gilbert Pasnan, age 68 (1802), born Canada
Mary Pasnan, age 62 (1808), born Canada
1870 New York Agriculture Census, Wilna, Jefferson Co., New York:
1877 Obituary published in the Carthage Republican (New York):
1877 Headstone in Pierce Cemetery, Wilna (Fort Drum), Jefferson Co., New York:
Pinsonneau became Passino -- Getting on the right track
Published in the Press Republican (Plattsburgh, New York) November 24, 2002, a newspaper article written by Robin Caudell titled "French connection--From street signs to surnames: French-Canadian influence manifests itself in many distinct ways." He describes: "Remnants of a vibrant French Canadian past permeate the North Country. Franco culture echoes in family surnames, names of geographical places and streets. It is preserved in the architectural detail of private residences, commercial buildings and churches, and it’s savored in traditional recipes such as tourtiere and sliders. 'You have a sense that the culture as been fully assimilated, and there are relatively little current indications French Canadian culture existed here,' said Dr. Sylvie Beaudreau, a professor of history at Plattsburgh State."
[excerpt from a surname list published in the article] Current Name: Passino -- Original Name: Pinsonneau
Quoted source: "Volume III, Headstone Inscriptions, Clinton County, New York" by Clyde Rabideau Sr.
Breakthrough -- The death of ‘Mary’ Émélie Meunier dite Lagacé
Melanie Pierce, a distant cousin, wrote to me that she learned Mary Passino was, in fact, Marie Laggesie, and she sent me a copy of Marie's death certificate, which had been hand-written in French. To be honest I was doubtful, but I sent a copy of the certificate to a genealogist and Lagacé family researcher in Canada. The genealogist interpreted the document and advised me the certificate clearly states that Marie Émélie Meunier dite Lagacé was the wife of Gilbert Pinsonnault, of ( États-Unis) United States. She also confirmed that Pinsonneau was very likely changed to Passino.
Armed with that information I quickly found birth and marriage records for Gabriel and Marie Pinsonneau online at ancestry.com.
Pursuing Pinsonneau -- Church records for Gilbert aka Gabriel Pinsonneau
Birth: from Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967
Event Year: 1801-1805
Event: Naissance (Birth)
Place of Worship: La Prairie (Notre-Dame-de-LaPrairie-de-la-Madeleine)
Marriage: from Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967
Spouse: Marie Emilie Lagasse
Event Year: 1824
Event: Mariage (Marriage)
Place of Worship: Châteauguay St-Joachim
During the past two years I have traced the Pinsonneau and Lagacé families to the very beginning of Canada's history. I found over 200 French-Canadian relatives. Some of them were farmers and tradesmen; more than a dozen had been involved in the fur trade as either couriers de bois or voyageurs.
Maybe that explains my love of canoeing, and the silent places that can only be reached by paddle and portage. Photo from a 1987 rendezvous reenactment.
Gabriel Pinsonneau found on the 1830 United States Federal Census about Gabriel Painsam
Name: Gabriel Painsam; [Gabriel Painsoun]; [Gabriel Pinsawe]
Home in 1830 Vineyard, Grand Isle, Vermont
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5: 2 [Nelson Francis b. 1826 and Moses David b. 1827]
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29: 1 [Gabriel b. 1803]
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29: 1 [Maria b. 1808]
White Persons - Aliens - Foreigners not Naturalized: 4
Free White Persons - Under 20: 2
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 4
More information for Gabriel Pinsonneau aka Gilbert Passino...
1825 Lower Canada Census -- Gabriel Pinsonault found living in Chateauguay, Huntingdon, Lower Canada
Update May 14, 2015:
If there was ever a doubt about my Pinsonneau/Pinsonneault family heritage it has been dispelled by my ancestry.com DNA tests which have yielded dozens of links to early French-Canadian ancestors including shared ancestors.
Update October 29, 2019:
Because I've discovered several new cousins in the past few years I think it would be a good idea to establish my Pinsonneau ancestry and identify relationships found for the past 10 generations:
|1987, Yours truly with buckskins and canoe. Wind River, WY|
Pinsonneau Family Relationship to me
François Pinsonneau dit Lafleur 1646-1731 - 7th great-grandfather [François arrived in New France with the Carignan-Salieres Regiment]
[Spouse Anne Leper (LeBer) 1647–1732 7th great-grandmother, a Filles du Roi]
Jacques Pinsonneau dit Lafleur 1682-1773 - 6th great-grandfather, Son of François Pinsonneau dit Lafleur [brother-in-law of Rene Bourassa voyageur, coureur des bois and fur trader][Notary evidence suggests Jacques may have been a bourgeois or partner in the fur trade]
[Spouse Marie Elisabeth Bourassa 1695–1766 6th great-grandmother][Marie Elisabeth Bourassa's grand uncle Jacques Leber and his brother-in-law Charles Le Moyne Sieur de Longueuil were partners in the first fur trading post at Montreal]
Joseph Pinsonneau (Pinsono) 1733-1799 - 5th great-grandfather, Son of Jacques Pinsonneau dit Lafleur [Joseph Pinsonneau was a Voyageur]
[Spouse Marie Madeleine Duquet 1734–1791 5th great-grandmother][Marie Madeleine Duquet's great grandfather was a trader at Tadoussac 1650s, and her father and grandfather were Voyageurs]
Gabriel Pinsonneau (Pinsono) 1770-1807 - 4th great-grandfather, Son of Joseph Pinsonneau (Pinsono) [Gabriel Pinsonneau was a Voyageur]
[Spouse Marie Vielle 1773–1808 4th great-grandmother][Marie Vielle's brothers Joseph and Michel were Voyageurs with the North West Company][Her father, Michel Vielle dit Cossé, arrived in New France as a soldier with the Regiment de La Reine 1755]
Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau) (Parsneau) 1803-1877 - 3rd great-grandfather, Son of Gabriel Pinsonneau (Pinsono) [First Pinsonneau immigrant ancestor arrived in Vermont, USA c. 1830 and eventually settled in New York before 1850]
[Spouse Marie Emélie (Mary) Meunier Lagassé (Lagace) 1808–1883 3rd great-grandmother][Marie Emélie Meunier dit Lagace's father, grandfather and great grandfather were Voyageurs]
Lucy Passino (Pinsonneau) 1836-1917 - 2nd great-grandmother - Daughter of Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau) (Parsneau)[Lucy was born in New York, removed to Wisconsin in the 1860s, and eventually settled in Montana c. 1905]
[Spouse John Galloway Brown 1833–1915 2nd great-grandfather][His grandfather had been a Drummer in the Revolutionary War in New York]
Abraham Lincoln Brown 1864-1948 - great-grandfather - Son of Lucy Passino (Pinsonneau)[Abraham was born in New York, removed to Wisconsin in the 1860s, and eventually settled in Montana c. 1905]
[Spouse Geneva (Neva) Plympton 1870–1939 great-grandmother][Neva Plympton’s father served with the Union in the American Civil War]
Lydia Corinna Brown 1891-1971 grandmother - Daughter of Abraham Lincoln Brown [Lydia was born in Iowa removed to Montana where she married Frank Bailey. They removed to Idaho, and eventually settled in California during the depression]
[Spouse Frank Jackson Bailey 1886–1968 grandfather][Frank Jackson Bailey’s ancestry can be traced back though the American Civil War, Revolutionary War and French Indian Wars to the Puritans who settled in Connecticut in the 1630s]
My mother 1914-2004 [Born in Montana, removed to Idaho and eventually settled in California during the depression] She lived to be 90 years-old.
Me 1942-_ [Born in California and lived here all my life except for a three-year tour with the US Army 1962-64]
I hope you find something useful in my blog.
Be sure to visit La Prairie Voyageurs Facebook page...