Monday, September 22, 2008

Boudreau, Deneau & Senesac families

Yesterday I found I actually had about four hours of FREE time and I didn't need to think twice about how to use those four hours! I packed up the notebook on my Sommer family and headed out to the Kankakee Public Library which is about forty miles from my home. I have read that this library has a pretty nice genealogy section with some city directories and church records. Was I lucky!
I wanted to find out if my GG grandmother Katharine Sommer Ball lived in Kankakee between 1917 and 1923. I can find her in the Chicago City Directories before 1917 and after that I couldn't find her. Her death certificate indicates she died at the Kankakee State Hospital in 1923. My thinking was that she worked at the hospital because she was a nurse. It now seems that perhaps she was a patient. Her sister Julia Sommer paid for Katharine's funeral and burial in Oakwoods Cemetery in Chicago, IL. So, I went to work searching for Katharine in the city directories, and no luck. I searched church records again no luck but, as long as I was searching church records I thought I would look up some of my French Canadian relatives and BINGO!
The library has two books of birth, death, marriage, and parish census records for St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Kankakee, IL. I knew that some of my Senesac and Boudreau ancestors are buried in St. Rose Cemetery so I thought I would search the church records.
I found pages of the Boudreau's, Senesac's and Deneau's in these records from 1855 though 1916! The collection is actually a transcription of church records. My GGG grandfather and grandmother Luc and Aurelie (Landry) Boudreau are listed as godparents of numerous children. The church records verified that my GG grandmother Marie Balsamine (Belle) Boudreau was born in 1860. I have run across two different years of birth for Belle, so it's nice to have verification. The record even includes the names of her godparents; Cyprian Boudreau and Mary Landry.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that on October 12, 1872, Theophile Denaud (Deneau) and Odile Paulin (Palin) had a baby boy named Napoleon Henry Denaud (Deneau). Unfortunately, Napoleon died in June of 1873. Theophile and Odile are my GGG grandparents! Their son Theopolis married Belle Boudreau in January of 1881! I had believed that the Deneau's lived in Indiana and here they are in Illinois. Theophile and Aurelie are both buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Fowler, Indiana.
There is even a record of Belle's second marriage in 1889 to Isaac Senesac at St. Rose's Church!
So, thanks to the Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society for publishing such terrific books! The best part is that the two volumes I searched through the most are available for purchase; St. Rose of Lima, Catholic Church, Births, Marriages, Deaths, and Census Records, Vol. 1 covers the years 1855-1885 and Vol. 2 covers the years 1886-1914. Both volumes were compiled by Norma Meier. I know what I want for Christmas!

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The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!