It's simply amazing how one little piece of information can lead to volumes of priceless genealogy information... I already knew that my maternal grandfather had several older sisters, and I had information on some of them; e.g., Josephine married Alfred Tauscher, Johanna died prior to the 1885 Minnesota State Census, and Mary Jane married someone whose last name was Dahl. But, I had no further information on Anne, Margaret, or Bridget. Women tend to get "lost" unless you know a married name (or know that they never married, but women who didn't marry tended to stay in the same household as someone else in the family). In a quest to obtain the given name of Mary Jane's husband, I sent for a copy of her death certificate. When I received it, I saw that Mary Jane was a widow at the time of her death (her husband had been Emmett Dahl), and that the information on the certificate had been provided by Loraine Chapdelaine. Naturally, I assumed that Loraine was Mary Jane's daughter (which confused me for a few moments because I had thought that she hadn't ever had children), and I dutifully entered that information in my genealogy software. I then began to search for more folks named Chapdelaine, hoping to find information on Loraine's husband and children.. Eventually, I sent for the death certificate of one Margaret Elizabeth Chapdelaine, because I saw that her mother's maiden name was also Conway, and it triggered a faded memory that there had been two sisters who had married two brothers, and I figured that Mary Jane's daughters were those sisters.
Well, imagine my surprise when Margaret Elizabeth's death certificate arrived and I saw that her mother had been Bridget Conway! At first, of course, I was totally confused thinking that this had to be wrong -- that Margaret Elizabeth had to be Mary Jane's daughter in order to be one of my "sisters-who-had-married-brothers" ancestors. Eventually, though, I realized that since Mary Jane didn't have any children, it had been her niece who had provided the information for the death certificate. But, the even better aspect of the whole thing was finding out the name of Bridget's husband -- Patrick Doyle. I had a new carrot to follow... and it lead me to a lot more people/information.
So, with the hope that someone visiting this site will recognize a name or two and be able to provide me with even more information, I am providing a link here to the Decendants of Patrick Doyle (Bridget's father-in-law), and to the Descendants of Peter Chapdelaine, as well as the Descendants of Francois Beaulieu.
As always, if you have further information that would be beneficial, or if you think we might have some information that you need, please let us know.
Updated January 2, 2015