Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Complete unknowns - Do you know who these people are?

Here are some more pictures of people who are completely unknown to me. Any help identifying them would be very much appreciated. These were all inside my Catudal photo albums handed down to me. They may or may not be of Catudals but one thing is sure, they had to have had some meaning to my Catudal family to have made it into our photo albums. Please click to enlarge

Anne-Marie St-Jean has identified the fella in the middle as being Donat Catudal (1919-1997). If you check out my blog entry for 3 April 2011 you can see a side-by-side comparison. Thank you Anne-Marie.

Friday, 25 March 2011

A St-Jean Picture pre 1916 - need help to identify

Here is a wonderful picture of a group of children sent to me by Anne-Marie St-Jean, granddaughter of François St-Jean and Alphonsine Dufresne . It may be a picture of the children of François St-Jean and Alphonsine Dufresne and then again it may only be a picture of some of their children. If anyone has information on this picture please contact me at Several of the children are known.

Click on the picture to enlarge

Here is who I am guessing are the other children in the picture - this is only a guess - we need confirmation: Left to right: Rémi St-Jean, Louis Philippe Catudal, Adrien Adelard St-Jean, Clement St-Jean, Marie-Ange St-Jean, Aurore Catudal, Emile Catudal, Lorenzo St-Jean

Please note that I am guessing that it is a picture of all of the children born until that time to  François St-Jean (1873-1955) and Alphonsine Dufresne (1877-1944). The names as I have entered them are as they appeared on each child's baptism record.. Some of his children were baptized as Catudal, some as St-Jean and two as Catudal St-Jean.

Baptized under the name St-Jean were: Lorenzo, Rémi, Clement, Adrien Adelard and Marie-Angie
Baptized under the name Catudal were: Aurore, Louis Philippe and Emile

François St-Jean and Alphonsine Durfresne had four more children after the time of the above picture.

Roland was born under the name St-Jean
The twins Lucien, Lucienne were born under the name Catudal dit St-Jean 
Alma Beatrice Jeannette was born simply under the name Catudal

Most of François and Alphonsine's children who had been baptized with the Catudal name later took and used the St-Jean instead.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

More Unknowns from old Catudal Photo Album

Here are some more old photos I found in some of the old Catudal photo albums that were passed down to me. Click on the pictures to enlarge
These two were taken about 11 to 13 years apart:

Written on the back of the top photo is "18 Juillet 1938"
Written on the back of the bottom photo is "25 Juillet Pris dons notre court Gil. Alma - Roland - Je ne suis plus la petite Alma --- hai" I'm always asking everyone to take the time to write the names the people in the picture and the date onto the back of their photos. Here is a good example where adding a last name as well would have helped. In my last post was a picture with these two boys with other people.

No idea about anyone in this picture.

On the back is written "Ceci est le dernier portrait pris de maman le 8 mai 1955"

Another mystery.

Stamped on the back of this photo is "J. A. Légaré Studio Jun 12 1948 Waterloo, Qué."

Please leave a comment if you know any of the people in these pictures or e-mail me at

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Some more pictures

Recently my Grandmother passed away and I was given all of her photo albums. They are filled with wonderful old pictures, most of which have no name or date on the back of them. There are some from my Grandmother's side of the family, the Tremblay and Lafrance side, but most are from the Catudal side. I'll start to scan them and post them here. If you know, or think you know, who are in the pictures then please write a comment letting me know. Here are a few...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Casefile Clues

I just came across a wonderful tool for genealogical research and that is a how-to newsletter written and produced by Michael John Neil. I have been heavily involved in genealogical research for seven years and have, in that time, learned quite a bit, mostly from trial and error. I just glanced at some of Michael's work and wish I had had the chance to subscribe to something as valuable as his newsletters when I had first started.

Michael's Website can be found at

Monday, 7 March 2011

Do you know who these people are?

Here are some old photos I have come across. Do you know who they are?

I think this could be I have had confirmation from Jean Catudal, the grandson of  this couple, that this is indeed a picture of Joseph Georges Catudal (1900-1984) and Claire Ida Martineau (1907-1994).

This one is a complete mystery. It looks like it may have been taken in the roaring 20's...

The person on the most right is Albertine Catudal (1931-1991) and third from the right is my mother, Louise Catudal (1933-). The others are unknown.

The lady is my mother, Louise Catudal (1933-). The man is unknown.The man is Joseph Henri Roger Catudal (1927-). This was confirmed by Anne Marie St-Jean who is Roger's second cousin.

The young lady on the right is Lucie-Anne Catudal (1904-1974), I don't know who the other two are.

I'll post more once I get a chance to scan them...

Sunday, 6 March 2011

France and our Catudal roots

I just came back from a trip to France. I wanted to visit the areas of France that are of particular interest to me because of my Catudal roots and, more fundamental perhaps, because of the inseparable connection between France and New France – the birth of Canada, my home.

One of my first stops was Honfleur in Lower Normandy in the French department of Calvados. It was here that in 1608 Samuel de Champlain set sail to New France. He'd been to New France before but it was on this voyage that he established one of the oldest cities in North America, Québec City. There are older cities in Canada and the United States but Québec City was the very first city founded with the concept of settlement in mind. Other cities had been established prior to this but they were outposts and not settlements; therefore, Québec City is considered the oldest city in Canada and the US. That is why this particular voyage by Champlain was so important. There is a plaque dedicated to Samuel de Champlain.

Next stop was St. Malo, in Bretagne (Brittany). It is here that Jacques Cartier was born: The person who made claim to Canada on behalf of France.

My next goal was to visit the areas where the highest number of Catudals lived in the 1600's and 1700's, the time-frame when Jean-Baptiste Catudal dit St-Jean was born and when he left France for New France. There were two towns of particular interest. The first was Kergrist-Moëlou, Bretagne in the Côtes-d'Armor department of France where 134 Church held events occurred which involved a Catudal in this time-frame. The second town was Maël-Carhaix, also in Bretagne in the Côtes-d'Armor department of France. It is here that 59 events involving a Catudal took place during the time-frame mentioned above.

Typical house in Kergrist-Moëlou

One of the biggest surprises for me was that the only thing original about either of these places is the churches. They have been preserved, repaired, overhauled and renovated over time. The oldest houses seem to be from the mid-1800's. The problem, I think, is that the stone used to build the houses deteriorate very quickly. I discovered this while walking through the cemetery in Kergrist-Moëlou. Headstones dated from the early 1900's were all but obliterated. There were older headstones but there was absolutely nothing legible left on them.

The biggest surprise was that there is not one hint of a Catudal living in the areas mentioned. Not one! I met an older man who was scrubbing the steps of the Eglise Paroissiale Notre-Dame/Parish Church of Our Lady, a 16th century church where our Catudal cousins where baptized, married and had their funerals. The gentleman was native to the area. He had never heard of anyone with the Catudal name. I went to the cemetery and looked at every single headstone looking for a Catudal and found nothing.

It was the same when I went to Maël-Carhaix.

There are Catudals living in France today but their numbers are much smaller than those living in Canada and the United States. The name variation that seems to have had a better survival rate in France is Cadudal. There are a little over a hundred listed in the French phone book as compared to 14 for Catudal. Most of the Cadudals listed live in the Bretagne region of France as well but none in the areas where the name Catudal was so prominent in the 1600's and 1700's.

One other discovery is that, unlike the other areas of France I visited, Bretagnians are very proud of their own languages, Breton in the west part of Bretagne and Gallo in the east. The strongest voice for self-identity and language can be seen with the Breton speaking people, the people with whom we, as descendants of Catudals, have the most affinity. Most road signs are in two languages, French and Breton.

There is so much more I could write about the trip and what I discovered but I will leave it at this, for now.