A couple years ago, there was a discovery in France of a birth certificate, the knowledge of which does not seem to be very widespread. But lets step back for a while....
One of the great Acadian genealogists was Father Adrien Bergeron. He was an Acadian from the Nicolet county area on the south bank of the St. Lawrence, across from Trois Rivières, Québec. He published articles and genealogies from the 1960s (perhaps earlier) to the 1980s. This is the area where the my grandfather came from: Jules Bergeron was born in St-Grégoire and grew up in Ste-Eulalie.
In his researches, he writes that a Cajun Cousin, one Jacques Bergeron from Louisiana, served in France during World War II. While there, he hired “a certain Dame Lubineau of Nantes, an experienced genealogist, ... to retrace among the old registers of Amboise the origins of our family.”[Bergeron, Le Grand Arrangement (hereafter "LGA"), p. I-254]. He published a listing from Barthélemy’s father back five generations. The list below is compiled from those data [LGA, p. I-263-64]:
Joseph Bergeron married Marie, c1530 at Amboise.
Jean I, born 1540, only known child
Jean Bergeron married Gabrielle Bardougne, c1554 at Chaumont-sur-Loire.
Jean II, born 1570, only known child
Jean II Bergeron married Jeanne Belouche, c1595 at Notre-Dame de Grève, Amboise. Children:
Jean III, born 1598
Noël, born 1601
Gabrielle, born 1603
Marguerite, born 1607
Zacharie, born 1611
Sylvie, born 1617
All baptized at Notre Dame de Grève, Amboise
Jean III Bergeron married Catherine Douaray, c1623 at Chaumont-sur-Loire. Children:
Jean IV, born 1633
Louise, born 1637
Jacques, born 1642 [twins?]
Marie, born 1642 [twins?]
Antoine, born 1643
Catherine, born 1644
Thomas, born 1648
Pierre, born 1650
Antoine Bergeron married Claudette Scarron, c1664 at Chapelle St-Florentin, Amboise.
Barthélemy, born c1665, only known child
Even though Father Bergeron published the data provided by Dame Lubineau of Nantes, he admitted that it was uncertain whether that Barthélemy was our ancestor. The problem was the fact that “she has not yet succeeded in discovering the baptismal certificate of Barthélemy: which forces us for the moment to consider ‘this French part’ of our genealogy as only ‘hypothetical,’ though endowed with strong probability.” [LGA, p.254]
That strong probability has been reduced to zero. A genealogical researcher in France by the name of Jean-Marie Germe has actually found a baptismal certificate for Barthélemy Bergeron d’Amboise,[Germe, AGCF98c, p. 13 (which has a photocopy of the baptismal certificate), and AGCF99, p. 3]. who was baptized at Saint Denis church in Amboise on May 23, 1663. He was the son of René Bergeron and Anne Dagault and his godparents were Barthélemy Bertail and Gabrielle Saicher.[Ibid.] Regrettably, that is almost all we know of this family.
So now, unless Dame Lubineau’s family never really had a son named Barthélemy as Paul Delaney (a Bergeron descendant, a genealogical researcher and an English professor at the University of Moncton, N.B.) suspects, we have a problem: two Bergeron families from the same town with sons named Barthélemy born within a couple years of each other. And here is an interesting coincidence that may well support Delaney’s supposition: The date provisionally provided for Barthélemy’s birth into Dame Lubineau’s Bergerons is 23 May 1665 while the baptismal date discovered by Germe is 23 May 1663. What is the probability of two babies named Barthélemy being born into Bergeron families in the same town and having meaningful “dates of origin” of 23 May?
We do not know how, or even if, the two families were related to each other.
We have blindly followed Father Bergeron's published ancestors of Barthelemy for a long time, and taken his work to be absolute truth, his own cautions notwithstanding. And now that the new data is available, few descendants of Barthelem and Genevieve have changed their family trees. Thus they have erroneous information on record, which needs correcting.
That's why I made this my first entry of this blog.
(Full and complete bibliographical data for Bergeron and for Germe can be found in my article at www.acadian.org/bergeron.html.)