Peter’s birth was a bit troublesome. Over the first several years of my genealogical journey, I had collected several sources reporting Peter was born in 1815:
- 1815 – Jun 15 – Peter LeClair born in St David (Chetek obituary)
- 1815 – Jun 22 – Peter LeClair born (cousin’s info)
- 1815 – Jun 27 – Peter LeClair born (Grandma’s notes on cousin’s info, MN Cemetary Inscription Index, obituary from scrapbook, death certificate informant: LE Olson from the Barron County Poor Farm)
Then when I found his parents marriage in 1820, I was a little nervous. These people were Catholic and back then they did not really approve of children born before marriage!
Also, there is that pesky problem of the census information. As you can see in the following table, he started off reporting close to correct information and then things got goofy. Later in life, he seemed to settle on 1816 as his birth year.
|Year of Census||Age Reported||Birth Year Calculated|
Recently, my clever and persistent mother threw herself into researching Peter. After coming up empty-handed searching for his birth in 1815 or 1816 anywhere and paging through several years in the parish registers where his parents married, she decided to focus on 1827 because it was reported in the first census record we have for him. Of course she had to try his many name variations and finally Voila! She found that Peter’s birth was in 1827. Whew. 28 June 1827 to be exact. In Yamaska St. Michel. Yes, there are his parents names: Charles Leclerc & Julie Chouinard. Hooray!
That works so much better with his parents marriage in 1820! And a baptismal record is more of a primary and reliable source for birth information than the obituaries. Whew.
But why, oh why, would someone decide to tell everyone that he is 12 years older than he really is?!
The Basic Facts:
Peter LECLAIR HOULE
b. 28 Jun 1827, Yamaska, Quebec
d. 13 Oct 1922, Turtle Lake, Barron, WI
You might also be interested in:
- The Mystery of Peter LeClair – The Cannon City Breakthrough
- French Tips for Genealogists (who don’t speak French)