Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

Surname Saturday – Tremblay

I chose to explore the “Tremblay” surname today, my great-grandmother’s maiden name. I have posted about Pierre Tremblay and Ozanne Achon, who were my immigrant ancestors. Tremblay and it’s variations is the most common French-Canadian surname, put it into Google translate and it comes back with “Smith”, the most common name in North America! The difference between “Smith” and “Tremblay” is that Smith is a common name that a lot of different families share, with no blood relationship, there was a smith in every village and hamlet in Europe, it was a “nickname”. But people with the name of Tremblay, Trombley, Trimble and variations in North America, ” in their tree, although a common name, are all cousins, descendants of Pierre du Tremble, from La Rochelle, France.

My great-grandmother, Celinase Tremblay was the granddaughter of Pierre Tremblay Romain, the Seignieur of Eboullements, Quebec in the early 1800’s. She was born at Charlevois and was married to Jean Desbiens of Ste-Jerome parish. They migrated to Essex County in 1890, after the birth of their third child with Celina’s parents, Philias Tremblay and Marie-Louise Dallaire, Extended family made the journey as well, but her father died less than a year after arriving, 1n 1891.

Here is my great-grandmother’s family:


As you can see, she had a large family. I found a few newspaper clippings in the Essex Free Press Archives at OurOntario as well:


I have a lot of research yet to do on this family. I found a few records on the Seeking Michigan website for the families that moved across the river. I have to find time to enter all of the sources and images that I’ve discovered into my database, but there’s a lot of searching left to do.

Here is Celina Tremblay Desbien’s pedigree chart:

Filed under: Daily Genealogy Blogging Themes, Family Files, Genealogy, Surname Saturday, Tremblay, , , ,

Tangled Lines

My Tremblay and Desbiens lines are all tangled up, with generation after generation of intermarriages between the families for over three hundred years.

For example,
Etienne Debien II, first-born Desbiens in New France, married Marie-Dorothee Tremblay in 1715,
their grandson,
Etienne Desbiens IV was married to Marie-Francoise Tremblay in 1744,
their son,
Etienne Benjamin Desbiens married Felicite Savard in 1768, great-great-granddaughter of Etienne Desbiens II and Marie-Dorothee Tremblay through their daughter, Marie-Francoise Desbiens .

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, just my direct ancestors before 1800. My great-grandparents, Jean Desbiens and Celinase Tremblay, married in 1883, are just one of the many Desbiens-Tremblay marriages in the 19th century.

I imagine there were lots of inter-marriages in New France and Acadia, and everybody is related who live in or came from the area. It seems like any time I meet someone with French-Canadian roots, I have at least one ancestor and more often, several ancestors in common with them, and that’s with only one French-Canadian grandmother.

It doesn’t seem that illogical, when I think about it, with the religious restrictions of marrying outside of the Catholic faith, and the population increases in New France were from reproducing, not from immigration after the 1600’s. They were from already established families with a limited gene pool to fish from. After the expulsion a lot of families from Acadia came to New France , and, over the years moved back, so the Acadian surnames are found in Quebec as well.

Filed under: Desbiens, Family Files, Genealogy, Tremblay, , ,

Josephine Desbiens

My grandparents, Joephine Desbiens & Wm. Hines with my older brother, Fleming, and I.

My grandmother, Josephine Desbiens was born in 1897 in Essex County, the daughter of John Desbiens And Celinase Tremblay. She grew up on her father’s farm in Maidstone Twp., Essex County with several brothers and sisters.
She married William Edgar Hines, son of John Haines and Harriet Doan of Rochester, in 1917 and moved to Essex in the house that her husband and his brother built. He worked for the railroad, so he built his garage from railroad ties. The railroad ran right behind their property. It was a modest house on Arthur Avenue in the town of Essex. It was well-taken care of, but showed the efects of the history of the town and railway, the walls weren’t square, as a result of a nitro-glycerine explosion in a traincar at the railyard. Most of the homes in town at that time were moved from their foundation a little that day.
That was not the only incident in the house, while my grandmother was out hanging laundry, the house caught fire with their two daughters inside. The oldest daughter was able to get out, but the youngest daughter died of burns. They had three more children after that, a daughter and two sons.
She passed away on July 4, 1994 at the age of 97.


Filed under: Desbiens, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, Tremblay, , , ,

Pierre Tremblay

My immigrant ancestor, Pierre Tremblay, from Ste-Malo-de-Randonnay, Tourouvre, France, was the son of Gilbert Tremblay and Jeanne Coignet.

Pierre Tremblay entered the service of Noel Jurecheau, who was enlisting men to go to New France, signing a three year contract, along with his guardian, Martin Huot, April 9, 1647. He required the permission of his mother to go, as he was 21 and the age of majority at that time in France was 25.
He set sail from France in early June on one of three ships sailing to the New World.

They arrived in Quebec in August, 1647. Pierre decided to stay in New France after his three year contract. After some time, he decided to settle down, but French women were hard to find in New France, so he waited for ships to bring eligible women from France, the “filles du roi”, who were sent by the King along with a small dowry.
In 1657 there were 18 filles du roi sent to Quebec, one was Ozanne Achon, 24, from St. Pierre Avand, LaRochelle, Aunis, France, who was the daughter of Jean Achon and Helene Regnaude.

La Rochelle Harbour

They took a liking to each other, and on October 2, 1657, they were married.


marriage record of Pierre Tremblay and Ozanne Achon, Oct. 2, 1657


Pierre Tremblay was one of the first

colonists in L’Ainge Guardien, P.Q.


Statue of Pierre Tremblay

Filed under: Family Files, Genealogy, Tremblay, , , , ,

Mignier dit Lagace & Tremblay-Romaine Records

Here are three generations of my ancestor’s records from Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatierre, Eboulements, and La Malbaie.

Marriage of Louis Mignier dit Lagace and Marie-Rosalie Richard, 1775

Marriage of Louis Mignier dit Lagace and Marie Richard 1802

Marriage of Pierre Tremblay (Romaine) and Helene Mignier dit Lagace

Baptism of Pierre Tremblay (Romaine)1798

Baptism of Helene Mignier dit Lagace, 1806

Pierre Tremblay family – Eboulements 1851

Filed under: Family Files, Genealogy, Tremblay, , , , , , , , ,

Francois-Louis Thibault & Elizabeth-Agnes Lefebvre

Francois-Louis Thibault was born June 28, 1647 in Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Flotte, Ile de Re, Aunis, France. He married Elizabeth-Agnes Lefebvre, a fille du roi, on October 14, 1670.

Filed under: Desbiens, Family Files, Genealogy, Tremblay, , , ,

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