Yesterday, I wrote, concerning my search for my matrilineal ancestor Marie-Madeleine:
“Why do I write about it here? I’m putting some magic out into the universe, hoping that some kind of thunder might open the cloudy skies between me and the past, between me and the place my ancestors are from. … It has been my experience that when I reach out to my ancestors, they reach back—more so when I have actually traveled to Quebec, but since that is not possible, I hope they will reach across the border.”
And then some magic did happen!
After being stuck not finding people on the GénéalogieQuebec website, I meandered around some more, and some records of the Postes du Roi index of people, not related to my ancestors, linked to images from the actual Postes du Roi records. If I went to those images, I could move back and forth from page to page in the images of actual records. And by doing that, I found the baptism records of six of the Marie Madeleines or Madeleines, from the list I had, from 1800 to 1805, even though they were not “indexed.” Also, I was able to download all the images as I accessed them, to be able to look back as I needed. So now I am able to keep researching, a way opened up.
Some magic happened!
Sometimes it is easy to forget—in my intellectual research mode, in our rather secular world—that magic is alive, that ancestors reach out to us. Even though I have experienced it in the past, and believe in its power. So easy to forget.
And the intellectual research is part of the magic, not separate from it. It is a lot of work to attempt to decipher 200-year-old writing in funny penmanship, in French. But I am so thankful to be able to attempt it. And to learn as much as I can about the lives of all of these women. I also learned that for some of them, the Innu name is that of their father—at some point (1803?), the Innu names switched from being a descriptive personal name to function more like a surname. (Those are in parentheses)
Marie Madeleine Katshisheiskueit, b. 1795 in the woods, baptized 1796 Portneuf
Marie Madeleine (Napeteiashu), b. 1796, baptized in 1803 Îlets-Jérémie
Madeleine Peshmekueu, b. 1799 Sept-Iles, baptized 1800 Sept-Iles
Madeleine Pishikuskueue, b. 1801 Pointe-des-Monts, baptized Godbout
Marie Madeleine (Utsinitsiu), b. 1801, baptized 1805 Chicoutimi
Madeleine Moistashinagusiu, b. 1802 Rivière Godbout, baptized Godbout
Marie Madeleine (Arishinapeu), b. 1805, baptized Tadoussac
Magic happens! May I keep being open to the magic, and may you feel it opening where you need it too.
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