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  • Je MeSouviensA Publication of the

    American-French Genealogical Society

    Vol XVNo 2

    Fall 1992

  • JE ME SOUVIENS

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    President's Message ............................. 3 ........................... RI's Franco-Americans 5

    ................ The Guertin Family of Ware. MA 16 ......................... Gravestone Inscriptions 25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michel Napoleon Cartier 39

    ................ Genealogical Computer Programs 41 .............................. Librarian's Report 43

    ................................... Acquisitions 45 ................................ Research Policy 54

    ......................... Questions and Answers 56 .............................. Members' Corner 59

    .................................... Of Interest 65 ........................................ Errata 66

    ................................. New Members 69 ................. AFGS Materials and Publications 74

    ............................ Index to Number 28 79

    Volume XV. Number 2: Fall 1992 I.S.S.N.. 0195-7384 01992 by A.F.G.S.

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  • PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE Message de la prgsidente

    This i s an extremely exciting time for AFGS. We are ablstijt to s t a r t o~ i r fifteenth anniversary and i.le intend to make i t a year long celebration ! We want tcr include every member in this celebration and will be offering many activities designed to help all of yoti participate with us in this happy 01:casi~n.

    In Septer~itler, we ;-+ill tie participating in the f i r s t !'fill New England Conference!! which will i:onvene in St~jrbridge, MA on September twenty-fifth. Excellent speakers have been arranged and i t is going to be a dynamic experience for everyone. I hope some of you will join us. We will also be giving a free one year membership to an AFGS member drawn a t random from itlir entire membership. This is in honor of rea~:hing ~ i l r ~ G ~ I I I thousandth member. Yoij could he the lidsky winner.

    We are asking all of our members t o submit a five generation chart to be included in a special anniversary book. We hope to publish this book in February. This i s a chance t o share some of your work with all the other members of the society. It will also give you a good opportunity to dis::over- other members who are researching the same names that you are researching.

    In Uctober we will be honoring our original one hundred charter members. Thanks to their insight and hard work, AFGS has developed into an outstanding society that has a wgnderful_library and - ~ -- the most outstanding membership ~- ~ - of ~rrji ger~ealogicdi society an>ic~5iere. K j r l v j t e yo,j to atterrd this meeting if possible.

    We have rjeveloperj a lovely lapel pin featuring our 1090. I know you will be proud to wear this pin which will let everyone know that you belong to AFGS. This pin i s available when you renew your AFGS membership. Everyone who has purchased this pin i s delighted with it . I hope you will order your pin stson if :jt:lu have nor already ijc!ne so.

  • In the Sprlng, we wiil be wrapping up our celebration with a great birthday bash. Watch for more details in AFGnect::.

    This i s your society. Without our membership we would not exist. The Board of Directors and officers of your society thank all of you for your loyal support. Together we have done great thlrrgs. Together we will continue to grow and flourish.

    Happy anniversary. Come $]in the celebration ir! Lioopsockef this year!

    .Sin[:erely, Jan Bi~rkhart AFGS President

  • RHODE ISLAND'S FRANCO-AMERICANS IN OUR PLURALISTIC SOCIETY '

    by Professor Paul P. ChasscS,

    EDITOR'S NOTE: What follows is the text of a talk given by Professor Paul P. Chass4 of Rhode Island College to Le Foyer of Pawtucket, RI, in which he mentions Gov.- Aram Pothier, "La Sentinelle," and Franco- Americans in the Civil War, all subjects which have been covered at length in previous issues of Je me souviens: "Aram Pothier as Gover- nor of Rhode Island" by John Veader (Autumn 1991), "Survivance: A Franco-American Obsession" by Larry Poitras (Winter 1990) and "Rhode Island's Franco-Americans in the Civil War" by Paul Delisle (Spring 1992).

    Psychoanalysts today f i n d t h a t modern man, espec ia l l y i n the Uni ted States, s u f f e r s from an acute case o f a l iena- t ion , i n s e c u r i t y and anx ie ty due t o a complete loss o f or , a t l eas t , a d iminut ion o f h i s i d e n t i t y and t h i s , seemingly, because we l i v e i n a soc ie ty o r a c u l t u r e which a f fo rds us no 'Ipause f o r t rans i t i on1 I , no i n te rm iss ion from t h i s great American one-act p lay i n which we are asked t o assume a mul- t i t u d e o f soc ia l ro les, no t ruce i n the rat- race where a man can suspend l i f e , i f on ly f o r a moment, t o ask h imse l f the elementary questions lead ing t o s e l f - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and t o a subsequent bas ic s t a t e o f seren i ty : who am I? where am I going? do I belong?

    This evening i s one o f these precious l u l l s i n l i f e which you, members and associates o f Le Foyer o f Pawtucket, have r i g h t f u l l y selected f o r such an appraisal o f the s e l f w i t h the comfort ing and indispensable c u l t u r a l re inforce- ment from w i thou t which t h i s exh i l a ran t gather ing a f fo rds t o each o f you i n d i v i d u a l l y and t o a l l c o l l e c t i v e l y . May I i n s e r t here my personal g r a t i t u d e t o you f o r shar ing t h i s moment w i t h you as I, too, ponder the same quest ion you do and seek an answer t h a t w i l l s t rengthen w i t h i n me these very tenets which have brought me much happiness, p r i d e and cour- age i n the d a i l y s t rugg les i n which a l l e thn ics must i n v a r i - ably engage.

    Who am I ? I s t h i s n o t a quest ion we ask ourselves con- t i nuous ly i n a p l u r a l i s t i c soc ie ty such as ours? Students are f requen t l y confused i n t h e i r a l legiances: how, they ask, can they reconc i l e t h e i r Franco-American background w i t h the exigencies o f appearing t o be a "genuine American1I, meaning, o f course, t h a t they should d i spe l a l l t races o f t h e i r French Canadian ancestry i n speech, behavior and a t t t t udes? The o ther day, a col league o f mine from URI requested me t o g i ve him a d e f i n i t i o n o f a FRANCO-AMERICAN and I cou ldn ' t he lp bu t r e c a l l a b r i e f encounter i n Kentucky, l a s t January, and the eloquent answer t h i s young man had provided.

    I was on my way t o the men's room when I saw a man o f twenty th ree o r four come ou t o f t he l a d i e s t room. Teasingly, I asked him about h i s eyesight and he laughed, saying h i s w i f e was i n there w i t h t h e i r s i ck c h i l d and he was checking on them. I walked i n t o shave and he went about h i s business before asking me how t o get t o a c e r t a i n p lace i n Georgia s ince he cou ldn ' t f i n d a map a t s i x i n the morning. I t o l d

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  • him I had one i n my car and would g i ve i t t o him as soon as I f i n i s h e d shaving. He volunteered t h a t he was not from the area bu t t h a t he was being t rans fe r red from Ohio down South and t h a t he r e a l l y was from N.H. I t o l d him I was, too. H e s i t a t i n g l y , he continued: "I tm Canadian. You wouldn' t be, too, would you?" I r e p l i e d i n French t h a t I was and t o l d him my name. A l l b a r r i e r s went down. I n an i ns tan t , he was p u t t i n g h i s arm around my neck and spu t te r i ng exc i ted l y , i n French: "Eh Cr iss ! Am I g lad t o see you! I haven't spoken French i n over two years, no t s ince I l a s t spoke w i t h my fa the r i n Manchester before coming ou t here t o work. You don ' t mind i f I t a l k to..you f o r a whi le, do you? Cr iss ! I t ' s so good t o see you! Imagine: two Canucks from N. H. i n Tennessee! I j u s t can ' t be l i eve my eyes! My w i f e doesn't speak French, bu t y o u ' l l want t o meet her, eh? S h e ' l l be j u s t as exc i ted as me t o meet you. Cr iss ! What d i d I do t o God t o deserve t h i s ? Do you know, t h i s i s the best t h i n g t h a t ' s happened t o me s ince my w i f e and I l e f t N. H.!" And on and on. Unbeknown t o him, t h i s young techn ic ian had given me i n the f l e s h the very answer I was seeking: A Franco-American i s someone who recognizes h i s French Canadian ancestra l and cu l - t u r a l background, comes t o terms w i t h i t , and proceeds t o func t i on proper ly w i t h i n our marvelous compet i t i ve patchwork soc ie ta l complex.

    I s t h i s no t exac t l y what Mike Novak was seeking when he was c r i t i c i z i n g American co l leges and u n i v e r s i t i e s f o r no t p rov id ing e t h n i c students w i t h a deeper apprec ia t ion o f t h e i r he r i t age and a l l o f i t s ram i f i ca t i ons w i t h i n t h e i r l i v e s ins tead o f sec re t l y teaching them a d i sda in and shame f o r the manner i n which t h e i r grandparents thought, acted and f e l t ? Was he not expressing the same need we a l l share when, i n h i s a r t i c l e White Ethn ic (Harper's, Sept. '71), he s ta ted most e m p h a t i c a l 1 y : T t I should l i k e t o do i s come t o a b e t t e r and more profound knowledge o f who I am, whence my c m u n i t y came, and whi ther my son and daughte