I have just completed a 3-month exhaustive recompilation of my over 2,200 French-Canadian ancestors and my wife's over 1,800 F-C ancestors. My wife and I have 222 persons as common ancestors at the 9th, 10th, or 11th cousins. As I entered my data into the Brothers Keepers program, I kept track informally about certain BMD relationships that I'd like to share with you:
Over 55% of the Baptisms in the 17th and 18th centuries were performed the day after the birth. About 35% of the time the baptism was performed the same day as the birth. About 10% of the baptisms occurred more than one day after the birth sometimes several months later.
Marriage Contracts in the 17th and 18th centuries were written typically (over 50% of the cases) a week or two before the marriage ceremony. But the range was from a 1-1/2 years before to a year after the marriage.
Burials in the 17th and 18th century occurred most often (over 65% of the time) the day after the death. About 35% of the time the burial was the day of death. Once there was a burial 2 days after, and once 3 days after death. So, if you have only a burial date, you can make a fairly good guess that the death was the same day or the day prior.
I am offering this information primarily so that you readers might have a rough approximation when a birth, marriage or death occurred if you have only the baptismal, marriage contract or burial date. Jerry Lesperance Aiea, Hawaii
Here's the address I used: Service Historique de l'Armee de Terre Chateau de Vincennes B.P. 107 00481 Armees
Let me review my experience. I initially wrote them with my request and they replied several months later that they couldn't find a record of my LANDIE dit LESPERANCE. A year later while I was in Paris I went to the Chateau to find the Army archives staff was on vacation for the month of August. (No wonder they lose so many wars.) The following year I especially chose other than August to visit Paris and the archives. I was there before they opened to find that "registered" researchers had priority. After several hours of bouncing from one bureaucrat (notice it's a French word) to another I was allowed into the hallowed chambers. After waiting another 1-1/2 hours the records that I might be interested in were found. They were the original enlistment records of the Company of the LaSarre Regiment that I was looking for. An hour later I found my man...about 6 lines of biography and a fairly complete physical description. I actually cried. Then more bureaucracy. I was told that I couldn't get a copy of his enlistment that day. (I made a longhand copy of the entry.) I couldn't even leave a written request for a copy. I had to send a letter which I did in Paris that day and included about $10 worth of Francs to make sure I didn't get another round of letters for extra money. Over a month later, in Hawaii, I received a photograph of the enlistment with a detailed accounting of how my $10 was spent. Some observations: every entry in that register...and I'm talking thousands...had a dit name; and many only had a simple one-line entry. I was lucky.
I suggest you do as I did and search www.google.com for "Franche de la Marine" where you'll find all sorts of goodies. I strongly suspect that the archives for your group are NOT at the Chateau de Vincennes archives. Jerry
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