In last week’s posts I explored the baptism records I recently found online for my maternal grandmother and her siblings. This post will focus on my paternal grandfather and his siblings, the Vallee Cadignans. The table below lists all nine children but shows that I only found baptism records for four of them. In the case of the Colomb Mondesis, the earliest indexed record I accessed was for a 1912 baptism. You would expect all of the Vallee Cadignan records to be indexed since the first child, Simona, was born in 1914. However despite a variety of searches I could not pull up baptism records for the first four children and, most surprisingly, for the youngest. There are a few reasons this could be, but it will take time and a lot more creative searches to figure out why. I figure that either these babies were not baptized (but I doubt it), those particular records have not been indexed yet (which blows out of the water my theory for why I couldn’t find some Colomb Mondesi baptisms), or I need to get even more creative with the versions of their names I use when conducting searches. But for now, this is what we have.
I just realized I didn’t give readers an actual look at the baptism records I wrote about in my last post. In addition to finding it interesting to look at, maybe you can pick up on some things that I could not. I would like to figure out who the godparents are but depending on the penmanship of the church recordkeeper and the quality of the image this can be quite challenging. Below each image I will share what I’ve been able to decipher in blue. Please let me know if you are able to fill in any of my blanks or have different interpretations to my own! Any red font indicates the input of others added after this post was originally published.
Finding my great-grandfather Simon Vallee’s Panama Canal employment record is not the only exciting discovery I’ve made recently – it just was the one that was so mind-blowing I had to blog about it immediately! The week prior I discovered that FamilySearch added Panamanian Catholic Church records to its ever-growing database of records from all over the world. Since these records are already indexed, I was able to find baptism records for my maternal grandparents and several of their siblings pretty easily. (I think I did not find any records for my paternal grandparents because, having roots in Barbados, they were likely not Catholic.)
There’s a lot to reflect on in the records I’ve found for my French Caribbean ancestors, the Colombs and the Vallees, so I will have to break my findings into at least a couple of posts. Here we’ll start with my maternal grandmother’s family, the Colomb Mondesis. Out of the seven children listed below, I found baptism records for the four youngest. Continue reading
Getting my DNA results a couple of weeks ago has inspired a new wave of family history research activity that is paying off already. This week I made my most exciting genealogical discovery to date thanks to FamilySearch.org. I found a form called a “Panama Canal Application for Photo-Metal Check Employees” for my great-grandfather Francois “Simon” Vallee. This single page provides a wealth of information that both confirms some facts we believed to be true and provided some new details that help to round out our timeline of his life and a picture of who Simon was. Let’s go through it line-by-line.
Last Christmas my younger brother gave me a greeting card telling me that he would pay for a DNA ancestry test as my present. After taking my sweet time to select a testing company, order the kit, and send in my specimen (cheek swabs), I finally received my results. After reviewing the results I called my mom and told her, excitedly, that according to FamilyTree DNA I am 87% African (85% West African and 2% Other African).