30 April 2008

Frasers Part 3: Dr. William Fraser, continued

A postscript to my post of 9 April 2008. The recently released index to the Drouin Collection on the subscription database provider, Ancestry.ca, drew my attention. “Drouin,” as we casually refer to it, was a concerted filming project by l’Institut Généalogique Drouin in the 1940s. Copies of all Quebec parish registers were by civil law deposited with area courthouses as vital records of births (baptêmes), marriages and deaths (sépultures). Baptismal entries normally include the date of birth; burial/interment records include date of death. The magnitude of the collection is immense. Family historians with Catholic ancestors have long used this collection to uncover multiple generations of ancestors. Now we have an index linked to digital images.

If the new index (and the collection, for that matter) indeed covered all Quebec parishes, could I find my Protestant Frasers? Yes, .. and no. The Ancestry statement“Searching may produce records that have not yet been indexed” applies to the Anglican and Presbyterian churches at St. Andrews East (St-André d’Argenteuil), home of my direct-line Frasers. Under the search box is an alphabetical place name list. It’s essential to read the notes to see how complete the indexing may or may not be for individual parishes or churches. Indexing continues, with promises for completion by the end of the year.

Nevertheless, entries for many Protestant churches in Montreal are available. Besides the marriage and death of Dr. William Fraser, which I had previously obtained by other means, the following were uncovered, much to do with the family of his wife, Miranda R. Charles:

• John Charles age 35, dealer & manufacturer of hair powder, married Lucy LeBrun age 19, both of Montreal, on 19 June 1800 (she with parental consent). Witnesses: Jon? Josh? L– or S– , Elis– Fraser, J. Woods. (Christ Church Anglican)
John Charles' occupation probably indicates he was a supplier to apothecary shops, among other places, with which Dr. Fraser was later associated.

• Maranda daughter of John Charles, trader, and wife Lucy Le Brun was born 11 December 1814, baptized 1 January 1816. Sponsors: John McGillivray, Frederick ___nerman. (St Andrews Presbyterian)
I have not yet determined how many other children were born to this couple in the gap 1800-1814. Miranda did have an older sister Lucille according to my 1987 correspondence with a great-granddaughter of Lucille Charles. Oddly (?) Miranda always bore a second name Robertson, passed on to two of her children—a prominent maternal surname in the family of her future husband-to-be.

• John Charles 58, merchant, died 29 March 1823 and was buried in “the new Protestant Burial ground Quebec suburbs.” Witnesses: Edward Wilcock, George Savage; Robert Easton officiating. (St Andrews Presbyterian)
Despite the word “Quebec” appearing in the burial entry, I am told this would refer to Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal.

• Lucille Margaret daughter of William Fraser MD and his wife Marinda was born 2 May 1843, baptized 5 October 1843. Sponsors: D. Macdonell, James Dougall. (St Andrews Presbyterian)
The doctor’s second child and second daughter; entries have not yet been confirmed for their five other children. Another coincidence, the name Dougall appearing as a witness.

• Maria Catherine Robertson Fraser and Charles Frederick Goodhue were married 25 September 1862 by Rev. John Bethune; witnesses were W. Fraser MD, John Macbeth, M.L. Fraser, and D. Macmillan. (Christ Church Anglican)
This was the oldest daughter of Dr. William. She died ten years later after bearing two children.

• Miranda R. Fraser, widow of the late William Fraser MD of Montreal, died 14 November 1891, buried 16 November. Witnesses: D. McEadman? J.J.M. Pangman. (Christ Church Anglican)
About nine years before her death, Miranda Fraser presented the Medical Faculty of McGill with her husband’s library and surgical equipment.

• Duncan Robertson Fraser age 47 died in Montreal 20 July 1892, buried 21 July. Witness: James Robertson. (Christ Church Anglican)
Duncan was the youngest son of William and Miranda; he had spent his previous years in Queensland and Sydney, Australia. His will was probated in Montreal 23 September 1892.

If only MY John Fraser ancestors had died "in plain view"!


Anonymous said...

I have been folowing the family of Thomas Dennie Harris of Toronto 1803-1873 who married Lucinda Charles of Montreal in 1827 some of their children/descendants carried the name Le Brun as a middle name which lead me to you blog of John Charles marrying Lucy Le Brun which seemed a most likely connection. I notice you mentioned correspondence in 1987 with a Elizabeth Stevenson o'Neill as a Great granddaughter. Did you have her maiden name which may enable me to link back into the Harris detail that i have?

Mike Morson

Anonymous said...

I have searched through the Drouin database at the Quebec Family History Society and had noticed missing years in my area of research.

I loaded up the microfilm from the Quebec National Archives for the same area, non-catholic, and noticed why they are missing, very difficult to read. Luckily for me I am familiar with many names in the area so I could figure them out. I have some doubts that they'll ever show up in Drouin thoguh.