Tag: Cloutier


I haven’t spend a lot of time on my personal family tree in awhile. I always seem to work on the same people over and over, which is fine, but if you keep hitting that same brick wall sometimes you get discouraged and take a break.

Instead, I have decided to do more work on my French-Canadian line. When I originally entered a lot of this information many years ago, I didn’t exactly source everything like I do now. This line connects me to some big French-Canadian family lines including CLOUTIER, ST LOUIS, and MANSEAU. This is a line that I know I have a lot of cousins on, and I know a lot of them show up consistently in my DNA matches lists. I’d like to confirm a lot of this information before using it elsewhere.

The gateway ancestors I always start with are my maternal 4th-great-grandparents, Ephraim ST LOUIS and his wife Marie DesAnges MANSEAU. So far, I’ve confirmed a bunch of births and deaths using FamilySearch’s family tree and I am finding a lot more solid sources (thanks to the old Quebec parishes for keeping records.)

Hopefully, this turns out to bring in more information I never had.

The twenty-fourth ancestor in my 52 week challenge is my maternal 4th-great-grandmother, Marie DesAnges (MANSEAU) ST. LOUIS.

Marie DesAnges Manseau
Marie DesAnges Manseau

Marie was born sometime in 1806 in Yamaska, Quebec, Canada to Antoine MANSEAU and Catharine CLOUTIER. Her mother Catherine is my connection to the so-called French-Canadian “super ancestor” Zacharie Cloutier. Through him, I share a connection to a bunch of celebrities and other famous people like Celine Dion, Robert Goulet, and Beyoncé.

Sometime around 1831, Marie married Ephraim ST. LOUIS in Quebec. In 1834, my ancestor, Olivine Marie ST. LOUIS was born in Quebec. The family left Canada and settled in central Wisconsin around 1837 or 1838.

To the right is the only photo I have seen of Marie. She looks like a hard, tough woman, which is to be expected while living in rural Wisconsin the 19th century.

I have written down that Marie passed away on 16 October 1895 in Florence County, Wisconsin and is buried there, but I have no documented source for this entry. This is something I probably added early in my research when I wasn’t the smartest genealogist. My guess is that it’s probably close to the real date, but can’t confirm.

This post is 24 of 52 in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” Challenge” begun by Amy Johnson Crow.

Now that FamilySearch Family Tree is live and they also allow other programs to access that data on your behalf, we’re able to do cool things with it. RootsMagic allows you to connect members of your local family tree database to FamilySearch Family Tree where you can copy data and sources back and forth.

But, there are also other cool things that some websites are doing with your data. Puzzilla.org is one of those sites. They allow you to view a descendant or ancestor tree visually using the data on FamilySearch. Here is my ancestor tree out to 14-generations.

Brian Zalewski Ancestor Tree
Click for larger

I am the small blue, circled square at the bottom. As you can tell, my maternal side is much more filled out inside of FamilySearch. I have cleaned up back about 4-5 generations, but beyond that, it’s all based on what other people have added. Remember, this is just what info FamilySearch has in their Family Tree. For example, the little orange squares mean that the individual died before the age of 16, which seems odd to have for ancestors that had children.

The cool feature that I love to use with this site is choosing a distant ancestor and viewing their descendant tree. It allows you to see distant cousins you never knew you had. Plus, it looks really neat when you do it for a “super” ancestor like Zacharie Cloutier who “had 10,850 French-Canadian descendants, the most of any Quebec colonist” and is my 11th-great-grandfather. Here is his descendant view only down 4 generations.

Zacharie Cloutier Descendant Tree
Click for larger

How cool looking is that? If you look hard enough, you can see the yellow lines that lead to my family lines. Again, lots and lots of “died before 16” marks, which may be due to bad/wrong data inside the Family Tree. This is also a good way to see bad/wrong data and go in and fix it.

I love being able to use data for non-standard purposes like this and I hope a lot of other creative people plug into the FamilySearch API and make more of these.