Genealogy for Heather and JJ: Part 7 – Tacy/Tessier

In my previous Blog, I made an important discovery. I found the birth record for my children’s maternal third great-grandfather Joseph Tacy baptized Joseph Claude (or Plaude?) Tessier. It is difficult to trace one’s ancestor across a border. This is due to language differences, changes in names, different political systems and differences in recording and availability of vital records.

Taking Tessier Back

French Canada has a very good and complete set of records. Once one is back to a certain time period, a lot of these records are in books. Let’s see how easy it is to trace Tacy, which we now know is Tessier, back into the history of Canada. In my previous Blog, I had this 1860 Census record:

This shows that there were three generations of Tacy living near each other. Now I know that Solomon is indeed the father of Joseph Tacy.

Solomon Tessier Born about 1808

When I search for Solomon Tessier at Ancestry, here is the first suggestion:

Here we have the French spelling for Solomon and Margret: Salomon and Marguerite. I’d like to take a closer look at this record:

I have to try to figure out the writing and then use an online translator. It looks like this couple married on the 16th of May 1831. I think that the names of Marguerite’s and Salomon’s parents should be in this record if I can find them.

Here is Salomon’s father:

Joseph is the first name followed by Tessier and the occupation. Looking at a French genealogical word list, this is my guess:

journalier day laborer, farmworker

Salomon’s mother’s name is not as simple:

I get the idea of the first two names. The last, I’m not so sure. Hopefully, someone else has figured this out before me.

It looks like I cut off the last part of the name in the previous image. Perhaps Baudria. [Looks like this ends up being Boudria.]

Marguerite’s Parents

Marguerite Barbary’s dad’s name is also Joseph with the nickname grand maison (large house?). He looks to be a farmer also.

It looks like Marguerite’s mom was also a Barbary:

These last four ancestors must have been born in the 1700’s:

A Marriage for Joseph Tessier and Marie Louise Boudria

This marriage appeared at an earlier date than I expected. It is in the Drouin Collection, 1748-1786:

This must be 1785.

This document is easier to read, but doesn’t have much detail:

These are Notarial Records. Now Joseph Tessier is J Bte Texier. I think I see what happened:

Back up to the Drouin record. This says that Joseph Tessier is the son of Jean Baptiste Tessier, hence J. Bte. Texier. I wouldn’t recommend this Notary.

Joseph’s mom appears to be Marguerite Bernard:

Fortunately, at this point, I am beginning to get suggestions from Ancestry:

Both Jean Baptiste and Marguerite were entered under Ancestry suggestions. I note that Jean Baptiste is also Lavigne. This is a dit name which is sort of a nickname. I read under a family tree owner from my last Blog that Lavigne was so-called because one of the early Tessier’s liked wine.

Getting Past Marie Louise Boudria

Here is another Notarial Record for Marie:

This record is a Testament. Genealogical dictionary says that means last will which makes sense. Here is Terrebonne to the North of the Northernmost of the Three Montreal Rivers:

Marie’s dad is Joseph:

Marie’s mother:

After waiting a bit, I get a hint for Marie Louise. The hint is either Lejuiller (7 hints) or Leguiller (3 hints). I’ll play the odds with Lejuiller.

Here is a new tree:

This gets back to the 1600’s on some lines.

Chalon Sur Saone

One of Heather and JJ’s ancestors was from Chalon Sur Saone (or at least he died there). This is interesting as my wife, Marie, has been having a French exchange with this place for several years:

Here is one of my wife’s photos of Chalon from last year:

Jolicoeur was Jean Baptiste’s dit name: pretty heart?

Urbain Tessier

Urbain was the first Tessier from France. Here is where he appears to be from in France:

Urbain arrived in Montreal in 1648. The family stayed in the area for about 200 years. One part of that family then moved to New York. I read on one web site that Canada was running out of farm land around Montreal so French Canadians moved over the border to Upstate New York. Then opportunities were available for work in New England factories and many moved there for work. It was at that time that some of the Tacy’s moved to Lowell.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was able to find many marriage and birth records for the Tessier family and their ancestors and spouses. These records in French handwriting are difficult to read but not impossible and follow a certain order or formula.
  • Once back to about the mid 1700’s, these ancestors were written into books which are available on
  • It is interesting to fairly easily follow these lines back to where these famiilies lived in France in the 1600’s. One line went back to a small town in France called Chalon sur Saone. Coincidentally, my French teacher wife has been having a school exchange with this Town for many years.
  • I still have not been able to identify the wife of Joseph Tessier who lived in Fort Covington, NY.
  • I also have not taken the Barbary and Boudria Lines back.


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