One of the fascinating things about genealogy is following different lines from the same ancestor to see where they go. It doesn’t matter if it is my line or one of the siblings of my ancestor. It’s interesting to see where they lead to especially if it’s a different locality.
Today, I was doing a little research on my brother-in-law’s Boisvert line. This line has been full of discoveries. The family originated in France and moved to Canada in the 1600s. By a twist of fate, a young man named Philias Boisvert trying to deal with his grief after his young bride died, took a trip to see relatives in Lowell, Massachussetts. It was there he married Elzire Duclos. Elzire had a child in Lowell. They then move back to Asbestos, Quebec, Canada. That is where they raised my brother-in-law’s grandfather. All of this happened in about a 3 year span. By the 1920s, my brother-in-law’s ancestors, Alphonse Boisvert, had migrated back to MA and ended up in NY.
This is one of those old lines easy to trace back to the original settlers in Canada. That is once I realized that the line went from Canada to Massachusetts returned to Canada and then back to Massachusetts in about a 20 year span.
The most curious thing I found out about the Boisvert’s is that Boisvert is not their surname at all! Back in the mid 1600s in Canada one of the earliest ancestors owned property with a lot of Greenwood trees. Boisvert is a nickname for those trees. Originally, the surname was De Nevers (aka Denevers). But, Boisvert stuck and that’s how it remained until today.
I knew about this Canadian line as I researched it myself all the way back to Etienne De Nevers dit Brantigny who was born in the Champagne region of France. Is birthplace is given as “d’Espinay” but it appears that may be the name of the person who originally owned the castle and Etienne lived on. I’m still trying to figure this out. I’m more familiar with Southern France where my own ancestors lived!
So, today as I was fooling around, I came across a descendants chart for Etienne. Only this line stayed exclusively in Canada. My brother-in-law’s line and this person’s line both were grandchildren of Etienne Denevers of Champagne, France: Descendance de Etienne Denevers. These people lived in Quebec, but did not end up in Asbestos.
It’s fascinating to me to see where the migration trails lead. I’ve always been stricken by the fact that many people descendant from the same ancestor 300 or 400 years ago spread out across countries and states. Yet others may be in the same town or cities for that same period of time. What are the motivations for staying or leaving? It’s hard to say considering how many generations one would have to ask.
It gives me the feeling that relatives could be anywhere–not in a “stalking” kind of way though. Today, we could be passing by our cousins at the grocery store or the library and not even know it!
9 thoughts on “These Boisvert’s Stayed in Canada”
I have never researched my family history. I only recently decided to see what was out there. My family (after Canada) relocated to Connecticut and even in Chicago (however, Chicago was just wear my grandpa ended up after the Navy). I do not know if we are related. But I would love to find out more info on my own family.
This blog captured my attention. I grew up near Asbestos. Would you know who Philias’s parents were ?
The Boisvert Families Association has started DNA projects. Some results can be seen at World Families.net under Greenwood DNA Project. I am sending an invitation to Boisvert, and also to Nevers and Denevers of USA, to participate.
Hi cousins. I am part of this line too. Lots of info.
Nice to meet you, Dawn! You are related to my brother-in-law.
I have done a family tree and went all the way back to Etienne De Nevers (Boisvert). I was not able to make it any further back then her. I would appreciate anything you have and to know where I fit in the tree.
My grandfather had a geneology book made back in the 1950’s. It contains the same information that you have about Étienne De Nevers being the first ”Boisvert”. However, I had no idea Boisvert ancestors ended up in the states! Very interesting!
I married into an American Greenwood family which based on cursory search came to the US as Boisverts and then changed their name to Greenwood. I was able to trace back to Etienne De Nevers dit Brantigny, but am not 100% certain my search was accurate.
My 10th great grandfather is Etienne De Nevers through my maternal line. My 3rd Great grandmother was Mary Louise Greenwood who was born in New Hampshire and eventually made their way to Jacksonville, Florida, where my family has been for 6 generations. She married John Einig who invented and created the first automobile in Jacksonville and a steam whistle which still blows today across the city to mark the hours of the work day. I had my maternal Grandmother take the DNA test through Ancestry which confirmed her lineage to the first settlers of Quebec, and the Boisverts.
Bonjour! I am Suzette, descendant of Ludger Boisvert and Delina Cliche Boisvert, who immigrated in the late 1800’s from Montreal to Geneva, NY. They are interred there. The family goes back to the Trois Rivieres settlement of the mid 17 th. Cy. I have some research, but cannot currently locate it. C’est la bonne temps rouleé,