Several months ago, my daughter found a crocheted blanket at an op shop. As we looked it over, we noticed that several of the squares were damaged. We decided to take it home with us and see if it could be saved. It was just before Christmas, so I washed it and tucked it away in the spare room.
Last week as I was cleaning the spare room, I found the blanket under a pile of my fabrics, so I pulled it out and decided to have a go at fixing it. Five hours later I had repaired the four damaged squares and the blanket was ready for its second life.
As I sat and worked on the repairs I wondered about the story behind the blanket. I thought about the time and love that went into the project. I thought about my own mother and all the crocheted projects she had made over the years.
Mum had always been a knitter, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that she took up crocheting. I remember my Aunt Shirley (mum’s younger sister) sitting with her and teaching her how to crochet. After those first lessons mum became a crocheting wizard.
I remember her making Christmas arrangements that she would sell to make a bit of extra money just before the holidays. She would take a large margarine container and punch holes all around the top edge. She would then crochet around until she had completely covered the container. She would crochet three chains to make a hanging basket and then fill the basket with fake flowers and other festive items. Mum would hang the baskets in the front window of our house with a little sign and people would stop and buy the arrangements.
The annual school tea and sale (fete) was always a busy time for mum. She would spend hours crocheting little items for the craft stall. One item I can remember her making was a little bonnet. She would crochet a tiny little bonnet, tie it on a lollypop, then she would draw a face on the lollypop. She made hundreds of these over the years and they were always a big hit with the kids.
I remember the bed spreads mum made for her sister Doreen. Aunt Doreen loved the colour mauve, so mum made her a set of single bed covers in mauve and white. The centres of the squares were mauve roses, and the rest of the square was white.
As I sat and stitched and remembered, I thought about all the blankets and other projects mum made over the years and I wondered how many of them made their way to a charity shop.
Thankfully, I have several that she made, including the first granny square blanket that she made in the 70s. I brought the blanket with me when I moved to Australia in 1990. Sadly it suffered a bit of damage to one of the squares and has been packed away for years. My recent mending experiment prompted me to finally make the needed repairs and I’m so glad I did. Check it out…
The repair work doesn’t match perfectly. The yellow is a little lighter and the dark blue is slightly different. I’m happy with the results and think mum would be pleased that her blanket is once again being enjoyed.
Today marks the one hundred and six year anniversary of the death of my maternal great-grandfather Joseph Alexandre Ulderique L’Oiseau. Ulderique also known as Henry Bird died at the Battle of St Eloi on the night of April 9, 1916.
Private Ulderique L’Oiseau 21st Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force 4th Infantry Brigade 2nd Canadian Division
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row,”
The fields of Flanders, the final resting place of my great-grandfather Private Ulderique L’Oiseau, service number 59600. He was one of the nearly 61,000 Canadians who died in World War One.
Joseph Alexandre Ulderique L’Oiseau (Ulderique) was the youngest of seven children. He was born in Montréal, Québec, Canada on March 7, 1872. A seventh child for Aurelie D’Aragon dit Lafrance and fifth child for Joseph L’Oiseau.
Aurelie married Joseph L’Oiseau after the death of her first husband Cyrille L’Oiseau. During my research I discovered that Cyrille and Joseph were distant cousins.
Very little information can be found about Ulderique’s early years, but he can be found on the 1881 Canadian Census living near Montreal in Hochelaga Village with his parents and three older siblings. By the age of 17, he had moved to Kingston, where he married Mary Ann Maville (Annie) on April 29, 1889.
Following their marriage Ulderique and Annie remained in Kingston, where Ulderique worked as a barber at TJ Healey’s barber shop. Ulderique and Annie had nine children, the youngest William Adolphe was born in 1909.
Ulderique enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) at the age of 42. His attestation papers were signed in Kingston, Ontario on November 11, 1914 and he was assigned to the 21st Battalion.
In the years prior to his enlistment Ulderique had served in the military reserve. His previous service included three years with the 14th Rifle Brigade of the Princess of Wales Own Regiment and one year in the 5th Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery.
When Canada entered the war in August 1914, there was no shortage of men eager to answer the call to enlist. Reasons such as patriotism or a sense of adventure were some of the motivating factors. It is not known why Ulderique, at the age of 42, with a wife and young children still living at home would enlist. He was at the higher end of the age limit, which at the time was 18-45. The percentage of married men who served was also relatively low at only 20%. During “the first year of the war the wives of married men could demand that their husbands be released from service”.
In an article from the local paper, The Daily British Whig dated Aug 20, 1914 Col. Morrison describes the practice of woman preventing their husbands from going to war as being used too liberally, describing Canadian woman as being unpatriotic.
It appears that Kingston, a city with a long military history did not suffer from a lack of patriotism. The call to enlist went out and many local men including Ulderique enlisted.
At the time of his enlistment, statistically Ulderique was in the minority. During the early stages of the war 70% of Canadians enlisting were British born subjects. Ulderique was native born, his lineage tracing back over many generations to the founding of New France (Québec).
The 21st Battalion remained in Kingston for training through to the spring of 1915. During this time Ulderique received disciplinary action on two occasions. On March 18th he was fined $2.00 and on April 20th he was fined $6.00. No information regarding the nature of the offences is recorded but given the most common reason for disciplinary action was drunkenness, it is possible this was the reason for the disciplinary actions.
On May 5th the Battalion departed Kingston by train for Montreal. They arrived in Montreal on the 6th and proceeded to the docks where they departed on the troopship the Metagama. The Metagama docked in Devonport England on May 16th.
From Devonport the Batallion proceeded to West Sandling camp near Kent. Over the next few months, the 21st Battalion remained at West Sandling to undergo training. Diary entries are consistent over this time outlining the daily operations which included musketry training, bayonet fighting class, physical drills, and other training exercises. Instances of hospitalisations and disciplinary actions are also recorded. On May 24th Ulderique received disciplinary action for drunkenness and was fined $6.00.
On September 1st the Battalion was inspected by His Majesty the King in preparation for deployment to the front.
On September 12th the Machine Gun section departed for the front from Southhampton. Ulderique along with the remainder of the 21st Battalion departed camp on the 14th and proceeded to Folkstone. They boarded the steamer the St. Seiriol and proceeded to cross the channel arriving in Boulogna at 9 am.
The battalion continued to St Omar and then to Dranoutre where they were engaged in the trenches for the next few weeks, eventually moving on to Ridgewood on October 22nd.
Fighting continued in the trenches N and O near Ridgewood alongside the 20th Battalion until April 5th. During this time diary entries report minimal daily casualties. During this period Ulderique once again receives disciplinary action. He is sentenced to 14 days Field Punishment No. 1 and fined $6.00 for being absent from camp from 5pm December 26th to 5pm December 27th.
On April 5th the 21st Battalion proceed to billets in La Clytte. They remained there until April 8th when they relieved the 27th Battalion at P trench in St. Eloi. On April 7th, Ulderique is once again disciplined, this time for drunkenness and sentenced to 14 days field punishment No. 1 and fined $2.00.
The Battle of St. Eloi took place between March 27th and April 19th. St. Eloi, situated about 5 kilometres south of Ypres, had been a scene of vicious fighting throughout the war. It was an important event for the 2nd Division as it was their first set battle.
The night of April 8th the 21st Battalion along with the 12th and 19th were ordered to attack the craters. The fighting was fierce, and by morning the 21st had suffered a total of 36 casualties.
The fierce fighting continued and on the night of April 9th Private Ulderique L’Oiseau was killed. Ulderique was buried a few days later in Ridgewood Cemetery, Voormezeele, West Flanders, Belgium. His wife Annie was notified of the death of her husband by telegraph dated April 19, 1916.
Following the war, the family received the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Memorial Plaque, Scroll and Memorial Cross.
Ulderique is honoured alongside other fallen soldiers from Kingston on the wall of Remembrance and on a memorial plaque in City Hall. His grave is marked by a simple white headstone embellished with a maple leaf, erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Below is a photo taken a few years ago when Ulderique’s grandson Sanford Jamieson, and Sanford’s children made the journey to visit his grave site.
 Baptism of Cyrille Loiseau, baptised 01 August 1848, Boucherville, unpaginated, LAFRANCE Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths, Québec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), Num. 2966625; Baptism of Charles Eustache Loiseau, baptised 23 October 1851, Boucherville, unpaginated, LAFRANCE Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths, Québec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), Num. 5502666; Baptism of Joseph Alexandre Loiseau, baptised 14 February 1854, Boucherville, unpaginated, LAFRANCE Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths, Québec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), Num. 5502804, https://www.genealogiequebec.com/, accessed 20 August 2021; Marriage record of Joseph Ludger Loiseau and Marie Louise Landry, 31 July 1882, la Nativité-de-la-Brenheureux-Vierge-Marie, Québec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968, Ancestry.com, accessed 20 Aug 2021; Baptism of Joseph Elie Emmanuel Loiseau, 19 April 1867, Montreal; Baptism of Marie Georgiana Loiseau, 26 January 1870, Montreal; Baptism of Joseph Alexandre Ulderique Loiseau, 7 March 1872, Montreal, Québec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection,) 1621-1968, Ancestry.com, accessed 20 August 2021.
 Baptism record of Joseph Alexandre Ulderique Loiseau.
 Baptism of Margaret Ann Loiseau, 4 December 1892, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada, Roman Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1760-1923, Ancestry.com, accessed 20 August 2021; Marriage record of Fortineau Loiseau and Adelaide Yoemans, 3 April 1918, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1926, Ancestry.com, accessed 20 August 2021; Baptism of Alice Doris Loiseau, 6 January 1896, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada Records, Catholic Church. Saint Mary’s Cathedral (Kingston, Ontario), FamilySearch.org, accessed 20 August 2021; Birth of Mary Ann Loiseau, 8 October 1897, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada Births, 1858-1913, Ancestry.com, accessed 20 August 2021; Marriage Record of Leo Paul Loiseau and Gertrude Josephine Derosiers, 19 Feb 1924, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1826-1936, Ancestry.com, accessed 20 August 2021; Baptism of Mary Rose Loiseau, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada, Roman Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1760-1923, Ancestry.com, accessed 22 August 2021; Baptism of Delia Mary Loiseau, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada, Roman Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1760-1923, Ancestry.com, accessed 22 August 2021; Birth of Joseph Ulderique Loiseau, 30 October 1907, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario Canada Births, 1858-1913, Ancestry.com, accessed 22 August 2021; birth of William Adolph Loiseau, 11 Aug 1909, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada Births 1858-1913, Ancestry.com, accessed 22 August 2021.
 Service record of Ulderique Loiseau, unpaginated.
 Service record of Ulderique Loiseau, unpaginated.
The prompt this week at 52 Ancestors is Sisters, so I’ve decided to share a few of the memories I have of my maternal grandmother’s sister Mary Ann L’Oiseau.
Maime was born in Kingston Ontario on October 8, 1897. She was baptised Mary Ann L’Oiseau in St Mary’s Cathedral on October 27th. Maime was a younger sister to my maternal grandmother Alice L’Oiseau. Maime died in Kingston on Sept 10, 1973
Maime lived at 142 Pine Street near the corner of Division with her second husband Frank Teney. She had lived at this address for many years, sharing the home with her first husband Sanford Rawley who died in 1945. The residence, a small duplex appears to be still standing.
When I was very young my parents moved into 144 Pine Street, the other side of the duplex. We didn’t live there for long, (I believe we moved out when I was around the age of six). Although I was young, I have fond memories of Aunt Maime. Our time together was short but thinking about her and the “trouble” we got up to always makes me smile.
Maime gave me my first glimpse into the French side of my family. She taught me my first French words and I can remember trying out my newly learned vocabulary on my mother. Despite my enthusiasm to demonstrate my abilities, my mother was not impressed. It wasn’t until years later that I learned the meanings of the words I was parroting. Although nothing too shocking, probably not the most appropriate words for a child.
Despite the colourful vocabulary, Maime was quite religious. She attended church at St John The Apostle. I remember a statue of the Virgin Mary that she had in her bedroom at the top of the stairs. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I remember thinking it was very pretty.
There were two stores on opposite corners of Division and Pine. McBride’s, I believe was the name of the one that was across the street from the duplex. Maime almost always shopped at McBride’s. She would always have a chat with the butcher, and I would get a couple of the penny candies from behind the counter. We would occasionally go to the other shop, but she never got me candy from there because she said their candy was stale. On one of our rare trips to the other shop, I was offered a piece of candy and I told them what Maime had told me – their candy was stale. Maime was horrified and I don’t think we ever went back.
I don’t remember if we had our dog Mickey when we were living there. I suppose we probably did as there are pictures of me taken with her when I was quite young. I do however remember having a pet turtle named Myrtle. Its house was a little terrarium style container, with plastic palm trees. It was quite low and apparently, the turtle escaped. Maime and I looked for it everywhere without success. She told me not to worry and promised me it would come home. Not long after, Myrtle made a miraculous return. Maime insisted that she had found her sleeping under the sofa. I suspect Maime had discovered poor old Myrtle had died and made up the story so she would have time to find a replacement. Whatever the truth, I was happy to have my turtle back.
One of the most vivid memories I have is of Maime and I making things using old bits of broken jewellery. She would cover a jar or bottle with putty – the stuff that was used to seal up window frames and then we would sit for hours pressing the bits of broken jewellery into the putty. They were the ugliest things, but back then I thought they were beautiful.
We eventually moved away from Pine Street, but we didn’t go far, moving just around the corner to Chatham Street. Of course, I missed Maime so it wasn’t long before I ran away from home and straight back to Maime. I made my way back to Pine Street, taking the little girl across the street with me. Maime rang dad to let him know we were there, and when he arrived, we were in the back-garden picking rhubarb.
That’s my last memory of Maime. Not long after that, I remember getting home from school and finding Uncle Frank sitting at the kitchen table with my mother. Mum was upset and when he left, she told me Maime had died. She gave me a little box that contained Maime’s pearls. They were a gift from her first husband Sanford, and she wanted me have them. I still have the pearls, which I later discovered were really mother of pearl. The string is broken but I will eventually have them repaired. I was not quite seven when Maime died, but she certainly left a lasting impression on me. I never got to meet my grandmother, but I feel very privileged to have known her sister.
The prompt at 52 Ancestors this week is Joined together. I thought of a couple of ways I could approach this, but in the end I decided I would share a few photos and newspaper clippings from various family weddings.
Photo of mum’s sister Doreen Jamieson (Dodo) and James Moran on their wedding day. I also found an article about their wedding in The Kingston Whig Standard.
Below are two photos from the wedding of my mum’s sister Shirley Jamieson and Douglas White. I couldn’t find anything about their wedding in the paper but I did find a clipping in the Kingston Whig Standard from The Bride of The Week competition.
Another wedding photo, this time of mum’s brother William Jamieson and Mary McKenna. I couldn’t find any articles about their wedding but I did find their engagement announcement in the Kingston Whig Standard.
The prompt at 52 Ancestors this week is Flowers. While searching through old newspapers from Kingston at newspapers.com, I came across this piece which describes the gardening abilities of my 2nd great-grandfather Joseph Jamieson. The piece appeared on page 6 of the Kingston Whig Standard on Saturday July 31, 1897.
Joseph owned a duplex on Johnson Street near the corner of King Street. Joseph and his family occupied one side of the house and he ran his plumbing business out of the other. Although some of the earlier buildings in this area are still standing, it looks like the old house at 42 Johnson Street was demolished to make way for the rather ugly and boring office building that now stands there.
The prompt at 52 Ancestors this week is worship. Although religion would have been a huge influence in the lives of my French Canadian ancestors, I find myself at a loss as to what to write. So for this week I will simply be sharing a photo of a place that would have held significance for at least one my ancestors.
Basilica Notre- Dame de Montréal – This is where my great-grandfather Joseph Alexandre Ulderique L’Oiseau was baptised on March 7, 1872. His parents were Joseph L’Oiseau and Aurelie D’Aragon dit LaFrance. His eldest half brother Joseph Alexandre L’Oiseau was listed as his parrain (godfather).
Aurelie’s first husband Cyrille L’Oiseau was a distant cousin to her second husband Joseph L’Oiseau.
The theme of 52 Ancestors this week is females, so today I share a bit about my maternal grandmother Alice L’Oiseau Jamieson.
When I started researching my maternal grandmother, one of the first things that fascinated me, was her name. As I learned more about her family, I discovered that her siblings and in particular her sisters, had been named very differently. Each of her sisters had been named following French Canadian naming traditions. There was Marguerite Ann, Mary Rose, Mary Ann, and Delia Mary. When Alice was baptised, she was named Alice… just Alice.
At first, I thought that it was simply a sign of changing times and maybe her mother had decided to break from tradition, but then I discovered Alice was the third eldest, so that didn’t appear to be the case. I was intrigued and I wanted to learn more.
Alice died in December 1966, eight weeks before I was born. Although I never knew her, my research over the years has given me a sense of the kind of woman she must have been. Strength and courage are the first words that come to mind when I think about her.
Alice was baptised in St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada on January 26, 1896. According to Alice’s baptism record she was born on January 13, 1896 to parents Mary Ann Miville and Ulderique L’Oiseau. Both of Alice’s parents were of French-Canadian descent. Mary Ann had been born in Kingston; Ulderique had been born in Montreal. Alice, was one of nine children.
According to stories passed down from my mother Helen, Alice’s mother Mary Ann was a formidable woman, almost cruel in her treatment of Alice. Ulderique, on the other hand was a kind and loving man who was adored by Alice.
In April 1914, Ulderique enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. Ulderique remained in Kingston to undergo training until May 1915, when his unit departed for England. When Ulderique left, Alice was heart-broken. Not only was her beloved father leaving her, but she would be left alone to face the consequences of a secret she was keeping.
On November 6, 1915 Alice gave birth to a son, Harold L’Oiseau. The circumstances surrounding Harold’s birth remain a mystery. There were no adoption laws at that time, therefore, no records. Was Alice forced to give up her son? That is something we will never know, but whatever the circumstances, one can only imagine the anguish Alice would have suffered having to give up her child.
Following the birth of Harold, Alice continued to live with her mother, and worked at the local cigar factory, McGowen’s. Life for Alice would have been one of drudgery. Not only would she have been expected to help her mother with the care of her younger siblings, but work conditions at the time saw young woman doing eleven hour shifts on the factory floor.
In April 1916 the unimaginable happened. A telegraph arrived informing Mary Ann that her husband had been killed. Alice’s beloved father, Ulderique had been killed during the battle of St Eloi. Alice was devastated by the news.
On December 31, 1917 Alice gave birth to another son. Alice now 21, did not give up her son. According to oral family history, Alice’s mother Mary Ann threw Alice out on the street when she learned of her pregnancy. She was taken in by her younger sister, Mary Ann (Mamie). Although a cruel act, no doubt, this may have been a blessing, as being away from her mother may have been the reason that she was able to keep her son.
Eventually, Alice reconciled with her mother and moved back to the family home. In the 1921 census, Alice and her son were living with Mary Ann at 80 Québec Street. Alice continued to work at the cigar factory, earning money to support herself and her son.
On October 4, 1922, Alice married Joseph Freeman Jamieson. Alice and Joseph went on to have another 8 children together. The youngest child, a son was stillborn 13 August 1943.
Alice died on January 6, 1966. She is buried in Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston Ontario.
 Baptism of Alice Loiseau, 26 January 1896, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada, Ontario Roman Catholic Church Records, Frontenac, Kingston, St Mary’s Cathedral, Baptisms 1891-1903, p. 134, FamilySearch.com, accessed 01 Nov 2021.
Baptism of Joseph Alexandre Ulderique Loiseau, 7 March 1872, Montreal, Québec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection,) 1621-1968, Ancestry.com, accessed 01 November 2021; Baptism of Annie Maville, 29 May 1870, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada, Roman Catholic, Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1760-1923, Ancestry.com, accessed 01 November 2021.
 Service record of Ulderique Loiseau, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada, RG150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5719-23, LOISEAU U, u.p.
When I first read the prompt for week 8 I was at a bit of a loss as to what I would write about, then I remembered the story mum had told me about meeting and dating my dad.
Mum and dad met in the autumn of 1939 when mum was 16 years old. Dad was a little older, just about to turn 20. They met at the Kingston fair and I guess she must have made an impression on him. A few days later they met again, this time she was walking home to Stanley Street after picking apples in Barriefield. Dad was driving truck at the time, hauling stone to Fort Henry and he stopped and offered her a ride home. She accepted as she thought he was a kind man. They started dating and by December that year they had become engaged. Mum turned 17 in January and they married that June.
In 1996, just after my daughter was born I decided to interview my mother about her life and growing up. As I was living in Australia and she was in Canada, I decided to write out some questions for her to answer and then have her send the papers back to me. Here are the replies in her own words to the questions I asked about meeting dad.
How did you and dad meet?
“I met Dad at the Kingston Fair. He was trucking then, and as I left my job picking apples in Barriefield, Dad stopped his truck to give me a ride home and we started dating then, that was September and we got engaged at Xmas. We were married the following June. I was 17 and Dad was 20.”
What attracted you to dad?
“I guess it was just his kindness and his respect for me, plus we were not alike in a lot of ways. So I guess opposites do attract.”
Tell me about your wedding day.
“My mother gave us our reception at home. We first went to the manse with our best man and bridesmaid and were married there. Our closest relatives and immediate families were all that were there.”
The prompt for 52 Ancestors this week is Landing. I haven’t been able to do much research this past week, so I thought would share a couple of photographs of Maison Saint-Gabriel, now a Cultural Heritage site.
In week one I posted about my 8th great-grandmother Françoise Curè and mentioned Maison Saint-Gabriel as the place where she received lodging while she waited to marry.
The first photo was taken in 1895 and the second was taken on Museums day 2012. I hope to one day visit in person.
The prompt for 52 Ancestors this week is maps. Maps can be a very useful tool for a family historian. As many of my ancestors settled in the Québec City area, I find the Cadastral map of Québec City Region 1709, very interesting.
I know that my 9th great-grandfather Noël Langlois received a land grant in the Beauport area. It would have been earlier than 1709 but there are a couple Langlois plots on map so I will have to do a bit more research when I have more time.
Here is an image of the map. Click here for a more detailed view on the website.