Clifford Bechard ( - ) - Eagle Lake, ME
The register also contains the records of several "abjurations", or conversions to Roman Catholicism, that took place at the church. The first volume goes from January to December ; the second from January to December ; and the third from January to beyond the end of Fr. Dionne's tenure at Ste Luce he left at the end of February Father Dionne's register includes enormous amounts of information beyond just names and dates.
He usually included the occupation of the adult men as well as where the families lived or were from. He also noted if individuals were Protestant; if they were members of native peoples or first nations; whether the parents of those baptized or married were still alive; as well as numerous other details. We can appreciate Fr. Dionne beginning in August For marriages, Fr.
Dionne had recorded. A number of register entries in the period before Fr. Dionne's departure were done by Fr. The acts are not in strictly chronological order.
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It seems from studying the register that Fr. Dionne would perform ceremonies and note down the relevant information somewhere else, and then later copy it into the register. So the acts are sometimes a bit out of chronological order in the register itself. In I was able to see the original registers at Ste Luce; as I mention in my " about " page, that was one of the things that led me to become interested in the history of my family and of the Madawaska region. More recently, Ste Luce has been closed as a parish, and its records moved to Ste Agathe. But the registers are no longer available for public viewing, because of the wear and tear and damage to these fragile historic documents.
Clearly that is the correct decision, despite our desires to be able to actually look through the original records. The records are available on microfilm through the Institut Drouin, which microfilmed them in But these are not widely available films. Given the importance of Ste Luce parish in the early years of the western reaches of the Madawaska settlement, and given how difficult it is for most people to access them, I have put information from the registers into a database accessible on this website.
I have abstracted the information from each act in this period and compiled them into the databases -- baptisms, marriages, burials -- and then proofread the data. The databases are searchable by a number of different factors. Baptisms, marriages and burials are all included in separate databases for links and descriptions of each separate database see below. Thus all of the information from the parish records during the years of Fr. Dionne's time as pastor of Ste Luce is included on this website, and is accessible through the online database search engines.
For the purposes of this website, I have extracted information from the microfilm copies of the original register. The copies are overall very readable; only occasionally did the microfilmer cut off the side of a page. In the case where a name is illegible because of that I have noted it in the "Parish Register Notes" column of the results. Given that each kind of record includes different kinds of information, details about baptismal, marriage and burial records are included on the introduction pages to each of those databases see links below. Here is some general information on the registers and how to understand the data in the databases:.
First, each act was numbered consecutively by sacrament and by year. Thus the first baptism of each year was numbered B1, the second B2, etc; likewise the first burial was S1 and the first marriage was M1. At the start of each year the numbering started anew. Unfortunately the numbering is not always consecutive. At times the same numbers are repeated, sometimes numbers are skipped. Because of this, it is preferable to use page numbering as a reference. But as explained below, the page numbering varies and is sometimes lacking. From the first page in January until the end of , page numbers were given only on the front of each page.
For these pages, in this database the front of a page is numbered with an "a", the back with a "b" in the register itself, the back of the page was sometimes labeled "verso". Thus page 1a is the front of the page numbered "1", and 1b is the back of that page.
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Beginning in January Fr. Dionne began numbering each side of each page. From then until the end of the first volume, each side of each page has its own number. The second volume, starting in January , begins with page numbering for each side of each page. But in February Fr. Dionne reverted to numbering only the fronts of pages, so I have again used the a and b convention for numbering, described above.
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This continued until the end of January , when Fr. Dionne stopped numbering pages altogether. Until the end of the second volume, in December , there are no page numbers. For this period, specific acts are identifiable through the reference number. See explanation above. East Machias. East Millinocket. Fort Fairfield. Fort Kent. Grand Isle. Grand Lake Stream.
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