A Canadian Family

Natives, French Canadians & Acadians

My Grandfather’s Unexpected Train Ride by Peter Lagasse

As regular readers of this blog know, Peter Lagasse and I are both descendants of Andre Mignier dit Lagace and Jacquette Michel through Basil Mignier/Lagace, though Peter descends through his first wife Madeleine Leclerc/Francoeur while I descend from the second wife  Catherine Dube. You can read some of Peter’s initial information in the Lagasses of Maine/Massachusetts/New Hampshire and his first Guest Post  “Some French Canadian Lagasses (Lagace) from Quebec to New Hampshire”. Today Peter continues his Lagasse series with a recounting of research related to his grandfather Gaudias Lagace.

Guest Post 2: Peter Lagasse

My Grandfather’s Unexpected Train Ride

+16 M i. Joseph Gaudias Lagacé son of Joseph Lagacé and Emma St-Hilaire

During my research for my grandfather, Joseph Gaudias Lagacé, I discovered his birth certificate that stated his name and his birth of 25 Nov 1885 in St-Flavien, Lotbiniere, Quebec, Canada. The point of my intrigue was where was my grandfather buried?

My father, Roland Paul Lagasse, had lost his father when he was only 17. I can remember my father sharing how his father had died in his arms from an apparent heart attack. In the back of my mind I can remember only two places when my grandfather was ever mentioned; one was Manchester, New Hampshire and the other Lowell, Massachusetts. The search was to find my grandfather’s place of burial.

Goduise Lagasse2 (2)

Memorial Card, Goduise Lagasse

On his memorial card the city of Manchester, New Hampshire was mentioned at the bottom of the card. I, therefore, went searching for information about the possibility of Joseph Guadias (Goduise, Godias, and other spelling variations) Lagacé being buried in Manchester, New Hampshire. There was some logic to this since other family members of my grandfather was living in that area of New Hampshire and he had married Marie Agnes Ross on 3 May 1909 at Saint George Parish in Manchester, New Hampshire. My research for vital statistics from Manchester, New Hampshire showed no death or burial of a Joseph Gaudias Lagacé. My research had to turn to Lowell, Massachusetts.

There was a World War I Draft Registration card that showed my grandfather living in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1918. Could he have died and been buried there? I began my trip of research via the computer to vital statistics. My research led me to the Center of Lowell History. I wrote to them sharing my dilemma. This contact was going to take me on a virtual train ride to a city not even in the United States. They had a copy of the Lowell Sun, 13 Dec 1926 issue with my grandfather’s obituary.

The answer of my grandfather’s place of burial was a trip to another city 360 miles from the place of his death. My grandfather was placed on a train to be taken to his place of birth St-Flavien, Lotbiniere, Quebec.  There he would be buried with a full Christian Mass and buried as to the traditions of the Catholic Church.


Lowell Sun, Obituary, 13 Dec 1926

I wrote that last sentence for a specific reason. It will be noted that on both omy grandfather’s memorial card and his obituary it states he was survived by his wife Agnes Louise Ross. My grandmother had divorced Joseph Guadias Lagacé and then had remarried in December 1916. They were not still married, but we believe, to make sure my grandfather had an appropriate burial, information was included in these sources to avoid any form of embarrassment for my dear grandfather who had never remarried after the divorce.


Lowell Sun December 13, 1926


LAGASSE– Guadias Lagasse died suddenly Saturday evening at his home, 640 Middlesex Street, ages 41 years 21 days. He is survived by his wife Louise Lagasse; one son, Roland Lagasse of this city, and four sisters Mrs. Lucien Lemay and Mrs. Joseph Lafrance, both of Manchester, New Hampshire, Mrs. Alfred Berthiaume and Mrs. Joseph Lemay, both of Canada. He was a member of Lowell Lodge of Moose, Lowell Aerie of Eagles and the Artisans. The body was sent last evening to St. Flavien, Province of Quebec, where funeral mass will be celebrated and burial will take place. A delegation from the Lowell Aerie of Eagles, consisting of John B. O’Loughlin,
Alfred J. St. Onge, Oscar Champagne, Harvey Leger, Louis Emond, Ferdinand Riche and Arthur Brodeur escorted the body to the train. There were many beautiful flowers. Arrangements were in charge of Funeral Director Joseph Albert.

Related Posts:

Index: Mignier Lagaces | France – QC – NB

Peter Lagasse can be contacted at


May 30, 2009 - Posted by | . |


  1. Every time I come across a Quebec family I am sure we are related at some point. It would seem not in this line. I am sure there are many cases where the details were fudged a little to keep up appearances.


    Comment by Lori E | May 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hello Peter (and Lori),
    In the case of the French-language memorial card it doesn’t actually state “survived by the wife” it states that he was the “husband of Agnes Ross”. This might technically be true at the time of his death in the sense that he might still have been married to her as far as the Catholic church was concerned if their marriage wasn’t annulled – and that Agnes remarried outside of the church.


    Comment by evelynyvonnetheriault | May 30, 2009 | Reply

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