When most people think of Quebec’s ethnic make-up, they think first of French-speaking, Catholic Quebeckers – and theycertainly makes up the overwhelming majority of early settlers. However, Quebec also had settlers of British origin (English, Scottish and Irish), and among these there was a substantial group of Anglo-Normans from the Channel Islands. These Channel Islanders settled on the Quebec and New Brunswick coasts of the Baie des Chaleurs (Chaleurs Bay) and they were there to get something that the Europeans of the time desperately wanted – codfish!
One of these Channel Islanders was my ancestor – Philippe Luce of Jersey – and as I don’t have any photographs of him I’ve decided to share this vintage postcard of fishermen on the beach splitting codfish near the now famous tourist destination of Perce Rock.
Splitting Codfish, Perce, Quebec
Philippe Luce (son of Elie Luce and Elizabeth Sorsoleil, husband of Anne Ward) was not the only Channel Islands Luce who settled in Quebec. Here are some other early Luces that I know of.
Luce, John M. | Agnes Frances Hyman
July 25th, 1873
Luce, Walter George | Julia Ann Edith Mauger
October 4th, 1916 Cape Cove/Perce (Gaspe, Quebec) Continue reading
Pioneers from Jersey/Guernsey, Channel Islands
who settled in Shippegan and Caraquet
Joshua Alexandre & Mary Jane LeBrocq
Francis Alexandre & Viatrice Robichaud
Charles M. Brien & Marie Blanche Nixon
Jean Butler (Bouthillier) & (1) Anne Benoit & (2) Marguerite Poirier
Tom Cabot & Annie Sutherland
Charles Delagarde & Venerante Robichaud
Perry Dumaresq & Delphine Arseneau
Amice Duval & Esther Rouet
Guillaume Egre (Gray) & Vitalin Paulin
Joseph Galluchon/Duguay & Theodoree Losier
Rene LeBouthillier & Angelique Giraud (maybe!)
John Mourant & (1) Jane Isabella Battam & (2) Marguerite Theriault
John Picot & Adeline Mailloux
Philip Rive & Catherine Lawlor Dwyer
Georges Sivret & Appoline Chiasson
Andrew Travers & Julie Cormier
History and Places
Families Allied To The Luces In My Family Tree
Our Luce Family History
An M-line is a lineage built by beginning with a woman and tracing her line back mother-to-mother. As a result, the surname changes with each generation. This is a big trend right now, especially with the advent of genetic genealogy which allows both men (through their mothers) and women to trace their bloodlines through their mtDNA.
Eveline Melvina Luce’s M-Line
First Named Generation
Marguerite Caplan m. Francois Larocque
About 1729 – Acadie
Catherine Larocque m. Jean Chapados
1750 –Gaspesie, Quebec
Anne Chapados m. Jean Baptiste Anglehart
1787 – Gaspesie, Quebec
Marie Anglehart m. Alexandre Huard
1826 – Gaspesie, Quebec
Marie Huard m. Paul Hypolite Blais
1849 – Gaspesie, Quebec
Marie Blais m. Clement Desilva
1871 – Gloucester, New Brunswick
Clementine Desylva m. George H. Luce
1896 – Gloucester, New Brunswick
Eveline Melvina Luce m. Adelard Lagace
1924 – Gloucester, New Brunswick
Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh Generations
This vintage postcard shows the ancient church of St-Brelade in Jersey, Channel Islands, which is said to date back over 1000 years to the time of the “wandering Celtic saints” (see Links). Several of Elie Luce and Elizabeth Sorsoleil‘s children were born in St-Brelade.
Does anyone know whether this was Elie Luce and Elizabeth Sorsoleil’s church?
If so please drop me a line in the comment box below.
On the left is an enlarged detail from the vintage postcard, showing the Fisherman’s Chapel or Chapelle des Pecheurs which dates back to the 11th/12th century – on the right, a photographic detail of one of its medieval Continue reading
Seaweed has been an important part of Jersey life for well over 800 years, so our own Luce ancestors would have been quite familiar with scenes of seaweed harvesting like the one below.
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Seaweed was a fertilizer for Jersey farming families until well into the early 1900s, since Jersey’s very sandy soil made fertilization crucial and the seaweed was readily available. Continue reading
This is the final resting place of our direct ancestor Philippe Luce who married Anne Ward on May 4th, 1863 in Grande-Riviere (Perce) Quebec, Canada. Their son George Luce (Lewis) and daughter-in-law Clementine Desilva were my grandparents.
Philippe Luce and Anne Ward’s children included the following: George H., Philip Charles, Elie Jean, Francois, Thomas, Ann Elizabeth, William.
Philippe’s parents were Elie Luce and Elizabeth Sorsoleil from St-Helier, Jersey Channel Islands and Philippe was born there on July 29th, 1826.
He died in 1892 in Miscou and this is his tombstone is in Petite-Riviere-de-L’Isle Cemetery in Gloucester County, New Brunswick.
Descendants of Jean Luce and Elizabeth of Channel Islands
1. Jean Luce I was born in 1726 in Jersey Channel Islands and died after 1756. According to Stephane Luce (see sources) Jean’s parents were Edouard Luce and Marie Le Cras who were married in St-Lawrence (Channel Islands) and his grandparents were Edouard Luce and Izebel Piquot. Jean’s grandparents were married in St-Lawrence in 1691. Their children included: Mathieu, Denise, Edouard, Judith, Elizabeth, Susanne and Thomas.
Jean married Elizabeth (Luce?) on 10 Oct 1753 in St-Lawrence Jersey Channel Islands. Elizabeth was born about 1730 in Jersey Channel Islands and died after 1756.
A child from this marriage was:
+ 2 M i. Jean Luce II who was born in 1756 in Bailiwick of Jersey Channel Islands and died after 1794.
2. Jean Luce II (Jean 1) was born in 1756 in Bailiwick of Jersey Channel Islands and died after 1794. Jean married Susanne LeGros on 20 Apr 1776 in St-Lawrence Jersey Channel Islands, daughter of George LeGros and Marie Godel. Susanne was born about 1756 in Bailiwick of Jersey Channel Islands and died after 1794.
Children from this marriage were:
+ 3 M i. Elie Luce I who was born on 1 Apr 1792 in St-Lawrence Jersey Channel Islands and died in 1854.
4 M ii. Jean Luce III who was born on 10 Nov 1776 in Bailiwick of Jersey Channel Islands.
The notion of the M-line is relatively new to genealogy so I thought I would give you a little introduction to this rapidly growing area of inquiry.
What is an M-line?
An M-line is your ancestry traced through your mother, but not in the traditional manner.
Traditionally, when people say they’re doing their maternal ancestry, they mean that they start from a certain woman and then follow that woman’s ancestry through her father. In other words, you would start with a Jane Doe, and then follow through her Doe parents, grandparents, great-grandparents etc. Genealogists like me who are particularly interested in their female ancestors might also develop the wives’ families and enquire into their lives, but that enquiry is still usually organized around a surname line. I can think of three reasons why this is so: 1) We naturally identify with our own surname and those of our parents and in our society most of us carry our father or maternal grandfather’s surname. 2) Surnames tend to originate and then cluster in various regions so it’s relatively easy to build resources and become proficient in that one surname . 3) As a general rule, modern western society has focused more on the work and lives of men as opposed to women.
An M-line is different. With an M-line you begin with one of your maternal ancestors, and then follow her ancestors back through time exclusively through the female line. So, starting from a Jane Doe, you would go first to Jane Doe’s mother, and then to her mother’s mother, her mother’s mother’s mother and so on. Some people have called this the matrilineal, umbilical or uterine line but I have chosen to use Roderick’s suggested term M-lines For further discussion of this term see:
Genetics & Genealogy http://genealogy.about.com/library/authors/ucroderick1f.htm).
Why is there so much interest in M-lines?
Over the past five years many genealogists have been turning to genetic genealogy to learn more about their ancestry. Several companies now offer genetic testing that will allow you to determine information such as your ethnic group. These tests are particularly useful to determine deep ancestry. Your DNA markers will place you in what is called a haplogroup and you can then get an idea of your ancestors’ migratory routes as they left Africa. Continue reading