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Another brick wall.

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Another brick wall.

Postby MichaelSS » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:59 pm

I am trying to find my great-grandfather on my mother's side. The name I have is Louis Philip DuFresne, born around February of 1864 in New York state, possibly the Clintonville area of northern New York. Married to Elizabeth Flynn from Wisconsin, then to an Elvie Thompson (my great-grandmother).
I have only Elvie Thompson's name and nothing else.

I would like any insight on this.
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Re: Another brick wall.

Postby phsvm » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:17 pm

Micheal - you'll find people very helpful on this forum but I think before anyone can help you'll need to give a little more information.

I know you've said you know nothing else but are you expecting there to be a link with the UK? What approximate dates are you looking at? Where did the family originate from? Any little snippet of information, even if only hearsay within the family would be useful.
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Re: Another brick wall.

Postby MoVidger » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:03 pm

Do you have his March 25, 1931 newspaper obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette?? It states his name is Louis P. Ashe-DuFresne. He was aged 65 and was born in Clintonville, NY. Resident of Pittsburgh for 29 years. He started his business career with Swift & Co. in Chicago, later coming to Pittsburgh with the same company. In 1914, he entered the firm of Thomas & Co., later leaving to become a member of the Sander firm.

Obviously the obit doesn't give any clues on where to locate him in the 1870 to 1880 census records, or who his parents were. Several message boards on Ancestry discuss people associated with the "Ash" and "DuFresne" name connection.

Then there's this entry found in the Dictionary of American Family Names:
"In New England, Ash is commonly found for French DUFRESNE, with the same meaning".

Sounds like an "a/k/a" situation in this instance, rather than a hyphenated surname. Perhaps Louis can be located with the surname of Ash/Ashe in the 1870 and 1880 census records.
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Re: Another brick wall.

Postby meekhcs » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:25 am

It would appear the Family used the surname Ashe rather than DuFresne. There is a death certificate for Elvie in 1936 in Pennsylvania. Her parents are recorded as James B Thompson of Butler County PA and Margaret Newell and the death is registered by her son (?) Louis Ashe.I found this record on Ancestry.
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Re: Another brick wall.

Postby MichaelSS » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:49 am

I was told by my grandfather, Louis Philip DuFresne, that his father was also named Louis Philip DuFresne and that the family had travelled to the US from Canada and were French Canadian. The name DuFresne is French for "of the Ash wood" and is supposed to have ties to the court of Louis XIV.

I have found US Census records with my great-grandfather's name with my great aunts from Missouri and Pennsylvania, but my grandfather doesn't appear on any until the 1940 Census in Pennsylvania. One story in the family is that my grandfather legally changed his name to be a junior.

The marriage certificate for my grandfather does have Elvie DuFresne as mother of the groom.

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Re: Another brick wall.

Postby meekhcs » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:01 am

Yes I found the same census records too.

Louis junior is also the informant on his Father's death cert in 1931. Interestingly he signs himself Louis Ashe with du Fresne in brackets.

Have you tried the Roots chat Forum to try and chase down both the marriage records for Louis snr.? I found this approach very helpful when trying to find an elusive marriage in the US. I gather each state has it's own Forum page .

"Edit" unfortunately from this side of the pond we only have the major sites such as Ancestry or Familysearch to trawl. People on the Roots Chat Forum will be local to the area you are searching in and will have much more material to look through.
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Re: Another brick wall.

Postby MichaelSS » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:59 pm

Thank-you for all the help and information clues. I will try looking at the Ash name and see what I find.

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Re: Another brick wall.

Postby MoVidger » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:16 pm

In 1924, Louis Philip and family are still using the surname Ashe. The Burlington Free Press has a very brief entry for them on August 13, 1924. The Ashe family plus a Mrs Edward Stone of Keeseville, NY are visiting the homes of Wilfred and Joseph Pine in Vermont.

In the case of my own family, I've seen these brief newspaper mentions of families visiting someone out-of-town. Usually, the person(s) they are visiting turns out to be associated with the family in some fashion (e.g. a relative). So you could always follow-up with this Vermont connection and/or Mrs Edward Stone, if she's related to Louis Philip. (Unless I'm mistaken, I believe Keeseville is located near Clintonville).
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Re: Another brick wall.

Postby MichaelSS » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:32 pm

I have to agree with you JMcKinnon. I have a branch of the family on my father's side where three men all cousins travelled to the Americas on the same ship, the problem is ALL THREE had the same name. All three travelled to Indiana where two stayed and one continued west towards Pike's Peak.

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Re: Another brick wall.

Postby MoVidger » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:06 am

Michael - do lady school teachers run in your DuFresne/Ashe family? Because I think I found Louis Philip's family.

In the May 27 1886 Post & Gazette (Essex County, NY), there is an article about the newly opened Teachers' Institute. Included in the list of teachers attending the Institute is a Melvina M. Ashe of Clintonville.

Melvina's family can be found in the 1870, 1875 and 1880 census records for Chesterfield, Essex, New York. The family name has been recorded as "Ash". Parents are John and Elizabeth -- both born in Canada. Their children were born in New York. One of the older daughters (Eugenia) is also a school teacher.

Amongst the 10 or so children is a "Philip Ash" born in 1866. Could he be your ancestor?

The best census report is the 1860 record for Town of Ausable, Clinton, NY. Living with the same Ash family is a fellow named Felix Pine (wheelwright apprentice). You may recall that Louis Philip and family visited two Pine gentlemen in that 1924 newspaper article.

On the same 1860 census page is a John & Emily Pine (born in Canada) with a baby son named John. Perhaps he is the John Pine whom your family visit in 1924...??

Newspaper society pages from back in the day seem frivolous, but the clues they provide can be gold dust to family researchers. :D
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