Are you a Baudreau, Beaudreault, Boudreau(lt) or a Graveline, Gravlin or some spelling close? If so it is highly likely that a lot of your family history can be found right here. Welcome to the Descendants of Urbain Baudreau dit Graveline website. This site is dedicated to and designed for descendants past and present for the purpose of learning about our colorful and historic family and more importantly as a vehicle to facilitate sharing our research past, present and future.
A great deal of research has been conducted on this historic family line prior to popular adoption of the internet by a diverse group of our relatives including former members of the Urbain Baudreau Graveline Genealogical Association as well as family historians and enthusiasts. As much of this work was conducted prior to wide adoption of the internet it was never digitized and made widely accessible online. It is my hope that this site will change that.
Please look past the rough edges as this site is a work in progress and we are still learning how to use the tools ourselves. There are several features and sections that are planned including photo galleries, dedicated sections for articles separated into family lines etc… Feel free to contact us if you would like to help.
All the Best,
What is the purpose and capabilities of the website?
The vision for this site is to create a vehicle to allow interested individuals to be able to create, manage and share genealogical content without having to have any software on their local computers. The second goal was to create the site in a way that would be easy and affordable to sustain but not so much that it would be plagued with advertisements and banners. The site is based on Joomla open source software which is very scalable to accommodate flexible organized layouts as the shared content grows. A monumental amount of research has been conducted on this family line prior to widespread adoption of the internet as we know it today. It is my hope that a lot of it can be digitized so that access to this information can be made available.
Do I need to sign up/create an account?
All completed (as opposed to work in progress) content will be made publicly available. Account creation will enable users to create/share information as well to receive email notifications and updates.
This website is currently a work in progress. If you would like to help out feel free to send me a note.
The First issue of Les Comptes the "New News" Volume 1 Edition 1
By Bernard C. Beaudreau
As a young boy growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts, I often wondered about my ancestors. Who were they? Where were they from? What walks of life did they come from? When my family moved to Montreal in the 1970s, my search for answers to these questions began in earnest. Drawing on the wealth of genealogical resources at the Montreal Municipal Library’s Salle Gagnon, my family tree began to take shape. In little time, I had traced it back to Urbain Baudereau dit Graveline, (Bertrand, Pierre, Pierre, Cyrille, Joseph, François-Hypolite, François-Xavier, Paul, Urbain) who emigrated to Canada in 1653 and who married Mathurine Juillet on October 20, 1664 in the young colony. In the marriage record, he is listed as the son of Jean Baudereau and Marie Chauveau. Unfortunately, no mention is made of a place name. And that is where the trail runs cold. Who were Jean and Marie, and more importantly, where were they from? Clermont in Maine? Gravelines in the North of France?
Forty years of wondering turned up little. There was no record of the two in Clermont (LaFlèche), nor in Gravelines (Nord). In fact, there were no Baudereaus to speak of in Sarthe, only Bodereaus. As Urbain was illiterate, there was every reason to believe that Baudereau could have originally been Bodereau. But, the search for an Urbain Bodereau, or a Jean Bodereau in both Sarthe and Maine turned up nothing. So, for years I contented myself with the knowledge that my paternal ancestors were from the Sarthe region of France and were, in all likelihood, Bodereaus.
Then, one Sunday morning, while conducting research on the Latter-Day Saints’ Genealogy Site (Family Search.org), I happened to enter the name Jean Bodereau in the appropriate search boxes, and lo and behold, a record for a Jean Bottereau and Mathurine Chauveau appeared. Needless to say, this was a Eureka moment. Could it be? Had I finally found my paternal ancestors? It turns out that the record in question was for a birth, namely of Emerance Bottereau, daughter of Jean Bottereau and Mathurine Chauveau from the parish of St-Severin in Andard (a suburb of Angers), born in 1615.
St-Severin Church in Andard (where Emerance was baptized)
While not 100 percent sure, I firmly believe that Jean Bottereau and Mathurine Chauveau are our paternal ancestors. Here’s why. First, Urbain was illiterate. Baudereau may have well been a transliteration of Bottereau. Second, in some records/documents, his mother is referred to as Marthe. Third, the time framework fits (Some records list Jean Baudereau as having been born in Angers in 1581-no reference however). Fourth, we know that Urbain, despite leaving from Clermont, was not born there (no record of his birth, nor any record of his parents). Fifth, there is evidence that the Bottereaus were Calvinists (Angers was a Protestant stronghold). This would explain another mystery, namely Urbain’s use of the surname Greveline in official matters (Ship’s Lists 1653 and 1659). The colony in Canada was open only to Roman Catholics. Hence, in order to go undetected, I contend that he simply adopted the pseudonym Greveline. While speculative, Urbain may have participated in Gaston of Orleans’ (brother to Louis XIII) expedition to Flanders and occupation of the city of Gravelines in the late 1640’s which would explain his choice of a pseudonym. Once firmly established in Canada, he reverted to Baudereau (Baudreau, Beaudreau), keeping Greveline as a surname. Sixth, Urbain and his sons Jean-Baptiste and Gabriel were involved, at one time or another, in commerce, an activity that was the hallmark of Calvinists at the time. This may also explain the failure to turn up a birth record for Urbain. More specifically, if his parents were Calvinists (and part-time Roman Catholics), then there would be no formal birth record per se (births were simply recorded in a bible). To conclude, based on this evidence, there is good reason to believe that we are descended from the Bottereaus of the Angers region of France, and moreover, that our ancestor was in all likelihood Protestant. It is worthwhile to note the continued presence of Bottereaus in the Loire region of France today. Further, it is name of a commune (Leroux-Bottereau) in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France. And for the icing on the cake, Bottereau is also the name of a small sweet pastry made in the Loire region.
Baptism Record for Emerance Bottereau - Jan 23, 1615
Saint Symphorien, Anard, Maine-et-Loire, France
Source Film 962720
As a point of interest, Emerance Bottereau married Jean Taffu on Feb 11, 1639 and named one of their 3 known daughters Urbaine, born Nov 02, 1640. Urbain would have been about 17 at the time.
Bernard C. Beaudreau resides in Quebec City, Canada with his five children. He is Professor of Economics at Université Laval, and a part-time history buff.