When the subjects of DNA & Genealogy collide…

Author:  Suzette Leclair, Genealogist
Member of :  Société généalogique canadienne-française (SGCF),  Société de généalogie de Québec (SGQ) & Société de généalogie des Cantons de l'Est (SGCE)

Recently, my friend Tom McMahon sent me an interesting link to a blog entitled  “Généalogie Génétique”, started in August 2008 by Jacques Beaugrand, founder and administrator of the French Heritage DNA Project.

We note that the subjects discussed at length are mostly about the Amerindian DNA, a subject of interest to a great many Canadians having Native ancestry in their family tree. And obviously, it was created in the wake of the controversy which followed the publication of an important article regarding the mtDNA results of four descendents of Catherine Pillard.

Professional genealogists around the world are all aware of the importance of verifying every bit of information before publishing the results of their findings, particularly over the web, as many so-called researchers will simply copy/paste it into their family tree without verifying any of the facts presented to them. Unfortunately, this is nothing new, and it’s not about to end, for as long as genealogies will continue to be published without being verified first.

Here is a case in point… Mr. Beaugrand’s latest post on the subjects previously mentioned:

Source: https://ggdna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


A match with the A10 mtDNA haplotype of Catherine Pillard


If you are a descendant in matrilineage of one of the women listed below, it is possible that your mitochondria belong to haplogroup A, more specifically to A10, the same haplogroup as Catherine PILLARD and her own descendants who have her in matrilineage.  The matrilineage is the uterine line:  your mother, her mother, the mother of your maternal grand-mother, &c. Only women transmit their mitochondria to their children.

Here is the list of these mothers:


Grace Louise ALLEN

Marie Denise TRUDEAU

Delphine BACHAND




Marie Marguerite CHARON



Marguerite DENOYON (or DENOYAN)


Marie Gilette BANNE (Fille à marier)

Isabau BOIRE (m: Marin BANNE bf 1626, Argences, Calvados (140020), France

Additionally, on the French Heritage Family Tree DNA site, they have a sample that leads back to Gillette Banne. The Haplogroup is listed as H1. Why would Jacques Beaugrand, the Administrator of that site, think that Haplogroup A10 is also linked to her (see above)?

BANNE Gillette 1636-1672 (Filles a Marier)
209115     Bianco     Isabelle Boire (born abt 1610)     Haplogroup: H1     

HVR 1 Mutations: 16051G, 16093C, 16274A, 16311C, 16519C
HVR 2 Mutations: 151T, 152C, 263G, 309.1C, 315.1C
(source: Family Tree DNA - French Heritage)

As a genealogist, the subject of DNA fascinates me, although technically, it sounds like Greek to me. Although, a new science as far as genetic genealogy is concerned, I consider it to be an additional tool for genealogy research particularly when we are facing cases of missing documentation. I don't look at its technical aspect, but rather at what the results mean to a genealogist like me, simply another piece of information to guide me in the right direction.

At first glance, it did not make much sense to me that Gilette Banne (Fille du Roi) could have the exact same DNA markers as Catherine Pillard. To be of the same Haplogroup is one thing, but to have the same signature as another person or ancestor, my gut feeling as a genealogist, was that there was  something wrong with the above mentioned matrilinear genealogy. Furthermore, how can the same ancestor, in this case, Gilette Banne, daughter of Isabelle/Isabau Boire, belong to two different Haplogroups, being A10 and H1...?

Delphine Bachand

After reading his post, I noted that a name in that list, Delphine Bachand, looked very familiar to me, as I remembered researching it a while back. But I could not remember in which file that was or who for. A quick look in a few databases on my computer turned up nothing. But the name kept nagging at me overnight, as it sounded so familiar. 

So the next day, I decided to browse thru my Pillard files on my computer, looking at every research I did after the first article on Catherine Pillard was published in Le Chaînon, Fall edition  of 2007. One file under the name "Colon" looked totally out of context as the name was unknown to me. When I opened it, found only an FTW database under the same name. Out of curiosity, I opened it, and went looking for the Bachand name. And sure enough, a whole bunch of Bachand names appeared on the screen, with Delphine right smack in the middle of it ! That was the only thing in that file that looked familiar to me, as well as the name of her parents, every other name seemed foreign to me. How weird, I thought.

So I asked my daughter, Johan Robitaille, who’s also been involved with the Pillard DNA research. And sure enough, the owner of that database is a friend of hers, Elizabeth Colon Parker. It turns out that the file in question was sent to her in October 2008 by John Croteau, because Elizabeth’s DNA results were identical to John's, who is a descendent of Catherine Pillard. But Elizabeth’s matrilinear genealogy did not lead to Pillard, but instead to Gilette Banne, also a well known “Fille du Roi”.  So he asked us to verify her genealogy, and to validate the results as listed above.  

Delphine Bachand turned out to be a problem, as we could not verify her marriage record in Malone NY, hence, her parents, or her birth information listed in the database as April 1853 in NY. A quick research thru Ancestry turned up more than a dozen Delphine Bachand. Tracing each of them was time consuming, so we asked the database owner what else she knew about Delphine or her siblings. And that was the last email that I’ve been able to trace in my computer on that subject...!

Unfortunately, we were extremely busy at the time, doing research and publishing a series of article on the various genealogies of the individuals who participated in the original Pillard DNA project, and we did not pursue that research much further.

As the post of Mr. Beaugrand was still nagging at me, I decided to see what was wrong with the genealogy of Grace Louise Allen. When I got to Delphine Bachand, I encountered the same problems as before. But this time, instead of tracing all the Delphine Bachand’s found for the time period in question, I decided to check all the Bachand records I could trace in Chateauguay, Franklin County, New York, where Delphine and her husband have eight children baptized.

NAME                                              Baptism                  Birth                         Parents                                                         Godparents

Trudeau          Elisa                      29 Nov 1887        17 Nov 1887        Hormisdas & Delphina Bachan            Edward Martineau & Rose Delima Senecal
Trudeau          Henry                   11 Jul 1880           6 Jul 1880             Hormisdas & Delphina Bachan            Peter Bachan & Odilia Thibault
Trudeau          Hormisdas          5 Feb 1878           3 Feb 1878            Hormisdas & Adelphina Bachan         Onesime Fournier & Henrica Dubois
Trudeau          Malvina                30 Apr 1882        20 Apr 1882         Hormisdas & Delphina Bachan            David & Rosalia Labonte
Trudeau          Maria Anna         2 Sep 1876           22 Jan 1876          Hormisdas & Delphina Bachan            Narcisse Laraby & Prudentia Bachan
Trudeau          Maria Denisa       31 Jan 1886        5 Jan 1886             Hormisdas & Delphina Bachan            Joseph & Louisa Martineau
Trudeau          Moyse                   29 Nov 1887       17 Nov 1887         Hormisdas & Delphina Bachan            Louis & Alphonsina Menard  (twin of Elisa)
Trudeau          Narcisse                27 Nov 1883      10 Nov 1883         Hormisdas & Delphina Bachan            Xavier Bedard & Exilda Labombarde

New York Genealogy Trails, Parish records for St Patrick of Chateaugay, Franklyn, NY translated (from Latin) & transcribed by Kelly Townsend from the Microfilm FHC 1450729 items 9-16

And one family in particular seemed to gravitate around Delphine and her husband, Hormidas Trudeau, being the children of  Louis Bachand & Placide Achin. This was the typical situation of a close-knit family, and could not be just a simple coincidence. They had to be related, either as siblings or cousins…

So I decided to check them out, and went looking for some census records to see where they were from, and if by any chance, Delphine could be a member of their family. Nothing on Ancestry turned up, but on Family Search, the family was listed in St-Rémi de Napierville, on the 1851 Census.

Source: 1851 Canada East Census - Parish of St-Rémi de Napierville page 123 (Ancestry #123/150)

Once I got hold of the original census record, sure enough, the family had a child named Delphine, 2 years old, and said to be born in St-Rémi, therefore born about 1849-1850 as the Canadian census was taken in 1852 but listed as 1851. The database had her born in April 1853 in the state of New York, not quite right, but not quite far either.

Nothing for the Bachand family in the Drouin microfilm of St-Rémi for 1849, but 1850 turned up the baptism of Marie Delphine BACHAMPS, dated February 10, 1850, said to be born the day before, daughter of "Louis Bachamps & Placide Hachim", the exact same family who migrated from Napierville to Chateauguay, NY, sometimes after the 1852 Canadian Census. Now, we were getting somewhere, and it all started to make sense.

1850 St-Rémi de Napierville - Drouin microfilm #0251 1278 Image 6/46

So, let's start with Delphine Bachand's parents listed on her baptism record, and check the maternal lineage of that family tree:

- Placide ACHIN dit ST-ANDRÉ (Antoine & Françoise Varry)
   m. 1833-01-29 St-Antoine-de-Pade de Longueuil (Chambly County) Qc
   Louis Bachand dit Vertefeuille, wid. of Sophie Favreau (Louis & Amable Dubois)

- Françoise VARRY (Joseph & Françoise Benoit)
   m. 1800-11-10 St-Antoine-de-Pade de Longueuil (Chambly County) Qc
   Antoine Achin dit St-André (Pascal & Archange Pagé

- Françoise BENOIT (Toussaint & Marie Louise Rouillé-Lamarche)
   m. 1775-02-06 St-Antoine-de-Pade de Longueuil (Chambly County) Qc
   Joseph Varry (Charles & Magdeleine Thuot)

- Marie Louise ROULIER dit Lamarche (Joseph & Marie Joseph Adam)
   m. 1750-10-12 St-Antoine-de-Pade de Longueuil (Chambly County) Qc
   Toussaint Benoit (Joseph & Marie Joseph Goyau)

- Marie Joseph ADAM dit Laramée (Guillaume & Catherine Charron)
   m. 1728-10-18 St-Antoine-de-Pade de Longueuil (Chambly County) Qc
   Joseph Roulier dit Lamarche (Pierre & Elizabeth Drouet)

- Catherine Charron (Pierre & Catherine Pillard
   m. 1702-02-24 St-Antoine-de-Pade de Longueuil (Chambly County) Qc
   Guillaume Adam dit Laramée (Guillaume & Marguerite Nicolet) a native of Ste-Geneviève-en-Caux, Dieppe, Normandie.


We can now conclude for certain that the maternal genealogy of Grace Louise Allen goes to Catherine Charron, wife of Guillaume Adam. Of all the 10 descendents of Catherine Pillard with an exact same mtDNA results, Grace is the only one whose genealogy goes to the youngest Catherine, born around 1680.

Here’s a list of the genealogies that we have verified to date for our Pillard DNA Project:

  • Nicole Boutin (Catherine Charron & François Chagnon)
  • John Croteau (Marie Louise Charron & Michel Colin)
  • Sandra McGrath (Catherine Charron & François Chagnon)
  • Mark Godard (Anne Charron & Pierre Goguet)
  • Todd Jaarsma (Catherine Charron & Daniel Tétreault, husband #2)
  • Elizabeth Anne Parker (Catherine Charron & Guillaume Adam)
  • Esther Lucille Mercer (Catherine Charron & François Chagnon)
  • Olive Lavina Young (Catherine Charron & François Chagnon)
  • Georgina Paquette(Catherine Charron & François Chagnon)
  • Louetta Antaya (Catherine Charron & François Chagnon)

The last four candidates were traced to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation in February 2008, and their matrilinear genealogies were not published, because they failed to respond to our request for permission to publish.

Here’s a good example of how DNA can come to the rescue of genealogy when some vital records are missing. As long as you don’t forget one of the most important basic rules of genealogy: always verify your facts first…

Rawdon, September 30, 2011


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