#69: Les Bérubé, s’il vous plaît

69.1  After 68 posts on genealogy, I still enjoy it enormously…wouldn’t keep doing it if I didn’t. But today’s will be especially fun, since it’ll be pure analysis, as we examine the following family tree…

69.2  This originated from page 157 of Les Bérubé d’Hier et d’Aujourd’hui, Tome I, published in 1988 by L’Association des Familles Bérubé. What you see in Chart 227 has been modified by me…I removed several generations from the bottom, along with identifying numbers and other information. At the top is “DB”…Damien Berube, the “father” of all North American Berubes (to use the American spelling), along with thousands of other descendants with other last names…like me…my mother is a Berube…I am Damien’s 7G grandson. Damien came to Quebec from Normandy, France in 1671 and just below him are the 2 male lines he originated, Mathurin Berube on the left and Pierre Berube on the right. All Berubes living in the US and Canada today are said to belong to one or the other…or both!…of these lines. For the record, I’m a Mathurin.

69.3  And there are several things I’d like to call your attention to regarding the construction of this family tree. Since it is from a book that had no color printing, males are represented by squares, females by circles. Also, since the connections get rather tangled rather quickly, an interesting devise is used, as shown at left…when one connection crosses another, it jogs up then down in a triangular fashion…this means keep following this line, don’t veer downward.

69.4  Another convention is the use of a double horizontal line to connect 2 married individuals who are related to each otherand a single horizontal line when the are not. In fact, that will be our task today, to examine the 8 such marriages between relatives, and determine how the bride and groom are related to each other in each case.

69.5  Also interesting is how one man with 2 wives is diagramed…you’ll notice that this gentleman is not actually connected by a line to his first wife…the line arcs over and continues on to the second wife…but is assumed to be connecting the husband to both. I believe it was done this way because they wished to maintain the chronological order of the offspring and in this one case the wives…earlier to the left, later to the right.

69.6  But to start out, I re-drew Chart 227 as Chart 228, eliminating all non-related spouses…smoothing out the rough spots…and giving each individual a number…the red numbers show where the surname Berube was passed down along a male line. If you examine Chart 228 for a moment, you will see that the couple at the bottom, 51-52, are descended from the 7 1st cousins in the 3rd generation…5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. Mathurin and Pierre had other children, of both sexes, as did most of the others in succeeding generations…what this chart shows is basically the Berube pedigree of 51 and 52…that is, their direct lines, fathers and mothers who are descended from Damien. There are literally hundreds of collateral relatives that are omitted…the only collaterals that are included are 45 and his wife 46, plus her line back to 11’s second wife…these are there because, as I mentioned, the tree goes down several more generations…I just thought it would be fun for the sake of analysis to leave them in.

69.7  Chart 229 shows 4 of the 8 cousin-to-cousin unions, starting with 15-16. This couple are 1st cousins…which in those days was not as common as it once was, but hardly unusual…the Catholic Church had a long list of dispensations to allow such a match. I might mention that this union is not found in the charts I included the last time I wrote about my French Canadian forebears, in #28 and #29those were marriages between a Berube and a Berube…here it’s Damien’s great grandson Jean-Baptiste Berube (4th son of Louis, who in turn was the 3rd son of Mathurin) marrying Marie Josephte Rousell, daughter of Louis’ younger sister Marie Genevieve Berube Rousell.

69.8  There are 2 interesting things about the next union, 31-32. Between 31 and his 2 ancestors among the “7 cousins” there are 3 steps, 15-23-31 as well as 16-23-31…but between 32 and her ancestor cousin there are 4 steps, 17-24-33-32. The uneven number of steps tells you right away what?…cousins removed! Thus 31 and 32 are 3rd cousins once removed…and that’s 2 ways, thru 5 & 7 and thru 6 & 7. It would be perfectly correct to call 31 and 32 double 3rd cousins once removed…31 is in fact a double 3rd cousin to 32’s mother 33. But that’s the second interesting thing: we generally think of double cousins as the result of a pair of siblings from one family marrying a pair of siblings from another…that’s doing it without interbreeding. But double cousins also result when previous relatives marry…in this case, 23 and 25 are brothers but also double 2nd cousins…23’s father is married to the 1st cousin of 25’s father…same with their mothers. For the purposes of this specific family tree, nobody is descended from just 5 or just 6…it’s always both, and that double relationship is passed down generation to generation. And of course, as double 3C1R, 31 and 32 are as closely related as 3rd cousins.

69.9   Next, something new is added with 40-41. 31 and 32, and thus 40, are descended from 3 siblings, the offspring of Mathurin. 41 is descended from those 3 siblings’ 1st cousin 9, daughter of Pierre. So altho we’re going down just one generation, we’re not going from 3rd to 4th cousins, but to 5th cousins…a generation is “added” at the bottom, but also at the top, since the common ancestor is not Mathurin, father of siblings, but Damien, grandfather of 1st cousins. Thus 40 and 41 are double 5th cousins thru 5 & 9 and thru 6 & 9, and also 5th cousins once removed thru 7 & 9….remember, the line thru 7 has that extra step.

69.10  This is a good time to reiterate that these relationships are cumulative, which is to say, they are all added together for a total Coefficient of Relationship. If only one relationship existed, thru 5/9, 6/9, or 7/9,  that one CR would be the sole CR, obviously…but that one relationship is in no way effected or diminished by the existence of 2 others…as I said, all 3 count, just as much as if any one of them actually were the only relationship. 40 and 41 have a CR of 5/4096, making them slightly more closely related than 4C1R (4/4096).

69.11  And now there’s a new twist the other way with 47-48…the steps from 48 to her ancestor in the “7 cousins” generations, 10,  is one step fewer than from 5 and 6…whereas the steps from 7 are one step more. The 4 relationships between 47 and 48 are based on ancestors that are siblings with one step difference (9 & 10)…1st cousins with one step difference (10 & 5, and also 10 & 6)…and 1st cousins with 2 steps difference (10 & 7). Thus, respectively, 47 and 48 are 4C1R…double 5C1R…and 5C2R. Total CR 13/8192, almost half way between 4C (16/8192) and and 4C1R (8/8192)…actuality, just a tad closer to 4C, since half way between 16 and 8 is 12.

69.12  Having done all that work, we find we needn’t reinvent the wheel with 45-46. We simply notice that 45 and 47 being brothers, everything that was true of 47-48 is true of 45-46, with one exception…there is one more step back to the “7 cousins” for 45’s wife 46 than there was for 46’s wife 48. And the presence of that extra step makes 45 and 46 only half as related to each other as 47 and 48 were…13/16,384. Which in real terms is practically nothing, but that’s genealogy, nez pah?  😉 😉

69.13   Over on the right side, 43-44 are, if you count it down, double 5th cousins, no muss, no fuss. And for 49-50, 8 enters the mix, the last of the “7 cousins” for us to consider.  Just as 43 and 44 were double 5th cousins, so are 49 and 50…true, they are one generation down, but their ancestors were siblings (5, 6, and 8)…while those of 43 and 44 were 1st cousins (5, 6 and 11). And of course 8 is also 1st cousin to 11, making 49 and 50 6th cousins…total CR 9/8192, just a smidge closer than 4C1R (8/8192).

69.14  Which brings us to the grand finale, 51-52…but once again, all the work has been done…it’s just a matter of matching up 51’s 4 ancestors (5, 6, 7, and 8) one by each with 52’s 5 ancestors (5, 6, 9, 10, and 11). That’s 4 x 5 = 20 different relationships, and I found it helpful to summarize the steps back to those “7 cousins” in Chart 233.

69.15  I’ve also reproduced my “work-sheet” in grid form, and if you refer back between it and Chart 233, I think you might notice some patterns emerging. If I’ve done the math right, I get 51 and 52 as double 4C…quintuple 6C…quintuple 7C… 5C1R…sextuple 6C1R… and 7C1R…for a total CR of 347/65,536…what that is precisely I leave to you as an exercise…no, it won’t be on the final exam. But if I might leave you with this one thought: these are real people, with real tangles in a real family tree…so get out of the hobby while you can!!  Back in a week…

wicked ballsy SHOUT OUT to berube grandchildren

As I mentioned, I am of the Mathurin line…I actually knew my great grandfather Joseph…called by the family “Papere” in the best of French Canadian tradition. I remember him as very quiet and very dignified…and very, very old…dunno if he ever said word one to me, but perhaps at age 80 (above) he had said all he cared to. His first son Henry was my maternal grandfather, and Henry had many 1st cousins on his father’s side…at least 40 that I know of…since Joseph and his twin brother Thomas (identical? fraternal?) were the youngest of 14 siblings.

Do you recognize any of the Berubes or others in the red boxes as a grandparent of yours? If so, your parent was my mother’s 2nd cousin, and you are my third cousin…and I’d love to hear from you!


Copyright © 2012 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved


2 thoughts on “#69: Les Bérubé, s’il vous plaît

  1. Mark, I realize that his post is a few years old… you might be interested to know that I trace my lineage back to Damien (1647) thru the Pierre side. Pierre (1682) fathered Andre (1711) who in turn fathered Louis Raphael (1749) who sired Raphael (1776) who in turn fathered Aristobule (1815) who fathered Augustin (1850) who produced 15 children including my Grandfather Napoleon (1878) – two sons, one my father Leo (1909) and me Dana Berube (1951) – my son James (1980) and his son Austin (2011). That would total 12 generations by my count. Cheers – I think were are at a roughly equivalent level.

    • if i counted down right, we are both 7G grandsons of Damien…making us 8th cousins…we share 1/131,072 of our genes…and considering we have at most 30,000 genes, that means we probably share 0…which makes sense since 8th cousins are 99.99924% unrelated…still, that’s just genetics…genealogically, we’re family!…

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