The Ducharmes

We’ve already talked about them a bit, the Ducharmes, my French side. Uncle Dan, Aunt Mary, Clarinda and the woman we called Gramma Ducharme, even though she was not really our Gramma. She was Clarinda’s younger sister, so that would make her our Grand Aunt. Several of them had the first name ‘Marie’, combined with something else. Like here, the eldest and the youngest sisters, Marie-Caroline, named after her mother and subsequently went by the name of ‘Babe’, so as not to confuse, and Marie-Anna, the one we called Gramma Ducharme.

Aunty Babe and Gramma Ducharme

There were 10 children born to that family, though 3 of them never saw their first birthday. You’ll read more about them in my Ancestors series books, Haywood: Book 16 and Clarinda: Book 17.

As an amateur genealogist they are interesting to me. Even though I have considerably more information about my Icelandic side, and there are a ton of interesting stories there, the Ducharmes were here before the start of Canada. Not only from their immigration in 1665, but also because there were a number of marriages between French men and indigenous women, taking that bloodline back perhaps 14,000 years, to the very first people to set foot on this continent. The Ducharmes are of the Charrons. Translated Charron means wheelwright or cart-wright. Ducharme is known as a type of tree. It is not clear to me why Francois, son of my 7th great grandfather Pierre Nicholas, the first immigrant, decided to add Ducharme to the family name, making it Charron-dit-Ducharme, eventually to become just Ducharme.

Gramma Ducharme, Aunt Mary and Helen

Life was hard. Sometimes it made them look hard, suspicious. Here is Marie-Anna (Gramma Ducharme) and Marie Anne Laure Langhan (Aunt Mary), looking like they would rather be anywhere but posing for this picture. The child is our mother, who also seems to be wanting the ordeal to be over with. Muddy-in-awe and Muddy, the Sisters of Graham, as I called them earlier. Perhaps it was Charlie, forcing them to pose and that is why they stand in rigid compliance. As is the human way, when the mother dies, the family cares for the orphaned child. It was the Ducharmes that did this for our mother when her own mother died at 25. It is not as though there was no father, but Charlie was a businessman, ill equipped to look after a child on his own. There is much more to this story, of course, but I leave it for ‘Chinoise: Book 18’.

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