May Day – Or In This Case… Mayday

Vacations are very nice.  Unfortunately, at some time I have to admit that it’s past time to return to schedules and the workaday world.

I’ve got a new item on my to-do list (as if the list isn’t long enough already): The Frederick F. and Louise A. Saucier family photograph, circa 1902-03. I’ve spent a fair amount of time staring at the photo for the last few weeks, always referring back to the key that accompanied the photo.  Here’s my problem, I’m seeing a few names with question marks after them, and no. 5 in the top row is omitted completely.

Those of you that don’t know me are wholly unaware that I’ve got a wide streak of stubborn, and a mystery like this photo is guaranteed to bring out the mule in me.

Eugene F. Saucier Family Photograph circa 1902-03It occurred to me that it might be entertaining to make this an interactive sleuthing process, so I’m putting out a call to all the cousins.

Here are the facts: One child from a previous marriage, fifteen children born of this union, one foster daughter.  Seventeen possibles but only fourteen children in the photo.

Below I’ve listed all of the Saucier children in order of their birth.  I’ve marked in red the people I could either positively ID or eliminate altogether.  By the time this photo was taken (1902-03), William would have been in his mid-thirties, long gone from the family hearth, Frederick had died in an accident, and Andrew died as an infant (cholera, or so the story goes).  Subtract those three, and we’ve come full circle to the number fourteen again.

William – Married with home of his own
Frederick – Deceased
Gertrude
Andrew – Deceased
Henrietta – Top row, fourth from left
Louise
Alexander – Center row, left
Clara
Anthony
James – Top row, far right
Benjamin
Florence
Josephine
Eugene – Bottom row, left
Charles – Bottom row, far right
Mabel – Bottom row, third from left
Ethel – Bottom row, second from left

So I’m asking for help with this project… mayday.

If you don’t instantly recognize your grandparent, grandaunts, or granduncles in this photo, do you have some old photos tucked away for comparisons?  Pester your brothers and sisters (I pester my sisters mercilessly, one of the perks of being the baby of the family).  Have they seen the photo?  If so, do they remember anything they were told at the time?  I do see one major stumbling block, Clara, who became a Daughter of Charity, no descendants to appeal to.  But if we can ID the other thirteen, all that’s left is Clara – beautiful.

Lastly, I’m not going to post the key, yet.  I don’t want to influence you this early in the game, and logic tells me that if you have a copy of the Saucier Family photo, you probably have a key of your own anyway.

Feel free to comment with your guesses, assumptions, or “I was told” stories.  If you’d like to chat privately, for whatever reason, just leave a comment saying ’email me’, and I’ll do just that.

Color me anticipating your input.

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5 thoughts on “May Day – Or In This Case… Mayday

  1. Margaret Cotrufo

    I’m so glad you posted this photo. I only recently saw this picture when someone (?Glen, ?Carol) sent it to me. I do not have the key so I looked in the census records for ages of the children. The 1900 census is difficult to read (bad handwriting) but I think Josephine would be 11 years old in 1903, so I don’t see an 11 year old in the photo. Here are the ages of the children in 1903: William 47; Frederick 39; Gertrude 37; Henrietta 33; Alexander 21; Clara 19; Anthony 17; James 16; Benjamin 14; Florence 13; Ethel 6; Eugene 10; Mable 4; Charles 8. The only children in the 1880 census are William, Frederick, Gertrude, Henrietta and none of them are in the 1900 census. There are 5 females in the 1900 census: Clara-16, Florence-10, Josephine-9, Ethel-3, Mable-1. There are 6 adult females in the picture but I don’t see six adult females in 1900 census. In 1903, Henrietta is 33; Gertrude 37, Clara 19, the rest are younger. Could the females on either end be spouses? I’m getting confused and this is getting long so I’ll quit for now. Are you sure the photo was taken in 1902/3. Maybe my math is wrong.

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    1. Jo Post author

      The exact year of the photo is certainly open to debate, but I have it on fairly good authority that the photo was taken at about that time.

      Hmm… Your ages of the Saucier children differ somewhat from what I have in my records (example: William was born in 1868 – about 35 yrs. old in ’03). I’ve looked at the 1880 & 1900 census for the children at home, and I agree with you, except… Frederick was already dead (died in 1893), and by her own account, Henrietta ended a failed marriage and returned home in ’02, remaining there through ’06. (see Henrietta’s Story: Part III).

      Your point about spouses appearing in the photo is a good one, an idea that had occurred to me as well. Anyone else want to weigh in on this possibility?

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  2. Jo Post author

    Let me also add this: My dad told a few stories of his early years at the Twin Springs farm, predictably, many of them revolved around his grandfather, Eugene. I remember him telling me that although some of the married uncles lived in the house, Eugene was the undisputed head of the household – for instance, when Eugene laid down his napkin at dinnertime, the meal was over. Period. My point here is that we know that some of the boys brought their wives home when they married. Are there any photos of the granduncles with their wives floating around out there?

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  3. Julie Thomas

    Hi! Eugene Saucier on the bottom left row is my great grandfather! I’ve done a lot of research on the Sauciers and visited Fort de Chartres. Mobile is next on my list! Would love to know more about you and how we’re related. Shoot me an email sometime.

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    1. Jo Post author

      Hey cousin! Glad you found this blog and I will definitely fire off an email. Looks to me like you’re my 2nd cousin once removed, but will fill you in on the details soon.

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