Tips and Tricks

Tips, tricks, and ideas to help with your genealogy research. Explore these posts to find new ways of researching for those elusive ancestors and breaking through brick walls.


A Tale of Two Beautiful Roses from the Civil War Era

In looking for further information on Francis Cyr born as Francois Cyr, a Civil War Soldier from Van Buren,(using:, I found that he was married to Mary Belrose in Augusta, Maine on 21 September or 11 October 1863. I took the later date as most it highly likely it was when he got married and the former when he filed intentions. In the 1870 Census, he is residing in Augusta with his wife Mary. I decided to look for Mary Belrose in the 1860 Census and I found a Mary A Belrose with a Eleanor Belrose, Cyrus Belrose and Lizzie B. Hollaway residing in the same household. For the time being I tried in vain to find more information on her but could not.

I then continued to work on the soldiers until I got to William Duke born as Guillaume Duc, also from Van Buren, I found an index card with all his information on and it stated he was discharged in Augusta, Maine, I could not find him in the 1870 Census, I next tried in 1880 and found him with his wife Nora and son Willie. It states that she and her parents were born in Canada, then by looking at surrounding individuals that were born or had parents born in New Brunswick meant that Nora and parents probably were from Quebec.

Was she the same Eleanor Belrose I found in Augusta 20 years earlier? Eleanor and Nora do sound alike and after all they were just a year apart. My next step, I then proceeded to find who Mary A. Belrose was and had also a daughter named Eleanor or Nora or Laura. I searched for Bellefleurs. They were Bellefleur’s in the St. John Valley both sides of the river but I was not getting anywhere with that possibility. I tried using the Drouin Collection in Quebec to find information on an Eleonore Bellerose born in 1855 +/- 5 years old. I found a Louise Leona Bellerose born on the 03 Jun in 1855 and baptized on the 4th in St-Francois-du-lac, Yamaska County, Quebec and she did have a mother named Marie Anne with a maiden name of Lafleur.

I had found earlier another web site: that had information on the Bellerose family. On the homepage, I searched for anything by her surname of Marie Anne Lafleur and with a husband Francois Bellerose and found them listed as: Lafleur, M.A and Meunier-Bellerose, Francois. They had a family group sheet. She had two older sisters who died at a day old and a younger brother of two years with no death date and it also stated the father dying about 2.5 months after the youngest brother was born.

The clincher was I mentioned to Dennis in a conversation after finding her baptism and stated her full name at baptism was Louise Leona, he said without hesitation that Leona was the Portuguese equivalent of Eleanor. It was then set in concrete with the variants that I found in earlier searches as mentioned above.

As to the beautiful roses in the title of the article, it goes to first to Bellerose, Louise Leona’s maiden name and her mother Marie-Anne’s married name. Her mother’s maiden name was Lafleur means the flower and lastly to her husband’s original name of Meunier meaning Miller and what did they mill, flour, not the same spelling but sounds the same.

Allen J. Voisine