- From the Archives / De la part des Archives

Study: Teen’s knowledge of family history a sign of social-emotional health

By Michael Alison Chandler

Published: December 10, 2013 in the Washington Post

Teenagers who know their family histories are more likely to show higher levels of social and emotional health, according to a rare study that looked at how storytelling helps families function.

Psychologists from Emory University recorded family dinner conversations to learn more about how (or how much) families shared their stories. They found that greater knowledge of family history was associated with a host of positive outcomes for the teens, including better measures of self-esteem, a stronger belief in their capacity to control the future, lower levels of anxiety, fewer behavioral problems, more resilience in the event of hardship, better academic performance and better relationships with their parents.

“One of the big tasks of adolescence is deciding who you want to be in the world: occupation, religion, values, what kind of person do you want to be,” said psychologist Robyn Fivush, who co-authored the study, which was published in 2009. Family stories offer lessons that help teens shape their identities, she said.

So does that mean that studying up on family history will help your teen mature gracefully? The researchers said that it’s likely that the knowledge itself does not cause these benefits, but the fact that it reflects a cohesive family structure and systems that benefit the teens.

There is more to this article

on the internet see:


Hemmingford Athletic Association, early 1950’s.

Back row, left to right: Walter Smith, Allan Radley, Wilfred Kiernan, Maurice Patenaude, Jean Beliveau, Denis Clairmont, Edwin Keddy, Raoul Dumouchel, Jacques Viau.

Front row: Leonard Berthiaume, Harry Warner, Alister Somerville, Walter Keddy, Father Rene Langlois, Ben Berthiaume, Norman Fortin, Gilles Fortin.

Sixty Years Ago Already!

by Mary Ducharme 15/09/2011

Every now and then a photo turns up in the Archives that proves to be somewhat of a puzzle. Here is a group of men, and we know all their names (at least we think so, spellings uncertain for some), but what is the occasion of the photo? Where is it taken? When? Consulting with two area seniors who know the community, we may have found the answers. But we would welcome any further information that our readers may be able to provide.

From the information so far available, it appears that this was a banquet at the Frontier Inn in celebration of the installation of lighting in the ballfield behind Académie Langlois. It was no small feat since all the postholes had to be dug by hand, and anyone experienced in postholes knows there is sweat equity in that exercise. After work, Réal Menard brought his Shawinigan Power Company truck to hoist the poles and rig the wires.

The Athletic Association was very active in this era, playing to packed stands and loyal followers in the home field and in regional tournaments. They played softball and hockey. The Montreal Canadiens Hockey Team had a “fast ball” team that came to play the home boys in Hemmingford.

In the photo we find Alister Somerville; Father René Langlois who was pastor of St. Romain Parish; and Raoul Dumouchel who was the owner of the Frontier Inn at the time. Of the players, to the best recollection of our informants, it is believed that Wilfred Kiernan was manager; Edwin Keddy was captain; Marcel Fortin was left fielder; and Bill Hawkins (not in picture) was catcher.

Do you have any interesting stories to add about this photo or about the Athletic Association or sports events in this era? We would be delighted to add your information to our Archives collection.

Contact: Mary Ducharme at mducharme117@sympatico.ca


From the Archives

by Mary Ducharme 06/02/2011

The St. Jerome Bible Mystery

The four families of Ryans who came to Hemmingford beginning in the early 19th century are connected in intricate ways. These Irish Catholic farmers, some with roots traced to Tipperary and Wexford in the old country, often married French Catholics. The Irish-French marriages included the Curê/ Priest family, ancestors of Edmond Priest.

Catherine Fleming (1846 -1934) married William Ryan (1847 - 1936), and they lived in the log house on 462 Champlain Avenue with three children, none of whom had progeny. Researching this family at the request of Edmond Priest, Dan Mark found that Catherine Fleming’s brother Michael married Ann Ryan, a case of two siblings in each family marrying. Connection to the present Priest generation is through Ann.

The Bible of Catherine Fleming Ryan came into the possession of Edmond Priest, along with a large collection of papers and memorabilia yet to be studied. On the fly leaf of the Bible are hand-written records of family births, and other information, but it would take more research on the Hemmingford Ryans to shed light on the entire family history.

Aside from unidentified tintype photographs mounted in the Bible, is the mystery of references to the parish of St. Jerome. The earliest family entry is for Joseph Ryan, born April 17, 1878 followed by the words “Parish of St. Jerome.” The last entry on that page is the birth of Margaret E. Ryan, December 20, 1884, after which is written “Parish of St. Jerome all in Hemmingford.”

Yvon Paquette of the Archives checked St. Romain parish registers and found no clues for the reference to a Saint-Jerome parish. The children recorded in the Fleming Bible were all baptised in the Saint-Romain parish, but the records predate the present church building which officially opened in 1895. However, the name for the parish of Saint-Romain came from the 1853 consecration of the parish by Monseigneur Ignace Bourget on August 9, the feast day of St. Romain.

Previously there was a small fieldstone Catholic church built in 1840. Was this church known as “St. Jerome”? And did some families prefer to use the old name? Or were the Fleming Bible entries simply mistakes repeated? Is there some other explanation? It is hard to imagine devout Catholics in a small community not knowing the name of their own parish.

Further information is requested on the Ryan families; the St. Jerome reference; and the history of the house on 462 Champlain Avenue.

Contact: mducharme117@sympatico.ca. or Edmond Priest at edmondpri@hotmail.com

Le nez dans les Archives

Mary Ducharme

Translation by Michele Fairfield

Saint-Jérôme dans la Bible : un mystère

Les quatre familles Ryan établies à Hemmingford au début du XIXe siècle sont reliées de multiples façons. Ces agriculteurs irlandais catholiques, dont quelques-uns remontent à Tipperary et Wexford dans le vieux pays, ont souvent épousé des catholiques françaises. Les mariages entre Irlandais et Françaises comprennent la famille Curê/ Priest, ancêtres d’Edmond Priest.

Catherine Fleming (1846 -1934) a épousé William Ryan (1847 - 1936). Ils ont vécu dans la maison en bois rond du 462 de l’avenue Champlain avec leurs trois enfants, dont aucun n’a eu de progéniture. Dans ses recherches à la demande d’Edmond Priest, Dan Mark a découvert que Michael, le frère de Catherine Fleming, a épousé Ann Ryan. Un frère et une sœur d’une même famille ont donc épousé une sœur et un frère d’une autre. C’est Ann qui assurera le lien avec la génération actuelle des Priest.

La Bible de Catherine Fleming Ryan s’est retrouvée dans les mains d’Edmond Priest, avec toute une collection de documents et de souvenirs à étudier. Bien que la page de garde de la Bible renferme un compte rendu écrit des naissances et autres données, il faudrait plus de recherches sur les Ryan de Hemmingford pour mettre en lumière l’histoire de toute cette famille.

Outre quelques ferrotypes non identifiés dans la Bible, il y a le mystère des références à la paroisse de Saint-Jérôme. La première inscription est pour Joseph Ryan, né le 17 avril

1878, avec les mots « Paroisse Saint-Jérôme ». La dernière inscription concerne la naissance de Margaret E. Ryan le 20 décembre 1884, toujours avec l’inscription « Paroisse Saint-Jérôme à Hemmingford. »

Yvon Paquette des Archives a vérifié les registres de la paroisse de Saint-Romain et n’a trouvé aucune référence à une paroisse Saint-Jérôme. Les enfants inscrits dans la Bible des Fleming ont tous été baptisés à la paroisse Saint-Romain, mais les registres sont antérieurs à l’édifice actuel de l’église, dont l’ouverture officielle a eu lieu en 1895. Toutefois, la paroisse Saint-Romain a reçu son nom de Monseigneur Ignace Bourget le 9 août 1853, jour de la fête de Saint-Romain.

Auparavant, il y avait une petite église catholique en pierre des champs, construite en 1840. Portait-elle le nom de Saint-Jérôme? Est-ce que certaines familles ont préféré utiliser l’ancien nom? Ou alors les inscriptions dans la Bible des Fleming étaient-elles tout simplement une série d’erreurs? Y a-t-il une autre explication? On imagine mal que les catholiques dévots d’une petite communauté n’auraient pas connu le nom de leur propre paroisse.

Il faudra davantage d’information sur les familles Ryan. Sur la référence à Saint-Jérôme. Et sur l’histoire de la maison sise au 462 de l’avenue Champlain.

Contact: mducharme117@sympatico.ca. ou Edmond Priest : edmondpri@hotmail.com