Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Greg.

Greg Lavoie became a WikiTreer in April of this year.  He is currently involved in the Canadian History, Connectors, French Roots, Notables, Québécois, Slavic Roots, and Ukrainian Roots projects.  As a member of the French Roots Project, he’s presently focused on Presidents of France, French Notables, and Ancestry of Catherine de Baillon mini-projects.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

I’m currently researching the names Brasseur, Breisch, Decker, and Trinteler.

What are some of the locations you are researching:

I’m currently conducting research in the Ardennes, Eure, Oise, and Seine-Maritime departments in France and the Hainaut and Luxembourg provinces in Belgium.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

I’ve always had some interest in my family’s history.  My family constructed a rudimentary tree when I was young.  It included most of my great-great grandparents, although in some cases with little more than their names.  I began more earnest genealogical research in June 2015, shortly after my grandmother, Irene (Labrecque) Cuvellier, passed away.  I joined WikiTree more recently to publicly share my research and to see how I connect to the global family tree.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My favorite ancestor is my great-grandfather, Grégoire Szyło.  When I was a child, my French grandmother, Antoinette,  used to tell me many interesting stories about him.  She stated that her father was passing through her hometown of Époye, France and needed a place to stay.  Her mother, Lucie Thiérart, was an inn-keeper at the time and that is how they met.  Of course, this raised the obvious question: Where had Grégoire come from if he wasn’t from the area?  My grandmother indicated that he had gone to Eastern Europe when she was young to serve in some capacity in one of the wars at the time.  This seemed to be a very strong hint that he had Eastern European origins.

I eventually identified the village of his birth to be Rumno, Galicia, Austria-Hungary, (now Hrimne, Ukraine).  Realizing that there was a relevant record set on FamilySearch that required in-person viewing at a Family History Center, I went this past January to my local center for the first time to solve the mystery.  I was delighted to find his baptism record quickly and have since traced back his ancestry a few generations in the same record set.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

Locating Grégoire’s baptism record was the most rewarding brick wall that I have broken through.  As for prospects, I am hoping to some day break through the brick wall that is my fourth great grandfather, lighthouse keeper Charles Hambelton. His life in Québec is well documented, including records for his three marriages (he was twice widowed), baptism acts for his 19 children, his burial, and even a few letters and other documents that have been posted online.  Unfortunately, we still don’t have a lot of detail surrounding his birth.  Later attestations of his age indicate that he was born between 1762 and 1766, and later secondary sources refer to him as having Scottish background.

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

It would have been interesting if I had a discovered that either Françoise Rose Otis or Paul Nathaniel Otis had been a direct ancestor among my Québécois roots.  They were originally from Dover, New Hampshire, but due to an Abenaki raid they were both taken to New France, where they married, raised children and lived out the rest of their days.  This would have been an interesting way to bring my New England roots back a couple centuries, and it would have added some PGM ancestry to the mix.  The first of my ancestors to settle in the USA did so much later, in 1890.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Genealogy is the hobby that currently takes up most of my free time.  I also like to read and listen to audio books.  My to-do list also includes studying and improving my French language skills.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?  Are there any projects/challenges are you involved in? What do you enjoy doing?

I joined WikiTree in early April.  I’m currently involved in the Canadian History, Connectors, French Roots, Notables, Québécois, Slavic Roots, and Ukrainian Roots projects.  As a member of French Roots, I’m currently working with Isabelle Rassinot on the Presidents of France, French Notables, and Ancestry of Catherine de Baillon mini-projects, all of which have been very rewarding so far.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

My favorite aspect of WikiTree is that we’re attempting to build a global family tree.  I also like the fact that there is a very helpful and collaborative community involved in many interesting projects.

The biggest downside so far has been the rather large number of unsourced profiles that continue to populate the tree.  There are also many duplicate profiles on the site, so it’s a bit difficult to get a true sense of the number of unique individuals currently in the global tree.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

I was hesitant to begin posting on the G2G when I first started.  In retrospect, this hesitancy was not well founded.  There are many committed community members who are there to help you.  It’s a great way to get your questions answered and participate in various projects and challenges on the site.


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  4 Responses to “Meet our Members: Greg Lavoie”

  1. Isn’t it interesting that sometimes our quest for family knowledge occurs after a death in the family? Same thing happened to me.

    Also, I thank you for helping me with the Vachon line!


  2. Hello Greg
    I am wondering if your tree has a tied into the Tardif family,i have 31 LAVOIE,in my tree
    Lucienne Lavoie married my Charles-Eugene Tardif,he was born 6/13/1912 married 10/10/1932 Saint-Juste-du-lac,Temiscouata,Quebec,Canada

    I have found quite a few of my Hill family that lived in Canada,and most of my Tardif as well,but i have followed them back to France, what threw me off is when my Tardif came here in 1920 the people doing the paperwork replaced the F with an E this made them Tardie,I do have Marie Lavoie born 4//1657 Aytre,Aunis,France

  3. I am researching my family tree . I have need for ancestors or descendants of Pierre Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville. His wife was Chretienne Souart. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all. Garry William Mandevill(e).

  4. Would you know anything of the officers who were with lasalle and his attempt to set up a fort in Saint Louis. i know there was a mazerolle and aa Jean Roy. What happened to these soldiers after the muitiny?

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