Bulletin Ÿ Newsletter

September, 2001


Editor: Jan Dorn

Co-Editor: Marlyss Hernandez

Member of the Month Column: Marlyss Hernandez

Trivia & Humor: "Chippewa Falls Finest", Dot Giessler

Translators: Alain Gariépy & André Dufresne


RV-2003 _Reunion Update

AIFR _ Rivard Association Report

Dorothy Geissler _ Voted October's FMOTM

Autobio of Jim LaCourciere _ September's FMOTM

A Thanksgiving Letter

September's Forum News & Topic Highlights

September's Chat News & Topic Highlights

Chef Rivard _ The Rivard Kitchen

A Little Bit of Humor & Trivia

The Editors Corner



There isn't a lot to report from the RV 2003 committee. Larry and his group have been tossing around a few ideas among themselves in regards to the paper and prop end of things. They haven't gotten to any of the "fun stuff" planning yet. Their discussions have been centered on the Registration Book and the forms that will go inside of it, banners, & name-tags.

Earlier this year a suggestion was made by Lorraine that we have tables set up for each of the dit names for sharing family information. This suggestion is under consideration and distinguishing the different tables by the use of table cloths & uniform banners with the color-code of the various dit names. By making these banners & table cloths uniform they can be shared with the 2004 reunion planning committee. At this point we still do not have a total list of colors. If anyone out there has a list they can share with us, it would be appreciated.

The next thing on the reunion committee's agenda has been name-tags. Marlyss is currently working on those. In the name-tag discussions it was brought up that doing a lineage and attaching it to the name tag might be an interesting and novel idea. If anyone has any opinions on anything they'd like to see and/or do at the RV_2003 reunion, please feel free to contact Az. Larry at: larlorlac@aol.com



By André Dufresne

The A.I.F.R. is putting the final touch to its reunion scheduled for November 24th in the Parish Hall of Batiscan.

After a good meal the participants will hear a conference by René Lévesque, the famous archeologist who discovered Champlain's tomb.

Mr. Lévesque will start with an account of the first encounter of Samuel de Champlain with Indian Grand Chief Patishkan, whose name is remembered in the River and Town of Batiscan. He will then tell us how he was called upon to do a superficial search of the presumed site of Nicolas Rivard's house in Batiscan, where he did find 17th century artifacts: glass sherds, Indian pottery, a nail, a knife and a fork, etc. He will then talk about a thorough search that he performed many years ago on an Indian site located on the very plot of land that once belonged to Nicolas Rivard.

Mr. Lévesque will conclude with a few words about the forthcoming celebrations of the 400th centenary of the foundation of Québec City in 2008.

Meanwhile work is proceeding swiftly on the next issue of La Rivardière, which should be in the mail on October 31st. The last articles were sent to be translated on the 20th, and on the same date Benoît Rivard, La Rivardière's Publisher, and André Dufresne, its editor, were representing the A.I.F.R. at a seminar organized by the Fédération québécoise des familles-souche (Québec Federation of root families). Benoît was in the "family bulletins" workshop while André attended the "family association regulations" workshop. The Federation groups 162 family associations with about 25 000 members. It has 8 full-time and 3 part-time employees and it offers a gamut of services to family associations, from editing, publishing and distributing family bulletins to photocopying microfilms and old documents, organizing courses, seminars and special events and it offers all kinds of assistance to family associations.

André sprained an ankle a forthnight ago while carrying wood for his fireplace. Needless to say, he had to slow down considerably all activities.



By Marlyss Hernandez

Our October Forum Member of the Month is our own Trivia and Humor Expert, Dot Geissler. Dot is also referred to as "Chippewa Fall's Finest". That's because she lives in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Dot claims she doesn't contribute much to the forum, but no one can match her humor or trivia facts. We have all learned a great deal about Napoleon and our ancestor's native country of France from Dot's "Dijano" messages. Most of us, I'm sure, didn't know what she tells us. A few months ago she even came up with 11 or 12 reasons why the cousins should not vote for her. It was discovered that Dot has a problem numbering items, (she missed a number in her list) but her missing that number and her list didn't keep the cousins from voting her as October's Forum Member of the Month. So Congratulations, Dot and we'll be looking forward to reading all about you next month.



By Marlyss Hernandez

Our September Forum Member of the Month hails from the state of Wisconsin. Jim says that he "plays" with genealogy as it gives him a sense of what our forefathers had to go through to survive. He finds it interesting to see the trends in marriages and "what they had to go through as far as the moor's of society are concerned." In answer to how does his family feel about his interest in genealogy, Jim says that being a single person has its advantages. He can do whatever he wants to do, so there is no problems there. Some of his children are interested in the family history, whereas others are not. He may become a mentor for his granddaughter who is showing some signs of interest in genealogy.

Jim is still searching for that most important piece of documentation. His grandfather died on August 18, 1907 leaving his wife with six children. The youngest was only 8 days old. She was baptized on August 28, 1907 and then "she fell off the face of the earth". The fifth child had been born on October 10, 1906 and was only ten months old when the sixth child was born and the father died. This leads Jim to assume that since his grandmother had five children under the age of five that she may have given the youngest child away. His grandmother never remarried and no one knows what happened to the sixth child.

No records after her baptism can be found.

Jim reports that he has found no pirates or closet ghosts during his research. There isn't even any oral history of any in his family.

The most valuable resources in Jim's research were old newspapers and the census. And how did he find all his cousins on the Rivard Forum? It was by looking for "Rivard" and following the links until he came upon the forum.

The person who has helped Jim the most in his research is not a member of the forum. This person gave Jim a lot of information on the Lacours/ciere family and Jim's line within that family.

The other names that Jim is researching are Jensen, Jorgensen, and Olson on his mother's side and the Plante family name on his father's side.


I was born in Oconto, Wisconsin on March 1, 1937 and was an only child until I was nine years old or thereabouts. We lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from the age of two till nine plus. We moved back to Oconto when I was almost ten and lived right on the Green Bay. I had to peddle my bike the preverbal three miles to St. Joseph School in Oconto. No school buses then and my mother had my two brothers to watch out for. I ran a trap line in the fall and had a motor boat and a rowboat to go fishing in, in the summer. To earn money I used to take vacationers out fishing, as I knew all the good spots for yellow belly perch. The trap line provided money for whatever else I wanted. I had all the hunting and fishing a boy could want.

From Oconto, Wisconsin we moved out to Livermore, California. We lived there for three years and then moved back to Milwaukee. That was a culture shock and a half. It was a worse culture shock moving back to Wisconsin and seeing how backwards it was and this is from a fourteen-year-old.

I went to Pious High School from my sophomore year to my senior year and graduated in 1955. My freshman year was spent in California. My schooling years were spread out in six different schools so I got a broad education in different schools.

My father was a house to house salesman and that is all I heard for as long as I can remember. I started selling house to house when I was seven years old. My dad wanted me to continue in this field of work but I just did it to get money quickly. When you are fifteen and go out and make a hundred dollars for a few hours of talking /selling there was no need of thinking ahead to what you wanted to do.

When I got out of high school, I did a little selling for spending money. I eventually went to work for Wisconsin Bell which was a telephone company and a subsidiary of AT&T. This was only going to be a temporary job, as I did not know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I worked there for almost thirty-nine years until the company made me an offer that I could not refuse and I retired at the age fifty- seven. I had a variety of jobs with the company from a mail room boy to Service Manger.

When I retired in 1994 I went back to school and got an Associated degree in Financial Planning. This was a two- year coarse and I used this for my own edification. The way the market is going nothing is doing very well.

For relaxation I like to do remodeling on houses. Right now I am working on a six-bedroom Victorian that I bought in Oconto and that needs some TLC. I am getting too old to make the three a.m. trip downstairs to the bathroom so I am putting a bathroom in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

I got married in 1957 and had five children: three girls and two boys. We started out all right with a boy then a girl another boy and then another girl but lost the voting rights with another girl. I now have nine grand children and three great grand children. The kids are scattered. I have a daughter in Oregon, I think, a son in the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin area, a daughter in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and a son and daughter in the U. P. of Michigan.

I lived in the city of Milwaukee and the house was getting too small with all of the kids and I wanted to get out in the country. We bought a four-bedroom home on five and one half acres out in the country and lived there for five years. In 1976 we moved from there to a bigger farm on fifty-three acres and I started raising veal calves and horses. Did you ever have three girls and one horse? It just doesn't work. I bought a stallion and started raising Appaloosa horses. Had as high as twenty-eight horses at one time.

I got divorced in 1984 and did a lot of traveling after that. Been on cruises to the Caribbean and up to Alaska, plus I did a lot of traveling in the United States. Best cruise I was ever on was a Barefoot cruise out of Granada. For you that don't know what these are they are schooners and they carry a small number of passengers, anywhere from forty to one hundred people plus crew. They go to the smaller islands where the big cruise ships don't go and they travel at night so you get a chance to spend the full day on the island doing what you want. They also have some excellent fruit punch.

I really have no plans for the future unless I finish this house and get bored. Then I will do as I always do ---do what I want and enjoy life.

Thank you, Jim, for sharing your interests and a part of your life with us.



"A Thanksgiving Letter"

By Susan Bellefeuille (AKA: Susie Q.)

We'd like to take this opportunity to wish our Canadian cousins a Happy Thanks giving. While they celebrate Thanksgiving on the 8th of October, we in the US celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday in November. Although we have a border between us, we both celebrate in much the same manner. The tradition meal in both our countries is still turkey, ham, and all of the yummy trimmings that go hand in hand with them. Another tradition that remains the same for Canadians and Americans alike is the need to reflect upon how many things we are truly thankful for. Susie Q., (AKA: Susan Bellefeuille) expressed them quite eloquently in a message to the chat that I feel is worthwhile sharing with everyone:

Subject: You are all true blessings!

…"I'm a really lucky person, yep I suddenly really realized today that for all of life's ups and downs; and believe me, I have had my share (along with the many other souls on this planet) I'm truly lucky and blessed; and now I'm going to slow down and start appreciating my life and the lives of others who touch mine in so many positive ways.

I just came from a Doctor's appointment, "the usual getting my tires kicked". My doctor told me that she was feeling rather depressed - because people (mainly people driving cars, but all people) were so aggressive and thoughtless. She said she just couldn't figure out why people today had such a lack of regard, not only for their lives, but for the lives of others, that they just had to charge through an intersection or pass someone illegally, or drive too fast just to get there first. ‘First for exactly what'? she said. GOOD POINT.

It got me to thinking, you know we all go too fast, we are racing with life and for what exactly? The more I pondered about it, the more it became apparent to me that not only do we race with life, we seem to do battle with it; and in this constant struggle we seem to forget, or just plain old ignore it's moments of sweetness and joy. There are so many moments in the past that I can look back on, that were absolutely the sweetest, never to be repeated, stored forever in my memory and I hope there will be many, many more to come.

This Thanksgiving I'm going to be grateful for my mother and my two brothers; for the friends who have graced my life over the years with their presence's, adding their spark and zest to mine.

But I' am going to be particularly grateful for the wonderful people on this forum that I have had the absolute pleasure and joy of jesting, bantering and conversing with, on every known and unknown topic available. Each and everyone of you has added such great pleasure to my life, in ways you cannot even imagine.

So I will read with great care! when viewing all your messages, be they serious, funny or one worded and will be eternally grateful for each and everyone of your lives, for what true blessings they are to me. Thank you"




By Marlyss Hernandez

The messages came a bit slower this month with only 762 messages sent. Our number of cousins on the forum has increased to 306 members online. I do hope our new cousins who have just joined us will identify yourselves and let us know how we can help you in your genealogical search.

ATTACK ON THE WTC: This awful event has most definitely affected all the cousins on both sides of the border and "across the pond" in England. Most of us were glued to the television for the better part of a week watching the aftermath, and thus our messages on genealogy decreased and our messages of consolation increased. Many walked the floor with Cousin Peg while she waited for word about her daughter who worked in the World Trade Center. We were all relieved when word came that Peg's daughter was not in the office or the building at the time of the attack. Our prayers and heart felt sadness went out to all who lost loved ones in the area and for those loved ones who will be or are presently involved in finding the perpetrators of this horrible deed. We have learned that our country, along with other countries of the free world, is not immune to terrorist attacks that kill thousands of people at one time and this is scary. It brings a new heighten awareness to our safety and what our freedoms really mean to us. Let us never forget what happened on September 11, 2001.

BIRTHS: A boy, Shane Allan, to Brent & Dani Birkeland, nephew of Marlyss Hernandez was born on September 12.

BIRTHDAY GREETINGS went out to Liane on Sept. 2, Jean Guy on the 15th, and Ann on the 26th.

ANNIVERSARY GREETINGS went to Lorraine and Glenn Naze on the event of their 58 years of being together on the 28th of September.

PRAYERS & CONDOLENCES were sent to Rober Rivard in Hawaii on the lost of his brother-in-law, Rene Lagasse, (and on the crash of his computer) and to Steve Loranger on the lose of his sister, Ann Loranger Spillane. The news of Ann's death hit fairly hard because many of us met Ann in Three Rivers the summer of 2000.


DATABASE UPDATED: The database has been updated and now contains 43,459 persons, 17,108 families, and 6,344 surnames.

VIRUS: A warning went out to beware of the W32 Nimda @MM virus and also a WTC Vote worm virus. Some members also received the Snow White, Dwarf 4 you.exe, Sexy Virgin.scr and Lettre a cath.pif. These are real and must be deleted without opening.

OBITS: Henri Lanouette sent at least 45 obituaries to the forum this month. Nickie, Helen Hlavinka, Alain, and Lorraine also sent in obits of Rivard relatives.

RIVARD BIRTHS from California were listed and sent to the forum by Jean Guy.

1900 CENSUS: from California and Connecticut on the Rivards was listed by Jean Guy. Dawn continues to work on this census also. The California births are listed in message # 22609, 22622, and 22623 The CT births are listed in messages # 22586 and 22587.

DEATH RECORDS: of Rivards in AZ to CO message # 22706, from CT to ME deaths in CA message # 22709, from MN and MO who died in CA message # 22710, ND to WA deaths in CA message # 22711 were also posted. These can be found in the archives. CA deaths of Lanouette's from 1940 to 1997 were also listed.

NICOLAS' SIGNATURE: Andre listed several samples of Nicolas' signature in message number 22814. These are samples of his signature in 1653, 1669, and 1697. This sparked much discussion as to when did he learn to write his name, who taught him, and could he also read. It is unknown who taught him and when he learned to write his name. It is doubtful that he could read. Andre has gotten permission from the Vicar General of the Diocese of Three Rivers to see and copy pages from the Batiscan churchwarden's first minute book.

INFORMATION LINK: for Franco-American Research can be found in message 23094.

TO FIND A MESSAGE: go to this URL http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rivard_ forum/messages and type in the message number in the little box on the right.


Pat wants to know about the Rivards in Lowell, MA.

VOYAGEURS OF MI & WI: were listed in message number 23170. Jan also sent some URL's for the fur traders.

FAMILY CREST: The month ended with an inquiry about the Rivard family crest. The Association of International Rivard Families sell one for five (Canadian) dollars. Also a coat of arms web site was give for those who may wish to check that out.

Andre shared his experience of searching and how his patience has paid off and the rewards of never giving up or letting the discouragement of not finding what we seek stop us from continuing our searching. And with that, I wish all of you happy searching.


September Chat Topics & Highlights

Reported by t-tiger

Despite the fact that the Hard Drive in Dottie's computer "bit the dust" chat messages continued to flow through the chat forum. Although, I have to admit it was pretty darn quiet for a week. Just as in the past months the subject lines have varied from political to comical to how we cousins prepare for the winter, with a few jpg's tossed in to spice up the pot a little bit.

What you always wanted to know, but were never foolish enough to ask:


The date of the attack: 9/11--- 9+1+1=11
September 11th is the 254th day of the year: 2+5+4=11
After September 11th there are 111 days left to the end of the year
119 is the area code to Iraq/Iran. 1 + 1 + 9 -- 11
Twin Towers - standing side by side, looked like the number 11
The first plane to hit the towers was Flight 11

There's more..........

State of New York - the 11th state added to the union.
New York City - 11 letters
Afghanistan - 11 letters
The Pentagon - 11 letters
Ramzi Yousef (convicted of orchestrating the attack on the WTC of l993) - 11 letters
Flight 11 - 92 on Board - 9 + 2 =11
Flight 77 - 65 on board - 6 + 5 =11

HELPFUL HINTS: How to remove salt stains from your boots: So you want to remove those salt stains from your leather shoes/boots? Try wiping them gently with a soft cloth dipped in a solution of 1 TBS white vinegar and 1 cup water. [Advice from Peg] If the above solution doesn't work, you can always take Denise's advice and buy another pair!

PHOTOS SHARED: Peggy shared two very nice photos of Denise and J.G.L. taken at their "mini meet" in Montréal last August. The photos were delightful and it was certainly nice to be able to put a face to the cousin. It was also suggested that we do this more often as a way to get to know each other a little better.

SPEECH BUBBLES … dating and personalizing photos was another topic of discussion when Jan asked the group for suggestions for dialog to add to the above mentioned photos. She has been known to ruin a perfectly lovely photo by inserting characters and speech bubbles to them. (See photo on left) When asked … Jan recommended an inexpensive, user friendly, software program that can be purchased at the same time you purchase Kodak photo paper. This program is called: Kodak Inkjet Picture Kit - Photo Print Software. Along with allowing you to add text and graphics to your photos templates are provided which allow you to print several photos to a page. Besides being a fun program to play with you can also use it to personalize your greeting cards. With the holidays only a few months away it is some- thing cousins may want to consider. Anyone wishing an original of the two photos sent to the chat by Peggy, I have saved them and would be happy to send them to you by request. They are in a jpg picture format.

A CHANGING OF THE SEASONS: Along with changing of the seasons a discussion took place on how the cousins living in various regions of the US and Canada prepare for the winter in their respective locations. While those of us living in the northwestern portion of the country prepare for snow, Marlyss in Florida prepares for the hurricane season.



We received a message from Chef Rivard that he was unable to send us a recipe for this month's issue of the Newsletter due to the activities in his kitchen. It seems that he and all of his staff have been diligently preparing goodies for the Thanksgiving holiday in Canada.



The first known item made from aluminum was a rattle - made for Napoleon III in the 1850s. Napoleon also provided his most honored guests with knives and forks made of pure aluminum. At the time, the newly discovered metal was so rare, it was considered more valuable than gold.



A beggar walked up to a well dressed woman shopping on Rodeo Drive and said "I haven't eaten anything in four days." She looked at him and said, "God, I wish I had your willpower."




Judy was having trouble with her computer. So she called Tony, the computer guy, over to her desk. Tony clicked a couple buttons and solved the problem. As he was walking away, Judy called after him, "So, what was wrong?"

And he replied, "It was an ID Ten T Error."

A puzzled expression ran riot over Judy's face. "An ID Ten T Error? What's that... in case I need to fix it again??"

He gave her a grin... "Haven't you ever heard of an ID Ten T Error before?"

"No," replied Judy.

"Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out."

(She wrote...) I D 1 0 T

This month's computer tip was sent to the Newsletter by Sandy Rivard … Thank you, Sandy



There isn't much to report from this editor for the month. As usual, I've been spreading myself a bit thin attempting to do more than I am capable of and TRYING TO DO IT all at the same time. My desk truly "runneth over" with projects waiting for my attention. One of these projects is to find and add more features to our newsletter. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions on what topics they like to learn more about, please let me know.

Until Next Month

Be kind to one another & keep smiling