What exactly does a genealogy translator do?

Marie-Joseph Mecure remains a mystery. According to the Tanguay Dictionary, she was  baptized in Cap-Sante, Quebec in 1711 and married in 1738 in Cap-Saint-Ignace. Thus far, it’s wrong on both counts: a search of Cap Sante’s baptismal records does not include Marie-Joseph, although the book is nearly unreadable from bleed through, and her 1738 marriage isn’t in Cap-Saint-Ignace, but in Cap-Sante.

So how do I find out where Marie-Joseph was born? It’s probably worth taking a second look at her marriage record to make sure we haven’t missed details. This is where my translation skills become helpful.

The first step of any translation is viewing the  original document.

d13p_31101402

Next, we transcribe the document to make sure that we’ve correctly included and identified every word. Please note that I am skipping accents as the English version of WordPress doesn’t easily offer them.

Mariage de Francois Charest et de Marie Joseph Mercure

L’an mil sept cent trente huit le vingt neuf d’octobre apres la publication de trois bans de marriage [unclear word] trois dimanches consecutifs entre Francois Charest fils de [unclear word – other sources suggest Jean] Charest et de Catherine Jobidon ses pere et mere de la paroisse Ste. Anne d’une part, et Marie Joseph Mercure fille de Francois Mercure et de Marie Gerraut ses pere et mere de cette paroisse d’une autre part, vu de la certification de [number unclear] bans faites par Messire Joseph Voyer Cure de Ste Anne sans qu’il se soit decouvert aucun empechment au [second word overwritten, possibly le] mariage. Nous sousigne pretre [fait? – last letter obscured] les fonctions curiator dans la paroisse de la Ste Famille Baronie de Port Neuf leur avons donne la benediction nuptial en presence de Jean Charest pere de l’epoux et d’Antoine Charest son frere et de Francois Mercure pere de la [corrected] l’epouse et de Joseph et Pierre Mercure ses freres, et d’Angelique Mercure, sa soeur et de Louis Chartier, lesquels ont declare ne savoir signer de se enquis [two unreadable words] excepte le epouse, Francois Mercure, et Louis Chartier qui ont signe avec nous [two unreadable words] faute les jures etant que dessus.

Those missing words on the last line make its meaning hard to determine, but based on the transcription, we can make a quick translation:

Mariage de Francois Charest et de Marie Joseph Mercure

The marriage of Francois Charest and Marie Joseph Mercure

L’an mil sept cent trente huit le vingt neuf d’octobre

29 October 1738

apres la publication de trois bans de marriage [unclear word] trois dimanches consecutifs

after the publication of three banns of marriage [likely on] three consecutive Sundays

entre Francois Charest fils de [unclear word – other sources suggest Jean] Charest et de Catherine Jobidon ses pere et mere de la paroisse Ste. Anne d’une part, et Marie Joseph Mercure fille de Francois Mercure et de Marie Gerraut ses pere et mere de cette paroisse d’une autre part,

between Francois Charest son of [Jean] Charest and Catherine Jobidon his mother and father of the parish of Ste Anne, first, and Marie Joseph Mercure daughter of Francois Mercure and Marie Gerraut her mother and father of this parish, second,

vu de la certification de [number unclear] bans faites par Messire Joseph Voyer Cure de Ste Anne sans qu’il se soit decouvert aucun empechment au [second word overwritten, possibly le] mariage.

given the certification of [some of number] of banns made by Mr. Joseph Voyer, curate of Ste Anne, without discovering any reason the marriage should not occur.

Nous sousigne pretre [fait? – last letter obscured] les fonctions curiator dans la paroisse de la Ste Famille Baronie de Port Neuf leur avons donne la benediction nuptial

We the undersigned priest, fulfilling the function of curate in the parish of the Holy Family in the Barony of Port Neuf, gave them the nuptial blessing

en presence de Jean Charest pere de l’epoux et d’Antoine Charest son frere et de Francois Mercure pere de la [corrected] l’epouse et de Joseph et Pierre Mercure ses freres, et d’Angelique Mercure, sa soeur et de Louis Chartier,

in the presence of Jean Charest, father of the groom, and of Antoine Charest, his [groom’s] brother, and of Francois Mercure, father of the bride, and of Joseph and Pierre Mercure her brothers, and of Angelique  Mercure, her sister, and of Louis Chartier.

The last section explains that most of the family did not know how to write, and thus could not sign their names.

What did we learn new about Marie -Joseph?

  1. Her parents’ names
  2. Her siblings’ names
  3. The parish they attended…

A full translation of the document was very much worth our time and effort.

Interested in French to English translation? Use the contact form below.

 

 

 

 

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Published by

Bryna O'Sullivan

A Connecticut-based professional genealogist, I love working with beginners of all backgrounds. I also do specialty research in Connecticut and Luxembourg-American genealogy.

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