The following is a synopsis of some of my research that may answer a mystery concerning two young girls with the surname Senecal. I made mention of this mystery in a recent blog titled “An Unknown Town”.
—- Keith Schmidt
1840 Redwood, Jefferson County, NY
In the 1840 census Anthony and Catherine Ladue have one daughter between the ages of 10 and 14 years old. In 1840 people are identified by ages. The other children listed show up in later years with names. This one does not, at least not directly. I named her MM Ladue, born between 1826 and 1830.
Stephen and Euphrosine Senecal have a son named Patrice, likewise in the 1840 census. He is the only 16 year old male. (Patrice is a French form of Late Roman Patricius). In America we would translate it as Patrick. The website behindthename.com was helpful here. I gave Patrice the wrong gender prior to finding his baptismal record. He was baptized in St-Ce’saire, Quebec in 1824. After I corrected his gender things started to fit like a hand in the glove.
MM Ladue and Patrice Senecal are never found again at or after the 1855 census. Two girls with the Senecal surname do show up, but without parents.
1855 Constantia, NY
Charles and Olive Ladue have a niece living with them. The Ladue family came from Jefferson County. The niece is Mary Senecal, she was born in Jefferson County in 1848. Charles would be the brother of MM Ladue. Anthony and Catherine Ladue, now in Cleveland, have a grand-daughter living with them. Her name is Mellissa Senecal, she was born in Jefferson County in 1850. Anthony and Catherine are the parents of Charles and MM Ladue. The two girls both state they have been in Cleveland for 9 months, Charles for 4 years and Anthony for 9 months. The oldest girl is 7 years of age and the youngest is 5.
May 2016 Constantia, NY
I know the age is right for Patrice and MM to have children of Mary’s and Mellissa’s age. I know Patrice and MM are not seen again in anything I can find. I looked up the name Patrice in three French records and find no evidence that the name would be anything other than masculine. I know that a female Ladue would have to marry a Senecal for the last name of the girls to be Senecal and for the Ladue family to take them in as niece and grand-daughter. I know that both families were living in the same town. I see the two family’s given names repeat in every generation. Everything points to Patrice Senecal and MM Ladue uniting in marriage on or about 1847 and having two daughters before their death in the fall of 1854.
These are my findings concerning the two Senecal girls. My conclusion, right or wrong, is based mostly on the numeric. I have seen no marriage certificate or death certificate; be that as it may I think I will pronounce Patrice Senecal and MM Ladue husband and wife and be done with it.
—- eof —