Monday, August 21, 2006

NEW ENGLAND TRIP, DAY 2: Bergevin Genealogy

Monday was my mother’s day to reminisce. We spent most of the day in Winchendon, Massachusetts, where she was born and spent summer vacations as a child. We also drove through Hubbardston, East Templeton and South Ashburnham.

The big draw in Hubbardston: a giant rock painted like a watermelon. (It’s a small town.) The rock sits in front of the home of my great aunt (Gertrude Bergevin’s sister), who lives along Route 68 near the town line. It was originally painted to resemble a steak during the Great Depression.

The nearby towns of East Templeton and South Ashburnham were home to my Bergevin ancestors. Gertrude Abbie Bergevin, my great grandmother, was the oldest daughter of Pierre Donat Sibiam Bergevin and Stella Collester Felt. Pierre was born on April 30, 1885 in Sainte-Martine, Quebec. He was naturalized as a United States citizen on December 24, 1919, in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and was known thereafter as Daniel Peter Bergevin. He died in August 1959.

Daniel & Stella Bergevin Posted by Picasa

Daniel’s wife Stella was born on February 4, 1887, in South Ashburnham, and died on September 28, 1947. Her father, James Wilson Felt (February 15, 1842 – April 17, 1919), was a native of Sullivan, New Hampshire, who moved to East Templeton in 1859 to learn the cigar maker’s trade. James served in the Union Army (as a private in Company A, 2nd New Hampshire Infantry and later as 1st Lieutenant of Company G) and fought in 24 battles of the Civil War. He married Abbie Jane Foote (February 16, 1853 – February 14, 1914), daughter of Alonzo Foote and Sarah Jane Thompson of New Hampshire. Stella was the youngest of their five children.

Toward the end of the day, we visited St. Joseph Cemetery in Fitchburg, where Daniel Peter Bergevin and Stella Collester Felt are buried in a family plot alongside two of their children – Daniel Henry (August 3, 1907 – 1934) and William Edward (December 3, 1910 – February 28, 1986). I saw the name Bergevin on several other tombstones in the cemetery, but wasn’t able to determine a connection to my line. I also recognized the surname St. Germaine on one of the tombstones. Daniel Peter Bergevin’s mother was Zoe St. Germaine. She married Honore Bergevin in Sainte-Martine sometime before 1871.

Honore is descended from Jean Bergevin dit Langevin, born in Angers, France, on March 11, 1635. Jean immigrated to “New France” (Canada) in 1665. Researchers interested in this line can find more information on the webpage of Jacques Trempe. His information is supported by details in a book called The Bergevin Beginnings, by Jerry Longeuay dit Bergevin.

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