Newspapers are not only great for finding obituaries, but sometimes you can find items of interest that will flesh out the lives of your ancestors. I only have paid subscriptions to a couple genealogy services, and GenealogyBank.com is one of them. Here you can find newspapers from 1690 to today. Recent newspaper obituaries go from 1977 to today. You can also find marriages, engagements, probate announcements and human interest stories.
Benjamin Halle had nine children by his first wife, Malvina Baquet, and 9 by his second wife, Marceline Beaudoin. In 1879, the year the family emigrated from Quebec, to Massachusetts, Amanda (Marie Anne Leonise) was about 3 years old. With 7 older siblings and one younger, Amanda found attention every child craves from a childless couple living next door, Samuel and Marguerite (Roy) Brochu. Heartbroken at the thought of losing Amanda, the Brochus asked if they could adopt Amanda. Benjamin and Marcelline agreed, perhaps not understanding that they would never see Amanda again.
Fifty years later, in 1924, Amanda read the following letter in her local newspaper:
“We are trying to find Miss A. Halle. The following letter was given by a citizen of Quebec taken from research done by a priest from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, trying to discover what happened to Miss Amanda Halle, whose family previously resided at Ste. Marie de Beauce. The details of the letter are thus: about 1870, the Benjamin Halle family went to live at Ste. Marie de Beauce and stayed there for 3 or 4 years. From there the family moved to the United States. In leaving Ste Marie, the Benjamin Halle family agreed to entrust a little girl of around 3 years of age to a family with the name Brochu who had no children. the name of this young girl is Amanda, who probably had the name of Brochu instead of Halle.
A brother and a sister of this young girl are anxious and very happy to know if their sister Amanda still lives and where she lives. All information will be received with a lot of recognition and can be sent to Father Alfred Langlois, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, USA.”
Amanda saw the advertisement and responded:
“I have recently seen in the newspaper, “Soleil” that you are in search of a person with the name of Amanda Halle. I was very surprised to see this announcement and hope to find several family members that I thought I would be forever separated. I am very happy. Here I am! I am truly the one you are searching for. My name is Amanda Halle, daughter of Benjamin Halle and of Marcelline Beaudoin originally from Ste-Marie de Beauce and my adopted parents are Samuel Brochu and Marguerite Roy from the same location. I have given you some information and I have big hopes to receive a response to this information. I would be able to give you more ample information in another letter.
Therefore I hope that I would be happy enough to receive information concerning my family of whom I could possibly have the good fortune to meet in the near future.”
[both letters translated from the French by Cheryl Heywood]
Amanda was soon reunited with her sister, Eulilie, and her brother, William, who had changed their surname to Hawley once in the United States. All three are pictured above, although we only see part of Eulilie on the left.
This post if part of the 2014 A-Z Challenge