Things don’t always work out the way you expect them to. Both Benoni Boisvert lived to see their father/uncle die of cholera — but even though neither died young, I did figure out which one attended Antoine’s burial. It turns out that I didn’t need to find a short life in the parish records to solve that mystery.
The answer wasn’t in the death records, it was in the records that celebrated life. Born two months apart, both Benoni were twenty-three when Antoine died. But one had started his own family a year and a half earlier when he married Felicity Gaulthier. Eleven month later, in November 1833, Benoni and Felicity Hamel baptized a daughter. The surnames of the wife/mother are off in the records, but I am going to go with it anyway. Antoine’s wife was alternately referred to as Angel Houde and Angel Desrocher for nearly 30 years – so I think it is only fair for Benoni’s wife to have two surnames too.
The parish records also show that 1833 was the year that the young Benoni Boisvert became a church employee. He began attending burials in January. And while his occupation is not stated in his marriage record, he was listed as Benoni Boisvert Bedeau for his daughter’s birth.
So which Benoni Boisvert attended Antoine’s burial? The son of Joseph and Marie Hamel, Antoine’s nephew. Which leaves another mystery. Only one Benoni is listed in the Ste. Croix census of 1851. What happened to Antoine’s Benoni? Did he move on like his brother Hubert, or is there a short life to find out there after all?