About the Author

I love exploring my family tree.  I first came to genealogy when I took a course on the family in history taught by Philip Greven at Rutgers.  He required that we all compile trees and essays based on our own family history for class.  This project got me talking to all of my grandparents (and one grandparent’s brother since my paternal grandfather wasn’t interested in remembering the past.)  And I loved the stories.  I dutifully put them together into my first family tree done out with pencil and copied over in marker across seven feet of butcher paper.  Most of my grandparents had some information on their own great grandparents.  Five generations back from me — in living memory — I was hooked!

After that first foray into genealogy, I kept asking for stories but didn’t spend any time digging deeper (these were pre-internet days when searches took time and commitment.)  I returned to genealogy when I started teaching a course called Multicultural U.S. History.  I was looking for a way to get my students inspired.  I was frequently faced with a question from students: what does multicultural history have to do with me today?  So I decided to do a family history project as a way to bridge that gap.  And it worked out great.  Together my students and I were able to take advantage of all the resources that had become available on the internet and to place our families into wider narratives of multicultural history.

I am now on my third foray into genealogy.  And this time school has nothing to do with it.  I am just following my passions for family, for details, for organization, and for making the past real.

If we share ancestors I would love to hear from you!  The Greenwood (Boisvert) family line was unknown to me until fall 2012.  Did your family know, or are you new to the tree too?  Where is your branch living now?  What has your line been up to?

If we don’t share ancestors, I would be happy to hear from you also.  Surely, we share an interest or two!

I can be reached at climbinggreenwood at gmail . com


23 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog. I’m also hooked on genealogy and can relate to your passion.

  2. It seems like we are on the same quest. I always thought I was Mexican Amerian, then I found out about my father’ family were from the oiginal families of settler of New Mexico. Another line took me to the Mayflower. What a wonder! Thank for checking my blog out.

  3. Congrats! On joining Geneabloggers. 🙂

  4. With regards to Barbe Nepveu. I believe she was born in Sillery which was an Indian reservation when the Nepveu’s lived there. Barbe’s sister, Suzanne Jeanne Nepveu is my 10th great grandmother and was baptized at the mission in Sillery on October 11, 1655. Sillery was made an indian reservation in 1634 and but reportedly failed by 1680 due to alcoholism. As far as Barbe marrying so young, I actually contacted the archives in Quebec and it was explained that at that time girls, according to the law, had to only be 12 years old to marry and for boys it was a min age of 14. Given the time that the Nepveu family lived in Sillery, the fact that their children were baptised at the Mission in Sillery and the fact that there truly is no concrete documentation to confirm that the nepveu family or the ledet family originated in France. Given the information we have, I believe that we are looking at a Metis family. What are your thoughts?

    • leslie frank says:

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your comments. It looks like we are cousins, at a long remove! (Barbe is my 8th great grandmother.) I just discovered this line in my family about 6 months ago. It is all very new to me. Thanks for putting Barbe’s marriage age in legal perspective. Times were definitely different then.

      As to Barbe’s origins, I don’t know. I have started to read on the history of Sillery but I haven’t been very organized about it yet. I was under the impression that the reserve at Sillery was well populated with natives from the 1640s to 50s, and again in the 1670s — but I am unclear how many natives remained in between. Also, I ran into a map in Marcel Trudel’s Le Terrier du Saint-Laurent that puts the Nepveu land to the west of the native land. (I don’t know what the text says, I don’t read French well.) This plus the fact that Anne Leodet shows up in Peter Gagne’s The Filles a Marier, makes me think they were European in origin.

      Still there is plenty of room for doubt. I have yet to see any primary sources beyond births, marriages, and deaths in New France. Other resources might be more definitive. Plus there is the fact that my Nanny believed there was some tie to native Americans somewhere in her lineage. She was just vague with facts.

  5. Yes, we are cousins 🙂 Barbe’s parents were married in Sillery in 1653 and I believe that it was still a reserve at that time. It just seemed that at that time and where our families were raising families there would have to be some aboriginal ties. I have contacted the Algonquin Nation of Quebec and one of the elders did a family tree for me with what is believed to be an aboriginal line as a lot of my family came from the Trois Riviere area as well. The problem with Quebec Metis is despite the fact that Quebec is where all the history started, Quebec metis are not recognized by the government because Quebec is not considered a traditional Metis homeland area. Although there seems to be a lot of information on line suggesting origin of our family members, I have only found a couple of French documents that provide proof of origin. I think I will go back to the French Archives which can be accessed online and do some more investigation but again my French is a bit rusty and my Latin is painfully rusty.

    Determining ethnicity becomes even more difficult knowing that the French routinely took Aboriginal girls back to France where they were taken in by French Families and educated to be sent back to New France as wifes. Where all of the Fille du Roi and Filles à Marier all truly of French ethnicity.

    And I’ve read about the Ursulines needing girls for their schools and as the aboriginals were not willing to part with their children, night raids of the villages would occur and young girls were abducted to be taken to the convents for education. the girls would not likely keep their aboriginal names.

    So determining true ethnicity and origin of these girls could be difficult as I have rarely found any actual documentations from the French Archives to indicate certain family members were from France. I know that my 10th great grandmother Suzanne Nepveu was baptised at the Mission in Sillery and she married a Nicolas Pot who was reportedly born in France but again there is no documents that I can find that would support this. My family does however, talk about a metis connection and my own grandfather, his great auntys were all in “industrial schools”, educated in convent schools” where some went on to become nuns and priests. This all happened in British Columbia at a time when the law required aboriginal/metis children to be educated in residential or residential day schools. No one wants to talk about it though. We can just keep breaking down the walls, brick by brick but one day, with enough people working on this we will find the answers. nice talking to you.

    • leslie frank says:

      Thanks for sharing your discoveries and stories! There are definitely plenty of gaps in the record to raise suspicions, though I tend to be conservative in my interpretations. Do you think the Nepveu line might be your primary or an additional aboriginal line? Have you tried DNA testing yet? I am also curious about your family’s reticence to explore its past. I have also wondered why my family hides its roots. I don’t understand feeling shame for the uncontrollable past (ie. one’s place in society rather than one’s actions.) I posted an email address on my about page today. Please feel free to use it. I would love to hear more!

  6. Thats awesome, Let me know what hear from them. I haven’t had DNA testing done yet. If I did the full mtDNA; however, i believe that that would only show my maternal line, going back on my mothers side; however, if a man does the full mtdna testing it would show both the maternal and paternal lines. I have been seriously considering doing this. How about you?

    • leslie frank says:

      I haven’t tried DNA testing yet. I am saving it for when I am done collecting the stories for this new line on my family tree. Who knows, these people might not be my people after all?!

      Good luck on your own searches, please keep in touch as you find out more.

  7. further to my last comment. There is definitely a degree of shame associated with having Metis Roots but there was a great deal of human rights violations that happened that would likely lead families to deny the aboriginal heritage. In my family, there are just rumours that my grandfather was Metis but i never met him as he left my grandmother when their children were very small and getting any information from the church, the government or from my grandma’s side of the family is very slow.

  8. Lorie Greenwood says:

    Hi there,

    I am a Greenwood, too. I descend from Etienne DeNevers down through Francois Boisvert b. 1807 in Quebec and his son Antoine Delphis Boisvert b. 1849 who the Boisvert Family Association in Canada has alerted me changed his name to Adolphus Greenwood when he moved to the US. I have pics.

    Email me back through the address I leave when I fill out the form below if you’d like to discuss how we are related.

    Lovely to see a blog on our family!
    Lorie Greenwood

    • Whitney says:

      I am a Greenwood as well. Francois Boisvert is my great, great, great, great grandfather. I have been working on updating my family tree for my mother’s side of the family. Adolphus Charles Greenwood, Jr. and Mary Jane Paradis are my great, great grandparents. Herbert A. Greenwood is my great grandfather (Mary and Adolphus’ one of 15 children, lol) and My grandfather is Donald Greenwood (Herbert and Grace’ child), who is one of seven children. However, my search only goes as far as Francois and Marguerite (Roy) Boisvert. I know the Greenwood/Boisvert family is huge. I would love to meet other family members.

      It was wonderful seeing a blog on our family! 😀


      • Welcome Whitney! Sounds like you share relatives with Lorie (https://climbinggreenwood.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/lories-greenwood-family/ )

        Glad you are enjoying the site. Have you heard of the Association of Boisvert families (http://www.famillesboisvert.org ) They know a lot more about Boisverts than I do!

        How exciting to meet another Greenwood. Are you a Greenwood because your family came to the US too? Did they arrive in New England in the late 19th century like many of our relatives? Were you raised with knowledge of the Boisvert or are you seeking their stories as an adult, like me?

        Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note.

      • Lorie Greenwood says:

        Hi Whitney and Leslie,
        Yay! Another cousin! Whitney, if you’d like to contact me, friend me on Facebook, I still live in NH. I’ve talked to some of your uncles and aunts I think, too. 🙂 Nice to hear from you!

      • Whitney says:

        Climbing Greenwood;

        I am a Greenwood, but a young generation (the seventh). How I come along in the family tree on my papa’s side is… Fancois Bosivert (my great, great, great, great grandpa), Adolphus Greenwood Sr. (my great, great, great grandpa), Adolphus Greenwood Jr. (my great, great grandpa), Herbet Greenwood (my great grandpa), Donald Greenwood (my papa), then Donna Pelton (maden name Greenwood – my mom), and then me. There are so many children of each generation, lol. I am all about learning about my family. I have heard a few stories. What led me to your page was curiosity and that I was searching for missing information and updating my families tree.


      • Whitney says:

        Lori – Sounds great. 😀

  9. jmmcdowell says:

    Thank you for your visit to my most recent post! Family history research is both fascinating and addictive, isn’t it?

  10. marketersva says:

    Hello! I am a LaFrance descended from the Pinel branch in Quebec. Currently in CT USA.

  11. Tom Rivet says:

    Thanks for all you have done here. Looks like I am related to you by BOTH of Anne Ledet’s husbands, as I am a descendant of both Barbe Neveu and Elisabeth Pinel.
    I absolutely love your work, thanks !!

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