1) Can I provide a gedcom of the Pitre Trail database?
The short answer is no. This is an ongoing project as I continue to access registers, censuses, and other collections of information regarding our Pitre ancestors. On more than one occasion I have transcribed information which either solved a long-standing query or that conflicted with the 'accepted wisdom'. The database is therefore always under review and is constantly being updated. Some researchers have added my 'tree' info to their own databases and then uploaded them to places like ancestry.com. I am happy for them to share the info however some of that is already incorrect based on further research. Also, typing in the info yourself somehow makes those people belong to you more. It also gives you the opportunity to question my research.
2) Is there a published version of the Pitre Trail?
Not yet, though I hope to eventually produce a few volumes, organized by time and geography.
3) How/where did the surname Lajambe replace Pitre for some lines?
This is a question we will probably never be able to fully answer. The surname Lajambe emanates from a particular branch, extending back to Jean Baptiste Pitre (1732-1805) and his second wife Marie Anne Surette, but is not common in all descendant branches of that line. His grandchild Ignace Pitre (1799) s/o Jean Marie 'Jean Baptiste' Pitre/Julie Leduc was listed in the 1842 census at St. Regis as Lajambe, but in the 1825 census he was Ignace Petre dit Lajambe. The 1825 census included Ignace's father and brother as Lajambe. Another brother Pierre (1801) had some of his children baptized as Pitre and some as Lajambe. Lajambe seems to have started life as a 'dit' name which became the accepted surname for some. [There are many sites online to explain 'dit' names.] Those Lajambes who moved into predominantly English areas eventually became Lashomb (sometimes Lashamb), based on pronunciation and the English speaker's interpretation of that pronunciation.
4) How/where did the surname Lepitre replace Pitre for some lines?
This is another question without a definitive answer, but again seems to be attached to a particular branch, going back to Joseph Pitre (1771-1857) and his wife Marie Madeleine Arnaud dit Frederic. They had 11 children, but only a random 6 of them were listed as Lepitre in the baptism records of Nicolet, Quebec. The grandchildren are listed as Lepitre. Some remained in Quebec while others moved south into New Hampshire and Vermont. Some of the Vermont Lepitres became Lapete. Son Pierre moved into Ontario but remained Pitre, though some of his descendants were anglicized to Peters. Some of son Michel's descendants moved into New York and again were anglicized to Peters.
5) Can I help you get started tracing family/can I suggest where to look for information?
As I hope everyone can appreciate, my time is limited and valuable. If you want suggestions, advice, etc. please contact your local library, archive, family history centre, or search online. The amount of genealogical help available online is staggering compared to only a few years ago. The website links I've provided on the Useful Links page is also a great place to start.
Here's a success story:
I am the granddaughter of Clarence Jerome Pitre. Up until this past June (2010) all I knew about my grandfather was his name and his mother's name. Clarence died in an industrial accident in Englewood, BC on Aug 1, 1928 when my mother was 6 years old. His only child was my mother Norma Pearl Pitre born July 24, 1921 in Vancouver BC. While visiting in Nova Scotia this past spring, in a series of fluke encounters, I met a gentlemen at Port Royal, Nova Scotia who I mentioned to that my mother's maiden name was inscribed on a plaque in Melansonville. This gentleman, who I believe was Wayne Melanson, asked me a series of questions and then asked if the last name was spelled the same...it was. He pointed his finger at me and said very adamantly that I was from there. This did pique my curiosity. Upon returning home to British Columbia and telling my daughter the story (she is the researcher in the family) she did the research and found your website. In less than 10 minutes she was able to make the connection from my grandfather's marriage to my grandmother (Pearl Darnell) in March on 1921 right back (a direct male link) to Jean Pitre in Port Royal, Nova Scotia 1671 census. From this information I was able to obtain a copy of Clarence's birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate. A copy of his father's (Severe Pitre and Laura Lusk) marriage certificate and a copy of Severe Pitre's death certificate. Severe died when my mother was in her 20's. She never spoke of him so I don't think she knew him. How sad. I want to thank you for all your hard work. I want to thank you for giving to me a heritage I never knew I had. I have discovered that I am the 11th generation Canadian on this line and 5th on my maternal grandmother's line. That gives me goosebumps. Thank you so much for such a wonderful gift. [Sharon Smith, Chilliwack, British Columbia]
6) Are the Puerto Rican or Spanish Pitres related to the Acadian Pitres?
I cannot find any connection thus far. There is an early Spanish family in New Orleans, whose records appear in the Catholic parish registers of that city. The spelling is consistently Pitre. The lineage is:
Francisco Antonio Pitre
+ Antonia Gomes Valcarzel
2 Antonio Domingo Pitre b: Abt. 1778 San Julian de Loyra, Galicia (Spain); d: 12 December 1841 New Orleans, LA
+Josepha Salazar b: Abt. 1773 New Orleans, LA; m: Abt. 1800 [Joseph/Sebastiana Ramires]; d: Aft. 1850 New Orleans, LA
3 Josefa Paula Pitre b: 30 June 1801 New Orleans, LA
3 Manuel Pitre b: 20 October 1802 New Orleans, LA; d: 11 November 1802 New Orleans, LA
3 Ambrosio Pitre b: 7 December 1803 New Orleans, LA
3 Cypriano Pitre b: 4 January 1809 New Orleans, LA
3 Andrea Catalina Pitre b: 30 November 1813 New Orleans, LA; d: 28 August 1817 New Orleans, LA
3 Andree Catherine Pitre b: 27 February 1817 New Orleans, LA; d: 27 August 1817 New Orleans, LA
3 Joachim Baldemero Pitre b: 27 February 1817 New Orleans, LA; d: 12 July 1817 New Orleans, LA
3 Dominique Mathieu Charles Pitre b: 14 March 1819 New Orleans, LA; d: Aft. 1880 St. Charles, LA
+Francoise ------ b: Abt. 1821 Spain; m: Abt. 1837; d: Aft. 1880
4 Domingo Pitre b: Abt. 1838 New Orleans, LA
+Elizabeth Lampkin (Sinama) b: Abt. 1853; m: Abt. 1869
4 Joseph Pitre b: Abt. 1840 New Orleans, LA
4 Josephine Pitre b: Abt. 1842 New Orleans, LA
4 Olivier P. Pitre b: October 1843; d: Aft. 1900 New Orleans, LA
+Mary Enezia ---- b: April 1846; m: Abt. 1871; d: Aft. 1900
4 Richard A. Pitre b: Abt. 1848
4 Charles E. Pitre b: Abt. 1860 St. Charles, LA; d: Aft. 1880
4 Elvina Pitre b: Abt. 1863 St. Charles, LA; d: Aft. 1880
4 John R. Pitre b: May 1858 St. Charles, LA; d: Aft. 1920
+Azenia ---- b: Abt. 1853 St. Charles, LA; m: Abt. 1876; d: Aft. 1880
*2nd Wife of John R. Pitre:
+Arcadie Boutte b: March 186; m: Abt. 1890; d: Aft. 1920
*2nd Wife of Dominique Mathieu Charles Pitre:
+Antoinette ---- b: Abt. 1829; m: Bef. 1860
I have recently been contacted by Patricia Murret concerning the Spanish line. She states that she and some of her Spanish relatives believe that Dominique Mathieu Charles Pitre's wife Francoise is actually their ancestor, Francisca Llulla.
7) Is all the Pitre info on wikipedia / wikitrees a good source?
As with so much on the internet, people are trying to make info accessible. Many Pitre lines are appearing from a variety of sources, and many include my own writings lifted in entirety. It would be courteous if those sites included an acknowledgement, but not all do. My best advice is to do as much of your own research as you can. If you're interested in the most up-to-date Pitre info, then The Pitre Trail should be at the top of your list.
8) Does Jean Pitre have a 'dit' name aka dit Beneque?
This is not applicable to Jean Pitre or his descendants. Stephen White makes no mention of it and the only time I have run across it is in regards to a family in Quebec in the mid-1700's. The progenitor couple are Pierre Benequai (also listed as Pierre Benequai/Beneque Pitre) and wife Genevieve Dufresne. I can find no connection between him and the Acadian Pitres. Somewhere along the line someone attached this 'dit' to our Pitre line and the error has been repeated ever since.
There is an entry in Montreal records which refers to the widow of Pierre Abenaquy becoming the tutor to their children as Pierre has died. The date is 19 July 1782. Genevieve Dufresne is referred to as the widow of Pierre Abenaquy dit Pitre. Easy transition from Abenaquy to Benaquy to Beneque given the spellings of the time. This may also explain the occasional rumor that there is a Pitre descended from native Americans. This Pierre may have been an Abenaki native.
Last updated: 5 June 2012.