Tracing French-Canadian Ancestry… How’s That DNA Test Working for You?

My husband’s mother came from a colorful line of French Immigrants dating back to the 1600’s, when brave people sailed from France to New Canada. Funny thing is, he doesn’t identify with it. And because I’m the one doing the research (and I have a bit of French ancestry) I’m the one who is developing the bond.

The French genealogical community is very colorful and culturally rich. Whether it’s from the descendants who remain in Canada after generations or those who reside in Louisiana’s Acadiana in Lafayette, the determination to keep the culture alive suffers no boredom or apathy. I am impressed by the details kept through the years by the Catholic church. Those details are found on genealogical websites, (, etc.) and include pictures of graves, churches, homes and home sites as well as wedding pictures. In Louisiana, the Cajun community is one of the most active social groups I’ve ever seen. Talking about sticking together, they do. The Cajuns in Louisiana are the descendants of the French who were exiled from Canada by the English in 1765 and years following. The name Nova Scotia is British but it was an Acadian homeland before that. Many of New France’s descendants are also found in Quebec.

Did you get your DNA tested and if so, how’s that working out for you? Did you find that you had the French ancestry that you expected? Was it more or less so? And what else did you find? Any surprises? And did you come across any cousin matches? If so, were they friendly? It seems like an association with the Cajun communities in the United States and Canada would be a genealogical treasure. When my brother-in-law, with his dark, curly hair, picks up the mandolin and plays it like he’s been playing for a thousand years, I become more determined. One of their French ancestors was wild on the violin. A DNA test will convince them of the need to acknowledge and explore further, the culturally rich heritage of their French-Canadian ancestry.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy IIUncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors, Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians, Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees, Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy VI – Freemasons, Jewish Conquistadors and the Holy Family. Available here:

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Those Sexy French Housewives of Yesteryear…

When I was a senior in high school, my best friend lived as a nanny for a doctor, his wife and five kids. The doctor and his wife were young and lively and liked to throw parties. The doctor asked my friend the nanny if she and I would like to dress up like French maids and serve drinks at their upcoming party. We had just turned eighteen and were flattered at the invitation. We had been Maids a Milking in the senior play (The Twelve Days of Christmas) so had pretty blue dresses we’d sewn together with white aprons. We adapted them and pulled off looking like the French maids the doctor ordered.

Times have changed, haven’t they? I mean really, that was sexist, wasn’t it? To ask that of two innocent young girls? But those were the days of Playboy Bunnies and no one thought anything sinister. It was all in fun. But why French? And who started that anyway? Did World War II play into it? Is it because the French are rumored to tolerate mistresses? And of course, those mistresses would be French women. Maids maybe? Making a cliché out of the sexy French maid? Let me tell you what the encyclopedia tells me about French women, particularly housewives. We can all learn something.

The encyclopedia that I’m going to quote from (Grolier Encyclopedia, 1956, Volume IX, pg. 40) was put together, during the years before, after and during World War II. Here is what their researcher discovered about French housewives:

One feature of the French character is much the same in all parts – they are all hard workers and their love of independence makes them thrifty. French housewives are good managers and can make a little go a long way. And the French woman is her husband’s adviser and partner; often she understands his business; often she carries on a business herself. In all domestic economy hers is the deciding voice. The manual laborer’s wife does not have to ask him for money; she takes his wages and allows him so much out of them.

Now that… is a strong woman. And strong women don’t think they’re sexy, they know it.  Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

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The Fleur-de-Lis Found in Ancient Egypt

The image of the ancient symbol, the fleur-de-lis, conjures thoughts of ancient conspiracies and hidden secrets known only to a select few (nobility and those involved with them). It is now the symbol for France (and all things French and/or Acadian including the New Orleans Saints football team) because it was the symbol of the royal houses of France, dating back to the descendants of Charlemagne, the Carlovingian kings. Anglo-Saxon kings used it as well. The fleur-de-lis was an iconic symbol long before European monarchs were being established. It is found among Egyptian hieroglyphics. From t-shirts to tattoos, the fleur-de-lis arouses emotion and attitude. In colonial America during the 1700’s, the symbol was branded onto the shoulder of slaves who ran away for longer than a month. The punishment for running away again was another fleur-de-lis on the other shoulder. A third time and the slave lost an arm. In this instance, it probably became a symbol of resistance and rebellion, those sentiments no doubt exist today. Another example of using the fleur-de-lis as a strong symbol is the author Dan Brown and his book and movie, “The Da Vinci Code.”

Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era Historic Romance, Black Pansy.

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What Does Anglo-French Mean?

Anglo-French is an “Old French” word used to designate that which pertains to England and France as they are joined together. It’s like Native-American or African-American and came in use after 1066 when William the Conqueror invaded England. William was from Northern France. By this time the Angli (German Tribes) had invaded England so they were the Anglo. William brought the French aspect, when he invaded in 1066, even though his ancestry was originally from the North but had populated Northern France, married French women and adopted their culture, which was what the Viking invaders from the north commonly did.  Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here:

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