Sunday, January 27, 2013

Favorite Family Name: Olivine

One of my favorite family names is Olivine. It was my 3rd great-grandmother's first name; Olivine Page-Ethier. Being French Canadian, her maiden name, Page, would have been pronounced p-AH-j. And you pronounce Ethier with "air" at the end. OH-li-veen   P-AH-j   E-th-eee-air. Sounds so very....French.

The first time I came across her name was on a plot record I purchased from Calvary Cemetery in New York City. At the time I ordered the record all that I knew was that my great grandfather, Albert Gardner (also known as Almond Desjardins) was interned in the plot.

The cemetery, as I recall, told me he was interned with three other individuals but I had to pay an exorbitant amount of money for the to tell me the names and dated of burial for those people. I don't remember the exact amount of the fee but I remember thinking, "WOW" and I had to literally save up the money to order the record. I think it was $100. Now in their defense, their records are not fully digitized their clerks have to search through indexes and microfilm to provide the information. It is time consuming especially given the fact they have over 3 million internments and it is one of the oldest cemeteries in New York City.

In any case, when I received the plot record, this is the information I received:

Section: 36          Range: 10          Plot: G          Grave(s): 16
Recorded in the name of: Thomas Desjardins
Deed #: ___          Date of Purchase: June 4, 1903

Deceased Name, Date of Burial, Age at Death, Birth Place
Alinna Ethier, Dec. 14, 1906, 70, Canada
Edward Desjardins, Jun. 4, 1903, 1, NY
Clement Monno, Oct. 11, 1911, 3 ms., NY
Albert Cardner, Feb. 15, 1946, 54, US

There are several "errors" in the information I received from Calvary Cemetery. For example, Albert's last name was Gardner not Cardner, to my knowledge Monno was spelled Mono, and Thomas Desjardins was really Damas Desjardins. But such resources are primary sources for the date of burial, not necessarily for the other facts.

I believe the Alinna Ethier listed here is really Olivine Ethier, the mother-in-law of Damas (or Thomas) Desjardins. At first I thought her name was Alinna, just like the document states but giving up the notion of correct spelling I came to discover several records for Olivine; the 1900 U.S. census has her living with son Edward in Manhattan, she appears in the 1881 and 1871 census of Canada, and I found her marriage and birth records in the Drouin Collection of vital and church records from Quebec.

However, I have not been able to find her death certificate. Since she was living in the City of New York in 1900. I assume she died in the City of New York in 1906. The online index to the New York City death certificates can not be browsed by date though. At present you must provide at least two of the first letters of the last name to conduct a search. Ethier must have been misspelled or improperly indexed. Oh, indexes.

In any case, this beautiful name, Olivine, did not trickle very far down the family tree. She did give the name to one of her daughters but that is where it seemed to stop. Perhaps it was just too French to survive in the grit of New York but it is oh-so pretty.

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