From the desk of Stephen White....
                          Dennis Gaudet's and more...

Please thank Pauline for detecting the discrepancy regarding the times of Denis Gaudet's death and his daughter Marie's birth. She is quite right that Marie's birthdate is incorrect, or, as I might more properly say, that Marie's age in her burial record at Québec is inaccurate. It is this age of twenty-four when she died in 1757 that yields the birthdate of about 1733. But Marie's mother, Anne Doucet, gave birth to the first child of her second marriage, to Jean Bertrand, on Apr. 30, 1732. The record of this child's baptism is in the register of Beaubassin, but we do not have any record of his parents' marriage. Presuming that Anne experienced normal pregnancies (she had at least nine altogether, between the ages of about twenty and about forty-three, and lived to be at least seventy, so it appears that she did), we can deduce that her second marriage must have taken place by July 1731. Obviously, her daughter Marie Gaudet must have been born before that. But how long before? We really have no way of knowing, because we have only the one record that gives an age from which her birthdate can be computed, and the date that provides is clearly erroneous. We might just assign her an arbitrary date, around 1728 or so, which would make her about twenty when she married, but I do not make such arbitrary assignments, so we will just have to be content with putting her down as having been born before July 1731 ("n av juill 1731").

Denis Gaudet's name appears on the list of Acadians who took the oath of allegiance in April 1730. Following the above line of reasoning, we can say that he must have died before July 1731. So, the statement about his death in the first part of the DGFA should be modified to say "d entre avril 1730 & juin 1731," instead of "d entre avril 1730 & 1731." I shall also change the date of Anne Doucet's second marriage from "v 1731" to "av août 1731," so that there will be no seemingly contradictory overlap.

This problem is sort of a variation on one we discussed at the beginning of February 2002, where there was a problem about fixing the approximate time of death for Marie LeBlanc, first wife of François Gautrot. There, as here, the estimates of the times of the dates of her death and of her widower's second marriage had to be derived from the birthdate of the first child of that second marriage. The present case is made a little more complicated by the error in Marie Gaudet's age in her burial record, but demonstrates equally clearly how important it is to take care that all these approximate dates appear to align properly.

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