From the desk of Stephen White....
                                Germain Semer and Marie Trahan

The Semer-Trahan query seems only to ask for information about Marie Trahan, so I shall confine myself to that. At the outset I must point out that there appears to be a typo in your letter; Germain Semer and Marie Trahan were both fifty-one years of age in the 1772 (and not 1762) census. This is important because fifty-one was indeed Marie Trahan's age at that time. She had been born Aug. 17, 1721, at Rivière-aux-Canards, and was baptized Oct. 12, 1721, at Grand-Pré. Her parents were René Trahan and Isabelle ( or Élisabeth) Darois. Sometime in the early 1730's the family moved from Rivière-aux-Canards to the Petitcodiac River. It is believed that they settled near where the Champlain Mall is in Dieppe today. In fact, I think there is a plaque that mentions them somewhere at the edge of the Canadian Tire store across the street from the mall. In any event, it appears that René Trahan died around the same time, probably shortly after the move because it seems unlikely that his widow would have undertaken to go to a new area with her large number of small children without a husband. In 1734 Isabelle remarried. Her second husband was Sylvain Breau. It is under the name of this second husband that the family is listed at Petitcoudiac in the 1752 census. Immediately following Sylvain in the census are Germain "Boye" (Semer dit Boye), Paul Trahan, Jean Trahan, René Trahan, and Joseph Broussard. The three Trahans were all sons of René Trahan and Isabelle Darois, and Joseph Broussard was the husband of Ursule Trahan, the younger of René and Isabelle's two known daughters. Germain Semer was of course the husband of the elder daughter, Marie, whom he appears to have married about 1744. The listing of these families all together makes it clear that this was the case, that Germain had married the same Marie Trahan whose date of birth in 1721 corresponds to the age of fifty-one years given for his wife in 1772. Marie Trahan, wife of Germain Semer, died at the Hospice du Sanitat in Nantes on Oct. 25, 1776, aged fifty-six. She was buried there the next day, according to the hospice's register. It is this record of her death and burial that says that Marie was originally from (that is, was born at) Rivière-aux-Canards.

Germain Semer was a son of Jean Semer and Marguerite Vincent, who were married at Grand-Pré on Nov. 22, 1717. (For further information on their forebears, see DGFA, p.1578.) The proof comes from Marie Trahan's burial record, which mentions as witnesses Joseph Semer, the deceased's brother-in-law, and Olivier Dubois, her cousin. Actually, the description of Joseph serves more to identify him than it does Germain, but the description of Olivier gives the game away. We have Olivier's baptismal record, dated May 26, 1734, in the Beaubassin register, and it of course names his parents, Jean Dubois and Anne Vincent. The Déclarations de Belle-Île-en-Mer meanwhile show that Jean Dubois's wife Anne Vincent and Jean Semer's wife Marguerite Vincent were sisters. So Olivier Dubois was actually Germain Semer's cousin, and only Marie Trahan's cousin by marriage. But the reference confirms the presumption (that we might have been entitled to adopt anyway from the simple fact that at the time Jean Semer and Marguerite Vincent were the parents of the only Semer family in Acadia) that Germain was Jean and Marguerite's son.

©Stephen A. White
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