Saturday, March 15, 2014

1861 - Canadian "Matres-Familias."

A venerable French-Canadian lady, Mrs. Genevieve Lemoine, died lately at Sorel, Lower Canada, at the good old ages of 92 years. She left, to mourn her loss, a rather numerous family; for she was the mother of 16 children, the grand-mother of 146, the great-grand-mother of 163, and the great-great-grand-mother of 4, thus standing at the head of a legion of 330 persons, belonging to five successive generations.

Examples of that kind are not uncommon in Lower Canada, and travelers agree that it would be difficult to find a more prolific race than the French stock of that country. Families of a score of children are not at all extraordinary on the happy banks of the St. Lawrence, and one may meet every day, in the hilly streets of Quebec, with very good looking ladies - let us call them fair, fat, and forty - in company with pretty young ladies, quite grown up, who are not their daughters, as one might easily suppose, but their grand-daughters!...

The Times-Picayune
New Orleans, Louisiana
April 7, 1861