In French Canada, Quebec, more than one family took the name of LaJoie. For example, in our research we came upon a Jeanette LaJoie in Quebec who was instrumental in "bridging" our LaJoie's from Quebec to France. She was descended from the "Drogue" family. Another situation embraces the family of "Nap" LaJoie, who was admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was descended from the "Hadnin" family.
This is a chronicle of the LaJoie family, descended from the Noble family of Gérini. Our study took us back to a Bonon Gérini born in the City State of Firenza (Florence, Italy) in the year of 1180 AD. Records reveal that the first nine generations of the family, while citizens of Florence spanning approximately from 1180 to 1542 AD, served as statesmen, military men and Knights who fought in the Holy land for the Pope. As Statesmen, the Gérini's served as Gonfalonier's, Buonoumini, Notary's, Prior's and Lord's.
Jean Gérini was born in 1445 in Florence and died in the Levant in 1476. Levant was the name formerly applied to the area along the Eastern shore of the Mediterranean, including present day Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt. Jean was listed as a "Noble Chevalier" Indicating he was a Noble Knight.
His son, Laurent Gérini (1475 - 1547) is buried in Cathedral of Marseilles with this
In spen beatoe immortalitatis
(In the hope of blessed immortality)
Illustris aac Nobilis
(The Illustrious and Noble)
Natus in oriente, Florentia oriundus
(Born in the East, originating in Florence)
Animo Gallus, Gallicoe Militae adscriptus
(French by his spirit, entered the French Army) L.
Equitum gravis armaturoe Proefectus
(joined the heavily armed knights)
Hoc Perenne doloris monumentum
(This monument of perennial pain)
(was erected to the best of parents)
Mepotes moerentes posuere.
(by the mourning descendants.)
Obit anno CIC.IC.XLVII oetatis LXXII"
(He died in the year 1547 aged 72)
Later, an Octavien Gérini (b. 6/9/1400) had established the following records:
He was Consul of the Class of Grocers in 1442, Captain of Marradi in 1449,
Gonfalonier in 1443 and 1453,
Buonuomini in 1437, 1444 and 1453, Prior in 1436, 1440 and 1453, Head of Defense in 1452,
and One of the Ten of Freedom in 1455
He was employed in 1437 by Rene the Good, King of Naples and Sicily, Duke of Anjou, Lorraine and Bar, Count of Provence, in all likelihood in the confederation with Genoa, Venice and Florence for maintaining possession of the Kingdom of Naples that was being disputed with the King of Aragon, Alphonse V.
also appears in the transcripts about Octavien.
"Information according to the handwritten manuscript, prepared in the 18th century by the Rev. Father Révest. The original of this manuscript was presented at that time to the hands of the Contessa Joannis of Verclos born of Gérin.
The first recorded ancestor would be Saint Gérin, mayor of the Palace and Count of Paris martyred in year 676.
Bénone Géréni lived in the XIV century in Florence in Italy."
later generations, Octave Gérini (1547 - 1606) married Catherine DeMedici in
1609. She was the daughter of François DeMedici. Jean Gérini
the son of this marriage, later served as Clerk of the Chamber and Secret Camerier of Pope Innocent X,
Bishop of Volterre in 1650 and
Bishop of Pistoia and Prato in 1653.
In 1676, Louis August deGérin was born. He was assigned to Saint-Domique Colonie de la France, in 1717, was captain of the infantry, aide-major of the house of the marquis de Chateaumorau and governor general of Saint-Dominique. The Colony of Saint Dominique is present day Haiti/ Dominican Republic. At the beginning of 1718, he was married to Marie Fortin, of a family from Normandy, ancient Lord of the Hoguette, that went to Saint-Domingue.
It was Jean Gérin, offspring of Louis August deGérin and Marie Fortin that was the progenitor of the branch of LaJoie's that settled in Quebec. Jean was born December 18, 1718 in Saint Dominique He joined Montcalm's army and served as a sargent in Quebec at the Plains of Abraham during the French and Indian Wars (c. 1756)
Jean was such a cheerful and friendly person, that he was nicknamed "Lajoie" (the happy one) by his comrades. It was at this time that Jean started signing his name as Jean Gérin-dit-Lajoie.
"Dit" names were the French-Canadian manner of handling "Also Know As." In the early French-Canadian period (17th and 18th Centuries), the use of "Dit" separating two names was extremely common. Unlike today's usage of an "AKA" to hide an identity, the "Dit" was used to differentiate two people with the same name. The use was very common among the first generation or two of users, then the descendants revert back to the original name, or use just the "Dit" name.
In 1760 Jean was married and established himself in Yamachiche, Quebec. The paternal farm was situated in the "Petite Terres", southern part of Yamachiche. The farm was transferred to Jean and his wife by his father-in-law, Jean Francoise Grenier. This land stayed in the family of Gerin-Lajoie until recent years. Presently there are no Gerin-Lajoie left in Yamachiche. Jean Gerin-Lajoie is the original ancestor of this family (Jarin, Gerin-Lajoie, Jaret and Jared) according to the registry of Yamachiche.
Three generations later, Joseph LaJoie (1825-1899) and family moved to Nashua, New Hampshire from Ste. Rosalie, Quebec, Canada and in the process dropped the family given name of Gérin and used the name of LaJoie.
Joseph LaJoie Family c. 1880
Back row: Joseph - Narcisse Doria - Joachim Alphonse - Ferdinand Noe - Francois Azire
Front row: Napoleon - Angele Morin - Joseph LaJoie - Jean Battiste
Following our family lineage, Ferdinand Noe LaJoie, more commonly referred to as Noe, soon married Rosa Roulo in Nashua, New Hampshire on March 23, 1880. Not much is known about Rosa. The marriage was terminated either through the death of Rosa or by separation or divorce. On October 31, 1886, Noe remarried by taking Dometilde Menard as a second wife. Through this marriage Henry E. and Leah were born on November 27, 1884 and March 12, 1887, respectively.
Sometime around 1900 This marriage ended with Dometilde taking Leah and Noe with his son Henry heading for Niagara Falls, New York. The last known whereabouts of Dometilde and Leah was in Boston, Massachusetts through a photograph of the two of them.
While in Niagara Falls, New York, Henry met Ellen Jane Enos who was from Caistor Center, Ontario, Canada and on January 27, 1903 they were married. After the birth of son Leo, the family along with Noe moved to Buffalo, New York.
Henry LaJoie Family c. 1915
Ellen (a/k/a Ella) seated with Leon on her right and Elmer on her left, Leo in back next to Henry
A few years after the death of Ella in 1931, Henry and Noe moved to San Diego, California where Henry remarried. Both Henry and Noe were laid to rest in that City.
My wife Joan was the oldest child of Leon and Edna Miller.
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