Le What?

À vaillant coeur rien d’impossible. -Jacques Cœur

10

One family name that I have often found spelled in different ways is the La Duke surname. To date, I have discovered Le Duc, La Duc, and, of course, La Duke. Even the capitalization was sometimes different too, for I have also uncovered Le duc, La duc, and La duke. And sometimes the names did not contain any spaces at all; the names were spelled Leduc, Laduc,  Laduke, and La Decue.

When I was a child, I always thought the La Duke family name was unique and mysterious. I would often daydream of a French royal family that was displaced and forced to leave their home. I imagined French ancestors sailing into the New York Harbor and scanning the sights before them: Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. Once they arrived, English-speaking buffoons slaughtered their beautiful French and royal name and shortened it to just La Duke. My poor ancestors did not speak English, could not defend their family name, and forever had to live with the shortened version of their former glory.

My childish version was slightly more melodramatic than what really took place. To begin, my La Duke ancestors sailed for the New World shores in New France instead of hitting the English Colonies. For a time, the French and the English were not so friendly with one another; I did pay attention in my history classes.

 

Following the variant spellings of La Duke, the first Leduc that arrived in New France was my 9x great grandfather, Antoine. He was the son of Jean Leduc and Jeanne Desobrie of Rouen in Normandy, France. He was born about 1647. In 1671, he married Jeanne Faucheux. She was one of 800 French women that were called the King’s Daughters, or filles du roi, who agreed to sail to New France and marry the settlers who lived in this new country.

From this line, the La Dukes trickled into the United States around 1850. My 4x great grandfather, Joseph Laduc, was born at St. Jean Baptiste, Rouville, Quebec on September 2, 1799. His parents were Jean Baptiste Laduc and Marie Angelique Meunier. His wife, Marie Eulalie Chicoine, died in 1839, and she was buried at Rouville, Quebec. Although I have not yet found records to verify his place of burial, most research suggests he was buried in Warren, Macomb, Michigan. His son, Joseph La Duke was also born at Saint Jean Baptiste, Rouville, Quebec on October 3, 1827.  Joseph and his wife, Clarrisa Frink, did live in Macomb County Michigan for most of their lives. However, they did eventually move to Cherryvale, Montgomery, Kansas. My 3x great grandfather died in the month of December 1907, and he was buried next to his wife at the Choteau Cemetery in Independence, Montgomery, Kansas.

2
!850 US Federal Census ~ Joseph and Clarissa La Duke ~ Sterling, Macomb, Michigan

And finally, the joke was on me. My childhood fantasies crushed. The name La Duke did not transpire into an abbreviated title. I have discovered a few different meanings for this family name.

  1. one who possessed good leadership
  2. a person who put on the airs and graces of a Duke
  3. a servant who worked in the household of a Duke
1
Les Coureurs Des Bois

Not one single royal member in the House of La Duke, all my French relatives were humble citizens that made a modest living. Royals have always been over rated anyway. I have taken quite a shine to my French-Canadian roots. My French La Dukes were sailors, trappers, mountain men, frontiersman, and farmers, brave and adventurous men that followed their own destinies and dreams. As a wise man once stated, “À vaillant coeur rien d’impossible” (“For a valiant heart nothing is impossible”). And now my Grands-peres have given me new thoughts to write about as I discover more about the La Duke famille.

2

Family Tree

Antoine Leduc (1647 – 1688) and Jeanne Faucheaux (1655 – 1721)
9th great-grandparents
Pierre Charles Leduc (1680 – 1762)
son of Antoine Leduc
Jean Baptiste Leduc (1715 – 1790)
son of Pierre Charles Leduc
Jean Baptiste Leduc (1744 – 1820)
son of Jean Baptiste Leduc
Jean Baptiste Laduc (1765 – )
son of Jean Baptiste Leduc
Joseph Laduc (1799 – 1880)
son of Jean Baptiste Laduc
Joseph LaDuke (1827 – 1907)
son of Joseph Laduc
Ellsa LaDuke (1862 – 1898)
daughter of Joseph LaDuke
Anna Strassburg (1892 – 1912)
daughter of Ellsa LaDuke
Elva Marie Bryant (1908 – 1983)
daughter of Anna Strassburg
Dorothy Marie Allen (1934 – 2006)
daughter of Elva Marie Bryant
Ann Marie Reeder Bryant
daughter of Dorothy Marie Allen
2

Works Cited

  • “1850 United States Federal Census.” Online Publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.,search. ancestry. com/ search/ db.aspx?dbid=8054. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.
  • “1860 United States Federal Census.” Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7667. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.
  • “1870 United States Federal Census.” Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7163. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.
  • “1880 United States Federal Census.” Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index Provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=6742. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.
  • “1900 United States Federal Census.” Ancestry.com, Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.Original Data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 18, search. ancestry.com /search/ db.aspx?dbid=7602. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.
  • Ancestry, Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com. Original Data: Family Tree Files Submitted by Ancestry Members., http://www.ancestry.com. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.
  • “Canada, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current.” Canada, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60527. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.
  • “Clariss Amelia La Duke.” Web: Kansas, Find A Grave Index, 1854-2012 – Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012, http://www.ancestry. com.  Accessed 7 Apr. 2017. x
  • Edmund West, comp. Family Data Collection – Births, Online Publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001.,search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=5769. Accessed 7 Mar. 2017.
  • Edmund West, comp. “Family Data Collection – Deaths.” Family Data Collection – Deaths, Online Publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001., search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=5771. Accessed 7 Mar. 2017.
  • Edmund West, comp. “Family Data Collection – Marriages.” Family Data Collection – Marriages, Online Publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001., search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=5774. Accessed 7 Mar. 2017.
  • Gale Research. “U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s.” Online Publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2010, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7486. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.
  • Genealogical Research Library, Ontario, Canada. “Canadian Genealogy Index, 1600s-1900s.” U.S. Federal Census Collection, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7920. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.
  • “Joseph La Duke” Web: Kansas, Find A Grave Index, 1854-2012 – Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012, http://www.ancestry. com. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.
  • “Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925.” Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925, Online Publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009., search.ancestry.com/search/DB.aspx?dbid=1088. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.
  • Leduc, Adrienne.  http://www.adrienneleduc.ca/lettertoantoine.htm. “Letter to Antoine.” Letter to Antoine, http://www.adrienneleduc.ca/lettertoantoine.htm. Accessed 8 Apr. 2017.
  • “Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968.” Online Publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.Original Data -, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1091. Accessed 7 Mar. 2017.
  • Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890.” Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2011, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2177. Accessed 7 Mar. 2017.

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