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Monday, August 14, 2006

Mystery Mimmi

When I was small, I heard tales of my French great-grandmother, who came from Canada. To me that made her French Canadian, which meant she could have Indian blood! I was thrilled and loved this difference. The rest of the genes came from Ireland and Scotland (Mom's family was Scots-Irish), so this French Canadian influx (possibly "native American") was refreshing. Sometimes the family tree looked a bit odd. Dad's tree looks like an hourglass ===8-O!

Anyhow, Mom said she and her brothers and sisters called these grandparents Mimmi and Pippi. What wonderful, affectionate names!

Emma LaFleur is still a mystery figure. In later years, Mom claimed she came from France, only passing through Canada. In fact, she said, Emma came from Paris (giving the family a touch of Parisian grandeur).

Whether Emma was a woman of the Ojibway, or of the Parisi, she added that air of mystery to the family roots, and it is welcome.


Osprey said...

I have a good friend who is French Canadian but whose parents moved to upper NY state when she was small (I think that's right). Anyway, she told me that if you are French Canadian it's understood that you have Native American blood. She has the particular hard palate type that is a New World physical trait - I remember looking up into her mouth one day as she was explaining this to me.

Poet said...

I am most interested in the facts you have been able to uncover about our "French" ancestor. For some reason, I have nothing additional for the record.

Poet said...

Wait a minute: I do have something to add, for what it is worth: I went to Quebec in 1990 -- spent a few hours in the car (before J and I got there) practicing my French (took French 2 years in high school and 2 in college). At the garage (car problems) everyone spoke English and at the restaurant I was only able to use a word or two with the server. What a disappointment!