MSS-039-Franco-Americans and the KKK

Episode 039-October 20, 2015

Franco-Americans and the KKK

Image originally from


The KKK only operated in the South, right? Not so. In the early 20th century, there were more KKK members in New England. Why? Because of our Franco-American ancestors. Learn about this little-known chapter of our history from Dr. Eileen Angelini.

Then learn how to locate the correct baptism, marriage, or burial record in registers written in Latin.

Be sure to read to the end for details about a contest and a survey.

French-Canadian News

American-French Genealogical Society

October 24, 9 AM: Tom Allaire, Part 2 of his ‘Genealogy and DNA” series. All classes are held at the AFGS library, 78 Earle St., in Woonsocket, RI.

Franco-American Centre in Manchester, New Hampshire

November 8, 1:00-4:00 PM: Another great French Adventure at the Aviation Museum in Londonderry, NH. This is a great family-fun activity for those who would like to learn a little French in an authentic setting. Each adventure is based on a theme, and this month it’s aviation. Everyone gathers together at the beginning to learn some key French words and expressions related to the theme. Then, adventurers set off to enjoy an activity that puts those new words and expressions to use! No prior French knowledge is required. In this adventure you will learn terms related to airplanes and air travel, then enjoy a tour of the museum. See the website for fees and registration information.

November 12, 7:30-8:30 PM: at the Dana Center Lecture Room in Manchester, NH, two students from St. Anselm’s College will present a first-hand account of what it’s like to live and study in France.

French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

Friday,October 23rd through Sunday, October 25th: the Center for French Colonial Studies will hold a conference in Windsor, Ontario, with presentations on “French colonial Detroit and/or the Indian presence in the Detroit River Region during the 19th century.” There will be three presenters from the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan.

November 14, 11 AM, at the Mount Clemens Public Library, Mt. Clemens, MI: FCHSM’s annual potluck. Author Timothy Kent will introduce everyone to his new book, Phantoms of the French Fur Trade, Twenty Men Who Worked in the Trade Between 1618 and 1758, and will give a presentation on “A multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the fur trade and French and Native lifeways.”

Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society

All classes are at 10:30 AM at the Vermont Genealogy Library.

Worcester Public Library

October 24, 1-4 PM, Worcester Public Library, Worcester, Massachusetts- Explore Your Roots: A Heritage Fair. Join Maple Stars and Stripes and other genealogical societies and cultural organizations, and learn how to discover your roots. At 1 PM Jennifer Zinck will present ‘DNA & Your Family Tree.’

Language Tip #39-Do You Have the Correct Latin Record?

Problem: Searching for the baptism record of Joseph Guyon in L’Ancienne Lorette. You discover the records are in Latin. Yikes! What do you do now?

First, check the margin. Many priests and missionaries wrote B or BAP for a baptism record and S or SEP for a burial record. For marriages, look for a document with two people mentioned in the margin or the word MATRIMONIO. Also, remember that the names may not be what you’re expecting. Joseph may be ‘Josephus.’ Louise might be written as ‘Ludovica.’ See the show notes for episode #35 for lists of male and female names in Latin. [All record images from the LaFrance database at]

Margin notations in Latin

If the common abbreviations are not used, then you need to look for particular Latin words in either the margin or the record itself.


Remember that Latin is a language built on roots. Endings modify the meanings of those roots. So for births, look for the root NAT. In this record for Marguerita (Latin form) Mesnier, notice the word ‘nata’ because she is female.

Nata-female birth

The word ‘natus’ appears in the margin for Ludovicus (Latin for Louis) because -US is the male ending. Both margins also show the abbreviation ‘bapt’ for ‘baptism.’ [See episode #35 for a review of declensions and given names.]

Natus-male birth

Note: These children were never called Marguerita or Ludovicus. Their parents used their French names. The Latin forms were only used in official records.


In a marriage record, look for words similar to matrimonio, conjuncti, copulatus, ligavi, or sponsatus.

Marriage record in Latin


For burial records, look for words that contain the following letters: DEFUNCT-, MORT-, OBIIT, or SEP-.

Burial record in Latin

Using What You Learned

So if you’re looking for that baptism record for Joseph Guyon in the registers for L’Ancienne Lorette and you find the following record, is it what you’re looking for?

Joseph Guyon baptism record

The name Josephus is the Latin form of Joseph. The letter Y is often written as an I in Latin, so ‘Guion’ is the same surname as ‘Guyon.’

Under the number 1 you see NAT- with the rest of the word, -US, above it. That indicates that a male child was born. BAPTISATUS indicates he was baptised. Under the number 3 is the word BAPTISAVI, or ‘I have baptised.’ And under the 4 is another form of the word ‘born.’

So you can be pretty sure that you have a baptism record for a Joseph Guyon baptised in L’Ancienne Lorette.

Franco-Americans and the KKK

During the interview with Dr. Eileen Angelini, we discussed the following:    Dr. Eileen Angelini

1-Dr. Angelini became interested in the topic of the KKK in New England after viewing Ben Levine’s film, “Reveil.” After reviewing the film, her comment was that if teachers were going to use the film in their classrooms, which they should, there should be a teacher’s guide. At Ben’s request, Dr. Angelini took on that task. She then proceeded to give talks on the topic, which is how I met her.

2- The ‘Revenge of the Cradle’ [la revanche des berceaux], a system promoted by the church that encouraged people to have lots of babies so the French-Canadians would eventually have more political clout, resulted in many impoverished French-Canadian families. So French-Canadians came to the US to find jobs in the factories.

3- French-Canadians experienced discrimination for a couple of reasons. When hard times hit, the French-Canadians were so desperate they crossed picket lines and took low paying jobs, angering other workers and the unions. Also, initially they had no intention of staying in the US, so there was very little assimilation to American culture and language.

4- It was different for Irish-Catholics because they immigrated with every intention of staying.

5- When the stock market crashed (and even before the crash), Roosevelt closed the border between Canada and the US. Anyone working in the US who went home to visit would not be allowed back in. Because the French-Canadians were cut off from their families, they developed neighborhoods where the French language was spoken and children went to parochial schools.

6- There was tension between the Irish and French Catholics which came to a head in the Sentinelle Affair.

7- When the KKK formed in New England, its numbers exceeded those in the South. Its charter was based on the one in the South, and they set up Women’s Auxiliary groups and boy scout groups.

8- The KKK became very political in New England. They elected a governor in Maine. They strengthened in Buffalo, NY, after a Catholic mayor was elected. But they began to lose power after they stopped being a mouthpiece for social protest and became a political body.

9- During a presentation in her hometown of Leominster, Massachusetts, Dr. Angelini discovered that the KKK had burned St. Cecilia’s parochial school in 1925. It was one of five schools targeted by the KKK. Parishioners of St. Bernard’s Church in neighboring Fitchburg formed a human chain around their school to protect it. Author Robert Cormier wrote about the burning of St. Cecilia’s school is his parish history, Portrait of a Parish.

10- Newspapers were not necessarily forthcoming with the true events that took place.

11- As all genealogists need to know, before 1920, a female American citizen who married a man who was not a citizen, could lose her American citizenship.

12- Dr. Angelini is also researching Paw Paw French, a dialect with the accent of Cajun French but the vocabulary and grammar of Canadian French, spoken in the Midwest.

13- The video ‘Reveil’ by Ben Levine uses stories to cover the reawakening of interest in people’s French language heritage. If you don’t win the contest (see below), you can order a copy of Réveil for yourself on the website.

Film-Réveil by Ben Levine

14- Dr. Angelini is also associated with the website It highlights French heritage in North America. Several of Dr. Angelini’s works have been published on the website (scroll down to p. 2).

Where to Go for More Information

How to Contact Dr. Angelini

Email: eileen [dot] angelini [at] canisius [dot] edu

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

  • March 31, 2016, at York University, York, Pennsylvania-Presentation of the KKK in New England at the film festival using the film Réveil
  • October 27, 2015, Clarence, New York, and December 1, 2015, Amherst, New York1946 Montreal-about discrimination against French-speaking Maurice Richard, a member of the Montreal Canadiens, compared with discrimination against Jackie Robinson of the Montreal Royals, a minor league team of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
IMPORTANT: Did similar events occur in the Midwest or other locations? If you have stories or materials about the KKK and Franco-Americans from your area, please share in the show notes, and also email and share with Dr. Angelini.

How to Enter the Reveil Giveaway

  • Go to
  • Type in your first and last name, your email address, and the secret code word announced in the podcast. All boxes must be filled in correctly.
  • Then go to your email and confirm your entry.
  • You will have until midnight October 27th to get your entry in. On the 28th I will use a random-number generator to select a winner.
  • I will email the winner for their mailing address and announce the winner on the next episode of Maple Stars and Stripes.

Good luck!


I’m trying to get a feel for the Maple Stars and Stripes audience: who you are, what your interests are, what you need help with. So to that end, I’ve decided to include a survey with every epsiode, a quick question or two that will help me get to know you.

Today’s question is “How fluent are you in the French language?” Just click on the drop-down box, choose the answer that best fits, and click submit. That’s all there is to it. It’s totally anonymous.

Then in episode #40, I’ll share the breakdown with you. A year from now, I’ll share the updated results as new subscribers participate in the survey as well. We’ll all learn a bit more about our fellow French-Canadian cousins!

Question from a Listener

Marieville entryOne of our listeners has a baptismal record from Marieville. Margie wrote, “Note the title says St Nom de Marie, but the marker on the edge shows St Nom de Jesus and in parentheses (Ste Marie de Monnoir).

“Are these all the same parish with 3 different names (changed over time perhaps)? or are they three different parishes that have been combined? or what?

“And when I check a map, there is no such parish as St Nom de anything but it shows Marieville but no name of the church. FRUSTRATING!”

We both checked Quentin’s Parish and Town Guide to the Province of Quebec. It lists the parish of St. Nom de Marie in the town of Marieville.

In Jeanne Sauve White’s Guide to Quebec Catholic Parishes, it says that in 1801 the parish of St. Nom de Marie-Marie de Monnoir was established.

In the Reference and Guide Book for the Genealogist published by the American French Genealogical Society, Marieville’s parish is St. Nom de Marie. There is no mention anywhere else of St-Nom-de-Jésus.

The PRDH map gives Marieville as the parish name rather than the name of the town.

Can anyone clarify any of this ambiguity for us?

Wrap Up

Thanks to NCouture, MichaelB1985, and CaputCorpusCauda for taking the time to write reviews in iTunes and Stitcher. If you have a few moments and haven’t done so yet, I’d really appreciate it if you could spare a few minutes and write one up. It helps the podcast move up in rankings and more likely be seen by other genealogists who might find this information helpful.


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