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Coming from Australia, he traced his ancestors to this small village in Normandy

Coming from Australia, he traced his ancestors to this small village in Normandy

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“Welcome home Cathy. » It's not every day that Shakespeare's language is spoken within the walls of Saint-Philbert-sur-Orne, near Argenton (Orne)

Ancestor born in this small village in Normandy

May 16, 2024 Thursday The date will be engraved in memory of the mayor and some residents who came to welcome a special woman from Australia.

Cathy LaFontaineA resident of Portarlington, Near MelbourneHe wanted to see with his own eyes Marin is the birthplace of Supernatshe Seventh degree grandfatherwas born August 14, 1672It mentions her family tree carefully preserved in a bag she brought here.

Stir up the history of the village

Thierry Roux, the mayor of the village of 120 people, recounted the village's history, saying, “It all started with a letter in my mailbox.”

It's tempting to think that someone left here under Louis XIV and, centuries later, found descendants.

Thierry Roux, Mayor of Saint-Philbert-sur-Orne

This famous Marin Supernand had not represented anything special to the city until then. A Got the baptism certificate to his name. His story then continued in Canada. “He left as a soldier and stayed in the country before marrying in 1699,” recalls Catherine La Fontaine.

Mayor Thierry Roux duly welcomed Cathy La Fontaine to her ancestral village of Saint-Philbert-sur-Orne. ©Benoît Lesaulnier


But in any genetic research, the task is not easy, especially family Passed through three continents. Once across the Atlantic, the original name Supernant was changed (perhaps by mistake) to “Supernant”. “In Quebec, he gets the nickname La Fontaine,” says the mayor. La Fontaine would become a family name.

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The Australian, who worked as a border guard for 40 years, became interested in his ancestors Travel to Canada During the Winter Olympics. “Research in Canada was very difficult because everything was written in French,” he jokes. However, it was in Montreal that Ornil found a connection with Saint-Philbert.

… to Australia

In 1853, his great-grandfather, Nicolas La Fontaine Leaving New York at Mita Mita in the south-eastern state of Victoria, Australia. “He was one of the first blacks. He is gone Work in gold mines», related to a 61-year-old passenger.

He maintains close ties with Mita Mita, where his relatives go to camp every year. “Orne's landscapes remind me of my youth there. It makes you want to settle here,” he observes of Orne's curves.

Already been to Saint-Philbert

Orne did not have this trip Not his first . “In February 2016, friends told me to go to Argenton station to get to Saint-Pilbert,” she recalls. “However, the taxi driver could not understand me. So I drove through the village before heading straight back. »

This slightly better organized visit was a good revenge for her.

I was really looking forward to meeting the people here. I wanted to know which house I could have lived in.

Catherine La Fontaine

During his visit, he discovers the beauty of the village before entering the church where Marin Supernand performed his baptism. ” In the church is one of the memorials we strongly believe in He could see it too», says the mayor as he enters the pre-12th-century church. The holy water font is also the same. Emotional discoveryTo Catherine La Fontaine.

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The font of the church of Saint-Philbert, where Marin Supernant was baptized.
The font of the church of Saint-Pilbert, where Marin Supernant was baptized, at the end of the 17th century. ©Benoît Lesaulnier

Cousin of Prime Minister of Canada

Family trees agree Marie-Joseph Roux, a resident who saw the lineage of the village. “In 2006, I found a postcard from Canada that talked about Marin Surprenant,” says the local history buff.

Although his return letter did not locate the recipient due to displacement, it was able to trace Saint-Philbert's native family tree.

His brother, Joseph Surprenant, is a direct ancestor of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

This makes Kathy a relative of the latter.

Catherine's next step was more complicated: “discovering the origin of Marin's parents, Jean Supernant and Marguerite de la Rue”. But it will beFor another trip to Orne.

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