Ranger - Brennan - Larocque - Lachance - Dufresne - Durocher - McCuaig - Kenny
Family Histories

Preface and Acknowledgements
Updated: February 1, 2017.

Two goals are intended in preparing these family histories.

1) To make them interesting and entertaining to anyone who cares to read them, and

2) To stimulate interest in family history.

This account, and the off-line archive from which it is drawn, is by no means complete or final. One could start their own research from any point in these pages, and begin to make discoveries immediately. In reality, I've barely scratched the surface.

For example, there are many things genealogists should do that I didn't. With few exceptions, I didn't spend a lot of time gathering data in archives, town halls, cemeteries, and the like. My own limited research took place in the Syracuse Public Library where I recorded the Ranger entries from the early city directories. I also spent some time in the LDS Family History Center. Most material within was compiled from the world wide web, or resulted from communication initiated on the web.

As of this writing, in 1999, the internet is relatively new. Two major problems we are now having concern: 1) bandwidth, and 2) search engines. Narrow bandwidth causes data to move slowly. The long time needed to access and download files on the internet prevents the web from becoming a household item. It is not known at this time if improvements in narrow bandwidth will occur. As of 1999, one may easily transmit medium amounts of text and small pictures. Transmission of large pictures, movies, and sound, are not as yet practical, although improvements are constantly being made.

Search engines are not yet accurate and far-reaching, although I expect that they will be in the future. I use them because they are what we have available, but always have the uneasy feeling I'm missing much more than I'm retrieving.

Every effort has been made to ensure that this work is historically accurate. Documents in the form of birth, baptism, marriage, and death certificates constitute the first order of evidence. When documents are not available, good circumstantial evidence is allowed.

This project began when I was conducting a search on the web on a completely unrelated subject. I accidentally came upon Larocque archivist Suzanne O'Neill's email address. At the time I didn't realize there even *was* a Larocque archivist. From Ottawa, Suzanne offered to send me by mail, a copy of her Larocque register, and I accepted her kind offer. One Saturday morning the postman brought what looked like a J.C. Penney's catalogue, but a closer look revealed Suzanne's complete repertoire (as of September 1996) of the descendants of Philibert Larocque. And the rest, as they say, is history. (Gentlemen, start your search engines!)

In 1999, the Internet, with the World Wide Web, is being hailed as the greatest invention since the printing press. We are told that a new age of information and communication is being ushered in to supersede the industrial and the post-industrial revolutions. Time will tell, of course, if the internet will really rival the printing press. But let me tell you -- in 30 short months, I was able to learn electronically what would have taken many years at great expense to learn conventionally. Of course, one might say, "That's true. But then, you had the good fortune to meet G. Lawrence Coderre . . ."

While researching by email, I received a friendly hello from Larry Coderre (left), of Ottawa. In order to describe how Larry helped us, we must begin with his older brother, John E. Coderre. Jack was an accomplished genealogist and also, as a sideline, he was a consultant for the National Archives of Canada. Jack completed the Coderre family history (as much as a project of that sort can be completed). With that being done, Larry set about to research the family history of his (Larry's) wife, Lucille, using techniques he learned from Jack.

Larry did indeed go on to develop an extensive genealogy and history of Lucille's family. This proved to be a lucky break for us, for Lucille's maiden name -- Ranger. Another branch of our family -- Lachance, also shares ancestry with, and in fact had already been researched by the Coderres. Because of Larry's high regard for a friendly and open exchange of information, through a series of email correspondence, parts of the remote past of both the Ranger and Lachance families are now known to us.

In early November 1997, Larry, along with another Ranger history buff, Jean-Pierre Ranger (right), visited the site of Hubert Ranger's homestead in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. Through his research, JP had learned that the Clarendon Hotel was situated on the land that formerly belonged to Hubert Ranger. Even though the Clarendon no longer existed, the two sleuths did in fact determine the site to be that of the Ranger arriere-fief.

As of 1999, the fief is occupied by a chic restaurant, Le Surcouf, and by the Ste. Anne de Bellevue Canada-Poste. Larry and Jean-Pierre's trip turned out to be another lucky break for us. It was because of persistence of Jean-Pierre Ranger in finding the site that they happened to be in Vaudreuil. At the "Centre d'histoire La Presquile" in Vaudreuil-Dorion, they found the birth record of the elusive Bazile Ranger.

Larry's brother Jack passed away in 1997. In the weeks and months following Jack's death, Larry visited the archives in Ottawa and Hull in search of documentation to confirm that Bazile was indeed our great great grandfather, David Basil. In so doing, he found the ancestors of the Ranger family of Syracuse, New York. We shall be forever grateful to the Coderre brothers, Jack and Larry, and to Lucille Ranger Coderre, Larry's wife. I must report the unhappy news that Lucille passed on in 2007, and Larry died a year later. As you can well imagine, they both will be very much missed by all of us.

To go to the top of this page, press here.

We are indebted to Sally Sessler, with her collection of Buckley Road and St. Lawrence photographs,and to Howard Easter, who with his stories brought Buckley Road to life. Thanks also go to Syracuse University for permission to use computer equipment for this project.

Off-line archive. The Ranger family history archive contains a complete record of email communication regarding family history from September 1996 and it continues on. Historical and anecdotal material not included on the web, are kept on diskette and on paper in the archive. The archive is available for viewing to anyone who would like to see it. I plan to maintain the archive personally until a younger family member shows an interest in family history and demonstrates the responsibility needed for the archive's safe keeping. He or she will then be asked to take over maintenance of the archive.

It's hoped that one day in the future, maybe in 2099, someone will look at these ancient histories and feel compelled to complete them, perhaps by using technology that we, in 1999, have yet to develop.

Bob Ranger
Syracuse, New York, USA
March 31, 1999
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To those interested in how this site came about . . .

The Dean of the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management meant business: "In order to compete successfully with other institutions, it's of utmost importance that we implement a first-class web site. I don't care how you do it . . . but learn the web!" And so to comply with the School's policy, I began to teach myself by constructing a few web pages!

Dvorak Keyboard Layout - A couple of topics came to mind to write about. One was about a new, (actually quite old) typing keyboard layout, the Dvorak. The Dvorak layout was already proven superior to the standard. I started to learn to make web pages and at the same time practice the Dvorak keyboard. The narrative and the instructions have been discontinued as of January, 2017. The article about Mrs. Blackburn, the world's all-time fastest typist, is the sole survivor of the Dvorak section.

Music - I posted a couple of pages about woodwind playing; some stories my dad used to tell with his buddies (he was a musician too); plus a couple of my own experiences. But as I spent more time thrashing about trying to write music articles, I found that other writers were doing as fine a job as I ever could. Besides, I would rather *play* music than write about it.

Meanwhile, just behind the horizon, another passion was beginning to rise. My parents were from Canada, as virtually all my North American ancestors were. I grew up knowing my ethnicity was French and Irish with a bit of Scottish and Indian. In melting-pot Syracuse everyone had a "nationality" . . Italian, German, Black, Ukrainian . . virtually all ethnic groups were represented. In conversations, the subject of nationality and parentage would surface early on.

This interest stayed with me. Who were these folks who share family names and resemblances? Where did they fit into the history of their time and place? Were they affected by it? Did they have an effect? Is personality in the dna . . genes . . or is it the environment that affects who you are? For what it's worth, I lean toward environment although I think the genome will definitely prove to play an important role.

So I ran the names of my great grandparents through the search engines. What a surprise! Hundreds of cousins became known through the internet. Maybe thousands. Some richer, some poorer; some better looking (well, most) and some not. Some well-educated, others only smart. Distant cousins live in just about every city in North America, and are represented on every continent on the globe.

What were our folks doing at various points in history? The French Indian War, War of 1812, and the Civil War all play a part some way or another in the lives of our family. What music did they listen to or play? One of our ancestral cousins was choirmaster in a Montréal church in 1684. What's the story with that?

Click on a name to view its page: | Lachance | Brennan | Ranger | Larocque | Maccuaig | Kenney | Durocher | Dufresne | Search Yahoo


Your questions and comments are welcome. rcranger@syr.edu

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Copyright © 1999, 2017 by Robert Ranger, Wilmington, North Carolina.