He also obtained a large number of birth, marriage and death records for a number of our ancestors. This provided information about their occupations, parents, god-parents, etc… an incredible amount of data on our family history!
The family tree could now go back to the year 1613 when a Georges Mollot was born in Trouans. To give you some perspective of the data, we were given four large sheets of printed paper of approximately 3 ft. x 12 ft with a total of 1200 names of our family tree. And, oh yes, we did make the connection between our ancestry and Yolande’s! Pierre and Marie Angélique Mollot go back six generations. They were siblings in a family of seven children, their parents being Georges Mollot and Sire Beaurieux. We could now celebrate our family connection with “un repas du midi” beginning with an ‘eau de vie’ drink (a distilled liqueur made from plums), followed by a three and a half hour, stupendous lunch which included, of course, a few bottles of French wine. That French life can be pretty tough to take!
Since that time, I have developed an excellent working relationship with M. Pascal Pierre who keeps finding new information about our family roots. We have also incorporated in the data file the names of the most recent generations. By checking on the web site Mollot.ca, one is be able to follow our roots back to the year 1613.
What is truly amazing also is that M. Pierre, the person who has really found much of this information about our family, was born and raised right across from the St Georges Church in Trouans, the location which, to date, our family can be traced the furthest. We really do live in a small world! Without all of the above events and circumstances, the wealth of knowledge of our family history would not be as comprehensive as it is today. We, as a family, are most fortunate.
Not only did we amass a large amount of knowledge of our ancestry but the above events and circumstances gave us an opportunity to organize a twelve day guided bus tour, nicknamed the Mollot “Tour de France” in August of 2008.
The tour included some forty-eight family members from Canada, the U.S.A. and New Zealand. Given our contacts and friends in France, we were able to tour our various ancestral roots in different parts of France in cities and towns such as Trouans, Lhuitre, Châlons en Champagne, Lyon, Die and, finally, Blandin. We were extremely well received in the various villages and cities that we visited. It was an incredible and memorable family experience for all!
I would also like to acknowledge our relatives John and Cecile (née Theriault) Mestan who inspired me some years ago to pursue our family genealogy. In the year 1988, I had had the opportunity to attend a conference in Orlando, Florida, where the Mestans live. I took it upon myself to meet and visit these cousins…. and what a visit it was! Besides enjoying their great warmth and hospitability, I witnessed a beautiful home with numerous archival family items including the paintings of Fortuné on the walls. Over the years, Cecile and I have exchanged artifacts of our ancestors. Our families have become very close and enjoy visiting.
As well, our heartfelt thanks go to Louise Mollot (the spouse of Marcel Mollot) who for the past fifteen years has diligently compiled, developed and maintained all our family data in a family tree program. Her many hours of dedication have been invaluable in maintaining the family history.
A debt of gratitude also goes to a number of people who safeguarded numerous family documents, letters, memorabilia, photos and paintings and passed them on from generation to generation. Besides Fortuné and Léopoldine, names that come to mind, are Gabrielle, their eldest daughter with whom they lived with at times in Winnipeg, and my aunt Alice Mollot who took great interest and pride in our family roots and traditions. Both of these ladies preserved our family history. Neither got married. Both were music teachers who travelled frequently to France.
No doubt one of my greatest motivators to pursue our heritage was my aunt Alice Mollot to whom I will always be indebted. From my early childhood, she would always tell us stories about the life and times of Fortuné and Léopoldine Mollot. On numerous occasions at various family gatherings, my aunt Alice would show us her photos of Blandin and the château. As early as1953, she had travelled to France with uncle Barney and aunt Gil Mollot. “Some day, you must go and visit Château Blandin” she would say. Another fascinating experience was visiting her apartment in Winnipeg. It was like a “museum” of family artifacts including paintings and photos on the walls to antique furnishings some of which had been brought from France by Fortuné and Léopoldine.
Before her death in 1997, Aunt Alice gave me most of the family correspondence and documents which Alice had saved.
I would also be remiss if I did not mention my parents John and Blanche Mollot, my uncles and aunts, Archie and Aline, Barney and Gil, and Louis and Eleanor brothers to aunt Alice who instilled in us pride of our family heritage. At an early age at family gatherings, numerous stories about the family were told by my parents, uncles and aunts. We learned about our grandparents and great grandparents. We learned also from the Memoires of Fortuné and from the paintings that we had hanging in our homes. The family maintained traditions such as making quenelles and rum cake at Christmas time. These are recipes, brought from Lyon, that have been passed down generations to the present. “Quenelles” are a Lyonnais fish dumpling in rich sauce and “gâteau au rum,” is a delectable Lyonnaise trifle.
All these experiences aroused my curiosity and inspired me to find out more about my family ancestry.
Furthermore, I am very grateful to numerous other relatives who have shared various photos, documents, etc. which provided me with information for this treatise.
One of the goals of this document is to share the wealth of information that we have about our most interesting and fascinating family roots.