My third great grandmother on my dad’s side was Veronica (Veronique) Voirol. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland on August 18, 1829 and came to the United States sometime before her marriage to Joseph LeMaitre on December 24, 1852.
Veronica is one of my family history brick walls.
Family records provide information on her birth and US census records verify at least the year. She was married in Fort Wayne, Indiana … I knew this from family stories, but have recently been able to obtain an unofficial digital copy of the marriage record. Her name is Veronique Voraol on this record.
Searching for someone whose name gets spelled differently on every document just sucks. I’ve seen Voirol spelled Voraol, Virrol, Verrault, and Veiral. Ugh. Thank goodness for soundex!
I know a lot about what happened to Veronica after she was married and began a family … all those records are in our family bible (mostly). What I can’t find is information on how she arrived in America, or why.
Here’s what I know: Veronica Voirol
After she and Joseph married, they moved to Minnesota (1860 census shows them in Lowel). My great-great grandmother, Adaline Isabelle LeMaitre (1866-1951), was the first of seven children born in Minnesota. Her four older siblings were born in Indiana.
Veronica and Joseph’s children:
Francis (Frank) (1857-1918)
Isabelle (my 2nd great grandmother) (1866-1951)
August Louis (1868-1945)
One a side note: Isabelle married Charles Daniel Essler on June 4, 1884. This was the first of three marriages, but the only one that “counts” for me!
Marian Veronica (Verna – my great grandmother) (1889-1975)
Ina Lillian (1897)
Veronica lived the rest of her life in Minnesota, mostly in Hutchinson. Based on information from Joseph’s side, they survived a great deal. Joseph was an Indian scout and a Private in the Hutchinson Guards during the Sioux uprising. I’ll write more about that in another post. I do know that Veronica was an incredibly strong woman.
Death came on January 7, 1883. Veronica is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Hutchison, Minnesota.
Here’s what I think I know: Francis Voirol
Veronica arrived with or shortly after a brother, Francis Voirol. Francis (Frank) was born in Switzerland on May 11, 1820. I can verify birth records, but not who Frank or Veronica’s parents were. Frank arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1849 at the age of 29 and lived there until his death in 1902. He was a jeweler.
My suspicions are partly due to dates, names, and a piece of jewelry that has been passed down through my dad’s side of the family.
Family History Challenges
Tracing ancestors back to their birthplace can be quite the challenge, especially when you get far enough back that you’re stepping away from American soil and into another country where records may or may not be easily located … certainly without traveling … or accurate. This is one of the greatest challenges of family history research, yet one of the most rewarding. It’s like finding the missing puzzle piece that got buried between the couch cushions. You breathe a deep sigh of relief.
Putting the puzzle together may take you years, even a lifetime (yikes!). I’m grateful that so much of this information has been and is being digitized … at least indexes, if not full records. Having access to digital records helps fill in the blanks where we couldn’t event just a decade ago.