ALFRED — Genealogy was the topic of conversation during June’s lively Morin family’s Franco-American gathering in Alfred.

More than 100 family members and guests gathered to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary of Ralph, 93, and Irene (Martel), 88, Morin, who were married on June 14, 1941, at Notre Dame Church in Saco. Their six children hosted the party and family reunion on June 12th in Alfred. The couple met in Saco in 1937, while ice skating.

“We are very proud of our wonderful parents,” said their daughter, Lucille Paquette.

Dozens of photographs were taken of the spry anniversary couple. They posed alongside three generations of relatives and the guests who attended the Platinum wedding anniversary party.

The Morins are related to my husband through Rose Anna Morin L’Heureux, who was Ralph’s aunt and my mother-in-law. The first couple of their Maine family tree were Philias and Emma (Martin) Morin. They immigrated to Biddeford at the turn of the last century, from Roxton Falls in Quebec.

Like almost any family reunion, the Morin and Martel relatives enjoyed connecting their families by names and faces. Children were proud to point out their grandparents. Dozens of first cousins and the distant ones who are relationally “once removed” became acquainted with each other all over again. Most had not seen one another for many years.

Researching Franco-American genealogies going back hundreds of years is fairly common and the facts are amazingly accurate, because nearly all the French who inhabited Quebec for the past four centuries were practicing Roman Catholics and the church maintained meticulous vital statistics.

Several genealogy researches in the Morin family discussed their family’s origins tracing the name back 12 generations to France. They found the first documented ancestor was Pierre Morin and his wife Marguerite Laurent, who lived in the Bretagne region of France. Their son begins the first North American generation. His name was also Pierre Morin. On February 22, 1694, a marriage was recorded between Morin and Marie-Madeleine L’Espinay in Beauport Quebec.

Some historical information was provided for a few of names in the 12 generations of Morin ancestry.

The genealogy information was provided by Norman Angers, director of the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society in Auburn. Information obtained from records written by Quebec notaries described the ownership of properties and anecdotal insights into some of the family’s names. Through 12 generations, the Morin genealogy was related by marriage to a Franco-American names like Lussier, Lavallee, Gauvin, Charland, Favreau, Menier, Renaud, Giroux, Petit and others.

The first generation marriage in Maine is recorded between Rose Anna Morin to Joseph William L’Heureux, on May 12, 1925, at St. Andre Parish in Biddeford. They are my husband’s parents.

Native American ancestry is documented in at least one marriage. An ancestor named Martin Prevost, born on January 4, 1611 in Paris France, died on January 26, 1691 in Champlain County Quebec. A marriage is recorded between Prevost and Marie-Olivier Sylvestre Manitouabeouichi, a Huron, on November 3, 1644, in Quebec.

Two female ancestors were among Les Filles du Roi, (daughters of the king). These were young French single women who were adopted by the French King when they agreed to leave France and travel to New France to marry male colonial settlers. Both filles listed in the Morin genealogy arrived in New France in the middle 17th century, with documented money dowries provided by the King of France.

It’s important in any family genealogy to count future as well as past generations. In other words, the Morin genealogy includes the three generations who came together to celebrate the wedding anniversary. Therefore, more than 15 generations of Morin’s can claim the same genealogy chart.