July 7, 2009 - Great-Grandmother Marie's Sister Marie-Eugénie Berthe - Part 18j

07 July 2009


I spent yesterday morning weeding one of the front beds. It's the one by the road that always gets flooded from a torrential downpour. The water usually rises up about one foot past the sidewalk while covering the easement. And on those days my issue is the wake from the cars. Forget the grass... So I found a type of jasmine ivy ground-cover that would do just the trick... And it seems to be working sort-of.

There are still weeds to be attacked, and it'll take at least about four hours when I set my mind to finish this job. But have you ever weeded out a mass of vines from those weeds that insist on inventing every possible means of contortion to sprout up through the resident plants? It's frustrating to say the least. But it sure looks good after its done... and the wake-water is sort-of slowed down by the living barricade... And I've got to finish it, but...

I started transcribing the French and translating to English of the "L'Acte de Naissance", or the Birth Registration for great-grandaunt Marie Eugénie Berthe (née July) Clergeau Rénier... and so much for finishing the weeding. This is the part of genealogy that is the most time-consuming, in my opinion, but the most rewarding when the work is completed.

One of great-grandmother Marie Antoinette's younger sisters was Marie Eugénie Berthe. This of course is a reasonable deduction as determined from the information provided in Part 1 regarding granduncle Frederick Henry Abraham, and Part 16j and Part 17 of the search for great-grandmother Marie Antoinette.

The first thing I did was to make sure that I have some good copy and images of No. 42 from the French Guiana Civil Registration. I was able to get reasonable copies from the microfilm FHL[1093377] Registres de l'état civil, 1795-1870, Naissances, mariages, décès 1868-1870.

My method of approach -

Task 1
- Transcribe the Birth Registration. And of course the entry is in French, and I have to figure out whether I can actually read the original writer's script. I can, sort of. I also make sure I have copies of the complete page, in this case two pages, that the Registration is written on. My reasoning is that if I can't make out a word or phrase, or even a letter of great-grandaunt Marie-Eugénie Berthe's entry I can then refer to other entries on the page looking for similarities or a clearer rendition of an entry. And I transcribe. In my transcription there may be a blank line which represents a word or words I cannot make out too well.

First the main body of the Birth Registation.
No. 42. Naissance de Marie Eugenie Berthe July

Aujourd'hui, sept Avril mil huit cent soixante huit, à neuf heures de la Matinée; Par devant nous, Alexandre Couij, Maire et Officier de l'état civil de la ville de Cayenne, est comparu le sieur Jean Jacques Alfred July, âgé de trente cing ans, Commis Négociant, assisté des sieurs Thomas Marie de Goyriena, âgé de soixante six ans, Négociant, et Jean Thomas Lisis Fleury, âgé de trente et un ans, Marchand, tous domiciliés en cette ville, lequel nous a declare que Dame Catherine Cora Merle, son épouse, est accocucheé le quinze février dernier, à Cinq heures du Matin, dans la maison rue du Port No. 31, d’un enfant qu’il nous présente aujourd’hui; lequel est de sexe feminine, dont la déclaration provisoire nous fut faite le lendemain, auquel enfant il donne les prénoms de Marie Eugénie Berthe. Et on signé avec nous le present acte par triplicata àprés lecture faite. Cayenne, les jour, mois et an que dessus. C

Goyriena; Alfred July; Jean Fleury; A. Couij.
And second the notation in the margin at the top of the succeeding image.
Pour acte en date de quinze fevrier mil huit cent quatre vingt dix neuf, _____ ecrit le meme jour a la maire de Paris, neuvieme arrondisement, July Marie Eugenie Berthe, dont la naissance est constatée dans l'acte ci-contre a contracté mariage avec Rénier, Tatius Valentin Aimee, dont mention faite à Paris au Dépôt des Papiers publics des Colonies, le vingt fevrier 1899 ____ _____ _____ _____.
Task 2 - Translate my transcription. Apart from my small knowledge of French, this is where I use the tools; Google Translate and the Internet. I'm not providing a literal translation at this point as it'll just take up too much space.

Task 3 - Anglicize my translation. This part is critical at times to understanding that actual meaning of the French text. (Thank you Mme Tarmey and Mme Serroya... French teachers who swore I would never learn French!) At times a literal translation just doesn't work, especially since I might be working with archaic meanings and French words and phrases that actually do not translate word-for-word into English. And it is important that I note in my citation of this document that I have done the work. All-things-being-equal, I could be wrong, so I want to make sure that anyone reading my work understands that this is my attempt.
No. 42. Birth of Marie Eugenie Berthe July

Today, the 7th of April, 1868 at 9 am, appeared before us, Alexander Couij, Mayor and officer of the city of Cayenne, Mr. Jean Jacques Alfred July, aged 35 years, an employed Merchant, attended by Mr. Thomas Marie of Goyriena, aged 66 years, Merchant, and Mr. Jean Thomas Lisis Fleury, aged 31 years, Agent, all residing in this city, who told us that Mrs. Catherine Cora Merle, his wife gave birth, on the 15th of February last at 5 am, at the home of No. 31 Port Street, to a child that we present today, who is female, which the provisional statement was made giving the child the name Marie Eugénie Berthe. This Acte signed by us in triplicate. Cayenne, the date, month and year as above. C.

Signed: Goyriena; Alfred July; Jean Fleury; A. Couij.
Note in the margin.
By the Acte dated the 15th of February 1899, _____ written the same day by the mayor of Paris, 9th Arrondisement, Marie Eugénie Berthe July, whose birth is recorded in this Acte, did marry Tatius Valentin Aimée Rénier, in Paris with reference the submission of public papers of the Colonies, the 20 February 1899 ____ _____ _____ _____.
As this Blog posting is in both French and English I'm not going to further confuse myself and translate it into French. My apologies to Annie, Marcelle and Yann.




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