52 Ancestors 2014, ancestor story

Ancestor Story – Francis Cyprien Duval – 52 Ancestors

Francis Cyprien, Francis Henry, Elvera & Alice Hyde Duval, 1903 Oakland CaliforniaDuval Family – 1903 – Oakland, California
left to right: Francis Cyprien Duval, Francis Henry Duval,
Annie Marie Elvera Duval, Alice Hyde

Francis Cyprien Duval is my 2nd great grandfather.  His son, Francis Henry Duval, is my great grandfather.  I knew Grandpa Duval well as he lived until I was in college.  Francis Cyprien is a fascinating part of my family tree.  Let me tell you about him.

Francis Cyprien Duval

  • Born – 3 October 1863, Rimouski, Quebec, Canada.
  • Baptized – October 1863, Ste-Luce Church in Rimouski.  He was baptized Cyprien Duval.  His God parents were his father’s sister Arsene Duval and her husband Cyprien Chaurette.
  • Married – 12 November 1897, Dawson, Alaska to Alice Hyde.  He was 34, she was 17.
  • Death – 19 May 1919, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  He injured his foot while working in the Forest Service.  The foot became gangrenous and he refused to have it amputated.  The infection resulted in his death.  He left a family of five children ages 20 down to 4.

Francis Cyprien Duval is of French descent.  His line has a few branches that currently stop in the early 1700s but most of his lines were in Quebec prior to 1600.  The families moved around Quebec a little bit but he is the first in my direct line to leave Quebec.  He seems to have an adventurous spirit.  He set off on his own and settled in a gold mining town in Alaska where he met Alice Hyde.  After they married they moved back and forth between California and Alaska semiannually for a few years and eventually settled in Alaska and then British Columbia.

When I think about Francis Cyprien Duval I wonder about several things.  I wonder what he set out to find when he left Quebec.  Was he seeking riches, adventure, a new life?  I wonder if his family was excited for him or sad to see him go.  I wonder if he had contact with them after he left.  I wonder about the large age difference between he and his wife.  I wonder about his nomadic life with his growing family.  I wonder how different his children’s lives would have been had he allowed the doctors to amputate his foot.  I wish he had kept a journal, I would love to read it.  My musings on his life and choices makes me realize I need to be more thoughtful with my journal writing.  The why is something I don’t address nearly as often as the what.

What ancestor in your tree was an adventurer?  What would you like to know about them?

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