Does baby Dorothy belong in my tree?


gg - george eliot quote

Francis Cyprien Duval & Alice Hyde are my 2nd great grandparents.  They are pictured above with four of their five children who survived birth and infancy.  Their oldest son, Francis Henry (back left), is my great grandfather.

I have known about 5 of their children for years.  Slowly I have been finding little tid-bits that indicate there were additional children.

These are the five children who are well known to me:

  • Annie Marie Elvera Duval, 1899-1979
  • Francis Henry Duval, 1901-1996
  • Leon Howard Duval, 1907-1941
  • Dolores Lenore Duval, 1909-2005
  • Alexander Valmore Duval, 1916-1997

Notice the gaps?  Six years between Frank and Leon, and seven years between Dolores and Valmore.  Those are pretty big gaps for a Roman Catholic like Francis Cyprien Duval.

For a few years now I have known of two other children.  The first is a baby boy who was not named.  He was born and died on 15 February 1915 in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The second child is referenced in the 1910 census for the family while they are living in Fairbanks, Alaska.  Alice is listed as the mother of 5, with 4 living.  That means that there is a child who was born and died prior to 10 February 1910.

So my revised list of children looks like this:

  • Annie Marie Elvera Duval, 1899-1979
  • Francis Henry Duval, 1901-1996
  • Unknown Duval, born and died prior to February 10, 1910
  • Leon Howard Duval, 1907-1941
  • Dolores Lenore Duval, 1909-2005
  • Baby Boy Duval, 1915-1915
  • Alexander Valmore Duval, 1916-1997

It seems likely that the child I learned of from the 1910 census belongs between Frank and Leon in that 6 year gap, but that is just speculation.

It now appears there may be an additional child.


A baby girl named Dorothy.

The Western Call, a BC newspaper, has a death and funeral announcement found in their 14 October 1910 issue that reads:


The death took place Wednesday morning of Dorothy, the infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Duval, corner of Twenty-sixth avenue and Martha street.  The funeral was held Thursday morning at 9.30 o’clock from the residence, Rev. G. A. Wilson Officiating.

Could this Mr. and Mrs. Frank Duval be my Frank & Alice Duval?

Most likely.


I know from an interview of their son Frank in the late 1970s/early 1980s that Frank and Alice left Alaska sometime after Alice’s father Henry died in 1907.  They were still in Fairbanks when the 1910 census was taken in February of that year.  I know that after they left Fairbanks they lived in Vancouver for a short time before moving to Lynn Valley, BC where they all lived until sometime after Francis Cyprien Duval’s death in 1919.

So once again, I revise my list of children for Frank and Alice:

  • Annie Marie Elvera Duval, 1899-1979
  • Francis Henry Duval, 1901-1996
  • Unknown Duval, born and died prior to February 10, 1910
  • Leon Howard Duval, 1907-1941
  • Dolores Lenore Duval, 1909-2005
  • Dorothy Duval, died 12 (or 11th) October 1910
  • Baby Boy Duval, 1915-1915
  • Alexander Valmore Duval, 1916-1997

Does baby Dorothy belong in my tree?


I think so.  I need more records to be sure.

But now I am wondering… how many other children are missing?



Note:  THANK YOU to Teresa from writing my past for suggesting I check out this BC newspaper site where I found the obit for baby Dorothy.  Of course that led me to additional searching including this site for BC City Directories.  I love the genealogy blogging community.  Our collective knowledge and sharing make genealogy SO MUCH better.  Thank you Teresa!



Author: thegenealogygirl

I'm a girl who loves genealogy. Let me tell you about it.

29 thoughts on “Does baby Dorothy belong in my tree?

  1. Hi Amberly, is there anyway you can follow up on the address in the obit? As a side, Frankie is going back to the Yukon this spring and I still think it would be interesting to follow up and see if more can be found on Alice’s sister owing a “house of ill repute” in Dawson.

  2. I am also always a bit skeptical of the large gaps between children (even in non-Catholic families!). There was a gap of nine years between two of my great-uncles. Did my great-grandparents lose children in those years or were there just no conceptions? Or perhaps miscarriages or abortions? I hope you find more about Dorothy and the other mystery child(ren).

  3. I agree; gaps between children in nineteenth and early twentieth century families are quite likely to indicate babies who died young, stillbirths and miscarriages. Unless the father is absent for long periods of time (away working, at war, etc). It is horrible knowledge though; I hate the search for dead children, even when it helps to complete my knowledge of ancestors’ lives.

  4. When I find these missing babies, I find it so sad. I can’t imagine being the mother, losing so many children and it was so common. Or the dad either. And then there is the idea of siblings: my great-grandfather lost his two baby sisters at Christmas when he was only 5. I can’t imagine how that marked him.

    • Yes, definitely sad. But I also feel like finding them and adding them to the tree is a way to acknowledge not only their life, but the loss their family experienced. So for me, it is sad, but also joyful to record those precious babies and honor their short lives and the love and loss their family must have felt.

      How sad for your grandfather to lose his two baby sisters at Christmas! I wonder if future Christmases were tinged with noticeable sadness?

    • Luanne, do you know what their causes of death were? I agree, it is very sad to lose two babies around Christmas. How old were the girls?

  5. I think of them as the forgotten children as the 10 years gap between the census (20 for 1880-1900) and bad record keeping of the times have made them disappear although they were surely not forgotten by their parents. Record keeping in Europe was much better and when I find this kind of gap it is usually not because of infant death.

    • Yes, definitely not forgotten by their parents. Although I do find it curious that my great-grandfather never mentioned any additional siblings. Maybe he forgot? Or maybe he, like many others from this time, didn’t dwell on the loses as it was so common.

      Interesting that gaps in Europe mean something different. I have done very little research in Europe. I’m mostly in Quebec, Scotland, England and the US. My Scottish folks just didn’t seem to have gaps. I’m a novice in my English research. One of these days I hope to start researching in France. I have a 3rd great grandpa born there but I can’t seem to get him across the pond…

      • Does that also mean you don’t know where he came from in France?

        • I only have family notes that list his birthplace as “Near Verdun”. I can’t find any records for him prior to his marriage. I have photos of him and plenty of anecdotal evidence, but no records pre-marriage. Near Verdun is not super helpful… sigh.

        • Have you checked out his name on Geneanet. There may be French researchers working on the same family. It could lead to the commune in the Département de la Meuse especially if it is an unusual surname or combination of first names.

        • Thanks for the tip Cathy. I haven’t done that. It used to be that the only people with his last name that I could find anywhere in the world were his own descendants. Recently some Paris records have popped up on Ancestry that also have his last name so I guess his last name isn’t made up after all. 🙂 I’ll give your suggestion a try. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s