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Welcome to the genealogy of the Como family, or more appropriately, the ancestors of Earl C. Como, 1919-1996, and Elizabeth May Cayen, 1923-1969, both of Ogdensburg, N.Y.
The majority of our ancestors are French Canadian from the Montreal area. Major surnames are Comeau/Como, Walling, Ricard/Recore, Petrie, LaFlair, Robillard, Lamica, Newcomb, Polly, Miller, Matteson, Wicks, Holmes, Terrill, Dumas, Russell, Boucher, and Thayer, among others. We now have 11,646 individuals in our family tree representing 4,773 families.
Ted Como - Kingsport, TN
Where we're from
The Comeau family originates in the Auxois region, also known as the Creancey region of Burgandy, France. This area is southeast of Paris and about midway between Paris and the Swiss border.
The first individual found with the Comeau surname is in 1348 in Poulley-en-Auxois. It is written on a tombstone: "Here lies Herbert Comaul who died in the year 1348." It is believed he could be the ancestor of Guyot de Comaul, or, Guy de Commeau, the known ancestor of the Comeau line in France, Canada and the U.S. In France, they included noblemen, military and lords and Guy de Commeau, born in 1450 in this area, was Lord of Creancey. He founded a chapel in the parish church of Pouilly-en-Auxois in 1495, which information appears in correspondence to King Charles VIII, in which he is referred to as "the nobleman, Guy de Comeau." There are numerous later references to the Comeau family in this area under various spellings, including Comeau, Comeaul, Comeaux, Commau, Commaux, Commeau, and Comau.
Some web sites identify the Comeau crest (coat of arms) as three blazing stars. This originates from a sculpted coat of arms found above the entrance of the Chateau de Creancey, built in the 17th century by Antoine Comeau, chief justice of the Burgundy Parliament in 1650. However, this crest is taken from the coat of arms of the administrative division (township) of Creancey in Burgundy, which shows the three stars above a tower. It is the crest of Creancy, and not the Comeau family per se. The Comeau coat of arms is a white dolphin intertwined with a gold anchor on a blue field. There are several variations on how the dolphin is placed with respect to the anchor. Its origin is unknown - coats of arms were not granted to surnames but to individuals to be passed down as property. The original Comeau to which this crest was granted has not been identified. There are mentions in the 12th century in France to "commeaux lands" in Normandy along the English Channel which may explain the dolphin/anchor, but no early surnamed Comeaus are associated with Normandy.
Meet our ancestors
One of our more interesting ancestors is Samuel Newcomb, above, a celebrated physician and convicted traitor to Great Britain, but an American and Canadian patriot.
Samuel was born in 1775 in Dutchess County, NY of Cyrenius Newcomb, an officer in the Revolutionary War - two of Cyrenius' brothers also fought in the war. Cyrenius is a direct descendent of Simon Newcombe, 1662-1744 - as are Presidents George H.W. Bush and George Bush.
In his early 20s, Samuel relocated to the Massena, NY area and then Montreal, where in 1810 he married Josephte Stubinger, daughter of Dr. George Stubinger, a French doctor of German descent who as part of the Royal Deux Ponts corps, fought for America in the Revolutionary War and was at the Battle of Yorktown. Dr. Stubinger was married to Dame Charlotte Boucher de la Broquerie of the noted Canadian Boucher family, after which Boucherville, Quebec was named.
Samuel Newcomb studied under his father-in-law and was licensed to practice medicine in 1812. He later became director of the medical college at Montreal, now Magill University, and practiced medicine in Boucherville and Chateauguay, Quebec. In 1838 along with three of his sons, he was a leader in the Patriot War wherein French Canadians rebelled against British rule in Canada. Two of his sons served short prison terms but Samuel refused to cooperate and in 1839 was convicted of treason. He was sentenced to death and his house burned, but the death sentence was commuted and at age 64, he was exiled to Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania.)
Despite ill health on the long voyage to Australia on the HMS Buffalo, he provided free care for his fellow prisoners, which continued throughout his exile. After nine years in Tasmania, he was pardoned and went to Plattsburgh, NY where he remained a year with son Samuel Jr. and in 1849, to Morristown, NY to stay with daughter Mathilda, returning to Montreal in 1850 where he quickly remarried and in 1851 at age 76, had another son. He died two years later. Samuel's daughter Elizabeth married Nicholas Christopher Walling, whose father fought for the British in the Revolutionary War; their son Roch Robert Walling was born in Chateaugay, Quebec and by 1854 was in Ogdensburg, NY near Morristown, where his great-grandaughter, Elizabeth Cayen Como was born.
Most Popular Given Names
Most popular given names in our family tree and the number of people with that name...
Women: Mary/Marie/Maria, 1,173; Ann/Anne/Anna, 1,163; Elisabeth/Elizabeth, 288; Margaret/Marguerite: 278; Catherine/Katherine, 189; Jeanne, 115; Louise, 114; Sarah, 87; Madeleine, 75; Michelle, 64; Renee, 57; Rose, 57; Alice, 53; Hanna, 49; Susan, 48.
Men: Jean/John, 772; Joseph, 469; Francois, 284; William, 255; Louis, 249; Pierre, 218; James, 155; Charles, 154; George, 147; Robert, 138; Thomas, 126; Henry, 109; Jacques, 105; Michael, 102; Antoine, 91; Edward, 88.
Our goal is the complete our genealogy through nine generations, to include all 256 sixth-great grandparents. We have identified 219 of them, and are missing: the parents of Christophe Welling, b. 1746, Wolfenbuettel, Germany; the parents of Michael Fogarty, b. 1784, Drumbane Parish, Tipperary, Ireland; the parents of his wife Nancy Ryan, b. abt. 1789, Drumbane Parish, Tipperary, Ireland; the parents of William Flood b. abt. 1780, Ireland; the parents of William's wife, Hannah Powell, b. abt. 1790, Ireland; the parents of Eunice Rockwood, b. 1750 in NY, wife of David Weeks; the parents and grandparents of Polly Willson, b. 1770, Guilford, VT, (wife of David Weeks, Jr.;) the parents and grandparents of Peter Holmes, b. 1792, possibly England; the full identity of and parents/grandparents of Peter Holmes' wife, Mary Jane, b. 1808, Canada; the parents, grandparents and great grandparents of Julia, wife of William Terrill, b. 1811 in VT; the parents of Antoine Serre/Thayer, b. 1769, possibly VT; the parents of Antonine's wife, Louise Spire, b. abt. 1770, possibly VT; and, the parents of Jemina Brace, b. 1752, MA.
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