In 1982 and 1983, a 5-volume series of books called The Chartier Families of North America was published. This series, co-authored by Jean
ROBERT of Montreal, Canada and Vernon CHARTIER of Portland, OR traced the four (4) major branches of CHARTIER in North America,
whom are all unrelated in North America.
Volume I dealt with basic history and will be included in this site at alater
date. Volumes II - V are separated into the following groups: II -
, III - Michel
, IV -
and V -
[nee: John Carter].
This web-site will eventually include all those branches
completely. All Volumes are now complete (and editable). The site
is skewed towards the descendancy of GUILLUAME (Vol.II) largely due to the fact that webmaster and database architect Michael SHORKEY, Jean ROBERT and Vernon CHARTIER are all descended from this branch
and therefore is where the most research has been conducted.
Descendants by Volume
GUILLUAME was part of the GRANDE RECRUE of 1653 (see plaque).
At the time of original publication, GUILLUAME was, by far, the largest branch having some 400+ pages. With all the updates applied
over the past 30 years, all those volumes today would be many times larger. Vol.II today would exceed 3600 pages! Vol.III over 1000. Certainly WAY too large to actually publish the way the original volumes were. It is also doubtful that anyone would be interested in ALL of the branchs, so a plan is in development that will allow users to self-publish pieces of the genealogy.
But that is many months away. This site, while now 1-year-old, is still 'teething' and
releasing updates to the site on a regular basis. Most recently the Volume
counts and Family Surname counts by volume were added. Soon, "heat" maps
will be unveiled showing population migration.
Marker in Montreal celebrating 350th Anniversary of the Grande Recrue
How to Register
The current version allows REGISTERED users to join in the fun! This version
not only allows
editing, but in another great leap forward, has added photos! This
will truly let the web-site come alive. When browsing, if the user is registered
and logged in AND photos are
available for that person, a "View Photos" button will be visible on
the Ancestry page.
Clicking the button will pop-up another screen (be sure pop-ups are not blocked)
with a slideshow of the photos available for that person will open.
How do you register? Click the "Login" link at the top right corner.
Follow the "Register" link on the LogIn page and fill-in the required fields.
After that, just login each visit to get the full experience!
The CHARTIER name
One of the first things we need to discuss is the name: CHARTIER. It originally
derived from CHARRETIER, or cart driver in 12th century France (when family
surnames started to become common). Today, it depends on who you ask concerning pronunciation. A true Frenchman will say: SHAR-TEE-A. The French-Canadians say: SHAR-TEE with a very gutterable A, which to a non-French ear may sound like an 'O' (hence the SHORKEY spelling seen from the Michigan, Vermont and NY lineages) and
many just say: CHAR-TER (leaving out the I). An interesting footnote to this can
be found in Cloud County, KS. Descendants of Vol.II, III and V all
managed to settle in this one little county in north central Kansas, and each
pronounced CHARTIER differently! The variations are many, including: Chorkey, Shurkey, Shirkey, Shorkey, Sharkey, possibly Shortee as well (some Census records). What it is not is the SHARKEY of largely Irish descent!
Why all the variations? These all occur in the USA. The
French-Canadians started migrating en-masse to the US starting in the 1840's,
due to the harsh treatment and restrictions imposed on them by the British after
the War of 1812. The French-Canadians threw their lot in with the
Americans during the war and the British retalliated afterwards by closing all
the French schools. Since no respectable Frenchman would attend English
schools, these immigrants were (by 1840) largely illiterate.
The English-speaking clerks of Michigan, Vermont and New York spelled the names
as they heard it. Being illiterate, they could not correct the clerks
spelling (many an "X" were found in VT registers).
Interestingly, though their CIVIL names were changed, their records in the
Catholic churches remained CHARTIER due to the fact that the priests were
largely French or French-Canadian or spoke French due to seminary training. My
own grandfather, ALBERT SHORKEY is a good example of this. His baptism and
marriage in Middlebury, VT @ Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
Mary is listed as CHARTIER. At the dawn of WWII while applying for a special
gasoline permit (he was a power-line supervisor so he had to have gas to get to
downed lines), it was discovered that his civil birth record actually said
SHORTKEY. He had to make a special trip back to Vermont to correct this error,
just to get it back to SHORKEY.
This genealogy site traces CHARTIER descendants, both male and female. The
original volumes only traced CHARTIER females for one (1) generation after
marriage because of the difficulty of keeping track of the multitude of family
surnames that would entail, especially since the storage medium was a
word-processing document. Now that all records are in a database, we can
store unlimited generations and easily track back to the "native" CHARTIER tree.
Consequently, we now have oodles (the technical term!) of non-CHARTIER names.
Below is a "Top 10" list of those family surnames for each Volume:
Vol.II - Guillaume
Vol.III - Michel
Vol.IV - Rene
Vol.V - Jean
This site just celebrated it 1st anniversary, and is still in development, but includes several
elements not often found on genealogy sites:
1 - Family Tree: find where a selected person lies along the family tree.
Includes this persons descendants, ancestors, ancestors siblings.
Kinship Tree: find how
any two persons within each volume in the tree are
3 - Search: find family name, then individual to display demographic
4 - Maps: Shows migration of each volume (or all) by era (in 25 year increments). Plus population break-down by state and county. Sometimes these type of maps are called HEAT Maps.
A word about the pages of demographic data. Each descendant page includes data about that descendant; their dates of birth and death and where each occurred and place of burial,
the full names of their parents and the hometown where that family was raised (all if known). The same data is included for each spouse in addition to the date and place of marriage,
including church. If a date is unknown, a "circa" tag will appear with the submitter's
Lastly, any children of the descendant are listed with a shorter synopsis of birth, death, marriages and children. All of
the descendants ancestors are listed at the top left of the page. These are
hyperlinks to each ancestor within each volume, all the way back to first known
ancestor. Following those links, you can "climb" back up the tree, and
the children's names allow you to "drill-down" the tree.
At the top right of each page is a Section (and sub-section) designation, the current ancestor/descendant ID and date the information was last updated.
A further elaboration about the "AncestryID". The first letter for each Volume
denotes the founder of that CHARTIER clan in North America. All ID's in Vol.II start with "G"
Vol.III with "M" [MICHEL], Vol.IV with "R" [RENE] and Vol.V with "J"
For each generation an additional letter is added mostly in the alphabethical order of their birth (first born's are always "A", second "B", etc.). In some cases, these ID's
are not exactly sequential because initial research might have found 3 children and latter research 6 offspring. Initially the 3rd child had been assigned a "C", and really could not
be reassigned to the correct letter (maybe they were really 5th [E]) since we may have additional generations of offspring when they were assigned "C".
If you speak database, that "C" was part of the primary key, which should never
be changed. We can correct SEQUENCE however so they still appear in the correct
birth order (as far as we know) on each page.
Also, in case you were not aware, the initial heritage of CHARTIER is French and French-Canadian Roman Catholic. I mention this because of two factors. Dates of birth and dates of Baptism, particularly in French Canada, are nearly
synonymous. Childbirth was a dicey affair in previous centuries, so babies were baptised within hours or days of birth. Frequently the priest would be in attendance at births because the mothers life could also be in danger and "Last Rites" for either the mother or child
could be necessary. The Catholic tradition also had vast numbers of male names starting with JOSEPH and females with MARIE. Most often, the child would be known by their second or third names. So don't assume that great-grandfather "Louis"
will show up that way. It's just as likely his name was "JOSEPH-LOUIS" or "JOSEPH-FRANCOIS-LOUIS" in official records. Same story with the females and MARIE. Additional digging may be necessary! Another complication
was the "re-use" of a name. As I mentioned, childbirth was a dicey affair, and it was not unusual for a child to die very young and the parents to name a latter child identically!
The head of Vol.II, Section E (Joseph) had 4 plain "Joseph" sons!
So please browse thru the site and give us some feed-back. We have been
amazed at how fast our visitor counter has climbed, averaging over 400 unique
visitors daily! If you GOOGLE or BING "Chartier Family" or "Chartier Genealogy" we are now the #1