The Birth record of Jean Ducha in Oloron, Béarn. Is this the record of our Ancestor?
While this record is difficult to read and is written in Latin, there is a very strong possibility that it is the birth record of the ancestor, Jean Ducas dit Labrèche. First we will look at the key elements of the record from the Church of Sainte Marie in Oloron, Béarn which state that a Jean Ducha was born on the 2 January 1657, the son of Pierre Ducha from Luc and Catherina de Pereuil of Sainte Marie (Oloron). The godparents are Jean de Puyade of Saint Pierre and Bertranda de Bareton, also of Saint Pierre. The only issue with this record is that the parents names do not match what we see in the records from New France. However, it is important to note that the notary record and the church record in New France do not even match for our ancestor. We do not know why this is. That being said, there are very strong indications that this could be our ancestors birth record. First and most important is that we know from the Hotel Dieu archives, that Jean Ducas was born in Béarn around 1657. This record of course is from 1657, thus the age is a match to what we know about Jean Ducas. Secondly, Jean Ducas named his first 2 sons Pierre. Not just his first son, but his first 2 sons! So, we know the name Pierre was important to him and this record shows the father of Jean Ducha was Pierre. Third, the pronunciation of the Ducha name is Duca as is the pronunciation of Ducas so phonetically the name is identical. Some of the birth records for the children of Jean Ducas show the spelling Duca, so we know this was the phonetical pronuncation of the name. Further, there are only about a dozen records in Béarn for the Ducas name from the 17th and 18th century, so the name is quite rare making the age and name match all the more important. Most importantly though, an analysis of the town of Saint Pierre on 17th century maps shows there was only one in Bearn and it is the very same Saint Pierre mentioned in this record, the town of origin for the godparents. Saint Pierre is a small village that was just outside the town of Oloron Sainte Marie, a mere 5KM outside. It is almost sure, that this village is the origin of our ancestor and thus, this record, with a name match, a location match and a date match is quite likely the birth record of our ancestor, Jean Ducas.