Welcome to Molly’s Canopy!

My name is Molly Charboneau. I am a writer-editor, genealogist and family historian — growing family trees one leaf at a time.

My passion for family history research took root decades ago on a trip to Montréal, Québec — where I found my paternal great-great grandfather Laurent Charbonneau’s 1832 baptismal record in an archive.

Sitting in a darkened room examining church records, I could barely read the handwriting or decipher the French — nor could I contain my excitement when I finally found my ancestor’s name!

I returned home with a certified copy clutched in my hand and a burning desire to continue exploring my heritage. In short, I was hooked.

Records and road trips

Since then, I have visited archives and records repositories, courthouses and cemeteries — and spent hours online in the quest for vital genealogy documentation.

Yet what brings the records to life is traveling to places where my ancestors lived, worked, raised families, contributed to their community life and sometimes even made history — and the stories that those visits reveal.

Join me on the journey

On Molly’s Canopy I share some of those ancestral stories, along with tips on how to plan a visit to an ancestor’s home area and ways to get the most out of family history research and road trips.

For more about how I got started as a genealogy blogger, check out May I Introduce To You…Molly Charboneau from the GeneaBloggers website and Happy Blogiversary to Molly’s Canopy! from the GeneaBloggersTRIBE blog.

I hope you’ll join me on the journey!

21 thoughts on “About”

  1. Enjoyed your information about the Moose River settlement. I live upstream just 2 miles from there and have seen the old tannery foundation and discovered a couple old foundations on my property. Will you add to the Moose River settlement blog entry?

  2. Molly- Hello to another relative, but where did the “n” go?
    We must connect so I may share what I’ve collected over almost 40 years of research with the Charbonneau family.
    My ancestor was Louis Desire’ Charbonneau who first came to the Moose River Settlement in Lyonsdale, Lewis County, NY.
    We need to talk…
    Look forward to hearing from you and your newsletter.

  3. Molly, I’m writing from Albuquerque, NM. While searching the web for images of my old church outside Schenectady where I was baptized, I randomly noticed a photo of a house that looked just like the one in Endwell where we lived from the fall of 1952 to sometime late in 1957. As I explored your blog (Zooming off to Endwell), I realized we may have been neighbors! Our house was at 3105 Malverne Road, and it was the exact same model as the one in your photo. My bedroom was upstairs. It would be fun to compare notes! I’d love to hear from you when you have time. File under “Small World.”

    1. Thanks for leaving this comment, Ken. Turns out we actually lived in the same house! My parents bought it from yours in 1957. Also interesting that you were baptized in Schenectady before your family moved to Endwell — because we moved there from just outside of Schenectady, where my dad worked at GE. Will definitely be in touch. “Small World” indeed!

  4. Nice Job, Molly.
    Great presentation of your genealogy work!!!

    1. Thanks, Mike. Great being a member of CDGS. Hope to be in touch about my Irish gg grandfather, William Patrick Dempsey, who spent some time in Troy, Rensselaer County, N.Y., in the 1800s before settling in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Maryland.

  5. Hi Molly,
    So happy to know that my first book was of value. I wonder if you have read the second one: Moose River Diary 2: The Mole People, which includes a chapter on the Bull family. Having sleuthed night and day forever, it seemed, I still don’t know if the product of my search is correct. You will know. This is why I stress that mine is a story as opposed to a history.

    Having the best time reading your blog!
    Many thanks,
    Judy Jones

    1. Thanks, Judy, for your visit and for writing both of your helpful books. I have your second book Moose River Diary 2, but have only just begun reading it. I plan to take a look tonight for the chapter about the Bull family, since I will be writing about them again soon! Please stop back and I will be in touch.

    1. Thanks, Chris. Quite a compliment given your knowledge of military history. Love the document inserts on your blog. They really add to your ancestors’ stories.

  6. Molly, I just love your latest post. Very moving…it really puts meaning into this Memorial Day weekend…The photo of your Dad is great and I see where you got your looks!

    Next time we take a roadtrip together, we can talk about our fathers [who art in heaven?]…

    My Dad and I also fell out over Vietnam. How prescient of you to realize that you could fill the breech through recovering your shared history.

    Totally inspiring! Jane

  7. Molly,
    I found this to be very interesting. Keep up the good work.

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Growing family trees one leaf at a time