Joseph's surname was usually spelled Trotochaud but he later went by Trottershaw and Trottshaw.
He was the son of Joseph Trotochaud and Odile Bellemare of Mount Carmel, Quebec. He was born 21 June 1867 and was one of eight children. In 1871 his family was living in the Township of Rochester, Essex County, Ontario. In 1880 they were living in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Joseph's father died near Sault Ste. Marie in 1909 and his obituary said the family had moved there in 1876 when Joseph was 9 years old.
Joseph married Louise Ouellette 20 October 1896 in Morden, Manitoba. They had at least seven children but by the time he enlisted in May 1916 only three survived (Joseph, John/Jack and Henry). The family lived in Morden, Dufferin, St. Claude and Elm Creek, Manitoba.
Joseph enlisted on 16 May 1916 in Winnipeg and served in Canada with the 221st Battalion for 11 months. He was discharged on 14 April 1917 at age 50 as medically unfit. He enlisted again on 30 January 1918 and served for 8 months with the Canadian Garrison Regiment, No. 10 Special Services Company. He was discharged on 4 September 1918 in Winnipeg, again as medically unfit.
After the war Joseph and Louise lived in Winnipeg and had another son, Frank. Their son Henry died in 1921 (age 10) and their son Joseph in 1929 (age 26). Both of their surviving boys, Jack and Frank, served in the Second World War. Jack was also a welterweight boxer who fought in Canada, the US and Europe.
Joseph died on 23 May 1944 and he's buried in the Military Field of Honour at Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg. His wife Louise passed away in 1961, their son Jack died in 1975 and Frank in 1988.