Késsinnimek - Roots - Racines

All Sources Are Not Created Equal
Part 13
     Suzanne Boivin Sommerville

Author’s note: these articles are still in progress. For full citations of some of my sources, see the previous part(s). Copyright © is mine.These articles may not be copied except for personal use, with full citation of author and source. Since I am, at this stage, my only proof-reader, any comments or corrections will be graciously accepted.

All Sources Are Not Created Equal
Isabelle’s Children
Section 4

In the last installment, I identified the interesting people Jean Vermet and his wife chose to serve as godparents for their children. But there was more for me to learn about Jean Vermet and his wife.

Jean Vermet, Thief?

A thick set of documents I have in my possession concern, first, an inquiry held in Québec City to determine the guilt or innocence in a charge of theft made against Marie-Anne Magnan dite Lespérance, a dit name that, ironically, means hope. The inquiry, beginning 14 February of 1730, was held shortly after Marie-Anne Montour’s January marriage and eventually merged into a second inquiry into the death by suicide of the same Marie-Anne Magnan dite Lespérance in June of 1730. She had been held in the prison of Québec City all that time. I cannot here divulge all the particulars concerning these inquiries, which I present in a separate article in Michigan’s Habitant Heritage, January 2004;[1] but, when asked whether anyone had ever encouraged her to steal from the families who employed her, she mentioned Jean Vermet, wig-maker, and his wife, among others.

She said she had visited the Vermet home and testified that while she worked for Damoiselle Frontigny, [2] Vermet encouraged her to steal from her employer and “to carry what she stole to [Vermet’s] house. She said he took away with him three pots of brandy [eau de vie] she had carried out of La Frontigny’s cellar [cave]. Without her participation and secretly, he had also taken several pewter plates, two bottles, and two turkeys [d’jndes], hidden in a basket.” Once, having gone to the Vermet home, she recognized several dishes belonging to La Frontigny, and “she took them back despite the said Vermet, in the presence of la nommée Belair, and la nommée St. Andrés, and returned the said dishes and bottles into the hands of the said Belaire to take them to M. Boulard [if I am reading this accurately, he is a priest] to have them returned by him to La Frontigny.” I do not yet know who the women “Belair” and “St. Andrés” are with any certainty.

Marie-Anne Magnan also testified that

françoise Lafontaine, who lived at the home of le Sr Walon, was also solicited by the said Vermet to steal from him [Walon] and to carry the stolen property to him, that she, the respondent, herself saw this young woman take to the said Vermet several items of merchandise, some turkeys, capons, and wine that the wife of Vermet came herself to get in the Kitchen of Sr Walon, which the girl gave her [the wife of Vermet], and that she [Françoise] left by night by way of the kitchen window to go eat turkey and other fowl with the said Vermet and his wife, and that the respondent went there herself and ate with him, and that this commerce continued during all the time this girl [Françoise Lafontaine] lived with Sr. Walon [3]

A Marie-Francoise Lafontaine served as godmother for Antoine Fruitier, son of Marie Therese Vermet and Antoine Fruitier, on 15 December 1730,[4] but I have not yet identified who her parents are.

If Marie-Anne Magnan is to be believed, the Vermet home was a den of thieves! Before she implicated the Vermets in wrong-doing, she had already confessed to her own guilt, indicating that in committing her theft she had sought revenge against her Uncle Hervieux, so she was not seeking any excuse for her deed. I am not aware at this time of any legal action taken against the Vermets.

Since the two Marie-Annes knew the Vermets, I have to believe Marie-Anne Magnan knew Marie-Anne Montour. Like Isabelle’s daughter, Marie-Anne Magnan had also left Montréal, as she testified, to seek work in Québec as a seamstress. Perhaps she even knew the father of Marie-Anne’s son Jean-Baptiste, born in 1730 while Marie-Anne Magnan was in prison, and possibly that Marie-Anne Montour had left a child in Montréal in the care of the frères hospitalières. Women might tell each other details they would reveal to no one else. Marie-Anne Magnan’s own lover, a soldier in the company of Lantinac, married while she was in prison. One of the witnesses at her trial was a soldier in the company of Captain Rigaud, Montary’s captain.

A Frère Hospitalière in the Records of the Hospital in Québec City

You can imagine my state of mind when I found the next person also appearing at the hospital in Québec in September 1728 when Marie Anne Montour was servante:

le 6e Mr Louis Turc dit Chretien de Martigues agé de 40 ans sorti le 21e (15 [days])[5]

He was in charge of the Charon hospital of the frères hospitalières where Nicolas-René was placed that very year. (I do not, of course, know whether they ever met, but I truly must restrain myself from imagining conversations between this director of the Montréal hospital and a young woman who may have seen him while he was there, a woman whose son had recently been left at his institution.)


A Priest with Ties to the Illinois Documented at the Hospital in Québec City

As I continued to examine the microfilm of these hospital records, I had trouble believing what I was seeing, the coming together of all of these individuals associated with the Montary / Montour marriage and with Marie-Anne’s child Nicolas-René. Then I was absolutely flabbergasted to find the name of Father Dominique Thaumur dit LaSource present at the hospital, performing  baptisms there, and even signing the records, thus authenticating them. I had seen his signature  before.

Dominique Thaumur dit LaSource

Dominique Thaumur dit LaSource, members of whose family established themselves at Kaskaskia in Illinois territory, first appears in the hospital entries just after the record for Louis Turc dit Chrétien. On 7 September, a Negro named Leveillé, from the Islands, “leveillé neigre des Iles”, about nine years old, belonging to Mr. Guillemin, entered the hospital and remained twenty-three days that month. He was baptized on the 24th with the first name Joseph Marie and identified as from Martinique. His “owner” is identified as Conseiller au Conseil Superieur of Québec. Godparents were Sr. François Mauberg, soldier of the Company of Mr. de Beaujeu, and Mademoiselle Charlotte Le Gardeur, both of whom signed with the priest of the seminary, D. Thaumur.[6] 

I had seen Thaumur’s signature before on the 24 May 1728 marriage contract of Pierre Chesne and Marie-Madeleine Roy. Marie-Madeleine Roy and her sister Marguerite Roy, Isabelle’s godchild of 1704 and thus Marie-Anne Montour’s “spiritual” sister, were both born at Fort Pontchartrain.[7]

When Father Thaumur signed the 24 September 1728 record in Québec at Hôtel-Dieu, he had recently arrived from having written this marriage contract for Pierre Roy and Marguerite 8abanKiK8é’s daughter Madeleine Roy and Pierre Chesne in the Roy home at Miami Mission St. Philippe (modern-day Fort Wayne, Indiana). He performed the marriage ceremony there the next day, 25 May.[8]  Mother and father were present, and two Roy sisters, as well as others, also attended and signed. Father Chardon most probably stopped at Fort Pontchartrain to insert the marriage record in the registers of Sainte-Anne du Détroit. (The fort’s church was officially known by this name first in 1718 and then continuously from 1721 on.) This was not his first visit there. He had been at the fort before. In 1718 Father Thaumur left the mother colony with Abbés Goulven Calvarin and Jean-Paul Mercier for the mission of the Tamarois (Cahokia, Illinois). All of these men passed through Fort Pontchartrain and, as I discovered, they signed the registers at Sainte-Anne-du-Détroit in August of 1718 when they baptized several Indians.[9] Ten years later, as he traveled toward Québec City in 1728, Thaumur then paused again in Montréal on 30 July, to deposit with the notary J. B. Adhémar the marriage contract he had written on 24 May 1728[10] before continuing his voyage.

On 13 October 1728 Thaumur appears again at the hospital as “La source”, his dit name, priest of the seminary, “pretre du seminaire”.  He is there again for thirty days in November, thirty-one days in December of 1728, and then for twelve days (nineteen days absent) in January 1729, Marie-Anne’s last month as servante. I wonder where he was during the nineteen absent days.  And did they correspond with the end of the month? Marie-Anne was gone by the end of January.

Thaumur was again at the hospital four months later, in May of 1729, at “different times” for 20 days, the same month Marie-Anne’s future husband, Montary, was there.[11]  An entry three months after that, for August 17th, reads:

août 1729

17e baptism of Joseph Marie La Piace [sic, La Place?], sauvage de Nation, belonging to a mr de La Ronde Capitaine, about seventeen or eighteen years old, sufficiently instructed, godparents Joseph St Amour & Angelique fortier. D. Thaumur ptre[12]

And he once again signed. I certainly have no proof Father Thaumur and Marie-Anne ever spoke, but the “coincidence” is again striking.

Thaumer died at Québec 4 April 1731 and was buried the next day in the cathedral. According to a contemporary report by Bertrand de Latour, everyone considered him a saint and wanted “to touch their rosaries to his body, & tear his clothing to have relics.” [13] 

A Digression: an Illustration of the Problem of Duplicate Names:

the Two Priests Named Chardon

But Thaumur’s was not the only signature surviving on the register of the hospital. In January of 1729, the last month Marie Anne Montour is recorded as servante for all 31 days,[14] the baptisms of two “enfants sauvages” are recorded. They had been given as a present to Mr. le Marquis de Beauharnois, the then-governor and the one who, that very year, feared the influence of “Le Germano” and his wife on the Lydius family, as described above. (See Part 8)  These sauvages children were baptized on 17 January, both of them by “Chardon prtre”.[15]

When I saw this record months ago, I believed that Father Jean-Baptiste Chardon, like Father Thaumur, had just returned to Québec. I knew he had left his post at Baie-des-Puants (La Baie or Green Bay, Wisconsin), “which was burned by Constant Le Marchand de Lignery on his return from his expedition against the Renards / Foxes”, an expedition Marie-Anne’s brother, Michel Germaneau, contracted to join.[16]  Earlier, this Father Chardon had been missionary to the Ottawas at Michilimackinac “at the time when peace with the Iroquois was being signed in Montreal”, 1701, and went then to Baie-des-Puants, from which he served the pays-d’en-haut for thirty-two years, in 1711 visiting the post “on the St Joseph River, temporarily replacing Father Claude Aveneau”.[17] I knew that Cadillac had removed Father Aveneau from the St. Joseph Miamis post in 1707, the year of Isabelle Couc’s probable defection. The early registers for this Miamis post—des Illinois—have not survived, but it is easy to speculate that Marie-Anne Germaneau / Montour was born and baptized there before 1704, “origin” Illinoise, her mother next documented at Fort Pontchartrain with Pierre Tichenet and with Pierre Roy and his Miami wife in 1704. Marie-Anne Montour’s sacramental marriage in 1730 would not have occurred without some evidence that she had been baptized. I also knew that unlike Father Thaumur, who died in Québec at the hospital 4 April 1731, Father Chardon, if he left Baie-des-Puants before 1729 to go to Québec, was elsewhere in March of 1729. Father Jean-Baptiste Chardon somehow voyaged to the St. Joseph Miamis Mission, although the Dictionary of Canadian Biography says “little is known about the missionary’s activities [after the burning of his mission] until 1733”. On 8 March 1729, he baptized Joseph, son of Jean-Baptiste Baron voyageur de la paroise de boucherville de present établi en ce poste, voyageur from the parish of Boucherville at present established in this post, and Marie Catherine 8eKiouKoué, married to each other “en face de l’église”, in the presence of a Church representative, with godparents “Mr. Louis Coulon de Villiers fils and Marie Rhéaume,[18] daughter of Sieur Jean-Baptiste Rhéaume, interprete, and of Simphorose ouaouagouKoué, married to each other in the presence of the Church”. This is the only extant entry signed by Chardon in these no-longer-complete registers, although he is said to have served there much earlier before the surviving original register begins.[19] Believing I had located Father Jean-Baptiste Chardon in Québec in January of 1729, I had to ask myself why a voyage to Miami country was undertaken so early in the season. Normally, canoes traveling to the pays-d’en-haut would not be able to leave the mother colony until after the ice had melted, often into April or May, but I have read in the official correspondence of individuals being sent up earlier traveling over the ice. It seemed to me to be surely too much of a stretch to suggest he had gone to locate Marie-Anne Montour’s baptismal record! All of this pure speculation came to a crashing halt when I found another record for March of 1729 at the parish church of Nôtre-Dame with the identical “Chardon” signature of the hospital’s record. Jean-Baptiste Chardon could not have been present at both Saint-Joseph and Québec in the same month. After carefully comparing the handwriting on both of the March of 1729 records, I finally learned there was another Father Chardon, Louis, who was ordained in 1726 Québec.[20]

I include this almost-fatal error of mine to remind myself I am not immune from the errors or leaps in judgment I have presented in this series of articles and to demonstrate the need for precision in definitively identifying individuals. I so wanted the Chardon at the hospital to be Father Jean-Baptiste Chardon, in part, because another entry in the Saint-Joseph register, one which comes just before the March of 1729 one, involves another granddaughter of Pierre Couc. It is the baptism 23 April 1728 of Marie-Louise Bolon, daughter of Marie-Anne Montour’s cousin Suzanne Ménard and her husband Gabriel Bolon, with the same Jean-Baptiste Baron & Catherine 8eKiouKoué of 1729 as godparents. This entry was signed by the Jesuit Mesaiger. After the 8 March 1729 baptism, the next fairly legible, complete entry is for some time in 1730, the baptism of a son, name unreadable, of Gabriel Bolon and Susanne Ménard, followed by an entry for 25 November 1730, the baptism of Susanne, daughter of Jean-Baptiste Baron & Marie Catherine 8eKiouKoué. The commandant of the post, Louis Coulon de Villiers, as godfather and Suzanne Ménard, wife of Bolon, as godmother, both entries by Father Mesaiger. Where Father Jean-Baptiste Chardon traveled in 1730 remains unknown.

By that time, Suzanne’s cousine Marie-Anne Montour, and her son, had departed this earthly life.

Marie-Anne Montour’s Death

Leaving so many questions unanswered by extant records I have located to this date, Marie-Anne Montour died a few days after the birth of her son Jean-Baptiste Montary and possibly as a result of the birth:

+ Marie Anne Montour

Le Vingttroisieme Avril milSept cent trente a eté enterrée dans le cimetiere dece lieu Marie Anne Montour femme du nommé Jean Montary dit Jolicoeur décedée le jour precedent apres avoir reçu Les derniers sacrament dans sa maladie agée d’environ trente cinq ans Presens Monsieur Couvier, Prestre & autres

[Signed] Boullard Curé de Quebec[21]

The twenty-third of April seventeen hundred and thirty was buried in the cemetery of this place Marie Anne Montour, wife of the man named Jean Montary dit Jolicoeur, deceased the previous day after having received the last sacraments in her illness, age about thirty-five.  Present:  Monsieur Couvier, Pastor, and others.
[Signed] Boullard Curé de Quebec.

Oh, how I wish Father Boullard (who may be the one to whom Marie-Anne Magnan entrusted stolen goods) had entered the names of the OTHERS!  Whatever sins or errors haunted her journey in this world, Marie-Anne left it with the blessings of the sacrament of Extreme Unction, now called Last Rites, reconciled with her Heavenly Father according to her understanding of her religious obligations. Her mother would survive another twenty-two years and most likely did not receive the Last Rites.

Marie Anne Germaneau / Montour and “La Motte”

Despite the questions that may remain about whether these Marie-Annes are two different women, the extant signatures of Marie-Anne Germaneau and Marie-Anne Montour lead me to believe they were signed by the same woman, even to mis-spelling the first letters of Marie as “Mair”.

The conflicting citations of her “origin” – Anglaise de nation at the marriage in 1730 and Illinoise at the hospital in 1727 – indicate to me that she was definitely born outside of the mother colony. Whether the recorder in 1730 gave her origin as Anglaise because of her mother’s “residence” in   Orange or whether Marie-Anne was not forthcoming as to her actual birthplace – if she knew it – will never be known. She is nevertheless associated with both areas. My belief is that she was born at Saint-Joseph des Illinois or des Miamis, modern-day Niles, Michigan, before her mother was documented at Fort Pontchartrain in 1704, when Pierre Tichenet was also documented there. I believe she and her brother Michel were with their mother at that time. Even Cadillac, in 1704, says she had plural “children”. Records for the earliest years of the Saint-Joseph mission are missing and may well have been destroyed when Lamothe Cadillac prevented Jesuit Father Aveneau from returning there in 1707,[22] as I have already suggested. If Antoine Laumet dit de Lamothe Cadillac is the “La Motte” cited in 1730 as father of Marie-Anne, he may have been motivated by more than political reasons when he aroused the wrath of Pontchartrain by ordering this Jesuit away from his mission.[23] This and the fact that Jean Montary is from Castelsarrazin, where Cadillac served as mayor about the time Montary may have been recruited, is certainly at least circumstantially suspicious. Where did the 3000 livres come from for Montary, apparently still a simple soldier, to offer as a douaire? This is another question that will never be answered. It is also circumstantially interesting that Pierre Tichenet, Isabelle’s second husband, is the son of Alexandre Téchenay (Jetté’s spelling, which PRDH standardizes as TINCHENET), who was also from Castelsarrasin in Gascogne, near Cadillac’s origin and place of baptism.[24]

If Marie-Anne was born or baptized at Fort Pontchartrain, though, I also cannot ignore the fact that Cadillac proclaimed that a son his wife gave birth to in 1702 was the first child born at the fort. Historians and genealogists have assumed the 1702 child died, just as Cadillac feared he would. Nevertheless, according to Cadillac, certainly an authoritative source in this instance, the baby that his wife, Marie-Thérèse Guyon, was expected to deliver shortly after her husband left the fort to go to Québec on business very definitely survived after his birth in the summer of 1702. The baptism record for this son, Joseph de Lamothe Cadillac, is also missing. Four years later, though, in 1706 on 30 September, Lamothe Cadillac wrote to Pontchartrain from the fort, saying he had his four-year-old son with him (thus born in 1702). Cadillac refers to this four-year-old as the first child born at the fort. He then says His Majesty had promised a pension to the first-born at a new settlement, and he requests the pension; or, if the pension is not granted, he asks the King to enroll this four-year-old in the troops and pay him as the other soldiers are paid. Pontchartrain's annotation is very hard to read, but I think he rejects the request, at least I have, as of this writing, seen no further mention of it.[25]

Cadillac was aware that Pierre Roy, husband of Marguerite 8abanKiK8é, the man left in charge of his Detroit property in 1711, had been, as Cadillac claims, “driven away” from the fort. Word did travel back and forth between the New and the Old Worlds and within the New World, most of which personal correspondence has been lost. Interestingly, Cadillac visited Illinois territory, traveling from Fort Louis to Kaskaskia in 1715,[26] to investigate a mine that may have been originally located by Jacques Mainville, first husband of Catherine Lescuyer, wife of Michel Germaneau in her second marriage in 1717.

Whether Cadillac’s assessment of Pierre Roy’s reasons for leaving Fort Pontchartrain is accurate or not, Cadillac, once back in France in 1717-18, pursued his demands for payment for the real and personal property he had to abandon when he was appointed to serve in Louisiane. His appeal resulted in partial payment from the king by 1722. Grandmesnil the younger was his agent all these years, first hired in 1705 to go to the fort with Bourgmont and named Cadillac’s representative in the mother colony in July of 1709 just days after the baptism of the first illegitmate child recorded at Fort Pontchartrain, a girl, Marie-Thérèse, born on the eighth anniversary of the founding of Detroit, 24 July 1709, and apparently named after her cousin and godmother, Thérèse David.

This Marie-Thérèse’s mother, Marie Lepage, is identified on the baptismal record as the widow of deceased Beausseron. Marie Lepage is the only woman granted property at the fort by Cadillac. This occurred in March of 1707 before her husband’s death and at the same time he was conceded property outside of the fort. She had married soldier François Bosseron / Beauceron (Laurent & Anne Dumaine) on 12 June 1706 Montréal, and they voyaged to the fort with the large convoy of that year. His death record is not extant, but several individuals died during the 1707 Miami attack on the fort, none of which deaths appear in the register.

On the record of her baptism, the infant’s, Marie-Thérèse’s, father is said to be Étienne Véron Grandmesnil (the younger), Cadillac’s clerk, who then left the fort to travel to the mother colony, empowered by a hand-written document signed at the fort by Cadillac himself, to handle Cadillac’s business. [27] When Marie-Thérèse herself appeared in the mother colony by 1729 at the age of twenty in Beauport and 26 January 1733 in Québec City, she was using the last names Véron and Grandmesnil; but she married a first cousin, Pierre Baby, son of Étienne’s sister, without any dispensation for consanguinity being sought or granted for the marriage, although a dispensation of three banns was granted.[28] I cannot help but question the identity of her genetic father.

Étienne Véron Grandmesnil the younger continued to be involved with Cadillac’s business until 1741, eleven years after Cadillac’s death in 1730.[29] Grandmesnil communicated with Baudry dit Lamarche, the man who purchased the Cadillac property. Cadillac used the money from his Detroit property to buy the mayoral position at Castelsarrasin,[30] a position he held in the year of Captain Rigaud’s visit to France. There is certainly enough documented here for the potential novelist in me to expand!

Facts and Fiction

I am equally aware that my citation of facts and documentation is sometimes mind-numbing if not overwhelming. Nevertheless, the facts in and of themselves often strain the willing suspension of disbelief required for fiction and would not be believed in a novel. And they definitely challenge the “standard” published histories of the early years of Detroit. What cannot be denied, though, are the documented connections and interconnections I have demonstrated existed among these individuals and families. These were real people. They do not neatly conform to the “theories” and guesses historians have put forward, even mine. The events these real individuals saw, the words they heard, and the pain and joy they experienced may not have been written down for posterity to examine and analyze, and yet, most assuredly, they shared now-lost information with each other, just as we do. They too may have gone years without knowing the truth and they may have fallen prey to distortions foisted on them as a result of propaganda. I must ask why it took until 1723 before Marie-Anne Germaneau began to use the name Montour in the year after her visit to Albany. Her male cousins adopted the name shortly thereafter. 

As with so many details in Marie-Anne’s mother’s life – and in Lamothe Cadillac’s life – the documentation is, however, not extensive enough to resolve the enigmas that remain. I can only point them out and allow my imagination and my humanity to fill in the blanks and tell the story as I see it, and my vision is sometimes radically different from the standard versions. Isn’t this what all novelists and historians do? No one writer has all of the facts or the absolute truth. Unlike some other writers, however, I refuse to pronounce either definitive or value judgments about these individuals and the choices they made or those imposed on them. Too much remains unknown. They lived in perilous times when Old World nations fought each other at the same time they were encountering the Nations of the New World. Our own times should warn us of the tragedies that arise when different cultures meet head-on. On a more personal level, Marie-Anne, and Isabelle, are not the only young women, then and now, abandoned to face the emotional, social, religious, and economic consequences of bearing a child out-of-wedlock; and the children of these unions had their own complex physical and emotional needs. Although I wonder about the unknown “fathers” of the many enfant(e)s naturel(le)s, brought into this world by Marie-Anne and all of the others, if I may paraphrase Shakespeare (whoever he was!), I say, in the words of the ghost of Hamlet’s father: “Leave them [all] to Heaven.”

The spirits of my ancestors have been haunting me for some time now to set their stories straight.

As John F. Kennedy is reported to have said “at a Yale commencement, ‘The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie . . . but the myth.’ ”[31] I sincerely hope my exploration of the extant documents has given you a new perspective about myths, lies, the process of writing “history”, and the actual lives of our ancestors. I myself will never be able to read any “history” in quite the same way as I have in the past.

When Isabelle Couc served as godmother at Fort Pontchartrain, she three times declared she could not sign, among the few words I am sure she spoke; but others did sign and provide testimony, some of which has not yet been examined. And I can and do “sign” and will continue to do so. I have not yet exhausted the extant documents. I am not yet finished with my quest.

Suzanne Boivin Sommerville
[begun June 2002] 14 January 2004

[1] See my article in Michigan’s Habitant Heritage (hereafter MHH), the Journal of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan, Volume 25, #1, January 2004. <http://habitant.org/fchsm> for information on obtaining the journal.  Marie-Anne Lespérance gave her age as about seventeen, and stated that her occupation was “couturière et Vagabonde”, seamstress and vagabond. She had earlier lived with her Uncle Hervieux. (Léonard dit Jean-Baptiste Hervieux, a merchant, had married her father’s sister, Catherine Magnan.)  Marie-Anne Magnan knew her father and mother were deceased. I do not know whether she was aware she had been born in 1712 and baptized 23 September 1714, at about two-and-a-half years old, the daughter of Jean Magnan dit Lespérance and Marie, a Sioux Indian. Her father died and was buried 31 December 1719 at Montréal. PRDH. Marie-Anne was not the only illegitimate child he had and whom he acknowledged. His last will and testament acknowledged her and two additional boys, Jean and Antoine, and provided for them to inherit 500 livres each from his estate. “Testament de Jean Maignan dit Lespérance”, 7 October 1719, Notary David, ANQ, photocopy. Both Jean, age seven, and Antoine, age four, were baptized at Michilimackinac on 12 July 1713. Their baptisms are recorded in the portion of a surviving register that was copied sometime after 1741 from a no-longer surviving original source. No mothers’ names are given. Jean apparently married Rose, a “Sauteuse de la Pointe” Indian (Chippewa), 30 August 1749 at Michilimackinac, and had their children legitimized and baptized: Alexis, about eight; Anne Esther, about six; and Marie Joseph, about three. Photocopy. Jean’s brother, Antoine Magnan dit Lespérance, traveled to and lived and worked for a time at Fort Pontchartrain, and he himself appears to have fathered an illegitimate daughter there. This daughter has erroneously been assigned to another “Lespérance”, Bonaventure Compain dit Lespérance, husband of Catherine Badaillac dite Laplante, a couple who were long-gone from Fort Pontchartrain by the time of the illegitimate girl’s birth, for whom paternity is now attributed to Compain in the indexes. See MHH, January 2004.

[2]Marie-Madeleine de Lajoue had married Pierre Frontigny dit Méchin in 1715. He died in 1728, and she did not remarry until about a month before the trial, on 7 January 1730 at Ste. Foye, to Gilbert Boucault dit Godefus. Her first husband had been maitre d’hôtel de Bégon and merchant in 1720; and then he was writer for the legal body, la Maréchaussée de Québec, in 1725. Jetté. See DCB II for her father François and DCB III for her second husband and his brother, Nicolas-Gaspard Boucault, who was secretary for Bégon 1719-1726.

[3]ANQ-Q, #832. The daughter of Pierre André, sieur de Leinge, the official interrogating Marie-Anne Magnan, herself has a most interesting history. See DBC, Vol III: 14, for Michel Paquin’s account of her life, which reads, in this article, like a New France version of Scarlett O’Hara! “Her father held the important office of Lieutenant general for civil and criminal affairs of the provost court of Quebec, and it seems the young girl had all the charms necessary for attracting penniless young officers, by whom she was continually courted. She much preferred their company to that of richer suitors whom her father favoured.” In 1731, her father decided to ship her off to France, but, disquised “as a man she succeeded in fleeing, aided by two of her suitors. The next day the frivolous creature changed her mind and returned to the ship.” (Note the slanted language!) She stayed in France for a year.  At the age of thirty-two in 1741, she married René-Ovide Hertel, who is said to “assist the bride” at Marie-Thérèse Véron Grandmesnil and Pierre Baby’s marriage contract in 1748. Dame Louise-Catherine André also signed the contract. Pierre Baby offered a doüaire préfix (dowry) of two thousand livres. See footnote below about this marriage. Hertel himself is cousin of Étienne Véron Grandmesnil, who declared himself as such when he was present at René-Ovide’s most interesting marriage, one his mother opposed, as recorded at length in the registers at Québec 11 October 1741 and in the records of the Conseil Supérieur. PRDH and photocopies.

[4]PRDH #145237Montréal 1730-12-15. Thomas Goulet was godfather.

[5]See DCB II entry for François Charon de La Barre, founder of the hospital, who died aboard Le Chameau, returning from France in 1719, where he had recruited men. He had named Louis Turc as one of the masters, maîtres, of his school. Monseigneur Saint-Vallier appointed Turc, who took the name Frère Chrétien, superior of the community, which he led from 1720 to 1735.  See also article about Turc in DCB III.

[6]FHL #1287130, p. 165. The next page includes an intriguing entry for the 20th: “Mr. Nicolas Auguste Gillet Chaumont de Paris agé de 32 ans secretaire de Mr. Daigremont (10 days)”.  François Clairambault d’Aigremont had written the 1708 report on conditions at Fort Pontchartrain, the one that conveys the testimony that “La Tichenet” had deserted with Bourgmont and that they were living like Indians. “Daigremont” himself died at Québec, 1 December 1728, buried on the 4th, while Marie-Anne Montour served at the hospital. See DCB II. The interconnections and coincidences are so convoluted!

[7]See my article on Marguerite Roy in MHH, Volume 24, #4, October 2003.

[8]Inserted as a loose sheet of paper, p. 204, within the register proper between entries by Frère Bonaventure for 13 June and 24 July 1728. Ste. Anne. Detroit Public Library, Burton Library, microfilm #1252, vol. 1, Photocopy. The Chesne couple is then documented at the fort, so it is possible they deposited the record instead of Father Thaumur or they may have traveled together.

[9]  Pages 63-67 of original register.

[10]Church ceremony for Madeleine Roy, daughter of Pierre Roy and Marguerite 8abanKiK8é, and Pierre Chesne took place on 25 May 1728 at St.-Philippe, Village des Miamis, present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Father Dominique Thaumur wrote the marriage contract in the home of Pierre Roy on the previous day, 24 May, carrying it to the notary J. B. Adhémar in Montréal by 30 July 1728, and, during his return to the mother colony, he apparently left the church record at Sainte-Anne du Détroit to be placed in its registers or perhaps the newly-married couple carried it with them, as they are next documented there.  (Ste-Anne, p. 204)  Jetté and PRDH inaccurately        record the marriage occurred at Detroit, another example of partial information. See J. B. Adhémar’s notation of receiving the contract on 30 July 1728. Photocopy.

[11]FHL #1287130, p. 182.

[12]FHL #1287130, p. 190. The child died the next day. Angélique Fortier appears earlier on the page as having entered the 12th of the same month, 25 years old, from Montréal, left on the 29th.  St.-Amour appears to be an infirmier or nurse, p. 188.

[13]See Noël Baillargeon, “Thaumur de La Source, Dominique-Antoine-René”, DCB II.

[14]FHL #1287130, p. 174.

[15]FHL #1287130, p. 175. They were named Charles Louis, Sauvage Renard de nation, about six years old, with godparents jean francois Tisserant escuyer sr de mont chevreux & Damoiselle Louise duroy, both of whom signed; and Barbe Charlotte Sauvagesse panis [sic] de nation about ten years old, godparents: Sr jean louis Volant maistre d’hopital de Mr le general & Charlotte du Roy espouse du sr Basile Marchand de cette Ville.” This Volant does not appear to be related to the other Volants of New France who were so involved with Fort Pontchartrain. Jetté identifies him as from St-Germain-en-Laye, archdiocese of Paris, m Barbe Duroy, contract LaCetière 4 April 1727 Québec. Panis and panisse are terms for the Pawnee Indians, often taken as slaves by other Indians, the name sometimes used indiscriminately for all Indian slaves.

[16]See 5 June 1728, J. B. Adhémar, #2437, ANQ photocopy, referenced above in Part 10.

[17]See Joseph Cossette, “Chardon, Jean-Baptiste, priest, Jesuit, missionary,” DCB III.  Chardon had a long and distinguished career among the Natives. 

[18]There is some controversy as to whether this “Marie Rhéaume” is the Marie-Madeleine Réaume who married, first, Augustin Larcheveque, and then Louis Chevallier, with children baptized at Michilimackinac and at St.-Joseph Miamis. Marthe Faribault-Beauregard claims the wife of Larcheveque and Chevallier is the daughter of Robert Réaume, not of his brother Jean-Baptiste, as does PRDH following Faribault-Beauregard. I do not know who is correct, but if Faribault-Beauregard is right, Susan Sleeper-Smith’s thesis about Marie-Madeleine’s kin-network of Natives must be called into question at least in this example. See her Indian Women and French Men, Rethinking Cultural Encounter in the Western Great Lakes, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001. She too cites Jean-Baptiste and Symphorose as the parents of Marie-Madeleine, but they had at least three documented daughters, two of whom married, and Sleeper-Smith does not establish any “kin-network” between them and Madeleine Réaume, nor does she mention Jean-Baptiste’s documented daughters as Madeleine’s sisters: Judith Réaume; Suzanne Réaume, m. Charles-Joseph Personne 1 July 1747; and Marie-Joseph Réaume m. Jean-Baptiste Jourdain,1746, both marriages at Michilimackinac, with the brides from “La Baye”, now Green Bay, Wisconsin. PRDH and photocopies. One would think sisters would be involved in any trade alliances. It is possible the “Marie” of 1729 is Marie-Joseph. Then again, I see a ghostly resemblance between the 1729 signature of “Marie” and the signatures of Marie-Madeleine Réaume in later years.  Marie-Madeleine Réaume’s baptism record has not survived. The father of this “Marie” Réaume is definitely identified as Jean-Baptiste Réaume, interpreter at Baie-des-Puants (Green Bay, Wisconsin) and would have known Father Chardon when he was there. He is the brother of Simon Réaume, husband of Thérèse Catin, who later married Charles d’Auteuil, sieur de Mousseaux, and brother of Robert Réaume, my ancestor, who accompanied Mesdames Cadillac and Tonty to Detroit in 1701. Jean-Baptiste, Simon and Robert Réaume are sons of René Réaume. Robert, husband of Elisabeth Brunet dite Belhumeur, are my ancestors through their daughter Judith m. 1726 Jacques Lalande.

[19]Registers of Mission de la Rivière Saint-Joseph des Illinois. FHL #1018092. Gabriel Bolon appears in the register of the Hôtel-Dieu in September of 1723 as a member of the Company of St. Pierre.  This appears to be Jean-Paul Legardeur, sieur de Saint-Pierre, brother-in-law of Agathe de Saint-Père, and interpreter for Lignery in the war against the Fox in 1716. Sabrevois referred to him in his 1717 letter as interpreting that year with Maurice Ménard in the same letter he reported that La Turpin had been taken to the English. (See Part 10) Saint-Pierre himself died circa 1722-23, but not before he had met Charlevoix on his famous voyage. DCB II. Bolon entered Hôtel-Dieu on  the 30th of August, “gabriel ballon agé de 17 ans de Xainte soldat” and stayed two days. On 2 September, he left the hospital. On the 17th of September, “gabriel bollon [now] agé de 18 ans de Xainte Soldat” entered and left on the 17th (sic) but is recorded as having stayed 10 days, apparently an error on the exit date. FHL #1287130. Marguerite Couc, Marie-Anne Montour’s and Suzanne Ménard’s aunt, is documented at Mission de la Rivière St. Joseph des Miamis and des Illinois from 1720 to 1723, and a Marie Fafard with her husband, Louis Metivier, master carpenter, served as godparents there 5 June 1745 for the baptism of a Miami, Mekabik8nga, 50, and a Miamise named madelon, about 50, who were also married that day. Both Louis Metivier and “Mari fafar” signed. This appears to be (or is claimed by some) to be Marie-Madeleine Fafar, another daughter of Marguerite Couc, the one who gave birth to an illegitimate child in 1723 (See Part 11), but I do not yet know who this Louis Métivier is. A Marie-Angélique Métivier served as godmother for Marie-Anne’s child in 1730.

[20]Jetté. See also Pelletier, p. 222.

[21]FHL film #1289908

[22]That Cadillac sent a récollet to serve the Miamis at a new position closer to the English and refused to allow Father Aveneau, Jesuit, to return to St.-Joseph des Miamis can be found in Mémoire du Roi à Vaudreuil et Raudot, 6 June 1708, signed Pontchartrain (RAPQ transcription, and photocopy of original), and in other correspondence. Word had obviously reached France the previous year, 1707.  Neither the king nor Pontchartrain was pleased by Cadillac’s tactics. The historians of Detroit, for the most part, ignore this episode. Before inviting the Miamis to go to a place on the Maurepas River, Cadillac had sent Sieur Boucher to ask the Miamis to settle on the land across the river from the fort at present-day Windsor, Ontario. (The Maurepas River may have been named by Cadillac for the man who would soon become Minister of the Marine. It is now modern-day Maumee or Miami River, and most probably was at a place then called Saint-Antoine-de-Pades.) The Miamis had left the fort after the Ottawas and Hurons attacked them in June of 1706. Boucher, on a document dated 14 November 1706, was to tell the Miamis: “It would be good for you to come and establish yourselves close to me on the other side of the river vis a vis my village. If you come I will make a fort near your fire [word unreadable] and palisades [des palisades]. I will put there Frenchmen and chiefs and [word unreadable] nearby to place your elderly, your women and children in safety when you are away at the hunt or elsewhere. By the means of these two forts and of our village not a single canoe will be able to pass through our river without our allowing them to do so. I will keep boats and cannon at the foot of the two forts so that we can promptly give you help it it is needed. The French will never quit these two forts and our bones will be mixed with yours forever. As a mark of my friendship for you, I [will?] send one of my sons to you so that he can learn your language and to make an alliance with you that will never end. Do not trust the Poutoutamis and Sakis allied with the Outouais. Burn the fort of the Poutoutamis if you have not already done so, the one au bas du riviere St. Joseph, below the St. Joseph River. Do not unearth the bones of their dead because they are not coupables, responsible.” My translation. AC C11A, Vol. 24 (1706), NAC microfilm F-24, ff. 365-366. Note: Cadillac is not here following his own much-cited plan to have the Indians learn French. This may be one of the earliest references to a plan to settle the South Shore of the Detroit River. I am not aware the Miamis ever accepted this invitation, but there is extant evidence that Father Chérubin Deniau and Pierre Roy were at a Miami mission called St.-Antoine-de-Pades (possibly named after Antoine Lamothe Cadillac) in the fall of 1707. Near the end of the entries for 1711 of a Sainte-Anne-de-Detroit register of Indian baptisms, Chérubin Deniau, prêtre missionaire Récollet, entered three records for baptisms he had performed four years earlier, in 1707, at what Father Deniau identifies as the mission of “Saint-Antoine de Pades aux Miamis”, and he certified these additions on 25 November 1711 at Fort Pontchartrain. (FHL 126, Original, p.135) Pierre Roy was the godfather in each instance for two Miami infants and one adult Miami. It is even possible that his wife, Marguerite 8abanKiK8é, served as godmother and named the Miami daughters, both baptized as Marguerite. The adult was named Antoine. This is the only reference I have seen of a mission named “Saint-Antoine de Pades aux Miamis”. The priest adds on each record that he had signed the originals “avec paraphe”, with a distinctive scribble or flourish, a design often added to a name or used without an actual signature on many legal documents. Where are the originals?  Thanks to Gail Moreau-DesHarnais for originally noticing these entries in 1999. See MHH, Vol. 20, #3, July 1999, p. 122. I find it interesting to observe that Father Deniau recorded these events only after Cadillac had left the fort the previous spring, never to return (that anyone knows), and about the time Cadillac did, in fact, depart with his wife and some of his children for France in November of 1711, having disobeyed Pontchartrain’s order to go immediately over land to Louisiane.

[23] NAC, AC C11A  Vol. 24, NAC microfilm F-24, f.200v, photocopy..

[24] Alexandre Tichenet from Castelsarrazin married Marie Bouillon from Saintonge, widow Mathurin Touillault, on 16 August 1668 at Québec. See Part 5. Antoine Laumet was born at Laumont near Caumont, baptized 5 March 1658 at St-Nicolas-de-la-Grave, arrondissement of Castelsarrazin. PRDH.

[25] See MHH, April 2003, for my account of locating this reference. At the time I wrote this April of 2003 article, I was unaware of another fact concerning Captain Rigaud, born 8 February 1703 at Montréal, son of Governor-general Rigaud, sieur de Vaudreuil, Cadillac’s “enemy”, and Louise-Élisabeth de Joybert de Soulanges and de Marson: “his father had him appointed at the age of five [1708] to the company of gentlemen midshipmen, despite the regulation that candidates be 18.” DCB IV, my emphasis. Cadillac was not the only one who sought favors for their sons. In my November 2003 article, I wrote: "And Charles Lemoine, Baron de Longueuil, who had traveled so many times to Iroquoia, had married Marie-Geneviève de Joybert de Soulanges, the sister-in-law of Governor Vaudreuil, he who had authorized the killing of Michel's uncle, Louis Couc Montour." She is actually his niece by marriage.

[26] See NAC, F-472. Cadillac’s letter written at Kaskaskia is dated 18 May 1715. As Jean Delanglez reports, “Cadillac left for the north without telling anybody or giving Bienville orders. The latter found out he was gone a week after his departure (186), and two months later Bienville got orders and the information that Cadillac ‘was going to the Illinois country’.” Jean Delanglez, “Cadillac’s Last Years,” Mid-America, an historical review, Vol 33, 1951, 3-42, p. 26, foootnote 61, citing Mississippi Provincial Archives, III, 181 ff. Cadillac was gone more than eight months. See also Jean Delanglez’s earlier articles in Mid-America, all cited in Zoltvany’s biography of Cadillac in DCB II. For the searchable on-line version of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography: <http://www.biographi.ca/EN/index.html> Bienville is Jean-Baptiste Lemoine or Lemoyne, sieur de Bienville, brother of Charles Lemoyne, sieur de and baron de Longueuil. See my earlier references to Charles.

[27] See my articles in MHH, concerning the first illegitimate child, Marie-Thérèse, recorded as born at Fort Pontchartrain on the eighth anniversary of the founding of Detroit, 24 July 1709. “Marie Lepage and Étienne Véron Grandmesnil: Rush to judgement? An example of misinterpreted evidence,” in three parts, MHH, January, April, and July 2001. Note the DCB articles about the two Étienne Véron Grandmesnils, father and son, need to be revised.

[28] PRDH #277128 Contract by Notary Pillard 1748-04-17, and #181015 marriage at Trois-Rivières 1748-04-22, photocopies of these and other records.

[29] Roy,  J.-Edmond (Joseph-Edmond), 1858-1913, Histoire du notariat au Canada depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu’à nos jours, Lévis, Québec? : sn., 1899. Page images from Early Canadiana Online. I have also seen other references to his later involvement.

[30] Many, but definitely not all, of the documents concerning Cadillac’s property dispute can be found translated in MPHC, Vols. 33-34.

[31] As reported in a review of Robert Dallek’s An Unfinished Life, John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 2003, in Ted Widmer, “Profile in Courage,” The New York Times Book Review, June 8, 2003, p. 13.

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