Késsinnimek - Roots - Racines

All Sources Are Not Created Equal
Part 8
     Suzanne Boivin Sommerville

Author’s note: these articles are still in progress. For full citations 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

Part 8

The On-going Quest

Further confirmation of Madame Montour’s identity located
in four documents preserved in New France records

Suzanne Boivin Sommerville

At the end of Part 7, I stated that the French and English colonial documents and other records I have cited in these articles leave little doubt as to the identity of Montour and Madame Montour. Other surviving documents reinforce their identity. As will be seen, they have not been cited previously in relation to the Couc / Montour family in published works I have read.

Document #1

The first court martial at Fort Pontchartrain, held in 1707, includes testimony that Isabelle Couc (called "wife of Tichenet", la femme de Tichenet) and her brother Montour were planning to go to Orange (Albany, New York) to stay there forever.1 Now, it’s one thing to be reported as intending to go somewhere and quite another to actually be documented there.

I have learned that by two years later, 1709, the governor of New France, Philippe de Rigaud, sieur de Vaudreuil, knew that "latichenette" was among the Iroquois of New York. In a 1710 council held at Montréal with representatives of the Five Nations, Vaudreuil specifically refers to "latichenette" as "a bad spirit", "un mauvais êsprit", who, he believed (or at least affirmed), had influenced someone named Bienville to go to Lake Champlain the previous year, 1709, to attack the French or their allies, "faire coup Sur nos gens", and to take prisoners to Orange as part of England’s planned invasion of New France, an invasion that never took place.2 The Senecas and Onondagas at the council in 1710 told him the incident may not have been reported truthfully; they themselves did not believe everything they heard, and he should not believe all the evil rumors, "les mauvais bruits", including those about the Iroquois preparing to attack New France (and about la femme de Tichenet?).3 Vaudreuil had authorized the killing of La Tichenette’s brother, Louis Couc dit Montour, that very year of the alleged incident, 1709, because he led Western Indians to trade at Albany. Montour’s sister continued to lead the Indians after her brother’s death, as reported in the New York documents. Thus both Montour’s sister and La Tichenette are documented in New York in 1709.

Document #2

Ten years later, in 1719, the same Governor Vaudreuil sent "la St-Serny" to Nouvelle Angleterre to try to convince her sister to come back to Nouvelle France.4 The woman "la St-Serny", who traveled to the English colony in 1719, is also named on an ordonnance document dated 14 November 1720 as both "Magdeleine [sic] Montour" and sister to a woman named La Germano, then in the English colonies.

While it is true, La St-Serny is called "Magdeleine Montour" on the document, this is a clear error, as "Magdeleine" Couc is la femme de Ménard. The only femme de Saint-Serny in 1719 is Angélique Couc, sister of Madeleine. There is only one possible La Germano (la femme de Germano, or wife of Germano), and she is Isabelle Couc, sister of both Madeleine and la femme de St-Serny, Angélique,5 the wife of François Delpé dit Saint-Cerny / Saint-Serny. Simone Vincens (in 1979), and I (in 1999) have cited the 1720 ordonnance, but I appear to be the first to have read the original document, in the spring of 1999, and first to have seen the "La Germano", a detail not reported by Vincens.

The visit is also referenced in the New York documents because Madame Montour requested payment for her services as "interpretress". As Hirsche reports, she used her sister’s objective in visiting (to convince her to work for Vaudreuil instead of continuing to live with and interpret for the English in Albany, New York) as leverage to acquire the pay she had not been receiving for some time. The New York officials approved continuing her on the payroll.6 Vincens also cites their decision, reporting they "considered she could do much harm to this [the New York] government if she returned to Canada and would render important services if she remained."7 When Angélique returned to New France without her sister, officials seized the four écarlatines her sister had given to her, écarlatines being the French name for the red English woolen cloth preferred by Natives.8

At that time, écarlatines were treated as contraband in New France if owned by non-Natives. In a judgment of 4 June 1719, "arrêt en conseil du 4 juin 1719", the very year of La St-Serny’s visit to her sister, the agents of the Compagnie des Indes, then in charge of the fur trade, had even been "authorised to make whatever visits they deemed appropriate to all the homes of the habitants of Nouvelle-France, without distinguishing between religious or secular, being accompanied by an officer of justice to search and confiscate any merchandise of foreign manufacture, the which should be burned in public."9 Canoes and other bateaux returning to the French colony were also inspected.

Angélique, La St-Serny, appealed the confiscation of the gift her sister had given her; and, in 1720, Intendent Bégon issued the judicial order to restore the écarlatines to her because Governor Vaudreuil had authorized the voyage and allowed her to accept, without fear, any presents her sister might give her: "sans crainte ce que sa dite soeur luy pourroit donner". The ordonnance reads:

The Sieur Rocbert10 garde magazin [storehouse keeper] is ordered to return the four pieces of écarlatines to femme St. Serny, Monsieur le Marquis de Vaudreuil having said he allowed her to carry them with her because LA GERMANO [my emphasis], her sister, gave them to her.

Thus Bégon, the intendent and author of the ordonnance, and Vaudreuil, governor-general, knew that the sister in the English colonies was at some time wife of Germano, "La Germano". This is the first (but not the only) reference I located definitely linking the name Germano / Germaneau to Isabelle / Madame Montour while she was in exile in New York.

This name, La Germano, is a reference I found on a copy of the original document, and which I cited in October of 1999 in Michigan’s Habitant Heritage. When I first read the name, I was surprised that Simone Vincens had not included it in her citation in 1979, as she did report the official decision.11 She may have read a handwritten copy12 of the original, or an abstract, because the handwritten copy does not correctly transcribe the name. I have seen both copy and original, and the original definitely reads "La Germano". Multiple misreadings and faulty transcriptions appear on copies of original records. It is always safest to go to the original document, when this is possible.

Upon finding the 1720 reference to "La Germano", I couldn’t help but be struck by the fact that Isabelle’s son, Michel Germaneau, and her daughter, Marie-Anne Germaneau, are documented for the first time in New France, in Montréal by 1717 and 1718 respectively, two years and one year before Angélique’s visit to her sister. Not quite two years after the visit, 11 July 1721, Governor William Burnet wrote to Governor Vaudreuil to affirm that "Joncaire has for a long time deserved the hangman’s noose for the infamous murder of Montour".13 Burnet had arrived to replace Robert Hunter as governor of New York in September 1720 and, by the following year, had obviously informed himself about the incident that had occurred twelve years earlier. Two years later, in 1723, the Couc sisters sold the Trois-Rivières property given to Isabelle at her marriage. Angélique had somehow obtained permission for the sale from Isabelle and Marguerite, as she stated she was acting with their consent.14

As will be discussed in a later segment, Marie-Anne Germaneau traveled to "Orange" with her cousins (so identified on the document), Louis and Marie-Madeleine, children of Madeleine Couc and Maurice Ménard, shortly after Burnet’s letter was written. This is another reference I would not have found if I had not sent for a full copy of the document declaring Louis and Marie-Madeleine Ménard, and others, guilty of unauthorized travel.15 Marie-Anne Germaneau’s name appears only in the text of the document, not in any index I was able to consult.

I was not, however, checking an index or a transcription copy when I found the next document. Its discovery resulted from my research on Isabelle’s nephew-by-marriage, John Henry Lydius.

Document #3

First some background. Six years after Angélique traveled to New York, Governor Vaudreuil died in 1725 and was replaced, first, by Charles Lemoyne, Baron de Longueuil, as interim governor, to whom I will again refer, and then by Charles de Beauharnois de la Boische, Marquis de Beauharnois,16 the brother of François de Beauharnois, the intendent of 1704 who authorized the questioning of "Elisabeth Couk" at Fort Pontchartrain in connection with the legal trial against Cadillac. (See Part 6.)

Madame Montour seems to have relocated to Pennsylvania about the time of Vaudreuil’s death or shortly before or after.17 There she and her husband, also known as Robert Hunter after the former governor of New York, worked for the Pennsylvania authorities by 1727. The first surviving evidence of her there is at a "Council held at Philadelphia, July 3d, 1727" when Governor Patrick Gordon met several chiefs of the Five Nations but "most of them of the Nation of the Cayoogoes [Cayugas]". "Tannewhannegah spoke, & by Montour the Interpretess [sic]" his words were conveyed to the Governor. In turn, the "Governour" spoke to them "by M[rs]. Montour, a french Woman, who had lived long among these People, and is now Interpretess". The council met again on 4 July with the same "interpretess" and ordered payment to "the Interpretess 1 Stroud, 1 Shirt, 1 Matchcoat. To her Husband, Carondawana [sic] 1 Strowd, & another to her Niece."18

These details have been reported several times by several writers, with speculation about who this "Niece" is. Although I do not know her identity with any certainty, she could be, perhaps, Joseph Montour’s wife, Isabelle / Elisabeth Ononthio, Huronne, Isabelle’s niece-by-marriage, who gave birth to a Magdeleine (Fort Pontchartrain, baptized 30 October 1711) and a Joseph Montour (born in January of 1714 and baptized at Montréal 23 July 1714, six months old).19 Joseph Montour, son of the Montour who was assassinated, is documented in New York in 1725, along with Jean Fafard dit Maconce, nephew of the same Montour, as I cited in Part 3 and also in Part 7.20 Or, although less likely, could the "Niece" of 1727 be Geneviève Massé?

In the same year of 1727, when Madame Montour was in Pennsylvania, an ordonnance or law was passed by French royal decree prohibiting strangers, even naturalized ones – "estrangers mesme naturalizes"– from engaging in any commerce in the Colonies francoises, except that involving agriculture, "la Culture des terres". It did not arrive in New France until mid-year. In response to the ordonnance two years later, in October of 1729, Governor Beauharnois wrote to the then-Minister in France, Maurepas, because he was concerned about John Henry Lydius. In February of 1727, Lydius had married Geneviève Massé, Isabelle's niece, the daughter of Marguerite Couc and her second husband, Michel Massé. It is unlikely but not impossible that the "niece" of July, 1727, could be Geneviève Massé. The couple would have had ample time to travel to Philadelphia, even at a time when such travel was officially forbidden without permission. Any definitive answer, however, seems to be lacking in the extant documents.

The possibility was intriguing to me, though, so I began to search for information about John Henry Lydius in the French colonial documents and, in 2002, discovered a 1729 document that contains a surprising variation of the name "La Germano", a reference no one, to my knowledge, has cited in connection with Madame Montour, a reference linking Lydius, his wife Geneviève, and their aunt in the English colonies.

English language sources, however, seem unclear about Geneviève’s parentage and relatives. Peter N. Moogk’s article about Lydius in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, says Lydius "married a Canadian, said by some to have been part Indian."21 A Web site for Albany, New York, reports Geneviève’s lineage in similarly vague terms: "Tradition holds that she was of French and Native American ancestry", at least as of my last visit, even after I corrected their imprecision in the summer of 2001.22 Apparently, these sources did not and do not see fit to check the New France records to investigate the truth of the hear-say or "tradition".

Lydius, the son of a Dutch Reform minister in Albany,23 abjured protestantism before marrying Geneviève at Montréal on 13 February 1727.24 The abjuration appears just before the marriage record in the registers of Nôtre-Dame de Montréal, although some sources say it is lost! How the couple met must remain a mystery. Did Lydius travel to Montréal? Or did Geneviève travel to New York? Since the Miamis are known to have traded with the English in the 1720s, and Geneviève’s mother, Marguerite Couc, is documented among the Miamis from 1720 to at least 1723, it is feasible that mother and daughter accompanied the Miamis to do business in New York well before the marriage to Lydius. After all, Marguerite’s son by Jean Fafard dit Maconce is documented there in 1725.25

Geneviève Massé

Wherever and however they met, Geneviève Massé and John Henry Lydius had their marriage contract written by the notary Le Pailleur, 12 February 1727, at the home of Michel Massé in Ville Marie (Montréal).26 This contract is the earliest extant evidence I have found of Geneviève’s existence.27 On the contract Geneviève’s mother’s name is first given as "Dame Margueritte Couc de Cognac [sic]" and, later in the document (amazingly, as fate would have it), as "Isabelle Couc de Cognac", another anomaly that will never be resolved. (As I have noted, this is not the only example of one Couc daughter being mistakenly identified as another, just as Angélique was called Magdeleine in 1720. Is it at all possible Isabelle attended the signing of the contract?28)

Massé et sa femme, his wife, are definitely recorded as present at their daughter Geneviève’s church ceremony the next day, but Marguerite’s name, inexplicably, does not appear on the church record signed by her husband, a blank being left where her name should appear. The reason for this must also remain a mystery, although I have seen the phenomenon on other records.

The couple married with the permission of "Charles Lemoine", Baron de Longueuil,29 Chevalier de l’ordre militaire de St. Louis, gouverneur pour le Roy de la ville et gouvernement de montreal (who had served as interim governor at the death of Vaudreuil), and François Seguenot, priest of the Seminary of St. Sulpice de Paris, resident at the seminary, thus with both civil and religious approval. Longueuil had served for many years among the Iroquois, even being adopted by the Five Nations in 1694. He was sent to Iroquoia in 1725, the last year of Vaudreuil’s life, to try to circumvent the establishment of an English trading post at Chouaguen, Oswego, New York, and to request the permission of the Five Nations to erect a military fort, redoute, at Niagara, the place where Joncaire had already received permission to establish a house and trading post. I have already mentioned Longueuil’s son, Étienne-Auguste, sieur d’Adoucourt, who, along with the son of Claude Ramezay, Monnoir, died in 1716, killed by the Chérokis in Illinois country. In 1716, a "French" woman in Albany apparently had possible information about them, as reported by Charles Ruette d’Auteuil, sieur de Monceaux. The full details were then still unknown.30 (See my Part 6, where I theorize this "French" woman could have been Isabelle.)

Witnesses at the 1727 marriage contract included, for the groom: Jean Bouillet, seigneur de La Chassaigne, also member of the military order of St.-Louis, governor of Trois-Rivières. He had "commanded 100 soldiers in the unsuccessful expedition led by Claude Ramezay against the English in 1709," at the time of the failed English invasion and also the same year Vaudreuil suspected that La Tichenette was influencing the Iroquois. During La Chassaigne’s 1726-1730 governorship of Trois-Rivières (where Isabelle’s sister Angélique and her family lived), he "took part in a mission to Burnet, governor of New York, to attempt to have Fort Oswego demolished, because it had been erected in violation of the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht." Burnet, while maintaining that the French fort at Niagara was itself a violation of 1713, nevertheless, called him a person of "great merit".31 Lachassaigne was absent for the signing of the contract, but he was represented by Jean-Baptiste Legardeur, écuyer, seigneur de Repentigny, officer in the troups of the marine, husband of Agathe de St.-Père. Also present was Julien Trottier Desrivières, identified as bourgeois merchant of Ville Marie, but whom I know to be a member of a fur-trading family with ties to Fort Pontchartrain. He had hired voyageurs to travel to the pays-d’en-haut in 1716 and 1717,32 specifically sending canoes to Michilimackinac during the Fox War. Michel Germaneau first appears in extant documents in 1717 Montréal. I have speculated that he took advantage of the royal pardon granted to those coureurs de bois, or others away from the mother colony, who agreed to take part in the Fox initiative.

The bride’s parents are indicated as present, and then, again inexplicably, a half of a page is left blank on the document, the section that should have listed those present for the future bride. Those who signed on the last page, however, include the bride and groom; the father of the bride, Michel Massé; and friends De Repentigny fils; Desrivieres; John Morris; Robt. Frantor (?); agathe [de] St Pere33 (mother of Repentigny fils); R. [René] Decoüagne; Blondeau; Marieanne pothier (identified as dite Laverdure in the text); marguerite pothier; janne masse; francoise masse (Geneviève’s sister); and Louise pothier. Basically the same persons signed the church marriage record, except for John Morris, Robt. Frantor (?), marguerite pothier; janne masse, although she is indicated as present; and francoise masse. Additional persons present were a second "blondeau", "jean pothier", "jannet potier" and two signatures I cannot read. Madame Jean Pothier, née Marie Massé, sister of Michel and aunt of the bride, is also said to be present but did not sign. Geneviève gave birth to at least two Lydius children in Montréal by 1730.

Among their activities, John Henry Lydius and his wife were actively engaged in ransoming English prisoners in 1728 before any question was raised about whether he could remain in the New France colony.34

John Henry Lydius

By 1729, though, Governor Beauharnois feared that the ruling prohibiting aliens to engage in commerce in the French colony, issued in 1727, the year of the marriage, but not yet in force in February of that year, would mean Lydius would have no way to make a living for his family, since he had been allowed to trade within the colony with the Iroquois during the first two years of his marriage. Beauharnois suggested to Maurepas that perhaps Lydius should be hired as an interpreter of Iroquois and be paid 300 livres a year instead of being banned for his commerce.

Beauharnois adds the following reasons for his request to grant Lydius an exemption: Lydius has a perfect knowledge of the state of the country; he is held in high regard by the Iroquois, whose language he understands; and his wife (Geneviève Massé) is

petite niece of a Frenchwoman married to an Iroquois by the name of Le Germano who lives in New England (Nouvelle Angleterre, a general name for the English colonies, including the New York and Pennsylvania areas) where he has been assigned a pension by the Province, and who is so dangerous a spirit [esprit si dangereux ] that deceased Mr. de Vaudreuil used every strategy to make him return to Canada, or to get rid of him, which he did not succeed in doing. All of the family of Lydius's wife is of the same spirit.35

The document reads petite niece, which could, perhaps, mean young niece instead of great-niece.36 Geneviève is actually the niece of Isabelle, the only sister of Marguerite known to have established herself in Nouvelle Angleterre. Since Geneviève is the child of Marguerite’s second marriage, Beauharnois may have guessed at the "great-niece" relationship, if that is his meaning. Geneviève was born when her mother was about forty, as well as can be determined, although Beauharnois may have been ignorant of this fact. At any rate, there is no known great-aunt in any extant records. She would have had to be a sister of Pierre Couc or of his wife.

Le Germano

Beauharnois did not want Lydius to be forced to return to Nouvelle Angleterre because, if he resented his dismissal, it could be of great consequence for this, the New France, colony: "d'une grande conséquence pour cette colonie", evidently because of Lydius’s perhaps dangerously compromising knowledge of New France, New York, and the Iroquois (an echo of the New York officials’ concern in keeping Madame Montour in their service in 1719), but especially since he had family ties to Le Germano and his wife.

The first striking item here is the phrase "so dangerous a spirit (esprit si dangereux), interesting because the deceased former governor had used a similar phrase to describe La Tichenette nineteen years earlier, in 1710: esprit mauvais. Lamothe Cadillac had employed a similar phrase to describe Pimabansô, the Loup or Mahican Indian keeping company in 1706 with the Montour identified by Vaudreuil as "brother-in-law" [sic] of La Tichenette. And Beauharnois is quick to add that all of the family related to Lydius by marriage are of a similar spirit.

A Brief Digression

In a joint letter of 1709, Vaudreuil and Intendent Raudot asserted that all Frenchmen who had married sauvagesses had become free thinking idlers of an intolerable independence: "libertins feneans, et d’une independence insuportable"37; that all offspring of unions between French and Indians demonstrated an indolence as great as the Indians themselves: "dune feneantise [fainéantise] aussy grande que les sauvages mesmes," and thus such marriages should not be allowed to take place at Fort Pontchartrain, as Vaudreuil had ordained in 1706 in reply to Cadillac’s request to permit such marriages. The joint letter of 1709 then says Vaudreuil was obliged to order the Sieur de Joncaire to do away with the man named Montour, who is the product of this kind of marriage. The letter continues: "It seems that all the children thus born seek to create difficulties for the French."38 Vaudreuil himself, in his private letter to Pontchartrain, writes in praise of Joncaire, reporting that he (Joncaire) himself, by means of men who were with him, had broken the head (casser la têste) of Montour, French by nation, but a man (working) entirely for the English and being paid by them ("francois de nation, mais homme entierement aux anglois, et a leurs gages").39 It is interesting to note that the son of a Frenchman and an Indian is acknowledged to be a citizen of the French nation, regardless of his "mixed" parentage. While Vaudreuil could not avoid naming Montour as a French citizen, he did not hesitate to have him killed without a proper trial. Vaudreuil was most certainly looking for a scapegoat to present to Pontchartrain for the many defections by the Western Nations who were going to the English to trade.

To return to Lydius’s situation in 1729 and Beauharnois’s dilemma. Another echo of the former governor’s language occurs in the surprising use of "le Germano", employed here to name the husband of Geneviève Massé’s aunt married to an Iroquois, "le" being the masculine and "la" the feminine form of the word "the", as in the French phrases "le nommé Germano", the (man) named Germano, or "la nommée Germano", the (woman) named Germano. It is Vaudreuil, the previous governor, who had identified the sister of La St-Serny (Angélique) as "La Germano" in 1720, at least according to Bégon. Beauharnois evidently did not know the Iroquois name Carondowana (Grand Arbre / Big Tree) or his alias of Robert Hunter, but he surely had access to the former governor’s papers and letters.

He could not have known that Madame Montour’s husband died that very year, but his death had only recently been condoled by Patrick Gordon, Governor of Pennsylvania, where Isabelle and her husband, with their son André / Andrew, had been working and living at Otstonwakin, now Montoursville, Pennsylvania. Gordon’s letter of 10 August 1729 (O. S.) expressing his personal sorrow and sending ten strouds to cover the deaths of several Oneidas during a war with Indians in South Carolina, was written from Philadelphia to the Oneida Shikellimy, who had lost a son, and to "Peter Alias Kataryonyacha" (Madame Montour’s son-in-law married to Margaret Montour). Gordon wrote that he had "loved Carundowana as Our brother" and said that as soon as he heard of the disaster he had sent to the "Canestogoe" Indians for them to send to see whether he was still alive and to offer to Pay his Ransome". The letter was also delivered to the Oneidas and Tuscaroras, and they reported to Albany that they did not know what to make of the news. On 21 July 1729 (O.S.), their representatives had informed the Albany officials of their many losses, but they apparently did not know all the names of those deceased or held prisoners. The news of Carondowana’s death might not have reached Beauharnois by October. Albany sent Laurence Claessen to the Oneidas on 21 October with instructions to "Interpret the Said Patrick Gordon’s Letter to them in their Language".40 On 11 May 1730 (O.S.), representatives of the Oneidas were still requesting the names of those taken prisoners, so that they could confirm those who were still alive.41

The reference to Le Germano, the Iroquois husband of a Frenchwoman relative of Geneviève Massé, is yet another indication that the woman interpreting in New York is Isabelle. It even suggests that Carondowana may have been in the New France area at one time, perhaps even a convert to Catholicism at Sault-Saint-Louis (now Kahnawake), if Vaudreuil tried to make him return to Canada, unless this is simply Beauharnois’s misunderstanding of Vaudreuil’s efforts to have Isabelle —La Germano— return to New France.

More Parallels

At first Lydius was granted an exemption from the ordonnance; but he was deported to France within a year under the accusation that he was not practicing his new religion.42 This is rather strange as his children were baptized, as I will document. From my reading about the affair, it seems to me Lydius was incriminated for his alleged ties to the illegal trade between New France and New York as much as for any "religious" lapse, a trade deplored, at least officially, by both governments. Perhaps Beauharnois was following his predecessor’s tactic of making an example of one individual to deter many others. In fact, Governor Beauharnois and Intendant Hocquart said "the banishment would make a strong impression 'on those who are in the habit of carrying on, or favoring foreign trade'."43 Lydius, in 1730, may have been in a similar political position as Louis Montour in 1709, both men challenging the official trade regulations of New France and favoring the desires of the Indians themselves (and their own economic needs) instead of continuing to exploit the Indians for political or military objectives in the on-going conflict between France and England. Most interestingly, the domiciled Natives did not support the accusations against Lydius, and the Western Indians who accompanied Montour in 1709 greatly admired the man who led them.

Document #4

Vaudreuil, in his letters to Pontchartrain, also had cited the necessity to use the assassination of Louis Montour in 1709 "to make a strong impression" on others, both Native and French, to deter them from going to trade with the English. Montour was not the only one so-treated. Three years earlier, in 1706, about the time Cadillac reported he saw Louis Couc Montour returning from Orange, Vaudreuil and the legal system sought the arrest of yet another member of the Couc family, Louis’s brother, "un sauvage nommé Couc frère de Montour", for allegedly traveling to Orange against the ordonnances of the king. Jean’s friend, Lambert Cuillerier, who would serve as godfather for Jean Couc Montour’s son, Jean-Baptiste, that very year in November, was arrested and interrogated on 1 and 2 September 1706. The record of the interrogation is sixteen pages long, all in Antoine Adhémar’s wretched handwriting, and concludes with recording that Lambert "Cullerier" was returned to the prison in Montréal on 2 September.44 The interrogation had not been microfilmed as of June 2000, when I obtained a photocopy during my visit to Les Archives du Québec, Montréal branch.

Vaudreuil also approved the arrest of the father of St-Germain, undoubtedly Pierre Lamoureux dit St-Germain, Joachim Germaneau’s friend (See Part 5), who had loaned Germaneau money and trade goods in the 1690s for his trading expeditions. St-Germain’s son, probably François, allegedly equally involved in the illegal voyage to Orange, could not be located. The prisoners, St-Germain and "Cullerier", were later released because, in Vaudreuil’s words, "however hard we tried, we couldn’t find any proof against the men named Cuillerier and St. Germain. They stayed in prison a long time, but then we could not help but let them go."46 Jean Couc Montour could not be found to undergo an interrogation. I must note here that Vaudreuil was also suspected at this time of illegal profit from trade with the Indians, through his tenant Saint-Germain,47 and may have been trying to deflect Pontchartrain’s demands for explanations by offering him the arrests as a good-faith attempt to curb illegal trading.

Alleged travel to Orange by Jean Couc Montour in 1706; actual travel and leading the Western Indians to Orange by Louis Couc Montour in 1708-09; and alleged illegal trade with Albany, as well as irreligion, by John Henry Lydius led the government to "make an example" of these individuals.

The Lydius Children

According to the Albany web site: "The Lydiuses left Quebec shortly after the birth of their second child - whom John Henry refused to have baptized in the French church." Nevertheless, the records of Nôtre-Dame de Montréal document that Elisabeth Gertrude Sara Lydius was baptized 27 February 1728, and Jean Louis Lydius was baptized 1 November 1729, less than a month after Beauharnois’s letter to the French minister. Was Jean-Louis baptized even though his father objected? Is this "second" child mentioned on the Albany web site yet another son? Or is there some misunderstanding here. Peter N. Moogk says Lydius "was imprisoned in August 1730. […] [and On] 28 September the Conseil Supérieur fined him 3,000 livres and banished him. He was put aboard the Héros bound for Rochefort, and although his wife was allowed to accompany him, their newborn [sic] son was kept behind as a ward of the crown."48 The letter written by Beauharnois and Hocquart to Maurepas in October of 1730 indicates "this foreigner was married at Montréal to a métive by whom he has two young children."49 Lydius was not convicted of trading illegally, but the other allegations about his suspicious influence among the domiciled Indians and his irreligion were apparently enough to have him deported to France.

Both of the children documented as having been baptized had interesting and important godparents: for the daughter in 1728, René de Coüagne (a prominent merchant)50 and Agathe de Saint-Père, who had attended the Lydius marriage. Agathe de Saint-Père (Madame de Repentigny) is the business woman who sponsored the local initiative to fabricate textiles with the assistance of both English prisoners and the Indians from 1705 to 1713.51 And, for the Lydius son, de Saint-Père’s daughter, Agathe de Repentigny, widow Bouat,52 and Jean-Louis de Lacorne, ecuyer, officer in a detachment of troops, who obviously gave the baby his first names. It is Lacorne who, in 1726, informed "the new governor Charles de Beauharnois, that the English had incited the Five Nations to destroy French Fort Niagara"53 after his visit to New York.

This is certainly an intriguing cast of characters involved with trade and with the Iroquois in the English Colonies! I could cite equally noteworthy details about the other godparents and witnesses attending religious ceremonies for the Lydius family. In 1730, though, John Lydius was related by marriage to Aunt Isabelle, who was considered to be a politically dangerous spirit, and for that reason, if for no other, he would have to go.

A "Genevieve Agathe", daughter of "Jean Henry" and "Genevieve Agathe Macé", was buried 17 December 1730, apparently after John Henry Lydius had been deported to France.54 I have to assume she had also been baptized if she was buried from the Church, but she is definitely a girl. I at first did know whether she could be Elisabeth Gertrude Sara (all names associated with Lydius’s relatives), now identified in the death record by her mother’s and her godmother’s name, or whether this Sara survived and eventually lived in New York.

I learned in 2003, though, that two of the Lydius children were entrusted to the care of Françoise Massé, their maternal aunt. On 15 October 1733, Françoise, anticipating her death, commissioned a document to put her affairs in order. She states she had taken care of two Lydius children: a sick little daughter, whom she kept for eight months (possibly the child buried in December of 1730?), and a son (probably Jean-Louis, baptized in November of 1729), whom she had taken care of for three years (thus since 1730), having been charged to the task of arranging for his shelter and education by Mr le gouverneur general. The identity of the "newborn" son Lydius allegedly refused to have baptized remains a mystery to me at this time.

Françoise identified several possessions within the house she had inherited from her father and indicated some belonged to her sister, Lydius’s wife, who would inherit from their father after she, Françoise, died; and she also identified expenses she sustained for Lydius and the debts owed her by Lydius and others and mentioned a trunk sent from Europe belonging to Lydius.55 Françoise departed this life on the 19th and was buried on the 20th of October 1733, leaving one son, Pierre, who would eventually follow his father, Pierre Leduc dit Souligny,56 to Michilimackinac.57 I wonder whether the Albany Web site will accept this notarized document as proof of Geneviève’s family?

Or perhaps it will accept the 23 January 1734 inventory taken after Françoise’s death, at which René de Coüagne served as guardian of Jean, minor son of Sr Lydius and Geneviève Massé, his wife. He had been selected to serve in this capacity by the lieutenent general on 19 January 1734. Toussaint Pothier was the assistant guardian.58 What became of this Lydius child I do not yet know.

Once in France, Lydius convinced the authorities there to allow him to leave, went first to Holland and eventually back to New York with his family.59 English language writers also do not present him in a good light, but I have the feeling all of these accounts need to be re-examined. He may have been an unscrupulous man, but Lydius may also suffer from biased reporting.60 Other Lydius children were born in New York, two of the Lydius children, Martin Lydius and Sara Lydius, even serving as godparents or sponsors in 1756 for their cousin, Nicholas Montour, grandson of Isabelle.61

The four documents I have cited certainly reinforce the identity of Madame Montour as Isabelle Couc. They also document complex inter-relationships between the residents of New France and the English colonies. Other details about Madame Montour lie buried and scattered in the many primary sources and articles written about her. Often these details are presented in a biased and incomplete fashion, and it is instructive to examine the sources themselves, unfiltered by any commentary, as I will do next. I will, of course, add my own comments.

Suzanne Boivin Sommerville

[begun in June of 2002] 11 August 2003, Feast of Saint-Suzanne


See www.cccu.org/resourcecenter/resID.843,parentCatID.89/rc_detail.asp for the story of Saint-Suzanne:




Saint Susanna was nobly born in Rome, the daughter of a certain Gabinius, who after his conversion became a priest; she was also the niece of Pope Saint Caius, her father’s brother. This family was also related to the emperor Diocletian. Susanna’s father had raised her with great care in the fear of God and love of Jesus Christ, and she had made a private vow of virginity. Diocletian, wishing to obtain the consent of this very beautiful maiden to marry his favorite, Maximian, sent a certain Claudius, another member of her family, to propose the espousals. She refused to consent, making known to her father and Saint Caius her vow, and saying that even if she had not resolved to conserve her chastity, she would not wish to marry a man responsible for the massacre of an infinite number of Christians. The Emperor’s messenger was converted by her confession of faith, and became a fervent penitent.

When Diocletian received no answer from his messenger concerning the results of the commission, and then learned of the conversion of Claudius, he was very irritated; then with Claudius he arrested Suzanne, Gabinius her father, and several other Christians. He had Suzanne beaten in her residence, then decapitated secretly. The emperor’s wife, Prisca, who was also a Christian in secret, buried her body clandestinely and prayed to her as a holy martyr. Later the house of Gabinius was transformed by Pope Saint Caius into a church; it eventually became a convent for Cistercian nuns. Saint Susanna suffered towards the beginning of Diocletian’s reign, about the year 295.

The church of Santa Susanna / Saint Susan / Sainte-Suzanne, 14 Via XX Settembre (Piazza San Bernardo), is the "national church for Catholics from the USA, and Mass is therefore celebrated in English." See © Chris Nyborg 2000 home.online.no/~cnyborg/susanna.html

See also www.cccu.org/resourcecenter/resID.843,parentCatID.89/rc_detail.asp for the story of the Old Testament Susanna.

This narrative, Susanna and the Elders, from the Book of Daniel, chapter 12, is particularly applicable to the life of Isabelle Couc Montour. Susanna, wife of "Joakim" (Joachim, the name of Isabelle’s first husband) was a virtuous woman who was falsely accused of having carnal knowledge of a young man by two elders, magistrates who themselves lusted after her and whom Susanna had repulsed. When, on the basis of their testimony, she was condemned to death, the prophet Daniel exposed their lie by cross-examining each accuser separately. He asked them to name the tree under which the alleged act of adultery had occurred. Each man cited a different tree; and, as a result of their false accusations, they themselves were then sentenced to death.

Amazing! Even in Biblical times, a judgment decreed on the basis of mendacious testimony could be overturned through a careful analysis of the "evidence".


(1) "Jugement rendu par le Conseil de guerre Contre Bertellemy pichon soldat de la Comp[agnie] de Cortemanche [sic] de la garnison du fort pontchartrain," Grandmesnil (fils, the son, Cadillac's hired clerk), photocopy Les Archives Nationales du Québec, (ANQ) 4 880. See Part 6.
(2) This was the Vetch "Glorious Enterprise" that was abandoned. See Bruce T. McCully, "Catastrophe in the Wilderness: New Light on the Canada Expedition of 1709," William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. XI, Oct., 1954, pp. 441-456, especially page 453. McCully comments on examples of censorship on a document describing the "Camp at the Wood Creek reviewed", dated at Albany, August 16, 1709, which is included in the article.
(3) "Parolles des jroquois Sonnontouans et ounontaguez a Mr LeMarquis de Vaudreüil," 8 August 1710, NAC F-31, f 105 of ff. 98-105v. I have not yet determined who Bienville could be. These Iroquois had come to condole the death of Jesuit Father Lamberville, who had served in their country, and for whom they had always had esteem and consideration. In connection with the previous year's attempted invasion, they affirmed that they would not accept the hatchet of war offered them either by the English or the French but would remain neutral.
(4) 14 November 1720, Manuscript photocopy, Ordonnance de l'intendant du 14 novembre 1720, 4 MOO -1852, signed "Begon". NAC photocopy.
(5) Madeleine is also erroneously named Marguerite on a document. And, on Geneviève Massé's marriage contract in 1727, Geneviève's mother is first called Marguerite, and later in the same document Isabelle. PRDH and photocopies. I myself have in error used the name Marguerite for Madeleine, even in an early draft of this article
(6) Hirsch (2000) cites NYC Mss., 57: 168; 62: 1; NYCM, 13: 163. "Saratoga--now Schuylerville, above Albany--was the home of French refugees from Canada, so Isabelle may have been interpreting for them as well as for the Iroquois. The petition [to be paid] itself has not survived; it may have been the document that New York contracted David Le Tellier to 'translate.' The phrase 'a man's pay' has been misread to mean that she was asking to be paid the same as a man, a sort of proto-feminist seeking equal pay for equal work". Hirsch writes that Isabelle "threatened to leave the British, claiming that the government of New France had sent her sister to persuade her to return to Canada.", p. 95. Emphasis mine. It was not a claim; it was the truth. I have not yet seen the documents cited by Hirsch.
(7) Vincens cites a letter from the commissioners of Albany to Peter Schuyler, 25 September 1719, New York State Archives, and quotes from it. My translation of her French translation. I have not seen the source document. Note that this is also Beauharnois's argument about Lydius ten years later.
(8) The problem of the Natives' preference for écarlatines is clearly stated as early as 1709, novembre, 14, Lettre des intendants Raudot au ministre: "sale of the écarlatines and blue cloth that the Indians like (prefer) must be permitted in order to prevent all of the beaver skins from being carried to Orange, especially through the intervention of the Indians of Sault-Saint-Louis: ("il faut permettre la vente des écarlatines et du drap bleu que les Indiens aiment pour éviter que tout le castor ne soit porté à Orange, notamment par l'entremise des Indiens du Sault-Saint-Louis"), summary of Série C11A, Vol. 30, NAC F-30, ff. 271-320v , from ArchiviaNet search tool at the National Archives of Canada web site. On the original, the word Indians is sauvages. The French tried to duplicate the English workmanship and eventually authorized purchase of English cloth to sell to the Indians.
(9) Histoire du commerce canadien-français de Montréal 1535-1893: un souvenir, Saint-Pierre, T. (Télésphore), 1869-1912. 138 pages. Montréal? : Sabiston, 1894? P. 31. The following year, 1720, those who denounced contraband holders received the profits of the sale of the contraband. I do not know who "denounced" La St.-Serny. In 1722, the denouncers did not even have to wait for an evaluation of the value of the contraband, which was determined at a fixed price, "prix fixe". On 14 mai 1726, no one without permission was allowed to travel to Nouvelle Angleterre. Read at Early Canadiana on-line, my translation. Many of the permissions granted survive. See ArchiviaNet search tool, Colonial Documents.
(10) The brother of Étienne Rocbert, Jacques Urbain Rocbert, sieur de Lamorandière, was the principal "cômis de Messieurs de la Compagnie" of the Colony, then in charge of trade at Le Détroit in 1705. On 30 May (Adhémar) he was part of a group, including Jaques Cardinal, Pierre Mauriceau, Louis Lefebvre, and Pierre Lescuyer, hired by the Compagnie to go to "fort le pont Chartrain du lac Érie". ANQ, photocopy.
(11) Vincens, p. 241.
(12) "Nouvelle France, Ordonnances des intendents 29 juin 1720 - 17 decembre 1721," MG 8, Ag vol. 6, ff. 148-49, 14 November 1720 (a handwritten copy of the original), reads Vaudreuil "avoit permis d'apporter avec elle tout ce que la Germaisse sa soeur luy donneroit", as best I can read the transcription handwriting, which, unfortunately, is worse than the original.
(13) Written in French, Letter from William Burnet, 11 July 1721, NAC, photocopy. See Part 7.
(14) 11 June 1723, Notary Pierre Petit, ANQ TR, photocopy.
(15) This fifth document will be cited in my October, 2003, Michigan's Habitant Heritage article. It refutes the assertions that Isabelle's daughter either had no contact with or was not acknowledged by her French-Canadian cousins.
(16) DCB III, p. 41.
(17) She may have been there earlier. Francis Jennings identifies "Cakundawanna", present in Pennsylvania in 1714 representing the Iroquois, as Carondowana. Whether he simply traveled back and forth from New York to fulfill this role is unknown. Ambiguous Iroquois Empire, New York, 1984, p. 265. Isabelle appears to have continued to interpret in New York in a private capacity for Governor Robert Hunter at least to 1720. She was living in Pennsylvania by, at the latest, the 1730s.
(18) Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, Vol. III, pp. 271-276, FHL microfilm #0844502, vols. 2-3. Emphasis mine. The council met again on 5 July, and before leaving, the Natives "further requested a Writing to Shew that the Governor Allowed them to Stave [break or smash a hole in] any Rum they mett with in the Woods, which was promised with this Limitation, that they should not meddle with any Rum they found in any houses whatsoever, and that they should not on any account seize any to drink or carry it away. . . ". All copied as written.
(19) See Part 7 Footnote 31.
(20) See Part 4. Minutes, Jan. 7, 1723 - Sept. 4, 1732, RG 10, vol. 1819: 137a, NAC microfilm C-1220. Photocopy. Original is in English.
(21) DCB, Vol. IV, p. 488, emphasis mine.
(22) See www.nysm.nysed.gov/albany/pcalhindex.html > I received no acknowledgement after sending the correct, documented information.
(23) "Johannes Lydius was born in Maesden, South Holland, the eldest son of Reverend Hendricus Lydius. Following his father's profession, he entered the ministry. By 1692 he had become dominie of the Reformed Church of Antwerp, Belgium. During that time, he married Isabella Rachels and the couple began a family. However, his tenure in Belgium proved stormy. By 1700, a deteriorated relationship with the Antwerp congregation led him to accept a call to become minister of the Dutch church in Albany. The Lydiuses sailed to America - arriving at New York in July 1700." Ibid. He died in Albany on March 1, 1710, about the time Madame Montour is documented there and began to interpret. "By January 1711, widow Isabella [Rachels] Lydius had entered into a marriage contract with widower Jacob Staats, an Albany physician. With her two European-born daughters, she became a naturalized British subject in 1716. After raising her family and Staats's two daughters as well, she inherited his property after Jacob Staats's death in 1735. She died in December 1745 and was buried beneath the church." Ibid.
(24) Registers of Nôtre-Dame de Montréal, FHL #0375842, photocopy.
(25) Jean and his cousin Joseph Montour are said to have arrived with "nine canoes of Twightwigh Indians", "among whom they live and have married to squas [sic]". Minutes of the Commission on Indian Affairs at Albany, (RG 10, vol. 1819, NAC film C-1220. f. 137a, photocopy.
(26) ANQ photocopy.
(27) I have speculated that she was baptized at Fort Pontchartrain, along with her sister Françoise, each girl given her first name by one of the few women documented there by 1704: Geneviève Letendre or Geneviève Laferrière, and Françoise Dumouchelle, daughter of Bernard Dumouchel Laroche and Jeanne Jouin Joanne, who accepted a position as a servant for the Lamothe Cadillac family, 6 July 1703 Adhémar, photocopy ANQ. See my "The Other Women and Early Detroit, Part One" in MHH, Vol. 22, October 2001, and the subsequent installments.
(28) James Letort's report at a council in Philadelphia 18 April 1728 (O.S.) referred to a conversation he had with Madame Montour the previous fall of 1727 concerning a possible trading voyage to the Miamis. Later, though, she would not agree to travel to the Miamis with Letort. See Part 7.
(29) See Céline Dupré, "Lemoyne de Longueuil, Charles," the "only Canadian in origin created baron in New France", DCB II, pp. 418-420. See also the entry for him in the year 1725 at vieux.montreal.qc.ca/
(30) See NAC, MG 1 Série C11A, F-37, fol. 44-45v, "Déliberation du Conseil de Marine sur une lettre de Vaudreuil datée du 12 novembre 1716, as summarized at ArchiviaNet: "a lady in Orange made it known to d'Auteuil that this news about the deaths of the two young men was false; will write to Hunter to attempt to clarify this mystery" : "une dame d'Orange a laissé entendre à d'Auteuil que cette nouvelle [the deaths of the two young men] était fausse; écrira à Hunter por tenter d'éclaircir ce mystère." The actual Vaudreuil letter says the Kaskaskias ("des Sauvages de la nation des Kaskakias"), an Illinois Nation, killed the two men, but this was an error, as it was determined that they had been killed by the Chérokis, possibly with the influence of the English. Vaudreuil wrote that, according to a letter that Ramezay sent him, the "Sr D'auteuil" reported that finding himself at Orange at an assembly where this news was brought, since he seemed to be distressed by it and left the assembly, "une Dame" of this place came to speak to him the next day, and said she had noticed his distress and that the two officers were certainly not dead but that that she could not tell him anything further and begged him to keep the secret she had just told him. Conseil de M. le Marquis de Vaudreüil a quebec le 12 Novembre 1716, C11A, vol. 37, ff. 44-45, photocopy. The French woman in Orange, whoever she is, seems to have had accurate information of some kind. It is intriguing to note that Isabelle's daughter Marie-Anne may have been among the Illinois, and Bourgmont was definitely there, a subject to be considered in a later article.
(31) Ulric Lévesque, "Bouillet de La Chassaigne (Chassagne), Jean," DCB II, 91-92, my translation from the French version.
(32) 5 May 1716 and 9 May 1717, Jetté. I have not yet received these contracts or a later one involving Fort Pontchartrain.
(33) See the interesting story of this business woman, mother of seven children, who founded a textile manufacturing enterprise, employing English prisoners to instruct local habitants and learning dye techniques from the Natives. The enterprise existed from 1705 to 1713. DCB III. Except for this initiative, the habitants of New France were required to import their clothing or textiles from France. See also the entry for her in the year 1725 at vieux.montreal.qc.ca/
(34) All Notary Joseph Charles Raimbault, 24 avril 1728, "Obligation par John Henry Lydius, flamand de nation et Geneviève Massé sa femme; à Joseph Hertel pour la somme de 350 livres pour argent à débourser aux sauvages du Lac St-François pour le rachat d'un prisonier du nom de James Nap."; "Obligation par Jean Henry Lidyus, flamand … pour 440 livres …"; 20 mai 1728, Obligation par Jean Henry Lydius . . pour le rachat de Benjamin Haly, anglais qui a été retenu captif depuis trois ou quatre ans chez les sauvages du Lac St-François. Photocopies. The seigneury of St-François-du-Lac is the site of Pierre Couc's former property.
(35) 1729, octobre, 25, Lettre de Beuharnois et Hocquart au ministre, NAC C llA, Microfilm of original, F-51, ff. 6-8v . "petite niece d'une francoise mariée avec un Iroquois nommé le Germano qui demeure actuellement dans la nouvelle angleterre ou il luy est assigné une pension par La Province, et qui est d'un esprit si dangereux que feu Mr de Vaudreuil avoit mis tous en usage pour le faire revenir en Canada, ou pour S'endeffaire, à quoy il n'apû réussir. Toute la famille de la femme du dit Lidius est du mesme Esprit." Madame Montour was also assigned a pension. See my citation of Colden in Part 7.
(36) Similar misunderstanding of the word has existed about the military rank of petite-enseigne, when it has sometimes been translated as "little". It has nothing to do with the size or the quality of the individual but only military status. In English such an officer is a petty officer, one of lower rank.
(37) Libertins is often translated as sexually promiscuous ones, but it also has the sense of free thinkers, those who refuse to submit to any established rules and values, instead (as seen by the New France authorities) insolently determining their own destiny. Fainéantise = slothful ones, do-nothings, thought to be a greater vice than laziness. I myself find nothing lazy about the life of the coureurs de bois or voyageurs or Indians.
(38) Vaudreuil et Raudot à Pontchartrain, 14 novembre 1709, RAPQ CD version, and photocopy. It is interesting that neither this letter nor the personal letter of Vaudreuil to the minister reached France this year, the ship carrying it having been highjacked by the English. Vaudreuil's wife was on the ship when it was taken. The letters and memoirs thrown into the sea were sent in duplicate in 1710, so that it was at least 1711 before Pontchartrain could respond to them. I cannot help but wonder what could have happened had the message been received more promptly. Delayed receipt of correspondence from France occurred in 1704, also because the English pirated a ship.
(39) Vaudreuil à Pontchartrain, 14 novembre 1709, RAPQ CD version, and photocopy.
(40) Minutes of the Commission on Indian Affairs at Albany, NAC film C-1220. ff. 296-297. His death occurred during a conflict with the "Flat-heads", the Catawba Nation in South Carolina, although the Oneidas claimed it was with the Virginia Indians encouraged by the English, and the Albany commissioners soft-pedaled or altered the report of Virginia Governor Gooch in order to, as they explained it, prevent the outbreak of war and the death of Christians. Gordon of Pennsylvania himself wrote "We are much Troubled that they [ the Iroquois] went to Fight wth Indians that were in Friendship with the English, and were Tradeing wth Them. The English would not hurt the Five Nations If they knew them, but they thought them Enemies, because they Came to Fight Against their Friends, all the English are one People, and all their Friends Should be one People, we grieve for this Mistake and unhappy Loss." It is interesting to note that Gordon refers to the Five Nations even though the Tuscaroras had been accepted by this time as the Sixth, with property allocated to them among the Oneidas.
(41) Minutes of the Commission on Indian Affairs at Albany, NAC film C-1220, ff. 315v -316.
(42) I have read the letters written by two priests supporting this accusation. They say they have not seen Lydius attend religious services. See also Lettre de Beauharnois et Hocquart au ministre concernant l'affaire de John Hendricks Lydius, originaire d'Orange, établi à Montréal, convaincu [sic] d'avoir entretenu un commerce illégal avec les colonies britanniques - jugement du Conseil supérieur qui l'a banni à perpétuité de cette colonie; l'envoient en France car il serait dangereux de le retourner dans son pays; accusations portées contre lui par les missionnaires du Sault-Saint-Louis et du lac des Deux-Montagnes; projet des Indiens de ces deux villages de demander son élargissement; calomnies de Lydius contre le jésuite Pierre de Lauzon. Summary on ArchiviaNet for entry NAC F-52, ff. 21-26. I have a photocopy of the full document.
(43) DCB, Vol. V.
(44) Request et plainte pour Mr le procureur du Roy contre Lambert Cullerier, 1 July 1706, ANQ-Montréal, photocopy of a document that has not been microfilmed, obtained on a visit to the archives in June of 2000. It was a thrill to hold this original document in my hands. Cuillerier testified that they had gone to hunt bustards on Lac Champlain and nothing else. He also indicated that Jean Couc resided at Sault-Saint-Louis at that time.
(45) Pierre Lamoureaux dit Saint-Germain's first wife was Marguerite Pigarouiche, Amérindienne. Their son, the one being sought, was most likely François, born about 1675; married, contract 26 July 1712 Le Pailleur (Bellevue), Marguerite Ménard, widow of Lambert Cuillerier and daughter of Jean-Baptiste Ménard & Marguerite Étienne, thus niece of Maurice Ménard. Saint-Germain père had remarried 2 October 1684 at Montréal to Barbe Celle. Jetté. Vaudreuil was accused of illegal trading at the "bout de l'Isle" of Montréal, using Saint-Germain, his tenant there, as his agent. See footnote 47.
(46) Mm. De Vaudreuil et Raudot au Ministre, 15 November 1707, RAPQ.
(47) On 23 October 1702, Vaudreuil "became a seigneur. Callière and the intendant François de Beauharnois granted him the territory located just across the western tip of Montreal Island, including the little Ile aux Tourtres in the Ottawa River. The seigneury was nothing more than a wilderness tract, but its ideal location for the Indian trade made it a valuable piece of real estate. However, Vaudreuil only began to draw income from it on July 26, 1703, when he leased it to Pierre Lamoureux, dit Saint-Germain, a Montreal merchant, for three years at 1,000 livres annually." It is here that he was accused of carrying on illegal trade, such that he had to dismiss Saint-Germain. Yves F. Zoltvany, Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudreuil, The Carleton Library No. 80, McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1974, p. 28, citing relevant documents.
(48) DCB V 488, underlining mine. I doubt whether Moogk consulted the actual registers of Nôtre-Dame de Montréal for any baptismal records, as he cites only "ANQ-M, État civil, Catholiques, Nôtre-Dame de Montréal, 13 févr. 1727", the marriage record, and the marriage contract the day before.
(49) "15 octobre 1730: "cet Etranger s'est marié à montréal a une métive dont il a deux jeunes enfants", at least if I am reading the word métive accurately, as it is partially obscured by the Archives Coloniales seal on the document. NAC microfilm F-52, f. 24. This letter also indicates Lydius could not be convicted of trading illegally. This may be one of the earliest uses of what became standardized as métis, which according to Havard (Empire, 2003) began to be employed in the 1730s after one documented use in the late 1600s.
(50) See DCB III. In 1749 he was "host to the famous Swedish naturalist Pehr Kalm during the latter's stay in Montreal." His sister Thérèse married François Poulin de Francheville and, known as Madame Francheville, she was an active business woman after the death of her husband in 1733. DCB III.
(51) DCB III. Except for this initiative, the habitants of New France were required to import their clothing or textiles from France.
(52) She was his second wife, his first being Madeleine Lambert Dumont. See Jean Blain's article on François-Marie Bouat, lieutenant-general and judge, in DCB II. He was heavily involved in fur trade commerce from early in his life. His sister Marguerite married Antoine Pascaud, an important merchant in Montréal and La Rochelle. At Pascaud's death in La Rochelle in 1717, his wife took over the family affairs, becoming a properous business woman herself. See DCB II article by Yves F. Zoltvany and Donald J. Horton, and my earlier references to Pascaud.
(53) Céline Dupré, "La Corne de Chaptes, Jean-Louis de," DCB II, pp. 341-42. She adds that (about 1705): "According to Gédéon de Catalogne, he had lost the command of Fort Frontenac for having saluted Lamothe Cadillac with a cannon shot", Cadillac at the time being out of favor with Governor Vaudreuil. This may have taken place during Cadillac's return to the mother colony in 1704. I have not yet seen the source. Vaudreuil later praised La Corne, as did Beauharnois. See "Extraits pour le roi de lettres de Longueuil, Bégon, Beauharnois, Dupuy, Chaussegros de Léry et Noyan" which also mentions La Corne's report: "rumeurs rapportées par La Corne (déclarations de Tekarihoken) au sujet des conférences tenues à Albany", MG 1 - Série C11A, Microfilm of original, reel no. F-49, Volume 49 , fol. 550-556v.
(54) Registers of Notre-Dame de Montréal, photocopies. The Albany site says Geneviève departed with her husband and two of their children, leaving a son behind as "hostage". The web site lists the other Lydius children born in New York, without precise dates. www.nysm.nysed.gov/albany/pcalhindex.html
(55) 15 octobre 1733, Declaration de Françoise Massé épouse de sr Souligny, pour mettre ordre à ses affaires avant de mourir, Notary François Lepailleur. The declaration mentions an inventory after death for Michel Massé, 23 June 1730. On it, Françoise Massé and John Henry Lydius were present and signing. Michel Massé's wife, "Margte Cognac", is said to be "absente de ce päis". J. B. Adhémar, No. 3265, ANQ, photocopy.
(56) Françoise, 26 year-old daughter of deceased Michel Massé and of Marguerite "Lafleur", married Pierre Leduc, 27, son of deceased Jean & Marguerite Desroches of the Côte St.-Pierre (also Michel Germaneau's residence), in the presence of Jean-Baptiste and Lambert Leduc, brothers; René Coüangue, merchant, who also attended Geneviève Massé's marriage; François Volant, merchant, married to Michelle Pothier dit Laverdure in 1723, and nephew of the Radisson who was commis of the Company of the Colony at Detroit in 1704; Agathe de St.-Père, also present at Geneviève's marriage; signed also by a J. B. (?) Forestie and catherine (?). A J. B. Forestier signed many records at Fort Pontchartrain, including the extant first page and the signatures seem identical. The signature on the first page was not likely entered when the register began or was begun again after a 1703 fire because Forestier would have been only fifteen years old in 1703. Note: the entry on PRDH for the Leduc / Massé marriage says no mother's name is given, but "Marie Lafleur" is very easy to read on the microfilm copy of the entry. Marguerite Couc was baptized as Marguerite Lafleur. Françoise signed but her husband did not. 1731 May 28, Notre-Dame de Montréal. Photocopy. Michel Massé had died 21, buried 22 June 1730, about 54 years old, at Montréal. Photocopy. PRDH reads the record as "Malle". The marriage contract 19 May 1731, #5126 J. B. Adhémar, shows her parents as deceased Michel Massé and Marguerite Cognac, another dit name for the family. Witnesses for the groom: his mother, Marguerite Deroche; Jean-Baptiste, Joseph, Lambert, and René Leduc, his brothers; and Pierre Sarazin, his brother-in-law; Sieur Joseph LeDuc his paternal uncle; and Paul Le Duc his cousin; and Dame Agathe de St. Père, spouse of Pierre LeGardeur Escuyer Sieur de Repentigny. Witnesses for the bride were Jean Pouthier [sic] LaVerdure, marchand, and Marie Massé, her uncle and aunt; Sieur René de Coüangue [signed R. Decoüagne, merchant bourgeois, and Louise Pouthier [signed pottier], his wife; Sieur François Volant and Damoiselle Michelle Pouthier [signed pottier], his wife; and Damoiselles Jeanne Pothier [signed janne pothier], Louise De Couignet [signed Marie Loüise de Coüagne] and Marguerite Pothier, all cousins and cousines; and, finally, Pierre Derivon Escuyer Sieur de Budemont, Captain of a company of troops, who had served Cadillac at Detroit. The contract was written at the home of Françoise Massé in Montréal, property inherited from her deceased father. Françoise gave birth 30 March 1732 to Pierre, baptized 31 March at Montréal, with René de Coüange and Catherine Pothier, who had attended her sister Geneviève's 1727 marriage, as godparents. Françoise died 19 October, buried 20 1733, Montréal, and Pierre Leduc remarried twice, eventually working out of Michilimackinac. The last reference I have located for Marguerite Couc is a sale of real and personal rights to property by Marguerite "Couq", widow of Michel Massé, merchant bourgeois of Montréal, to "René de Coüange" for 100 livres, 8 June 1740, Notary Simonet, photocopy. In 1740 she would have been seventy-six. Her whereabouts after this date and her death record are unknown. Some have speculated that her daughter Marguerite, wife of deceased Turpin, is "French Margaret". I do not see any reference to her in her daughter Françoise's 1733 "Declaration". Françoise does mention René de Coüange.
(57) Photocopies of the relevant documents. Maurice Ménard "interprète pour le roi à Michilimakinac" was domiciled with "Souligni" when he was in Montréal to sell property to François Lamoureux St-Germain on 26 July 1731, Notary René Chorel de Saint-Romain, photocopy.
(58) Inventaire 23 June 1734, J. B. Adhémar, no. 6294, ANQ, photocopy.
(59) "The Lydiuses moved south - taking up winter residence in the family home at the corner of State and Pearl Streets in Albany and establishing a trading post on the upper Hudson at the site of today's Fort Edward. The couple raised at least eight children, the last six being baptized in the Albany Dutch Reformed Church. … Because her husband was absent often, French-speaking Genevieve Lydius became the mainstay of the family in Albany. John Henry Lydius went to England in 1764 to press his more questionable land claims. He never returned and Genevieve was left to manage his extensive holdings, provide for and monitor her still dependant children, and also to deal with those who came to Albany upset about her husband's business and real estate transactions. Unlike her devious and duplicitous spouse [sic], Genevieve Lydius was known to travelers and townspeople as a charming and engaging woman." As copied from www.nysm.nysed.gov/albany/pcalhindex.html
(60) See McIlwain's "Introduction" to Wraxall's Abridgement: "Lydius certainly bore no very good reputation in the Colony of New York. … The whole matter is very much tangled with the crooked politics of the time." And, complaints against him endorsed "by a council hostile to the governor should not be taken too seriously." McIlwain even suggests some documents were suppressed or destroyed by his political enemies. Footnote 1, pp. cvii-cviii, and cix.
(61) Nicholas Montour, son of Andrew Montour and Sarah Ainse (Hands), who was at Detroit after her separation from Andrew, b. 1756 and baptized on October 31 in the Dutch church at Albany, New York, godparents Martin and Sara Lydius: 1756 Oct. 31. Nicolaes, of Andrew Montour and Sara. Wit.: Martinus and Sara Maria Lydius. Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany, New York, 1683-1809. Excerpted from Year Books of the Holland Society of New York aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/gen/albany/part4.html#baptismal
(62) See DCB V for Sarah Ainse.


Children of John Henry Lydius and Geneviève Massé, according to Alabany Web site, with, in brackets, transcriptions from Albany Dutch Reformed Records on the Web aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/gen/albany/. Curly brackets contain Sivertsen's citations in Barbara J. Sivertsen, Turtles, Wolves, and Bears, A Mohawk Family History, Heritage Books, 1996. I have made no attempt to resolve the differences.

Martinus (c.1730-1786) {probably born in Europe in 1731}
Nicolas Jacob (1732-after 1748) [1732 Oct. 8 Nicolaes, Jacob, of Tobs. and Genevieve Lydius. Wit.: Nic. Lydius, Jacob and Isabella Staets. (My note: I do not know what "Tobs." indicates. Misreading for abbreviated "Johannes"?) ] {October 8, 1732, Albany}
Margarita (1734-after 1756) [19 May 1734 Maragriet, of Johannes Henr. Lydius and Geneveva Maste. Wit.: Jacob Rozeboom, Geertruy Isabella Lydius. Note: this Gertrude Isabella, is she aunt of Margaret?] {Maryanne [sic] ba.: May 19, 1734, named for her aunt.}
Isabella Margarita (b. 1736) [1736 Jan. 14. Isabella Margrieta, of Johannis Henricq Lydius and Genevieva Mazee. Wit.: Lancaster Symes, Margrieta Johanna Lydius.] {ba.: January 14, 1735/36}
Sara Maria (1738-after 1759) [1738 July 1. Zara Maria, of Johannes Lydius and Geneveva Mazee. Wit.: Johannes Jan [ ?] Rozeboom, Geertruy Isabe]la Lydius. (as written)] {ba.: July 07, 1738}
Balthazar (1740-1815) [1740 March 8. Balthazar, of Johannes H. and Geneve Lydius. Wit.: John J. and Rykje Rozeboom] {ba.: March 08, 1739/40}
Catharina (1743-1818) [1743 Sep. 25. Catharina, of Johannis and Jeneveva Lydius. Wit.: Johannes Jac. and Magtel Rozeboom.] {ba.: September 25, 1743. Married Henry Cuyler}

The Albany Web site gives these death dates: John Henry Lydius (1704-1791 [in England]); Genevieve Masse (d. 1780s).
John Henry's father, Rev. Johannes Lydius (d. 1710) married Isabella Rachels (d. 1745). Their children:
Geertruy (1695-1757)
Maria Adrianta (1697-after 1726)
Margarita Johanna (1701-after 1736) [1701 Nov. 19. Margarita Johanna, of Johannes Lydius and Isabella Rachels. Wit.: Col. Pieter Schuyler, Margarita Selyns, Maria Schuyler.]
John Henry (1704-1791) [1704 Johannes Henricus, of Johannes Lydius and Isabella Rachel. Wit.: Kiliaan Van Rensselaar, Elisabeth Banker.] Sara/Susanna Catharina (1707-1727) [1707 Susanna Catharina, of Johannes Lydius and Isabella Rachels. Wit.: Henrik Van Rensselaar, Johannes and Elisabeth Schuyler.]

Dominie Lydius died in Albany on March 1, 1710. "Johannes Lydius was mourned by his congregation, memorialized by Mohawk diplomats, and eulogized by several contemporaries including Anglican Reverend Thomas Barclay," with whom Louis Couc Montour had placed his son Michael in 1708. By January 1711, Isabella Rachels remarried to Jacob Staats, and John Henry was brought up by him and his brother-in-law Albany trader Jacob Roseboom. Kiliaan Van Rensselaar, witness for John Henry Lydius's baptism, and Col. Pieter Schuyler, witness for Margarita Johanna, were intimately involved with the politics of the day. The cast of characters in New York is as interesting in its inter-connections as is its counterpart in New France.

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