Tuesday, June 19, 2018

2,000 Acres in Hillsborough, New Jersey – Peter Dumont

B. 18 Apr 1679 in Kingston, New York
M. (1) 25 Dec 1700  in Kingston, New York
Wife: Femmetje Teunise Van Middleswart
M. (2) 23 Feb 1707 in Kingston, New York
Wife: Catelyntje Rapalje
M. (3) 16 Nov 1711 in Flatbush, New York
Wife: Jannetje Vechten
D. (probably) Jul 1744 in Somerset County, New Jersey

Peter Dumont was an early settler of Somerset County, New Jersey and owned a large amount of land. He was born in Kingston, New York in 1679 to Wallerand Dumont and Grietje Hendricks. He was baptized on April 20th of that year at the Dutch Reformed Church where his father was a deacon. Peter had five older siblings and one older half-sister from his mother’s earlier marriage.

In about 1699, Peter left the Hudson River Valley to move to Somerset County, New Jersey. On Christmas Day of 1700, he married Femmetje Teunise Van Middleswart in Flatbush, New York. She was the 16-year-old daughter of Jan Van Middleswart, another early settler of Somerset County. Peter and Femmetje had three sons, but she died on December 25, 1706.

Peter then married Catalyntje Rapalje on February 1, 1707, and she died two years later, about a week after giving birth to a baby girl. Then on November 16, 1711, Peter married Jannetje Vechten. They had eight children born between 1715 and 1735.

On June 10, 1702, Peter purchased 2,000 acres for £380. It was located in Hillsborough township, on the south side of the Raritan River. The land stayed in the family for several generations and part of it would one day be owned by a U.S. Senator and descendant of Peter named Frederick Freylinghuysen.

Peter was an elder of the First Reformed Church of Raritan, and in 1738, an assemblyman of New Jersey from Somerset County. He made out his will on March 29, 1740 dividing his land amongst his four sons by his third wife. His two sons by his first wife had previously received land from their maternal grandfather. His will was proved July 17, 1740.

Peter died in 1744 and was buried in a family plot on his own land. One of his great-grandsons, Peter Dumont Vroom, became governor of New Jersey in the early 19th century.

Children by Femmetje Teunise Van Middleswart:
1. Doort Dumont — B. 12 Feb 1702; D. young

2. John Dumont — B. 29 Aug 1704, Ulster County, New York; D. 1760, Raritan, New Jersey; M. Annatje Ryerson

3. Abraham Dumont — B. 25 Apr 1706, Raritan, New Jersey; D. 7 Aug 1787, Raritan, New Jersey; M. Mattie Bergen, 10 Aug 1733

Children by Catelyntje Rapalje:
1. Catelyntje Dumont — B. 22 Jan 1709, Raritan, New Jersey; M. Christian La Grange

Children by Jannetje Vechten:

1. Margaret Dumont — B. 24 Jan 1715, Raritan, New Jersey; D. 11 Feb 1743; M. George Bergen, 3 Jun 1738

2. Hendrick Dumont — B. 22 Mar 1717, Raritan, New Jersey; D. 8 Nov 1760, New York, New York; M. (1) Mary Traverier; (2) Catherine Oothout, 29 Nov 1749

3. John Baptist Dumont — B. 13 Apr 1719, Raritan, New Jersey; D. 1776; M. Marie Van Duyne (?-1763)

4. Gerretie Dumont — B. 23 Mar 1721, Raritan, New Jersey; D. 25 Jan 1747; M. George Vroom

5. Jannetje Dumont — B. 27 Apr 1723, Raritan, New Jersey; M. Peter Vroom

6. Peter Dumont — B. 11 Nov 1725, Raritan, New Jersey; D. 21 Nov 1808; M. Brachie Vroom, 19 May 1748

7. Rynear Dumont — B. 3 Apr 1728 Raritan, New Jersey, M. Annatje Brouwer

“Wallerand Dumont and his Somerset County Descendants,” John B. Dumont, Somerset County Quarterly, Volume 1, 1912
The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volumes 28-29, 1897

Served Near Battle of Tippecanoe – François Ravellette

B. 9 Nov 1791 in Vincennes, Northwest Territory
M. (1) about 1816 in (probably) Vincennes, Indiana
Wife: Elizabeth Turpin
M. (2) before 1850 in (probably) Vincennes, Indiana
Wife: Angeline
D. 7 Dec 1857 in (probably) Vincennes, Indiana

François Ravellette may have been a soldier in the Battle of Tippecanoe, although the evidence isn’t definitive. He was born on November 9, 1791 to Louis Favel Ravelette and Françoise-Agnes Godere, one of about 12 children. The Ravellettes were Creoles living in Vincennes, in the territory that would one-day become Indiana. It’s likely that François received no formal education. His early life was spent during a transition of when settlers from Virginia and Kentucky were becoming dominant as the old French settlers sold off their land to them.

When François came of age, the people in and around Vincennes were under the threat of tribes nearby who raided their homes. In 1811, the Indians united under a Shawnee chief named Tecumseh who sought to keep the settlers from taking all of their land. This led to American forces confronting the Indians on November 9th at the Battle of Tippecanoe. There is a record that shows François served as a private in the 1st Regiment of Indiana from November 13th to November 21st. He was paid $1.99 for his nine days of service. The battle took place four days before the period of time on François’ pay stub, but it’s possible that he was involved in the battle as well.

The following year, François volunteered as a private in the War of 1812 as a part of the Indiana Rangers, but there are no other details about his service. The Indiana Rangers had been formed in 1807 as a mounted force who patrolled against Indian attack. During the War of 1812, the Rangers were used to help the regular American army fight the British; two companies were based in Vincennes and François joined one of them.

When the war was over, François got married to Elizabeth Turpin, a teenaged girl from a Vincennes Creole family. Between 1817 and 1833, they had at least seven children. Elizabeth died in about 1835, and François remarried to a woman named Angeline sometime before 1850, but there’s no record that they had children. The 1850 census shows that François’ youngest three sons were living his household and they had likely never attended school.

François died on December 7, 1857, probably in Vincennes. It isn't known when and where his second wife died.

1. Pierre Ravellette — B. 8 Oct 1817, Vincennes, Indiana; D. 9 Aug 1895, Muhlenburg County, Kentucky; M. Elenore Metaie, 29 Dec 1841, Vincennes, Indiana

2. François Louis Ravellette — B. 14 Sep 1819, Vincennes, Indiana; D. 26 Dec 1863, Vincennes, Indiana; M. Susanne Gaile (1827-1869), 23 May 1842, Vincennes, Indiana

3. Louise Ravellette — B. 24 Jul 1822, Vincennes, Indiana

4. Jean Baptiste Ravellette — B. 8 Oct 1824, Vincennes, Indiana

5. Joseph Ravellette — B. 10 Jul 1827, Vincennes, Indiana; M. Marcellette Mette

6. Marie Joseph Ravellette — B. 12 May 1831, Vincennes, Indiana; D. (probably) Oct 1832, Vincennes, Indiana

7. Benjamin Ravellette — B. 21 Apr 1833, Vincennes, Indiana; D. 25 Aug 1864; M. Indiana Mahoney, 9 Jul 1853, (probably) Vincennes, Indiana


“Ravellettes from Indiana Roys, Griffith, etc.,” Genealogy.com
1850 U.S. Census
United States War of 1812 Index to Service Records
Indiana Rangers (Wikipedia article)
Battle of Tippecanoe (Wikipedia article)
A complete survey of cemetery records, Knox County, Indiana, collected and compiled by Mrs. Alta Amsler

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Gunsmith, Lawyer, Inn Keeper, Soldier – Ebenezer Pomeroy

B. 30 May 1669 in Northampton, Massachusetts
M. (1) 4 May 1691 in Northampton, Massachusetts
Wife: Hannah Strong
M. (2) 26 Dec 1692 in Northampton, Massachusetts
Wife: Sarah King
D. 27 Jan 1754 in Northampton, Massachusetts

Ebenezer Pomeroy was called “a man of energy and ability” and this was reflected in the many roles he had during his life. He was born on May 30, 1669 in Northampton, Massachusetts to Medad Pomeroy and Experience Woodward, the fourth of their eleven children. The Pomeroys were one of the founding families of Northampton and Ebenezer’s father was one of the town leaders. Medad Pomeroy was a gunsmith, and Ebenezer no doubt learned this skill from him.

On May 4, 1691, Ebenezer married Hannah Strong, who sadly died before the year was out. Then on December 26, 1692, he wed Sarah King. They had a large family of nine children with the youngest born in 1711; only their first child died young.

By 1704, Ebenezer was involved in civic matters in Northampton. That year, he was appointed attorney in a dispute between Northampton and neighboring Hatfield over the location of their border. In colonial times, the title “attorney” was applied to men considered educated enough to make legal decisions for the community. There’s nothing to suggest Ebenezer had any formal training to serve as an attorney; he must have impressed others that he had the ability to prepare and present a legal argument, and was therefore chosen to represent the town.

Ebenezer was later involved in a case about rerouting the river to prevent flooding of some land. In 1710, he served on a committee to organize the project, but when the work was done in 1724, some land owners had benefited much more than others. A petition suggested that having everyone pay the same tax to fund the project was unfair, so Ebenezer presented the legal argument that men who profited from the project should pay more than those who didn’t.

Other positions Ebenezer held included high sheriff and church deacon. He was part of a committee to build a town jail in 1706, a structure that remained in use for almost 70 years. Also he was part of a three-man committee appointed in 1721 to administer loans, and he was appointed justice of the peace in 1735 and in 1743.

Ebenezer became one of the biggest landowners in Northampton. He acquired 9 acres in 1709 when his aging father deeded him some land. He later added to it, and his property became known as the “Pomeroy Homestead.” After 1706, he used his home as one of the town taverns when he was approved for a license to sell “strong drink." The house he built and lived in passed to descendants; it was known as “Old Red Tavern” and stood until 1827.

Along with everything else he did, Ebenezer was a military leader. He was a major in the militia, serving during King William’s War and Queen Anne’s War. In 1711, he led a company that was part of a force trying to invade New France. The English sent a total of 5,000 men on 15 ships plus 40 other boats, including 900 men from Massachusetts. The fleet left Boston on July 30th, but when they entered the St. Lawrence River, bad weather drove many of the ships onshore, wrecking them, and the entire force had to retreat.

Three of Ebenezer’s sons served in the military, and they each died because of it. His son Simeon drowned in the Connecticut River while returning from a 1725 expedition against Indians, and his son Daniel was killed in a battle of the French and Indian War at Lake George in 1755.

Ebenezer's son Seth led part of a 1745 expedition to capture Fort Louisbourg in New France, and Ebenezer wrote him a letter just before the battle:

“…in this town the parents and some other relatives of those gone in the expedition, have constantly set apart some time every week to pray to God for success in this grand affair, and we have good reason to believe that it hath not been in vain, for God hath in a remarkable manner smiled upon the fleet and army.”

Seth survived that war, but at the outset of the American Revolution, he was appointed Brigadier General, and he was considered to be America’s first general of that rank. He tried to turn the post down because of his age, but was drafted into accepting it. Seth was right about being too old, because on a march to help Washington in New York, he collapsed and died.

Ebenezer’s second wife Sarah died in 1747, and on January 27, 1754, Ebenezer passed away at the age of 84.

Children (all by Sarah King):
1. Sarah Pomeroy — B. 22 Nov 1693; D. young

2. John Pomeroy — B. 1 Apr 1696, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 4 Jun 1736, Northampton, Massachusetts; M. Rachel Sheldon, 19 May 1718, Northampton, Massachusetts

3. Ebenezer Pomeroy — B. 18 Sep 1697, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 22 Apr 1774; M. Elizabeth Hunt (1701-1782)

4. Sarah Pomeroy — B. 5 Feb 1700, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 3 Apr 1777, Northampton, Massachusetts; M. Noah Wright (1699-1775), 12 Dec 1721, Northampton, Massachusetts

5. Simeon Pomeroy — B. 21 Feb 1702; D. 24 Apr 1725, Connecticut River

6. Josiah Pomeroy — B. 29 Dec 1703, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. about 1790; M. Lydia Ashley (1710-1772), 9 Nov 1731, Northampton, Massachusetts

7. Seth Pomeroy — B. 20 May 1706, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 19 Feb 1777, Peekskill, New York; M. Mary Hunt (1705-1777), 14 Dec 1732

8. Daniel Pomeroy — B. 27 Mar 1709, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 8 Sep 1755, Lake George, New York; M. (1) Mary Clapp (1713-1734), 25 May 1733, Northampton, Massachusetts; (2) Rachel Moseley (1715-1797), 4 Nov 1636, Northampton, Massachusetts

9. Thankful Pomeroy — B. 12 Jul 1711, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 12 Aug 1790, Goshen, Massachusetts; M. Gad Lyman (1713-1791), 22 Jun 1738, Northampton, Massachusetts

History of Northampton, Massachusetts, From Its Settlement in 1654, Volume 1, James Russell Trumbull, Seth Pomeroy, 1898
Early Northampton, Massachusetts D.A.R., 1914
History and Genealogy of the Pomeroy Family, Albert Alonzo Pomeroy, 1912

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Serving Drinks in the 17th Century – Simon Crosby

B. 6 Aug 1637 in Cambridge, Massachusetts
M. 15 Jul 1659 in Braintree, Massachusetts
Wife: Rachel Brackett
D. 22 Jan 1725 in Billerica, Massachusetts

Simon Crosby was an early colonial version of a New England bartender. He was born on August 6, 1637 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Simon Crosby and Anne Brigham. His parents had recently migrated to America from England; Simon had two brothers, one older and one younger. When Simon was two-years-old, his father died. Six years later, his mother married a minister named William Thompson, and moved to Braintree, where she had one more child. Simon’s step-father was a graduate of Oxford, and two of his step-brothers went to Harvard, as well as Simon’s older brother, Thomas, who went on to become a minister.

On July 15, 1659, Simon married Rachel Brackett in Braintree. Between 1660 and 1684, they had nine children, all of whom lived until adulthood. In 1660, Simon acquired land in the new town of Billerica from a grant holder who failed to improve the property. In the years that followed, he continued buying land in a total of 17 purchases between 1661 and 1685; most of it was in small parcels of under 5 acres and some of it was swamp land. It’s believed that Simon didn't move to Billerica until about 1662. On February 10, 1663, he was chosen as a “surveyor of highways.” He became a constable in 1664, and again in 1677.

The house that Simon first built for his family was a log cabin and it was said to be fairly solid and good for use as a garrison. During King Philip’s War, Simon housed an officer with some of his troops. Meetings about civil matters in Billerica often took place at his house, especially after he replaced his log cabin with a bigger house in 1678. This seems to relate to his later role as innkeeper. Simon’s farm was owned by his descendants for at least 250 years. The house he built in 1678 became known as “Crosby Place,” and remained in use until 1878 when fire destroyed it.

On November 27, 1672, Simon was approved by town authorities to become a tavern keeper. It’s thought that the location of his house was the reason for his new profession because it was on the main road, but also because he often took on the role of hosting meetings, suggesting he liked to engage in social activity. He ran his tavern until around 1686, when it was recorded that he “refused to hold it any longer.” But in 1688, he was cited by the town for selling alcohol without a license, so he must have opened his business again. After the citation, Simon applied for a new license in 1690, which he renewed in 1692.

From the details in the inn keeper’s license, we get a good description of Simon’s job. His primary function was to serve alcohol, which may have included wine, beer, ale, cider, run and brandy. He couldn't serve drinks to “Indians or Negroes,” though, and playing games such as cards, billiards, dice or nine pins was forbidden. The tavern was to close at 9 o’clock at night during the week, at sundown on Saturdays, and on Sundays, he couldn’t open at all. It’s known that he also served meals as well as drinks. Plus he was required to provide at least two beds for travelers to sleep in, but they couldn’t stay for more than two days at a time. Most importantly, he had to avoid providing his services to “any rogues, vagabonds, thieves, sturdy beggars or masterless men or women or other notorious offenders.”

It’s not known how many years Simon continued to run his tavern. In 1717, he made out his will, and on January 22, 1725, he died at the age of 87. His estate amounted almost £850, most of the value being in his real estate. His wife Rachel survived him and it’s not known when she died.

1. Rachel Crosby — B. 24 Aug 1660, Braintree, Massachusetts; D. 24 Sep 1721, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Ephraim Kidder (1660-1724), 4 Aug 1685, Billerica, Massachusetts

2. Simon Crosby — B. about 1663, (probably) Billerica, Massachusetts; M. (1) Hannah Everett (1670-1702), 1688, Billerica, Massachusetts; (2) Abigail Whittaker (1671-1755), 16 Mar 1702, Billerica, Massachusetts

3. Thomas Crosby — B. 10 Mar 1665, Billerica, Massachusetts

4. Joseph Crosby — B. 5 Jul 1669, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 1736, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Sarah French (1671-1727), 4 Aug 1691, Billerica, Massachusetts

5. Hannah Crosby — B. 30 Mar 1672, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 3 Oct 1752, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. (1) Samuel Danforth (~1670-1742), 8 Jan 1695, Billerica, Massachusetts; (2) Enoch Kidder (1664-1752), 4 Jun 1743, Billerica, Massachusetts

6. Nathan Crosby — B. 9 Feb 1675, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 11 Apr 1749, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Sarah Shedd (1678-1747), 28 Sep 1706, Billerica, Massachusetts

7. Josiah Crosby — B. 11 Nov 1677, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 7 Oct 1745, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Mary Manning (1679-1722), 2 Nov 1703

8. Mary Crosby — B. 23 Nov 1680, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 7 May 1748, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. John Blanchard (1677-1750), 7 Aug 1701, Billerica, Massachusetts

9. Sarah Crosby — B. 27 Jul 1684, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 1734, Mendon, Massachusetts; M. William Rawson (1682-1769), 26 Oct 1710, Billerica, Massachusetts

Simon Crosby the Emigrant: His English Ancestry and Some of His American Descendants, Eleanor Francis Crosby, 1914
Find A Grave

Leaving His Family in Debt – Joseph Levron dit Metayer

B. 18 Jun 1728 in Boucherville, New France
M. 7 Feb 1747 in Fort Frontenac, New France
Wife: Josephe-Amable Custeau
D. 29 Jan 1771 in Post Vincennes, Illinois Territory

Joseph Levron dit Metayer was a farmer who owed a lot of money at the time he died, and his children were held responsible for it decades later. He was born on June 18, 1728 in Boucherville, a town near Montreal. His father was Joseph Levron dit Metayer, a sea captain involved in the fur trade, and his mother was Rose Veronneau. Joseph had four siblings.

When he came of age, Joseph headed west to Fort Frontenac, a military outpost at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. There on February 7, 1747, he married Josephe-Amable Custeau, who was from Montreal. Within the next two years, they had two children born at the fort, a son and a daughter. Joseph’s father, now widowed, was remarried at the fort in 1750.

Joseph was looking to move on and saw an opportunity in Detroit. As New France spread to the west, authorities sought to populate places that were on the fringes to make them more secure from invasion. In 1749, a program was begun that offered incentives for people to set up farms in the Detroit area. Any man bringing his family there would receive land to cultivate and enough supplies to get started. Joseph decided to take up the offer the following year, and he arrived on August 19th with his wife and young daughter. His son seems to have been left behind in Fort Frontenac and died there in September 1751; perhaps he was too sick to travel and stayed behind in the care of his grandfather.

A month after Joseph’s arrival in Detroit, a census was taken that showed him living on the south shore of the Detroit River in what is now part of Windsor, Ontario. His new farm included two oxen, two cows, one hog and six poultry, presumably all given to him as part of the deal. Also on that side of river was the Huron mission, where Joseph had daughters baptized in 1754 and 1756. Sometime before about 1759, the family left Detroit and moved to Post Vincennes, perhaps as a result of military activity in Detroit during the war with England. Joseph likely continued farming in Vincennes as his family grew; by about 1770, he had five more children.

Then on January 29, 1771, Joseph died at the age of 42. He was heavily in debt at the time of his death, owing a man named André Lacoste the equivalent of over $1,000 in cash plus $450 in goods, totaling an equivalent of more than $40,000 in today's dollars. In 1799, the heirs of Lacoste sued to collect the debt from the Joseph’s descendants, which included four of his children, a granddaughter, and some of their spouses. The case was decided in the favor of the Lacoste heirs, but it’s not known whether Joseph’s heirs paid the debt or not.

1. Jean-Baptiste Levron — B. about 1747, Fort Frontenac, New France; D. Sep 1751, Fort Frontenac, New France

2. Barbe-Elizabeth Levron — B. 20 Dec 1748, Fort Frontenac, New France; D. 11 Sep 1798, Vincennes, Northwest Territory; M. Louis Godere (1739-1794), 8 Nov 1770, Post Vincennes, Illinois Territory

3. Marie-Amable Levron — B. about 2 Jan 1754, Detroit, New France

4. Marie-Charlotte Levron — B. about 28 Jan 1756, Detroit, New France; Jean-François Mallet (1746-?), 30 Jan 1770, Kaskaskia, Illinois Territory

5. Marie-Josephine Levron — B. about 1759, Post Vincennes, New France; D. after 1815, (probably) Vincennes, Indiana; M. François Turpin (~1743-1809)

6. Joseph Eugene Levron — B. 14 Oct 1760, Post Vincennes, New France; D. 1824, Vincennes, Indiana; M. Celeste Cardinal (1766-?)

7. Rose Genevieve Levron — B. about Feb 1763, Post Vincennes, New France

8. Marie-Louise Levron — B. about 28 Aug 1765, Post Vincennes, Illinois Territory

9. Louis Levron — B. about 1770, Post Vincennes, Illinois Territory; M. Marie Sauvagesse, 18 Jul 1787, Vincennes, Northwest Territory

Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu'à nos jours, Cyprien Tanguay, 1890
Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1997
Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, George F.G. Stanley, 1954
The Windsor border Region: Canada’s Southernmost Frontier, Ernest J. Lajeunesse, 1960
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church Records: Baptisms 1749-1838, Barbara Schull Wolfe, 1999
Wabash Valley Visions & Voices (website)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Accused of Hitting a Woman – Robert Drousson dit Lafleur

B. About 1656 in (probably) Clermont, Auvergne, France
M. 25 Aug 1681 in Beauport, New France
Wife: Marie-Jeanne Tarde dite Geoffrey
D. 13 Jul 1730 in Longueuil, New France

Robert Drousson dit Lafleur was charged with a serious crime when he was in his late 50s, but it’s uncertain if he was guilty of it. He was likely born in Clermont, France, to Jean Drousson and Mathine Heritiere. Nothing else is known of Robert’s origins, nor when and why he migrated to New France. He first turned up in records in his marriage to Marie-Jeanne Tarde dite Geoffrey on August 25, 1681. The wedding took place in Beauport, where the couple lived for the first few years of their marriage. After she gave birth to a daughter in 1683, they moved to near Montreal, settling in the town of La Prairie, and they had another 8 children, with the youngest born in 1706.

That same year, Robert’s 16-year-old daughter Marie-Madeleine became pregnant out-of-wedlock. The father was a much older married man named Pierre You de La Decouverte, a fur trader. Two years after a baby girl was born, Marie-Madeleine was again pregnant, and this time Robert sought to take legal action against Pierre You, accusing him of seducing his daughter. It’s not known how this was resolved, but the second child, another girl, was born on September 9th and baptized in Montreal.

Within a few years, Robert moved his family to Longueuil, and it was here that he got into some trouble. During the spring of 1713, Robert was involved in a scuffle, or a confrontation that turned violent, between himself and two other people, Barbe Beauchamp and André Bouteiller. The activity took place at Barbe’s husband’s mill, and Robert was said to have threatened Barbe, and struck her with his bayonet, plus assaulted André in some way. The case was tried in court between June 26th and July 14th, with witnesses that included three women. A doctor reported that Barbe’s injury was only slight. From the record, it’s not clear if Robert was punished for what he may or may not have done.

Robert lived into his 70s, dying on July 13, 1730 in Longueuil. His wife survived him and died in Montreal in 1741.

1. Marie-Louise Drousson — B. 18 Mar 1683, Beauport, New France; D. 17 Dec 1742, La Prairie, New France; M. Jean-Baptiste Raymond dit Toulouse (~1666-~1737), 10 Feb 1699, La Prairie, New France

2. Marguerite Drousson — B. 12 Aug 1685, La Prairie, New France; D. 17 Aug 1768, Chambly, Quebec; M. Jean LaFort dit LaForest (~1683-?), 28 May 1708, Montreal, New France

3. Etienne Drousson — B. 11 Oct 1687, La Prairie, New France; D. 11 Oct 1687, La Prairie, New France

4. Marie-Madeleine Drousson dite Robert — B. 3 Apr 1689, La Prairie, New France; D. 25 Aug 1747, Montreal, New France; M. Louis-Antoine Edeline (1690-?), 15 Jan 1720, Longueuil, New France

5. Marie-Jeanne Drousson dite Robert— B. 27 Apr 1692, La Prairie, New France; D. 8 Jun 1706, Montreal, New France

6. Françiose Drousson — B. 7 Nov 1694, La Prairie, New France; D. 10 Apr 1695, La Prairie, New France

7. Marie-Josephte Drousson dite Robert — B. 13 Apr 1700, La Prairie, New France; D. 7 Apr 1754, Chambly, New France; M. Jean-François Courault dit Coulon (1699-1761), 15 Feb 1734, Longueuil, New France

8. François Drousson — B. 12 Feb 1703, La Prairie, New France; D. 8 Jun 1778, La Prairie, Quebec, M. Marie-Madeleine Charles

9. Ange Drousson — B. 30 Apr 1706, La Prairie, New France; D. 25 Feb 1785, Longueuil, Quebec, M. Marie-Josephe Charles

Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu'à nos jours, Cyprien Tanguay, 1890
Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1997
“My Ancestry & their descendants plus misc research,” Denis Paul Edeline, RootsWeb.Ancestry.com

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Pregnant Journey – Marie-Madeleine Thunay dite Dufresne

B. about 1672 in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, New France
M. (1) 2 May 1690 in Champlain, New France
Husband: François Xavier Pelletier dit Antaya
M. (2) 9 Jan 1698 in Montreal, New France
Husband: Pierre Mallet
D. about Feb 1738 in Detroit, New France

Traveling from Montreal to Detroit in 1706 was difficult enough, but Marie-Madeleine Thunay dite Dufresne made the trip during the final months of a pregnancy. She was born in about 1672 at Cap-de-la-Madeleine, New France, to Félix Thunay dit Dufresne and Élisabeth Lefebvre, one of five children. The family moved to nearby Batiscan when she was very young. Her father, who was a doctor, died when she was about 11-years-old; her mother remarried, then died four years later.

Marie-Madeleine married her first husband, François-Xavier Pelletier dit Antaya, on May 2, 1690 in Champlain, New France, and the following year, she gave birth to a boy. Her husband was hired for a fur trading expedition in August 1691. It isn’t known if he made other such trips, but it’s likely he was away from home a number of times, given that there were no other children born to them. By 1698, François-Xavier died, and Marie-Madeleine married fur trader Pierre Mallet, with the wedding taking place on January 9, 1698 at Montreal. They soon had two children, born in 1698 and 1700.

For the next few years, Marie-Madeleine lived in Montreal. In 1703, she sued a Montreal merchant named Pierre de Lestage regarding some dispute over her accounts with him. And in 1705, she testified as a witness at a trial of a young military officer accused of raping a 16-year-old girl. While these events were happening in Montreal, in 1704, her husband Pierre signed up for a fur trading expedition out west.

Then in 1706, Pierre decided to bring his family to settle at Detroit, one of the most remote places in New France. Detroit had been founded by Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac as a trading outpost five years earlier, and its survival as a permanent settlement was uncertain. Cadillac recruited families from the Montreal area to help populate it. In June 1706, 270 people set out by canoe, including Pierre, Marie-Madeleine, their two young children, and her 14-year-old son from her first marriage. And there was another traveler along with them: Marie-Madeleine was in the third trimester of a pregnancy. Along with their household possessions, the family also brought goods to trade with the Indians.

The route to Detroit took the settlers up the the St. Lawrence River and into Lake Ontario; from there, they paddled nearly the length of the lake, keeping close to the southern shore. Each night, they camped along the shore, using their canoes as shelters. During this part of the trip, a message came from Detroit that there had been violence with the Indians, so no one knew what they faced when they arrived. But they continued on anyway, eventually landing at a point near Niagara Falls, where the canoes were unloaded. Then everyone, including Marie-Madeleine, trekked 8 miles to reach navigable water on the other side of the falls. This was followed by another long canoe trip to the western end of Lake Erie.

The arrival of the expedition on August 8th marked the beginning of Detroit’s permanent settlement. Just one week later, Marie-Madeleine gave birth to a baby boy whom they named Antoine. With the threat of more hostility from the Indians, some of the settlers immediately returned to Montreal when the canoe convoy went back, but Marie-Madeleine’s family stayed, and Pierre was granted a plot of land to rent the following year.

Madeleine continued to live at Detroit for the next few years, and had sons born there in 1708 and 1711. She was a godmother at a baptism in Detroit on August 31, 1711, but by the following year, she was back in Montreal, where she gave birth to her youngest child. In 1716, her 8-year-old son François died in Montreal; she was at his burial, but Pierre wasn’t present, suggesting he was in Detroit, or perhaps away on a fur trading expedition. In 1728, Marie-Madeleine was given permission by the governor of Montreal to return to Detroit by canoe. She was allowed two canoes and 16 men for the trip, and the travelers included her sons Antoine and Paul, now ages 22 and 17.

Marie-Madeleine lived out the rest of her life in Detroit, dying in about February 1738. After her death, two of her sons, Pierre and Paul, became the first Europeans to cross the Great Plains into Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Children by François Xavier Pelletier die Antaya:
1. Jean-François Pelletier — B. 15 Aug 1691, Sorel, New France; D. 8 Nov 1722, Detroit, New France; M. Marie-Louise Robert (1698-1776), 25 Mar 1718, Detroit, New France

Children by Pierre Mallet:
1. Marie-Catherine Mallet — B. 27 Oct 1698, Montreal, New France; M. Pierre Perthius, Mar 1716, Montreal, New France

2. Pierre Mallet — B. 20 Jun 1700, Montreal, New France; D. after 1750

3. Antoine Mallet — B. 16 Aug 1706, Detroit, New France; M. Marie-Therese Mailot (1708-?), 11 Aug 1730, Montreal, New France

4. François Mallet — B. about 1708; D. Nov 1716, Montreal, New France

5. Paul Mallet — B. about 1711, Detroit, New France; D. 1753, Arkansas Post, New France

6. Jean-Baptiste Mallet — B. 25 Oct 1712, Montreal, New France


Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu'à nos jours, Cyprien Tanguay, 1890
Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1997
“8 August 1706: Fort Pontchartrain Becomes a Permanent Settlement on Le Détroit du Lac Érié,” Suzanne Boivin Sommerville, Michigan's Habitant Heritage Journal, 2006
Mallet, Pierre Antoine, Online Dictionary of Canadian Biography