Sunday, February 18, 2018

New England Town Surveyor – Jonathan Danforth

B. 29 Feb 1628 in Framlingham, England
M. (1) 22 Nov 1654 in Boston, Massachusetts
Wife: Elizabeth Poulter
M. (2) 17 Nov 1690 in Billerica, Massachusetts
Wife: Esther Champney
D. 7 Sep 1712 in Billerica, Massachusetts

When 17th century Puritans settled all over New England, they needed to transform wilderness into communities. Surveyors like Jonathan Danforth played an important role in making that happen.

Jonathan was born in Framlingham, England on February 29, 1628 to Nicholas and Elizabeth Danforth. He was the youngest of seven children, one of whom died young, and his mother died two days after he was born. Five years later, Nicholas and his six surviving children migrated to Massachusetts; it’s believed they arrived on the ship Griffin.

After settling in the town of Cambridge, Nicholas died in 1638. Jonathan was just 10 years old and was likely cared for by his oldest sister who was married the following year. He had two older brothers who rose to prominence in New England. One was Samuel, who became a famous Puritan preacher, poet and astronomer. The other was Thomas, a Puritan leader who played a small part in the Salem witch trials in 1692; his name was used as a judge in the play The Crucible, although the character was a composite of several men.

After Jonathan came of age, he became one of the earliest settlers of Billerica, Massachusetts. On November 22, 1654, he married Elizabeth Poulter, the first marriage recorded in town records. Jonathan and Elizabeth had 11 children born between 1656 and 1676, 3 of whom died as infants.

Jonathan’s service of planning towns likely began in 1656. That year, several thousand acres were granted by the Massachusetts General Court to become the new town of Billerica, and Jonathan was part of a committee that divided the land into five- and ten-acre lots. By 1659, he was working as a surveyor, a profession he would pursue for the rest of his life. In 1661, Jonathan partnered with his wife’s step father, John Parker, to survey and lay out 4,000 new acres allotted for Billerica. In return for his work, the two were allotted 1,000 acres to be divided amongst themselves

During the 1660s, Jonathan was actively surveying throughout Massachusetts and beyond. He helped plot out portions of Massachusetts north and northwest of Boston, and the towns of Nashua, Hudson, Litchfield, Amherst and Milford in New Hampshire. He was responsible for drawing up plat maps and was referred to in documents as an “artist.” It was said that he gave his measurements using the 32-point compass system, and that instead of a pencil to make his lines, he used a knife impressed into the paper. Jonathan’s last known surveying project was in March 1702 when he was 74-years-old.

Besides his work as a surveyor, Jonathan held other important positions in the community. He was town recorder in Billerica for over 30 years, and for a time, he was Billerica’s representative to the General Court. He also served as militia captain during King Philip’s War, and was one of four men responsible for fortifying the town. His house was used as a garrison, housing two other families besides his own whenever the alarm was sounded. After the conflict ended the following year, Jonathan received a 12-year-old Amerindian boy as a bound servant. The boy was named John Warrick, but he died in 1686.

Jonathan’s wife Elizabeth died on October 7, 1689, and he married Elizabeth Champney a year later. He passed away on September 7, 1712 and was buried at the Old South Burying Ground in Billerica. The salt-box-style house he built and lived in stood until the 1880s. A historical plaque is there today that reads:

Site of homestead of Captain Jonathan Danforth, pioneer of Billerica and famous surveyor. “He rode the circuit, chained great towns and farms to good behavior; and by well-marked station he fixed their bounds for many generations.”

Children (all by Elizabeth Poulter):
1. Mary Danforth — B. 29 Jan 1656, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. May 1732, Chelmsford, Massachusetts; M. John Parker (1647-1699)

2. Elizabeth Danforth — B. 27 May 1657; M. Simeon Hayward

3. Jonathan Danforth – B. 18 Feb 1659, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 11 Jan 1711, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Rebecca Parker (1661-1754), 27 Jun 1682, Billerica, Massachusetts

4. John Danforth — B. 23 Jan 1660; D. young

5. John Danforth — B. 22 Feb 1661; D. 4 Jun 1661

6. Lydia Danforth — B. 1 Jun 1664; M. Edward Wright

7. Samuel Danforth — B. 5 Feb 1666, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 19 Apr 1742, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Hannah Crosby (1672-1752), 8 Jan 1694, Billerica, Massachusetts

8. Anna Danforth— B. 8 Mar 1668, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 13 Aug 1737; M. Oliver Whiting (1665-1736), 22 Jan 1690

9. Thomas Danforth — B. 29 Apr 1670, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 31 Jul 1670, Billerica, Massachusetts

10. Nicholas Danforth — B. 1 Apr 1671 Billerica, Massachusetts, D. 8 Mar 1694, Billerica, Massachusetts

11. Sarah Danforth — B. 23 Dec 1676, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 15 Oct 1751, Concord, Massachusetts; M. William French (1668-1723), 22 May 1695, Billerica, Massachusetts

Thomas Danforth (Wikipedia article)
Samuel Danforth (Wikipedia article)
“Jonathan Danforth (1628-1712)”, Backsights Magazine, published by Surveyors Historical Society
Property and Dispossession: Natives, Empires and Land in Early Modern North America, Allan Greer, 2017
The Early Grants of Land in the Wilderness North of Merrimack, George Augustus Gordon, 1892
Find A Grave

His House Is Now A Condo – William Lewis

B. about 1620 in England or Wales
M. (1) 1644 in Hartford, Connecticut
Wife: Mary Hopkins
M. (2) 22 Nov 1671 in Boston, Massachusetts
Wife: Mary Cheever
D. 18 Aug 1690 in Farmington, Connecticut

The house that William Lewis built in the 17th century is still being lived in during the 21st century. William was born in about 1620 to William Lewis and Felix Collins. Some sources say that he and his parents were from Wales, but the raw data supporting this isn’t evident. William was the only known child of his parents.

William migrated to Massachusetts with his parents on the ship Lyon in 1632. For a couple of years, the family lived in Cambridge and Braintree, then joined Reverend Thomas Hooker’s party who settled in Hartford. After William came of age, they settled in the new community of Farmington, originally named Tunxis. In 1645, William became Farmington’s first town clerk.

In 1644, William married Mary Hopkins in Hartford, and over the next 23 years, they had ten children. Mary died in 1671 and later that year, William married Mary Cheever, the daughter of Boston Latin School headmaster, Ezekiel Cheever. The wedding took place in Boston on November 22nd. William and his second wife had six children, with the youngest born in 1681 when William was over 60-years-old.

William was a prominent person in Farmington. Along with being town clerk, he was deputy to the Connecticut General Court in 1689 and 1690. He also served in the town’s militia, first as a lieutenant in 1651, then as captain in 1665. He led the militia during King Philip’s War which was involved in the Narragansett campaign in 1675.

William owned several slaves, two of whom were Amerindians. He was also known to have an African slave named Sampson. The slaves were left to his family in his will, and were freed later on.

On August 18, 1690, William died. He was buried in the Ancient Burying Ground in Farmington. His wife survived him by many years, passing away on July 10, 1727.

The lasting legacy of William is perhaps the house he built during the 1660s on property he got from his father. He lived there with his family and presumably, his younger children were born there. The house remained in the family after his death and was expanded during the 18th century, becoming a much larger house. By the American Revolution, it became the Elm Tree Inn, a landmark in Farmington for many years. Today the building is condominium with over 8 units. At least one of them includes the original house built by William.

Famous descendants of William Lewis include Franklin Delano Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, W.K. Kellogg, television inventor Philo Farnsworth and Mitt Romney.

Children by Mary Hopkins:
1. Mary Lewis — B. 6 May 1645, Farmington, Connecticut; D. about 1691, Farmington, Connecticut; M. Benjamin Judd (1643-1689), about 1667, Farmington, Connecticut

2. Phillip Lewis – B. 13 Dec 1646, Hartford, Connecticut; D. about 1723, Fairfield, Connecticut; M. Sarah Ashley (1648-1698), about 1669, Hartford, Connecticut

3. Samuel Lewis — B. 18 Aug 1648, Farmington, Connecticut; D. 28 Nov 1725, Farmington, Connecticut; M. (1) Elizabeth Orton (~1654-?), about 1687, Farmington, Connecticut; (2) Mary (?-1745)

4. Sarah Lewis — B. 1 Oct 1652, Farmington, Connecticut; D. 10 Aug 1722, Hadley, Massachusetts; M. Samuel Boltwood (1648-1704)

5. Hannah Lewis — B. about 1653, Farmington, Connecticut; D. 24 Feb 1725, Hadley, Massachusetts; M. (1) Samuel Crow (1649-1676), 17 May 1671, Hadley, Massachusetts; (2) Daniel Marsh (1653-1725), 5 Nov 1676, Hadley, Massachusetts

6. William Lewis — B. about Mar 1657, Farmington, Connecticut; D. about 1737, Farmington, Connecticut; M. Sarah Moore (1681-?)

7. Felix Lewis — B. 12 Dec 1658, Farmington, Connecticut; D. 1738, Hadley, Massachusetts; M. Thomas Selden (1655-1734), 1675, Hadley, Massachusetts

8. Ebenezer Lewis — B. 1660, Farmington, Connecticut; D. 22 Jan 1709, Wallingford, Connecticut; M. Elizabeth Merriman (1669-1750), 2 Dec 1685, Wallingford, Connecticut

9. John Lewis — B. 15 May 1665, Farmington, Connecticut; D. Oct 1694

10. James Lewis — B. 10 Jul 1667, Farmington, Connecticut; D. 1728, Jamaica, Long Island, New York; M. Mary Meekins (1670-?), about 1694, Farmington, Connecticut

Children by Mary Cheever:
1. Elizabeth Lewis — B. 20 Oct 1672, Farmington, Connecticut; D. 1674, Farmington, Connecticut

2. Ezekiel Lewis — B. 7 Nov 1674, Connecticut; D. 14 Aug 1755, Boston, Massachusetts; M. (1) Mary Braden (1669-1703), 18 Mar 1702, Boston, Massachusetts; (2) Abigail Kilcup (~1678-?), 11 Oct 1704, Boston, Massachusetts

3. Nathaniel Lewis – B. 1 Oct 1676, Farmington, Connecticut; D. 24 Feb 1752, Farmington, Connecticut; M. (1) Abigail Ashley (1681-1727), 25 Nov 1699, Westfield, Massachusetts; (2) Thankful Pomeroy (1679-1773), 4 Jul 1726, Northampton, Massachusetts

4. Abigail Lewis — B. 19 Sep 1678, Farmington, Connecticut; D. 24 Jan 1707, Farmington, Connecticut; M. William Wadsworth (~1671-1751), 10 Dec 1696, Farmington, Connecticut

5. Jospeh Lewis — B. 15 Mar 1679, Farmington, Connecticut; D. about 1680, Farmington, Connecticut

6. Daniel Lewis — B. 16 Jul 1681, Farmington, Connecticut; D. 16 Mar 1682, Farmington, Connecticut

Book VXIII of the Genealogy of the Lewis family, William Richard Cutter, 1891
Passengers on the “Lion” From England to Boston, 1632, and five generations of their descendants, Sandra Sutphin Olney, 1992
Connecticut Houses: An Historical and Architectural Study, Norman Morrison Isham and Albert Frederic Brown, 1900
History, Charter and By-laws: List of Officers and Members Together with a Record of the Service Performed by Their Ancestors in the Wars of the Colonies, Society of Colonial Wars, Illinois, 1896
Find A Grave
ElmTree Inn historical papers, Connecticut Historical Commission

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Early Settler of Vincennes – François Turpin

B. between 1743 and 1750 in New France
M. about 1777 in (probably) Fort Vincennes, New France
Wife: Marie-Josephe Levron dit Metayer
D. 1 Oct 1809 in Vincennes, Indiana

François Turpin is of an uncertain background, but it’s highly likely that he was a descendant of a 17th century Montreal fur trader named Pierre-Alexandre Turpin (1641-~1709). The progenitor of the Turpin family was married three times and was known to have seven sons, four of whom moved to remote places in the fur trading territory of New France.

A 1787 census suggests François was born in 1743, but he matches the identity of a François Turpin born in Kaskaskia in 1750. The story goes that Pierre-Alexandre’s son Joseph settled in Kasakaskia and married Hypolite Chauvin de la Freniere, the illegitimate daughter of a Frenchman and his Amerindian slave. Joseph and Hypollite had two children, the second of whom was François, born after Joseph had died. This François was said to have settled in Vincennes, but one source has been cited that he had a child with a woman named Françoise Mallet, not Marie-Josephe Levron. However, there appears to have been only one François Turpin living in Vincennes at the time.

The earliest known record of the François Turpin of this biography was the baptism of his oldest child, François-Jospeh on October 20, 1777 in Vincennes. His wife was Marie-Josephe Levron dit Metayer, but no marriage record exists for them. They went on to have at least eight more children with the youngest born in 1798. Of the nine children, at least four died as infants or young children.

François was one of the patriots who made his mark on the Oath of Allegiance to the American colonies on July 20, 1778. He served on the northwest Territory Court of General Quarter Sessions grand jury in August 1798, and he was a member of the first Grand Jury of the territory of Indiana that met on March 3, 1801.

In 1799, François was named in a lawsuit involving a debt owed by his father-in-law, Joseph Levron dit Metayer, to a man named André Lacoste. The suit was filed 28 years after Joseph Levron had died. François never showed up at court, and the ruling was that he and his wife, along with a few other heirs, were to pay $1,450, a very large sum of money. It’s not known if anyone actually paid.

François died on October 1, 1809 and was buried in the St. Francis-Xavier church cemetery in Vincennes. His wife survived him and was known to be living in 1815.

1. François Joseph Turpin – B. 20 Oct 1777, Vincennes, Indiana; M. Josephine Guelle, 14 Jul 1805, Vincennes, Indiana

2. Antoine Turpin – B. 13 Jan 1779, Vincennes, Indiana; D. 18 Aug 1786, Vincennes, Indiana

3. Jean-Baptiste Turpin — B. 30 May 1782, Vincennes, Indiana; D. 18 Aug 1786, Vincennes, Indiana

4. Marie-Josephe Turpin — B. 15 Oct 1784, Vincennes, Indiana; D. 7 Mar 1786, Vincennes, Indiana

5. Raphael Turpin – B. 8 Sep 1786, Vincennes, Indiana

6. Louis Turpin — B. 13 Mar 1789; D. 8 Aug 1745; M. Celeste Joyeuse, 2 May 1830, Vincennes, Indiana

7. Rosalie Turpin — B. Mar 1791; M. Charles Grimard (1776-?), 19 Dec 1809, Vincennes, Indiana

8. Ursule Turpin — B. 1795, Vincennes, Indiana; D. 8 Aug 1797, Vincennes, Indiana

9. Elizabeth Turpin — B. 12 Nov 1798; D. 1835, Vincennes, Indiana; M. François Ravalet (1791-1857)

Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu'à nos jours, Cyprien Tanguay, 1890
Roster of Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Indiana, Mrs. Roscoe C. O’Byrne, 1938
History of Knox and Daviess Counties, Indiana, 1886
Wabash Valley Visions & Voices Memory Project,
The Family of Joseph Turpin, Sadie Greening Sparks, 18 Oct 2000,
Enumeration of Males Residing in the District of Poste Vincennes, 8 Oct 1787

Friday, January 19, 2018

French Peasant or Italian Prince – François Joseph Savoie

B. about 1621 in (probably) Martaizé, France
M. about 1651 in Port-Royal, Acadia
Wife: Catherine Lejeune
D. about 1685 in Port-Royal, Acadia

François Joseph Savoie has perhaps gained more notoriety centuries after his death than he had during his life. He was born in about 1621 and made his way to the colony of Acadia during the 1640s. He settled in Port-Royal, and in about 1651, he married Catherine Lejeune, who is believed to have been born in France in about 1633. They had nine children born between about 1653 and 1669.

The entire family was listed in the 1671 Acadia census as living in Port-Royal, with François being a farmer. Despite the large number of people in his household, he only owned 4 cattle and no sheep. Oldest daughter Françoise was listed a second time in the household next door as the 18-year-old wife of Jean Corporan and mother of a newborn daughter.

François’ wife Catherine died in 1678, and he died in about 1685. Like most early settlers of Acadia, within a couple of generations, François' descendants scattered to a number of places in America, many of them ending up in Louisiana. Amongst some descendants, stories were passed down that claimed François was not a Frenchman — that he was actually the illegitimate son of an Italian nobleman named Tommaso Francesco Savoie, making him a “prince.” While this story hasn’t been disproven, there’s no documentation to back it up. Other research has shown there was a family named Savoie in the village of Martaizé, France, and other Acadian families appear to be from the same area. This seems a more likely place of origin for François.

1. Marie-Françoise Savoie – B. about 1653, Port-Royal, Acadia; D. 27 Dec 1711, Port-Royal, Acadia; M. Jean-François Corporon (~1647-1713), 1668, Port-Royal, Acadia

2. Germain Savoie – B. about 1654, Port-Royal, Acadia; D. 24 Nov 1749, Port-Royal, Acadia; M.Marie Breau (1662-1749), 1678, Port-Royal, Acadia

3. Marie Savoie – B. about 1657, Port-Royal, Acadia; D. 10 Mar 1741, Louisbourg, Nova Scotia; M. Jacques Triel (1646-?), about 1676, Acadia

4. Jeanne Savoie – B. about 1658, Port-Royal, Acadia; D. 3 Nov 1735, Port-Royal, Acadia; M. Etienne Pellerin (~1647-1722), 1675, Port-Royal, Acadia

5. Agnés-Catherine Savoie – B. about 1662, Port-Royal, Acadia, D. about 1712, Port-Royal, Acadia; M. François Levron dit Nantois (~1653-1714), 1676, Port-Royal, Acadia

6. François Savoie – B. about 1663, Port-Royal, Acadia; D. 1685

7. Barnabé Savoie – B. about 1665, Port-Royal, Acadia, D. 1686

8. Andrée-Marguerite Savoie – B. about 1667, Port-Royal, Acadia; D. 6 Jun 1733, Beaubassin, Acadia; M. Jean Prejean (~1651-1733), 1683, Port-Royal, Acadia

9. Marie-France Savoie – B. about 1669, Port-Royal, Acadia; D. 10 Apr 1714, Beaubassin, Acadia; M. Gabriel Pierre Chiasson (1667-1741), 1688, Port-Royal, Acadia

1671 Acadian Census
Acadians in Gray (website)
Martaizé (Wikipedia article)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Accused of Insulting the Governor – Agnes Morin

B. about Jan 1641 in Quebec City, Quebec
M. (1) 17 Nov 1653 in Quebec City, Quebec
Husband: Nicolas Gaudry dit Bourbonniére
M. (2) 12 Jan 1671 in Quebec City, Quebec
Husband: Ignace Bonhomme dit Beaupré
D. 30 Aug 1687 in Quebec City, Quebec

Agnes Morin was a member of one of the founding families of Quebec. Her mother was Hélène Desportes, the first European child born in what is now Canada, and her father was Hélène’s second husband, Nöel Morin. Agnes was born in about January 1641 in Quebec City, and she grew up there in a household with 11 younger siblings, plus two older half-siblings.

During the mid-17th century, there were few marriageable girls in Quebec, and brides were often very young. Agnes was wed at the age of 12 on November 17, 1653 to Nicolas Gaudry dit Bourbonniére, who was in his early 30s. She had her first child, a daughter, when she was 15. Agnes and Nicolas had six children born between 1656 and 1667. Nicolas died on June 22, 1669 and was buried the following day at Notre-Dame in Quebec City. On January 12, 1671, Agnes married Ignace Bonhomme dit Beaupré, a man who was a few years younger than she was. They had a daughter born within the year, followed by seven more, with the youngest born in 1685.

Agnes’ life was marked by an event for which some of the details are sketchy. The governor of New France in the 1670s was an ex-military man named Louis de Baude de Frontenac, who was said to be contentious and arrogant. Governor Frontenac took charge of the French colonies in 1672, having spent much of his life in the French royal court. He had certain demands for protocol when he became the governor in Quebec, and he often clashed with the people around him, including the Sovereign Court, which handled judicial matters.

One of the cases brought to the court in February 1678 involved Agnes, who had been charged with “uttering insulting words against the governor.” Exactly what Agnes said or did isn’t clear from records, but she seems to have been arrested and made to stand trial. Governor Frontenac may have himself pressed the charges, and Agnes said on the witness stand that his guards “ill-treated” her. It was the Sovereign Court that had control of the proceedings, though, and after hearing several witnesses, they dismissed the case.

Governor Frontenac wasn’t pleased and he took his rage out on the clerk who served the court. First, he cornered the man after a dinner and demanded he share what was going on behind the closed court session. The clerk refused, then when Frontenac forced the information out of him, got even more angry that it wasn’t going as he liked. He ended up grabbing the clerk by his coat, and ordering his guards to lock the man up; the clerk was detained for several days.

After the incident involving her trial, Agnes went on with her life as a wife and mother. She passed away on August 30, 1687 in Quebec City and was buried with her first husband Nicolas. Her second husband Ignace remarried in 1691 to the widow of Nicolas’ brother Jacques.

Children by Nicolas Gaudry dit Bourbonniére:
1. Helene Gaudry – B. 5 Mar 1656, Quebec City, Quebec; D. 22 Nov 1712, St-Nicolas, Quebec; M. Pierre Boucher (1648-1702), 13 Dec 1671, Sillery, Quebec

2. Jacques Gaudry – B. 24 Apr 1658, Quebec City, Quebec; D. 12 Feb 1731, Varennes, Quebec; M. (1) Jeanne-Françoise Guillory (1674-1700), 1 Feb 1694, Montreal, Quebec; (2) Anne Bourdon (1678-1743), 3 Nov 1701, Boucherville, Quebec

3. Christine-Charlotte Gaudry – B. 16 Jun 1660, Quebec City, Quebec; D. 17 Sep 1729, Ste-Croix, Quebec; M. Jean Hamel (1652-?), 16 Feb 1677, Quebec

4. Marie-Françoise Gaudry – B. Aug 1662, Quebec City, Quebec; D. 21 Oct 1710, Sillery, Quebec; M. Jean Pilote (1657-1738), 27 Jun 1678, Quebec City, Quebec

5. Nicolas Gaudry dit Bourbonniére – B. 16 aug 1664, Quebec City, Quebec; D. 30 Jan 1735, Montreal, Quebec; M. Anne Pigeon (1672-1742), 7 Jan 1687, Montreal, Quebec

6. Agnes-Madeleine Gaudry – B. 19 Nov 1667, Quebec City, Quebec; D. 9 Jun 1713, Montreal, Quebec; M. Joseph Lemay (~1661-1707), 4 Jun 1686, Quebec City, Quebec

Children by Ignace Bonhomme dit Beaupré:
1. Marie-Catherine Bonhomme – B. 23 Nov 1671, Quebec City, Quebec; D. 14 Jul 1747, Quebec City, Quebec; M. Louis Moreau (1668-1735), 29 Mar 1693, Quebec City, Quebec

2. Anne-Félicité Bonhomme – B. 7 Oct 1673, Quebec City, Quebec; D. 8 Feb 1757, Quebec City, Quebec; M. (1) Louis Lefbvre (1667-1669), 18 Mar 1697, Sainte-Foy, Quebec; (2) Etienne Ayotte (1673-1758), 20 Jan 1702, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec

3. Anne-Agnes Beaupré — B. 21 Jun 1675, Quebec City, Quebec; D. 27 Aug 1703, Quebec City, Quebec; M. Pierre Dion (1674-1738), 1697, Quebec

4. Marie-Catherine Bonhomme — B. 12 Jun 1677, Sillery, Quebec; D. 21 Feb 1745, Repntigny, Quebec; M. (1) François Michel Provost (1669-1711), 23 Oct 1695, Ste-Foy, Quebec; (2) Pierre Paris (1691-1746), 12 Feb 1714, Ste-Foy, Quebec

5. Ignace Bonhomme – B. 17 Oct 1678, Cote-St-Michel, Quebec; D. 13 Mar 1755, Terrebonne, Quebec; M. Marie-Therese Goulet (1691-1772), 9 Nov 1705, Montreal, Quebec

6. Charles-Ignace Bonhomme – B. 28 Sep 1682, Cote-St-Michel, Quebec; D. 28 Oct 1752, L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec

7. Noel Bonhomme — B. 13 Nov 1684, Coet-St-Michel, Quebec; D. 28 May 1755, L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec; M. Felicite Hamel (1687-1743), 2 May 1709, L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec

8. Marie-Madeleine Beaupré — B. 29 Oct 1685, Cote-St-Michel, quebec; d. 13 Mar 1733, Quebec City, Quebec; M. Pierre-Jospeh Marache (1677-1717), 10 Nov 1710, Saite-foy, Quebec

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
Hélène’s World: Hélène Desportes of Seventeenth Century Quebec, Susan McNelley, 2014
The Courtier Governor, W. J. Eccles, 1959
Louis de Baude de Frontenac (Wikipedia article)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Flour Mill Owner in Brooklyn — Hans Jorise Bergen

B. 31 Aug 1684 in New Utrecht, New York
M. 16 Aug 1711
Wife: Sitje Van Wicklen
D. 1726 in Hempstead, New York

Hans Jorise Bergen was born on August 31, 1684 to Joris Hansen Bergen and Sara Stryker, one of ten children. Hans’ heritage was Norwegian and Dutch, and included some of the original settlers of Brooklyn.

On April 30, 1708, Hans Jorise, his cousin Hans Michielse Bergen and others were tried for a “riot” at the tavern of Sarah Knight in Brooklyn. Sarah Knight was the widow of an Englishman, Thomas Knight, and her tavern was located near the intersection of present-day Hoyt and Fulton streets. The tavern was next to land that had belonged to Hans Jorise’s father, and likely this is where the 24-year-old Hans lived at the time. Sarah Knight and another woman named Martha Brower were indicted for “false swearing” at the trial. It isn’t known if Hans or the others were convicted for causing the disturbance at the tavern.

Hans married a woman named Sitje Van Wicklen on August 16, 1711. They are known to have had three children, and they may have had others.

On February 9, 1713, Hans bought over 20 acres of land located on Wallabout Bay. The property had a creek and a recently-built grist mill. Hans took over and operated the mill for several years. By the time he sold the property in 1723, it included a house, bolting house, bolting mill and dam along with the mill. There was also a meadow, and a beach on the East River. The man who bought the property was named Remsen, and the mill became known as Remsen’s Mill. In 1776,  the mill was adjacent to where a British ship was docked holding Americans as prisoners in brutal conditions. A few generations later, the property would be the site of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

After selling the mill, Hans and his family moved to Hempstead, where he died just a couple of years later in 1726. His probate inventory indicated that his wife Sitje was also deceased at that time.

1. George Bergen – B. 9 Oct 1712; d. 13 Oct 1784; M. (1) Margaret Dumont (1715-1743), 3 Jun 1738; (2) Maria Hoagland (1720-1770); (3) Mareya Van Nuys (~1727-?), 22 Aug 1771

2. Mattie Bergen – B. about 1713, Long Island, New York; D. 13 Feb 1768, Somerset County, New Jersey; M. Abraham Dumont (1706-1787), 10 Aug 1733

3. Evert Bergen – B. 1717, Long Island, New York; D. 17 Nov 1776, Somerset County, New Jersey; M. Jane Hegeman, 1739

The Bergen Family: The Descendants of Hans Hansen Bergen, Teunis G. Bergen, 1876
“Wallerand Dumont and his Somerset County Descendants,” John B. Dumont,  Somerset County Quarterly, Volume 1, 1912
American Ancestry: Giving Name and Descent in the Male Line of Americans whose Ancestors Settled in the United States Previous to the Declaration of Independence, Volume 6, Thomas Patrick Hughes, Frank Marshall, 1891
Genealogical and personal memorial of Mercer County, New Jersey, Volume 2, Francis Bazley Lee, 190

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The First Well in Montreal – Jacques Archambault

B. 1605 in Dompierre-Sur-Mer, La Rochelle, Aunis, France
M. (1) 24 Jan 1629 in Saint-Philbert-du-Pont-Charrault, La-Roche-sur-Yon, Vendée, France
Wife: Françoise Toureau
M. (2) 26 Jan 1666 in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec
Wife: Marie Deneau
D. 15 Feb 1688 in Montreal, Queebec

Jacques Archambault was a very early settler of Montreal who has the claim to fame of having dug the first well there. He was born in 1605 in the village of Dompierre-sur-Mer, France, which is a few miles inland from La Rochelle. His parents were Antoine Archambault and Renée Ouvrard, and he had at least one brother and one sister.

On January 24, 1629, Jacques married Françoise Toureau (also spelled Tourault) in the town of La-Roche-sur-Yon. They had seven children, all born in France between 1630 and 1642, one of whom died young. Records show that Jacques may have been a winemaker in the La Rochelle area.

In about 1646, he and his family boarded a ship bound for Quebec. Jacques was under contract to Pierre Lagardeur de Repentigny, and on October 2, 1647, he signed a five-year lease on some of Lagarduer’s land. Jacques was granted another piece of land in Cap-Rouge on September 15, 1651. This property had 4 arpents of frontage on the St. Lawrence River.

During his family’s time in Quebec, Jacques married off three of his daughters, with two of the marriages happening on the same day in 1648. The colony had a shortage of marriageable women, and the arrival of his daughters must have interested many of the men of Quebec.
One of his daughters, Marie, was only 12-years-old at the time of her marriage. She married a man named Urbain Tessier dit Lavigne, who had been granted land in the new settlement of Montreal.

Jacques became interested in joining the Montreal settlement, too, and for the next few years, he seems to have spent some of his time there. Montreal was having trouble developing because of its proximity to the Iroquois. The importance of the location to the French was due to the fur trade, which was pushing further and further into Amerindian territory. The settlers in the Montreal settlement were constantly on guard to defend their homes.

During 1651, Montreal was attacked many times by bands of Iroquois trying to drive the French people away. One incident with the Iroquois that year directly involved Jacques. On May 6th, some Iroquois warriors came upon two settlers named Jean Chicot and Jean Boudart. The Iroquois followed Boudart to his house where they captured his wife, and when he tried to fight them off, he was killed. Three other settlers arrived on the scene to help, and one of them was Jacques. Unfortunately, Boudart’s wife was taken away, then tortured and burned alive. After not being able to help the Boudarts, Jacques and his companions went out to look for Jean Chicot. They found he had been scalped and left for dead, but he somehow survived and lived another 16 years.

Later that year, Jacques suffered a personal tragedy involving the Iroquois raids. On July 26th, a force of 200 Iroquois attacked Montreal. Jacques’ 20-year-old son Denis was firing a cannon at the attackers, but it exploded, killing him.

The French had to find a long-term solution for the Iroquois problem or give up settling in Montreal. They needed to strengthen their numbers by getting more people to commit to staying there. On September 18, 1651, Jacques was granted 30 acres near Montreal’s newly-built fort. New settlers were recruited in France and began arriving within a couple of years. In 1654, the founder of Montreal, Paul de Chomedey, offered money to Jacques in return for guarding the fort and helping people into the fort whenever the Iroquois attacked.

As the focus turned to developing Montreal into a town, Paul de Chomedey commissioned Jacques to build a well at the fort. Jacques signed a contract on October 11, 1658 and was paid 300 livres for the project. The well was such a success, he was hired to build a well at the hospital the following year, and another well for a man’s farm the year after that. The well at the fort was the first ever built in Montreal, and the site today bears a plaque with Jacques’ name on it.

On December 9, 1663, Jacques' wife Françoise died. He married a widow named Marie Deneau (also spelled Denot), on January 26, 1666. Jacques lived out the rest of his life amongst his family. In 1678, his surviving son Laurent, along with his sons-in-law, offered him a pension because he was too old to work. Jacques died on February 15, 1688.

Jacques had thousands of descendants, the most famous being Pierre Trudeau, Justin Trudeau and Kelsey Grammer.

1. Denis Archambault – B. 12 Sep 1630, Dompierre-Sur-Mer, La Rochelle, Aunis, France; D. 26 Jul 1651, Montreal, Quebec

2. Anne Archambault – B. Mar 1631, Dompierre-Sur-Mer, La Rochelle, Aunis, France; D. 29 Jul 1699, Montreal, Quebec; M. (1) Michel Chauvin (1612-?), 27 Jul 1647, Qubec City, Quebec; (2) Jean Gervaise (1616-1690), 3 Feb 1654, Montreal, Quebec

3. Jacquette Archambault — B. about 1632, Dompierre-Sur-Mer, La Rochelle, Aunis, France; D. 17 Dec 1700, Ville de Quebec, Quebec; M. Paul Chalifour (1612-~1679), 28 Sep 1648, Quebec City, Quebec

4. Marie-Anne Archambault — B. about 1633, Dompierre-Sur-Mer, La Rochelle, Aunis, France; D. 8 Aug 1685, Montreal, Quebec; M. Gilles Lauzon, 27 Nov 1656, Montreal, Quebec

5. Marie Archambault – B. 24 Feb 1636, Dompierre-Sur-Mer, La Rochelle, Aunis, France; D. 16 Aug 1719, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec; M. Urbain Tessier(1626-1689), 28 Sep 1648, Quebec City, Quebec

6. Louise Archambault – B. 18 Mar 1640, Dompierre-Sur-Mer, La Rochelle, Aunis, France; D. young

7. Laurent Archambault – B. 10 Jan 1642, Dompierre-Sur-Mer, La Rochelle, Aunis, France; D. 19 Apr 1730, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec; M. Catherine Marchand(~1644-1713), 7 Jan 1660, Montreal, Quebec

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
Our French-Canadian Ancestors, Gerard Lebel (translated by Thomas J. Laforest), 1988
Jacques Archambault (wikipedia article)