Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tortured and Killed by Iroquois – Pierre Gareman

B. 1604 in Bagneux, France
M. 1628 in France
Wife: Marguerite Charlot
D. 10 Jun 1653 in Cap Rouge, New France
Emigrated: during 1630s

Those who lived on the frontier in colonial America often paid a heavy price. Pierre Gareman was one such person.

Pierre was born in 1604 in Bagneux, Picardie, France, a town roughly halfway between Paris and the Belgian border. In 1628, he married Marguerite Charlot; they had two daughters before the family migrated to Quebec sometime in the 1630s. In 1639, they had a third daughter, born in the colony.

In 1640, Pierre was a tenant farmer working for Jacques Le Neuf de la Poterie in Portneuf, a new settlement on the river between Trois-Rivieres and Quebec City. The settlers were threatened by the presence of Indians and in 1642 had to take refuge in Sillery, near Quebec City. Pierre was in Trois-Rivieres in 1643, where his fourth child, a son Charles, was baptized. In 1646, Pierre signed a contract to work for Le Neuf again at Portneuf, but two years later, was again run off by Indians when they burned several settlers' homes.

Pierre was granted his own land by the Compagnie des Cent-Associes in 1652 in Cap Rouge. Typical of land grants in New France, it was a narrow tract that bordered the St. Lawrence River by 4 arpents and extended deep inland. It was here that tragedy struck. On June 10, 1653, Pierre and 10 year-old Charles were attacked and captured by Iroquois Indians who also shot and killed one of his neighbors while working in the fields. Another man named Hugues Couturier was captured with Pierre. By this time, Pierre's wife had already died and his three daughters were married. It is known that Iroquois didn't keep men as prisoners and it is assumed that they tortured Pierre before killing him.

The boy Charles was not killed by his captors; instead he was taken into the tribe for three years, then sold to the Jesuits in 1655. As an adult in 1677, he married an Oneida woman and lived with her in an Indian village upstream from Quebec.

1. Florence Gareman – B. 1629, France; D. 23 Jul 1686, Sillery, New France; M. François Boucher (1617-1672), 3 Sep 1641, Quebec City, New France

2. Nicole Madeleine Gareman – B. 1631, France; M. René Mezeray dit Nopces (1611-1695), 10 Oct 1645, New France

3. Marguerite Gareman – B. 10 Dec 1639, Quebec City, New France; M. Mathurin Trud (1623-?), 29 Jan 1652, Quebec City, New France

4. Charles Gareman – B. about 1643, New France; M. Marie Gonnentenne, 1676, New France

Une paroisse historique de la Nouvelle-France, Henry Arthur Scott, 1902
One Hundred French-Canadian Families, Phillip Moore, 1994

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