Sunday, February 12, 2012

Witness at a Witchcraft Trial – Marie-Madeleine Martin

B. about 1642 in Acadia
M. about 1661 in Port-Royal, Acadia
Husband: Pierre Morin
D. 16 Sep 1714 in Montmagny, New France

Witchcraft accusations didn't just happen in New England, but also in the colonies of New France, and Marie-Madeleine Martin was involved in such a trial. She was born in Acadia in about 1642 to Pierre Martin and Catherine Vigneau, two of the earliest residents of the colony. She was one of seven children. In about 1661, Marie-Madeleine married Pierre Morin dit Boucher in Port-Royal. Between about 1662 and 1686, they had 12 children.

In 1680, the family settled in Beaubassin, a town on the isthmus that connects present-day Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. One of their neighbors, a man named Jean Campagna, was accused of using sorcery in 1684 and Marie-Madeleine was one of several people who testified against him. Campagna was said to be responsible for the death of "several men and domestic animals" in town. He was held for nearly a year before the trial started. One accuser was Marie-Madeleine's sister Andrée, who claimed among other things that Campagna caused the death of her husband by breathing on his eye. Marie-Madeleine took the stand to back-up what her sister said. There were several others who told similar tales on the witness stand, but ultimately Campagna was found not-guilty of the crimes.

In 1688, Marie-Madeleine was on the opposite end of the judicial process when her son Louis was accused of raping the daughter of Beaubassin founder, Michel Leneuf. The family was charged as a whole and 19 people were banished — Marie-Madeleine, her husband Pierre, and her children and their families had their property confiscated and were forced to leave Acadia. Son Louis was taken away by ship to serve a lifetime sentence in the French Navy, and was never heard from again. The family lived for a few years in a M'kMaq village called Ristigouche, where Pierre died at the age of 56.

Some of the places Marie-Madeleine lived

In 1697, Marie-Madeleine was able to move to the St. Lawrence River region, and through the family connections of her daughter-in-law Françoise Chiasson, received a land grant on the Gaspé River. She was listed in the household of her son Pierre in Montmagny in 1699. Marie-Madeleine died there on September 16, 1714 and was buried the following day.

Famous descendants of Marie-Madeleine Martin include Céline Dion.

1. Pierre Morin – B. about 1662, Port-Royal, Acadia; D. Apr 1741, St-Thomas, Quebec; M. Françiose Chiasson (1668-1724), 8 Nov 1682, Beaubassin, Acadia

2. Louis Morin – B. about 1664 Port-Royal, Acadia

3. Antoine Morin – B. about 1666 Port-Royal, Acadia

4. Marie Morin – B. about 1668 Port-Royal, Acadia; M. (1) Jacques Cochu (?-~1710), 8 Nov 1682, Beaubassin, Acadia; (2) Jean Pinet, 3 Feb 1710, Quebec City, New France

5. Anne Morin – B. about 1670 Port-Royal, Acadia; D. Aug 1745, Quebec City, New France; M. (1) René Deneau, about 1687, Beaubassin, Acadia; (2) Jean-Claude Louet (?-1739), 15 Jul 1707, Quebec City, New France

6. Jacques Morin – B. about 1671, Acadia; M. Marie-Anne Lavergne (?-~1754), 13 Feb 1699, Quebec City, New France

7. Charles Morin – B. about 1674, Acadia; D. about Jul 1724, Quebec; M. Anne-Therese Minet, 23 May 1719, Quebec City, New France

8. Marguerite Morin – B. about 1676, Beaubassin, Acadia

9. Jean-Marie Morin dit Ducharme – B. 10 Aug 1680, Beaubassin, Acadia; D. 30 Jan 1717, Quebec City, New France; M. Marie-Elisabeth Hubert (1697-1717), 17 Nov 1715, Quebec City, New France

10. Jacques-François Morin – B. 23 Sep 1682, Beaubassin, Acadia

11. Simon-Joseph Morin – B. about Jan 1685, Beaubassin, Acadia; D. before 1686, Beaubassin, Acadia

12. Jacques Morin – B. about Mar 1686, Beaubassin, Acadia; D. Apr 1757, St-Pierre-du-Sud, New France; M. Marie-Charlotte Robert-Jeannes (?-1734), 25 Aug 1704, Chambalon, New France

"The Morins of Acadia," French-Canadian and Acadian Genealogical Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1968
Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Acadiennes, Stephen A. White, 1999
"Jean Campagna, the Sourcerer," Yarmouth Vanguard, 29 May 1990
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

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