Sunday, March 11, 2012

Half-French, Half-Indian – Madeleine-Euphrosine Nicolet

B. about 1628 near Lake Nipissing, New France
M. (1) 21 Nov 1643 in Quebec City, Quebec
Husband: Jean LeBlanc
M. (2) 22 Feb 1663 in Quebec City, Quebec
Husband: Elie Dussault dit Lafleur
D. 30 Sep 1689 in Quebec City, Quebec

In the early days of Quebec, it was not uncommon for French men to take Indian women as wives. Such was the case of the parents of Madeleine-Euphrosine Nicolet. She was born in about 1628 to Jean Nicolet and a woman of the Nipissing tribe in what is now Ontario. Her mother has been named as Elisabeth Manitoukoue in some research, but the source of this is unknown. Jean had been living in the area for about ten years, learning the ways of the natives and their language. He settled deep into Indian country, in an area around Lake Nipissing. For a time, he lived in an Indian village and this is when Madeleine-Euphrosine was born.

In 1629, when Englishman David Kirke took over Quebec and forced the French to return to Europe, Jean stayed in the Indian village. The French came back to power in 1632, and he brought Madeleine-Euphrosine with him to the French settlement. From then on, she lived amongst the white population, assimilating into Quebec society. It isn't known what became of her mother — whether she lived in Quebec at all, stayed with her people or died when Madeleine-Euphrosine was young. Jean married a woman from France in 1637 and had two children with her. Then he died in a boating accident in 1642.

The following year, when Madeleine-Euphrosine was still a teen, she married a French man, Jean LeBlanc. They had at least five children, but Jean died on September 11, 1662. On February 22, 1663, Madeleine-Euphrosine married a French man named Elie Dussault dit Lafleur. They settled in Quebec City, where he worked aboard the ships. Judging by the date of her marriage and the date of the birth of her son Louis (August 25, 1663), she must have been pregnant when they married. After Louis, they had three more sons together, born between 1665 and 1673.

Madeleine-Euphrosine died on September 30, 1689 at Hotel Dieu in Quebec City (a hospital). It isn't known when husband Elie died, but he was living in 1692.

Children by Jean LeBlanc:
1. Jacques LeBlanc – B. 1648; D. 1669

2. Marie-Madeleine LeBlanc – B. 15 Jul 1652, Quebec City, Quebec; D. 28 Dec 1708, St-Pierre, Montmorency, Quebec; M. Jean Pichet (1634-1699), 1666, Montmorency, Quebec

3. Marguerite LeBlanc – B. 1655; D. 1661

4. Noel LeBlanc – B. 1660; D. 1660

Children by Elie Dussault dit Lafleur:
1.  Louis Dussault – B. 25 Aug 1663, Quebec City, Quebec

2. Pierre Dussault – B. 31 Jul 1665, Quebec City, Quebec

3. Jean-François Dussault – B. 4 Jan 1668, Quebec City, Quebec; D. before 24 Apr 1719, Dubreuil, Quebec; M. Marie-Madeleine Bourassa (1673-?), 8 Jan 1692, St-Joseph, Lévis, Quebec

4. Charles Dussault – B. 21 May 1673, Quebec City, Quebec; D. before 27 Feb 1697; M. Henrietta Balan, 16 Nov 1693, La Durantaye, Quebec

Sources:
Jean Nicolet [wikipedia article]
Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie, Cyprien Tanguay, 1871
Our Tangled French Canadian Roots, Jan Gregoire Coombs, 2009
Champlain's Dream, David Hackett Fischer, 2009

6 comments:

  1. I have just started my geneological journey on ancestry.ca and have discovered my 'family line' 15 generations back through Euphrosine Nicolet's son, Jean Francois Dussault dit Lafleur and Marie Bourassa.

    Best regards, Cousin!
    Angelina Desgagnes

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Jean married a woman from France in 1637 ". Jean actually married Marguerite Couillard (grand-daughter of Louis Hébert) born in Québec August 1626. She was 11 years old at her marriage, 13 when she had her first child who died at age 2, and she was 16 when she had her daughter and became a widow. She is also my ancestor, as are yours all the way through Jean François Dussault and Madeleine Bourassa's daughter Marguerite.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a copy of the baptism record of Elizabeth Manit8k8e (this is how her name is spelt on this official document) from the Archives of the Sillery Mission. In this handwritten document in latin, it is clear that she was baptized in the Ursulines' chapel on 18 January 1642 (where M. E. Nicolet was a boarding student at the time). It is also clear that M. E. Nicolet (whose father is specified as Jean Nicolet) was Elizabeth's godmother. There is no mention of Elizabeth's parents, nor of where she came from on that document. It is possible that M. E. Nicolet was her own mother's godmother, but it would be nice to get some proof of that...

    I have yet to find an official document naming M. E. Nicolet's mother: none of her parents are specified in the records of her two marriages, nor in that of her own death, nor in the Ursulines' boarding students handwritten book, and I am still trying to find a record of M. E.'s own baptism... The only official document I have found that ascertains the fact that Jean Nicolet was Madeleine Euphrosine's father is the baptism record of Elizabeth Manit8k8e! But that doesn't tell us the relationship (if any) between the two women mentioned in this record, nor between Elizabeth and Jean Nicolet.

    I have seen on various genealogical sites that Elizabeth Manitoukoue was born in 1642 as M. E.'s daughter (and therefore Jean Nicolet's grand-daughter!) In my opinion, this comes from people who do not understand latin and made false interpretations of what is written on Elizabeth's baptism record. It is technically possible that, as a teenager, M. E. could have had an illegitimate child, but it seems improbable as I know for a fact (having seen this with my own eyes at the Ursulines' monastery) that M. E. was one of the first boarding students of the Ursulines and started her studies in October 1641. There is absolutely no mention anywhere that she was pregnant at the time. We also know her first marriage to Jean Leblanc was on November 21,1643, and there is no mention of an Elizabeth among the list of her children on any genealogical sites.

    Someone else said that Elisabeth Manitoukoue (as she spelt it also) became herself a godmother in 1646 in Trois-Rivières "making it very likely that she was an adult at the time of her own baptism" in 1642. (I have not yet verified this information, but I will since the Trois-Rivières baptism records are available online.) Finally, the same person mentioned that Elisabeth is recorded in 1649 (again in Trois-Rivières) as the mother of a child named Thérèse Aaratat, with the father simply being named as Aaratat (which I will also check).

    If Elizabeth was indeed a mother in 1649, she definitely cannot be M. E.'s daughter, but could still be her mother, therefore Jean Nicolet's first spouse. Jean is said to have lived with the Nipissing Indians between 1620 and 1629, and then with the Hurons between 1629 and 1633 during the English government of the Nouvelle-France).

    If Elizabeth was Jean's spouse between 1620 and 1629, this means she was born between 1600 and 1617 which makes her between 32 and 49 years old in 1949 (a maternity would still be possible at any of these ages).

    But again, why are there so many references to Bahmaamaadjimowin Giisis and to Jeanne Nipissing in various websites? There is no mention of the first name "Jeanne" on Elizabeth's baptism record, so this is definitely not a double first name that the same person was given. It is however possible that Jeanne Nipissing and Bahmaamaadjimowin Giisis are the same person. But which one of Jeanne or Elizabeth is the real spouse of Jean Nicolet (or rather Jean Nicollet as he signed himself with two ll)?

    My e-mail address is the following : violettetalbot@hotmail.com. Anyone who would like to reply to this comment is definitely welcome to write to me! Thank you in advance for your interest.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I see the first part of my long comment above was cut. Here it is :
    DEAR BROOKLYNITE: You wrote the following in your article about Madeleine Euphrosine Nicolet: "Her mother has been named as Elisabeth Manitoukoue in some research, but the source of this is unknown. "

    I would very much like to know which research you are referring to (in other words where you have found this information yourself) as I am desperately trying to find more "official" information about this woman and any tiny bit of info could lead me to what I am looking for.

    It seems illogical that the Nipissing Indian woman who was Jean Nicollet's first spouse and Madeleine Euphrosine's mother would have had three different names. Yet, most sources refer to "Bahmaamaadjimowin Giisis", others call her "Jeanne Nipissing" (maybe because she was baptized as Jeanne and was living at Lake Nipissing), others (like yourself) say her name was Elisabeth Manitoukoue... (Elisabeth being the first name she received at her baptism and Manitoukoue being her Indian name).

    ReplyDelete
  5. I see the first part of my long comment above was cut. Here it is :
    DEAR BROOKLYNITE: You wrote the following in your article about Madeleine Euphrosine Nicolet: "Her mother has been named as Elisabeth Manitoukoue in some research, but the source of this is unknown. "

    I would very much like to know which research you are referring to (in other words where you have found this information yourself) as I am desperately trying to find more "official" information about this woman and any tiny bit of info could lead me to what I am looking for.

    It seems illogical that the Nipissing Indian woman who was Jean Nicollet's first spouse and Madeleine Euphrosine's mother would have had three different names. Yet, most sources refer to "Bahmaamaadjimowin Giisis", others call her "Jeanne Nipissing" (maybe because she was baptized as Jeanne and was living at Lake Nipissing), others (like yourself) say her name was Elisabeth Manitoukoue... (Elisabeth being the first name she received at her baptism and Manitoukoue being her Indian name).

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have a copy of the baptism record of Elizabeth Manit8k8e (this is how her name is spelt on this official document) from the Archives of the Sillery Mission. In this handwritten document in latin, it is clear that she was baptized in the Ursulines' chapel on 18 January 1642 (where M. E. Nicolet was a boarding student at the time). It is also clear that M. E. Nicolet (whose father is specified as Jean Nicolet) was Elizabeth's godmother. There is no mention of Elizabeth's parents, nor of where she came from on that document. It is possible that M. E. Nicolet was her own mother's godmother, but it would be nice to get some proof of that...

    I have yet to find an official document naming M. E. Nicolet's mother: none of her parents are specified in the records of her two marriages, nor in that of her own death, nor in the Ursulines' boarding students handwritten book, and I am still trying to find a record of M. E.'s own baptism... The only official document I have found that ascertains the fact that Jean Nicolet was Madeleine Euphrosine's father is the baptism record of Elizabeth Manit8k8e! But that doesn't tell us the relationship (if any) between the two women mentioned in this record, nor between Elizabeth and Jean Nicolet.

    I have seen on various genealogical sites that Elizabeth Manitoukoue was born in 1642 as M. E.'s daughter (and therefore Jean Nicolet's grand-daughter!) In my opinion, this comes from people who do not understand latin and made false interpretations of what is written on Elizabeth's baptism record. It is technically possible that, as a teenager, M. E. could have had an illegitimate child, but it seems improbable as I know for a fact (having seen this with my own eyes at the Ursulines' monastery) that M. E. was one of the first boarding students of the Ursulines and started her studies in October 1641. There is absolutely no mention anywhere that she was pregnant at the time. We also know her first marriage to Jean Leblanc was on November 21,1643, and there is no mention of an Elizabeth among the list of her children on any genealogical sites.

    Someone else said that Elisabeth Manitoukoue (as she spelt it also) became herself a godmother in 1646 in Trois-Rivières "making it very likely that she was an adult at the time of her own baptism" in 1642. (I have not yet verified this information, but I will since the Trois-Rivières baptism records are available online.) Finally, the same person mentioned that Elisabeth is recorded in 1649 (again in Trois-Rivières) as the mother of a child named Thérèse Aaratat, with the father simply being named as Aaratat (which I will also check).

    If Elizabeth was indeed a mother in 1649, she definitely cannot be M. E.'s daughter, but could still be her mother, therefore Jean Nicolet's first spouse. Jean is said to have lived with the Nipissing Indians between 1620 and 1629, and then with the Hurons between 1629 and 1633 during the English government of the Nouvelle-France).

    If Elizabeth was Jean's spouse between 1620 and 1629, this means she was born between 1600 and 1617 which makes her between 32 and 49 years old in 1949 (a maternity would still be possible at any of these ages).

    But again, why are there so many references to Bahmaamaadjimowin Giisis and to Jeanne Nipissing in various websites? There is no mention of the first name "Jeanne" on Elizabeth's baptism record, so this is definitely not a double first name that the same person was given. It is however possible that Jeanne Nipissing and Bahmaamaadjimowin Giisis are the same person. But which one of Jeanne or Elizabeth is the real spouse of Jean Nicolet (or rather Jean Nicollet as he signed himself with two ll)?

    My e-mail address is the following : violettetalbot@hotmail.com. Anyone who would like to reply to this comment is definitely welcome to write to me! Thank you in advance for your interest.

    ReplyDelete