Monday, July 27, 2009

Mohawk Iroquois feared by French Settlers

In doing research for the Cummings-Genereaux family it was very apparent that all my relatives from early Canada lived in fear of the Iroquois Indians--so different than those relatives on my fathers side who married into the Mohawk tribes in the same time period The Mohawks arrived in what became to be known as the Mohawk Valley around 1575, before the Europeans came here. They consisted of only 5 nations, Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas and the "ancients" the Mohawks. Almost everyone knows the story of Longfellow's Hiawatha, this was based on the truth. Two Sachem's of the Mohawks met with the other chiefs of all the nations at Oneida Lake and formed the Iroquois Confederacy, which would become the dominate force in North East America. Its main purpose was to stop the tribes from fighting among there self, with a guarantee that they would not kill any one from the other tribe and would assist each other in further expansion They controlled all the land from Canada to Maine, along the Atlantic, through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and the great lakes area. There expansion was driven by the demand for Beaver pelts. The Dutch were in Albany early in the 1600's and became a allies of the Mohawks, trading the older models of fire arms and metal tools. The English who came a bit later took the same attitude toward the Mohawks, traded fair with them, even to help them in conquest they were making against tribes that the English were having trouble with. Even the Swiss were trading with the Delawares. When the French arrived it was a different mix. The Mohawks had for well over a hundred years fought the Algonquin and Huron nation and had been on the verge of driving them out of Canada. Samuel Champlain arrived and completely upset this, wanting to be friend;y with the natives to assure there protection for his trading post joined the Huron's in battle with a group of Mohawks, which took place on the lake that we call Champlain. He got off a lucky shot that killed two Mohawk chiefs -lucky for him but a tragedy for France. The Mohawks fled, but remembered.
They continued there attacks on the Huron and when the French villages were present burned them. then in 1615 Champlain joined a force of Huron's against the Oneida nation keepers of the western gate. this was more fuel to fire the hatred of the Huron and French. Now the Iroquois were more united and France was cut off from the beaver trade coming from the great lakes. So to stop the Iroquois raids on Kebec and Montreal Gov Tracy persuade Louis 14 King of France to send help which he did in the form of 1200 men of the Carignan-Salieres Regiment in the late 1665 period, it was mid winter before they had everyone converted to the Catholic religion, [non Catholic were not allowed to set foot on New France Soil, the officers and many of the men were Huguenots] and despite the weather 300 men of the Regiment with 200 volunteers made a sortie on the Mohawk valley, not equipped for winter weather and guides that got lost, it ended in terrible loss of men and equipment some Jesuit records indicate only 200 men returned, and these were saved by the Dutch who fed and clothed them at Schenectady. The loss of equipment gave the Mohawks access to the best fire arms available, up until this time they only had weapons that the Dutch traded to them. This was like throwing stones at the bee hive, the Mohawk Iroquois while only about 600 strong launched new waves of terror on the French, again in fall of 1666 Tracy led 1200 men with two field cannon, against this powerful Iroquois's nation they attacked and burned 4 Indian Castles, but the 600 or so Mohawks, men women and children, gathered up there possessions and moved into the forest, so no one was harmed, The wood Palisades and bark covered houses were burned. The French returned to Canada victoriously and the Iroquois with the help from the Dutch rebuilt there castles, the main or upper castle was Ti-on-non-to-gen. this was located on North side of the Mohawk river on the site of the present village of Nelliston, New York. Started in 1666 hurriedly finished by 1669 with the help of the Dutch Settlers. This was a very large castle or village , double Palisades enclosing some 30 long house ranging from 20 to 200 ft long. with a total population of about 300 of the "Wolf" clan. They would live here for some 20 years before moving again to Wagner's Hallow. A move they made about every 20 years

A tribe of only about 600 at its strongest point controlled the Iroquois confederation and this group stopped the French expansion and eventually made it to costly to continue their colonization of the new world. The Confederacy was weakened in the American Revolution when the Mohawk remained loyal to England and the Seneca's and Oneida Nations remained with the colonist.

I was very lucky as a young boy , my parents owned a house in Nelliston, New York when my dad would spade the garden in the spring and prepared it for planting I was allowed to pick up and save all the pieces of pottery, pipe stems and broken bone that were in the garden. For years these were in Cigar boxes in the garage, just curious items to a 8 or 9 year old, - oh how I wish I still had them. Apparently our garden was within the old village site of Ti-on-non-to-gen upper village of the Mohawk.
Having been born and lived in the Mohawk Valley I can understand why the Mohawks fought so hard to control it, the river furnished fish, surrounding forest gave then Venison, small game, and Maple sugar, the rich river soil furnished an abundance of the three sisters Corn, Beans, Squash. Of all the tribes the Mohawks were no doubt the best nourished and that might have been key to there physical ability to lead the other tribes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Anna Martin/Matchonon Huron-Wendat native


A young girl of the Cord Clan. on Ile de Orleans, the 5th great grandmother of my grt grandfather Anothony Moses Genereaux alias Jim Cummings met and married Abraham Martin dit L'Ecossais, her family would have been living on the Ile de Orleans as members of the Huron-Wendat village which was set up with the help of the Jesuits for converted natives.
she had 3 known children recorded by the Jesuits: Matchonon ("a Savage" according to the Jesuits) b. 1609 (Kebek) baptised 3 Nov 1634 as Joseph Martin; Anne Martin/Matchonon. born 1614 (Kebek) d. 14 Dec 1683 (Kebek) m. Jean Cote'' dit Coste' 1635; Eustache Martin b. 1621 Kebek, only Eustache has a baptized recorded in Notre Dam.
Her mother died when she was just a baby and her widowed father would marry Marguerite Langlois a Metis [having one parent European and the other native Candaian].
Growing up at the small trading post, young Anne would have been exposed to many cultures; though her life was confined to the small frontier. After much upheaval, including a brief stint when Kebec was in the hands of the British, Anne's family made 'New France' their home, and in 1636; she was married to new arrival, Jean Cote, at the home of Robert Giffard, by Jesuit Priest Charles Lalemant.
Jean was one of Giffard's recruits and may have actually been a distant relative, since Anne's grandmother was Isabelle Cote, also from Perche, France. Jean arrived in Quebec on July 20th, 1635 and that fall married Anne. There is not much information about his earlier life Again probably not all that surprising if he was of African-Mi'kmaq (Red-Black) ancestry and most of the evidence points to this, there would have been little or no interest by Europeans in recording it. Anne Martin/Matchonon, however, a half-breed with some European ancestry, was the daughter of Abraham Martin dit l'Ecossais, so this might be why their descendants were recorded. Also they were part of the colony established on the Ile d'Orleans by the Jesuits for their Huron converts. She would have been considered Huron-Wendat by her own people, not half-breed, since the Wyandott are maternal lineal.
In 1636, Governor Montmagny awarded the couple, an arpent of frontage on la Grande-Allee near Quebec; and Giffard gave him land in Beauport . Because of the Iroquois raids, Jean and Anne hesitated settling their concession in Beauport, so Noel Langlois,
brother of Anne's stepmother, rented them a small parcel of land near his house, so they could live close together for mutual defense. Jean built a cabin there and began farming immediately. Eventually they also purchased a house in Upper Town, Quebec. Jean died there on March 28, 1661 and Anne on December 4, 1684. The couple had nine children:
Descendants of Anne Martin/Matchonon[Savage] and Jean/Jehan Cote' dit Coste' were recorded. One of the children (a son b. 1642) was named Mathieu. there was a Mathieu Cote in New France very earl and may prove to be father or uncle to Jean. There also Jean had a child named Jean Cote' dit Lefrise' (a son b. 25 Feb 1644). Le frise' in French means "frizzy-haired person", perhaps this name was given to the child because he was the only one who had "frizzy" (i.e. African) hair, while the other children of Anne and Jean had straight hair like their Indigenous ancestors.
Having one European grandparent (Abraham Martin dit L'Ecossais) of four, (two Indigenous, one African) might have ensured the family was recorded, but their children are never mentioned as being the first Europeans born in New France. Some claim the first European child, Barbe Meusnier, was born in Ville-Marie (Montreal) in 1648.
If this be true then Anne Martin/Matchonon was of the Cord Clan. "In 1656 people of the Bear Clan (Attignaouantan) joined the Mohawk, people of the Rock Clan (Arendahronon) joined the Onondaga, the people of the Cord Clan (Attigneenongnahac) were the only ones who remained at the Ile d'Orleans Huron-Wendat settlement.
Keep in mind there were very few European women in New France before the "Fillis a Marine" arrived 1634 to 1662 very doubtful that a family of three Langlois girls would have been here without a notation in the records-It is my belief all of them were of the Huron-Wendal tribe in Ile de Orleans
As for Anne Martin, she survived him by more than twenty years. The census of 1681 does not mention her but it is likely that she was living with one of her sons. Anne too, was buried at Québec, on December 14, 1683 at about the age of 70 years old.

In some of my earlier post I noted that all of Moses Genereau's ancestors were from France but I have to correct that now some of the females had what appeared to be French names but this was due to there being recorded as daughters of there French fathers, however there mothers were Huron-Wendal women, who were more readily available in the first few years of French colonization. The European women did not come to the colonies much before the Filles a Marier in 1634 to 1662

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Abraham Martin bn 1589


Abraham Martin My 9th Grt Grandfather, ancestor of Anthoney Moses Genereau alias Jim Cummings was one of the first settlers in Arcadia and Kebec, personal friend of Samuel Champlain.
There is a lot of confusion over the origins of Abraham. He was born about 1589, probably at La Rochelle, his father probably was Jean Galleran Martin, known as “The Merchant of Metz”, he could have also been born at Metz, Lorraine, France. His mother was Isabel Cote. Throughout his lifetime, Abraham Martin L'Ecossais [the “Scotsman”], that nickname was often used at that time, as a derogatory term to describe a deserter or member of an illegal organization. It may have also meant that he had made several voyages to Scotland in his youth, or assisted the Scottish settlers who began arriving at Port Royal (then called Port Charles) about 1628, under the direction of Sir William Alexander. It's highly unlikely that he was actually of Scottish descent.
He is often called Abraham Martin a king's pilot, leading to the conclusion that he was the first river pilot of Canada. [French as the Indian tribes had been using the rivers for centuries] Although he was illiterate he associated with Champlain and Pierre Desportes, both literate and well born individuals. His first wife was a Huron-Wendat Indian living on Ile de Orleans, with whom he had three children Matchonon ("a Savage" according to the Jesuits) b. 1609 Kebek, [Quebec ] baptised 3 Nov 1634 as Joseph Martin; Anne Martin/Matchonon Metis b. 1614 (Kebek) d. 14 Dec 1683 (Kebek) m. Jean Cote' dit Coste' 1635; Eustache Martin b. 1621 Kebek
His second wife, a Metisse (half-breed woman) was Marguerite Langlois b. 1611 Kebek, married at Kebec, abt 1621, they had eight children, of which the 7th was Anne Martin Metis, born 23 Mar. 1645 at Kebek, she married Jacques Rate. The descendants of both of these Anne Martin's come down to Dennis Stanislaus Genereaux's father of our ancestor Anthoney Moses Genereaux alias Jim Cummings

There is also evidence that he had at one time been employed by Jean De Biencourt and Du Gua de Monts as navigator on the coast of Acadia, although he would have been very young at that time. Charles La Tour was also on that voyage, and it is clear that these two men remained good friends. When Abraham’s son, Charles-Amador, was born on March 7, 1648, his godfather was none other than Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, who was also the infant’s namesake. This too could explain why Martin was called the “Scotsman”, since La Tour’s father had accepted a Scottish Barony after being captured by the Kirke Brothers in 1629.
When the British took control of Kebec for the first time, everyone was shipped back home, where it is believed that Marguerite's sister, Francoise Langlois, and her husband Pierre, died so Martin's became guardians to little Helene, who was now almost nine. When the family returned after the British left, they brought along Marguerite's brother Noel [another of our ancestors], who would marry Francoise Grenier and have ten children, ensuring that the Langlois name from this branch, would live on.
The Martins would become one of the first three families to be granted land in Quebec City, when they were presented with 12 acres by the Company of New France in 1635. The additional 20 acres were a gift from Sieur Adrien du Chesney, ship's surgeon to Pierre Legardeur. Abraham and Marguerite's descendants later sold this parcel of land to the Ursuline nuns.
Marguerite and her husband played a major role in the development of French Canada, and in a culture that likes it's 'firsts'; a few can be added to their credit. Eustace Martin,(this one is questionable) the first wire of a French, born in News-France. It is the first baptism which is registered at Notre-Dame of Quebec, dated October 21, 1621. His daughter Helene Martin was the god-daughter of Samuel de Champlain. We know Abraham had two other children with first wife, but they were not recorded in church record.
Abraham drew up the first map of Quebec, even though he was illiterate. Champlain's wife Helene Boulle, did not adapt well to frontier living and only spent four years in Québec. She found solace and companionship with Abraham's wife Marguerite and her sister Françoise Langlois who bore the first French child born in New France, When Samuel de Champlain died he left a legacy to Marguerite Martin, another daughter to help her "marry a man of Canada", and he left money to Abraham Martin "to be spent for clearing land".
The ground that Abraham Martin cleared was the summit of the Cape Diamonds, Known now as the “Plains of Abraham”, site of the 1757 battle, between Wolfe and Montcalm, the “Coast of Abraham” was the path used by Martin, to go down to the river Saint-Charles to water his animals.
Today a monument features a column on a square base, topped by a terrestrial sphere supported by four thistles, emblems of Scotland. The base (or lower) relief depicts the French symbol of a fleur de lys (lily flower) emerging from flood waters to represent the pioneering role played by Abraham Martin as a king’s pilot. with a inscription engraved in the granite.
In February 1649 the little Québec colony had quite a shock when it was announced that 60 year old Martin Abraham, friend of Samuel de Champlain and the father of a large and respected family, was accused of having an affair with a 16 year old girl [i.e., “conduite incorrecte envers une jeune fille” in that Abraham had forfeited the honor of a young girl of 16, what today would possibly be statutory rape, although marriages in those days occurred as young as 10]. Certainly it would be said that this "old pig Abraham" had debauched a fine “young thing.” He spent some time in prison beginning on 15 February 1649 as a result of his improper actions. Guess the rich and powerful have not changed in 360 years, its a shock to us when our past Presidents or Governors disregard our moral codes, but its been happening for centuries. These facts appear in court records that have been preserved. Not all of our ancestors were saints.
Abraham Martin died on September 08, 1664 in Quebec city, at the age of 75; and Marguerite the following year on December 17, 1665, at the age of 63. A note made by Father Le Jeune, in 1632. Eustache Martin, Metis, b-1621 the eldest son of Abraham and Marguerite, were baptized in 1621 , were the second and third children of White men born at Quebec, the first having been their cousin Helene Desportes, born in 1620, to the marriage of Pierre Desportes and Francoise Langlois.

Jim Cummings [Moses Genereaux], Genealogy keeps expanding, he can count in his ancestral line many native Canadian Indians as well as the first original French settlers.