The Durrell Family of Cape Porpoise

Cape Porpoise was named by Captain John Smith of the famed Pocahontas legend. On a trading mission in 1614, Smith visited the cape and likely seeing the large number of porpoises that resided there, named it Porkpiscis. This name was given to the fish due to their similarity to hogs, porpoises being often called sea-hogs at that time. Gradually the orthography of the word changed to Porpus, by which the town was incorporated in 1653, and then to Porpoise in 1672. The cape itself was likely “settled” by 1620 as a summer home for fisherman who would return to Europe during the winter. It is believed that the first permanent settlement started around 1630. From its onset, the settlement was sparsely populated and a consistent target of French and Native American hostilities. Porpoise town later became known as Arundel, and then Kennebunkport, Maine. [1]The area now known as Arundel, while sometimes referred to by that name, was a part of Kennebunkport until 1915, at which point it was set off and ...continue

Philip Durrell, the progenitor of the Durrell family of Maine and New Hampshire, immigrated from Guernsey, according to family tradition, and first appears in New England records on 20 Feb 1689/90, when his mark was affixed to a New Hampshire province petition. While his original settlement was in Exeter, Philip would remove to Porpoise cape in 1700. Philip remained but a short time at Cape Porpoise. The French and their Native allies attacked the settlements of present day Maine over a six day period starting on August 10, 1703. “Cape Porpoise, being inhabitated by a few unshielded fisherman, was wholly laid desolate.” [2]Samuel Penhallow. Penhallow’s Indian wars; a facsimile reprint of the first edition, printed in Boston in 1726, with the notes of earlier ...continue

Unfortunately, for the Durrell family and a few others, the toll was much worse than their homes and crops being laid desolate. Stephen Harding, residing across the Kennebunk River from Porpoise town, first heard the shots in the direction of Wells. He, his wife, and young child, barely escaping the coming attack, sought shelter the following day at the garrison house in Wells. [3]You can read more about the attack on Stephen Harding and his family and their daring escape in Charles Bradburys, History of Kennebunk Port, ...continue After discovering that the Harding’s had eluded them, the force headed across the river, and attacked the family of William Larribee. William was at work near the marsh. Seeing two Indians approach, William hid until they gave up looking for him. Returning to his house immediately after, he found other Indians sharing the provisions of his home – his wife and three children lying dead on the ground nearby. Seeing no survivors, William also headed to the garrison house in Wells. From there, this band of warriors headed further upriver until they reached the home of Philip Durrell. Philip was also absent from home. The Indians carried off Mrs. Durrell, her two younger sons, Benjamin and Philip, and their two daughters, Susan and Rachel. The Indians carried their prisoners as far as Paywacket (Fryeburg), when Mrs. Durrell “pursuaded” them to let her return with her infant, Philip. One of the Indians carried her child for her to the stone fort at Saco, from which place she returned home.

The other children remained with their captors. The two daughters are reported to have been taken to New France, where they adopted the Catholic faith, and married two Frenchmen. The son, Benjamin, is said to have died in a canoe accident on Saco River. None of this can be confirmed with existing records. That all three of the children appear in lists of captives developed by New England towns in 1710, and submitted to the English and French governments, is ascertained. That they never returned home is also true.

The family unit at this time comprised of Philip, Mrs. Durrell, Joseph, and little Philip, Jr. Where Joseph, the eldest son, was at the time of the attack is never mentioned. Obviously, he was not at home.

After the 1703 attack, the French drew off a great number of Indian families from the Penobscot, Norridgewock, Saco, and Pequaket tribes, and settled them at St. Francis, in Canada, as a protection against the Iroquois Confederacy. These were called the St. Francis Indians.

Their home and crops destroyed, the Durrells soon returned to their land in Exeter, New Hampshire, that Philip had not yet sold. The Durrell’s Exeter land was eventually incorporated into the formation of Durham, New Hampshire, and this land is where their son, Joseph, remained the rest of his life.

In Exeter, the Durrells continued to propogate, and fill their home with additional children (all dates are approximate): Sarah, in 1705; Elizabeth, in 1707; Benjamin (2), in 1711; Lydia, in 1712; and John, in 1714. Mrs. Durrell would bear at least eleven children in her marriage with Philip.

I wish I could say that the whole family remained in Durham and lived out a more peaceful existence. But the draw of beautiful Arundel, and the bountiful sea, once again drew the Durrells to their holdings there. Once peace returned to New England, Philip picked up his remaining family, and removed to what was now known as Arundel. On 30 May 1720, his old rights were recognized by the new town vote:

At a Leagal Town meeting at Arundel May the 30th, 1720, then Given & Granted unto Philip Dorriel Senr. All the Right the Town have to the land he lives now on, and in possession of

Attest              Thomas Perkins, Town Clerk

It was not long before the peace of the quiet Maine seashore towns were shattered again. Soon after Philip’s re-settlement at Arundel, new New England towns began to appear on land which both the Wabanakis and French asserted were sovereign lands of the French. Spurned on by Father Rale of the French and royal Governor Shute of Massachusetts and New Hampshire province, an undeclared war began in January of 1722. By June of 1722, an all out war between New France and the northern portions of New England started in earnest. Arundel was continually harrassed by bands of Indians, especially when residents left their homes to work. The Durrell’s had a garrison house built next to their home, where they and area residents could retreat if needed. A peace treaty, ending what is known as “Dummer’s War,” was signed in December 1725. Encouraged by hopes of lasting peace, residents began to more boldly leave their garrisons again.

The sagamores of the local tribes were generally satisfied with the treaty, and on 6 August 1726, met at Falmouth and ratified it. The French, however, were not satisfied, and induced several parties to cause mischief.

On the 28th of October 1726, a couple of hours after sunrise, Philip Durrell left his house in Arundel to head to work; along with him was his son (son-in-law), John Baxter. They returned home a little before sunset, finding all of Philip’s and John’s family gone, Philip’s house set on fire, chests split open, and clothing gone. [4]Massachusetts Historical Society Collection, vol. vi. p. 103 as sourced by Charles Bradbury in his History of Kennebunk Port, from its First ...continue Quickly searching the nearby woods, they were unable to find any person killed. Raising an alarm, some townfolks joined the men in pursuit of the attacking force, but no such force was found.

John Wheelwrights letter, written the day after the tragedy, and sent to Boston from Wells, is referenced in the council records of November first. [5]John was the grandson of Rev. John Wheelwright of early Puritan Massachusetts. Rev. Wheelwright was a controversial reverend, who had sided with his ...continue After describing the assault on the Durrell and Baxter family he says three suspected Indians had been seized and secured in Fort Mary, the same stone fort at Saco that Mrs. Durrell had been brought to by her first captives. These Indians were taken to Boston, where they were interrogated. Claiming they knew nothing of the attack, or the whereabouts of the captives, they promised, if allowed to leave on probation, they would learn of the “author of mischief” and to have the captives restored. The council agreed, allowing two of the three to leave, but retained control of the son of one, to insure they returned. A reward was offered if they succeeded.

In December, 1726, Philip petitioned for financial relief from the Massachusetts and New Hampshire house stating that he had “all imaginable Reason” to believe that his home had been beset by Indians, “who not only took away all the Household Goods, and what else was Valuable in the House, but carried away Captive his Wife and Daughter and a Child of his Daughters” and also his Son. Those “carried away” were his wife Mrs. Durrell, their son John Durrell, their daughter Sarah (Durrell)  Baxter, and her child, John Baxter.

In July of 1727, a conference was held by Dummer and the Indians at Falmouth. An accounting of captives were demanded. A chief replied with a short list of five captives, none of which described the Durrell boy. Pressed on the issue if the boy from Kennebunk was one of the five, the chief replied, no, he is among the French.

Finally, arriving late to the conference, were the two indians who were sent to retrieve the captives, or information about them. One of the indians had wounded his leg, and that had hindered a quicker return. One of the Indians stated: “I heard When the Indians took that family, the English pursued them very quick, and the Indians were afraid of being Discovered and so they kill’d three of the English and the Boy they carried away.”

The Indians belonged to St. Francis, the Nowenicks and Scatacooks.

Philip sent another letter to the council at Boston, praying for some consideration: “on the Account of his Son John Dorrels being carried away Captive by the St Francois Indians, who at the same time carried away his Wife, Daughter & her Child, & destroyed much of his Substance, his son now being returned from Captivity almost naked.” This consideration was answered on 5 June 1729, with 10 pounds being allowed to clothe John.

John Durrell remained with his Indian captives for two to three years. He was a boy of 12, when he left his home, but came back a man of 15. In his captivity, he had grown fond of the Indian lifestyle, and preferred their mode of living over that of the Colonial lifestyle, for the rest of his life.

As the St. Francis Indians fled from the Durrell residence, they spent the night camped in the woods. When they left that camping area, they left behind the family Bible of the Baxters. This Bible was found in the woods the next spring. The family took the leaves out of it, dried them off, and had it rebound. To my understanding, it still exists today.

My Thoughts

I tried as I wove this article to leave my thoughts out of it, and just tell it like it’s known, dangling threads and all. But, I believe some of those dangling threads can be snipped to provide a better explanation of events. I will try to do that here.

What is the given name of Mrs. Durrell?

The name of Mrs. Durrell is never given in any records, she always being referred as Mrs. Durrell. There is a line, however, in the Arundel Town Records which may provide a clue to her identity. On 12 May 1720 Joshua Purington of Hampton Falls, NH, had laid out to him “one hundred accers of Land as he is Executor to his fathers Estate Deceased, only a highway excepted for Rode between his lot and his brother Dorriels lot.” The word “brother” in Puritan New England could refer to a real brother, half-brother, step-brother, or a brother-in-law. All of those possible options would have to be researched further. Looks like I have a fun job to do!

Why was Mrs. Durrell released after the first capture?

Before removing from Cape Porpoise (or soon after) in 1703, Philip and his wife welcomed another child into their home, Mary. I believe Mary is the reason Mrs. Durrell was freed by her captives the first time, she likely being pregnant, and the child Philip still nursing. But there is no mention of such in the records, other than the likely birth in 1703 of Mary at Cape Porpoise. [6]Possibly taken from the Baxter Family Bible. More on that Bible can be found later in this article. Perhaps, when the marauding Indians returned to their own town, another Indian took sympathy on Mrs. Durrell.

When did Philip know his wife, daughter and grand-daughter were killed?

The hardest thing I found proving was exactly when Philip knew that three of the four taken in the 1726 raid were killed. Since the Baxter Bible was recovered in the Spring of 1727 at the camp where the three were killed, we can reasonably assume that they found their remains at that time. This would also explain why in July 1727 Dummer questioned about the boy, but not the remainder of the family.

How were the three killed in 1726?

I have intentionally left out the details of how Mrs. Durrell and Mrs. Baxter were killed by the Indians, most especially how the baby was killed. In all three cases, their deaths were similar in manner to how others were dispatched by the Natives in similar circumstances, and the deaths were both horrible and cruel. The actual manner in how they were killed was relayed by Wahwa, chief of the Eastern Wabanaki, to Mr. Baxter, but it serves no purpose to repeat here.

What happened to Philip Durrell after the death of his wife?

Philip would remain in Arundel for the remainder of his life. While the attackers succeeded in setting fire to his cabin, they did not succeed in burning it down. By 1727, Philip and his son Philip, Jr., purchased additional acreage. In the 1730s, Philip began to divest his properties to his sons. In 1743, a petition was written for the establishment of a meeting house nearer to Arundel, which bore the signature of Philip, Jr. A petition of 1749, however, bears the sons signature without the Jr. It is likely that Philip Sr. died between those two dates.

Tragedies brings victims closer to each other

As happens often in tragedies, those involved become closer to other families who suffered through the same. After William Larrabee lost his first wife and three children in the 1703 attack, he remarried to Catherine Ford, and had five more children with her. One of those children, Stephen, born abt 1707 married Lydia Durrell, daughter of Philip Durrell. Stephen became known as Sergeant Larrabee, and was a well-known Indian fighter on the Maine frontier. See also Joseph Durrell below.

Joseph Durrells wife and family

My 8th great grandfather, Joseph Durrell, the eldest child of Philip, married abt 1710, Rebecca Adams. Rebecca was the daughter of Charles Adams, Jr. and Temperance Benmore, and granddaughter of Charles Adams, Sr. On 19 Jun 1694 in Durham, New Hampshire, his house was burned, and he, with 14 others, were killed by Indians at the Oyster River Massacre. That story, however, will have to be saved for another day.

Citations:   [ + ]

1. The area now known as Arundel, while sometimes referred to by that name, was a part of Kennebunkport until 1915, at which point it was set off and named North Kennebunkport. In 1957, following the publication of the Chronicles of Arundel by Kenneth Roberts, the town was renamed Arundel by the state legislature.
2. Samuel Penhallow. Penhallow’s Indian wars; a facsimile reprint of the first edition, printed in Boston in 1726, with the notes of earlier editors and additions from the original manuscript, p. 5. Boston, 1924.
3. You can read more about the attack on Stephen Harding and his family and their daring escape in Charles Bradburys, History of Kennebunk Port, from its First Discovery by Bartholomew Gosnold, p. 53-55. Kennebunk: James K. Remich, 1837.
4. Massachusetts Historical Society Collection, vol. vi. p. 103 as sourced by Charles Bradbury in his History of Kennebunk Port, from its First Discovery by Bartholomew Gosnold, p. 120. Kennebunk: James K. Remich, 1837.
5. John was the grandson of Rev. John Wheelwright of early Puritan Massachusetts. Rev. Wheelwright was a controversial reverend, who had sided with his sister-in-law, Mrs. Anne Hutchison in the Antinomian Controversy  of 1636-7. When both were banished from Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Hutchison’s headed south of Boston with some of their friends to found Rhode Island, and Wheelwright headed to the province of New Hampshire and helped found the town of Essex. Unfortunately, a couple of years later, Massachusetts Bay Colony founded the town of Hampton on land which was part of Wheelwright’s claim, thereby landing him in Massachusetts Bay Colony, where he was forbidden to preach. He then headed northeast and purchased land in what would become Wells, at a time when Thomas Gorges ruled the area as deputy governor of Maine. Therefore, by 1642, John Wheelwright would become the pastor of the church at Wells Maine, across the river from Porpus. In 1644, the Massachusetts Bay Colony lifted the banishment order for Rev. John Wheelwright.
6. Possibly taken from the Baxter Family Bible. More on that Bible can be found later in this article.

Marguerite, Illégitime, “Anonime” – Who Is She??? – Part 2

In the first part of this series I explained how I was making an effort to further my chances of matches through Ancestry DNA by expanding my Grénier lines downward from siblings of my Grénier ancestors. In conducting this research I came across an interesting marriage record between Francois Henn and Marguerite Illégitime Anonime. In the first post I provided the information I currently have on Marguerite and developed a plan of researching for the identification of an illegitimate child in French-Canadian parish records.

This second part of the series will now identify any illegitimate Marguerite’s listed in the parish records of Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie. I’ve stayed within the parish records in my search. Broadening my search outward to any illegitimate Marguerite in Canada at this time would be an unreasonable search in my opinion.

The known marriage record between Marguerite and Francois Henn does not provide an age of Marguerite. Therefore, I will also limit my search only to those Marguerite’s who were of reasonable marriageable age by 24 November 1835. My expectation is that this Marguerite was never married previously, and I believe this because the priest in this parish routinely would include a prior spouse in the subsequent marriage records, and there was no prior spouse mentioned for Marguerite.

Marguerite Héléne

Marguerite Héléne, illegitimate, was baptized in Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie on the 10th of April 1785. The baptism record states that at the time she was six months old. Her Godfather was Joseph Chamberlain and her Godmother was Rosalie Cyr. While it is possible this is the Marguerite found within the marriage record to Francois Henn it is a less likely match due to the age she would have been at the time of the marriage in 1835 (age 50). [1]“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch ...continue

Baptismal record for Marguerite Héléne
Baptismal record for Marguerite Héléne

Also listed the same day directly after Marguerite Héléne’s baptism was the burial record of Charles Casimire Cyr, age 15 yrs, the legitimate child of Joseph Cyr and Magdeleine Gaudet. [2]“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch ...continue

Burial Record for Charles Casimire Cyr
Burial Record for Charles Casimire Cyr

Marie Marguerite

Marie Marguerite, illegitimate, was baptized in Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie on 01 May 1785. Her Godfather was Maturin Gaguon and her Godmother was Marguerite Chabot. [3]“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch ...continue This is the same Marie Marguerite who would appear in the same Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie parish record recorded as a burial on 2 June 1785, one month after her birth, buried in the presence of Sylvain Dupuis. [4]“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch ...continue We can rule this illegitimate Marguerite out due to the fact she was deceased before the marriage record dated 24 November 1835.

Baptismal record for Marie Marguerite
Baptismal record for Marie Marguerite

Burial record for Marie Marguerite
Burial record for Marie Marguerite

Marguerite 1

Marguerite, illegitimate, was baptized in Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie on 26 July 1813. Her Godfather was Francois Fortin and her Godmother was Rose Suprenant. [5]“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch ...continue

Baptismal record for Marguerite 1
Baptismal record for Marguerite 1

Marguerite 2

Marguerite, illegitimate, was baptized in Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie on 6 March 1814. Her Godfather was Joseph Dupuis and her Godmother was Anne Landry. [6]“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch ...continue

Baptismal record for Marguerite 2
Baptismal record for Marguerite 2

Marguerite 3

Marguerite, illegitimate, was baptized in Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie on 2 January 1816 the very first entry for 1816. Her Godfather was Amable Cyr and her Godmother was Louise Guenet. [7]“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch ...continue

Baptismal record for Marguerite 3
Baptismal record for Marguerite 3

Marguerithe

Marguerite, illegitimate, was baptized in Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie on 09 June 1818. Her Godfather was Louis Gierney and her Godmother was Genevieve Marin. [8]“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch ...continue

Baptismal record for Marguerithe
Baptismal record for Marguerithe

An Analysis of these Marguerite’s

The parish records of Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie paint a limited picture of the lives of these Marguerite’s. Unfortunately, none of the surnames mentioned as Godparents appear as witnesses to the marriage of Francois Henn and Marguerite Illégitime Anonime in 1835. Other then the one death record listed for Marie Marguerite above, and the marriage record already found in part 1, there are no further identifiable records for any of these Marguerite’s listed as “illegitimate” in the parish records. The connection, if it can be made, between one of the Marguerite’s mentioned above, and the witnesses to the marriage of Francois and Marguerite, may appear more clear after a study of the Francois Henn(e) and his family connections. I’ll try and reconstruct the family of Francois Henne as well as that of his father, Christian (Chretien) Hoehn in part 3.

Citations:   [ + ]

1, 2. “Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-27999-2838-20?cc=1321742 : accessed 3 March 2016), L’Acadie > Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie > Index 1784-1876 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1784-1795 > image 168 of 521; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).
3. “Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-27999-3035-46?cc=1321742 : accessed 3 March 2016), L’Acadie > Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie > Index 1784-1876 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1784-1795 > image 170 of 521; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).
4. “Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-27999-3079-74?cc=1321742 : accessed 3 March 2016), L’Acadie > Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie > Index 1784-1876 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1784-1795 > image 171 of 521; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).
5. “Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-28000-8346-40?cc=1321742 : accessed 2 March 2016), L’Acadie > Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1813-1820 > image 36 of 403; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).
6. “Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-28000-8056-23?cc=1321742 : accessed 2 March 2016), L’Acadie > Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1813-1820 > image 58 of 403; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).
7. “Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-28000-7819-24?cc=1321742 : accessed 2 March 2016), L’Acadie > Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1813-1820 > image 151 of 403; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).
8. “Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-28000-8695-10?cc=1321742 : accessed 2 March 2016), L’Acadie > Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1813-1820 > image 289 of 403; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).

Marguerite, Illégitime, “Anonime” – Who Is She??? – Part 1

In an effort to further my chance of making matches through Ancestry DNA, over the past week I have been expanding my Grénier lines downward from siblings of my Grénier ancestors. I don’t like leaving anything to chance, so I would rather do the research myself, properly, then rely on somebody else having made the right connections for their own trees. French-Canadian researchers are blessed with the availability online of Parish Records from Quebec; but for researchers unfamiliar with their structured format and/or unable to interpret the old handwriting, these records can be confusing, especially with the quirky French numbering and naming. This confusion often leads beginning researchers to make improper connections because of their lack of understanding these records.

In conducting this research I came across an interesting marriage record for Francois Henn. Francois was the husband of one Susanne Grenier, child of Francois Peter Grénier, my 3rd great-grandfather. Susanne was the 3rd of six children born to Francois and his first wife Marie Louise Carrier. Francois would have an additional 14 children through his third wife, Catherine Boutin dite Cardinal. He and his son, Moses (my 2nd gr-grandfather) is the reason I call this side of the family my “rabbit branch.” [1]Moses would have 19 children by his two wives. It will be interesting as I research these collateral lines how many grandchildren each of these men ...continue Susanne was baptized 20 May 1810 in the Parish church of Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie, L’Acadie St. Jean, Québec, Canada, the day after her birth. At the age of 16, she would marry Francois at Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie on 08 Nov 1826. This marriage would be blessed with three children before Susanne would die on 2 Dec 1834 and be buried the following day in the parish cemetery of Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie.

Upon Susanne’s death, Francois would find himself with 2 young children and a baby. It’s not surprising then that he would marry a second time less then one year from the death of his first wife. It’s this marriage which has me intrigued beyond my normal “Yes! Another record found!”

Source of Marriage Record for Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–]

“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-28000-10724-86?cc=1321742 : accessed 13 February 2016), L’Acadie > Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1830-1836 > image 338 of 362 > Mariage 46, Francois Henn + Marguerite Anomine; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).

Transcription of Marriage Record for Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–]

M 46
Francois Henn + Marguerite Illégitim Anonime

Le vingt quatre Novembre mil huit ant trente
cinq, Apres la publication de trois bans de
marriage faite au prône de la messe
paroissiale dans cette Eplise Dimanche le
yuinize duprésent et les deux precedents
Eartre Francois Henn Journalier fils majeur
De Christien Henn et de Monique Celleses[?]
Pérect mére de cette Paraisse d’une part: et
Marguerite aussi de cette paroisse d’ autre parts
Ne s’étant découvert aucun empêchement
Au dit Mariage Naus prêtre soussigné avons
reçu leur mutuel consentement de marriage
et leur avons donné la bénédiction nuptiate
Selon les régres de notre mére la Ste Eglise
De Francois Dubé soussigné de Pierre
Ménard et du côte de l’ Epouse de Charles Dubé
Et de Jean Cardinal qui ainvi que lesépau
N’ont su signer.

Francois Dubé

Joseph Crevier, prêtre

Translation of Marriage Record for Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–]

Marriage 46, Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–], illegitimate

The 24 November 1835, after the publication of three banns, wedding made from the pulpit of the mass in this parish, [?] Sunday [?] of this and the two previous, [?] Francois Henn adult son of Christien Henn and Monique Celle [?] mother that appear one part: and Marguerite also of this parish on the other parts. Having found no impediment to the Marriage, we, the undersigned priest has received their mutual consent of wedding and gave them the blessing nuptials according to our mother the Holy Church. Francois Dubé undersigned Pierre Ménard and Côte wife of Charles Dubé and Jean Cardinal, who [?] that [?] are unable to sign.

Francois Dubé

Joseph Crevier, Priest

Extraction of Marriage Record for Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–]

Date: 24 Nov 1835
Location: Ste. Marguerite de Blairfindie Parish in L’Acadie St. Jean, Québec, Canada

Groom: Francois Henn
Father of Groom: Christien Henn
Mother of Groom: Monique Celle

Bride: Marguerite
Father of Bride:
Mother of Bride:
Note: Marguerite is listed as illegitimate, which would indicate her parents were unmarried at her birth, and remained unmarried.

Witnesses:

Francois Dubé (signed)
Pierre Ménard
[–?–] Côte , wife of Charles Dubé
Jean Cardinal
Note: Witnesses become doubly important considering the parents of Marguerite were not married. Did either one witness the marriage?

Analysis of Marriage Record for Francois Henn and Marguerite [–?–]

The marriage record for Francois and Marguerite is relatively easy to read, minus a couple of words which appear to be superfluous to the genealogical content. Within the marriage record itself there is no mention of Marguerite’s parents or last name… she is simply referred to as “Marguerite.” Alongside the record, however, appears the addition of two words. One can clearly be made out and that is Anonime which would appear to be a phonetic misspelling of Anonyme, the French word for anonymous. The other is less clear but appears to be illégitim a misspelling of illégitime. This is buttressed by looking at the index created for the records where it clearly states that Marguerite is illégitime. [2]“Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch ...continue

Marguerite illégitime
Clipping from index which clearly states that Marguerite was Illégitime

A person is declared illegitimate in Catholic Registers if at the time of baptism the child’s parents were not properly married by the Church. If the child’s parents were later married, the Illégitime declaration would go away, and the child would be declared as a legitimate child of those parents. We can use this then with Marguerite to reflect that it is apparent her parents never married, as she still retained the moniker of Illégitime at her marriage.

Plan of Approach:

I can see several methods by which I may approach solving this brick wall:

  1. Search, record and analyze each baptism record of an illegitimate Marguerite found in the Parish Registers for Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie during the years of 1800-1820.
  2. Attempt to reconstruct the life of each Marguerite to avoid an incorrect identification. I can use the marriage and death records to assist me with this task.
  3. Identify and research familial connections for each of the witnesses to the marriage of Francois and Marguerite.

Have I missed any? If you can think of another approach to this puzzle then please post a comment below!

In part 2 of this article I will take a look at the illegitimate baptisms of Marguerite’s at Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie and develop a starting list of possible matches for my Marguerite.

Citations:   [ + ]

1. Moses would have 19 children by his two wives. It will be interesting as I research these collateral lines how many grandchildren each of these men would eventually have.
2. “Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-27999-2970-2?cc=1321742 : accessed 16 February 2016), L’Acadie > Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie > Index 1784-1876 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1784-1795 > image 100 of 521; nos paroisses de Église Catholique, Quebec (Catholic Church parishes, Quebec).

My Great Grandfather Valentin Brönner

I came across an old photograph in my mother’s album of old family photographs which depicted my great-grandfather, Valentin Brönner, and several of his fellow soldiers posed in a unusual manner. Considering the time frame that this occurred (1918) and the fact that Germany would shortly surrender, moral should have been low on the German side, yet it was good to see grown men, in the hardest of times, improvising for the camera lens in a comedic fashion.

Much to my chagrin, however, on the family photograph my mother had written in ink a big X on Valentin to let me know that was him… so I posted a digital image of the photograph to the Genealogist Photo Restoration Group on Facebook and asked if somebody could rid the photograph of it’s small imperfections and my mothers markings. The Genealogist Photo Restoration Group is made up of a group of people who have a talent and zeal for restoring photographs, and they volunteer their time and effort for free, restoring other people’s heirlooms. The quality of the restoration always varies, and while some volunteers are just beginning, others are extremely talented and capable. While I had never posted to the group before, I thought that the topic of this photograph would catch people’s attention – and it did! Within minutes people began commenting and sharing their changes to the photograph I had posted. About an hour later, Ketan, a person I had never met, and who lived across the world from me, took to not only cleaning up the photograph, but accurately coloring it… The resulting image floored me and a lot of the other group members for the clarity and professionalism he applied to the coloring.

I’ve included Ketan’s adaption of our family heirloom in this post. I’m still amazed to see the generosity of time complete strangers will donate to help others in their family research… and I’m always amazed at the amount of volunteer groups that have popped up on Facebook over the past couple of years. Whether you specialize, or are just beginning to blossom your talents, participating in these types of groups can help you give forward to the genealogy community online.

P.S. My great-grandfather is the one holding the pitchfork!