Sunday, November 28, 2010

A First Nation Mother, Catherine Anenotha and her son, Louis Durand

Catherine Anenotha, a Wendat or Huron woman,  is a mother in the Wills-Beauvais family. Here is a brief lineage starting with Elizabeth "Libby" Bissonnette
  • Elizabeth Bissonnette, 1880-1936, daughter of
  • Celena Beauvais, 1850-1942, daughter of
  • Solyme Beauvais 1821-1902, son of 
  • Genevieve Benoit 1799-?, daughter of 
  • Paul Benôit, 1751- 1831, son of
  • Marie Isabelle Dubord dit St.Chaume (Livernois) 1757-1832, daughter of
  • Marie Isabelle Lacoste dit Lanquedoc 1744-1825, daughter of
  • Marie Isabelle Durand, 1708-?, daughter of 
  • Louis Durand 1670-1740, son of
  • Katherine Anenotha 1649-1709, daughter of
  • Nicolas Anenotha (?-1659) and Jeanne Obrih8andet

Wyandot-Wendat-Huron woman and man
Catherine Anenontha (or Annennontak, Annennonta) was born approximately 1649 and from the village of St Madeleine in Conception parish in the land of the Huron - present day Ontario,Canada.  Her father was Nicolas Anenonta and her mother was Jeanne Obrih8andet, Christians probably converted by Jean de Brébeuf the Jesuit missionary. Catherine fled Georgian Bay area with her mother after her father was killed in raids by Iroquois in 1649. This was a difficult period for the Wyandot-Huron-Wendot peoples; they were essentially "wiped out" by the Iroquois nation. Catherine was probably sheltered by Ursuline nuns in Québec and survived to marry -- three times. She died 11 January 1709 in Batiscan, Québec. Her first marriage was to a Frenchman, Jean Durand, on the 16th of September 1662 in Québec. From this marriage she had three children, Marie Catherine, Ignace and Louis Durand.  Louis, the youngest is our ancestor.
Before a marriage and family, Louis Durand spent time as a "courier du bois" in present day Wisconsin and Minnesota. He was approximately seventeen years old when he made his first voyage.  Here is a link to Wisconsin French Connections and the story of the Life of Louis Durand.
An Ancestry Message Board of 2002 posted this entry about Catherine but the story has no references or citations. So until it can be verified, take it with a grain of salt!
"Jean Durand was born in 1640, the son of Louis and Madeleine Malvand at Doeuil-sur-le- Mignon, St. Onge, France. The contract he signed to come to Canada to serve as a colonist for three years, states he was about 20 years old. He was to receive passage to and from Canada, board and room and 75 livres per year, payable at the end of each year.
He sailed from LaRochelle on "Les Armes d Amsterdam" at the beginning of April, 1660 and arrived at Quebec the latter part of May. The three years of service was with Charles Gautier. His life, like all colonists during that period, was quite varied-- farming, fishing, lumbering, etc. It also included serving in the Militia, because during that time all colonists lived in constant fear of the Iroqouis indians. In fact, Pierre Pinelle, his close friend and neighbor at Cap-Rouge, was murdered by them. The gun was a necessary adjunct to the plow.  It was during this period that the King of France decided to send young girls to Canada to become the wives of the colonists. They were called the "King's Daughters". On October 3, 1661, Jean Durand was engaged to one of these, Marie Fayette. They were to be married at a later date so we nearly had a King's daughter for an ancestor, however, before the wedding date arrived, they changed their minds, cancelled their engagement on January 12, 1662, and on her third engagement she married Nicholas Huot on July 24, 1662. The next girl to capture Jean's heart was a young indian maiden who had been a refugee from the massacre of the Huron Missions by the Iroquois in 1648. This mission is known as Martyr's Shrine at Midland, Ontario. Her parents, Nicolas Arendanki and Jeanne Otri-ho-Andet lived at the parish mission of La Conception. Nicolas was one of the first Indian Chiefs to embrace the Christian religion and was well known to the missionaries Brebeuf Lalemant and Isaac Jogues and others who were martyred during the massacre. Nicolas was among the missing and no doubt suffered martyrdom like many others on that fateful day.  Jeanne, who had given birth to Catherine in 1648, was left destitute without any means of support. She, along with many others under the care of Father Chaumonot, fled to the Petun Indian Country, who were friends of the Hurons. This is described in great detail in the Jesuit Relations. The refugees that survived the hardships and starvation lived in exile until June 10, 1650, when some 300 christian hurons, with the help of the surviving missionaries and french soldiers, embarked in canoes for their long voyage to the Isle of Orleans. Those that survived the shipwrecks, hardships and accidents on the way arrived at the Isle of Orleans on July 23, 1650.  Catherine and her mother, who were among the survivors, were in poor health. During the summer of 1654, she was placed in the Ursuline convent of Quebec. Catherine remained under the tutelage of the nuns where she was taught not only the french language but also the french way of life. It was an objective of the Ursulines, the Jesuits, the Intendant, including the King, to educate the young indian maidens to eventually become suitable wives to the french colonists. Laval, the first bishop of Canada arrived june 16, 1659, and about two months later administered the sacrament of confirmation to a good number of young girls, french as well as indian. Catherine was among this group. The records show "confirmed at the Ursuline convent August 10, 1659 Catherine, Huron, age 10." It was only 3 years later, September 29, 1662, that Catherine and Jean Durand signed a contract to be married. The contract reads as follows: "In the presence of Guillaume Andouart, secretary to the Administrative council, established at Quebec, by the King, notary in New France and the undersigned witnesses, here present Jean Durand dit Lafortune, son of Louis Durand and Madeleine Malvande, his father and mother from the burg of Deuil near the village of St Jean d'Angely in the Xaintonges, party of the first part, and Catherine Huronne.... party of the second part, both in the presence of their relatives and friends here named, Charles Gautier, Lord of Bois Verdun, Denis Duquet, a resident of Quebec, Jean Guyon, Pierre Pinel, Jean Drouart on behalf of the first part. Martin Boutet, representing and taking place of the father of the said Catherine Huronne, Dame Magdeleine de Chauvigny, widow of the late Charles de Gruel, while living the Baron of Pelletierie, Miss Thienette Deslprey, widow of the late Guillaume Guilmot, Esq., Lord Duplessis de Querbodo, Laurent Dubocq resident of this country have recognized and ! witnessed.............. Three days later, September 26, they exchanged their marraige vows in the parish church of Quebec, known today as the Basilica. The authentic copy of this document reads as follows: In the year of our lord, one thousand six hundred and sixty two on the 26th day of September after engagement and publication of one bann (having given dispensation for the other two) read at mass the 24th of September and discovering no legitimate obstacle, I, Henri de Bernieres, priest of this parish, having questioned Jean Durand, son of Louis Durand and Madeleine Malvande, father and mother, from the parish of Doeuil, vicarage of Xaintes in Xaintonge, party of the first part, and Catherine Annenontak, Huron daughter of Nicolas Arendanki and Jeanne Otre-ho-Andet, father and mother, from the town of St. Madeleine in the Conception parish, in the land of the Hurons, party of the second part, and having received their mutual consent, I solemnly joined them in marriage and gave them the marriage blessing, in the presence of witnesses: Rev. Fathers' Lalemant, Superior, and Francois LeMercier of the company of Jesus Martin Boutet known as St Martin, Mr Jean Madry, etc. Signe! d H. de Bernieres"
Here are links to the three stories of First Nation mothers on this blog
Marie Aubois - mother of Rivets 
Marie Miteouamegoukoue - a mother of Mylotts
Catherine Anenotha - a mother of Wills-Bissonnette-Beauvais

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I am also a descendant of Catherine, I was wondering if you know where I can find her birth records as the Huron tribe was all but wiped out by the Iroquois around the time period of her birth. I have a copy but do not know where I can get a notarized copy that is tribal approved. Thank you very much for any possible help.