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James Carten

Early French and Indian family histories and documents from which the information came.

James Carten shares some facinating data Part 1

James Carten's information Part 2

Jim Carten's Information part 3 - JEAN RATTIER


In James Carten's document on Pierre Couc, there is a glaring error that was made by René Jetté, which was continued on by all researchers who used his work as resource.
James Carten shares some facinating data Part 1
Mite8ameg8k8e, my eight great-grandmother's parents are unknown. Jetté translated Carolus Pachirini as Carol, instead of Charles (translation of Latin Carolus), thereby making Sachem Charles Pachirini as Mite8ameg8k8e's mother, which in fact he was her Chief.

I have written an account of my eighth great-grandmother Marie Mite8ameg8ke
Couc at:

or look at Pierre Couc at :

Kitsié oleoneh for your time and effort in this regard.

Amitiés & Adio,

Respectfully submitted by Judyth Lutt

James Carten - Part 1

Pierre Couc dit Lafleur (Nicolas & Elisabeth Templair), Soldier, interpreter, b. 1627 Cognac, Saintes, Saintonge, d.00-04-1690 St. Francois-du-Lac (SFL),m.16-04-1657 Trois-Rivieres (TR), Marie Mite-amig-ke (Barthelemi & Carole Pachirini), b.~1631, bur.08-01-1699 TR.

Kids :
1. Jeanne, b.14-07-1657, d.23-, bur.24-10-1679 TR (killed).
2. Louis dit Montour, b.27-11-1659 TR, d.1709 (killed), m.07-01-1688 SFL, Jeanne Quiquetig-k-e.
3. M.Angelique, b.1662, m.1682, Francois Delpe/Dalpe.
4. Marguerite, b.01-, bp.05-06-1664 TR, 1st. m.1690 Pays d'en Haut (High Country), Jean Fafard (Francois & Marie Richard), d.prob.1701 Detroit or somewhere west of Quebec. 2nd.m.~1705, Detroit, Michel Masse.
5. Elisabeth/Isabelle dit Montour dit La Chenette dit Tichenet, iinterpreter, b.1667, 1st.m.1684 Joseph Germaneau, 2nd.m. Outoutagon, 3rd.m.Etienne de Vernard de Bourgmont. 4th.m.1729, Carundawana (Robert Hunter), d.1750 Harper's Ferry.
6. Madeleine, b.1669, m.1692 St. Ignace, Michillimakinac, Maurice Menard dit Lafontaine (Jacques & Catherine Forestier).
7. J.Baptiste, b.1673, m.1705 Lachine, Anne.Abenaki Indian. Ref : Jette, p.278; PRDH, Vol.4, p.219, 240; Madame montour en son Temps, by Simone Vincens; Catalogue des Immigrants.

My Note : Elisabeth remained in the Indian way of life, using their customs etc. she really was never married all those times, she kind of moved in and out at will. At that time elisabeth and Isabelle were interchangeable names.

Louis Montour, half-breed was stabbed by two Frenchmen, and died while they were preparing to smoke. Louis was trying to persuade them not to go to war against the Five Nations.

... Louis Thomas Chabert de Joncaire called Sononchez by the Iroquois, was an interpreter with the Indians for the Nouvelle France. When the Spanish Civil War was declared in 1702, Governor Vaudreuil chose Charles LeMoyne of Longueuil and Joncaire who had a certain attachment with the Indians to enforce his war politics - the neutrality of the Iroquois. ( I don't have the slightest idea what the Spanish Civil War had to do with the Iroquois !.). To reach his goal, Joncaire gave gifts to the Tsonnantouans and warned them not to break the treaty of 1701. The treaty treated the attacks of the western Indians who wanted to trade with Albany, N.Y. If the western Indians had right of way to trade with albany, there would be no war within the Five Nations, said Montour, half-breed agant for the stock of the N.Y. merchants. Obeying the order of Vaudreuil, Jonquaire took his disposition to eliminate Montour. During the summer of 1709 the two antagonists, each accompanied by a party of men met every fortnight in Iroquois country. Assimulating cordiality, Jonquaire invited Montour to smoke with him, offering him some tobacco. The Albany agent accepted and took out his knife to cut a portion. Joncaire remarked on the smallness of his knife and asked for a bigger one, under the pretext of changing it. Without any suspicion, Montour gave his knife to the Frenchman, who immediately threw it away while a member of the group hit Montour in the head with an axe that was hidden in his coat. ( Remember, Louis Couc dit Montour, son of Pierre Couc and Marie Mite.... jc.). Ref:Dictionnaire Biographique du Canada,Vol.2,p132.

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James Carten's info Part 2

Marguerite Couc, her husband, Jean Fafard had died probablly on 1701 in Detroit or somewheres west of Quebec. She then married Michel Masse ca.1705 in Detroit.

Coming back from a beaver expedition into Indian country, the Ottawa's in 1692. They returned in the middle of August and arrived at Montreal, 180 canoes filled with Ottawa's, Huron's and 250 Voyageurs [coureur des bois], and filled also with one million pounds of fur. ( Do you actually believe a million pounds? Not me, even if it is a value of a million pounds, it still is hard to swallow.)

... Germano, who married Isabelle, originally baptized Elisabeth, dit Montour, and Louis Montour, Germano's brother-in-law were returning from their expedition, found St. Francois in mourning. The seigneurie had lost it's Seigneur: Jean Crevier, who had been kidnapped several days earlier, while he was harvesting with 15 or 16 other men. the Iroquois interrupted them, killed someone, and captured a soldier and Crevier. Crevier will not come back: at the end of th month in Albany, the Iroquois prepare rto burn him after pulling out all of his fingernails, but Peter Schuyler, commander of the fort generously bought him to save him from the fire, but the man will not survuve the tortures. He was not a sympathathic person, Crevier, to enrich himself; how many Indians did he kill with alcohol? and was he not found guilty as an accomplice in the murder of Jeanne Couc? Nobody was really disturbed by the way he was treated or died. After that the Couc's returned to Trois-Rivieres. Marie Couc, the Delpe's ( her daughter and son-in-law), and without a doubt Jean-baptiste and Louis will take refuge at the solid fortifications of Trois-rivieres. Ref: Madame Montour en son Temps, by Simone Vincens, p.121,122.

Elisabeth Couc, (La Chenette, Techenet, Montour), daughter of Pierre Couc dit Lafleur and of Marie Miteouagamegoukoue. we do not know for sure the exact first name of this woman. If it is Elisabeth, which we believe, she is born in Trois-Rivieres in 1667. Some pretend that she married once in the church, but there yet to be found a document on this and her husband remains unknown. ( I have found later on that she married Joseph Germano, 30-04-1684 in Sorel. Her name may be confused with Isabelle, which was a common variant for Elisabeth at that time. jc.). Her subsequent marriages were probably contracted under the Indian custom, an we do not have the exact dates. She died ca.1750 probably near Harris's Ferry, (Harrisburg), Pa.

The information concerning the childhood of Elisabeth Couc are incertain and contradictory. Around 1695, she was captured by a band of Iroquois warriors, but we do not know the exact area where the incident took place. As the story goes she was only about ten years old and was kidnapped by the hostile marauders from the French; another story has it that she would already been married and would have lived among the English, and her enemies were the Iroquois who were friendly to the French. Bought by her brother-in-law, Maurice Menard,she accompanied him to Michillimakinac where he eas an interpreter. During her stay here she apparently got into a conflict with Cadillac, the commandant, who affirmed later on to hae "sent her under escort to Chevalier de Calliere, who sent her to Quebec, to then be passed on to France", but she was delivered by Outoutagan who brought her to Michillimackinac and married her.

We are not obliged to believe the assertation of Cadillac to make known that "she was maintained by more than a hundred men", her attitude toward marriage seems somewhat detached. In 1704, she lived in Detroit and was known as Madame La Chenette or Madame Techenet. When, at the end of 1706, Etienne de Veniard de Bourgmont, an ex-commandant by interim at Detroit, deserted the post to go and live in the woods, she left with him and, a testified, she had spent 'During a long time a scandalous life with the said sieur Bourgmont".

Around the same time, her brother, Louis Couc dit Montour, left Detroit to go to New York, where the government hired him to guide the Indians to the west of Albany to vision a fur trading deal, and she joined up with him in the English colony. After the death of her brother in 1709, madame Montour ( a name she now gave herself) was employed by the government to serve as an interpreter and become the wife of a chief Onneiout, Carundawana, ( Robert Hunter ), who was killed in 1729 while making up part of a band of Indian warriors in South Carolina.

In 1727, she and her husband had assisted at an Indian assembly in Philadalphia. As far as we know, she spent the rest of her life in Pennsylvania where they confided to her a few official tasks and where she enjoyed a certain notoriety. She was considered as a Frenchman and they said that she had lived among the Miamis and that she "had a sister married to a man of that nation". The count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, who met her in 1742, describee her as a Frenchman, "indianized" of quebec. The story of her childhood, told by William Marshe, who met her in Lancaster in 1744, is a mixture of reality and of fiction; he had understood that her father was a governor in Quebec.

Around the years 1737 - 1742, Madame Montour lived around Williamsport, Penn. and in 1745, at the place now called Sunbury. The following year, her son Andrew went to Ohio; he left Logstown ( Ambridge, penn.) " in the month of March, while his mother, blind, was on a horse, while he guided by walking in front of them for the whole trip". From some testimony, she lived with him near Harris' Ferry in October 1748, but it seems that she died a short time after.

Andrew, also known as Henry, worked for the Indian affairs for the account of Pennsylvania and Virginia. There is mention of another son, Louis; har daughters, named French marguerite, in fact her niece, and also Catherine, the daughter of the latter; they lived with her for a certain amount of time. a younger brother, Jean, traded in albany in 1725; his presence in Pennsylvania is noted from 1728 - 1734. Ref: Dictionnaire Biographique du Canada, Vol.2, p.157,158.

Marie Riviere, wife of Jean Rattier who was implicated in the murder of the Couc girl and later became the royal executioner in Quebec to save his hide from the gallows. Anyway, they were married the 16-02-1672 in Trois-Rivieres. Marie Riviere and her daughter Charlotte went to court for selling stolen goods, and were found guilty, the 15-07-1695, and were condemned to be whipped in the public place by the executioner, Jean Rattier, the husband of Marie and the father of Charlotte. (Inventaire d'une Collection, file 251, sect.5). This must have been a funny and amusing spectacle.

Ref: Les Filles du Roi by Silvio Dumas, p.327

14-10-1673 (Mtl), by Adhemar dit Saint-Martin, A. Grant o fland situated at St. François, île St.Joseph; by Crevier, seigneur of St.François, to Pierre Couc dit Lafleur, of Coignac. Doc. 16731014PA011091. CNQ.

26-01-1676 (Mtl), by Adhémar dit Saint-Martin, A.. Grant of land situated at St.François, in the island known as St.Joseph; by Jean Crevier, seigneur of St.François, to Louis Couc.Doc.16760126PA011281 CNQ.

19-09-1674 (Mtl), by Adhémar dit Saint-Martin, A.. Grant of land situated on the Rivière Batiscan; by the Compagnie de Jésus, to Pierre Couc, of St.François. Doc.16740919PA011228.

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Jim Carten's Information part 3 of 3


Before I begin, the phrase "maître des hautes, uvres", is a very, very technical way of describing the profession..if you please..of a royal executioner. His job took in all forms of corporal punishment ranging from flogging to putting hanged folks heads on poles. Naturally as you will see in the text, he and his family were about as popular as a freshly skunk-sprayed dog.

Jean Rattier, the fourth`official "maître des hautes ,uvres", in Canada, was originally from St-Jean-d'Angély, in the province of Saintonge. Today this town is the headquarters for the area of Charente-Maritimes.Rattier had been in Canada for quite some time when, in 1680 was offered the job of executioner, or "bourreau".

Effectively in 1666 we find him at Trois-Rivières, where hewas working for Mr. Jean godefroy de tonnancour as a domestic.. And, the 06 Frb.1672, probably atill working as a servant for Mr. Godefroy,, Jean Rattier ,was then about 20 years old, and married a girl of 26, from the burg of Cause, not far from Sainctes, in the province of Saintonge, Marie Rivière. Of this union were boorn 5 kids, Marie-Marguerite, 29-05-1672, J.Baptiste, 18-12-1673, Jean, 18-10-1675, d. two days later, Marie-Charlotte, 03-02-1677, and finally pierre-Jean, future executioner, himself, b.09-07-1680.

His work as a servant was probably not enough to make ends meet for his small family, and the 26-01-1672 he rents from Laurent Philippe dit Lafontaine l'Outaouais, farmland at St. Francois-du-Lac, a small locality situated about 16 miles from Nicolet.. Lafontaine had received this land by a grant from the seigneur of St. Francois-du-Lac, Jean Crevier, the 03-10-1673. This domicialary change proved fatal for Jean Rattier, because during his stay at St-Francois-du-Lac, he was implicated in a fught which resulted in his loss.

Around the 23-10-1679, Jean Rattier was mixed up in a fight of which Jean Crevier, seigneur of the fief of St-Francois-du-Lac was the cause, declared Pierre Gilbert dit La Chasse, another servant. So, our future hangman, in the company of Jean Crevier, Jacques Dupuy dit La Garenne, Pierre Gilbert dit La Chasse, Jacques Julien, Noël Laurence, Jacques Brunet and Pierre Gareau dit Saintonge, had a quarrel. During the argument, a girl of 20 years of age of St. François-du-Lac, Jeanne couc dit Lafleur was mortally wounded, whileher father Pierre Couc was beat up. The death of Jeanne Couc was attributed to Jean Rattier.

Rattier went through a first hearing in Trois-Rivières, which ended at the end of October, 1679, by his condemnation by the regional judge "to be brought from St. François to a place designated by the seigneur at the public place, and tied to the gallows to be hung and t obe exposed during 24 hours; and a fine of 25 livres t obe paid to the king; 200 livres to be paid to the civil party, and to be delivered to the executioner and be submitted 'to the ordinary question' t oreveal the authors and accomplices of the murder of Jeanne Couc". (The "question" went something like this: If they thought, under reasonable doubt that a person was guilty of a crime, and the person would not admit the crime, the executioner would torture the person until he finally did admit it). MY NOTE: Not enough that they hung the guy, let him be aired for 24 hours, but stick him with a couple of fines..question...what if he did not feel up to paying those fines that day? Immediately after the lecture oof the sentence, Rattier declared that hewanted to appeal t oa higher court, the Conseil Sovereign of the new France. The King`s procurator did over the trial of the presumed merderer of Jeanne Couc. And, the 31-121680, after many meetings, new info by the witnesses to find him guilty the conseil sovereign of the New France declared "Jean Rattier dit Du Buisson duly touched and convinced to have killed Jeanne Couc, daughter of Pierre couc, living in the place of the said St-François, understood the great difficulty to bring the said Rattier to the place of St. François, condemned t obe taken and brought from the prison and brought by the hangman to the public market place in Lower Town (Québec) to be hung and strangled on the gallows, which will be set up for this event, and a fine of 300 livres to Pierre Couc and 100 livres to the king etc". (for those of you familiar with Québec, the public place is found down below the Château Frontenac, on the cobblestone square in front of the old church, N.D.-des-Victoires). But, as the hangman had died, and nobody had yet replaced him, he was given the choice to either wait in prison until they found an executioner. Or accept immediately the office of executioner himself, an dsee the prison doors open up. Rattier seemed somewhat in a hurry t oacceot his new position (no pun intended), an dhe promised to fill out the required functions.

Jean Rattier then moved his small family and set up with them in a house situated outside of the city walls, on the Grande-Allée. It is here that his torments began, as the québecois took pleasure in approaching his residance, and then, they would insult his wife, his oldest daughter Marguerite and Jean himself. The Conseil Sovereign, at the demand of Jean Rattier, by means of the town crier and posted in public places and crossroads an interdiction "to all persons t ogo to the Rattier house and to insult him personally, or his wife and childen, under the penality of corporal punishment".

Thanks to that, he could live in peace for awhile, or at least until he married off his daughter Marguerite to a soldier oof the company of Mr. de Rompré. Gabriel mont villain dit Doubleterie, the 24-02-1688.

But the executioner rattier was not yet out of hot water.He was obliged, the 05-07-1695, around 8:00 AM, to put his own wife, Marie Rivière, in the stocks. She was found guilty of theft, in the companyof her daughter Marie-Charlotte and a soldir of the company of Maupeou, René Arnault dit la Salle, at the home of the widows Gourdeau, Beaulieu and Pellerin St. amant, a certain number of pots, which she and her daughter tried later to sell to passerbys. Unluckily, the daughter of the widow Beaulieu recognized her mother`s pots, and got ahold of the constable who quickly arrested the two vendors. The prevost judge of québec comdemned firstly, Marie rivière t obe whipped, and the nher daughter to be shut in a room in the general hospital for 15 days., and René Arnault dit la Salle to be put in prison. But they appealled to the Conseil Sovereign ann dre-established the facts.: personally Marie Rivière and her daughter, did not steal any pots, they only tried to sell them to the passersby, according to their testimony, the pots were given to them by René Arnault, with whom they had a deal whereas they would give him a percentage of their sales. According to the ladies, he never told them that he had stolen them. But, René Arnault, upon hearing this, offered unsuccessfully, to marry Marie-Charlotte Rattier and to team up with her father as executioner., declared also that he had never seen them, never talked to them, and added that they got the pots from a certain La Franchise, who, had since deserted. So, Marie Rivière was found guilty of the resale of stolen goods, and not theft, and, the 05-07-1695, Québecers assisted at a strange and amusing spectacle, of a husband putting his wife in the stocks. And, from 8:00 to 9:00 AM, the hangman`s wife, having a sign on her stomach on which was written RECELEUSE or FENCE in English, to put up with jeers, being spit upon, eggs, and rotten vegetables by the people going by. As for her two accomplices, Marie-Charlotte and René Arnault dit la Salle, the first one was reprimanded by the conseillers while the second, the Conseil having accepted his explications, let him free, under the conditions t oremain at the disposition of the Justice just in case the La Franchise feloow showed up.

The following year, Marie-Charlotte married a certain Daniel Boit, of the Bordeaux region of France.

Jean Rattier coninued to exercise his ignominious trade without any otherr trouble, spending his time between the royal prison of Québec and the public places, more often in québec, but occasionally in montréal, where he applied the corporal punishment to th criminels. He died in the Hôtel-dieu-de-québec after a 21 day sickness, the 21-05-1703 at the age of about 56.

Now..the Couc`s. From this family, Pierre couc dit Lafleur and his wife Marie Mité-amig-k-e, we have the Montour line. The two best known were louis, who was killed by the gang of Chabert de Joncaire around Albany, N.Y. and his sister, Elisabeth "La Chenette" Montour. Both were translators and worked in the N.Y and Pennsylvania in conjunction with the fur trade. Elisabeth died, blind, at Harper`s ferry. Ref: Cahiers d'Histoire, No.18, Le Bourreau deCanada sous le regime française, p.65-68.

Jim Carten 

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