Saturday, March 4, 2017

Ripples, Chapter Three - Pinsonneau Family

Pinsonneau FamilyAlso (Pinsonneault) (Pinsono) (Passino - USA)

François Pinsonneau dit Lafleur (1646-1731) (7th great-grandfather)
parents unknown
Birth 1646 • Saintogne, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, France
Death 26 JAN 1731 • La Prairie (Notre-Dame-de-La Prairie-de-la-Madeleine), Québec
Marriage 1673 to Anne LeBer (Leper) (1647-1732) (a King's Daughter - filles du roi)
• a soldier in the Saint-Ours Company of the Carignan-Salières Regiment, arrived on the ship La Justice 14 September 1665.

Jacques Pinsonneau dit Lafleur (1682-1773) (6th great-grandfather)
son of François Pinsonneau dit Lafleur (1646-1731) and Anne LeBer (1647-1732)
Birth 13 APR 1682 • Contrecoeur, Quebec, Canada
Death 22 MAR 1773 • La Prairie, Quebec, Canada
Marriage 1712 to Marie Elisabeth Bourassa (1695-1766)
• given the family connection to the fur trade it is likely he was a Coureurs des bois.

Joseph Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1733-1779) (5th great-grandfather)
son of Jacques Pinsonneau dit Lafleur (1682-1773) and Marie Elisabeth Bourassa (1695-1766)
Birth 10 APR 1733 • La Prairie, Quebec, Canada
Death AFTER 1779 • Longueuil, Quebec, Canada
Marriage 1761 to Marie Madeleine Duquet (1734-1791)
• 1763, April 29, Engagement of Joseph Pinsonneault dit Lafleur, as a voyageur, to Michel Laselle, a Montreal merchant. Notary Hadiesne G.

Gabriel Pinsonneau (1770-1807) (4th great-grandfather)
son of Joseph Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1733-1779) and Marie Madeleine Duquet (1734-1791)
Birth 5 AUG 1770 • La Prairie-de-la-Madeleine (St Philippe), Quebec, Canada
Death 19 AUG 1807 • La Prairie-de-la-Madeleine (Notre-Dame), Québec
Marriage 1802 to Marie-Louise Vielle (1780-1813)
• 1797, August 11, Engagement of Gabriel Pinsonneau, of La Prairie, to Jacques & François Lasette to go to Detroit. Notary Louis Chaboillez.

François Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1777-1824) (5th great-uncle)
son of son of Joseph Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1733-1779) and Marie Madeleine Duquet (1734-1791)
Birth ABT. 1777 • La Prairie, Québec, Canada
Death ABT. 1824
Marriage ABT1806-1811 to Euphrosine Brosseau (1778-_)
• 1797, August 28, Engagement of François Pinsonneau, of La Prairie, to Louis Buisson to go to Rivière des Illinois. Notary Louis Chaboillez. 
Joseph Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1763-1820) (5th great-uncle)
son of Joseph Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1733-1779) and Marie Madeleine Duquet (1734-1791)
Birth 1763 • La Prairie, Quebec, Canada
Death AFT. 1820
no known marriage
• 1799, Mar 3, McTavish, Frobisher and Co (NWC) hired Joseph Pinsonneau voyaguer de La Prairie to go to à Detroit, Notary Chaboillez.

Pierre Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1765-_) (5th great-uncle)
son of Joseph Pinsonneau (1733-1779) and Marie Madeleine Duquet (1734-1791)
Birth 29 JUN 1765 • La Prairie, Quebec, Canada
Death Unknown
Marriage 1790 to Anne-Felicite Bisaillon (1760-_)
• 1802, Dec 6, McTavish, Frobisher & Co. (NWC) hired Pierre Pinsonneau to make two voyages to Fort Kaministiquia and Portage de la Montagne, free of Nepigon, as a GOUVERNAIL. Notary Louis Chaboillez.

Gabriel Pinsonneau (1803-1877) (3rd great-grandfather) (aka: Gilbert Passino)
son of Gabriel Pinsonneau (1770-1807) and Marie-Louise Vielle (1780-1813)
Birth 3 MAR 1803 • La Prairie (Notre-Dame-de-La Prairie-de-la-Madeleine), Quebec
Death 16 DEC 1877 • Wilna, Jefferson Co., NY
Marriage 1824 to Marie Emélie (Mary) Meunier Lagassé (1808-1883)
• Emigrated to Vermont, USA (between 1825-1830), and may have trapped to supplement income.
• May have been in New Orleans about 1840, and he settled in New York before 1850.

1665, Two Carignan-Salières Soldiers and a Pair of Filles Du Roi

Lucy Passino (Pinsonneau), my 2nd great-grandmother, can trace her French-Canadian ancestry back to two Carignan-Salières soldiers and a pair of filles du roi (daughter's of the king).

We are descended from two French soldiers who arrived in New France (Canada) in 1665. They were part of the Carignan-Salières Regiment sent by King Louis XIV to protect early settlers from the Iroquois.

François Pinsonneau Dit Lafleur, born 1646 in France, died 26 Jan 1731 at (Notre-Dame) in La Prairie de la Madeleine), Québec.
His Saint-Ours Company arrived on the ship La Justice 14 September 1665.
He married Anne Leper (Leber), 1673.


Andre Migner (Meignier) Dit Lagacé, born 11 Apr 1641 at St Martin, Puy-de-Dome, Auvergne, France, died 20 Nov 1727 at Sainte-Anne de la Pocatière, Quebec.
His Berthier Company arrived on the ship Le Brézé 30 June 1665.
He married Jacquette Michel, 23 Oct. 1668

Both of these soldiers married "King's Daughters" (French: filles du roi), which refers to the approximately 800 young French women who immigrated to New France  between 1663 and 1673 as part of a program sponsored by Louis XIV of France.

Iroquois attack the people of New France

By the mid 1600's the French in New France had developed very strong commercial ties with the Algonquin and Huron Indians in the fur trade. So when the Iroquois waged war on the Algonquins and Hurons, as they had for many years, even before the Europeans arrived in North America, the French went to the aid of their commercial partners.

By doing so, the French earned the hatred of the Iroquois. Prodded on by the English, who also wanted the French out of North America, the Iroquois began raiding French villages and slaughtering the people.

When the Iroquois began raiding French villages and slaughtering the people, the French began to form military units under militia Captain Pierre Boucher. However, this wasn't enough so Governor Davaugour dispatched Pierre Boucher to France to seek help from King Louis XIV.

Brief History of the Carignan-Salières Regiment

The Carignan-Salières was formed from two existing regiments: the Balthasar Regiment, formed during the Thirty Years' War and becoming the Salières when Balthasar died in 1665, and the Carignan Regiment, formed in 1644 in Piedmont. Following the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, both regiments avoided disbandment by merging to form the Carignan-Salières Regiment.

In 1664, following the request of the Sovereign Council, the French finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert ordered the Carignan-Salières to reinforce the existing 100 man force in New France. 

This reinforcement was as much, if not more, motivated by mercantile ambitions [fur trade] than actual cries for help from New France. 

By now the regiment had been reduced to eight companies of about 400 troops; this was insufficient to meet King Louis XIV's demand for a large military force. The regiment's strength was increased to 20 companies and 1000 troops by absorbing 12 other French companies, including those from the Lallier, Chambellé, Poitou, and Broglio regiments. 

A popular erroneous story in New France was that the regiment had fought in the Austro-Turkish War of 1663-64; the story may have arisen from troops of the 12 new companies, many of whom may have fought in that war.

Four companies under Alexandre de Prouville joined the Carignan-Salières in New France from Martinique; de Prouville companies were attached to, but never formally integrated into, the Carignan-Salières.

Arrival in Nouvelle France (New France)

Seven ships were required to transport the c to New France. The first, Le Vieux Siméon, departed La Rochelle 19 April 1665, arriving at Quebec 1 July 1665.  On board were the companies of La Fouille, Froment, Chambly and Rougment. The Le Vieux Siméon was a Dutch ship chartered by a La Rochelle merchant, Pierre Gaigneur, who was well-experienced sailing between France and its colonies.

The next two ships to depart from France were La Paix and L’Aigle d’Or. The former carried the companies of La Colonelle, celles de Contrecoeur, Maximy, and Sorel, and on board the latter were de Salières, La Fredière, Grandfontaine and La Motte.

These both were royal ships of the king’s navy that departed from La Rochelle 13 May 1665, arriving at Quebec 18 August 1665.

The following two ships were also royal vessels: Le Saint Sébastian and Le Justice. Aboard Le Saint Sébastian, amongst these next seven companies being transported to New France, were the newly appointed Intendant of New France, Jean Talon, and the Governor Daniel de Rémy de Courcelles. 

Aboard the final two ships were the companies of Du Prat, Naurois, Laubia, Saint-Ours, Petit, La Varenne, Vernon. These last two ships to depart from France left La Rochelle 24 May 1665, arriving at Quebec 12 September 1665.

Four companies arrived with Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy on Le Brézé from the Antilles, arriving in New France 30 June 1665. The captains of these companies were La Durantaye (Chambellé), Berthier (L'Allier), La Brisardière (Orléans), Monteil (Poitou). Tracy had been in the West Indies as part of his royal commission to officially establish Louis XIV's rule of the French colonies, following the King's takeover of the French territories after the bankruptcy of the Company of 100 Associates.

The last ship to sail from France associated with the regiment was the Jardin de Hollande which carried the provisions and equipment for the troops. Depending on sources, there are some contradictions as to when ships arrived in New France and what companies were on board said ships.

Over the next two years, the Regiment established a series of forts along the Richelieu River and launched attacks on the Iroquois. By the end of this period, their task was accomplished. The countryside became peaceful for a time.

About 800 of these soldiers went back to France. The remaining 400 stayed. The officers were encouraged to stay with promises of fiefs (land containing many square miles). Their troops were promised concessions of large tracts of land in these same fiefs. Many of whom married the newly arrived filles du roi. They could farm and start a new life in the New World... this land called New France -- Canada!

Most French-Canadians, like Lucy's parents, can claim descent from one or more of these brave soldiers.

"Return from the Hunt" by Cornelius Krieghoff

Several of Lucy's ancestors arrived in New France during the mid 1630s, and some of their descendants became voyageurs or coureurs de bois, part of Canada's rich fur trade. 

Some of those voyageurs were the first Europeans to see Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Others helped explore the Mississippi River system and the far West.

Was Great Grandfather Gabriel Pinsonneau Loyal to the United States?

Gabriel Pinsonneau, my 4th great-grandfather, was born 5 AUG 1770 at La Prairie-de-la-Madeleine (St Philippe), Quebec, Canada.  He was the son of Joseph Pinsonneau (1733-1779) and Marie Madeleine Duquet (1734-1791).

Gabriel married Marie-Louise Vielle (1780-1813), my 4th great-grandmother, 8 Feb 1802 at La Prairie-de-la-Madeleine (Notre-Dame), Québec.

He is said to have died young (age of 37) on 19 AUG 1807 at La Prairie-de-la-Madeleine (Notre-Dame), Québec.  It is unclear if he was actually buried in La Prairie.

1797 Voyageur Contract for brothers Jacques and Francois Laselle

On 11 Aug 1797, Gabriel signed a voyageur contract to go to Michigan for a trading company owned by brothers Jacques and Francois Laselle:

Last name: PINSONEAU
Normalized family name: PINSONNEAULT
First Name: GABRIEL
Date of deed: 17970811 (11 Aug 1797)
Notary Location: MONTREAL
Length of commitment: 1
Parish: La Prairie
Standard name of the parish: La Prairie
destinations: strait  [The archives of Quebec clearly state DETROIT]
functions: MIDDLE
Company representative: JACQUES & FRANÇOIS LASSELLE
notary Name: Chaboillez Louis
wages: 500 livres; Advance when signing 24
Source archive BANQ, Clerk of notaries: M620 / 1199 00054

About Jacques Laselle, Interpreter and Fur Trader

Brother of Colonel Francis and Antoine Lasselle, Jacques was the most enterprising and shrewdest Indian trader of the three brothers, and became by far the wealthiest man in the Territory outside of Detroit. He always had in his employ a large number of Indians, half-breeds and Canadian Frenchmen. Some forty log houses were built by him on the north side of the River Raisin, about five miles above the then town of Frenchtown, now city of Monroe, on the land known as the Caldwell tract. 

As late as the year 1836 forty-five farms, mostly on the north and south banks of the River Raisin, were owned by Mrs. Major Caldwell, inherited from her father, Jacques Lasselle. At an early day quite a controversy arose between the settlers located on the Caldwell tract (it being quite a village) and those on the banks of the River Raisin (constituting now the city of Monroe) as to where the first Catholic church should be placed. A compromise was effected by locating it midway between the two on the Momonie and Hivon farm, two and a half miles above the city,

The Lasselles were natives of Montreal, allied and related to the celebrated explorer and adventurer, Robert De La Salle, prominent in all histories and sketches of the early explorers and adventurers in the northwest territory. The Lasselles made all their purchases at Montreal for stocking their trading-posts and stores with goods and merchandise for traffic with the Indians, and transported them by large pirogues and canoes, or small boats manned by four or six half-breeds and Frenchmen. 

On one of the return trips Mr. Jacques Lasselle accompanied his two daughters, Marie Antoinette and Julia, to Montreal, and placed them in the convent, where they remained a number of years and returned very attractive and accomplished young ladies. Julia married a Mr. Percy, died young and without issue. Marie Antoinette inherited the large fortune of her father, and married Major Caldwell, an officer of the British army. 

Source: Monroe County Michigan Biographies

Treaty of Greenville

During the signing of the Treaty of Greenville (Northwest of the Ohio River) August 3, 1795, A treaty of peace between the United States of America, and the tribes of Indians called the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawanees, Ottawas, Chippewas, Pattawatimas, Miamis, Eel Rivers, Weas, Kickapoos, Piankeshaws, and Kaskaskias.  Jacques Lasselle was a sworn interpreter.

Source : Treaty of Greenville August 3, 1795

Letter to Thomas Jefferson from Jacques Lasselle, 12 June 1806:

Son excellence le président 
des Etats Unis—Thomas Jefferson
Detroit June 12th. 1806.

From the time I have had the happiness of breathing the pure air of American liberty I have ardently wished to be useful to the government of a country which has become mine. I have employed every means in my power to be serviceable to it. General Wayne might have given a faithful testimony of it, had the fates allowed him to return into the bosom of his country, there to be crowned with the laurels his valor had merited. What brought me to the acquaintance of General Wayne was the capture of one of my uncles in an engagement, near a place called le pied des ravines on the Miami river. the army having returned to Fort Wayne, the General wrote me two letters to beg me to use my influence over the Indians to dispose them to make peace. I then abandoned my own interests to serve the U.S. and my trade with the different Indian nations being very extensive, I immediately directed my agents to act accordingly, and on my part I distributed a quantity of glass beads to invite them to make peace. I prevailed on a great number of them to go with me to Greenville. during the summer I was obliged to go twice from Greenville to Fort Defiance to dispose the rest of the Chawoinons in favor of the Americans, for without this nation the others could do nothing. Some Royalists and especially a party of Indians called thefive nations opposed themselves powerfully to our pacific propositions; but notwithstanding their efforts I prevailed, and the Chawoinons were soon followed by the others; they consented to return to Greenville to negociate with General Wayne. There I took care to maintain the Indians in their good dispositions, and I even served as Interpreter for the U.S. as you may have seen in the treaty. Peace being concluded, General Wayne proposed to me to accept the pay of the U.S. as Intendant pro tempore of the Indian Department, and offered me five dollars and five rations a day. My answer was that, if he could secure me that station for several years, I would abandon my trade to devote myself entirely to the service of the United States, but that I could not do it for a short time only. he then told me that, as he was going to the seat of Government, he would represent to the President the important services I had rendered the U.S. and that as he thought me, in every respect, qualified for the employment he had proposed, he would do all that lay in his power to procure it for me. But unfortunately death, by cutting short his days, at a place called la Presqu’ile on lake Erie, deprived him of the satisfaction of being useful to those who had been serviceable to him. After the death of General Wayne, which I bitterly lamented, seeing that the peace which he had concluded with the Indians appeared lasting, I again gave all my attention and cares to my trade which I have continued to this day. But at this moment the murmurs and discontentment of the Indians, awaken my attention, and it is on this account that I take the liberty of writing to you. Since the treaty of Greenville, the Government has purchased large tracts of Indian land about the Illinois at post St. Vincent, and even last year, at the rapids on the Miami a treaty was made with the Indians for a certain portion of their territory. Now the Indians complain that the purchase of these lands was not according to the treaty of Greenville, that those who sold them had no right to do it, and that even a great portion had been sold without the consent of their principal chiefs. this is the principal cause of their dissatisfaction, which has alarmed a great part of our citizens and, I might say, the whole country in general. I know, for having seen it myself, that thirteen nations from the upper Mississippi and that neighbourhood, have sent to the nations near Detroit, the Delawares, Chawoinons, and Hurons or Windots, a present of beads to invite them to join them, in order to unbury the tomahawk and strike upon the Americans. I saw these beads and gave notice of it to the Secretary of the Governor, he being then at the Federal City. These three nations answered the envoys of the thirteen nations, that they were sorry they could not accede to their proposition, that they prefered to live in peace, that the circumstances in which they were, did not permit them to make war, and that besides having entered into a treaty with the Americans, they would endeavor to maintain peace and harmony with them, and that in consequence of this they entreated them to bury again their tomahawk and not to speak of war, unless they proposed it themselves. since that, and particularly this spring, a great many rumors have been spread among the whites, which have alarmed many of the American posts, which have prepared themselves for a vigorous resistance in case of an attack from the Indians.

In the present State of things, I offer my services to the U.S. to be employed in the capacity of subintendant of the Indian Department for the territory of Michigan. Being perfectly acquainted with the Indians, with their customs and manners of proceeding, having it in my power to know, by several Chiefs who look upon me as their great friend, every thing that is going on among them, even in their most privy councils, having a perfect knowledge of their languages, which I speak with facility, and moreover having (during one and twenty years that I have traded with them), gained their esteem and confidence, I flatter myself that I could be of great service to the U.S. in this employment, and this is the only reason for which I venture to make the demand of it. In this I am not actuated by any sordid views of interest, for it is well known, that in the situation in which I find myself, I have no occasion for a public employment, but the ardent wish of serving my country, and the great satisfaction which a good citizen must find in becoming useful in the charge that is entrusted to him, are the motives which direct my steps. I did not wish to employ any of my friends to solicit your Excellency in my favor, as this employment can only be given to a man of capacity and of a good character. I can procure all the recommendations your Excellency may require.

If you condescend to honor me with an answer, I will consider it as a great favor, and you will confer on me an infinite obligation.
Sir, &c &c
(signed) Jacques Lasselle

Homage to the United States signed by Francois Laselle:

In 1815, following the end of the War of 1812, the brothers Jacques and Francois Lasselle paid homage to the United States when the Parish of St. Antoine of the Riviere Aux Raisins, in the Territory of Michigan sent its statement of Gratitude (above) toward the Government of the United States.

Where was Gabriel Pinsonneau in 1806?

After the American Revolution, everyone: French, British, Americans and numerous Indian tribes, were trying to control the fur trade in the Great Lakes region.

During the years leading up to the War of 1812 and during the conflict itself the Lasselle brothers had acted to support both sides -- British and American -- at one time or another.  In the end the Lasselles and their French and Indian alliances helped the United States win the war.

Was Gabriel, the voyageur, still in the Lasselle brothers' employee during Michigan Territorial Indian hostilities leading up to the war, and did he fight in any of those conflicts?  

I will probably never know the answer to this question, but his son, and namesake, Gabriel (1803-1877) my 3rd great grandfather, was the first Pinsonneau ancestor to emigrate from Canada to the United States just a few years later - about 1828.


The full crew of voyageurs engaged by Jacques and Francois Lasselle for the 1797 trip to Detroit included:


It is very likely that several of these men were related. The surnames GAGNIER, LEBER, SENECALE, DUPUIS and PINSONEAU can all be found in our ancestral tree.

Pierre Pinsonneau (5th great-uncle) a Nor'Wester goes to Portage de la Montagne

"Expedition at Kakabeka Falls" by Frances Anne Hopkins

In 1802, Pierre Pinsonneau, a Nor'Wester -- my 5th great-uncle -- signed a contract to make two voyages to the Northwest.  

His one year agreement species that he will go to Fort Kaministiquia, and to Portage de la Montagne (also known as Mountain Portage in English).

My guess is that the intent was to transport trade goods to the old French Fort Kaministiquia, and then to return to Montreal to obtain more trade goods to be taken over the Mountain Portage perhaps to the Rainy Lake Post.

Pierre's NWC contract:

Last Name: Pinsonneau
Last Name Standardized: PINSONNEAULT
Given Names: Pierre
Contract Date: 1802, Dec 6
Contract Place: Montréal
Length of Contract: 1
Overwintered: Yes
Parish: L’Acadie
Parish (Standardized): L’Acadie
Destinations: Nord Ouest, Fort Kaministiquia, Portage de la Montagne
Function Notes: Faire deux vogages du Fort Kaministiquia au Portage de la Montagne, exempt du Nepigon [Translation: Make two voyages: Fort Kaministiquia and Portage de la Montagne, free of Nepigon]
Merchant Company: MCTAVISH, FROBISHER & CO.
Company Representative: Mr. W. McGillivray
Notary Name: Chaboillez, Louis
Wages: 1300 LIVRES
Advance at Signing: 600 LIVRES
Contract Notes: l’équipement double - s’oblige de contribuer d’un pour cent sur ses gages pour le Fonds des Voyageurs - soixante-huit mots rayés - passer par Michilimakinac, s’il en est requis [Translation: double equipment - is obliged to contribute one percent of his wages for the Voyageurs Fund - sixty-eight words struck - through Michilimakinac, if required]
Archive Source: BANQ, Greffes de notaires
Microfilm Number: M620/1201

Contract points of interest…

"Kakabeka Falls" by Lucius R. O'Brien

Voyageurs used the Portage de la Montagne (Mountain Portage), a 1.3 km carry (portage), around Kakabeka Falls on Kaministiquia River as a major route to the northwest.

Nor'Westers were employees of the North West Company. The North West Company (NWC) was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal from 1779 to 1821.

"HBC Fort William", by William Armstrong, c. 1822

In 1807, the North West Company renamed Fort Kaministiquia as Fort William. After 1821, it was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post.

Pierre's contract also states, "free of Nipigon."  After the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the Lake Nipigon area passed into the hands of the Hudson's Bay Company. 

With great wealth at stake, tensions between the rival companies increased to the point where several armed skirmishes broke out, so it would be wise for a Nor"wester to avoid a post owned by the Hudson's Bay Company.  In 1821, the two rival companies were forced to merge.

Pierre's contract says his function is that of "gouvernail" (rudder man or steersman) in the canoe. Within each fur trade canoe, less-experienced voyageurs took on role of middle paddlers called "milieux", more experienced men took up the more high-paying positions of steersman or "gouvernail" and bowsman or "avant."

About Pierre Pinsonneau...

Pierre Pinsonneau (Pinsono), was born 29 Jun 1765 in La Prairie, Quebec, Canada. He died after 1826, at an unknown location.  He married Anne-Felicite Bisaillon on13 Jul 1790, in La Prairie, Quebec, Canada.  

Pierre was the son of Joseph Pinsonneau (1733-1779) and Marie Madeleine Duquet (1734-1791); and brother of Gabriel Pinsonneau (1770-1807), my 4th great-grandfather.

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