|Home||Marie Marguerie 1620* - 1700||Tree|
|Marie Marguerie in her youth in Rouen|
Based on present evidence, 140,000 people in the United States, and an even larger number in Canada, are direct matrilineal descendants of Marie Marguerie, the founder of the 'Marie W' haplotype lineage in the Americas. Recently, some of her descendants found each other through mitochondrial DNA testing, and have been able to identify Marie as their common matrilineal ancestor.
|Rouen at the time of Marie's childhood|
Marie has been identified as one of 262 Filles a Marier or "marriageable girls" that emigrated to New France between 1634 and 1663. They were recruited by religious groups or reputable persons who had to guarantee their good conduct. Most were from rural peasant families. Unlike the later Filles du Roi who emigrated after 1663, the Filles a Marier were not recruited by the state; did not receive a dowry from the King; and were promised nothing but the possibility of a better life.
However Marie's story was not that of a typical Filles a Marier, and aside from the date of her migration to Canada, she probably does not fit into this category. Her father was a man of substance, a bourgeoisie, an oar maker and maritime merchant in Rouen. Given the fates of his children, it is likely her father was a member of the Compagnie des Marchands de Rouen et de Saint-Malo, formed by Samuel Champlain in 1614 to colonize Quebec and corner the American fur trade. Her brother Francois had already gone to Canada and his exploits were legendary. He was regarded by the First Nations as the European who had most thoroughly learned their language and customs - they called him the 'double man' - he could pass as European or Indigenous.
There is no record of Francois Marguerie in Quebec before 1636, but some believe he was present as early as 1626, and was one of the seven that took refuge among the Algonquin after the destruction of Champlain's first colony by the English privateers Kirke. In any case Francois emerges firmly into history on 28 March 1636 when he was encountered by Jesuit missionaries among the Hurons as part of a party of four Algonquins led by the legendary chief Tessouat. He was able to ease the tensions that had built up between the straight-backed Jesuits and the Hurons, and guided them in establishing further missions among the Indians.
In 1637 Francois settled at Jacques Hertel's trading post at Trois-Rivieres. He must have interested Hertel in marrying his sister Marie, for he arranged for her to sail - at the age of 18 - from Rouen to New France in the summer of 1639. The passage, made in the late spring, was difficult - one tenth of all passengers en route to New France died on the Atlantic.
Perhaps, like the other Filles a Marier, her marriage to Hertel was not prearranged. She had her choice of husbands. But in 1640 Trois-Rivieres was still a raw place, with only a handful of inhabitants, less than half of them European, including rude French trappers, many living with indigenous wives with mixed children, and a handful of government officials and military officers.
The place had been a winter camp for French fur traders since before 1615, when the first Christian mission was established there. After the French recovery of New France from the British, Champlain's strategic plan was to centralize the fur trade at Quebec, but establish a second fortified place 40 miles upriver at Trois-Rivieres to prevent traders from selling their furs to the British rather than Richelieu's company. Jacques Hertel in 1634, followed a year later by the Godefroy brothers, became the first permanent settlers and farmers at Trois-Rivieres. There was competition and animosity between the traders at Quebec and Trois-Rivieres - the traders of the latter wearing white scarves to differentiate themselves from the red-scarfed traders of Quebec. Over the next two years Jesuit missionaries, soldiers, and an official governor arrived to bring order.
Then came the interpreters and their families who were vital to the fur trade: Francois Marguerie and Jean Nicolet; and Christophe Crevier, the baker from Rouen who arrived from Rouen in 1639, perhaps on the same ship as Marie.
It would seem that shortly after her arrival, Marie's situation became complicated. In February 1641 her brother Francois Marguerie and Thomas Godefroy were captured by Iroquois while hunting near Trois-Rivieres. The Iroquois planned a great assault the following summer against the Algonquins and Hurons, enemies of the Iroquois and allies of the French. Francois and Thomas were to serve as pawns in negotiations with the French. The objective was to obtain additional guns from the French and make a separate peace with them so the Iroquois would be free to attack their enemies.
|Canoes at Trois-Rivieres|
After the governor arrived and talks began, it became clear that the French were unwilling to either remain neutral in a war between the Iroquois and the Huron or provide the Iroquois with guns. In response the Iroquois attacked the governor's boat with a well-aimed fusillade from their guns. An answering broadside from the heavy cannon on the governor's boat put the Iroquois to flight, and the immediate threat to Trois-Rivieres receded.
The danger averted for the present, on 23 August 1641 Marie Marguerie signed a contract to marry Jacques Hertel. Marie's husband, Jacques Hertel, was another legendary figure in early Canadian history. The 'Bible' of early Canadian genealogy, Dictionnnaire Geneaologique des Familles Canadiennes (Abbe Cyprien Tanguay, 1871) gives his birth date as 1630. But other accounts say he arrived in New France as early as 1615, making a birth in 1590-1595 more likely. He became a trapper and woodsman, familiar with the customs and languages of the First Nations.
An article published in 1836 in the newspaper Schenectady Reflector in New York states that he lived among the Hurons near Schenectady in the early 1620's and fathered two daughters there:
The last aboriginal proprietor of Van Slyck's island, was Shononsise, an Oron chief who had taken to wife the daughter of a French trader by the name of Jacques Hertel. This Hertel had take up his abode in Schenectady as early as 1623, or '4. Shononsise had by his French wife two beautiful daughters, "Otstock" and 'Kanudesha'. The first named and oldest, was of an imperious temper, the last of a mild and sweet temper; yet both were worthy women. Shononsise and his family resided during the summer seasons on the island; and there his remains lie buried.The authenticity of this account, published over 200 years after the fact, has been questioned. However it is very likely that Jacques fathered these or other children among the First Nations during the many years he spent among them.
The colony was restored to France by treaty in May 1632. Samuel Champlain returned with an expedition of soldiers, tradesman, and Jesuit missionaries to resettle Quebec under the effective control of Jesuits reporting to Cardinal Richelieu in May 1633. Hertel's fortitude in undermining British rule was rewarded on 16 December 1833. Richelieu's Company of the Hundred Associates in Paris deeded him 200 acres at Trois-Rivieres.
So Marie married a man that was a legend in his own time. Within a year she gave him a son, who was named Francois after Marie's brother. It seems that Jacques raised Francois in the languages and ways of the Indians, for Francois' fame in this regard would surpass even that of his father, being known to history as the 'Hero of Trois-Rivieres'. Meanwhile Francois Marguerie replaced Jacques Hertel as the official translator for the trading post in 1642. A daughter, Madeleine, was born to Marie and Jacques on 2 September 1645. Jacques was named the agent for the Hundred Associates in Trois-Rivieres in 1647.
Things seemed to be going well for Marie and her family. Then Francois Marguerie drowned when his canoe overturned in the Saint Lawrence River off Trois-Rivieres on 23 May 1648. Marie and Jacques had another daughter, Marguerite, on 26 August 1649. Marie endured another tragedy when Jacques died in an accident of an unknown nature on 10 August 1651.
Marie was left alone with a son of nine years and two infant daughters, in a primitive wilderness, in a remote settlement with just a handful of huts. It was perhaps no accident that an awful war would break out with the Iroquois in the spring after Jacques' death, leading to the near-destruction of the settlement.
The Iroquois attacked the town on 6 March 1652 but were repulsed by the French's Huron allies. On 10 March the Iroquois killed Buteux north of the town, and two Huron on 8 June. On 19 August they attacked again, this time killing the governor Guillaume Guillemot and 22 other settlers. The hostilities lead to the collapse of the beaver pelt trade. The defense of Trois-Rivieres now was in the hands of a few friendly Indians employed to fend off any final Iroquois raid.
Sometime in this tumultuous year Marie married Quentin Moral, a King's lieutenant. Quentin could only have suffered in comparison to Marie's first husband. But he was young, he was ambitious, he was available - he must have been the best choice in the traumatized settlement. Quentin would go on to become a quarrelsome lawyer, and finally a civil and criminal judge.
In October the Huron reported that the remnants of the April deserters had shown up in Gaspe after a six-month trek. Several had died, and they had resorted to cannibalism. In November a vessel laden with the year's take of beaver pelts left for France, only to be taken by English privateers in the Saint Lawrence River. But that same month, with the colony facing extinction, a boat arrived at Montreal with 95 new settlers - the "Grand Recrue de 1653". The statistics of this group show the dangers of life in the colony. Of the 153 men who signed contracts to go to Canada, 50 did not show up for boarding; eight died on the transatlantic voyage; 24 were killed by Iroquois; and five in accidents. Nine left no offspring. But the 49 that left offspring were the basis for the survival of New France. The population would increase substantially each year from then on.
The Iroquois War was over and more stable times were ahead. Quentin turned to the matter at hand. Marie had inherited from her first husband 200 acres of land at Trois-Rivieres. Quentin's objective seemed primarily to be to obtain title to this land and become a seigneur. In French law a seigneur was a kind of lord who was a vassal of the King. The soil of the seigneur belonged to him, but the King held final title, mineral rights, and ownership of all oak trees on the property. In contrast the peasant settlers could only rent the land and were tenant farmers of the seigneurs.
|New Construction at Trois-Rivieres|
Quentin made the transition from an officer of the king to that of a civil and criminal lawyer - perhaps not difficult, since lawyers were not allowed to emigrate to New France. And the inhabitants of Trois-Rivieres, when not fighting off Indian attacks, were a quarrelsome bunch. Between 1655 and 1662 at the "Prévôté de Trois-Rivieres" there were 907 cases tried for a population of about 700 for the whole area! The "Prévoté" was not only used to dispense criminal justice and adjudicate disputes, it also served as a collection agency under the settlement's barter economy.
Two thirds of the cases were for debt settlement and one sixth were to settle inheritance. Only 20 were for verbal or physical violence. Quentin Moral was involved in 29 cases, reflecting not only his role as an attorney but also his disputatious nature and perhaps his duties as an officer of the King. In one case, Moral was being sued for having shot and killed other citizens' wandering pigs, probably part of his duties. A few cases later, Moral sued Jacques Aubuchon, master carpenter and the most disputatious man in the colony (44 cases), because the Aubuchon intentionally shot Moral's pig, (perhaps as payback?). One wonders if all of these pig lawsuits were in any way related to the family's ownership of the L'île aux Cochons...
Childhood was brief in the 17th Century. On 26 August 1657, at age 15, Francois enlisted in the local militia for the defense of Trois-Rivieres. Marie was meanwhile ensuring that her daughters married well, as befitted what she saw as their station in life. Marie Madeleine Hertel was betrothed to master surgeon Louis Pinard in 1658 when she was 15.
|Prisoner of the Iroquois|
In the first letter he informs the Jesuits "...My Father, I pray you, bless the hand that writes to you, which has had one finger burnt in a Calumet as reparation to the Majesty of God, whom I have offended. The other hand has a thumb cut off, but do not tell my poor Mother..." A second letter is addressed to his mother directly: "...I well know my capture must have greatly afflicted you. I ask your forgiveness for having disobeyed you.... Your prayers, and Monsieur de St. Quentin's and my sisters', have restored me to life. I hope to see you again before Winter...." He signs the letter "Your poor FANCHON".
One wonders in what way Marie's "Fanchon" disobeyed her. Did he go hunting at a dangerous time or in place? Had she warned or prohibited him from doing it? This anguish from a son sorry for having disobeyed his mother is the closest we can feel to Marie in the historical documents. The entire account from the Relations of the Jesuits describes the terrible tortures Francois suffered and witnessed. Eventually, a Christian Huron Chief managed to buy 20 French prisoners from the Iroquois and began their repatriation in Montreal in October 1661.
|The Removal of the Finger|
In 1664 Francois Hertel married and seemed to be settling down, being named the Iroquois translator for the trading post. But his life was not to be a quiet one. He would become the "Hero of New France", exceeding his father and uncle in the breadth and fame of his exploits. Francois and his sons would become renowned for their bloodthirsty raids against the First Nations and the British. Can there be any doubt that the torture at the hands of the Iroquois filled Francois with hatred for the Iroquois? Or that the refusal of the Dutch and English to save him inspired him to show no mercy to their kind? He would instill the same thirst for blood in his children in turn.
Marie would bear Quentin Moral four daughters but no sons. The fame of his stepson may have been unbearable at this time and place to this man who now adopted the style 'Sieur de St-Quentin' and lorded over the island his step-son had cleared, which was known forever after as L'île Saint-Quentin. Presumably her son's status protected her from the hostility Quentin may have felt toward her.
Quentin Moral was keeping the family income up by selling Marie's inheritance to newcomers. The price of land was skyrocketing, and Quentin could make money selling land away from Trois-Rivieres, such as a plot of Hertel's at Cap-de-la-Madeleine that he sold around 1664. He saw that his daughters and step-daughters would marry well and that their husbands were provided with adequate dowries in terms of
|The settlement expands|
A year later, the census showed that one servant had left but that otherwise the household was much the same: "Quentin Moral, 49 ; Marie Margris, 40 ; Marie-Jeanne, 14 ; Marie, 12 ; Gertrude, 10 ; Marthe, 6 ; Robert Henry, domestique, 23 ; 6 bestiaux, 64 arpents en valeur. (6 cattle, 64 arpents in value.) "
Marie saw to it that her children received good educations. Her daughters by Quentin were educated at the Ursuline convent established just across the street from the Hertel house. Francois' three letters of his Iroquois captivity mention his fluency in French, English, and Latin.
In 1668 Marie saw the first her daughters by Quentin Moral married. Marie Jeanne Moral was betrothed to Jacques Maugras at the age of 15. Maugras would eventually settle in St-Francois-du-Lac at the settlement founded by his brother-in-law Jean Crevier. In 1677, at age 26, their second daughter, Marie-Therese Moral, married to Veron de Grandmesnil, a fur trader of some means.
Meanwhile Francois Hertel found himself enjoying the forays and raids made against the Iroquois in 1666, and became a professional soldier. He was on the 1673 Buade expedition to Lake Ontario which built Fort Frontenac. In 1678, on a mission to Hudson Bay, he tried his hand at the fur trade and ran foul of the authorities. His cargo was confiscated on his return to Quebec. He evaded a fine and prison sentence and returned, chastised, to Trois-Rivieres.
Francois sought to have his children well educated, hiring the teacher Pierre Bertrand, a graduate of the University of Paris, in 1681. But he was also training his sons in the art of war.
|A Man beneath Her station|
In 1680 Governor of New France gave Francois Hertel command of all the tribes who were allies of the French. To counter continuing the hit-and-run raids the settlers were constantly subject to, Francois developed surprise attack tactics using the Indians' own methods of silent approach. The brutal "Hertel's Raids" were said to have brought a measure of relief to the constant Indian attacks on the French settlements.
In the census of 1681 all the daughters but one have married and moved out: "Quentin Moral 60 ; Marie Marguerite, sa femme, 58 ; Marie, leur fille, 20 ; 3 bêtes à cornes ; 22 arpents en valeur. " By then the population of Trois-Rivieres was 154, distributed between 33 households.
The fourth daughter of Marie and Quentin, Marie Marthe Moral. was married in 1682 at the age of 21 to Antoine Dubois, who was in his thirties. Quentin had already engineered a complex land swap when Joyelle moved to St-Francois whereby Dubois obtained a property, despite his evident inability to pay.
In 1686 Quentin Moral passed away and was buried in Trois-Rivieres. Marie, age 66, was now widowed a second time.
In 1690 the governor of New France decided to retaliate against a perceived British-sponsored atrocity at Lachine. Three columns would be sent to lay waste to British settlements. Francois was sent against Fort Rollinsford at Salmon Falls, New Hampshire. He assembled a party consisting of 25 French, many of them his relatives, including his three eldest sons, his nephew Louis Crevier (Marie's godson), Nicolas Gastineau Duplessis and Jacques Maugras (Marie's son-in-law). Twenty Sokoki and five Algonquin Indians were also in the party.
A two-month march in the depth of winter took the party to Salmon Falls on the night of 27 March. Three columns of eight men made a simultaneous night attack on the fort and town. Surprise was total. Within two hours the place was gone. Between 30 and 43 Englishmen were killed, 54 taken prisoner, 27 houses burned down, and the cattle of the settlement set loose. The French lost two, one of them Jacques Maugras.
A British retaliatory troop of between 100 and 250 men headed to intercept Hertel. He detected their approach, and laid an ambush at a bridge over the Little Wooster River. Twenty more British were killed before they retreated in confusion, thinking themselves to be under attack by hordes of Indians. However again Marie's family received casualties - Louis Crevier was killed and her grandson Zacharie Hertel received a wound that would cripple him for life.
After these successes Francois Hertel and his sons became ferocious raiders. Like his father and great-uncle, Zacharie Hertel was taken prisoner by the Iroquois in a battle in 1691. Like his father, he did not return for three years. His skills in Indian languages and ways made him a fourth-generation Indian fighter and negotiator for the colony.
The Governor of New France tried from 1689 to have Francois Hertel elevated to nobility for his service to the colony. The best he could manage to get was a promotion within the military.
Marie continued on in Trois-Rivieres. She had seen so much in her long life. She had survived numerous attacks of the town by the Iroquois. She had seen her brother, her son, and her grandson all taken captive by the Indians, only to have them return alive months or years later. She had left a bustling French city for a rude settlement of wooden huts between the forest and the river, where every year, even the good ones, found another member of the community kidnapped or killed by marauding Iroquois.
|A resting place in the New Land|
Marie and her first husband Jacques Hertel are considered one of the founders of Quebec. Jacques Hertel founded the town of Trois-Rivieres, and her son-in-law Jean Crevier founded St-Francois-du-Lac. There is a Jacques Hertel house in Trois-Rivieres, but it is of stone, built on the site of the original in 1820 by one of Hertel's descendants. L'île Saint-Quentin remained cropland until 1930, when it was converted to recreational use. Today it is a popular park.
Marie has left her mitochondrial genetic heritage to around 140,000 people in the United States, and many times that number in Canada.
|Mary and her family in Rouen|
After the glaciers receded and the deserts retreated 14,000 years ago, the way was clear for the expansion of modern humans from their ice age refuge. Wilma's descendants entered Europe through the Balkans, spreading in several directions. During this journey one W haplotype woman had a distinctive mutation at letter 119 in the HVR2 of her mitochondrial DNA. This woman's descendants finally settled in what is now France, and one of them was Marie Marguerie's female ancestor.
The differences from the Cambridge Reference Sequence in Marie Marguerie's mtDNA code in the Highly Variable Regions 1 and 2 were:
HVR1: 16209C 16223T 16255A 16292T 16519C HVR2: 73G 119C 189G 195C 204C 207A 263G 309.1C 315.1C
One descendent has an additional HVR2 309.2C destination, which must have occurred in the ten generations since her lineage split from that of the other members of the group that long ago.
The calculation of 140,000 descendants in the United States is based on: 3 mitosearch-registered descendants / 8,613 mitosearch-registered individuals as of early 2006 x 300 million Americans.