Cadieu ancestor and the saving of Montreal

The first European to reach the area of what is today Montreal was Jacques Cartier, on October 2, 1535. Cartier visited the villages of Hochelaga and Stadacona, and noted others in the valley which he did not name. He recorded about 200 words of the people’s language.

Seventy years after Cartier, explorer Samuel de Champlain went to Hochelaga, but the village no longer existed, nor was there sign of any human habitation in the valley. Champlain decided to establish a fur trading post at Place Royal on the Island of Montreal, but the Mohawk, based mostly in present-day New York, successfully defended what had by 1605 become their hunting grounds and paths for their war parties. It was not until 1639 that the French created a permanent settlement on the Island of Montreal.

Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, Jeanne Mance and a few French colonists set up an outpost named Ville-Marie on May 17, 1642. A decade later, Ville-Marie had been reduced to less than 50 inhabitants by repeated attacks by the Mohawk.

So in 1651, Maisonneuve returned to France to recruit at least 100 men to bolster the failing colony. He had already decided that should he fail, he would abandon Ville-Marie and move the remaining residents back downriver to Quebec City.

The fruit of Maisonneuve’s recruiting efforts was the ship that sailed from Nantes in the Loire Valley and arrived at Ville-Marie on 16 November 1653. Among the 140 on board were Marguerite Bourgeoys — later a nun and foundress of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, and one of Canada’s first saints — and a young man, Jean Cadieu, the first of our Cadieux ancestors to arrive in North America!

The effort to save Ville-Marie — Montreal — was so important, and essentially guaranteed the future of Ville Marie and of all of New France, that it is known in Montreal’s history as “la Grande Recrue” and commemorated with plaques listing the colonists in both Montreal and Nantes.

 

An Irish Ancestor … through our French line!

Tadgh Cornelius O’Brennan of Montreal — via Ireland and France — is my ancestor … through my Cadieux family line!

Genealogy is very truly the study of real history.

After Cromwell’s victory in Ireland, he published surrender terms in 1652 allowing Irish soldiers to go abroad to serve in foreign armies not at war with the Commonwealth of England. Most went to the Catholic countries of France or Spain.  Cromwell’s aide Sir William Petty estimated their number at 54,000 men.

So probably began the travels of Tadgh Cornelius O’Brennan. When he arrived in France, the French had no ear for Irish accents or names, and not able to read or write, he became known to them as “Tec Corneille Aubrenan”!

We suppose that when the opportunity to join the settlers in New France came, he jumped at it. Thus he became almost certainly the first Irish settler in New France. The year of emigration is uncertain, but signed contracts show he was at first an unlicensed fur-trader — one of the coureurs des bois (literally, ‘runners of the woods’).

But by 1661 he was already a farm worker on the land of Urbain Tessier. In fact, he was kidnapped that year by the Iroquois, and returned some 7 months later.

To turn New France from simply an exploration into a colony, King Louis XIV was convinced to send dowries for women who would move to New France and marry. The women were call Filles du roi, daughters of the King, because like a father, he was giving their dowry.

When Tec heard that the ship with the first group of Filles du roi was stopping first in Quebec City before Trois Rivieres and then Montreal, he headed off to Quebec City — to find a potential wife. At Quebec City, on September 10, 1670, Fille du roi Jeanne Chartier, daughter of Pierre Chartier and Marie Gaudon of Paris, married ‘Tecq Aubrenaue,’ son of Connehour Aubrenaue and Honorée Iconnehour (probably Connor O’Brennan and Honora O’Connor), of “Diasony,” a small village in Ireland.

Newlyweds Tec Aubry and Jeanne Chartier settled on a farm at Pointe-aux-Trembles on the island of Montreal, then later moved to Lachenaie, north of the island. By the time of the 1681 census, they owned 5 farm animals and 5 acres of land.

The couple had 7 children. The youngest, François, had 14 of his own. Our family descends through his son (Joseph) François, who married Marie Jeanne Boutellier. Their great grandson Louis Aubry’s daughter Elizabeth (Eliza) Aubrey married Antoine Cadieux. (Antoine himself was a descendant of another figure at the beginning of Ville Marie — Montreal. I’ll write about him another time.)

Now that’s some history!

Sounds Like …

One of the surprises in family history research is the way surnames — last names — change rather fluidly across time. It seems, also, that in the early 1900s it was common to give a first name as an way of honoring a relative … and then use a second name. There are a number of charts online for “Irish” “Italian” and “Scottish Naming Patterns” for that time period.

But it’s not just names that end up being freely interpreted! I remember the ON census taker in the middle 1800s who renamed a township … North Gower became North Gore (spelled like it is pronounced!).

Which leads to the answer to the Lila Cadieux Young and George Milton Young Great Saskatchewan mystery!

D S Fischer, of Medicine Hat AB (not far from Whiskey Creek) solved the mystery.

Our friendly 1916 census taker must have heard someone say “Whiska Creek” and decided it was an accented version of “Whiskey” Creek … so the 1916 census record placed several hundred people in “Whiskey” Creek!

Whiska Creek does still exist! It’s rural municipality 106, with offices of the Reeve (Mayor) in Vanguard SK. It’s population (2006) is 520 and its 329 square miles are mostly farmland.