July 27, 2011

More Witchcraft, Young Love and Banishment Our 9th Great Grand Aunt

PIERRE MORIN dit BOUCHER married MARIE-MADELEINE MARTIN in Acadia about 1661. They probably married at Port-Royal. Pierre was born in Normandy, France, about 1634. His home Parish in France remains unknown. Marie-Madeleine was born about 1642 at Port-Royal, Acadia. She is the daughter of Pierre Martin and Catherine Vigneau and sister of our 9th Great Grandmother Andree Martin wife of Francois Pellerin. 

Pierre was a laborer, and owned 3 cows, 4 sheep, and had 1 arpent of land in cultivation at the time of the 1671 census at Port-Royal. By 1680 they had moved to Beaubassin. He is listed as a tenant of Michel Le Neuf, Sieur de Valliere on 20 March, 1682 at Beaubassin. On the 1686 census at Beaubassin they owned 15 cows, 8 sheep, 12 hogs and had 30 arpents of land. (An English acre is 5/6th of an arpent; 86 arpents equal 100 English acres.) Quite a bit is known of Pierre and Marie and they have an incredible tale. In 1685, Marie-Madeleine was one of the witnesses against Jean Campagna in his trial for Witchcraft at Beaubassin. Her age was given as 43 years. Campagna had been accused by his neighbors at Beaubassin of the crime. Campagna was acquitted and released. Three years after the Witchcraft trial, the Morin family would find themselves on the receiving end of the Law.  (Interesting of note here Andree Martin and Francois Pellerin's daughter married the son of Laurent Godin grandson of none other than our Pierre Godin who also accused Campagna of witchcraft.)  
They were banished from Beaubassin, Acadia in September, 1688. Pierre and Marie-Madeleine had a son Louis who was about 25 years old when he and the daughter of the above-mentioned Michel Le Neuf fell in love. One thing led to another, as it always does, and the 17 year old girl, named Marie-Josephe Le Neuf, was discovered to be pregnant in the Spring of 1688. Marie-Josephe LeNeuf was obviously close to the Morin family. She is named as Godmother on two Baptisms of Morin children.
She was the daughter of an important family -- the Le Neufs considered themselves as such. Louis Morin was the son of a mere laborer. Louis was arrested. His parents and brothers and sisters and two brothers-in-law, their children---19 persons in all---were arrested. They were tried by the local Parish Priest, a Father Trouve. Trouve acted for Le Neuf, who hoped to keep the scandal as quiet as possible; how he hoped he could keep it under wraps in such a small and interconnected community as Beaubassin.
Father Trouve organized everything, including a list of witnesses against all 19 of the conspirators... for that is how they were portrayed. All 19 were judged guilty. The property of all 19 was confiscated; and all 19 were exiled from Beaubassin and Acadia. Their property was awarded to Michel Le Neuf. (Michel Le Neuf tried to confiscate all Pierre Thibodeaus property in 1690. He was not successful with Thibodeau.) Louis Morin was sent to France and sentenced to a lifetime of service in the Royal Navy. He was sent on the ship La Fripone in September of 1688. He is said to have died shortly after.  The priest, Father Trouve, wrote a letter, (which still exists), extolling his own actions as necessary and just. He even suggests that the sentences had been lenient, considering the offense.
Father Trouve felt compelled to justify what he had participated in for he became so unpopular in Beaubassin that he was forced to abandon his Parish. When he attempted to land at Les-Mines, the citizens there refused to let him come ashore. Trouve was forced to continue on to Port-Royal.
Two years later, in October of 1690, Mathieu de Goutin wrote a letter to the Court in France. In this letter, De Goutin wrote that Father Trouve had brought the charges against Louis Morin, had heard witnesses, had pronounced judgment, and had imprisoned Louis Morin and exiled all the others charged. De Goutin charged that Father Trouve had done this despite the fact that Kings Officers had been available. Trouve had obtained an Order that the entire family be exiled on the pretext that one of the brothers-in-law had 'spoken ill' of Father Trouve, and had mentioned the name of the "gentlewoman".
De Goutin tells us that both Trouve, and Michel LeNeuf, were now very unpopular in the colony. He states that Father Trouve had been forced to leave Beaubassin. He further tells us that the Morin family was related to one-third of the habitants of Acadia, and so feelings of anger among the habitants ran deep. When Michel LeNeuf died at sea in 1705, he went unmourned in Acadia. There is evidence that some of the settlers he brought from Trois-Riviers in 1676 left Beaubassin for Quebec soon after 1705. Could they have been compelled to leave by vengeful Acadians?
As for the remaining 18 conspirators; they were sent, impoverished, to Quebec. Pierre Morin died in 1690, about two years after arriving in Quebec. In Quebec the exiles acquired powerful friends for Pierre Morin, Jr. had married Francoise Chiasson, who was also exiled. Francoise Chiasson had a brother, Jean Chiasson, who had settled at Quebec, and who married Marie-Anne Lemoine in 1697. Marie-Anne Lemoine was the cousin of Charles and Jacques Lemoine, and Anne Lemoine, who had married Michel Messier, Sieur de St-Michel. The Lemoines were the most powerful family in Quebec. This family connection may explain a large grant of land, on the Gaspe River, given to Marie Martin in 1697.
Marie Martin disposed of this land grant in September, 1702: "25 September, 1702: Marie Martin, widow of Pierre Martin, in relinquishing a fief "of half league, on either side of the Gaspe River," that had been granted her, about 1697, by Francois de Gallifet, the King's representative at Montreal, declared that her husband had died twelve years previously."
In 1699 Marie Martin was recorded as living in the house of her son Pierre at Mont-Louis, Quebec. She died at Quebec on 16 September, 1714 and was buried the next day. Pierre and Marie-Madeleine Martin had 12 children altogether. They are the parents of 5 sons and 3 daughters who have descendants.
There is no record of what happened to the baby.

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