July 26, 2011

Witchcraft - The first Witch trial of the Maritimes 1684

Charles Godin dit Bellefontaine, dit Boisjoli who married Marie Melanson was the grandson of Pierre Godin dit Chatillon.  Pierre Godin was born in 1630 in Châtillon-sur-Seine, Cote-d'Or, France.

Pierre Godin dit Châtillon,  son of Claude Godin & Marie Bardin, enlisted to go to Canada on 23 May 1653 in the study of notary LaFousse at La Flèche, Anjou, for the salary of 100 livres per year. He was a master carpenter, and had worked as a journeyman at Châtillon-sur-Seine (arrondissement of Montbard), Burgandy.

On 20 Jun 1653 he acknowledged receiving 127 livres advance wages (notary BELLIOTTE). He arrived in Canada as a member of the "Grande Recrue" on 22 Sep 1653 aboard the "Saint-Nicolas" and was given a land grant by Governor MAISONNEUVE on 2 Feb 1654.

On 27 Sep 1654 a marriage contract was drawn up by notary Lambert Closse, and signed by him, between Pierre and Jeanne 
Rousseliere, daughter of Louis Rousseliere & Isabelle Paris. She was one of the "Filles à Marier." They were married by Father Pierre Pijart, SJ on 14 Oct 1654 at Montréal.
Pierre became a soldier with the 19th squadron of Montréal's "Sainte-Famille" militia in 1663, by which time he and Jeanne had four children. Five more would follow, until 1672.

In that year Pierre Godin and his oldest son Laurent (then age 17) were tried for beating neighbor Pierre Boutonne dit La Ramée, after he had allegedly slapped daughter Catherine (then around 13), claiming she had stolen bread from him. On 30 Aug 1672 Boutonne agreed to pay the costs of pursuing the trial.

In 1675 Pierre was entrusted with the project of building a chapel at Lachine, at which time the family was living near the rapids. Between 7 Jun 1676 and 11 Jun 1677, they immigrated to Port-Royal, Acadia , where Pierre's experience as a carpenter was needed.

On 28 Jun 1685 Pierre sued Jean Campagnard for witchcraft, "claiming that Campagnard cast a spell on him to make Pierre forget threats that he made. The case was not a success for Pierre." He died at Rivière-St-Jean sometime before the 1686 census, which found his wife and three children at Port-Royal, Acadia.


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