lundi 10 novembre 2014

The myth of Francoise Garnier's alledged Native origins

[a french version of this post will be published]
« The most  important thing in genealogy is not to find, it is to prove ». This statement from the late and much missed genealogist René Jetté should be the motto of anyone who is attempting to build his / her ancestry.

A myth is largely circulating on the Net, through self-proclaimed « Native genealogy experts », who claim that Francoise Garnier (Grenier), wife of Noel Langlois, is  an Aboriginal or a « Metis ». This fabrication, based on a paper by Luc Lacroix « Documentation Proving Aboriginal Ancestry for the Family of Noel Langlois », by no way gives a single credible proof of Native ancestry this New France pionneer woman, who is the foremothers of a majority of French-canadians. These « experts » argue that because no parents or place of birth is stated in her marriage record, this raises doubts about her ethnic origin.

The Quebec City Notre-Dame-des-Anges chapel was destroyed by fire in 1640, along with the early records. Thanks to the double copy of church registers policy observed in New France, another register is kept by the Quebec archidiocese archives. If Francoise Garnier was a « Native », the priest who celebrated the marriage would have been very eager to state her aboriginal ancestry, since their main purpose was to chirstianize the Indians.

The first mention we have of Francoise Garnier is her marriage to Noel Langlois and Francoise Garnier, July 25, 1634 in Notre-Dame de Quebec :


(source : familysearch, Quebec catholic church records, Notre-Dame-de-Quebec, 1621-1679, image 128)

« The 25 of July 1634 the ordinary bans being done, and with no
legitimate empidement found, the R. Charles Lallemant Jesuit
performing the curate function at Quebec, after having interrogating  and recieved the
mutual conscent have solemnized married and knowing the link of 
of the St marriage Noel Langlois and Francoise Grenier, present sont 
M. Robert Giffart, surgeon, M. Noel Juchereau »

Francoise Garnier's burial was recorded November 1st, 1665 in Notre-Dame de Quebec :

(source : familysearch, Quebec catholic church records, 1621-1679, image 231)


« The year 1665, the 1st of November, was deceased in the communion
of Our Holy Mother Church Francoise Garnier, wife
of Noel L'Anglois, ancient habitant of this country, after having
recieved the Holy Sacrement of viaticum, and of extreme unction
and the same day was buried in the cemetery of
this parish »

Francoise Garnier is never identified as Native in any records, either religious or civil. Further more, DNA testing was produced recently, giving confirmation of Francoise Garnier' european origins.

Neverheless, to support their theory, the « experts » produce the following pieces of « evidence » :

1) a land grant by the R.R. Jesuit Fathers to Jean Langlois « sauvage Huron » drawn before notary Pinguet de Vaucour, September 15, 1745 ;

2) a claim that the book « Noel Langlois et ses fils » (real title : Noel Langlois, c. 1606-1684, Quebec City, 1984) by Michel Langlois stating that Jean Langlais « sauvage Huron » is the son of Noel Langlois dit Traversy and Genevieve Parent, therefore being the grandson and Francoise Garnier, wife of Noel Langlois ;

3) the baptism record of a child of Pierre Langlais and Madeleine …, an Algonquin woman, celebrated June 5th, 1742 in Trois-Rivieres, which, according to them, is grandson of Noel Langlois and Francoise Garnier ;

4) The marriage of Clement Langlois, son of Jean Langlois and Charlotte-Francoise Belanger, with Marie-Anne Prevost, granddauther of Martin Prevost and Marie Manitoabe8ch aka Marie Olivier Sylvestre, a Huron, proving, according to them, that Francoise Garnier was a Native ;

5) an abstract, taken totally out of context, from the Dictionnaire national des Canadiens (Drouin) stating a « foreign origin » (unknnown origin) for Cecile Kaorate, wife of Jean-Baptiste Gagnon, proving that Francoise Garnier’s « native origin » was obliterated.

It is time to set the record straight.

First : the 1745 land grant (copy included), does not state, in any way, a family link between Jean Langlois « sauvage Etably en la seigneurie de St Gabriel » and Francoise Garnier.   



(source : ANQ M173-676)

Another land grant, dated October 21, 1733, drawn by the notary Duprac, in which Catherine Peuvret (widow of Ignace Juchereau), gives a piece of land in the seignory of St. Gabriel to Jean Langlois « Sauvage Huront demeurant a Notre Dame de la Nouvelle Laurette » again states no indication that he might be related to Noel Langlois and Francoise Garnier. This Jean Langlais is most probably John Hunnewell, aka Annaouil dit Langlais, an anglo-american captive from Scarborough (Maine), who was adopted in the Huron nation of Jeune-Lorette (near Quebec City), where he married a French-canadian woman, Marguerite Pageot. In his marriage contract, passed August 19, 1761 drawn before the notary Genest, he states that he is « of English nation, the son of Richard Enahouil, a native of a place named La Pointe Noire [Black Point] in New England ». He can, by no way, be the grandson of Francoise Garnier.

Second : in the 105 pages of Michel Langlois book on Noel Langlois family (Noel Langlois, c. 1606-1684, Quebec City, 1984) there is not a single mention of Jean Langlais « sauvage Huron ». Further more, Langlois published an article in which he debunked the whole myth of Francoise Garnier’s native origin (Les Langlois et leur prétendue origine amerindienne, Echos genealogiques, Societe genealogique des Laurentides, vol. XXIV, no 1, p. 15-17).

Third : the June 5th, 1742 record in Trois-Rivieres only states that Louis, the son of Pierre Langlais and Madeleine… an Algonquin woman, was baptised. His sponsors are Louis Courval and Marie Anne Fondeville.

(source : familysearch, Quebec catholic church records, Trois-Rivieres, Immaculate Conception, parish, 1634-1749, image 632)

« The fifth day of June was baptised Louis, son
of Pierre Langlois and of Magdeleine Sauvagesse
algonquin, born since two months
the godparents was Mr. Louis Courval
Lieutenant general of this town, and the
godmother was Marie Anne Fondeville
who signed. La prt. was Anne Roy.
Nicolas Albert Couturier »

In the english version of his paper, Lacroix suggests this Madeleine could be Madeleine Godbout, wife of Pierre Langlois, son of Louis Langlois and Claire-Francoise Belanger and grandson of Noel Langlois and Francoise Garnier. Problem : no family relations is stated to the above mentioned in the baptism record. Nothing is known about Pierre Langlais, except he had two other children with a Native woman named Michelle Chapona : Joseph born c. 1748, buried March 13, 1755 in Pointe-du-Lac and another Joseph, baptized June 1, 1755 in Pointe-du-Lac.

Fourth : the marriage of descendants of Noel Langlois and Francoise Garnier to descendants of mixed-marriage couples is by no way a confirmation of Francoise Garnier supposed « native » ancestry.

Fifth : the marriage solemnized April 16th, 1742 in St-Joachim between Jean-Baptiste Gagnon and Cecile Kaorate, a « Montagnais Indian » is a proof that her origin were well stated by the celebrant priest. That Drouin stated in his dictionary she was of « foreing origin » does not mean Francoise Garnier’s origin were hidden.

(source : familysearch, Quebec catholic church records, St-Joachim, 1731-1791, image 76)

Noel Langlois arrived in New France c. 1633. His wife might have arrive in the Spring of 1634. Some New France researchers suggest that Francoise Garnier may have migrated with the Juchereau family. This is still under research.

Luc Lacroix strongly denounced that his paper, produced for a private research, is used by other researchers and even published in a book, without his consent.

Dominique Ritchot

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