Tag Archives: cap-rouge

Dead or Alive: Madeleine Charlot


The beach of Plage Jacques Cartier and the cliffs of Cap-Rouge. By Cephas (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

I imagined this blog post would be a whole different story. I thought it would be about lightning striking twice.

But it turns out that records are contradicting themselves and I don’t know what is going on.

What I thought I found out:

I thought I discovered that almost 7 years to the day that Pierre Gareman dit Le Picard and his son Charles were captured by the Iroquois, so was Pierre’s wife, Madeleine Charlot.

On the same day [that Father Mercier returned to the Beaupre mission], the fifth [of June 1660], a Canoe of 8 iroquois, or rather yroquoised Hurons, carried off picar’s wife, with 3 Children, at the petit Cap. They were discovered on the same Day, at 10 o’clock at night, while they were passing point de Levi, by about 20 Montagnais or Algonquains, accompanied by 8 frenchmen. The woman was dangerously wounded. Of the 8 iroquois, 3 were drowned and 5 brought in alive; of these, 3 were burned here, one was given to 3 rivers, and the other was spared his life. ~ Jesuit Relations, volume 45, page 155, 157

It makes sense to assume “picar’s wife” is Madeleine Charlot.* There were no other known Picars in Cap Rouge or Sillery (I checked the 1666 census.) Plus Pierre and Madeleine’s three adult Gareman daughters lived in Cap Rouge or Sillery – so it would be likely that their mother remained near. And while it was rare to hear a woman called by her husband’s name at the time, Pierre was rather famous for his capture and there was the continued effort for the return of their son Charles – so it could make sense in this instance that naming conventions were defied.

This find felt like a win. A new twist in an old story.

And then I ran into Pierre and Madeleine’s youngest daughter’s marriage record. Many believe that this record indicates that Madeleine Charlot was already dead by January 29, 1652 when Mathurin Trut and Marguerite Gareman married.

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 2.45.48 PM.png

The marriage record of Mathurin Trut and Marguerite Gareman, January 29, 1652, Notre-Dame-de-Quebec. Drouin Collection.

It all hinges on whether you see the words “et de” (and of) or “et feu” (and the late) before Madeleine’s name.**


Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 2.13.18 PM

A close-up of the relevant end of the fourth line.

Honestly, it looks like “et feu” to me.

But still I am holding out hope – not that Madeleine suffered grave injuries at the hands of the Iroquois, but for what promises to be a more complicated story.


UPDATE: Reader Jhoguecorrigan pointed out in the comments that there there was another family of Picards near Beauport that claims the 1660 capture story. There are links here, here, and here.


*Source Note: I am reading the English translation of Jesuit Relations edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites in the 19th century online through the Internet Archive. The index assumes that picar’s wife and Madeleine Charlot are the same woman too.

**Thank you! To FM, and especially, SG on the Facebook Genealogical Translations page. Thanks for helping me make sense of this scrawl!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Greenwood: Gilles Pinel

When I first ran into Gilles Pinel in the family tree, I didn’t trust him.  I don’t share blood with him.  He was Anne Leodet’s second (and enduring) husband and Barbe Nepveu’s step-father.  Gilles and Anne’s first-born daughter, Catherine, married the boy next door, Denis Masse – even though Denis had been of marriageable age for years.  I thought maybe Gilles tried to save the “best” for his own blood, that maybe he didn’t accept my kin into his heart.

But it turns out that Denis Masse was not such a great catch.  He was dead within a few years of marriage to Catherine. Besides, Gilles did not abandon Barbe in her adult life.  Instead, he served as a godfather for her first child (1669) and he asked her husband, Nicolas Sylvestre, to serve as godfather to his son (1673.)  He couldn’t have been that bad of a guy.

So I came to wonder: how did Gilles come to Sillery where he met and married Anne Leodet?  Well, the answer is simple: he followed his father, Nicolas Pinel.

Nicolas Pinel was born around 1605 in Champagnoles, Normandy, France.  He married Madeleine Marault at Ste. Marguerite chapel, in La Rochelle, France on 29 September 1630.  Together they had five sons: Antoine (b. 1631), Gilles and Pierre (b. 1635, only Gilles survived), Pierre (b. 1636), and later, Isaac (b. 1645).**  In 1645, Nicolas signed a three-year contract to work at Port Royal in Acadia.  It is believed that Madeleine remained in France to raise their boys.  After Nicolas’ contract was completed, he settled outside Quebec.  On 16 September 1650 he acquired land and a home near the Cap Rouge River, next door to Sillery.

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 2.32.50 PM

Nicolas Pinel’s original concession at Cap-Rouge (Gaudarville) of 3 arpents (acres) frontage was split into two plots by his widow in 1662.  The original concession included all of plot #11 and half of plot #10.  The map is from Marcel Trudel’s Le Terrier Du Saint-Laurent En 1663.

It is believed that Nicolas Pinel had his sons Gilles and Pierre join him and that they worked the land there together.

It is hard to figure out exactly how Gilles first met Anne Leodet, but it is easy to imagine that they would have come to know each other quickly in small neighboring communities.  Gilles was definitely in the community by 1651, Jean acquired his Sillery land in November 1652, Anne Leodet arrived in Quebec in December 1652, and Jean and Anne married in January of 1653.

I don’t know whether Gilles knew Jean well before he knew Anne (Jean was 10 years his senior) — but Gilles must have been, or become, close to the couple somehow.  On October 11th, 1655 Jean and Anne had Gilles stand as their second daughter Suzanne’s godfather.  But whether it was friendship — or a neighborly show of support for a man who had just lost his father– it is impossible to uncover. Gilles’ father, Nicolas, had died a few weeks earlier on September 18, 1655.

A couple of years later, everything would be different.  Jean would be exiled on bigamy charges and Gilles would marry Anne.***  Together Gilles and Anne raised a family that included Anne’s two children with Jean Nepveu and nine children of their own.  Anne and Gilles would remain in Sillery on Jean Nepveu’s land until about 1680, and then see the remainder of their days in nearby Neuville.  Anne and Gilles died within a year of each other: he passed in January, and she died in December, of 1700.


* Catherine Pinel went on to an enduring second marriage with Jean Prou after her first husband, Denis Masse, died.

** Disclaimer – this information on Nicolas Pinel is culled from the internet, and not fact-checked with primary sources – though I have sought multiple references and weighed credibility.

*** This timeline shows how much happened in two and a half short years.

  • September 18, 1655 — Gilles’ father, Nicolas Pinel, dies
  • October 11, 1655 — Gilles stands as godfather for Jean Nepveu and Anne Leodet’s daughter, Suzanne
  • November 1656 — Gilles buys land in Sillery, two plots away from Jean and Anne from Nicolas Patenostre for 80 pounds
  • July 28, 1657 — Gilles sells Sillery land for 120 pounds to Guillaume Routhier
  • September 2, 1657 — Gilles marries Anne Leodet
  • April 7, 1658 — Gilles and Anne’s first child, Catherine, is baptized.
Tagged , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: