The small village of Deerfield, located along the Connecticut River in Massachusetts, was surrounded by a stockade and was inhabited by several hundred people. It was February and there was a great amount of snow cover, with some habitations almost covered over. In the fort there were twenty soldiers, provided by Governor Joseph Dudley of Massachusetts Bay.
During the night of February 28, the attackers, consisting of French soldiers, Iroquois and Huron Indians, approached the village. At dawn the attack was begun with a mighty war cry, surprising the villagers in their sleep. Doors were broken down, windows were broken and the victims were quickly floored by guns and hatchets. In minutes the disgraceful victory was won with almost no resistance. After the swift massacre, the village was completely destroyed by fire. Forty-seven known persons were killed, and 112 taken prisoners. Hardly had the sun risen on that winter day of February 29, the attackers were on their return to Canada. A few parties consisting of neighboring villagers pursued the fleeing invaders, but were unsuccessful.
The return trek to Canada [over the Green Mountains and through the snow wearing snow shoes] lasted 25 days, during which 12 prisoners died because of wounds, bad treatment, or the cold weather. Among the prisoners [who survived] were a 10 year old boy Josiah Rising [born 2 Feb 1694], and a small 4 year old girl, Abigail Nims [born 11 Jun 1700]. Along with Abigail, her mother Mehitable and a brother Ebenzer were also taken captive. Mehitable died on the journey to Canada. The Nims home had been in the stockade and later burned with three small girls. Abigail's brother Henry and sister Rebecca were among those killed.
Abigail was the daughter of Godfroi de Nismes, a French Huguenot [French Protestant] who first appeared in North Hampton, Massachusetts on September 4, 1667. He participated in Turner's fight with the Indians on May 18, 1676, and was a soldier in King Philip's War. He married a widow, Mrs Mary (Williams) Miller and lived in Deerfield, Mass. Mary died on April 27, 1688. On June 27, 1692, Godfroi (also Godfrey) married the widow of Jeremiah Hull, Mehitable Smead, daughter of William Smead. Godfrey had 11 children in all. A daughter, Thankful (Munn), escaped during the massacre because her home was hidden in the drifts of snow.
Josiah Rising, born February 2, 1694, was the son of John and Sarah (Hale), living in Suffield, Conn. The first American ancestor in this family was James Rising born in 1617, and a native of London, England. At age 18, he sailed on the "Dorset," September 13, 1635, landing near Bermuda. He then went to Salem, Mass. On July 7, 1657, he married Elizabeth Hinsdale, daughter of Robert and Anne (Woodward) Hinsdale of Boston, Mass. In 1662, James Rising and family moved to Windsor, Conn. where his young wife, Elizabeth, died on August 11, 1669. On April 2, 1673, James married Marthe Bartlett and settled in Suffield, Conn. In 1676, he bought a 50 acre farm for 16 shillings. A shilling was worth 25 cents. He was known as James Rysand," and it was under that name that he was buried on September 11, 1688.
Of James' first marriage to Elizabeth Hinsdale, a son John was born circa 1660. He married Sarah Hale on November 21, 1684; Sarah probably was the daughter of Timothy and Sarah (Barber) Hale. Sometime after his second marriage, John sent his son Josiah (born Feb 2, 1694) to visit his maternal grandparents in Deerfield, Mass. He could not know then that he was never to see his son again. John Rising had 18 children with his two wives. He died on December 11, 1720, about the age of 60. He bequeathed to his son Josiah in Canada (who would then be about 26 years old), the sum of 5 lbs in silver, payable up to three years after his (John) death, in case he [Josiah] returned from captivity.
With the arrival of the captives in Canada, Abigail was entrusted to an Indian woman, Ganastarsis, who was believed to be the wife of the Chief of Iroquois of Ours; while Josiah lived with his captor. These were Christian Indians, and did not mistreat their captives. The two young prisoners were formally adopted into the tribe in a special and significant ceremony, presided over by the great Chief. The warrior captor comes before the Chief with his captive, and is praised for his bravery. The captive is then officially given to the warrior as a slave. The slave is also given an Indian name. Josiah received the name "Shonatakak'ani" which translated to French was "il lui a ote son village" ["he was taken in his village"]. Abigail received the name "T'atog'ach," for which the French translation was "elle retire de l'eau" or "elle desenfle" ["she withdrew from the water"].
The priests of St Sulpice, missionaries at Sault-au-Recollet, considered the Protestant baptism received at Deerfield and that by the Indians insufficient, and proceeded on 11 Jun 1704 with the Catholic baptism. It was the third baptism for each. Josiah Rising was given the new name of Ignace Raizenne. Abigail Nims was also baptized and given the new name of Marie Elisabeth Nims.
Following is a translation of the baptism of Abigail:
"On Jun 15, 1704, the rites of baptism have been administered by me, the undersigned priest, to a little English girl named in her country Abigail, and now Marie Elisabeth, born at Deerfield in New England the (31 May O.S.) 11 June1700 of the marriage of Geoffroi Nimbs, shoemaker, and of Meetable Smeed also deceased. The child, taken at the said place 11th March last and living in the wigwam of a squaw of the Mountains, called Ganastasi. The godmother was Damoiselle Marie Elisabeth Lemoyne daughter of Messire Charles Le Moine, Ecuyer, Baron de Longueuil, Chevalier de l'Ordre de St Louis, and Captain of a company; with Francois Bounet who said he could not sign, inquiry having been made according to law. Mariel, priest" /s/ Marie Elisabeth de Longueuil [witness]
Josiah was baptized similarly, and received the name Ignace.
In 1712, an attempt was made to ransom the children, then John Nims, Abigail's brother, came to Canada accompanied by Lieut. Samuel Williams. The children were not released, but Abigail's brother, Ebenezer, with his wife and their son were released. [By the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, prisoners could obtain their liberty if they presented a request to either the Québec, Trois Rivieres, or Montréal governments.] After the treaty of Utrecht in 1713 [nine years following the raid], the Governor M. de Vaudreuil proclaimed that all prisoners be redeemed. Many preferred to stay in their adopted homes and it was with much difficulty that their protector, Abbe Maurice Quere, obtained their release from the Iroquois Indians. Josiah and Abigail were placed in the Catholic Mission where, it is said, they were taught in the French, English, and Indian languages.
On July 29, 1715 [two years after the treaty], Ignace Raizenne (Josiah Rising) at the age of 21 years, married Elisabeth (Abigail Nims) who was 15 years old [at Notre-Dame de Lorette Church in Oka]. Following is a translation of that act:
"July 29, 1715, I have married Ignace Shoentak'ani and ElisabethT'atog'ach, both English, who wish [to] remain with the Christian Indians, not only renounce their nation but even wishing to live as Indians. In person [the presence] of Jean Baptiste Haronhiatek, Gabriel Tsirok'as, Pierre Asonthen, Alexis Tarhi. Ignace Shoentak'ani, about 23 or 24 years, and Elisabeth , about 15 years old. Both were taken at Dierfile, about 13 years ago. Maurice Quere, priest"
In 1721, the mission of Sault-au-Recollet was transferred to Oka. Fr Quere was named there as the curate. The Raizenne family followed the missionary and the Sulpician Order gave them a vast property in the village of Oka. Two sons and six daughters were born to this couple. Marie Elisabeth Nims died at about age 46 and was buried at the mission cemetery on 3 Jan 1747. Ignace Raizenne died at age 77, on 29 Dec 1771 and was buried in the Chapel of the Kings at Oka.
Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts, is a recreated village, much like Greenfield Village is in Dearborn, Michigan, or Old City Park is in Dallas, Texas. Historic Deerfield can be visited at its web site:
Historic Deerfield http://www.historic-deerfield.org/deerfield.html
Returning to the lives of Louis Séguin and Marie Anne Raizenne.....
Louis Séguin (8 Apr 1712, Boucherville, Québec - 13 Jul 1763, Grand Detroit, Québec) married Marie Anne Raizenne (1719, Québec - 27 Mar 1787, Oka, Québec) on Sunday, 8 Apr 1736, at the Church of Our Lady of Loretto (now called the Church of the Annonciation), in Lac des Deux Montagnes (present-day Oka), Québec).
Louis Séguin, born 8 Apr 1712, in Boucherville, QC, and baptized in the parish of Ste Famille, was the eldest son of Jean Baptiste Séguin and Genevieve Barbeau. His baptismal entry is recorded as follows and contains the names of his godparents, Louis Réguindeau and Marie Véronneau:
The year 1712, the 9th day of April, I the undersigned priest being the parish priest at the parish of Holy Family of Boucherville, baptize Louis, born the preceding day of Jean Baptiste Séguin and Genevieve Barbeau his spouse. The godfather is Louis Réguindeau, the godmother Marie Véronneau who declare as not being able to sign according to the ordinance. C. Dauzat, priest.
On his 24th birthday, 8 Apr 1736, Louis married 16 year old Marie Anne Raizenne in the church of the Annociation, Oka, QC. Marie Anne was the daughter of Ignace Raizenne and Elisabeth Nims, both of whom had been seized as captives in their childhood during the French and Indian raid on the New England village of Deerfield, Massachusetts on 29 Feb 1704. (As children they were originally named Josiah Rising and Abigail Nims but when baptized by the French, were given new names in honor of St Ignatius and Ste Elizabeth.) Since it is such an historically interesting story, I will depart momentarily from the story of Louis Séguin and Marie Anne Raizenne's lives in order to share the tale of her parents.
Louis Séguin was one of the principle figures of the era. He was an rmy major of Vaudreuil, commander of the Oka fortification, a fur trader and owner of four concessions in the Cote de l'Anse, in the Vaudreuil seigneurie. In 1752, it was at Louis Séguin's residence that the Marquis of Rigaud and the engineer Louis Franquet stayed during the inspection of the fortified posts. It was also mentioned that Louis had four servants, which was rare at that time. In the fall of 1752, Louis permanently left Oka to stay with his family in Concession #49 above Grand-Detroit, where the community of Hudson is now located. He died on 13 Jul 1763, at age 51, and was buried in front of the altar in the Oka Chapel "Des Rois." Captain Lemaire (St Germain), Fr Macon de Thirlay (priest of the du Lac Mission), and Ignace Raizenne (Louis' father-in-law) all had the honor of being buried in the chapel.
In 1778, Louis' widow, Marie Anne, gave ownership of the family farm on Concession #49 to the Seigneur, the Marquis of Lothiniere, and she then returned to Oka. Marie Anne died at the age of 67 and was buried in the Oka local cemetery on March 27, 1787.
Noted events in his life were:
Occupation: Major in the Militia, 1763.
Louis married Marie Anne RAIZENNE-SHOENTAKOUANI on 8 May 1736 in Oka, Deux Montagnes, Québec, Canada. (Marie Anne RAIZENNE-SHOENTAKOUANI was born about 1721 in Québec, Canada and died on 25 Mar 1787 in Oka, Deux Montagnes, Québec, Canada.)
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