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December 22, 2015

Invite an Ancestor for Christmas Dinner: #8 Jacques Hertel Interpreter for Samuel de Champlain

 I invite all of you to join me in coming up with an ancestor guest list for your Christmas Dinner. If you don't celebrate Christmas, feel free to choose a different holiday. 

Each day between now and December 25 I am going to invite one of my ancestors to join our family to celebrate with a traditional Turkey Dinner. 

Please think about who you want to invite and tell us why you want to have them at your table. Would you have a gift for them under the tree? What would it be? 

My 8th ancestor I want to invite for Christmas Dinner is Jacques Hertel. Jacques was born in France circa 1603 and was brought to New France (present day Quebec) at age 11 to be one of Samuel de Champlain's interpreters with the native tribes. I have so much I want to ask Jacques about but I'm hoping he speaks English as my French is pretty basic. What was Champlain like? What tribe did you live with until you were 16? How did you meet Ots-Toch's mother? I'm going to have to be careful to not badger him with a zillion questions but imagine actually meeting Champlain, the Father of New France, in person. Wow. 

1651 Burial of Jacques Hertel in Trois Rivieres Quebec

As for a gift that's a tough one! But maybe seeing Ots-Toch at the dinner will be enough of a gift as I suspect he never had any contact with her after her birth. The French and the Mohawks were at war most of the time and since he was in Trois-Rivieres and she was in a Mohawk village in New York it seems unlikely they had any kind of relationship. 

I guess I need a backup though, a gift under the tree. I have an antique Catholic Holy Water font so I think I'll wrap that for him since he was Catholic. 



Bernard Vanasse said...

My ancestor too . Merry Christmas cousin .

Christine L Flanagan said...

I would invite my ancestor Jean Nicolet who came to new France with Samuel Champlain as an explorer. He is credited with discovering Lake Michigan and the state of Wisconsin. There is a large statue of him in Green Bay on the place where he landed. He landed with silk robes on and with guns blazing as he was searching for a direct route to China. He drowned in the St. Lawrence River at an early age while traveling to an uprising with the indians.
A gift I would bestow on him would be "swimmies".