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May 13, 2014

52 Ancestors: My Cousin Caused the Death of my Daughter-in-law's 9th Great Grandmother

52 Ancestors: My Cousin Caused the Death of my Daughter-in-law's 9th Great Grandmother
My cousin 10x removed was responsible for the death of my daughter-in-law''s 9th great grandmother. This is one of those strange-but-true stories that researchers sometimes encounter while researching family lines.

My Cousin Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville 1668-1722

My first cousin 10x removed, Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville (1668-1722), was the soldier put in charge of the Deerfield Raid in March 1704. Approximately 300 French and Native allies raided the English settlement of Deerfield, Massachusetts. 112 Deerfield men, women, and children were captured and taken on a 300-mile forced march to Quebec. Some of the captives were later redeemed and returned to Deerfield, but one-third decided to remain among their French and Native captors.

Daughter-in-law's 9th Great Grandmother Mehitable Smead Nims

Two of those captured by the French and Indians at Deerfield were Josiah Rising and Abigail Nims. These two captives chose to remain with their captors when offered freedom, and later married. Josiah and Abigail are my daughter-in-law's 8th great-grandparents. Abigail's mother Mehitable Smead Nims (my daughter-in-law's 9th great grandmother) died on the march to Quebec. Since Jean-Baptiste Hertel was my cousin, he was indirectly responsible for the death of my daughter-in-law's 9th great-grandmother.

Abigail Nims aka Elisabeth Towatogowach/T'atog'ach

Abigail, the youngest daughter of Godfrey Nims and his second wife Mehitable Smead was 4 years old when she was captured. Her mother died on the trek to Canada. A native woman Ganastarsi took Abagail on her arrival at the fort Sault-au-Recollet, she was given the name Elisabeth Towatogowach or T'atog'ach which means 'She withdraws from the water'.
"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 June 1700 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.
Several years later Abigail's brother John arranged for her return to New England but she refused to leave the Indian village. Approximately thirteen years after her capture she married Josiah Rising, another captured child.

Josiah Rising aka Ignace Raizenne or Shonatakaki 

Josiah Rising aka Ignace Raizenne or Shonatakaki was 10 years old when he was taken by his captor, Macqua, and given the name Shoetakwanni, which means 'he was taken away from his village'.

On July 29, 1715  Ignace Raizenne (Josiah Rising)  21 years old, married Elisabeth (Abigail Nims) who was 15 years old. The marriage took place in Oka.

"July 29, 1715, I have married Ignace Shoentak'ani and Elisabeth T'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 [sic], about 13 years ago. Maurice Quere, priest"
Eight children were born to this couple. Marie Elisabeth Nims died and was buried at the mission cemetery on 3 Jan 1747. Ignace Raizenne died at age 77 in 1771 and was buried at Oka. 

Credit: Image from


paula said...

What an incredible story, did you find this out before or after she married your son? lol

crustyboils said...

I have just recently discovered that Josiah and Abigail are my 5th Great Grandparents on my maternal grandmother's side. My neice sent me your link, as I had just sent her information about their saga and Deerfield, MA.. This is so fascinating and rich with detail. Thank you for having posted this information. And please say hello to your daughter-in-law,...we must be my kin, afterall.