Newfoundland Mi’kmaq

Frissell’s The Viking (June 19th, 2013)

The Newfoundland Museum, when still on Duckworth Street, had a small collection of films to screen for visitors.  The 
first one I ever showed was The Viking.  I had never heard of the film or the story behind it.  After I got the reel running, I stood in the doorway to make sure it was working okay.  And I began watching.  Finally I pulled a chair over so I could watch the movie more comfortably while also keeping an eye on the lobby.  It was spellbinding – the 1930 seal hunt with  ice and cold and deprivation, and a romance and survival story.  more…

The movie and Earl Pilgrim’s book The Day of Varick Frissell are not about the Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland.  However, families from all parts of the island were affected by the loss of the Viking so this seemed like the best category for this post.

Ancestry Search (Oct. 10th, 2012)

Thirty-three years ago I started doing Newfoundland Mi’kmaq genealogies.  Over the years, I’ve added and corrected information and marked changes in families.  This Tony John in Glenwood Band office 1997weekend, I sadly updated the database with the death date for Tony John of Glenwood.  

FNI President and Vice-President Tony John and Calvin White hired me to do family history research in central Newfoundland.  Tony’s parents, Greg and Mary, became my “Glenwood parents.”   Tony never needed help in tracing his own Mi’kmaq roots; he knew his family ancestry through his father’s side and his mother’s, the Francis family of Clarke’s Head.

Tony was instrumental in establishing a political voice in the 1970s and in getting recognition and rights for all Newfoundland Mi’kmaq.  Thank you, Tony, you will be missed.

For those of you searching for information and documents about your Newfoundland Mi’kmaq ancestry, it can be difficult and time-consuming but doable.  Start with the internet if you don’t have family or neighbours to ask.  more…

Tempting Providence, TNL (Mar. 27th, 2012)

If you’re near London Ont. you’ve got a couple days left to see a grand play at the Grand Poster for Grand Theatre's Tempting ProvidenceTheatre.  Tempting Providence, by Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, runs until Friday March 31st.

It’s the story of Myra Bennett, a British nurse who came in 1921 to Newfoundland for a planned two years.  She married Angus Bennett from Daniel’s Harbour and stayed on the Northern Peninsula until she died in 1990 at the age of 100.  We saw the play several years ago in Cow Head, near where Mrs. Bennett lived.  My dentist, who knows nothing about Newfoundland or outport nursing, saw it in London last week.  Like us, she loved it.  more…

Newfoundland Mi’kmaq Books (Feb. 22nd, 2012)

Watercolour Mary R. McKie, Library and Archives CanadaThe telling of a place often is told through the people who make up the place.  Conversely, the telling of a family can also be told through the place they lived.  Here are books about places or families in Newfoundland that may be of interest to those who are researching their origins.

Newfoundland has many prolific writers and storytellers who have documented its past and present.  There are also many historical sources on the Mi’kmaq and more recent analyses of Mi’kmaq history on the island.  I have not included those here; they can be found on other websites or are already known to those interested in this topic. more…

A Tale of the Sea etc. (Feb. 1st, 2012)

In January 1883 a dory was lost at sea off the south coast of Newfoundland.  On it were 
Howard Blackburn and Tommy Welsh.  They became separated from their schooner in a sudden storm.  The Captain and crew reluctantly had to give them up for dead.

Sixteen-year old Tommy Welsh did die, but Howard Blackburn managed to put in at the tiny village of Little River (now Grey River) near Burgeo on the south coast of Newfoundland.  There, through the skill of Jenny Lushman and Susie Bushney, he was brought back to health, minus his fingers and toes…

But the story doesn’t end with him.  Publicity around his survival led to the reunification of a family after fifty years and the discovery of branches of the family totally unknown to each other. more…

Qalipu Band of the Mi’kmaq Nation (Sept. 27th, 2011)

Monday it was announced:  Mi’kmaq people of Central and Western Newfoundland are now members of the Qalipu band under the Indian Act.  It’s been 39 years since theyme with Jim John, on Gander River summer 1979 began politically organizing for that recognition.  Hallelujah, and about time.

I’ve wondered if it actually would happen in my lifetime.  I have spent my working life on and off involved in this process.  I began in 1979, as a new graduate student at Memorial University of Newfoundland.  Over the years, I’ve continued working for the Federation of Newfoundland Indians.  The early enthusiasm I felt every time there was a hopeful word from Indian Affairs faded long ago.  All we have to do is show x, y or z?  Yep, sure thing.  Sorry, heard that before.  more…

Newfoundland Mi’kmaq Family History & Genealogy  (Mar. 29/11)

The internet is a good place to find out a lot about your family history.  Unfortunately, it ain’t as 1775 Capt. James Cook map of Newfoundlandeasy as the tv ads for ancestry.ca pretend.  Often, those ads with cheerful people clicking on a little leaf and finding some fascinating bit of information about their great-granddaddy come on as I’m struggling to figure out whether this Peter is son of this Paul or that Paul.  It’s all I can do to not throw a shoe at the television.

There is a lot of information on the big genealogy sites like ancestry.ca and genealogy.com.  And there are a lot of other sites with a lot of information where you don’t have to pay a membership fee.  Some have vital statistics on them – birth and death records, census information etc.  Others are the product of family researchers who have compiled data and present it in chart form.  Below are some sites of the second type related to Newfoundland Mi’kmaq families that I have found useful. more…

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebookrssby feather

211 Responses to Newfoundland Mi’kmaq

  1. Mark Riley says:

    Hi There, we are looking for information on our ancestors whom we believe are part of the Newfoundland Mi’kmaq. We didn’t recieve any information about this possibility until the death of same family members and research that resulted upon their passings- this is a piece of copied text from my uncles search as far back at 2006 ” hi i am checking on the marche family and the alexander familes great grandfather was edward marche and great grand mother was adelaide (alexander) marche, birth abt.1849 they had several children and 1 of them was my grand father joseph arthur march and his birth was 1882 bay st. georges nfld. and i do from they where st. georges nfld.would like to find out if they were mi’kmaq”- since this note we have batismal information and birth certificates etc that put the families in port au port and bay st. georges can you provide any additonal information on the names mentioned or guide us in our search? we appreciate any information you can assist with.

  2. Dorothy Dorothy says:

    Hi Mark, I’d suggest looking at Jasen Benwah’s sites (links on Nf Mi’kmaq Family Hist and Gen page) and joining Bay St. George Genealogy Society in order to have access to their large Marche family tree. Also look at the LeJeune links I give, including Bras d’Or Indian Village site.

    Edward (or Edouard Urbain) Marche, b 5 May 1834 Red Island Cap St. George, was s/o Jean Marie Marche (b 1800 Little Bras d’Or, Cape Breton, d 11 Nov 1859 Bay St. George) and Marie Marthe LeJeune (b abt 1803 Little Bras d’Or, d 8 Nov 1859 Stephenville Crossing, Bay St. George). Jean Marie Marche was s/o Jean Joseph March (b abt 1758 France, d aft 1818 Boularderie, Cape Breton) and Marie Theotiste Babin. Marie Marthe LeJeune was d/o James Christophe LeJeune (b 1779 Little Bras d’Or d 25 Feb 1872 S’ville Crossing) and Catherine Jesseau (Jesso) b 1778 St Pierre. James Christopher LeJeune’s parents were Christophe (Jean-Christophe) LeJeune (b 1740 Annapolis Royal NS, d aft 1818) and Louise-Marguerite Hache dit Gallant (b 3 Mar 1737 PEI, d bef 1818). His wife, Catherine Jesseau, was d/o Jean Jesseau (b 1744 St Pierre, d 1800 Little Bras d’Or) and Marie Anne Fournier (b 1754 Quebec, d 27 Jun 1843 Little Bras d’Or)

    Edward Marche’s wife Adelaide Alexander was b abt 1849, d/o Jean Marie Alexander (b 1799 France, d 18 Jan 1886 BSG) and Julie Marie LeJeune (b 1817 Cape Breton). Jean Marie Alexander was s/o Jean Marie Alexander (b abt 1774 Cape Breton) and Annette L’Official (b 1774). Julie Marie LeJeune was b 1817 Cape Breton, sister of Marie Marthe LeJeune (above).

    All these lines, especially L’Official and Hache (aka Gallant), are connected to Mi’kmaq families. There is much more info than I can give here in the sites I mention above. When you get back that far, it’s not always clear who exactly is son of whom, so you’d want to verify what I have included here but it’s something for you to start with. Good luck!

  3. Megan says:

    Hello Dorothy,

    I think it is really great and I respect the time that you spent answering all of the comments! Maybe you can publish a heritage book in the future with all the family information you have collected. Really wonderful work!

    I stumbled across this web site whilst looking for information on my great-great grandfather Aquila Francis and my great grandfather John Thomas Francis of St. Alban’s and Hermitage area. I am wondering if you had found anymore information or where the unsourced information came from, from your response to Trent Dominie. Also, I would not mind making contact with Trent as he may be an unknown distant relative of mine. The following is the original comment from Trent and your response. Anything would be much appreciated as it appears to be some blanks when it comes to my grandmothers past.

    **
    Trent Dominie says:
    September 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm
    Hi Dorothy,
    I’m was wondering if you had any information on aquila francis and his son john thomas francis who lived in hermitage, fortune bay.

    Dorothy says:
    September 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm
    Hi Trent, here is what I have on Aquila Francis: b 1814 d 1905, no parents ent’d but sibs Rebecca, Alfred and William. I have 3 wives for Aquilla: Mary Warren marr 1844, Mary Morris marr 1846 and Martha Herritt marr 1857. As children of Aquilla and Martha, I have Jane b 1852 Grole, Aquilla b 5 Dec 1858, Elizabeth b 10 Jan 1860, Philip b 16 Sep 1861, John Thomas b 18 Dec 1864, Matthew Herritt b 1868, Benjamin William b 3 Jul 1872. I have son John Thomas Francis marr 13 Sep 1888 to Edith Rose b Dec 1866 d/o Benjamin Rose and Eleanor Framp b 1833 d/o William Framp, b 1784 Somerset England, and Rebecca Rose d/o James Rose and Charlotte. This info came from someone else’s database and I have no sources. Hope it helps.

  4. Dorothy Dorothy says:

    Hi Megan and thank you very much. I haven’t found anything more on your and Trent’s Francis family yet. Maybe seeing the info again will jog a memory and someone will post something that will help. I can pass your email address on to Trent if you’d like – just let me know.

  5. Sharon says:

    Hello Dorothy, First of all i’d like to thank you for all the time and work you put into this. I have some information on my mom’s side of the family am also looking on her dad’s side. I’m looking for a connection to MI’kmag maybe around the Conne river area. My GGgrandfather John Hinks married a woman named Mary Neil from Conne river..He was born about 1823 and she 1820.
    Here id the other info on the Crant side of my Moms family.
    Thomas CRANT was born ABT. 1808 in Gaultois, NF, and died 1869 in Burgeo, NF. He was the son of ? Crant. he married Martha FOOTE was born ABT. 1810 in Gaultois, NF, and died 1868 in Burgeo, NF. She was the daughter of John FOOTE and Jane McDONALD.

    Children of Martha FOOTE and Thomas CRANT are:
    i. William CRANT was born 1837 in Gaultois, NF, and died 1866 in Burgeo, NF.

    ii. Catherine CRANT was born 1839 in Gaultois, NF. She married John STRICKLAND 29 JUN 1864 in Lwr. Burgeo, NF, son of Henry STRICKLAND and Sarah SKEARD. He was born ABT. 1838 in Lwr. Burgeo, NF.

    iii. Thomas CRANT was born AUG 1841 in Gaultois, NF. He married Rosannah NORTHCOTT, daughter of Valentine NORTHCOTT and Elizabeth McDONALD. She was born 1848 in Gaultois, NF. He married Mary CLARKE ABT. 1861.

    iv. John CRANT was born 1842 in Gaultois, NF.(1st) He married Matlida SWIFT.(2nd) He married Bridget McDONALD 21 MAY 1875 in Gaultois, NF, daughter of James McDONALD and Mary NEIL. She was born ABT. 1845 in Gaultois, Nl

  6. Dorothy Dorothy says:

    Hi Sharon. I have a John Hinks born 1865 in Dragon and Jane Annie (Nancy) Drew, born 1869 McCallum died Conne River. But they are much later than yours and I don’t have a Mary Neil married to John Hinks. I can’t find a connection between the two, but maybe a reader will help us. Thanks for your kind words and the Crant info.

  7. Dorothy, back in Sept 2012 you had some correspondence with Trent Dominie regarding Aquila Francis. This looks like it is someone from my family back in Somerset, England. You may like to pass this on to Trent if you can along with my email address.

    I have no direct info on the first Aquila, but I have an ancestor Alfred Francis born 1829 to Jonas and Mary FRANCIS Ditcheat, Somerset.

    In 1881 census in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, Alfred has living with him Aquila FRANCIS, Nephew, 20, Newfoundland Hermatra Cove (presumably a mispelling, but if you know of such a place I would love to know).

    In 1891 census Aquila seems to have married his cousin, and been back to Newfoundland in the intervening years:

    Heneritta FRANCIS, Daur 29 M Dress Maker Shepton Mallett.
    Aquilla FRANCIS Son in Law 31 M Plate Layer on line Newfoundland Hermitage Bay.
    Jonas P FRANCIS Grandson 7 Newfoundland Hermitage Bay
    Ernest F FRANCIS Grandson 9 Shepton Mallett

  8. Dorothy Dorothy says:

    Hi Derek, I’ve sent your message on to Trent. Thanks for the information. Best I can think about Hermatra Cove is that Hermitage Bay is meant.

  9. Thanks Dorothy. I see that Megan has the same interest, so please make sure she sees this too!

  10. Moses Ingram says:

    I am trying to find information on my great-grandfather George Ingram who was born sometime in the 1820′s in or around Gaultois in Hermitage Bay. He moved to Harbour Buffett probably in the late 1840′s where he married my great-grandmother Frances Reid. I know that they had two sons, my grandfather Henry Ingram 1851-1935, and another son George Ingram. I have not heard of any other family members. George was a member of the Church of England and the parish headquarters was probably in Hermitage. I heard that there were three brother, one remained in the area of Gaultois and the other moved to Burgeo.

  11. Dorothy Dorothy says:

    Hi Moses, I don’t have George Ingram married to Frances Reid. Lots of other ones, and a few Henrys. Who did sons Henry and George marry?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>