My interest in genealogy began in the late 1990's when I came across the description that follows of what I presumed to be our first ancestor in North America. I found this short essay written by Grace Sicotte on Dan Sicotte's web site. I was fascinated by the story and soon found myself searching for my own connection to these historical roots. It took me nearly two full years and many late nights combing the national archives and other historical records but I finally made the crucial connection though it did require some professional guidance. Genealogy is not for the faint of heart ...or those with weak eyes.
These pages represent the fruits of my labor to date. I have met many relatives I was unaware of and have received many kind words from others who have found useful information here. I hope you find it useful,informative and perhaps even entertaining here and there as well. It's been a while since I've added any new information but I hope the new look is easier on the eyes. I am looking forward to returning to the task of adding more branches to the tree so I hope to hear from some of you after you have had a chance to browse the site.
The Story of the First Ancestor of the Cicotte Family in North America
The name of the first ancestor was Jean (Chiquot). He was born in France in 1631. His father was Guillaume Chiquot and his mother was Jeanne Fafard, from Bolu, Isle D'oleron, Diocese of La Rochelle in Charente Inferierire, France. He came to settle in Canada in the year 1650, at the age of 19.
In May 1650, with a view to assure a lasting peace for the colony always threatened by the Iroquois, the King of France decided to send to Canada a good army corps. Twelve hundred soldiers from the Regiment de Carignan, left La Rochelle for Canada, and arrived the following September. A writer named Faillon, related in a few simple lines, in his History of the French Colony , the arrival of the soldiers in 1650, among whom was our first ancestor Jean Chiquot.
Montreal, founded by Monsieur de Maisonneuve, was only eight-years-old in 1650. At that time, the lives of settlers at Ville-Marie were in great danger. In 1651, Sister Bourgeois wrote that then there were only 17 men able to fight against the Iroquois and the Superior of the Jesuit Fathers stated that the whole remaining population amounted to only about 50 French people. Our ancestor was among those 50, and one of the seventeen men in condition to fight against the Iroquois.
We cannot help but be horrified at hearing that sometimes the Iroquois used to scalp their victims by removing the skin from their heads. Our ancestor, Jean was one of the victims and here are the particular circumstances of his mutilation, as Faillon recorded in his History of the French Colony of Canada :
"A brave and good settler, Jean Boudart, was the first one killed by the Iroquois in 1651, and his wife Catherine, was taken captive. Cicot, in his flight, hid under a recently felled tree and the Iroquois did not attempt to get him out, but kept running after Boudart. He attacked the Iroquois so furiously, they killed him on the spot. As for the woman, they spared her life, only to make her suffer the most excruciating tortures in their country.
Additional details were found in Relations des Jesuits :
"We left Trois-Rivieres for Montreal, where we arrived the next day at 8 o'clock. We were informed that, on the 6th of the month, about 50 Iroquois had killed Grand Jean [Jean Boudart], cut off his head, and had taken his wife captive, and after scalping him, left for dead a 21-year-old boy by the name of Jean Cicot."
The first mention of Jean Cicot - Sicotte following this event was found in the records of the parish of Notre Dame in Montreal. It was his marriage with Marguerite Maclin, a 14-year-old girl, with whom he had two children (see marriage documents here ). It is interesting to note that Monsieur de Maisonnueve and Sister Bourgeois were witnesses at the wedding, which took place on the 23rd of October 1662. He died in 1667, on the 8th of June. So, for sixteen years he survived the terrible torture which he had experienced which took place on the 6th of May 1651.
courtesy of Grace Sicotte