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 Post subject: Thomas Pitt(later Picq), Plaisance & Tompique Family
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:21 pm 
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Looking for any information on the Pic(q) (also attested as Pick, Pisk, Pieq, Tompic, Tompict, Thompsik, Thompitz, Toupic, Toupie, Tompique, Piet, Pitt) patriline formerly inhabiting Plaisance, Petit Plaisance and Ile Lounge (Long Island), Placentia Bay. Also looking for any information on the descendants of the Tompique patriline, who descend from the Picq patriline above, after changing their name from the former to the latter, before migrating to La Rochelle, France (ca. 1785-90) (Stephen White, personal communication, 2011) from the Havre-de-la-Baleines area of Cape Breton, NS. Following the forced deportation or exile of Terre Neuviens habitans from the French settlements of Plaisance and outlying settlement areas (1713-), the Tompic patriline shows up in Miquelon, Ile Royale (Fortress of Louisbourg), and later Havre-de-la-Baleines. It is believed that Thomas Picq died sometime around 1704-6 in Terre Neuve, as he is absent from later censuses, namely the 1706 recensement of Grand Greve, Plaisance listing only his widow (La Veue Tompicq), along with 1 garcon (Thomas Picq Jr.), perhaps succumbing to a fatality sustained in one of the military campaigns or skirmishes during the French-English Wars (1704-5), somewhere in the Upper Placentia Bay (Piper’s Hole-Black River watershed) areas, or Upper Trinity Bay (South) (Stock Cove-Bull Arm) areas.

It is interesting to note that two of Thomas Picq’s four sons (Pierre, Gaspard, Jean Peris, et Thomas Jr.), Gaspard and Jean Peris Picq, were not recorded in later French recensements at either Miquelon or Ile Royale, Cape Breton Island, NS, suggesting that they either deserted somewhere in the Upper Placentia Bay or Upper Trinity Bay (South) areas, or died in one of the military campaigns or skirmishes during the noted wars above; in which case, they may be buried in either the consecrated RC French-French Basque burial ground at Plaisance, PB, or at an unknown burial ground throughout the fighting domain of Upper PB-Upper TB.

According to published censuses (recensements), the first attested progenitor of this patriline was a Thomas Picq (b. 1644 Rincourt, or Ringonst (Ringwood, Hampshire or Hants County), Angleterre (England), d. ca. 1704 Terre Neuve. The following link proposes a reconstructed family tree or genealogy for the Picq patriline of Plaisance ( php?personID=I12535&tree=entier), while Mr. Landry gives the following detailed reconstructed family tree: ( =I8342&tree=03). Mr. Landry also gives the following reconstructed genealogy for Andre Tompique, s/o Thomas Tompique (b. 1685, Plaisance, Terre Neuve) (s/o Thomas Picq & Anne Marie Raymond) & Marie Ostendeau ( /getperson.php?personID =I4597&tree=03).
As for a conjectural origin for the Picq family name, Thomas Cole (2005), noted Newfoundland genealogist, family historian and archivist, gives the following information on the origin of this patriline, based on his independent research, suggesting that the older form of the name was Pitt or Piet, later changed to Picq (ca. 1664-5):

“Thomas Pitt was a soldier in St. John's, Newfoundland who deserted to the
French in Plaisance (Placentia). His daughter Marie married there about 1690
to Pierre Carterot. They later moved (or were removed) to Quebec where
Thomas Pitt's family were known as Picq”.( ... 1130192387)

As an observational note to this genealogical tidbit, in all probability it is more parsimonious to infer that Thomas Pitt was taken captive or voluntarily surrendered during one of the raids, skirmishes or battles on the fort at St. John’s (Fort William) by a French regiment or war party, rather than seeking asylum as a deserter or defector, and subsequently brought back to Plaisance as a prisoner-of-war or war captive, to be indentured as a servant prior to his assimilation and acculturation into the French community there. Peter Pope (2004) indirectly lends some credence to this implication or inference in noting that Thomas Picq served as an indentured servant, prior to working his way upward through the hierarchial ranks of the “pecking order”. As an outsider of English heritage whose actions of desertion or surrender would have been perceived as treacherous or deceptive within the local French community, trust and respect could only be acquired over due time through indentured servitude and eventually marriage to a French habitan from the community to assure his security, allegiance and fealty.

Peter Pope, a renown Newfoundland historian, gives the following information on Thomas Picq: “A French census recorded Tom Pic, Jean Bardet, and Louis de Beaufet as “anglois” at Plaisance in 1671. Captain William Poole noted some of the same families there in 1677: “Mr. Jackson, his wife and family, all English, the other three, viz. Thomas Peck, William Buffitt, and Phillip Leymer were his servants, but are now married to French women. Pick and Leymer (Lemard) were still at Plaisance in 1696 with their French wives.” (Pope, Peter 2004, in Fish Into Wine: the Newfoundland Plantation in the Seventeenth Century). This piece of evidence suggests that the Thomas Pic(q) served as an indentured servant under the servitude of an established habitan, working his way up from an indentured pecheur to a landowning habitan, with all the rights bestowed thereupon.

According to the 1673 recensement de Plaisance Thomas Picq, agee 29 ans, had 1 indentured servant listed under his service, notably “Jean Bourdoncle dit Jean de Bordeaux de Sauben en Gascogne aagé de 18 ans au servisse de Tompic” (Rolle des noms et surnoms aages des habitants de Plaisance que j'ay donne soubs le commandement de Mr de la Poiepe Gouverneur le huict septbre 1673). Note that another on-line reference gives a Jean Bon (b. ca. 1653 Montagne-au-Perche, Orne, France), “au service de Thomas Tompique” ( personID=I5704&tree=03). Another on-line reference gives a Jean Roy (dit Laliberte Le Neigre?) as an African or Black servant to Thomas Tompique (of Thomas Picq & Anne Marie Raymond) of Plaisance, b. ca. 1647 Aleurat, France, relocated to Plaisance, TN (Terre-Neuve) to work under the service of the latter (1670s) (http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry .com/th/ read/ ACADIAN-CAJUN/2004-09/1094268006).

Dr David Pike, noted mathematician, statistician, genetic genealogist and family historian specializing in Pike family history, gives the following account of Thomas Picq, as recorded in a letter dated 1688: “Thomas Pic is mentioned in a letter dated 9 July 1688 from Gov. Parat in Placentia to the Minister in Versailles. He wrote that Thomas Pic, 56, of Ringonst, England, had resided in Placentia for 23 years and had been married for 20 years to Anne Remord de Mechent of the Diocese of Bordeaux, France. They had 4 sons and 1 daughter. Three of the other Englishmen were from Poole. Their names were also francicized by the writer (Zemard, perhaps Seymour; Bouflet, perhaps Buffett; Torhl, which might have been Torrell). A fifth Englishmen named Gresse or something like that (Grace? Gosse?), place of origin not stated, had died; he is described as a Huguenot and his children were not practicing Catholics”. (http://www.math. /~dapike /family_ history/pike/ DNA/index.php? content=early.html). If the above reference is correct, and not a typographic error, the estimated DOB for Thomas Pic would be 1632 (1688-56), and not 1644 as quoted elsewhere in other historical sources, calling into the question the accuracy of other nominal censuses.

According to the 1701 census of Plaisance and Petit Plaisance Thomas Piet (Picq) of Plaisance had 3 principal pecheurs (fishermen) hired under him, along with 2 companions for each pecheur, for a total of 9 seasonal fishermen or indentured servants, while his son Pierre (Pish-of Le Marquise) or Petry Toupic (Tompic) (known as “Le Chevalier de L’Ile Longue”, or “Knight of Long Island”) of Petit Plasaince (Argentia) had deux compaignons (2 helpers-no names given) summarized by the phrase: “Passepartout et ses deux compaignons”, under the heading “noms de pecheurs que chaque habitant hiverne-names of fishermen that stayed with occupants during the winter”. Particulars are given for the names of the three fishermen indentured under Thomas Picq, summarized by the phrases “….pecheurs que chaque habitant fait revenir France-names of each fishermen that each occupant sent back to France”, with a note “Il doit amener ses deux compaignons”. The names of the 3 fishermen noted in the census are: Miguel de biriart (sic.), Estienne diturbide (sic.), Joannis de detcheverry (sic.)-all French Basques. ( However, the names of the 6 other pecheurs accompanying the 3 Basques are not given, but in all probability were either French Basques, or French Bretons (from Bretagne, France).

While muster rolls giving exact names of soldiers who enlisted for service are not given for the French infantry regular troops conscripted from the ranks of the population of Plaisance and outlying regions during Father Beaudoin’s War (1696-7), the imperial colonial policy at that time was to enlist all able bodied men from the male populace from the domain of settlement to serve in the standing armies-so by implication, Thomas Picq and his 3/4 sons (along with other male heads of households and their sons, as listed in the published recensements) did in fact serve as regular militia or infantrymen during the French-English Wars, along with their servants as auxiliaries, and Canadian troops and Indian (Abenaki & Mi’kmaq) mercenaries; the latter as skirmishers, guides and scouts. After translating the journals or diaries of abbe Beaudoin, Williams (1987) reconstructs the sequence of historical events, skirmishes or battles (naval and land-based), sites of settlements attacked, prisoner-of-war captives,….. - also giving details on the logistical and strategic complexities of the various campaigns throughout Trinity Bay, Bonavista Bay, and Conception Bay. He cites the strategic importance of Come-by-Chance River emptying into the Bay of Cromwell [Baye Carinoulle] as a route connecting both Upper Placentia Bay and Upper Trinity Bay (South) areas as a nexus or conduit by which French regular troops, Canadian mercenaries and Indian guides-scouts launched their overland attacks of English coastal settlements by canoes and chaloupes [shallops, or shalloways]-in all probability this trail was the same Indian trail that John Guy recorded in his 1612 survey journals which linked Truce Sound (Sunnyside) to Passage Harbour (Come-by-Chance River), PB., as employed by previous local Pi’tawkewaw (Beothuk) kin groups from the area, and later taken over by Abenaki-Mi’kmaq kin groups, after the abandonment of the area by the former (ca. 1630-40). Williams (1987) also highlights the role of Frenchman’s Island (later McKay Island) as a temporary prisoner-of-war internment camp, fort or garrison to hold English war captives or slaves seized during the raiding campaigns throughout TB.

It is quite possible that there was an incentive for one or two of the three sons of Thomas Picq Sr, who served in Father Beaudoin’s War, namely either Gaspard Picq or Jean Peris Picq, to desert in the Piper’s Hole watershed area, giving rise to the place name or toponym of Piper’s Hole and, thereafter, the folklore myth or “Legend of Piper’s Hole” (NQ 1912). The highly marked or unique place name of “Toby Outlook” (Mc Kenukwitk) (overlooking Hayse’s Cove, Tom Hayse’s Brook, Birchy Islands, and Indian Cove, Brown’s Island) in the Piper’s Hole watershed area, may derive from the family name Toupie (sic.) (pronounced as orthographic Tobie or Toby, and not the truncated form of the personal name Tobias), a variant of Tompic, or Toupic, lends some indirect circumstantial evidence or credence to this supposition. The Colonial Office reports also record the role of Indian guides and their families during the French-English Wars. Given the close proximity of Come-by-Chance River, via North Harbour-Garden Cove-Black River, to the known Mi’kmaw-Abenaki campsite of Nukamkia’ji’jk (Little Sandy Harbour) (aka Pike Place, or Johnnie Martin’s Land), Piper’s Hole, it is reasonable to conclude that Thomas Picq and his sons did in fact have contact with Abenaki (later Mi’kmaw) warriors, guides and scouts not only through the various military campaigns in the region, with which they fought together against the English in Father Beaudoin’s War, but through seasonal over-wintering activities (hunting, trapping, boat construction & repair, trade or barter with local Mi’kmaw kin-groups…, conducted in the Piper’s Hole watershed area, while seasonally residing there. Two pieces of indirect circumstantial evidence points to supporting this prediction, namely: 1.) the highly marked, unique or unusual family name Tompic, as reflecting a fusion or coalescence of the first syllable Tom- of the first or given name T(h)om(as) and the final family name or patronym Pic(q), is not common among French or English name calling traditions or customs, but is a common practice among Eastern-Western Abenaki ones, cf. WAb Zabadis, Sabattis(t), for example as attested in the blend of the French given and family name Jean Baptiste, or Jean-Baptiste, later taken as an hereditary family name or patronym by Wab kin-groups; cf. also Mc Agathe Edoumapiart, or Agathe Beri, where the former family name seems to reflect Edouard (Etua’t)-Pierre (Beri, or Peris), w/o Jean Baptiste (Sekaquet); and 2.) Pierre Tompic (s/o Etienne Tompic) (Eurocanadien) acted as a sponsor (godfather) on August 28, 1768 to Denis Huri (Mi’kmaw) (s/o Antoine Huri & Manon Etienne [Stephens]) at Bonne Baie, Terre Neuve (tp://, where the Huri patriline is somehow connected to the Helie patriline of Baye des Experes (Bay Despoir) [Conne River, FB]. Note also the baptism of Jean Martin (Montannier), adoptive son of Helie (of Baye des Experes), listed in the Saint-Pierre et Miquelon parish registers. This Jean (John) Martin may be a progenitor of the Martin patriline of Conne River (and later Black River-Piper’s Hole, PB-perhaps being the great-great-grandfather of John Martin Jr., or Johnnie Martin of Piper’s Hole, PB-Rantem-Tickle Harbour, TB). This suggests that the (Tom)pic family did in fact have associations with Newfoundland Mi’kmaw kin groups originating from the Indian village of Le Cornu (The Horn)-Conne River (Miawpukek) and by extension through the intertribal Indian village of Nukamkia’ji’jk (later Pike Place), Piper’s Hole, PB. One can thus calculate the desertion of two Frenchmen at Baie L’Argent at 1704-1713, between the peak of recorded desertions and the official forced expulsion or deportation. The fact that Captain William Taverner confirms the existence of an abandoned trapper’s tilt in 1713 at Baie L’Argent [Piper’s Hole] (lit. “Bay of Silver”, taking its origin or etymology in reference to resource material plenty, wealth or abundance, or a reference to the prolific profusion of quaking-trembling aspen and silver maple, which thrive indigenously in the local area) suggests that a French settler or habitan formerly resided there, abandoning the area prior to the English coastal survey of 1713. He also confirms the oral tradition accounts from English (or ex-patriot French, now naturalized) military intelligence and surveillance personnel (spies) that the French did seasonally migrate to this area to procure raw materials for housing, boat building (winter works) and trapping:

Copy of Captain Taverner's Second Report relating to Newfoundland
Rec'd 25th May}
Read 27 Do } 1718
f. 226
[Nov, 1713]
10th Entred the Bay de Largent, [11] which is about 3 Leag.s. Deep, Commodious for Ships, and Boats, It affords very good Woodes, for building Stages, houses, &ca and large trees, fitt for Board, or Plank, of which the ffrench from Placentia, did Sawe Great Quantitys, it's alsoe good for Seales, Beaver, Fox, Otter, &ca. There is Two Rivers empty Themselves into it, Tolerably good, for Salmon.
I was obligd to Tarry there untill the 23d, by reas. of the Contrary Winds, and Snowy Weather, the Cold was soe Strong, that we could not goe abroad in our boat, above Two or Three Times, The harbour being filld with Ice, we found an Old house in the woodes [12], which did us a great deal of Service, in defending us from the Cold, & Snow. (The National Archives (PRO) CO 194/6: 226-241v [NAC MG 11, Microfilm copy, Reel B-208).
Robert Cuff speculates given the topographic details outlined in the report that the place name Baie L’Argent referenced in the report designates Piper’s Hole [Swift Current, PB]: “The only Bay L’Argent in Newfoundland today is on the northwestern coast of the Burin Peninsula. This is obviously not the "Bay Largent" Taverner visited. Robert Cuff suggests that the place Taverner visited was "probably Piper’s Hole & the Swift Current area"; Cuff, "Taverner's Second Survey," p. 11. (htp:// ... eport2.htm).

As a side note Herman Moll’s 1720 topographic map of Placentia Bay shows 2 rectangular boxes labeled “Platform”, one situated in the proximity of Bar Haven or Barren Island, and the other in the vicinity of North Harbour and Come-by-Chance. In all probability, such place names labeled as “Platform” designates an elevated plateau or promontory used a seasonal working station for the in-shore fishery. The presence of such place names suggest that the French did indeed occupy these areas, if not permanently, seasonally during the long-winter months (Dec.-Mar).

Colonial Office records support the observation that numerous Frenchmen deserted from the garrison at Plaisance and the regular forces stationed throughout Placentia Bay during this time period (1703-6). For example, the deposition of LaVille and Belrose, two deserters from Plaisance (CO 32-32v, 26 Sept, 1703), the examination of John Grimma? and Guillaume Lassuse?, two deserters from Plaisance (34-Nov 19, 1703), as well as the deposition of a French deserter Jean LeMoine…information confirmed by fellow deserter Jnes. Jollie (46-46v 23 Sept 1704), are but three examples of recorded cases of desertion in the Placentia Bay area (Original Correspondence-Secretary of State CO194/22 [Reel B-214]. ( /nfld_history/ CO194/CO194_22.htm))-whether these desertions occurred near the fort at Grand Greve, Plaisance, or in the Upper PB area are not known at present. These recorded desertions may comprise but a mere fraction of actual desertion events that occurred during the French-English Wars. Many such desertion events may have gone unrecorded by French colonial record keepers or census takers in the field during battle-“slipping through the cracks” if you will. Specifics on which French soldiers deserted or were killed in battle during the French-English Wars can only be conjectured as detailed muster rolls, desertion lists and death tolls of French regular troops following the various battles of the military campaigns are conspicuously missing in French archival records, or have not been uncovered to date for translation and interpretation. Furthermore, muster rolls and censuses of the French Eurocanadien and Indian guides-scouts-warriors who volunteered or were enlisted for military service as mercenaries and auxiliary units during the French-English Wars-according to some historical accounts reaching as high as 300-400 members (Williams, A. 1987 & CO Records)-were either not recorded by French colonial officials-missionaries, or have not survived.

Given the inaccessible geographic remoteness and rugged terrain of the Piper’s Hole-Black River watershed areas, dotted by a maze of bogs, marshes, wetlands, ponds and lakes, interspersed with thick low-cut brush or tuckamore, and affording access into the interior hunting-trapping grounds and in-land caribou migration routes, this area would have been attractive to French naval or infantry deserters over successive migration-settlement eras or epochs, starting with the Basque (1540-1640), French Basque (1640-70), Bordelais-Rochelais Continental French occupation (1670-1713) of Plaisance and outlying areas, and ending with Anglo-Irish deserters from the English Navy (1713-1815), the lattermost conducting surveillance patrols of the Upper Placentia Bay area. Such desertion or defection would have been enticing or alluring to adventurous or “free-spirited” French colonial troops or soldiers attracted to the semi-nomadic lifestyle (hunting-trapping) of local Amerindian (Abenaki & Mi’kmaq) kin group, who could not only afford them shelter, protection and sanctuary from colonial court martial press-gangs in their efforts to evade detection and subsequent persecution under the full extent of anti-desertion laws, but also ease their transition to learning hunting-fishing survival techniques. Furthermore, the scarcity of eligible and marriageable French colonial wives from the surrounding areas, made the temptation or lure of taking an Amerindian wife almost irresistible. Given that the place name Piper’s Hole (sic.), denoting the earlier French topnyme Baie L’Argent (Bay of Silver) (not to be confused with the toponym “Bay Largent” of same said name in Fortune Bay), first shows up on topographic maps or navigation charts for the Placentia Bay area in the 1760s (Captain J. Cook’s 1767 Map of NL), it reasonable to conclude or infer that the name derives from a desertion incident that occurred in the area between 1713 and 1767, say 1 Gen (20-30 years after the French withdrawal, or 1733-43). In all likelihood or probability, the oral tradition account or narrative recounting the tale or tradition of the event as elicited from Mrs. John Barrington (Mary Hawco), of Indian Cove, Pike Place, Piper’s Hole, by Richard S. Dahl in 1912 (Newfoundland Quarterly, “The Lore of Placentia Bay-IV-The Piper of Piper’s Hole”, Vol. 12, No. 2, October 1912) where Mrs. Barrington gives “almost a century ago” as an approximate date for the desertion of 2 Irishmen?, does not refer to the initial name calling of the place name Piper’s Hole, as it only brings the timing of the event back to ca. 1812 (100 years from 1912). This chronological estimate places the event of desertion within the context of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), almost 100 years after French expulsion following the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), and approximately 80 years after the place presumably took its pejorative English-derived name of Piper’s Hole-so named after the desertion event. As the French naval fleet in Newfoundland and Labrador was already disarmed and disbanded during this period in Newfoundland at least, with French settlement confined to St. Pierre-Miquelon, France, there was no established French naval presence in the Upper Placentia Bay area, so in all probability the 2 deserters were either English or Irish-as confirmed by Mrs. Barrington’s oral testimony, while citing the names Kelly and Woundy? as family names of the deserters, the former contributing to the name Kelly’s Brook, east of Piper’s Hole River, flowing from Pike Pond, in the Black River Mountains. It is obvious that this event is separate from the initial desertion event (ca. 1696/7-1713) of 2 Frenchmen “jumping ship” in the same area. The desertion history of this area can then be chronologically or sequentially summarized, at least officially on record, as 2 desertion events: 1.) two Frenchmen (ca. 1696/7-1713); and 2.) two Irishmen/Englishmen (ca. 1812). Furthermore, the story of how the Pike and Martin [Mc (Algou)ma(r)tin(uck)] families “became tangled up”, as narrated by Johnnie Martin of Indian Cove, Pike Place, Piper’s Hole-Rantem, TB (later Tickle Harbour), while the former were “…up in Labrador fishing” when “the French and English were fighting” may refer to an earlier desertion event in the Piper’s Hole watershed area dated ca. 1696/7-1713, whose thematic elements became superimposed, confused or “mixed up” over generations with the later event ca. 1812-3. It is quite possible that the event that Johnnie Martin was referring to took place in 1812-3 (Napoleonic Wars) in Labrador. With an approximate DOB for John Martin Jr. in 1880, one can calculate an app. DOB for his father John Martin Sr. as 1850, his grandfather at 1820, and his great-grand father at 1790,….So clearly, the evidence suggests that Johnnie’s father was not up in Labrador during the latest French-English (Napoleonic) Wars (1803-15), but, in all likelihood, it was more than likely his great-grand father. This evidence once again seriously calls into question the veracity or truthfulness of oral tradition accounts. While being based on or referencing some actual historical event, certain elements of such oral traditions become blurred or contaminated over generations, reflecting different interpretations and memory recall of informants as storytellers or sources of and witnesses to oral tradition learning-teaching. While bearing some “kernel” or “grain of truth” in referencing an actual historical event that occurred at some point in history the details of the event became obscured over time with inherent inconsistencies, contradictions and confusion. If we follow Johnnie Martin’s testimony the Pikes were already in the Stock Cove-Bull Arm, TB area during the French-English Wars (1696-1713), in relating the burning of English warships in the Stock Cove area: “they [the Pikes] were there with them [French and Indians]…….,” so the later desertion event of 1812-3 at Piper’s Hole, PB involving the 2 deserters Kelley and Woundy can be excluded as the same event (1812-15). As to speculating the identity of the Native American group that granted sanctuary or refuge to the 2 French deserters (ca. 1696/7-1713) during the initial desertion event, in all probability they were probably Newfoundland Mi’kmaq and not Western-Eastern Abenaki (Pickwacket). Evidence conducted by Williams (1987) suggests that the first phase of Father Beaudoin’s War (D’Iberville’s campaign) (1696/7) may have been conducted primarily by Abenaki mercenaries, under the leadership of the noted and prominent Abenaki War Captain and Chief Nescambiouit (sic.) [Niskampawit, normalized] (Williams, Alan F. & Alan G. Father Beaudoin`s War, Macpherson, 1987). Citing a reference to a published letter dated Jan 08 1706 from Roope to Board of Trade “….The French continued their attack, crossing the isthmus at "Bay Bulls" [Bull Arm] and plundering Conception and Trinity Bays. Mentions Indians of another nation had their wives and children with them [Dr. Ulaf Janzen’s transcribed note of original French transcripts]. ( nfld_history /CO194/CO194-3.htm (CO 194/3 [Reels B206 & B207]). This transcript as noted by French military commanders and colonial officials suggests that there were indeed 2 distinct Native American groups or nations participating in the French-English Wars, and not just one-with the former in all probability being Abenaki (1696-7), and the latter Mikmak (Mi’kmaq) (1703-4). It is quite possible that the Indian group, including extended families, referred to above, resided in the Bull Arm-Stock Cove,TB area during the various campaigns, maintaining a temporary or seasonal village there close to the makeshift fort or prisoner-of-war camp located at Frenchman’s (McKay) Island, Sunnyside.

Unfortunately, it may be impossible to test the hypothesis using modern DNA testing as to whether a son of Thomas Pitt (later Picq), a servant of him, or a family friend allied or associated with him as a mercenary during one of the overland military expeditions into Trinity Bay, are related to living family members of the Trinity Bay Pike (Peck-Pick) extended kin group. Furthermore, it may be outside the limits of current genetic genealogy testing and archival records research to test the hypothesis as to whether the NL Peck-Pick (later Pike) patriline of Trinity, TB (later New Harbour-Tickle Harbour, and possibly Old Perlican), presumably originating from Christchurch, Hants County, are related to the Pitt patrilines of Ringwood, Hants County, England. The research is confounded by the following limitations: 1.) there are no preserved official Basque, French Basque and French colonial census records (recensements) for the Upper Placentia Bay area, notably the Piper’s Hole-Black River watershed areas, designated by the French toponym or place name Baie L’Argent (sic.), during the period ca. 1540-1713; 2.) there are no official English or British colonial office census records or business directories for the same said place during the period 1713-1864, pursuant to the French withdrawal after the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) and transfer of colonial power, jurisprudence and usufructury rights to ownership of land from French to English imperial power, with the first business directory being recorded for Black River, PB in 1864 (Hutchings)-so essentially there is a 320 year gap or hiatus in the official written records. In reference to assuming that no one occupied the Upper PB area based only on the absence of census records, it is safe and wise “to air on the side of caution” in quoting a common saying or quotation “an absence of evidence does not imply evidence for absence”. As archival records and oral tradition accounts confirm, Newfoundland Mi’kmaq seasonally occupied this area as part of their hunting-trapping domain-so although the area was a “terra incognito”, it was not a “terra nullis”, devoid of human habitation-once again colonial French record keepers and census takers commissioned by colonial official and missionaries failed to recognize the presence of other ethnic groups, such as Amerindian (whether Mi’kmaq or Abenaki) occupation sites or villages located in the outlying hinterland areas, outside the domain proper of French occupation or habitation zones attached to the garrison or forts. Regarding a possible historical and genealogical link between the Pitt and Pike families of England, a baptismal entry or christening for a Thomas Pitt or Pike (son of John Pitt or Pike) in September 11, 1644 Liddiard-Treegooze, Wiltshire, England ( #count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3AThomas~%20%2Bsurname%3APitt~%20%2Bbirth_place%3AEngland~%20%2Bbirth_year%3A1644-1644~), with a place of residence as noted is interesting and noteworthy. While this entry may be nothing more than a mere coincidence, the date 1644, name Thomas Pitt and the alternative patronym to Pitt listed as Pike seems to suggest that there may be some credence to the circumstantial evidence that Thomas Pitt was in fact a Pike, as the later attestations or variants of the family name as recorded in the parish records, censuses and historical records suggest. This baptismal entry may not be a coincidence, and may in fact refer to the same Thomas Pitt (Piet) (later Picq…..) listed in the various census records, archival notes,…..for Plaisance and outlying regions. If this is the case the family name Pike may have been used side-by-side as an alternative family name in addition to the patronym Pitt, perhaps originating as a compound family name Pike-Pitt, or Pitt-Pike, where either compounded patronym may denote a Pike mother and Pitt father, or vice versa. Or conversely, it may derive from a name change from Pitt to Pike, or vice versa. To date, a detailed on-line record search of published parish registers or church records for Hampshire County, England, with keyword search focus on Ringwood, have failed to identify any close matches for a Thomas Pitt with a DOB for 1644 of said place-so the date-of-birth or the place of birth is wrong as attested in the written records. Furthermore, the place name Ringonst (sic.) and Rincourt (sic.) are not attested in any contemporary English cartographic maps, suggesting as per S. White that it may be an attempted phonetic approximation of or orthographic rendition of Ringwood (sic.). If the Thomas Pitt or Pike noted above is indeed the same individual, the French family names as attested for Thomas Pitt (later Picq) are nothing more than French pronunciations of the English family name Pike. So a name change from the Trinity Peck-Pick patriline (ca. 1824-35) to Pike for the later Upper Trinity Bay (New Harbour-Tickle Harbour) Pike patriline, brings to full circle almost 200 years later a family name that already existed in the founding group from England.

Several oral traditions as recorded or preserved among some community members of Tickle Harbour (now Bellevue) attest to the presence of French in the area, and by extension some local families who can still trace ancestry back to the old French and French Indian families who fought in the original French-English Wars (1696/7, 1703-6). Some of these stories are as follows: “There are three Frenchmen buried out on the point [Fahey’s Garden, McCarthy’s Point, Tickle Harbour], two of them are Pikes” (John Pike of John Richard Pike & Catherine Lynch, personal communication to Leo Brazil Sr., Tickle Harbour, ca. 1950-5, as related to the present author via G. Brazil, son of former, at Bellevue, TB, 2011). John Pike apparently pointed out the exact location of this burial plot before his death in 1955. This oral tradition suggests that the older Pikes from the community tracing ancestry back to Piper’s Hole-Black River, PB associated or identified with French ancestry-whether this French ancestry derives from the mother of John Richard Pike, believed to originate from the Piper’s Hole watershed area, with connection to the old Indian village of Indian Cove, Pike Place (Nukamkia’ji’jk), or through the father Geo. Peck Sr. (of Trinity, TB, formerly of Christchurch, Hants County, Eng.)-is not known at present. Other stories preserved in the community history of Tickle Harbour (now Bellevue) relate how: “there are two Frenchmen buried out on the point” (Fahey’s Garden, McCarthy’s Point). Other stories relate how there was a headstone (now eroded or washed out to sea) located on the Ridge (Bellevue Beach) with inscriptions written in another language (probably French), supposedly marking the resting place of a French soldier killed during one of the French-English Wars. In all probability, these oral traditions relating the burial sites of French soldiers in the Tickle Harbour area, along with the oral tradition accounts of Johnnie Martin, a Frenchman or French Indian (of Piper’s Hole-Black River, PB-Rantem-Tickle Harbour, TB), namely the story of how the Pikes and Martins “became tangled up” during the French-English Wars, and the events that transpired at Stock Cove-Bull Arm duirng the French-English Wars, all designate or point to an actual historical event, namely Father Beaudoin’s War (1696/7), and the French-English Wars (1703-6) that ensued thereafter.

As a side note, the following place names in the vicinity of the Piper’s Hole watershed area, Cannon Hill, near Swift Current [Piper’s Hole] and Frenchman’s Pond, near Indian Pond (both located east of Pike Pond and John Pike’s Mash, in the Black River Mountains) and Frenchman’s Point, near North Harbour all attest or bear witness to the French occupation of the area (1640-1713), and the military campaigns (1696/7-1706) that ensued in the area. As an amended addendum, the English (or perhaps French Huguenot-Walloon) patronym Peck, is not related to the traditional hereditary Mc patronym Peck, of Whycocomagh, NS-Codroy, NL. It is quite possible that this family name historically derives from an Isaac Peck, a Wampanoag Indian who fought in the various French and Indian Wars in the Cape Breton campaigns (1745-67) as one of Gorham`s Rangers-held captive by and settled among the St. Francis (Odanak) Abenaki (http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/Gorham's_Rangers). It is assumed that Isaac Peck took a wife, perhaps of mixed Abenaki-Mi’kmaq descent from that community, whose lineage would have entitled their offspring to inherit the traditional Mi’kmaw role of Kji-Keptin, title was transferred from the chief to the son of the chief’s sister; that is, the chief’s nephew. If the Wampanoag patriline inherited this patronym from a male European ancestor from England, as suggested by some genealogists, it is not known whether this patriline is indeed related to the Christchurch, Hants County, Peck patriline, or the Ringwood, Hants County, Pick-Peck one. Finally, the family name English family name Pike is not related to the NL Mc family name (Bigge) (a truncated variant of Pekitualuet), as attested in some census records for the Bay St. George’s region.

As an endnote, I would have to say that Thomas Pitt (later Picq) (formerly Pike) was not merely a deserter or betrayer to his country, but rather an intermediary who crossed cultural and linguistic barriers and norms, capitalizing on existing opportunities to grow and evolve to ensure the survival of his offspring for future generations. His assimilation and acculturation into the French community at Grand Greve, Plaisance and outlying areas attest to his adaptability and survivability. His acceptance into the French community as an “anglois” during the peak of French-English Wars, tested the fealty and loyalty of his nationality to the love of a French woman and her extended kin-group that accepted him as one of their own-testifes to the compassion and mercy of the French at that time, and the heterogeneity of the French community at that time, which included not only naturalized Englishmen, but Irishmen and Swiss.

Any information on Thomas Pitt (later Picq) (formerly Pike), or his direct descendants believed to have relocated to La Rochelle, France, would be greatly appreciated.

 Post subject: Re: Thomas Pitt(later Picq), Plaisance & Tompique Family
 Post Posted: Tue May 12, 2015 11:14 am 
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The following link contains particulars on Thomas Pic dit Tompique (1644-1706), progenitor of the Plaisance, Petit Plaisance, Miquleon, and Havre-au-Baleine extended kin group: ... ree=entier

The following is a copy or extract of the 1671 Recensement de Plaisance:

Recensement de 1671 à Plaisance, Terre-Neuve

Rolle des gens de l'habitation de Plaisance
(La mention ZC renvoie à la fiche de la personne concernée dans la base de données ZoneCousinage.)

Messire Martin d'Hurte, ptre & aumosnier
Mre François Bonnafou, chirurgien
Abraham Pichaut (ZC), Mre serrurier& armurier
Pierre Joyaux, charpentier
Anthoine Roion
Thomas Meschein (ZC)
Jacques Babin
Mathurin Augier
André Doyen
Pierre La Jeunesse
Michel Grégoire
Joseph Charpentier
François Sceau (ZC)
Jean Bellot, maçon
Jean Bellot dit le Bourdellois
Anthoine Bonnaud
Augustin Bonnaud
Pierre Gillebert (ZC)
Jean Chevreau (ZC)
François Bertrand (ZC)
Philippe Felippe, cordonnier
Louis Giraud, tailleur d'habits
Philippe Zemard, Anglois
Tom. Pic (ZC), Anglois
Jean Bardet, coustelier
Pierre Fromentiere
Pierre Maignier
Jacques de Lange
Louis de Beaufet, Anglois (ZC)

Femmes mariées

Anne Rabellaud (ZC) à Philippe Felippe
Ozanne Chevreau (ZC) à Philippe Zemard
Renée Billette à André Doyen
Magdelaine Aubert (ZC) à Abraham Pichaut (ZC)
Marie La Regesteau (ZC) à Thomas Meschein (ZC)
Anne Bertrand à Anthoine Roion
Marie Vrignaud à Laurens La Grue
Anne Raymond (ZC) à Tom. Pic (ZC)
Marie Aubert (ZC) à François Sceau (ZC)
Marthe Orionne (ZC) à Louis de Beaufet (ZC)
Marguerite Orionne à Michel Grégoire
Barbe Drillot à Pierre La Jeunesse

Filles à marier

Jeanne Adam
Marguerite Bertrand (ZC)
Marianne Bertrand
Jeanne Aubert (ZC)
Jeanne Meschin (ZC)

Enfans despuis 4 jusques a 8 ans

garcons :
Jean Aubert
Ambroise Bertrand
Joseph Meschein
Laurens Meschein

Renée Bertrand

Despuis la mammelle jusques à trois ans

garcons :
Isaac Pichaut
Joachim La Grue
Jean Phelippe
Jean Bellot
Bertrand de Beaufet
Pierre Pic
Gaspard Zemard
Jean felippe

filles :
Anne Doyen
Louise thereze Giraud
Suzanne Meschein
Anne Phelippe
Magdelaine Zemard
Marguerite Doyen
Marie Bellot
Honorée Zemarde
Marie Roion
Marthe La Grue
Magdelaine Sceau (ZC)
Marthe Grégoire

Avec moy j'ay

Pierre Linage escuyer
Louis Burgos, mon valet

Jeanne Dreux femme de Jean Bellot est morte

Les autres habitans que nous avons à la Coste ne sont pas fixes & le Roy ne leur donne rien ainsy je n'en fais pas mention


Données retranscrites à partir de copies digitales de l'original.

( ... e1671.html)

The following is an extract of the 1673 Recensement de Plaisance:

Rolle des noms et surnoms aages des habitants de Plaisance que j'ay donne soubs le commandement de Mr de la Poiepe Gouverneur le huict septbre 1673
(La mention ZC renvoie à la fiche de la personne concernée dans la base de données ZoneCousinage.)


Monsieur de la Poiepe, gouverneur (DBC)
François de Bonafoux, chirurgien


Abraham Pichault (ZC), 33 ans
Thomas Meschein, 40 ans (ZC)
Mathurin Augier, 26 ans
André Doyen, 35 ans
François Ruau, 28 ans (ZC)
Jean Bellot dit le Bourdelois, 22 ans
Augustin Bonneault, 17 ans
Pierre Gilbert, 23 ans (ZC)
Pierre Bayard, 23 ans
François Bertrand, 19 ans (ZC)
Louis Girard, tailleur d'habits, 35 ans
Philipe Zemard, 50 ans
Thomas Picq, 29 ans (ZC)
Jean Bardet 25 ans
Pierre Fromantière, 25 ans
Pierre Mesnier, 26 ans
Louis de Beaufet, 35 ans (ZC)
Estienne Curieau Doreb, 22 ans
Anthoine Royon dit le Suisse, 30 ans
Jean Chevreau (ZC) 23 ans

Filles à marier

Mariane Bertrand
Jeanne Aubert (ZC)
Jeanne Meschein (ZC)
Rennée Bertrand, jeusne fille de 9 ans
Anne Doyen
Suzanne Meschein
Magdelaine Zemarde
Marguerite Doyen
Magdelaine Ruau (ZC)
Marie Pic (ZC)
Anne Pichault

Feammes Mariées

Ozanne Chevreau (ZC), à Philipe Zenard
Rennée Billette, à André Doyen
Magdelaine Aubert (ZC), à Abraham Pichault (ZC)
Marie Largetau (ZC), à Thomas Meschin (ZC)
Anne Bertrand, à Antoine Royon femme
du s... domestique du Sr de la Poiepe
Anne Raymond (ZC), à Thomas Pic (ZC)
Marie Robert (ZC) à François Ruau (ZC)
Marthe Orionne (ZC) à Louis de Beaufet (ZC)
Jeanne Adam veuve de Jean Billot
Marguerite Bertrand (ZC) à Pierre Gilbert (ZC)

Garsons depuis l'age de 10 ans en bas

Abroise Bertrand
Joseph Meschein
Laurant Meschein
Izac Pichault
Bertrand Beaufet
Pierre Pic
Gaspard Zemard
Jean Doyen
Pierre Meschein
Jean Beaufet
Ruau (ZC), point baptisé et le dernier né

Garsons qui volontairement ont resté au servisse des habitants

Jean Martin de Mortagne aagé de 22 ans au servide de Philipe Zenard
Adam Foucault du bourg de Piogue (ou Progue?) proche de Mortagne aagé de 25 ans, idem
Louis Menantrau, de Mirambeau aagé de 30 ans au servisse du Sr. gouverneur
Jean Bourdoncle dit Jean de Bordeaux de Sauben en Gascogne aagé de 18 ans au servisse de Tompic (ZC)
Jean Gaborit de Virenouville en Poitou aagé de 28 ans , idem
Jean Roy d'Aluert, aagé de 26 ans, idem
Jean Bon de Mortagne aagé de 20 ans, idem
Jean Ouascot anglois de nation au servisse du suisse

Roulle des habitans de Plaisance

Officiers majors : 2
habitans : 20
filles à marier : 13
femmes mariées : 10
garçons depuis l'aage de 10 ans jusques en bas : 11
garçons qui volontairement ont resté au servide des habitants : 8


Données retranscrites à partir de copies digitales de l'original.

( ... e1673.html)

Compare these censuses to the 1699 one for Plaisance, a translated copy of which is posted on Newfoundland Gen Web (

There are also on-line references to Thomas Pick having Jean Bon and an unnamed negresse under his employ as indentured servants.

 Post subject: Re: Thomas Pitt(later Picq), Plaisance & Tompique Family
 Post Posted: Thu May 21, 2015 8:33 pm 
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Citing the 1673 Recensement referenced above, Thomas Pic(q)(ue) also had under his service or employ 3 other servants in addition to Jean Bon and a unknown negresse servant, noted in the aforementioned blog commentary, as excerpted from the referenced census, listed below:

Jean Bourdoncle dit Jean de Bordeaux de Sauben en Gascogne aagé de 18 ans au servisse de Tompic (ZC)
Jean Gaborit de Virenouville en Poitou aagé de 28 ans , idem
Jean Roy d'Aluert, aagé de 26 ans, idem
Jean Bon de Mortagne aagé de 20 ans, idem

Several on-line sources or references list Jean Roy d'Aluert as Negre-whether this descriptive ethnonym denotes a dark-skinned person or a person of African descent, remains a debatable question open to multiple interpretations.

 Post subject: Re: Thomas Pitt(later Picq), Plaisance & Tompique Family
 Post Posted: Thu May 21, 2015 8:41 pm 
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According to the 1713 Plan of Plaisance, as compiled by English authorities to document or audit the transfer of relinquished or surrendered land seized from the French following the Treaty of Utrecht, the property of Tho. Pique (sic.) as listed therein lies situated, extending in a direction from north to south, between the properties of both Madame Bertran et Abraham L'Artig. ... 1-1713.php

 Post subject: Re: Thomas Pitt(later Picq), Plaisance & Tompique Family
 Post Posted: Sat May 23, 2015 10:31 pm 
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Have you tried searching in Massachusetts for information pertaining to Placentia? Boston was the
regional centre for the North Atlantic and the records there are quite good. The state archives has
a surname index to their collection and I have looked at lists of Acadian prisoners held hostage. The
rare books room at Boston Public Library has mercantile ledgers, census material, plus papers relating
to Ste. Pierre & Miquelon. The Massachusetts Historical Society was records for Trinity in the late 1700s.
There are other New England insitutions which have Newfoundland related documents. Little of it has been
microfilmed however. A letter of introduction is required in order to examine original documents.

 Post subject: Re: Thomas Pitt(later Picq), Plaisance & Tompique Family
 Post Posted: Mon May 25, 2015 10:12 am 
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Hi Edward, thank you so much for your reply, and thank you also for sharing the wealth of information on the topic. I did not know about the St Pierre and NL collections held at the Massachusetts Historical Society-wow! It would indeed be nice if this collection could be transcribed some time in the distant future by an archivist or researcher to be shared on NL Grand Banks, NL Gen Web, or FHSNL (Family History Society of Newfoundland) websites. I am sure that there are a lot of interesting gems or nuggets in there waiting to be revealed. Following your tip, I will definitely follow this lead in the near future. Once again thank you for sharing this info. Warm & sincere wishes.

 Post subject: Re: Thomas Pitt(later Picq), Plaisance & Tompique Family
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:02 am 
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Here is an excerpt extracted from a published journal article detailing a reference to the account of Thomas Pick (also Picq(ue), Thompitz, Tompish, Tompique, Peck, Pitt, Piet…) (a French naturalized Englishman or “anglois” emanating from Ringwood, near Christchurch, England), of Grand Plaisance (1677) for the employ of an unnamed female African servant/slave under his care, demonstrating that African servants were indeed indentured and/or hired out in the French colony of Grand Plaisance:

“On the island of Newfoundland, black presence is, so far, indicated through archival documents and has been neither sought nor identified archaeologically. Slave societies clearly existed in the early settlements on Newfoundland. A 17th-century letter to Charles II from Thomas Oxford of St. John’s records a “Negro Servant” among Oxford’s property in the 1670s. 14 A late-17th-century merchant’s ledger from Plaisance, the fortified French stronghold on the Avalon Peninsula known today as Placentia, records the sale of cotton to a local planter “pour sa negresse” or “for his black woman.”15 The time was 1677, nearer the beginning of French occupation of this settlement in 1662 than its end in 1713. Further research may reveal a notable black presence in historic Newfoundland as these disparate references converge into a nascent narrative.”
(Macleod-Leslie 2014: 144)

fn. 15 Henri Brunet, Account for Thomas Pick, “owes ‘pour sa [i.e. Pick’s] negresse pour carisse’,” 1677, Papers Henri Brunet (merchant), MG7-IA6, Library and Archives Canada.


Heather MacLeod-Leslie, “Archaeology and Atlantic Canada’s African Diaspora,” Acadiensis XLIII, no. 1 (Winter/Spring 2014): 137-145

( ... 2042/25578)

Research Questions:

The nature and extent of the relationship between Thomas Pick and this unnamed female African servant (whether of full, half or part African heritage) is unknown at present and can only be speculated. Furthermore, it is not known if this woman bore male descendants (b. ca. 1670-80) who may have fought as foot soldiers (infantry) or acted in other wartime capacities (eg., packers, porters, labourers, cooks,….) during either Father Baudoin’s War (1696/7) or any one of the later military campaigns in Upper PB & TB North-South. The fact that shared account holders of African ancestry are listed in barter books-accounts books outside of the published official censuses suggests that the social hierarchization and internal population history of the French colony was more dynamic and complex than written records reveal. It is apparent that the official Fr censuses list only land-owning male head of households with their dependant spouses and offspring, while omitting hired fishing helpers and indentured servants/slaves under their care. Looking at the case study of Thomas Pick alone from the perspective of published censuses we can see that in addition to French Bretons and Basques, he also employed people of African descent. As a research question, were some of the French deserters who jumped ship in the Upper PB area (ca. 1696-1713), of mixed African descent (whether of mixed SSA-Sub-Saharan African, North African Berber, or Iberian Moor). Furthermore, assuming that this event did happen as predicted, did one of these deserters take the family name Pick of their overlord or master? While it may be next to impossible to test this theory using modern 700,000 atDNA SNP microarray testing offered by commercial genetic genealogy testing companies, due to obvious challenges in detecting such low-level SSA AIM substrate residues from a distant uni-parental SSA ancestor b. ca. 1670-80 (app. 340-50 years or 13-14 Gens of separation from a MRCA), the persistence of autosomal-dominant nDNA mutations can stubbornly persist for hundreds of years beyond AIM atDNA “wash out” or recombination in the form of autosomal-dominant conditions found at high frequency among SSA an North African groups.

 Post subject: Re: Thomas Pitt(later Picq), Plaisance & Tompique Family
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:14 am 
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Following is a series of extracts excerpted from Thomas Coles research notes on an African (American) presence in NL as attested through surviving public-access archival records. As a note, while an African presence is neither significant or substantial-at least according to the existing published records-nor, appreciable in affecting the genetic landscape of NL Anglo-Irish (West Eurasian) migration-settlement history, this does not preclude the possibility, however remote or fantastical, that some NL Anglo-Irish families may trace distant uniparental ancestry back to a unnamed or unknown African ancestor(s) going back 7-8 Gens ago. The lack of additional archival records that would otheriwse give voice or validation to a hidden African presence in early NL settlement history, stemming from obvious reasons of secrecy and taboo surrounding the West Indies-Carribbean slave trade, combined with a paucity of official records such as voters lists or censuses in rural NL identifying persons of African or mixed African heritage, adds to the aura or mystique of this unwritten chapter in NL migration-settlement history. The extract follows:

[Start of Extract]

Black History in Newfoundland

St. John’s 1675 - Prowse’s History:

Mr. Thomas Oxford appears to have been, like Hinton, a man of some position. He kept a negro house-servant-- a most aristocratic appendage in those days--whom the West Country- men forcibly took away.

"had his covenant negro servant valued worth L60 taken from him last fishing season, all which he is ready to make out by bill of sale and oath."

From the Slade merchant ledgers, Fogo 1784 (unspecified preoccupation) [TC Note – not sure if this is a black person or wife of Walter Black]. ... .htm#slade

“Black Moll” “Allowed Black Moll 0/2/6 for washing.


African slave mentioned in court documents for Ferryland September 18, 1785; ... s_e_h.html


Benger, John (d.1791)
in his will Benger freed his slaves Sancho and Serah and Serah's children, Jack, Nancy and Trephon(?) and provided for them; ... s_a_d.html


child of Robert Benger's slave Serah freed in Benger's will dated June 10, 1791 at Ferryland;

slave freed by John Benger of Ferryland in his will dated June 10, 1791.


Paul Cuffee, American free negro, with the assistance of some individuals (Americans) fitted out a vessel, with the humane and benevolent objective: to improve the state of his ancestral African kindred.

Capt Cuffee was born in 1759, on the island of Cutterhunker, one of the Elizabeth Islands, near New Bedford, and subsequently entered as a sailor on board a merchant vessel, and made several voyages to the West Indies. At twenty years of age he traded on his own account with the people of Connecticut, and made two voyages to the straits of Belleisle and Newfoundland. In 1806 he was the commander of the ship Alpha, of which he owned three-fourths: he manned this vessel entirely by persons of colour, and sailed to the land of his forefathers in the hope of benefiting its natives, where he originated “The Friendly Society of Sierra Leone.” On his visit to England he met with every mark of respect from the directors of The African Institution who gave him authority to carry over from the United States a few coloured persons to instruct the colonists in agriculture and the mechanical arts. His active benevolence to benefit his sable race continued unceasing till death terminated them with his life. He died on Sept 7, 1816, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. His life, appended to that of Prince Lee Boo, was printed at Dublin in 1822, 12mo.

Notes and Queries Vol. 3 2nd S. (60) Feb 21 1857 Page 151.

Sep 19 1779 St. John's /John WESTCOTT Katherine KENWICK, a Negro woman.

Thomas Stone had just retired from Newfoundland to his native home, Poole, Dorset. It is most likely that the Negro boy was in his employ in Trinity Bay, but we cannot be absolutely certain since his was a seasonal business in Newfoundland. He maintained a dual residency in Poole, Dorset and Trinity Bay, Newfoundland.

Benjamin Lester's diary in Dorset County Record Office, records their arrival in Poole on January 1st, 1792, and on the following day "Mr and Mrs Stone went in a shais (chaise) to her mother at Anderson, carried his little negro boy and Indian Girl with him." The Negro presumably came from the West Indies, and we know no more of him, but it is reported a few months later that "Oubee" [i.e. the Beothuck girl] had died.


The following web-page is posted by Kinson historians: ... age2.phtml

“…Following careful research, it did not take time to find a record of her. In about 1795, Mr.Thomas Stone was paid twelve shillings and ten pence for expenses in connection with "Eomoy". The reference was found in the records of Kinson church. Oubee was buried in an unmarked plot in the churchyard…”
[TC Notes]

– “Eomoy” Thos Stone servent Expenses.
Eating, Drinking & Lodging.

“Oubee”, according to Benjamin Lester’s carefully compiled diary, was dead within a few weeks of their arrival in Poole in 1792. This payment made to Thomas Stone for “Eomoy” three years later, which name does not even resemble “Oubee”, could very well relate to the Negro boy who was known to have been in the Stone household.

An ignominious burial considering that Thomas Stone was quite wealthy. And where is this “great humanity and respect” from the Stones as reported? Seems like the child, if indeed it was “Oubee”, or whomever this servant was, was dumped to the Kinson parishioners.

John Ryan, UEL from Rhode Island, upon his death in St. John’s freed his slave Sophie? and her children. (Dictionary of Canadian Biography).

[TC Note – I am uncertain whether Ryan’s slave ever lived in Newfoundland since he apparently divided his time between St. John’s and New Brunswick.]

From the Slade merchant ledgers, Fogo 1784 (unspecified preoccupation) [TC Note – not sure if this is a black person or wife of Walter Black]. ... .htm#slade

69 “Black Moll” “Allowed Black Moll 0/2/6 for washing.


1800 Novr 24th - Interred FELIX SMITH (a Black) belong' to B Lester Esq.
The actual register should be consulted.


Jem, native of Barbadian, negro, 5ft. 6ins., two scars on left side of his face above and below the ear.

1814 deserted.

Brig "Eagle". William King, a black man, he is very subject to St. Anthony's Dance. Signed: John Cox, Capt. (2 June)


DESERTED from brooming party of H.M.'s Ship "Crescent", the 13th.
Emanuel JONES, 18, 5 ft. 1, mulatto complexion, short dark hair, brown eyes. Native of Rio De Janeiro

Colonial Office and predecessors: Barbados, Original Correspondence CO 28/112.

Letters received from various government offices (departments), other organisations and individuals relating to Barbados.:

W L Trimingham (seizure of slaves employed as seamen following refusal of Newfoundland customs officer to insert their names on clearance certificates).

In The Kids Book of Black Canadian History (2003) the author Rosemary Sadlier states on pg 8 that some slave ships in the Atlantic slave trade were built in Newfoundland.
[TC Note]

I can just see Rosemary, frantically trying to find some Black history in Newfoundland and, finding not one iota, resorted to a little fabrication in order to get Newfoundland mentioned in her book, after all the rest of Canada was well covered in her otherwise scholarly work.
In Newfoundland however there was no such shipbuilding – not in the heyday of the slave trade, nor for a long time afterwards until the Kearneys and Newhooks began their shipbuilding businesses.

[End of Extract]



Future archival research and atDNA studies among some NL Anglo-Irish settler descendants may detect a low-level African trace or substrate residue in the order of 0.5-1.5% SSA (Sub-Saharan African) ancestry, as proof of early intermarriage between both groups. As a personal sidenote, I suspect that the SSA-African presence, especially one emanating from the West Indies-Carribbean due to the bilateral trade relations (dry cod, Demerara rum, molasses, sugar, tea,...) between NL and there, was more widespread in rural NL than official written records are willing to admit! Fascinating research area worthy of further exploration and investigation.

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