French In Name Only

A Genealogical Blog about the French and Grace Families

Month: November 2017

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Anything, Anytime, Anywhere, Bar Nothing (AAA-O)

Draft Registration - Joseph Grace

The following is a brief story about my maternal great-uncle, Sargent Joseph Aloysius Grace (1892-1918), who died on October 11, 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Operation  in World War 1.  Joseph enlisted in August 1917 and was serving in the III Corps – 4th Infantry Division – 7th Infantry Brigade – 39th Infantry Regiment (AAA-O) – HQ Company at the time of his death.

While Joseph’s cause of death is not noted, American Expeditionary Force (AEF) order of battle reports from that day note that “early on the morning of the 11th, the entire regimental staff of the 39th was gassed.”  If Joseph was assigned to headquarters, it can be assumed that he was among those who died that morning. The use of chemical weapons was deployed heavily by both sides during the campaign.  (The Use of Gas in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign)

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was the largest operation of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) during World War and remains the deadliest American troops ever fought.  The AEF launched its massive offensive on September 26, 1918 along a twenty-four-mile front from the Argonne Forest to the Meuse River—a long strip of rolling hills and wild woodland about 150 miles east of Paris.  One month to the day after Joseph’s death, an Armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany on 11th November 1918, bringing an end to the  First World War.

Meuse-Argonne Offensive – September 26 and November 11, 1918

AEF – 26,277 killed and 95,786 wounded

German – 28,000 killed and 92,250 wounded

The History of the 39th U. S. Infantry during the World War (p.81-83)

Comments/Reviews  Appreciated!

© David R. French and French in Name Only, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David French and French in Name Only with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Death-Capture-Ransom

Margaret Stilson, the granddaughter of John Brown (Samoset and John Brown – Maine), was born in 1679 in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Margaret, my 7th paternal great-grandmother, married William Hilton on June 2, 1699. They had one child, Benjamin, during their marriage. She died in November 1763 in Manchester, Massachusetts, having lived a long life of 84 years. (See previous post on Hilton Line: New Hampshire’s Founding Father)

In 1689, on Muscongus (now called Louds) Island in Maine, Indians attacked Margaret and her family. As a result, her father James Sr. was killed and she was taken prisoner along with her mother and brother to the Quebec region of Canada where they were sold to the French. Records indicate that an infant sibling (unnamed) either died immediately following the capture or on the way to Canada.

Margaret remained in French custody for 10 years before being ransomed, during that time she was reported to be a servant in the house of Monsieur Jean Bochart de Champigny, the Intendant of New France. The intendant served as an agent of the King of France and responsible for the colony’s entire civil administration. A fellow captive and servant of the intendant, Hannah Swarton, had a famous narrative of her captivity published, providing a possible window into Margaret’s experience.

A Narrative of Hannah Swarton’s Captivity

A Little Side Story About the Republic of Muscongus Muscongus Islanders, capturing a spirit of independence that matched their independence from Maine that they declared in1860. The island was left off the state map and islanders were not allowed to vote. Muscongus Island rejoined the state in 1934.

Comments/Reviews  Appreciated!

© David R. French and French in Name Only, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David French and French in Name Only with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Samoset and John Brown (Maine)

On July 15, 1625, my 10th great paternal grandfather, John Brown of New Harbor, Maine, was the beneficiary of what was likely the first land sale transaction between the Native Americans and the colonists. John Brown was deeded 12,000 acres land on what is known as Pemaquid Point by Samoset, an Eastern Abenaki (Wabenaki) tribal leader. Questions remain unanswered as to the true authenticity and propriety of the deed.

Remarkably, Samoset is believed to be the first Native American to make contact with the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony.  According to numerous accounts, on March 16, 1621, Samoset walked into the encampment of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony, saluted them, and announced, “Welcome! Welcome, Englishmen” in English! Samoset had acquired a rudimentary understanding of English from English fishermen and traders along the Maine coast.

Days later Samoset returned with Squanto (Tisquantum), who along with Massasoit, are credited with providing the Pilgrim’s knowledge of agricultural and other skills that allowed for their survival.

Additional Resources:

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Samoset Biography

(John Brown) The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volume 51

Comments/Reviews  Appreciated!

© David R. French and French in Name Only, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David French and French in Name Only with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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