PENSONNEAU FAMILY HISTORY
The "Kings Daughters" were not of royal or noble heritage & were not actually daughters of the king. It was a term referring to women & girls who were recruited by the government & whose travel to the colony in Quebec was paid for by the king. Most were very poor & of menial backgrounds, many were orphans. But all had to be strong enough to survive the hard work & harsh climate of New France.
Francois Pinsonnault (Pinsonneau / Pensonneau) dit LaFleur was a soldier with the Saint-Ours company of the Regiment de Carignan Salieres in France. At age 19 Francois Pensonneau left La Rochelle on the 24th of May 1665 on the ship La Justice captained by Sieur Guillet. This was one of seven ships that carried the 1,200 Cargnan Salieres to New France.
After surviving the four month long sea voyage that was plagued with storms, disease & other hardships Francois Pensonneau's ship finally arrived in the wild & dangerous country of Quebec on the 14th of September. The soldiers quickly began their service with the construction of five forts along the Richelieu River which was the main route of the Iroquois. These forts were to serve as supply bases during the raids into Indian territory.
The raids began in the winter of 1666. Five hundred soldiers, & 200 volunteer colonists, left on the first campaign on the 30th of January. It was very difficult as their king had only sent 200 flintlocks & 100 pistols, a few axes, & one pair of stockings, moccasins, & a single blanket for each soldier. They had no equipment for the ice, & no snowshoes. Despite lacking the basic necessities the soldiers still attempted to perform their duty but the campaign was a tragic failure. Out of the 500 soldiers on the campaign 400 died due to the brutality of the weather.
The regiment's second campaign was almost as brutal. The 120 soldiers & habitants on this campaign were ordered to travel light so they could move more quickly into enemy territory. However most of the Indian villages that the regiment encountered had been abandoned prior to their arrival. The French troops confiscated what food & weapons had been left behind & were then ordered back to Quebec & told to burn the vacant villages along their route. The campaign was considered a success & a peace treaty was signed in 1667 & many of the soldiers returned to France.
Francois Pensonneau was one of the 450 soldiers who opted to remain in Quebec. He married Filles Du Roi, Ann Leber (Leper), in Quebec 1 May 1673 & they eventually became the parents of seven children: Pierre, Anne, Marguerite, Jean/Jacques Francois, Agnes, Marie. Francois, Sr., died 27 January 1731 at La Prairie, Quebec at age 85.
Pierre Pensonneau, the son of Ann &
was born 3 April 1674 in
Quebec. He married Marie Charlotte LeCours & their son
was born in
1711. Joseph grew up & married Marie Louise Lefebvre.
Pensonneau was born in Quebec in
Louis married Marie Judith Barette dit Courville & they
became the parents of seven children: Marie Angelique
Julie, Marguerite LaFleur, Joseph Paschal, Augustine,
in the United States of America was founded in 1699
by missionaries from Quebec, Canada who came here to
convert the Indians to Christianity. It is located
in St. Clair County across the Mississippi River
from the city of St. Louis which was founded 65
years later in 1764. When St. Louis was still in
it's infancy Cahokia was a thriving city. Cahokia
became the centre of French influence in the upper
Mississippi River Valley & was one of the largest
French colonial towns in the Illinois country. It
was a center for trading Indian goods & furs & was
the first permanent European settlement in
Illinois. Cahokia had approximately 3,000
inhabitants, a successful business district & was
the regions leading shipping port. Cahokia was the
county seat of St. Clair County until it removed to
Belleville in 1814.
Etienne, Louis & Louison Pensonneau, descendants of the original Francois Pinsonnault, came to America - Etienne in 1789, Louis in 1793 & Louison in 1784 - all settling in Cahokia, St. Clair County, Illinois. Etienne, a wealthy French-Canadian, was very industrious & built the first brick house in Illinoistown, ran a dry goods store & operated a water mill on Richland Creek. He was a member of the Holy Family parish & he held the rank of Captain in the St. Clair County militia. He also owned the property on which the city of Belleville now stands & owned property along the Mississippi River shore of what is now East St. Louis. Etienne built the first St. Clair County courthouse in Belleville in 1814. At that time the site was in a cornfield. Etienne helped to construct Cahokia's first jail & contracted for St. Clair County's second courthouse. He also owned part of the public square. Louis Pensonneau was with the American Fur Company & had a tavern at his home & he operated a ferry on the Mississippi River between Cahokia & St. Louis. He was the third church warden of the Holy Family parish. Louison Pensonneau was with the American Fur Company & became a traveling merchant to the Indians along the Illinois River.
Augustine & Francois Pensonneau, cousins to Etienne, Louis & Louison, arrived in Cahokia in 1802. Francois ran a tavern out of his home & sometimes the St. Clair County commission held meetings there. In 1811 there was an increase in depredations by the Indians who murdered four white men & seriously wounded a fifth, so Francois, along with other Cahokia residents, voluntarily signed on as armed soldiers & oarsman with Capt. Samuel Levering to undertake a mission to the Peoria Lake country. After loading equipment & supplies the expedition left for Ft. Clark on the night of 25 July 1811. They arrived at Portage des Sioux on the 28th where they met with Capt. Whiteside & his company. At a meeting with the Indians the soldiers demanded the surrender of the murderers. However, the meeting was unsuccessful & only accomplished the return of two stolen horses.
On 29 November of 1816 Francois Pensonneau married Susan DeLorne in St. Clair County, Illinois. Susan & Francois Pensonneau became the parents of five children: Francois, Julie, Augustin, Pelagie, Francoise. His daughter Francoise married Joseph Michaud in 1840 & they became the parents of: Joseph, Julie, F.A., Mary E., Edmond Samuel, Susan Orelia, Francoise Esther & Alexander. After Joseph Sr.'s death in East St. Louis circa 1872 Franciose moved across the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri & resided in a boarding house. Here her daughter, Orelia, met & married Samuel Horrocks, a native of Lancashire, England. They became the parents of seven children: Ann, Lawrence, Esther, Lily, Fanny, Joseph & Richard. Esther married August Ziock Jr. in 1901 in St. Louis. Esther & August are the grandparents of Washington County, Missouri genealogist/historian Esther Ziock Carroll.
Paschal Pensonneau was part Pottawatomie Indian by way of his mother Lizette LeCompt. His French father, Louison, was with the American Fur Company & sold goods to the Indians. Paschal came to Missouri by way of Ste. Genevieve/Kaskaskia learned to speak English in St. Louis & was appointed interpreter by William Clark. Paschal was a volunteer in the Black Hawk War, the Mexican War & Civil War. He was wounded in the Battle of Cross Hollow & was at Battle of Pea Ridge. Paschal lived much of his life with various Indian tribes. He married Shikinah the daughter of a Kickapoo Indian chief. Their son, Steven, married Tilda Saltuskah Lauret & their son, Narcisse, married Elizabeth Little Cook. Elizabeth's mother was Esther Broken Jaw a full Ponca Indian. One of their grand daughters, author & artist Donna Jones Flood, currently lives in Ponca City, Oklahoma. Donna is very talented & one of her murals is on display at the Ponca City post office.
Laurent Etienne Pensonneau was born 1795 in Vencennes, Indiana & was the son of Etienne Pensonneau. Laurent married Odille Caillot daughter of Antoine Caillot dit LaChance. Laurents wife was supposed to be a relative of the Saucier family who designed the second Fort de Chartres. Laurent built a beautiful home in 1818 in Petit Village Francois & it still exists today being the oldest home still standing in St. Clair County, Illinois & is designated a state historical site. It is located on Church Lane in what is now East St. Louis, Illinois. Sometimes settlers would gather for Mass in the parlor of this house. During the Civil War the front yard was used as a camp by Union soldiers & the Pensonneau family watched many wagon trains heading west. It is still occupied by Pensonneau descendants today.
Biography of PASCHAL PENSONEAU, born 1795:
I was born in Cahokie, Illinois. I am eighty-seven years old. I was born April 17, 1795. My father was a Canadian from Fort La Prairie, across from Montreal; was of pure French blood. My mother was born in Cahokie. Her father was a native of Paris, France. Her mother was a half-breed Pottawatomie..............
The information below was submitted by: Carol Hight - lineal descendant of Francois Pinsonnault
MISCELLANEOUS PENSONNEAU INFORMATION
ETIENNE, LOUIS, & LOUISON PENSONEAU
From: The Pioneer History of Illinois by John Reynolds
Three brothers, Etienne, Louis & Louison Pensoneau emigrated from Canada, and settled in Cahokia in 1798. They were born at the old Prairie Fort, so-called, in the Three-River Settlement, Canada, between the years 1772 and 1776. These brothers married in Cahokia and made excellent citizens. Louis occupied the ferry between Cahokia and St. Louis for many years. In olden times the ferry between these two villages was kept below the mouth of the old Cahokia Creek. This was west of Cahokia & Louis Pensoneau was the ferryman for a long time. Etienne was a very active business man. He possessed extraordinary energies, and improved the country considerably. He made the first house, "the brick-house", so-called, in olden times in Illinoistown. He then purchased the site of Belleville from George Blair, and sold it to Gov. Edwards. He went to St. Louis, purchased property, and died in 1821.
Louison Pensoneau, when he arrived in Illinois, embarked in the Indian trade and remained in it almost during life. He made the Illinois River the scene of his operations, and the Kickapoo Indians were his customers. Peoria was his main depot, and the prairies round about were he counters where he sold his goods. He was the first person that moved in the adjustment of the old Peoria claims. He got up a petition from the Peoria inhabitants and sent it to Hon. Daniel P. Cook, representative in Congress; and the consequence was the act of congress of 1820, authorizing the register of the land-office at Edwardsville to hear evidence and report on the claims. His report was confirmed by another act of congress, passed in 1823. These Peoria claimants stand in the same situation as any of the ancient inhabitants of Illinois who have had lands granted to them by the government. Louison Pensoneau died in 1832, much regretted.
Diligent inquiry has so far failed to discover the descendants of Etienne and Louis Pensoneau, and it is not known if they left any. After Etienne purchased from Blair the land upon which the city of Belleville stands, he built a water-mill on Richland Creek about two hundred yards south of the present site of the great Harrisons steam-mill, and continued to operate it until he sold out to Gov. Edwards. He then returned to Cahokia, and from there removed to St. Louis, where he engaged in business and remained until his death.
About 1794, Louison Pensoneau married Miss Lizette LeCompt in the village of Cahokia, and after residing some years in Peoria, settled on a farm at Point a la Pierre, near the Grand Marais, four miles east of the Mississippi, on the Belleville road. At that place he died in 1832, and his widow continued to reside there until her death in 1841. Of this union there survived ten children, three daughters and seven sons; The daughters were Bridget, Marie, and Louisa; the sons were Louis, Paschal, Laurent, Edward, Narcisse, Charles, and Francois, the two last being twins.
Bridget was married to Amable Tramble in 1818, and died in 1831, and her husband, a Canadian-Frenchman, survived her but three or four years. They left two sons, Louis and Francois Tramble, who both died without issue: Louis, a journeyman printer, dying in San Francisco, Cal., in the spring of 1850, and Francois was drowned in the Missouri River, near Fort Leavenworth, in the same year, on his return from the Yellowstone as an employee of Jonh P. Sarpy & Co., fur-traders of St. Louis.
Marie married John Valentine, and both died in a few years after their marriage, leaving one daughter, named Louisa, who subsequently married Octav Born, a Canadian, and with him emigrated to New Orleans.
Louisa married Joseph Trotier in 1820, and lived and died in Cahokia. She had two children, Mary and Joseph. Mary Trotier was married to Co. Vital Jarrot in 1845, and died in 1852. Her brother, Joseph, wandered to the Far-West, and is perhaps still living.
Of the sons of Louison Pensoneau and Lizette LeCompt - now all dead - Louis, born in 1800, married Henriet, youngest daughter of Jean Francois Perry, in the fall of 1822, and died where he had always lived, at Point a la Pierre, Feb. 22, 1826.His only child, Louis Perry Pensoneau, born May 1, 1824, is now residing at East St. Louis with a married daughter, his only child. The widow of Louis Pensoneau, with her son and widowed mother (nee Perry), removed to Belleville in 1833, and she died at Mascoutah, St. Clair County, April 22, 1882.
Paschal Pensoneau, the next son, in early manhood became identified with the Kickapoo Indians, married one or more of them, and died a few years since on the reservation of the remnant of that tribe, in the Indian Nation, leaving several half-breed children.
Laurent, the next son, born in 1805, married Elizabeth Hays, daughter of John Hays, Esq., and died at Point a la Pierre, without issue, July 18, 1848. His widow afterward married Bradford Broulette, and removed to Vincennes, Ind., where she still resides, her second husband having died several years ago.
Edward Pensoneau was born in 1810, and married Miss Isabella Boismenue in 1843, who died in 1846, leaving one son, Edward, now residing near East St. Louis. Edward, Sr., was again married in 1853 to Margaret Saucier, daughter of Matthieu Saucier, who, with three children, survived him, and still resides in or near Cahokia. Edward Pensoneau, Sr., died in 1860.
Narcisse Pensoneau was born in 1812, and married Felicite Pensoneau in Belleville in 1835, and died at Mascoutah, Ill., Oct. 8, 1878. His wife died at the same place, November 28, 1876. Of several children they had, but two survived them: Felicite, born in Belleville, July 22, 1836, who is living and unmarried, and William Bissel Pensoneau, married and residing in Jackson County, Ill.
The twin sons, Charles and Francois were never married. Charles died in Belleville in 1860, and Francois about the same time in Louisiana.
About the time the three brothers, Etienne, Louis, and Louison Pensoneau, arrived in Cahokia, two other Pensoneaus - second or third cousins of theirs - who are not mentioned in the "Pioneer History," came to that village from Canada. They were brothers and named Francois and Augustine. They were citizens of Cahokia for many years, and both died and were buried there. Augustine Pensoneau married the widow of Jean Francois Perry in 1815, and died in the fall of 1819, leaving his widow and two children: Felicite, born in 1817, who married Narcisse Pensoneau, and Augustine, born in 1819, who was raised in the family of Hon. Adam W. Snyder, and is now residing in Belleville.
Belleville News Paper:
FRANCOIS PENCINNEAU be appointed viewers of a new road to be laid out from Cahokia to the Grass Point & thence to Belleville as in the petition presented to this court mentions. St. Clair County Board Minutes Vol. 2
On motion of John Reynolds, Esq., that a license be granted to FRANCOIS PENCINEAU to keep a tavern at Cahokia for one year. It is therefore ordered that a license be granted said Pencineau to keep a Tavern at his house in Cahokia in this county for the term of one year. Whereupon the said FRANCOIS PENCINEAU with Joseph Trotier his security entered into & acknowledged bond as the directs & six dollars. St. Clair County Board Minutes - Vol. 2 - pg. 8
On motion of Louis La Cemur, Alias Petit, Guardian of the minor heirs of Joseph Demaret Dec'd. it is ordered & considered by the court that the report & return of the commissioners to wit: Raphael Widen, Pierre La Perche & William A. Beaird, that partition amongst said heirs will be a great damage to the proprietors of one arpent of land in front in the Cahokia Commonfield, extending from hills to the Regotet in St. Clair County bounded on the east by Capt. Pencinneau's land, & on the west by the land of John Boismenue. It is therefore ordered by the court that the said commissioners, Raphael Widen, Pierre LaPerche & William A. Beaird sell said land above - - on the eighth day of November next, in Cahokia at the house FRANCOIS PENCINNEAU, & the said commissioners to give notice thereof by advertising.
On motion of Joseph Trotier, & of the heirs of Joseph Trotier, it is considered by the court that the report of the commissioners to make partition of the real estate of Joseph Trotier Dec'd amongst the heirs & the return of said commissioner, to wit: Raphael Widen, Pierre La Perche & William A. Beaird, partition cannot be made without prejudice to make sale of two arpents of land in front of the Cahokia Commonfield extending from the hills to the Retgolet, bounded on the east by the land of Letau, on the west by the land of Dubuque, & one other acre as above, bounded on the west by the lane of Paupard, & on the east by the land of the Reverend Lavire, one half acre as above in the Bois Coupe in the Cahokia Commonfield, in the sixth day of November next in Cahokia at the house of FRANCOIS PINCINNEAU, & that siad commissioners give notice thereof publicly by advertisements. St. Clair County Board Minutes - Vol. 2 - pg. 40 - 41
Ordered that the clerk of this court issue tavern license to Francois Farrier, FRANCIS PENCENNEAU, Simon Bertran, Simon Vanersdal, & Ruben Anderson, when their present license expires, & they to pay the same rates that they have heretofore paid & also to enter into bond & security as the law directs. St. Clair County Board Minutes - Vol. 2 - pg. 61 & 62
hereby authroised to keep tavern at his dwelling house
in giving security conformabel to the law of this state
& paying therefor three dollars. St. Clair
County Board Minutes - Vol. 2 - pg. 126
The first house built in the precinct outside of Cahokia village was erected about 1834, by Louis Pensoneau. It was a small log structure, a story and a half in height, and, situated near where the Illinois and St. Louis railroad crosses the highway leading to Papstown; and a mile and a half south-east of Jarrot’s station. The old stone chimney still stands as a landmark to inform the passerby that this is the oldest relic of its kind belonging to the common fields of Cahokia.
Louison, Etienne and Louis Pensoneau, three brothers,
emigrated from Canada, and settled in Cahokia in 1798. They
all married in the village, and stood high in the estimation
of their neighbors. Louis conducted the first ferry
established between Cahokia and St. Louis. The landing was
situated west of the village, and a little below where
Cahokia creek formerly emptied into the river. It !must be
remembered that at that time, Cahokia was the metropolis and
that St. Louis was but a young and sparsely settled village.
The oldest person now living in Cahokia, Mrs. Brackett,
informed us that she can remember well when the village of
Cahokia contained twenty-four stores, and upwards of three
thousand inhabitants, and that the people of St. Louis made
it their principal trading place. Verily, time works wonders
in this world of ours; only little more than half a century
has passed, and St. Louis is the sixth city in the United
States, while Cahokia contains not more than three hundred
List Of Traders
JOINT ACCOUNT WITH THE AMERICAN FUR COMPANY
BUISSON, Louis – Merchandise for Illinois Outfit 1822. Account and risk of American Fur Company and Louis PENSONEAU, Senr. Michilimackinac, August 8, 1822.
FOR ACCOUNT AND RISK OF THE AMERICAN FUR COMPANY
Senr. – for Illinois River Outfit. Michilimackinac
Augt. 12, 1822.
sen., for trade of Illinois river. Aug. 12, 1822.
[Louis Penceneau, both senior and junior, lived at Peoria; the former built a house there soon after the peace of 1815.]
|DESTRUCTION OF PEORIA
- It having
been reported to Governor EDWARDS that the French settlers at
Peoria were inciting the Indians to attacks on the settlers he
dispatched Capt. Thomas H. CRAIG, of Shawneetown, with his
company (see roll) in advance of the expedition with two boats
on the Illinois River, one boat loaded with provisions, and
tools to build a fort, the others armed with blunderbusses and a
swivel, as a sort of a gun boat while both were "fortified so
that the enemies bullets could not enter their sides", CRAIG was
to wait at Peoria for further orders from the
commander-in-chief, and was to make offensive war on the French
inhabitants of that town. The latter instruction was carried out
fully, by burning the place and taking prisoners the white
inhabitants, who were afterwards sent as prisoners to Camp
Russell and from there sent to St. Louis, and discharged some
months afterwards. Governor COLES in a report made to the
Secretary of the Treasury, several years afterwards, gives the
names of these settlers as, Thomas FORSYTHE, Jacques METTE, P.
LARASLER (alias CHAMBERLAIN), Antoine Leclaire, Michael Lacroix,
Francis RACINE, Sr., Francis RACINE, Jr., Felix FONTAINE,
Hypolyte MAILLET, Francis BANCHE, heirs of Charles LABELLE,
Antoine Lapance, Antoine BARBONNE and
Louis PENECNNAU. The
above list does not include women and children, the number of
prisoners in the aggregate numbering.