Mary <I>Catlin</I> French

Mary Catlin French

Wethersfield, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
Death 9 Mar 1704 (aged 37)
Burial Deerfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 216139156 · View Source
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Mary [(Catlin)], w. Thomas, Mar. 9, 1703-4. "Slain by ye enemie."No headstone.

Mary CATLIN was the daughter of John CATLIN and Mary BALDWIN.

Mary CATLIN married Thomas FRENCH on 18 Oct 1683 in Northampton, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts.

They moved in the furthermost outpost of of Deerfield, Franklin Co., Massachusetts, just north of Northampton with their children. Many of the houses, including theirs, were inside the fort that was built for protection from attacks by the Indians.

On 29 Feb 1704, during Queen Anne's War, the French and Indians (Abenakis and Macquas Indians), under the command of Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville, attacked the English frontier settlement at Deerfield, Massachusetts, just before dawn. They noticed the snowdrifts and climbed up the snowdrifts to get over the walls of the fort. The guard failed to stay alert; he probably fell asleep during this invasion or the discharging of his weapon was not enough to alert those inside. They quickly went house to house, killing most of the sleeping or those awakened from sleep, including Thomas and Mary's infant son John CATLIN who was just 4 weeks old. They burned part of the town, killing 56 villagers and taking 109 settlers captive (Note: some sources say 112 were captured, but the 3 were never accounted for). They destroyed about 40% of the village houses. This raid was known the 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield, or the Deerfield Massacre.

Mrs. Mary CATLIN French, her husband Thomas FRENCH and all their 5 remaining children were taken captive during the raid and forced to march 300 miles in the snow through Vermont and on to Montreal, Quebec, Canada with other captives. Mary CATLIN French and about 20 other captives were killed enroute, on 9 Mar 1704, including her sister Elizabeth CATLIN Corse (She was the wife of John CORSE. Their daughter Elizabeth survived and remained in New France where she married twice and had 15 children).

What happened to the rest of Mrs. Mary French's family?
Upon reaching Montreal, the French family was separated and the children were given to various families as their own. Mary's husband Thomas remained there for two years until a rescue party came for them in 1704, made possible by Ensign John SHELDON, during his second trip to secure their freedom and bring them back to Massachusetts. Thomas' two oldest children Mary FRENCH and Thomas FRENCH, Jr returned with him to Massachusetts in 1706. His other three daughters Freedom, Martha, and Abigail remained behind and never returned to Massachusetts, in spite of their father's efforts to redeem them, much to his great grief.

Daughter Mary was left with a French family as a servant, living with James Le Be. She was baptized as a Catholic at Montreal in 1706 when she was 19 years old. Later that year, she was redeemed and returned to Deerfield. She later married Jonathan KING.

Not much was known about son Thomas Jr. 's captivity in New France. He was redeemed and returned home. He married Joanna FIELD.

Freedom FRENCH was placed in the family of Monsier Jacques (James) Le Ber, merchant of Montreal. On April 6, 1706, Madame Le Ber had her baptized by Father Meriel, and given the name of Marie Françoise FRENCH. She never was called Freedom again. At age 21, she married Jean Paul DaVELUY, ten years older. They had 11 children.

Martha FRENCH was given by her Indian captors, the Abenakis, to the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame at Montreal. She was baptized on 23 Jan 1707, sous condition, in Notre Dame church in VilleMarie (Montreal). Her chosen name is Marthe Marguerite FRENCH, the name Marguerite being from her godmother Sister Marguerite Roy. Martha at age 16 married Jacques ROI Sieur of St Lambert in 1711. They had 8 children. Martha remarried to Jean Louis Ménard in 1733 and she had 3 more children.

Abigail FRENCH was assimilated into the Indian way of life and never married (Indian tribe at Kahnawake).

Thomas FRENCH and Mary CATLIN had the following children:
1) Mary FRENCH, died young, b. 8 Mar 1684, d. 12 Mar 1682/5
2) Mary FRENCH b. 9 Nov 1686, captured in 1704 at age 17, redeemed by Ens. John Sheldon, returned in 1706 and married.
3) Thomas FRENCH b. 2 Nov 1689, captured in 1704 at age 11, redeemed by Ens. John Sheldon, returned in 1706 and married.
4) Freedom FRENCH b. 20 Nov 1692, captured in 1704 at age 9, was placed with a French family, never returned, married.
5) Martha FRENCH b. 12 May 1695, captured in 1704 at age 8, Indians gave her to the French, never returned, married.
6) Abigail FRENCH, b. 28 Feb 1697-8, captured in 1704 at age 6, assimilated with the Indians, never returned, never married.
7) John FRENCH, an infant, b. 1 Feb 1703/4, killed on 29 Feb 1703/4, 4 weeks old.

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  • Created by: James Bianco
  • Added: 28 Sep 2020
  • Find a Grave Memorial 216139156
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Catlin French (10 Jul 1666–9 Mar 1704), Find a Grave Memorial no. 216139156, citing Old Deerfield Burying Ground, Deerfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by James Bianco (contributor 47745493) .