Monday, August 24, 2015

Reel Mounties in the Santa Susanas

It's hard to picture boulder strewn Santa Susana Pass movie locations as the ideal place to shoot a film based on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, nevertheless quite a few Northwesterns have been filmed on the rocky slopes of the Iverson Ranch and Corriganville between the 1920s and 1950s.

O'Malley of the Mounted (1921) starring William S. Hart, Eva Novak and Leo Willis (Chatsworth) Artcraft

The Trail Beyond (1934) starring John Wayne, Noah Beery and Verna Hillie (Chatsworth Trains) Monogram

The Country Beyond (1936) starring Rochelle Hudson, Paul Kelly and Robert Kent (Iverson Ranch) 20th Century-Fox

King of the Mounties (1942) starring Allan Lane, Gilbert Emery and Russell Hicks (Iverson Ranch) Republic 

North of the Rockies (1942) starring Tex Ritter, Lloyd Bridges and Bill Elliott (Corriganville) Columbia

The Royal Mounted Rides Again (1945) starring George Dolenz, Bill Kennedy and Milburn Stone (Corriganville) Universal

'Neath Canadian Skies (1946) starring Russell Hayden, Inez Cooper and Douglas Fowley (Corriganville) Lippert

North of the Border (1946) starring Russell Hayden, Inez Cooper and Douglas Fowley (Corriganville) Screen Guild

Trail of the Mounties (1947) starring Russell Hayden, Jennifer Holt and Emmett Lynn (Corriganville) Screen Guild

Where the North Begins (1947) starring Russell Hayden, Jennifer Holt and Tristram Coffin (Corriganville)

Border Saddlemates (1952) starring Rex Allen, Koko and Mary Ellen Kay (Iverson Ranch) Republic

Fort Vengeance (1953) starring James Craig, Rita Moreno and Keith Larsen (Corriganville) Allied Artists

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas -- Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor (1911 – 1969) was an American film and television actor who was one of the most popular leading men of his time.

While making the film "His Brother's Wife" (1936), Robert Taylor became involved with his co-star, Barbara Stanwyck.  Rather than a torrid romance, some claimed their relationship was more one of mentor and pupil with Stanwyck serving as adviser to the younger Taylor.

Some historians claim their 1939 marriage was arranged with the help of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a common practice in Hollywood's golden age.  Never-the-less they were popular members of the early Northridge "Horse Capitol of the West" -- just down the road from Chatsworth filming locations.

Ironically Taylor only made one movie in the Santa Susana area.

Ambush (1950) starring Robert Taylor, John Hodiak, Arlene Dahl (Corriganville) MGM

"Death Valley Days" (1952) TV Series
Robert Taylor as Himself - Host (77 episodes, 1966-1969)

Great Granddad Minted America's First Coins

Joseph Jenks (Jenckes) -- my 11th great grandfather -- was born 26 Aug 1599 in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England; and died 16 March 1683 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.

Joseph settled in Lynn, Massachusetts by 1643, arriving as a widower. 

North America's First Patent

On March 6, 1646, he was awarded the first patent in North America by the General Court of Massachusetts, for making scythes. This basic scythe design remained in use for over 300 years. 

In 1654 he built the first fire engine in North America, commissioned by the city of Boston. The site of the Jenckes forge is at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site.

Pine Tree Coins

In 1652, Massachusetts was short of coinage for use in its internal commerce.  It decided to coin its own money, despite the fact that the English Policy, at least unofficially,prohibited the colonists from coining their own money. 

Joseph Jenks Sr was chosen to make the dies for striking the coins.  He made dies for threepenny pieces, sixpenny pieces and shillings.

They were to be of sterling silver, and by weight were to have five-sixths of the silver weight of the corresponding English coins.  This lesser weight would tend to prevent their export from the colony for their silver value. 

Each was stamped with "Massachussetts" and a pine tree on one side, and on the other side "New England, Anno 1652," together with the number of pence in Roman numerals. There is a story that Sir Thomas Temple, representing the interest of the Massachussetts Bay Colony,showed samples of the coins to King Charles II.

When the King asked what kind of tree was represented on the coins, Sir Thomas answered that it was a royal oak tree, the tree which saved the King's life. The King answered that the colonists were "a set of honest dogs," and proceeded with the business at hand.

Source above: History of the United States Patent Office, Chapter 2. Invention comes to British Colonial America

Our descendancy from Joseph is as follows:

Joseph Jenks (Jenckes) (1599 - 1683)
my 11th great grandfather

Joseph Jencks (1632 - 1716)
son of Joseph Jenks (Jenckes)

Elizabeth Jenckes (1658 - 1740)
daughter of Joseph Jencks

Elizabeth Tefft (1687 - 1750)
daughter of Elizabeth Jenckes

Elizabeth Carpenter (1703 - 1740)
daughter of Elizabeth Tefft

Solomon Brayman (Braman) (1723 - 1790)
son of Elizabeth Carpenter

William Brayman (Braman) (1753 - 1790)
son of Solomon Brayman (Braman)

Waterman F Brayman (1786 - 1865)
son of William Brayman (Braman)

Elvira W. Brayman (Pierce) (Corey) (1822 - 1909)
daughter of Waterman F Brayman

Marcus M Pierce (1842 - 1882)
son of Elvira W. Brayman (Pierce) (Corey)

Lillian Amanda Pierce (1867 - 1957)
daughter of Marcus M Pierce

Franklin 'Frank' Jackson Bailey (1886 - 1968)
son of Lillian Amanda Pierce

mom -- Velma Veda Bailey (1914 - 2004)
daughter of Franklin 'Frank' Jackson Bailey

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Great-Uncle Rene Was A Coureurs Des Bois

By 1697, the fortification at LaPrairie, Quebec, Canada had enclosed 120 persons, among them were Jacques Deneau [our 7th great grandfather], Francois Leber (1) [our 7th great grandfather], and Francois Bourassa [our 7th great grandfather].

The story of the Bourassa family is typical of the times. A native of France, Francois Bourassa [our 7th great grandfather] married Marie Leber [our 7th great grandmother], the daughter of LaPrairie pioneers Francois Leber [our 8th great grandfather] and Jeanne Testard [our 8th great grandfather], and widow of Charles Robert. After five years of marriage, Francois was captured during a skirmish with the Iroquois and presumed dead but returned after a prolonged absence. 

Francis and Marie had seven children, with five living to adulthood. Their daughter, Marie Bourassa [our 6th great grandmother], married Jacques Pinsonneau [our 6th great grandfather]. Francois Bourassa had two concessions of land and also a home in the village of LaPrairie but had prospered even more by being involved as a fur trader in the west. 

When Francois died at age 48 in an epidemic at Montreal, Marie married a third time to Pierre Herve. Like most of the families of LaPrairie at this time, the Bourassa family watched their sons head west to make a profit in the fur trade.

Rene Bourassa Coureurs Des Bois

Francois Bourassa’s son, Rene Bourassa [our 6th great great-uncle], is a good example of the younger men of LaPrairie at the beginning of the 18th century. In the early decades of that century, the merchants of the English colonies were paying twice as much as the French price for furs. LaPrairie, located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence, gave easy access to the English markets. 

Tempted by these profits, Rene was carrying on illicit trade with the merchants in Albany and was fined 500 livres when he was caught in 1722. He was dispatching canoes to the west by 1726. In 1729 Rene carried letters to New England, a trip which was often a cover for the illegal trade. 

In 1735 he hired engages to go to Pierre Gaultier de La Verendrye's posts at Fort St. Charles on Lake of the Woods and Fort Maurepas near the mouth of the Red River.

He wintered with La Verendrye at Fort St. Charles. In June, 1736 Rene set out from Fort St. Charles with four others for Michilimachinac. They were captured by Sioux warriors, who claimed the French were arming their enemies, a truth because La Verendrye was trading guns to the Assinabois who were fighting the Sioux. 

The Sioux were preparing to burn Bourassa at the stake when his Sioux girl (wife?) pleaded for his life and he and his men were released. He had narrowly missed death when other Sioux on Lake of the Woods ambushed and massacred a party of 21 following close behind Rene’s party, including Jean Baptiste de La Vérendrye, La Verendrye’s son, and Father Jean-Pierre Aulneau de la Touche, for crimes against their people. 

In 1736, Rene constructed a post and wintered at Vermillion (Crane Lake today), Minnesota, to trade with the Ojibwa. After that, most of his trade was around Michilimackinac, where he was selling goods to the Indians. His family had joined him there. 

The Ojibwas captured the fort at Michilimackinac in 1763 and, because they disliked Rene, they killed all his cattle and horses. Soon afterwards, Rene settled in Montreal as a merchant in the fur trade.

Fathers of the Fur Trade

(1) Francois Leber and his sons were known as the fathers of the fur trade.

Most of this story is an excerpt from Minnesota, eh? a Foley/Perras Family History, by Jerry Foley, that was found online at while researching the fur trade history of LaPrairie.

Savages going to settle in LaPrairie with the French c1680

Our family lineage from Francois Leber (1626 - 1694) -- Our 8th great grandfather

Marie Le Ber (1666 - 1756)
daughter of Francois Leber

Marie Elisabeth Bourassa (1695 - 1766)
daughter of Marie Le Ber

Joseph Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1733 - 1779)
son of Marie Elisabeth Bourassa

Gabriel Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1770 - 1813)
son of Joseph Pinsonneau (Pinsono)

Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau) (1803 - 1877)
son of Gabriel Pinsonneau (Pinsono)

Lucy Passino (1836 - 1917) -- 2nd great-grandmother
daughter of Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Great Granddad Was Murdered By Iroquois Indians

In an excerpt from the biography of Jean de Saint-Pére in the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography," 1966–2015 University of Toronto, we find the following account of the murder of my 9th great grandfather Nicolas Godé: 

"This Man who had as solid a piety, as alert a mind, and in general… as excellent a judgment as have ever been known here [at Montreal] met with a tragic end on 25 Oct. 1657. 

For a short time there had been peace between the French and the Iroquois.  A group of Oneidas [one of the five founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy] appeared on the land of Nicolas Godé, who, together with his son-in-law Jean de Saint-Père and their servant Jacques Noël, was busy building a house. 

The Frenchmen received the visitors most courteously, and even gave them a meal. 

The Iroquois, who had come under the guise of peace and friendship, but with treacherous intent, waited until their hosts had climbed back again onto the roof and were within range of their arquebuses (1); they then “brought them down like sparrows.” 

To complete their work, the Oneidas scalped Godé and Noël, but cut off Saint-Père’s head and carried it off “in order to have his fine growth of hair.”

I am descended from Nicolas Godé as follows:

Nicolas Godé (1583 - 1657) my 9th great grandfather

Francoise Gaudet (Gode) (1631 - 1714)
daughter of Nicolas Godé

Jean Baptiste Desroches (1663 - 1711)
son of Francoise Gaudet (Gode)

Angélique Desroches (1700 - 1783)
daughter of Jean Baptiste Desroches

Marie Elisabeth Marier (1740 - 1785)
daughter of Angélique Desroches

Marie-Louise Vielle (1780 - 1813)
daughter of Marie Elisabeth Marier

Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau) (1803 - 1877)
son of Marie-Louise Vielle

Lucy Passino (1836 - 1917)
daughter of Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau)

Abraham Lincoln Brown (1864 - 1948)
son of Lucy Passino

Lydia Corinna Brown (1891 - 1971)
daughter of Abraham Lincoln Brown

My mother Velma Veda Bailey (1914 - 2004)
daughter of Lydia Corinna Brown

More of my French-Canadian ancestors killed by Iroquois included

In 1682, Marguerite Perras dit Fontaine [8ggm], age 16, married Pierre Poupart [8ggf], who had come to Quebec as a domestic for Pierre Gagnon and later bought a farm at Saint-Lambert. Pierre and Marguerite had seven children before Pierre was killed by the Iroquois at age 40 in 1699 and Marie married a second time to Joseph Boyer.

Denise Lemaitre Perras [9ggm] was killed at age 55 by the Iroquois at Cote-Saint-Lambert on October 29, 1691, when a group of Dutch and Indian fighters led by Major Peter Schuyler of New England struck the French in reprisal for the French attack on Schenectady.

Ironically, Denise’ granddaughter Marguerite, the daughter of Pierre Poupart and Marguerite Perras, was also killed by the Iroquois as an eleven year old at LaPrairie in 1696.

(1) The arquebus is an early muzzle-loaded firearm used in the 15th to 17th centuries.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Great Grandma Was A French King's Daughter

The King's Daughters (French: filles du roi), refers to the approximately 800 young French women who immigrated to New France (Canada) between 1663 and 1673 as part of a program sponsored by Louis XIV of France.

Many of these young French women were orphans whose transportation to New France was paid for by the King.  Some were given a royal gift of a dowry of 50 livres for their marriage to one of the many unmarried male colonists in Canada.  These gifts are reflected in some of the marriage contracts entered into by the filles du roi at the time of their first marriages.

In the 1660s, New France was a man's world: a colony of soldiers, fur traders, and priests.  It had little to offer women.  The population growth in the competing English colonies awakened concern among some French officials about their ability to maintain their claim in the New World.

The filles du roi program was designed to promote the settlement of New France.  Some 737 of these women married and the resultant population explosion gave rise to the success of the colony.  Most of the millions of people of French-Canadian descent today, both in Quebec, the rest of Canada and the USA, are descendants of one or more of these courageous women of the 17th century.

Carignan-Salières Regiment

Many French Canadian descendants also have one or more ancestors who served in the Carignan-Salières Regiment.  

The regiment was formed between 1665 and 1668 to combat the Iroquois threat to the struggling colony of New France.  Over 400 of its soldiers and officers decided to remain in New France when the regiment was recalled to France.   

Many of These Carignan soldiers married King's Daughters (filles du roi), and became the original French-Canadian ancestors from the Quebec province.

Anne Le Ber (1647 - 1732), my 7th great grandmother, was a King's Daughter who married François Pinsonneau Dit Lafleur, a soldier in the Carignan-Salières Regiment on 1 May 1673 at St-Ours, Sorel, Quebec.

I am  descended from them as follows:

Anne Le Ber (1647 - 1732) married François Pinsonneau Dit Lafleur (1646 - 1731) my 7th great grandparents

Jacques Pinsonneau dit Lafleur (1682 - 1773)
son of Anne Le Ber

Joseph Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1733 - 1779)
son of Jacques Pinsonneau dit Lafleur

Gabriel Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1770 - 1813)
son of Joseph Pinsonneau (Pinsono)

Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau) (1803 - 1877)
son of Gabriel Pinsonneau (Pinsono)

Lucy Passino (1836 - 1917)
daughter of Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau)

Abraham Lincoln Brown (1864 - 1948)
son of Lucy Passino

Lydia Corinna Brown (1891 - 1971)
daughter of Abraham Lincoln Brown

My mother Velma Veda Bailey (1914 - 2004)
daughter of Lydia Corinna Brown