It is in 1631, at Mouilleron-in-Pareds, in the Vendée, that your ancestor Abel Turcot was born. Interesting fact, this community is also the native place of George Clémenceau, “the Tiger”, the famous French statesman.
In 1660, one finds Abel Turcot established in the Island of Orleans. Two years later, he married Marie Giraud at Chateau Richer. From 1667, Abel Turcot was praised to be the head of one of the most prosperous farms of all the Island of Orleans. Indeed he had more than 1.7 hectares (more than 40 acres) cleared and fourteen cattle in his barn.
Before that Abel Turcot had worked as a farmer and miller for the Monseigneur of Laval. This year, the apostolic Vicar of New France gave your ancestor the land that he cleared.
It is there that the seigneurial mill was located and it is in the house of Abel Turcot, which would belong to the future bishop of Quebec that the missionary came to say the mass before the construction of the first church of Sainte Famille.
The descendants of Abel Turcot multiplied under the names of Turcot and Turcotte mainly in the Island of Orleans, on the coast of Beaupre, the southern shore of the St. Lawrence River and in Beauce.
Born at Saint Jean, Island of Orleans, on July 11, 1842, his classic studies were at the Seminar in Quebec. In 1859 an accident on the ice bridge almost cost him his life. Disabled for the remainder of his days he occupied his time with serious historical studies. His work included, “History of the Island of Orleans” and “Canada under the Union”. He died in Quebec, on April 2, 1878.
Jean Turcot your ancestor, was taken prisoner in a battle with the Iroquois, at Trois Rivieres, on August 19, 1652, he was taken to their territory and was martyred.
The fact is told in the Stories of Canada. To quote Ferland, volume 1st, page 405:
“A party of one hundred and twenty Iroquois had taken some prisoners and cattle. Mr. Du Plessis-Bochart, governor of Trois-Rivieres, wanting to beat them again and drive out the petty thieves, embarked in boats forty or fifty French with a dozen Savages. Two miles [3 kilometres] above the fort, he saw the Iroquois hidden in the undergrowth on the skirt of forest. The shore was bordered with marshes which made the descent extremely difficult. In spite of the danger of following the Iroquois into the wood, he gave the order to disembark. He lead his men; but, embarrassed by the difficulties of the terrain and without cover, the French fell under fire from the enemy which they could neither see nor approach. In a desparate attempt, Mr. Du Plessis was killed along with fifteen of his men; several were taken prisoners and the others were thrown into their boats, went to carry this sad news to Trois Rivieres.
“Few days after this disaster, the French; having gone to visit the place of the battle, found these words written with coal on an Iroquois shield: “Normanville, Francheville, Poisson, La Palme, Turcot, Chaillou, Saint-Germain, Onneiochronnons and Agnechronnons. I still lost only one nail”.
Normanville, a skilled and valiant young man, who knew the Algonquin and Iroquois languages, had written these words with coal, so it would be known that these seven men had been taken by the Iroquois of the nation of Onneiout and Agnier and that he had only torn off a nail.
Jean Turcot never returned from the country of Onneiouts. He had been martyred by them.
The descent of this martyr ancestor was ensured by his son, Jacques, who occupied the important post of judge in Champlain. He married a girl whose mother, Anne Le Neuf du Hérisson, belonged to the old French nobility and through her you can claim French nobility.
Dictionnaire national des Canadiens français,
by: Institut généalogique Drouin
Volume 3, pages 1914-1917
Library and Archives Canada
Genealogy Ref. - CS88 A1 D53 1958 fol. - 2e ex.