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Lesson 7 - Readings for the Stebbins Family

Abigail Stebbins

From New England Captives Carried to Canada, Vol. I, Emma L. Coleman, 1925, pgs. 118-124

Shortly before the massacre on February...Parson Williams married Abigail to 'James Denyo' [a Frenchman] about sixteen years her senior...Who were these Frenchmen and why were they in Deerfield?...they might have been of the large number of coureurs de bois, who were the despair of their government. They carried goods and brandy to the Indians exchanging them for furs...In 1710 'Marguerite [Abigail] Stebbens, married to Jean de Noyon, sergeant and having children' was naturalized [made a citizen of Canada]...The family [Jacques' parents] had moved to Boucherville nine miles down the river from Montreal, and there to his own people Jacques took his young bride.

Abigail's children:
Jacques Rene, was born on Dec. 26, 1704
Gabrielle [born] in 1705.
Jean-Baptiste, b.[born] 1707, died 1708.
Jean-Baptiste, b.[born] 1708,
Francois, b. [born] 1710,
And in Montreal on 'Saturday 3 Oct. 1711 was baptized...Dorothee...born the day preceding [Oct. 2]
Marie-Josephte in 1713. She died the next year.
Marie-Charlotte 1716
Marie-Joseph 1718
Marie-Magdalen 1720
Joseph 1724

'...baptizedby me, undersigned Priest, an English woman, named in her own country Abigail Stebbens, who born at Dearfield in New England Jan 4, 1684...married the 14th February 1704 to Jacques Desnoions...came with him to Canada toward the end of the following March and lives with him at Boucherville. Her name of Abigail has been changed to that of Marguerite.'

Ebenezer and Thankful were perhaps living with her...Jacques, a soldier, was evidently not a home-maker...

When Rene, the eldest child, was about ten years old he was sent with some Frenchmen and Indians to visit his grandparents in Deerfield, and when the Canadians were ready to go back the child could not be found. Perhaps he preferred his mother's home, perhaps grandfather Stebbins induced [convinced] him to stay, but stay he did and in New England he founded [started] not only a family but a name, for his was Aaron Denio.

In 1740, on November 15, Abigail was buried at Boucherville, aged sixty-two.

From The History of Deerfield, Vol I, George Sheldon, 1895, pgs. 343 & 344

She was a daughter of John Stebbins, twenty-six days married to James Denio, or Denieur, one of the 'three Frenchmen' of Stephen Williams's list, when captured. Their son Aaron...became a noted tavern keeper in Greenfield, was prominent in public affairs, and a soldier in later wars.

From notes from historian, Kevin Sweeney, 11/23/99

Jacques DeNoyon [James Denio] was the first Frenchman to visit Lake of the Woods in the Great Lakes. He had a great knowledge of that area, the Indians who lived there and the trade situation there. He was a trader and considered a renegade [one who doesn't always follow the laws]. He came from Boucherville in Canada. After he was captured in the 1704 attack and returned to Canada, he was made a captain of the French Marines [soldiers], and a letter of praise was written about him by the Canadian Governor. He was probably Catholic to be so well respected. Deerfield's attackers may have been more interested in getting him back because of his knowledge of the Great Lakes, than in capturing Deerfield's minister, John Williams.

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