Often in tracing Colonial New England Scots-Irish families, you find the unexpected. What you find is these Presbyterians living in Quebec as Roman Catholics, married to Indians, and having both an Indian and French name. What the heck?
It turns out that with a little historical research into the “French and Indian Wars,” it all makes sense. Many Scots-Irish families were kidnapped by Indians and traded in what is now Quebec. The obvious implication is that who you thought were French Catholics or even mixed-bloods from the First Nations were originally Scots-Irish Presbyterians from New England and Ulster with a totally different name!
They are documented in two works: Emma Lewis Coleman’s New England Captives Carried to Canada Between 1677 and 1760 During the French and Indian Wars (1925); and C. Alice Baker’s True Stories of New England Captives Carried to Canada During the Old French and Indian Wars (1897). These can be found online, and don’t forget to look for online indexes.
Now for the historical background. These series of wars can be divided up and named. In the United States the war was named after the ruling English Monarch at the time. In Canada, either the larger European conflict or the term “Intercontential War” is used.
1688-1697: King William’s War (1st Intercolonial War (Quebec))
1702-1713: Queen Ann’s War (2nd Intercolonial War)
1744-1748: King George’s War and War of Jenkins’ Ear (3rd Intercolonial War)
1754-1763: The French and Indian War (4th Intercolonial War and 6th Indian War)
These wars were tied to the larger European conflicts as they played out in North America. These wars pitted England/UK, its colonies and Indian allies against France, its colonies and Indian allies. The causes of the wars were the desire of both nations to control the interior of North America, and the region around the Hudson Bay. The winner would dominant the fur trade. The French were effective in mobilizing the Indians, who raided the English colonies, and brought captives back to Quebec. New Hampshire, and its Scots-Irish population, were particularily ravaged during the last two wars.
In tomorrow’s blog, I want to continue the other side of this native theme by exploring people who willingly were trying to claim Native American heritage, whether they were or not.