A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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Notes for Pierre-François MACHABÉE


Pierre-François Macchabée, soldier of the Guyenne Regiment, was the immigrant ancestor of the McAbee line in North America. He was born in 1732 in Burgille les Marnay, Franche-Comté, France and died in Canada in 1794 at the age of 62 years. He was the son of Jean-François Macchabée (born about 1705 in Draguignan, Var, France, on the present-day French Riviera) and his wife Jeanne-Françoise Tournon. Burgille les Marnay, the birthplace of Pierre-François Macchabée, is located in east central France, near the Swiss border on the east and the Rhône Alpes to the south. That seems to indicate that his father had traveled a considerable distance from his own birthplace by the time his son was born. His surname is shown in other sources as Manabé, and as Macchabée dit Lajeunesse or Macchabée dit Marin. "Dit names" were commonly used in French Canada during the 17th and 18th centuries to differentiate among various individuals of the same or similar surname. Macchabée dit Lajeunesse means, roughly, "Macchabée the young (or youthful)", while Macchabée dit Marin means "Macchabée the Marine or sailor." Pierre-François Macchabée came to Canada from France in 1755, as a soldier of the Cormier Company (Compagnie Cormier) of the Guyenne Regiment of the Royal French Army. The Guyenne Regiment (le Régiment de Guyenne) was one of several regiments of the French regular army that were stationed in New France (Canada and the Mississippi River Valley) during the French and Indian War (1754-1761). While American histories refer to the fighting that began in 1754 as the French and Indian War, Canadian and European histories usually treat the final contest for control of the North American continent as beginning in 1756, with the opening of the Seven Years' War. Pierre-François sailed with the regiment from the port of Brest, France on 3 May 1755 aboard the French Navy vessel Illustre, as a part of the convoy of nine naval vessels that carried General Montcalm to Canada. (The other vessels were: Actif, Algonquin, Dauphin Royal, Deffenseur, Esperance, Fleur de Lys, Leopard and Opiniatre). The Guyenne regiment was active from the arrival of the convoy at Québec, on 23 June 1755, until 8 Sep 1760 when the articles of capitulation were signed at Montreal.

They were encamped at Fort Frontenac at the end of June, 1756 and formed a part of the force under Montcalm that laid siege to Fort Chouaguen (Fort Oswego) and overwhelmed the British forces there in August of the same year. They fought at Oswego, Fort William Henry, Carillon (Ticonderoga), Montmorency Falls, Plains of Abraham, Fort Niagara, Sainte Foy and the surrender of Montreal. At Ticonderoga, where a force of 3,800 Frenchmen defeated 15,000 British soldiers, the Royal Rousillon and Guyenne regiments took the center of the line, where General Montcalm himself was posted. According to the Journal of Military Operations Before Montreal, "the attack and defense were sustained with incredible valor and the loss of the enemy [British] forces was estimated at five or six thousand men killed or wounded; and ours [the French] at 300, including 38 officers. The Marquis de Montcalm had wine and beer conveyed to the field of battle, to refresh the troops who stood in great need of it; he and Chevalier de Lévis passed in front of all the battalions and expressed how pleased they felt at their conduct." When the Treaty of Paris at last brought the Seven Years' War to a close in 1763, the British flag waved over almost the whole of eastern North America. Pierre-François Macchabé dit Lajeunesse Marin was among many French soldiers who nevertheless chose to remain in Canada. He was subsequently married three times at Longue-Pointe, Québec and is said to have sired 27 children. The census (recensement) of 1765 for Lachine shows the household of [Pierre] François Macchabée consisting of: Enfant(s) de sexe feminin: 1 (Marie-Françoise, b. 1761); enfants de sexe masculin age(s) de moins de 15 ans: 2 (Jean Baptiste, b. 1758 and Lambert, b. 1762); Femme(s): 1 (Marie-Catherine) and Homme(s): 1 (Pierre-Françoise). Their second child, François, had died in 1760.

At Longue-Pointe, on 23 Jan 1756, Pierre-Françoise Macchabée and Marie-Catherine Archambeault Dufresne were the only witnesses to a baptism by the priest Reverchon. The child, who was given the name Pierre-François, was "ne de pere et mere inconnus, trouve expose a la porte du presbytere de cette paroisse" (of father and mother unknown, found exposed at the gate of the rectory of this parish).

Marie Catherine Archambeault Dufresne, the other witness to this baptism, was born in Pointe-aus-Trembles on 26 Dec 1722, the daughter of Jean Baptiste Dufresne and Marie Catherine Archambeault. She married Nicolas Desautels Lapointe on 6 Feb 1741 and had born him 11 children by the time of the baptism mentioned above.

At the time of this baptism Pierre François Maccabée was assisting the priest (as his father had done in France) and he appears as a witness on many records during 1756. As one of the two witnesses, he was chosen to serve as godfather for this child, who died in April 1756.

Another child baptised with the same name was born to Pierre-François Macchabée and Marguerite Amable Charbonneau on 5 May 1774 in Lachine.

There exists a contract dated 28 September 1782 for the employment of François Maccabée by Angus MacIntosh. He is "bout de bateau" and wintering. He makes his mark and is said to be not able to sign (illiterate).
A note appearing on the record of his birthplace and date is annotated "Fichier origine." He was born during the reign of Louis VX (1715-1774).
Although the death record gives his name as Lambert Maccabe and his age at death as 55, this is clearly Pierre-François Macchabé dit Lajeunesse Marin, who was 62 years of age at his death.
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