The Powell’s


When i was first interested in genealogy three years ago, i started looking for information on the Robineau’s. In the first night of my research i found very little on the Robineau’s. Partly because it is not a common name but also because not many had done research on the Robineau line. At the very least, i did not happen to find these researchers in my first days in Genealogy, before the addiction truly kicked in. When i got into my second hour of research that first night i decided to take a break and look into Karen’s line: the Powell’s.

Well, quite a bit has been done on the Powell line. I found that out almost immediately. I found a cousin of Karen’s, whom she has never met and he had a tree on the web. By the way that does not mean the work is done. Once the family tree has names, the more interesting thing to do is find out about their lives and the historical times they lived in. So i knew the Powell’s i am interested in are around Wingham, Ontario. But where do they come from? I found that the Powel’s come from Porlock in England.

PORLOCK, a parish, post town, and small seaport, in the hundred of Carhampton, county Somerset, 6 miles W. of Minehead, and 8 W. of Dunster. This place, which derives its name from the Saxon portlocan, “an enclosed harbour,” is a decayed market town, situated among the cliffs of Porlock Bay, in the Bristol Channel. The parish contains the hamlets of Porlock Weir, West Porlock, Yearnor, and Bossington. It was once the seat of the West Saxon kings, and was invaded by Danish pirates in 918. In 1052 it was burnt by Harold, the son of Earl Godwin, who sailed here from Ireland with nine ships, and vestiges of whose camp are still remaining. The town comprises two streets, composed of straggling and small houses. A portion of the inhabitants are engaged in the fisheries, and others in the coasting trade. The soil is of a sandy nature upon a subsoil of hard stone. The surface is diversified by lofty hills, winding valleys, and deep glens. Coal and lime are largely imported from Wales. Source:

The Porlock website says that:
The poets Wordsworth and Coleridge found Porlock very much to their liking and indeed Coleridge was interrupted by “a man from Porlock” whilst writing “Kubla Khan”; the consequence of which was that he lost his inspiration and never completed it.

The other interesting thing about Porlock is the “Ship Inn”. Read on to find out why.

The Ship Inn was built in 1290, making it one of the oldest inns in the country. It is believed that even before that date some sort of hostelry existed on the site.

In those days the sea came up to where the village school now stands. The Ship Inn was situated very close to the shoreline – an ideal spot for smuggling! It is rumoured that at least one secret tunnel exists, linking the Inn to a nearby cottage: useful for getting rid of contraband when the excise men came knocking! In 1682 The Ship was a venue for a clandestine meeting between smugglers and a corrupt revenue officer. The story leaked out and the revenue officer stood trial.

Throughout its long history the Inn has been at the forefront of village life. Sometimes the close links with the community were not always very happy. In 1754 shooting at the Inn’s sign seems to have been a local sport. The then owner was given 10/6d in compensation. Usually however, the Inn and the village lived in harmony. Source:

The Punch line:
Records of licensees and managers can only be traced back, so far, to the mid – 18th century. In 1744 Catherine Powell, believed to be the widow of Thomas Powell who had previously run The Ship, was named as the alehouse licensee. The Ship remained with the Powell family for some time. In 1746 John Powell took on the licence. His widow, Joan, took over in 1756.
Yes, you guessed it , Thomas Powell is Karen’s great, great, great great great grandfather. ( i presume there are enough “greats”.
So, when we go to Porlock we will check in on the Inn and make sure they have kept up the Powell standards.

Posted in Family Tree, Powell/White | 2 Comments

Installment #3 – Marriage contract between Michel Robineau dit Desmoulins and Louise Baron – February 1710

On 2013-09-07 6:49 PM, Roger wrote:

This is the next installment in the Robineau/Baron marriage contract transcription. The extracts from the contract are shown in (Bold, Italics).

Since the marriage contract is long, i plan to post the results in a series of Blog posts.

I have made editorial comments and these are shown after the contract entries and point to areas for further research.

This next portion of the marriage contract details what each is bringing to the marriage. It states they will abide by the customs of the city of Paris. It states that each, individualy is responsible for his or her own dents during the marriage. Michel states that he owns a piece of land in Notre Dame des Vertus on Montreal island. It is worth fifty “Escus” plus five hundrd and ten pounds in money and furnishings. Louise was said to own, apart from her clothes, a debt owing for 150 pounds from Gilles Papin, a merchant in Boucherville. The contract seems to imply that Michel would give Louise 300 pounds. Also present to act as witnesses were Gilles Papin, Merchant, Jean Baptiste Tetro, School teacher.

Editorial Comments:

An “Escus”, before 1720 was apparently worth 4 pounds. So his land was worth 200 pounds. According to the web site:
a surgeon earned 100 to 150 pounds a year and a shoemaker 60 pounds per year. A cow cost 50 pounds and an oven cost 100 pounds.

The short version of some of the legalese is that Louise gets to keep all her belongings and money if the marriage ends, which was common practice then.

Posted in Family Tree, Robineau | 2 Comments

Installment #2 – Marriage contract between Michel Robineau dit Desmoulins and Louise Baron – February 1710

This is the next installment in the Robineau/Baron marriage contract transcription. The extracts from the contract are shown in (Bold, Italics). Since the marriage contract is long, i plan to post the results in a series of Blog posts.

I have made editorial comments and these are shown after the contract entries and point to areas for further research.

In front of the “royal” notary Marien Tailhandier of Montreal, living in Boucherville are present Michel Robineau and Louise Baron. They both have consent from their parents and friends. Michel Robineau is accompanied by by his friend Pierre Roy. He also has consent of his friend Louis Herard de Beaujeu, lieutenent and second in command to the Major of the detachment of the Compagnie de la Marine and Ferriere sargeant of the troops.
Louise Baron was accompanied by her tutors Denis Veronnaux and Joseph Huet as well as her brother Denis Baron. All assembled are giving consent to the marriage of Michel and Louise which will take place as soon as possible in a Roman Catholic church.

Editorial Comments:Here is a bit more on the notary:
TAILHANDIER, dit La Beaume, MARIEN (Taillandier, dit La Baume, or Maxime de La Baume), surgeon, seigneurial then royal notary, clerk of court and judge in the seigneurial court of Boucherville, son of Antoine Tailhandier, attorney of the judicial district of Masaye in Auvergne; b. 1665 at Clermont; d. 1738 or 1739 at Boucherville.

He landed in Canada about 1685, no doubt as a soldier, for when on 8 Jan. 1688, at Boucherville, he married Madeleine Baudry, aged 27, widow of one Puybarau, the marriage contract declared him to be a soldier-surgeon in M. Daneau de Muy’s company. Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography:

Some preliminary research on Michel Robineau’s friends.
Pierre Roy is a relatively common name, so he may be harder to trace. He was in the same military outfit as Michel.

One of the more frustrating aspects of genealogy and looking at old handwritten documents is that names get mangled. The marriage contract refers to Michel Robineau and Michel Robineaux. It also refers to Louise Baron’s brother as Michel Baront.
One such situation is the name of Michel’s commander in the army. I suspect that the real name of Michel’s commander was Louis Lienard de Beaujeu and not Michel Herard de Beaujeu. Louis Lienard de Beaujeu’s biography fits with the dates quite well, although it is not yet proven. So, assuming that Louis Lienard was his commander check out the Dictionary of Canadian Biography:

We have now completed the first page of the contract only 3 and 1/2 more pages. :-)

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Mariage contract of Michel Robineau dit Desmoulins and Louise Baron – February 1710

Most of you are aware that i received a copy of the 1710 marriage contract between Michel Robineau dit Desmoulins and Louise Baron. The original copy is very difficult to read as it is hand-written by a lawyer in 1710. There are people known as paleographers who can look at this old handwriting and decipher the words. I would like to say i just got the results from the paleographer last week and here are the results. However, i have had the interpretation of this contract for a few months and have just not had the time to post it. The result is a transcription which is about six pages long. The transcription is in French, however, i will post it in English. Here are the highlights of the contract – The extracts are shown in Bold, Italics). Since this could be a long post, i will break it up into several posts.

I have made editorial comments and these are shown after the entries from the contract. These editorial comments point to areas for further research:

February 25, 1710 Lawyer: Mr. Tailhandier dit LaBeaune, Montreal

Marriage contract between Michel Robineau Dit Desmoulins of Paris, St. Roch parish, St. Honore Street, son of Simon Robineau and Anne Larcher and Louise Baron – 22 years old, from the parish of La Sainte Famile – Boucherville, daughter of Leger Baron – deceased and Marie-Anne Baudon.

Editorial Comments:
This seems to confirm Michel’s parents as Simon and Anne Larcher. Louise Baron was from Nouvelle France. Although two of the “Filles du Roy” were named Barbe Baron -arrived in Nouvelle France in 1667 and Etiennette Baudon – arrived in Nouvelle France in 1671 they do not appear to be related to Louise Baron. So, no “Fille du Roy” up that part of the tree.

The filles du roi is a term used to refer to the approximately 800 young French women who immigrated to Nouvelle France between 1663 and 1673 as part of a program sponsored by Louis XIV. The program was designed to boost Nouvelle France’s population both by encouraging male immigrants to settle there, and by promoting marriage, family formation and the birth of children. While women and girls certainly emigrated to New France both before and after this time period, they were not considered to be filles du roi, as the term refers to women and girls who were actively recruited by the government and whose travel to the colony was paid for by the king. The title “Fille du Roy” was meant to imply state patronage, not royal or even noble parentage. Most of these women were commoners of humble birth. (Source: Wikipedia)

And yes, there were two Filles du Roy’s who were Robineau’s: Marie and Marguerite. They arrived in 1668.

If you want to learn more about the Filles du Roy, just google the term or go to the following website (in French):

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