Jean Pitre dit Beneque

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Jean Pitre dit Beneque, I

Birthdate: (53)
Birthplace: Flanders, Mer-Du-Nord, France
Death: circa 1689 (45-61)
Port Royal, Acadia, Nova Scotia, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of Maturin Pitré dit Beneque and Félicité Thibodeau
Husband of Marie Pesselet
Father of Jean Préjean dit Le Breton; Marie-Marguerite Pitre; Catherine Pitre; Claude Pitre; Marc Pitre and 5 others
Half brother of Jean PÎTRE

Occupation: Taillandier
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jean Pitre dit Beneque

From: Richard J.Saunders > Subject: Re: [PITRE] Jean Pitre 1 & Marie Peselet Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 05:27:08 -0500

Descendants of Jean Pitre

Generation No. 1

1. JEAN1 PITRE was born Abt. 1636 in Flanders, Mer-du-Nord, France,and died Bef. 1689 in Port Royal, St-Jean Baptiste, Acadie. He married MARIEPESELET Abt. 1664 in Port Royal, St-Jean Baptiste, Acadie, daughter of ISAACPESELET and BARBE BAJOLET. She was born Abt. 1645 in Port Royal, Acadie.

Notes for JEAN PITRE:

Jean Pitre

His name may have been Jan Pietr. Either for social acceptance or by mispronounciation, he became Jean Pitre. He was born around 1636. This pioneer would be our first Pitre ancestor to set foot on thiscontinent and the progenitor of many Pitre, Lepitre, Pieters, Pieter, Pietre,Peters, Peter, Peete, living in Acadie, Québec, Canada and the U.S. today. Thefirst trace that is found of our ancestor is in the 1671 census of PortRoyal, Acadie. Jeans trade is mentioned as edge-tool making which consistsin the fabrication of sharp tools and irons used by farmers. The pioneer ofthe Acadian Pitre family is Flemish according to a statement made at Belle-Île-en-Mer, France after deportation by his grandson ClaudePitre. However, in his Dictionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennesProfessor Stephen White also cites Père Clarence dEntremont (genealogist) who believed that it is more likely that he was English, based on Anaccount of the Customs and Manners of the Micmakis and Maricheets where it issaid that Peters, a toolsmith in England was of English origin. Many hypotheseshave been brought forth as to how Jean Pitre arrived in Acadie. It has been speculated that he arrived with the Sir ThomasTemple Expedition on May1, 1657. There is no list of settlers from this expedition but itcoincides with Jean Pitres arrival in Acadie. On the other hand, LeopoldLanctot suggests that Jean Pitre first came as a pioneer to the Dutch coloniesof Fort Orange (now Albany, N.Y.) or New Amsterdam (now New York, N.Y.).When the British took over those Dutch colonies Governor Temple would have recruited Dutchmen to take them to Acadie.

Another story that was told on the origins of Jean Pitre was publishedin The History of St. Anthonys Parish 1803-1980 which relates to the descendants of Jean Pitre in Prince Edward Island, Canada, most ofwhich have taken the name Peters. This account would have him in Permambuco, Brazil and escaping the Dutch wars in South America by hopping aschooner up to Acadie.

Still another story would have a named Peter (maybe Jean Pitresfather) arriving during the Scottish occupancy between 1621 and 1632. Thislast story is found in The Acadian Miracle by DJ Leblanc who states thatPeter later changed his name to Pitre and remained in Acadie after theFrench retook possession in 1632.

Unfortunately all of these are just theories and speculations and wereally dont know how and when Jean Pitre arrived in Acadie. For all we know,he could have arrived as a child with his parents or even been born inAcadie of parents who arrived earlier since there were not many documentskept in the early 1600s.

We know that he was in Port Royal around 1665 when he married MariePesseley because the following year, their first child Marie was born. In 1671, Acadie is part of France again and the population has reached 360. Inthis first census taken in Acadie, we find the following: Jean PITRE, edgetool maker, 35, wife Marie Pesseley; Children: Claude 9 months and 2daughters, Marie age 5 & Catherine age 3; cattle 1, no ploughed land. The firstcensus list our ancestor with his young family. At this time, he is one ofthe few Acadians with no farming land and would have had to concentrate on his skills as a toolsmith to provide for his family. By 1678, his familyhas grown and has added 2 acres of ploughed land and one more cow to helpfeed them. It is through their fifth son François that our Pitre lineage is continued. François is listed in the 1686 census as being 4 years old.In 1689, war was declared between France and England. Bostons NewEnglanders took advantage of this by trying to invade Acadie one more time.Admiral Phipps arrived in Port Royal in 1690 with 700 English soldiers. Thefort was defended by 70 French soldiers who eventually surrendered. Inhabitantsof Port Royal and Des Mines, locked in the church and with the threatof burning down their houses, were forced to sign a Declaration ofFidelity to the Crown of England, but still refused to bear arms against theirFrench comrades. Even though the French settlers had given in and signed the Declaration, for twelve days afterwards the New Englanders destroyedAcadie. The Church and Presbytery were razed. Cattle was destroyed, housespillaged and 28 of them burned to the ground. The settlers were in a disastrous situation and they moved to Jemseg on the St-Jean River. It was aroundthat time that our first Ancestor, Jean Pitre, passes away in Port Royal.He would have been in his mid-fifties when he left his wife and ninechildren in mourning. Their youngest Jeanne was only 5 years old.

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THE FIRST FAMILIES OF Acadie - CENSUS OF 1671, Jean PITRE, edge toolmaker, 35; wife Marie PESELET 26; Children: Marie 5, Catherine 3, Claude 9months; cattle 1.

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1671 Census:

Jean PITRE, edge tool maker, 35, wife Marie MAYOLS (first wife, Marie PESELET); Children: Claude 9 months and 2 daughters; cattle 1.

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1678 Census,

Jean PITRE & Marie PESSELET, 2 acres & 2 cows, 4 boys 101668,

5 1673, 3 1675, 1 1677, 2 girls 14 1664, 11 1667

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, Jean Pitre & Marie Pesselet, 2 acres & 2 cows, 4 boys: 101668 Claude; 5 1673 Marc; 3 1675 (son); 1 1677 Pierre, 2 girls: 14 1664Marie; 11 1667 Catherine;

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1686 Census:

Jean PITRE 61, Marie PESELET 45; children: Claude 16,Mare 12,

Pierre 9, Jean 6, François 4, one girl 2, one girl 1 month.

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PITRE, Jean, was originally Flemish and married Marie Pesseley, whocame from Paris, according to his grandson Claude Pitre (Doc. inéd., Vol.III, p. 28), as is mentioned in the preceding paragraph. The Parisian originof Marie Pesseley is quite doubtful, and Father Clarence dEntremontquestioned the Flemish origin of Jean Pitre, because he had found mention of a blacksmith named John Peters in Acadia who came from England (Histoiredu Cap-Sable [Eunice, Louisiana: Hébert Publications, 1981], Vol. III, p. 1050), and the 1671 census does show that Jean Pitre was a specializedsort of metalworker, an edge-tool maker (see DGFA-1, pp. 1318-1319). Whilethere is no proof that the blacksmith and the edge-tool maker were one andthe same, there is no real contradiction in supposing that they might havebeen, inasmuch as there were many Flemish artisans in England during themiddle part of the seventeenth century, and one of them might have chosen to emigrate to Acadia sometime after the English capture of the colony in1654.

More About JEAN PITRE:

Burial: Abt. 1689, Port Royal, Annapolis, N.S.


PESSELEY, Marie, came from Paris and married Jean Pitre, who wasoriginally Flemish, according to her grandson Claude Pitre (Doc. inéd., Vol. III,p. 28). Maries father, Isaac Pesseley, was a passenger aboard theSaint-Jehan, which left La Rochelle bound for Acadia April 1, 1636. Prior to thathe and his family had lived at Piney, in Champagne. Isaacs wife BarbeBajolet and their children who were then living did not accompany him in 1636, butit is known from the contract of her second marriage that his widow returnedto France from Port-Royal in 1646 (see DGFA-1, pp. 1034, 1288-1289). It consequently appears more likely that Isaac and Barbes daughter Mariewas born in Acadia, rather than at Paris, although as has been seen it is certain that both of her parents came from France.


Marriage: Abt. 1664, Port Royal, St-Jean Baptiste, Acadie

Children of JEAN PITRE and MARIE PESELET are:

i. MARIE2 PITRE, b. Abt. 1666, Port Royal, Acadie; d. Aft. 1726, PortRoyal, Annapolis, Nova Scotia, Acadie; m. FRANÇOIS AMIRAULT, Abt. 1683, PortRoyal, St-Jean Baptiste, Acadie; b. Abt. 1644.


Marriage: Abt. 1683, Port Royal, St-Jean Baptiste, Acadie

ii. CATHERINE PITRE, b. Abt. 1668, Port Royal, Acadie; d. Feb 1721/22,Port Royal, Annapolis, Nova Scotia, Acadie; m. CLAUDE BERTRAND, Abt. 1685,Port Royal, St-Jean Baptiste, Acadie; b. Abt. 1651, Acadie; d. Abt. 1726,Acadie.


Marriage: Abt. 1685, Port Royal, St-Jean Baptiste, Acadie

iii. CLAUDE JEAN PITRE, b. Abt. 1670, Port Royal, Acadie; d. 07 Mar1775, Belle Ile En Mer, France; m. (1) MARIE ANNE COMEAU, Abt. 1697, PortRoyal, St-Jean Baptiste, Acadie; b. Abt. 1678, Port Royal, Annapolis, N.S.;d. 09 Jul 1707, Port Royal, Annapolis, N.S.; m. (2) ANNE HENRY, 17 Feb1709/10, St. Jean Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadie; b. Abt. 1688, Mines, Acadie; d.29 Nov 1757, Québec, Canada.


Claude was born about February 1671, appearing in the 1671 census as a 9-month-old, the youngest of Jean and Maries three children at thatcensus. Acadia at that time was a community of about 400 people.

Over the next 20 years a relative stability existed within the colony,as they farmed, fished and traded. As relations were becoming more heatedwith the British, Claude married, probably at Port Royal c1696, to MarieAnne Comeau who was about eighteen. She was the oldest daughter of earlyAcadians Pierre Comeau, known as lEsturgeon, and Jeanne Bourg. Having eightchildren over the next eleven years must have taken its toll as Marie Anne diedat the age of twenty-nine only a month after their twins were born.

Claude now had at least six children to care for as well as earn aliving. Maybe this was an unappealing proposition for young women in the area, because it was two and a half years before he remarried. (Itspossible that his youngest sister Jeanne, who is probably the daughter over 12appearing with their widowed mother in the 1707 census, took over the domesticduties for his family. Their stepfather had died 9 months prior, and theirmother died 5 months after Marie Annes death so she could have easilystepped into the role. What became of her is unknown.) Twenty-two-year-old AnneHenry became Claudes second wife during the winter of 1710. Anne was themiddle child of Robert Henry, a Frenchman, and Marie Madeleine Godin, aQuebecois.

Eight months later Port Royal, having been given no assistance by the French, surrendered to the English forces. The inhabitants of PortRoyal and those people living within three miles were granted permission to stayfor two years by taking the oath of allegiance. The rest of Acadia cameunder English control in 1713. Most wanted to leave but it was almostimpossible to do so.

The 1714 census still finds Claude, Anne, and their eight children inPort Royal. The 1717 burial registers record the death of Claudestwo-week-old son Rene and six months later his 15-year-old son Jean. Five ofClaudes children from his first marriage marry in Port Royal during the1720s, so presumably Claude was still there. By the late-1720s Claude was inhis mid-fifties. (The conditional oath had made the Acadians Frenchneutrals so their lives were relatively peaceful until 1744.)

Claude and Anne were still in Port Royal in 1726, but daughter MarieJosephe married in Chipoudy in 1734. Possibly Claude died during this time andthe remaining family moved away from Port Royal. I have no record of hisdeath but his widow is listed in the 1752 and the 1754/55 censuses atChipoudy. (Three of their sons, Pierre, Joseph and Charles, were prisoners atHalifax in 1763.) Of Claudes children from his first marriage, one died onIle St. Jean, two in France and one in Louisiana; from the second marriage,one died in France, and three others in exile in Quebec, as did his widow Anne,in hospital, in 1757.


Marriage: Abt. 1697, Port Royal, St-Jean Baptiste, Acadie


Marriage: 17 Feb 1709/10, St. Jean Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadie

iv. MARC PITRE, b. Abt. 1674, Port Royal, Acadie; d. Aft. 1714, PortRoyal, Annapolis, Nova Scotia, Acadie; m. JEANNE BRUN, Abt. 1699, Port Royal, Annapolis, Nova Scotia, Acadie; b. Abt. 1676, Port Royal, Annapolis,Nova Scotia, Acadie; d. Aft. 1714, Port Royal, Annapolis, Nova Scotia,Acadie.


Marriage: Abt. 1699, Port Royal, Annapolis, Nova Scotia, Acadie

v. PIERRE PITRE, b. Abt. 1676, Port Royal, Acadie.

vi. JEAN DENIS PITRE, b. Abt. 1680, Port Royal, Acadie; d. Aft. 1724, Cobequid, Acadie; m. FRANÇOISE BABIN, Abt. 1698, Port Royal, Acadie;b. Abt. 1681, Port Royal, Acadie.


Marriage: Abt. 1698, Port Royal, Acadie

vii. FRANÇOIS PITRE, b. Abt. 1682, Port Royal, Acadie; d. 05 Dec 1725,Port Royal, Acadie; m. ANNE PREJEAN, 27 Jul 1705, St. Jean Baptiste, PortRoyal, Acadie; b. Abt. 1687, Port Royal, Acadie; d. Aft. 1714.


François dit Nordest Pitre, Son of Jean Pitre and Marie Pesselet,François dit Nordest was born around 1682 in Port-Royal. He was still young in1690 when Phipps and his Soldiers arrived in his region. At the age of 11,in 1693, he lost his father and his family lived through difficult times.By 1697, peace returns to Acadie with the Treaty of Ryswick , which makes Acadie French soil again and the New Englanders leave. François livedduring the period considered as the Golden Age of Acadian History. At the ageof twenty-three, François Pitre marries Anne Préjean in Port Royal onJuly 27th, 1705. The young couple settles in Port Royal where all theirchildren are born. François Pitre and Anne Préjean are not found in the censusof 1707 or 1710 but it is most likely that they lived with or near Annes family. They are listed on the 1714 census as the immediate neighboursof Jean Préjean dit le Breton. After five years, this family finds itselfin danger again when the New Englanders seized Port-Royal. Even with the resMarriage (m. Pesselet, Marie) Citation OneWorldTree Page: Database online. Text: Record for Jean Pitre

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Jean Pitre dit Beneque's Timeline

Flanders, Mer-Du-Nord, France
Age 15
Age 23
Flanders to Arcadia
Age 30
Age 32
Port-Royal, Acadie
February 1670
Age 34
Port Royal, Acadia, Nova Scotia, Canada
Age 37
Port Royal, Acadia, Canada
Age 40
Port-Royal, Acadie
Age 44
Port Royal, Acadie, Nova Scotia, Canada