Atonwa Onharakete (aka Thomas Rice) and Marguerite Konwaheri Kaniiontonkwas (aka Marguerite Montour)
An American by the name of Phil Anthony contacted me recently for information about his ancestors Thomas Rice and Marguerite Montour to whom he is related through his grandmother Louise Janice Rice. He is looking for genealogical information about his ancestors as well as their siblings and their descendants and would also welcome contacts with any Rice or Montour descendants.
For readers who may not know, the Rice name was first carried by two little American boys (Silas and Timothy Rice) who had been taken captive by Iroquois warriors in the early 1700s and brought back to Caughnawaga where they were assimilated into the Mohawk community. You can read one account of this fascinating story online in the journal of the Historical Records and Studies of the United States Catholic Historical Societies.
Phil’s greatgrandfather – Atonwa Onharakete – also played a part in Kahnawake’s history. He was one of several Caughnawaga chiefs from 1878 till 1886. The 1880s and ’90s were a time of significant turmoil in Caughnawaga as the Mohawk people attempted to forge a new system of government. One source of tension was the desire by some to respect traditional Iroquois practices while dealing with the reality of the Canadian Indian Act. In the end Thomas and his wife emigrated to Bay City, Michigan (U.S.A.).
Thomas Rice and Marguerite Montour in the CDN Census
Canadian Census 1871 [Sault St Louis, Laprairie] I have not found this family under the Mohawk or Rice names. I did find one household using the Rice name (also found below in 1881) and they were: Jean Baptiste and Manon and their children Johny, Agathe, Phebee, Alphonse, Agnes and Israel. (more on this household to come in a future post).
Canadian Census 1881 [Sault-Ste-Louis, Laprairie (District 69, Sub-district G, Page Number 54, Household Number 331]
Thomas (b.1853, farmer) and Marguerite (b.1855) were living with their children Louise (b.1873) Charley (b.1875), and Marianne (b.1878). Another person in their household was 57 year old widow Amastasie Kawennase. Question – was Amastasie, Thomas or Marguerite’s mother? Location of all births: Quebec (unconfirmed by baptismal records which are apparently missing for this period).
Note – The only other households going by the Western Rice name in the 1881 census are: (1) Louise and Marie Rice and their child Marie, (2) John A. and Louise and their children Louisa, Febee and William, (3) widower Jean Baptiste and his son Ignace, and (4) Joseph and his wife Cecile and their children Angelique and Anne.
Note – Phil says that Marguerite Montour had a brother by the name of Basil. I have the following household in the 1881 census: Bazil and Suzanne Montour (aged 45 and 42) and their 2 yr.olf daughter Marianne.
Canadian Census 1901 & 1911 I haven’t found them – which would make sense as they should be in the United States.
If you’d like to help Phil Anthony out with his family history research
then drop me a line and I’ll give you the contact information.