A Canadian Family

First Nations, French Canadians & Acadians

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.


Related Posts:

Index: First Peoples Genealogy and History

 Caughnawaga (Kahnawake) Surnames: Iroquois, Native American & European

March 2, 2010 - Posted by | . | , , , , , ,


  1. She:kon !
    I am a descendant of Thomas & Marguerite Rice but the ones from 1737. Most likely their G-G-G…Grandfather. Chief Thomas was the son of Silas Rice AKA Chief Jacques Tannhahorens Rice “He Splits the Door”. Chief Thomas Atonwa Aronhiawonen Rice “Great Sky” (4/24/1737-3/1779?) married(=M.) in 1757 Marguerite Teweson Tekahkwitha (1737-5/15/1827) niece of Saint Kateri Tekahkwitha. Their children were: 1-Cecile Aonwentsiio Rice (3/7/1758-2/23/1813) M. Matthias Theshonarenion (1753-1/12/1828 Akwesasne),2-Marie Madeleine Kiatawinon Rice (4/22/1760-?) M.1768(2nd of his 3 wives) Pierre Taiohensere Deer Rice (1748-1788)[I have more of this line on request], 3-Louise(aka Louis) Tekonwakennion Rice (12/1761-?), 4-Marie Anne Konantewanteta aka Gonatebenteton Rice “She Has Been Abandoned”(3/12/1765-5/1/1856) M. 1/7/1779 Chief Thomas Tehorakwaneken Williams “Two Suns Together” (1/6/1759-10/17-1848) [Eunice’s Grandson], they had 13 kids [more line info. on request], 5-Catherine Rice (5/27/1768-8/11?/1770), 6-Francois Xavier Tekawiiaien Rice (2/10/1771-?) M. Marie Niakaha, 7-Pierre Tekarenhonte Rice(4/24/1774-3/8/1828) M. 1/9/1797 Marie Therese Konwanatontion (1788-?), 8-Ignace [aka Angus] Kanatekta Rice (10/20/1776-2/9/1839) M. 1/25/1796 Marie Karonhianoron. Remember in Kanien’keha “K” is also “G” & “T” is also “D”. I hope this helps ! Now you have access to contact with another “Rice” descendant. There are thousands & thousands ! Good Luck, Good Orenda !
    Sincerely, Cousin, R’Atetshents(Medicine Man) Uncle Hawkeye

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Uncle Hawkeye | January 12, 2016 | Reply

    • Hello sir, I was wondering if you had any information about the genealogy of the wife of Silas Rice AKA Chief Jacques Tannhahorens. I believe her name was MarieTtsionnakwannen Tsaikohawi. She is my third cousin and I would love to know her genealogy as it would help me with mine.

      Thank you 🙂


      Comment by Impeccable Chaos | July 13, 2021 | Reply

      • Hello Cousin I C 😊
        Yes I do have, and would be happy to share with you, information regarding her genealogy, both ancestors and descendants.
        I have names, dates, meaning of names, charts and other information for you. I believe much of it will surprise you.
        I do not know if I can send all of it via this site.
        Do you have a number I can send it to ?
        Sincerely, Your Long Lost Cousin, Hawk GreatSky

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Hawk GreatSky | July 13, 2021 | Reply

  2. Hi my grandma was Lena rice her father John Henry rice brother we rice great uncle
    Robert rice cousins they
    Decend from Edmund rice Thomas rice. Heard the stories just looking for family! Took Dna test through Hertiage! Any pictures I sway new we has Indian blood but also Scandinavian, English ! My great grams is from Natchez Village clay county Indians moved during trails of tears! Family relocated thank you! Indigenous for sure! Love won! 🙂 so you have any pictures of the family in Canada!! thank you!


    Comment by Lesha mealler/rice/fugate/Fitzhugh | November 26, 2020 | Reply

  3. Do you know if this family is descended from Silas or Timothy Rice? I am descended from Thomas Rice and Marguerite Montour.


    Comment by LF | February 18, 2021 | Reply

    • She:kon !

      Most likely Silas. Tim had only 1 child that I know of. Silas had several as did their descendants. They were rather prolific.



      Comment by Hawk GreatSky aka Uncle Hawkeye | February 18, 2021 | Reply

      • * correction/update Tim had 3 children, that I know of so far.


        Comment by Hawk GreatSky | July 13, 2021 | Reply

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