A Canadian Family

First Nations, French Canadians & Acadians

The Francis Family of St-Regis | Francois Xavier Otenhakte and Catherine Korokwas

St-Regis | Mohawk historySummary: A Francis family descendant would like to know more about her family history.

Hello all,

I’ve been doing family history research on and off for years now, and have (finally) made a break through on my mothers side, and am hoping that someone here may be able to help me further. I have a lot of names (information) but not much history and so any help you can offer to fill in the blanks about family I’ve just learned and am so incredibly excited to know would be awesome. And if we happen to be related, even better!

I am the third great granddaughter of Felecite Kaawis who would eventually be known as Christina M Francis, Adams, Thomas, and Herihaketi though I could be mistaken about the Thomas and Herihaketi part. She was the daughter of François Xavier Otenhakte/ Francis and Catherine Korokwas/ Francis. She had six siblings, Marie Konsaionhake/ Karhakens/ Francis being one of them who was the mother of John Baptiste Arhakentiake Anewario Sawatis.

Felecite married a French man (I believe, though he lived on the reservation) named Benjamin John Franklin Major and they had ten children, one of which was Margaret “Maggie” M Major, my great great grandmother.

Wading through French records is difficult for me as I can’t read French, and many times the records aren’t written very clearly to begin with. Also the continuous change in surname makes keeping track of the line challenging,

So if any of these names seems familiar to you, and you have any more information on my family, please contact me at  Hdburge06 (at) gmail (dot) com (or leave a message in the comment boxes below)

Any help is appreciated.


My fourth great grandparents

François Xavier Otenhakte   –  Would eventually change Iroquois Mohawk Genealogyhis and his family’s surname to Francis born about 1813 on St. Regis on the French Canadian side was married to

Catherine Korokwas/ Francis –  Born about 1818 on St. Regis on the French Canadian side.

 They had seven children that I know of:

 Jean Onganente/ Francis  Born about 1835 on St. Regis on the French Canadian side.

 Therese Konsansense/ Francis  Born about 1838 on St. Regis on the French Canadian side.

Louise “Eliza” Tionsentseaite/ Francis  Born about 1848 on St. Regis on the French Canadian side.

 Pierre Kasonhiaklata/ Francis  Born about 1851 on St. Regis on the French Canadian side.

 Thomas Francis  I’ve not found any records on him but suggested to be born about 1860 on St. Regis on the French Canadian side

Marie Konsaionhake/ Karhakens/ Francis  Born about 1842 on St. Regis on the French Canadian side.

Félicite (Christina M Francis) Kaawis/ Adams/ Thomas/Herihaketi  Born Nov 1845 on St. Regis on the French Canadian side and died on 4 January 1920 in Lowville, New York, USA. She married a French man named: Benjamin John Franklin Major  Benjamin would go by John Major in a lot of the records.

They had 10 children I believe, 5 of which I actually have dates for:

Marie Charlotte Major  Born July 1868 on St. Regis.

Peter L Major  Born about April 1883 believed to have been born in New York State.

Frank Major  Born August 1885 in Lowville, New York and died 1o January 1954 in Buffalo, New York.

Emma Major  Born 1888 in New York.

Margaret “Maggie” M Major  Born 10 September 1880 on St. Regis I believe, and died 2 October 1961 in Lowville, New York.  Margaret was my second great grandmother who married: Edward Thomas   Lawrance. They had five children together: Margaret Elizabeth, Sylvia M, Loua E, Frank B Lawrance and:

Jessamine Frances “Jessie” Lawrence  Born 20 September 1914 In New York and died in 2005 in Oneida, New York.  She was my great grandmother.

If you have additions or corrections to this information please leave a comment or contact Heather directly.

Check comment boxes below for more information.

March 18, 2012 - Posted by | . |


  1. hi my grt grt grandfather angus rice born 1784 (awennaietha was married to felicite b 1787 they where from chateauguay que reserve caughnawaga judy rice toffoli


    Comment by judy rice toffoli | March 18, 2012 | Reply

  2. Hi Judy!

    Thank you so much for the response. I’m wondering though if you meant in the 1800’s instead of the 1700’s or if you’re saying that there’s another earlier ancestor named Felicite in my line that married your grandfather?

    If you meant 1884 etc however, that would definitely make sense as I’ve heard that Felicite had at least two other marriages I believe.


    Comment by Heather | March 18, 2012 | Reply

  3. hi heather we had a family history done about 20 years ago from kahnawake this name was in the family history one of their children was pierre atawenrate rice born in 1814 pierre was one of the first chiefs in kahnawake in 1845 judy rice toffoli


    Comment by judy rice toffoli | March 19, 2012 | Reply

  4. hi heather send me your e mail address i will e mail you a copy of are family history judy rice toffoli


    Comment by judy rice toffoli | March 19, 2012 | Reply

    • Hey Judy,

      My email is: hdburge06@gmail.com

      And any info you can send would be amazing. I’ve been trying to find the Rice connection but haven’t managed too yet, so a tree would be fantastic. The info you’ve given though has actually brought me to a site:


      That I can’t find any sources for really, but it’s allowed me to find a good deal more earlier ancestors which is awesome if it’s accurate. Not sure if anyone’s seen it or not, or who it’s run by, but the info is there so it’s definitely a start.

      With your information and once I’ve pulled everything off the internet I can find together, I’ll be ready to send Evelyn an updated list of family members in hopes that we can find and or help out any other family members that are searching out there.

      After all there were a lot of children, means lots of cousins. Being able to speak with people who live out there would be amazing too.

      But thank you Judy and thanks Evelyn for giving me the forum to have this opportunity!


      Comment by Heather | March 19, 2012 | Reply

    • Judy – thanks once again for your Genealogical Act of Kindness!


      Comment by Evelyn Yvonne Theriault | March 19, 2012 | Reply

      • hi evelyn love your site e mailed you a copy of a letter sent to my uncle leo dated 1950 to indian affairs also copy of my grandfathers marriage cert if you could transfer into english for me thks judy rice toffoli


        Comment by judy rice toffoli | March 19, 2012 | Reply

  5. hi heather i am glad this helped you we always thought felicite was a first name and not a last my grt grandfather was married 4 times and i think he had kids with all his wives my grandfather had 10 kids and my grandmother was a midwife in kahnawake she delivered a lot of kids in her life time judy rice toffoli


    Comment by judy rice toffoli | March 20, 2012 | Reply

  6. Hi Judy,

    Does the name Marie Theresa Kaiasen Rice ring any bells? Her father would have been Mathieu Tetewakennion (Tharonwentats) Rice and she was born around 1723 and died in the 1800’s in Kahnawake. This is the only Rice connection I can find currently with my line, and it’s a few generations back through marriage before our families connect.

    Of course it’s entirely possible I’m missing something, so I’ll definitely keep looking, but this is all I’ve found so far!


    Comment by Heather | March 21, 2012 | Reply

    • hi heather the name doesnot ring a bell for me because i do not have the names of angus rice brothers or sisters that also goes for pierre rice but felicite was a popular name in kahnawake and evelyn should help you out with her knowledge good luck judy rice toffoli


      Comment by judy rice toffoli | March 21, 2012 | Reply

    • hi heather andre atawenrate deer jacobs has the same native name as my grt grandfather pierre atawenrate rice i didnot thing they game the same name out twice my grandfathers fourth wife was a jacobs judy rice toffoli


      Comment by judy rice toffoli | March 23, 2012 | Reply

      • Hi Judy!

        Sorry for the late reply. Life’s definitely caught up with me. If Andre Jacobs and your great grandfather Atawenrate Rice are the same person, that’d make our family lines connected by marriage a few generations back, which is awesome information to have to start developing a picture of who they lived with and around 🙂


        Comment by Heather | March 31, 2012 | Reply

        • hi heather i donot have the names of angus rice @felicite children other then pierre which was done for my lineage my dad never talked about his parents or about native ancesters as he was put in residential school and taken from his family when he was 6 years old as you know they tried to break their identitiy as native mohawk children and their language and culture i have copies of his name at school judy rice toffoli


          Comment by judy rice toffoli | March 31, 2012 | Reply

        • hi heather i think i am related to harry,angus rice son of paul lloyd rice @ katherine paul also mathieu (tharonwentats)rice b 1695@d 1767 judy rice toffoli


          Comment by judy rice toffoli | April 1, 2012 | Reply

  7. Of possible interest to people researching Native American ancestors with the Francis surname –
    While transcribing Francis marriages today (see: http://wp.me/pp92w-aSY) I noticed that it is a common surname in Wolastoqiyik (aka Malecites or Maliseet) in New Brunswick.


    Comment by Evelyn Yvonne Theriault | April 1, 2012 | Reply

  8. I just came across this page…… I know very little, but hope to learn more in the upcoming months when I can dedicate a little more time to both mine and my husband’s family research. My husband is registered to the Onondaga because his father, Joseph Rice grew up as a young child on the rez with his father, Angus Rice who I believe was married to Margaret Mulville. Unfortunately, my husband’s father died over 20 years ago and did not have any siblings. I can’t wait to read everything here and possibly have my husband DNA tested…. 🙂


    Comment by Lynn Tober-Rice | September 17, 2015 | Reply

  9. Marie-Theresa Kaiesen Rice b.1723 – was married to Peter/Pierre Karekohe TARBELL. b.1721. They were the first settlers in St. Regis. They had about 15-20 children. Anen/Annie Konwawennawi Tarbell b. 1837- 1922. Theresa and Annie are both my maternal grandmothers 3x & 2x.You might want to check out the EDMUND RICE’ line of descendants.

    if you already have this info. just disregard.


    Comment by Kawennihas-ohwira | October 7, 2018 | Reply

    • Hello, I am working on my wife tree. She is the Mathieu Tetewakennion (Tharonwentats) Rice 11th great grand daughter. Has anyone found out who his parents were?


      Comment by jer Brown | May 4, 2021 | Reply

      • If no one else answers, I’ll take a look when I create my “Rice” post in a few days 🙂


        Comment by Evelyn Yvonne Theriault | May 4, 2021 | Reply

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