A Canadian Family

Genealogy and Vintage Postcards

Vintage Postcard: Iroquois Indians, Caughnawaga, Que.

A Mohawk (Iroquois) couple from Caughnawaga on the South Shore of the St-Lawrence River near Montreal, Quebec. Caughnawaga borders the city of Chateauguay and is now called  Kahnawake.



Iroquois Indians, Caughnawaga, Que.



I’m from the same family tree. His son Paul Kelly was my great grandfather. I also have photos of scar face. My mother has the bear necklace in this photo here in Kahnawake (formerly known as Caughnawaga).

Towanna Miller

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OMG that photo you have here is of my Great great Grandmother and grandfather.. I have another Photo of them with their Names.. This is AN AWESOME find!!! The man is “Thomas J. Williams.” his wife,- “Wealthy ArmindaS. Williams.” My Mothers Great grand parents from her mothers side!!

Skennen ko:wa kenh.

Onen ki wahi.

William-(Billy “Snakehawk” Johnson.) Haudenosaunee -Kanien’kehaka.


Related Posts:

The Iroquois of Kahnawake

March 10, 2010 Posted by | . | , | 19 Comments

Chief Poking Fire’s Son Walking Sky

In her 1980 Montreal Gazette article 

Caughnawaga Designs All The Rage In Europe .

journalist Iona Monahan talked about the fine textile work of  Mohawk Margie Karaqwisake who had started out making costumes for the Chief Poking Fire Village dancers and who then went on to make “soft leather dresses and vests – to order” for European clients.

Karaqwisake was married to Red Pathfinder, son of Walking Sky and grandson of Chief Poking Fire. It is Walking Sky who is pictured in the chrome postcard to your right.

I learned from this article that Karaqwisake was passing on her skills to her children, and it makes me wonder whether I saw any of their handiwork on display last summer at Kahnawake’s Echoes of a Proud Nation Pow Wow.

Continue reading

March 4, 2010 Posted by | . | , | 3 Comments

Caughnawaga – A View In Colour | Links Restored

The text reads: Street in Caughnawaga, Que:, Iroquois Indian Reserve


See modern-day Kahnawake here:

 Aiesewataró:roke Karahstánion



Related Posts: Continue reading

February 25, 2010 Posted by | . | , | 2 Comments

Caughnawaga – Natural Kodachrome Vintage Postcard

This is a relatively modern postcard with the following text on the back: Caughnawaga: The Chief And His Tribe In “Roti-tsien-ha-len” Council.

This week I was working on some genealogy for someone who mentioned that one of their relatives had supposedly been an entertainer at the Chief Poking Fire Museum. Although this card does not mention the museum, I do wonder whether this was a souvenir that was sold there.


Related Posts:

Index: Chief Poking Fire Museum & Indian Village, Kahnawake, Quebec

 The Iroquois of Kahnawake


November 26, 2009 Posted by | . | , | 9 Comments

Historical Document: Jean Baptiste Raientonni Canadien & Malvina Mccomber | Links Restored

This is the marriage record of the Iroquois couple  Jean Baptiste Raientonni CANADIEN & Malvina MACCOMBER which took place in Caughnawaga (now Kahnawake) on 16 Feb 1863 in St-Francois-Xavier Church. Big John – as he was also known – was famous for several things including his ability to negotiate the Lachine Rapids to negotiate the Lachine Rapids. The original French record below tells us that Jean Baptiste was of legal age at the time of his marriage whereas Malvina was a minor, that bans had been previously posted and that there were no known legal impediments to the marriage.


Related Posts:

The Iroquois of Kahnawake

October 23, 2009 Posted by | . | | Leave a comment

Historical Document: Jean Baptiste Raiontonni (aka Canadien) m. Malvina McComber (Caughnawaga, 1863)

According to the St-Francois-Xavier of Laprairie parish registers (1862-1875), Jean Baptiste Raientonni and Malvina Mccomber were married on the 16th of February 1863 in Caughnawaga (aka Kahnawake). The groom was of legal age. His father was already deceased (and possibly his mother as the wording is unclear to me).Witnesses included a Charles Gedeon Giasson and Leon Gasson. Also a Louis Thaiekewat (?).


Related Post with Index to Articles:

Jean Baptiste Raientonni CANADIEN (Big John) & Malvina MCCOMBER of Kahnawake

August 23, 2009 Posted by | . | , , | Leave a comment

1. Jean Baptiste Raientonni Canadien (Big John) & Malvina McComber of Kahnawake | Series: Families of Caughnawaga

Big John of Kahnawake (Caughnawaga) A Canadian Family Vintage Postcard CollectionA few weeks ago reader Shawlee Canadien came across my vintage postcard of Big John of Kahnawake negotiating the Lachine Rapidsand left the following comment:  I just stumbled across your site. Big John is my great, great, great…. grandfather. My name is Shawlee Canadien. I was hoping you might know about my family, and could tell us more. It was such an honour to hear from a descendant of  one of Caughnawaga’s most historically prominent peopleand since I noticed that you can read alot online about Big John’s achievements but there’s no extended discussion of his family’s genealogical roots, I’ve prepared a series of posts exploring some pre-1920 genealogical information about –

The Canadiens – a Mohawk Family of Caughnawaga/Kahnawake

The First Generation

1.According to hismarriage certificateJean Baptiste Raientonni (aka Big John) was the son of Ignace churchkahnawakeBriwakennhen Canadien and Louise Konwanonwehon. Jean Baptiste was born in 1843 in Quebec and died on February 16th, 1919.  He married Malvina McComber on 16 Feb 1863 in St-Francois-Xavier Church in Caughnawaga (Laprairie Quebec, Canada).  Malvina was a member of another well-known Kahnawake family – the McCombers. Her parents were  Gervais McComber and Agathe Pauline/Hyppoline Vincent DeJean. Malvina was born in 1845 in Kahnawake  and died after 1911.


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Children from this marriage included:

+ 2 M i. John Ariwakenha Canadien – born 1866, Quebec(m. Marie Karakwiio French)  + 3 M ii. Joseph Atihentonko Canadien – born 1869 Kahnawake (m. Anne Katsitsioronkas Diaume) + 4 M iii. Alexandre – Louis Tonaokate/Tanahokathe Canadien – born 1871, Kahnawake (m. Celine Guerin) + 5 M iv. George Kasennakeron Canadien, born 1875 , Kahnawake (m.Marie Karonhienhawe Laforce)  6 M v. Thomas Anenharison Canadien born 1880 Kahnawake + 7 F vi. Cecilia/Cecile Tierente Canadien – born 1874, Kahnawake (m. Ignace Skahetatii Jacobs)  + 8 M vii. Jean Baptiste Lindo Tiohatekwen Canadien – born 1884, Kahnawake (Anne Tekonwakennion McComber)  9 M viii. Frank/Francois/Xavier Canadien –  born 1887 Kahnawake. (Note: Birth dates extracted from various census documents are notoriously unreliable, but good indictors of birth order) Continue reading

August 23, 2009 Posted by | . | , , , | 15 Comments

Echoes of a Proud Nation – Kahnawake Pow Wow (pt.4) Links Restored

The fourth in a series of photographs from the summer 2099

Pow Wow in Kahanawake, Quebec.

Kahnawake man kids

Pow-Wow Dancers come from First Nations  traditions. Continue reading

July 28, 2009 Posted by | . | , , | Leave a comment

Echoes of a Proud Nation – Kahnawake Pow Wow (pt.3) – Links Restored

More photographs of the Kahnawake Pow-Wow of July 2009


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July 27, 2009 Posted by | . | , , | Leave a comment

Echoes of a Proud Nation – Kahnawake Pow Wow (Pt.2)

The Echoes of a Proud Nation is a well known Pow Wow which is held each July in Kahnawake, Quebec. Kahnawake is an Iroquois Mohawk community but the dancers picture in this series represent different Native American communities.

traditional dress native Amerindian First-Nations Kahnawake







Related Posts:

The Iroquois of Kahnawake

July 26, 2009 Posted by | . | , , | 1 Comment

Echoes of a Proud Nation – Kahnawake Pow Wow (Pt.1) Links Restored

Here are some more photos of  the Echoes of a Proud Nation Pow Wow that I attended a few weeks ago in  the Mohawk (Iroquois) settlement of Kahnawake, Quebec.






Related Posts:

The Iroquois of Kahnawake

July 24, 2009 Posted by | . | , | 2 Comments

Mohawk Warriors, Nam Knights & Canadian Vietnam War Vets

Yesterday I spent a few hours in Kahnawake at the Echoes of a Proud Nation Pow Wow. I went to see the dancers but what I’m sharing in this post is a photograph of the very stirring Grand Entrance of some Iroquois veterans of several Canadian and American armed conflicts.

July 2009 KahnawakeVeteransGrandEntrance

The Six Nations Confederacy – to which the Mohawk belong – straddles several provincial and international borders. The Mohawk have a long warrior tradition and in modern times they’ve served in both the Canadian and American Armed Services. The first three flags at the front are those of  the United States of America, Canada and the Iroquois Confederacy.

These veterans actually made two Grand Entrances because many of them had arrived en masse on motorcycles just an hour before. I happened to arrive at the same time and it was quite an eye opener for me because I didn’t realize that there were military motorcycle clubs. I noticed two types of insignia – Nam Knights and the Canadian Vietnam Veterans one pictured below.

Veterans of Canada VeteranBadge

There were other insignia but I was a little too shy (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!) to walk up and get a closer look!

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Related Posts:

The Iroquois of Kahnawake

July 12, 2009 Posted by | . | , , | Leave a comment