Peter Pond newsletter :: April 2007 :: #28

Peter Pond

Peter Pond

Can't keep this old guy down. More info keeps coming out. Here is one topic to which I will devote an entire newsletter.


This concerns the magnificent work of University of Manitoba chemistry professor Harry W. Duckworth as editor of "The English River Book: A North West Company Journal and Account Book of 1786," (McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal, 1990.)

As most Peter Pond scholars know it surrounds with much annotation a 12-page journal on daily activities at Peter Pond's Athabasca fort in the spring of 1786. It is apparently the earliest known North West Company post journal in existence. The English River is the earlier name of the Churchill River. Visiting Indians and working voyageurs are named including English Chief and Landry and Doucette, all three of whom who are known to have accompanied Mackenzie on one or both of his famous expeditions. Biographies of various length are given for everyone named. I place Duckworth's work among that of Innis and Wagner as the best of the Peter Pond scholarship. Call them the Big Three. Particularly interesting is Duckworth's last paragraph on page xxiv copied below. Noting that Peter Pond left Athabasca and the northwest for good in the spring of 1788, it states:

"The name of Pond did appear in Athabasca again. One Augustin Peter Pond of Sorel, was hired by McTavish, Frobisher and Company on 11 January, 1798, to go to the northwest, and was posted to Fort Chipewyan, where he witnessed several hiring contracts, signing his own name, during the season of 1798-9. He signed his own two-year contract on 26 April, 1799, to work as 'milieu & forgeron' at Fort Chipewyan or Riviere de la Paix. Since Dr. Bigsby, "ing information obtained from David Thompson, says that Peter Pond's son was 'lately a blacksmith in Lower Canada,' it is evident that Augustin, the forgeron of Fort Chipewyan, was Peter Pond's son. Augustin Pond remained in the North West Company's employment in Athabasca through the period 1811-21, and to judge from his salary he was a fairly senior man during those years. He was taken over by the Hudson's Bay Company at union in 1821 but was found to be 'a poor workman at best'; he was retired to Canada with the pitifully small credit balance of 24 livres 6 sous, in 1822. Thereafter he disappears."

The final sentence says: "Thereafter he disappears." We have reason to believe he did not.
We have discussed possible Peter Pond metis descendants in previous newsletters noting he probably had one family in Milford (Peter Jr. and Elizabeth, his children by Susanna Newell) and another in the North by an Indian woman, commonly called a "country wife." Taking a country wife was a wide-spread practice among white traders as discussed in one of my bibliography books, "Many Tender Ties" by Sylvia Van Kirk.
Please examine the genealogy below presented by Sandy Rathwell of Rudyard, Michigan.

Descendants of Augustinius (Peter) Pond

Generation No. 1

1. AUGUSTINIUS (PETER)12 POND (PETER11, PETER (PEREZ)10, SAMUEL9, SAMUEL8, SAMUEL7, ROBERT6, WILLIAM5, JOHN4 PONDER, JOHN3 PONDYR, JOHN2, ROGER1 PONDER) was born Abt. 1782 in British Territories, Canada, and died Jul 1844 in St. Ignace, MI1. He married MARIE LOUISA BOUCHER, daughter of FRANCIS BOUCHER. She was born Abt. 1793 in Athabasca, British Territories, Canada, and died Aft. Jun 1870.

ada Augustin Ponte (Robesca/Robescar)

1830 Census of Michigan, Michilimackinac Co. show Augustin Pond
4 boys 0-5, 1 man 20-30, 1 man 40-50, 3 girls 5-10, 1 girl 10-15, 1 woman 30-40
1840 Census of Michigan, Michilimackinac Co. does not show an Augustin Pond, however, it does show a Peter Pond
1 boy u5, 1 boy 5-10, 3 boys 10-15, 1 man 50-60, 2 girls u5, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 40-50

Notes for MARIE LOUISA BOUCHER: Last name spelled different ways....Bouche, Bousse, Bouchor...aka Maria Aloysia Boucher.

1860 Mackinac Co. Federal Census
1839 Mixed Blood List

In 1850: Now only Louisa Pond appears and she gives her age as 57 and born in Canada.
In 1860: Mary Louisa Pond is living next door to son Louise, and states her age is 68.
In 1870: Marie Pond is living with son Cyril (Cecil) and states her age is 75.

i. LOUISE13 POND, m. ANCHIL CADOT, 24 Sep 1837, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
ii. GENEVIEVE (JANE) POND, b. Abt. May 1813, Vermillion Lake, Canada; m. JOSEPH WILLIAM LANCOURT, 01 Feb 1833, Mackinac Co. Michigan; b. Abt. 1806.

Notes for GENEVIEVE (JANE) POND: Durant #51-14...1839 Mixed Blood List
Notes for JOSEPH WILLIAM LANCOURT: 1839 Mixed Blood List
different spellings for last name - Lincourt, Lancour, Laincourt

iii. RACHEL POND, b. Abt. 1816; m. CHARLES ST. ANDRE, 31 Jan 1837, St Anne's, Mackinac Island2; b. Abt. 1785, Canada.
Notes for CHARLES ST. ANDRE: Charles Bodequin-St.Andre, aka Carolus

iv. MARY ANN POND, b. Abt. 1823, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
v. AUGUSTUS (AUGUSTINE) POND, b. 16 Jul 1825, Saul Ste. Marie, Michigan3; d. 26 Nov 1864, St. Ignace, MI4; m. MARIE BEAUDOIN, 21 Feb 1845, St Ignatius Loyola Church, St. Ignace, Michigan5; b. 1827, Minnesota6; d. 26 Nov 1864, St. Ignace, MI7.

The most important case tried in the Mackinac Island County Courthouse was People v. Pond which involved a fatal shooting . In 1859 Augustus Pond shot and killed a man who was destroying some of his outbuildings. Found guilty in this court, Pond appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court, which in a landmark decision reversed the lower court and set Pond free. In part "a man's home is his castle."
On the 1860 census taken in June, Augustus is in Jackson Ward 4, Michigan and it is indeed a listing of inmates at the prison. He is later released that same year.
aka Rebouskaw/Augustus; Augustin Ponte
Records from the St. Anne's of Detroit 1810-1833 show baptism record of Augustin Ponte. Peter Ponte and Louise Boucher are shown as his parents. He was baptized by Fr. Badin.

Baptism: 02 Aug 1825, St. Annes, Mackinac Island
Burial: 1864, St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery, St. Ignace, MI8
Occupation: 1859, Fisherman at Seul Choix, Delta Co., Michigan9

Notes for MARIE BEAUDOIN:also spelled Bodwin, aka Boudouine

vi. CYRIL (CYRILUS) POND, b. Dec 1827; d. 19 May 1903, St. Ignace, MI10; m. (1) MARGARET, Abt. 1850; m. (2) SUSAN GRONDIN, 07 Feb 1853; b. Abt. 1837; d. 04 Aug 1904.

Notes for CYRIL (CYRILUS) POND: aka Cecil,aka Cyril Rebaskaw,Durant #22 - 15.

Cyril Pond was a fisherman and settled in the third section (third ward) of the St. Ignace, MI. His neighbors also French people, were the Cheniers, Beaudoins, St. Onges, LaJoices and Grondin Families.

More About CYRIL (CYRILUS) POND: Baptism: 18 Aug 1828, St. Annes, Mackinac Island11

Marriage Notes for CYRIL POND and SUSAN GRONDIN: married by Rev. Piret

vii. LOUIS POND, b. Abt. 1830, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; m. (1) CATHARINE; b. 1835; m. (2) MARY ANN BANDWAY, 13 May 1864, Mackinac Co. Michigan; b. Abt. 1823.

Notes for LOUIS POND: aka Ravasca/Atha-Gaska, Durants #19-15, Half-Breed
More About LOUIS POND: Occupation: Abt. 1859, Constable at Seul Choix Point, MI.
Notes for MARY ANN BANDWAY: aka Mary Ann Lazard/Lesseaur. This was an Indian family perhaps known as Bandway or Benway.

viii. PETER PETRUS POND, b. 03 Sep 1833, Mackinac Island, Michgan; d. 1924; m. JOSETTE PERRAUT, 26 Oct 1857, St Ignace, Michigan; b. Nov 1829; d. 13 Jul 1907, St. Ignace, MI.

Notes for PETER PETRUS POND: At Baptism, sponsors are Antonius Tochke (probably Antoine Troquier) & Marie Ann Constaent. Parents are listed as Augustinus Pond & Marie Louise Bousse. Names were likely written as they sounded which accounts for the many different spellings of the same name. St Anne's Catholic Church Baptismal Records.
More About PETER PETRUS POND: Baptism: 21 Oct 1836, St. Annes, Mackinac Island
Notes for JOSETTE PERRAUT: Durant 20-12

Marriage Notes for PETER POND and JOSETTE PERRAUT: Certificate of Marriage shows they were married by Rev. A. D. J. Piret and in the presence of A. Pond and Charles Mincier.

ix. JULIA POND, b. Feb 1836, St. Ignace, Michigan12; d. 26 Jan 1912, ST. Ignace, MI13; m. PETER J. (PIERRE) CLOSS, 04 May 1859, St Anne's, Mackinac Island14; b. Abt. 1836, Canada.

Notes for JULIA POND: In the 1870 census she is older than Pierre...In the 1880 census she is younger than husband Peter…In both she cannot read or write.
Julia is found on the Durante Roll (64-14) of Chippewa & Ottawa Indians as a member of the Mackinac Band. #13-12…Her daughter, Julia (married to Bouchard) is listed as is her son, Peter, who is living in Sault Ste. Marie.
More About JULIA POND: Baptism: 21 Feb 1832, St. Annes, Mackinac Island15

Notes for PETER J. (PIERRE) CLOSS: In the 1870 Census he is Pierre Closs, fisherman...In the 1880 Census he is Peter Closs, Laborer…He cannot read or write in either census.
Michigan Western 1884 Directory, Peter Closs, Fisherman, St. Ignace, aka Claus

Marriage Notes for JULIA POND and PETER CLOSS: Witnesses were Peter Plaunt & Cecil (Cyril) Pond...Julia was 21 and Peter was 20


x. ISABELLA POND, b. Abt. 1837, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
xi. ELIZABETH POND, b. 28 Feb 183716.
More About ELIZABETH POND:Baptism: 11 Mar 1837, St. Ignace, MI17

xii. SIMON POND, b. 12 Apr 184018.
More About SIMON POND: Baptism: 12 Apr 1840, St. Ignatius Loyala Church, St. Ignace, MI19

  1. Pond Death Records at St. Ignatius Loyala Church, St. Ignace, Michigan.
  2. Mackinac Register 1695 - 1888, St. Anne's Marriage Records.
  3. Birth Records, St. Anne's of Detroit, Exterior, 1810 - 1833 page 78.
  4. Pond Death Records at St. Ignatius Loyala Church, St. Ignace, Michigan.
  5. Pond Marriage Records, St. Ignatius Loyala Church, St. Ignace, Michigan.
  6. 1860 Federal Census.
  7. James P. Lalone.
  8. Bloomfield account of Cemetery Ceremony. also, family story by Jerry Pond
  9. Augustus Pond v. The People/Supreme Court of Michigan.
  10. Pond Death Records at St. Ignatius Loyala Church, St. Ignace, Michigan.
  11. Mackinac Register of Baptisms.
  12. Mackinac Register 1695 - 1888, St. Anne Baptism Records.
  13. Mackinac County Death Records.
  14. Mackinac Marriages.
  15. Mackinac Register 1695 - 1888, St. Anne Baptism Records.
  16. Pond Birth Records at St. Ignatius Loyala Church, St. Ignace, Michigan.
  17. Pond Baptism Records at St. Ignatius Loyala Church, St. Ignace, Michigan.
  18. Pond Birth Records at St. Ignatius Loyala Church, St. Ignace, Michigan.
  19. Pond Baptism Records at St. Ignatius Loyala Church, St. Ignace, Michigan.

This evidence has apparently impressed Duckworth, a recently added Peter Pond Society member. We had corresponded by snail mail a few times after his book came out and before I started Peter Pond Society and took to email. Here is his response to the Rathwell genealogy:

"Dear Bill:
I do indeed remember our previous correspondence, and it's nice to hear from you again.
Sandy Rathwell's discovery of Augustin Pond and his descendents is very interesting. I'm sure that the name is not just a coincidence - she has certainly discovered what happened to Augustin, Peter Pond's son. I have no idea why Peter Pond decided to call his son by such an exotic name. The name Augustin was in use in French Canada in the 18th century, but it was quite unusual. Perhaps Peter Pond had a favourite voyageur with this name, or a fellow clerk.
I'm very glad to get Mrs Rathwell's genealogical chart, with all its detail. Most of the information, I see, is from the Catholic baptismal register at St Ann's, Mackinac Island. I assume that the birthdates for Augustin and his wife, Marie Louise Boucher, are just estimates. In the case of Augustin, the estimate (abt 1790) must be wrong, as we know that he signed a contract with the NWC in 1798 to go to the Northwest, and was working for the NWC on Peace River, as a blacksmith (forgeron) in 1799. [see English River Book, p. xxiv]. From this, I can't see that he could have been born any later than about 1782, and perhaps a few years before that. He may well have been born in Athabasca, the son of an Indian mother, during one of his father's sojourns there. He was in Montreal when he signed the contract in 1798. I think this means that his father brought the son down with him in 1789, when he retired, and sent him to school (he could write, as he signed his contract in Athabasca), and probably apprenticed him to a blacksmith in Canada.
I don't see why Mrs Rathwell concluded that the name of Marie Louise Boucher's father was Francois. This information could have come from a Catholic record of the marriage of Augustin and Marie Louise (the Catholics, unlike the Protestants, were careful to record the names of the parents of the parties to a marriage), but I see no reference to such a record. Such a record may exist, of course, either at Mackinac or in Lower Canada. The priests were happy to perform a marriage ceremony even after a couple had been living as man and wife for many years - there were no priests in the fur country in the early days, except sometimes at Mackinac. But it would be nice to know for sure which Boucher was Marie Louise's father. As you will see from the English River Book, there was more than one Boucher at Athabasca in the 1780s and later. I agree with Mrs Rathwell that Marie Louise was probably born in Athabasca, since Augustin didn't leave there till 1822, and they had one son born before that. The fact that she was having children as late as 1840 suggests that she was much younger than her husband, who was probably at least 40 when he left the fur country. Metis daughters tended to marry early - David Thompson's wife Charlotte Small was 13 when they married at Ile-a-la-Crosse, for instance. Marie Louise may have been born as late as about 1802, making her 38 when her youngest child was born; but she was probably not born as early as 1793 (making her 47).
Although your forwarded message included Sandy Rathwell's address, and I would like to get in touch with her, I won't try to do so unless you tell me it's O.K. I see that she doesn't want her discoveries being spread around, which is fair enough, but I wouldn't want to offend her by contacting her out of the blue, so to speak. I feel that she should be encouraged to publish her information herself - at least the basic data about what happened to Peter Pond's son. Would this be the first information about any descendents of his? I can't remember ever hearing whether he left any descendents in Connecticut. Thanks very much for sharing this information with me. Please let me know if you want me to follow up in any way.
Best regards,


I will end with information from another Augustin descendant, Robert Bloomfield of DeSoto, Texas. He has seen fit to install a gravestone for Augustus, Augustin's son, in a certain cemetery even though he is not exactly sure where Augustus is buried in this cemetery. Sound familiar? Maybe we should do the same.

From (Robert Bloomfield De Soto)… go to the pdf "A Man's Home Is His Castle"… Viewing the two other family photos is optional.

Peter Pond Society editor Bill McDonald

Au revoir,