Monday, March 14, 2016

Gladys Potter's Ancestors: Antoine Lore, River Pirate?

This post is an abbreviated version of the excellent family history which is being written by Roberta Estes on her blog  It is well worthwhile to read the full story there.

Grandma Potter's great-grandfather Antoine Lore was born after his parents, Honore' Lore and Marie LeFaille, had emigrated to Quebec from New York/Massachusetts after the British lifted their ban on the Acadians.   Their home was near the parish of Blairfindie, in what would become the town of l'Acadie.

credit: Histoire de L’Acadie, Provence de Quebec, published in 1908
via Roberta Estes
Antoine Lore's baptismal record shows that he was born sometime in March, 1805.  His father is a carpenter (joiner) and is able to sign the registry, unlike the witnesses:

Batismal Record of Antoine Lore, 1805
Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie church
credit:  Roberta Estes
The 25th oMarch 1805, we the undersigned have baptized Antoine, born yesterday of the legitimate marriage of Honoré Lord, joiner, and of Marie Lafay of this parish.  The godfather was Antoine Crotteau and godmother was Rosalie Guerin, who (both) declared they did not know how to write.  The father has signed with us.
s/ Honoré Lore (sic)  s/ R. P. (Rev. Père) Lancto, Priest 
In 1831, at the age of about 25, he marries a Vermont girl, Rachel Hill, who is at most 15 or 16, having been born in 1815.  The marriage was by a Justice of the Peace, with no other information filled in.  Rachel's family is an old-time New England family with Mayflower ancestors and almost certainly Protestant.  Perhaps an elopement with an exotic and handsome older man?

Vermont is in easy reach of l'Acadie, traveling south up the Richelieu River to Lake Champlain and then a few miles east to Bristol and Starksboro.  Antoine was perhaps already an itinerant trader, as he would be later in life.

Birth Record
Rachel Levina Hill
credit: Roberta Estes
Marriage Record, 1831
Antione Lore and Rachel Hill
credit: Roberta Estes

There is no sign of Antoine and Rachel's whereabouts until 1843 where, according to Franklin Lore's descendants, Frank was born in Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York.  There are, however, no official records to support this tradition.  William Lore was born earlier, in 1839, also in New York, probably in the same general area.

It is not probable that there were not other babies born between 1831 and 1839; they most likely died in infancy.  More died later.

Antoine (now "Anthony") and Rachel appear in the 1850 and 1860 census in Warren County, Pennsylvania, which is just down the Allegheny watershed from Jamestown, New York.  "Anthony" applied for US citizenship on June 2, 1862 in Warren County.  With a five-year waiting period before his final application, "Anthony" should have reappeared in 1867.  He does not, though, and so is presumed dead 1862-1867.  Rachel is gone shortly after the 1870 census.  She left a number of younger children, who were taken in by relatives or hired out as farm labor.

Several of the families who descended from Antoine Lore had stories about him and about his death.  He likely spent much of his life as an "Indian trader" or "River Pirate" on the Allegheny River. Roberta Estes' source for the "River Pirate" tale lived in Indiana yet used the local Allegheny River term and was embarrassed by the whole issue; this gives me some confidence in the story.  Allegheny river pirates were not pirates as such, but traders who supplied raftsmen on the river with beverages and other goods, mostly of inferior quality at untaxed prices.

The different family stories tend to agree that Antoine drowned, most likely in the Allegheny, possibly in the line of his duties, and probably murdered.  A capsized raft figures in one story.

"The Progenitor"
possibly Antoine Lore (1805-before 1867),
more likely his son Frank (1843-1916)
credit: Frank Lore Family, via Roberta Estes 
 This photo is of Roberta Estes' ancestor, Curtis B. Lore, much younger brother of William Lore.  One imagines William and their father Antoine had similar good looks as young men.  They certainly were persuasive to women.

Curtis B. Lore (1861-1909)
photo ca. 1887 (aged 26 years)
William H. Lore's Brother
credit:  Roberta Estes

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