Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gravestone of the Day: Thomas French

Thomas French, 1733, Deerfield, MA

Here lyeth the body
of Deacon Thomas
French who dyed
April ye 5th 1733
Aged 76 Years

Thomas French and his family were captured during the 1704 raid on Deerfield. He survived the ordeal and was ransomed in 1706, but was never able to put his family back together. His wife, Mary Catlin French, and the couple's 1-month-old son, John were killed during the raid. The other French children, Mary (17), Thomas (14), Freedom (11), Martha (8), and Abigail (6), survived the raid and the march to Canada. Mary and Thomas were ransomed along with their father, but the three younger girls never returned to New England. Freedom was given to a French merchant in Montreal and was re-named Marie Francoise. She remained in contact with her sister Martha — the two girls eventually married into the same French Canadian family. Abigail was adopted by a Mohawk family and lived out her life as a Mohawk woman.

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