Happy 92nd Clyde: Raymonds in the New World

Clyde Raymond, only 91 in this picture, with his grandson, Mike. The power of positive genetics. September 10, 2014

Clyde Raymond, only 91 in this picture, with his grandson, Mike. The power of positive genetics. September 10, 2014

My husband’s grandfather, Clyde Raymond, is a hell of a guy. Sailor, husband, father, soon to be centenarian. Ray enjoys the findings of my genealogy research, but I wanted to put together something special just for him. I wanted to find stories about the direct Raymond and Stickles ancestors, the names he remembers hearing when he was a kid.

These posts might seem a little more straightforward than the others. Ray is a no-nonsense, Greatest Generation, “just the facts, ma’am” kind of guy, so I wanted to keep it lively but to the point.

So thank you, Ray, for being and helping to raise two of the best men I know. This one’s for you.

This week: Raymond genealogy

Next week: The Stickles

Genealogy of the Raymond Family:

The first recordable Raymond ancestor was Barthelomi, born in 1639 in Angoulême, Charente, France and died in 1708 in the same small town. In 1664 at the age of 25 he married Marguerite Chaudier (1635 – 1708), also of Angoulême.

Chartene Region, France

Chartene Region, France

La cathédrale Saint-Pierre à Angoulême: at its present location since the 4th century

La cathédrale Saint-Pierre à Angoulême: at its present location since the 4th century. Swanky.

Raymonds in New France:

Toussaint Rémond (Raymond)(1669-1741) was born in Roullet, a small village 5 km south of Angouleme. Toussaint was the first Raymond émigré in North America, arriving in New France on June 4, 1687. He was employed by the King of France as a soldier under the command of the French colonel Philippe de Rigaud Vaudreuil. Vaudreuil and his men were deployed to New France, and the fledgling town of Montreal, in 1687 to protect the early colonists and fur traders from the Iroquois. Vaudreuil later was appointed Governor-general of New France. After Toussaint’s service was complete in 1690, he remained in New France as a colonist with his first wife, Marie Jeanne Beaumont, and their son Etienne.

Toussaint’s second wife, Marie Ursule Lemaitre, married for the first time at 16. Marie Ursule and Jean Duval settled on a farm in Laprairie, Quebec, and over the next ten years had six children. Only two were to survive, and on September 4, 1690, Jean was killed by the Iroquois in a surprise attack. Toussaint Raymond was a new widower with a small son when he married Mrs. Jean Duval in 1692. Together they farmed the land that had been owned by Jean. Marie Urusule and Toussaint Raymond had two children, both of whom died in infancy. Six years after their marriage, Toussaint’s second wife passed away on May 15, 1696 at age 34.

Toussaint quickly married Raymond ancestor Barbe Pilet (1677 – 1757) on September 29th of the same year, and left Marie Ursule and Jean Duval’s farm behind. After their marriage, Toussaint and Barbe stayed in Laprairie, and lived a rural life as farmers until about 1709. By 1710 the family had moved to Montreal, where Toussaint died February 16, 1741 at the age of 74 and was buried in the cemetery for the poor. His wife, Barbe Pilet, died at the Montreal General Hospital, then a facility for the poor, on February 3, 1757. She had lived her entire 80 years in Quebec, and died 3 years before the end of French rule.

Toussaint’s 1696 marriage record reveals who his parents were and where he immigrated from in France.

Toussaint’s 1696 marriage record reveals who his parents were and where he immigrated from in France.

Between 1697 and 1721 Toussaint and Barbe Raymond had fifteen children, including their second son, Francis, born December 8, 1698. On April 6, 1723, Francis Raymond married Marie Louise Longuentin (1705 – 1773), daughter of Jerome Longuentin and Marie Louise Dumas.

Marie’s father Jerome was born in Paris on June 1, 1659. Jerome’s father, Andre, died in Paris in early 1661 and his mother, Jeanne Angelique Briere (1640 -1711), entered in to a marriage contract as a Fille de Roi, or “Daughter of the King”. A “Fille de Roi” was a mail order bride, brought to Quebec to solve the age old problem of not enough women for the frontier men. Jeanne Angelique sailed from France to Quebec with her two year old son Jerome and a dowry of 300 livres. She married local carpenter Adrien Sedilot on September 22, 1661 at Ville de Quebec (Quebec City). Adrien is said to have been an attentive and loving stepfather to Jerome.

Montreal in the early 1700s

Montreal in the early 1700s

Francois Raymond and Marie Louise had 12 children, 10 of whom survived. Their third son was Jean Baptiste, born December 19, 1727 in Laprairie. In 1746, when Jean Baptiste was 18, he married 27 year old widow Marie Elisabeth Lepinay. There is a strong tradition through the generations of young, single Raymond men marrying older, sometimes widowed, women. All of Jean Baptiste and Marie Elisabeth’s daughters were named Marie: Marie Josephte, Marie Madeleine, Marie Celeste and Marie Charlotte. They also had two sons, Jean Francois and ancestor Louis Raymond. Jean Baptiste died in 1757 at age 30, and his final daughter, Marie Charlotte, was born posthumously.

Church of La Nativité de la Sainte-Vierge in La Prairie, Quebec

Church of La Nativité de la Sainte-Vierge in La Prairie, Quebec

Jean Baptiste and Marie Elisabeth’s son Louis (1757 – 1779) was the last Raymond ancestor to live and die in Quebec. On November 22, 1779 Louis married Angelique Boucher-Lavigne (1751 – 1851). Angelique’s great, great, great grandfather, Marin Boucher, had arrived in New France in 1634 with his second wife and their children, and founded the town of Beauport, which is now part of Quebec City.

Louis and Angelique’s second son would ultimately be known by two names: Jean Baptiste Raymond in Quebec, and John Raymond Sr. in Brasher, New York. On October 22, 1822 Jean Baptiste married Marguerite Paquette at the old Church of St. Polycarp in Quebec. But Quebec was rapidly changing against French Catholics. The 1840 Act of Union united the English north with the French south, eliminating the French majority and consolidating English power in Montreal. Instability and rebellion followed, and in 1849 the Capitol was moved to Toronto after French supporters burned Parliament. In addition to political unrest and growing oppression, soil nutrients were becoming depleted due to outdated farming methods.

During the 1852 Canadian national census, the Raymond family was still living in Quebec, but in 1855 Jean Baptiste and Marguerite relocated with their nine children to Brasher, St. Lawrence County, New York. They were part of the first wave of French Canadian emigrants that would peak later in the 19th century, with 200,000 French Canadians leaving Quebec between 1879 and 1901.

1860 Census “John Ramoe” and Marguerite living in Brasher Falls, NY with their children remaining at home: Louis, Hugh Augustin, Alexander, Rachel and Daniel.

1860 Census “John Ramoe” and Marguerite living in Brasher Falls, NY with their children remaining at home: Louis, Hugh Augustin, Alexander, Rachel and Daniel.

Just months after the 1860 census was taken, on November 13 Hugh Augustin married Delina LaForce with Hugh’s older brother, Antoine, as a witness. They were married in Hogansburg, NY near the Canadian border.

Augustin Raymond and Delina LaForce marriage record

Augustin Raymond and Delina LaForce marriage record: November 13, 1860

Their first child was the future grandfather of Clyde Raymond, John Raymo. John was born nine months after the wedding on August 22, 1860, in Helena, NY. John Raymo died, still living in Brasher Falls, New York, 15 days after the November 26, 1922 birth of his grandson Clyde Henry Raymond.

According to the 1900 census, John Raymo and Maria LaShomb were illiterate, but all of their children including Clyde Raymond’s father, 10 year old Elmer, could read and write. Maria had given birth to 8 children by 1900, 7 of whom were living.

John Raymo and Maria Lashomb Calvary Cemetery, Massena, Saint Lawrence, New York

John Raymo and Maria Lashomb Calvary Cemetery, Massena, Saint Lawrence, New York

It’s the same end for all of us, our ancestors could never have imagined that you and I would be looking at their grave from a thousand miles away. I imagine my descendents some day researching their great, great grandmother and thinking, “Wow, that’s a crappy Word Press template. They really had it rough back then”.

Next week I’ll post the history of the Stickles family, who chose sides wisely in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.











Princesses and Pastors: Raymond Ancestors After Charlemagne

Raymond ancestors weren’t only awesome before Charlemagne. His descendants include the rulers of early France, and the powerful noble families of medieval Europe. Charlemagne’s 10th great granddaughter, Adeliza of Louvain (1103 – 1151), was the second wife of Henry I, son of William the Conqueror. Adeliza was brought to England in her teens to produce a legitimate male heir for quinquagenarian Henry. Famous for her beauty, Henry adored his young wife and made her wealthy in her own right by his death in 1135. Her second marriage was for love, but she brought her holdings with her. William d’Aubigny‘s father was Master Butler for Henry I, a prestigious position that allowed him to marry Maud Bigod, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. William had been a trusted confidante of Henry I. One of Adeliza’s properties, Arundel Castle, became the Aubigny family seat, with William and his sons named Earl of Arundel by Henry’s successor King Stephen.


12th century triple threat: good looks, charm and money, Adeliza, Dowager Queen of England

 Adeliza and William d’Aubigny’s 15th great grandson, Rev. John Robinson (1576 – 1625), had far less influence at court, but his ideas helped form a revolutionary new government. Robinson was a teacher, pastor and the spiritual leader of the “Pilgrim Fathers” before they sailed on the Mayflower. Many of Grandpa Robinson’s ideas form the basis of Puritan culture.

Robinson was a Cambridge graduate, class of 1592, and was influenced by the Puritan faith while a student.  England during Robinson’s time was in transition, sometimes it was a good idea to be a Catholic, sometimes advantageous to be Protestant, but all believers were in danger of having their religious principles outlawed or restricted.  Robinson was considered to be in rebellion against the Anglican Church as he sought to separate himself from the corrupt rituals and hierarchy of the establishment. During the reign of Elizabeth I separatist Protestant sects were tolerated, but her successor James I made it a crime not to attend Church of England services. James was concerned that a lack of respect for the church hierarchy might lead to similar disrespect for the government hierarchy. It was a dangerous time to be a critic of the Anglican Church.


Fundamentalist ideals are the new black: Rev. John Robinson

Robinson left Cambridge, and his celibate fellowship, in order to marry Bridget White (1579 – 1643). Bridget was the daughter of Alexander White, and it’s safe to say that the bride and groom knew each other well before the wedding. Bridget’s Dad Alexander and John Robinson’s Mother, Anne White, were brother and sister. John Robinson married his first cousin, a tradition that is repeated again and again throughout the family tree.  If you are a Raymond descendant and your spouse is not of French or English origin, thank you. You have helped to mix up a gene pool that could use some chlorine.

After their Puritan beliefs were outlawed, Robinson’s old college buddy William Brewster began holding covert separatist services at his home, Scrooby Manor. Rev. Robinson soon joined the Scrooby Gang and served as their assistant pastor.

Scrooby manor: They would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those pesky Anglicans!

Religious freedom in England continued to deteriorate. The British common people, now required by law to attended an Anglican church, were being told from the pulpit that the separatists wanted to destroy the British way of life. With few options left, Robinson’s group sought to follow other separatists who had fled for the freedom of Amsterdam. The groups’ first attempt to leave was an absolute failure; they were betrayed by the captain of their ship, robbed, publicly humiliated and jailed. A second attempt by a smaller group was successful, John Robinson and his family stayed behind with the weaker congregation members who might have held up the others. Within a year the entire congregation was reunited in Amsterdam, with John Robinson as their teacher.

The newly transported congregation was far from united, and ultimately Robinson led a group of 100 followers to Leiden. Only 5 miles from Amsterdam, Leiden had founded a university in 1575, and provided the spiritual and academic stimulation John Robinson had been searching for. He would live in Leiden for the rest of his life. Rev. Robinson may have been experiencing a renewed sense of faith and belonging, but his the new congregation was poor and restless. Parents were concerned that their children were too influenced by Dutch culture. John Robinson’s son, Isaac, had been born in Leiden, and his generation was immersed in Dutch life and Dutch freedoms. Desperate to save their traditions and distinct religious culture, a portion of Robinsons’ congregation chose the unknown shores of New England. They sought to leave European culture and influence behind, and live isolated on their own terms, by their own laws.

Robinson gave a powerful farewell speech, captured in Robert Weir’s Embarkation of the Pilgrims.  Even though he stayed in Holland, Robinson’s ideas traveled. Many of the less desirable Puritan characteristics: separate roles for men and women, women subservient to their husbands, corporal punishment for children, are all attributed to Robinson’s teachings. He believed original sin was the cause of rebelliousness in children. Rev. Robinsons’ kids were probably the ones smoking cigarettes behind the church.


No, Isaac can’t come out and play: the Robinson family home in Leiden

Robinson stayed behind and faithfully served his congregation, but he never stopped planning his future voyage to join his followers in Plymouth. After Robinson’s death in 1625 his wife, Bridget, remained in Leiden and eventually joined the local Protestant church.


Tip 1: Don’t starve to death this winter, stained glass at First Parish Church Plymouth

John and Bridget’s son, Isaac, fulfilled his father’s dream of reuniting with the Pilgrims. The first Robinson child born in Leiden, Isaac (1610 – 1704), had never known England and religious persecution. He initially settled with his father’s Pilgrims at Plymouth, but he soon chafed under the strict Puritan laws and expectations. He found himself drawn to Quaker teachings, taking up their cause with the government in London. Plymouth leaders intercepted his letters, and he was brusquely removed from the colony. Robinson operated an inn on the road between Martin’s Vineyard and Nantucket, and settled in nearby villages before ultimately being reinstated at Plymouth. In 1702 Samuel Sewall, a judge remembered for his involvement with the Salem Witch Trials, visited Isaac Robinson. He was 92 years old. Isaac was living a simple life, but could recall countless stories about his father, the famous Reverend.


Isaac Robinson’s John Hancock

I know what you’re thinking. “Yes, yes, that’s nice, but what about the famous people?” Charlemagne was well known, but he’s not going to get you invited to the Academy Awards. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor to present: Our Distant Raymond Cousins, listed by proximity of relation. So the ones at the top share more Raymond genetics, and are more likely to attend the family reunion.





“Wild Bill” Hickok

1837 – 1876

Western legend

John Robinson

Richard Gere



John Billington

James Garfield

1831 – 1881


John Billington


1729 – 1821

self-made man

Phillip I, France

Georgia O’Keefe

1887 – 1986


Henry I, France

Andrew Wyeth

1917 – 2009


Robert II, France

Louisa May Alcott

1832 – 1888


Louis IV, France

L. Frank Baum

1856 -1919

author, Wizard of Oz

Katharine Hepburn

1907 -2003


Anthony Perkins

1932 – 1992

actor, Psycho

Alec Baldwin



Kate Middleton


future Queen of England


Diana Spencer

1961 – 1997

Kate’s MIL

Winston Churchill

1874 – 1965

Prime Minister

Charles Darwin

1809 – 1882


Humphrey Bogart

1899 – 1957



I see the resemblance, Mike.

As always, thank you wikipedia! I’m going to have to give them their $5 next time

And, http://www.ancestor-links.com & http://humphrysfamilytree.com/famous.descents.html


Charlemagne: Father of Europe, Grandfather of Raymonds

While researching the Raymond family genealogy, I’ve made a list of areas I intend to conquer in honor of the Raymond name: Quebec, New York City, Pennsylvania. My list just got a whole lot longer. Grandma Nellie Stickles is a direct decedent of Charlemagne (742 – 814), Holy Roman Emperor, Father of Europe.


Charlemagne’s father, Pepin the Short, died September 24, 768 in Paris. In accordance with Visigoth tradition, Pepin’s kingdom was divided between his sons, Charlemagne and his brother Carloman I. This led to tension between the brothers, mediated only by their mother, Bertrada of Laon.

After her death, the brothers were poised for conflict. Tension were heightened when Charlemagne married Lombardy princess Desiderata in 770, only to repudiate and return her to her father’s court a year later. Lombardy was firmly in Carloman’s territory, and his people were ready to defend their homes and honor when Carloman died suddenly on December 5, 771. The people of Lombardy and Carloman’s other principalities initially held back Charlemagne’s armies, but with his famous sword Joyeuse by his side, the new boundaries of Charlemagne’s empire were soon firmly established. Joyeuse has been an honored guest at the Louvre since 1793.

charmapSorry, guys

In 799 Pope Leo III (750 – 816) was under assault. The relatives of his predecessor, Pope Adrian I, were enraged by his selection as Pope. It began with accusations of adultery and perjury, but when Leo tried to flee Rome, Adrian’s people attempted to remove the Pope’s eyes and tongue. He sought help from his longtime protector, Charlemagne, and was received with honor at Paderborn. Charlemagne marched on Rome and led negotiations to restore the Pope and reclaim the Vatican. In appreciation, Charlemagne was crowned Imperator Romanorum, Emperor of the Romans, during the Christmas mass at Old Saint Peter’s Basilica.

charpopeSave us, Emperor Charlemagne, you’re our only hope

Charlemagne died January 28, 814 at Aachen. His son, Raymond ancestor Louis the Pious, inherited his father’s kingdom and title of Holy Roman Emperor.

charlouisEmperor Charlemagne and young Louis the Pious

Other direct Raymond ancestors through this line include late Roman Emperor Caesar Flavius Eparchius Avitus (384 – 426), and Clovis I,(466 – 511) the first King to unite the Franks in one empire. Clovis aided fellow Raymond ancestor Chlodoric the Parricide (d. 509) in the murder of his father Sigobert the Lame (d. 509). Once Chlodoric was on the throne, Clovis exposed him, had him executed and then took the throne for himself. Two generations later, Clovis’ granddaughter Blithilde Meroving (538 – 603) and Chlodoric’s grandson Ansbertus Moselle (535 – 611) were married, because nothing helps build peace like mutual grandchildren.

In his novel The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown claims Clovis and his Merovingian family are the decedents of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

beggaSaint Begga of Landen, Nellie Stickles’ 42nd great grandmother

Our Roman ancestors were some of the first Christians, and we have a number of relatives who were later canonized. Ansbertus’ mother was Saint Dode of Reims (485 – 520). His granddaughter Saint Itta (592 -692) founded the Benedictine nunnery at Nivelles after the death of her husband, Pepin of Landen.

Two of Pepin and Itta’s daughters have been grated sainthood. Daughter Gertrude, later Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, was the abbess at the convent founded by her mother. Their other daughter, direct Raymond ancestor Begga of Andenne (613 – 694), married Ansegisel Herstal (602 – 685). Ansegisel’s father was Arnulf of Metz (582 – 640), and his grandfather was Saint Gondulf (524 – 607). Bishop Gondulf’s was himself the grandson of Saint Rusticus of Narbonne (d. 461) through his mother Artemia.

pepinii5th century Raymond bad boy Pepin II

With all of those saints, you knew we were going to have a few sinners. Ansegisel and Saint Begga’s son, Pepin Heristal (650 – 714), grandfather of namesake Pepin the Short, had a notorious affair with Raymond ancestor Alpaida. Their relationship produced two sons, Raymond ancestor Charles Martel (688 – 741)and Childebrand (678 – 751). Children give you grief, even when you’re Saint Begga.

charlesmartelThe statue of Charles Martel at the Palace of Versailles in Paris

Initially the illegitimate children were not considered true descendents of those noble emperors and saints, but over the years this illicit line of Pepin II became the most powerful family in Europe. Popular opinion changes when your decedents control the known world.

Charles Martel is considered to be a founding father of medieval Europe. He was a skilled administrator and warrior, a medieval multitasker and unifying force in Europe. He left a sizable, powerful kingdom to his son, Pepin the Short, but never could have imagined his namesake Charlemagne would expand it.

I intended for this article to be both about the ancestors and descendants of Charlamagne, but that proved impossible. This family is almost too fascinating, each of the people I briefly mention in this post could have their own article. Hopefully someday after the full family tree is sketched I can go back and write about some of them. Everyone mentioned in this post is a direct ancestor except Charlamagne’s brother Carloman, Henry I, William the Conquerer, Charles Martel’s brother Childebrand, and Saint Gertrude. Saint Gertrude is only your aunt.

My next post will be about the descendants of Charlemagne, including Louis II (846 – 879), Louis IV (920 – 954), and Charles III (879 – 929) of France. Charles married Anglo-Saxon king Edward‘s (871 – 924) daughter Eadgifu, granddaughter of Aelfread the Great  (849 – 901).

After crossing the Channel with William the Conqueror, Raymond ancestors became the prominent Namur family, and married the daughters and sons of other noble Norman families. Early Norman settler William d’Aubigny (1109 – 1176) married the young Dowager Queen Adeliza of Louvain.(1103 – 1151), widow of Henry I and daughter in law of William the Conqueror.

Many generations later Rev. John Robinson, pastor to the Pilgrims and founder of the Congregational Church, led his congregation away from England and persecution. But when the Mayflower departed the Netherlands with 102 of his parishioners, he chose to stay behind with the majority of his congregation. After his death, his family sailed for Plymouth colony.

His 1620 speech to the departing Pilgrims is the subject of Embarkation of the Pilgrims, painted in 1843 by Robert Weir and featured in the rotunda of the U.S. Capital, next to the Landing of Columbus.


Until next time, Saints and Sinners!

Stickles Mayhem on the Mayflower: Unpopular Pilgrims

It turns the Raymond/Stickles family has been trouble from the very beginning, before the Mayflower even made it to Plymouth Rock. Our ancestor, John Billington (1580 – 1630), traveled on the Mayflower (1620) with his wife Eleanor and his two very active sons, John Billington II (1604 – 1630) Francis Billington (1607 – 1684). The Billingtons were not Pilgrims, they belonged to the Anglican church and were known by the conservative Pilgrims as “strangers”. They were also not servants, and had their own cabin on the Mayflower.

In his history Of Plymouth Plantation, colonial Governor William Bradford describes the Billingtons as, “one of the profanest families among them”. In 1625, after Billington had become a vocal dissident against Pilgrim leadership, Governor Bradford wrote a letter to Robert Cushman saying “Billington still rails against you…he is a knave, and so will live and died.” Billington’s views on liberty put him at odds with the Pilgrims, and especially William Bradford, who had traveled so far to have things their way.

According to historian George F. Willison, John Billington Sr. was, “unquestionably one of those mixed up in the mutiny on the Mayflower” which resulted in the adoption of the Mayflower Compact. John, along with other “strangers”, announced that once on shore they fully intended to “use their own liberty, for none had the power to command them”. The strangers argued that since they had landed north of their intended location, the patent giving the Pilgrims full control was invalid. On November 11 the Mayflower Compact provided settlers with individual rights and assurances, and the strangers stayed.

mayflowerJohn Billington Sr. was the 26th signer of the Mayflower Compact

Eleanor Billington was one of only five adult female survivor of the brutal winter of 1620-21. In fact, the Billington family was the only Mayflower family to survive the first winter intact. Nearly half of the original colonists died, and by the famous Thanksgiving in 1621 Eleanor was one of only four adult female survivors.

Raymond ancestor Francis Billington made a name for himself almost immediately by shooting his father’s musket in the Mayflower’s cabin soon after arrival. The sparks surrounded the barrels of gunpowder, and could have ended the colony before it even began. On one of his many adventures in the wilderness, Francis discovered Billington Sea, which still bears his name. At age 16, his brother John Jr. became lost in the woods and was rescued by Squanto (Tisquantum). Yes, that Squanto.

The Billington brothers are so notorious that there is a children’s book detailing their exploits. A must have for the junior Mayflower descendents in your life:

The trouble making apples don’t fall far from the revolutionary tree, so it’s no surprise that in March 1621, John Sr. was brought before the council for “contempt of the Captain’s lawful command with opprobrious speeches”. John Billington Sr. was an early proponent of free speech, and was vocal regarding the shortcomings of the government of Plymouth colony. He was sentenced to have his neck and heels tied together, but he “humbl[ed] himself” and begged forgiveness. Since it was a first offense he was released. Continuing the family tradition, in 1636 wife Eleanor (sometimes Ellen or Elinor), was sentenced to sit in the stocks and was whipped for slandering John Doane, a local politician.

In 1624 Billington Sr. was implicated by newcomer Rev. John Lyford in the infamous Oldham-Lyford scandal, one of the first in Plymouth colony. Still discontent with religious life in Plymouth, and specifically with the Pilgrim church, the men, including John Oldham, sought help from Britain. Their letters were intercepted by William Bradford and they were accused of working to undermine the colonial government. When questioned by the Governer’s Council, Lyford stated “Billington and some others had informed him of many things, which they now denied.” John Billington Sr. was aquitted due to lack of evidence. Oldham and Lyford were exiled.

colonyOldham and Lyford will miss the luxury accommodations at Plymouth village

John Billington was also the first person executed in the new colony. He was convicted of murder and hanged in 1630. Billington had an ongoing dispute with the victim, John Newcomen. Newcomen was seventeen or eighteen, and a deer hunter like Billington. Newcomen regularly hunted on what John Billington considered to be his property. Property laws were still developing at the time, and Newcomen did not acknowledge Billington’s claim. Also, John Billington belonged to the Church of England, while Newcomen was a member of a separaterist religious group. One day Billington came upon Newcomen hunting on his property. Newcomen attempted to hide behind a tree, but Billington shot him in the shoulder. The would became infected, and Newcomen developed gangrene and died.

The population of Plymouth was shocked by the murder. In September 1630 John Billington was tried by jury and found guilty. Billington’s old nemesis Governer William Bradford was ultimately responsible for his fate, and after consulting with Governor John Winthrop they decided capital punishment was appropriate.

Not everyone agrees regarding John Billington’s guilt. The primary source was written by his known enemy William Bradford. In 1637, the English trader Thomas Morton wrote in “The New English Canaan” that Billington “was beloved of many.” Billington was certainly an outspoken enemy of the Pilgrims, who wrote the majority of the surviving history. If you search for John Billington you will find variations on “AMERICA’S FIRST MURDERER!”, but the truth may be more complex. If you’re interested in the dissenting opinion:


The rebellious streak continued at least one more generation. This article from Plymouth Articles II chastises Francis Billington and his wife Christine, and threatens to put them in the stocks if they do not control their son Joseph. Apparently Joseph, age 5, was leaving his work to run home to his mom, who was allowing him to stay without the boss’ permission.


U.S. President James Garfield is a descendent of John Billington Sr.

Here are some of the other lines related to Adelbert “Adelo” Elam Stickles (1858 – 1947) that I hope to explore:

  • The Sabin line was prominent and owned a mill that still exists. They were decendents of Capt. Richard Wright (1597 – 1667), who was no captain, but arrived with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630. His father, also Richard Wright (1575 – 1638), was a reverend and ancestor of actress Fey Wrey.
  • Francis Billington’s (1607 – 1684) wife Christine, mother of naughty Joseph, was a Penn and cousin to William Penn. She was also a widow when she married Billington.
  • The Stickles name goes back to Palatine, Germany. They fled from persecution, only to cut a deal with Queen Anne of England and eventually settle in Rhinebeck, Dutchess, New York.

Here is the Stickles relationship to the Mayflower, for the curious:

JOHN BILLINGTON, SR. (1580 – 1630)
is Clyde Raymond’s 12th great grandfather
Son of JOHN
Daughter of Francis
Son of Mary
Daughter of Israel
Son of Elizabeth
Daughter of Peter
Son of Sarah ( Robinson )
Son of Samuel S
Daughter of John R
Son of Caroline
Daughter of Adelbert “Adelo” Elam
Son of Nellie Leona

Ancestry societies:

http://www.themayflowersociety.com/ (John or Francis Billington)

http://www.dar.org/natsociety/become_member.cfm (multiple)

https://www.sar.org/node/125 (multiple)

http://www.winthropsociety.com/home.php (Capt. Richard Wright)

More information:





Photogenic Longevity

It has always been said that longevity runs in the Raymond family, but it turns out the race is a marathon. Marie Eugenie Ledger lived from 1783 – 1871, and was still alive when her grandson John Raymo was born in New York in 1861. Her daughter, Sophie St. Denis, was born in 1803 in Quebec, and lived long enough to prove that being photogenic is genetic:


Sophie married Casimir Gedeon Laforce (1801 – 1854) who was also a native of Quebec. Sophie was fortunate that her husband was only two years her senior, since many Raymond ancestors married men old enough to be their fathers. Casimir’s father had the memorable name Hippolite Laforce (1769 – 1821), which I’m sure will become fashionable again any day. Sophie and Casimir’s daughter Delena Lina Laforce (1841 – 1899) married Hugh Augustin Raymo (1835 – 1917) in 1860. Here is a record of their marriage (13); you can see Antoine Raymond, Hugh’s oldest brother, was also present.


The next year, 1861, they welcomed their first child, John Raymo (1861 – 1922). John married Maria LaShomb (1858 – 1948) in 1882. Maria’s parents, Edward Lajambe-Pitre-Lashomb (1836 – 1900) and Mary Marie Lacombe (1824 – 1912),  had also traveled to St. Lawrence as part of the Acadian migration from Quebec. For the last twelve years of her life, Mary Marie Lacombe lived with her daughter Marie and son in law John, just as Marie herself would one day live with her son Elmer Raymond and his wife Nellie.


John and Maria LaShomb Raymo are buried at Calvary cemetery in Brasher, New York

Le Quebec, c’est moi

Both of Clyde Raymond’s paternal grandparents, John Raymo and Maria LaShomb, were descendants of the Acadian founders of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec. Raymo and LaShomb ancestors  descended from prominent, noble French Catholic families. Maria LaShomb’s relatives were some of the first settlers in New France, while John Raymo’s anestors joined a second wave of persecuted Catholics escaping France.

Raymond ancestor Nicolas Hebert (1547 – 1600), ancestor of Nellie Raymond’s mother Maria LaShomb, was the apothecary to Catherine De Medici, the 16th Italian Queen of France. As her apothecary, Hebert would have had access to the intimate knowledge regarding the Queen’s health. It was a coveted and trusted position. Through his connections, Grandpa Hebert was able to secure a position for his son Louis with the explorer Samuel de Champlain, later called the “Father of New France”. Louis and his equally famous wife, Marie Rollet, are recognized as the first farmers in New France. Soon other Hebert family members followed from France, including Raymond direct ancestor, Louis’ brother Jacques.


Catherine de Medici and explorer Samuel de Champlain: good people to know if you hope to colonize New France.

Over 60 years later in 1673, Jaques Hebert’s granddaughter, Catherine Hebert (1656-1731), married Jaques LeBlanc (1651 – 1730), son of early settler Daniel LeBlanc (1626-1693). Grandpa Daniel arrived in Quebec in 1648, and within several generations the LeBlancs were the largest family in Acadia. After Le Grand Derangement, or Great Expulsion,  of the 1750s, the LeBlanc family was separated. Some were forced to return to France, while others made their way to Louisiana.


Pierre Pitre (1699 – 1766), Elmer Raymo’s four times great grandfather, was the son of Claude Pitre (1671-1775) and Marie Fancoise Comeau (1678-1707). Late in life, fleeing mounting persecution in Quebec, Pierre père arrived in New Orleans in 1765 with his two youngest children. Pierre’s son and LaShomb ancestor Jean Baptiste and his wife Marie Anne stayed in Quebec, along with the rest of the family.  Grandpa Pierre, as well as his son Pierre Pitre, are considered the founders of the Acadian Creole/Cajun culture synonymous with Louisiana.

One of our ancestors who remained in Canada, Jean Baptiste Pitre (1732 -1805), was born in Nova Scotia and in 1754 married Marie Anne Thibodeau. Economic difficulties forced the young couple and their two daughter to leave their native Nova Scotia for Quebec, and Jean Baptiste struggled to support his family. Unfortunately the move to Quebec proved to be a fatal mistake, as Marie Anne and their two young daughters died soon after their move. Jean Baptiste went on to marry LaShomb ancestor Marie Anne Surette (1734-1797). Most of the Pitres in the Chateauguay, Quebec area trace their ancestry through Jean Baptiste Pitre and Marie Anne Surette.

Jean Baptiste’s grandson, Pierre Pitre Lajambe (1801-1871), was the first to bring the family to St. Lawrence, New York. Maria Lashomb’s parents, as well as her grandmother Sophie Moreau (1805 – 1887) all left Canada for New York.

Several French female ancestors arrived as filles de marier, marriageable women brought to New France between 1634 and 1663 and brides for early settlers. 262 brides were brought from France, representing one quarter of all single women emigrating New France during those early years. Marie Pomponnelle (1630 – 1700), a well known filles de marier and LaShomb ancestor, was one such woman.

filles de marier

filles de marier: shift yer cargo, dearie, show ‘em your larboard side

Marie Pomponnelle was born about 1630 at Longeves, La Rochelle, Aunis, France; the daughter of Jean Pomponnelle (1580 – 1656) and Michelle Boulet (1589 – 1634).  She arrived in the Quebec Colony contracted to be the bride of Nicolas Petit.  They were married August 17, 1656 at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada.

Some of the more prominent families who are ancestors of the Raymond and LaShomb families include: Pilet, Longuetin (Longtin), Pitre, LaCombe, and LeFebvre. These families represent the many ancient, noble Catholic bloodlines.  “Aristocracy’, “nobility”, “family seat”, “ancient nobles” are words that come up a lot when researching the Raymond family.

After Catholics began facing persecution in France, the Raymond and LaShomb ancestors emigrated to New France with their entire families: grandparents, parents and children, aunts, uncles and cousins all arrived together. They farmed and had many, many children. All too often they also lost children. Many of the families had 8, 12, 14 children. In some families all of the female children were named Marie: Marie Angelique, Marie Genevieve, Marie Marguerite, Marie Therese, and so on.  Jean Baptiste, Pierre, Etienne, Madeleine, Josephte, and Catherine were common first names. Maria LaShomb’s family arrived in Quebec and Port Royal as the earliest settlers in the 1620s and before. John Raymo’s relatives arrived soon after, but are considered the first generation to arrive after the original settlers.

Port Royal reconstruction

Port Royal reconstruction: live like a Raymond

The family tree is very much a work in progress, eventually I will have thousands of relatives documented. We are so fortunate that the Raymond ancestors were both Catholic and prominent, the records that were kept by the church are impeccable.