09 February 2012

Get to know Michael Johannes Yax or should it be Jacks?

Oh What a Story to tell
Champane, Herbinne, Jacks, Meloche, Yax, Longueuil, Mauger, Rivard, Tremblay, Turcot, compass

In my research on my Detroit French families I have tried to follow up on what another cousin had discovered.   Our Ancestor by the name of Michael Yax has a story to tell.

With a name of Yax just where does it come from?  Turns out Michael’s family name should be Jacks. He is from Germany.  How does one mis-interrupter  the name of Jacks and morp it into Yax?   

Champane, Herbinne, Jacks,  Yax, Longueuil, Mauger, Rivard, Tremblay, Turcot

 If in my understanding most likely since Michael was German.  Pronouncing his name with his German accent then falling on non-German accent language familiarity ears .  Simply produced Yax.   Giving us JACKS into YAX.

 In my life time how many people have mispronounced my family name & married name.  Let alone how often they could not spell my first name. Which is Virginia a name you learn for certain in school since it’s a state.  Plus it’s the place Sir Walter Raleigh named after Queen Elizabeth.

Now back to Michael Jacks story.  Michael Johannes Jacks was born in

Champane, Herbinne, Jacks, Meloche, Yax, Longueuil, Mauger, Rivard, Tremblay, Turcot
 Koln, Germany in July  1709.  He met a young woman by the name of Catherine Herbinne who was 17 years his junior.  Together unmarried they sailed for the New World on a Sea going vessel named the “Lydia”.  Arriving in Philadelphia, some time between 1740 and September 1741.
After they arrived in the New World they married sometime prior/about to*April  1745. 

Meloche, Champa, Herbinne, Jacks, Yax, Longueuil, Mauger, Rivard, Tremblay, Turcot,
The marriage took place in Philadelphia, PA.   To me this is an extreme length of time for such a courtship.  Although that being said Catherine was all of 15 years of age and Michael 32 years old.   So waiting for Catherine to be a few years older well may have looked better. There are no known births of children born to them before 1747.

 Now with Catherine as his wife they set off on a perilous journey.  

Champane, Herbinne, Jacks, Meloche, Yax, Longueuil, Mauger, Rivard, Tremblay, Turcot, compass
They were off to the Louisiana Mississippi River area to a place known as Pointe Coupee.   They never arrived there.  No instead their journey took them to many places that was not their destination.    It is written that “ Michael Yax attempted to walk from  Penn. To the Mississippi at the place called Pointe Coupee to establish a small colony of Germans.

Champane, Herbinne, Jacks,Yax, Longueuil, Mauger, Rivard, Tremblay, Turcot
Boy did he need one of these compasses
He lost his way and after many privations and trials he was captured by the Ottawa’s who stole from him and sold his wife to Mr. Longueuil the commandant.
How easily in 1745 or shortly there after one could lose where to go in the wilderness.  For the urbanites to leave and to go into the wilderness there had to be such a strong drive to push them out there.  You had to be a real trail blazer. 

  How is it that the Ottawa's sold his wife?  How did he escape from his captures?  How did he get his wife back?  These details are not known.  It would be wonderful to know all of those details. 
 So now back from the wondering.   To find out now that the Commandant Longueuil  area was Detroit. I have not researched into what a Commandants job entailed. When I first read this story I was very curious as to who this man might have been that the Ottawa’s felt ok selling a woman to him.  Lots and lots of speculation there. 

 It is clear to me now Why they were in the Detoit region. Due to being captured by the Ottawa's. 
A few many questions still remain such as how did Michael gets his freedom.  Did he have to buy his wife back from the Commandant???  [Lots of great  summizing to be done for fun.] 

 Now that they have made it to the Detroit region they settle in and start having children.
First child is Mary Catherine b. Feb 1747, m. John Baptist Rivard.

Second child is Angelica b. Feb 1749, m. Tranquille Turcot.

Third child is Louis Michael b. Nov 1751, no marriage known.

Fourth child is Cecilia b. Sep 1753, m. Louis Michaeil Tremblay.

Fifth child is Mary Joseph b. Dec 1755 died May 1764.

Sixth child is Simon b. Nov 1758, m. Isabella Mauger.

Seventh child is John Baptist William b. Jan 1760, no known marriage.

Eight child is John Baptist b. Nov 1761, m. 178? Regina Christina Huet dit Champane

Ninth child is Pierre b. Apr 1763, no known marriage

Tenth child is Joachim b. Nov 1768 d. May 1769

Eleventh child is Nicolas b. 1770 d. Nov 1772
It’s interesting that Michael was 61 when their last child was born and Catherine was 44.  

 Michael received a **French land grant sometime 1751 in Grosse Pointe.  Funny they still ended up in a land with the name Pointe in it.

 If by chance you too are a descendant of Michael & Catherine Jacks/Yax and you have additional info.  Please contact me so I may update the info.

·           * Note some of the time line for birth and etc… just does not sit right in my brain.  But as always the dates may be irrelavent to the facts of the story.

 **please refer to History of Detroit for further info.


Genealogy of the French Families of the Detroit River Region, by Rev Fr Christian Dennisen  1701-1911 Vol I & II,

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