Marie Olivier Sylvestre (Manit8abe8ich – Manitouabeouich – Manitouabewich)


Source: article from America-Canadian Genealogist, Issue #96, Vol 29, 2nd Quarter, 2003 found on Rootsweb (here)
Author: Lucie Bisson Morency #4893


Martin Prevost- Marie Olivier Marriage 1644
Martin Prevost- Marie Olivier Marriage 3 Nov 1644

Who is this Marie Olivier Sylvestre Manit8abe8ich? At the Bisson Family Reunion in August 2000, professor Marcel Clique, announced that the Bissons have an Indian in their genealogy and her name is Marie Olivier Sylvestre Manit8abe8ich. She was a young Huron Indian or maybe Algonquin.

This seems to start us with a little problem that could prove difficult to affirm. In most genealogical and historical sources that I came across during my research at the American-Canadian Genealogical Society, Marie Olivier Sylvestre is acknowledged as a Huron. On the other hand, our oldest sources, Les Relations des Jesuits 1610-1791 and Le Terrier du Saint-Laurent en 1663, tell me she was Algonquin.

Now, let’s see if I can clarify some of this confusion. The name Manitou, for starters, is interpreted in these words: “The American Indian took his source of superior strength through the ‘Great Spirit’ that the Algonquin called Manitou.” To confuse the issue a little more, another source indicates that Roch Manitouabewich was Algonquin but his spouse Outchibahanoukoueou was Huron. Her mother being a Huron could be the reason we see Marie Olivier Sylvestre Manitouabewich as a Huron. The other explanation could be that the Huron based their society on the natural family, which encircled the matriarchal family.

Algonkin with a ‘k’ is a language. Algonquin with a ‘qu’ is a nation. The word Algonkin is designating a linguistic family composed of many nomadic nations. The Algonquins as a nation, who lived on the edge of l’Outaouais, belong to the Algonquin family, also known as, algic family.

Lets clarify the presence of the number ‘8’ in the name Manit8abe8ich. In the first part of the XVth century, the letter ‘w’did not exist in the alphabet, or, in any case, we hardly ever used it. In calligraphy, we replaced it with the letter ‘0’ on top of which we put a small ‘u’. At that time, no characters of this nature were in existence in the printer’s press. The typographers would use the number 8 which was the closest character. The Jesuits Relations had a multitude of cases regarding the phonetic transcription of names of origin from North American Indians. Later, we replaced the number with two vowels “OU’ . which, in front of a third vowel, played the same phonetic role as the ‘w’. Example: The Outa8ais becomes the Outaouais.


In our genealogy, in order to follow your Indian Ancestor, we begin with the marriages of:

  1. Gervais Bisson & Marie Lereau: About 1640
  2. Gervais Bisson &.Marie-Madeleine Boutet:  September 25, 1664
  3. Antoine Bisson & Elisabeth Labadie: January 24, 1701
  4. Jean-Francois Bisson & Marie-Francoise Petitclerc: February 4, 1732

To continue pursuing our Indian, we bring your attention to the Petitclerc marriage with the parents of Marie Francoise and go
backward in time:

  • Jean-Baptiste Petitclerc & Marie-Francoise Provost: February 11, 1709
  • Jean-Baptiste Provost [Prevost] & Marie-Anne Giroux: August 18, 1683
  • Martin Provost [Prevost] & Marie-Olivier-Sylvestre Manitouabewich: November 3, 1644
    • Father [of Marie-Olivier]: Roch Manitouabewich, Algonquin,
    • Mother[of Marie-Olivier]: Outchibaha-50 Manikoue or Outchibahabanoukoueou, Huron.
  • [Martin Provost & Marie Dabancour Lacaille: November 8, 1665 his second Marriage]

Roch Manitouabewich [Father of Marie-Olivier]

For eight years Roch was employed by Samuel de Champlain. He then traveled into Canada’s interior with a French man named Olivier LeTardif who had been interpreting the Indian language since childhood. Together they initiated the trafficking of furs for the French and erected some trading posts. Roch and Olivier became the best of friends. Roch Manitouabewich, a convert to Christianity, was baptized by French missionaries and received the name of Roch in honor of St-Roch, a patron saint.

Roch retired after eight years for a more domesticated life with his spouse, Outchibaha-Manikoue near Quebec, in his own kind of tribal environments. Olivier and Roch’s friendship was very strong, so strong that, the two men never lost contact.

Olivier LeTardif

Olivier LeTardif, the son of Jean and Clemence Houart, was born in Honfleur, France in 1601.. Olivier was a young man when he accompanied Samuel de Champlain, consequently, he gained his trust and his friendship. In the year 1623, he was sent to the Montagnais and to the Hurons. While there, he learned their different dialects. He then became interpreter for Champlain in the languages of the Huron, Algonkin and Montagnais. The name Olivier LeTardif appears for the first time as signatory of a petition from the Quebec colonists to Louis XIII, dated August 18, 1621. The petition questioned the dispute between rivals of the Commercial Company of Canada and the prevention of confusion of this being established by the Royal authority.

From 1626 to 1629, we find Olivier in Quebec, where he takes a turn at being a clerk or an interpreter for the Commercial Company. LeTardif delivers an order from Samuel Champlain who puts the key to the store in the hands of Kirk, at the time of the taking of Quebec in 1629. The belief is that LeTardif went back to France, then came back with DeCaen or with Champlain. Olivier LeTardif has a piece of land that is granted to him near Quebec in 1637. In 1646, added to this piece of land, was the 8th part of the Beaupre seigniory. In 1652, he becomes Chateau-Richer’s landlord, founded in 1655, a land of 20 acres is added to his inheritance, already very impressive.

Olivier LeTardif married Louise, daughter of Guillaume Couillard. She was no more than thirteen years old at the time, and she was considered of age. Four years later, Louise Couillard died on November 23, 1641.

On the Work Front

LeTardif and Manitouabewichmade a great pair and sometimes went deep into the wilderness of Canada to contact some Indians established far into the Back Country. On the road, they would meet some of the nomadic .Indians and would go to work using all their know-how regarding the operation of the fur commerce. Olivier LeTardif and Roch traveled together for many years.

Samuel Champlain, an inhabitant of Quebec, established a fur trafficking system of commerce for the ‘Company’ in Quebec and made LeTardif responsible. The system of commerce was the allegiance between “the trappers and the Company.”

There were three kinds of trappers: 1) the licensed trappers by the authority of the Company, 2) the unlicensed trappers, also known under the name of Coureurs de Bois, and 3) the Indian trappers who traded with the Company directly.

The three kinds of trappers made their fur exchange at the trading post of their choice. More often then none, the commerce was close to their hunting ground. It was a good system and was very efficient. The trafficking trade gave the trappers a store to dispose of their furs. At that time, they could also make exchanges for traps, knifes, hats, etc. The Indians did their exchanges for blankets, mirrors, beads to decorate their native costumes and their headdress, etc.

Marie-Olivier Sylvestre and Family

Roch Manitouabewich and his spouse Outchibaha-Manikoue gave birth to a little girl, who at her baptism, received the name of Marie-Olivier-Sylvestre. Olivier LeTardif had the immense pleasure of being godfather to the little girl. LeTardif gave her his given name of Olivier, according to the custom of the times. In honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the baptizing missionary gave her the name of Marie and the name Sylvestre, which means “One who comes from the forest” or “One who lives in the forest.” Regretfully, we cannot find any trace of her baptismal act.

Roch’s friend, Olivier and his wife, wanted to adopt Marie Olivier Sylvestre. This was a rare thing for anybody to do in those days. Marie Olivier Sylvestre was ten years old when Olivier adopted her in 1638. LeTardif raised her as his own daughter, but she never took the family name of LeTardiff. Marie Olivier Sylvestre received an education, and was raised in the same way a French girl was raised.

Marie Olivier Sylvestre was placed with the Ursuline nuns of Quebec as a boarder and a student. Later, Marie Olivier, became a boarder in the house of Guillaume Hubou and Marie Rollet, a French family, where she received a private education. The Hubous were a respected family by all. Before marrying Guillaume Hubou, Marie Rollet was the widow of Louis Hebert. It was at the Hubou’s home that Marie Olivier met and married Martin Prevost, a friend of the Hubou family and an intimate friend of Olivier LeTardif.

Martin Prevost was baptized on January 4th, 1611, from Montreil sur-le-Bois-de-Vincenne, France. He was the son of Pierre and Charlotte Vien. A pioneer of Beauport near Quebec, Prevost’s presence is indicated in Piraude’s documents since 1639.

The first recorded marriage to be blessed by the Catholic church between an Indian and a white person, was that of Marie Olivier Sylvestre Manitouabewich and the French colonist, Martin Prevost on the 3rd of November, 1644, in Quebec. This was one of the rarest marriages and maybe the only one in the XVII century, which lasted until the death of Marie. Of this union between an Indian and a colonist, were born eight children but, only four married.There were very few marriages like this one in the years that followed. In more than two million acts of marriage that are shown in the civil records, Cyprien Tanguay, genealogist, extracted less than a hundred between whites and Indians.

The eight children of Martin Prevost and Marie Olivier Sylvestre Manitouabewich are:

  1. Marie Madeleine, born in Quebec, December 21,1647, died in Quebec, February 5, 1648
  2. Ursule, born in Quebec, December 14, 1649, died in Quebec, April 1st, 1661
  3. Marie Madeleine, born in Quebec, January 7, 1655, died in Quebec, April 1st, 1662
  4. Antoine, born in Quebec, October15, 1657, died in Quebec, March 16, 1662
  5. Jean, born in Quebec, January 31, 1660
  6. Jean-Baptiste, born in Quebec, May 16, 1662 and married Marie Giroux of Beauport on August 18, 1683
  7. Therese, born in Quebec, June 3rd, 1665 and married Michel Giroux of Beauport on August 18, 1683
  8. Louis, born about 1651, married Francoise Gaignon of Chateau-Richer on February 1672. A second marriage with Marguerite Careau of Chateau-Richer on February 17, 1681.

After the hay season, a double wedding was celebrated on August 18, 1683, where Michel Giroux married Therese Prevost and Anne Giroux married Jean-Baptiste Prevost, lordship of St-Francois. More than ever, we celebrated in the Giroux and Prevost’s big families. The violinists had been invited for a long time. On a beautiful summer’s day, they ate, sang, and danced while taking in the fresh air.

Martin Prevost died January 26, 1691, in Beauport. Marie Olivier Sylvestre Manitouabewich, Algonquin, died in Quebec on September 10, 1665.

A little to the west of the Montmorency Falls, in the seigneurie of Beauport, Martin Prevost purchased a piece of land where the church of Courville sits today. In the city of Quebec, there is a park dedicated to the marriage of Martin Prevost and Marie Manitouabewich.

In the civil record and the notary contract, it is the name of Marie Olivier that comes back always. It is how she was named. We know her father’s name only because of the Jesuit Relations and the marriage contract. A salute to the memory of Marie Manitoubebich aka Olivier. She is not the first to be endowed with a surname!


Martin Prevost & Marie-Olivier Manithabehich

L’an 1644. le 3me jour du moys de Novembre Les bans ayant este pub lies par 3 jours de feste de suite, dont le 1er a este pub lie Le 23me. Jour d’octobre, Le 2e ban, Le 28 jour, et Le 3eme Le 30me. Jour du mesme moys d’octobre, et ne s’estant decouvert aucun empeschemt. Legitime Le R. P. Barthelemy Vimont Super de La mission de La compie de Jesus en ce pays de La nouvelle france et tenant place de cure en cette Eglise de la Conception de La Vierge Marie a Quebec a Interroge Martin prevost fils de pierre prevost et de deffuncte Charlotte Vien sa femme de la paroisse de Montreuil sur le bois de vincenne et Marie Olivier fille de Roch Manithabehich (Sauvage) et ayant eu Leur mutuel consentement par paroles de present, Les a solemnement maries etfait La benediction nuptiale en L’Eglise de La Conception a Quebec, en presence de tesmoins connus Olivier Le Tardif, et Guillaume Couillard de cette paroisse. .

(aucune signature)

Lequel Extrait, Nous, Cure de Notre-Dame de Quebec, soussigne, certifions etre la vraie copie de l’acte original conserve dans nos archives paroissiales. Donne a Quebec, le vingt-deuxieme jour du mois de decembre mil neuf cent quatre-vingt-un.

Chanoine Jean-Charles Racine, ptre-cure.

English translation from article by Suzanne Guimont Binette # 1767 in Issue #23 of the Genealogist

Year 1644. The 3rd day of the month of November, the bans having been published on the 3 following days – the first of which was the 23rd day of October, the second being the 28th day, and the third on the 30th day of the same month of October, and having uncovered no legitimate encumbrances, the Rev. R.P. Barthelemy Vimont, Superior of the Mission of the Company of Jesus (Jesuit) in this country of New France and holding the office of Pastor of this Church of the Conception of Virgin Mary at Quebec, and having interrogated Martin Prevost, son of Pierre Prevost and of Charlotte Vien, his deceased wife, of the Parish of Montreuil, Sur-Ie-Bois-de-Vincennes, France, and Marie Olivier, daughter of Roch Manithabehich (Indian) and having their mutual verbal consent presently given, did solemnly marry and gave them the Nuptial Benediction in this Church of the Conception at Quebec in the presence of known witnesses, Olivier LeTardif and Guillaume Couillard of this parish.


  • Assistance from Robert Decoteau and Pauly Labbe, of the American-Canadian Genealogical Society in Manchester, NH.
  • Association des Provost d’Amerique (Intemet)
  • Binet Guimont, Suzanne # 1767 (ACGS Member) Issue #23, the Genealogist
  • Histoire du Quebec sous la direction de Jean Hamelin Edition France Amerique pages 30 et 32 (Les Amerindiens au XVIe siecle)
  • Index Onomastique des Memoires de la Society Genealogique Canadienne Francaise Volume 2, page 570 (Prevost, Martin)
  • Les Presses de L’Universite Laval- DictionnaireBiographique de Canada Volume 1 (1000 -1700), pages 553-554, Prevost/Provost, Martin).
  • Manitouabewich, Marie 1600 (Inernet) 
  • Manitouabewich, Marie Olivier Sylvestre (original link is dead, new link added)
  • Memoires de la Society Genealogique Canadienne Francaise Volume 7;page 118 (Martin Prevost) Volume 12, page 8 (Martin Prevost)
    Volume 25, page 16 (Martin Prevost) Volume 48, pages 33-36 ( Marie Manituouabe8ich)
  • Paroisse de Notre Dame de Quebec: Extrait du Registre: page 145 (Martin Prevost/Marie Olivier Manitouabewich)
  • Provos, Madeliene (Internet)
  • Tanguay: Dictionnaire Genealogique des familIes canadiennes. Volume 1, p. 499. (Prevost, Martin/Manitouabewich, arie-Olivier-Silvestre)
  • Tanguay – A travers les registres Page 27 (Martin Provost et Marie Olivier Sylvestre Manitouabewich)
  • The Jesuit Relations and Allied Document Volumes 5-6,
    • page 287 (Olivier LeTardif),
    • page 288 (Manitouabewich, Marie) Volumes 72 -73,
    • page 124 (Manituouabewich, Marie)
  • Trudel, Marcel -La population du Canada en 1663 Page 352 (Manitouabewich, Marie Olivier: 27s., 248
  • American-Canadian Genealogist, Issue #96, Vol. 29, 2nd Quarter, 2003 page 54