MARGANE DE BATILLY, FRANÇOIS-MARIE, ensign; b. 13 Nov. 1672 at Montreal, son of Séraphin Margane de Lavaltrie and Louise Bissot; killed in the raid of 28 Feb. 1704 at Deerfield, Mass. On the paternal side he was the grandson of a lawyer in the parlement of Paris who came from an old family of Vendôme; on his mother’s side he was connected with the first families in New France, such as the Bissot de Vinsenne and the Couillard-Després.
His father Séraphin Margane came to New France in 1665 with the Carignan-Salières regiment. In 1672, in recognition of his services, he obtained the Lavaltrie seigneury. But his activity did not cease with this award, since in 1684 he was in command at the Michilimackinac post. Séraphin Margane died in 1699 at Montreal, leaving a complicated estate which his widow refused, and which was still not finally settled in 1735.
François-Marie Margane de Batilly – not to be confused with his younger brother François Margane* de Lavaltrie, the widower of Angélique Guyon Després, who took holy orders – obtained a commission as ensign in the colonial regular troops maintained by the French king in Canada. Following savage attacks made by the English colonies in the autumn of 1703, Rigaud de Vaudreuil sent 250 men against New England under the command of Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville, to whom the Sieur de Batilly was responsible. The force left Montreal, proceeded to Lake Champlain, then crossed the Allegheny mountains, and in the night of 28 Feb. 1704 (10 March, n.s.) fell upon Deerfield, on the Massachusetts border. All the inhabitants were taken prisoner or killed, and their houses set ablaze. M. de Rouville had lost only three Canadians, one being the ensign Margane de Batilly, and a few Indians. In the official correspondence we read that François-Marie Margane de Batilly was “a very brave man and the second of his family to give his life for his country.”
Many prisoners from Deerfield became true Canadians and did not want to return to their native village. The king of France conferred letters of naturalization on them, they took on French ways, and married Canadian women. Several French-Canadian families of the present day are directly descended from these English pioneers and do not even suspect their origin. We might mention especially the Phaneuf (Fansworth), the Stébenne (Stebbin) and the French families.
The ensign Margane de Batilly’s heroic death was thus to bring a real harvest of life to Canada, his fatherland.
AJM, Greffe d’Antoine Adhémar, 7, 8, 11 août 1699; Greffe de C.-R. Gaudron de Chevremont, 10 juin 1735. AJQ, Greffe de Romain Becquet, 11 août 1668, 3 oct. 1677. AN, Col., C11A, 22, f.4. C. A. Baker, True stories of New England captives carried to Canada during the old French and Indian wars (Cambridge, Mass., 1897). Coleman, New England captives, II, 33–131. Garneau, Histoire du Canada, I. J. G. Palfrey, History of New England (4v., Boston, 1858–75), IV, 261–64. Francis Parkman, A half-century of conflict; Rivals for America (Boston, 1915), 41, 49. G. A. Sheldon, History of Deerfield, Massachusetts . . . (2v., Deerfield, 1895–96). Sylvester, Indian wars, III. “An Account of Ye Destruction at Derefeld,” Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., 1st ser., IX (1867), 478. P.-G. Roy, “La famille Margane de Lavaltrie,” BRH, XXIII (1917), 33–53, 65–80.