Joséphine Kelly (1872-1912) Monday, May 21 2012 

I don’t know a great deal about my great-great-grandmother aside from some dates and names but this picture that I inherited has always fascinated me. She is, I am told, the little bit of Irish in our family. If you know more about her, I would love to hear it.

Early Life

Joséphine was born on October 23rd 1872 in Dorchester, Québec. Her father Michael Kelly (1843-1893) was a farmer and a second generation Irish immigrant. Her mother was Joséphine Rousseau (1843-1926).

She had 8 full siblings: Sarah (1871-?), Marie (1873-1892), Dina (1875-1931), Joseph (1876-?), Rosanna (1878-1923), Ferdinand (1880-1936), Delima (1884-1917) and Patrick (1886-1931). They were all still single and living with their parents in April 1891.

She also had three half siblings from her mother’s first marriage to Pierre Gosselin (1836-1868): Delvina (1864-?), Damasse (Thomas?) (1867-1923) and Jean (1868-1914). They lived with the Kelly family until they married.

Despite her family’s origins, she was a francophone and a roman catholic. She and her sisters had attended school and could read and write.

According to the 1891 census, Joséphine and her sister Sarah worked as servants though it is not clear what household they served.

Married life

Joséphine stopped working shortly after the census was taken. She was married to Samuel Picard (1869-1931) on July 14th 1891 in Saint-Léon-de-Standon, Dorchester, Québec. She was considered a minor at the time but had her parent’s consent to marry. Her husband was a farmer as was her father. She turned her own efforts to raising a family.

Joséphine and Samuel had 12 children: Éva (1892-?), Samuel (1893-?),  Joseph Ephraime (1895-1969), Théodore (1896-1929), Émile (1899-1908), Patrick (1900-1920), Marie (1902-?), Salomon (1903-1921), Marie-Alfreda aka Rosa (1906-1921), Ernest (1908-?), Claira (1909-?) and Anna (1911-1921).

She lost her son Émile when he was only 9 years old. This was the first, though not last death in the family.

Two of her sons (Samuel and Joseph Ephraime) were drafted under the Military Service Act of 1917. It is not clear whether they ever saw combat but whatever the case, they were still alive at the end of the war. Three of her other children (Salomon, Rosa and Anna) died in 1921. Their cause of death is not indicated but quick succession of their deaths suggests an illness to me. Most of her surviving children were married and had children of their own. But Joséphine would never witness any of these events. She died on September 7th 1912, at the age of 39 and was buried 2 days later.

My link to Joséphine Kelley

  1. Joséphine Kelley (1872-1912) m. Samuel Picard (1868-1931)
  2. Joseph Ephraime Picard (1895-1969) m. Marie-Anne Ruel (1906-1936)
  3. Angéline Picard (1930-2007) m. André Ricard (1929-2003)

(Note: Living family members have been omitted for the sake of privacy.)


Anne Boyer (1632-1704) Saturday, May 15 2010 

Early Life

Anne was born in La Rochelle, France in 1632 to Pierre Boyer and Catherine Vinet (1589-1664). She was baptized on December 2nd of the same year.

She had one younger sister, Marie (1645-1665).

Something must have happened to their family because both sisters moved to New France to marry. Perhaps their father passed away (I can find no record of his birth or death dates), perhaps they had debts, but whatever the reason, they probably could not afford the dowry necessary to marry a man of their station in France (their father, Pierre, apparently belonged to the bourgeoisie).

Filles à Marrier

Anne and Marie were what are known as “filles à marrier”. Before the French government started sending over filles du roi, the Company recruited marriageable young girls to start families with the many single men. About 262 of such girls were sent over between 1634 and 1663. They would sign a marriage contract and then be given a dowry and passage to New France. They could, upon arrival and meeting their intended, refuse to marry and be sent back to France. The Boyer sisters must have been relatively satisfied with their matches. Both honoured their contracts and settled down. (Find out more about the filles à marrier here.)

Anne was contracted at La Rochelle on April 10th 1657 by François Perron. She left LaRochelle eight days later aboard the ship Le Taureau and arrived in Quebec on the 22nd of June 1657. She was contracted to work as a servant in the household of the governor, Pierre Boucher in Trois-Rivières.

On May 14th 1658, Anne married Pierre Pineau dit Laperle (1625-1708) the son of Pascal Pineau and Jeanne Marteau at Trois-Rivières.

They had 11 children: Jeanne (1659-?), Madeleine (1660-1734), Michel (1662-1712), Pierre (1664-1708), Louise (1665-1749), Joseph (1667-?), Marie (1669-?), Thomas (1671-1748), René (1675-?), Mathurin (1676-?) and Jean (1685-?).

Her sister was not as lucky. Marie arrived a few years later, perhaps hearing about Anne’s successful marriage. She married Jean Bellet dit Lachaussé on January 30, 1663. She died only two years later, childless (perhaps in childbirth, it was a common cause of death in the colonies).

Life in New France

Like many of the early settlers, Pierre worked as a farmer on the lands granted him by a seigneur.

It seems that in 1662 one of Anne’s girls, Jeanne or Madeleine (my ancester), was sick. I have found a record of a testimony that she made (in Pistard). She claims to have requested medicine 4 times and been refused (the phrasing of the document is unclear but I believe she was asking the seigneur, Pinard). She went instead to see the seigneur Gamelin, who applied the necessary medicines to the girl. Pinard and Gamelin were both surgeons who seemed to have a history of disagreements about patients. This testimony also reveals that Anne was illiterate as she signed with a mark.

During the census in 1666, they lived in Trois-Rivières and had one servant by the name of Jacques Chever. But by 1667 they had moved to Cap-de-la-Madeleine where they owned 15 acres of land. In April 1670, Pierre sold this land to René Besnard.

On January 17th 1669, Pierre was granted lands in Sainte-Anne by the seigneur Michel Gamelin (the same man cited in Anne’s testimony 7 years earlier). By 1681, they lived in Saint-Anne on 7 acres of land with 6 of their children (Michel, Joseph, Marie, Thomas, René and Mathurin). Pierre owned a gun and 7 horned beasts. They no longer had a servant, perhaps because they had enough children to help with the work.

One of their daughters, Louise, became a nun in the Notre-Dame Congregation. Most of the others married and went on to have children of their own.

Anne died on December 9th 1704 in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Perade. She was 72 years old. Her husband died two years later.

My link to Anne Boyer

  1. Anne Boyer (1632-1704) m. Pierre Pineau (1625-1708)
  2. Jean Ricard (1647-1726) m. Madeleine Pineau (1660-1734)
  3. Charles-Simon Ricard (1679-1750) m. Marguerite Richer (1691-1761)
  4. Michel Ricard (1727-1795) m. Françoise Boisvert (1732-1803)
  5. François Ricard (1764-1831) m. Marie Ursule Baril dite Ducheny (1761-1838)
  6. André Ricard (1803-1876) m. Euphrosine Vaillancourt (1798- ?)
  7. Uldéric-Israel Ricard (1834-1915) m. Delphine Héroux (1836- ?)
  8. Gédéon Ricard (1858-1926) m. Marie Grenier (1860-1900)
  9. Ulric Ricard (1896-1988) m. Maria Chainé (1896-1947)

(note: the most recent three generations have been omitted for the sake of privacy.)

Charles-Simon Ricard (1679-1750) Saturday, May 15 2010 

Charles-Simon was born in 1679 in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade to Jean Ricard and Madeleine Pineau. He was their second son.

He and his elder brother Jean (1676-?) worked as a “coureurs des bois” for a time. Coureurs des bois, or wood runners, were originally men who engaged in the fur trade (mostly beaver pelts) without permission from the authorities. But after 1681, and thus while the brothers were plying this trade, the authorities started to legitimize and control the trade by issuing permits. These legal coureurs des bois were known as “voyageurs”. They were hired on contract, usually for 3 years, and would travel by canoe to trade goods for fur. It was a hard life: they carried heavy loads, worked long hours and rowed long distances over difficult waters but it was and remains a romanticized profession, much like the cowboys in the American west. Many young unmarried men worked as voyageurs to save up money to settle down; this was probably the case for Jean and Charles-Simon. You can read more about the voyageurs here.

Both brother eventually returned to Sainte-Anne to work the land as their father had before them.

Charles-Simon married Marguerite Richer on March 7th 1709; she was 12 years his junior and the daughter of colonists from Quebec. They had 10 children : Louise (1710-?), Pierre-Charles (1712-1788), Marie-Therese (1715-1718), Charles (1717-?),  Francois (1720-?), Marie-Anne (1723-?), Michel (1727-1795), Joseph (1729-1733), Jean Baptiste (1731-1733) and Jean Baptiste (1733-?).

On October 25th 1749, he gave his son Michel (my ancestor) land in Saint-Anne in the seigneurie of D’Orvilliers measuring 1.5 by 40 acres. Another plot of land was reserved for the use of his other children.

He died on the 21st of December 1750 at the age of 71. Like his father, his cause of death is unrecorded and again it can be attributed to old age. Although the fact that he passed on his lands a year before suggests that he may have known that he did not have much longer to live. His wife lived 11 more years.

My link to Charles-Simon Ricard

  1. Charles-Simon Ricard (1679-1750) m. Marguerite Richer (1691-1761)
  2. Michel Ricard (1727-1795) m. Françoise Boisvert (1732-1803)
  3. François Ricard (1764-1831) m. Marie Ursule Baril dite Ducheny (1761-1838)
  4. André Ricard (1803-1876) m. Euphrosine Vaillancourt (1798- ?)
  5. Uldéric-Israel Ricard (1834-1915) m. Delphine Héroux (1836- ?)
  6. Gédéon Ricard (1858-1926) m. Marie Grenier (1860-1900)
  7. Ulric Ricard (1896-1988) m. Maria Chainé (1896-1947)

(note: the most recent three generations have been omitted for the sake of privacy.)

Anne LeMaître (1617-1718) Friday, May 14 2010 

Life in France

Anne Lemaître was born in Saint-Rémi, Dieppe, France in 1617. Her parents are unknown.

She married Louis LeRoy (1610-1661) on april 27th 1638. Very little is known about her husband, even his birth and death dates are uncertain. They had one son, Nicholas, born in 1639.

After Louis’ death, Anne would have been dependent on her son for her livelihood. Thus when they moved to New France, they left together. The reason for the move is unclear but as Anne is listed as a fille du roi, it is probable that she was sent by the king and that her son and his family followed hoping for a better life in the new world.

Fille du Roi

Anne arrived in New France on August 22nd 1661 aboard a ship under the command of Capitain Laurent Poulet.

As I said, she was a “fille du roi” meaning that she received a dowry from the king to marry in New France (probably 50 livres in her case). Contrary to rumors that still circulate, filles du roi were not prostitutes; they were mostly orphans or widows like Anne who were sent to marry the overabundance of single men in New France. She would have stayed with one of the religious communities or with a family upon her arrival (perhaps with her son’s family) and been introduced to the single men of the colony.

Since they came without parents, the filles du roi had a remarkable amount of choice when it came to their husbands. Men looked for healthy, industrious women who could bear children and help with the work. Women sought men with with a home, land, money and a job. Life would be very hard for them otherwise, and they knew it. Upon marriage, the new couple received an ox, a cow, two chickens, two pigs, 2 barrels of salted meat and 11 crowns from the State.

Most of the girls married within months of arrival. Anne was 44 years old when she arrived, at the upper end of the age limit for filles du roy, and past her childbearing years. This is probably why it took her longer to find a husband.

Eventually she met and married Adrien Blanquet dit LaFougère (son of André Blanquet and Perette Caperon) a 59-year-old widower who had recently immigrated from France. Their marriage contract was signed on the 25th of October 1663 and witnessed by Jean Gloria, a notary who also financed her son’s trip across the Atlantic. The marriage  was celebrated on November 7th in Notre-Dame, Québec. Adrien had one daughter by his previous wife (Catherine Lafrenière), but Marie (1630-1709) was already 33 at the time of her father’s remarriage. She was married and living with her husband’s family.

A New Life in the New World

Anne and Adrien made a home on l’Île d’Orléan. Adrien worked as a saddler and farmer. In 1667, Adrien owned 5 animals and 12 acres of land. By then he was declared guardian of the fruits produced on the estate of the late Thomas Douaire (I’m uncertain as to the exact meaning of “Gardiataire” but he seemed to be managing these fruits for the Douaire widow). By 1681, their lands had diminished to 6 acres. The reason for this is unclear.

Adrien died before 1684, leaving Anne a widow once more. She did not marry a third time.

I have found little information about Anne’s life between her husband’s death and her own, a period which spanned 34 years. At least one source suggests that she worked as a midwife.

Anne died in 1718. She was 101 years old, which is incredible even by our standards. She was buried on October 1st of that year at Saint-Pierre, Île d’Orléan.

My link to Anne Lemaître

  1. Anne Lemaître (1617-1718) m. Louis Roy (1610-1661)
  2. Nicholas LeRoy (1639-1690) m. Jeanne Lelièvre (1640-1728)
  3. Jean LeRoy (1669- ?) m. Catherine Nadeau (1676-1746)
  4. Geneviève Roy (1701- ?) m. Ignace Ruel (1698-1770)
  5. Ignace Ruel (1723-1805) m. Elisabeth Paquet (1719- ?)
  6. Jean-Baptiste Ruel (1763- ?) m. Marie-Anne Asselin (1754- ?)
  7. Charles Ruel (1813- ?) m. Marguerite Royer (1815- ?)
  8. Cédulie Ruel (1841- ?) m. François Picard (1835- ?)
  9. Samuel Picard (1869- ?) m. Josephine Kelly (1873- ?)
  10. Joseph Picard (1895-1969) m. Marie-Anne Ruel (1906-1936)

(note: the most recent three generations have been omitted for the sake of privacy.)

Nicholas LeRoy (1639-1690) Friday, May 14 2010 

Life in France

Nicholas was born on April 26th 1639 in Dieppe, France. He is the son of Louis LeRoy (d. 1663) and Anne LeMaître (1617-1718). He was baptized on May 25th of the same year and his godparents were Jacques Baudouy and Françoise Priaux. Little else is known about his childhood.

In 1658, he married Jeanne Lelièvre (1640-1728), the daughter of Guillaume Lelièvre and Judith Riquier. They were both rather young, 19 and 18 respectively. Exactly 9 months later, their first son, Louis, was born.

The small family spent nearly 3 years in Dieppe.

Passage to New France

It is not clear why the LeRoy family decided to leave France. Jeanne’s father, Guillaume, moved to the New World around 1656 after he was widowed. He must have spoken well of his new life. It is also likely that the death of Nicholas’ father affected his decision. He now had to support his mother in addition to his young family.

Whatever the reason, in June of 1661, Nicholas left France with his wife and his widowed mother. They also brought their 3 year old son, Louis. They took a ship named “Le Jardin de Hollande” from Dieppe under the command of Capitain Laurent Poulet. The voyage was paid for by Jean Gloria. Nicholas made a promise to repay the cost 8 days after his arrival in New France; he pledged himself and his belongings to this agreement.

They arrived two months later on August 22nd 1661 and reunited with Guillaume Lelièvre (who had since remarried with Marguerite Meillet).

Given that their second son was born in New France in 1661, Jeanne would probably have been pregnant during the voyage.

Life in New France

In 1663,  Nicholas received land from Marie-Guillemette Hébert (the widow of Guillaume Couillard) on the seigneurie of Beaupré. He owned 7 acres of land and 4 animals; he hired Jean Brière, a baker, as a servant.

Nicholas and Jeanne had 11 children together: Louis (1658-1713), Nicholas (1661-1727), Noël (1663-1731), Marie-Jeanne (1664-1751), Guillaume (1665-1743), Anne (1668-1670), Jean (1669- 1670), Élisabeth (1671- ?), Jean (1674- ?), Jean-Baptiste (1678-1743) and Étienne (1690- ?).

In the summer of 1669 a single, 29-year-old man by the name of Jacques Nourry raped 5-year-old Marie. On the 12th of August, Nourry was condemned to be hanged and his head was set on a pike as a warning  to those “who would avoid marriage”. Nourry’s lands were confiscated and Marie was given 300 livres in reparation. Marie had a relatively normal life after that initial trauma. She married twice, first to Jean Gaudreau (with whom she had 3 children) and second to Jean Fournier (with whom she had 10 children).

In 1670, tragedy struck again. A fire in their home claimed the lives of 2-year-old Anne and 1-year-old Jean.

By 1681, Nicholas had moved to the seigneurie de la Durantaye; one might guess that he wanted to distance himself from the tragedies that occured in his previous home. He owned 20 acres and 8 animals. Guillaume, Elisabeth, Jean (my ancestor) and Jean-Baptiste still lived with him. His two eldest sons owned land alongside his.

Nicholas died between 1690 and 1691. The cause of his death is unknown. His wife soon remarried and lived 38 more years.

Origin of the Name

The name LeRoy, itself has an interesting history. The name, originally, was given to bailiffs and other men who represented the king. It referred to their dependence on the king.

My link to Nicholas LeRoy

  1. Nicholas LeRoy (1639-1690) m. Jeanne Lelièvre (1640-1728)
  2. Jean LeRoy (1669- ?) m. Catherine Nadeau (1676-1746)
  3. Geneviève Roy (1701- ?) m. Ignace Ruel (1698-1770)
  4. Ignace Ruel (1723-1805) m. Elisabeth Paquet (1719- ?)
  5. Jean-Baptiste Ruel (1763- ?) m. Marie-Anne Asselin (1754- ?)
  6. Charles Ruel (1813- ?) m. Marguerite Royer (1815- ?)
  7. Cédulie Ruel (1841- ?) m. François Picard (1835- ?)
  8. Samuel Picard (1869- ?) m. Josephine Kelly (1873- ?)
  9. Joseph Picard (1895-1969) m. Marie-Anne Ruel (1906-1936)

(note: the most recent three generations have been omitted for the sake of privacy.)

Jean Ricard (1647-1726) Monday, Jan 18 2010 

Early Life

Jean Ricard (born Riquart) was born in France in 1647. Little is known about his early life, including who his parents were and where he was born.

All that is known for sure is that he left France when he was 17 to settle in New France.

The Crossing to New France

Jean Ricard crossed the Atlantic aboard a ship called “Le Noir d’Hollande”. The ship left the port of La Rochelle which suggests (though it does not prove) that he lived in the region. The ship was a fishing vessel (commanded by Pierre Fillye) but in order to make a better return on their investment, they also carried passengers to New France. On this trip, the ship carried 51 passengers, including one fille du roy (Jeanne Benart). You can find a scan of the passenger list here and more about the ship here.

The trip started on the 24th of march 1664 and lasted 61 days. They finally arrived in Quebec on May 24th 1664.

Life in New France

Jean was one of 300 men sent by the king of France to live in New France and develop the country. 150 of these colonists settled in Quebec, 50 in Montreal, 75 in Trois-Rivières and 25 in Cap-de-la-Madeleine. Jean was probably part of one of the later two groups.

Upon his arrival, Jean was hired as a servant by Michel Gamelin, a very influential doctor and business owner. Jean must have been hired almost immediately as he had already been working for him for a while by September 10th 1664. During the 1667 census, he was still working for Michel Gamelin and living in Cap-de-la-Madeleine.

In 1667 Michel Gamelin was given the seigneurie of Sainte-Anne by the governor of Trois-Rivières who just happened to be his brother-in-law. The seigneurie included Saint-Ignace Island and Sainte-Marguerite Island. With the help of his employees, including Jean, he established a trading post on the tip of Saint-Ignace Island. He then started distributing the lands under his control to be cleared and worked. Jean received his first lands (2 acres by 2 acres) in the south part of Saint-Ignace Island on March 11th 1667. Three other colonists also received lands: Jean Boullar, Jean Bonneau, Jean Moufflet. But Jean Ricard was the only one of the four to stay in the area. For this reason, the Ricard family is known as the eldest family of the Sainte-Anne-de-Peraude parish and Jean as the first colonist.

There is a map of the seigneurie here from 1667-1670; Jean’s first lands are identified on the south-east corner of Saint-Ignace. This suggests that by 1670 he had not yet expanded his holdings. But by 1681 he owns 6 acres of land in Sainte-Anne and 3 cattle. The details of how obtained this land are a bit fuzzy. His profession is listed as a baker.

More details about the lives of the early settlers of Sainte-Anne can be found in a book by Raymond Douville, available online and entitled Les premiers seigneurs et colons de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, 1667-1681.

The Ricard Legacy

He married Madeleine Pineau between 1675 and 1680. Though the marriage act does not survive, the birth dates of their children (2 of which are before 1680) suggests that they were married closer to 1675. They had ten children together: Jean [Baptiste] (1676- ), Charles-Simon (1679-1750), Catherine (1681- ), Marie-Renée (1686- ), Marie-Anne (1689-1692), Thomas (1691- ), Marguerite Josèphe (1693-1759), Angélique (1697- ), François (1699- ) and Marie-Anne (1702- ). Two of his sons, Jean and Charles-Simon, briefly became coureurs des bois (fur traders) for the Compagnie de la Colonie. All his daughters married colonists and his sons helped him work the land.

On the 21st of July 1723, Jean passed his land and work to his youngest son, François who still lived with him and his wife. Jean died three years later on the 8th of July 1726 in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade and was buried the next day in the parish cemetery. The cause of death is not indicated, but at 79 years old, it is fair to assume that simple old age was the cause.

More than two hundred years later, members of the Ricard family still lived in Sainte-Anne. On May 24 1942, the parishioners of Sainte-Anne commemorated Jean as their first pioneer.

My link to Jean Ricard

Jean Ricard is the eldest relative I could find that shares the Ricard last name with me.

  1. Jean Ricard (1647-1726) m. Madeleine Pineau (1660-1734)
  2. Charles-Simon Ricard (1679-1750) m. Marguerite Richer (1691-1761)
  3. Michel Ricard (1727-1795) m. Françoise Boisvert (1732-1803)
  4. François Ricard (1764-1831) m. Marie Ursule Baril dite Ducheny (1761-1838)
  5. André Ricard (1803-1876) m. Euphrosine Vaillancourt (1798- ?)
  6. Uldéric-Israel Ricard (1834-1915) m. Delphine Héroux (1836- ?)
  7. Gédéon Ricard (1858-1926) m. Marie Grenier (1860-1900)
  8. Ulric Ricard (1896-1988) m. Maria Chainé (1896-1947)

(note: the most recent three generations have been omitted for the sake of privacy.)

Marie Rollet (1580-1649) Wednesday, Aug 27 2008 

Life in France

Marie Rollet was born in 1580 in Paris. Little is known about her parents, including their names, or about her life before marriage. We do know that she had at least one elder brother, Claude Rollet (1578-1643) who would accompany her to the New World. She was educated, at least to the extent that she could read and write and later help run her husband’s business.

She married Louis Hébert in July 1602 at St. Martin’s Parish in Paris. Though Louis’ father had been a wealthy man once and a familiar presence at the court of Catherine de Medici, he had succumed to debts and left Louis and his new family with little. Louis purchased a decrepid house at Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Rue de la Petite-Seine where they stayed.

They had three children: Anne (1602-1619), Marie-Guillemette (1608-1684) and Guillaume (1614-1639). The six years between each of the births was no doubt due to her husband’s passion for the New World. Louis travelled to New France three times between 1606 and 1617. During the first two trips, Marie remained in Paris, cared for their children and ran her husband’s apothecary shop. Louis was to send for his family when he was ready but both trips ended in failure.

In 1617, however, Louis signed a contract with the Canada Company to become the apothecary of Québec. This time, rather than leaving alone, Louis sold their house in Paris and brought Marie, their children and her brother Claude with him to the New World. They sailed from France on April 11th, 1617 on the St. Étienne under the command of Captain Normand Morin. The trip was unpleasant and unusually long but they finally arrived in Québec on July 15th of the same year.

Life in New France

They were given 10 acres of land near the modern day cathedral in Québec city. There they built a stone house (the second in the colony) filled with furniture from Paris and blessed by Père (Le) Caron. They began to work the land with what crude tools they had (there would be no plow in New France until after Louis’ death) while her husband plied his trade.

Not long after their arrival, on November 23rd 1617, their eldest daughter Anne married Normand Étienne Jonquest (1590-1619). Hers was the first French marriage, performed by a priest (Père Joseph Caron again) in New France. She was also only 15 years old and died less than two years later in childbirth. Her husband succumbed to an illness shortly thereafter.

Much is made of Louis being the first farmer in New France but Marie was also a pioneer. She was not only the first European woman to live in New France but was also the first school teacher in Canada. She helped her husband farm their land and treat the sick as one might expect. But she also taught her own children and the young Native Americans how to read and write and instructed them in the Christian faith. Her home became a meeting place for colonists and natives alike (Samuel de Champlain was also a frequent visitor to the household).

Like Louis, Marie aided and befriended the natives, doing much to solidify relations between the French and the local tribes.

Her second daughter was married on the 26th of August 1621 to Guillaume Couillard and would give Marie ten grandchildren. Of these, her eldest grandson Louis Couillard (1629-1678) would eventually follow his father as Seigneur de l’Espinay.

Life after Louis

Louis died of a fatal slip on the ice in 1627. Now a widow, Marie continued to live in the colony as she had for now ten years. Two years after Louis’ death, on the 16th of May 1629, she remarried to Guillaume Hubou, a man 20 to 30 years her junior (accounts of his birth year vary wildly). He was Norman by descent and by all accounts a good man. After their marriage they lived together in Québec, presumably remaining in Marie’s house. As Marie was nearing 50 and well past her childbearing years, they had no children.

The same year she remarried, the British under the command of the Kirke brothers, forced Québec’s surrender. Although she was given the choice to return to France as were all the other colonists, Marie chose to remain in her new home. Hers was one of a handful of families to make this choice. As promised, the British allowed them to continue to work their land and in 1632, French rule was restored in New France.

After the British left, Marie housed orphans and young Amerindian girls being taught by the Jesuits. She became the godmother of many converted natives, which perhaps suggests both her role in their education and her continuing friendship with the Native Americans.

Her only son, Guillaume Hébert, was married to Hélène Desportes on October 1st 1634. They would have three children, including one son, but the Hébert name would die with Marie’s great-grandson, Joseph. Guillaume died five years later, the 23rd of september 1639. Marie would thus outlive a husband and two children.

In the 2nd of December 1635, her second husband Guillaume was granted lands by Sieur François Derré de Gand in Sainte-Geneviève, Québec. And two years later, on October 22nd 1637, she and her husband witnessed the marriage of Marguerite Couillard and Sieur Jean Nicolet de Belleborne. Marguerite was her granddaughter by her second daughter, Marie-Guillemette.

Marie died on the 27th of May 1649 at the age of 69 having spent more than 30 years in New France. Her second husband, Guillaume survived her by 4 years (he was burried the 18th of May 1653).

Requests: My research has turned up very little about Guillaume Hubou, Marie’s second husband. I could not even find agreement about his date of birth. Any information about him and his relationship with Marie would be apreciated.

My link to Marie Rollet:

1. Louis Hébert (1575-1627) m. Marie Rollet (1580-1649)

2. Marie-Guillemette Hébert (1606-1684) m. Guillaume Couillard (1591-1663)

3. Louis Couillard (1629-1678 ) m. Geneviève Després (1634-1706)

4. Jacques Couillard (1665-1737) m. Elizabeth Lemieux (1739- )

5. Marthe Couillard (1698- ) m. Pierre Bélanger (1692- )

6. Pierre Bélanger (1717-1750) m. Elisabeth Deneau

7. Louise Bélanger (1763-1828) m. François Picard (1768-1831)

8. Jean-Baptiste Picard m. Emerence Morin

9. François Picard (1835-?) m. Cédulie Ruel (1841-?)

10. Samuel Picard (1869-?) m. Josephine Kelly (1873-?)

11. Joseph Picard (1895-1969) m. Marie-Anne Ruel (1906-1936)

(note: the most recent three generations have been omitted for the sake of privacy.)

Louis Hébert (1575-1627) Sunday, Jul 6 2008 

Early Life

Louis Hébert was born around 1575 at 129 Saint-Honoré Street in Paris to Nicolas Hébert and Jacqueline Pajot. He was the third of four siblings: Charlotte (1564- ), Jacques (1568- ) and Marie (1577- ).

Nicolas was an apothecary at the court of Catherine de Medici, which was a rather well respected profession as I understand it; he also worked as a grocer. His wife Jacqueline was the daughter of Simon Pajot (1513-1563) and Jeanne Guerineau (1520-1572) and was twice widowed before they were married in 1564. She had at least one child from her previous marriages.

Louis grew up in one of the three properties owned by his father, the Mortier d’or at 129 Saint-Honoré Street (although Nicolas would later sell much of his property due to his financial difficulties and those of his new wife’s family). His mother died in 1580 when he was only four years old; his elder sister, Charlotte and later his step-mother, Marie Auvry raised him thereafter. After his father was sent to prison for failure to pay his debts, Louis and his sister Marie stayed with the Maheuts, on the Quai de la Megisserie. He was a studious child and eventually obtained his apothecary’s diploma as his father had. He began working in his chosen profession as early as 1600, at the age of 25.

Louis married Marie Rollet in 1602 in Paris. They had three children: Anne (1602-1619), Marie-Guillemette (1608-1684) and Guillaume (1614-1639). He purchased a rather decrepid house at Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Rue de la Petite-Seine where they stayed.

Though Louis was by all accounts a good apothecary, he wasn’t fond of city life. He also had a great interest in herbs. He dreamed of a garden, perhaps even a farm far from Paris. He heard of New France from his uncle and was instantly enchanted. He left for the New World almost immediately.

Louis in the New World

Louis made three trips to New France between 1606 and 1617.

He sailed to Port-Royal on the 13th of May 1606 aboard the Jonas with is uncle, the baron of Poutrincourt and his cousin, Charles de Biencourt de Saint-Juste, leaving his wife and children behind in Paris. One account claims that he left them in the care of his father, but as Nicolas died six years earlier, this is unlikely. He returned home eighteen months later because funds were withdrawn for the expedition.

He stayed in Paris for three years after this first, failed trip. He left from Dieppe in Normandy on the 26th of January 1611; the trip took 4 months. He returned to Port-Royal that summer where he hoped to settle. During his time there, he was in charge of food and medication for the struggling colony. He treated sick colonists and natives alike. In the summer of 1613, he and his companions were taken prisoner by the British. In November of the same year Samuel Argall burned the settlement at Port Royal to the ground, and Louis was forced once more to return to Paris.

In 1617, the Canada Company offered Louis a post as the apothecary of Québec. He sold his house and prepared to leave France with his family and brother-in-law Claude. But the company that employed him wasn’t true to its word. By the time he signed the contract, his salary had been reduced by half and he was expected to treat patients for free. Moreover, while the Canada Company permitted him to work the land granted to him he was not allowed to draw any profit from it for two years. During this time the land would remain the property of the company. Even after these two years were up, he would only be allowed to sell his produce to the company. Nor was he permitted to trade with the natives.

I could imagine that Louis was not pleased with this new agreement. But he had already sold all his property and had no choice but to accept. The contract was signed on March 6th 1617 and sailed April 11th on the St Étienne under the command of Captain Normand Morin. They arrived in Québec on July 15th.

Louis Contract with the company

Engagement de Louis Hébert et sa famille à la Compagnie de Canada.

“J’ay, Louis Hébert de Paris recognois et confesse m’estre loué par acte à la Compagnie de Canada pour habiter avec ma famille deux filles et un fils, avec un homme que je mène avec moy nommé Claude Rolet audit pays de Canada et pendan les deux première années travailler à tout ce que me commanderont ceux qui auront charge de ladite Compagnie à Québec, pour le service d’icelle et, lors qu’il ne s’offrira affaire meritant s’y occuper, lesdits commis de Quebec me donneront licence de deffricher, labourer et ameliorer les terres dudit pays, et le provenu de mesdits labeurs et de mes gens, les mettre ès mains de la dite compagnie pendant les deux années, laquelle en pourront disposer comme de chose à elle propre, moyennant qu’elle s’est promise me payer pour tous mes gens et moy, par chacune desdites, la somme de trois cens livres tournois.

Et lesdites deux années passès, ne sera ladite compagnie tenue nourrir ny defraier d’aucune chose moy ny à mes gens et ny donner aucuns loyers, moyennant aussi qu’elle me permet faire tels labeurs qu’aviseray bien estre, soit estre, soit petum, blé d’Inde, jardinage et autre agriculture, dont les provenus seront à ma disposition pour les vendre à la dite compagnie par delà, au mesme prix que telle marchandise pourroit valoir deçà en France, et accorde que je pourray, à peine de confiscation et perte de mes loyers susdits, de traicter ny faire traiter par moy ny par mes gens aucune chose avec les Sauvages ny autres.

Et pour subnenir a mes necessitez, la dite compagnie m’a baillé et advancé la somme de six-vingts escus vallant trois livres tournois dont ladite compagnie court le risque sur le navire de Saint Estienne allant et venant, scavoir trois cents livres que luy avons fourny d’advance, et soixante livres tournois pour le riaque, dont je les quite. En outre Promets assister de tout mon pouvoir des malades qui seront de par delà, gratis, sans salaire.

Faict à Honfleur, le 6 mars 1617.

Signé: Thomas Porée, Louys Hébert, Vermule, Boyer

Life in Québec

Not long after their arrival, on November 23rd 1617, Louis’ eldest daughter, Anne married Normand Étienne Jonquest. Hers was the first French marriage in New France. Unfortunately she died shortly thereafter in childbirth.

After his contract with the Canada Company ended in 1620, Louis was given administrative and judicial powers in the colony and Champlain named him King’s Attorney. On February 4th 1623 he was given possession of the lands he had been working until that day (the fief of Sault au Matelot, the first seigneurie in Canada). On February 28th 1626 he was granted land along the St. Charles River and the title of seigneur of L’Espernay.

In 1626, Louis had a serious fall on a patch of ice and was bedridden for a year. He died on the 23rd of January 1627. (I have come across at least one account of Louis being crushed to death by a tree but while less funny, the ice story seems to be more authoritative). The funeral was conducted by the Recollets of Québec and he was buried in the cemetery of the Saint Charles monastery.

Today Louis Hébert is known as the first farmer of New France. He was also the first Canadian apothecary treating colonists and natives alike. You can find a statue of him and his family in Québec city.

The Héberts currently in Québec are not descendant from Louis. Louis’ son, Guillaume had one son, Joseph. Joseph in turn had only one son who died at a young age, shortly after he was captured, tortured and killed by Iroquois.

My link to Louis Hébert:

1. Louis Hébert (1575-1627) m. Marie Rollet (1580-1649)

2. Marie-Guillemette Hébert (1606-1684) m. Guillaume Couillard (1591-1663)

3. Louis Couillard (1629-1678 ) m. Geneviève Després (1634-1706)

4. Jacques Couillard (1665-1737) m. Elizabeth Lemieux (1739- )

5. Marthe Couillard (1698- ) m. Pierre Bélanger (1692- )

6. Pierre Bélanger (1717-1750) m. Elisabeth Deneau

7. Louise Bélanger (1763-1828) m. François Picard (1768-1831)

8. Jean-Baptiste Picard m. Emerence Morin

9. François Picard (1835-?) m. Cédulie Ruel (1841-?)

10. Samuel Picard (1869-?) m. Josephine Kelly (1873-?)

11. Joseph Picard (1895-1969) m. Marie-Anne Ruel (1906-1936)

(note: the most recent three generations have been omitted for the sake of privacy.)

Happy birthday Québec, and welcome to my new blog Thursday, Jul 3 2008 

Today Québec city is 400 years old.

395 years ago, the first of my Canadian ancestors began a new life in this new world.

I have been researching my genealogy and the histories of these mysterious long-dead relatives for some time now. This anniversary seemed the perfect opportunity to begin to share what I have found. While general history will most certainly intrude, this blog is not a history of Québec but rather of people who lived in it in the far are more recent past. This is an attempt to make history more personal and show how we are tied to it. Perhaps, then, it will only be of interest to me but I do hope that others find value in it.

My first post shall be about Louis Hébert, famous for being the first habitant.