Zacharie Cloutier and Xainte Dupont


This is the translation of a plaque erected in Beauport, Quebec commemorating the arrival in New France of Cloutier and Dupont.  The plaque can be seen here.

Zacharie Cloutier and his wife Xainte, their son, also called Zacharie (he’s our Hogue ancestor), and their daughter Anne (our Girardin ancestor) were part of the same Perche migration that had brought Jean Guyon to Beauport. Zacharie was born around 1590 and Xainte around 1595.  They were married  July 18, 1616 at Église Saint-Jean in Mortagne-au-Perche, France.  Xainte was a widow.

Zacharie Cloutier was a master carpenter from Mortagne, France.  As mentioned before, skilled tradesmen were the type of colonists that Giffard was looking for.  Zacharie and his son came to Quebec the same time as Guyon, but Xainte and the other four children many not have arrived until a year or two later.

In volume 5, page 55 of Our French Canadian Ancestors by Thomas John Laforest  (Palm Harbour, Fla. : LISI Press, c1983) it states:

“By 22 July 1634, master-carpenter Zacharie Cloutier and master-mason Jean Guyon were hard at work on construction of a manor house for their lord as well as the parish church and Fort Saint-Louis in Quebec.”

This Fort Saint-Louis was the third fort built by the French at this important location, on top of a cliff overlooking the lower part of Quebec City. You can read more about the fort at The Canadian Encyclopedia.

In February of 1637 Cloutier took possession of the land grant given him by Giffard and called it La Clousterie. Benoît Grenier of the History department, Université de Sherbrooke, in an online article at the Encyclopedia of French Cultural Heritage in North America about Beauport, explains that both Cloutier and Guyon received “rear fiefs” which are “a sort of fiefdom-within-a-fiefdom; its owner is a seigneurial lord, but ranks below the owner of the seigneurial fiefdom, to whom he owes fealty and homage.”


The above illustration from the same article shows Guyon’s land as Arrière-Fief du Buisson and Cloutier’s land as Arrière-Fief  La Clousterie.

Cloutier also had land in Château-Richer, where he and his wife eventually moved, and where they were both buried, Zacharie in 1677 and Xainte in 1680.

And here are two items of note.

  1. Cloutier apparently could not write, but he signed legal papers with a mark representing an ax, indicating his trade!
  2. The Jesuit Relations records that  in May of 1646, Zacharie and Guyon were chosen to head the procession for  the Feast of Corpus Christi, in honour of their position as senior tradesmen.

Here’s our Hogue lineage from Cloutier to Pépère:

Zacharie CLOUTIER (abt 1590-1677) + Xainte DUPONT (abt 1595-1680)
Zacharie CLOUTIER (1617-1708) + Marie Madeleine EMARD/AYMART (1626-1708)
Barbe CLOUTIER (1650-1711) + Charles BELANGER (1640-1692)
Francois BELANGER (bef 1666-1721) + Catherine VOYER (bef 1673-?)
Francois BELANGER (abt 1708-1774) + Marie Catherine NADON dit LETOURNEAU (1712-1779)
Marie-Josephe BELANGER (1740-1775) + Joseph Amable HOGUE (1734-?)
Louis Amable HOGUE (1769-?) + Marie Anne LABELLE (1776-?)
Louis Amable HOGUE (1796-1858) + Marguerite TAYLOR (1805-1885)
Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924) + Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)

And Cloutier to Mémère:

Zacharie CLOUTIER (abt 1590-1677) + Xainte DUPONT (abt 1595-1680)
Anne CLOUTIER (1626- 1648) + Robert DROUIN (1607-1685)
Jeanne DROUIN (1646-1732) + Pierre MAHEU (1630-1717)
Marie MAHEU (1663-1747) + Charles LETARTE (abt 1657-1714)
Augustin LETARTE (1693-?) + Marie Anne RIOPEL (1699-1735)
Nicolas LETARTE (1722?-) + Marie Angelique TARDIF (1723-1764)
Joseph LETARTE (1761-?) + Marie Elisabeth PAQUET (1750-1826)
Marie Amable LETARTE (1784-?) + Pierre DUPRE (1773-1858)
Marie Amable DUPRE (1801?-) + Jean Baptiste BONIN (Mar 1799-?)
Marie BONIN (1827-?) + Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896) + Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

The 1921 Census of Canada

There is a lot of excitement in the Canadian genealogy community right now, as Ancestry is about to release an index to the 1921 Census of Canada.  The digitized images have been available since summer, but you had to:

a)     have some idea of where your ancestors were living in 1921

b)     find out what district, sub-district that place was in at that time

c)     browse through the images, page by page, and decipher (sometimes illegible) handwriting to find the people you are looking for.

If you’re an addict, the above process is actually considered fun!

Luckily I knew that the Hogues and Girardins were still living in La Salle, Manitoba in 1921, so the process was not too time-consuming.

Hogue Thomas 1921 Census

The above snip (click to enlarge) shows Thomas Hogue and Emma (Girardin) Hogue with sons Joseph, Thomas (my Dad), Raymond, Aime, daughter Irene, son John, and daughter Louise.

Hogue Thomas Sr. 1921 Census

Next I found my great grandparents Thomas Hogue (way too many Thomases in my family!) and Philomene (McMillan) Hogue.  They were living outside La Salle with their son Louis and his family. Now, here’s an instance that shows census records can be wrong. Thomas claims his father was born in Quebec which is true, and his mother was born in Quebec, which is not.  His mother was Margaret Taylor and she was born in Manitoba at York Factory. Margaret was the first of my Métis ancestors that I discovered, and she will feature in many more posts.

Philomene claims her father was born in Scotland.  He wasn’t, he was born near Edmonton, but one of her grandfathers was born in Scotland. Philomene also claims her mother was born in France.  She wasn’t.  Her mother was also Métis, and born either in Rainy Lake near present day Fort Frances, Ontario or in Fort Alexander, Manitoba.

Why the discrepancies?  We can’t know for sure.  Perhaps it was a case of miscommunication between the enumerator and whoever in the household provided the information.  Perhaps whoever gave those answers really didn’t know the truth. It is also possible that at that particular time one didn’t proclaim Métis roots.

Girardin Napoleon 1921 Census

Now this last snip of a census record is very puzzling.  It shows a Napoleon Girardin (my great-grandfather), who is a 68 year-old widower and “chef” or head of the household, living in La Salle. Then it shows two of his sons, Telesphore and Florent.  Finally it shows a Girardin (father) as a 62 year-old widower who is the father of the head of the household!  Okay, we know for certain that can’t be right.  My best guess is that there were only 3 men in that household. Napoleon’s father died in 1878.  Napoleon had a son called Napoleon but he was married by then, and found elsewhere in the census.

As researchers learn, census records don’t always tell the truth!


Well, first thing this morning I was checking out the just-released index on and solved the problem of  the two Girardins.  I mentioned before that the census images can be hard to decipher.  That image was a great example.  Ancestry indexers interpret the last line as Girardin, Edward and have him as a “frère” or brother of Napoleon Girardin  That would work with the other information I have.  Napoleon did have a brother, Joseph Edouard, born 17 Jul 1858 in Quebec, who was separated from his wife at this time and could have been living in this household.

And as researchers learn, our information is always subject to further analysis!

Jean Guyon and Mathurine Robin

In France, about 100 miles west of Paris, is an area known as Perche which use to be part of Normandy. Starting in 1634 a large number of people immigrated to New France from this area, including many of our ancestors. So many colonists came from there that the village of Tourouvre has a Museum of French Emigration to Canada.

Also in Tourouvre  is a plaque in the Église Saint-Aubin that lists the Canadian emigrants who were baptised there.  Our Hogue ancestor, Jean Guyon, is on that list.  You can see a picture of the plaque here.

Jean  was baptized on September 18, 1592 and he married Mathurine Robin on June 2, 1615 in Église Saint-Jean-et-Saint-Malo de Mortagne. Mathurine’s date of birth is not known for certain. They had eight children in France, including our ancestor Marie who was baptized March 18, 1624, and two more children in Quebec

Guyon was a master mason. The stairs leading up to the bell tower of Église Saint-Aubin  were built by Jean in 1615, and are still standing! If you go to this Préfen webpage you can see a picture of the stairs and his signature!

So what brought Jean, Mathurine and their children to New France? You may remember that the seigneurial system of New France involved land grants to seigneurs, who then had habitants work their land.  The Company of One Hundred Associates in France was attempting to colonize this new land, and in 1634, Robert Giffard de Moncel, a surgeon from the Perche area became the very first person granted a seigneury by The Company.

Giffard, as a seigneur, engaged skilled labourers to build his settlement at Beauport, near Quebec City. A mason like Guyon was exactly the type of person he was looking for!  In return for three years of work, Guyon was promised 1000 arpents of land with hunting and fishing rights. In 1634 Guyon arrived in Quebec.  It is not certain whether his wife and children came with him at that time, or made the trip later.

Why did our ancestors leave France to come to a harsh, unknown land?  For most of them it was undoubtedly seen as a chance for a better life, which is ironic as so many of us now dream of winning the lottery and buying a villa in France!  Jean was 42 years old when he left to come to New France.  He was a skilled, literate, property owner with a family.  He and Mathurine must have had an adventurous spirit that was willing to take on that possibly treacherous ocean voyage and an unknown future.

In 1637, having fulfilled his duty to Seigneur Gifford, Guyon was given a land grant by the Rivière du Buisson, and then was known as Sieur du Buisson. Mathurin died in 1662 and Jean in 1663.

One of Jean and Mathurine’s granddaughters (not one of our direct ancestors) married Antoine de Lamothe Cadillac, considered to be the founder of Detroit.

Here’s our descent from Jean and Mathurine to my Pépère:

Jean GUYON (1592-1663) + Marie Mathurine ROBIN (?-16 Apr 1662)
Marie GUYON DION (1624-1696) + Francois BELANGER (abt 1616-abt1685)
Charles BELANGER (1640-1692) + Barbe CLOUTIER (1650-1711)
Francois BELANGER (bef 1666-1721) + Catherine VOYER (bef 1673-?)
Francois BELANGER (abt 1708-1774) + Marie Catherine NADON LETOURNEAU (1712-1779)
Marie-Josephe BELANGER (1740-1775) + Joseph Amable HOGUE (1734-?)
Louis Amable HOGUE (1769-?) + Marie Anne LABELLE (1776-?)
Louis Amable HOGUE (1796-1858) + Marguerite TAYLOR (1805-1885)
Thomas HOGUE (1840 1924) + Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)

About those famous “cousins”

Premier colonsLés premiers Colons de Québec

Christian Lemire 2007, © Ministère de la Culture et des Communications

In Quebec City there is a monument to Louis Hébert with a plaque that commemorates “Lés premiers Colons de Québec”. Fifteen of our ancestors have their names on that plaque, including Letardif, Martin and Langlois, about whom I’ve already written.  The next several blog posts will be about these men and women. Two of particular note are Zacharie Cloutier (an ancestor on both the Hogue and Girardin lines) and Jean Guyon (a Hogue ancestor)

The Research Programme in Historical Demography (PRDH) at the University of Montreal has done extensive work using church and civil records, to reconstruct the population of New France from the earliest colonization to 1800. Their records indicate that Cloutier and Guyon had the largest number of married descendants before 1800; 10,850 for Cloutier and 9,674 for Guyon.

Think about that for a moment.  Think about what it means when a very small, culturally cohesive population, in a small geographic area, has large families.  It is no wonder that I am among a tremendously large group of people who can claim Cloutier or Guyon as ancestors, including Celine Dion, Madonna, Hillary Clinton and Jack Kerouac.  Read about these famous “cousins” here.

Now as exciting as that may sound, it is NOT at all unusual.  It’s simply mathematical! If you can trace your ancestry back to early settlers as we do, you are going to find that you are related to almost everyone!  Noted genealogist Dick Eastman explains this very well in his blog post We Are All Related! So Get Over It.

Abraham Martin dit l’Écossais

Abraham Martin from Don ancestry tree Avore21411

Monument to Abraham Martin on the Plains of Abraham














Picture courtesy of Don from his ancestry tree Avore21411


Abraham Martin dit l’Écossais was another 9th great-grandfather in the Girardin line, and one of my earliest ancestors to come to New France.  There is no definitive explanation of his nickname of “the Scot”. It may indicate the street he lived on in Dieppe, Normandy, France.  By the way, “dit names” or nicknames are a common occurrence in the population of New France. PRDH explains it this way:

“…the use of nicknames, often referred to as “dit names”, because they are introduced in French by the word “dit” meaning “said”,  which abound in the nominative history of old Quebec. They have many origins: military nickname, sobriquet related to a physical characteristic, immigrant’s place of origin, name of fief for nobles, mother’s family name, father’s first name, and so on. Some go back to the ancestor, while others are introduced by descendants; some are transmitted, others not; some belong to an entire family line, while others concern only a single branch.”

He is believed to have been born about 1589 in Normandy, France. He and his wife, Marguerite Langlois, arrived in 1620, and became one of the first families to settle near Quebec City.  Martin was a river pilot and high seas fisherman. Champlain was the godfather of their daughter Helene. Helene would later marry Medard Chouart Desgroseilliers, the famous Canadian explorer who, with Radisson, was responsible for convincing King Charles II of England to grant a charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670.

Back in 1629 England and France were still fighting for control of the North American lands. In that year the Kirke brothers captured Quebec for England.  Champlain, Letardif, Martin and Langlois sailed to France, returning to Quebec in 1633 when Quebec was once again under French control. PRDH has 9 children recorded for Abraham and Marguerite, but there is a gap between 1627 and 1635.  Fichier Origine  indicates that they also had a child in 1616 in France before they arrived on our shores, and then another in 1630 when they were back in France.

We descend from their daughter Anne. 

Martin Anne baptism 1645

Baptismal record from Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967, Québec, Notre-Dame (baptêmes 1621-1679) image 10 of 93, accessed on Oct. 15, 2013 at

Abraham “The Scot” MARTIN DIT LESCOSSOIS (abt 1589-1664) + Marguerite LANGLOIS (?- 1665)
Anne MARTIN (1645-1717) + Jacques RATE (1630-1699)
Genevieve RATE (1678-1732) + Jean SICARD CARUFEL 1664-1750)
Louis SICARD CARUFEL DERIVE (1705-1783) + Marie Catherine TROTTIER DESRUISSEAUX POMBERT (1708-1788)
Genevieve SICARD DE RIVE (1728-1798) + Pierre LESIEUR (1700-1761)
Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841) + Joseph LESIEUR DIT LAPIERRE (1754-1813)
Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)  +Charles GIRARDIN (1773- 1853)
Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878) + Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929) + Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

The famous Plains of Abraham, site of the battle between Montcalm and Wolfe, was adjacent to the land Martin owned, and was supposedly named after him. Find out more here .

The Dictionary of Canadian Biography’s entry for him is here.  Don’t be confused by the mention of another Anne Martin.  She is not our ancestor, just someone with the same name.  Abraham Martin is one of those people for whom you may come across conflicting information on various websites.  Some claim he was Scottish, some claim Marguerite Langlois was Métis, not French.  I’m comfortable with the sources I’ve listed.

Facts and sources

I thought, before I post any more information, I should talk about my sources.  Those of us addicted to genealogy know there are an extremely large number of family trees floating around cyberspace with few, if any, sources cited.  The internet, as well as being an amazing source of information, can be a source of misinformation that unfortunately can live forever.

Having retired from a career as a school librarian, I’m picky about things like sources, citations and copyright!  While I will not document every fact on this blog in a strictly scholarly manner, I will give enough information to point readers to the sources I have used.  Of course I will share detailed sources with any relatives who request them.  I will only post pictures that are mine, or whose owners have given me permission.  You’ll find lots of hypertext links to other websites, such as the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, when appropriate.

Those of us with French-Canadian ancestry are extremely lucky to have many well-documented sources at our disposal.  There are four such sources that have been invaluable to my research:

  1. The PRDH (Le Programme de recherche en démographie historique/The Research Program in Historical Demography) is an undertaking from the Université de Montréal. Here’s a quote from their website.  “The project relies basically on exhaustive gathering of data from the parish registers of old Quebec. By systematic attribution of baptism, marriage, and burial certificates to the respective individuals – a “family reconstitution” made on the basis of names and family ties – people are identified and their biographies established. PRDH’s data base, covering the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, thus contains the personal history of the Quebec ancestors of all French- Canadians.”  This is a subscription site, but well worth the money. Available in both English and French.
  2. Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 accessed on  Another subscription site, this provides digital copies of church baptism, marriage and burial records.  Legibility and analysis of old style handwriting can be a challenge, but I’m always thrilled to see the actual record of one of these events in an ancestor’s life.
  3. The Fichier Origine is a “repertory of baptisms of immigrants to Quebec found in their country of origin (France, essentially) within a collaborative project between French and Quebec genealogy federations co-ordinated in Quebec by Marcel Fournier.” This free site is in French, but names and dates are easily understood.  Let’s hear it for Google Translate!
  4. PREFEN or The Research on the emigration of French in New France  includes Banque Migrants, a database of emigrants that uses French church and civil records to give extensive information on some 14,000 people. Here you can sometimes find digital copies of church records in France, and fairly detailed info on the ancestor’s life in New France.  This free site is also in French.

If, when you encounter a name on this blog, you decide to search the internet for more information, you may find lots of other family trees or websites with facts and stories that don’t agree with what I post here.  Some of it may even be true!  Genealogy research is never “finished”. I certainly don’t claim that my research is irrefutable, but I am careful about the facts I post. Others have probably done more exhaustive research on some of these ancestors than I have. I welcome any corrections or additional information that readers can provide.

Cousin bait works!

When I started this blog I was hoping it would act as “cousin bait” i.e. put me in contact with other relatives who would hopefully have info I was lacking.  Bingo!  My very first post garnered a comment from a second cousin I’d never met.  Her grandmother was a sister to my grandmother Emma Girardin and she has kindly shared both info and pictures with me.

Two of the pictures made me feel as if it was Christmas morning.  The first is a picture of my Dad, Tom Hogue, at approximately 11 years of age. He’s the one on the right, and he is with all his siblings except Albert, who wasn’t born yet.  The baby in the carriage is washed out, but she is my Auntie Louisa, the only surviving sibling, who is now 93.  I have many photos of my Dad but none before he was at least 20, so seeing him as a child is very special.


The second picture is the first positively identified photo I’ve ever seen of Emma’s parents, my great-grandparents, Napoleon Girardin and Onesime Allard. It’s taken on their wedding day, September 29, 1873 in Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

ImageI’ll be blogging more about all these ancestors later.