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.