Gilbert Barbier dit Minime

Another Girardin ancestor whose name is on the Founders Obelisk in Montreal is Gilbert Barbier dit Minime, a master carpenter whose dit name implies that he was small in stature. However, we can find this ancestor mentioned in several books, suggesting he loomed large in the history of Ville Marie.  Dollier de Casson wrote in his book  A History of Montreal:

“ he (Barbier) was by no means the least either in fighting or in his trade; we owe the acknowledgement of this truth to his courage and to the services he has rendered on this island, whose buildings have nearly all been made by his hands or by those whom he has taught.”  

In William Henry Atherton’s book Montreal, 1535-1914, Volume I: Under the French Regime we read:

Under the French Regime

Robert Prevost in his book Montreal:a history (translated by Elizabeth Mueller and Robert Chodos: McClelland & Stewart, 1993) states:

“Twelve men came to augment the initial contingent, including Gilbert Barbier, known as le Minime, a skilled joiner to whom La Dauversiere entrusted several artillery pieces to consolidate the defence system of the palisades.  Eight years later, Sieur de Maisonneuve would grant Barbier the first parcel of land located outside Ville-Marie, in Point Saint-Charles”

Gilbert married Catherine Delavaux on November 14, 1650 and Maisonneuve was a witness at their wedding. Catherine was one of the “filles à marier”, a topic I will expand on in another post. Catherine had been brought to Ville Marie under the care of  Jeanne Mance.

Gilbert was appointed to serve as the procureur fiscal (a sort of lawyer) for Montreal in 1657 and 1662.  He died in 1693 and Catherine in 1688. They had eight children.  We are descended from their daughter Marie Adrienne who married Etienne Trudeau.  Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau is descended from this same couple, meaning that Mémère was a 7th cousin to the Prime Minister!

Here’s our descent:

1-Gilbert BARBIER MINIME (abt 1619-1693)
+Catherine DELAVAUX LAVAU LAMINIME (abt 1620-1688)
2-Marie Adrienne BARBIER MINIME (1652-aft 1721)
+Etienne TRUDEAU (1641-1712)
3-Charles TRUDEAU (1684-1742)
+Marie Madeleine LOISELLE (1694-1748)
4-Marie Josephe TRUDEAU (1717-1762)
+Paul LUSSIER (1711-1773)
5-Louis LUSSIER (1749-?)
+Marie Madeleine LANGEVIN (Sep 1749-1822)
6-Christophe LUSSIER (1773-?)
+Marie Charlotte BRUNEL (1774-1806)
7-Magdeleine LUSSIER (1795-1832)
+Charles ALLARD (1787-1862)
8-Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
+Marie BONIN (1827-?)
9-Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
10-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

Several of Gilbert’s other children provide us some fascinating hints of life in New France:

Son Gabriel was with René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle, the explorer of the Mississippi. Gilbert died tragically in Texas at Fort St. Louis. You can read about him here.

Daughter Marie became Marie dite de l’Assomption, the first Montreal-born woman to join the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Montréal, whose founder was Marguerite Bourgeoys.

Son Nicholas Charles was killed by the British August 11, 1691 at the Battle of La Prairie (near Montreal). The French won the battle but incurred heavy losses.

Son Charles Henri was killed June 8, 1691 by the Iroquois in a fight near Repentigny.


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