Name changes and another miracle

If one traces only the paternal ancestry for Mémère  (Marie Emma Girardin), you find that the first male Girardin ancestor to come to New France was Joachim Girard (the surname would eventually evolve to Girardin).  Joachim was born around 1641 in St-Cyr-du-Vaudreuil in Normandy, France.

I thought I’d include a map to show the town’s location in France.


Source for above map is

He probably arrived in 1659, and apparently worked for his uncle Jean Jobin, a tailor, who had arrived in 1651.

Joachim married Marie Halay  whose father, Jean Baptiste Halay, had come to New France in 1655, probably as an engagé.  Engagés signed contracts, usually for three years, to come over and work. The Virtual Museum of New France explains:

“In return for their work, they received room and board, clothing and a salary, in addition to being reimbursed for the cost of the trip to Canada. Sometimes, they received an advance before they left France. Employers were also responsible for covering the cost of their return,”

Jean Baptiste returned to his home in the Chartres area of France in 1658 to gather his wife Mathurine Vallet and his three daughters, and they settled in Quebec. Having survived three years, he felt that New France could provide the best future for his family.

Joachim and Marie were married on September 27, 1660 at Notre Dame in Quebec.  One Hundred French Canadian Family Histories by Phillip J, Moore tells us that uncle Jean Jobin:

“gave a cow, two cauldrons, a mattress, two place settings, a pot, two platters , six dishes and promised to pay the passage of Joachim’s man and to feed his for one year of his two year contract.”

A generous uncle for sure!  The Jobin family would have many close connections to the Girard family, which I will explain in another post.

Joachim and Marie had seven children.

Remember when I promised I had another miracle to share? Well, here we go.

Marie Halay was written up in the Jesuit Relations, Vol. 50 :

A very virtuous woman, who saw herself burdened with three children, the eldest of whom was but four years old, and who, moreover, lived at a great distance from the Church, was extremely hindered on Holy days in the discharge of her devotions. Yet she did not cease to come to the Chapel of Saint John and to attend the assembly of the Holy Family, with great punctuality, although always with much disquiet and fear for her children. One day when she had left them asleep in her house, she was greatly surprised, on her return, to see them upon their beds, very carefully dressed, and provided with breakfast, just as she was wont to give it to them. Upon asking her eldest girl who had thus dressed them in her absence, the child, who is very intelligent for her age, could tell her nothing about it except that it was a Lady clothed in white whom she did not know -although she knew very well all the women of the neighborhood; and that, besides, she had but just gone out, and her mother must have met her on entering.

Many have piously believed that the Blessed Virgin herself was pleased to calm this good woman’s anxieties, and let her know that, after taking the usual precautions for her children, she was to leave the rest to the protection of the Holy Family.

What renders such an opinion plausible is that the mother found the door of the house closed, just as she had left it on going out; that she did not see this woman dressed in white, who had but just made her exit when she entered; that everything was performed exactly as she was wont to do it herself; that this cannot be ascribed to any one known in the neighborhood or in the country; that the child is of an age little capable of a fabrication of this nature; and that, after all, God does sometimes perform such marvels on behalf of the poor. Finally, inquiries in the matter were prosecuted with great exactness by a very virtuous Ecclesiastic. That good woman is named Marie Haslé, wife of Joachim Girard, and this occurrence was on the 8th of July, 1665.”

Marie died sometime after 1671, and Joachim remarried to Marie Jeanne Chalut, and had another nine children.

Here’s our descent to Mémère:

1-Joachim GIRARD (abt 1641-bet 1708 and 1712)
+Marie HALAY (abt 1641-bet 1671 and 1676)
2-Antoine GIRARD (1664-1741)
+Agnes TROTTIER (bef 1672-1741)
3-Jacques GIRARD (1698-1747)
+Marie Clothilde BRISSON dite DUTILLY (1702-?)
4-Augustin GIRARDIN (1741-1810)
+Genevieve RIVARD-LORANGER (1744-1810)
5-Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)
+Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)
6-Paul GIRARDIN (1804-1878)
+Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
7-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
8-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

When did the surname change from Girard to Girardin?  We don’t know for sure. Joachim and Antoine only used the Girard name. Jacques Girard was baptized, married and buried under the Girard name.  Both Jacques and his wife Marie Clothilde Brisson could sign their names. Not all our ancestors could do that.  You can see their signatures on their marriage record.

Girard Brisson signatures

Now here is where the name change appears to start.  Some of Jacques and Marie’s children’s baptismal records are recorded as Girard and some as Girardin.  The first instance of the use of Girardin that I can find is on December 2, 1728 at the baptism of Jacques and Marie’s son Joseph Thierry Girardin.

Girardin Joseph Thierry b1728 baptism

Augustin Girardin is the first ancestor I can find who consistently used the Girardin name.

Interestingly, when Napoleon Girardin and Onesime Allard married in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1873, the civil registration records the name as Jourdan!


Their first three children, all girls, born in Massachusetts, were born and buried as Girardins, but Emma was listed as a Girard!

Girardin Emma b1878 birth record

The Grande Recrue, part 3

Hogue ancestor Michel Theodore dit Gilles also came as part of the Grande Recrue of 1653.  He was a mason, paver and laborer and was already a widower at the age of 22 when he arrived in Montreal.  On September 16, 1658 he married fille à marier Jacqueline Lagrange who was 17.

Six filles à marier were married that same day. Maisonneuve was once again a witness. Michel and Jacqueline had two daughters, Marie-Barbe and our ancestor Jeanne.

Michel was a member of the 16th squadron of the militia of Sainte-Famille, formed for the protection of Montreal.  Unfortunately, on May 4, 1664, he was killed by the Iroquois at Longue-Pointe when returning from a hunting expedition.

Theodore Michel b 1631 burial 1664

After his death, an inventory was taken by the Montreal notary Bénigne Basset. His belongings included, among other things, two blankets, two small sheets, four bushels of wheat and his firearm.  Oh my, that doesn’t sound like much, does it? My source for this is the book Montréal, 1653: la grande recrue by Michel Langlois as found on Google Books.

Michel’s death left Jacqueline with two children, one aged three and a half years and another only nine months old.  Needless to say, she married again, this time to Laurent Glory dit La Bière. Jacqueline had another seven children with this husband.  He died in 1681 when Jacqueline was pregnant with her last child.

A few months later, Jacqueline married for the last time to Nicolas Ragueneau.  She outlived this husband also, and was buried August 3, 1688 in Montreal.

Here is our descent to Pépère.  Our descent is through their daughter Jeanne, who has a very surprising story to tell, but that is for another post.

1-Michel THEODORE GILLES (1631-1664)
+Jacqueline LAGRANGE (1641-1688)
2-Jeanne THEODORE (1663-1730)
+Jacques AMELOT SANSPEUR (abt 1667-1729)
3-Francois HOGUE AMELOT (1694-1760)
+Marie Angelique COITEUX (1697-1779)
4-Joseph Amable HOGUE (1734-?)
+Marie-Josephe BELANGER (1740-1775)
5-Louis Amable HOGUE (1769-?)
+Marie Anne LABELLE (1776-?)
6-Louis Amable HOGUE (1796-1858)
+Marguerite TAYLOR (1805-1885)
7-Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924)
+Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
8-Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)

The Grande Recrue, part 2

My next story is about Toussaint Hunault dit Deschamps and Marie Lorgueil who are Girardin and Hogue ancestors.  Both of these ancestors were part of the Grande Recrue, so we can assume they met each other on the ship. Toussaint, who was about 28, agreed to a contract of five years as a défricheur, that is someone who will clear the land.  Marie, who was about 16, was a fille à marier. They married November 23, 1654, a year after arriving in Montreal.  Toussaint already had his grant of land in Ville Marie.  Marie would have spent that year under the protection of Jeanne Mance.  Maisonneuve and ancestor Gilbert Barbier were witnesses at the marriage.

Toussaint and Marie had ten children, and amazingly only one of them died as a young child. However, many other tragedies struck this family.  To begin, Toussaint was murdered in 1690 by Dumont, Baron de Blaignac, a lieutenant, who killed Toussaint with a sword and then fled.  We don’t know why, nor if the lieutenant was ever captured or punished.  Marie would die ten years later.

We are descended on the Hogue side from their daughter Marie Therese who married Guillaume Leclerc. Marie Therese was married at the age of thirteen, bore seven children, and died tragically at the age of 26, when her youngest was but two months old!  Surprisingly, Guillaume did not marry again.  Marie Therese’s death in Lachenaie was at the hands of the Iroquois. On August 5, 1698, shortly before her death, there had been a serious attack by the Iroquois, known as the Lachine Massacre.

The church record of her burial on August 17, 1689 tells us that she was “tuée cruellement dans la grange” (killed cruelly in the barn).

Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 forMarie Therese Huneau, Lachenaie 1687-1696, Image 9 of 16, accessed on

Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 forMarie Therese Huneau,
Lachenaie 1687-1696, Image 9 of 16, accessed on

Here is our descent to Pépère:

1-Toussaint HUNAULT DESCHAMPS (abt 1625-1690)
+Marie LORGUEIL (abt 1637-1700)
2-Marie Therese HUNAULT (1663-1689)
+Guillaume LECLERC (1645-1723)
3-Marie Anne LECLERC (bef 1686-1730)
+Jacques LABELLE (1688-1748)
4-Jacques LABELLE (1713-1785)
+Marie Elisabeth VANIER dite FONTAINE (1721-1803)
5-Jean Jacques Baptiste LABELLE (1743-1816)
+Marie Rose GUILBAULT (1747-1778)
6-Marie Anne LABELLE (1776-?)
+Louis Amable HOGUE (1769-?)
7-Louis Amable HOGUE (1796-1858)
+Marguerite TAYLOR (1805-1885)
8-Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924)
+Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
9-Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)

We are descended on the Girardin side from their daughter Jeanne who married three times.  We are descended from two of her children by two different husbands.  Now Jeanne’s story is a very mysterious one.  I have very few documented facts to go on. Her first husband was Adrien Quevillon.  They married in 1672, when she was fourteen, and had seven children, the last one being born before 1688.  Adrien was dead by November 27, 1697 (marriage date of one of his daughters).   We don’t know exactly when he died.

Jeanne had another son, named Louis Courval, who was baptised June 4, 1698 at the age of 18 months in Pointe-aux-Trembles.  The church record shows that his parents “ont ete maries chez les Iroquois” translated as “were married among the Iroquois”. The father is listed as Jacques Courval. We don’t know when he died.

Jeanne married for the third time to Pierre Taillefer, a soldier from France, on May 7, 1699 in Montreal. Jeanne died at the grand old age of 90 in 1748.

But exactly where was Jeanne between 1688, the birth of her last child with Adrien Quevillon , and 1698, when Courval’s son was baptized?

One clue we have to what might have happened is found in The Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families by Tanguay.  In regards to Catherine Quevillon, one of Jeanne and Adrien’s daughters, he states that:

Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890 Volume: Vol. 1 Sect. 2 : Hem-Zap; Page: 505 Accessed on

Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890
Volume: Vol. 1 Sect. 2 : Hem-Zap; Page: 505
Accessed on

(my translation) This infant was stolen by the Iroquois, with one of her sisters aged seven years, who the barbarians burnt in front of her eyes. After many years of captivity, she was released and returned to her family.

A second clue is found in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography where the entry for Samuel Papineau tells us:

“On 6 June 1704, at Rivière-des-Prairies, Samuel Papineau had married Catherine Quevillon (1686–1781), by whom he had nine children. When she was young, Catherine had been carried off by the Iroquois, and ransomed after several years of captivity.”

So, what do we know?

Toussaint Hunault dit Deschamps was murdered by a soldier in 1690.

His daughter Marie Therese was killed by the Iroquois in her barn in 1689.

His granddaughter Catherine Quevillon was captured by the Iroquois (date unknown) but eventually released.

Another granddaughter (perhaps Angelique) was also captured at the same time and burnt to death.

Perhaps, and this is just speculation as I have not found any documentation to prove this,  his daughter Jeanne may have been captured at the same time and eventually released.

Catherine, the captured granddaughter was married in Montreal in 1703.  I’m assuming that she may have been released after the Great Peace of 1701, when the French brokered a treaty with 39 Aboriginal Nations.  One of the terms was release of prisoners on both sides.

Here are our descents in the Girardin line:

1-Toussaint HUNAULT DESCHAMPS (abt 1625-1690)
+Marie LORGUEIL (abt 1637-1700)
2-Jeanne HUNAULT (abt 1658-1748)
+Pierre TAILLEFER (abt 1667-1734)
3-Pierre TAILLEFER (1700-1773)
+Marie Catherine JOFRION (1698-1761)
4-Jacques TAILLEFER (1733-1769)
5-Jean-Baptiste TAILLEFER (1765-?)
+Marie Angelique DEBONNE (1766-?)
6-Marie TAILLEFER (1801-1872)
+Jean Baptiste BERNARDIN (1784-1857)
7-Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
+Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878)
8-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
9-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

1-Toussaint HUNAULT DESCHAMPS (abt 1625-1690)
+Marie LORGUEIL (abt 1637-1700)
2-Jeanne HUNAULT (abt 1658-1748)
+Adrien QUEVILLON (abt 1645-?)
3-Francois QUEVILLON (bef 1688-1740)
+Marie Louise DEVILLERAY (1696-1766)
4-Marie Anne QUEVILLON (1718-?)
+Joseph MEILLEUR (1716-1786)
5-Marie Anne MEILLEUR (1743-?)
+Antoine Camille DEBONNE (1730-1774)
6-Marie Angelique DEBONNE (1766-?)
+Jean-Baptiste TAILLEFER (1765-?)
7-Marie TAILLEFER (1801-1872)
+Jean Baptiste BERNARDIN (1784-1857)
8-Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
+Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878)
9-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
10-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

Grande Recrue

Our story continues in Ville Marie (Montreal). By 1651, Maisonneuve’s dreams were not yet accomplished.  Ville Marie had a very small population and was under constant threat from the Iroquois as I wrote about here. All the settlers, and the hospital founded by Jeanne Mance, were forced to move inside the fort for protection. Really, one would think these people would be tempted to go back to France!  Some did, but obviously not our ancestors or I wouldn’t be writing this.

And so began the “Grande Recrue”.  Jeanne Mance offered money from her French benefactor to Maisonneuve, so he could recruit more settlers in France. He was looking for young, strong men who had useful skills and, perhaps more importantly, could use firearms.  The men would sign contracts agreeing to work for three to five years. About 100 men and 15 women made the voyage. The women included Marguerite Bourgeoys, who was coming to start a school in the colony.

The voyage in 1653 was not an easy one. The ship The Saint-Nicolas-de-Nantes left Saint-Nazaire on June 20, 1653. After a few days it became obvious the ship need major repairs and the decision was made to return to France.

From the website of Maison Saint-Gabriel we learn:

Marguerite Bourgeoys explained the events: “Sieur de Maisonneuve and all of his soldiers stopped on an island from which there was no escape. Otherwise, not a single one would have stayed. Some even set about swimming to save themselves since they were furious and believed they had been taken to perdition.” (Les Écrits de Mère Bourgeoys, p. 46).

Not an auspicious start to this adventure! The repaired ship, or perhaps a different one, finally left on July 20, 1653. Illness was rampant on the ship and eight men died. The ship finally arrived at Quebec City on September 22, 1653. They arrived in Montreal on November 16, 1653.

Five of the men and one woman who made this voyage are our ancestors. They were Girardin ancestors Fiacre Ducharme dit Fontaine, Louis Guertin dit Le Sabotier,  and Jacques Milot Laval; Hogue ancestor Michel Theodore dit Gilles, as well as Toussaint Hunault dit Deschamps and Marie Lorgueil who would marry in 1654 and are both Girardin and Hogue ancestors.  Of course there is a plaque commemorating this event, in Place de la Dauversière, Montreal.

By Jean Gagnon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jean Gagnon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

The plaque says (my translation) “They saved the island of Montreal and all of Canada also”. Quite an accomplishment! Today’s post will talk about three of these men.

Fiacre Ducharme dit Fontaine was a master woodworker who married fille à marier Marie Pacreau in 1659.  He also served as corporal the 18th squadron of Montreal’s Sainte-Famille militia.

As many of our Montreal ancestors served in this militia, I will offer some background on what it was. In 1663 Maisonneuve created this militia because there were not enough regular soldiers to protect Montreal from the Iroquois attacks.

The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Military Museum tells us that:

“The Soldats de la Sainte-Famille de Jésus, Marie et Joseph consisted of 20 squads of 7 men each. The force provided additional guards for workers in the fields and relieved the Montreal militia for nightly guard duty on the walls of the town. Following the arrival of French regular troops in 1665, Maisonneuve disbanded the Soldats de la Sainte-Famille de Jésus, Marie et Joseph in 1666. In three years, the unit lost only eight men to Iroquois war parties.”

Fiacre died in 1677 when the youngest of their seven children was only three years old.  Marie married again.

1-Fiacre DUCHARME FONTAINE (abt 1628-1677)
+Marie PACRAU/PACREAU (abt 1630-1699)
2-Marie Angelique DUCHARME (1674-1742)
+Claude DUDEVOIR (1663-1735)
3-Philippe DUDEVOIR (1701-1755)
+Marie Marguerite DUBREUIL (1701-1769)
4-Marie Catherine DUDEVOIR LACHINE (1726-1777)
+Francois GUERTIN (1723-1788)
5-Marie Catherine GUERTIN (1745-1835)
+Francois DUPRE (1731-?)
6-Pierre DUPRE (1773-1858)
+Marie Amable LETARTE (1784-?)
7-Marie Amable DUPRE (1801-?)
+Jean Baptiste BONIN (1799-?)
8-Marie BONIN (1827-?)
+Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
9-Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
10-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

Louis Guertin dit Le Sabotier was a wooden shoe maker (sabotier) and he also married a fille à marier Elisabeth  Camus in 1659. In 1663 he became a member of the 19th squadron of Montreal’s Sainte-Famille militia.

Elisabeth was about fifteen when she married.  She bore 11 children and died in 1680 when the youngest was only two and a half months old!  Louis died seven years later.

We descend from two of their sons:

1-Louis GUERTIN  DIT LE SABOTIER (1625-1687)
+Marie Elisabeth CAMUS (abt 1645-1680)
2-Louis GUERTIN (1668-1733)
+Marie Madeleine CHICOINE BELLEVUE (1672-1745)
3-Marguerite GUERTIN (1692-1746)
+Michel LANGEVIN (abt 1693-1757)
4-Michel LANGEVIN (1718-?)
+Marie Madeleine BANLIER LAPERLE (1721-1795)
5-Marie Madeleine LANGEVIN (1749-1822)
+Louis LUSSIER (1749-?)
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)
2-Paul GUERTIN (1680-1755)
+Marie Madeleine PLOUF (1683-1760)
3-Francois GUERTIN (1723-1788)
+Marie Catherine DUDEVOIR dite LACHINE (1726-1777)
4-Marie Catherine GUERTIN (1745-1835)
+Francois DUPRE (1731-?)
5-Pierre DUPRE (1773-1858)
+Marie Amable LETARTE (1784-?)
6-Marie Amable DUPRE (1801-?)
+Jean Baptiste BONIN (1799-?)
7-Marie BONIN (1827-?)
+Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
8-Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
9-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

Jacques Milot Laval was listed as a milicien, meaning a militia man, on the list of immigrants of 1653. In 1663 he was also a member of the 10th squadron of Montreal’s Sainte-Famille militia.

He married Marie Jeanne Hebert whose parents I wrote about here. Marie was only about 13 when she married.  She bore 11 children, and died at the age of 40.  That was two years after the birth of her last child who died the day it was born.  The youngest living child was five. Such hard lives our female ancestors had.

1-Jacques MILOT LAVAL (abt 1629-1699)
+Marie Jeanne HEBERT (abt 1647-1687)
2-Catherine MILOT LAVAL (1665-1708)
+Jean Baptiste JOFRION (abt 1670-1740)
3-Marie Catherine JOFRION (1698-1761)
+Pierre TAILLEFER (1700-1773)
4-Jacques TAILLEFER (1733-1769)
+Marie Josephe DAUNAIS LAFRENIERE dite DELAUNAY (1742-?)
5-Jean-Baptiste TAILLEFER (1765-?)
+Marie Angelique DEBONNE (6 Jul 1766-?)
6-Marie TAILLEFER (1801-1872)
+Jean Baptiste BERNARDIN (1784-1857)
7-Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
+Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878)
8-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
9-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)


The Trottier family

Jules Trottier and Catherine Loiseau are Girardin ancestors who came to New France in 1646 with their four sons. Jules (sometimes known as Gilles) was a carpenter and cattle breeder, and he signed a contract in France to come and work for Jacques Le Neuf on his seigneury at Portneuf  near Trois Rivières. Jacques was brother to another ancestor, Michel Le Neuf.

Of course we find another plaque.

Plaque posée à l'intérieur de l'église Saint-Martin d'Igé

Plaque posée à l’intérieur de l’église Saint-Martin d’Igé

Igé is a small village in the Orne district of Normandy.

(And yes, if you follow this link for the plaque you can see our connection to Madonna and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall).  Take that as you will.

Catherine was pregnant on the voyage and gave birth to her fifth son, Jean Baptiste, at sea.  (This son is not a direct ancestor, but he married the sister of one.  Oh what tangled roots we have!)

One can only imagine what that trip would have been like.  Being pregnant on the voyage was probably uncomfortable enough, but actually giving birth?  They arrived on the farm at Portneuf, but were forced to seek refuge in Trois Rivières, due to attacks by the Iroquois. The family later settled briefly at Cap-de-la-Madeleine, and both Jules and Catherine were buried in Trois Rivières; he in May of 1655, and she in January of 1656.

We descend from two of their sons.  The first is Antoine:

1-Jules “Gilles” TROTTIER (abt 1591-1655)
+Catherine LOISEAU (abt 1601-1656)
2-Antoine TROTTIER Sieur DesRuisseaux (1640-1706)
+Marie Catherine LEFEBVRE (1648-1705)
+Marie Charlotte  MERCEREAU dite LASAVANE (1685-1715)
4-Marie Catherine TROTTIER DESRUISSEAUX dite POMBERT (1708-1788)
+Louis SICARD CARUFEL dit DERIVE (1705-1783)
5-Genevieve SICARD DERIVE (1728-1798)
+Pierre LESIEUR (1700-1761)
6-Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841)
+Joseph LESIEUR dit LAPIERRE (1751-1813)
7-Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)
+Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)
8-Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878)
+Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
9-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD ( 1852-1896)
10-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

In 1660 Antoine was one of a small group of coureur de bois who accompanied Father Rene Menard into what is now Wisconsin.  The priest was going as a missionary, the others were going to trade furs. Louise Phelps Kellogg in her book The French Regime in Wisconsin and the Northwest refers to Antoine as

“the leader among the traders, who later settled at Batiscan, where he lived until 1706.”

It would be three years before the traders would return to Quebec, and Menard would not be with them, having died. Antoine would then marry Catherine Lefebvre, whose father and mother I talked about here. Two of Catherine’s brothers married two of Antoine’s nieces.

In Our French-Canadian Ancestors, Vol VII by Thomas Laforest  (page 211) we learn that:

“Antoine dit Desruisseaux was one of the most important merchants of his time in the colony” and that he “formed fur trading associations and became very rich.”

I have found a reference in another book that indicates Antoine was able to afford a private tutor for his children. Schooling in Transition: Readings in Canadian History of Education tells us that:

“In a contract of 1681, Pierre Bertrand, who reportedly had attended the University of Paris, agreed to serve as tutor to the family of the military figure Joseph-Francois Hertel of Trois-Rivieres, for a period of a year.  Bertrand promised to join the Hertel household upon completion of his teaching duties with the family of Antoine Trottier Des Ruisseaux of the same town.”

Several of Antoine’s sons would continue in the fur trade.  Heather Devine writes in The People who Own Themselves: Aboriginal Ethnogenesis in a Canadian Family about one of Antoine’s sons, Michel Trottier dit Beaubien, that :

“While Michel Trottier chose to purchase and develop a parcel of land as a seigneur, three of his brothers worked for various periods in the fur trade.  Although two of the brothers began as lowly engagés, they eventually became merchants in their own right, establishing a firm foothold in the business community for the Trottier family. By the mid-eighteenth century, five of Michel Trottier’s nephews numbered among the largest outfitters in Montreal.”

Antoine’s sons were very fond of taking dit names, so we find their descendants named DesRuisseaux, Pombert, Desaulniers, Desrivieres, and more.

Antoine’s son, also named Antoine, and our direct ancestor, apparently did not enter the fur trade. He married twice (his first wife Marie Charlotte Mercereau died at the age of 30, after having three children.)  With his second wife he would have another nine children.

Surprisingly, Antoine died November 11, 1733 within 12 days of the death of three of his children, one an infant, one aged 11 and one aged 23. This led me to research if there was an epidemic of some type occurring that year.  Turns out there was an influenza pandemic  from 1729-1733.

I checked a bit more and discovered that Antoine also buried a ten-month old son in 1730, and a 6 day-old daughter in 1731. Antoine’s widow remarried in 1734, and had 3 more children, one of whom she buried as an infant.

Our other descent is from Jules and Catherine’s son Pierre:

1-Jules “Gilles” TROTTIER (abt 1591-1655)
+Catherine LOISEAU (abt 1601-1656)
2-Pierre TROTTIER (1644-1693)
+Susanne MIGAUD (abt 1646-1723)
3-Agnes TROTTIER (bef 1672-1741)
+Antoine GIRARDIN (1664-1741)
4-Jacques GIRARDIN (1698-1747)
+Marie Clothilde BRISSON dite DUTILLY (1702-?)
5-Augustin GIRARDIN (1741-1810)
+Genevieve RIVARD-LORANGER (1744-1810)
6-Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)
+Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)
7-Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878)
+Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
8-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
9-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

I have not learned very much about Pierre.  He must have been content with the life of a habitant, farming first in Cap-de-La-Madeleine and then in Batiscan.  He married Susanne Migaud, a fille à marier, in 1663.  We do not know the names of her parents or where in France she lived.  She is believed to have come here in 1662.  They had ten children, two of whom died in 1703, likely in the smallpox outbreak of that year.

Although I have done only a little research on my Mother’s ancestors, I do know that Pierre and Susanne are in her lineage also.  I can only imagine how tangled the family tree will be once I research my Mom’s line!