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 director 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)
3-Antoine TROTTIER DESRUISSEAUX dit POMBERT (1681-1733)
+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!

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5 thoughts on “The Trottier family

  1. hi im also a descendant .please write back

  2. Hi my name is Vanessa please contact me. Im a direct descendant of son (II)-Antoine Trottier-Dusruisseaux (1640-1706) and Catherine Lefebvre (1648-1705), source L. Trottier…

  3. Stuart Beaubien Taylor

    Hi,I am your distant cousin Stuart Beaubien Taylor. You can see much of our Trottier/Beaubien family history & photos at http://www.degaspebeaubien.ca/
    I descend from both Antoine Trottier/Desruisseaux & his brother Pierre Trottier.
    Best Regards
    Stuart

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