The soldiers arrive

There are many stories to tell about our filles du roi, and I will come back to these women.  However, I am now going to move ahead to the year 1665.  In keeping with the changes that King Louis XIV made in regards to New France, this was the year he sent the Carignan-Salières Regiment of French soldiers to Canada.  As we have seen, Iroquois attacks had been frequent, and the purpose of sending these 1200 troops was to bolster the defense of the colony. I can confirm 13 of these soldiers are our Girardin ancestors, and 9 of them married “Filles du Roi”.

From the online book Canadian Military Heritage, Volume 1 (1000-1754), Chapter 4: The King’s Soldiers, The Carignan, page 49, we see their uniforms.

Soldier of the régiment de Carignan-Salières

Soldier of the régiment de Carignan-Salières

“This French soldier wears the uniform of the régiment de Carignan-Salières, stationed in New France between 1665 and 1668. The uniform was brown with a gray lining that was visible in the upturned sleeves, forming a decorative facing. Buff-coloured and black ribbons decorated the hat and right shoulder, in accordance with the style of the time. The soldiers of the régiment de Carignan-Salières all wore swords and most were armed with muskets, although two hundred had lighter weapons known as fusils. Reconstruction by Francis Back.”

The first task for the soldiers was to build five forts along the Richelieu River, which was the main route taken by the Iroquois. In January of 1666 a force of 300 soldiers and 200 local militia embarked on a campaign (in the middle of winter???) during which they fought no battles, but managed to lose 100 men to cold and hunger.  Not an auspicious start.

A second excursion in the fall was more successful in terms of making the Mohawks aware of the French military presence, and resulted in a temporary peace.  400 of the Carignan-Salières soldiers opted to stay in New France, lured by the land grants and cash that were offered by Jean Talon, the Intendant.

I will tell one soldier’s story now, that of Antoine Chaudillon. He was 24 when he arrived, having been born in Ygrande in central France. He was baptised on July 16, 1641 in Église Saint Martin, a beautiful old church that dates from the 12th century.

Source: By User:Otourly (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Source: By User:Otourly (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

When he arrived, Antoine was a surgeon in the La Varenne Company.  The following year he was transferred to the Saurel Company.  On May 26, 1672 he married Marie Boucher.  I’ve written about both of her grandfathers; Marin Boucher and Pierre Garman dit Picard. After the regiments left, Antoine continued to practice as a surgeon. They had nine children and settled first in Sorel and later in Pointe-aux-Trembles.  .

Antoine was involved on July 2, 1690 in a battle with the Iroquois at Coulee Grou (Rivière des Prairies).   Antoine was one of the men taken prisoner at this battle, and later released.

And, of course, a plaque:

Image with the kind permission of Société Historique Rivière-des-Prairies

Image with the kind permission of Société Historique Rivière-des-Prairies

Marie was pregnant at the time of the battle, but Antoine must have been released by February 11, 1691, when he is noted as being present at the baptism of his daughter.

Antoine died at the age of 66, and Marie at 61.

Antoine rates an entry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, although it has some errors.

We descend from their firstborn, Catherine who married Francois Neveu as her first husband.  (When he died, Catherine married Jean Charbonneau, brother to one of our Hogue ancestors, Anne Charbonneau.)

Here is our descent:

1-Antoine CHAUDILLON (1641-1707)
+Marie BOUCHER (1652-16 Dec 1713)
2-Catherine CHODILLON (abt 1673-1745)
+Francois NEVEU dit LEMON (1666-?)
3-Marie NEVEU dite LEMON (1689-1747)
+Jean Baptiste BANLIER dit LAPERLE (1682-?)
4-Marie Madeleine BANLIER dite LAPERLE (1721-1795)
+Michel LANGEVIN (1718-?)
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)

Our first fille du roi…maybe?

In my last post, I mentioned that we count 34 filles du roi or King’s Daughters in our Hogue and Girardin ancestry. The first filles du roi arrived in Quebec on September 22, 1663.  They had sailed from La Rochelle, France on the ship, l’Aigle d’Or.  There were 38 of these women.  Of course they were not sailing alone; they were with soldiers, engagés, and crew members.  It was an arduous journey, and perhaps as many as a third of the passengers died at sea!

There are no passenger lists for this journey, which makes it difficult to determine precisely who were these first 38 brave women. Our ancestor, Catherine Fievre is listed in many sources as being one of these first filles du roi.  I was very excited to hear that, but I have learned recently, from a much more experienced researcher, that she may, in fact, have arrived in 1662.

Celebrations were held in the summer of 2013 in Quebec, marking the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the first filles du roi. You can see some pictures of the celebrations here.

While we don’t know if Catherine was officially a fille du roi, we do know that her mother had been widowed and remarried in France. Catherine was baptised November 19, 1646 in St-Andre, Poitou, France. Although we don’t know for sure when she immigrated, we do know that she signed a marriage contract on October 31, 1663 in Quebec and was married on November 10th  at the age of 17.

She married Charles Allaire, an engagé who had been in the colony since 1658.  They had 13 children, the first two apparently dying very young. Charles and Catherine settled in Ste-Famille, L’Île-d’Orléans.  Notarial records show that Charles died before February 20, 1691.  Catherine was left with several young children to raise alone, the youngest being only four years old, and our ancestor Etienne being seven. She did not remarry and died June 13, 1709 at the age of 63.

And once again, we have a plaque.

Allaire plaque

Catherine and Charles are Girardin ancestors, and we descend from two of their grandchildren:

1- Catherine FIEVRE (1646-1709)
+Charles ALLAIRE DALLAIRE (1637-?)
2-Etienne ALLAIRE DALLAIRE (1683-?)
+Marie Anne BILODEAU (1685-1731)
3-Pierre ALLAIRE DALLAIRE (1718-1780)
+Marie Louise EMERY CODERRE (1718-1792)
4-Marie Marguerite Rosalie ALAIRE (1755-1825)
+Pierre Francois ALLARD (1746-?)
5-Charles ALLARD (1787-1862)
+Magdeleine LUSSIER (1795-1832)
6-Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
+Marie BONIN (1827-?)
7-Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
8-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)
3-Marie ALLAIRE DALLAIRE (1708-1776)
+Francois DUPRE (abt 1703-1776)
4-Francois DUPRE (1731-?)
+Marie Catherine GUERTIN (1745-1835)
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)


Our European ancestors continued to come to New France, and although I have by no means exhausted their stories, I am going to move along a little in our family history.  I promise to come back to these pioneers later.

The year 1663 in New France was noteworthy for three reasons.  First, it was the year that saw a very important change in how the colony was governed. Up until this time, the colony had been administered mainly by the fur-trading companies such as the Compagnie des Cent-Associés and the Communauté des Habitants. In 1663 King Louis XIV of France, aka the Sun king, brought the colony directly under royal rule. A new form of administration was now adopted that gave power to the Governor, the Intendant and the Bishop.

The population was very small, about 2500 people (not including the natives). Attacks from the Iroquois, as we have seen, were a constant threat.  Many seigneuries had been granted, but not settled, and the settlements that did exist were scattered.

Secondly, to solve the problem of a small population, the year 1663 saw the beginning of the arrival of the filles du roi or “King’s daughters”. These were single women, many of them orphans, who were recruited for the specific purpose of emigrating to the colony to marry. They were given free passage, a basic trousseau that included some personal supplies, and temporary accommodation in New France until they married. Some were also given a dowry that was more likely to be “in kind” than in cash. After the marriage the family received a bull, a cow and some other supplies.

These women were given the opportunity to choose their husbands, and in fact “interview” them.  They had the right to refuse a suitor.   You can read more here.  Some 770 women arrived under this program between 1663 and 1673.  34 of these women are Hogue or Girardin ancestors. I will certainly be sharing some of their stories.

And of course, we have a plaque.

Filles du Roi

The third notable event of 1663 was the Charlevoix earthquake which struck on February 5th, and was felt along the entire eastern part of North America.  You can read a scientific summary of it here.  It is estimated to have been a magnitude of between 7 and 8.  Aftershocks were felt until the following July or August.

You can also read a description by Father Jerome Lalemant in The Jesuit Relations.


I estimate that about a hundred of our ancestors were in New France at this time, and would have experienced this earthquake.  One ancestor, Marie Therese Hunault, whom I wrote about here, was born on February 12th, seven days after the first shock.