The Lesieur Connection

This post will be about our Girardin ancestors, the Lesieur family, and it is a rather tangled story.

Charles Lesieur arrived in New France around 1670. He was born in Ozeville, Normandy. In 1671 he married Francoise de Lafond, the thirteen year old niece of Pierre Boucher, Governor of Trois-Rivières. (see my previous post about this family here). Needless to say, that was a very advantageous marriage, and Charles became a wealthy landowner, a notary, and a “procureur fiscal” (financial attorney) . He sometimes went by the “dit” name of Lapierre. He and Francoise had nine children and settled in Batiscan. Unfortunately he died at the age of 50 in 1697, leaving Francoise with a family whose youngest was only two years old. She remarried six years later, but did not have any more children. Francoise died in 1717 and was buried in Montreal.

We are descended from three of Charles and Francoise’s children, Charles, Joseph and Francoise.

First is Charles Lesieur, the younger. A few years after his father’s death, Charles and his brother Julien were granted the seigneury of Grosbois-Est , which would become the town of Yamachiche. Charles married Marie Charlotte Rivard dite Loranger in 1700, and they had seven children, including our ancestor Pierre, who married Genevieve Sicard dite Derive in 1746. Pierre was co-seigneur of Yamachiche, as noted on this burial record in 1761. Genevieve was pregnant with the last of their seven children when Pierre died. The child died the day it was born. A year later, Genevieve married again, this time to a man with almost the same name, Pierre Lesieur dit Duchesne! He was a first cousin, once removed, of her deceased husband.

Pierre had a brother, also called Charles, NOT our direct ancestor, who was involved in the fur trade.
In Heather Devine’s book The People who Own Themselves: Aboriginal Ethnogenesis in a Canadian Family we learn:

“The Lesieurs were a prominent family who had held the seigneury of Yamachiche, near Trois-Rivières, Quebec for several generations. Charles Lesieur, the seigneur of Yamachiche during much of the eighteenth century, presided over a large family active in the fur trade. One of his sons, Toussaint, was one of the earliest Canadien traders in the Athabasca region, an associate of Peter Pond, and later Benjamin and Joseph Frobisher. However, two other Lesieur sons, Francois and Joseph, chose to seek their fortune in Missouri…they were credited as the official founders of the trading post and satellite community later known as New Madrid.”

Secondly, we have Joseph Lesieur, born in 1688, who was also involved in the fur trade. He was trading in the Illinois and Wisconsin area and married an Illinois Indian, Madeleine Adouin. They had one child, a son, Jean Baptiste, born around 1721 in Pays-d’en-Haut. (That refers to the country upriver from the colony of New France, i.e. present day Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and along the Mississippi.)  Joseph was killed by Indians in 1723 at the age of 34. F.L. Desaulniers who compiled a book Les vieilles familles d’Yamachiche: vingt-cinq genealogies  in 1900, tells us of the existence of a letter from the Jesuit Father DeKereben giving details of the death of Joseph and of Jean-Baptiste Lafond.

I do not know what happened to Madeleine, but by 1747 her son Jean Baptiste is in Yamachiche getting married to HIS FIRST COUSIN Francoise Rivard dite Bellefeuille! Tragically, this couple both died the same day, in 1756, possibly of smallpox, leaving behind three young children, ages 8, 5, and 3. Presumably they were raised by other members of the Lesieur and Rivard families.

Thirdly, we come to Francoise Lesieur, born in 1695, and married to Louis Joseph Rivard dit Loranger. They had eight children . When Louis Joseph died, Francoise was left, as her mother had been, with a family whose youngest was only two years old! She did not remarry.  (Louis Joseph was the brother of Marie Charlotte who married Charles Lesieur the younger). The Lesieur and Rivard families were very closely linked, which I touched on in another post (here).

Charles, Joseph and Francoise are all ancestors of Joseph Baptiste Lesieur dit Lapierre and Madeleine Lesieur, who are Mémère’s great-great-grandparents.

If you are thoroughly confused by now, here’s our descent:
1-Charles LESIEUR (1647-1697)
+Francoise DE LAFOND (1658-1717)
2-Charles Julien LESIEUR (1674-1739)
+Marie Charlotte RIVARD dit LORANGER (1680-1744)
3-Pierre LESIEUR (1700-1761)
+Genevieve SICARD dite DERIVE (1728-1798)
4-Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841)
+Joseph Baptiste LESIEUR dit LAPIERRE (1751-1813)

2-Joseph LESIEUR (1688-1723)
+Madeleine ADOUIN (?-?)
3-Jean Baptiste LESIEUR (bef 1721-1756)
+Francoise RIVARD dite BELLEFEUILLE (bef 1727-1756)
4-Joseph Baptiste LESIEUR dit LAPIERRE (1751-1813)
+Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841)

2-Francoise LESIEUR (8 Sep 1695-1758)
+Louis Joseph RIVARD dit LORANGER (1684-1740)
3-Francoise RIVARD dite BELLEFEUILLE (bef 1727-1756)
+Jean Baptiste LESIEUR (bef 1721-1756)
4-Joseph Baptiste LESIEUR dit LAPIERRE (1751-1813)
+Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841)
5-Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)
+Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)
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)




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