Cauchon and Leneuf

In my post About those famous “cousins” I mentioned that 15 of our ancestors are listed on the plaque commemorating Lés Premiers Colons de Québec on the Hebert Monument in Quebec city.

posted with the kind permission of Robert Jackson from Duval Family History

posted with the kind permission of Robert Jackson from Duval Family History

In my previous posts I’ve told you a little bit about all of them.  They are:

Abraham Martin and Marguerite Langlois

Olivier le Tardif

Jean Guyon and Mathurine Robin

Zacharie Cloutier and Xaintes Dupont

Gaspard Boucher and Nicole LeMarie (misspelled as Nicholas)

Marin Boucher and Perrine Mallet

Robert Drouin and Anne Cloutier

Francois Belanger and Marie Guyon

There are a few other early French immigrants to mention.  The first is Jean Cauchon, a Girardin ancestor, born about 1591 in Dieppe, Normandy, died July 11, 1673 in Château-Richer.  His wife was Jeanne Abraham born around 1603 in Normandy and died in 1667 in ChâteauRicher.  Jeanne was his second wife and the family came to New France sometime between 1636 and 1640. I cannot find a definite date for their arrival (nor a plaque with their names!).  Their son, Jacques Cauchon dit Lamothe, married Barbe Letardif, daughter of Oliver Le Tardif.

Another Girardin ancestor that came in 1636 was Michel Leneuf du Hérisson. He was from Normandy and became an important figure in Trois-Rivières, being a Seigneur, and a royal judge. He and his brother held many important government positions.   Unfortunately, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography states:

“When the Leneuf brothers had the control of the key offices which they had sought for a long time, their abuses involved them in numerous difficulties.”

One of their abuses was their lucrative involvement in the selling of liquor to the natives.  Not all our ancestor’s stories are noble ones.

Michel’s daughter Anne is our ancestor.  We do not know who her mother is, and she is generally presumed to be an illegitimate daughter.  At the age of four she came to New France with her father and extended family.  She married Antoine Desrosiers, a carpenter, on November 24, 1647.  Their marriage contract was a most interesting document.  Laforest tells us in Our French Canadian Ancestors (Vol. 2 Chapter 8) that her father promised:

“a dowry of 500 livres in cash, plus two suits of clothes, a mattress with bolster, two blankets and twelve sheets, six tablecloths, three dozen napkins, twelve plates, twelve dishes, and a pot, all of pewter; the best one of three pregnant heifers and a pregnant sow”.

How practical is that!

Anne had eight children and died in 1711 at the age of 78.

Our descent from Leneuf to Mémère:

1-Michel LENEUF DU HERISSON (abt 1601-1672)
2-Anne LENEUF DU HERISSON (abt May 1633-1711)
+Antoine DESROSIERS (1620-1691)
3-Marie DESROSIERS (1650-1722)
+Alexandre RAUX (1633-1692)
4-Marie Claire RAUX dit ALEXANDRE (bef 1680-1756)
+Pierre DUBORD FONTAINE (bef 1671- 1756)
5-Antoinette DUBORD-LAFONTAINE (1715-1772)
+Nicolas RIVARD-LORANGER (1698-1760)
6-Genevieve RIVARD-LORANGER (1744-1810)
+Augustin GIRARDIN (1741-1810)
7-Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)
+Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)
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)

Marin Boucher

Continuing the story of our ancestors who were part of the Perche Migration, we come to Girardin ancestor Marin Boucher. Marin was another mason, that being a sought-after skill in New France, and was recruited by Seigneur Giffard. He was born about 1587 in Mortagne-au-Perche, France.   We don’t know who his parents are, but he is a relative, perhaps cousin, of Gaspard Boucher.   He married twice, and we are descended from both his wives.  His first wife was Julienne Baril whom he married February 7, 1611.  The house they lived in (inherited from Julienne’s parents) is still standing, and you can see pictures of it here.

Marin and Julienne had 6 or 7 children, but Julienne died December 15, 1627.  Marin remarried to Perrine Mallet.  They had two children in France before the family left to come to New France in 1634. Marin and Perrine arrived with their two children and our ancestor Francois (from his first marriage to Julienne).  They had five more children in Quebec, including our ancestor Marie.  (I know, way too many Maries in our family!) Marin was mentioned in Champlain’s will in 1635:

“I give to Marin, mason, living near the house of the Recollet Fathers, the last suit that I had made from material which I got at the store”.

Marin died March 25, 1671 in Château-Richer,  and Perrine on August 24, 1687.

If you look really carefully at this map of the Beaupré coast, which I’ve posted before, you can see Marin’s name.

Map of Beaupré and Orléans Island, made by Jean Bourdon in 1641. D'après le facsimilé reproduit par Mgr Cyprien Tanguay dans son Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes, Province de Québec, Eusèbe Senécal, Imprimeur-éditeur, 1871-1890.
Map of Beaupré and Orléans Island, made by Jean Bourdon in 1641.
D’après le facsimilé reproduit par Mgr Cyprien Tanguay dans son Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes, Province de Québec, Eusèbe Senécal, Imprimeur-éditeur, 1871-1890.

Here is our descent via his first wife to Mémère:

1-Marin BOUCHER (1587-1671)
+Julienne BARIL  (?-1627)
2-Francois BOUCHER (1617-bef 1681)
+Florence GARMAN (1626-?)
3-Marie BOUCHER (1652-1713)
+Antoine CHAUDILLON (abt 1643-1707)
4-Catherine CHODILLON (abt 1673-1745)
+Francois NEVEU LEMON (1666-?)
5-Marie NEVEU LEMON (1689-1747)
+Jean Baptiste BANLIER dit LAPERLE (1682-?)
6-Marie Madeleine BANLIER dit LAPERLE (1721-1795)
+Michel LANGEVIN (1718-?)
7-Marie Madeleine LANGEVIN (1749-1822)
+Louis LUSSIER (1749-?)
8-Christophe LUSSIER (1773-?)
+Marie Charlotte BRUNEL (1774-1806)
9-Magdeleine LUSSIER (1795-1832)
+Charles ALLARD (1787-1862)
10-Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
+Marie BONIN (1827-?)
11-Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
12-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

and our descent from his second wife to Mémère:

+Perrine MALLET (abt 1604-1687)
2-Marie BOUCHER (1644-1730)
+Charles GODIN (abt 1632-?)
3-Marie Marguerite GODIN (1665-?)
+Guillaume TARDIF (1655-?)
4-Charles TARDIF (1688-1740)
+Marie Genevieve ROY DESJARDINS (1697-1763)
5-Marie Angelique TARDIF (1723-1764)
+Nicolas LETARTE (1722-?)
6-Joseph LETARTE (1761-?)
+Marie Elisabeth PAQUET (1750-1826)
7-Marie Amable LETARTE (1784-?)
+Pierre DUPRE (1773-1858)
8-Marie Amable DUPRE (1801-?)
+Jean Baptiste BONIN (1799-?)
9-Marie BONIN (1827-?)
+Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
10-Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
+Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
11-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

Of course….the plaque.  This one is in Château-Richer, erected by L’Association des Boucher d’Amérique (The Boucher Association of America).

My translation:

In homage
came from
St. Langis-lès-Mortagne, Perche in 1634
established on lot 62 in 1641
died and buried March 29, 1671
in Château-Richer
1st wife Julienne Baril 1611
2nd wife Perrine Mallet 1627

Association des BOUCHER d’Amérique
31 August 2008

Gaspard Boucher and Nicole Lemaire

Another Girardin ancestor who came in 1635, as part of the Perche Migration, was Gaspard Boucher and his wife Nicole Lemaire.  Gaspard was born about 1599 in Mortagne-au-Perche, France.  Nicole was born in 1595, and they were married about 1619 in France.
Gaspard was a carpenter and, when he first arrived, he worked as a farmer for the Jesuits at Notre-Dame-des-Anges near Beauport. By 1646 the family was settled in Trois-Rivières, which is approximately half way between Quebec City and Montreal.  Death and burial records for Gaspard and Nicole have not been found.

We descend from their daughter Marie who was born in France.  Here is her baptismal record.

Baptism of Marie Boucher, Jan. 22, 1629, Mortagne-au-Perche, église Notre-Dame

Baptism of Marie Boucher, Jan. 22, 1629, Mortagne-au-Perche, église Notre-Dame

She was 6 years old when she came to New France with her family.  Seigneur Robert Giffard and our ancestor Zacharie Cloutier (don’t know if this is the senior or the junior) were witnesses to her marriage to Etienne de Lafond when she was sixteen.  Marie would have nine children before being widowed at the age of 36 when her youngest child was only one year old. Marie never remarried and died at the age of 77.

Here is the descent from Gaspard to Mémère:

Gaspard BOUCHER (abt 1599-?) + Nicole LEMER/LEMAIRE (1595-?)
Marie BOUCHER (1629-1706) + Etienne DE LAFOND (abt 1615-1665)
Francoise DE LAFOND (1658-1717) + Charles LESIEUR (1647-1697)
Joseph LESIEUR-COULOMB (1688-1723) + Madeleine ADOUIN (-)
Jean Baptiste LESIEUR-COULOMB (bef 1721-1756) + Francoise RIVARD-BELLEFEUILLE (bef 1727-1756)
Joseph LESIEUR DIT LAPIERRE (1754-1813) + Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-?)
Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864) + Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)
Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878) + Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929) + Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

When I started this blog, I mentioned that I would also talk about some interesting relatives who are  NOT direct ancestors.  One of these is Marie’s brother Pierre Boucher.   He became an extremely important person in Trois-Rivières. As a youth he spent time with the missionaries in Huronia, and later served as a soldier and interpreter at the fort of Trois-Rivières . He was influential in saving the fort from an Iroquois attack in 1653, and in 1662 was delegated to go to France to persuade King Louis XIV that this fledgling colony required more help, specifically more soldiers.

When he returned to New France Pierre wrote a book A True and Genuine Description of New France, Commonly Called Canada, and of the Manners and Customs and Productions of that Country.  It was a combination of a natural history book, a travelogue, and a plea for France to help the colony.  An English translation of his book can be found on Google Books here.

The Dictionary of Canadian Biography states that:

“The success of Pierre Boucher’s mission marks a turning point in the history of New France. His presence among the most influential persons of the kingdom resulted in much curiosity and sympathy being aroused for his country. His report, to the writing of which he applied himself on his return, increased interest in New France. It was intelligent, sincere, rational propaganda, which reinforced on the human and economic level what was already known of this country through the Relations des Jésuites. The happiest outcome of this little work was the sending of the troops of the Carignan regiment and the coming of the Marquis de Tracy [Prouville*] and Intendant Talon*. At last France was taking the fate of its distant colony seriously.”

Pierre was eventually made Governor of Trois-Rivières. In 1668 he established the seigneury of Boucherville, near Montreal.   He died at the age of 94 in 1717. One of his grandsons was the explorer LaVerendrye.  One of his great-granddaughters was Marie-Marguerite d’Youville, the first Canadian-born person to be declared a saint.

Of course, there’s a plaque in Trois-Rivières commemorating Pierre!

Marie-Claude Côté 2003, © Ministère de la Culture et des Communications

Marie-Claude Côté 2003, © Ministère de la Culture et des Communications

Francois Belanger and Marie Guyon

Francois Belanger, a Hogue ancestor, was born around 1612, probably in Normandy, France.  He was a mason by trade, but we don’t know exactly when he came to New France.  He was certainly here by July 27, 1636 when he was a witness to the marriage contract between Robert Drouin and Anne Cloutier.  On July 12, 1637 he married Marie Guyon, daughter of Jean and Mathurine.  This was the first double wedding in New France, on the same day as Robert and Anne’s wedding.

By 1641 Francois had land on the Beaupré coast as seen in this map, where he is next to another ancestor Zacharie Cloutier (junior).

Map of Beaupré and Orléans Island, made by Jean Bourdon in 1641. D'après le facsimilé reproduit par Mgr Cyprien Tanguay dans son Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes, Province de Québec, Eusèbe Senécal, Imprimeur-éditeur, 1871-1890.

Map of Beaupré and Orléans Island, made by Jean Bourdon in 1641.
D’après le facsimilé reproduit par Mgr Cyprien Tanguay dans son Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes, Province de Québec, Eusèbe Senécal, Imprimeur-éditeur, 1871-1890.

Francois was apparently an educated man and became very successful in New France.  He was appointed Assistant Administrator for Longue Pointe in 1653.  Civil records document numerous lawsuits indicating that he “earned a reputation as an honest but hard man with whom to do business”. (Source: Our French Canadian Ancestors by Thomas John Laforest  (Palm Harbour, Fla. : LISI Press, c1983, Vol. 6 page 22).

In 1669 a militia was formed to defend the colony, and Francois was named Captain of the Beaupré coast.  In 1677 Frontenac, the Governor of New France, made him a Seigneur, and granted him the Seigneury of L’Islet-de-Bonsecours, about 100 km east of today’s Quebec City.

We don’t know exactly when he died but it was between October 1685, when he gave property to one of his sons, and 1687, when Marie signed a document that indicates she was a widow.  Marie died October 1, 1696.

Francois and Marie had twelve children.  We descend from Charles who married Barbe Cloutier, a granddaughter of Zacharie Cloutier and Xainte Dupont.  Two other siblings also married grandchildren of Zacharie and Dupont.  You see how intertwined these families were!

Here is our descent from Francois Belanger to Pépère:

Francois BELANGER (abt 1612-bef 1687) + Marie GUYON DION (1624-1696)
Charles BELANGER (1640- 1692) + Barbe CLOUTIER (1650- 1711)
Francois BELANGER (abt 1666-1721) + Catherine VOYER (abt 1673-?)
Francois BELANGER (abt 1708-1774) + Marie Catherine NADON dit LETOURNEAU (1712-1779)
Marie-Josephe BELANGER (1740-1775) + Joseph Amable HOGUE (1734-?)
Louis Amable HOGUE (1769-?) + Marie Anne LABELLE (1776-?)
Louis Amable HOGUE (1796-1858) + Marguerite TAYLOR (1805-1885)
Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924) + Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)

Anne Cloutier and Robert Drouin

In my previous post I wrote about Zacharie Cloutier, from whose daughter, Anne, our Girardin line descends, and from whose son, Zacharie, our Hogue line descends.  Given how small the population of New France was at this time, it is no surprise that we find other family connections.  Cloutier’s son Jean married Marie Martin who was the daughter of our ancestors Abraham Martin and Marguerite Langlois.

Now I will tell you a bit about Anne and her husband Robert Drouin. Robert was born in 1607 in Le Pin-la-Garenne in Perche, France. At this website you can see a picture of the restored home where he grew up, and of course, another plaque!

Robert was a brick maker, and part of the Perche migration.  He worked for Seigneur Giffard in Beauport, and lived in the Cloutier household.  The marriage contract drawn up between Robert and Anne is the oldest surviving marriage contract drawn up in New France. It was signed in the home of the previously mentioned Seigneur Giffard on July 27, 1636 and Anne was only 10 years old at the time of the contract!  The wedding took place one year later, but with the provision that relations were not to take place for two years.  Their first child was born in 1641 and died less than a week later.  Anne would have six children, only two of whom survived. Anne died at the age of 22 on February 3, 1648. Robert married again and died at the age of 78 on June 1, 1685 in Château-Richer.

The Jesuit Relations, Volume 32 describes her funeral like this:

“This same Day, Drouin’s wife, daughter of Master Zacharie, died; she was brought to the hospital on the 4th, where two Fathers, with the usual Church Choristers, went to say vespers for the dead; and at the end of vespers, they held the Ceremony over the Body, which was then carried to the Cemetery. They did not wish to draw it on the sledge; they were constrained to bear it two by two, because of the narrow roads. We sent from the parish church 4 tapers, 4 torches, the Cross, and the Psalter. The next day, a high Mass was said at the parish church; but the relatives were notified that they should go and Invite Poisson, an Artisan, to help say Mass, together with Pierre, who was a workman of the settlement, thereto appointed. We draped the Altar in black, and lighted 4 tapers; there were none of our brethren to serve mass.”

Anne’s two daughters Genevieve and Jeanne (our ancestor) were raised by their grandparents Zacharie and Xaintes, apparently because they (the grandparents) did not approve of Robert’s second wife.

Genevieve, the daughter who is NOT our ancestor had a grandson, Claude Trepagnier, who was with Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville’s army in 1701 solidifying France’s claim to Louisiana. Claude is considered one of the founding colonists of New Orleans.

On his original property in the French Quarter of New Orleans, sits Muriel’s Jackson Square Bistro.  If you ever get to New Orleans be sure to visit the restaurant  and raise a glass to Memere’s cousin 8X removed!  And think how different your life would be if our ancestors had moved to Louisiana.  Of course, then I’d have to change the name of this blog!

Jean Guyon and Mathurine Robin

In France, about 100 miles west of Paris, is an area known as Perche which use to be part of Normandy. Starting in 1634 a large number of people immigrated to New France from this area, including many of our ancestors. So many colonists came from there that the village of Tourouvre has a Museum of French Emigration to Canada.

Also in Tourouvre  is a plaque in the Église Saint-Aubin that lists the Canadian emigrants who were baptised there.  Our Hogue ancestor, Jean Guyon, is on that list.  You can see a picture of the plaque here.

Jean  was baptized on September 18, 1592 and he married Mathurine Robin on June 2, 1615 in Église Saint-Jean-et-Saint-Malo de Mortagne. Mathurine’s date of birth is not known for certain. They had eight children in France, including our ancestor Marie who was baptized March 18, 1624, and two more children in Quebec

Guyon was a master mason. The stairs leading up to the bell tower of Église Saint-Aubin  were built by Jean in 1615, and are still standing! If you go to this Préfen webpage you can see a picture of the stairs and his signature!

So what brought Jean, Mathurine and their children to New France? You may remember that the seigneurial system of New France involved land grants to seigneurs, who then had habitants work their land.  The Company of One Hundred Associates in France was attempting to colonize this new land, and in 1634, Robert Giffard de Moncel, a surgeon from the Perche area became the very first person granted a seigneury by The Company.

Giffard, as a seigneur, engaged skilled labourers to build his settlement at Beauport, near Quebec City. A mason like Guyon was exactly the type of person he was looking for!  In return for three years of work, Guyon was promised 1000 arpents of land with hunting and fishing rights. In 1634 Guyon arrived in Quebec.  It is not certain whether his wife and children came with him at that time, or made the trip later.

Why did our ancestors leave France to come to a harsh, unknown land?  For most of them it was undoubtedly seen as a chance for a better life, which is ironic as so many of us now dream of winning the lottery and buying a villa in France!  Jean was 42 years old when he left to come to New France.  He was a skilled, literate, property owner with a family.  He and Mathurine must have had an adventurous spirit that was willing to take on that possibly treacherous ocean voyage and an unknown future.

In 1637, having fulfilled his duty to Seigneur Gifford, Guyon was given a land grant by the Rivière du Buisson, and then was known as Sieur du Buisson. Mathurin died in 1662 and Jean in 1663.

One of Jean and Mathurine’s granddaughters (not one of our direct ancestors) married Antoine de Lamothe Cadillac, considered to be the founder of Detroit.

Here’s our descent from Jean and Mathurine to my Pépère:

Jean GUYON (1592-1663) + Marie Mathurine ROBIN (?-16 Apr 1662)
Marie GUYON DION (1624-1696) + Francois BELANGER (abt 1616-abt1685)
Charles BELANGER (1640-1692) + Barbe CLOUTIER (1650-1711)
Francois BELANGER (bef 1666-1721) + Catherine VOYER (bef 1673-?)
Francois BELANGER (abt 1708-1774) + Marie Catherine NADON LETOURNEAU (1712-1779)
Marie-Josephe BELANGER (1740-1775) + Joseph Amable HOGUE (1734-?)
Louis Amable HOGUE (1769-?) + Marie Anne LABELLE (1776-?)
Louis Amable HOGUE (1796-1858) + Marguerite TAYLOR (1805-1885)
Thomas HOGUE (1840 1924) + Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)

Abraham Martin dit l’Écossais

Abraham Martin from Don ancestry tree Avore21411

Monument to Abraham Martin on the Plains of Abraham














Picture courtesy of Don from his ancestry tree Avore21411


Abraham Martin dit l’Écossais was another 9th great-grandfather in the Girardin line, and one of my earliest ancestors to come to New France.  There is no definitive explanation of his nickname of “the Scot”. It may indicate the street he lived on in Dieppe, Normandy, France.  By the way, “dit names” or nicknames are a common occurrence in the population of New France. PRDH explains it this way:

“…the use of nicknames, often referred to as “dit names”, because they are introduced in French by the word “dit” meaning “said”,  which abound in the nominative history of old Quebec. They have many origins: military nickname, sobriquet related to a physical characteristic, immigrant’s place of origin, name of fief for nobles, mother’s family name, father’s first name, and so on. Some go back to the ancestor, while others are introduced by descendants; some are transmitted, others not; some belong to an entire family line, while others concern only a single branch.”

He is believed to have been born about 1589 in Normandy, France. He and his wife, Marguerite Langlois, arrived in 1620, and became one of the first families to settle near Quebec City.  Martin was a river pilot and high seas fisherman. Champlain was the godfather of their daughter Helene. Helene would later marry Medard Chouart Desgroseilliers, the famous Canadian explorer who, with Radisson, was responsible for convincing King Charles II of England to grant a charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670.

Back in 1629 England and France were still fighting for control of the North American lands. In that year the Kirke brothers captured Quebec for England.  Champlain, Letardif, Martin and Langlois sailed to France, returning to Quebec in 1633 when Quebec was once again under French control. PRDH has 9 children recorded for Abraham and Marguerite, but there is a gap between 1627 and 1635.  Fichier Origine  indicates that they also had a child in 1616 in France before they arrived on our shores, and then another in 1630 when they were back in France.

We descend from their daughter Anne. 

Martin Anne baptism 1645

Baptismal record from Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967, Québec, Notre-Dame (baptêmes 1621-1679) image 10 of 93, accessed on Oct. 15, 2013 at

Abraham “The Scot” MARTIN DIT LESCOSSOIS (abt 1589-1664) + Marguerite LANGLOIS (?- 1665)
Anne MARTIN (1645-1717) + Jacques RATE (1630-1699)
Genevieve RATE (1678-1732) + Jean SICARD CARUFEL 1664-1750)
Louis SICARD CARUFEL DERIVE (1705-1783) + Marie Catherine TROTTIER DESRUISSEAUX POMBERT (1708-1788)
Genevieve SICARD DE RIVE (1728-1798) + Pierre LESIEUR (1700-1761)
Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841) + Joseph LESIEUR DIT LAPIERRE (1754-1813)
Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)  +Charles GIRARDIN (1773- 1853)
Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878) + Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929) + Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

The famous Plains of Abraham, site of the battle between Montcalm and Wolfe, was adjacent to the land Martin owned, and was supposedly named after him. Find out more here .

The Dictionary of Canadian Biography’s entry for him is here.  Don’t be confused by the mention of another Anne Martin.  She is not our ancestor, just someone with the same name.  Abraham Martin is one of those people for whom you may come across conflicting information on various websites.  Some claim he was Scottish, some claim Marguerite Langlois was Métis, not French.  I’m comfortable with the sources I’ve listed.

Facts and sources

I thought, before I post any more information, I should talk about my sources.  Those of us addicted to genealogy know there are an extremely large number of family trees floating around cyberspace with few, if any, sources cited.  The internet, as well as being an amazing source of information, can be a source of misinformation that unfortunately can live forever.

Having retired from a career as a school librarian, I’m picky about things like sources, citations and copyright!  While I will not document every fact on this blog in a strictly scholarly manner, I will give enough information to point readers to the sources I have used.  Of course I will share detailed sources with any relatives who request them.  I will only post pictures that are mine, or whose owners have given me permission.  You’ll find lots of hypertext links to other websites, such as the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, when appropriate.

Those of us with French-Canadian ancestry are extremely lucky to have many well-documented sources at our disposal.  There are four such sources that have been invaluable to my research:

  1. The PRDH (Le Programme de recherche en démographie historique/The Research Program in Historical Demography) is an undertaking from the Université de Montréal. Here’s a quote from their website.  “The project relies basically on exhaustive gathering of data from the parish registers of old Quebec. By systematic attribution of baptism, marriage, and burial certificates to the respective individuals – a “family reconstitution” made on the basis of names and family ties – people are identified and their biographies established. PRDH’s data base, covering the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, thus contains the personal history of the Quebec ancestors of all French- Canadians.”  This is a subscription site, but well worth the money. Available in both English and French.
  2. Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 accessed on  Another subscription site, this provides digital copies of church baptism, marriage and burial records.  Legibility and analysis of old style handwriting can be a challenge, but I’m always thrilled to see the actual record of one of these events in an ancestor’s life.
  3. The Fichier Origine is a “repertory of baptisms of immigrants to Quebec found in their country of origin (France, essentially) within a collaborative project between French and Quebec genealogy federations co-ordinated in Quebec by Marcel Fournier.” This free site is in French, but names and dates are easily understood.  Let’s hear it for Google Translate!
  4. PREFEN or The Research on the emigration of French in New France  includes Banque Migrants, a database of emigrants that uses French church and civil records to give extensive information on some 14,000 people. Here you can sometimes find digital copies of church records in France, and fairly detailed info on the ancestor’s life in New France.  This free site is also in French.

If, when you encounter a name on this blog, you decide to search the internet for more information, you may find lots of other family trees or websites with facts and stories that don’t agree with what I post here.  Some of it may even be true!  Genealogy research is never “finished”. I certainly don’t claim that my research is irrefutable, but I am careful about the facts I post. Others have probably done more exhaustive research on some of these ancestors than I have. I welcome any corrections or additional information that readers can provide.

Olivier Le Tardif

Remember studying Canadian history in school?  You may have forgotten much of what you learned then, but you probably remember the name of the famous Canadian explorer, Samuel de Champlain who is the founder of Quebec City.  You can, if you want, refresh your memory at The Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

The first of my father’s ancestors to come to New France was a contemporary of Champlain’s. Olivier Letardif (sometimes spelled Le Tardif or just Tardif) was my 9th great-grandfather in the Girardin line. He was born sometime between 1601 and 1604 in Etables, Bretagne (Brittany in English).  Bretagne is that area of northwest France that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. He was definitely in New France by 1621, and perhaps by 1618.

Letardif became one of Champlain’s most trusted interpreters.  Champlain professed a desire to live peacefully with the natives and learn from them. Historians may have varied opinions on Champlain’s motives, but he did send young men out to live with the native tribes, learn their languages, and be ambassadors.  In David Hackett Fischer’s book Champlain’s dream: the visionary adventurer who made a new world in Canada (Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2008 p. 502) he describes Letardif …“As a young man he traded actively with the Indians of the St. Lawrence Valley, lived among them, and learned their languages with remarkable success.  Champlain began to refer to him as “Olivier le truchement” and wrote that he became as “skilled in the languages of the Montagnais and Algonquin as in those of the Huron,” an extraordinary achievement.”  Check Google Books for this page.

Le Tardif plaque

Commerative plaque in Château-Richer, Quebec placed by Les Familles Tardif d’Amerique.

Picture courtesy of Julia Saxby Stevens.

Letardif became an influential citizen in Quebec. He became head clerk of the Company of 100 Hundred Associates in 1633. This was the organization charged with overseeing trade and colonization in New France.  By 1653 he was the seigneurial judge in Beaupré. Letardif was also a witness to Champlain’s will. You can view his signature here.

He married twice.  His first wife was Louise Couillard, granddaughter of Louis Hebert (considered the first European farmer in New France).  Louise was only twelve at the time, and died at the age of sixteen, months after giving birth to a son.  Louise’s sister, Marguerite, married Jean Nicolet who was also one of Champlain’s interpreters and is credited with being the first European to “discover” Lake Michigan.

It is from Letardif’s second marriage in 1648 to Barbe Emard (while he was back in France) that we descend. We actually descend from two of their children as these lists show:

Olivier LETARDIF (abt 1604-1665) + Barbe EMARD (1625-?)
Barbe Delphine LETARDIF (1649-1702) + Jacques CAUCHON DIT LAMOTHE (1635-1685)
Jacques COCHON (1663-1726) + Jeanne VERREAULT (1668-1711)
Jean Baptiste COCHON (1704-1755) + Marguerite DUMAS (1698-1771)
Paul LAMOTHE DIT COCHON (1733-?) + Marie Anne LEGARE 1736-?)
Marie Josephe LAMOTHE DIT COCHON (1765-?) + Joseph BONIN (1766-?)
Jean Baptiste BONIN (1799-?) + Marie Amable DUPRE (1801-?)
Marie BONIN (Jul 1827-?) + Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896) + Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)


Olivier LETARDIF (abt 1604-1665) + Barbe EMARD (1625-?)
Guillaume LETARDIF (1655-?) + Marie Marguerite GODIN (Mar 1665-?)
Charles LETARDIF (1688-1740)+Marie Genevieve ROY DESJARDINS (1697-1763)
Marie Angelique LETARDIF (1723-1764) + Nicolas LETARTE (1722-?)
Joseph LETARTE (Dec 1761-?) + Marie Elisabeth PAQUET (1750-1826)
Marie Amable LETARTE (1784-?) + Pierre DUPRE (1773-1858)
Marie Amable DUPRE (1801-?) + Jean Baptiste BONIN (Mar 1799-?)
Marie BONIN (1827-?) + Joseph Pierre ALLARD (1826-1875)
Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896) + Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

You can read more about Letardif at The Dictionary of Canadian Biography.