A widow and her daughters

Today’s story is about a widow who came to New France with her two daughters.  All three of these women were filles à marier.  Marie Madeleine Cousteau  was born about 1607, married in 1626 to Etienne St. Pair and bore six children. By 1639 her husband had died, and by 1647 four of her children had also.  Facing poverty, and in hopes of a better life,  she embarked with her twenty year old daughter Jeanne and her thirteen year old daughter Catherine.

Marie Madeleine quickly found a husband in Emery Cailleteau. They did not have any children, but her life was drastically changed once again when Emery was killed by the Iroquois on June 2, 1653 near the fort at Cap-de-La-Madeleine (in the Trois Rivieres area). We have documentation  in The Jesuit Relations:


In November of that same year, Marie Madeleine found another husband, Claude Houssard dit le Petit Claude, who had come to New France as an engage in 1642, and was about nine years younger than Marie Madeleine. He was one of the early pioneers in Trois Rivieres and there is a street, Rue Houssart, named after him.  Their marriage lasted for 36 years, until Claude’s death in 1689.

At some point, Claude had clearly descended into dementia.  Peter Gagne, in his book Before the King’s Daughters, quotes an article by Raymond Douville (Mémoires de la Société Généalogique Canadienne-Française, 1:4, 266-270), that explains Marie Madeleine gave land to one of her grandsons in return for his taking care of Claude because of

“the impossibility…with regards to the care that must be taken of her said husband, who is devoid of reason and in utter madness, of whom great care must be taken to clean up every mess which may be imagined and it being necessary to see to the comfort of this said man for the time that it pleases God to let him live.”

Apparently Marie Madeleine had incurred many debts in her desire to care for Claude. Her relatives helped her out by paying these debts.  After Claude died, Marie Madeleine lived another two years, dying at the age of about 84. One hope these last two years were peaceful ones for her.

Meanwhile, in 1649, Marie Madeleine’s daughter Catherine, not a direct ancestor, married Mathurin Guillet . On August 18, 1652 tragedy struck when Mathurin was killed by the Iroquois. From The Jesuit Relations, Vol. 37

 “On the 18th, 4 frenchmen were attacked by 8 Iroquois canoes, between 3 Rivers and the Cape; Maturin Guillet and La Boujonnier were killed on the spot. Plassez, a surgeon, and Rochereau, were taken away as captives.”

Catherine would then marry Nicolas Rivard dit Lavigne.

So now we come to Marie Madeleine’s daughter Jeanne, who had also come as a fille à marier. In 1648 she married Pierre Guillet dit Lajeunesse, brother to Mathurin, a master woodworker and carpenter who had come to New France around 1642. They also settled in the Trois Rivieres area, and would have a family of 11 children. One imagines his skills were in high demand in the colony.

Jeanne and Pierre had a daughter Marie Madeleine who married Robert Rivard dit Loranger, brother to Nicolas, (yes she married her aunt’s brother-in-law).  Robert is one of the names on a plaque remembering those immigrants baptized at l’église Saint-Aubin de Tourouvre, France.


Robert farmed in Batiscan, near Trois Rivieres, but the adventure and possible riches of the fur trade tempted him.  In 1689 he signed a contract with La Compagnie du Nord to trade in the area of the Abitibi lakes and Temiscamingue.  In 1695 he was part of the Compagnie Royale that traded furs. Several of his sons also involved themselves in the fur trade.

Here is where our lines get tangled, because we descend from three of Robert and Marie Madeleine’s children, Claude, Marie Charlotte, and Louis Joseph.

Claude married Catherine Roy dit Chatellerault and he was involved in the fur trade. His name is on the Cadillac Convoy plaque I’ve posted before, that honours the men who accompanied Antoine Lamother, Sieur de Cadillac, to Detroit on July 24, 1701.

Photo with permission of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

Photo with permission of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

Marie Charlotte and Louis Joseph both married into the Lesieur family, who are a topic for another post.

So now I will attempt to explain our complicated descent from these ancestors. First we have:

1-Marie Madeleine COUSTEAU/COUTEAU (abt 1606-1691)
+Etienne ST. PAIR (?-?)
2-Jeanne ST. PAIR (1627-?)
+Pierre GUILLET dit LAJEUNESSE (abt 1628-1695)
3-Marie Madeleine GUILLET (1650-1736)
+Robert RIVARD dit LORANGER (1638-1699)

Then we find we descend from three of their children until we arrive at Charles Girardin and Josephte Lesieur:
4-Claude RIVARD dit LORANGER (bef 1666-1736)
+Marie Catherine ROY dite CHATELLERAULT (bef 1673-1753)
5-Nicolas RIVARD dit LORANGER (1698-1760)
+Antoinette DUBORD dit LAFONTAINE (1715-1772)
6-Genevieve RIVARD dite LORANGER (1744-1810)
+Augustin GIRARDIN (1741-1810)
7-Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)
+Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)

4-Marie Charlotte RIVARD dite LORANGER (1680-1744)
+Charles Julien LESIEUR (1674-1739)
5-Pierre LESIEUR (1700-1761)
+Genevieve SICARD DE RIVE (1728-1798)
6-Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841)
+Joseph Baptiste LESIEUR dit LAPIERRE (1751-1813)
7-Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864)
+Charles GIRARDIN (1773-1853)

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

And then we find the final connection:
8-Paul GIRARDIN (1804-1878)
+Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
9-Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929)
+Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
10-Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)

Whew!  Clear as mud.

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. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beaupre_Jean_Bourdon_1641.PNG
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

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!