Saturday, 28 January 2012

In the beginning...

 Welcome to the Livingston Family History Blog 
This blog includes stories, events, family experiences, and childhood memories of the lives and legends of the Livingston Family, past and present. Follow the journey of the ancestors of Ulric and Helen Livingston.

Ulric and Helen Livingston and the Langevin Family - December 1920
Back: Nora, Leo VanColeart, Jack Grandison, Joe Langevin, Mary Langevin Kearns, Anthony Langevin ("Tenny"), Blanche Langevin, Arthur Langevin, Ernest Langevin
Middle: Anna VanColeart, Marie Clara Langevin; Lea Grandison holding Noel; Helen Livingston holding Eileen; Ulric Livingston holding Marguerite, Joseph Langevin
Front: Ralph Grandison, Edgar Grandison, Archie Livingston

In the beginning...

Several years ago, Doreen (Livingston) Moore researched, compiled and composed a family history below. She received the support of many people during this quest to find the geneaological boundaries, including her siblings, and she traveled great distances to find documentation to support her findings. It took her several years to produce a family history booklet of more than 80 pages in length, an accomplishment filled with love

Doreen died in 1998 and with the recent passing of several of her siblings, I felt a great urgency to document and share more about our ancestral heritage and I am very thankful for the ongoing encouragement from Doreen's brother Bernie and some of my wonderful cousins to further investigate it. 

Doreen's family research will guide us through the Livingston family history and many new resources, photos, and references will be introduced to enhance the story of our ancestors from the 17th century to the present. 

We will begin this walk down memory lane by examining the ancestors of the Langevin family, (Doreen's mother's family) who are descended from the Desrosiers and Lafreniere families as written by Doreen.


Five families share this ancestor under the names of DESROSIERS, DESILETS, DUTREMBLE (one of his sons will add the name JUTRAS), DARGY or DARGIS, and the one which concerns this history, LAFRENIERE.

Antoine Desrosiers was born in the Province of Forez in France in the year 1619 at Renaison, Lyon; a nobleman of Saone and Loire. In the year 1641, he came to Canada in the Service of the Jesuits. It is noted that Antoine Desrosiers was an educated man and a soldier. In the year 1645, he and two other men were paid one hundred pounds per year at Trois Rivieres by the Jesuits to erect some buildings. In one other point in time, he was contracted to build a windmill for the Jesuit fathers as Master Carpenter and with the assistance of Guillaume Larue, at St. Elroy. This was to be accomplished in his own time.

On November 24, 1647, the marriage treaty of Antoine Desrosiers and Anne du Herisson of Thiery, Normandy, was drawn up by the Notary, Flour Boujonnier (who died five years later), followed by marriage in the Roman Catholic church. The Historians insist that the marriage took place in Trois Rivieres in 1649, but, the civil law act being in default, no one can say for certain.

Michel Le Neuf du Herisson, father of the bride, promised the following dowry: 500 pounds in silver, two wardrobes for Anne plus those she already had; a mattress and pillows; two blankets; twelve sheets; six tablecloths; three dozen towels; twelve plates; twelve dishes and one pot, all of pewter; a cow with calf, three of which to choose from; and a pregnant sow.

Witness to the contract and signed by, Michel Le Neuf du Herisson and his brother Jacques Le Neuf dela Poterie, Jacques Hertel, Gaspard Boucher, Adrien Duchesne, Thomas Godefroy de Normanville, Jean Poutrel, Jean Amiot, Pierre Boucher, Pierre Lefebvre, Pierre Le Gardeur de Reptigny and the Notary Boujonnier. Bertrand Fafard and Guillaume Isabel do not sign but make their mark. (A note of interest: Guillaume Isabel will be grandfather to the wife of Antoine's son 'Antoine Desrosiersdit Lafreniere, Marie Renee LEPELLE dite DESMAREST.)

On September 20, 1648, Desrosiers took part in an election to form a council of trustees to defend the inhabitants of the town of Trois Rivieres. About this time, Antoine Desrosiers was given some land on higher ground in the village and also another tract of land at Cap de Madeleine.

The Governor, Louis d'Ailleboust, gave our ancestor five acres of river frontage in the suburb of Trois Rivieres on the right bank of St. Maurice on October 28, 1649, for a total of 20 acres. Another five acres was added to this acreage on July 28, 1658, but, a Judgement of the Sovereign Council in June 28, 1664 reduced this land to the original twenty acres. (In the city of today, this land is situated between Jean Le Marchand street of Verenes and of Gannes, a part of the Plateau situated between the Normandville Boulevard and the Canadian Pacific Railroad.)

Iroquois attack
In the spring of 1650 ,the town made plans to erect a palisade to protect themselves from an Iroquois attack. On the preceding August 11th Jean Bauvaget, Antoine Desrosiers, and Etienne Seign-euret promised to supply 500 cedar posts, 11 feet long, for the sum of 15 pounds each, to the Agent of New France, Pierre Boucher. The contract signed in the presence of Jacques de la Poterie, Commandant of the Fort. Boucher promised to lend two oxen to transport the lumber from the Cap (which was near the house of Sieur du Herrison) to the banks of the water at the foot of the Fort.

The Jesuit Journal reports that a servant of Desrosiers, Matherin, was killed by the Iroquois by two bullets in the chest, and a hatchet wound in his head. He had gone to shoot crows in the field of his master.

In the Register of Severin Ameau, two Concessions of land were granted to Antoine Desrosiers by Governor Pierre Boucher de Grosbois. The first he received on July 28, 1656, twenty-five acres in Trois Rivieres (near the property of Claude David of Elie Grimard and deceased Marin de Repentigny dit Francheville). On June 8, 1657 Pierre Boucher gave Antoine Desrosiers another five acres of frontage by twenty acres deep at the Fifth River (in the Community of Lac St Pierre Ltd., today - in the N.E. of Sables River, a part of the village of Pointe du Lac).

On Tuesday, June 27, 1659, news reached Trois Rivieres that three hunters had been captured by the Iroquois on the Isle of Richelieu. Saturday, August 16, 1659, news reached Quebec that one of the hunters had escaped from the Iroquois, going by way of Lake Ontario and that he had arrived at Trois Rivieres. This man was Antoine Desrosiers.

About 1663, Antoine Desrosiers obtained land from his wife's uncle Jacques de la Poterie, on the Isle of Pigs, neighbour to Pierre Disy, facing Cap de Madeleine (precisely where Wavagmach Consolidated Paper Factory is today).

In 1665, the nobelman Antoine Desrosiers left Trois Rivieres to assist Sieur Bezar of Champlain in the Colonization movement. And, on February 9, 1667, Antoine sold his land in the town of Trois Rivieres to Michel Godefroid de Lintot. In 1669, Antoine was in charge of fiscal matters in the township of Champlain. And, on August 14, 1676 the Lord Michelde la Prane accords him a Concession at Gentilly. The land obtained from Sieur Quentin Moral de St. Quentin, Larble a-la-Croix on June 8, 1669, he almost immediately transferred to Pierre Prou.

Antoine's death
Towards the end of his life Antoine Desrosiers, known for his honesty and wisdom, was given the post of Judge in the Signeurie of Champlain.  It was at Champlain where he was buried on August 9, 1691, at the age of 72 years, with his family in attendance. On September 24, 1691, the Notary David Normandin made an inventory of his wealth.

After the death of her husband Antoine, Anne Le Neuf du Herisson Desrosiers called upon Guillaume Pepin to draw up a declaration that her father had given her the sum of 500 pounds silver at the signing of her marriage contract, as the original document had been destroyed in the fire of her father's house. The declaration is inscribed in the Minutes of the Notary Ameau dated August 15, 1691. Anne died October 16, 1711 and was buried in the Parish of Champlain, P.Q.

Anne, wife of Antoine Desrosiers was the daughter of Michel Le Neuf du Herisson de la Poterie. There is no reference to her mother. But, Father Godbout believes that Anne is the child of a misalliance. Her grandparents, Mathieu Michel Le Neuf and Jeanne LeMarchant were of the sixth generations, according to Father Godbout.

Colonizing New France
Anne was born in 1632 at Thierry, Normandy. On June 12, 1636, with her father Michel, she arrived in Canada along with a group of Nobility and servants, including her widowed grandmother Jeanne Le Marchant; her uncle, Jacques Le Neuf dela Poterie, married to Marguerite LeGardeur;her aunt, Marie, married December 15, 1636 to Jean Godefroy de Lintot; and her aunt Madeleine, married to Jean Poutrel, Nobleman of Columbier of Caen and their son Guy. In all, fourty-five people arrived in Canada to colonize the new country. They landed in Quebec where Mass and Benediction was celebrated for their safe arrival.

Various spellings of the name Herisson beginning in the 12th Century are as follows: - Ronnaison, Roannezon, Roannaizon, Ronoysons, Ronoyson, Renozoni and from the 15th Century - Renayson, Reneyson; in the 1700's Renaison and Arraison in the 1800's. The one used in Canada was Herisson, but is also listed in the Armorial Du Bourbonnais by the Comte de Soultrait, Moulins, 1890. Tome I, page 87 "CHATELLENIES D'HERRISSON,de GANNAT".

The ship carrying Michel Leneuf sieur du Herrison, widower, and his kinsmen, having left Dieppe April 8, 1636, arrived in Quebec the 12th June 1636. His brother Jacques de la Poteries was a man of influence in the new world. Michel was born in 1601, at Caen, Normandy. He became one of the leading citizens of Three Rivers, Quebec.

In Quebec, on 11 December 1636, he married Jeanne Marchand. While still in Normandy, he was given the title of Master of the Baronnie de Portneuf by the Company of New France on 15 January 1636. This was the land on the left bank of the St. Lawrence River, between Quebec and Three Rivers (Trois Rivieres).

Michel Leneuf sieur de la Poterie, along with 14 of his kinsmen, became a part of the Communaute* (the fur monopoly ceded to the individual inhabitants of the country but "only jointly"). In accepting the monopoly "la Communaute des Habitants", the responsibility and obligations of the one Hundred Associates was also assumed. They would cover the costs, both in France and in Canada, of the administration of the Colony; it would see to the payment of the governor and military officers, to the maintenance of the forts and garrison and the upkeep of the ecclesiastics, to whom it would pay the same annual allowance they had received from the Hundred Associates. It would have the same responsibility for settlement, being bound to bring twenty persons of either sex to the colony each year; and then, since the lands of the St. Lawrence still belonged to the Hundred Associates, the Communaute would report annually on the state of their defences. The treaty was to take effect in 1645, on the day the first ship belonging to the Communaute arrived in Tadoussac from France.

The Communaute was to be composed of those "recognized as habitants du pays" and qualified thereby for membership in the company, but in fact it comprised only a small group of business men, fifteen at most according to a 1646 petition. They were the same men who,before 1645 had succeeded in supplanting a subsidiary company established by the Hundred Associates for the St. Lawrence trade. These business men soon formed a powerful consortium in the colony, reinforced by the ties of kinship.

In the two years, the Communaute reigned, 1645 and 1646, their purses were richer by 544,000 livres, two thirds of the total cost of furs sent to France.

Michel moved to Cap Rouge in 1650 and remained there until 1658. In June 1650, four domestics of M Herrison stole a canoe, supplies, guns and blankets, crossed the river from Cap Rouge and slipped away during the night, never to be seen again.

On May 1, 1653, Monsieur du Herisson, with two other men reported the burning of some barns at Trois Rivieres.

Michel Leneuf u Herisson de la Poterie (to give him his full name) acted as Governor General of Montreal and also Three Rivers, from July 7, 1668.**

* Ref on Communaute - The Beginnings of New France by Marcel Trudel 1524-1665 pages 211-212.

** The Jesuit Relations.


1 comment:

  1. Excellent job Deborah. I have been scanning all of mothers photographs and when I finally finish I will send you a cd with the pics.