Monday, 27 February 2012

(Please note that I could not find any church documents confirming the marriage of Antoine III's son Jean Baptiste and Marguerite Loiseau, which is very odd. Read the footnote to ponder an interesting tidbit.)

Based on Doreen (Livingston) Moore's notes:

1. May, born 1781.
2. Amable, born 1783.
3. Claude, born 1785.
4. Augustine Jean-Baptiste, born 1787.
5. Joseph Jean-Baptiste, born 1793.
6. Julie Jean Baptiste, born 1795.
7. Antoine Jean Baptiste, born 1800 at St. Croix, Ontario; married Madeleine McTavish on 5 August 1826 at St. Croix, Ontario; died 2 December 1880 Lafontaine, Ontario.

FOOTNOTE: An interesting development strictly based on parish records- If we return to the children of Antoine II Desrosiers dit Lafreniere and Marie Renee Lepelle dite Desmarets, their son Jean Baptiste Charles, born 26 December 1721, married Marguerite Vanasse dit Vertefeuille in 1749 and they had 4 children (Sadly, mother Marguerite died in 1757 at age 28).

One of their 4 children, Jean Baptiste Desrosiers dit Lafreniere, was born in 1752.  Jean Baptiste grew up and married Marie Marguerite Loiseau dit Francoeur on 8 February 1779 in Louisville QC, as recorded in the Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection) 1621-1967 image 192.  They had many children and some of them were Amable (born 1783), Jean Baptiste (born 1780), Marguerite, Claude  (born 1785), Augusten (born 1787), Genevieve (1789), Angelique (born 1791), Joseph (born 1793), and Julie (born 1795).  Please note the similarities to the children listed above. 

Is this just a coincidence or is there more to it?  I will spend the next week trying to figure this out.

Of course, I only wanted to share this with you so that we can share my confused state of mind :).  My Mom always taught me that it's always nice to share!

Monday, 20 February 2012

What's involved in Family Research? and the

Before I continue, I have to say that I am very impressed with Doreen's research. The more I work on retracing our family history, the more I appreciate Doreen's work.  To trace the family history without a computer, Internet, and multitudes of online resources is a phenomenal feat.  I am certain that I would be bald and cross-eyed by now if I had to read only parish records, mostly in French, in lovely, illegible scroll writing to determine birth, marriage and burial information for our family, but Doreen was smart and she didn't only rely on these records.

Based on the documents I have, Doreen worked on the family history for at least 7 years. In early 1980, she made copies of documents and derived data from microfiche, books and newspaper articles borrowed from Trail Library, Selkirk College and Ottawa's Public Archives of Canada. She obtained more information by visiting and talking with family members, such as Bernadette Chabot who was Joseph Magloire's daughter.  Bernadette supplied Doreen a copy of a family tree which had been composed by an earlier descendant named Marie Louise (Dierxct) Lafreniere (died 1963) - and if anyone reading this has a copy of it, I would love to read it.

Doreen also requested guidance from the Manitoba Geneaological Society about how to conduct family history research.  I also believe she examined original parish records (my Grandma, Marguerite Livingston told me) while visiting Manitoba to determine birth, marriage, and burial data. In addition, she visited the museum at the Plains of Abraham in Quebec although I am uncertain as to the when this occurred.  And she relied on several of her siblings to help with translating French records, supporting her research, pulling her leg, and helping her find new data and photographs. Finally in 1987, her masterpiece was done and many family members received a copy of her wonderful family history record.

Things have come along way since then. On the Internet, I have a paid subscription access to, which permits me to search some primary sources, like the Quebec Geneaological Dictionary of Canadian Families from 1608-1890

as well as copies of the original parish records for several Canadian provinces. You probably don't realize it, but it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  Spelling for last names was not standardized, and many people were illiterate. Thus, both first names and last names could be spelled in several different ways. In addition, some names were very popular and often encouraged by the church. For example, there were 22,011 Jean Baptiste's and 7,800 Antoine's baptized before 1800 ( 

Please be assured that I am relying on primary documents, and not every record that I discover on the Internet, as many cannot be supported by official documentation.  I think it is more important to rely on original records of events and family recollections rather than what is posted on other family ancestry websites.
I have taken the time to discuss these matters as I have had a difficult time confirming Doreen's account of the children of Antoine (III) Desrosiers dit Lafreniere and Angelique Piette.  According to the dictionary which is pictured above, Antoine III's three children: Genevieve, Marie-Antoinette, and Angelique are listed on page 397; however, the other two are not menitoned anywhere.  It is possible that their names are mentioned in the handwritten Quebec parish records, but I was not able to read them. But Doreen's handwritten notes claimed that the data regarding the birth of Joseph Antoine and Jean Baptiste Antoine was obtained from Bernadette (Lafreinere) Chabot, daughter of Joseph Magloire Lafreniere and brother of Clara Lafreniere Langevin (-thank you Uncle Bernie for this detail) and thus, I would believe that this must be correct.


1.  Genevieve born 22 January 1723 at I'lle Dupas, QC.; married 1 January 1743 to
     Charles Tellier; second marriage 27 May 1771; died 25 November 1782 Berthierville,
2.  Joseph Antoine born at Sorel, P.Q. in 1730?, married Marie Anne HUS 8 April 1755,
     died 1760?
*3. Jean Baptiste Antoine, born 1726? ; married Marguerite LOISEAU__________
4.  Marie Antoinette, born 3 March 1725 at Sorel, P.Q.; died 2 April 1725.
5.  Angelique, born 3 March 1725.

Next chapter:  Jean Baptiste Antoine Lafreniere and Marguerite Loiseau

Saturday, 11 February 2012

In 1704, Antoine (II) Desrosiers dit Lafreniere and his wife Marie Renee Lepelle dite Desmarets moved to Sorel  I’lle Dupas, P.Q., from Trois Rivieres,P.Q. (Tome VI by SuIte, Histoire des Canadians-Francais, page 109). In 1714, Lamothe-Cadillac and the Councils appointed Lafreniere to the rank of Major Surgeon, the first of two men selected to sign his name. After four months, the other man was incompatible.
Children of Antoine (II) Desrosiers dit LAFRENIERE and Marie Renee LEPELLE dite DESMARETS

*1.   Antoine III born 21 March 1698; married Angelique PIETTE 9 February 1722 at Sorel, P.Q. Died
         1 May 1760 in Quebec City, QC. 
2.   Marie Josephe, born 31 January 1700, married Adrien NEPVEU 20 June 1719 at Sorel, I’lle Dupas,
      P.Q., died?
3.  Marie Genevieve, born 20 May 1702, married Francois HOURE on 26 November 1731, died?
4.  Marie Madeleine, born 27 May 1704; married Louis LEFEBVRE (1) in 1735; married Joseph Potier
     9 October 1747 - both marriages took place at Trois Rivieres; died?

5.  Marie Agnes, born 22 August 1706, married Joseph Jean-Denis 20 June 1725, died ? at I’lle Dupas.
6.  Marie Anne, born 3 November 1708.
7.  Hyacinthe, born 9 February 1711.
8.  Jean Baptiste Charles, born 26 December 1721.
9.  Joseph, born 27 May 1713.

The next generation of Lafreniere's:
Antoine III Desrosiers dit Lafreniere and his wife Angelique Piette

As stated, Antoine III Desrosiers dit Lafreniere married Angelique PIETTE in 1722.
The history of Angelique PIETTE is as follows (some of the info below has been added by the historybuffblogger aka Deborah Nowak): 

Jean PIETTE dit TREMPE (born in France in 1641;  died 17 February 1730 in Berthier, QC), married Marguerite CHEMEREAU (born in France in 1651; died 15 September 1715 in Sorel, QC).
In 1663, about 2,500 colonists of New France resided mostly on the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River between Quebec and Montreal.  Among the colonists, there were more men of marriageable age than women.  With a constrant threat from the Iroquois and the more populous English colonies on the Atlantic coast, the need to populate New France became a growing concern for Louis XIV and his colonial advisors.

To protect the colonists, Louis XIV sent his French garrison, Carignan-Salieres Regiment, of about 1,200 men in 1665.  Amongst them was Jean PIETTE dit TREMPE.

A Carignan-Salieres soldier

 Four years later, Marguerite CHEMEREAU emigrated to Canada in 1669 on board the ship ”Saint Jean Baptiste”. She was a “Fille du Roi”, or" All the Kings Daughters". (This is not a direct reference to her relationship to the king.  Instead, she had a different mission in mind.)  From 1663 to 1673, these women agreed to travel to New France and marry a settler there in exchange for a 50 pound dowry from the French King, Louis XIV.

Prior to her departure from France, Marguerite CHEMEREAU had endured the “Fille du Roi” screening process, which required each girl to present her birth certificate and a recommendation from her parish priest or local magistrate stating that she was free to marry. It was necessary that the girls be of appropriate age for giving birth and that "they be healthy and strong for country work, or that they at least have some aptitude for household chores." (Source: King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673 by Peter J. Gagné. Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001. pp 15-42).
The cost of sending each Fille du Roi to New France was 100 livres: 10 for the recruitment, 30 for clothing and 60 for the crossing itself - the total being roughly equivalent to $1,425 in the year 2000. In addition to having the costs of her passage paid by the state, each girl received an assortment of practical items in a case: a coiffe (cap), bonnet, taffeta handkerchief, pair of stockings, pair of gloves, ribbon, four shoelaces, white thread, 100 needles, 1000 pins, a comb, pair of scissors, two knives and two livres in cash. Upon arrival, the Filles received suitable clothing and some provisions.
While awaiting marriage, they were lodged in dorm-like houses under the care of a female chaperone or directress where they were taught practical skills and chores to help them in their future household duties.  Suitors would come to the house to make their selection, and the directress would oversee the encounters.
When selecting a Fille du Roi, the suitor looked beyond outward appearances and considered the practical attributes of a bride that would be adapted or disposed to the rigors of the colony. The preference seems to have been for peasant girls because they were healthy and industrious, as opposed to city girls who were often considered lightheaded and lazy.
Every Fille du Roi had the right to refuse any marriage offer that was presented. In order to make an informed decision to accept a would-be husband, the girls asked questions about the suitor's home, finances, land and profession.
When Marguerite caught sight of Jean PIETTE dit TREMPE, she was quickly swayed by the handsome young man in his uniform (in my opinion).  The average time from arrival to marriage for Filles was approximately 5 months.
Upon their marriage in 1669, Jean PIETTE dit TREMPE and Marguerite CHEMEREAU would have received the following from the French monarchy:
  • a pair of chickens
  • a pair of pigs
  • an oxen
  • a cow
  • two barrels of salted meat
The French king also offerend an incentive to have large families:  a yearly pension of 300 livres was granted to families with ten children, rising to 400 livres for 12 children and more for larger families (although Jean and Marguerite would fall short of this goal).

Their children were as follows:
1. Antoine, born 24 March 1673 at Sorel, marriage (1) 30 January 1701 to Therese CHARON (2) 2 May 1711 to Marie Boucher at I'lle Dupas.
2. Pierre born 23 December 1670; married 22 November 1700 to Marie HAREL.
3. Marie, born 23 June 1675; married 1704 to Yves Martin dit Pellant.
4. Jeanne, born 24 May 1677.
5. Marguerite born 1680; married 30 January 1701 to Francois Charon.
6. Jean-Baptiste, born 12 February 1683; married 15 April 1706 to Louise Guignard.
In 1681, they moved to Berthier with their first five children. According to the 1681 census, Jean had one gun, 4 cows and 6 acres of land. His surname "dit Trempe" was given to him during his crossing of the Atlantic. "Tremper" means "to soak" in French. Jean had dental problems and had to "soak" his bread in water in order to eat it. His "dit" name in the Saurel (Sorel) Company was "Trempe La Crouste" (soak the crust). His first son, Pierre, adopted this surname. All other children used the name Piet or Piette.
What has this got to do with Angelique PIETTE, the wife of Antoine Desrosiers III???
Well, not to prolong the drama any further:  Jean and Marguerite's child Pierre was born on 23 December 1670.  He married Marie HAREL on 22 November 1700, and one of their five children was Angelique PIETTE dite TREMPE born on 31 January 1704 at I'lle Dupas.
(In case you were wondering about the French use of the "dit" names: "dit"  or "dite" means "called" in French, and it is like our "nicknames".)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Marie Desrosiers
born 16 June 1650 Trois Rivieres,QC
married 19 February 1664 to Alexander Raoul
(They had ten children:  4 boys and 6 girls)
died 28 June 1722 Champlain,QC

Michel Jacob Desrosiers dit Desilets
born 3 September 1652 Trois Rivieres, QC
baptized at the Imaculee Conception Church
married Marie Jeanne Thomasse Artault in 1680
(They had nine children: 4 boys and 5 girls. Michel added " Desilets" to his name.) 
died 11 February 1734 Champlain, QC

Joseph Desrosiers
born 29 July 1655 Trois Rivieres, QC
married Francois Dubois 1678?

Jean Desrosiers dit Dutremble
born 30 September 1657 Champlain, QC
married Marie Francoise Dandonneau on 20 January 1682 Champlain, QC
(They had ten children:  7 boys and 3 girls. Jean added "Dutremble")
died 23 February 1704 Champlain, QC

born 1672
married 18 March 1687 to Claude Drouet
(They had eleven children: 8 boys and 3 girls)

born 12 november 1661
married to Jacques Turcot
(They had eleven children:  5 boys and 6 girls)
{Jacques Turcot died 6 April 1699}
married again on 24 April 1702 to Jean Debidabe
died 23 Feb 1731 Champlain, QC

Antoine Desrosiers dit Lafreniere
born 30 August 1664
married 26 November 1696 to Marie-Renee Lepelle
(They had eleven children: 5 boys and 6 girls)
died 1760 Berthierville, QC

born 1667
married 24 April 1702 to Marguerite Aubuchon
(They had 3 boys and 6 girls)
died 1723 Becancour, QC 

Back to Doreen's story:

The oldest inhabitants of Trois Rivieres

Ancestors of Marie Renee Lepelle were two of the oldest inhabitants of Trois Rivieres in 1634 (History of French Canadians by Benjamin Sulte 1608-1880).

Giullaume ISABEL arrived in Trois Rivieres in 1634, where he occupied a piece of land.  Two years later, he obtained a second parcel of land, in 1648, he married Catherine DODIER and in 1652, he was killed by the Iroquois, leaving two daughters. One daughter later married the father of Marie Renee LEPELLE. Her name was Jean ISABEL.
Sebastian DODIER, carpenter, lived in Trois Rivieres in 1634 also.  His house stood in the actual Place d-Armes.  His wife, Marie BONHOMME, was first mentioned here in 1645 and appears to have been a kinswoman of Gaspard BOUCHER.  Records show one child of this marriage; Catherine DODIER, born 1628, married (1) Guillame ISABEL in 1648, (2) Pierre Le Pele dit Lahaie in 1652; died 16 April 1673.

In her second marriage, Catherine had nine children: Francois (m), Francoise (f), Claude (m), Joseph (m), Pierre (m), Marie (f), Catherine (f), Perrinne (f), Marie Madeleene (f).

Jean LEPELLE sieur DES MARETS (in some records, DESMAREST), was born in 1641.  In 1667, he married Jeanne ISABEL and died at Champlain 17 June 1708. Their children are as follows:

1.  Francoise born 21 October 1667 at Trois Rivieres, married Martin CASAUBON (Sergent) 14 February 1689.

2.  Antoine born 1669, married Barbe GODFROY 20 June 1700, died February 1734.

3.  Pierre born 1671.

4.  Francois born 1674.

5.  Marie-Renee born 1678, married ANTOINE DESROSIERS II dit LAFRENIERE 26 November 1696.

6.  Catherine born 27 January 1682; married Bernard BRISSET 1 February 1712.

7.  Alexis born 26 December 1684; married Jeanne BIGOT 6 July 1710.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The first Fort at Trois Rivieres
1. Pierre and Mathurin Guillet, brothers 2. Élie Grimard 3. Claude Houssaye 4. Thomas Godfroy de Normandville 5. Marin Chauvin 6. Pierre Boucher 7. Étienne Seigneuret 8. Étienne Vien 9. Gilles Trottier 10. Sébastien Dodier 11. Sébastien Dodier 12. Jean Sauvaget 13. Claude David 14. Guillaume Pépin 15. Antoine Desrosiers 16. Mathurin Baillargeon 17. Le fiel Pachirini (I don't know what this means) 18. Jean Véron dit Grandmesnil 19. Guillaume Isabel 20. Marin de Repentigny 21. Émery Cailleteau 22. La résidence des Jésuites et la chapelle des Sauvages (The residence of the Jesuits and the vault of the Savages) 23. Bertrand Fafard dit Laframboise 24. Pierre Lefebvre 25. Jacques Aubuchon 26. Jean Houdan dit Gaillarbois

Friday, 3 February 2012

Further details about Antoine Desrosiers
 and his accomplishments

Where did Antoine Desrosiers come from? One American descendant, who has done extensive research on the family, claims that Antoine was born on 14 April 1617 at Forez, the son of Antoine and of Sophie Trou. Others claim that he was originally from Renaison, a town in the Department of the Loire, District of Roanne, Province of Auvergne. Both Forez and Renaison are nearby Lyon so it is safe to assume that he was born in that region.
("berceau" means cradle - this picture was taken from Doreen's research)
Based on Our French-Canadian Ancestors (Vol. II, Chapter 8) by Thomas J. Laforest, Antoine was an active and practical man, and lost no time in being accepted among his companions, both as a colonist and a carpenter. The time he had spent with the Jesuits, serving as a domestic, had given him knowledge of the country: the land, the climate, the people.
On 2 June 1650, Desrosiers purchased a pied-a-terre on the northwest side of the market town of Trois-Rivieres on Rue Notre-Dame. This plot was 128 square arpents (about 128 acres) on which he built a house and a very small stable. Seventeen years later, he sold it to Michel Godefroy dit Lintot for 150 livres (pounds).  

As stated in Doreen's account, Antoine had been captured along with two other hunters by the Iroquois in 1659 and in the 1650's, there were several Iroquois attacks in this region.  The Governor de Lauzon ordered all able-bodied men from the ages of 16 to 60 to stand as nightwatchmen to protect the inhabitants of Trois-Rivieres and Antoine was amongst the many who participated. While Antoine managed to escape after eleven weeks of capture, his companions were not as fortunate: one was tortured and the other put to death by fire. No historian could ever depict accurately the anguish and the suffering of our ancestor and his family during those eleven weeks of his absence. 

As a Master Carpenter, Antoine demonstrated his engineering talents in the community. Along with the assistance of Guillaume Larue, Antoine constructed a windmill for the Jesuit Fathers at the Pointe de Sainte-Eloy in 1668 according to the careful specifications of Father Beschefer, S.J. . Without trying to identify the many assorted pieces needed for windmill construction, there were two challenging items to be built: the two sails, 48 feet long, only 9 inches thick at the middle and 10 inches at the ends. Father Beschefer was very strict with the carpenters and judged their work in detail as suggested by one of his written instructions: “the hole (must be) well and duly squared and planed according to the judgment of the experts thus signed" (see Nos Ancestres: Antoine Desrosiers online for further details).

Antoine's energy was absolutely astounding. In 1667, Desrosiers lived at Cap-de-La-Madeleine, where he owned a farm with 5 animals and he was the father of 8 children. His son Michel had replaced the farm hand, Jacaues Bourdin, on the family farm. In 1669, he became fiscal manager, a position which he filled until his death, as the new seigneurie of Champlain. He was also a trustee and a seigneurial judge. By this time, Desrosiers had two domestics, four rifles, four pistols, nine animals and forty arpents (one arpent = 0.85 acres) of land under cultivation. With so many firearms, one must assume that the family was well versed in hunting and self-protection. Perhaps his experience with the Iroquois made him more alert to unexpected happenstance. 

When Antoine arrived in New France, he could not sign his name; therefore the presumption of illiteracy is logical. After some years, his signature appears quite legibly on numerous documents. By 1670, he held important administrative duties and books at a time when they were considered rare commodities. Thus, it is likely that his literacy abilities increased over time.

Upon his death, amongst his belongings included some works on law and history, the Coutume de Paris in two volumes, the Ordinances Civile, and six small books by various authors. Obviously, Antoine had understood the value of an education and sent his daughter Marie to study under the Ursuline.

Anotine also admired justice and detested deceit. For example, a disagreement arose concerning his neighbour, Helie Grimard and the matter was brought before Notary Ameau. The issue according to was
"The dispute concerned the alignment of the concessions granted to them. Antoine Desrosiers claimed as his own a tract of land he had cleared and that was found to belong to Helie Grimard. At least the official opinion issued by Gentlemen of the Sovereign Council. The judgment, Desrosiers was willing to comply, but it was he had done the clearing for his neighbor. Where new baffles, new disputes. Fortunately, we arrived at an agreement. Desrosiers will enjoy another year of three acres of cleared land on Grimard. Meanwhile, it will clear three acres of land owned by Antoine Desrosiers Champlain. A notarized contract first went to Quebec in the spring of in 1665. It is confirmed by the notary Ameau on 17 November."

It is quite evident that Antoine's wife Anne came from a wealthy family. Anne, probably born in Caen, was only 4 years old when she disembarked for New France with her father in 1636. The family lived at Trois-Rivieres for more than 15 years and for a time early in their marriage, Anne and Antoine lived in a house belonging to Jacques Hertel. On August 10, 1651, Jacques died suddenly in the house of his tenant, Antoine Desrosiers. The large dowry received (as described by Doreen) must have made the newlyweds happy, considering the poverty in which most of the early settlers found themselves. Anne's father, Michel Leneuf, was one of the largest landowners in New France. On 9 March 1652, Michel Leneuf granted himself the littoral and all the Islands from Miscou to New Brunswick, actually as far as Cap-des-Rosiers in the Gaspe. In 1663, says Marcel Trudel writing in "Le Terrier du Saint-Laurent," Hertel owned more than 807,514 arpents of land, something to make an Emir of the Persian Gulf envious. He was also a commercial brewer.