Pierre Micheau,
His Life in New France

Pierre Micheau was born in Fontenay-le-Comte, in the province of Poitou, called Vendée today, one of the three Departments of the Centre-West of France. Son of Antoine Micheau and Marie Train, Pierre was born in 1637; unfortunately the Baptisms Register of 1637 has disappeared today.

Because his father is a notions dealer, Pierre grants him his wish and becomes an apprentice with Jacques Audouit "who promises to teach him his craft and skills, as a hat decorator and all the ensuings" for a set period of one and a half year (Contract dated July 5, 1655. Records of notaries Baudon and Benesteau - Document produced by Frédérique Michaud of Fontenay-le-Comte in her Master Degree Thesis). Antoine and his son were then living in Puy Saint-Martin, suburb of Fontenay-le-Comte.

Not cut out for this type of work, Pierre quits his employer and hires himself to Jacques Pépin, merchant of LaRochelle, where he is engaged in the service of the New France settlers, for a period of three years (Contract dated March 27, 1656. Records of notary Pierre Moreau). He embarks on the La Fortune, a small, three-mast, one hundred-ton ship, owned by M. Aboyneau.

Pierre arrives in Quebec City at the beginning of the summer of 1656.

After his thirty-six month service, Pierre lives at the Seigneurie de Beaupré. In 1661, we find him again in Sainte-Anne-du-Petit-Cap where the church warden pays him three "livres" (pounds) for two days of work (Fabrique Journals of Revenues and Expenses). On April 27, 1662, Jean Rabouin demands payment for five days of work, at a rate of thirty "sols" a day, plus an amount of thirteen "livres" and ten "sols" that Pierre owes him. As early as June 1663, Pierre is the holder of the titles to a concession of land measuring three arpents (about three acres) of frontage on the River by one hundred and twenty-six arpents deep, in Sainte-Anne-du-Petit-Cap (Terrier du Saint-Laurent, 1663, Marcel Trudel, 1973). This land and the house on it will be sold for one hundred and fifty "livres" to François Daniaud, on September 6, 1665 (Records of notary Claude Auber).

On June 22, 1667, Pierre receives the titles to yet another concession of land (Records of notary Paul Vachon) on the south part of the Île d'Orléans (known today as the Parish of Saint-Jean), and can thus think about getting married to a young sixteen year old girl, from LaRochelle, who came over with her father René, in the summer of 1665. René Ancelin is the widower of Claire Rousselot who died in LaRochelle, on August 19, 1661, leaving a ten year old daughter, Marie. Pierre is thirty years old, owns his land and is considered a "good match". This is why, on the following October 2, Pierre and Marie get their marriage contract drawn by notary Claude Auber. The religious ceremony is celebrated in the church of Château-Richer.

The birth of Pierre, the eldest son, on February 11, 1672 is the first of nine other births: Jean-Baptiste, 1674; Marie-Anne, 1676; Joseph, 1678; another Pierre, called the younger, 1681; Louis, early 1684; Élisabeth, 1685; François, 1687; Geneviève, 1690 and Magdeleine, 1692. Geneviève is the only one to die in infancy.

From 1667 to 1692, Pierre and Marie will occupy four other land concessions: one at Île d'Orléans, sold for ninety "livres" in 1673; another at Île aux Grues where their first five children were born; a third one at Islet-Saint-Jean (Trois-Saumons) sold for nine hundred and fifty "livres" in 1697; and finally in 1695, Pierre and Marie are the owners of a fourth piece of land of twelve arpents of frontage at Kamouraska; this land will be left as inheritance to their children. Pierre died in 1702 and Marie in 1727.

Among the descendants of Pierre and Marie, besides the Michauds issued from the six sons, we have to name the Boucher, the Levasseur, the Lebel and the Roy called Desjardins who, through the marriage of the three daughters, are descendants of Marie-Anne, Élisabeth and Magdeleine Michaud. In conclusion, let us focus on the progression of these descendants: at the third generation level, the births of seventy-eight (78) grandchildren of Pierre Micheau and Marie Ancelin Ancelin were registered, and at the fourth generation level, we have four hundred and fifty-nine (459) great grandchildren.

 
Author : Françoise Michaud Dufresne

 

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