Charles de Lauson, the last son of
the governor of New France to settle on this side of the Atlantic, made unusual
progress. Six weeks after his arrival, he married the thirteen year old
daughter of the Seigneur de Beauport, Louise Giffard. In 1656, the year of
the death of his young bride, he replaced his father as administrator and
commandant of the country; he then called himself "Chevalier, Seigneur de
Charny, Governor and Lieutenant-General for the King in New
Charles returned to France in
1657, studied for the priesthood and was ordained less than two years
later. In 1659, he returned to Canada in the company of Msgr. François de
Laval. Father Charny was immediately named Vicar-General, and accompanied
the newly appointed Bishop de Laval on his pastoral visit to Trois-Rivières and
Montréal. Charles became head clergyman of the Hotel-Dieu at
Québec. He then took over the duties of his brother Jean, the Grand
Senechal, killed by the Iroquois in 1661. He then succeeded his father who
died in Paris in 1666. Five years later, he returned to France and never
came back. He spent the rest of his days at the Jesuit college at
To go backward in time for a
moment, let us note that on 24 July 1652, Charles received from his father the
most important land grant ever made on the Ile d'Orléans. The fief of
Charny-Lirec included the whole north side of the island, the arc of the present
parishes of Sainte-Famille and Saint-Pierre. The deed mentions that
persons must be chosen "who have the will and the ability to clear and
cultivate the wild lands of this country of New France in order to fill it with
On 20 July 1656, Charles
"Seigneur of Charny and of Lirecq", pledged faith and homage to
Olivier Le Tardif, Provost judge of Beaupré, "On 26 April 1661, wrote
Raymond Gariepy, he completed the Paveu et denombrement (local census) of his
fief, which he gave to the administrator of the seigneurie the next day.
According to this document, the fief of Lirec was almost completely inhabited in
the parish of Sainte-Famille, but very little in that of
Jacques Billaudeau's land was then
situated between that of the associates Antoine Pepin dit Lachance and Jacques
Asselin, and that of Claude Charlan dit Francoeur.
The Billaudeau family was listed
in the census twice in 1666 on the Ile d'Orléans. First they were noted
as being between the lands of Nicolas Godeboust and Gabriel Gausselin, then
between these of Jean Charpentier and Jacques Meneux. We note other slight
variations (errors) in the ages and names between the two recordings. At
that time two servants helped our pioneer who undoubtedly had great need of
them: Jean Le Vasseur and Claude Febvre.
The census of 1667, which replaced
that of 1666, was more explicit and undoubtedly more accurate. Therein it
says that Jacques was 35 years old and Geneviève 28; their children were
Louise, 11; Jacques, 10; Jean, 9; Antoine, 8; Simon, 5; and Gabriel, 3.
The stable sheltered six animals, and 25 arpents were under cultivation.
This time their immediate neighbors were Abel Turquot and Antoine Pepin dit
Lachance. The Billaudeau family was listed again in the census of 1681 in
the county of Saint-Laurent (the new name given to the Ile d'Orléans).
Jacques was now 50 years old and his wife 42. Still living in the paternal
home were: Jean, 29; Antoine, 22; Simon, 18; and Gabriel, 17. Again two
servants: Mathurin Labreque, 17, and a child of 9 named Robert. The
family owned a gun, 30 head of cattle and now worked 40 arpents of land.
Between 1666 and 1708, the name of Jacques Billaudeau was mentioned several
times in the records of a few notaries of this time: Robert Becquet,
Gilles Rageot, Paul Vachon and Louis Chambalon were those who recorded for
him. The nine or ten years when the children were being born and raised
were completely silent in the notaries' records.
On 23 July 1666, Jacques
Billaudeau was at Québec. He had been summoned to the bishop's residence
to conclude an agreement on passage rights of the animals and maintenance of his
part of the lane leading to the mill on the island. It was Messire Jean Dudouyt
who welcomed him in the name of Msgr. de Laval, who was the Seigneur of Beaupré
and the Ile d'Orléans. Besides the Abbot Dudouyt, Salomon Allais and
Pierre Fauvre signed the act as witnesses, with the notary Becquet. As
usual, Billaudeau stated that he could not write nor sign his name.
A Concession from the Nursing
Sisters to his Young Son
On 18 July 1677, our ancestor was
again at Québec, this time in the parlour of the convent of the Hotel-Dieu de
la Misericorde de Jesus. He was accompanied by his nine year old son
Jean. He and his brother Antoine were each to be given a piece of land
"on the Ile de Saint-Laurent formerly called Ile d'Orléans".
These concessions consisted of three arpents of frontage on the river, with a
depth extending to the center of the island. The lands were
adjacent. The neighbors were, on one side, Jean Guyon du Buisson, and on
the other side, Jean I Premont. The transaction was concluded in each case
for an annual rent of 60 sols in silver and three capons. Jeanne-Agnes de
Saint-Paul, the mother superior, and Jeanne-Françoise de Saint-Ignace, the
treasurer, signed the deeds for the Nursing Sisters; Jean "Billodaux"
signed for himself (which is astonishing, because his parents could not write);
the bailiff Guillaume Roger and the notary Becquet placed their
The Concessions of 2 April 1656
On 2 April 1656, notary François
Badeau recorded fourteen land grants made at Beauport by Charles de Lauson in a
fief of Lirec. The new concessionaires were Robert Gagnon, Jacques
Billaudeau, Simon Lerreau, Louis Coté, Guillaume Baucher dit Morency, Michel
Guyon, Jacques Perrot dit Vildaigre, Pierre Loignon, François Guyon, Charles
(Claude) Guyon, René Mezie (Mezeray), Pierre Nolin dit Lafougere, Guillaume
Landry and Maurice Arrive. All of these early pioneers of the Ile
d'Orléans count numerous descendants today.
Of course, other lands had been
distributed on the island before these, but very few. The island was
practically deserted and it would still be necessary for the habitants to wait
more than ten years to finally obtain their first church. According to
Leon Roy, all of these inhabitants had already occupied their lands for several
years. The acts of Badeau had simply served to ratify a situation of
fact. The homestead that Jacques Billaudeau occupied at that time was the
last on the west side, between that Denis Guyon (which was sold in 1659 to the
partners Jacques Asselin and Antoine Pepin dit Lachance) and the lands of the
domain not ceded.
This property had four arpents (1
arpent = 192 feet) of frontage on the north side of the river and was about 72
arpents in depth. It was directly across from the boundary between the
parishes of Château-Richer and Saint-Anne. It was later divided between
Jacques' two sons: Simon and Antoine. They were already settled
there in1709, as indicated by the map drawn up by Jean-Baptiste de Couagne the
surveyor associated with Gedeon de Catalogne.
Marriage and Family
Jacques Billaudeau had been
married for almost two years when he received his concession from Charles de
Lauson Charny. The marriage was registered at Québec on 28 October 1654,
but the ceremony took place in the house of the Sieur de la Ferte. It was
there we learn that Jacques was the son of Pierre Billaudeau and of Jeanne
Fleurie, and that the bride, Geneviève Longschamps (sometimes spelled
Deslongschamps), was the daughter of Pierre and of Marie Desanter. The
document does not indicate the couple's place of origin, but the list of those
confirmed at Château-Richer, says that Jacques, before coming to Canada, had
lived in the region of Poitiers, but gave no further details. It seems
that all the Billaudeau-Longschamps children were born, on the Ile d'Orléans,
between 1656 and 1664. The baptismal record for Simon in1662, has been
found at Château-Richer, as for the others, it is necessary to reply on the
approximate age mentioned in the various censuses. On this subject, let us
note the local census of the arriere-fief of Charny-Lirec which Charles de
Lauson produced on 26 April 1661.
This list counts forty arpents
"from the boundary of Louis
D'ailleboust Sr de Coulonges going step by step Towards Québec. Until the
lands of Damlle Eleonore de grandmaison and her Children except for what was
given to the RR MM Hospitalieres and Ursulines & to Sr. René Mabeu.
And the depth from the north bank Including the sandbanks and the Islets As far
as the Road or line which must cut the said Isle from Point to point".
Nearly four years later, on 27
February 1681, Jacques Billaudeau acquired another piece of land with three
arpents of frontage from Jean Premont. It was in the neighboring
seigneurie of Saint-François de Sales d'Argentenay, towards the south side of
the river, between the property of his son Jean and that of Claude Lefebvre, his
former servant. The said land had been ceded by the Hospitalieres to
François Daneau in 1675, and it was finally Simon, Jacques' youngest son who
Fisherman and Hunter
The founder of the Canadian
Billaudeau families had a particular weakness: he liked to hunt and fish.
This distracted him from the work on his farm and from clearing his land, which
he willingly entrusted to his servants. This also gave him a small
additional income which was greatly appreciated.
Therefore, on 9 February 1664, a
judgment from the Sovereign Council of New France mentions a lawsuit by Louis
Couillard de L'Espinay against Jacques Billaudeau and his neighbor Antoine Pepin
dit Lachance. The plaintiff asked that the defendants be ordered to return
to him a moose which they had "taken" and that Claude Guyon, his
partner, had actually killed. According to Couillard, Billaudeau and Pepin
had taken and removed the carcass. Jacques admitted that he had indeed
"taken" a moose in the woods; he drove it down to the bank where Guyon
got a shot at it. As for himself, he was content with the head, but he did
not understand what the plaintiff meant when he stated that he only made his
accusation the next day. In the end, the Council decided to send the
parties out of court and to settle the suit without costs.
Ah, those quarrelsome
ancestors! Much ado about nothing, as Shakespeare said.
On 20 October 1681, Jacques formed
a partnership with Jean Langlois and Antoine Cadde, merchant of Québec, to go
fishing and hunting in the seigneurie of La Riviere de la Madeleine, territory
that Cadde had obtained from Frontenac on 31 May 1679. The Seigneur
requested Langlois and Billaudeau buy or build themselves a suitable barge for
the purpose of a long journey, for which he would pay each of them ten livres
per year. However, a judgment by the Sovereign Council dated Monday 23
December 1686 informs us that difficulties occurred in this
The contract of 1681 had been
declared null (for not having been executed in time) by the bailiff judge of
Saint-Laurent on 6 July 1683. Judgment confirmed on the following 17
November by the Provost of Québec, and on the subject of which Cadde had
brought an appeal to the higher court. The Council denied this appeal,
ordering that the judgment be carried out according to its terms and
conditions. The Council denied this appeal, ordering that the judgment be
carried out according to its terms and conditions. Billaudeau was
authorized to break his contract, while Cadde and Langlois would continue it, if
they so desired.
Several years later, more
precisely on 7 June 1694, the notes of Louis Chambalon mention another contract,
this time between the navigator François Frichet and the Sieurs Baudouin and
Labonte. All three were associated with Jacques Billaudeau and Jean
Moricet in an agreement to fish during the present year.
A Pied-A-Terre at Québec
On 5 November 1686, in the absence
of her husband, Geneviève Longschamps appeared at the home of the notary Gilles
Rageot in order to rent a small house, ten feet by twenty, on the Rue du Sault
au Matelot in the lower town of Québec. This was a transaction between
women since the owner, Andre Parant, was minor and was represented by his
mother, Jeanne Badault, wife of Pierre Badault. The house was comprised of
two rooms, a small cellar and a small attic, adjoining on one side a man named
Lafebvre dit Grand Ville, and on the other, Andre Parant himself. The rent
was 75 livres which Geneviève promised to pay in two payments: half in
March, and the other half at the end of the lease. Louis Bidet, Nicolas
Metru and Guillaume Roger signed as witnesses.
Another document drawn up by Louis
Chambalon and dated 15 February 1696 reveals that Jacques Billaudeau and his
neighbor Jacques Asselin had been the farmers for François Berthelot.
This was indicated in a farm lease signed between Louis Rouer de Villerary
(acting for Berthelot) and Claude Charlan dit Francoeur and his wife.
François Berthelot had been the first and only legitimate Count de Saint-Laurent
(hence the name of the county which is often applied to the island at the end of
the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth). He was
commissioner-general of the artillery of France. His domain on the island
had four arpents in frontage, and depth three Steps above the crest of the hill,
which forms a type of crescent beneath the place where a water mill has begun to
Geneviève is Involved in a Story
The action took place between 1675
and 1677. On 29 December 1675, Gabriel Hervet, farmer for his
brother-in-law Hippolyte Thibierge, was buried at Sainte-Famille. He had
been found dead in the snow. Originally from Sainte-Solemme de Blois,
diocese of Chartres, in Orlanais, Hervet lived at the Thibierge home for several
years. He was a bachelor.
On this subject Raymond Boyer
"Another hanging in effigy
(because they could not get their hands on him) was ordered by the Sovereign
Council in 1676. It was that of the imprisoned vagabond Simon Du Verger, a
resident of the Ill Saint-Laurent, who had been found guilty of the murder of
his neighbor Hervet and who had escaped from prison at Québec a week after he
was incarcerated and placed in irons. In addition, Du Verger had been
sentenced to a fine of ten livres (due the King's Court, to pay expenses) and to
have all his property confiscated." This lead to a curious
ruling: The Council ordered that the brother-in-law of the victim, before
taking possession of the decease's property, pay a fine incurred by the
murder. Another consequence of this litigation was a fine of 100 livres
levied on François Cenaple, the warden of the prison of Québec; at the same
time, the Council ordered him to guard the prisoners more carefully.
How was Geneviève Longschamps
involved in this story? Don't know, But We Do Know, that this case was
brought before the Council on the 6th, 7th, and 10th of March 1676.
Geneviève was questioned in March 1677 and charged. On the following 31
August, it was ordered that Billaudeau and his wife appear so that Geneviève in
the presence of her husband, might be admonished to live a better life, and not
to be the cause of a scandal in the future. The court also directed
"D'y tenir la main sur peine
d'en répondre en son propre et privé nom, a eux permis de se Retirer ou bon
On Tuesday, 29 May 1671, the
Provost of Québec also heard a case brought by Pierre Richer against Jacques
Billaudeau. Billaudeau failed to appear, and the expert testimony of
Romain Becquet was heard; Jacques was ordered to pay a fine of nine livres plus
The Last Years
Early in the eighteenth century,
Jacques and Geneviève knew that they did not have many more years to
live. Therefore they decided to give their sons Simon and Antoine the four
arpents ceded at Sainte-Famille in 1656 by Charles de Lausons-Charny. The
act of donation was signed by notary Etienne Jacob on 7 August 1708.
This was the last document which
mentions Jacques Billaudeau during this life time. According to Leon Roy,
the Billaudeau couple was then probably living at Saint-François at the home of
their son Simon. It was in this parish that they were both buried; he on 8
February 1712, nearly 80 years old; she on 28 March 1718 at the age of 88,
according to the burial records. She had died the day before. A few
months after Jacques' death, Geneviève settled some family business at the home
of the notary Chambalon.
Six or Seven Children
Jacques Billaudeau and Geneviève
Longschamps had six or seven children. The number is uncertain because of
the loss of the majority of their baptismal acts. Godbout and Jette
mention seven of them, while Leon Roy is satisfied with five. There were
at least six of them: the census takers of 1666 and 1667 agree with the above;
the existence of five sons is incontestable; the existence of one of the two
Louise's is less certain. This Louise would be the eldest daughter.
She was eight years old when first mentioned in the census of 1666 and ten
months in the second (it should read ten years). In 1667, she got back her
right as the eldest with eleven years of age. We are unaware of anything
more about her, even what became of her. She was not mentioned in
Jacques, born on 24 December and
baptized at Québec on 31 December 1656; was buried at Montréal on 27 August
1713. His name appears in the censuses of 1666 and 1667. He was not
mentioned in 1681: Perhaps he was a coureur des bois that year?
Jean, born at Sainte-Famille about
1658 and buried at Saint-François on 3 September 1699. Married at
Sainte-Famille on 26 October 1682 (contract Vachon, 31 August), to Elisabeth
Leboux (1665-1683), daughter of Jean and of Elisabeth Drugeon, remarried in the
same place on 20 November 1684 (contract Vachon, 21 October) to Marie Jahan dit
Laviolette (1667-1719), daughter of Jacques and of Marie Ferra (four sons and
three daughters). This family settled at Saint-François.
Antoine, born at Sainte-Famille
about 1659 and buried at Saint-François on 1 December 1732. Married at
Sainte-Famille on 13 November 1685 (contract Vachon, 23 October), to Geneviève
Turcot (1666-1724), daughter of Abel and of Marie Girou (five sons and six
daughters). This family also lived at Saint-François. Antoine, who
was a militia officer, owned several pieces of land, all of which had a house,
team and stable. In his father's presence in 1693 as witness, he made
business contracts with Gervais Baudouin, Gilles Couturier, François Frichet
and Claude Guyon.
Simon, born on the first of May at
Sainte-Famille and baptized at Château-Richer on 5 May 1662; buried at
Saint-François on 26 November 1742. Married at Sainte-Famille on 6 June
1689 (contract Vachon, 22 April) to Anne Turcot (1670-1716), daughter of Abel
and Marie Girou (two sons and seven daughters). The family lived at
Saint-François. Simon had been a captain, second in command in the
militia from 1721 to 1726. In the local census of 1725, his land at
Sainte-Famille (which he had inherited from his father) had a house, barn,
stable and 50 arpents under cultivation. His land at Saint-François was
still larger. In 1726, Simon gave an arpent to his son-in-law François
Langelier on the condition that the latter keep it until his death. He
also gave the Church one hundred livres to have prayers said to God for the
repose of his soul.
Gabriel, born about 1664; died and
was buried at Sainte-Famille on 6 January 1685, at the age of twenty.