Jacques have spread
throughout a good part of North America. They are found especially in Québec
and in Canada, as well as all along the Atlantic coast as far south as
Florida, and into the western part of the United States. From these various
places come requests for information on a common ancestor: Louis Jacques.
All of these people are interested in the history of their family and have
established their family tree and acknowledge this person as the one who is at
the beginning of their line, even if he is not the only Jacques to have a
In fact, others did come, but did not leave descendants: Henri Jacques, buried at
Beaumont on 22 September 1748, saw his three sons die in infancy. Likewise, Henri Jac dit Jacques, from his marriage to Marie-Joseph
Garand, on 22 October 1738 at St-François de la Rivière-du-Sud, had as
descendants two daughters after their three sons died as young children. A 20-year old sailor, Adam Jacques, spent 31 days at the Hôtel-Dieu of
Québec during the summer of 1691; he has left no trace. Let's mention Jean Jacques
dit Leblond, originally from Ste-Catherine de Bruxelles,
who had three daughters following his marriage to Catherine Guillemont, at
Montréal on 24 November 1715.
Therefore, we agree to confer on Louis Jacques the title of the common ancestor to the
Jacques of Québec and to their Franco-Canadian and Franco-American relatives.
Louis was born on 23 April 1664 at Amiens, France, from the marriage of Nicolas
Jacques and Marie Soyer. He was immediately baptized in the parish church of Saint-Michel, in the shadow of
the cathedral of this city.
His father, Nicolas, was originally from Franleu, near the mouth of the Somme, a
few kilometers from la Manche. The Jacques family seems well established in this village since the marriage
contract of Nicolas (27 May 1647) mentioned that he inherited two pieces of
land which came to him from his grandfather living at this place. The head of the parish of Franleu was Saint-Martin.
The history of France was not indifferent to this village, because it was there
that King Louis III settled in 881 with the Francs in order to repel the
second invasion by the Normands (Viking) whose hordes were camped quite near,
at Saucourt. The year 1992 constituted the 1111th anniversary of the victory of the Francs over the
Normands. The Normand invasions did not cease for all that. They resumed the following year. Beginning
in 890, however, the invaders had the tendency to settle in Picardy as in
Normandy; in 925, Rollon, their leader, was baptized.
These newcomers had a certain influence on the evolution of the local population. Was it through the mixing of blood, or otherwise? The fact remains that one can note that the Picard peasants, like those
of Normandy, quickly enjoyed an enviable freedom if one compares their fate
with their peers elsewhere in France. Serfdom
disappeared from these two regions before the year one thousand.
Among the facts of the local history of Franleu, let's note the birth in 11464 of
Antoinette Mallet, one of the founders of the Grey Sisters of Abbeville, a
neighboring community. In the
nineteenth century, the Jacques of Québec saw the founding of the Sisters of
Charity of Québec by Marcelle Mallet, a Grey Sister from Montréal. A surprising coincidence.
The Origin of a Name
The majority of the present names of the cities and villages of France were set in
the nineth and tenth centuries. For example, right after the battle of Saucourt, appeared the name of Franleu, in
other words, the place of the Francs. In
the same way, family names appeared in the thirteenth century. Until then, only the first name received at baptism was counted;
little by little, either a surname (sobriquet, trade, place) was added, or the
first name of the father, which gradually became hereditary. At the end of the Middle Ages, these hereditary first names
were most often Guillaume, Jacques, Jean, Martin, and Pierre.
However, another possibility exists concerning the origin of the
last name of Jacques;
it is that it was given to the rebel Picard peasants (1358) during the
captivity of King Jean II during the Hundred Years War.
The English occupied Picardy and the French were busy hunting them down. Exasperated by the endless violence and the constant searches for which
they had to bear the expense, several peasants turned against the noblemen who
sought reap profit from anarchy. We
must admit that the latter had provoked them; in addition to making them bear
the weight of poverty generated by the war, they had begun two years earlier
to ridicule the simplicity of the poor folks and the inability of the peasants
to defend themselves. They called them the Jacques Bonhomme. The expression jacques could have remained attached to certain peasant families and become their name
over the years.
A Controversial Marriage
Let's return to Nicolas, the father of Louis. Little interested in agriculture, he left behind him nine journaux (three hectares)
of land which could have allowed him to comfortably support a family. His goal however, was to settle at Amiens. On 19 November 1646, he was received there as an èbèniste in other words, a cabinet maker;
six months later he married Marie Soyer.
This marriage caused a lot of uneasiness. While
Nicolas arrived as a penniless immigrant, Marie Soyer was the daughter of
Michel Soyer and Marie DuMonstier, both from very prominent families. From father to son, the Soyers constituted a dynasty of rich merchants
whose leadership the community of Amiens regularly had recourse to in
organizing help for the poor, especially during epidemics or the plague. On the DuMonstier side, Marie's
uncle, François DuMonstier, occupied some very important duties in the
Kingdom. After having been rector of the University of Paris, he went into the service of the king, as consellor
and assessor. An assessor was an assistant; he sat near the king, assisted him in his duties, answered his
mail, and sometimes took his place in his absence.
the death of Michel Soyer, François DuMonstier became Marie's guardian. It was he who agreed to her marriage to Nicolas, not without some
concern. In his letter of 17 May
1647, he admitted that she had succeeded in imposing the choice of her
husband: That which angered me was that it is necessary that we follow the inclinations of a
girl when she should follow ours. More annoying, Nicolas' circumstances were not good. The research carried out leads to the belief that he was not in a
position to find housing with his new bride.
His in-laws provided him with help. But, as a sign of repudiation, Marie only received a dowry of 500 livres upon her
marriage, instead of 20,000 which one would have normally given her as a duty
to her family origins. However, she benefited in lodgings for herself, Nicolas and their children, on the
condition of sheltering her mother, Marie DuMonstier.
Marie and Nicolas lived in the merchant quarter of Amiens, on la Rue de Noyon,
across from the Saint-Denis gate, the main entrance to the cemetery of the
same name. Toussaine, the eldest of the children, was born there in October 1650; Louis was born in the same
place, fourteen years later.
It would be the death of Marie, on 5 September 1676, that led Nicolas and Louis
to leave the lodgings on la Rue de Noyon for another, quite near, on la Rue du
Loup which led to Rome; this name refers to an ancient trench which had been
filled. The inventory after the death of Marie revealed that she owned almost all of the household goods,
including several cabinet making tools. Nicolas
inherited it all and benefited from the profits from renting lands which she
Marie was buried in the chapel of Saint-Jacques in the cemetery of Saint-Denis with
her loved ones; Nicolas did not share this privilege, because he did not have
the required fortune. When the
hour of his death was sounded, he was buried directly in the cemetery.
Louis learned woodworking and cabinetmaking from his father. He was received as a master in cabinetmaking on 23 December 1680 and
lost his father a few months later, on the first of May 1681.
A Crossroad of History
Jacques have spread throughout a good part of North America. They are found especially in Québec and in Canada, as well as all
along the Atlantic coast as far south as Florida, and into the western part of
the United States. From these various
places come requests for information on a common ancestor: Louis Jacques.
these people are interested in the history of their family and have established
their family tree and acknowledge this person as the one who is at the
beginning of their line, even if he is not the only Jacques to have a family
others did come, but did not leave descendants: Henri Jacques, buried at
Beaumont on 22 September 1748, saw his three sons die in infancy. Likewise, Henri Jac dit Jacques, from his
marriage to Marie-Joseph Garand, on 22 October 1738 at St-François de la
Rivière-du-Sud, had as descendants two daughters after their three sons died as
young children. A 20-year old sailor,
Adam Jacques, spent 31 days at the Hôtel-Dieu of Québec during the summer of
1691; he has left no trace. Also let=s mention
Jean Jacques did Leblond, originally from Ste-Catherine de Bruxelles, who had
three daughters following his marriage to Catherine Guillemont, at Montréal on
24 November 1715.
registries of St-Antoine-de-Tilly noted in February 1743 the birth and the
baptism of François-Xavier, son of Pierre Jacques. Well, this refers to an Aabenakis Amerindian whose name no longer
appears anywhere later. Finally, a
branch even changed name. This was the
case of those issued from Guillaume Gems (for James); he was married in 1703 at
Montréal to Catherine Lemouzine dit Beaufort.
Both were of English origin and were the parents of three daughters and
two sons. The grandchildren took the
name of Jacques dit Sansoussy in order to save it, in the following generation,
from that of Sanssoucy.
Therefore, we agree
to confer on Louis Jacques the title of the common ancestor to the Jacques of
and to their Franco-Canadian and Franco-American relatives.
part of the information at our disposal here is drawn from research notes
gathered by Madame Diane Maheu-Jacques, from Charlesbourg. We still don't know when Louis crossed the sea to
New France. Let's say only
that the merchant François Hazeur, from Québec, was searching for two
cabinetmakers in 1685. As he went to
Amiens, the village of his origin on business, we believe more and more that it
was at this time that Louis was hired and embarked. As a matter of fact, the indenture contracts and
Apassage for New
France lasted three years. Since Louis
had been employed by François Hazeur until 1688, according to what we read in
his marriage contract, 1685 is the probable year of his arrival here.
work as a cabinetmaker, according to his training, or as a carpenter? Only the indenture contract could inform us
of this. However, we are certain, again
through his marriage contract, that he lived in the heart of Place Royale, at
the home of his master.
of his marriage, 1688, was also that of the construction of the church of
Notre-Dame-des-Victories. Did he work
there? We can believe so since M.
Hazeur was warden of the parish cathedral on whom this construction
depended. For now, we know nothing more
It was on 17 May at
the cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Québec that he married Antoinette Leroux,
daughter of François Leroux dit Cardinal.
Her father was a former soldier in the Carignan Regiment. Her mother was Marie Renaud, who had come to
Québec as a daughter of the king.
while later, the new couple settled at Bourg-Royal, where a second town was
formed, three kilometers to the east of the first, that of Charlesbourg. Cabinetmaking was not sufficient for Louis
to provide for the needs of his family, because four years later, on 21
September 1692, he acquired a concession from Germain Langlois. It cost him one hundred fifty livres. It was within the price range of the place:
from 150 to 200 livres per piece of pioneering land, because well-developed,
land with house and barn, could be bought for two thousand to three thousand
livres. All was paid promptly; in fact,
a receipt was given to him in the twelfth month which followed, on 23 September
concerned forty arpents of land including eighteen workable, with only a barn
on it. This land which bordered that of
his brother-in-law, Ignace Leroux, who had built a house, and that of Jean
Sigouin, on the side which went from the northwest to the southwest of the town
was part of a star shape which was made up of all those which surrounded the
town plat. This is why its dimensions
were a half-arpent of frontage on the face, 17 arpents in depth, and 4 arpents
of frontage on the back which bordered the lands of the Jesuit priests.
death of his father-in-law François Leroux, Louis renounced the inheritance in
favor of his brother-in-law Ignace Leroux.
As compensation, the latter had to furnish him with nine days expenses
in order to build a house. The contract
was signed on 16 July 1694. Therefore,
it would be in this period of their life that Antoinette and Louis were able to
have their own house.
at Bourg-Royal seems to have passed peacefully, quietly, quite modestly. Louis was absent a few times due to his
work. Several churches, therefore,
benefited from his talent: let=s mention Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, L'Ange-Gardien
on the Beaupré Coast, and Saint-Pierre on the Ile d'Orléans. He also carried out several contracts at the
College of the Jesuits in Québec. In
order to give an idea of what he was able to accomplish, the account book of
the Fabrique of Charlesbourg reveals that he participated in the interior
decoration of this church. In 1707, he
worked on the choir; in 1709, he executed a canopy; between 1713 and 1720, he
sculpted the altar piece.
Ten children were
born to Antoinette and Louis: Geneviève, Nicolas, Louis, Pierre,
Charles, Marie-Catherine, Anne, Marie-Madeleine, Thomas, and
Marie-Thérèse. Four would be victims of
infant mortality: Geneviève, Charles,
Thomas and Marie-Thérèse.
the eldest, lived at Charlesbourg and was married three times. He was married successively to Marie-Josèphe
Bédard (1712), Catherine Allard (1719) and Marie-Josèphe Tessier (1737). With his last wife, he moved to
Contrecoeur. More educated than most
others, he became a bailiff for the seigneurie of Notre-Dame-des-Anges which
had been ceded to the Jesuit priests.
He also fulfilled the duty of church warden in the parish of
Charlesbourg and that of militia captain.
He had studied at the College of the Jesuits and had been a boarder at
the Petit Seminary of Québec.
were born to him in these three marriages.
In order to give an idea of the extent of the Jacques family they say
that from the second marriage, all the children, except Louis, settled at
second son of the ancestor, married Marguerite Sigouin (1719), and settled on
the land of his in-laws. His sons would
share it and then go in various directions.
Louis, grandson of the ancestor, would go to the coast of the Ile Dupas
while his brother Joseph went to live near there, at Berthier and
Lanoraie. While Nicolas settled at
Québec, Jean-Baptiste rejoined his Uncle Pierre, in the valley of la Chaudière,
while Pierre-Ange opted for Saint-Joachim de Beaupré.
the other son of the ancestor, had been a master cobbler. After having married Marie-Ambroise
Chalifour in 1720, he settled on the range of Saint-Pierre de Charlesbourg
(Orsainville) and from there, he left for Saint-Joseph de Beauce in 1737. His children would marry and settle there
for the most part.
Marie-Madeleine was married to Joseph LeCompte, cabinetmaker, in 1730. They were welcomed at the home of Antoinette
and Louis. And, a year later, on 14
October 1731, Antoinette and Louis signed a contract of donation in their
favor; in accordance with the coutume of Paris, they gave them half of their
property on the condition that the latter provide them with lodging, heat,
food, support and care, both in good health and in sickness and that they
assure them burial after their death and the celebration of a certain number of
masses in their honor. Among the
property mentioned, let=s note a horse completely harnessed,
a cow, a sheep, a pig, all the cabinet-making tools and the furniture and
articles of the house.
on 22 February 1735 and was buried in the chapel of the Congregation at
Charlesbourg, because he was the first to become a member of the Congregation
of Sainte-Anne. In her turn, Antoinette
died on 20 April 1739.
Jacobs, James, Jaquays, Jacquet, Jamme, Jaques, Jock, Pierrejacques, Rochon,
Stanislas and York.
Records of Franleu.
Records of the notary Denis.
Inventaire de décès, Archives
of the department of the Somme, Amiens, France.
Registres de St-Michel d'Amiens
Archives of the City Hall, Amiens, France.
Inventaire des archives
communales antérieures à 1789.
Registre aux maítres et apprentis, Municipal library, Amiens, France.
Christine Bonneton, editor., Picardy,
Le Puy en Velay, 1980, France.
l'arrondissement d'Abbeville (1863),
Vol. 1, Paris, Abbeville
(5 towns, 300 villages).
Charbonneau & Jacques Légaré, Répertoire des actes de baptème,
mariage, sèpulture et des recensements du Québec (1987), Université de Montréal,
Gaumond, La Place Royale, ses maisons, ses habitants (1971), Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
Jetté, DGFQ (1983), pp. 588-589.
Lafontaine, Le bailliage de Notre-Dame des Anges (1988), Vol. 1, pp.
Malouin, Charlesbourg 1660-1949 (1972), 132 pages, ed. La Liberté Inc.,
Noppen and John R. Porter., Les églises de Charlesbourg et l'architecture religeuse du Québec (1972), 132 pages. Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Québec.
Noppen, Les églises du Québec de 1600 à 1850 (1977), 298 pages. Fides: Montréal.
Tanguay, DGFC (1975), Montréal.
____, ANQ, Fiefs
appartenant aux Jésuites dans le Gouvernment de Québec,
17 January 1733,
________, ANQ, Records
of the notarys Rageot, Chambalon, Bequet, Duprac, J.-R, and Duprac N.
________, Account books of
Sainte-Anne de Beaupré, 1659-1731.
________, Account books of the
Seminary of Québec, 1600-1698, 1703-1708.
Register of the accounts and deliberations of the parish of Saint-Charles Borromeo of Charlesbourg, 1698-1712.
Parish registers and account books of Notre-Dame de Québec.