The Percheron Immigration recruiting of the mid 1600’s was designed specifically to establish a permanent colony in New France. Robert Giffard (1587- 1668) was the first colonizing seigneur and did so at the request of the French King Louis XIII.
There was a specific condition attached. Giffard became Seigneur of Beauport as he was to be granted a large tract of land, including the resources. This area became known as the Seigniory of Beauport located close to Quebec City. It was the beginning of the Seigneurial system of land holding in New France based on the feudal system in France.1. He was persuasive and able to recruit skilled craftsmen to join him in this new adventure.
Marin Boucher, my 9th great-grandfather was one of the skilled stonemasons who was up to the challenge of joining
Giffard. He joined the Percheron immigrants. Although he had already established his family, he, his second wife, Perrine and three of his children chose to embark on this great new adventure.2.
Marin Boucher was born on the 15th of April 1589 in the Parish of Saint Langis, Mortagne-au-Perche. His first marriage took place in 1611. He married Julienne Barry. Together they had seven children. She died in 1627. Several years later he married Perrine Mallet. This marriage also produced seven children.3.
In 1634 Marin was already 45 years old. Nevertheless, he made the decision to join the other recruited Percheron families. They made their way overland to Dieppe with family souvenirs, their tools, and high hopes. The ships were waiting for them. They boarded the ship Captain Pierre de Nesle, Le Petit Saint- Christophe in April. 4. They arrived in Quebec City June 4, 1634
Marin, with other skilled workers built Giffard’s home and 11 houses for the settlers. At that time, he also acquired a piece of land on the St. Charles River. He settled there with his family and worked as a stone mason and cultivated his land.
Eventually he sold that home. In 1641 he had staked out land for both he and his son and son-in-law in Beauport on the St. Lawrence River. In 1650 upon receiving the formal title to that property he settled in Beauport Seigneury on property that was 1150 feet wide along the river and 4 miles in length away from the river. 5
Map of the property of Marin Boucher, and those given to his son Jean-Galeran, and Jean Plante. his son-in-law..
Marin Boucher’s signature6.
In 1663 it was noted that Marin Boucher’s land was in Chateau Richer. Several of Robert Giffard’s disgruntled settlers had relocated after his death. His son, Joseph had revoked their land. They then moved to Chateau Richer. The parish grew and a new stone church was built. Bishop Francois de Laval confirmed 170 parishioners, including Marin and his wife Perrine along with their family members.6.
Marin’s decision to settle in New France proved to be a positive one. He is considered the first pioneer of New France. The 1667 census noted that Marin owned 8 head of cattle and 20 arpents of cultivated land. He and his family prospered. At that point he also owned enough land to provide for each of his children and their families.
At the age of 82, on the 28th of March 1671 Marin Boucher died.
Translation of the Burial record
“In the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1671, on the 29th of March died Marin Boucher after having lived as a good Christian and received the Holy sacraments of eucharist, penance and the last rights of extreme unction, was buried in the cemetery of Chateau-Richer by Monsieur Morel accompanied by the Reverend Father Nouvelle and by me doing priestly functions for them on the coast of Beaupre.” 7
(signed) F. Pillion, missionary priest
Marin Boucher is buried in La visitation-de-Notre-Dame Cemetery in Chateau Richer.
There are an estimated 350,000 descendants of Marin Boucher in North America. Are you also one of them?
- http://www.perche-quebec.com/files/perche/individus/giffard-robert.htm Accessed Sept. 1, 2020
- http://www.perche-quebec.com/files/perche/individus/boucher-marin.htm Accessed Sept. 1, 2020
- www.prdh-igd.com Accessed Sept. 1,2020
- 5.https://www.google.com/search?q=First+Families+of+New+France+Boucher+Drouin+cote&rlz=1C1CHBF_enCA912CA912&oq=First+Families+of+New+France+Boucher+Drouin+cote&aqs=chrome..69i57j33l2.49159j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 Accessed Sept. 1, 2020
7.https://www.google.com/search?q=First+Families+of+New+France+Boucher+Drouin+cote&rlz=1C1CHBF_enCA912CA912&oq=First+Families+of+New+France+Boucher+Drouin+cote&aqs=chrome..69i57j33l2.49159j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 Accessed Sept. 1, 2020
8. https://www.wikitree.com/photo.php/8/80/Boucher-64.jpg Accessed Sept. 1, 2020
Other references used:
https://gw.geneanet.org/loiseau?lang=en&n=boucher&oc=0&p=marin Accessed Sept 1, 2020
https://www.geni.com/people/Marin-Boucher/6000000005948363015Free! Accessed Sept 1, 2020
https://www.wikitree.com/photo/pdf/Boucher-94 Accessed Sept 1, 2020
https://sites.rootsweb.com/~villandra/RenoP/2154.html Accessed Sept 1, 2020
https://greenerpasture.com/Ancestors/Details/852 Accessed Sept 1, 2020