Soldier – Farmer – Bourgeois
Samuel de Champlain was a man with a plan; actually, many plans. His explorations of New France began in the early 1600s. Along the way he set his sites on Trois Rivieres, given its strategic location at the mouth of the St. Maurice River where it flows into the St. Lawrence River.1.
Trois Rivières derived its name from the delta at the mouth of the river where there are two islands that separate the river into three branches as it flows into the St. Lawrence. “… the Three Rivers name is used for the first time in 1599 by Sieur François Gravé Du Pont, a geographer under Champlain, whose records confirmed the name in 1603”. 2.
The area was settled by a small group of colonists on July 4th, 1634. At the time it was the second largest New France settlement, the first being Quebec City in 1608. Montreal would follow about 8 years after Trois Rivières in 1642. 3.
The young colony of Trois Rivières was constantly under attack by the Iroquois.4.
“Under the orders of Champlain, LaViolette, (a commander) travels to the mouth of the Saint-Maurice River to found a fur trading post and build a fort on ‘le Platon’, a plateau situated on a hillock of land along the St. Lawrence River. The fort would enclose a few homes and shops, and the settlement would become known as Trois-Rivières. For a long time, this site will be one of the most advantageous for the activities of fur traders.” 5.
In 1656, Claude Jutras dit Lavallée, a young 29-year-old soldier arrived in Trois Rivières and was stationed at the garrison. One of his first transactions was to purchase land. This was the first of many transactions he would be involved in over the years.
What is a ‘dit/dite’ name? When the first settlers came to Québec from France it was a custom to add a ‘dit’ nickname to the surname. The English translation of ‘dit’ is ‘said’. The Colonists of Nouvelle France added ‘dit’ names as distinguishers. A settler might have wanted to differentiate their family from their siblings by taking a ‘dit’ name that described the locale to which they had relocated. The Colonists of Nouvelle France added ‘dit’ names as distinguishers. 6.
Within a year of his arrival Claude married Elisabeth Radisson, my 7th great-grandmother, the sister of Pierre Esprit Radisson, the famous explorer and coureur de bois. (see previous blogs: A Very Marriageable Young Girl and Allegiances)
Claude was born in the parish of Saint Severin, Paris, Ile de France, France in about 1627. He was the son of Pierre Jutras dit Lavallee Desrosiers and Marie Claude Boucher d’Avancon. They were married in Paris and there are questions about the date of the marriage. Little is known or written about the family or about Claude’s early years.
We do know that Claude Jutras dit LaVallée owns five cattle and sixteen arpents of land in value in 1667. 10. Élisabeth Radisson and Claude Jutras dit LaVallée residing in Trois-Rivières in 1681 3 . Claude Jutras dit LaVallée owns a gun, four horned animals and thirty arpents of land in value in 1681. 10.
Claude Jutras dit LaVallée is a bourgeois in 1699. This fact is noted frequently in the many BanQ NUmerique records shown in the documents below.11.
Eventually, the King of France realized that the young colony needed better protection if they truly wanted to establish a permanent settlement. The Carignan-Salieres Regiment consisting of 1,500 regular soldiers arrived in New France in 1663. 12.
Claude did not remain in the garrison for very long. The Talon census of 1666 indicated that he was living in Trois Rivières and had become a settler, a habitant, with a growing family.13.
After serving time as a soldier, he became a farmer. The family settled in the community and prospered and was recognized in 1679 as a member of the ‘bourgeoisie’. This is also noted in many of the court records and that both Claude and Elisabeth could sign their names.
Claude died on the 28th of November 1710 and was laid to rest in the cemetery in Trois Rivières. Elisabeth lived another twelve years surrounded by her extended family
While researching records at BanQ Numerique for information on Claude Jutras, it was interesting to note that Claude and Elisabeth had many irons in the fire. He had a variety of requests both as a plaintiff and a defendant.
One can glean glimpses into the insights of these settlers, how they lived, and the issues that were important to them: land purchases, settling of accounts, being dismissed from duties, gambling issues, and damages to property. Example: one’s ox, just to name a few. In the case of the Jutras family there are 195 records during a period of nearly fifty years.14.
Below are three records of transactions by Claude Jutras dit Lavallée.
Results of the research
- results Keyword : Claude Jutras dit Lavallée – Quebec heritage– Judgment referring Claude Jutras dit Lavallée, elected tutor of the minor children of Marguerite Hayot, widow of sieur Grandmesnil, now wife of Medard Chouart DesGroseilliers before the judge of Trois-Rivières, to be discharged from the guardianship. Quebec heritage. New France. Sovereign Council. September 3, 1664
Transcription of the text with modernized spelling: “On what was represented by the Attorney General of the King. Translated by DeepL
- Marguerite Hayet Des Groseilliers was the half-sister of Elisabeth Radisson.
2. Request from Claude Jutras (Jutrat) dit Lavallée (La Vallée), plaintiff, to be compensated by master Guillaume Pépin for an ox which was mistreated by his people who would have inflicted a wound on his hip by blows. Said Pépin is ordered to dress and medicate the beef in order to cure it. Quebec heritage -New France. Royal jurisdiction of Trois-Rivières. August 31, 1669 . Translated by DeepL
Translated by Google