An Early Settler in New France

Monument of Samuel de Champlain on the boardwalk

On my parent’s wedding anniversary, September 6, 1948, when the colors of autumn were at their finest, our family visited Quebec City and walked along the famous boardwalk. There, as a youngster I gazed upward at the monument of Samuel de Champlain.1. and wondered about this impressive statue. Who was this man?  Little did I know then just how much he contributed to the development of New France. What made my ancestors choose to settle here?

In the early years many men and women settled in places like Chateau Richer near Quebec City, Ile d ’Orleans, in Trois Rivieres during the mid 1600s and, Montreal around 1666.

 As time went on, these new inhabitants, skilled pioneers, explorers, and settlers scattered across this vast country. Today you will find my ancestors including the  Fortins who arrived in 1651, Jodouins – 1666, along with Jutras – 1646, Cholets and Pilons 1700.

Quebec City was the very first settlement of New France. At the request of Samuel de Champlain, during the winter of 1634, Trois Rivieres, the second settlement was chosen. Champlain realized that the delta of the St. Maurice River, had already known to be a strategic point and a meeting place for fur traders along the St. Lawrence.  Later Montreal was founded by Paul de Maisonneuve in 1642. 

During that first summer, Champlain sought the assistance of Monsieur de Laviolette who arrived in Trois Rivieres in July with the responsibility to oversee the construction of a trading post that would also provide protection for the inhabitants

By 1646 Trois Rivières welcomed Pierre Esprit Radisson, the explorer and his two sisters,

Elizabeth and Francoise and his half- sister, Marguerite Hayet. They all settled, married and raised their families in this fledgling settlement.

In the story “A Woman of Courage”4, very little was noted about Marguerite Hayet’s first husband, Jean Veron de Grandmesnil, born Jan 26, 1620 5.. in Saint Martin de Mesnil-Oury, (today: Saint Martin des Noyes in the diocese of Lisieux, Normandy, France) and there is a commune named Grandmesnil in the arrondisment of Lisieux. His parents are unknown.

Jean Veron, a soldier arrived in 1644, one of the few who knew how to sign. He was one of the fourteen settlers to receive a concession at Cap De La Madeleine. In addition, he owned land in Trois-Rivières, and had at least 7 concessions granted over his brief lifetime.6.

Jean  Veron de Grandmesnil and Marguerite Hayet were married on 25th of November 1646 .7.

Acknowledgement of a marriage contract between 

Marguerite Hayet and Jean Veron de Grandmesnil.8.


Marguerite and Jean’s three children.9.

 Jean Véron de Grandmesnil , François Marguerie and Claude David were granted on June 2, 1647  by the governor of New France, Charles-Jacques Huault de Montmagny, acting   on behalf of the Compagnie des Cent-Associés, to clear Saint-Quentin Island (then called Pigs Island), in the delta of the St. Maurice River.10.

The Governor of New France  land grant June 2, 1647:

The map showing the mouth  of the St. Maurice River and Saint Quentin Island

During an expedition against the Iroquois on August 19, 1652 11.. led by Governor Guillaume Duplessis Kerbonot, Jean de Grandmesnil was killed at the young age of 32 and buried the same day. His widow, Marguerite had three young children, Marguerite 4, Etienne 3, and Guillaume 1 year old.10.

A year later, on August 23, Marguerite married Medard Chouart des Groseilliers 12.. who partnered with her half-brother Pierre Esprit Radisson and together they founded the Hudson Bay Company.


1.      /9/92/ Statue_de_Samuel De_Champlain%2C_Qu%C3%A9bec.jpg

2.Family photograph by Karl Victor Lindell


4.  \


6. Numerous Notarial Acts




10 .map of St. Maurice River

11 .

Research Sources:

Results for Jean Veron de Grandmesnil

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