In the mid 1600’s New France welcomed many of my ancestors from France. Among them, a ‘marriageable young women, Genevieve Gamache, a sixth great grandmother, privately sponsored. She settled in the Quebec City area.
At the request of Louis XIV who offered incentives for people to settle in a new country Anne Thomas, also a sixth great grandmother, along with 90 other ‘filles du roi’ in 1665 boarded the St. Jean Baptiste and sailed from Dieppe to Montreal.1.
At about the same time, in the town of Bayeux, Normandy, France, where the famous tapestry depicts the Norman Conquest of 1066 there was a young man seeking adventure. Antoine was born on the Feast of St. John the Baptist in 1664 (June 24th) .2. His father Thomas Pilon, a butcher and his wife Magdeleine Hugues Rouault had 5 children..
At the age of twenty-four Antoine left his homeland to cross the Atlantic seeking a new life in what was then a fledgling country where he became a farmer and later a landowner.
Notarial Record – Lease on a farm.
Shortly after his arrival in Ville Marie Antoine chose his bride to be, Anne Brunet. Michel Mathieu Brunet dit L’Etang and Marie Madeleine Blanchard brought Anne into the world on January 1, 1672.4. He was a farmer and a prosperous fur trader. At the time of Anne’s birth, the family was living near Trois Rivieres. The family moved to Lachine at a later date.
Antoine and Anne were married in Notre Dame parish church in Montreal on January 29, 1689. Their first child, Jeanne was born in Montreal, December 9th of that same year. Over a period of 24 years the couple had 14 children.6. The first 3 children were born in Montreal, two were born in Laprairie and the others were born in Lachine and Pointe-Claire. In those days not all children survived, and they lost three infants. Several of their children lived until their 80`s.
Church record of the marriage of Antoine and Anne 5.
On the 20 of January 1689 a solemn marriage between Antoine Pilon, son of Thomas Pilon and Magdeleine Hugues the father and mother on one hand and Marie Anne Brunet daughter of Mathieu Brunet and Marie Blanchard, the father and mother on the other. Mathieu Brunet was a witness.
Notarial record of marriage 5.
Antoine was not as fortunate as his children. He died at the age of 50 on February 24th, 1715.7. He is buried in St. Joachim Ancient Cemetery beside the church in the village not far from the home he built.
Church Record of Antoine Pilon’s burial
During those early years Ville Marie, as Montreal was called at that time experienced numerous Indian raids. One of them being the devastating Lachine Massacre in August 1689. Many lives were lost. During the next few years efforts were made to find a peaceful resolution.
“The Great Peace of Montreal (French: La Grande paix de Montréal) was a peace treaty between New France and 39 First Nations of North America. It was signed on August 4, 1701, by Louis-Hector de Callière, governor of New France, ….and provided 16 years of peaceful relations and trade before war started again.”.8.
After the signing of the peace treaty, the Sulpicians, administrators, and seigneurs of the land began conceding properties. Several of my ancestors were among those who benefited from this opportunity. They chose to move westward to what is now the West Island. The first, Sebastien Cholet dit Laviolette my 6th great-grandfather started the trend. He settled in the community we now call Dorval. He built his home on the eastern tip of Valois Bay in a small cove that bears his name, overlooking Lake St. Louis. Antoine Pilon my 7th great-grandfather also chose to settle west of Ville Marie, following in Sebastien`s footsteps, He purchased land in Pointe-Claire with frontage on the shores of Lake St. Louis. 9.
All the land transactions, from the original owner Pierre Sauvé to Antoine Pilon are all documented up to the current date.10.
The house lies on lot 88 of the present survey, forming a part of lot number 154 in the original land registry of the Island of Montreal. Lot 154-D was conceded by the Sulpicians to Pierre Sauvé dit Laplante on November 24th,1698. Then, the size of the property was 3 acres of frontage and 60 acres deep, on the shore of Lac Saint-Louis.
Pierre Sauvé and his wife Marie-Michel sold this land to Jean du Tartre dit Desrosiers on October 27th, 1700. Two transactions took place on the same day, September 19,1706. DuTartre gave a concession to Madeleine LeMoyne, already in possession of the adjoining lot. She immediately sold lot 154-D to Antoine Pilon, having already purchased from her the adjoining lot 155-D.
Marie-Anne Brunet inherited the lot after Antoine`s death and she gave the land to her son Mathieu on January 22nd, 1729. The deed (acte de donation) indicates land of 5 acres of frontage to 20 acres deep, consisting of lots 154-D and 155-D. In this deed we learned that the lot contained a house, possibly built during the summer of 1707.
The house Antoine built remained in the Pilon family, passed on from his wife, Anne to their son Mathieu and then from father to son for 120 years.11. Remarkably it is still standing today, and one can see it when driving along 258 Lakeshore Road-Bord-du-lac near the entrance to Pointe-Claire village.
Antoine PIlon House
- Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Collection: Fonds Cour Supérieure. District judiciaire de Montréal. Cote CN601. Greffes de notaires, 1648-1967.; District: Montréal; Title: Saint Martin, Antoine Adhemar dit (1668-1699)com. Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. Repertoire de notaires (Notarial catalogs), Montreal. Maugue, Claude (1677-1696)
- Ancestry.com. Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621- 1968[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2008.Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968
- .Ancestry.com. Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data: Tanguay, Cyprien. Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu’à nos jours. Québec, Canada: Eusèbe Senécal, 1871-1890. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Canada