Genealogy, New France, Resources Outside of Montreal, Social history

Seigniories of the Lower St. Lawrence and of the Côte-du-Sud

If some of your ancestors lived along the south shore of the Lower St. Lawrence River (the Bas Saint-Laurent, as it is often called today,) the attached PDF compilation is designed to help you learn more about their lives.

See PDF:  Seigniories of the Lower St. Lawrence – Revised Version 2018-09-03

The river is tidal here, and so broad that the far north shore is hardly visible. This beautiful area of rolling farmland and salt marshes has been settled for generations, with many residents making a living fishing, building boats and transporting goods and people on the river.

south shore egret
South shore of the Lower St. Lawrence River

Until the 1850s, almost all the land was owned by a few individuals, known as seigneurs, who rented it out to the censitaires, or tenant farmers. Most seigneurs were honest and caring individuals who took care of their tenants. They granted lands to the settlers and financed their first years with money, food, cattle and other animals, farm equipment, wood-cutting tools, building tools and rifles.

In return, the censitaires would repay on a yearly basis their seigneur with beaver furs and other types of fur. They also repaid them with hard-wood, a precious commodity in the 17th century in Europe, for most hard-wood forests no longer existed on the European continent. If the seigneur and his family resided on the seigneury, the censitaires would bring them eggs and meat, as well as fresh milk.

south shore famrland
Farmland along the south shore of the Lower St. Lawrence

Many of the seigneurs on the attached list were merchants or fur traders, and obtained most of their revenue from the sale of wild furs and hard-wood. Some were importers and exporters and dealt with merchants in French port cities such as La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Rouen and Le Havre.

The compilation on the PDF attached includes six main sections:

The Seigneurs: this section focuses on the historic landowners on the south shore of the Lower St. Lawrence, including links to biographies of these individuals.

Regions: the geographic regions described in this compilation are Montmagny, l’Islet, Kamouraska, Témiscouata, Rivière-du-Loup, Les Basques, Rimouski, Neigette, La Mitis (Métis), Matapedia and Matane in the Gaspé.

Cemeteries: a list of historic cemeteries in this area.

Notaries: this compilation includes the names of notaries who worked in this region, the places and years they practised, and the archives where their acts can be found today. The notaries handled important legal documents for people, including wills, marriage contracts, business agreements, land rental and sales agreements, and protests in cases of disagreement.

Bibiothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ): locations and contact information for the archives, and how to order documents online.

Genealogical and historical societies in the region: contact information

With regard to the notaries listed in the attached PDF, the majority of the notarial acts can be obtained through the BAnQ online (free, http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaires/ or http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/genealogie_histoire_familiale/genealogie_banq/guide/archives-notariales/index.html), FamilySearch.org (free), or Ancestry.com (subscription). Ancestry has two distinct databases covering different time periods during the lifetime of a notary. Also listed are the notarial acts which can be obtained through Généalogie Québec (Drouin Institute online), (https://www.genealogiequebec.com/en/.

For each notary selected, if a URL address has been posted, this indicates that the genealogy provider’s online databases contains notarial acts. If a URL address has not been posted, this simply indicates that the provider does not own fonds of this particular notary.

french-canadian, Genealogy, Manitoba, New France, Quebec, United States

Chasing the Voyageurs, part 2

The fur trade was a key part of Canada’s history and hundreds of people were involved in it from the late 1600s to the early 1800s. One way to research an ancestor who was a fur trader is to find the contracts he signed, contracts thwere generally prepared by notaries in Montreal, Quebec or Trois-Rivières.

The notaries who handled fur trade contracts in the 18th and 19th centuries were:

Louis Chaboillez – Montréal 1787-1813 – 9,346 bibliographical records

John Gerbrand Beek – Montréal 1781-1822 – 5,277 records

Jonathan Abraham Gray – Montréal 1796-1812 – 3,258 records

Jean-Baptiste Adhémar– Montréal 1714-1754 – 3,151 records

Louis-Claude Danré de Branzy – Montréal 1738-1760 – 2,784 records

François Simmonet – Montréal – 1737-1778 – 2,139 records

Joseph Desautels – Montréal 1810-1820 – 1,638 records

Antoine Foucher – Montréal – 1746-1800 – 1,056 records

Henry Griffin – Montréal 1812-1847 – 952 records

Pierre Panet de Méru – Montréal 1755-1778 – 824 records

François Leguay – Montréal 1770-1789 – 814 records

Nicolas Benjamin Doucet – Montréal 1804-1855 – 609 records

Henry Crebassa – Sorel 1795-1843 – 555 records

Joseph Cadet – Québec 1784-1800 – 276 records

Charles Claude Pratte – Trois-Rivières 1801-1817 – 236 records

Louis-Joseph Soupras – Montréal – 1762-1792 & 1809-1832 – 150 records

Pierre Ritchot – Montréal 1821-1831- 117 records

Joseph Gabrion – Montréal 1780-1804 – 54 records

Jean-Baptiste Desève – Montréal 1785-1805 – 15 records

One of the busiest of these notaries was Louis Chaboillez, who practiced in Montreal. Summaries of the more than 9000 fur trade contracts he handled can be found online on the website of the Societe historique de Saint-Boniface (SHSB) at http://archivesshsb.mb.ca/fr/list?q=Louis+Chaboillez&p=1&ps=20

The SHSB in Winnipeg has a special interest in the history of the fur trade and the people who were involved. You can learn more about the SHSB heritage center at http://shsb.mb.ca/en/about_us. This society can also help with genealogy research, especially if you have Metis ancestry. See http://shsb.mb.ca/en/Collections_and_Research.

Diane Wolford Sheppard of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan has done extensive research on the fur trade during the French Regime, especially in the Detroit region of Michigan, the Mississipi River in Illinois and the Green Bay region of Wisconsin. This includes Fort Michilimackinac (Mackinac Island & Mackinak County, Michigan) 1683-1754; Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit – Fort Détroit (Detroit, Michigan) 1701-1760; Fort de Chartres (Mississipi River in Illinois) 1718-1731; Bay of Sauks (Ouisconsin) — Fort Winnebago; (Green Bay, Wisconsin) 1640s-1763.

The notaries in New France who handled fur trade contracts for destinations in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin were:

Antoine Adhémar – Montréal 1668-1714 – Trois-Rivières 1668-1714

Claude Mauque – Québec 1674-1682 – Montréal 1677-1696

Hilaire Bourgine – Montréal 1685-1690

Pierre Raimbault – Montréal 1697-1727

Michel Lepailleur de Laferté – Québec 1700-1715 & Montréal 1701-1732

Jean-Baptiste Adhémar – Montréal 1714-1754

Henri Hiché – Québec – 1725-1736

François Simmonet – Montréal – 1737-1778

http://www.habitantheritage.org/french-canadian_resources/the_fur_trade This article on the website of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan links to a variety of resources about the fur trade in the 17th century.

http://habitantheritage.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Women_and_Their_World_-_for_website.275153906.pdf This article by Diane Wolford Sheppard lists some women who were involved in the fur trade or liquor trade in the 17th century.

http://habitantheritage.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Outdoor_Activities.27051652.pdf This article mentions the names of some of the men who were present in Detroit around 1715.

If you had an ancestor who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company, take a look at this article from the Alberta Family History Society on researching family history at the archives of the HBC: http://afhs.ab.ca/aids/talks/notes_mar98.html. The Hudson’s Bay Company records are at the Manitoba Archives, https://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/.

Library and Archives Canada has many records of people who worked in the fur trade; for example, http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/genealogy/topics/employment/Pages/fur-trade.aspx

The McCord Museum in Montreal has records of the North West Company, one of the major players in the later years of the fur trade. Some of its photos and documents have been digitized; see http://collections.musee-mccord.qc.ca/scripts/search_results.php?keywords=North+West+Company&Lang=1

Notarial records including fur trade contracts from prior to 1800 can be found on the Parchemin database; see https://genealogyensemble.com/2017/01/01/finding-quebecs-early-notarial-records/

The Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) is slowly digitizing its collection of notarial documents, but most can be consulted on microfilm at the archives in Montreal and other branches across Quebec.

The Société de généalogie de Longueuil (http://www.sglongueuil.org/), just south of Montreal, also has an extensive collection of notarial records on microfilm; see http://www.sglongueuil.org/cadres/texte/greffes.html.

 

Genealogy, Quebec

Notary Pierre Panet

Pierre Panet de Méru was an important notary in Montreal between 1754 and 1778, a period that included the years immediately after New France was conquered and transitioned into a British colony. If your ancestors lived in Montreal during this period, Panet may have drawn up wills for them, or helped them purchase property or make business agreements.

The son of Jean-Nicolas Panet and Madeleine Françoise Foucher, he was born in Paris in 1731. He moved to New France in 1746 and settled in the capital city of Quebec, where his brother Jean-Claude Panet served as a notary from 1744 to 1775. Panet married Marie-Anne Trefflé-Rottot in Quebec City on October 2, 1754, and he was appointed a notary in the jurisdiction of Montreal two months later.

Following the British victory in 1759 at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City and the surrender of Montreal to the British in 1760, many notaries, court clerks and other notables left New France and returned to Europe. Panet was not one of them. From the beginning of the British regime, he learned to live and work with the new authorities.

He was one of the first notaries in Montreal to work closely with the English-speaking merchants, civil servants, military officers and soldiers who now resided in the region, assisting them with marriage contracts, wills (testaments), after-death inventories, guardianships, property transactions and business agreements.

In addition to being a notary, Panet served as a judge and a justice of the peace. He died June 15, 1804. For more details of his life, see http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/panet_pierre_5F.html

As of December, 2016, the fonds (collections) of notarial acts of Pierre Panet de Méru are not available in any online databases, nor are they on microfilm at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). These notarial acts are only available from Parchemin, a database of notarial acts of Québec owned by Archiv-Histo, a division of the Chambre des notaires du Québec.

The notarial acts acts written by Pierre Panet can be found in the Parchemin collection under Cote # 06010308 or under Saphir # 6009308 (1755-1778). See https://www.archiv-histo.com/EN/.

You can consult the Parchemin database at the BAnQ in Montreal and several other locations in Quebec, and at some public libraries elsewhere.

BAnQ Montréal – Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec  535, avenue Viger Est, Montréal, QC H2L 2P3   – Tel : 514-873-1100 #4 or 1-800-363-9028 –   email : archives.montreal@banq.qc.ca

For more information on notarial records see the following links:

http://books.openedition.org/pur/4596?lang=en

http://www.fichierorigine.com/recherche?numero=243137

https://www.archiv-histo.com/assets/publications/1989-Parchemin-Methode_SITE.pdf

https://archiv-histo.com/assets/publications/2015-Notaires-liste-Chrono-Tablo.pdf

http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaires/fichiers/portail/html/liste.html

 

Genealogy, Loyalists, Quebec

Louis Chaboillez, Notary of Missisquoi Bay, 1787-1813

If your Loyalist ancestors settled in the Missisquoi Bay area of Quebec, including towns such as Frelighsburg, Philipsburg, Saint-Armand and Pigeon Hill, the files of notary Louis Chaboillez might help you learn something about them.

This area, located just north of the Vermont border near Lake Champlain and the Richelieu and Pike Rivers, has a long history. The shore of Missisquoi Bay was once the site of an Abenaki village, but in the mid-1700s, the governor of New France divided the land into vast estates called seigneuries. Two of the seigneuries in this part of Quebec were the St. Armand and the Foucault Seigneuries. The first owner of the Saint-Armand seigneury was a Quebec City man who built ships for the King of France, and later, this seigneury was owned by a senior British colonial administrator.

Although New France became the British colony of Lower Canada in 1763, the seigneurial system of land ownership remained in effect until 1854. But long before 1854, many new settlers began to arrive in the area, and they wanted to own their own property.

Thousands of Loyalists who had been loyal to the British during the American Revolution left the United States for Canada in 1784. In the Missisquoi Bay area, they built homes, farms, flour mills, schools and churches. The government of Lower Canada had to find a way to sort out titles to properties in this and similar areas, and it gave this responsibility to certain notaries. The man who undertook this task in the Missisquoi Bay region was Louis Chaboillez. A notary who practiced between 1787 and 1813 in the Judicial District of Montreal, he was assigned to legalize the allotment of lands in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and in the Richelieu River Valley. He served families in the Eastern Townships until the arrival of notary Léon Lalanne in the spring of 1799.

You can find the collection of notarial acts written by Louis Chaboillez between 1787 and 1813 at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) in downtown Montreal. The acts are on microfilm under Cote (Fonds) # CN60,S74 (1787-1813). The original fonds (collection) includes 14.67 metres of documents and one map. It appears that all documents written by Chaboillez were reproduced, with the exception of the map, on microfilms # 3291, 3292, 3293, 3294, 3295, 3296, 3297, 3298, 3299, 3300, 3301, 3302, 3303, 3304, 3305, 3306, 3307, 3380, 3496, 3497 and 3733. A few additional acts were reproduced on Cote (Fonds) #ZQ601.

As of October, 2016, the notarial acts of Louis Chaboillez were not available on the BAnQ’s website (http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaires/).

The main Montreal branch of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec is located at 535 avenue Viger Est, Montréal, QC H2L 2P3; Tel : 514-873-1100 #4 or 1-800-363-9028; email: archives.montreal@banq.qc.ca. The archives is open from Tuesday through Saturday every week; please verify for actual opening hours and legal holidays. See  www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_montreal.html.

Louis Chaboillez’s notarial acts can also be found in the Parchemin collection, compiled by Archiv-Histo, under cote # 06010074 (1787-1813). The Parchemin collection is available at libraries throughout Canada and the United States. Archiv-Histo is an associate society of the Chambre des notaires du Québec.

The collection of notarial acts on Parchemin is the largest and most precise in Quebec. Not all of the documents produced by Quebec notaries between 1663 and 1900 are available at BAnQ repositories across the province. Parchemin tells you where notarial acts (minutiers) are kept, and which ones were destroyed by fire. To learn more, see https://www.archiv-histo.com/EN/index.php.

Compiled by Jacques Gagné  gagne.jacques@sympatico.ca  2016-10-16

 

Genealogy, Loyalists, Quebec

Notary Peter Lukin Sr. and the Christie Seigneuries

Notary Peter Lukin Sr. helped the people of the Upper Richelieu River Valley and Eastern Townships of Quebec sort out land ownership issues between 1790 and 1814. Among his clients were Loyalists and other American-born settlers who had moved north of the border in search of farmland, as well as British, Scottish and Irish-born families.

Although New France was ceded to Britain in 1763 and became the Lower Canada colony, the old seigneurial land-ownership system of New France persisted until 1854. The seigneurial system began in the 1600s as a tool to control the settlement of New France. The king granted large areas of land to influential people including military officers and members of the aristocracy. The seigneurs then rented out farm lots to the habitants, or tenants. The habitants paid rent in cash or grain in exchange for land management assistance and various rights from the seigneurs. This system determined the way rural society in New France developed. When the British abolished the system in 1854, the colonial government had to introduce a means for the tenants to buy their farms.

One area in which the seigneurial system existed was in the Upper Richelieu Valley, an area with very fertile soil that attracted many settlers. The valley stretches next to the Richelieu River, which flows north out of Lake Champlain in northern Vermont and  empties into the St. Lawrence River near the town of Sorel. Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriel Christie acquired five seigneuries in this region following the fall of New France. The Christie Seigneuries remained in his family’s possession long after the seigneurial system was officially abolished.

In her book The Christie Seigneuries; Estate Management and Settlement in the Upper Richelieu Valley 1760-1854 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1992), historian Françoise Noël wrote that seigneurial property rights were used to control access to land, timber mills and other resources in the area for many years.

On May 8, 1790, Peter Lukin Sr., a notary and Justice of the Peace in the Judicial District of Montreal, was appointed as one of several notaries assigned to legalize the allotment of lands in the Eastern Townships and the Richelieu River Valley, including the Christie Seigneuries.

The seigneurial system was never implemented in the Eastern Townships, which was settled in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

The notarial acts of Peter Lukin Sr., 1790-1814, Cote # CN601, S269, can be found on microfilm at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) in Montreal. The BAnQ Montréal is located at 535 avenue Viger Est, Montréal, QC, H2L 2P3; Tel: 514-873-1100 plus option 4, plus option 1; Toll Free: 1-800-363-9028 plus option 4 plus 1; email: archives.montreal@banq.qc.ca

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/

http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaires/

A database of the Christie Seigneuries, “The Upper Richelieu Valley Database by Seigneury,” prepared by Françoise Noël can be found at http://faculty.nipissingu.ca/noel/files/2013/01/Christie_Seigneuries_by_Seigneury.pdf

Noël also identified three other early notaries who served in the region of the Christie Seigneuries within the Upper Richelieu River Valley:

Pierre de Mérut Panet – Notary, Judicial District of Montréal 1755-1778

Pierre Lanctot – Notary, Judicial District of Montréal 1809-1850

Pierre Besse – Notary – Judicial District of Richelieu 1811-1813

The Notarial Acts of Pierre de Mérut Panet likely address the British officers who were granted lands in the Upper Richelieu River Valley and perhaps also in the Lower Richelieu River Valley (the Sorel area) who fought with military leaders James Wolfe, Jeffery Amherst, James Murray, Charles Saunders, Thomas Gage, George Townshend and Robert Monckton at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 and at the Conquest of Montreal in 1760.