Saturday, January 26, 2013

Part 3: Louis Marie dit Ste-Marie and Mathurine Goard (Deneault-Jager Line)

In addition to the 75-livre dowry that each young lady had brought with her, Louis offered the husbands of the Filles du Roi a one-time disbursement of 100 livres if they would stay in New France and establish families. Moreover, men who fathered ten children would receive 300 additional livres per year; and those who fathered twelve, 400. Such arrangements do not sit well with modern sensitivities, but marriage has always had a business component to it—and at least the couples were allowed to choose their own spouses. The king did not meddle in the particular matches. By the time Louis Marie met Mathurine Goard (and we do not know the exact date or circumstances surrounding their meeting), his surname had changed a bit. It seems the regimental records of the soldiers’ names became confusing to authorities since so many lads had very similar names—the French equivalents, I suppose, of Tommy Atkins or John Smith. Therefore, each man was encouraged to take a particular identifying name—a nom de guerre, of sorts, and our Louis Marie modified his name to become Louis Marie dit Sainte-Marie. The word "dit" (pronounced “dee”) means "said," but a looser translation—and one that would sound more typical in English—would be "called." Therefore, Louis’s name became “Louis Marie called Sainte-Marie.” It is hard to say exactly how Louis came to choose this name, but it may be an indication of the fact that he was indeed among the members of the regiment who built Fort Sainte-Marie upon arrival in Quebec. Like Louis, most of the others who decided to settle in Canada kept their dit names, passing them on to their children and sometimes even discontinuing use of their original surnames. So, at some point in time, Louis Marie dit Sainte-Marie made his way to Marguerite Bourgeoys’s establishment and began a courtship with Mathurine. According to Yve Landry, who wrote a book about the Filles du Roi, it was common practice that the prospective brides and grooms would become engaged in the church, with the priest as a witness. The European custom of proclaiming the marriage banns three times before the actual ceremony could take place gave way to the practical nature of Canadian frontier life and were usually discontinued. Louis and Mathurine were married on May 31, 1667, in the Basilique Notre Dame de Montreal, which was operated at the time by the Sulpician Fathers, who, interestingly, had originated at the Church of Ste. Sulpice in Paris, where Marthurine’s parents were married and where she was baptized. There is an extant record that in 1671 Louis Marie dit Ste-Marie owned land in Longueil, Quebec, a city directly south of Montreal across the St. Lawrence River. This must have been the homestead where Louis and Marguerite lived and raised their family of ten children, four boys and six girls. Louis passed away in December 2, 1702, and is buried in Montreal. Marguerite lived on for eighteen years, dying in Montreal on December 9, 1720. It is highly likely that the two were buried at the Basilique Notre Dame, which remained their place of worship throughout their lives. Unfortunately, in the intervening (nearly) 300 years, the site of the old cemetery, just inside the northern wall, has become the location of numerous city buildings, though the remains of the founders of Montreal are presumed still to repose in the earth beneath them. The Society of the Daughters of the King and Soldiers of the Carignan[-Salieres Regiment] states, “Most of the millions of people of French Canadian descent today, both in Quebec and the rest of Canada and the USA (and beyond!), are descendants of one or more of these courageous women of the 17th century.” And, more specifically, genealogist Raymond M. Ste-Marie, a descendant of Louis and Mathurine, has catalogued all marriages on record in Canada involving the Ste-Marie surname—2,000 in all! Acknowledging the fact that for millenia, it was not uncommon for couples to have ten or more children—and they ten more, in their turn—one can see that the descendants of Louis Marie dit Ste-Marie and Mathurine Goard number in the millions. This rich heritage truly makes up for the loneliness of the little orphan girl in St-Sulpice and the young lady setting out to a strange new world with a glimmer of matrimonial hope. Though it might have been hard to see at the time, God had a plan all along. Sources:


  1. Welcome to Geneabloggers. I'm new here this week too. I have been trying to check out all of the blogs. Interesting story.
    I am addicted to anything French. My son and I have been there twice in the last year. I still haven't been able to validate any family connections to anyone in France. My daughter has been able to connect(with help of genealogists in her father's family who have been working for 40 years) to Charlemagne.


  2. Welcome to Geneabloggers. I've been a member for about four months. This is a great blogging community. I received "An Early Christmas Gift" this year and have been blogging about ever since. I just need to find time to post the next article.

    Regards, Grant

  3. Thanks for posting! This story is about direct ancestors on my paternal grandmothers side! Excellent research and very well written! :)

  4. Louis Marie ( under the pen of the notaries)is often written Louïs Mary dit Ste-Marie.Great wonder...

  5. Great stories about Mathurine and Louis! My 7th great grandparents.


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