The first time I heard the name of Jeanne Marguerite Chevalier was over twenty years ago. A book about her life started to take shape in my head roughly eight years later, in 2002. Preliminary research followed. The drive to learn more about Jeanne and write her story, however, only became an obsession one cold February day in 2011 when I stood in St. Nicolas church in Coutances where she was baptized on June 8, 1643. And now, finally, I am happy to announce the publication of this first version of the history of her life, just one day before the 300th anniversary of her death.
After months of silence, I am back writing for my blog and along the way, have run into some problems. I would like to apologize for any strange announcements that you might have received from my blog. I hope that we have resolved them and there won’t be any new “glitches.”
Silence has not meant absence of progress, rest assured. Continuing research in France and Quebec has solved a few mysteries and discovered more roadblocks. However, I am close to finishing the book on the history of Jeanne Chevalier. I promised Jeanne it would be published by the 300th anniversary of her death, November 24 2016, and so it will be! Please stay tuned for the announcement!
In the meantime, I have been busy with some other projects involving spreading the word about Jeanne as well as continuing to try to untangle some puzzles about her life in France and about her first and third husbands. In the effort to promote knowledge about Jeanne, I gave two talks in France about her story – one in Hautot-Saint-Sulpice, Robert Levesque’s birthplace, and one at the Château-Musée in Dieppe, France, the port she left in 1671 to travel to Quebec with a hundred other Filles du Roi.
Another project has been around trying to ensure appropriate recognition of Jeanne’s third husband, Jean-Baptiste-François Deschamps de la Bouteillerie. After a delightful meeting with the Mayor of Cliponville, the village where Deschamps was born, we agreed something needs to be done to honor his life and his entrepreneurial work in founding Rivière-Ouelle, Quebec. With that intent in mind, I have published a short history of his life. You can read it in the article posted on this blog on October 24, 2016. There are plans to establish some sort of memorial to Deschamps in Cliponville as well.
One other project I have been working on is an attempt to address the hypothesis proposed by Eric Mardoc, an historian in Rouen. Mardoc believes there is a possibility that Jeanne came from a noble family or at least from a family of the “petite noblesse.” My research and preliminary response on this topic will be published shortly on this blog.
As soon as the book on Jeanne’s life is sent to the publisher, my next project begins – that of translating the book into French. With the help of translators, I hope to complete that effort by the end of March, 2017. Until then, I hope to stay more timely with blog posts regarding the ever-intriguing story of the life of Jeanne Marguerite Chevalier and her three husbands.
Hello to those of you who have signed up for new posts and have hopefully not had to manage through too many confusing notices about the changes to my website.
At last, I am thrilled to announce that the web site and its blog posts are now all available in French! All you have to do is click on the French flag in the top right corner of any page to access the French version. I owe ever so much to my cousin Father Peter Dumont in New Hampshire and his cousin Michel Moisan in Quebec City for all their incredible and invaluable help in making the translation possible!
Once again, thank you for your interest in Jeanne Chevalier, my 8th great grandmother! I hope to have some new posts available soon (in English and French!)
Most warmly, Lynne
P.S. Apologies if this is a repeat of a prior message. We found a few glitches and they are now fixed!
The posts tell the story of Jeanne’s life, set against the backdrop of the history of France and New France at the time. They provide information on the Filles du Roi (Daughters of the King) program, on the places she lived, and on the individuals in her life. There are also posts that describe my journey to find and write the story of her life. The posts are grouped by categories. However, when they are posted, they do not end up necessarily being arranged in chronological order. Here is a suggested Table of Contents that describes the flow of the posts. As new posts are added, I will update this Table of Contents! Readers are of course invited to pick and choose among the posts as they prefer! [⇒]