In addition to providing as many details as possible about my ancestor, the posts will also include anecdotes about experiences encountered in my search for Jeanne’s story. As Jeanne’s 8th great granddaughter, writing almost 300 years after her death, I am in the process of weaving together many historical bits and pieces of her life with archival research, live interviews and conversations in France, Quebec and the United States. And of course, I’m having to use some creative hypothesizing and my intuition to fill in any gaps in information. Jeanne’s is a story full of both facts and mysteries. It’s a story of endings and new beginnings. And it’s a story of much courage, stamina, will, and many choices. Please read Suggested Table of Contents for some tips on how to read the posts.
Over the past three years, whenever I have given a presentation about Jeanne Chevalier and her family, I have usually provided a listing of her descendants who are famous enough to be known in the USA, Quebec and France: Rene Lévesque, Celine Dion, and Jack Kerouac. Only recently have I started to include the name of Lieutenant Jean-Jacques Lévesque. [⇒]
I have been contacted by a journalist working for TF1, the French television channel. She is looking for French families to participate in an upcoming program « Grands Reportages » concerning “French diasporas.”
Specifically, she is looking for French families who, as part of their genealogical research, are trying to connect with descendants of their ancestors who emigrated to Canada or to the United States more than a century ago (between the 16th century and the beginning of the 20th century). This could be by a connection made during a « return to our origins » trip, organized by a local genealogical group, or during a family reunion, marriage, anniversary, etc. She is exclusively looking for families considering or planning reunion events which will take place in Canada or in USA.
How you can help ? Do you know of anyone who might fit the profile she is seeking ? If, by any chance, you, or someone you know, have been contacted by anyone in France for information about possible descendants in Canada or the US or if you know of any French families who are trying to connect with or find information about US or Canadian descendants, please contact Eugénie Cohen, either by phone: +33 (0)6 87 12 26 58 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact Eugenie by November 15, 2018. If you have questions about this research, feel free to contact Eugenie, who does speak English, or you can email me.
The 2018 Fête de la Nouvelle France was another wonderful celebration of the history of Quebec. Despite the heat and the oppressive humidity, costumed women commemorated the role of the Filles du Roi in founding [⇒]
While I have spent the last several years researching the history of Jeanne Marguerite Chevalier, my eighth great grandmother, there is at least one other Jeanne whose story should be included in this blog. That’s Jeanne Savonnet. The life of this second Jeanne is more well-known than the life of Jeanne Marguerite, but there are several parallels between the two. [⇒]
I am sure that Jeanne’s spirit surrounded us that day, the 15th of September, 2017. We were not a large group but we filled the Canadian chapel of St. Jacques church in Dieppe, France, one of the parishes where Jeanne had lived.
Finally, the story of Jeanne Marguerite Chevalier is available in French! Thanks to a wonderful team of translators and editors, I am very happy to announce the publication of the book: Jeanne Chevalier, Fille du Roi : Son histoire.
It is also available at Le Plumier, 22 24 Rue Saint-Jacques in Dieppe, France.
I hope you will find her story as captivating as I did! Please feel free to email me your comments!
In 2002, 5 years before the release of the movie “The Bucket List,” I composed a list of things I wanted to do before leaving this world. Near the top of the list were: Write a book about my ancestor Jeanne Chevalier, Fille du Roi; learn French; and live for at least six months in France. Well, 15 years later, [⇒]
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. [⇒]
One of the first Quebecois entrepreneurs
Jean-Baptiste-François Deschamps de la Bouteillerie was born around 1646 in Cliponville, a small Norman village not far from Rouen. Jean-Baptiste was one of at least 11 children born into the noble family of Jean Deschamps de Boishébert and Elizabeth or Isabeau de Bin. His family, by some reports, could trace its line back at least to the third crusade. Jean-Baptiste’s father was Seigneur de Costecoste, de Montaubert, and des Landes and had been honored by Louis XIII in 1629 for the service that he and his family had rendered to the kings of France. In keeping with the practice and laws of the times, [⇒]