Jean-Baptiste Francois Deschamps de la Bouteillerie was an unusual man – at least as far as I have been able to tell. When he arrived in Quebec, Intendant Talon mentioned how his arrival should give the King hope for the future of the colony. Deschamps also merited mention by Professor Cole Harris in his definitive history of the seigneurial system in early Canada. Harris specifically referred to Deschamps who chose to live on the land and take an active role in colonizing his grant, as an exception, compared to the majority of seigneurs. [⇒]
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.
Three months after Jeanne’s death, in February 1717, her sons had the 1705 Agreement ratified. Her youngest son Joseph died in 1755 and was survived by 9 children. Her second son, Pierre Joachim who left 12 children, died in 1759, just before the fall of Quebec to the English. Francois-Robert, her oldest son, lived until 1765, leaving behind 11 children, among them Jean-Baptiste, my ancestor. In all, 32 of Jeanne’s grandchildren survived her and then went on to create thousands of descendants. [⇒]
The posts in this blog 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.
There are of course posts that don’t fit into any specific category, such as updates on my research. You can find them filed under the category “General.”
Here is a suggested Table of Contents that describes the flow of the posts about Jeanne and her life. As new posts are added, I will do my best to update this Table of Contents! Readers are, of course, invited to pick and choose among the posts as they wish!
On Monday morning, January 30, 1713, Jeanne Marguerite Chevalier sat in her room and dictated her will. She was 69 years old and was now living in the home in Rivière Ouelle, Quebec, along the St. Lawrence River, where she had lived for so many years with her second husband, Robert Levesque. It now belonged to her second son with Robert, as a result of the agreement reached in July, 1705.
I found the copy of the will just by chance, 300 years later in the summer of 2013. [⇒]
Jean-Baptiste François Deschamps de la Bouteillerie was buried on December 16, 1703 beneath the seigneurial pew in the church in Rivière-Ouelle. Today, the gravestone in his honor marks the location in the current cemetery of that special pew or somewhere close to it, based on recent archeological findings. It is close to the stone that indicates the actual site of the first church. Deschamps’ gravestone does not date from his death. [⇒]