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Mathurin Chabot
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Chabot was a noble family name in the former province of Poitou. Its genealogy can be traced to the year 1040AD. The family is divided into several branches: the Seigneurs of Brion, the Marquis of Mirebeau and the Seigneurs of Jarnac. Philippe de Chabot (1490-1543), Count of Charny and Buzançois, Seigneur of Brion, and an Admiral of France, he was also a childhood companion of King François I. He was the most notable member of the family line.

Did the humble ancestor Mathurin Chabot have noble roots? Perhaps he did. He was a Poitevin and evidently educated. Since he signed his name with triple initials, at a time when most people could not even write, he may well have been born to the purple.

 

SAINT-HILLAIRE DE NALLIERS

Nalliers, Mathurin Chabot’s small French village, today is a community located on the route from Fontenay-le-Comte to Luçon, canton of L’Hermenault, department of the Vendée, in the former province of Poitou.

At Nalliers there is a limestone quarry, some ruins of the priories of Chevrette and Saint-Martin, a venerable old church from the twelfth century, restored in the seventeenth century, and dedicated to Saint Hilaire (315-367), who was born in Poitiers where he was also a bishop.

Jean Chabot and Jeanne Rode were married at the church of Saint-Hilaire on 23 February 1632. On Wednesday, 18 August 1637, their son Mathurin was baptized in the same church. At the age of 16, Mathurin watched as his father, a bourgeois, was buried in his village cemetery on 6 July 1653. As for his mother, she had been buried in the same cemetery on 16 October 1664, a time when her son, the founder of a large Canadian family, had already left his country.

 

THE NEWCOMER

In 1657, at the age of 20, Mathurin Chabot left his native village. On 10 May 1658, before the opening of navigation, he appeared as a witness at Québec. This evidence was not ever presented by the historian Marcel Trudel.

Who welcomed the newcomer to the colony? Probably Toussaint Toupin, who had settled at Québec on Rue Sault-au-Matelot. He owned a two-story stone house with two heated rooms, cellar and attic. Toupin, a barge master, did coastal trading on the river. He also owned a farm at Château-Richer. Louis Jobidon was his farmer. On 23 October 1660, Mathurin Chabot replaced the latter by signing a 5-year farm lease.

Mathurin Chabot, therefore, settled at Château-Richer on the Beaupré Coast. The wings of his future began to spread out.

 

MARIE MESANGE

Like today, there were at that time waves of immigration. French families were looking to re-establish themselves in the Saint-Lawrence valley. And so it was with the Lehoux clan. Ancestor Jacques Lehoux, in Canada since 1647, had, from his first marriage in France to Marie Meilleur, a daughter named Madeleine, baptized on 16 November 1620 at Saint-Pierre de La Potherie in Perche. She married Robert Mesange, a bourgeois, son of Robert and of Madeleine Jahan. On 4 April 1643, Robert Mesange and Madeleine Lehoux baptized an infant named Marie at the church of Saint-Madeleine de La Ventrouze, in the arrondissement of Mortagne.

Marie Mesange came to Canada to rejoin her grandfather Jacques Lehoux, her step-grandmother Jeanne Jehan and her uncle Jean Lehoux, married to Elisabeth Drugeon since 1659. It seems that it was Jacques Lehoux who welcomed her into his home at Beauport about 1661. Mathurin Chabot met, and fell in love with, this serious 18 year-old girl. They agreed to join their lives together forever. On 3 November 1661, the notary Guillaume Audouart went to Beauport to draw up their marriage contract. On the bride’s side were "grandfather" Jacques Lehoux, "grandmother" Jeanne Jahan, uncles Jean Lehoux and Robert Paré married to Françoise Lehoux, the Percheron, Pierre Tremblay, accompanied by his wife Ozanne Achon. Toussaint Toupin and Marguerite Boucher, Jean Cloutier and Julien Forten supported Mathurin. The latter offered a dowry of 400 livres to be taken from his property in this country.

On the following 17 November, the Jesuit Paul Ragueneau married them in the presence of the notary Audouart and Toussaint Toupin. The act was recorded in the registry of Notre-Dame de Québec.

On the same day as the wedding, at Château-Richer, Mathurin borrowed 100 livres from Charles Aubert, Sieur de La Chesnaye, with the promise of repaying him "upon the next ship coming to this country" in the spring of 1662.

At Château-Richer on 11 April 1662, Marie and Mathurin received the sacrament of Confirmation together from the hands of Msgr de Laval.

 

SAINT-PIERRE ON THE ISLAND

Mathurin faithfully fulfilled his lease. On 14 July 1665, Toupin gave Chabot a receipt for the farm which had been returned to him in good condition. It was agreed that before 25 October, Mathurin could take half of all the grain harvested and some of the livestock. He had only to cut "a small border of wood ... from the side of the land of Jean Cloutier."

We know that on 23 December 1665, Jean Gobeil took over the lease of Toussaint Toupin’s farm at Sault-a-la-Puce for 5 years. His contract had begun on the preceding first of November. Where did the Chabot family spend the winter?

Mathurin had barely terminated his lease, when on 15 July 1665, he bought a piece of land from Abel Sagot dit Laforge. It measured 2 ½ arpents in frontage and was located at Saint-Pierre on the island (Orléans) between Simon Savard and Martin Côté. It was to this place that the Chabot family moved that same autumn, and where they would live for several years.

Then on 11 June 1666, Mathurin acquired 2 more arpents of frontal land on which there was a cabin, located near his property. He paid only 50 livres to Guillaume Landry to acquire this new property.

In the censuses of 1666 and 1667, the Chabot family lived on the Ile d’Orléans where they owned 3 head of cattle. Mathurin said he was a serge-maker by trade. Three children assured the continuation. Their neighbors were Jacques Bussière and Jean Maranda.

Would the Chabots always live on this farm? We know that on 12 February 1667, they had already sold the 2 arpents of frontal land bought from Landry to Martin Côté.

 

SAINT-LAURENT

For some time now Mathurin had his eye on the southern part of the island. There he found other good lands to buy. He also thought of his sons’ future. On 14 March 1674, Nicolas Delage, former servant of Étienne Racine, husband of Marie Petit, sold a farm which he owned at Saint-Laurent, to the Chabots. It had 3 arpents of frontage and was located between Louis Bidet and Jean Munier. On 9 March 1676, Louis Bidet in his turn sold 3 more arpents of frontal land to Chabot. Thus Mathurin’s family could develop a farm 6 arpents wide to the east of the present church.

In 1681, they were listed in the census as living between Charles Pouliot and Jean Jouanne. They owned 1 gun, 4 head of cattle and had 6 arpents of land under cultivation.

On 8 July 1685, Mathurin and Pierre Louineau went to the home of notary Duquet. Sylvain Duplais accompanied them. The latter promised to build a chimney which would have 4 hearths on the site that Pierre and Mathurin owned jointly at Québec. Was their twin-house already built? It seems so. The mason was to use stone from Beauport and to cut all the jambs. The chimney would exceed the said height of the house by 3 feet. Sylvain received 120 livres cash of the 300 promised. Louineau was already living at Québec.

The location of this house was precisely fixed on 10 February 1686, the day on which Mathurin leased it to Jean Clouet for 120 livres a year to be paid in 4 equal installments. The house and lot

"on which it is built and located consist of a cellar, a lower room heated with two adjoining (rooms), and an upper room heated with two adjoining (rooms)"

was on rue Sault-au-Matelot, with Pierre Louineau as a neighbor. Jacques Boutret, woodworker, on February 1689, leased the same house for two years under the same conditions.

The puzzle of the ownership of the Chabot lot in town is finally answered on 16 June 1689. The priests of the Seminary of Québec sold the lot to Mathurin with 25 feet in frontage, along the rue Sault-au-Matelot, located between the neighbors Louineau and Boutret dit Lafaye. The title to this lot had been given on 6 April 1680 by Msgr de Laval, probably verbally. Mathurin went into debt at that time for 400 livres. He promised to pay 5% in interest, equal to 20 livres annually.

 

THE CHABOT FAMILY

Michel, Joseph, Pierre, Jean, Mathurin, Marie, François, Anne, Françoise, Antoine, Louise, Marguerite and Françoise were the 13 members of the Chabot family, born between 31 December 1662 and 30 July 1687. This was a family which enjoyed good health. Anne and the first Françoise died in the cradle. The second Françoise did not reach the age of 13. All the others grew up normally. Mathurin junior’s fate is bathed in uncertainty. This godson of Abel Sagot was noted at Saint-Laurent on 29 October 1684, then there is silence. It is reported that he was killed by the Iroquois about 1690 or 1691. A sad end!

1. The eldest, Michel, who became the godson of friend Michel Roulois at Château-Richer, courted Angélique Laplante. Their marriage, celebrated on 23 January 1690, produced 15 children, born and raised at Saint-Pierre on Ile d’Orléans. There was a tragedy on 6 August 1727. Michel and his two sons, Pierre and Augustin, drowned while crossing the river from Beauport to the island. Jean Bussière and Jean Pelletier found Michel’s body on the bank on 10 August; the funeral was the next day at Saint-Pierre.

2. Françoise Pouliot, daughter of ancestor Charles, was married on 24 November 1692 at Saint-Pierre to the 20 year old Joseph Chabot and gave him 13 children. Joseph was buried at Saint-Laurent on 27 September 1738.

3. The adventurer, the coureur des bois of the Chabots was Pierre. One day, he went to the village of the Kaskaskia’s, on the Illinois River, not far from the present city of Utica. A Mission of the Immaculate Conception had been located there since 1687. In this region, about 1708, Pierre found a wife, Symphorose Tapakoe, an Amerindian. Their children Pierre and Catherine Chabot were married respectively to Marie-Thérèse-Françoise Lessard and to Paul Filion, at Sainte-Anne du Petit-Cap. Later on when a widower, Pierre returned to the Beaupré Coast about 1718, where he was married a second time, to Dorothée Mercier. Then he returned to the Kaskaskia’s. He was the father of another child named Pierre. After his death on 7 August 1721, his widow was remarried, to Nicolas Thuillier at Fort de Chartres.

4. The 12 children of Jean Chabot and Éleonore Énaud were all born at Saint-Laurent on the island, between 20 January 1695 and 29 November 1718. Jean became the owner of the paternal land. After his death on 14 September 1727, his descendants passed on the ancestral land in succession until 1905.

5. Marie, eldest of the daughters, became the wife of Charles Pouliot dit Laclergerie, on 7 February 1689, at Saint-Laurent. Mother of 7 children, she died on 8 April 1703. Geneviève Crepeau took over her home.

6. Seventh child of the family, François Chabot joined his destiny to Marguerite Noël 27 April 1698. A misfortune, perhaps the epidemic of 1703, resulted in his death on 5 March 1703. Their three children did not reach adulthood.

7. On 30 January 1696, Antoine Pouliot won the heart of Marie-Louise Chabot. This was a short marriage. Nicolas Audet replaced him on 15 April 1697. The new couple produced nine children.

8. As for Marguerite, she found her sweetheart in the person of André Pouliot, on 23 February 1699. Alas! This young mother of a daughter and a son also died, on 21 January 1703.

The second generation was enriched by 64 new members.

 

A PRIEST SON

The first holy orders in the Chabot family was bestowed upon Antoine. On April 1679, he was held at the baptismal font of the church of Sainte-Famille by Antoine Fortier and Catherine Boisandré. After his studies at the Seminary of Québec, he was ordained a priest on Sunday, 29 October 1702 and immediately appointed to the parish of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.

Father Louis Soumande, the departing priest, organized a special ceremony to welcome the young pastor, on the following Wednesday, All Saint’s Day. Father Chabot "solemnly sang his first mass." The assistant priest was Nicolas-Michel Boucher, pastor of Saint-Jean of the Ile. The deacon was Ignace-Germain Hamel from Québec; sub-deacon was Jacques Leblond, pastor of Baie Saint-Paul. This was the first timethat an initial high mass had been sung in a country church.

It seems that Antoine Chabot, a friendly and beloved priest, never left his parish at Sainte-Anne where he was buried in the church, on 17 February 1728. He had not yet reached the age of 50.

 

THE AUTUMN OF LIFE

In 1689, Mathurin felt that his strength was ebbing and he thought it time to put his affairs in order. On 3 July, he sold to his son Michel a homestead of 2 arpents in frontage with house, a framework of a barn and about 20 arpents of cultivated land. This farm had been bought from Sagot on 15 July 1665. Son Michel would inherit and pay 1,000 livres in 8 years of equal installments.

Then on 4 June 1690, Mathurin gave the property acquired from Delage and Louis Bidet to his son Joseph, who received it as his share of the inheritance, worth 150 livres.

On 22 October 1695, Mathurin Chabot

"lying presently sick in bed in the men’s ward of the Hôtel Dieu of this city ... made and dictated his will and his last wishes."

He left 100 livres for the celebration of 30 masses after his death; 100 livres for a yearly mass for 20 consecutive years "for the repose and relief of his soul." In addition, he gave 10 livres "to the Congregation of the Ste Vierge Established in the said Church of St Paul"; and 10 livres to his last two daughters. Joseph would be the executor of his will.

Finally, on 13 March 1696, the notary Genaple went to the house of Ancestor Chabot. Among other things, the latter wanted to give 200 livres as promised dowry to his daughter Marie-Louise, married to Antoine Pouliot since the previous 30 January.

After less than two weeks at the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, he left his loved ones forever, on Tuesday, 12 June 1696.

 

SUCCESSION

Michel Chabot, guardian and protector of his minor brothers and sisters, asked the notary Genaple on the following 16 October, to draw up an inventory of the property left after the death of his father. Michel Énaud and Nicolas Godbout took the oath as appraisers.

The description and appraisal of the personal property and real estate, and the verification of the papers was conducted without any special difficulties. On the farm, there were 4 oxen and 2 cows. In the house, the furnishings and utensils were nothing to make a king envious.

Surprisingly, it seems that there were some over due accounts concerning the "old house" at Québec, on the rue Sault-au-Matelot. The architect Baillif was still waiting for his 99 livres 14 sols for masonry work; Aubuchon, the carpenter and roofer was owed 47 livres and 10 sols.

Ancestress Marie Mesange had been dead for several years; about whose demise we have no precise details. On 25 April 1692, we know with certainty that she was no longer living with her family. She didn’t know what death was, but she was ready to face it.

Mathurin and Marie had crossed the endless sea, crossed the gulf without boundaries, stood on a continent without borders; they could now undertake the long and glorious march towards the land of eternal hope.

 

FAMILY NAME VARIATIONS

Chabotte, Jabault, Jabot, Lamarotine, Lamarre, Lamarrs and Yabotte.