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Hainault; Hénau, Hénaud, Henault, Héneaux, Haineault, Hunaut et Hunault are different ways of spelling the descendants names of Toussaint Hunault dit Deschamps. In certain cases and for various reasons, the surname was changed to Deschamps, Deshaw, Dishaw, Dechant among others.

Toussaint's parents were Nicolas Hunault and Marie Benoist, residents of the small area of Saint-Pierre-és-Champs; today a small division in the district of Le Courdray- Saint-Germer, a subdivision of Beauvais in the l'Oise Department, territory of the ancient province of Picardie.  I assume the Deschamps surname comes from és-Champs or des Champs. Toussaint was born between 1625-28 but his baptismal registration has not yet been found. From census dates, his birth year is probably 1625.  He had at least 2 brothers, and one sister.  The use of Deschamps apparently began in the first “Canadian” born generation, and I have found notary documents in the Deschamps name as early as 1717.

Ville Marie

Ville Marie (Montréal) was only ten years old when Paul de Chomeday decided to recruit more settlers.  Due to the hostilities with Iroquois Nation, the situation in New France was very risky. In the fall of 1651, Maisonneuve left for France with the promise to bring 200 men to defend the villages.

In the spring of 1653, only 120 of the 154 men recruited with Toussaint Hunault honoured their commitment. Toussaint presented himself as a pioneer and was to receive a salary of 75 livres a year for a period of five years.  In order to defray his expenses, he was advanced 120 pounds.  On 18 April 1653, he was hired at Hotel-Dieu, LaFléche, France, with Jerome Le Royer de La Dauversiére as witness in front of the Notary, Lafausse.  (Link to copy of contract plus English translation)

On June 20 1653, Toussaint sailed from Saint-Nazaire, a port in Nantes on the mouth of the Loire. Hunault and his fellow travellers embarked on the Saint-Nicolas, apparently a very poor ship.  After 350 Leagues, they had to turn back from the open sea. Sister Marguerite Bourgeois wrote that everyone would have died without the help of the coastal people who helped save them.  On July 20, the Saint-Nicolas was replaced on  Saint Marguerite's feast day, and the voyage continued.

On September 22, 1653, the ship landed in Quebec City. Eleven passengers had died while at sea.  Many of those hired were sick during the voyage and some spent time in the Quebec hospital before continuing their journey to Montréal.  Toussaint Hunault, Urbain Jetté, Jean Gervais, Paul Benoit dit Nivernois were among the survivors, all of whom are my own, Jack's, or Lachance ancestors.

On 16 November 1653, Toussaint and his friends set foot at Ville Marie.  As winter was coming fast, the newcomers were lodged with welcoming families or in the fort. We don't know where Toussaint lived or worked during this time.   He may have been occupied cutting wood for heating and building in the spring.

Toussaint must have worked hard because on 24 July 1654, Maisonnevue ceded to Toussaint his first piece of land, 30 acres deep, by one acre wide, on the hillside of Saint-Louis: today Iberville Street at Saint- Laurent Boulevard. His neighbours were Jean Lemarché dit Laroche and Pierre Chauvin (another of our ancestors).  (Translation of document)

Marie Lorgueil

Marie Lorguiel also arrived on the St-Nicolas in 1653 under the sponsorship Sister Marguerite Bourgeois.  She was fifteen years old, the daughter of Pierre Lorgueil and Marie Bruyére from the city of Cognac in Saint Onge; today the chief town of Charente.  Although they sailed aboard the same ship they either met onboard or upon arrival in Canada and/or while travelling from Quebec to Montréal.

The Jesuit missionary, Father Claude Pijart, who had been living in New France since 1637, officiated at Toussaint and Marie's marriage in the fort on Monday, 23 November 1654, in the presence of witnesses Paul de Chomeday, Governor, and Gilbert Barbier, Chief Carpenter.   This sixteen year old woman, Marie Lorgueil, would become the martiarch of many families.  (Marriage document)

Life in New France

Toussaint and Marie must have cleared the land they had received from Paul de Chomeday. We know this work was hard and arduous. They had to move the forest back, hoe the ground, sow wheat and vegetables between stumps, feed domestic animals and live on the isolated land, at the same time raising a family.

On 16 September 1665, the Hunaults sold their farm to Pierre Chauvin, a miller neighbour.

In the 1666 census, the Hunaults were in Montréal with six children. They owned three horned beasts (oxen?) and four acres of cultivated land. I haven't found from whom they obtained their new property. At the beginning of 1669, Toussaint lived on the slope of Saint-Francois-de-la-Longue-Pointe, where the parish of Saint-Francois d'Assise would be founded in 1724.

On 19 October 1680, Catherine Hurault, wife of Jean Lemarché died at the age of forty years. She had come to Canada with her husband with the recruits of 1653 and they must have been friends of the Hunaults.  Their youngest  two little girls; Catherine, five years old, and Marie Madeleine, three years old, were taken in by the Hunaults for a short time but were no longer there at the 1681 census. Catherine Lamarche married in Quebec on 26 October 1695 to Nicolas Dautour.  Marie Madeleine was killed by a shot-gun wound by a soldier and was buried in Montréal on 5 September 1691.

The census of 1681 shows Toussaint Hunault, fifty-six years old, Marie Lorgueil, forty-five years old, with four children still at home. They owned 19 acres of undeveloped land, four horned beasts and four guns.

A notorial document dated 15 November 1683, states that Toussaint owed his son, Andre, the amount of 370 pounds. On 22 February 1684, the Sulpiciens, proprietors of the island since March 9, 1663, granted a piece of land - four acres frontage, on the slope of Saint-Francois, to Toussaint.

Now Toussaint began an almost fevered attempt at acquistion and the building of what was hoped to be wealth. On  April 5,1687,  he sold 30-acres to his son, Andre, on the site called Saint-Francois. Two days later, he bought from Claude Tardy, a merchant in town, an 80-acre concession on the slopes of Saint Dominique along the Riviere des Prairies. On that occasion, the Notary Cabaize also testified that Toussaint Hunault was a resident of that town.  The next day, April 8, 1687, the Sulpiciens granted a continuation of the 80-acre claim granted the night before.  Furthermore, Pierre Leroux  (who was later killed by Iroquois on 26 May 1691 at Lachenale) gave up a 60-acre concession on the slopes of Saint Dominque to Hunault.  On 30 May 1688, he again spent money on a small 28 acre piece of land belonging to Nicolas Desroches, widower of Anne Archambeault.

The many deals before the notaries continued.  On May 30, 1688, four contracts were conducted in the presence of Antoine Adhémar, in particular establishing the settlement of funds to the creditor Charles de Couagne from Berry, France, Merchant and Lender (Pawnbroker?). Lastly, on June 25, 1689, Toussaint surrendered to Michel Desrosiers, the land that he had obtained  from Claude Tardy, two years previously.

First Generation Canadians

Toussaint and Marie had an average (for then) sized family:  Thécle, André, Jeanne, Pierre, Marie-Thérèse, Mathurin, Francoise, Toussaint, Toussaint and Charles.  All were born in Montréal between September 1655 and 25 July 1676 and all were baptized and registered at Notre-Dame-de-Montréal.

Charles Lemoyne and Jeanne Mance were godparents to Thécle Hunault, who was baptized 23 September 1655, by Claude Pijart, Jesuit. At the age of fourteen, she married Thomas Chartrand, January 29, 1669 and became the mother of Thomas who became the progenitor of this family, and Toussaint who died in infancy. Thécle died at age 19, leaving her husband, son on March 12, 1674.

The oldest of Hunault sons was named for his godfather, Andre Charly (sieur) of St. Ange; baker. He was baptized 03 August 1657.  On 23 December 1683, Andre received a land grant of acres frontage on the slopes of Saint-Francois. It was situated at the end of his father Toussaint's land.  In November 1686, Andre was ready to establish his own home with Marguerite Langlois, daughter of Honoré and Marie Pontonnier, a couple living at Pointe-aux-Trembles. There were thirteen witnesses at their wedding, one of whom was Sidrac Dugué, Sieur of Boisbriant, Sieur de Saint-Thérèse Island. Andre and Marguerite had two children .*  Andre died at age fifty and was buried July 6, 1707, at Varennes.

Jeanne Hunault was sponsored at baptism by Jeanne Rousselier on November 2, 1658. She was less that fourteen years old when she married the Norman, Adrien Quevillon; They were parents of seven children.  After Adrien's death, Jeanne married a second time on an unknown date to Jacques Corval and gave him one son; Louis-Augustin. (According to one report she was
an Indian captive. There is little known about Jacques so he may have been a native, or in captivity with her.)  After the sudden death of her second husband, Jeanne married again on May 7, 1699, at Montréal, Pierre Taillefer, Norman solider of de LaGrois Company. Their only son, Pierre, also married and  had a family. Thus, Jeanne through her nine children earned the enviable title of matriarch of the Quevillon, Courval and Taillerfer families.  Jeanne died 05 September 1748 at Riviéres-des-Prairies at age 89.. Her son, Pierre Taillefer and Jean-Baptiste Rapin were witnesses to her burial.

God-child of the miller Pierre Chauvin, Pierre, own ancestor, was baptized on November 07, 1660.  Pierre married Catherine Beauchamp, daughter of Jacques Beauchamp and Marie Dardenne on December 7, 1686, at Pointe-aux-Trembles. On May 13, 1695, Pierre and his brother, Toussaint, were engaged to go west for the merchant, Pierre Perthuis dit Lalime. Pierre and Marie had ten children and most of the Hunault/Deschamps descendants are from this couple.  There was a Pierre (I believe this Pierr and Toussaint (his brother) recorded at Detroit in 1706.

Baptized on February 12, 1663,  Marie-Thérèse married Guilliaume LeClerc on November 24, 1676 at age thirteen. Among her seven children, quite a few founded their own families.  Tragically, she was killed by the Iroquois in their barn at Lachenale and was buried on August 17, 1689, the same year as the Lachine massacre.  Thus she is the matriarch of many of the Leclerc & Leclair, families of North America.

Mathurin Hunault, born on December 24, 1664, God-child of Mathurin Langevin, was buried June 25, 1671, before the age of seven. His was the second family death for the Hunaults: Toussaint, baptised 11 May 1671, died before his second birthday.

Francoise was baptized 05 December 1667.  Nicolas Joly, native of Bosc-Guerard-Saint-Adrien near Rouen, married Francoise, fourteen years old, in December 1681. After his death, the widow, mother of four children, married a second time to Jean Charpentier at Riviére-des-Prairies on 22 April 1691 and became the mother of eleven more. Francoise was the second longest living of the first generation of Hunaults. She was buried at Lachenaie on May 2, 1748  at 81 years of age

Toussaint, named after his father and deceased brother, was baptized on 25 August 1673. He was much travelled and his progeny spread throughout western Canada and the US.  His first marriage,  July 2, 1691 at Quebec, was to Etiennette or Antoinette, Paquet, daughter of Etienne Paquet and Henreitte Rousseau. Toussaint and Etienette were parents to ten children. After Etiennette’s death he married a second time to Elisabeth Baudreau dit Graveline at Riviere des Prairies on May 24, 1717. They had no children in their ten year marriage and Elisabeth died in July 1727.  Toussaint married again on 30 September 1727, Marie-Francoise Auger and they had five children.

The youngest of the family, Charles, godchild of Charles Barbier, the last of his generation.  There is no note of him after 30 May 1695 when he was Godfather to his nephew, Gabriel (Toussaint II's son).

The Ulitimate Tragedy

The tragic deaths of infant Toussaint at age two, and the brutal killing of Marie-Thérèse on August 17, 1689, were not the only ones for this family. A year after Marie-Thérèse's death, on September 13, 1690, her father, Toussaint was brutally murdered by Sieur Dumont de Blaignac, Lieutenant of a marine company detachment. Toussaint was mortally wounded by a sword thrust, and de Blaignac immediately ran away.  His escape was successful and he was never found or tried in court.

Apparently he was well known scoundral in New France because in February 1665, Gabriel Dumont, Baron de Blaignac had signed in Quebec a marriage contract with Catherine Nolan, daughter of the Artillery Commissioner, Pierre Nolan and Catherine Houart. The contract was annulled on the April 5, 1666.

The Hunault family tried to get justice by giving up their civil rights to Charles de Couagne, the merchant to whom Toussaint owed money. The intention was for Couagne to sue and hopefully obtain compensation for Toussaint's murder, and so the debts would be paid. He paid the widow a sum of money in lieu of settlement but unfortunately, a trial in abstentia  is a difficult matter to resolve. Neither the Hunault family nor Charles de Couage gained any compensation from the suit. I have not found the reason for Toussaint's murder but will continue to search for it.

Marie went to reside with her eldest son Andre, until her death on Monday, November 29, 1700. Father Claude Volant de St-Claude presided at her funeral the following day at Varennes. Witnesses were Louis Petit and Jean Gaultier.

Throughout his life in Canada, Toussaint bought and sold land quite frequently, almost feverishly at times.  We can only suppose his desire was to acquire a means of supporting his family and becoming a man of substance.  Instead, over the years the debts appear to have accumulated to the point where Marie was left an impoverished widow.  A sad ending to a founding family of Canada.

*Nos Ancestres  mentions 10 children for Andre and Marguerite Langlois but I have never found mention of more than two: Charles and Andre Joseph (PRDH, Tanguay, Drouin). Andre's male line ends after the first generation as all three of Andre Joseph’s male children died quite young or we have not found any marriages for them - or Charles.