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Coeur vendéen

René Simoneau dit Sanschagrin

The patronym Simon, very popular, generated several diminutives, like Simonet, Simonin and Simoneau.

Origin of René Simoneau dit Sanschagrin

A descending québécois, Mr Pierre Simoneau from Ville of Laval, found the baptismal certificate of its ancestor to the Departmental records of La Roche-sur-Yon. October 10 1664, Jacques Robard, godfather of the child and the widow Marguerite Bouriau, the godmother, presented, on the baptismal font of the church of Bouin, René Simoneau, son of René and Marguerite deLaprée (Delapraye). This couple was born 9 children between 1657 and 1672: René (1657), Jacques (1658), Donatienne (1661), Perrine (1663), René (1664), Gilles (1667), Marguerite (1669), Jean (1672) and Marie. René had an uncle, Jacques Simoneau, husband of Jeanne Frêt and father of three known children. The church of Bouin (photo at left) is modern, though of Gothic style; the tower of its bell-tower goes up however in XIVe century. Church of Bouin, Vendée, France

He leaves Bouin

He is as soldier of the Company of Monsieur de Saint-Martin, of the detachment of the navy, he came to New France. Even if one did not recall his contract of service, it is necessary any to believe that it was brought to Canada about 1692, because an engagement lasted seven year.


Where does it come the nickname of Sanschagrin? Surely due to the fact that he was soldier and that at that time those had a nickname which described a quality or a defect.

Was he a kind merry and optimistic, or, in front of a sad event, remained cold and Master of him? One cannot believe that it was hard and without pity! If such had been the case it would have had more than one contention with justice of time.

The old soldier

The career of René Simoneau was initially a soldier. Perhaps a patient researcher will find trace, in the french military files, of the actions of this ancestor. At the time like nowadays, the countries recruited their valiant defenders among the sharp forces of youth. To the first mention of Simoneau in Canada, at the time of his marriage, in 1699, one presents it like soldier. The conclusion is essential: René was an old soldier, aguerri, judicious, generous, but little educated, since it could not sign. It is to well quickly summarize twenty years perhaps of active life to the service of the fatherland.

Those which he leaves behind him

At about 30 years old, what justify him to emigrate? We do not know the reason of it. Perhaps felt it with narrow in its native France!

When he leaves Bouin, he leaves behind him his brothers and sisters: Jacques (1658), Donatienne (1661), Perrine (1663), Gilles (1667), Marguerite (1669), Jean (1672) and Marie. René had an uncle, Jacques Simoneau, husband of Jeanne Frêt and father of three known children: Jacques, Pierre and Louis.


A the present time, the small village of Bouin, -- word which means stopper or buffer, -- dominates of vast marshes to the northern borders of the Vendée and the gates of Brittany. This old island, today vast locality of approximately 3 000 hectares in surface, remains separate all the same continent, at the bottom of bay of Bourgneuf, by a channel, arm of Falleron. The exploitation of the salt-water marshes and the live stock breeding for a long time made live Bouinais, for what it is necessary to add, today, the culture of oysters. Bouin is in the heart of the Vendean Breton marsh. Moreover, people of the area are made call the " maraîchins " . Four channels cross this territory, of which one, that of grandchamp, can receive boats of a capacity from 30 to 40 barrels. The harbour of Brochets and the harbour of the Champs are the principal ports of the island.

Bouin was in the past a separate island of the continent by an arm of the sea reduces now to the state of a channel, Dain, which obliges however to borrow a bridge, on some side which one arrives. At the time of the revolution, the Island of Bouin was namedthe Island Marat.

Originally it was called the Island of Orée which took the name of Bouin after the sea completely had submerged it following a violent storm on June 7 567, being thus "bougnée" in sea water.

Bouin is in the current department of the Vendée, district of the Sables d'Olonnes, canton Beauvoir-sur-Mer, in old Poitou. The city, which counts more than 2 300 inhabitants, concerns at present the ecclesiastical authority of Luçon; time of the ancestor, it concerned Nantes, in Brittany.

These amphibious grounds are always threatened by excesses of water in winter even if the dams were built in order to arrange polders (polder of Dain). They give landscapes contrasted according to the seasons: vast wide embedded at the time of the wet seasons, immense green meadows in spring, they take a fawn-coloured color at the end of the dry season.

Marriage of René Simoneau

On Monday November 23 1699, he marries Jeanne Moreau, daughter of Jean Moreau dit LaGrange and of Marie-Anne Couture. The registers of the St. Laurent, Ile of Orleans preserved us the marriage certificate which is read as follows:

Ce vingt troisiesme Novembre mil Six Cens nonante
& neuf apres la publication detrois faite partrois
differens dimanches a la meffe de paroiffe entre
Renet Cimoneau Soldat dela Compagnie de S.t Martin
fils de renet Cimoneau & de Marguerite dela praye
de lille de boing de l'Eveché de nante en france
dune part & jeanne Moreau fille dejean & danne
Couture de laparoiffe s.t Laurens en lille S.t
Laurens dune part ne setant trouve aucun empechement
legitime j ai Soussigne pretre Recolet faisant les
fonctions Curialles de Cette paroiffe leur ai donne
la benediction nuptiale Selon lordre de notre mere
la Ste Eglise enpresence de Mathurin tibaudatet,
Charles Rovain & depierre Ruö

          f. pierre Recolet

Church of St-Laurent, Ile d'OrléansPhoto at left, church of Saint-Laurent, Ile d'Orléans, marriage place of René Simoneau et de Jeanne Moreau.

All lets believe that after his marriage he will live with his father-in-law, in St-Laurent, Ile of Orleans, since his first child, René, is born October 4, 1700 and baptized there Sunday October 10, 1700.


On Friday April 1, 1701, he is hospitalized during 16 days. Was this to cure an old wound? At that time, in any case, he left the army and became living country.

In Saint-Thomas

After, we find him in Saint-Thomas of Pointe-à-la-Caille (Montmagny) at the birth of their second child, Jeanne, born on April 7, 1702 until the death of his wife in 1740.

Apart the baptisms and the marriages of his children, it mixes little with the parochial life. In the registers of Saint-Thomas, we can only read his name 5 times:

-- on April 8, 1703, godfather at the baptism of Jacques
   Duranceau, born the same day, son of Pierre Duranceau and Marie
   Frapié.  The godmother is Marie Varieulle. 

-- on 6 August 1708, witness
   at the marriage of Nicolas Menanto, son of Nicolas Menanto and
   Jeanne Grousselotte, and Jeanne Garand, daughter of Pierre Garand
   and Catherine Labrecque.  The other witnesses are Marthe Garand, 
   Michel Masson and Jean Rollandeau. 

-- on September 14, 1714, godfather at the baptism of Madeleine 
   Lefebvre, born the day before, daughter of his second neighbor 
   in south-west, Jean Lefebvre dit Boulanger, husband of Reine 
   Meny.  The godmother is Marie Isabel spouse of Pierre Fournier. 

-- on 14 September 1714, witness at the burial of Jacques
   Thibault, deceased, 3 years old, son of Jacques Thibault and
   Marie-Anne Prou.  The other witnesses are its neighbors Jean 
   Lefebvre and Nicolas Goël. 

-- on 13 February 1715, witness at the burial of the amérindien 
   Jacques Mardygras, deceased at the 50 years age.  Jean
   Rollandeau is also witness.

Concession of a land at Saint-Thomas

On Sunday August 23, 1716, pardevant Abel Michon, royal notary of the Côte du Sud, residing in the parish St-Thomas (Montmagny), Lord Jean-Baptiste Couillard, Co-lord of the River of the South concedes to René Simoneau,

(...) habitant demeurant enla ditte Seigneurie dela rivière
du Sud à Ce pressant & acceptant (...)
Cest à Sçavoir Une terre et Con.on Size & Sittué (...)
Sur le bord du fleuve S.t laurant Contenant Six arpant
de front Sur la moitié du terrin qui ce trouvera Entre le
dit fleuve & la ditte Rivière du Sud joignant dun Coste
Tirant au Nord 'Est à la con.on de Mons.r desaunaux
Et du Coste de Sudoüést a Celle des Eritiers defunt
lardouese Et par le bout de devant a la ditte Riviere du
fleuve Ainfsy quelle Sepoursuit Et Comporte avec le
droit de pesche & de chasse audevant Sur lestendue
d'Icelle (...)

Each year at All Saints' day (November 1), he will have to pay to the lord 6 pounds in silver and 6 live capons of revenues seigneuriales and 6 "sols" of revenues.

The purchaser states to know to write, nor to sign. The lord signed Lespinay in the presence of the witness Anthoine Dandurant who remains in the south-west of the residence of the dealer to approximately 10 arpents French (550 meters).

Since 1702 approximately, approximate year of its arrival in Saint-Thomas, he surely remains on this concession. He is not found no share as day laborer or domestic. He often does not go away because he is present at the birth of his children.

(...) de Continuer a Tenir feu & lieu Sur laditte Con.on
dicelle Continuer de deserter Et la maistre En Valleur (...)

Saint-Thomas of Pointe-à-la-Caille

Where comes, will you ask me, this name of Pointe-à-la-Caille and of Saint-Thomas of Pointe-à-la-Caille?

They made several assumptions on the origin of this name. Thus, of aucuns that the godfather have give this term with colony incipient, because, in the past, the ruail, this gallinacée if snuff some gourmet and disappear of country for several year, be in abundance in Thomas, some other claim that this name come of river which cross this area, and of which the water dirty and muddy be almost always cover, with its mouth, of a silt oilseeds, resemble a little with "milk curdle" and come owing to the fact that this river cross a ground argillaceous and fatty.

I am of opinion that this name has a historical origin.

In the group of colonists brought in Quebec, into 1634, by the vessels of the king, appeared one named Adrien d' Abancour dit Lacaille, pertaining to an excellent family. It appears that of Abancour, father-in-law of Jean Joliette, liked hunting passionately. Pulled by its taste for the adventures huntings, it left, spring of 1640, for a shooting party in the giboyeuses isles opposite Montmagny. May 2 of the same year, while crossing the river, it was embedded with one named Sevestre.

His companions deposited its remainders on the point then deserted and savage who is with ten arpents upstream of the mouth of the river Lacaille. This point bears the name today of Point-à-Peton. Peton, nickname of late Jean-Baptiste Thibault, one of the principal citizens of Saint-Thomas, dead nonagénère in 1889.

Since that time, in remembering this tragedy event, the river and the point formed by the latter, were indicated more only under the names of Rivière-à-Lacaille and of Pointe-à-Lacaille. The name subsequently extended, with the parish, which carried in the first years which followed its foundation, the name of Pointe-à-Lacaille. When the parish was put under the patronage of Saint-Thomas, it still carried and it kept until about 1800, the name of Saint-Thomas of Pointe-à-Lacaille.

The first name of Mr. Joseph Thomas Morel, born in 1836, is probably at the origin of the name of the parish. It served Saint-Thomas from 1679 to 1686.

Sale of 2 arpents

On Wednesday May 29, 1726 in the study of the notary Abel Michon, in Saint-Thomas, René Simoneau with the assistance of his wife, sell to their Jean-Baptiste son for the sum of 100 francs tournaments, that the purchaser pays cash:

(...) a scavoird deux arpand deterre de frond
Sur la Moitié duterrin qui Setrouve depuisle bor
du fleuve S.t laurant au bord dela Riviere duSud
& leurs dit deux arpand de terre Sirconstance &
dependence Prie & detache dela Con.on des d.
Vendeurs du Coste du Nord Est & tenant la Cons.on
de Joseph le fevre (...)

(...) lesquels Etant En Vnne age bien avancé Et
hore détat depourvoir deleurs main faire Vallouere
le peu de bien quil apleu adieu leurs donner pour
En tirer noriture et entretien a ces Cause
ont fait aseamble tous leurs enfans pour leurs
faire Connoistre leurs Vollonte qui Est deleurs
faire Sestions transport Et dellaifsement de
Leurs d. bien qui Consiste en Vnne terre et Con.on
dequatre arpand [la partie sud-ouest] de frond
Sur la moitie du terrin qui ce trouve entre
lebord du fleuve S.t laurant Et la Riviere duSud
Size au bord dud. fleuve tenante au Sud ouest
ala Con.on de Claude Coste Et ao Nordest ala
terre de Jean Vallé leurs laisse en outre tous
les bestiau quil panse Avoire Et le peu de meuble
se reservant cequi sera Sy apres mentionné Et ce
Sous les Charges Clause Et condiction Sy apres
Expliquéz (...)

As we can note it, they were very poor, at the threshold of misery. The little which they had, they transmitted it to their children, namely, René, Pierre, Michel, Joseph, Charles, Gabriel, Marie and Charles Chalu widowed of Jeanne just as Angélique Dalleré, resulting from the first marriage of Jeanne Moreau with Joseph Dalleré. All were present except forAngélique Dalleré.

Only Jean-Baptiste does not withdraw anything of this transfer; since it had bought part of this land. One must thus conclude from it that it had had its share

The children oblige jointly by the present ones:

pandent la Vie d. Sedant leur bailler et
laisser pour chacun ans la quantite de trante six
minot debled froment Mis pour Eux en farine et mis
en le grenier leurs donner un Chocons gras Dix
livres debon beure bien Sallé Et bien Condictionné
quinze Corde debon bois rendue a leurs porte leurs
Norire Vnne Vache Er Vn mouton qui ne moureront
point Et leurs donner deux chemise Et Vnne habille-
ment dedroguet en tierre tous les ans ou tous les
deux ans Vnne abillement detoffe de france Conve-
nable pour homme Et pour feme des Souliers francais
ou Sauvage Un chapeau ou fourolle tous les deux ans
Et Vnne aune detoille blanche et Vnne aune de Mou-
seline pareillement tous les deux ans (...) leurs
donneront encore tous Les ans Vnne barre deSavon
Et demy milie depingle (...)

As the material side was defined, yielding them take a few moments for the temporal one:

(...) Il [cessionnaires] les feront Innumer
Selon Leurs Condictions Et Seront teneu faire
offrire lest Sacrifice dela messe pour le Carre
dela pentions Sy defsus mentionné [montant d'argent
non déterminé]
Et Cela aladiligence delenay [René]
dela famille (...) les dits ceddant Desyre
au dernier moment deleur Vie Et en cas de Maladie
des d. cedant Seront teneu leur donner deux pot
de vin et autant deaude vie (...)

We have to believe that the brandy comforts the spirit and helps the heart to separate from the body. Quite material thought but if comforting for that which prepares its voyage towards beyond.

After made ecture, the witnesses Pierre Bélanger and Guillaume Thibault, both resident in the North-West of yielding sign with the notary Abel Michon. The donor and the donees state to know, neither to write, nor to sign.

After this act, the parts agree that Marie Simoneau, single person at the time of the transfer will be able to remain at the paternal house. It will be nourished and will continue to be occupied with work of the house and the ground.

(...) apromis dedonner a celuy deces fraire [Charles]
qui cera charge deleurs pere Et mere deux minot
debled dix livres de lard Vnne pere debas du
pays oude france Vnne aune de mouseline et deux
corde de bois deux livres de beure Et cela tous
les ans a lexception delaune de mouseline (...)

Sharing the land

Now that they had made transfer of their goods and that they thus guarantees a roof and their subsistence until the end of their days, they decide this same morning to share the land

(...) après Lacte desestions Cy devant (...)
a Eté procedé au partage dela ditte terre Et comme
Il ce trouve Unne Enfens Iscus du premier Mariage
dela ditte Moreau Laditte terre a Esté divisé en-
deux le pere Est tombe au nordes Et la Mere au
Sudouest la qules part a Este divise En huit ga-
briel premier part au nordest Michel suit Jeanne
Charles René Suit Joseph Suit Marie suit pierre
dernier part au Sudouest, Et en Suit a Eté Vacque
au partage de la part dela mere, Joseph premier
part au Nordest Charles Suit rené Suit, Jeanne
Enjelique [Dalleré] Gabriel Marie Michel pi
erre derniere part au Sudouest Et apres ledevis dela
ditte terre les dit enfens Sont Conveneu de Seder
la ditte terre avec laprobation Et consentement
deleurs d. pere Et mere à Charles Simonau Leurs
fraire Moyennant que led. Charles Simonau Soblige
a Toutte les Charges Clause Et Condictions dit Enoncé
en le d. acte Cenquoy led. Cahrles Sest entierrement
obligé et oblige Et En outre promait et Soblige
apres ledese deses d. pere Et mere dedonner a Chacun
des Ses d. fraire et Seurs la Somme de Vingt Cinq
frant payable a Chacun deux par anné Commencent par
Lainé premiers anné Et Suivie par anné Jusque au dernier

What a relief for them; they ensure their old days and will be able to live in all quietude. Charles becomes the successor of his parents and takes load of them realising certain conditions enacted in the instrument of transfer.

It lets believe that Charles Simoneau respects his engagements towards his brothers and sisters following the sharing of its parents since at the clerk's office of the royal notary Pierre Rousselot residing at Pointe-à-la-Caille, parish of Saint-Thomas, one finds the following acts:

	-- Marie-Angélique Simoneau, wife of Charles Marois, resident
	   at Berthier, gives receipt, in the residence of known as Charles
	   Simoneau, his brother remaining with Pointe-à-la-Caille.  (
	   Minute # 113, 21-11-1741) 

	-- Marie-Angélique Dalleré  living at Saint-Jean,
	   Island of Orleans, gives receipt to Charles Simoneau, his 
	   brother of mother.  However, Charles obliges to give to 
	   Angélique taure a one year old and half and Lucerne.  
	   (Minute # 149, 05-11-1742) 

	-- Gabrielle Simoneau remaining in the parish Saint-Thomas 
	   gives to receipt for the sum of 125 pounds to Charles 
	   Simoneau his brother remaining in the Saint-Thomas parish.
	   (Minute # 178, 20-06-1743) 

	-- Pierre Simoneau remaining in Berthier gives receipt to 
	   Charles Simoneau for the sum of 25 pounds.  
	   (Minute # 277, 20-12-1744) 

	-- Joseph Simoneau gives receipt to Charles Simoneau, his 
	   brother for the sum of 24 pounds.  
	   (Minute # 677, 01-10-1748)

Death of René Simoneau

He dies in Saint Nicolas, Wednesday July 6 1744 and buried the following day in the cemetery of this parish. After the death of its wife in 1740, in Saint-Thomas of Pointe-à-la-Caille (Montmagny), he will remain at one of its sons, René or Michel, in Saint Nicolas.

EXTRACT from register of baptism, marriage and burial of parish St-Nicolas of Lévis


7 juillet


lan mil fept cens quarante quatre le fept juillet
a aifté innumé dans le cimetiere de cette paroisse
par nous ptre foufsigné mifsionnaire de ft nicolas
celong la formule prefcrite par notre mere ft
eglife rene fimono décédé de mort subit, fans
avoire put recevoir aucun facrements, age de
quatre vingts ans, ont afsiste à fon innumation
francois frichet, francois nadau, qui ont figné
le prefent acte et plufieurs autres qui on
declaré nefcavoir signe de ce interpellé fuivant

          francois nadaus      Blondeau Ptre

Jeanne Moreau

EXTRACT of the register of the baptisms, marriages and burials of the Sainte-Famille parish, Ile of Orleans


29 janvier


Le vingt neuf de janvier gbj. Lxxvj a este
baptizée Jeanne fille de Jean Moreau et
de Anne Cousture / Sa femme née du Jour
precedent. Ses parein et mareine ont
esté Louis Houimet et anne Nouviffe

fille de Marin nouvice
          f. Lamy, Ptre

EXTRACT of the register of the baptisms, marriages and burials of the St-Thomas Parish


26 avril



Lan mil fept cent quarante Le vingt Six
avril a ete inhumé dans le cimmetiere de
cette paroiffe, parnous pretre Souffigné
le corps de Jeanne Moreau décédée dhier
agée de foixante quatre ans apres avoir
recu tous les Sacrements que la f.te Eglise
accorde aux mourans. elle Epouse de
rene Simoneau habitant de cette
paroiffe. fe sont trouvé afoninhumation
Joseph et antoine Lamard et Joseph
Boulanger. Lesquels ont declares ne
Scavoir Signer de cerequis Suivant

          Grenet Ptre

She is born in Sainte-Famille, Ile of Orleans, Sunday January 28 1676 and baptized the following day, of the marriage of Jean Moreau dit Lagrange and of Anne Couture. She dies in Saint-Thomas of Pointe-à-la-Caille (Montmagny) Thursday April 25, 1740 and buried following day in the cemetery of this parish.

She marries in first weddings at St-Laurent, Island of Orleans Monday November 23 1695 to Joseph Dalleret son of Marin Dalleret and Marie-Anne Lafontaine. He had been born in Sainte-Famille, Ile of Orleans, Wednesday 30 January 1675 and baptized the same day. The couple had only one child, Marie-Angélique. She is born orphan from father.

The widow Dalleret surely will live at her parents, established in the St-Laurent, Ile of Orleans for several years.

Marie-Angélique Dalleret

Marie-Angélique Dalleret, daughter of Joseph Dalleret and Jeanne Moreau, is born in the St-Laurent, Ile of Orleans on January 12 1697 and is baptized the following day. She gave birth to two natural children unknown fathers: Marie-Geneviève, baptized at l'Ange-Gardien on March 18, 1721 and Marie-Josèphe, baptized in Saint-Jean, Island of Orleans on February 27, 1729.

EXTRACT of the register of the baptisms, marriages and burials of the parish the St. Lawrence (Saint-Paul), Island of Orleans


13 janvier




Treiz.e Janvier 1697 Je Soufsigné père Recollet
Miffionnaire delaparoiffe de s.t paul ay baptifée
Marie Angélique D'alleray fille de deffunct
Joseph dalleray et de Jeanne Morrau née le 12e
dud. mois Elle a eu pour parrain Jean Morrau et
pour Marraine Marie Anne d'alleray dont cette
derniere a declaré ne Scavoir Signer

          F. Bonaventure flicourt
          Recollet .Miff. J. Morau

Ce treizième janvier de lannée mil Six Cens
nonante & Sept a été baptisé par le R.d pere
bonaventure missionnaire de la paroiffe S.t
paul marie Angélique Dallerai fille de
deffunt joseph dallerai & de jeanne Moreau
née le douzième dudit mois elle a eu pour
parein jean Moreau et pour mareine
Marianne Dallerai lequel baptistaire jai
transcris moi f. pierre Recolet faisant les
fonctions curialles de la paroiffe

          f. pierre Recolet

Ascent of Jeanne Moreau spouse of René Simoneau

Jean Moreau dit Lagrange is born about 1635 in the borough from Saint-Philbert-de-Grandlieu, district and évêché of Nantes, Brittany (Loire-Atlantique), France, of the marriage of Jean Moreau and Jeanne Doucet. He marries at Château-Richer on November 12 1665, Anne Couture, daughter of Jacques Couture and Marie Chevalier. He signs a marriage contract on October 23 1665 in front the royal notary Claude Aubert. He is confirmed in Québec on February 15 1665. He dies in St-Laurent, Ile of Orleans on March 13, 1704 at the 60 years age and is buried the following day. He lives the Island of Orleans to the censuses of 1666, 1667 and 1681 where one it known as old respectively of 28, 32 and 46 years.

Anne Couture arrives to New-France like girl of the King (Fille du Roi). She is originating in Saint-Hilaire d'Illiers, today, Illiers-Combray, district and évêché of Chartres (Eure-et-Loir), France. She dies in St-Laurent and is buried on May 14, 1715. She is present at the censuses of 1666, 1667 and 1681 where one it known as old respectively of 25, 26 and 38 years.

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