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(Abt 1619-1665)


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Marie Marthe GAGNON


  • Born: Abt 1619, Perigny, Aunis, France
  • Marriage: Marie Marthe GAGNON on 19 Nov 1650
  • Buried: 27 Apr 1665, Chateau-Richer, Quebec

bullet  General Notes:

Engaged in La Rochelle, France, as a laboureur - farmer or plowman. From Bourg of d'Esnandes, ar. et ev. La Rochelle, Aunis, France

From Thomas LaForest, French Canadian Ancestors:

Jean Doyon

``Funeral orations contained in burial acts were not the ordinary thing. . However, Abbot Thomas Morel, the missionary priest serving the Beaupre coast and the Ile d1Orleans during the 1660`s was so edified by the life of the ancestor of all the Doyons in America that he took care to record the following eulogy in the registries of Chateau-Richer:

``On the twenty-seventh day of the month of April one thousand six hundred sixty-four, Jean Doyon, native of La Rochelle, about forty-five years old, and a citizen of Chateau-Richer, was buried in the cemetery of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle in Chateau-Richer, after having received all the sacrements. He lived as a God fearing honest man; to this I attest as his pastor and guardian of his soul. He always showed piety and zeal in the service of God, and he died like a saint in my presence.``

Jean Duyon was born about 1619, probably in Perigny near La Rochelle. He was the son of Jacques Doyon and of Francoise Couturier, from the parish of Pernier (Perigny), in Aunis.

On 2 May 1644, he was a laborer, about 25 years old, and lived in Esnandes (?) near La Rochelle. He was accompanied by the merchant Pierre Prevost, agent for Pierre Legardeur de Repentigny. He signed an indenture to work for the latter for three years, at a salary of 60 livres a year. It was understood that the young man would be housed, fed and suported at the expense of his employer, who was expected to pay the cost of the passage over and back. The crossing probably was made on board the Dauphin.

On arrival in Canada, Jean Doyon was first employed on the farm of Pierre Legardeur on the Sainte-Genevieve coast near Quebec. Instead of returning to France when his indenture was finished, he preferred to remain in his adopted country and to work as a land clearer and pit sawyer (a technique of sawing planks from tree trunks). On 9 Nov 1647, he was hired to deliver to Jean Bourdon, the administrator of the Company of One Hundred Associates, 500 wild cherry timbers and 300 cedar planks and some hardwood. ```These materials`, wrote Father Godbout, `must have been put into the public buildings which were being built in Quebec at that time; parish church, governors residence, and Fort Saint-Louis. In fact, the name of Jean Doyon figures prominently among the providers of wood for the construction of Chateau Saint-Louis.

In 1650, Jean Dyon married Marie-Marthe Gagnon, born in Perche 14 or 15 years earlier, the natural (illegitimate) daughter of Mathurin Gagnon and Vincente Gauthier.

Father Godbout wrote, ``Neither the husband of Marthe Gagnon nor her father are to be judged odiously to see in this official act the true origin of the bride. .. it did not keep her from becoming the mother of an exemplary family. As for the father, Mathurin Gagnon, he had the magnificent courage, contrary to thousands of others, to acknowledge his child, to bring her to a barbaric country, and to settle her honorably.```. Jean and Marthe concluded a private marriage contract, a transcript of which was only placed in the records of Claude Auber ten years later. Mathurin Gagnon promised his future son-in-law a sum of 300 livres, a suit of clothes and a milk cow.

After their marriage, the young couple appeared to be living at the home of the bride`s father in Chateau-Richer. On 20 Jul 1652, Governor Jean de Lauzon granted Jean Doyon a concession in the future parish of Chateau-Richer, of about 23 arpents along the Rivieres-aux-Chiens. At the time of his death, jaen had built a house, thirty by eighteen feet, and a barn, thirty feet by twenty.

Rene Robineau de Becancour bought the land belonging to Thomas Dufenil, adjoining that of Doyon in 1653. On 20 Aug 1655, he leased this land to Doyon to cultivate it for five years. For Jean Doyon, it meant continuing to clear it, to sow the cleared land, to gather the harvest, to raise cows and bulls ``sortables``, that is to say fit for work; pigs, sows, chickens, etc. Owner and tenant shared the products of the land proportionately as indicated in the contract.

Father Godbout say that Jean temporarily gave up the land acquired in 1652 to settle on the farm of the Sieur de Becancour. Due to this fact he found himself neighbor to his father in law, Mathurin Gagnon. On 7 Aug 1662, Rene Robineau sold his property to Micel Roulois, with house and buildings, for 2000 livres.

Jean Doyon tried to return to his own land, but apparently he had allowed Giles Bacon and wife Marie Tavernier, a cousin of Marthe, to live there. During Jean`s absence, the Bacon couple had worked an arpent and a half of th eland. When Jean wanted the return of the property, Marie Tavernier, who had become a widow, claimed squatter`s rights, because she had been in possession for seven years. Jean took her to court, and lost the case in the lower court of Beaupre. However, in 1664 he won on appeal ot the Sovereign Council. Shortly after this, he died. However, his action insured the inheritance of his wife and children.

Marthe Gagnon as remarried on 21 Apr 1665, to Jaques-Francois Lesot. They had two sons. She died five years after the marriage.

On 31 May 1672, a fire completely destroyed the house Jean Doyon had built. The furniture saved from the fire was inventoried by notary Paul Vachon in Jan 1664. Appraisers Michel Roulois and Jacques David had valued it at 142 livres. The buildings were valued at some 50 livres in 1680. Father Godbout concluded that ``the wealth of Doyon, not including the land, did not come to 200 livres, a pitiful amount compared to the 1600 livres the father had left at his death.`` Altogether, the inheritance yielded 320 livres, being ht meager sum of 45 livres for each of his heirs. Little by little son Antoine rebought the paternal property. The 1681 census indicates that there were only 15 arpents cleared or cultivated. The Lesot family settled on the Beaupre coast.


Jean married Marie Marthe GAGNON, daughter of Mathurin GAGNON and Vincente GAULTHIER, on 19 Nov 1650. (Marie Marthe GAGNON was born on 26 Jun 1650 in L'Home-Chamondot, Perche, France.)

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