Ensigne Jean SICARD-CARUFEL
- Born: 1666, Saint-Jacques, Castres, Languedoc, France
- Marriage: Genevieve RATTE on 27 Nov 1694 in Saint-Pierre, Ile d'Orleans, Quebec
- Died: Aug 1743, Saint-Justin, Quebec at age 77
After teh expedition of 1687, against one of the Iroquois antions, the Seneca, who were from south of Lake Ontario, a garrison of one hundred men was left under teh command of Raymond Balaise des Bergeres de Rigauville at Fort Niagara. Scurvey killed most of the men in the fort, and only the commanding officer and a dozen of his men survived to return to Montreal in 1688. Somehow an officer tehre, Lefebvre, and des Bergeres got into a duel. The offiical report of teh duel mentions that one Jean Sicard de Carufel, first sergeant of the company, was called upon to treat the wound of Blaise des Bergeres. This was not hte first mention of Sicard, who had come across the Atlantic purposely to fight the Iroquois menace. On 20 Jan 1686, the parish records of Notre-Dame de Quebec note that this young genetleman, a native of the parish of Saint-Jacques in the town of Castres, in Albegeois, had renounced Protestantism.
According to Benjamin Sulte, Jean Sicard de CArufel was descended from an authentic noble family from Haut-Langedoc. In 1530, the head of this family, Raymond icard, owned the fief of Carufel. Jean, son of Raymond and Catherine de Salhatret, married Anne de Saint-Maruice in 1589. Religious wars devastated the domain in 1615 adn in 1621. On 16 Jan 1630, Jean married Marthe de Saint-Paul, daughter of Abel, seigneur of Conneval. Areadly the Sicards were practicing professionals in the art of war. On 5 Dec 1663, Pierre son of Jean and of Marthe, married Marie de Faruges, daughter of Jacques, seigneur de Farguettes.
On 11 May 1664, Marthe de Saint -Paul made a will in favor of her hsuband and two sons: Pierre, a lawyer in teh Parliament of Paris, and Charles. Two years later, Jean, son of Pierre and of Marie de Fargues ws born in CAstres. Having embarked on his military career at an early age, this young man was only 19 years old when he went into the service of Fracois-marie Renaud d'Avensne des Meloizes, a Captain in the regular French forces. The latter's company wa simmediately recruited in France, by the new Governor-General of Canada, Brisay de Donville.
The small army embarked at La Rochelle on board tiny, filthy vessls and crossed the ATlantic under indescribable conditions. Scurvey and typhoid took sixty victims wile at sea, and on their arrival in Quebec on 1 Aug 1685, eighty more had to be hospitalized at the Hotel-Dieu. The hospital was already overcrowded with 300 others struck down by fever.
Denonville allowed his soldiers only a few weeks to recuperate before departing for Port Frontenac (Kingston) on a reconnaissance expedition. The Governor found the Fort in frightful disorder, several hundred colonists had abandoned their lands to become coureurs de bois. Although resoved to underake widespread social reform, Denonville had to first face a more imminent danger, that of hte presence of the English and the Iroquois around the French possessions.
On 13 Jun 1687, at the head of 832 French regulars, plus 900 Candian militiamen and 400 Indian allies, Deonville went up the river as far as Fort Frontenac, across to Niagraa and routed the Mohawks. Then, having left 100 men at Niagara, he went back to Montreal. One could infer, even if history does not confirm it , that young Sicard de Carufel took part in this campaign, and since Raymond Blaise was his captain, hep roably found himself among the twelve survivors who endured the hellish winter at Fort Niagara during the 1687-88 season.
After the 1689 duel and the subsequent judiciary episodes, Jean Sicard decided to pursuse his military future in New France. He had already decided to remain in the country when he married GEnevieve, daughter of Jaqcues RAtte and of Anne Martin, on 27 Nov 1694. in the parish of Saint-Pierre on the Ile d'Orelans. The nuptia l ceremony was conducted by Father dauric and the witneses were Jacques RAtte, Jacqeus Gosselin and Pierre Roberge. A marriage agreemetn had been made... that tells us that het groom was, at that time, a sergeant in the Company of Michel Leneuf de la Valliere. It is probable that Jean Sicard followe4d his Captain to Arcadia, the shores of Lake Ontario, and perhaps to Monttreal. However, it may have been, we know taht on 22 May 1696, he was back in Castres with his faily. On that day, "noble Jean, Sieur de Farguettes, officer of the Troupes de la Marine in CAnada" became independent of his father, having attained his majority.
After having lived more than ten years at Saint-Pierre d'Orleans, Jean Sicard sold his property to his brother in law, Pierre Ratte, on 18 March 1704, as recorded by Etitenne Jacob. When Louis, the fifth child, was born ealry in 1705, the Sicards were already installed near the falts of the Maskinonge river int eh seigneury of Legardeur de Repentigny. The fief of Carufel was officially granted to Jean Sicard on 21 April 1705 by Governor Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudruil and the Intendant Francois de Beaharnois. This domain with two leagues of frontage by a simlilar depth nearly corresponds with the current parish of Saint-Justin.
Writes Father Hermann Plante:
"At the time of registering possession of his fief, the Seigneur de Carufel dreamed of settling there, but the time was not yet favorable. In 1705 it was difficult to go far from the Saint-Lawrence River. The clearing of the seigneury of Maskinonge was not yet advanced enough to furnish the oclonlists with a new similar settlement. In addition the Iroquois terror was not over. The peace treaty, signed four years earlier in Montreal between the French and the savages, buried the war hatchet, it is ture, but the Indians were of so changeable a temperament, so unpredicatble, taht hte passing of time was needed to bring in colonists. THe peace treaty of 1701 had not yet stood the test of time nor given a clear guarantee which would permit the Seigneur de Carufel to attract tenants away from the river."
iun 1724, the seigneury of Maskinonge could count only a few more than 40 settelrs and twenty houses. Jean Sicard himself had to wait about fifteen years before undertaking work on his own fief. Plante continues:
"But eh Seigneur was growing older and he did not want to die without profiting from his fief. After useless efforts in persuading companions to follow him, he decided about 1720, to open his domain to colonization. He went up the Maskinonge River, the only route at that tiem and with his sons, palced his feet on the ground of the southwest bank, at a distance of about a quarter league in depth from the Maskinonge fief.
Thsu was born Saint-Justin... Certainly it was not, stricty sepaking, the beginning of the parish of Saint-Justin, since Saint-Justin was only a part of Maskinonge in 1848. But these were, none the liess, the true beginnings of colonization of the territory known as Saint-Justin today an din which the pioneers were teh Seigneur Sicard de Carufel adn his large family."
Jean cut out a domain of eight arpents in frontage by six miles in depth for himself. In the Aveu et denombrement of 19 February 1723, our ancestor declared a house of sixteen square feet, surrounded by posts, and nearly three arpents of workable land. On 27 January 1737, the seventy year old setller had his will drawn up in favor of his children. In the meantime, he had puruised his military career as an ensign in the colonial troops, atleast until 1732, and he made a few deals as described in teh records of Pierre Petit. In particular, on 16 Aug 1728, he came to an agreement with the Ursulines of Trois-Riveres putting an end to the dispute over the boundaries of their respective seigneuries.
Jean Sicard de Carufel was witness, in 1741, to the beginning of the dis-establishment of his fief. His children in their turn, sold their lands to their brothe rin law, Jea Francois Baril-Duchesny, Genevieve's husband. The elderly officer-colonist-seigneur, descended from teh French aristocracy, did not live much longer.
Jean married Genevieve RATTE, daughter of Jacques RATTE and Anne Marie MARTIN, on 27 Nov 1694 in Saint-Pierre, Ile d'Orleans, Quebec. (Genevieve RATTE was born on 27 Jan 1678 in Quebec, Quebec and died on 14 Jan 1717 in Quebec, Quebec.)