On 23 June 1652, "The small boat of the first ship from France arrived, commanded by Master Jean Poitel, the ship landed on the Isle aux Coudres". On the following 1 July "arrived M. de Charny & the men from this first ship". Among these men who were not named, was there a passenger by the name of Jacques Billaudeau, originally from Poitou? We do not know! What is certain is that the family of this M. de Charny was of Poitevin lineage and that his Parisian roots were rather recent.
CHARLES DE LAWSON AND HIS FIEF
Charles de Lauson, the last son of the governor of New France to settle on this side of the Atlantic, made unusual progress. Six weeks after his arrival, he married the thirteen year old daughter of the Seigneur de Beauport, Louise Giffard. In 1656, the year of the death of his young bride, he replaced his father as administrator and commandant of the country; he then called himself "Chevalier, Seigneur de Charny, Governor and Lieutenant-General for the King in New France".
Charles returned to France in 1657, studied for the priesthood and was ordained less than two years later. In 1659, he returned to Canada in the company of Msgr Francois de Laval. Father Charny was immediately named Vicar-General, and accompanied the newly appointed Bishop Laval on his pastoral visit to Trois-Rivieres and Montreal. Charles became head clergyman of the Hotel-Dieu at Quebec. He then took over the duties of his brother Jean, the Grand Senechal, killed by the Iroquois in 1661. He then succeeded his father who died in Paris in 1666. Five years later, he returned to France and never came back. He spent the rest of his days at the Jesuit college at La Rochelle.
To go backward in time for a moment, let us note that on 24 July 1652, Charles received from his father the most important land grant ever made on the Ile d'Orleans. The fief of Charny-Lirec included the whole north side of the island, the area of the present parishes of Sainte-Famille and Saint-Pierre. The deed mentions that persons must be chosen "who have the will and the ability to clear and cultivate the wild lands of this country of New France in order to fill it with inhabitants".
On 20 July 1656, Charles "Seigneur of Charny and of Lirecq", pledged faith and homage to Olivier Le Tardif, provost judge of Beaupre, "On 26 April 1661. wrote Raymond gariepy, he completed the l'aveu et denombrement (local census) of his fief, which he gave to the administrator of the seigneurie the next day. According to this document, the fief of Lirec was almost completely inhabited in the parish of Sainte-Famille, but very little in that of Saint-Pierre".
THE CONCESSIONS OF 2 APRIL 1656
On 2 April 1656, notary Francois Badeau recorded fourteen land grants made at Beauport by Charles de Lauson in 0a fief of Lirec The new concessionaires were Robert Gagnon, Jacques Billaudeau, Simeon Lerreau (aka Simon Lereau, ancestor of the L'Heureux family), Louis Cote, Guillaume Baucher dit Morency, Michel Guyon, Jacques Perrot dit Vildaigre, Pierre Loignon, Francois Guyon, Charles (Claude) Guyon, Rene Mezie (Mezeray), Pierre Nolin dit Lafougere, Guillaume Landry and Maurice Arrive. All of these early pioneers of the Ile d'Orleans count numerous descendants today.
Of course, other lands had been distributed on the island before these, but very few. The island was practically deserted and it would still be necessary for the habitants to wait more than ten years to finally obtain their first church.
According to Leon Roy, all of these habitants had already occupied their lands for several years. The acts of Badeau had simply served to ratify a situation of fact. The homestead that Jacques Billaudeau occupied at that time was the last on the west side, between that of Denis Guyon (which was sold in 1659 to the partners Jacques Asselin and Antoine Pepin dit Lachance) and the lands of the domain not ceded.
This property had four arpents (1 arpent=192 feet) of frontage on the north side of the river and was about 72 arpents in depth. It was directly across from the boundary between the parishes of Chateau-Richer and Saint-Anne. It was later divided between Jacques's two sons: Simon and Antoine. They were already settled there in 1709, as indicated by the map drawn up by Jean-Baptiste de Couagne. The surveyor associated with Gedeon de Catalogne.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
Jacques Billaudeau had been married for almost two years when he received his concession from Charles de Lauson Chamy. The marriage was registered at Quebec on 28 October 1654, but the ceremony took place in the house of the Sieur de la Ferte. lt was there we learn that Jacques was the son of Pierre Billaudeau and of Jeanne Fleurie, and that the bride, Genevieve Longschamps (sometimes spelled Deslongschamps), was the daughter of Pierre and of Marie Desanter, The document does not indicate the couple's place of origin, but the list of those confirmed on 2 February 1660 at Chateau-Richer, says that Jacques, before coming to Canada, had lived in the region of Poitiers, but gave no further details.
It seems that all the Billaudeau-Longschamps children were born, on the Ile d'Orleans, between 1656 and 1664. The baptismal record for Simon in 1662, has been found at Chateau-Richer; as for the others, it is necessary to rely on the approximate age mentioned in the various censuses. On this subject, let us note the local census of the aFleuricrriere-fief of Charny-Lirec which Charles de Lauson produced on 26 April 1661.
This list counts forty property owners settled:
"from the boundary of Louis D'ailleboust Sr de Coulonges going step by step Towards Quebec. Until the lands of Damlle Eleonore de grandmaison and her Children except for what was given to the RR MM Hospitalieres and Ursulines & to Sr Rene Maheu And the depth from the north bank Including the sandbanks and the Islets As far as the Road or line which must cut the said Isle from Point to point". (sic)
Jacques Billaudeau's land was than situated between that of the associates Antoine Pepin dit Lachance and Jacques Asselin, and that of Claude Charlan dit Francoeur.
The Billaudeau family was listed in the census twice in 1666 on the Ile d'Orleans.(14) First they were noted as being between the lands of Nicolas Godeboust and Gabriel Gausselin, then between these of Tean Charpentier and Jacques Meneux. We note other slight variations (errors) in the ages and names between the two recordings. At that time two servants helped our pioneer who undoubtedly had great need of them: Jean Le Vasseur and Claude Febvre.
The census of 1667, which replaced that of 1666, was more explicit and undoubtedly more accurate. Therein it says that Jacques was 35 years old and Genevieve 28; their children were Louise, 11; Jacques, 10; Jean, 9; Antoine, 8; Simon, 5; and Gabriel, 3. The stable sheltered six animals, and 25 arpents were under cultivation. This time their immediate neighbors were Abel Turquot and Antoine Pepin dit Lachance.
The Billaudeau family was listed again in the census of 1681 in the county of Saint-Laurent (the new name given to the Ile d'Orleans). Jacques was now 50 years old and his wife 42. Still living in the paternal home were: Jean, 29; Antoine, 22; Simon, 18; and Gabriel, 17. Again two servants: Mathurin Labreque, 17, and a child of 9 named Robert. The family owned a gun, 30 head of cattle and now worked 40 arpents of land.
Between 1666 and 1708, the name of Jacques Billaudeau was mentioned several times in the records of a few notaries of his time: Romain Becquet, Gilles Rageot, Paul Vachon and Louis Chambalon were those who recorded for him. The nine or ten years when the children were being born and raised were completely silent in the notaries' records.
On 23 July 1666, Jacques Billaudeau was at Quebec. He had been summoned to the bishop's residence to conclude an agreement on passage rights of the animals and the maintenance of his part of the lane leading to the mill on the island. It was Messire Jean Dudouyt who welcomed him in the name of ; Msgr de Laval, who was the Seigneur of Beaupre and the Ile d'Orleans. Besides the Abbot Dudouyt, Salomon Allais and Pierre Fauve signed the act as witnesses, with the notary Becquet. As usual, Billaudeau stated that he could not write nor sign his name.
A CONCESSION FROM THE NURSING SISTERS TO HIS YOUNG SONS
On 18 July 1677, our ancestor was again at Quebec, this time in the parlor of the convent of the Hotel-Dieu de la Misericorde de Jesus. He was accompanied by his nine year old son Jean. He and his brother Antoine were each to be given a piece of land "on the l'ile de Saint-Laurent formerly called L'ile d'Orleans". These concessions consisted of three arpents of frontage on the river, with a depth extending to the center of the island. The lands were adjacent. The neighbors were, on one side, Jean Guyon du Buisson, and on the other side, Jean I Premont. The transaction was concluded in each case for an annual rent of 60 sols in silver and three capons. Jeanne-Agnes de Saint-Paul, the mother superior, and Jeanne-Francoise de Saint-Ignace, the treasurer, signed the deeds for the Nursing Sisters; Jean "Billodaux" signed for himself (which is astonishing, because his parents could not write); the bailiff Guillaume Roger land the notary Becquet placed their signatures.
Nearly four years later, on 27 February 1681, Jacques Billaudeau acquired another piece of land with three arpents of frontage from Jean Premont. It was in the neighboring seigneurie of Saint-Francois de Sales d'Argentenay, towards the south side of the river, between the property of his son Jean and that of Claude Lefebvre, his former servant. The said land had been ceded by the Hospitalieres to Francois Daneau in 1675, and it was finally Simon, Jacques's youngest son who inherited.
FISHERMAN AND HUNTER
The founder of the Canadian Billaudeau families had a particular weakness: he liked to hunt and fish. This distracted him from the work on his farm and from clearing his land, which he willingly entrusted to his servants. This also gave him a small additional income which was greatly appreciated.
Therefore, on 9 February 1664, a judgment from the Sovereign Council of New France mentionsa lawsuit by Louis Couillard de L'Espinay against Jacques Billaudeau and his neighbor Antoine Pepin dit Lachance. The plaintiff asked that the defendants be ordered to return to him a moose which they had "taken" and that Claude Guyon, his partner, had actually killed. According to Couillard, Billaudeau and Pepin had taken and removed the carcass. Jacques admitted that he had indeed "taken" a moose in the woods; he drove it down to the bank where Guyon got a shot at it. As for himself, he was content with the head, but he did not understand what the plaintiff meant when he stated that he only made his accusation the next day. In the end, the Council decided to send the parties out of court and to settle the suit without costs.
Ah, those quarrelsome ancestors! Much ado about nothing, as Shakespeare said.
On 20 October 1681, Jacques formed a partnership with Jean Langlois and Antoine Cadde, merchant of Quebec, to go fishing and hunting in the seigncurie of La Riviere de la Madeleine, territory that Cadde had obtained from Frontenac on 31 May 1679. The Seigneur requested Langlois and Billaudeau buy or build themselves a suitable barge for the purpose of a long journey, for which he would pay each of them ten livres per year. However, a judgment by the Sovereign Council dated Monday 23 December 1686 informs us that difficulties occurred in this Partnership.
The contract of 1681 had been declared null (for not having been executed in time) by the bailiff judge of Saint Laurent on 6 July 1683. Judgment confirmed on the following 17 November by the Provost of Quebec, and on the subject of which Cadde had brought an appeal to the higher court. The Council denied this appeal, ordering that the judgment be carried out according to its terms and conditions. Billaudeau was authorized to break his contract, while Cadde and Langlois would continue it, if they so desired.
Several years later, more precisely on 7 June 1694, the notes of Louis Chambalon mention another contract, this time between the navigator Francois Frichet and the Sieurs Baudouin and Labonte. All three were associated with Jacques Billaudeau and Jean Moricet in an agreement to fish during the present year.
A PIED-A-TERRE AT QUEBEC
On 5 November 1686, in the absence of her husband, Genevieve Longschamps appeared at the home of the notary Gilles Rageot in order to rent a small house, ten feet by twenty, on the Rue du Sault au Matelot in the lower town of Quebec. This was a transaction between women since the owner, Andre Parant, was a minor and was represented by his mother, Jeanne Badault, wife of Pierre Parant. The house was comprised of two rooms, a small cellar and a small attic, adjoining on one side a man named Lefebvre dit Grand Ville, and on the other, Andre Parant himself. The rent was 75 livres which Genevieve promised to pay in two payments: half in March, the other half at the end of the lease. Louis Bidet, Nicolas Metru and Guillaume Roger signed as witnesses.
Another document drawn up by Louis Chambalon and dated 15 February 1696 reveals that Jacques Billaudeau and his neighbor Jacques Asselin had been the farmers for Francois Berthelot. This was indicated in a farm lease signed between Louis Rouer de Villeray (acting for Berthelot) and Claude Charlan dit Francoeur and his wife. Francois Berthdot had been the first and only legitimate Count de Saint-Laurant (hence the name of the county which is often applied to the island at the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth). He was commissioner-general of the artillery of France. His domain on the island had four arpents in frontage, and a depth three Steps above the crest of the hill, which forms a type of crescent beneath the place where a water mill has begun to be built.
GENEVIEVE IS INVOLVED IN A STORY OF MURDER
The action took place between 1675 and 1677. On 29 December 1675, Gabriel Hervet, farmer for his brother-in-law Hippolyte Thibierge, was buried at Sainte-Famille. He had been found dead in the snow. Originally from Sainte-Solemme de Blois, diocese of Chartres, in Orleanais, Hervet lived at the Thibierge home for several years. He was a bachelor.
On this subject Raymond Boyer wrote:
"Another hanging in effigy (because they could not get their hands on him) was ordered by the Sovereign Council in 1676. It was that of the imprisoned vagabond Simon Du Verger, a resident of the Ill Saint-Laurent, who had been found guilty of the murder of his neighbor Hervet and who had escaped from prison at Quebec a week after he was incarcerated and placed in irons. In addition, Du Verget had been sentenced to a fine of ten livres (due the King's Court, to pay expenses) and to have all of his property confiscated." This lead to a curious ruling: The Council ordered that the brother-in-law of the victim, before taking possession of the deceased's property, pay a fine incurred by the murderer. Another consequence of this litigation was a fine of 100 1ivres levied on Francois Cenaple, the warden of the prison of Quebec; at the same time, the Council ordered him to guard the prisoners more carefully.
How was Genevieve Longschamps involved in this story? don't know But We Do know, that this case was brought before the Council on the 6th, 7th, and 10th of March 1676. Genevieve was questioned in March 1677 and charged. On the following 31 August, it was ordered that Billaudeau and his wife appear so that Genevieve, in the presence of her husband, might be admonished to live a better life, and not to be the cause of a scandal in the future. The court also directed Jacques to:
"d'y tenir la main sur peine d~en repondre en son propre et prive nom,(27) a eux permis de se Retirer ou bon kur semblera"
On Tuesday, 29 May 1671, the Provost of Quebec also heard a case brought by Pierre Richer against Jacques Billaudau. Billaudeau failed to appear, and the expert testimony of Romain Becquet was heard; Jacques was ordered to pay a fine of nine livres plus court costs.
THE LAST YEARS
Early in the eighteenth century, Jacques and Genevieve knew that they did not have many more years to live. Therefore they decided to give their sons Simon and Antoine the four arpents ceded at Sainte-Famille in 1656 by Charles de Lauson-Charny. The act of donation was signed by notary Etienne Jacob on 7 August 1708.
This was the last document which mentions Jacques Billaudeau during his life time. According to Leon Roy, the Billaudeau couple was then probably living at Saint-Francois at the home of their son Simon. It was in this parish that they were both buried; he on 8 February 1712, nearly 80 years old; she on 28 March 1718 at the age of 88, according to the burial records. She had died the day before. A few months after Jacques's death, Genevieve settled some family business at the home of the notary Chambalon.