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The first French Canadian Ancestors
listed on this page are those that my family descends from.

Robert Lévesque


Why did Robert come to Canada when he was almost thirty years old? It's a mystery! It seems probable but by no means certain, that he arrived in New France in June of 1671. He was thought to have been aboard the ship Saint Jean-Baptiste, in the company of J.B. Francois Deschamps, the future Seigneur de la Boutelliere. They were accompanied by "two carpenters, two masons, and four laborers," whose job it would be to clear up to 1000 arpents of the land given to Deschamps as a grant from the King. One of these carpenters was our ancestor Robert Levesque.

Seigneur Deschamps, considering discretion the better part of valor, abandoned this concession from the King because of the Iroquois menace. He obtained another in a more hospitable area from Jean Talon, the King's Intendant, on 29 October, 1672. It was to become the settlement known as Rivière-Ouelle. One can imagine the bustle of activity as laborers, masons, carpenters and all hands turned to erecting shelters before winter set in.

The name of Robert Lévesque is mentioned officially for the first time on 10 November 1674. This was the day he received his own land grant from his Seigneur. It read: "containing 12 arpents of frontage on the River Ouelle and 30 in depth, of uninhabited land in the said seigneury". Moreover, "given and conceded 3 arpents of frontage by 6 in depth in the grasslands to the south, called The Grand-Anse, with the right to fish salmon at the spot called the Point of the Southwest". We know also that after this date Robert worked as a carpenter on building the Seminary of Quebec.

On 22 April 1679, at l'Ange-Gardien, Robert married Jeanne Le Chevalier. Of course this was preceded by a contract of marriage, written up by Notary Paul Vachon the day before. Jeanne was about 34 years old, the daughter of Jean and of Marguerite Romain of Saint-Nicolas de Coustances, in The Manche, Normandy. A young Canadian missionary priest, Guillaume Gaultier, himself born at Quebec in 1653, blessed the marriage. Mathurin Huot and Charles Letartre assisted at the wedding as witnesses.

This was the second marriage for Jeanne Le Chevalier. She was the widow of Guillaume Lecanteur, Sieur de la Tour, son of Nicolas and of Jeanne Hamelot of Saint-Sauvier de Mont-en-Auge, Normandy. Lecanteur was already living in Québec as early as 9 July 1670. He signed his marriage contract with Jeanne on 11 October 1671. This couple lived in the Ange-Gardien near Québec. There they had three children: Nicolas, Charles and Guillaume. When the census of 1681 was taken, Nicolas and Charles were mentioned but not Guillaume. Then Charles disappeared too.

Years later, on 24 September 1693, Robert Levesque gave his remaining step-son a piece of property of 6 arpents in frontage on the River Ouelle. Sometime between that date and 4 October 1693, a period of about two weeks, Nicolas died. We know because that was the date on which his mother Jeanne had the gift annulled because her son was dead.


While Robert Lévesque lived at Rivière-Ouelle he was known as a carpenter, but he made more of a living out of farming and the land. According to the census of 1681, Robert owned 4 guns, 11 head of cattle, and 10 arpents of land under cultivation. On 20 June 1683 Robert acquired another property. Then, in one single deal with Joseph Renaud and his wife Marie Lehoux, on 11 August 1692, Robert bought three parcels of land and a house on the River Ouelle, in what must have been one of the most complicated land transactions of the time. As best can be deciphered from the none too distinct text, it went something like this: "One piece measuring 12 arpents in frontage by 42 in depth, is adjoined to the southeast by lands not yet conceded, and on the other side by the property of Rene Hoylet in part, and by that of the seller.. plus a beautiful large parcel of farm land located between the land already specified above, and that of Damien Bérubé, who lives to the southwest; to the unassigned lands bordered on two sides by the River Ouelle... the remainder of the six arpents of land conceded by Deschamps to Pierre Michel on 18 May 1683, having been conceded after the other part of the land of the aforesaid six arpents, to René Ouellet... plus half a point of land... opposite to the holdings of Pierre Hudon, that of the heirs of the late Jacques Miville and Pierre Dancosse, following the act of concession of the seller, made on 30 July last (1692), in order to replace and compensate for the part subtracted from the six arpents above ... "Whatever it may have said, one thing is clear: Robert Lévesque became about as large a landholder as existed at the time.


In 1690, the British Admiral Sir William Phipps, tried to take Québec. En route, he menaced the settlements along the Saint Lawrence. His fleet made an attempt to disembark troops at Rivière-Ouelle. The Reverend Pierre Terrier of Francheville, a fiery but provident patriot, Pastor of Rivière-Ouelle from 1689 to 1692, organized the defense. A dozen men hid in the underbrush along the bank and there we find Robert Lévesque, weapon in hand. They waited until the soldiers were in boats and approaching the shore before opening fire. The surprised Englishmen retreated back to the tending ship, Pointe, and sailed away. At least Rivière-Ouelle was saved for for now.


Robert Lévesque was buried at Rivière-Ouelle on 13 September 1699. Pastor De Roqueleyne wrote in the register that Robert had died "The 11th of the current month." Assisting at his interment we find Guillaume Lisot and Robert Morin. Our ancestor was about 58 years old and father of 6 children: 5 boys and a girl Marie-Anne, who died a short time after she was born on 15 October 1690. Today his descen- dants are numerous throughout North America; especially in Quebec, in the Maritime Provinces and in New England. Many politicians, businessmen, priests, brothers, nuns, and even a few bishops have come from the direct line of Robert Levesque.


After the death of her second husband, on 15 April 1701 Jeanne Le Chevalier married the first Seigneur of the Rivière-Ouelle, none other than Jean-Baptiste Francois Deschamps himself.

Deschamps was baptized in 1646 at Cliponville, a town in the Department of the Seine-Inferieure, Arrondissement of Yvetot, in Normandy. He was the son of Jean and of Elizabeth Debin. He was a dignified man, very preoccupied with the welfare of his family and his tenants, who honored him. He spent 50,000 Iivres of his own money to develop his seigneury. His first marriage was to Catherine-Gertrude Macard on 24 October 1672, at Quebec. Their contract of marriage was made before Notary Romain Becquet on the 16th of the same month. Gertrude was the daughter of Nicolas and of Marguerite Couillard. J.B. Francois and Gertrude had 5 children between 1673 and 1681: Charles Joseph Deschamps became a priest; J. Francois was baptized at the Rivière-Ouelle on 20 September 1681 and died at an early age; Louis-Henri, husband of Louise Genevieve De Ramzay, was appointed as Aide-Major at Quebec, as a Captain in the Marine Corps, and as Commandant at Detroit.

Gertrude Macard was buried on 21 November 1681. We find her burial record at l'Islet since the parish of Rivière-Quelle was not yet organized. The first baptism written in the parish record of Riviere-Ouelle, by Father Pierre Permelnaud, and dated 6 January 1685, was that of Joseph Levesque, son of Robert and Jeanne. It was after 20 years as a widower, therefore, that the Seigneur Deschamps married Jeanne on 15 April 1701. But he too was buried in his turn on 16 December 1703 at Rivière-Ouelle.

As for Jeanne Le Chevalier, she lived on for several more years. Father Bernard De Roqueleyne celebrated her funeral Mass on 25 November 1716. He wrote in the register "Dame Jeanne Chevaillier wife of the late monsieur Deschamps de la Bouteillerie (and widow of Robert Levesque) died the 24th of the current month with the sacraments of the church at age of about 78 years. Assisting at her burial were Jacque Boy and Jacques Gagnon who have signed."

Some descendants of our ancestor Robert Levesque have taken the names of Léveque and Sansoucy.

Robert Lévesque was buried September 03, 1699 at Rivière-Ouelle. PQ544.
Many thanks to Carole Michaud for this information.

Pierre Dumais

Pierre Dumais dit Rossignol was the son of Jean and Marguerite Richard, of Omble, diocese of Clermont, in Auvergne. Attracted by the beauty of the Kamouraska region, Pierre married Anne Chamberland in St. Louis Church on April 26, 1745. Anne was the daughter of Simon Chamberland and Thérèse Ouimet. Three children were born of this first marriage that ended with the death of Anne, who was buried at the parish cemetery on April 14, 1755. The following August 25th, Pierre married Catherine Michaud, daughter of Jean and Cécile Ouellet. Five more children issued from this second union.

Three sons of the ancestor Pierre, named Vincent, Louis and Pierre, ensured the following of seven generations in Saint-Louis parish.


This family has been in Kamouraska for six generations, and descends from Jacques Guérêt dit Dumont, born on March 8th 1665, in Normandy. Jacques was the son of René Guerey and Françoise Montmirel, daughter of the lord Jean de Méhérenc du Montmirel. Arrived in New France in 1690, he got married with Jacques Tardif's daughter, Anne, on April 18th 1674. They had triplets on October 6th 1708 : Catherine, Michel and Joseph-Simon.

In 1711, the Dumont family moved in Gaspésie, but they came back in Beauport in 1713. After, they lived in Rivière-du-Loup, L'Isle-Verte and, finally, in Kamouraska, where Jacques was buried on April 15th 1739. Anne Tardif was buried on February 18th 1752. Between Jean's children who lived in Kamouraska, there are his seven sons : Jean, Simon, Jacques, Jean-Baptiste, Michel, Pierre and Prisque, who all got married in Saint-Louis of Kamouraska.


Augustin Lavoie, son of Joseph, son of René got married on January 28th 1729, with Marguerite Michaud, daughter of Jean Michaud and Françoise Dupille. Later, he settled in Kamouraska, and after, in the Bras-Saint-Nicolas. His children were christened in Rivière-Ouelle and in La Pocatière, and five of his sons were married in the Saint-Louis of Kamouraska church, where Augustin was buried on October 16th 1770.

Between the eight generations of Lavoie who lived in Kamouraska, Madeleine Lavoie, wife of François Thibault, was buried under the church floor on March 15th 1839.

The ancestor René de Lavoye, son of René de Lavoye and Isabeau Bellenger, from Normandy, got married on April 14th 1656, in the Sainte-Anne chapel on the Beaupré Coast, with Anne Godin, daughter of Elie Godin and Esther Ramage. He lived at Sainte-Anne, where he was buried about 1699. His son Jean settled in Rivière-Ouelle, but Joseph, the father of Augustin, stayed on the Beaupré Coast.


Louis-Joseph LeBlanc, son of Désiré LeBlanc and Victoire Comeau, was the first member of this family in Saint-Louis of Kamouraska. On July 22nd 1835, Joseph married Edith-Estelle Raymond, daughter of Régis Raymond and Rose Miville-Deschènes. His daughter, Aglaé, and his two sons, Narcisse and Régis, married in Kamouraska. Five generations of Le Blancs lived in Kamouraska.

The ancestor Daniel Le Blanc, born in 1626, was from Poitou. Married in Port-Royal to Françoise Gaudet, widow of an unknown Mercier from France, they settled on the North Coast of the Port-Royal River, and Daniel died between 1693 and 1698. Françoise Gaudet, born in 1623, died in her son Pierre's house, between 1698 and 1700.


Phocas as a surname was brought to Canada only by Ancestor Romain. However, a few founding families claim the name of Raymond.

Romain Phocas dit Raymond was the son of Renaud Phocas and Catherine Daguspart. He was originally from Langon in Guyenne. The town of Langon, called Alingo during Caesar's time, begins in the waters of the Garonne, on the right bank. Romain Phocoas's small village has a two-thousand year old history. English and French, Catholics and Protestants often fought one another in this locality in south-western France. Until the French Revolution, the faithful of Langon relied on the episcopal authority of Bazas.

Though Romain's place of origin is known, the date of his arrival in Canada is unknown. Shortly before his marriage, he had obtained a concession. On Monday, 21 January 1709, at Notre-Dame-de-Liesse church in Rivière-Ouelle, father Bernard de Roqueleyne blessed the marraige of Romain Fogas, "twenty-five years old", and Angélique Houallet (Ouellet), "eighteen years old", daughter of Mathurin-René Ouellet and Angélique Lebel from Saint-Louis contract Janneau. Witnesses to the marriage both named in the registry were François Bouchard and Guillaume Soucy.

Father Georges Desjardins, S.J. stated that Romain hocas received his land from his in-laws Mathurin Ouellet and Angélique Lebel, on 13 February 1711, for which he paid 150 livres. The acquired homestead had 4 arpents in frontage; it was located between Nicolas Lebel, Junior, and Mathurin Oullet. The census of 1723 shows that this was indeed where they were living. It was known as the "little Kamouraska" or the sourth-western part of Kamouraska, near the little river or the Ruisseau du Bras which empties into the cove of Kamouraska. Romain got married for the second time with Thérèse Saint-Pierre, daughter of Pierre Saint-Pierre and Marie Gerbert, about 1725. Romain was buried in the Berceau cemetery on January 9th 1762. Eight generations of this family lived in Kamouraska and still live there.

The only known variation of Phocas, which itself is a variation of Fougasse, is Fogas.

Source: Kamouraska region ancestral information; Thomas LaForest Our French Canadian Ancestors.


Charles Marquis was baptized on Wednesday, 4 November 1648, the feast of Saint-Charles, in the parish of Saint-Pierre. His parents Charles Marquis and Jeanne Bignon had for witnesses at this baptism Mathurin Brochu and Louise Pain, wife of Adrien Jean. Father Chaunet was the priest who officiated.

Hardly any information is available bout Charles Marquis' life in France. One fact is certain, he had attended school and signed his name with a flourish! His father died by the time he came to New France.

Charles Marquis arived in Québec in 1671. He lived there the rest of his life. On 9 November 1671, at Notre-Dame de Québec, he was a witness to a marriage that leads one to believe that upon his arrival in Canada, he had made friends among the bourgeois class.

On 14 September 1673, Charles called for the notary to draw up his marriage contract with Marguerite Beaugrand, widow of Sébastien Cousin, and daughter of the late Nicolas and of Marie Chevalier. Anne Gasnier, chaperone of the King's Daughters, accompanied the bride. The latter brought to the new union some property valued at 600 livres. Supporting Charles Marquis were men of status, including Louis Buade, the Count de Frontenac, governor of New France since 6 April 1672.

Other notables present at their marriage: Charles Legardeur, Sieur de Tilly, his son Pierre, Antoine Caddé, who had arrived in the country as a steward for the intendant Claude Bouteroue, and Jacques Byzard, lieutenant in Frontenac's guards.

On 11 August 1682, after plying many worthy trades, Charles received a commission as royal baliff at the Provost of Québec since August 7th from the governmental authorities. He had reached enviable heights.

Charles and Marguerite were tavern keepers. Living in the heart of the lower town on Place Royale, their business was a success. However, when fire burned the buildings of the city of Québec, they were not spared from this catastrophe. He then became a wine merchant and also got involved in the sale of wooden shoes. The contract drawn up concerning his purchase of the manufactured wooden shoes sheds light on the fact that people must have been wearing such shoes at the time.

In the spring of 1695, Charles Marquis became seriously ill. On 2 July, he dictated his last wishes. He stated he wanted no funeral service after his death but rather 1 high mass and 15 low. After the payment of his debts, he asked that all of his property go to his wife. He made several bequests - however, he did not die - he regained his health!

Marguerite Beaugrand was buried 11 April 1697. Father François Dupré officiated. Witnesses were Jean-Étienne Dubreuil and Jacques Michelon, son of Adrien.

Charles Marquis remarried on 7 January 1698 to Agnès Giguère by contract Jacob. Charles died and was buried 22 December 1700. Agnès remarried to Joseph Blondeau dit Laframboise, widower of Marie-Ursule Roy and of Marguerite Trudel. Five Giguère-Blondeau children were born at Charlesbourg.

SOURCE: Our French Canadian Ancestors by Thomas J. Laforest with some rewrites.


Julien-Charles Sévigny was born about 1668 in the city of Rennes, former capital of the duchy of Brittany, located at the confluence of the Ille and Vilaine Rivers. He was said to be from Saint-Germain, a fifteenth-century church with stained glass windows and statues of remarkable beauty.

The first time he signed a document on this side of the Atlantic, he wrote without other detail: Julien C. de Sévigny. So then could the Lafleur surname that he bore be an indication that he went to New France as a soldier?

On Monday, 18 April 1695, Julien-Charles Sévigny married Marguerite Rognon dit Laroche at Neuville, parish of St-François-de-Sales. Father Jean Basset presided at the marriage in the presence of stepfather Pierre Mercier, brothers Charles and Denis Rognon dit Laroche, Pierre Pinel, André Dumay and Pierre Piché. Thus began the Sévigny dit Lafleur generation in North America.

Marguerite was the daughter of the Parisian Michel Rognon and of Marguerite Lamain. She was born at Neuville on 15 December 1678 and baptized the following December 17th by Father Germain Morin, the first Canadian priest. She was baptized at Neuville and recorded at Notre-Dame de Québec. Marguerite lost her father when she was 5 years old. Her mother was remarried to ancestor Pierre Mercier, a miller, and introduced 8 new children into her new home. At her marriage contract, her mother Marguerite Lamain promised to give her a cow on the day before her wedding, in addition to her wedding clothes. Julien-Charles offered his sweetheart a favorable prefixed dowry worth 600 livres. Antoine Fauvel, merchant, Charles Rageot, clerk, Nicolas Dupon, seigneur de Neuville, Julien-Charles Sévigny and the notray Louis Chambalon signed the document.

Julien-charles was a linen weaver by trade. Consequently, he lived equally at Neuville, at Tilly, at St-Pierre on the Ile d'Orléans or at Saint-Augustin. The important thing for him was to have thread to weave and orders to fill. It is not known what type of material he used but it seems that he weaved beautiful linen.

These ancestors had 12 children: Marie-Louise, Marguerite-Françoise, Marie-Françoise, antoine, Marie-Jeanne, Charles, Jean-Baptiste and Jean-Baptiste (our ancestors often named a another child by the name of a deceased child). The first child was born 8 April 1696 and the youngest on 4 May 1721. This founding mother helped to populate this family for a quarter of a century!

The last years of Julien-Charles and Marguerite were spent at Neuville. Julien-Charles died there, on Sunday, 28 September 1727. He was buried on St-Michel's Day in the presence of family members, Jeantot, a Hospitalier Brother, and Jean-Baptiste Larue. As for Marguerite Rognon, she died at Québec where she was buried on 7 July 1732, on a sunny Monday.

Their descendants have spead, especially into the west of the province of Québec, then into Ontario and the U.S. Their descendants seem numerous in the Detroit region of the U.S.

Source: Thomas Laforest Our French Canadian Ancestors

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