A Canadian Family

Natives, French Canadians & Acadians

Riviere-Ouelle Virtual Field Trip: Pt.5/5

If you drive along the St-Lawrence River today you can still see the way the land was originally distributed under the seigneurial system. The first settlers were allotted long strips of land set up in such a way that each farmer had access to river frontage. In the earliest days of la Nouvelle France (New France) the river was the quickest way of transport and was also an important source of food.


Related Posts:

Map of Land Grants – Seigneury La Pocatiere

Mignier dit Lagaces – French Canadians

Further Reading:

The Seigneurial System – The Canadian Encyclopedia

March 26, 2009 Posted by | . | | Leave a comment

Pierre & Jean Baptiste Rouleau | Evelyn in Montreal

Kathy Link was looking for genealogical  information about Pierre Rouleau and his brother Jean-Baptiste who were both early French-Canadian settlers in Riviere-Ouelle (La-Pocatiere), Quebec. The Rouleaus are in my database because they married into the Lagace dit Mignier family. They’re not one of my focus families, so what you’ll see below is data I’ve entered about some of the earliest descendants who married. This information has been collected from printed church registers and online  indexes (not primary documents).

Continue reading

March 21, 2009 Posted by | . | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Riviere-Ouelle Virtual Field Trip: Pt.4/5


A Canadian Family Photo Archives

A modern-day farm in Riviere-Ouelle, Quebec – home of some of the earliest French-Canadian settlers.

Related Posts:

Riviere-Ouelle Virtual Field Trip: Pt.1

Mignier dit Lagaces – French Canadians

March 18, 2009 Posted by | . | | 1 Comment

Riviere-Ouelle Virtual Field Trip: Pt.3/5



Property: A Canadian Family Photo Collection


Riviere-Ouelle was one of the earliest French-Canadian settlement areas at the time of Nouvelle France.

Related Posts:

Riviere-Ouelle Virtual Field Trip: Pt.1

Mignier dit Lagaces – French Canadians

March 17, 2009 Posted by | . | | Leave a comment

Riviere Ouelle, Quebec Virtual Field Trip: Pt.2/5


Property: A Canadian Family Photo Collection

Continue reading

March 5, 2009 Posted by | . | | Leave a comment

Riviere-Ouelle, Quebec Virtual Field Trip: Pt.1/5

If there’s one thing my own students love it’s a field trip – so I thought I would offer a virtual field trip to Riviere-Ouelle to those readers who may never get to visit their ancestral homelands.

Forestry is one of the traditional forms of livelihood in the La-Pocatiere region.


Property: A Canadian Family Photo Collection

Continue reading

March 5, 2009 Posted by | . | | 3 Comments

The Levesques of Riviere-Ouelle (La-Pocatiere)


This is another memorial headstone that I photographed while in Riviere-Ouelle a few years ago. It’s dedicated to one of the very earliest pioneer couples to settle the area – Robert Levesque and Jeanne Lechevalier.  Father Casgrain (author of “Une Paroisse Canadienne”) includes them in his list of the first 11 families of  Riviere-Ouelle. Here is a loose translation of what Father Casgrain had to say about Levesque and Le Chevalier.

Robert Levesque was a carpenter and he accompanied M. De La Bouteillerie when he established his seigneury (La Pocatiere). Like his seigneur, Robert Levesque was from Rouen, France and his parents were Pierre Levesque and Marie Caumont of St-Sulpice parish. He married another Norman – Jeanne Le Chevalier at Ange-Gardien on April 22nd, 1679 in Ange Gardien and the couple were granted land at one end of the seignury.

Jeanne was the daughter of Jean Le Chevalier and Marguerite Romian of St-Nicolas parish in the diocese of Coutances. She was a widowed mother of two children (Nicolas and Charles) when she married Robert. Her first husband’s name was Guillaume Lecanteur dit Latour.  Robert and Jeanne also had many children and Casgrain states that the Levesques were one of the most prolific families of the area and that one of their descendants (Charles Levesque) still owned the original ancestral land grant in the 1890s.

Father Casgrain also extracted information from a census of  Nouvelle France. From that census we learn that in 1681 Robert Levesque & Jeanne LeChevalier were living in Riviere-Ouelle with three children: their firstborn son – 2 year old son Francois, and  Jeanne’s two sons by her first husband (7 yr. old Charles and 9 yr. old Nicolas). The census also confirms that Robert was a carpenter and  that he owned 15 arpents of land, 12 head of cattle and 3 guns. Continue reading

March 1, 2009 Posted by | . | , | 6 Comments



Related Posts:

Index: Vintage Postcards of Quebec

February 26, 2009 Posted by | . | | 2 Comments

The Battle of Riviere-Ouelle

In a former post Riviere-Ouelle: Une Paroisse Canadienne au XVII Siecle I introduced Abbe. Casgrain’s book and shared some of his genealogical tables of the founding families of Riviere-Ouelle. Today I’d like to recount some of what Abbe Casgrain had to say about one of Riviere Ouelle’s most historic moments.


Riviere-Ouelle habitants led by their priest

The year was 1690. The British were attacking Nouvelle France (today’s Quebec) and word had reached all the French settlements that a flotilla of thirty British ships was coming down the St-Lawrence river.

Riviere-Ouelle’s leader – the seigneur de La Bouteillerie – was expected to stay at Gov. Frontenac’s side to defend the walled fortress-city of Quebec and there was no militia present because they had all been sent either to Quebec City or to other crucial points along both shores of the St-Lawrence.

So Riviere-Ouelle’s other natural leader – Father de Francheville – took charge and exhorted the habitants of Riviere-Ouelle to do their part in the defense of La Nouvelle France by preventing any disembarkment by the British.

The habitants kept an eye out for the ships – and when they were spotted on the horizon Father de Francheville led a group of men down to a hidden place where the shore juts out and waited for the British to land. They were not disappointed. Once the tide rose, Admiral Phipps from Boston (U.S.A.) sent rowboats towards the beach at Riviere-Ouelle. The tide was so high that the boats landed very swiftly on the shore where they were met by a volley of musket balls. This must have been completely unexpected because they immediately retreated in great panic and never returned!

List of habitants presumed by Casgrain to have taken part  in this incident because they wer of an age to carry arms:

Francois and Joseph Deschamps (sons of M. de la Bouteillerie who was in Quebec City), Robert Levesque, Pierre Hudon, Charles and Jean Miville, Galleran Boucher (and his 3 sons), Pierre Dancosse, Joseph Renault (and son), Guillaume Lissot (and son), Rene Ouellet (and 5 sons), Jean Pelletier, jean Lebel (and son), Pierre Emond, Mathurin Dube, Jean Mignot, Noel Pelletier, Jean Gauvin (and son) Pierre de St-Pierre, Nicolas Durand (and son), Francois Autin, Sebastien Boivin and Jean de Lavoye. Natives believed to have taken part: Pierre Oustabany, Gabriel Keskabogouet and Guillaume Meokerimat.

I am not sure why our ancestor Andre Mignier dit Lagace appears on this list. He was a soldier and he is supposed to have settled in the area by 1685. Casgrain explains the absence of four other habitants but does not mention Andre Mignier. I suppose one possibility is that he went to Quebec City with de la Bouteillerie (I’ll update this post when I have more information).


Casgrain, Abbe. H.R. (1890) Une paroisse Canadienne au XVIIe Siecle: La Riviere-Ouelle. Pub. C.O. Beauchemin & Fils

Related Posts:

Mignier dit Lagaces – French Canadians
Riviere-Ouelle: Une Paroisse Canadienne au XVII Siecle

Land Grants – La Pocatiere/Riviere Ouelle


February 22, 2009 Posted by | . | | 35 Comments

Riviere-Ouelle: Pioneer Memorial

During my visit to Riviere-Ouelle I also photographed this beautiful stone which is dedicated to the earliest pioneers “who built Riviere-Ouelle”.


English translation of the timeline:

1685 – First Registers

1686 – First Chapel

1690 – Phipps’ Attempt to Invade

1781-1825 – Mgr. Panet, Church Curate

1972 – Tricentennial

Related Posts:

Portal – Lagace Mignier

Riviere-Ouelle: Surnames in Early Church Registers

Pioneer Land Grants – La Pocatiere/Riviere Ouelle

Riviere-Ouelle Church: the Old and the New

February 17, 2009 Posted by | . | | Leave a comment

Riviere-Ouelle: Une Paroisse Canadienne au XVII Siecle


One day I was on my knees in a cramped, second-hand book shop in the east end of Montreal. What was I doing there? I was rummaging through a slighly damp, crumpled cardboard box shoved up under a metal shelving unit. Under a pile of old French cathechism books and church notices, I noticed an ornate red leather binding sticking out. It turned out to be an original copy (1890) of Abbe. Casgrain‘s “Une Paroisse Canadienne au XVII Siecle – La Riviere-Ouelle” – a parish history covering the Riviere-Ouelle of the 17th century. The book is a treasure trove of historical and genealogical information as well as anecdotes. Leafing through the pages gives you some real insight into the French Catholic rural world of the late 1600s. From time-to-time I’ll be sharing selected portions. For today I’ve scanned a few of Abbe Casgrain’s tables which highlight the family names of the original settlers of Riviere-Ouelle.

Chart 1

Families in the Riviere Ouelle Catholic Registers from 1681 to 1690


Autin – Bonin – Bouchard – Boucher – De Saint-Pierre – Dube – Durant – Emond – Gauvin – Grondin – Huot – Laboye – Lebel – Lissot – Mignot – Mignot dit Labrie – Miville – Ouellet – Pelletier – Renouard – Soucy – Trottier



Chart 2

Families in the Riviere Ouelle Catholic Registers from 1690 to 1703

Ancelin – Aubert – Aubert de Gaspe – Berube – Boiry dit Lavergne – Bordeliere dit Laplante – Bouchard – Boucher – Brisson – Contancineau – D’Auteuil – Dancosse – Dionne – Dubroc dit Dutertre – Duval – Fouquereau – Fournier de Belleval – Gagnon – Galbruin – Grondin – Hayot – Hudon – Hudon – Janneau – Juchereau de St-Denis – Juin – Letartre – Loignon – Martin – Meigne – Meigne dit Lagace Michaud – Mignot – Morin – Paradis – Peltier – Pierrot – Pinel – Plourde – Raby – Roy dit Desjardins – Soucy – Testu – Thibaudeau – Vaillancourt






Casgrain, Abbe. H.R. (1890) Une paroisse Canadienne au XVIIe Siecle: La Riviere-Ouelle. Pub. C.O. Beauchemin & Fils 

Related Posts:

Index: Mignier Lagaces | France – QC – NB

La Pocatiere/Riviere Ouelle Original Land Grants

Riviere-Ouelle Church: the Old and the New

February 16, 2009 Posted by | . | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments