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PIERRE MICHAUD




You may be surprised to learn that the ancestor Pierre Michaud, for the better part of his life, carried the family name Michel. Michaud means 'little Michel.' Where did Pierre Michel come from? He was a Poitevan and originated from Fontenay-le-Comte, capital of the Department of the Vendee. The land surrounding this village, because of the excavations of flints and potsherds, archeologists believe to have been the home of prehistoric man, even before the time of Asterix the Gaul. It was only in 1242 that the specification 'le-Comte' was added. Fontenay-le-Comte was a part of the Diocese of Maillezais for a long time; but at the time of our ancestor, the episcopal seat was transferred to LaRochelle in Aunis by Pope Innocent X, in the year 1648. More than 30 people emigrated from Fontenay-le-Comte for Canada. Let's repeat the names of some of these: Jacques Bernier, Andre Bonnenfant, Jacques Manseau and 3 other Pierres; Bourgoin, Cardinal and l'Ecuyer. Pierre Michel was baptised in the Church of Notre-Dame, located in the Rue Pont-aux-Chevres. His parents were Antoine Michel and Marie Train. The church, spires and all, was 240 feet tall, but in those days, did not have the clock displayed on the facade. On the 27th of March 1656, before Notary Paul Moreau of LaRochelle, Pierre Michaud indentured himself to Jacques Pepin, a ships' factor and merchant of LaRochelle, to go to work in Quebec for 3 years. His salary would be 36 livres (pounds) per year, with an immediate advance of 38 livres and 5 sols. Pierre made the crossing from LaRochelle to Quebec on the ship "LaFortune", owned by a Monsieur Auboyneau. This small ship of 100 tons displacement was commanded by Edouard Raymond, Master. Pierre Michel was classed as a migratory worker. Established first on the Beaupre coast, he passed through the islands on the Saint Lawrence, then on to the south bank of the river, finally to die at Kamouraska. ON THE BEAUPRE COAST The first official mention of the presence of Pierre Michaud in Canada is found in the Register of Receipts and Expenditures of the Church of Saint-Anne-du-Petit-Cap in the year 1661-1662: 'to pierre micheau (Michel) for two days three livres.' Our ancestor seems to have done manual labor on the construction of the second church of Sainte-Anne. In August, 1663, in a sales contract, we learn that Pierre Michaud is a partner of Michel Marquiseau in the ownership of a grant of 3 arpents (acres) in the village of Beaupre, to the east of the Riviere Sainte-Anne. Pierre sold it on 6 September 1665 to Francois Daniau. After 1665, Pierre worked away from Sainte-Anne, probably as a hired farm hand. Perhaps he also enjoyed, for a time, the adventurous life of a coureur de bois (lumberjack); or perhaps even the campaigns with the Carignan Regiment, because, in the census of 1666 and 1667, no mention is made of his presence. But by the end of the summer of 1667, on 2 October, Pierre is present in the home of Claude Auber, in order to amend the text of his marriage contract. The notary wrote: 'Pierre Michel, habitant of Sainte-Anne du Petit-Cap, coast and seigneurie of Beaupre.' This contract was never signed. For some unknown reason, the celebration of the marriage of Pierre was delayed for about 3 years. His girl friend lived at Ange-Gardien with her father and stepmother. She was Marie Ancelin, daughter of the thread-mill worker, Rene Ancelin and the late Claire Rousselot. She first saw the light of day at LaRochelle, parish of Notre-Dame, in May 1654. Her father, three and a half years after the death of his first wife at LaRochelle, remarried to Marie Juin on 19 January 1665. The following spring they emigrated to Canada, bringing little 11-year-old Marie with them. At first the Ancelins lived at the Ange-Gardien where, in 1667, they owned 2 head of cattle and 6 arpents of cultivated land. Their neighbors were Abraham Fiset and Jacques Achon. On 18 May 1669, Marie Ancelin was godmother at the baptism of her half-sister, Marie, at Ange-Gardien. At this time she was not yet married to Pierre Michaud. ON THE ISLE OF ORLEANS According to Leon Roy, Pierre Michaud obtained a land grant of 3 arpents of river frontage on the Ile d'Orleans from Mgr de Laval in June 1667. It was within the boundaries of Saint-Jean parish, between neighbors Robert Boulay and Louis Bibet. On 18 November 1670, we learn from the records of Notary Pierre Duquet, that Pierre Michaud, habitant of the Ile of Orleans, owed a debt of 21 livres 10 sols to Louis Boussot dit Laflotte. His young fiancee now lived on the island, along with her parents. On 26 March 1670, Marie Ancelin appeared as a godmother to the infant of Antoine Pepin-Lachance and Marie Tetu. Were Pierre and Marie married by this time? There is nothing to prove it. The opinion is that probably the marriage had taken place between 1669 and 1671, on the Ile of Orleans, where they both lived. The missionary priest must have simply forgotten to record the act in the register of Notre-Dame de Quebec. In 1671, what a show took place! Pierre Michaud instituted a criminal suit against Mathurin Thibodeau dit Lalime, an unsuited colonist of Saint-Jean parish. We don't have the space to lay out the 13 pieces of judicial proceedings, which are, nonetheless, most interesting. It seems to have been a matter between fighting cocks, and the consequences be damned. Pierre must have had the fidgets again; because he left the island in search of greener pastures. THE ISLAND OF THE GEESE After 1671, Pierre Michaud and Marie Ancelin lived on the Ile-aux-Oies. The proof comes when their first child, Pierre, born 11 February 1672, was baptised by Father Morel on 8 March. His godmother was Anne Macart, wife of the Sieur de Granville, a resident of the island in question. Moreover, on 9 September 1673, 'Pierre Michel living on the ile aux Oyes,' sold his land on the Ile of Orleans, where he had cleared 5 arpents, to Jean Mourier. Pierre Michaud probably worked in the service of Sieur de Granville for 3 years; then he exercised his right to move over to the twin, Island of the Cranes. This Ile-aux-Grues is just opposite Cap-St-Ignace. It was here that his eldest daughter, Marie-Anne, was born on 12 November 1675. In effect, on 17 July 1674 the seigneur of these two little islands granted 6 arpents of frontage to a depth of the entire island to Pierre. His neighbors would be Jean Soucy and Pierre Terrien. On 28 April 1675, Pierre acted as godfather to Marie-Anne Soucy, born on the Ile-aux-Grues. By the winter of 1681 the Michaud family, with 5 children, was still living on their island farm. They had 6 arpents of land under cultivation, 10 animals and a hunting rifle. Pierre had battled his record of instability and lost. Already he was looking southward! At 44 years of age, our ancestor Michaud climbed into his boat, followed by his family, and crossed over to the south shore of the river, to a place called l'Islet. Here he remained for 11 years, and it was here that his last 5 children were baptized. In 1692, Dame Genevieve Couillard, widow of the late Sieur du Tarte, enticed Michel to move to her fief at Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. A concession (grant), privately granted, was made on 19 October 1695 by the Seigneruesse, but two years later was resold by the Michauds to Pierre Lessard. Now, to where would the meandering Michauds move? By 30 June 1695, Pierre and Marie held official title to a concession of 12 arpents of frontal property on the river, at Kamouraska. This was large enough to satisfy the most numerous and needy of families. It is possible that they already had lived on this land for a few years; moreover, the parents of Marie, Rene Ancelin and Marie Juin, established a home at Kamouraska about this time. This was the last place the family lived. Kamouraska became their homestead and the cradle of the multitude of descendants of the Michauds of America. THE LAST PORT The Michauds certainly did not lack courage. Kamouraska was their final surge of effort. Pierre was enduring a cancer of the mouth, caused by pipe smoking. In 1701 Pierre and Marie made their will, with the consent of their children. The assets would go to the survivor of the two of them. Pierre died in 1702, sometime between the 28th of May and the 15th of September. The widow Marie Ancelin, on 18 October 1704, obviously with her children in mind, convinced the Seigneur Louis Aubert de Forillon to make a small addition to her land. He added 8 arpents of width to the 12 already existing! An inventory of her possessions was not made until 20 April 1724. Nine days later Marie gave her assets to her son, Joseph, and placed herself in his care. She died and was buried at Kamouraska on 18 April 1729." He was married to Marie ANCELIN on Oct 2 1667 in Chateau-Richer, CT-AUBERT, QC, Quebec.
















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