THE DESAUTELS NAME
by E. Jay Desautels
The name Desautels has been used for at least 650 years when it could be found in the mid-1300's in Burgundy. It was written as "desAutels" and is indexed in many European books under the letter A. "DES" is the contracted plural form of two French possessive words: "de" meaning OF and "les" meaning THE (plural). The French word for altar is "autel" and the plural is "autels". In French, the possessive article (des) must agree with the noun (autels) which designates both as a plural form. (The singular form would be "de l'autel" - or "of the altar".) Strictly translated into English desAutels is "of the altars".
The name appears with several military men during that period who were in the employ of the Duke of Burgundy or his vassal, the Count of Charolais. Under the feudal system the nobility gave lands to their military commanders the revenues from which were used to provide the military person with not only his own expenses but often those of men under him. The land was worked by the serfs and sometimes independent tradesmen who provided the labor or products which produced these revenues.
Near Charolais there is a city today called LeCreusot. This commercial center has eclipsed the town of Montecenis which is the seat of the local barony. This is located at the foothills of the Morvan mountain range. It happens to be in the same area where the earliest known Desautels home was located and in the same area where old geographic maps show an area called "les autels". It is at 4 degrees 27 minutes west by 46 degrees 40 minutes north - or at Montcenis/LeCreusot. As a geographic designation, les autels would have been used in old France to designate tablelands (the altar is a table), or plateaux. In the foothills of the southern Morvan mountains this feature is not uncommon. Many travel and tour books show pictures of Mount St. Vincent (which is not too distant from Montcenis) and it is a perfect example of the type of tableland in the region. This is just south of Montceaux-les-Mines.
There are other areas in France with similar designations: les Autels St. Basile (60 KM south of LeHavre); les autels (halfway between Reims and Charleroi); and Beaumont les Autels (70 KM northeast of LeMans). It is unlikely that there is any family connection to these locations since no Desautels has been noted with any connection to them but there is always a possibility.
Surnames were not officially hereditary until the early 1500's in France although the custom had begun to be practiced in the 1400's. Prior to that only landed nobles and military personages passed on their "surnames" which were, in effect, titles. The Desautels surname, used by several people in the same area during the period preceding widespread or mandated usage would have been one of them. Ecclesiastics often used the names of their cities or parishes or Dioceses but, of course, these were not passed on to their heirs (of which there should have been none). Ordinary citizens used names which indicated their profession, some personal characteristic or appearance or perhaps a feature of the land where they lived. These were not permanent or hereditary until early in the 16th century. If a baker became a blacksmith, so too his name changed. A person who built churches or crafted altars would certainly have used the name desAutels but he would not have continued the use of that name as a soldier, a tailor, etc. In studying the many truly outstanding, magnificent basilicas, cathedrals, churches and shrines in and around southern Burgundy which was one of the most important centers in all of Christendom, it would have been both plausible and prideful that the construction accounts would mention even one reference to a desAutels - but, alas, they do not. We must, I am afraid, resign ourselves to a military-political- geographical origin for the name.
In the New World the name is not attached to any significant landmark. In addition to a few streets on both sides of the US-Canada border from Montreal to the far west, the name is honored only by a small town in northeastern Washington State and not only is the town considered a "ghost town" but the name is spelled Disautel. This was settled by French-Canadians who mostly married into the Spokane Indian tribe. It is located on Route 155 on the Omak River between the towns of Omak and Nespelem. Canadians refer to the descendants of these early settlers as "metis". The intermarriage of French and Indian was not only common and widespread but was also without prejudice to race. Many examples of intermarriage can be found where nobles, officials and prominent Frenchmen married Indians all across North America.
One of the most perplexing issues to face the person researching the Desautels family is the multitude of various spellings in use over the centuries. These can be found in both public and church records and in both French and English areas of North America although the majority of the problems seem to have occurred when the French left Quebec for other areas - primarily the United States during the 1800's. This was due to several factors: the illiteracy of some Frenchmen; lack of ability to communicate between French and English; English speaking civil clerks who lacked knowledge of the French language. Many of these misspellings became the eventual version of the name used by whole branches of the family. As a result, we now have variations of the name such as Disotel, Dezatell, Deshotel and others which are even less recognizable. Birth records were often filled out (if at all) by a doctor or a priest. In addition to making mistakes in spelling, they sometimes did not use the correct first names for either the parents or the child. They often recorded more common or "nicknames" on every type of legal and church document. Also, a name like Marie Antoinette in Quebec would probably become simply Mary or Nettie or Etta on the American side of the border. My great-grandfather Cleophas became John in Vermont.
Add to that the widespread use of "dit" names. These were somewhat of a reversion to the old European custom of calling someone by what they did, where they lived or what they looked like. The word "dit" ("dite" for a female) translates to "said" or "called" in English. The dit name for Desautels was Lapointe. This is the name our forefather, Pierre Desautels the pioneer at Montreal in 1653 was given when he received his land grant at Longue Pointe, Montreal in 1665 (or, more accurately, the southern end of Longue Pointe at Cote St. Martin). This point of land - which juts into the St. Lawrence River and which is now a part of the Port of Montreal at the end of Viau Street - is shown on older maps as more prominent than it is today. It is now less recognizable as a true point of land since being developed (reconfigured) to accomodate the docking of large ships. I have often wondered if Pierre did not have some sort of residence at this point prior to it being granted to him by Maisonneuve. This would account for his absence from early census records since the land was officially in the hands of another "habitant" previous to being granted to Pierre and the fact that the Lapointe name as a dit name for Pierre first appears in Maisonneuve's own handwriting on the document granting this tract to Pierre - even before he took actual possession.
Pierre used the name Desautels but his descendants also used the name Desautels dit Lapointe and Lapointe. One must be careful with the Lapointe name since most of the Lapointe's today descend from the Audet and Tousignan families as well as others. Also, there are records of persons named Lapointe who arrived in the New World with that name. At least two came with the Carrignan-Salieres Regiment in the 1660's.
If you care to use your imagination, you could easily construct a name using any of the possibilities below and probably not be the first to use that version:
D: d, T
E: a, i
S: ss, z
AU: o, a, i, ho, hos, hau, haus, Au, aul
T: havn't found any version without this letter
E: ei, - (sometimes not used at all)
S: e, es, z, - (sometimes not used at all)
note: the ELS can be found as LES (as in Desautles)
And this does not include the name d'Autel which you will find later in this record.
We have noted several willful changes of the name such as Doty, Dewey and Otell and have observed census entries as absurd as Tassotel and Dasseltel. We can conclude that some family members will never be found or connected due to these factors. Perhaps the "Smith" or "Jones" next door has a paternal lineage going back to some Desautels ancestor who simply became weary of trying to keep his name correct once he left the cultural safety of the Quebec region. This would account for the many pages in this book where a particular branch or family simply disappear into history.
One surname listing gives the origin as an absurd deviation of Sautelle (little drunkard) which was undoubtedly a dit name for the "scholar" who penned it.
THE DESAUTELS COAT OF ARMS
by E. Jay Desautels
To many Americans the idea of a coat of arms brings visions of knights in shining armor on white horses; gallant heroes saving everyone from everything. The story is not complete without the damsel in distress who is, of course, a princess. And her father, the King, sallies forth from his castle with a host of knights to welcome his daughter and gratefully offer her hand in marriage - and half his kingdom - to her rescuing hero. Those were the days. Or were they? Even Americans, however, know a fairy tale when they hear one. The problem arises when cultures clash - or at least diverge which they do here between the French and the English.
Most of us know the myths of Camelot where the banners of the Knights of the Round Table assured us of their true nobility. And the English would have us believe that only a noble is entitled to display a coat of arms which is, of course, a fact. That is perhaps why Burke's book on peerage of English nobility is a large enough book to contain the telephone directories of every city in Britain. While the English went to the trouble of ennobling everyone who was then entitled to display their coat of arms, the French were not so meticulous. The French did not associate coats of arms strictly with nobility nor do they associate them with the accompanying Anglo-Saxon myths. Early arms in France were used by soldiers who, wearing armor, needed some way to identify themselves - especially in combat. These arms usually denoted the fief or lands under the control of the bearer or his liege lord.
It was not long before arms were adopted by the nobility. Eventually commoners began to use them in spite of edicts issued by the king which strictly prohibited this. Even clerics and women were known to have their own coats of arms but they generally differed in the trappings which normally accompanied the arms. About the only prohibition which was strictly enforced was the ban on the use of the fleur-de-lis on any but the royal banners. Other than that, the ancient do's and don'ts of heraldry (which was born and codified in France) went by the wayside in both their design and display sometime around 1400.
The early Desautels seem to have been military men if not knights (chevaliers). They would undoubtedly have displayed some banner under which they fought. If it was not a banner of their own then they would have fought under a banner signifying the Count of Charroles or the Duke of Burgundy. A coat of arms was registered under the Desautels name at the French National Archives in 1696 the year the King issued an edict which permitted the wholesale registry of arms to any and all who could afford it. The King needed money for the treasury which had been depleted by incessant wars. This was so successful that the Kings' registrars quickly made the purchase of arms mandatory. They even went so far as to design the arms and "bestow" them on a person who not only had not ever had arms, had not requested arms but now had to pay out a large sum of money for the privilege of having them. In some cases, clerics were presented with arms which denoted themes which were anything but religious and were - as the rest of the populace, forced to pay for them. The abuse was so unpopular that the edict was rescinded in 1701.
When the registry of arms was offered "for sale" the family had been around for hundreds of years and it is fair to say that they did not fight under the arms recorded in 1696. Also, this was 43 years after the arrival of Pierre Desautels of Malicorne-sur-Sarthe in Montreal in 1653 so, in all probability, he can be ruled out as the registree. This means that some person named Desautels remaining in France would have registered either an arms pre-existing but not before registered or one that was designed at the time. It is probable that the latter is the case since: a). the altar (autel) portrayed on this banner would have had no symbolism for the first recorded (known) Desautels who had been around for at least 300 years and had no apparent direct connection to the church or to the building of churches or altars and b). the best-guess geographic origin of the name has a preponderance of merit to establish the area of "les Autels" in Burgundy as the source of the titular name of desAutels and also c). the fact that there is no Desautels of prominence who has been noted in the late 1600's who would have earned these arms.
Had that Desautels of 1696 known then what we know today, any authentic arms would probably have been a little less "French" (azure blue) and would have been more militarily symbolic and might have included a geographic (mountain/tableland/plateau) symbol rather than a religious one. It would most likely indicate some connection to its long Burgundian affiliation and/or to Charrolais. Although I am convinced that the coat of arms registered in the French National Armory is contrived and without merit, it nonetheless does exist and so is presented here as an historical fact.
It is described as "D'AZUR A UN AUTEL D'OR SURMONTEE D'UN COEUR DU MEME". This translates to "Azure (a distinct shade of blue) having an altar of gold surmounted (overhead) by a gold heart". A motto has been attributed to it by some sources but in the sources I have seen it was not included. It is "Plutot mourir que changer". "Rather die than change" seems to be the translation which is appropriate to a lot of Desautels but I am informed that it translates as "Ready to die rather than surrender". If that is correct could we then return again to the military connection? Apparently not. If these were military arms the crest (shield) would, by armorial standards, have a crown (helmet) over the crest. It does not. If the motto is in fact a part of the registered crest, I would like to picture some Desautels hapless enough to have had an extra "livre" in his pocket for the king's registrars to grab but being courageous enough to insist on an offhanded sarcasm in adding the motto "..... even after my Burgundy has been dead for 200 years, I still would......rather die than change".
Many people use the term "family crest" to refer to their coat of arms. This is inaccurate since a crest (a helmet or other adornment surmounting the shield) is a specified addendum which had strict prohibitions for use other than military. There is compelling evidence that the earliest Desautels were men-at-arms. Even this probably contrived 1696 coat of arms does not contain a provision for any external ornamentation to the shield in the official registration specifications.
The following is my depiction of the arms. With the one exception noted below it is as plausible a version of the registered standard as any other. No "proscribed" visual depiction exists and it is left (as it was meant to be) to the artistic touch of any who would care to manufacture one. It would be highly characteristic of the French to embellish their arms with accents, colors and symbolism not necessarily contained in the registered description. In accord with this tradition I have chosen to include in the altar design three gold fleur-de-lis on a white background. The standard of the king of France was a white banner with three gold fleur-de-lis ("The White and The Gold"). Including this on any arms other than his was strictly forbidden. In the 21st century he is no longer able to present his objections. I have broken the taboo.....Pierre would have recognized this symbolism even if he would not have known that the banner itself was indicative of his family name and heritage.
In addition to this I have chosen to include sparingly as accents and borders two other colors. Bronze is used solely as a contrasting effect to gold and blue. Burgundy accents are not accidental. The color adds richness and life to an otherwise stark rendering. Moreso, the color burgundy has a nominal significance: the House of Burgundy is the ancestral fidelity of the early men who carried the desAutels name.
THE DESAUTELS IN FRANCE - THEN AND NOW
by E. Jay Desautels
The story of the Desautels family may never be traced so as to include every person who has used that name but it is my intention to make an attempt to do so. For that reason, I will list in this section as well as various other sections every person with that name or its various spellings of which I become aware in the hope that, in time, all of them will eventually be properly placed in the branch and family in which they were born.
Some of what you will find here is the result of the travels of the late Fred W. Desautels of Redford Township, Detroit, Michigan as well as of my own research done here in America. It is by no means perfect, complete or even documented in some cases. Much is left to the efforts of future scholars but this is provided as at least a base from which to start.
The earliest persons to use the name were Burgundians located in what is now central-eastern France. Perhaps it is because of Burgundy's not always pro-french allegiances that the family presence seems to have remained provincially Burgundian throughout the first 400 years of its recorded existence in Europe. The exception is the Desautels in Malicorne-sur-Sarthe, Maine, France from whom the family in America descends. Every other recorded name and event is associated with persons and locations from Lyon northward toward and including Belgium. All of these were either under the control of the House of Burgundy or under their influence.
In 1253 Henri de Monestoy granted the Barony of Montcenis to Hugues, Duke of Burgundy. It would appear that the earliest Desautels (desAutels) came from that area. The Barony of Montcenis was under the Count of Charolles. Montcenis still exists on some maps today but it has in reality been absorbed into the city of LeCreusot in the southern Morvan mountains known for their coal deposits and surely the source of the plateau or tableland features from which the "autels" (altars) designation of the family name originates. Montcenis/LeCreusot lies about 28 miles north, northwest of Cluny, about 12 miles south of Autun, about 25 miles north of Charolles and about 70 miles north, northwest of Lyon. As a point of curiousity as you will note below (see Guillaume), Montcenis is about 50 miles southeast of Vezelay. In a listing for "Les Autels", one reference gives the map coordinates as 4 degrees by 46 degrees - squarely near Montcenis.
GUIOT DESAUTELS was the Captain of the Guard at Mount St. Vincent (in the Montcenis area but just south of Montceau les Mines) for the Compte de Charolles in 1380.
Also in 1380 ALOF DESAUTELS, a knight with 20 archers and his son SYACRE (Fiacre) were recorded at Burgundy. They would have served under the banner of Charolles and Burgundy if not their own.
Another SYACRE (Fiacre) DESAUTELS, born circa 1500 and died between 1551 and 1553 married Anne de Vesure (de la Vesine). They were the parents of Guillaume Desautels, a writer quite famous in his day. Syacre left his son a chateau and lands "rather noble than rich" at Montcenis. It cannot be left unsaid that the chateau and lands in question were surely in fief to the Barony of Montcenis since, in 1510 a man named Loys d'Orleans who was also a Marquis, Compte, Prince and Viscompte also carried the title of Seigneur de la Baronnaie de Montcenis. The poverty of the estate could have been due to the loss of these lands by the Duke of Burgundy to the King of France in 1477 - only about 75 years before Syacre's death.
GUILLAUME DESAUTELS (desAutels, desAutelz) is the first person to carry the name about whom much is known. He was born at Montcenis, Charolais, Burgundy in 1529 at the chateau of his father at Puley called the "manoir de Vernoble" near Bissy. He died about 1599 at Lyon. Various sources give the years 1570, 1576, 1579 and 1581 as well as "after 1584". One source says he lived to be 70 years of age and I have chosen to accept that based on the fact that his last published work was in 1597. He was married in 1548 to Jeanne de Bruyere. Other researchers give the name of Jane de Salle. It is not known if there were any children from this marriage.
His mothers' mother, also named Anne, was the sister of Etienne de Tyard, father of Pontus de Tyard, one of the seven members of the elite group of French poets called the Pleiades. Guillaume would thus have been his first cousin once removed on his mothers side. Pontus (1521-1605) Seigneur de Bissy (Biffy) became the Bishop of Chalon-sur-Saone in 1578 from where he was driven in 1590 and his chateau there plundered as a result of his support for King Henry III of France against the Guise Pretenders.
As a youth, Guillaume studied under his governor, Jean Tullerius and at the college of Burgundy where he studied the humanities and philosophy until 1542. He then went to Lyon from 1544 to 1546 where he studied with Fontaine and Ancais at the school of Marat. He studied law at the university at Valence in Dauphine from 1546 until 1549 under Coras. He never practiced the legal profession although he would have had need for it as judge magistrate at Cluny in later years. While at Valence he made the acquaintance of Cardinal Berthelemy Des Places, Melin de St. Gelais and his own cousin, Pontus de Tyard (although he probably already had met him in Burgundy) among others. It was during this period he was married to Jeanne de Bruyere whom he left at Montcenis to stay with his father.
Apparently lonely at Valence and only 20 years of age, he met a woman named Denise L'hoste and her husband Jean Chabert of the nearby town of Romans, also in Dauphine. He took up residence with them in October 1549 and lived there for seven months during which time he and Denise developed a platonic love affair. She referred to him as "Sainte". He then returned to Montcenis (which he referred to sarcastically as an "arid desert") in 1550 where he joined his wife and stayed until 1553. It was during this time that his father died and apparently left him little but his good name.
He left for Paris in 1553 hoping to secure an appointment with the King. While there he befriended Cardinal de Guise who was probably the source (directly or indirectly) of his well-being during these six years in Paris which he left in April, 1559. He went to Spain in the hope of gaining the favor of the Burgundian-Hapsburg rulers there. For whatever reason he immediately sailed for Belgium which was also ruled by the same Burgundian-Hapsburg houses.
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and ruler of much of Europe until his abdication in 1555 was the grandson of Mary of Burgundy who was sole heir to that house when her father was killed in battle in 1477 and France absorbed the province of Burgundy into the French realm. She married a Hapsburg (probably to save her remaining power if not her skin). When Charles V abdicated his son Philip II became King and it was to him at Brussels that Guillaume set his gaze. He was there a mere two months when he left Brussels for Antwerp (Anvers, fr.) but was there only a few weeks. He was named Cartographer to the King for this short time and was probably so short a time because Philiip II, unhappy at Brussels left permanently for residence in Spain. Guillaume was aided at Brussels by two "beau-freres" brothers-in-law named Diamantius. Since that is not his wife's maiden name, it would appear that he had siblings - at least sisters - unless these two men possibly were husbands to sisters of Guillaume's wife.
Guillaume returned to Paris shortly after July 1559 where he stayed until 1564. Sometime after that he was at Cluny Abbey where he was appointed Judge Magistrate and is credited with saving the city and the Abbey for the Church when it was under seige by the Huguenot armies. Guillaume proposed that each side send out three knights to do battle. The Catholic knights won the field and thus saved what was (until St. Peter's in Rome) the greatest church in Christendom from the hands of the protestants - only to be destroyed 200 years later by the republican mobs of the French Revolution.
He is known as a minor poet. While he wrote in the french language he is known for championing the use of old french in prose and poetry and was against replacing it with a more "manufactured" orthography. He was reknowned for his mastery of Latin and Greek. He wrote in the manner of Rabelais and Ronsard - other members of what we call today "The Pleiades". Ronsard (as well as another poet, Charles Fontaine), was undoubtedly his friend and wrote fondly of Guillaume. It is from his work that a reference to Guillaume says that he is "from Vernoble" a refernce since confirmed. Guillaume wrote on occasion under the pseudonyms of Glaumalis du Vezelet, G. Tesbault and Terhault. It is interesting to note that he used a latin form of his name ("Altario") and, more interesting, a geographical form: "Terhault" translates to "high ground" or perhaps even tableland. He published works mostly at Lyon but also at Paris, Antwerp and Rouen.
Claims have surfaced that Guillaume was a member of the Pleiades. This is false. There were only seven members (as there are stars in that constellation for which they are named). For the record, they were: Joachim duBellay and Pierre Ronsard (the leaders) and Jean Antoine deBaif, Remi Belleau, Jean Dorat, Etienne Jodelle and our own Pontus deTyard (Thiard). Guillaume would have known most if not all of these men and is better known for his support for them in their use of the French language (as it existed then) in their poetry.
Some Desautels in Paris and Lyon today claim to be his descendants. In Paris the family manufactures dolls. In Lyon they are in silk, wine and electronics production and in engineering. The family silk business goes back many generations and it is not a great leap from that to being a tailor of clothing as we shall see later in the Desautels at Malicorne. Indeed, the silk trade at Lyon goes back to medieval times and Lyon, the ancient Roman city of Lugdunum was an important trading center as well as a strategic military post and vital link in the network of Roman civilization. I am sorely tempted to make physical anthropological statements regarding strong Desautels family features and the striking similarities in Italo-Roman physical characteristics. Fred as well as myself have been able to find far distant cousins in different generations who are nearly identical to one another. The phenomenon is not rare.
The following is as comprehensive a list of Guillaume's works as I could assemble from many various sources. Not all were published by him and not all contain only his works.
Traite Touchant L'Ancienne Ecriture de la Langue Francaise et de la Poesie, Contre L'Ortographie des Meygretistes. Lyon, 1548, 1550 Glaumalis de Vezelet
Le Mois de Mai, par Guillaume Des Autels, Charrolais. Lyon, 1550
Repos de Grand Travail. Lyon, 1550
Replique de Guillaume Des Autelz, aux Furieuses Defenses de Louis Meigret. Avec le Suite de Repos. Lyon, 1551
Amoureux Repos de Guillaume des Autelz, Gentilhomme Charrolais. Lyon, 1553 (contains some poetry under the penname G. Tesbault)
Recreation des Tristes. Lyon
Histoire D'Herodiade. 1554
La Paix Venue du Ciel (dedicated to the Bishop of Arras) with le Tombeau de L'Empereur Charles V Cesar, etc. Antwerp, 1559
Encomium Galliae Belgicae. Guillaume Altario Carolate Antwerp, 1559
Remonstrance au People Francoys - etc. Paris, 1559
Repos de Plus Grand Travail of 1550 was reprinted in 1560 at Lyon
Deliciae Poetarum Gallorum Hujus Superiorieque Avi Illustrum, 1560 (not entirely his works)
Harengue au Peuple Francois - etc. Paris, 1560
Le Premiere Livre de Vers de Marc-Claude de Busset. 1561
Mitistoire Barragouyne de Fanfreluche et Gaudichon - etc.Lyon, 1574 (or 1576) (reputed to have been written while Guillaume was at Valence)
Gelodacyre Amoureuse, Contenant Plusiers Aubades, Chansons Gaillardes, Pavanes. 1576
La Recreation et Passetemps des Tristes - etc. Rouen, 1595 (and 1597)
Due to the wealth of information profferred here, the author deems it helpful to provide at least a partial bibliography to aid anyone wishing to look further into the life and works of Guillaume.
Dictionnaire des Biographies, p. 427 DesAutels; Pierre Grimal, 1958 Presses Universitaire de France
A Critical Bibliography of French Literature - The 16th Century Revised (var pps), DesAutels
Dictionnaire de Biographie Francaise, Vol. V, pp 1194-1196 DesAutels
Same, Vol. X Prevost and D'Amat, 1948
Memoir Pour Servir a L'Histoire des Hommes Illustre Dans la Republique des Lettres, Vol. V, pp 14-21 DesAutels by Jean-Pierre Niceron, 1734
Biographie Universelle - Ancienne et Moderne Vol. 3, pp 92, 93 Autelz, des; Chalmers, 1811
Nouvelle Biographie Universelle, Vol. 3, p. 786 Autelz, des; Hoefer, 1852
Chalmers Biographic Dictionary, Vol. 3, pp 197, 198 Autels, des; 1812
Index Aureliensis, Prima Pars, Tomus XI, Koerner, Baden-Baden 1996 pp 459-461 DesAutels
Also, I have found many references to what was written about Guillaume in various sources which refer back to "Les Bibliotheque Francoises de du Verdier et de la CROIX-DU-MAINE". I have not researched this work since I understand that it is available only at Columbia University (in North America).
Listed here are other persons who used the name Desautels in France whose connections are not known. Some of them would seem to have been contemporaries of our Pierre of Malicorne (see below) and perhaps even of his parents.
MARIE DESAUTELS, d. 1678, wife of Noe Pertois lived in Marne, France which is part of the ancient Province of Champagne
JEAN DESAUTELS, m. November 13, 1674 at Sandaucourt, Vosges, France to Claire Ponel. Vosges is part of the ancient Province of Lorraine.
ANNE DESAUTELS, born May 3, 1675 at Vosges, daughter of Jean Desautels and Claire Ponel
NICOLAS DESAUTELS, chr. September 11, 1677 at Vosges
JEAN (m) DESAUTELS, chr. December 15, 1678 at Vosges
MARIE DESAUTELS, chr. August 16, 1680 at Vosges
ANTHOINE DESAUTELS, b. August 31, 1681 at Vosges
ELISABETH DESAUTELS, b. November 21, 1682 at Vosges
JEANNE DESAUTELS, b.c. 1700 at Of, Poyans, Cote d'Or
JEANNE DESAUTELS, m.c. 1727, France to Dominique Malisson-Philibert (probably the same Jeanne)
Note that the Dept. of Cote d'Or is just north of the Dept. of Saone et Loire (both of which were part of ancient Burgundy). Saone et Loire is the site of the Parish "du Breuil" which is "...dependait de la Baronnie de Montcenis". Breuil is located in LeCreusot.
Also in written records there are persons from Saone et Loire (Burgundy) who were
JEAN DESAUTELS, m. Antoinette Ducarrouge (De Carouges)
JEAN DESAUTELS, m. Claude Monnier
JACQUES DESAUTELS, b. 1661 m. Marie Dagonneau
Listed here are several men who were named d'Autel and whose family connection is questionable.
HUE (Huard, Hubert) d'AUTEL, d. 1415 was the Senechal of Luxembourg in 1363 and was a very powerful man in the affairs of both the Holy Roman Empire and France. He was killed in the historic battle of Agincourt (on the losing side). His son, JEAN d'AUTEL married in 1387 to Jeanne, daughter of Geoffroy d'Apremont became Senechal of Luxembourg but was banished in 1418. (Dictionnaire de Biographie Francoises, Vol. IV, 1948, Prevost and D'Amat)
JEAN-FREDERIC d'AUTEL, Comte, baron of Vogelsang, governor and captain-general of the Duchy of Luxembourg, Knight of the Toisan d'Or; b. September 7, 1645 at Luxembourg and d. August 1, 1716. (Academie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgium)
JEAN-MARTIN d'AUTEL, published a judicial disputation in 1680. (Catalogue General Des Livres Imprimes de la Bibliotheque Nationale, Tome V, Paris, 1900)
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According to Fred Desautels, there are many Desautels in Paris and Lyon. I have seen lists in European books with names spelled with a final z. Unfortunately I cannot offer them here since that information was not recorded by me nor am I able to remember the sources. Those who can be found will be added. For now, the Who's Who In France 2000, Dictionnaire Biographique, 31st Edition lists:
DESAUTEL, (ROGER, Phillippe, Jean) President de societies. He was b. February 17, 1931 at Lyon the 4th son of Emile Desautel, directeur de societes and of Marie Antoinette Monceau. He married March 25, 1961 to Chantal Pallier, Avocat and they have four children: Jerome, Eric, Pascale and Edouard. He has an interest in history.
Also, in Europe (England) are the following:
EDGAR DESAUTELS, b. 1917 North Tonbridge, Kent, England (note this is World War One period)
ROBERT DESAUTELS, (1993 list) of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England
ETHEL DESAUTELS, (1993 list) of Tonbridge, Kent, England
ROGER DESAUTELS, (1993 list) of London, England
HOWARD DESAUTELS, (1993 list) of Mitcham, Surrey, England
The remainder of this collection of the Desautels family in France deals with those members who lived at Malicorne-sur-Sarthe, Diocese of Mans (LeMans), Province of Maine, France and who are the direct ancestral family of the father of all the Desautels in the New World. Perhaps some day we will make the connections to Burgundy, Champagne and Lorraine but for now we must start with Pierre Desautels the grandfather of our Pierre the pioneer at Montreal in 1653.
PIERRE DESAUTELS was born about 1565 and died November 28, 1618 at Malicorne. He married about 1592 to Renee Lebrun who was born about 1573 and died February 9, 1622 at Malicorne. Pierre was a tailor of mens clothing. Pierre and Renee had four known children:
1. RENE DESAUTELS b.c. 1593, 1)m. November 28, 1618 at Malicorne to Jacquine Martin. She died February 24, 1620 giving birth to a son, Philippe. He 2)m. February 4, 1621 at Malicorne to Renee Brundeau and they had two known sons: Martin (or Charles) b. February 4, 1623 and Pierre b. October 15, 1630 - both at Malicorne.
2. ANNE DESAUTELS b.c. 1598 and d. September 4, 1606 at Malicorne
3. THOMAS DESAUTELS b.c. 1603, d. September 21, 1663 at Malicorne m. July 10, 1628 at Malicorne to Marie Marthe Buisson (Boison, Brisson) who was b. 1603 and d. June 22, 1650 at Malicorne. Thomas was also a tailor of mens clothing. Marie Marthe was the daughter of Nicolas Buisson and Jacquine Samolier. They had three known children and possibly a fourth named Thomas but the year given for his birth (1664) makes this unlikely.
The oldest of these other three was
b. April 4, 1631 Malicorne
d. November 19, 1708 Montreal, New France
1)m. January 11, 1666 Montreal, New France
- Marie Remy
b. 1646 Paris, France
d. November 11, 1675 Montreal, New France
2)m. November 23, 1676 Montreal, New France
- Catherine Lorion
b. 1636 St. Soule, La Rochelle, France (also said to have been born in Anjou, France
d. April 20, 1720 Montreal, New France
Pierre came to New France in 1653 and is the only Desautels known to have migrated to the New World. He is Generation I of the Desautels Family in this record. His only certain siblings are: ADRIA(z) b. March 26, 1634 Malicorne and MARTIN b. October 21, 1637 Malicorne
4. ANNE DESAUTELS b. January 27, 1608 at Malicorne (last of the known children of the above Pierre Desautels and Renee Lebrun.
Fred used names in his correspondence which he associated with the Desautels name of which he never explained the origin or where he found them. They are "Pulay et Geverdey". I regret that I did not pursue this with him. He used them as titles appended to the name: ".....Desautels du Pulay et Geverdey". Perhaps he would also have added "et de Vernoble" had he read the reference in Ronsard's writing regarding our family poet Guillaume desAutels and the confirmation of that in "Memoirs Pour Servir...etc." by J.P. Niceron, 1734 (available in more recent reprints). It is only recently that I have found the verification for and location of the Pulay (Puley) reference. I can only hope that Fred would be so pleased with all of this information that he would be planning his next trip to Europe to "visit his cousins".
In this age of information, the internet almost daily provides new members of the family not only in the New World but in the Old: Since this article was first assembled, the author has noted several Desautels additions in other websites...among which is francogene. It will only end when some better researcher establishes our connection to Adam and Eve Desautels.
PIERRE DESAUTELS AND HIS MONTREAL
by E. Jay Desautels
A FEW ACRES OF SNOW.........AND EVERY TREE AN IROQUOIS
Voltaire's description of Canada (said in derision) as "a few acres of snow" aptly puts into words at least the unofficial attitude of the greater part of the Ancient Regime toward New France. Few resources were wasted on this empire and the rewards were commensurate with the efforts. On the other hand, Maisonneuve who would have founded a city at Montreal "if every tree were an Iroquois" (said in defiance) not only epitomizes the best of Canada but the embodiment of its heart and soul and its reason for being. It is more than sad to note that he has not been buried in the land which claimed his heart. Without his tenacity there was no Montreal and without Montreal there could be no Canada.
The information contained herein has been extrapolated from several sources. It is not presented to make a political statement nor is it meant to be judgmental of the past or the present. It is presented as background which the author has selected to portray the life and times of our Pierre Desautels in the hope of understanding the motivations if not the personality of this pioneering ancestor. At times, the author could not help but feel the frustration and bitterness Pierre must have felt while experiencing the setbacks, tragedies and power struggles all too apparent as the story of Montreal unfolds. Where offered, commentary is meant to reflect what Pierre himself would probably have felt at the time. Most of us would find it difficult to permanently and with total finality walk away from our present lives. Not only did Pierre do this but he lived during a period which saw profound changes not only occasioned by the expected and unexpected experiences of frontier life but also by constant interjections of old world pettiness which would shake the foundations of his society, his family, his faith and his very reason for being A Man Of Montreal.
Jacques Cartier (under Francis I of France) was the first European to set foot in Montreal in 1535. He found a friendly Huron village which was stockaded and called it Hochelega. The Indians took him to the mountain which sits in the center of the Island and he gave it the name Mont Real (Mount Royal). It was from this site that Cartier proclaimed to see what he thought to be the Kingdom of Saguenay which, from Indian accounts of tribes east of the region of what is now Quebec City, had sounded to him as if it were a highly advanced and rich dominion. At the Saguenay River, these Indians had told him of this land and the province of "Kanada" which is Huron/Iroquois for "settlement of lodges". It is worth noting that on his subsequent trip in 1541 he makes no mention of the village of Hochelaga.
In 1603 Samuel de Champlain reached this same site but found the Indian village gone. He laid out plans for a settlement on the site in 1611 which was later to be named Place Royale. It was located at a narrows which were formed by the nearly impassable rapids which literally surround the Island of Montreal. The Indian word for narrows was "kebec" which is of course why Quebec City is so named for the narrows there. The term was not applied to Montreal since the "narrows" there were decisively lethal "rapides". They were impassable for larger ships and difficult even for smaller ones. They were called "saults" and inferred an almost certain tragic fate to those who would attempt passage through them.
It is worth noting here that the Huron (Wyandot) tribe of the Iroquois family was primarily sandwiched territorially between the Iroquois tribes of the Hudson Valley and the Algonquin tribes located to the north. This would have been primarily the area of southern Ontario between the St. Lawrence River and the Ottawa River. The Algonquin lands ran north of the Great Lakes and geographically east through the St. Lawrence Valley out to the Atlantic and down into Long Island Sound in New York State. They included the Abenaki and Montagnais tribes which, along with the Huron, remained allies of and friendly to the French for the most part throughout the nearly 250 years of their sovereignty over the northern territory of New France. Other tribes of the Algonquin family along the east coast had little or no affiliation with the French and these included the Chippewas, Micmac, Naragansett and Delaware.
It would be of help here to note that many of the names which you will see in this account such as Place Royale, Ville Marie, Longue Pointe, etc. have been replaced over the years by the name by which that modern city is known, Montreal...even though the original Mont Real designation applied only to the mountain in the center of the island. In general, in France at that time "Montreal" was not so much a place but a concept of a wild land to be brought into the Christian, civilized world. Please note also that all directional references used here are as found by compass point. Montreal Island lies mostly north-south but is usually referred to as east-west by residents there.
The Company of One Hundred Associates had been granted a charter by the king of Frence in 1627 for all of the territory of New France in the St. Lawrence region including the Island of Montreal. Among the many partitions of this charter, the Company granted the Seigneurie of Montreal to the Sieur de la Chausseu in 1636 although this amounted to little more than an economic giveaway to Chausseu for profiteering in the fur trade.
The Company of Montreal (Societe de Notre Dame de Montreal) was founded in Paris in 1639, notably by Jerome le Royer, Sieur de la Dauversiere, his friend the Baron de Fancamp - both of LaFleche - and the Abbe Jacques Olier of Paris. These three who were the founders of the Company of Montreal were men who had become part of the movement for "montreal" and who, as a result of a near mystical vision shared nearly identically but independently by Dauversiere and Olier, had bought the rights to the Island. Chausseau relinquished his seigneural rights in 1639 to the Intendant of the Association, Jean de Lauson who, in turn, signed it over to Dauversiere on August 7, 1640.
Dauversiere appointed Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve as the Governor of Montreal. Maisonneuve landed at Place Royale on May 18, 1642 with about fifty associates. These were the first permanent settlers and, by some accounts, would today be considered religious zealots if not cultists. They were contracted for a period of five years. They were to be paid full wages as per their trade at the going rate and were to be given room and board. The contract also guaranteed them free passage home at the end of the term. They were accompanied by Msgr. de Montmagny the Governor of New France at Quebec who had handed over the rights and privileges to the sovereign colony of Montreal Island. The only exception to this independence was that the Company of One Hundred Associates reserved the right to their monopoly of the fur trade. This split in the sovereinty of Montreal would prove later to be an immense part of the french failure of their North American empire.
The men who originally came with Maisonneuve built a small fort on the site and it was soon named Ville Marie (City of Mary) in honor of the Patroness of the founding society upon hearing that the Company of Montreal had solemnly dedicated the Island to the Holy Family under the special protection of the Virgin Mary in February of 1642 at Notre Dame in Paris. It was located on the tip of land called Place Royale as originally named by Cartier (later called Pointe a Callieres) on the east (south if you are a Montrealer who uses the general east-west direction of the St. Lawrence River as a reference) side of the St. Pierre River (now part of the Lachine Canal) and which is today located along a plaza called Place d'Youville. Various attached maps show this fort but the artists rendition is disproportionately large. In reality it was less than 40 feet by 40 feet (the size of a house by todays standards).
The first cemetery for the settlement can be seen in the basement of the Musee de la Pointe a Callieres (Museum of Archaeology) which was built over that site. Continuing south (west) from the museum can be found the site for the Chateau of Callieres and further yet the site of the original fort at Ville Marie. (This author cannot be certain but an attached 1717 map of the area shows a Charron General Hospital just south of the site if not on the site itself and is commemorated by a park by that name at the end of the said Place Youville.)
Since it was a religious colony (occasioned by widespread counter-reformation fervor in France), their task was to convert "les sauvages" as well as to clear and settle the land. One later arrival that same year was a carpenter named Gilbert Barbier (called "le Minim"). The late Fred Desautels of Detroit would have been excited and taken a great deal of pride in finding that a pioneer who might have been related to one of his direct ancestors was among the first settlers. He would also have been very surprised to find that this Barbier was among this group of staunchly Catholic immigrants and therefore apparently not associated with the Huguenot ancestors. Gilbert is credited with erecting the first substantial structures which had any semblance of permanency.
Due in large part to the sadly true horror stories of Indian brutality which found their way back to France as well as to a diminished zeal there for religious evangelization, the population of Montreal eight years later (1650) was only 196 - including children who had been born in the colony. Also, the sieurs of the Company of One Hundred Associates who had been given huge land grants along with their trade monopolies in return for their promise to recruit settlers to populate and clear the land proved to be a charade - nothing more than a front for those engaged in the fur trade. The sacred mission of Montreal could not expect and did not receive any corporal or numerical assistance from these Associates. Christianization of the American savages offered little prospect for profit. And, of course, religious "fanatics" at little Montreal would be a hindrance to the freedom required by these "get rich quick" Associates.
Intermittent Iroquois hostilities ravaged the area around Montreal from 1642 until 1701. One out of every five settlers was killed by them. In three years time (1650 - 1653) Montreal lost over half of its population to Indians, fur trading and to disappointment. The Indian menace was so real that the remaining population was literally under siege and had completely moved inside the walls of the little fort. Maisonneuve had ordered that every man carry a musket and that, when working outside the fort, a protective squad should always be on guard. Without help from the French army and from Quebec City, nominal capital of northern New France, the decimated population of less than 100 souls was about to abandon the settlement out of despair when, in 1653, Pierre Desautels arrived.
During a short lull in the Indian attacks Maisonneuve had left for France (1651) to recruit reinforcements without which Montreal was to be abandoned. He recruited as many as 153 men by some accounts but only 118 (111 by some accounts and 103 by others) embarked on the ship. There were also a few women and families who made the voyage at their own expense including Pierre's future second wife, Catherine Lorion. (As many as eight of the recruits died en route and were buried at sea. A few others died at Quebec City). The St. Nicolas de Nantes, a pinasse (three-masted ship used also for north Atlantic fishing) under the command of Captain Pierre LeBessou (LeBesson) sailed from St. Nazaire, France and (after stopping at La Rochelle by some accounts) sailed for New France on June 20, 1653 but had to return to an offshore island for repairs after taking on too much water far out at sea. An offshore island was chosen in an attempt to keep the now terrified passengers from abandoning the crossing and it has been reported that two or three did exactly that.
The ship again set sail July 20 and arrived at Quebec two months later on September 22. Having run aground at what is now a marina to the west of Quebec city just off the Plains of Abraham, at Bois de Coulonge the ship was burned after attempts to refloat it had failed. The passengers continued on after a short stay at Quebec in smaller craft they were forced to build themselves as the governor refused to assist them. He had, in fact, tried to convince, cajole and even order Maisonneuve to remain permanently at Quebec. That is what accasioned Maisonneuve to state that he would go to Montreal "if every tree were an Iroquois".
These smaller boats and canoes were better suited to travel on the St. Lawrence River especially in the waters around Montreal dotted with dangerous rapids. Arriving at Ville Marie on November 16, 1653, these passengers brought the population of Montreal to 201 men, 15 women and 7 children not including priests and nuns. These new arrivals have been referred to as "The Great Recruit of 1653" and as "Les Flecheois". The first reference would have been more appropriately The Great Rescue of 1653. Although Pierre was one of only a few who survived long in the new land, the numerical boost which they brought was sufficient to raise the morale of the colony and to insure its survival.
Besides tending to the provisioning of the settlement and making preparation for the long winters, the men of Ville Marie were mostly involved with the defense of the small community, farming, fishing or hunting or with one or another aspect of the fur trade. If they were not themselves "coureurs du bois" or "voyageurs" they were assuredly involved at times with the procurement of trade goods or the shipment of furs back to France. At first, the friendly Indians brought their pelts to Montreal. This was an affront to the Iroquois who had been the middlemen between the western tribes and the Dutch at New Amsterdam for these same furs. They were fiercely merciless to their fellow native Americans and warred upon them in an attempt to stop this competition. There had been bad blood between the Iroquois and the Indian allies of the French for many years prior to this and they had also not forgotten the shock of seeing one of their chiefs felled by Champlain with an arquebus. The _expression "...friend of my enemy is my enemy" would come to mind here.
Eventually the French had to make forays into the western waterways and forests to obtain the furs. This took them further and further west finding new tribes and new sources for the furs. Ottawa is an Algonquin word meaning "to trade". The records show that many men were contracted ("engage") to go to "8ta8ois" or "Ottawa" This could have referred to the Ottawa River or the Ottawa tribe - but it always meant "to trade". The present Ottawa River was nearly always the route west and always by canoe.
Those who headed west for any length of time followed the rivers. They did not go as settlers and did not bring their families. (The 19th Century saw a change to mass migrations of entire families). There were many young men who not only found a home among the Indians but relished the freedom of the wilderness and undoubtedly the companionship of Indian women since European females were in short supply in New France. Among these men who remained in the west and lived their lives among the Indians can probably be counted a Pierre Desautels (born in 1701 and vanished after 1729, he was the son of Pierre Desautels and Angelique Thuillier and grandson of our Pierre, the pioneer).
Some married Indian women and raised families there. The French never placed a racial stigma on the Indians and for the most part treated them with respect...a fact which made this coexistence possible. On the contrary, it was the Indians who, although awed by the variety and availability of European goods, were "amused" by the generally small physical stature of the French. Even Iroquois Indians could freely roam the streets of Montreal and could be found drinking in the many taverns. This would never have been permitted in the British colonies to the south. The early men of the woods and later western "settlers", who fathered families there and their descendants were called the "metis". In the early days of Montreal these were rare but as time went on they became more numerous and daring: the "gold rush" in beaver pelts could make a man wealthy in one lucky season...especially if he could earn the respect of the Indians and provide them with the goods they desired...often whiskey.
At this time the settlement began to expand outside the fort at Ville Marie on the west side of the St. Pierre River and ran north along the St. Lawrence River on a bush path later named St. Paul Street. There were about 40 houses on one acre allotments which straggled along in two rows facing each other across this rough tract. Off and on for the next 40 years these and all other dwellings in and near the settlement were targets of the Iroquois as were the populace of St. Martins' Hill at Longue Pointe who were to become - if fortunate enough to survive - Pierre's future neighbors.
In 1660 the population of Montreal was only 472. The new sieurs of the Company of Montreal had also not succeeded in their obligation to bring enough new settlers to make Montreal a strong colony and the older Company of One Hundred Associates had failed to populate the rest of Canada with enough settlers to give much credence to the French claim to most of North America. With no military assistance either from Quebec City or from France itself, survival was doubtful for any individual or family. During the last half of 1661 at least 80 Frenchmen were killed or captured on their own farms by the Iroquois enemy tribes which included the Seneca (most westerly of the five enemy tribes and most savagely evil), Cayuga, Onondega, Oneida and Mohawk (called "Agniers" in French). Capture usually meant the most hideous tortures imaginable and few prisoners survived. The Iroquois were masters of prolonged torture which could last for days - with each day a different degree and form of pain inflicted not only by the warriors but also shared by the women and children when a prisoner was unlucky enough to survive a return trip to the villages. Seven years or 70 years old made no difference to the Iroquois. Age discrimination never occurred to them. Neither did sex discrimination. To hack off a captive womans breasts was only one step in that direction. Roasting the prisoner alive was the ultimate in ritual pleasure. Death usually was followed by cannibalism. Father Isaac Jogues survived one such unspeakable captivity but not his second. In fairness, barbaric behavior was not solely an Iroquois prerogative. It is fair to say that theirs was more widely recorded than others if not more extreme.
In 1662 Jeanne Mance, founder of the Hospitalers of St. Joseph left for France to obtain help since Maisonneuve was illegally being prevented from doing so by Quebec. Their governor was at odds with Maisonneuve's prohibition regarding the sale of whiskey to the Indians. It was due to Jeanne's efforts in France that Montreal would be ceded by the Company of Montreal (which was now a mere handful of members and barely in existence) to the Order of St. Sulpice.
1663 - 1665 THE PIVOTAL YEARS: For Montreal, The End; For The Desautels Family, a Beginning
The Jesuits along with the Recollets had struggled to serve the immigrants as well as to convert the indians (and had been welcomed by some of them with torture and martyrdom). The more recently arrived secular Sulpician priests felt compelled to have a bishop appointed to Montreal. Secular priests always function under a bishop whereas religious orders such as the Jesuits operate under a Superior who does not have the authority vested in a bishop. The Abbe Gabriel de Queylus had been brought to Montreal in 1656 as the Superior of the 3 Sulpician priests who accompanied him. He was named Bishop by a French Ecclesiastic whose authority to do so was questionable. Not to be outflanked and undermined, the Jesuits then had a hand in the appointment of the Abbe de Montigny, Francois Xavier de Laval Montmorency as Bishop of all Canada who arrived in Quebec City in 1659. The ensuing "battle" between Queylus and Laval, between "frontier town" Montreal and the "Old World" Quebec City and between the Jesuits and the Sulpicians was all rolled into one in this struggle. Laval, with his superior credentials both from the Church and the King was triumphant. Queylus was sent back to France. The Sulpicians maintained the Seigneurie of Montreal even though, as priests and supposed proprietors of the independent Island of Montreal, they now found themselves under a bishop headquartered in Quebec City. Perhaps since they were relatively new to the country, it was not as difficult a pill for them to swallow. But, for anyone of authority and the general population of Montreal as a whole who had been there for any length of time, it must have been a real blow.
In 1663, Louis XIV withdrew the charter of the Company of One Hundred Associates. He established direct royal control over all Canada with the appointment of a Sovereign Council located at Quebec and headed by the Governor of Canada, the Bishop of Canada and an Intendant (personal representative of the King). He officially named the Order of St. Sulpice to the seigneurie of Montreal. In fact, the Order in France had been invited to take control of Montreal in 1657 but it did not become a reality until March 9, 1663 when the Company of Montreal handed it over. The Colony of the City of Mary was now on its way to become the "Ville de Montreal" of the colony of New France ruled by Quebec. While Maisonneuve was still governor of Montreal it was at the will of the Society of St. Sulpice and with certain powers curtailed by a Crown to which Montreal owed next to nothing. The injection of royal power came along with a new deluge of laws and regulations which greatly inhibited the freedom Montreal had earned and enjoyed as a distinct colony. Pierre and his fellow "habitants" could well sense the loss of their established way of life.
For the next two years all political and religious power was at Quebec. When Montreals' popular governor, Paul de Chomedey (Maisonneuve) was involuntarily removed in 1665 it was the proverbial last straw. The last vestige of Montreal sovereignty was dead. One can easily understand that the people of Montreal would have a difficult time to accept in their hearts this dominion emanating from Quebec City. For twenty years Montreal had been born and had stubbornly survived without real assistance of the motherland or of the often assumed arm of French authority in Canada - Quebec City...the city which turned blind eyes and deaf ears to the day-in-and-day-out tragedies of Montreal...a city which could not spare soldiers for Montreal's defense (they were needed for pomp, social occasions and mostly imagined fears of British attack)...a city which could easily have passed for any foppish provincial capital back in the Old Country...a city which sat on the heights of Abraham and watched as the real world suffered and triumphed. Quick to arrogantly assert nonexistent authorities over Montreal it was quick to insert little more than additional headaches to the citizens there who are reported to have held a rather widely used _expression posed something akin to the quandary: "....what is worse, Quebec or the Iroquois?".
This struggle between the liberal Gallic church and royal authority in the north of Quebec against the more conservative Catholic, papal-centered (called ultramontanist) mindset of the Montreal region in the south of Quebec will be played out again 200 years later involving another Desautels: Msgr. Joseph Desautels (1814-1881) of Varennes, Vercheres, Diocese of Montreal who not only championed Catholic Church rights against British attempts to dictate Church affairs but who also fought unsuccessfully for the establishment of a truly independant Montreal University. One can just picture our Pierre standing on the corner of Sts. Paul and Joseph (later St. Sulpice) Streets making his condolences to friends who had recently lost a son to the indians. Suddenly he turns his head and his _expression turns to disgust as a Quebec "dandy" visiting Montreal passes them on his way from his ship. As he goes by, Pierre's lips can be seen to silently mouth the words..."je me souviens". It would not have been difficult for Pierre to remember his "heritage" of the first few years of Montreal: the heritage of a hard-fought and costly success of his wilderness outpost with little more than the support of the Company of Montreal, the Church, the Sieur de Maisonneuve and each other.
A great earthquake shook all "Kanada" on February 5, 1663 and aftershocks occurred for several months (some quite severe). According to the Jesuit Relations, reports were received from Quebec, Montreal, Three Rivers, western and eastern smaller settlements throughout New France including Acadia (now New Brunswick). According to these reports, entire mountains disappeared; whole forests were uprooted, buried or lost; rivers changed their courses; the clay bed of the St. Lawrence River shifted in places so as to create waterfalls where none logically should be; great fissures opened in the earth; houses, fortifications and buildings swayed and bent and were damaged or destroyed; citizens stood in the streets in shock, horror and disbelief while others knelt in prayer. The most devout later claimed this was the vengeance of God for selling alcohol to the Indians and thus making it difficult to civilize and christianize even the friendly tribes.
1665 was the most pivotal year for Montreal. From June through September of 1665 the spirits of the indian-weary settlers were given a tremendous lift by the arrival of a 1200 man force of the famed Carignan-Salieres Regiment from France commanded by Alexandre de Prouville, Sieur de Tracy. The size of the force dictated that it be landed at more than one location. They embarked at Quebec City, Three Rivers and Montreal. To mount the great expedition against the savage Iroquois the three settlements also raised militias to accompany the soldiers. Pierre would have gone as a member of the militia called the Soldiers of the Very Holy Virgin. Quebecs' militia were the "red" coats; Three Rivers the "white" coats and Montreal the "blue" coats. They accompanied the troops on forays into Vermont and New York. Although they penetrated into the heart of the Iroquois nation, the indians had fled their villages so that, in reality, there were no bloody battles and glorious victories. Destruction of their food supplies however, was enough to temporarily convince them that the French would no longer tolerate their wanton and murderous behavior. The negative side of the arrival of this army is that it was their commander, the Sieur de Tracy who was directly responsible for Maisonneuve's humiliating dismissal.
The combined forces were led by Charles LeMoyne who was created "Baron de Longueuil" in 1700 - a title recognized by the British 60 years later when they took Canada and is still recognized by them today. Two of his sons, Pierre LeMoyne, Sieur d'Iberville (1661-1706) and Charles LeMoyne, were the founders of Louisiana in 1699 although the post they established was actually at what is now Biloxi, Mississippi. The family seigneurie at Longueuil, across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal and at one time its rival for population, social and economic importance gradually faded due to the superior geographic location of Montreal plus the fact that Montreal was the center for political and religious life in that region.
The population of Montreal had grown to only 766 in 1667. In an attempt to increase the population of New France, the King decreed in 1668 that an annual stipend of 300 livres be paid to parents who had ten children in holy wedlock and 400 livres to parents of twelve children. On the other hand, parents were to be fined if they did not insure the marriage of their sons at or before age 20 or their daughters at or before age 16. This decree was never fully in effect or enforced.
The little fort at Place Royale afforded little protection to the colonists living outside the close proximity of the settlement. A citadel about 50 feet high was built just to the north of the settlement near what is now Dalhousie Square. The settlement had spread on the west side of the St. Pierre River and mostly to the north. In 1672 the fort (on the east side of the river) was demolished, leaving the settlers only two stone buildings on St. Paul Street (including the citadel) capable of withstanding an indian attack. In 1685 the settlement itself was loosely fortified with ramparts and palisades. For a dozen years the hostile Indians lurked outside the very doors of the settlers at night hoping for a victim. The new fortifications were built to roughly encompass St. Paul Street. The site of the old fort at Place Royale later became known as Pointe-a-Callieres after the French governor (named Calliere)of 1684 erected a grand chateau on the site.
In 1689 the Iroquois massacred the entire population of soldiers and settlers at Lachine, an outpost on the island of Montreal only a short distance south along the St. Lawrence River. This is historically important since it was the basis for much of the French and Indian Wars. Since the British had funded and instigated their Indian allies to attack Lachine and no mercy was shown, the animosity of the French toward them lasted for centuries. While Montreal was located at a point on the river where navigation to the Atlantic was unimpeded, Lachine was the center for handling all trade in the western St. Lawrence (furs going to Montreal for shipment to France; supplies going west to the "voyageurs" and for trade with the friendly Indians) - unreachable by seagoing vessels which could not navigate the Lachine Rapids. Since horses were rare in those days, the French depended on water transportation throughout the vast river network in New France. From Montreal and Lachine west the canoe was king and many of them were large enough to hold several dozen men.
In 1717 work was begun on a stone wall for the city, parts of which still exist today. It was built along the approximate lines of the 1685 fortifications. It covered an area of about one and one-third miles (1200 toises) north to south by one-third of a mile east to west (although it was narrower at the northern end). The wall was finished in 1723 and was 18 feet high with bastions, gates and sally-ports. By this time the indian menace had ended and the great walls were never used in defense of the city against the indians, the English in 1760 or the Americans in 1775. A 1717 map of the city (before the stone walls were built) shows the basic configuration of the 1685 fort with several facilities including the residence of Montreal Governor deCallieres outside the walls of this fort but at the old Place Royale. It does not show any trace of the cemetary on the point itself or of the original Ville Marie fort. This 1717 map does show a Charron General Hospital in the area just south of the governors chateau but if it is at all proportionately correct, this hospital would have been to the south of the first fort.
While the 1642 settlers were considered to be highly motivated by religious zeal, later arrivals - including the recruits of 1653 - were considered to be less so. In his lifetime Pierre would have witnessed a proliferation of taverns said to be on every corner in the small town. Since the city was open to the wanderings of the local and visiting indians (friendly or not), it became necessary for Maisonneuve to issue a decree against providing them with alcohol.
Also during Pierre's lifetime the mode of transport which had been at first by foot (snowshoes in winter) or by boat (usually canoe) changed about the turn of the century to a plethara of equine transportation (horseback, carriages and sleighs) so much so that authorities had to place restrictions on their use due to the damage they caused to the primitive roads of the time.
Our Pierre was one of the last surviving members of the Great Rescue. Because he could read and write, his name does appear on many documents and registries. But, aside from showing his participation and interest in these activities he left no written indication of his personality. What we can learn is that Pierre was respectable if not remarkable; a man of principle if not of influence; a man whose seeming mediocrity, practicality and realism speaks volumes to his worthiness to be a Man For The New World.
PIERRE DESAUTELS AND HIS MONTREAL: THE FIRST GENERATION
Most of the foregoing is the background for the life and times of Pierre Desautels, the Pioneer at Montreal in 1653 who constitutes the sole member of Generation I of this record. The following provides information more specific to Pierre and his family. The same statistical information for Pierre also appears in the section titled "The Desautels In France" since Pierre is our link from the Old to the New Worlds.
PIERRE DESAUTELS, son of Thomas Desautels and Marie Marthe Buisson of Malicorne-sur- Sarthe, Diocese of Mans, Province of Maine, France
born April 4, 1631 Malicorne-sur-Sarthe, died November 19, 1708 Montreal, New France. His funeral was conducted by three priests: Rev. Antoine Devalens, Rev. Pierre Remy and Rev. ? Priat.
1)marriage January 11, 1666 Montreal, New France see page
- Marie Remy 2.10
born 1646 Paris, France
died November 11, 1675 Montreal, New France
The witnesses at their wedding were Honore Langlois and Pierre Chauvin.
2)marriage November 23, 1676 Montreal, New France
- Catherine Lorion born 1636 at St. Soule, La Rochelle, France, died April 20, 1720 Montreal, New France
They were married by Father Lefebvre. The witnesses were Pierre Pigeon, Guillaume Bouchard, Antoine Regnaud, Jean Delpue, Jean Raynaud, Gilles Perot and Mathurin Lorion, his father-in-law.
On May 4, 1653 at La Fleche, France at the age of 22, Pierre enlisted to come to New France as an "engage" (hired hand). From his village of Malicorne-sur-Sarthe in the Province of Maine also came Pierre Piron who was born in 1636. Their contracts were for 5 years. Like his father and his grandfather Pierre was a tailor of men's clothing but he did not list that as his profession. On June 20, 1653 he received an advance of 101 livres (french pounds) on his promised annual salary of 65 livres. He sailed on June 22, 1653 from St. Nazaire, France on the St. Nicolas de Nantes. As stated before, the ship had to return to France for repairs and had a second departure date of July 20, 1653. They finally arrived at Quebec City (in reality not a very large settlement at that time) on September 22, 1653. After a few weeks at Quebec they continued their journey up the St. Lawrence River. They arrived at Ville Marie (as Montreal was named by the immigrants in 1642) on November 16, 1653. Pierre was one of only four of the men arriving on that ship who could read and write. This influx brought the population of Montreal to 210 men, 15 women and 7 children plus priests and nuns. Depending upon which source you might reference, the actual numbers of those on the ship and the population figures are in question but they show basically that Montreal was a fledgling pioneer colony.
Little is known of Pierre between 1653 and 1663. In fact, it is not known if he ever practiced his trade as a tailor or if he used his abilities at reading and writing to make a living. It is more than probable that he was involved in the fur trade during these years as most unattached men would have been. During these years Maisonneuve's colony enjoyed nearly isolationist freedom by contrast to that afforded both in the mother country and at Quebec. If much has been made of the negative relationship between Quebec and Montreal it is to establish that it was not until the 1663 - 1665 period of Pierre's life that we see a change in his life. It is more than probable that the establishment of direct royal control over Montreal contributed to Pierre settling down to the routines of family and community life. One needs to ask if Pierre would have continued being an "engage" or "coureur de bois" or - in todays terms, a free spirit - without this imposition of imperial authority. Or, would he have married at the advanced age of nearly 36 a Marie Remy neatly provided by a king and society advancing the established conventions of the times. If not for the intervention of the Sun King, would there be a Desautels family in the New World?
He was a witness at three marriages during that period: 1658, 1659, 1660 (and on December 14, 1665 between Antoine Baudry and Catherine Guyard). He is on a list of persons being confirmed at Notre Dame Church, Montreal on August 24, 1660 along with Governor Maisonneuve. On January 27, 1663 he was elected to an honor society called the Brotherhood of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. On February 1, 1663 he enlisted in a militia called the Soldiers of the Holy Family. There were 20 squads. Pierre was in the seventh squad which had a corporal and six men. This was just four days before the "Great Earthquake" which was mentioned earlier. Pierre survived. Pierre would have gone as a member of that militia with the French forces under LeMoyne and the Carrignan Regiment sent by the King to attack the Iroquois in Vermont and New York in 1665. He was the first Desautels to set foot in the Green Mountain State (and, in fact, what was later the United States) discovered by Champlain nearly 60 years earlier. Nearly 200 years after this 1665 expedition (1863) my great-great-grandfather, Francois Xavier would cross this same border into Vermont with his 13 children - six of whom were already married - but this time to stay.
When he enlisted to pioneer at Montreal, Pierre was promised a land grant when he married if he decided to remain in New France. However, he received a grant of 30 arpents (27-30 acres) on May 3, 1665 - the year before his first marriage but long after his original five year contract had been fulfilled. This was written by Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Mainsonneuve himself while still at least nominally the governor of Montreal before his departure. The grant was only approved officially on February 23, 1666 when it was recorded by the notary Desailles. (It can be seen on microfilm 6556, number 992 and subsequent entries in the St. Sulpice collection at the Quebec National Archives in Montreal).
It was located outside the main part of the settlement north along the river at a place on Rue Ste. Marie (or Notre Dame) called Cote St. Martin at Longue Pointe. Pierre's land was located two-thirds of a lieu (about one and one-half miles) south of the actual point of Longue Pointe. It is shown on a map published by the Pointe a Callieres Museum (together with later adjacent acquisitions) as the property of his son Gilbert and is listed as number 5042. This map obviously shows the ownership of these lands subsequent to the 1718 settlement between Gilbert and his older brother Pierre when Pierre sold his interest to Gilbert.
Interestingly, the land granted to Pierre was sandwiched between those belonging to a mother and son. On the one side was a Suzanne Guilbault, widow of Claude Fezeret who had been killed in his home by the Iroquois just nine days prior to Pierre's grant. On the other side was her son Rene. While Rene kept his concession at least through 1710, Suzanne must have sold or forfeitted hers sometime after 1665. It was acquired by Pierre in 1673 for 500 livres as property reverting to the Seigneurie by reason that the current landholder named Hardouin had died without heirs. This acquisition, together with a second concession to him by the Order of St. Sulpice in 1670 and another in the name of his two youngest sons in 1692 would result in a total holding of 150 arpents (three at the lakefront by fifty deep) before his death. An arpent has been variously quoted as equivalent to between three-fourths of an acre to one and one-half acres depending on the source and historical variations of both measures. Most sources give it as the equivalent of one acre but I believe it is more accurately about 92 percent of an acre.
Pierre put most of this land under cultivation growing mainly wheat. In the census of 1666 for "menage #130" he already had seven and one-half acres under cultivation. If the history books are accurate and the land at that time was heavily forested, that was quite a feat in one year unless, of course, the land had been cleared by the previous tenant. In the census of 1667 he is listed as household number 130. His age is given as 32 (actually he was 36) and his wife, Marie Remy whose age seems to be correct at 21. They are listed as having a daughter, aged one year. Actually, this was their first son Joseph who was born in 1666. Even then, census information was not any more accurate than it appears to have been on both sides of the US-Canada border two hundred years later - and perhaps 300.
In an attempt to display a side to Pierre which might not otherwise be evident, provided here is an abbreviated list of the recorded socio-religious functions which he attended or in which he was a participant (roughly during this time period): 1-31-1667 baptism at Notre Dame Church, Montreal: 2-24-1668 marriage at Notre Dame: 11-17-1668 marriage at Notre Dame: 12-31-1668 marriage at Notre Dame: 12-26-1671 baptism at Notre Dame :2-29-1672 marriage at Notre Dame: 8-11-1672 marriage at Notre Dame: 6-20-1678 marriage of M. Charlotte Millet (Pierre is "beau-pere" or father-in-law): 10-29-1681 marriage of Leonard Simon (Pierre is his "beau-pere" or father-in-law): 1-31-1684 marriage of Nicolas Millet at Pointe-aux- Trembles: 2-25-1686 marriage at Pointe-aux-Trembles: 11-10-1687 burial of sister-in-law Marie Lorion at Pointe-aux-Trembles: 2-23-1688 marriage of Jacques Millet at Notre Dame: 1-30-1691 baptism at Notre Dame (Jacques Millet): 7-9-1691 marriage of Renee Lorion at Pointe-aux- Trembles: 9-28-1693 marriage of his son Joseph at Pointe-aux- Trembles: 1-17-1695 marriage at Ste. Anne de Varennes: 5-2-1695 marriage of Nicolas Millet (Pierre is father in-law): 1-26-1697 marriage of Jean Lorion (Pierre is father- in-law): 9-19-1697 marriage of Jean Ferre Lachappelle (Pierre is listed as an uncle): 12-4-1698 marriage at Notre Dame (with his sons Pierre and Gilbert): 5-30-1699 baptism. He and Catherine are godparents 11-23-1699 marriage of grandson Francois Raynaud at Pointe-aux-Trembles.
These undoubtedly are not the only activities in which Pierre was involved but these are recorded. They show him to be socially active and in contact with his family by both of his marriages and the extended family of the children of his second wife by her previous husbands. They also help (if this is necessary) to point out the depth and breadth of the Catholic religion in the everyday lives of Pierre, his family and his community. In old Montreal, society itself was predominantly influenced by the church and the local priest usually had no hesitation to step in and speak up in what are regarded today as private matters. This in itself was the prime reason why the American royalist expatriates who fled to or were exiled to Canada from the newly independent United States of America split Ontario (Upper Canada) from Quebec (Lower Canada): they could not abide the liberties and rights accorded to the Church by the British as part and parcel of the governance of the French people and territories of what had been New France. The British discovered quickly that the French population of Canada could not be ruled by the laws of Britain and acquiesced to the established French laws, customs and influences. But, of course, that comes much later: the British took New France in 1760. The liberties accorded to the French in Quebec were in sharp contrast to the barbaric treatment accorded to the unfortunate French Acadians by these same British in 1755 - only a few years earlier. That story can only be branded as genocide.
Since it was common in early pioneer days to refer to a person using a sort of "nickname" by which his land holding ("les rangs") was generally known or by his occupation or some other outstanding characteristic or event in his life, Pierre was called "LaPointe" since his land was located on a point of land along the St. Lawrence River. The addended name would have read Desautels dit Lapointe. The "dit" (or "dite" for a female) translates into English as "said" or "called" (from the French verb dire..."to speak"). There is no record of him using that "dit" name before 1663 and the first record of that name is found in the land grant of 1665. Lapointe was used as a "dit" name by other families such as Clement, Godard, Robin, Simon, Trouillard and most notably by Audet and Tousignan. There is a street named Desautels in Montreal north of that area today and there is a parallel street named Lapointe a short distance away but these are not in reference to our pioneer ancestor. They are located south of the Lafontaine Tunnel near the St. Jean de Dieu Hospital and they cross Hochelega Blvd.
The next few years (until 1673) Pierre was occupied with family matters. His first three sons were born during this period (1666, 1668 and 1671) and the first one had died (1667). On March 26, 1673 he made an exchange of lands with Elie Beaujean at Longue Pointe. As part of this agreement, Pierre donated money to the vestry-board (fabrique) of the parish church of Montreal. He apparently became disenchanted with this exchange and on June 15, 1673 he negated the agreement. On December 5 of that year he paid a head tax of one livre. In 1674 his 4th child was born but it died the same day. If this child were male then Pierre did not have any daughters by this or his second marriage.
His first wife, Marie Remy died in 1675 and he married his second wife, Catherine Lorion the following year. The Church permitted the bans to be read only once. Two days before his second wedding he signed his marriage contract. It was a busy day for both of them. Each signed an act of care and guardianship for their own children. Elie Beaujean was named guardian of Pierre's two surviving sons by his first marriage while Pierre himself was officialy made responsible for their education. Two days after the marriage he posted an inventory of his estate held jointly with the late Marie Remy. In his statement he certified that he had disposed of about 200 bundles of wheat chaff and had received 160 livres from this sale. At the census of 1681 under the name "Deshostels" he was listed as having one musket, 5 beasts of burden and 27 acres of land. His household consisted of himself, (age 50), his wife, Catherine Lorion, (age 45), three sons (Gabriel, 11, Pierre, 4, and "Gilberte" (Gilbert), 2) and Jean, "domestique", age 7. This last was the youngest of the Millet children. Pierre was listed as a citizen of Montreal (population 1,418; remainder of seignuerie 1,281). Longue Pointe was then and is again today considered a part of Montreal, although the Longue Pointe designation is mostly lost. His oldest son, Joseph, by his first marriage was 13 years old and was not listed as living in the household. It is possible he was apprenticing at a trade where he would be staying with his tradesman or, more probably, was under the care of his legal guardian, Elie Beaujean who was also a neighbor of Pierre. None of the other Millet children was listed as residing in the household. They would have ranged in age from perhaps 10 through 23.
Not listed under Pierre in that census were the properties of the late Nicolas Millet and his wife, Catherine Lorion. On December 29, 1681 Pierre posted a notice of intent to sell this property but was apparently denied permission to do so since it was a security for the Millet children. For the next ten years he is on record as having rented out these and other properties: September 29, 1682 - land and house on St. Paul Street for three years; May 15, 1689 (just seven weeks after his 16 year old son Gabriel died) - the Millet property for one year; September 18, 1689 - house on St. Paul Street for one year. On August 22, 1691 just 5 days before the capture of the eldest Millet son by the Iroquois the Millet property at the corner of Sts. Paul and Gabriel Streets were declared to be (posthumously) ceded by Millet to Dollier de Casson, Sieur de Montreal (a Sulpician priest), and granted to Pierre and Gilbert, the two youngest sons of Pierre the pioneer. Millet had owned several other properties in the settlement and these would have undoubtedly been in the hands of the now-married Millet children at this time.
The cessions of properties came two years before the following events: 1693 appears to be the year when 62 year old Pierre bailed out his 25 year old son, Joseph. On June 14 he paid off his debts; on July 2 Joseph sold his rights of inheritance to his half-brothers Pierre and Gilbert for 200 livres. As a part of this settling of accounts, Pierre senior made a land grant to Antoine Corbett dit Desjardins. Pierre senior was, however, a witness at Joseph's wedding on September 28, 1693. On November 22, 1693 he acknowledged an obligation to Pierre Perthius and the same on January 4, 1698 to M. LeBer. These two last actions are probably not related to the financial arrangement regarding Joseph. It is more than probable that Joseph's prospective in-laws would not permit the marriage unless his finances were straightened out. Also, since Joseph settled a few miles north of Longue Pointe at Pointe-aux-Trembles (after first trying his hand on property on the north side of Longue Pointe), it is possible that Joseph simply wanted to start with a clean slate and needed financial help from his father as a sort of "grubstake". But, that is all speculation.
As stated earlier, Pierre added through purchase and grants to his original 30 arpents to the extent that, at his death, his total was 150 arpents although some of this was in the name of his two youngest sons still in residence. These properties were in an elongated rectangle of about 3 arpents (1,000 feet) wide at the St. Laurence River by 50 arpents (approximately 15,000 feet) running inland. It was at or near the present Blvd. (Rue) Viau (a stop on the "underground" or Metro). Extending inland it would appear to extend to the Olympic/Maisonneuve Park if not into the Park itself. Interestingly, this property probably included a rather peculiar point on the St. Laurence and we cannot help but wonder if this is the point which gave Pierre the "dit" name of Lapointe. The land further inland was wooded and a pond was located on the property.
The last recorded activities of Pierre before his death came on April 8, 1701 when he sued the three surviving Millet children for ownership of the remainder of their fathers estate. He was awarded three-fourths while they received the other one-fourth in the settlement. Sometime between that time and 1708 he gave all of his property to his two youngest sons, Pierre and Gilbert, who agreed to partition the property between themselves on July 14, 1708. This was just four months before Pierre, senior died. This gift was in return for their guarantee of their care for himself and Catherine as long as they lived. This was the standard procedure in place at that time to provide for retirement. The eldest surviving son, Joseph had died in 1705 but his children did not receive any part of the estate since their father had sold his inheritance.
The inventory of July 14, 1708 describes Pierre's house on that site. It was a plank structure with few windows or doors and would have been located near the St. Lawrence River and facing it on Rue Notre Dame. It would have been little more than fifteen feet wide by about thirty five feet in length (18 X 40 pieds) with an attached stable extending the length another sixteen feet. The house most likely was one large room on the ground level with lofts to accomodate his sons. The lower level most probably would have had non-permanent divisions and, since by this time Pierre junior had five small children, it would be logical to assume the attached "stable" had been converted to living quarters. Any need for a stable could have been met by an extremely large barn and a cow shed. The house had two chimneys as one chimney could hardly be expected to heat a room of that size.
MARIE REMY: She was the daughter of Nicolas Remy and Marie Vinet of Paris. She arrived in Montreal in 1665 with Governor Remy (no known relationship) and many girls arriving to marry the pioneers. She was one of the "Filles de Roi" or Daughters of the King who were recruited starting in 1663 (until 1673) to come to New France to become brides and mothers. They were outfitted and financed by the King who also provided them with a dowry of 50 livres upon marriage. An aside regarding the death of Marie Remy is appropriate here. Like many others who have reported this event, this researcher had accepted the exact translation of this as recorded in the parish register for Notre Dame Church at Montreal. It clearly states in longhand the year 1676. An examination of the book (facsimile) however, reveals that this was written in error. It is recorded as an entry at the end of the year 1675 and is followed by entries for the beginning of the year 1676. This is well worth noting since it could escape no ones minds eye the different image of a man who would remarry a few days after the death of a wife or one who remarries a year later. Future researchers would do well to note the presence of notables such as a priest and governor of the name of Remy in such a small community as was New France of the mid-17th century.
CATHERINE LORION: She was 17 when she left France in 1653 and sailed on the same ship that brought Pierre. Although she came alone on that voyage, her father, Mathurin Lorion, her stepmother, Jeanne Bisette (her mother was Francoise Morinet), and two younger half-sisters, Marie and Marie Jeanne joined her only a few years later. Her marriage to Pierre was her fourth. Catherine is also said to have been born at Anjou, France and to have died at St. Martin, Quebec. The latter undoubtedly is a correct reference to Cote St. Martin or St. Martin's Hill at Longue Pointe. She is included as a "First Lady" of Montreal as she precedes the arrival of the Daughters of the King. One cannot help but be awed by her faith and raw courage as well as that of her father, Mathurin, who dared to bring his entire family to a remote wilderness settlement whose remaining inhabitants were on the verge of a near certain vicious end at the hands of one of histories most evil and ruthless societies. Catherine's marriages and children before Pierre are: 1)m. October 13, 1654 at Montreal - Pierre Villain of Poitou, France d. January 19, 1655 at Montreal (killed by a tree) 2)m. June 21, 1655 at Montreal - Jean Simon de Magnac d. November 24, 1656 (drowned) son Nicolas Leonard Simon de Magnac b. September 3, 1656 m. October 29, 1681 - Mathurine Beaussaint He had many children. At Least three of his sons married. He was adopted by Nicolas Millet (below) in 1657 but used the name Simon at his 1681 marriage. 3)m. April 9, 1657 - Nicolas Millet dit le Beauceron b. 1632 d. March 9, 1674 (when his house burned) He also arrived in Montreal with Pierre in 1653. In the census of 1666 he had 18 (?) acres/arpents under cultivation and two beasts of burden. His children were: Catherine Millet dite Beauceron b. 1658, m. January 7,, 1681 to Jean Raynaud: Nicolas Millet dit Beauceron b. August 14, 1660, 1)m. January 31, 1684 Pointe-aux- Trembles to Catherine Chaperon who died January 9, 1695 (in the church) and 2)m. May 2, 1695 to Catherine Gauthier at Cote St. Antoine, Varennes: Marie Charlotte Millet dite Beauceron, b. November 25, 1662, m. June 20, 1678 to Jean Lacombe: Pierre Millet dit Beauceron b. January 12, 1665, d. December 1, 1666: Jacques Millet dit Beauceron b. March 30, 1667, m. February 23, 1688 to Elisabeth Hubert (it is believed that he was the only Millet son to have male heirs): Hugues Millet dit Beauceron (uncertain): Francois Millet dit Beauceron b. c. 1671: Jean Millet dit(e) Beauceron b. January 6, 1674 at Montreal (the year that Nicolas Millet senior burned to death). She is listed as a "domestique" living with Pierre in the 1681 census. The year following her marriage to Pierre, Catherine's sister Marie Renee Lorion was married to Jean Delpue/Pariseau who had been a witness at Pierre's wedding.
I list here for historical background the officials with whom Pierre would have come into contact.
Governors of Montreal (1641 - 1700): 1641 - 1663 Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve 1665 Zacharie Dupuy, Commandant 1669 Pierre de St. Paul de la Motte, Commandant 1670 Francois-Marie Perrot 1684 Henault desRivaux 1684 Hector de Callieres 1698 Jean Baptiste de Vaudreuil, Bouillet de la Chassaigne, Chevalier
Intendants (personal representative of the King) 1665 - 1672 Jean Talon
Sulpician head of the Church at Montreal Dollier de Casson, Sieur de Montreal
MOST QUEBEC LOCATIONS MENTIONED IN THIS AND SUBSEQUENT CHAPTERS (GENERATIONS) CAN BE FOUND ON AT LEAST ONE OF THE FOLLOWING MAPS WITH THEIR ACCOMPANYING LISTS.
Chapter One Addendum
This will be a new page for the Desautels Family Book Of Life.....Born Again. I thought you might be interested in this preview. The page will contain a map of the constellation. It will be inserted in the section of the book on The Desautels Name.
Although this page is not pertinent to the name DESAUTELS (of the altars) it does provide an interesting aside to the name itself and I would have perhaps been tempted to look in this direction for an alternative name to "Born Again" had I been aware of this reference.
ARA, often called the "altar star" is, in reality, a constellation. Ara is the Latin word for altar even though modern or "church" Latin generally uses the word "altare". It is one of the original 48 constellations as described by Ptolemy (nearly 2200 years ago) and was called Ara Centauri. It was identified in association with the centaur Chiron by the ancients.
Ara is bordered by the Ptolemaic constellations Corona Australis, Scorpius and Triangulum (australe)....all still so named....as well as by the modern constellations of Norma, Apus, Pavo and Telescopium. It is over 8,000 light years from our solar system and is at 17.39 in height, right ascension and minus 53.58 degrees of declination.
Its brightest star, Beta Arae is located near the center of the constellation and is apparently the body referred to as the "altar star". There are more than 15 other bodies in this constellation which are noteworthy. Most are designated by the Greek alphabetical terms (alpha, beta, etc.) followed by Arae.