Did you know this about your ancestor Pierre Bissonnet?
King’s Daughters and Founding Mothers page 168-169
By Peter J. Gagne
Marie Dalton was born about 1646 in Saint-Pierre, lie d’Oléron (arrondissement of Rochefort, diocese of Saintes), Saintonge, the daughter of Michel Dallon and Marguerite Véronne. After her father’s death, Marie left for Canada in 1668 at about age 22, bringing a dowry worth 200 livres.
On 09 October 1668, Marie married Pierre Bissonnet at Québec City. Neither spouse could sign the marriage contract drawn up 24 September 1668 by notary Becquet. A miller, Pierre was born about 1626 in the parish of Saint-Pierre in La Roche-sur-Yon (diocese of Lucon), Poitou, the son of Jacques Bissonnet and Guillemette Debien. On 20 December 1658, Paul de Chomedey and Louis d’Ailleboust leased Pierre a windmill located “in Villemarie. . . in the place known as Le Costeau Saint-Louis” for 400 livres.
On 03 May 1660, Pierre married Mathurine Desbordes (widow of Pierre Guiberge) in Montreal. He increased his property 21 August 1661 when he leased the adjacent land belonging to Gilles Lauzon. He also increased his family when he and Mathurine baptized son Jacques 28 August 1661 at Montréal. In 1663, one of the new arrivals from France was happy to find Pierre, whom he knew from France, but was surprised to find him married, since Pierre still had a wife, Marie Allaire, living in France at Poiré sur-Vie in Poitou. The news spread quickly that Pierre was a bigamist.
One night, pressed by questions from his neighbors and under the influence of more than a few glasses of eau-de-vie, Pierre admitted that he did have a wife back in the Old World, but claimed he could not make the marriage work, since his wife was a witch. Mathurine Desbordes applied for an annulment of the marriage on 01 August 1663 and a few days later Bishop Lava! granted her request. This act gave Marie the right to remarry in the Church, which she did without delay, marrying mason Michel Bouvier 16 August 1663 in Montréal.
As for Pierre, he fled from Montréal. On 03 September 1664, the Conseil Souverain had notary De Mouchy draw up a warrant for his arrest. Pierre was arrested and brought before the Council on charges of bigamy. He apparently spent the next few years in the royal prison at Québec City.
Shortly after his release, Pierre married Marie in 1668. After the marriage, Pierre first worked as a miller at Charlesbourg. Son Jean was baptized 24 July 1669 at Québec City. On 02 November 1670, Pierre leased the Jesuit’s mill at Sillery, where daughter Marie-Madeleine was baptized 11 August 1671. Son Pierre was baptized 30 August 1674 at Sainte-Famil!e, Ile dOrléans, followed by Marie (11 March 1677) and Anne (13 June 1679).On 06 March 1679, Pierre Bissonnet was noted at Sainte-Famille as “miller of the mills on the coast of the seigneurie of Beaupré.” A few months later, on 16 October, Pierre leased a mill at Saint-Laurent, Ile dOrléans from seigneur François Berthelot. Son André was baptized 13 June 1681 at Saint- Laurent, followed by Jacques on 09 June 1687.
Pierre Bissonnet died 07 August 1687 at La Durantaye and was buried the same day at Levis. The lack of the standard 24-hour waiting period before burial indicates that he was probably a victim of the smallpox epidemic that struck Québec that year. Some time before 01 April 1692, Marie married Jacques Met at La Durantaye. Jacques was previously (1668) married to Fille d Roi Marie Bourgeois, but the two were separated in 1671. He and Marie lived at La Durantaye, but had no children together.
Jacques Anet died at La Durantaye before 19 April 1694. On this last date, Marie married Pierre-Guillaume Hublé in La Durantaye. Pierre Guillaume was born about 1662 in Saint-Malo, Brittany, the son of Pierre Hublé and Olive Layné. He and Marie lived in La Durantaye, but had no children together. Pierre-Guillaume Hublé died before 14 June 1707. Marie Dallon was buried 07 July 1716 at La Durantaye.
‘i” Séguin, Vie Libertine vol. 2, p. 422, cited from the minutes of Bénigne Basset.
“Séguin, Vie Libertine vol. 2, p. 425, as quoted from the greffe of notary Aubert.