Some time ago I had posted what I knew about my ancester Gabriel Roger. Since then, I found some new facts. So here is a corrected version.
Gabriel Roger 1639-1699
Gabriel Roger, son of René Roger and Jeanne Augeard was born in 1639 at Bourg des Stes-Vierges, district of Bressuire, bishopric of Poitiers, in the Poitou region in France. The exact date of his arrival in New-France (Nouvelle-France) is not known to me yet. His name is mentioned for the first time in Château-Richer, Île d’Orléans, on July 15th 1665. Château-Richer is a small village on the North bank of the St-Lawrence river in front of the Orleans Island (Île d’Orléans). He would then have been 26 years old and probably had engaged himself to come to work on a farm for 36 months as it was common. After those 3 years, the men could apply to get a land for themselves and start a family.
So, in 1667, (June 2nd from the notary Vachon records) he received as a "concession" from bishop Laval (Mgr de Laval), a three arpents (an arpent was approx. one acre) piece of land at St-John, Orleans Isl. (Saint-Jean de l’Île d’Orléans); Saint-Jean was one of the five parishes on the island. (1) This "concession" consisted of the land parcel number 21, cadastral plots #41 et 42. This land was located between the lands of Jean Brochu-Lafontaine and of Jacques Bidet-Desrouselles. Although they could keep the land forever and sell it, it was still a feudal system in which they had to pay to the feudal lord, bishop Laval, a percentage of their production and had various other obligations but they could get the land for "free".
(1) Besides St-Jean (St-John), the other parishes on the Orleans Island where documents were registered in relation with the Roger family are Ste-Famille, St-François and St-Jean-Baptiste.
On Oct. 30th 1669, in Quebec City (Québec) (parish Notre-Dame), he married Marie De LaCour also know as La Comète (nickname: The Comet ! This nickname or said name is intriguing and I have done some research to find that around that time the passage of a comet which could be observed from that part of the world has been reported in the colony). She was the daughter of Guillaume De LaCour, master carpenter, and of Marie Birra from the Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois parish in Paris. Marie De LaCour had arrived in Québec the same year (1669) and was one of those called the "King’s daughters" (Filles du roi). She brought with her 400 ? (denomination illegible) of goods or personal valuables and 50 "livres" (or "pounds", the French curency of the time) as the King’s dowry and could sign her name, as opposed to Gabriel who couldn’t.
The "King’s daughters" (Filles du roi) were young women recruited to come to New France to get married and help increase the population which lacked women. They were mostly from orphanages and poor families. The King of France will then give them a small dowry to encourage them to come here. In those days, a woman without a dowry could hardly get married and would most likely end up as a servant. Between 1663 and 1672, about 750 of these "filles du roi" came to the colony and would get married within days or weeks of their arrival which was quite an event for the settlers looking for a wife.
On the marriage certificate, registered in Notre-Dame of Québec, Gabriel Roger is presented as from Ste-Famille, Île d’Orléans (his origins in France are also mentioned). As for Marie De LaCour, only her French origins are mentioned suggesting that she has just arrived. Witnesses for the marriage act, besides Henri Debernières, priest resident of St-Augustin, were Jacques Decailhaut De la Tesserie, Charles Amiot, Nicolas Durand and Jacques Duret. There is also a marriage contract registered with notary Becquet, Oct. 14, 1669. I have a photocopy of this contract but have been able to decipher only a fraction of it so far.
Jean-Baptiste (Jeanne), the first child of the couple was born on Sep.6th 1670. The Baptism Act, registered in Quebec City is dated Sep.7thand mentions the Intendant Jean-Baptiste Talon as the godfather. The Intendant Talon was the most prominent figure in the administration of the colony at the time. On the Guardianship Act of Nov.15th 1687 (Notary Étienne Jacob), Jean-Baptiste is said to be 17 years old. Jeanne who, according to some documents would have been born in 1670 but does not appear elsewhere shoud be regarded as an error of transcription or interpretation for Jean-Baptiste.
Then a second boy, named Gabriel (II) like his father, was baptized on April 23rd 1672 in Ste-Famille. He had for his godfather Nicolas Durand and for godmother Nicole Saulnier, wife of Jean Brochu, their neighbors.
Then came Nicolas, baptized on Nov. 27th 1674 (godfather: Nicolas ?, Jean Bardet, Jean Pauluz.
The fourth child, Joseph, was born on April 29th 1676 and baptized on May 1st . Godfather: M..., godmother: Élisabeth Denion, wife of Jean Lehoux.
Then the last-born, Louis, baptized on Oct. 9th 1677. Jean-Baptiste, Nicolas and Louis seem to have disapear after 1687 when they are mentionned on the Guardianship Act and before the census of 1699. A list of Confirmation registered in Quebec and dated Apr.4th 1684 includes Nicolas and Joseph Roger who would have then been 8 and 6 years old which is the proper age for this Catholic ceremony.
I find the listings of godfathers and godmothers interesting as most of these new immigrants had left their relatives behind on the old continent and would recreate a "family" from friendship and the necessity to support each other. For example Jean Brochu had received his land next to Gabriel around the same time. They both had to clear it and build a house and get ready to both marry King’s daughters within two days intervals. Their new wives must have made the journey across the Atlantic on the same boat before they would get married to these two neighbors that they had never seen before and then start families simultaneously. In fact, in each parish there were dozens of very new families that just started within a few weeks following the arrivals of those ships loaded with women. This must have strongly marked the life of the colony for the 10 to 15 years that this system lasted.
Marie De LaCour disappears between the birth of Louis in 1677 and the census of 1681 four years later where she doesn’t appear. In 1681, her eldest child, Jean-Baptiste, would have been 11 and the youngest, Louis, 4. It is also possible that she would have die in giving birth to Louis, which was not so uncommon then.
On this 1681 census, it is mentionned that Gabriel (I) is 40 years old and has 20 arpents in value. ("En valeur" is in opposition to a land in "standing wood" (en bois debout) since the lands were originally forests that needed to be cleared for cultivation, Jean-Baptiste (Jeanne) is 11, Gabriel 8, Nicolas 6, Joseph 4 and Louis 3 years old. It is on this census that the writer seems to have written Jeanne instead of Jean-Baptiste and this mistake has been transcripted to the genealogy dictionaries but the birth Act and especially the Guardianship Act which is about the children, is clear about their identity. On this Act registered on Nov.15th 1687 by Notary Étienne Jacob (#72 and 72½), 2 days before Gabriel will re-marry, there are 5 male children alive and minor: Jean-Baptiste, 17, Gabriel,16, Nicolas, 13, Joseph, 12 and Louis, 10.
Gabriel buys from Gervais Rocheron the parcel #22 located between those of Jacques Bidet-des-Rousselles and of Louis Therrien. This land will eventually goes to his son Joseph (II) in 1709.
On Nov. 17th 1687, Gabriel Roger (I), 48,re-marries to Marie-Louise Bolper (or Beaurepère), 35, daughter of Gilles B. and of Nicole Lechef du Pont-Tranchefêtu, bishopric of Chartres, Orléanais and widow of François Marceau. The marriage is registered in St-François, l’Île d’Orléans. They will not have children together but Marie-Louise will bring with her the daughters from her previous marriage. Also, the Guardianship Act suggests that the Roger brothers might have move out. Nevertheless, seven years later, Joseph will marry two of the Marceau sisters!
Gabriel Roger (I) died on July 24, 1699 at 60 (burial act dated 25th, St-Jean parish; present were: René Cochon said Lauverdière and Gabriel Thibierge); I have also found a Gabriel Roger, age 60, from the Island, on a list of patients of the Hotel-Dieu hospital in Quebec, dated May 2nd 1699.
We find the inventory of his estate with notary Jacob son, dated Nov.5th 1699. On Aug. 2nd 1702, notary Chambalon, shares between Gabriel Roger son (II), surgeon (in other texts he appears as merchant) from La Rochelle, France, visiting in Québec, and Joseph Roger his brother, each one inheriting for a clear half, by the death of Louis, Jean and Nicolas their other brothers. So Gabriel (II) the eldest son, born in the New World, chose to go live in France while Joseph, his only surviving brother remained here to continue on the family land and is, therefore our first ancestor to be born here.
Two years later, on Feb.3rd 1701, Marie Louise Bolper, 53, re- marries in Ste-Famille to Antoine Olivier Quiniart.
In 1707 (notary Chambalon), Gabriel (II) surgeon from La Rochelle, sells to Jean-Baptiste Fortier the 3 arpents parcel that he had inherited. Feb. 18 th. 1710 (notary Chambolon) sale of a land (#30 ?, for 460 pounds (livres), by Sr Gabriel Roger (II), merchant from La Rochelle, creditor and sole legatee of the late Joseph Blay (born in 1678) from St-Jean, Île d’Orléans, by his will, received by Hirnoix, notary in La Rochelle, July 3 rd. 1705 to Joseph Allaire.
La Rochelle, France, was the main port to the New France in the 17th century. I have visited this old harbor town some time ago and could still find some Roger families in the local phone directory.
A few years ago, I also visited the Orleans Island and stopped at their genealogy center. The Orleans Isl. is often seen as the cradle of the New France and a large proportion of the French Canadian families find their roots there, so they have set a small genealogy center to help the visitors looking for their ancestors places. They had an old map there at their counter on which I could see a place identified as the "ruins of Gabriel Roger’s barn". With the help of a local historian, I could find the original land of Gabriel Roger. The original house does not exist anymore, which would have been quite extraordinary but the current owners were kind enough to welcome me to visit the place. When I talked about the ruins of a barn, the owner took me right there. He said that he had always avoided the mound as he had been plowing around it without really knowing what it had been. So it is still there, the stone foundations of a small barn built by Gabriel Roger near a little stream, around 1670. This current owner was originally from the US and had married a woman from Quebec City and they had settled there to cultivate that piece of land of our ancestors.