April 13, 1672, I, the undersigned, Nicolas Paquin, born and native of
the parish of La Potherie, near Fecamp, in Caux, land of Normandy,
living at present with Mr. Jean Balie, carpenter at Gremonville, confess
and recogpize being obligated and presently bind myself to serve, with
my trade of carpenter, François Deschamps, Lord of La Bouteillerie, for
three consecutive years in Canada, New France, where the Lord of La
Bouteillerie is established. Stipulating to the present contract is Jean
Deschamps, Lord of Landes, his father, residing at Gremonville in Caux.
Said contract on condition that the Lord of La Bouteillerie will give
me for each year, the sum of 150 pounds stipulated by the Lord, his
father, to pay me the said sum of 40 pounds in Canada, in advance on the
said sum of 150 pounds for the first year of my services and to
furnisht at his expense, all the tools necessary for my work and to
feedt bed and heat me during this time and pay for my passage from
France to said site in Canada and to return me from Canada to Francet if
I wish, without reduction in said sum; not completing these
conditions, the said contract cannot be made".
Signed : Nicolas PAQUIN
Nicolas arrived in this country in the summer of 1672 on the boat, St-Jean-Baptiste (probably); was three years in the service of the Lord of Rivière-Ouelle. No doubt he worked at his trade of carpenter.
Pasteur Paquin, Petite histoire des familles Paquin en Amérique, 1672-1976
Public register 1952 #231 to 233 (CF R.A.P. 1949-1951, page 246)
Before Claude Auber, Royal Notary of New France, and before the undersigned witnesses, on Monday, January 24, 1678, were present in person, Jean Moreau, said Lagrange, resident of the lie St-Laurent, Seigneury of Lirecq, who of his good, pure, truthful liberty and mind and without any constraints, has said, confessed and by these presents, avows and confesses haying, as of this day, sold, gave up, ceded, conveys and relinquishes, as of now and always, guarantees without any trouble or impediments whatever to Nicolas Paquin, master carpenter in this country, living on the site of Beaupré, on said spot of Château-Richer, that, pending and accepting for their heirs, and having cause in the future; that is to say, one farm, grant and abode, containing three acres in the front in the said seigneury on one side and passing to the north, belonging on one side to Marin Nourrice and on the said other side to the representatives of Osanny Nodo, living, said Lavigne, without making for the said seller, any concession of land or buildings, neither of which are sold in the said sale, and guaranteeing to the said seller the said farm, grant and abode, being held as cerfs and servant of the said Seigneury of Lirecq, and also charged towards the lords of this seigneury of the sum of 20 sols of seigneural rent for each acre of the front of the said concession on the north side, with the rent of each acre of the front, and, for all the said concession the number of two living capons, all payable on the day and the feast of St. Rémi, October 1st, on the place of the seigneury of the said Seigneury of Lirecq, or any other place that might be specified by the lords, with all other charges held by the said concession, land and buildings, the said seller, the said buyer, in all rights, names and reasons, carried by his contract of concession by him obtained from the Lord of Lauzon, heretofore lord of the said seigneury which he promises all and several times to place in the hands of the said acquirer. Finally, the present sale made to the cost and conditions above mentioned which shall be made, paid, acquitted for the future, by the said acquirer, as having been made and done by the previously mentioned, the said seller, and well done and on time, that there will not be and otherwise for and among the sum of 600 pounds Tours payable in three equal payments, i.e., the sum of 200 pounds Tours at the end of the month of April next, and for the other 200 pounds, making together the said sum of 600 pounds Tours, payable in one year of the first payment that will be the year 1681: All payable in good and valuable tickets and merchandise of this country, so that the total will be worth the full payment; the said seller promising to ratify the present sale and contract to Anne Couture, his wife, all and at the latest when the first payment shall be made. For this is how it was accorded between the said principal parties, made and passed in said lie St-Laurent, in the house of Jean Primeau, also a witness and of Michel Montambault also present, which the witnesses who, with the said acquirer, and myself, said notary, and signed below, signed at this precise minute, and have said that the said seller does not know how to write or sign.
Nicolas PAQUIN Jean PRIMEAU Michel MONTENBAU Auber, Notary
Note; This land on the chart of New France, in the parish of Sainte-Famille of the lie St-Laurent, carries the number, 11. On the actual chart, this land is situated on #2111 chemin Royal, being the last house of the Parish of Ste-Famille going towards the Parish of St-Pierre.
Pasteur Paquin, Petite histoire des familles Paquin en Amérique, 1672-1976
The following notes will throw some light on the life of Nicolas, his whereabouts and his sad death in Nouvelle France.
Hired by Jean Deschamps upon fulfilling an order given by François Deschamps, Seigneur (Lord) de la Bouteillerie, our ancestor Nicolas, equipped with his master carpenter's diploma arrives at Rivière-Ouelle in 1672 to participate in the construction of the manor. In 1862, this municipality celebrated the 300th anniversary of its foundation, an event well documented in a book written by Paul-Henri Hudon "Rivière-Ouelle 1672-1962". In 1972, our association was celebrating at Deschambault the 3rd centennial of Nicolas' arrival in Nouvelle-France.
Once his contract was terminated at Rivière-Ouelle in 1675, Nicolas decided to make his career in Nouvelle-France rather than returning to his small village of the Potherie in Normandy as stipulated in his contract. He finds work on Beaupré's hill while he probably lived at Château-Richer, since on the 3rd of july 1676, he serves as a witness on a land transaction involving the church fabric of Beauport. The Beauport church was under construction and construction ended the same year and it is most likely that Nicolas worked for this construction for it is said in the document that Nicolas was a master carpenter.
It's at Château-Richer that Nicolas met his bride to be, Marie-Françoise, daughter of Jean Plante and Françoise Boucher. The marriage contract was signed on October 20, 1676. On November 8, Reverent L.G. Brullon, a travelling missionary who was visiting the Notre-Dame de la Visitation parish of Château-Richer, blessed the marriage, the newlyweds, Nicolas and Françoise were respectively 28 and 22 years old.
The first child of the couple was christened in a parish of Beaupré's hill, but unfortunately no document was found due to the lack of a resident priest at Château-Richer.
In the early part of colonialism, it was said that to be useful to the community, each man had to acquire a piece of land and break it up for tillage. This is how Nicolas, in order to respect the custom, became a labourer after having purchased a piece of land from Jean Moreau on September 8 1678 and after having cleared all the trees and roots, etc. This land was located on the Island of Orléans in the parish of St-Famille. The land had a frontage of 3 acres stretching from the northern part of the island on the St-Lawrence river to approximately the center of the island. A house and several buildings were already in place.
Nicolas and Marie-Françoise raised 13 children and only 6, 2 sons and 4 daughters, got married. Of the seven others, 4 died at young age , namely Marie born on December 5, 1679 who died 6 days after, Gentien, born on April 26, 1683, died on the following May 6, Jean, born on August 23, 1686, died on October 9 1688 and Marguerite, born on January 3, 1698, died on January 10, 1699. Louis, born on April 30, 1693, died 10 years later on April 19 1703.
In 1702, Nicolas 11 is now 25 years old and decides to move away from the family and try his luck at Deschambault working for the Seigneur (Lord) François of Chavigny. Nicolas still has Antoine now 18 and Louis 9 years old to help him out. After having verbally allocated a piece of land to Nicolas 11, the Chavigny Seigneur (Lord) follows up with an official document from a notary Joseph Fleury de la Gorgendière acting for Jacques Fleury de Deschambault with written confirmation. A house is built and the same year, he marries Marie-Anne Perrot, daughter of Marie Chrétien and Jacques Perrot. Unfortunately, the marriage act was never found. The exact marriage date and location are unknown. Their first child Nicolas 111 was baptised at Cap-Santé on may 17, 1708.
Nicolas and his family went through a series of misfortune: Louis dies in 1703 at the age of 10 and Antoine drowns while swimming across the St-Lawrence river. This is just too much for Nicolas, now 54. He is alone to support his wife and 3 children. Jean is 3, Marie-Anne is 9 and Madeleine is 14 years old. Marie, helping the mother with the daily routine gets married to Jean-Baptiste Marcotte on June 12, 1708. She is 28 so we can understand why the new couple decides to live with Nicolas and Françoise. Nicolas worn out by hard work and griefs dies 5 months later, and is buried at the Sainte-Famille cemetery on December 17, 1708. Three years later, on July 23rd, two of his daughters Madeleine and Geneviève married at Sainte-Famille, Jacques Perrot and Jean-François Naud. Both couples decided to go and live at Deschambault. Marie-Anne, now 16 years old, visits her 2 sisters very often and this is how she met Pierre Groleau and got married at Deschambault in 1720.
One more left, Jean-Baptiste born in 1701. No one knows exactly when he came to Deschambault, but he was around in 1721 when he witnessed a marriage contract between his brother Nicolas 111 and his second wife Marie Thérèse Groleau. Jean-Baptiste also got married at Deschambault in 1720. In 1726, Nicolas? widow, Marie-Françoise Plante died in mid April on the farm at l'Île d'Orléans. Jean-Baptiste, the last survivor still living at the farm with the Marcotte family, make frequent trips to Deschambault at his brother place Nicolas and at his sisters Madeleine Perrot and Geneviève Naud. He made up his mind to leave the farm and he moved to Deschambault and married Marguerite Chapelain, daughter of Joseph Chapelain, holder of the title fief of Lachevrotière. Jean-Baptiste and Marguerite only had one son called Joseph, given the nickname "Fichon" who continued the family line.
All the events that marked Nicolas' family make us understand why Deschambault became the cradle of the Paquin family in America.
November 18, 1676, after the betrothal and the publication of three
marriage bans between Nicolas Paquin of the Parish of La Potherie,
Diocese of Rouen, and of Marie Plante, daughter of Jean Plante and
Françoise Boucher, his wife, of the Parish of Château-Richer, having
found no impediments, I, the undersigned, missionary of said Côte de
Beaupré, engaged them the 17th of said month, and Mr. Fillon, missionary
of said locality, married them and gave them the nuptial blessing in
the church of Our Lady of Château-Richer, according to the prescribed
form of the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church, in the presence of
Lord Auber, nobleman of said locality, of Dupré, tailor, and Guillaume
Boucher, residents of the parish.
L. G. BRULLON, Missionary Priest
After his wedding, Nicolas Paquin meant to settle on a piece of land located on Île d'Orléans. This is exactly what he did by purchasing a piece of land owned by Jean Moreau.
Pasteur Paquin, Petite histoire des familles Paquin en Amérique, 1672-1976
Paul Vachon, Royal Notary, in New France, record keeper of the King,
our Sire, and for the rights of the Lords of Beaupré, Isle and County of
St. Lawrence, Beauport and Our Lady of the Angels and below signed
witnesses, were present in their persons, Lord Jean Plante and Françoise
Boucher, his wife, said wife of her husband authorized for the purpose
of those present, inhabitants of the parish of Notre Dame of the
Visitation of Château-Richer, and in the name of and stipulating in the
part of Marie-Françoise Plante, their daughter, to those present and of
her wish, on one side, and Nicolas Paquin, master carpenter, son of Jean
Paquin and Renée Fremont, his father and mother, of the parish of La
Potherie, in the Province of Normandy, and the Archdiocese of Rouen, for
him and in his name, on the other side; which parties, of their good
faith and will in the presence of and of the consent of their parents
and friends, for this, assembly of one part and other, know on the part
of Lord Jean Plante, of the said Marie-Françoise Boucher, his wife and
of the said Marie-Françoise Plante, their daughter, of Perrine Mallet,
widow of the dead Marin Boucher, grandmother of said Marie-Françoise
Plante, of Claude, Jacques, Georges and Jean Plante, brothers of said
Marie-Françoise Plante, all children of said Jean Plante and said
Françoise Boucher, his wife, of Charles Godin and of Marie Boucher, of
William Boucher and of Jeanne Marguerite Thibault, his wife, of Louis
Marin Boucher, Lord of Boisbuisson, legal land surveyor in this country,
of Pierre Boucher and Marie St-Denis, his wife, all maternal uncles and
aunts of said Marie-Françoise Plante, and of the side of said Nicolas
Paquin, of Lord Claude Auber, Provost Judge of Beaupré, Isle and County
of St. Lawrence, of Antoine Veillon, said Dugué (Dupré?) master tailor,
relatives and friends of said Paquin.
Recognizing and confessing having completed the treaties and promises of marriage which follow: that is to say, the said Lord Jean Plante, Françoise Boucher, his wife, having promised and promise to give and bail (give, place in hands) the said Marie-Françoise, their daughter, by law and name of marriage to said Nicolas Paquin, who promises to take her as his wife and legitimate spouse, as has also the said girl promised and promises to take as her husband and legitimate spouse and the said marriage to be held and solemnized in the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church, the sooner it can be done and that it will be advised and deliberated between them, their said parents and friends, if God and our Mother the Holy Church consents and accords it, to be one and common, in all furniture possessed or to be possessed, in all real estate acquired or to be acquired, according to the custom of the Provost of Paris. The future couple will not be held liable to the debts and mortgages, one from the other, made or created before the solemnizing of their marriage. If there are found any, they will be paid and dismissed by the one who will have made and created them.
On the goods, in favor of the future marriage and to achieve it, the said Jean Plante and said Boucher, his wife, have promised and promise and oblige themselves to give to their daughter, the sum of 200 pounds and one milking cow, and to give and pay, to wit, the said cow, on the eve of their wedding and nuptial blessings; as well as a suit according to their condition, which will be amicably estimated between their relatives and friends, which said suit will be subtracted from the said sum of 200 pounds tours (royal money minted on the model of Tours). The rest of said sum of 200 pounds tours will be paid according to the following manner, to wit, the sum of 50 pounds each year, beginning the first payment on the same date next year and so on continuing year to year until a full payment of the said sum of 200 pounds is made; the total being an advance of inheritance.
According to the custom, the future spouse would be assured of having goods, in case she survived, to take the best and most apparent goods of the said future spouse, or else if it pleased the latter, have 500 pounds tours. The principal (advantage that the testator, that is to say, Jean Plante and Marie-Françoise Boucher, gives to one of the co-inheritors, without hindering his rights on the division of the rest) will be reciprocal between the future spouses. This principal will consist of 200 pounds tours.
In case of a dissolving of said arrangement, the future spouse will be able to renounce this 200 pounds tours, and by renouncing it, she will take what she will have brought with her said future spouse, her goods in case of her survival, the principal as mentioned above, and all that she will get and give by succession, donation or otherwise during said marriage. She will retake all and without any obligation, without paying a single debt on their arrangement, even if she were obliged or ordered. In favor and with regards of the said future marriage, the future spouses by their presents, irrevocable gifts, of their life, give to the survivor between them, of all and of each of the household goods, of rents, lands and other estates whatever which belongs to them at the time. They also give to each other their acquired goods, and even all those which could be theirs or belonged in the future. They give each other all the goods that they could acquire during their lifetime whatever be the manner or the sort, without reserving any nor withholding in some place where they will be living. The survivor will enjoy all and as if he owned it always, provided that on the date of the dissolving of said marriage, there will be no living or future child of theirs. They will legally have this contract recorded in four months, beginning from this day according to the order of the authority. This is how all o^ this has been decided between the said parties, and their relatives and friends. They have promised, they have obligated themselves by right and by law, they have renounced all other dispositions. They have made and passed this present contract in the house of the said Lord Jean Plante and of his said wife at Château-Richer, this 20th day of October, 1676, in the presence of the following named relatives and friends of Lord Félix Auber who witnesses with the future spouse and notary as signed:
||J. Jean Plante
||P. Vachon, notaire Royal
Nicolas Paquin and his wife. Marie Plante, practiced charity in their parish of Ste-Famille, and moreover, their situation as owners of the farm gave them more of an advantage.
All during his life. Nicolas Paquin lived peacefully, if we judge by the fact that he never had to appear before the judges. In the "Judgements and Deliberations of the Sovereign Council of New France" we do not see his name; while many others. here and there. had to end up before the Assembled Council, where they inflicted fines on the delinquents for all kinds of misdemeanors.
On the contrary. Nicolas Paquin and Marie-Françoise Plante, knew, by their devotion and their charity, how to gain the esteem and confidence of their fellow townsmen. Let us look at them in the service of the poor of the parish.
1688, by the decision of the Sovereign Council of New France, some
departments were established in each of the Cities of Québec. Montréal
According to the new orders, each office should be composed of the pastor, charged with finding the needy and unfortunate; of one director, to whom those in need would come to and who would find work for those who could work; of a treasurer, who received the monies destined for the poor; of a secretary, who kept the records of all the transactions.
The secretary would choose two women to beg, each at her turn, each month or even sooner, in all the houses of the parishes. These begging ladies had instructions to ask without insisting. Each was free to give as much as he wished. . The Bureau of the Poor would class its recipients; only the real needy would be helped.
The Sovereign Council took care of the poor on the farms in the Some Poor Bureaus could also be established in rural parishes.
There, the pastor and two inhabitants were named directors by the parishioners at the end of the High Mass. These directors had the same powers as those in the city... The Lord, if he lived in the seigneury, was called to the meeting of the Poor Bureau of his parish and he had a say in the matter.
The directors could force the poor still in good health to work and, before helping the needy families, they were obliged to place the children in the care of someone. In each case, they questioned everything about the habits and the private life of the poor that they were called on to help.
As we see it, our St. Vincent of Paul Society is modeled, in a large part of their constitution, on the Poor Bureaus. These also existed in France since the 16th century.
We have before us a part of the deliberations or minutes of the meetings of the Poor Bureaus which were established at Ste-Famille of the Ile d'Orléans in 1698.
The article begins thus: "On this day, March 27, 1698, Reverend Father LeBlanc of the Society of Jesus sent by the Monsignor of Quebec to preach and to begin the establishment of the Bureau of the Poor in this said parish according to the rules of April 8, 1688, renewed February 22,1698, having gathered, after his sermon, at the end of the High Mass, the largest number of the inhabitants; in addition to the directors are Father François Lamy, pastor of said parish, Mr. Louis de Niort, Lord of La Noraye, who were elected by voice vote, Nicolas Catrin as secretary, Nico1as Paquin as Director of the Beggars and Jacques Bilodeau as Receiving Director.?
At the reunion of April 1, 1698, the Bureau of the Poor chose Marie Aubert, wife of Jean Pre~ont; Marie Plante, wife of Nicolas Paquin; Marie Loignon, wife of Nicolas Drouin and Marie Le Houx, widow of Joseph Renaud, to collect the alms of the parish for the poor. We see in the minutes of April 25th following that these ladies collected eighteen bushels of wheat.
On April 17, 1699, the parishioners elect Robert Gaulin as secretarial Director, Gervais Rochon as Receiving Director and Nicolas Drouin as Director of the Beggars, replacing Nicolas Catrin, Nicolas Paquin and Jacques Bilodeau whose terms of office had expired.
How long did the Bureau of the Poor exist in Ste-Famille? We don't know. All we can say is that under the French rule, our parishes took care of their poor. And as today, the inhabitants of the Ile d'Orléans do not leave anyone in need. The reputation of the brave helpers has never diminished on this point.
(See: Bulletins of Historic Researches, Year 1927, page 576) Pierre-Georges ROY.