Who Are the Filles du roi?
Most Canadians are familiar with the King’s Daughters’/Filles du roi, especially those with French descent. If you aren’t familiar, they were some 700 women who arrived in the colony of New France (Canada) between 1663 and 1673, under the financial sponsorship of King Louis XIV of France. Most were single French women, many were orphans. Their transportation to Canada and settlement in the colony were paid for by the King. Some were given a royal gift of a dowry of 50 livres for their marriage to one of the many unmarried male colonists in Canada.
Colonization of New France
The first “settler” was brought to Quebec by Samuel de Champlain, the apothecary Louis Hébert and his family, of Paris. They came expressly to settle, stay in one place to make the New France settlement function. Waves of recruits came in response to the requests for men with specific skills, like farming, apothecaries, blacksmiths. As couples married, cash incentives to have large families were put in place and were effective.
To strengthen the colony and make it the centre of France’s colonial empire, Louis XIV decided to send single women, aged between 15 and 30 known as the King’s Daughters/Les Filles du Roi, to New France, paying for their passage and granting goods or money as a dowry. Approximately 700 arrived during 1663–1673. The King’s Daughters found husbands among the male settlers within a year or two, as well as a new life for themselves. They came of their own accord, many because they could not make a favourable marriage in the social hierarchy in France. By 1672, the population of New France had risen to 6,700, from 3,200 in 1663.
At the same time, marriages with the indigenous people was encouraged, and indentured servants, known as engagés, were also sent to New France.
The women played a major role in establishing family life, civil society, and enabling rapid growth. There was a high demand for children, for they contributed to the prosperity of the farm from an early age, and there was plenty of food for them. Women bore about 30% more children than comparable women who remained in France. Canadians had an exceptional diet for their time. This was due to the natural abundance of meat, fish, and pure water; the good food conservation conditions during the winter; and an adequate wheat supply in most years.
Besides household duties, some women participated in the fur trade, the major source of cash in New France. They worked at home alongside their husbands or fathers as merchants, clerks and provisioners. Some were widows who took over their husband’s roles. A handful were active entrepreneurs in their own right
I also want to take a moment to be clear, the indigenous peoples had been living on this territory for millennia. That is, well before the Vikings ventured so far East or the French “colonized” it, or the English took over. So, I don’t believe they discovered a new territory, the native people were here long beforehand. They colonized it made in their own in the name of the King of France.
Who is Jeanne-Claude Deboisandré?
I actually descend from several Filles du roi and Filles a marrier. However, today I am going to focus on Jeanne-Claude Boisandré (1644-1671) the daughter of Sieur Jacques Deboisandré the Ormelée and Mary de Vieuville.
When Jeanne Claude De Boisandré was born in about 1631 in Caen, Calvados, France, her father, Jacques, was 51, and her mother, Marie, was 46.
She married Pierre Rancourt in Saint- Jean, Caen, France. This IS the line from which I descend …
After the passing of her first husband, Pierre, on or about July 24, 1667, in Caen, Basse-Normandie, France, she became a widow, and as a Filles du roi made passage to Canada with her two sons to help settle the new colony of La Nouvelle France.
Photo: Arrival of the Filles du roi. A view of women coming to Quebec in 1667, in order to be married to the French-Canadian farmers. Talon and Laval are waiting for the arrival of the women (Watercolor by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale, 1871-1945. Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada, Acc. no 1996-371-1). LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA, ACC. NO 1996-371-1
Louis De La Chaise was the son of Louis and Marie De la Chaise George. Although he is the husband of my 7x GGM, I have a lot of respect for him. He chose to marry her even though she was widowed and had two children from her previous marriage. For a time, he provided them with shelter, a home and being cared for.
From the Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890:
Paroisse Notre Dame church record of the marriage between De La Chaise and Deboisandré
She married Jean Létourneau, son of David Létourneau and Sébastienne Guery January 15, 1668, in Ile d’Orleans, Québec shortly after De La Chaise died.
Most of the millions of people of French-Canadian descent today are descendants of one or more of these courageous women of the 17th century!
Jeanne Claude Deboisandré died on July 24, 1671, in Ste-Famille, Québec, when she was 41 years old.
Fast forward: as we all know, New France will lose the 7 years’ war to Britain and will fall, relaying power to the Brits, then commences the dawn of British North America and les Québequois will mark the event on their license plates “je me souviens”.
Jeanne- Claude Deboisandré+ Pierre Rancourt (7th Great Grand Parents)
Joseph Noel Rancourt + Marie Parent (6th Great Grand Parents)
Joseph was born in 1655 in Saint-Jean-de-Lizieux, Normandy, France and arrived in New France in 1685
He married Marie Parent, daughter of Pierre Parent and Jeanne Badeau on February 5, 1685, in Beauport, Capitale-Nationale, Québec, Canada.
He married Françoise Davaux , daughter of Charles Davaux and Marguerite Aubigny September 18, 1701, in La Visitation -de -Notre- Dame, Chateau- Richer, Capitale-Nationale.
He died March 21, 1719, at Notre-Dame, Québec. He was buried March 21, 1719, in Notre- Dame, Québec. |
Charles Francois Rancourt + Marie Françoise Duquet dit Durochers (5th Great Grand Parents)
Charles Alexandre Rancourt + Marie Josephe Montmigny (4th Great Grand Parents)
Charles BIRTH 15 JUL 1729 • Québec, Canada
Charles DEATH 26 MAR 1774 • St-Joseph De Beauce, Chaudière-Appalaches, Québec, Canada
Louis Rancourt + Emelie Terre (Thare/Therre) (3rd Great Grand Parents)
Louis was born on November 26, 1807, in Québec City, Québec
Louis died on March 25, 1847, in Calumet, Québec, when he was 39 years old.
Olive Rancourt + Patrick James Mullen (2nd Great Grand Parents)
PJ was born on 22 Dec 1825 in County Londonderry, Ireland, UK, his date of birth was taken from his death certificate.
His lineage has been particularly difficult to find information on. We know little about his parents; whom I have listed as Michael Mullen and either Nancy McGinnis or Mary McGanus according to the Pontiac Records.
He is said to have immigrated to Canada in 1861, per the census records.
It is family folklore that Patrick James left Ireland because he did not want to be a priest as his family wished. In Canada he became a schoolteacher (this is confirmed on the census’) and married Olive Rancourt on March 5, 1867. He is also my dad’s namesake – whose name is Patrick James Richards.
For more information on PJ Mullen see this blog here.
Angelina Mullen + Ambrose Richards (Great Grand Parents)
I understand from Chicky (Mary Rowlands) that Angelina’s mother died when she was quite young (I looked at the records, she was 8 years old) and she then lived with another family in Calumet (this may be, but I cannot find any proof of this because by the next census, her dad was a widower and living with the Lee Family). She knew that her father came from Ireland and that it had been intended that he would become a priest and that he was a schoolteacher. Other than these facts we know very little about PJ Mullen.
Benjamin Richards + Sarah Lee (Grand Parents)
Refer to my blogs on each of my grandparents – Grampa Benny’s WWII blog and The Lee Side of Me … about Gramma Sally’s side of the family from Yorkshire, England.
Patrick Richards + Mona Lamothe (Parents)
Patrick was born on Jan 15, 1954, in Témiscaming, Québec, Canada and passed away November 18, 2014, at his home in Témiscaming at the age of 60.
Mona was born on January 20, 1956, in Bonfield, Ontario, Canada.
Yet another interesting find and lineage in my genealogy search. I’m really loving ALL of the interesting things I’m finding out on my genealogy journey.
Genealogy is a fascinating and compelling activity that demands the same kind of persistence and deductive reasoning as detective work. Tracing ancestors is really about solving a series of mysteries. I wonder where my search will lead me next.
7 thoughts on “On Genealogy: Filles du roi – Descendant of Jeanne-Claude De Boisandré”
I am so happy to find your blog here and am grateful for the research you have organized.
I believe Jeanne Claude Deboisandre was my 9th GGM, Pierre Rancourt b 1630 was my 8th GGF, their son Joseph Pierre Noel Rancourt b 1655 was 7th GGF , his son Jean Francois b 1694 was my 6th GGF, his son Joseph b 1721 was my 5th GGF, His son Pierre b1774 was my 4th GGF, his son Louis b.1808 was my 3th GGF, His son Marcellin b 1842 was my 2rd GGF,, his son Charles b 1865 was my GGF, and Marie Delphine T. Grondin b.1865 gave birth to my Grandmother, Beatrice Rancourt b. 1900.
This is amazing! I truly am a descendant of Les Filles du Roi!
Anne Cowing Caradonna
Rancourt line is my Paternal Mother’s line. Vive la France!
Hi Anne, I am just seeing this now, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Looks like we are loooong related! Thanks for reading and commenting, I hope your search is going well 🙂
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Hi – Wow thank you for all of your work on looking this up. We are related – My great grandmother MaryAnn Mullen – parents were Olive Rancourt and PJ Mullen. My Mom spoke of Angelina. Again, I really appreciate all of your effort, this is fantastic. Are you now living in Ontario or Quebec.
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Hi Nancy, nice to meet you. Thank you for reaching out. It’s nice to hear from you. I’d love to hear more about what you know about PJ – I am having a hard time finding more about him and am trying to gather what I am able to build more on our ancestry. Are you able to share?
I think that you have more information than I… I’m happy to share what I know. I will also ask you to reach out to another cousin, Kim James Yarwood. I’ll tell him to message you here. Let me think back to what I was told by my mother. I’ll message you again.
I did email you back, please let me know if you do not receive it. Cheers! Tina