Villeneuve Family Tree
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History of Mathurin Villeneuve

Mathurin before Quebec city

The register for the year 1665 of the notary Pierre Teuleron contains 73 engagement contracts specifying embarkation on the ship "Cat of Hollande". Those contracts were taken by Mister Debien and published in the "La revue d'Amerique francaise". The name of Mathurin appears on one of the contracts signed on 31 Mar 1665.

The Cat of Holland is a ship of 200 barrels belonging to Albert Cornelis Kadt. Armed by Alexandre Petit, it lay up from La Rochelle at the end of April 1665, under the command of Charles Babin. After a stop at the port of call of Dieppe, it stops in Gaspe. Soldiers from the Antilles, on the Le Breze, under the command of Mister de Tracy, embark on boarding order to rally Quebec and join the troops of the Regiment de Carignan, The Cat of Holland arrives in Quebec on June 18, 1665.

Mathurin's life in Quebec city

Mathurin arrived in Quebec City on June 18, 1665, at the age of 19. On the Beauport census, Mathurin is registered as a barrel maker at Simon Denis. In 1667, Mathurin is 25 years old, still at Simon Denis. Before being given land of his own. He had to show proof of his good conduct and ability to work the land by being trained at a Colonist, older than he was. At the farm, located near Quebec, on the Notre-Dame des Anges Hill, in the part which later would be called Charlesbourg, he did his apprenticeship of the forest and the Canadian soil, he handled the ax to cut trees and burrowed the virgin soil. The owner of this land was Sieur de la Triniti and the most important of the new France in that period because it consisted of more than 100 acres. Saint-Denis, Sieur de la Triniti, Squire counsellor at the supreme council of Quebec, was owned by the French Nobility from Tours and established in 1650 at Beauport. Widowed by Jeanne Du Breuil, he married, Francoise Dutartre, in a second marriage. Many children were born from these two marriages.

In the 1666 Census, we find Mathurin Villeneuve attached to the family of Simon Denys de la Triniti. His profession is mentioned as being that of a barrel maker that he had probably acquired from his Rhitaise childhood, paired with that of farming. In the 1667 Census we find him still working on this land. Three other young men lived in Simon Denys' house to get initiated, like him to the clearing of land for tillage. They were, 25 year old Francois Meunier of Bourgogne, Robert Laporte 30 years old and Jean Rasset, 22 years old from Rouen. In the surroundings of Sieur de la Triniti and consequently Mathurin Villeneuve, arrived Lille who also bore the title of Sieur Descormier who married Rinie Desportes in 1664, a fellow-countrywoman of the young Villeneuve who came like him from Ile-du-Ri, in the parish of St-Etienne D'Ars. Let us mention also the Lemarchi family, Sieurs des Roches, with three children, the oldest being Marguerite aged 10 years old in 1667 who will become the future wife of Mathurin Villeneuve.

Consequently, Mathurin will not stay forever at le Sieur de la Triniti. The farmer, Jean Lemarchi, being the next door neighbor, made Mathurin an offer that pleased him on August 18, 1668. In front of the notary Gilles Rajeot, in Quebec, where he pledges to work for a year at Jean Lemarchi.

The Lemarchi family, must have thought that Mathurin was a brave man, because less than two years after working for the Lemarchi family, he was offered Marguerite Lemarchi in marriage, who at the time, was not twelve years old. Marguerite's mother, Catherine Hurault had also married young, only 14 years old, with Jean Lemarchi on the 18th of October 1654. Consequently, on July 30, 1670, there was a big reunion of parents and friends in Jean Lemarchi's home. The subject was serious because Maitre le Vachon would write a marriage contract. At this reunion, we find Jean Lemarchi and his wife Catherine Hurault, Pierre Chalat, who was the butcher in Quebec, his wife Marie Bonin, also, Jean LeNormand from Quebec and Jean Tiberge from Charlesbourg. They are Marguerite and Mathurin's witnesses. The Vachon notary also lists the names of the known Maitre Arrivi de Lille, Robert Laporte and Jean Rasset. Here is an interesting clause of this marriage contract "In favor of the said marriage, the father and mother of the said wife will give her a dowry of furnitures, buildings of the amount of one thousand treasure pounds that consist in farm land, house, barn, animals and other furniture". We can also read "that the said parties have convened that the said Mathurin Villeneuve and his future bride Marguerite Lemarchi will live with her parents (Jean and Catherine) for three consecutive years". The little bride was so young, she had to approve this arrangement that permitted her to initiate herself to her tasks under the guidance of her mother. It must have went well, because a mention was added in the contract.

Mathurin acknowledged before two witnesses on January 3, 1672 to have received from his father-in-law the amount of 500 tournois. The marriage ceremony was celebrated four months later, on November 26, 1670. They probably waited for the young bride to reach her 12th birthday. It is M. Henri de Berniere who gave them the nuptial benediction in the Notre-Dame Parish in Quebec. Having lived three years with his in-laws, we find Mathurin again at the Notary (Paul Vachon) on June 23, 1672 but this time for land that he bought from the Pere Jesuites. On the notarised contract, we read "3 front acres on the road from Quebec to Charlesbourg, bound on one side by the concession of Nicolas Denis and other sides of the land of the village of St-Hierosine said la Petite Auvergne on one side of the large road of Charlesbourg and the other end to the land conceded, said Gros-Pin". It seemed customary in that period that neighbors and friends helped with the construction of buildings and houses as was the case for Mathurin on the construction of his house before the winter of 1672/73. A very solid house build with strong Canadian wood who will house the couple with their future children.