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Archive | Here to Stay: everyday Franco-North-American history

Here to Stay is a history of my seventeenth-century Canadian ancestors. The men and women who came to New France were heroes who struggled mightily to establish a civil society. This book portrays their lives, the lives of the common people in Franco-North-American history who were my ancestors.

How the story began

I did not intend to write a Canadian history when I set out one Wednesday evening in 1996 to learn about my French ancestors in Québec which was then called Canada—Canada being one of the two  colonies of New France at that time.

That evening was a great success, and I was able to follow my Ledoux line thirteen generations back to Louis Ledoux who first appears in May 1668 in a record of confirmands at Fort St-Louis in what is now the town of Chambly.

Well, if I could fill out my paternal line so easily then perhaps I could do the same with my mother’s! Again success when I discovered Barthélémi Verreault landing in Montréal in November 1662.

What followed this sort of success were three years of Wednesday evenings as I recorded some 6000 of the possible 8,000 ancestors in the 13th generation behind me.

A book of Franco-North-American history is born

My genealogical research was satisfying but still there was something missing to my understanding of who my ancestors might have been—beyond names and dates and legal contracts. I read dozens of books both in French and English to create a deep appreciation of life in New France in the seventeenth century.

At one point, being the writer that I am, it was natural for me to write a book.

Here to Stay was born.

In conclusion

These posts below will interest anyone interested in Franco-North-American history.

I also hope that they will help genealogists to do more than record names and dates. Over time, I have learned that memoirists may be genealogists—myself being a case in point— but the reverse is rare that genealogist become memoirists. I hope these excerpts and eventually my book will show genealogist how to embed facts into interesting stories.

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Marriage in New France: Barthélémi and Marthe Wed

As was the custom in the colony, the wedding was set for a date soon after the contract signing. These were exceptional times. Winter was just three months away, and if Barthélémi and Marthe were to survive the long, cold months at the new farm in Chateau-Richer, there was much to be done. Until she […]

Louis Ledoux and Marie Valiquet Marry

During his first decade in Canada, Louis did not marry. While his friend Adrien Sénécal was growing a family, Louis remained single, paying (one presumes) the bachelor tax. In the early 1670s, Louis moved from one settlement to another, but, by the end of the decade, he had become an habitant in Varennes where he […]

A “Fille du Roi” Enters into a Marriage Contract

It is unlikely that either Barthélémy Verreault or Marthe Quittel, my maternal ancestors, came to their marriage with an expectation of romance. Marriage was a state of life, a way of surviving, of producing children who could take care of you in your old age. So much the better if the proposed partner was attractive […]

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