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"Aurore: My Franco-American Mother," by Marguerite Roy

An Extraordinary Woman in an Ordinary World

It was inevitable that I should write Aurore: My Franco-American Mother. From early childhood, I enjoyed my mother’s stories, visualizing the scenes as she talked about her family and the past. During my teen years, I thought my mother talked too much, repeating the same stories over and over again. Whenever she was on the […]

Albert is still gone

Albert Leaves for War, and I Go Back Home

The following is an excerpt from We Were not Spoiled by Lucille Ledoux as told to Denis Ledoux. The trip to Syracuse We left our wedding guests at 1:30 for the train trip to Albert’s base in Syracuse, N.Y. Since it was still summer and the sun was out late, we saw much beautiful country […]

Robert and me with our parents summer 1923

Uncle Pitou’s Migration to the US and Robert Is Born at Home

Not too long after I was born, my uncle Pitou Lessard (his name was really Lionel) undertook his own migration to the US from Canada, looking for work. Of course, he moved in with us. Today, people would say the apartment on Howe Street in Lewiston was too small to take in another adult, but […]

Jefferson Street, Lewiston, Maine

My Aunt Blanche, My Favorite Canadian Immigrant

During these years, Aunt Blanche Lessard lived with us. When she was in her early twenties, while we were still on Shawmut Street, she had come down as a Canadian immigrant, looking for employment and had moved with us to Jefferson Street. In Lewiston, she apprenticed as a hairdresser with a Canadian woman and eventually […]

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The Life of a Fille du Roi After She Settles into New France

The Life of a Fille du Roi after she marries

This is the story of the life of a fille du roi, of one of my first female ancestors in Canada. For more stories about Marthe Quittel, click on the tag words Marthe Quittel and Franco-American women.

French sail ships generally used the north channel of the Saint Lawrence there where the Ile d’Orléans splits the river. Newly-married and living in Chateau Richer, Marthe had a good view of the river and had perhaps seen the St-Jean-Baptiste sailing up the Saint Lawrence towards Québec on the second of October bearing 82 more women to be married and 130 engagés.[1] Some of these people would become her neighbors and friends in Chateau Richer. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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A Fille du Roi Marries

This story is taken from Here to Stay, a history of my 17th century ancestors. A fille du roi was a ward of the state sent to New France to marry. September 22 fell on a Tuesday, a good as any day for a wedding.

Memoir telling stories

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 […]