Jean De La Voye
Jean De La Voye was the son of Pierre De La Voye and Jacquette Grinon, and was born in the town of Aytré, near La Rochelle, province of Aunis, France. He was probably born in 1654 as he was baptised on the 2nd of April 1654 in the church of St-Etienne, Aytre, Aunis, France. The godfather was the honorable Sir Jean de Lafargne, who signed, along with the godmother, Dominique Marot. That information can be found on the Aytré website. He arrived in New France with his parents most likely in 1666. His parents had sold a parcel of land on the 12th October 1666 to Captain Pierre Jasmin, captain of the "Moulin D'Or" whose ship was anchored in Quebec harbor. His activities in New France shortly after his arrival are a bit nebulous due to a lack of official documents concerning him.
He seems to be absent from the 1667 census, since he isn't mentionned as being with his father and sisters Marie and Olive. Perhaps he was with his father but was left out of the census inadvertantly, or he may have been residing elsewhere as hired help and been mentionned only by his first name.
In the "Recensement Annoté" of 1681 by André Lafontaine, we notice 2 servants living with Jacques Samson, the seignior of Lauzon: Olive, 17 years of age, and Jean, 24…. Perhaps brother and sister, children of Pierre and Jacquette Grinon … It's a lead that must be pursued.
Concerning his military carreer, Jetté mentions that Jean is part of the Quebec garrison on the 4th October 1684 and on the 14 February 1685, as well as being of the Chambly garrison in 1690. This needs to be looked at a little closer because in his marriage contract dated 3rd September 1690, we read : "Jean de La Voye, soldier in the chateau's garrison of this city (Quebec) and resident of the seigniory of Maure". In his marriage act dated 28th November 1690, we read "Jean de La Voye, soldier in the garrison at fort St-Louis in Quebec". Which throws some doubt as to whether or not he was at Fort Chambly in 1690. It's possible that someone confused the chateau St-Louis in Quebec city with fort St-Louis, the former name of fort Chambly. Or it may be that his presence at fort Chambly was short lived, that is for a few short weeks or months. The question is, how did he become a soldier in the first place, since he was the son of a peasant?
In 1670, shortly before their departure from the colony in 1672, Governor M. de Courcelle and intendant Jean Talon passed an ordinance regarding compulsory military service. Each family had to "volonteer their first born son for the service of the state". Jean de La Voye, and many more, may have embraced a military career following this government decision. The ordinance was probably justified because the Carignan regiment had officially returned to France. This was the beginning of a Canadian militia, which military was alone in defending the colony. Let's not forget however that more than 400 soldiers once part of the Carignan regiment will trade their arms for plows and farm equipment and become settlers after their demobilization.
Getting back to Jean, we find him on the 15th January 1680 at the church of Notre-Dame in Quebec city, in the company of Vincent Beaumont, Francois Dupuys and Jean Janvier, witnesses to the marriage of Jean Laurent and Marie-Madeleine LeChardon. A few years later, on the 15th February 1685, he will be godfather at the baptism of Jean-Baptiste Laurent their son. On the 4th October 1684, he is a witness at the marriage of Francois Guilmeau and Madeleine Dupont, where he is identified as soldier of the garrison. In 1686, the 14th May, he serves as witness to the marriage of Nicolas Langard and Madeleine Briau Nicolas being a neighbour of his father in the seigniory of Maure (1681 census). With Madeleine Briau and Nicolas Langard, he witnesses the baptism of Madeleine Renault, daughter of Antoine Renault and Francoise Duval, the 5th February 1687, in Notre-Dame de Quebec. On the 25th March 1689, he will be godfather to his nephew, Pierre, son of Pierre Grenon and Marie Lavoye his sister. As you can see, Jean very involved socially in the community.
Jean de La Voye joins his destiny to that of Barbe L'Homme, daughter of the late Michel L'Homme and Marie Valade (who is by then remarried to Jacques LeMeilleur). The signing of the contract is made in the presence of notary Genaple, on the 3rd September, and the religious ceremony is performed in the church of St-Francois-de-Sales in Neuville, the 28 November 1690. In this marriage contract, we read the "the said LeMeilleur and his wife promise to feed, lodge, and keep warm in their home the said future couple Jean and Barbe, for a period of six months starting on the day of their marriage…. To build them a log home, twenty feet long by sixteen wide .. on the shores of the river…". We see that Barbe's parents were very generous in offering them help at the beginning of their marriage. In addition to the usual dowry of 300 £ being assured by the husband and wife so that she may enjoy it fully in case of survival, we also find a mutual donation which the couple make to one another as a sign of their true marriage commitment. Their first child will be born in 1691.
On the 22nd April 1692, Jean de La Voye finds himself at notary Chamballon regarding the purchase of a property. He buys from Mathieu de Lino, a merchant of Quebec city, "a plot of land and its buildings found and situated on the St Laurence seaway, within the seigniory of Maure, being 3 arpents fronting the said seaway, by 30 arpents in depth… consisting of a framed house covered in planks, a hangar, a stable, land suitable for farming, prairies and standing woods… for 100 sols in cash and 2 capons as quit rent payable each year on the feast of Saint-Remy… and the sum of 300 £, …" in 3 payments that is the sum of 100 £, next September, equal amount on the same day for two successive years.
On the 25th September of the same year, Jean returns to notary Chamballon. This time he is accompanied by Francois Pain, resident of Quebec, who loans him "a 5 year old milking cow of dark hair…" for the sum of 10 £, for 3 years, payable each year on the day of Saint-Michel. Jean promises to feed her and give her the necessary care, and if the cow should die due to Jean's neglect, he will have to pay its value following its appraisal. If it dies by accident, he accepts to pay half of its worth.
Jean de La Voye and Jean Juneau will be witnesses at the burial of Francois Biron, in Neuville, on the 28th February 1693.
On the 7th February 1694, Jean de La Voye is once again at notary Chamballon in order to sell his land in the seigniory of Maure, to Jean Gaborit who promies to pay 300 £ to Mathieu de Lino, thereby taking over the debt. This notarized act tells us that this land is situated between that of Jean Larrivé and Denis Leprince. Two days later, the 9th February 1694, Jean purchases a concession of "three arpents frontage by forty in depth on the seigniory of Villieu, northeast to the land of Adrien Ayot, with the usual conditions", which concession is accorded by la Valliere. Which is why his third daughter is born in Tilly (other name for de Villieu) and will be baptized at St-Nicolas, in the neighboring seigniory of Lauzon. If his son Jean-Baptiste is really born in 1698 as we think he is, it would be in Tilly. The population of the seigniory of Tilly (or Villieu) in 1698 numbers 136 people.
On the 15th June 1700, before notary Chamballon, Jean sells his land to Paul Martel, "that is a piece of land along with the buildings situated in the said seigniory of Villieu, containing 3 arpents frontage by forty arpents in depth… joinging on the southwest to that of Jean Ayot, on the other side the northeast to Jacques Bergeron, on which is found a house measuring 15 feet square, covered with bark and a small addition or enclosure serving as stable as well as a dilapidated hangar or leanto… for the sum and price of 280 £ … " and on the same day Jean receives the sum of 225 £ as cash payment and Paul Martel promises to pay Adrien Ayot in the name of Jean de La Voye, the sum of 55 £ remaining, on All Saints day next, which will pay off a dept of Jean who promises to provide a receipt in full to Adrien Ayot.
In 1700, Jean de La Voye and Barbe L'Homme have 4 children the last two being born in 1701 and 1705 at Cap-de-la-Madeleine. Why they were born there is still a mystery although in the book by Joseph Lavoie "La Famille Lavoie au Canada de 1650 a 1921" there is a mention of: "In the papers of notary Charles Rageot, dated 27th November 1700, there is a deed in which Jean de La Voye, soldier in the company of M. de la Chassagne, resident of Quebec city, hires himself to M. Louis Rouer de Villeray, first concillor to the Superior Council, for a period of three years as a servant or dometic. Villeray promises to lodge, feed and clothe him and pay him 360 £ and 3 pairs of moccasins, that is 100 £ in the first year as well as 1 pair of moccasins, 110 £ the 2nd year and 150 £ the 3rd year". Not having had this document before me, I can't say for certainty if this is our Jean, the husband of Barbe L'Homme… Rouer de Villeray owned a lot of property in different seigniories along the shores of the St Lawrence. This trail has to be followed a little deeper.
One can see from the information above that Jean seemed to have had difficulty choosing between life as a soldier or that of a farmer.
After 1705, he returns to live in the Quebec city region, for on the 26th August 1711, the death register of Hotel Dieu of Quebec mentions the death of Barbe L'Homme "having been entered on the 19th preceding, of the parish of Charlesbourg, at the age of 42". We have no similar type of information concerning the death of Jean de La Voye. Some believe 1714, others 1724 as the year of his death.
What Became of his Children:
On the 15th September 1691 is born in St-Augustin de Maure, Marie-Madeleine, eldest daughter of Jean de La Voye and Barbe L'Homme. She was baptized the following day in Neuville, with Jacques LeMeilleur, 2nd husband of Marie Valade, as godfather and Marie-Madeleine L'Homme her aunt serving as godmother. She enters into a nuptual agreement with René Demers, widower of Anne Dubois, father of 9 children, son of Jean Demers and Jeanne Voidy, before notary Laneuville, the 28th January 1714. Marie-Madeleine and René Demers were married on the following 5th February in St-Nicolas, Tilly. This couple will produce 9 children, all baptized at St-Nicolas, Tilly, before the death of René Demers. In reading "La Civilisation traditionnelle de l'Habitant au 16e et 17e siecle" (The traditional life of the habitant in the 16th and 17th century) by Robert-Lionel Séguin, we find the following: "The auction is carried out almost everywhere. That is how one proceeds with the liquidation of the property of René Demers, a resident of Quebec city, on the 9th of July 1730. Following the mass celebration, Bailiff Dubreuil appears in front of the main entrance to the parish church of Notre-Dame in this city and reads in a loud clear voice: By order of the king, we wish it to be known to all that a property situated in this city, Champlain street, having thirty feet fronting the said street and extending in depth to the height of the Cap on which there is the start of a building being constructed of masonry, with all of its circumstances and dependencies, is to be sold to the highest bidder of three auctions to be carried out on three consecutive Tuesdays, which highest bidder will be posted and made public in the usual places during three consecutive Sundays". These procedures being followed in order to settle the succession left by the late Demers. All is done to the satisfaction of the children and the mother, nee Marie-Madeleine Lavoie". We therefore know that René Demers died on the 21st December 1729, and that his succession was resolved the following summer. Since we find an inventory, dated the 5th April 1758, notary Decharnay, following the death of Madeleine Lavoie, widow of René Demers, we can safely say that Madeleine didn't remarry (no other husband being mentioned) and that she died much later than her husband.
Marie-Angélique, was born on the 18th October 1693 at Cote St-Ange in the seigniory of Maure. She was baptized the following day in Neuville, in the presence of Jean LeMeilleur, Jeanne Chatillion and Antoine Gaborit. As her sister did, she enters into a marriage contract at notary Laneuville, the 19th January 1716. She marries the following 17th January in St-Nicolas, Tilly, Gabriel Dion dit Deslauriers, son of Philippe and Suzanne Métayer. This couple will have 4 known children, all baptized in St-Nicolas.
The third child is also a girl, named Marie-Louise. Born on the 28th February 1696 in Tilly, she is baptized on the 1st March in St-Nicolas, in the presence of Marie-Louise Gourotte, Louis Crosteau and Pierre Lambert. She enters into a marriage contract on the 1st May 1728 at notary Dubreuil, and marries in the church of Notre-Dame, Quebec city the following day, Gabriel Maranda, son of Jean and Marie Paradis. The couple will have at least two children. In the documents of Jean-Claude Panet, dated 31st August 1767, we find that Louise Lavoie, widow of Gabriel Maranda, makes a donation to her son Jean-Baptiste Maranda. Which makes us believe that after becoming a widow in 1767, she will live with her son until her death.
Jean de La Voye and Barbe L'Homme finally produce a son, Jean-Baptiste, probably around 1698, location unknown. It is through him that the surname of Lavoie, from the branch of Pierre de Lavoye, will be transmitted. We'll get back to it later.
Born on the 23rd January and baptized on the 26th January 1701 at Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Marie-Antoinette will marry Jean-Gilles Monnier in 1724. Nothing more is known of her for the moment.
Joseph, was born on the 22nd August 1705, and was baptized the following day at Cap-de-la-Madeleine in the presence of Jean-Francois Leboulanger and Marie-Jeanne Crevier. That is all the information that I've been able to find on the last two children of Jean de La Voye and Barbe L'Homme.
(Copyright) Micheline Lavoie Dussault, 2000
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