Jean-Baptiste Lavoye, son of Jean de La Voye and of Barbe L'Homme, was born around 1698, most likely in the seigniory of Vilieu (Tilly), where his parents owned a parcel of land (which they sold in 1700), or else at Cap-de-la-Madeleine, where Jean and Barbe had their daughter baptized in 1701. Three girls precede him in the family, and one girl and one boy will succeed him.
The first mention that I was able to find at the archives concerning Jean-Baptiste was a land acquisition that he made on the 27th October 1715, before notary Etienne Veron de Grandmesnil, at Trois-Rivieres. In fact, Jean David, Sieur of La Course, residing at Becancour, sold to Jean-Baptiste "a parcel of land within the seigniory of Dutort having 3 arpents frontage and a depth similar to his neighbors…. with no reservations other than what follows, that is that the said Lavoye binds himself to clear five arpents of land on the property belonging to the said seller, within the seigniory of Becancour, during five consecutive years, as per the contract of concession…" Whatever happened to that parcel of land is not known, nor are the activities of Jean-Baptiste between 1715 and 1723. .
On the 2nd of June 1723, we find him at the house of notary Hodiesme in Montreal, where "he has voluntarily hired himself to Sieur Francois Demers… to take some merchandise by canoe to Michilimakinac and to return in the same year with a canoe loaded with furs.. which merchandise and furs the said voyageur promises to take care of as best he can… this in return for a salary of 140 £ …" Part of these wages will be paid to him prior to leaving and the last part upon his return to Montreal. The novel Pour le Christ et le Roi gives a very good account of what such a trip might have looked like in the year 1727. The merchandise that he brought to Michilimakinac was comprised mainly of the following: clothes such as coats, axes, knives, rings, rifles, powder and lead, caldrons, tobacco and rum. He also had to bring some personal supplies (tobacco, flour, pork, plums, peas and wine), and blankets to cover the load, all necessities required to maintain the canoes, kitchen utensils, in addition to the personal effects of the other voyageurs. Each voyageur also had standard equipment issued to them, such as a pair of trousers, leggings, a rifle, a blanket, knives and other small personal items. The departures occurred in June from Lachine, Quebec and included a stoppage at the church at Bout-de-l'Ile (Ste Anne de Bellevue) in order to get the blessing of Ste Anne and to make final adjustments to the load prior to attacking the first rapids. They found their way to Michilimakinac via the Ottawa River and Lake Huron, a trip that lasted about 2 months. It was a very tiring and difficult voyage, with numerous portages and the scourge of the woods, mosquitoes and black flies. Michilimakinac was founded as a mission in 1671, and became afterwards a very important trading post due to its strategic location at the northern tip of the lake of the Illinois (Michigan). It was the hub of the fur trade with all the Indian nations south of New France. The voyageurs returned each autumn with their canoes laden with furs of all kinds. In 1724, the price for a beaver pelt was between 1 and 4 £, depending on whether it was dry or fat (dry being a beaver that was killed that year, and fat being one that was worn by the natives for 2 or 3 years and thus became oily and velvety); the price for a moose or deer hide was between 8 and 16 £; that of the marten or otter, from 1 to 4 £; wolverine from 8 to 16 £. But the bulk of the pelts was of the beaver. .
On the 12th of September 1727, Jean-Baptiste Lavoye enters into a marriage contract at notary Adhemar dit St-Martin. Jean-Baptiste agrees to the customary dowry of 400 £ for his future bride, and in addition, he specifies that the land that he owns at Cote St-Jacques belongs to the couple, as if it had been acquired within the said marriage. The future couple also make a mutual donation, which will also become null if, at the death of one of the two, there is a child born from their union. It is therefore on the 16th of September 1727, in the parish of St-Laurent, on the island of Montreal, that Jean-Baptiste Lavoye, aged 29, weds Marie-Catherine Aubry, aged 16, daughter of Francois Aubry dit Thecle and Jeanne Bouteille, in the presence of Jean LeMeilleur, uncle of the groom and Jacques LeMeilleur, his cousin; as well as Francois Aubry, father of the bride, and Thomas Letendre, her uncle. The young couple will settle at La Prairie de la Madeleine until 1744, and will leave that region prior to 1751. .
For on the 14th of December 1751, before notary Danre de Blanze, Jean-Baptiste Lavoye, farmer, residing at Cote des Vertus, acknowledges a debt to the Seminary of St-Sulpice of Montreal, a sum of 513 £ 17 shillings and 6 pence, part of which is 100 £ for the rights concerning the purchase of a plot of land of 3 arpents frontage by 20 in depth, situated at Cote St-Laurent, that he had purchased from Charles Dugas. .
In 1721, Vaudreuil will set the limits of the parish of St-Laurent, on the Island of Montreal as: " cote St-Michel, St Laurent and half of the 2 concessions of cote Notre-Dame des Vertus, and cote Notre-Dame-de-Liesse". The population of the parish of St-Laurent in 1765 will be 795 individuals comprising 156 families. .
During this stage of his life, Jean-Baptiste Lavoye will be witness to a number of marriages: on the 30th October 1747, in St-Laurent, to the marriage of Andre Giroux and his sister-in-law, Marie-Angelique Aubry, and on the 13th of October 1749, he is present at the wedding of his brother-in-law Francois Aubry to Cecile Giroux. .
Unfortunately, Marie-Catherine Aubry, wife of Jean-Baptiste, will die at the age of 47, on the 14th October 1756, and will be buried the following day in St-Laurent in the presence of her husband. Jean-Baptiste Latour and Charles Dubois will serve as witnesses. The inventory of his property will take place on the 4th December 1758 before notary Hodiesme. .
This latest document is rich with all sorts of information, of which here are a few. Jean-Baptiste and Marie-Catherine owned, among other things: a small cooking pot including its lid, estimated at 6 £; a medium sized frying pan, also estimated at 6 £; a new bucket with metal rings, estimated at 10 £; as well as an old bucket with metal rings, estimated at 3 £; an old wood ax with pine handle estimated at 6 £; 8 straw filled chairs estimated together at 11 £; 1 old buffet of cherry-wood construction estimated at 8 £; 1 small looking glass, estimated at 5£; 1 old pine table estimated at 30 sols; 1 metal flask estimated at 2£; 1 pair of cow traces estimated at 4£; 1 old horse collar estimated at 3£; 1 bushel of salt estimated at 45£; 1 spinning wheel estimated at 2£; 1 scythe anvil estimated at 4£; 1 plough and all of its components estimated at 60£; 1 small cart including its long canvas cover estimated at 60£; 500 bales of hay, 100 bushels of oats and 29 bushels of peas; the animals: 2 horses and their complete harnesses, 5 sheep, 1 spring calf, 1 cow with brown hair, and another with black hair, 1 young filly, 2 oxen of 2 years, 2 oxen of 5 years, 1 skinny sow and 6 suckling piglets as well as 17 hens. .
One parcel of land of 3 arpents frontage by 20 in depth, situated in the parish of St-Laurent, of which there is 33 arpents cleared, and its buildings consisting of: a house of 16 feet in length by 30 in width constructed of non-battened piece on piece, covered with straw with upper and lower floors, with doors and windows including hardware, a stone chimney and outside shutters; a barn 40 feet long by 23 feet wide constructed of grooved cedar posts and covered with straw, a manger made of standing posts, 20 feet long by 14 wide, covered with straw, a stable constructed of standing posts, 10 feet square, also covered with straw and a hen house approximately 6 feet square. .
I'll spare you the rest of the inventory because it contains 6 full pages of text. But, from what we have seen already, we can imagine the type of environment that Jean-Baptiste lived in as well as the prices of goods for that period. We also learn that this widower has declared having paid the sum of 33 £ for the funeral of his wife. .
Jean-Baptiste will wed a second time, on the 15th September 1760, at St-Laurent, Marie-Thérese Couvret, widow of Pierre Ménard, who will also become mother-in-law to his son also named Jean-Baptiste since this last one will marry Marie-Joseph Ménard in 1762. The marriage contract is drawn by notary Hodiesme and dated the 13th September of the same year. This 2nd union will not produce any offspring. Jean-Baptiste Lavoie will decease on the 22nd September 1785 and his burial will take place on the 24th September in St-Martin, Ile Jesus (now Laval). He was said to be 87 years old. .
It was through him and his son Louis that the surname of Lavoie was propagated in the Montreal and Laval region.
WHAT BECAME OF HIS CHILDREN:
Jean-Baptiste Lavoye and Marie-Catherine Aubry have endured many heartaches in having children, for of their 21 offspring, 13 died in their first year of birth. .
Jacques, born on the 1st September 1732, dies on the 31st December 1732. Marie-Marguerite is born on the 17th January 1736 only to die on the following 12th August. Joseph, born on the 21st March 1737, dies on the 25th May of the same year. Another son also named Joseph is born on the 26th July 1739 and dies on the following 14th November. André is born on the 24th August 1741 and dies on the following 8th September. Another daughter named Marie-Marguerite, is born on the 27th February 1743, and will die on the following 20th July. Marie-Madeleine, born on the 30th April 1744 will die on the 5th August of the same year. Marie-Thérèse, born on the 29th May 1745, and die on the 17th June of the same year (she is also called Françoise at the time of her death). All of these children were born at La Prairie. .
The following children will be born in Saint-Laurent, but will not enjoy a better fate: Marie-Josephe, born on the 6th January 1748, will die a few days later, that is the 18th January following. On the 1st of March 1749, Pierre is born only to die the following 6th June. A second Pierre will be born on the 20th January 1751 and will die on the following 11th February. Marie-Josephe will be buried on the 24th August 1753, she was born on the 1st of the same month. Augustin, born on the 6th September 1756, will die less than a month before his mother, that is on the 20th September of the same year. .
Marie-Catherine, born on the 14th January 1729 at LaPrairie, will marry François Berthelet Savoyard, son of Antoine and Jeanne Chartier, on the 7th July 1750 at St-Laurent. .
Jean-Baptiste, born on the 29th May 1730, at LaPrairie, will marry Marie-Joseph Ménard Pathenais, daughter of Charles and Thérèse Couvret, on the 10th October 1762, at St-Laurent. .
Marie-Josephe, born on the 13th November 1733 at LaPrairie, dies at the age of 14, on the 6th December 1747 at St-Laurent. .
René, born on the 1st January 1735, at LaPrairie, will marry Madeleine Dubeau, daughter of Jacques and Céleste Verdon, on the 19th February 1759, at St-Laurent; then, at the same place in a second marriage, the 3rd November 1772, to Marguerite Martin Beaulieu Montpellier, daughter of the late Jean-Baptiste and Marianne Turcot. .
Élizabeth, born the 1st May 1738 at LaPrairie, marries Pierre Baillard, the 9th February 1767, at St-Laurent; she dies on the 9th November 1774. She will also be known as Barbe. .
Charles, born the 9th July 1740 at LaPrairie; marries Marguerite Barret the 7th February 1774 at St-Vincent de Paul; in a second marriage he will marry Marie Geneviève Rose Gravel the 20th October 1783 also at St-Vincent de Paul. .
François, born the 30th September 1746 at LaPrairie; no other information. .
Marie-Françoise, born on the 9th February 1750 at St-Laurent, marries Joseph Nadeau the 28th January 1788 in Montreal. .
Louis, born the 4th June 1752, at St-Laurent, marries Marie Montreuil, daughter of Jean and Marguerite Poirier, the 12th February 1776 at St-Martin, Ile Jésus (Laval). .
@Micheline Lavoie Dussault, 2000