René Lavoye

Arthur Heming
Voyageurs canadiens vers 1900-1910
Musée royal de l'Ontario

René was born on the 1st of January 1735, in Laprairie de la Madeleine, Montréal, Québec and baptised the same day. He was the 4th child of Jean Baptiste Lavoye and Catherine Aubry.

He seemed to have had a taste for adventure, and following in his father's footsteps, he signed his first contract as a voyageur, before notary Simonnet, on the 6th of May 1753, to sieur Joseph Douaire Bondy, a merchant of Montreal. His duties were to travel by canoe to Detroit in the spring, loaded with merchandise and trade goods, and return in the fall laden with furs of all kinds. Seeing that he was only 18 years old, and that this was his maiden voyage, thereby automatically denigrated with the term "pork eater" he was to be paid 80 livres. His next trip to Missilimakinac the following year, which contract was drawn on the 13th of April 1754 before notary Adhemar, this time for merchant Jacques Marie Nolan Lamarque earned him a salary of one hundred and fifty livres, a raise of almost one hundred percent. And finally at the age of 22, a third contract, this time on the 10th of June 1757 before notary Blanzy, to sir Thomas Dufy , was to earn him the hefty sum of three hundred livres. One could say that the job of voyageur was a lucrative one.

Alas, his days of freedom and independence were coming to an end, for on the 11th of February 1759, he and his beloved Madeleine Dubeau find themselves before notary Somonnet to vow their love and promise to marry. Only eight days later, on the 19th of February 1759, will they celebrate their marriage in St Laurent, Montreal. He was 24 years of age, and she 18, daughter of Jacques and Marie-Celeste Verdon also of St Laurent. They will have at least six children together before she dies at the young age of 30 circa 1771.

Shortly after, and probably to help him raise his 6 remaining children, we find René, on the 22nd of October 1772, at notary Sanguinet entering into a marriage agreement with Marguerite Beaulieu. It would seem that Marguerite Beaulieu was not Roman Catholic, for in the marriage contact we find a specific clause that reads "it was agreed that the children born from his first marriage.... will be raised and instructed in the Roman Catholic faith". Also included in his marriage certificate the words "and not having found any impediments to the marriage other than spiritual kinship". Regardless, René will marry on 3rd of November 1772, in St Laurent, Montreal, Marguerite Beaulieu dite Montpellier, daughter of Jean-Baptiste and Marie-Anne Turcot. She in turn will give him at least eight children.


Children of René Lavoye and Madeleine Dubeau:

  1. Lisette Lavoye
  2. Jean-Baptiste Lavoye, born December 05, 1759 in St Laurent, Montreal, Quebec; died August 05, 1761 in St Laurent, Montreal, Quebec.
  3. Charles Lavoye, born Abt. 1760 in Laval, Quebec. He married Marie-Angelique Aubry January 29, 1787 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec.
  4. Jean-Baptiste Lavoye, was born on the 6th June 1763 ŕ St-Laurent, Montréal, and married Marie-Clemence Longpre August 08, 1785 in Longue-Pointe, Montreal, Quebec.
  5. Louise Lavoye, born May 08, 1765 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. She married Simon Cavelier October 14, 1790 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec.
  6. Marie Magdeleine, was born on the 14th of May 1767 and was baptised the following day, the 15th Nay 1767 in St-Laurent, Montréal. Her grandparents were Louis Beaulieu, Marguerite Barre. Nothing else is known of her.
  7. Marguerite Lavoye, born August 08, 1768 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. She married Pierre Aubry-dit-Thecle January 29, 1787 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec.
  8. Jacques Lavoye, born August 24, 1770 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec; died October 09, 1770 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec.

Children of René Lavoye and Marguerite Montpellier :

  1. Marie Lavoye She married Dominique Meilleur October 24, 1803 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec.
  2. Marguerite Lavoye, born September 18, 1773 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. She married (1) Basile David July 05, 1790 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. She married (2) Francois Allard-dit-Longpre December 25, 1813 in St-Joseph, Riviere des Prairies, Quebec.
  3. Marie-Charles Lavoye, born October 27, 1774 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec.
  4. Charles-Rene Lavoye, born January 20, 1776 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. He will marry Il M-Louise Meilleur on the 19th January 1801 at Sault-au-Recollet, Montreal, Quebec.
  5. Marie-Josephe Lavoye, born and baptised on April 02, 1777 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. Her godparents were Jean-Bte Montpellier-Beaulieu and M-Louise Lavoix.
  6. Anonymous, child died at birth on the 2nd May 1778 and buried the following day, the 3rd May in St-Laurent, Montréal, Québec.
  7. Michel Lavoye, born and baptized on January 29, 1783 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. His godparents were Michel Boutron-dit-Major, M-Catherine Lavoye
  8. Pierre Lavoye, born June 06, 1789 in St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. He will die but 7 weeks later on the 28 July 1789 and be buried the next day in St-Laurent, Montréal, Québec