Name: Pierre Guillet
Birth: ABT 1626 in La Rochelle, Aunis, France
Death: 18 MAY 1695 in Cap De La Madeleine, Que
following from th web-site: http://guilletcinqmarsfamily.homestead.com/home.html
On the Platon, near the Saint Lawrence River in the old quarter of Trois Rivières, stands a monument to the pioneers of the city. On one facade are listed the original builders of this community. Carved in stone, one finds the name of Pierre Guillet.
A master carpenter by trade, Pierre Guillet dit Lajeunesse was originally from the Charentes-Maritime region of France. He arrived in the New World in the 1640s accompagnied by his brother, Mathurin. They both married two sisters in 1648-9 (the records are lost): Pierre married Jeanne Saint-Père and Mathurin wed Catherine. Sadly, on August 18th 1652 Mathurin was killed in an Iroquois ambush. Pierre became the father of 11 children and also a pioneer of Cap de la Madeleine and of the Batiscan River Valley.
(1623 - 1695)
Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Quebec City established from 1608 to 1627 a trading system in the St Lawrence Valley. Alliances were formed with the Algonquin and the Hurons, the most important tribes in the region. He helped them in their fights against the Iroquois on Lake Champlain and the Richelieu river. The Natives, in return, provided the fur pelts in exchange for European goods. Missionaries were sent to their villages. Unfortunately these contacts with the French brought diseases such as smallpox, measles and influenza. Native populations were devastated. Between 1636 and 1639, the Huron population went from 25,000 strong to less then 10,000. The French trading system was disrupted by the loss in these allied populations. This catastrophe marked the beginning of the French territorial expansion since they now had to collect and ship the furs themselves. They needed to get closer to the fur regions. It also marked the beginning of the era of the "Coureurs de Bois".
Sieur La Viollette was chosen by Samuel de Champlain, to travel on a barge up the St Lawrence river in July,1634. He was accompanied by some soldiers, artisans and two Jesuits, future martyrs, Jean de Brebeuf and Antoine Daniel. At Trois Rivières on a plateau along the St Lawrence, a fort was built. It was strategically placed at the mouth of the St Maurice river and near lac St Pierre
and the Richelieu river. The Batiscan river was just down the coast a ways. Trois Rivières was built as a meeting place for the Indians of the Outaouais, of the Great Lakes and of the Mauricie region. From 1637 to 1642, there were only about 70 people living in the immediate area.
Unfortunately, as the danger of disease abated, the fur trade was thrown
into turmoil by war with the Iroquois lasting from about 1641 until 1666. In 1642, a small community was established at Ville-Marie. The Iroquois left it alone initially, concentrating more on Trois Rivières. As early as 1637, more than 500 Iroquois were spread out around the small fort. A constant danger, they
patrolled the waters of Lac St Pierre paralyzing the all important fur trading business, the comings and goings of the missionaries in Huronia and cutting communications between the French and their Native allies.
There were constant dangers. A hunting excursion would often end tragically since many Iroquois roamed the nearby woods. Despite constant surveillance, between 1640 and 1665 many were killed or taken captive. Between the years 1648-51, forty or so colonists, some with their families, despite the dangers, came to establish themselves in this outpost.
Among the earliest settlers here was the name: Guillet. Pierre Guillet dit Lajeunesse was born about 1623 in the area of La Rochelle, Aunis in the Charentes-Maritime region of France. He arrived in New France around 1647 accompanied by his brother, Mathurin. In 1648-9 (the records are lost), Pierre married Jeanne Saint-Père. She was born in the parish of St Jean d'Angely, Saintonge in February 1627. Part of a magistrate family, she arrived in Canada with her widowed mother, Marie-Madeleine Couteau and her sister, Catherine. Mathurin Guillet married Catherine. Both brothers married in Trois Rivières. Pierre was a skilled laborer, a master carpenter and furniture maker.
The first missionary of the three rivers region was Father Jacques Buteaux. He was born in Abbéville in Picardie on April 10, 1599. In 1620, he joined the Jesuits, followed philosophy classes, became a professor and was ordained in 1623. On September 8, 1634, he arrived in Trois Rivières accompanied by Father Le Jeune to build a chapel. In 1639, he was made superior of the congregation. Some Montagnais and Algonquins had settled nearby on Cap-de-la-Madeleine. Father Buteaux wanted them to settle there as an agricultural community and have them provide some protection against the Iroquois. Champlain had told him that some men from Trois Rivières could be used to work alongside the Natives to clear and cultivate the land on the Cap. Conflicts arose with M. de la Potherie, the Governor of Trois Rivières. He did not want Savages established at their doorstep. Jacques Buteaux, however, had the rights to the land and in 1649, in the name of the Jesuits, he officially conceded the land to his chosen settlers on June 1, 1649 (Greffe Audouart). Among the 14 men picked to settle the Cap-de-la Madeleine region were Pierre Guillet and his brother, Mathurin.
On June 6, 1651, a notarized act confirmed these concessions of land (Audouart). Father Buteaux was killed by the Iroquois on May 10, 1652.
During this period, Pierre, Mathurin and their wives were living in Trois Rivières. On June 6, 1650, the brothers purchase land here. It was situated on the northwest side of Saint Pierre Street, bordering the property of Jacques Leneuf de la Potherie. A house 30 by 20 feet was on the land. This property would later be exchanged for one belonging to Pierre Boucher, the future governor of Trois Rivieres. The Guillets did not reside there long for early in 1652, they were on their newly acquired land on the Cap.
The year 1652, would prove to be a trying one. On August 18, Mathurin Guillet was crossing the river of Trois Rivières near the islands of the estuary. He was accompanied by the notary, Flour Bonjonnier, the surgeon, Plassez and one named Rochereau. They were attached by eight canoes filled with Iroquois. Mathurin and Bonjonnier were killed; the other two taken captive. The next day, August 19th Duplessis-Kerbodot, the governor of Trois Rivières, went with a group of men seeking revenge; they were ambushed instead. Fifteen citizens of this small outpost were killed or taken captiv
It is quite probable, the death of his brother and the constant threat of the Iroquois gave Pierre Guillet the desire to establish his young family nearer the safety of Quebec City. Pierre Guillet and his wife, Jeanne gave birth to their daughter, Jeanne on November 14th 1652. She was the first child baptized on the Cap. On November 24th 1652 (Severin Ameau), Pierre and his new brother-in-law, Nicolas Rivard dit Lavigne sold Mathurin's land on the Cap to Gilles Trottier. His own land there was sold on August 19th 1653 (Audouart) to Marguerite Hayet, widow of Jean Veron de Grandmesnil. On May 31st 1654, he purchased from the Jesuits the deed to land in the Seigneurie of Notre-Dame-des-Anges near Quebec. It was 60 arpents in size and located between the Charles and Beauport rivers. Although his daughter, Marie Catherine was baptized in Quebec City on February 8th 1656, Pierre was not to live in the area for long. On September 19th 1656 (Audouart) his land here was sold to Etiennette Després.
Pierre Guillet returned to Cap de la Madeleine in 1657. He settled his family on the land of Claude Houssard, the 3rd husband of Madeleine Cousteau (hence his father-in-law!!). This land of 40 arpents had been deeded to Houssard by the Jesuits in 1651 (another original Cap pioneer). It was located beside the
property of Michel Lemay dit Lepoudrier. A notarized act by Claude Herlin, dated August 30th 1659 gave the deed of this land to Guillet. Acording to Marcel Trudel, author of "Le Terrier du St Laurent en 1663", this land can be found today between Celina and Viviers steets and from the bottom of Erables street up to the first park on the street.
One gets the impression that with all this moving around, Pierre Guillet was not plying his trade. This is not the case. Many notarized acts from the era
show him doing a lot of construction. Some of these are listed below:
1.On September 6 1660, he accepts to build a barn for Nicolas Gailloux (Claude Herlin).
2.On January 11 1662 he contracts to build a barn for Nicolas Gastineau dit Duplessis for a cost of 60 pounds (Claude Herlin).
3.On March 31,1664 he builds a house (25 x 18ft) on Cap de la Madeleine for Michel Gamelin for the price of 600 pounds (G.Laurue).
4.On July 13, 1667 (Jacques de la Touche), A barn and house are to be built on l'ile de la Poterie for Marguerite Legardeux
5.On February 9, 1668 (J. de la Touche) with Elie Bourbaut, he builds a barn in Batiscan for Jacqueline Chamboy That same year he also builds her a house.
The census of 1666 (Trois Rivieres) gives the following information:
Pierre Guillet dit Lajeunesse, 40 ans, habitant
Jeanne Saint Pere, 37 ans, sa femme (she was born in 1627 so the age isn't right)
enfants: Mathurin,16; Jeanne,12; Anne, 11; Catherine, 10; Louis, 8;
Marie, 6; Marguerite, 5; Pierre, 3; Joseph, 2; Genevieve Guillet, 3
mois, fille & Nicholas Chacheu, 19 ans, domestique.
The following year, 1667, the census of Cap-de-la-Madeleine states:
Pierre Guillet dit Lajeunesse, 36 ans (he's now younger!)
Jeanne St Perre, 40 ans
enfants: Mathurin, 18; Jeanne, 16; Monette, 14; Catherine, 12;Louis,10;
Marie, 8; Marguerite, 7; Pierre, 5; Joseph,4; Genevieve, 2. Domestique: Nicolas Cachet, 18 ans.
4 beasts & 78 arpents of land.
These census records show that both Pierre and Jeanne couldn't sign but their oldest son, Mathurin could. Pierre Guillet later learned to sign his name if not to write. See Larue's document of March 13, 1665 for a sample of Pierre's mark. A document of December 10, 1670 (Cusson) shows his signature.
The above census, indicating that Pierre Guillet owned 78 arpents of land show him to have been one of the most important property owners of this era. Between 1666 and 1670 notarized acts with Jacques de la Touche, show that he was buying, exchanging and selling many pieces of land in Cap de la Madeleine and equally in Batiscan. It gets quite confusing!!!
In the spring of 1666, the Jesuits, in possession of the Seigneurie of Batiscan, granted the first 30 land concessions here. The contracts were drawn by the notary Jacques de la Touche. It was a family affair!!! Claude Houssard, his father-in-law was the first; he got his land concession on March 21, 1666. Robert Rivard, the husband of Madeleine Guillet (Pierre's daughter) got his on the 22 of March. His brother, Nicolas Rivard, Pierre's brother-in-law (he's Catherine Saint Père's husband) signed for his land consession on March 23 of the year. Mathieu Rouillard, who married Jeanne Guillet in June 1667 and Jean Moreau who married Pierre's daughter, Anne in 1667 also received land concessions. On August 6, 1666, Pierre obtained his property here making him among the first landowners of this area of Quebec. On November 17, 1667 he sold this land to Jean-Baptiste Crevier. Three days later, on November 20th 1667, he bought 80 arpents of land at Cote Saint-Marc, next to his own property on the Cap. His son, Louis would later be known as Louis Guillet dit St Marc. Even later, Abraham Guillet dit St Marc became St Mars then Cinq Mars. These name changes, I suspect, originated from this land purchase. At the end of 1667, he exchanged land he had on the Cap for property in Batiscan owned by Jean Cusson.
On January 8, 1668, Pierre Guillet moved his family from Cap-de-la-Madeleine to Batiscan. He would ultimately return to the Cap but most of his children would remain here. Many of his descendants still reside today in this quiet community. At the beginning of 1669, Jeanne Saint Père was
not well. She signed a will on February 13 with the notary Latouche. All her worldly possessions were left to her husband Pierre. The exact date of her death is not known but she probably died soon afterward. She was in her early 40s. On December 1 1670, an inventory of his joint possessions was done with the notary, Cusson. He possessed 8 arpents of riverfront property with a house, a barn and a stable.
At about this time, several of Pierre Guillet's children were already married (Jeanne, Anne and Madeleine). Pierre considered remarriage. On October 11, 1670, before the notary, Romain Becquet, he became engaged to Madeleine Delaunay. According to Silvio Dumas, author of "Les Filles du Roi en Nouvelle France", the wedding could have taken place in the Seigneurie of Lintot (Bécancour) but there are no records to confirm this. Also, that year, Pierre had a soldier in the Carignan-Salière regiment, Vincent de Lengat dit Lavigne arrested for the attempted rape of one of his daughters. On December 10th,
1670 (Cusson) he dropped the charges on condition that a 30 pounds fine was levied. On February 25, 1671 Pierre obtained from the Jesuits, land on Cote St Marc on the Cap. Nine years later, on November 10th, 1680 he rented this land to his son-in-law, Jacques Massé dit Beaumier (Marie-Catherine first husband).
The census of 1681 has Pierre Guillet residing in two places:
At Cap de la Madeleine:
Pierre Guillet, charpentier, 54 ans; Marie Delaunay, sa femme,44 ans
enfants: Louis, 24; Pierre, 18; Joseph, 17; Genevieve, 16;
1 fusil; 8 betes a cornes; 45 arpents en valeur.
Pierre Guillet, menuisier, 53 ans; Madeleine de Lavanerie,
sa femme, 46
1 fusil; 5 betes a cornes; 10 arpents en valeur.
In 1690, Pierre Guillet sold his land in Becancour to Antoine Cottenoir; he was residing only on the Cap ar this point. He was starting to get old and slowing down but not his notarized transactions!!
1690 has many acts with Cusson, renting some of his land consessions, selling three of his properties to his son-in-law, Sébastien Provencher (Marie-Catherine's 2nd husband) etc.
After a very full life, Pierre Guillet dit Lajeunesse was buried in Cap de la Madeleine on May 8, 1695. The church document gave his age as 72. On the 11 of June of that year, his wife, Madeleine had an inventory of his wordly goods notarized by Jacques Cusson. There present were his son-in-laws, Sébastien Provencher, Pierre Deshaies, Pierre Champoux and Jean Baril. The latter stated he was also representing Robert Rivard, Louis Guillet and Jean Moreau. Mathieu Rouillard came a few days latter to fill his obligations. Madeleine Delaunay, did not stay too long in New France after the death of her husband. She was buried at the age of 60, in Saint Jean de la Rochelle, in Aunis France on February 6, 1699.
On a monument to the early pioneers in Trois Rivières, located near the main post office, one can find inscribed the name of Pierre Guillet dit Lajeunesse. His name is also found on a monument in the park near the Santuary of Cap de la Madeleine.
1. The White and the Gold. The French Regime in Canada by Thomas B. Costain published byDoubleday Canada Limited 1954.
2. Genealogie des Familles Gouin et Allard by F. DeSaulniers Montreal, 20 mars, 1909.
3. Nos Ancetres: Pierre Guillet dit Lajeunesse Volume 7 Chapter 10 pages
94 - 102.
4. Trois Rivieres, des temoins de son evolution, a 350 year commemoration pamphlet printed by the Bibliotheque nationale du Quebec 1983.
5. La population du Canada en 1666 by Marcel Trudel, Les editions du Septentrion, Silery, Quebec.
6. Le Nouvelliste: Nos familles et leurs origins by Jacques Saint Onge samedi 6 septembre 1980.
7. Chronique Trifluvienne by Benjamin Sulte 1879.
Jeanne Delauney , St-Pere b: 5 FEB 1625/26 in St Jean d'Angely, Saintes (Saintonge), France
in Trois Rivieres, St Maurice, P.Q.
- Louis Guillet , dit St. Marc b: 4 JUN 1657 in Trois Rivieres, P.Q.