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Courriel de B. Pelletier Shoja

Description: Courriel de Benoit Pelletier Shoja

Auteur: Benoit Pelletier Shoja


23 janvier 2005:

Nicolas Peltier, 1594-1678: A Chronicle
Benoit Pelletier Shoja
The first Pelletier family to leave France and settle in the Saint Lawrence Valley was that of master-carpenter Nicolas Peltier, native of the parish of Gallardon, province of Orléanais. In the following narrative, we will consider many elements in the life of this hardy pioneer; these elements are traceable in annals and archives on both sides of the Atlantic. Our ambition is to establish a sound understanding about Nicolas, and we proceed in the hope that other, future discoveries will be made about him, and that they will enhance this text, and expand our current appreciation for this ancestor. For matters pertaining to his life in France, we cite above all Florine Perry, in charge of the "État Civil" at the city hall in Gallardon; these details are based on her invaluable research and discoveries. Historian and scholar Maurice Vié, author of several tomes on the history of Gallardon and its environs, confirmed Nicolas' baptism record, written in Latin. The works of Québécois historians Pierre Georges Roy, Marcel Trudel, and Michel Langlois, as well as notarial acts drafted by Becquet, Audouart, Adhémar, among others, provide many elements of his life in New France. While this will be neither an exhaustive nor a comprehensive analysis of his life in relation to the times on either continent, we will pay special attention to particulars relating to Nicolas Peltier and his family, explaining them to the fullest possible degree.
Given his first appearance in New France, at the baptism of his daughter on 3 April 1637, Nicolas and his family were likely aboard one of the three ships that arrived at Québec City the previous year, on 11 June 1636 . Under the command of Charles du Plessis-Bochart, this fleet included one carrier transporting forty-five people, and two other vessels, one of which was the Saint-Joseph. Among the one hundred or so people aboard these ships, Marcel Trudel has identified ninety-one colonists, including Nicolas Peltier, his wife Jeanne de Vousy, and their infant sons Jean and François. Arriving in this same fleet was Charles Huault de Montmagny, successor to Samuel de Champlain as governor of New France; he would later grant Nicolas a concession in Sillery, and condemn Jeanne for trading alcohol to the Indians.
Nicolas signed his own name "Nicolas Peltier," and we will therefore retain this spelling of the surname throughout the article when referring to him or his family. Elsewhere, especially when unsure of how an individual signed his name, if he knew how to write in the least, we will employ the more common "Pelletier." For instance, Nicolas' sons Jean and Nicolas both also signed "Peltier," whereas François could not sign at all.
Nicolas Peltier was born in the hamlet of Germonval, province of Orléanais (today within the department of Eure-et-Loir), to Éloi Pelletier and to Jeanne Nicolle. He was baptized 7 December 1594 at the Church of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul, in the nearby city of Gallardon, sponsored by a man surnamed Gallou and by Mathurine Nicolle. He had three younger sisters, Marie, baptized 17 July 1600, Jeanne, baptized 12 November 1602, and Jeanne, baptized 10 November 1606.
Many individuals at this same time living in Gallardon, and its hamlets Germonval and Le Mesnil, also bore the name "Pelletier," but their exact relationships to one another remain uncharted, and therefore unknown. Notarial contracts found at the Departmental Archives in Chartres, dating to 1630 and 1631, involve different Pelletiers concentrated around Gallardon: Éloi, Claude, Jacques, François, Jean, Barthélemy, Robert, Simon, and Pierre; Éloi was a cobbler, and Pierre too worked in the leather industry, while the rest were "vignerons" (winemakers). The very early baptismal registers of Gallardon evince more names: Marguerite, Catherine, Thomas, Jeanne, Michel, André, Cardin, Denis, Renée, and Michèle. Moreover, the online repertoire of Québécois ancestral origins, Fichier Origine , reveals that a Louis Pelletier was born in Gallardon about 1740, to Louis Pelletier and Marie Fourmillau. He arrived in New France as a soldier in the Compagnie Saint-Martin, and in 1760 in Trois-Rivières, he married Marie-Josèphe Bélisle dit Malboeuf. His father, a vigneron, was born in Gallardon in 1679, and had been twice widowed before marrying Marie Fourmillau in 1729. Lastly, the ultimate proof of the Pelletier family's enduring presence in the area of Gallardon is a sixteenth-century farm in Germonval that is still today called "Ferme Pelletier."
Situated at the confluence of the Voise River and the Ruisseau d'Ocre, where the regions of Beauce and Hurepoix meet, Gallardon sits southwest of Paris between the capital and the city of Chartres. It is one of the oldest settlements in the region, and by the tenth century, was already the site of an important château stronghold. Its church, founded by Herbert de Gallardon in 1021, was originally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary; a second consecration, at the end of the thirteenth century, placed it definitively under the auspices of saints Peter and Paul . During the Middle Ages, the city was surrounded and protected by an imposing château, consisting of thick stone walls and several large stone towers, which completed the fortified defense system. Except for part of one tower, the château was destroyed during the Hundred Years War by the Dauphin, the future Charles VII of France, who fought alongside Jeanne d'Arc. Following his victory over the English in June 1421, the Dauphin decided to demolish the castle, hoping that war would never again come to Gallardon. The château fallen in ruin, a sliver of one tower remained standing; measuring 125 feet tall, and known as the "shoulder of Gallardon," the tower has remained upright for nearly six hundred years .
For centuries throughout rural France, typical people like Nicolas and his family worked whenever and wherever possible, at whatever trades available, simply to survive. At harvest, for instance, men headed to the fields and vineyards, or if there were jobs at the forges or at the lumberyard, others picked up hammers and saws. It was never an option to avoid a trade for inexperience, because, as the proverb says, "c'est en forgeant que l'on devient forgeron." With regard to Nicolas, in addition to being a carpenter, he also worked as a "maréchal" (blacksmith), depending on which trade was in greater demand. He was undoubtedly a versatile and skilled artisan, as recruiters later chose him to go to the burgeoning French colony in North America, one in need of experienced craftsmen.
Recent discoveries by Florine Perry reveal that at about the age of nineteen, Nicolas married Catherine de Vousy, two-and-a-half years his junior; she was the daughter of Martin Thomas de Vousy and Marguerite Labbé, a bourgeois family from nearby Gué-de-Longroi. According to Maurice Vié, this family's name had originally been "de la Voux," but due to repeated misspelling, it eventually became "de Vousy," and later "de Voisy." The registers of Gallardon do not include common marriages until after 1637; before that time, a groom and bride appeared before the priest, received his benediction, and without further process, they were married. Such was the case for Nicolas and Catherine. Madame Perry attests that their first son, Nicolas, was baptized 13 March 1615, followed two years later by Marie, then Jacques on 5 January 1619, Éloi in 1620, and finally Diane in 1623. These were harsh times for the French people; for several years, pestilence had raged throughout the countryside, and with it, famine. None of Nicolas and Catherine's children survived beyond infancy, and ultimately, about 1630, having witnessed each of her children die from the plague, Catherine de Vousy succumbed to the disease as well. She was thirty-three.
On 5 September 1630, by now widowed, Nicolas entered into a six-year lease with a local surgeon, agreeing to rent "a lower room" in Gallardon, which included "a fireplace, with a common area and an alcove with bed." Of note in the contract is that the notary specified that the lessee was the "honorable Nicolas Peltier, maréchal," demonstrating that, even as a blacksmith, Nicolas was a person who merited respect. He was certainly a likable individual, too, with an open attitude, to be able to negotiate and interact with a surgeon, a prominent social figure for the time.
About 1632, Nicolas married twenty-year-old Jeanne de Vousy, cousin to his first wife; she was the daughter of Barthélemy de Vousy and Jeanne Gardony, also from Gué-de-Longroi. She had been baptized in Gallardon on 27 April 1612, sponsored by Guy Chartier and Michelle de la Baye. The couple soon left Gallardon, escaping the disease and deprivation plaguing the region, and they made their way to one or another Atlantic seaport, the two closest of which are in the province of Normandie: Le Havre and Dieppe.
The author of website Racines rochelaises has compiled a list of the ships that left France for North America between 1632 and 1763, citing historians Marcel Trudel, J.F. Bosher, and Marcel Delafosse, and the Association Québec-France, among other sources . This site maintains that the Saint-Joseph and the two other vessels that arrived at Québec City on 11 June 1636, under the command of Charles du Plessis-Bochart, had departed from Normandie, but that the place and date of embarkation are unknown. These three ships were sent by the Compagnie des Cent-Associés (Company of One Hundred Associates), also known as the Company of New France, which was responsible for exploring, colonizing, and exploiting the French colony. The skipper of the Saint-Joseph was Lieutenant Nicolas Trévet de Longuejoue, while the masters of the other two ships were Captain Savinien Courpon de la Tour and Captain François Castillon.
Whatever their route, wherever their port of embarkation, Nicolas and Jeanne had two sons before leaving France, Jean and François. Because their baptisms appear nowhere in the Gallardon registers, they were likely born elsewhere; based on records in Canada evincing their ages, Jean was born in 1633, and François, 1635 .
In the spring of 1636, forty-one-year-old Nicolas and twenty-four-year-old Jeanne, doubtless holding Jean and François securely in their arms, embarked on the vessel that would bring them to the American continent. Along with ninety or so other colonists, they arrived 11 June 1636 at the Habitation of Québec; this wooden bastion had been established by Samuel de Champlain in 1608, and later reclaimed by the French in 1633 after a four-year English occupation. The Habitation served as a residence for its nearly 200 colonists and tradesmen, and was a "comptoir," where Indians and Europeans came to trade furs and other goods.
On 12 November 1639, notaire Martial Piraube drafted a contract wherein Nicolas Peltier, fellow carpenter Pierre Pelletier, and mason Jean Éger evaluated the timber frames of the house of the late Guillaume Hébert. Given this early date, Pierre Pelletier might have been some relation of Nicolas, and may have even arrived at Québec City with the family in the spring of 1636. Florine Perry has indicated that Nicolas had an uncle in Gallardon named Pierre, whose wife was Catherine Tessier. Whatever his relation to the Peltier family, Marcel Trudel affirms that the 1639 notarial act was Pierre Pelletier's sole appearance in the colony .
For nine years after his arrival, Nicolas lived and worked as a carpenter at the Habitation of Québec, during which time his and Jeanne's household grew by four daughters. In 1645, he and his family settled in nearby Sillery, a "seigneurie" of mostly virgin forest, where French Jesuit priests ministered to the numerous Montagnais, Huron, and Algonquin Indians living there. In 1637, the Jesuits had constructed a mission in Sillery in order to render these nomadic indigenes sedentary, and, at the same time, to teach them agriculture and religion. At first, the few Montagnais and Algonquins who responded to the Gospel had lived with the Jesuits at their house in Sillery, but by 1643, the mission included some thirty-five families, most of which lived in huts around the "maison." By the end of the 1640s, many more Indians, including Hurons from Ontario, had settled in Sillery, seeking protection from the Iroquois .
As noted earlier, Nicolas and Jeanne had brought with them to New France two sons, Jean and François. In Québec City, four more children were born and baptized: Marie, on 3 April 1637; Louise, on 10 May 1640; Françoise, on 13 April 1642; and Jeanne, on 19 March 1644. At Mission Saint-Joseph in Sillery were later baptized Geneviève, on 6 April 1646, and finally Nicolas, on 2 May 1649. The Peltier daughters all married and established families in the area of Sillery, whereas the sons traveled broadly throughout the colony, and eventually settled in more remote corners. François and Nicolas even went on to take brides from the Montagnais nation of the Saguenay - Lac Saint-Jean region.
The eldest son, Jean Peltier, married Geneviève Manovelli de Réville on 21 August 1662 in Sillery, and with her had one son; she was from the city of Mortagne, in Perche (department of Orne). In February 1664, he and younger brother François were called to appear before the Conseil Souverain in Québec City, to answer to the "calamitous charges" of having illegally traded "intoxicating drink" with the Indians . When the brothers appeared, they requested that the Conseil render them swift justice; they had no time to waste, they explained, and had to leave right away "for the hunt." To the crime of which they were charged, the brothers replied that they had done no wrong, that the governor had never restricted the trade of alcohol, and that, moreover, Denis Ruette d'Auteuil-Monceaux, a "Conseiller du Roi" (King's councilor) present at the Conseil, had himself openly traded alcohol with the Indians, which they offered to prove with witnesses. At this point, the Conseil had heard enough; it imprisoned the brothers for one hour for their impertinence, and ordered them to reveal "the names of the witnesses that they supposed to produce," without further fine or penalty to be paid. Later, at the census of 1667, Jean and his family resided in Sillery, on the land he had received in 1652, with two servants in their employ; early in the next decade, he moved to the Seigneurie d'Autray. In 1692, Iroquois killed both Jean and his son.
Middle son François Pelletier, who would later bear the sobriquet "Antaya," was an experienced "voyageur" and "coureur de bois" in his youth , and became in subsequent years the first aristocrat of the family. On 21 November 1659, he accompanied Jesuit Charles Albanel to the mission-trading post at Tadoussac, where, before his departure in April, the priest married François with a "sauvagesse chrétienne" (Christian Indian) named Dorothée. According to the Journal des Jésuites, Albanel proceeded without the publication of banns and without consent from the parents, the Bishop, or the Governor, which caused much ado. This marriage lasted only one year, and produced no children, as Dorothée died 13 April 1661 at the Hôtel-Dieu of Québec City, "having received all the sacraments of the Church." That same year, following a summer expedition to the Saguenay - Lac Saint-Jean region, François returned to Sillery, and on 26 September married Marguerite Madeleine Morisseau, originally from the parish of Saint-Pierre, in Roye, province of Picardie (department of la Somme); they eventually had ten children. Residing first in Sillery, about 1669 François and his family moved to the Seigneurie de Saurel (today the city of Sorel), found at the mouth of the Richelieu River, some twenty-five miles northeast of Montréal. He had received a concession from Seigneur Pierre de Saurel, former captain of the Carignan-Salières Regiment; in 1666, François had been among the 300 Frenchmen and Indians whom Saurel led on an expedition against the Iroquois who had killed two officers from his regiment, and captured four or five others. Later, on 22 October 1675, François and Marguerite purchased the Seigneurie d'Orvilliers, which sat on the other side of the Saint Lawrence River, between the Seigneurie d'Autray and the Seigneurie de Berthier. It consisted of one half-league of frontage and one league of depth, and it included the Isle-aux-Foins, as well as the islets situated between the Isle and the terra firma. With this land in their possession, François and Marguerite merited the estimable titles "Seigneur" and "Seigneuresse"; these appellations in themselves denoted no nobility, but rather reflected the esteem due to François and Marguerite as proprietors of a seigneurie.
The youngest of the Peltier children, Nicolas "Colin" Peltier, was the first white to settle permanently in the Saguenay - Lac Saint-Jean region and to adopt the ways of its people. In the Montagnais language, he was also known as "Nicolachiche," meaning "little Nicolas," and among his descendants can be identified a number of tribal chiefs . In September 1672, Colin obtained authorization from Louis Buade de Palluau-Frontenac, governor of New France, to depart on a winter-long trading expedition to Lac Saint-Jean . Returning to Québec City the following spring, on 22 June 1673, he received permission from François de Montmorency-Laval, bishop of New France, to wed Madeleine Tégoussi, a Montagnais ; she was the niece of Chief Noël Negabamat dit Tekouerimat, of Sillery . This permission came under the condition that Colin "reside with his wife, not in the woods among Indians, but in a house among the French, and that their children be raised according to French customs and in the French language." Despite these provisions, in September 1674, and again in the summer of 1676, Colin embarked with his wife on different trading expeditions to Lac Saint-Jean. When Madeleine died in March 1677, Colin was left to care for their fifteen-month-old daughter. On 3 June of that year, at Mission Saint-Charles on Lac Saint-Jean, he wed Françoise Ouechipichinokoué, an Algonquin with whom he sired eleven children. The next year, likely profiting from the close local ties afforded him by having married into the families of Madeleine and Françoise , Colin established his own trading post in the Domaine du Roi, to the south of Lac Nekoubau. According to Victor Tremblay, this was the juncture of three significant trade routes connecting Lac Saint-Jean, Baie James, and Rivière Saint-Maurice. His bastioned post, consisting of three small houses, sat 183 miles from Lac Saint-Jean, and he operated there until at least 1693. Later, on 5 August 1715 in Québec City, Colin married Marie Pechabanoukoué, daughter of Chief Jean-Baptiste Outchiouanich, of Tadoussac; she would later tutor Jesuit Pierre Michel Laure in the Montagnais language . Ultimately, Colin settled along the northern shore of the Saguenay River (today in the town of Saint-Fulgence), at a place that still today bears his name, Anse-à-Peltier.
On 12 September 1645, at Fort Saint-Louis in Québec City, Governor Charles Huault de Montmagny, acting under the authority given him by the Company of New France, conceded to Nicolas fifty arpents of land on the côte Saint-François-Xavier of Sillery . An "arpent" is an old French unit of land area, approximately equal to 39,000 square feet (9/10 of an acre), or it could be a unit of length equal to one side of a square arpent, about 200 feet; a "côte" is a hill or bluff. The boundaries of the concession were as follows: on its southeast side, a southwest-northeast line 20 toises from the Saint Lawrence River, one toise equaling approximately two yards; on its northeast side, a southeast-northwest line twelve toises from the "grand chemin de Kebec au cap Rouge," the road connecting these two places; on its southwest side, a southeast-northwest line separating it from land not yet granted; and on its northeast side, a southeast-northwest line separating it from the land of the Mères Hospitalières, a religious order that operated a hospital in Sillery. Given that Nicolas' daughter Geneviève was baptized in Sillery the following 6 April, it is likely that he and his family moved from Québec City at about the time this concession was made. Later, on 29 March 1649, at their office in Paris, the directors of the Company of New France ratified the concession made by Huault de Montmagny to Peltier three-and-a-half years earlier. At the same time, they specified that in order to keep his land, Nicolas had to pay an annual rent of six deniers for every arpent in his possession; now obsolete, a "denier" equaled one twelfth of a "sou" (halfpenny). Finally, on 28 April 1650, by order of Louis Ailleboust de Coulonges, governor of New France, the concession granted to Peltier was recorded at the registry of Québec City. The registrar noted that Nicolas had to work and satisfactorily cultivate the land in his possession, or he would forfeit it and render the concession null and void. The day on which the annual rent fell due was also specified: the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist, two days after Christmas.
Axe in hand, and with sons Jean and François by his side, Nicolas cut and cleared his concession of trees and stumps before applying his energy to constructing his habitation. From this time onward, he had to cultivate his land to subsist as a farmer, but he continued to exercise the trade of "charpentier-menuisier," a carpenter specializing in construction. Before the end of the decade, he had qualified as a "maître-charpentier," a master of his craft and therefore able to work unsupervised. He framed the steeple of Notre-Dame de la Paix Church in Québec City in 1647, for which he received 1,500 pounds, plus thirty pounds for the "vin du marché" ; the next year, he installed the roof of Fort Saint-Louis, the governor's residence . In addition, over the next decade, he continued to hire himself out to construct and maintain various houses and barns in the area. On 5 April 1650, he negotiated a contract with Mathurin Trut, whereby he agreed to pay Trut 320 pounds for two years' service. The following 28 October, along with fellow master-carpenter and son-in-law Nicolas Goupil, he hired himself out to Jean-Paul Godefroy, to construct a house measuring 55 feet by 24 feet, for the price of 1,500 pounds. Later, on 1 May 1653, Jacques Sevestre hired him for 125 pounds to work with André Renault, to complete a barn begun by Renault and Jean Boyer. Finally, on 27 December 1657, Pierre Niel hired him to frame the walls, windows, and timber-frames of a house measuring 20 feet by 30 feet, for 250 pounds . Ultimately, by the late-1660s, Nicolas had begun to withdraw from this trade, becoming instead an "habitant," a distinctly French-Canadian country farmer, toiling the soil and raising his livestock.
In Sillery, as noted above, French Jesuit priests operated a mission for area Indians, and the Peltier family undoubtedly had regular and close contact with these "sauvages néophytes" (converted savages). The following are but three such encounters.
In August 1646, one of Nicolas' cows wandered from his land into a nearby wheat field, which belonged to the Indians, where it grazed, and in so doing, destroyed some portion of the valuable commodity. The "sauvages" discovered the cow, and seeking retribution for whatever it had eaten or ruined, they killed the animal on the spot. Nicolas brought the matter before the court, where the value of the cow was estimated at seventy-five francs, and where those responsible for its slaughter were ordered to pay Nicolas six beaver pelts, worth about ten francs per pound .
In the second episode, which took place in the autumn of 1647, it was not the Indians who transgressed the law, but Jeanne de Vousy, Nicolas' wife. Following a report on delinquent behavior in Sillery made to Governor Huault de Montmagny, Jeanne was found guilty of trading "eau-de-vie" (distilled alcohol) to the Indians. He condemned her to pay a fine of 100 pounds, and to relinquish the 480 "grains" that she had received in exchange for the spirits . From this fine, one third went to the Jesuits, while the other two thirds were divided between the Ursulines and the Hospitalières, two orders of nuns who also tended to the "sauvages néophytes" of Sillery .
The third incident is more serious than the killing of an errant cow or the illicit trading of spirituous liquors. According to the Journal des Jésuites, in May 1651, two Iroquois attempted to raid the Peltier home, but Nicolas was able to repel their attack, and ostensibly, he and his family escaped unharmed.
In 1650, and in the thirteen years that followed, Nicolas and Jeanne undoubtedly had much occasion for joy and parental admiration as they saw each of their five daughters taken in matrimony. Eldest daughter Marie married Nicolas Goupil in Québec City on 17 October 1650; the couple had two children, but after her husband's death, in 1655 she wed Denis Jean, whom she bore twelve children. On 17 November 1653 in Sillery, Louise Pelletier married Jean Hayot, and they went on to have ten children. The next year, in Québec City, middle daughter Françoise married Jean Bériau on 17 August, but widowed soon after, she married Sébastien Liénard on 11 October 1655, and with him had thirteen children. On 29 January 1659 in Québec City, Jeanne Pelletier wed Noël Jérémie de la Montagne, an interpreter and agent in the Domaine du Roi; they had fourteen children. Finally, on 5 November 1663 in Sillery, youngest daughter Geneviève married Vincent Verdon; she was carrying their second child when Vincent died in 1665. Four years later, on 8 September, she married Thomas Lefebvre, an interpreter and fur-trader.
In 1653, in order to allow the residents of the côte Saint-François-Xavier to "come together as a community," and to better resist Iroquois attack, the Jesuits established a fifty-arpent Common. According to Marcel Trudel, forty-five arpents were divided equally among the eighteen residents of the côte, giving them 2-1/2 arpents apiece to plant gardens and to build barns and stables; Nicolas and Jean Peltier were among those who still held the rights to their portions in 1663. The remaining five arpents were reserved for a fort-bastion, built by the residents themselves. In 1654, the Jesuits distributed houses and dwellings within the Fort to the habitants, and to maintain their rights to these habitations, they had to "maintain home and hearth" and "undertake the necessary functions for the defense of the place."
On 22 March 1660, Jesuit Superior Jérôme Lalemant confirmed in a signed affidavit that on 29 March 1649 the Company of New France had ratified the "acte de distribution" made by Governor Huault de Montmagny to Nicolas on 12 September 1645 . Lalemant described the bourns of the land as, "a line on the high side to separate it from the land presently belonging to Thomas Hayot," and "a line on the low side to separate it from the land [formerly] belonging to the Hospitalières, presently belonging to [Denis Ruette d'Auteuil] Monceaux," noting that the parcel extended from the Saint Lawrence River to the Chemin de Québec au Cap-Rouge. Lalemant continued, "Having been asked by the said Peltier to give him confirmation of the said concession of fifty arpents, and moreover to make to him donation of the fifty-arpent surplus within the said boundaries of the said land, following the promise that the late Reverend Father Jean de Quen, then Jesuit Superior and tutor to the said 'sauvages,' had made to him in May 1659, in view of the said concession, signed in the name of the commissioners of the Company of New France on 29 March 1649, with the act of distribution of 12 September 1645, and being otherwise assured of the said promise: we have accorded and by these presents do accord to the said Peltier confirmation of the said fifty arpents, bounded as above, to the conditions and charges carried by the said concession for the rent, to wit, of six deniers per arpent; moreover, we have made to him and by these presents do make to him donation of the said fifty-arpent surplus comprised within the said boundaries, under the same conditions as the others who have received concessions in the said 'Seigneurie des Sauvages' [Sillery] since 1651, to wit, a rent of twelve deniers per arpent, payable every Feast of Saint John the Evangelist, 27 December, at our house in Sillery…."
By 1663, Nicolas had acquired a second tract of land in Sillery, and he now possessed over 100 arpents, which did not include his share of the Common adjacent to Fort Saint-François-Xavier. According to Marcel Trudel, his lower parcel consisted of an unknown quantity of land, but like its neighbor, it possibly measured three arpents along the Saint Lawrence by about twenty deep. The date of concession is also unknown, but according to the 1660 concession of an abutting piece, Nicolas' land sat to the northeast ; it is unclear what became of this land. The higher parcel, which included the 1645 concession and the 1660 donation, ran four arpents along the River and extended inland to the Chemin de Québec au Cap-Rouge (today Boulevard Laurier), a distance of about twenty-five arpents. At the census of 1667, Nicolas Peltier was seventy-three years old, Jeanne de Vousy was sixty-five, and son Nicolas Peltier, eighteen; they lived on the côte Saint-François-Xavier and had in their employ a "domestique" (servant), Pierre Quartier.
On 20 August 1669, Nicolas rented from Denis Ruette d'Auteuil-Monceaux, representing the rights of François Pelletier, a "habitable house and a barn" belonging to the latter, and agreed to pay the former twenty pounds per year, for two years . As a result, the following 13 October, he and Jeanne were able to rent their property on the côte Saint-François-Xavier to eldest son Jean for five years. According to the lease agreement, the land abutted on one side Ruette d'Auteuil-Monceaux, and on the other, François Pelletier, and it extended from the River to the Chemin; it included about twenty-five arpents of fertile land, as well as a house, a barn, and stables, and it provided fishing rights on the Saint Lawrence. In exchange, they received thirty-five bushels of wheat, ten bushels of peas, and one barrel of salted eels per year . Later, on 11 October 1671, they rented this same property to Ruette d'Auteuil-Monceaux, for which they received thirty bushels of wheat and sixteen bushels of peas per year . Finally, on 27 October 1673, they sold their land in Sillery to Ruette d'Auteuil-Monceaux, for the sum of one thousand pounds .
Having thus disposed of their property in Sillery, Nicolas and Jeanne relocated up the Saint Lawrence River, towards Montréal, to the area around the Seigneurie de Saurel. Although the exact particulars of their subsequent travels and migration remain unknown, notarial acts verify that by the autumn of 1673, they had settled at the Seigneurie d'Autray; son Jean had settled there some three years earlier. At about this same time, Nicolas and Jean each received from Philippe Gauthier de Comporté a concession in the neighboring Seigneurie d'Orvilliers. Gauthier de Comporté had received this fief on 29 October 1672 from Jean Talon, intendant of New France, and would later sell it to François Pelletier Antaya and Marguerite Morisseau on 22 October 1675. In the meantime, he made his donations to Nicolas and to Jean. On 23 March 1678 in Québec City, Gauthier de Comporté drafted a confirmatory note, in which he stated, "I certify having previously given a billet, by which I gave to bonhomme Nicolas Peltier an habitation of four arpents of frontage by forty arpents of depth, on the land that I have since sold to Sieur Antaya, equally having given to Jean Peltier four arpents of frontage by forty of depth, all joining the Seigneurie d'Autray." He continued, "I have also returned to them by the said previously written billet, all the rent that they owed, which was two live capons and forty sous per year, given that they were the first habitants of the said place until the day that I sold the said land to the said Sieur Antaya…. "
It was there, above the Isles-de-Richelieu at the western extremity of Lac Saint-Pierre, that Nicolas Peltier spent the rest of his days, in the company of his wife, sons Jean and François, and several grandchildren. He lived well into his eighties, and died sometime before 1681. Jeanne de Vousy followed in 1689, at age seventy-seven, and was buried 12 December in the Seigneurie de Saurel.
Here ends this reflection on the lives of these brave and hardy pioneers, born some four hundred years ago in the parish of Gallardon, province of Orléanais. Nicolas and Jeanne survived famine and pestilence, embarked on a voyage of great uncertainty, and prospered in the hostile and otherwise unforgiving wilderness of New France, where they ultimately succeeded in establishing their family. In 1681, their progeny included three sons, five daughters, over 70 grandchildren, and even several great-grandchildren. Their legacy survives, and their descendants continue to prosper, as much in Canada as in the United States, still to this day.

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