Jacques Billaudeau – Domestic Mistake

Jacques Billaudeau Made A Mistake On The First Name Of His Domestic

(TAKEN FROM ”DICTIONNAIRE NATIONAL DE CANADIENS FRANCAIS ’)

Jacques Billaudeau Came to Canada between 1652-1653. On October 28, 1654, he married Genevéve Longchamp in Quebec and later established himself on a farm on the island of Orleans.

The development of his farm was going well, so Billaudeau decided he needed to get a domestic to help him. He paid in advance for the travel costs of Pierre Lemoyne to come from France on the next boat. This was common practice, it favored immigration to Canada since it allowed colonists to be assured of domestic service. Similarly, a neighbour of Jacques Billaudeau, Charles Gaultier, paid for another young Frenchman, Jacques Lemoyne, to come on the same boat.

As soon as the boat carrying the two Lemoynes arrived, Billaudeau showed up to claim his domestic. Maybe there was confusion because of the similarity of names, maybe Billaudeau saw that Jacques was more valuable than Pierre, regardless Billaudeau took Jacques even though he had paid for Pierre’s trip.

This substitution even if it was involuntary, became Charles Gaultier’s problem because he was expecting to receive Jacques not Pierre. He started legal proceedings on Billaudeau who was ordered by the sovereign council to render Jacques to Gaultier. So Billaudeau render Jacques and took Pierre instead.

He did not lose in the end because in 1681, Billaudeau owned 40 ”arpents” of farmland and the average at that time was 10-15 ”arpents” per farm. Pierre Lemoyne had obviously been useful.

Jacques Billaudeau spent his whole life on the island of Orleans. This is where he died February 8, 1712. He was 76 years old.

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