Jacques Billaudeau receives his first plot of land in Canada

(A brief history of how Jacques Billaudeau received his first plot of land in Canada.)
“Our French Canadian Ancestors”, Book 13, by Thomas J. Laforest.

Charles de Lauson and his Fiefdom

(A brief history of how Jacques Billaudeau received his first plot of land in Canada.)
“Our French Canadian Ancestors”, Book 13, by Thomas J. Laforest.
On 23 June 1652, ”the small boat of the first ship from France arrived, commanded by Master Jean Poitel, the ship landed on the Isle aux Coudres”. On the following 1 July, ”arrived M. de Charny & the men from this first ship” (1). Among these men who were not named, was a passenger by the name of Jacques Billaudeau, originally from Poitou,(2) We do not know! What is certain is that the family of this M. de Charny was of Poitevin lineage and that his Parisian roots were rather recent.

Charles De Lauson and his Fief

Charles de Lauson was the last son of the governor of New France to settle on this side of the Atlantic. He made unusual progress in his time here. Six weeks after his arrival, he married the thirteen-year-old daughter of the Seigneur de Beauport, Louise Giffard. In 1656, the year of the death of his young bride, he replaced his father as administrator and commandant of the country; he then called himself ”Chevalier, Seigneur de Charny, Governor and Lieutenant-Général for the King in New France” (3).

Charles returned to France in 1657, studied for the priesthood and was ordained less than two years later. In 1659, he returned to Canada in the company of Msgr Françoise de Laval. Now, Father Charny was immediately named Vicar-General, and accompanied the newly appointed Bishop Laval on his pastoral visit to Trois-Rivières and Montreal. Charles became head clergyman of the Hotel-Dieu at Quebec. He then took over the duties of his brother Jean, the Grand Sénéchal, killed by the Iroquois in 1661. He then succeeded his father who died in Paris in 1666. Five years later, he returned to France and never came back. He spent the rest of his days at the Jesuit College at La Rochelle. (4)

To go backward in time for a moment, let us note that on 24 July 1652, Charles received from his father the most important land grant ever made on the Ile d’Orléans, the fief of Charny-Lirec. The fief included the whole north side of the island, the area of the present parishes of Sainte-Famille and Saint-Pierre. The deed mentions that persons must be chosen ”who have the will and the ability to clear and cultivate the wild lands of this country of New France in order to fill it with inhabitants”.

On 20 July 1656, Charles ”Seigneur of Charny and of I.irec” (5), pledged faith and homage to Olivier Le Tardif, provost judge of Beaupré, ”On 26 April 1661, wrote Raymond Gariepy, he completed the l’aveu et denombrement (local census) of his fief, which he gave to the administrator of the seigneurie the next day. According to this document, the fief of Lirec was almost completely inhabited in the parish of Sainte-Famille, but very little in that of Saint-Pierre ”.(6)

On 2 April 1656, notary François Badeau (7) recorded fourteen land grants made at Beauport by Charles de Lauson in his fief of Lirec. The new concessionaires were:

Robert Gagnon,
Jacques Billaudeau (Bilodeau),
Siméon Lerreau (aka Simon Lereau, ancestor of the L’Heureux family),
Louis Côté,
Guillaume Baucher dit Morency,
Michel Guyon,
Jacques Perrot dit Vildaigre,
Pierre Loignon,
Franqois Guyon,
Charles (Claude) Guyon,
René Mézié (Mezeray),
Pierre Nolin dit Lafougére,
Guillaume Landry and Maurice Arrivé.

All of these are early pioneers of the Ile d’Orléans, and these names still count numerous descendants in Quebec and North America today.

Of course, other lands had been distributed on the island before these, but very few. The island was practically deserted and it would still be necessary for the habitants to wait more than ten years to finally obtain their first church.(8)

According to Léon Roy, (9) all of these habitants had already occupied their lands for several years. The acts of Badeau had simply served to ratify a situation of fact. The homestead that Jacques Billaudeau occupied at that time was the last on the west side, between that of Denis Guyon (which was sold in 1659 to the partners Jacques Asselin and Antoine Pépin dit Lachance) and the lands of the domain not ceded.

This property had four arpents of frontage on the north side of the river and was about 72 arpents in depth . It was directly across from the boundary between the parishes of Chateau-Richer and Saint-Anne. It was later divided between Jacques’s two sons: Simon and Antoine. They were already settled there in 1709, as indicated by the map drawn up by Jean- Baptiste de Couagne, the surveyor associated with Gédéon de Catalogne (10).


(1) Although, no one knows for sure if Jacques was on the ship on July 1, 1652. It seems most likely, simply because Charny need volunteers to work his new land as soon as possible and there was no reason to use a second ship.
(1) JJ, 1871(1973), page 171.
(2) Poitou is a province of France under the old regime. It is in the central western part of France.
(2) The record of Confirmation in 1660 certifies to this origin.
(3) This title of Seigneur de Charny which Charles inherited from his father came from his maternal grandmother, Isabelle Lotin, who lived in the Yonne. Chamy is the principal location of the canton situated in this department, on the river Ouanne, nearby Auxerre
(4) DBC, Volume 1, pages 442-443. See Honorius Provost.
(4) Fief or Fiefdoms are land areas ruled like a kingdom.
(5) The name of Lirec has been added to honor the name of his paternal grandfather, Francois de Lauson. Seigneur of Lirec.
(6)LSB & 10, page 41.
(7) Franois Badeau, probably the son of Jacques and of Anne Ardouin. He was the notary of Robert Giffard, Seigneur of Beauport, and the secretary of Charles de Lauson-Charny.
(8) The parish records of Sainte-Famille began in 1666, but the first was built only three years later. The present church dates from 1743.
(9) Roy, Léon., Les premiers colons de la rive sud du Saint-Laurent, page158.
(10) Trudel, Marcel., TSL en 1663, page 63. This land comprses the present survey lots numbered 109, 112, 113.

Arpent is a French measure of land, containing a hundred square perches, and varying with the different values of the perch from about an acre and a quarter to about 5/6 of an acre. A perch is equal to a rod or pole, 16.5 feet or 5.5 yards)

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