Friday, December 05, 2014

52 Ancestors: #49 François Janvry dit Belair, Seven Years’ War soldier

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small has issued herself and her readers a challenge for 2014. It’s called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”, and as Amy explains, the challenge is to “have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor”.

I’ve had an amazing time participating in this blogging challenge for the past eleven months. There’s only four weeks left to go and I’m feeling kind of sad that the end is in sight.

For the 49th week of this challenge, I chose François Janvry dit Belair (ca 1736-1817).

My patrilineal family owes its existence on the North American continent to a war, because François – my first Belair immigrant ancestor – came to Nouvelle-France as a soldier. He is my 4x great-grandfather and is number 64 in my ancestor list.

During the Seven Years’ War (also known as the War of the Conquest or the French and Indian Wars) between 1754 and 1763, France sent army regiments and naval companies to Canada to fight the English and the Indians who threatened the colony’s sovereignty. [1]

There are few known details about François' early life. He was born about 1731 (age at his burial), or more likely about 1736 (age at his hospitalization). [2] He was born in the parish of St-Martin of Dives, Picardie, France. [3] He was the son of Charles Janvry and Marie Lefebvre. [4]

Hospital record of Francois Janvry dit Belair
François Janvry dit Belair's hospital record (middle line)
(Généalogie Québec.com)

François, an infantry soldier, served with an unspecified company in the Béarn regiment. [5] He was possibly in Canada as early as June 1755 when the regiment arrived in Quebec. [6] His first recorded appearance, however, is four years later when he was a patient at the Hôtel-Dieu (hospital) in Quebec from 17 to 19 June 1759. [7] His next appearance in Canadian records is when he served as a witness at the marriage of a fellow soldier in Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds), near Montreal, in November 1760. [8]

Two months later, François married Marie Elisabeth Martel on 7 January 1761 in Ste-Geneviève. [9] She was twenty-seven years old, and a widow with two young children. The newlyweds made their home in Ste-Geneviève on property that Marie Elisabeth inherited from her late husband. François and Marie Elisabeth had six children, including my ancestor Pierre, their youngest child.

Today – 5 December 2014 – marks the 197th anniversary of François’ death. He died on 5 December 1817, and was buried the next day in Ste-Geneviève. [10]

Sources:

1. Canadian War Museum (http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/gallery1/clash_e.shtml : accessed 4 December 2014), “Clash of Empires and The Battle of the Plains of Abraham: Introduction: The Seven Years' War”.

2. Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds, Quebec), parish register, 1812-1823, p. 112 recto, no entry no. (1817), Eustache Janvry [sic] burial, 6 December 1817; Ste-Geneviève parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 22 September 2010). And, “Registres du Fonds Drouin”, digital images, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 4 December 2014), entry for francois zénéry dit Beller [sic], 17 June 1759. Note: To access this unindexed entry, follow this path: Registres du Fonds Drouin > Québec > Divers > Québec (Hôpitaux) > Québec (Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu du Précieux-Sang de Québec) > Registres des malades > 1752-1804 > image d1p_31481140.jpg (line 17 on left page).

3. “Registres du Fonds Drouin”, digital images, Généalogie Québec, entry for francois zénéry dit Beller [sic], 17 June 1759. Also, Marcel Fournier, Combattre pour la France en Amérique: Les soldats de la guerre de Sept Ans en Nouvelle-France 1755-1760, (Montréal: Société généalogique canadienne-française, 2009), 405. An alternate place of birth is the “paroisse d’ytre, diocese de noyon en picardie”. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 5 September 2009), Francois Janvry Belair (ca 1731- ), Individu no. 160339.

4. Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds, Quebec), parish register, 1756-1775, p. 12 recto, no entry no. (1761), francois janvri dit belaïr – marie Elizabeth martel [sic], 7 January 1761; Ste-Geneviève parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 July 2007).

5. “Registres du Fonds Drouin”, digital images, Généalogie Québec, entry for francois zénéry dit Beller [sic], 17 June 1759. Also, Fournier, Combattre pour la France, 405.

6. Fournier, Combattre pour la France, 58.

7. “Registres du Fonds Drouin”, digital images, Généalogie Québec, entry for francois zénéry dit Beller [sic], 17 June 1759. Also, Fournier, Combattre pour la France, 405.

8. “Dictionnaire”, database, Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca : accessed 5 September 2009), Joseph Parmier Vadeboncoeur – Marie Catherine Lariviere, Mariage no. 281210.

9. Ste-Geneviève, parish register, 1756-1775, p. 12 recto, francois janvri dit belaïr – marie Elizabeth martel [sic] marriage, 7 January 1761.

10. Ste-Geneviève, parish register, 1812-1823, p. 112 recto, Eustache Janvry [sic] burial, 6 December 1817.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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