Sunday, October 11, 2015

Church Record Sunday: Jean-Baptiste Desgroseilliers' 1755 Burial Record

Jean-Baptiste Desgroseilliers burial record
Jean-Baptiste Desgroseilliers burial record (

Jean-Baptiste Desgroseilliers, no. 385 in my ancestor list, is my 6x great-grandfather.

He had different surnames at different stages of his life. For example, it was Bouchard (his father’s surname) at his baptism in 1698, Dorval Degroseliers (his father’s dit name) at his marriage in 1734, and Desgroseliers at his burial in 1755.

Born on 17 January 1698 in Montreal, I imagine that he was raised hearing the stories and adventures of his maternal grandfather, Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers, the famous coureur de bois and explorer. (I’ve written about him here.)

By his wife Marie-Josèphe de Chavigny, whom he married on 26 September 1734, he had ten children.

Jean-Baptiste died on 11 October 1755 – 260 years ago today. He was buried the following day in St-Joseph cemetery in Deschambault seigneurie, east of Trois-Rivières, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. [1] The priest, Menage, recorded Jean-Baptiste’s age as ‘about 50’, but he was actually 57 years old.

The burial record (above) was challenging to decipher, but I think I captured the most important words. It reads in French:

“Le douzieme jour […] octobre de l’année mil sept cent cinquante cinq dans / le cimetiere du […] paroisse de St-Joseph Seigneurie d’Eschambeau a été / enterré Jean baptiste desgroseliers àgé [autour] de cinquante ans mort du jour / précedant après avoir recue tous les Sacrements. […] assisté a son enterrement / pierre Arcan et pierre grolo [pris] et appeller pour [cousins] lesquels on déclaré ne / savoir écrire ni Signer de ce enquis […] lequel enterrement / à été fais par nous prêtre soussigné curé de St-Joseph. En fois de quoi nous avons / signé dans nôtre maison curialle […].”

In English:

“The twelfth day […] October of 1755 in / the cemetery of […] parish St-Joseph Seigneurie of [Deschambault] was / buried Jean Baptiste Desgroseliers aged [about] / 50 years died on the / preceding day after having received all the Sacraments. […] Present at the burial Pierre Arcan and Pierre Grolo [taken] and called as [cousins] have declared not / to know how to write nor to sign [their names] as were asked […] said burial / was done by us undersigned priest curate of St-Joseph. In faith at which we have /signed in our curial home […].”


1. St-Joseph (Deschambault, Quebec), parish register, 1713-1791, p. 57 verso, no entry no. (1755), Jean Baptiste Desgroseliers (written as Jean Baptiste Desgroseliers, indexed as Jean Desgroseliers) burial, 12 October 1755; St-Joseph parish; digital images, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 10 October 2015).

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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