Monday, January 07, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: First Belair Marriage in Canada

An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts.

My first patrilineal ancestor who came to Canada was François Janvry dit Belair (ca 1736-1817). A French soldier with the Béarn regiment, he arrived in Quebec probably in 1755. His first recorded appearance in Nouvelle-France is as a patient of the Hôtel-Dieu of Quebec on 17 June 1759.[1]

Within two years, he met and courted a young widow, Madame Pierre Boileau (var. Bouleau). François and Marie Elisabeth Martel married on 7 January 1761 in the parish church of Ste-Geneviève (now Pierrefonds), near Montreal.[2]

Marriage record of François Janvry dit Belair 1761
Marriage record of François Janvry dit Belair, 1761

The French-language text reads as follows:

Lan mil sept cent Soixante un le sept janvier je pretre soussigne […] après avoir publie trois bans de mariage pendant trois […] entre francois janvri dit belaïr fils de charles janvri et de marie lefebvre de la paroisse […] diocese de noyon en picardie d’une part et entre marie Elizabeth martel veuve de pierre boileau fille de louïs martel et de feu marie legaré d’autre part sans […] et apres avoir pris leur mutual Consentement par paroles de present leur ay [donné] benediction nuptialle en presence de nicolas houde louïs […] louï martel paul martel qui ont ainsi que les parties declaré ne savoir signer […].

The English translation of the text:

Year thousand seven hundred sixty one the seven january I priest undersigned […] after having published three bans of marriage during three […] between francois janvri dit belaïr son of charles janvri and marie lefebvre of the parish […] diocese of noyon in picardy of the one part and between marie Elizabeth martel widow of pierre boileau daughter of louïs martel and of late marie legaré of the other part without […] and after receiving their mutual Consentment by words of the present have [given] them nuptial blessing in the presence of nicolas houde louïs […] louï martel paul martel who along with the parties declared not being able to sign […].


1. Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu (Quebec, Quebec), hospital register, 1752-1804, no page number (3rd page after the start of June 1759), francois zénéry dit Beller entry, 17 June 1759; Québec (Hôpitaux) (Québec Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu du Précieux-Sang de Québec); digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 21 January 2011).

2. Ste-Geneviève (Pierrefonds, Quebec), parish register, 1756-1775, p. 12 recto, no entry no. (1761), François Janvri – Marie Elizabeth Martel marriage, 7 January 1761; Ste-Geneviève parish; digital image, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, ( : accessed 30 July 2007).

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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