Friday, June 06, 2014

52 Ancestors: #23 Jacques Leblanc

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’m changing directions for the month of June by focusing on distant, immigrant ancestors. And so, for the 23rd week of this challenge, I chose Jacques Leblanc (ca 1636-1710).

Jacques Leblanc is my maternal 8x great-grandfather and is number 1852 in my ancestor list.

He was born between 1636 and 1644, based on his age at various events in his life. For example, he was 22 years old on the 1666 census of New France (now Canada) (giving him a year of birth of 1644), 45 years old on the 1681 census (giving him a year of birth of 1636), and 55 years old in 1695 and 70 years old at his burial (giving him a year of birth of 1640). [1]

Son of Antoine and Madeleine (Boucher) Leblanc, Jacques was originally from the parish of St-Pierre in Pont-L’Evêque in the province of Normandie, in northwestern France. The region is known for its soft cheese (Pont-L’Evêque) and its apple brandy (calvados).

Jacques left his native country for the colony of New France, probably in the mid-1660s. One source states that he immigrated in 1659 as a maçon engagé (mason under contract), [2] but when this information is compared to another source, it appears that it’s a different man with a similar name who ultimately did not make the journey. [3]

St-Sulpice seminary in Montreal
“Le séminaire de Saint-Sulpice à Montréal” (1880)
Vieux manoirs, vieilles maisons / Library and Archives Canada / PA-036721

In the late winter of 1666, Jacques was enumerated on that year’s census as a resident of Montreal. [4] He was unmarried and worked as a domestique engagé (domestic under contract) for the Sulpician priests, one of 28 similarly employed men at their Seminary. [5]

That spring, Jacques married Suzanne Rousselin on 6 June 1666 – 348 years ago today – in Montreal. [6] Suzanne, from the province of Bretagne in France, was a fille du Roi, who arrived in 1665. [7]

Charlesbourg village about 1830
“In the Village of Charlesbourg” (about 1830), by James Pattison Cockburn, 1779-1847
Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1989-262-21

Jacques and Suzanne eventually settled in St-Claude village in Charlesbourg, now part of Quebec City, where they were enumerated on the 1681 census. Jacques was an habitant, a farmer settler. [8] In time, the couple welcomed nine children: six sons, the youngest of whom is my ancestor Charles, and three daughters.

Jacques died on 14 April 1710 in St-Claude village. He was buried the next day in Charlesbourg. Two days later, his widow Suzanne died. [9]


1. René Jetté, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Québec (Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 1983), 671.

2. Marcel Trudel, Catalogue des immigrants 1632-1662 (Montréal: Editions Hurtubise HMH, Limitée, 1983), 423. Trudel gives Jacques the name of Jean, dit Jacques, Leblanc, but has him originating in Anjou, France.

3. Archange Godbout, Les passagers du Saint-André. La recrue de 1659 (Montréal: Société Généalogique Canadienne-Française, publication no 5, 1964), 35. Godbout states that Jacques is Jean Leblanc, born in la Flèche [in Anjou, France], but that the name of this aspiring colonist was struck from the role of immigrants of 1659.

4. Hubert Charbonneau and Jacques Légaré, eds., Répertoire des actes de baptême mariage sépulture et des recensements du Québec ancien, 1621–1799 [Table of baptisms, marriages, and burials in old Québec], 47 vols. (Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, ca. 1980–1991), 6: 19, Recensement de 1666: Jacques Lebland [sic].

5. The First Census of New France (Québec) – 1666 ( : accessed 1 June 2014), Montreal: Jacques leBland [sic].

6. Jetté, Dictionnaire, 671.

7. Peter J. Gagné, King’s Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, 2 vols. (Pawtucket, Rhode Island: Quintin Publications, 2001), 2: 504.

8. Charbonneau and Légaré, Répertoire … du Québec ancien, 6: 255, Recensement de 1681: Jacques Leblanc. 

9. Jetté, Dictionnaire, 671.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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