Friday, January 02, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #1 Marguerite Lamirault

Last year, Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small had a successful year-long blogging challenge called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”. For 2015, she’s re-issued that challenge, but added optional weekly themes. The challenge is the same as it was in 2014 – write a blog post a week about a specific ancestor, but with optional weekly themes to follow or interpret as we wish. For more information, see Announcing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition.

For the 1st week of this challenge, I used the optional weekly theme (“Fresh start”) and chose Marguerite Lamirault (ca 1644/1645-1706).

My ancestor Marguerite is a good choice for this week’s theme, because she was one of the 750 or so filles du Roi who made a fresh start when she left “the comforts of home for life in the unknown wilderness of New France”. [1] The King’s Daughters’ purpose was to help populate the colony of Nouvelle-France by marrying and having children. [2]

"L'Arrivée des Filles du Roi"

Marguerite was born about 1644 (age at death) or about 1645 (age on 1681 census) in rue des Poulies in the parish of St-Germain-l’Auxerrois in Paris, France. [3] She was the daughter of François Lamirault, a coach driver for the Queen, by his wife Jeanne Clos. [4]

St-Germain-l'Auxerrois in Paris
"Church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois, Paris first district, France"

Marguerite arrived in the summer of 1668. [5] She brought with her a dowry of goods estimated at 300 livres. [6] She did not stay long on the ‘marriage market’, because soon after her arrival in Quebec, she met Honoré Martel dit Lamontagne, a bachelor, who was about 36 years old. Despite the little time, if any, spent in courting, they agreed to marry. [7]

Marguerite and Honoré followed the custom of the day and made a public promise of marriage (known as fiançailles) that was recorded by Notre-Dame’s parish priest. [8] On the morning of 17 November 1668, Marguerite, Honoré and several of their friends gathered at the home of Sieur Soullard in Quebec. [9] There, Honoré signed his name on the marriage contract, but Marguerite could not sign hers. [10] Banns were then read at Mass on two consecutive Sundays, with a dispensation granted for the third bann. [11] Finally, Marguerite and Honoré were wed on 26 November 1668 at Notre-Dame church of Quebec. [12] It was the first of four marriages that Father Henri de Bernières celebrated that day. [13]

Honore Martel and Marguerite Lamirault marriage record
Martel - Lamirault church marriage record [14]

Honoré, born about 1632, was also from Paris, but from the parish of St-Eustache. He arrived in Canada as a soldier, probably in 1665. Three years later, he became a colonist and also worked as a sawyer. [15]

The couple had fourteen children, eight sons and six daughters, born between October 1669 and September 1691. Three of the children died young – eldest child Charles and younger children Honoré and Isabelle. [16]

Marguerite died on 17 October 1706 at Hôtel-Dieu (hospital) in Quebec. [17] Her death record indicates her name (“Marguerite lamiro”), her spouse (“de la montagne”), her age (“62 ans”), her place of origin (“de paris de la [paroisse] de St germain de loxerois de larchevesché de paris”), and her date of death (17 octobre 1706). [18] There doesn’t appear to be a burial record for Marguerite, though. As a general rule, those who died at Hôtel-Dieu were interred in the paupers’ cemetery attached to this hospital and not at Notre-Dame’s church cemetery. [19]


Filles du roi image credit:
Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, Acc. no. 1996-371-1.

St-Germain l'Auxerrois photo credit: Wikipedia contributors, "Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, ('Auxerrois_edit.jpg : accessed 31 December 2014). By Saint-Germain_l'Auxerrois.jpg: Pline derivative work: Maedin\talk (Saint-Germain_l'Auxerrois.jpg) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons.

1. Peter J. Gagné, King’s Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, 2 vols. (Pawtucket, Rhode Island: Quintin Publications, 2001), 1: 22.

2. Yves Landry, Les Filles du roi au XVIIe siècle: Orphelines en France, pionnières au Canada; suivi d’un Répertoire biographique des Filles du Roi (Ottawa: Leméac, 1992), 13.

3. Landry, Les Filles du roi, 331 and René Jetté, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Québec (Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 1983), 776.

4. Landry, Les Filles du roi, 331. The author doesn’t specify which queen consort of France, but it would likely be either Anne of Austria (1601-1666), wife of King Louis XIII (r. 1610-1643) or Maria Theresa of Spain (1638-1683), wife of King Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715).

5. Landry, Les Filles du roi, 127. Table 27 shows estimated dates of arrival for each year (1663-1673) of the Filles du roi program. The estimated date of arrival for 1668 is 3 July. Marguerite was one of about 80 filles who arrived that year. (Gagné, King’s Daughters, 2: 586-590)

6. Landry, Les Filles du roi, 331.

7. A Fille du roi was free to ask questions about a potential husband’s “home, finances, land and profession”. She was also not obliged to agree to marry a candidate if he did not suit her. (Gagné, King’s Daughters, 1: 36)

8. Notre-Dame (Quebec, Quebec), parish register, 1667-1679, p. 336 (stamped), no entry no. (1668), Honoré Martel – Marguerite L’Amiraut” [sic] marriage, 26 November 1668; Notre-Dame parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec ( : accessed 30 December 2014).

9. Florence Fernet-Martel, “Honoré Martel”, Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadiennes-française 10 (janvier et avril 1959): 70-76, particularly p. 71; DVD edition (Montreal, QC: SGCF, 2013).

10. Landry, Les Filles du roi, 331.

11. Notre-Dame, parish register, 1667-1679, p. 336, Honoré Martel – Marguerite L’Amiraut” [sic] marriage.

12. Notre-Dame, parish register, 1667-1679, p. 336, Honoré Martel – Marguerite L’Amiraut” [sic] marriage.

13. Notre-Dame, parish register, 1667-1679, p. 336, Honoré Martel – Marguerite L’Amiraut” [sic] marriage.

14. Notre-Dame, parish register, 1667-1679, p. 336, Honoré Martel – Marguerite L’Amiraut” [sic] marriage.

15. Gagné, King’s Daughters, 2: 341.

16. Jetté, Dictionnaire, 776.

17. Jetté, Dictionnaire, 776.

18. Roland-J. Auger, “Notules nécrologiques de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec”, Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadiennes-française 4 (juin 1951): 226-231, particularly pages 227-228; DVD edition (Montreal, QC: SGCF, 2013).

19. Auger, “Notules nécrologiques de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec”, 226.

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.


  1. St-Germain-l’Auxerrois in Paris, France

    I have seen mention on genealogical sites of Marguerite L'Amirault of her being born at Saint-Germain d'Auxerre, Roissy-en-Brie, Île-de-France. Given that this is 165 kms from the centre of Paris, St-Germain-l’Auxerrois is technically not even in the modern area defined as of Île-de-France but it is closer to the truth and less misleading than to say Paris.
    Enjoyed your post. It really helps when you put a human face on history. Thanks

  2. As to St Germain Auxerrois
    Following up, you are idead correct
    Got to love this digital world.
    Thanks Again

  3. I think that Marguerite L'Amirault et Jean-Honoré Martel dit Lamontagne probably knew each other in Paris, before their departure for la Nouvelle-France, as both their fathers worked for the King. Jean-Honoré lived very near, in the Paroisse St-Eustache, and Marguerite's parish, St-Germain L'Auxerrois, was just across the street, near what is today the Musée du Louvre. I think, like all the other Filles du Roi, and the strong and independant women who came after her, that she was an amazing woman who lived in Québec (Neuville) more than 12 generations ago!
    Michèle Beaudry