Probably the most famous of my direct ancestors is Louis Guimont (c 1625-1661), son of François Guimont (c 1595-1630) and Jeanne Delauney (c 1595-1629). He was born near Champs, in the Orne region of Lower Normandy in France, and according to some accounts worked as a domestic under the employ of Mathurin Mauduit at his estate (Mulotière) located a few miles from Tourouve.
|Location of Champs in Lower Normandy.|
Paris is about 100 km to the east.
He left France from New Rochelle on June 6, 1647 for the 60-day journey to New France. The ship also carried Jean Malefant (also under a 5-year contract with Juchereau) and Pierre Tremblay, himself the ancestor of what would become the largest French-Canadian family. They arrived at Québec on August 6th of that year.
Shortly before his contract ended, he married Jeanne Bitouset (1636-1707) a "Filles à Marier" (not to be confused with the "Filles du Roi") who had arrived in Québec herself in 1652, at the chapel of Saint-Jean at the Coast of Sainte-Geneviève in Québec on Feb. 11, 1653.
There, for the next three years, he rents a plot of land from Martin Grouvel, clearing the land (for 120 livres for each acre cleared) and planting crops (shared with his landlord). During this period, his first three children are born: Jacques (born 26 Sep 1653, and dies a week later), Joseph (born 19 Oct 1654), and Louise (born 28 Aug 1658). His youngest son, Claude, was born in 1660 - and is my 8th great-grandfather. In October 1657, he purchases five acres of nearby land from Louis Brouchard.
|Wax figures showing the construction of the church at Beaupré. Louis Guimont is the figure at right.|
|Drawing of Chapelle des Maleots|
|Basilica of Saint Anne de Beaupré today.|
However, the story of Louis Guimont doesn't end here. On the morning of June 8, 1661, fourteen people from Beaupré and L'Île d'Orléans, including Louis Guimont, were captured by the Agniers tribe of the Iroquois, who had recently raided Tadoussac (about 100km down river). From there, they traveled 15 hours south to Lake Champlain where they were tortured and eventually killed. One account (written on birch bark by François Hertel, signed by Fr. Jérôme Lallement that made its way back to his mother) says that Guimont was scalped after infuriating his captors by refusing to cease praying aloud.