Meeting My Ancestors in New France

[This is an excerpt from Here to Stay an account of the lives of my seventeenth-century ancestors. Everything in the book is factual or a reasonable surmise (and referenced as such).]

This book could have begun in 1604 with Louis Hébert, my very first ancestor in North America, but I chose to begin with people who bore names that I have known all my life—my father’s and my mother’s patronyms. It begins therefore in 1662—eleven rather than thirteen generations ago—when Barthélémy Verreault arrives. When Marthe Quittel, his soon-to-be wife sails into Québec harbor three years later, she will become part of the story also. In 1668, we will find Louis Ledoux in Chambly, then known only as Fort Saint-Louis. We will happen upon him quite by surprise on May 20 being slapped gently on the cheek by the autocratic François de Montmorency-Laval, as the pugnacious bishop of Québec confirms sixty-six men whose names are duly recorded on a role—Louis’ is sixteenth on that list. Unfortunately, he will never reveal to us when he came to New France nor just what he is doing there in Chambly. Louis’s wife, Marie Valiquet, is more easy on us: her birth in the palissaded village of Montréal is documented. She is a Canadienne, a new breed of French.


About Denis Ledoux

Denis Ledoux began helping people to turn their memories into memoirs in 1988. Denis was named Lifewriting Professional of the Year by the Association of Personal Historians in 1996. Today, Denis is a writer, educator, teacher, autobiography co-author, memoir-writing coach, editor and publisher. He directs The Memoir Network, an international group of memoir professionals who use his method and materials to help people write lifestories. Denis also offers writing tele-classes and leads memoir writing tele-groups.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s