Name: Pierre Genereux
Given Name: Pierre
Birth: Between 1661 &1670 in Diocese Limoges, Limousin, France
Death: After 18 May 1742 & prior 1 Jan 1751 in Berthierville, PQ
This day the 28 of September 1699, Pierre Genereux soldier of Monsieur the Chevalier de Grais, of the Bishopric of Limoges, and Francoise Marie Dessureaux were married at the Church of N.D. of the Visitation in Champlain. This short excerpt from the marriage record of Pierre Genereux and Francoise Dessureaux is all that is known of Pierre Genereux's origins. It is not much to go on. I have reviewed that record, Pierre's captain, his company, the history of the Franches Marines, notary records involving Pierre Genereux, and the church records of Berthier and the surrounding area. And having also reviewed many Pierre Genereux family trees online, I find that a great deal of the information concerning Pierre Genereux's military company, place of birth, the approximate years of his birth and death, and his parentage, is a miss interpretion of a document or just speculation. After 30 years of research, I have come to these conclusions on the following concerning Pierre Genereux.
Change Date: 18 Aug 2016 at 15:49:18
HIS COMPANY COMMANDER WAS DE GRAIS: The Drouin genealogy dictionary and the PRDH, indicate Pierre was a soldier of de Grais. The Jette genealogy dictionary that he was a soldier of La Groye. The key and solution to this difference can be found in the title of Chevalier, which is a rank of the Order of Saint Louis. De Grais had received this title, and was often referred to as Chevalier, well in advance of Pierre Genereux's marriage in 1699. La Groye did not receive this title until 1705.
HIS PLACE OF BIRTH WAS THE BISHOPRIC OR DIOCESE OF LIMOGE: The source of this information is his marriage record. And it is important to distinguish the Bishopric, or Diocese of Limoges from the city of Limoges, because the Diocese is a much larger area, with a great many more parishes.
HIS BIRTH WAS BETWEEN THE YEARS OF 1661 AND 1670: Pierres company commander was De Grais dit de Preaux the Monsieur Louis Joseph LeGoues a retired officer of an earlier deployment of troops. On April 4, 1687 he was commissioned captain of one company of Franche Marines. The 50 men of his company were among the 150 recruits who had arrived in Canada the previous year. They had sailed from France aboard the trading vessel Saint-Francois Xavier, and arrived in Quebec on September 22,1686. I contend that Pierre Genereux was among the recruits who arrived in 1686, and would have been between the age 16 to 25, which would place his birth between the years of 1661 and 1670. It is a fact, that many officers preferred recruits to be between the minimum age of 16 and the maximum age of 25, although 40 was the official maximum age.
HIS DEATH WAS BETWEEN MAY 19, 1742 AND JANUARY 1751: The notary act of May 19, 1742, by the notary Puyperoux de Fosse, is the marriage contract of Jean Genereux and Marguerite Riviere. Jean is the youngest, and the last child of Pierre Genereux and Francoise Dessureaux to marry. This contract gives us an indication of when Pierre Genereux died. The contract states that both Pierre and Francoise were present and acting in the interest of their son Jean , at the signing of this contract. Pierre Genereux was alive at this time, yet no record can be found of his death in the pursuing years. The reason being, that although there are some parish records for Berthier in the St. Joseph of Lanoraie parish registry prior to 1733, no individual parish registry for Berthier exists between 1733 and 1751. At best then, it can be determine that Pierre died between May 19, 1742 and January 1, 1751.
HIS LIFE: De Grais was assigned to patrol and protect the inhabitants in the area of La Prarie. It is historically recorded, that on September 4, 1690, five of his men along with some inhabitants were attacked and killed by the Iroquois at the fork of the meadow of Magdeleine. It is also recorded, that in 1696 de Grais and his company took part in a major campaign. A force of over 1000 men attacked the Onnontague village located on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. The location is near present day Oswego, New York. The village was deserted, and there was no major encounter with the Indians, but the village was entirely destroyed.
During the years of 1698 and 1699 two orders of the French King greatly affected the future life of Pierre Genereux. Orders were issued that the size of the companies of marines were to be reduced from 50 to 30 men. And secondly that early discharge with one years pay would be granted to any soldier willing to marry and settle upon the land in Canada. These orders were possible, because the war with the Indians had subsided and the negotiations for peace were on going. Pierre Genereux along with over 100 other soldiers took advantage of this offer and married in 1699.
There are 22 notary acts in which Pierre Genereux's name appears. Many of them also included the name of his wife Francois Dessureaux. Thirteen of them are land purchases made by Pierre or transfers of those lands, mostly to his children. Nine of them are the marriage contracts of his children. One of these, the notary act of November 25, 1709, by the notary Normandin, concedes to Pierre Genereux one area of land situated in the fife of Berthier. It was on the north shore of the North Channel of the St. Lawrence River. The eastern boundary of the land was adjacent to the Lord of Berthier's land. The eastern border was also adjacent to were the future Sainte Genevieve church was to be built.
HIS PARENTS ARE UNKNOWN: I contend there is no such document that names the parents of Pierre Genereux. And if there were it certainly would have been discovered by and mentioned in the genealogy works of Jette, Drouin and the PRDH. This information originated from one single person. In 2001 when, I first saw the internet posting that showed Pierre's parents as Pierre and Anna Plaza, I contacted the owner of the site and asked what, was the source of this information. He told me he had found this information at the Trois Rivieres Archives. He also said he only wrote down their names, but not the sources description, and that he could not remember what type of source the information came from. If there is or ever was such a documented source available, would not Jette, Drouin and PRDH have included it in their works?
HIS SURNAME IS UNKNOWN: I contend that Genereux is Pierre's Nom de Guerre, that is, his war name. It is his dit name, an also known as name, his soldiers name. It is descriptive as dit names are, and means generous. Every soldier received a dit name as a recruit. Pierre continued to use the dit name of Genereux thru his entire life. Without Pierre's surname, his parents' names, and a specific place of birth, I do not think it is possible to tracing his heritage back to France.
Francoise Dessureaux b: 1678 in Trois Rivieres, PQ
28 Sep 1699
in Champlain, PQ
- Joseph Genereux b: 13 Dec 1700 in Trois Rivieres, PQ
- Pierre Genereux b: ABT 1701
- Genevieve Genereux b: ABT 1703
- Francois Ambroise Genereux b: 4 Dec 1705 in Sorel, PQ c: 7 Dec 1705 in Sorel, PQ
- Antoine Genereux b: 12 Apr 1708 in Sorel, PQ c: 15 Apr 1708 in Sorel, PQ
- Marie Francoise Genereux b: 25 Jul 1710 in Berthierville, PQ
- Marie Magdeleine Genereux b: 15 Jul 1711 in Berthierville, PQ
- Louis Genereux b: 17 Aug 1713 in Berthierville, PQ
- Jeanne Genereux b: 7 Feb 1716 in Berthierville, PQ
- Joseph Genereux b: 27 Apr 1718 in Berthierville, PQ c: 28 Apr 1718 in Berthierville, PQ
- Jean Genereux b: 1720 in Berthierville, PQ