Name: Francois NOËL
Change Date: 21 FEB 2005
Birth: BEF 16 APR 1643 in Echire, Deux-Sevres, France
Change Date: 28 DEC 1997
Baptism: 1 Quality: 0 16 APR 1643 Notre Dame de Echire, Deux-Sevres, France
Burial: 2 Quality: 0 26 MAY 1725 St. Laurent, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
Death: 3 Quality: 0 26 MAY 1725 in St. Laurent, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
The following was excerpted from the series "Our French Canadian
Ancestors" by Tom Laforest.....
For centuries, the first-name and family name of Noel was very
widespread in France and still is, even in Quebec. Jacques Cartier
had a nephew named Jacques Noel. On July 20, 1653, the burial of
Michel Noel, who had been killed by the Iroquois, took place. The
same scene was repeated on October 25, 1658 at Ville-Marie, for the
burial of Jacques Noel, 32 years old, also killed by the Iroquois with
his proprietor Jean Saint-Pair, royal notary.
Several Noels came to the Colony, but the most remarkable, both
through his life and his descendants, was Francois Noel.
Francois Noel, son of Pierre Noel and of Elisabeth Augustin, was
born in a small place called Chire-en-Montreuil, located in the canton
of Vouille, arrondissement of Poitiers, in the department of la
Vienne, a part of the land of the former province of Poitou. At the
end of the
last century, 922 inhabitants lived in Chire.
Francois, born about 1644, had the opportunity to attend school.
He knew how to write, even with flourishes. What events persuaded
this young man to cross the Atlantic and settle in New France?.....
His indenture contract for Canada has not been found.
The first mention of Francois Noel in our national history is
found in the census for the year 1666. Francois, 22 years old, worked
as a "hired servant" at the home of ancestor Gabriel Gosselin. Two
other companions shared the same work with him: Jean Pacaud, origin
unknown, and Louis Sivadier, a native of Ansac-sur-Vienne, in Poitou.
The census-takers passed through the island at the beginning of the
winter of 1666. Proof: Rene Emond, from the island, stated that his
son Francois was 12 days old. Well, we know that this boy was born on
February 28, 1666. Conclusion: Francois Noel had arrived in 1665,
before the closing of the navigation season.
The following year, Francois had changed masters; he was in the
service of Jean-Baptiste Peuvret, owner of the arriere-fief of Mesnu,
still on the Ile d'Orleans. The foreman in charge of the seigneur's
farm was Jacques LeRoy.
A fief is a noble endowment which a vassal held from a seigneur,
with the condition that he pay rent and swear faith and homage.
Jean-Baptiste Peuvret, husband of Marie-Catherine Nau, widow of Louis
de Lauzon, had obtained the arriere-fief of Mesnu on March 12, 1661.
On June 9, 1668, the Seigneur de Mesnu declared himself to be vallas
"of messire Francois de Laval"... This act of faith and homage
mentioned the names of the censitaires of his small seigneurie.
Surprise! Francois Noel appeared on the second line of the list of
those who paid seigneurial cens and rentes: Clement Ruel, Francois
Noel, Jacques Dubois, Claude Salois, Thomas Rousseau, etc., eleven
censitaires in all. Francois Noel owned 3 arpents of front land; he
have 3 livres and 3 capons in rent and 1 denier for the cens each
Francois seems settled on the island for a long time. Will he be
Francois Noel built his house and cleared a portion of new Land.
He was ready to set up his home. Since 1663, each year the king had
sent good and strong girls, to encourage the population of the Colony.
In 1668, he sent 11 of them to Montreal; the same number to
Trois-Rivieres; 113 to Quebec. Among those who went to the capital
was Nicole Legrand.
Nicole was a Parisian from Saint-Sulpice. Her father Nicolas was
dead. Her mother Anne Duplessis was still living. Nicole, 21 years
old, had fine manners, easy speech; she wrote her name with
Francois Noel met her at Quebec at the end of the summer of 1669.
They decided to get married. On October 13, there was the signing of
the marriage contract in the presence of the notary Romain Becquet, in
the house of Anne Gasnier, widow of Jean Bourdon. Nicole brought to
the marriage some property valued at 400 livres and a gift from the
king worth 50 livres. As was right and proper, Francois offered a
prefixed dowry exceeding the ordinary: 500 livres tournois.
The nuptial blessing was given on October 22 on the Ile d'Orleans
by the missionary priest Thomas Morel. The curate Henri de Bernieres
also recorded the act in his registry at Quebec. On the island, it
was said that Gabriel Gosselin was present for the ceremony. Was the
marriage blessed at the Gosselin house? I think so.
It took courage to leave Paris; this meant leaving the gleaming
capital in exchange for a part of the Ile d'Orleans and the whole of
the great Saint Lawrence River. Happiness is a property without
In 1668, the Seigneur de Mesnu had ceded 3 arpents of frontal
land to Francois Noel. The latter had a voracious appetite for land.
On March 2, 1670, he obtained 6 more arpents of frontage "joining on
one side the said tenant on the other side Jacques Dubois". On this
concession, there were about 15-20 arpents of low and high land ready
to be cultivated with a shed "erected on it". Instead of 3 livres and
3 capons, Francois would in the future pay 9 livers and 9 live capons
in seigneurial rent. In addition, he promised "to pay the said
lessor" 55 livers annually, both in silver and in grain. In France,
the owner of such an expanse of land would consider himself to be a
Francois also discovered the generous forest of his vast domain.
On March 16, in the company of the "nobleman Jean Baptiste Patulet",
he appeared in the study of the notary Becquet at Quebec. Patoulet,
secretary to Intendant Jean Talon, in the name of the government,
ordered him to deliver 150 good pine boards to the sand-bank before
the city of Quebec on the first days of the month of June. Francois
received "from the hands of the Sr de Comporte" 75 livres cash. An
identical amount would be paid to him after the delivery. The terms
of the deal did not specify the length of the boards nor the width.
Francois improvised as a long-sawyer. Quite a new experience!
Two events in the life of the Noels capture our attention in
1673: a piece of gossip and a forced commitment.
On February 26, 1673, Jean Paulin and his wife Jeanne Barde,
appearing very nervous, were in the waiting room of the palace of
Governor Frontenac. The notary Becquet and the bailiffs felt the
weight of a charged atmosphere. Eight days earlier, Nicole Legrand
had claimed that Jeanne Barde "was a whore" and that people "had found
her in bed with a lad".... Unless there was an official reparation of
honor, there was a danger that the judicial machine would be set in
motion and result in long and costly lawsuits.
Therefore, in the middle of winter, Nicole and Francois also went
to the heart of the capital to make a reparation of honor in good and
proper form. They humiliated themselves; they made apologies; they
promised to deny with all their might these slanders in the presence
people contaminated by their wicked statements. They admitted that
the Paulins were "folks of honor". Without this serious and sincere
reparation, they would have to pay 200 livres to the Paulins, not to
mention the court costs. Francois and Nicole signed this notarized
document, well-preserved in our national Archives.
Bertrand Chenay, Sieur de LaGarenne, was almost the Caisse
Populaire Desjardins (local bank) of that era. Francois Noel had
borrowed 62 livres from him, probably after the purchase of
merchandise at the quay of the Lower Town of Quebec. On December 29,
1673, LaGarenne closed his account books... Francois did not have the
necessary money to pay his debt. So he was hired as a navigator in
the service of the businessman. Upon the opening of the next
navigation season, he had to be there to faithfully serve his creditor
at the rate of 20 livres a month in remuneration. By that time, if he
could wipe out his account, he would be released from his
obligation as navigator.
Will Francois find another person to bail him out of this extra
TWO LAND SALES
A Russian writer recounts this story. The first inhabitants of
his country, desirous of owning land, harnessed a pair of oxen to a
plow. They had, from sun-up to sun-down, to make a furrow around the
area of land they coveted. The majority, because of their excessive
ambition, never returned. At sunset, they were dying of fatigue with
their poor beasts, far from their starting point.
After a few years, Francois Noel noticed that his eyes were
larger than his ability to swallow his acquisitions. On October 20,
1677, he decided to limit his properties to more reasonable
proportions. He gave 3 arpents of frontage to his close neighbor, who
had become his
friend, Jean Paulin. The latter would pay the seigneurial rents and
the annual 27-1/2 livres to the seller, who had to give them to his
seigneur according to his obligation of March 2, 1670.
In 1681, the Noels had 5 arpents of land under cultivation, 5
head of cattle, and 1 good hunting gun. At their table, 6 children
claimed their food. The neighbors Jacques Bouffard and Thomas Ruel
were hardly richer. What we forget is that hunting and fishing
brought fresh and substantial food to the majority of homes. The
forest provided heat.
Six arpents of frontal land were still too much, especially if we
consider the livestock: 5 head of cattle. On March 16, 1687, Francois
Gosselin, son of ancestor Gabriel, acquired the 3 arpents of frontage
remaining from the purchase made by Noel in 1670. The conditions were
the same as for the buyer Paulin. However, Gosselin paid 35 livres
tournois in cash, a sort of benevolent gift. Francois Poisson,
resident of Gentilly, passing through Quebec, signed as a witness to
The Legrand-Noel parents threaded 10 new lives on the marvelous
abacus of human life. It was between 1670 and 1687, in the present
territory of the parish of Saint-Laurent, on the west-side of the
island, that all the Legrand-Noel children were born: Philippe,
Francois, Pierre, Claire, Marguerite, Ignace, Michel, Jean-Baptiste
Claire, Pierre's twin, died in the cradle. Marguerite died at
the age of 12 at the Hotel-Dieu of Quebec, on February 23, 1691, after
2 months of hospitalization. During the same time as the very bad
influenza, Catherine and Pierre Noel also were patients at the
Hotel-Dieu. Jean-Baptiste Noel died on January 9, 1691 and was buried
at Saint-Laurent on the following 12th.
The eldest, Philippe Noel, was godfathered on December 28, 1670
by Philippe Gauthier, Sieur de Comporte, former lieutenant of the
Company de La Fouille in the Carignan Regiment. Philippe was married
on November 5, 1692 at Saint-Pierre, to Marie Rondeau, daughter of
Thomas. Their family counted 12 new members. He was buried on
September 30, 1736, in the cemetery of Saint-Pierre on the island.
The eldest daughter, Catherine, became the wife of Francois
Chabot on April 24, 1698, and was a mother of 3 children. She was
married a second time, on November 15, 1706 to Pierre Parent and
enriched the Parent descendants by 8 members. She was buried on May
28, 1752 at Beauport.
Francois Noel, junior, joined his life in marriage to Catherine
Brulon, on February 9, 1699. On March 21, 1703, at Saint-Laurent, he
was buried, probably a victim of the frightening epidemic which had
been ravaging for nearly 2 months.
The most prolific of the Noels was Pierre, Claire's twin, and his
wife Louise Gosselin. From their marriage, celebrated at Saint-Pierre
on November 5, 1703, were 14 children. His mortal remains were buried
in the cemetery of the parish of Saint-Pierre, on October 5, 1748.
Ignace Noel and Marie-Anne Huard, married at Lauzon on November
7, 1707 and raised a family of 10 children at Saint-Laurent. Ignace
was buried at Quebec on June 14, 1759, a few weeks before the conquest
of Canada by England.
Agnes-Marguerite Garand and Michel Noel founded their home on
February 22, 1713 at Saint-Pierre on the island. Michel, responsible
for 8 children, was buried at Saint-Laurent on May 27, 1751.
Madeleine Noel, the youngest, baptized on May 12, 1687, married
to Antoine Fortier on February 3, 1706, in her native parish of
Saint-Laurent, and brought 9 children into the world. She was
remarried, to Antoine Pepin dit Lachance at the church of Saint-Jean
on the island on February 14, 1752.
Thus, the second Noel generation added 66 new members to the
human wealth of the country.
From 1687 to 1707, there was the ordinary, happy family and
social life at the Noel home. One day, it was necessary to surrender
to the evidence: the frost of years had whitened their hair. The
ancestor thought at that time to determine the succesion in order to
secure their old age. On September 9, 1707, Francois and Nicole went
to Quebec to the home of notary Louis Chambalon. All the children had
been summoned for the occasion.
The act of donation from the Noel parents to their son Ignace
recalls first that each of the major children had received upon their
marriage about 200 livres. Philippe, the eldest, had inherited twice
this amount. Here are some details about the furniture and real
estate that they owned: one piece of land with 3 arpents in frontage
minus one perche, "an old house of piece sur piece and a barn with
square frame, enclosed with boards and covered with straw with a
one end of piece sur piece". Everything had already been appraised by
Ignace Gosselin and Guilaume Couture at 1,200 livres.
Then came the livestock: one 9 year old mare, two oxen of the
same age; two other oxen 3 and 4 years old, four cows, two steers, two
calves, four pigs, seven piglets, twenty-four hens and one rooster.
The obligations imposed on the heir? To his brothers and
sisters, to complete the 200 livres which had not been paid; to feed,
house, provide heat and to support his father and mother for the rest
of their lives, to use 50 livres at the death of each for funeral
expenses and for masses.
Then was added a host of particular details: to give them 2
minots of wheat each year, half of the fruit from the garden, a
certain quantity of flax, the spinning wheel, etc. If problems arose
between the recipient and the donors, the former must then follow the
following directives: to provide a heated room on the west side of the
house, the necessary furnishings, kitchen utensils, linen-wear, 26
minots of wheat each year, 30 pounds of butter, etc.
The complete reading of this very interesting notarized document
implies that the Noels wanted to avoid quarrels and problems at any
cost. They had foreseen all scenarios. Surprise is added when we
discover that the sons Philippe, Ignace and Pierre signed with ease,
along with brother-in-law Antoine Fortier. Did they get schooling
from their parents? Culture and grace may be inherited as well as
The Noel's retirement continued peacefully for a few years more.
Nicole Legrand was the first to die, on Thursday, October 5, 1713,
after harvest time. The missionary priest Yves Leriche sang the
libera on the morning of the 6th, at the church of Saint-Laurent. The
82 year-old Francois Noel was also buried in the cemetery of
Saint-Laurent, on May 26, 1725. The good curate Leriche drew up very
poor acts. He recorded the names of the deceased, nothing more...:
"Le bonhomme Noel".
Five years after the death of our ancestor, his grandson
Jean-Baptiste Noel, son of Philippe and of Marie Rondeau, was ordained
a priest. For 54 years, this priest served the parish of
Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly where he died in 1797. At the consecration of
the new church of Tilly, on September 24, 1788, the Seigneur
Jean-Baptiste-Marie-Noel, attended the ceremony. He was the
great-grandson of Ancestor Francois through Philippe to Philippe.
The daughter of Jean-Baptiste-Marie Noel and of Genevieve
Dussault was Marie-Genevieve Noel (1766-1829). She became the wife of
Joseph Drapeau on October 14, 1782, in her native parish of Tilly,
Joseph Drapeau, merchant at Quebec, ship builder, a considerable land
owner, left her a fortune upon his death on November 3, 1810.
Genevieve Noel took possession of the seigneuries of Lessard,
Nicolas-Rioux, Rimouski, Metis, Riviere-du-Gouffre, even part of the
Ile d'Orleans. She managed her properties as an intelligent and
respected seigneuresse. The history of her life would deserve a whole
Laurent Noel, 8th generation, child of Remi and of Albertine
Nadeau, was born at Saint-Just-de-Bretenieres (Montmagny), on March
19, 1920. He became auxiliary bishop of Quebec on July 25, 1963. His
Excellency, Msgr Laurent-Noel has directed the diocese of
Trois-Rivieres since 1975.
The Legrand-Noel ancestors were active witnesses of an era.
Because of their tenacity, their courage and their indestructible
faith, they are today the torches lighting and guiding men and women
who will live, towards the good horizon.
FAMILY NAME VARIATIONS
There are twenty-nine known variations of the name Noel. They
are Amyot, Boucher, Brockden, Charland, Christmas, Delfourneau,
Desfourneaux, De Tilly, Didier, Doualle, Duel, Duguay, Duquet, Etoile,
Labonte, Lajoie, Latour, Lefebvre, Midelet, Newell, Nouel, Nowell,
Sansoucy, Stern, Teasdale, Thisdel, Tilly, Tousignan, and Wells.
Father: Pierre NOËL
Mother: Elisabeth AUGUSTIN
Nicole LEGRAND b: BEF 1648 in Saint-Sulpice, Paris, France
- Married: 4 3
22 OCT 1669
in Ste. Famille, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
- Marguerite NOËL b: 4 NOV 1679 in St. Laurent, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
- Ignace NOËL b: 10 MAY 1681 in St. Laurent, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
- Philippe NOËL b: 25 DEC 1670 in Ste. Famille, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
- Francois NOËL b: 28 AUG 1675 in Ste. Famille, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
- Pierre NOËL b: 11 SEP 1677 in Ste. Famille, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
- Marie Madeleine NOËL b: 8 MAY 1687 in St. Laurent, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
- Michel NOËL b: 26 MAR 1683 in St. Laurent, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
- Claire NOËL b: 11 SEP 1677 in Ste. Famille, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
- Jean Baptiste NOËL b: 29 SEP 1685 in St. Laurent, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, PQ, Canada
- Catherine NOËL b: 12 NOV 1672 in Quebec, Quebec, PQ, Canada
- Author: Marcel Fournier
Title: Fichier Origine
Publication: Fédération québécoise des sociétés de généalogie (http://www.fichierorigine.com)
Abbrev: Fichier Origine, website
Type: Book, Comp. Records
Date: 21 FEB 2005
- Author: Mgr. Cyprien Tanguay, comp
Title: Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes, Sixieme Volume
Publication: Montréal: Eusebe Senecal & Fils, Imprimeurs-Editeurs, 1889
Abbrev: Tanguay, Vol. 6, Dictionnaire Généalogique
Type: Book, Comp. Records
Date: 1 AUG 2000
- Author: Programme de recherche en démographie historique
Title: Répertoire des actes de baptême mariage sépulture et des recensements du Québec ancien 47 vols.
Publication: Montreal: Universite de Montreal, 1980
Abbrev: PRDH, Quebec
Type: Book, Multi-Volume
Date: 23 JUN 2002
- Author: Societe de genealogie de Quebec
Title: Repertoire des Mariages de L'Ile d'Orleans 1666-1984
Abbrev: L'Ile d'Orleans marriages, 1666-1984
Type: Book, Comp. Records
Date: 1 AUG 2000