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  • ID: I76536
  • Name: Olivier MOREL
  • Given Name: Olivier
  • Surname: Morel
  • Suffix: sieur de LaDurantaye
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 23 May 1641 in Le Gâvre (Notre-Dame) (Loire-Atlantique), France 1
  • Death: 28 Sep 1716 in St Vallier, Québec, Canada 2
  • Reference Number: 76536
  • _UID: 3D7371B11002435AAA5F87D941D9550A63E9
  • Change Date: 24 Aug 2013 at 06:48
  • Note:
    Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
    MOREL DE LA DURANTAYE, OLIVIER, esquire, captain, commandan t, councillo r, seigneur; b. 17 Feb. 1640 at Notre-Dame-de- Grâce, near Nantes, son of T homas Morel, Sieur de La Duran taye, and of Alliette Du Houssaye; d. 28 Sep t. 1716.

    Morel de La Durantaye arrived in Canada in June 166 5 as a capta in in the Carignan-Salières regiment, althoug h his commission dated only f rom 10 Dec. 1665. He worked w ith his company on the building of Fort Saint e-Anne, and i n September 1666 he took part in Prouville* de Tracy’s expe di tion against the Mohawks. He returned to France in 1668 , and on 25 March 1 669 he contracted to raise a company o f 50 men; in August 1670 he was ba ck in Canada. On 14 Sept ember, at Québec, he married Françoise Duquet, t he surgeo n Jean Madry*’s widow, who was fairly well off and who owne d t he arriere-fief of Grandpré in the seigneury of Notre-D ame-des-Anges. Th ey were to have 10 children, who were al l baptized, from 1671 to 168 5, at Québec.

    From 1670 to 1683 Morel de La Durantaye was attache d to the Québ ec garrison, where he commanded one of the si x companies of colonial regul ar troops. Fur-trading was al so one of his occupations, since for eight ye ars he owne d a fur-trading site at Montréal.

    On 29 Oct. 1672 he obtained from Talon* the seigneu ry of La Durant aye, which was to be enlarged in 1693 and 1 696; on 15 July 1674 Buad e* de Frontenac granted him the s eigneury of Kamouraska, which he was to s ell in 1680 to Ch arles Aubert de La Chesnaye, after having vainly tri ed t o fish there.

    On 10 Oct. 1682 Morel de La Durantaye took part i n a meeting of re ligious and lay notables held at Québec b y Le Febvre* de La Barre to discu ss the best course of act ion to follow in face of the Iroquois peril. T he followin g spring, at the governor’s request and accompanied by Loui s-He nri de Baugy, he went to the Great Lakes region and th e Illinois count ry to put a stop to the corrupt practice s of the coureurs de bois, who we re trading in furs withou t licences. He was also instructed to invite t he Indians o f this region to come to Montréal to trade their furs and m e et the new governor; finally, he received orders to inqui re into the activ ities of Cavelier* de La Salle, as ther e was a likelihood that the latt er would lose the authorit y which he held over the forts in that are a. In July 168 3 Morel de La Durantaye took over the command of Michilimac k inac, a position that he was to occupy until 1690, and i n August of the sa me year Baugy replaced Henri Tonty as co mmandant of Fort Saint-Louis.

    On 19 July 1684 Morel de La Durantaye left the fort , at the he ad of a party of 500 men laboriously mustered w ith the help of Daniel Grey solon Dulhut and Nicolas Perrot , to join La Barre’s expedition against t he Iroquois. The y were supposed to meet at Niagara. On the way, Duranta y e was informed by a messenger of the conclusion of the unfa vourable pea ce signed at Anse de La Famine (Mexico Bay, ne ar Oswego, N.Y.). On 6 Ju ne 1686 he was instructed to se t up a post at Detroit and another at the “ Toronto portage .” It was not possible to establish the latter, which w a s to bear the name Fort Rouillé (Toronto), until 1750. O n 7 June 1687, ac ting on Brisay de Denonville’s instructio ns, he went to the south of La ke Erie “to repeat the forma l taking over the said posts” which had fir st been done b y La Salle. On 10 July, with Dulhut and Henri Tonty, he joi n ed up with Denonville’s army to the south of Lake Ontario ; he was at the h ead of a party composed of 160 Frenchmen , 400 allies, and 60 prisoner s. A few days later he helpe d to burn down and destroy the Seneca villages .

    In 1690 he persuaded 400 or 500 Indians to go to tr ade in fu rs at Montréal, and according to Bochart de Champ igny he marshalled 100 ca noes for this purpose. The same y ear he was relieved of his post as comman dant of Michilima ckinac and replaced by La Porte de Louvigny, because he h a d apparently been too well disposed towards the Jesuits. Th e following ye ar he obtained permission to trade in furs i n the west, and signed an agre ement with Jean Fafard. In 1 694 he was again at the head of a company wi th instruction s to clear the neighbourhood of Montréal of Iroquois; at t h at time he was promoted captain on the active list. The k ing granted h im a gratuity of 1,500 livres in 1700, and o n 18 May 1701 a pension of 6 00 livres with permission to l eave the service.

    In 1702 François de Beauharnois* de La Chaussaye re commended him f or appointment to the Conseil. Souverain. T he appointment was made on 16 J une 1703; he received his c ommission on 29 October and was install ed on 26 Nov. 1703 . He had already sat on the council on 8 October, becau s e of a shortage of judges. Late in the autumn of 1704 he we nt to Franc e. As he had not returned by 1706, his wife cla imed separate maintenanc e, because her own assets had bee n seized to pay her husband’s debts. T he separation was gr anted in 1713. In 1708 Morel returned to sit on the co unci l, and except for being absent twice in the winters of 171 0 and 17 11 he sat until 31 Aug. 1716, when he presided ove r the assembly and sign ed the minutes.

    Morel de La Durantaye died on 28 Sept. 1716, afte r giving his s on Joseph-François half of his La Durantay e seigneury. He was buri ed on 30 September in the church o f Saint-Philippe, now Saint-Vallier.

    Governors, intendants, and Jesuits had spoken of hi m in very flatt ering terms. High praise was given to his t act in dealing with the Indian s, his uprightness, and hi s loyalty to the king.

    Bernard Weilbrenner

    AQ, Seigneuries, Notre-Dame-des-Anges. Jug. et délib. “Mémo ire de la dépen se faite par le sieur de La Durantaye aux O utaouais . . . ,” BRH, XXX (192 4), 49. P.-G. Roy, Inv. col l. pièces jud. et not., I, 112, 197; Inv. conce ssions, I , 22. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire, II, 22–26. É.-Z. Massicotte e t Rég is Roy, Armorial du Canada français (2e série, Montré al, 1918), 82. Antoi ne d’Eschambault, “La vie aventureus e de Daniel Greysolon, sieur Dulhut ,” RHAF, V (1951–52), 3 34–37. P.-G. Roy, “Olivier Morel de La Durantaye, c apitain e au régiment de Carignan,” BRH, XXVIII (1922), 97–107, 129 –36.

    Father: Thomas MOREL b: Abt 26 Apr 1600 in Saffré, France
    Mother: Aliette DU HOUSSAY b: in France

    Marriage 1 Françoise DUQUET b: Bef 7 Nov 1645 in Québec, Québec, Canada
    • Married: 14 Sep 1670 in Notre-Dame, Québec, Québec, Canada 3 4
    • Change Date: 24 Aug 2013
    1. Has Children Louis-Joseph MOREL b: 15 Aug 1671 in Québec, Québec, Canada

    1. Abbrev: Fichier Origine
      Title: Fichier Origine
      Publication: Internet (Names are standardized per Jetté)
        Name: Not Given
    2. Abbrev: Jetté - Dictionnaire genealogique de familles du Québec des origines a 1730
      Title: Jetté - Dictionnaire genealogique de familles du Québec de s origines a 1730
      Author: René Jetté
      Publication: Les Presses de l'Universite de Montréal, Montréal, Québec , 1983
        Name: Not Given (See Notes)
        Personal Library

      Page: 831
      Quality: 3
    3. Abbrev: Jetté - Dictionnaire genealogique de familles du Québec des origines a 1730
      Title: Jetté - Dictionnaire genealogique de familles du Québec de s origines a 1730
      Author: René Jetté
      Publication: Les Presses de l'Universite de Montréal, Montréal, Québec , 1983
        Name: Not Given (See Notes)
        Personal Library

      Page: 832
    4. Abbrev: GFNA - Genealogy of The French in North America
      Title: GFNA - Genealogy of The French in North America
      Author: Denis Beauregard
      Publication: Denis Beauregard, Sainte Julie, Québec, Canada, Sept 2006
      Excellent; sources are cited & errors in earlier works ar e discussed. I have standardized names per Jetté
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