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An American Family History

Nicolas Audet dit Lapointe and Madeleine Després

 
Saint-Jean-de-l'Île-d'Orléans was Sainte-Famille
 
 

Audet is also spelled as Adatte, Adote, Adotte, Aude, Audette, Hodet, Odette, Ouelette, and Owdet

 
 

Lapointe has also been spelled as Lapoint, La Pointe, and La Point

 
The name Lapointe is a dit name. It could have been a nickname for a soldier (the point of a lance) or for a family who lived on a point of land.
A dit name is an alias given to a family name.

Francis-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval (1623-1708) was the first Roman Catholic bishop of Quebec. On April 3, 2014, Pope Francis made Laval a saint.

Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.

Nicolas Audet was born about 1641. He was the son of Innocent Audet and Vincente Riene (Roy), of Saint-Pierre-de-Maillé which is a commune in the Vienne department in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France.

He immigrated to Canada before 1664. He may have come with the French Army.

In 1666, Nicolas worked on Bishop Laval's farm. Laval's farm was at Saint-Joachim which is a parish municipality in Quebec. It is part of the La Côte-de-Beaupré Regional County Municipality in the Capitale-Nationale region. It is located at the foot of Cape Tourmente.

In 1668 he was a porter or caretaker at Bishop Laval's residence in Quebec.

On June 22, 1667, the bishop granted Nicolas land on the Île d'Orléans, just opposite the Beaupré coast. He received three arpents (about an acre) on the Saint Lawrence River. He was required to pay rent every November 11th.

On September 15, 1670, Nicolas married Madeleine Després. Madeleine was the daughter of François Després and Madeleine LeGrand. She was a fille du roi. Her passage was paid by the French goverment and and she received clothing and provisions, as well as, some practical items including a coiffe, a bonnet, a handkerchief, stockings, gloves, ribbon, shoelaces, thread, needles, pins, a comb, scissors, two knives and two livres in cash.

The contract between Nicolas and Madeleine was arranged on August 30, 1670. Madeleine was sponsored by Dame Anne Gagnier, widow of Jean Bourdon and by Elizabeth Étienne. Her dowry was 200 livres plus 50 livres from the king because she was a fille du roi.

The marriage was performed by Father Thomas Morel and the witnesses were Pierre Rondeau and Mathurin Dube.

When they married, the government gave them an assortment of livestock and goods including chickens, pigs, an ox, a cow and two barrels of salted meat.

They also received a yearly pension for having children.

The first Nicolas Audet dit Lapointe was born and baptized on September 21, 1671. He died young.

The second Nicolas Audet dit Lapointe was born on September 13, 1672.

Pierre Audet dit Lapointe was born on June 22, 1674.

Jean Baptiste Audet dit Lapointe was born, on November 17, 1675 and baptized on December 1.

Marie Madeleine Audet dit Lapointe was born on September 18, 1677.

In 1679, the parish of Ste-Famille was sub-divided and their farm became part of the village of St-Jean.

Joseph Audet dit Lapointe was born on April 16, 1679.

Joachim Audet dit Lapointe was born on October 27, 1680.

Marie Audet dit Lapointe was born, on August 28, 1682.

François Audet dit Lapointe was born, on April 10, 1684.

Marguerite Audet dit Lapointe was born, on December 10, 1686.

In August and September 1689, Nicolas, Sr. was hospitalized in Quebec.

On July 9, 1696, Nicolas was granted three arpents of river frontage, some distance to the west of his own place. On August 2, 1698, he gave this land to his son Jean-Baptiste.

Nicolas was buried, on December 10, 1700 in the cemetery at Saint-Jean.

Madeleine passed on her inheritance to her son Joseph.

On September 27, 1706, Etienne Jacob inventoried the estate. It included seventy-five arpents of usable land, a new house, measuring eighteen by twenty-four feet, a shed and a stable.

Madeleine Després was buried beside Nicolas on December 19, 1712 .

Nicolas Audet was granted land on the southeast side of l'Île-d'Orléans At that time, it was in the parish of Sainte-Famille. In 1679, the parish of Ste-Famille was divided and their farm became part of the village of Saint-Jean.

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The King's Daughters (filles du roi) were young women who immigrated to Canada between 1663 and 1673 and were sponsored by Louis XIV. The French goverment planned to increase Canada's population by promoting marriages and the birth of children.

The Province of Quebec was founded in 1763 after the Treaty of Paris transferred the colony of Canada from France to Britain.

 

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from Our French-Canadian Ancestors by Thomas J. Laforest

Nicolas Audet was born about 1641. He was the son of Innocent Audet and Vincente Riene (Roy), of Saint-Pierre-Maille, in the diocese of Poitiers. The surnames Audet and Lapointe originated, naturally enough, in France. The story is that, three families of Audets lived in the same area that formed a triangle and to tell one family of Audets from another, "dit Lapointe" was added to the same because they lived at the "point" of this area.

We know that Nicolas came to Canada before 1664 because there is a record of his confirmation at Québec on March 23 of that year.

Poitiers is a town in Poitou; that beautiful and bountiful Province of France where wheat is grown, the vine is cultivated and many varieties of fruit are raised. It is wooded country, yet covered by excellent pasture-land . In this province, Charles Martel repulsed the Saracins and Clovis battled the Goths.

Just about all of the colonists who came from France in the 17th century started in one of three ways: by working for the government, by working for a religious order, or by working for one of the more prosperous landowners. Nicolas seems to have been taken under the wing of Monseigneur François de Laval, Bishop of Québec. In the census of 1666, we find him working on the farm owned by the Bishop at Saint-Joachim, nearby Cape Tourmente. Two years later, he was still working for the Bishop as a porter in the lordly Château of Québec. Confirmation of this comes through an act of Notary Pierre Duquet which records:

Today, at the entrance gate of the estate, Sieur Jean Madry rang a little bell, in response to which he was met by Nicolas Audet, porter of the Château. After admitting him, Audet went to inform his master, the Bishop.

For more than four years, Nicolas worked in service for others, earning his way. In preparing for his future, he was counting more on savings than on credit.

The Settler
Nicolas Audet, the porter, decided to become a settler on the Île d'Orléans, just opposite the Beaupré coast. On June 22, 1667, he received a concession from the Bishop

of three arpents of land fronting the Saint Lawrence River and running Southward......

His grant was in the Parish of Saint-Famille, from which the Parish of Saint-Jean was later formed. His neighbors were Guy Boivin and Robert Boulay. He hired them

to help him build a house to be finished within one year from this day.

Each year, on the Feast of Saint Martin, the 11th of November, he was required to give 20 sols in seigneurial rent for each arpent of river frontage, 12 deniers for "cens" and 3 capons chosen by the Seigneur. It is worth noting that the signatures on the contract, other than those of notary Paul Vachon, are those of Jean Crete, Master Cartwright, of Paul de Rainville, sheriff of Beauport and of the Bishop of Québec himself. Nicolas Audet appears to have been well connected!

As soon as he could, Nicolas busied himself building his house with the help of his neighbors. The census of 1681 tells us that by then he had cleared fifteen arpents of land and had acquired 6 animals.

A King of the Hearth
Having built a house, Nicolas sought to make a home. To this end, he courted Madeleine Després, a young girl of fourteen years. The betrothed appeared before notary Romain Becquet, at Québec, August 30, 1670, to arrange a contract of marriage.

The future bride was sponsored by "Dame Anne Gagnier, widow of the late Master Jean Bourdon and Elizabeth Étienne." In accordance with the custom of the time, Madeleine would bring Nicolas a dowry, a considerable one it seems. She had saved or acquired 200 livres but also she would receive "the sum of 50 livres given her by His Majesty in consideration of her marriage ." In short, these two were hardly poor in material goods.

This help given Madeleine by the king signifies that she was alone in Canada, most likely an orphan. We know that she could write. She penned herself as the daughter of François Després and of Madeleine LeGrand, from the Parish of Saint-Sauveur in Paris. This young lady born about 1656 was one of many generous girls who came to Canada under the protection of the King of France.

At Sainte-Famille Île d'Orléans the following September 15th, the missionary priest, Father Thomas Morel, blessed their union in the presence of the witnesses Pierre Rondeau and Mathurin Dube. When Pierre and Mathurin were married the year before, each in turn asked Nicolas to stand up for him, now the favor was being returned.

This marriage brought forth twelve children, nine boys and three girls but, the elder two died young. All were born in the Parish of Sainte-Famille except the youngest three who were born at Saint-Jean, Île d'Orléans. These ten children founded the family line. . .

In 1689, old Nicolas fell gravely ill, a situation from which he never fully recovered. He was hospitalized for 19 consecutive days in the heat of the August summer and in September, he spent 26 more days under the care of the nursing sisters at the Hôtel-Dieu in Québec. He had always worked his farm with stubborn tenacity but no more would he be active.

He had seen the marriage of three of his children, Nicolas, Pierre and Madeleine, but that left seven children at home to be cared for by the strong arms of his wife, alone. But, he could still plan ahead and on July 9, 1696, he acquired yet another concession. This grant of land was three arpents of river frontage, some distance to the west of his own place. On August 2, 1698, he gave this land to his son Jean-Baptiste.

There were so many things yet to be done but the bell tolled for Nicolas when he was fifty-nine years old. He was buried, on December 10, 1700 in the cemetery at Saint-Jean where, his headstone bore the surname Lapointe. His widow passed on her inheritance by donation to her son Joseph.

An inventory of the belongings of old Nicolas was made by notary Etienne Jacob, on September 27, 1706. It recorded seventy-five arpents of usable land, a nearby new house, measuring eighteen by twenty-four feet, a shed and a stable.

Madeleine Després survived her husband for twelve years, and at her death, children Joachim and Marguerite were still unmarried. She was buried beside him on December 19, 1712 at the age of fifty-six.

 
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©Roberta Tuller 2020
tuller.roberta@gmail.com
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