After the death of her parents, my 9x great-grandmother left her French homeland behind and traveled across rough waters to make a new life in Canada. While researching this adventurous grandmother, I often wondered if she had any inkling about her new life. Although this woman knew that she was to marry once she reached her destination, did she worry about her future mate? Did she wonder about the life they would share? Did she fear the unknown frontier?
In 1653, Jeanne Fressel was born in the parish of Saint-Nicholas des-Champs in Paris. The infant was the daughter of Andre Fressel and Marie Avies. When the girl was seventeen, she sailed to Canada with a dowry that was worth about 800 livres.
On August 31, 1670, a notary by the name of Becquet crafted a marriage contract between Jeanne and Etienne Jacob; however, it was annulled. On October 10, 1670, the couple once again made another agreement with the notary, Becquet. Although Jeanne could not sign her name to the document, her future husband could. Four days later on October 14th, the couple married at Quebec City. The bride was presented the King’s Gift of 50 livres.
Her husband, Etienne was born in 1649 in the parish of Saint-Germain-l’ Auxerrois in Paris, and he was the child of Etienne Jacob and Jeanne Bellejambe. He arrived in Quebec about 1665 and was the servant of Antoine Berson dit Chatillon that lived on the Beaupre shore. On January 4, 1676, he was nominated as a court officer of the seigneurial jurisdiction of Beaupre. Later, he was promoted again to the office of the clerk of court and notary for the same jurisdiction On March 12, 1689, he promoted to a judge of the bailiff’s court.
The couple settled at L’ Ange-Gardien, and had nine children. Their children were Angelique (baptized on 12 Nov 1671), Ursule (12 Mar 1674), Marguerite (27 Nov 1677), Marei (3 Sep 1679), Anne (25 May 1682), Madeleine (baptized on 27 Apr 1685), Catherine (21 Apr 1688), Joseph (31 Jan 1691), and Etienne (12 Jan 1698).
On August 10, 1726, Etienne died. On September 1, 1738, Jeanne died at L’Ange-Gardien and was buried at the L’Ange-Gardien Cemetery at L’Ange-Gardien, Capitale-Nationale Region, Quebec, Canada.
Les Fille du Roi by Charles Vinh
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