The Filles du Roi in Our Family

Anne Bellesoeur dit Lucas
Click To See Stanley Patrie's Relationship To:    Anne Bellesoeur dit Lucas

Bellesoeur dite Lucas, Anne

Anne Bellesoeur dite Lucas was born about 1642 in the parish of Saint-Paul in Paris, the daughter of Germain Bellesoeur and Marie Lucas. She came to Canada in 1665, at about age 23.

On 12 October 1665, Anne married Nicolas Massard in Québec City. Nicolas was born about 1637 in the parish of Vouillé in Yversay (canton of Neuville, Poitou, the son of Jean Massard and Marguerite Pimpante. He enlisted in the service of François Perron on 14 May 1658 at La Rochelle, arriving at Québec City on 06 August that year aboard the Taureau.

Anne and Nicolas settled at Lauzon and had seven children:

  • Anne-Marie dite Marie-Anne, (26 February 1667) Our Ancestor
  • Anne (02 June 1669)
  • Marguerite (28 November 1671)
  • René (01 May 1674)
  • Marie (10 August 1676)
  • Jeanne (10 August 1678)
  • Françoise (05 September 1683)

Nicolas Massard died at Lauzon between 23 November 1685 and 19 May 1686. On this last date, Anne married Jean Lambert (widower of Marie Martarin) at Lauzon.

Jean was born about 1636, but his origins are unknown. He and Anne did not have any children. Jean Lambert died before 14 July 1688, when Anne married Jean-François Chevaudier or Chabaudier dit Lépine, at Québec City.

Jean-François was previously (1671) married to Fille du Roi Marie Mercier, with whom he had eight children, though he and Anne did not have any children together.

Jean-François Chevaudier dit Lépine died 16 August 1702. Anne Bellesoeur dite Lucas died 11 December 1710 and was buried the next day at Québec City.



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Madeleine Benoît
Françoise Marthe Berton
Renée Birette
Marie Madeleine Boileau
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The Biography of Marie Madeleine Boileau is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Barbe Boyer
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The Biography of Marie Barbe Boyer is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Cartigny
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The Biography of Marie Cartigny is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Henriette Cartois
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The Biography of Henriette Cartois is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Michelle Charlier
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The Biography of Michelle Charlier is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Reine Charpentier
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The Biography of Marie Reine Charpentier is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Catherine Clérice
Martine Cronier
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The Biography of Martine Cronier is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Claire DeLahogue
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The Biography of Marie Claire DeLahogue is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Jeanne Denotte dit Le Duc
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The Biography of Jeanne Denotte dit Le Duc is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Madeleine Després
Ambroise Doigt
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The Biography of Ambroise Doigt is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Dubois
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The Biography of Marie Dubois is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Jeanne Ducorps dit Leduc
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The Biography of Jeanne Ducorps dit Leduc is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Suzanne Durand
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The Biography of Suzanne Durand is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marguerite Dusson
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The Biography of Marguerite Dusson is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Françoise Duval
Catherine Antoinette Éloy
Marie Faucon
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The Biography of Marie Faucon is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marguerite Foy
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Marguerite Foy
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Marguerite Foy

The Biography of Marguerite Foy is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Madeleine Gaumond
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The Biography of Madeleine Gaumond is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Jeanne Gilles
Click To See Stanley Patrie's Relationship To:    Marie Jeanne Gilles

The Biography of Marie Jeanne Gilles is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Anne Girard
Click To See Exzina Cook's Relationship To:    Anne Girard

The Biography of Anne Girard is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Mathurine Goard
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The Biography of Mathurine Goard is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Catherine Granger
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The Biography of Catherine Granger is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Anne Grimbaut
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The Biography of Anne Grimbaut is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Anne Guédon
Marie Guillaume
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The Biography of Marie Guillaume is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Madeleine Haneton
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The Biography of Madeleine Haneton is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Madeleine Hébert
Marie Hus
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The Biography of Marie Hus is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Anne Julien
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Anne Julien

The Biography of Anne Julien is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Jacqueline Labbé
Jeanne Labbé
Michelle Lahaye
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The Biography of Michelle Lahaye is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marguerite Lamirault
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Marguerite Lamirault

The Biography of Marguerite Lamirault is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marguerite Laverdure
Click To See Stanley Patrie's Relationship To:    Marguerite Laverdure

The Biography of Marguerite Laverdure is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Anne Leclerc
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Anne Leclerc

The Biography of Anne Leclerc is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Denise Leclerc
Click To See Stanley Patrie's Relationship To:    Denise Leclerc

The Biography of Denise Leclerc is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Geneviève Leclerc
Marie Louise Lecoutre
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Marie Louise Lecoutre

The Biography of Marie Louise Lecoutre is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Lefebvre 1
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Marie Lefebvre 1

The Biography of Marie Lefebvre 1 is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Lefebvre 2
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Marie Lefebvre 2
Click To See Exzina Cook's Relationship To:    Marie Lefebvre 2

The Biography of Marie Lefebvre 2 is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Antoinette Lefebvre
Click To See Exzina Cook's Relationship To:    Antoinette Lefebvre

The Biography of Antoinette Lefebvre is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Antoinette Legrand
Click To See Stanley Patrie's Relationship To:    Antoinette Legrand

The Biography of Antoinette Legrand is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Anne Lelong
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Marie Anne Lelong

The Biography of Marie Anne Lelong is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Lelong
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Marie Lelong
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Marie Lelong

The Biography of Marie Lelong is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Anne Lemaître
Anne Leper
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Anne Leper

The Biography of Anne Leper is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Louise Menacier
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Louise Menacier

The Biography of Louise Menacier is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Louise Michaud
Click To See Stanley Patrie's Relationship To:    Marie Louise Michaud

The Biography of Marie Louise Michaud is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Anne Michel
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Anne Michel
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Anne Michel

The Biography of Anne Michel is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Françoise Michel
Françoise Moisan
Marguerite Moitié
Françoise Monvoisin
Madeleine Niel
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Madeleine Niel

The Biography of Madeleine Niel is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Perrette Paremant
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Perrette Paremant

The Biography of Perrette Paremant is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Catherine Paul
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Catherine Paul

The Biography of Catherine Paul is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Petit
Click To See Stanley Patrie's Relationship To:    Marie Petit

The Biography of Marie Petit is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Françoise Piéton
Catherine Pillard
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Catherine Pillard

The Biography of Catherine Pillard is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Françoise Pilois
Madeleine Plouard
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Madeleine Plouard
Click To See Exzina Cook's Relationship To:    Madeleine Plouard

The Biography of Madeleine Plouard is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Priault
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Marie Priault

The Biography of Marie Priault is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Marguerite Provost
Click To See Stanley Patrie's Relationship To:    Marie Marguerite Provost

The Biography of Marie Marguerite Provost is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marthe Quitel
Click To See Stanley Patrie's Relationship To:    Marthe Quitel

The Biography of Marthe Quitel is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Anne Rabady
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Anne Rabady
Click To See Exzina Cook's Relationship To:    Anne Rabady

The Biography of Anne Rabady is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Madeleine Raclos
Click To See Stanley Patrie's Relationship To:    Madeleine Raclos

The Biography of Madeleine Raclos is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marguerite Raisin
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Marguerite Raisin

The Biography of Marguerite Raisin is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Richard
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Marie Richard

The Biography of Marie Richard is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Georgette Richer
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Georgette Richer

The Biography of Georgette Richer is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Élisabeth Roy
Jeanne Savonet
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The Biography of Jeanne Savonet is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Anne Seigneur
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Anne Seigneur
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Anne Seigneur

The Biography of Anne Seigneur is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Selle
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Marie Selle
Click To See Bernadette Bourdeau's Relationship To:    Marie Selle

The Biography of Marie Selle is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Targer
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The Biography of Marie Targer is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Anne Thomas
Click To See Jeannette Babbie's Relationship To:    Anne Thomas

The Biography of Anne Thomas is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Françoise Tierce
Françoise Trochet
Marie Vara
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The Biography of Marie Vara is coming soon



Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001-2008) page__PP__

Marie Sainte Vié

Who Were The Filles du Roi?

Between 1663 and 1673, 768 Filles du Roi or “King’s Daughters” emigrated to New France under the sponsorship of the French government as part of the overall strategy of strengthening the colony until it could stand on its own without economic and military dependence on France.

In 1663, about 2,500 colonists lived in New France, for the most part on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence between Québec and Montréal. With a constant threat from the Iroquois and the more populous English colonies on the Atlantic coast, the need to populate New France became a growing concern for Louis XIV and his colonial advisors. the early 1670s however, men of marriageable age far outnumbered the women of marriageable age. Unable to find a wife in Québec, a great number of male immigrants returned to France after their three-year term of service expired.

Between 1634 and August 1663, while the colony was governed by the Compagnie des Cent Associés, about 262 filles à marier (marriageable girls) were recruited by individuals or by private religious groups who paid their travel expenses and provided for their lodging until they were married. But individual recruiters and private organizations had little success in enticing single women to emigrate to New France, and fewer than ten filles arrived in the colony in most years. In 1663, the King took over direct control of the government of New France and initiated an organized system of recruiting and transporting marriageable women to the colony. On September 22, 1663, thirty-six girls –the first group of Filles du Roi– arrived in Québec.

The recruiting of Filles du Roi took place largely in Paris, Rouen and other northern cities by merchants and ship outfitters. A screening process required each girl to present her birth certificate and a recommendation from her parish priest or local magistrate stating that she was free to marry. It was necessary that the girls be of appropriate age for giving birth and that “they be healthy and strong for country work, or that they at least have some aptitude for household chores.”

The cost of sending each Fille du Roi to New France was 100 livres: 10 for the recruitment, 30 for clothing and 60 for the crossing itself –the total being roughly equivalent to $1,425 in the year 2000. In addition to having the costs of her passage paid by the state, each girl received an assortment of practical items in a case: a coiffe, bonnet, taffeta handkerchief, pair of stockings, pair of gloves, ribbon, four shoelaces, white thread, 100 needles, 1,000 pins, a comb, pair of scissors, two knives and two livres in cash. Upon arrival, the Filles received suitable clothing and some provisions.

All of the Filles du Roi first landed at Québec City where 560 remained, with 133 being sent to Montréal and 75 to Trois-Rivières. While awaiting marriage, they were lodged in houses in dormitory-style settings under the care of a female chaperone or directress where they were taught practical skills and chores to help them in their future household duties. Suitors would come to the house to make their selection, and the directress would oversee the encounters.

When selecting a Fille du Roi, the suitor looked beyond outward appearances and considered the practical attributes of a bride that would be adapted or disposed to the rigors of the colony. The preference seems to have been for peasant girls because they were healthy and industrious, as opposed to city girls who were often considered lightheaded and lazy. Marie de l’Incarnation, mother superior of the Ursuline convent at Québec City and one of Québec’s early female founders, requested in 1668: “From now on, we only want to ask for village girls who are as fit for work as men, experience having shown that those who are not raised [in the country] are not fit for this country.”

Every Fille du Roi had the right to refuse any marriage offer that was presented. In order to make an informed decision to accept a would-be husband, the girls asked questions about the suitor’s home, finances, land and profession. Having a home of one’s own was one of the most important considerations for a Fille du Roi. According to Marie de l’Incarnation, “The smartest [among the suitors] began making an habitation one year before getting married, because those with an habitation find a wife easier. It’s the first thing that the girls ask about, wisely at that, since those who are not established suffer greatly before being comfortable.” After agreeing to marry, the couple appeared in front of a notary to have a marriage contract drawn up, and the wedding ceremony generally followed within 30 days. For the Filles du Roi, the average interval between arrival and marriage was four to five months, although the average interval for girls aged 13 to 16 was slightly longer than fifteen months.

In addition to any dowry of goods that the bride may have brought with her from France, each couple was given an assortment of livestock and goods to start them off in married life: a pair of chickens and pigs, an ox, a cow and two barrels of salted meat. The King’s Gift of 50 livres is believed to have been a customary addition to the dowry, but only 250 out of 606 known marriage contracts make reference to an additional dowry given by the King. Once married, there was an incentive to have large families. A yearly pension of 300 livres was granted to families with ten children, rising to 400 livres for 12 children and more for larger families.

In November 1671, Intendant Jean Talon in a letter to the King wrote that the birth of six to seven hundred babies that year confirmed the fertility of the country. He predicted that “without further help from the girls from France, this country will produce more than one hundred marriages in the first few years and many more after that, as time goes by.” Talon advised that it would not be necessary to send more girls the next year in order for the colonists to more easily give their daughters in marriage.

In 1672 France and England declared war on the Dutch republic, requiring a great deal of the attention and finances of the French government. The French authorities decided it was too costly to continue sending Filles du Roi and unnecessary since the colony’s own population could provide a sufficient number of marriageable women. In September 1673 the last shipment of Filles du Roi arrived from France, and the program ended. The population of New France had risen to 6,700 people, an increase of 168% in the eleven years since the program had begun. Although the Filles du Roi represent only 8% of the total immigrants to Canada under the French régime, they account for nearly half of the women who immigrated to Canada in the colony’s 150-year history.


    ——    [Source: Peter J. Gagné, King's Daughters and Founding Mothers: The Filles du Roi, 1663-1673, (Pawtucket, RI: Quinton Publications, 2001), pp. 15-42]