Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First European Mother in Canada – Françoise Langlois

B. about 1599 in France
M. before 1620 in France
Husband: Pierre Desportes
D. 20 Apr 1632 in Dieppe, France
Emigrated: before 1620

Little is known about the background of Françoise Langlois. Some have said she was born in 1599, the daughter of Guilame Langlois and Jeanne Millette in Calvados, France which is in Normandy, but this is not proven. It is known that she had an older sister Marguerite, and the two women traveled with their husbands to become among the first settlers of Quebec.

Françoise married Pierre Desportes in France before they migrated to the colony sometime between 1617 and 1620. She gave birth on July 7, 1620 to a daughter, Hélène, who was the first white infant born in what would become Canada. There are no records that Françoise had any more children. Hélène's godmother was Hélène Boulle, the wife of Quebec founder, Samuel de Champlain.

Françoise was a godmother to a child of another Quebec settler in 1627, and to another child on May 18, 1629. Two months later, the colony was invaded by Englishman David Kirke, and most of the French settlers were forcibly taken back to France by way of England. Françoise, Pierre and Hélène ended up in the town of Dieppe, which is on the coast in Normandy. Some researchers say that Pierre died in the town of Lisieux where he went looking for work. According the records of the Church of Saint-Jacques, Françoise died on April 20, 1632 in Dieppe.

Famous descendants of Françoise Langlois include Céline Dion.

1. Hélène Desportes – B. 7 Jul 1620, Quebec City, New France; D. 24 Jun 1675, Quebec City, New France; M. (1) Guillaume Hébert (~1614-1639), 1 Oct 1634, Quebec City, New France; M. (2) Noël Morin (~1609-1680 ), 9 Jan 1640, Quebec City, New France

A Point in History [website]
One-hundred French-Canadian Family Histories, Philip J. Moore, 1994
Hélène’s World: Hélène Desportes of Seventeenth Century Quebec, Susan McNelley, 2014
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

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