Thursday, February 23, 2012

Servant to a Colonial Lord – Toussaint Giroux

B. about Nov 1633 in Revellion, France
M. (1) 29 Sep 1654 in Beauport, Quebec
Wife: Marie Goddard
M. (2) 29 Oct 1686 in Beauport, Quebec
Wife: Therese Leblanc
D. 15 Feb 1715 in Beauport, Quebec
Emigrated: about 1650

Toussaint Giroux was born about November of 1633 in Revellion, France to Jean Giroux and Marguerite Quilleron. He was one of seven children, but five died young. His father was a weaver and died in 1641 when Toussaint was only a boy.

Toussaint arrived in Quebec in about 1650 accompanied by Zacharie Maheu with his son René. All three were given grants in Beauport by Robert Giffard, who was a nobleman in New France. On September 29, 1654, Toussaint married a sixteen year-old girl named Marie Godard. Toussaint and Marie worked as servants for Giffard and lived in an outbuilding of his signeurial manor. Between 1655 and 1679, they had 12 children. The firstborn child was recorded in the local parish registry:

"In Lord Giffard's house on April 30th, 1655, Toussaint Giroux and Marie Godard's son was delivered by Lord Giffard. On May 7th this son was baptized by Father Raganeau, a Jesuit. Godfather – Joseph Giffard; Godmother – Louise Giffard, Lord Charles de Lauson's wife. The name Charles was given to him. The child deceased and was buried the same day, May 7th, 1655."

Eventually, Toussaint moved on from being a servant. About 1658, he bought a plot of land in the Bourg de Fargy section of Beauport. He built a house consisting of “a heated room, antechamber, cellar and attic.” Toussaint was friends with Michel Baugis and the two men became eel fishermen together. They lived next to each other in the 1666 census. Toussaint was among 65 people confirmed at the church of Notre-Dame de Quebéc on February 24, 1660. In 1681 he had 53 arpents of land under cultivation.

Marie died on November 21, 1684, and Toussaint married Therese Leblanc on October 29, 1686. They had a daughter born two years later, but the marriage ended in a separation that was granted on April 12, 1691. The reason had been that Therese spent a large sum of money shopping in Quebec City and caused Toussaint to go into debt, so he arranged to end their marriage.

Toussaint spent a month in the Quebec hospital in 1692, for unknown reasons. In 1711, he sold a tract of his land to grandson Raphael on the condition he care for him in his old age and pay a sum of money to each of his children after his death. His estranged wife Therese tried to block this arrangement in the courts, but lost.

Toussaint died on February 15, 1715. He was 81 years-old.

Famous descendants of Toussaint Giroux include Robert Goulet.

Children by Marie Godard:
1. Charles Giroux – B. 30 Apr 1655, Beauport, Quebec; D. 7 May 1655, Beauport, Quebec

2. Raphael Giroux – B. 21 Jul 1656, Beauport, Quebec; D. 10 Feb 1715, Beauport, Quebec; M. Marie-Madeleine Vachon, 26 Nov 1681, Quebec

3. Charles Giroux – B. 10 Aug 1658, Beauport, Quebec; D. 23 Dec 1708, Beauport, Quebec

4. Toussaint Giroux – B. 2 May 1660; D. 7 Jul 1660

5. Michel Giroux – B. 13 Jun 1661, Beauport, Quebec; D. 6 Aug 1715, Beauport, Quebec; M. Marie-Therese Prévost, 18 Aug 1683, Quebec

6. Toussaint Giroux – B. 21 Oct 1663, Beauport, Quebec; D. 10 Nov 1663, Beauport, Quebec

7. Jean Giroux – B. 26 Oct 1664, Beauport, Quebec; D. 16 Jan 1732, Beauport, Quebec; M. (1) Marie Dauphin (1673-?), 8 Feb 1685, Quebec; (2) Suzanne Bélanger, 12 Feb 1686, Quebec; (3) Marie-Charlotte Grenier, 27 Feb 1707, Quebec

8. Marie-Anne Giroux – B. 28 Dec 1666, Beauport, Quebec; D. 9 Jun 1711, Charlesbourg, Quebec;  M. Jean-Baptiste Prévost, 18 Aug 1683, Beauport, Quebec

9. Jean-Baptiste Giroux – B. about Dec 1668, Beauport, Quebec; D. before 1681

10. Marie-Madeleine Giroux – B. 29 Dec 1669, Beauport, Quebec; M. (1) Pierre Choret, 21 Jan 1686, Beauport, Quebec; (2) Maurice Rhéaume, 10 Jan 1705, Charlesbourg, Quebec

11. Toussaint Giroux – B. 1 Mar 1672, Beauport, Quebec; D. 25 Feb 1750; M. Marie-Therese Dauphin (1674-1732), 15 Nov 1690, Beauport, Quebec

12. Monique Giroux – B. about 1679, Beauport, Quebec; D. 1 Mar 1725, Quebec City, Quebec; M. Noel Vachon dit Pamerlaux, 24 Oct 1695, Quebec

Children by Therese Leblanc:
1.  Marie-Madeleine Angelique Giroux – B. 14 Feb 1688, Beauport, Quebec; D. 31 Jul 1746; M. (1) Vincent Rodrique, 11 Jan 1707, Beauport, Quebec; (2) Jacques Paridis, 15 Feb 1729, Beauport, Quebec

Our French-Canadian Ancestors, Gerard Lebel (translated by Thomas J. Laforest), 1990
Toussaint Giroux—Marie Godard, Seventh Great Grandparents, Warren Gereaux, 2000
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]


  1. Toussaint & Marie Giroux were My Great x8 Grandparents

  2. My Great Grandpa Albert Giroux was born Nov 4 1871 in Manchester NH .after leaving the New World "Canada" Our Ancestors Great Great Grandparents Adolphe & Rose "Carbonneau" Giroux settled in NH ...It was My Great Grandpa that removed the i from Giroux changing our name to Groux !

  3. I am also a descendant Of Toussaint Giroux I have recently traced My Giroux Family History From My Great Grandfather "Albert Giroux" to our ancestors Toussaint Giroux Son of Jean Giroux & Marguerite Quilleron in Réveillon, Mortagne-Au-Perche, Orne, France. My Great Grandpa Albert Giroux Born 1871 in Quebec, Canada
    was married To Alphonsine Marceau born in Ste Agathe, Quebec, Canada. Some time after or before the birth Of My Grandpa also named Albert He Removed The I from our name changing it to Giroux ~ we always knew our ancestors were Giroux's from France. I am so excited to have Put it all together at last. Sincerely,Elizabeth Ann Groux Daughter of Albert John Groux Jr. born 1925 To Albert Aubrey Groux & Grace D. Legge Groux

  4. I am hoping you can help me or maybe point me in the right direction. I am trying to do a family tree for my mom , she lost both parents months apart when she was 8 and a half and she is 65 now. However she was raised my her grandmother who was up in age at that time. I do know my great grandfather's name was Pete Giroux , from Quebec, Canada and he married Edith sometim s towards the end of the 1800s or early 1900s. They settled in Toledo, Ohio. Any help would be appreciated more then you know. Thanks for your time.
    Samantha Jackson