Monday, February 27, 2012

A Soldier to Defend Quebec – Jean Soucy dit Lavigne

B.~1640s in Abbeyville, France
M. 1670 in Ile d'Orléans, Quebec
Wife: Jeanne Savonnet
D. ~1678 in Quebec
Emigrated: 18 August 1665 on the ship L' Aigle d'Or

There is no surviving record of Jean Soucy dit Lavigne that shows his birth or age. He was born in Abbeyville, France, an ancient city in the Picardy region, and his parents were Claude Soucy and Françoise de Vaime. Most likely, he was born during the 1640s. All other details of his origins are unknown.

Jean came to Quebec as a soldier during a push by the French to protect their North American colony. From June to September in 1665, over 1200 troops were transported across the Atlantic. This was called the Carignan Regiment and Jean was a soldier in the company of Grandfontaine. In April 1665, Jean's company was camped on the Ile de Oléron in France. He left on board the ship L' Aigle d'Or on May 13th, The crossing took an agonizing three months; the hull was eaten with worms and was said to have sprung a leak. On August 18th, the ship arrived in Quebec; upon the return trip to France, it was deemed no longer seaworthy.

The soldiers worked to protect the colony against the Mohawk Indians. Jean was involved in building a fort on the Richelieu River and a road connecting two outposts. In 1666, he took part in an expedition that took possession of some Mohawk land. When the Carignan Regiment returned to France at the completion of their mission, over 450 decided to stay in Quebec, and Jean was one of them.

By 1669, Jean left the military. On October 6, he signed a bond to marry a woman named Madeleine Marechal, but a week later, backed out when he found out she already had a husband. The following year, he married Jeanne Savonnet on the Ile d'Orléans; the exact date of their marriage is unknown. Jeanne was from Paris and had just arrived in Quebec as a King's Daughter (a woman recruited to populate the colony). They had four children born between 1671 and 1677.

During this time, Jean was helping to build the house of a military acquaintance, and in return was given some land of his own on Ilse-de-Grues, a narrow island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. Here he brought his family in about 1674. It is believed that Jean died in about 1678 because Jeanne remarried the following year.

Children:
1. Anne Soucy – B. 5 Sep 1671, Ile-Aux-Oies, Quebec; M. (1) Jean Lebel (?-1699), 16 Aug 1689, Riviere Ouelle, Quebec; (2) Jacques Bois, 24 Nov 1704

2. Pierre Soucy – B. 13 Apr 1673, Notre Dame, Quebec; D. 7 Jan 1760, Riviere Ouelle, Quebec; M. Elisabeth-Ursule Fouquereau (1679-1758), 13 Jan 1699, Riviere Ouelle, Quebec

3. Marie-Anne Soucy – B. 15 Feb 1675, Ile-aux-Grues, Quebec; M. (1) Charles Pelletier (?-1713), 24 Nov 1701, Riviere Ouelle, Quebec; (2) Robert Gaulin, 15 Apr 1716, Ste-Famille, Quebec

4. Guillaume Soucy – B.  5 Apr 1677, Ile-aux-Grues

Sources:
Our French-Canadian Ancestors, Gerard Lebel (translated by Thomas J. Laforest), 1990
King's daughters and founding mothers: the filles du roi, 1663-1672, Peter J. Gagné, 2001
Wikipedia article on the Carignan Regiment

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