Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Terrible Voyage to New France – Pierre Jean

B. about 1645 in La Rochelle, France
M. (1) 8 Jul 1668 in La Rochelle
Wife: Françoise Favereau
M. (2) 13 Aug 1724 in New France
Wife: Marie-Anne Bourassa
D. about 1726 in New France
Emigrated: 1669 on the ship Pot de Beurre

Pierre Jean was born in in La Rochelle, France in about 1645 to Vivien Jean and Suzanne Herault. He was the second of eight children and he spent his childhood at “Chez Vivien Jean,” in Ecoyeux, a suburb of La Rochelle.

In 1663, at the age of 18, he sailed to New France intending to settle there. This was reported to be a disastrous crossing for two ships that traveled together: La Flute Royale de Brouage and L' Aigle d'Or.  It was said that "60 passengers died at sea, 75 were left in Newfoundland and 159 others who disembarked at Quebec were in an appalling state." It was further stated that "that there were only 20 men ready to work, the others were so weak that they could barely stand." Thirty-eight passengers were taken to the hospital in Quebec and twelve of them died. It is believed that Pierre was among the sick, and that in 1664, he was ordered to return to France along with about a dozen other immigrants.

Pierre stayed in France for several years. He married Françoise Favereau on July 8, 1668 in La Rochelle. Then in June 1669, they migrated to New France together with his two brothers Hélie and Vivien. They all sailed on the ship Pot de Beurre, and it is believed they were under contract as indentured servants.

Pierre and Françoise settled in Charlesbourg, and signed a lease for a farm alongside his brother Hélie. They had four children born between 1672 and 1681. On July 6, 1671, Pierre was hired to remove stumps from a piece of land in Beauport which had previously been owned by Charles Turgeon. He moved around from farm to farm during much of his life and his name appears on many real estate transactions. During his life, he visited the notaries 60 times. He was a tenant farmer, usually signing agreements to pay his landlords in amounts of grain or butter.

In 1681, Pierre was living at Petite Auvergne, Charlesbourg, with 6 head of cattle and 30 arpents of land under cultivation. In about 1689, he “leased a house from Jean Matheiu on Rue Saint-Nicolas” in Quebec City, and practiced the trade of carter. Four years later, he was back to farming in La Canardiere. He sold that farm and signed a lease for another on the Isle aux Oies. The deal stated he would have to pay 300 livres annually along with “80 minots of wheat and 1 fat pig.” His son-in law Jacques Chouinard also settled there. On August 23, 1708, Pierre signed a 3-year lease for a farm at Port-Joli. Then in 1712, Pierre and his wife lived on the land previously owned by their deceased son Antoine.

Françoise died in August 1723 at St-Jean-Port-Joli and on August 13, 1724, the 79 year-old Pierre married a second wife who was just 44, Marie-Anne Bourassa. Pierre died just two years later; the exact date of his death is unknown.

1. Vivien Jean – B. 10 Dec 1672, Quebec City, New France; D. young

2. Pierre Jean – B. 11 Mar 1676, Charlesbourg, New France; M. Marie-Madeleine Prinseau (~1680-?), 1 Jun 1700, Quebec City, New France

3. Louise Jean – B. 19 May 1678, La Canadiere, New France; D. 1 Jan 1750, St-Jean Port Joli, New France; M. Jacques Chouinard (1663-1721), 2 Jun 1692, Quebec City, New France

4 Antoine Jean – B. 7 Jun 1681, La Canadiere, New France; D. 3 Dec 1705, Cap-St-Ignace, New France

Our French-Canadian Ancestors, Gerard Lebel (translated by Thomas J. Laforest), 1990


  1. Brooklynite, thank you, that was a very helpful. My family is descended from Pierre Jean m. Francoise Favreau.

  2. Thank you for the info but the ships manifest the Prince Maurice shows Francoise Fauvreau arriving on 30 July 1671 with the other Fille du Roi. Also according to Jette she married Pierre Jean in Charlesbourg Quebec in 1672. I have copies of these documents and am a descendant of this union.