Claude Bouchard

Male 1626 - 1699  (73 years)

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  • Name Claude Bouchard 
    Born 1626  St.Cosme de Vair, Maine, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 25 Nov 1699  St.Francois-Xavier, Petite Riviere, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • "Le Petit" Claude
      Claude (1st Gen.)
      Claude Bouchard, son of Jacques Bouchard and Noelle Touschard, was
      born in Saint-Cosme-de-Vair, France, in 1626. Saint-Cosme-de-Vair was
      a community in the Department of the Sarthe, in Perche, and comprised
      seven parishes. Claude considered himself to be from the parish of
      Notre-Dame. He died on November 25, 1699 at the age of 73.
      Why "Le Petit" ?
      There were actually 6 or 7 different Bouchards who came to Canada (New
      France) in the seventeenth century. Two of them were named "Claude"
      Bouchard. One of these was a doctor (a surgeon) who came from Picardy.
      In order to differentiate the two the doctor was referred to as
      "Claude dit d'Orval" and the other as "Le Petit Claude". This latter
      listed his occupation as tailor (un Taileur d'habits). His surname,
      which means "The Small Claude", must have been because he was of
      smaller stature than the other Claude. This nickname, however,
      certainly was not merited when it came to his progeny, having 12
      children of his own (6 boys and 6 girls) as a result of his union with
      Louise Gagne, whom he married in Beaupre in 1654. Fortunate indeed
      that he had 12 children, as my ancestor was the twelfth child in the
      His coming to New France
      In order to understand the occasion of Claude's coming to New France
      (Canada) one needs to have at least a brief understanding of the
      colony and how the powers in France at the time (Louis XIII and Louis
      XIV, along with the latter's Minister for the colonies Jean Baptiste
      Colbert) went about the business of colonizing the new land.
      From the beginning of the colony it was intended that the social order
      in New France should rest upon a seignorial basis. This was a system
      of land tenure, a method of apportioning land and bringing it into
      production while avoiding the evils of speculation. Title to all the
      land in the colony rested in the king, who would grant concessions to
      seigneurs on the condition that they get their land cleared and made
      productive. This required, as part of their grant agreement with the
      crown, that the seigneurs enlist and establish settlers on their
      lands, as well as build a mill for the settlers' use, and also
      maintain a court of law to settle minor disputes.
      A seigneur was not a landlord as we understand that term today. He had
      obligations and responsibilities both to the crown and to his
      settlers, and the authorities saw to it that he fulfilled them. The
      same applied to the settlers. The seigneur was actually little more
      than a land settlement agent and his finanacial rewards were not
      great. Being a seigneur was still something to be eagerly sought after
      since it gave one greatly enhanced social status, and this was
      manifested in a variety of ways.
      For their part these settlers, or "censitaires" as they were known
      (although "habitants" is what they preferred to call themselves), were
      required to clear the lands granted them by the seigneurs, and were
      also obligated to pay modest dues (rents) in return. There were other
      modest requirements imposed on the settlers in return for the land
      concessions, which could be revoked if one did not fulfill his
      obligations. A settler could eventually own his concession to the
      point where he could even sell it, although if he sold it to anyone
      other than a direct heir he had to pay 1/12 of the sale price to the
      seigneur, and the latter also then had the right to buy the land at
      the price offered by the would-be purchaser within forty days of the
      sale. When land was sold, what the seller received was, in essence,
      not the worth of the land but compensation for the improvements he had
      made on it. This acted as a curb on land speculation.
      One of the first seigneurs who fulfilled his trust to the letter was a
      named Robert Giffard. Monsieur Giffard, a doctor who had come to New
      France in 1627, was able to recruit several settlers beginning in 1632
      (30 to 40 persons in 1632, and approximately the same number in 1635).
      Between 1635 and 1663 he was able to recruit an additional 50 or so
      persons, and this is where our Claude comes into the picture.
      Claude Bouchard, a tailor, born in 1626, was from the Province of the
      Maine, a native of Saint-Cosme-de-Vair. As I understand it this place
      was actually in Perche, an area administered by the Province of the
      Maine at the time. His father was Jacques Bouchard and his mother was
      named Noelle Touschard. We know nothing of his youth except that he
      was a member of Notre Dame parish in his home town. We do know that he
      made a living as a tailor (un Taileur d'habits).
      We find Claude, in March of 1650, present at the White Horse Inn
      (Hotel du Cheval Blanc), situated on the road leading to Rouperoux,
      attending a conference being given by Monsieur Giffard who was looking
      for volunteers to emigrate to New France. Claude, and a friend named
      Julien Fortin, volunteered to go. They put their affairs in order and
      sometime after embarked for New France. It is recorded in a certain
      Jesuit journal that Monsieur Giffard's vessel arrived on the 14th of
      July, but does not give the year. It may have been 1650, but then some
      believe it was 1652. In any event, a sizeable group of Bouchards were
      present at the White Horse Inn, in Saint-Cosme-de-Vair in 1952, to
      unveil a plaque commemorating the 300th anniversary of the departure
      of their ancestor Claude Bouchard for New France. I nonetheless accept
      as fact that Claude arrived in New France on July 14, 1650, because of
      other dates one comes accross in the telling of his story.
      Upon arriving, Claude and his friend Julien went to the seigneury de
      Beauport (situated between where Quebec stands today and the Mount
      Morency Falls to the north) to secure food and lodging. It appears
      that Claude had come with some funds of his own (being his father's
      heir as well as an accomplished tailor) and had come to New France not
      as an indentured servant but rather under the protection of Monsieur
      Giffard with some freedom to travel, which he did. We next find him,
      on October 26, 1650, in the office of Oliver Letardif, agent for the
      seigneurie de Beaupre, for the purpose of buying a tract of land with
      one fifth of a mile fronting on the river and about five miles deep
      into the interior. This tract was located about three miles northeast
      of where the church of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre stands today. Three
      years later, on October 1, 1653, Claude wanted to sell this tract to a
      Louis Guimond, but the sale was not approved (as it had to be, by the
      royal charter company) until October 1, 1657, for which he received
      600 livres, a fair sum in its day, which amounted to approximately
      $1,200 in 1968 Canadian currency.
    Person ID I16414  OurNorthernRoots | Drew's Maternal Ancestors
    Last Modified 29 Aug 2011 

    Father Jacques Bouchard,   b. Abt 1600, St.Cosme de Vair, Maine, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Noelle Touschard,   b. Abt 1605 
    Married Abt 1625 
    Family ID F4689  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Louise Gagne,   b. 21 Jan 1641/1642, St.Martin, Ige, Orne, Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Apr 1721  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 25 May 1654  Quebec City, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    +1. Marguerite Bouchard,   b. 15 Oct 1665, Chateau-Richer, Montmorency, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Apr 1731, St.Francois-Xavier, Petite Riviere, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years)
    Family ID F4688  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 25 May 1654 - Quebec City, Quebec, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 25 Nov 1699 - St.Francois-Xavier, Petite Riviere, Quebec, Canada Link to Google Earth
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