Pioneer Ancestors

Pioneer Ancestor Marie Rollet and Her Children

Marie Rollet and Her Children

Across from City Hall in Québec City, a statue stands upon a pedestal in Parc Montmorency overlooking the St. Lawrence River. The statue honors Louis Hébert, credited with being the first Canadian apothecary, the first European to build a home in Canada, and the first Canadian to successfully support his family by farming the land.

At the base of the pedestal, another statute honors Louis’ wife, Marie Rollet, and their three children: Guillaume (3 years old), Guillaumette (9 years old), and Anne (14 years old).

On the back side of the pedestal is a plaque honoring the earliest families to establish themselves in Québec City. Among the forty-six husbands and wives commemorated on the plaque are fifteen pioneer couples who are ancestors of Robert Perrault, grandson of Nazaire Perrault and Demerise Simoneau.



Anc = Ancestor of Nazaire Perrault (P) or Demerise Simoneau (S)
Rel = Relationship to Robert PerraultYear = Year of Husband's Arrival in New France
Earliest Pioneer Couples
Louis Hébert 1S9ggfApothecary1617Marie Rolet 1
Abraham Martin dit l'EcossaisS9ggfRiver Pilot1620Marguerite Langlois 2
Pierre DesportesS9ggfunknown1620Françoise Langlois 2
Noël MorinS,P8ggfWheelwright1620Hélène Desportes 3
Noël LangloisS9ggfShip's Navigator1634Françoise Grenier
Jean Guyon dit Du BuissonS9ggfMason1634Mathurine Robin dite Boule
Zacharie CloutierS,P9ggfCarpenter1634Xainte Dupont
Marin BoucherS,P8ggfFarmer1634Perrinne Mallet
Jean CôtéS8ggfFarmer1634Anne Martin
Robert Drouin 4S8ggfTilemaker1635Anne Cloutier 4
Philippe AmiotS9ggfunknown1636Anne Convent
François BélangerS8ggfMason Bricklayer1636Marie Guyon
Claude PoulinS8ggfCarpenter1636Jeanne Mercier
Louis SédilotP8ggfFarmer1636Marie Grimoult
Guillaume Fournier 5S7ggfunknown1651Françoise Hébert

1Louis Hébert and Marie Rolet are our earliest known ancestors in North America. They arrived in Québec in July of 1617, three years before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth, Mass.
2Marie Langlois and Françoise Langlois were sisters.
3Hélène Desportes was baptized in Québec on 7 July 1620, making her the first European child born in New France.
4Robert Drouin’s first marriage to Anne Cloutier, daughter of Zacharie Cloutier and Xaintes Dupont is commemorated on this plaque. Anne died in 1648, and Robert married Marie Chapelier in 1649. Our family is descended from the second marriage. “It is almost impossible to trace any French-Canadian genealogy without encountering Robert Drouin among the earliest ancestors.” [Provost, Dictionary of Canadian Biography]
5Many other pioneer couples preceded Guillaume Fournier and Françoise Hébert, but they were mistakenly included on this commemorative plaque. Françoise was the granddaughter of Louis Hébert and Marie Rolet.

SOURCE: Michael Robert, “Monument to Louis Hébert in Québec City.”

Prolific Pioneer Ancestors

The ancestors of Robert Perrault include 10 pioneer couples who are considered to be among the 12 most prolific early pioneer couples. In 1730, the population of New France was 35,297, and the total number of descendants produced up to that point has been estimated at approximately 50,000. With 16,851 descendants attributed to these 12 couples, it seems that they were responsible for about one-third of all descendants produced by 1730!

Anc = Ancestor of Nazaire Perrault (P) or Demerise Simoneau (S)Year = Year of arrival in New France
Rel = Relationship to Robert PerraultDesc = Descendants in 1730
Descendants of Pioneer Couples in 1730
Jean Guyon dit Du BuissonS9ggfSt-Aubin de Tourouvre, Mortagne, Perche1634Mathurine Robin dite Boule2 Jun 1615 Mortagne, Perche2,150
Zacharie CloutierS,P9ggfSt-Jean de Mortagne, Perche1634Xainte Dupont18 Jul 1616 Mortagne, Perche2,090
Jacques ArchambaultP8ggfDompierre-sur-mer, Charente-Maritimeca. 1645Françoise Tourault24 Jan 1629
St-Philibert Le Pont- Charrault, Poitou
Marin Boucher 1S,P8ggfSt-Langis-lès-
Mortagne, Perche
16341) Julienne du Baril

2) Perrinne Mallet
7 Feb 1611
29 Mar 1629
Nöel LangloisS9ggfAlençon, Perche1634Françoise Grenier25 Jul 1634
Abraham Martin dit l'EcossaisS9ggfLaRochelle,
1620Marguerite Langlois 2Bef 1620
Pierre Miville
dit le Suisse
S,P9ggfFribourg, Suisse1649Charlotte Maugisca. 1630
Brouage, Saintonge
Pierre Gagnon 3--Mortagne, Perchen/a 3Reneé Rogerca. 1597
Pierre Desporte 4S9ggfLisieux, Normandie1619Françoise Langlois 2ca. 1619
Louis Hébert 4S9ggfParis1617Marie Roletca. 1602
Nicolas PelletierP8ggfSt-Pierre de Gallardon, arr. Chartres, Beuce1637Jeanne de Voissyca. 1632,
St-Pierre de Gallardon
Pierre Gareman1 dit le Picard--Bagneux, arr. Soissons, Picardieca. 1639Madeleine Charlotca. 1628
Total number of descendants in 173016,851

1François Boucher, son of Marin Boucher from his marriage to Julienne du Baril, married Florence Gareman, daughter of Pierre.
2Marguerite Langlois and Françoise Langlois were sisters.
3Pierre Gagnon died in France; only his wife and 3 children came to Canada.
4Hélène Desportes, daughter of Pierre, married Guillaume Hébert, son of Louis; Hélène was baptized in Québec on 7 July 1620, making her the first European child born in New France. Eustache Martin, son of Abraham Martin and Marguerite Langlois, was born on 24 Oct 1621 in Québec; he was the first European male child born in New France.

SOURCE: Marcel Fournier, L’immigration européenne au Canada des origines à 1765, Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française, vol. 42, #3, p. 106-124 (1991). Compiled by Dr. Claude Bordeleau,

Numbers of descendants in 1730 can be compared to numbers in 1760 and 1800 for five of our most prolific early pioneer ancestors. We can only imagine the magnitude of the total number of descendants by 2014 that can be attributed to these five pioneers of New France and their wives!

Anc = Ancestor of Nazaire Perrault (P) or Demerise Simoneau (S)
Rel = Relationship to Robert Perrault
Descendants of Pioneer Ancestors: 1730, 1760 & 1800 1
NameAncRelBefore 1730Before 1760 2Before 1800 3
Jean Guyon dit Du BuissonS9ggf2,1505,5469,674
Zacharie CloutierS,P9ggf2,0906,21810,850
Jacques ArchambaultP8ggf1,8254,4788,445
Marin BoucherS,P8ggf1,4544,7518,502
Noël LangloisS9ggf1,3884,2717,847
Total descendants8,90725,26445,318

1Number of descendants shown for 1800 includes married descendants only.

2 Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française, vol. 48, #2, p. 158 (1997). Compiled by Dr. Claude Bordeleau
3 Jacques Legare & Hubert Charbonneau, Programme de Recherche en Demographie Historique(Université de Montréal, PRDH Online)