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Catherine Primot


Origin of Catherine Primot, wife of Charles LeMoyne


One can not speak of Messier without mentioning Catherine Primot. To date, nothing has been written about this woman whose family was the most famous of New France. The original file is silent on it. Even the biographical dictionary of Canada does not speak about it. I think the mother of Iberville, Baron de Longueuil and other family members should be better known. Catherine seems to have arrived in Ville-Marie in 1649 with Antoine Primot and Martine Messier, her adoptive parents, Jacques Messier, Martine's brother and her cousin Michel Messier.

Parents of Catherine Primot, Guillaume Thierry and Elizabeth LeMessier lived at St-Denis-le-Thiboult the hamlet of Ventes(1). It is normal to believe that Catherine was born at this place. At her marriage in 1654 in Montreal with Charles LeMoyne, it is mentioned that she is from Gonneville, diocese of Rouen. This is the only mention of his place of origin. In a research about Messier in St-Denis-le-Thiboult, four notarized documents mention an hamlet in Gonneville exists in St-Denis-le-Thiboult. The one of 21 December 1532(2) indicates that the location is close to the wood of St. Denis. A map of the location accuracy is about a mile from the church. At Gonneville-sur-Scie, there is no record of the baptism of Catherine Thierry. When we asked them about their place of residence in France, the answer was Gonneville. Suggesting that Martine Messier and Antoine Primot lived in the hamlet of Gonneville in St-Denis-le-Thiboult when they left for Ville-Marie.

On April 20, 1650 in Ville-Marie, Catherine is godmother of Leger Hebert. To be present at Montreal on that date, she should be arrived in 1649 or earlier. In a deed in St-Denis-le-Thiboult dated on March 20 1643(3) between Guillaume Thierry with David Messier and his brother Jacques, Antoine Primot is present in the drafting of the act. He makes his mark on the document. At nine years or so, a girl does not cross the Atlantic alone. She must be accompanied by her adoptive parents and her uncle Jacques Messier and her cousin Michel Messier. It was between 1643 and 1649 when she arrived in New France. I think she crossed the Atlantic at the age of 9 years instead of 3 years. Certain conditions are required before crossing.
"By the care of Jeanne Mance," this is how mother St. Thomas, Superior of the Ursulines  in Quebec(4) speaks of the presence of Catherine Primot the Ursulines in Quebec "between August 13 and October 1653(5)." During her stay, she will learn to write, read and do work with embroidery and others. Jeanne Mance knew her since her arrival and was probably attached to that child. In 1650, Ville-Marie had about fifty people who were very close to each other.

On December 10, 1653, in Ville-Marie, Lambert Closse, clerk at the Registry of Ville-Marie, wrote the marriage contract of Charles LeMoyne and Catherine Primot. It is mentioned that the bride is about 14 years old. She would be born about 1640 in St-Denis-le-Thiboult the hamlet of Ventes. Her marriage to Charles LeMoyne will be celebrated at Ville-Marie on May 28, 1654.

On March 20, 1660, in Ville-Marie, before the notary Basset Benign, Catherine Thierry, daughter of Guillaume Thierry and Elizabeth (Ysabeau) Messier, was officially adopted by the couple Antoine Primot and Martine Messier, sister of Elizabeth. According to the indictment, the adoption was made verbally without further formality, about 1642 in St-Denis-le-Thiboult residence of Guillaume Thierry and Elizabeth Messier and the couple Antoine Primot and Martine Messier.

The rest is well known. Much has been written about the family of Charles LeMoyne and Catherine Primot.

Her children


  1. Charles is born on December 10, 1656 in Montreal. He married on May 7, 1681 in France with Claude Souart.  Elizabeth died on June 8, 1729 in Montreal. Baron de Longueuil;

  2. Jacques is born on April 16, 1659 in Montreal. He married on February 7, 1684 in Montreal with Jeanne Dufresnoy Carion, who died on December 4, 1690 in Quebec City;

  3. Pierre "d'Iberville," is born on July 20, 1661 in Montreal. He married on October 8, 1693 in Quebec City with Marie Therese Lacombe Paulet, who died on July 9, 1706 in Cuba;

  4. Paul is born on December 15, 1663 in Montreal. He married on October 29, 1691 in Quebec City with Marie Madeleine Dupont Deneuville. He died on March 21, 1704 in Montreal;

  5. Francois is born on March 10, 1666 in Montreal, Sieur de Bienville. He died on June 7, 1691 in Montreal, killed by the Iroquois;

  6. Joseph is born on July 22, 1668 in Montreal. He married on November 21, 1699 in France with Mary Elizabeth Neron, who died September 12, 1734 in France;

  7. François-Marie Joseph is born on September 22, 1670 in Montreal. He died on October 5, 1670;

  8. Anonymous of indeterminate sex died on October 2, 1672 in Montreal;

  9. Catherine-Jeanne is born on November 15, 1673 in Montreal. She married on August 12, 1694 in Quebec Pierre Denoyan Chavois ...;

  10. Louis is born on January 4, 1676 in Montreal. He died on October 4, 1694 at Fort Nelson, Hudson Bay. Sieur de Châteauguay;

  11. Marie-Anne is born on August 13, 1678 in Montreal . She married on October 28, 1699 in Montreal with Jean-Baptiste Bouillet Delachassaigne. She died on May 9, 1744 in Trois-Rivières;

  12. Jean-Baptiste is born on February 23, 1680 in Montreal, Sieur de Bienville, Knight of St. Louis. He died on March 7, 1767 in Paris;

  13. Gabriel is born on November 11, 1681 in Montreal. He died after November 24, 1711 in St-Dominique;

  14. Antoine is born on July 7, 1683 in Montreal. He died on March 21, 1742 in France, commander of the troops of Louisiana.

Catherine died on August 5, 1690 in Montreal. She followed her husband dead in the same place at the beginning of 1685.  On September 6, 1668, in St-Denis-le-Thiboult, There was the burial of Ysabeau (Elizabeth) LeMessier (daughter of Jehan LeMessier and unknown mother), aged about 60 years, wife of Guillaume Thierry.


  1. On March 20, 1643, deed: Required to Jacques Messier (uncle) David Messier and Guillaume Thierry (Departmental Archives of Seine-Maritime, tabellionnage Ry, Me 2E14 Allyne rating / 1775). Antoine Primot made ​​his mark on the document;

  2. On December 21, 1532, deed: Sale by Jehan Bourris the hamlet of Le Puy on Ry, Colin Pouchet, residing in St-Denis-le-Thiboult the hamlet of Gonneville. By the wood of St-Denis (ADSM rating 2E14 / 2193);

  3. Ibid. (Departmental Archives of Seine-Maritime, tabellionnage Ry, Me 2E14 Allyne rating / 1775);

  4. Mother St. Thomas. The Ursulines 1864 T 2 notes page VII;

  5. Marcel Trudel. Schoolgirls Ursulines de Quebec Ed. H.M.H. In 1999.

Other acts on Gonneville in St-Denis-le-Thiboult


  • 1530 Deed, Theaulmet LeBonnier of St-Denis-le-Thiboult hamlet of Gonneville, retrieves a land Gonneville. (ADSM rating 2E14 / 2193)

  • 1537 August 05 Helie Chiret priest of St-Denis-le-Thiboult takes "à ferme" for nine years, all the tithes of the hamlet of Puy-sur-Ry and Gonneville.

  • 1565 November 19, Deed, mention the hamlet of Gonneville in St-Denis-le-Thiboultt. (ADSM Tabellionnage Vascoeuil rating 2E14 / 2160)


Text taken from de volume of Gilles Messier:  Les Messier et leurs ancêtres, 700 ans d'histoire.

Last update : 

September 15, 2014

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