François-Michel Messier

François-Michel is the eleventh child of Michel and Anne Lemoyne and their second boy. His birth certificate is untraceable. As it sometimes arrived, the priest of Boucherville came to baptize him in Cap St-Michel and on returning to Boucherville, he probably omitted to register him in the register. However, his birth can be fixed with enough precision. On August 20th, 1678, a child of Anne Lemoyne is baptized. On April 20th, 1681, she gives birth to her last child, René. François-Michel was born between these two dates, possibly between May 1679 and July, 1680. I estimate his birth towards the end of the year 1679, that is between the birth of a child baptized on August 20th, 1678 and his brother René been born on April 20th, 1681.
 

His life will not be so animated as the life of his father and his brother René. However, the history will give us numerous tracks of him, specially as successor of his father, as Lord of the Cap-St-Michel.

 

On May 18th, 1701, his father gives him a concession to Cap St-Michel. This one has three acres frontally on the depth of the seigneury. He has for neighbors, on one side, his brother René, and on the other one, his cousin Jacques Messier.

 

In 1701, in Montreal a peace treaty is signed with all the Indian tribes of the Northeast of North America.  One thousand three hundred Indians came of so far as western of the Lake Superior. The journeys on rivers are much more security.  On May 8th, 1702, François-Michel undertakes his first great journey. He is hired by Jean Boudor to go to Detroit.  On July 28th, 1704, he leaves for a journey, as hired by the company of Canada to go to Detroit. He follows his brother Jean-Michel left at the beginning of May for the Louisiana with her sister Marguerite.

 

In 1706, François-Michel decides to start a family.  On February 10th in Varennes, he married Marie-Anne Amyot, been born on September 29th, 1685 in Quebec. The couple has six children: four boys and two girls. In 1707 and 1708, Marie-Anne Amyot sold her share of inheritance received from her uncles in Quebec.

 

François-Michel's life passed without history until year 1725.  This year will be tiring for him. His wife dies on February 9th. He finds himself with five children from nine to eighteen years old.  On July 15th, it's the turn of hisr mother Anne Lemoyne to die. His father Michel will follow on November 2nd.

 

A few weeks before the death of his father, he remarries in Contrecoeur with Marie-Jeanne Duval, an eleven-year-old woman younger than him. The marriage will be short-lived.  Less than two years later, on September 4th, 1727, his second wife dies without leaving him other child.

 

François-Michel will not remain for a long time a widower.  On July 25th, 1729, he remarries for the third time. This time, it belongs to St-François-du-Lac that he marries Madeleine Lefebvre. The day before, the couple makes a marriage contract which drafts father Joseph Aubry, missionary of the place. The marriage will last twelve years until the death of Madeleine Lefebvre arisen on May 25th, 1742.  She will be interred to Varennes with his two other wives. Our ancestor was not made to live alone; at sixty four years old, on June 8th, 1744, in Ste-Anne-du-Bout-de-l'Ile, he finds itself in front of the altar with a thirty five-year-old woman, Angélique Poirier.  Only his first wife will have given him children.

 

When his father died, François-Michel inherits from the seigneury.  Lord's title of the Cap St-Michel gives him some obligations. On July 22nd, 1736, he gives a mandate to Christophe Hilarion Dulaurent to represent him in Quebec. On August 18th, 1736, in Quebec, in front of Gilles Hocquart, in the name of king, he returns faith and tribute as Lord of the Cap St-Michel. Four days later, Me Dulaurent presents a confession and an enumeration of the seigneury.

 

This document is a description of the seigneury.  It gives us the name of every based on a tax qualification, the surface of ground that each possesses, its location, buildings and surface in value. Until his death arisen on June 11th, 1751, in Varennes, François-Michel gives numerous concessions.

 

After the death of his first wife, Marie-Anne Amyot, an inventory of its properties is made. He is interesting to compare it with that one of Michel.  Both were made for two months apart. Michel died at the age of eighty-five after a long disease.  At the death of his wife, François-Michel was forty five years old and had five children under his responsibility. Michel possessed clothes, food and some objects accumulated during his life. It seems however that his son René takes care of him during the last years. In the inventory of Michel's properties, we didn’t see any pets and no big instrument of farm.

 

François-Michel possesses several animals. He has fifteen horned animals, two horses, eleven pigs, twenty poultry and sixteen sheeps. He possesses a cart and a plow.  As furniture, the inventory mentions two miserable chests in pine, nine chairs and two beds.  He lives in a house of piece on piece with a straw roof which threatens to collapse; it possesses no fireplace and no foundation. He also possesses " a carcass of house still on the construction site " in half-covering, of thirty feet long on twenty two wide. It is said that " the construction began four years ago ". The value of this second house is estimated at ten times the value of the first one.  Other buildings are a cowshed, a stable as well as a barn covered with straw being sixty five feet long on twenty feet wide.
 

It says children of François-Michel that they are young, almost naked, very badly dressed and that they do not still return big services. François-Michel's financial situation seems rather precarious.

 

Other declared objects are of not much value.  We say that they are used; we speak miserable chairs, old torn tablecloths, old sheets etc.

 

This inventory can give us a brief overview of the fact that could be the wealth of a person at that time.  If I compare that of his brother René made ten years previously, I notice that René seems materially more comfortable than François-Michel.  It is true that René's life was very adventurous.  It was able to bring him additional income coming from the trade of furs.

 

Eleven years later, François - Michel's financial situation improved. He is now the Lord of the Cap St-Michel. Incomes are better.  On May 2nd, 1737, he can allow to give an advance of inheritance to his children.  When he passed away in 1751, a second inventory of its possessions is made. We notice a net improvement.  He always possesses two cups of silver in the form of gondola bought during the sale of the possessions of his father. However, it do not mention who inherits from it.

 

A disagreement arose between Augustin Hébert and both sons of Michel: François-Michel and René. The whole was carried at the sovereign council.  On April 16th, 1731, it ask to François-Michel and René to put down documents in the hands of Jean-François Hazeur, councillor in this cause.  Regrettably, I was not able to find the cause of this disagreement with Augustin Hébert, son of Jeanne Messier.

 

The second disagreement also goes to the sovereign council.  This time it is Jean-Baptiste Lebrodeur, a son of Marie-Anne Messier, who appealed to the justice to settle it. The dispute seems to concern fiefs given by Michel to his children.  A prescription is emitted by the sovereign council on July 21st, 1732.

 

François-Michel dies on June 11th, 1751. He will not too much have to undergo during his life the iroquoises wars. He was twenty one years old during the big peace signed in Montreal in 1701. His fourth wife remarries with Jean-Baptiste Robida, in the months which follow his death and will go to live in Baie-du-Febvre.

 

Today, approximately three quarters of Messier are descendants of François-Michel. Three boys and a girl survived their father.

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

Last update : 

August 11, 2014

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