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Michel Messier

His origins

Among our ancestors, some have great history of New France. I am thinking of men like Charles LeMoyne, Lambert Closse, etc. Others were simply settlers uneventful. Finally, some have marked the history without brilliant action but their life was eventful. Michel Messier can be ranked among those.


Michel was born in 1640 in Vascoeuil, a small village about twenty kilometers east of Rouen, in Normandy. It is possible that Michel has remained with an aunt in St-Denis-le-Thiboult, before crossing the Atlantic. Two sisters, his father lived there Ysabeau/Elizabeth lived in the hamlet of Sales and Martine, in a place called Genneville.


 As I said before, the year of his arrival in New France with other members of the family Messier was set at 1649. During the year 1649, a ship sailing from Dieppe arrived in Quebec  on August 23, 1649. I do not have the date of departure of the ship. However, it frequently happened that the voyage lasts more than two months. A lot of people died or were seriously ill.


After landing in Quebec, it is normal to recover before continuing his journey to Ville-Marie. It was not until September 27 that the boat leaves Quebec to Ville-Marie. It is not as fast as a canoe up the river. One place is inhabited before arriving at the destination, it's Trois-Rivières where they will stop a few days. The caution is to deal with surprise attacks of the Iroquois. The group made ​​several stops on the banks of the St. Lawrence to sleep on the banks.


Finally, the barge arrived in Ville-Marie, on November 3, more than a month after his departure. What sensations Michel had to have in front of these vast wooded and wild territory! His destination was more than 140 kilometers of any habitation. It happened in an area where less than fifty remained French. A fort and some houses were the country where he has to live.


On Sunday, June 8, 1651, Michel is in Ville-Marie for about 20 months. He can better see the environment in which he lives. The Iroquois were still prowling around the fort. However, this day was very distressing for the eleven year old boy. After Mass, fifty to sixty Iroquois attacked the fort. To defend the place, including Jacques Messier, the uncle and Antoine Primot, there are only 17 men fit to bear arms about fifty people living in the place.


The enemy was repulsed, leaving the dead and wounded. Among residents, losses result in the death of a French and three wounded.


Before the notary Claude Maugue,  Michel claims to be in Montreal in 1650. On August 12, 1651 is the first mention of him as a sponsor of an Indian "Michel Sachitihouichith." For him, this is the beginning of a long and eventful life. It is more rooted in Montreal when, on November 4, 1657, he bought of Charles Lemoyne, a land called "La Provençale" 2 x 15 acres. This name was given to identify the original owner James Bourguignon said La Provencale. To show its commitment, De Maisonneuve granted him ten acres located at the end of his land. Its location is now South, St Paul street, East, McGill street and West, the area around St. Henri.


On February 18, 1658, he spent with Anne Lemoyne his marriage contract. It is celebrated on February 25 in the presence of the most important people of the place: De Maisonneuve, Jeanne Mance, Lambert Closse, Charles Lemoyne, Jacques Leber and several relatives and friends. By his marriage, Michel becomes the uncle of Pierre Lemoyne d'Iberville and Jeanne Leber, the famous recluse of Ville-Marie.


July 11, 1659 is the birth of his first child Catherine. Michel Messier and Anne LeMoyne will have  twelve: eight girls, three boys and a waved child.


On June 18, 1661, at the baptism of Jeanne, his second child, records of Montreal indicate that Michel  is in the hands of the Iroquois and no one knows if he is dead or alive. Later, a note is added to say that we have heard from him and he is a prisoner.

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

Last update : 

August 9, 2014

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