Death: JAN 1641, Réveillon, Mortagne-au-Perche, Orne, France
Burial: 10 JAN 1641, Réveillon, Mortagne-au-Perche, Orne, France
Family 1: Marguerite Quilleron
Birth: NOV 1633, Réveillon, Mortagne-au-Perche, Orne, France
Christening: 2 NOV 1633, Réveillon, Mortagne-au-Perche, Orne, France
Death: 15 FEB 1715, Beauport
Burial: 16 FEB 1715, Beauport
Occupation: Tisserand en toile
Marriage: 29 SEP 1654, Beauport
TOUSSAINT GIROUX (1633-1715)
in three parts
We who are the descendants if the hardy folk who left
in ships from the French port of Dieppe and La Rochelle
in the seventeenth century. We sailed across the wide ocean to help carve an empire from the huge forestland
of "Nouvelle France " and proud of our heritage. It took incredible courage to leave one’s homeland and enter
into one of the tiny ships, expecting to arrive safely at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River 3000 miles away.
If the breezes were favorable, the voyage lasted about four weeks; but with adverse winds and bad weather,
the ocean crossing could last as 1ong as three months. On such a 1ong voyage, many died; and others became
so very ill that it took them several months to recover.
Most of these intrepid voyagers were from the North and
West of France --Normandy, Perche, Maine, Anjou,
Poitou, Aunis and Saintonge. A few came from Central France--Ile de France (which included Paris:), Orleans,
Tourraine and Berry. Their heritage started with the Celts who first settled the area; then was mixed with the
Roman Conquerors of Gaul, then added to by the invasions of the Franks, the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons.
Altogether it was a mixture that produced daring and resourceful adventurers.
The area of France from whence they came had suffered greatly during the Hundred Years War that ended
in 1453. Then, between 1562 and 1593, the Religious Wars raged across much of the sameterritory.
The peasants of the countryside and the merchants in the small hamlets and villages were kept in
constant turmoil by the ravaging armies. Between the wars, the people in these areas had an opportunity to
bring a semblance of order and peace to their lives; but soon new depredations brought ruined fields,
hunger and despair. Also, every adult male was liable to be called into the army to help the current King
fight his wars. It is no wonder that the news coming out of New France encouraged the young and bold to
strike out on the "Great Adventure."
All across France the people were discussing the voyages of Jacques Cartier, and the daring adventures
of Samuel de Chaplain among the Indian tribes. There began a stirring in the breast of the young people a
whispering--an urging--go west to Nouvelle France'. The older people were disturbed by the apparent
restlessness of the younger generation; hey did their best to discourage the distant travel. At bedtime,
mothers told their young children stories of the terrible, long voyage across the wild sea. They told of the
burning fever that came during the horrible voyage, and if death came, the body was cast into the ocean,
never to have the peace of a good christen burial. They told of the copper-skinned savages who roamed
the forests of the far away land, lurking behind trees to pounce upon the unwary colonist. But the stories
of the unending virgin forest, the clear running streams, the beautiful panoramas and the fortunes to be
made trapping the fur bearing animals could not be over--come. From the year 1620 onward, the flow of
emigrants from France for the New World increased dramatically
Approximately 80 miles West by South of Paris, France, lies the ancient walled city of Mortagne, once the
capital of the Province of Perche. During the French Revolution, several of the religious monuments were
destroyed, but there remains still, many Pre-Renaissance buildings whose turrets and high gables rise into
the azure sky. After the Revolution, when the boundaries of the Old provinces were changed and the
designation of each area became known as Departments, Mortagne was no longer the capital, but it is still
considered one of the most beautiful cities in France. Hear what the French poet has to say:
"Look for the tracks of our purest jewels,
At the time of the Roman invasion, all of the country for many miles in every direction was covered
with virgin forest. The conquerors called this forest 11Silva Pertica" (forest like a perch) hence the
name La Perche. By the middle of the Seventeenth Century, Mortagne had several wealthy
churches, one hospital and one leper hospital. In the whole Province of Perche there were thirteen
abbeys and priories inhabited by Benedictine, Trappist, Cisterian and Trinitarian monks. It also
counted 2 female monasteries with Benedictine and Cisterian nuns. From these environs came the
French-Canadian ancestor whose name we bear.
In the small hamlet of Reveillon, just a short walk from the city of Mortagne, a hard working weaver
named Jean Giroust built his house and set up his weaving loom. Here he wove cloth to be sold to his
friends and neighbors in Reveillon, or to the merchants in Mortagne. He married Marguerite Quilleron
about 1621or 22. The register of the parish church of Reveillion reveals a sad story of the next 20 years.
Etienne Giroux : Baptized 25 Mar 11623
Jean Giroux: Father 10 Jan 1641 (Died:)
One of the craftsmen recruited by the Juchereau brothers was Zacharie Maheult. He and his son,
Rene, who was a year older than Toussaint told him of their decision to immigrate to the virgin
county far across the ocean and found Toussaint eager to answer the mysterious call. So it was
that, sometime before 1654, accompanied by his Godfather, and his friend, Rene, Toussaint left his
mother in Reveillon, Perche, France, and sailed away from his native country--never to return.
When the three voyagers arrived in New France, they traveled to the Barony of Beauport where
Lord Robert Giffard greeted them effusively. He granted to the three, jointly, a first concession of
land from the vast holdings that he had. Giffard himself dictated the contract:
"Because we want to give thanks and show our will Zacharie Maheult, Toussaint Girou and
Rene Maheult, residents of Beauport, w give them as a rentable seigniorial property, a land
of high trees, and with the following limits: on one side, Jacques. Badeau's and Robert
Drouin’s land; on the other side, the river belonging to the Lord up to the fir-plantation."
In case of war the leaseholders will take shelter in the Lord's house in order to
"For the amount of 200 acres, 100 acres for the grazing of cattle, and 100 acres for the
cutting of firewood, the leaseholders, following the Lord's will, will give two days of work
This was the means by which Canada was settled in the 17th Century''. The King of France, or the
current Intendant at Quebec (who was appointed by the king), would give vast tracts of land to a
favored few, whose responsibility it became to populate and clear the land for cultivation. Many
people in France would become indentured to these Lords for a period of three or more years.
Their ocean passage would be paid, and they would receive room and board and a small stipend
for the length of their indenture. After their work period was over, the Lord would usually give
them a small plot of ground, which they could work for themselves,
Other landlords, such as Robert Giffard, would give the new arrival a piece of ground and let him
farm it for himself, paying only a nominal fee each year. Each tenant usually had to work one or two
days per week for the landlord; and all had to be ready to defend the community against the raids
of the hostile Iroquois Indians whose hatred for the French Settlers knew no bounds.
When Samuel de Champlain first came to Canada, he made friends with the northern tribes of
Indians. The main tribes were t he Montagnais, who lived along the northern shore of the
St Lawrence River, the Algonquins from the Ottawa River country, and the Huron’s, who lived
between Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe in the present day Province of Ontario. Champlain and
his men went along with these various tribes on raids against the fierce and daring Five Nations of
the Iroquois. This confederation consisted of the Mohawks, the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the
Cayugas and the Senecas.
The Iroquois never forgave the Frenchmen for taking sides against them and for over a hundred
years. They harassed the Canadian settlers --killing from ambush, kidnapping the children while
they were at play, slaughtering the cattle as they grazed in the field, sacking the horses while the
inhabitants were at church and burning some homes in the middle of the night. Many housewives
watched their husbands leave for work in the fields not knowing if they wou1d return at the end
of day. It was at these times that the talk turned to France, and many wished they were there again.
But slowly the fields were cleared and the population increased. The immigrants were still rather
poor, but they could see better times ahead.
In 1646, the road leading from the small hamlet of Beauport to the common mill on the Buisson
River was called the King’s Way. Where the road passed by another small settlement called Fargy,
and at two or three other vulnerable places, Robert Giffard ordered his settlers to build palisaded
forts for protection from the Indians. These small forts were places of sanctuary in case of surprise
attack. Between l634 and 1663, Robert Giffard brought more than 50 men and their families to his
Seigneury from France. He was always looking out for their welfare.
In the early fall of 1654, Toussaint Giroux had his land--now he needed a wife. The record states:
"On 29 September 1654, Father Paul Raganeau, a Jesuit priest, united Toussaint Giroux
and Marie Godard in holy wedlock."
The ceremony was performed in the house of Lord Giffard and the Lord and his son, Lord Denys,
as witnesses signed the marriage certificate. Francis Badeau, Royal Notary, wrote the contract of
marriage. In this contract it states:
"Giroux. And Godard are one, and have all their goods in common according to the laws
When the census was taken in 1655, the couple had 4 acres, 54 perches, of their land under
cultivation it seemed that they were on their way toward a happy and prosperous married life;
but for a while it was a sad one.
The young newlyweds lived for several years in the home of Lord Robert Giffard and his wife.
As early as the winter of 1655, Toussaint and Marie were preparing. the cradle for their first born.
They 1ooked forward to the event with great joy; but the young, 16-year-old mother-to-be was
not in the best of health This entry in the registry of the local parish tells the sad story:
"In Lord Giffard's house on April 30th, 1655, Toussaint Giroux and Marie Godard's son was
delivered by Lord Giffard. On May 7th Father Raganeau, a Jesuit, baptized this son.
Godfather--Joseph Giffard; Godmother--Louise Giffard, Lord Charles de Lauson's wife.
The name Charles was given to him. The child deceased and was buried the same day,
May 7th, 1655."
There were sad hearts around the Giffard house for the next few weeks. Madam Giffard had used
all her skills in the attempt to save the baby, but to no avail. After the death, she used comforting
words to the young couple, trying to console their broken hearts. Time passed, and another birth
"0n July 21st, 1656, Raphael was born, he was brought to the church on July 30th. Father Poncet,
a Jesuit, baptized him. Father Jerome LaLamant was the parish priest. The God father
Raphael Thierry, Godmother Marie Rognouard, Lord of Beauport's wife."
The story of Toussaint Giroux -part 2
Raphael was to live for 60 years, and being the oldest child, he became a great comfort to his father
in later life.
The years passed swiftly and it was now 1658. After four years there was very little to show for the
hard work that Toussaint had been doing. Many other settlers, with the help of their neighbors, had
built their own homes, but Toussaint and Marie, with their two young sons, were still living in the
house of the Lord.
"Jean Creste acknowledges that he sold and transferred to Toussaint Giroux, a piece
of ground 7 poles in 1ength by 6 poles in width for a location for a house, a yard and
a garden. This sale has a condition ~ Giroux must c1ear a piece of 1and of the same
area as that given to him by Creste, and put it in the same shape as the land he is
iven, with---in one year; all this on Jean Creste's concession.
Toussaint began the task of building his house. With the help of his neighbors, he soon had a
substantial dwelling into which he moved his wife and family. It was a good house, with a
room with a fireplace and anteroom, a cellar and a granary. Now the Giroux family had a
third share in 200 acres of land plus their own homestead. Things were looking up for the
Giroux family. On February 24th, 1660 when the Archbishop of Laval visited Beauport,
Toussaint, at the age of 26 years, was confirmed into the Catholic faith This gift of strength
was welcome because there was new trouble ':'n the horizon to threaten our ancestor's
peace of mind.
When a child was baptized into the church at that time, the church or was to give him, or her,
the name of the Godfather or Godmother but Marie Goddard was adamant in her desire to
name one of her male children Toussaint, after the father. So it was that on May 2nd 1660,
Toussaint Giroux, 8 days old was presented for baptism by his Godfather, Rene Chevalier;
Godmother ---Marguerite Colin; to Father Paul Raganeau, who performed the ceremony.
The child was to live only two months:
"On July 7th,1660, Toussaint Giroux, two months old, and son of Toussaint Giroux,
was buried in the cemetery near to the church of St Joseph's on Beauce Street".
After sorrow, surely there must come joy. On June 12th, 1661 there was born another son
to the Giroux- coup1e. He was baptized on the 19th of June and given the name Michel
Godfather--Michel Maugis, Godmother --Marguerite Langlois, wife of Paul Vachon,
Royal Notary. Now Marie Godard was happy and she sang a little song as she rocked her
newborn son in his cradle:
"It is the young hen
On February 5th, 1663, a very severe earthquake shook the whole of Canada. From 5 till
5:30 in the evening, a continuous shockwave rocked the houses and brought terror to the
hearts if the inhabitants. Most of them ran here and there, not knowing where to turn. The
churches were crowded to the doors with hysterical people wanting to confess their sins.
The shaking of the earth had opened 1arge fissures from which belched forth fire, smoke
and ashes--whole mountains disappeared; rivers ran dry. The aftershocks continued for
many months, keeping the people in a state of fear and anxiety. Many were the converts to
the church, both white and Indian. Amazingly, no one was killed, and only a few had minor
injuries. Most felt it was God's warning to the people to mend their ways.
Again the still young mother, Marie, was expecting. The baby arrived on October 17th, 1663.
It was baptized on October 21st and given the name Toussaint. Godfather - Jean Creste,
Godmother-Nicole Rolland, and wife of Francois Blondeau. But again the dear mother was
doomed to disappointment. This child, also, was too weak to survive. He died on November
10th, 1663. The following Sunday, Toussaint Giroux took the small coffin under his arm arid
made the long, sad walk to the cemetery at Quebec. Here, in the "Slope of the Mountain"
cemetery, the tiny body was laid to rest.
The next child was born on October 19th 1665, He was; delivered by Monseigneur de
Charney, and was baptized by him on the same day. The child was given the name Jean,
probably after his grandfather. Godfather -Zacharie Maheult, Godmother -Robine Poete,
wife of Paul Rainville. Jean lived a long and healthy life, outliving three wives!
On October 5th, 1665, Toussaint Giroux and his friend, Michel Maugis, along with
Paul Vachon, Royal Notary, traveled to Quebec in order to draw up a contract With
Charles de Lauzon, priest and Lord of Charny. It seems that Toussaint felt a need to
expand his holdings. A deed was drawn up in which the two friends agreed to purchase
land from the Lord of Charny, to wit:
"Four acres in front of the St. Lawrence River by 40 acres deep, in the location called
'Mount Saint Michel in the Lauzon domain with a right to fish, to hunt and to let the
cattle graze. For this they must pay every year, on Saint Remy’ s Day, October 1st, the
sum of Sols for each acre fronting on the St. Lawrence River. They also have to give
2 Deniers and 1/11 of the fish that they catch --- they will salt these. The boats for
fishing and salt shall be supplied to them."
This seemed like a very good deal for the two friends, but they had extended themselves too
far. The clearing of the new ground and the amount of fish that had to be caught were far to
big a load for them. At the end of 4 years, they were again before a notary, this time getting
rid of this burdensome piece of property. They had found a buyer.
On December 3rd, 1660, Paul Vachon, Royal Notary, was called to Toussaint and Marie's
house to draw up another contract, The wives of the two friends, Toussaint and Michel,
were also present at this meeting as they had goods in common with their husbands. It was
conceded that there was one acre of cut down trees on the concession which the buyer,
Jean Drouard, agreed to pay for. The contract states further:
"The buyer promises to deliver 3000 eels; to the sellers, which will be well pickled,
and in good condition. The payments will stretch over three years--1670, 1671
Apparently the fishing was not good along this stretch of the St. Lawrence River because
Giroux and Maugis had not been able to meet their obligation to Lord Charny, and the new
owner, Drouard, had to get an extension. It took him ten years; to fill his contract. On
March 9th 1680, the interested parties again met at Paul Vachon's house in Beauport. At
this meeting it was acknowledged that Drouard had delivered the 3000 pickled eels to the
partners, Giroux and Maugis. The contract was closed.
An Old French proverb says:
"Money is a dead treasure, but children are a living treasure."
So it was that the Giroux family of Fargy in the Barony of Beauport, continued to become
wealthy. On January 1st, 1667 there was great happiness in our ancestor’s home. On this
date Marie Anne Giroux was baptized. At last, it’s a girl! After seven boys, Marie Godard
had a namesake of her own. Godfather - Claude Besmen, de la Martiniere, and Godmother
Marie Juchereau, daughter of Lord St Denis.
Eighteen months later, another son was born. He was baptized on December 16th, 1668,
and given the name' Jean Baptiste. But again a tragic end, he died while still a very young
The first Lord of Beauport Robert Gifford, was a very generous and forgiving landlord. He
did not charge his tenants as much as' most 1andlords did for their concessions; and if the
tenants were late in their payments he was exceedingly 1enient. Some of his 1easeholders
was far in arrears with their payments. Toussaint was one of these, and the good and tolerant
times were about to come to an end. Robert Giffard died in the latter part of 1667 and his
son, Joseph, became the new Lord of Beauport.
It is evident that the second Lord of Beauport was of a different temperament than his father,
because on June 18,1668, eighteen inhabitants of his Barony, among them Toussaint had
their concessions revoked. They had failed to carry out the conditions of their contracts.
The deposed tenants protested to the Lord's Council, but the eviction was up help. The
Council further ruled:
---The inhabitants will be reduced to one acre each.
This was a time of hardship for many of these displaced families. With only one acre for
sustenance, they were hard pressed to keep food on the table. They were still angry with
Lord Gifford for shoving them off their land, and somehow they seemed to blame each
other for their woes. Dissension became rampant among the villagers.
The story of Toussaint Giroux -part 3
But despite the setbacks that the family had received, there was still happiness in the Giroux home.
On December 29th, 1669, a second daughter was born into the family. She was baptized on
January 1st, 1670, and given the name Madeline. The baptism took place in the chapel at Beauport,
and Monsignor Charles Lauzon performed the ceremony. After the family returned home from the
church on this the first day of the New Year, they kneeled around the fireplace where a cheery fire
of maple wood was burning. Raphael, proud of his station as the eldest son, asked his father to give
the blessing. Toussaint answered with a voice touched with emotion:
"My children, I bless you in the name of the father, and the son, and of the Holy Spirit. "
Everyone received the wishes for a happy New Year and a kiss from the parents.
Madeleine was the tenth child of Toussaint Giroux and Marie Godard. According to the
magnanimous offering from the King of France, the family was now 300 pounds richer.
Each family that had 10 children was entitled to this amount; and when the family size reached
12 children, the amount was increased to 400 pounds. It was no wonder that the Giroux
family celebrated on that New Year's Day!
And again, our ancestor was more fortunate than any other dispossessed settlers. On August
20th, 1670, Joseph Giffard made another concession to him of 3 acres of land in St. Joseph
village. Toussaint was obligated to build a house within one year and to cultivate the land.
Why he felt that he needed more land than the place he had in Fargay is not known. Perhaps
he thought he could have it ready for his son when he became of age, but Raphael was only
14 years old at that time.
Again, Toussaint had over extended himself. By the middle of next year, realizing he could
not to fill his contract with Lord Gifford, and to avoid another sanction, he wrote a new
"On November 16th, 1671, Toussaint Giroux and Marie Godard, sell to Pierre Parent,
a 3 acre concession on the border of St. Joseph's village, with a pulled down trees".
On March 1st, 1672, Barry Godard gave birth to another son. He was baptized the next
day and given the name Toussaint. Already she had named two of her baby's spine is name,
but they lay in the cemetery at Quebec. But this young Toussaint was destined to live. Again
the Godfather, Paul Vashon, left the privilege of naming the boy to the mother. Godmother
Marie's Marsolet, wife of Jean, Guyon.
It seems that Toussaint was never satisfied with what he had, he was always reaching for
more. On March 27th, 1672, he purchased from Lord Gifford and his wife, Michele Nau,
"a concession consisting of three and 5/ 6ths yards in the village of St. Michel. This
land has no bushes or trees; it has a hut and shed with all that depends upon it. There
is a tax of 3 Sols, and pounds, 15 Sols, with 3 living capons. This tax is due on
Saint Martin's day. After paying the price any amount of 100 Tournois Pounds, with
valid money, they can use the land that has no wood at this time. The land is ready
to be sowed; the Lord and his wife keeps the right on the seed for this year only".
On the 28th of October of that year, the sellers acknowledged that they received from
Toussaint Giroux, the amount of 120 Pounds, Witnessed by a notary. Therefore, the Lord
and his wife released Toussaint Giroux and others from the debt. Evidently, the money that
the true family was receiving from the King of France was being used to buy more land.
Now that he was becoming prosperous, Toussaint decided it was time to give thoughts to his
spiritual life. He joined with 11 other men of Beauport in buying and donating a considerable
amount of ground around the parish church at Beauport. This church had been started in 1655
and finished in 1676. Lord Robert Gifford had donated the bell for the tower in 1666. This
new edition of land was probably used for the cemetery. The entry in the registry of the
"A pure, simple and irrevocable donation with one condition--every year a low mass
will be offered for the material and spiritual needs of the 12 givers, on the day
following the nativity of the Virgin Mary, the name day of the parish."
On April 7th, 1681, five of the children of Toussaint Giroux and Marie Godard received a
sacrament of confirmation from the bishop of Laval. At about this time the village of Beauport
had 420 houses, 600 families and six schools with 400 students in attendance. The census of
1681 shows Toussaint Giroux at the highest point in his life. He was 48 years old, his wife,
Marie Godard, was 43. He now had several sons to help him or his land at Fargay, as well
as his other two concessions. The census mentions three rifles, 11 horned animals, one horse
and 53 acres were under, cultivation.
The years from 1681 to 1683 were very enjoyable to Toussaint and his large family. They
were busy improving their land and planting the seeds for bounteous harvest. Also, the family
was growing. At the parish church on the first three Sundays in November 1681, the
parishioners heard the proclamation of the betrothal of Raphael Giroux, oldest son of
Toussaint, and Marie Madeleine Vachon, daughter of Paul Vachon, Royal Notary, and his
wife Marguerite Langlois. Because no one objected, the parish priest, Father Martin united
them in marriage on November 26th, 1681. The list of witnesses was impressive:
Joseph Gifford, Lord of Beauport
There was great friendship between the Giroux and the Vachon families. This friendship was
sealed again later when Monique, the youngest daughter of Toussaint, married Noel Vachon,
a son of Paul. Then in August of 1683, after the hay had been gathered, two more weddings
occurred. The 18th of this month dawned bright and clear, just the right kind of day for
wedding. Michel Giroux was marrying Therese Provost and Marie-Anne Giroux was
marrying John Baptiste Provost. The brother and sister Provost were two of the nine children
born to Martin Provost and the Savage (Indian), Marie-Oliver Sylvester Manitouabe witch.
After a double wedding, the tables were brought from the house and loaded with food. The
violins were tuned, and on this beautiful summer day they ate, sang and danced in the great
But next entry in the parish register is a sad one for Toussaint Giroux and his children:
"On November 22nd, 1684, Marie Godard, 46 years old, at wife of Toussaint Giroux,
has been buried in the cemetery and Beauport. She died the day before, after receiving
penitence sacrament and last sacrament, and after a good life. Present during
The night before, the neighbors had gathered to keep the vigil, saying prayers and tell the
beads. There were long silences while they thought about Marie and her beginning in a new
life. Some moved closer to the coffin in order to touch her cold hands. They admired the
hands of this wonderful woman- of the hands -that rocked the cradle that tucked in the
bedclothes at night. The hands that made the bread and prepared the meals, the hands that
could gently arrange a bouquet of flowers. A spouse, mother, devoted and tender, her
beauty coming from within, from her soul.
Toussaint was heartbroken. He sat in silent sorrow, his youngest daughter, Monique,
clasped in his arms. It would take a long time to heal the wounds of this final separation.
Soon after the dawn of the New Year of 1685, Jean, who was 21, married the first of what
would be three wives. On the 19th of February, the ceremony of marriage between a
Jean Giroux and Marie Dauphin, daughter of Etienne and Marie Morin Dauphin, was
performed at the parish church in Beauport. A short seven months later, Marie Dauphin
while on a trip to Quebec, was drowned at the River passage, in the parish of Quebec.
She was brought back to the parish at Beauport and buried in the cemetery there on
September 30th, 1685. She was only 17 years of age at the time.
According to the laws of the land, within a year of the death of the party to a marriage
contract, and inventory was be taken of the goods and real properties acquired by the couple
over the years of the marriage. So it was that the family of Marie Godard Giroux, was
gathered at what was her house, on the first day of November 1685. Present were Toussaint,
her husband and father and guardian of Madeleine, 16; Raphael, Michel and Jean Baptiste
Provost, husband of Marie Anne Giroux. Charles, who was of age but had not married, and
Jean, will had so recently lost his wife and had no children, could not be considered in the
division of the property.
On request would have been made by the children, asking that their father taking inventory
of the goods mutually possessed by Toussaint Giroux and Marine Godard, and to share such
goods with goodwill, transaction with softness; as the honor their father greatly, and
respected his judgment. They had also asked that their father appoint 2 neighbors to help
with the inventory and the estimation of the worth of the goods. Rene Remy, attorney and
manager of the Jesuit business, and Jean de Rainville were the two men called upon.
First, contract of the land transactions were studied and found to be in order. A list was
made of all the common goods of the household and farmyard. The cattle were counted and
all else was found to be in order. Toussaint Giroux, the father, took charge of all the personal
goods and the tools, and would divide them, amongst the children when they ask for them.
The land was divided the thusly half to Toussaint Giroux and his minor children, the other half
divided into eight equal pieces for the eight children of his married sons and daughters. All this
business was settled amicably and the children returned to their homes.
And again at the beginning of the New Year 1686, more members were added to the
Giroux clan. On January 21st, 1686, Madeleine Giroux, at the age 16, was married to
Pierre Choret. From this union came 13 children.
Jean Giroux chose February 12th of the same year for his second wedding. After being a of
a widower for five months, and married to Suzanne Belanger, daughter of Nicolas and
Marie de Rainville Belanger
The more members added by marriage and birth, the less there were left in our ancestor's
home. With the Father now were Charles, the bachelor, young Toussaint and pretty little
Monique. The large house seemed empty.
"It is not good that man should be alone. "(Genesis 2:18)
Toussaint had been a widower for almost two years and a helpmate was sorely needed in the
Giroux house. A short distance down the road lived Therese LaBlanc, the widow of
Pierre Lavallee, mother of 10 children. Perhaps there could be a liaison formed between the
two? After a short courtship, the couple traveled to Quebec City to have their marriage
contract drawn up by the Royal Notary, Aubert. The date was October 24th, 1686. The
contract stipulated that:
"The community property will be shared while both parties to the contract are alive,
and will be divided among the children of the previous marriages of both parties. The
children shall be clothed and cared for until the boys become 18 years of age and the
girls until someone else takes care of them. " [Marriage]
The difference in age between the couple had not been neglected. Toussaint was 18 years
older than his future wife, and he stipulated that she was to get 600 Pounds at the time of his
death. Although every situation seemed to be covered by the contract, no one could was
foresee that the incompatible temperaments of these two would undermine any happiness
that they might have had at the start, and drive them into a separation in less than five years.
The wedding occurred on October 29th, 1686, in Beauport. The couple settled the down in
the Giroux home with their 12 children, which was added to on February 14th, 1688.
Marie Angelique was born to the couple on that day.
In 1690, the English troops from the Atlantic coast near Boston, launched and the attack
against the French settlements of Quebec and Beauport. On the 18th of October, the invaders
landed 1500 men with five cannon on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River above
the Quebec. They then began to approach the settlements. Lord Juchereau of St. Denis
rallied all the able-bodied men of Beauport to defend the village, and the English were
repulsed. Four Frenchmen were killed and seven wounded in this attack.
The English soldiers went into camp near Beauport and harassed the villagers for three days,
but they could not break down the defenses of the forts. In several skirmishes, the enemy
burned six or seven farms, and took some cattle. Two more villagers were killed and 13
more wounded. All the time the English were camped near the settlements, they kept up the
continual bombardment of Quebec with their cannon. Very little damage was done, however;
the English became discouraged. During the night of the 21st, the English returned to their
boats on their River and floated down to the Isle of Orleans that they tried to capture, but
again were repulsed. On the 25th of October, the English turned in the direction of Boston,
and disappeared down the river.
We can be certain that Toussaint Giroux and his older sons were active in this battle with the
English. Duty to his courageous leadership during the attack, Lord Juchereau was awarded
letters of nobility by the king of France. The French settlers returned to their daily routine
with only the fear of Iroquois raids to mar their solitude.
The excitement of the English trade had pretty well been forgotten when, on November
14th, 1690, Toussaint, the younger, married Therese Dauphin, a daughter of Etienne and
Marie Morin Dauphin, also a sister of her brother, Jean’s his first wife. Besides the usual
gift of 400 Pounds., the parents of the bride gave to their daughter a house in the village of
St Michel, situated between Jean Giroux’s and Guillaume Chevalier’s houses. Two years
later, on December 21st, 1692, Toussaint, Jr., received a concession from
Lord Joseph Giffard near the same location.
On the 21st of December 1690, the first hint of trouble between Toussaint and his wife,
Therese LaBlanc, came to light. Toussaint was called to Quebec City by some of the
erchants of the town. They informed him that he had debts totaling a hundred and 38 Pounds.
These debts had been previously unknown to him, so it was rather a shock to learn that his
wife had been to Quebec and charged this amount of merchandise. He promised the
merchants that he would pay the bills in two equal installments: 1 in October of 1691 the
other in October of 1692. Dark clouds were beginning to show through the silver lining of
By April 12, 1691, the rupture was complete. An agreement was reached for a legal
separation of the couple. The agreement, concluded before a notary, gave some of the
reasons for the separation: they were incompatible, there had been infidelity, and the love
had turned to hate. At the conclusion it said:
"In order to let her subsist, Giroux, the husband, gives her two work oxen. They will
sow together this year only, under the condition that LaBlanc the wife will give him
one of her sons to help him."
The next year Toussaint suffered from a sickness that put him in a hospital for a month. The
register of the sick reports:
"Toussaint Giroux, from Reveillon, in Perche, France, in-patient from July 1st until a
July 31st, 1692. "
We do not know what the sickness was, but Toussaint recovered sufficiently to continue
with his work, and time passed. Monique, the youngest child of Toussaint and Marie Godard
married to Noel Vachon, son of Paul Vachon, and Marie Marguerite Langlois. They were
married on October 24th, 1695. She was widowed four years later, and probably moved
into Toussaint ' s home with her two children until she remarried.
Marie Angelique, the only child of Toussaint Giroux and Therese LaBlanc, was married to
Vincent Rodrigue on January 21st, 1707. This left Toussaint without any children to care for.
He spent the rest of his life in the home of Raphael, his grandson. Soon he decided to rid
himself of any in encumbrances during his declining years; so he had a notary draw up a
"This sale of a land located in Beauport, by Toussaint Giroux to Raphael Giroux. [This is the
grandson, son of Raphael and Madeleine Vachon, born October 1686]. Will remain valid
under one condition: Raphael Giroux promises to feed and to give it to the donor all that he
needs, until his death. He will take care of the burial and pray to God for him. He will also
pay to all his children, after the death, the amount of 105 pounds, 5 Sols. "
Therese LaBlanc was again heard from whence this donation was announced. She evidently
felt that she was entitled to a portion of the land that Toussaint had donated to his grandson.
Because of her objection, the case was judged before the Royal council at Quebec. The
verdict is written in the registry:
"To Toussaint and Giroux, who appeared before us in order to ask, in spite of the blanks
request, that this sale land to his grandson, be declared a good and valid. Toussaint Giroux
also asks that the land he sold be free of mortgage and any pretensions that Therese LaBlanc
behalf on it, because of the advantage she gave her in a wedding contract.
Because she had left hand over 20 years ago, and because of the powers of along, she has
no right to interfere in this transfer of land. Toussaint Giroux had many rights on his side and
he could have used them. He showed us receipts where he had paid debts for her and she
did not appear before us to defend her position. We conclude that the bill of sale of
August 25, 1711 gives Toussaint Giroux the right to do with it as he pleases and will be free
from any rights or mortgage that Therese LaBlanc might feel she has a right.
Raphael, the grandson upon whom Toussaint seemed to depend, remained a bachelor until
the age of 30. This was an unusual circumstance, as the children were usually encouraged by
their parents to marry an early age. In fact, the King of France added his persuasion and to
an early marriage by presenting the gift of 50 Pounds to unmarried couple said plus 20
Pounds if the groom was under 21, and 24 Pounds if the bride was younger than 17. The
parents of the bully who was not married by the age of 20, or girl at 16, were called before
the clerk of their jurisdiction and questioned as to their inability to get their children married.
Although Toussaint had been separated from his wife for many years, it is doubtful that he
was too lonely in his later life. In each year from 1686 to 1715, 628 new baptisms and
members were added to the Giroux clan. At the time of his death, his for living sons and four
daughters. Had given him over 70 grandchildren, plus numerous great grandchildren. For
Toussaint, the words of the priest at the wedding mass so many years before had been fulfilled:
"And ye shall see the children ought to the third and fourth generations. "
The year of 1715 was not a good year for the inhabitants lived in and around the area of
Beauport. The sickness Cambridge and took 10 lives from January 27th to April 17th,
including two members of the Giroux family.
"On February 11, 1715, died Raphael Giroux, age 60. "
"On 16 February 17th 15, Toussaint Giroux, inhabitant, about 80, deceased the day after
receiving necessary sacraments. "
"On August 6, 1715, Died Michael Giroux, age 55. "
"On September 26, 1715, died Madeleine Vachon, widow of Raphael, age 50. "
So ends story Toussaint Giroux, immigrant, pioneer, and husband. Beloved by his first wife,
scorned by his second; he never became famous, but he has left a prosperity that spans the
North American continent from east to west and north to south. The far-flung migration of
the Giroux clan indicates that the spirit of adventure and discovery has been passed on to
the younger generations.