By James Simon
This work was started in 1982 and finished in 1995 by James Simon, son of Armella Genereux, and grandson of Joseph Pierre Genereux. I hope you enjoy this work. Please do pass it along. With a great deal of thanks I dedicate this work to my wife Marian, Jack Longpre, and my sister Margaret. Marian continues to love me despite my lengthy obsession with this work. Jack Longpre researched the major portion of the Longpre line. And Peg found Jack’s work, copied it, and passed it to me at Christmas 1981.
A work like this can never be finished, but it is complete to the very first settlers of New France (Canada). The most difficult part of genealogy research is to find the ancestral village of your family. From his death record in Detroit, I found that Joseph Louis Genereux was the son of Maxime Genereux, and that he was born in Joliette county, located in the Quebec province of Canada. With the help of the 1881 Canadian census, I was able to locate Joseph, his brothers and sisters, and his parentsliving in the parish of St. Ambrose. I also was able to find Joseph’s future bride Emile Beaudoin. She and her siblings were living with their parents at the nearby parish of St. Paul. The second most difficult task, in the case of a French/Canadian family, is to research the previous 5 or 6 generations going back about 1750. I was able to do this with the help of church and government records. These are available on the parish and diocese level and the duplicate government records area available on the local and provincial level. There are also two very extensive marriage indices, the Loiselle marriage index and the Rivest marriage index, which were very helpful. Beyond 1750 it was just a very tedious and time consuming task of gathering and processing the data from French/Canadian genealogy dictionaries. There are four major dictionaries compiled by Dennison, Drouin, Jette, and Tanguay.
The French/Canadians are very proud of their heritage and their contribution to the establishment of New France. The Quebec Province along the St. Lawrence River from Quebec to Montreal is the place where French/Canadian heritage was born. Quebec was established by Champlain in 1609. Soon thereafter, huge land grants were made by the king to prominent Frenchmen of the time, and recruitment of indentured servants soon followed.
One such recruitment was “The Grand Recruitment” of 1653. The ship Du Nicolas De Nantes brought 100 recruits and 20 passengers to the shores of New France. These first generation pioneer colonists were bound under 4 to 6 year contracts for the purposes of clearing the land of trees, building settlements, and tilling the soil for farming. Upon completion of their contracts, the men were encouraged to stay in New France. Cash payments, provisions, and often land grants of small strip farms (1/4 mile wide by 5 miles deep) were offered.
Additional encouragement was generated by the French king himself. At his expense, women were recruited for the purpose of going to New France to marry and raise the next generation of settlers. Since the king paid all expenses, including a dowry, these women are known as “The Kings Daughters”. There were approximately 852 of them ranging in age from 12 to 45. Among them were orphans, young girls from poor peasant families, and widows.
There were many recruitments of men and women besides “The Grand Recruitment”, yet only a relatively small number, approximately 5,000 Frenchmen, came to New France between 1608 and 1700. By 1759, when the English defeated the French in the battle for Quebec, the days of French colonization were almost over. Today the descendants of these 5,000 live all over Canada and the USA. So be assured that when you meet or hear about a French/Canadian whose surname appears here, they are your very distant cousins, the descendants, as you are, of those very first generation pioneer settlers of New France.
- Evarista Genereux age 18 (4319 KB)
We knew her as Evarista or Evie. This was her explanation as to why her name was so long, as I remember it. Mary (everybody was named after the Virgin Mary) Edyth (given name) Annetta (middle name) Cecelia (confirmation name) Evarista (??) Genereux.
- The Genereux family 1912 in Lake Linden (3821 KB)
From left to right is Exilda (the mother) Evie, Augie, Armella, and Ray. This was taken in their candy store that they owned. They lived above the store.
- Genereux family about 1914 (3308 KB)
From left to right back row: Augie, Exilda, Anna, Joseph Pierre (Pete). Front row:Armella, Ray, Evie.
- The King's Daughters in Our Family (78 KB)
This file contains a list of The King's Daughters and their spouses in our family. The filles du roi, or King's Daughters, were some 770 women who arrived in the colony of New France (Canada) between 1663 and 1673, under the financial sponsorship of King Louis XIV of France. Most were single French women and many were orphans. Their transportation to Canada and settlement in the colony were paid for by the King. Some were given a royal gift of a dowry of 50 livres for their marriage to one of the many unmarried male colonists in Canada. These gifts are reflected in some of the marriage contracts entered into by the filles du roi at the time of their first marriages.
The filles du roi were part of King Louis XIV's program to promote the settlement of his colony in Canada. Some 737 of these women married and the resultant population explosion gave rise to the success of the colony. Most of the millions of people of French Canadian descent today, both in Quebec and the rest of Canada and the USA (and beyond!), are descendants of one or more of these courageous women of the 17th century. by James Simon
- Some Facts About Our Ancestors (10 KB)
Most of our ancestors were commoners, a good number were soldiers of all ranks, and just a few high-ranking officials; such as mayors. Generally, personal information other than birth, marriage, and death records is limited. However, I can share some facts with you about the personal lives of some of our ancestors.
by Jim Simon