Notes for Pierre Sire: Pierre (Sire) Cyr (b. 1644, d. 1679)
Pierre (Sire) Cyr was born 1644 in Tourraine, France, and died 1679 in Beaubasin N.S. He married Marie Bourgeois on 1670.
He was a munitions maker. He was the first known in the Cyr family in the new world. He was born in Tourraine, France.
Migrated to Port Royal, Nova Scotia (Acadia) in 1668.
Of all the descendants of Pierre Cyr who left St.Germain De Bourgeuil in Tourraine,France for Port Royal in 1668, only nine sons of his grandsons Jean Baptiste (Crock) Cyr emigrated to the upper St.John valley in the late 1700's after having been chased out of Nova Scotia in 1755 by the english then away from Fredericton again by english loyalist after the American Revolution.
S: MADAWASKAN HERITAGE:
There is good reason to believe that Pierre SIRE arrived in Acadia after the signing of the Treaty of Breda (July 11, 1667) and before the arrival of Hector d'ANDIGNE, Sieur de Grandfontaine (August 5, 1670). Pierre SIRE was the first of the SIRE (CYR) line to arrive in Acadia.
Pere Laurent MOLINS made the following entry in the all-important census of 1671: Gunsmith - Pierre SIRE 27 years of age, his wife Marie BOURGEOIS 18 years of age, their child a boy named Jehan 3 months. Their livestock eleven cattle and six sheep, no land under cultivation.
The Center of Acadian Studies in Moncton has in its custody a file of Placide GAUDET's papers on the SIRE (CYR) family. Two rough notes made by the eminent genealogist caught my eye:
Pierre CYR - gunsmith - native of France, where he was born in 1644, married at Port Royal, in 1669, Marie BOURGEOIS, born in 1652, daughter of Jacques BOURGEOIS, surgeon, and of Jeanne TRAHAN. He died in Beaubassin where, in 1680, his widow married a second time Germain GIROUARD, son of Francois and of Jeanne AUCOIN. The date of Marie's second marriage is in church records, but the rest of GAUDET's note consists of deductions indubitably based on the 1671 census.
For example, simple subtraction produces 1644 as the year of Pierre's birth. The year of his marriage could be said to be 1669 or 1670, since his son was three months old at the time the census was taken, which was in the early spring. How do we know? Because young lambs are mentioned in the census! Jean was probably born in January 1671 or even December 1670.
GAUDET's second note read:
Pierre CYR - armurier - ne 1644 en France, vint en Acadie vers 1668 - il est mort en 1679 a Beaubassin.
He may not have intended that these notes be considered definitive and taken for gospel but, along with the census, they constitute our best information concerning Pierre SIRE, and they have been widely accepted.
It can be argued that Pierre arrrived in Acadia about 1668, since his wife was a local girl and he already had a son three months old in early 1671. He could not have been in this situation had he arrived in August of 1670 with Grandfontaine. It is unlikely that he came before 1668, because Frenchmen were not coming to English-occupied Acadia between 1654 and 1667. It can also be argued that he died in 1679, because his son Guillaume was born in 1680. His widow remarried June 9, 1680. Pierre's occupation as a gunsmith suggests a connection with the military, although this is hardly conclusive.
Was his arrival in Acadia related to the dismantling of the Carignan regiment in Quebec in 1667-68? De TRACY and TALON had returned to France during those years with many officers and men of the regiment, to say nothing of the 403 veterans who had opted to stay in the new world. Pierre may or may not have been a veteran of the Carignan regiment; he may or may not have had any connection with Grandfontaine or his fellow officers; he may have come direct from France as a military man or as a civilian; or he may have come to Acadia as a military man or as an identured employee, with Morillon du BOURG or otherwise, via the West Indies. The scope of the search is that open.
My search of Pierre's place of origan in France has been long, though admittedly intermittent and superficial. The Public Archives of Canada informed me December 13, 1976 that "a search of the various indexes and logical sources in our custody has failed to reveal the place of birth of your ancestor Pierre SIRE in France." It has been claimed that Pierre came from the parish of St. Germain de Bourgueil, in Anjou, but the appropriate archival authorities in Tours (Bourgueil is now in the Departement d'Indre-et-Loire) informed me in writing on November 10, 1976 that a qualified person had searched those parish records as far back as 1638, finding neither the baptismal record of Pierre SIRE nor any reference to the family name. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----- S: Cyr Family Reunion booklet (1981) & The Cyr Legacy O: Munitions maker
The origins of Pierre Cyr are somewhat obscure. Unverified references point to Touraine-en-Loire, France. An equally unsubstantiated source makes mention of St. Germaine de Bourgeuil near Orleans in the French province of Touraine. It remains for French genealogists to work this out. In any case, records of 1668 indicate the presence of the young Pierre Cyr in Acadia on the Bay of Fundy. The Cyr name is now on the North American Continent. Pierre Cyr is listed as a munitions maker.
In 1670, Pierre Cyr married the 17-year old Marie Bourgeois at Port Royal, Acadia (Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia today), and the couple started the line of Cyrs which can be traced down to our present-day Cyrs. The population of Acadia now consists of 441 souls.
Marie Bourgeois was the daughter of the former post surgeon under Governor d'Aulnay. Jacques Bourgeois, her father, appears to have developed a sizeable estate. Laurant Molin's census of Acadia in 1671 begins with the Bourgeois family. His holdings at the time were said to include 33 head of cattle, two dozen sheep, a pair of oxen and five acres of land under tillage. The live- stock holdings of 27-year old Pierre Cyr, on the other hand were considerably smaller. He is listed as owning but one cow, two sows and six sheep. (Massignon, p.944)
Shortly after 1671, Jacques Bourgeois, who also engaged in fur trading, moved his family up the Bay of Fundy to Cumberland Basin, which the Indians called Chignecto. With the move, Bourgeois was accompanied by his three sons-in-law, Pierre Cyr, Germaine Girouard, and Jean Boudrot. Shortly thereafter, Michel Le Neuf, a Quebecois aristocrate, was granted a seigneurie in the area. It was he who renamed the Bourgeois settlement, Beaubassin. (Clarke, p.141) We might surmise, Pierre Cyr may well have worked in his father-in-law's grist mill and saw mill which he later erected at Beaubassin.
The Cyrs became the parents of three sons. Jean the eldest, born in 1671, later married Francoise Melanson whose father is said to have been of Scotish origin. It appears the Melansons may have arrived in Acadia during the English interregnum which saw Robert Sedgwick take over the country in 1654, or Thomas Temple's arrival in 1657. (Arsenault p.57)
Jean, through his grandsons, became the grand patriarch of the Cyrs' of Madawaska.
The other two sons were Pierre b. 1677, and Guillaume b. 1679. Pierre's descedants ended up at St. Sevran de St. Malo, France during the era of Le Grand Derangement though later we find some family members in the province of Quebec.
Guillaume's family on the other hand, ended up in Boston; and after the war, we find his widow at Miquelon, a French island off the coast of northern Quebec.
Pierre Cyr, the family progenitor, allegedly died at Beaubassin, Acadia circa 1678-1679. At the census of 1680, we find his young widow to have remarried to Germain Girouard, who as noted, was among Jacques Bourgeois's sons-in-law. Pierre's widow gave birth to three other children with her husband, Girouard, whom she had married at Beaubassin on June 9, 1680.
In 1686, she was a widow again and left with five children, the oldest being 15. At the census of 1680, her three sons by first marriage were listed under the name "Cire". Old documents use several spellings for the family name, including: Cire, Cyre, Sir, Sire, Syre, and Cyr. (Massignon, p.50)
Marie Bourgeois, the mother of the Cyr family of North America, lived to a ripe old age. Her death certificate, registered at Beaubassin, March 3, 1741, gives her as being then 88-years old. The aging document notes the presence of her sons Jean Cyre and Pierre at the burial.
More About Pierre Sire: Burial: Unknown, Beaubassin, N.S. (L'Acadie).
More About Pierre Sire and Marie Bourgeois: Marriage: October 04, 1670, Port Royal.
Children of Pierre Sire and Marie Bourgeois are:
+Jean Sire, b. 1671, Port Royal N.S. (L' Acadie), d. June 12, 1720, Beaubasin N.S. (L'Acadie).