A Recruit.

The Grand Recruitment.

Jacques Chartier and Marguerite Loysel had passed away by the time their son Guillaume Chartier left his home in La Flèche, Anjou as part of la grand recrue of 1653. He was about 18 years old. As a tailleur d'habits he offered a needed skill to the new colony when he signed his contract 20 April 1653.

He was one of about 100 men and women recruited by the governor of Montréal Paul de Chomedy, Sieur de Maisonneuve. Boarding the leaky Saint-Nicolas-de-Nantes in June with our ancestors Hugues Picard, Honoré Danis and Jeanne Soldé as shipmates they soon learned the boat was not seaworthy which forced a return to an island off France. Another vessel was procured about a month later. Their protracted crossing was fraught with storms and sickness. No doubt they cheered when they finally made port in Québec on 22 September 1653.

The travelers arrived at their final destination in Montréal on 16 November 1653.

Building a City.

Maisonneuve chose men who had the ability to survive in the wilderness. Guillaume Chartier declared he could clear land, and that was likely the first order of business once the winter snows melted.

It was some time before he was awarded his own concession of land near Montréal in 1662. Attacks by the Iroquois were on the increase so to aid in the defense of the settlement Maisonneuve created the militia de Sainte-Famille on 27 January 1663. One hundred thirty nine settlers were divided into 20 squads, Guillaume served in the 13th.