Marriage in Montréal.
Fiacre Ducharme, who himself became a master carpenter by this time was a neighbor of our ancestor François LeBer in Montreal. Appearing as a witness, he assisted his niece in her marriage arrangements. He may simply have misstated the name of his sister-in-law, remembering the woman he knew before his departure, and since neither he nor could Catherine could write, the error in the record the priest wrote went unnoticed.
Pierre and Catherine signed a contract on 27 December 1671 before the notary Bénigne Basset in Montréal. It was customary to secure the financial end of the marriage before going before the priest to have the union blessed. The couple wed on 12 January 1672 in Notre-Dame; in this source his name is recorded as "Leroy". It may have been a bit of a gamble for Pierre, girls from the big cities were not as prized as those of sturdier stock who grew up on the land from places like Normandie or Bretagne. And Catherine at age 15 was quite young. But the couple would be married 47 years and she would bear 18 children on the land they farmed.
The couple raised 18 children. Their first-born, Marguerite, became a novice in 1689 at the age of 15 with the soeur de la Conception, and took her vows in the religious order in 1698. Pierre traded in the fur industry, marrying an Indian woman named Marguerite Ouabankekoué in Détroit. Catherine married Antoine Rougier and Anne married André Babeau. Another Pierre married Marie-Angelique Faye.
Four were quite young when they died: Jean was just six; Gabriel only two. Genevieve was thirteen when she died in the hospital and their last child Angelique, born when Catherine was 44, died at one day old. Marie-Madeleine married Jean Perras, the son of our ancestor Pierre Perras. Jacques took the name sieur de Saint-Lambert. He was a weaver and married Marthe-Marguerite French who had been turned over to the nuns by her Abénaquis captors who brought her from Deerfield. Pierre and Catherine had twins, Etienne and Francois. Francois, a fur trader, married Marie-Madeleine Trudeau. His sister Marie-Joseph married the carpenter Louis Trudeau. André became a master iron-worker in Montréal and married Suzanne Gourdon. Louis married Marguerite Demers.
Life in La Prairie de Saint-Lambert.
La Prairie seigneurie is on the southern bank of the Saint-Lawrence River and included Saint-Lambert, the swampy area known as Mouillepied, and La Prairie de la Magdeleine. The officer in charge of the garrison at Saint-Lambert was Clément Lériger of the Troupes de la Marine. The census of 1681 reveals the 39 year old Pierre own a gun, had 3 bestes a corne (literally beasts with horns, perhaps goats), and he had a good 8 arpens of land under cultivation. Catherine was 26. Our ancestor, Marie-Marguerite was born on 25 May of that year. She married Clément Lériger on 8 September 1700.
The couple opened their home to yet another child, Elizabeth Corse (or Casse). She was 8 years old when the French and their Indian allies raided Deerfield, Massachusetts on 29 February 1704. Fifty men, women and children were killed and about 100 were marched 300 miles back to Québec under the cold pewter skies of the Canadian winter. She was ransomed from the Indians and taken in by Pierre and Catherine.
Catherine died at the age of 62 on 21 February 1719 and was buried in Notre-Dame de Montréal. Pierre followed her on 28 October 1721. He was 78.
- Fichier Origine: DUCHARME, Catherine 450103
- René Jetté Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Quebec des origines à 1730