On 12 January 1665 Pierre Vallée, 29, married the 14 year old Marie-Thérèse LeBlanc in ville de Québec. Brides could be as young as 12 in this era where women were in short supply and the King hoped to increase the population of the colony. The couple took up residence in Beauport, about 4 ½ miles east of ville de Québec.
Pierre's brother Jean also took a wife, marrying Marie Martin in February 1666. The Vallée and LeBlanc families represented the groom at the signing.
The 1666 census at Beauport lists Pierre La Vallee, 27, as a chirurgien living with his wife Thérèse, 15.
The following year's census at the Coste de Beauport reports the couple, Pierre, 30, and Thérèse, 16, live next to her parents, Leonard LeBlanc and Marie Riton. They had two bestiaux, or horned animals, 2 arpens of land under cultivation with 6 arpens total. No children are mentioned though later records indicate Thérèse and Marie were born during these years.
In 1681 the census records Pierre, 43, as a surgeon in bourg de Fargy in Beauport. Thérèse was 32 and by this time a number of children are reported. They had in their employ a domestique named Jean who was about 25 years old. Their children included: Marie, 14; (though no Thérèse), SUSANE, 12 (our ancestor); Marguerite, 10; Pierre, 7; Michel, 5; Charles, 3; and Nicolas, 6 months. The couple had adopted a boy also named Jean who was about 6. (The frontier was a dangerous place and if a child was orphaned, or perhaps ransomed from Indian captors, the habitants took them into their homes.) They owned a fusil (musket) 2 boeufs (oxen), 2 vaches (cows), and had a sizeable 40 arpens of farm land cultivated.
Pierre travelled the length of the Saint-Lawrence River. Evidence of him working with the Jesuits in Tadoussac is found in the baptism records of Amérindiens in those regions closer to the Atlantic Ocean from about 1674. He helped build a chapel well north of Beauport in Chicoutimi in 1676.
There is some indication of indebtedness, a payment he made in 1678 and another of 220 livres owed to Charles Aubert in 1683. But that does not explain him going missing. Authorities looked for him when he was absent from a hearing on 2 July 1685. In time he was assumed to be dead at around age 49 and an inventory of his estate was taken on 21 June 1686 for his widow. What might be contained in the inventory? Typically things like the land and house he owned, the iron hinges on the door to his home, it would include the iron pot kept on the hearth, the number of shirts owned, a cart, chimney hook, tablecloth. Their precious few worldy possessions were utilitarian and necessary for their survival.
- Jetté, René, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Quebec des origines à 1730 (Montréal: Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1983)
- By Theodore G. Auge - http://archive.org/stream/radiorevue01unse#page/n5/mode/2up, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44857313