Origins in Normandie.
Pierre Godefroy and Perette Cavelier came from the farming community La Trinité-du-Mont located northwest of Rouen. The couple had several children; two of their sons headed to New France with the earliest explorers. We descend from their daughter Anne.
Samuel Champlain was heralded as being the Father of New France due to his early exploration and efforts at settling the lands. Some researchers have asserted Pierre Godfrey served as truchement, or interpreter for his initial voyages. But more certainly, his sons Jean and Thomas acted in that capacity. Jean Godefroy de Lintot and his younger brother Thomas Godefroy de Normanville arrived in New France in 15 July 1626 coinciding with the 11th voyage of Champlain. The young men were skilled in learning new languages and quickly learned the various dialects of the native tribes making them indispensable to those trying to do business in the fur and fishing trade. Another relative, Jean-Paul Godefroy, was a trader in Trois-Rivières where Jean and Thomas settled.
Their service was interrupted from July 1629 to 1632 when Huguenot privateers, the Kirke brothers, effectively created a British blockade on the Saint-Laurent river near the Gaspé Peninsula slowly starving out the residents of Québec. Champlain sought relief for the town, but was captured instead. Our uncles, the Godefroys, remained in Canada staying out of the way of the British invaders and honing their language skills living among the Huron.
Tragic End for Thomas Godefroy de Normanville.
Jean would marry Marie Leneuf in 1636 and acquire a concession of land in Trois-Rivières. However his brother's fate was dark. Thomas was captured by the Iroquois on at least three occasions and twice escaped, in 1641 and 1648. The last time he was not so lucky. Taking part in a foray to exact revenge for an attack on the towns, Thomas was captured in late August 1652. He was brought back to the Iroquois village where he was burned at the stake.
Thomas' brother-in-law, his sister Anne's husband Jean Testard, travelled from France to help sort out the affairs of his beau-frère. Despite the family tragedy, three of Anne and Jean's children would settle in Montréal.
- Jetté, René, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Quebec des origines à 1730 (Montréal: Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1983)
- Tanguay, Cyprien. Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu'à nos jours. Québec, Canada: Eusèbe Senécal, 1871-1890, page 499.
- Our French Canadian Ancestors, chapter 9
- Je Me Souviens, Rhode Island: American-French Genealogical Society, Autumn 2001, vol 24, no. 2, page 66
- The Norman People and their existing descendants in the British Dominions and the United States of America
- Dictionnaire National des Canadiens-Français (1608-1760), Montréal: Institut Généalogique Drouin