François Pinsonneau, Soldat.
François Pinsonneau dit LaFleur was a soldier under the command of Pierre de Saint-Ours, sieur de l'Eschaillon in the French military régiment de Carignan-Salières. Another of our ancestors, François Séguin dit LaDéroute was in the same company, as was Charles Robert. They departed France on 24 May 1665. Sailing aboard the royal ship Le Justice, they crossed the Atlantic with the Saint-Sébastien. The overly long journey ended on the 14th of September in the port at Québec, delivering at least 100 sickened with an infectious disease.
His company wintered in Sorel. Their first order of business was to build forts along the Richelieu River necessary to support the troops as they were sent out to engage the enemy. Their training was in European-style pitched battles, that is each side lined up in formation to face each other, but this did not prepare them for the hit and run style of combat preferred by their new enemy. Despite losses in the first year, the men quickly adjusted their strategy and made great strides in reducing the number of assaults on the settlers.
Though many of the soldiers returned to France by 1668, the relative peace was to last 18 years. François opted to stay. Habitants in New France were expected to be Catholic. The soldiers were asked to affirm their faith and so François was confirmed at Fort Saint-Louis (later called Chambly) on 20 May 1669. This record reveals he was from Saintes, Saintonge, France.
The King offered inducements to the men to remain by awarding large estates, or seigneuries, to the commanders who in turn offered parcels to many of the soldiers of the company. As the regiment was disbanded Saint-Ours received a parcel along the Richelieu River, just below Sorel in October 1672. Our ancestor was awarded land with 2 arpens of frontage on the river and 30 arpens deep, between that of Pierre Dexterre dit Lavigne and Jean Celeurier dit duLaurier. In consideration of this contract he was expected to reside on the land. The grain he would grow would be ground in the seigneur's mill. The seigneur would receive the hardwoods and annual cens and rents. This agreement was reached before the notary Antoine Adhemar on 5 November 1675.
- Jetté, René, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Quebec des origines à 1730 (Montréal: Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1983)
- Je Me Souviens, Autumn 1982, pp 12-19