Catherine Ducharme.

Ducharme Family.

Catherine Ducharme arrived in Montréal from Paris as a fille du roi, that is, her dowry was sponsored by the king. Upon her arrival she was housed at Maison Saint-Gabriel under the care of care of Catherine Crolo, who operated the farm for Marguerite Bourgeoys. (The house had been purchased by Bourgeoys from our ancestor Francois Leber in 1668).

Her father Jean was a master carpenter, the son of Toussaint Ducharme and Jacqueline Drouet.

Jean's brother Fiacre, age 15, was placed as an apprentice to a carpenter on 27 July 1640, but their father Toussaint had died by this time. In 1649 the widowed Jacqueline went to live with her sons Jean and Fiacre on rue des Poiriers. The "house of Port-de-Salut" was also the home of many doctors who were affiliated with the Collège de Sorbonne in Paris. Established in 1257, the college was undergoing renovations around this time under the patronage of Cardinal Richelieu.

A Question of Maternity.

Catherine's mother has long been reported to be Anne Leliévre; this is based on her marriage record to Pierre in which Anne is named as her mother. However, further study by researchers at Fichier Origine have determined that she was born to Jean Ducharme's second wife, Catherine Dupré.

Our ancestor Catherine's date of birth is estimated to be 1657. The date is derived from her age at her death and from census records. Jean and Catherine Dupré were married 20 January 1657, his widowed mother Jacqueline Drouet is mentioned in the record. Catherine Dupré was the daughter of Jacques Dupré, merchant in Mantes, and of Avoye Touré, who had died by the time of her daughter's marriage. As further evidence, the contract spells out that Jean's minor daughters from his marriage to Anne, including Marguerite, Madeleine and Barbe, are to be cared for until they reach the age of 18. No mention is made of our ancestor Catherine, implying she was not yet in the picture.

The confusion over her mother's name may have been caused by her uncle, Fiacre Ducharme. Fiacre was the younger brother of her father Jean. He had come to Montréal as part of the la grand recrue de 1653, thus he left Paris just a few years prior to the death of Anne and to Jean's 1657 remarriage.