Jacques was born in Île-de-Orléans on 22 July 1681, the sixth child of Antoine Vermet dit LaForme and Barbe Ménard. His mother died in childbirth when he was only four years old.
He signed on as an engagé on 10 July 1703 when he was 22 years old to transport goods to the west which were traded for furs. They travelled in large canoes which held several tons of merchandise, paddling up to 14 hours a day. Young men hoped to make their fortune toiling at this grueling job, it paid better than day labor, but too often they barely scraped by. While Jacques could have made a life in the fur trade, there is evidence of other professional pursuits.
Marriage in Saint-Augustine.
On 25 October 1706 Jacques, at age 25, married the 23-year-old Jeanne-Angélique Dupil in a settlement just to the west of Québec called Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures. The witnesses included Tinon Desroches, Francois Tinon and Pierre Valet. Jeanne was the daughter of (the deceased) René Dupil and of Anne Lagou. The couple would have 13 children over the course of their 55 year marriage.
In July 1707 Jacques agreed to an ordinance by notary Raudot which decided that some land was to be resold to his wife's three half-brothers: Rémi, Jean, and Pierre Valliére. The parcel was located in the seigneury of Maure (Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures) and the sale was to take place after the death of their mother, Anne Lagou. (She did not die until many years later). They were to pay 40 livres each to Vermet.
In 1731 the Vermet's lost their 16 year old daughter Marie-Anne on January 26th and thus joined in the grief of the families in the surrounding communities whose children succumbed to an outbreak of measles and whooping cough the previous summer. (Two years later smallpox killed many in the area.)
It was the year that construction began on the Chemin du Roy (King's Highway). When it was completed six years later it started at Québec, passed through Saint-Augustin, on to Trois Rivières and connected to Montréal. At over 170 miles it was the longest road in North America at the time.
And there was a grisly find. On April 12 Etienne Tibault and Louis Dolbec were walking in the woods near Saint-Augustin when they noticed a man's stocking about 40 feet above them on a tree limb. Upon chopping down the tree they inspected the stocking and found it contained 18 bones and the toenail from the big toe. While there was no explanation of how or why he ended up high in the fir, it was determined to be the remains of Philippe Gasse who had disappeared from their midst in December of 1729. His wife then was provided some closure when his remains were buried in the parish cemetery.
In 1737 Jacques Vermet, master carpenter, was commissioned to frame out a new mill for the les Hospitalières at l'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec. The expensive project was deemed necessary due to the decrepit state of the existing building. Some of the existing stones would be reused, but the new structure was to be enlarged to 38 by 70 feet.
Call to Duty.
The colony was subject to constant attack, both from the indigenous people and from the British settling lands along the Atlantic Coast. All able-bodied men were required to serve in the militia to protect their lands. They would bring their own weapons and train about once a month. In his daughter Barbe's 1746 marriage record to Pierre Petel, Jacques Vermet, 65, stated he was a lieutenant in the militia.
The French and Indian War erupted in 1754 when Jacques was 73. Within five years the the British took over his birthplace, Île-de-Orléans, and the parish of Sainte-Famille was evacuated to Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures where he then resided. The town of Québec was utterly destroyed, likely including the mill he had worked on years before. After the conquest, those remaining were compelled to take oaths of allegiance to the British Crown, or they were imprisoned or deported. Their daughter Barbe eventually made her way toward Montréal. Jeanne died in Saint-Augustine-de-Desmaures a year after the conquest, on 17 June 1761. Jacques lived to the age of 92 and passed on 10 June 1774, just a year before the Americans attempted to take the area from the British.
- Jetté, René, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Quebec des origines à 1730 (Montréal: Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1983
- Tanguay, L'Abbé Cyprien, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles Canadiennes depuis la Fondation de la Colonie Jusqu'a Nos Jours (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1967)
- Neuville Paroisse Pte Aux Trembles, St Frs De Salle
- Colonial Archives. Fonds des Ordonnances des intendants de la Nouvelle-France. 1707 juillet 15
- L'œuvre de chère en Nouvelle-France: le régime des malades à l'Hôtel-Dieu ... By François Rousseau at books.google.com
- Tanguay, Father Cyprien, Searching Through the Old Records of New France, translated by Armand Demers, Pawtucket, RI: Quintin Publications, 1999, p163