The following is a report on our research of the “Fournier” ancestors with descendents alive today, 6 to 12 generations, depending on their date of arrival in Quebec or on the date of their marriage.
Guillaume Fournier, our first ancestor, was a Normandy native. His marriage certificate states that he was the son of Gilles Fournier and Noelle Gageut (or Gagnon? according to Drouin) from the parish of Coulmer, a small community in the department of Orne in the ward of Argentan. With no exhaustive research yet done on his arrival date in this country, this piece remains unknown. The first trace of this man appears to be his marriage on November 20, 1651 at Notre-Dame-de-Québec to “Françoise Hébert”, daughter of Guillaume Hébert and Hélène Desportes and granddaughter of Louis Hébert, first “Canadian Settler” and the first in Canada to whom the King of France bestowed property for his extraordinary work in the clearing of land.
Guillaume Fournier had a demanding and combative temperament. He launched several lawsuits against Dame Guillemette Hébert, daughter of Louis Hébert and wife of the nobleman, Guillaume Couillard. Guillemette Hébert tutored her brother’s three children. Her brother, Guillaume, married Hélène Desportes. He was killed by the Iroquois around 1639. Guillaume Fournier settled on part of the land of the fief of the St. Charles River, called “Fief Saint-Joseph”, conceded to him by Guillemette Hébert and stretching from the St. Charles River to Charlesbourg. In the 1667 census, he was 44 years-old and stated as a resident of Charlesbourg.
He was involved in several confrontations, one of them with Dame Charlotte de Poitiers, first wife of Joseph Hébert, heir and brother of Françoise Hébert, to whom he was forced to concede a good part of his land in the fief of Sault au-Matelot (Guillaume Fournier lost the first suit he brought). After the sale of two properties on the fief of the St. Charles River to the Provincial Administrator, Jean Talon, Guillaume received from this same Provincial Administrator Talon, in fief and seigniory, a concession of thirty acres by five miles in depth on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, a fief called “Fief Saint-Joseph” or “Fief Fournier”(Montmagny). Ten of Guillaume and Françoise Hébert’s fourteen children were born in Quebec City. The last four saw the light of day in Saint-Thomas-de-la-Pointe-à-la-Caille (Montmagny). Missionary fathers baptized them; three were registered in the Quebec City registry and one in St. Thomas.
Guillaume Fournier was a founder and pioneer of the parish of Saint-Thomas de la Pointe-à-la-Caille de Montmagny. The first baptism was that of one of Guillaume Fournier and Françoise Hébert’s children as well as the first marriage. Guillaume conceded a parcel of his lands towards the construction of the second chapel of Montmagny. This generous gift earned him the privilege of a pew in the church for himself and one of his descendents through to today. Furthermore, Guillaume Fournier’s house had been used to celebrate several religious functions until the first chapel was built.
Guillaume Fournier died October 24 1699 in Saint-Thomas de Montmagny at 80 years of age. His wife, Françoise Hébert, was elected an “Honorable Woman” by majority vote of the parish’s women’s league on November 20, 1703 in St. Thomas. Françoise Hébert died in 1716 in Montmagny at the age of 86 years. Guillaume Fournier and Françoise Hébert left the largest number of descendents with the surname Fournier across all of North America, through 6 married sons. Charles who married Elisabeth Bouchard on July 13, 1699 and Jean who married Marie Le Roy around 1687 had the largest number of descendents. Guillaume Fournier’s five daughters through their marriages were the ancestors of the following lineages: Blanchet, Gesseron, Prou, Boulé and Laporte.
Nicolas Fournier was a native of Saint-Étienne de Marans, diocese of La Rochelle in Aunis. He was the son of Hugues Fournier and Jeanne Huguette. Nicolas Fournier landed in the province of Quebec in 1664 aboard the ship “Le Noir de Hollande” (The Black of Holland) bearing an employment contract for 3 years in this new country. In the 1666 Quebec census, he was stated to be 24 years old and a hired servant to Louis Fontaine, a sea captain. In 1667, according to the recensement, he was hired servant to Jacques Hédouin in Charlesbourg.
On September 8, 1670, Nicolas Fournier pass a marriage contract with Marie Hubert, daughter of the deceased Pierre Hubert and Bonne Brie, natives of Saint-Sulpice de Paris. A “Daughter of the King”, Marie come to New France in 1670. Nicolas and Marie Hubert wed in a religious ceremony on September 30, 1670 in the Beauport chapel. The ancestor Nicolas then bought a parcel of land in Bourg-Royal in 1670 and increased this concession in 1682 by forty acres as well as buying another forty-acre parcel of land in 1684. This was a lot of work for one man with a young family to raise. Nicolas and Marie Hubert had 6 children: 3 boys—Michel, Jean, and Jacques; 3 girls—Marie, Ambroise and Jeanne, the last born on September 30,1687 in Charlesbourg. Nicolas died 2 months later on November 30, 1687 at the age of 55 years. He was interred in Charlesbourg on December 1, 1687.
Marie Hubert remarried Jean Gachet, a soldier, on February 25, 1691 in Charlesbourg. However, we lose track of this man as of September of that same year. It seems that he returned to France with Marie Hubert, whom left one daughter in boarding house but brought his young daughter Jeanne with herself. She left his other children on the land of Nicolas, inherited by her eldest son Michel. Michel married Marie Bériault on June 5, 1702 in Notre-Dame-de Québec. This couple had 3 children including 2 girls that married. There is no trace of their son Michel, born in 1704 in Charlesbourg. Michel and Marie Bériault died in 1711 within a few weeks of each other.
It is through their last two sons, Jacques Fournier who married Françoise Blanchon on November 27, 1708 in Beaumont, and Jean Fournier who married Madeleine Fradet on November 23, 1711, also in Beaumont, that Nicolas & Marie Hubert assured a strong lineage throughout North America. Jacques & Françoise Blanchon had 15 children, 6 sons and 3 daughters, who married and settled in and around Bellechasse, Dorchester and la Beauce, and their descendents in New England and Manitoba.
Jean & Madeleine Fradet had 10 children, 3 of whom died young. Four sons and one daughter married. Michel, son of Jean & Madeleine Fradet, who married Madeleine Lévesque in 1762 in St-Laurent, Montreal, left a large lineage especially in Ontario. Pierre, another of Jean’s sons by his second marriage to Marie-Josephte Jahan around 1748, gone established in St-Roch-de-l’Achigan and he left a large lineage, also in Ontario and the Outaouais region.
Antoine Fournier said Préfontaine was baptized on February 1663 at Beaumont-sur-Oise, St-Laurent parish, in the bishopric of Beauvais in Picardie. He was the son of Denis Fournier Préfontaine and Catherine Desabeux . Antoine was a soldier in the Troyes Company and a cooper by trade. He arrived in New-France, in 1687 as soldier of the Troupes de la Marine, company de Mons, under the knight Pierre de Troyes. The first battle and also likely his last as a soldier, was no doubt as part of the expedition commanded by the Lemoyne brothers to disloge the English from Hudson’s Bay, in 1687.
The colonisation of Longueuil started after this expedition since the colony was again in peace. The Lord of Longueuil, Charles Lemoyne, knew almost all of his soldiers and invited several of them to settle on his domain. Antoine Fournier/Préfontaine was one of his new colonists.
He wed Marie Roncelay (Ronseray) who was born in Montreal in 1668, daughter of Jean Roncelay & Jeanne Servignan, on February 1688 in Boucherville. They settled in the seigniory of Sieur Lemoyne, in Longueuil where two of their three children were born: Marie in 1689, Jean-Baptiste in 1691. Adrien was born in Montreal in 1693. In 1713, Marie married and Jean-Baptiste died. Antoine became a clog maker. However, it does not seem as though this clog affair was very productive for this ancestor.
Marie Roncelay probably died between 1693 and 1695 because Antoine Fournier remarried Madeleine Ozannes on July 16, 1696 in Montreal. Madeleine Ozannes was the daughter of Jean Ozannes and Isabelle Martin. Antoine Fournier must have stayed in Montreal for a period of time because all 4 of his children from his second marriage were born there; only one daughter survived and married.
His lineage was assured by his son, Adrien Fournier-Préfontaine, who married Catherine Boutheillier August, 11, 1715 in Longueuil. The descendents of Antoine Fournier-Préfontaine and Marie Roncelay were undoubtedly businesspeople many of whom married into a comfortable lifestyle. Adrien Fournier and Catherine Boutheillier had 15 children including 2 sets of twins. 2 boys and 6 girls married. Angélique and Antoinette married brothers, Joseph & Prudent Dubuc, descendents of the Lord Dubuc of the Tremblay fief in Longueuil, and in 1760 Geneviève married Edmé Henry, troop surgeon. Joseph Fournier-Préfontaine married Charlotte Truteau and had 12 children. Alexis Fournier Préfontaine, by his second marriage to Charlotte Cristin, assured the Fournier-Préfontaine lineage traces of which are primarily found in the regions of Chambly, Rouville, Châteauguay, Montreal, and in New England and Manitoba.
Antoine Fournier-Préfontaine died in Montreal on July 8, 1702 at the age of 44 years and never knew any of his grandchildren. By the fifth generation, most of his descendents were simply called Préfontaine with a few exceptions. I do not think there are any other family branches with the surname Préfontaine beyond the descendents of Antoine Fournier Préfontaine and Marie Roncelay. Their descendancy his representes until the twelfth generation and was the fourth in importance of number.
Pierre Fournier de Belleval was the son of one of the king’s chamber’s gentleman, the lord Jacques Fournier de Belleval and Ursule Gaucher de Saint-Victor d’Orléans in Orléanais. He was born around 1664. Pierre Fournier, lord de Belleval, squire, married Marie Ancellin, daughter of René Ancellin and Marie on July 30, 1693 in Notre-Dame-de-Québec. René Ancellin and Marie Juin were married in France and came from Notre-Dame-de Cogne, a city in de la Rochelle in Aunis. He arrived in New France as a junior in the Marine Corps.
First he settled on a property owned by his wife in Saint-Jean, Île d’Orléans. Then, around 1697, he moved to a seigniory in Kamouraska where the lord Charles Aubert de la Chesnaye had given him a parcel of land of 3 acres in frontage by 30 acres in depth. In 1703, he and his family returned to Saint-Jean, Île d’Orléans. Unstable and constantly in debt, he moved to Saint-Ours around 1708 where he and his wife lived out their days.
Pierre Fournier de Belleval and Marie Ancellin had 9 children, 6 of whom married. The two sons settled in the regions of Contrecoeur and Verchères. They were tradesmen and farmers and lived more comfortably than their father. Pierre Fournier de Belleval died on April 5, 1752 in Saint-Ours at 88 years of age. The death certificate of Marie Ancellin has not been traced.
As of 1800, many descendents of Pierre Fournier de Belleval and Marie Ancellin only used the surname Belleval as their family name. Nevertheless, some of them did continue to use the full name Fournier de Belleval right into the 1950s. The Bellevals of today are all descendents of Pierre Fournier de Belleval and Marie Ancellin. Their lineage primarily settled in the province of Quebec with a few families in New England and count twelve generations.
Liévain Fournier is a Belgian ancestor. He was the son of Antoine Fournier and Anne Gourdon, from Maurage, land of Roux, near Mont en Hainault, Belgium. His arrival date in Quebec is unknown, possibly around 1725. The reasons of his arrival in New-France were not known.
Liévain, whose name is at times written Lyvrain, concluded a marrriage contract, in Quebec City on March 30, 1728 by the notary public, Dubreuil. He married Marie-Suzanne Fauteux, daughter of Pierre Fauteux and Péronne Bulté, on April 6, 1728 in Pointe-aux-Trembles de Neuville. Liévain and Suzanne settled in the Val-Bélair district. He was a farmer and a master blacksmith. Subsequently, they lived in Écureuils.
Three sons and one daughter married. Louis-Joseph married Marie-Thérèse Angers on January 10, 1757 in Neuville. Jean-Baptiste wed Marie-Josephte Matte on October 22, 1798, also in Neuville. His two sons were farmers in this region.
It is primarily through their last son, Clément, that their lineage was assured. Jean-Baptiste Lemire, a farmer in Nicolet, hired the 17-year-old as a servant on March 7, 1755. On October 28, 1764 in Nicolet, Clément married Madeleine Provencher with whom he had no surviving descendents. He then married Catherine Houde on February 5, 1770 in Nicolet. Six of Clément and Catherine’s sons married and populated the Nicolet region.
Liévain Fournier and Suzanne Fauteux’s lineage is difficult to trace to current times. Clément’s children first took on the name “Liévain “ and, by the next generation, some of them kept the surname “Liévain” but others adopted the surname “Clément”. Two generations later, this lineage took on the surname “Guévin” or at times “Guérin”.
Lievain died in his hundredth years, May 16 1776 in Pointe-aux-Trembles, Neuville, Québec.
Pierre Fournier, dit “Vendôme”, the fifth ancestor with descendents through to today was a native of Fontaine-Raoul (Saint-Marc’s parish), in Loir et Cher, in France. Pierre was the son of Guillaume Fournier and Madeleine Poirier of Fontaine-Raoul. He was a recruit on le Rubis, Marine Troop’s soldier, Company of Fonville and he arrived in New-France in 1739. Pierre Fournier wed Françoise Couture, daughter of Guillaume and Marie-Anne Adam on February 5, 1743 in Saint-Étienne de Beaumont.
Pierre Fournier and Françoise Couture had a first daughter born in Beaumont in 1744. Nicolas Philibert, a Quebec merchant, hired Pierre Fournier in 1744 to practice the trade of master miller in Sainte-Foy. Three other children were born in Quebec but two of them died young. In 1749, the lord Louis Couillard 111 of the seigniory of Rivière-du-Sud hired Pierre Fournier to look after the communal mill at Saint-Thomas de Montmagny where Pierre and Françoise settled for life.
Eight other children were born of this union; two of these sons assured the lineage. Pierre Fournier was also a farmer and a land clearer and in 1757 he bought 2 parcels of land and then in 1767 a third which his sons would inherit. Pierre Fournier died on April 17, 1783 in Saint-Thomas de Montmagny and his wife Françoise Couture died on July 17, 1791, also in Saint Thomas.
Six of Pierre Fournier and Françoise Couture’s children, two sons and four daughters, started families. The eldest son, Louis Fournier married Marguerite Thibault on November 21, 1780; they had 12 children of which six sons would marry. Two of Louis’ sons, Mathieu who married Rosalie Gendron, and Marcel who married Marguerite Gendron, settled in Saint-Simon and Sainte-Rosalie de Bagot. They were pioneers in these parishes. Pierre and Françoise’s second son, Pierre Fournier, wed Marie-Louise Stuart on August 9, 1785 in Saint Thomas and had 9 children. One of Pierre and Louise Stuart’s sons, Boniface, was a teacher and married Marguerite Hamel in Ste-Croix de Lotbinière, where part of this lineage settled.
To this day, we find descendents of Pierre Fournier and Françoise Couture in all regions of Quebec, in Ontario, in Manitoba, and in New England. This lineage represents the third largest number of Fournier descendents on ten generations.
Éméry Amiens borrowed his mother’s name, Fournier, for his family’s surname once he arrived in New France. Éméry Amiens was the son of Jean-Baptiste Amiens and Pauline Fournier of Sainte-Madeleine de Besançon in Franche-Comté. He arrived in New-France as soldier of Company de Bleau, regiment de Guyenne, June 26, 1755.
Éméry married Marguerite Guénet, daughter of Thomas Guénet and Marie-Anne Mahay, in Quebec City on February 14, 1757. After his marriage, Éméry Amiens only used the surname Fournier, but at the baptism of his son, Jérôme, at Cap-Santé, the surname Larose was grafted to “Fournier” to become Fournier-Larose. We have yet to uncover the mystery behind these many surnames.
Éméry and Marguerite Guénet had 4 children who married, three of them sons. Éméry and Marguerite raised their family in Quebec City. Two sons married in Quebec City: Jean-Baptiste to Marthe Jackson on April 4, 1780 and Jérôme to Madeleine Godin on January 18, 1788. They assured the lineage, most of which stayed in the province of Quebec. We have no record of this ancestor’s line of work, or the date of his death, or that of his wife, Marguerite Guénet.
This lineage alternated between the two surnames, Fournier and Larose. Finally, half of this lineage, even in Quebec City, kept the surname Fournier while the other half kept the surname Larose. Some descendents bearing the Larose surname settled in the regions of Montreal, Ottawa and Cornwall. Today, we can count nine generations among the descendents of Éméry Amiens Fournier said Larose and Marguerite Guénet.
Joseph Fournier, the seventh ancestor to leave descendents to this day, also did not marry until after his arrival in New France. He was born on February 27 1731 and he was the son of Jean-Claude Fournier and Jeanne Collet of Lieffrans, diocese of Besançon, in Franche-Comté. Joseph married after the end of the Seven-Year War. He married Marie-Françoise Carlos (Carlotte), daughter of Jean-Claude Carlos and Françoise Dauphin, in Cap Saint-Ignace on January 26, 1761. Jean-Claude Carlos was a native of Saint-Claude, diocese of Lyon, also in Franche-Comté.
Joseph Fournier and Françoise Carlos found roots in the seigniory of Cap Saint-Ignace and thereby mixed with two other branches of Fourniers who were already well established in the seigniories of Montmagny and l’Islet. Ten children were born to this family, four of which died young. Four sons and one daughter married. Joseph Fournier was a farmer and a fisherman just like all other inhabitants of the time, also a shoemaker. At times, he was known as Joseph Fournier, said “Shoemaker”. He died in 1789 at 56 years of age in Cap Saint-Ignace.
The eldest son, Joseph-Marie, was married four times. He had four children with his first wife, Marie Lachaine, none of whom survived. Marie died at the birth of Madeleine in 1792. After his second marriage to Marguerite Chiasson on January 22, 1793 in l’Islet, the couple isolated themselves in Saint-Hyacinthe. Of the 8 children born to this marriage, 5 of them died young. One daughter and one son had families. The son had descendents in the regions of Bagot and New England. With his third wife, Marguerite Brault who he married in 1804 in Saint-Hyacinthe, Joseph-Marie had 9 more children. We have traced the lineage of three of them. A son, Nicolas, assured the lineage in the region of Yamaska and Bagot. Joseph-Marie died in 1829 at 66 years of age after a fourth marriage in 1820 to Marie Loranger.
The second son of Joseph Fournier and Françoise Carlos, Pierre-Césaire, married Angélique Bouchard in 1791 in Cap-Saint-Ignace. They also settled in the Saint-Hyacinthe region but left no Fournier descendents since they only had one child, a daughter, who married. A third son, Alexis Fournier, married Judith Blanchet in Saint-Roch-des-Aulnaies in 1797 but left no male descendents; his two children were both girls who married.
The lineage of Joseph and Françoise Carlos was assured in the Cap-Saint-Ignace region by Louis-Marie who married Marie-Claire Cloutier on May 7, 1799, and by the latter’s son who married twice. They are very few descendents in spite of 8 generations.
An other branch of the co-lateral line exist in France, by one of the Joseph Fournier’s brother.
Augustin Fournier said La Grenade was a soldier in the Queen’s regiment in Montcalm’s army. He was the son of Nicolas Fournier and Claudette Urbain of Rouvre-la-Châtine in Lorraine. (In the Vosges, province of Neufchâteau). Augustin married Thérèse Demers, daughter of Henri Demers and Thérèse Poirier, on November 24, 1760 in Chambly (Notary Grisé certificate). He settled into a parish. From this marriage, 8 children were born but 3 did not survive. Three girls and two boys married, assuring the lineage. Thérèse Demers died in 1774 at 37 years of age.
Augustin Fournier’s second marriage was to Elisabeth Lacoste on November 23, 1778 in Chambly. Three of this couple’s four daughters married. We still have not done enough research to know what this ancestor did for a living. We assume he was a farmer but having been a soldier he may have had another occupation. Augustin died at 65 in 1796 in Chambly.
Augustin Fournier and Thérèse Demers had two sons, one of whom, Augustin, married Charlotte Noiseux on January 18, 1791 in Chambly. The other, Joseph, married Josephte Massé on February 27, 1797 also in Chambly, and had descendents who settled in the regions of Chambly, Bagot, Montréal and Centrall-Falls and Worcester in Maine. The lineage is not very big but it spans 8 generations through to today.
Claude Fournier said “L’Esprit” (“The Spirit”) was the son of Claude Fournier and Marie Vitrine of Pont Saint-Esprit diocese of Uzès in the Gard in Languedoc, France. Claude Fournier was came in New-France as soldier of the army of Montcalm. He arrived in country between 1757 and 1759.
Few researches were made on this ancestor. We have not found again some documents for to know how he had lived between 1760 and 1772. Claude married Marie-Anne Besset, daughter of Guillaume Besset and Marguerite Paquet, on June 30, 1772 in Saint-Joseph de Chambly.
Claude Fournier and Marie-Anne Besset had 8 children in Chambly. The family then moved to Acadia in the Saint-Jean region where their last two children were born and where most of them married. Claude Fournier died and was interred in Chambly in 1794. He was 62 years old. Three sons and four daughters had families of their own.
Claude, the eldest son, married Marie-Louise Pelletier in Chambly on February 27, 1797. 14 children were born of this union, including Louis and Joseph who established a strong lineage throughout Outaouais, and his other son in the regions of Montreal, Laprairie and New England. The second son, Louis, married Nathalie Gagnon on August 12, 1811 in Saint-Luc and had 3 children none of whom survived. With his second wife, Marguerite Bombardier, who he had married on November 19, 1822, he had 6 children of whom only one survived, Louis. He had descendents in the Sherbrooke region.
Etienne Fournier, eleventh ancestor to carry on a lineage, was a native of Lyon, France, where he worked as a merchant. Étienne Fournier married Denise Debron. We have no details on their respective families. Étienne Fournier and Denise Debron, (according to retraced death certificates), arrived in the country with at least two small children, Jean-Baptiste and Michel Fournier.
We found these children’s birth certificates, one dated 1786 in Notre-Dame-de Montréal, another dated 1789 and 1791 in l’Assomption; Étienne was a merchant in Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan. We traced what was probably the elder son, Jean-Baptiste’s, marriage to Marguerite Racicot on June 3 1798 in Rigaud. The last son, Michel, married Louise Noreau, on February 14, 1803 in Notre-Dame de Montréal. Étienne Fournier is stated as deceased on this marriage certificate. Michel married again, this time Cécile Racicot, Marguerite’s sister, on May 27, 1811 in Notre-Dame de Montréal. Another son, Étienne, would also be twice married: first to Clémence Santennes on September 29, 1823 in Saint-Eustache, then to Marie-Claire Girouard in 1833 in Vaudreuil. We have no record of the marriages of any of this couple’s daughters.
Étienne Fournier and Denise Debron’s three sons did not leave many descendents, but those we found live mainly around Montreal and on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, also around Saint-Jérôme, as well as in Manitoba. the descendancy count eight generations.
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