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Madeleine de Roybon, Fille de Roi

More Filles de Roi: Due to the wealth of information, it is simple to discover who came to Quebec at about the same time. Hence I was able to assemble a group of likely shipmates, (or shipmaids?) of Jeanne. A wonderful prospect was Madeleine De Roybon D’Alonne. I shortened her name to Madeleine De Roybon for simplicity. She and Jeanne were about the same age and would have been among the more mature young ladies of the group. The friendship was a natural. However Madeleine’s life in France and Canada differed from many of the others. Her father was likely a land owner and officer in the King’s company. It would appear from this and Madeleine’s life in Canada that she had no small amount of money. She never married but appeared to be the long-term mistress of Rene-Robert Cavelier de La Salle, the famous explorer. He and his inland ship, The Griffin, play a short but pivotal role in Book Two:The Hunter.
So why does this child of privilege come to Quebec? Perhaps sent away from something or someone? And why does she choose a life of sin to the sanctity of marriage? Obviously, she was too juicy to leave out of the book. Incidentally, Jeanne’s last name sometimes shows as L’Anguille, which unfortunately translates from French as the eel.  Read More 
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Filles de Roi and marriage contracts

I’ve been asked about marriage contracts: The contract was a legal agreement to marry between the two parties—usually after they met during a group meeting at the convent. However, the marriage could not take place until the banns had been read at mass for three weeks. In addition, marriages frequently were delayed until after the harvest. As a result, the parties had time to reconsider. As it turns out, French Canada was at the forefront of women’s rights. The WOMAN could cancel the contract! This from a country (France) where women were not allowed to vote until 1946, and women needed their husband’s permission to work until the 1940’s.
Frequently these young inexperienced women would agree to marry the first man they met, or perhaps one they found attractive. Later, returning to the girls’ lodging, their friends would give them advice—usually find a man with money and property—causing them to cancel that day’s contract and return for another try. Although many women only signed one contract, a few signed and cancelled as many as twenty!
More fun facts about the Filles de Roi later.  Read More 
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Jeanne Anguille: Fille de Roi

Jeanne Anguille: I often find the women in the Allard Series to be the most fascinating characters, and Jeanne is certainly an example. (Therese Allard in Book Six: The Medallion is my favorite but more on her some other day.)
Research reveals a wealth of information concerning Jeanne which presents a number of quandaries for the genealogist but fertile ground for the novelist: She came to Quebec in 1671 as a Fille de Roi (FdR), the FdR records hint who else may have come on the same voyage. She did not stay at one of the FdR housing units but under the protection of Lady Anne Gagnier. She came with a dowry, and was 24 years old (old for a FdR). She married Francois Allard in November of 1671.
Her home was Artannes-sur-Indre, a small French village on the banks of the Indre River in the heart of the spectacular Loire Valley Chateau Region. Both her parents were living at her departure, and the dowry hints her father had some means. The church of St. Maurice in Artannes is next to an old Abbey famous from the time of Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc). We visited Artannes, the church and Abbey in 2001. It remains a lovely riverside village. To discover how I interpreted the facts in the matter of Jeanne Anguille, you must read Book One: The New World.
Here are photos from the mill and the Abbey in Artannes-sur-Indre.
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Filles de Roi

More about writing Book One: The New World:
Why in the world would you leave France and go to Quebec in 1660? Great question. We all know about coming to America to avoid overcrowding, religious persecution, hunger, disease, etc. But there was little of this in France. In fact, very few people ever came to The New World from France. The government was not interested in colonization, only fish and the fur trade and people to support those industries. Cartier had told the king about the Native Americans and he supposed if he sent French males, they would breed with the Indians and produce colonial Frenchmen. Unfortunately, the wilderness was more enticing than the towns and the men who did bond with the Indians frequently ran off to the woods.
As a result, the King conceived the Filles du Roi, possibly the most interesting group ever to cross the Atlantic.
More about them and their role in Book One to come… Read More 
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