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Marguerite Bourgeoys - and Les Filles du roi

Les Filles du roi
Les Filles du Roi: The King’s Daughter’s or Girls are possibly the most interesting group of souls to ever cross the Atlantic to the New World. In response to Quebec’s lack of marriageable women, King Louis XIV arranged for approximately 750 marriageable women to be sent to New France between 1663 and 1673. Chosen and endorsed by the local parish priest, these women (most between 12 and 25 years) came from a cross section of French society ranging from destitute orphans to children of privilege. Each came with the recommendation of the priest, some essentials provided by the crown and whatever items their family could spare—from sizeable dowries to nothing at all.
After braving the adventure at sea, they were housed in dormitories (Maison Saint- Gabriel in Montreal is a worthwhile visit.) They attended meetings at the convent where marriageable men would come to visit. If a suitable match was found, a contract was made by the Notary (attorneys were forbidden in Quebec). These contracts along with their information from home provided the girls with a documented history still available and unrivaled in New World immigration records. There are several good references available. I found King’s Daughters and Founding Mothers by Peter J. Gagné most helpful. Read More 
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Marguerite Bourgeoys - In Canada

The Allards Book One: The New World
April 7, 2018
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Once her school was running, Marguerite made her first trip back to France to begin Les filles du roi, or the King’s daughters, girls sent to Canada with the aid of the King to provide more women and mothers for the new colony (at this time mainly male). It has been said these girls were poor and orphaned, but closer scrutiny shows they came from all walks of life including several young ladies of means with education. At any rate, this group did become the Mothers of Canada, and most French Canadians can trace their heritage to one, or many of these ladies. They make their first showing in The Beaver Wars but much more can be found in my first novel THE ALLARDS BOOK ONE, THE NEW WORLD. (more about this next week). Read More 
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Marguerite goes to Canada

Marguerite's home in Canada
April 1, 2018
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Marguerite agreed to follow Maisonneuve to the new world and departed Troyes in February, 1653 arriving in Montreal in November. It is said one of her first tasks was restoring a cross on Mont Royal which had been burned by the natives. She met the wealthy Jeanne Mance and began the construction of the Chapel of Notre-Dame de Bon Secours. She received a stable from Maisonneuve where she opened the first public school in Montreal. More next week. Read More 
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Marguerite meets Maisonneuve

Maisonneuve statue in Montreal
March 23, 2018
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Marguerite soon registered as a member of the Congregation of Troyes, a group of young women devoted to charity and the teaching of children from the poor parts of town. She became dedicated to the work, but did not wish to be cloistered, which would require she was limited in what she could do outside the confines of the Congregation. It was here in 1652 she met Monsieur de Maisonneuve, the founder and governor of the new settlement of Montreal in Canada. He was visiting his sister and also looking for someone who would follow him to Canada and teach the French and Indian children of his new village. His sister introduced him to Marguerite. More next week. Read More 
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Marguerite Bourgeoys - the early years

Marguerite's childhood home in France
Born in Troyes in Champagne, France in April of 1620, Marguerite was interestingly born on Good Friday. Baptized on the day of her birth, she was the sixth child in a family that would eventually reach 12! Her parents had means and she was raised in a comfortable middle class family that was strongly Christian. She is rumored to have told a story that during a religious procession at the age of 20 she felt a need to withdraw from the world and serve God. Something she did from that time on with total fidelity to the service of God. More next week. Read More 
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More Marguerite

Marguerite Bourgeoys
Based on input from last week's post, I have decided to spend more time on Marguerite Bourgeoys. Much of this comes from sources in Montreal as well as the wonderful book "Marguerite Bourgeoys and Montreal, 1640-1665". (cover above). Patricia Simpson follows this enigmatic woman from her lowly roots in Troyes, France to becoming an icon of French Canada as well as its first saint. If you become intrigued, I recommend Simpson's book. More next week. Read More 
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Marguerite Bourgeoys

Marguerite Bourgeoys
Marguerite Bourgeoys
This lay nun brought by Maisonneuve became one of the most famous Canadians. She led the building of Montreal’s first permanent church, began a school house and the first public school. She returned to France to bring more women and was instrumental in bringing les Filles du Roi or the King’s daughters, several hundred young women who became the true mothers of Canada. In 1982, she was the first Canadian woman canonized a saint. Read More 
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Maisonneuves and Mother Louise in Troyes

Maisonneuves Monument in Montreal
Maisonneuves and Mother Louise in Troyes: Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve came to Quebec in 1642 to begin the religious settlement of Ville-Marie on the giant island of Montreal. In 1652 he returned to France to visit his sister, Mother Louise de Sainte-Marie, the head of the Confraternity of Notre-Dame in Troyes, France. His goal was to recruit nuns and other religious persons to come to Montreal to teach the settlers and the natives. His efforts nearly fell in vain as he only recruited one person, a young lady who had come to teach the poor but had been turned down by the Carmelite nuns because she refused to be cloistered. It seemed his efforts were in vain, but he did not realize this single odd woman would become one of the most important and famous individuals of all French Canada—more next week. Read More 
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Measles and Small Pox

Smallpox and the Canadian Indian
January 20: Measles and the pox
Measles and small pox had existed for centuries in the eastern world including France. It was not until the European migration to the western world that the diseases appeared in the Native American population. The diseases at the time of this book, were untreatable and potentially fatal (Small pox somewhat more than measles). It was not until vaccines for these ailments became available that the scourges were lessened. At the time of our story, they were often confused with one another and serious in Europeans but disastrous in natives. This being said, Europeans who had not been previously infected (like Francoise page 188 of The Beaver Wars) were at significant risk of death. Read More 
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Caesarian Section Birth

January 6: Caesarian Section Birth
The description of the birth of Noel Langlois Jr. (p176) may be a little overstated, but by the time I reached this section of writing the story, I had been greatly impressed by the spirit and strength of Francoise. History has told us that Julius Caesar was born by this method, although experts have disputed it. However, many births occurred this way—generally if the mother was dead or certain to die. The first successful (mother survives) Caesarians were recorded in the 18th and 19th centuries, but who knows for certain? Francoise was definitely a tough French-Canadian lady. Read More 
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