A Fille du Roi

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This site created by Harry E. Connors III

Music is Alouette sequenced by Barry Taylor.

A Fille du Roi , or Daughter of the King, was a woman, or girl, who accepted a royal dowery to go to New France and marry someone. Unlike the English, the French did not populate New France by sending over religious dissidents or transporting prisoners. As a result, New France was chronically short of settlers, and those settlers chronically short of women to marry. Some married Indian women, but the Filles du Roi represented an attempt to supply French women. They were not supposed to be prostitutes. Rather they were women who were poor enough to welcome a royal dowery. Marie Valade, 14 years old and the eighth of nine children, seems to be a good example. She must have formally converted to Catholicism because it was not French policy to send Huguenots. I found the following short biography of Marie in King's Daughters and Founding Mothers; The Filles du Roi, (1663-1675), Volume 2 , by Peter J. Gagné. 

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Marie Valade was born about 1649 and baptized a Protestant in the parish of Saint-Nicolas in La Rochelle, Aunis. She is the eighth of nine children of freight transporter André Valade and Sarah Cousseau dite Laviolette, who were married 03 February 1630 at Saint-Nicolas de La Rochelle. Her father is the son of Antoine Valade and Ozanne Dupin from Perdry, Angoumois. Her mother, the daughter of merchant Pierre Cousseau and Huguenot Anne Bourradier or Bourodier, renounced Calvinism 27 September 1685 at Saint-Nicolas. Marie came to Canada in 1663 at about age 14, following the departure of her sister Marie, uncle Pierre Cousseau and cousin Jean Normandin and his family. She was later joined in the colony by her brothers Guillaume and Jean.

On 26 November 1663, Marie married Jean Cadieux in Montreal. Neither spouse could sign the marriage contract drawn up 15 November by notary Basset. A plowman and locksmith, Jean was baptized 29 August 1629 in Prigné-sous-Loir (arrondissement of La Flèche, diocese of Le Mans), Maine, the son of Pierre Cadieux and Renée Fourreau or Fouvreau. He enlisted for five years with Monsieur de La Dauversière 01 May 1653 at La Flèche (notary Lafousse), arriving at Montréal 16 November with the Grande Recrue . Before departure, Jean acknowledged receiving 150 livres in advanced wages. In 1663, he was a soldier in the 4th squadron of the Sainte-Famille militia. Jean and Marie settled at Montréal, where daughter Marie-Jeanne was baptized 15 October 1664, followed by Pierre (07 April 1666), Madeleine (27 October 1667) and Marie-Geneviève (21 July 1669). Jean was baptized 12 March 1671, followed by Marie (23 November 1672), Marie-Nicole (17 September 1674) and Marguerite (26 July 1676). Sadly, Marie-Nicole was buried 23 December 1677 at Montréal. Jeanne was baptized 10 July 1678, followed by Catherine on 04 March 1680. Marie-Jeanne was buried 26 June 1680.

Jean Cadieux died and was buried 30 September 1681 at Montréal. On 09 February 1682, Marie married Philippe Boudier at Montréal. Though no marriage contract has been found, it is known that Philippe could not sign his name. A farmer, he was born about 1642 in Saint-Cloud (arrondissement of Nanterre, archdiocese of Paris), Île-de-France, the son of Mathieu Boudier or Boutier (Pascal Boudier & [unknown]) and Marie-Anne Prieur, who lived in a house adjacent to the Lion d'Or Inn. The family also owned the Trois Rois Inn. Philippe and Marie lived in Montréal, where son Philippe was baptized 18 October 1682, followed by François (04 May 1684) and Françoise (30 September 1686). Sadly, son Philippe was buried 15 October 1687 at Montreal. Marie's mother, Sara Cousseau, was buried 25 July 1691 at Saint-Nicolas de La Rochelle. Marie Valade was buried 09 January 1719 at Montréal. Philippe Boudier was buried at Montréal 24 January 1726.

Marie Valade

A 14-year old girl left her parents and traveled across the ocean to a small village at the edge of the wilderness, now the city of Montreal. There, she married a man 20 years older than herself. The youngest daughter of Marie and Jean Cadieux, Catherine Cadieux, married Robert Fache in Montreal in 1696. Their marriage is the earliest event in the genealogy of the Robert family recorded by Frank Robert Jr.

According to the Dictionaire National des Canadiens Français (1680-1760), Institute Généalogique Drouin, Montréal, Canada Jean Cadieux (and Marie Valade one assumes) is an ancester of Cardinal Villeneuve, a mid-20th century Montreal cardinal,  and the Honorable Honoré Mercier, a late 19th century Quebec politician.

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This page last modified on Monday, November 19, 2007

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