Episode 057-January 1, 2017
If you have French-Canadian ancestry, you’re sure to find a fille du roi or two (or likely many more) in your family tree. Today’s guest, Lynne Levesque, introduces us to her fille du roi ancestor, Jeanne Marguerite Chevalier. After Jeanne’s first husband died, she went on to marry two more times and is the ancestress to most Levesques in the US and Canada as well as people of many other surnames.
The Life of Fille du Roi Jeanne Chevalier
Lynne and I covered the following material in our discussion:
- Lynne’s blog now appears in both English and French.
- One of Lynne’s goals was to publish Jeanne Chevalier’s life story before the 300th anniversary of her death, which was November 24, 2016. Her next project is to write the story of her experiences as she wrote the book, Jeanne Chevalier, Fille du Roi: Her Story.
- Lynne solved the mystery of where Jeanne was baptized, which was in Coutances, France. It is often difficult to find a baptism in France because there is no centralized database. A researcher would have to check individual provincial or municipal archives. Also, many records were destroyed during France’s many wars.
- Lynne recommends 17th-century French history books about topics such as peasant life and social history in order to glean what life was like for the filles du roi before they came to Canada. In English, she recommends books by Pierre Goubert like The French Peasantry in the Seventeenth Century and William Beik’s A Social and Cultural History of Early Modern France.
- For anyone with filles du roi ancestors, Peter Gagne’s King’s Daughters and Founding Mothers (2 vols.) in English and Yves Landry’s Les Filles du roi au XVIIe siècle: Orphelines en France, pionnières au Canada; suivi d’un répertoire biographique des Filles du roi in French are must-haves.
- Jeanne had three husbands:
- Guillaume Lecanteur dit Latour- Jeanne married Guillaume as a fille du roi about two months after her arrival.
- Robert Lévesque- They settled in Rivière-Ouelle.
- Jean-Baptiste-François Deschamps, Sieur de La Bouteillerie in Rivière-Ouelle
- Jeanne had a will drawn up before her death, a rather unusual occurrence at that time. She left a sum of money to some churches and a gift to a goddaughter who might have taken care of her at the end of her life.
- Lynne found writing Jeanne’s story a very interesting experience. First, she got to know this ancestor very well. Second, she enjoyed all the experiences she had and all the people she met. Along the way, she has studied the French language to improve her communication with people in France and Quebec.
Lynne’s suggestions if you’re thinking about writing a book about your ancestor:
- Be organized. Come up with a system that works for you and stick with it.
- Keep a journal of what you find and where and when you find it.
- Use the Société de généalogie de Québec in Quebec for transcriptions of early French documents.
- Use local archives as well as those for larger areas. Visit the villages if you can.
- Have patience and persevere.
- Stay focused.
- Blog your research.
Jeanne Chevalier, Fille du Roi: Her Story
More information on the book as well as Lynne’s blog is on her website at http://lynnelevesque.com. She will be in France for 2017 conducting more research, so sign up for her blog to follow her travels. You can e-mail her at Lynne [at] lynnelevesque [dot] com.
Other podcasts of interest
- Episode #40- Blogging Your Ancestor’s Story with Lynne Levesque
- Episode #7- Les Filles du Roi, or King’s Daughters
- Episode #44- Filles du Roi-the Perilous Journey
If you have French documents to translate, you can submit them to Dr. Blood from Salem State University for her French language translation class. Directions are in the show notes for episode #56.
We are going to extend last month’s survey for one more month. The question is: Which podcasts, other than those specifically about genealogy, do you recommend to other genealogists? Go here to tell us about your favorite podcasts.
While waiting for those results, try out the new genealogy podcast, Twice Removed, hosted by A. J. Jacobs of the Global Family Reunion. It’s billed as a genealogy show with a mysterious twist at the end.
Not much…yet. Most societies have not yet posted their speakers’ schedules for 2017. Check the website for a society near you to see if there have been any recent postings.
Review in iTunes
Please take a moment to rate and review this podcast in iTunes. Thanks!
Get Maple Stars and Stripes
- Subscribe to the MSS Newsletter
- Subscribe on iTunes
- Subscribe on Stitcher
- Join us on Facebook
- Join us on Google+
How to Contact Maple Stars and Stripes
- Post comments on Show Notes page (MapleStarsandStripes.com/#-of-episode) or at end of blog post
- Go to MapleStarsandStripes.com/contact
- Email me at feedback [at] maplestarsandstripes [dot] com
- Send a voicemail by clicking on the ‘Send Voicemail’ link from any page at MapleStarsandStripes.com