On Genealogy: Filles du roi – Descendants of Jeanne-Claude Boisandré

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Most Canadians are familiar with the King’s Daugther’s/Filles du roi.  The Filles du roi, were some 770 women who arrived in the colony of New France (Canada) between 1663 and 1673, under the financial sponsorship of King Louis XIV of France. Most were single French women, many were orphans. Their transportation to Canada and settlement in the colony were paid for by the King. Some were given a royal gift of a dowry of 50 livres for their marriage to one of the many unmarried male colonists in Canada.

Colonization of New France

I am as French Canadian was they come, but, before I get into the story of my descendant, I want to talk a bit about colonizing New France.  The first settler was brought to Quebec by Samuel de Champlain – the apothecary Louis Hébert and his family, of Paris. They came expressly to settle, stay in one place to make the New France settlement function. Waves of recruits came in response to the requests for men with specific skills, like farming, apothecaries, blacksmiths. As couples married, cash incentives to have large families were put in place, and were effective.

To strengthen the colony and make it the centre of France’s colonial empire, Louis XIV decided to send single women, aged between 15 and 30 known as the King’s Daughters/ les filles du roi, to New France, paying for their passage and granting goods or money as a dowry. Approximately 800 arrived during 1663–1673. The King’s Daughters found husbands among the male settlers within a year or two, as well as a new life for themselves. They came on their own accord, many because they could not make a favourable marriage in the social hierarchy in France. By 1672, the population of New France had risen to 6,700, from 3,200 in 1663.

At the same time, marriages with the natives were encouraged, and indentured servants, Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 1.49.45 PM.pngknown as engagés, were also sent to New France.

The women played a major role in establishing family life, civil society, and enabling rapid growth. There was a high demand for children, for they contributed to the prosperity of the farm from an early age, and there was plenty of food for them. Women bore about 30% more children than comparable women who remained in France. Landry says, “Canadians had an exceptional diet for their time. This was due to the natural abundance of meat, fish, and pure water; the good food conservation conditions during the winter; and an adequate wheat supply in most years.”

Besides household duties, some women participated in the fur trade, the major source of cash in New France. They worked at home alongside their husbands or fathers as merchants, clerks and provisioners. Some were widows who took over their husband’s roles. A handful were active entrepreneurs in their own right

I also want to take a moment to be clear – the indigenous peoples had been living on this territory for millennia. That is, well before the Vikings ventured so far East or the French “colonized” it or the English took over.  So,  I don’t believe they discovered a new territory, the native people were here long beforehand.  They just colonized it made in their own in the name of the King of France.  

Jeanne- Claude Boisandré

I actually descend from several files du roi and filles a marier – but today I am going to focus on Jeanne-Claude Boisandré (1644-1671). A.k.a. Jeanne -Claude Duboisandré was the daughter of Sieur Jacques de Boisandré the Ormelée and Mary Vieuville.

When Jeanne Claude De Boisandre was born in about 1631 in Caen, Calvados, France, her father, Jacques, was 51, and her mother, Marie, was 46.

She married Pierre Rancourt in Saint- Jean, Caen, France.  This IS the line from which I descend … 

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After the passing of her first husband on or about July 24, 1667 in Caen, Departement du Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France, she became a widow Filles du roi and made passage to Canada with her two sons to help settle the new colony of La Nouvelle France.  

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Arrival of the Filles du roi
A view of women coming to Quebec in 1667, in order to be married to the French Canadian farmers. Talon and Laval are waiting for the arrival of the women (Watercolor by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale, 1871-1945. Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada, Acc. no 1996-371-1).

Louis De La Chaise, was the son of Louis and Marie De la Chaise George. Although he is the husband of my 7x GGM, I have a lot of respect for him.  He chose to marry her even though she was widowed and had two children from her previous marriage. For a time he provided them with shelter, a home and being cared for. 

From the Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890:Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 12.37.16 PM

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Paroisse Notre Dame church record of the marriage between De La Chaise and Boisandre

She married Jean Létourneau, son of David Létourneau and Sébastienne Guery January 15, 1668 in Ile d’Orleans, Quebec shortly after De La Chaise died.

Most of the millions of people of French Canadian descent today are descendants of one or more of these courageous women of the 17th century!

Jeanne Claude De Boisandre died on July 24, 1671, in Ste-Famille, Quebec, when she was 41 years old.

Fast forward – as we all know, New France will lose the 7 years war to Britain and will fall, relaying power to the Brits, then commences the dawn of British North America.

My Lineage 

Jeanne- Claude Boisandré + Pierre Rancourt (7th Great Grand Parents)


Joseph Noel Rancourt + Marie Parent (6th Great Grand Parents)

Joseph was born in 1655 in Saint-Jean-de-Lizieux , Normandy, France.

Arrived in New France in 1685

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He married Marie Parent, daughter of Pierre Parent and Jeanne Badeau on February 5, 1685 in Beauport, Capitale-Nationale, Québec, Canada .

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He married Françoise Davaux , daughter of Charles Davaux and Marguerite Aubigny September 18, 1701 in La Visitation -de -Notre- Dame, Chateau- Richer, Capitale-Nationale.

He died March 21, 1719 at Notre-Dame, Quebec. He was buried March 21, 1719 in Notre- Dame, Quebec.|

Charles Francois Rancourt + Marie Françoise Duquet dit Durochers (5th Great Grand Parents)

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Charles Alexandre Rancourt + Marie Josephe Montmigny (4th Great Grand Parents)

Charles BIRTH 15 JUL 1729 Québec, Québec, Quebec, Canada

Charles DEATH 26 MAR 1774 St-Joseph De Beauce, Chaudière-Appalaches, Quebec, Canada


Louis Rancourt + Emelie Terre (Thare/Therre) (3rd Great Grand Parents)

Louis was born on November 26, 1807, in Quebec City, Quebec

Louis died on March 25, 1847, in Calumet, Quebec, when he was 39 years old.


Olive Rancourt + Patrick James Mullen (2nd Great Grand Parents)

PJ was born on 22 Dec 1825 in County Londonderry, Ireland, UK. 


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I’ve found a note that in 1851 there was a Patrick James Mullen was at the Ballycastle Poor Law Union, in Antrim, Northern Ireland.  So, he may hav been in a workhouse, each Poor Law Union in Ireland contained at least one workhouse. This was back breaking work.  Maybe he was in there during the Great Irish Potato Famine from which lasted from 1845 – 1852?  Maybe this was why he decided to leave Ireland? We know little about his parents – who I have listed as Michael Mullen and either Nancy McGinnis or Nancy MCannus according to the Pontiac Records.

He is said to have immigrated to Canada in 1861.

It is family folklore that Patrick James Mullen left Ireland because he did not want to be a priest as his family wished. In Canada he became a schoolteacher (this is confirmed on the census’) and married Olive Rancourt on March 5, 1867.  He is also my dad’s namesake – whose name is Patrick James Richards.

Angelina Mullen + Ambrose Richards (Great Grand Parents)

I understand from Chicky (Mary Rowlands) that Angelina’s mother died when she was quite young (I looked at the records she was 8 years old) and she then lived with another family in Calumet (this may be, but, I cannot find any proof of this because by the next census, her dad was a widower and living with the Lee Family). She knew that her father came from Ireland and that it had been intended that he would become a priest and that he was a school teacher. Other than these facts we know very little about PJ Mullen.


Benjamin Richards + Sarah Lee (Grand Parents)

Refer to my blogs on each of my grandparents – Grampa Benny’s WWII blog and The Lee Side of Me … about Gramma Sally’s side of the family from Yorkshire, England.


Patrick Richards + Mona Lamothe (Parents)

Patrick was born on Jan 15 1954 in Temiscaming,  Quebec , Canada and passed away November 18 2014 also in Temiscaming.

Mona was born on January 20 1956 in Bonfield, Ontario, Canada.



Yet another interesting find and lineage in my genealogy search.  I’m really loving ALL of the interesting things I’m finding out on my genealogy journey.

Genealogy is a fascinating and compelling activity that demands the same kind of persistence and deductive reasoning as detective work. Tracing ancestors is really about solving a series of mysteries. I wonder where my search will lead me next?


T xo

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