|Also Known As:||"Louis", "Louys", "Gasnier", "Gagné"|
|Birthplace:||Igé, Perche, France|
|Death:||Died in Château-Richer, Québec, Canada|
|Place of Burial:||Château-Richer, Québec, Canada|
Son of Louis Gasnier and Marie Launay
|Occupation:||cultivateur, meunier, boulanger, gestionnaire de moulin; farmer, miller, baker, mill manager|
|Managed by:||Gisèle J.M. Fiola|
About Louis Gasnier
- Location info: Perche, France (birth,marriage), Château-Richer (death)
- Pionnier de la Nouvelle-France. Arrive au Québec avant 1644.
- Il est confirmé le 2 fév 1660 à Château-Richer
- Serait décédé entre le 2-2-1660 et l'inventaire du 14-7-1661 Aubert, Château-Richer, selon René Jetté et Fichier Origine
The original spelling of the name used in France was Gasnier.
This name, in its various spellings, is the tenth most common name in the Province of Quebec today!
The most common spelling is Gagne.
Some have tried to interpret a "meaning" to the name. I was told by a high school French teacher that the name meant "winner." Linguistically, this is a bit of a stretch.
The French verb "gagner" means "to win" or "to earn." Therefore, the derived noun "gagnier" could mean a "winner" or "earner." However, the correct word for "winner" in French is "gagnant."
THE FIRST GENERATION
A translation of the marriage contract of
Louis Gasnier (1612-1661) and Marie Michel (1620-1687),
who were the first of the family to emigrate from France to the New World.
The contract was signed on June 11, 1638 and the wedding was on June 11, 1638
at the Church of Saint Martin in the town of Saint Martin-du-vieux-Belleme, France.
The translation below was done by Peter J. Gagne
Marriage Contract of Louis Gasnier and Marie Michel.
Passed before notary Regnard 11 June 1638.
"On the 11th day of June one thousand six hundred thirty-eight were present in their persons Loys Gasnier, miller,
residing at the Courtoulin mill, parish of Saint-Côme-de-Vair, accompanied by Jean Dubois, his uncle and Pierre Gasnier, his brother residing in said parish, on one side.
And Marye Michel, daughter of the deceased Pierre Michel and Loyse Gory, in life her father and mother residing in Saint-Martin-du-vieux-Bellême, accompanied and escorted by René Michel, her brother and Pierre Guene, her brother-in-law living in said parish of Saint-Martin, accompanied as well by Julien Guillochon, her first cousin,
on the other side,
both of whom promised to take one another faithfully in loyal marriage, if God and Our Holy Mother Church give their consent and accord, and to be married before this latter, as soon as doing so is possible or should one by the other be required.
In contemplation of which marriage said Gasnier has endowed and does endow by these presents said Michel with the customary dower; promising, etc.
Passed in the town of Igé, house of the Juryman; Jehan Petitbon and René Carré, cobbler, present."
Signatories: L. Gasnier, R. Michel, J. Guillochon, Regnard.
THE FIRST FARM, 1646
On October 27, 1646 Louis and Marie leased a farm on the Saint Lawrence River at Cap Tourmente
near the town of Saint Joachim. The farm was known as La Ferme Saint-Charles or La Grande Ferme.
The owner was the "Company of New France."
Its local representative was Olivier LeTardif,
who on March 27, 1647 served as godfather for Louis and Marie's son, Pierre.
THE ANCESTRAL LAND, 1650 AND THE FIRST HOUSE, 1653
Later, on October 20, 1650 the Company of Beaupre granted him a concession
for lot number 96 on the coast of the St. Lawrence River.
He was required to build a house on the property not later than the following year.
The text of his deed to this land is given later in this presentation.
There is a house on this property built on the original foundations built by Louis in 1653.
The current address of the house is 432 Cote Ste. Anne in the town of Sainte Anne de Beaupre, Quebec.
The original house measured 24 by 22 feet including walls two feet thick.
M. Aime Gagne of Montreal has written a book in French:
Pionniers de la Nouvelle-France venus de Perche ($40 Canadian)
This book contains more details on Louis Gasnier and a plan of the original house.
The present owners of this house enjoy dramatic views of the countryside.
The house sits on a cliff overlooking the Saint Lawrence River valley.
From the back porch of this house, facing south, you can see the Isle of Orleans in the St. Lawrence River.
To the left, facing east, the river continues to the Atlantic.
To the right, facing west, is the rear of the great Basilica of Sainte Anne de Beaupre.
death & burial between 02-02-1660 et le 14-07-1661
first mentioned in Nouvelle France in 1644
location of marriage: Vieux-Bellême ou Igé (contrat Regnard)
His date of baptism is Sept 13th, date of birth is unknown,
Il est meunier à l'époque de son mariage en France. Une plaque commémorative a été apposée dans l'église St-Martin d'Igé en 1995.
Below appears in italics a translation of the marriage contract of Louis Gasnier (1612-1661) and Marie Michel (1620-1687), who were the first of the family to emigrate from France to the New World. The contract was signed on June 2, 1638 and the wedding was on June 11, 1638 at the Church of Saint Martin in the town of Saint Martin-du-vieux-Bellem e, France.
Marriage Contract of Louis Gasnier and Marie Michel. Passed before notary Regnard 02 June 1638.
"On the 2nd day of June one thousand six hundred thirty-eight were prese nt in their persons Loys Gasnier, miller, residing at the Courtoulin mill, parish of Saint-Côme-de-Vair, accompani ed by Jean Dubois, his uncle and Pierre Gasnier, his brother residing in s aid parish, on one side.
And Marye Michel, daughter of the deceased Pierre Michel and Loyse Gor y, in life her father and mother residing in Saint-Martin-du-vieux-Bellêm e, accompanied and escorted by René Michel, her brother and Pierre Guen e, her brother-in-law living in said parish of Saint-Martin, accompani ed as well by Julien Guillochon, her first cousin, on the other side, both of whom promised to take one another faithfully in loyal marriag e, if God and Our Holy Mother Church give their consent and accord, a nd to be married before this latter, as soon as doing so is possible or sh ould one by the other be required.
In contemplation of which marriage said Gasnier has endowed and does end ow by these presents said Michel with the customary dower; promising, et c.
Passed in the town of Igé, house of the Juryman; Jehan Petitbon and René C arré, cobbler, present."
Signatories: L. Gasnier, R. Michel, J. Guillochon, Regnard.
LOUIS GAGNE from " Our French-Canadian Ancestors " by Thomas J. Laforest
The last name of Gagné has undergone several changes over the years. It began as Gasnier and then became Ganier, Gaigne and Gagnier before finally settling on Gagné. Gasnier would be an altered form of the word Garnier and means garer," to gather the harvest." Others see the verbal noun of gagner, in the former sense of " to cultivate or cultivator."
Three Gagné founders share descendants with this same name in Canada. François Gagné dit Poitevin, the son of Jean and Andrée Roussette, married to Jeanne Vanasse, the daughter of François and Jeanne Fourrier, on November 3, 1695, at Trois-Rivières. Among their ten children, three sons became "engages" to the West or coureurs de bois (runner of the woods). Two other Gagné brothers were pioneers during the early days of the French regime, Pierre and Louis. Pierre, the son of Louis Gagné' and Marie Launay, native of Igé, France, married to Marguerite Rosee about 1639, at Saint-Cosme-de-Vair, went to Canada with his wife after the birth of his fifth child, Nicolas. We know that the founding couple was at Québec in the summer of 1653 because, on September 17 they had their last child, Marguerite, baptized. This ancestor died on the Beaupré Coast on April 30, 1656. A son of Pierre's named Louis was awarded a seigneurie at Cap-Saint-Ignace by Jean Talon, in 1672, shared with Nicolas Gamache. Several descendants of the owner of the Lafresnaye fief bore the name of "Bellevance".
Louis Gagné, the holder of the largest number of descendants, monopolizes the attention of the lines which follow. Louis, the elder, arrived on Canadian soil about ten years before his younger brother. Pierre died five years before his brother, Louis.
In the southeastern part of Normandy, there is a village called Igé with Belleme as the central place. The river called Meme, a tributary of the Huine, still quietly flows through the middle of this community with a population of a little more than eight hundred inhabitants. Today, Ige is part of the Department of Orne.
It was at the church of Saint-Martin in Ige that Louis Gagné, the son of Louis and Marie Launay, was baptized on September 13, 1612. His godfathers were François Launay, undoubtedly a relative and René Lareau. His godmother was Françoise Launay, undoubtedly a relative. Why two godfathers? Very Catholic prudence! When one godfather died, the surviving one took over the obligations. The grandfather of little Louis was perhaps Christophe Gagné, the widower in a first marriage to a woman whose name has been lost. This Christophe was married again to Françoise Vallee, on April 13, 1587. Louis Gagné only had brothers. Noël and Jacques were baptized, at Saint-Come-de-Vair and Pierre, who would go to New France. Louis Gagné grew up, learned to write with elegance and flourish. He worked with his father as a miller at Guemansais and then probably alone at the mill at Courteoulin, in the parish of Saint-Come. About 1638, he found a rare pearl at Saint-Martin-du-Vieux-Belleme. She had been fatherless since September 28, 1632. She was Marie Michel, the daughter of Pierre and Louise Gory.
The couple lived at Ige where they had two children, the fruit of their love. The elder, Louis, was baptized, at Notre-Dame-de-Vair, on September 8, 1639, in the presence of his godparents, Jean Guillotin and Anne Hourdet. Then, at Ige, on January 21, 1642, the eldest of the daughters, Louise, was baptized in the presence of Marthe Bouillie and Renée Gueve. Like many people of Perche, at that time, who dreamed of the New World, the Gagnés also had their eyes on this land with the immense river, endless forests and inexhaustible riches. Louis Gagné lost his mother, Marie Launay, on April 9, 1640. The ties were broken. It was necessary to create new ones.
ARRIVAL AT QUEBEC
Did the Gagné family cross the ocean in 1643 or 1644? A problem. The easiest answer to give would be 1643. Their daughter, Louise, was then more than a year old. A safe voyage. But a Gagné baptism celebrated, at Québec, on September 20, 1644, raises pertinent questions. Why was Marie, who was born, on the 5th, baptized fifteen days later ...?
The godfather of Marie Gagné was Noël Juchereau des Chatelets, a member of the Company of One Hundred Associates and an educated and influential man, at Québec. The godmothers were Geneviève Juchereau, the daughter of Jean Juchereau de Maur and Marie Langlois, the wife of Jean Juchereau. Why were the Juchereaus interested in the Gagnés? Was it because the Juchereaus had accompanied Marie Michel during the long and difficult crossing? Marie Michel, pregnant, thought that she would be able to give birth at Québec. Did her time come early? The infant Marie was probably born at sea. In addition, is it not necessary to conclude that Louis Gagné was in service to the Juchereaus? He would be in their employ until 1646. The Juchereaus were originally from the Beauce, a province bordering Perche and Maine.
After their two year stay in the vicinity of Québec, where did the Gagné family find lodging? On the Beaupré Coast. Where exactly? Abbot J. Adrien Gagné definitely answers this question in a well documented article published in December 1958 entitled "Notes biographiques sur Louis Gagné, epoux de Marie Michel."
On August 15, 1641, Jeanne Gagnon, the daughter of Jean and Marguerite Cauchon, was baptized "in the house of Beaupré". Although the Gagnons already had some concessions noted, on the map drawn up by Jean Bourdon in 1640, at Château-Richer, they lived "in the said town of Beaupré". This house was none other than the small farm or homestead, at Saint-Charles. The Saint-Charles Farm was comprised of a stretch of land beginning on the west side of the hill called Petit-Cap, more precisely from the property ceded later to Julien Fortin.
In 1663, this Saint-Charles Farm had forty-two arpents of frontal land on the river. The former church, burnt by Wolfe's soldiers in 1759, had been built on this southeast corner of this Saint-Charles Farm, today, the Grand Ferme,at Saint-Joachim.
On October 27, 1646, a document by Henri Bancheron, registry clerk and notary at Québec, informs us that, Louis Gagné, laborer, went to reside there for three years, where he lived "here in the presence of the named Gagnons." On October 3, 1647, in the presence of Royal Notary Claude Lecoustre, Olivier Letardif stated: "Louis Gagné will be grand patron of the said Saint-Charles Farm for six years, from All Saints Day 1646 to that of 1652".
On the farm there were oxen, cows and even some pigs, meadows, workable lands, a stable, barn, yard, a garden and house. It was probably the prettiest farm east of Québec. Olivier Letardif received the title of co-seigneur of Beaupré, on April 17, 1646. He was a respectable man. He also lived "near Cap-Tourmente". Were there several houses on the Saint-Charles Farm? Perhaps.
Louis Gagné was expected to work hard to satisfy the good Olivier Letardif and the Company of One Hundred Associates.
On March 31, 1653, after the expiration of his lease, Letardif acknowledged that farmer Gagné had acquitted himself well of his obligations and that he could leave with his head held high.
Louis Gagné enthusiastically desired to own a corner of his new country for himself. What could be more normal! On October 20, 1650, Letardif ceded him five arpents of waterfront property west of the Grande River in what would become Sainte-Anne-du-Petit-Cap and later on, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. On the same day, Pierre Picard became his neighbor on the east side and the following year Julien Mercier arrived, on the west side.
In his free time, while living at Saint-Joachim, the new colonist prepared a spot of land in order to build a house. This operation was called "faire a desert," i.e. to make a clearing. It was also necessary to hew pieces of scantling (?) and gather stones for the foundations. In the summer of 1653, the Gagné family moved to the territory of Sainte-Anne. On November 30, the marriage contract of their daughter, Louise, was signed in the house and residence of the said Gasnier. Louis harvested wheat, some green peas and probably many other products. The river was at the bottom of the slope, with its fish and wild ducks. The forest was teeming with wild life; hare, deer, moose, etc. The experience of living on the Saint-Charles Farm had given precious knowledge to Louis Gagné and Marie Michel.
Just the same, life was difficult. Louis went into debt. We know that in 1661, he owed 134 livres to the Jesuits, 19 livres to Sieur de la Chenay, 15 livres to Denis Briere and 50 livres to the sailor Jacques Asselin, of the Île d'Orléans.
Nine children inherited life from the Gagné couple: Louis. Louise, Marie, Pierre, Olivier, Louis, Anne, Ignace and Joachim. The first two were born in France, the remainder in New France.
1) The first Louis was baptized, on September 8, 1639, at Notre-Dame de Vair, France. He didn't make it to Canada and probably died in France.
2) Louise was baptized January 21, 1642, at Saint-Martin, Ige, France. She married Claude Bouchard, the son of Jacques and Noëlle Touschard. Claude succeeded Louise's father, on the Saint-Charles Farm. Louise and Claude had twelve children, six girls and six boys. Her descendants are numerous in Charlevois.
3) Marie was born September 5, 1644 and baptized the 20th, at Québec. She married André Berthelot dit Le Loutre, the son of André Le Loutre and Rachel Berthelot, on January 26, 1659 at Québec. They had eleven children, two girls and nine boys. André died, on November 3, 1687 and buried the next day, at Beaupré. Marie married again to Jacques Abelin, the son of Jean and Marie Baudet, on July 30, 1704, at Beaupré. They had no children
4) Pierre was born, at Beaupré and baptized March 27, 1647, at Québec. Louise Faure dite Planchet, the daughter of Jean and Ozanne Planchet, married Pierre, on October 28, 1668, at Beaupré. They had eight children, five boys and three girls.
5) Olivier was born, on May 7 and baptized June 7, 1649, at Québec. He married Élisabeth Pepin, the daughter of Antoine and Marie Teste, on November 8, 1679 at Sainte-Famille, Île d'Orléans. They had ten children, five girls and five boys.
6) Louis(2) was born, on July 7, 1649 and baptized July 18th at Québec. He made Marie Gagnon his wife, on February 9, 1678, at Château-Richer. Marie was the daughter of Jean and Marguerite Cauchon. They had six children, three girls and three boys.
7) Anne was baptized, on October 27, 1653 at Québec. She married Normand-François Lacroix, the son of François and Jeanne Huot, on September 11, 1670, at Beaupré. They had eleven children, seven girls and four boys.
8) Ignace was born, on March 12 and baptized April 15, 1656, at Québec. He married Barbe Dodier, the daughter of Jacques and Catherine Caron, on November 5, 1680 at Beaupré. They had three children, two girls and a boy, before Barbe died on February 7, 1689 and buried the 20th, at Baie-Saint-Paul. Ignace then married again. This time to Louise Tremblay, the daughter of Pierre and Anne Achon, on November 6, 1689, at L'Ange-Gardién. They added seven more children to the Gagné line, five boys and two girls.
9) Joachim was born about 1661. He married Louise Marcoux, the daughter of Pierre and Marthe de Rainville, on January 12, 1682 at Beauport. They had three children, two boys and a girl. Joachim passed on and was buried on February 7, 1688 at Beauport. Louise took the path again to marriage. She married Noël Mailloux, the son of Pierre and Anne Delaunay, on November 7, 1690, at Beauport. They had nine children, five boys and four girls.
THE MYSTERY OF THE TWO LOUIS'S
Louis Gagné and Louis Guimond, two Percherons like Robert Giguere and Julien Mercier, lived at Sainte-Anne-du-Petit-Cap in the spring of 1661. The two disappeared mysteriously. Neither of the two has his burial recorded in the registries of the parish. A document preserved at the seminary of Québec and mentioned by Madame Pierre Montagne, informs us that " on the 18th of this month (June 1661), at 8:00 in the morning began the massacre of several people at Beaupré ... which is found to be true". Rene Cauchon dit Laverdiere drew up the inventory of the property left by Ancestors Louis Gagné and Louis Guimond on July 14, 1661 at Sainte-Anne. The documents were placed in the notes of Claude Auber
The Relations des Jesuites mention a letter written by the captive J. François Hertel: "Do you know Louys Guimont, taken this summer? He had been beaten with clubs and iron rods ... he could only pray to God". As for Louis Gagné, his inventory reveals that the Gagné estate owed 35 livres to the hospital. Because of his mortal wounds, had Louis been cared for by the Nursing Sisters of the Hôtel-Dieu in Québec where he would have died?
A certain confusion is added to the mystery of the disappearance of the two Louis's. Which of the two was the first person miraculously cured by Sainte-Anne in 1658? The relations in the year 1661 tell us that, Marie-Esther Ramage "remembers that, her husband had told her that in his presence Louis Guymond ... had been suddenly cured of a great pain in his back ...". The document "had been placed in my hands by M. Thomas Morel Priest Missionary of the Seminary established at Québec", wrote the Jesuit annalist. There is no doubt, it was Louis Guimond, who was cured by Sainte-Anne.
Abbot Thomas Morel, who had presented his list of "Miracles occurring in the church of Ste Anne du petit Cap Beaupré Coast in Canada", made a new copy signed and dated 1687 in order to present at the Seminary, bears the name of Louis Gaigner instead of Louis Guymond. There is no possible doubt! Was it a slip of the pen, an error in writing or correction? The answer has remained obscured for several years. The signature of Abbot Morel: "Th. Morel priest Missionary and canon of the cathedral of Québec 1687" differs appreciably from the writing in the text of the copy. Had the Abbot indeed reread the text of the copyist? This is the only reflection which we can make.
In any case, Louis Gagné was an excellent Christian. He received the sacrament of confirmation, on February 2, 1660, at Château-Richer, accompanied by his wife and four of his children: Pierre, Olivier, Louise and Marie. The account book of Sainte-Anne-du-Petit-Cap recalls the presence of Louis Gagné at the closing of the fabrique's (church trustee) books, on December 10, 1659. Jean Picard was the church warden at that time. If Louis Gagné did disappear mysteriously, after more than three centuries, he still shines in the heaven of glorious ancestors.
With her young children, the Gagné widow must face life. As the head of the house, she paid her tithe (one tenth of the annual produce of agriculture, etc. formerly paid as tax to support clergy and church) from 1661 to 1665. In 1661, she gave a minot and a half of wheat, worth nine livres. On the other hand, in 1663, the fabrique of Petit-Cap paid her four livres for three days of work. She sold half of her property to her son, Louis, on April 2, 1675. She repurchased it, on July 6, 1679, only to resell immediately to Joseph Pare.
Living at Beauport was Paul de Rainville, the father of five children and the widower of Roline Poete since February 16, 1666. This educated man courted Marie Michel and proposed marriage to her. On the first of September 1666, they signed their marriage contract and had their union blessed.
Until 1680, the bailiff of the Seigneurie of Giffard and Notre-Dame-des-Anges lived at Beauport with Marie Michel, near their neighbor Pierre Marcoux, the father-in-law of her son, Joachim and Paul's son-in-law and daughter. Then the Michel-Rainville couple moved to Bellechasse where they were listed in the census of 1681. They owned a gun and six arpents under cultivation. Having returned to Beauport, Paul de Rainville died, on December 10, 1686. It seems that, Marie Michel placed herself under the protection of her daughter, Anne, living in the parish of Sainte-Anne-du-Petit-Cap. Abbot Germain Morin, curate, blessed her mortal remains on November 12, 1687, so that she might rest in the old cemetery of the ancestors, near her husband Louis Gagné. François Lacroix, her son-in-law, was the sad witness.
All of the Gagnés will remember that, they have select roots, secluded but still, in the soil of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.
FAMILY NAME VARIATIONS
The name of Gagné has many variations: Agnier, Agnagne, Barnabe, Belleavance, Daubigeon, Dobigeon, Dobigon, Gagner, Gagney, Gagni, Gagnie, Gagnier, Gagniere, Gagnon, Gaigne, Gains, Gaines, Gangne, Ganier, Garnier, Gasnier, Jean-Denis, Labrie, Lafresnaye, Migneron, Poitevin, Raphael, Saint-Come, Sanscartier, Toussaint and Winner.
This biography was taken from " Our French-Canadian Ancestors " by Thomas J. Laforest; Volume 12- Chapter 13- Page 127 [4-21-98, James Gagne http://www.jamesgagne.net/]
Note on PRDH record #31704: "Décédé entre le 2-2-1660 (Confirmation) et le 14-7-1661 (Inventaire après décés)"
Louis married Marie Michel, daughter of Pierre Michel and Louise Gory, on 11 Jun 1638 in unknown location, France.1 (Marie Michel was born about 1622 in St-Martin du Vieux-Belleme, Sées, Perche, France,1 died on 12 Nov 1687 in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré, Montmorency, Québec, Canada 1 and was buried on 12 Nov 1687 in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré, Montmorency, Québec, Canada 1.)
Les généalogistes Gérard Lebel et Aimé Gagné ont tous 2 raconté la fin mystérieuse de Louis Gagné. Cet homme à son affaire, aimé et respecté de tous ses concitoyens, ne méritait pas un sort aussi cruel.
En résumé, disons qu’aux printemps de 1660 et 1661, des bandes d’Iroquois, des Agniers, venus d’aussi loin que l’État de New-York, ravagent la côte de Beaupré. Les colons qu’ils ne tuent pas sur place, ils les amènent dans leurs villages pour mieux les martyriser.
Toujours est-il qu’au début de juin 1661, Louis Gagné et Louis Guimont, son 3ème voisin, disparaissent sans laisser de traces. On ne les reverra jamais. On apprendra plus tard qu’ils sont tombés aux mains des Iroquois.
Les « Relations des Jésuites » racontent, avec un délire de détails insupportables, le supplice de Louis Guimont, à partir des dires d’un captif
Français, un certain François Hertel, qui s’en est sorti par miracle, dirait-on : « Il (Guimont) a été assommé de bâtons et de verges de fer… Il ne faisait que prier Dieu… »
On peut penser que notre Louis Gagné a subi le même sort, ou pire encore.
Captured by the Iroquois in 1660. Exact date of death unknown.
Louis & Marie Michel arrived in New France between 1643 and 1644.
Some sources give "Igé, Mortagne-au-Perche, Orne, France" as place of birth. There are three errors with this. First, Mortagne-au-Perche was Mortagne in 1612. Second Igé and Mortagne-au-Perche are two different cities about 15 miles apart. Third, Igé was in the province of Perche in 1612. Orne did not exist as a department until 1790. Therefore, we will say "Igé, Perche, France" but it could also be "Mortagne, Perche, France".
Some sources give "Château-Richer, Montmorency Co., Québec, Canada" as place of death/burial. "Montmorency" did not exist as a county until 1829. Montmorency was removed.