Robert Lévesque (1642 - 1699) MP

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Birthplace: Hautot Saint-Sulpice, Normandie, France
Death: Died in Rivière-Ouelle, Kamourska, Quebec, Canada
Occupation: carpenter, Carpenter for Vessels, Ships, Carpenter/Landowner, Carpenter, Habitant et Charpentier, Charpentier, Master Carpenter
Managed by: Sylvain Levesque
Last Updated:

About Robert Lévesque

Robert Lévesque , fils de Pierre Lévesque et de Marie Gaumont, a été baptisé le 3 septembre 1642 à Hautot-Saint-Sulpice, Yvetot, Normandie. Vers 1670, Jean-Baptiste Deschamps se voit octroyer la Seigneurie de La Bouteillerie par le roi de France. Il engage six personnes de la région de Roquefort, en Yvetot, qu’il amène avec lui pour ouvrir la Seigneurie. Robert Lévesque est du nombre.

Ils arrivent sur le St-Jean-Baptiste à l’été 1671 et après un court séjour à l’Ange-Gardien remontent le fleuve jusqu’à la Rivière Ouelle.

Robert travaille d’abord comme charpentier à la construction du manoir, puis le seigneur lui attribue une grande terre près de la rivière Ouelle. Il a comme voisin immédiat, Galeran Boucher (ancêtre principal des Boucher) et second voisin Damien Bérubé, un maçon,recruté comme lui par le Seigneur Deschamps.

Robert y construit sa maison et le 22 avril 1679 il va épouser Jeanne Chevalier, veuve de Guillaume Lecanteur, à l’Ange Gardien. Elle était la fille de Jacques-Alexandre Chevalier et de Marguerite Romian de Dieppe en Normandie.

Robert adopte les enfants Lecanteur et donne à Jeanne six autres enfants.

Trois d’entre eux meurent en bas-âge et les enfants Lecanteur n’atteignent pas la maturité. Robert Lévesque décède le 3 septembre 1699 à l’âge de 58 ans à Rivière Ouelle.

Après la mort de Robert, Jeanne Chevalier se remariera au seigneur Deschamps et lui survivra encore quinze ans après la mort de celui-ci en 1701. -------------------- Robert Lévesque looked after the building of the first church of Rivière-Ouelle. He was also one of locals who fought back Phipps' troops at Rivière-Ouelle Point in 1690. During his lifetime, Robert Lévesque built a substantial estate, especially after he purchased three properties from Joseph Renaud in 1692. At the end of his life, he owned two properties of 12 by 42 acres and three other smaller ones. Jeanne, on her part, inherited a piece of land granted by lord Deschamps to her son Nicolas Le Canteur who died in 1692. The Lévesque-Chevalier couple can be considered to be relatively wealthy.

Robert Lévesque and Jeanne Chevalier had six children: five sons and one daughter. -------------------- The first "Canadian" ancestor was Robert Levesque who was born in France in a small Norman town called Hautot St. Sulpice (Seine Maritime). Robert arrived in Canada in 1671 and lived in Riviere Ouelle on the right bank of the St. Lawrence River. It's about 120 miles from Quebec City. They had six children: Francois-Robert, Pierre, Joachim, Marie-Anne, and Marie Anne. -------------------- Robert Levesque, son of Pierre and Marie Caumont, was baptized, about 1641. He was originally from the town of Hautot-Saint-Sulpice, Department of the Seine-Inferieure, Arrondisement of Yvetot, Canton of Doudeville, Province of Normandy, France.


ROBERT SETTLES IN NEW FRANCE


Why did Robert come to Canada when, he was almost 30 years old? It's a mystery! It seems probable, but by no means certain that, he arrived, in New France, in June of 1671. He was thought to have been aboard the ship SAINT-JEAN-BAPTISTE, in company with Jean-Baptiste Francois Deschamps, the future Seigneur de la Boutellerie. The new Seigneur was accompanied by "two carpenters, two masons and four laborers", whose job it would be to clear up to 1000 arpents, of the land, given to Deschamps, as a grant from the King. One of these carpenters was Our Ancestor, Robert Levesque.


Seigneur Deschamps, considering discretion the better part of valor, abandoned this concession, from the King, because of the Iroquois menace. He obtained another, in a more hospitable area, from Jean Talon, the King's Intendant, on October 29, 1672. It was to become the settlement known as Riviere-Ouelle. One can imagine the bustle of activity, as laborers, masons, carpenters and all hands turned to erecting shelters, before winter set in.


The name, of Robert Levesque, is mentioned, officially, for the first time, on November 10, 1674. This was the day that, he received his own grant of land, from the Signeur. It read:

            "....containing 12 arpents, of frontage, on the river Ouelle and 30, in depth, of uninhibited land, in the said seigneurie".

Moreover,

            ...."given and conceded three arpents, of frontage, by six, in depth, in the grasslands, to the south, called the Grand Anse, with the right to fish salmon, at that spot, called the Point of the Southwest".

We know also that, after this date, Robert worked as a carpenter, on building the Seminary of Quebec.


On April 22, 1679, at L'Ange-Gardien, Robert married Jeanne Chevalier. Of course, this was preceded by a contract, of marriage, written up by Notary Paul Vachon, the day before.


Jeanne was about thirty-four years old, the daughter of Jean and Marguerite Romain, of Saint-Nicolas de Coutances, in Manche, Normandy. A young Canadian missionary priest, Guillaume Gaultier, himself born, at Quebec, in 1653, blessed the marriage. Mathurin Huot and Charles Letarte assisted, at the wedding, as witnesses.


This was the second marriage for Jeanne Chevalier. She was the widow of Guillaume Lecanteur, Sieur de la Tour, the son of Nicolas and Jeanne Hamelot, of Saint-Sauvier de Beaumont-en-Auge, Normandy. Lecanteur was already living, in Quebec, as early as July 9, 1670. He signed his marriage contract with Jeanne, on October 11, 1671 and they were married the 19th, at Chateau-Richer.


This couple had three children: Nicolas, Charles and Guillaume. When the census, of 1681, was taken, Nicolas and Charles were mentioned , but not Guillaume. Nicolas was born, September 7, 1672 and baptized the next day, at Chateau-Richer. He died November 1, 1692 and buried the next day, at Riviere-Ouelle. Charles was baptized, on December 21, 1675, at L'Ange-Gardien. He died October 5, 1699 and was buried the next day, at Riviere-Ouelle. Guillaume was baptized July 24, 1678, at L'Ange-Gardien. As mention above, he was not on the 1681 census.


A BIG LANDOWNER


While Robert Levesque lived at Riviere-Ouelle, he was known as a carpenter but, he made more of a living out of farming of the land. According to the census, of 1681, Robert owned four guns, eleven head of cattle and ten arpents of land, under cultivation. On June 20, 1683, Robert acquired another property.


Then, in one single deal, with Joseph Renaud and his wife, Marie Lehoux, on August 11, 1692, Robert bought three parcels, of land and a house, on the Riviere-Ouelle, in what must have been one of the most complicated land transactions, of the time. As best can be deciphered, from the none too distinct text, it went something like this:

            "One piece, measuring 12 arpents, in frontage by, 42 in depth, is adjoined to the southeast by lands, not yet conceded and on the other side, by property, of Rene Hoylet, in part and by that of the seller....plus, a beautiful large parcel, of farm land, located between the land already specified above and that, of Damien Berube, who lives to the southwest; to the unassigned lands, bordered on two sides by, the river Ouelle....the remainder of the six arpents, of land, conceded, by Deschamps, to Pierre Michel, on May 18, 1683, having been conceded after the other part, of the land, of the aforesaid six arpents, to Rene Ouelet....plus half a point, of land....opposite to the holdings of Pierre Dancosse, following the act of concession, of the seller, made on July 30, last (1692), in order to replace and compensate, for the part subtracted from the six arpents above....".

Whatever it may have said, one thing is clear, Robert Levesque became about as big a landowner as existed, at the time.


A PATRIOT


In 1690, the British Admiral, Sir William Phipps, tried to take Quebec. En route, he menaced the settlements, along the Saint Lawrence River. His fleet made an attempt to disembark troops at Riviere-Ouelle. The Reverend Pierre Terrier, of Francheville, a fiery but provident patrio, Cure of Riviere-Ouelle, from 1689 to 1692, organized the defence. A dozen men hid, in the underbrush, along the bank and there, we find Robert Levesque, weapon in hand. They waited until the soldiers were in boats and approaching the shore before opening fire. The surprised Englishmen retreated back, to the tending ship, LA POINT and sailed away. At least Riviere-Ouelle was saved for awhile.


ROBERT AND JEANNE'S DESCENDANTS


Robert Levesque was buried, at Riviere-Ouelle, on September 13, 1699. The Cure De Roqueleyne wrote, in the register that, Robert had died "the 11th of the current month". Assisting, at the burial, we find Guillaume Lizot and Robert Morin. Our Ancestor was about fifty-eight years old and the father of six children, five boys and a girl:


  1) Francois-Robert was born, on February 12, 1680, at Riviere-Ouelle and baptized two days lster, at Lauzon. He married Marie-Charlotte Aubert, the daughter of Felix and Claire-Francois Thibault, on November 7, 1701, at Riviere-Ouelle. They had eleven children, seven boys and six girls.

  2) Pierre-Joachim was born, on January 24, 1682, at La Pocatiere and baptized, on April 21, at Lauzon. He married Angelique Letarte, the daughter of Charles and Marie Maheu, on June 30, 1705, at L'Ange-Gardien. They had thirteen children, seven boys and six girls.

  3) Joseph was born, on December 11, 1685 and baptized, on January 6, 1685, at Riviere-Ouelle. He married Angelique Meneux, the daughter of Jacques and Marguerite Peuvrier, on November 26, 1704, at Riviere-Ouelle. They had nine children, six boys and three girls.

  4) Jean-Baptiste (1) was born, on October 13, 1686 and baptized seven days later, at Riviere-Ouelle. He died, in December, of 1687 and was buried, on March 11, 1688.

  5) Jean-Baptiste (2) was baptized, on February 3, 1688, at Riviere-Ouelle. He died and was buried, on March 11, 1688. (same day as his brother???)

  6) Marie-Anne was born and baptized, on October 3, 1690, at Riviere-Ouelle. She died ten days later, on October 13, 1690 and was buried two days later.

Today, his descendants are numerous, throughout North America, especially in Quebec, in the Maritime Provinces and in New England.


A THIRD MARRIAGE


After the death, of her second husband, Jeanne Chevalier married the first Seigneur, of the Riviere-Ouelle, Jean-Baptiste Francois Deschamps, the son of Jean and Elisabeth de Bin, on April 5, 1701, at Riviere-Ouelle.


Deschamps was baptized, in 1646, at Cliponville. A town, in the Department of the Seine-Inferieure, Arrondisement of Yvetot, in Normandy. He was a dignified man, very preoccupied, with the welfare of his family and his tenants, who honored him. He spent 50,000 livres, of his own money, to develop his seigneurie. His first marriage was to Catherine-Gertrude Macard, on October 24, 1672, at Quebec. Their contract, of marriage, was made before Notary Romain Becquet, on the 16th, of the same month. Gertrude was the daughter of Nicolas and Marguerite Couilllard.


Jean-Baptiste and Catherine had five boys, between 1673 and 1681. Catherine Macard was buried, on November 21, 1681, the same day that, she gave birth to her last child, who died four months after birth. We find her burial record, at L'Islet since, the parish of Riviere-Ouelle was not yet organized.


The first baptism, written, in the parish record, of Riviere-Ouelle, by Father Pierre Permelnaud and dated, January 6, 1685, was that of Joseph Levesque, the son of Robert and Jeanne. It was after twenty years, as a widower that, the Seigneur Deschamps married Jeanne. He died and was buried, on December 16, 1703, at Riviere-Ouelle. They had no children.


As for Jeanne Chevalier, she lived on for several more years. Father Bernard De Roqueleyne celebrated her funeral Mass, on November 25, 1716. He wrote, in the register:

            "Dame Jeanne Chevaillier, wife of the late monsieur Deschamps de la Bouteillerie (and widow of Robert Levesque) died the 24th, of the current month, with the sacrements, of the church, at age of about seventy-eight years. Assisting, at her burial, were Jacques Boy and Jacques Gagnon, who have signed".

FAMILY NAME VARIATIONS


Descendants of Ancestor Robert quickly became either Leveque or Levesque.


Those who opted for Leveque became Eveque or Sansoucy.


Those who retained the original family name developed into Bishop, DeRomprez, DuSablon, Lafrance, Larcheveque, Lavague, Laveck, Lavoke, Lebrascroche, Levake, Leveque, Lavague, Levock, Levque, Loveaque, Rompre, Sanoucy and Sansoucy.



This biography was taken from "Our French-Canadian Ancestors" by Thomas J. Laforest; Volume 1- Chapter 16- Page 159 3-5-98

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Robert Lévesque's Timeline

1642
August 29, 1642
Hautot Saint-Sulpice, Normandie, France
September 3, 1642
France
1671
June 1671
Age 28
1671
Age 28
Quebec, Canada

Jean-Baptiste-François Deschamps de la Bouteillerie, gentleman from the region of Caux, the same area Robert Lévesque is from, was promised a seigniory by the king of France. At the end of June 1671, Deschamps sailed from Dieppe on the Saint-Jean-Baptiste with two carpenters, two masons and four laborers. Robert Lévesque was probably one of the carpenters. On October 29, 1672, lord Deschamps received the grant of the seigniory of la Bouteillerie. Chances are he was already working on his land as early as 1672, maybe even before the date of the grant.

1671
Age 28
1674
1674
Age 31

Robert worked first as a carpenter during the construction of the lord's manor. Then, on November 10, 1674, lord Deschamps gave him a tract of land of 12 by 30 acres southeast of the Houel river. A 1683 transaction pushed the depth of the land to 42 acres. His immediate neighbor was Gallerand Boucher and his second neighbor, Damien Bérubé, a mason also recruited by lord Deschamps.

Robert built his house and started to clear the land. For 20 months, between 1675 and 1677, he worked on the building site of the "Petit Séminaire" of Québec. The ledger of the Petit Séminaire shows that he was hired to work "on the framework" during his last four-month contract.

1675
1675
- 1677
Age 32
1679
April 22, 1679
Age 36
L'Ange-Gardien, Quebec, Canada
1680
February 12, 1680
Age 37
Rivière-Ouelle, QC, Canada
1682
January 24, 1682
Age 39
Cap-Saint-Ignace, Montmagny, Quebec, Canada