Marie Priault ou Briault

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Marie Priault ou Briault

Also Known As: "Marguerite Briault/Brau/Breau/Briau/Priault"
Birthdate: (54)
Birthplace: Fontenay-le-Comte, Poitou, France
Death: February 24, 1699 (50-58)
Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Place of Burial: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Immediate Family:

Wife of Pierre Jofrion dit Geoffrion St-Jean
Mother of André Geoffrion; Jean Geoffrion; Marie Geoffrion; Toussaint Geoffrion; Michel Geoffrion and 5 others

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About Marie Priault ou Briault

Her married name was Joffrion. She was also known as Priault. She was born circa 1645 in France.

Prior to 1663 the majority of women who arrived in Canada were married to one of the settlers or were single women who came looking for a husband. These single women were few in number and often paid their own passage to Canada by a contract of indenture. In 1663, when King Louis XIV became concerned with populating the colony, he directed the recruitment of women to be sent to Canada.

Once chosen, the girl was given passage, in addition to clothing and personal necessities. She was also promised a dowry of 50 livres if she married a soldier or habitant, or 100 livres if she married an officer.

At least 770 women arrived between 1663 and 1673. Their distinction of being a King's daughter is noted by the marriage contract, which showed the dowry from the king.

Pierre Joffrion married Marie Briau (Priault) about 1669. The marriage contract is missing but it probably took place either at Contrecoeur or at St-Ours in Nouvelle-France. The registers of these parishes are incomplete for this period.

Marie Briau witnessed the baptism of Marie Joffrion on 27 April 1672 at Boucherville, Nouvelle-France. She also witnessed the baptism of Toussaint Joffrion on 14 January 1676 at Boucherville, Nouvelle-France. She witnessed the baptism of her son, Michel Joffrion on 26 October 1677 at Boucherville, Nouvelle-France.

Marie Briau and Pierre Joffrion appeared on the census of 1681 living in Verchères: Pierre Joffrion, 43 years old; his wife Marie Priot, 36; children: André, 11; Jean, 9; Marie, 8; Toussaint, 6; Françoise, 4; Anne, 6 months; 3 horned cattle; 8 acres of land.

Accompanied by her son André, then 14 years old, Marie journeyed to Ville-Marie on 13 October 1684. The purpose of this trip was to visit Notary Benigne Basset to make out an affidavit regarding certain goods belonging to Lord de la Fontaine of Montréal.

On 27 October 1684, with his wife's consent, Pierre contracted the services of his son, Jean to Catherine Primot and Charles Lemoine for forty pounds per year. Jean was thirteen years old.

In Chambly, La Prairie, Boucherville and Verchères, coexistence with the Iroquois became increasingly difficult beginning about 1689 and settlers began abandoning their land around 1690. The Verchères fort was attacked in 1690 and again in 1692.

In 1690, Madame de Verchères underwent, practically alone, a seige by the Iroquois. The manor-house of Verchères was enclosed by a palisade with a few redoubts. Under cover of these improvised shelters, the coolness and pluck of Madame de Verchères so told upon the Iroquois that they withdrew, thinking that she could not be alone.

"What these beseigers hoped," says Charlevoix, "was to take possession, without difficulty, of a place that they knew to be stripped of its male defenders. They renewed their attacks more than once, but the lady scattered them every time. She fought in this way for two days with a courage and presence of mind that would have done credit to a veteran, and she finally compelled the enemy to retire for fear of being destroyed, humiliated at having to fly before a woman.

Three of her sons and three sons-in-law were killed while fighting the Iroqouis.

These attacks were to continue for about ten more years and Pierre Joffrion left his land and took refuge with his family in Montréal. On 4 February 1698, he sold his land in Verchères to Pierre Guertin for fifty pounds.

Marie Briau died on 24 February 1699 at L'Hôtel-Dieu, Montréal, Nouvelle-France. She was buried on 25 February 1699 in Montréal, Nouvelle-France.

Alternate surname: Priau

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Marie Priault ou Briault's Timeline

Age 25
New France
April 17, 1671
Age 26
Montréal, Quebec, Canada
March 25, 1672
Age 27
Boucherville, Quebec, Canada
December 25, 1675
Age 30
Verchères, QC, Canada
October 26, 1677
Age 32
Age 33
Boucherville, Quebec, Canada
February 19, 1681
Age 36
QC, Canada
Age 36