Michel Pelletier dit Antaya

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About Michel Pelletier dit Antaya

As is the case for the previous two generations of Pelletiers in Québec, our understanding of the life of Michel Pelletier is based on parish and municipal records; certain facts come to us from books published over the last century that compile these records.

We know that, given his ages in 1681 and in 1697, Michel is born about 1674, during which time his father still resides in Sorel. Presumably, while still a boy and until he is a young man, Michel works on the land of his father, be it Sorel or Antaya, clearing trees, sowing seeds, and reaping harvests.

Church records being our sole insight into the life of young Michel, we do not encounter him until he is at Sainte-Famille on the Île d'Orléans in 1697: that spring he witnesses the baptism of his niece, and that summer he weds Françoise Meneux-dit-Châteauneuf.

Although we do not know how long Michel has lived at Sainte-Famille, we do know that two of his sisters preceded him there: Marguerite and her husband, Charles Boucher, settled there about 1693, and Catherine witnessed the baptism of her nephew there in 1695.

How long Michel has known Françoise is another mystery, but we might modestly presume that it is long enough for them to meet and become acquainted, to court, appreciate, and perhaps even to love one another.

During the first seven years of their marriage, Michel and Françoise reside in Sainte-Famille, where their first five children are baptized. In 1704 he returns with his family to the seigneurie d'Antaya, settling permanently shortly thereafter in his native Sorel. It is worthwhile to note here that soon after they resettle in Sorel, Michel and Françoise bear a daughter whom they christen "Dorothée," presumably to honor the memory of his father's first bride.

Now, at the same time that Michel returns to Sorel, about thirty miles away in the areas of Trois-Rivières and Gentilly live two men named Michel Pelletier, one of whom is "Pelletier de Laprade." Apparently to avoid being confused with these other two men, and perhaps as a gesture of respect, Michel Pelletier adopts the name given his father by the Montagnais a half-century before. He calls himself "Michel Pelletier-Antaya" for the first time in 1705, at the baptism of his first son born in Sorel, and with few exceptions he is so cited in parish records from this time forward.

March 4, 1721, Michel is among the delegation of twenty-two Sorelois who present to Benoît-Mathieu Collet, member of the Superior Counsel, their petition to establish a true parish at Saint-Pierre, and to acquire a resident priest. The following September 20, the bishop of Québec grants their request and establishes the parish.

From its 1724 Aveu et dénombrement, an inventory of all its inhabitants and property, we learn that the Domain of Sorel includes fifty-two habitants, thirty-eight houses, thirty-eight barns, forty stables, sixty arpents of prairie land, and 596 arpents of arable land. We also learn that Michel Pelletier-Antaya is a fortunate landowner: his parcel totals ten arpents by thirty, of which twenty-five are arable and five are prairies, and on which sit a house, a barn and a stable. Besides the landlords' personal estate, it is the largest single property in the Domain, and only two other concessions include as much arable land; Michel's real estate is worth some three thousand livres.

Françoise Meneux dit Châteauneuf dies in Sorel the first day of 1741 at the age of sixty-five. Michel survives her by some four years, cited for the last time at his son's wedding in Saint-François-du-Lac, April 25, 1744. Within a year he too has died, and on March 24, 1745, his and Françoise's estate is divided among their children, all co-inheritors.

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Michel Pelletier dit Antaya's Timeline

Sillery, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Ste Famille, I.O., Montmorency #2, Quebec, Canada
April 2, 1698
Age 24
L'Île-d'Orléans Regional County Municipality, Quebec, Canada
May 28, 1699
Age 25
October 30, 1700
Age 26
Age 28
Age 30
Age 31
September 30, 1709
Age 35
Sorel, Pierre-De Saurel Regional County Municipality, Quebec, Canada