Deuxieme Generation

2016, September 16th.

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Pierre-Louis Parenteau and Marguerite Saint-Laurent


Krieghoff, Cornelius, Maison de ferme à Sainte-Anne, Fine Arts Gallery of Québec.

                 Birth in the seignory Rivière Saint-François

Pierre-Louis Parenteau, the youngest of the five surviving children of Pierre-Louis Parenteau and Madeleine Tisseran, was born at the beginning of January 1690, in the seignory Rivière Saint-François. He was baptized in the family chapel of the manor of Jean Crevier, on January 12, 1690. His godfather was Louis Crevier, son of the seigneur, and his godmother, Marie-Marthe Forcier. His sisters were Marguerite, Marie-Renée, Marie-Jeanne and his brother Charles. In the parish records of official acts he was never designated by his father’s war name: Lafontaine. Only his sister Marie-Jeanne used this surname Lafontaine on two occasions, at the baptism and the burial of her first child in 1708 at Beauport.

His father, Pierre Parenteau, was originative of Bazauges, the canton of Matha, township of Saint-Jean d’Angély, department of Charente-Maritime, in France. He came in Canada in 1666. On September 12, 1673 in Québec City he married Madeleine Tisseran, originally from Liancourt, north of Paris. They settled on the island of Saint-Joseph in the seignory Rivière Saint-François across from the village of Notre-Dame-de-Pierreville, where today one can see an abandoned house from the nineteenth century. It was on this island that Pierre-Louis came into this world in January 1690. 

Childhood in Québec City

     Pierre Parenteau, Pierre-Louis’s father, was killed by the Iroquois (Mohawks) in August 1693. Before , in 1691 or 1692, his wife and his five children went to live in Québec City temporary,  far from the danger of the Iroquois, on Petit-Champlain Street just below the present hotel Chateau Frontenac. Pierre-Louis grew up in Québec City where his mother remarried on July 27, 1695. Her second husband was Jean Charpentier nicknamed Pythagoras. It was also in Québec City that Marguerite, the eldest daughter, married a sailor called Jacques Berthelot on the first of December 1696. Charpentier and Berthelot were arrested for robbery on January on January 28, 1697. Their wives were questioned on the following February the twelfth. Charpentier was banished from the city of Québec for three years. Thus Pierre-Louis grew up in a world of sailors, soldiers and merchants, near the

port of Québec, in a poor part of the lower town. On May 16, 1701, in Québec City, the bishop administered rite of confirmation sacrament to Pierre-Louis Parenteau, eleven years old.                         

  Adolescence in the seignory Rivière Saint-François

Between 1700 and 1705, Madeleine Tisseran with her second husband, Jean Charpentier, came back to live in the seignory Rivière Saint-François accompanied by two of her five children, Pierre-Louis and Marie-Renée. Her daughter, Marguerite, stayed in Québec City with her husband. The other two children from her first marriage, Marie-Jeanne and Charles Parenteau, probably remained in the Québec area since their names can be found in the parish registers of Québec City and of Beauport.

Madeleine Tisseran died in the seignory Rivière Saint-François at the age of fifty-five, and was buried on October 13, 1705. Her second husband, Jean Charpentier, moved from the land belonging to the Parenteau heirs and bought some land nearby on Fort Island in 1706. He remarried another widow on the ninth of October, 1706 in Varennes. In time he returned to Quebec City where he fought with and seriously wounded a military man. He was condemned and imprisoned but managed to escape and fled the country. During all these years Pierre-Louis lived on the paternal land with his sister, Marie-Renée, and her husband, Pierre Bibeau, whose marriage had taken place on November 17, 1706. Charpentier died in Lavaltrie, on April 3, 1731. 

Settling in Yamaska

At the age of twenty on April 10, 1710, Pierre-Louis came into possession of a piece of land on Petit-Chenal road of Yamaska, civic number 299 (lots nos. 513 to 516 and 530 in the land registry of Yamaska). He obtained this land through an order signed by the seigneur of Yamaska, Pierre Petit. Pierre-Louis married Marguerite Saint-Laurent, seventeen years old, on July 28, 1711 in the seignory of Saint-François. He sold his inherited land on Saint-Joseph Island to his brother-in-law on January 20, 1712.

On March 5, 1721 Pierre-Louis was present at a meeting of the inhabitants of Yamaska. This meeting, which took place at the manor of Jean Crevier at Saint-François, dealt with the frequency of religious services needed in Yamaska.

An enumeration made by the seigneur Pierre Petit on June 3, 1723 showed that Pierre-Louis possessed, apart from his land, a house, a barn and a stable. According to several contracts from that period in Yamaska, the house was constructed of posts planted in the ground, with a small roof made of hay and measuring about seventeen feet by fourteen feet. This type of house called a «settlement house» was temporary. In 1723 Pierre-Louis had cleared six acres of land which could then ploughed and sown. In 1732, 1738 and 1739 he appeared in court to settle minor disputes; for instance, a quarrel about a fence, a complaint against neighbors who were accused of destroying his marten traps and mutual name-calling with the Desrosiers family. In the later case the two families were summoned by the judge to declare each other «honorable people». As was the custom, Pierre-Louis participated in militia exercises which were held on Pierre Morneau’s land at the far south of the island «Du Domaine» near Petit-Chenal.

Pierre-Louis Parenteau and Marguerite Saint-Laurent had fourteen children of whom eleven reached adult age, seven boys and four girls. One of the three children died prematurely drowned at the age of eight with a boy of the same age. The three elder sons, Pierre, Augustin and Joseph founded well known families. The eldest son was the ancestor of the Parenteau Métis from Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as of descendants in the province of Québec. The second son, Augustin, had a son, Gervais, who joined the Acadian community of Saint-Grégoire, a city of Bécancour, and was the founder of most of the Parenteau line in the Trois-Rivières area and Abitibi. The third son, Joseph, was the link with approximately 75% of all existing Parenteau descendants in North America, and of many Parenteau and Parranto and Peronto clan from Minnesota, USA. The fourth son, Mathurin, became (through his son Joseph) the ancestor of the Parenteau Métis in Manitoba, the Parenteau descendants known as Parenteau-Mathurin.

The three youngest sons, François, Jacques and Michel frequently travelled in the region of the Great Lakes and Central Canada for the fur traders of Montréal and the La Vérendrye brothers. Theirs descendants are not known.

Pierre-Louis Parenteau died accidently on the fourth of June 1745, at the age of fifty-five years old under circumstances which remain a mystery. He was buried the next day in Yamaska. His widow, Marguerite Saint-Laurent, lost no time in sending for a notary to record the gifts of land Pierre-Louis had verbally left to two of his sons. Then on the eleventh of July 1747, she summoned her eldest sons and sons-in-law to the notary, Louis Pillard of Trois-Rivières. They were to discuss the choice of a son to whom would be given personal and real estate, in return for promising to look after his mother in her old age. Joseph, the third of the seven boys, was chosen. On the fourteenth of July the goods, albeit modest, were enumerated. Marguerite Saint-Laurent died on the fifth of September 1775, at the age of eighty-one, at the home of Joseph married to Marie-Jeanne Georgeteau also known as Jolicoeur. She was buried the next day in Yamaska. In her lifetime she had been called upon to act as a midwife for some of the pioneer women of Yamaska.


By Gilles Parenteau. Translated by Susan Berry