Troisieme Generation – 1st Branch – AUGUSTIN PARENTEAU

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Morris, Kathleen Moir, Après la Grand-Messe, Berthier-en-Haut, 1927, Fine Arts Gallery of Montréal.



  Augustin Parenteau, the fourth of the eleven surviving children of Pierre-Louis Parenteau and Marguerite Saint-Laurent, was born in September 1719 in the Petit-Chenal of Yamaska. His baptismal act cannot be found in the registry of Saint-François-du-Lac. It was an omission on the part of the parish priest or «curé» who did not bring the register with him when he visited Yamaska.

On may 25, 1741, in Montréal, Augustin Parenteau, then about twenty-one, signed up to go to Lake Superior on a mission to deliver merchandise and to bring back a canoe filled with fur pelts. With the salary earned from this trip he was able to marry upon his return. He married eighteen years old Marguerite Guillaume also known as Lafontaine, on July 30, 1742 in Louiseville (Maskinongé County). A contract of marriage was signed the same day, in the presence of his parents, his brother, Pierre, his sisters, Marguerite and Geneviève, and the seigneur of Yamaska, Pierre Petit. The bride’s dowry consisted of half of her father’s land situated near the town center of Louiseville. The other half would be given after the demise of the bride’s parents. The young couple had their first child the following spring on April 23, 1743. Only one child of their four children reached adult age. Two others died at the ages of ten and sixteen.

Augustin’s father, Pierre-Louis, died accidently on June 4, 1745, at the age of fifty-five at Yamaska. Two years later, July 11, 1747, his mother, Marguerite Saint-Laurent, convoked her eldest sons, including Augustin, and her sons-in-law to the office of the notary, Louis Pillard, in Trois-Rivières. After consultation it was decided that paternal land in Yamaska should go to Joseph, the third of the seven sons. Three days later the family assembled in Yamaska for an inventory of the paternal goods. Godefroy de Tonnancour, the procureur of Trois-Rivières, authorized the cure to act as notary to reduce expenses. Augustin declared himself to be twenty-seven and gave his share of goods, as did his brothers and sisters to Joseph, who vowed to look after their mother for the rest of her life.

In 1748, Augustin Parenteau was granted another piece of land in Louiseville. The following year his wife died at the age of twenty-five. Two years later, on February 15, 1751, he married Angélique Vanasse also know as Bastien, of Maskinongé. Eight children were born from this second marriage, of whom three died under ten years of age, and another at the age of seventeen in Chambly.

In 1758, Augustin Parenteau came to an arrangement with his mother-in-law concerning goods which his wife had inherited. In 1759 he relinquished his right to any further goods from the Vanasse family.

About 1760, after the conquest of New France by England, Augustin was nominated postmaster of Louiseville.  He hired a Scotchman, Gregory MacGregor, to work for him on his farm and as employee in the post service. Augustin still lived on the land given by his first wife dead eleven years ago. Her parents lived in the same house with the Augustin’s second wife, but not harmoniously. A strong disagreement between Augustin and his ex-in-laws brought them to court. On October 7, 1761, the notary Louis Pillard of Trois-Rivières separated their common goods: house, buildings, lands, animals etc. Fences were suggested to their respective lands. The following year Augustin had to settle in another home. Perhaps the ex-in-laws resented the presence of MacGregor or of the second wife of Augustin.

Gervais Parenteau, Augustin’s son –Fourth generation

    On May 11, 1778, Gervais Parenteau, another son of Augustin, born December 27, 1755 in Louiseville was given land in Saint-Grégoire, Ville de Bécancour, in the fief Roquetaillade, on the present Boulevard des Acadiens. He resold this land in 1780 after having cleared a few acres. On March 7, 1780 he received another piece of land in Saint-Grégoire, in the fief of Godefroy, situated today on the North-west side of the Boulevard des Acadiens, east of highway 55, where one can see a two-story square house built on the foundation of a stone house constructed by Gervais Parenteau in 1812. The stone house was demolished in 1911. The land continued to be transmitted from father to son until recent years.

On November 13, 1786 Gervais Parenteau, thirty, married Marie Desrosiers also known as Dargis, of Bécancour, who would be in 1778 the beneficiary of an inheritance estimated at 105 pounds. Eleven children were born from their union of whom three died at a young age. Five of the sons had descendants. Gervais and his family lived in a wooden house built on the east side of the land. This house was demolished after the construction of the stone house on the west side of the land.

On March 10, 1797 Gervais struck a bargain with the Harts of Trois-Rivières agreeing to provide then with wood for the construction of a warehouse adjoining their brewery between the St. Lawrence River and of the convent of the Ursulines nuns. In 1803 Gervais was visited by his sister, Marie-Anne. She had married Lawrence Flürher, a demobilized German soldier who belonged to the German armies engaged by England during the War of Independence. Marie-Anne asked Gervais to give her his part of the inheritance since she took care of their mother. Gervais accepted this proposition in front a notary.

In 1811 Gervais arranged to have his son, Jean-Baptiste, hired as an apprentice to a master carpenter of Saint-Grégoire. The following year the stone house, which measured thirty feet by thirty feet, was built for Gervais.

In 1816 according to his will, Gervais left his personal and real estate to his two sons, Michel and Jean-Baptiste. Michel would receive the stone house and Jean-Baptiste the wooden one. The inheritance of the other children was foreseen in this gift. Later on Jean-Baptiste and Antoine, both carpenters, would receive different contracts for building houses and warehouses in Saint-Grégoire and Trois-Rivières.

The wife of Gervais Parenteau was buried on May 23, 1831 in Saint-Grégoire. Gervais made a final will and testament on March 7, 1833 and named his son, Antoine, as executor of the will. He died on May 6, 1837 at the age of eighty-one in Saint-Grégoire and was buried two days later. Some of his grandchildren settled in Saint-Célestin, Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel (Rang St-Félix, between Trois-Rivières and Shawinigan).


By Gilles Parenteau. Translated by  Susan Berry –  Ottawa, Ontario