Genealogy Hedgecoe-McKenna History

Information from the defunct Gauthier Association

I’m posting this back when I copied it – Apparently I saved it as a draft rather than publishing it – Oops!

Copies of information from the defunct Gauthier Association from Merlin’s suggestion at the Wed Archive.

The Gauthier patromym

1. Origin of the patronym

a) From the germanic languages “Waldhari” (Wald-Walden meaning ” to govern” and Hari meaning “armed”). Thus from the Teutonic: WALD -> GALT -> GALD -> GAUT WALDEN = to govern, HER = to like
He who likes to govern

Source : “Le livre nos prénoms”, J.M. de Fauville, Parents-Hachette, Paris, 1986, p. 153

b) From the old French:
GAULT = GAL = Small forest and GAUTHIER = Goose’s fledgling

Source : “Votre nom n’est pas une énigme” in the “Revue francaise de Généalogie”, hors série, no 2, Noel ’88, pp 40-41.

c) From the Latin: ARIUS = He who commands
Source : “Les noms de familles” by Dauzat.

d) In Normandy, Gautier was often the surname given to lumbermen. It originated from the old Gallic name “Gaut” meaning forest.

e) GAUTHIER: name of a saint, in latin:VALTHERUS from the old germanic WALDER, which is also written WALTHER, GWALTER, GAUTER (always reflecting the transformation of the W in a G and AL in AU, seen so often. Most etymologists translate this name as “CHEF de FORET ” WALDHER “, which agrees with the mordern german, but not the ancient, which according to FORSTEMANN, would mean, army chief (WALD governor) (HER:army) or august leader, since HER also has this other sense.

Source:”Le dictionnaire des Noms de Famille et des Prénoms” Philippe LAGNEAU et Jean ARBULEAU. Publlisher: Ver noy-Arnaud de Vergre, .No d’Édition:543 de 1980.

2. Variations of the patronym

The name Gauthier has many variations. Here are the variations the name has known throughout history:


Gauthié, De Galtier, Gaultier, Du Gauthier, Gauthey, Gathier, Gathy, Jotthier, Gaudier, Gaudy, Gautiez, Codier, Caudy, Wauthier, Wauthy , Walthère et Gauthy.

Canada and USA

Gauthier, Gauthié, Gothier, Gautier, Gaultier, Gaulthier, Goca, Gocha, Gochee, Gochey, Gochie, Goka, Gokee, Golka, Golkie, Gokey, Golka, Gotchy, Gotchee, Goochey, Goodrich, Gootee, Gooty, Gowty, Gonthier, Gaultie, Gonthier, Gouty.


Gauthier, Gautié, Gauthié, Gauthiez, Gothier, Gautier, Gaultier, Gaulthier, Gouty, Gontier, Gaultie.

3. History of the patronym

Originally, it is not a family name. Around the 12th century in France, it is an ancient first name which sometimes signifies a lumberjack, and at other times signifies a chief or governor. Under the reign of Henri IV, Gauthier was an ordinary individual. It was usually said a “Gauthier” to signify a man of the people.

It was François 1, who, by the decree of Villers-Cotterêts in 1539, made it mandatory to transmit the father’s name to all his children. Therefore, the surname became hereditary and, the name Gautier, became a family name.

In Belgium:

The oldest Gauthier found in Belgium was Walthère, son of Walthère dit Gauthier of Quiévrain in Liège in 1280.

In the 1600s, a certain Jehenne (Jeanne) Codier married Hubert Gilkin on 23 january 1683 in Herstal (actual province of Liège), the Barony of Herstal, a dependence of the Duchy of Brabant at the time. She was the daughter of Pierre Caudy and Ailid Le Gallet, Pierre is sometimes shown as Gauthier or Wauthier.”

4. Pierre Gautier dit Saguingoira

It has been impossible to establish the origin of the name SAGUINGOIRA but it is believed to be an Indian name which he may have received during a trip.

First Gauthier’s in Canada:

04.Pierre Gauthier marries Charlotte Roussel on 12-11-1668 in Montréal
Son of Jacques Gauthier and  Marie Boucher
Daughter of Thomes Roussel and  Barbe Poisson

Pierre Gautier dit Saguingoira

A very first pioneer of Lachine

“In Lachine, in the new municipal park, Mr. mayor Anatole Carignan set up a small house in 1937 and 1938: “La Maison du Colon” (the settlers’ house).

A bronze plaque offered by the municipality, and bearing the names of the first colonists, is affixed close to the entrance door.

The citizens of Lachine honored the memory of the first settlers of their

territory, the colonists who were established from 1666 to 1669.

The first name that we read entered on the list is that of Pierre Gautier dit Saguingoira, my ancestor.

After two hundred and seventy years, Lachine paid homage to him.


Pierre, dit Saguingoira : born in 1629, son of Jacques and Marie Boucher, of the small village of  Eschillais, in Saintonge (today’s department of

Charente-Inférieure); died in Lachine on 5 December 1703, buried on the 6th , 74 years old.

Roussel (Marie-) Charlotte : born in 1646, daughter of Thomas Roussel and Barbe Poisson, of la Ronde d’Évreux, in Normandy; died before 1699, date and place unknown.

The children of Pierre Gautier dit Saguingoira and Charlotte Roussel:

1. – Jean : born in Montreal on 28 September 1669; died date and place unknown; m. Kaskaskia (Illinois) circa 1701, Capei8svec8e, Marie-Suzanne; died date and place unknown.

2. – Joseph : born in Montreal on 20 March 1672; died in Ste-Geneviève; buried on 4 April, 77 years old.

1st marriage: Montreal, 16 August 1699, Clémence Jarry; born in             Montreal on 5 February 1657; buried in Montreal on 18 January 1717, 60years old.

2nd marriage : Lachine, 8 February 1718, Marie Fortier; born in Lachine on 3 August 1691, baptized on 8 August 1691; died in St-Laurent on 8 March 1776, 85 years old.

3. – Jean-Baptiste : born in Montreal on 8 May 1674; buried in Ste-Geneviève on 3 February 1743, 69 years old; marriage to (Marie-) Marguerite Prézot dit Chambly, date and place unknown; born in Lachine on 5 September 1681; died in Ste-Geneviève on 6 March 1757, buried on 7 March, 66 years old. (see note 1)

4. – Anne : born in Lachine on 27 February 1676; died in Pointe-Claire on 17 June 1753 (see note 2); marriage in Lachine on 22 February 1689 to Jacques Denis dit St-Denis; born in 1657; died before 1718.

5. – Pierre : born in Lachine on 25 March 1679; buried in Montreal on 6 April 1742, 63 years old.

6. – Claude : born in Lachine on 16 August 1681; died, date and place unknown.

7. – Marie : born in Lachine on 19 April 1684; baptized on 23 April 1684; buried in Ste-Anne-du-Bout-de-l`Île, 25 May 1728, 44 years old.

1st marriage on 25 February 1702 in Montreal to Alexandre Turpin; born in 1641; died before 1709 (Detroit?).

2nd marriage on 16 September 1709 in Montreal to Joseph Poirier dit Desloges; born in 1685; died at Ste-Anne-du-Bout-de-l’Île; buried on 24 February 1754.

8. – François : born in Lachine on 26 November 1686; buried in Lachine on 9 December 1762, 76 years old; marriage, date and place unknown to Françoise Lecompte; born in 1679; died in Lachine on 27 August 1753, buried on the 28th.

N.B.- Tanguay in his “Dictionnaire généalogique”, tome IV, page 205, omits Anne and Claude. He adds Françoise; she does not belong to the the family of Pierre Gautier.

Pierre Gautier emigrated to Canada in 1667 towards the end of the summer, perhaps in 1668 as early as spring or perhaps in the summer. The exact date is unknown. His name does not appear in the general census of the colonists of 1666 nor that of  1667.

At the beginning of November 1668, he contracts a marriage. He published three banns: thus his arrival was before mid-October. Had he just arrived? The arrivals, suspended during the winter, could see him arriving in the spring or summer of 1668.

He is believed to have been in Montreal since the autumn of 1667, since he seems already established on a farm at the time of his marriage. His marriage is celebrated in Montreal on 12 November, 1668. He is declared “fils de Jacques et Marie Boucher, de la paroisse d’Eschillais en Saintonge”. (see note 3)

He marries Charlotte Roussel, daughter of Thomas Roussel and Barbe Poisson.

Pierre Gautier came from Saintonge, an ancient province of France,

neighboring the region of Poitou. His parents lived the borough of Eschillais. Eschillais still exists. It is a large commune of the department of Charente-Inférieure. It is located a little distance from the sea, to the south of Rochefort and close to Brouage, the home of Champlain.

Charlotte Roussel came from Normandy, of the city of Évreux. The register specifies “de la Rounde d`Évreux”. Évreux, the main town of the department of l`Eure, is not very far from Paris (108 kilometers). “La Ronde” is the parish Notre-Dame. There were, in the XVII century, five parishes in Evreux: Notre-Dame de la Ronde, St-Gilles, St-Leger, St-Pierre and St Thomas.

Pierre Gautier is no longer young. He is an old bachelor: he is 39 years old.

Charlotte Roussel is 22 years old and orphaned of her father. The notary, but not the priest, mentions that she is: “fille de feu Thomas Rouselle”… (daughter of the late…).

The marriage was celebrated by Mr. Gilles Perrot, priest of  Notre-Dame for the last 3 years, and in the presence of Jacques Leber, merchant, of Charles Lemoyne, sieur of  Longueuil, of Jean Gervaise, settler.

It is noticeable that Jacques Leber was from l`Eure, of the same

department as Charlotte Roussel. He would be related to Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, according to Father Lejeune (dictionary). He was brother-in-law of Charles Lemoyne, whose sister Jeanne he had married.

Jean Gervaise was an outstanding settler; he was one of the first three church wardens of Notre-Dame. He is the only one of the three to sign.

Before Bénigne Basset, the first notary of Montreal, they had, nine days before their marriage (November 3, 1668), signed their contract (act 486) witnessed by friends assembled which are for the groom: Jean Gervaise, Jean Fagué, Mathurin Martin: for the bride: “les vénérables et discrètes personnes ” (worthy and discreet persons) the abbots Gabriel Souart and Domonique Galinier. Jean Gervaise is shown in the contract as “settler resident of Montreal”.

He had a site in the city along Saint-Sulpice street backing on that of Charles Lemoine, his brother-in-law, who had his site at the corner of Saint-Sulpice and Saint-Paul streets (see note 4). Above Gervaise, always along Saint-Sulpice street, was the site of the town notary Bénigne Basset.

Jean Fagué, usually written as Fagret, was a friend of Gautier. Father Gabriel Souart is indicated without any other title as: “prêtre du Séminaire établi à Montreal” (priest  established at the Montreal Seminary). He had been the first priest of Ville-Marie (1657 to 1665) and the superior of the Sulpiciens (1661-1668). Mr. de Queylus, having returned to France in 1661, had just returned to the country and he had taken again his duties as superior. M. Souart was one of the four founders of the house of Sulpiciens in Montreal. He used his own funds to maintain many charities.

Father Dominique Galinier is also a “aussi prêtre du Séminaire” (priest of the Seminary).  He was one of the four founders. As, in 1668, he returned to Canada with Mr. de Queylus, Mr d`Urfé Mr. and Mr. d`Allet from a voyage in France (see note 5), one can deduce that Charlotte Roussel had made the crossing with them under the protection or vigilance of these Messrs de Saint-Sulpice and that shortly after her arrival, she married.

Mr. de Galinier died in Montreal three years later, in 1671, Mr. Dollier de

Casson (Histoire de Montréal) says that “sa mémoire est en singulière vénération” (we bear him in singular veneration).

Mathurin Martin is not shown in Tanguay.

Why are Souart and Galinier the witnesses of Charlotte Roussel? Are they her protectors?

The contract is signed in the afternoon  of November 3, l668, for the bride and groom, in the house of Jean Gervaise, and for the sieurs Souart and Galinier in the house of the Seminary, and in the presence of two witnesses living in Montreal; François Bailly, a master-mason, who was a process server in l673 and a substitute tax prosecutor in l678; the other, Jacques Daoust. One does not know much of him. Tanguay shows his burial to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, on 1 April l7l7.

They settle in Lachine.

Already on November 3, l668, at the time of the marriage contract, the notary indicates that Pierre Gautier is a “habitant demeurant en la Seigneurie de La Salle, en la dite Isle, y demeurant” (settler living in the Seigniory of La Salle, living there).

Why this repetition of the word ¨demeurant¨?…Was this carelessness? Did he want to be very precise?

Pierre Gautier is thus already a settler in  Lachine.

Robert Cavalier de La Salle arrived at Montreal in the summer of  l667 (P. Lejeune). He comes to join his brother, Jean Cavalier, Sulpicien, vicar with the Notre-Dame church. The superior of the Seminar, father Souart, concedes land to him on the edge of the Sault Saint-Louis, at a place first called Saint-Sulpice. La Salle keeps  this land in Lachine for one year and half. One year after his arrival, in l668, he dreamed of explorations. He wants to go discover a  passage to communicate (by the Pacific ocean) with China.

He associates  with the governor, Mr. de Frontenac, in the traffic of the fur trade at Cataraqoui (Kingston). As early as January 9, l669 La Salle gives, for cash, his seigniory to the Sulpiciens, in order to provide himself with resources to leave on a  discovery trip; In addition, he sells in February 1669 a batch of 420 acres to Jean Milot, and in July to Jacques Leber and Charles Lemoyne a piece of land of five acres frontage that he had obtained from the Seminary .

One can see in the notary note in the marriage contract that he had conceded in his seigniory a piece of land to Pierre Gautier before l668.

Would the concession of La Salle be the one which the title of concession was given to Pierre Gautier under private signature by Mr. de Queylus, superior of Sulpiciens, two years later, on 3l May, l67l?

The latter comprises a surface of sixty acres, more specifically three acres frontage on lake Saint-Louis and twenty acres in depth; on the western side of the house of…(left blank; the name is not given), on the other side, he abuts  the concession of Charles Lemoyne.

We note once again that the same people appear one beside the other, brought closer by physical nearness or by business.

The concession comes with obligations. Pierre Gautier will need to keep house and hearth in the village…(his land is not in the village);…to have his corn ground at the seigneurial mill;…to maintain the main road necessary to public convenience;…to pay each year, January 17 at the festival of Saint Sulpice , a capon for each of the three acres in frontage and six “deniers tournois” for each  of the sixty acres.

Moreover, he must pay five “livres” for the communal rights (see note 6) and two pennies for the half-acre that he is granted to build in the village according to the special contract that he is given. It is seen, the things happen as in Ville-Marie: The colonist has a site in the village and land in the country.

Since land is not yet cleared in the concession, the signatories undertake to lease some elsewhere.

Gautier’s land is located immediately close to, and West of, what is known today Lachine fish hatchery (Musky).

In the contract of concession from Mr. de Queylus, a characteristic clause attracts attention.

For the first time the name of Pierre Gautier has a nickname, that of “Saguingoira”. The nickname is not known in 1668; neither in the contract of their marriage, nor either in act of baptism of their first child on September 28 of the following year, 1669; in 1670 no document seems to relate to them.

And here on 31 May, 1671, Mr. de Queylus, in his concession under private signature, attaches to Pierre Gautier the nickname of “Saguingoira”. From now on we always meet his name accompanied by this nickname. Even in certain circumstances, he will be called simply by the name of Saguingoira. The nickname becomes current. It will disappear with his sons.

During the autumn of the same year, on November 18, 1671, in a sales contract the notary Basset refers to “Pierre Gautier says Sagonongara”.

On March 20 of the following year (1672) at the baptism of his second child, Mr. Perot, the priest writes: “Joseph, son of Pierre Gautier dit Saguingoira, inhabitant of Lachine”.

This name does not seem to be a “nom de guerre” (army nickname), like La Fleur or La Ramée , that the soldiers took at their entry into service, nor a nickname, which is given, generally, by derision or bitter mockery, nor a term of jest. If the name was offensive, prickly or diverting, the priest apparently would simply not write it down. It undoubtedly has some significance for the people.

What could it mean? Research up to now is unfruitful. His excellency Mgr Guillaume Forbes, who is related to Pierre Gautier through his mother and who, being a priest at Caughnawaga, had learned the Iroquois language extremely well, has not been able to discover the origin of this nickname. In his genealogical notes, he tried an explanation; it is not exact in my opinion. Then, he concludes that he does not consider the nickname extravagant.

The signification thus remains unknown.

Would he already have carried this nickname in France? How to support this opinion?

If this nickname had followed him to Canada, the first documents, as well as the subsequent one, would show it.

Let us continue to follow the life of this family of colonists.

In the autumn of 1671, on November 18, almost six months after Pierre Gautier had accepted his concession of Mr. de Queylus, he and Jean Gervaise, residents of Lachine, sell (ct Basset, no 721) to Charles Lemoyne and Jacques Leber, residents of Montreal, a hovel made with posts  along with dependencies that they had had built at their expense at the village Lachine along with a half-acre of land which had been conceded to Gautier by M. de Queylus.

The sellers recognized having received the sum of 50 pounds for this sale. This sale was made, it is added, without prejudice to the sale that the sieur of La Salle had made them of a piece land located on the island of the said place Lachine, land granted to Gautier by the contract of concession of May 31. This act is used to confirm that the land sold by La Salle to Gautier is the same one which was conceded later by Mr. de Queylus.

The contract is signed in Montreal (l8 November, l671) in the house of Jacques Leber, in the presence of François Bailly, who is known as a sergeant of the Seigneurie, and Pierre Caillé, master-tailor.

In 1673, on the list of the inhabitants of the island, Pierre Gautier appears on the same land.

In 1678, on January 3, by an act (no 7) passed before Claude Maugue, notary of Island of Montreal, Pierre Gautier “dit Chaguingoira” recognizes owing to Master Jean-Baptiste Migeon, sieur of Bransac, the sum of 177 pounds for goods received from Migeon. At  this place in the text, the notary uses the nickname alone. Gautier promises to pay the amount in currency, wheat or good fur skins as desired by Migeon  and in his house at Ville Marie, before two witnesses:

Pierre Cabazié, bailliff, and François Bailly, substitute tax collector. Gautier signs this act with a cross.

The promised sum was noteworthy for a land clearer hardly established for 10 years. He can pay on request: which shows he had revenues and savings.

In 1681, at the census completed on November 14, he is registered without a nickname, at the stronghold of Verdun, (note 7) with the place of his concession between Pierre Cavelier and Etienne Lalande. He already has ten children. The age of the first five is erroneously increased by two years. Among those in his house, one sees appearing one named “Jean”, domestic, 50 years old. Undoubtedly it is his friend Jean Fagret. Gautier states having 25 acres in value: what shows hard work (iii).

In the Judgements of the Sovereign Council, we read that on July 10, 1684, Pierre Gautier “Chaguingoira” receives a commission. He must guard the inventoried goods of Antoine Roy dit Desjardins and of Julien Talus dit Vendamont, two inhabitants of Lachine, the first having been killed by the second. On August 29th, an ordinance of Jean Gervaise, substitute to the tax prosecutor, prohibits Gautier from provide food nor any other thing to Anne Godeby in prison for her part in the crime.

On December 18, Julien Talus dit Vendamont, in prison in Quebec, obtains

permission to make the voyage to Montreal for various reasons and in particular to take note of the state of his  goods in the hands of the justice system and to see if Pierre Gautier in charge of his goods takes enough care so nothing will perish.

Jean Fagret, who seems to have arrived at Lachine at the same time as Gautier, was  established close to him. He had obtained a concession to the West of Gautier. Ten years later, in 1677, he ceases to operate his farm and by an act of community union with Julien Saluat or Talus dit Vendamont, who was the first verger of Lachine, he lets him operate it. At the census of 1681, he did not appear on his land, since he is already living with his neighbor and friend Gautier.

Three years passed and in 1684, on the l8th of July, eight days after the crime by Talus with whom he is no longer in business, Jean Fagret makes a donation to Anne Gautier, his goddaughter, 7 years old, daughter of Pierre Gautier, “for the friendship he has for them”.

This donation consists of “a dwelling in Lachine, contiguous to that of Pierre Gautier, consisting of 2 acres frontage by twenty in depth, together all its goods movable and real… the father will enjoy it until Anne Gautier, the goddaughter, is of majority age”.

This donation is made on the condition that a yearly religious service is held for his soul, to pay his known debts, totaling 72 pounds in all, including 42 pounds for Mr. Mugeon, baillif; 5 to Mr. Milot; l0 to the church of Lachine; l0 to  the Messrs of St-Sulpice; 2 to the miller of Lachine; 4 to Mr. René Cuillerier. He  is owed various sums.

This act (no 949) passed in Montreal in the study of the notary Maugue notary, in the presence of Jean-Baptiste Nolan, who was a trader, and of François Genaples, who was a notary.

The site of the boarding school of the Sisters of Ste-Anne is from this land of Fagret.

On the following year (1685), at an assembly of the church wardens, held on the l8th of February, Claude Garingue is ordered to make the remaining posts to enclose the cemetery “a certain number already having been made and lying in front of the home of Saguingoira”.

In the same year, on 29 July l685, at another assembly of the church wardens, it is decided that: “1.-André Rapin, in addition to the amount he has already paid, will make bring the remainder of the posts necessary to enclose the cemetery, numbering 70, which are at present close the Gautier house… 2.- The priest could use himself all the wood of the old presbytery, as well as the pine from the loads of wood which is close to the  house of Pierre Gautier dit Saguingoira”.

Does that really establish that Gautier lives in the fort? I do not believe it.

On this year l685, Gautier deposits his title of concession of l67l at

the clerk’s office of Bourgine, notary of Ville-Marie. (see note 8)

On April 4, l687, by an act (no l765) passed in front of Benigne Basset, royal notary of the lands and seigniory of the island of Montreal, Pierre Gautier Saguingoira, inhabitant living in Lachine, recognizes owing to Charles de Couagne, bourgeois merchant of Montreal, absent, the sum of l03 pounds, for the sale and delivery of goods, that Pierre Gautier had needed . He promises to pay on demand to the merchant. For this act elected residence at Montreal in the house of Jean Petit, bailiff, and of Jean Quenneville.

The first confirmation with Lachine had been conferred in l68l by Mgr de Laval of Quebec. One of the names on the list of the confirmed, is that of  “Jean Gautier, l4 years old”; same exaggerated age as that in the census; actually he is l2 years old.

In l688, Mgr de Saint-Vallier comes to confer the second confirmation in Lachine.

Anne Gautier and Pierre receive the confirmation. Their age is not indicated; Anne is l2 years olds, Pierre 9 .

In the following year, on 22 February 1689, an important event for the Gautier family occurs. It is  the marriage of Anne with Jacques Denis, soldier of the company of Mr. de Cruzell, from the fort at Dorval. He obtains a six day leave, not yet having the required 12 years of service, as noted on the register. She will not leave the hearth of her parents, for three months before (November 7, l688), in the marriage contract, signed in front of the notary Pottier (no 77), it had been stipulated that the newlyweds would remain in the family of Pierre Gautier, the father, for three years. Their first child, Jacques, will be born only three years later, on the l9th of January 1692.

1689! A tragic year for this family of settlers as well as for the flourishing colony of Lachine. The Gautier family, as has been seen up to now, was made up of good people, faithful Catholics, honest land clearers and having arrived at a certain ease thanks to their work, of good reputation, honorable lifestyle, having good relations with their fellow-citizens. They had a hard, but peaceful and happy existence.

Alas, they will now have a troublesome and tragic life.

The governor of Canada, the marquis Denonville, had undertaken two

years before a campaign against the Iroquois having the intention of reducing their numbers. He treated them horrendously. This policy raised hostile reactions in the savages, which led to  tragedy.

In the night of the 4th to the 5th of August, l400 warriors, united by the Five-Nations, came to exact revenge for the attacks from Denonville, fell on the colony of Lachine. They massacred the inhabitants, devastated their boroughs and their houses. The Gautier family, was not saved.

However, neither the father neither the mother, nor child is shown on the list of the dead in the massacre, nor are they on the list of the prisoners or of the missing. Why? How to explain this absence?

And yet the parents did disappear. What became of them? Does one know what happened to them?

Seven months after the massacre, on February 26th l690, one sees the sale of the land of Fagret, one of the victims not knowing any heirs, it is said, the Seminary sells his land to Jacques Denis, soldier of Mr. de Cruzel, due to Jean Fagret having died.

He is the son-in-law of Pierre. Five years ago, Anne Gautier had been promised this land.

She has been married for one year. She was l3 years old. Her parents were not there to purchase the land. The donation had been made, in case of death, by Fagret as he was leaving for some dangerous voyage, undoubtedly, the expedition of Mr. de la Bar. Therefore having returned healthy, the donation was cancelled.

And what about their children?

A confirmation takes place in the year l690; no Gautier child is confirmed.

On the l3th of May l690, we find (Adhémar, no l639) an engagement by Jean Gautier dit Saguingoira to the sieur Léon Batanchon dit Lalande, a fur trader, for an expedition to Illinois. Of the eight children of this family, the eldest is thus alive.

Nearly two years after the massacre, on May 7th, 1691, a constitution of annuities is established in front of the notary Adhémar (no 1896) by J.B. Potter, himself a notary and resident of Lachine, in favor of the four minor children of Pierre Gautier.

At the suggestion of the Intendant Jean Bochart (1686-1702), sieur de

Champigny, René Cuillerier, merchant living in Montreal, is made tutor

“to manage, it says, the affairs of the four minor children of deceased Pierre Gautier known as saguingoiora and Charlotte… (space is left blank), his wife, taken or killed by the Iroquois”…

We are now certain that they have disappeared. The act even affirms that they have died, taken or killed by the Iroquois. They are regarded as having died: “deceased Pierre Gautier…” They escaped death on the night of the massacre, but they were made prisoners.

In view of misfortune which cut down this family, hundred of questions come to mind and need an explanation. The explanations are difficult.

When did they fall between the hands of the enemy? On the same night or days later?… The incursions of the savages lasted several days. In my opinion, they were taken not on subsequent days, but during the carnage, since on August 5 or the following days, they would have had time to flee.

How is it that the father and the mother are taken and that all the eight

children escape?

The constitution of annuity is established in favor of the four minor children. Were the others not considered as minors? Which are those among the eight children considered as minors? They are apparently the last: Pierre, l2 years old; Claude, 9; Marie, 7 and Francois, 4.

The oldest, Jean, is twenty and one years old. The age of majority at that time is 25 years. He has been engaged for the last year for a voyage to Illinois with the traffickers of fur skins. He is thus not considered a minor.

Anne has been married for two years. One can judge her as having support.

We follow the destiny of all the others in the years to come, with the exception of Claude, of whom we lose sight of several years later.

Why wait two years to constitute an annuity? Did one always expect

the return of the parents from their captivity? Time flew by and in l69l it seems that hope of their return is lost. The act speaks about the four minors of fire Pierre Gautier.

Who took care of these children until then? The priest is a party to the act. Jacques Denis, who became owner of the neighboring land more than a year ago, the land of Fagret, is a brother-in-law to these children. He was living in the house of his father-in-law. He is a mature man, aged 48 (in l69l). It is logical to suppose that he will take care of the orphaned children and take over the paternal land.

The population of Lachine had decreased quite a lot. Because of the massacre, several people had left for Ville Marie. It is noted however that the children of the Gautier family had continued to remain on the spot. Few elements are known to highlight their life, except that the oldest has left for voyages in the remote areas of the country.

Jean, the oldest, signs on May 22 l692, (Adhémar, no 2063) a new engagement with the sieur Batanchon dit Lalande for a voyage to the fort at Michillimakinac, then another one on 2l August.

In this year l692, the brotherhoods of the Scapular and that of the Rosary are established in Lachine. The list of associates in the brotherhood of the scapular contains the name of Marie Gautier. No Gautier appears in the other association.

In l693, on the l0th of September, Joseph Gautier dit Saguingoira also makes a contract of engagement for one year (Adhémar, no 2511). He will help bring a boat loaded with goods for M. de Louvigny, a captain in the detachment of the navy and commander for the king, based at Michillimakinac, a trading post and mission, located in the island and strait which separates Lake Huron from the Lake Michigan.

In l695, on December 9th, Pierre Gautier, son, takes an engagement for two years with Raphäel Beauvais for domestic work (Adhémar, no 3353). He is l6 years old.

On January 22nd, l698, Mr. Dollier de Casson, superior of the Messrs de

Saint-Sulpice, assisted by Mr. Donnay, his representative, leases a concession totaling 60 acres in favor of the children of Pierre Gautier Saguingoira, which is said to be a ¨prisoner of the Iroquois, our enemy¨ (notary J.-B. Pottier, no 204). A document of concession had been given to them by Mr. Dollier in l695, the l3 October, for the continuation of this lease.

Jacques Denis, the son-in-law of Gautier and his neighbor, accepts for Gautier and his children this concession of three acres frontage by twenty in depth to be taken on the front end and joining the sixty acres already conceded to Gautier on the edge of the St. Lawrence river, and on the other side behind land not yet conceded, next to the land of Jacques Denis. At the same time, and on the same date, Mr. Dollier de Casson grants to Jacques Denis a concession of forty acres. It is a continuation of two acres wide by twenty in depth, next to a concession of forty acres he already had next to the land of Pierre Gautier dit Saguingoira, and on the other side of the land of Henri Jarry.

The 16th of August l699 was a beautiful and great day in the children of Gautier. Joseph Denis (27 years old) weds. He marries Clémence Jarry (42), widow of the surgeon André Rapin.

Who acts as witness for the groom? Surprise! It is his father. Pierre Gautier is finally back from his captivity.

What emotions were stirring the heart of this old father at the religious ceremony… His cheerfulness and his spirit must have been evident in his joy at taking part in the rejoicings of the family, the first for him and them in ten years: if the marriage of Anne had been the first in this family, and had hardly celebrated a few months before the terrible drama of l689, this second, that of Joseph, were the first since the painful events of 1689.

When did he return?…Did he escape?… Was he sent back in an exchange of prisoners?… Where did he spend his years of captivity? No fact in this phase of his life reveals it.

He returned alone. He did not bring back his partner of life and exile. She has died; he didn’t want to die. At the paternal house what rejoicing must have been in the heart of the children at the return of their father. They receive a father which they had always expected to return. It is hard to believe in the reality of the present happiness.

What feelings must Pierre have had!… He returns to his village, on his land, in his family, he is home again. Does it not feel strange?…He arrives after a ten year absence. His children grew so much; his neighbors are the same ones, others have replaced them. Is he coming out of a nightmare?

We can easily imagine his courage, his vitality, his enduring force, stronger than most having survived under the blows of the suffering and through misery though though he is 70 years old.

He remembers the years of sadness and affliction, but every day life brings him serenity and peace in the comfort of his family, friendly conversation, and the daily affairs of his children.

On February 23rd, l702, we see Pierre with some of the parishioners, who hold an assembly “to Establish a mission of the daughters of the Congregation of Our-Dame”. They had come to Lachine in l667. It is a donation of Mr. Remy to the factory.

Two days later, on February 25 (l702), he is a witness in Montreal for his daughter Marie (l8 years) who marries Alexandre Turpin (widowed and “aged approximately 60”).

In the following year, on the l0th of March l703, Pierre Gautier divides his belongings. His land of one hundred twenty acres, more precisely three acres frontage on the St. Lawrence river by forty acres in depth, belongs to him and to his wife in community of goods.

An assembly of the family is held in Ville-Marie by the general lieutenant of the island. Jean Quenet and Pierre Barbary dit Grandmaison, son, inhabitant of Lachine, are present. They are named arbitrators to the proceedings of sharing between the father and the eight children and to subdivide the share of the children between them as heirs to late Charlotte Roussel, their mother.

Half, that is one acre and half frontage by forty acres in depth, will remain with the father; the other half of similar nature will go to the children. The father is present at this act of division.

As for the children, Jean is absent. He is with the Outaouais. His representative is Mr. Remy, priest of Lachine, represented in the circumstances by Jean Laperche. Joseph acts for himself and Jean-Baptiste, his older brother. He acts at the same time in the name of and as tutor for Pierre, Claude, Francois, his younger brothers, and Marie, his younger sister, wife of Alexandre Turpin, absent from the country. Anne, wife of Jacques Denis dit Saint-Denis, established for these last years in Point Claire, is represented by François Gantier, sieur de la Vallée-Rané, lieutenant of a company of the detachment of the navy, who is an immediate neighbor on the land of the deceased Fagret.

To determine which of the two halves of land will revert to the father, the arbitrators Quenet  and Barbary draw lots. They call Charles Quenneville, a boy passing in the street, and put two tickets  in his bonnet, one bearing the name of the father, the other with the names of the children. Quenneville stirs up the tickets in his bonnet. The drawn ticket belongs to the father thus he gets the first piece of land, that adjoining the land of Mr. de Lorimier, captain of a detachment of the marine. The second lot, next to the land of the sieur Rané, goes to the eight children.

The arbitrators proceed in the same way for the subdivision in eight parts, the land of an acres and a half frontage by forty acres in depth, for the eight children.

On the same day and before the same notary Antoine Adhémar (no. 640l-07), Pierre Gautier sells his land to Jean Massiot; Similarly, Joseph, tutor of his three brothers and his  sister, sells their share and his. The following day, François Gantier, sieur de la Valley-Rané, sells Anne Gautier’s share to Jean Massiot; the priest Remy, prosecutor for Jean, sells the former’s share, and Jean-Baptiste his share in the division.

On September 8th, l703, Pierre Gautier has a feeling the end of his days approach. He is “détenu” (retained) in bed and a patient in the house of his son Joseph. That morning, he received the last rites. He wants to make his will.

Four persons are present as witnesses: “l’abbé Pierre Rémy, his priest,

François-Joseph and Gabriel Lenoir-Rolland, two sons of the builder of fort Rolland, Pierre Barbary dit Grandmaison. He wishes to be buried in

the new church, opened since July. He wishes that a mass be said over him if time allows it, according to the judgement of his son and executor Joseph”

The remaining part of the will is missing. Mr. Jean-Jacques Lefebvre, curator of the legal files of Montreal, discovered this first part; it reveals several interesting points.

He dies on December 5th l703; he is buried the following day ¨in the cemetery of the church of Lachine (note 9). The register shows he was 74 years old and died of the fevers.

Present are: Joseph, his son, Marie, his daughter, Jacques Denis his son-in-law married to Anne, Clémence Jarry who is the wife of Joseph, Antoine Rapin, a son-in-law of Joseph, and several others “ses enfants, parents, allies, amys, voisins” (his  children, relatives, allies, friends, neighbors). Clémence Jarry, Antoine Rapin and Guillaume Daoust, the verger, sign as witnesses.

Pierre Gautier, towards the end of his youth, leaves his country and opts for the great adventure in Canada. Once arrived, he does not launch into any adventure like La Salle. He establishes himself in Lachine. He was not without some nostalgia for his fatherland. His life evolves closely with nature, at its rate. He is forcibly removed from it inevitably during ten years of cruel captivity. Undoubtedly, he is not a hero like La Salle, but he is undoubtedly one of these men of the land who each built one part of our country.

Arrived at the end of his career, he disappears from the life on the still wild shores of Sault Saint-Louis, in the imposing landscape of the river, close to the land he worked as a peasant and the family exploitation in Lachine.

God called him to his eternal reward. He granted him survival on this earth through his many descendants.

This study sought to show, while penetrating his past, the figure and

the character of my ancestor, a pioneer of Lachine.”

Genealogical study (circa 1940) prepared by Father Alphonse Gautier C.S.V.

NOTE 1: The father and the mother of Marguerite perished with three their children at the time of the massacre of Lachine.

NOTE 2: The register of Point-Claire mentions: “On June 17 was buried

Anne Gautier, approximately 77 years old, daughter of the late Jean Gautier and late Barbe Roussel, her father and mother of Lachine…”. Is she our Anne Gautier? It could well be. It is however some doubt: the first names are different. Wouldn’t this be an error? Jean Gautier and Barbe Roussel are two unknown people as husband and wife having lived in Lachine. Anne’s children may not have been able to remember the first names of their maternal grandparents, who died for more than fifty years ago. Anne was 77 years old.

NOTE 3: It is necessary to rectify the information of Tanguay’s dictionary (p.258) which shows the son of Ignace Gautier, and of Risilly, bishopry of Saintes. Where did Tanguay find the information to make the double error: name of the father and name of the locality? He shows the same mother for him.

NOTE 4: A. Beauregard-Champagne, Cahier des Dix, no 13, p.56

NOTE 5: Tanguay, Répertoire général du Clergé, p. 44.

NOTE 6: A community established by La Salle, some distance to the East.

NOTE 7: Verdun is some six miles from Ville-Marie. In those days, all the Western shore of the island of Montreal was often called Verdun. The census of 1681 does not mention Lachine, but one can easily trace its population among that of verdun.

NOTE 8: Legal files of Montreal: Concession to Pierre on May 30 1671,

dated from Montreal and signed “De Queylus”; deposited with the study of Hilaire Bourgine on March 30 1685.

NOTE 9: The first cemetery is abandoned in 1708. A new one is opened close to the new church.


Michel Langlois in his “Biographie des Ancêtres Québécois” 1608-1700 Tome II, adds:

(i) Pierre Gauthier received the Scapular of Mont-Carmel at Québec on 20 September 1665 (ANDQ CS 20-9-1665).

(ii) On 28 February 1675, Pierre denounces Jean Fagueret dit Petitbois and accuses him of having taken the name of God in vain. Fagueret is fined 100 pounds on the 4th of March. (BM 28-02-1675).

(iii) Langlois adds that Pierre “has two guns, five horned beasts and 26 acres of cleared land “.

(iv) On 30 October 1700, he is among the inhabitants of Lachine who authorize the Sulpiciens to dig a canal up to the Saint-Pierre river.

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Always one for making things pretty, Jenn is our resident artist. Métis, British Home Child Descendant, family historian and genealogist, she is always looking into some new branch of research and encourages historical preservation and education.

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