History of an American Family
 

Paul Benoît dit Livernois[1, 2]

Male Abt 1626 - 1686

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  • Birth  Abt 1626  Châtillon-en-Bazois, Nièvre, Bourgogne, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender  Male 
    Census  1666  Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Canadian 
    • Notes by Jane Goodrich:

      carpenter and shipwright

      Paul was listed as a 'shipwright" in the Montreal census of 1666 living with wife Isabelle.
    Notes  Notes by Jane Goodrich  [1
    • Saint Benoit de Nursie founded the order of the Benedictines about the year 529. In the West, Benoit, from the word beni which means blessed, benedictus in Latin, quickly became a very popular first name and a family name as well.

      Several Frenchmen bearing this last name came to New France. Some started families. Here is a partial list of names, Abel, the unknown Alexandre, the carpenter David surnamed LaRuine, Etienne who was a servant of the Sulpiciens, the colonists Gabriel dit Laforest and Jacques dit Laguerre, Joseph, surgeon and major of troops about 1715, the Recollet Laurent, Pierre, seigneurial notary of St-Ours, and many others. Let us direct our attention to Paul Benoit.

      It was at Chatillon-en-Bazois that Paul Benoit was born about 1626. Le Bazois, a tiny region of France, occupied the eastern part of the French province of Nivernais. La Bourgogne, le Bourbonnais, le Berry and l'Orleans surrounded le Nivernais. After the French Revolution, Chatillon-en-Bazois became the capital of the department of la Nievre, in the arrondissement of Chateau-Chinon. Paul brought the surname of Nivernois to New France and it was replaced with that of Livernois.

      How did Paul Benoit, raised in the interior of his country, get the idea of coming to Canada? This is another well-kept secret. Paul, intelligent, but not educated, looked for work as a carpenter outside his village. He was about 25 years old when he was interviewed by a recruiter of Maisonneuve, probably at Nevers where he was working at the beginning of 1653.

      Paul de Chomedey Maisonneuve had been in France since the autumn of 1651 trying to hire 200 colonist-soldiers, first to save and then to develop Ville-Marie. ( Montreal ). It would be a difficult task. He succeeded in obtaining the consent of 154 indentured servants, 120 of whom, like Paul Benoit, honored their signatures. He signed a commitment for five years in the presence of the notary Lafousse, at Lafleche, on March 23, 1653. Because he was a carpenter, he was promised 100 livres as an annual salary. On June 20, at the port of Saint-Nazaire, in the presence of the notary Belliote, he obtained a salary advance of 123 livres.

      That same day he boarded the ship Saint-Nicolas. The son of Francois Benoit and of Dimanche Chappelain looked for the last time at the shores of his country in order to turn towards the horizon of the future which he so hoped would be promising. The sailors hoisted anchor, unfurled the sails and pointed the bow toward New France.

      Could the ship Saint-Nicolas out of Nantes face the ocean squalls? The fact that the ship was not water-tight, was worm-eaten and rotten, might make a difference. All the men, including Paul Benoit were mobilized to make the ship safe - a wasted effort and completely useless! After having traveled 350 leagues at sea, it was necessary to turn back. Water seeped into the hold and threatened to spoil the provisions. Sister Marguerite Bourgeois wrote that everyone would perish without help from the people ashore. Because he strongly feared that his engages would run away, Maisonneuve placed them on an island before docking at Saint-Nazaire. Experts examined the ship. Could it be salvaged? They declared it to be beyond hope. It was necessary to find another ship, to transport the baggage and supplies, to replace that which was missing, and to feed all the passengers while waiting, at the expense of the Compagnie de Montreal. Only on July 20 did the replacement ship Sainte-Marguerite set sail for the New World.

      Alas, to add insult to injury, illness broke out aboard ship. There were a great number of sick people and eight of them died at sea, again according to Sister Bourgeois. We do not know if Maisonneuve suffered from the epidemic. His companions in adversity were ancestors, Jean Auger, Etienne Bouchard, Honore Danis, Pierre Desautels, Pierre Godin, Louis Guertin, Gilles Lauzon, Jean Valiquet, and others.

      Finally, the contingent reached the port of Quebec, on Monday September 22, 1653. It was indeed a deliverance. As a post-script to the ill-fated journey it is to be noted that the pilot was not aware of a shoal which grounded the ship as it arrived. The great tides could not remove it, so it was necessary to burn the ship on the spot.

      Paul Benoit and his friends proceeded to Ville-Marie on foot because Governor Lauzon did not want to provide barges to Maisonneuve, appointed to relive him as the Governor the previous April. It was not until November 16, 1653 that Paul and the others arrived in Ville-Marie.

      Paul had to fend for himself. As a carpenter, work was not lacking. It seems that by 1665, only two years later, he owned a site along the Rue St-Paul, between neighbors Etienne Bouchard and Andre Dumets. He must have been about 32 years old in 1658. He courted a girl, newly-arrived from France named Elisabeth Gobinet and on September 9, 1658 signed a marriage contract with her. The marriage was blessed September 16, 1658. The newlywed couple did not know how to write.

      On May 12, 1659 Paul Benoit obtained 2 arpents frontage on the river to a depth of 15 arpents, all situated between the lands of Pierre Picote de Belestre and that of Marie Pournin widow of Testard de Laforest. On the following June, Jacques Milot exchanged his property of 30 square arpents, owned since August 20, 1655, for the lot of a half-arpent of land belonging to Paul Benoit. in the center of Ville-Marie to include the frame house that Paul had built there. Before the exchange however, Paul must "cover the house with planks at his expense, erect a chimney, build a bread oven for two minots from well cobbed masonry" all to be finished by September 29.

      Meanwhile on July 6, Urbain Jette was hired to build a house in cob masonry, belonging to Benoit. The latter promised to pay him 53 livres as a fee for the transaction. Then Paul looked to resell the land he had acquired from Paul Milot. Bertrand de Rennes dit Pachanne was ready to pay 900 livres for the property, on the condition that Benoit finish the work on the frame of the house already raised, make a bread oven etc..

      Paul Benoit had many arrows in his quiver. A contract signed on January 7, 1660 informs us that he had received another concession of land in the seigneurs domain before the one on May 12, 1659. Benoit sold it to Robert Jurie who agreed to give the seller 17 minots of grain a year.

      Later we learn that Jurie went into combat at Long Sault with Adam Dollard, the Sieur des Ormeaux; that he was captured "saved by the Dutch and returned to France". At that time, Paul completely ceded this land of three arpents frontage to Honore Langlois dit Lachapelle, on October 18, 1660 against damages of 208 livres tournois. The buyer was to make him 10 barrels of lime which were valued at 5 livres a barrel.

      With Maisonneuve as founder, the first organized, regular Canadian militia came about in 1663. It was known as la milice de la Sainte-Famille de Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It was necessary to always be on watch against the daring of the Iroquois who threatened the town of Montreal. By ordinance signed January 27, and proclaimed the next day, Paul de Chomedey made an appeal to all men on the island to volunteer for the defense. In no time at all, 20 squads volantes composed of 7 men each were set up. Paul was part of the sixth along with Etienne Trudeau, Jean Desroches, Nicolas Gode, Pierre Paupin and Francois Bailly under the direction of Corporal Gilbert Barbier.

      After the departure of the Carignan regiment the regular militia was paid by the government of Montreal. There were, however voluntary contributions. Paul was one of the donors. He had contributed 10 sols.

      In the census of 1667 Paul had the same landowners as neighbors as he did in 1659. He was living to the east of Ville-Marie, in the area which is today Rue Iberville, across from Ile Sainte-Helene. At the time, Paul had 12 arpents of land under cultivation.

      In the month of August 1667, Paul Benoit, Honore Danisdit Tourangeau, and Nicolas Gode, Jr., joined together to make "a frame roof en croupe with two dormers" for the account of Jean-Baptiste Migeon, Sieur de Branssat. Total price promised and notarized: 61 livres.

      Pierre Picote was interested in buying a piece of land 10 perches wide by 5 perches long in front of the land of his neighbor Benoit. The deal was reached on April 27, 1670 for 55 livres.

      Evidently carpentry interested Paul more than well-cultivated land. He was a master carpenter. The baliff of Montreal even used his services. Paul and Gilbert Barbier decided on September 16, 1673 that the work done by a carpenter in the construction of a house for Pierre Gadois was worth 250 livres.

      About 1674, Paul Benoit crossed the river to settle on the south bank, more precisely at Longueuil. Why? He had been drawn there by the new seigneur of the area. Charles Lemoine enobled since March 1668, had obtained a seigneurie from Jean Talon on November 13, 1672. He gave it the name Longueuil in memory of a village in Normandy, today in Dieppe, his native town. On June 14, 1674 the baptismal act of Jacques Benoit mentions the son of Paul" habitant of Longueuil". Paul received his concession, 3 arpents by 20, on March 12, 1675. His neighbors were Francois Bleau and Guillaume Gendron dit la Rolandiere. The census of 1681 informs us that Paul owned 5 head of cattle and had 12 arpents under cultivation.

      Paul Benoit found himself so comfortable at Longueuil that he decided on November 20, 1682 to exchange his property in Montreal, on which he had lived for more than 13 years, for a portion of 20 arpents of land that was owned by his neighbor at Longueuil, Francois Bleau, the master baker. In order to settle this exchange, Bleau lent 90 livres to Benoit and erased a debt of 10 days work which Paul owed him.

      Paul never ceased to practice his trade of carpenter. Near Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours, he had built a "portion of a building" for the account of Jean Petit, Sieur de Boismorel. The owner was not content with the work. On October 11, 1683, Paul and Jean relied on competent appraisers in order to amicably resolve this dispute.

      Paul Benoit died on January 1, 1686. The parish of Longueuil was not yet organized, so it was at Boucherville on January 3, that he was buried. He was 66 years old according to the registry.

      Jane Goodrich's source: "Our French-Canadian Ancestors" by Thomas Laforest.
    _UID  7139C61488724FA3823DDF71A5C930365305 
    Died  1 Jan 1686  Sainte-Famille, Boucherville, Chambly, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Buried  3 Jan 1686  Sainte-Famille, Boucherville, Chambly, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID  I5727  Linda's Tree
    Last Modified  13 Jul 2012 

    Father  François Benoît 
    Mother  Marie Dimanche Chatelaine dit Chapelain,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married  Bef 1626  Châtillon-en-Bazois, Nièvre, Bourgogne, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F3855  Group Sheet

    Family  Isabelle Elisabeth Gobinet,   b. 10 Oct 1639, Saint-Nicolas, Gonesse, Val-d'Oise, Île-de-France, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Apr 1715, Longueuil, Chambly, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  16 Sep 1658  Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Children 
     1. Isabelle Elisabeth Benoît,   b. 13 Jul 1659, Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Laurent Benoît dit Livernois,   b. 2 Jan 1661, Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Etienne Benoît dit Livernois,   b. 25 Dec 1662, Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Dec 1728, Longueuil, Chambly, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Marie Anne Benoît dit Livernois,   c. 9 May 1665, Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Aug 1697, Notre-Dame-de-Laprairie-de-la-Madeleine, Laprairie, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Barbe Benoît,   b. 9 May 1665, Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. Hélène Benoît dit Livernois,   b. 17 Sep 1667, Sainte-Famille, Boucherville, Chambly, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. Marguerite Benoît,   b. 27 Dec 1669, Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Geneviève Benoît,   b. 26 May 1672, Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Dec 1689
     9. Jacques Benoît,   b. 4 Jun 1674, Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 7 Mar 1699
     10. François Benoît dit Livernois,   b. 9 Aug 1676, Longueuil, Chambly, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     11. Yves Benoît,   b. 19 Jul 1679, Longueuil, Chambly, Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 24 Nov 1710
    Last Modified  1 Apr 2011 
    Family ID  F3853  Group Sheet

  • Sources 
    1. [S338] Jane Goodrich, (The original information in this record was furnished by Jane Goodrich. Her family has researched this line for many years. Any additional sources noted are the ones I consulted to verify the information which Jane provided.).

    2. [S186] French Genealogy of North America, Denis Beauregard, (http://www.francogene.com/quebec-genealogy/998/), Paul BENOÎT dit LIVERNOIS and Élisabeth GOBINET (Reliability: 3).