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The principal variation of Hudon is Beaulieu; other variations are Bolia, DeHudon, DesHudons, Deudon, Gourdeau, Heudon, Houdon, and Udon

The following translations were done several years ago, with my pathetic attempt at French, but I think they are fairly accurate. In this article you will find:

Translation of `Genealogie des familles de la Riviere-Ouelle' by Adolph Michaud
Added notes from 'La Genealogie de la Famille Savoie' by MME. Caroline Hamelin nee Martin
Added notes from `Une paroisse canadienne du XVIIe siecle' by Abbot Henri-Raymond Casgrain
Notes taken from `Riviere Ouelle de la Boutellerie' by Paul-Henri Hudon

Riviere-Ouelle was named after M.Houel (Ouel), a compatriot of Champlain. On July 20,1707 the land around the Parish of Riviere-Ouelle was claimed by Jean Delavoye, Etienne Boucher, Pierre Soucy, James Gagnon, Pierre Boucher and Francois Gauvin.

Pierre Hudon-dit-Beaulieu was born approx.1649 at Chemille, France, a town in the Val-d'Anjou near the Riv-Loire. He was baptized in the Diocese d'Angers, the son of Jean and Françoise Durand, both born in Beaulieu, France. Beaulieu was a village located in the ancient province of Anjou on the River-Layon and it was from this village that the family name originated (the practice of taking a town name as a surname was a popular European custom. It would differentiate one individual from another and was also a way of keeping one's heritage and of identifying with certain towns that had familial ties). 

A soldier for the Carignan Regiment, in the Company of Master Granville, Pierre arrived in the colony of New France in 1665 (although according to records recorded in some books, Pierre Hudon first appears by name in 1661 on the Isle d'Orleans at the young age of 12). On April 3,1664, according to the official reports of the Sovereign Council of New France, Pierre Hudon, a domestic servant in the employ of Sieur Nicolas Marsolet dit Saint-Agnan, lodged a complaint against the domestic servant of Abraham Martin, claiming abuse. Pierre won his case with the aid of the testimony of Sieur de Tilly and master surgeon Jean Madry and was awarded a provision of food and medicine, totaling in value to about twenty silver livres, and Saint-Martin was ordered to pay court costs.

Pierre appeared again in the 1666 Quebec census at the age of eighteen years and was unmarried at the time, working at the trade of baker. He did not appear in the census the following year and it was nearly ten years before he could again be accounted for in the colony, his whereabouts during that time remaining a mystery (he may have returned temporarily to France, or he may have gone into the fur trade).

On July 13,1676 he made his presence known in the form of a marriage contract at Quebec City at the age of 27. According to Parish registers Pierre was living at Riviere-Ouelle and was the son of Jean Hudon and Françoise Durand, both deceased, from the Parish of Notre-Dame de Chemille, diocese of Angers in Anjou.

His bride, Marie Gobeil, was born in 1655, the daughter of Jean GOBEIL and Jeanne Guiet, both of whom were originally from Saint-Didier de Poitiers and who had later moved to the Isle d'Orleans (The Gobeils were married in France and immigrated to New France soon afterward with their first young children).The marriage of Pierre and Marie was blessed by Abbot Henri de Bernier, in the presence of the father of the bride, Robert Vaillancourt, Monsieur Gachet and Antoine Bernard. The day before the ceremony notary Pierre Duquet drew up the marriage contract between the couple.

The Hudon family did not appear again in censuses until 1681 although the births of their first three children can be found in church records; Marie-Gertrude and Pierre were baptized at Riviere-Ouelle and Catherine-Marguerite was baptized at L'Islet. The family was still living in Riviere-Ouelle prior to the 1681 census, in the seigneurie of la Bouteillerie. Pierre was 32 years of age, Marie was 23 and their children were 4, 3, and 2 respectively -their property consisted of two guns, two head of cattle and ten arpents of cleared land under cultivation. These were considered to be rather meager holdings for a colonist who had settled on his farm at least five to six years earlier and in order to augment the agricultural produce the family had to hunt and fish.

With regards to hunting and fishing at the time, the Abbot Henri-Raymond Casgrain states in his book `Une paroisse canadienne du XVIIe siecle' that `to the resources which our ancestors drew from agriculture, were added those of hunting and fishing, the abundance of which was for a long time incredible. They were the providential manna which prevented the population from dying of starvation during disastrous times when war continually held the men under arms and forced them to let the countryside go without cultivation. The neighboring forests were stocked with native animals such as deer, moose, caribou, bear, lynx, otter, martin, mink, fox, hare, squirrel, etc. Each spring and autumn large flocks of Canadian geese, ducks, wild geese, turkey, teal, woodcock, pheasant, plover, lark, dove, partridge, etc. came to rest on the shores and in the fields'

He continues `proportionately, as the woods were cleared away, hunting was curtailed; but fishing, although quite diminished, is still today an important branch of industry and commerce. Until the beginning of this century, salmon, €shad, bass, sturgeon, eel, herring, rockfish and capelin were caught in a quantity sufficient to make the fortune of each inhabitant if a convenient market was available nearby'.

However, in spite of the abundance of wildlife, Pierre knew that the future of his children lay in agriculture and on February 26,1692 he accepted a seignory in the district of Riviere-Ouelle, a stretch of land given to him by Seigneur Deschamps, which was bounded by that of Jean-Galeran Boucher, by that of the late Jacques Thiboutot and by the River Ouelle. From 1672 to 1676 he managed the Canadian Quarry Terminal at L'Islet, a district comprised of Ste-Andre and Notre-Dame-du-Portage, and it was during this time period that he assumed the surname Beaulieu. Pierre died soon afterward and was buried in his adopted land on April 25,1710 at the age of 60 years.

Marie continued to care for her family after the death of her husband. On August 27,1720 she had an inventory taken of his property and on April 15,1723 she gathered her heirs together for a final division of their inheritance. Marie was able to attend most of the weddings of her children and on November 26,1736 she was laid to rest at her beloved Riviere-Ouelle. Of her was written `Marie Gobeil belonged to this race of women of whom historian Raymond Douville has said, "To them belongs the perpetuity owed by the generations which followed"

The family remained in the Riviere-Ouelle area, some settling in neighboring Parishes such as L'Islet, Kamouraska and Sainte-Anne De-La-Pocataire, and most marriages were contracted with Paradis and Gagnon families, undoubtedly good friends and neighbors. Their known or suspected children include the following:

1-Catherine Marguerite, married Jacques Paradis:

2-Marie Beaulieu, buried at R-O on January 25,1754:

3-Marie Gertrude Beaulieu, baptized July 8,1677 at Quebec, married July 4,1697 at Riviere-Ouelle to Pierre Fortin, s/o Julien Fortin and Geneveive Gamache of St-Ignace. The couple lived at L'Islet and had seven sons and seven daughters:

4-Pierre Beaulieu, baptized at Quebec on May 16,1679, married August 1,1707 at St-Pierre Ile d'Orleans to Marie-Claire Paradis, d/o Pierre Paradis and Jeanne-Françoise Millouer. The couple lived at Kamouraska and had four sons and three daughters. Pierre was buried at Kamouraska on October 17,1741:

5-Catherine Jeanne Beaulieu, baptized July 2,1681 at L'Islet, married June 6,1701 at Riviere-Ouelle to Guillaume Paradis, s/o Guillaume Paradis and Geneveive Millouer. The couple lived at Riviere-Ouelle and had three sons and three daughters, some known children being; Jean-Bernard Paradism.1736 to Marie-Anne Roy: Francois Paradis, m.1750 to Marie-Anne Tardif: and Marthe Paradis, m.Jan.12, 1745, to Francois Masse:

6-Joseph Beaulieu, baptized at Riviere-Ouelle on June 1,1685, married July 28,1711 at L'Islet to Geneveive Gamache, d/o Nicolas Gamache (Seigneur of L'Islet) and Elisabeth-Ursule Cloutier. Joseph was buried at R-O on Dec.12, 1711, and his widow Geneveive re-married in 1713 to Jean Gagnon dit Belzile:

7-Jean-Baptiste Beaulieu, baptized April 26,1687, at Riviere-Ouelle, married Jan. 9,1716, at Riv-Ouelle to Marie-Angelique Gagnon, d/o Jean Gagnon and Jeanne Loignon. Jean-Baptiste died May 4,1754, at R-O, the only home he had ever known and where his five sons and four daughters were raised:

8-Francois Beaulieu, baptized at Riviere-Ouelle on April 8,1689, married first to Geneveive Paradis, d/o Guillaume Paradis and Geneveive Millouer; married second on February 5,1722 at St-Anne-de-la-Proctaire to Angelique Emond, d/o Pierre Emond and Agnes Grondin, widow of Jean-Baptiste Dufaut. This couple lived at Saint-Anne and had three sons and four daughters. Francois died prior to 1740:

9-Nicolas Beaulieu, baptized at Riviere-Ouelle on June 3,1691, married November 27,1713, at Riv-Ouelle to Mary-Magdelene Bouchard, d/o Etienne Bouchard and Marie-Madeline Meunier. Eleven sons and five daughters were born to this couple, and on September 14,1756, Nicolas was buried at Riviere-Ouelle, his native parish where he served as a Lieutenant in the Militia in 1740:

10-Jean-Bernard Beaulieu, baptized at Riviere-Ouelle on February 2,1694, married June 13,1718, at Riv-Ouelle to Marie-Charlotte Gagnon, d/o Jean Gagnon and Jeanne Loignon. This couple lived at Riviere-Ouelle, where their six sons and four daughters were born, and where Jean-Bernard was buried November 19, 1759:

11-Marie-Francoise Beaulieu, baptized at Riviere-Ouelle on March 27,1696, married April 25,1718 at Riv-Ouelle to Jean Paradis, s/o Guillaume Paradis and Geneveive Millouer. The family of two sons and four daughters settled in Kamouraska, and Marie-Françoise was buried at R-O on March 27,1762:

12-Louis-Charles Beaulieu, baptized at Riviere-Ouelle on February 15,1697, married Aug.30, 1723, at Riv-Ouelle to Geneveive-Angelique Levesque, d/o Pierre-Joachim Levesque and Angelique Letarte. Six sons and ten daughters were born to this couple and Louis-Charles was buried at R-O on April 25, 1751:

13-Alexis Beaulieu, baptized at Riviere-Ouelle on August 30,1700, buried R-O on April 1,1720:

Notes taken from `Riviere-Ouelle de la Boutellerie' by Paul-Henri Hudon

Samuel de Champlain founded New France (Quebec) in 1608. This latest acquisition was a Christian colony, which was greatly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church. Missionaries from France traveled into the deepest reaches of New France in an attempt to civilize and convert the Indian population from their pagan ways. The Church was mostly responsible for the beginnings of Hospital care for both the natives and settlers alike, as well as for the system of education, which later became a part of Canadian society.

France and England were in fierce competition for the fur trade in New France and in an attempt to dominate each tried to befriend the native population. The Hurons, the more placid of the two tribes to dominate New France, were allies of the French and were at peace with the settlers and missionaries. The British befriended the Iroquois, and being the more aggressive of the two tribes, were a constant threat to settlers, missionaries and Hurons alike. The result was ceaseless and bloody warfare.

In 1663 Louis XIV of France, in an attempt to protect his country's interests in New France, declared the building of a French colony in her newest acquisition to be a top priority. The settlement and peace of New France was put under Royal Mandate, which was to ensure the safety of settlers, who were mainly of French origin, and to protect the fur trade, which was vital to the survival of New France.

To help enforce the Royal Mandate Louis XIV sent the veteran Carignan-Solieres Regiment to New France to act as protectors and peacemakers, and under the capable management of Jean Talon the colony began to flourish and new industries were developed.

The French-style feudal system was established with members and veterans of the Army, as well as Noblemen of France, being granted seigniors, which made them landlords over vast parcels of land. They would allow commoners to build communities within the bounds of individual seigniorial and in exchange for protection, a flour mill and a place to live, the commoners would provide his landlord with a designated amount of farm produce, human labour or sometimes small amounts of money.

In order to overcome the shortage of white women of French extraction, and in order to control the marriages of French soldiers to native women, ship loads of women, known as King's Daughters, were sent from France. Each was given a dowry of an ox, a pair of swine, a pair of fowl, two barrels of salted meat and eleven crowns, which was enticement for men wanting to take up farming.

The district of Riviere-Ouelle was named after M. Houel (Ouel), a companion of Champlain, and many small Parishes were established within its bounds.

Thirty years of warfare between the French and English led to the Peace of Utrecht in 1713 under which Acadia was lost to the English. This paper gave New France thirty years of armed truce, and every man and boy was expected to serve in the Militia. (The Militia in New France was formed in 1669 in accordance to the wishes of Louis XIV of France and males from the ages of 16-60 were called upon to bear arms if and when necessary)

Some ancestors who served in the Parish of Riviere-Ouelle were;

Joseph Boucher, Captain-1776
Nicolas Hudon, Leiutenant-1740; Ensign-1760
Joseph Beaulieu, Ensign-1760
Pierre Boucher, Sergeant-1760
Bernard Beaulieu, Sergeant-1760
Nicolas Beaulieu, Sergeant-1760
Antoine Beaulieu, Sergeant-1776
Joseph-Bernard Beaulieu, Ensign-1759-60

Both the Church and the Army were very powerful and quite often conflict arose out of disagreement between the two. However, one elite group in particular tended to dominate both. These were the families of Boucher, Gagnon, Hudon dit Beaulieu, Perrault and Jeanneau.

During the Conquest of Canada in 1759-60 a lot of trouble erupted between different factions of the community because of preferential treatment and protection that was given to family and friends of this group of elitists. Older soldiers viewed their actions as treasonous.

Properties were divided, as were families, as the vast tracts of land were divided among heirs. As the families grew larger the parcels of land allotted each grew smaller, daughter often married cousins, and sometimes even brothers, in order to keep the coveted land in the family. A woman's inheritance automatically became her husband's property and the eldest son, who usually inherited his father's estate, provided for a widow. The Beaulieu family was rich and powerful and members held many important positions within the community.

Church bailiffs over a period of years were;

Nicolas Beaulieu, 1768
Bernard Beaulieu, 1770
Joseph Beaulieu, 1770
Joseph Beaulieu, 1773

Church Wardens were;

Joseph Beaulieu, 1767
Antoine Beaulieu, 1771
Antoine Beaulieu, 1769
Bernard Beaulieu, 1771

Church Council Members were;

Louis Beaulieu, Joseph Beaulieu, Jeremie Beaulieu, Antoine Beaulieu, Vivien-Bernard Beaulieu, Nicolas Beaulieu and Bernard Beaulieu, all serving in October 1769

In 1822 elections were held in Riviere-Ouelle in order to appoint a road-master for the building of new highways that would follow the river, thereby connecting many of the smaller communities to the larger cities of Quebec. This would give greater access to larger markets and would also allow the development of industry along the Saint Lawrence River. Joseph Beaulieu was one of those elected.

In 1853 elections were held in the county of Kamouraska and the two main opponents running for Member of Parliament were M. Chapais for the Tories and M. Lettelier for the Liberals. M. Chapais won with a resounding majority of the votes and on December 6,1853 M. Lettelier addressed the Assembly in the Legislature claiming that the election had been rigged and that the voters had been intimidated and threatened by those sympathetic to the Tory party. He also claimed that the then Commissioned Officer, Joseph-Magloire Hudon dit Beaulieu had neglected in his duties by turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the intimidation and violence that voters incurred. It was also charged that he had ignored the use of infants as voters, as well as those votes that were cast by non-existent residents. The Committee recommended that Beaulieu be turned over to the Sergeant in Arms where he would be held for trial and court martial. Joseph-Magloire Beaulieu received 24 hours imprisonment, to which M. Lettelier replied `I regret that he and others were not detained for a long time. It is a good hour for the Chapais Party, which is headed by rouges and bandits'

On July 17,1751 Le Grande Plain, which is akin to a great archeological dig, complete with dinosaurs, was purchased by the Beaulieu family, Jean-Bernard, Jean, Francois and Maurice.

The 9th. Battalion of the Voltigeurs-de-Quebec, a battalion to serve the counties of Temisicouta, Kamouraska and Rimouski, was built at La-Point, on land owned by Rene Hudon, in 1850.

Marie-Joseph-Alphonse Beaulieu, son of Ludger Beaulieu and Eulalie Gagnon, was appointed as Member of Parliament, in the capacity of Deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce for Riv-Bleue, in 1935-36 and 1939-44.

Return to our Beaulieu Family index page