Jeanne Baillargeon (1654-1733)

While doing some research on a more distant ancestor I was drawn in by a story about Jeanne Baillargeon (pronounced “by – yar – jon”), one of my 512 paternal 8th great-grandparents. 

Jeanne was born in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada on November 5, 1654 to Mathurin and Marie (Metayer) Baillargeon,1 9th and also 7th great-grandparents (This is because they are located on multiple branches of the family tree.  I’ve shown the branches near the end of the post.).  Jeanne was the 3rd of 9 children.2  Also, one of Jeanne’s younger brothers, Nicolas Baillargeon Bocage (a voyageur), is one of my 6th great-grandfathers.  I’ll save him for another story, but his branch of the tree is also included near the end of this post. 

Mathurin and Marie had both emigrated from France to what was then called New France (Canada).  Jeanne’s mother Marie would be considered one of the mothers of Quebec with Mathurin’s and Marie’s family eventually producing an estimated 840,000 to 1,260,000 descendants currently living in Quebec.3  Marthurin and Marie are the ancestors of all Baillargeon in Canada.

Jeanne Baillargeon 1654 baptismal record (in Latin) – Cathedral of the Assumption

According to contemporary lore Jeanne was taken captive by the Iroquois around 1662, when she was about 8 years old, and held by them for about 3 years.  The French once had very good relations with all of the native populations, but in a battle for economic dominance of the fur trade the French took sides with the Algonquians.  This alliance pitted the Iroquois and French against one another.  Over a number of years in the 17th century a series of conflicts resulted, known as the Iroquois Wars or the French and Iroquois Wars.  Jeanne as well as many of our relatives were a part of these Wars.  By the mid 1660s and only after the Carignan Salieres Regiment arrived from France were most of the battles brought to an end. 

Women were scarce in New France because it had been populated mostly by men.  In addition, bringing women from France was a costly endeavor.  As a result, Louis XIV, the King of France, paid money to the Iroquois to release Jeanne.  She was 11 or 12 at the time.  Soon she would be of marriageable age and once she became a mother she could help to populate the new colony. 

In letters written by Mother Mary of the Incarnation to the Ursulines of Tours, “She [Jeanne] was so pleased by the customs of these savages she was determined to remain with them for the rest of her life.”  The story told is that when the French representatives arrived to get Jeanne she hid in the woods and did not want to return to the new colony.  However, she was returned.

The church was concerned that Jeanne’s faith in Christianity had been weakened by her life among the Iroquois so she was given intensive religious instruction upon her return to the new colony.  Paul Hus (an 8th great-grandfather) paid 50 coins to the priest for the honor of marrying Jeanne.4  At the time of their marriage Jeanne was 14 and Paul was 24.   Jeanne and Paul were married on June 16, 1669 at Cap-de-la-Madeleine (now a part of Trois-Rivieres), Quebec, Canada. 

Paul had immigrated to Canada from France sometime before 1666.  On the census of 1666, Paul is working under contract for Robert Giffard in Beauport.  Paul’s parents, my 9th great-grandparents, were Aimard Hus and Marguerite Lenfant who never left France.

Paul Hus and Jeanne Baillargeon marriage contract dated June 16, 1669 recorded in the ledger of notary Jean Cusson5

Paul and Jeanne had 15 children (many people say 14, but I count 15) between 1670 and 1696.  As I looked more closely at their children I stumbled upon a surprising fact: 3 of Paul and Jeannes’ children are grandparents of ours.  The surname Baillargeon is a huge part of our ancestry.

Family of Paul Hus and Jeanne Baillargeon along with known spouses of the children6

The tree branches from these 3 sets of 7th great-grandparents are as follows:

Pierre Paul Hus Cournoyer, Jeanne Catherine Hus Paul and Marie Hus (highlighted, they are siblings) and their associated spouses are all 7th great-grandparents to me.

Nicolas Baillargeon Bocage tree branch
(Jeanne’s younger brother I mentioned earlier)

I also included the branch for Nicolas so you could see that his branch leads to Eugenia “Jennie” Baillargeon while the other three branches lead to William Vadnais.  This is yet another confluence of the Baillargeon tree branches.  Working out the relationships it turns out that not only were William and Jennie husband and wife, they were also 5th cousins once removed.  Another way to say it is that Jennie’s 4th great-grandparents, Mathurin and Marie (Metayer) Baillargeon, were William’s 5th great-grandparents.

Jeanne passed away August 19, 1733 and was buried at Sorel, Quebec, Canada.  She was 78 years old.


In the year one thousand seven hundred and thirty-three, the twentieth of August by me, the undersigned was buried in the cemetery of this parish the body of Jeanne Baijargeon wife of Paul Hu who died the previous day after having – the sacraments of our – church in faith of – sign.

Father Pierre —- (signature of priest)

End of translation.

Paul Hus joined his wife Jeanne about 7 months later on March 20, 1734.  He was 89 years old (The burial record states that he is 85 years old, but his birth is documented elsewhere as 1645.). 


The year one thousand seven hundred and thirty-four,the twenty-first of March by me, the undersigned was buried in the cemetery of this parish the body of Paul Hu died the previous day, age eighty-five in years, after having – the sacraments of our – church in the faith of –.

Father Pierre —- (signature of priest)

End of translation.

Once you start to look at our more distant ancestors it is not uncommon for branches to join back together as opposed to spreading out.  There were very few people who settled New France and many of them are our ancestors.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me by using the “Leave a comment” link located at the top of the page/post.  I am sure that whatever question you may have there is probably someone else wondering the same.  Any reply I make to a question will be attached to that person/post.

Thanks for visiting, come back soon,

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Footnotes for Jeanne Baillargeon post

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