Jean Ouimet, first son of Jean and Renée Gagnon
By Denis Ouimet (3)
Translated by Marc Ouimet (155)
This is the first of four publications about four children descending from Jean Houymet or Wuillemet and Renée Gagnon. Jean, Louis and Pierre assured the survival of the surname Ouimet and Ouimette while Marguerite became the matriarcal ancestor of many Turcot and Turcotte families.
Jean Houymet or Wuillemet
and Renée Gagnon’s Family Tree
A bit of history
Jean Houymet or Wuillemet, ancestor of all Ouimet and Ouimette families (as well as other variations of our surname) arrived in Québec City on Monday 16 June 1659 « around 6 pm (1)». A few months after his arrival, namely Friday 7 November 1659, he signed a farmer’s lease with Guillaume Thibault and Marie-Madeleine Lefrançois, in front of Notary Claude Aubert. Amasingly, the following day, on Saturday November 8, he signed a contract for a land purchase in front of the same persons (2). At 25 years old, he had just become a settler or farmer and must have contemplated having a family in a properly established property.
On Monday 2 February 1660, the new Bishop, François Montmorency de Laval is in Château-Richer at the little wooden chapel built in 1658, to confirm the young and the old of the parish. We believe that Jean and Renée knew each other before the confirmation date, since they lived less than three kilometres apart. A single road connected the inhabitants of the Côte of Beaupré, namely the King’s Road, now known as Avenue Royale.
Jean and Renée joined their destinies in the Fall of 1660 in Château-Richer on the 3rd of October. That’s what the marriage contract written by Notary Aubert indicates. Since the religious document cannot be found and has been lost, the wedding certainly took place a few days later in the little chapel, or maybe even so, in the home of Jean Gagnon and Marguerite Cauchon as was the custom at the time.
A few months later, around February 1661, Renée breaks the good news to Jean that the stork will pay them a visit before the end of the year.
Birth of Jean, first generation of Ouimet in New France
On 19 November 1661, Jean Junior, a sturdy boy, is welcomed by his happy parents. It is noteworthy to believe that the birth might have taken place in the Gagnon home where Marguerite, who brought eight children to the world, could have helped her daughter, by acting as a midwife. She was a grandmother for the second time, since her daughter Jeanne had given a girl, Catherine, to her husband Jean Chapleau in 1658. The baby was baptized the same day by Father Thomas Morel, who was the priest responsible for the faithfuls between Montmorency Falls and Cap Tourmente, including the Isle of Orléans. He pursued his ministry from Château-Richer, and all the certificates of births/baptisms, marriages and deaths/burials were consigned in the register of the parish of the Visitation of Notre-Dame. The following persons are present at the christening:
Jean Houymet, the baby being baptized, Jean Houymet, the father, Marie Gasgnon, the mother (it’s Renée), Jean Gagnon, the grandfather and godfather of the child, Louise Morin, godmother of the child (the wife of Charles Cloutier, 2nd neighbour) and Thomas Morel, the priest.
His childhood and his youth
Jean Ouimet Junior spends the first two years of his life in Château-Richer. His younger brother Louis, the couple’s second child, is born on 18 September 1663. These children could, later on, play with the neighbouring children, that is, the children of Guillaume Thibault and Jean Cloutier.
Jean, his father, is fascinated by land on the Isle of Orléans, which is more productive, has larger surfaces and is not as steep on the upper part of the terrace. He succeeds in getting a concession of 2 arpents wide on the Saint-Lawrence «at the northern passage» in the territory of the parish of Sainte-Famille, on 10 April 1662 from Charles de Lauzon, Sieur de Charny (the notarized act by Paul Vachon, doesn’t exist anymore). We cannot determine precisely when the little family moved to the Isle of Orléans. Note that Notary Barthélémy Tession indicates in Pierre Paillereau’s land purchase contract, dated 8 February 1664, that Jean Houymet is a neighbour. Furthermore, we find Jean, Renée, Jean Junior and Louis in the demographic census of 1666 and 1667 in the parish of Sainte-Famille.
Sainte-Famille census of 1666 - household 42 (carried out in Spring of 1666)
Jean- father 31 years old
Renée 20 years old
Jean-son 4 years old
Louis 2 years old
Sainte-Famille census of 1667- household 63 (carried out in Fall of 1667)
Jean-father 30 years old
Renée 20 years old
Jean-son 6 years old
Louis 4 years old
While they were settling down on the Isle of Orléans, we believe that Jean and Renée chose not to add any more children to their family because they were very busy clearing the land and properly establishing their dwelling. On 11 January 1667, Marguerite, the couple’s first daughter is born, but doesn’t appear in the 1667 census carried out later in the year. On the other hand, we find her baptism certificate, dated 15 January 1667, in the registers of the parish of Sainte-Famille (7). From that moment on, all the children born to that couple, will be baptized in the parish of Sainte-Famille, Isle of Orléans. Today, on our ancestor’s land, we can feast our eyes on the magnificent ancestral home belonging to Mr. Arthur Plumpton and Mrs. Nicole Simard, as well as Mr. Laval Gagnon’s business across the road where, in June 2009, the Association installed a commemorative plaque.
Pierre Paillereau and his wife Hélène Cartier married in 1665 were neighbours of Jean and Renée, as well as Jean Allaire and Perrine Therrien married in 1662. These couples’ offsprings will respectively be born as early as 1662 and 1665.
A contract by Notary Jacob, dated 26 January 1668, indicates that Lord Bishop Laval concedes one additional arpent to the land of Jean and Renée making it three arpents wide on the north shore of the Isle of Orléans.
We cannot say much about Jean and Renée’s first child, except for dates relative to births and deaths of his brothers and sisters as well as departures from the family home due to marriages. The previous table indicates precisely the surnames and important dates associated to members of his family.
The 1681 census brings additional precisions concerning the family. We can observe the increasing number of children in the household along with their ages. Please note the error on Renée’s age.
1681 census Sainte-Famille - household 46 (completed in November 1681)
Jean- father 50 years old
Renée 22 years old (sic)
Jean Junior 18 years old
Louis 16 years old
Marguerite 13 years old
Marie-Madeleine 10 years old
Jacques 5 years old
Jeanne 3 years old
Jean Junior becomes head of the household
The outstanding event in Jean Junior’s life is certainly the death of his father at the age of 53 on 18 November 1687. We don’t know the cause of his death. The oldest of the family, at 26 years old, Jean Junior had to assume the responsibility of head of household along with his brother Louis who was 24 years old at the time. Together, with the other children, they supported their mother Renée and ensured the survival of the family by working diligently on the family farm.
As for Renée Gagnon, she seems to have had a hard time getting over the loss of her loving husband. Firstly, the estate’s inventory was done eleven months later, on 26 October 1688, in the presence of Notary Vachon. Secondly, Renée didn’t seem to want to bequeath the family farm to her children. Thus, on 14 February 1695, for unknown reasons, she gives half of the land of three arpents to Pierre Courteau in front of Notary Chambalon. On the following April 13th, she gives this same land to the Québec General Hospital where she seems to have spent the last days of her life between 1695 and 1702.
Jean and Renée’s children get married and leave
The same year, on 16 October 1688, Marguerite Ouimet is the first of our ancestor’s daughters to leave the family farm to get married, in the Sainte-Famille church, to François Turcot, son of Abel Turcot and Marie Giraux. The youngest of the family, Pierre born in 1683, is five years old at the time.
Louis is the first son to get married, five years later, on 3 February 1693, in the Sainte-Famille church, to Marie-Anne Genest dit Labarre. She was the daughter of Jacques and Catherine Doribeau. Their children are second generation Ouimets born in New France.
Jean Junior, the eldest son, will remain single until 1702 and seems to have lived on the family farm up until that moment. Had he promised his mother to live on the farm and take care of it until she’d pass away? We do not know. It is noteworthy to point out that Marie-Madeleine, born in 1672, passed away in 1702 also. Mr. Pierre Ouimet (10) expressed the assumption that she might have been victim to the outbreak of smallpox that was rampant in the Québec City region towards that year end. Could she have died from the same affliction as her mother?
Shortly after his mother’s death, Jean Junior acquires some land in the Seigniory of La Durantaye (11), on 19 April 1702, from Jean Guillemet and his spouse Marie-Anne Blais. At the time, Jean Junior is the uncle of five nephews and four nieces born from the marriages of his sister Marguerite and his brother Louis.
Jean Junior marries Marie Juin
A few months later, on 22 November 1702 in the church of Saint-François de l’Île d’Orléans, Jean Junior, 41 years old at the time, marries Marie Juin daughter of Pierre and Jeanne Beaujean (Beaugean...Bouchot). Marie is 26 years old and was born in the parish of Sainte-Famille in 1676. The second page of the religious marriage certificate shows different ages, which we discovered upon deciphering (12) the act written by François Lamy. François Turcot, Jean Junior’s brother-in law, is a witness at the ceremony.
Both parents being deceased, Marie-Madeleine, Louis and Marguerite married, there remained only Jacques (26 years old), Jeanne (24 years old) and Pierre (19 years old) in the household on the family farm. We believe that they went to live with their older brothers, if not with Marguerite and her husband François, in order to give them a hand following the sale of the family farm to this same François Turcot.
Again, we believe that during the first few years of married life, the newly married couple was busy clearing their land and making themselves comfortable. This kind of reasoning would explain why no births were registered for Jean Junior and Marie, unless her health didn’t permit her to bear children.
Image of marriage
After the publication on the one part, three other days before the said marriage at the parochial masses of this parish & the Sainte-Famille of the three banns of the future marriage between Jean houymet forty years old son of the late Jean houymet and Renée gaignon inhabitants of Sainte-Famille on one part and Marie Juin daughter of the late Pierre Juin and Jeanne Beaugean of this parish aged twenty-six years of age on the other part and having discovered no obstacle to the future marriage I parish priest of this parish undersigned have married them and at last gave the nuptial blessing as per the form prescribed by the Church presence of Simon Billodeau, François Turcot, Antoine Beaudoin, Antoine Billodeau who declared not being able to sign except for the said Turcot who signed according to the ordinance on this twenty-second day of November one thousand seven hundred and two.
F. Lamy François Turcot
On the 10 August 1704, misfortune hits St-Michel-de-la-Durantaye when Marie Juin passed away at the age of about 28 or 29 years old. In those days, epidemics were frequent and we believe that it could have been the cause of her death. Unfortunately, the burial certificate does not indicate the cause of death. One thing is certain; Jean Junior was a widower without any children.
A second spouse for Jean Junior, Marie Bissonnette and children
A widower for only the five months, Jean Junior marries Joseph Forgues’ widow, Marie Bissonnette, who had been a widow for almost two years that is since February 1703. The religious marriage is celebrated on the 8 January 1705 in Beaumont, a neighbouring parish located about ten kilometres west of La Durantaye.
Marriage certificate of Jean Ouimet Junior and Marie Bissonnette,
8 January 1705, St-Étienne-de-Beaumont church
On the eighth day of the month of January of the year one thousand seven hundred and five after publication of the three marriage banns at the parochial masses in the church of St-Michel de la Durantaye the first on the twenty-seventh the second on the twenty-eighth of December of the year one thousand seven hundred and four and the third on the first of January of the year one thousand seven hundred and five between Jean ouymet widower of the late Marie Juin of the said parish of St-Michel in the Quebec diocese on the one part and Marie Bissonnet widow of the late Joseph Forgues of the same parish and diocese on the other part and having found no legitimate obstacle I the undersigned priest missionary performing parish priest functions in the said parish and in the parish of St-Étienne de Beaumont took in their mutual consent orally in their presence and gave them the nuptial blessing as per the form prescribed by our Holy Mother The Church in the presence of Jean Bissonnet brother of the bride Martin le Blond Clément Labonté Claude Lefevre all from the same parish of St-Michel whom have all declared not being able to write nor sign this request following the ordinance.
Marie Bissonnette, born 11 March 1677 in Sainte-Famille, was the daughter of Pierre and Marie Dallon. Please note that Marie Dallon was a «fille du Roi» or« King’s Daughter» who arrived in New France in 1668.
This time around, the Goddess of fertility permitted Jean Junior and his new spouse to beget four children who are second generation Ouimets born in New France.
Marie-Madeleine, the eldest was born 14 March 1706 at La Durantaye and died 13 April 1708 at the same place. In 1708, a still-born infant is shown in the parochial register of La Durantaye. The couple’s third child, Gabriel, is born 14 January 1709 and will ensure the descent of Jean Junior. We’ll describe his contribution in the following pages. Finally, there is Jean, born 26 June 1712 in Beaumont and deceased 4 October 1733 in La Durantaye at 20 years of age. In short, we’re left with Gabriel who can ensure the descent of Jean Ouimet and Marie Bissonnette. Jean Junior will die on 22 April 1749 and his wife on 5 April 1754.
Gabriel Ouimet perpetuates the surname
The following chart illustrates the progeny of Gabriel Ouimet (born 14 January 1709 in St-Michel-de-la-Durantaye and buried on 1 March 1745 at the same place) and Marie-Anne Morisset (deceased 21 May 1788) and of their son Michel who will be responsible for the continuity of the lineage of Jean Junior.
In the above chart, we can see that only Michel, son of Gabriel and Marie-Anne Morisset, and his spouse Marguerite Tanguay, will contribute in perpetuating the surname Ouimet. Two of Michel’s sisters, Marie-Anne and Marie-Agathe, will become respectively the matriarchal ancestors of the Lacroix and Lantaigne families.
Michel and Marguerite Tanguay
Michel, third generation Ouimet born in New France on the 28 September 1735, will marry Marguerite Tanguay, daughter of René and Rose Simard, on the 18 November 1765 in St-Michel-de-Bellechasse. Together, they’ll have five children of which three boys, Gabriel, Michel and Pierre, will give them 18 grandchildren. See chart on next page.
Fourth generation Ouimet born in Canada (13)
Gabriel, a carpenter by trade, born around 1775, will marry his first wife, Marie-Madeleine Thomas dit Bigaouette, born 23 April 1777 in Québec City, daughter of Jean-Baptiste and Marie-Madeleine Renaud, on the 8 November 1796 in Notre-Dame church in Québec City. They will have three children: Gabriel, Josephte and Célestin. Only Célestin could’ve had descendants named Ouimet, but he remained without offsprings. Gabriel will marry his second wife Catherine Croisel, daughter of Pierre and Louise Lambert, on the 26 November 1811 in the Notre-Dame church in Québec City; they’ll have a daughter named Marie-Louise who will marry Prisque Paquet on the 13 August 1833 in the St-Roch church in Québec City.
Michel, born on the 19 September 1766, will marry Madeleine Mercier, daughter of Jean-Baptiste and Madeleine Leblond, on the 5 February 1811 in the church of St-Michel-de-Bellechasse; they’ll have two children named Marie-Madeleine and Cécile.
Pierre, born on the 1st January 1779, will marry Marie-Anne Chamberland born on the 13 June 1786 in La Durantaye, daughter of Pierre and Marie-Anne Goupil, on the 10 January 1815 in the church of St-Étienne-de-Beaumont; they’ll have 12 children of which the males will settle down in the regions of Lévis, Beaumont, Montréal, Québec City, Isle of Orléans and Restigouche. The family branch of Jean Junior was starting to emigrate and some of its members were settling down elsewhere in Canada.
The family branches multiply with the prolific lineage of Pierre and Marie-Anne Chamberland. Thus, for the next generation, we’ll find Ouimet families in Lévis, Beaumont, Bienville, Isle Verte, Montréal, St-Valentin, Cornwall, Isle of Orléans, St-Simon, Restigouche and St-Michel-de-Bellechasse. Later on, the descendance of Jean Junior will emigrate towards Pointe-St-Charles, Verdun, Simcoe, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Hamilton, Ancienne-Lorette, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Roberval, Lac Kénogami, Longueuil, Mascouche and Valleyfield.
Male descendance of Michel Ouimet and Marguerite Tanguay
Below, a few details concerning the children of Pierre Ouimet and Marie-Anne Chamberland. They’re the fifth generation of persons named Ouimet born in North America. Our research seems to suggest that the concentration of Ouimet families on the south shore of Montréal, would result from the descendance of David and his wife Rose Fournier.
Pierre, born around 1815 and dead on the 26 September 1883 in Lévis, will wed Émilie Labbé, daughter of Jacques and Marie Gagné, on the 8 August 1848 in the church of St-Étienne-de-Beaumont. They will be blessed with a family of 16 children who seem to be living in the Québec City area.
Thomas, will marry Sophie Bissonnette, daughter of Thomas and Julie Tanguay, on the 25 June 1867 in Lévis. Six children will be born from this union and will migrate towards the Montreal area.
Marie-Esther, born around 1820, remained single.
François-Xavier, will marry Julie Patry, daughter of Jean and Catherine Lefebvre dit Boulanger, on the 19 November 1845 in St-Michel-de-Bellechasse. Together, their progeny will amount to thirteen children of which ten will remain single. The three others will settle down around Québec City and the Isle of Orléans.
Élie, married Éléonore Coulombe, daughter of Ambroise and Élisabeth Cinq-Mars, on the 5 November 1850 in the church of Saint-Laurent-de-l’Île-d’Orléans. They will reside in the area of St-Étienne-de-Beaumont.
David, born in March 1821 in St-Étienne-de-Beaumont, married Rose Fournier, daughter of Germain and Marguerite Turgeon, on the 23 April 1850 in the same village. This union will give two offsprings : Siméon who will settle down in the Valleyfield and Longueuil areas, and Marie-Emma who will remain single.
Ambroise found love in Restigouche and married his first wife Théotiste Labeauve, daughter of Benjamin and Marie-Magdeleine Dedham, on the 6 June 1842, in Restigouche. A widower, he will marry his second wife, Marie Doucet, daughter of Éloi and Marie Leblanc, on the 21 June 1873 in Restigouche.
Léonard, born around 1822 in St-Étienne-de-Beaumont, remained single.
Marie-Anne, born on the 10 August 1823 in St-Michel-de-Bellechasse, also remained single.
Joséphine, born in December 1824 in St-Étienne-de-Beaumont, will not marry.
Marie-Sarah, born in October 1826 in St-Étienne-de-Beaumont, will marry her first husband, David Latulippe dit Quéret, son of Pierre and Françoise Paquet, on the 14 August 1849 in St-Étienne-de-Beaumont; she will marry her second husband, Antoine Fortin, son of Pierre and Anne Moreau, on the 17 July 1855 in the Notre-Dame church in Québec City.
Finally, the youngest Étienne, born in August 1832, seems to have remained single.
We’ve counted at least forty-five children born from unions stated above, of which ten males have given at least 65 grandchildren!
After that, the family tree becomes too complicated to explain the different branches and the dispersal of families. We reccommend that you consult the «Dictionnaire des descendants de Jean Ouimet et de Renée Gagnon (14)».
Like we explained out earlier, Jean Junior died on the 22 April 1749 and his wife five years later, on the 5 April 1754 in St-Michel-de-la-Durantaye. When Jean Junior died, his four children were dead, but we estimate that he got to know five of his grandchildren who survived him.
The preceding pages constitute an essay relating a brief history of Jean Ouimet, first son of Jean Houymet or Wuillemet and his wife Renée Gagnon as well as a few generations descending from this couple. We’re forever continuing our search in order to increase the genealogical information in the data bank.
We estimate that a little more than 3.3% of indexed descendants (15) of Jean Ouimet and Renée Gagnon stem from Jean Junior and Marie Bissonnet; as early as the fifth generation, we find them in Ontario and after ten generations we count 415 descendants mostly in the province of Québec and others dispersed across Canada and the USA (Illinois, Minnesota and California). There was even a birth in Perth, Australia in 1973.
It must be emphasized that descendants of women named Ouimet are not indexed except for a few rare exceptions, and this is due to the modification of orders and parameters when the first data were taken. The data bank is rather aligned on what we could call a «genealogical patronymic study» or in plain English «One Name Search» and most particularly concerning Ouimet, Ouimette, Wemet families. On the other hand, when we can add the names of children whose father’s surname is different from what we’re looking for, we annex them to the spouse’s index whose surname will be Ouimet, Ouimette, etc.
(1) The «Souvenir-program of the 350th anniversary of the arrival of Jean Ouimet in New France» published in 2009 summarises quite well the history of this ancestor most likely from Vigny (outskirts of Rethel), archdiocese of Reims, Champagne (Ardennes), France (since that time, we’ve found out that it’s Évigny rather than Vigny).
(2) Jean Houymet was not a contractee since he didn’t have to wait 3 years (36 months) to buy land.
(3) PRDH, vol. 6, R 383, ménage 42 (household 42).
(4) Charbonneau Hubert, Légaré Jacques (1967). The population of Canada at the 1666 and 1667 census, Population, 22nd year, no. 06, pp. 1031-1054.
(5) PRDH, vol. 6, R 383, ménage 63 (household 63)
(6) Ibid 3
(7) Ouimet-Charron, Pauline (1999). Recueil historique sur les Ouimet (Historical compilation of Ouimet families), Les Descendants de Jean Ouimet Inc., 3e édition, 230 Pages (p. 57).
(8) PRDH, vol. 6, R 383, ménage 46 (household 46).
(9) Charbonneau, Hervé et al..«Le recensement nominatif du Canada en 1681» (Name census of Canada in 1681) Histoire sociale no. 7, avril 1971, pp. 77-98; Virol 2003 p. 133
(10) Ibid 7 (p. 60).
(11) Ibid 9 (p. 33).
(12) We thank Mr. Richard Ouimet who helped complete and confirm the deciphering of contracts and certificates.
(13) We have preferred to use this name rather than New France because since the 10 February 1763, the territory of New France, being a British colony following the Seven-Years war and the treaty of Paris, was henceforth known as Canada.
(14) Ouimet, Denis (2009). Dictionnaire des Descendants de Jean Ouimet (reviewed, increased and corrected), 2nd edition published by the author, 975 pages (ISBN 978-2-922768-02-2).
(15) Since the beginning of October 2011, the data bank contained more than 40,000 entries (in May 2017= 42,312 entries).