Louis Ouimet, one of our ancestor's three sons who Bore Offsprings

by Denis Ouimet (3)

translated by Marc Ouimet (155)

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    One of six sons born to Jean Houymet or Wuillemet and Renée Gagnon, Louis is the ancestor of numerous descendants of which many became famous in the past three centuries. In the following text, we’ll try to describe the life of this character by way of facts and dates found in different documents.

    The young couple’s second child, Louis was born on the 17th of September 1663 and was baptized on the following 26th of September in the parish of the Visitation of Notre-Dame in Château-Richer (1). Please note that the parish of Sainte-Famille de l’Île d’Orléans, the first parish established on the island, was founded in 1661 and opened its registers in 1666 (2). The family was probably living on the Isle of Orléans at that moment that is on Jean’s newly acquired piece of land (3&4). Knowing the customs of the time, how can we explain the delay between Louis’ birth and his christening? Did they have to wait for a favourable moment to cross the North Channel of the St. Lawrence River? Were they living on the Isle of Orléans at that time? It is presently not possible to establish a precise moving date of Jean Houymet and Renée Gagnon to the parish of Sainte-Famille on the Isle of Orléans.

    

    In the 1681 census of the parish of Sainte-Famille, county of Saint-Laurent, it is stated that Louis, son of Jean and Renée, is 16 years old (5). Since he was born in September 1663, Louis must have been 17 or 18 years old, depending on the exact date of the 1681 census. We can see for ourselves that the accuracy of the census cannot be trusted. The same thing applies to his father’s age when he passed away (6), which makes it difficult to estimate the year of his birth. That is the reason why the date inscribed in the baptismal records, when they exist, is the date used.

 

Birth  years of  the children of Jean Houymet or Wuillemet and Renée Gagnon (7)

                        Jean = 1661

                        Louis = 1663

                        Marguerite = 1667

                        Marie-Madeleine = 1672

                        Gabriel = 1675

                        Jacques = 1676

                        Jeanne = 1679

                        Pierre- 1 = 1681

                        Pierre- 2 = 1683

 

    A little more than five years after his father’s death (8), Louis marries Marie-Anne Genest dit Labarre, daughter of Jacques and Catherine Doribeau or Doribelle, on the 3rd February 1693 in the church of Sainte-Famille de l’Île d’Orléans, after signing a marriage contract in front of Notary Étienne Jacob (father) (9) of the same parish. His sister Marguerite had been the first child to leave the house because of her marriage to François Turcot five years earlier in 1688. Louis was 29 years old on his wedding day, while his young spouse, Marie-Anne, was 16. In those days, married couples often had considerable age differences between them.

 

    Between January 1694 and May 1716, Louis and Marie-Anne will have 14 children, seven boys and seven girls, including triplets in 1706 and twins in 1712. It is by far the most numerous progeny in the family, if we compare it to that of his two brothers, Jean and Pierre, and to that of his sister Marguerite. Unfortunately, only eight of those children will reach adulthood. Five children died a few days after their birth, which shows the hardships our ancestors had to cope with.

Birth years of the children of Louis Ouimet and Marie-Anne Genest dit Labarre (10)

                    Jacques = 1694

                    Marie = 1695

                    Albert = 1699

                    Thérèse = 1700

                    Jean-Baptiste = 1703

                    Joseph = 1704

                    Georges, François and Catherine = 1706

                    Clothilde = 1707

                    Marie-Josèphe and Marie-Anne = 1712

                    Marie-Monique =1714

                    Joachim = 1716

 

    It seems that Louis and his wife lived in the paternal household up until 1695, when they bought some land in the neighbouring parish of Saint-Jean (11 and 12). Louis had to look after the family farm, along with his older brother Jean, since November 1687, when their father had passed away.

 

    Their first child, Jacques, was born on the 17th January 1694 and was baptized the next day in the church of Sainte-Famille, Isle of Orléans (13). The young mother was only 17 when she gave birth. Jacques, at the age of 58 years old, will marry Marie-Marguerite Fontaine (14), daughter of Étienne Fontaine and Marie Conille, on the 20th November 1752 in the parish of Saint-Jean de l’Île d’Orléans. He will be buried in the Terrebonne cemetery on the 28th June 1781 at 87 years old.

 

    Eleven months later, Marie-Anne and Louis are expecting another child who will come into this world on the 8th September 1695, and this little girl will be named Marie upon her christening the next day in the church of Sainte-Famille, Isle of Orléans. At 18 years old, she will marry Joseph Manseau, son of Jacques and Marguerite Latouche, and they will settle down in the parish of Saint-Jean de l’Île d’Orléans, where they were wed on the 27th November 1713. At least 10 children will be born from this union. Marie will pass away in Québec City, at the age of 65, on the 12th July 1761.

 

    The time interval between the births of Marie and Albert could indicate that the little family had moved to another parish on the Isle of Orléans and was very busy clearing the land and properly settling down.

 

    Almost six years after their wedding, Louis and Marie-Anne were blessed with a second son, Albert, who came to this world on the morning of the 31st January 1699. This son migrated to Terrebonne; on the 16th February 1727, he married 19 year old Élisabeth Marié or Lemarié, daughter of Thomas and Jeanne Labadie. Since the paternal land was probably handed down to the eldest son, Albert and his wife had to expatriate themselves towards new lands, opening up some 230 kilometres to the southwest, that is, north of the island of Montréal. That move was probably made easier by the presence of his uncle Pierre Ouimet and his aunt Marguerite Brault dit Pomainville who were living in the area of Sault-au-Récollet (15). At that time, Pierre and Marguerite had already a family of five children. Albert and Élisabeth became the parents of a large family of 13 children. Albert died on the 28th June 1781 in the Terrebonne region at 82 years of age.

 

    A second daughter, Thérèse, was born and baptized on the 19th November 1700, in Saint-Jean de l’Île d’Orléans. At 22 years old, she married Simon Chamberland, son of Simon and Isabelle Rondeau, on the 3rd May 1723, in the church of Notre-Dame-de-Sainte-Foy.

 

    Jean-Baptiste was born on the 14th March 1703 and died on the following 24th May. He had lived 72 days.

 

    Joseph, the couple’s fourth son, was born and baptized on the 30th April 1704 in the parish of Saint-Jean de l’Île d’Orléans. He married Françoise Filion, who was nine years younger, daughter of Antoine and Marie Latouche, on the 15th February 1740 in the Saint-Charles church in Lachenaie, a few kilometres northeast of Terrebonne. That marriage gave ten offsprings.

 

    On the 15th June 1706, Louis’ wife, Marie-Anne, brings triplets to the world. It must have been a special event in New France, although Marie-Anne’s mother, Catherine Doribeau, had given birth to twin girls in 1670. Georges, the first of the three, lived only two days and was buried on the following 19th June. François lived 10 days and was buried on the 25th June. Finally, Catherine survived until the 25th and was buried on the 28th June 1706. All three were buried in the cemetery of the parish of Saint-Jean de l’Île d’Orléans.

 

    Clothilde, the tenth child, is born on 5th August 1707 and dies 16 years later, on the 2nd October 1723, and we don’t know the cause of her death. Her body rests in the cemetery of the parish of Saint-Jean de l’Île d’Orléans.

 

    Twin girls are born on the 1st March 1712 and survive. The first one, Marie-Josèphe, on her seventeenth birthday, marries Jacques-Alexis Fleury dit Desmarais, son of Jacques and Jeanne Doucet, in the church of Saint-Jean de l’Île d’Orléans (16). The second one, Marie-Anne, marries her first husband, Charles-Henri Mahier, son of Charles and Guillemette Desvaux, on the 29th October 1735 in the church of Saint-Jean de l’Île d’Orléans. She marries her second husband, Pierre Sajot dit Picard, son of François and Marie Desjardins, on the 27th July 1740 in the Notre-Dame church in Québec City, and probably her third husband, Charles-Alexandre Morel (Morez), son of Louis-Joseph and Élisabeth Rasné, on the 7th august 1749, in Kamouraska.

Marie-Monique is born two years later, on the 31st March 1714, but dies the following day.

 

    Finally, Joachim, the last child, is born on the 12th May 1716, after his father has passed away. His mother, Marie-Anne Genest dit Labarre, is 38 years old. This child dies five days later and is buried in the cemetery of the parish of Saint-Jean de l’Île d’Orléans.

 

    Louis and Marie-Anne now have seven children, of which six are at home, because one daughter married Joseph Manseau in 1713. Louis Ouimet passed away on the 7th February 1716, at 42 years of age, when his twin girls were close to four years old. He was interred the next day in the cemetery of the parish of Saint-Jean de l’Île d’Orléans. We have found no monument dating from that time period in the cemetery of that parish. Jacques, the eldest son, in his early twenties, supports his mother grieving the death of her husband and facing the huge task of providing for her family. Marie-Anne never remarried.

 

    Many Ouimets are descendants of Louis Ouimet and Marie-Anne Genest dit Labarre, but according to our large data bank, his brother Pierre has a more numerous lineage.

 

    One of Louis’ famous descendants is Francis DeSales Ouimet who won the 1913 American Open Golf Tournament on The Country Club Golf Course located in Brookline, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts.

 

A few of Louis’ descendants who became famous :

Albert and Esther Ouimet, owners of an ancestral home in Sainte-Thérèse

Esdras-Norbert Ouimet, president of the Washington National Bank in 1889

François Ouimet, Liberal member of Provincial Parliament for the county of Marquette, Québec

Joseph-Alphonse Ouimet, Supreme Court judge for the district of Richelieu (1886-1900)

Joseph-Alphonse Ouimet, president of Radio-Canada (1958-1967).

Joseph-Rodolphe Ouimet, member of parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges (1922-1925)

Théophile Ouimet, Saint-Jovite pioneer

 

Footnotes

1) Jetté, René (1983). Genealogical Dictionnary of Québec families from their origins to 1730, Historical demography research program, University of Montréal Press, 1176 pages, (ISBN 2-7606-0645-5)

2) Létourneau, Raymond (1984). Sainte-Famille, the eldest on the Isle of Orléans, Imprimerie l’Éclaireur, Beauceville, 686 pages.

3) Gariepy, Raymond (1993). Lands of Château-Richer, 1640-1990, Québec genealogical society, contribution no. 72, 736 pages; (today’s cadastral lots : no. 187 partial to no. 189 partial, formerly lot no. 51 belonging to Jean Houymet (1634-1687), 3 arpents wide, pp. 137-138).

4) ibid 3, p. 64, part of lots 187 and 189 : 3 arpents wide; in 1689, the name of the owner reads «Jean Humeau» (sic Ouimet); in 1709, the name of the owner reads François Turcot.

5) lafontaine, André (1981). Annotated census of New France 1681, (3rd edition, reviewed, revised and edited by the author), Sherbrooke, 376 pages.

6) Age of Jean Ouimet in different censuses: 1666 = 31 years old, 1667 = 30 years old and 1681 = 50 years old.

7) ibid 1.

8) ibid 1, Jean Houymet or Wuillemet passed away on the 18th November 1687 in Sainte-Famille, Isle of Orléans; he was 53 years of age.

9) Illegible or almost illegible marriage contract: ANQ-Mtl bobbin 10827

10) ibid 1.

11) ibid 3, current cadastral lots no. 120, 126 and 138. Lot no. 36 of seigniorial estate of Saint-Jean, 6 arpents wide, pp. 245-246; it is mentionned that part of that land belonged to Louis Ouimet, around 1698, since he was a resident of Saint-Jean at that time.

12) Land grant, on the 5th May 1704, contract of Notary E. Jacob, by Countess Françoise-Charlotte Juchère and her husband, François de LaForest, squire and captain of the Navy commando, ANQ-Mtl roll # 10782.

13) ibid 1.

14) It was her fourth marriage because she was the widow of Joseph Pépin, Barthélémi Therrien and Pierre Lepage.

15) Contract of engagement, Notary Jacques David, on the 18th October 1723: ANQ-Mtl roll # 2118.

16) Marriage contract, Notary Jean-Étienne Dubreuil, 1st February 1729.