The Ancestors of Pierre and Jean Vallée
Maurice Vallée

Norm Léveillée

Original page in French at
Les Ancêtres de Pierre et Jean Vallée

The county of Talou, the original location of the Vallée brothers

The history of this branch of the huge family Vallée is lost in the night of the times in the county of Talou, the region situated between the plateaux Cauchois and Picard, in Haute-Normandie. This region of France was inhabited during the first eras by the Véliocasses, a Gaulois tribe, which was conquered by the Francs, then by Rollo the Viking with his troops of Danish Warriors. It is from this mixture of races which was probably born at the beginning of the XVIIth century, the Normand ancestor Pierre Vallée and his wife Madeleine DuMesnil.

The genealogists and historians Cambray, Tanguay, Drouin, Jetté, Langlois and Lebel localized the area of origin of the Normand ancestor in the parish of Saint-Jean of the city of Rouen in Normandy. Only one documents attests to this thesis. It is the marriage act of his son Pierre Vallée with Thérèse Leblanc, dated 12 January 1665, in Beauport in New France. Nevertheless the registers of the parish of Saint-Jean, available for consultation at the municipal Library of Rouen and still in good condition, teaches us that the Normand ancestors Pierre Vallée and Magdeleine DuMesnil, did not marry there and that their sons Pierre and Jean neither were baptized there. The quick review of the registers of some of the thirty other parishes of the city of Rouen indicate to us that there are some Vallée families at Rouen in the first half of the XVIIth century at the most.

Two other documents of importance point into another direction: the marriage contracts of Pierre and of Jean Vallée in New France. In the first case, the 16 November 1664, the notary Vachon indicated the parish of "St Sent" diocese of Rouen as the location of origin of Pierre. The 7 January 1666, in the marriage contract of Jean Vallée, the same notary indicates that this person was originally from the parish of "Scainct Sang" archdiocese of Rouen. In addition, Mary Louise Dalton in her article published in 1906, entitled "Notes on the Genealogy of the Vallé Family" mentions the village of Saint-Saëns as the area of origin of the Vallée brothers. The author had consulted with Sir Arthur George Doughty, the celebrated archivist of Canada, and a Mister Gaudet, genealogist, during that time, who had consulted the marriage contracts.

Saint-Saëns and the Vallée families

Saint-Saëns is a small Normand town situated about 30 kilometers to the north of the city of Rouen and within equal distance, on the south, with the town of Dieppe, on the shores of the Varenne River, and bordering the forest of Eway. Let us mention also the proximity of the villages of Louvetot and of Muchedent from which emigrated the pioneers of the families Leduc, Lefrançois and Trépanier.

In the XVIIth century, in the registers, Saëns was written without the final "s" and was pronounced "san", as it is today, from which came the orthographic difficulties of the notary Paul Vachon in New France. The town owes its name to an Irish monk of the name Saën (name in ancient Gaelic which corresponds to "Jean" in French) who established a monastery around the year 675.

According to the registers of the parish of Saint-Saëns, of his marriage with Madeleine DuMesnil, the Normand ancestor Pierre Vallée had a dozen children baptized in this parish.

Marie, baptized in the church of the village on 26 February 1630 and having had Nicolas Vallée and Louise Mesnil as godfather and godmother;
Jean, baptized on the 16 March 1631 and having had Jean Carrol and Magdelaine Archet as godfather and godmother;
Jacques, baptized on 30 July 1633 and having had Jacques Lion and Catherine Mesnil as godfather and godmother;
Louise, baptized on 31 December 1634 and having had Nicolas Dumesnil and Louise Guillebert as godfather and godmother;
Pierre, baptized on 6 June 1636 and having had Guillaume Le Grand and Catherine Carrol as godfather and godmother;
Marguerite, baptized on 19 February 1638 and having had Éloy Auger and Marguerite Saint-Ours (probable wife of Jacques Dusmesnil) as godfather and godmother;
Jean, baptized on 29 August 1640 and having had Louis Tassin Flanchet and Jacqueline Moulin as godfather and godmother;
Robert, baptized on 24 March 1642 and having had Robert DeLamare and Pierrette Baulon (probable wife of Nicolas Mesnil) as godfather and godmother;
Adrianne, baptized on 23 October 1643 and having had André Aloyaudes as godfather and Louise Flams as godmother. Adrianne probably died on 20 October 1669. The identity of the parents were not indicated by the pastor at the burial, the family ties not certain.
Louis, baptized on 16 July 1645, godchild of Louis Carrol and Anne Simon.

Ancienne église de Saint-Saëns démolie en 1896

There are no other baptisms celebrated by our couple, neither before nor after these dates. It seems therefore that Marie was the first born and Louis, the youngest child. In the register, however, a Magdelaine Mesnil was buried in the cemetery of the parish of Saint-Saëns on 20 March 1646. Was she the wife of Pierre our Normand ancestor? This uncertainty will continue on the fact that the priest did not write the ordinary references during the burial. Chronologically, this date corresponds to the disappearance in the registers of the couple Pierre Vallée and Magdelaine Dumesnil and to the marriage of a Pierre Vallée with Suzanne Savary on 31 July 1646. Is this our ancestor who remarried? If that is the case, there are at least three more children: Laurens, baptized 24 July 1647, Catherine on 23 April 1649 and Louyze on 8 February 1652. Is it also our ancestor Pierre Vallée who was buried in the cemetery of the village on 28 March 1657? Is it a coincidence that it is in the same year 1657 that is mentioned for the first time his son Pierre in New France, in a baptismal act of 28 December 1657 in Trois-Rivières?

Other proofs and research in the notarial acts of Saint-Saëns are really necessary to confirm the ties between these marriages and deaths. Research carried out in the departmental Archives of Rouen in June 1994 in the details of the records Dumesnil, Jacques Leblanc and Louis Varengues did not bring back any additional information on the life and family of our Normand ancestor. Was he so poor that he could not afford the services of a recorder? Did he pass his notarial contracts to a recorder in another village? Were there other recorders in Saint-Saëns who would not have preserved the details? All these questions have no answers.

Under the ancient regime, Saint-Saëns was a squire "in the resort of which was found many surrounding parishes", according to André Lejeune in his "Notes sur Saint-Saëns" written in 1930 and published in 1999 by the Association for the XIIIth Centennial of Saint-Saëns. The reading of the notarial acts of the royal records of the first half of the XVIIth century has revealed to us the existence at Saint-Saëns of many Vallée of whom many are described as surgeons.

The parish registers of the first half of the XVIIth century of Saint-Saëns, on their part, complete the entire portrait. A dozen baptisms and about fifteen burials consolidate our impression that many Vallée families lived in the village of Saint-Saëns and have been established there for more than a generation. To situate ourselves better in the historical context, let us mention that, according to the "Notes sur Saint-Saëns" of André Lejeune, the plague made its appearance in Saint-Saëns in the year 1628, just two years before the birth of the first daughter of Pierre Vallée and Marguerite Dumesnil. The scourge was then spread throughout the region by a poor man, rag-picker by the name of Bault who had acquired some old drapes at Saint-Saëns where "the plague was extremely strong". Then the year 1639 was marked by the plague once again and by the revolt of the Nu-Pieds, which is attributed to the numerous extraordinary taxes imposed upon the French people for the last three years for the financing of the war to the king of Spain. Finally, on the 16 May 1648, fire was to destroy practically everything in the village of Saint-Saëns. According to Lejeune, the destructive element -- consuming one hundred and fifty homes of the town without counting a big number of buildings which became the prey of the flames. The majority of the inhabitants who were victims of this disaster, were reduced to being beggars; the material lost was evaluated at more than two hundred thousand livres (pounds). The construction of all theses houses which were made of wood and cob and covered with thatch were an easy prey for the flames. Was it because of these frequent calamities that Pierre and Jean Vallée left their village? These, added to the numerous taxes, would certainly have discouraged many of the young people. Father and mother probably deceased, the family cohesion did not keep them there. Let us also add the taste of adventure and the promises of the merchants of Rouen charged with bringing immigrants into New France in exchange for exclusive rights on the exportation of beaver pelts, there wouldn't be too much more to help the two young Vallée to embark upon this adventure.

The crossing of the Atlantic

Our research hypothesis is that the brothers Vallée embarked at Dieppe for New France during the summer of 1657 on ships commanded by Captain Poullet and financed by the merchants of Rouen, the Saint-Sebastien, and this, in the company of Charles LeFrançois de Muchedent, a village situated at a few kilometers from Saint-Saëns.

An employer of the New France probably hired them for a period of three years following the signature of a notarial contact which would be interesting to find. The employer must have paid for their passage and advanced a certain part of their salary, estimated at 75 livres (pounds) per year.

Pierre Vallée and his story in America

It's the 16 November 1664, in the presence of the notary Paul Vachon, that Pierre Vallée dit Lavallée concluded a marriage contract in the presence of Thérèse Leblanc, his future wife, of Léonard Leblanc, his future father-in-law, of Marie Riton, his future mother-in-law, of Jean Vallée, his brother, of Robert Giffard, lord of Beauport, and Marie Renouard, his wife, Marie Giffard, wife of Jean Juchereau, René Chevalier and Jeanne Langlois, his wife, Nicolas Juchereau of Saint Denis, Noël Langlois, Paul and Jean DeRainville, and Pierre Marcou.

Signature of Pierre Vallée dit Lavallée, master surgeon, taking from the marriage contract of his brother Jean

Pierre celebrated his marriage with Thérèse Leblanc at Beauport on 12 January 1665. The marriage act is noted for us in the parish register of Notre-Dame de Québec.

Pierre Vallée and Thérèse Leblanc had ten children during their 21 years of communal life. The first names of these are: Thérèse, Marie, Suzanne, Marguerite, Pierre-Vincent, Michel, Louis-Charles, Nicolas-Marie, Marthe and Charlotte. Here are a few notes on each of these.

Thérèse Vallée was born around 1667 and died at Beauport on 29 October 1722 at the age of 55 years. Burial took place on the next day, on the 30th. Thérèse didn't appear to be married and left little information about her life.

Marie Vallée was born around 1668. Her marriage contract was signed at Notary Paul Vachon on 9 February 1687. Marie married Jean-François Parent, son of Pierre Parent and of Jeanne Badeau, at Beauport on the next day, on the 10 February 1687, in the presence of Joseph Rancourt, Paul Vachon and Jean Badeau. She died and was buried at Beauport on 11 December 1720. Marie Vallée had eleven children from her union.

Suzanne Vallée was born on the 12 and was baptized, according to the register of the parish of Notre-Dame de Québec, in the chapel of Beauport by a missionary of the Jesuits (Compagnie de Jésus) on 16 March 1670. She had as godfather and godmother Noël Langlois and Suzanne Benet, wife of Jean Gibault, and she married René Beaudin, son of Charles Beaudin and Jeanne Moinet, in Beauport on 10 February 1687. Suzanne married on the same day as her sister Marie, in the presence of René Rémy, Paul Vachon, Noël Langlois and Léonard Leblanc. The marriage contract was signed at the Notary Paul Vachon on 5 January of the same year, more than a month beforehand. After a life of labor in Québec, then in Gaspee and finally at Laprairie, Suzanne died in Laprairie on 8 December 1729 and was buried on 9 December. Suzanne Vallée and René Beaudin had six children from their union.

Marguerite Vallée, born on 17 February 1672, was baptized, according to the register of the parish of Notre-Dame de Québec, in the chapel of Beauport on 21 of the same month. She was declared as the godchild of Noël LeBlanc and of Marguerite Langlois, wife of Paul Vachon. She married Jean-Baptiste DeRainville, son of Jean DeRainville and Suzanne Badeau, on 30 January 1690 in Beauport in the presence of Léonard LeBlanc, her grandfather, Pierre Marcou, Toussaint Giroux and René Beaudin. The marriage contract was carried out on 20 of the same month at the Notary Gilles Rageot. Marguerite Vallée died at Beauport on 31 October 1759 and was buried the first of November at the age of 77 years. Marguerite had six children from her union.

Pierre-Vincent Vallée, was born on the 29 September 1674 and was baptized the 3 October of the same year in Beauport. He was the godchild of Vincent Brunet and of Élisabeth de la Guéripière. He first married Marie-Madeleine Vachon, the daughter of Paul Vachon, royal notary, and of Marguerite Langlois on 23 November 1699 in Beauport. Evidently, he had a marriage contract before the notary Jean-Robert Duprac on the 24 October of the same year in the presence of his father and mother and of his brothers Michel and Nicolas. Pierre-Vincent is declared, among other things, a master carpenter. Two children were born of this union between Pierre and Marie Madeleine. Marie died of smallpox, it seems, on 17 February 1703 and was buried in Beauport on the 18, two days before the death of her own daughter of the same first name. Pierre-Vincent then remarried to Marie-Madeleine Courault De Lacoste, originally from Lachine and daughter of Cybard Courault, squire, and of Françoise Goupil, on the 21 July 1704 in Beauport. Marie-Madeleine was the adoptive daughter of Mathieu Lagrande and Marie-Gabrielle Danneville and widow of René Parent according the marriage contract signed before the notary Jean-Robert Duprac on the preceding 13 July. Present at the marriage were: Mathieu LaGrange, Jean Parent, Jean DeRainville and Michel Vallé, brother of the groom. From this second marriage, there were nine children. Pierre-Vincent was declared Captain of the Militia at the marriage of a son from this second marriage, Ange-Étienne, in 1735. In the census of the autumn of 1744, he was living on rue Saint-Jean in Québec. Then, he died on 10 and was buried on 11 November 1751 in Québec.

Michel Vallée, second son of Pierre, was born around 1676 (at the age of 5 in the 1681 census), married Geneviève Baugis, daughter of Jean Baugis and of Thérèse Parent, in Beauport on the 3 February 1712. Present at the marriage were Jean Baugis, father of the bride, Charles Vallée, Jacques Avisse and Jean Miville, architects of Québec. The marriage contract was signed on the preceeding day, on 2 February, in the presence of Notary Jean-Robert Duprac. Michel died on 30 September 1752 and was buried on 1 October in Beauport after having more than a dozen children of whom three died tragically.

Louis-Charles Vallée, the third son of Pierre, was born around 1678 (age 3 years in the 1681 Census). He married Geneviève Marcou, daughter of Pierre Marcou and of Marthe DeRainville, in Beauport on 12 September 1707. Present at the marriage were Noël Maillou, Jean DeRainville, André Marcou and Jean Gagnier. The marriage contract was signed in the presence of the Notary Jean-Robert Duprac on the preceeding day, on 11 September 1707. Louis-Charles died in Beauport on 21 February 1753 and was buried the next day in the parish cemetery. From his union with Geneviève Marcou, Louis-Charles Vallée had eleven children in Beauport.

Nicolas-Marie Vallée, fourth son of Pierre, was born and baptized on 27 April 1681 in Beauport; his godfather and godmother were Nicolas Juchereau of Saint Denis and Marie-Madeleine Marsolet, wife of François Guyon. He first married Marie-Louise Lefebvre, daughter of Jean Lefebvre dit Chartrand and Marie Creste, in Beauport on 22 November 1712. Present at this marriage were Jean Lefebvre, father of the bride, Pierre Jourdain, Charles and Jean-Marie Delinot and many other friends. Marie-Louise Lefebvre died on 10 December 1730, six days after having given birth to a last son named André. Many years later, Nicolas Vallée married for the second time to Marie-Anne Benoit dit Abel, widow of Jean Sylvestre and daughter of Pierre Benoit et Marie Dionne on 23 July 1736 in Québec, in the presence of his brother Pierre Vallée, Jean Spénard, Ignace Constantineau and Pierre Grandjean. The marriage contract was signed at the Notary Barbel on the preceeding day, the 22 July 1736. Nicolas Vallée died on 1 August 1766 in Beauport and was buried on the 2 August. Twelve children were the offsprings of his union with Marie-Louise Lefebvre.

Marthe Vallée was born on the 24 and baptized on 25 April 1683 in Beauport. She was the godchild of Pierre Morel and of Marthe DeRainville, wife of Pierre Marcou. She married Charles Miville dit Deschênes, son of Jaques Miville and of Catherine DeBaillon, in the church of Notre-Dame-de-Liesse de Rivière-Ouelle on 28 August 1702. She died in the parish of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière on 21 March 1748. Marthe Vallée gave birth to eleven or twelve children.

Charlotte Vallée, the last daughter of Pierre, was born on 20 and baptized the following day, the 21 September 1685 in Beauport. She had as godfather Jean Provost and as godmother Marie Lefebvre. She married Pierre Chauveau, son of Pierre et de Péronne....Chauveau, in Beauport on 22 August 1707. Pierre Chauveau was a cooper, navigator and captain of the militia. Present at the marriage were Pierre, Nicolas and Michel Vallée, brothers of the bride, and Jean Parent, her brother-in-law. Evidently, a marriage contract had just been signed in the presence of Notary LaCetière on the preceeding day, the 21 August. Charlotte Vallée died in Québec on 18 September 1756 was buried on 19, after having given birth to a dozen children.

Pierre Vallée dit Lavallée and Thérèse Leblanc had more than 90 (94) grandchildren. This branch of Vallée was developed near Beauport, but equally in Gaspésie and in Beauce, without mentioning the United States where the most known of this lineage was François Vallée dit Lavallée, commander of Fort Sainte-Geneviève in Illinois in the XVIIIth century and Rudy Vallée singer and orchestra-man during the first half of the XXth century. In Québec, one must equally mention the photographer Louis-Prudent Vallée, well-known for his stereoscopic scenes of the city of Québec.

Jean Vallée

Jean Vallée and his story in America on the 22 March 1664, ancestor of Jean Vallée obtained by contract, in the presence of Notary and mason Paul Vachon, a grant from Mr. Charles de Lauzon sur l'Île-d'Orléans. It consisted of a land of two and half arpents located between the lands of Jean Guy and Joachim Martin in the fiefdom Lirec, having been split in 1656 from the Seignory of l'Île-d'Orléans. The neighborhood of Joachim Martin and in particular that of Marie, his sister, having arrived not too long beforehand, would orient the destiny of our ancestor and of ours by this fact itself.

According to the contract and act of marriage of the couple, the bride of the ancestor Jean Vallée, Marie Martin, was originally from the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Cougnes, town, ward and diocese of La Rochelle, in Aunis. In fact, she was baptized on 9 January 1649 in the church of Sainte-Marguerite de La Rochelle according to the book "Un Martin en Amérique, Joachim Martin, born in Aytré, 1636-1690" of Marcel Martin, published in the editions of Septentrion in 1997.

The marriage contract of Jean Vallée, 26 years old, and of Marie, 16 years old, was carried out in the presence of Notary Lord Paul Vachon on 7 January 1666 and the marriage was celebrated more than a month later after the signature of the marriage contract, on Thursday 4 February 1666. Jean Vallée married in the parish of La Visitation-de-Notre-Dame in Château-Richer, according to the transcription done in 1926 by Amédée Gosselin, priest and archivist of the Seminary of Québec, in charge of guarding the originals which were in bad shape.

Signature of Jean Vallée in his marriage contract

From the marriage of Jean Vallée and Marie Martin were born three children in l'Île-d'Orléans: Marie-Madeleine, Charles and Élisabeth.

Marie-Madeleine Vallée was born on Saturday 21 July 1668 and was baptized on 23 in the parish of Sainte-Famille de l'Île-d'Orléans. Her godmother was Anne Martin, wife of Jacques Raté. The name of the godfather (Jean ?) was unreadable. On 13 December 1684 in Québec, Marie-Madeleine signed in the presence of Notary Genaple de Bellefonds her marriage contract with Phillipe Létourneau, widow of Marie-Madeleine Simon, and son of David Létourneau and of Jeanne Baril. Marie-Madeleine Vallée was 16 years old and living with her mother near the l'Hôtel-Dieu at Québec. The young couple married on Monday 12 February 1685 in the parish of Notre-Dame de Québec, in the presence of Pierre Vallée, paternal uncle of Marie-Madeleine, Henri DeLaunay, wheelwright, Robert Pépin, slater, Louis Marcier and Louis Mignault. Marie-Madleine had two children from her union with Philippe.

Charles Vallée was born on Friday 7 February 1670 and was also baptized on 13 in the parish of Sainte-Famille. His godfather was Charle LeFrançois and his godmother, Anne Petit, second wife of Joachim Martin, his uncle. This Charles LeFrançois was originally from Muchedent, locality situated at some kilometers from Saint-Saëns, fatherland of Jean Vallée. A few days short of his 24th year, Charles Vallée married in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Marie-Ursule Gendras, daughter of Piere-Jean Gendras and Marie Charpentier. The marriage contract was signed in the presence of Royal Notary François Trottain dit Sant-Seürin of Bastiscan on 24 January 1694. Edmond de Suève, lord, was present. Then, Nicolas Deleuse, native priest from Toul in France, blessed their marriage on Wednesday 3 February 1694 in the chapel of Saint-Nicolas near the lord's manor in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade. According to the burial record of 25 October 1742, Charles Vallée died suddenly the preceeding day, the 24, without having received the last sacraments, and he was buried in the cemetery of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade in the presence of a large group of residents of the parish. Charles was just bit older than 72 years. He left behind thirteen children and a long list of grandchildren. With this title, Charles was a builder of New France from the Vallée lineage.

Élisabeth Vallée was born on Sunday 27 March 1672 and was baptized the 4 April still in the parish of Sainte-Famille de l'Île-d'Orléans. Her godfather was Jean Gaudreau and her godmother Élisabeth Gaudreau. Élisabeth married on Thursday 22 May 1692 in the parish of Notre-Dame de Québec to the troop sergeant Jean-Joseph Belon, son of Jean-Joseph, lord of Portail and of Catherine LeGuié from Saint-Solenne in Blois, diocese of Chartres. Jean-Joseph was part of the company of Valleraine. Élisabeth and Jean-Joseph were married in the presence of Jean-Étienne Dubreuil, Jean Gauthier, Jean Thyerri, Pierre Latintenne and of Lady Anne Gasnier dit Bourdon. Élisabeth had two children from her union with Jean-Joseph Belon.

The ancestor Jean Vallée died between the 28 January 1673 and the 22 June 1673 and was buried in l'Île-d'Orléans. The inventory of the deceased wealth which must be done, in principle, during the three months following his death, helps us to situate more precisely this sad event. The inventory was made by Notary Paul Vachon in the presence of Joachim Martin, the 22 June 1673. Jean Vallée, with a more reserved nature than his brother Pierre, left very few traces in New France. His descendants settled principally in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade but equally in Baie-du-Febve, then in the Eastern Cantons and in Massachusetts. The most renowned of this Vallée lineage were certainly the patriots Joseph Vallée husband of Thérèse Rodney, and his son Guillaume-Jacques-Léon Vallée husband of Henriette Courcelles dit Chevalier, guilty of high treason in 1838 in Montréal.


Permission granted by Maurice Vallée, author of the original French article
English Translation Copyright © 2011 Norm Léveillée
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