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Origins of
The Simard Family

NOËL SIMARD

POITOU, FRANCE
Angoulême is located in Charente, Poitou
Click on the Map for More Information
The Simard family can be traced back to the mid-1500s to Angoulême in western France where records document Antoine Simard's marriage to Marguerite Soûlot, and then to Francoise Berthon. From this information, we also know the names of Antoine's six children: Pierre -- the only child of the first marriage -- and Marsault, Vincent, Raymond, Jeanne and Marguerite -- all children of Antoine's second marriage.

At Antoine's death in 1588, his eldest son from his second marriage, Marsault, became the head of the household. Pierre by this time had already left the family after the death of his mother many years before. Marsault and his wife, Léonarde Berthoume, inherited the Simard family homestead at Angoulême.

Unfortunately, Angoulême, like much of western France, was virtually destroyed in the fighting between Catholics and Protestants during the Wars of Religion, and the Simards lived in poverty in the aftermath of the continuing warfare. Not surprisingly, famine and plague swept France in war's wake.

These were difficult times. Their son, Marsault (II), marries Ozanne Boozer, and begins to raise a family at Saint-Vincent, in the township of Puymoyen, Angoulême. Unfortunately, he dies young, leaving Ozanne by herself to fend for their four children: Marsault, Pierre, Antoinette and Marguerite.

Pierre, the second son, was born about 1602, and went on to become a stone mason by trade. He worked for a while in Angoulême, leaving the family farm to his elder brother, Marsault. On May 25, 1631, he married Catherine Boutier. Sadly, Catherine soon dies. Several years later, on December 2, 1635, Pierre remarried, to Suzanne Durand, the daughter of Louis Durand and Françoise Levreau. The couple's first son, Noël, was born some time around 1637.

At about this time, the family acquired the "dit" name (nickname) of Lombrette, meaning "a little shade." There are a couple of theories about the origin of this nickname -- one tradition holds that the Simard family was not tall and thus cast small shadows, another maintains that a village of this name existed in the neighborhood of Angoulême, and so the family was simply called "the Simards from Lombrette."

The next recorded mention of Pierre is from January 30, 1655, when he and his neighbors, Robert Paré and Mathurin Meusnier, received a concession of land from Jean Lauzon, Governor of New France. So, he must have already been back in Quebec by late 1654, because this consession was for work performed. In 1657, he was back in France for a time, because on May 28th of that year, he is reported to be in Angoulême for the marriage contract of his nephew, Jacques Simard.

In May of 1657, Pierre and his son Noël headed back to New France on the ship "Le Taureau". His wife, Suzanne, and his daughter refused to make the dangerous journey. The men arrived to Quebec on June 21st, 1657. Suzanne Durand never followed her husband to Canada. In fact, when she wrote her will on October 27th, 1666, she considered herself a widow, and left all her worldly possessions to a Marie Baurye.

Almost immediately, Pierre found work as a mason on the Beaupré coast with Etienne de Lessard, first seigneur of Île-aux-Coudres. While working for Msr. Lessard, Pierre obtained a small holding in the seigneury of Beaupré. During this time, Noël helped his father clear and cultivate their new land, and also found a wife: Mary-Madeleine Racine, the daughter of Étienne Racine and Marguerite Martin.

Madeleine's family was one of the oldest and most respected in New France. Her mother, Marguerite, was the daughter of royal pilot Abraham Martin,and was the first French settler to be baptized on Canadian soil. Abraham Martin gave his name to the "Shores of Abraham" and the " Plains of Abraham" that played such a significant role in the history of Quebec.

Noel and Madeleine's wedding, on Tuesday, November 22, 1661, was held at Château Richer, where the presbytery and manor house for the seigneury were located.

This bluff along the St. Lawrence River was the perfect choice for an administrative and judicial center for the seigneury. From the top of the bluff, one could see, and control, the entire shoreline of Beaupré and follow the course of the Saint Lawrence River all the way to Cap Tourmente.

Seventeen months later, their first child, Pierre, was born. Eighteen months after that, their second child, Noël, joined the family. In 1667, Noël, Sr., and his father Pierre, make arrangement to take possession of Pierre Gibouin's land, who wants to finish his days in France. Unfortunately, they could not produce sufficient cash immediately to complete the purchase. But, they were in the good graces of Monsignor Laval, the first Bishop of Quebec, who promised to help them with his own money if necessary.

Reassured, by the 16th of October, 1667, they formally took possession of Gibouin's estate. But Noël's family had grown quickly. His wife, Madeleine, only 30 years old, already had nine children. With such a large family to support, Noël had trouble meeting the debt he contracted to purchase Gibouin's land. Fortunately, Monsignor Laval was a man of his word, and he lent the remaining money to the Simards to pay off their debt. In exchange, Noël and his wife agreed to go to Baie Saint-Paul to help Monsignor Laval make the lands there productive and profitable.

Pierre Simard, a grandfather now, remained with his two grandsons, Pierre and Noël, on the Beaupré land, while the rest of the family committed to work for five years on "the land from the St-François-Xavier coast of the Petite River to those which extend along the Gouffre River, except for that already being exploited by Claude Bouchard."

It was actually a very good deal for Nöel. Claude Bouchard, and some other pioneers, had already started to work on these lands. Noël would oversee the property and would be able to keep half of the animals born from the herd he maintained, with the remainder going to Monsignor Laval. While he had some buildings to build, the lumber mill and flour mill were already started. In short, the land was already well-equipped with the necessities for running a successful farm -- mills, livestock (a cock and nine hens, six large oxen, three bulls, six cows with their calves, and six pigs), produce and grains (hay, corn, oats, barley and peas).

In 1679, Monsignor Laval sent Pierre Tremblay to assist Simard. That same year, Simard was granted his own land on the Petite River. The following year, Noël established his family at Baie St. Paul, close to Cap Maillaird (now called Petite-Rivière-St.-François).

The Simard family flourished, growing to 14 children, and their own grandchildren. Some of Noël's children moved on to become the Seigneurs of their own lands up and down the St. Lawrence valley. One branch of his son Noël's family moved across the St. Lawrence to the Kamouraska area, and then across northern Maine to the Madawaska/St. John River area.

Tragedy struck in the summer of 1714, when an epidemic spread quickly up the coast. Noël Simard, 78 years old, succumbed to this plague and died in the arms of his wife. The following summer, the family met to conduct legal inventory of their father's possessions: titles and various papers, personal items, including an axe; a saw; a barrel of salted eel; 15 pounds of tin; a bag of tobacco. These clues tell us much about Noël's life -- that he was a laborer, a carpenter and sawyer, an eel fisherman, a farmer, perhaps even a tin smith -- a man who worked hard, met every challenge, and left a prosperous land for his children.

In 1726, Madeleine Racine, more than 80 years old, passed away. Noël Simard's family would become one of the largest in Quebec and would help colonize various parts of the country from Saguenay, Abitibi, and Témiscaminque, to the Rivière la Paix. In Baie St. Paul, there is a monument to Noël Simard, Madeleine Racine, and their daughter, Rosalie Simard, the first child of French origin born in Baie St. Paul.

Noël and Madeleine Racine Simard had 14 children:


Pierre Simard was born April 30, and baptized May 1, 1663, in Château Richer. He married Claire Dodier on December 26 1690 in Baie St Paul. As elder of the family, he received the family's first land, at Ste. Anne. He had 18 children, and died on November 7, 1724, at Ste. Anne.

Noël Simard was born on October 7 and baptized on October 8, 1664, at Château Richer. He married Anne Dodier on April 26, 1689 in Baie St. Paul. He bought the land left to his still minor brother-in-law, Ange Dodier. However, Dodier, at his majority, obtained a ruling from Quebec for the restitution of his fields. With his wife, Noël acquired land on the Petite River. He had 14 children, some of whom became the seigneurs of the Gouffre River area. He died in April, 1726, at Petite River. (See below for more information on this line.)

Marie Madeleine Simard was born on January 4, and baptized on January 5, 1667, at Château Richer. She married Pierre Tremblay (future seigneur of Les Éboulements ) on November 3, 1683, in Ste. Anne, and died in August, 1684.

Étienne Simard was born and baptized on March 4, 1669, at Château Richer. He married Rosalie Bouchard on November 22, 1695. He probably lived near his Racine grandparents. His father offered him some land close to his at Petite River. He had 11 children, and died on November 14, 1750 at Petite River.

Francoise Simard was born and baptized on September 4, 1671 at Ste. Anne. She married twice, first to Jean Allaire on April 28, 1688 in Baie St. Paul; and second to Noël Butcher. She died on August 22, 1714.

Joseph Simard was born on February 4, 1674. He married twice. First to Gertrude Charon on April 20, 1700 in Ste. Anne; and second to Marie Blouin on October 30, 1702. He inherited the second lands acquired by his parents at Ste. Anne. He had 14 children, and died in 1738.

Augustin Simard was born on April 3, 1676. He married Marguerite Paré in 1710. He received, at the same time as his brother Joseph, "nine rods of frontage on the named river (the St. Laurence) by one mile depth and half of the lands joining on one side the dwelling of Jean Paré and other side that of Étienne Racine, being located in the parish of Château Richer…" He also obtained, with his brothers François and Noël, land along the coast at St-Férréole, but lost it as a result of "having held fire and place..." (which I think means they didn't fight in a battle they where involved in…). Augustin had 6 children, and died in 1735.

François Simard was born in September, 1678. He married Ursule Paré in 1712. He received, with his young brothers Paul and Jean, all the inheritance remaining their parents. He had 8 children, and died in 1732.

Rosalie Simard was born on November 13, 1680. She married Jean Charon on October 29, 1696 in Baie St. Paul. She was the first child registered in the baptismal records of Baie St. Paul. She had 8 children and died in July, 1714.

Paul Simard was born on November 25, 1681. He married Geneviève Gagnon in 1716. That same year, his mother died at his home. He had 5 children, and died unexpectedly in August 1733.

Marguerite Simard was born on January 14, 1684, She married François Bouchard, a captain of militia, on June 15, 1699. She had 17 children, and died in 1756.

Jean Simard was born on May 27, 1686. He married Geneviève Gravel in 1715, and dies in August of that same year, leaving his pregnant wife in mourning. His posthumous son, Jean, shared with his uncles François and Paul, the share of inheritance which returned to his father.

Marie-Madeleine Simard was born in January 1689. She married Antoine Bouchard on November 20, 1704, in Baie St. Paul. She had 11 children, and died in February, 1769.

Catherine Simard was born in May, 1692. She married Noël Castonguay on June 4, 1716, in Baie St. Paul. She had 9 children, and died in 1748.

MY BRANCH OF THE SIMARD FAMILY

1) Noël SIMARD
son of Noël SIMARD dit LOMBRETTE and Madeleine Racine
Birth: October 7, 1664
Death: April 9, 1726
Spouse: ANNE DODIER
Birth: February 28, 1671
Death: December 8, 1728
daughter of Jacques and Catherine Caron
married at Baie St. Paul, Quebec, April 26, 1689.

2) Prisque SIMARD
son of Noël and Anne Dodier
Born: June 1, 1709 at Baie Saint Paul, Quebec
Died: May 3, 1774 at La Petite Rivière Saint François, Quebec
Spouse: ANGELIQUE GAGNON
daughter of Joseph and Madeleine Tremblay
Born: January 1, 1719 at Baie Saint Paul, Quebec
Died: April 12, 1776 at La Petite Rivière Saint François, Quebec
married at Baie St. Paul, Quebec, on May 2, 1735.

3) Jean François SIMARD
son of Prisque and Angelique Gagnon
Born: October 24, 1756 Spouse: MARIE ANNE OUELLET
daughter of Jacques and Charlotte Lebel
Born: May 31, 1752 in St. Roch, Quebec
married at St. Roch des Aulnaies, Quebec, on January 16, 1786.

3) François SIMARD
son of François and Marie Anne Ouellet
Spouse: MARIE ARCHANGE THIBEAU/THIBAULT
daughter of Michel and Perpétue Bouchard
married at St. Roch des Aulnaies, Quebec, February 13, 1816.

4) François D SIMARD
son of François and Marie Archange Thibault
Spouse: HERMINE COTE
daughter of Nicolas Viola and Angelique Ouellet
married at Cacouna, Quebec, on August 15, 1843.

5) Dydime SIMARD

son of François and Hermine Cote

A) First marriage: FLAVIE ALBERT
daughter of Xavier and Suzanne Devost
married at St François, NB, on June 4, 1866.

B) Second marriage: MARIE GAGNON
daughter of Joseph and (UNKNOWN) Gagnon
married at Eagle Lake, Maine, on February 20, 1906.

6) Malvina SIMARD (1870-1945)
daughter of Dydime Simard and Flavie Albert
Spouse: GEORGES MICHAUD (1864-1920)
Son of Eusebe (Zebulon) Michaud and Julie Martin
married at Ft. Kent, Maine, September 5, 1887.

My Michaud
Family Chart


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