Pierre Pelletier

Entrée de la commune de St-Martin-de-Fraigneau
Photo : © Collection privée de Pascal Pelletier. 

More to Explore :

 The warm seasons, favorable to navigation, have seen more than one Pelletier sail from their native provinces of Perche, Beauce, Aunis, Franche-Comté, Poitou, Orléanais, and Normandie to the colony in New France. Among these Pelletiers, was Pierre, who set sail from the port of La Rochelle sometime around 1665. Pierre Pelletier, son of Jehan Pelletier and Andrée Pouvereau, was born on August 24, 1634, in Saint-Martin-de-Fraigneau in Poitou. 

Land Concession in New France

On December 9, 1671, the day before his wedding, Pierre Pelletier acquired from Lord Denis-Joseph Ruette d’Auteuil the parcel of land on which he and his new bride, Françoise Trochet dit Richard, would make their home. Situated in the Seigneury of Dombourg, in what is today Neuville, this land measured two arpents along the Saint Lawrence River and forty arpents inland, and on one side bordered Etienne Magnan, and on the other, Noël Merlin. The Seigneury itself belonged to Lord Jean Bourdon, who had granted a portion of it to d’Auteuil; the concession that d’Auteuil granted to Pierre Pelletier was subject to the following conditions: “To wit, the said party [Pierre Pelletier], or his heirs, must pay to Lord d’Auteuil, or to his heirs, each year at his home in the Seigneury of Dombourg, a rent of twenty sols for each arpent of frontage, as well as a quitrent of two live roosters and six deniers for the entire acreage of the said concession, the said rent and quitrent bearing fines of alienation and seisin, per the common law of the provost-ship and viscountship of Paris; the said party must construct a habitation on the said land, to be occupied by him or by another within a year from the date of this presentation; the said party must execute equally and to the fullest extent all clauses, conditions, and submissions borne and expressed in the titles of concession for the residents and habitants of the said Seigneury of Dom-bourg, of which the party is fully aware, with which the party is satisfied, and which the said party promises to execute to the fullest degree for the profit of the said Lord d’Auteuil or his heirs, in the event of the death of the said Lord….”

As d’Auteuil had himself already cleared some of the land on this concession, Pierre agreed to pay him the sum of 150 pounds, and this via two promissory notes, one with a Monsieur de Villeray for forty pounds, and a second, with Nicolas Peltier, for another forty pounds; the balance of seventy pounds remained for Pierre to pay to d’Auteuil on or before the next feast day of Saint-Rémi, October 1. 

It is noteworthy that Pierre knew Nicolas Peltier, originally of Gallardon, in the province of Beauce, who had arrived in New France in 1636. Notary public Romain Becquet, in the presence of witnesses Claude de la Serre and Martin Bouffard, drew up the contract of con-cession; Pierre, not knowing how to sign his name, initialed only PIP on its pages. Today, the land of Pierre Pelletier belongs to Jean-Paul Côté. 

Following his arrival in New France, Pierre settled on a concession of land measuring two arpents along the Saint Lawrence by forty arpents inland, in the Seigneury of Pointe-aux-Trembles, in what is today Neuville, which belonged to Lord Jean Bourdon. 

On December 10, 1671, per the contract they signed before notary public Romain Becquet, Pierre Pelletier married Françoise Trochet dit Richard, a “fille du Roi”; born about 1641 in Saint-Agnan, commune of Grivesnes, district of Mondidier, diocese of Amiens in the province of Picarie (today the Somme), she was the widow of François Matoret, a master-cooper. We should note that in this contract, Pierre stated that he was the son of the late Jehan Pelletier, meaning that his father had died sometime before 1671. Having settled in Saint-François-de-Sales (Neuville), Pierre and Françoise bore two sons there, Pierre, born in 1672, and Noël, born three years later. 

Among the friends and family present at the nuptials were Anne Gasnier, widow of Jean Bourdon, in charge of the “filles du Roy” once they had arrived from France; there was also Marie-Anne de Saussaye, and Lord Michel du Parquet, as well as the witnesses previously mentioned, Claude de la Serre and Martin Bouffard. 

On her wedding day, Françoise Trochet dit Richard owned three hundred fifty French pounds. Of this, she had received fifty from the King of France as a “fille du Roi,” the other three hundred most likely having come from the estate of her late husband, François Matoret, whom she had married while still in Picardie. Pierre Pelletier therefore married a relatively wealthy woman – perhaps the reason for her byname, “Richard” –, and it was because of her wealth that Pierre was able to afford the concession in the Seigneury of Dombourg (Neuville).

In fact, according to common law of Paris, which was the sole legal code enforced in the colony, those property and wealth that either newlywed brought to the union, they shared as one “community.” Per their marriage contract, this community ensured that Pierre and Françoise were liable “all together and one for all” for all contracted debts made by either spouse before and after their nuptials. Moreover, by entering into this community, Pierre and Françoise shared each other’s household goods – furniture, linen, utensils, etc. – as well as any real estate acquired in relation to his profession or craft. Finally, the family goods, designated “property” by the common law of Paris, included any real estate due to either the husband or the wife by direct or indirect inheritance or by donation. 

Pierre Pelletier and Noël Jérémie.

The census of 1666 reports that Pierre Pelletier worked as a servant for Lord Noël Jérémie, who had acquired a 638-arpent seigneury of his own on the Isle of Patience in 1662. 
Noël Jérémie, known also as Lamontange, son of Claude Jérémie and Hélène Macart, was born in Mareuil-sur-Ay, in Champagne (France). His ages at the different censuses of New France (1666,1667, 1681) indicate that he was born some time about 1628 to 1636; he died in the area of Quebec City sometime around 1696. An interpreter and fur trader in the vast Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, based in Tadoussac, he traveled and traded with area Indians accompanied by his wife’s brother,François Pelletier-Antaya; on January 29, 1659, in Quebec City, shortly after his arrival in New France, Jérémie had married François’ sister, Jeanne, daughter of Nicolas Peltier, of Gallardon in Beauce (France). 
Pierre Pelletier died in Pointe-aux-Trembles (Neuville) on December 30, 1694, and was buried in the cemetery there the following day. His widow, Françoise Trochet dit Richard, was buried in Neuville on May 15, 1706. Nothing remains of this original cemetery today; in its place, there is a tennis court. 
Noël Pelletier, his second son.

Noël was born in Neuville on December 5, 1675, and baptized at Notre-Dame-de-Québec the next day. He would go on to become Captain of the Militia in Neuville. 
On February 8, 1700, at the parish church of Saint-François-de-Sales of Neuville, Noël wed Marie-Angélique Garnier, daughter of François Garnier dit Pellerin and Jacqueline Freslon. Marie-Angélique was born in 1679 and died in 1703 at the age of twenty-four. She and Noël had two children, Noël in 1700 and Marie-Madeleine in 1702. 
On August 13, 1703, Noël married Marie-Madeleine Matte, daughter of Nicolas Matte and Madeleine Auvray, also from the parish of Neuville. 

Noël Pelletier was buried in Neuville on May 23, 1748. 


L'ancêtre Pierre Pelletier


Author : Jean-Denis Pelletier
Publish in french in La Pelleterie, volume 5, no 1 - été 1991. 

 Latest Discoveries about our Ancestors :

 After reading the Origin Files (“fichier Origine”) about the different baptisms found in France, I set myself to finding a copy of a document proving that Pierre Pelletier had a brother, forgotten until now for some three hundred years. After vain efforts at the Société de généalogie Canadienne-Française (SGCF) to obtain the address of the French researcher who had indicated the existence of this document, I decided to place an advertisement in the forum of the Association de généalogie française (AGF) in Vendée (France). I wanted to see if any fellow genealogists might be able to go to the Departmental Archives (AD) in Roche-sur-Yon to locate a baptismal certificate dated June 24, 1640. Different colleagues replied via e-mail, confirming the existence of this document, but no one was able to produce a copy of it as proof because, it seems, the Departmental Archives were not equipped with a photocopy machine. 

In 2002, the Departmental Archives digitized, via CD-Rom, the majority of the registers for the towns and communes in Vendée, and Mr. George Paquet and his wife were able to produce copies of the baptismal certificates for not only Pierre Pelletier, but also for his brother, Louys. In the case of Pierre, the Association had known about his baptism since 1982, when Jean-Denis Pelletier brought back a copy after his visit to Saint-Martin-de-Fraigneau. As for Louys, however, it was only at the end of 2002 that his existence became known. Although this copy came from the registers preserved at the Departmental Archives, there are two registers available, one at the town hall, the other at the AD. 

« L’an de grâce mil six cent trente quatre le 24e jour d’août à été baptisé Pierre Pelletier fils de Jehan Pelletier et de Andrée Pouvereau Et a été parrain Pierre Guillon et marraine Élizabeth Lalie.

                                               Barranger (paraphe)
_______ Pelletier Mil six cent quz  ________
_______ ______ Pelletier »

Translation: “In the year of our Lord 1634, on the twenty-fourth day of August, was baptized Pierre Pelletier, son of Jehan Pelletier and of Andrée Pouvereau, godfather being Pierre Guillon, and godmother, Elizabeth Lalie.”

                                              Barranger (paraphe)

« Le vingt quatrième jour de juin mil six cent quarante ... battizé Louys Pelletier fils de Jehan Pelletier .... Andrée Poumelle [le parrain a été] Louys Bourit et la marraine Catherine Phellipeau par moi Barrangier curé de Saint Martin de Fraigneau »

Translation: “On the twenty-fourth day of June, 1640, [was] baptized Louys Pelletier, son of Jehan Pelletier … Andrée Poumelle [godfather being] Louys Bourit, and godmother, Catherine Phellipeau, by me, Barrangier, rector of Saint-Martin-de-Fraigneau.”

Please note that reading the photocopied document is relatively easier than reading these digitized versions.

The village of Saint-Martin-de Fraigneau

JDP SMFCavaire

Le calvaire de l'entrée Est avec de vieux hangars en arrière-plan. (1982)


À NOS MORTS 1914-1918

COURTIN Cléophas
GARNIER Maximile
GÉANT Clovis
GUILLON Dalyminthe

MARS Célestin
MARS Henri
SACRÉ Auguste

À NOS MORTS 1939-1945

Monument to the dead of the two world wars (1982)


A street of Saint-Martin de Fraigneau. (1982)

Here are a couple of photos of the church of Saint-Martin-de-Fraigneau taken by Richard Lebrun and his brother in the autumn of 2001. Both are descendants of the Pelletiers of the local by their mother. 

Photos : © Collection privée de Richard Lebrun. 


The front of the church that saw the baptism of Pierre et Louys Pelletier. (2001)

Stain glass window in hommage to Saint-Martin. (2001)

Back of the church. (2001) 

The interior towards the alter (2001)

The interior towards the back  (2001)

Here are some other photos taken at the commune of Saint-Martin-de-Fraigneau in April of 2002 by Mr. Pascal Pelletier and his wife following a request for information on an internet forum in the region of Vendée in France. A big thank you for the time and effort taken by Mr. Pascal Pelletier and his wife. 

Photos : © Collection privée de Pascal Pelletier.


Calvaire at the western entrance. (2002)

Calvaireat the eastern entrance. (2002)


Entrance to the commune of St-Martin-de-Fraigneau. (2002)


The village and its agricultural fields. (2002)


The old well. (2002)


Old section of the village. (2002)


The cemetery. (2002)

In the document « Histoire de Saint-Martin-de-Fraigneau », published in August 1963 by Gérard Benneteau, we find important information concerning the cemetery of Saint-Martin-de-Fraigneau.

Following visits to Saint-Martin-de-Fraigneau by a descendant, we now know that there exists no trace of the Pelletiers in the cemetery because the graves were opened and emptied on January 1st 1896. The old cemetery, which must have contained the remains that possibly went all the way back to the time of Jehan Pelletier, father of Pierre et Louys, was closed and sold. It was situated between the modern café and the bakery (in 1983 at least). 


restored farmhouse. (2002)


The community hall (2002)


Elementary school (2002)

The village church. (20020

The village square (2002)


The town hall (2002)

25, rue des Platanes
85200 Saint-Martin-de-Fraigneau
France, CEE.

Téléphone : (02) 51 53 06 91
Télécopie : (02) 51 53 02 07 
Attention de composer les indicatifs interurbains requis au préalable.

Courriel : mairie.stmartindefraigneau@wanadoo.fr 


Point du Jour (French text)

Préambule géographique.

Le ruisseau, ainsi que le rang du Point-du-Jour-Sud, se trouvent immédiatement à l’est de la ville de L’Assomption, sur la rive nord du Saint-Laurent. Cet endroit, de la paroisse de Saint-Pierre du Portage, faisait autrefois partie de la seigneurie de Saint-Sulpice.


Il était une fois au Point-du-Jour…

Il y a longtemps, par un samedi de l’an 1774, le 25 juin avant midi, le notaire Daguilhe s’est rendu en la maison de pierre de Charlotte Chavigny dite Durand et de Jean-Baptiste Pelletier afin de prendre en note et faire lecture d’un accord de famille. 

Un accord qui déclarait officiellement que le partage convenu en 1770 du bien paternel entre quatre héritiers ; Jean-Baptiste Pelletier fils, François Pelletier, Joseph Pelletier et Angélique Pelletier « autorisée à l’effet des présentes » par son époux Dominique Irebour, avait changé de teneur.

En effet, le fils, Jean-Baptiste Pelletier, en échange d’une terre sise sur la rivière de l’Achigan, renonçait à la terre, et à la maison de pierre, situées sur le ruisseau du Point-du-Jour. 

Au fil des années et au fil des actes notariés qui suivront, ces héritiers ont vendu leur part et c’est en 1789, le 26 septembre, que le passage des Pelletier sur la terre du Point-du-Jour était définitivement devenu chose du passé.

Définitivement ? Non !

Il n’y a pas si longtemps, par un agréable lundi de l’an 2002, le 16 septembre après midi, deux descendants de ces Pelletier sont revenus sur les lieux de leur origine pour visiter la terre située au 101, Point-du-Jour-Sud à l’Assomption.

Les portes se sont ouvertes avec l’aide précieuse de monsieur Marcel Blanchard et de la Société d’histoire de l’Assomption permettant ainsi à Jean-Denis Pelletier et moi, Pascal Pelletier, tous deux accompagnés de nos conjointes, de franchir le seuil du temps et de partir brièvement à la recherche de la trace de nos ancêtres.

Les propriétaires actuels, monsieur et madame Lafortune, nous attendaient devant la maison. Une fois les présentations faites, la reconnaissance du milieu et les photographies d’extérieures prises, monsieur Lafortune raconta comment son grand-père avait été le premier des Lafortune à habiter cet endroit dont la famille précédente, les Debussat dit Saint-Germain, avait transformé la maison en poulailler !

Puis pour un temps, la maison de pierre est devenue un entrepôt pour les foins avant d’être réaménagée et redevenir habitable. L’intérieur ne reflète donc plus ce qu’il était du temps des Pelletier. Où est la trace alors ?

C’est en montant au grenier que l’on découvre ces poutres d’origine qui forment la charpente de la maison. Ces poutres équarries par les constructeurs Pelletier portent encore les traces des coups de haches. Fait remarquable, ces poutres sont reliées grâce à des chevilles en bois. Puis, c’est aussi à cet endroit que l’on peut voir les pierres qui soutiennent les murs de la maison, nous sommes revenus en 1774 le temps d’un moment.

Il suffit de lire le bulletin de la Société d’histoire de l’Assomption, la « Souvenance » volume 14, numéro 2 pour apprendre en détail l’histoire générale de cette maison de pierre qui se tient encore debout malgré ses approximatifs 262 années de loyaux services. 

Mais quelle est brièvement l’histoire de ces Pelletier d’avant 1724 ? 

Le premier habitant du Point-du-Jour, Pierre Pelletier est né à Neuville le 3 août 1673, baptisé le 5 au même lieu. Il est le fils du pionnier et patriarche Pierre Pelletier et de Françoise Trochet dite Richard, fille du Roy et veuve de François Matoret. Son frère, Noël Pelletier, devenu capitaine de milice est demeuré à Neuville et sa descendance, peu nombreuse, se retrouve encore aujourd’hui dans la région de Québec.

C’est ce pionnier Pierre Pelletier qui est arrivé en Nouvelle-France vers les années 1665 / 1666 depuis la commune de Saint-Martin-de-Fraigneau qui existe encore dans la Vendée actuelle. 

Quelles sont les raisons qui ont conduit ce pionnier Pelletier vers les rives du Saint-Laurent ? Mes recherches actuelles n’apportent pas cette réponse qui, peut être, existe encore dans les vieux registres en France. Il suffira d’investir pour aller retrouver là-bas, la trace de l’ancêtre. 

Avant le départ, monsieur  Blanchard s’est fait un devoir de nous amener voir l’autre maison de pierre que l’on retrouve encore au Point-du-Jour Sud, celle où naquit le comédien Hector Charland qui incarna à la radio l’avare Séraphin Poudrier. Cette maison est en bien piteux état et elle ne survivra plus tellement longtemps à nos hivers. Le mur arrière est celui qui va s’effondrer le premier, suivi du toit.

C’est ce qui peut arriver à la maison Pelletier dans un avenir rapproché si rien n’est fait pour sauver ce bâtiment dont la structure de pierre a bien besoin de travaux de consolidation. Monsieur et madame Lafortune ont réussi au fil des années à préserver l’héritage de cette maison dont ils parlent avec beaucoup de fierté mais il faut bien prendre conscience qu’ils ne pourront pas retenir les œuvres du temps indéfiniment.

Qu’adviendra-t’il ensuite de la maison qui a vu naître les ancêtres de la chanteuse Marie-Denise Pelletier, de l’artiste Jean-Paul Riopelle ou encore de monseigneur Maurice O’Bready pour ne citer que ceux qui, parmi les plus connus, sont à ma mémoire au moment d’écrire ces lignes?

La société dans laquelle nous vivons aujourd’hui permet à ses gouvernements de dépenser des millions de dollars annuellement en publicité pour nous rappeler qui nous sommes. Mais pourquoi perdons-nous notre temps à nous définir de cette façon s’il risque de ne rien subsister de notre passé pour y asseoir les bases de notre avenir ? 

L’avocat du Diable, ou le ministre des finances, affirmera que la collectivité préservera toujours et du mieux qu’elle le désire les grands édifices encore utiles et à la vue de tous tels que les églises, les presbytères, les collèges ou les vieux bistrots. À la fin du jour, il oubliera de mentionner que pour construire ces édifices, il a d’abord fallu apprendre à bâtir des maisons de pierre.


Pascal Pelletier


A Visit to Saint Martin de Fraigneau (July 2005)

Pascal Pelletier in St-Martin-de-Fraigneau (july 17, 2005)

Since 2002, I have corresponded with a fellow genealogist in France who, with his wife, often spends his summers in the small town of Boisse, located a few miles from St-Martin-de-Fraigneau, birthplace of my ancestor, Pierre Pelletier. Thanks to this proximity, on several occasions they have helped me obtain copies of documents relating to Pierre, his family, and other contemporary Pelletier cousins.

So, at the beginning of this year, in anticipation of our arrival in France my friend contacted the St-Martin-de-Fraigneau town hall to see about finding someone who could meet with us and explain how our ancestors would have lived back then, and how the community has since developed.

This is how we came to know local historian Mrs. Bély, a childhood friend of the mayor of St-Martin-de-Fraigneau. She explained how delighted he was to learn that a “native son” had moved to New France and that now, some of his descendants were visiting their ancestor’s homeland. She revealed after the fact that the mayor had returned early from his vacation expressly to meet with me.  


July 21, 2005

The time and date of my meeting with the mayor had been finalized only a few days before my departure to France, so the Pelletier Family Association board of directors was unaware of these developments. The only people who did know were the president, Denis, and the new editor of La Pelleterie, Jean-Denis, also a descendant of Pierre Pelletier.

Now, arriving at the St-Martin-de-Fraigneau city hall, I only expected to meet the mayor and Mrs. Bély, as most people in France take their summer vacation in July. What a mistake! Not only were they of course there, but so were several members of the municipal council, as well as Mr. Marcel Pelletier, a former council member. He was not able speak about his lineage, as he has not traced his genealogy, but he was delighted all the same to meet a Pelletier “cousin” from Québec.

In all, about twelve people awaited us at the city hall that morning, and I realized after several minutes that the two gentlemen asking me questions were in fact journalists from two local papers, Vendée Matin and Ouest France. So, without any notes or time to prepare, I recounted what I knew about “good old” Pierre Pelletier, his life in New-France and his descendants who still today live in the area of Assomption. 

Once the official photograph had been taken and the journalists had left, it was time for the “vin d’honneur.” Our glasses of Sauterne raised high, we toasted Pierre’s memory and the return of his descendants to St-Martin-de-Fraigneau.

Having known this moment would come, and that it would the perfect opportunity to personally thank the mayor and Mrs. Bély, I had brought a couple of gifts. To Mrs. Bély I presented a compilation of the work of Gilles Vigneault, a popular Québécois singer; and for the mayor, the first volume of Jacques Lacoursière’s Histoire populaire du Québec – a people’s history of the province. They were visibly surprised and moved by this gesture of gratitude.

At this point, I seized the opportunity to ask the mayor if it might be possible for him and the municipal council to find a way to memorialize Pierre Pelletier in St-Martin-de-Fraigneau, either with a monument, a plaque or by naming a street after him. I added that I would be very happy to make a quick return trip to France for the dedication ceremony!

I do not know what the result of my request will be, but I believe the notion of naming a street after Pierre Pelletier received the most spontaneous approval from the municipal councilors present, and the mayor seemed to be in favor of this idea as well. He promised to be back in contact with me at the end of the summer.

As the reception continued, the mayor opened the registers so that I can see with my very own eyes the original records of baptism for Pierre and his brother Louys. I was also able to digitally photograph these acts. 

Before leaving, the mayor made it clear that I could return to St-Martin-de-Fraigneau as often as I wanted, as I am always welcome… “back home.”

Pascal Pelletier.
english translation by Benoit Pelletier-Shoja

M. le maire Bernard Guérin, Pascal Pelletier and Madame Bély.


Reading the original document



Pascal and Marcel Pelletier, former council member of St-Martin-de-Fraigneau


A visit to St-Martin-de-Fraigneau (july 2005)


Auteur : Pascal Pelletier

© Association des Familles Pelletier Inc.  2015