Latest News About Nicolas Peltier and His Family in Gallardon

On 21 July 2005, at the Eure-et-Loir Departmental Archives in Chartres (France), in the register of a seventeenth-century Gallardonian notary, a descendant of Nicolas Peltier named Benoit Pelletier-Shoja discovered his ancestor’s apprenticeship contract, dated 29 February 1612. This contract is inestimably important for several reasons.

First, it bears the signature of Nicolas Peltier, which allows us to prove irrefutably and therefore definitively that this is the signature of Canadian ancestor Nicolas Peltier.

Nicolas Peltier’s Signature extracted from his apprenticeship contract, 29 February 1612

Moreover, it reinforces what we already knew about the origins of this ancestor from the Notre-Dame de Québec parish register (17 October 1650): that Nicolas Peltier came from the parish of Gallardon.

The contract also bears the signature of the person who instructed young Nicolas in the art of carpentry, the trade that he would later continue in New France. This master-carpenter was named Michel Delaval, and the contract bears not only his signature, but also his mark. He traced beneath his signature the silhouette of a broadax, the indispensable tool of a carpenter or joiner for hewing posts and beams. This identifying mark would have also undoubtedly appeared on any timber framework constructed by Delaval.

In addition, it shows that Michel Delaval lived in Épernon, a neighboring commune of Gallardon, where he would have quite likely brought his young pupil. This represents the first indication of Nicolas’ early migrations before his arrival in Québec in 1636.

Nonetheless, the ultimate reason that this document is so precious to us is that it bears the names of Nicolas Peltier’s parents! It would later serve as the key to “opening up” research in the parish registers of Gallardon.


Facsimile of the contract drafted in Gallardon on 29 February 1612, by Jean Fullone
Date of the Contract, Extracted from a Previous Page


First Part of Contract (Recto)


Second Part of Contract (Verso)
Photos by Éric Blaise


Transcription :

Du mercredy vingtneufviesme
et dernier jour de febvrier 1612

Fut presente simonne pichereau veuve de deffunct francoys
pelletyer demeurant a gallardon laquelle baille comme aprenty et alleve
du premier jour de mars prochain jusqu’ à quatre ans
ensuivant à michel delaval maistre charpentyer demeurant a espernon
present, cest assavoir nicollas pelletyer filz dudyt deffunt
pelletyer et deladyte pichereau ses pere et mere
pour par ledyt delaval son maistre luy aprendre
monstrer & enseigner sondyt estat de charpentyer
& luy querir & aprester son boire manger [mecher] [ de]
chaufer blanchir tant sain que malade durant ledyt
temps et oultre alacharge de par ledyt delaval
son maistre l’entretenir tant d’habits que linges et chaussures
selon qu’a son estat et qualitte apartient [________]
aussi que ledyt nicollas pelletyer sera tenu servir
ledyt delaval son maistre a sondyt estat et a touttes
ses autres affaires licittes & honnestes que luy commendera
sans s’en deffier n’y ailleurs servir a quoy faire
ledyt pelletyer sy est [s ] & [oblige] mesme par
enprisonnement de sa personne ce bail faict [_____]
& alacharge que ledyt pelletyer sera tenu servir
sondyt maistre durant ledyt temps sans luy en payer
aucune chose car ainsy en presence maistre thomas
deleau [___________________________]
lesdytes partyes [_______________]

                                         [avec hache à main]

   ABRAHAM                        DELEAUE
   [avec paraphe]                     [avec paraphe]



On Wednesday the twenty-ninth
and last day of February 1612

Was present Simone Pichereau, widow of the late François
Pelletier, residing in Gallardon, who leases as apprentice and student
from the first day of March next and for the next four years
following to Michel Delaval master carpenter residing in Épernon,
present, to wit: Nicolas Pelletier son of the said late
Pelletier and of the said Pichereau his father and mother
for the said Delaval his master to teach
show & instruct him his said condition of carpenter
& to provide him and prepare his drink food [participate] [ de]
to warm and clean as much healthy as ill during the said
time and otherwise at the expense of the said Delaval
his master to maintain as much clothes as linens and shoes
according to his condition and quality [________]
also that the said Nicolas Pelletier will be obliged to
the said Delaval his master in his said condition and to all
his other licit and honest affaires that he will be commanded
without mistrusting or elsewhere serving in any task
the said Pelletier has [s ] & [obliged] himself even by
imprisonment of his person; this lease made [_____]
& that the said Pelletier will be obliged to serve
his said master during the said time without paying him
any thing; for; thus; in presence of Master Thomas
Deleau [___________________________]
the said parties [_______________]

                                  [with broad axe]

ABRAHAM                     DELEAUE
[with paraph]                [with paraph]

The original of this contract is conserved at the Eure-et-Loir Departmental Archives (call number: 2 E 49 / 35); transcription by Michel Thibault, Brigitte Feret and Benoit Pelletier-Shoja, with additional help from Émilie Lebailly and Guy Perron. Note that the spelling here conforms to the original document and that italic characters “complete” the abbreviations and shorthand employed the notary.

The Registers of Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul of Gallardon :

We cannot talk about the parish registers of Gallardon without mentioning – and obviously thanking – Florine Perry, chief administrative assistant in charge of the civil registry at the city hall. To say that Ms. Perry is a friend of the Pelletier family is not saying enough. Without knowing either Nicolas Peltier or the young American writing to ask for information about the family of his ancestor, without even knowing what she might find, she undertook the immense task of reuniting the descendants of this “native son” with their ancestor. Ms. Perry not only granted Nicolas’ descendants access to the oldest registers for Gallardon, she also performed substantial research on her own, as much in the municipal archives as at the Departmental Archives in Chartres – not to mention her role in the dedication of a commemorative plaque in honor of Nicolas Peltier unveiled in Gallardon. With invaluable help from scholar and historian Maurice Vié, himself an indefatigable researcher and the author of several tomes about the history of Gallardon and its environs, Ms. Perry has allowed us a glimpse of the great Pelletier family of Gallardon.

Following the discovery of Nicolas Peltier’s apprenticeship contract and armed with the names of his parents, Benoit Pelletier-Shoja set himself to “thumbing through” the oldest of Gallardon’s parish registers.

In the second register, which begins in March 1591, he found not one, but three of Nicolas’ sisters – older sisters at that. Nicolas was the fourth child and the first son of his family. His parents eventually brought thirteen children into the world, which is to say nine daughters and four sons, from 1592 to 1610. We cannot however at this time confirm how many of these children lived to adulthood.


Children of François Pelletier and Simone Pichereau, baptized at the Church of Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul of Gallardon :


Simone Pelletier (16 november 1592)

Le lundy seizeesme jour de novembre a esté
baptiza symonne fille de francoys pelletier
et de symonne pichereau ses peres et meres jehan
janes et marion bernarde femme de marin beauchesne
et marie pichereau veufve de jacques vigoureux
tous de ceste paroisse

Monday the sixteenth day of November was
baptized Simone daughter of François Pelletier
and Simone Pichereau her father and mother Jean
Janet and Marion Bernarde wife of Marin Beauchesne
and Marie Pichereau widow of Jacques Vigoureux
all of this parish


Philippe Pelletier (18 october 1593)

Le dixhuictiesme jour fut baptize
philippe fille de de francoys pelletier
et simonne pichereau ces pere et mere
pasquier pichereau philippe garnier et
je jehanne riole ces parains et maraines

The eighteenth day was baptized
Philippe daughter of François Pelletier
and Simone Pichereau her father and mother
Pasquier Pichereau Philippe Garnier and
Jeanne Riollet her godfather and godmothers


Jeanne Pelletier (3 april 1595)

Le troysiesme jour du mois fut baptisée jehanne pelletier
fille de francoys pelletier le paren marin [beausejour?]
les maraines jehanne goicedde femme de jehan bernard
et marie pichereau femme de vincent collibert

The third day of the month was baptized Jeanne Pelletier
daughter of François Pelletier godfather Marin [Beauséjour?]
godmothers Jeanne Goissedet wife of Jean Bernard
and Marie Pichereau wife of Vincent Colibert


Nicolas Peltier (4 june 1596)

1596 quarto die mensis junii baptizatus fuit nicolaus
filius francisci pelletier et simone pichereau eius
uxoris patrini nicolaus brebier et eligius pelletier
matrina vero mathurine moinaut uxor pascasii

Transcription du latin par Michel Thibault

1596 the fourth day of the month of June was baptized Nicolas
son of François Pelletier and Simone Pichereau his
wife godfathers Nicolas Brebier and Éloi Pelletier
godmother Mathurine Moinaut wife of Pasquier


Marie Pelletier (11 march 1598)

Le ii jour dud moys a este baptisse marie le peltier
fille de francoys le peltier et simonne picheriau les
parrains jehan martin et demoiselle katherine derouet et germaine

The eleventh day of the said month was baptized Marie Lepeltier
daughter of François Lepeltier and Simone Pichereau
godparents Jean Martin and Miss Catherine Derouet and Germaine


Marie Pelletier (10 february 1599)

Le dixiesme jour dud moys a este baptizee
marie peltier fille de francoys peltier et de
simonne pycherelle le parain claude du boys
les maraines marie garnier et marie de la roche

The tenth day of the said month was baptized
Marie Peltier daughter of François Pelletier and
Simone Picherelle godfather Claude Dubois
godmothers Marie Garnier and Marie Delaroche


Jeanne Pelletier (11 july 1600)

1600 Martis undecima easdem mensis baptizata fuit johanna
filia francisci peltier et symonne pychereau eius uxoris
patrinus georgius peltier matrinae maria pychereau
et johanna baudouyn

1600 Tuesday the eleventh day of the same month was baptized Jeanne
daughter of François Pelletier and Simone Pichereau his wife
godfather Georges Pelletier godmothers Marie Pichereau
and Jeanne Beaudouin


Eloy Pelletier (23 january 1602)

1602 vigesima tertius die mensis januarii babtizatus fuit eligius
filius francisci pelletier et simone pichereau eius uxoris
patrini eligius boudon et joannus fullone [____]
matrina vero joanna boudon uxor eligii vassort

1602 the twenty-third day of the month of January was baptized Éloi
son of François Pelletier and Simone Pichereau his wife
godfathers Éloi Boudon and [Master ?] Jean Fullone
godmother Jeanne Boudon wife of Éloi Vassort


Pierre Pelletier (18 november 1603)

Translation of the original Latin text:

The eighteenth day of the month was baptized
Pierre son of François Pelletier
and Simone Pichereau his wife godfathers were
Pierre Beauchesne and Nicolas
son of Éloi Pelletier godmother was
Jeanne wife of Claude Duboys


Nathalie Pelletier (10 april 1605)

Translation of the original Latin text:

The tenth day of April of the same year was baptized Nathalie
daughter of François Pelletier and Simone Pichereau godfather was
Mathurin Bisson godmothers Nathalie Naufray and
Étiennette Janet


Marguerite Pelletier (10 november 1606)

Translation of the original Latin text:

The same day was baptized Marguerite daughter of
François Pelletier and Simone Pichereau godfather was
Jean Yesme godmothers Marguerite Mauguin
and Mathurine Colibert
                               [signed] MARCHANT


Philippe Pelletier (22 february 1609)

Le dict jour environ sept heures du soir fut baptize
Philippe fils de francoys pelletier et de simonne
pichereau sa femme les parains noble homme
Philippe Desessarts et André pelletier la maraine
Adrienne haury femme de michel Abraham

On the said day at about 7 o’clock at night was baptized
Philippe son of François Pelletier and of Simone
Pichereau his wife godfathers noble man
Philippe Desessarts and André Pelletier godmother
Adrienne Haury wife of Michel Abraham


Simone Pelletier (13 june 1610)

Le treise iesme jour dudit mois a este baptisse
simonne peltier fille de francoies peltier simonne
picherelle ces pere et mere et le parain gilles
collabert et la maraine jaqueline abray
                               [signé] GILLES COLLIBER

The thirteenth day of the said month was baptized
Simone Peltier daughter of François Peltier Simone
Picherelle her father and mother and godfather Gilles
Colibert and godmother Jacqueline Aubray

                               [signed] GILLES COLLIBER


The images of the baptismal acts of the Pelletier children come to us courtesy of the Eure-et-Loir Departmental Archives. Archives director Michel Tibault has indicated that by 2007, the Departmental Archives will offer on its website (, digitized images of all vital records within the department, including Gallardon, up to 1853.

Burial records for the parish of Gallardon do not exist before 1658, but given that the word “défunt” (deceased) is absent from Simone’s baptism, we can presume that her father was still living in June 1610. He therefore died between that time and the signing of Nicolas’ apprenticeship contract. Mr. Thibault indicates: “It is therefore probable that the death of François not only made it impossible for Nicolas to learn his father’s trade but also posed for his widow the very real problem of subsistence; the father’s trade is completely unknown to us, as are the family’s means, but it is possible that Nicolas began his apprenticeship at a very early age because quite simply his mother did not have the means, following her widowhood, to provide for her children.”

Benoît Pelletier-Shoja
courriel :

Nashua, New Hampshire

29 octobre 2005


Tableaux of “Old Gallardon” :

This tableau dates to 1780. At center is the Church of Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul. At left, the ruins of the château-fort of Gallardon destroyed during the Hundred Years War by the Dauphin (later Charles VII) who fought alongside Jeanne d’Arc. After his victory over the English forces in June 1421, Charles had the château destroyed (sapped), in the hope that war never again come to Gallardon. After the sapping, one portion of one of the towers remained standing. The donjon, called the “Épaule de Gallardon” (Shoulder of Gallardon) since the eighteenth century, still today stands as it is depicted in this painting.


Photos by Éric Blaise

This second tableau shows Gallardon in the early nineteenth century, with its thatched roofs and the “porte Mouton” (Mouton gate), which was destroyed by the inhabitants of Gallardon in 1848. People used the stones from this gate, as well as those from the ramparts and the old churches in the city, to construct their houses. According to Maurice Vié: “The porte Mouton (or porte Archer) lead towards the commune of Maintenon, and to the hamlets of Le Ménil and Baglainval.” The hamlets of Germonval (direction Rambouillet) and of Le Ménil were not enclosed within the walls of Gallardon itself, as the city was small, but adjoined the city, and this is where, at the time of Nicolas Peltier, a great number of Pelletiers lived.