Nicolas Hunault dit DesChampsMarie Benois

Toussaint Hunault dit DesChamps

f a m i l y
Children with:
Marie Lorgueil dir Arcouet

Jeanne Hunault Deschamps
Toussaint Hunault dit DesChamps
  • Born: Abt 1628, Pierre-es-Champs, Beauvais, Oise, France
  • Married 23 Nov 1654, Hocheloga, Quebec, to Marie Lorgueil dir Arcouet
  • Died: 13 Sep 1690, Ville Marie, Montreal, Quebec



    Hainault; Hénau, Hénaud, Héneaux, Haineault, Hunaut et Hunault are different ways of spelling the descendants names of Toussaint Hunault dit Deschamps. In certain cases and for various reasons, the surname was changed to Deschamps, Deshaw, Dishaw, Dechant among others.

    Toussaint's parents were Nicolas Hunault and Marie Benoist, residents of the small area of Saint-Pierre-és-Champs; today a small division in the district of Le Courdray- Saint-Germer, a subdivision of Beauvais in the l'Oise Department, territory of the ancient province of Picardie. I assume the Deschamps surname comes from és-Champs or des Champs. Toussaint was born between 1625-28 but his baptismal registration has not yet been found. From census dates, his birth year is probably 1625. He had at least 2 brothers, and one sister. The use of Deschamps apparently began in the first “Canadian” born generation, and I have found notary documents in the Deschamps name as early as 1717.

    Ville Marie

    Ville Marie (Montréal) was only ten years old and in need of new people when Paul de Chomeday decided to recruit more settlers. Due to the hostilities with Iroquois Nation, the situation in New France was very risky. In the fall of 1651, Maisonneuve left for France with the promise to bring 200 men to defend the villages. He had said, "If I don't get at least 100, I will not return."

    In the spring of 1653, only 120 of the 154 men recruited with Toussaint Hunault honoured their commitment. Toussaint presented himself as a pioneer and was to receive a salary of 75 livres a year for a period of five years. In order to defray his expenses, he was advanced 120 pounds. On 18 April 1653, he was hired at Hotel-Dieu, LaFléche, France, with Jerome Le Royer de La Dauversiére as witness in front of the Notary, Lafausse.

    On June 20 1653, Toussaint sailed from Saint-Nazaire, a port in Nantes on the mouth of the Loire. Hunault and his fellow travellers embarked on the Saint-Nicolas, apparently a very poor ship. After 350 Leagues, they had to turn back from the open sea. Sister Marguerite Bourgeois wrote that everyone would have died without the help of the coastal people who helped save them. On July 20, the Saint-Nicolas was replaced on Saint Marguerite's feast day, and the voyage continued.

    On September 22, 1653, the ship landed in Quebec City. Eleven passengers had died while at sea. Many of those hired were sick during the voyage and some spent time in the Quebec hospital before continuing their journey to Montréal. Toussaint Hunault, Urbain Jetté, Jean Gervais, Paul Benoit dit Nivernois.

    On 16 November 1653, Toussaint and his friends set foot at Ville Marie. As it was November and winter was close at hand, the newcomers were lodged with welcoming families or in the fort. We don't know where Toussaint lived or worked during this time. He may have been occupied cutting wood for heating and building in the spring.

    On 24 July 1654, Maisonnevue ceded to Toussaint his first piece of land, 30 acres deep, by one acre wide, on the hillside of Saint-Louis: today Iberville Street at Saint- Laurent Boulevard. His neighbours were Jean Lemarché dit Laroche and Pierre Chauvin (another of our ancestors).

    Marie Lorgueil

    Toussaint's financé may not have been a stranger to him, because she, like him, had made the crossing on the same ship. Marie Lorguiel was under the sponsorship Sister Marguerite Bourgeois. She was fifteen years old in 1653, the daughter of Pierre Lorgueil and Marie Bruyére from the city of Cognac in Saint Onge; today the chief town of Charente.. They probably had met onboard or upon arrival in Canada while travelling from Quebec to Montréal.

    The Jesuit missionary, Father Claude Pijart, who had been living in New France since 1637, officiated at Toussaint and Marie's marriage in the fort on Monday, 23 November 1654, in the presence of witnesses Paul de Chomeday, Governor, and Gilbert Barbier, Chief Carpenter. This young woman, sixteen years of age, Marie Lorgueil, would become the martiarch of many families.

    Life in New France

    Toussaint and Marie must have cleared the land they had received from Paul de Chomeday. We know this work was hard and arduous. They had to move the forest back, hoe the ground, sow wheat and vegetables between stumps, feed domestic animals and live on the isolated land, at the same time raising a family.

    On 16 September 1665, the Hunaults sold their farm to Pierre Chauvin, a miller neighbour.

    In the 1666 census, the Hunaults were in Montréal with six children. They owned three horned beasts (oxen?) and four acres of cultivated land. We don't know how or from whom they obtained their new property. At the beginning of 1669, Toussaint lived on the slope of Saint-Francois-de-la-Longue-Pointe, where the parish of Saint-Francois d'Assise would be founded in 1724.

    On 19 October 1680, Catherine Hurault, wife of Jean Lemarché died at the age of forty years. She had come to Canada with her husband with the recruits of 1653 and they must have been friends of the Hunaults. Their youngest two little girls; Catherine, five years old, and Marie Madeleine, three years old, were taken in by the Hunaults for a short time but were no longer there at the 1681 census. Catherine Lamarche married in Quebec on 26 October 1695 to Nicolas Dautour. Marie Madeleine was killed by a shot-gun wound by a soldier and was buried in Montréal on 5 September 1691.

    The census of 1681 shows Toussaint Hunault, fifty-six years old, Marie Lorgueil, forty-five years old, with four children still at home. They owned 19 acres of undeveloped land, four horned beasts and four guns.

    A notorial document dated 15 November 1683, states that Toussaint owed his son, Andre, the amount of 370 pounds. On 22 February 1684, the Sulpiciens, proprietors of the island since March 9, 1663, granted a piece of land - four acres frontage, on the slope of Saint-Francois, to Toussaint.

    Now Toussaint began an almost fevered attempt at acquistion and the building of what was hoped to be wealth. On April 5,1687, he sold 30-acres to his son, Andre, on the site called Saint-Francois. Two days later, he bought from Claude Tardy, a merchant in town, an 80-acre concession on the slopes of Saint Dominique along the Riviere des Prairies. On that occasion, the Notary Cabaize also testified that Toussaint Hunault was a resident of that town. The next day, April 8, 1687, the Sulpiciens granted a continuation of the 80-acre claim granted the night before. Furthermore, Pierre Leroux (who was later killed by Iroquois on 26 May 1691 at Lachenale) gave up a 60-acre concession on the slopes of Saint Dominque to Hunault. On 30 May 1688, he again spent money on a small 28 acre piece of land belonging to Nicolas Desroches, widower of Anne Archambeault.

    The many deals before the notaries continued. On May 30, 1688, four contracts were conducted in the presence of Antoine Adhémar, in particular establishing the settlement of funds to the creditor Charles de Couagne from Berry, France, Merchant and Lender (Pawnbroker?). Lastly, on June 25, 1689, Toussaint surrendered to Michel Desrosiers, the land that he had obtained from Claude Tardy, two years previously.

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