Need help reading marriage contract of a Fille du Roi

+5 votes

I have found the actual marriage contract for my husband's ancestress, Fille du Roi, Marguerite Bonnefoy / de Ste Foy.  It can be accessed at

Unfortunately, my genealogical reading level of French is not nearly good enough to read this contract.

I could use some help in figuring out what information can be gleaned from this document.

in Genealogy Help by Mary Jensen G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
Today, I found the contract for her second marriage in 1671.  Here is what I came up with as a cite for it with the link.

Québec, Actes de Giles Rageot, Notary, No. 629, Marriage Contract of Claude Carpentier and Marguerite de St Foy, 9 Jul 1671, images 1114 to 1115 of 1224, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, ( : accessed 5 Aug 2020)

Some sources had the ceremony date with the notary's name and did not have the document number making it harder to find, but the handwriting is easier to decipher.  It repeats her parents names, so maybe it will help some. Its still beyond my limited ability to read French except for pulling out names and parents and a few other words.
Gilles Rageot also just writes Paroisse de Sainct Denis évesché de Rouen, no further specification there.

Not sure if you have the marriage record from Notre-Dame-de-Québec, but it's much easier to read.  I've included the reference and the transcription.

1671 mariage/marriage - [ FamilySearch]. Quebec, Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1979 > Québec > Notre-Dame-de-Québec > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1621-1679 > image 473 of 512

1671 Claude Carpentier et Marguer. de Ste Foy — Le vingt-quatrième jour du mois d’aoust de l’année mil six cens soixante et onze après les fiançailles et la publication faite des trois bans de mariage le seizième, vingt-troisième et vingt quatrième des mois et an, d’entre Claude Carpentier fils de Florent Carpentier et de Marie Gerlet ses pere et mere de la paroisse de Neuville Terrien archevesché de Rouen d’une part et Margueritte de Ste Foy veufve de Jacques Achon demeurant à Dombourg de la paroisse de de St Denys archevesché de Rouen d’autre part […] en presence de Jean François Bourdon sieur de Dombourg, Jean du Duc, Jean Chestier, etc. — H. DeBernieres

Robert, it's Notre-Dame de Québec, no hyphens on last part, FS and other computer programs hyphenate to make the computer able to track them, that's all.  wink

The practice of hyphenating names is also a modern thing.  The documents I transcribe almost never use hyphens in names like Marie Anne.

You are entirely correct.  And there is no such thing as ''middle name'' either.  laugh

Yes, I had the second marriage ceremony record from Notre Dame of Quebec.  It appeared to me that there were more names in the marriage contracts, but I couldn't figure out who the extra people mentioned were.  At one point, I thought I saw parrain or godfather in one of them and maybe Guilliame but I couldn't be sure.
Just took another look at the copy in Drouin collection, the other people are friends assisting the parties, there are at least two women named as well as their husbands.  Probably also there as witnesses.
I want to thank all of you for your help.  Marguerite's profile and those of her husbands are filling out with a lot more original sources.

I'm comfortable with writing the English bio.  I think I've put the sources in the right place in the French biographie.  I would appreciate having someone more fluent in French check the French biographie to see if any changes or additions are needed.

2 Answers

+4 votes
the contract starts on preceding page to what you have linked.  The page you linked sets out the various standard stipulations, like dower and goods brought to the marriage etc.  Will have to get back to this one, not an easy read even for me, Claude Auber's handwriting is not very legible.
by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (468k points)

Thank you Danielle.  I'll fix the link in my citation.  Here is what we know and think it says from other sources (including Tanguay and PRDH and FichierOrigine).

parties and parents: 

Jacques Achon, son of Jean Achon and Hélène Regnault, probably from Chambon

Marguerite, daughter of Pierre du Sainte Foy and Marie Andrieu (might say following names that parents are from the parish of St Denis in the diocese of Rouen? Migrations says it is St Denis de Duclair which google says is 11 miles west of the center of Rouen)

would especially like to know if it mentions any parishes and for what events and also if it says any of the parents are deceased or says where the parents are from.

dower: likely 150 livres although one other source says 200; would like to know if it mentions anything other than the livres as part of the dowry

Ages of any person: does it give any?

Jacques occupation: fichier origine says he was a migrant who arrived in 1664 and that his father's occupation was Journalier

Fichier Origine says that according to the contract, the wedding is to take place at Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré

In the upper left margin of the first page the date says 4 Dec 1667 which is the date most sources use for the marriage, but in the first paragraph of the text, it looks like it might be 7 Dec. What do you think?

I looked at the previous page for a bit.  This is definitely not something you decode in one sitting.  

This is what I interpreted so far.  The names are iffy!  Hopefully the lines stay separated

Par devant Claude Auber - - - 

Royal en la Nouvelle France 

… quatre? jour?  décembre…


Assoy fils de Jehay Ensoy et de Heleine Regnaud ses 

pere et mere de la paroisse de Samby? évêché 

de - - - d’une part et Margueritte de Sainte Foy fille 

de Pierre de Sainte Foy et 

The date is "le dimanche quatrième jour de décembre mil six cent soixante et sept", and indeed 4 Dec 1667 was a Sunday. The J of "jour" can be mistaken for a "7".

The groom is Jacques Achon, son of Jean Achon and Heleine (Hélène) Regnaud, from Chambon parish, diocese of Xaintes (Saintes) : that's clearly Chambon in present-day Charente-Maritime, 20 km east of La Rochelle.

The bride is Margueritte de Saincte Foy, daughter of Pierre de Saincte Foy and Marie Andrieu, from St Denis parish, archidiocese of Rouen : there are several possible matching places, Duclair is one of them.

It continues with names of witnesses, but I did not read further. The handwriting is difficult, but the poor quality of the scan (it seems out of focus) makes it worse.

Thank you Julien.  I think it will take work. Maybe her second marriage contract I found today (which repeats some of her parental information including the parish) will help.
As a note, Claude Auber was notary for the Beaupré coast from 1650 to 1664 and beyond, in 1664 he got named notary for Québec city as well.  So the first marriage being done on the Beaupré coast in Ste-Anne makes perfect sense.

I checked the records for Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré, looking for the record for the ceremony, but a lot of the early records are missing.  It looks like something happened and a few survived and were copied into the record later to preserve them.  But the one for Marguerite de Ste Foy and Jacques Achon isn't there.  I also checked Notre Dame in Quebec City just to cover all the bases since she arrived there and a lot of the Fille du Roi marriages occurred there and a lot of the early mission records are included there, but it isn't there.  So I'm moving on to find as many more of the original sources for her as I can.

My husband is descended from her second marriage, and I've found the original sources there.

The filles du roy all arrived in Québec city, since that was the port of arrival, but they then got ''distributed'' to the various areas.  The marriages done elsewhere that show up in Notre-Dame de Québec records are pretty much all done in nearby areas like Sillery or Beauport etc, those done in more remote places like the Beaupré coast, île d'Orléans etc did not get this treatment.

One of the reasons for lost records is that often these places did not have their own resident priest, missionaries made the rounds and wrote things down in loose-leaf format.  Which were much easier to lose.
One way to tell if they were just missionnaries as opposed to titular parish priest is the use of the formula '' je (name) faisant les fonctions curiales à...'' (I .. doing rectorial functions in...)  whereas those holding official title will simply sign ''(name) curé''.
These are the microfilms that BAnQ has, they are not scans but actual microfilms, very happy they are finally putting them online, since I have consulted them directly in archives downtown, which are still not open.  No difference in quality, it's amazing they have them even this good.
the contract stipulates that the marriage is to take place ''aussi tôt que faire se pourra'', is as soon as possible.

The amount she is stated to bring to the community is 150 livres, and it looks like he is bringing the same amount.  There is no separate mention of the king's gift that I can make out.  Some notaries mention it, some don't.  The 200 figure you run across is someone adding 50 from the king to the 150 in the contract.  For all I know, the king's gift is actually included in the 150.
I just looked in Drouin Institute, they actually have this one in clearer picture, the details are as already laid out above.
+2 votes
Oh my heavens!  I consider myself quite good at deciphering these types of documents, but this looks like script you would find in old registers in France!  It looks like a notarial marriage contract.  I think I make out the word "soussigné" in the second line from the top.  In the fourth line from the top, I see "en la paroisse de".  At the end of the 5th line carrying over into the 6th you can make out "future epouse".  It's the type of document that you have to walk away from and come back to.   Wish I could have helped more.
by Robert Daigle G2G6 Mach 1 (10.7k points)
lol Robert, that is exactly what it is, a marriage contract.

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