4014. Jacques ARCHAMBAULT @ was born about 1604. He was buried on 15 Feb 1688 in N.-D.-de-Montreal, P.Quebec. <From "Our French Canadian-Ancestors" by Thomas J. Laforest. vol.19 pg.28-39>

Jacques Archambault and Francoise Tourault were the founders of the great Canadian family of the same name. Jacques and Francoise were married in France and brought 7 children into the world before coming to New France. Theirs is an unusual story, but not to say unique. It's not for nothing that this Germanic given name in Latin, Archambaldus, means audacious native.

Jacques and Francoise were both natives of Dompierre-sur-Mer, a village in the canton and arrondissement of La Rochelle, in the Charente-Maritime, previously the French province of Aunis. According to Canadian documents, Jacques was born about 1604; Francoise, about 1599. They lived at Dompierre, but more precisely in a hamlet called Lardilliere.

Jacques Archambault is known to have at least one brother and sister, Denis and Anne, who married in France and founded families.

Jacques was at first a laborer and also probably a wine maker, since he sold three barrels of white wine to Jerome Bonnevie, on 15 August 1637. In France the couple showed instincts of being inveterate nomads.

Jacques and Francoise arrived at Quebec, with Pierre Legardeur de Repentigny, director of the new Compagnie des Habitants; perhaps on 5 August 1645; but more probably on 23 September 1646. If the glory of the parents are their children; the honor of the children are their parents. To leave one's country with a growing family in order to adopt another unknown, almost undeveloped coutry, is both a challenge and an act of rare courage.

Upon his arrival at Quebec, it seems likely that Jacques Archambault had a guarantee of protection from Pierre Legardeur de Repentigny. When his daughter Anne signed her marriage contract in the presence of notary Bancheron on 22 July 1647, Jacques appeared as a servant of Legardeur. Then on the following 2 October, Repentigny entrusted Jacques with the development of his farm. The five-year lease provided Archambault with 1 dwelling, 2 oxen, 2 cows, 1 heifer, pigs, all appraised at a value of 732 livres. Jacques was already in debt to Legardeur. He was commited at this time to pay him 898 livres, 10 sols, upon the return of the ships from France. In addition, "in two years" Jacques must pay 500 livres "for half of the land which he will leave him the first year". The tenant could cut all the firewood that he wanted, even sell it, by paying 10 sols a cord. This somewhat complicated contract, signed by notary Lecoustre, means that Jacques had just over-committed himself.

On 19 August 1649, after the death of Pierre Legardeur in 1648, Jacques and Jean Juchereau, Sieur de Maure, set up their statement of accounts. The ancestor owned his creditor 384 livres, 7 sols.

It is not known if this lease fizzled out. One fact is certain: on 15 September 1651, at Fort Saint-Louis in Quebec, Louis d'Ailleboust, Governor, ceded to Jacques Archambault 4 arpents of frontal land "on the river of the great river Saint Laurent in the place called le Cap Rouge", between Nicolas Pinel and Pierre Gallet. Jean de Lauzon, new governor in office since 13 October 1651, confirmed this act of concession on 17 November 1652. And here, on 23 nOvember 1654, Jacques bought from Etienne Dumets a house which the latter had built on the Archambault concession. Price: 71 livres! How to explain this Dumets property on the Archambault concession? Had Dumets verbally received a promise of sale of this concession? Anyway, the following day, 24 September, Dumets gave a receipt for the purchase, in the presence of Marin Boucher, "soldier at the fort of quebec". Did it not refer instead to Louis-Marin Boucher, the ancestor's son?

On 18 April 1654, the residents of Guardarville had promised to work together, armed, in the development of their lands and to spend their nights in the fort, because of the Iroquois threat. Michel Morin promised in the name of the absent Jacques Archambault. Jacques seemed to be distracted because his heart was elsewhere.

On 13 February 1657, Archambault gave a proxy to Father Jean de Quen, S.J., permitting him to transfer his property in the region of Quebec. According to Marcel Trudel, the Archambault land passed to Gilles d'Anjou, before 1662.

The regions of Quebec, Trois-Rivieres and Montreal urgently needed colonists. Each government tried to keep in its territory the hesitant resident or those passing through. It was in this way that Jacques Archambault was one day led to say good bye to Quebec in order to settle definately at Montreal. There, the eldest of the family had shed his blood (According to the historian Faillon, he was one of the brave men, who on 6 May 1651, risked their lives to help Catherine Mercier, wife of Jean Baudart. The latter was killed; the poor wife was kidnaped by the Iroquois and tortured at an unknown place. The same year, on Sainte-Anne's Day, 200 Iroquois attacked Ville-Marie, particularly the hospital. Lambert Closse and his men continued this desperate struggle throughout the whole day. The attackers lost a lot of men. Denis Archambault, while lighting a cannon for the third time, "was killed by an explosion from this weapon which shattered and killed a lot of the enemy". The hero Archambault was buried the same day). Daughter Anne had also been living there for several years as well as her sister Marie. On 3 February 1654, Jacques was present at the marriage of his daughter Anne.

On 18 November 1652, Monsieur de Maisonneuve, governor of the island, gave him 30 arpents of land joining the city, between son-in-law Urbain Tessier and Lambert Closse, more than an arpent in the city to the north of rue Notre-Dame, between the present Rue Saint-Laurent and Rue Saint-Joseph. On 15 February 1654, Jacques committed himself to live at Ville-Marie.

During the winter of 1655, Jacques and several residents of Ville-Marie made a deal with the master surgeon Etienne Bouchard. The latter was hired on 30 March "to dress and give medications for all sorts of things, illnesses both natural and accidental, except for the plague", to the signers and their family for the yearly amount of 100 sols or 5 livres. This was the first example of health insurance established on the continent. If Archambault was part of the system, it is because he had decided that it was very useful for his family living in the territory.

On 11 October 1658, Jacques made a transaction with Paul de Chomedey; he dug a well, 5 feet in diameter, inside the fort of Ville-Marie, at the Place d'Armes. He guaranteed at least 2 feet of stable water in the bottom of the well. Promised remuneration: 300 livres.

Jacques discovered that he had a special talent for digging wells. On 8 June 1659, Father Gabriel de Queylus contacted Jacques. He needed a well "in the garden of the hospital of the said place". Archambault, without turning a hair, guaranteed water like a master dowser, "two feet of stable water at least...in the presence of a current of water". The cleric would provide a support of 8 feet of wood, twenty planks, the stone, the lime, the sand, etc. But Jacques took care of the ropes and received 300 livres and 10 pots of eau-de-vie in exchange for spring water! Jean Aubuchon and Jacques Millot signed as witnesses to this transaction.

The ancestor almost passed for a sorcerer! On 16 May 1660, Jacques Leber asked Jacques Archambault to dig a well, like the two others which he had already dug, for the use of the community. The depth would be 15 to 18 feet. Promised price: 300 livres and 10 pots of eau-de-vie.

Things were going quite well. Jacques had work and he was highly respected. His children were all flying on their own wings. Only one, Jacquette, was living at Quebec. This is when Francoise Tourault fell gravely ill. Doctor Bouchard could do nothing to insure against death. On 9 December 1663, our courageous ancestress, 64 years old, was laid to rest, in the presence of her grieving loved ones. For Jacques this was a catastrophe. How to come out of it? He was no longer in the springtime of his life! On the preceding 14 October he had ceded to Jean Auger dit Baron, the redoubt of l'Enfant-Jesus which protected his concession. On 15 December 1663, in the presence of Jean Gervaise, Jacques leased his farm for 3 years to Pierre Dardenne.

Things settled down. Jacques filled the void in his solitude by marrying Marie Denot de Lamartiniere, widow in a first marriage to Etienne Vien of Marennes; in a second marriage to Mathieu Lablat dit Fontarable; and in a third marriage to Louis Ozanne dit LaFronde. Alas! the marriage contract signed at Trois-Rivieres in the presence of Severin Ameau is lost. We know, however, that Marie Denot's parents were Etienne Denot and Marguerite Lafons, and that she was originally from Porcheresse, arrondissement of Angouleme. Evidently, there were no children from this union.

Jaques Archambault would still live a quarter-century and leave other signs of history in our national archives. First it was necessary to settle the matter of the estate of Francoise Tourault, which was half of the property. The 5 surviving Archambault children each had a piece of it, 3 square arpents of land. They proceeded with the distribution of 26 April 1668. There were no quarrels, no blood was shed. However, Jean Gervaise had difficulties when the Sergeant Francois Bailly placed the boundaries of his portion, on 31 July 1670. Gervaise was not in the area and his pride was wounded.

According to Faillon, on 15 May 1672, Jacques Archambault was among 29 notable people who initiated the election of mayor Louis Chevalier. The ancestor remained a landowner with 12 arpents of land. The Sulpicien Fathers showed themselves interested in buying a piece of it, 5 perches and 3 feet in length by 12 feet in width, all abutting Rue Saint-Jacques, near Urbain Tessier. On 3 December 1675, Father Gilles Perot gave 100 livres to Archambault in payment for this purchase.

Jacques always showed patience; he had, however, a long memory. On 26 November 1676, we learn this: on 10 May 1660, ancestor Archambault had contracted to dig a well for citizens Leber, Le Moyen and Testard. The latter never paid his share: 100 livres, and 3 1/3 pots of eau de vie. Jacques Testard finally acquitted his debt, 16 years later.

On the other hand, on 16 October 1679, probably before the departure of the last ship for France, Jacques Archambault made Pierre Marchand and Francoise Pugnet his proxies so that they would pay the 152 livres owed from the 280 borrowed from his nephew in La Rochelle, the son of Denys Archambault, his brother. This proved that on each side of the ocean, the ties of family, friendship and business were not cut.

In the census of 1681, Jacques and the 62 year old Marie Denot, were living in the fief of Verdun, in the neighborhood of Montreal.

Etienne Guyotte, a Sulpicien priest and the curate of Ville-Marie, signed the death certificate of Jacques Archambault, on 15 February 1688. He was married to Francoise TOURAULT @ on 24 Jan 1629 in St-Philibert du Pont-Charault, Lucon, Poitou, France.

4015. Francoise TOURAULT @ was buried on 9 Dec 1663 in N.-D.-de-Montreal, P.Quebec. Children were:

child1823 i. Anne ARCHAMBAULT @.
child1907 ii. Marie ARCHAMBAULT @.
child2007 iii. Jacquette ARCHAMBAULT @.
child iv. Marie ARCHAMBAULT was born in 1644. She died on 8 Aug 1685 in Montreal, P.Quebec.