HomeNewsFrançois Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403...

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US

François Lafay, Lafaye or Lafaille is a thriller man.

Let’s begin out with what we completely, positively find out about his historical past, which isn’t a lot.

He was the daddy of my ancestor, Marie Lafay or Lafaille. Marie’s mom was Acadian, however from every thing we discover, together with information we don’t discover, François was not. He nor anybody by that surname, or perhaps a related surname, was listed on any of the Acadian census rolls or different sources from the time the Acadians spent in both Nova Scotia (Acadia) or in exile.

He did, nonetheless, meet Marie’s mom, Marie DeForest (Foret, Forest, LaForet, LaForest), in New England, someplace within the colonies, after the Acadians have been abruptly expelled in 1755 from their maritime houses in Nova Scotia.

The Acadians spent a few decade in forced exile, however some remained longer of their new homeland. After all, the issue is that we don’t know, besides in generalities, the place that homeland was. Nor did they think about it a homeland. They have been a displaced folks, compelled into poverty and typically servitude, deported against their will by the English who forcibly took their lands. They have been French, spoke French, and have been Catholic. The English who rounded them up and herded them onto ships after burning their farms usually irrecoverably break up households. The Acadians didn’t settle in a single group. Totally different ships carrying heartbroken refugees arrived in several areas alongside the jap seaboard and elsewhere. None of these locations have been welcoming, though some tried their finest to accommodate the now-destitute households.

If François was French, and with a reputation like François, he most definitely was – it could have been pure for him to be drawn to different French-speaking folks.

Is there the rest we are able to discern from his identify?


Per FamilySearch, LaFay is a French metonymic occupational identify for somebody who caught and bought quails, a variant of Caille with a fused female particular article la. So, in essence, his patronymic ancestor might have been a person concerned with quails.

It may also be a topographic identify for an individual residing on a patch of pebbly or stony soil,; or a habitational identify from La Caille, the identify of a number of locations in varied elements of France.

Within the e book, Les Canadiens-Français: origine des familles émigrées de France, d’Espagne, de Suisse, etc., pour venir se fixer au Canada, a e book in regards to the origins of French-Canadian households by particular names, La Faye is proven as a commune of Charente, arr. by Ruffec. It additionally states, translated, “Fay, bundled hoops or circles and faye, forest place, forest, ewe.”

Ruffec, Charente is a stopover city on the highway from Paris to Spain (Route Nationwide 10) between Poitiers and Angouleme.

This was an fascinating train however not a lot assist.

Who He’s Not

Earlier than going any additional, I’d wish to get rid of one inaccurate identification.

There’s one François Faille, born in November 1741, in LaPrairie, Quebec to François Faille and Marie Anne Brosseau. He married Marie Joillet in 1783, in LaPrairie, Quebec. This man and our François Lafay are two totally different folks with related names.

We all know this as a result of the wedding rehabilitation of our François states that he and Marie LeForest married in New England in 1767, and he had kids contiguously with Marie earlier than and after his arrival in L’Acadie, in Southern Quebec. He was married to her till her demise in 1819, and we all know that their kids born previous to 1788 have been born within the colonies. Subsequently, this man born in 1741 in Quebec and who lived and married in 1783 there can’t be our François LaFay/LaFaye.

One other file typically confused with our François LaFay or Lafaille is that this 1766 notarial file in Quebec.

That is presumably the François Faille who was married to Marie Anne Brosseau, or his son, François Faille who was born in November of 1741.

We all know our François was in New England a yr later, and he at all times signed his identify LaFaye, by no means Lafaille, though later information in Quebec typically spelled it phonetically. It’s clear although, that this listing was not made by the folks concerned, as a result of the handwriting is all the identical. So surnames might have been spelled any which approach.

The Notarial Seigneur, Antoine Crispin Sr. served in Chateau-Richer, north of Quebec Metropolis.

French Sailor

One piece of details about our François is revealed by way of his daughter, Marie Lafay who, amid a lot battle, transformed to Protestantism late in life. Henrietta Feller was one of many missionaries who befriended Marie, also referred to as Mary.

In Henrietta Feller’s diary, quoted in A Decrease Canada Baptist Starting, she wrote about Marie/Mary Lafay/Lafaille Lord’s conversion to Protestantism saying that Marie’s father, François was a French sailor who settled in Boston.

Mary was reportedly born Marie Lafay to an Acadian mom and French father, though we don’t truly know if she was born in Boston or elsewhere. Her 1767 beginning occurred at a time when many Massachusetts Acadians traveled to Boston to petition for transport to return to Canada.

Some Acadians, nonetheless, have been contemplating staying within the colonies, taking into consideration:

…the risks of sea journey, which included storms, sinking, contagions and even piracy, just lately illustrated by the destiny of 80 younger Acadians taken and pressed into the service of privateers. They knew that they retained no place or residual rights in Nova Scotia. Furthermore, previous age, the very ache of their 50-year-old bones, reminded them how troublesome it could be to scratch out a brand new place on leftover and, thus troublesome, lands. Simply maybe, they nonetheless resisted taking an oath to the throne…Simply presumably they and their kids started to ascertain rural Massachusetts as dwelling…kids had little question realized English and accustomed themselves to the methods of those strangers. Time had not resulted of their isolation, and familiarity with Protestants and colonial legislation had not bred contempt.

Marie Lafay, in line with varied experiences, had in reality, been uncovered to Protestant instructing whereas in exile.

Maybe Mary’s mom’s household had settled in and have become considerably established over the 11 years because the expulsion from Nova Scotia started. After their 1767 marriage, perhaps there was no driving motivation for Mary’s dad and mom to go away. By the point they did, almost 20 years later, many kids had been born, and others have been almost raised. Mary was educated in a Protestant faculty and realized to learn the Bible there.

Was François Lafay Protestant, at the least initially, and never Catholic?

Based on what François’s daughter, Mary Lafay Lore, instructed the Baptist missionaries, her aged maternal grandmother, Marie Josèphe Le Prince, grew to become upset in 1787 that her kids have been shedding their Catholic faith and tradition and made the choice to ship the household again to Canada.

Mary additionally revealed that she had inspired her father, François Lafay, to make the 1788 journey to Canada after one thing she recalled as “a fearful disappointment.” Clearly, they have been shut.

I ponder if Mary’s disappointment was private in nature, maybe a suitor, or was it one thing extra widespread? It’s fascinating to notice that Pliny Moore, Mary’s shut good friend, was married in January of 1787 in Vermont. It might or will not be related, however it’s a chance.

We don’t know what Mary’s disappointment was, however in line with historian Joseph Amato’s analysis into one Acadian household, Marie’s household’s expertise might have been related.

The Revolutionary Struggle magnified federal and state money owed, leaving the bulk with ineffective foreign money and no means to repay money owed, turning newly ordained nationwide residents into unusual migrants and squatters. The battle raged between collectors and debtors. Between the monetary and mercantile coast towards the farmers of the inland countryside. Shay’s Rebellion, an intense revolt of the indebted in Massachusetts, resulted in a horrible shock to the brand new nation. It resulted in 1787, having achieved little. Many migrated again to the bigger coastal cities the place there was an opportunity to search out work and earn money or initiated the good trek inward towards the frontiers.

No matter what occasion or mixture of occasions triggered the Lafay/Lafaille household to hitch different Acadian households in Quebec, they made that journey by the summer time of 1788.

The place Did François Come From?

What can we uncover about François’s early years, if something?

I discovered an undated paper written by Bernard H. Doray from Montreal, Canada, who, sadly, seems to be deceased. His paper titled “Historical past of François Lafaye and Marguerite Foret” offers sourced data I’ve not discovered elsewhere, for which I’m extraordinarily grateful.

Primarily based on Henrietta Feller’s recollection of what Mary Lafay instructed her about François in Boston, Bernard questioned how a French man would have the ability to settle in Boston, provided that England and France have been at warfare till the Treaty of Paris in 1763, which ended the battle between France and Nice Britain over management of North America. I had puzzled the identical factor.

Bernard then states that his nephew found a muster roll of a warship, the Grand St-Jean-Baptiste, within the French Naval Archives.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

The ship sailed on February 2, 1757, from Bordeaux with an apprentice sailor, “mousse” in French, François Lafaye, age 13, from Puy-Paulin, which is the identify of each a Fortress and Parish in Bordeaux, France.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

François is listed on the backside of the primary column, with a reference quantity which is discovered on the next pages.

An age of 13 locations this François’s beginning in 1743 or 1744 which correlates with our François’s beginning yr primarily based on his demise entry in 1824 the place he was acknowledged to be 80 years previous.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Click on to enlarge photographs

François was paid 10 somethings, in all probability livres – the foreign money of the time. He and three different apprentices have been the bottom paid on the ship. There is just one youthful boy, age 12. All 5 of the mousses, apprentice sailors, have been between the ages of 12 and 15 and paid both 10 or 12 of no matter.

I can’t assist however marvel if these youngest boys have been orphans. Most dad and mom could be very reluctant to permit a boy of that age to go to sea, presumably by no means to return.

It’s price noting that there’s one other Guillaume La Faye, a 35-year-old cooper, however he isn’t from the identical location, and even shut.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Guillaume was older, from Saint-Remy, completed the marketing campaign, and was discharged at Port-Louis on April 29, 1758.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Saint Remy to Puy-Paulin is kind of distant. The commonality is that they’re each positioned very close to to main coastal cities. Many males on the ship’s roster have been from Bordeaux.


In the present day, it’s troublesome to search out the Puy-Paulin fort, at the least by that identify.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Par Jefunky — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0,

That’s as a result of at present, the fort has been transformed into the Hotel de l’Intendance.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Right here’s the fortified Chateau Puy-Paulin within the metropolis of Bordeaux in 1550.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

The view throughout the rooftops of one among three Roman fort towers in 1638.

In 1743, the fort consisted of a number of buildings from totally different intervals, joined collectively in 1744 by a big carriage entrance flanked by two pavilions.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

This 1755 map exhibits the live performance corridor on the prime, which burned, the grove, and the French backyard within the middle, with the internal courtyard and porte-cochere, the place coaches deposited their passengers, on the backside.

In 1755 or 1756, a fireplace began from the rooftops. A lot was destroyed, however the fort was ultimately rebuilt.

I’m unclear whether or not there was one hearth or two, with a second following in 1756. In 1755, François would have been 11, and 12 in 1756. A devastating hearth would have affected many individuals, and François would have been a wide-eyed, presumably terrified, witness.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

This 1705 map of Bordeaux exhibits the plan of the castles and suburbs with surrounding areas.

Assuming that this François Lafaye on the ship’s roster is our man, this may have been his stomping floor, and he would have witnessed that fireplace. He may additionally have been orphaned by it.

This might need been why he signed on, or was signed on, to the ship as an apprentice sailor in 1757. Bordeaux’s bustling Port of The Moon was proper there, and assuredly ships have been at all times on the lookout for crew.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Within the 1700s, Bordeaux’s Port of the Moon was France’s busiest port, importing espresso, cocoa, sugar, cotton, and indigo, and the second busiest port on the planet.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

The Port of the Moon on the River Garonne in 1899 exhibits the “Outdated City,” at proper, alongside the river.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

The Port of the Moon as seen from the highest of the spire of the Saint-Michel church.


However that’s not all. Again to Bernard’s article with photographs I’ve added.

On the identical muster roll we learn that François escapes from his ship on April 10, 1757, at Cap Français, St-Domingue which is now Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Cap Francais, at the moment a French buying and selling stronghold for each agriculture and slaves, is nestled between the bay and the mountains.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

By Andrew Wiseman – Personal work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Remnants of the French colonial structure can nonetheless be seen at present. Maybe François handed by this very constructing.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

The placement in Haiti, at present.

Bernard continues:

Why does François escape?

He was not alone. A couple of third of the crew escaped. The function of a younger sailor was a harmful one: they needed to run right down to the maintain of the ship, carry baggage of powder as much as the cannons and fill them for the gunners to fireplace them, and to chill the cannons between the firings by the gunners. That was associated by the historians on the Museum of Restigouche (a museum to indicate an excavated warfare ship sunk in 1760; formally referred to as “Battle of the Restigouche Nationwide Historic Website of Canada” at Pointe-à-la-Croix QC). So, they employed younger sailors as an alternative of gunners for that harmful work.

Probably they sought younger sailors with no households to overlook them in the event that they didn’t return from that harmful mission. What occurred to these different 4 younger boys on the ship?

Based on the roster:

  • The youngest, François Tourete, age 12, “handed on le Greenwich July 12, 1757,” which I presume means he died. He apparently selected to not escape in April. Possibly he ought to have. If he died on the Greenwich Meridian, it could have been on the return journey as a result of the Greenwich Meridian is nowhere close to the Caribbean or the Americas.
  • Jean Paillat, age 15, completed the marketing campaign and was launched on April 27, 1758, at Port-Louis.
  • Joseph Lierte, age 15, abandoned on April 10, 1757, at Cap-Francais, the identical day as François Lafaille and far of the remainder of the crew.
  • The file for Andre Micouleau, age 15, says that he embarked at Bordeaux, however then that he by no means embarked.

Possibly that crossing the place one among their younger mates died, mixed with the truth of warfare, made this much less of an journey and really actual. Of the 5 apprentices, apparently one backed out earlier than leaving, and just one accomplished the voyage.

Again to Bernard:

An unsettled downside: what occurred to François after April 1757? Did he keep in Haiti or did he sail to Boston? How did he reside? How did he transfer from Haiti to Boston?

Word that some Acadians, deported in 1755 from Acadia (Nova Scotia) to the British colonies because the Carolinas, have been allowed to go away in 1763 and eliminated to Haiti.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

These Acadians settled at Mole St-Nicolas which is about 178 km by highway from Cap-Haitien, or maybe a neater journey by boat. Did François by some means meet them? Or, did he catch a trip again on the identical ship headed again north?

Sadly, the Acadian settlement on Mole Saint-Nicholas was extremely unsuccessful, and lots of of those that survived left with Joseph Broussard in January of 1765 when his ship stopped by on the best way to Louisiana. IF, and it’s a giant IF, François Lafaye who jumped ship in 1757 managed to make his solution to Mole Saint-Nicolas, this would possibly clarify his arrival in Louisiana, however that’s not the place he surfaced. This does nothing to clarify his arrival in Boston or any location on the jap seaboard.

There is perhaps one other rationalization, nonetheless.

In 1763, Acadians began petitioning the Massachusetts General Court for permission to go away the province with the intention of both returning to Nova Scotia, going to France, St. Domingue (now Haiti,) or Quebec, areas with individuals who shared their language and tradition. On November 28, 1764, the governor declined their petition, nevertheless it does present us that the folks in Massachusetts have been keenly conscious of French-speaking Haiti.

With Cap-Francais being the middle of Caribbean French maritime commerce, it’s definitely inside the realm of chance that François signed on once more as a crew member from Haiti to Boston, and remained in Boston, maybe leaping ship once more. Crusing was a harmful career, and each ship would have been searching for to switch crew who had died or didn’t return to the ship throughout their most up-to-date voyage.

In 1763, Françoise’s soon-to-be-wife’s household was in Connecticut, not Massachusetts.

After all, simply because Françoise arrived in Boston, assuming that’s correct, which it will not be, doesn’t imply he stayed in Boston. Connecticut has a protracted shoreline too, and by land, is simply about 50 miles or so.

By 1763, François would have been 19 and clearly in a position to fend for himself. By this time, he had been on his personal for six lengthy years and was in all probability very avenue savvy.

Again to Bordeaux

Bernard was a persistent researcher and continued his story.

With data on the approximate yr and native land and the great assist of Cercle de Genéalogie du Sud-Ouest (Bordeaux, France), I obtained François’ beginning and baptism registration.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

On this map, you’ll be able to see the situation of the fort, with the pink pin, then the Sainte-Eulalie Catholic church, adopted by the Pariosse Saint-Nicholas Catholic church on the backside. Clearly all inside strolling distance.

François was born on January 7, 1744, and baptized the following day at St-Nicolas church in Bordeaux. It isn’t removed from Puy-Paulin that he provides as his residence when he joined the navy in 1757. His father is Joseph Lafay, coachman .and his mom is Françoise Germon from Ste-Eulalie parish (subsequent parish).

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Sylvie Lord interprets his baptism as:

On the seventh of June 1744, was born between 9 and 10 AM, a baby of Joseph Lafaye, coachman and Françoise Germon, from Ste-Eulalie parish, was baptised on the eighth of the mentioned month, given the identify of François…

Word that St. Nicolas is a Catholic church, which tells us that François was certainly Catholic.

Joseph Lafay(e) and Françoise Germon have been married at St. Nicolas on February 11, 1738, in Bordeaux, Gironde, France. The 2 church buildings are barely over half a mile (900 meters) aside, however in fact the households might have lived nearer.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

It’s troublesome to get a superb image of this church at present as a result of the medieval avenue is kind of slim and the world densely constructed. This constructing, constructed between 1821-1823 is seemingly not the unique church at this location. I ponder if a part of the unique church stays inside the present one.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

The church is gorgeous, though I ponder the place the cemetery was positioned. It’s clearly gone at present.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

The cemetery assuredly existed adjoining to the church at a while. Maybe beneath the varsity to the fitting, or inside the partitions of the Ministere des Armees to the left, above.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

The lettering above the entry gate interprets to historical or previous hospital of St. Nicolas which was or is a navy hospital.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Is that this the road the place François lived? Schooling at the moment was below the auspices of the church, so this should have been the place he realized to learn and write, at the least nicely sufficient to signal his identify, assuming he’s our François.

La Rue St. Nicolas is kind of slim, testifying to its antiquity.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

The François Lafaye onboard the ship was assuredly this boy who would have been baptized and worshipped in an earlier church on this location.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Did he say his final prayer right here earlier than climbing aboard the Grand St-Jean-Baptiste to sail away – a boy in a person’s warfare?

Was this church broken or destroyed within the fires? Might he even have worshipped right here then, if he had wished? Or did he attend his maternal grandparent’s church, at the least every now and then. Have been any of his dad and mom or grandparents nonetheless residing in 1757?

Did he attend his dad and mom’ funerals right here earlier than boarding the ship and embarking on the journey of a lifetime?

Is he “our” François Lafaye?

In that case, his mom was in all probability baptized within the Saint-Eulalie Church just some blocks away.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

You’ll be able to view a number of pictures of St. Eulalie, one of many oldest church buildings in Bordeaux, each inside and exterior, here.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

This church seems to have had a number of additions, however the unique church was right here when Francois’s mom lived.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

In the present day, a tree blooms within the stunning French springtime.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

In some unspecified time in the future, the cemetery would have been positioned beside or to the rear of this church, or maybe each. In the present day, it’s gone, however maybe a couple of graves stay, tucked into the cloistered arches seen from the facet streets.

François’s mom’s ancestors are probably buried someplace right here in unmarked graves.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Each church buildings are mapped in Bordeaux with the Puy-Paulin fort barely to the north – all simply a 20-25 minute stroll finish to finish. Younger boys are inclined to run. A technique or one other, that younger man’s childhood ended within the late winter or early spring of 1757 when he walked up the ramp to that ship with in all probability nothing greater than a change of garments – if that.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

By Jefunky – Personal work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

In the present day, this complete space is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage web site.

The place Do We First Discover Our Confirmed François Lafay?

François Lafay witnessed the wedding of Jean Dupuis and Marie Hébert in 1773 in New England and signed the registration, as acknowledged within the validation of that marriage at St-Jacques – L’Achigan Quebec in 1775. This tells us that François lived in New England, in all probability in Connecticut, at the least till 1773. I certainly want the priest had mentioned the place in New England.

Who have been the dad and mom of Jean Dupuis and Marie Hebert, and the place have been they residing in 1773? I’ve been unable to search out particular location data, so if anybody is aware of, please let me know. That may inform us the place François was in 1773 too.

Jean-Marie Dupuis died on April 30, 1796, in L’Acadie and was buried at Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie. His dad and mom have been Germain Dupuis and Marie Angelique Leblanc. Marie Hebert died on March 12, 1798, and was buried two days later in the identical place. Her dad and mom have been Joseph Hebert and Madeleine Dupuis.

Curiously, François Lafay should have been near this couple as a result of they signed in 1788 as godparents for his son Antoine Hilarie Lafay, and in 1790 as witnesses on the marriage of his daughter, Suzanne Lafay and Honore Lord (the elder) in L’Acadie.

Jean-Marie’s father was Germain Dupuis, and the household was deported to Massachusetts. His father, additionally Germain, was current within the 1758 census in Nantucket, an island off the shore of Massachusetts. By 1776, they have been in Quebec, however François Lafay and his household wouldn’t comply with for an additional dozen years.

Marie Hebert’s father, Joseph Hebert, was discovered within the Connecticut census on August 14, 1763. This household was in Laprairie, Quebec by 1780.

By some means, the youngsters of those two households, Jean-Marie Dupuis and Marie Hebert have been in the identical location to be able to court docket and marry by 1773.

Why did the François Lafay household wait one other decade or two after most of the different Acadian households returned to Quebec, starting in 1766 or so? Why did they return after they did? Marie instructed the missionary, Henrietta Feller, that her grandparents have been upset that they have been falling away from the Catholic religion.

Clearly, primarily based on this 1773 marriage file, there was a cluster of Acadians residing in shut proximity someplace in New England, and François Lafay, along with his household, was amongst them.

If we are able to discover one among them, we discover all of them.

Arrival in Quebec

François Lafay and Marguerite Forest’s first 9 kids have been born “within the colonies,” as acknowledged of their baptism information after they have been baptized a few years later at Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie.

Françoise, the youngest, was the one baby born within the Province of Québec in 1789, and he or she was baptized the identical day. This means that François and Marguerite emigrated to the province of Québec between 1786, the final beginning within the colonies, and July 9, 1788, the primary baptism in Quebec. I’d say it was in all probability in early 1788, just because one other baby ought to have been born in early 1788, and there’s no file of a baptism. Sadly, this means the kid was born and died earlier than they arrived in Quebec, with their subsequent baby, Françoise, being born on January 11, 1789.

They settled at Sainte-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie, the place many Acadians discovered refuge upon return from exile.

The very first file of François LaFay in Quebec is the baptism of three of his kids on the identical day, July 9, 1788 on the Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie church in L’Acadie.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

His youngest baby was Pierre Clement Lafay, age 2, so born earlier than July 9th in 1786 or after that date in 1785.

He signed all three of his kids’s baptisms as François Lafay.

Bernard reveals that the following file of François Lafay is on September 29, 1788 within the presence of Notaire Jean-Baptiste Grisé. François rented a farm in L’Acadie from James Waite and is described as a resident of L’Acadie, Quebec. Clearly they have been organising housekeeping.

I certain want I knew the place that farm was.

In 1789, three extra of François’s older kids have been baptized. I ponder why these three weren’t baptized with the others in 1788. Was there a value to the household or donation required for these baptisms?

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

On January sixth Seventeen Hundred Eighty 9, I, priest undersigned, baptized conditionally Marie, age twenty-one, Marguerite, age nineteen, and Suzanne, age sixteen and ten months, daughters of François La Faye and of Marguerite Foret. The godfather and godmother of Marie have been Laurent Roy and Isabelle Bro, his spouse, undersigned. The godfather and godmother of Marguerite have been Pierre Lavoie and Marie Anne Melanson, his spouse. The godfather and godmother of Suzanne have been Pierre Trahant and Euphrosine Leroux. [These last] godfathers and godmothers declared that they have been unable to signal. The baptized women signed with us.

/s Lamité, priest, Laurent Roy, Isabelle bro, Marie Lafay, Margit Lafay, Suzanne Lafay, Françoise Lafay.

Once more, he indicators as François Lafay. Primarily based on their signatures, his daughters had been educated too.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

On August 10th, 1789, Marie Lafay married Honore Lore, of the Acadian Lore/Lord household. Once more, he signed as François Lafay. His son, additionally named Francois, then 13, signed with them and could be distinguished from his father as a result of the F in François is fancy, and the signature is totally different. All of his kids signed as Lafay.

The following file we’ve got of François Lafay is his personal marriage rehabilitation that occurred in Ste.-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie in Quebec in 1792. It’s just like the household was catching up on all of the unfastened ends from exile.

This file states that they have been married on November 10, 1767 in New England earlier than a justice of the peace due to the shortage of availability of a priest.

We all know that Marie’s dad and mom have been in Connecticut in 1763, and there’s no proof to recommend they have been elsewhere 4 years later. There’s little or no proof from this time interval for the Acadians.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Translation from Father John:

Marriage of François Lafay and Marguerite Foret , Ste Marguerite de Blairfindie, L’Acadie, St-Jean, Quebec

On the twenty-third of June, Seventeen Hundred Ninety Two, I, undersigned, obtained the mutual consent of François Lafay and of Marguerite Foret, who pledged their troth (promis ensemble) earlier than a justice of the peace within the Colonies, for lack of a priest, on the yr Seventeen Hundred Sixty Seven*, this within the presence and within the type prescribed by Our Holy Mom the Church of Rome.  The groom signed together with me; the bride declared that she was unable to signal.  /s/ N. J. Lancto, priest   /s/ François Lafay

*On the tenth of November of the mentioned yr.

We all know that François was educated as a result of he might signal his identify and so might at the least a few of his kids. They at all times signed Lafay. The identify Lafaille seems in his 2nd marriage file in 1819, which he didn’t signal, and in subsequent notarial information, however not earlier information.

I take this as proof, mixed with the French information, assuming they’re for him, that his surname actually was Lafay, with Lafaille evolving later. I initially presumed that Lafay was anglicized, however I clearly assumed improper.


François was a farmer, as famous in a number of information, and a laborer, as famous in his daughter Julie’s 1801 marriage file.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Nonetheless in his daughter Marie-Anne’s 1806 marriage file he was listed as a “huissier” which Bernard, a local French speaker, translated as a Captain and wonders if he was a Captain within the militia.

We all know Françoise lived in L’Acadie alongside the Richelieu River for 3+ many years starting in 1788, primarily based on what occurred in 1819.

However first, he would witness and presumably take part within the Struggle of 1812, at 68 years of age. If he was a captain, the one different possibility would have been the Revolutionary Struggle, however he was not residing in Canada then, and I discover no information of any related identify at Fold3 for both warfare.

Struggle of 1812

Bernard first reported that François Lafay or Lafaille might need been a Captain within the Militia primarily based on his daughter’s 1806 marriage file. He states that circumstances have been deteriorating between Canada and USA, and the warfare would begin in 1812. At Pierre-Clément’s marriage ceremony in 1810, the identical priest officiating doesn’t give that title to François. One other translator who was not a local French-speaker questioned whether or not huissier was truly “bailiff.” Google translate in addition to DeepL says the identical factor.

I’m not fairly certain what a bailiff did in Quebec at the moment.

On the outset of the War of 1812, Quebec Metropolis was fortified with 2,300 regulars. Engagements occurred elsewhere, a lot nearer to dwelling. In 1812, the warfare raged alongside the Niagara frontier, however by 1813, 5,000 males had gathered between Lake Champlain and Montreal, proper within the L’Acadie area alongside the Richelieu River. This will surely give François ample motive to be involved and probably concerned.

Presently, keep in mind that Nice Britain held Canada and the US was combating towards the British.

A letter from a US Infantry Officer dated November 16, 1813, explains their battle plans:

That is maybe the final time you’ll hear from me at this place, if ever. We’re getting ready for a march, which is able to happen in a couple of days. It’s supposed to make an assault on Decrease Canada [Quebec] instantly. We march with out baggage or tents, and every thing we supply might be on our backs, and the Heavens and a blanket our solely protecting, until we take winter quarters by drive of arms. Our drive could be very respectable, say 6 or 7 thousand, and all in excessive spirits. The fatigues we anticipate to bear might be equal to these skilled by our revolutionary heroes, until we arrive at Montreal.

A number of years in the past, cousin Paul posted on RootsWeb about Bernard, as follows:

I used to be directed by Bernard Doray to the wedding file for Marie Anne Lafay who married François Lord, June 6, 1806, St. Marguerite de Blairfindie. On this file François Lafay is listed as an officer. I then discovered by way of a google e book search a e book that listed François Lafay as being an officer who served within the Canadian militia (at L’Acadie) for Britain within the warfare of 1812 (he would have been in his early 70’s). So two differnet sources seek advice from him being an officer.

This probably confirmed for me what Prof. Stephen White had written to me that François Lafay was most definitely educated as François signed his identify “François Lafay” as somebody educated in English would have signed. If François was an officer, he most definitely would have then been educated.

I’m nonetheless looking for extra background on François Lafay. Quebec information point out a Boston connection (space of Boston might imply the entire of New England). Prof. White suspects a Connecticut connection, as that was the situation Marguerite and her household had been exiled within the deportation. I’ve tried looking out varied information right here in Massachusetts and in Connecticut however have had no success.

If I’ve missed something, please let me know,

Paul Drainville

I discovered the e book, Officers of the British Forces in Canada In the course of the Struggle of 1812-1815 the place François Lafay is in fact mentioned as a Lieutenant, not a Captain, within the L’Acadie Battalion.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Whereas this definitely could possibly be our François, it’s extra prone to be his son, François, born in 1776. The youthful man could be 36 years previous, not 68, which might make far more sense, however continues to be inconclusive.

I used to be unable to search out further details about François Lafay and the Struggle of 1812, however you’ll be able to learn extra about what transpired in that space here and here.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Whether or not he fought or was a militia member, that warfare close to his dwelling and probably on his land would have clearly affected him.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

CC BY-SA 3.0,

The American forces mustered in Lake Champlain and ready for the Battle of Chateauguay, shown above. That battle was adopted a couple of days later by the Battle of Crysler’s farm.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

The American troops marched up the Richelieu River starting on September 19th, 1813, proper by way of L’Acadie at St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, headed for Montreal.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Troopers marched by day and handed in boats by evening, totally aspiring to take what they wanted from any supply they might discover – putting terror into the hearts of the residents. François was 69 years previous and had spent a lot of his life surrounded by one battle or one other.

We don’t know what occurred to the household throughout this time, aside from they survived. He dodged this bullet, however one other one wasn’t too far sooner or later.

François Loses His Spouse

Sadly, François’s spouse, Marguerite handed away on February 16, 1819, at 71 years of age. That they had been married greater than 51 years and introduced at the least 11 and possibly 13 kids into the world collectively.

All of their kids who survived to maturity had married, besides one. We don’t know what occurred to Angelique who was born about 1789 after she signed as a witness to her sister Brigitte’s marriage in 1798. The opposite chance is that Angelique was a center identify of a distinct baby.

Marriage Occasions Two

9 months later, on November 22nd, François married Madeleine Lépine, daughter of Adrien Legris Lépine and Marie Thibodeau and widow of Antoine Jacques Paquet. If this was like most farming communities, everybody concerned had recognized one another “endlessly,” so there wasn’t a lot attending to know one another that wanted to occur.

However this wasn’t destined to be simply any plain vanilla marriage ceremony – however a really particular one.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

François’s granddaughter, Marie Elizabeth Lore, by way of daughter Marie Lafay who married Honore Lore, was married on the identical day, in the identical church, to Jean-Baptiste Leveque on the Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie church in L’Acadie.

This simply couldn’t be any sweeter.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

François was 75, and his bride, Madeleine, was 30 years youthful.

His granddaughter, Marie Elizabeth Lore was 26 years previous – nearly half a century distinction, but marrying below the adoring eye of her grandfather, maybe on the identical altar.

Did grandfather and granddaughter have one ceremony, a double marriage ceremony, collectively, or did they’ve two separate weddings, one after the opposite?

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

I can shut my eyes and see François strolling his beaming granddaughter down the aisle in direction of the entrance of the church the place they each stood beside their betrothed who would quickly turn into their spouses.

The priest would then start the Celebration of Matrimony.

Just look at this beautiful church the place this household baptized their kids, married, worshipped and sure, buried their dearly departed.

Generations of François’s prolonged household would in all probability have crammed all the sanctuary that wonderful Monday.

November 22 of 1819 was definitely a day of celebration for 4 generations of the Lafaille household. If everybody was in attendance, François would have had greater than 118 descendants wishing him nicely. A lot of his grandchildren would have attended with babes in arms. Simply 4 days later, his subsequent great-grandchild would be part of the flock. I haven’t been in a position to hint all of his descendants, particularly households who moved, so there might definitely have been much more, and that variety of descendants swells considerably within the years to come back, and in future generations.

Not dangerous for a person who arrived on these shores as a practical, if not an precise, orphan someday within the late 1750s or early 1760s.

François Passes Over

François continued farming till his demise on June 16, 1824

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

Father John’s translation:

Burial #44 François Lafaille

On the sixteenth of June, Eighteen Hundred Twenty 4, I, priest undersigned, buried within the cemetery of this parish the physique of François Lafaille, farmer, who died the day earlier than yesterday (avant hier) having obtained the sacraments of the Church. He was eighty years of age, the husband of Magdeleine Lépine. Current Jean Baptiste Dubé, and three others who declared that they have been unable to signal, upon inquiry.

A. Brais, priest

Was Jean-Baptiste Dube maybe the son of Jean-Baptiste Dupuis, François’s very long-time good friend from again within the colonies?

After all, the clergymen didn’t give the reason for demise then, though how I want that they had. Nonetheless, I ponder if one thing was happening within the Acadian neighborhood. François’ grownup daughter Marguerite had died only a month earlier, on Might tenth. Possibly cholera or dysentery, each of that are extra pronounced in sizzling climate. Or maybe his daughter’s premature demise simply pushed him over the sting.


François’s belongings have been inventoried the next yr, in all probability after the crops have been in. I ponder why that course of took so lengthy – 14 months. His final crops would have been harvested within the fall of 1824.

Madeleine didn’t cross away till April 14, 1833. If she had a list, wouldn’t it mirror his issues?

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

This notarial file dated August 3, 1825, in Iberville, Quebec corresponds with the precise stock, here.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

I can’t translate this doc, so if anybody else has a translated model, I’d be very grateful in case you would publish it within the feedback or attain out, even when it’s in French. My situation is the script mixed with a language I’m unfamiliar with. I can do a typed French to English translation.

Someone on WikiTree posted a short abstract:

On 3 August 1825, a list of the deceased’s property was drawn up by notary Laurent Archambault. His modest possessions included instruments, books, a cow, and 28 sheep.

I can’t assist however marvel which books François owned. Would I presumably be fortunate to search out an precise listing? The truth that he owned books additional confirms that he didn’t simply study to jot down his identify, however was literate and browse. What we learn says a lot about us.

The underside of the third web page of the stock consists of signatures.

François Lafaye or Lafaille (1744-1824), Literate French Sailor – 52 Ancestors #403 Receive US Obtain US

These have been troublesome for me to decipher. I discover it unusual that each one of his kids and his spouse signed with a mark. We all know that at the least a few of them signed their names to earlier paperwork.

You’ll be able to inform that the names are spelled phonetically too. Lafaille vs Lafay.

Column 1

  • François Lafaille
  • Antoine Hilaire Lafaille
  • Marie Anne Lafaille (who was married to François Lore who died on December 13, 1824)
  • Dufaula who might be Joseph Duphaut who married daughter Marguerite Lafay who died Might 11, 1824.

Column 2

  • Magdeleine LePine – his widow
  • Honore Lord – married to daughter Marie/Mary Lafay
  • Marie Lafaille – who’s married to Honore Lord – however why did they each signal?

This begs the query of the remainder of the youngsters.

I’m not acquainted with the authorized necessities in Quebec right now, however a number of questions come to thoughts.

  • Have been all of the heirs required to signal?
  • Have been solely the folks inheriting one thing required to signal?
  • Why did Honore Lore/Lord and his spouse, Marie Lafaille each signal when each folks of different married {couples} didn’t signal? Does that inform us one thing vital?
  • What does it inform us in regards to the kids or their spouses that didn’t signal?

What In regards to the Others?

Three residing kids are lacking from this doc.

  • Bridget married Pierre Gamache, and by mid-1825, the household’s baptisms and marriages have been being carried out at St-Cyprien-de-Lery in Napierville, Quebec. They moved someday after 1822, however why didn’t they arrive again to signal this doc? Is there one thing on this doc, written in French, that addresses this query? Each Bridget and Pierre have been each residing in 1825.
  • We solely discover one file of Angelique as a witness on her sister Bridget’s 1798 marriage, so it’s attainable that she had handed away or Angelique was truly another person who used a center or different identify.
  • Nonetheless, we all know that the youngest baby, Françoise Lafay married Pierre Granger and died in 1866. Each folks have been alive in 1825 and their kids have been being baptized at Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie, in order that they have been clearly nonetheless within the space. Why didn’t they signal?

Two different kids have been lacking. One had died, nevertheless it’s unknown if the second baby was residing. However each had residing descendants. Would their descendants be entitled to something and subsequently must signal?

Have been the signers merely testifying to the accuracy of the stock – or are they testifying to an inherited share of these property?

  • Daughter Suzanne Lafay died in 1803, and her husband died in 1818. Have been any of her 5 residing kids entitled to or obtained something?
  • We don’t know if daughter Julie Lafay who married Ignace Laporte Denis was residing or not, nor if he was. We do know that at the least two of her daughters have been residing in 1825, as a result of they married later, and one son was presumably residing as nicely. What about these kids?

In Abstract

We do have some direct proof of François’s life.

It seems sure, primarily based on his personal signature many instances that his surname was initially Lafay or Lafaye, not Lafaille because it was later spelled in Quebec. I had assumed it was Lafaille, however I now imagine it was Lafay primarily based on François’s signatures.

He spelled his surname constantly all through his life. It was solely others, that means varied clergymen and the notarial file that spelled it Lafaille, though some descendants in later generations adopted that spelling.

We all know that François married within the colonies in 1767, in all probability in Connecticut, the place his spouse’s household lived, and that he died in Quebec in 1824. Because of that file that claims he was 80 years previous, we all know he was born in or at the least about 1744. On condition that he died in the midst of June, he would have been born both after June 14, 1743 or earlier than June 14, 1744. That meshes completely with the January 7, 1744 beginning in Bordeaux, France, of the kid sailor François Lafaye.

We all know that our François had arrived in Quebec by the summer time of 1788, however in all probability not a lot earlier.

Most of his kids have been born in “New England,” and frustratingly, not one single file anyplace says WHERE in New England.

We’ve the data from missionary Henrietta Feller, who tells us François was a French sailor who by some means wound up in Boston. That’s a slightly uncommon story, so I’d are inclined to imagine at the least the sailor portion is correct, and maybe Boston as nicely. If he was a sailor, it’s probably he lived in comparatively shut proximity to the ocean in France.

Because of Bernard’s work, we all know there’s one François Lafay, spelled precisely the best way François repeatedly signed his personal identify, who was born in Bordeaux on January 7, 1744. That younger man’s father’s identify was Joseph and his mom was Françoise. Our  François did have a daughter named François, however no son named Joseph, though that will have been one of many kids that died in New England.

The François in Bordeaux signed onto a French ship as a younger apprentice sailor in 1757, apparently solely to find that crusing life wasn’t for him. After all, being the youngest with the least expertise, he had the worst attainable job mixed with the bottom pay.

He abandoned, or in all probability extra aptly, ran away, in a French port in what’s now Haiti as quickly because the ship reached shore, together with about one-third of the remainder of the crew. He very in all probability saved his personal life.

If that younger man is our François Lafay and by some means reached Boston, or someplace else alongside the jap seaboard to search out kinship with the Acadians continues to be a matter of conjecture.

We merely don’t know.

What we do know is the few info we’ve got do match the profile for the younger French sailor, however don’t represent proof. Would there be church or notarial information in France that will shine gentle on that François Lafay? How would we go about discovering these information?

There are different Lafaille or Lafay males in France, however none born in 1743 or 1744, and none in shut proximity to a port. After all, not all information can be found on-line, and lots of have been destroyed because of fires or warfare.

Clearly, there are blanks in our François’s life begging to be crammed in, however we’ve got nothing with which to patch these holes at present.

Our greatest wager could be to have a Y-DNA match to a Lafay man, or perhaps a man of any surname in Bordeaux.

Want Lafay or Lafaille Man for Y-DNA Check

For that to occur, I would like a Lafay or Lafaille man who descends from François to take a Y-DNA check. François had three sons, two of whom had male descendants.

If that’s you, or one among your male family members descends from François by way of an unbroken line of all males, I’ve a totally paid Y-DNA testing scholarship for you at FamilyTreeDNA. Please attain out, and perhaps we are able to resolve one other piece of François’s ancestry.


Comply with DNAexplain on Facebook, here.

Share the Love!

You’re at all times welcome to ahead articles or hyperlinks to associates and share on social media.

If you happen to haven’t already subscribed (it’s free,) you’ll be able to obtain an electronic mail each time I publish by clicking the “comply with” button on the primary weblog web page, right here.

You Can Assist Maintain This Weblog Free

I obtain a small contribution if you click on on among the hyperlinks to distributors in my articles. This does NOT enhance the value you pay however helps me to maintain the lights on and this informational weblog free for everybody. Please click on on the hyperlinks within the articles or to the distributors under if you’re buying merchandise or DNA testing.

Thanks a lot.

DNA Purchases and Free Uploads

Family tree Merchandise and Providers

My E book

Family tree Books

Family tree Analysis

#François #Lafaye #Lafaille #Literate #French #Sailor #Ancestors

Continue to the category


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -spot_img

Most Popular

Recent Comments