Michel LeNeuf du Hérisson... was a provincial nobleman born in Caen, Normandy about 1601 who looked on the development of the fur trade in Canada as a profitable adventure. Caen of the early 17th century was heavily populated with Huguenots... a class of wealthy and enterprising Protestant nobility. Many indicators point toward the LeNeuf and extended families as part of that group, although in their case they were not as prosperous as others they were still people with money and influence.
LeNeuf first arrived in Canada in 1627 when he was about 26 years old undoubtedly to understand what the possibilities and problems would be in developing trade alliances with the Indians. He was in Canada at the same time as the Godefroy brothers, Thomas and Jean, who would were exploring the region and making alliances with the native people, learning their languages. Jean Godefroy would, in time, become LeNeuf's brother-in-law.
Michel LeNeuf returned to France. Although his heart was never in colonization, he did return to Canada with his extended family... a group of nearly a dozen new settlers.
In the meantime, the Company of New France, also known as The Company of 100 Associates, by the terms of its charter, was obligated to bring out two to three hundred colonists a year and to settle 4000 people on the land by 1643. In 1634, the company began the practice of granting large tracts of virgin wilderness as seigneuries to individuals on condition that the grantees bring out settlers and get the land cleared. During the next few years some members of the French gentry, including Michel Leneuf, obtained large seigneurial grants along the river near Québec. Source: The Canadian Frontier 1534-1760 by W. J. Eccles, published by the University of New Mexico Press, p. 37
In June 1636, Michel Leneuf du Hérisson returned to Canada with his young daughter, Anne, who was then 4 years old, and assorted relatives and in-laws. His widowed mother was among the party, as was his sister, Marie LeNeuf who later married Jean Godefroy de Lintot. She was a midwife. Both ancestors are in the Cameron Line. Also in the group of travellers was Michel's brother, Jacques LeNeuf de la Poterie, the same man who sponsored a Huguenot ancestor, Jeanne Perrin-Dutost to enable her and her family to leave LaRochelle during a dangerous time. There were others, all minor noblemen, who made up a clan which for several years sought to acquire a monopoly of the fur trade and which took the initiative in the founding of the Communauté des Habitants (Community of Settlers) in 1645. Le pacte de familles (family alliance) was comprised of Michel Leneuf du Hérisson along with his brother, Jacques Leneuf de la Poterie and his wife, Marguerite LeGardeur, Pierre LeGardeur de Repentigny and his brother Charles LeGardeur de Tilly, Jean-Paul Godefroy (husband of Marie-Madeleine LeGardeur, hence a brother-in-law of Jacques Leneuf de la Poterie), Marie LeNeuf, Michel's sister married to Jean Godefroy de Lintot, and Jeanne LeMarchand, Michel's mother. These people all received large tracts of land for settlements. At one time, Michel Leneuf was considered one of the largest land owners in Canada, but he appears to have been a cantakerous soul and disrespectful of the laws of the land. Archives indicate numerous lawsuits that took place between the fiery LeNeuf and his tenant farmers. There was also the incident were his sister-in-law, Jacques LeNeuf's wife, was one of the leading figures in the flourishing liquor trade with the native people. This was something that was strictly forbidden. For this, Michel LeNeuf was temporarily suspended from his post as judge. Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (www.biographi.ca)
In August 1644, Michel LeNeuf du Hérisson reserves a piece of land for himself in Trois-Rivières (translated) 'where the mill stands and the oven to cook as much as needed, and all the land that can be taken care of with a cart that abuts the property of the Esquire Godefroy on one side and the Trois-Rivières road on the other.' Source: Visages du vieux Trois-Rivières tome II, p.42.
In 1647, he signed the marriage contract of Antoine Desrosiers and Anne du Hérisson, his daughter.
On the census of 1666, Michel LeNeuf is listed as living in the Trois-Rivières area. At the time he was a judge and overlord (seigneur). He was brother of Jacques LeNeuf de la Poterie, also an overlord. His sisters were Madeleine married to Pouterel, and Marie married to Jean Godefroy de Linctot.
The identity of the mother of young Anne duHérisson was never known or whether Michel LeNeuf duHérisson was ever married. It seems his records, even his death record, remain obscure.
Michel LeNeuf du Hérisson died before 10-26-1672 at Trois-Rivières, the date he was replaced in his post as judge.
Anne du Hérisson and Antoine Desrosiers were married 11-24-1647 in Boujonnier, PQ. They would have 8 children of which 5 were sons, one died as a child. Each of the surviving sons took a sobriquet or dit (also-known-as) name: Michel is Desilets, Jean is LeFrenière, Antoine is DuTremble and Pierre is Dargis or Dargie as my family group spelled it. I recall my grandmother reminding me that her name was Delia Dargie dit Desrosiers. After so many generations, it was still a point of pride to be known as a Desrosiers.
Michel LENEUF du HÉRISSON and unknown
Anne du HÉRISSON and Antoine DESROSIERS, m. 11-24-1647 at Boujonnier, PQ
Pierre DESROSIERS dit DARGIE and Marguerite AUBUCHON, m. 4-27-1693 in Champlain, PQ
Pierre DESROSIERS dit DARGIE and Louise Thérèse DUREAU, m. 11-7-1728 in Trois Rivières, PQ
Antoine DARGIE and Marie Louise DESHAIES, m. 11-3-1767 in Becancours, PQ
Antoine DARGIE and Louise PRINCE, m. 10-4-1802 in Nicolet, PQ
Antoine DARGIE and Hélène LAFOND, m. 9-1-1844 in Granby, PQ
Napoléon DARGIE and Léonise TURCOTTE, m. 10-15-1883 in Lewiston, ME
Delia DARGIE and Wilfred CAMERON, m. 10-11-1910 in Attleboro, MA
Rhea CAMERON and Edward LIZOTTE, m. 6-20-1936 in Attleboro, MA