This bell, forged in France, is the oldest known bell in Canada.  A gift from Robert Giffard, it was destined for the first parish chapel in Beauport in 1666.  It would have been in place for the wedding of Guillaume Lizot and Anne Pelletier in January of 1670.   


Contract de mariage de Guillaume Lizot et Anne Pelletier

                                      12 may 1669


Pardevant Paul Vachon notaire Royal...


The marriage contract between Guillaume Lizot (Lissot) and Anne Pelletier is a four-page document detailing the laws pertaining to community property and the fair division of it.  It also lists the dowry of items Anne will be bringing to the marriage.  Lastly, it lists all the witnesses--and there were many.  The contract is an important document.

Anne was just twelve years old at the time, so she is represented by her parents, Jean Pelletier and Anne Langlois. 

Guillaume Lizot is around 25 years old, his parents, if they are still alive, are in Normandy, France.

Family and friends witnessed this document in the Beauport home of Jean Pelletier, Anne's father.  Of course, this would be Anne's home as well.  It could very well have been the home of Guillaume also, since he was employed by Jean Pelletier.  Guillaume might not have built his own house yet, since it would be a while before he would actually live his young bride.  They would be married in January 1670.  Their first child was not born until April of 1672, so it was quite likely that Anne remained with her parents until the summer of 1671. 

Gathered around the table to sign the document are:

            Guillaume Lizot

            Anne Pelletier, her mother Anne Langlois, her father Jean Pelletier, her 28-year old uncle, Jean Langlois, whose signature is in strong, even script, her grandfather, Noël Langlois, who signs with a mark.

            Friends Pierre laVallée, Martin Prévost and Michel Lecours

            An official representing the government of New France, Jean (?) Romainville

            Someone named deRainville

            The notary who prepared the document, Paul Vachon. 


A large group, but they were not the only ones present.  More people are listed on the contract as being witnesses--young people like Jean (called St. Jean) and Noël Langlois, uncles of the bride, aged 20 and 17, her aunt Marguerite Langlois, her brothers, Noël, aged 15, and René Pelletier, aged 10, are mentioned in the document, as well as friends Jacques LeHuot(?), Michel Lecours. 

Not mentioned, but surely there, would have been Anne's younger siblings: her 6-year old brother, Jean and her 2-year old sister, Marie...  maybe sitting on her grandfather's lap? 

The notary probably sat in the best chair, and when everyone was paying attention, read the 'whereas and wherefores' in a droning voice until every written word was pronounced.  It was his creation, after all.  And he was probably paid by the page.


The promised dowry:

            A cow to be delivered the day before the wedding

            Two young bullocks of the age of two years to be delivered in 1671

            A pig

            A dozen towels and four napkins

            Two pieces of linen

            A dozen handkerchiefs

            A suit of clothing according to her situation


Guillaume would be expected to provide the house and furniture, and enough cleared land to plant a garden and graze the animals.

At the end of the document are all the signatures.  I've separated them out.


  Guillaume Lissot (with a flourish at the end).


Anne Pelletier made a mark, probably similar to her grandfather's.  It appears her mother, Anne Langlois, wrote her name on top of it.  Barely visible with a circle made by the notary is the notation: Marque de la future espouse (mark of the future bride).

Anne's father, Jean Pelletier.

Anne's grandfather made a mark.  The notary circled it and wrote: Marque dudit Langlois pere (mark of the said grandfather Langlois).

Anne's uncle, Jean Langlois.


This is how the signatures appear on the document.  Below the crease is the notary's signature: P. Vachon, then a flourish, then the word, notaire.

This is the date of the document.         




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