Jacques Ménard dit LaFontaine

 Voyageurs in a painting by Frances Hopkins

Jacques Ménard was a wheelwright and a cartmaker when he came to Canada as a bachelor around 1656 from an area of France known as Vendée. He was born about 1629 in a village called Mervent in Poitou.  First mention of him is in November in Trois-Rivières of 1657 at his marriage to Catherine Forestier (or Fortier) who arrived in Nouvelle France that year as part of a recruitment initiative called the Filles a Marier.  As such, she would have contracted to marry Jacques Ménard before her departure from France.  Her parents do not appear to have emigrated.  When she married Jacques  Ménard, she was 17 years old. Ten months later, they had their first child, and would go on to have 13 children.  Catherine Forestier was born in Saintonge, France. 

Two of their children, the accomplished fur trader, Maurice Ménard, born in 1664, and a daughter Jeanne-Françoise Ménard, born 1669, are ancestors in the Cameron line. 

Not much is known about this couple, but their son Maurice Ménard as well as other sons and in-laws and grandchildren did make an impact of the fur trade at that time.       

In 1666, Jacques Ménard and his family were at Trois-Rivières and he had 2 domestics including a locksmith.  A snapshot of the census record albeit slightly inaccurate in the ages given:

Jacques Mesnard d. lafontaine - 38 habitant
Catherine forestier - 29 sa femme
Marie Mesnard - 6 fille
Jean mesnard - 4 fils
Louis Mesnard - 2 fils
Maurice Mesnard - 2 jours fils
Simon Caillouet - 35 domestique
Et Hierosme langlois - 64 serrurier domestique

(Source: website Alberta Family Histories Society

By 1673, Jacques Ménard was considered a master carpenter.  In 1681, the family was a Boucherville where the census indicated he possessed 2 rifles, 5 animals, and about 6 acres of useable land.

Catherine Forestier died in Boucherville in March 1694, and Jacques Ménard died in January 1707 in the same place.

The following is detail in the life of their son, Maurice Ménard.  

 Encampment... painting by Frances Hopkins.

Maurice Ménard was an interpreter and legal fur trader, a voyageur, who married a metis, Madeleine Couc around 1692 at Fort Michilimackinac.  Her mother was an Algonquin Indian and her father a French fur trader, Pierre Couc.  The fort appears to have been their home base since at least five of their children were born at there.  As a family the Ménards and Coucs were well-known and successful fur traders.  Three of Maurice Ménard's  sons, Antoine, Louis and François were traders also.  A nephew, Étienne Demers, son of Jeanne-Françoise Ménard and Clément-Étienne Demers, was also engaged in the trade.  These are ancestors, as well.

Maurice Ménard and Madeleine Couc's eldest daughter, Marguerite, who was born at Fort Michilimakinac is an ancestor.  Married to Pierre Boileau in 1706, she is an ancestor in the Cameron line.

This Ménard family appear to have lived at Michilimackinac from the time of the marriage in 1692 through to the end of the century.  Four children were born at the outpost, but the fifth child, a son called Pierre, was born at Boucherville, as well as the next child.  A subsequent child, François, was born at the outpost in 1709.  The years the family is in Boucherville coincides with the time the widowed and elderly, Jacques Ménard was living out his last years.  Jacques Ménard died in Boucherville in January of 1707.      

There is an archived record dated 9-3-1696 which makes note of an obligation by Maurice Ménard to François Chorel de St. Romain, merchant at Ville-Marie (Montréal), of the sum of 1983 livres, 4 sols for the sale and delivery of merchandise which will be paid in beaver pelts.

The following are a few permits granted to Ménard by the government of Canada to travel to the Great Lakes on trading missions.  (Taken from the book, "Canadian Passports 1681-1752" by E.-Z. Massicotte)

     (P.12)  6-5-1722 - Permission d'un canot accordée a Maurice            Ménard interprête à Machillimackinac.  Parti le 5 juin dernier.  (Translation: permission for one canot granted to Maurice Ménard,  interpreter at Machilimackinac to leave on the 5th of June.)
                8-14-1725 - Permission accordée au sieur Forestier de faire partir un canot équippé de 5 hommes, lui compris, pour aller aux Miamis y mener Lafontaine  chez des Ouyatanon.  (Translation: permission granted to Mr.             Forestier (Maurice Ménard's mother was a Forestier aka Fortier) to depart in a canoe manned by 5 men,  himself included, to go to area of the the Miamis (an Indian tribe in the Great Lakes region) to bring Lafontaine (Lafontaine is the dit name used by Maurice Ménard's father, Jacques Ménard.  However, this traveller could not be Jacques because he died in 1707...  it could be a 61-year old  Maurice Ménard or most likely one of his children or nephews, or even one of the sons of ancestor Louis Robert, who used the dit name LaFontaine and were active in the fur trade.) to the settlement of Ottawas.)

     (P.26)  5-20-1726 - Permission au sieur de la Marque de faire partir avec les canots du convoi commandé par le sieur, Marin, un canot équippé de 4 hommes pour aller porter au nommé Maurice Ménard, interprete, les provisions et effects qui luis sont nécessaires.  (Translation:  permission given to Mr. De la Marque to depart with a convoy of canoes commanded by Mr. Marin in a canoe manned by 4 men to bring to the  named, Maurice Ménard, an interpreter, the provisions and effects that are needed by him.)  Note: Maurice Ménard would have been 62 at this time.

     (P.52)  6-14-1743 - Permis du gouverneur de Beauharnois  au sieur Lestage de faire partir du Montreál un canot équippé de ... hommes pour se rendre au postes des Miamis.  Défense de prendre un autre route que celle du nord du lac Ontario et de faire la traite ailleurs qu'au poste des     Miamis et ses dépendances.  Rôle des engagés du dit canot: Michel Moreau, Pierre Fortin de Berthier, ...  Antoine Ménard, père, Charles Ménard ...  (Translation: Permission from the Governor of Beauharnois to Mr. Lestage to depart from Montréal with a canoe manned by  ... men to rendezvous with fur trading posts of the Miamis.  It is forbidden to take any route other than the north of Lake Ontario and to trade with anyone other than the Miamis and their associates.  The roster of those included on said canoe are: Michel Moreau, Pierre Fortin de Berthier, ... Antoine Ménard, the father (this would be Maurice Ménard's son who probably already had a son old enough to be involved in the trade), Charles Ménard   (not sure who this Ménard is, but very likely to be a grandson or nephew of Maurice Ménard).)

     (P.61)  6-9-1745 - Permis du gouverneur de Beauharnois au sieur Lamarque de faire partir de Montréal un canot équippé de 6 hommes sous la conduite des nommés François Ménard et Jean Décary pour se rendre au poste de Michillimackinac.  Défense de faire aucune traite ni commerce ailleurs qu'au dit poste de Michillimackinac.  Rôle des engagés du dit canot: François Ménard, guide et intéressé, Jean Décary, guide et interessé de Montréal; Joseph Ménard de Montréal, ...  (Translation: Permission from the Governor of Beauharnois to Mr. Lamarque to depart from               Montréal with a canoe manned by 6 men under the sponsorship of François Ménard (son of Maurice Ménard) and Jean Décary to rendezvous at the post of  Michilimackinac.  It is forbidden to do any trading or commerce other than with the post at Michilimackinac.  The roster of those included on said canoe are: François Ménard, guide and sponsor, Jean Décary, guide and sponsor; Joseph Ménard of Montréal (a grandson or nephew of Maurice Ménard),   ...)

 ... ... Dancing a métis jig.

The genealogy of it...

Each indentation indicates another generation, ie: Maurice Ménard is the son of Jacques Ménard and Catherine Forestier; Marguerite Ménard is the daughter of Maurice Ménard  and Madeleine Couc, and so on.

A carat (>) indicates there is at least another sibling who is an ancestor, ie: Maurice Ménard has a sister, Jeanne-Françoise Ménard, who is also an ancestor.


Jacques MÉNARD and Catherine FORESTIER, m. 11-19-1657 at Trois-Rivières, PQ

  >Maurice MÉNARD and Madeleine COUC, m. c. 1692 at Michilimackinac, MI

    Marguerite MÉNARD and Pierre BOILEAU, m. 7-5-1716 at Boucherville, PQ

      Marguerite-Françoise BOILEAU and Jean GABORIAULT, m. 1-7-1732 at Chambly, PQ

        Pierre GABORIAULT and Angélique BESSET, m. 2-13-1763 at Chambly, PQ

          Laurent GABORIAULT and Marie-Louise Ursule ROBERT, m. 1-12-1784 at St. Mathias, PQ

            Josephte GABORIAULT and François FOURNIER, m. 9-13-1819 at Rouville, PQ

              Louis FOURNIER and Marie DORÉ, m. 1-18-1853 at Rouville, PQ

                Mathilde FOURNIER and Ernest CAMIRAND,  m. 11-24-1885 in Attleboro, MA

                  Wilfred CAMERON and Delia DARGIE m. 10-11-1910 in Attleboro, MA

                    Rhea CAMERON and Edward LIZOTTE m. 6-20-1936 in Attleboro, MA


Jacques MÉNARD and Catherine FORESTIER, m. 11-19-1657 at Trois-Rivières, PQ

  >Jeanne-Françoise MÉNARD and Clement-Étienne DEMERS, m. 11-25-1686 at Boucherville, PQ

    Jeanne DEMERS and Jacques ROBERT, m. 4-25-1718 at Boucherville, PQ

      Jacques ROBERT and Marie-Anne LAREAU, m. 4-20-1761 at Chambly, PQ

        Marie-Louise Ursule ROBERT nd Laurent GABORIAULT, m. 1-12-1784 at St. Mathias, PQ

          Josephte GABORIAULT and François FOURNIER, m. 9-13-1819 at Rouville, PQ

            Louis FOURNIER and Marie DORÉ, m. 1-18-1853 at Rouville, PQ

              Mathilde FOURNIER and Ernest CAMIRAND,  m. 11-24-1885 in Attleboro, MA

                Wilfred CAMERON and Delia DARGIE m. 10-11-1910 in Attleboro, MA

                  Rhea CAMERON and Edward LIZOTTE m. 6-20-1936 in Attleboro, MA


Make a Free Website with Yola.