Jean-Baptiste Pothier 

 Signature of J.B.Pothier (or Pottier).

 Jean-Baptiste Pothier arrived in Canada from Chartres, Orléanais, France around 1685.  He was a cantor and a schoolmaster (chantre and maître école) in the village of Ville-Marie (Montréal) in 1686.  On 12-20-1686, he received a contract at Lachine from the Commandant of Montréal who made him his secretary.  It was there he practiced as a notary for fifteen years.  He was also the notary for the seminary of Ville-Marie.  This institution gave him a concession of land in 1698.

In 1687, he was the receiver and secretary for the landowners of Montréal.  He was the notary from 1686-1711 (25 years) for Trois Rivières and Montréal.  He was the substitute for the fiscal procurer of Montréal 6-20-1690 to 5-5-1693.  He served as Royal Notary at Montréal 3-15-1693 and at Trois Rivières in 1701.  He served as sergeant royal (sheriff - hussier) 10-17-1703.  Shortly before he died, he was a legal surveyor (arpenteur juré) at Trois Rivières 5-28-1711.  Pothier died about 6 weeks later in July.  His last children, a set of twins were about 16 months old at the time.   

Jean-Baptiste Pothier married 18-year old, Canadian born, Marie-Étienette Beauvais in June 1688 in Montréal.  They had 13 children, however only half of the children survived their childhood.  A son and namesake, Jean-Baptiste Pothier was involved in the fur trade and received a permits in 1726 and 1727 to travel west to the Great Lakes region.  He made a trip to Michilimackinac for 130 livres payable in beaver pelts upon his return.

Marie-Étienette Beauvais died in Trois-Rivières in September of 1753 at the age of 84. 

The following three chapters are written by André Vachon for the website: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 

Pottier, a resident of the parish of Saints-Anges at Lachine, was at first a precentor and schoolmaster, at a salary of 50 livres a year. He apparently gave up these poorly paid activities towards the end of 1686, at the time when he began to receive notarial acts by virtue of a commission granted him by the seigneurs of Montreal. On 23 May 1690 he was appointed deputy to the fiscal attorney in the bailiff’s court of Montreal, an office that he held until the middle of 1693. Meanwhile, on 15 March 1693, he had obtained letters confirming his appointment as royal notary in the government of Montreal; but judging by his minute-book, possibly incomplete, his clientele did not increase in consequence. Since 14 June 1688 he had been a married man and he had a family to support. On 5 Oct. 1695, therefore, he had to rent a 60-acre settler’s farm at Lachine.

An opportunity presented itself in 1701: the intendant invited him to replace the old notary Séverin Ameau, at Trois-Rivières, for a few months at least. Pottier decided to establish himself there. In this small town he was able to hold the offices of clerk of court, jailer, and notary at one and the same time; in addition, on 17 Oct. 1703 he became royal serjeant at law (process-server) with jurisdiction for the whole of New France. Pottier, who had a fairly large family on his hands, was perhaps little better off; in any case, on 1 May 1711 Intendant Bégon added to his titles that of sworn surveyor.

Notaries are said to be peaceable people; Pottier had rather the aggressiveness of the process-server and the jailer. He got into trouble a few times: on 5 May 1693 Pierre Rémy, the parish priest of Lachine, brought an action against him for insults and threats to use force; worse still, in 1707, Pottier used physical violence against a woman named Carpentier from Champlain and was sentenced to pay damages and legal costs. The amusing thing was that Pottier had been attacked himself by Étienne Pézard de La Tousche in 1704, and had been so roughly handled that La Tousche had been obliged to pay him compensation and damages to the extent of 200 livres.


The Genealogy of it...

Jean-Baptiste POTHIER and Marie-Étienette BEAUVAIS, m. 6-14-1688 in Montréal, PQ

  Joseph-Marie POTHIER and Marie-Josephte MOUËT, m. 1-21-1718 at Trois-Rivières, PQ

    Barthélemy-Jacques POTHIER and Genevieve LECLERC, m. 1-21-1758 at Trois-Rivières, PQ

      Joseph-Antoine POTHIER and Marguerite GAUTHIER, m. 1-7-1794 in PQ

        Marie-Zélie POTHIER and Charles CAMIRAND, m. 2-9-1847 at Trois-Rivières, PQ

          Ernest CAMIRAND and Mathilde FOURNIER, 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


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