The Ancestor's Trail

After completing his thirty-six months of hiring by the LaRochelle merchant, Jacques Pépin, who had put up the money for his trip, Pierre Micheau decides to stay and settle in the colony, thus following the example of about half of the hired people that came to New France in those times. The abundance of resources and the possibilities of success that he foresees if he chooses to stay, compared with what he can hope if he returns to the mother country, probably guided his choice.

A recent map of the area shows the different sites where our ancestor lived during his life.

Traces ancetres carte 800

Sainte-Anne-du-Petit-Cap (1659-1665)

Pierre thus chooses to settle on the north side of the St.Lawrence River which is, according to the Relations des Jésuites (a series of chronicles written by the Jesuits Priest of the time), a region that is rich "in beautiful and big flat prairies, an area very useful to feed a large number of cattle".

His farm, at Sainte-Anne-du-Petit-Cap (Beaupré), was at the confluence of the Sainte-Anne River (La Grande Rivière) and the St. Lawrence River. He had three (3) arpents (one arpent is roughly one acre) of frontage on the St. Lawrence River and his land extended one hundred and twenty-six (126) arpents deep.

Carte an 1680

A 1680 map of the area lets us find this farm that he sold to François Daniaud, on September 6, 1665. For unknown reasons, this same farm was later conceded to Jean Le Picart by Msgr de Laval, on March 2, 1668. (Pierre's farm is indicated under the name of Jean Le Picart on this map.)

To get there from Quebec City, take Route 138 East, to Beaupré; then turn right on Côté street, then on Sainte-Marguerite street to the parking lot reserved for the users of the marina. From this vantage point, you can see the Abitibi-Consolidated mill, on the left bank of the river. This mill is sitting exactly on the three arpents fronting the river that belonged to our ancestor.

Saint-Jean, Île d'Orléans (1665-1671)

The second farm owned by Pierre Micheau was on the south side of the Île d'Orléans, in the actual parish of Saint-Jean. It had three arpents of frontage on the St. Lawrence River and its depth reached the Trécarré, which is the dividing line between the south and north parts of the island. A map of the Île d'Orléans in 1689 shows the exact site of this farm which he sold to Jean Morier called Veron from Quebec City, on September 9, 1673. (The farm is identified under the name of Jean Morier on this map.)

To get there take the pont de l'Île (the bridge to the island) and follow Prévost road to Saint-Jean; once there when you get in front of the house with the civic number 1281 and walk to number 1317, you will be walking on the land that our ancestor was farming.

Carte Orleans 1689 800


L'Île aux Grues (1671-1682)

In the summer of 1671, Pierre Micheau leaves the Île d'Orléans with his wife Marie Ancelin to move to the Île aux Grues, which is situated further to the East. This is where their five first children (Pierre, Jean-Baptiste, Marie-Anne, Joseph and Pierre the Younger) were born. The farm he was living on was conceded to him on July 17, 1674 by Pierre Bécard, Sieur de Grandville; its size was "six arpents of frontage on the St. Lawrence River at low tide, and the lenght was right across the island to the River on the other side, also at low tide, and to the brook at the end of the afore mentioned River, that separates the said Isle-aux-Grues from the Isle du Canot..." (Solicitor Romain Becquet).

A map of the Montmagny archipelago lets us pinpoint the approximate site of Pierre's farm, on the east end of the Île aux Grues. (The map indicates the approximate site of Pierre Micheau's farm.)

To get there from Quebec City, cross to the south shore of the St. Lawrence River and go east to Montmagny; form there you can ferry to the Île aux Grues.

Carte Ile aux Grues 800

Rivière des Trois-Saumons (1682-1692)

We can place Pierre Micheau's departure from the Île aux Grues at the end of 1682. He thus moved to Rivière des Trois-Saumons, with all his belongings; the reasons for this move are unknown but we suspect that the hardship of living on the island with only his boat or the ice bridge as means of communication with the exterior world, was a factor. In their new home, Pierre and Marie are blessed with five more children (Louis, Élisabeth, François, Geneviève and Magdeleine).

A map of the Seigneurie Le Tarte de l'Islet, drawned by Sieur Gédéon de Catalogne in 1709, pin-points the site of Pierre's farm. This farm that had been conceded to him by Geneviève Couillard, widow of the deceased Sieur de Le Tarte on October 19, 1695 (three years after he left this place) was sold to Pierre Lessard on May 30, 1697. It is the third farm west of the Trois-Saumons River. (On this map, Pierre Micheau's farm is identified under the name P. Lessard).

To get there from Montmagny, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, go East for about thirty (30) kilometers (about eighteen miles), to Trois-Saumons.

Carte Trois Saumons 770

Saint-Louis-de-Kamouraska (1692-1702)

Pierre Micheau decides to move once again in pursuit of wider spaces, probably, among other things, to allow his sons to be able to establish themselves on their own farms; his departure from Rivière des Trois-Saumons is fixed approximately as the snow runoff of 1692. He moves to Kamouraska, and this time it is for good.

After two or three years in Kamouraska, Pierre was conceded land by Seigneur Charles Aubert de la Chesnaye, June 30, 1695: "a piece of land of twelve arpents of frontage, on the River, by thirty arpents in depth, bordered on the southwest side by the Brook namely three arpents above and beyond and on the northeast corner up another small brook without a name which will be known from now on as Boisverd or boisvert, nine arpents" (Records of Louis Chambalon).

A map of Saint-Louis-de-Kamouraska in 1726 indicates the farm where our ancestor lived the rest of his life. (The farm is identified as "Héritiers Pierre Michaud").

Kamouraska is really the birthplace of the great Michaud family; it is in this area that Pierre's children settled and from here that their descendants spread out everywhere in Canada and the United States. At the start of 2021, the Michaud Families Association launched a project to identify this land, called the Family Marker.

The village of Kamouraska is situated about one hundred and fifty kilometers (ninety miles) east of Quebec City, via Route 20, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. The area is very interesting to visit and the accommodations are more than adequate.

Carte Kamouraska 800

N.B. All historical data have been taken from the book Pierre Micheau Le Poitevin 1637-1702 by the author Françoise Michaud Dufresne (deceased) to whom we express our grateful thanks. 


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