Énaud "dit Canada" 

Why did he get, as a soldier, the name of "Pierre Canada"? Often, a soldier's name can be found in more than one company. However, it is interesting to note that he was the only soldier to use the word Canada as part of his name, which is significant in itself.

According to the historian Michel Langlois (Carignan-Salière, 1665-1668, Biographies p.323), "his dit name Canada signifies that he was the Canada of the company of Saurel..." As for the given name Pierre used in conjunction with Canada, again, there's no obvious explanation, except for the fact that the name must have had a particular meaning to him, because he also called his one and only son by that name. In turn, his son Pierre also chose to call his first three male children, by the name of Pierre... It just so happened that all three boys survived and lived to adulthood. Talk about confusion!  No wonder they needed a few more  dit names to properly identify each and everyone of them. They became known as Pierre Énaud-dit-Canada (same as the father), Pierre Énaud-dit-Delorme and Pierre Énaud-dit-Fresnière.

Why three sons with the same first name? It was common practice, in those days, to give the same name to more than one child, if that name was important to the family, and carried some sort of tradition, such as the name of a grandparent.  The death rate being quite high, as everyone can see for themselves when consulting the records of Nouvelle France, some parents would give the same name to more than one child in the hope that at least one would survive and carry on the chosen name.

In the case of Pierre Énaud, son of Jacques, the name Pierre must have been very important to his family. Pierre and Marie-Anne Ratel had 9 children: 3 boys and six girls. And it just so happened that his first three children were boys. Not taking any chances, all three were named Pierre. Not a bad judgement call, as the next six children to be born all happened to be girls! But contrary to what was happening in most families, every child survived, and reached adulthood. All but one married and had children of their own.

The eldest son, known as Pierre Énaud-dit-Canada, born around 1689, was a fur trader in 1715,  under contract with Jean Baptiste Forestier, on his way from Fort Pontchartrain to Michillimakinac when he was killed by Indians from the tribe known as the "Foxes ("Renards") (see Inventory after death dated June 2, 1715 established by Jean Baptiste Forestier, M.D. and deposited with Notary Jean-Baptiste Adhémar). Based on the Inventory after death of Marie-Anne Ratel on November 28, 1712, presented by Notary Jean Baptiste Adhémar, at which time the eldest son is said to be 24 years old, he would have been about 27 years old at the time of his death. It is also in the same contract that we get confirmation of the existence of the other two sons also called Pierre, their age and dit names.

The second Pierre was born September 11, 1691 in Montréal and was known as Enaud-dit-Delorme, while the third Pierre, born January 27, 1694 in Berthier-en-Haut, was known as Enaud-dit-Fresnière. The second and third Pierre are the ancestors to a great lineage spread over the province of Quebec, and throughout Canada as well as the New England area.  Another "dit name", that of Portneuf, was added to the line of Pierre Énaud-dit-Delorme and Marguerite Piette-dit-Trempe, starting with Jean Baptiste and Marie Josèphe Généreux, who were married December 29, 1760 in Lavaltrie.

We are collecting all the genealogy information we can possibly find on the various branches of Hénault/Eno descending from Jacques Énaud-dit-Canada and adding it to our databases, as time permits. Two databases are already on this web site, and there are more to come. 

As for the dit name "Canada" which Jacques Énaud used throughout his life, we can only speculate about its significance. Contrary to other dit names used by soldiers of the Carignan-Salière Regiment, such as Lafrenaye and Lafleur, to  name only those two out of many, Jacques Énaud was the only known soldier to use Canada as a dit name. It is possible that there was a particular history attached to the name. We believe that a piece of information found in 1659 might possibly explain its origin.

In the confirmation register for Ste-Claire de l'Ile Percé, dated August 1659, which can be found on microfilm (Drouin Collection #1761), you will find the name of Jacques Hénault, from Lisieux, together with eighty four young men, all from either Lisieux, Rouen (listed as Roüan) and Bayeux (listed as Baieux), Normandie. As the other records make no mention at all of his origins, this first mention of the name Jacques Hénault in 1659, if it is the same person as our ancestor, is rather significant, as we know absolutely nothing about him or his parents, prior to his arrival in Nouvelle France, around August 1665.

Who were these eighty five young Normans confirmed at Ile Percée in 1659, and what were they doing there ?

An article from Mario Mimeault about  "Le peuplement de la Gaspésie", published in the "Mémoires de la Société Généalogique Canadienne Française (vol. 51 no. 4 cahier 226 hiver 2000)" sheds some light on the question. Here's a resume extracted and translated from the above mentioned article.

Since the mid 1500s, for the last hundred years, thousands of fishermen, from Brittany and Normandy, would visit the shores of the Gaspé Peninsula, where they would spend the summer fishing, and getting the fish ready for transportation back to their homelands later on in the Fall. In the Summer of 1659 Mgr de Laval decided to visit the Gaspe Peninsula, in order to take possession of the parishes now under his govern. Gaspé, at that time, was considered to be  part of Acadia. While visiting his parish of Ste-Claire de l'Ile Percée, he came upon a group of about 500 to 1000 fishermen from Rouen and other areas of Normandy, processing cod on the shores of Percé. To celebrate the event, he there and then decided to confirm about 140 young men from that group.

This event was  recorded in the confirmation register of Nouvelle France, and explains how a young fisherman by the name of Jacques Hénault, from Lisieux, Normandie, happened to be confirmed at Ste-Claire de l'Ile Percée in 1659!

Not only would this fit with his age, at the time of death, but another fact tends to point out that we might be looking at the same person. It has been impossible to find another confirmation record for Jacques Énaud/Hénault, besides the one at Ste-Claire de l'Ile Percée. His companions, as well as his wife Marie Leroux, were all confirmed at Fort St-Louys, on May 20, 1668. If he was not confirmed in 1668 or 1669, based on the records, which was a mandatory requirement for all French immigrants at the time, then it is safe to assume that he had been previously confirmed in Nouvelle France, otherwise, he would have had to comply, like all the others.

Another interesting fact, although it could be only a coincidence: on the list of young men confirmed at Ile Percée, appears the name of Jean Leroux, from Rouen, Normandie. Could he be related to Marie Leroux, also from Rouen, Normandie, who later married Jacques Énaud/Hénault in 1668, in the Sorel region? A coincidence, maybe, but definetely something to keep in mind in our search for the family of our ancestor.

Genealogy is based on facts, but to get to the facts, you sometimes have to be far-sighted, you must have some flair for the unknown in order to get to the facts. Some detective work is often required, and the ability to sense rather than see is often what it takes to get to the bottom of things.  So, in this case, it's one more trail to follow... Let's hope that one of you will have the pleasure of discovering the origins of our elusive ancestor.


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