Énaud dit Canada
This ancestor was, to say the least, a very discreet
individual. In fact, the existing records of the time have very little to
say about the man. No matter how hard you look, his existence has
hardly left a trace...! So much so in fact, that many historians
have confused him for his own son. If it wasn't for his wife, who
seemed to have enjoyed a more active social life, we would have a hard
time proving he even existed, let alone lived and died in Nouvelle-France!
Jacques Énaud was a soldier,
known as "Pierre Canada", in the well-known Carignan-Salière Regiment, company
of Saurel. He officially set foot in New France, around August 19, 1665,
aboard the freighter
Four companies of the same regiment were aboard that ship, when it left
the port of La Rochelle on May 13, 1665. They were: La Colonelle,
Contrecoeur, Maximy and Saurel. "La Paix" was accompanying another
freighter for that voyage, L'Aigle d'Or, a very old and decrepit boat,
hardly seaworthy, carrying aboard four additional companies: Grandfontaine,
La Fredière, La Motte and Salières.
These two boats took over 14 weeks to
travel from La Rochelle to the port of Quebec City, more than twice the
time expected for such a voyage, due to the many repairs which had to be
done to the hull of l'Aigle d'Or, necessary just to keep it afloat! As
luck would have it, only "L'Aigle d'Or" returned home safely. The
freighter "La Paix" sank near Matane, after departing from Quebec, on it's
way back to France, on September 19, 1665. It's passengers were rescued by
the "St-Sebastien", and returned home on October 14th.
Two days after their arrival, those eight companies
were reviewed for inspection by Mr. de Tracy, prior to their impending
departure for the Richelieu Valley. However, their departure was
delayed, because the Catholic clergy learned of the presence of some
Huguenots amongst the troops. They had to meet the requirements as
established by Mgr de Laval, who was a force to be reckon with at the
time, being second in command of the Sovereign Counsel (Conseil
Souverain); the political influence of the Catholic Church was such that
it was impossible to disregard it's standards regarding anyone
setting foot on canadian soil! The Huguenot soldiers were rapidly
endoctrinated, and had to publicly abjure their religion and make their
profession of catholic faith, in order to meet the clergy's requirements,
before leaving Quebec... As for the officers, such as Captain Alexandre
Berthier, they had the privilege to comply in private, as it was judged
politically incorrect to publicize the fact that His Majesty the King had
entrusted the command of His troops to the hands of some Huguenots...!
Five days later, Mgr de Laval and the Marquis de Tracy
celebrated the event with a huge bonfire, quite ironic considering the
fact that Tracy had ordered the population of Quebec, to supply eight
hundred cords of wood to the troops, who were stationed there for the
winter ! Finally, on the following day, August 25th 1665, Tracy gave
orders to Captain Pierre de Saurel, to proceed with his company to the
mouth of the Richelieu River, to rebuild the Richelieu Fort which had been
destroyed by the Iroquois Indians in 1646.
And thus start the tribulations in Nouvelle-France, of
our ancestor Jacques Énaud-dit-Canada, and his companions, from the
company of Saurel. Many books were written on the subject, and are
available for those who wish to know more about the comings and goings of
the troops from 1665 to 1667.
After the troops from the Carignan-Salières Regiment
disbanded, in the summer of 1667, our ancestor remained on our shores.
Like the other soldiers of the Saurel company, he first established
himself on the Seigniory of Saurel. Some years later, he finally settled
down in the Seigniory of Villemur, owned by Mr. de Berthier, where he
quietly passed away on December 2nd 1690.
Even before the
disbandment of the troops, Pierre de Saurel, with the help of the soldiers
from his company, had started to clear the land surrounding
the Richelieu Fort, which was under his govern. After a very
long wait, on October 20th 1672, he finally obtained title to the land, a
domain of two and a half leagues wide by two leagues deep, on each side of
the Richelieu River, which included the Richelieu Fort and surrounding
land where he and his men were already established. That concession became
known as the Seigniory of Saurel, which gave birth the to town of Saurel
(Sorel), a well known city nowadays.
As mentioned by the Abbé A. Couillard Després,
member of the Royal Society of Canada, in his book entitled " Histoire de Sorel de ses origines à nos jours" published
1926, these thirty three soldiers became the first inhabitants of Sorel.
Taken from an official list, they were: " le sieur Randin, enseigne, le sergent La Fleur, les
soldats Champagne, Le Breton, La Pointe, Lafranchise, Dufresne, La France,
Grancé, La Violette, Canada, La Fontaine, La Taille, Poitevin, St-André,
St-Martin, La Rose, Lavigne, Labonté, L'Espérance, Jean Dominique, Trempe
la Crouste, Saluart, Chaudillon, Labarre, du Vemis, La Chesnaye, St-Armand,
La Porte, La Jeunesse, La Liberté,
le Breton et Olivier."
As part of these thirty
three pioneers, appears the name "Canada" which the author has later
identified, for unknown reasons and incorrectly, as Pierre
Énaud-dit-Canada. He is not the only one having made that mistake; other
authors such as Drouin, have also done so. The soldier name of Jacques Énaud
was "Pierre Canada", and this most probably led to some confusion.
Unfortunately, this created another error, as Pierre Énaud-dit-Canada, son
of Jacques Énaud and Marie Leroux, has been considered by many as the
soldier from the Carignan-Salières Regiment
using the a.k.a. "Pierre Canada". Which fact is impossible to
reconcile with the reality, simply because Pierre Énaud was born in
the Sorel region, after the troops had disbanded and left the region.
Every document we came across, which related to Jacques Énaud, always
described him as "Jacques Énaud-dit-Canada, spouse of Marie Leroux, never
under another dit name. In the case of a soldier's a.ka., in this
case "Pierre Canada", the dit name does not revert back to the father,
only to the soldier in question and his descendents. Therefore, we feel
certain that Jacques Énaud was the soldier known as "Pierre Canada".
About 1668 in the Sorel region, Jacques Énaud-dit-Canada
married Marie Leroux, a King's daughter, from the region of Rouen, in Normandie.
No trace of the marriage can be found in the church records of
St-Pierre-de-Sorel; unfortunately, the available records of that period
At the 1681 census
in Sorel, there is no mention of Jacques Énaud and his wife Marie Leroux,
as living on the Seigniory of Saurel. However, documented events confirm
his existence and his presence in the region of Sorel at that time.
One of the rare
events where he is actually present, not only talked about, is a judgement rendered
by Gilles Boyvinet (Lieutenand General of the government of Three-Rivers), dated
January 25, 1683, where Jacques Eneau dit Canada is found guilty, and has to
pay to the plaintiff Jean Olivier, seven quarts (minots) of wheat. It
reads as follows: "condamnant Jacques Eneau dit Canada à payer au plaintif,
Jean Olivier, sept minots de blé".
20th 1684, Pierre Valet dit La France, soldier of the Carignan-Salières Regiment
and companion of Jacques Énaud-dit-Canada, living in the Seigniory of Saurel,
by notary contract, donates all of his wordly possessions to " Pierre
Hénaud, fils de Jacques Hénaud et de Marie Le Roux sa femme, père et mère dudit
Hénaud son filleul demeurant en la seigneurie du Sieur Berthier, escuyer"
(see the Minutes of Notary Claude Maugue". Loosely translated, "to
Pierre Hénaud, son of Jacques Hénaud and his wife Marie Leroux, father and mother
of said Hénaud, his godchild, living in the Seigniory of Sir Berthier, esquire".
This notary record confirms that as of that date, the Énaud family was actually
living in the Seigniory of Villemur, owned by Sir Berthier. Also, the donation
states that : "outre la dite donation a donné pouvoir audit Hénaud père
de ce agir et avoir soin de ses affaires et de tous ses biens et de faire et
agir pour luy en tout ce qui concernera ledit donateur jusqu'à ce que la dite
donation ayt lieu, déclarant le dit donateur qu'il se prépare à partir pour
aller en guerre". Again, loosely translated, it states that "besides
the said donation, gives full power of attorney to said Hénaud father, to act
and take care of his affairs and all of his possessions, and to do and act on
his behalf in everything that concerns him, the donator, untill the donation
becomes effective, declaring that he, the donator, is getting ready to go to
war". It is to be noted that Pierre Énaud, son of Jacques, was underage
at the time of the donation. Said donation was to become effective if
and when Pierre Hénaud would be of legal age and had taken a wife, otherwise
the donation was to revert back to the nuns in charge of the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital
of Quebec city. Pierre Valet did leave Sorel to go to war, and in fact, was
still acting as a soldier, at the time of his death.
It is obvious that notary records
are a gold mine of information, which is quite often neglected
by researchers. Their reading can be tricky and difficult, sometimes nearly
impossible. But with a little bit of practice and patience, and with the proper
tools available for deciphering old documents, one can find the exercise quite
enlightening. If you are a member of a genealogy society, their volunteers,
experienced in such tasks, will gladly help you. And you can also find genealogists
who are experts in the art of reading old documents, and who, for a small fee,
will do it for you.
If Jacques Enaud
was discreet to the point of being nearly invisible, it's quite another story
with his wife. The reading of documents of that time period brings to light
a personality quite different from that of her husband,
of someone who enjoyed the social life of the small borough of Sorel and surrounding
areas. We note the presence of his wife, Marie Leroux, at various weddings where
she is mentioned as a witness, as well as baptisms where she is mentioned as
a godmother to the child of a friend. In those days, the fact that she was invited
as a guest by so many, is in itself a note of respect and appreciation. Thank
God for these, because they help establish their identy and existence, as well
as their marital, and social status in the community.
few examples to prove a point, on October 23rd 1673, Notary Jean Baptiste Adhémar,
from his home in Sorel, draws up the marriage contract of Vincent Moriceau,
residing in Autray, and of
Marie Anne Beaumont, residing in Sorel; he notes the presence
of: "Marie Leroux épouse de Jacques Énaud-dit-Canada, en compagnie de
messieurs Pierre Salvaye de Tremont, Pierre Vallet et Joseph Lamy".
Again, in St-Pierre de Sorel, on October 4th 1675, " Marie Le Roux femme de Canada"
is cited as godmother at the baptism of Marie Jeanne Marcel, and two years
later, on January 22nd 1677, as godmother once more, this time to Jean Marcel,
where she is said to be "Marie Lereau femme de Jacque Hénau". Notary
contracts are one of the greatest source of information, and should always
be consulted, if not for the filiation, at least for the history they
contain about our families and ancestors.
From the marriage of Jacques Énaud
and Marie Leroux, only one son survived, Pierre, born about 1669 in Sorel. His
birth record was not found, again because of the incomplete records
available for Sorel during that period. But we have a confirmation of his
existence and his filiation, in the donation of Pierre Valet, on July 20th
1684. That record also confirms that he was baptised, and that his
godfather was Pierre Valet.
Two years before
he passed away, in St-Pierre de Sorel, on February 8th 1688, Jacques Enaud had
the pleasure of witnessing the marriage of his one and only son, Pierre, to
Marie Anne Ratel, daughter of Pierre Ratel dit Dragon, from St-Herbland, diocese
of Rouen, Normandie, and his wife Marie Lemaire, from Romorantin, diocese of
Berry, Orléanais. Issue from the marriage of Pierre and Marie Anne Ratel
was 9 children: three sons and six daughters, about whom you will find
additional information in the next generation.
As for the spelling
of the name Énaud, not a single document was found bearing the signature of
Jacques Énaud, so the spelling has varied over generations, according to the
whims of those recording the various events. When relating a documented event,
we respect the spelling as it appears in that document. Today, his descendants
are still using various forms of the name, the most popular one in Canada being
Hénault and in New England, you find them as Eno.
is so little known about our ancestor, Jacques Énaud dit Canada, that if it
were not for some of the facts and notary records previously mentioned, we could
easily doubt that he even existed at all... His life came to an end in his beloved
Berthier, on December 2, 1690; he was about 45 years old.