Jacques 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  La Paix

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 in 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 are incomplete.

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".

On July  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. 

A 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.

There 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.


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