October 1, 2016

Immigrant Ancestors Meme: Filles du Roi Claude des Chalets

There is a lot of discussion about immigration in America right now. Tempers have flared, and different groups hold various strong opinions. There is also Brexit, where immigration was a large focus of the recent vote which resulted in the U.K. leaving the E.U.

I've been following this for several months and it occurs to me that those of us in Canada, America, and Australia have immigrant ancestors. Have you researched yours? Do you know who they were, why they came to your country and when? Do you know how they fared once settled in their new land? Were they welcomed? Were they shunned? Was their discrimination based on their religion or ethnic origin? These are all questions that are important, and interesting to discover. With that in mind, I'm the dedicating Saturdays (as many as needed) as the day to join me in discussing your immigrant ancestors.

You will be able to read any you are interested in by using the keyword Immigrant Ancestors. I'm going to share each week what I know of my immigrant ancestors to North America (whether that is USA or Canada)

Claude Deschalets (ca 1651 France - post 1706 New York)  was a Filles du Roi and my 8th great-grandmother.

Claude "Blandina" was one of three orphaned sisters who were sent to Canada as a "Filles Du Roi"(King's daughters). The Filles Du Rois were impoverished or oprhan women sent to Canada at royal expense to find husbands and populate the country. She is thought to have been recently arrived in New France (now Quebec) at the time of her marriage because the bishop dispensed with two of the usual three required banns for her marriage to Simeon LeRoy dit Audy (Ody).    Learn about dit names at Oh Those Dit Names! on Legacy Family Tree.

The filles du roi, or King's Daughters, were some 770 women who arrived in the colony of New France (Canada)  between 1663 and 1673, under the financial sponsorship of King Louis XIV of France. Most were single French women  and many were orphans. Their transportation to Canada and settlement in the colony were paid for by the King. Some were given a royal gift of a dowry of 50 livres for their marriage to one of the many unmarried male colonists in Canada.   These gifts are reflected in some of the marriage contracts entered into by the filles du roi at the time of their first  marriages.

The filles du roi were part of King Louis XIV's program to promote the settlement of his colony in Canada. Some 737 of   these women married and the resultant population explosion gave rise to the success of the colony. Between their arrival in Quebec and their marriages, les Filles du roi were placed under the protection of nuns, widows or families. There they received board and lodging.

 [http://www.vmnf.civilization.ca/somm-en.htm Museum of New France, Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation]

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