Heritage of Suzanne Lauretta Stuart


                                                   CHARLES AUBERT DE CHESNAYE

Charles Aubert de La Chesnaye is one of the few citizens of New France to have been ennobled, a privilege due to his courage, personality and the admiration of his contemporaries. A native of Amiens in Picardy, he came to live in New France in 1655, at the age of 23 years. He represented the Rouen Company and then later the West Indies Company. He received many land grants and lordships including Kamouraska, Beaupré, the island of Orleans, Port Joli and others .

Soon after his arrival in the colony La Chesnaye began to acquire land. In 1659 he purchased for 1,000 livres 70 acres on Coteau Sainte-Geneviève, one of the colony’s most favoured sites for agriculture by virtue of its proximity to Quebec, and a lot on Rue du Sault-au-Matelot in Lower Town where he built a spacious home in the 1660s. He became co-seigneur of Beaupré in 1662 when he bought the share of Olivier Letartif in the company founded in 1638 to develop the large domain extending from the Montmorency River to Cap Tourmente. La Chesnaye negotiated his first major business transaction when he won the lease for the Tadoussac fur trade monopoly and taxes on beaver pelts and moosehides. La Chesnaye had other important business interests besides the beaver trade. He owned a large store in Quebec in which he kept a stock of merchandise valued at approximately 50,000 livres. The fur trade, the sale of merchandise, and agriculture were thus the three basic ventures on which La Chesnaye built his career. He became the richest financier and business man in New France as well as a member of the Sovereign Council.

In October 1690, Aubert de La Chesnaye was part of the defenders of Quebec which was besieged by Admiral William Phips . Despite the danger, he went to the front of French merchant fleet that supplied the colony, to warn them of the presence of the English at Quebec. His bravery allowed the French ships to remain safe until the end of the siege. A month later the Governor of New France, Louis de Buade de Frontenac wrote to France, suggesting that favors be granted to Sieur de la Chesnaye, formerly farmer-general of this country. On March 24 1693, Louis XIV granted his letters of nobility to Charles Aubert de La Chesnaye. His son Pierre changed the family name from Aubert de la Chesnaye to Aubert de Gaspé in about 1700. Charles Aubert de la Chesnaye is the Great Great Grandfather of Philippe Aubert de Gaspe.


He was born in Dieppe, France in Normandy on August 2nd 1626. His maternal Uncle, the surgeon Adrien Du Chesne, was in the colony and encouraged Charles Le Moyne to come to New France. He was 15 years old when he arrived in 1641. At first he was an indentured employee of the Jesuits in Huron country and over a period of four years he familiarized himself with the Indian languages. In 1645 he was serving in the Trois Rivieres garrison as an interpreter,clerk and soldier. The following year he settled in Ville Marie [Montreal] where he distinguished himself as a fighter and was invaluable as an interpreter. He was made storekeeper of the fort for his bravery. In the Summer of 1665 he was taken prisoner by an Iroquios party, but set free thanks to Garakontie a friend of the French and a Chief of the Onondagas. For many years he worked for the colony of New France as the interpreter for the Chiefs of the Iroquois tribes.

In the year of his marriage (1654), Charles Le Moyne received from Chomedy de Maisonneuve a gift of money and a grant of 90 acres of land, since called Pointe-Saint-Charles, and a site on Saint-Paul Street, where for 30 years he had his home and his headquarters. During his career, he received awards and honors involving money and land grants. He had two seigneurial titles conferred on him along with additional lands; in 1672 Governor Louis de Baude de Frontenac and the Intendant of New France, Jean Talon confirmed the seigneury title of Longueuil. The following year Frontenac granted him a seigneury at Châteauguay. His eldest son Charles, was given the Longueuil fief in 1684. Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil and Chateauguay was made Governor of Montreal in 1683.

He had two daughters and twelve sons, almost all of them achieved some level of fame; the most famous ones being Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, founder of Louisiana with Bixoli,Mississippi and Jean Baptiste le Moyne,Sieur de Bienville, founder of New Orleans.

His son and our ancestor Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil is the only native born Canadian to be made a Baron. He was entitled by Louis X1V in 1700. He was Governor of Trois-
Rivières and Montréal and the interim administrator of New France in 1725.
Baron Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil is the Great Grandfather of Catherine Tarieu de Lanaudiere-de Gaspé.

                                THE HEROINE MADELEINE JARRET DE VERCHERES

François Jarret arrived in New France on 18 August 1665, with the famous Carignan regiment transported to the colony to defend against Native American attacks. François Jarret, who had the rank of Ensign, was part of the company headed by his uncle, Antoine Pécaudy de Contrecœur. Like most young soldiers, François Jarret was single. On September 17, 1667, he married Marie Perrault, a girl of 12 years and a native of the island of Orleans. He was approximately 28 years old. By 1672, the regiment of Carignan was no longer useful to the defense of New France. The intendant Jean Talon attempted to retain the soldiers in the colony that he wanted to populate. He offered them land in those sectors which had not yet been cleared, mainly in the Richelieu River area. These former soldiers could live safely and conduct their own defence. As was often the custom,Francois Jarret changed his surname to the place where he came from,Vercheres.

Marie Madeleine, the fourth of thirteen children of the couple François Jarret and Marie Perrault, was born in Verchères on the 3rd of February 1678. She grew up in the fort built by her father to keep his family safe.
October 22, 1692, Madeleine de Verchères, whose parents had left the fort on business to buy winter supplies, was responsible for the fort and six of her brothers and sisters who's ages varied from two to twelve years of age. She was only 14 years of age at the time. At 8 o'clock in the morning while two soldiers stood guard and the inhabitants of the seigneury were in the fields, a band of Iroquois hidden in thickets attacked the settlers and captured about 20 of them.

Madeleine who had been working in the cabbage garden was pursued by some 40 attackers. Madeleine fled in the direction of the fort which was less than four hundred paces from the Stockade, but one of her pursuers got hold of her neckscarf. Still running Madeleine was able to untie her scarf and enter the fort whose doors were still open. She immediately gave the alert, ordering the refugees inside to take up arms. Herself armed with a rifle, she ran to the top of the bastion, grabbed the hat of a soldier and issued orders for her younger brothers to take their guns and fight at his side. Let us fight us until death, for fatherland and religion, she shouted at them.

Madeleine was able to give the illusion that the fort was full of courageous defenders. She managed to shoot some cannon that announced to their neighbours that Verchères was
being attacked. Reinforcements from Montreal arrived just after the Iroquois left. A tired but relieved Madeleine greeted the French lieutenant, "Monsieur, I surrender to you my arms." The reinforcements caught the Iroquois and returned the kidnapped settlers. By this time, Madeleine's parents had returned and news of Madeleine's heroic deed had spread throughout the colony. History has nicknamed the event as Magdelon. Madeleine Jarret de Vercheres is the Paternal Grandmother of Catherine Tarieu de Lanaudiere-de Gaspé. Madeleine's sister Angelique Jarret de Vercheres is the Maternal Grandmother of Pierre Ignace Aubert de Gaspe. Pierre and his wife Catherine's Grandmothers were the Jarret de Vercheres sisters.

                                                PHILIPPE JOSEPH AUBERT DE GASPE

He was born on the 3rd of October, 1786 in Quebec. He was the eldest son of Pierre- Ignace Aubert de Gaspé, a legislative councillor, and Catherine Tarieu de Lanaudière. His father had distinguished himself at the siege of Quebec in 1775, as had his Grandfather, Ignace Philippe, throughout the Seven Years War. By his ancestors on both his mother’s and his father’s side, Philippe Aubert de Gaspé belonged to the most illustrious families in Canada bearing names such as Coulon de Villiers, Legardeur de Tilly, Jarret de Verchères and Le Moyne de Longueuil.

He studied law first under Jonathan Sewell, the future chief justice, then under Jean- Baptiste-Olivier Perrault. He was called to the bar on 15 Aug. 1811. On 25 September of the same year, at Quebec, he married Susanne Allison, daughter of Thomas Allison, a captain in the 5th regiment of foot, and Thérèse Baby. Thirteen children were born of their marriage.

The young Gaspé, with a generous and enthusiastic disposition, had every advantage at the beginning of his career: high birth, financial sufficiency, an excellent education, advantageous connections in political, judicial, military, and social circles. He practised law at Quebec and “on the Kamouraska circuit” until 9 May 1816, when he received a commission as sheriff of the district of Quebec. In this capacity it was he who had the responsibility or the honour of proclaiming in the streets of the town, on 24 April 1820, the announcement of the recent accession of George IV to the throne.

In debt to the crown for a large sum of money and unable to reimburse it, he was relieved of his office as sheriff on 14 Nov. 1822. Shortly afterwards, on 13 Feb. 1823, his father died. It was then that he was forced to seek refuge, with his large family, which already numbered seven children, in the manor-house of his mother, the seigneuress of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. Due to his debt, a report shows that he was put in prison in conformity with a judgement delivered against him on 20 June 1834, on behalf of the crown, for the sum of £1,169.14. He spent 3 years and four months in prison and was released at the age of 55 years. His seclusion, was a splendid preparation for the literary career that was to add lustre to the last part of his life. First of all, his tribulations made him a wiser man. They led him to look into himself and to reflect deeply upon his past conduct and his family memories.

But before carrying out the plan that was to rehabilitate him in his own eyes and in those of his compatriots, Gaspé had to wait some 20 years for favourable circumstances. In the meantime his existence returned to normal. He was restored to his family, who during his captivity had found shelter at the house of his mother, the seigneuress Aubert de Gaspé, a few steps away from the prison on Rue Sainte-Anne. The seigneuress died shortly afterwards, on 13 April 1842, only a week after her sister, Louise Tarieu de Lanaudière. A double inheritance then brought Philippe Aubert the financial freedom and the fiefs and seigneuries of Port Joly and La Pocatière, as well as other lucrative and honorary rights, that were attached to them. He now went to take up residence on Rue des Ramparts at Quebec, and resumed his summer trips to Saint-Jean-Port-Joli.

At the ripe age of seventy-five, he completed a novel entitled, Les Anciens Canadiens. (Old- Time Canadians, Quebec, 1863). Almost entirely based on fact, the story illustrates Canadian national tradition, character and manners. The author interwove events of his own chequered life with the tragic tale of the struggles and the fall of New France and of the change of regime, the eyewitnesses of which he had known personally. At that time, it was perhaps the most popular book ever published in the province of Quebec.

After more than a century the popularity of this work has never declined. To the present time there has been a total of some 20 editions, including three English translations and one Spanish. In 1866, Aubert de Gaspé published his Mémoires, which continued to amplify the precious historical notes contained in his other works. The Mémoires are an excellent specimen of anecdotal history. Philippe Joseph Aubert de Gaspé was the last seigneur of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. He died at Quebec City in 1871. Philippe Aubert de Gaspé is the maternal Grandfather of Lauretta Stuart-Beaubien.

                                                             SIR ANDREW STUART

Sir Andrew Stuart, born on the 16 of June 1812 was the son of the Honourable Andrew Stuart { Solicitor General of Lower Canada } and Marguerite Dumoulin. He was a descendant of a loyalist family that had come from Pennsylvania to Cataraqui (Kingston, Ont.). After Stuart finished his elementary schooling at Quebec, his father sent him to Chambly, where in 1821 Edward Parkin, an Anglican priest, had opened a school attached to the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning. On his return to Quebec he was articled to his Uncle James, and then to Henry Black, who had long been a partner in his father’s law firm. Called to the bar on 7 May 1834, he practised in partnership with Robert Hunter Gairdner until the latter was appointed to the bench in 1844. Stuart enjoyed rapid success, especially since he had inherited his father’s practice upon his death on 21 Feb. 1840. At the age of 28 he already had the leading merchants and capitalists of Quebec as clients. He was involved in arguing most of the important commercial cases in court.

His marriage in 1842 to Elmire Charlotte Aubert de Gaspé the daughter of Philippe Aubert de Gaspe put the final stamp in his swift rise in society. As befitted his social status, in 1846 he purchased the seigneury of La Martinière, which he administered with care.

Throughout this period Stuart continued to practise law. In 1854, in recognition of his talent, he was made a qc and a member of the commission charged with revising the statutes of the province. Two years later he became bâtonnier of the bar and in 1859 he was appointed assistant judge in the Superior Court of Lower Canada. The following year he was named puisne judge of the same court. Thus began a long career on the bench which culminated in his appointment on 9 March 1885 to the Chief Justiceship of the Superior Court for the Province of Quebec. The queen honoured him with a knighthood on 9 May of that year. Sir Andrew Stuart retired on 23 Nov. 1889. He was regarded at the time as one of the most eminent Canadian jurists. Three of his four sons chose careers in law and had already become active in this field. Stuart died at Quebec on 9 June 1891. He had converted to Roman Catholicism the previous year, and his funeral was held in St Patrick’s Church. Sir Andrew Stuart is the father of Lauretta Stuart-Beaubien


Many thanks to Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien 11 for much our family history.


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