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Germain Lepage

By Gérard Lebel, C.Ss.R.
Our Ancestors, vol 2

René Lepage belonged to a close-knit family: Germain and Reine Larry, his father and mother; Louis, his uncle; Constance, her aunt. Germain and Louis emigrated to Canada before 1664; the others, after 1667, since they were not mentioned in the census of that year.

Constance married François Garinet on February 5, 1674, was the mother of 5 girls and a boy, Pierre, who died at the age of 18. As for Louis, his brother, he took Sébastienne Loignon as his wife, fathered 7 girls and as many boys, lived in St-Francois, Île d'Orléans, where his ashes have been laid since November 27, 1710. His crown: a large number of descendants.

Today, let's limit our research to the family of Germain, husband of Reine Larry, father of René, Lord of Rimouski.

In Lower Burgundy

Germain came from Lower Burgundy where the conquering Romans once passed. One of the twelve communes of Courson-les-Carrières, capital of the canton of Yonne, is called Ouanne. This is where the members of the Lepage family, already presented, would have been born. The XNUMXth century church dedicated to Notre-Dame offers religious services to more than a thousand inhabitants. The archbishopric of Auxerre is about twenty kilometers away. This country of hills and valleys still presents to the eyes of the visitors fields of cereals and vegetable crops.

Germain Lepage, according to our Canadian documents, was born around 1638. He was the son of Etienne Lepage and Nicole Berthelot. In his twenties, he married Queen Larry, 10 years his senior, by whom he had a son, René, around 1659.

On the Île d'Orléans

It was on July 9, 1664, that the name of Germain Lepage appeared for the first time in our National Archives. This is a land grant of 3 arpents frontage by Mme d'Aillebout to Germain and Louis. This land was given and granted "as a cens and seigneurial rent ... to be taken in the fief and seigneury of Argentenay in the list of Orleans of the North Coast". Duquet, royal notary, signed the document by adding a capital letter.

From this contract, we can deduce that the two brothers arrived together. In addition, new settlers had to have completed a 36-month commitment to the service of an individual, institution or government, before being accepted as citizen owners. We know that Louis was working as a servant for the Sieur de Tilly, Charles Le Gardeur, in January 1664. As for Germain, nothing has yet been found on this subject. The normal conclusion is obvious: Germain and Louis landed in Quebec 36 months before being concessionaires, in 1661.

During 32 years

Germain and Louis, like two little brothers, united their efforts to make a hole in the forest, to build a house and a shelter for the cattle. Germain was preparing the arrival of his wife Reine Larry and his son René. One day, which we would like to clarify, was the big meeting. René, the home's only hope, had grown. He was discovering America!

On October 24, 1672, the brothers decided to share their farm. Louis took the 2 arpents on the widow's side of Chartier with the house down the hill, near the beach, the one they had built together on the 2 arpents belonging to Germain. That's why Louis kept half an acre more. Germain had Pierre Maillou dit Desmoulins as a neighbor.

Surprisingly, on August 14, 1673, the Lepages sold their land to the Hospitallers of Quebec through Nicolas Huot dit St-Laurent, prosecutor. The surveyor Jean Guyon measured the 4 arpents of front " at the northern passage of the said isle on which met six and a half arpents of land ... one and a half arpent of felled timber ... with a body of house " .Price of this sale: 415 tournament pounds. Germain continued to operate the same farm, it seems. On August 1, 1677, the Hospitallers granted him land of 3 arpents in front of St-François, in the south of the island. In 1689, Germain owns a barn there.

The 1681 census gives Louis Martineau as Germain's neighbor. This one has 1 gun, 12 horned animals, 50 arpents in culture. A success! Our ancestor will remain on the island until around 1696, 32 years old.

Solemn contract.

On June 10, 1686, at “Ste-Anne of Little Cape», Exceptional meeting at the house of Pierre Gagnon, husband of Barbe Fortin. A bunch of influential figures surrounded the table where the lawyer Jacob was reading René Lepage's marriage contract with M.-Magdeleine Gagnon. On the one hand, the entire Lepage clan: Germain, René, Louis, Constance, etc .; on the other, the grandparents Pierre Gagnon and his wife, Julien Fortin and Geneviève Gamache, the Gagnon brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, cousins ​​and cousins, Jean Le Picard, bourgeois merchant from Quebec. Even Robert Gagnon, a distant cousin living on Île d'Orléans, had come to attend the ceremony. Add " Philipes clément said from above»Squire; de Varenne, infantry captain; Claude de Ramsay, squire, sieur du Just, lieutenant captain of "Monsieur de Troyes, Jacques François Chevalier ”, lieutenant in this company, and Joseph de Cabanac, squire. How to explain the presence of this military elite? Perhaps she had come to recommend the country's military situation to Saint Anne.

To impress, everyone went there with their gifts. The 15-year-old future saw 200 tournaments pounds in her wedding basket in addition to 2 one-year-old bulls offered by her parents! grandfather Julien Fortin added a beautiful 2-year-old cow. Germain Lepage and Reine Larry offered René their land of 4 arpents with house, barn, stable and 50 arpents of cleared land. After a year, René will build a small house for his parents.

On this occasion, Germain and René sign. Louis adds a parafe to his signature. The religious ceremony took place the same day at the Ste-Anne church. Mr. Joseph de Cabanac, “lieutenant in His Majesty's troops in this countryAlso entered his name in the register before that of the parish priest. Then it was the big wedding banquet in Ste-Anne.

Lord of Rimouski

One day, son René wanted to leave the island and live on dry land. on March 17, 1693, Frantenac granted him in roture a league of land in front with two depths behind the fief of Lespinay, at the Rivière du Sud, This concession was ratified in April 1694.

René abandoned this colonization project. Because, on July 10, 1694, the Sieur de la Cordonnière proposed to René to exchange the land he owned on Île d'Orléans, for the seigneury of Rimouski, including the island of St-Barnabé, with all the rights, privileges and obligations mentioned in the deed of the first concession. The aceeigneurie de Remousquy in other words Saint Barnabé size on the Saint Laurent river on the south coast containing two frontiers on the river on two deep ones » was considerable, but perhaps not yet satisfying the appetite of this gathering of lands.

René paid homage and time to his fiefdom from 1695. In July of the following year, he arrived with his wife and 5 children in his new domain. In 1703, he enlarged it from Pachot's stronghold to the Métis River, through a market made with Charlotte-Françoise Juchereau, for the sum of 300 pounds. The purchaser paid cash in fish oil: 60 pounds. The remaining 240 livres were acquitted through Pierre Raymond, merchant of Quebec, the following year. René's close neighbor was Lord Jean Riou of Trois-Pistoles. Apart from Pierre St-Laurent, Pierre Gosselin, and relatives, few people came to join him. He built for his family a half-timbered house 50 feet by 20 feet, near the Rimouski river, in Brulé; a barn for his cattle. Later he built a small sawmill. In 1712, a chapel made its appearance in Rimouski, the first, thanks to the liberality of the Lepages.

The Lord had 16 children. He had Louis educated, who became parish priest and Lord of Terrebonne, Geneviève was on the list of students of the Ursulines of Quebec, Joseph died as a young student at the seminary of Quebec. Four girls will become nuns: 2 Hospitallers, 1 Ursuline and 1 from the Congrégation Notre-Dame de Montréal.

René was buried in Rimouski, at the age of about 69, on August 4, 1718. The seigneuress, M.-Magdeleine Gagnon survived him for 26 years. Pierre, the eldest, husband of Marie Trépagnier, became the second lord of Rimouski.

The patriarch

Alas! the death certificate of Germain's wife was not entered in our registers like those of ancestors Julien Fortin, Jean Riou, Pierre Rondeau, the Bolduc couple and many others. We think it occurred between 1687 and 1696. René left to settle in his seigneury, with his family and his old father only.

In Rimouski, for more than a quarter of a century, Germain Lepage left in his entourage a reputation as a holy patriarch.

Bishop Guay, author of the history of Rimouski, reports that Germain Lepage “ spent the rest of his days meditating on eternal truths, uplifting everyone with his examples of sturdy virtue and steadfast piety.

On Sunday days, he assembled the people of the place, prayed together, explained catechism to the little children and thus supplied the poor missionary who could only visit this place once every two years.

He waved newborn infants, assisted the sick at their last moment, exhorted them to courageously sacrifice their lives, reminded them of the infinite mercies of God.

He died in great veneration, the year 1723, February 26 » about 85 years old.

The Récollet Gelase de Lestage, on his return from Miramichy, had a service celebrated and wrote:

".... died Joseph-Germain Lepage, of an exemplary life, in a mortification of all the senses, of an angelic devotion, died in the smell of sweetness, speaking until his last hour ... He is passed away while kissing his crucifix " It takes a long time to search the archives of the Canadian Church to find such an eloquent testimony.

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