By Gérard Lebel, C.Ss.R.
Our Ancestors, flight 2
Rene Lepage belonged to a very close 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 are not mentioned in the census of that year.
Constance married François Garinet the 5 February 1674, was mother of 5 girls and a boy, Pierre, died at the age of 18 years. As for Louis, his brother, he took as his wife Sébastien Loignon, father of 7 girls and as many boys, lived in St-Francois, Île d'Orléans, where his ashes rest since 27 November 1710. His crown: a large number of descendants.
Today, limit our research to the family of Germain, husband of Queen Larry, father of Rene, lord of Rimouski.
In Lower Burgundy
Germain came from Lower Burgundy, where formerly the conquering Romans passed. One of the twelve communes of Courson-les-Carrières, chief town of the canton of Yonne, is named Ouanne. This is where the members of the Lepage family, already introduced, were born. The sixteenth century church dedicated to Notre-Dame offers religious services to over a thousand inhabitants. The archbishopric of Auxerre is about twenty kilometers away. This country of hills and valleys still presents visitors with fields of cereals and vegetable crops.
Germain Lepage, according to our Canadian documents, was born to 1638. He was the son of Etienne Lepage and Nicole Berthelot. In his twenties, he married Queen Larry, 10 years older, from whom he had a son, Rene, to 1659.
At Île d'Orléans
This is the 9 July 1664, that the name of Germain Lepage appears for the first time in our National Archives. This is a land grant from 3 arpents front by Mme d'Aillebout to Germain and Louis. This land was given and conceded "as a seigniorial rent and annuity .... to be taken in the fiefdom and seigniory dargentenay en liste dorleans 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 must have made a commitment of 36 months in the service of an individual, institution or government, before being accepted as citizen-owners. We know that Louis worked as a servant with 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 at Quebec 36 months before being dealers, either in 1661.
During 32 years
Germain and Louis, like two little brothers, joined forces to make a hole in the forest, to build a house and shelter for the cattle. Germain was preparing for the arrival of his wife Reine Larry and his son Rene. One day, which we would like to clarify, was the big meeting. Rene, the only hope of the home, had grown up. He discovered America!
On 24 October 1672, the brothers decided to share their farm. Louis took the 2 arpents on the side of the widow Chartier with the house at the bottom of the coast, near the shore, the one they had built together on the 2 arpents belonging to Germain. That's why Louis kept half an acre more. Germain had as neighbor Pierre Maillou dit Desmoulins.
Surprisingly, the 14 August 1673, the Lepage sell their land to Hospitallers of Quebec through Nicolas Huot said St-Laurent, prosecutor. Surveyor Jean Guyon measured the 4 arpents de front « at the northern passage of the said isle on which is met six arpents and half ... of net land an acre and half of timber felled with a body of house » .Price of this sale sale: 415 books tournaments. Germain continued to operate the same farm, it seems. On the 1er August 1677, the Hospitallers granted him a land of 3 arpents abreast at St. Francis, south of the island. In 1689, Germain has a barn there.
The 1681 census gives Louis Martineau as Germain's neighbor. This one has 1 rifle, 12 horned beasts, 50 arpents in culture. A success! Our ancestor will stay on the island until 1696, 32 years.
The 10 June 1686, to "Ste-Anne of Little Cape"Exceptional meeting at the house of Pierre Gagnon, husband of Barbe Fortin. A skewer of influential figures encircled the table where the notary Jacob read René Lepage's marriage contract with Mr.-Magdeleine Gagnon. On the one hand, the whole Lepage clan: Germain, Rene, 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, a bourgeois merchant from Quebec City. Even Robert Gagnon, a distant cousin living on the island of Orleans, had come to attend the ceremony. Add " Philiples Clement said from the topSquire; de Varenne, captain of infantry; Claude de Ramsay, squire, sieur du Just, lieutenant captain ofMonsieur 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 came to recommend to St. Anne the military situation of the country.
To impress, everyone went for his gifts. The future of 15 years lives deposit in his wedding basket 200 books tournaments in addition to 2 one-year bulls offered by his parents! Grandfather Julien Fortin added a beautiful cow of 2 years. Germain Lepage and Reine Larry offered Rene their wide land of 4 arpents with house, barn, stable and 50 acres of land cleared. After one year, René will build a cottage for his parents.
On this occasion, Germain and René sign. Louis adds a parafe to his signature. The religious ceremony took place on the same day at St. Anne's Church. Mr. Joseph de Cabanac, "lieutenant in Her Majesty's troops in this countryAlso inscribed his name in the register before that of the parish priest. Then it was the grand wedding banquet at Ste-Anne.
Lord of Rimouski
One day, the son Rene wanted to leave the island and live on the mainland. On the 17 March 1693, Frantenac conceded in front of him a league of land abreast with two deep behind the fief of Lespinay, at the South River, This concession was ratified in April 1694.
Rene abandoned this project of colonization. For the 10 July 1694, the Sieur de la Cordonnière proposed to Rene to exchange the land he owned on the Island of Orleans, for the seigneury of Rimouski, including the island of St. Barnabas, with all the rights, privileges and obligations mentioned in the act of the first concession. The 'sthe lordship of Remousquy, in other words, St. Barnabas, on the St. Lawrence River, on the south coast, containing two rivers on the river on two lieges of depth. was considerable, but perhaps not yet satisfactory for the appetite of this gathering of land.
René made times and tribute for his fief from 1695. In July of the following year, he arrived with his wife and his 5 children in his new domain. In 1703, he enlarged it from the stronghold of Pachot to the Métis River, by a bargain made with Charlotte-Francoise Juchereau, for the sum of 300 livres. The purchaser paid cash in fish oil: 60 pounds. The remaining 240 pounds were paid through Pierre Raymond, a Quebec dealer, the following year. René's close neighbor was the 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 of 50 feet on 20, near the Rimouski River, in the 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 Lepage.
The Lord had 16 children. He instructed Louis, who became parish priest and lord of Terrebonne, Geneviève appears in the list of students of the Ursulines of Quebec, Joseph died young student at the seminary of Quebec. Four girls will become religious: 2 Hospitallers, 1 Ursuline and 1 from the Congrégation Notre-Dame de Montréal.
René was buried in Rimouski, at the age of about 69 years, August 4 1718. The lordship, M.-Magdeleine Gagnon survived him 26 years. Pierre, the eldest, husband of Marie Trépagnier, became the second lord of Rimouski.
Alas! the death certificate of Germain's wife was not recorded in our records as those of the ancestors Julien Fortin, Jean Riou, Pierre Rondeau, the Bolduc couple and many others. We think it happened between 1687 and 1696. Rene left to settle in his lordship, 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 of holy patriarch.
Bishop Guay, author of the history of Rimouski, reports that Germain Lepage " spent the rest of his days in the meditation of eternal truths, edifying everyone by his examples of solid virtue and constant piety.
In the days of Sunday, he assembled the people of the place, did the prayer together, explained the catechism to the little children and thus replaced the poor missionary who could visit this place only once every two years.
He waved the new-born children, assisted the sick at their last moment, exhorted them to courageously make the sacrifice of their lives, reminded them of the infinite mercies of God.
He died in great veneration, the year 1723, the February 26 about 85 years old.
Recollet Gelase of 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, dead in the odor of sweetness, speaking until his last hour ... He is passed away kissing his crucifix » We must search the Canadian Church archives for a long time to find such eloquent testimony.