First Métis Families of Quebec, 1622-1748. Volume 1: Fifty-Six Families
Genealogical Publishing Company
8½” x 11”
Paperback ISBN: 9780806355610
The term Métis originally referred to the offspring produced from the intermarriage of early French fur traders with Canadian Native Americans. Later, there were also Anglo Métis (known as “Countryborn”)–children of Scottish, English, and other European fathers and indigenous mothers. The Métis were also formerly known as half-breeds or mixed-bloods. Today, the French and Anglo Métis cultures have essentially merged into a distinct group with official recognition as one of the three Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.
The first Frenchman known to have Métis offspring was Jean Nicolet de Belleborne. He arrived in Quebec in 1618 and was employed as a clerk and trained as an interpreter by the Company of Merchants, the fur-trading monopoly owned by French noblemen. He ran a Hudson Bay Company store and traded with the Lake Nipissing (Ontario) people for several years. His informal or country marriage to a Nipissing woman resulted in the birth in 1628 of a daughter, Madeleine or Euphrosine Nicolet. Jean Nicolet returned to the Company in Quebec in 1633 with Madeleine. Madeleine married Jean Leblanc in 1643 and Elie Dussault dit Lafleur in 1663. Both marriages resulted in generations of descendants in Canada and the United States that continue today.
Many in the fur trade followed Jean Nicolet’s lead, first marrying a Native American for safety and convenience, and later marrying a settler’s daughter. For example, Martin Prevost or Provost arrived in Quebec before 1639. He was a settler and farmed near Beauport, Quebec. On 3 November 1644 Prevost married Marie-Olivier, the daughter of Roch Manithabewich, a Huron Indian, and the adopted daughter of Olivier Letardif. Together they had eight children whose descendants continue to the 21st century.
In the 100 years following Martin Prevost and Marie Olivier’s marriage in 1644, only 56 Métis marriages were officially recorded. In some cases they were the second or third marriage for the bride or groom and resulted in no descendants. There are probably many unrecorded Métis or mixed blood families who are lost for now.
This new work, the first in a purported six-volume series, traces the descendants of the 56 original Métis families for up to three generations. Richly detailed, fully sourced, and indexed, this work must be regarded as the starting point for Métis genealogy. Future volumes will concentrate on subsequent generations of those Métis families whose progeny settled in western North America in the 20th century, namely, the families of Jean Nicolet, Martin Prevost, Pierre Couc dit Lafleur (later called Montour), Jean Durand, Pierre Lamoureux, and Daniel-Joseph Amiot.
See also the other volumes in this series: