Noëlle Landeau, from Jauzé to Trois-Rivières

Origin of Noëlle Landeau

Noëlle1, daughter of Jean Landeau, farmer, and Marie Aubert, was baptized on Tuesday November 2nd 16382 in the parish of St. Barthelemy in the town of Jauzé. The registers of this parish were partially destroyed, so we have little information on this family. We know that at least two other children were born to this union: Jean baptized on February 28th 1634 and Jean baptized on October 23rd 1635. It is most probable that Jean born in 1634 died because the next child was given the same name.

Le 2ieme jour de novembre 1638 a esté baptisé Noelle Landeau fille de Jean Landeau & Marie Aubert ses pere et mere & ont esté ses parin et marinne Mathurin Landeau et Noelle Aubert par moy vicaire soubsigné.

On the 2nd day of November 1638 was baptized Noelle Landeau daughter of Jean Landeau & Marie  Aubert her father & Mother & her godfather & godmother were Mathurin Landeau & Noelle Aubert  by myself undersigned vicar  

Origin of Jean Baudoin, 

Jean, son of Jacques Baudoin and Madeleine Pichon, was baptized in the town of Courcival on Sunday, May 27th 16353. We know that he had at least five brothers and one sister all baptized in Courcival. These are: Pierre (1623), Antoine (1626), Nicolas (1629), Etienne (1632), Madeleine (1639), and René (about 1635). Among these, a sister and a brother joined their sibling Jean in New France. They are his sister Madeleine who married Sévérin Ameau in 1662 in Trois-Rivières and his brother René who married Marie Raclos in 1671.  

New France, a Dream of Children? 

In the middle of the 17th century, one of the towns where Robert Giffard, lord of Beauport, recruited settlers for New France was Saint-Cosme-en-Vairais located just a few kilometers from Jauzé and Courcival. Because of this, as time passed, about 35 settlers from this village, from only 13 families, boarded ship for America4.

In 1644, when Noëlle and Jean were 6 and 9 years old respectively, Louis Gagné and his wife were leaving Saint-Cosme-en-Vairais for New France. Then in 1649, it was Antoine Rouillard’s turn to leave the parish, then the families of Bisson, Roulois, Rochelon, etc. Nine years after Louis Gagné settled in New France, his brother Pierre and his wife Marguerite Rouzée joined him. Marguerite had been baptized on November 11th 16155 in Jauzé as had Noëlle. Five children of Louis Gagné and Marguerite Rouzée were baptized between 1640 and 1651 in Saint-Cosme-en-Vairais and Courcival6. It seems very probable that Noëlle Landeau and Jean Baudoin, or at least their parents, knew the Rouzée and Gagné families.   

Also, in the years that followed, many young men living in the neighboring villages of Jauzé and Courcival traveled to New France. This was the case for Pierre Voyer of Marolles-les-Braults (7), for Thomas Pageau of Saint-Aignan, for Massé Besnier of Rouperroux-le-Coquet and for Mathurin Leprêtre of Bonnétable8.    

It seems then possible that Noëlle Landeau and Jean Baudoin heard about New France in their youth and this major voyage nourished their early dreams


Promise of Marriage ?

Under what circumstances did Noëlle travel to New France? At that time almost all single women who embarked for New France were either indentured servants, members of a religious order, or accompanied by their parents. Otherwise, they followed their husbands. According to the information that we have, Noëlle did not fall into any of these categories. Would it be possible that Noëlle had been promised in marriage?   

It is completely plausible that Noëlle Landeau was promised to Jean Baudoin, her future spouse. In fact, Jean Baudoin was a native of Courcival about 3 km from Jauzé. We do not know the exact date of Noëlle’s arrival but we do know that at that time a young woman did not remain single very long in New France. There is every reason to believe that she arrived during the summer of 1659.   

According to historian Marcel Trudel, Jean Baudoin arrived in New France in 1658 or before because on July 30th 1658(9), he was a witness to a contract. We have very little information concerning the first husband of Noëlle Landeau  

The Nuptials 

On Tuesday, August 12th 1659, Jean Baudoin married Noëlle Landeau in Trois-Rivières. Jean and Noëlle would not conclude their marriage contract until June 24th 1660 before notary Sévérin Ameau, their future brother-in-law. Many notables from Trois-Rivières were present for the signing of this contract which stipulated:  

“[…] the said contract was made in Trois Rivières on this day 24 Jun 1660 in the presence of their parents and good friends, namely for the said Baudoin on his part, Mr. Jacques LeNeuf, squire; Mr. de la Poterie, lieutenant in Trois Rivières; Mrs. Marguerite Legardeur, wife of Mr. de la Poterie; Michel LeNeuf, squire; Mr. du       Herisson, lieutenant-general, civil and criminal, for the government of Trois Rivières; François Poulin; Mr. de la Fontaine, fiscal procurer in Trois Rivières; […] Madeleine Beaudoin (sister of Jean); and on the part of said Landeau, assisting were Jean de Godfroy, lord of Lintot from the house where she is presently living; Mrs. Marie Leneuf, wife of Mr. de Godfroy; Louis de Godfroy, squire, lord de Normandville; Jacques de Godfroy, squire lord de Vieuxpont, […]”   

We learn from the contract that Noëlle Landeau lived with Jean de Godfroy, lord of Lintot, and his wife Marie Leneuf.

Jean Baudoin, Trapper? 

It is possible that Jean Baudoin was a fur trapper. In fact, up to 1665, Trois-Rivières was an important trading post in New France. Because her husband was absent a large part of the time, Noëlle would have found shelter with Mr. de Lintot, a member of the Community of Settlers. Moreover, one of the sons of Mr. de Lintot, Jacques, was an important fur merchant near Trois-Rivières as was Michel Leneuf du Herisson, brother of Jacques Leneuf, sieur de la Poterie.   

One of the rare documents that we have concerning Jean Baudoin is a brief account10 regarding some clothes belonging to Antoine Bry dit Larose which were taken from Jean Baudoin by lord de la Poterie, governor of Trois Rivières. We learn that at this time, Antoine Bry dit Larose was made prisoner of the Iroquois. Probably he was killed by them since he was never heard from again. His burial act was never found as well as that for Jean Baudoin. 

The Family Grows…

On April 8th 1661, in Trois-Rivières, Louis Baudoin was baptized, the first child of Jean and Noëlle. His godparents were Louis de Godefroy, son of Jean, and his wife Marguerite Seigneuret.   

The following year, on April 22nd 1662, Madeleine, their second child, was baptized. Her godfather was Massé Besnier, native of Rouperroux-le-Coquet, the neighboring village of Jauzé and Courcival. The godmother was Madeleine Baudoin, sister of Jean. At this event we learn that Jean Baudoin was already dead because it is mentioned in the baptismal record that Madeleine is the daughter of deceased Jean Baudoin.   

On Saturday, June 9th 1663, Noëlle Landeau married Louis Tetreau in Trois-Rivières. At the same place, 350 years later, many descendants, from Canada, the United States and even France, will gathered to celebrate this union. 


1 In this article, we will use the name Noëlle since this name is used in her baptismal act as well as for her two marriages. It was not until 1664 that we find sometimes the name of Marie-Noëlle.  

2 Parish registers for Jauzé, department of Sarthe, France.  

3 Parish registers for Courcival, department of Sarthe, France.  

4 Culture, patrimoine, folklore du Saosnois en Sarthe, le Maine-Normand (72) : 

5 Parish registers for Jauzé.

6 Culture, patrimoine, folklore du Saosnois en Sarthe, le Maine-Normand (72). 

7 Normand Robert, Nos Origines en France: Des débuts à 1825, Anjou, Maine, Orléanais and Touraine. Vol. 5. Société de recherche historique Archiv-Histo, Montreal, 1994, p. 68. 

8 Fichier Origine: Thomas Pageot, Massé Besnier, Mathurin Leprêtre.  

9 Marcel Trudel, Catalogue des immigrants, 1632–1662. Montreal, Hurtubise HMH, 1983, p. 376.  

10 Quebec National Archives (Trois-Rivières), Prévôté des Trois-Rivières, June 4th 1661.    

Saint Frère André

Madeleine Baudoin, daughter of Jean Baudoin and Noelle Landeau, married Martin Foisy about 1674 in Champlain. Eleven children were born of this union. Among their descendants, we find Alfred Bessette, the famous "Saint Frère André", who descends directly from Martin Foisy and Madeleine Baudoin, by his mother Clothilde Foisy.