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Re: Urbain Tessier dit La Vigne b 1624
Posted by: HELEN (ID *****7742) Date: July 05, 2010 at 14:11:02
In Reply to: Urbain Tessier dit La Vigne b 1624 by HELEN of 1317

Specific location of Tessier's land.

Another excerpt follows, from FRENCH CANADIAN AND ACADIAN GENEALOGICAL REVIEW, Volume I, No. I, Spring 1968, pp 175190. The original manuscript, in French, is the property of the Quebec Provincial Archives. It has been translated by Mr. G. P. Hebert. The author, the late Rev. Archange Godbout, died before its publication in the Memoires of the Societe Genealogique Canadiennefrancaise , Vol. XI, pp. 621.]


The colonist

The establishment of Villemarie, which was always hardpressed under the Iroquois menace, was greatly strengthened by the arrival of the famous reinforcement of 1653. The commitment of these men, however, was for 5 years only. To further attach the Montreal population to the land, Maisonneuve had the clever idea of offering to those who would agree to settle there definitely, allocations ranging from 400 to 1,000 livres tournois. In case of breach of promise the sums were to be returned. Andre' Demers set the pace on New Year's Day of the year 1654. Ten others followed him on 23 January, 2 and 4 February. The 15th of the same month, Jacques Archambault and Urbain Tessier, in turn, signed up.27

It should not be concluded from this fact that Tessier had not yet taken root at Villemarie. He was a grantee there. The 10th of May of that year, as we have seen above, the Iroquois burned his dwelling. Four months later, our colonist became a landowner. Actually, on 18 September 1651, Chomedey de Maisonneuve accorded him a grant which the office of the NotreDamedeMontreal Company was to ratify at Paris on 30 March 1653. This grant included

"thirty arpents near the place intended for the construction of the town, with an arpent in the enclosure of the latter adjoining on one side Jean Desroches and on the other side Jacques Archambault, commencing, for its width, twenty perches near said town, which will start at the landmarks which have been set, and this width to continue in the depth of the island, bearing north west, west quarter, up to said amount of thirty arpents . . . requiring a farthing of feudal fee per arpent and five sels as feudal fee for every arpent which is in the enclosure of the town and other seigniorial rights according to the common law of Paris...and to build, clear and cultivate the said lands and to leave the roads which the governor of Montreal will judge necessary for the public convenience..."28

To visualize the situation of the two grants made to Urbain Tessier, it should be pointed out that the town of Montreal was to develop between the river and the Petite Riviere, which has given way to the present Rue Craig [St. Antoine.].

The town arpent granted to Tessier cut across Rue StJacques, as we have said, to the north of Place d'Armes. It hence occupied a splendid position. When in 1672 the question arose of a site for the church of VilleMarie, it was decided to exchange a halfarpent of land bought from Agathe StPere for another halfarpent "adjoining on one side, the lands of Urbain Tessier and on the other side, lands not granted, all of which are near to and adjoining the street and square of the church."

This active colonist hastened to build on his arpent; but as his future brotherinlaw Gilles Laucon wanted to settle, Tessier ceded his house to him, with half of its site, for three hundred and thirty livres tournois..29 Whether it was because this dwelling had a poor reputation it was called Vuidebouteille, a small drinking house, or else it was not suitable for a shop Lauzon was a coppersmith  at all events its new proprietor disposed of it on 26 February 1659, in favor of the cabinetmaker Fiacre Ducharne dit Lafontaine who accorded him 400 livres.30 Lauzon had, moreover, received as a grant on 20 August 1655, a contiguous site of an arpent, "adjoining the land and house of Jacques Archambault,"31 whose youngest daughter he will marry.

Other strips of this arpent were subsequently alienated.32 Thus on 9 December 1675, Urbain Tessier dit Lavigne sold to the pastor Gilles Perrot a piece of land having about 15 perches in area, that is 3 perches and 3 feet in length by 4 perches in width, ending at Rue StJacques, "bordering at one side, a piece of land which the buyer acquired from Jacques Archambault,33 on the other side, the garden of the seller" [Basset registry]. Lavigne, having ceded to the pastor Perrot the northeastern extremity of his site situated to the south of Rue StJacques, granted a portion of it, situated to the north of this street, to his son Jean. On 13 June 1686, he sold the latter 40 feet of land, near the corner of the house built by said buyer on the side of Rue StJoseph [StSulpice] and on the level of Rue StJacques, with the depth which will be found from Rue StJacques, as far as the Chemin[path] de la Petite Riviere.34 [Basset registry]

All that is known of the town house of the sawyer Urbain Tessier is, that he lived on Rue StJacques. His neighbors were, to the west, the bailiffmason Francois Bailly dit Lafleur, and to the east Jacques Archambault, his fatherinlaw. A staking out of the Montreal streets, carried out from 1 to 15 July 1672, gives this description of Rue StJacques: this street being 18 feet in width, starts at the dividing line of the lands belonging to Le Cavelier and Destoches, it passes in front of the houses of Francois Bailly, sergeant, of Urbain Tessier and of Jacques Archambault as far as the Rue StCharles.35

The ancestor Tessier presumably owned a barn and stable in town, besides a small garden [Basset, 9 December 1675]. His major cultivation was done outside of the enclosure. If we correctly interpret the grant act cited above, his land of 20 perches, or 2 arpents in width, extended from the outskirts of the town as far as a depth of 15 arpents. It adjoined, to the west, Jean Desroches' land, likewise 2 arpents wide by 14 in depth, itself bounded by land of Robert Le Cavelier;36 and to the east it adjoined Jacques Archambault's grant.

To get to his land, Urbain Tessier had to cross the Petite Riviere. As proof of his enterprising spirit, our man wasted no time in constructing a bridge, from which all Montreal profited. On 19 April 1668, the governor of the town, Charles d'Aillebout, issued an ordinance on the subject of the route to be followed to get to the small hills of StLouis and SteMarie. "The road," so it was edicted, "will run over the bridge of TessierLavigne, heading towards the stronghold of the SaintEnfantJesus, as far as the small lake, to serve for the small hills mentioned." As to the road leading up to the stronghold of the EnfantJesus, which was constructed at the extremity of Tessier's land, this ancestor very often must have ascended it to clear this virgin soil and to plough furrows in back with his big oxen. As to the 36 arpents of land under cultivation which he declares in the census of 1667, almost all of them extended there, the work of his tenacious labor. The piece having only 30 arpents, the six left over must have been located at Cote SaintFrancois [LonguePointe], where we see the pastor Souart grant Urbain Tessier on 6 December 1665, a lot situated below the second stream, and starting at the river, comprised of two arpents frontage by 15 in depth (copy by Basset, 12 December 1665).


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