Friday, March 28, 2014

Jacques Goulet 1615 - 1688

I have not written much about my mother’s side of my family on this blog, so I thought I would correct that with my next few posts. In addition, I thought it might be interesting to go backwards from my oldest known maternal ancestor to some of my most recent maternal ancestors. Since that is my chosen pattern, I will start with my 10th great grandfather, Jacques Goulet. 

Jacques Goulet is one of the oldest ancestors I have on my family tree for which I can prove a documented connection. Since the amount of people one shares common ancestors with increases the further one goes back into history, I am sure this same statement could be said for a lot of family historians. Luckily for all of us, Jacques’ history is pretty well researched.

Jacques Goulet was born in Normandel, France on April 17, 1615. Normandel is an area in the Lower Normandy region of France. The parents of Jacuqes were Thomas Goulet (b. 1612) and Antoinette Felliard. Thomas and Antoinette also had two daughters; Louise Goulet (b. 1619) and YvonneGoulet (b.1622).

Like his father, Jacuqes Goulet was wheat miller. He worked on a farm in France called Le Chatelets. In November 12, 1645,  Jacques Goulet married Margeurite Mulier at St. Pierre Church in La Poterie-au-Perche, France. This church is still standing. 
St Pierre Church - Source
Jacques Goulet was recruited to make the journey to Quebec by an investor in the Company of One Hundred Associates, which was a French company specializing in immigration and fur trade in the New World. He, his wife, and sister became part of a large group of immigrants from the Perche area of France who left their homes in exchange for land in the New World. This high rate of immigration from a single place was called the Percheron Immigration.

There remains a plaque at the St. Pierre Church in La Poterie-au-Perche commemorating the departure of Jacques Goulet and his sister. It reads (translated in English of course), “To Jacques Goulet born on April 17, 1615 in Normandel and Louise Goulet, born Poterie on July 26, 1628, wife of René Le Tarte, left La Poterie for Canada. “I Remember” The phrase "Je Me Soviens" (I Remember) would later become the official motto of Quebec, perhaps signifying an intentional connection to their past and their ancestry as French immigrants.

The Plaque at St. Pierre's - Source

After arriving in Quebec, Jacques and Margeurite had their first child. Ultimately, the couple would have 11 children in New France.

- Genevieve – b. 28 Oct. 1646
- Nicolas – b. 14 Dec. 1647 (Great Grandad x9)
- Jacques – b. 9 April 1649
- Rene – b. 27 Oct 1650
- Louis – b. 26 Aug 1653
- Charles – b. 1656
- Thomas – b. 24 March 1660
- Francois – 1664
- Antoine – b. 20 Aug. 1666
- Joseph – b. 27 March 1669
- Margeurite – b. 27 June 1675

In Quebec, Goulet continued his work as a miller. He became very successful, doubling the amount of land he owned between 1667 and 1681. He owned a gun and also a horse, which was apparently rare in colonial Quebec. Jacques died at the age of 73 on 26 November 1688. He is buried in the cemetery at L’Ange-Gadien.

Jacques Goulet and Mageurite became the common ancestors of almost all of the Goulets in North America. People from all walks of life; actors, politicians, artists, authors, singers; can all clame to be directly descended from Jacques. So far he is one of the only pioneer ancestors I have on my tree and I certainly share him with quite a crowd. I think it would be common to find that the Goulets might even be related to two separate French-Canadian branches of your family.

My branch of the Goulet family remained in Quebec until my great-great grandfather, Pierre Joseph Goulet (b. 29 Jan 1866) arrived in the US in 1874. Pierre married Marie Cedulie Gagnon (b. 1866) in Fall River, Ma in 1887. throughout their lives the two were both employed as mill workers in Fall River, Ma and in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

I’ve always known a bit about my French-Canadian ancestry while growing up. However, I only realized how extensive it really was as an adult. My maternal grandmother, Jeanne Josephine Goulet (1917  - 1998), spoke French as her first language while growing up in a household with a French-Canadian father and a Belgian mother. My mother and aunts often recall speaking French with their grandmother as young children. However, my mother will admit she would need practice to pick it back up. Sadly, though my grandmother was fluent, I never heard her or her cousins speak French during their lives at all. As for me, I know very little.

My maternal grandmother (Grammy) Jeanne Josephine Goulet -  right
Though enculturation and assimilation have erased a good deal of my French heritage, I now feel a greater connection to it than I ever had before. Along with Ireland, I absolutely want to visit Normandel, France and probably Quebec first. There are so many Goulet connected places to visit it's astounding. Until then all I can say is “Je Me Soviens”  - “I remember.”

1 comment:

  1. Je Me Sovien...I'm a Daley...Fabian Murray Daley the son of Fabian Emanuel Daley...we have a most recent addition to the family son Fabian Jackson Daley had a son named Fabian Noah Daley...I love that I can share this history with them.