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|
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|
- 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|