GUITET (Guité), CLAUDE, settler; b. c. 1738 in Carcassonne, France, son of René Guitet and Élisabeth Peyrot; d. 20 Nov. 1802 in Maria, Lower Canada.
According to family tradition, Claude Guitet was a member of the expeditionary force of six infantry battalions that was sent to North America in the spring of 1755 under Jean-Armand Dieskau* to consolidate France’s position in the New World. Vice-Admiral Edward Boscawen* lay in wait for the convoy in the Gulf of St Lawrence, and on 10 June, at a point southeast of Newfoundland, he captured two vessels, the Alcide and the Lys. The latter had on board 330 soldiers of the Régiment de Guyenne and the Régiment de la Reine. Guitet was one of them, and he was probably taken to the British colonies.
Guitet is known to have been in Boston, Mass., in 1772; he had been assimilated into the Acadian community that had formed from those landed on the coast of Massachusetts at the time of the expulsion [see Charles Lawrence*]. He married Modeste Landry in Boston on 8 January; the couple had to have a civil marriage, because a local law prohibited Roman Catholic priests from living there. The ceremony was conducted by an uncle of the bride, Louis Robichaux*, who had been authorized to officiate on such occasions by the bishop of Quebec’s vicar general in Halifax, N.S., Pierre Maillard*, in 1761. In 1775 the Guitets went to join the Landry family, which had settled in the region of Quebec. Guitet then hastened to show the parish priest of Notre-Dame at Quebec the deed certifying the validity of his civil marriage and finally had his marriage celebrated in rites of the Roman Catholic Church on 28 July 1775. Two sons who had been born in Boston attended the ceremony and were baptized. During the time he lived in the Quebec region, Guitet made his living as a house painter.
When he was about 50, Guitet went to settle in the Gaspé; two of his brothers-in-law, Claude and Jean Landry, had been living there at Carleton since at least 1770. Guitet met again with Pierre Loubert, who had also been on the Lys and who was married to a sister of Modeste Landry. Having served in the British army during the American revolution, around 1784 Loubert had received 750 acres of land near Carleton on the Rivière Cascapedia. Apparently he then offered part of his property to Guitet. At the time of the 1784 census the locality, which was soon named Maria after Sir Guy Carleton’s wife, had only two families, Guitet’s not being listed; he must therefore have arrived some time between then and the spring of 1790, when one of his sons was godfather at a baptism in Carleton.
Claude Guitet died at the age of about 64, leaving only one of his sons, Joseph, to continue the family line. In the mid 19th century his descendants owned the greater part of Loubert’s land.
ANQ-Q, CE1-1, 28 juill. 1775. AP, Saint-Joseph (Carleton), Reg. des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, 29 nov. 1802. BL, Add. mss 21862, 7, 9 août 1784. Familles de Maria et leur généalogie, [D. Paradis, compil.] ([Maria, Qué., 1967]). Patrice Gallant, Les registres de la Gaspésie (1752–1850) (6v., [Sayabec, Qué., 1968]). Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Centenaire de Caplan, 1875–1975 (Caplan, Qué., 1975), 72. Le centenaire de la paroisse de Maria, 1860–1960 ([Montréal, 1960]). Guy Frégault, La guerre de la Conquête (Montréal et Paris, ; réimpr., ), 129–32. Émile Lauvrière, La tragédie d’un peuple: histoire du peuple acadien, de ses origines à nos jours (3e éd., 2v., Paris, 1922), 2. Antoine Bernard, “Les origines du pays de Carleton, 1760–1810,” Rev. d’hist. de la Gaspésie (Gaspé, Qué.), 4 (1966): 101–2. “Le combat de l’Alcide,” BRH, 50 (1944): 152–54.
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