DESJORDY DE CABANAC, JOSEPH (sometimes written Cabanas), captain in the colonial regular troops, town major of Trois-Rivières; b. 1657 at Carcassonne, France; d. 1713 at Champlain. Joseph was the youngest son of Pierre de Jordy and Louise de Rathery; his brothers were Melchior and Pierre-François, the latter the father of François Desjordy Moreau.
Joseph entered the military service of the king in 1676 as a subaltern in the king’s regiment. In 1680 he transferred to the Régiment de Picardie and five years later became a lieutenant in the colonial regular troops at Rochefort. The same year, 1685, he accompanied his nephew, François, to Canada on the Diligente as part of Brisay de Denonville’s command. In 1687 he went with Denonville’s troops to Cataracoui (Fort Frontenac), but the expedition against the Iroquois ended in a humiliating compromise and Joseph returned to Montreal with his company. Though he gained no honours in this expedition, he served with some distinction against Phips* in 1690. He, along with Claude-Sébastien de Villieu and Duclos de Beaumanoir, were given special mention in dispatches for their attacks upon the enemy’s camp east of the St Charles River.
Owing to the weakness of the colony, the practice was adopted of billeting soldiers and their officers throughout the rural areas to provide protection against the Indian raiders. The officers were usually billeted with the seigneurs; and it is hardly surprising that many officers formed marital alliances with the Canadian seigneurial families. This was true of Joseph, who in November 1691 married Madeleine, daughter of Étienne Pézard* de La Tousche, seigneur of Champlain. Joseph’s nephew, François, was present and signed the marriage contract and marriage certificate. To her husband, Madeleine brought the fief and house called “Le Moteux.”
In 1695 Joseph received from Governor Frontenac [Buade*] and the intendant, Bochart de Champigny, the fief of Cabanac on the Richelieu River. Some confusion exists with respect to this seigneury. The act of ratification gives the name of François Desjordy as the grantee of the seigneury on the Richelieu; but, since there is no record of François ever having made any grants from a seigneury on the Richelieu and proof exists that Joseph did make such grants, clearly there was an error on the part of the copyist. In 1695 or 1696, on the death of his father-in-law, Joseph Desjordy became co-seigneur of Champlain with his brother-in-law, Étienne de La Tousche.
In 1696 Joseph was promoted to the rank of captain and was given a company of colonial troops. Callière considered him a good officer. In 1709 he was given the temporary post of commander of Trois-Rivières on the death of the Marquis de Crisafy. Finally, three years later, after the intervention of the governor, Rigaud de Vaudreuil, the king appointed Joseph Desjordy de Cabanac major of Trois-Rivières in succession to Raymond Blaise Des Bergères, in June 1712. Less than a year later, on 25 April 1713, Joseph Desjordy died at Champlain. His claim and that of his brother Melchior to nobility had been confirmed by Louis XIV on 23 Jan. 1703.
AN, Col., C11A, 12. NYCD (O’Callaghan and Fernow), IX, 488. “Procès-verbaux du procureur général Collet” (Caron), 315–18, 372. E.-J. Auclair, Les de Jordy de Cabanac, histoire d’une ancienne famille noble du Canada (Montréal, 1930). Sulte, Hist. des Can. fr., V, 119. P.-G. Roy, “Les officiers d’état-major,” RC, 3e sér., XXII (1918), 299–300.
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