VÉRON DE GRANDMESNIL, ÉTIENNE, militia captain, notary; b. 31 Oct. 1649 at Trois-Rivières, son of Jean Véron de Grandmesnil, who had come from Normandy, and of Marguerite Hayet; d. 18 May 1721 at Trois-Rivières.
Véron de Grandmesnil was only three years old when his father was killed by the Iroquois; his mother, who was Pierre-Esprit Radisson’s half-sister, married shortly afterwards the famous Médard Chouart* Des Groseilliers. However, “as he was the cause of several quarrels and differences between his mother and his stepfather over the question of punishment, Étienne’s guardian, Étienne Seigneuret, assumed responsibility for him in return for 20 livres a year.” When he was old enough to study, the Jesuits were charged with taking him in as a boarder and teaching him “all the necessary subjects.”
In 1667 he was still at Trois-Rivières. The census of that year indicates that he was living there with his mother, his brother Guillaume, his half-brother Jean-Baptiste, and his half-sister Marie-Antoinette Chouart. Grandmesnil was interested in the fur trade, since in 1676 Intendant Duchesneau* summoned him, with some 20 other notables of the colony, to a meeting to discuss fixing the prices of beaver furs.
In 1680 his mother shared his father’s land with him and the 1681 census mentions that he had one servant in his employ, and that he owned 7 head of cattle and 45 acres under cultivation. In 1682 he was chosen as churchwarden of the parish of Trois-Rivières, and in that capacity he took part in the building of a new church. He was also appointed militia captain of the parish. In 1684 and 1685 he signed two contracts for the hiring out of domestic animals.
Subsequently he seems to have given up working the land since he became the secretary of Lamothe Cadillac [Laumet]. It is very possible that Véron de Grandmesnil had a share in the founding of the post at Detroit. Having returned to Montreal, he espoused his master’s interests, and as Cadillac’s attorney signed many transactions, conventions, and agreements. In 1706 he obtained a commission as a notary, and he exercised this profession until 1720. The document confirming his commission has been lost, but several documents refer to him as royal notary. He also evidently was deputy to the king’s attorney.
In 1677, at Trois-Rivières, Véron de Grandmesnil had married Marie-Thérèse Moral, daughter of Quentin Moral de Saint-Quentin, king’s lieutenant, and of Marie Marguerie, Jacques Hertel* de La Fresnière’s widow. Of the nine children born of this marriage, one was Étienne*, who became a merchant and was the receiver of His Highness Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, Comte de Toulouse and admiral of France.
AJM, Greffe d’Antoine Adhémar, 26 juillet 1709, 6 sept. 1710, 31 mai 1713; Greffe de J.-B. Pottier, 19 mai 1701. AJTR, Greffe de Séverin Ameau, 30 mai 1677, 5 juillet 1680, 13, 19 juillet, 29 oct. 1682, 3 oct. 1684, 25 janv. 1685; Greffe de J.-B. Pottier, 7 févr. 1702; Greffe d’Étienne Véron de Grandmesnil, 1705–20. Jug. et délib., I, 273; IV, 38; V, 989; VI, 121, 130, 211. Recensements du Canada, 1666 (APQ Rapport), 1681 (Sulte). “Les notaires au Canada,” 34. Vachon, “Inv. critique des notaires royaux,” RHAF, X (1956–57), 388. J.-E. Roy, Histoire du notariat, I, 193, 369. Vachon, Histoire du notariat, 37. [P.-G. Roy, Inv. ord. int., I, 147, 214.]