CHEVAL, dit Saint-Jacques, and dit Chevalier, JACQUES-JOSEPH, wig-maker, tavern-keeper, “garde du port” (harbour-master or wharf-master) at Montreal, court officer; baptized 13 Dec. 1697 in the parish of Saint-Nicolas in Tournai, Belgium, son of Thomas Cheval and Gilette Nève; d. Dec. 1757 in Montreal.
Jacques-Joseph Cheval arrived in New France around 1720 and settled at Montreal, where for more than 20 years he was a wig-maker, then a tavern-keeper, undoubtedly a much more profitable trade. Around 1740 he obtained the office of “garde du port” at Montreal. Cheval’s duty was to watch over the port and the roadstead, as well as the boats which anchored there, and to visit them to ensure that regulations were respected on them. He exercised this function until 1749; on 23 September of that year he was appointed court officer of the Conseil Supérieur, with residence in Montreal. He had acquired some experience with the machinery of justice through taking part in numerous lawsuits, either as plaintiff or as defendant. Cheval was still living in Montreal when his death occurred on 13 Dec. 1757.
On 3 Sept. 1725, at Saint-Laurent on Montreal Island, Jacques-Joseph Cheval had married Marie-Renée Cousineau, who bore him 12 children, seven of whom died in infancy. On 7 Jan. 1743 he became a widower, and on 27 May 1743, even before the notary Louis-Claude Danré de Blanzy had made the inventory of the belongings from his first marriage, he was married again, this time to Geneviève Leduc, who bore him four children.
Even if he did not play a leading role, Jacques-Joseph Cheval managed nevertheless to accede gradually to functions of a certain importance.
ANQ, NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not., 2125; NF, Ins. Cons. sup.; NF, Ord. int., 9 juill. 1749; NF, Registres du Cons. sup. ANQ-M, Greffe de L.-C. Danré de Blanzy, 18 juin, 7 août 1743; Clôtures d’inventaires, 22 juin 1743; Registres des audiences, 1739, f.110; 1741, ff.43, 76; 1742, f.39; 1744, ff.400, 446; Registre d’état civil, Saint-Laurent, 3 sept. 1725. Archives de l’État (Tournai, Belgique), État civil, Saint-Nicolas, 13 déc. 1697. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Les huissiers de Montréal sous le régime français,” BRH, XXXII (1926), 90. P.-G. Roy, “Les capitaines de port à Québec,” BRH, XXXII (1926), 1–12, 65–78.