BOURDON DE DOMBOURG, JEAN-FRANÇOIS, seigneur and ship’s captain; baptized 2 Feb. 1647 in Quebec, son of Jean Bourdon, a seigneur and engineer-surveyor, and Jacquelin Potel; d. 1690 at La Rochelle.
Upon finishing his studies at the Jesuit college, he chose to be a sailor and became a captain in the merchant marine. His career led him to give up his rights to his father’s property, which he could not work. On 28 Aug. 1677 he let the Sieur Bazire, a Quebec bourgeois and merchant, have for 3,000 livres the share that he had inherited of the fiefs of Saint-Jean and Saint-François. On 12 Nov. 1680 he sold his seigneury of Dombourg to Nicolas Dupont*, Sieur de Neuville. It was probably at this time that he decided to go to live in France.
He settled at La Rochelle, where he married, on 1 April 1687, Jeanne Janier. Every year he sailed between Canada and La Rochelle, which was in control of trade with New France at that time. From there sailed the king’s ship and those of the merchants, which supplied the colony with cloth, finished articles, and wines. Upon the death of his older brother, Jacques Bourdon d’Autray, he spent some time in Canada in 1688 settling the estate. He died in 1690 at La Rochelle. In a letter to the king in 1686, Bochart* de Champigny described him as “a very honest and experienced man.”
After her husband’s death, Jean-François Bourdon’s widow came to Canada to obtain from the Conseil Souverain a statement attesting officially that her father-in-law had indeed died in the exercise of his duties as attorney general, as well as to settle her husband’s estate. In 1693 she took as her second husband Simon-Pierre Denys*, Sieur de Bonaventure, a naval commander and the king’s lieutenant in the government of Acadia.
Coll. de manuscrits relatifs à la Nouv.-France, I, 372; II, 117. Ivanhoë Caron, “Les censitaires du côteau Sainte-Geneviève (banlieue de Québec) de 1636 à 1800,” BRH, XXVII (1921), 132f. Auguste Gosselin, “Les sieurs de Dombourg et d’Autray,” BRH, VII (1901), 122–24.
Revisions based on:
Arch. en Ligne, Charente-Maritime (La Rochelle, France), “Reg. paroissiaux, pastoraux et d’état civil,” La Rochelle, 1er avril 1687: charente-maritime.fr/CG17/jcms/cg17_34489/les-archives-en-ligne (consulted 6 May 2011). Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. de Québec, CE301-S1, 2 févr. 1647.