ADHÉMAR, JEAN-BAPTISTE, clerk of court, court officer, royal notary; baptized 16 March 1689 in Montreal, son of Antoine Adhémar* de Saint-Martin and Michelle Cusson; d. 19 Dec. 1754 in Montreal.
The son and grandson of royal notaries – his maternal grandfather Jean Cusson* had practised this profession – Jean-Baptiste Adhémar succeeded his father as clerk of court and royal notary. On 15 May 1714 Intendant Michel Bégon granted him a commission as royal notary in the jurisdiction of Montreal. The following year, on 20 May, in Montreal, he married Catherine, the daughter of the notary Michel Lepailleur* de Laferté.
Soon, however, his reputation was tarnished, and in 1722 Intendant Bégon stated that Adhémar was “a bad lot.” The notary had left town after having squandered the funds deposited with the registry of the jurisdiction of Montreal. The intendant added that Adhémar would not retain his situation if he returned. The following year Adhémar was back and had resumed practising his profession, having, it seems, reached an arrangement with the authorities. He also kept his office as clerk of court.
On 28 March 1729 the Conseil Supérieur ordered a “character investigation” of the notary Adhémar, formerly in practice, prior to his succeeding his father-in-law as court officer of that council in Montreal; on 17 April 1730 he was officially received. Meanwhile Adhémar had been acting since the previous year as deputy for the king’s attorney in the royal jurisdiction of Montreal, and in 1731 he added to his other offices that of assessor for this court in various trials. But in 1737 he had to declare himself incompetent to judge in a lawsuit, and in 1740 a trial had to be started over again, at his cost. In 1734 Adhémar had asked the authorities for permission to retain his father’s minute-book; the following year the king called upon him to deposit it with the registry of the provost court of Quebec, in conformity with the ordinance of 1717 and the recommendations of the attorney general Louis-Guillaume Verrier.
Because he practised in Montreal, the centre of the fur trade, Jean-Baptiste Adhémar profited greatly by drawing up many enlistment contracts for the west. Like his father, Adhémar had an active career; it was cut off by his death on 19 Dec. 1754.
On 7 Jan. 1733 in Montreal, Adhémar had remarried; his second wife was Catherine Moreau. We know of only three children by this marriage, born between 1734 and 1740, and of none by his earlier marriage.
AN, Col., B, 61, f.530; 63, f.486. ANQ-M, Greffe de J.-B. Adhémar, 1714–54. “Liste des officiers de justice de la Nouvelle-France,” BRH, XXXIV (1928), 45. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Les huissiers de Montréal sous le régime français,” BRH, XXXII (1926), 85, 88; “Les tribunaux et les officiers de justice de Montréal sous le régime français,” BRH, XXXVII (1931), 188, 190, 191, 302, 303, 305. P.-G. Roy, Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, I, III, V; Inv. ord. int., I, 136; III, 42, 199. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Vachon, “Inv. critique des notaires royaux,” RHAF, XI (1957–58), 94, 272.