BAUDRY (Beaudry), dit Saint-Martin (Baudry Desbuttes, Baudry Soulard), JEAN-BAPTISTE, gunsmith; baptized 3 July 1684 at Trois-Rivières, son of Guillaume Baudry*, dit Des Butes, gunsmith and silversmith, and Jeanne Soullard; m. on 8 Oct. 1721 Marie-Louise, daughter of the armourer Nicolas Doyon, in Quebec; d. 20 Nov. 1755 at Detroit.
In using numerous surnames Jean-Baptiste Baudry, it seems, wanted to distinguish himself from a namesake who lived at the same period and who also practised the armourer’s craft. Through his father, mother, and wife he belonged to three of the most important families of craftsmen in ironwork in Canada. His paternal grandfather, Urbain Baudry, dit La Marche, was a maker of edge tools and blacksmith at Trois-Rivières, and four of his brothers, Claude-Charles, Jean, Urbain, and René were also armourers.
Jean-Baptiste Baudry lived at a time when craftsmen formed an important social group in New France. From 1700 to 1750 there were numerous marriages among members of this group; the Baudry family did not escape this tendency, for Jean-Baptiste, his brothers, and his sisters chose their spouses from this milieu. Like all the other armourers, whose craft required frequent travel, Jean-Baptiste Baudry made several trips to work in the forts and trading posts. More particularly he travelled between Quebec and Detroit. It was at Detroit that in 1735 he acquired a piece of land, and it was there that he died on 20 Nov. 1755. His numerous descendants, who for a century continued to repair and make arms, are still known by the name of Des Buttes in Detroit and in Essex County, Ontario.
Although the craftsmen of the Baudry family had specialized above all in ironwork, they also left some pieces of silverware. Among the latter we are indebted to them for some consecrated vessels that are preserved in the Musée du Québec and in the church of Saint-Étienne de Beaumont (Que.).
AJQ, Registre d’état civil, Notre-Dame de Québec, 23 août 1733. Godbout, “Nos ancêtres,” APQ Rapport, 1953–55, 510–12. P.-G. Roy, Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, IV, 101, 106; Inv. ord. int., II, 212. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 31; II, 152; III, 363. Télesphore St-Pierre, Histoire des Canadiens du Michigan et du comté d’Essex, Ontario (Montréal, 1895), 157. Traquair, Old silver of Quebec, 5, 26.