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BOUCHER DE MONTBRUN, JEAN, militia commandant, fur-trader, explorer; baptized 7 Feb. 1667 at Trois-Rivières, son of Pierre Boucher* and Jeanne Crevier; buried 20 Oct. 1742 at Boucherville, near Montreal.

In his youth Jean Boucher de Montbrun took part, probably as a militiaman, in several campaigns against the Iroquois, including the lamentable expedition led by La Barre [Le Febvre*] in 1684 to Anse de la Famine (Mexico Bay) on Lake Ontario. He also took part in the expeditions organized by Denonville [Brisay*] and Frontenac [Buade*] during the Iroquois wars. In 1692, at Pointe-Lévy (Lauzon, Que.), he married Françoise-Claire, the daughter of Étienne Charest Sr, seigneur of Lauson. The married couple seem to have lived for some time at Pointe-Lévy, since their first child was born there in 1693; then they settled at Boucherville, where Boucher helped his father manage his seigneury, being in charge of the flourmill and the roads. Moreover, in 1693 he had obtained from his father, jointly with his brother René Boucher de La Perrière, “a noble fief with justice reserved” in the seigneury of Boucherville, with a frontage of six arpents and a depth of two leagues.

From 1715 to 1729 Boucher is supposed to have been “commandant of the militia on the south shore,” and it was in this capacity that in 1715 he attended to the distribution of the days of corvée among the habitants of the seigneury. At the same period Boucher took part in several trading or exploring expeditions in the west. In 1727 he was, it seems, at the post of Nipigon (near the mouth of the Nipigon River, Ont.), where he is believed to have met Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye. He may have gone with his two sons, Jean-Baptiste and François, on La Perrière’s expedition to found Fort Beauharnois on Lake Pepin (Wis.-Minn.) that same year.

Jean Boucher de Montbrun died in 1742 and was buried in the church of Sainte-Famille in Boucherville. He had been an active man, taking part in expeditions for war, trade, or exploration, at the same time attending to the Boucherville seigneury. He had a pleasant manner with those about him, particularly with his family: his domestic relations were indeed most cordial, as is shown by several notarial deeds.

Four years after the death of his first wife, who had borne him some 13 children, Boucher had on 10 Nov. 1729 married Françoise, the daughter of Jean-Amador Godefroy* de Saint-Paul, at Trois-Rivières. Boucher’s death in 1742 gave rise to quarrels within his family. The succession was difficult to settle, and Boucher’s widow had to come to arrangements with the heirs, all of whom were of her husband’s first marriage, and in particular with René Boucher de Montbrun, who was both her stepson and brother-in-law. René, who had been the owner of half of his father’s fief since 1740, had married in 1738 Madeleine Godefroy de Saint-Paul, his stepmother’s sister. Even at Françoise Godefroy’s death in 1770 the dispute may not have been settled. It was a far cry from the spirit of friendly understanding and cordiality which Jean Boucher de Montbrun had manifested all his life.

Roland-J. Auger

Découvertes et établissements des Français (Margry), VI, 552. PAC Report, 1899, supp., 132. Bonnault, “Le Canada militaire,” APQ Rapport, 1949–51, 289–90. Godbout, “Nos ancêtres,” APQ Rapport, 1959–60, 304–5. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. Répertoire des mariages de Trois-Rivières, 1654–1900, Dominique Campagna, compil. (Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Qué., [1963]), 198. A. Roy, Inv. greffes not., IX, 148; XIII, 78; XVII, 121; XVIII, 32. P.-G. Roy, Inv. coll. pièces jud. et not., I, 107, 136; II, 359; Inv. concessions, II, 296; Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, V, 67, 103, 185; Inv. ord. int., I, 131, 138, 167, 260; II, 70. Lemire-Marsolais et Lambert, Histoire de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame, IV, 157–64. Estelle Mitchell, Messire Pierre Boucher (écuyer), seigneur de Boucherville, 1622–1717 (Montréal, 1967). J.-E. Roy, Histoire de la seigneurie de Lauzon (5v., Lévis, Qué., 1897–1904), I, 427; II, 69, 84. J.-J. Lefebvre, “La descendance de Pierre Boucher (1622–1717), fondateur de Boucherville,” SGCF Mémoires, V (1952–53), 69–96.

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Roland-J. Auger, “BOUCHER DE MONTBRUN, JEAN,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed May 25, 2024, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/boucher_de_montbrun_jean_3E.html.

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Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/boucher_de_montbrun_jean_3E.html
Author of Article:   Roland-J. Auger
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1974
Year of revision:   1974
Access Date:   May 25, 2024